April 24, 1917

LIB

Michael Clark

Liberal

Mr. MICHAEL CLARK (Red Deer) (resuming) :

Mr. Speaker, the war will pass. It is taking a long time and has brought heavy burdens and large problems, but it will pass. But the problems arising out of it, I venture to predict, will remain as long as the breath lasts in the body of the youngest member of this House. When I arose this afternoon it was with the serious purpose of endeavouring to contribute my humble quota to the financial principles which I believe will need to be followed by this country through its responsible ministers, of whatever political stripe they may be, if we are to deal satisfactorily with those problems within the present generation of men. I believe there will be such a change brought into the life of our country by the experiences of the war, and especially when our soldiers return, our soldiers who have gone in numbers which no one would have predicted was possible for Canada before the War, that our people will not be content with any perfunctory handling of these problems. They will demand that our public men shall go to the roots of them, shall study the needs of the

[DOT]country, and the economic principles which are necessary to solve those needs.

I want to lay down four principles which I believe will guide our statesmen of the next generation in the solution of these problems. These principles will compel themselves to be adopted by our statesmen, whatever they may call themselves, Liberal, Tory or Independent. The first of them has nothing novel about it, but there must be something good about it, for it has always had very strong supporters in this House. I know that in enunciating these principles to my hon. friend the minister of Finance, I not only have one of the aptest minds to impress that Canada has at the present time in her service, or has had at any time so far as my knowledge of those minds goes, but from his utterances today I know that he is partially converted to my views already, and to the extent that he is not converted he has such an agile mind that I know his conversion will be simple if the conditions are at all favourable.

The first principle that I want to emphasize was dealt with at considerable length and in very great detail by my hon. friend the junior member for Halifax (Mr. Maclean) this afternoon. It will be absolutely necessary to economize to the utmost extent in the moneys of the country. Since Confederation, as far as my reading of Hansard has informed me, every party in this country when in opposition has preached ecomomy and I am afraid it is equally true that every party in office has practised extravagance. That is a very lamentable record for the people of this country. There are two reasons why that record will be broken after the war. I believe, Sir, for a time conditions will be so bad that there will not be the money to spend, and that is a sure way of curing a man of extravagance. I indicated the other reason a moment ago, when I said the people of this country will be so chastened, so changed by the war, and will direct such close attention to the proceedings of Parliament that they will no longer be content to watch the struggle between the ins and the outs, but will demand that sound principles be applied to finance and to the public policy of the country generally.

We have ten governments in this country; ten prime ministers for seven millions of people! Heaven save the mark. Ten sets of cabinet ministers, and ten

sets of legislators. That is a pretty formidable thing just as I have stated it, but when you have each of these governments spending far more money than they should, I submit, Sir, that public extravagance has become in some of its aspects, the most serious problem and the most serious evil in the public life of this country. I do not want to say more under that head. I am perfectly certain that what I have said finds a resting place in the mind of every serious hon. gentleman in this House. It must do so, because the moment they get into Opposition they say exactly what I am saying, and have said so ever since Confederation.

The second principle which I want to lay down, and which will be forced upon the attention of our finance ministers, is that wealth must contribute more largely to the expenses of the Federal Government than it has ever done in the past. My hon. friend the minister indicated that this afternoon; he bases his proposed taxation in this Budget, as he did in his last, upon that principle. But I am not quite satisfied with the extent to which he is carrying his principle out. I am sure he means well, and I am sure the country recognizes that he has brought to the greater problems that have arisen during the course of this war a very acute mind and a very great knowledge of financial technique, and I am sure he has done what is perhaps the best thing that any man can do in this world: he has brought to the discharge of his duties an enormous amount of energy, continued application, and hard work. I say that with the very greatest pleasure, and I believe that it is generally recognized throughout the nation. But when I reflect that the business tax imposed last year, with all its retroaction, raised only $12,500,000, I do not think any one will seriously claim that wealth is making anything like its proper contribution in this day. towards the expenses of the Government. It is making no contribution comparable to the services and the sacrifices of the men in the trenches, and the generosity of the whole of our people, from the poorest to the wealthiest, in their private capacity, in support of the Belgian Relief, Red Cross, and Patriotic Funds, and in the hundred other ways that money has had to be raised in the course of the war. Compare that sum of $12,500,000 with the enormous increase in our trade, as revealed in the figures of the Finance Minister, especially the enormous increase in our export

two little islands which could be put twice into my province of Alberta and you would have 30,000 square miles left, and with all kinds of material out of which she had to make the articles of export brought into the country, not even found there as we can find them .in such rich abundance here! Shall we as Canadians, in face of a record like that, made in times of peace, be content to follow false fiscal ideals and keep our progress as s/low as it has been? Why, Sir, I venture to think that if this country had the courage to face the issue and to apply those principles that it ought to apply, there is no reason why in ten years time Canada should not have 15,000,000 people and be the most marvellous country, or one of the most marvelous countries, in the world. That is my belief in Canadians, and it is my belief in Canada if they will not hamper it. You should increase foreign commerce, you should broaden it out, and you cannot do it by building a Chinese wall around your border. You cannot increase foreign commerce in that way. You must release foreign commerce by taking off the obstacles that prevent its expansion. You must down with your tariff wall and *trust to freedom. Why should we not trust to freedom? That is what we are fighting for in Europe. We are fighting for freedom ; our sons are dying for it, and we have shouldered the burden in order that the fight for freedom may be brought to a victorious end.

But you say: Oh, yes, but we are fighting for freedom from oppression by a foreign tyrant, for civil and religious freedom, for the freedom of self-government. But what is any freedom worth if you cannot sell in the best market the produce of physical brawn and sinew and effort? We must increase our foreign commerce. That is my next principle.

The fourth principle I want to lay down, and which I think should be easily understood by hon. gentlemen opposite is that we ought to make Canada fiscally as good a country to live in as is the United States. When I first talked tariff in this House (before my hon. friend the Minister of Finance was in it, although he was a keen observer of 'Canadian affairs at that time) and when I first talked free trade, I was told that toy hon. gentlemen opposite that I did not understand this country, that I was up against a condition. It was said to me: Look at the tariff of the United States. Well, I am looking at it, but my hon. friends opposite have stopped looking at it. It is they who are up against a con-

dition now. My contention on this point is that instead of telling us that there were no tariff changes in the Budget my hon. friend would have shown more fiscal enlightenment if he had put everything on the free list in Canada that is on the free list in the United States. That would be the natural outcome of the . principle which was enforced upon me by my hon. friends opposite. That would be in accordance with looking at conditions like those of the United States and looking at the tariff of the United States. I have not made a list of the articles myself but I could give one that occurs to me. Why should we have a 30 per cent tariff on boots and shoes and have free boots and shoes in the United States? Is it because the boot makers of Canada are duffers? I am sure that my hon. friend from Montreal, St. Antoine (Sir Herbert Ames), would not admit that for a moment. Why should we have to pay 30 per cent on our boots and shoos with free boots and shoes in the United States? Does Canadian stubble not wear out the farmer's boots, and the boots of the farmer's boys, as fast as the stubble in the United States? Do our streets not wear out the boots of our poor people and of our salaried people that my bon. friend has such compassion for in the matter of an income tax? Do our streets not wear out our boots as fast as the streets in the United States? As a matter of mercy and justice to our own inhabitants why should we maintain a tariff like this? But, there is a deeper reason. We should always try to look at these things as patriotic men who want to try to make our country big and great. We are looking for immigration from the United States and the Director General is moving heaven and earth to get people in from the United States.

Talk about tacking and trading with the Yankees! We would not be convicted of trucking and trading with the Yankees on this side of the House. Bringing people from there and sending wheat there! Is reciprocity dead? It is the liveliest corpse that ever came out of a grave on a resurrection morn. We shall need people to develop our resources, to create wealth, which we shall tax in a direct manner, to produce the material which we shall exchange freely, following the example of the Mother country and leaving forever the example of the Huns. We shall need these people after the war. They might have had the encouragement that I am suggesting, and I really hope that my hon. friend will look into this before he brings in another Budget-according

to the expectation of some people, he may not have opportunity to do that for a long while. But that is something that is in the lap of the gods and in the womb of the future. I hope he will study the question, anyhow, and that, if he does not, some successor of his will do so the next time a Budget is produced in this House.

I daresay that some of my hon. friends opposite would like to turn to me and say: Well you are a great bore; after all, your speech is just another exposition of free trade. Well it is, and what can one do but keep expounding what one believes to he true until it reaches the unenlightened, or those who do not want to be enlightened.

I was told the same thing about free wheat.

I got an immense encouragement from the recent history of the hon. gentlemen opposite, and every little encouragement, to a man who lovies freedom as much as I do, will keep him going on preaching it as long as he is above the sod. It is an exposition of free trade, but I am afraid I have to give the House more than an exposition, of free trade in these war times. I think that the war has afforded the greatest vindication of free trade that ever principle received in the history of mankind. I think so. I pointed out this afternoon that I was glad of the opportunity of putting on Hansard what had actually happened in other countries of the world in regard to fiscal policy since the war began. It is a very interesting study, this fiscal question, more interesting than any fiction if a man will only give his mind to it. The tariff conditions in the world at the time the war broke out were very interesting. It would have appeared at the time the war broke out that while Britain was wedded more strongly than before to her free trade policy, the Central Empires-Germany the leader of them- were more firmly wedded than ever to the system of protection. They had built up the system in Germany in a period of forty years. They had buttressed it in every conceivable way, and appeared to be wedded to it. But the moment the war struck them what happened? Well, this is what happened: that Great Britain stayed with her fiscal policy of freedom, fighting for freedom because she knew better what it was than any other country in the world. She appreciated it more-I mean in fiscal matters-and she knew that . fiscal freedom and all-round freedom was worth fighting for. Little Denmark and Holland, each rather largely free trade countries and wonderfully prosperous as a result, did not need to alter their fiscal

policy. They did not put any imposts on. Whereas Germany and Austria-Hungary and the neutral protectionist countries ran away from their fiscal policies the moment the storm of w.ar struck them.

Mr. Speaker, when I go to sea I .should like to go always in a ship that could stand rough weather-and protection is evidently no ship for sailing when the waves roll high She is all right, perhaps, for foolish economic escapades on the part of young and inexperieced peoples when conditions are reasonably favourable, the breezes are favourable and things are good; hut when a storm strikes her every principle she carries is jettisoned. Protection is deserted, their tariff walls are thrown down as I put on record from Board of Trade figures this afternoon. We are at the parting of the ways in Canada. We have these problems to tackle. Our people, I believe, will look more anxiously to us for the tackling of them than they have ever done before, and we shall have to choose whether Canada is going on along the line of freedom fiscally to get nearer to the Mother Country's example, or whether she is going to keep wallowing in the beggarly elements of the Hun's policies or former United States *policies; whether she is going (to keep decking herself in the worn out and cast aside garments of nations which have become more advanced and more enlightened. I put that to oiie House seriously, not in a contentious spirit, but with the love of Canada and hope for its future as strong in my heart as it can be in the case of any man not born in Canada. We shall have to choose.

Have we any other guidance as to the worthiness of the free trade ship? I venture to think that the greatest financial miracle of the war has been the financing of Great Britain. It has been a war of miracles; we live in marvellous times. We have lived to see the people of Russia apparently cast off in a moment, before anybody was looking for such a thing, the swaddling clothes and bands of autocracy and become one of the free democracies of the world. We have seen her reach her hands over the heads of the Allies and grasp the great democracy of the West to the south of us at a time when that great democracy, speaking the English tongue, is throwing in her lot with the British Empire and giving her guarantee not only of the winning of the war but of the results of the war being such as will be thoroughly satisfactory to every free man everywhere. But financially there has been no miracle in the history of the world like

Topic:   THE BUDGET.
Subtopic:   ANNUAL STATEMENT BY THE MINISTER OF FINANCE.
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CON

Herbert Brown Ames

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir HERBERT AMES (Montreal, St. Antoine):

It is always a pleasure, Mr. Speaker, for us to listen to the hon. member for Red Deer (Mr. Michael Clark) and to hear that he still stands fpur-square by the principle of free trade. I do not think, however, that he is making very many converts on this side of the House, nor have we reason to believe that he is making very many converts on his own side of the House. I confess that I was waiting for him to tell us in what manner he would raise the $135,000,000 that has 'been raised during the past year iby the present tariff to meet Canada's expenditures. By what means would he undertake to raise that revenue, which we all know is so much needed? The hon. member for Red Deer loves to tell us that he is a pioneer along the road of enlightenment, but'I am rather wondering whether he is keeping as dose a touch as he should upon the old land. I am wondering whether he is interpreting the signs of the times quite as faithfully as we have been led to believe he has been accustomed to do. If we can judge from the symptoms that are 'being evidenced in Old Country legislation, the days of free trade in old England are numbered. The Old Country, which has been so often held up to us as a shining example of free trade, is, under the stress of war, and of unification of the Empire, beginning to find that the time may not be far distant when it may adopt to some extent a policy of protection that will enable Britain and all her

overseas dominions, by reciprocal arrangement, so to help one another that the great British Empire will be stronger than it ever has been. So I was glad to-day when the Finance Minister, in making his Budget statement, did not deal with any further alterations of the tariff. When the question of free wheat was raised, I could not help feeling that our friends opposite were not altogether justified in considering that the action taken by the Government in this regard was a capitulation of hon. gentlemen on this side of the House so faT as their views regarding reciprocity were concerned. It must be remembered that had the reciprocity pact gone through we Canadians would have lost control of our tariff; our tariff would have been regulated from Washington. As it is, we stil'l keep control of the wheat and flour situation, inasmuch as we are taking advantage of a clause in standing legislation of the United States, and at any moment we can declare that wheat and flour shall again be placed on the protected list. We are in no way implicated in any arrangement that we cannot alter. Inasmuch as great events are probably pending; inasmuch as when this war shall be over new reciprocal trade arrangements may possibly be made throughout all parts of the British Empire, is it not desirable that Canada should not be tangled up with any other nation in such manner as to lose control of her own fiscal arrangements?

I rose not to discuss the remarks of the hon. member for Red Deer, but rather to say a few words in respect to what was advanced by the hon. junior member for Halifax (Mr. A. K. Maclean) this afternoon. I did not intend to take part in this debate, but I could not quite allow all that he said in criticism of the Finance Minister and the Government and members on this side of the House to pass without challenge. He endeavoured to create the impression here and throughout the country that the present Government was not in any way endeavouring to exercise economy in order to hold the ordinary expenditure on capital and consolidated account within reasonable bounds. Now, those of us on this side of the House who since the war began have had occasion from time to time to make representations to our ministers urging that certain things be done in our constituencies have all certainly come to know that the war is on and that every ordinary expenditure that could be avoided is avoided by the Government. We have come to know also that the appointment of additional employees is discouraged. We have come to know also that the advancing of salaries is not frequent. We certainly, if the members on the other side of the House have not, have had brought to our attention daily instances of the economy practised by the Government. We have received the almost stereotyped form from our ministers: "Inasmuch as the war is on, it is not advisable to make any new expenditures, advances in salaries or things of that kind." We have only to take the figures as they are published to see that these profession? are borne out by the facts. If the junior member for Halifax had presented to the House the comparative summary statement in the Estimates of the figures for last year and this year he would have been compelled in all fairness to admit that the Estimates for this coming year are by no means inflated. We find that even under very adverse circumstances the amount that this House is to be asked to vote this year out of the consolidated fund is less than it was asked to vote last year. That is not so outside. Every industry is increasing its staff; expenses are running up in every other walk of life; the expenses of railway companies are increasing. Every enterprise and industry throughout Canada is complaining that its expenditures in the way of salaries, supplies, and so on, are greatly increased. Yet we find that the Government on consolidated account purposes spending even less in the coming year than was spent last year. If we look over these figures more closely we find that there is still further reason for congratulating the Government on the evidences of economy that are to be found. If you turn to the summary of the Estimates you will find that an estimated expenditure of $182,359,000 is to be made on consolidated fund account in 1917-18 as against $183,956,000 in 1916-17. '

First of all, it is necessary to notice that there is a great difference in the charges for interest, and you cannot blame the Government if the interest charges have advanced. We have borrowed money in older to carry on the war and the interest must be paid; that is something over which we have no control. In 1916-17, the interest charge was $39,649,000; while in 1917-18, the interest charge is $57,720,000, so, in order to make a fair comparison, we would have to deduct from those figures the amount

alike, with equal unanimity. It was known when those Bills were' presented that the Government intended to borrow the money and spend it for war purposes, and that the amount would be added to our consolidated debt, and for any man to criticise the Government at this time because the debt is increasing is almost equivalent to saying we are doing too much in our time in carrying on the war to the maximum of our ability. If the money is not being spent properly, if there has been extravagance, if we are not getting one hundred cents on the dollar, or as nearly so as possible, the hon. gentlemen have the right to examine and criticise.

Topic:   THE BUDGET.
Subtopic:   ANNUAL STATEMENT BY THE MINISTER OF FINANCE.
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LIB

William Pugsley

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY:

That is the only ground on which we criticise.

Topic:   THE BUDGET.
Subtopic:   ANNUAL STATEMENT BY THE MINISTER OF FINANCE.
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CON

Herbert Brown Ames

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir HERBERT AMES:

But to condemn the Government because these figures are growing from month to month is not a fair way of treating this question. The people of this country have responded magnificently in furnishing the moneys necessary ,to carry on the war. I had the privilege of speaking in New York and Washington recently on the part Canada is playing in the great war, and I assure you that the admiration of the American people for what *Canada is doing in this war exceeded all expectations. They admire us not only for the men we have sent and the sacrifices we have made, but for the magnificent way in which the country has financed itself. At the commencement of the war we were under the impression that the only place to borrow money wa>s in England. Almost *all our funded debt was held there, a mere bagatelle being held in Canada, and the only loan, we had floated in the United States was for purely domestic purposes, and we soon ceased to get money in that market. Since the beginning of the war, knowing we could not borrow money in England, and that we could not get money in America for war purposes, we have had confidence in our own people and have had no reason to regret it. It will always be a proud page in the history of Canada that when the Minister of Finance asked for $50,000,000 he got $100,000,000; when he asked for $100,000,000 he got $200,000,000, and when he asked for $150,000,000 bje got $250,000,000. When this war is over perhaps two-thirds or more of our funded debt will be held by our own people, and if our securities grow in value as we expect they will it will be our own .people who will benefit by that, and if anything goes wrong we will bring no one down hut our-

selves. So I think the country has Teason to congratulate itself, and particularly have we Teason to congratulate ourselves and the Minister of Finance on the magnificent way in which we have gone through the last year under conditions which have never been equalled in the history of Canada, or in any other land until this great war came.

^ Mr. J. G. TURRIFF (Assiniboia): Mr. Speaker, the hon. gentleman who has taken his seat has told the House that he did not intend to speak on this Occasion. Apparently, as the Government was worried over the way things were going, iny hon. friend was put up to get them out of a difficulty, and it was very fitting that he should be selected for that task. For I remember in the year 1911, when the Conservative party found themselves in difficulties in the province of Quebec, and thought their only hope of salvation lay in an amalgamation with the Nationalists, it was the hon. member for St. Antoine (Sir Herbert Ames) who was chosen to make the necessary arrangements between the Conservative party and the Nationalists in order to bring the party home to victory. My hon. friend, of course, was also the party who furnished the money on that occasion. It is only natural, then, that to-night, when the Acting Prime Minister -seems worried and his colleagues beside him, that my hon. friend should be put up to get them out of their difficulty.

My hon. friend began his address by pointing out to the hon. member for Red Deer (Mr. Michael Clark) that free trade in England was about at an end, and he spoke of certain legislation. I have not followed the legislation of the Old Land as closely, perhaps, as some other hon. gentlemen, but I fail to recall a single piece of legislation that has been introduced in the British House of Commons since the beginning of the war for the purpose of doing away with free trade in Great Britain. The hon. member for Red Deer gave a very able exposition this afternoon of what Great Britain has accomplished under free trade, as compared with what the Central Empires have done under protection. After the experience the British trader has had, and he is the cleverest trader in the world, of the value to Great Britain of free trade in this war, I do not think he will ever depart from the policy that has made Great Britain the greatest commercial nation upon the earth, and has enabled 'her to finance not only her own share of the war, 'but to help her Allies as well. Of course, there was a conference in Paris, and something was said there about trade

am-ongst the Allies. But we have had talk about preferential trade within the Empire for many a long day. For one, I hope I shall never ilive to see the day when the good relations between Great Britain and Canada will be hampered by any written agreement or any preferential trade. The farmers of the West, the men who it is supposed, will benefit most by preferential trade within the Empire, have declared time and again that they do not want preferential trade, they do not want an increased price for-their wheat which will mean that the labouring masses of Great Britain will pay more for their bread. I hope the present relations will always exist, Great Britain -being left free to do what she likes with her tariff and Canada free to do what- she likes with hers, the cordiality of inter-imperial relations being left wholly unhampered by any written or hard-and-fast agreement.

My -hon. friend from Montreal, St. Antoine, (-Sir Herbert Ames) made ,on-e very peculiar statement. If I understood him, he said that if the reciprocity pact had passed in 1911 our tariff arrangements would be made at Washington instead of at Ottawa. Then, what does he think of the Minister of Finance who adopts exactly that policy to-day? Has the minister transferred the making of the Canadian tariff fr.om Ottawa to Washington?

Topic:   THE BUDGET.
Subtopic:   ANNUAL STATEMENT BY THE MINISTER OF FINANCE.
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CON

Herbert Brown Ames

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir HERBERT AMES:

I endeavoured to make as clear as I could the point that under this arrangement of free wheat we had not in the -slightest degree impaired our control of our own tariff.

Topic:   THE BUDGET.
Subtopic:   ANNUAL STATEMENT BY THE MINISTER OF FINANCE.
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LIB

John Gillanders Turriff

Liberal

Mr. TURRIFF:

Under the reciprocity

pact it was left open to either side to -bring the arrangement to an end at any time. It is true that in this case ,of free wheat-and I will take up that subject more directly later -oni-the jGoverniment have so provided that they can bring the arrangement to an end even without appealing to Parliament. So they can use the free wheat argument as a vote-catcher for three or four months, while at the same time they can tell their friends in the East, the millers and the railroads, that it is only a temporary war measure which can be cancelled by Order in Council. But in fact they can do more even than that-* they need not even pass an Order in Council. The -matter has been looked into, and it is clear that the moment the war -stops free trade in wheat undeT the present Order in Council comes to an end.

Topic:   THE BUDGET.
Subtopic:   ANNUAL STATEMENT BY THE MINISTER OF FINANCE.
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CON

Arthur Meighen (Solicitor General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

Who told you that?

Topic:   THE BUDGET.
Subtopic:   ANNUAL STATEMENT BY THE MINISTER OF FINANCE.
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LIB

John Gillanders Turriff

Liberal

Mr. TURRIFF:

A better lawyer than

my hon. friend (Mr. Meighen)-or rather, as I d.o not wish to say anything objectionable, a lawyer in whose opinion I should have much more confidence than in that of the hon. gentleman.

Topic:   THE BUDGET.
Subtopic:   ANNUAL STATEMENT BY THE MINISTER OF FINANCE.
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CON

Arthur Meighen (Solicitor General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

Read the opinion of that lawyer.

Topic:   THE BUDGET.
Subtopic:   ANNUAL STATEMENT BY THE MINISTER OF FINANCE.
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LIB

John Gillanders Turriff

Liberal

Mr. TURRIFF:

The hon. gentleman will get all the legal opinion he wants before this debate is finished. The hon. member for Montreal, St. Antoine, says that by putting wheat on the free list we are not following the example of 1911. But let my hon. friend consider the facts. In 1915 the wheat crop of Canada amounted to 370,000,000 bushels. That quantity of wheat at the price ruling to-day-say $2.25 a bushel- would represent one-third of the total export and import trade of Canada of which the minister boasted, and which certainly was something to boast about. The hon. member for Montreal, St. Antoine, would have us believe that the effect of the reciprocity agreement of 1911 would have been to put the making of the Canadian tariff in the power of Washington, but that putting wheat on the free list, though that crop alone might easily amount to one-third of our total trade, has nothing whatever to do with giving Washington any control in our tariff affairs. The two stories do not hang together.

The same hon. gentleman had something to say about the wonderful economy of this Government, and held it to be a matter of pride that the Minister of Finance was able to announce that $60,000,000 would be left to apply in paying for the war. Well, it seems to me that at this time, when we are having great business success, when we are taking in over a million dollars a day paid by Great Britain and our Allies for war munitions, and when a large part of that money is profit, surely this is the time when we ought to pay, not $60,000,000, but double that amount on account of the war. Had this Government practised reasonable economy during the years they have been in office, they would be able to pay towards the expense of the war more than twice what they are paying. And why not? Why should not we follow the example of Great Britain where, as pointed out by the hon. member for Red Deer (Mr. Michael Clark) they raised one hundred and fifty per cent more revenue by direct taxation than had

been raised in the years previous to the war. But the economy of this Government only shows up when compared with their tremendously extravagant expenditure during the two or three years prior to the war. Compare their expenditure to-day with the really economical expenditures of the late Government-expenditures which the hon. member for Montreal, St. Antoine, in those days criticised as being extravagant in the extreme, and it becomes manifest that the so-called economy of to-day is really extravagance.

Let us see how these figures compare? If I heard my hon. friend the Minister of Finance aright when he was beginning the Budget speech, I think he made the statement that the expenditure on ordinary account during the past year was $143,000,000. My hon. friend from Montreal, St. Antoine (Sir Herbert Ames) says that is very economical, but the last year that the Liberals were in power-1910-1911-the expenditure for the same account was under $80,000,000. When you compare the figures of last year with those of five years ago, the figures of last year do not look economical at all; they are very extravagant.

Topic:   THE BUDGET.
Subtopic:   ANNUAL STATEMENT BY THE MINISTER OF FINANCE.
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CON

Arthur Meighen (Solicitor General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

Does the hon. gentleman say that what is $143,000,000 to-day was $80,000,000 five years ago?

Topic:   THE BUDGET.
Subtopic:   ANNUAL STATEMENT BY THE MINISTER OF FINANCE.
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LIB

John Gillanders Turriff

Liberal

Mr. TURRIFF:

The expenditure on

ordinary account was under $80,000,000 during the last full year the Liberals were in power, and I understood the Minister of Finance to say that the expenditure on ordinary account last year was $143,000,000. Of course, there is some deduction to be made for the extra amount of interest on the debt and pensions, but it does not begin to keep the expenditure of to-day anything near what it was in 1910-11. The only way you can show any economy at all is by showing that you are not quite as extravagant in your expenditure as you were two years before the war. But, in 1910-11 the country was prosperous, the revenue was buoyant, and the expenditures were very much lower than they are to-day. Here w'e are almost three years engaged in this war, we are piling up a war debt of $ 1,000,000 a day, as my hon. friend told us this afternoon, and instead of economising we are going on in the most extravagant way spending fifty per cent more than was expended five years ago. I think nobody will say that there are many more people in Canada to-day than there were five years ago. It is time that there should be

economy practised. We are all hoping that the war will end this year, but there is nothing definite to show that it will end this year. It is quite possible that it will go on for a year and a half, and if it does, look at the debt we will have piled up at the rate of $1,000,000 a day; and it keeps on increasing. The longer we are engaged in the war the more the war costs in Canada per day. When this war is over, when 300,000 or 400,000 Canadians come back from the front, and, being turned out of employment, have to go out and find work w'herever they may be able to find it, and when 300,000 or 400,000 men and women who are working in munition factories are turned out of work, see what it means. For two or three years after the war the country will be coming through an equilibrium again, and during that time the factories that are making munitions will have to find a new outlet for their product. The revenue will fall off, our imports will decline, prices of farm produce will go down, exports will decrease, there will not be the same amount of revenue coming into the Dominion, and if my hon. friend should be Minister of Finance then he will not have the revenue of $230,000,000 that lie has now. He will have a much smaller revenue, and in the meantime our debt will be doubled up as compared with what it is to-day. How are we going to manage the affairs of this country, how are we going to take care of our ordinary expenditure, of the interest on our debt, of our pension fund, of our sinking fund, if we do not meet the situation by economy? This is the time to begin practising economy and not wait until hard times are upon us. We should practise economy now that the revenues are buoyant, when the money is coming in as never before, and when everybody in business is making money out of borrowed money. We are not paying anything practically on account of the cost of the war. As my hon. friend from Halifax (Mr. Maclean) pointed out to-day, since this Goyernment came into power there have been more deficits than would represent the amount that we have paid on account of the war. We are going on borrowed money, but later on we will have to meet the interest on that money. In the meantime, my hon. friends, instead of practising economy, are going on full sail ahead and spending 50 per cent more than their expenditure a few years ago. Here is a statement showing the increase in the cost of running the different

departments as between the years 1910-11 and 1914-15:-

Increase,

Department. Per Cent

Justice 13

Arts, Agriculture and Statistics.... 300

Civil Government 38

Fisheries 91

Mines and Geological Sur\ ey 92

Immigration 50

Indians 65

Legislation 43

Lighthouse and Coastal Service .... 30

Miscellaneous 151

Mounted Police 32

Ocean and River Service 30

Penitentiaries 63

Police ' 89

Public Works Consolidated Fund

afccount 124

Public Works capital account 233

Public Works collection of revenue.. 36

Railways 14

Steamboat inspection 52

Administration of the Yukon Territoy 12

Adulteration of Food 124

Customs 72

Dominion Lands 105

Evcist 18

Post Office 114

Labour 32

Railways and Canals, collection of

revenue 18

Weights and Measures 172

Naval Service 43

Although there was an increase of 50 peT cent in the cost of immigration, we are not getting one-quarter of the immigrants that we got in 1910-11. With regard to Indians, there is absolutely no justification whatever for the increase of 65 per cent'in the cost of running that department compared with five years ago. It is absolutely absurd and it shows the extravagance of this Government. They are not making any effort whatever to curtail the expenditure. The cost of the administration of the Yukon Territory increased 12 per cent, and, Mr. Speaker, I do not suppose there are a quarter of the people in the Yukon to-day than there were when it cost 12 per cent less. The increase in the Customs Department is accounted for by the fact that the Minister of Customs (Mr. Reid) has just doubled up the number of civil servants in that department. And in the face of that my hon. friends on the other side of the House talk about this Government being an economical Government.

Topic:   THE BUDGET.
Subtopic:   ANNUAL STATEMENT BY THE MINISTER OF FINANCE.
Permalink
CON

Arthur Meighen (Solicitor General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

What were the years

compared?

Topic:   THE BUDGET.
Subtopic:   ANNUAL STATEMENT BY THE MINISTER OF FINANCE.
Permalink
LIB

John Gillanders Turriff

Liberal

Mr. TURRIFF:

I was comparing 1911

with 1915.

Topic:   THE BUDGET.
Subtopic:   ANNUAL STATEMENT BY THE MINISTER OF FINANCE.
Permalink
CON

Arthur Meighen (Solicitor General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

Did you make up these figures yourself?

Topic:   THE BUDGET.
Subtopic:   ANNUAL STATEMENT BY THE MINISTER OF FINANCE.
Permalink
LIB

John Gillanders Turriff

Liberal

Mr. TURRIFF:

I did not make them

personally, but they were made from the blue-books, every one.

Topic:   THE BUDGET.
Subtopic:   ANNUAL STATEMENT BY THE MINISTER OF FINANCE.
Permalink
CON

Arthur Meighen (Solicitor General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

You should revise

them.

Topic:   THE BUDGET.
Subtopic:   ANNUAL STATEMENT BY THE MINISTER OF FINANCE.
Permalink
CON

Thomas Wilson Crothers (Minister of Labour)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CROTHERS:

They are not right, I can tell you.

Topic:   THE BUDGET.
Subtopic:   ANNUAL STATEMENT BY THE MINISTER OF FINANCE.
Permalink
LIB

John Gillanders Turriff

Liberal

Mr. TURRIFF:

I venture to assert that they are.

Topic:   THE BUDGET.
Subtopic:   ANNUAL STATEMENT BY THE MINISTER OF FINANCE.
Permalink
CON

Thomas Wilson Crothers (Minister of Labour)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CROTHERS:

I know that they are not as far as the Department of Labour is concerned.

Topic:   THE BUDGET.
Subtopic:   ANNUAL STATEMENT BY THE MINISTER OF FINANCE.
Permalink

April 24, 1917