February 11, 1915

CON

William Thomas White (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. WHITE:

Tea, sugar and tobacco are left precisely as they are to-day.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   THE BUDGET.
Sub-subtopic:   PROPOSED WAR TAXATION.
Permalink
CON

William John Macdonald

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MACDONALD:

What is the article 682 of schedule A, referred to in section (e) of resolution 2? ,

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   THE BUDGET.
Sub-subtopic:   PROPOSED WAR TAXATION.
Permalink
CON

William Thomas White (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. WHITE:

Fish-hooks for deep-sea or lake fishing and a line of articles of cognate character.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   THE BUDGET.
Sub-subtopic:   PROPOSED WAR TAXATION.
Permalink
CON

William John Macdonald

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MACDONALD:

As to section (f),

anthracite coal, that is free now, is it not?

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   THE BUDGET.
Sub-subtopic:   PROPOSED WAR TAXATION.
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CON

William Thomas White (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. WHITE:

It is free now and remains free; the additional duty is imposed upon bituminous.

In conclusion, Mr. Speaker, it may be fitting that I should say something as to

general economic conditions, actual and prospective. On the whole, having regard to the vast dislocation of finance and commerce occasioned by the war, the Dominion has withstood the shock exceedingly well. When we consider the immense distance we have traversed since August last in improved tone, confidence and commercial and financial outlook there is abundant cause for gratification and thankfulness. Readjustment has necessarily been a painful process for many of our industries, but it must be considered as having proceeded and as proceeding satisfactorily. The consequences of the interruption of our borrowings abroad for purposes to which I have alluded in the course of my remarks have been shown in a slackening of activity in many trades. On the other hand production in various lines has been greatly quickened and stimulated by orders on a very large scale for clothing, munitions and other equipment and material placed in Canada not only by the Canadian Government but by Britain and her Allies as well. Expenditure for supplies oJLthis character must appreciably assist in counteracting the adverse factors of which I have spoken. It will also exert a most favourable influence upon the important problem of international exchange, with which is involved the question of gold export. It is apparent that throughout the Dominion strong efforts have been and will continue to be made to increase production. The enhanced prices of grains and other products will be a great inducement to exceptional exertion along this line. The returns as to fall ploughing and general condition of land are most favourable for a record crop production next year. The intervening period we shall bridge successfully in proportion to the courage and energy displayed by our citizens in their several callings. During war-time it is the duty as well as the interest of all to multiply effort, to increase to the utmost their production, in order that wastage may be repaired and the nation kept strong for the struggle. Our farmers, tradesmen and manufacturers will no doubt more keenly study their problems and expand wherever possible the scope of their enterprise.

While one hesitates to attempt a forecast in conditions so variable and subject to sudden and violent change, it would appear that accumulations of funds with accompanying easier interest, rates and increasing confidence on the part of investors will result in a gradual resumption of the sale

abroad and at home of securities for needed expenditures on the part of our Provinces, municipalities, railways and industries. Such expenditures, even on a greatly reduced scale, together with war outlays in Canada should go a long way towards the restoration of such of our trade and industry as have suffered from the effects of the war. Above all will our commercial improvement and, for that matter, commercial improvement throughout the world, follow upon the continuing success of the Allies. With such continuance legitimate business throughout the world must improve during the remaining period of the war. Should the progress of that success be interrupted, international trade and commerce must receive a further setback. To put it another way: If the exchanges of the world were in operation as before the war any notable success on the part of the Allies would cause securities everywhere to rise; with any notable success on the part of the enemy they would fall. Happily we have no cause to be apprehensive as to the continued favourable progress and the certain ultimate triumph of the arms of the Empire and her Allies. So far as any war can be said to go well, we have every reason to make the statement -as to this the most terrible of all wars. As to its duration, it would be idle to hazard even a guess. But one thing is certain that be it long or be it short, the Empire and every part of it is determined that its conclusion must be upon such terms that the ensuing peace will be not a transient truce, not an armed and arming armistice, but a real and lasting settlement with securities amply guaranteeing the world against a recrudescence of the militarist ambition, the aggrandizing spirit, the greed of possession, the lust of conquest, which have brought about almost a subversion of our civilization.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   THE BUDGET.
Sub-subtopic:   PROPOSED WAR TAXATION.
Permalink
LIB

Alexander Kenneth Maclean

Liberal

Mr. A. K. MACLEAN:

In accordance

with the arrangement made a few days ago, I beg to move the adjournment of the debate. I' did propose suggesting the resumption of the debate on Tuesday next, but it has been suggested to me by some hon. gentlemen on this side of the House that Thursday would be preferable, owing to the fact that the previous day, Wednesday next, is a holiday. However, I suppose it would be satisfactory for the moment simply to move the adjournment of the debate, and the exact date of its resumption can be arranged later.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   THE BUDGET.
Sub-subtopic:   PROPOSED WAR TAXATION.
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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs; President of the Privy Council)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir ROBERT BORDEN:

What my hon. friend suggests is quite satisfactory. I shall be glad to confer with him with regard to the date.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   THE BUDGET.
Sub-subtopic:   PROPOSED WAR TAXATION.
Permalink

Motion agreed to, and debate adjourned. EUROPEAN WAR CREDIT, $100,000,000. Right Hon. Sir ROBERT BORDEN moved that the House go into Committee to consider the following proposed resolution: 1. That it is expedient to provide that a sum not exceeding one hundred million dollars ($100,000,000) be granted to His Majesty towards defraying any expenses that may be incurred by or under the authority of the Governor in Council during the year ending 31st day of March, 1916, for: (a) The defence and security of Canada: (b) The conduct of naval or military operations in or beyond Canada ; (c) Promoting the continuance of trade, industry and business communications, whether by means of insurance or indemnity against war risk or otherwise; and (d) The carrying out of any measures deemed necessary or advisable by the Governor in Council in consequence of the existence of a state of war. 2. That the Governor in Council be empowered to raise by way of loan, temporary or otherwise, such sums of money as are required for the purpose of making any payment authorized by any Act founded on these resolutions. 3. That the principal raised by way of loan under this Act and under the War Appropriation Act, 1914, and the interest thereon shall be chargeable on the Consolidated Revenue Fund.


LIB

William Pugsley

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY:

Before you leave the

Chair, Mr. Speaker, I would like to call the attention of my right hon. friend the Prime Minister to the fact that some days ago I asked him if he would, without a motion, lay upon the table of the House the names of the gentlemen who have been acting, or who to the knowledge of the Government or any minister thereof have been professing to act, either for the Canadian Government or for the Government of Great Britain in the purchase of supplies and munitions of war.

My right hon. friend has not yet done that, and I would like to see that done before I for one would be in a position to discuss this vote and consider, as it is the duty of the members to consider, the expenditures which have been made of the $50,000,000 voted by Parliament in the war session in August. This information ought to be furnished. There appeared in the press supporting the Government, at the end of January last, this despatch from Ottawa:

Ottawa, Jan. 15,1915.-As a consequence of the misrepresentations that have been made to business firms in the United States and Canada by persons who have fraudulently styled themselves

agents of the British and French governments, it has been considered advisable by the Government to publish the following list of purchasing agents for military purposes of the allied governments.

British-Co!. A. G. Barton and F. W. Stobart, Ritz Carlton Hotel, Montreal.

French-Hudson Bay Co., Montreal; Capt. Lafoulloux, Hotel BrSvort, New York; Direction de 1'Intendence, Bordeaux, France; M. de La Chaune, 28 Broadway, London.

Russian-Messrs. S. Ruperti and Alexsieff, care of the Russian Embassy, Washington, D.C.

When I inform you that I have information, which I think is of a most reliable character, that gentlemen went to New York not many months ago, took apartments at one of the leading hotells in thatf. city, sent letters or circulars to leading manufacturers of ammunition informing them that they were appointed to represent the Canadian and British Governments and gave orders for vast quantities of ammunition on behalf ostensibly of the Canadian and the British Governments, you will see how important it is that those members of the House who wish to examine into and ascertain the facts with regard to purchases which have been made on behalf of the Canadian and the British Governments should be informed as to those gentlemen whom the Government had in mind when they issued this notice, if it was issued, as I presume it was. There is no immediate hurry, it seems to me, for entering upon the consideration of this motion. Parliament has already voted $50,000,000 which it has been stated by the Prime Minister will last to the close of the present fiscal year. This vote of $100,000,000 is not to take effect till after the 31st of March. It, therefore, does seem to me that we ought not to be rushed along unduly with the consideration of a vote of this magnitude until we have been furnished with information to which Parliament has a right about the expenditures which have been made for war purposes. I do not at present desire to charge, it is far from my wish to charge the Government or any member of the Government with any wrong-doing in connection with the letting of various contracts; but my information is that, whereas the price of a certain kind of ammunition (the fair price even one month after the breaking out of the war) was only some $25 per thousand rounds, these gentlemen representing or professing to represent the Government gave the order and made contracts under which this Government and the British Government paid the large sum of $33 per thousand rounds; that

these orders were not confined to millions of rounds but ran into hundreds of millions of rounds. That is the information I have. I may say that in the city of New York this is current talk among members of that splendid Canadian colony who, by their enterprise and interest in Canadian affairs, are a credit to the land of their birth. Many of them hang their heads in shame at the revelations which have been given to them. They say that the Canadian Government and the British Government have been called upon to pay vastly larger sums for ammunition and other war supplies than ought to have been paid. My object and my sole object in bringing the matter to the attention of the Hou'se to-day is that the Prime Minister may have this information before him and look into this matter. All that he has to do is to send proper representatives to the city of New York and lie will have no difficulty whatever in ascertaining what has taken place there, if the information I have is correct. It may not be correct, it may be that these rumours are unfounded; but they have wide circula-' tion amongst the members of the Canadian colony in New York; they are generally talked about, gentlemen there claim to have absolute knowledge of the truth of what I am stating. I wish to give one illustration which is to be found at pages 38 and 41 of the paper laid on the' table of the House by the Minister of Militia. We find that whereas ammunition was supplied. by the Dominion Cartridge Company, a Canadian concern, for the price of $31 a thousand rounds, which was a high price, for identically the same ammunition, to be delivered at the same place, in the city of Quebec, there was paid in the United States $33 per thousand rounds. This may or may not be confirmatory of the truth of the statements which are made in New York. At all events it is a singular fact, and one w oi thy of the attention of the Government, that a larger price was paid for ammunition in New York, namely, $33 per thousand rounds, than was paid to a Canadian company, which furnished identically the same ammunition delivered to the same place at $31 per thousand. But my information is that a fair market price for this kind of ammunition in the United States, when these gentlemen, representing or pretending to represent the Governments of Canada and Great Britain, appeared upon the scene and succeeded in bringing about, as I am informed, a combination among the manufacturers, was $25 per thousand rounds; yet

the Government of Canada has been charged, as appears here in the report submitted, $33 per thousand, and the British Government has been charged the same price, or $8 per thousand more than was a fair market price at the time when these gentlemen appeared upon the scene and brought about a combination.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   THE BUDGET.
Sub-subtopic:   PROPOSED WAR TAXATION.
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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs; President of the Privy Council)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir ROBERT BORDEN:

What was the time to which the hon. gentleman alludes?

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   THE BUDGET.
Sub-subtopic:   PROPOSED WAR TAXATION.
Permalink
LIB

William Pugsley

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY:

Some time in the fall of 1914. I do not wish to suggest for a single moment that there has been any wrongdoing on the part of the Government; but in view of what is professed to be almost common knowledge among Canadians in New York, I am sure that if, through these gentlemen who have been given credit by the Minister of Militia or some other member of the Government, the British Government or this Government, have paid much higher prices for war supplies than they ought to have paid, it is a subject which demands the immediate and most serious consideration of my right hon. friend the Prime Minister and his Government. It would be bad enough, it would be condemned by the Canadian people, it would be reprehensible, if gentlemen representing Canada had gone to the United States and succeeded in making only the Canadian Government and people pay more for ammunition in these times of stress than they ought to have paid; but it is worse when these gentlemen, by reason of having credit from the Canadian Government, have succeeded in making the British Government also pay a very much larger sum than ought to have been paid. The contracts of the British Government which have been secured in this way are not confined to one, two, five, or ten million rounds of amunition. One contract alone called for the enormous amount of 200,000,000 rounds, so I am informed; and if you take the extra charge of $8 per one thousand rounds, on that contract alone the British Government paid $1,600,000 beyond the fair market price for ammunition at the time these gentlemen acted as go-betweens between the manufacturers and the Government. My information is not at all of a confidential nature. The facts are professed to be generally known in the city of New York by those who keep in touch with Canadian affairs.

I recognize that it would be impossible for the Opposition in this House to get the

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   THE BUDGET.
Sub-subtopic:   PROPOSED WAR TAXATION.
Permalink

IX, 1915


necessary information without the co-operation of the Government. It would be impossible for even a committee of this House to get that information without the Government's co-operation, for the subpoenas of the committees of this House do not extend beyond the limits of Canada. The facts can only be got through the co-operation of the Government, and I have no doubt that if the Prime Minister institutes the proper inquiries he will be able to ascertain the truth of these allegations, which I make by reason of information given to me from a source which I am obliged to accept as reliable. If, as my right hon. friend the leader of the Opposition suggested in his remarks upon the Address, a committee of this House were appointed consisting of members of both sides and of some member or members of the Government who could speak with the authority of the Canadian Government, and to a very considerable extent with the implied authority of the British Government, I am sure there would be no difficulty in ascertaining the facts in regard to the purchase of this ammunition and other war supplies. I rise for the purpose of urging that before this resolution is considered in committee the Government should lay on the table of the House the names of those gentlemen who it has ascertained were improperly claiming to represent this Government and the British Government, as well as the names of the gentlemen who had authority from either this Government as a whole or from any member of this Government, whether the Minister of Militia or any other minister.


CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPEAKER:

I understood the hon.

gentleman rose to ask a question. As I have not had an opportunity of presenting the resolution to the House, I may state that the question before us is the motion of Sir Robert Borden that I do now leave the Chair for the House to go into committee to consider the resolution.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   IX, 1915
Permalink
CON

Robert Laird Borden (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs; President of the Privy Council)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir ROBERT BORDEN:

I suggested to my right hon. friend that we might pass this resolution pro forma without any discussion, and I understood him to assent. I understand my hon. friend from St. John (Mr. Pugsley) objects to that, and I shall therefore withdraw the motion.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   IX, 1915
Permalink
LIB

William Pugsley

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY:

I do not object. My point was that the names of these gentlemen should be laid on the table of the

House before the resolution is considered in committee.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   IX, 1915
Permalink
CON

Robert Laird Borden (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs; President of the Privy Council)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir ROBERT BORDEN:

Oh, I did not understand. As far as my hon. friend's observations are concerned, I am not prepared to speak to-day on the number of rumours concerning war supplies which he thinks ought to be brought to the attention of the Government, for I did not know that a discussion was coming up on this subject. But I venture to say this: that if the British Government bought with the assistance of this Government any ammunition in New York City or anywhere else, the price was first submitted to them and they were asked whether it was a fair price which they would be prepared to pay. As to what is a fair price for ammunition, I have no such personal knowledge as my hon. friend professes to have. I venture to isay that he will find that a price higher than that which he has named has been paid by the British and Allied Governments since the outbreak of war. That is my recollection, and I know that a very considerable effort has been made by some of the Allied Governments to get ammunition. I told my hon. friend the other day that we would give any information in the possession of the Government with regard to persons authorized to purchase war supplies. I intended to give that and would have given it before the matter came up irr committee, without the long discourse which my hon. friend has made upon the subject, and I repeat to him now that all available information will be given in due course before the matter comes up in Committee.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   IX, 1915
Permalink

Motion agreed to, and the House went into committee on the proposed resolution. Mr. Sevigny in the Chair.


LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER:

Has my right hon. friend (Sir Robert Borden) any information to give now?

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   IX, 1915
Permalink
CON

Robert Laird Borden (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs; President of the Privy Council)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir ROBERT BORDEN:

No, I have no information. I did not purpose giving the information at this stage, in view of the arrangement which had been made.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   IX, 1915
Permalink

February 11, 1915