March 9, 1915

CON

George Henry Bradbury

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BRADBURY:

I want to say just a few words about the railway situation. The railway situation in Canada has been made anything but a pleasant one, by reason of the reckless legislation of the right hon. gentleman and his friends on the other side of the House. Just on the eve of an election the right hon. gentleman guaranteed bonds to the extent of thirty-five million dollars to induce and assist the Canadian Northern to become a transcontinental line. I hold that that was one of the most reckless projects ever undertaken by the late Government, except perhaps the building of the Transcontinental, which was a huge mistake, a blunder that has cost the people of this country hundreds of millions of dollars. If we had the millions of money that have been wasted in the building of the Transcontinental, we should not have to borrow one dollar to conduct our share of this war. If the late Government had not encouraged the building of the Canadian Northern round the shores of lake Superior, creating another transcontinental line, we should not, perhaps, be in the awkward position we are in to-day. The policy of the Conservative party was the only sane policy for this country. If that policy, which included the extension of the Intercolonial railway, the purchasing or taking over of the Canadian

Pacific railway lines around the shores of lake Superior, and giving running rights to all roads, had been carried out, we should then have had one road coming through that barren country instead of three, and our railway situation would not be as it is to-day, a burden upon the people and a yoke around the necks of the farmers of the West. The building of that Transcontinental railway has robbed the farmers of the West of the opportunity of securing a fair reduction in freight rates, a reduction to which they were justly entitled, and which they expected to get when this railway was foisted upon the people of this country. I should like to point out to hon. gentlemen opposite that they are responsible for the position that the farmer of the West is in to-day in regard to freight rates. We could have had a much greater reduction in rates if our systems had not been duplicated. And if I know anything about the signs of the times and about the railway situation, the day is not far distant when the Government of Canada will be forced, in defence of the people, to take over as government undertakings one or perhaps two of these great Transcontinental systems. 'That has been made necessary by the reckless spending of public money, by the reckless use of iGovern-ment guarantees by hon. gentlemen opposite. When my hon. friend from North Oxford (Mr. Nesbitt) was criticising the Government for going on with the construction of the Hudson Bay railway, I noticed that his friends from the .West all sat smiling; they did not cheer; but they did not contradict him. They allowed it to go out to the country that their opinion was that this road should be stopped and the rails pulled up. But the farmers of the West will have something to say about that. I should like to ask some of these gentlemen from the West whether they are in favour of this road? Is my hon. friend from Assiniboia in favour of the Hiidson Bay railway or not?

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

John Gillanders Turriff

Liberal

Mr. TURRIFF:

Since my hon. friend has asked me the question I am quite ready to answer. There is no doubt at all that it was the late Government that undertook to build the road. My hon. friends opposite had promised to build the road for 20 years, but had done nothing. I quite agree with the remarks of my hon. friend from St. John, and would say that the Hudson Bay railway, in common with all other enterprises, might well be given less money this year', until an equilibrum is obtained between our revenue and expenditure.

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

George Henry Bradbury

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BRADBURY:

The hon. gentleman has not answered the question I asked. I asked whether he was in favour of building the Hudson Bay railway.

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Subtopic:   PROPOSED WAR TAXATION.
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LIB
CON

George Henry Bradbury

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BRADBURY:

The fact that the

Hudson Bay railway was not started by the late Government although they had given a pledge is no surprise to anybody who knows how the Liberal party has implemented other pledges it has given to the people of this country.

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LIB

William Melville Martin

Liberal

Mr. W. M. MARTIN:

Do I understand the hon. gentleman to say that the railroad was not started by the late Government?

Topic:   THE BUDGET.
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CON

George Henry Bradbury

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BRADBURY:

The building of the

railway was not started by the late Government. Surveys were made by the late Government and a bridge was under construction. The late Government was committed to the whole of this project both by promise and by money allready expended.

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Subtopic:   PROPOSED WAR TAXATION.
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LIB
CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPEAKER:

Order. It is not permissible to say that the conduct of another hon. member is unworthy, It must be assumed that what he does is done with a proper motive.

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CON

George Henry Bradbury

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BRADBURY:

I will qualify that by saying that the statements made by the hon. gentlemen are entirely worthy of the hon. gentlemen who made them. The attempt is made to create the impression that the taxes that are levied are not "war taxes because the dollars that are going into the revenue are not going directly into the war fund. Every hon. gentleman knows that the interest on this borrowed money has to be met, seven or eight millions of dollars. Every man in this House knows that we are making provision and ought to make provision, if we are doing our full duty to the men we have at the front, for perhaps a large pension list, and in this way I -say that every dollar of this money going into this increased tax may be considered just as much a war tax as the money we are borrowing from Great Britain. I believe that when these hon. gentlemen have the chance of meeting their constituents they will find that the opinion of their constituents is that they made a huge mistake in taking the attitude they have taken in this House regarding the Budget that is before the people at the present time.

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LIB

Thomas MacNutt

Liberal

Mr. THOMAS MACNUTT (Saltcoats):

Mr. Speaker, I am not going to attempt to follow the arguments of the hon. gentleman (Mr. Bradbury) who has just taken his seat. He dealt, in the first part of his speech, with ancient history. Later on he made some statements that I do not think are in accordance with the facts. He said, amongst other things, that the imposition of higher taxes under the tariff would result in the lowering of prices in Canada, and that the manufacturers are too patriotic to charge any more on account of the additional protection which they have obtained.

I want to speak more particularly on behalf of the farmers of the West with reference to the effect this tax will, in my opinion, have upon production which is bracketed with patriotism. I have no doubt that the farmers of the West, and farmers generally, will continue to be patriotic, but I am very much afraid that this tariff will have the effect of reducing production rather than increasing it. The people in Canada generally are behind the Government and would be behind any Government in connection with matters appertaining to this war. They would not desire to do anything to embarrass the Government as long as they were legitimately endeavouring to assist Great Britain and her allies in bringing this war to a successful termination. But it does not follow that domestic concerns should not be criticised. This Budget refers to domestic matters. I see that the speech of the hon. Minister of Finance (Mr. White) is headed in Hansard " Proposed War Taxation." I think it should be changed to " Proposed Deficit Taxation," because if it were it would be fairer. The hon. Minister of Finance made this quite clear himself in his statement to the House, and 1 will quote a few words from what he said with reference to this matter:

So far as concerns our special war expenditures which may reach one hundred million dollars I should be disposed, if we had not such heavy and uncontrollable capital expenditure to meet, to recommend that we should pay at least a part of it from current revenue. But it is obvious upon a consideration of the figures which I have submitted that we shall not by any re sonable supplemental taxation measures be able to close the gap between revenue and expenditure much less to pay a portion of the principal of our special war outlay. In the circumstances I have no hesitation in proposing to the House that we shall borrow the full amount required under this heading.

And further on:

It is therefore the intention of the Government to negotiate for a continuance of the arrangement which I have mentioned with the Imperial Government for the purpose of procuring the funds necessary to meet our special war expenditure.

That is proof that this proposed tariff and direct taxation is not for the purpose of carrying on the war or of maintaining our soldiers at the front. It is claimed, with a good deal of justice, that the deficit as between revenue and expenditure mentioned by the Minister of Finance is the result of extravagance and mismanagement. I am not going to deal with that phase of the question because it has been already fully treated in this debate. There is a

[Mr. MacNutt.l

deficit, and no matter who is to blame, the people must pay it. But the right people should pay it and in proportionate amounts. I believe that the farmers under this Budget will have to pay more than their proportionate amount. Although the hon. member (Mr. Bradbury) says the additional tariff will make articles cheaper, I think it goes without saying that it will raise the price of everything we have to purchase on which an increased duty has been placed. The farmers, as everybody else, will have to pay for their clothing and for the necessaries of life. In addition they will have to pay the extra tax on their farm implements. The hon. member read a price list to show that the prices would not be increased, but would probably be decreased on the articles he referred to. If that be so, this is not a revenue tax at all, because foreign goods will not be imported. The additional taxation would have to be added to them and consequently it would discourage importations, and all goods would be made in Canada, and there would be no revenue coming to the Government. There is no doubt, however, in my mind, that the manufacturers, unless they have over-produced, will most decidedly take advantage of this increased taxation to put up the prices. The Toronto News makes this statement:

The farmers should be pleased with the exemption of binder twine and agricultural implements from the general tariff increase.

The Toronto News evidently thinks it is an authority on western matters, just as most eastern men who have gone to the Pacific coast come back and think they know all about it. But when the Toronto News speaks about agricultural implements, it shows how little the editor of the News knows about farming. There is only one class of implements which is not included in the increase in the tariff, while it is made to appear that there are four-binders, harvesters, reapers and mowers. They are simply all harvesters, and mowers also are harvesters, so that there is only one class of implements that is exempted and that class is of no service in the production of crops, although they certainly save the crops. There may be others besides the Toronto News who do not know what agricultural implements are required, and I consequently will give the names of some of them: a breaking plough, gang plough, harrow, land packer, seeder, disc, cultivator, fanning mill, hay rake, wagon, buggy, sleigh, etc. Fence wire, lumber, and cream separators, will be included in this additional taxation.

The greatest asset the Dominion has is her undeveloped agricultural land. Manufactures are very important, but they can only legitimately be a result and not a cause of prosperity. The manufacturers cannot create wealth, they may acquire it and distribute it or retain it, but they do not create it. We would be all glad to see the manufacturers doing well and prospering, but they cannot prosper unless the land is occupied and the people on the land are prosperous. How are you going to make the agriculturists of this Dominion prosperous? We have millions of acres of unoccupied land to-day which should be under cultivation. It has been the object of every government in this country to try and settle the western lands and that has been accomplished with more or less success. But the success in that direction is not continuing at present and it is because the conditions are not made sufficiently inviting for people to stay on the land. It is well enough to talk about "back to the land," but you cannot compel people to go back to the Jand or to stay on it when they get there. The only way you can get people to remain on the land and to cultivate it properly is to surround them with reasonable comforts and remove the obstacles and difficulties in their way. The farmers do not ask for special privileges, but they do ask that unnecessary burdens should not be placed on them. We find that the men on the land are not satisfied to remain, and that is tne ease even now, although the increased prices of products occasiond by this unfortunate war are temporarily inviting. However, I believe there is not a farmer in Canada who would not sooner take much lower prices, and have no war, if that were possible I believe that the prices of farm products will increase on account of the war, but that will only be a temporary condition and things will go back to the normal when the war is over. It is the duty of this Government to institute a policy, in the interests not only of the farmers, but of the manufacturers and the business men and all the people. A policy could be inaugurated which would make the farmers feel that they are getting some of the wealth they create and render them content to remain on the land. I believe that the West could be made inviting to the right kind of men. There are many ups and downs in the farmer's life, but if many of the burdens that are now placed on them were removed, not only would those who are still on the land feel like extending their operations but others

would be induced to come and the country would be developed. Quotations have been made from an interview with Mr. Hutchinson, but there are so many good points in that interview that I wish to place it all on Hansard. I may say that if the John Deer Company increases the price of implements every other manufacturer will do the same. The prices are generally all about the same no matter who makes the implement, so that I think there must be a combine among them. This is the interview with Mr. Hutchinson:

H. W. Hutchinson, vice-president and managing director of the John Deere Plough Company, was asked by the Free Press yesterday for an opinion on the effect on western Canada of the increased duty on farm implements. Mr. Hutchinson has expert knowledge on this subject, having been most intimately connected with the trade in this country for manyjrears.

In reply to a number of questions he stated that he fully recognized the need for a very large increase in the Dominion revenue. He was of the opinion, however, that it would be a very grave mistake at the present time to impose a heavy burden on the prairie farmer, on whom the burden of this tax, should it be imposed by the Parliament, would instantly fall. An advance in the price of tillage implements would inevitably have the effect of checking cultivation which, under the stress of the present conditions, ought to be encouraged in every possible way. The proposed tax, Mr. Hutchinson pointed out, would be much higher than was generally supposed owing to the fact that in addition to imposing the duty the Government also made what might be deemed an arbitrary valuation of the imported goods, thus in reality greatly increasing the percentage of the tax. Mr. Hutchinson also pointed out that although the Government of Canada during the past four years had apparently reduced the duty on certain agricultural implements, there had been no real reduction owing to the fact that the arbitrary valuation placed on the imported goods had been greatly increased, so that the total revenue was not affected.

That does not quite agree with the statement made by the hon. member for Selkirk.

" The prairie farmers will, of course, be called on to pay the duty," said Mr. Hutchinson. "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 by the farmer of from $1 to $2 ; in every sulky plough an increase of $4 ; in every drill an increase of $5 ; in every gang plough an increase of $6 ; in every wagon an increase of $7 ; and in every disc plough an increase of $S; with similar advance i in the prices to the farmer of all kindred tools. The margin on which dealers do business is so small that no part of the burden will be borne by them. It will all be passed on to the farmer. ,

"When I was in Ouawa some time ago I made inquiries regarding the arbitrary revaluation of imports by appraisers. There is no provision which I could find in the Customs

elusions, (that " there is every indication that higher protection will be maintained," I have just time to quote from the remarks of the hon. member for South Toronto (Mr. Macdonell):

My hon. friend cavils at protection. Protection seems to be the red rag that angers Liberals in this House and out of it. I have no apology to make for protection; I am a stalwart protectionist. Protection has built up Canada. When this country is in straitened circumstances, as it will be more or less, and as all other countries will be owing to the war, and after it is over, it will be protection and the protectionist interests and the National Policy over again that will rebuild this country and put it back where it was before the outbreak of the war, and make it even more prosperous than ever before,

I gather from that that these additional taxes will be maintained. Let me quote a few lines from the analysis of the Budget by the Financial Post:

The increase in the general import tax of 5 per cent on preferential and 71 on our general tariff should encourage more manufacturing in Canada: but to get its full value the Minister of Finance should make some announcement as to its permanency.

I think we have every reason to fear that this increased tax is not for the purpose of producing revenue, but to protect the manufacturers of Canada, increase their profits and thereby retain their friendship. But business men do not all take the same view. Every hon. member, I have no doubt, has received a circular sent out by Mr. Stewart E. Bruce, of Toronto, in which he says:

As a business man I consider this tax levy ill-advised and ill-considered and I have given my objections in detail.

it is fortunate that we can find a man here and there, even in Toronto, who is not a slave of protection. But they are rare indeed. As it is six o'clock, I will bring my remarks to a close.

At six o'clock, the House took recess.

The House resumed at eight o'clock.

Topic:   THE BUDGET.
Subtopic:   PROPOSED WAR TAXATION.
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PRIVATE BILLS.

THIRD READINGS.


Bill No. 8, respecting The Edmonton, Dun-vegan and British Columbia Railway Company.-Mr. Green. Bill No. 20, respecting The Canadian Northern Railway Company.-Mr. Bradbury.


THE BUDGET.

PROPOSED WAR TAXATION.

CON

Richard Blain

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. RICHARD BLAIN (Peel):

Mr. Speaker, on the 4th of February this session

of Parliament was opened. It will be remembered by the House and by the country that the war in which we are now engaged was declared on August 4, 1914. The first question the Canadian people asked themselves when war was declared was: Have we a Government in power in which the people of Canada have implicit confidence; have we a Prime Minister at the head of affairs who is able to cope with the task, and who has also the confidence of the whole Canadian people? The right hon. gentleman who leads the Government (Sir Robert Borden), was equal to the task at the commencement of the war; and during this session of Parliament he has shown himself fully equal to the burdens placed upon him, and he will, I am sure, be able to take his part in this great struggle to the satisfaction of the whole Canadian people. When Parliament was called in August last the eyes of all Canadians were centered upon the city of Ottawa and upon the Government. Everybody expected that some important legislation would be introduced, and that some additiohal war taxes would be placed upon the Canadian people. The people had made up their minds to bear those taxes, whatever they were, cheerfully, as the Canadian people always do in matters of this kind. An amount of $50,000,000 was voted in the special session of August, 1914. There was practically no criticism in the House; there was no disappointment in the country, and the people of Canada felt pleased to think that the Government were willing to face this matter fairly and do their part in the great struggle. The war continued, and Parliament was again called together on the 4th of February, 1915, the session in which we are now engaged. On the 11th of February my hon. friend the Minister of Finance (Mr. White) introduced his Budget, termed the War Budget. The people of Canada again expected, when this session was called, that some war taxes would be placed upon them, and the Budget that my hon. friend the Minister of Finance introduced is called, and will go down in history as, the War Budget. My hon. friend the

Minister of Finance presented his

Budget in a way that met with the approval of all members of this House. There was no word of partisan warfare, there was nothing to stir up the Canadian people and make divisions among them. It was presented in a fair and honest way, a business presentation of an important Budget. I think the thanks of the whole Canadian people are due to my hon. friend the Minister of Finance for having been able to

meet his task and present his Budget in the manner in which he did. Naturally there would be a great deal of thought by the Canadian people upon this Budget. Almost every person in this country, being a Canadian and interested in the welfare of Canada and the Empire, was anxious to know what it contained. Every Board of Trade engaged in the great commercial interests of Canada was interested in the Budget. The agricultural classes, from one end of Canada to the other, were particularly anxious about the Budget presented by my hon. friend. The manufacturers, towards whom some of our friends on the other side are not too kindly, being large employers of labour, naturally asked themselves the question: How will this Budget affect trade? and I am bound to say-and I think this House and the people of Canada will agree with me-that no Budget was ever presented to the people of Canada that met with such universal approval as the one introduced by my hon. friend on the 11th of February. The financial critic on the other side of the House, the hon. junior member for Halifax (Mr. A. K. Maclean), had eleven days from the date of the introduction of the Budget on the 11th of February down to the 23rd of February, when he rose in his place to discuss the Budget and to present to the people of Canada the Opposition's opinion upon it. It is currently reported that my hon. friend the junior member for Halifax consulted his friends. Everybody would expect that he would consult his friends. The Opposition had a caucus in the meantime to consider, I suppose, among other things, the Budget that was presented. To that I offer no objection. My hon. friend the junior member for Halifax, I understand, had the co-operation and the help of a gentleman not now in this House, who is very conversant with budgets, who has had the honour of introducing many in this House himself; and, after all this, the hon. gentleman's criticism was mild.

He could not raise very much objection. He was unable to single out with any emphasis those portions of the Budget to which he objected; and when the people of Canada read what my hon. friend had said they concluded that the best the Reform party in this House could do was to make only a mild criticism of the Budget introduced by the Minister of Finance. The Journal of Commerce, Montreal, discussing the Budget, said:

Altogether Mr. White seems to have made the best of a troublesome situation. It will be much easier to find fault with his proposal than to offer any better as a temporary and convenient money-raising scheme.

I understand that the Hon. Mr. Fielding, the ex-Mmister of Finance, is the editor of that paper; so no doubt he is responsible for that utterance. That is a statement from a gentleman whose opinion on budgets is worth something. He says that the Minister of Finance has made the best of a troublesome situation. Why troublesome? Because the people of Canada were engaged in a great struggle, are engaged in a great struggle now. The Finance Minister not only had to provide for the large expenditure that is going on from day to day, but had to meet many and great obligations placed upon the people of Canada by my hon. friends opposite. That meant an enormous expenditure. At the same time, on account of the disturbed condition of trade resulting from the war, the Minister of Finance was confronted with people in every part of the country saying that they feared unemployment; and unemployment there was in small measure, I think.

Some hon. gentlemen opposite have made strong statements in this House to the effect that the Minister of Finance should have cut down the general expenditure of the country. My hon. friend the Minister of Finance has cut down the general expenditure. He was absolutely frank when, in presenting his budget to the House, he said:

So far as expenses are concerned the policy we enunciated in August we shall continue. Our estimates contain no new items, and as to items which they include we shall proceed with works not already under contract only as we feel justified having regard to the financial situation.

That was an honest statement. And so careful was the Minister of Finance that there should be no misunderstanding in this House or out of it as to how trace should be keipt of the money raised by the Budget, that he said:

The revenue obtained from the present tariff changes will he separately shown in the Trade and Investigation returns of the Department of Customs. By this we shall know the precise amount collected through the customs under the provisions of the War Revenue Act.

Surely that was a fair statement; there was nothing to conceal; there was no quibbling as to whether this part of the Budget was for a war tax and that part for another purpose. The statement was made on behalf of the Government that, in so far as the new Budget presented to this

House was a war Budget, the Minister of Finance would see that a clause was placed in the Customs, returns giving the revenue obtained from the present tariff changes, and showing exactly how that money was being received. Surely that was frank; surely that was what the people of this country expected from my hon. friend the Minister of Finance, so careful a man in financial matters. Surely there was nothing to provoke criticism from the other side of the House lest any taxes collected under the war Budget should be devoted to other than war purposes.

I think that the Opposition led by my right hon. friend has not done itself justice as a party. When we assembled in August last they made a few declarations that Hey would assist the Government, that they did not propose to carry on political hostilities, that whether bound or not bound they were going to have a truce, that they would give every possible assistance to the Government in providing ways and means for carrying on our share in this great struggle. But when the Minister of Finance introduced his Budget this session it seemed as if a change had come over the Opposition. The Minister of Finance presented his Budget to the House on the 11th of February. On that day the hon. member for St. John (Mr. Pugsley) attacked the Government at once. He attacked the Government at the close of the speech of the Finance Minister; he attacked the Government when my right hon. friend the Prime Minister moved:

1. That it is expedient to provide that a sum not exceeding one hundred million dollars ($100,000,000) he granted to His Majesty towards defraying any expenses that may he incurred by or under the authority of the Governor in Council during the year ending the 31st day of March, 1916,

and so on. What did the hon. member for St. John do when that resolution was introduced? He rose in his place and attacked the Government right on the war resolution introduced by the leader of this Government. He made the statement that some persons down in New_'York were declaring that they represented the Canadian Government, and were trying to give contracts for this Government and for the British Government. Surely that did not look as if the Opposition were trying to assist this Government; for if any purchases had been made, either for the British Government or for this Government, they must have been made in part out of the $50,000,000 appropriation voted last August My hon. friend

from St. John made a very long speech, in the course of which he read an article from an Ottawa newspaper that I think condemned himself and his speech as well:

As a consequence of tlie 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.

And continuing in that statement is a list of the gentlemen representing the British Government, whose head office was in Montreal, and of the gentlemen representing the French and Russian Governments. And notwithstanding the statement in the hand of my hon. friend-a plain statement made by this Government and given to the newspapers so that every one might understand the situation-the hon. member for St. John attacked the Government, and charged that somebody had been in the United States buying ammunition for the war at exorbitant prices, prices that far exceeded the regular prices of ammunition in that country. Surely that does not look like wanting to assist the Government. Surely that savours of partisanship. My hon. friend went on in that long speech condemning the Government. The same day the hon. member for St. John attacked the Government for the purchase, under the guidance of my hon. friend the Minister of Marine and Fisheries (Mr. Hazen), of two submarine vessels. He stated that an Order in Council had gone through to buy two submarine vessels for $1,050,000. He attacked the Government upon that in his speech, a cojiy of which I have here. He makes an effort-and to his own satisfaction, I suppose, succeeds-in connecting Sir Richard McBride, Premier of British Columbia, with this transaction in a way that he thought was very shady. All he had to do, as my hon. friend the Minister of Marine and Fisheries stated in his reply, was to walk across the floor of the House and ask my hon. friend if there was an error in the Order in Council passed by the Government for the purchase of these submarines. My hon. friend states in his speech that if my hon. friend had crossed the floor and asked him that question he would have told him that an error had taken place in the figures and that when the error was detected the correction was made in the proper and legal way, so that the amount put through for the purchase of the two submarines finally was the exact amount that was paid for the submarines

-$1,150,000. The hon. member for St. John spent a long time discussing that. I might point out that while hon. gentlemen on the other side of the House are making an effort to convince the country that they are assisting the Government, we find the hon. member for St. John, on the day the Budget is introduced, attacking the Government on two points in a partisan way that does not do credit to the hon. gentleman who, I am very glad to see is now in his seat. My hon. friend is a master at all that sort of thing. He has sat on both sides of the House and has a great advantage. My hon. friend is able to put to good account all that he learned on this side of the House while in the Government and on the other side while in Opposition. Whatever may be said in the country, whatever may be said either in the East or in the. West, if these hon. gentlemen propose to continue this political, partisan discussion in this House, they will be unable to make the people of Canada believe that they are assisting the Government in discharging their responsible duties.

During this discussion many hon. gentlemen on the other side of the House have endeavoured to poison, if possible, the minds of the farming interest of Canada against the Government, because, forsooth, they are imposing some taxes upon the people. In the early history of my hon. friends opposite such a policy was pursued by "their leaders. There was an effort made by the Reform party some years ago to put the farmer against the balance of the citizens of Canada. They pursued that warfare with some success. They told the farmers that if there was protection at all placed upon the statute book that protection must be paid for by the farmer, that the manufacturer was the gainer, and that the farmer was the loser.

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

An hon. MEMBER:

Hear, hear.

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

Richard Blain

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BLAIN:

My hon. friend says, " Hear, hear." I do not expect any change in my hon. friend. I may say to my hon. friend who says " Hear, hear," that he cannot fool the farmers that way now. The farmers do not require any special defenders in this House, because they are able to take care of themselves both here and in the country as well. The farmers have flourished under the" protective tariff and it does not do my hon. "friends opposite much credit, because, after condemning the protective tariff when it was introduced by the Liberal-Conservative party many years ago, and promising that it would all he taken off the statute books

when they came into power, they were in power for fifteen years and you would have to search the tariff with a microscope to find out .any changes that these hon. gentleman made in the way of a reduction. They condemned the Liberal-Conservative party for protection; but when they came into office they adopted the very same policy. Then my hon. friend from Red Deer (Mr. Clark), who the other day tried to stir up the farmers and to make it appear that they were opposed to this Government and to the proposed tariff taxation, will have a very difficult task on his hands to make the farmers in 'the West believe that protection .is all against their interests. He will have a greater task on his ibands because he supported a Government that maintained protection. My hon. friend could have performed that task perhaps more successfully, if, when he was sitting on this side of the House he had proclaimed the same belief that he now gives expression to. He came into the House in 1908 when his party were in power, and if my hon. friend's voice had been heard from his place at that time condemning the Government for protection and refusing to give them his support, and if he had continued in that policy while he was there land also while he was on the Opposition benches, he would have a record. But the best he can do is to say: My actions show that I supported protection, that I supported it to the letter when my party was in power, the same policy that is now on the statute books under this Government I now condemn. That is my hon. friend's position. Whenever my hon. friend has taken the floor he has taken rather special pains to point out that this taxation provided for in the Budget that we are now discussing, presses very severely upon the farmers and the poor man. I say: away with that sort of argument. The poor men of this country do not require such defenders, the farmer-: are strong and brave, the poor men are willing to take up their burdens with the rest, and the farmers will condemn any gentleman in this House who is trying to suggest that they are not willing to bear their fair .share of the burdens that are placed, upon us by this war.

It is not at all difficult to show that this Government has done much for the farmers of Canada. When the Liberals were in power the cry came loud and long that the farmers in Western Canada required government-owned elevators, but the Liberal

war, and he mentioned in particular the iron and steel industry. I have here from today's Montreal Daily Mail a statement, the heading of which is: "War had serious effect upon the Scotia Steel Company-the company was hard-hit by war." The article reads as follows:

As was to be expected, every part of the company's operations was affected by the war. In the first place, as was well known in the trade, the Scotia Company had sold a large amount of its iron ore at the beginning of last year to Germany, and, of course, these sales could not be consummated after the war broke out. On this account the iron ore mines had to be shut down and at the same time the general recession in the steel trade in Canada was so immediate that practically all the iron and steel departments were idle for a large proportion of the last hall of the year. During all this time the company was also confronted with the problem of meeting the cost of keeping the mines unwatered and maintaining the plant, all of which naturally caused serious inroads to be made upon the profits of the first half of the year. Under these unusual and unprecedented conditions, the showing made is regarded as satisfactory. The situation is already much improved and the indications are that from now on further improvement should be the rule.

Notwithstanding the depressed conditions of. the steel industry we were able to keep the most of our plant in operation during the first half of the year. In view of the fact that Parliament had provided for assistance to two of the) Transcontinental railways, to the extent of $50,000,000, a very large part of which it was understood would be expended in equipment we felt justified, from negotiations then pending in assuming that there would be considerable improvement in our business during the last six months of the year.

The outbreak of the war not only destroyed these expectations, but it very seriously interfered with all our operations. "We had sold our output of iron ore for the year principally in Europe, and on the first of August had about 120,000 tons mined and ready for shipment. As further shipments to the continent were impossible, we immediately suspended mining operations and our ore mines have since been idle. Not only tlje profit on all the ore on hand at Wabana, but also on all ore which would have been mined during the remainder of the year, was lost to the company.

I read that article for the benefit of my hon. friend the junior member for Halifax, who stated that the war has not seriously affected the trade of this country. The Scotia Steel Company is in his own province of Nova Scotia. His own province follows Ontario in its war taxation. I read the following article:

The first direct provincial taxation in the his tory of Nova Scotia since Confederation is now proposed by Premier Murray, who introduced a Bill in the House of Assembly yesterday called the Provincial War Tax Act.

Under its provisions it is proposed to levy a tax of one mill in the dollar on all assessable property in the municipalities, towns and cities of Nova Scotia. The tax, it is estimated, will produce $117,000 additional revenue. The provincial deficit at l{ie end of the fiscal year was $113,000.

Premier Murray intimated that this would not be the only new taxation Bill to be presented at this session of the Legislature.

So it is found that even in Nova Scotia war has something to do with disarranging trade.

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

March 9, 1915