May 6, 1918

UNION
L LIB

Georges Henri Boivin (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Laurier Liberal

The DEPUTY SPEAKER:

Order. The House is not in committee. The member for Sherbrooke has the floor.

Topic:   THE BUDGET.
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UNION
L LIB

Georges Henri Boivin (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Laurier Liberal

The DEPUTY SPEAKER:

He has no right to.

Mr. MoCREA: Here is what Mr. Pringle says about this :

I must say that when the investigation commenced the manufacturers of newsprint loyally came forward, produced evidence when X required it, brought witnesses from long distances at their expense and asked no compensation. On the other hand, the Press Association of Canada have given me no assistance.

The publishers practically intimated that the Government might be called upon to write their own editorials if the requests made were not acceded to.

Topic:   THE BUDGET.
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L LIB

Rodolphe Lemieux

Laurier Liberal

Mr. LEMIEUX:

A hold-up.

Mr. MoCREA: When the commissioner brought in his report the manufacturers were not satisfied with it and they are not satisfied with it to-day, because the price of materials, labour and everything else is steadily going up. The manufacturers say this: we will abide by Mr. Pringle's finding for the time being and accept $2.85 per hundred provided the commissioner makes his final report within three months and, in the event of that finding or report not being satisfactory to either party, we simply ask that the matteT be referred to a judicial tribunal of three of the most eminent judges in Canada. That is what has been done in th,e United States. I understand that this Government have expressed

their concurrence in the suggestion, hut so far I believe that no judicial tribunal has been appointed. All we want in this matter is a fair and square deal and no interference with our business, which represents an export valued at some $60,000,000. At a time when exchange is heavily against Canada, the matter of the export of newsprint and the bringing into Canada of $60,000,000 from a foreign country for circulation here is very important. I believe that eventually we will get justice, but this is one of the things which the Government should take an interest in protecting.

The member for Springfield said the other night that the publishers of Canada succeeded in obtaining an indictment at Washington against certain Canadian manufacturers; that these manufacturers pleaded guilty and paid their fines, and that the publishers were consequently entitled to a great deal of credit. The newspaper publishers of this country are supposed to be the educators of public thought, to be engaged in every good work, to do all they can to promote Canada's interests. Is it a credit to them that they should hound and follow the manufadturetrs pf newsprint down to Washington and assist in getting indictment against them for having sold their goods in a foreign market at the best possible price? The newspapers claim that they are a public service; that they are one of the things that cannot be dispensed with.

Topic:   THE BUDGET.
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UNION

Robert Lorne Richardson

Unionist

Mr. RICHARDSON:

I did not say that

the newspapers of Canada did any such thing as my hon. friend suggests, for they had no part or lot in the transaction.

Mr. MoCREA: You said "we."

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UNION

Robert Lorne Richardson

Unionist

Mr. RICHARDSON:

1 said nothing of

the kind. . It was the American Publishers' Association that brought these men to justice and had them fined. The Canadian publishers had no part in it. The hon. gentleman must not misrepresent my position.

Mr. iMcCREA: I will show the hon. gentleman before I get through that his statement is not correct. The member ifor Springfield said: we have succeeded in

bringing them before the tribunal.

Topic:   THE BUDGET.
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L LIB

Georges Henri Boivin (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Laurier Liberal

The DEPUTY SPEAKER:

The hon.

gentleman is obliged to accept the correction of the hon. member for Springfield.

Topic:   THE BUDGET.
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L LIB

Francis N. McCrea

Laurier Liberal

Mr. McCREA:

All right. I will tell you what happened. Some Canadian manufacturers were indicted and called to Washing-

crop now more than they got prior to the war. What does the increased rate that the railways are getting for carrying the goods amount to compared with the increased price the farmers are getting for their goods? If you [balance the thing you will find that the railways are getting a very moderate increase. I repeat that I am a shipper and th^'t I ship as much freight probably as any man in this House, but, we want to be fair. Whilst the times are good, and farmers and all others are getting rich, we should allow the other fellow who carries our goods to market a fair compensation for his work, too.

I hope that the Government, in their wisdom, may see their way to deal fairly with this pulp and paper question. It is a very vital question, not only to the manufacturers but to the business interests of the country, and I hope the Government will not be carried away by any threats such as I have just read, even though the Press of Canada did elect this Government. It probably would have been elected without its assistance. Whether it did or did not elect it, all we ask from the people of this country is a fair show and no favours. We will take our chances and we will conduct our business as it should be conducted. The manufacturers of Canada are endeavouring to build up their industries and to build up a very prosperous country if they get the necessary protection. We believe that we are entitled to it. We are not asking it as a favour, hut as a right, and something that we are justly entitled to.

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UNI L

Andrew Knox

Unionist (Liberal)

Mr. ANDREW KNOX (Prince Albert):

Mr. Speaker, permit me, briefly, to draw the attention of the House, to another phase of the situation developing from the application of the Budget, so ably laid before us by the hon. minister (Mr. A. K. Maclean). We have been treated to many views of this subject and from many angles, but I ask that the House look on it for a few moments, with the eyes of the West, the Northwest, at that; and let me say I am not going to treat-or ill-treat-the House to a vast array of figures.

The minister states that we must rely on our own capital and out own labour so far as we can see, to carry on our present war trade programme; and that to enable the people to do this, it is necessary that we continue to produce wealth. I wish to point out, (Mr. Speaker, that nowhere in the Dominion can greater production for the outlay involved, be secured, than in some portions of the West. The per capita production of Saskatchewan for 1917 stood

unequalled in the world. I wish, particularly, to draw the attention of the-House to the great hinterland in the northern portions of the three prairie provinces, more particularly the province of (Saskatchewan. Many localities throughout this vast territory are well suited for agriculture and I wish to remind the hon. members that the farther north wheat is grown the better is the sample likely to be in the percentage of the more important constituents, which go to make up that sample. In proof of this, I would point out that the wheat produced in the (Canadian west shows up very .much better in competition tests than that produced farther south; and I will carry this, point a little further. The wheat which has won the championship of the world on a good number of occasions, has been grown in the province *of Saskatchewan, and on most qf those occasions in the constituency which I have the honour to represent, and which, with the exception of the Yukon, is one of the most northerly in the Dominion, a neighbour of my own, Mr. F. D. Cherry, located near Prince Albert, having won the coveted trophy twice, while on several occasions it has been won by Mr. Seager Wheeler, of Rosthern, also in the Prince Albert riding, whose research work has been worth millions of dollars to the Western farmer, and whose work, I think, the Government would be well advised to recognize in some tangible way. [DOT]

I said, Mr. Speaker, that I wished to draw the attention of the House to.the great hinterland to the north. For many years this . has been a fruitful source for talkfests, and several commissions have been appointed to investigate it; but, like many other commissions, no results ever came from them, and it was left entirely to private enterprise to prove what this northern country is capable of. Most of the talk in former years was -more or less conjecture, but I think I can show what is now being really produced. 1 will touch on three of the natural resources which, along with agriculture, are being developed. These are now past the conjectural stage, and from these the Dominion can very materially increase her wealth production. These three are minerals, timber and fish.

The copper and gold deposits of the northeast section of [Saskatchewan and of the northwest section of Manitoba are showing wonderful and almost unlimited possibilities at the present time, and I have been informed from an authoritative source that

this will develop into one of the largest mining camps on the American continent. One company which has been making extensive and expensive investigations down to a depth of twelve hundred feet, has already blocked out ore, which at the present price of copper, would total two hundred millions of dollars, or more than the total production of minerals in the whole Dominion in 1917. The reason why I emphasize the importance of copper production is that at the present time copper is very essential in the carrying on of the war. Another company has been shipping ore last year and this year at great inconvenience, having to transport it a long distance by team and water before reaching a railway, to a smelter in British Columbia, ore which runs as high as twenty-two per cent pure copper.

Another industry which is doing good work in Northern Saskatchewan is that of lumbering. I have been informed by the manager of a company, operating at Prince Albert and Big River, that they have al>

ready got the logs and expect to cut in the neighbourhood of one hundred million feet of lumber this year. This goes to show that the territory to the North, from which the logs are brought, is rich in timber and there are great possibilities for pulp factories located on almost unlimited water-powers, a fact which should be of special interest to some hon. members who have taken part in this debate. I might say in passing, that the estimated water-power of Saskatchewan is over three million horse-power, and that this is nearly all in the northern portion of which I have been speaking.

Then there is the fishing industry. This should also be encouraged, as its possibilities are very extensive, many of the lakes never having had a net placed in them. From lakes north of Prince Albert, during the season just closed, which lasts only two and one-half months,, there were shipped, roughly speaking 2,500,000 pounds, mostly white fish with a fair proportion of lake trout. A portion of this was shipped to consumers on the prairies, but a large percentage was also shipped overseas for the use of the forces.

I think I have pointed out, Mr. Speaker, that these regions can produce a tremendous amount of wealth,, and that without any very great outlay. I am not asking for a bonus for any of these industries, neither am I asking for protection on any of them. Protection is something which does not sound good to me, and I may also say that it does not sound good to the people of the West. The point which I

wish to make is this: These three industries of which I have spoken are badly, very badly, handicapped by the lack of transportation, .and if the production of wealth is going to help to supply the necessary sinews of war, then, Sir, I believe here is an opportunity which should not be overlooked.

I said protection was something which did not sound good to the West. We have passed through a long term of it and know whereof we speak. In this connection I would like to state that anything that has been said in regard to the western members being pledged at election time does not apply in any case that I know of. It certainly does not apply to me. As to this I would like to endorse everything said by the member for Maple Creek (Mr. Maharg), and I have no hesitation in saying that we are all hand in hand in supporting this Union Government in every legitimate effort to push the war to a successful finish, and are willing to carrjr our fair share of the financial burden. At the same time we want to know that what we are contributing goes to the coffers of the Government and not into the pockets of the private individual.

Mr. ARTHUR L. DESAULNIERS (Champlain) (translation): Mr. Speaker, in taking the floor in this debate I am animated by the best of feeling towards the British Empire and its Allies; I am here to represent Champlain county, one the richest farming districts in Quebec province.

- Hence I feel it imy duty to express in this House what I take to be the unanimous opinion of my constituents, since my opponent in the contest of December 17 last, the Hon, Lieut.-Ool. Blondin, who, by the grace of the present Cabinet, is still Postmaster General, succeeded in polling only 398 votes out of a total of 10,000.

I wish first of all, Mr. Speaker, to declare that I fully approve of Canada's participation in the present conflict, this great war in which so many of those we hold dear are shedding their blood and offering up their lives on the battlefields of old Europe for the triumph of democratic liberty throughout the world. However, Mr. Speaker, I hold that we should take a rational and reasonable part in this struggle; a part proportionate to our resources, in men and money. That is why the tone of these few words, Mr. Speaker, is a note of protest against the actions of

Bxitis&i Empire with its 450,000,000 subjects has raised an army

7,000,000 soldiers, or li per cent of the total population, while Canada alone, a young country, barely three centuries in existence, has already given to the Allied cause nigh onto 7 per cent of its British subjects.

Our powerful neighbours, the Americans, with a population of over 110,000,000, have sent across the water so far only a few thousand troops. Should the war continue for some years to come it is my humble opinion that the United States will be neither willing nor able to equal, in proportion, Canada's effort. Hence I conclude that the people of this country have done their duty nobly .and in doing so, have gone beyond the bounds of their resources.

Now, if we look into the conduct of the war from a financial standpoint, we find that, through the most abject favouritism, the people of this country have been mulcted in millions upon millions of dollars

the people who are being forced to-day to pay abnormally increased taxes so as to balance the public treasury. It is not necessary for me to go through the political history of these last few years and read the list of the notorious scandals which have darkened our horizon-for I , ^i&h to be brief-but if the Government ' wishes to economize, let them lead the way by the adoption of measures which will not run counter to their policy of economy.

Let our friends to your right. Mr. Speaker, inaugurate a programme of reclamation and of economy rather than a policy of highway robbery.

In the course of this excessive prosecution 'of the war the Government, there is no doubt about this, .have given undeniable proof of their systematic opposition to the people of Quebec, just as the old Tory party did last session on the Lapointe motion, with regard to the French language.

If the Government are sincere, if they really wish to win the war, let me teil them this: It is true the Allies require guns, munitions and men; but let us meet the chief need of those " over there " who *are fighting for the liberty and civilization of the world by sending them the means of living and of fighting: food.

Yes, Mr. Speaker, food; the hungry men in the trenches seem to cry out for food and still more food while the trusts, backed by the Government, close their ears to every [DOT]appeal.

At present labour is scarce because so many of our men have gone to the front.

j

If we want the wheat which constitutes the food of mankind to ripen and bear fruit, we need hands to care for it. Therefore, we need the help of the farmer. What shall we say, then, of our .conscription of to-day which is tearing our sons of the soil away from the land and sending them in serried ranks into the trenches; what shall we say of the Government's appeal for increased production, of the convening of the provincial ministers for the purpose of promoting increased production while the Government, on the other hand, with their ridiculous way of doing things by Order in Council, are advocating a contrary policy. We want to win the war; very well. But then, we should pass a law to curtail, if not indeed do away with the manufacture of articles of luxury which require so many workers, musical instruments, vietrolas, pleasure cars, which entail such heavy expense, children's toys, of such questionable usefulness.

. How is it that the food controller, who receives his salary from the Government, who is paid by the people of this country, forbids all excessive consumption of sugar in our restaurants and then closes his eyes to the manufacture of candy and sweetmeats which are of no possible use and which are even injurious to health? How is it that the Government encourages and tolerates pleasure cars into the construction of which enter so imany things necessary to our soldiers, for in the materials which go to make these automobiles we find large quantities of ..brass and leather. Now, if economy were practised in these things we would arrive at much better results for the Allied cause and we would lighten the burden which is bearing down on the people.

We are living through a terrific crisis, Mr. Speaker. Does the Government wish to carry ion our part in the war .in a sensible and rational manner or do they wish to bankrupt the country, in the words of the hon. Minister of the Interior. The great necessity of the moment is to help the Allies to the limit of our strength. This help means building ships, transporting food and leaving our sons on the farms to cultivate them and increase their yield.

In this manner we shall no- longer witness the sorry spectacle of citizens of the same country staining with their own blood the pages of our national history. The Canadian, no matter what his nationality, would have to choose between working in this country and enlisting. From whatsoever standpoint we should view Canada' -part in the war we would see the youth of

our country working together in perfect harmony for the triumph of the sacred cause of the Allies, through the assiduous and constant participation of Canadian labour.

You invite the youth of Canada to give themselves to the Allied cause. But why force them into the trenches where they cannot give the full measure of their capacity, for constraint can never be a justifiable motive of human actions.

At least let the Government adopt a policy which allows a choice between enlistment and work on the farms, in the munition factories, in the shipyards. In any case the conscript will have given useful service to the country and to the Allied cause.

Let the Government adopt this means, Mr. Speaker, and there will be an end of the racial cleavage which paralyzes the efforts of those who live in this country. At last we shall see the dawn of the day when all men of good-will, united together in a single purpose, will give all that is in them for the ultimate triumph of the cause so sacred to the civilized world.

Mr. E. D'ANJOU (Rimouski) (translation) : Mr. Speaker, I have listened

attentively to the speeches delivered by the members on the other side of the House. To hear them one would think that they aTe not .Canadians and that, to their mind, Canada does not exist. To win the war they would wipe Canada off the map.

Well, allow me to tell you that I do not entertain the opinions of these hon. gentlemen ; I am a Canadian, and I am quite content with that title. I acknowledge no other country than Canada and Canada alone has all my love, and all my unswerving fedelity.

It is evident that we folks from the province of Quebec have not the same frame of mind, the same aspirations as the majority of our fellow-citizens from the other provinces of Confederation, and I may assert, with full knowledge that what I say is true, that we are the only true Canadians. We have proved this on more than one occasion and we are proving it to-day by our constant 'devotion to the true interests of Canada. We were bom in this country and we are proud of our origin; we are the descendants of the discoverers of this country, the heirs of those who blazed the way and of those intrepid missionaries who* one day, left the enchanting shores olf old France, to bring to this land of America, with the Cross of Christ, the seeds of civilization. This explains, Mr. Speaker, why we hold

so tenaciously to this soil which has been sprinkled with the blood and the sweat of our martyrs and our missionaries. We are here to stay, and here we will remain. Just as our fathers were born and buried in this country, so do we intend to live and die here, too. As for myself, I acknowledge no country other than Canada and never will I acknowledge any other. Nevertheless, although I should like to see the Government take a little more interest in Canada than they have done during the last four years, I must say that I have never been opposed to Canada's taking a rational and reasonable part in this war, with the free consent of the Canadian people.

I should not like to see the Government abandon our soldiers at the front who enlisted as volunteers; but, to be consistent with my [DOT] anti-conscription attitude, and -faithful to my mandate from the voters of Rimouski county, I must say that I cannot accept the war budget in its entirety, and I wish to express a most energetic protest against the sums of money being voted to defray the expenses brought about by the application of conscription in this country.

Mr. Speaker, if I have the honour of a seat in this House, I owe. it assuredly to my sincere and well-known views against conscription. I have given my pledge that I would fight against conscription in any manner or form, and from whatsoever source, and I intend to keep .my-promise and respect my pledge; and I stand opposed to the present Government while the conscription measure is part of the statutes of Canada.

I fail to understand, Mr. Speaker, how a Government which is asking the people of this country to sail overseas and fight for violated liberty did not itself hesitate one instant to violate the liberty which is most dear to the Canadian people.

Didn't the Borden Government merely to further its political ends, disfranchise a very large part of Canada's population? Yhe Government acted like the Kaiser, taking away their political rights from thousands of Canadians to whom we had granted .all the rights enjoyed by every citizen on this free soil of America. And this, Mr. Speaker, is done in Canada, under a Government which declares its willingness to bankrupt the country, in striving to avenge the violation of Belgium and to uphold the sanctity of treaties -and the freedom of the small nationalities. While our soldiers are dying on the other -side of the water for the freedom of civilization, here, in a British country, a Government which claims to guide itself by British institutions, has

the tremendous and cynical audacity to deprive the people of Canada of the last shreds of liberty. The Canadian Parliament is no longer consulted on questions of the highest importance, which affect every one of our citizens.

The Government, in violation of all constitutional law, even while Parliament is in regular session, passes Orders in Council which ratify certain changes brought about in a law passed by Parliament during the session which preceded the general elections. The Government evidently has gone mad over Orders in Council.

If the Government decided, some day to pass an Order in Council repealing the conscription Act, they would have my entire 'support and the support of all the Canadian people. On the 3rd of December last, a few days before the election, the Government passed an Order in Council exempting farmers from military service. We have the blinding proof to-day that the said Order in Council was simply a shameful political manoeuvre meant to catch the votes of the Canadian farmers. Only a few days ago the Government cancelled the Order in Council exempting farmers, and at the same time abolished all other exemptions. Still the Government preaches production, and still more production. The conduct and the acts of the Government are pitiably inconsistent. How can we increase production if we take away from the land all those whose work we need so as to obtain from our soil the yield we have the right to expect? If the Government is sincere in its desire to increase production-and I do not believe that it is-there is but one thing left for it to do: keep all the farmers on their farms instead of sending them into the trenches. In this way it will attain its object and will be infinitely more helpful to the country and to the Allied cause.

I will not delay the House by arguing, point for point, the speech delivered by the Hon. Minister of Finance. I merely wish to note that the new taxes set forth in the budget speech will fall, as usual, on the shoulders of the poor man, who never ceases his sacrifice and toil in an effort to earn a living for himself and his family. When the Government puts a tax on the necessaries of life, it is the poor man who must pay, for the wealthy can always obtain what they wish, no matter what the price may be or what taxes the Government sees fit to impose. It is evident that the Government have not the slightest intention of taxing their good friends, the war profiteers, these new millionnaires, who in

the course of the last four years have waxed rich by speculating on the equipment and the blood off our soldiers. Let the Government make these leeches disgorge; they would like to see the war go on for ten years more so as to continue their shameful and criminal exploitation. Instead of conscripting the blood of the 'Canadian people, the Government would have been more just and more patriotic iff it had conscripted the millions of all these bloodsuckers, who live by the war while the blood of the poor and unhappy people of Europe is flooding the continent.

Mr. Speaker, it is high time we began to give a little thought to our own poor country, threatened with horrible bankruptcy. Let us be, first of all, 'Canadians; let us guide ourselves by the proud and noble motto of the illustrious leader of the Opposition: "Canada, first; Canada, always; Canada alone."

On the motion of Mr. J. A'. CAMPBELL (Nelson) the debate was adjourned.

On the motion of Hon. A. K. MACLEAN the House adjourned at 12.46 a.m., Tuesday.

Tuesday, May 7, 1918.

Topic:   THE BUDGET.
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May 6, 1918