May 3, 1918

REVISED


sympathetic and favourable consideration of this House. Our national debt is increasing very rapidly, and it is bound to go on increasing so long as we continue to bear our just share in the defence of the Empire. It necessarily follows that ever increasing amounts will toe required from, year to year in order to pay the interest and sinking fund charges on that national detot. Is it not fair then to expect that our national resources of forest, of field and mine might be utilized to the fullest extent in liquidating these obligations? The hon. member for Fort William has submitted figures to show -that there are vast deposits of iron ore in Canada awaiting development. In New Brunswick they have approximately 20,000,000 tons of magnetic ore, with a concentrating plant capable of handling about 1,000 tons of ore per day. In Nova Scotia the iron mines are said to have about 4,000,000 tons of ore proven, and one company has a plant capable of treating over 200,000 tons annually. In British Columbia experts estimate that the iron ore deposits already discovered contain over 35,000,000 tons of ore, and in Ontario we have the Atikokan range with 10.000. 000 tons of ore proven up, and the company there 'has a blast furnace and roasting plant at Port Arthur. Large deposits of 'magnetite ore have been discovered near Kakabeka falls, and promising deposits of hematite ore have recently (been located east of lake Nipigon, and also near I.oon lake. These deposits are quite close the Canadian Northern railway. The Moose Mountain Company have developed their mines, proving the existence of atoout 100.000. 000 ton® of magnetic ore. They have installed a mining plant, and erected a Grondel concentrating plant capable of producing some 250 tons- per day of concentrated ore, assaying 63 per cent iron content. There are the Balmont, Willbur, Far-num, and many other magnetic properties in eastern Ontario. Then we have the Lake Superior Corporation and the Algomfa Steel Corporation, of Sault St-e. Marie. They have shipped from the Helen mine at Michipi-coten over 2,263,000 tons- of hemafitic iron ore; on the same range about 10 miles north of the Helen, the Josephine iron- .mine has been proven up toy diamond drilling, and it contains about 1,400,000 tons of hematite ore; and tooth of these properties have vast deposits of siderite ore. The Magpie mine also contains- large deposits of siderite ore, carrying about 36 per cent iron, tout when roasted it carries about 52 per -cent iron of excellent quality, and supplies about one-sixth of the ore used- in the Algoma Steel Company's furnaces- at Sa-ult Ste. Marie.


EDITION


Canada apparently has- hundreds of millions of tons of iron ore scattered from the Atlantic to the Pacific, and on the extreme East and West we have abundant sources of fuel and flux. We have some eighteen blast furnaces, and several extensive steel plant®, costing approximately $100,000,000, and producing about 1,500,000 tons of finished product per annum, worth about $75,000,000. Notwithstanding the immense deposits of iron ore we have in this country, we find that over 90 per cent of the iron ore used in these furnaces is imported largely from the United States. Why is this being done? Because most of our iron ore is of a lower quality, containing a smaller percentage of iron content and a greater percentage of sulphur than the American ore from the lake Superior mines, and in order to bring it up to a value equal to the American ore and to make it suitable for use in the manufacture of steel, it is necssary to have the ore roasted to eliminate the sulphur and other injurious contents. This necessitates the erection of expensive roasting or concentrating plants to treat the raw ore. This treatment, we are told, costs from 35 cents to $1.25 per ton, with the result that American ore can be laid down at the blast, furnaces in our own, country for less money than ore from our own mines. In addition there is the problem of raising the large sums of money necessary to provide the concentrating and roasting plants. I submit that at a time like the present, when the Government is endeavouring in every legitimate way to reduce the trade balance standing against us with the United States, they would toe well advised to consider favourably the suggestion of any hon. friend from Fort William (Mr. IManion) and to allow a bounty, of say fifty cents a ton, on the iron ore mined and smelted in Canadian smelters. I feel sure that this would result in increased activity in the mining industry, and would also remove to a very large extent 'the reason the steel manufacturers have to-day for importing from the United States and other countries. I would like to read a few lines from the first annual report of the Commission of Conservation in Canada/ It says: Only a few years a,go the ironmasters of this continent would- hardly look at an iron ore if it contained less than sixty-two per cent of metallic content. Now ore of fifty per cent is gladly received. We are, and will continue to be, industrially handicajpped until our iron industry is developed' sufficiently to meet the demands of our country and- render us Independent of outside sources for the all-im- [Mr. Simpson.! portant metal. What we need is not conservation of iron ore resources, but vigorous development of our iron industry. I have no doubt the Commission had in mind the very large amount of steel products imported from the United States every year when they made this report. We find that, in 1913, over $146,000,000 worth of steel products were imported into Canada from the United States, and about $156,000,000 in 1917. Could we not reasonably assume that, with the necessary assistance given to our iron ore mining industry in due time all of these steel products could be made in Canadian rolling mills from Canadian ore and the money circulated among Canadian workmen? Our steel plants are all working at the present time to their full capacity; they are turning out shell steel of the finest quality for our own use and that of our Allies. I am convinced that after the war is over the demand II p.m. for steel products for the railroads and building trades of this and other countries will be great, and if we get our iron and steel industry on a sound basis now, utilizing our Canadian ore, it will prove to be one of the bulwarks on which we can depend while passing through the period of reconstruction. Now a word with reference to the newsprint industry, which was introduced into the discussion here the other evening. It is a well known fact that the press, and particularly the large dailies, have been carrying on a persistent campaign against the manufacturers of newsprint paper in an attempt to show that the manufacturers were charging exorbitant prices and making abnormal profits on their output. The hon. member for Springfield (Mr. Richardson) took occasion to dwell at some length on the iniquities of the manufacturers, and quoted from a very cleverly prepared brief to show the excessive dividends they were receiving on their common stock. And some of these manufacturing companies, he said, had common stock which represented no actual cash investment. He also told the House that some seven officials representing the manufacturers in Canada and the United States, were convicted and fined in New York for conspiring to increase prices, and that the publishers had requested the Government to investigate conditions existing in Canada. Right here I want to say that I compliment the Government on the immediate action taken to investigate this matter when it was brought to their attention. I want to say further that the members in this House will stand solidly behind the Government in checking every attempt that may be made in this country to form combines. A commissioner was appointed to investigate thoroughly the cost of the manufacture of newsprint in Canada, and while his final report has not yet been made known, an interim report was submitted, in which we are told that the commissioner suggested that the fixed price of $50 per ton previously paid to the manufacturers of newsprint be increased to $57 per ton. I presume, in fact I have no doubt, that the commissioner had authority to summon the manufacturers and their agents before him to be examined under oath, and that they had to present their books of account showing the cost of manufacture. And after these had been presented and had been examined by the commissioner, to a certain extent at any rate, he was apparently convinced that the price paid the newsprint manufacturers was not sufficient, and suggested that it be increased from $50 to $57 per ton. In the face of that fact, I think the arguments advanced by the horn, member for Springfield against the newsprint manufacturers falls to the ground. I hold no brief for ithe newsprint manufacturers. The reason for the attack on the newsprint manufacturers is quite obvious. It is a well known fact that the publishers of the large daily newspapers in this country for some time have cut the subscription price of their paper to the ground for the purpose of increasing circulation and thereby commanding a larger advertising patronage at remunerative rates, and now they expect the newsprint manufacturer to pay the shot. Manufacturers are asking that the price of newsprint be fixed at $60 a ton, which is an advance of less than fifty per cent over the price that they were charging prior to the outbreak of war. When we consider that the price of pulp-wood, which was $6 a cord before the war, has increased to $10, and in some instances $12, and when we consider that wages have increased at least seventy-five per cent, we must come to the conclusion that the price asked by the newsprint manufacturers is not exorbitant. While our national debt has increased very largely since the outbreak of war, it is encouraging to note that the greater portion of it is held by the Canadian people themselves. This shows conclusively that people who cannot take part in the conflict on the field of battle are loyally carrying out the pledge given to the first contingent when they went away and repeated many 93* times since, that we are prepared to stand behind them to the last dollar. The methods proposed for the increasing of our revenue will, I believe, meet with the approval of the people. The increased business and income taxes will place the burden on, .the shoulders of those best able to bear it, and the taxing of automobiles, player pianos, phonographs, talking machines, and even tobacco and tea, will meet with the hearty popular approval. Just a word with regard to taxing the alien enemy. I hesitate to introduce this subject, because it has to be treated with the greatest care. Anything we may do in the way of taxing or conscripting the alien enemy in Canada may be communicated to the enemy country and meet with reprisals there on our own prisoners; consequently, we have to be careful in whatever method we may adopt. Nevertheless, we have alien enemies in our midst. They came here before war was declared, and they came largely at our invitation. They were satisfied to accept whatever wages were prevailing at that time, and, to my mind, they should be satisfied to take to-day the wages that were prevailing at that time for the class of work they are doing, and the difference between the wages prevailing at that time fox the class of work they were prepared to do and those prevailing to-day for the work they are doing should be turned over to the public treasury to help carry on the war. This increase in wage is due entirely to war conditions. I believe that the plan can be worked out by insisting that every manufacturer and employer of alien labour report to the Government once a month, showing the number of alien enemies on his pay roll, and stating the standard wage paid for that class of work prior to the war and the standard wage paid for it to-day. Let the employer of labour pay the alien enemy according to the standard before the war, and remit the difference to the Minister of Finance for war purposes.


UNION

Edgar Nelson Rhodes (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Unionist

Mr. SPEAKER:

Order. I regret to have to call the hon. member to order. I had hoped that his remarks were merely by way of reference to the subject of alien enemies, but as that subject has already been debated and disposed of by the House, it is not in order for him to deal with it further.

Topic:   EDITION
Permalink
UNION

Thomas Edward Simpson

Unionist

Mr. SIMPSON:

I regret that I exceeded the limit of the rules, but as the matter has direct reference to methods of taxation,

I thought that I was in order. However, I congratulate the Acting Minister of Finance on the splendid Budget that he has presented to the House. I think that the methods of taxation proposed will meet with the hearty approval of the people.

Topic:   EDITION
Permalink
L LIB

William Duff

Laurier Liberal

Mr. WILLIAM DUFF (Lunenburg):

Mr. Speaker, I have much pleasure in tendering my congratulations to the Acting Minister of Finance (Hon. A. K. Maclean) on his able performance of an unpleasant duty, a duty thrust upon him by the exigencies of present conditions. When I think of the past and my pleasant relations with the Acting Minister of Finance, my memory takes me back to the years from 1896 to 1911, when he appeared on various platforms in the good old county of Lunenburg and advocated the Liberal policies of lower tariffs, of thrift and of economy; and my heart was filled with sadness as on Tuesday I heard him assume the burdens laid upon him on account of the absence of the Minister of Finance (Sir Thomas White) and make the statement of the present financial condition of the country.

While we rejoice that the Finance Minister (Sir Thomas White) has recovered his health, we cannot look with equanimity upon his resuming his duties as Finance Minister of this country. The financial affairs of Canada would be safer in the hands of the Acting Minister of Finance. Owing to the crying need for reform, economy and efficiency in the administration of our finances, I suggest that a commission composed of three practical business men, men of large affairs and successful in various fields of activity, be appointed to guide and advise the Finance Department and the Government regarding the financial affairs of the country. This is only a suggestion which, as a new member, I submit in all humility, but I feel strongly that some action is necessary to protect the citizens of Canada.

Before I take up a discussion of the Budget I wish to refer to a statement made this afternoon by the hon. member for Toronto Centre (Mr. Bristol), who came to the rescue of his friend, Sir Joseph Flavelle, Baronet, and made certain statements which the facts will not sustain. He said that Sir Joseph Flavelle was on the same footing as other buyers and sellers of bacon to the British Government. Such was not the case. Sir Joseph Flavelle had a contract with the British Government under which his bacon was taken off his hands at his buying price, plus a certain profit, plus whatever advance the market

price might make. This advantage no other company had. He also had the privilege of sending all his bacon in British transports free of freight, as he was permitted to deliver at Montreal instead of London, which no other company could do. As to his standing, the moment the O'Connor and the Henderson reports were published, the British Government cancelled their special contract with him, refused to do any further business with his agent at London, and are now doing all their buying direct, and not through the agency of Sir Joseph Flavelle.

The Acting Finance Minister informed us that the expenditure was $173,000,000 on current account, which included the interest on the war debt, $45,000,000, and $7,000,000 for pensions. If you deduct these two latter amounts and add $12,000,000 interest on debt before the war, that leaves an expenditure of $133,000,000, which is excessive, and my memory harks back to the night when I listened to the Prime Minister in the town of Lunenburg in 1911, telling the citizens of that town that it was a criminal waste of public money to spend $70,000,000, and that if he were elected to power, he would reduce it by $10,000,000. He also on that occasion promised free medicine to the shore fishermen, but that promise has not been kept, nor do the fishermen want free medicine. With regard to the $7,000,000 for pensions, I wish to say that every right-thinking man in Canada is willing and anxious to make life easy for those who have fought for our country, and every effort should be made to do the Tight thing by them. But if we are to judge from the two returns brought down in the House a few days ago, the administration of the pensions is not built on a sound foundation. I need not elaborate on any of those returns, but there was a case where a colonel who had seen the sun shine over France for only fourteen days who is now back in this country and I am told he is receiving a pension of about $780, and he has also been promoted to a seat in the Senate and will draw a salary of $2,500 a year for the rest of his life. Does the Government intend to appoint any private or corporal or sergeant to the Senate of Canada? Why should they not be appointed just as much as a colonel who was over in France for only fourteen days? Why should those gentlemen draw these large amounts whereas the ordinary private soldier receives only from $2.50 to $48 per month? tit is necessary for the Government immediately tto organize this department properly, and to place at the

head of it not a fourth-rate politician, not a ward heeler, not a political major, but the best business man obtainable and a man with a strong personality. If this is not done, we shall find ourselve in the position of the United iStates after the Civil War with regard to pensions.

We are told that the war expenditure in 1917-18 was $345,000,000, and that altogether, since the war started, the large sum of $878,000,000 has been expended. The motto of the Liberal party, Mr. Speaker, is every dollar necessary for war, hut not a dollar for graft. There is no doubt about it that the expenditure on war account has not been satisfactory to the general public. Case after case might be cited where expenditures were abnormal and excessive, but I will only refer the Minister of IMilitia and. Defence to an article published last year in one of the Government organs, the Halifax Chronicle, which dealt with conditions at Halifax in the Militia Department. Conditions have not improved since then. Practically every doctor in the city, with a few notable exceptions, has donned the khaki, and they are still attending to their private practice. The same thing applies to some of 'the gentlemen of the cloth, and others too numerous to mention. A similar state of affairs exists in the Naval Department at Halifax, though not as glaring. There is need for economy there. We have a cruiser which is known as HJM.C.S. Niobe. Perhaps this ship of war is better known to the general public as one of the " Laurier tin-pot navy," as our Conservative friends were in the habit of calling it in the election of 1911. This cruiser served a very good purpose last year, after the late minister of elections, Hon. Eobert Eogers, came back from the Old Country and hatched the goose egg known as the Conscription Act on the way over. A number of young men from the province of Nova Scotia who, for reasons .sufficiently known to themiselves did not want to volunteer and join the army or come under the new Act felt that perhaps a position on board the Niobe would suit them better than anything else. The result was that the wires were kept hot between Nova Scotia and Ottawa, and through the influence of some of the members for Nova Scotia, these young men, not sons of Liberals, not sons of Quebecers, but sons of good Tory fathers, got jobs aboard the Niobe as oilers and wipers and so forth. To-day those young men are still aboard the Niobe. They remind me of a story I read in the Good Book which I hope we .all read, but perhaps not as often as

we should do. That story is to be found in the 19th chapter of Deuteronomy. In the olden times, the chosen people founded a nation, and they set apart three cities for a certain purpo.se. If any one got into .trouble or committed1 some misdemeanour, he could flee to one of those cities and find refuge there. It seems to me that we should change the name of H.M.C.S. Niobe. She has been an ever present help in time of need and a shelter in time of storm for the sons of some of our Conservative friends in Nova Scotia, and I think that the Admiral of the Fleet, or the Minister of Naval Affairs (Mr. Ballantyne)-I am sorry he is not here-should change the name of H.M.C.'S. Niobe to H.M.C..S. City of Be.fuge.

The people of this country, Mr. Speaker, will demand that proper safeguards be taken by the Government to see that for every dollar spent value is given. With regard to the general expenditure, I would like to speak of one item in which extravagance is apparent. I refer to the matter of advertising by the various departments of the Government. When the Liberals were in power from 1896 to 1911, a large amount of money was spent in advertising various matters in newspapers. The method of that party was to send copy to Liberal newspapers, and only Liberal newspapers *were paid for such work. The same system applied during the regime of the Conservative party from 1911-17, except perhaps that the Tories went one better than the Grits, and now and again you would see advertisements entirely relating to a matter in the Northwest provinces or British Columbia published in a two-by-four Conservative paper in some small town on the Atlantic coast. But what a change has taken place since the present Government came into power. Of course, I understand that the labourer is worthy of his hire, and the work done by the newspapers of this country in boosting so-called Union Government, deserved financial recognition, in addition to the large amount received by them for advertising the Victory Loan. But there is absolutely no justification for the present state of affairs. Nearly every newspaper in Canada is to-day receiving patronage from the Government in the shape of advertising, and in a great many eases the large amount expended is unnecessary, and not justifiable, and I strongly protest in the name of the Canadian people against such a waste, of public money.

I was wondering whether this synchronized -to use a word used some time ago by the Minister of Finance (Sir Thomas White)-

with the sudden high regard of the hon. member for Springfield (Mr. Richardson) for the Minister of Trade and Commerce (Sir George Foster). The Acting Minister of Finance (Mr. A. K. Maclean) admits that we have practically no immigration at the present time, but he holds out the hope that after the war the tide of immigration will flow to our shores. My humble opinion is that the European nations will not allow their depleted populations to leave those countries, and I have no such fond hopes as have the Acting Minister of Finance and the Minister of Immigration. Whether such will be the case or not, I have no hesitation in saying that in the meantime such an aggressive member of the Government as the Minister of Immigration is reported to ibe should devote his energy and ability to another department instead of the Government making new appointments at great cost to the country.

When the Acting Minister of Finance referred to the exchange rates between the United States and Canada, my mind was carried back to the 1911 election when that gentleman, in eloquent terms, advocated reciprocity with our great neighbour to the south, and had the views of the acting minister and the Liberal party been upheld at that time, such an impetus would have been given to our export business to that country that no such conditions as exist to-day would have to be dealt with by the Government and the business men of Canada. Give us free food as advocated by the hon. member for Prince (Mr. Joseph Read), and soon the balance of trade will be equalized in a great measure.

The Acting Minister of Finance spoke of the Victory Loan. As he truly said, the people of Canada are to be congratulated on the spontaneous response which came from every province in the Dominion. Money poured into the public treasury, proving conclusively that the people of Canada realized the responsibilities and were determined to provide sufficient funds to carry the war to a successful conclusion. The only criticism I have to make is that owing to the fact that the affairs of the country were not carried on in an economical manner by the late Government, and because our credit was so impaired, it was necessary for them to pay 5J per cent interest for the money, they borrowed at a time when other nations were borrowing at 4 and 4i per cent. It goes to show that something was rotten in Denmark when the Government had to pay such a large interest for that loan. Other

amounts were borrowed previously by the Government, and where did they find the money? From no less a nation than the United States, a nation about which we were told in 1911 that the Jews should have no dealings \tith the Samaritans, or, to quote the battle cry of the opponents of reciprocity, " We want no truck or trade with the Yankees." And we witnessed the humiliating spectacle of the Finance Minister, that member of the noble hand of eighteen going with his hat in his hand to the financiers of the United States begging for funds to carry on the business of the country. And did they pass him by on the other side ? Nay, they bound up his wounds, and sent him on his way rejoicing.

The Acting Minister of Finance has told us that other great loans will be required in the near future, and that they will have to be' raised iin this country. He informed us that to do this we must produce wealth, and more wealth, and produce in greater quantities than ever before. This is not the age of miracles. To produce, we need producers, and the people of this country expect a lead from the Government. But no such lead has been forthcoming, and no stable policy has been enunciated by the leaders of the party in power. Some people are even unkind enough to say that, far from encouraging business, they are actually hindering it.

I read a few days ago in a great family journal, one of the organs of this Government in the city of Halifax, the following:

In an interview yesterday a local fish dealer summed! up the situation as follows: Fish

merchants In Halifax in the course of their legitimate business are having the hardest time in their history. All kinds of vexatious technicalities in the first place are put up to them by the Government. The Food Control authorities seem to delight in asking for statistics hard to prepare and so intricate as to require an experienced bookkeeper to tabulate, and when the schedule is complete no living man has any specific information of any value to himself or any person else.

It might he well to change the name of the food controller by altering just one letter. One month the Government tell the people they must produce; they tell them they must build ships, and the people make their plans to help this country by carrying out their wishes and invest millions of dollars in farm implements to produce greater crops, and in building ships with which to catch fish, and in purchasing fishing gear to carry on that great industry. The Government even go farther and exempt the farmer and the fishermen from military service and convey, if not in the spoken

word, by their actions, that the producers shall not be called upon for military service. Then suddenly, as a bolt from the blue, in a " moment o.f weakness " that order is countermanded, and a few days ago the fiat went forth in the shape of one of the famous .Orders in Council taking practically every farmer and fisherman of a certain age. Now, Mr. Speaker, I do not want the Tory organs in the country to understand that I am not in favour of producers doing their bit in this great struggle. They have been doing their bit, they are doing their bit, and they will continue so to do. But it will be said the demand for additional troops is paramount. What a time to wake up to that fact.!

We are all anxious and willing, Mr. Speaker, to do everything in our power to help the Allied nations win this war. We mean to win the war, whether it is by providing men, ships or food supplies, and we are willing and anxious to strain every nerve to do everything possible to bring to a successful conclusion a fight which we ail believe is in the interests of democracy, truth and righteousness. But I hold that that Order in Council is ill advised and will be ruinous to certain industries. If these men were to ,be enlisted, they should have been taken before they had made all arrangements to carry on their business for this season. I am not a farmer, and others have dealt with this phase of the question. The Minister of Militia evidently realized that the Order in Council had gone too far because a few days ago he found it necessary to make a further explanation with reference to the farming interests, but lie did not make any reference to the great fishing industry of this country, and I am rather surprised that two members of the Cabinet, the right hon. Prime Minister and the Acting Finance Minister, coming as they do from Maritime constituencies, did not realize the gravity of the situation.

Let us for a moment see what would happen to the great. fishing industry if that Order in Council is enforced,-but first it might be well to give the House a few figures on the value of that industry. The total number of vessels engaged last year in the fisheries of Canada was 1,965, and their value $5,267,724. The number of boats was 40,105, and their value $4,829,793. The value of nets and seines was $4,485,269, and the value of other fishing material $14,146,176. The total capital invested in Canada in the fishing industry last year was $28,728,962. The total number of persons employed in canneries and fish houses was

25,680; the number of men in vessels 9,192; the number of men in boats 60,432; the total numbSr of fishermen 69,624, and the total number of persons engaged in the fishing industry 95,304. The total value of the fisheries for Canada last year was $29,208,378.

I would point out it is not the large corporations that are engaged in this industry of so much value to the country, but the fishermen themselves own their vessels and boats and fishing gear, and it seems to me the Government should carefully consider before taking any drastic measures that would interfere with an industry of so much importance to the country, and in which so much money has been invested.

The number and value of fishing vessels, boats, nets, etc., in the province of Prince Edward Island for the year 1916-17 was as follows:

Number. Value.

Sailing and gasolene vessels 21 $ 14,800Boats (sail) 445 13,195Boats (gasolene) 1,688 285,050Carrying smacks

Gill-nets, seines, trap and' 11 2,300smelt nets, etc 5,649 45,728Trawls 972 10,475Hand lines 1,993 1,753Lobster traps 354,667 369,560Lobster canneries 198 182,300Clam canneries 8 1,000Freezers and ice-houses. . . . 6 2,400Smoke and fish-houses.. . . 368 23,637Fishing piers and wharves.. 40 225,950 $1,178,148 Number of men employed on vessels. . 77" " boats . 3,370" " carryingsmacks

18Number of persons employed in fishhouses, freezers, canneries, etc

2,770

6,235

- The figures for the province of New Brunswick are as follows:

Number. Value.

Steam fishing vessels (tonnage 16)

1 J 2,500Sailing and gasolene vessels 398 356,700Boats (sail and row)

7,157 239,575" (gasolene)

2,002 561,850Carrying smacks

80 64,100

Gill-nets, seines, trap and

smelt-nets, etc

60,915 655,545Weirs

518 517,400Trawls

859 17,339Hand lines

10,119 7,680Eel traps Rods and lines Lobster traps

236,506 297,204" canneries

161 141,950Sardine canneries

7 399,000Clam canneries

7 24,900Freezers and ice-houses.. .. 223 319,550Smoke and fish-houses.. .. 1,357 486,710

Number. Value. Fishing piers and wharves.. 428 $241,200

Pile-drivers and scows. . . . 617 53,010

Lodges used by fishermen

Toals $4,376,213

Number of men employed on vessels.. 1,495" " boats . . 12,730" " carryingsmacks 169Number of persons employed in fishhouses, freezers, canneries, etc.. .. Totals . . 20,5.21Now I come to my own province of NovaScotia, which is very largely engaged in this great industry: Steam fishing- vessels (ton- Number. Value.nage 528) 12 $ 167,950Sailing and gasolene vessels 58-5 2,250,283Boats (sail) 8,02i8 269,090" (gasolene) 5,075 1,207,687Carrying smacks

Gil nets, seines, trap and; 220 115,425smelt nets, etc 68,673 779,576Weirs 207 42,570Trawls 17,913 201,510Hand lines 32,592 28,831Lobster traps 822,672 854,538" canneries 216 278,300Clam " 4 1,24)0Freezers and ice-houses .... 384 697,193Smoke and fish-houses 5,2'9 2 611,638Pishing piers and wharves. . 1,837 1,155,852Totals $S,661,643

Number of men employed on vessels.. 4,678 Number of men employed on boats.... 17,042 Number of men employed carrying

smacks 406

Number of persons employed in fishhouses, freezers, canneries, etc 6,556

Total 28,682

In my own county, and I am perhaps more particularly interested in that than in any other part of the province, the fishing industry will be seriously affected by the last Order in Council, as indeed it will be throughout the whole province. The fishing industry is a peculiar one. It differs perhaps from any other industry by reason of the fact that the fishermen have to commence so early to get ready for the fishing operations of the coming season. Vessel fishermen have to make arrangements as early as December of the previous year, or perhaps in January of this year, to engage their nets or trawls and to build or repair their vessels and boats. These men, depending on the legislation passed last year, and, having been exempted by the tribunals, made arrangements in December and January to carry on the industry this year. The consequence is that at the present time millions of dollars

owned by these fishermen, and not by large corporations or the big interests, have been placed in jeopardy. The money was expended by the fishermen themselves upon boats, rope, twine and other gear. They have spent millions of dollars in order to enable them to prosecute the fishing industry this season. In Lunenburg alone there are about 150 fishing vessels. Early in March the fishermen started to get ready. They bought their new cables-and I would like to mention here that since this Government came into office rope for cables 'has increased from fifteen to thirty-nine and a half cents per pound. It is necessary for the fishermen to buy three hundred and ten fathoms for each vessel, and the cable weighs sixteen pounds to the fathom. The acting Minister of Finance can figure out what it will cost to buy a cable for a fishing vessel this season. Then, the fishermen have bought their salt and provisions, have hired their men and have gone fishing. If this Order in Council is enforced, these men who had been exempted, can be taken from the vessels. What will happen? You cannot fish with these vessels on the deep sea with old men. It is a young man's business. Young men ranging from sixteen to twenty-five are mostly engaged on these vessels fishing in the North bay and on the Grand banks. If the young men are taken off these vessels, it will mean ruination to the fishermen whose money is invested in this industry. The same thing applies to the boat fisherman. As this branch of the industry is carried on around the coast of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Quebec, you will usually find that there are three men fishing in a boat. One of them is an old man, the father of a family, one a boy of perhaps twelve or fourteen years of age, whilst the third is a young man, practically the only one who can handle the boat. The Conscription Act will take that young man away and leave the old man and the boy, and that will be the end of the fishing industry. The right hon. the Prime Minister (Sir Robert Borden) and the Acting Minister of Finance, men who come from Nova Scotia and who should know something about the fishing industry, before bringing in that Order in Council, should at least have consulted the business men of that province.

We are * told to build ships. How can we build ships if you take away the men? And' how can you transport supplies, without ships? You cannot build ships with old men. It is quite true that you can use a few old men in the shipyards, but you cannot use old men to lift the heavy pieces

of timber and put them in place -when they are building ships. One of the most urgent requirements in Canada to-day is increased food production and greater shipbuilding activity. A large amount of money has been invested in the establishment of new shipyards and in the building of ships. I would like to read what the Deputy Minister of Marine and Fisheries has to say on this subject. He is a gentleman of intelligence who understands this question, and I think that what he says should have a great deal of weight with this House and with the country. He says:

In last year's report the question of shipbuilding in general in relation to tlhe war was taken uip, tables were furnished1 of the number, tonnage, and speed of the ocean freight carriers of the principal maritime nations, and an account given of methods adopted in a number of foreign countries to stimulate and aid shipbuilding by means of bounties, subsidies, or the free entry of shipbuilding materials.

As the war has progressed, and an ever-increasing amount of the ocean tonnage of the allied1 nations (now including the United States) and of the neutral nations has been sunk since Germany's declaration of unrestricted submarine warfare, the need of shipbuilding activity throughout the world to supply the wastage has become of paramount importance.

This has been thoroughly realized, I think, in Canada. A little further on he says:

In Canada, since the beginning of the war, the number of privately owned shipyards has been about doubled, a description of some of these yards was given in last year's report; and later, in the present one, will he found an account of the new yards established', and also one of the enlargements and improvements made to existing yards, with a view to meeting the demands for increased tonnage.

Apart from the introduction of the larger yards, there has been in the Maritime Provinces generally, and in Nova Scotia in^ particular, a revival of the wooden shipbuilding trade, particularly In the form of small schooners with or without auxiliary power; these are quickly and cheaply built, and at anything approaching the present abnormally high freight rates should, pay handsomely.

He states also:

It would be difficult to exaggerate the importance of shipbuilding as a national undertaking to a country that has, like Canada, an extensive coast line both east and [west, superb inland communication by lakes and rivers, and whose export trade is chiefly overseas.

I notice, Mr. Speaker, that last year there were Ibuilt the following steel vessels; On the Atlantic coast, 'ten steamers with a gross tonnage of 20,560 tone; on the Great Lakes, eleven steamers with a gross tonnage of 31,936 tons; and on the Pacific

coast, nine steamers with a gross tonnage of 42,000 tons-. The number and tonnage of wooden vessels- were: On the Atlantic Coast, five with a gross tonnage of 3,540 tons; on the Great Lakes, one with a gross tonnage of 40 tons; and on the Pacific coast, sixteen with a gross tonnage of 19,729 tons. In addition, there were in co-UTse of construction on March- 31, 1917, fifty-three schooners of a gross tonnage of 17,496 tons. These are wooden vessels averaging aJbout 300 tons net, and most of them are being built in different parts, of Nova Scotia. Now, Mr. Speaker, the people of Nova Scotia, having taken this Government and the Government of the Old Country at their word, how are they going to man these ships and sail them? Ho

And after these men return from the fishing grounds rwhat do we find them doing? They go freighting in their vessels; and for a period of nearly four years, since this war started, there have been about five hundred fishermen from Lunenburg county going down to the sea in ships; taking fish to Portugal, Spain, Italy, the West Indies and Brazil, carrying food to the Allied nations and thus helping to win the war. Do yon mean to say, Mr. Speaker, that a man who faces the deadly submarine at sea in a small vessel of one hundred tons is either a coward or a slacker? I say no, I say he is discharging, when engaged in that hazardous occupation his full duty to his country.

In the remarks made by the Acting Minister of Finance with respect to taxation, he deplored the fact that $15,000,000 of revenue would be lost by the enactment of prohibition during the war. You will notice, Mr. Speaker, the expression " during the war." Let us hope that the Government will take steps in the near future to amend the prohibition law so that prohibition will remain for ever and ever, amen. I am not a so-called temperance crank, nor am I a teetotaller, but I believe that permanent prohibition would ibe a good stroke of 'business. I cannot agree with the Acting Finance Minister in his statement that the $15,000,000 would be lost to the country. On the contrary the large amount of money heretofore expended upon spirituous liquors will, under prohibition, be expended upon various commodities dutiable at about 30 per cent, or will go into the savings bank accounts and the health and prosperity of the people will be greatly improved by the abolition of this traffic.

I also take issue with the Acting Finance Minister with regard to the tax on the business community. I do not think that the business of this country should be overtaxed. Whilst I feel that the tax imposed on war profits should be much larger I do not think it is wise to unduly tax business concerns that are engaged in the development of the industries of the country. If you do you will kill the goose that lays the golden eggs. Business men will tighten their purse strings and will curtail their industrial activities, and will invest their money in Government bonds or other securities instead of taking the risk which attends investment in ordinary commercial enterprises. It will be noticed by reference to Hansard of last year that the Finance Minister said these taxes would not be imposed in the future, but I take it that announcement was only a "scrap of paper."

I have carefully studied the income tax proposals, Mr. Speaker, as brought down, and I have no hesitation in saying that the man of small salary is required to contribute more in proportion than the man of large means or the millionaire. To my mind those proposals bear too heavily on the man of moderate means. Has my hon. friend, who in days of yore advocated the cause of the common people so eloquently, fallen from grace? Has he partaken of the forbidden fruit, or is he only submitting a schedule made up by one of the eighteen wise men of 1911? " The voice is Jacob's voice, but the hands are the hands of Esau."

I was more than surprised when the Acting Finance Minister submitted extra taxation on the poor man's necessities, tea, coffee, and tobacco. In this time of stress and strain when the labouring men of the country are keyed up to the highest pitch, when they are doing their bit in increasing production, when they have their noses to the grindstone and are compelled to economize and save owing to the excessive prices which the big interests compel them to pay for everything they use, eat and wear, at a time when they are giving their sons for the cause of the Empire and Canada, I say that the Government is not protecting the common people as they should, and the time is not far distant when the voice of the people will be heard in protest with no uncertain sound.

We were told, Mr. Speaker, that no changes would be made in the tariff. In fact, the member for Springfield (Mr. Richardson) informs us that a pact was made by the Union members not to advocate any changes in the tariff. Is not this a combine? I would suggest that the Minister of Labour be called in to smash this combine along the lines of success he achieved in smashing the combine of the three cobblers in a certain city in Ontario. But you will notice by the schedules submitted by the Acting Finance Minister that he has changed the tariff in some commodities. Why not reduce the tariff on farming implements, which are so necessary for greater production?

In conclusion, Mr. Speaker, let me say that whilst I criticized the Government on their Budget, and their shortcomings, we will back them up in every honest effort to carry on the present great struggle in which we are all interested, and will do everything possible to help bring the war to a successful conclusion. Let us all work together fo'r the common good. Let us have a united country, a country free from bickering and petty strife, a country united in a common cause, but free to exercise our right of free speech and with liberty to worship at whatever altar our consciences and our early training dictate. Let us say as Ruth said to Naomi,

" Whither thou goest I will go, your people shall be my people, and thy God my God." On the motion of Mr. M. Steele (South Perth) the debate was adjourned.

On the motion of Hon. A. K. Maclean the House adjourned at 11.55 p.m.

Monday, May 6, 1918.

Topic:   EDITION
Permalink

May 3, 1918