March 9, 1915

LIB

Alexander Kenneth Maclean

Liberal

Mr. MACLEAN:

You have answered it simply by referring to the pre-election pledges of hion. gentlemen on this side a quarter o*f a century ago.

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

George Henry Bradbury

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BRADBURY:

These pledges given a quarter of a century ago were given by the right hon. gentleman (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) who still leads that party. And I hope he will live long to lead it. He is still with us and is still responsible for the policy of the Liberal party.

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

Wilfrid Laurier (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER:

Hear, hear.

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

George Henry Bradbury

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BRADBURY:

I find that these hon. gentlemen have a record on the question of the tariff. They went up and down this country for years denouncing protection. And I will read just one or two of their pledges, for it willl be of interest to the younger members on the other side of the House, who do not know what their friends were committed to in days gone by. Sii Richard Cartwright said:

I say our protective system was a huge mistake in so far as it was honest at all; and in so far as it was not honest, It was a huge scheme of robbery. . . Their ideal is protection ; ours is free trade. We will never desist until this country is freed from the incubus that has been weighing it down for fifteen long years.

The right hon. leader of the Opposition spoke in the city o'f Winnipeg on one of his western tours. I remember well his coming to any own constituency, and speaking

in the town of Selkirk, bringing with him the late Hon. D. C. Fraser, then member of this House for Guysborough; and I remember very well that at this meeting this is what he said:

The people of this country, the inhabitants of the city of Winnipeg especially, are toiling for a master who takes away a very large portion of your earnings, the earnings for which you toil and sweat for privileged masters, for those who use protection which I claim is bondage. If the Government take away from you any portion of your earnings, be they large or small, to give them to somebody else, that Government is as much a robber towards you as is the highwayman who puts a pistol to your head and says: your purse or your life. I denounce this policy of protection. Protection cannot be defended on any fair principle.

I also wish to call the attention of the House-because it affects my own province- to the utterance on behalf of the Liberal party of that day, by a leading member of the Liberal Government and the pledge he made to the people of the West:

Return us to power, and we will give you free trade as they have It in England. That is the Liberal policy. We will no longer tolerate the .policy of the Conservatives which robs you for the benefit of a handful of manufacturers. We will at once and for ever wipe off the statute hook the villainous protection policy which has stunted, the prosperity of the whole country and taken the heart's blood out of the people of Manitoba. Free coal oil, free clothing, and free implements you will have if the Liberal party are returned to power.

This is the statement of Hon. Mr. (now Sir Clifford) Sifton, a man who was the right-hand man of the present leader of the Opposition when at the head of the Government, and the strongest of his ministers from the West; in fact, he was known as the dictator of the Liberal policy; and this is the pledge he gave, speaking for his party. And what did they do when they came into power? One of the first things, Mr. Speaker, was to take into the Senate two of the greatest sinners, perhaps, so far as the West is concerned-Sir Melvin Jones and Hon. Mr. Frost. That is the way they carried out their pledge to give the farmers free implements. And for long years they did not even touch the duty on farm implements. At length they made up their minds that they must do something, that the farmers of the West could not be fooled all the time, and on the eve of an election they reduced the tariff on agricultural implements from 20 per cent, where the Conservative Government had left it, to 17$ per cent. And the farmers were told by Sir Clifford Sifton that 17$ per cent was only a revenue tariff. This is the manner in which they fooled the farmers

of the West into supporting them. They managed for fifteen years to pull the wool over the eyes of the farmers of the West by their promises to do something year after year. But the day came when the farmers had their eyes opened. As soon as the right hon. gentleman (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) had the temerity to attempt to impose the reciprocity pact upon the people of this country, as soon as he attempted to make Canada an 'adjunct of the United States, the farmers of Canada turned him out of office.

What was their success in dealing with the tariff, in eliminating " every vestige of protection," as they promised to do ? On every platform in Canada these pledges were made by responsible men and repeated by those irresponsible, that if the Liberals were returned to office they would eliminate every vestige of protection from the tariff. But in fifteen years of power, they succeeded in reducing the tariff just about two per cent. Why, Sir, the greatest reduction ever made in the National Policy tariff was made by the Conservative party itself, made >by the present Minister of Trade and Commerce (Sir George Foster). And he is not a free trader. This party does not pose before the people as being a party of free traders. We believe in the National Policy; we have advocated it in season and out of season; we believe in fair protection to farmer and manufacturer alike;' there is no hypocrisy in the position we occupy before the people. But hon. gentlemen opposite declare themselves to tie against protection. My hon. friend from Red Deer (Mr. Clark) on all occasions since being placed in opposition lias preached the doctrine of free trade-a beautiful theory but utterly impracticable in this country, and proven impracticable in the world generally. History tells us that when Cobden introduced free trade in England, he declared that within a few years the world would adopt free trade. And. to-day we find that the world is protectionist everywhere except in Great Britain.

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

George Henry Bradbury

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BRADBURY:

" Hear, hear," says

the hon. gentleman

Mr. .CLARK: What is the matter with Great Britain ?

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

George Henry Bradbury

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BRADBURY:

Great Britain has

prospered in spite of free trade, by reason of her great marine power and by direct taxation. My hon. friend will not tell me that free trade prevails even in Great

Britain. He knows that it collects a large part of its revenue to-day from tea and other commodities of that kind, which we allow to come, into this country free for the poor people. The hon. gentlemen who now occupy the Opposition benches had control of the affairs of this country for fifteen years. In that time they became the close and intimate iriends of the great manufacturing industries of this country. But today, when they are in the cold shades of Opposition, there is nothing too hard or too cruel for them to say about the manufacturers. We will have the same old story from the Opposition benches before many years have passed that was preached by the Liberal party before 1896; the policy of blue ruin is starting to show in the faces of hon. gentlemen opposite, and we will have it proclaimed from every platform that the country is going to the dogs because they are not ruling its affairs. But it will take a good deal of persuasion on the part of the right hon. gentleman who leads the Opposition and his eloquent friends to convince the people of this country that it will be a safe proposition to restore the Liberal party to office.

I wish now to refer to a few more of their many violated pledges, although time would not permit me to discuss them all. One plank in their platform was very interesting and very important in the West, that was the cry: The land for the settler and not

for the speculator. Here is the plank in their platform:

Public land for the actual settler.

The sale of public lands of the Dominion should be to actual settlers only and not to the speculators, upon reasonable terms of settlement and in such areas as can he reasonably occupied and cultivated by the settler.

I want to say without any reservation that when that plank was put in the platform of the Liberal party it did more to win hundreds of votes from settlers in Manitoba even than their anti-protection plank, because there was a growing feeling that the lands of this country were being exploited by large speculators and that the poor settler was not being taken proper care of. How did the Liberal party implement that pledge? Did they keep the land for the settler or did they hand it out to the speculators, their special friends? You will all remember how they handled the Saskatchewan land deal. This notorious transaction has been spoken of in every part of Canada. Some 250,000 acres of land that is to-day the choice land of the Saskatchewan valley was sold to political friends for $1 per acre. This was div-

ided up so that the boys would get a share of the rake-off on these lands. You all remember that the Premier of Saskatchewan was charged by 4 p m. a paper in Moosejaw with having received $12,000 as his share in this land transaction. This was on the eve of an election, if I remember aright. He immediately took proceedings in court, bringing an action for libel claiming $25,000 against the paper. The case was hung up until after the election was over and then his attorney withdrew the case and paid all the costs. That does not look like the act of an innocent man. But he was not the only one. It is rumoured on pretty good authority that a Government official in a high position received $25,000 of this stock; blit he was timorous and returned the stock, and then three weeks afterwards repented and tried to get the stock back but did not succeed. This is the manner in which the Liberal party of Canada started out to implement their pledge to keep the land for the settler. Here was a magnificent area of land, 250,000 acres in extent, which in all fairness ought to have been divided up among the poor settlers who were looking for good land-settlers who, on account of transactions of this kind, have been crowded on to poor lands, some of them utterly unfit for settlement, while the good lands near the railways have been given away to Liberal friends, the speculators. This is one instance of how they implemented that pledge.

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

William Pugsley

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY:

Was not that land which was sold to the Saskatchewan Land Valley Company sold on the condition of actual settlement?

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

George Henry Bradbury

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BRADBURY:

Mr. Speaker, it was, and the condition was such a liberal condition that any man or set of men could have fulfilled it. However, it makes no difference what the condition was, we had the actual settlers in that country who wanted land, who were hungry for land; but they were crowded away from the centres and from the railways on to the poor lands in the different provinces-and here were men who secured this land, 250,000 acres, for $1 an acre. These lands to-day are worth from $40 to $50 an acre.

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

William Pugsley

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY:

Is it not true that before the Saskatchewan Land Valley Company got this land and began to bring in settlers there was a territory over 60 miles in length along that railway on which there was no settlement, although the railway had been

built for a number of years, because the general impression was that it was not good land, or land which was fit for settlement?

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

George Henry Bradbury

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BRADBURY:

The answer to that is very simple. It may not have been thrown open to homesteading at the time and consequently no homesteaders could get on it.

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

William Pugsley

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY:

My hon. friend is entirely mistaken; the land was all opened to homesteading.

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

George Henry Bradbury

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BRADBURY:

I do not want to deny the hon. gentleman the opportunity of asking questions. What I have said was stated many times before.

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

George Henry Bradbury

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BRADBURY:

We have the proof of the pudding to-day; we know what has taken place, and we know that a more glaring and outrageous scandal never was perpetrated on the people of Canada than the sale of these lands to this company; and the proof of it is that much of the stock of this company was divided up amongst a bunch of political friends. But I pass from that.

What has their policy been in connection with grazing leases? The hon. member for West Kent (Mr. McCoig) criticised the Government the other evening for having given away or sold cheaply some grazing lands for the purpose of raising horses. The hon. gentleman is young in this House and young in public life, or he would not have referred to this matter; for what does the record show? It shows that one outfit or one combination of political friends secured nearly four hundred thousand acres of grazing lands on irrevocable leases for twenty-one years at the nominal rent of one cent an acre, I think, and they were given the right of purchasing ten per cent of that land at one dollar an acre. That is how hon. gentlemen opposite attempted to assist the poor people of this country, the farmers' sons who are looking for homesteads,'and many of whom are to-day being crowded out of their own districts and forced to go farther west or farther north to lands many of them utterly unsuited for cultivation.

Then, we have the irrigation land deal. A few of the friends cleaned up a million and a quarter of money on that. Then there was the Blairmore townsite, a notorious case at the time. Many hon. gentlemen in this House will remember the man who got this townsite for something like $480-a townsite that was worth to the people of Canada at least two or three hundred thousand dollars. Hon. gentlemen opposite

gave this townsite to a political friend. The man has since died, so I will not go any further into that. Then there was the exploitation of timber lands. I heard the hon. member for Assiniboia (Mr. Turriff) wax eloquent the other evening over the high price of lumber on account of this extra tariff. If the party that he has followed so long and so ably and faithfully had conserved the timber resources of the Northwest Territory and of Manitoba, we might to-day have been in a position to give to our people cheaper lumber than we can now give them. These timber lands are held by a few men, Liberals, who got them for a song.

Then, there was the exploitation of the fisheries. You all remember what they did with our fisheries. They gave all the fisheries north of lake Winnipeg-a kingdom in itself-to their political friends for the nominal sum of $10 a year, with the right to fish in Hudson bay-a most glaring outrage, I think, in view of the fact that our fisheries are one of the most valuable assets we have in Canada to-day. After this matter was exposed in the House the leases were cancelled, as they ought to have been. The pity is that the policy of restoration did not go farther and force some of these men who had received our timber lands and our coal lands in the manner they did to restore at least a portion of them to the Crown-

Then, we have the St. Boniface land deal, engineered by one of the Commissioners of the Transcontinental railway. The evidence shows that $161,000 was cleaned up on that deal. Hon. gentlemen opposite have had-the temerity to throw a challenge across this House regarding the manner in which pledges are kept, and I am giving these few examples to show the people of Canada how hon. gentlemen opposite implemented, when in office, the pledge's they gave to the people of this country. They have not shown, nor can they show one pledge given by the leader of this side of the House that has not been kept. -

I want to refer for a moment to another pledge given to the people of this country -the pledge in regard to prohibition. Perhaps no question is receiving such earnest attention from the people of Canada to-day as the question of prohibition, the question of curtailing in some way the sale of liquor. On the eve of an election, when this was a live question, the right hon. gentleman saw his opportunity and pledged himself to give the people of Canada a plebiscite, and to

make good that plebiscite if it was carried by the people.

I want to refer for a moment to one or two of the pledges the right hon. gentleman gave. In 1895, just the year before the election of 1896, the present leader of the Opposition 'held a large meeting in Carleton Place, and spoke as follows:

The Liberal party has pledged itself in convention at Ottawa that whenever in power they would take a plebiscite on the question as to whether the people want a prohibitory liquor law or not. The answer is not in my hands, it is in the hands of the people, and according to their answer such legislation they will have at the hands of the Government.

That was a fair and distinct promise given to the people of Canada. If you vote for prohibition, the right hon. gentleman in substance said, I, as Premier of this country, will implement that pledge.

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

Oliver James Wilcox

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. WILCOX:

What was the hon. gentleman reading from?

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

George Henry Bradbury

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BRADBURY:

From a very admirable speech by a gentleman named Mr. Bennett, which is found on page 4305 of the Hansard Debates of April 25, 1900.

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

George Henry Bradbury

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BRADBURY:

It is ancient history, like a good many of the promises made by hon. gentlemen opposite. The right hon. gentleman went to the city of Winnipeg. He found the prohibition question a very live one in Manitoba, as it has been since and he took the opportunity of renewing his pledge there. He said:

He pledged his honour that as soon as the Liberals came into power they would take a plebiscite of the Dominion by which the party would stand, and the will of the people would be carried out even were it to cost power for ever to the Liberal party.

No promise could have been clearer, no stronger words could have been used; and yet, when the voice of the people of Canada voted in favour of prohibition by a majority I think of something like 13,000, the Government closed their ears. The book was closed and nothing was done. But there is a little history in connection with that matter. Every one who took any interest in that question at that time will remember that the different provinces of Canada, with the exception of the province of Quebec, voted largely in favour of prohibition. I ' forget the exact figures, but the majority for prohibition was one hundred thousand or more. The result of the poll in Quebec

could not be ascertained for days and weeks. There was a feeling throughout the country that the ballot boxes were stuffed, and an investigation proved that to be absolutely true. Let me just read what was found to prevail at some of the polling stations. In Quebec Centre, poll 23, 105 votes wpre polled when there were only 101 names on the polling list. They polled a splendid percentage between them.

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

Oliver James Wilcox

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. WILCOX:

All against prohibition?

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

March 9, 1915