March 1, 1921

REPORTS TABLED


Report of the Department of Mjlitia and Defence for the year 1920, and Regulations of the Canadian Air Force under the provisions of section 5 of the Air Board Act.- Hon. Mr. Guthrie.


COPYRIGHT ACT


Right Hon. C. J. DOHERTY (Minister of Justice) moved for leave to introduce Bill No. 12 respecting copyright. He said: This is a Bill that has been before the House during the last two session and its object is substantialy to make our law conform to the provisions of the Berne Convention and similar existing laws in other countries. Motion agreed to and Bill read the first time.



INSPECTION OF GAS AND GAS METERS * Right Hon. Sir GEORGE FOSTER (Minister of Trade and Commerce) moved for leave to introduce Bill No. 13 respecting the inspection of gas and gas meters. Motion agreed to and Bill read the first time.


THE GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH

ADDRESS IN REPLY


Consideration of the motion of Mr. James Mclsaac for an Address to His Excellency the Governor General in reply to his speech at the opening of the session, and the proposed amendment thereto of Mr. Mackenzie King, resumed from Friday, February 25.


UNION

Robert James Manion

Unionist

Mr. ROBERT JAMES MANION (Fort William and Rainy River) :

Mr. Speaker, first of all I should like to join with other speakers in offering congratulations to the mover and seconder of the Address in reply to the speech from the Throne. Secondly, I desire also, in common with other hon. gentlemen, to congratulate the Right Hon. the Prime Minister (Hon. Mr. Meighen) on his elevation to the highest office in the gift of the Canadian people at an age when most men are only entering public life. I do not intend to take up any time in extolling the great abilities or the unrivalled debating powers of the right hon. gentleman. If I desired to do so, if it were my purpose to sing him a p*an of praise, I should need but to take some of the words uttered in the speeches of hon. gentlemen opposite who, in their courtesy, were practically all of them kind enough to say very flattering things to the leader of the Government. I admit that there was one speaker on the other side, the hon. member for Chambly and Vercheres (Mr. Archambault), who publicly declined to congratulate the Prime Minister. I am glad, however, looking at the Prime Minister, to observe that so far he has survived that calamity.

Sir, it had not been originally my intention to participate in this debate when it began, but a number of speakers on the other side,-friends of mine at one time, but at the present moment political opponents,

made remarks about some of the Liberal-Unionists which, I felt, required some reply from us. For example, the hon. member for St. James Division of Montreal (Mr. Rinfret) made the statement that we were a group of weak-kneed reformers trailing behind the leader of the Government; and on other occasions other speakers opposite variously designated us as being servile and subservient. Well, Sir, I think that the aspersion of being weak in the knees or of lacking in courage can easily be proven to be not only discourteous but also unti-ue; for it will be admitted by any fair-minded gentlemen that any man who, for a principle, whether that principle be right or wrong, leaves a political party and its leader and joins forces with another party cannot easily be accused of being weak-kneed or of lacking in courage. We all remember that at the beginning of the late war the right hon. John Morley and Mr. John Burns retired from the British Ministry because they did not agree with the Liberal Ministry then in power on the principle that Britain should assist the French in repelling the aggression of the Germans. I do not think that there is any hon. gentlemen on the other side of the House who would endorse the motive that actuated them; but at the same time I do not think there is any gentleman on the other side who will assert that those men lacked the courage of their conviction in doing what they did. Well, Sir, the Liberal-Unionists in Canada who took the step they took in 1917 acted on exactly the same principle. They left political friends with whom they had been associated throughout then-public careers; they parted company with a leader whom they all respected and admired, and in many cases, my own included, loved; they left that party and that leader a certain principle. Now, whether that principle was right or wrong may be open to dispute, according to one's views; but certainly the remark that the Liberal-Unionists were weak-kneed in their action cannot be truthfully made. As to being-subservient or servile, Mr. Speaker, I may-say that since my advent into this House you have occupied the Chair, and I think you will remember that on many occasions hon. gentlemen on this side attacked the Government, and their attacks were of such frequent occurrence that my hon. friend from Three Rivers (Mr. Bureau) dubbed them family quarrels; and I remember quite well that some sections of the press described them as sniping from behind. On many occasions that occurred, and it can truthfully be said that a very large proportion of hon. members on this side of the House have at one time or another attacked the Government arid voted against their leaders, myself included in the latter

t

category of conduct. Even that gentleman who is reputed to be the High Priest of Protection in this party, my hon. friend from Brantford (Mr. Cockshutt) on one occasion voted against his leader. Mr. Speaker, if you will look back I do not think you can find any occasion on which my hon. friends on the other side attacked their leader, either the present incumbent of the office or his predecessor. I do not remember an occasion on which the hon. members on the other side voted against their leader, with the exception of that occasion on which the late member for St. James (Mr. L. A. Lapointe) and the member for Sherbrooke (Mr. McCrea) voted against their leader on the Budget. Of course, last year the indemnity question was the occasion of a free-for-all; and the leader iof the opposition took whatever stand he deemed best and his followers voted differently from him. We on this side, Mr. Speaker, have been neither servile nor subservient. On the contrary,- and I say this with no ill intent- if you will look back a little and view fairly the past conduct of hon. gentlemen on both sides of the House, I think you will conclude that subservience and servility have never been characteristic of hon. gentlemen on this side.

On another occasion in this debate one hon. member-I will not give his name- a gentleman whom I respect highly, but whose views I do not endorse, made the statement that the Liberal-Unionists here at the present time had none of the attributes of Liberalism. Well, Sir, there was a time fifty or seventy-five or a hundred years ago, when the terms: 'Liberal" and "Conservative" in Great Britain, whence they came, did signify a great deal of difference in their outlook upon the life of the nation. The word "Tory" for example, was supposed to mean-and I believe did mean perhaps a hundred years ago-that that party was fighting for the interest of the king and the aristocracy, or the classes as they were dubbed; and the Liberal was fighting for the masses. But, Sir, to-day the questions that divide political parties in England are such questions as the tariff, the treatment of Ireland, and Imperialism -those are the questions that the two political parties in England divide upon to-day. I do not think those differences ever did exist in Canada for though an aristocracy exists in England we never had one in this country. We are all working, so far as we can, for the good of the country as a whole; and while the Liberals

and the Conservatives in this country take their names from the British political parties they have paid very little attention to the question of fighting for the divine right of kings, or the rights of the aristocracy, so far as my historical reading-permits me to say. The other day I read a speech by the Right Hon. Henry Campbell-Bannerman who was Liberal premier of Great Britain from, I think, 1904 to 1908, and may say I had the pleasure of being in Scotland when he was elected. Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman having-been Prime Minister and the leader of Liberalism in the British Parliament is an authority on Liberalism that can hardly be disputed. The speech to which I have reference was delivered nearly twenty years ago but I presume traditions and principles continue in effect. In making what he called a declaration of Liberal principles he dealt with the Irish question, with Imperialism, with Egypt and the Sudan, and with relations with Russia. These were questions which our political parties in Canada were not arguing very much about. Then Sir Henry spoke about matters of domestic policy, and the three subjects to which he paid special attention were old age pensions, better housing, and extending the suffrage. These are three policies which our party on this side have either dealt with or are supporting in the speech from the Trone, and on practically none of the policies he spoke of are we at variance.

Then, Sir, I was reading the other day Winston Churchill's life of his father. At the time of writing Winston Churchill was a Liberal. He had never even crossed the floor of the House to support any other party, he was a bona fide Liberal. Speaking of the Liberal split on the Irish question in 1887 he says:

The Liberal Unionists denied that they had severed themselves from the principles and traditions of Liberalism,-and there is no doubt that they were perfectly honest. They were not conscious of any abandonment of principle. They remained in political opinion on all great questions exactly where they had been.

. . . But in fact, one change had taken place of more practical importance than all the symbols of party, and counting more in political warfare than any change of principles, however sudden or sweeping,-they had changed sides.

Ah, Sir, that is the political crime pat-excellence. But one is forced to ask if political principles are a matter of House of Commons geography.

Well, Sir, in Canada the same conditions to my mind have prevailed. I am perfectly

honest in this statement and open to the correction of other hon. gentlemen, but I have failed to get that correction on many different occasions. I believe that in regard to most principles it is a matter of tradition, something of the past rather than something of the present. I believe in the past it has been pretty much the case of the "ins" and the "outs". The hon. member for Maisonneuve (Mr. Lemieux) said the other day that the Tories look down on the people and the Liberals look up to them. I presume my hon. friend would himself admit that is pretty much of a platitude. It may have been true fifty years ago but I doubt whether there is very much truth in his statement today.

Hon. gentlemen opposite claim for themselves that they are a low-tariff party. This question has been sifted and debated to a certain extent in this House, but I have a few figures here-I will be very brief in their recital-which may help to settle their claim in that regard. The figures were given to me by the Chief Statistical Officer' of the Customs Department, and I do not think there is any question about them. They are taken from the Trade and Commerce Report showing the average ad valorem rate of duty on total imports from 1878 up to 1919, and he has brought them up to date.

Between 1878 and 1896, before Sir Wilfrid Laurier's party came into power, the average ad valorem rate of duty from IS per cent up to 22 per cent. From 1896 to .1911, the average ad valorem rate of duty ran from 16 per cent to 19 per cent. For the calendar year 1920-that is from January 1, 1920, to January 1 following-they were only from 15 per cent to 19 per cent. What is still more striking, the war ta: was taken off May 19, 1920, and from June 1, 1920, to January 31, of this year, which forms the past eight months, the rate was 13.16 per cent, or nearly three points lower than it was during any year of the Liberal regime from 1896 to 1911. If the low tariff party is the Liberal party these figures would indicate that my friends here are the Liberals and the Conservatives are opposite. But, Sir, I believe that both parties, Liberal and Conservative, ha vs been worshiping merely names. To illustrate how little it takes to make a plank of a political platform I am going to quote from a book entitled Public Men and Public Life in Canada, by Hon. James Young, published in 1912. Mr. Young in his work discusses the reasons why the two political parties of that time came to

take their positions on the tariff in 1876. He says that Hon. R. J. Cartwright on February 25, delivered the Budget speech. It was expected he would advise a moderate increase in the tariff, but he did not. The author of this book says:

Sir John Macdonald and the Honourable Charles Tupper did not disguise their surprise at the Government's action. The latter had to reply to the Finance Minister, but Sir John at a later stage admitted his own surprise. "1 came, I confess it, to hear his (Mr. Cartwright's) speech, impressed with the idea that he was going to bring down an alteration of the tariff.'' According to current report, the Honourable Charles Tupper came to the House loaded up to denounce an increase of the tariff, and to dilate-as he had done before-on the danger of permitting an entrance to the thin end of the protectionist wedge. Such an unexpected change in the situation would have appalled many another man. But in debate, nothing could appal Sir Charles. As usual he rose equal to the occasion. With surprising coolness he turned his guns, took up the opposite line of attack, and probably made a more forcible and effective criticism of the Government's course than if he had been able to use the mental ammunition which he had specially prepared for the occasion.

And he goes on to tell the following incident:-

When Dr. Tupper concluded his speech about half-past ten o'clock, and shortly before the House adjourned, the Hon. Mr. Mackenzie went across the Chamber to the front of the doctor's desk and the two doughty antagonists-the heroes of so many political battles-indulged in what seemed to the onlookers a very friendly and amusing conversation, which ht times seemed to verge a little too near the hilarious for a legislative body with the Speaker still in the Chair.

Mackenzie returned, and stopping in front of hon. Mr. Young's chair, he said:

"What do you think Tupper has just told me?"

"I have no idea," I replied.

"Well," continued Mr. Mackenzie, "I went over to banter him a little on his speech, which I jokingly alleged was a capital one considering he had been loaded up on the other side. He regarded this as a good joke, and frankly admitted to me that he had entered the House under the belief that the Government intended to raise the tariff, and fully prepared to take up the opposite line of attack."

And Mr. Young concludes:

What the Liberal and Conservative parties did that night, however, was pregnant with importance. They were making history. Had Mr. Mackenzie increased the tariff, the Conservatives would probably have become, as already suggested-the Free Traders instead of the Protectionists of Canada, and our political history would have been quite different during the ensuing twenty years.

Sir Richard Cartwright in his reminiscences confirms this incident, and at page 156, says that up to 1876 it was more than doubtful what policy the Conservatives

would adopt with regard to protection, and apparently the same was true of the Liberals. It may be worth while reminding the House again that it was Sir Robert Peel, a Conservative Premier, and the Conservative party, that brought free-trade into England in 1846. In this House there is a low-tariff party, or a no-tariff party, at the other end of the Chamber, the Farmer or Agrarian party. I must admit that on the other side of the House among the Liberals there are two hon. members who have been out-and-out free traders, my hon. friend from Brome (Mr. MgMaster), and my hon. friend from Gloucester (Mr. Turgeon). Both are equally strong free traders but I notice that my hon. friend from Brome has lately been soft-pedalling his utterances. I found myself wondering if the hon. member was changing his viewpoint, or whether it was the same sort of subserviency to party with which he is so fond of twitting us.

Then, in his recently delivered speech, the hon. member for Brome repeated Edmund Burke's definition of what he considered was a political party, namely, a group of men banded together to forward the same principles or policies which they hold in common. The hon. member continued commenting on that and said that any man who did not agree with the party with which he was allied had no right to belong to that party. I absolutely agree with him. But I thought, Sir, of asking him, what about himself? The other day he was rather prone to gibe the hon. member for Yarmouth (Mr. Spinney) upon exactly this lack of agreement with his party which applies so well to the hon. member for Brome, and I could not help thinking that no humour is so funny as unconscious humour. Listening to the hon. member one might easily conclude that the stream of Liberalism had its source in the county of Brome, but, if so, his party has not followed him along the banks of that stream. And, as far as the other traditions of both the old parties go, to my mind they could be spoken of in very much the same manner as I have spoken of those which I have discussed. Therefore it seems to me-and I say it with all sincerity-[DOT] that the logical and proper course for my hon. friends on the other side would be to follow the same leader as I am following in carrying out the policy which is for the benefit of the industrial and agricultural interests of Canada as a whole, but more particularly for the industrial and agri-

cultural interests of the provinces of Ontario and Quebec.

Sir, no one will disagree with me when I say that the agricultural.and industrial interests of these two provinces are absolutely similar. I admit that in the past there have been some cries of race and creed, perhaps from both sides of the House, but I do not think that any hon. gentleman on the other side will ever accuse me of having fostered by action or word any cry of race or creed. On that point I believe sincerely that the proper course for the province of Quebec to take would be to support the right hon. the leader of this Government and to co-operate in carrying out those policies and principles which are to the advantage of the agricultural and industrial interests of the Dominion.

I see my hon. friend from East Quebec (Mr. Lapointe) smiling. Well, I do not suppose that any words of mine will have the effect of making my hon. friends on the other side rush across to this side of the House; but at the same time I am saying what I sincerely believe to be correct, and what I think in their hearts a great many of my hon. friends on the other side also believe to be correct.

The usual reason given for an hon. member crossing the floor of the House is that he differs from his party in regard to some great principle or policy. That being so, will my hon. friend from Brome tell me, on what great principle or policy do I differ from my associates on this side of the blouse? I do not know, and, if I may judge by a great deal of criticisms levelled at the right hon. the Prime Minister, I do not think that most of my hon. friends on the other side of the House really differ with him on any great principle or policy. As a matter of fact, Sir, the majority of the Liberal Unionists still support the party they were elected to support in 1917, because, after all, while the leaders have changed, I admit frankly that there is a continuation of the same party.

My hon. friends on the other side of the House have a habit of saying that the Government and the members behind the Government have no mandate to remain in this House. I will admit that possibly there may be some truth in that; but when they argue that we should cross the floor of the House, I would like to ask, who gave me a mandate to get behind the hon. the leader of the Opposition? He was defeated-I say this with the utmost respect, for I do not wish to offend him-he was defeated in

1917, this Government was elected in the general election of that year, and I was elected behind it. What excuse could I offer to the Liberals and the Conservatives who stood behind me in my constituency if I went before them after crossing the floor of the House? I can understand an hon. member doing' as my hon. friend from Halifax (Mr. A. K. Maclean) did, because he,

I believe sincerely, stated that he obligated himself to withdraw. Well, Sir, I do not admit that I obligated myself to withdraw, and I wish to state that never in the election in my constituency was the question of how long I wras being elected for discussed; and I venture to say further that I believe that in ninety per cent of the constituencies that question was not brought up. Another point that is worth considering is that this Government or its predecessor was elected by the most overwhelming majority ever- given a Government in this country. Supposing that all the allegations regarding the overseas vote are true, the Government was elected in this country. I was elected by something like 2,500 majority, and I got another thousand votes from overseas which I did not need. My old friend the late James Conmee, who sat on the Liberal side for many years, was satisfied with a majority of 300 or 400. It is charged that we were elected only for the duration of the war, but, I repeat, Sir, that on no occasion in my constituency was that question brought up. I believe that the vast majority of the Liberals, Conservatives, Farmers and Laborites and soldiers who were behind me in 1917 are behind me still.

In discussing last year the amendment proposed by my hon. friend the leader of the Opposition, that the Government should go to the country, I said that if after the session the Government should look into the question and find that a majority of the people wanted an election, they should go to the country. I think that still, Sir. But, apparently the Government have looked into the question and have come to the conclusion that while the demand for an election may be widely spread it is rather thinly spread, and personally I agree with them in that conclusion. In pointing that out I would like to direct the attention of my hon. friends of the Opposition that the prejudices of the right hon. the leader of the Government are no greater against an election than are the prejudices of my hon. friend the leader of the Opposition for an election. So far as I am personally concerned, I do 23J

not fear an election now or at any other time, but I do not see why any noisy declarations from any group should have any undue weight with those who do not agree with them. It is only the man -who has no strength of character of his own who permits all the changing breezes of public sentiment to sway him to and fro like a weather-cock.

In the speeches of my hon. friends opposite there have been practically no criticisms of the right hon. the Prime Minister and his Government or his policies, principles or legislation. That appears to me to be quite a compliment to him and to his Government. I admit that my hon. friend the leader of the Opposition has claimed that the Government are usurpers. Well,

I will admit they are usurpers in the mind of the Opposition, because any Government that ever occupied the treasury benches of this House were usurpers in the minds of the Opposition. Every Opposition knows that, and every Opposition knows that if fair play had been used in the election only the Opposition would have been returned to power. So there is nothing particularly strange in that point of view.

There were some personal criticisms of my right hon. friend the leader of the Government, and the reason I take them up is not because he needs my help, because I have noticed that he is always quite capable of defending himself, but a spirit of fair play prompts me to refer to them. My hon. friend from Beauce (Mr. Beland) is a man whom I admire very much and for whose breadth of view I have a great deal of respect. Like myself my hon. friend usually boasts that he does not raise the cry of race or creed, and I think he is sincere in that boast. I do not wish to be unfair in my criticism, but I think my hon. friend was not quite fair as he went on. He said that the right hon. the leader of the Government had denied that he had spoken against the people or the province of Quebec, and had defied any member of the Opposition to quote any speeches of his which will warrant that description. My hon. friend from Beauce said that actions speak louder than words, and he proceeded to name a number of commissions upon which he said there were no French members: The Canadian National Railway Board, the International Joint Waterways Commission, the Pensions Board, Board of Commerce, and the three gentlemen who represented Canada at the Peace Conference, and those later who attended the first meeting of the Assembly of the League of

Nations. He failed to mention the Dominion Railway Commission and Civil Service Commission, upon which there are French members, but, of course, to make a reference to those would not agree with his argument. However, of the six commissions or bodies which my hon. friend from Beauce mentioned, only one was appointed by my right hon. friend the leader of the Government, so that my hon. friend, in proving that actions speak louder than words, uses somebody else's actions as the basis for the laying of a charge against the Prime Minister. The representatives that were appointed by my right hon. friend, were the representatives to the Assembly of the League of Nations, held lately, and while I admit-and I am sorry for it-that there were no French Canadians on that representation, the Minister of Justice (Hon. Mr. Doherty), who was a member of the delegation, is a gentleman from Montreal who speaks French and can claim, I think, to be a good friend of the French Canadian people.

Another point I would like to mention is this: my right hon. friend (Mr. Meigben) recently appointed a new judge to the Supreme Court of Canada. For some years, I believe, there had been only one French-Canadian judge on that body, but my right hon. friend very recently appointed Mr. Mignault to a vacant judge -ship there. I understand that it is some years since two French Canadian judges sat on the bench of the Supreme Court of Canada. I simply point this out as a small matter, but one which, after all, shows no such hatred of the French Canadian people as has been charged against the Prime Minister by some hon. gentlemen opposite.

Then, the member for Chambly-Vercheres (Mr. Archambault), made the charge against the right hon. leader of the Government that he was making love to the province of Quebec without a mandate. Well, Sir, making love is an old and much respected custom. I have known our French Canadian friends for many years, and if I may judge by that knowledge and by the natural increase in the population down there I should think that love-making is not such an unpopular pastime as might be inferred from the remarks of my hon. friend. However, Sir, what is the crime? Even supposing my right hon. friend is making love to the province of Quebec, in what respect is it a crime to attempt to bring about a better feeling of friendship between the province of Quebec and the province of Ontario and the rest of Canada?

C3Hr. Man ion. 1

The old charge was that my right hon. friend and his associates were trying to isolate the province of Quebec; now it is the reverse, so that one is forced to the conclusion that politics plays ducks and drakes with consistency and logic.

Why, Sir, are these vicious attacks being made on the Prime Minister on the ground of his alleged hatred for Quebec? What has the Prime Minister done? Is it because he, on behalf of the Government of which he was a member, piloted through this House a certain amount of unpopular legislation? In this connection it is worth remembering that, after all, he was only a member of that Government; he was not the Government itself. I am sincere in this; I would like to know what it is that my right hon. friend has done. In what respect has he showed that hatred for the province of Quebec which is attributed to him? Was it the Military Service Act? I do not know, but I sometimes have a suspicion that perhaps it was the Military Service Act. Well, if that is the case, I have only this to say: the Military Service Act did not particularly specify French Canadians as against English-speaking Canadians; it was an Act for the whole of Canada. That being the case, and if the suspicion is correct that it is the Military Service Act which the Opposition hold against my hon. friend, then why do hon. gentlemen opposite not hold it also against the member for Shelburne and Queen's (Mr. Fielding); against the member for Marquette (Mr. Crerar); against the member for Red Deer (Mr. Michael Clark), and against all the other gentlemen who have joined my hon. friends on the other side of the House-against, indeed, all those Liberals who came in in 1917 and supported that Act? Sir, I find it difficult to understand the attitude that repels friendly advances and is angered by them; that fosters antagonism and strife; that prefers the gauntlet of battle to the hand of friendship and co-operation in a common cause.

I believe that the sane element in this country to-day do not desire an election, having regard to the unsettled conditions which it would cause, and to the turmoil, uncertainty, and business disturbances which would prevail. And why should they desire an election? This Government and its predecessor brought in a great deal of legislation, which, to my mind, was of a wise and sane character^ Let us look at it for a moment-and these are only a few instances which have occurred to me in jotting down these notes. The Government

carried on Canada's part in the war. There may be some criticism of details in that regard, but on the whole I think the people of Canada feel that our part in the war was carried on creditably and courageously. Then, Sir, after that they brought about demobilization in a very able manner. They adopted measures of soldiers' civil re-establishment, and a soldier land settlement scheme that was looked upon by many people as a standard for adoption by many other countries. They have brought in a life insurance scheme for soldiers and a pension system which involves a higher pension scale than that of any other country. They established a Department of Health, and in the speech from the Throne this year they mention the establishment of a Department of Scientific Research. They gave the franchise to women and brought in a Franchise Act which fair-minded people look upon as a very high type of law. They brought Canada through the war from a financial standpoint in such a capable manner that Canada, with the possible exception of the United States, is to-day in a better financial position than any other country that took part in the war. They put on an income tax something which had been talked of on both sides of politics for a -long' time, but upon which action was never taken until an income tax system was established by the preceding Government. Finally, Sir, they insist and have insisted on Canada taking its place as a nation in the galaxy of the nations of the empire. That, Sir, is laughed at by some of my friends opposite. Well, as a man who is the same type of Canadian as they are, I am proud of the things which have been done to show that Canada is really taking the part of a nation within the Empire. I confess that even as a young boy I used to experience a feeling of disgust wheri I read of international conferences where Canada did not even have the status of the little negro republics of Central America. I am proud of the fact that at the Peace Conference there were representatives to speak for Canada. The member for Shelburne and Queen's-I say it with the utmost respect, for I have a very great respect for the hon. gentleman- rather made fun of that, and was cheered by his friends on the other side when he did so. Personally I do not understand that attitude.

Then, the appointment of an ambassador from Canada to the United States is certainly a lead towards a high class of Can-adianism. Then, there is the matter of the

appointment of Canada's representatives at the League of Nations. Should we have been represented by gentlemen from across the water, even if they did come from England?

I do not believe so; I like to have the Canadian people speak for themselves. I was proud to read in the press the statement,-[DOT]

I think it was made by Mr. Rowell, one of the representatives at the recent Conference-that the Canadian people handled their own affairs and did not permit any country, even England, to interfere with their domestic policies. I think everybody should be proud of that. All these things -which have been laughed at by hon. gentlemen opposite, largely, I suppose, from the political standpoint-tend to the building up of the right type of Canadianism,-a type of Canadianism w'hich looks after itself.

The member for Chambly-Vercheres (Mr. Archambault) got a great round of applause because he said he stood out for Canada and was always thinking of Canada first. Why, Sir, that is what this Government and its predecessor have been doing all the time. I venture to say that every hon. gentleman on this side agrees with the hon. member for Chambly-Vercheres that Canada should come first in Canada's policy. Well, looking- over that line of legislation, I ask hon. gentlemen whether it is a type of legislation in respect of which the Government need blush? Is that the type of legislation that this Government should be punished for having put into force in this country? I do not think so.

I was asking why the people should ask for an election. Why should the people of this country demand an election? I gave the first answer-because of wise and sane legislation. The second is that there have been no charges of graft against the ministers of this Government. And the third is that the country generally is prosperous. It is true that there is a certain amount of unemployment, but I made it my business the other day to make inquiries of officials of the Labour Department and I was informed by them that Canada is in no worse position from the unemployment standpoint than it has been in at other times when there have been depressions throughout the country. Indeed, it was pointed out-and I would like to give the Minister of Labour credit for this on the floor of the House-that it had not been the practice to keep any statistics relating to unemployment, but as soon as the Minister of Labour came in he started to keep such statistics; and it is the opinion of the depart-

to us on this side, when the Government does anything of which we can cordially approve. That does not, however, mean that the Opposition is to abandon criticism, because an Opposition that abandons criticism abandons its duty. Parliament is a place for plain speaking. A vigilant and efficient parliamentary critic is, a man who will not knowingly say anything that is false and who will not fear to say anything that is true. If an opening appears in the armour of the Government, a good soldier on this side would be expected to strike, provided always that the opening is above the belt. The selection of my right hon. friend as leader has rallied the old Liberal-Conservative party under a new name, and has revived the old battle cry of "Protection". Unionism is dead, and there are very few mourners going about the streets. The old Liberal-Conservative party is on deck again under a new name. During my life-time this party has changed its name about as often as Henry VIII changed his wives-first Tory, then Conservative, next Confederation, then Liberal-Conservative, then Unionist, and now National Liberal and Conservative. But it is the same old party and the policy is substantially the same old policy. The Ethiopian has not changed his skin and the spots of the leopard are easily detected. The old Liberal-Conservative party stood for a high protective tariff; this party does the same. The old party stood for a partisan franchise; this party does likewise. The old party spent in excess of its income; there is, no evidence of a change of heart in that respect. The old party promised ports and drydocks and dredging in order to elect Cabinet ministers; it took the promise of port improvements to pave the way for the election of the Minister of Finance (Sir Henry Drayton) ; it required the construction of a drydock costing millions to elect the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Tolmie), and the largest and most powerful suction dredge in the world had to be imported from the United States and actually put to work, pumping mud in Courtenay bay under full steam, to elect the Minister of Customs and Inland Revenue (Mr. Wigmore). There is now no pretense that any man of Liberal views can any longer support this administration. Shakespeare says that "Misery makes strange bedfellows." So does politics. One would have thought, a few years ago, that a proposal to fuse together permanently the Minister of Immigration and Colonization (Mr. Calder) and the hon. member for Yarmouth and Clare (Mr. Spinney) in the same political party with the Prime Minister (Mr. Meighen) and the Minister of Trade and Commerce (Sir George Foster) would be nothing short of flying in the face of the Scriptures by putting new wine into old bottles. But this has actually taken place and nothing serious has happened. The wine may be weak, I do not profess to know, but all I can say is that so far the bottles have not burst. There have been numerous changes in the Cabinet, to which reference has already been made, but that has become the custom. Ever since 1917 the Cabinet has continued to change like a kaleidoscope. It has evidently ceased to have any elements of stability and has become a place where men go in and out to find pasture. Some years ago there was a celebrated cabinet change in these provinces, known as the "double shuffle," but since 1917 we have had what will be known in the future political history of this country as the perpetual Cabinet shuffle.

The financial condition of the country will be discussed when the Budget is brought down, and I trust that the Budget may not be too long delayed. May I also express the hope that detailed information will be given regarding the expenditure of $121,000,000 for which no vouchers were available last year, and further, that the Government will this year respect the provisions of the Audit Act which they violated last year and the year before, and see that the Auditor General's report in complete form is laid on the table of the House within fifteen days of the opening of the session. The sooner Parliament is made acquainted with the facts, the better.

There are rumours of another enormous railway deficit, there are also rumours of new methods of taxation to be proposed; but from no Government source have we any concrete proposal looking towards retrenchment or economy. I would like to hear that the Minister of Finance is doing some concentrated thinking on this question of economy, but economy seems to be a lost art with this Government. I want to say to my hon. friend the Minister of Finance (Sir Henry Drayton), who I am sorry is not now in his seat, that the people of this country are wide awake. They are not ignorant of the waste that is going on. They are not ignorant of the lack of efficiency and business ability on the part

of this Government. They have known what it has cost in good money and bad service for this Government to assume control of 20,000 miles of railway. The high freights and the big deficits tell their own story. The people have been taking notice. They have seen the civil servants increase like the army worm, and the public debt grow like rolling up a snowball.

If you would like me to make some practical suggestions in the direction of economy I am willing to do so. Here are a few modest proposals. Reduce the force of the Northwest Mounted Police and confine their operations to the unorganized territories and the Yukon, and thereby save a very large sum of money every year. Cut down the army and navy expenditure. Reduce the cost of administration. Reduce the number of portfolios. Practice economy in every department of Government. Stop squandering money on ships that are not required. Make economy the watch ward. Establish a blacklist in which the names of all the wasters in the public service will be recorded. Reduce the present army of civil servants and stop making further appointments except where absolutely necessary. No more dredging in Courtenay bay. No more play grounds in Toronto harbour. No more elevators at Halifax until the grain trade of the port will -warrant the expenditure, No more drill halls anywhere. No more political dry docks in British Columbia. No more News Bureau in New York or anywhere else, costing $30,000 a year to puff the Government and write headlines about eminent mediocrities. No more Griffinhagens at $10,000 a month to struggle with the hopeless task of reforming the Civil Service for a Government that does not seem to want reformation. Give the farmers, fishermen and other producers a chance. Do not spend too much time listening to the clamour of the Manufacturers' Association. Be vigilant in the collection of the income tax and see that no wealthy shirker escapes. Let the Prime Minister and the Minister of Finance adopt these suggestions and they will earn the gratitude of the people of this country, and it will not be necessary for them to come before Parliament with deficits or with new methods of taxation to harass the people.

Mr. Speaker, if we could bargain with the Government to pay them by results, we would save an enormous sum of money.

One proposal, and to my mind A practical one, is that we should ration this Government. Their late leader when in Opposition stated that an expenditure of $85,000,000 on all ordinary services was so enormous a sum as to be in itself evidence of corruption. When he made that statement he was loudly cheered by his supporters, many of whom are still in the house supporting the present Administration. The expenditure arising out of the war must, of course, be provided for; I am not now' referring to war expenditure; but instead of voting $230,000,000 for ordinary expenditure on Consolidated Revenue account apart from the war, suppose we take hon. gentlemen opposite at their word and confine them strictly to the $85,000,000 that their late leader said was altogether too much, and then let them cut their coat according to their cloth.

My right hon. friend the Prime Minister during the recess had been making-speeches in Ontario and the West. One speech in particular has been brought to my attention. It was delivered in the county of Hastings, and in that speech he undertook to divide the people of this country into two classes. He is reported as follows:

I see only two classes, only two divisions, in the country. On the one side are those who hold their heads steady and walk firmly and erectly in the rnidle of the road, who learn from experience, who believe in industry, order and liberty, who still have faith in British institutions and principles, that have made us what we are to-day. And on the other side I see those who have surrendered to prejudice and class consciousness, to passion for change and experiment, whose minds are occupied in nurturing suspicion and hostility against other classes of the State. On the one side I see the builders of this country's foundations tried and true. On the other side those engaged in the cheerful occupation of tearing down. I put the question to you. Are you going to he a nation-builder, or a nation-wrecker?

Now, Mr. Speaker, that was certainly complimentary to hon. gentlemen on this side of the House. Our minds "occupied in nurturing suspicion and hostility against other classes in the States." Surely we are not so bad as that. I fear my right hon. friend has been looking at us through such distorted party spectacles that he has failed to see our good points. He divides the people into two classes: the nation-builders and the nation-wreckers. The nation-builders, I suppose, are the men who follow him and do his bidding.

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UNION

Arthur Meighen (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Unionist

Mr. MEIGHEN:

Those who do, and

those who ought to.

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L LIB

Ernest Lapointe

Laurier Liberal

Mr. LAPOINTE:

There are very few

of the latter.

Mi-. J. H. SINCLAIR (Antigonish and Guysborough) : And the wreckers, I suppose, are those who venture to oppose him. The "wreckers" are the men who stand for freeing the necessaries of life and the implements of production from their present burdens, who stand for a 50 per cent preference to Great Britain, reciprocity on natural products with the United States, honest government, a free Parliament, economy in administration, a decent franchise, and recognition of the rights of labour.

Mr. Speaker, there was once a King in England, by the name of Charles the First, who believed in the high Tory principles of my right hon. friend. He would tolerate no change and no reform. He, too, held his head high, and he occupied so much space in the middle of the road that the common people were crowded into the gutter. In the end, the people of England found it necessary, in order to save themselves and to save the State, to chop off his head.

Now, Sir, I hope nothing of that kind, except in a figurative sense, will ever happen to my right hon. friend. These "wreckers," the Cromwells and the Hamp-dens and the Pyms and the Elliotts at once were transformed into nation builders; and, history now asserts that they were the genuine nation builders. Mr. Speaker, you cannot build a nation out of sugar magnates and pork barons and profiteers, or even out of the Manufacturers' Association. Nor can you build a nation by substituting secret Orders in Council for Acts of Parliament and ignoring the rights of the common people and elevating protection into a dogma. Just think of a man talking about British principles of justice who was the author of the War-time Elections Act! Our representative system in this country is based on the franchise. If the franchise can be manipulated for partisan purposes, then the system is rotten at its very core. This proposition will be accepted by every honest man, that absolute fairness in the use of the ballot is the only safety and the first requisite of a decent democracy. When we think of the flagrant injustice of the Franchise Act of last session, by which tens of thousands of partisan enumerators at every election are to be selected by the Government, under the vicious methods of the old partisan system, to strike the jury to try themselves, the less said about principles of justice the better. We had examples of this brand of justice in the by-elections during the recess, in which the dice were so heavily loaded that resistance was futile.

The mode of procedure is something like this: His Honour the Speaker issues a writ for a by-election, and the minister of elections then gets busy. The general returning officer is instructed to select his deputy, whose chief qualification is that he must be a partisan of the Government. The sheriff is passed over, because, being a responsible public official, he cannot be depended upon to serve the ends of the party. The result is that the general returning officer, not being acquainted in the riding, is practically forced to accept the recommendation of the Government candidate. The deputy returning Officer, himself a partisan, forthwith appoints one hundred additional partisans, one for each polling sub-division in the riding, and they in turn call in scores of other partisan heelers to assist; and among the whole force there is not a single representative of the Opposition. The result is a partisan list of the most approved type. Patronage, we are told, has been abolished; but this system is built from top to bottom of patronage and partisanship. It begins at the top and works downwards. It reminds one of the method in the old nursery rhyme in which the cat began to kill the rat, and the rat began to gnaw the rope, the rope began to beat the dog, and the dog began to bite the pig, so with the help of them all the old woman and her pig got safely over the stile. The strange thing about it is that the men who invented this system and made it a law of the country pose as champions of British justice and British fair-play. Hon. gentlemen in their speeches during the recess, have persisted in calling us on this side the remnant of a once great party. May I suggest that they look for a moment at their own decimated ranks? The holders of Cabinet positions in the present Administration do not claim to represent the once powerful Union party nor even the old Liberal-Conservative party. As a matter of fact, they have no mandate from any party, but, if I may be permitted to use the language of our mutual friend, Mr. Hampden Burnham, they are simply Mexican buccaneers who have seized the treasury and are clinging to office on the record of the old Union government. It will not be denied that the men of standing and influence have withdrawn themselves from this Government-in Nova Scotia, the men that gave respectability to the Government, were the late Prime Minister (Sir Robert Borden), and Hon. A. K. Maclean; in New Brunswick, Hon. Frank Carvell; in Ontario, the hon. member for East Hamilton (Mr. COMMONS

Mewburn), the hon. member for Leeds (Sir Thomas White), the hon. and gallant member for Victoria (Sir Sam Hughes), and the hon. member for Durham (Mr. Rowell) ; in the Prairie Provinces, the present leader of the Farmers' party (Mr. Crerar); and in British Columbia (Mr. Burrell). These gentlemen have all withdrawn from the Government. By far the strongest and most influential half of the Union Cabinet has deserted the bridge and refused any longer to be responsible for steering the ship. The remnant, to use the expi-ession hon. gentlemen opposite apply to us, still remain. They never had the confidence of the country and appear to have lost the confidence of a great many of their own associates. Still, hon. gentlemen opposite persist in describing us on this side as a "remnant." I have said that the tariff issue is again being forced to the front: It is quite obvious, if we .are to judge by the Government press, that a determined effort is to be made to confuse and becloud that issue. It is not at the present time an issue between free trade on the one hand and protection on the other; there is no such conflict. The speeches of my right hon. friend were directed against a situation that does not exist. The issue is between a tariff framed with a special eye to the demands, or rather the commands, of powerful special interests and a tariff whose object will be to secure the required amount of revenue with the least possible burden on the tax-bearer. I am well aware that this question of the tariff is one of difficulty on which honest men differ. The principles underlying the doctrine of a tariff for revenue are right principles. The right does not always win, but I have an abiding faith that the right will win in the end. Sir Wilfrid Laurier was right in his naval policy, as he was also right in reciprocity. In both cases,' however, he lost; but he has already been vindicated, and time has proven that he saw further into the future than the noisy flag-flappers and demagogues who opposed him. The flag, Mr. Speaker, is a powerful political weapon when men are prosperous as they were in 1911; but when the flour barrel is empty and the snow is on the ground, and the head of the house is out of work, there is not much comfort in hoisting the old flag on the school-house. The purpose of a tariff should be to secure revenue for the state, and not to put money into the pockets of special interests. Public opinion will demand that our taxation

policy be framed with an eye to its effect on the great mass of the people. There can be no doubt about the policy of the Liberal party. It was cleverly defined at the great Liberal convention of 1919. But, let me ask, what is the policy of the Government on this vital question? As no popular convention of its party has been held, we have to look for the policy in the speeches of Government leaders. According to a report which appeared in the Montreal Gazette, my right hon. friend, at his meeting at Sherbrooke, Quebec, declared with great force that he had fought and would fight the free trade movement to the end of his political life. He is represented by the Gazette as saying that he believes in the principle of protection and will maintain that principle to the end of his political life. Now, I submit, with all due deference,

that that language is reactionary.

Progress means that civilization is moving-in a desirable direction, and it is not desirable that the nations of this world should always be at war in matters relating to trade. With my right hon. friend it is not a question of securing revenue for the State, that is a mere incident. I have known public men who supported protection because they considered it necessary to temporarily assist weak industries, and also to raise a revenue. Sir John Macdonald was of that class. But we have produced very few public men who have regarded protection an an ideal and permanent condition. So far as I know, no country has ever yet placed all articles on the free list. Great Britain has always maintained a tariff, but it has been a tariff for revenue. The Prime Minister (Mr. Meiglien) repudiates that idea and declares his ad-herance to a tariff not for revenue but fox-protection. If my right hon. friend'.s ideals prevail, then the future is without hope for the consumer: protection of special interests will go on from age to age world without end. In other words when Macaulay's New Zealander, in the midst of vast solitude, takes his stand on a broken arch of London bridge to sketch the ruins of St. Paul's, even then the special interests will be gathering in the shekels that they have not earned and digging deep into the pockets of the helpless consumer.

But probably the men who have made the strongest statements on this tariff question are the new converts. The Minister of Marine and Fisheries (Mr. Ballantyne) spoke at Montreal on November 15, and a report of his speech appeared in the Mon-

treal Gazette. The item is headed "Closed Factories." .

Let me point out to you what disastrous results would happen to our flourishing and great industrial province if the Liberals came into power, notwithstanding that when some of their prominent members are speaking in this province they talk strongly for protection. The Liberals are pledged, as I have pointed out to you, to increase the British preference to 50 per cent. X ask you what would happen to our great cotton and woollen mills, and many of our other industries, if we were thrown into competition to this extent with the cheap labour >f the United Kingdom, and their old established industries that are dong a world-wide : rade ?

My hon. friend, who is accustomed to -waving the Old Flag ' vigorously, when it does not affect his dividends, draws the line at the proposal to give a fifty per cent preference to Great Britain. He employs the same old scarecrow that. did duty in 1911. Fie asks: what would happen to our industries? Let me remind my hon. friend that in 1897 he supported a party that gave a twenty-five per cent preference to Great Britain and nothing serious happened-our industries never were so prosperous as they were after that preference had been granted. At that time Sir Charles Tapper, the then leader of the Opposition, raised the same cry thaf my hon. friend is raising now. He said that the Fielding preference would ruin the industries of Canada. But Sir Charles was mistaken; the wolf did not come. It looks foolish to drag this aged and imaginary wolf out from its hiding place a second time after our experience after 1897.

The Minister of Marine did us the honour to visit Nova Scotia during the last parliamentary recess. On that occasion he called a meeting of the faithful in Halifax, and delivered one of his sounding-brass speeches. Here is an extract taken from his own special organ, the Montreal *Gazette:

Mr. Ballantyne presented Premier Meighen's Stersonal congratulations to the Liberal-Conservative Club, together with the Premier's promise to visit it personally in January. He brought a "word of cheer to Unionists" regarding the next election, declaring that the party was sound in wind and limb. He criticised the tariff policy- of the Liberals, "the remnant of a once great party," he called them, and believed that, even were the Government defeated it would be by the Free Trade radicals. He prophesied that Mackenzie King would never be Premier of Canada.

"Sound in wind and limb." My hon. friend was probably quite right about the wind. "The remnant of a once great party." Now that characterization is easily explained. The party was great when my hon. friend belonged to it, and when he left

it was a mere remnant. I might be permitted to point out to my hon. friend that at the last general election this "remnant" elected to this House, if I remember rightly, sixty-two out of sixty-five members from his own province, and I am told that there is a fair chance that the "remnant" may elect the whole sixty-five the next time.

Mr. Speaker, one of the most extraordinary and, I might say, ludicrous things in the whole history of public life in this country has been the spectacle of the late Prime Minister and the present Prime Minister travelling like itinerant pedlars over the province of Quebec looking among two millions of people for some one who would accept a portfolio in the Government, and failing to find a single man willing to undertake the risk involved in the venture. Still we are told "the party is sound in wind and limb." Let me read the last sentence from the paragraph which I just quoted:

He prophesied that Mackenzie King would never be Premier of Canada.

No doubt the wish was father to the prophecy. The trouble with my hon. friend is that he assumes to practise the gift of prophecy without being possessed of the infallibility necessary for a prophet. When a man resorts to prophecy all discussion has to stop. You can argue with an ordinary man but you cannot argue with a prophet.

One of the most startling incidents cf the recess was the public admission of a change of heart on the part of my hon. friend the Minister of Colonization and Immigration (Mr. Calder). At Medicine Hat, according to the Montreal Gazette, he struck right out from the shoulder. Let me quote a short extract from his speech on that occasion:

Mr. Calder in opening- his remarks told the audience that for years past he had been fooling the West and fooling himself with free-trade talk, but that more mature reflection had brought him to the fiscal views of his new leader.

Well, Mr. Speaker, all that I can say is that a public man, holding a position of trust as a representative of the people, should not attempt to fool anybody. This is a sorry admission on the part of the hon. gentleman. This trade question is no joke; it is a matter of grave concern, especially to the man who has to provide the necessaries of life for his family. Again, at Moosejaw, on October 26, my hon. friend occupied the same platform with the Prime Minister. The report of his speech states:

o

During his speech Mr. Calder said: It has been claimed that I have become a Tory. Well, 1 have not, and don't intend to.

What are you? shouted someone in the audience. There is one thing I am not, and that is a Mackenzie-King Liberal. I am a Liberal and as Rood a Liberal as I ever was.

Mr. Speaker, when Artemus Ward was asked about his principles he frankly admitted that he "hadn't any-to use his own language-"nary a principle." Now that is -peculiar, but it is not as peculiar as a man claiming to have two kinds of principles at the same time, and those two kinds diametrically opposed to one another. My hon. friend for many years was closely identified with the Liberal party in Western Canada. He was one of the apostles of free trade in that country. He was a sort of political Gamaliel. The people of the West sat at his feet and they thought they were learning the lessons of commercial freedom. They looked upon him as a thorough low-tariff man, and I understand that he made many converts. Now we are told he was fooling the West and fooling himself.

The extraordinary thing about the attitude of my hon. friend is that he still claims to be a Liberal, and he tells us at the same time that he has adopted the fiscal views of his new leader-and everybody knows that there is nothing Liberal about the fiscal views of the Prime Minister. There is a character, Mr. Speaker, in Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress, with which you will be familiar, called Mr. Faeing-Both-Ways. When any question came up for decision during his pilgrimage, Mr. Facing-Both-Ways tried to be on both sides. The extraordinary thing about my hon. friend is that he is trying to face both ways at the same time. He is posing as a sort of political contortionist who can perform the extraordinary acrobatic trick of planting his feet firmly in one direction and turning his face just as firmly in the opposite direction. If I may he permitted to do I would like to warn my hon. friend. If I remember Bunyan's story correctly, Mr. Facing-Both-Ways never reached the Celestial City. Take another extract from the hon. gentleman's speeches:

When I entered the Government I found that men in the Cabinet whom I had looked upon as Liberals, were what we had called Tories, and I found men whom we had thought were old crusted Tories were as Liberal in their sentiment as I was.

This was a startling discovery. He found that the Tories in the Union cabinet were Liberals, and the Liberals were Tories. During twenty years of association with these gentlemen he had never suspected this; he thought that the Liberals were

Liberals, and that the Tories were Tories. It was only when he took his seat qt the Council board and saw the inside of his colleagues, so to speak, that the actual truth dawned upon him. He then found for the first time that the real Simon-pure hidebound Tories were such men as the hon. leader of the Farmers' party (Mr. Crerar), the hon. member for Halifax (Mr. Maclean), the hon. member for Durham (Mr. Rowell), and the ex-Minister of Public Works, Hon. Mr. Carvell; these hon. gentlemen were real old crusted Tories. They had been masquerading In sheep's clothing for the last twenty years until my hon. friend's discovery and exposure. On the other hand, the men of advanced Liberal views were my right hon. friend the Prime Minister (Mr. Meighen), the right hon. the Minister of Trade and Commerce (Sir George Foster), the right hon. the Minister of Justice (Mr. Doherty) and the hon. the Minister of Railways (Mr Reid). These, Mr. Speaker, are the shining lights of Liberalism who are now to stand shoulder to Shoulder with my hon. friend the Minister of Immigration and Colonization in his gallant fight for the triumph of Liberal principles. My hon. friend says that he has changed his views on this vital question of the tariff. He is an honourable man and I accept his word. At the same time there are two distinct ideals; one is tariff for revenue, and the other tariff for protection. I can understand how a man can modify his views to suit the circumstances of trade and the needs of revenue, but I find it difficult to understand how a man sincerely searching for the right course can, without any new evidence, change his ideals.

The Government press is now claiming that the Government has a fighting chance at the next election on this tariff issue. Much depends on the attitude of those opposed to the present administration. Among the rank and file of the voters the Government at this moment is in a hopeless minority. The recent election in West Peterborough is an indication of the state of public feeling. If the Government has a fighting chance it is by dividing its opponents into two or three camps. If the Liberal party and the Farmers' party can reach a working agreement, I venture to make the forecast that the days of this Government are numbered. The Liberal party and the Farmers' party working together would be invicible; and, after all, the farmer is only a liberal in a hurry. Why should they not work together? Both stand for a large measure of commercial

freedom; both stand for reciprocity with the United States in natural products; both stand for increasing the British preference. While there are differences in the platforms of the two parties, there are sufficient similarities to raise a strong presumption that those parties might pull together.

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UNION

Avard Longley Davidson

Unionist

Mr. DAVIDSON:

May I ask my hon.

friend a question? He intimates that the policies of the two parties are the same. Does he agree with the Farmers' policy in regard to free coal?

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L LIB

John Ewen Sinclair

Laurier Liberal

Mr. SINCLAIR (Antigonish and Guys-berough) :

What is that policy?

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UNION

Avard Longley Davidson

Unionist

Mr. DAVIDSON:

May I inform my

hon. friend that it was explained by the hon. member for Assiniboia (Mr. Gould) last week when he plainly stated that one of the planks of the Farmers' party was free coal. Will my hon. friend's party go that far? *

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L LIB

John Ewen Sinclair

Laurier Liberal

Mr. SINCLAIR (Antigonish and Guys-borough) :

My hon. friend will note that I said there were differences between the two platforms, but that they were not so material but what the two parties might form a working agreement. The question raised by my hon. friend is one of the matters to be adjusted. I was just about to say that in 1911 Sir Wilfrid Laurier risked everything to give the farmers wider and better markets for their produce and lost. What the Liberal party did in 1911 it is ready to do again in 1921. I question if there is a single thing that the Farmers' party can do for themselves that the Liberal party would not do for them.

There are certain political farmers in my own province, 1 am told, who have gone so far as to say that if they had control of the Government they could regulate the price of farm products so that the farmer would not be subject to losses by fluctuations of the market. No class deserves more consideration at the hands of a_ Government than the farmers. The farmer's business is regarded by many people as a safe and profitable business, but every man who has had actual experience, as I have had for I was brought up on a farm, knows that there is a large element of hazard in farming. The late spring frosts, the early frosts in the autumn, the drought of summer, the hail storms, the rust, the weeds, the weevil, the blight, the potato bug, the army worm, and the tax collector, including the custom

house officer, have all to be reckoned with, and if the farmer can come out at the end of the year with a whole skin and something to spare he is a lucky man. During the last few years when prices were good, the average farmer had a margin over, and no man ever deserved a margin better. If it was within the power of the Government to regulate the prices of produce so that the farmer would always get a fair reward for his hard work, no fairminded man could object. I submit, however, that in so far as the exportable surplus is concerned, no Government has ever yet been successfpl in fixing prices by legislation, and any attempt to do so has not only been futile but mischievous. There are certain laws of commerce with which an experienced law maker will not attempt to interfere. When less of an article is produced than is consumed, the very scarcity will make the price high enough and no legislation will be necessary. When a country produces more than is consumed at home, and there is a surplus for export, the price at home is controlled by the price abroad, and legislation can have no effect Whatever on prices. When the price of hides went down last year directly affecting the profits of Canadian farmers, the cause arose not in Canada, but in countries outside of Canada, such as the United States and the Argentine Republic. When the price of wool tumbled, you had to go to Australia to seek the cause. How, let me ask, could the business of these countries be controlled by legislation in Canada ? The case only needs to be mentioned to show that the proposal to fix the prices of our exportable surplus by legislation is absurd. We have a recent example of an attempt at price-fixing in the neighbouring-colony of Newfoundland. The price of fish was falling, and the people appealed to the Government to avert the impending-calamity. The Government stepped in and fixed the price at $8 per quintal and forbade all purchases or sales below that price. The merchants bought the fish from the fiisherman at the price fixed by the Government, and for a few months, all went well. But the fish had to be sold abroad, and customers in the West Indies, Europe and the United States refused to pay the price fixed by the Newfoundland Government. The consequence was that the merchants could not dispose of the fish. The warehouses were soon filled. The merchants kept on buying as long as they could., They

used up all their own capital and then borrowed from the banks. But they could not dispose of their fish, the banks then demanded payment, the result was a financial crash involving the fishermen as well as the merchants, so that the attempt of the Newfoundland Government to fix the price of fish really did more harm than good. What happened in Newfoundland is bound to happen anywhere else should a similar attempt be made. In the commerce of the world the law of supply and demand is just as inexorable as the tides or gravitation, and the public man who tells the people that he can successfully fix the price of our exportable surplus by legislation is either not well informed or is trying to work a green goods game on the farmer.

The suggestion has been made that the Government, through a commission, might purchase the crop and stabilize the price. But in buying and selling, risks must be taken and losses are inevitable. If the Government is to be responsible for the farmers' losses, then it must do the same for the fisherman, the lumberman, the miner, and the manufacturer. It would not in the end he to the advantage of the farmer if the Government were to assume a share of all the business risks of the nation. I do not wish to be understood as saying that the Government can do nothing to promote agriculture. I am only throwing out a word of warning against the nostrums of certain political agitators who are promising more than they can perform. The Government can do much by education; by improving transportation facilities; by regulating immigration so as to furnish a supply of farm labour; by lightening the farmers' burdens; by opening up wider and better markets for farm produce; by encouraging co-operation, and in many other ways. But the farmer, if he gets a fair chance, can always do more for himself than the Government can do for him-and, after all, the most important thing the Government can do for the farmer at the present time is to get off his back.

Too much cannot be said in favour of cooperation, but co-operation has nothing to do with politics. Marketing produce is business, and the experience is that the most expensive and inefficient concern in the world to do business is the Government. Mr. "Speaker, if there is any proposal by which the interests of our great basic industry can be advanced, it is bound to meet with a sympathetic response from the great Liberal party. But as I have said, the forces of progress, if they are to succeed,

must show a united front. Our opponents are united. They have the prestige of the old Liberal-Conservative party. They have the patronage, and in these days of hard times and lavish expenditure the patronage in the hands of unscrupulous men counts for much. They have a Franchise Act which will be run on strictly party lines and administered by partisan officers. The Government party is composed of men entrenched in special privileges who will fight desperately to maintain those privileges. They have also the sinews of war. Where do you find the wealth of the country? Do you find it in the Liberal party?- Do you find it among the farmers, or in the ranks of labour? Who are the railway magnates in this country? Are they Liberals? The manufacturers of Canada, according to the last Year Book, are said to control a capital investment of $2,786.649,727. Some of these are Liberals, but the great mass of them are the old type of high-tariff Conservatives, and some of those who were once Liberals are falling, I am sorry to say, into the procession. Who are the great bankers and the heads of the big trust companies? Do you find them crowding into the Liberal party and endorsing the platform built at Ottawa in 1919? Take the House of Commons itself. Glance among the supporters of the Government, and I supose you can count a dozen millionaires grouped around and behind the Prime Minister. Look along the benches to your left, Mr. Speaker. Do you find wealthy men? There may be one or two, but they are as scarce as the righteous men were in Sodom in the olden days. My point is this: that with the big business and the wealth and the Franchise Act and the patronage all ranged on one-side, it is absolutely essential that the common people should stand together and show a united front. The Allies smashed the Germans because they stood firmly together. Each had special questions to be dealt with, but they kept these in the background until they broke the power of the common enemy. Here is a lesson for the forces of Liberalism in Canada. Let us all unite for the coming struggle, and after .we break down the oligarchy that is now in control it will be time enough to adjust any differences that may exist between the two great wings of progressive thought in this country. It is very desirable, of course, that in a great agricultural country like Canada we should have as many farmers as possible in Parliament, but they should come here as representatives of all

a half he carried on as Minister of Agriculture. Then he resigned his portfolio and crossed the floor of the House, seven or eight of his friends from Western Canada crossing with him. With the exception of two, every one of those hon. members, who sit around him, was elected on that manifesto. One of those two is the hon. member for Mackenzie (Mr. J. F. Reid), who was elected as an Independent . and who, therefore, has a perfect right to choose where he will sit in this House, and the other is the hon. member for Assiniboia (Mr. Gould), who was elected at a byelection in October, 1919, and who, as admitted by himself, sits in this House today as an instructed delegate of fifteen men who hold his signed resignation. I want to know where these hon. gentlemen, who are going to vote on this amendment, got their mandate, bias ever one of them gone back to his constituents and asked for an endorsation of the position he holds in this House? Not one of them, not even their leader, the hon. member for Marquette (Mr. Crerar), has done so. They have no mandate for the position they hold; yet, they expect to vote for this amendment, to vote a want of confidence in this Government and to say, that we who are supporting this Government have no mandate from our constituents to do so.

During the last two years we- in Western Canada have been looking for redistribution. If we get redistribution, the four western provinces will likely be I'epresent-ed in this House by twenty more members. .Saskatchewan should have five new members, and I know the people in my constituency want redistribution. I do not know what the hon. member for Maple Creek (Mr. Maharg), whose constituency is next to mine, thinks on the subject, but I know a very large number of the people in his constituency want redistribution, because his constituency is very large and unwieldy. I was surprised the other day when the hon. member for Marquette (Mr. Crerar), speaking about redistribution^ said that he would be afraid to leave that matter to this Government to handle; that there would be gerrymandering. That is an old political party cry that we have heard for years and years, and I thought this new party was above all that; that it was blazing a new trail in this country and dropping all the old party cries, and' that we would hear no more of them. I believe this Government is quite as capable of giving us redistribution as any other Government that could be elected in Canada.

The other night the hon. member for Vancouver Centre (Mr. Stevens) discussed the question of freight rates. The people of the West have no objection to paying their way, of paying their fair share of whatever it costs to run our railways, but we object to paying more than our share. I believe the sooner we can have a readjustment of those rates, the better it will be for the whole country and much better for the western provinces.

Let me now take up the question of the much-abused Wheat Board, and let me say right here that if any Government in Canada has ever passed a piece of legislation that has been of benefit to the farmers of Western Canada, it is the legislation constituting the Wheat Board. But when the Wheat Board was appointed, it was not accepted in that way. I will not say that our papers in Western Canada were unanimous in condemning, but the great majority of them condemned this Government from Monday morning until Saturday night for constituting the Wheat Board. They even went so far as to say that, in regard to those participation certificates-"anticipation certificates" they called them-they advised the farmer to get rid of them, dispose of them, sell them at anything he could get for them; that after this Government got rid of the Wheat Board, all the money that went into the farmers' pockets would never enrich them. The sad part of the matter is that many farmers disposed of their participation certificates at five, seven, ten cents a bushel to speculators, who reaped fortunes by buying them out. The other night, when the hon. member for Assiniboia (Mr. Gould) was speaking, he was asked what his attitude was during his election campaign with reference to the Wheat Board. He said that the Wheat Board was not in existence during his campaign, and he was supported in that by the hon. member for Maple Creek (Mr. Maharg).

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Oliver Robert Gould

United Farmers

Mr. GOULD:

Mr. Speaker, I rise to a point of order. I did not make the statement the hon. gentleman alleges.

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UNION

Ira Eugene Argue

Unionist

Mr. ARGUE:

All I have to do is to turn up Hansard. Here it is:

Mr. Cowan: Is it not true that at the election in which the hon. member was elected he and every part of his constituency were opposed to the existence of a Wheat Board; that he fought it from beginning to end and that he was elected as an opponent of the Wheat Board?

Mr. Gould: That is another bugaboo. I do not think the hon. gentleman can find in Assiniboia any sentiment whatever in that direction.

I will give to the House this evidence-

Mr. Cowan: That is not the point at all. The point is that my hon. friend was elected straight on that platform and nothing else.

Mr. Maharg: There was no Wheat Board in existence then.

Mr. Cowan: Yes, there was.

Mr. Maharg: Not on your life.

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Oliver Robert Gould

United Farmers

Mr. GOULD:

My point of order was

that the hon. gentleman alleged J said there was no Wheat Board in existence.

I made no such statements and Hansard proves it.

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UNION

Ira Eugene Argue

Unionist

Mr. ARGUE:

I will continue the quotation:

Mr. Gould: The hon. gentleman is mixed as to his facts. I might tell the House that not on any of the many platforms on which I stood during my whole election was the Wheat Board mentioned-

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March 1, 1921