March 9, 1915


Richard Blain

Conservative (1867-1942)


Yes, although my opinion may not be very valuable on this point, I shall be very much surprised if the people of Canada do not find themselves fully equal to the task of making and manufacturing in Canada all the fertilizers required by the people of Canada.

Topic:   THE BUDGET.

Alexander Kenneth Maclean



I asked my hon. friend if he thought we would manufacture potash in Canada now, under the new tariff.

Topic:   THE BUDGET.

Richard Blain

Conservative (1867-1942)


I say that we may not be

able to manufacture potash, but we will manufacture something that will take its place. My hon. friend beside me says they are making potash in Canada at the present time.

There (has been some criticism by newspapers of the present Budget, although not very much. In the main, the newspapers have applauded the Finance Minister for his Budget. I have here a paper which does not usually give much help to the Conservative party. It is the Christian Guardian, published in Toronto on February 17. The article is headed, " Canada's War Budget," and reads:

Canada needed to raise ?30,000,000 by extra taxation this year in order to meet part of the extraordinary war expenses, and the problem for the Finance Minister was to raise that amount with the least possible friction. There were rumours that tea and sugar, tobacco and liquor would again be singled out for special attention at the taxgatherer's hands, but wisely, we think, tea and sugar have not been further burdened. Instead there is a general increase of 7 5 per cent intermediate and 5 per cent preferential. . . Evidently the new tariff has aimed to spread the increased tax as lightly as possible over the whole community, and there will probably be little objection to it. The money has to be raised and the new taxes will not he specially burdensome to any one class.

That is from a paper that does not usually give support to the Conservative party. Since this Government faced the war problem they have bad to purchase a very large quantity of goods. Their ambition was to purchase these goods in Canada as far as possible, and I do not think there has been any criticism against the Government upon that point. They have aimed fairly, regardless of politics, to see that manufacturing establishments that could make these goods were given orders. That applies not only to the goods purchased by this Government, but to goods purchased for Britain, Russia and France. For example, the hon. Minister of Trade and Commerce had control of the purchases of blankets for the French Government. Did he assist his political friends particularly in these purchases? Let me point out to the House what was done. He called the blanket manufacturers of Canada together, regardless of politics. He had the advantage of their knowledge and discussed the question as to what the price for blankets should be if they were purchased in Canada

for the French Government. After a somewhat prolonged discussion, they arrived at a price that was regarded by them and by the Government as a reasonable and fair price, considering the price of wool and workmanship. The price was submitted to the French Government and it was satisfactory to them-60 cents per pound. Did the Minister of Finance suggest that these orders should go to Liberal Conservative supporters? No; he made it broad and clear that every manufacturing establishment in Canada that could make blankets should send to Ottawa and receive an order for as many blankets as it could make up to a certain day. That was the proposition of the hon. gentleman who was representing the Government in respect to the purchase of blankets for the French Government. The blanket manufacturers from all over Canada came and received their orders, and the blankets were made, and I think, in the main, the transaction was very satisfactory to the people of Canada as well as to the French Government. That applies also to other large purchases that were made by this Government for the British Government; and I may say that, although there is some criticism about the goods manufactured for the soldiers, I had the privilege of seeing some articles that were sent from France as a sample for the Canadian manufacturers to go by in making another line of goods, and the articles made by the Canadian manufacturers surpassed altogether the sample, which is a proof that, after all the Canadian manufacturers find themselves in a position to supply a very large quantity of goods and to make them equal to the requirements of the British, French and Russian Governments.

The Toronto Globe undertook to criticise the Government in two articles, one of which I shall read. The Globe of January 19 said:

Put Names on War Supplies.

There is one effective way of putting crooked contractors for army supplies in the pillory, and that is by requiring that all makers of cloth, clothing, shoes, and equipment shall stamp their name in some indelible fashion upon the articles they make. It is already observable that contractors, discussing the failure of supplies to come up to requirements, are certain that it was " the other fellow '>

who put shoddy workmanship into articles on which men's lives depend. There should be a means of checking up vociferous contractors. No other would be half so effective as the production of the defective articles with the name of the maker stamped upon them. The Militia Department should lose no time in insisting that all army contractors put their names upon their product as a guarantee of good materials and honest workmanship. The country is paying the top price for war supplies

and has a right to demand that the contractors play fair and provide goods of the highest quality.

That was a mild criticism by the Globe. No other inference could be taken than that the Government were not insisting on the manufacturer putting his name on the article produced by him. If the Globe had been anxious to do the fair thing by the Government in power and to assist them in their difficulties and the task they are facing, all they had to do was to go or write to the department and ask them for a copy of the tenders. I have a copy in my hand. This is the notification sent from the department to successful tenderers:

Department of Militia and Defence, Ottawa.

Sir,-I have the honour to inform you that your tender of the -, instant for the supply of certain goods has been accepted as follows:

Please note that delivery should be made at

and should be completed not latter than

. The supply must conform to the sealed

pattern and specifications in every respect, and each article must bear the manufacturer's name and the date of manufacture.

All'the editor of the Globe had to do before poisoning the mind of his innocent readers by suggesting that the Government had failed to compel the manufacturer to put his name and the date on the article he was making for the Government, was to write or ask the department for a copy of the tenders; and he would then have seen that the Government was careful enough to insist that every man who manufactured goods for this Government must put his name and the date on his goods. Therefore I say that that kind of argument will not have much effect upon the electors of this country.

I had some other statements to make, but I have already spoken much longer than I had intended. I say that, in my opinion, the Budget is satisfactory to all classes of people in Canada. The people of Canada have implicit confidence in the Prime Minister and in his Government. Whatever criticism has come from the other side of the House, no gentleman was able to stand in his place and say that any department of the Government was neglecting its duties in these perilous times; for every department had met the situation strongly and honestly; every department had measured up to what the people of Canada expected from it. Whatever may be said about the enormous expenditure of money, the $50,000,000 that has been expended and the $100,000,000 that will be expended, the people of Canada believe that they have an honest Government in power, which is 511

meeting the situation strongly, and fully carrying out what the people of Canada expect from them; namely, that in this important crisis we should bear our full share both for Canada and for the Empire.

I want to say one word in regard to the clothing, boots, and other supplies furnished to our soldiers. I was told in conversation with a gentleman who was born in the old country, and who had lived alongside Salisbury Plain and played there when he was a boy, that he could not believe the statement he had read that there was wet weather and very deep mud on Salisbury Plain. He said that he had played upon Salisbury Plain in his early boyhood days, and that it was almost impossible then to find a blade of grass upon the Plain. I am mentioning this in order to point out that, no matter how this Government may have been criticised in regard to the clothing, boots, etc., supplied to the soldiers, the greatest enemy was the wet weather at Val-cartier camp and the exceptionally wet weather experienced at Salisbury Plain; and over this the Government had no control. The people of Canada must understand that * Salisbury Plain was selected as a training camp for our soldiers, not by this Government, but by the Government of Great Britain and by the War Office; and I have no doubt that they selected it as the proper and the best place they could provide for the purpose. While some part of the clothing and boots and shoes may not have stood all that was expected of them, I repeat that it was not because of their quality, butTiecause of the extraordinary weather conditions experienced at Yalcartier and Salisbury Plain. I think it is only fair that I should mention this, not particularly in defence of the Government, because I do not think they require any defence, even on that point, but in order that the people of Canada may fully understand the facts in connection with the articles I have mentioned.

I am sure that when the people of Canada have had a better opportunity of studying this Budget, when they understand it more fully, when hon. gentlemen opposite have made all possible criticism of it, the people of Canada will say with one voice that this Government and the Finance Minister have placed before the country a uniform and satisfactory Budget which is in the interests of the people of Canada-and I am sure the people of Canada will bear their burdens cheerfully, whatever they may be-a Budget that will meet with the approval not

only of the .people of this country, but of every part of the British Empire.

Topic:   THE BUDGET.

Roch Lanctôt


Mr. ROOH LANCTOT (Laprairie-Napier-ville):

Mr. Speaker, before I proceed with the few Temarks I have to offer to this House I wish to refer to the speech delivered in the course of this debate by the hon. member for Selkirk (Mr. Bradbury). I find that he is reported on page 760 of Hansard to have used the following words:

The bon. gentleman oannot quote any statement contained in the platform laid down by the Conservative party previous to their return in 1911 asserting that if returned to office they would reduce the public expenditure.

Now the Montreal Gazette dated August 15, 1911, a conservative paper, Has the following article:

Conservative Policy.

What the Party is Pledged to Carry On.

The Liberal Conservative party gives its pledge to carry out the following policy if returned to power:

(1 A thorough reorganization of the method by which the public expenditure is supervised. The increase in what is known as ordinary controllable expenditure from $21,500,000 in 1896 to nearly $74,000,000 in 1911 is proof of extravagance beyond any possible defence.

R. L. Borden.

Mr. iLAN'OTOT. (Translation): Mr. Speaker, on the 18tli of August last, Parliament was summoned in extraordinary session. The object in view was the organization of a contingent of 22,500 men, to be sent to fight with Allies in France and Belgium. The Government then asked and obtained, for those objects, a vote of fifty million dollars. The Minister of Militia set immediately to work to put the contingent on a proper footing. The men of that contingent spent a few weeks at the Valcartier camp to complete their military training. On October last, those men went to England, and on arriving there were sent to Salisbury Plains to complete their training. Since then they have given a good account of themselves on the battlefields, whatever may have been alleged to the contrary, on the 18th of February last, by the Toronto Evening Journal which showed its lack of patriotism to the extent of stating that our Canadian contingent, after making . a favourable impression on its arrival in England, was no longer in a position, after several months of training, to do honour to Canada when its services were needed in action.

It was with satisfaction that, personally, I voted the 50 millions to defray the con-

[Mr. Blain.l

tribution which we deemed it proper that a country such as ours should vote.

But, Mr. Speaker, I believe that such help must be proportionate to our resources, and that we have no right to indulge in inconsiderate and uncontrolled expenditure. The help which a son must give to his father should be proportionate to his resources and to the needs of his father, and if we must accept that proposition as being absolutely logical and reasonable, we must also infer that we have now greatly exceeded the limit of our obligations.

Let us calmly look into the situation, having solely in view the performance of our duties as representatives of the people.

It is universally conceded that England has all the money that she wants. We know, through the Minister of Finance himself, that we go to England to obtain the very moneys that have been appropriated for our war expenses. Is not that sufficient evidence that instead of fulfilling an obligation, we have on the contrary imposed upon ourselves an immense sacrifice?

In view of the present financial situation in England and in our own country, is it not evident that our sentiments of loyalty and the deep indignation felt at the atrocities committed by those blood-thirsty Germans have been the sole motives of our spontaneous participation?

But, Mr. Speaker. I ask this House, are we then justified in leading the country into bankruptcy? No, unless it can be shown that our participation to the full is the only guarantee of the certain success of the Allies. And as a member of this House is expected to fully speak his mind, let me say right here that the interest we have in this war, however great it may be, is far from being equal to the interest of England or of the other independent nations engaged. We are only a self-governing colony, and wo have no war to wage here for the conservation of our sovereignty, as other nations have, and that makes an enormous difference. If we had to followr the dictates of certain visionaries, we would exhaust, nay we would have already exhausted at this moment our resources in men and money, and, I say, under what circumstances?

The chancellor, Lloyd-George, has just announced that England is in a position to make loans to foreign nations so as to keep the war going five years more. He also stated that France has enough money to last her more than two years. Then, our Minister of Finance is bound to acknowledge that we have to go to England to get the money

which we desire to apply to that war. Then again, Lord Kitchener stated that he has an army of more than two million men, and General Joffre has a million and a half of reserves. In the face of such statements, which considering the high standing and responsibility of those making them are beyond cavil, would the people of Canada think that we are justified in bleeding the country any further? I believe, Mr. Speaker, that the most practical and patriotic way for us to contribute effectively to the war and to the aftermath of the war would be to let our population give itself up entirely to the improving of our agricultural resources, through the eneourragement of intensive farming, so that a large part of the world may be secure against all danger of famine, a danger which has already assumed such a threatening aspect.

The House will perhaps allow me to quote an extract from an editorial in the Westminster Gazette:

We are told that Canada desires to carry its contribution in men to 150.000, before next fall, should that number be required. It is needless to say that we do not believe that such a sacrifice will ever be required from the Dominion. We fully acknowledge that Canada will be with us in the present war to the extreme limit of its resources. But we hope that the recruiting which is going on in England will suffice, and that we will never be obliged to make such a call to Canada. We must not forget that what is required from Canada during the present conflict is a double service. That country must remain the granary of the Empire. and if we are to achieve victory in this war, the men working in the Canadian fields will help us in that victory just as effectively as those who expose themselves to the fire of the enemy.

Mr. Speaker, during the session of August last, the hon. Minister of Finance, with a view to providing for the requirements of this war, moved that the House should resolve itself into Committee of Ways and Means in order to raise the customs and excise duties on articles and foodstuffs which are generally taxed in times of war. 'Those articles were particularly coffee, sugar, spirits and tobacco.

The hon. minister expected that the imposition of those duties would yield an additional revenue of fourteen millions. Now, in spite of that additional revenue, the deficit announced by the hon. minister for the fiscal year ending on the 31st of March next will be at least 60 millions, not including the 50 millions voted in August last for the war.

At this session, the hon. minister comes down with proposals for additional taxation

for war purposes, and how does he proceed? Is there anything in his words of a nature to reassure the people? The hon. member for Peel (Mr. Blain) stated a moment ago that the people of Canada never received from a Finance Minister so satisfactory a statement as the one of this year. Let me say to the hon. member that he has not visited all the electors of this country; and as representing the county of Laprairie-Na-pierville, I challenge contradiction when I say that I have not yet met either a Conservative, a Liberal or a Nationalist favourable to this alleged war tax and to such a participation to the full, yea, which has reached such proportions that we are well nigh on the eve of bankruptcy.

If I am not mistaken, the hon. minister has informed us that the English Government had advanced the 50 millions voted last year, and was ready to advance the 100 millions that are now asked for, and even more if that is necessary. If such is the case, the tax asked by the hon. minister is not intended for the payment of those sums or part of those war loans, but rather to cover a part of the deficit occasioned by the extravagances of this Government.

Why should we impose those new taxes on the people? Why not wait until those 150 millions are spent, and then we could give our note, as all business men do, and pay that note at maturity.

No, you will not deceive the electors of Canada as easily as you think. You have taken them by surprise in 1911, but you will not succeed in any further attempt, if that is what is contemplated. The people realize fully what is the object of such a demand; that is easily discernible; the tax is intended t< make up for the deficit of this year and for the one of next year, which every one says will be of 200 millions, including the war expenses. Such is the result of the extravagances of this Government.

And what is the cause of all that? The reason must be found in the fact that we have in this Administration only one man having previously held office. I mean Sir George E. Foster, the present Minister of Tr ade and Commerce, to whom the Government have not seen fit, to confide the portfolio of Finance, because he might have been a source of embarrassment to them, ard whom they promptly sent out as trade commissioner to the antipodes.

I have often heard the hon. minister taking to task the ex-Minister of Finance (Mr. Fielding) and in flaming words denounce the extravagance of the Laurier Ad-

ministration. He may have been sometimes in the right. At all events, he was wont to say that a party which was spending 70 millions for the ordinary expenses of the country was surely extravagant, and he used tc add that if ever the Conservative party should resume power it would surely reduce the expenditure. Accordingly, they were careful that Sir George Foster should not be put in charge of the Department of Finance.

The present Minister of Finance (Mr. V hite) never previously having held office, or occupied a seat in this House, of course lacked the requisite experience.

The hon. Prime Minister seems to me wanting in energy, and that is why we see every one of his colleagues doing exactly as he pleases. I say that this Government is too costly, that extravagance is too rampant, ai d that is why we are heading towards bankruptcy.

A moment ago, I heard the hon. member for Peel saying that the people are satisfied since his party has reached power. When hon. genetlemen assumed office, there was an annual surplus of 30 to 40 millions, and after three years and six months we see an increase in the- gross debt of nearly 200 millions, and of over 80 millions in the net debt. That is why the present Government have seen fit to increase the taxes at the session or August last and at this present session to nearly 45 millions. And yet they will try to make the people believe that everything goes well and that the present Administration have only "clean politics" to their credit, in fact that they are a Government of honest men. You may rest assured that the people are well enough posted as to the capabilities of this Government.

I was saying a moment ago that the present Government has only been in power three years and six months. Honourable gentlemen claim that they diminished the public debt during the three first years of their regime. To that, I can only answer: If you have done so well during the three first years, you have managed the affairs of the country very badly during the last five months. We will discuss that. In 1911, the elections took place on the 21st of September. The Minister of Finance (Mr. Fielding) had only had five-twelfths of the Estimates submitted to the House. Now, on that very year, the Laurier government could only go on with the public works to the extent of those five-twelfths. The Liberal party having undergone defeat hon. gentlemen assumed power. During the following session of November, we were asked by the

tMr. Lanctot. |

new Government to pass seven-twelfths of the Fielding Estimates. You remember, Mr. Speaker, that there were very few new items submitted to the House, with the exception of the three famous dreadnoughts which were to cost 35 millions.

Reference has been made to dreadnoughts; I wish to refer to them myself, and I must ask, would the country be richer if those dreadnoughts had been provided for two years ago, or would England be in a better position to conquer on sea to-day with those three dreadnoughts still on the stocks?

Mr. BBULBMAEIE, (Translation): Will the hon. member allow me to ask a question. Does he mean to say that Canada would be richer if the Laurier navy was now in existence?

Mr. LANCTOT. (Translation): I am very glad to be asked that question. If the Liberal government had remained in power, I presume that the Laurier bill, passed in 1910, would have followed its course, and that we would have to-day three or four cruisers to protect our coasts. We would not have been forced to buy two submarines which had been refused by the government of Chile, and to pay $400,000 more than the price agreed between the builders and the Chilean government.

Mr. BELLEMARE. (Translation): Is my hon. friend not aware that the two submarines which have been bought in Vancouver are used as destroyers?

Mr. LANCTOT. (Translation): The hon-member surely will not contend that submarines are not a part of a navy. At any rate, those submarines are not in the Pacific ocean, and are not worth any thing because they have not been built in accordance with plans and specifications.

I wonder in what situation we would be to-day if the Government had succeeded in the Senate, as they succeeded in the House, in putting through their famous policy of dreadnoughts, even though the hon. member for Maskinonge managed to get in because of his opposition to all expenditure savouring of militarism to the Laurier navy, and to any war contribution whatever proposed by the Borden Government, claiming besides that he was a representative of the people who would not hesitate to take a firm stand and say: Now, gentlemen, I am here with a mandate of the electors of Maskinonge, I am neither Conservative nor Liberal, I am in favour of the people who have elected me, I intend to keep my pledges to my consti-

tuents, and I must protest against all such expenditure made by the Government in power. 1 have been elected to oppose any government indulging in all such expenditure, either for a navy or for a war contribution. It is the first time I hear him, and he will certainly regret having asked me such a question.

But let us see what lias been done by that honest Government which to-day boasts that it has so well managed our affairs during those last three years. The hon. member for Toronto-south (Mr. Maedonell) who spoke after the member for Halifax (Mr. Maclean) stated that his party had diminished the debt and completed the Transcontinental; and some of those lion, gentlemen have even gone so far as to say that the Transcontinental had cost this government 116 millions. Let us see what are the facts:

In 1911-1912 the expenditure

reached $21,110,683.05

In 1912-1913 the expenditure

reached 13,730,733.48

In 1913-1914 the expenditure

reached 12,683,701.97

In 1914-1915 the expenditure reached 6,511,551.00

Total $54,836,679.50

It is true that we have spent some millions, but we have that railway as an asset, whareas you [DOT] have [DOT] only the bare expenditure. Since those honorable gentleman reached power, they spent for various other purpose enormous amounts which have given no return whatever. I may first point-out in support of that view what has been going on in the Department of Public Works. There were public works that had to be carried on in the county of Laprairie. I am considering Laprairie, because I happen to know that county better than some others. In 1911, out of a total of $27,000 we have had five-twelfths of that amount and that other seven-twelfths of the money have only been expended in the following spring, after the Conservatives had assumed power. At the time the Liberals were in power, we had only one foreman to supervise the works. What happened after these gentlemen had assumed power? They appointed ten, some people even say twelve foreman, to help spend the other seven-twelfths.

Such are the methods followed by this Government in carrying out public works, there are as many foremen as workmen, a fact that has fallen under my notice, not only in my county, but also, last summer,

in the Lower St. Lawrance, where I was then visiting. At the St. Irenee wharf, at Riviere Ouelle and at Riviere du Loup, there were two foreman and only one workman on the job. I must say I was somewhat taken aback on withessing such squandering of money. At St. Irenee, $5,000 had been voted for the wharf, and that amount would certainly have been sufficient if the number of foreman had not been so large and if there had not been such a waste of money. However, I see that in this year's estimates an additional appropriation of $10,000 has been made to carry the work to completion.

In the county of Laprairie, over a distance of 8,000 feet a highway has been built, varying in height between five and ten feet. With a view of preventing its washing out by the St. Lawrence the district engineer, Mr. L. J. Michaud, recommended the construction of a stone wall eighteen inches thick. That wall was to be cemented in accordance with certain plans and specifications. The contractors did not comply with those specifications, and were content with building a dry stone wall, only six to nine inches thick. However for the purpose of deceiving, the wall was covered with a light coating of cement, which heavy rains washed away in the fall, leaving only a crumbling wall, with gaps of six hundred to fifteen hundred feet. Onlookers were amused saying that the Germans had come during the night and effectively bombarded the place. What is the reason of it? It may be found in the fact that the man who has the patronage in that county is waiting, to complete those works, for the federal and provincial elections. When engineer Michaud wanted to do his duty, he was immediately suspended. I am bound to blame the engineer for not having his duty despite all threats. He should have given up his position, rather than be derelict in the fulfilment of his duty. At all events so far, we have only got a portion of that famous "King Edward highway " on which work was started in 1910.

But we are told; you have also spent money yourselves, and in certain cases employees have been cheating the Government. There does not exist, I dare say, a single Government which is not more or less cheated by its employees. But there is a great difference between the expenditure for which the Liberal Government is responsible and that made by the present Government. Thus, in 1910, the ordinary expenditure chargeable upon the Con-

solidated Fund, amounted to $79,411,749.12, in 1911, to $87,774,198.32; in 1912, to $98,161,440.77; in 1913, to $112,059,527.41; in 1914, to $127,284,472.99; in 1915, to $140,000,000 and in 1916 it will be another $140,000,000.

One of my political friends was saying to me a few days ago that he had lately met a great politician of this country-now out of politics-and that he had asked him what he thought of the present Government, and if he could see no way to reduce expenses. And he answered: 50 millions could be easily taken out, but I say at. least 40 millions.

What is the reason for the increased expenditure? It may be detected in the increased cost of administration. Thus, in 1911-1912, we spent on account of civil government, fisheries, mines, and geological surveys, immigration, quarantine, Indians, public works, customs, dominion lands, post offices; $38,321,660.41. In 1913-1914, for the same services; $50,570, 553.531; in 19151916, we are asked to vote $60,280,128.62.

We can thus see that the present Government spends, in round figures, 27 millions more than in 1911-1912. True that the public works of the present Government cost 12 millions more than in 1911-1912. However there remains on civil government 'account the further enormous amount of $15,000,000. And I am not far from agreeing with the statement recently made by professor Shortt that the 2,000 men who had been removed from office had been replaced by 10,000 newly appointed officers.

But, speaking of civil servants, we do not see everything. The report which has been brought down does not mention the commissions of enquiry which have covered the country, nor does it speak of the secretaries, or of the briefless barristers whom the Government employs the whole year round, and who would be dying with hunger if only this Administration did not happen to hold power.

I will only mention two cases-and there are hundreds of similar ones-Mr. Bergeron who has been a member of this House during some twenty years, and who is costing us lots of money. He has the misfortune of always losing his elections, but finds some solace elsewhere, being secretary of a commission in British Columbia, called the Indian Reserves Commission. From March 1918 to March 1914, he worked like a Trojan and managed to furnish 366 working days in the year. That is a record.

Topic:   THE BUDGET.

Adélard Lanctôt


At $30 a day and no time lost, Sundays as well as week days. And that reminds me of a story. Once upon a time there was a candidate in the county of Laprairie, when the famous Curran bridge was under construction, and lucky owners of wooden derricks were being paid $50 a day by the 'Government; and as they were being paid for Sundays the same as for week days, that candidate used to say that the $50 for Sundays were for praying God, so that the iniquities of the Conservatives might be forgiven.

In my county, every one will be of the opinion-and I dare say the hon. member for Maskinonge will bear me out in this- that a man who draws $20 a day may well afford to pay his board. But such is not the case of Mr. Bergeron. I find in the Auditor's Report the following item: ' 366 days board at $10 a day. Surely, he has a good apipetite and it cannot be said that he is a dyspeptic. That makes the good round sum of $3,660 only for board, and you have not come yet to the end of it. That man is also fond of taking automobile rides, and when he travels by railway he takes mighty good care to secure a seat in the parlor car, and at times the state-room.

According to that report, Mr. Bergeron drew both for salary and board $11,180; however the report states further that he has been paid $140 in excess, and I have no doubt, knowing Mr. Bergeron as well as I do, that his account of next year will be reduced in proportion.

But that is not all, and according to the Auditor General, there is, for travelling expenses of Mr. Bergeron in British Columbia, an additional item of $1,568.91 for automobiles, cabs, board, etc.

I have been told that Mr. Bergeron is now in Montreal, and from what I know of him I am confident he will not waste any time.

Then we come to the case of Mr. Ferguson, K.C., who has been drawdng $50 a day, and has earned during 317 days $15,850. Besides that, he has an additional account for board, cabs, autos, etc., totalling about $2,000. It may also be interesting to note that the mere printing of his initials on his trunk has cost us the trifle sum of $37.

But there is another man who is costing still more to the country, and that is the hon. Minister of Justice, who enjoys a State pension. In 1867, the object of the legislators, in framing the law for the superannuation of the judges, was to provide

for the retirement of those who, by reason of age or infirmities, had become unable to administer justice, and might even inftict grievous losses on litigants. I told the lion. Minister last year that he should introduce a bill providing that, so long as he remained Minister of Justice, he should abstain from drawing his pension as julge. The hon. Minister simply answered with a smile. But this year, he got angry when the leader of the Opposition saw fit to make him the same reproach. So that I am making some headway with my state pensioner. I offered him to meet him in St. Anne division, and discuss the matter with. him.

I am still waiting for an answer.

It is not his duty, as Minister of Justice to make laws or amend the bad ones? Let him give up his pension, and he will command our admiration. It is true that he would lose $4,666 a year. But I have been told that he has other jobs on hand, in Mfut ea! or elsewhere. What is the i-ut-ecmo if it all? Tt is that the minister being unable to attend personally to his duties, the salary of his deputy-minister was increased to $10,000. And not only that, but as he spends all his time in administering estates in Montreal, we are obliged to adjoin to him two chief clerks in his department with a salary of $4,000 to $5,000 each a year.

Hon. gentlemen on the other side are always telling us that everything is serene, that everything is all right and that the country is prosperous. But following on the statement of the Minister of Finance, that we may expect a deficit of 200 millions next year, I do not think that those gentlemen are sincere when they thus praise the Government.

There is a talk of elections. Well, as far as I am concerned, I declare that I would be happy to have an election in Laprairie-Napierville, either right now or in two months, and I am sure that the people of the country will overthrow this Government which has so badly managed our affairs for the last three years.

Mr. A. BELLEMARE (Maskinonge). (Translation) : Mr. Speaker, considering the grievousness of recent developments, I beg to call the attention of the Government to the following proposal:

"To provide the farmers of each province with seed grain of superior quality and chosen by experts, which would be sold and delivered at cost price to every farmer who applies for it. We should even pay, if possible, the freight to destination. In such manner, we would be sure to see the pio-vinces of Quebec and Ontario with the maritime provinces take to the growing of wheat during next season."

By such means, the Government would greatly assist the farming community, because, after all, a time will perhaps come when the ears of grain will be of greater service on the battlefields than even muskets or bayonets. Indeed, what would be the use, for the Government, of sending soldiers, if the Allies, our friends, should be famished.

The best way to be of service to the run-pire, is to make a granary of Canada, and in support of that opinion, I will quote an article of a London paper, the Westminster Gazette, dated 6th of November last, and which says:

We fully acknowledge that Canada will be with us in the present war to the extreme limit of its resources. But we hope that the recruu-ing that is going on in England will be sufficient, and that we will never be obliged to make such a call for men to Canada. _

We must not forget that what is required from Canada during the present conflict is a double service. That country must remain the granary of the Empire, and if ve are o achieve victory in this war, the men working in the Canadian fields will help us win that victory just as effectively as those who are exposing themselves to the fire of the enemy.

We see in that paper, which is published in the very heart of the Empire, that they set a higher price on the foodstuffs than on the thousands of men who could be sent at our own cost, and a great many papeis in Canada proclaim the same necessity.

The Press of Montreal of the 16th of November says:

The opportunity of increasing our agricultural production is no longer put in doubt. The war will reduce enormously the ordinary output of the wheat crop in Europe. Among the millions of men enrolled under the flags of the nations at war, how many are there not who have been taken away from the cultivation of the land?

Canada contains an immense number or agricultural lands which have never been cultivated, and which are only waiting for the ploughshare in order to yield enormous crops.

As regards the farms already under cultivation, only a little more care and better methods are often necessary to increase the yield twofold or even three-fold.

Intensive agriculture is now in order on our continent, because it is easy to foresee the day when the millions of men whose estates have been ruined by the war will expect to receive from our soil the wheat which will save them from starvation. The new world will become the granary of the old world. In view of the present situation, is it not the duty of the Government to lend a helping hand to private initia-

Topic:   THE BUDGET.

Levi Thomson


Mr. LEVI THOMSON (Qu'Appelle):

Mr. Speaker, listening to the hon. member for Selkirk (Mr. Bradbury) and the hon. member for Peel (Mr. Blain), one has to come to the conclusion, if these hon. gentlemen take themselves seriously, and they generally are serious minded persons, that they regard those of us on this side of the House as being a most horrible class of people. The hon. member for Selkirk is very much concerned about our patriotism. But this is not so serious a matter as that which troubles the hon. member for Peel who looks upon us as a lot of poisoners. Apparently, in his opinion, there is nothing

that we are not prepared to poison; we poison the minds of the farmers, we poison the minds of the people of Great Britain and there are few things that we do not poison. However, these hon. gentlemen are quite willing to mix with us on different occasions. I am sure that if these hon. gentlemen took themselves seriously they would not consent to mix us in such a friendly way as they do. Hon. gentlemen opposite in this debate are prepared to . discuss everything on earth except the Budget. The hon. member for Peel did deal with the Budget lor a little while, but he apparently thought it was a dangerous subject and shied away from it as soon as he possibly could. Hon. members are more anxious to find fault with their opponents for their alleged wrongdoings, which have nothing to do with the Budget, than they are to discuss the proposal brought before us by the hon. Minister of Finance (Mr. White). If these hon. gentlemen, who have so much to say about the failure of the late Government to materially reduce the tariff, would take the trouble to look up some of the financial returns of their own Government and make a careful computation therefrom they would find that had the same average rate of duty, which was collected during the financial year ending June, 1896, the last year in which their friends of the Conservative party were in power in the old days, been charged on the imports of Canada during the thirteen years and nine months from June 1897, the year in which the Fielding tariff came into operation, to March 1911, we would have been obliged to pay in customs auties some $90,000,000 more than we actually paid, and had we during that same period of thirteen years and nine months, paid at the same average rate which was collected from 1879, the year of the introduction of the National Policy tariff, to 1896, there would have been collected from us in customs duties an extra $112,000,000. These sums may seem very trifling to hon. gentlemen opposite but I think they would have some difficulty in explaining them to the people of the country or satisfying the people that these sums were so small after all. I do not propose to defend the late Government because of their failure to decrease the existing duties more than they did. I think they should have made greater decreases than they did but that is no reason why we should not give them credit for the reduction that they did make and which these hon. gentlemen opposite seem bound to deny. [DOT]

I want to say a word or two in regard to some of the criticisms of the hon. member for Muskoka (Mr. Wright), who seems very much displeased with the farmers of the West. This hon. gentleman thinks that the farmers of the West have been very derelict in their duty in not sending more representatives here who are farmers. He thinks that they should have sent all farmers here. If my hon. friend would only look at that in a fair way, I think he would come to the conclusion that this only shows the broadmindedness of the farmers of the West. It shows that they only want to be represented here by people who understand their situation as well as that of the whole country and who are able to deal with the subjects that come up here for consideration irrespective of whether they come from the farms or the towns. But my hon. friend is not quite fair to the western farmers or to their representatives. If he takes the trouble to properly inform himself he will find that there are several farmers occupying seats on this side of the House who represent western constituencies even if he does not include myself in that category. My hon. friend says:

Some time I would like to see some seat on the Opposition side occupied by a real farmer, one of those men who are actually suffering from the conditions that prevail in the West at the present time.

My hon. friend has his wish gratified now. I am actually suffering by the conditions which prevail in the West under the present Government. At the present time I have more money than I personally own locked up in western farming operations, and during the time that the hon. gentleman's political friends were in office before I spent twelve years working on a farm. Talk about suffering! Surely any man who has farmed in the West for fifteen or sixteen years under Conservative rule, or misrule, should have suffered sufficiently to satisfy a harder heart than that of the hon. member for Muskoka. My hon. friend says that he is a farmer. He is willing to admit that I have some knowledge of actual conditions in the West and in that he is more kind than the hon. member for South Oxford (Mr. Sutherland) who on a previous occasion in this House inferred that I was not a proper farmer, but merely a miner of the soil. My hon. friend (Mr. Wright) claims to be a farmer and I suppose that he means that he is a real farmer. Well, the Guide calls him a blacksmith and general merchant and agent. If a gentleman who occu-

pies all these positions can be classed as a real farmer I do not see that the time I spend in my law office can disqualify me from being classed as a farmer. My hon. friend also owns a farm in the West, I believe. I understand his farm is in my constituency. I have heard a great many complaints from our Ontario friends about our mining the soil instead of keeping an unlimited supply of live stock. I never heard that my hon. friend was any better in that particular than the rest of us. He occasionally visits his farm in the West and I suppose he gives some directions as to the farming or mining operations carried on there. I have no doubt he rakes off the profit from the mining operations but he scorns to remain and spend them in the wild and woolly West. Instead of that he' speeds eastward and spends that money in the more refined atmosphere of Muskoka. In the old days we talked about our buck-board farmers. My hon. friend apparently prefers to be classed as a parlour car farmer or an absentee landowner.

My hon. friends opposite find fault with hon. members on this side of the House because, while we agree that all possible assistance should be given to Great Britain in tl'.ese days, and while we agree that we should contribute whatever money is necessary in order to give that assistance, we object to the mode in which that money is to be collected by the Government. Their objection is unreasonable but we are perfectly justified in the course we are pursuing because it is our duty to criticise where-ever we find the Government failing to collect the money that is required in the way in which it should be collected. At present we know that our forces at the front are engaged in a severe conflict, but it strikes me that' the taxpayers of Canada have also a stern battle before them in financing not only the war operations but also the ordinary operations of the country in this time of stress. Our soldiers at the front look to their comipanding officer for directions and it strikes me that the commanding officer, if he is a wise man, will take counsel with, and seek the advice and even criticism, of those who are about him. My hon. friend the Minister of Finance at this particular time occupies the position of commander in chief of the taxpayers of Canada but the law requires that Parliament shall be called together to consult with him. I think it is our duty to consult with him with respect to whatever

measures he puts before us. If we fail to offer criticism or advice to the hon. gentleman we are derelict in our duty. A clear duty devolves upon Parliament as well as on the ministers. To follow this simile farther; a general at the front is bound to make whatever progress he can, but he is bound also to safeguard the lives of his men. In the same way the minister should feel that he is bound to guard the money of the ratepayers. If he takes more than is necessary to accomplish his proper purpose, he is blameable, and if we endorse such action we are also blameable.

It has been made abundantly clear in this debate that the Government is largely responsible for the present shortage in our revenues; but I do not propose to discuss .that at the present time. We have also had a good deal of discussion on the question as to whether or not this is a war tax, and neither shall I go into that question at any very great length. It is admitted on all hands that no part of the money which will be raised by this tax will be used to pay any part of the expenses of the prosecution of the war. It is claimed on the other hand that this deficit has been caused by war conditions, and that may be true as to a certain amount of it. In support of that contention, we are told that in the United States they also had to place extra taxes in order to make good a deficit said to have been caused by war conditions. This illustration of the United States may be very good so far as it goes, hut it does not go far enough to help the Finance Minister very much. We are told that the revenues of the United States are suffering because of this war to the extent of over one hundred million dollars. If we try -to find out what, under similar conditions, the revenue of Canada would suffer, we must use the test of population, and if we do that we find that Canada's revenue should suffer to the extent of less than ten million dollars, although the Minister of Finance asks us to raise thirty million dollars, and that without touching the war expenditures at all. It seems to me that, while both the United States and Canada are commercially affected by the war, naturally the United States should lose more in her revenue than we, because we are engaged in fitting out a very large force of our own, and the equipping of that force brings a great deal of money to our manufacturers and our traders, and should be a benefit to all classes. Besides this, we receive a preference from the Mother Country in the matter of contracts, because we know that the Mother Country is very anxious to look

to us for as much of her war supplies as we can possibly furnish.

It is true the United States will reap some benefit in that way, but that benefit must .be very much less than ours. There is, therefore, no reason why our deficit on account of war conditions should be even as great in proportion to our population as the deficit in the United States because of the same conditions.

Topic:   THE BUDGET.

Donald Sutherland

Conservative (1867-1942)


Is it not a fact that the Allies have placed enormous contracts with manufacturers in the United States?

Topic:   THE BUDGET.

Levi Thomson



That is quite true. I have said that the United States is reaping considerable benefit from that, but I am sure my hon. friend knows that if it is a matter between giving a contract to us and to the United States, Great Britain will give us the preference. The hon. gentleman shakes his head, but I do not think he means it. He must be aware of the fact that if we are not getting a preference in this respect it is the fault of our Government, who are not performing their duty unless they see we are getting a preference, but I am quite certain they are performing their duty in that particular and that we are getting a preference. Therefore the loss per capita we sustain will not be as great as the loss sustained by the United States.

I notice that the United States did not raise any part of the revenue it required from customs tariff. It is all raised from direct taxes. It seems to me that, when it was necessary at this particular time to raise all the money we possibly could at the least possible expense to the tax-payer, that was a wise plan. If that were the main object of the Minister of Finance, I am satisfied he would have adopted the same principle as that adopted in the United States, and that he could raise all the revenue necessary to make up the deficit from direct taxes. But I do not think that is the main object of the Minister of Finance; I think his main object is not to raise revenue, but to put money into the pockets of his political friends the manufacturers of Canada. The range of direct taxation adopted by the United States is very much wider than that adopted by our Minister of Finance. It seems to me that if the minister had followed the same wise plan as did. the Government of the United States in the matter of direct taxation, and collected from these other institutions at the same rate as he has collected Lorn those where he has adopted the principle of direct taxation, he -would

have no difficulty as to the required revenue, and indeed an my opinion he would have a great deal more than he will get under his present scheme. I do not purpose going through these particular items that are subjected to a direct tax in the United States and not in Canada, but let me refer to one particular matter. The Minister of Finance lays .a special tax on wines, but he leaves other liquors alone. The United States not only puts a tax on Wines, hut also on ale, beer, whisky, brandy, and other intoxicating liquors. It may be said that if we adopted the same principle in Canada it might affect the consumption of intoxicating liquors, and therefore we would not get .so much revenue as we expected. Well, if it did affect the consumption of liquors that would not be altogether an unmixed evil, and I do not think it would render our people any less able to face the conditions. Besides that, the American Government is not only taxing these things to the consumer, but it also taxes the manufacturer of these articles. Of course I know that would seem rank heresy to the Minister of Finance, and we can hardly expect him to adopt such a suggestion. He would not think of taxing the manufacturer. He is quite willing to tax everybody else im the country for the benefit of the manufacturer, but he would not think of taxing the manufacturer, and therefore there is very little use in making such a suggestion to him.

I notice that the Minister of Finance proposes to increase a great number of items in our tariff by 7-j per cent on the general tariff, and 5 per cent on the preferential tariff. I do not know what proportion of these goods the minister expects to come in under the preferential tariff and what proportion under the general tariff.

I think, however, that the general rule has been that about one-fourth of our imports have come in under the preferential tariff, and if we make our calculation on that basis we will find that the general increase on the things affected by the proposal of the minister will be 6| per cent. So that if we calculate at 61 per cent on the articles we shall import, that .-might indicate the extra amount we shall receive, provided there is no decrease in our imports. I am .satisfied, however, that the minister has carefully calculated and studied out what the effect of this increase will be. I have made some calculations, and I think I have a pretty fair idea of

what was in the mind of the Minister of Finance a*s to how much he expects the imports of the country to decrease. We can tell fairly well what we have to pay extra on the articles we import. We know that exporters generally sell at a minimum profit. It is mot true that manufacturers dealing in the home market sell at a minimum profit, because protection is an institution erected for the benefit of the manufacturers to prevent that, and to render it unnecessary to sell at a minimum profit in the home market. We know very well from experience that the manufacturer does not sell at a minimum profit in the home market; but when he exports he sells as a rule at a minimum profit, because 'he has to sell at as low a profit as he possibly can afford in the foreign market, where he meets with competition from all the world, and unless he can meet competition he cannot enter the market. We cannot therefore expect that outsiders shipping into this country will be able to sell their manufactured articles except at the old price plus the duty.

The question then comes up as to whether or not our home manufacturers will increase their prices. It is quite plain that the minister has formed the conclusion that the manufacturers will increase their prices, but that they will not increase them to an amount equal to the increase in the tariff. That is quite clear from the conclusions announced here as to the amount of money which the Minister of Finance expects to receive from the extra taxation. If he expected that the home manufacturers would not increase their prices in the least, he would know very well that instead of getting any increased revenue from the tariff by means of the increase which he made, he would get a vast decrease. If that were the case, not only would he fail to receive the necessary money to make up the decrease in the revenue, which he expected to do, but he would have to make other provision in order to get money to pay for the ordinary expenses of the country, because it would be unreasonable to expect that our imports would continue to any fair proportion of the present extent. They would practically cease if the manufacturers undertook to sell at the present prices.

I have looked up the trade returns, and I find that these proposed increases may naturally be expected to affect about $500,000,000 worth of our whole imports. If these imports will not be decreased by the change, and if one-fourth of them will come in

under the preferential tariff, we should obtain $34,375,000 from the proposed tariff increases. The minister, however, expects only between $20,000,000 and $25,000,000. Therefore he probably expects that some $40,000,000 of the manufactured goods which we now import will be made in Canada. I think, on goods classified by the Government as manufactured goods, we collect considerably over 25 per cent duty; but if we put it at 25 per cent, we shall lose by reason of the decreased imports $12,750,000. I suppose in that case the Government will expect an increase in the importation of raw material needed for those home-manufactured goods.

The tax on raw material is very low. If we put it at 8 per cent, we shall be making a liberal allowance. If we have an increase of $8,000,000 in our imports of raw material, we shall receive from the present duty and the proposed increase $1,030,000 extra. This amount taken from the $12,750,000 leaves $11,720,000 to be deducted from the sum of $34,375,000 that we would receive, were there no decrease in our importations. This would reduce the extra revenue we should receive from that source to $22,655,600, which is about what the minister expects. I do not believe he will receive that amount. It is quite likely that the imports of manufactured goods will decrease by $100,000,000 instead of $40,000,000, in which case our revenue will drop to about $5,000,000, and the increase in home manufacturers and decrease in imports would require to be only a little more than that to wipe out his whole proposed increase in tariff revenue.

But if this tax increases our home manufacturers even by $40,000,000 and decreases our imports by a like amount, what will be the effect on the consumers? Will the manufacturer raise his prices? Surely he will. Otherwise we may expect the leopard at once to change his spots. If he raises his prices even by half the amount of the increase in the cost of imported articles, there will be a tremendous increase in the cost of living to the Canadian consumer. Not only will the price of the imported article be increased, but the cost of the home-manufactured article also. I have been unable to obtain an official statement of our home manufacturers since 1910, but it seems quite plain that the value of our home manufacturers is at least four times that of our manufactured imports. Our imports of manufactured goods affected by the pro-

posed increase will be approximately $400,000,000. Therefore our home-manufactured goods affected should amount to $1,600,000. Let us add even $40,000,000 to that and calculate the cost to the consumer added by the proposed tariff increase, and we shall find that, even if we count only on the home manufacturers charging us one-half of the increase, we shall be paying an additional $56,375,000 into the pockets of the manufacturers. Add to this the $22,655,000 we shall pay to the Government under the proposed increase, and you will find that the minister proposes to collect from the Canadian tax-payer $78,030,000 in order to have a little more than one-fourth of that sum paid into the public treasury. If the increase in our home manufactures and the decrease in our manufactured imports is $100,000,000, the position of the consumer and the public treasury will be infinitely worse. If a general at the front should show such disregard for the men under him as the minister is showing for the money of the Canadian tax-payer, he would be court-martialed.

We have heard a great deal about the campaign for buying goods made in Canada. That campaign is all right, providing it is properly handled; but as carried on to-day it is merely a scheme to rob the public. That scheme, is rolled up in the old flag in order to give it an air of respectability. Manufacturers should encourage buying in Canada by manufacturing and selling better and cheaper goods than the consumer can buy elsewhere. They can well afford to do that under the present tariff, which is already largely in their favour. The manufacturers will have no trouble at all in doing that if they will make an honest effort. If they do that, they will not need any expensive literature or public meetings in order to boom this " Made in Canada " campaign. Then the consumer could well afford to pay the extra tax in some other way. But the minister should arrange that what we pay shall all, less reasonable expenses, go into the public treasury. As he has arranged the tax at present, we shall pay $3 or $4 into the pockets of his manufacturing friends in order to pay $1 into the public treasury. This is not a tariff for revenue; it is a tariff for the enrichment of the manufacturers and the enslavement of the public.

As regards the proposal of the Minister of Finance, I have another serious objection, which has been dealt with to a certain extent by other speakers. I refer to the in-

crease in the tariff on goods imported from Great Britain. It is quite plain that Great Britain at the present time is in a peculiarly bad condition as far as exporting goods is concerned. The cost and the danger of shipping her goods are very much greater than they have been in the past, and are very much greater than the extra cost and danger experienced by her greatest competitor, the United States. If the present Government allows Great Britain to come in under the present tariff and charges the United States and other countries 74 per cent , extra, I believe the United States will still be getting a preference and will be in a still better position as compared with Great Britain than the position in which it was before, because the United States has none of these dangers and none of the increased cost that Great Britain has. The minister knows that, and he knows the duty that we owe to the Mother Country in her time of extremity. It seems to me that the minister is more unfair than is apparent from a casual glance at this Budget. In the existing tariff I find there are twenty-one items in which a duty of from 5 per cent to 25 per cent is charged on foreign products, and no duty is charged against Great Britain. But, under the hon. minister's proposal, these will be entirely wiped out, except the inconsiderable items of limes and crude lime-fruit juice. Furthermore, I find that, according to the last trade returns, we were importing about 21 1-3 per cent of our total imports from Great Britain. Under the minister's proposals there are certain exceptions made, certain lines of goods to which the increase will not apply. I find that of these excepted only 18 per cent come from Great Britain. So, the blow to Great Britain is more severe than appears at first glance. We have heard a great deal of patriotism. I am not going to accuse any one of lack of patriotism, but, surely, if such an accusation could rest against any one, it would be against the minister who, at this particular time, when the need of Great Britain is so great, when she is in such a crisis, when the dangers to her shipping are so great, when she is undertaking greater financial burdens than ever were undertaken by any nation in the world's history, places these obstacles in the way of her trade. It seems to me this is the time when Great Britain might have been shown consideration, instead of discriminations being made against her as is done. The Finance Minister makes complaint that others do not show a proper sense of the perspective of the

situation. Surely, he is the last man in Canada who can afford to administer such censure as that; surely if any one is biameable from that point, he is the man.

It is alleged that it is necessary to increase the tariff in order to give employment to working men. But what about the cry, "Back to the land," about which we hear so much? What about the statement that there are not sufficient labourers to seed, harvest and thresh the grain necessary for the very salvation of the Empire? Would it not be better to send the surplus men, if we have them, to work the land, to produce wheat, meat, eggs, butter and other things that will be of use to the Empire, rather than ask us to put our hands into our pockets and pay out $56,375,000 to the manufacturers in order that a few men may be employed and our manufactures increased by $40,000,000? According to the Government's figures, that would only give employment to about 18,000 men who, according to the Government figures, would receive only $8,250,000 in wages. We are asked to pay $56,375,000 into the pockets of the manufacturers in order that they may give $8,250,000 to the labourers. Would it not be better to pay that $8,250,000 direct and keep the rest in opr own pockets and then give these unemployed men useful employment in the production of foodstuffs beneficial to Canada and the Empire?

We hear a great deal of talk about the farmers. I am not talking about this matter from the standpoint of the farmer, but from the standpoint of the consumer. The consumer is the one to be considered but the Finance Minister considers only his protected friends. The consumers are willing to pay into the treasury everything really needed, but they are not willing to pay untold millions to the manufacturers. It would be better for the Empire, for Canada and for the unemployed that we should pay $8,000,000 direct to them and save the balance of the money, and let these men employ themselves in a way more useful to the country. It would be better for all parties except the manufacturers. But I think the manufacturers have had more than their share; I think they have done well enough; and I think they would be well advised to let well enough alone.

Topic:   THE BUDGET.

John Henry Fisher

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. J. H. FISHER (Brant):

Mr. Speaker, it is not my intention to occupy the time of the House for more than a very few minutes; but there are one or two matters I would like to refer to.

First, I desire to congratulate the Minister of Finance upon the splendid way in which he presented his Budget to this House, and also upon the general satisfaction with which it has been received throughout the country. At the present time, every one realizes that he must bear his share of the increased expenditure of the country and I am quite sure that all classes will cheerfully do so. From my own constituency I have not heard one word of protest or complaint in regard to the tariff, in fact the only complaint I have heard at all came from a Liberal paper which complained that a duty had not been placed on binder-twine.

There is one matter to which I desire to refer before going on with the consideration of this subject, and that is the remark made by the hon. member for North Oxford (Mr. Nesbitt) the other night in regard to a beautiful village in my constituency. I think I have one of the finest constituencies in the Dominion. The township of Burford is one of the finest in the Dominion, and the village of Burford, which was singled out for attack by the hon. member, is one of the finest villages to be found in Canada. The hon. member for North Oxford, the other night, in reply to a question that I put to him said that a twenty-five-thousand-dollar public building in a village like Burford would look like a palace beside the other buildings. I cannot let that go unchallenged, because Burford is one of the most progressive, up-to-date and progressive villages in Canada; and the fact that I have been able to get a twenty-five-thousand-dollar building for that village should not excite the jealousy of the hon. member for North Oxford. I made him an offer the other night that if he wishes to get a public building for the village of Drumbo or the village of Princeton, in his own constituency, 1 would give him my assistance, and I was sure the hon. member for South Oxford (Mr. Sutherland) would assist also; that in fact we had both been asked by constituents of the hon. member to give him that assistance. The hon. gentleman said, in reply, that he was not aware of it, but his constituents had shown very bad judgment.

That may be the case, but I believe that these places are entitled to public buildings, and I am sure, as I have said, that both the hon. member for South Oxford and myself will be pleased to give him any assistance in our power in obtaining them. The hon. member for North Oxford has been a friend of mine for many years. When I first knew him he was at his best, and at

that time, I believe, he was a Conservative. I am sorry to say that since then he has fallen from grace.

He also referred to the fact that there was a vote in the Estimates for an armoury at Brantford, and he wanted to know if we were never going to be done with Brantford. I want to say that an armoury in Brantford is needed, and we are proud of what Brantford and the town of Paris and the county of Brant has done in the way of sending soldiers for the defence of the Empire. Nearly 1,000 men have enlisted from the city of Brantford, Paris and the county of Brant; and if it was necessary I am sure we could send another 1,000. Thus I do not think the hon. member should have *ny fault to find because we are asking for an armoury for Brantford. It is a military centre, one of the best in Canada, and it is certainly entitled to the amount placed in the Estimates for the armoury.

But by many, if not all, the speakers on the other side of the House the suggestion has been made that at a time like this the Government should curtail the expenditures, more particularly in regard to public works and public buildings. This is not the opinion that I have heard expressed in many places on many occasions; on the contrary, I have heard the opinion expressed that the Government should prosecute vigorously all public works in order, as far as possible, to relieve the situation and give employment to those who are out of work, largely owing to the war. The cry everywhere is that more public works, municipal, provincial and Dominion, should be undertaken in order that the unemployment situation may be relieved to some extent at least. Many municipalities are endeavouring to do this, and in my opinion it is the duty of this Government to carry on all the public works for which they can find the money; and I know that that policy will be approved by the people at large and that the policy of the Opposition, as expressed in this debate, that important public works should brfe either stopped or greatly curtailed will not be considered to be in the best interests of this country. I hope that the public works which are being carried on in Canada will not only be continued but, where it can fairly be done, increased, thus giving all the employment possible.

There is another matter that does not seem to appeal to hon. gentlemen opposite, and that is the made-in-Canada movement. If I remember rightly, the hon. junior mem-

ber for Halifax (Mr. A. K. Maclean) spoke very lightly in regard to this movement. To be sure, his remarks do not appear in Hansard, but I believe that has been satisfactorily explained. I can assure him, however, that the

11 p.m. remarks of the hon. gentlemen opposite who make light of this movement do not express the opinion held throughout the country. Take the section of the province of Ontario from which I come. That is an important industrial as well as farming centre, and the people there all firmly believe in this movement. Not alone the artisans of Hamilton, Dundas, Brantford, Paris, Guelph, Berlin, Galt, Waterloo, Woodstock, Preston and other manufacturing centres, but the merchants and farmers as well realize the importance of the made-in-Canada movement. The artisan knows that increased demand for Canadian-made goods means more, work and better wages for himself, and consequently more comfort for his family; the merchant knows it means more and better business, while the farmer has learned the value of the home market and knows that it means a better market for everything he has to sell. This view is shared by Liberals and Conservatives alike.

I should like to read a few short articles on this movement taken from the Brantford Expositor, the leading Liberal organ in the section from which I come, and I would commend these extracts to the hon. gentleman who has just taken his seat. After quoting an article from the Canadian Courier, the Expositor, on the 14th October, 1914, said:

The Courier does well to impress upon Canadians the serious danger which threatens the Umpire as a whole, and the need of readiness for still greater sacrifices than any which have thus far been made. The responsibilities in this regard must not be minimized. But, on the other hand, there is no need to be downhearted. While the war brings serious responsibilities, and must involve a considerable derangement of trade, it also brings great opportunities for adopting measures which will in due time extend our commerce and greatly increase employment. A large amount of business hitherto done by European countries, and by the Mother Country as well, is open for seizure, and with properly directed effort a good deal of it must come to Canada. Then we are being taught, as never before, the advantages of trailing more largely within ourselves, and of giving preference to agricultural products and manufactured goods which are grown or made in Canada. There is, consequently, need of courage and determination at this crisis, and if these are properly displayed the time will assuredly come -when we will confess that the great

sacrifices occasioned by the war have not been made in vain.

On* the day previous to that, October 13, the Expositor published an article with the heading, " A Good Creed for Canadians

I believe in Canada.

I love her as my home.

I honour her institutions.

I rejoice in the abundance of her, resources.

1 have unbounded confidence in the ability and enterprise of her people, and I cherish exalted ideas of her destiny among the nations of the world.

Anything that is produced in Canada, from Canadian materials, by the application of Canadian (brain and labour, will always have first call with me.

On November 4, 1914, it published another article, from which the following is an extract :

To keep prosperity in Canada and the spectre of hard times out, just means that from now on the people of Canada will consider their own *business of first importance, will spend their money for the goods made in Canadian factories. It is the importance of maintaining Canadian pay-roll that puts us all on the same level.

Again on January 30, 1915:

The people are anxious to give preference m their purchases to goods that are the product of Canadian industry, but they must be maae more familiar with the nature and extent of these articles. An educational campaign backed up by frequent exhibits in every city and town in the country of made in Canada goods will do much to increase the activity of the manufacturing establishments of the Dominion.

On February 9, 1915, the Expositor contained a number of economical epigrams, of which I will read two or three:

Now that the real 'estate soap-bubblers are out of business in this country we are again estimating the value of land by the number of smokestacks. There's more money in the made-in-Canada habit than in the subdivision habit.

God made the farm, but man makes the factory. The factories of Canada, created by Canadians are entitled to the admiration of every farmer in Canada.

Half the world does not know how the other half laves, and half the people of Canada might just as well say they don't care how the other half live so long as they deliberately keep them out of work by buying imported goods.

These are clippings from the most prominent Liberal paper in that section of the country. I am sure that after listening to these extracts, every member in this House will agree that the made-in-Canada policy has taken a strong hold on the people of Canada, and, as the importance of the question is better understood, this hold will con-524

tinue to grow. I might say that the editor of the Brantford Expositor is Mr. T. H. Preston, a gentleman who stands deservedly high in the councils of the Liberal party in Canada, a former member of the Legislature at Toronto, and, if I am correct informed, he was at one time offered the leadership of the Liberal party in that House If he had accepted it I am sure he would have filled it with credit to himself and to the Liberal party. The hon. member for South Renfrew (Mr. Graham) is a personal friend of Mr. Preston, and I am sure will endorse what I have said with regard to him.

There is another matter that I wish to refer to briefly, and that is in reference to dismissals and appointments in the Indian Department. It may be that it would be better to allow the Minister of the Interior to deal with this question, hut as I have a large Indian reserve in my constituency I naturally feel somewhat interested. The statement was made by the hon. junior member for Halifax (Mr. A. K. Maclean) that there had been 135 dismissals and 295 appointments in the Indian Department. As far as they go, these figures are correct; but the statement is not complete. From the statement made by the hon. member for Halifax it would appear that the appointments exceeded the dismissals by 160. But' what are the facts?-135 employees were dismissed, 122 resigned, 17 left the service, and 14 died; thus leaving the dismissals, resignations, etc. 288 as against 295 appointments, or a difference of only 7. This puts the matter in a very different light, and what is true of the Indian Department I am satisfied will be found to be true of many of the other departments. I was led to give these figures because I knew that as far as the reserve in the county of Brant is concerned, there had been only one resignation and only one appointment, and that appointment was made at the request of the Indians themselves. I could not understand the figures when they first came out but after getting the correct figures and the complete statement I can easily see where the mistake occurred.

1 also wish to say a word in regard to the Bill introduced by the hon. member for Ottawa West (Mr. Fripp) to permit of the exercise of the franchise by the men who have enlisted for active service. I was not present when this Bill was presented and discussed, and I therefore wish to take this opportunity of saying that while there may be some considerable difficulty in arranging the details as to liow the vote should he

taken-and I believe the committee are finding great difficulty-I sincerely trust that a satisfactory way will be found to overcome it. If there is one class of men in the Dominion who above all others should have the privilege of casting their votes whenever an election may come, it seems to me that it is those men who have left their homes and all that is dear to them, and are now fighting the battles of this great Empire, and who are prepared to die for her if necessary. In my Own county we are proud of the fact, as I have already said, that nearly one thousand of pur best young men from the city of Brantford, the town of Paris, and the county of Brant have enlisted for active service. I consider that it would be a matter for regret if these men, many of whom have taken a prominent part in public affairs, should be deprived of the right to cast their votes. I know a great many of them personally, and as I say a great many have taken a prominent part in public affairs, and it does seem a shame that these men should be deprived of the franchise. I know they are great difficulties in the way, but similar difficulties were overcome at the time of the American war, the war between the North and South; and at the election between Lincoln and McClelland, nearly 120,000 northern soldiers in the field cast their votes. I am sure there must be some way of overcoming these difficulties, and I sincerely trust that the committee having the matter in hand will find a solution.

In conclusion-and I think, Mr. Speaker, you will agree that I have kept within my limit very well-I wish to congratulate the hon. Minister of Finance upon his splendid speech, and upon the presentation of a Budget that has, I believe, already commended itself to a large majority of the people of Canada. Let me also say that whenever the present Government may see fit to appeal to the electors I am satisfied that they will again be returned to power by an overwhelming majority.

Topic:   THE BUDGET.

Bowman Brown Law


Mr. B. B. LAW (Yarmouth):

Mr. Speaker, I have listened with a great deal of attention to the remarks made by the hon. member for Brant (Mr. Fisher), and I must congratulate him on the very moderate tone of the speech which he has delivered on this occasion. If the hon. gentleman will pardon me, there are only one or two matters in his speech that I care to refer to. The first is the matter of public buildings. The hon. gentleman seems to think that the Government should

go on putting up public buildings as in ordinary times of peace. He says that all public works should go on for which they can find the money. That is a very broad statement. I presume that the hon. gentleman means, provided the country can afford it or can borrow the money. I am probably as much in favour of public buildings as the hon. member for Brant, but I think that this is a time when the Government should cut out some of the public buildings which are provided for in the Estimates, and which will no doubt be criticised when the Estimates come up. I believe that the erection of public buildings in different parts of the 'country is a necessity, provided they are in proportion, not out of proportion, to the population; and many have been built in the last two or three years which were altogether out of proportion to the population.

The hon. gentleman has referred to the fact that the hon. member for North Oxford (Mr. Nesbitt) was a Tory some years ago. I should like to inform my hon. friend that, if this Budget passes without any amendment, there will be more Conservatives who will have their eyes opened at the next election, and who will turn to the Liberal party and give their support to it.

I should not occupy the time of the House in eontinuimg this discussion were it not that I consider this the most important matter that has been brought to the attention of the people of this country for many years. I wish to say at the outset that I am in hearty sympathy with the Government in asking this Parliament for an appropriation of $150,000,000; and I am prepared to vote any further amounts which the Government may consider necessary in order to prosecute this war to a victory which shall be lasting, which will mean the end of militarism and of Kaiserism, and which will give freedom and protection to the smaller nations of the world. In saying this I feel thait 1 am voicing the sentiments not only of every member of this House, but of Canadians as a whole.

But what I do object to is the levying of increased taxes and burdens upon a portion of the people under the guise that the money so raised is for war purposes. If we look at the present situation of the Government, and inquire what has led to the most humiliating position in which it now finds itself, only one conclusion can be arrived at. I maintain that the de-

ficit of $60,000,000, the largest in the history of our Dominion, which the Finance Minister was compelled to present in making his Budget .speech, is the result in part of gross extravagance and absolute waste by tire present Administration. The -hon. member for Peterborough (Mr. Burnham) in his speech the other day .said that this Budget was historic, and I agree with him. I sincerely trust that Canada may never be called on to witness another Budget with such a laTge deficit as this. From 1896 to 1911 times in Canada were exceedingly prosperous, due largely I maintain to wise administration and careful expenditure of the public money.

At the time the Liberal party went out of power our ordinary expenditure was about $80,774,000. But what do we find, Sir? Almost immediately upon the present Government taking the reins, Providence seemed to hide his face, and hard times to take possession, and the revenue to fall off. What, Sir, I would ask, would any sane and competent board of directors of any large business concern do under these circumstances? Would they continue to add to their staff of employees, increase wages, pay dividends out of capital, and generally increase their expenditures? I am sure, Mr. Speaker, you would say such a board should be dismissed; but, Sir, this is what the present Government have done, and they cannot deny their record. Instead of curtailing their expenditure, let us see what they have done. Their ordinary or consolidated fund expenditure for the last four years and their estimated expenditure for the coming year are as follows:


$ 98,161,000

1913" ' 112,059,000

1914 127,384,000

j915 * [ 140,000,000

1916 estimated 140,000,000

I know, Sir, that comparisons are sometimes odious, but I ask you to compare the management of the present Finance Minister with that of the Hon. W. S. Fielding, Finance Minister under the Laurier Administration, and what do we find? When in 1908 and 1909 the revenue was showing a slight falling off, the then Finance Minister commenced to trim his sails and get ready for a storm if it should come. Without crippling a single industrial or other enterprise in Canada, he was able by his sagacity and good judgment to announce in his Budget speech a substantial surplus.

I think the present Finance Minister is

also open to criticism for not cutting down his expenditures during the present fiscal year; but can there be any justification whatever for the remarkable and extravagant Estimates placed before this House at this session for 1915-1916, in face of the hardest and most trying times in the history of Canada? I say, Sir, most emphatically no. There can not be any excuse offered whatever, and only one interpretation can be put upon it, and that is that the expenditure of so large a sum under present conditions is only intended for political and party advantage.

I think a fair way to judge any Government, be it Conservative or Liberal, is to a large extent by their attitude while in Opposition, and just here it is interesting to note the manifesto issued by Mr. R. L. Borden, now the Prime Minister, in 1911.

This was the Conservative party's platform in that year:

The Liberal-Conservative party gives its pledge to carry out the following policy if returned to power.

The hon. member for Peel (Mr. Blain), in speaking this afternoon, considered that a pledge given by a party or a Government was as sacred as any pledge that could be given in the world and I agree with Kim. Here is what the Conservative party pledged itself to carry out .if returned to power:

A thorough reorganization of the method by which the public expenditure is supervised. The increase in what is known as ordinary controllable expenditure from $21,500,000 in 1896 to nearly $74,000,000 in 1911 is proof of extravagance beyond any possible defence.

It is interesting to note that instead of the expenditure being $74,000,000 it has practically been doubled under the regime of hon. gentlemen opposite. On April 26, the present Prime Minister, then Mr. R. L. Borden, moved the following resolution:

That the public assets have been depleted and the public expenditure has been largely and unnecessarily increased by reason of the unsystematic improvident and extravagant methods of the present Administration.

Topic:   THE BUDGET.

An hon. MEMBER:

In what year?

Topic:   THE BUDGET.

Bowman Brown Law


Mr. LAW:

1907. You will find the quotation in volume 4 of Hansard of that year, page 7856. If these words were transposed to apply to the present Government, I would agree with the right hon. the Prime Minister in every word and sentence which he expressed. I would ask if these hon. gentlemen have carried out their pre-election pledges? I leave it for the people of Canada to judge them by their work. They

seem to have taken as their model one of their members who, when they had come into power and at the full flush of victory, said: "Dash away and spend the money no matter where it comes from." Let me read some remarks made by ihe hon. the Minister of Trade and Commerce (Sir Geo. Foster) in a speech delivered by him on March 17, 1908, which shows that he cannot be in sympathy with the course adopted by the Minister of Finance and the other members of the Government. I quote from page 5165, volume 3 of Hansard, 1907-8. He says:

In 1890 when the first stress of hard times csime the aim of the Government was to lighten the load of taxation upon the people and in that year taxation was taken off the common necessaries of life to the amount of $521,755. In 1891, pursuing the same course the Government struck the duty entirely off all raw sugar, and reduced the duty on refined sugar, and in the years from 1891 to 1895 the relief given to the tax payers in that respect alone was $19,851,995, counting the decreased duties upon a nearly equal consumption.

You will notice that that is entirely different from wdiat they are doing at the present time. He goes on to say:

But, Sir, there was another way in which the Government aided in that time of trouble. It economized in expenditures. I think a Government should always set an example to the country. I think a government ought to act very largely as a business man or as an individual having a business and a home would act, and economize in the matter of expenditures when depression is on.

That is entirely in contrast with what the present Minister of Finance is doing. Instead of economizing, the expenditures are increasing by leaps and bounds and in order to put the people of the country in a position to meet these increased expenditures they are putting on customs taxation and also what they call war taxes. Then the hon. Minister of Trade and Commerce, goes on:

In 1890 we spent $11,770,332.

In 1891 we spent $40,793,208.

In the five years succeeding we spent on an average in round figures $42,000,000 a year. So that by this economy in expenditure we thereby saved to the country money wrhicli we would have had to have borrowed and the burden of carrying which would have laid upon the people. As showing the reduction in this respect, in 1891 $41,702,383 -was expended as against $43,518,198 .in 18S9. In these two ways the country was helped to go through the period of stress and by that help it came out all the better.

I am sure that if the right hon. gentleman who leads the Government had placed the hon. Minister of Trade and Commerce in the position occupied by the hon. Minister of Finance the country would not find itself in the position that it is in to-day. He be-

[ Mr. Law.]

lieved, as many in this House and out of it believe, that when times are hard it is not wise to increase the expenditure but rather to economize and thus relieve the burdens of the people. I am sure that when I give the next authority that I am going to refer to on the condition of affairs, namely, that of Sir Thomas Shaughnessy, the expression of opinion will be taken *s coming from a man who probably understands the conditions in Canada as well as, if not better than, any one else. Sir Thomas Shaughnessy says:

" The individual, the community, the nation, fully understand," says Sir Thomas Shaughnessy, " that in war times sacrifices have to be made. These they are willing to undertake, as they are necessary for the integrity of the Empire. At the same time they will accept the extra burdens with the better grace if they are well convinced that proper caution and economy are exercised in the disbursement of the extra taxes and the administration of affairs." Our cursory examination of the Estimates does not make it evident that the same drastic cut has been made in the cost of administering our public offices as have, been made by the Canadian Pacific Railway or any other well conducted business establishment in the Dominion.

The Financial Post of February 20 says.:

We are in full accord with Sir Thomas Shaughnessy when he says that the country cheerfully assumes its special Imperial burdens at this time but the task would be less onerous if accompanied by a public conviction that the administration of public affairs was being adjusted to a war basis as done in industry and commerce generally.

The plain fact seems to be that the Government have decided to continue all public works already started and to maintain current expenditure on a normal basis. No railway, business or any undertaking of a private character is at present on a normal basis. All have had to economize; the Administration should not hesitate to act as the people it represents have had to do. Every department practically asks for more money than it did a year ago, although the taxpayer who furnishes it has extraordinary private difficulties to face, as well as the provision of the sinews of war.

These authorities, I am sure, will not be questioned.

Now, Sir, I wish to say this, if I thought for one moment the increased tariff was for war purposes, and would be kept on only during the present war and its consequences it would receive my hearty approval, with some exceptions and prominent among them the lessening of the British preference. But to my mind it is a tariff for the manufacturers to increase the cost of every article of clothing and food worn and used by the already over-taxed and burdened labouring and poor man as well as the farmers and fishermen, even down to the fertilizers, which is a necessity for every farmer to use in the lower provinces at all events,

and the coal oil, lard, beef, pork, beans and many other articles, which I do not wish to take up the time of the House in enumerating, and which our hardy fishermen use, even to cork which is used only and entirely by them. I maintain, Sir, that our fishermen who are habitually risking their lives in the prosecution of their daily duties should not be further burdened with increased taxation, while the rich and affluent who wear silks and satins are not paying any increased duty on these articles. I say, Sir, this is discrimination with a vengeance, but like all protective tariffs it always bears harder on the poor man than on the rich.

1 was somewhat amused to hear the hon. member for Peel (Mr. Blain) telling the people of this country that the manufacturers of Canada would not increase prices [DOT]on their goods, and I shall be glad if such is the case, but I must be allowed to say that I doubt the statement because in many cases the manufacturers do not require much of an excuse to do so. I think this is a time when they will take advantage of their opportunity.

Let me deal for a moment with the reduction of five per cent in the British preference. To my mind this is a part of the tariff that should not have been touched, but if touched at all, it should be to increase it rather than to decrease it. May I ask are [DOT] these gentlemen who propose this reduction, the same and belonging to the same party, who in 1911 went up and down this country waving the flag and advertising their loyalty from house tops! Can it be possible it is they who intend to borrow from England millions of dollars; in fact every dollar which our participation in this war will cost and thus show their gratitude to the Motherland in this her hour of deepest affliction, when she is sacrificing her best blood; yea her life almost to preserve justice and liberty and to defeat and overthrow forever despotic militarism. I have only to answer that in my humble opinion this is the basest ingratitude. This is not the time to lower the British preference, but rather it is the time to increase it. I believe it would have received the cordial support of the people of this country had the Government decided on that policy. Let me read for a moment an article taken from the Winnipeg Tribune which puts the case in a nutshell. The Tribune is, I am told, an independent paper, and in its issue of February 6, 1915, it very nicely heads this article, " A Trick on the People ", The Tribune says:

"Canadian" writes to the Tribune to the effect that he supports a family of five, on a moderate salary, and contributes regularly from his wages " the sum of $5 per month to the Patriotic Fund-$60 per year, which I give _ cheerfully-and I am ready to give more, if called upon. But," he adds, " my blood fairly boils at the intrigue and the trickery of our politicians. The imposition of a tax of 425 per cent on the clothing of our soldiers' children, and 37J per cent, on the shoes to protect their feet, arouses the deepest anger and resentment within the breast of any full-blooded man born with the instincts of British liberty in his make-up. The tax is a disgrace and a humiliation to Canada. It is not a revenue or a war tax as you have well said in your journal. Surely our manufacturers of clothing and blankets are not cripples that they require a tax of 425 per cent as a bonus ; because, as we all know, prices are governed by the tariff. Competition at home is a mytji if the Government only stands in and shuts its eyes to the combinations that are formed right and left to bleed us. as our notorious un-British tariff permits."

" Canadian's " feelings are those of ninety-five out of every hundred men in -western Canada. Premier Borden and the Hon. Mr. White, have evidently played sharp with the people in raising the tariff on clothing, woollens, and articles previously taxed beyond the highest revenue producing point. It is plainly a protective move, because it is taking, by legislation or by force, money out of the pockets of the vast majority of our citizens and placing it ir. the pockets of a few. To think that under the guise of " war taxes '' such a trick should have been played on the people is enough to arouse the justifiable indignation manifested in the letter of " Canadian.'' ^

It will be found that there are a good many people in this country who endorse the views expressed by this writer.

As to the duty on cotton-seed meal, which is not made in Canada, I find that the new tariff will increase the cost to the farmers from $2.40 to $3 per ton. This article is used very extensively in the maritime provinces, and probably in the upper provinces as well. It has to be imported from the United States and the 7i per cent increase will largely increase the cost of this product, which the farmers cannot do without.

I maintain that the increased cost of fertilizers and feed, which are fundamental to the success of our farmers, may lead to their not using the quantity they might and ought to otherwise use. Just a word as to the tax on fertilizers and feeds used by the farmers. If my information is correct, Great Britain has no duty on plant food. Australia goes so far as to give financial aid to farmers to purchase fertilizers, and even the United States, a highly protective country, does not charge any duty on fertilizers used by farmers. The Farmers' Advocate of London, Ontario, puts the case very well when it says:

Topic:   THE BUDGET.

Hadley Brown Tremain

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. H. B. TEEMAIN (Hants):

Mr. Speaker, the question which is now before us has occupied the attention of the House for some time; yet I ask your indulgence and that of the House while I offer, in support of the Budget, a few observations which appear to me to be pertinent. I have listened attentively to the criticisms made by hon. gentlemen opposite to the financial statement presented by my hon. friend, the Minister of Finance; and while they are varied and lengthy, they do not appear particularly helpful, since no serious alternative solution of the problem has been advanced from the Opposition benches, for the purpose of making up the deficit created largely through war conditions. It is undoubtedly true that, before war was declared, Canada with all other world communities, was suffering the consequent reaction caused by a period covering some ten or fifteen years of speculation, extravagance and over-development in many lines, brought about largely through unreasoning optimism and the more or less greed of the individual which lures one on to reap a speculative gain where one has not sown the productive crop of earnest, sustained work and endeavour.

We all hear it frequently advanced in a more or less jocular vein, always with an apparent undercurrent of earnestness, that during the administration of the right hon. leader of the Opposition, Providence smiled on his administration and provided large crops and good times for a country apparently governed in accordance with the beneficent plan of the Deity. If this is so, it might logically be expected that the Opposition should also assume responsibility for any unfortunate factors resulting from the policy pursued by them while in power, especially as the seed of speculation sown during that period was nurtured and developed by a lavish capital expenditure in this country on transportation facilities furnished, in my opinion, for years in advance of the present needs of even a country of Canada's potential possibilities, thus materially assisting through these vast expenditures to create in this country an era of extravagance and speculation, the effects of which confront us to-day, making the acute con-

ditions that we are facing through the war and the consequent interruption of trade even more acute. As I have said, it might logically be expected, since the Opposition eagerly point out and take credit for the favourable factors of the situation just outlined, that they should also assume the responsibilities for the consequences of the policy pursued by the late Liberal Administration.

If this point is well taken, as I believe it to be, no doubt the hon. gentlemen opposite might pertinently ask why the expenditure on capital and revenue account shows an increase rather than a decrease since the present Administration took office; but when it is remembered that heavy capital expenditures made by the present Administration were largely placed on their shoulders by the late Liberal Administ 'ation, whose committments in connection with the National Transcontinental railway and whose policy with reference to guarantees and bonuses to the Canadian Northern railway, made it imperative that the national credit of Canada be maintained in the money markets of the world, and in accordance with this necessity that these enterprises be carried through to a successful termination. With these facts in view, the criticism of increased expenditure by the present Government on capital account is more or less of a boomerang, if made for the purpose of showing, in comparison, the economy and superior business methods of the late Administration.

My hon. friend the junior member for Halifax (Mr. A. K. Maclean) in the role of financial critic of the Opposition, made a speech in his customary good taste; and considering the exigencies of the times and the necessity of providing campaign material to the followers of his party in the country, he carried out with skill and address the task of making the best of the situation in an effort to impress on the electors that the large deficit faced by this country was not created through war conditions, but was resultant from the reckless expenditures of the present Government.

When quoting figures to justify this contention, he, of course, carefully, as becomes an experienced parliamentarian, avoided any reference to the large committments inherited from a Government of which he was a strong and consistent supporter. He points out the necessity of economizing in expenditure-we all agree that this is necessary- but does he particularize as to what public works should be discontinued? I think not. In any event, he does not furnish a comprehensive list of such. He no doubt fully realizes the safety of the policy of dealing in generalities in this respect as opposed to that of particularizing those unnecessary works at present, in his judgment, being carried on in opposition to the dictates of prudence and economy.

He dwells on the amount of money expended on the Civil Service, but does not apparently favour an arbitrary reduction of say ten per cent in salaries. He believes the number of Government employees excessive; but does he advocate dismissals of a large number from the service? It seems to me that in the remarks of my hon. friend the junior member for Halifax, he furnishes us with a shining example of destructive criticism, effective, no doubt, from the standpoint of an Opposition member, who is not obliged to lay down a constructive policy to replace that which he endeavours to discredit, a policy necessitated by the present situation, brought about largely through conditions arising from the war now raging in Europe.

I might also point out that the hon. member for Assiniboia (Mr. Turriff) in ail interesting speech dwells on the fact, and complains somewhat bitterly of it, that in laying down a policy to increase the revenue of the country, the manufacturers are benefited through increased protection. I believe in the principal of protection for a country in Canada's present stage of development, situated as we are adjacent to a great manufacturing country like the United States, whose industries are highly developed and efficient in the production of their output; but at the same time I am not an unreasoning protectionist, and would not personally advocate, save for revenue purposes or to assist in the solution of the grave and acute problem of the unemployed, any further general revision of the tariff upward at present.

But it seems to me somewhat unreasonable to oppose a policy which seeks to increase the revenue necessary to provide fixed charges in the way of interest on our war loan, and also to provide for the carrying on of necessary public works, merely on the ground that at the same time, through some additional protection, it will enable many industries running on half time, or closed down temporarily, to operate profitably, thus re-employing labour, and in this way alleviating the problem of the

unemployed, which problem is causing the greatest anxiety 'to thoughtful students of conditions in industrial centres. Even in the maritime province, which have not been as seriously affected as other parts of the country, only large orders for war supplies, and munitions, prevented the situation at many points from becoming indeed serious. The horn, member from Assiniboia complains that the burden of taxation rests on the farmer. Does it not rest to as great an extent on the salaried classes-on the inhabitants of cities and small towns?- and on all classes alike? Apart from a policy nearly approaching confiscation, how can the moneyed classes be made to bear anything save a similar percentage of taxation on their purchases, to that borne by the farmer, or the working classes, when such revenue is raised through excise or by an indirect tariff tax? The only way to make men of large means contribute in a greater volume to the revenues of the country seems to us to be through the levying of a direct tax on large incomes, say over $20,000 or $25,000 per annum. I am personally not averse to any such methods, but if the. burden of taxation is inequitable and does not rest as heavily on the wealthy as my hon. friend from Assiniboia thinks it should, I might point out that the party which he supports, and which, in my opinion somewhat hypocritically, poses as the special friend of the working classes, appears to have made little if any effective effort to solve the problem during the period from 1896 to 1911, while they had the power to do so.

The Liberals were returned on a policy opposed to protection, but the percentage in general decrease of the tariff during their term of office was trifling when considered in the aggregate, as my friends opposite well know.

The difference in the theory of government held by individual members opposite and their putting into practice of these economic theories, dear to the hearts of many of our Opposition friends, is indeed startling, and impresses the thoughtful throughout the country with the fact that the Liberal party out of office were prodigal in promise and in power furnished the country with a striking example of being bankrupt in fulfilment of the promises so prodigally made.

My hon. friend from Assiniboia knows that this Government is rightfully assisting in every way the farmers in the West, by

providing a large sum for the purchase of seed grain, a policy in which we all concur. No one appreciates more than I do the economic importance of the farmer, or is more ready to concede that the basic economic prosperity of Canada rests primarily on the development of natural resources, the greatest of which, in this country, is agriculture. But surely, my hon. friend does not contend at the present time, that the farmer wishes to avoid his proportion of the increased taxation which the existing grave situation necessitates levying on this country. I think the farmer of this country is not surpassed by any class in devotion to the democratic principles for which this great Empire of ours is engaged in a life and death struggle, and that he does not ask that he be relieved of his share of the burden which it is our duty to shoulder, so that we in this country may render effective aid to the Empire of which we form no unimportant part.

It appears to me unfortunate that many politicians, in an effort to make capital for their party, frequently engage in an attempt to place manufacturer against farmer, when both are so necessary to the development of an evenly balanced and prosperous nation. The growth of industrial centers means the prosperity of the farmers adjacent to those centers who are engaged in mixed farming, and I hope and believe that the continued growth and development of large manufacturing centers in the West may eventually lead to that large measure of co-operation existing between the majority of farmers in Ontario, Quebec, and the maritime province and the industrial classes in the manufacturing centers.

It is unfortunate that at times in this great country of ours, apparently, designing demagogues for political advantage attempt to place class against class and creed against creed, and thus create jealousies and mutual recrimination that sometimes threatens to bring about sectional divisions of thought on geographical lines. This appears to me not only reprehensible but dangerous. And it is the sincere hope of many people of independent thought in this Dominion of ours, that as years go on. the force of public opinion will prevent this policy being carried out to as great an extent in the future as it has been carried out in the past. Mr. Speaker, I would like to place myself on record as being opposed to the breaking of the party truce. Mutual recrimination on both sides seems to be largely responsible for this. I do not think that the majority

of unbiased Canadians wish to see this country, during the war, engaged in undignified strife and the consequent turmoil of a political campaign. This surely would not be a very creditable procedure on the part of Canada and Canadians until absolutely necessary through lapse of time. Even then, in my opinion, Canada might well see what course is pursued in Britain with reference to an election, before embarking in the bitterness of party strife engendered by the widely divergent views held by the two great parties on the N'aval policy alone.

It seems to me that some of my hon. friends have been unfair to Hie hon. the Minister of Militia, even after making the broadest allowance for party feeling. I have no doubt some mistakes may have been made in the Militia Department; the man who does nothing' never makes a mistake, but I think that the prompt despatch of 30,000 Canadian troops now gallantly engaged in battling for those principles dear to us, a fitting tribute to the energy and driving power of the Minister of Militia, on whose shoulders has rested a burden far too heavy for the shoulders of many of his uncharitable critics.

In conclusion, I would appeal for a greater measure of co-operation between the two great parties during the grave crisis through which our Empire is passing. When the victory of democratic communities is achieved, over the forces of autocratic despotism, represented by Kaiserism, then and not till then, let our political warfare again be waged, and when the efforts of our Empire and her Allies have resulted in victory, crowning the forces of righteousness, it should be time enough to re-engage in party recrimination and strife in this country.

At the next election the supposed misdeeds of an Administration faced by a gigantic task such as no Government in the history of Canada has coped with in the past, or will likely be called upon to face in the future, can then be brought to the attention of the electorate for a favourable or unfavourable verdict,-until then the interests of (the country should be placed above politics, and would seem to me to demand a temporary cessation from petty political bickering and strife.

On motion of Mr. Douglas (for Sir Wilfrid Laurier), the debate was adjourned.

Topic:   THE BUDGET.


On motion of Hon. J, D. Reid for the adjournment of the House: Hon. GEO. P. GRAHAM: Mr. Speaker, I think it but fitting that reference should be made to the passing of one of our colleagues in this House; I refer to the Hon. Mr. Richards, of Prince county, P.E.I., who passed to the great majority in this city some two hours ago. Mr. Richards was a man who had a great many friends in this House. He came here with a ripe experience of public life, a man horn, I think, but certainly educated as a boy in Prince Edward Island; he grew up to be honoured and respected by his fellows and was elected to the legislature there, occupying continuously a seat in the Legislature of Prince Edward Island as the representative from Prince county for some thirty years. He was promoted to be a member of the Government of his province, and, after serving his province well in that capacity, he was elected in 1908 to a seat in this House. He was not a man who was aggressive; it was a little difficult, perhaps to become acquainted with him; but those who know him best esteem him most. He came to us with a ripe experience, and he has gone from us full of years, having given a full life to the service of his province and of the Dominion of Canada. He brought to us, as I have Said, diffidence; but he had an unobtrusive ability which was esteemed and recognized by all who knew him. I am sure the House will be unanimous in expressing regret at the loss of so valuable a member and in expressing sympathy with his family.


John Dowsley Reid (Minister of Customs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. J. D. REID:

I had not heard of

the death of our esteemed friend Mr. Richards, and we on this side of the House join in expressing our sympathy with the family and friends of the deceased member. I certainly am expressing the feelings of every member on this side of the House in endorsing all that my hon. friend has said. Mr. Richards was a faithful member Of the House of Commons, always very attentive, and he was respected by every member. I have had the pleasure of sitting in the House with the late Mr. Richards ever since he became a member. I came to know him very well, and found him to be a very genial, kind-hearted man. We join with the hon. member for South Renfrew in expressing our deep sympathy with the family of the late Mr. Richards in their bereavement.


Motion agreed to, and the House adjourned at 12 o'clock midnight.

Speaker: Hon. Thomas Simpson Sproule. Wednesday, March 10, 1915.

March 9, 1915