January 31, 1916

REPORT.


Report of Experimental Farm for the year ended March 31, 1915.-Hon. Martin Burrell. - PRIVILEGE-MR. TURRIFF.


LIB

John Gillanders Turriff

Liberal

Mr. J. G. TURRIFF:

Mr. Speaker, I rise to a question of privilege. In the Peterborough Review of a late date I see the following:

Bound to Have an Election.

The tilt between the federal member for West Peterborough and Mr. Carvell, the somewhat famous member of the Liberal Opposition for Carleton, N.B., and Mr. Turriff, the Liberal M.P. and free wheat champion from Assiniboia, was very illuminating. Could anything be plainer? We leave our readers to guess who are trying to run this country into the horrors of a general election in war-time. Hansard says:

Mr. Burnham: Will the hon. gentleman permit me to ask him a question?

Mr. Carvell: Certainly.

Mr. Burnham: Does the hon. gentleman intend to move a vote of censure upon the Government for the conduct of the war, so far? If not, of what avail is all this abuse now?

Mr. Carvell: I do not wish to be discourteous to my hon. friend-

Mr. Marcil: Do not hurt his feelings.

Mr. Carvell

but I may say I am not the leader of the party, and do not move votes of censure unless I am instructed to do so. I have the greatest confidence, however, that the people of Canada, when they get the opportunity, will carry into effect a vote of censure much more effectual than anything we an say in this House.

Mr. Schaffner: They do not want it.

Mr. Burnham: This is for a general election, then?

Mr. Turriff: That is what we wanted last year.

I am not attributing any blame whatever to the paper. The mistake has occurred through the Hansard reporter not catching exactly the right woid; the word "we" was substituted for .the word "you," which changes the whole meaning of the sentence. What I said was:

That is what you wanted last year.

Instead of "you," they put in "we."

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CON

Auguste-Charles-Philippe-Robert Landry (Speaker of the Senate)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPEAKER:

I ,may say to the hon. member that a correction will be made in Hansard according to his wishes.

THE GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH. ADDRESS IN REPLY. Consideration of the motion of Mr. Alfred Thompson for an address to His Royal

Highness the Governor General in reply to his speech at the opening of the session, resumed from Friday, January 28.

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LIB

John Howard Sinclair

Liberal

Mr. J. H. SINCLAIR (Guysborough, N.S.):

Mr. Speaker, before beginning the few remarks which I purpose making on the motion before the House, I wish to refer for a moment to the speech made by the hon. member for Shelburne and Queen's (Mr. McCurdy), who, I regret, is not in his seat. The speech was made on last Friday night, and it has the appearance of being *a deliberate attack upon my hon. friend fiom North Cape Breton and Victoria (Mr. McKenzie). I suspect, Sir, that the brains of more than one Nova Scotia member were commandeered in the preparing of that speech. It was written out so that the statements made were deliberate and made in cool blood. The incident arose out of remarks by my hon. friend from North Cape Breton on pointing out the importance of the appointment of men bearing good characters to command the volunteers from the province of Nova Scotia, and incidentally my hon. friend referred to the part that Major Muirhead took in a celebrated election in the county of Victoria. The hon. gentleman began by indulging in a lecture to hon. members on this side of the House on political decorum. He deprecated the mixing up of politics with the discussion of military affairs, iamd then he launched out into ia violent partisan speech. He was not speaking ten 'minutes until he consigned my hon. friend from North Gape Breton to political oblivion. Then he took the Premier of Nova Scotia, Hon. Geo. H. Murray, and threw him to the wolves. I do not often undertake to give advice to my colleagues in this House, but if I were permitted to give a word of advice to my hon. friend from Shelburne and Queen's, it would be that he would take the rafters out of his own eyes and then he would be able to see more clearly when he attempts to extract motes from the eyes of hon. members on this side of the House.

The incident arose, as I have said, out of the election in Victoria, N.S. I do not intend to discuss the Victoria election or the character of Major Muirhead, Major Muirhead may be, a good soldier; my hon. friend says he has already seen active service at the front. That is greatly to his credit and, for my part, I would forgive him a good deal on that account. It may be that Major Muirhead was unfortunate in getting into bad company. If he is the kind

of man that the hon. member for Shelburne and Queens say he is, and I do not dispute it, the best thing he can do is to change hie friendis, because if he continues to associate with the gang that took part in the Victoria election 'and tries to behave himself like a decent citizen at the same time, he will be lonesome. The reason I mention this matter at all is that I wish id take this opportunity of expressing my regrets thiam the hon. member for Shelburne and Queens should have found it necessary to have said that my hon. friend from North Cape Breton had deliberately stated what was not true in this House. I do not hold any brief for my hon. friend from North Cape Breton; he is well able to take care of himself, and I have no doubt will do so when the opportunity arises. He may unintentionally make a mistake in a name or a date, but when the hon. member for Shelburne and Queens stated to the House that he deliberately made a false statement to this House, I want to say to him that that accusation will not be believed in any place where my hon. friend from North Cape Breton is known.

I have known my hon. friend from North Cape Breton for twenty years, and I hold him in the highest respect as am honourable and truthful man. I am sure my opinion of him is shared by the hon. gentlemen who sit around me in this House, and I think I may say by a good many honourable gentlemen opposite. The best that I cam wish my hon. friend from Shelburne and Queens is that after he has been twenty years in public life he will have as clean and honourable a record, and will stand as high with the people of Nova Scotia as does my hon. friend from North Cape Breton.

Mr. Speaker, in listening to this debate, as I have done for the last ten days, one cannot fail to observe that there is one question, and one question only before the House and the country. Other matters may and will be mentioned, but the war overshadows them all. It is the duty of this House at all times, Sir, to give the closest attention to what may be called onr domestic affairs, as a nation, and especially does this duty devolve upon His Majesty's loyal opposition. When we remember that a defeat of the Empire in the present crisis would leave us without any domestic affairs to attend to, it follows that our first duty must be the vigorous prosecution of the war. Did it ever occur to

you, Mr. Speaker, that this may be the last [DOT] session of the Canadian Parliament.

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CON
LIB

John Howard Sinclair

Liberal

Mr. SINCLAIR:

A complete and final victory for Germany in this struggle would ail-most certainly make Canada a province of the German Empire and there would he no further need for this Parliament. Your seat, Sir, and the mace on the table, would be thrown on the scrap-heap, the British flag would be tom from the main tower, and this building itself instead of being a place where the representatives of a free people meet to make laws for a free state, would probably be converted into the headquarters of a company of Prussian Dragoons with the sign of the death's head over the front entrance. And that, Sir, being a possibility, is it not our first duty, following the example of the Highland chiefs in the olden days, to send out the fiery cross to the young men of Canada, inviting them without distinction of race, or party, to rally to the call of King and country in the great crisis in which the Empire is engaged. In my judgment one of the most impressive sights the world has ever seen is the way that men have flocked to join the colours from all parts of this vast Empire-from Australia, from New Zealand, from South Africa, from India, from Newfoundland, from Canada, from wherever the flag floats. If the German Emperor ever stops to ask himself the reason for this, he must be driven to the conclusion that Britain's colonial policy of the open door, and self-government, has knit this Empire together as no military system ever could have done. Why, for example, is the Boer in South Africa, who was our sworn enemy only fifteen years ago, willing to-day to enter the lists for Great Britain against men of his own blood. The reason is plain; Mr. Speaker, loyalty is the child of freedom.

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LIB
LIB

John Howard Sinclair

Liberal

Mr. SINCLAIR:

The Boers received fair and generous treatment from Great Britain; she trusted them and accorded them the - right to govern themselves.

There are two matters on which the people of this country have every reason to congratulate themselves. The first is the united front we have been able to show to the enemy. This is largely due to the patriotism and leadership of the distinguished statesmen that, we are so fortunate as to have at the head of the Canadian Liberal

party in this crisis. With the exception of the attitude taken by a small and unimportant wing of that hyphenated party known as the Conservative-Nationalist party in the province of Quebec, I suppose there never was a question on which the people of Canada have been so unanimous as on the question of this war.

The second matter on which we have reason to congratulate ourselves is the splendid record made by our soldiers at the battle front. Many people feared that raw colonial troops, without much training and without experience, would be at a great disadvantage when facing trained German soldiers in the shock of battle; men who have had the advantage of long training in the art of war. But we have every reason to be proud of the results. The courage and heroism of our soldiers has shed new lustre on the name of Canada; and while this result has been purchased by the sacrifice of the lives of many brave men, it throws upon us who remain Here a new duty to see that those brave men stall not have died in vain. The sacrifice of life has beeim great, but the heroism that has been developed in the course of this struggle will ever be a cause of inspiration to the Canadian people. The tales of the brave deeds on the part of our soldiers, told to our boys around our hearths and camp fires, will go far to kindle love of country and devotion to the cause of liberty in the hearts of young Canadians for generations to come. There is undoubted evidence that the Canadian soldier has made a splendid record in this war; I wish we could honestly say as much for the Canadian Government.

I notice in the speech from the Throne a proposal to extend the life of Parliament for one year. That is a question which, when it is brought forward, will have the serious consideration of the members on this side of the House. In my opinion there is a pretty general feeling in my province that this House is suffering from senility, and that some new blood, especially on the Speaker's right, would be a good thing for the country. If we on this side of the House had even a moderate degree of confidence in the present Administration it would be easier for us to agree to the proposed extension, but in the face of the damaging disclosures of the past eighteen months it is asking a good deal of us on this side to pass what is in effect a vote of confidence for another year in tihe present Adminis-

.

tration. I suppose the main argument in favour of the extension is that the country is at war, and that it is not wise to swap horses when we are crossing the stream. During the present session we will be asked to vote enormous sums of money to carry on the war, and while we on this side of the House will cordially do so, we shall also insist on full particulars as to how the 1150,000,000 already voted has been spent. It may as well be understood at the outset that we shall regard it as our duty to expose graft and crookedness, - wherever found, even at the risk of seeming to break the truce which my hon. friend from East Toronto (Hon. Mr. Kemp) said never existed, so far as the Tory party is concerned. We on this side of the House have no desire to spend precious time in the apparently hopeless task of trying to induce this Government to do business on business principles. All the same, this is no time to tolerate the grafter or the patronage hunter; on the contrary, it is the very time when that kind of vermin should be stamped out relentlessly by honest men of both parties' lae soon ae they are seen 'crawling along the floor. Looking black 'over the di'Sql-as'ur-es before the Public Accounts Committee aind the Davidson inquiry, I think it is a safe statement to irnaike that this Government, at the very outbreak of the war, capitulated to Tammany methods in the purchase of war supplies, the only difference being that instead of one Boss Tweed we had scores of them operating in every province of Canada. The patronage system, which has been rampant under the present Government, is the -cause of a good deal of our trouble. No -hon. gentleman opposite will deny that. This is why we have been compelled to go to war with spavined and painted and decrepit horses, rotten boots, squinting binoculars, shovels without handles, high-priced trousers and a discredited Shell Committee. The man who -steals the church collection has always been regarded as a low type; but to my mind he is no lower than the grafter who steals the money dedicated by the people for the defence of the country.

These abuses have, all grown out of the patronage system. If the business of purchasing supplies had been open and above board and conducted by the trained officers of the Militia Department, men like Foster and Garland an-d Ellis would never have had an opportunity of carrying on their operations. The system produced the men.

Scattered over this Dominion from Cape Breton to Vancouver we have hundreds of Borden clubs, and Conservative-Nationalist Associations, whose advice is taken by the Government to the great loss of the ratepayers of this country. This is ho picture of the imagination. We have the statement on oath of Mr. H. W. Brown, the head of the purchasing staff of the Department of Militia and Defence, to the effect that the patronage list on file in his office here at Ottawa, a list furnished to him by the supporters of the party in power, contains the names of no less than

8,000 of their political friends, all insisting on giving Mr. Brown advice of a Tammany character, as to how he can combine the task of defending the Empire and fattening the Tory party at the same time. Now, if any one desires to have examples of the working of this Tammany system, they can be easily supplied. My hon. friend from Richmond (Mr. Kyte) has already placed on record the mode of appointing shell inspectors in the province of Nova Scotia. His remarks Will bear repetition. The letter which I am about to read was written by Mr. Joseph A. Gillies of Sydney. Who is this Mr. Gillies? He is the defeated Conservative candidate in the county of Richmond and has the patronage of that county. When I read the letter, Sir, you will see that there is not a word in it about the fitness of the man to be an inspector. He is not required to know anything about the manufacture of steel or of shells. The only requisite is that he is a Conservative, and that he can secure the recommendation of the Borden Club'. This is the letter:

Sydney, C.B., June 30, 1915.

Mr.

,

Sydney, N.S.

Dear Sir,-I am to-day in receipt of the enclosed letter received from Mr. Douglas in reply to mine of the 28th, written in your behalf, making application for the position of inspector of shell steel. From the enclosed you will see that Mr. Douglas has acted upon my suggestion, namely, that he should write yourself so that you might see that he was interesting himself in the matter.

I hope to see you get the position. I will see the president of the Borden Club and will urge upon him to have you strongly recommended for the appointment.

Trusting that you may get this position, and wishing to see you from time to time, I remain, . Tours very truly,

(Sgd.) J. A. Gillies.

The second letter that I purpose to read is over the signature of Mr. John C. Douglas, M.P.P., of Glace Bay. Now, Who is

27 '

this Mr. Douglas? He is a Conservative member in the Nova Scotia Legislature. He has also been nominated as one of the candidates for the Dominion Parliament from the county of Cape Breton and Richmond, and he has the patronage of that county. Mr. Douglas is well posted in political affairs; in fact, I would regard him as an expert in such matters. I suppose there is no Conservative in the province of Nova Scotia who knows as much politically of a subterranean character as "Mr. Douglas. There is no man who knows the underground ,workings of the Tory party -better than this gentleman; and when he says it is absolutely necessary to have the recommendation of the Borden Club in order to be a shell inspector at Sydney, he knows what he is speaking about. This i-s Mr. Douglas' letter:

Glace Bay, C.B., July 29, 1915. Joseph A. Gillies, Esq., Barrister, etc.,

Sydney, C.B.

Dear Mr. Gillies,-I have your favour under date of June 28th, with reference to the application of the above-noted for a position as inspection of shell steel. I have to day written

Mr.

as you suggest, and am also placing

the case before the Borden Club, through whose hands all Sydney1 recommendations must be made.

Thanking you for your interest in the matter, Yours faithfully,

(Sgd.) John C. Douglas.

If more proof of the prevalence of this system of patronage is required, I can furnish it. The letter that I now purpose reading is from the pen of another Conservative candidate, a dispenser of the patronage of the Department of Militia and Defence. The writer is a very respectable gentleman, a townsman and personal friend of my own, and I wish it to be understood that I am making no personal attack on him. I refer to Mr. Alex. McGregor, Conservative candidate for the county of Pictou. The letter explains itself. It appeared in the Glasgow Evening News of January 10, 1916. This is an extract:

I have only to say that I did no talking about this shell business, boastingly or otherwise. When the time comes for talking about shells, I can talk as much as any one and will do so if it will be necessary. It is sufficient for me to state that the trip I made to Ottawa in connection with the manufacturing of shells was instrumental in keeping the local plants working up to their capacity to the present time.

My visit to the capital was at the request of a number of shell manufacturers who considered they were not receiving fair treatment from the old Shell Committee. I have been successful in satisfying these manufacturers and enabling the workingmen in this district

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CON

Frederick Laurence Schaffner

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SCHAFFNER:

Do I understand the hon. gentleman to state that he is opposed to the finishing of the Hudson Bay Railway and the building of the terminals?

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LIB

John Howard Sinclair

Liberal

Mr. SINCLAIR:

I think I made it quite plain. I believe that route cannot be made a commercial enterprise. If we have thrown away a great deal of money in it already, and we now find it impossible to make it a success, it is better we should stop now rather, than go on piling up more millions in Hudson bay.

Reference has been made in this debate to the irresponsible way in which the public money has been handled by this Administration and especially by the Militia Department. For example, take the case of Mr. De Witt Foster. This gentleman was given a blank cheque-book. No limit was set to the amount of the cheques to be drawn, any more than to the age of the horses he was authorized to purchase. He spent about $73,000, and I do not know how many more thousands were spent later on in trying to find out what he had done with the money. There has been a disposition on the part of the Tory press and of hon. gentlemen opposite, and I fear to some extent on the part of Judge Davidson, to throw the blame of this disreputable piece of business on the farmers of King's county. As a matter of fact, the farmers had very little to do with it. The sales of spavined and aged horses were mostly made by horse-traders, and you can find horse-traders anywhere to take your money if you are foolish enough to give it to them. The Prime Minister, in a speech delivered in this House on the closing day of last session, exonerated the farmers and horse-traders too, and practically placed the blame where it belonged, on this Government. This speech was made on the 15th of April last in this Chamber. The Prime Minister said:

We are confronted with this extraordinary situation, that the Government having placed $73,000 in the hand of Mr. Poster and the veterinary surgeon, have, up to the present no accounting for the money entrusted to them.

There you have it in a nutshell. It was the Government that did it. That isfrankly admitted by the Prime Minister. Who appointed Mr. Foster to purchase the horses? The Government. Who gave him the blank cheque-book? The Government. Who selected the veterinary surgeon, Chip-man, to assist him? The Government. Who is responsible for the loss of the public money? The Government. Who is responsible for the purchase of the ante- *diluvian and spavined horses? TheGovernment-I mean the Borden Government-and no one else. There is another peculiarity about this Government. They do not seem to have confidence in their own appointments. They no sooner appoint a man to perform some public service than they issue a Boyal Commission or send a secret service man to see whether he does his work right or not. We have the authority of the Minister of Trade and Commerce that these Boyal Commissions are as thick as blackberries; the Conservative press has actually counted it for righteousness, the willingness of this Government to appoint Royal Commissions to investigate their own misdeeds and the misdeeds of the men whom they appoint to responsible positions. The case that I have just mentioned is an example. They appointed De Witt Foster to purchase horses in Nova Scotia, and afterwards they sent Sir Charles Davidson, with a full-fledged Royal Commission, to see what he did with the money. They selected James R. Fallis, Conservative M.P.P., to do the same kind of work in the county of Peel, in the province of Ontario, and they followed his appointment up by an official investigation which, I am told, resulted in damaging disclosures. They selected a number of politically appointed doctors to take charge of the military hospital at Halifax. One of them was Dr. Hayes, the Conservative organizer for the province of Nova Scotia, who had not been engaged in the practice of medicine for ten years. Subsequently they sent a secret service man to set traps for these doctors, the doctors were easily caught. Then we have a Royal Commission to lay bare the whole miserable business. The evidence goes to show that the medical staff of that hospital is incompetent, and a menace -to the lives of our soldiers. Do you suppose that if these doctors had been selected on their merits from the medical profession of Halifax, without any political interference, we should have had any such results? What have we gained by all these investigations? The

cases of graft have been frequent; scores of them have been exposed, but so far as I know, only one criminal has been punished. I submit that it would have been just as well to have left that solitary crook at large with the others.

In dealing with the matter of purchasing supplies, I may say that in the early months of the war horse buyers were sent to eastern Nova Scotia; and in the county which I have the honour to represent, as well as in the county of Antigonish, represented by the hon. gentleman who sits behind me (Mr. William Chisholm), very good horses were obtained for war purposes. The prices were fair; there was no scandal; no aged or spavined horses were offered on the market; everything was properly done. The farmers were encouraged to go into the breeding of horses; to keep their half-grown colts in the hope that they would be bought later, and to refrain from selling the horses that they had in stock. During the year 1915, while, I am told, very large numbers of horses were purchased for military purposes in Western Canada and in the United States, no opportunity was given to the farmers of eastern Nova Scotia to supply any horses to the Government. I want to ask that the persons who have this matter in charge will give the farmers of that part of the country an opportunity of supplying horses to the Militia Department. I can assure the Government that this can be done to the advantage of all parties concerned.

Reference has been made in this debate to charges against the Shell Committee. I do not intend at this stage to discuss those ' charges; I presume that the matter will come up later. The question that the people are asking-a question that has not been answered-is: Why was the old Shell Committee dismissed? If the first Shell Committee deserve all the praise that my hon. friend the Minister of Militia showered upon them the other day-and I am not saying that they do not-why were they turned out when their work was only half finished? That is a very pertinent question, and the House and country should have an answer. The hon. Minister of Militia was closing his speech the other day without giving the House any light on that important question, when the hon. member for Pictou interrupted to ask the following question:

Would the minister be good enough to say why there was a change from the old Shell Committee to the Imperial Munitions Board?

To this question the Minister of Militia replied as follows:

The early part of the work was what I might call scientific. X chose the very best men X could get who would do the work. Bertram, Carnegie, Cantley and the others were all. experts. I also picked the very best military men I could get, such as Col. Lafferty. I don't remember the names of the others, but they were men who had been accustomed for years to this highly technical work. Before the Shell Committee was dissolved there were in the factories of Montreal and Toronto, and the other big cities of the dominion, a hundred men who were just as expert as these men were at the beginning of the war. A commission was appointed to look into the question of the steel production of this country, and to look after the best interests of the steel work, for steel is the basis of this industry. I think that should be a satisfactory answer to my hon. friend.

Rut that was not satisfactory to the hon. member for Pictou, who again asked:

Why were the services of these men dispensed with, and new men who knew nothing about the business taken on to purchase shells?

To which the minister replied:

I am not aware that there has been any purchase of shells. Orders have been placed with certain firms. Before the Munitions Board was formed the arrangement was that a certain number of shells would come in automatically from month to month.

I submit that this answer given by the minister was very extraordinary, and very unsatisfactory. He tells us that be selected General Bertram and Colonel Cantley because they were experts; because they understood the business. That, of course, was a good reason for selecting these gentlemen. The minister informs us also that they made a splendid record; that they produced shells cheaper than they were produced in Great Britain ot in the United States. To -an ordinary man like myself, that would be a good reason for retaining their services. Why, I repeat, did the minister dismiss them when their work was only half finished? Look at the reason which the minister himself gives. He says that when they started this business, experts were -scarce; that he retained the services of these men until he developed a hundred experts in Montreal, Toronto and other cities who were just as good and who knew just as much about the steel industry as Bertram or Cantley. I do not believe that -a -man -in Canada will credit that statement. Are we to be told th-at these so called experts with the experience of a few months making shells could be expected to know as much about steel as Colonel Cantley, who has devoted -a whole lifetime to

the -study of the industry. Then, the minister goes on to say that when he found that there were -a -hundred other experts in the -country who were a-s good as Bertram or Cantley, he decided to dismiss the Shell Committee -and appoint -some one else in their place. The extraordinary -thing is that he did not -select any of these mushroom experts for the new munitions board. He went outside altogether and recommended as chairman of the new board a man who never -saw -a shell; who, while he might he a -thoroughly trained -bu-sine'ss man in other ways, could know no more about the highly technical -steel industry than a -cow knows about algebra. In other words, the minister tells us that when the business was small and in its early -stages, he -secured the very best men in Canada to manage it, but when the business grew to enormous proportions, involving hundreds of millions of dollars, he dismissed the experts an-d appointed inexperienced men to take their places w-hb knew n-tfthing ab-ou-t it. When the minister called the old Shell Committee to his office to inform them that their -services were no longer required, -his 6xplan-ation to them, if we are to judge from the remarks which he m-ade during the course of his -speech the other d-ay, must hav-e been -something like -this: Gentlemen, you have made -a -splendid record. You have created a new industry in Canada. You have given employment to hundreds of thousands of Canadian workmen, -and have brought -millions of money into the country. You have made scientific tests at your own expense and proved that native -Canadian -steel is as g-ood as any in the world. Your success, gentlemen, h-as been beyond my wildest dreams, -and I desire to tender you my warmest congratulations.

But there is one thing that I must draw to your attention. True you are only now in the middle of your gigantic task. When you were first appointed experts were scarce. They are now as plenty as honorary colonels. The woods are full of them. For this reason I have decided, to relieve you from all further responsibility and my plan is tc place a Toronto gentleman at the head of this industry who knows absolutely nothing about steel but who is thoroughly posted on all questions relating to the packing and selling , of pork. I trust, gentlemen, you all see the wisdom of my decision. If you do, well and good. If you do not, you can go straight to blazes, for its going to be done anyway. And that was the end of the

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interview. Mr. Speaker, the pretence that has been put forward toy the Solicitor General and by some other hon. gentlemen that this Shell Committee was an Imperial institution in anything more than name has been eomjpletely disposed of by the speeches of the hon. member for Richmond (Mr. Kyte), the hon. member for Russell (Mr. Murphy), and the very able speech of the hon. member for Carleton, N.B. (Mr. Carvell). One charge against the iShell Committee is that they handed out fat contracts to companies in which they were interested. I am well aware that the rejoinder is that provision had to be made in these contracts for the initial outlay. All these questions must be considered. The man chiefly responsible was General Bertram, the chairman. The Treatment of General Bertram by this Administration is a sample of the flabby way in which this Government deals with important matters. If Gen. Bertram and Col. Cantley were innocent of any wrong-doing and nothing has been even hinted against Col. Cantley, then the Government that appointed them should have stood by them.

My own idea is that Gen. Bertram, who says he let all contracts without consulting his colleagues, was, to a large extent, a sort of figurehead, and did what he was told to do by the party machine here at Ottawa. He nominally held for the moment a very important position. As well as being chairman of the Shell Committee, he was trustee of large Imperial funds, and in an important sense custodian of Canada's honour. If he was found guilty in any degree of a breach of trust then he should have been promptly dismissed. But what does the Government do? They depose him from the position of chairman, put another man in his place, and ask His Majesty the King to mix himself up with the unsavoury business by conferring a knighthood on General Bertram ! But they do more. They induce the Imperial Government to take him back, not as chairman, but as a private member of the new Munitions Board. I submit that by doing so they have made themselves responsible to the people of this country for all the sins of the former Shell Committee, whatever these may be.

One does not care to dwell on these matters, but it is our duty to speak plainly. It is far from creditable to this Dominion that the Shell Committee appointed by this Government to deal with a matter so vital to the safety of the Empire as the produo tion of munitions should have to be dis-

banded when their work was only half done and the business practically taken out of the hands of the Canadian Government, and a new Munitions Board appointed to take their place, not by the Canadian, hut by the Imperial Government.

In demanding the fullest details about these war expenditures, we are doing no more than our duty. We are doing no more than is expected of us by the Canadian people. We do not look for perfection from hon. gentlemen opposite, or their political friends. If we did we would be sadly disappointed.

We on this side are prepared to make allowances. There was a Judas among the twelve apostles and that was bad enough- But,- all the same, we do not expect to meet a Judas Iscariot' at every street corner with his hand out and ready to betray his country for a consideration-and every single one of the motley gang claiming allegiance to one political party. Lloyd George's representative, Mr. Thomas, did right when he called public attention to the fact that there was too much politics mixed up with our military expenditures. We, on this side, cannot fail to notice the importance that has been given to political considerations all through this struggle in connection with the production of munitions and the purchase of war supplies- It leads us to wonder if this Government even yet realize the tremendous issues at stake. Do these gentlemen really believe that the Empire is in danger and that success in this war is more important than the triumph of any party? The war itself is world-wide. From the valley of the Euphrates in the Far East to the bay of Biscay in the west-and from the Arctic Circle to the Southern boundary of Egypt, the whole of Europe and a large part of Asia and Africa is an armed camp. Every mountain pass and hamlet and every city street, echoes with the sound of the bugle and the tramp of armed men. The results are so tremendous should our Empire be defeated that it makes a man's blood hot to think that petty questions of party politics get any consideration from rthe Government. Imagine if you can the position of our army on the western front through the long and dreary months from August 1914, to August 1915, holding their ground

4 p.m. as best they could, crying out all the time for munitions and being mowed down day by day by the German artillery. What was our Government doing

through all this anxious crisis in the nation's affairs? Were they making a broad and statesmanlike effort to deal with the most important problem ever committed to them to solve? Did they consult the Manufacturers' Association as to the best plan to be followed? Did they use their own, shops at Winnipeg and Quebec, which were standing idle and which were so well equipped for the manufacture of munitions? They did nothing of the kind. They had a splendid opportunity to do a big thing for Canada and for the Empire-and they failed. They spent their time in dealing with petty requests from Borden clubs and Tory committees and in peddling out war contracts and other war jobs to their political friends. Is it any wonder that there is a demand for the exposure and punishment of these war grafters?

We have had glimpses from time to time of what was going on behind the scenes. We hoped for improvement but have been disappointed. If we make up our minds on this side that it will make for efficiency to do so, we may decide to take the lid off the pot at the present session and show the whole miserable mess. I venture to say that there will be no class of the population that will be better pleased if the war grafteT is exposed and punished than the men who are risking their lives for us on the battlefields of Europe. And it would be no small thing to win the approval of the 200,000 gallant men who have already enlisted in the country's service.

Is it any wonder that there is a demand on the part of the people of this country for an opportunity to'rid themselves of a government that has so signally failed to measure up to its opportunities.

Mr. Speaker, a general election has been hinted at in the press. We on this side are not throwing out any challenges about an election. That is a matter for the Government. If they decide to take the offensive they will find no shortage of munitions on this side of the House. Election or no election, the Liberal party are united as never before. They are full of hope and confidence, because they know that the triumph of their cause is made surer day by day. However we on this side are not asking for an election. We are demanding a vigorous prosecution of the war, honest administration, and fair and generous treatment of the men and the families of the men who are risking their lives in the country's defence.

I read somewhere recently a story of

Charles M. Schwab, the great Pittsburg steel manufacturer. He was crossing the Atlantic and met a prominent New York merchant on the deck of the ship. It was during that period of severe depression in the United States. The merchant remarked " And you, Mr. Schwab, are, I suppose, like the rest of us hoping for better things."

" No " said Schwab, " I am not hoping for better things, I've got my sleeves rolled up and I am working for them." That, Sir, is the spirit that should animate hon. members on both sides of the House in this crisis.

The only desire of members on this side of the House is to guard the public, treasury, to see that Canada plays her part with honour, and to assist in such measures as will hasten the final victory of Britain and her allies.

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LIB

William Erskine Knowles

Liberal

Mr. W. E. KNOWLES (Moosejaw):

Mr. Speaker, this is the first time I have had the opportunity of addressing you as the presiding officer of this House and I think my first words to you ought to be that we in the West still want free wheat and free agricultural implements- Lest you might, like some of your predecessors not remain long, I want to make sure that I should not forget that announcement. Having made that very important observation that we are more anxious than ever for these two desirable steps to ibe taken by the Government, I will proceed with more general remarks. The debate, so far, has been one in which there have been a great number of very excellent speeches coming from both sides of the House. I think I would be justified in applying the words " very clever " to them. With many of them I do not entirely agree, but I do not recollect ever having heard a debate in which the speeches have been, on the average, of so high an order as those that I have listened to here.

Our hon. friends opposite say that everything went smoothly until my hon. friend from St. John, N.B. (Mr. Pugsley) spoke, and they seemed to think that he was the wicked partner on this side of the House who broke up the love feast and started things along quarrelsome lines. I am afraid that hon. gentlemen opposite must owe more of that idea to their own accusing consciences than to anything else. I say that there is no exception to be justly taken to the speech of my hon. friend from St. John; I say that that speech was in good faith, and was reasonable. My opinion of the speech made by my hon. friend from St. John is that in almost every

and critical the condition of affairs must be to justify you in extending the trust he has placed in you. I notice that the Government's main organ in the West, the paper of my hon. friend the Minister of Public Works, uses rather unfortunate language in speaking about the prolongation of the term of Parliament. In its issue of January 19, 1916, after giving an account of the Address in the Senate, and quoting Senator Lougheed's words, the Winnipeg Telegram went on to say with regard to the extension:

This statement from the Conservative leader ' in the second Chamber is taken to indicate that the Opposition may accept or reject the measure as presented, and that a refusal to agree to their proposition will result in an immediate appeal to the people.

That is the utterance of the mouth-piece of the Minister of Public Works, I do not say that the Minister saw it himself. I admit that a great many people do not read the Winnipeg Telegram to-day who used to read it a year ago, but no doubt it is still the mouth-piece of the remnant of the Conservative party in Manitoba, or, to use the word of my hon. friend the Minister of Public Works, the corpse; I would not have used the word if he had not. There is no use saying unkind things about a defunct party, for we shall all be defunct some day. However, the Conservative party is gone, and the Winnipeg Telegram remains for the sole purpose, I presume, of being the mouth-piece of the Minister of Public Works, and the Winnipeg Telegram says: The Opposition may accept or reject the measure as presented. I leave it to my hon. friend from Souris (Mr. Schaffner) whether that is a good way to start off if you want unanimous action on the part of this House. This same article appeared in the Moosejaw News, and I expect in all the Western Conservative dailies, and the Conservative faithful in the West will be possessed of the fact that either we are going to take the measure as presented, without any changes, and without using our minds on it at all, or else it will be a matter of going to the country. When the Minister of Public Works puts the matter in that, shall I say, slightly offensive form, it is no use saying that we on this side of the House are throwing down the hat. This extension measure should be the subject of deliberation, and perhaps we can reach a common meeting ground.

Previous speakers have spoken of the greatness of the struggle in which we are engaged. The Minister of Agriculture (Mr.

Burrell) seems to estimate a man's loyalty by the time he spends talking about the war. Among other things, he sized up my hon. friend from Carleton (Mr. Carvell) by giving him a lecture on what an English gentleman should be, and again he measured up his speech with a tape-line or foot-rule, and said there were a certain number of inches devoted to the war, and ten times as many inches devoted to other things. According to that figuring my speech will not be an Empire-saver, for I am not going to talk about the war very much. One thing I would say, and that is that the war has helped to make Canada a nation. The boys who went over there were officered, as the Minister of Militia has said, very largely by Liberals, and I must say that in my town there was no quarrel at all about the officers. I think they were chosen irrespective of their politics, and I think I should have known had it been otherwise. There was no preference given as far as I know, and that is as it should be. I speak only for my own constituency, because I know nothing about any other. 'The fact that our boys went to fight was to .my mind a remarkable proof of what before had been a matter of more or less sentiment. When 200,000 or more of our young men take the sword in their hand and plight their troth to their king, and say farewell to all they possess and to all whom they know and love, and go forth and endanger their lives, there is no doubt about their being true citizens of the British Empire. Our soldiers who have gone to the front have acted in such a way so as to cause us to be proud of them. Since this war began, there was no hour that we were prouder of the gallant conduct of our soldiers than at Langemarck, the first place where poison-gas was used, and where our gallant soldiers, in the face of that gas and the deadly fire of the German artillery, so conducted themselves that one of the British generals declared that the Canadians had saved the day. Our young fellows lived up to the high standard of British man-' hood, and we were proud of them. I could not help thinking, as all Canada was aglow with pride and gratification on that occasion, that if we had only sent thirty-five million dollars or ever thirty-five billion dollars as our contribution in this war, it would not have taken the place of our boys going out there and fighting, not as vassals, nor as slaves, but as free men fighting for freedom. Let ns apply the same argument

to the navy. The Government is gratified at the conduct of our gallant soldiers, and my hon. friend the Minister of Customs (Mr. Reid) will no doubt be proud of the boys who have gone from Prescott. Suppose in a naval fight our contribution was represented by only $35,000,000 and that none of our young men had gone out to fight in the navy, would we not have felt a pretty poor lot. That is just what we Liberals fought against when the Borden Naval Bill came up a few years ago, and I think that this war should do much to confirm me in the belief that my view was then correct, and that our contribution to the navy, as our contribution to the army, should toe to send our men, and to do our part as a young nation to the best of our ability both in men and money.

The country to the south of us has so far not taken any part in this war. I am not here to reflect at all upon the United States, but my opinion is that the issue before the different countries engaged in this war is just as vital to the interests of our friends to the south of us as it is to us. Hon. gentlemen are aware that at the second Hague Convention, to which ex-President Roose-[DOT] velt was a signatory, it was agreed that the neutrality of the minor nations should be respected. That convention wias violated toy the Germans when they overran Belgium. It will be recalled that exPresident Roosevelt wrote "a very strong letter, which appeared in the Chicago Independent about a year or so ago, in which he said that he never would have been a signatory to the Hague Convention if he bad thought it would not have been lived up to by the United States. Whatever this war may be costing this country in men and money, it will be a source of gratification to us afterwards, if justice prevails, that we have done our share as a nation instead of merely making money out of this struggle as the United States has. Perhaps there were reasons why the United States did not enter this war; perhaps their population is so cosmopolitan that there would be a revolution if they were to do so, but it seems' very strange that we have never heard a protest from them as a nation, and that they did not even protest, at the very first, the violation of the neutrality of Belgium. When I see in the American newspapers accounts of the new millionaires thtft are being made in the United States, it makes me think that when this war is over, we in Canada, however depressed we may be financially, and however much of our men we may have lost, will be gratified to think

that we have done our little share in this war, instead of making millions out of it. Although it has been a heavy self-sacrifice, we * will ever be proud that we have not shirked our duty, and that we have done our utmost to preserve civilization and justice in the world. I recently read an article in the January number of the American Review of Reviews describing tha immense fortunes that the Americans are making. Your head, Sir, would reel and stagger if I were to give the figures. The writer goes on to say in regard to peace:

Surely the coming of peace will be foreshadowed so ~ that the manufacturers can prepare for it, and surely there will be some kind of advance notice given before the blow is struck.

I have not the article before me, but I _think you will find that my words aTe correct. This statement 'strikes me as something that the American nation cannot be very proud of, because it is a very selfish and a very material way of looking at this great struggle. The day when peace will be declared is, of course, unknown to any of us, 'and personally I feel' that it may be very far off. When one considers how long it took for Great Britain to overcome a comparatively weak and small nation like the BoerS, how long it took the powerful North to overcome the South, and how long even the Crimean war lasted, it makes one very doubtful, with all the preparedness of Germany, and with Poland 'and the Balkans, and with part . of France, and part of Belgium, in her possession, that we are going to beat the Germans in a very short time. We ore asked to extend the life of Parliament for one year, but I shall be pleasantly surprised af at the end of that period we are not in the same position as we are now, of not knowing when peace will be declared. We can only go on and fight the fight as long as we can.

I presume we shall have a report from the Government that it is making every preparation possible for the returned soldiers, to fit them to enter some kind of occupation, and that every necessary step will be taken with regard to supplying artificial limbs and instructing the cripples, the deaf, and the blind. The salvage of humanity is, at best, a sorry job. It is a terrible thing that humanity has to be wrecked at all, but out first duty-and we shall never be forgiven if we omit it-is to do what we can- to save the wreckage that comes back from the battlefields of Flanders and France.

The Minister of Marine (Mr. Hazen), and

also the Solicitor General (Mr. Meigheo); who is a sort of omniscient man, a very omnibus of knowledge, have dealt with the question of transportation, and we were pretty nearly as wise when they were through as when they started. . They both told us they had secured transportation for the wheat of the West. If the transports were let loose in such a way that they were to charge 43 cents per bushel for taking the wheat across the ocean, it is a pity that my horn, friends went into the business of engaging transports. They released 23 transports, and the result is that the freight on wheat .is forty to forty-two cents per bushel, whereas the normal rate is four or five cents. It would have been better if my hon. friend the .minister of Marine had commandeered the transports, and given the owners a fair remuneration for the use of the boats, and not made them rich by permitting them to charge rates 800 per cent over what they .should be. The wheat problem out West-.it seems that annually we have a .sorry tale to tell- -is a serious one. I do not suppose that any one will question it, when I say that we are greatly up against it for transportation. Our elevators are full at Fort William and on the prairies, and there are many people on the prairies who are in great need of opportunity to transport their wheat so that they can get money to pay their debts. I wish the Solicitor General (Mr. Meighen) could do something for them. He commandeered wheat-though I will not deal with that now, but intend to come to it later-and I wish he could do something for those farmers who have not been so fortunate as to get their wheat out. I wish he would buy their wheat for which

they are not able to get transportation. In the western part of my own constituency, in the country of Webb, Maple Creek and Gold Lake, there are millions of bushels of wheat lying on the ground that cannot get transportation. Further west, in Alberta, it is even worse.

Of course, we have the Government elevators. Now, I am not going to try to give the Government elevators a black eye. If I did, I am sure that my hon. friend from Souris (Mr. Schaffner) would think that I am against the farmers. I noticed that he was careful to ask my hon. friend from Guysborough. (Mr Sinclair) if he was against the completion of the Hudson Bay railway. No doubt he will mark and send out many copies of Hansard containing the hon. gentleman's reply. I am not a political faker, so I will get along. I am going to give you a few figures to show what a disappointment the Government elevators have been. I think the Government should try to devise some way to get the elevators more used.

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CON

John Dowsley Reid (Minister of Customs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. REID:

Up to what date do the hon. gentleman's figures cover?

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CON

John Dowsley Reid (Minister of Customs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. REID:

The hon. gentleman has not the figures down to the present time?

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LIB

William Erskine Knowles

Liberal

Mr. KNOWLES:

No, but I shall be glad to have them if they are available. But January 12 was months after harvest, and I should think it would be a reasonably fair date to take. When I prepared this speech, I got the latest figures that the Trade and Commerce Department could furnish me. They are as follows:

Capacity of Saskatoon, Moosejaw, and Calgary Elevators with Quantity of Grain in Store,

January 12, 1915.

* - Capacity. Wheat. Oats. Barley. Flax.Saskatoon

Moosejaw

Calgary

Total in store... Bush. 3.500.000 3.500.000 2.500.000 Bush. 1,249,057 187,232 29,072 Bush. 86,802 51,337 70,657 Bush. 5,935 8,246 2,991 Bush. 23,709 4,4621,460,361 211,796 17,172 , 28,171

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John Dowsley Reid (Minister of Customs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. REID:

Has the hon. gentleman received the figures down to the present time? The reason I ask is that I understood from the Minister of Trade and Commerce (Sir

George Foster) on Friday last, when I asked him a question on the subject, that the elevators were filling up very fast. I take it for granted that the elevators at Fort

William and Port Arthur being almost empty at the end of navigation, they would till up first.

.Mr. KNOWLES: I am not giving these

figures at all in a contentious spirit. One party is-, as much responsible as the other for these Government elevators, .for both parties supported them. But the responsibility is on the Government to use these elevators and not to allow them to remain idle. The Government could secure favourable freight rates, or -offer some other attractions-advertise the elevators if necessary.

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CON

John Dowsley Reid (Minister of Customs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. REID:

I will get the figures down

to Saturday last and send them to the hon. member that he may see whether they confirm what I have said. If they do, I am sure he will be glad to know it. *

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LIB

William Erskine Knowles

Liberal

Mr. KNOWLES:

I thank the hon. Minister of Customs (Mr. Reid) and shall be glad to have his statement confirmed. The obligation is on all of us to do what we can to prevent the great expenditure that the country has made in building these internal storage elevators being a loss. The farmer is like anybody else, if he gets a car to load he controls that car, and is not apt to be concerned whether it will make a short haul and come back to be used by somebody else, but he shoots it right down to Port William even though that trip takes longer. I think the trouble is that there are no buyers in the internal elevators. If a man could put his grain in the Government elevators and release a car so that it would be available for another farmer in a few days, that would be a good thing. I do not intend to dogmatize as to the way this is to be accomplished. Perhaps, as I have said, it would be better to advertise the elevators, and so make them better known among the people. Advertise them, let us say in the Grain Growers' Guide, or in the Winnipeg Telegram, for that matter. Some people may read it even yet, and so it might be made the means of making known to the people the advantages of using the Government elevators. It seems an unfortunate thing that with all the hopes we have entertained of these elevators they are used only fifteen per cent.

Now I come to another point which, I hope, will interest the Solicitor General (Mr. Meighen), whom I am glad to see in his place. I refer to the commandeering of wheat. I hope the Solicitor General will do me the honour of listening to me. A year ago, out West, we had no wheat. We were urging the Government -to buy what wheat

there was in the West-not commandeer it but buy it from the farmers before it got away, and would have to be brought back. But they would not commandeer it, they waited until the spring came on, and then through their political friends, the Roblin Government being then in power-they bought the mixture of seed and weeds and brought it back to us. This year there was the greatest plethora of wheat the West ever had, and there was no more need of commandeering wheat than there is need of commandeering " hot air " In this Chamber. Then the Government come and commandeer the wheat. The farmer's dream in our province, as in the Solicitor General's own province, is to get a dollar a bushel for wheat. Last year the dream came true-wheat went over a dollar-but the farmer had no wheat. In the spring, when he came to buy wheat from the Dominion Government-and they bought many millions of bushels, for the first time in their lives wheat was at a dollar and a half a bushel. But the poor farmer was on the other side of the bargain. The Borden Government had the wheat to sell and the farmer was the buyer. A brighter day than even that which he dreamed of had dawned, for wheat instead of being a dollar was a dollar and a half a bushel-but on that occasion he was the buyer. If our friends opposite are so strong on commandeering wheat, why did not they commandeer it when it was needed for the farmer, instead of buying it and bringing it back and making the farmer pay all expenses as well as a profit to somebody, as they did?

I do not know why they commandeered the wheat. I think the Government does not know itself. Of course I am not in the confidence of any members of the Government. The first announcement they gave us as a reason for commandeering was that the crop was so abundant and they were going to assist in marketing the surplu-s. This commandeering of wheat was, I think, a specialty of the Solicitor General; I believe he had special charge of it. I would advise him after this to stick to closure, if he wants to make a name for himself. He will do much more in that way to raise his own stock thap by commandeering wheat. Later the announcement was made that this would have the effect of inducing a repetition of orders from the Allies. Then he said:

The action taken by the British Government is based entirely on war conditions.

I think this Government did not know why they commandeered the wheat; and apparently the British Government not only did not know why they did it but even did not know that they had done any commandeering, because they came out with an announcement that they knew nothing at all about it. The Solicitor General does not seem to think that it would keep up prices for he says:

There seems no reason why the grain markets should he radically affected by the -action taken. Obviously, it does not involve any increase in the world's consumers or indeed in the world's consumers demands. It means simply the filling of the existing demand to the extent of the grain taken by this much of the Canadian surplus, instead of filling the same from other surpluses.

In reply to the leader of the Opposition (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) who spoke early in this debate, the Prime Minister (Sir Robert Borden) stated that this action had been taken on the recommendation of some people of whom he was 'confident, the right hon. gentleman (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) would have a favourable opinion. On November 30, a few days after the commandeering of the wheat, the Winnipeg Telegram said:

T. A. Crerar and Geo. R. Crowe-

T. A. Crerar is president of the Grain Growers Grain Company, and George R. Crowe has some other official position.

-who were called to Ottawa last Tuesday by Sir George E. Foster to confer on this question, returned last night. Mr. Crerar issued a statement this morning, in which he states that he has no doubt the Government's intentions were good. Nevertheless, he advised against commandeering, holding the opinion that such action would too greatly disturb trade. He_was asked what effect the commandeering would have on the export business of the Grain Growers Grain Company, of which he is the president, and replied that he had no statement to make as to that, for the present. Mr. Crerar in his typewritten statement handed to the Telegram, says, against commandeering:

" The thought that first occurred to me when I received a telegram from Sir George Foster, asking me to come to Ottawa, was that possibly it might be in connection with the question of free wheat."

But that was too good to be true. (Reading.):

" Both Mr. Crowe and myself were quite unaware of what matter was coming up for consideration until we reached the conference. We advised strongly .against the plan of commandeering to secure the wheat desired, pointing out that it would very seriously disturb the trade, and that if the proper method were taken the grain required could be secured through ordinary channels without any serious disturbance of trade conditions. We urged this view as strongly as we could, pointing out that the

disturbances of trade might result in more or less of a tie-up that would he in the interests of either the trade or the producers."

I- presume their expenses were paid; they were then sent home and their advice rejected. On the same day-Nov. 30, 1915, page 4, column three, the Winnipeg Telegram, under the heading, " Farmers Get Raw Deal," says:

John E Smith condemns the commandeering and prospective purchase of the wheat because he has fifteen cars of grain that he thought he could have sold for a higher price, and now he can't. " The farmers always get a raw deal," he grumbled. " The Government might as well have put its hands into a man's pocket and taken money away from him."

In the Winnipeg Telegram of Nov. 29, page 1, .column 8, there appeared a statement by A. T. Hepworth-Simpson Company. As I am quoting from the Winnipeg Telegram, there should be no question as to the correctness of the statements made:

One point that stands out is the fact that a large percentage of the wheat that has been taken by the Government is farmers' stored grain, which was held there by them for higher prices. [DOT]

I hope the Solicitor General notes that carefully.

And the Govermnent has taken it, fearing the price might he driven too high by speculators.

Notice that.

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January 31, 1916