March 2, 1915

LIB

Edward Walter Nesbitt

Liberal

Mr. NESBITT:

Leave out the two inches;

I think on most of it you will get nearer to seven feet than eight feet.

Topic:   THE BUDGET.
Subtopic:   PROPOSED WAR TAXATION.
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LIB

Michael Clark

Liberal

Mr. MICHAEL CLARK:

It is deep enough to cost a lot of money.

Topic:   THE BUDGET.
Subtopic:   PROPOSED WAR TAXATION.
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LIB

Edward Walter Nesbitt

Liberal

Mr. NESBITT:

Yes, it is deep enough

to pour a lot of money into it. There is no transportation waiting on the expenditure there and nothing would be hurt by waiting and saving that million and a half dollars for the coming year. Then as to the French river; I asked the Minister of Public Works last year what he is going to do about the French river, and he said he did not, know, and I do not believe he knows yet, but everybody knows that to put a canal on the French river would be 'an absolute waste of money. I suppose there are a lot of people in this country who still in their imagination, fortified imagination I would call it, think we would be justified in going on with the expenditure on the Georgian Bay Canal. I am glad to say these people are scarce, because it would be a wilder and more foolish expenditure that the expenditure on the Hudson Bay Railway.

Mr. GERALD V. WHITE: What stand does the right hon. leader of my hon. friend take on that?

Topic:   THE BUDGET.
Subtopic:   PROPOSED WAR TAXATION.
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LIB

Edward Walter Nesbitt

Liberal

Mr. NESBITT:

It does not make any

difference to me what stand my leader takes on it; I am telling you what I think about it,' and I am only speaking for myself. There was only one possible object in building the Hudson Bay railway and that was to cheapen'transportation for the grain of the West, but how are you going to cheapen transportation when you have to haul that grain there and build elevators and store it from one year to the other. Any one who buys grain knows that when you have to carry it over for a year and pay interest charges you cannot get any benefit from cheaper transportation for the grain. Then, when you have got the grain at Hudson Bay you have to nave a line of steamers to take it out and there is not a man living wlip would invest a dollar in a

line of steamers which would work for three months of the year and lie idle for the other nine months. That is the plain fact about the Hudson Bay railway, and the Georgian Bay Canal would be a thousand times worse if that could be possible.

Hon. gentlemen opposite talk about throwing men out of work. There is no necessity to throw men out of work. These great enterprises, such as the Welland Canal, the Quebec Bridge, the improvements at St. John, N.B., can be gone on with in a reasonable way, and they will afford employment. The railways will have to make improvements and they will at least have to attend to the upkeep of their roads, and there is no fear of men being thrown out of work. When spring comes there will be lots of work for every one jto do. We are now preaching from end to end of the land patriotism and production, while at the same time we are at every turn, by this new tariff, making the necessaries of life dearer for the men who have to produce, and we are making it harder every day for the farmer to get a fair profit from the results of his toil.

Many people believe that the farmers are making fortunes. There is not a cent of profit in farming at the present day unless a farmer has grain to sell, and there are not many farmers in Ontario that I know of that have any grain to sell. The men who have grain to sell are making a great deal of money, but the men who are raising cattle and hogs at the present price of grain are not making any money.

Not only does this new tariff not help the people of the country to produce more, but it retards the production of the country in every way. My hon. friend the Minister of Finance could wipe out $30,000,000 of the expenditure of this country without the slightest difficulty and let the estimated revenue of next year meet the expenditure for that period. I hope that he will see his way to do so. I have great faith in my hon. friend the Minister of Finance, and I hope that he will not be influenced by his colleagues and by those who say, "dash away and spend the money," to go on with such a wild-goose proposition as this tariff and the expenditure that he proposes by this year's Estimates.

Topic:   THE BUDGET.
Subtopic:   PROPOSED WAR TAXATION.
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CON

Henry Herbert Stevens

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. H. H. STEVENS (Vancouver):

I

understand that the motion under which this debate is being conducted is for the House to go into Committee of Ways and Means, and that it is usual on an occasion -of this kind to consider the problem of the ways and means of the country. I have

followed the debate up to the present time with a considerable degree of attention and with a hope that we might hear from some of the members of the Opposition, whose right and proper duty it is to offer fair criticism, some constructive criticism, something: in the nature of a suggestion to help the Government to meet the most critical financial period with which the country has probably ever been faced in its history; but up to the present moment I have failed to catch any constructive suggestion from hon. gentlemen opposite.

I desire to say a few words in reply to some of, the arguments presented by my hon. friend the member for North Oxford (Mr., Nesbitt). He seems to have based his arguments on this one proposition, namely, that the expenditures of the country for the forthcoming year should be reduced so as to meet the estimated revenue for that period. In fact, that seems to be the main argument adduced by hon. members opposite. It was rather interesting to observe the efforts of my hon. friend in wiggling his way through the Ontario Estimates. I was expecting him to criticise them at somewhat greater length; but the hon. member for Brant (Mr. Fisher), I think, rather upset him with some of the queries that he advanced.

The hon. member for North Oxford said that we should have cut off the further construction of the Hudson Bay railway at this time. Does he not remember that, when the right hon. the leader of the Opposition (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) was Prime Minister of this country, and when he and his colleagues sat on this side of the House supporting him, they, in season and out of season, advocated the construction of the Hudson Bay railway? I was not a member of the House then; but I understand that my hon. friend supported and voted for that project.

Topic:   THE BUDGET.
Subtopic:   PROPOSED WAR TAXATION.
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LIB
CON

Henry Herbert Stevens

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEVENS:

Did my hon. friend vote against it?

Topic:   THE BUDGET.
Subtopic:   PROPOSED WAR TAXATION.
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LIB

Edward Walter Nesbitt

Liberal

Mr. NESBITT:

I never voted for it. I never heard it brought up.

Topic:   THE BUDGET.
Subtopic:   PROPOSED WAR TAXATION.
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CON

Henry Herbert Stevens

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEVENS:

That is very good indeed. The hon. member certainly supported the right hon. the leader of the Opposition when he was Prime Minister of this country, and in western Canada advanced the construction of the Hudson Bay railway as one of his main policies.

Topic:   THE BUDGET.
Subtopic:   PROPOSED WAR TAXATION.
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CON

William Henry Sharpe

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. W. H. SHARPE:

And they won their elections on it.

Topic:   THE BUDGET.
Subtopic:   PROPOSED WAR TAXATION.
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CON

Henry Herbert Stevens

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEVENS:

Moreover, on no occasion in the history of this House did my hon. friend raise his voice against this project. I challenge any hon. gentleman opposite to produce a single vote from that party against that project while they were in power. The Government of the day, composed of hon. gentlemen opposite, entered into a contract for the construction of that railway, and the hon. member for South Renfrew (Mr. Graham) himself signed the contract.

Topic:   THE BUDGET.
Subtopic:   PROPOSED WAR TAXATION.
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LIB

George Perry Graham

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM:

The then Solicitor

General says that I did not do so.

Topic:   THE BUDGET.
Subtopic:   PROPOSED WAR TAXATION.
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CON

Henry Herbert Stevens

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEVENS:

What does my hon. friend say?

Topic:   THE BUDGET.
Subtopic:   PROPOSED WAR TAXATION.
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LIB
CON

Henry Herbert Stevens

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEVENS:

Will the hon. gentleman deny that he signed the contract?

Topic:   THE BUDGET.
Subtopic:   PROPOSED WAR TAXATION.
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LIB
CON

Henry Herbert Stevens

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEVENS:

I am bound to believe

the hon. gentleman's statement. In any case, this fact cannot be gainsaid, that our hon. friends opposite supported and advocated the project. They signed the first contract and entered into contracts for the construction of that railway. The construction has been carried out by this Government to the satisfaction of the people of the West, and I believe the railway will prove a very satisfactory project. The question of the construction of railways, of the opening up of the vast territory of the West, has always been a question of great difficulty and danger. You, Mr. Speaker, and the older members of the House who have had the honour of sitting here for many years, will remember that when the Canadian Pacific railway was constructed it was prophesied by certain learned gentlemen in this House and out of it that it would be an absolute failure. Within thirty years the Canadian Pacific Railway Company has grown to be one of the largest and most reputable corporations in the known world. As the Canadian Pacific railway has more than vindicated the confidence placed in it by the Canadian people at that time, and as nearly every other project of a similar character constructed in western Canada has proved itseslf to be a successful venture, it is reasonable for the people of Canada to believe that a railway to that inland sea of Hudson Bay will also be a success. At least we who live in western Canada have faith in the great West, and we believe that the railway will be a success. Let me call

my hon. friend's attention to certain resources. He speaks of moving carloads of frozen earth. It has been demonstrated, as far as it has been possible to investigate, that the Hudson Bay is a veritable storehouse of fish which will supply the food markets of Canada and of the world, because it must be remembered that to-day we are shipping from Prince Rupert clear to the old land frozen fresh fish, and the Hudson Bay is a very much nearer shipping place than is the western coast. Therefore in fish alone there are vast possibilities in that section of the country. We have also vast areas of pulp timber in that district, which commodity is rapidly becoming of more and more value in the Dominion and is supporting one of our most valuable industries, and for which the market is increasing day by day. Therefore, when hon. gentlemen suggest that the project should be cut off, that it is wasteful expenditure, that it is extravagantly unjustifiable on the part of the Government, they should at least be thoroughly seized of the facts of the case before they make such suggestions.

My hon. friend also suggested that certain portions of the Welland canal could be stopped. I am not familiar with the details of tine Welland canal other than this, that I know that a number of contracts have been entered into. The Government say-I shall be glad to be corrected if I am wrong -that no further contract shall be entered into in the immediate future, but that the present contracts shall be carried out.

Topic:   THE BUDGET.
Subtopic:   PROPOSED WAR TAXATION.
Permalink
LIB

Edward Walter Nesbitt

Liberal

Mr. NESBITT:

I rise to correct the hon. gentleman. He says that I said that work on the Welland canal should be stopped. I distinctly stated that it should not be stopped.

Topic:   THE BUDGET.
Subtopic:   PROPOSED WAR TAXATION.
Permalink
CON

Henry Herbert Stevens

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEVENS:

I said that the hon. gentleman suggested that the work on the Welland canal should be greatly curtailed.

Topic:   THE BUDGET.
Subtopic:   PROPOSED WAR TAXATION.
Permalink
LIB

Edward Walter Nesbitt

Liberal

Mr. NESBITT:

The hon. gentleman said I said it should be stopped.

Topic:   THE BUDGET.
Subtopic:   PROPOSED WAR TAXATION.
Permalink

March 2, 1915