May 4, 1917

LIB

Daniel Duncan McKenzie

Liberal

Mr. McKENZIE:

The ex-Minister of Militia, as any one can see by his speech, was arraigning and criticising his former colleagues in the Government; he was saying nothing about the Opposition and it was not in the power of the Opposition to discard the rifle. He was speaking about the people who discarded the rifle and who brought about the conditions which made it impossible to use that rifle further, and he said that those conditions were successful, not because there was anything the matter with the rifle, but because German gold was too influential. That is what he said, and it is for the Government and hon. gentlemen who are in touch with the ex-Minister of Militia to find out what he said. To the ordinary person who understands the English language, his words mean that somebody or a number of persons who brought about the discarding of the Ross rifle, did so, not because there was anything wrong with the rifle, but because German gold was too influential. That is the way I understand his language, and that is the way it has been expressed in tjie loyal city of Lindsay in the loyal province of Ontario, by a super-loyal ex-Minister of the Crown. That is an arraignment of the Government by a former colleague which we on the outside, until the contrary is shown, must accepted as being correct. If correct, it shows the condition pf things in connection with handling of the war to-have been absolutely deplorable. According to the minister himself, while he was doing his best to carry out his plans for putting our armies in the field, he was thwarted by a bad element, and an unwholesome atmosphere was created against him at the War Office and in official circles in England by the High Commissioner, a member of this Government. That is a sad condition of affairs, .if true. It may not *be true, but the minister says that it is and it is up to him and his friends to-prove to this country whether it is so or

not. Why even gold was used against him. The money of this country was taken to sweeten the press. The press was bribed in order to secure their influence in maligning the minister in order to defeat his purposes. No language that I can use is strong enough to characterize a condition of that kind, and I submit 'that for that reason I am justified in saying on this occasion to the Government 'and to this country that hon. gentlemen opposite have not handled the war well; nor are they entitled to any credit for their conduct of the war, nor is it in the interests of a successful prosecution of our share in the war that its conduct should be left any longer in their hands. If the people of this country or if we in this House believe that what the exMinister pf Militia has stated here is correct, then the sooner the carrying forward of military matters in this country is put on a sounder basis, the better it will be for the country and the better for all who are deeply interested in the war.

Topic:   THE POTATO SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   THE BUDGET.
Sub-subtopic:   DEBATE ON ANNUAL STATEMENT OP THE MINISTER OP FINANCE.
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CON

John Hampden Burnham

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BURNHAM:

Does the hon. gentleman believe it himself? It would greatly shorten the debate if he would tell us.

Topic:   THE POTATO SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   THE BUDGET.
Sub-subtopic:   DEBATE ON ANNUAL STATEMENT OP THE MINISTER OP FINANCE.
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LIB

Daniel Duncan McKenzie

Liberal

Mr. McKENZIE:

I do not know that I am bound to follow this leading kindly light that is coming to my help, but I said at the opening of my remarks that when a man has attained to the high position of a minister of the Crown, it is incumbent on a humble man like myself to believe what he says until the contrary is proved. I therefore believe that what the minister says is true, and shall believe it until I get some satisfactory evidence to the contrary. Of course, I am open to conviction when it comes in a. proper way. Irishmanlike, I might ask my hon. friend for Peterborough if he believes it. I will not press him to put his- reply on Hansard, if he does not, wish to do so, but it is up to him either to believe it or to say that the exminister is not telling the truth.

Topic:   THE POTATO SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   THE BUDGET.
Sub-subtopic:   DEBATE ON ANNUAL STATEMENT OP THE MINISTER OP FINANCE.
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CON

John Hampden Burnham

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BURNHAM:

Would the hon. gentleman like me to give him an answer?

Topic:   THE POTATO SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   THE BUDGET.
Sub-subtopic:   DEBATE ON ANNUAL STATEMENT OP THE MINISTER OP FINANCE.
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LIB

Rodolphe Lemieux

Liberal

Mr. LEMIEUX:

Speak now.

Topic:   THE POTATO SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   THE BUDGET.
Sub-subtopic:   DEBATE ON ANNUAL STATEMENT OP THE MINISTER OP FINANCE.
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CON

John Hampden Burnham

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BURNHAM:

I am ready.

Topic:   THE POTATO SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   THE BUDGET.
Sub-subtopic:   DEBATE ON ANNUAL STATEMENT OP THE MINISTER OP FINANCE.
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LIB

Daniel Duncan McKenzie

Liberal

Mr. McKENZIE:

This phase of the Government's management of our war operations is thus brought strongly into the full glare of public opinion, and it is the duty of a loyal Opposition that regards itself as having some responsibility to bring these matters to the notice of the public, and then, to some extent, our duty has been

performed, and the duty of those in power begins, of clearing up such charges as are laid at their doors.

Coming back to the question of patronage and of party lines being so closely drawn,

I submit that abuses have taken place in this country in connection with the expenditure of the public moneys of this Dominion, some of them axe in my own province, which show a gross lack of business principles and of. business ideas on the part of the Government, and a most reckless expenditure of public moneys, which were worse than thrown away. A few days ago we had the opportunity of seeing a short synopsis of a very lengthy report filed by the Hon. Sir Charles Davidson in connection with an inquiry conducted by him into the sale of horses in the province of Nova Scotia. I am sorry we have not the full report, but presume .the reporter who prepared this synopsis has quoted correctly. The two principal buyers, Todd Woodworth and F. B. Keever, are found guilty of being short in their accounting for public moneys which they spent in securing horses for the Militia Department. Sir Charles finds Woodworth short to the amount of $2,224, and Keever to the amount of $2,968. W. P. McKay, a buyer under Keever, is personally exonerated, and so is G. H. Oakes, but regarding the former the commissioner remarks that "as a horse buyer he does not rank high, or at all." That some very old nags were bought is fully established, including the famous steed twenty-three years old, and the one which at a sale some three years previously had been traded for two ducks and a drake. Further on the report says:

After getting credentials from the Department, Foster proceeded to St. John, N.B.

Now we have always been told in this House that nobody knew how Foster got his appointment and how his toboggan was started, but we have here the report of Sir Charles Davidson, after hearing all the evidence, that Foster got his credentials from the department. There is no doubt any longer as to how he got started or who put him on the road. He got credentials from the department, and it would be interesting to know what the purport of those credentials was. Sir Charles reports that after getting these credentials from the department Foster proceeded to St. John, New Brunswick, where by pre-arrangement he met Gifford H. Oakes, of Kentville, N.S., secretary of the Liberal-Conservative Association of Kings County, and William P.

McKay, son of the late Senator McKay of Truro, then resident of Ottawa, and Keever. The instructions were given, blank cheque books issued, and the buying commenced. All the parties had to do with it. The parties concerned were Foster, the chief, Woodworth, Keever, McKay and Oakes. The commissioner says that Foster's instructions, which would have hampered the committal of fraud, were breached from the outset, because he did not exact the delivery of price tags precedently or even concurrently with handing out cheques for equivalent amounts. Sir Charles-says:

In fairness to Oakes, Mr. Foster himself later on acquiesced in this practice and issued cheques of like character.

That is, cheques were filled in for large

amounts and handed over to Keever, Woodworth, McKay and others, without the slightest knowledge of what they were going to do with the money. There were no horses in sight and no vouchers in sight. It was simply a case of filling in cheques for any amount that Keever would say, and then going to the bank for the money and starting out to buy. Sir Charles further finds that there was

Abandonment in almost entirety of a system of individual checks to individual sellers, carried with it the pressing duty of precise bookkeeping methods ; of the securement of vouchers, of accountings and balancings practically day by day; all to the end-apart from the delicate responsibility which attached to Mr. Foster by reason of his position as a member of Parliament-that a final all-sufficient statement might be rendered to the department. Unfortunately methods of performance fell far short of these requirements.

The digest of the report published in the

newspaper gives the closing part of Sir Charles' report, as follows:-

Slipshod financial methods and1 the disgraceful purchase in a number of cases of horses venerable as to age and decrepit as to quality, have given substantial credence to the belief that inefficiency was the rule and not the exception.

But there is an extraordinary suggestion in Sir Charles' report, which, I am sure, will be as startling to other members of the legal profession as it was to me. He finds that 'between Keever and Woodworth well over $5,000 wa/s stolen-actually stolen. And he had not the means of knowing all that they stole, for he does not know how many horses they haught-they took good care from the beginning that there should be no evidence, no receipts from the men they paid, -and no record of the horses they

took over-and the money was dumped out regardless of even the most ordinary business principles. In some mysterious way the commissioner has found out that there were the shortages I have named. But here is the extraordinary thing. He says that, if such a thing should happen as that these men should account for this money, $300 should be allowed them for their travelling expenses. That is a new departure. Suppose' that principle were carried out generally. A house-breaker starts from Ottawa and goes to Toronto for the purpose of cracking a safe. Carrying out that operation, he steals $2,000. He is caught and made to account for the money. The judge, acting under the principle laid down here, allows that burglar his travelling expenses. I do not know whether the Minister of Finance (Sir Thomas White) will say "whether that is sound or not, nor have I the view of the Solicitor General (Mr. Meighen) on that subject. One thing is sure, if the Solicitor General will say that it is sound he will get a majority on that side of the House to back him up. If he introduces legislation confirming this report and so allowing travelling expenses to Messrs. Keever and Woodworth, he has only to make one of his usual insinuating speeches to call us down hard and to tell us we are bad Grits and obstructionists, and the Bill will be put through with enthusiasm. But, as I say, this is a new departure. And I need hardly tell you, Mr. Speaker, that in the fair province of Nova Scotia, where we profess to know a little about law, we have not yet heard that it is sound law to offer a premium of this kind to theft, highway robbery, and rascality. But these are the things which have been going on in this country under the eye of our big, solemn-looking, capable, watchdog of the treasury.

Topic:   THE POTATO SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   THE BUDGET.
Sub-subtopic:   DEBATE ON ANNUAL STATEMENT OP THE MINISTER OP FINANCE.
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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Oh, oh.

Mr. MoKENZIE: I desire to be absolutely serious about this, for I represent a serious people, many of them poor working people who have no money to pay the travelling expenses of Messrs. Keever and Woodworth. They want a quid pro quo for every dollar they pay into the treasury, and I am here to see to it, SO' far as I can, that their money shall be used for serious and honest purposes. __

Now, what are we going to do about it? The Auditor General is called from time to time to give evidence before committees of this House. The members supporting the

Government seem to look upon him as a fend incarnate. He is /'Belled, booked and candle lighted" every time he appears. If he were not a Scotchman, and determined to do his duty, he would have (been driven to the woods long ago. But he stands to his guns; he is doing the best he can. Yet, after all, he is rather helpless. The real power is in the hands of the Minister of Finance, and it is for him to see to it that the people's money is not stolen and squandered in this way any longer.

I began by saying that in my judgment the record of this Administration does not compare favourably with that of their predecessors. When the right hon. gentleman (Sir Wilfrid Laurier), who now leads the Opposition, came into power in 1896, he found the finances and. the industries of this country at the lowest ebb. All hon, gentlemen opposite who have kept in touch with industrial and monetary matters know that. Even in the year when the Government that preceded his went to the country, and when they would naturally do alll that was possible to make a good showing, its Minister of Finance (Sir George Foster) was obliged to admit a very heavy deficit. The credit of the country was low. It was when things were in this condition that the right hon. gentleman (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) took control of the country's affairs. And hon. gentlemen ought to know as well as I that it is not too much to say that on the day when he took power the sun that had risen in adversity set in prosperity. And that prosperity continued for fifteen years throughout liis Administration. So great was that prosperity that the slogan of those who opposed 'him in the election of 1911 was "Let well enough alone." They declared that everything was lovely, magnificent, splendid; that the best of conditions prevailed; and they insisted that no chances be taken on a change.

That was the position in which the right hon. gentleman left the country and it was in striking contrast with the position in which he found it. But, comparing these records, I am bound to point out to the Government that during the regime of my right hon. friend, the immigration policy which was headed from the earliest day of that Government by the Hon. Mr. Sifton, was a great success. For the 18 long years that the Conservatives were in power, instead of a population ruling in the Wtest we had the buffalo and Red Indian in full control. When the policy of Mr. Sifton and the Administration of my right hon.

{Mr. McKenzie.]

friend came in, the Indians and the buffalo were bound to give way to the tide of a strong, vigorous, and intellectual immigration. The West sprang up into the condition in which it is to-day, the little hamlet gave place to strong settlements, settlements to towns, and towns to thriving and prosperous cities. That is the record that stands to the credit of the right hon. gentleman who now leads the Opposition and who had brought such progress, advancement and prosperity to the country in the fifteen years that he was in power.

He and his Government not only developed the West but they developed the country from one end to the other. No person knows better than the Minister of Finance that the railway policy of the former Government was of the widest apd strongest character, that he developed the Northwest Territories by building railways through the direct agency of the Government and by helping other railways financially and otherwise. Arrangements were made with the great system of railways controlled by ; the >

Canadian Pacific Railway Company which were highly beneficial to the people of the West and many of the strangleholds which that great corporation had upon the people of that country were removed and a freedom was given to the people which was foreign to them up to that time. Trade and navigation had been developed by the improvement of the canals and great waterways of this country. Improvements had 'been made along the coast of Nova Scotia and other parts of the Dominion which have been of great assistance to trade and navigation and which* are particularly important to the fishermen of this country. I submit to you, Sir, and I submit to the Government and to every leading man in this House that we have been too slow in recognizing the importance of developing our coastal harbours and providing facilities for the fishermen. I submit to you, Sir, that the fishery fields of British Colum-bit, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island are just as important to the people of the country as are the wheat fields of Ontario and the West. While we are glad to expend money in encouraging the development of the wheat fields, we should also be equally happy, knowing that we are aiding the business of the country equally as well, when we are putting the fishermen in a position

to make the most of the vocation to which they are called. I cannot say much about the coastline of British Columbia, or what the extent of the coastal fisheries of British Columbia are beyond saying that the fisheries are very extensive, but from the boundary line 4 p.m. between Maine and Canada around New Brunswick on the Atlantic and down to pretty near Labrador, you have immense coastal fisheries on the eastern shore of this country. You all know what an excellent article of food fish is. If we have plenty of fish, potatoes and flouT, there is no danger of hunger invading the home of anybody in Canada. It is therefore highly important that the fishermen should be put in the position that they can go out with their boats from sheltered harbours and that they can return to them because, if this is not done, they are handicapped and put in competition with American fishermen who come with large vessels which our men cannot afford to build, get our fislh and sell them back to us again in such cities as Montreal, Winnipeg and Toronto. That is something which is happening because we have not fully appreciated the importance of the fisheries of Canada or provided facilities for our own fishermen.

It has been my effort, while supporting a Government, as well as during the' days in which I have been in Opposition, to press forward as much as possible for the adoption of such a policy as will give railway facilities to every part of Canada. I have, since this Government came into power, moved a resolution in this House stating that the day had arrived when the Intercolonial railway, or its branches, should be extended to every nonrailway county in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Quebec. That resolution was accepted by the Government. It was on an occasion when the hon. Minister of Public Works (Mr. Rogers) was leading the House -I forget where the Prime Minister was- that the resolution was accepted and it was some time in March, 1915, I think. What more could I do? I moved that resolution, it was accepted by the Government and I had reason to suppose that something would be done. But, from that day to this, nothing has been done except the purchasing of the Quebec and Saguenay railway which was not for commercial purposes but for purpose . which are well known to hon. gentlemen opposite. A few months before the former

Government went out of office, a railway policy was adopted for the Maritime Provinces which was on the verge of being carried out. I am sorry to say that the Prime Minister dropped every railway that was involved in this scheme except the railway in his own county. I have often, jocularly, and otherwise, thrown this up to the Prime Minister since it was done. We had a railway projected for Cape Breton, one that went to Guysborough, one to Pictou and passing through the counties of Halifax and Guysborough. All were dropped except the road that the minister himself is concerned in. He was hand in glove with myself and others in trying to get the Government committed to the building of these roads, we were all pulling on the one oar and we were glad of the assistance of the then leader of the Opposition. I do not think it was fraternizing on his part when he dropped us after he got into power, built his railway and threw us to the dogs. I do not think it was proper treatment for our former associate in arms in view of the fact that we had been fighting for his road as well as our own. I contend that all the fishing field in Nova Scotia should not only have proper harbour facilities to enable the fishermen to go and catch the fish but that they should be put in touch with some of the branch railways that would enable the people who want the fisherman's product to get it as cheaply as possible. We have all around the Cape Breton coast line the most magnificent fishing fields in the world and I submit to the leader of the Government and hon. gentlemen opposite that we are not properly equipped fox the handling of this product until we have proper harbours. Proper harbours and railway facilities must be provided in order that the product when it is caught, can be speedily carried to the great centres where we find a great demand for fish.

I am discussing the question as to what was done and what was expected to be done by the former Government and I am contrasting that with the lack of doing under the present Administration. I do not expect the Government to build railways or to enter into any extravagant expenditure under present circumstances but I do suggest to the minister that there should be care taken in husbanding the money that he has collected from the people of this country. It will not do for the Government, or the minister to blame everything on the war.

It is a great convenience for the Government and for the minister particularly, whenever he is up against a snag to be able to throw out this red signal, the war. But I wish to remind him that we left him a magnificent heritage when he came into power. We left him with all bills paid, with every balance squared up, and we handed him $39,000,000 of cold cash. When the hon. Mr. Fielding went out and our good friend the Finance Minister of to-day came in, he found in the strong box of this country everything squared up and $39,000,000 of money. That, Sir, was a comfortable position for the new manager of a concern to find himself in, and that upon his own evidence in his first Budget speech, is undeniably the position in which he found himself. But what was the condition of the finances of this country before the war broke out? On the last day of July, 1914, before the war broke out, the $39,000,000 were gone; the hundreds of millions of dollars that had been collected in the years since their return to power had been expended, and a deficit stared the minister in the face of $47,000,000, of money. That is the condition that existed three or four days before the war broke out. What has been happening since I do not profess to know, because the amount of money borrowed and the way in which it has been expended are beyond any knowledge that I have of financing. All I can say is that the Government cannot justify itself before the people and has nothing to show what became of those $39,000,000 of money, and over three times that much, perhaps four times that much more, that was collected during the intervening years-and they had a deficit of $47,000,000 in July, 1914. There is no accounting for it excepting in one way: It is accounted for by having been shovelled out in bucketfulls and barrel-fulls to people who had no business to get it. If the people of this country wished inquire what has become of the money, they could put the defunct Sir Richard MacBride Government on the stand. There they would find some millions of this money. Let them put the other no less defunct Conservative Government of Manitoba on the stand, and they would find where millions of this money went. Let them come down farther, and they will find $2,000,000 of this money given to the province of Ontario as a post mortem subsidy to the Temiskaming railway. That is where $2,000,000 more went. Let them go down to the Government led by one James Kidd

Flemming in New Brunswick, another defunct and disgraced and kicked-out Government, and if that Government are put upon the stand it will be possible to find where some of the money went. That is what has become of the money of this country, and I believe that that was in the paying back of men who threw their bread upon the waters for the support of the Conservative party when they were in opposition in the year 1911. Those provincial Governments were in power then, they were strong concerns, they had money, they came to the assistance of the Tory party, and received a strong promise that these moneys would be returned if they were elected to power. That money was taken out of the pockets of the people of this country, fifty-fold, sixty-fold and sometimes one hundred-fold of the amounts that had been advanced. There is where the money has gone, and that money we can never get back. There is where the Administration is at fault, for not having looked after these matters in a proper way, and carried on the Government of the country in a manner absolutely independent of influences of this kind, seeing that the money of the people was properly expended and that proper value was received for any advances out of the Treasury.

I submit that the people of Canada are getting tired of this method of handling the affairs of this country, and that they are longing for the day when better methods of government will prevail, and when a better system of administration will again be in vogue in this country; and I think, Sir, that I am right in saying, on behalf at least of the Liberal party and the people of Canada, that this great Canadian democracy from the Atlantic to the Pacific, irrespective of nationality, creed or colour, are disgusted, tired and sick of the swine husks of Toryism and have fully determined to arise and go back to the father of peace, progress, plenty and prosperity, the Empire statesman and leader of the people's party, the Right Hon. Sir Wilfrid Laurier.

Topic:   THE POTATO SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   THE BUDGET.
Sub-subtopic:   DEBATE ON ANNUAL STATEMENT OP THE MINISTER OP FINANCE.
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CON

Francis Ramsey Lalor

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. F. R. LALOR (Haldimand):

Mr. speaker, I have had great pleasure in listening to the remarks of the hon. member for North Cape Breton (Mr. McKenzie), which, I am sure, were very amusing, although, I regret to say that some of his jokes were a little bit ancient-

Topic:   THE POTATO SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   THE BUDGET.
Sub-subtopic:   DEBATE ON ANNUAL STATEMENT OP THE MINISTER OP FINANCE.
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LIB

Daniel Duncan McKenzie

Liberal

Mr. McKENZIE:

You will give us better ones

Topic:   THE POTATO SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   THE BUDGET.
Sub-subtopic:   DEBATE ON ANNUAL STATEMENT OP THE MINISTER OP FINANCE.
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CON

Francis Ramsey Lalor

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LALOR:

-and some of his references, I fear, were a little bit coa se as well. The

hon. member for North Cape Breton has spoken of the high, principles expected of the present Government when they were elected to office, and has spoken in a most admiring way of the high principles of the Government that he supported so long in this House. I wonder if he includes in those principles t'he purchase of the saw-duet wharf and the building of the Disraeli wharf, and such methods of expenditure as have been exposed in this House, including the giving away of the public domain, which became a . public scandal during the time his friends held office and he supported them. If the hon. member for Assiniboia (Mr. Turriff) were in the House he could enlighten us upon that subject and tell us more than we have been aJble to find out even by investigation. The hon. member (Mr. McKenzie) speaks Of the great prosperity that prevailed in this country during the time the Liberal party were in office. Well, they did come into office at a very fortunate time, and I think it was equally fortunate that they went out of office just about the time they did, considering that we are now engaged in a great war. The hon. gentlemen also spoke of the Intercolonial railway. Let me tell the hon. gentleman-and I do not come from the Maritime Provinces as he does, where all are so interested in the Intercolonial-but still, as a citizen of Canada I feel as all Canadians should, that the people all over Canada have an equal right and interest in the Intercolonial. Let me remind the hon. gentleman that one of the last acts of the Conservative Administration before they went out of power in 1896 was to build eleven miles of the Intercolonial, and during the time that the present Government have been in office they have, I understand, added sixty- miles of rails to the Intercolonial railway, But during all the time that the Liberal party were in power and the member for North Cape Breton and other hon. gentlemen opposite from the provinces of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia were supporting the then Government-only one and three-quarter

miles were added to it. Hon. gentlemen are good at promises, as they always have been especially at election times; and the hon. gentleman promises that if his paTty is returned to power and he is elected to -support it, he will try to get something done for the Intercolonial railway. Well, he has made premises along that line in the past, with the results that I have stated.

The hon. gentleman speaks of reckless expenditure, and asserts that the Liberal

party left the finances of this country in a magnificent condition. I am not so sure about that, especially when I think of the Transcontinental railway-especially the eastern section-one of the most gigantic evidences that we can find of the fplly and bad management of the late Administration. If the hon. gentleman were absolutely conscientious and honest in his expression of opinion, he would agree with me on that poinit. $258,000,000 was spent upon the Eastern section. A commission was appointed by this Government to investigate that expenditure and they found that out of that amount, $40,000,000 was stolen by contractors and friends of the then Government. The hon. gentleman supported that; and found no fault with it. I suppose he thought that was all right so long as his friends the contractors were able to get the money belonging to the people and pocket it. I say that the whole building of that road was folly. Recently a commission of railway experts inquired into the railway question in Canada and they found that a deplorable condition exists in the matter pf railways. The problems of the future will be

very great, indeed, as to how we shall manage these roads, or how continue to give them money as we have in the past. We remember that Mr. Blair, who was Minister of Railways, resigned when this project was contemplated, and before doing so he tried to point out to hon. gentlemen opposite the folly of taking such a course. But they would not listen to him, and although he was Minister of Railways in the Administration, he resigned from office rather than assume any responsibility for the construction of the Transcontinental railway. That is the history of the Liberal party so far as railroads are concerned; compare that with the history of the Conservative party under Sir John A. Macdonald, who built the Canadian Pacific railway. One is a monument to the bad management, the 'bad. business judgment and the folly of our friends opposite, and the other is a magnificent monument to good business judgment and the wise expenditure of public money.

I want to compliment the Minister of Finance upon the splendid statement he has presented. It is a most inspiring message, and will, I am sure, be accepted as such by the Canadian people; also upon the successful manner in which he has handled the finances during these trying times. The people of Canada recognize his ability- and we are indeed fortunate in having such

an able and competent minister at tlie head of affairs at this time. In looking over the financial affairs of Canada dnring these war times I cannot see where the Minister of Finance has made one error of judgment. No other Minister of Finance since Confederation has had such tremendous problems to deal with, and the minister has handled those problems with great credit to himself and with satisfaction, I believe, to the people. The Budget speech this year was the most concise ever delivered in Parliament, and the facts and figures leave very little room, indeed, for criticism.

The revenue for the past fiscal year was $232,000,000, an amount exceeding the revenue of any other year by $60,000,000. After paying $25,000,000 for interest and for pensions, the Government were able to apply to the credit of war expenditures no less a sum than $60,000,000. We last year saved out of revenue over expenditure $45,000,000, so that during these two years we have been able to apply upwards of $100,000,000 towards our vast war expenses. The war expenses have amounted to $700,000,000, and it is most encouraging to the people to know that the .Government have been able to save $100,000,000 and to reduce that war expenditure to $600,000,000. With the continuance of prosperity and the thrift of the people, great as the financial problem is that we have to face, the people will be able to deal with it and to reduce the large expenditure which we are making in these times. No doubt we shall have to assume very heavy obligations, and the longer the war lasts the greater those obligations will be. Our interest account and pensions fund alone will be very large and the taxation for years to come cannot but be heavy, although under the management of the Minister of Finance the people have been very lightly taxed up to the present. In fact, the people, so far as taxation is concerned, hardly realize that there is a war. Taxation will naturally increase and I believe that the Finance Minister has been wise in spreading that taxation and those payments over future years so that those who follow us and the people who come into this country and settle will help to pay our heavy war debt.

In speaking of our expenditure, large as it is, and the splendid manner in which the people have assumed the responsibility of the war and have paid the taxation, I cannot help but mention the voluntary subscriptions to patriotic funds that have been

made in Canada. Upwards of $60,000,000, I understand, have been voluntarily contributed by the people towards the Bed Cross and Patriotic Funds and on behalf of the work of the Young Men's Christian Association work in the trenches. These are all voluntary subscriptions. It is really inspiring to think of the way people have given. In my little town of 3,000 inhabitants, in two days the voluntary subscriptions towards these funds amounted to upwards of $20,000. In my country. I have a little township with a population of about 600 people, all farmers, who have subscribed $6,000 towards the Patriotic Fund. The people of Canada generally, in every city, town and village, have subscribed in the same way. I must mention the work of the Young Men's Christian Association at the front. Not long ago when I was in Chicago, I went to a good Presbyterian church, such as my hon. friend from North Cape Breton (Mr. McKenzie) goes to.

Topic:   THE POTATO SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   THE BUDGET.
Sub-subtopic:   DEBATE ON ANNUAL STATEMENT OP THE MINISTER OP FINANCE.
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An hon. MEMBER:

When he goes.

Topic:   THE POTATO SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   THE BUDGET.
Sub-subtopic:   DEBATE ON ANNUAL STATEMENT OP THE MINISTER OP FINANCE.
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CON

Francis Ramsey Lalor

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LALOR:

And a very able minister, during the course of his sermon, explained to the congregation the splendid work the Y.M.C.A. was doing in the trenches in France. The Y.M.C.A., like the Red Cross, have done noble work during this war, and the Red Cross deserves great credit indeed. In- every city, town and village throughout the Dominion, there are Red Cross societies, and the work that the women of this country have undertaken in sending to our soldiers in the trenches gifts of food, clothing, etc., to make them comfortable and to relieve their sufferings as much as possible, I am sure, deserves the thanks of the Canadian people. When one considers the splendid work that has been done by the women and the voluntary subscriptions that have been given, one must feel proud to be a Canadian. Canada has set in this war an example that is admired by the world; in fact, it has surprised even our neighbours to the south of us, who point to us with pride and hold up Canada as an example for the United States at the present time.

In the present Government we have an honest Government; I do not think a more honest Government ever held office in Canada. I believe the Government have tried by every possible means to give good value for the money expended, and to see that it is honestly expended, and although some investigations, which have been brought about by hon. gentlemen opposite, have been held in this country, they

have resulted, as everyone knows, in not leaving a stain of any kind upon the Government or upon its administration. We want fair criticism; the Government expects fair criticism from hon. gentlemen opposite, hut they do not expect the kind of unfair and unjust criticism that they are getting during this session of Parliament. Hon. gentlemen opposite from day to day and from week to week have indulged in criticism of the very smallest kind; petty, parish politics is the best way in which I can describe it. They have indulged in criticism that is unfair and have made statements that are absolutely misleading. I believe they have an entirely wrong conception of their duties in this House during war time. We should have no politics at all in these critical times; we should be here as one people supporting the Government and doing our very utmost to assist this Government to bring the war to a successful conclusion. Instead of that, the whole object of hon. gentlemen opposite seems to be what point they can make in order to gain a vote in the country, or in order to obtain some political advantage over the Government. I would call their attention to statements which have been made by some of the leading statesmen in the United States. Not long ago Theodore Roosevelt, ex-president -of the United States, gave an interview in the papers. A committee had waited upon him and suggested to him a coalition government in the United States, and he said: " No, we do not want any coalition government in this country'; we have no politics until the war is over; we are supporters of President Wilson and his Administration." That is the prevailing sentiment in the United States; the same sentiment is expressed by Mr. Hughes, the Republican candidate, and I notice that Mr. Taft has said the same thing. That is the position taken by Senator Root and by other leading politicians in the United States, who are splendid examples, for hon. gentlemen opposite to follow. We are not doing our duty in this House; we are delayed here month after month listening to small politics and small political statements to catch votes in the province of Nova Scotia or in the province of New Brunswick, or in the wheat fields out in Saskatchewan, without any object or apparent responsibility as to the great troubles through which we are passing at the present time. It would be a fine thing if I could, from my seat in this House this afternoon, congratulate hon. gentlemen opposite on the manly stand that

they were taking in doing their best to assist the Government. .

Topic:   THE POTATO SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   THE BUDGET.
Sub-subtopic:   DEBATE ON ANNUAL STATEMENT OP THE MINISTER OP FINANCE.
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An hon. MEMBER:

You would have to stretch a point to do it.

Topic:   THE POTATO SUPPLY.
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Sub-subtopic:   DEBATE ON ANNUAL STATEMENT OP THE MINISTER OP FINANCE.
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CON

Francis Ramsey Lalor

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mt. LALOR:

But hon. gentlemen opposite are indulging in criticisms of a petty nature. I am surprised at the right hon. gentleman who leads the Opposition-and I have no hesitation in saying that I respect him very much-content to let this small crowd from Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, and one member from Saskatchewan, occupy the time of the House every day while their own friends and supporters sitting around them are compelled to listen to them.

/

Topic:   THE POTATO SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   THE BUDGET.
Sub-subtopic:   DEBATE ON ANNUAL STATEMENT OP THE MINISTER OP FINANCE.
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LIB

Edward Mortimer Macdonald

Liberal

Mt. MACDONALD:

Does the hon. gentleman undertake to lay down the principle that this Government is beyond criticism and should not be criticised?

Topic:   THE POTATO SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   THE BUDGET.
Sub-subtopic:   DEBATE ON ANNUAL STATEMENT OP THE MINISTER OP FINANCE.
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CON

Francis Ramsey Lalor

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LALOR:

At the opening of my remarks I have said that the Government wants criticism, fair criticism, but not petty parish politics.

Topic:   THE POTATO SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   THE BUDGET.
Sub-subtopic:   DEBATE ON ANNUAL STATEMENT OP THE MINISTER OP FINANCE.
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LIB

Edward Mortimer Macdonald

Liberal

Mr. MACDONALD:

In other words, my hon. friend wants mild criticism that is not going to displease him and that will not hurt the Government.

Topic:   THE POTATO SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   THE BUDGET.
Sub-subtopic:   DEBATE ON ANNUAL STATEMENT OP THE MINISTER OP FINANCE.
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CON

Francis Ramsey Lalor

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LALOR:

I want in this House the kind of criticism that will help to win the war. We do not want political criticism that is meant to win votes and to make the people of this country dissatisfied.

Topic:   THE POTATO SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   THE BUDGET.
Sub-subtopic:   DEBATE ON ANNUAL STATEMENT OP THE MINISTER OP FINANCE.
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LIB

Edward Mortimer Macdonald

Liberal

Mr. MACDONALD:

Would my hon.

friend agree to the proposition that there should be a reciprocity on that basis; that t'he Government should set out to win the war and should give up playing politics?

Topic:   THE POTATO SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   THE BUDGET.
Sub-subtopic:   DEBATE ON ANNUAL STATEMENT OP THE MINISTER OP FINANCE.
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May 4, 1917