July 20, 1917

CON

Edgar Nelson Rhodes (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPEAKER:

The hon. member for St. John made a statement to the House and he concluded by giving the gist of a letter. I ruled that he could not read the letter. I assumed then that he had concluded his remarks.

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LIB
CON

Edgar Nelson Rhodes (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPEAKER:

It would be more in order if a day could be appointed when the matter could be discussed in conformity with the rules of the House.

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs; President of the Privy Council)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir ROBERT BORDEN:

Very good. I am content, except that I desire to say that my hon. friend's examination of his remarks on the occasion referred to has evidently been so exceedingly superficial that he has had his attention entirely diverted from those portions of his remarks which justify the observations I made in the House on June 6, and I further say, so far as the rest is concerned that his own statement this afternoon is absolutely in accord with the description I gave in my

remarks on that day of what took place .in May, 1909.

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LIB

William Pugsley

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY:

I can only say in answer to my right hon. friend that he has a strange conception of the difference between attacking a judge and taking up his judgment, and showing that it is not based on evidence, or is entirely contrary to the evidence, and charging that this shows a reckless disregard for the truth.

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs; President of the Privy Council)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir ROBERT BORDEN:

I hope I have a better appreciation of that than my hon. friend has of the remarks he made in May, 1909.

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CON

Edgar Nelson Rhodes (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPEAKER:

Order. I must ask that this discussion cease. [DOT]

PRIVILEGE-Mt. MICHAEL CLARK.

On the Orders of the Day:

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LIB

Michael Clark

Liberal

Mr. MICHAEL CLARK (Red Deer):

Mr. Speaker, I rise to a question of privilege. A paragraph appeared in the Journal-Press of this city yesterday, and I am told that a similar paragraph appeared in the Globe of Toronto and other papers -I do not wish to read any of them-purporting to give an account of what took place at a meeting of Liberals who voted for the second reading of the Military Service Bill, purporting to give that account as an account endorsed by my hon. friend from Saltcoats (Mr. MacNutt) who was the chairman of that meeting. I have the liberty of my hon. friend from Saltcoats to say what I am now about to say. I read the paragraph from the Journal-Press to my hon. friend from Saltcoats, and with his bluff honesty, he characterized the writer of that paragraph by a very strong substantive. I do not care to repeat it, but it indicated an emphatic belief on the part of that hon. member that the paragraph in question was not only highly coloured, but untruthful. The sub-

4 p.m. stantive was further emphasized by the use of an adjective. My hon. friend from Saltcoats asked me not to repeat the adjective as it might reflect on his character as a good Presbyterian. I wish to say, on my own account, that my impression of the paragraph in question is exactly the same as that of .the hon. member for Saltcoats.

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LABOUR STRIKE IN WESTERN COAL MINES.


On the Orders of the Day:


CON

Thomas Wilson Crothers (Minister of Labour)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. Mr. CROTHERS (Minister of La-[DOT] bour):

Perhaps the House would be glad

to hear read a telegram that I just received

from the Director of Coal Operations in District 18. The telegram which was sent yesterday says:

District eighteen produced on eighteenth instant fourteen thousand tons of coal and seven hundred tons coke. Production daily increasing but seriously retarded by lack of ail classes mine labour. All mines working excepting Pocahontas, which I expect to have operating to-morrow. Railways are heartily co-operating in matter of car supply.

(Sgd.) W. H. Armstrong.

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THE SOLDIER SETTLEMENT BOARD.


On the motion of Hon. W. J. Roche, (Minister of the Interior) the House went into committee to resume, from May 7, the debate on the following proposed resolution: That it is expedient to establish a Board, to be called "The Soldier Settlement Board," consisting of three commissioners, and to provide for salaries and expenses in connection therewith, and to empower the Minister of the Interior, at the request of the Board, to reserve such Dominion lands as may be required, and upon the recommendation of the Board, to grant a free entry for not more than one hundred and sixty acres of such reserved lands to any person who has served in the , naval or military expeditionary forces of the United Kingdom or of any of the self-governing British dominions or colonies, and who has left the forces with an honourable record or who has been honourably discharged, and the widow of any such person who died on active service, subject, to such conditions as in the opinion of the Governor in Council are necessary to secure the use of the land for the purpose for which it is granted; and further to provide that the Board may loan, upon such terms and conditions as may be prescribed, to any such settler an amount not exceeding two thousand dollars for acquiring land for agricultural purposes, payment of encumbrances on lands used for agricultural purposes, improvement of agricultural lands, erection of farm buildings and purchase of stock, machinery and equipment, the money to be expended under the supervision of the Board, and all expenditure made under the terms of this resolution to be paid out of such moneys as Parliament may appropriate for the purpose. Mr. B'lain in the Chair.


CON

Richard Blain

Conservative (1867-1942)

The CHAIRMAN (Mt. Blain):

On the

26th of Tune, the Minister of the Interior moved:

That the following proposed amendment be referred to the Committee of the Whole on the proposed resolution to establish a Board' to be called the Soldier Settlement Board:-

"That the proposed resolution of the 23rd' April, last, to establish a Board to be called the Soldier Settlement Board and to effect the other objects set out in the said resolution be amended and that the maximum amount that the Board may loan to settlers be increased from two thousand dollars to two thousand five hundred dollars." '

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LIB

William Roche

Liberal

Hon. Mr. ROCHE:

When this resolution was up some time ago, I explained the

nature of the proposed legislation of the Government, and the leader of the Opposition asked that a map be prepared showing the available 'undisposed of Government land within easy transportation distance, for the settlement of the soldiers. I have had a map prepared for each of the three provinces-I have just laid them on the Table-showing the acreage of the lands and whether the same are within ten, fifteen or twently miles of transportation facilities. The amendment that I proposed later on is to increase the amount of the loan to a maximum of 82,000, and to make the terms of repayment to extend over twenty years instead of fifteen years.

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LIB

William Pugsley

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY:

I do not want to say

anything that might be deemed at all as opposed to granting every possible assistance, aid and encouragement to returned soldiers; but if I have any objection' to offer, it is that this resolution does not go far enough. It proposes simply to deal with homestead lands. The Minister of the Interior will agree with me that it is not very much encouragement to a .returned soldier to say: You may go out into the growing West and search for a free homestead, which you are not very likely to get unless you go quite a long distance away from settlement, and then give aid by lending some money foT the purpose of putting stock upon the place or of giving money to enable the soldier to buy land from somebody else. What seems to me ought to be done would be to endeavour to get land in blocks near the settled communities in good localities, and give to the soldier the opportunity of buying, extending the loan over a long term Of years, but taking care that he would be settled where he would have the comforts of communal life near at hand. He should not be on the lonely prairie, at a remote distance from any community, where he would very likely become discouraged. My hon. friend knows that the best homesteads are pretty well taken up in the more settled parts of the country, and I am afraid it is nothing but a gold brick which is being held out to the returned soldier by this Bill. It is nothing more, than that; it is doing nothing more than the provincial governments have been doing in times of peace in the way of loaning money to settlers for the purpose of enabling them to buy farms and build homes for themselves. It seems to me that for the soldiers something better should be done. I have not the same personal knowledge of conditions

in the West as my hon. friend and other hon. gentlemen have who represent that section of the Dominion, bnt I have a knowledge gathered from reading and from seeing resolutions that have been passed in favour of giving encouragement to the returned soldiers, and I am led to the conclusion that in order to produce results of any great importance a broader scheme than is proposed in this resolution should be adopted. I do not believe the present scheme will produce any very encouraging results.

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LIB

William Roche

Liberal

Mr. ROCHE:

I think the hon. gentleman is entirely mistaken in thinking that we are here handing out a gold brick to the returned soldier. As a matter of fact, when all the British dominions submitted their land policies at the recent Imperial Conference in London it was admitted on all sides-so it has been reported by our Canadian representative at that conference- that the most generous and practicable offer made by any British dominion was that made by Canada.

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William Roche

Liberal

Mr. ROCHE:

I think the hon. gentleman is quite mistaken in his premises. In the first place lands that a few years ago were very far removed from transportation facilities are now being brought within easy reach of the railways by extensions of lines up in the north country, and there is a large amount of available Dominion lands in those western provinces.

The hon. member says that this policy is not very generous. Of course, I expected some criticism along that line, no matter how generous the assistance we proposed, because this is a matter that lends itself to catering to the soldier's sympathies. It has been represented to us by the Land Settlement Committee of the War Veterans' Association that the soldiers who will be likely to settle on the land will be provided with but very little money. The hon. gentleman has suggested that instead of allowing the soldiers to settle on our free Dominion lands, we should purchase lands, which would mean, of course, that we would have to re-sell them to the soldier. Now, I fear there would not be many soldiers who would have sufficient capital to purchase those lands.

We are doing something more than simply granting 160 acres of free homestead lands to the soldiers; it is true we grant him that. There is no interference with his ordinary homestead rights; that is to say,

if he has not exhausted his homestead privileges already, he can take up 160 acres of free homestead land by complying with the provisions of the Dominion Lands Act, which are most generous in their terms. But we are doing more than that for the soldier. We are offering him an additional 160 acres under the conditions provided by this legislation. So the soldier can take up 320 acres, one-half of which is to be earned under the Dominion Lands Act, and the other half under the provisions of this Soldiers' Settlement Scheme. Under this scheme we are granting a further 160 acres free to the soldier. We also supply the inexperienced man with agricultural training at the expense of the Government. We also grant him a loan to a maximum of ,$2,500, which is the largest amount granted in any of the British possessions, this loan being secured by a lien on the land.

I think the hon. gentleman will agree with me, when he reconsiders what he has said, that it would not be the wisest policy or the most acceptable to the soldiers themselves if the Government purchased lands for them in any particular province. Suppose, for instance, in the province of Alberta we bought lands adjacent to the more thickly settled communities, and said to the soldier. "Here is 160 acres of land, and you must settle- there if you wish to settle at all." That would be practically dictating to the soldier where he should locate, and if we adopted a policy of that kind in Alberta, every other province would have an equal right to demand such a policy for itself. The Government would then have to buy lands in provinces where the Crown Lands are owned by the provinces themselves. Under our policy, if the soldier wants to settle near a city or town, he has the privilege of purchasing the land where he wants to locate.

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LIB

William Pugsley

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY:

Is it not true that there is comparatively little land available for free homesteads in the West, except in that territory north of the Saskatchewan?

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July 20, 1917