March 9, 1915

CON

George Henry Bradbury

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BRADBURY:

All against prohibition. At No. 1 poll, West Quebec, there were 114 votes polled and 115 on the list; at No. 2 poll. Ill polled and 114 on the list, and at the Lachine poll, Jacques Cartier, there -were 108 votes polled and 111 on' the list. I only quote these few figures to show that the suspicion of the temperance people who -were earnest and anxious for temperance legislation at that time was amply justified. I do not believe there is any province in this country which is more interested on this question to-day than the province of Quebec. They have made great strides since those days and they are in line with the people of Canada'on the question of prohibition. Some of the strongest legislation that has been passed by any of the provinces has been passed by the province of Quebec during the last few years. They have made wonderful progress in regard to this question. But they were under the tutelage at that time of men who did not want prohibition put up to the Government of that day. While the promise was given, it would have been a calamity in the eyes of some of the leaders of that day for any Government to -have introduced prohibition. But the day is coming, and it may not be as fiar away as some think, when this will be a live question again in this 'country and the records of hon. gentlemen opposite will stand out before the public as a warning, and will show whom the people can trust oil great questions of this kind.

If this were only the record of the Federal Government, led by my right hon. 'friend, it would not be so bad. But we (found the Manitoba Liberals very apt pupils of my right hon. friend who leads the Opposition. They took hold of this question right on the eve of an election. They said to themselves: This is a good election cry; it is something -we can sweep the piyOvince with; and Mr. Green-way, Premier of Manitoba, in 1892, advocated

prohibition and said to the people: We

will have a plebiscite, and if you vote for prohibition you will get it. What was the result? There were 45,573 voters on the lists in Manitoba at that time; 18,637 voted for prohibition and only 7,115 against. Did [DOT]they get prohibition? Why, the Liberal leader took the same position in Manitoba as the Liberal leader has taken in the Federal House here. Mr. Greenway simply pigeon-holed the result and allowed the matter to. stand'as it stands at the present time. Although he had two and a half times as many votes in favour of prohibition in Manitoba as had been cast against it he still refused to act. The province of Ontario was in the same position under a Liberal Government. But another election was coming on in Manitoba at a time when the Greenway Government was discredited and was in a very tight box. The people of Manitoba are an easy people, at least they were once very easily fooled and cajoled by the Liberal leaders. In 1898 Mr. Greenway again submitted the question of prohibition. This time prohibition was carried by a majority of 9,000. Still there was no prohibition. The leaders of the Liberal party never implemented the pledge they gave to the people. It would seem that 'the right hon. gentleman who leads the Opposition to-day and the great Liberal leaders of Canada had been close and apt students of the German historian Bernhardi, who had taught that no pledge or promise should be kept unless it redounded to the interest of the party or state that was affected. That is what caused this great war that is going on to-day. The British Government, in its own defence, and in defence of its honour, determined to keep the promise it had given to the Belgians to protect the neutrality of their country. If the Liberal party of Canada had had control of a situation of that kind they would have had no difficulty in getting out of the responsibility as they have got out of other pledges that they have given to the people of Canada. [DOT] I have devoted all the time I intend to give to this phase of the question.

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

George Henry Bradbury

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BRADBURY:

I think I have convinced even the hon. member for Carleton, N.B. (Mr. Carvell), that it is not safe for the Liberal party to charge this side of the House with not implementing its pledges. I now wish to discuss one or two phases of the present Budget as referred to by our hon. friends on the other side of the House.

My hon. friend the junior member for Halifax, during his discussion of the subject said:

But the general tariff to-day, as amended is such as to diminish the value and destroy the purpose of the preferential tariff to Great Britain.

This is a question, Mr. Speaker, that nearly every hon. gentleman who has spoken from the Opposition benches has dealt with. The fact is that when you go into this matter you find that the changes in the tariff have not materially changed the preference given to the British manufacturer. The British manufacturer occupies the same position relatively that he did before. The proposition before the House increases the general tariff by 71 per cent and makes only 5 per cent of a reduction in the British preferential tariff which still leaves the preference in favour of Great Britain 21 per cent better than it was before. Just an illustration; take item 453 in the Customs Tariff an you will find that on machinery the British preferential tariff was 15 per cent and the general tariff 271 per cent. That is what it was before this change took place. That gave Great Britain a preference of 124 per cent. Now the new tariff adds 5 per cent to the British preferential tariff rate and 7J per cent to the general rate. That makes the duty, under the British preferential tariff, 20 per cent and, under the general tariff, 35 per cent, giving a preference in favour of Great Britain of L5 per cent or 21 per cent better than it was. The same thing applies to item 567 which deals with clothing. Under the old tariff the preferential duty was 30 per cent and the general rate 35 per cent,' giving Great Britain a preference of only 5 per cent. The new tariff, which we designate as a war tax, although that is disputed by hon. gentlemen opposite, adds 5 per cent to the British preferential tariff and 71 per cent to the general tariff. The result is that we find that the duty on clothing from Great Britain is 35 per cent, while the duty under the general tariff is 421 per cent. The preference given to Great Britain in that ease is 71 per cent, or 21 per cent better than it was.

It is very difficult to understand, Mr. Speaker, how hon. gentlemen opposite make out that the British preference has been destroyed, in view of the fact that the British preference as a whole is as great to-day as it was before this Budget was brought down, and in some things it is greater. The tariff has not touched

mowers, or reapers, or binders, or binder twine, and all these things are just in the same position as they were. And yet we have the hon. member for Assiniboia (Mr. Turriff) and other hon. members waxing eloquent over the manner in which the farmers of this country are being taxed.

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

William Melville Martin

Liberal

Mr. W. M. MARTIN:

Would the hon. gentleman mind telling us how many reapers and binders and mowers were imported from Great Britain?

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

George Henry Bradbury

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BRADBURY:

Reapers and binders are not imported from Great Britain, but the duty of 7J per cent that is applied to all other items is not applied to these items. The Government of this country did not place an extra duty on these implements.

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

George Henry Bradbury

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BRADBURY:

I will tell my hon. friend something about ploughs before I finish. We had in this House a few years ago the Minister of Finance of the late Government, a very eminent man, a man who was looked upon by the Liberal party, and indeed by Conservatives, as one of the' big men of Canada; I refer to the Hon. Mr. Fielding. Let us see what position the Hon. Mr. Fielding now takes with regard to this Budget, and let us compare it with the position taken by his Liberal friends in this House. If Mr. Fielding were in the House now, sitting beside his old leader, I venture to say the criticisms that have been offered to this Budget never would have emanated from the Liberal party. I quote from the Journal of Commerce, of which the Hon. Mr. Fielding is editor, and in its issue of Friday, February 12, 1915, dealing with the Bjidget, it says:

Increased taxation is not at any time welcome, and therefore Mr. White's budget is not likely to be regarded as a thing of joy. But taxes which at another period might evoke sharp criticism may be accepted under present conditions with something like equanimity.

While expenditure had increased, the revenues were no longer flourishing. The war, no doubt, added to the diminution of income. But even if there had been no war, additional taxation would have been inevitable. Whether the money was required for one purpose or another, the situation to the Finance Minister was the same. He had to raise more revenue.

I commend this to hon. gentlemen opposite.

If there are any who are disposed to criticise his method they would do well to reflect whether any better and more convenient way could have been taken. The exemptions that have been made show the minister had a commendable desire to avoid, as far as he could, the placing of additional burdens on those least able to bear them. Some of the minor taxes may prove more irritating than profitable, but they are not un-

just. The addition of five per cent to the tariff or. British goods, and seven and one half per cent on other goods, is the main feature of the Budget. If the question were one of permanent fiscal policy, these additions would, of course, be open to grave objection. But they are imposed to meet what we all hope is a temporary condition, and if those who for the moment may profit by them distinctly understand this, and govern themselves accordingly, there will probably be little objection to this portion of the Budget.

Altogether, Mr. White seems to have made the best of a troublesome situation.

This is the opinion of the late Liberal Minister of Finance in reference to the Budget, and he was once looked upon by his own party as one of the greatest men in Canada; in my opinion he was the greatest finance minister the Liberal party ever had. These are his opinions; this is his advice to his party, and, comparing Mr. Fielding's remarks with the remarks of the hon. gentlemen opposite who are making this carping criticism on the Budget, tiie comparison places them in a very awkward position before the people of Canada. We had the hon. member for Assiniboia (Mr. Turriff), a few nights ago in this House, in his wild heroics, raising his hand to Heave^i and declaring: keep your unholy

and disloyal hands off the British preference. Just imagine the hon. gentleman waxing eloquent over this matter, and this in the face of the advice of the great Finance Minister of his own party, which warns him to be careful in his language, and points out to him that there was no better way to deal with the situation than that in which the present Finance Minister has dealt with it. But, Mr. Speaker, the attitude of the hon. gentleman (Mr. Turriff) does not deceive any one; it does not deceive the electors in the West and it does not deceive the members in this House. So much for the British preference. Some hon. gentleman a few moments ago spoke of ploughs, and the hon. member for Medicine Hat (Mr. Buchanan) and the hon. member for West Kent (Mr. McOoig) have both referred in this debate to the increased duty on ploughs. The hon. member for Medicine Hat said:

I have here a clipping from the Winnipeg Free Press of Tuesday, February 23-

The Free Press is a very dangerous authority to quote on a question of this kind.

-containing the report of an interview with Mr. H. W. Hutchinson-

Mr. Hutchinson is a life-long Liberal, a man no doubt anxious to cast suspicion upon any act performed by the Conservative Government and ready to raise agitation or

ill-feeling amongst the farmers, so as to make them dissatisfied. This is the man whom the hon. member (Mr. Buchanan) quotes in this House as an authority.

-vice-president and managing director of the John Deer Plough Companyan American institution. Then the hon. member for Medicine Hat goes on to quote the following language from Mr. Hutchinson:

The pr.Arie farmers will, of course, be called on to pay the duty. We have been already

notified by Canadian manufacturers that prices will be increased to us and we have already begun to prepare a new price list for the sale of our commodities. On every walking plough there will be an increase in the price paid of from $1 to $2; on every sulky plough an increase of $1; on every drill an increase of $5.

Later on the hon. member (Mr. Buchanan) quotes Mr. Hutchinson as saying:

On every gang plough an increase of $6 ; on every wagon ah increase of $7, and on every disc plough an increase of $8.

This is a quotation by the hon. member (Mr. Buchanan) from an interview given by Mr. Hutchinson, the agent of an American manufacturing concern, and the inference he intended to leave on the House was that the Canadian manufacturers had increased their prices on farm implements. I submit, Mr. Speaker, that on examination it will he found that the Canadian manufacturers have not increased the price of these goods since this tariff came down. If there have been any increases-they are very small, and I will cite them to the House later-they were made months before the tariff was thought of, and just in the ordinary regulation of the prices of the different machines. I have here a letter from the Cockshutt Plow Company, and the Cock-shutt Plow Company owes it to itself to make this explanation.

I hold no brief for this company; but I am glad to be put in possession of facts that warrant me in saying in this House that the Canadian manufacturers were too patriotic to take advantage of the circumstances in order to increase the price of those ploughs, when they might have done so. This letter, which was written after the hon. member for West Kent (Mr. McCoig) spoke, reads as follows:

Mr. McCoig has, X notice, been making a statement in the House from our " Private and Confidential " lists in which he states we have advanced our prices for this season. Mr. McCoig being an implement man knows that each year a price list is issued (ours appearing in December) with such changes as are rendered necessary by the cost of production.

This list that was complained of was made up in December, 1914.

He saw fit to give only the increases and not the decreases.

As a matter of fact the ploughs that he named were advanced about 50 cents each, and not on account of the tariff, but to meet increased cost. These ploughs he referred to are a type that B.re sold in Eastern Canada and are not suitable for prairie use, and not one single type of these ploughs suitable for Canadian trade is made in the United States. As an implement man Mr. McCoig knows this, or else he does not know his business.

He goes on to say:

The Maple Leaf gang he refers to was not advanced in price-last year it was quoted without straightener. This year it is quoted with straightener at $1 more, so here also he is mistaken.

That explains the dollar increase in the cost of the gang plough.

The Ontario Footlift gang plough to which he refers is a new and improved design, and appears in our list for the first time, last year's pattern having been discarded.

He also in his speech infers that on May 1, our prices will again be advanced 5 per cent. How does he know? Who told him? We certainly did not, and we have already publicly stated our prices had been made for the season and would stand, so Mr. McCoig is wrong again.

This is an answer to the hon. gentleman who has been trying to make it appear that the Canadian manufacturers have been taking advantage of the situation in order to raise the prices of their ploughs to the farmers.

Let me give some of the reductions that have been made: Grain binders, 4-5 per cent; corn binders, 1-7 per cent; S.D. hay rakes, 4 per cent; hay tedders, 3 per cent; seed drills, 1-3 per cent; No. 2 cultivators, 1-6 per cent; No. 5 cultivators, 10 per cent; No. 3 disc harrows (16x16), 8 per cent; lever drag barrows, 3-4 per cent; two-way sulky ploughs (2B), 7 per cent; two-way sulky ploughs (IB), 13 per cent; gasoline engines, 7 per cent to 13 per cent, according to size.

The increases are: Reapers, 5 per cent; land rollers, 3 per cent; 16-tooth cultivators, 3 per cent; footlift sulky plough, 6 per cent. On 21 types of walking ploughs listed, 9 were increased 5 per cent; 1 was increased 5i per cent; 1 was increased 10 per cent; and 10 remained the same.

That is a pretty fair answer to the statement made by the hon. member.

I hold in my hand the Cockshutt Plow Company's list for 1915, which is red-inked, showing the reductions that have been made. Some of the items that affect the farmers of the West are as follows:

7S4

Grain binders: No. 3 binder, 5 foot w'th sheaf carrier, $5 decrease; No. 3 binder, S foot,, with sheaf carrier, $ 5 decrease; No. 3 binder, 7 foot, with sheaf carrier, 55 decrease; No. 3 binder, 7 foot, with sheaf carrier and pole truck, $5 decrease; No. 3 binder, S foot, with sheaf carrier, $5 decrease.

That reduction runs through the whole list. I am authorized to say that the list as it stands to-day is lower than it was in 1914, and that it will not be increased.

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

Thomas MacNutt

Liberal

Mr. MACNUTT:

Is that decrease made

to the farmers or to the dealers?

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

George Henry Bradbury

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BRADBURY:

It is made to any man who wants to purchase those implements. You can buy them or a dealer can buy them. That is a complete answer to the statements made in the Winnipeg Free Press interview which was used by my hon. friend the member for Lethbridge (Mr. Buchanan). I am satisfied that that hon. member would not have read that interview in this House if he had understood the situation.

There is another article affected by this tariff, namely, cement. Hon. gentlemen opposite have a record onthis. My hon. friends, the member for Assiniboia (Mr. Turriff) and the hon. member for Edmonton (Mr. Oliver), who I am sorry is not in his seat, have devoted a good deal of time to endeavour to make the people believe that they are being injured by this tariff to the extent of the increased duty.

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

George Henry Bradbury

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BRADBURY:

The hon. member says, " So they are." The hon. member waxed eloquent against the great merger that was permitted to be formed. There is an old opposite have a record on this. My hon. they first make mad." If the hon. member had reflected on the attitude of his party towards that merger when it had an opportunity of preventing it, he would have hesitated before making such a statement. I had the honour of having a seat in this House when the merger was formed. I was sitting on the opposite side, and I called the attention of the late Minister of Finance to this merger and warned him of what might happen. I received a very unsympathetic reply, and no action whatever was taken to control the operations of the merger of which the hon. member is complaining to-day.

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

John Dowsley Reid (Minister of Customs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. J. D. REID:

I think the hon. member for Assiniboia supported that legislation.

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

George Henry Bradbury

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BRADBURY:

I am quoting from

Hansard of 1912-13, volume 1, page 400. I asked the question:

1. Has the atttn i n of the Government been called to the Cement merger that has taken place, by means of which the Canada Cement Company, Limited, has taken over ten of the largest cement companies of Canada with a capital of $30,000,000 and that on account of this merger the prices of cement to the consumer has been very much increased?

2. Is it the intention of the Government to /take action to protect the public against this merger, which threatens to be a huge combine, thereby increasing the cost of cement which is almost a necessity to-day in great works?

Hon. W. S. Fielding (Minister of Finance) : The Government are aware from information in the public press, that a number of cement manufactories of the Dominion have been consolidated under one large company. Whether this consolidation has unduly enhanced the price of cement is a disputed point.

The law provides two methods of dealing with combinations which unduly enhance prices.

Then, the former Minister of Finance goes on to point out that the citizens can take action, but that he, or the Government responsible, refuse to take any action. Why? You have not far to go to find the reason- the promoters of the cement merger were leading Liberals. The late Senator Cox, the present president of the company, Senator Edwards, Senator McKay-all leading Liberals-are the men who created this merger. If this is a combine, the Liberal party are entirely responsible for it.

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

Frederick Laurence Schaffner

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SCHAFFNER:

What year is that Hansard?

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

Frederick Laurence Schaffner

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SCHAFFNER:

The hon. gentleman has made a mistake in the date.

Mr. BRAI)BURY: Yes, I have given correctly the date of the book from which I am now quoting, but I had a mistake in the date in this way: I am quoting from quotations made in a speech of my own of that year. But it was on the 16th of November, 1909, that I called the attention of the House to this matter. And what was the attitude of my hon. friend from Assiniboia at that time? Though he sat in this House then, he never raised his voice against this merger. And the hon. member for Edmonton, who was a trusted member of the Government of that day, had nothing to say. These hon. gentlemen, like others on that side, when in office were great friends of the combines and mergers; but since leaving office they have changed their attitude and are now trying to fool the farmers again.

Now, I wish to deal with the cement question as affected by the present tariff. The hon. member for Assiniboia says:

Now my hon. friend conies forward and puts an extra duty of 75 per cent on cement. . . .

Is he saving it to the farmer or to the town or villages that are using cement for paving, or to the business man who uses cement in putting up buildings? Is he saving it to any user of cement? No, Mr. Speaker, he is not, he is handing over a bonus of thousands and hundreds of thousands of dollars to the greatest combine and merger that we have in Canada today.

This is the merger which he himseif allowed to be created, against which he did not raise his voice, though I was trying to prevent it in 1909. I wish to make the same statement about cement that I made about ploughs and farm implements a few moments ago. I am assured by the president of this cement " merger-combine," as my hon. friend called it, that there is no intention to raise the pr;ee in Canada. They have facilities to produce a surplus of two million barrels a year; they can control the situation to-day; and they say they have no intention of increasing the iprice of cement to the people on account of this tariff.

What was the situation? In 1894 the tariff on cement was 40 cents a barrel, including a duty on bags. In 1897, the duty was 43 cents a barrel. In 1905, under hon. gentlemen opposite it had been increased to 53| cents a barrel, and in 1906 it was reduced to 51| cents a barrel. Now, the reciprocity pact which these hon. gentlemen were so anxious to foist upon the people contained a provision, which, had it gone into effect, would have reduced the duty on cement to 46J cents a barrel, including the duty on bags. In 1913 the duty was reduced by tli * Conservative Government-the present Government-to 43 cents a barrel. It has always been the pleasure of the Conservative party to reduce the duty on commodities to assist the farmers and poor people of tlhis country. The present increase in the tax makes the duty on cement 53J cents a barrel-puts it back where it was in 1905 under the Liberal Government; and in view of their own record. I do not think hon. gentlemen have any reason to complain. On account of this awful war, we have had to increase taxation, and so the duty on cement is raised until it is one-quarter cent a barrel less than it was under the Liberals in 1905. In 1912, it will be remembered we had a cement famine- cement was needed all over this country. The present Finance Minister took advantage of a clause in the Customs Act to cut the duty on cement in two. And at once he and every hon. gentleman on that side including the hon. gentleman from Assini-boia, attacked the Government for doing it. - Mr. TURRIFF: No.

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

George Henry Bradbury

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BRADBURY:

I can produce the

record.

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Subtopic:   PROPOSED WAR TAXATION.
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LIB
CON

George Henry Bradbury

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BRADBURY:

I take the hon. gentleman's word. I have not his record, but I have that of the hon. member for Edmonton. The hon. member for Edmonton charged this Government with having been actuated by a desire not to help the farmers but to influence an election. That was the position taken by the Liberal party. It happened that there was an election in Saskatchewan. But people in the West and all over Canada were in need of cement, and thousands, and ten of thousands, of men without employment because cement could not be had. And when the Government cut the cement duty in two these hon gentlemen were unpatriotic enough to denounce this Government for having done what it could to assist the farmers, declaring that the Government was not doing it for the good of the people but to influence an election. I do not think, in view of the record of hon. gentlemen opposite on this question, that they have any ground to stand upon nor any warrant for the charges they make that the present tariff will be an imposition upon the farmers. I have no hesitation in saying-and I am speaking by the book-that the price of cement will not be increased one cent a barrel in this country by reason of this tariff. The farmers of Canada will not refuse to pay their share of the war tax.

I have taken up a great deal more time than I had expected, but there are some things that I feel I must deal with. The hon. member for Edmonton makes a great noise about the stamp duty on letters. He makes this statement:

Then $300,000 is expected on insurance premiums, $7,000,000 from increased postal rates, and $3,000,000 from railway passengers. It appears to me that the ordinary man who uses the postal facilities is bearing an unduly heavy share of this burden of taxation, while the great financial interests are bearing an unduly light proportion.

Then he goes on, lower down:

While the ordinary man who posts a letter pays $7,000,000, the man who rides in a railway train pays $3,000,000. The principle of direct taxation is sound, but this is not the way I would do it.

What are the facts? We want to be fair in regard to these questions. Any man who knows anything about the postal system of Canada knows that the great business houses of Canada, the banking institutions, insurance companies and other

78G

great corporations, pay the largest proportion of the postal revenue. I venture to say that not 50 per cent of this postal tax will be paid by the ordinary man in Canada; it will be paid by the large corporations such as the banks. I have one bank in my mind now which is paying out $150,000 a year in postage. These are the institutions that are going to bear the burden of taxation in this as in nearly all other matters. That goes to show how unfair the criticism from the opposite side of the House on this question has been. If these gentlemen had taken the advice of their ex-Finance Minister they would not have found themselves in the awkward position they are placed in to-day, on account of their unpatriotic criticism of the present attempt to handle a difficult question.

I cannot close without referring to another matter which affects my own province, that is, the question referred to by the hon. member for St. John (Mr. Pugsley) and the hon. member for North Oxford (Mr. Nesbitt). During their speeches both of these gentlemen condemned the construction of the Hudson Bay railway.

Topic:   THE BUDGET.
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LIB

William Pugsley

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY:

I desire to correct my

hon. friend. I did not condemn the construction of the Hudson Bay railway.

Topic:   THE BUDGET.
Subtopic:   PROPOSED WAR TAXATION.
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March 9, 1915