May 3, 1918

L LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Laurier Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER:

-The point of

order is that this is a 'money resolution and cannot be read a second time on the same day it is taken up by the House.

Topic:   CANADIAN NORTHERN RAILWAY.
Subtopic:   RENEWAL OR POSTPONEMENT OF PAYMENT OF INDEBTEDNESS O'F THE COMPANY.
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UNION

Robert Laird Borden (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Unionist

Sir ROBERT BORDEN:

On what rule does the right hon. gentleman rely?

Topic:   CANADIAN NORTHERN RAILWAY.
Subtopic:   RENEWAL OR POSTPONEMENT OF PAYMENT OF INDEBTEDNESS O'F THE COMPANY.
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L LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Laurier Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER:

I have not Bourinot here, and I will not press the point. All I want is this, that we have this information a day or two in advance of the second reading of the Bill, that we may have time to consider it.

Topic:   CANADIAN NORTHERN RAILWAY.
Subtopic:   RENEWAL OR POSTPONEMENT OF PAYMENT OF INDEBTEDNESS O'F THE COMPANY.
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UNION

Robert Laird Borden (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Unionist

Sir ROBERT BORDEN:

There is no objection to that.

Resolution read a first time.

Topic:   CANADIAN NORTHERN RAILWAY.
Subtopic:   RENEWAL OR POSTPONEMENT OF PAYMENT OF INDEBTEDNESS O'F THE COMPANY.
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THE BUDGET.


The House resumed the debate on the motion of Hon. A. K. Maclean (Acting Minister of Finance) that Mr. Speaker do now leave the Chair for the House to go into Committee of Ways and Means (resumed from May 2).


L LIB

Louis Joseph Gauthier

Laurier Liberal

Mr. LOUIS JOSEPH GAUTHIER (St. Hyacinthe-Rouville):

The Acting Minister of Finance, in introducing the Budget, said that we must provide (Hansard, page 1304):

For Civil Budget.. $230,000,000 For War Expenditure 425,000,000

For advances to the Imperial Government for financing in part our export trade with Great Britain.. 325,000,000

In all..$980,000,000 $980,000,000

To discharge this there will be:

Revenue.$270,000,000

Advances by Great Britain to pay for maintenance of Canadian, troops overseas, about .. 300,000,000Unexpended balance of Victory Loan, as of March 31, 1918 130,000,000$700,000,000 $7001000,000

Leaving a probable balance for

1918-19 of 280,000,000

That balance, our Internal Minister of Finance said, has to be made up by the people of this country. The Department of Finance iis in the same position as the Department of Militia and Defence. We have an internal Minister of Militia in Ottawa and an external one in London. We have an internal Minister of Finance in Ottawa and an external one in the United States. The Acting Minister of Finance has told us that the money market in London is absolutely closed to us during war time *and that the New York market is practically closed, so that, to get the $280,000,000 which

we require, we will have to appeal to the citizens of this country to absorb the victory bonds that will be floated when the money is needed. I claim, Sir, that the Government must secure from the country its entire confidence and that the Government must answer for and explain every act of legislation, or of administration, so that there. shall be nothing concealed. In order that Canada shall be able to make her full contribution to the war, we must have peace and harmony in this country.

I protest very strongly against the restriction of discussion in this House. I see by the Order Paper that there is a notice of motion providing for the censoring of speeches of members of this House. Before you, Mr. Speaker, are permitted to make speeches for me, I intend to make a speech of my 'own because there are certain facts and arguments that I wish to insert in Hansard and which should not go unanswered.

In the Budget speech the acting Minister of Finance announced that there is going to be a war excise tax collected upon-

-all automobiles and jewellery imported into Canada for sale or manufactured in Canada on or before the 30th day of April, 1918, and which on that day have not .been sold to bona fide users of ten per oentum of the amount of the duty paid value when imported and Oif ten per centum of the price when they have been manufactured and sold in Canada.

It is by legislation of that kind that you *disturb trade in Canada. I believe it is my duty to state to the House that, in so far as the motor car trade is concerned, this legislation should not have been enacted and the tax should not have been imposed in the way it is intended to impose it. Here are my reasons for making that statement. I understand that the Government needs revenue and that the trade of the country must supply a part of that revenue, but if the Government disturb the trade of the country, traders will not be able to pay the income tax that they should pay, or to absorb the victory loan bonds that are going to be floated in the future. Take, for instance, the motor car trade. To secure an agency in that line of business, you must sign a contract in the month of December to distribute the quota in the territory in which you want to do business. The distributors of motor cars secured their *agencies and brought in the cars they are going to sell before the new models come upon the market in July. They have been *stocked up since last December with the cars they are going to sell up to the 15th June. They have been compelled to carry

the transportation charges, the duties paid to the customs house, the warehousing charges, they are losing the interest on their money and just at the time when they are going to reap a profit, and be in a position to honour their signatures, the Government comes .in and puts an excise tax on cars that are kept in stock to supply the regular trade. It is not fair to the trade, and I am afraid that the motor car ddsf-tributors who have 'been loaded up since December or January with cars will not, on account of this legislation, be able to dispose of their cars. The result will be that the Government will have practically no revenue. The collection of this tax imposes an Additional duty on the Department of Inland Revenue. More than that, this law does not distinguish between new cars and second-hand or used cars; and in second-hand or used cars, the Department of Inland Revenue will be entitled to collect this tax of ten per cent. Such a tax should not be imposed. I have no objection to those who are using motor cars contributing their fair share to the revenues of the country, but in order not to disturb trade this legislation should not be put into force before the 1st July, at which date the distributors will commit themselves for the balance of the year and the prices will be fixed by the "manufacturers. The Govern-[DOT] ment will lose nothing because it is the manufacturing concerns that will pay, and at no cost whatever the Government will be bound to collect the whole of the amount of the duty imposed upon that trade.

I now come, Sir, to the question of Military Service in this country. When the Bill which preceded the inauguration ol compulsory military service was presented, there was a statement made that created quite a flurry in -this Chamber and out of it. It was stated that the law would be defeated by the law itself. What has been the result? The result has been such as to indicate that the law ought to be amended because you cannot have conscription with a law providing for exemption. In times of stress like those in which we are living every individual in the land must abide by the dictates of the State. The law, as it stood, compelled every citizen who was of military age to appear before the tribunals appointed by this Government. The spirit of the law was that everybody was conscripted except those who were exempted. To ascertain if he was to be conscripted or exempted, a man had to present himself before a tribunal and hear from the officials appointed by this "Gov-

eminent if lie was to remain in this country for the ibenefit of the country, or if his utility would 'be greater on the 'battlefield.

I cannot but regret, Sir, that the law was such that we have 'heard hon. gentlemen, holding positions of responsibility in this House make the statement that there had been wholesale exemptions.

It could not be otherwise, Mr. Speaker, because I claim nobody had a right to enlist unless the tribunals appointed to decide in each case had rendered their judgment, and in order to do that the case had to be heard and tried. But what has been the result? The law provided for exemption but it was interpreted as meaning conscription, and there should not be any reproach to those who have simply followed the law. The law Was unable to supply the one hundred thousand men asked for, and it was amended, and what has been the result? That every young boy in this country is flying to defend the flag and is putting himself at the disposal of the Government. Why? Because the amendments [DOT] made to the law are not amendments for the purposes of exemption, they are amendments intended to facilitate conscription.

There is a fact to which I wish to call the attention of the Government. We are asked to bear a heavy burden of taxation. Nobody complains. Everybody admits that we are in this war to the bitter end. We are willing to be in it, we are willing to buy Victory Bonds and to pay the amount of taxation that is demanded; but I claim, Sir, that when the Government is asking for money for war purposes, it is nothing but justice that certain acts which have taken place in the province of Quebec should be ventilated in the House so that the ministers will have an opportunity to give an answer, and allay public opinion which, as a result of certain proceedings is visibly uneasy.

Now I wish to refer to the Desjardins case. Here is a man who was an employee of the Government and whose depositions I have before me. I can give you his very words-they are to be found in Ris depositions of March 21, 1918-to prove my statements. It has been established by Desjardins himself that he was an employee of the Government, and there is something further: The Government hired two attorneys to defend Desjardins. What had Desjardins done? Knowing that a conspiracy was going on in the city of Montreal, having been told by Giroux, the inspector of the federal police, that there was an association in Montreal known, or to be known,

as the "Knights of Death," he went and met those young men, among whom there were two bandits, two ex-convicts, two desperadoes just released from the penitentiary under ticket-of-leave, who were running this association. Desjardins pays $23 to become a member of the organization. He gives $1.50 to one to go to Beloeil and steal dynamite. He gives a revolver to another man named Paquin in order that the heads of the Government and other leading men should be removed-meaning the right hon. the Prime Minister, the Minister of Justice, the Minister of Militia, the General Officer Commanding the District of Montreal, Lord Atholstan, and others. Well, Desjardins, the employee of the Government, becomes an associate of these desperadoes, and in furtherance of his designs pays out to them Government money. That, Sir, is bad enough, but there is something worse. I admit that before the trial of these men took place the Government might have been under the impression that Desjardins had done nothing but his duty, but they subsequently took public money for the purpose of bailing Desjardins out. I have here a copy of the cheque issued by the Government with that object in view.

Topic:   THE BUDGET.
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L LIB
?

Louis-Philippe Gauthier

Mr. GAUTHIEB:

1917-1918.

Department of Justice, Canada (4i2).

No. 1114.

Ottawa, Jan. 4, 1918-$10,000 00. To the Bank of Montreal, Ottawa:-

Pay to the order of A. E. Corriveau, Clerk of the Crown, 'Montreal, Ten Thousand Dollars.

Bail-Desjardins case.

Topic:   THE BUDGET.
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E. B. NBWCOMBE,


Deputy of the Minister of Justice. J. E. Narraway, Accountant. Here was the case of a man accused of conspiracy against the peace of citizens of this country. The King issues a warrant, under his own name and seal, to have this conspirator apprehended and put in jail, yet the Minister of Justice of Canada takes out of the public chest the sum of $10,000 to bail this, conspirator out- The representative of the King in this Chamber desires to stop the King himself from exercising his functions in the. judicial district of Montreal.


L LIB
L LIB

Louis Joseph Gauthier

Laurier Liberal

Mr. GAUTHIER:

He wants to stop the judicial authorities from dealing with this

man Desjardins. As I have already said, it was quite possible that up to this time the Government might well have been under the impression that Desjardins had only done his duty; but when all the facts had been brought out at the trial do you not think, Sir, that it would have been better in the interest of appeasing public opinion that the Government should have stopped there. They dddl not stop, but after all the facts had been brought before the court, they gave a cheque for $10,000 to bail this man Desjardins out. So far no explanation whatever has been given. We have tried by every means in our power to bring this matter to the attention of the House, but at every attempt made there was always a reason assigned foir postponing it. I want to be very clear on this point. I was a candidate in the last general election, but I knew that my party would not win. We have been beaten and I admit the defeat. I went to the table to play the game knowing that the dice were loaded against us. I do not complain of the result, but I say to the Government: If you have been

elected by the will of the majority of the people of this country to administer the business of Canada, do not commit acts of that stamp unless you can explain them. The allegations in this matter should not be allowed to remain unanswered, and I hope that before the present debate is completed we shall have on this question a reply from the Minister of Justice who i,s in charge of the department which handled this matter. We want to know, Sir, why the public money was used to hire two attorneys to defend a conspirator like Desjardins, and why the public money has been used to bail out this man who was a friend and the associate of the conspirators banded together under the title of " the Knights of Death." In this discussion, I do not want to bring in any political bias. Everybody knows that I am a partisan, and I am not ashamed of it. But, Sir, if I was as partisan as some hon. gentlemen may think, I can tell you that the head of the conspiracy was a man named Elie Lalumiere. That name must sound familiar to those who sat in the last Parliament. This man, Laiumiere, was the tool employed to secure the return of a minister of the Crown. He has been charged in this chamber with having committed a crime against the electoral law of this country. He had the help of an inspector of the federal police, and a private employee of the Department of Justice. I believe, Sir, that a charge like this ,

deserves more than a postponement. We must have an answer to this charge, and the sooner we have it, the better for ail parties concerned.

I now pass to the Department of Railways. The president of the Canadian Pacific railway in his address on May 1, this year, stated:

In view of the abnormal and constantly increasing cost of railway operation, the Board of Railway Commissioners, after due deliberation, authorized an increase of ten to fifteen ' per cent, in specified zones in the tariff of charges for the carriage of passengers and freight.

We are suffering in this country from the same disease that is prevalent in the United States. Railway employees claim that the railway magnates, in order to comply with the demands of the employee, have increased the haulage capacity of their motive power, and have made their employees work like slaves. To secure an increase in rates for freight and passengers, they have left their rolling stock without being overhauled. That is the charge which is publicly made. I drew the attention of the Minister of Railways to that matter, and he told me that when his estimates came up he would give me the explanation. I intend to discuss this increase of rates, and to supply him with certain information, so that he may be in a better position to answer me. There has been in the United States a wage commission investigating wages of railwaymen, and I have here a statement made by Mr. Warren Stone, grand chief of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers. I quote from the April issue of the Locomotive Engineers1 Journal:

The conditions confronting us at the beginning of winter couldi not have been much worse. Any practical railroad man could1 have foretold what was going to happen. Never before had the railroads made as little preparation of any kind for winter, and never before had we gone into a winter with our power in such rotten condition. On many railroads no effort was made to get power in condition. It looked to the men, at least the rank and file of these great lajbour organizations, as if the railroads were trying their best to make all conditions as hard for the employees as possible, and charge it all to application of the eight hour law, for the purpose of making a showing to support their claims to the higher traffic rates they were asking from the Government.

Mr. Stone was cross-examined by Mr. Lehmann, who asked him:

You spoke of long hours of service, some cases twenty, thirty, forty and fifty hours. Do you mean that during that time the men were actually confined to their positions on the train, and they had no opportunity to leave and get rest and' sleep?

[Mr. Stone: No, sir. You hare to jteep

your engine ready for service. You do not know what moment you will he ordered to move. The sleep they get if any is not much, folded up like a jackknife on a seat hox in the cab of the modern locomotive.

(Mr. Lehmann: How about the conditions of comfort and safety?

Mr. iStone: There is no comfort on the modern locomotive at al'l; it was not built for that; but to pull tonnage.

Further on, 'Mr. Lehmann says:

You said there was no shortage of engineers, Mr. Stone. Is there a shortage of engines?

Mr. Stone: There would1 be no shortage of

engines if they had gotten their power in any kind of shape.

I am receiving every week complaints from railway employees to the effect that the same state of affairs exists in this country as Mr. Stone describes. Yet what do we see? This Government aslcs Parliament to grant it power to borrow on the credit of the country $50,000,000 a year this year, and until one year after the war, to purchase railway equipment for railroads which have done their worst to have their hauling power put of order. Is that fair? I say, no, and the people of this country should know the Teal reasons. The Government desires to take $50,000,000 out of the public treasury to purchase equipment for railroads who have not been able to take care of the property they have now, and who have been compelled to come to the Government to secure an increase in freight and passenger charges of ten to fifteen per cent. This should be explained in such a manner that the employees of the railroads and the public will know that the Government has reasons of its own for proceeding with this policy. Our Government will go down in history, I suppose, as a Government of imitators. They have been trying to imitate our neighbours. I do not complain about that, but I would like them to imitate more consistently, not merely the bad features, but imitate everything, the good as well as the bad.

_ When the eastern part of the United States last winter had no fuel, the United States fuel controller ordered a heatless day. In Eastern Canada, when we had all the coal we wanted, the Canadian fuel controller ordered a heatless day. In December last the United States Government decided that no State Government should issue bonds without permission of the federal authority -and that was according to their constitution. In Canada this procedure has been imitated, notwithstanding the fact that we have not the same constitution as they have

on the other side of the border. One is amazed at the explanations given of this action on the part of the Government. The Government want to stop the issue of bonds by provinces or by corporations holding charters from provincial governments; they want to regulate the issue of bonds so that they shall be in a position to secure the best part of the money of the people.

I desire to call the attention of the Government, especially of those ministers who are supposed to look after the interests of the agricultural classes, to what has 'been done in the United States for agriculture. They have established a Federal Farm Loan Bureau; they have opened banks to help the farmers; they have done all they can to keep farmers on the farms and to bring from the congested cities all those who can engage in farm work. I commend to members of the Government an article which appears in the Literary Digest of April 6, 1918, with regard to what the United States has accomplished along this line. Permit me to quote the following:

The practical operation of the Federal Farm Loan1 Bureau has been almost co-incident with the first year of the war. While the members of the Farm Loan Board took the oath of office on August 7, 1916, they were occupied from that date until February, 1917, in the preliminary task of determining the boundaries of the twelve districts established by the Farm Loan Act, the location of the bank in each district, and the selection of the officers and directors of those banks. The first bank was chartered March 1, 1917, and the first Farm Loan Association March 27. The first loan was closed in April, 1917. Up to January 1, 1918, there had1 been 2,40'7 Farm Loan Associations chartered. In the month of February, 2i7'4 additional associations1 were incorporated, and the number in March will1 probably be about 250, so that the total number of associations chartered in the first twelve months will be about 2,931. These associations average about twenty members each, and their loans aggregate about $40,000 each, so that the 2,931 associations will represent a total membership of about 58,62% and a total of about $117,240,000 loans.

Up to January 31, 1918, there had been 112,146 applications for loans aggregating $260,556,981. Of these applications 71,035 had been approved to the amount of $139,050,471, while 24,020 had1 been closed, amounting to $50,782,432. A considerable proportion of the applications for loans have been either rejected, reduced, or withdrawn. The loans closed in the month of February amounted to a little over $11,000,000, and for the month of March they will probably approximate $15,0'00,000, making the total of the loans closed for the first year something in excess of $75,000,000.

Loans have been made in every State of the Union in amounts ranging from $100 to $10,0010'. These loans have all been made to owners cultivating their own lands, and for one or more of the purposes specified in the

Act, viz., the payment of existing indebtedness the purchase of land, 'the making of improvements, or the purchase of fertilizers, live stock, or farm equipment. Where they have been made for the payment of existing indebtednes, they have relieved the farmer of doubt as to his ability to meet the maturing principal of his mortgage, by enabling him to substitute an amortized mortgage, upon which he makes annual payments of a constant amount until! the principal is liquidated.

What has been the result of this policy of helping the farmers? According to the census of 1909, the total agricultural products of the United States were valued at $5,486,615,000 in that year. In 1915 the amount had increased to $6,768,598,000. Last year, on account of protection granted to the farmers, the estimated value of all crops in the United States jumped to the enormous figure of $13,580,768,000. I commend these figures, as well as the legislation described in the article which I have read, to members of the Government in the hope that instead of taking away the farmer's hoys they will leave them here to engage in the work of production. Nobody believes that you can increase production by having college boys and women replace farmers' sons. Instead of pursuing that course, the Government ought to increase their protection of the farming community. Let the Government cease for a while their -protection of the .railway magnates and come back to the farmers. You are appealing to them to increase their production, and at the same time you are taking away from the farmers the very men who are able to increase production and thus benefit this country and the Allies.

I said in opening my remarks that it was necessary to the welfare of the country that trade should not toe disturbed and that peace and harmony should be restored. Some people contend that this country is threatened with a yellow menace which is coming from the Asiatic continent. I believe that there is a yellow menace, but it is not coming from Asia; it is coming from Ontario. It springs from Orange lodges, and it sows hatred in order to reap votes at the polls. We have had enough of that campaign. I appeal to the Government to stop that campaign of arraying province against province, race against race and creed against creed. I do not boast of my religion, tout I claim I have a right to belong to the Roman Church. If I have a right to belong to the Roman Church, I admit that another man may foe directed 'by an Orange lodge. I do not complain of that; hut if my own church intrudes on my political liberty, I resent

[Mr Gauthier.]

it, and if another sect intrudes on the political liberties of the rest of this country, I resent it too. So far as I aim concerned, a man may go to any church he wishes to attend; according to my feeling he may if he so chooses go to no oburcb at all. But he should not try, through religious influences, to have la political preponderance in this country, because if this condition of things is not stopped, we shall have to take action in some way or another to have it stopped. We want harmony and peace in this country. We do not want to dominate any province or any race, hut we do not want to toe dominated by any other province or any race. The only thing we ask is to be allowed to do our duty as we know it. In Germany there are to-day two battle cries'-one of hatred and one of admiration. The (battle cry of hatred is "Got strafe England." The Prussians realize that Great Britain is the greatest cheek to' German "kultur," and they want Great Britan to be badly beaten. Great Britain, paying no heed to the "Hyimn of Hate," goes on fighting the battles of liberty and civilization. But there is another cry, the cry of admiration. This is "Hoch the Kaiser, hoch the superman." We have in this country the same two battle cries, and they are coming from the yellow men. The battle cry of hatred is "Got strafe Quebec." Have you, Sir, not read in the papers of this country, when the disaster occurred at Halifax, the statement that an injustice had been committed; that this disaster should have been the lot of Quebec, not the lot of Halifax. But there is another cry, the cry of admiration. In Germany the cry is "Hoch der Kaiser." In this country it is "Hocken the Sentinel." We are unmoved by the "Hymn of Hate" and by the hymn singers; hut we want to have our: share of liberty, and we are willing to assume our share of duty. But if we have to do our share of duty, we are entitled to our share of liberty, and the sooner this is realized, the better it will be for all parties in this country.

Topic:   E. B. NBWCOMBE,
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UNION

Edmund James Bristol

Unionist

Mr. EDMUND BRISTOL (Toronto Centre):

Mr. Speaker, I desire to congratulate the Acting Minister of Finance (Mr. A. K. Maclean) on the very able presentation he has made of the condition of the financial affairsi of this country. I also desire, if I may, to congratulate hon. members on the splendid patriotic tone and character of the speeches which have been delivered1 in this House during the Budget debate. I can ias3uxe my hon. friend from St- Hyacinthe (Mr. Gauthier)

that we are only too anxious to see the people of his race have all the freedom and justice to which they .are entitled. All we in this country ask is that as far as possible there should he peace and harmony, equality of service of sacrifice and of obligation.

1 listened yesterday with a good deal of attention to the speech delivered by my hon. Mend from North Cape Breton (Mr. McKenzie). His speech sounded to me like one of the old time political speeches of pre-war days, particularly that portion in which he referred to Sir Joseph Flavelle and the Davies company and took the Government of the day to task, because, as far as I understood him, they had not in some way criminally prosecuted Sir Joseph Flavelle, or in other ways put the processes of the criminal law in motion. Sir Joseph Flavelle happens to be one of my constituents, and I think perhaps it is fair, and I am going to give the hon. member for North Cape Breton the benefit of the doubt, that in suggesting yesterday that Sir Joseph Flavelle was a criminal and had been robbing the people of this country, he really spoke in good faith. There are three matters to which he called attention. One was the cold storage destruction of poultry in Winnipeg. I do not suppose it needs any argument with him or any other hon. member to say that cold storage companies are necessary in this country. If there were more of them, and if they were under Government control, that would be very much in the public interest- The idea of a cold storage company is, as everybody knows, to take in the particular products of the season of the year when they are plentiful and keep them for use by the public in seasons of the year when they would otherwise be unobtainable. I do not believe my hon. friend suspects the Davies company of desiring to have spoiled in cold storage in Winnipeg a very large number of tons of chicken. When I tell rhy hon. friend that the canse of the spoiling of the chicken was due to the sinking of one of the walls and, in that way the putting out of order of the refrigerating surface of the plant, he probably will understand that the company was not desirous of having this happen, and that if it .had not happened, the chickens and other products in this particular cold storage plant could have been soldi for the benefit of the company and of the public. People, I suppose, in their own houses, have things spoil even when they exercise every possible care, and il aan sure my hon. friend, who is an 9H

excellent laywer, would not say that anybody should be criminally indicted for an unfortunate accident of that character.

Topic:   E. B. NBWCOMBE,
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L LIB

Daniel Duncan McKenzie

Laurier Liberal

Mr. McKENZIE:

I am sorry that the commission which inquired into the matter makes no reference to that as being the cause of the disaster to the goods.

Topic:   E. B. NBWCOMBE,
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UNION

Edmund James Bristol

Unionist

Mr. BRISTOL:

I have not, perhaps, read the report as carefully as lhas my hon. friend, but I am quite satisfied that my facts are Tight, and that is why I am stating them.

Topic:   E. B. NBWCOMBE,
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L LIB

Daniel Duncan McKenzie

Laurier Liberal

Mr. McKENZIE:

I have a complete copy of the report, and I shall be very glad to give it to the hon. member. There is in it no mention of that cause.

Topic:   E. B. NBWCOMBE,
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UNION

Edmund James Bristol

Unionist

Mr. BRISTOL:

My hon. friend was very much concerned about the British Munitions Company, the whole of the stock of which was owned by the Imperial Munitions Board. It is quite obvious 5 p.m. that if the whole of the stock of the British Munitions Company was owned by the Imperial Munitions Board, and if the British Munitions Company was making any profits out of 'the transaction, the Imperial Munitions Board would eventually get it. I do- not think my hon. friend intended to suggest that Sir Charles Gordon, or -Sir Joseph Flavelle, or pny of the other directors are drawing a dollar from the treasury of either of these companies, which are the property of Great Britain. It is well known that such is not -the case. One thing my hon. friend seemed concerned about was an agreement for a five per cent commission between, -as I understood him, the Northern Electric Company -and the British Munitions Company, Limited, which was payable by the latter company to the former, and which he suggested Sir Joseph Flavelle -and his friends participated in. This is absolutely incorrect. -The object, as I understood it, of the formation of the British Munitions Company, Limited, was the making of fus-es in this country.

One of the most vital parts of the shell is the time fuse, which has to be accurately constructed to go off at a given moment, or otherwise it would kill our own people. The time fuse problem has caused a great deal of difficulty in England, in the United States and in Canada. When the British Government first gave contracts for shells in this country many of the constituent parts were made in different parts of the United States and Canada, but eventually

the whole shell was made in this country. What caused the greatest possible difficulty with the time fuse, and resulted in the British Government being charged what they considered a high price for the shells, was that its manufacture called for a high degree of technical skill. There were very few men who could do the work, and they were hard to get. The Northern Electric Company, which I understand to be a subsidiary of the Bell Telephone Company, was the only company in Canada that possessed a technical staff capable of doing the work, and they furnished this highly trained and highly paid staff of technical experts on a basis of five per cent. That this operating charge was reasonable is shown by the fact that as a result, not merely has the whole cost of the plant of the British Munitions Company been written off, but the company has to-day, I understand, a surplus of over $400,000, based on the manufacture of time fuses in this country at the same price they were being manufactured for in the United States. So Great Britain has saved practically the cost of her factory, and has four hundred thousand dollars to the good, and has also, located and operating in Canada, the best time fuse factory on this continent, and to Sir Joseph Flavelle and his associates belongs the credit of this achievement.

Coming to the Davies Company, there is no question that the company made a profit of eighty per cent during a certain period of time, but the gravamen of my hon. friend's charge was that the Canadian people were being robbed in some fashion. The Davies Company has been in existence, to my knowledge, a generation or more, and has been doing business for fifty years in the English market. During the first two years of the war, if I am correctly informed, this company sold its entire product to the British Government at the market price such product was bringing in London at the time of its arrival there, and it was sold in competition with similar products from the Swift and Armour Companies and the other big packing plants of the United States. In other words, the Davies Company or any other of these packing houses had no more to do with the fixing of the price than had hon. gentlemen opposite. The price was fixed by the British Government on the arrival of the product in London. Subsequently, the British Government, on account of transportation reasons, changed their policy, and the product was sold at the price it would bring f.o.b. port of shipment in United States or

[Mr. Bristol. J

Canada. So throughout all their transactions, the price the Willian Davies Company received for the 'bacon my hon. friend was speaking about, was fixed by the British Government and by no one else. I have been told that as a result of'the prices ranging over a certain period of time the profit derived by this company from the ;sale of its bacon was two-fifths of a cent [DOT]a pound-and I believe those figures to be correct,-on an article costing, I think, 32 cents, but varying of course in price. What I want my hon. friend to understand, and what I think it is only fair the. Canadian people should understand, is that the William Davies Company had no monopoly. They bought their hogs in the open market in the United States against American competition, and in Canada, and they sold them at the market price that they and every other company had to take from the British Government, when that Government took over the product. And the best proof that the price was not exorbitant is that from the time these transactions started until now there has not been one word of complaint from the British Government against the Davies Company as to any price asked or received by them in the London ,market on the product they sold to that Government. I know from other sources that no company in Canada stands as high to-day with the British Government as does this same William Davies Company. There have been abnormal prices in this country for products of various kinds, and particularly for bacon. Every one knows that on account of the millions of men who have been taken out of production to engage in war, the price of wheat and other farm products has of necessity gone up, and, in addition to that, the soldiers in the camps are consuming enormous quantities of meat- ' far more than they consumed in peace time. With the gradual depletion of the world's stocks, prices have naturally gone up. I want to say to my hon. friend from Cape Breton that if this profit was made, it was not made by an exaction of high prices, but by reason of the fact that this Canadian company was able to do business better and cheaper than its American competitors in the open markets of the world, and with an enormous turn over they made a large amount of money on a small capital. Furthermore, forty per cent of the hogs that were made into the bacon in question, were bought in the United States in. competition with Swifts and Armours and other packing houses there, were brought into this country and manufactured into bacon, and so were

a benefit to Canadian labour. The bacon was then shipped to the English market and, being lower in price and 'better in quality, it beat the American product. In my humble judgment that was a credit to the company and a credit to Canadian enterprise.

So far as Sir Joseph Flavelle is concerned, I have personally no brief for him, and no interests directly or indirectly with him, but I have known him for a number of years and I do not believe that a more honourable and straightforward business man exists in this country. I say that the fact that the British Government have maintained him in the position he occupies in this country through all these years, and are continuing to deal with the William Davies company is proof that the charge that this company has made an enormous pro-fit is absolutely untrue. As soon as the word profit appears we hear about profiteer, pirate, robber, and so on. These statements carry no weight with the British Government. The facts have not been given to the 'Canadian public in such a fashion that they could form an unprejudiced judgment of what the transactions actually were.

My hon. friend has suggested that the Government of Canada should in some way supervise the enormous expenditure of the Imperial Munitions Board in this country, because he says it is the money of the Government of Canada that is being spent. It is true that the 'Government of Canada has loaned money to the British Government in this country in order that she may buy through the Munitions Board Canadian farm products and Canadian manufactured products for the use of Great Britain in this war. It is true that Great Britain is paying out millions from day to day and week to week for the maintenance of our soldiers overseas. It is true that there is a balance in our favour for one hundred million dollars. But my hon. friend is too good a business man and too good a lawyer to suggest that because Great Britain has a credit with us we have a right to dictate how she shall spend her money, and who shall handle her finances in this country. The fact remains that the British people, and particularly the British Government, which il suppose comprises as able a body of business men as are to be found in the world to-day, continue to employ Sir Joseph Flavelle in the distinguished position he occupies, and until my hon. friend can show something more than he has done it is 'high time we left Sir Joseph Flavelle alone and let these

baseless charges shrink into the oblivion they deserve.

What has been the position of our farming friends throughout these transactions? No Canadian can but desire that the farming community in this country should prosper; but we need not bother ourselves about that.

The farming community was never so prosperous. As a matter of fact, referring to the particular product that I was mentioning, while the farmers before the war, or about the time the war broke out, were getting from $6 to $9 per hundred for pork, since the war they have.been getting from $13 to $20. So it is with practically all the products that the farmer has to sell. There was a long period in the history of this country when the farming community undoubtedly suffered and endured great hardships. I heard a friend of mine the other day saying that thirty years ago down in Nova Scotia he had started life as a boy working on the farm. He said that he was about fifteen years of age, that he got up at five o'clock in the morning, worked all day and in order that he might spend his evenings profitably he was allowed to string apples until three o'clock in the morning. He said that after three months of this work he gave up, ran away and left a note behind his stating to the farmer who hired him that he had broken his contract because the farmer, when he entered his employ, had promised him steady work whereas during two hours of the night he was allowed to sleep. Although that may have been the position <$f the farmer thirty years ago, the position of our western farmer, to-day is a very different matter. Our western farmer, although he had probably twenty years of struggle before the war, has now reached the point where he is in a more prosperous condition than any farmer in the world and I congratulate him. Manual labour for him is largely a thing of tne past. He does his work by machinery. He no longer gets up early in the morning to milk the cows; he does not need to, because he uses condensed milk. He does not require horses because his farm machinery is driven by motor power or steam. He goes to town in his automobile and he spends his winters in Los Angeles. I have been told by one man who was out west that their condition was getting so bad, as regards exercise, that some of them were erecting gymnasiums in their barns, or Whitely exercise in their houses, because manual labour had become a thing of the past. The suggestion

that the farmer is the sufferer at the present time is one with which I am afraid a great many people in this country, like Government employees and those who are living on fixed salaries, will not feel any special sympathy. I think that the farmer, the same as every other person, should bear his fair share of the taxes inasmuch as he has received his full proportion of the wonderful prosperity of the country so that I cannot. at present sympathize with the claim for free agricultural implements.

I want to deal with one particular tariff matter and that is the business profits war tax. If there is one thing that we have tried to do in Canada, it is to attract capital and men to this country.

We have tried to make this a splendid country for people to come and settle in We have tried to make our farming communities prosperous, and we have tried to give people who come here and invest capital a reasonable opportunity for success. That has been the policy of every Government since 'Confederation. It is perfectly obvious that if we are to continue the wonderful prosperity which this country is enjoying, and has been enjoying for a long time past, we must make it equally as attractive as our great neighbour to the south for business and settlement. What happens? When the business war tax of 25 per cent was first enacted it was accepted cheerfully by the Canadian community, as will be any tax, because there is not a man who is not anxious, in my humble judgment, to do his full duty to the state in whatever capacity he may be able to serve it. I am not calling this matter to the attention of the Acting Minister of Finance from the point of view that somebody may wish to escape the tax, but I do urge that we must make this country as attractive as possible to foreign capital in order that it may be induced to invest and assist in the development of our resources. We must make it as inviting as any other country, such as the United 'States. We have alongside of us the United States, a country which for three years had immunity from the war. It is of necessity in a highly prosperous state. Most of its industries are not in need of any financial .assistance from the banks to carry on their work now or for the purposes of extension after the war. We have imposed an excess profits war tax in this country, which works out on the average fifty per

[

cent higher than the like tax in the United States. If a Canadian had a profit of $75,000 on a business having an invested capital of $300,000 he would pay about $12,500 more in taxes 'than he would pay if he were in the United States. I submit that it is not in 'the interest of the people in this country to put the business people of Canada in a worse position than aTe our friends to the south of us. It is unquestioned that capital will ,go where it is treated best. There is nothing in the financial statement which we had presented to us that indicates that the finances of this country are not in such shape that we should not carefully consider in any taxation measure we may enact whether we are doing anything that will drive capital out or thwart any existing industry in the country. The matteT is so important that I want to put a couple of examples on Hansard. The Canadian business profits war tax was enacted on the 8th June, 1917, and the following rates were imposed:

Profits. Tax.

7% to 15% 25%

15% " 20% 50%

20% and over 75%

In the United States the deductions include (a) $3,000 allowance, and (b) the profits up to an amount equal to a percentage based on pre-war period earnings. These may be 7 per cent, 8 per cent, or 9 per cent. The United States War Profits Tax was enacted on the 3rd October, 1917. That is about four months later than we enacted ours, and it was deliberately put lower than the Canadian tax. The rates are as follows:

7%, 8% or 9% to 15% 20%15% " 20% 25%20% " 25% 35%25% " 33% 45%

30% and over, maximum 00%

I will give a couple of examples showing how these two systems of taxation work out: Examples showing how ithe Canadian Business War Tax Act compares with the American War Excess Profits Tax.

Example A.

A firm having a capital of $300,000 makes $75,000 or 25% on a year's business.

If in Canada that firm will pay a tax

of $ 24,750

If in the United States it will pay a tax

of r 12,150

Under the Canadian Act it works out thus:-

Invested capital $300,000

On which 25% is made or 75,000

Up to 7% or on $21,000

From 7% to 15% or on 24,000

From 15% to 20% or on 15,000

In excess of 20% 15,000

Total Tax

Under the American Act it works out thus:

Invested capital, $300,000.

On which 25 per cent profits are made, $75,000.

Presuming that in the pre-war period this company had been earning 8 per cent, it would be granted exemption to that amount. .

Profits up to 8 per cent or $24,000 exempt.

Addition allowance, $3,000.

Total amount exempt from tax, $27,000.

Amount remaining that is taxable, $48,000.

Taxable Profits.

Tax.

Prom 8% to 15% oron $21,000 at 20% $4,200" 15% "20% " 15,000 " 25% 3,750" 20% "25% " 12,000 " 35% 4,200Total Tax

$12,150

Thus where the Canadian firm pays $24,750 the American firm similarly situated will pay $12,150 or less than one-half. Example B.

A company with $100,000 capital makes 33% profits or $33,000.

If In Canada it will be taxed.

Exempt to 7% $7,000

7% to 15% or $ 8,000 at 25% $ 2,000 15% to 20% or 5,000 at 50% 2,500

20% to 33% or 13,000at75% 9,750

Total Tax $14,250

or 40% of earnings.

If in the United States will be Taxed. Exempt to 8% $8,000 and $3,000 allowance 11,0008% to 15% or on $ 7,000 at 20% Tax 1,40015% to 20% or on 5,000 at 25% Tax 1,25020% to 33% or on 10,000 at 35% Tax 3,500Total Tax $6,150

or under 17% of earnings.

In the case of example " A Supposing the company pays out 10 per cent to its shareholders, the Canadian company, after paying the tax out of profits can carry forward $20,250. The American firm doing the same thing would have $32,850 to carry forward.

In a three year period the American firm could bring its capital to slightly lees than $400,000, while the capital of the Canadian firm would be $360,750.

Example C.

A Montreal with a capital an 1914 of $250,000

Made a loss in 1915 of 85,000

Made a loss in 1916 of 59,000

And a profit in 1917 of 130,000

Tax.

these profits are exempt 000

Tax 25% 6,000

" 50% 7,500

" 75% 11,250

$24,750

The company's resources were impaired by tbe end of 1916 to the extent of $144,000, the combined losses of the two yearn, and were really down to $106,000. In 1917 the profits amounted to $130,000 and with this the directors had hoped to make up the impairment of capital. Their Excess Profits War Tax took $71,000, leaving them as the result of three years business $85,000 poorer than in 1914.

The American firms also have this further advantage.

The Exchss Profits Tax in the United States only became effective on January 1, 1917. While the Canadian Excess Profits Tax has already been in force for three years.

Many American firms were allowed to accumulate large profits during the first, second and third years of war, during all of which time the Canadian firms were paying heavy taxes.

Now, Mr. Speaker, it is within the knowledge of many of ue that there is always mOTe or less capital seeking investment in Canada, and to-day that capital is south of the line. The position of England renders the investment of English, capital in Canada for some time to come a very remote possibility. And unless, as I say, we treat Canadian companies and Canadian citizens as well as the United States treat companies similarly situated, we cannot expect to attract that new capital, by way of investment, to this country. Not only so, but the situation works out this way: If between the Business Profits Tax and the Income Tax you take from the Canadian companies a sum so much in excess of what the American companies pay, then after the war is over and it becomes a question of taking the industries in this country and putting them, into a shape to carry on new industries or such new lines of manufacturing as they will have to have recourse to, they will be practically beieft of capital, and in the financial conditions that confront the country it is- a very doubtful question where they will be able to get a new supply, or whether they will be able to get it at all. I would, therefore, aisk the Minister of Finance to give this question the consideration which I feel, in the interest of the business communities and the prosperity of the country, it de-

serves. What is asked for is equal treatment for the great business interests of the country with our friends to the south, and at the same time to make this country so attractive that a very large amount of capital will he drawn here from time to time which will permit taxation to have a much larger spread, and enable Canada to meet more easily the obligations of the future.

There is another matter, Mr. Speaker, that so far as the cities are concerned, and particularly Toronto, has excited a good deal of comment, and it is the question of alien labour. There is a strong feeling in certain sections of tne community that for alien labour to be receiving eight to ten dollars a day, whereas our Canadian soldier is. only in receipt of $1.10 per diem, is hardly a fair situation for the fighting men of Canada to be placed in. I understand that the Government have given a great deal of consideration to this question, and, so far as the labouring people are concerned, I can only say this: When they see the wife and daughter of the alien enemy walking down our streets attired in silk dresses, and so forth, and the alien enemy himself getting such high wages and taking the job of the son or brother or husband at the front, it certainly fills them with feelings of a very unpleasant character; and if the Government could take any action in that regard I am sure it would be welcomed by a very large section of the community.

There is a further matter which in Toronto has been attracting a good deal of attention, and that is the number of fires that have taken place in munition factories or other factories utilized for w.ar purposes, resulting in the feeling that more stringent action should be adopted in reference to the internment of alien enemies or at all events the more careful watching of them. I understand that any communications sent to the Minister of Justice by any responsible citizen in regard to a matter of this kind will receive the most careful attention; and possibly it would be in the interest of Canada if different public bodies in this country would do as they have done in the United States, who of their own motion volunteer to give information to the Justice Department, and in that way practically attaching themselves and forming part of the secret service department, so that all loyal citizens might to a certain extent aid the Government in possibly finding out if there are alien enemies of the country

who are doing the harm, or who should be interned in the public interest.

I am glad to see the tone which has characterized this debate and to find that, while we may differ, perhaps, on tariff questions, on one matter the members of the House are absolutely united. With no single exception every member has shown the strongest possible desire to help this country win the war. That is really what this Parliament was constituted for, and I "am sure that there is no citizen in the country, man or woman, who is not most anxious to do his or her part in this great struggle, to the very best that in them lies. So, Mr. Speaker, I appeal to my friend's, whether from Quebec or Ontario, from the Atlantic to the Pacific- no matter from what part of Canada they may come-with all the force I can to aid us in becoming a united and harmonious people. Let us endeavour with all the strength we can to show that we are worthy of those splendid Canadians who have won undying fame for Canada at the front, so that when these gallant men return to us victorious we in Canada will not be ashamed of the part that we have taken, and so that we may be able to say hereafter that the finest page in the history of this war was the part our country played.

Topic:   E. B. NBWCOMBE,
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L LIB

Joseph-√Čloi Fontaine

Laurier Liberal

Mr. J. E. FONTAINE (translation):

Mr. Speaker, I was very much interested in listening to the financial statement delivered by the hon. member for Halifax (Mr. Maclean), the acting Minister of Finance-. It was so much more attractive owing to the fact that the hon. member is the same gentleman who, year after year, since the people of this country have committed the serious error of overthrowing the Government of Sir Wilfrid ILaurier, was always the first to rise on behalf of the Liberal party and criticise the incautious and often unfair methods of taxation of Sir Robert Borden's administration. We, on this side of the House, were anxious to hear him, to find out which otf the two groups that compose the Union Government would gain the upper hand. Would it be the Tories or the Protectionists? Would it be the Free Trade Liberals? The Right Honourable Prime Minister, when the cabinet was formed, stated that both political parties would be equally represented, on the basis of fifty-fifty, to use his own expression. If it is equally divided from a numerical standpoint, I believe I can say without- fear of denial that those of our friends who left the cold regions of the Opposition to sit on the Treasury benches have endorsed the

old protectionist Tory policy, which has never served to protect the people and the consumer, but has always assisted the manufacturers and the millionaires.

When I carefully look into the estimates submitted to our consideration, it appears to me that the Government is_not over-solicitous of the lot which falls to the people; that is the workingman, the toiler; I even believe that they have more compassion for the Mann and Mackenzie Company. Why cannot the Government find some means of reducing the cost of living through a more equitable distribution of the taxes, in such a way as to lay the burden upon those who are better able to bear it? As you must know, Mr. Speaker, those foodstuffs which are absolutely essential to subsistence, have reached such heights in price that the workingman is forced to undergo the most cruel privations; still, this is the class which bears the brunt of the war. Shoes, clothing, in short, everything, is selling at exorbitant prices, while there has been scarcely any increase in wages. The manufacturer is allowed to double his wealth, while the workingman is put on short allowance, compelled to eat brown bread and to go without meat. Besides, Mr.''Speaker, does not the Government itself set the example 'of extravagance? If we compare to-day's ordinary expenditure with that of the Laurier Administration, we find that it has more than doubled. Take, for instance, the number of Cabinet members: under the Laurier Government, we had fourteen ministers, and today, we find twenty-five of them; we even have two ministers of Militia and two ministers of Finance. I think that, in these times of war, several ministers have a good deal of spare time and that they could have taken over the management of two departments. But I readily understand that this would not have answered the purpose of the Government's friends. .

Now, what about commissions? As soon as any question arises that might prove somewhat embarrassing to the Government, presto! a commission is appointed, in the belietf that all responsibility ends there. And these commissioners, creatures of the Government, draw salaries of five, six and even seven thousand dollars per annum. The number of the Civil Service employees has also been increased twofold without any necessity whatsoever; so true is this, that the hon. Minister of Public Works, himself, stated in this House, that there were far too many employees in his own department. Now, Mr. Speaker, what shall we say of the Militia Department's expenditure? That I may not be taxed with disloyalty, I wish to state my position clearly:

I am in favour of 'Canada's participation in this war, I want the Allies to win; I realize that it is a struggle of Democracy against Autocracy. We are fighting for Belgium, we are fighting for the smaller nations. However, we, French Canadians, the minority in this country, would carry on our part in this war with far greater enthusiasm, if the majority did not treat us in the same fashion as the Germans' treat the lesser nations of Europe ; if certain people stoipped slandering, calling us pro-Germans and slackers, because we believe with Lord Bhondda, with Herbert iC. Hoover and others, that the best way to help England is through an increased cultivation of our land, a more intense production to supply food to the Allies; for, after all, though we do need soldiers, if we are unable to feed them, they will not be fighting very long. I know the feelings of my compatriots,

I know they all desire the ultimate victory of England. Is not our past a pledge of our loyalty? Was it net the French Canadians who, upon two memorable occasions, saved Canada for the British Crown? Every one still recalls the battle of Chateaugury; i"74 and 1812 are two dates which remain indelible in the history of Canada, and fanaticism, whencesoever it may come, shall never he able to efface their memory. And did not the Government themselves admit the justice of our claim when they adopted an Order in Council to the effect that farmers and farmers' sons should be exempted from conscription; but, at that time, w.3 were on the eve of the elections, and in electoral matters as in many other cases, the fear of the voters is the beginning of wisdom.

'Crushed under their taxes, direct and indirect, alike, our people are going through a crisis unprecedented in this country which one was pleased to call in former times a privileged land. What will be the outcome of it all? Let us hope that the people will willingly hear the new burdens imposed upon them. Our country is evidently passing through a novel experience. However painful, it must nevertheless he accepted, though not perhaps without recrimination. But once the war is over, the Government will have to face the harsh day of reckon-ning to the voters of this country.

If, owing to their heavy taxes, our private citizens are forced to economize, the Government must find it necessary to do likewise, and the least that can be expected of them, is to exercise the greatest care in the expenditure of public funds. To be extravagant

This Act, with impudent cruelty, disfranchised thousands of British citizens. Canada had pledged her word to all those whom she accepted as her citizens that they would enjoy the same rights as other British subjects. This pledge is found in Chapter 13, Section 17 of the Canada Statutes, 1881. The section reads as follows:

An alien to whom a certificate of naturalization is granted shall, within Canada, be entitled to all political and other rights, powers and privileges, and be subject to all obligations to which a natural-born British subject is entitled or subject within Canada.

This guarantee to aliens who became British subjects was afterwards approved oy the Acts which the Canadian Parliament passed in 1886, 1906 and 1914.

The War-time Elections Act disfranchised hundreds of thousands of the naturalized British subj ects to whom the Government had promised equal rights with other Canadians. Yes, but we don't see the Government exempting these disfranchised subjects from paying taxes, especially the income tax which the present Government is demanding from them to-day.

In return, through this same damnable enactment, the Government granted the franchise to 800,000 women, whom they themselves selected in such a way as to make sure of a favourable plurality; moreover, they gave the ballot to thousands of alien soldiers who knew nothing of our country, its history, its geography, its politics and its interests.

Finally, with conscription, the Borden Government destroyed for many years to come the union which we so sorely needed in this country. This question inflamed the four corners of Canada. Rather than be content with volunteer recruiting, as in Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, the Transvaal, Newfoundland; rather than submit the Conscription Bill to a referendum, as was done in Australia, the Government throttled the will of the nation and imposed compulsory military service. This was fatally destined to accentuate the cleavage amongst the people. We will listen to the words of one of the former ministers in the Borden Cabinet, who resigned his post rather than be responsible for the conscriptionist policy of the Government.

In his letter of resignation, the Hon. Mr. Patenaude, amongst other things, said what follows:

Dear Sir Robert,

On the 18th of May last when you acquainted the House with your intention of presenting a Bill providing for compulsory service during the present war.

Prom the moment you submitted your intention to the Council, I drew your attention

to its extreme gravity and to the consequences which, to my mind, would follow.

I have, however, thought it my duty in these critical times, to abstain from any hasty decision, as long as I could entertain the hope that these considerations, as well as the very serious events which were meanwhile developing, would induce you to modify, if not to completely change your decision.

I cannot now expect that my hope will be realized; you have in fact decided to introduce, without further delay, your proposed Bill, and have it passed during this session.

Therefore, I feel bound to sever my connection with the Cabinet on this question.

I have always thought, and do yet think, that the best interests of Canada make it a duty for this country to give to the cause of the allies its most generous support. But to do this, I cannot concur in any measure which in my estimation imperils national unity. The proposed law, I have every reason to fear, threatens to destroy this unity, and to give rise throughout the country to deep internal divisions of long duration, and even detrimental to the needs of the present moment. Indeed it is better to keep the country united in the present effort then to attempt a mightier one at the cost of national disruption.

If only conscription had become necessary through the failure of volunteer recruiting. But that excuse does not hold water. The Primq' Minister himself, in January 1917, in this House during the debate on the Speech from the Throne, used these words:

Recruiting has gone well in every province of Canada. The call: to arms has been admirably answered. In the Maritime Provinces and in the province of Quebec, the movement was, perhaps, a little slow in getting under way, but I know from information received lately that everything is going along now as well as we could hope and that the call is being answered in splendid fashion.

And the Prime Minister was right. I find in Hansard for July 19, 1917, some very interesting figures. At the time when the Government was deciding to impose conscription on the country, of the 500,000 Canadians of military age, 550,000 had enlisted as volunteers. Twenty-five per cent had been refused as physically unfit, and 400,000 had joined the colours. Moreover Canada had, at that moment, according to the Prime Minister himself, 304,000 men in the munition factories. Besides, our railway transportation-and Canada has the highest railway mileage, per capita of population, of any country in the world-and other public utilities which contribute to war-work employed perhaps 200,000 men.

Now, in Europe, all munition workers, all transportation employees are considered as being on active service.

If this be so, then Canada had mobilized for war purposes, altogether 900,000 men; that is one-eighth of our population. While

France had mobilized one in every six, England one in ten, Italy one in eleven and Kussia one in twenty.

In order to appreciate Canada's splendid military effort, let us compare it with the United States. If Canada mobilized 400,000 men with a population of 7,500,000, the United States, with their population of 112,000,000 would have to recruit 5,600,000 men to equal Canada's proportion. Which fact prompted exlPresident Roosevelt to say: " iSo long as the United1 'States have not sent 5,000,000 men to the front we have not the right to place ourselves on the same footing as Canada in the great struggle which is now being waged for Democracy."

Furthermore I claim that conscription drags Canada into an unreasonable and unreasoning participation in the war;- it throws us into an undertaking which is beyond our financial resources, it causes a continuous mobilization of our best men which is out of all proportion, and deprives us of the labour which is absolutely necessary to us if we are to play the economic role which belongs to this country.

More and moTe the war is becoming an economic problem rather than a struggle exclusively military. This war, which has lasted nearly four years and which threatens to. continue just as long, is a war of endurance. More than ever do the words of Lloyd 'George ring true: "Victory will belong to the last golden sovereign, to the last stack of wheat."

Let us act in such a way as to be really useful to the Allies, and for that purpose, let us strive to maintain our national prosperity which is as important to them as to ourselves. Let us make sure' of increased agricultural production. Let us enable ourselves to fulfil our role-a decidedly important one-in the economic effort of the nations leagued against Germany.

In a moment I shall speak of the labour shortage here in Canada. For the present I wish to say a word concerning our financial positibn.

Canada, as a country, is in the millionaire class, as far as wealth and natural resources are concerned, but she is comparatively money poor. iSir 'George Paish, reputed the highest authority within the British Empire on matters of political economy, placed the total indebtedness of Canada, just before the war, at $3,000,000,000, or over $400 per capita of population. Of this amount, $300,000,000 represent the increase in the debt during the 50 years preceding. Now, in three and a half years the war has added one billion dollars to our debt, which is

three times more than Canada spent during 50 years for public works.

According to the Prime Minister and the Minister of Finance, Canada's war expenditure has reached $875,000,000, and this amount does not include the 'Outlay for pensions and for the interest on the war debt.

At present we pay $78,000,000 interest every year. This is equivalent to more than one half our customs revenue, with the war tax added.

Let us compare once more with the United States: if we presume that the total wealth of the United is 74 times as great as that of Canada, we find that our war expenditure represents an outlay of 80 billion dollars on the part of the United States.

Our railroads, with one exception, are bankrupt.

The Government is forced to impose an income tax, thus establishing direct taxes, a thing hitherto unknown,in this country.

And we are forever borrowing. We must find 980 millions to meet our budget requirements for the present year.

Whither are we bound? What sort of future is in store for us, thanks to ourselves?

The war requires sacrifices, very well; but it does not require national suicide. If, in striving to avoid defeat, we ruin the -country what will it profit us? Wouldn't it be acting like the man who jumped into the water so he wouldn't get wet in the rain?

'Our extravagance is bound to bring reaction. This reaction will come about as surely as it did come in the past. We shd1 witness the same things over again: the ultra-imperialists of the present day become separatists. When all is said, it was a question of finance which, in -1774, -separated the United States from England. And in Canada, after the business crisis which occurred here around 1848 and 1849, there arose an annexationist movement which had as its followers or rather, I should say, its leaders, the English inhabitants, men like Molson, Bleury, 'Holmes, Be Witt, Holton, Abbott.

Amongst those who are eager to send our last man to the firing-line how many are not anxious to survive this last man? Amongst those who are eager to contribute our last cent how many would be willing to sacrifice their parliamentary indemnity to war needs?

They will answer that one must live. Well, the same is true of the nation. Only recently the Montreal 'Star declared that Canada should throw herself into the war "to the utmost of her strength, both physical and

financial." This limit has been reached. It is anti-Canadian and anti-Ally to empty the country and to expend millions in the process. The Prime Minister's own words are an acknowledgment that up to the 4th of April, 4018, conscription had cost the country i$l,424,785. It has brought us 30,000 soldiers and 200,000 exemptions as iwas stated by the Hon. Mr. Carvell. And the Manchester Guardian was justified in its statement of September 8, 1917, that conscription in Canada would not be worth what it would cost.

Bet us observe that, due to the cost of clothing, of pay and of transportation charges, 400,000 soldiers cost Canada as much as 2,000,000 soldiers do England or France.

I say that we are making a military and financial effort which is beyond our strength, which is out of all proportion to our wealth and our population; moreover, it is a serious menace to the economic role which is ours by right in this -war.

It is evident to every serious-minded and well-informed observer that the organization of our agricultural production is more important, more necessary, more urgent than conscription for the army. What the Allies are shouting for is food. Their cries of distress reach us every day, more and more insistent. At the beginning of March last the Food Controller of Great Britain sent a' cable to our own Food Controller, saying that England was sorely in need of all the wheat, all the flour and all the meat that Canada could spare.

This cable announced the establishing of food-rations in England and explained the food situation in the Allied countries. We read in it that: " On March 1, London and its suburbs were put on rations. More than 14,000,000 adults are limited to, one and a quarter pounds of meat, four ounces of butter ot margarine and one-half pound of sugar per week. After March 25, this ration will be imposed on the entire country."

We all know that a few months back Lord Rhondda, the British Food Controller, made this statement:

" We are doing our very utmost to increase our own production and to reduce consumption, but the first solution of this grave problem is with our American Allies, and with Canada. I feel sure that they will not abandon us."

And elsewhere, the same Lord Rhondda, who seems to know what he is talking about, says:

"My experience of America, both before and sincp the war, has given the opportunity of appreciating how tremendous are her resources. If they are organized to their full capacity I am confident that the German hope of starving out the Allies or of depressing the people through food shortage and high prices must of necessity be abandoned."

You cannot get away from Lord Rhondda's conclusion: "The most perfect system of distribution and the most equitable regulation of prices would be merely a waste of time and effort unless the necessary steps are taken to maintain the Allies' supplies at a constant level. And that depends, to a vital degree, on the United States and on Canada."

At the very start of the war, the dictator of the British Empire, Mr. Lloyd George, then Chancellor of the Exchequer, sounded to the people of England this salutary warning >1 quoted a while back: " Victory will belong to the last golden sovereign, to the last stack of wheat."

I happened to read a circular sent out by the Ontario " Organization of Resources Committee ". This committee is presided over by .Sir John Hendrie, Lieutenant-Governor of Ontario; its vice-presidents are the Prime Minister of the province, Sir W. Hearst, and the former leader olf the Opposition, Mr. Row'ell, at present a minister in the Borden Cabinet. Amongst the members of this committee we find the names of several of Ontario's most prominent citizens.

In this circular, which is headlined \ " A Crisis Famine is at our Door, " we find, amongst other things :

"Since February 4, 1917, more than a million tons of foodstuffs have been destroyed through the torpedoing of numerous vessels. Mr. David Lubin, the United States delegate to the International Institute of Agriculture has just made his official report to Washington in which he states that on the 31st of March last there was a shortage of 150,000,000 bushels of grain for the needs of the world until August, 4917."

" On the 10th of April the president of Armour & Company declared that the United States were well on the way towards a catastrophe if the government did1 not take immediate steps for the conservation of foodstuffs. Famine, continues the circular "is spreading more and more throughout the vdiole world. In Ontario, 365,000 acres less were cultivated than in 1915 and the harvest of grain of all kinds fell 27,141,615 bushels, while

the vegetable crops gave 21,458,902 bushels less. This food shortage which is being felt the world over is such that there is grave danger of Canada being left without sufficient supply, and even if our production toofk a dtecided bound it is out of the question to hope for any improvement in the situation. Even if peace were to come within the year we can still see no bettering of food conditions, since we shall still have to send enormous quantities of food to Europe."

Before the war, France, England and Italy alone, imported each year more than one-half billion bushels of cereals. Next fail they will have to import nearly one billion bushels, according to the War Lecture Bureau, the official bulletin of the Director of Public Information at Ottawa.

The hon. Everett Colby, an assistant of the American Food Administrator, in the course of a speech delivered in Ottawa, a few days ago, said:

" Nine months from now we shall hear the cries of distress coming from the children of France and of Belgium; nine months from now famine will devastate these two countries."

This indicates an extremely serious situation; a situation for which the authorities should prepare.

Almost at the same time Mr. Crerar, the Minister of Agriculture emphasized the seriousness of the situation when he wrote in the Standard: " All the labour .available in the country parts is being employed; our extra production must rely chiefly on the labour furnished by the cities."

The Prime Minister himself, 'Sir Robert Borden, in a recent message published in the bulletin of the Canada Food Board at Ottawa, speaks of how extremely urgent it is for America to feed Europe. Our First Minister declares that the production of foodstuffs in the country must be as great as possible during the present months, or else we will be confronted with a "serious" crisis which threatens us to-day " and the extent of which cannot be overestimated."

Dr. D. W. Robertson of Ottawa, lectured in Montreal, a few weeks ago, on the seriousness of the food crisis, and on the means we should adopt to increase farm production in Canada, both for the feeding of our own population and for the relief of our Allies. Dr. Robertson insisted on the fact that the success of the Allied arms is dependent in great measure on the agricultural production of Canada and the United States, and that the chief cause of the decrease in our

agricultural production during the last three years has been the withdrawing of so many workers from the farms, whence they have gone either into the army or into the munition shops. The lecturer showed that, in 1917, France produced only 47 per cent of her normal crops of wheat and potatoes; both she and Italy are suffering from a shortage of wheat, flour and fats. England is no better off, for if she does- receive more ood than they, she must divide it with them; England's supply is only 55 per cent of what it was before the war. Even if they limit their imports to what is strictly necessary, the Allies will have to import this year over two million tons, or 40 per cent more than before the war, although the total tonnage of ocean-going vessels has been very much curtailed. Therefore America, this year, must produce more cereals of every description, than she has ever produced before, since the Allies' expect to receive from this continent 360,000,000 bushels of cereals over and above the amount of their total yearly imports before the war.

The President olf the 'Council, the Hon. Mr. Rowell, thought he had discovered the solution of our farm labour problem when he said, in the eloqueut speech which he delivered in this House, a few days back, that during the war the women of Canada, could and should do what the women of Great Britain and France are doing.

We know of the heroic task accomplished by women on the soil of France; but we know too, that, despite their efforts the agricultural production of France has suffered considerably during the war. The Hon. Mr. Rowell omitted to say so.

An article from the pen of a well-informed writer, published recently in the " New Republic ", shows that the total seed acreage in France was only 8,970,820 hectars, whereas in 1913 it had been 12,580,465; that her crops which amounted, in 1913, to 163,-

388,000 cwt., reached only 90,174,140 last year.

. These figures mean that, notwithstanding the admirable work of the women, children and old men, the soil of France yielded only 55 per cent of its total harvest of 1913.

Here in Canada, harvesting is far more difficult tor women than is the case in France, because of the tremendous acreage of our farms and also on account of the climate. In 'Canada, more than anywhere else, farming is a man's work.

Let us observe also that our country is one of the Allies' chietf providers of cereals and foodstuffs. The Allies rely on us to

make up what they lack. We must give it ' to them and at the same time insure the feeding of our own population.

And it is in the face of these crying needs of the Allies and of Canada that the Government brings on its Bill for compulsory military service, which is intended to deprive our country of 100,000 men or more. Still, there is a shortage of (farm labour in our country which makes it impossible for us to keep up our agricultural production, while we really have need to double it. In The Agricultural 'Gazette of 'Canada, published by the Dominion Department of Agriculture, issue of May, 1917, I find some very important expressions of opinion on the 'question of farm labour in our country. The Departments of Agriculture in all the' different provinces speak of their anxiety anent the shortage of labour on our 'farms.

Mr. Arthur S. Barnstead, Secretary of the Department of Industries and Immigration, in Nova Scotia, says:

The farm labour problem will assuredly be acute in Nova Scotia this year. Hitherto we have depended largely for extra farm help upon the immigration of .agricultural newcomers from Great Britain. The supply of these is of course cut off, and, moreover, thousands of our young farmers are now engaged in military service overseas. Again, the services of many young men 'which would formerly have been available are now fully engaged In our munition factories and steel works. Thus the present outlook for securing, during the rush seasons, any extra help for our farmers from the usual sources is not encouraging. 6

Mr. W. A. Riddell, 'Superintendent of the Trades and Labour Branch, Department of Public Works, Ontario, has this to say:

The need for farm labour in Ontario is quite as acute as it is in any of the provinces. Evidences of this may be seen by such facts as the following::

We can use 5 O'O' farm labourers in our municipality," writes.one reeve. The same mail Drought an application for a boy in jvhich it was stated: "We could use a carload of boys

in this neighbourhood" With regard

to the Americans, there are five men working in the United States at the present time urging men to come to Canada. In some cases their

fare is advanced So far the attempt

to get men m this way has not been successful, nor the men obtained very satisfactory. The class of men that can be drawn from the United States at the present time for farm labour is rather poor."

Now we come to Mr. E, H. Auld, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Mr. iThos. M. Molloy, Secretary of the Bureau of Labour, Saskatchewan:

Bealizing that a limiting factor in our crop production this year is the shortage of labour a special effort is being made to recruit all available former farmers and farm workers to

assist in putting in the crop Then

special farm labour agents from this province are in the United States.

Mr. H. A. Craig, Deputy Minister of Agriculture in Alberta uses these words:

During the past winter those who were interested in increased agricultural production have been anxious about the evident scarcity of farm labour. Owing to the fact that so many young men from Alberta have enlisted for overseas service, the available supply is much less than the requirements.

It was, Mr. Marshall, Minister of Agriculture in Alberta who, at a reunion of all the Dominion's Ministers of Agriculture, at Ottawa, last fall, spoke thus to the Federal authorities:

You cannot satisfy the needs of both militarism and production at one and the same time; you must choose between the two. If what you need is increased agricultural production, then you should leave on the farms those who are already there and further you should attract to the land all those who could be of help in farm work. If, on the other hand, recruiting is the more necessary of the two, then we should enlist in a body and let agriculture go to the dogs. But for the love of God, let their be a choice made right now between these two alternatives and let the Government tell us what they want.

Then we have Mr. William GE. Scott, Deputy Minister of Agriculture in British Columbia, telling us that:

The labour question, however, is the great difficulty, and the debarring factor at the present time to increased production. The farmer realizes that it is his patriotic duty to do all he can to increase the supplies of foodstuffs, and would do so, could he secure the necessary labour. It is a very acute question 'in British Columbia just now, and what is the best solution it is difficult to say They are

facing the same situation in the United States, and labour for the farm is also scarce there.

It is not only the farmer who is suffering from scarcity of labour. Our mines, logging camps, mills and industrial works are all complaining that they cannot get the labour that they want fqr carrying on their work to the fullest extent. It must be remembered that approximately 35,000 men have left this province for overseas service since the war began.

As regards the province of Quebec, I received a short time ago a copy of ia resolution adopted by the production engineers and other official agricultural experts, at a convention held recently in Quebec. Here is the purport of this resolution:

Whereas the scarcity of farm labour is becoming more and more acute at the very time when increased production of foodstuffs is most imperative ; and

Whereas the Federal Government, through the Canada Food Board, has requested the province of Quebec to increase by 600,000 acres the land already under culture; and

Whereas the military conscription law deprives us every day of a large number of young farmers and of young city men who are able to give effective help to our farmers;

It is hereby moved by Mr. R. A. Rousseau, B.A.S., official agricultural engineer,

Seconded by Mr. Georges Bouchard, professor at the School of Agriculture, Ste. Anne de la Pocatiere,

And it is unanimously resolved:

That the official agricultural experts, the agricultural representatives of the district, the professors of the agricultural colleges and the travelling agricultural instructors, assembled in convention for the campaign in favour of increased production, this 26th day of March, 1918, urge upon the higher authorities of this country, to enact clearly and effectively, the exemption from military service of every farm worker duly engaged to labour on a farm during the present year.

While lecturing on the labour question, in Saskatchewan, the'26th of February, last year, Mr. R. B. Bennett, then Director of National Service, said what follows:

In all likelihood the scarcity of foodstuffs will be felt more acutely than at present before the next harvest, in Great Britain, in France and in Italy, and as Canada is, of all the Dominions, the least remote from the countries, they naturally turn to us ; they see in us their

first source of supply The labour

shortage is the main obstacle to the accomplishment of these ends, and we intend doing all in our power to improve this situation.

In the presence of this scarcity of farm labour, which is making itself felt everywhere, it is small wonder that the number of acres sown in western Canada, showed, in the four years from 1912 to 1916 an increase of only 1,500,000, while in a. single year, from 1910 to 1911, the increase has been 3,500,000.

Every province in the country is crying out for men for the next planting season, and especially for the next harvest. A carefully prepared estimate tells us that the farms need 83,000 men to carry on thetr . ordinary work.

Alberta is asking for 6.000 men for seeding, and 7,000 for the harvest; Saskatchewan, 10,000 for seeding, and 15,000 for harvest; Manitoba, 7,000 for seeding, and 10,000 for harvest; Ontario, 7,500 for seeding, amd 12,500 for haying and for getting in the crops, besides 15,000 boys and 5,000 women; Quebec needs several thousand men; New Brunswick, about 2,000; Nova Scotia, 2,500; Prince Edward Island and BritishColumbia, although suffering less than the other provinces, nevertheless require further hands.

We are shouting famine into the ears of our neighbours in the United States who sent us thousands of men last year. They cannot repeat the effort this year. In this connection let me quote you the important declaration of President Wilson, shortly after the great Republic had declared war on Oermanv. The first and the most urgent appeal of this statesman was towards the

92 I I 'Wl

development of industry and agriculture. In a manifesto addressed to his fellow-citizens, Woodrow Wilson said:

Thousands of men, or rather hundreds of thousands, although fit for military service, will, owing to the needs of industry, be rightfully exempted from that service and sent to perform essential and productive work in the fields, the factories and the mines, and they will belong none the less, for all that, to the patriotic forces of the nation, just as much as do our men at the front.

The man who spoke these words is at the head of a nation of 112 million inhabitante; and we, a people of 7 millions, who have already seen 530,000 of our citizens leave our shores; we who are an agricultural people, whose country is rightfully styled the granary of the Empire, we would give no proof of the same prudence, the same foresight.

When we witness the unthinking policy of the Government which persists in mobilizing for the needs of the army the- most healthy and most vigourous element o.f our country we do not wonder that public opinion is beginning to rouse itself all over Canada. We lately saw rEvenement, a Government organ, reproaching the Government with not exempting young farmers. The English provinces are becoming alarmed over the question of farm labour. Telegrams from New Brunswick and from Ontario speak of meetings of farmers calling upon the Government to considers the necessity of keeping in Canada all young men adapted to work on the land. Toronto informs us that a delegation of 2,500 Ontario farmers is getting ready to come to Ottawa and demand the exemption of all farm workers, from 20 to 23 years of age, who have been called to the colours. I wish to point out that the last delegation of agriculturists which came to Ottawa was from the English farm owners and Anglo-Canadian agricultural experts from the Montreal district. iThe Toronto Star, ia Unionist paper, in its edition of last Saturday, published tire following report:

The farmers all through Ontario are taking definite means to force a reconsideration of the recent Order in Council which calls to the colours all the farmers, both freeholders and tenants, or farmers' sons who have never done anything else but cultivate the land. Bast night farmers' meetings were held throughout the province and vigorous resolutions were adopted setting forth that the crops and food production in general would suffer if the farmers were forced to rely solely on the help from inexperienced city hands. The principal meetings were held at Brantford, Woodstock, Goderich and Ayr.

The same newspaper .informs us that the United Farmers of Ontario intemj sending a

delegation to Ottawa. -So that the policy and the maladministration of this Government have divided the Canadian nation instead of uniting it, as the Unionist Government boasts of having done. The grievous blunders committed by the Government were not resented in Quebec alone, as some people axe pleased to claim in certain quarters. The other day, the hon. member for Russell eloquently vindicated Quebec of the attacks that have been made against her; he made triumphant reply to all these criticisms born of the frenzy of unseeing fanatics. Allow me to add just this: The province of Quebec was not the only one to disapprove of the Government's policy; she is not isolated in her opposition to the so-called Unionist Government which has sown the seed of discord in our ranks. An analysis of the vote recorded in the last election will bear this out.

According to the official figures, the Unionist Government holds a majority of 71 seats in this House; since the government has 153 representatives and the Opposition 82. Taking the vote as a whole, province by province, as also the distribution of the ballots cast throughout the whole of Canada, the exorbitant majority of the Unionist Government in this House is not justified. The total vote, both civil and military, was 1,057,793 for the Government, and 763,371 for the Opposition. But these figures do not take into account the election by acclamation (17 in the province of Quebec alone). Taking the number of votes cast for The Opposition in the 48 constituencies of Quebec province where contests were held, and where the Opposition was victorious, in order to establish an .average, we find that we must add nearly 70,000 votes to the total of the Opposition if we wish to establish the true relation between the two parties throughout the Dominion.

In this way the total division would be

800,000 votes for - the Opposition against 1,000,000 for the Government. This statement is important for the purpose of demonstrating that the Opposition, in Parliament, is not limited to the group - from Quebec. It is a fact that, out of a total of 82 members on the Opposition side, Quebec elected 62, which leaves only 20 members from outside our province, but an analysis of the vote throughout the entire country ishows that the Liberal group represents a very large number indeed of the voters of this country: outside of the province of Quebec there were 519,940 citizens who voted against the Government.

Bor instance, in Ontario: the Opposition holds only 8 seats with a vote of 369,093; while the Government, with 515,140 votes, has 74i seats.

That is to say that with a vote considerably less than double the vote accorded the Opposition, the Government is represented in this House in the proportion of 9 to 1. The true proportion of the votes obtained by the Opposition in Ontario is 34 per cent of the total vote cast in that province which, normally, should1 give us 28 seats while all we have is 8.

In the Western Provinces the total Government vote was 346,935, and the Opposition vote, 153,568. iSo that the proportion of the Opposition vote in the four western provinces and the Yukon is 31 per cent of the total vote cast; still, out of the 57 representatives that these provinces, send to Parliament the Opposition has only 2, while the exact ratio, based on the number of votes obtained, should give us 17 seats.

In Nova iSteotia the contradiction is-still more evident. 'The Government obtained 41,684 votes -there -and the Opposition, 41,305. But the -Government holds 12 -seats against the -Liberals 4. The Liberals obtained merely 370 votes less than the -Conservatives, and still they have only 4 seats, while the Conservatives hold 12. In Saskatchewan, where not one solitary Liberal candidate was elected, the -Liberal candidate's polled 33,500 votes, ox nearly one-third of the total; the Conservatives garnered 81,420.

The province of Alberta elected only one Liberal. At the same time, the Liberal candidates polled 49,920 votes, while the Government candidates got 74,974.

In British Columbia one-half the total vote was cast in favour of 'Liberal candidates, and- still, not a single one of them was elected.

We must deduce from this that, not only is our method of representation altogether unfair, -but also-which is most d-ecidely important at the present time-that very, very false are the claims of those who are waging a campaign of ignominy and of slander against the province of Quebec, seeking to make people believe that the opposition to the Unionist -Government comes from Quebec alone.

The -Government majority in this House i-s abnormal and nowise represents the real difference of opinion in this country.

I repeat that [the province of Quebec is not isolated. The Opposition group in this House, though most of its members come from Quebec province, represents the wishes, reflects the opinion, of 800,000 Canadian

voters, of whom 519,940 are from outside Quebec. Now this figure of 519,940 votes, is equal to one-half the total vote cast throughout the Dominion in favour of this Government.

Putting Ontario and Quebec to one side, we find that the voting in the rest of the Dominion resulted as follows: for the Government, 466,639; for the Opposition, 250,847; so that the proportionate percentage of the Opposition vote ie 40 per cent of the total.

Now let us glance at the civil vote throughout Canada. On the total of this vote, taken altogether, the Government's plurality is only 97,095 which figure does not take account of the 70,000 votes represented by the 17 acclamations in Quebec.

In a word, out of a total of 1,586,793 votes cast the Opposition polled 744,849, or 47 per cent of the total vote.

Therefore the Opposition group may, and must, stand their ground solidly in this House; the province of Quebec is not isolated1 from the rest of Canada. The province of Quebec reflects the true Canadian opinion which the Unionists tried to gag and which they succeeded in stifling through that most perfidious enactment, the War-time Elections Act.

Neither is the province of Quebec isolated in its share in the war; and the French-Canadians especially have contributed most generously.

I cannot go into details and give statistics which would carry me too far afield, but I d'o ihtend to say that it has been proven, figures in hand, other things being equal, as many soldiers were recruited from the province of Quebec*as from any other province. It lias been proved that if we compare the Canadian-born enlistments, that is if we take away the British-born from the number of recruits in 'Ontario and the other provinces, the enlistments in the province of Quebec were proportionate to the enlistments in the province of Ontario and the other provinces.

The " Citizen " of Ottawa, day before yesterday, asks if the opinion of the Englishspeaking people of the country will not have to be altered with respect to enlistment in Quebec, when they have been informed of the figures recently brought down in the House of Commons concerning the volunteer recruiting of Canadian-born citizens. Out oif a total of 197,473 all-Canadian recruits, the province of Quebec made the important contribution of 50,000.

In 1917 Ontario numbered 164,000 recruits, including 118,000 immigrants, which leaves

92i

a purely native-born enlistment of 46,000. The province of Quebec numbered 42,000 which figure included 25,000 French Canadians.

It would appear that Ontario with 46,000 native recruits takee precedence over Quebec by 50 per cent; but when we remember:

1. That Ontario has 265,176 males over 21 years of age, which is 114,138 more than Quebec, with only 151,038;

2. That, in the cities of Quebec province there are only 135,000 males between the ages of 17 and 45, whilst among the native-born population of Ontario, there are 395,050, or 260,000 more;

3. That in Ontario the males outnumber the females by 75,000, while in Quebec the difference is only 20,000;

4. That, according to the recent census (page 68, volume III) Ontario has 170,789 workingmen who earned, in 1911, less than $500 per annum, and Quebec (page 76) only 111,852; which leaves in Ontario a majority of 34 per cent among those men of the working class who would feel the spur of poverty and would be led to hope that by enlisting they would better the lot of their families; we realize that, as regards the facilities of volunteer recruiting the equation between 46,000 Ontario citizens and 25,000 French-Canadians is perfect. No native citizen, no matter from what province he has sprung, is entitled to criticize the province of Quebec or to claim that we have not enlisted in just as large proportion as any other group of Canadian-born.

The soil of Flanders and of northern France is saturated with the blood of French-Canadians who have offered their lives on the altar of the Allied cause. At this very moment our compatriots are fighting, and dying, always for the same cause.

Sorrow, mourning and anguish stalk in many of our homes. We should not be insulted, to boot, by hearing that the French-Canadians have not done their duty. They have done their duty generously, heroically, and with more credit than a great many others.

All the others are fighting for their own country, their homes, their families, their interests, their fatherland. The French-Canadians alone are fighting for an idea devoid of all personal interest.

They have no country but Canada, and still, they are fighting and dying three thousand miles away from their own land.

Let us reflect and remember that where a nation takes root is in its burying-ground; it is there, in the cemeteries, that you will find the palpitating heart of a people faithful to the cult of ancestry. It is here that

our fathers were bom and were buried: they are sleeping their last sleep beneath this Canadian soil where our ancestors have been laid away for the last four hundred years. What other race in this country can say as much?

But while defending the French-Canadians from the unjust attacks which have been launched against them I do not intend to preach a French Canadian doctrine. No, the political doctrine which must guide our country and towards which all our manifestations of national life should converge, should be, first of all, the Canadian doctrine.

We are proud of being British subjects, but we place still higher out title of Canadian citizens.

To give the last man and the last cent to this war is not a Canadian doctrine; it is an imperialist doctrine, an anti-Canadian doctrine.

Sir Wilfrid Laurier, a loyal subject of the British Crown, if ever there were one, and who in the turmoil of the difficult times through which we are passing, represents the true Canadian idea which will survive the present crisis; this statesman whom recent events have placed in history not only as the leader of a party, but the real leader of the Canadian nation; this patriot who is outside of unionism because he is above it, and dominates it, spoke thus in this House on the 24th of July, 1917:

I would be delighted if we could -send more soldiers to General Currie. I wish that our population and our resources would allow of our sending not only half a million but a million men. But the question is how many men can we take from the life of the nation at the present time without imperilling the public services which are essential to this country, and essential to carrying on our share of the war. This is a subject which, in my humble opinion, has not been sufficiently considered by the Government. They went into this war without any previous calculation whatever, without taking any census of our resources in men and in other respects. They asked for 100,000 men,

200.000 men, 30-0,00-0 men, 400,000 men, and, at last, for 5 00,00-0 men. When they reached the

500.000 figure they were told by several people that they could not get the men. One of the most important captains of industry in this country, Lord Shaughnessy, expressed his opinion in no uncertain terms, that the men could not be got without injury to the public services. But the Government paid no heed to that. They paid no heed to the other consideration, that it is not only men the Allies require at the present time, but food. They paid no heed to the question whether the men could not be better employed in producing food in Canada than in fighting at the front.

It is late, but not too late for the Government to look to itself and moderate recruiting until it has been clearly established, as

I said to my constituents. "That after the tremendous effort which we have already accomplished, this recruiting may go on without harm to Canada, or to the Allies, and this can be demonstrated only afteT a very careful inventory o,f our local meeds,, the economic needs of our country, particularly with respect to farm labour, to the interests of industry, the needs of our transportation system, the operating of our mines and other natural resources which will insure our national prosperity."

I believe that I follow the true, the only real Canadian tradition; I believe I am moved by the real national spirit which must reign in this country and unite all our hearts.

To those imperialists who, wittingly or unwittingly, seek to betray the interests of our 'Canadian land for the interest of the Empire or the Allies, I will always oppose a heart that is adamant, a heart inflamed with one passion, and one only, the passion for Canada.

Glory to our dead who have offered their youth to the sacred cause which we all hold dear: Yes, by all means.

But glory as well to our own dead1, at rest amongst us, to the fathers of our Canadian fatherland, to those who have discovered, colonized, developed this country, to those who have won us our liberty, our political autonomy and we have bequeathed to us a constitution, a deed of Canadian nationality which we should strengthen and not endanger.

Leaving to Germany her materialistic and ambitious aims, we have, ourselves, with the Allies, adopted an ideal goal; World Freedom and the Triumph of Bight. This war is not between England, France and Germany, it is a war between might- and right-, between the pride of conquest and the lofty ideal of the equality of nations, between the hidebound spirit of caste; militarism; and the spirit of liberty, democracy.

Let us not fall victims to the evils we are striving to fight and conquer.

Let- us first- and always, safeguard the interests of Canada. We must not allow outside interests to dominate the politics of our country.

In all patriotism there is a legitimate part of selfishness. Is Canada's patriotism -alone to have no "right to live" ? We are perfectly willing to help others -avoid death, but, before all, we must live ourselves.

In 1774 and in 1812 the French-Canadians took up arms in defence of Canada; they acted on those occasions as true Canadian

patriots. They wish to follow the same rule of conduct in 1918, that is, to show themselves "Canadians, first of all."

Our country, I repeat, is Canada. Our patriotism which most decidedly takes cognizance of those -great humanitarian principles which exist in the higher realms of all races, all creeds and all lands, our patriotism is first of all Canadian. We desire to do our share in defending liberty and civilization, and we are doing it; hut we owe ourselves, before all else, to the defence of our own land first conquered by our fathers, to the defence of the soil which, they have bequeathed to us, where they are at rest, and where we ourselves desire to live and die.

Like all people who do honour patriotism, we are bound first and foremost to our awn fatherland. It is in that land, and for that land, that we are all willing to perish, if need be, to protect our homes and defend the nation.

Were the enemy ever to invade our territory and try to deprive us of the heritage bequeathed us by our ancestors, like the patriots of all times, just as the people, of Carthage, in their supreme struggle gave their gold, made ships from the wood of their houses and rigging from the tresses of their women, we will give all for love of our country and, this time, it will he a siacred duty for us to contribute our last man and our last cent, since we will be act;ng in defence of our native soil, the land of our forefathers.

I would advise those who consider my words too Canadian and not sufficiently imperialistic to turn their gaze upon the escutcheon of the British Crown which has used French speech, for centuries and which is entitled to exclaim with the authority of ages: " Honi soit qui mal y pense.

Dieu et mon Droit."

At six o'clock the House took recess.

After Recess.

The House resumed at eight o'clock.

Topic:   E. B. NBWCOMBE,
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PRIVATE BILLS.

May 3, 1918