May 4, 1917

LIB

Daniel Duncan McKenzie

Liberal

Mr. McKENZIE:

Is free wheat part of your policy?

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:

We have been consistent protectionists from that time down to the present. I think the hon. member for Red Deer should be sitting on this side of the House, rather than with the hon. member for Pictou and his friends, who, though they advocate free trade and a low tariff, practised protection for fifteen years.

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:

What does my hon. friend thjnk of wheat?

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 will come to that.

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:

You will dodge it.

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:

These free traders and low tariff gentlemen opposite were in power fifteen years, and what did they do? They adopted the Conservative tariff that was left them by their predecessors, and they never changed it during their fifteen years of office. On the contrary, they added steel bounties and paid out millions and millions of the people's money to my hon. friend's friends in Nova Scotia and Cape Breton.

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:

That comes in well in war time, doesn't if?

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:

It was a steel bounty; I do not know whether there was any " steal " in it or not. As I was saying, I think the hon. member for Red Deer would be in more congenial! company on this side of the House. I do not think that such addresses as the House has listened to from the hon. member for Richmond (Mr. Kyte), ithe hon. member for CaTleton (Mr. Carvell) and the hon. member for Assiniboia (Mr. Turriff) find much sympathy among some hon. gentlemen opposite. I notice the hon. member for Saskatoon (Mr. McCraney) taking his seat. I .listened to his speech the other night with great pleasure, and I have had pleasure since in reading it in Hansard. It was a manly, straightforward, non-political speech. It is reported that

the hon. gentleman is going to retire from public life.

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

William Thomas White (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir THOMAS WHITE:

I hope not.

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:

If it is true hon. gentlemen on this side of the House will regret it very much, because we have great respect for the member for Saskatoon. We also had a speech the other evening from the hon. member for Moosejaw (Mr. Knowles), who wanted the hon. member for Pictou and his friends to declare where they stood on free trade* and protection. He said that his constituency wanted to know, that the people out there were getting a little bit tired of both political parties. A free trader himself, he wanted to know where the party he had supported for fifteen years stood. Hon. gentlemen opposite should stick to their principles, or let the public know just where they stand. They should not preach free trade and a low tariff in one place and whisper to the manufacturers and protectionists in other places: Never

fear, put U3 into power, and trust us. I often wonder what these hon. gentlemen opposite would do if they came into power. I would like the hon. member for Cape Breton North (Mr. McKenzie) tp tell me that. Would they really change the tariff? I think the hon. member would be ready to assure his friends in Nova Scotia that the tariff will be maintained, while he hon. member for Assiniboia (Mr. Turriff) will be ready to declare that they wpuld introduce free trade. I was speaking to a member on the other side of the House who is engaged in the imanufacturing business. I said: " If your side came into power and reduced the tariff, it would be a nice thing for your business, wouldn't it? " His answer was, " Don't worry we were in power for fifteen years and did not lower the tariff, and we would not lower it if we came into power now." Preaching one thing and practising another, in an effort to deceive tile people-that is the history of the Liberals. Why, that is what they are doing right now in this House. One day we have a series of speeches from the gentlemen from the manufacturing towns and cities, telling about awful poverty that they say exists in those places-women and babies starving. It is not true, for there never was greater prosperity in this country than there is to-day. The price of farm products is high, it is true. But why should they not be 'high? The farmers deserve some prosperity. And, let me tell you, wages are pretty good-perhaps not quite equal to the increase in the cost of food, but still

they are good. Some of these hon. gentle-.men talk about people starving, but there never was a time in this country when our people bought as good goods or as high-priced goods, or as many of them, as they do to-day. This is especially true of wearing apparel, and this shows that the country is prosperous. And, as I am reminded by a friend near me, the money in the savings banks is greater in amount than ever before in the history of the conntry.

We are told that the prices of farm products are high. They are pretty high and the farmers are pretty prosperous. But, let one tell you, they deserve a good deal of the prosperity they are getting. And don't fprget that it cost a good deal more for the farmer to raise his crops now than it ever did in the past. Everything he has to buy is higher, and the wages he has to pay for help are very much more than formerly. In the province of Ontario to-day, there is an average of about one man for every hundred acres, because the young men have grope to the war. That means that the farmer and his wife and daughters are left to run the farm, and they are doing just as heToic work for the Empire as are the hoys who have joined the forces, for we have come to the days when the need for food for the soldiers is fully realized. -

We have a Government in power that is very kind to the farmers. We on this side are the farmers' friends, there is no question about that, for we have done more for the farmers than any other government in the history of Canada. A resolution will come before us this session to grant $10,000,000 for the building of good roads. We had a similar resolution before, and had it not been for the friends of hon. gentlemen opposite the farmers of our country would have had good roads. In my county, good roads are almost as necessary as railways, for the roads are not very good naturally. Our county has spent a lot of money on roads, assisted by the provincial Government. If the Bill that we passed in this House and sent to the Senate had been confirmed by the Senate, we would have had good roads through the county of Hal-dimand. We have got a majority now in the Senate-that is one good thing for this country, and we are going to pass the Bill and give the farmers $10,000,000 to build roads.

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

Alexander Kenneth Maclean

Liberal

Mr. A. K. MACLEAN:

If the hon. gentleman will permit me-I made a statement that this Bill was to provide for an

expenditure of $10,000,000, but I was informed officially that no such expenditure was contemplated. If I was in error, I am afraid that my hon. friend (Mr. Lalor) is equally in error.

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:

Certainly, the hon. gentleman is misinformed, for the Bill is to provide $10,000,000 for good roads. Of course, it is not all to be spent in one year- he did not expect that, I hope, but it is to be spread,over a number of years. One of our great problems is the problem' of providing employment for returned soldiers. If we spend $10,000,000 in building good roads for the farmers, that will provide something for the soldiers to do. I have great pride, as >a representative of a farming constituency, in pointing to the rural mail system of this Government. The farmers to-day do not have to drive over bad roads for five or ten miles to the nearest post office to get their papers -and letters, and then only get them once or twice a week; but a Government mail carrier goes to every farm house every day to deliver to the farmer his daily paper and his letters as well. I could enumerate, many other things that this Government has done for the farmers. I am proud to support a government that has given more to the farmers than has ever been given in the past, and has looked to their interests better than any other government in our history. I am sure the farmers will show their gratitude for what has been done for them by supporting the government that has carefully considered their interest.

We have heard a great deal this session about the manufacturers. Hon. gentlemen opposite, for political effect, make the most vicious attacks upon the manufacturing interests of this country, and try and make the people believe that they are being Tobbed by extortionate high protectionist manufacturers. But I notice that some hon. gentlemen on the other side are themselves engaged in manufacturing. What do they wrant to do-I ask this question in all seriousness-when they make these statements? Do they propose to close the manufacturing industries of this country? Where are the returned soldiers going to get employment when they come back? In my county, and I am glad to say it is the policy of this Government, the returned soldiers get all the public offices. That is the policy we are supporting. But, they have to get employment as well in the factories and they cannot get employment if this policy of hon. gentlemen opposite is

carried out because probably a good many of the factories would be put out of business.

The manufacturers, I am pleased to say, have shown a "good principle during this war. They are the only class of people who are directly taxed by the Government for the war. They have been asked to hand over to this Government 25 per cent of all the profits they make over a certain amount. I am pleased to say, and I think the Minister of Finance told us, that in all Canada from the Atlantic to the Pacific, there has never been a grumble from a manufacturer. Although the tax amounts, in some instances, to hundreds of thousands of dollars, they have never grumbled or found fault, but have cheerfully paid over their money to the treasury of this country. Under the present taxation scheme of the Minister of Finance they will have to pay over very much more, in some cases as much as 75 per cent of their profits, and I believe they will cheerfully accept that taxation and pay whatever they are .asked to pay.

Hon. gentlemen opposite advocated an income tax. I presume that income tax will fall upon large and small incomes. There is great difficulty in the administration of an income tax, as the Minister of Finance has told us. It is a very difficult matter to go to a farmer who is making a thousand or two thousand dollars a year and ask him to pay an income tax upon what he is making. I am rather inclined to believe in a tax on large incomes. That is a very small problem compared with the effort to raise revenue by means of a tax on small incomes because the people are paying taxes now indirectly if not directly.

I propose, in a moment, to refer to the attack made by the hon. member for Richmond (Mr. Kyte) on the canning business, but in the meantime I will mention another subject. We have heard a good deal in this House about the old reciprocity agreement. Hon. gentlemen opposite regard this as a child of their own and some of them are pleased to tell us about it yet. They cannot give it up although I do not think they really love the baby very much now. The Conservative party opposed reciprocity and the people voted against it. They were opposed to the agreement that was made by Mr. Fielding and the late Mr. Paterson. What was the result? The result of the defeat of reciprocity was that the Republican party went out of office in the States, the Democratic party came in, they gave us more than they would have given us under

reciprocity, and we do not have to give anything in return. More than that, we have control of our own tariff

5 p.m. and our own tariff policy. We impose duty where we want to, we take off duty if we want to, and Washington cannot interfere. I have in my hand the Payne tariff, which was in force at the time hon. gentlemen were in power, the reciprocity agreement and the present trade arrangement, which is known as the Underwood tariff. I will just mention a few items, so that hon. gentlemen opposite can understand what a good arrangement the present Government have made by getting the Underwood Bill brought into effect. Under the Payne tariff, if a farmer shipped cattle less than a year old he had. to pay $2 duty. If worth not more than $14 he paid $3.75, and if worth over $14 he paid 27i per cent.

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

Oliver James Wilcox

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. WILCOX:

Is that the reciprocity agreement? [DOT]

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:

No, that is the Payne tariff. We were told what a great thing it would be if we had reciprocity, because the farmers could ship their cattle to the United States and not pay any duty on them at all, that they would be absolutely free. Well, they are free now under the Underwood tariff. Therefore, there was nothing to be gained by the reciprocity agreement. Horses are a little different. Horses were 25 per cent under the Payne tariff. - The reciprocity agreement would have made them free, and now we are charged 10 per cent. Hogs; I remember in my own county that a very good friend, a gentleman whom I admire very much but who is not of the same party as I am myself, told the farmers what an advantage it would be to them if they could ship their hogs over to the United States. The reciprocity agreement made them free, but they are free to-day. You can go down through this whole list and find many instances of this kind. Beef and lambs were free under reciprocity; they are free under the Underwood Bill.

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

An hon. MEMBER:

Are they being shipped in?

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

Francis Ramsey Lalor

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LALOR:

I do not know whether they are being shipped in or not. Poultry; the reciprocity agreement made them free; they were taxed under the Payne tariff 5 cents a pound, and they are now 1 cent .a pound. Meats fresh; under the reciprocity agreement the farmer, if he wanted to ship his fresh beef to the United States, had to pay li cents a pound, but under the present

/

arrangement these articles are free. Bacon and hams were taxed under reciprocity; now they are free. Meats, salted, were taxed under reciprocity 14 cents a pound; they are now free. Wheat; you have heard about that before. Wheat used to be taxed 25 cents a bushel; the reciprocity made it free and wheat is free to-day, as you know. There has never been anything done by the Government that has hurt our friends upon the opposite side of t'he House so much as free wheat. I am sorry that we have not in the House now some of the representatives like the hon. member for Assiniboia (Mr. Turriff), who talks free wheat when there is a duty upon it, and, when there is no duty upon it and it is made absolutely free, regrets that it is free. On speeches free wheat has gone into the scrap. They are now of no use to hon. gentlemen opposite. They have to get something new, and the hon. member for Assiniboia the other night tried to make out that my hon. friend the Minister of Trade and Commerce (Sir George Foster), on behalf of this Government, had endeavoured to persuade the farmers of the West to sell their wheat at $1.30 a bushel. There is nothing in that; it was simply the offer of the British Government thait the Minister of Trade and Commerce submitted to the farmers of the West. I believe every member of this House knows it and that the hon. member for Assiniboia knows it as well. You can go down through the whole list of farm products and you will find that they are just as free as they were under reciprocity, and even some of the items that were taxed under reciprocity have been made free by the Underwood tariff.

Let me now take up the duty on flour. It was a good thing that the hon. member for Huntingdon (Mr. Kobb) was a member of this Parliament when the Reciprocity agreement was being negotiated, because the hon. member for Huntingdon and his friends arranged that wheat should be free so that he could go over to the United States, if wheat was cheaper there than in Canada, and bring it here and grind it into flour. He also took good care that the Government then in power put a duty of fifty cents a barrel on flour. And we had a resolution the other night charging this Government with blame for the high price of flour, and finding great fault with the Minister of Labour because he did not do something to reduce the price. We were told that if the duty on flour of fifty cents a barrel were Temoved flour would be

cheaper in this country, that the poor people of Canada would be able to buy it cheaper, the artisans, labourers, all who desired to buy flour would be much better off if they could only get free flour from the United States. Here is what the hon. member for Assiniboia (Mr. Turriff) said:

Yet this Government stands in the way and refuses to allow the farmers of Canada to sell their wheat in the United States. They simply refuse to come to the relief of the farmer when the farmer is not asking any favour but only saying: Give us the privilege of selling our

wheat where we can sell it to the best advantage. But it is not only the farmer who grows wheat who suffers. What about that great big class of workmen, mechanics and consumers of Canada? Give us free wheat and the farmer who grows wheat will get a better price, and the man who is "working for $1.50 or $2.50 a day, with a big family to feed and support, will buy his flour cheaper, so that it works both ways. I say that the workman can buy his flour cheaper.

Well, we have taken the duty off flour to help the poor man out, and there is no one finding greater fault than the right hon. gentleman and his supporters on the other side of the House. They proposed a resolution which occupied the whole time of this House yesterday. In that resolution they charged the Government with responsibility for the high price of flour, said that the Government were responsible, and wanted the Government, as I understood, to go out and buy all the wheat in this country, which is said to be 100,000,000 bushels which, at the present prices, would cost $300,000,000; then they wanted the Government to take over the flour mills of this country in order to produce flour cheaper for t'he consumer. Well surely you have all the advantage you could have even if such a step were taken when you have the market of t'he United States absolutely free. The member for Richmond (Mr. Kyte) the other night compared prices in this country with the prices in Australia.. Was that a fair comparison? Australia is 4,000 miles away from us. If the hon. member for Richmond had wanted to be fair in his comparison of prices he would have compared the prices of the United States and Canada. That would have been a fair comparison, because they are right beside us, and our farmers were told and always have been told that the prices in t'he United States for farm products were higher than here, while the consumer has been told that they were lower If the hon. member wanted to make a fair comparison, he would have compared the prices in the United States and in Canada. It is the same

old tiring today as it was in the time of t'he reciprocity campaign, an attempt to deceive the people of this country. In my* county on the day of the official nomination we always have a trig public meeting in order that the candidates may express their views to the electorate. I remember that at the last official nomination during the reciprocity campaign a friend of mine handed me a leading Liberal paper of Toronto. One edition of that paper was issued for the farmers to read and the other for the people in the towns and cities. One told the farmers that if they had reciprocity they would get higher prices, that everything would be worth more, butter, eggs, wheat, stocks of all kinds-everything would go up. The other edition told the people living in the cities and towns that they would (buy everything cheaper. Well, it was amusing. Fortunately I got the paper, and I think it amused the people very much to hear the statements of a leading Liberal organ in Toronto. Very largely I think as a result of that nomination meeting, I got three times the majority I had ever received before. I could go over the whole list of articles dealt with in the reciprocity agreement and show that we have gained by defeating reciprocity.

I do not intend to deal any longer with the remarks of the hon. member for Richmond, and his comparisons of prices. I want to say in all seriousness that the one thing .we have to fear in this country is a shortage of food. There is no question about that. We talk about the high price of flour and the high price of wheat, but what I fear is that they are going to be very much higher than they are to-day. I think that the greatest trouble that is ahead of us in this country is a shortage of wheat and a shortage of food generally. I read to-day a dispatch which anticipates that the American Government reports which will be issued on Monday will show that 10,000,000 acres of fall wheat have been ploughed up in the United States. That is an alarming statement. The report will also say that the balance of the acreage in the United States will produce only 60 per cent of a crop. The Commissioner of Agriculture for the Dominion of Canada issued a statement yesterday that he had just received a cable from Australia, where they are harvesting their crop, stating that the Australian crop is 36,000,000 bushels short of the crop of last year; and in the same report this commissioner tells us that

in the great wheat-growing province of Saskatchewan there is 1,500,000 acres less land ploughed this year than there was last year. I tell you that this is a very serious matter indeed. We talk about appointing a food dictator to tell what we should eat and what we should have on the table. I do not think such a plan would be very practicable in this country; it would be very hard to carry into effect a policy of that kind, although it may be possible to persuade the people to accept the conditions and to live as economically as they possibly can as far as food is concerned. I believe that all the food that we raise will be required by our people in Canada and by our men who are engaged in this war. It is not only the submarine menace that is so dangerous and doing such awful destruction. At the beginning of this war, a man said to me: God Almighty himself will finish this war by famine and by shortage of food. It looks very much as though his prophecy was going to be fulfilled, because we are short of wheat and short of food. I tell you that these conditions as to the wheat supply are very serious. I cannot see anything ahead but very high prices for wheat and flour as well; and if flour will stay at its present price of $14 a barrel and not go any higher, we can congratulate ourselves on the conditions that exist.

I now wish to[DOT] refer to an attack that was made on an industry in which I am interested, the Dominion Canners Company. The member for Richmond (Mr. G. W. Kyte) made a general attack upon many industrial institutions in Canada, but of the industries that he mentioned there is only one in respect of which I can reply to some of the things that he said. I am not interested in the others and know nothing about them, but if his remarks as to these were no fairer than what he said about the Dominion Canners Company, of which I have been a director since its organization, then my hon. friend's whole statement was unfair and a misrepresentation. I am told that our friends opposite have recently issued some literature-I have not seen it, but I am informed as to this by a gentleman who has seen it-in which the member. for East Elgin (Mr. David Marshall) and myself are painted in no very complimentary manner and referred to as having extorted money from the people. I am going to tell a few honest facts in connection with the Dominion Canners Company. It is a very large organization.

with about 75 factories spread from the province of Quebec to the province of British Columbia, employing 10,000 or 12,000 people in their factories in the canning season, contracting with farmers for 10,000 or 15,000 acres of land for vegetables alone. It is a large industry of which I believe the people of Canada may feel proud, because it is the largest institution of its kind in the world. Their methods have been fair and honest and they have never extracted from the people one dollar in the way of extra prices that they were not entitled to.

The hon. gentleman tells us in his statement that the Dominion Canners Company made in the year 1916 $555,777. In that statement he was correct. The Company has a large capitalization, which, I am proud to say, represents good hard cash that has been paid into the company. Let me tell you how they made some of that money in 1916. We know something about the prices of raw material. The Dominion Canners' Company, in 1916, had on hand nearly $1,000,000 worth of tin-plate, and the large increase in the price of tin-plate was responsible for our making $500,000 of the amount mentioned by the member for Richmond. Tin-plate that we used to buy for $3.60 a box is now worth $15 a box, and the same may be said of solder, nails, boxes, labels, and everything that is used in the canning business. The turnover of the company is very 'large, and I think it is only fair to take the figures for more than one year. That is something that is not quite fair about the Finance Minister's taxation. While the Dominion Canners' Company made a little money in 1916, they lost very heavily in 1915. Of course, the Government got no taxes then-and they did not come to our rescue and help us out. But in 1916, when we had a little better profit, we had to shell out 25 per cent to the Finance Minister to help him out.

In the year 1915 the Dominion Canners' Company lost $407,600. The member for Richmond did mention the loss, but he did not give the figures correctly; this figure is very much larger than that given by the hon. gentleman. In that year we put up a bigger pack of canned goods than ever before, and that in face of the increased cost of labour. These conditions, and the effects of competition, reduced the price of canned goods to such an extent that we lost in one year's operations the amount that I have stated. Let us compare the two years 1915 and 1916. I think it is only fair that we should do so. The total sum made in the two years was $149,000. That is a very

small profit, indeed, upon the capitalization of our company and its operations for *two years. We paid no dividend on our preferred stock in 1915 or 1916, because we could not do so. As a director of that company I was very sorry, indeed, that widows and other people throughout the country who wanted to get a dividend upon their stock to live upon were not able to get it because we had lost so much money. Recently we paid a dividend of li per cent on our preferred stock; the common stock gets no dividend. You can buy Dominion Canners common stock to-day at 20 cents on the dollar, and you can buy preferred stock, with all these back dividends due upon them, at 70 or 75. Is it fair to make an attack upon a big organization which is in such a financial position as this, and which is struggling as the Dominion Canners Company has been struggling? I would tell the member for Richmond if he were here that the Dominion Canners Company in two years' operations turned out $15,000,000 worth of goods and they cleared less than one per cent on their turnover. Still hon. gentlemen opposite in their campaign literature say that the Dominion Canners Company are robbing the people and extorting money from them. That is grossly unfair, and would be unfair to any business organization like the Dominion Canners Company, who are mindful of the interests of the farmers as well as the interests of the consumers.

I will give you a little more information about the Dominion Canners Company. It is not always wise for directors to tell all they know about a company in which they are interested, but I want the public to know, and I think the other directors of the Dominion Canners Company want the public to know, all the facts in connection with these unfair and unfounded charges that have been made. In 1916 there was a failure of the vegetable crop in Canada- tomatoes, peas and corn. In selling our goods to the wholesale trade we guaranteed them a delivery of 60 per cent, because their goods are sold before the crop is sown. Every wholesale house that bought canned goods from the Dominion Canners Company was assured of a delivery of 60 per cent. But the crop was so poor that we were able to deliver only 25 per cent of our pack, at prices that were contracted before the crop was grown. I myself went to the United States to buy 100,000 cases of canned goods to help us fill our orders, but could only purchase 60,000 cases. The

wholesale trade knew that we had lost a tremendous amount of money the year before and they were very generous with us; if they had not been generous, I do not know what would have happened to the Dominion Canners Company. They made a compromise with us by taking goods from us and cancelling the original contracts. The wholesale houses got a fair price for the goods last year, because conditions were such that they were entitled to it. You could not buy the goods from anybody else, and they got good profits. When the hon. member for Richmond says that the price of tomatoes was $2.15 a case, I may tell him that that was not the price that the Dominion Canners Company received.

Thiis is the position of the wholesale trade in connection with the distribution of canned good's in Canada. The canners have always sold their goods to the wholesale trade at a profit of ten per cent; that is, the wholesale trade are allowed a profit of 10 per cent for selling the products of the Dominion Canners Company. That profit is not too large. Any business man who has ever sent out travellers to the retail trade knows that it costs about 7 per cent to sell goods, so that the wholesale trade have. 3 per cent left for their profit, and to pay overhead expenses. That is the profit the wholesale trade have in the past received. I do not think that profit is excessive. The Dominion Canners Company, from its organization down to the present time has had one aim, one object in view, namely, to give the consumers the best quality of goods, and to charge them ais reasonable a price as possible to cover expenses, interest on bonds and dividends on preferred stock. I regret that they have not been able to pay the latter for the last two years. The Dominion Canners Company is a large company, and I do not think any man can place any censure upon it or -upon its methods of doing business, which are honest, straightforward and upright. As a member and a stockholder of that company, I am very sorry that a gentleman sitting on the opposite side of the House, not only this session, but session after session has attacked this organization for political purposes solely, to try to make a little bit of capital against -some gentlemen who- happen to be members of this House and supporters of the Government. That is unfair; further than that, the hon. member for Richmond (Mr. Kyte) could direct his energies to a great deal better advantage in the House by

70 J

trying to advise the Government as best he could, honestly, sincerely and non-politically, as to how to win this war.

And after all, there ie something higher and nobler in life than mere wrangling over petty -politics in this hour of our nation's sorrow, glorious though be the deeds of valour which our sons are achieving. May we not pause -to think that in many a once happy home in this land there is mourning to-day. It cornea close to -all of us when we think of the fine young men who were our every day companions who n,ow sleep their last sleep on the fields of France and Flandere and in Mesopotamia and in eastern Europe. Last week the news came to my own town that four splendid young fellows, well educated boys, had made the supreme sacrifice for liberty and humanity. If you go to the city of Toronto, you will see men with one arm or one leg or maimed in other waye going down the street. Such is the awful condition of things, and in addition to that there ie the great problem of food that will face us in the future with the German submarines sinking our ships and sending loads of food to the bottom of the ocean. The conditions in this country today are alarming; they are awfu1, as we all know; and as regards the fighting in France, while we are pleased when we pick up the papers and read the headlines, to think that, we are advancing just a little bit, yet, if we look at the papers for a week or ten days previous, we shall find that our forces are pretty nearly in the same position as they were in before. I noticed a despatch to-day stating that in the city of Berlin the Germans have turned their machine gums on their own people and shot down their own women and children, the poor women and children of Germany who are innocent in this war and who are crying for bread. Those are the methods that are used to quiet the people in Germany who are hungry. Yet hon. gentlemen opposite, like Mr. Kyte and Mr. Car-vell-I am sorry to mention their names- day after day in this House, foT political advantage, for party purposes, for what little impression they can make on the men in one section of the country or in another section, in the interest of the party, are occupying the time of the members of this Parliament who are sent here to devise some real remedies for the great evils and troubles that are facing us at the present time. It is lamentable, and I want now, as a humble member of this House, to appeal to the Right Hon. leader of the

Opposition, for whom I have the greatest respect-and I have never any hesitation in saying that, not only to his face bnt wherever I am-to set an example to his followers and to tell them to stop all this thing; to say to them: When this war is over, we will fight our political battles to a finish; we will make all the political capital that we can; we will turn the Tories out of office if possible; hut for the sake of our nation, for the sake of humanity, let us at the present time help to steer the Government, if we can, to win this waT. Hon. gentlemen opposite s"ay that we are going to have an election. I hope not; I hope that neither of the parties of this House will assume that enormous, that grave responsibility. I am quite satisfied that the people of this country do not want politics and do not want an .election at the present time. They want us to do our duty here to win this war, and they will respect the Opposition much more than they do to-day and thousands of people in this country, who have never supported the Opposition before will probably vote for them if they will do their duty and assist the Government at this time.

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

Onésiphore Turgeon

Liberal

Mr. O. TURGEON (Gloucester):

Mr. Speaker, it is always with a certain timidity that I arise to address this House, but my timidity to-day is all the greater owing to the admonition of my hon. friend (Mr. Lalor) that no criticism of the Government should be offered by any hon. member on this side of the House. I feel, therefore, that I should perhaps stand aside and not make the remarks that I had intended to make, more especially as I am one of the members from the Maritime Provinces who are, according to my hon. friend, always causing trouble. But fortunately, Sir, so far as you are personally concerned, it may be that your familiarity with the spectre will permit you to keep patient while I address you for a little while.'

Later on in my remarks I shall deal with the many arguments presented by my hon. friend. First of all, I wish to discuss something which he has said about the Intercolonial railway and that great enterprise of my right hon. friend the leader of the Opposition, the National Transcontinental. Only a few days ago, we discussed the question of the Intercolonial for a whole afternoon and night, and I thought my hon. friend would have had all the information he could expect from any hon. member at that time without bringing up the .subject again,

[Mr. Tjalnr.l

and displaying ignorance or forgetfulness when he spoke of the Liberal Government having added nothing to the Intercolonial Railway during the years they were in power. Does my hon. friend forget that the Drummond County Railway was taken over by my right hon. friend (Sir Wilfrid Laur-ier) and the Liberal Government in 1898-99 or shortly after they came into power in 1896 and that up to that date the Intercolonial railway from Hailfax was ending in a field at Levis with no proper terminals, and that the Liberal Government, as soon as they took office, extended the road to the great metropolis of Canada? Has he forgotten or did he ever know that the road known as the Gibson road connecting Fredericton with Chatham and Newcastle was taken over by hon. friends when, they were in power adding 125 miles to the Intercolonial? Has he forgotten or did he ever know that in 1911 when we appealed to the country, a bill was awaiting its second reading for the taking over of the International, the Caraquet, the Kent, and other small branch railways in the southern portion of the province of New Brunswick, to be added to the Intercolonial? I might be pardoned for recalling tho_ telegram sent by the present Prime Minister at the time of the election, pledging to take over all these branches if he was put in power, and I would ask the hon. gentleman who has just taken his seat to tell me how many of those railways have been taken over in the six years this Government has been in office. In that time they have taken over only one of these railways, the International. My right hon. leader (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) has been most generous to the Government in connection with everything pertaining to the war, and in extending the term of Parliament, yet after such generous treatment as that, when any hon. gentleman on this side of the House gets up and criticises the Government, he is accused of disloyalty. I never accuse any one in Canada of disloyalty, because I believe every man in this country is actuated by a proper sentiment whether he belongs to a Liberal or Conservative family. I think to accuse a person of disloyalty is the most terrible accusation one can make.

I wish to say just a few words about the Transcontinental railway, which hon. gentlemen opposite are trying to make so much political capital out of. That road in a few years, I am sure, will prove its usefulness. It would have proved it already if * it had not been for the attitude adopted bv this

Government when they took office. It appeared to be their deliberate object to show the people of this country that a great mistake had been made in constructing that road, and they at once set about to get public opinion on their side. Mr. Gutelius, who made the report on the Transcontinental has by his actions on the Intercolonial contradicted his own report. The report showed that he cared nothing for his reputation as an engineer. When he took charge of the Intercolonial he tried to improve the roadbed as much as possible so that trains could haul a greater number of cars between Moncton and Halifax and Sydney, and at a cheaper rate. Since the Government have taken over that portion of the Transcontinental between Winnipeg and Cochrane, the Minister of Railways and Mr. Gutelius have been advertising it as the best road on the American continent. They say that the service and equipment of the trains is unsurpassed. Why do they not boost to the same extent that portion of the road between Cochrane and St. John? My right hon. friend told the country that it would not be a great many years before great industries and populous villages would be settled along that line of railway, ' and people would go in there by the hundreds and thousands. Why is it that they have not gone? It is simply because this Government have not afforded the facilities which it was intended to give, and which it is able to give them to-day. It is only a few nights ago that the hon. member for Calgary (Mr. Bennett) threatened to tear up the rails on that portion of the Transcontinental that crosses New Brunswick. This Transcontinental road was expected to cement our provinces closer together, provinces that already were united by industrial and commercial activities, and which had heard the eloquent appeals of Haliburton, Joseph Howe, Tupper, Tilley, Mitchell, mingled with the -eloquent appeals of Cartier, Macdonald, Brown, and others. All these men made eloquent appeals to the provinces that were united by the still more noble ties of brotherhood, humanity and charity. Charity, by the way, is a virtue which some hon. gentlemen opposite seem to lack when they talk of the Maritime Provinces. The Maritime Provinces have all played their part. We have given to the West the great harbours with which our shores are so generously endowed, and which are to-day so necessary if Canada is to become the great nation

we expect her to be. My hon. friend said that the building of the Transcontinental from Quebec to New Brunswick was opposed by the Hon. Mr. Blair, who resigned because of the construction of that road. Very few men, permit me to say, have been closer to the heart and mind of the people of this Dominion than the late Mr. Blair, and by none is his memory more revered than by me. The Hon. Mr. Blair always treated my county of Gloucester with the greatest justice and consideration. His name is mentioned in every home in the county almost as if it were the name of a father.

I only do him justice when I say that I know that the action he took was inconsiderate and that he regretted it next day. And, perhaps, that was one of the causes that took him so quickly from us, to- our great regret. This Transcontinental road -across the Maritime Provinces, coming as far as Moncton and bringing down the products of the West to be -shipped from the ports of St. John and Halifax, might easily have been made the bearer of a much greater traffic, had the crossing at Quebec been completed. But, through the failure to make this connection and in other ways, the Government have caused this traffic from the West to reach Toronto and Montreal, to be ultimately diverted to American harbours. Some day the Transcontinental across New Brunswick will be one of the best paying roads in Canada. When a government undertakes an enterprise of such consequence as a transcontinental railway it has not in view the returns of the very next day; it looks to the future. This patriotic plan of uniting by another road the Atlantic coast with the Pacific should have had the effect of making the portion of New Brunswick to which I have referred one of the most highly productive parts of Canada. I am surprised that my hon. friends from Ontario are not satisfied with the development which the Transcontinental has given to the trade through that province. The connection from Cochrane to North Bay by the Temiskaming & Northern Ontario railway -itself the conception of a great -Liberal statesman, the late Sir George Ross-gives Ontario another means of connection with the West, and that province is thereby greatly benefited, just as central New Brunswick has benefited. The younger generation, when they make up their minds no longer to go to the United States, but to spend their energies in developing the land

in which they were born, will see this middle portion of New Brunswick the scene of many thriving industries, especially the pulp and paper manufactories for which it is so well fitted. And the traflac thus developed must make the magnificent scenery of 'the Miramichi valley and other portions of that country famous; for, while not so inspiring as the scenery of the Rocky Mountains of British Columbia, its 'beauties will attract many lovers of nature, and will convince them that Providence lias been generous to eastern as well as to western Canada.

On the motion of Mr. Turgeon the debate was adjourned.

At six o'clock the House took recess.

After Recess.

The House resumed at eight o'clock.

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

PRIVATE BILLS.


The House in Committee on Private Bills, Mr. Rainville in the Chair.


UNITED GRAIN GROWERS, LIMITED.

May 4, 1917