March 3, 1921

L LIB

William Henry White

Laurier Liberal

Mr. WHITE:

But I stayed where I was, believing in the common people, still retaining the beliefs that I held when I came here, and which he also held at that time. I have stood where I was; he has advanced. Perhaps he imbibed a different spirit after coming down here. Believing, as I did, that certain things were in the interests of my country, I have been satisfied to stay where I still am, rather than attempt to follow my right hon. friend to the high position which he now holds. However, in all fairness to my right hon. friend I will say that only by his energy and his industry has he attained the highest honour Canada can give him, and if that position is to be held by any hon. member on the opposite side of the House, I do not believe there is anybody more deserving or more fitted to hold it than my right hon. friend.

I also wish to extend my congratulations to the mover and seconder of the Address. In my observation extending over fifteen sessions I have never seen that duty performed in a more creditable and able manner. But my reason for rising to-night, Mr. Speaker, is not particularly to congratulate the mover and seconder of the

Address, but rather to offer some observations on certain features of the debate.

The hon. member for Mackenzie (Mr. Reid) discussed some grievances from which the western farmer suffered and dealt with the matter of the car shortage in that country, The hon. member pointed out that there was a shortage of equipment on the Canadian National railways and that the farmers suffered a great deal in consequence. I agree with every statement he made in that regard. The hon. member for Battle River (Mr. Blair) followed the hon. member for Mackenzie, but he seemed to think that the disadvantages the western producers laboured under were due to the operations in grain. The hon. gentleman delivered a splendid speech. It was his maiden effort and I congratulate him upon it. But he must know better than to advance such an argument as he did. He and I were on two delegations that met the Prime Minister when he visited the city of Edmonton last fall.

The great grievance complained of then was not the spread in prices, or the matter in which the grain business was handled, but the car shortage. Had there been in the proper sense of the term adequate railway equipment, the spread of prices which the hon. gentleman mentioned would not have cut any figure at all. The producers were in the independent position that they would not have needed to deal with the line elevators, and might have ignored the street prices; they could have shipped their grain independently if they could have got the cars they needed. Had sufficient cars been available they would not have been affected by the spread in prices; they could have shipped their grain to the terminal elevators and sold it there. The hon. Minister of Railways (Mr. J. D. Reid) has made the statement that he ordered about double the number of cars contracted for by the Canadian Pacific Railway and had done twice as much as that company to relieve the congestion. Well, if that were the case, and if the cars were available, they certainly did not reach our part of the country. Every western member knows that the congestion of cars was felt all along the line of the Canadian National, Railways. We were told by the General Superintendent at Edmonton that with the equipment possessed by the Canadian National Railways it would take three years to move the crop according to the estimates he had received. My hon. friend from Battle River was present at the meeting and heard Mr. Brown make the statement.

A demand has been made for a new Grain Commission to be appointed to deal with the existing difficulties. As my hon. friend from Red Deer pointed out, we already have a Grain Commission composed of men of ten or twelve years' experience. Surely another commission is not needed to deal with the matter. However, the point upon which I wish to lay stress is that had sufficient cars been available the spread of prices complained of would not have bothered the producers and they could have sold their grain in the open market. I raised considerable grain myself last year, in fact I come from a section where their was a bumper crop. We are holding that grain to-day because we could not dispose of it by reason of the lack of adequate equipment on the Canadian National railways.

The real grievance of the West to-day along the Canadian National Railway lines is lack of equipment. The member for Battle River (Mr. Blair) knows well that the prices are from seven to ten cents higher in the districts covered by the Canadian Pacific than they are along the Canadian National railways, because it is recognized that along the Canadian Pacific, where proper equipment is available, the grain will be brought out in the early part of the season, so that advantage can be taken of lake transportation. The suggestion on the part of my hon. friend from Macdonald (Mr. Henders) and other hon. gentlemen opposite that the great detriment to the producers in the West has been the spread of prices and that kind of thing is only a bugaboo; the real difficulty arises from car shortage. The hon. member for Battleford (Mr. Wright) was present at the meeting when Mr. Brown stated that if the estimate of this year's crop was correct, the Canadian National could not move it out with their equipment in less than three years. I would like to know how many farmers will go very far in the matter of production next year under circumstances such as these. Let hon. gentlemen who represent the western districts forget their party affiliations and truly represent the sections of the country from which they come; it is a simple matter.

There may be a great deal that is wrong about the grain business, and if a commission can be appointed that will make things better for the producer, why, I am willing to support anything that could be done along that line. But I take the same view as that expressed by the member for Red Deer (Mr. M. Clark), when he suggests

that there is no reason why we should appoint one commission to investigate the doings of another. We already have a commission on the job; why appoint another to find out some imaginary wrongs, particularly when every producer knows what the real cause of the trouble is. We can get away from grain commissions altogether if we have proper transportation facilities for the shipment of our grain to the open market. The Minister of Railways says he has put into commission double the number of cars that the Canadian Pacific have put on their road. Well, if he has, they are not in evidence.

Some hon. members have spoken of redistribution. I want to make an honest statement in regard to this. Everybody will agree that the West is not bothering very much about redistribution. In fact, the West believe that they are not properly represented in the House to-day. There are very few members here to-day who represent the actual sentiment of the West. Who believes that hon. gentlemen from the West on the Government side represent the views of the people of the West? Nobody believes it. The real sentiment of the West to-day is represented on this side, not only by the two Liberal members from the West, but by what is called the Progressive group. They represent western opinion; there is no doubt about that-and the Government know it; let them test it and find out. The views of the West to-day are very well expressed by the Calgary Albertan, which says: We would like to have more representation in the West, but we would rather take a chance right now than wait to see how many more representatives we might have. No one will have the audacity to stand up and say that hon. gentlemen sitting behind the Treasury Benches represent the voice of the West.

What is this Agrarian group to my left? Ho you not think, Sir, that this is a body of intelligent men who, when they found that they were not representing public opinion, left their party and crossed over to this side? No better evidence than that could be offered of their intelligence. I do not contend that I, as a Liberal, represent the whole sentiment of the West; there is no doubt that others were wise enough to know what public sentiment was, and when they found out that the people were not satisfied with the Government, they crossed over to this side. They did not cross over to this side to defy the electors of their constituencies; they crossed over because they considered they were f Mr. W. H. White.]

the servants of the people. When they found that the people had no confidence in the Government, as honest, sincere representative's of the people, they followed public opinion and cut thmselves free from hon. gentlemen opposite. Nobody can believe anything else to be the case.

In conclusion, I want to say that, perhaps not in a very eloquent manner, but in the simple language that comes easy to me, I have tried to make an honest statement to both sides of the House. Although I know hon. gentlemen opposite are looking for their support to other sections of the country than that from which I come, I am trying as honestly as I can to represent the views and sentiments of the people who sent me here.

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LIB

Charles Adolphe Stein

Liberal

Mr. ADOLPHE STEIN (Kamouraska) :

Mr. Speaker, I had not intended to take part in this debate, which has already lasted over two weeks, and especially at this stage it would be impossible for the humble member that I am to throw any light on the matters under discussion. But after reading in the Montreal Gazette of February 28 that the Opposition had failed in this debate to point to any wrong-doing on the part of the Government, I decided to endeavour to show, in as few words as possible, some of the innumerable pieces of mischief that have disgraced the record of this Government, elected in 1911 and reelected, by accident, in 1917. The Gazette challenges the Opposition in the following words :

The debate on the address, as .have all debates for three years, has been remarkable in that there has been no suggestion of wrongdoing or maladministration on the part of the Government. Either the Opposition is too dense to perceive errors, or the Government has given Canada a wonderful example of administrative capacity and probity. The old charges of scandal no longer obtain. Nor are there likely to be any charges. The Government may have made mistakes, but no one has the courage to say that its members permitted the treasury to be plundered by themselves or party friends.

We on this side of the House were profoundly amazed when we read those wofds. We would never have imagined that the Government's friends would be bold enough to challenge the Opposition to reiterate the many scandals and numerous feats of maladministration that stained the Borden Government, and for which- the present Administration rightly admits responsibility. For the sake of Canadian pride, we of the Opposition would have very much preferred to avoid publishing those terrible national misdemeanors, more especially

when it is a well-known fact that in other countries during the war those who dared to indulge in similar mischievous acts were either very severely punished with penalties or imprisonment or very often shot as traitors to their country, while in this country of ours the guilty remained undisturbed, when they were not held in favour for Canadian or Imperial positions of trust. But we accept the challenge and I will, therefore, give a list, though incomplete on account of the late hour at which I am speaking, of some of the very numerous scandals that we have already charged and that we claim to have proved against the Government.

There is a first group, known to the country as " war contract scandals," as investigated by the Public Accounts Committee of the House of Commons in 1915. It was proved before that committee that war contracts were let without any tenders, or any kind of competition whatever, and that the Government's purchasing system was loose, irregular and illegal. The Auditor General, before the committee on March 17, 1915, speaking of purchases, said:

It was worse than that; they were not made in compliance with the Act.

Indeed, war goods amounting to over $1,000,000,000 had been bought without Orders-in-Council, as required by law. It was also brought out in evidence that the Tory patronage system then existing compelled the use of middlemen in all contracts. I shall give a very brief nomenclature of those scandals that the Gazette claims not to exist or to have been forgiven or forgotten: The horse scandal,

which brought about the resignation of a Tory member of this House; the drug scandal which caused the resignation of another Tory member of this House; the binocular scandal and many others that will pass over without mentioning; the nickel scandal, which raised in this House a debate in which several members and especially one on the Government side laid considerable blame on the Government; the shell scandal and the fuse scandal, which alone meant a million dollar rake-off.

In another group not connected with the war, I might mention several other deeds of maladministration, such as, for instance, the padlock scandal, in the Post Office Department; the Carslake scandal in the same department; the Dorval military camp scandal in the Department of Militia, and the extravagant payment of several hundred thousand dollars to foreigners, Arthur Young and Company, and the Griffenha gen

and associates, to perform a so-called civil service re-organization which could only have been properly performed by the heads of departments together with our Civil Service Commission.

Why, Mr. Speaker, the Montreal Gazette reporter has already forgotten all these wrong-doings! Is it not in this very same paper that I read, in an editorial of June 14, 1920, under the title " a con-demnable contract," the following charge against the Cabinet in connection with the above expenditures:

The whole episode reflects ministerial incompetency in a most unusual way, and the Government cannot too soon repair its mistake by terminating a contract repugnant to National pride.

And again, what about the creation, by Order-in-Council, on July 15, 1920, fourteen days after prorogation, of a Central Purchasing Board, a scheme which had encountered during a debate last session, the hostility of the great majority of this House? How many other scandals have there been, Sir, the mention of which would be much too long for my purpose? The gentleman who represents the Montreal Gazette in the press gallery is at liberty now to send again to his home office a despatch stating that we on this side of the House are "too dense to perceive errors."

It has been stated by previous speakers in the course of this debate that the people of Quebec would forgive, but could not forget, the treatment that they received from the Government. Well, I venture to say that the people of Canada at large will neither forget nor forgive those numerous scandals which have been detected and proved against the Government, whether they have been perpetrated with the connivance or through the gross negligence of the Government. In closing my remarks on this point, I wish to give credit to the right hon. the Prime Minister (Mr. Meighen) for his frankness in admitting, in a speech delivered in Winnipeg, on October 22, 1917, that he, as a member of the Conservative Government, was bound to share all the responsibilities assumed by the former Government, replaced, in the fall of 1917, by the Union Government.

During the recess and in the course of this debate, much has been said of the feelings of the province of Quebec towards the - present Ministry, and of the very affectionate and touching friendship entertained by the same ministry not only for the province of Quebec, but towards the three million French-speaking citizens of this country.

The very eloquent member for Beauce (Mr. Beland), in beautiful and forcible, though mild and courteous language, has laid before the House undeniable evidence, showing to what a great extent the friendly words uttered by the right hon. the Prime Minister and by his colleagues are flatly contradicted by their own acts and deeds, when it is up to these same gentlemen to give concrete form to their flirtations with our French-speaking people.

The hon. member for Beauce mentioned several instances of recent injustice done to the French-speaking people by the Government. He particularly inquired from the ministry why not a single representative of the French Canadians had been invited to join in with the ministers who represented, or at least assumed that they held a mandate to represent, Canada at the Peace Conference and at the Assembly of the' League of Nations.

I would go one step further, and ask the Government the reason why, if any, the only French-speaking member of the Cabinet was not invited, and even induced to attend those conferences as the representative of one-third of our population? If the hon. gentleman, who occupies the position of Postmaster General, was not then available, why did they not invite the very distinguished French Canadian who is the present Speaker of the Senate, and who is also, I am told, a member of the Privy Council? Has he not the confidence of the present ministry?-and what about the hon. Senators Beaubien, and Chapais? These also are two very brilliant French Canadian supporters of the present ministry. And, Mr. Speaker, a like courtesy to one-third of our Canadians would not have necessitated an election in Quebec!

May I be permitted to add a few more instances as a sequel to those brought forward by my hon. friend, the member for Beauce? When the late lamented Hon. S. N. Parent, the father of the hon. member for Quebec West, resigned from the National Transcontinental Railway Commission, in October, 1911, he was replaced by Major Leonard, an English Canadian, and the French Canadians were left without representation on this board, which was managing a railroad traversing the province of Quebec for several hundred miles. When the French Canadian head of the Government workshops at Sorel, in the county of Richelieu, Quebec, was compelled to go out of office, he was replaced by one Mr. Jackson, an English Canadian. When the late Thomas Cote was asked to

resign, after September 21, 1911, as secretary of the International Waterways Joint Commission, he was replaced by one Mr. Burpee. Mr. Justice McDougall succeeded the late Judge Champagne in the French judicial district of Hull. Chief Justice Landry, in New Brunswick, was replaced by Mr. Justice Chandly. Mr. Blount succeeded Major Chapleau as clerk of the Senate, although a French Canadian was there available, in the person of the deputy clerk, who had been holding office for many years. Senator Webster succeeded the late Senator Landry in the Senate.

Who sat, may I ask, as a representative of the French Canadians, on the Public Records Commission; on the Board of Grain Commissioners; in the Department of Soldiers' Civil Re-establishment; on the War Trade Board; on the Canada Food Board; on the Canada Registration Board; on the Pensions Board?

Is it not a well-known fact that out of thirty "Trade Agents" that we have in foreign countries, the French Canadians are given but one representative? The hon. the Postmaster General recently stated elsewhere that he is representing in the ministry the hundreds of thousands of French Canadians, who, according to him, voted for the Government in 1917.

I beg to submit that it would seem obvious, from the statements which I have made that this hon. gentleman is satisfied with holding a public office for his own self and sake, and that he lacks influence with his colleagues whenever an opportunity arises for him to exact the appointment of a French compatriot to an office of public trust. This failure in the hon. the Postmaster General's duty of procuring for his French fellow-citizens their just share in the public trusteeships reminds me of a statement made in October, 1917, by Sir John Willison, in a letter of appreciation of the Coalition Government to "The New York Tribune." This writer, a stalwart Union supporter, alluding to the present Postmaster General and to his former colleague from Quebec, now politically deceased, wjote as follows:

In the new Cabinet there are only two French ministers, and these are among the least weighty of its members.

Is this statement a reply to our inquiry as to why this French minister was not invited to the Peace Conference or to the League of Nations with his English colleagues ?

And, by the way, Mr. Speaker, while I am taking the liberty of dealing with the

hon. the Postmaster General, who holds this office as a member of the Senate, I would very respectfully suggest to the right hon. the leader of this House that the present vacancy in the county of Yamaska, Quebec, affords a unique and splendid opportunity for the Postmaster General to secure for himself a comfortable seat in this beautiful chamber. Indeed, this constituency of Yamaska happens to be the hon. gentleman's native county; he has even been residing therein as recently as a few months ago. Then why not try his chance there just now?

I will go still further in this connection.

I assume, from the wording of the Electoral Act, as it now stands, and also from the amendment made to the House of Commons Act in the second session of 1919, that it would seem to be your own duty, Mr. Speaker, immediately to issue your warrant for this election. Let me explain myself.

Section 9 of the House of Commons Act, Revised Statutes of Canada, Chapter 11, reads in part as follows:

If any vacancy happens in the House of Commons by the death of any member .... the 'Speaker, on being informed of such vacancy by any member of the House in his place .... shall forthwith address his warrant to the Clerk of the Crown in Chancery for the issue of a new writ for the election of a member to fill the vacancy; and a new writ shall issue accordingly.

Now, under the new law, as drafted last year, the Clerk of the House of Commons holds the office of the former Clerk of the Crown in Chancery. On the second day of this session, as shown on pages 7 and 8 of Hansard, it -was stated by the right hon. the Prime Minister and by my hon. leader, who were both addressing you, Mr. Speaker, that our regretted colleague, the late member for Yamaska, had passed away during the recess. Hence, I take it for granted, Mr. Speaker, that you have been sufficiently informed, under the Act, as to this vacancy, and I very respectfully submit that it is your duty to issue your warrant accordingly.

At all events, in order to remove any possible misunderstanding I, myself, now from my place in this House, beg leave officially to inform you, Mr. Speaker, that the former member for Yamaska, Mr. Oscar Gladu, died over two months ago, and that, therefore, a vacancy has occurred in that electoral district.

It is true that a delay of six months is mentioned in section 11-A of the House of Commons Act. But this is a maximum limit; it was intended to mean that six

months' delay might be allowed during recess. But I humbly submit that, when Parliament is called to meet in session, all the vacancies should have been filled before the opening of the session, in order to give to every constituency the representatives to whom it is entitled. I assume that this is a sound interpretation of this new law.

Now, Mr. Speaker, following again and further the argument made by the hon. member for Beauce (Mr. Beland) in reply to the statement made by the hon. member for Frontenac (Mr. Edwards) in this House, on the 18th of last month, I will quote from the remarks of the member for Frontenac the following, as they appear in Hansard at page 141:

I challenge the leader of the Opposition, or any of those sitting behind him, to quote one single sentence, one single line, one single thought expressed in words by the present Prime Minister of Canada at any time, in this House or out of it, which has indicated the slightest feeling of hostility or unfriendliness to the people of the province of Quebec.

I will make a compromise with the hon. member for Frontenac; I will agree, but only for the sake of argument, that his honourable leader is, towards French-Can-adians and in connection with the treatment that he has afforded to them, a sinner more by way of omission than by commission. But we feel the injustice just the same, whatever may be the artful mode of procedure adopted by the hon. member's leader when dealing with the Quebec people, or with French-Canadians in other provinces.

Before closing, I would call to my aid in this connection,-to prove that my remarks are accurate on this very important subject, which is a vital one for one-third of the people of this country,-a very remarkable , editorial of the Montreal Gazette of May 17, 1920. This editorial, which was headed "French and the Franchise," had regard to the then pending-debate in this House on the new electoral law. I will omit a few sentences, unfortunately, to save time, but I hope that the hon. the Prime Minister and his colleagues, will read this editorial in its entirety and that, in the future, when boasting that they are giving equal and equitable treatment to all races and creeds in Canada, they will sincerely meditate upon the sound and sane principles of justice, as so thoroughly expounded in this article, which reads, in part:

Several hours were devoted in the Commons last week to the discussion of a subject upon which we think there is no room for controversy, namely, the desirability of having the

Proclamation of an election printed in the French language in electoral districts in which there are a considerable number of electors who understand that tongue, but are not familiar with the English language. The matter was brought up by Mr. Turgeon, of Gloucester, New Brunswick, .who, in a temperate speech urged the desirability of giving to the French population communication in their own language of proceedings relating to the very foundation of popular government, the election of members, and, with customary exceptions, the debate was conducted in admirable mood, though not upon a lofty plane. There was much citation of the Constitution to prove where begin the rights of the French people in respect of official use of their language, and where those rights end, and a disposition to place rigid and narrow construction upon the Confederation Act in a matter that fairly transcends the strict letter of the law. Constantly are we reminded that harmony and cordiality between the two great races, which inhabit ICanada rest more upon sentiment and generous feeling than upon the text of a statute.

The editorial in another place says:

Mr. Turgeon told the House that "French people are sentimental; they appreciate anything that is done in their behalf; "but while sentiment must always receive recognition, there is a yet higher motive to move man, that of justice and of regard for the general good.

Finally it says: -

It may not be a great matter that in French districts electoral proclamations should be issued in the French language; but it is of consequence that FrenchJCanadians be not irritated by a sense of injustice, that they be not pin-pricked, and that their great part in forming and fostering Confederation should And expression in equitable legislation.

Now, Mr. Speaker, when the hon. the Prime Minister appeared before the Frenchspeaking people of this country some months ago, did he offer any explanation why he and his colleagues remained mute during the debate in question last year? Did he tender an apology for their refusal to grant, when it was most opportune to do so to the French-speaking minority, "Equitable Legislation," as their organ calls it, and thus to prove in good faith that their legislative acts, if not their administrative deeds, accord with their political performances?

No, Mr. Speaker, the law remained as it was. _ The Prime Minister did not utter one single word of ill-feeling towards the French-speaking people, but he committed another sin of omission. [DOT]

I believe that I have already spoken too long, and I shall close with the following words: I shall vote for the amendment

offered by our distinguished leader. I am sure that if the Hon. Robert Rogers were in this House, he who, as a true Conserva-

' .

tive, organized the 1911 elections for the benefit of a number of our friends opposite, he, too, would vote for an election. Indeed, he stated very recently that the. Government are only anxious for one thing, namely, to maintain themselves in office. What the people mostly need at present to obtain from the Government is not apologies nor promises, but elections.

An election at the present time would have-I dare say, with all due respect- the sanitary effect of a most complete whitewash in Government premises. It would clear the political atmosphere. It would afford every Canadian elector a proper means of expressing his views on the actual political situation.

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L LIB

Edmond Savard

Laurier Liberal

Mr. EDMOND SAVARD (Chicoutimi-Saguenay) :

(Translation.) Mr. Speaker, at this late hour of the night, I think it only right to let my hon. friends know that I shall be very brief. After the numerous speeches we have listened to, it would seem that I should refrain from raising my voice, being satisfied that I could not add anything new to the remarks made upon the address and the amendment of the hon. leader of the Opposition.

But on the other hand, I believe that the electors whom I have the honour to represent, may rightly expect that I take part in this important debate, one of the most important perhaps, of this Parliament, since it involves the. life or death of the Government.

I do not hesitate to declare that my fellow-citizens will readily pardon me, especially at this late hour, if I do not linger over the speech from the throne. The dish which was served to us amidst extraordinary pomp at the opening of the session, was so very meagre that it seems to me it was long ago digested.

As to the amendment of the hon. leader of the Opposition, (the hon. Mr. King) I say with the greatest sincerity, that from my point of view, never in our parliamentary history has a non-confidence motion been more justifiable than that one now submitted to the consideration of the country's representatives.

I shall content myself with approving what has been said of the mover and seconder of the address. These hon. members acquitted themselves of an arduous duty with honour to themselves and the counties they represent. We would have liked, no doubt, to have heard one of these

speeches in French, and the right hon. Prime Minister had on that occasion an opportunity to prove the sincerity of the advances he has been making to the province of Quebec for some months. But one must admit what is evident, everything French is as repugnant to the right hon. Prime Minister as to his colleagues. I do not believe that one could find outside these falls an intelligent man, honest and disinterested, who would dare to affirm on his honour that the Government has the confidence of the majority of the electors or even of the members of this House. How many are there in the House itself who would make such a statement. The right hon. Prime Minister has declared to us that he would carry on as long as he had the confidence of a majority of the people's representatives, but he knows as well as we do, and perhaps better than most of us, since he has been touring the country, that the people are certainly against him. The high position that he occupies, his undeniable worth, should induce him to refrain from making absurd statements and covering himself with ridicule, as certain of his partisans have done, in saying that the country is satisfied with its Government, and that in going before the people he would be returned to power. The hon. Minister of Militia (Hon. Mr. Guthrie) admitted the other day that the majority of by-elections since 1917 had gone against the Borden Government, but he said that the election had taken place since the Prime Minister (Rt. Hon. Arthur Meighen) held his present office justified him in stating that the people are in favour of of the Government. It is impossible to believe that the hon. Minister of Militia was serious in making such a statement. And, Mr. Speaker, you must have remarked the satisfaction on this side of the House when the hon. minister declared that he was no longer a Liberal. Let us hope that this statement is more sincere than the other.

All the hon. members of the loyal opposition who have taken part in this debate have proved most clearly that the result of the last elections condemns the new Government, as the hon. Minister- of Militia calls it. No, Mr. Speaker, there is not a sensible man, but is convinced that, in the event of immediate dissolution, the greater number of the hon. members sitting at your right, would not dare present themselves again to their electors, and would therefore be forced to say goodbye to those around them now. This, as has been shown by many hon. members of the Opposition, is the sole reason why the Government does not want an election. Redistribution is only a pretext. Never before has such a reason been invoked to delay the date of an election. Whatever may be the differences of opinion on the subject of the usurpation of power by the Government, it can not be denied that the last elections were fought over conscription, with the voting done according to the war-time election Act; therefore, as stated by the hon. member for Halifax (Mr. McLean) former minister in the Union cabinet, the alliance of Liberals and Conservatives was to end with the war. The war ended over two years ago; if the Government does not hold the power unconstitutionally they have had no mandate to continue to administer the affairs of the country after the war. The right hon. Prime Minister, the Hon. Minister of the Militia as well as several other members, have cited a certain number of cases in England and Canada where there has been a change of Prime Minister without general elections.

I shall not discuss these precedents, for I should not do justice to them after the ability with which a number of my hon. friends on this side of the House have taken them up. The proof was very clearly brought out specially by the hon. member for Quebec East (Mr. Lapointe) who made one of the most admirable speeches ever made in this House. These examples do not apply at present to the Government. It gives me much pleasure to congratulate the hon. member for Quebec East on the great success he. obtained. It did not come entirely as a suprise as we expected it, but let me add that his success surpassed our highest expectations. His eloquence and the force of his arguments were to all his friends a matter of great satisfaction. No further doubt can be entertained that the mandate given the Government of the Right Hon. Sir Robert Borden in 1917, or pethaps I should say the mandate which was extorted by the Union Government, was for war aims only. You may argue as you please, once the war was over, the mandate ceased. Mr. Speaker, the hon. Minister of Militia has argued like many others that the hon. leader of the Opposition has no right to speak for the whole Liberal party since he only represents portions of it. Let me say once for all that this declaration on the part of a minister of

the Crown or rather a member of a broken up and moribund government can only be termed despicable for he knows but too well that he was selected as leader of the Liberal party by their representatives from all the provinces of Canada. Moreover the party is proud of its leader. We recognize him as the worthy successor of our lamented chief, Sir Wilfrid Laurier. In addition to the arguments brought forward by our leader we have an unlimited number of reasons which induce us to vote in favour of his motion. We have not forgotten the Borden Government. The hon. member (Mr. Stein) who has just taken his seat enumerated in detail the numerous scandals which croped up under his Administration and I therefore do not intend to review them again. However I shall draw your attention to the fact which is so well known that in 1911, when Sir Wilfrid Laurier went out of power, he left the country in a most prosperous state. It is equally well known that only a few years were necessary for the Borden Government to bring it on the verge of bankruptcy. No one can forget the innumerable misdemeanours that this Administration was guilty of. Under the guise of economy this Government dismissed hundreds of civil employees with the premeditated intention of replacing them, as we know, by thousands of their friends who to-day fill the departments to overflow. We have not forgotten the most out-crying scandal: the purchase of the Canadian Northern Railway. How shall we ever forget that most unjust enactment of the closure and of the Conscription Act, the sudden descent upon our peaceful country of regiments with machine guns to ferret with like wild beasts the sons of our1 farmers who had dared to think that they were not obliged to sacrifice their all for the cause of the Empire. Mr. Speaker, were I to enumerate all the misdeeds of this Government I should take up too much time and since I have promised to be brief I shall close my remarks by saying that it will give me great satisfaction to vote for the amendment of the leader of the Opposition.

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UNION

Donald Nicholson

Unionist

Mr. DONALD NICHOLSON:

(Queen's, P.E.I.) Mr. Speaker, I have not been requested to speak and I do not know in what political character I am to be recognized, whether as a Liberal, a Progressive, or a Tory. But I want to speak to-nighc especially from the Tory standpoint. First of all I heartily join in the congratulations which have been extended to the right hon. gentleman (Mr. Meighen) who now ably

leads the Government upon his elevation to the high position of Prime Minister. I also wish to congratulate the mover and seconder of the Address in reply to the speech from the Throne on the excellent speeches which they made.

An hon. MEMBER-Louder.

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UNION

Donald Nicholson

Unionist

Mr. NICHOLSON:

If my hon. friend will be patient I will speak in tones loud enough for him to hear. The speech of the hon. member for Dorchester (Mr. Cannon) who is one of the first lieutenants, I presume, of the Opposition leader (Mr. Mackenzie King) interested me. The hon. gentleman stated that the Prime Minister was a Tory. I am glad of that. In my opinion the Tories have done a good deal for Canada. My hon. friend also stated that the Prime Minister was in favour of contributing men and money in order to carry on Canada's share in the war. The statement was heartily applauded by hon. gentlemen opposite, even by the small group of Progressives. If there is one thing of which we on this side cordially approve, it is standing by Great Britain when she is in trouble. The adoption of that policy by the Government accounts for the large majority which they obtained at the election in 1917.

The leader of the Opposition had the temerity to demand by what right the Government continues in office. My answer to that is that the Government continues to administer public affairs by virtue of the mandate of the people, a mandate such as enables my hon. friend himself to sit in this House for the County of Prince, for the balance of the present term of Parliament which ends in 1922. In the course of his speech, my hon. friend also referred to the elections of 1917 and stated that the men overseas were coerced into supporting the Government. That statement is my chief reason for rising to speak to-night.

I may say, Mr. Speaker, that I received ninety-five per cent of the votes of the young men who went to the front from my constituency and I feel that the statement of the hon. leader of the Opposition cruelly misrepresents them. I also wish to say that of that ninety-five per cent a large number were the sons of Liberals who had supported Sir Wilfrid Laurier during the fifteen years of his administration. I can further state that these young men at that time wrote home- to their parents to support the Union Government. It therefore ill becomes the leader of the Opposition to indulge in such aspersions. I am surprised that a young gentleman who

aspires to become the leader of a Government in Canada should misrepresent these young men who, without reward, valiantly went to the front and patiently stood the hardships of such a terrible campaign by alleging that they were coerced into casting their votes as they did.

Coerced! That is a very, improper word to my mind. How were they coerced? Did the Commander-in-Chief of the Canadian troops threaten those young men to compel them to vote for the Union candidates? That is what my hon. friend would imply. And I notice, Sir, that his hon. friend from Dorchester (Mr. Cannon) to-night repeated that slander, for it is nothing less than a slander on the free, independent young men who went from my county and who voted for me. Not only that, Sir, but the hon. gentleman comes down to Charlottetown and on a public platform states, by implication, that I have no right to represent my constituency, because his friend who was on the platform with him lost the seat by some wrongdoing on my part. As a matter of fact, so many men from Prince Edward Island went overseas that the Government was generous enough to send representatives from each party to conduct the polling, and I never heard from one of those representatives that there was any wrongdoing. I met hundreds of young men on their return from the front and I asked them the question: Were you influenced to vote for the Government candidates; were you threatened in any way in the event of your voting against the Government candidates? Not one answered in the affirmative. I have had hundreds of letters from young ' men who were ardent supporters of the late Right Hon. Sir Wilfrid Laurier saying: Here, we knew it was a critical time, it looked as though we were going to be defeated, and we wanted help from home. It ill becomes the leader of the Opposition to stand up here and say that those young men were coerced, and I take it that when an appeal is made to the people they will resent that slander. I am sorry for him, because he is a young man and will, I presume, perhaps sometime hold a prominent position in the public life of Canada.

He also in his speech in Charlottetown proclaimed, to my mind, a political heresy. He stated that the hon. Minister of Customs and Inland Revenue (Mr. Wigmore) and the hon. Minister of Public Works (Mr. McCurdy) had not sufficient majorities to show that they had the confidence of the people. Well, that is a most extraordinary statement. The hon. Minister of Public

Works had a 2,500 majority, and the hon. Minister of Customs and Inland Revenue had a 4,000 majority. What size majority does he want? I consider that they both had good substantial majorities on a straight clearcut issue.

I heard in this debate the hon. leader of the Opposition mention that the right hon. Prime Minister had stated at a meting in Truro that our friends on the other side were connected with the Bolsheviks. I was at that meeting, and I can affirm that I never heard a statement of that kind from the right hon. leader of the Government.

The election in Peterborough was a misunderstanding between our own friends. Mr. Burnham is a Conservative, and I am inclined to think that he was not treated right. As a matter of fact if he had been elected I am sure he would be standing on this side for what is right in the fiscal arrangement anyhow.

The right hon. leader of the Government made a tour of the West last fall, and the hon. leader of the Opposition also made a tour of the West. One of the latter's colleagues represents a riding which under the present fiscal system enjoys more protection than any other manufacturing centre in Canada. He did not tell his friends that in the West. What would those friends think of that? The same statement applies to the hon. members for Kent, Ont. (Mr. McCoig), for Nicolet (Mr. Trahan), for Joliette (Mr. Denis), and other hon. members. I should like to know if they would support the hon. member for Brome (Mr. MeMaster) without the protection which they enjoy.

Reference was made in this debate to the Canadian Mercantile Marine. Our hon. friends from the West have had their say, and our hon. friends from Quebec have had their say, so I think it is time that I said something on behalf of the Maritime Provinces.

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PRO
UNION

Donald Nicholson

Unionist

Mr. NICHOLSON:

Let me call the attention of the Government to the Pictou-Charlottetown-Magdalen Islands route. The Government should take this service over and build a suitable steamer to be operated in connection with the National Railways. There are some 8,000 people on the Magdalene Islands, hardy fishermen; yet the service now is not as good as it was forty years ago under the old Tory government. It is a crying shame that those people are so grossly neglected.

There should also be an additional boat for the Prince Edward Island route. I have it on the authority of the management of the Canadian National Railway system that they recognize the necessity for, and are in favour of providing an additional boat at an early date. My opinion is that the Government had better give a contract this year for the building of such a boat. The present boat is taken off the route for nearly two months each year, and the service provided is not satisfactory to our people. I know that some hon. gentlemen will state: We are used to that kind of talk from Prince Edward Island, and that province has cost the Dominion a large sum. Why, one of the hon. ministers is an absolute political paranoiac; he thinks that we have too good a boat service.

When Prince Edward joined the Canadian Federation in 1873 we were free from debt. Nearly fifty years ago we built a railroad-when you gentlemen in Saskatchewan were only in your swaddling clothes-at a cost of $3,400,000, and subsequently handed it over to the Dominion Government. One year after we entered Confederation Canada obtained an award of $5,500,000 from the United States, $1,000,000 of which was handed over to Newfoundland. I hope the Government will give heed to the earnest representations I have made with reference to the two steamers I have mentioned and gave a contract arranged for at an early day.

I want to say this with regard to the Magdalen Islands; the Magdalen Islands were settled before there was any settlement at all on the site of what is now the city of Winnipeg. The people there are fishermen, and they have not been treated properly by any Government of Canada.

I have made representations on their behalf; forty years ago I was a member of the delegation that came to Ottawa to make certain requests with regard to that matter. We .had a good old Tory government at that time, and they listened to our representations and subsequently put on a service, which was maintained for years. On account of the war and other considerations, there has not been in recent years as satisfactory a service as we ought to have for these people.

Let us indulge in a little retrospect, Mr. Speaker. The first Parliament of Canada under the Confederation was held in 1867. The total revenue of Canada at that time was $13,000,000. In 1878 it was $24,000,000; in 1896 it was $40,000,000; in 1910 it

was $140,000,000, under the administration of the late Liberal Government-it had come up very well. But, Sir, last year, 1920, the total revenue of Canada was $380,000,000. Besides Canadians subscribed to war bonds $1,500,000,000. In 1895 the total assets of the banks were $316,000 000; in 1919 they were $2,754,000,000. The question that we are now up against is the raising of $400,000,000 yearly for the carrying on of the country's affairs. What does that mean? It means that every man, woman and child in Canada .will have to contribute fifty dollars toward the running of the country. We have had a lot of talk during the last few weeks, but I have not heard anyone suggest how that money was going to be raised. It is a serious question, and one that ought to be actively taken up.

I notice that the hon. senior member for Halifax (Mr. A. K. Maclean) is in his right place-No Man's Land. He

could not have been elected in Nova Scotia, so he is now in line with the Government of that province. I might say that in connection with the appropriation to aid the provinces in the building of roads, a contract was let by the Government of Nova Scotia under that highway scheme for St. Margaret's road and $280,000 was supposed to do the road work, but $780,000 was spent by the local government. Gentlemen down there say they are Liberals, but they are anything. That work cost the province $780,000-and that is characteristic of the history of Nova Scotia Liberalism.

The party on this side has adopted the name National Liberal and Conservative.

I do not care' about the name-it is too long. But I suggest that the name of the party opposite, judging from the speeches that have been made by some hon. gentlemen on that side, should be "Snatcher" instead of "Liberal," because they snatch at everything; they snatch at every policy imaginable.

The hon. senior member for Halifax opposed the Military Service Act. In his" opinion it was an awful Act. He was against the party in power-the Tory party at that time. My hon. friend from Red Deer (Mr. M. Clark) had to get in with the Tory party then, and he renounces it now. Toryism, he says, is not for freedom-but it is to be remembered that the member for Halifax and other hon. gentlemen have been enabled to hold seats in the House by virtue of legislation passed by this Parliament. If they are consistent

they will do what has been done in Great Britain in cases of this kind. They call it the Chiltern Hundreds. If a gentleman disagrees with the policy of the Government over there he says: "I am not satisfied with the Government; I am going back to the people." But not one of the gentlemen opposite did that, and we on this side stand here defending the policy that was inaugurated for the benefit of Canada.

Now, I want to take hon. gentlemen back a little; and I can take you back further than some of you gentlemen think.

I will take you back to the days before the National Policy was inaugurated in this country, when the people of the lower provinces were leaving by the hundreds and thousands-and why? They were going to the New England States in order to obtain employment. Last year I heard, I think it was the hon. member for Maisonneuve (Mr. Lemieux) say that there were at least 2,000,000 French Canadians in the United States. Does the same condition prevail now? No, they do not go to the United States to find employment. When our people went to the factories of New Hampshire and New England to obtain employment, what did they do there? They were manufacturing boots, caps, clocks, everything in the United States for use down in the lower provinces, and French Canadians and people from the lower provinces were migrating in thousands to the United States. The reason why they left this country was that they could not get employment in Halifax, Charlottetown or any other city in the lower provinces because goods were allowed to come in free from the United States. Yet hon. gentlemen opposite say: "Oh, let us have free trade." The hon. member for Red Deer says: "I believe in freedom;" but there is a freedom that is not right, and some kinds of freedom are very wrong. We want to protect our industries, and I am not quite satisfied with the Government-

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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Hear, hear.

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UNION

Donald Nicholson

Unionist

Mr. NICHOLSON:

That is a little comfort to my hon. friends opposite. I maintain that the Government ought to impose a high enough rate of duty to prevent United States goods from coming in here as much as they do. At the present time, too many articles of United States manufacture are being imported into this country, and I would impose a higher duty. I claim that this Government made a mistake when they took $31,000,000 off customs duties. I would not have taken off a dollar.

Did they gain any support by their action? Not at all, and I contend that if they had taken off $150,000,000, they would not have gained any support. I ask my hon. friends to consider the situation in all seriousness. We have to raise $400,000,000 and the question is: How is that amount going to be raised? A prominent member of the Agrarian party suggested the imposition of a land tax; but when he got down into Ontario, Quebec and the lower provinces, he found that the people did not want that; that they wanted to preserve the fiscal policy that is at present in force. When the people of the lower provinces and the people of the West consider the situation, they will ask: "How are you going to raise the revenue?" At the present time we get $160,000,000 from customs, so much from excise duties and so much from income tax, and I hope more will be raised next year from the income tax. To take the duty only off agricultural implements would be selfish on the part of loyal Canadians, and if you take off the $100,000,000, give us your alternative and then we shall know where we are. I listened carefully to all hon. gentlemen who have spoken in this debate to find what alternative there was for raising the revenue that must be raised, but not a suggestion did I hear.

The other evening I listened with great interest to the hon. member for St. Hya-cinthe (Mr. Gauthier), who has weighed this matter carefully and who has been a responsible public man for a number of years. He cannot see eye to eye with the Opposition in their policy, with the "snatcher" party, the Liberal party. He boldly stands up here and takes his political life in his hands, acting in the interest of this country, and I am sorry to say that one of his former confreres designated him a traitor. The hon. gentleman who made that remark is a student of history, a great admirer of Liberalism. The great Gladstone, when he first came into public life, was recognized as the fond hope of the unbending Tories, and surely my hon. friends opposite will not say that he was a traitor. It is time to cut out that sort of thing, and I may say that I consider the hon. member for St. Hyacinthe, in the stand that he took, was a Daniel; he stood alone; he "dared to be a Daniel," and I believe the people of his province will eventually realize that he has taken a proper course in that regard.

I do not want to speak with regard to any particular province at all; I am a Canadian; but I just want to say to hon. gentlemen

\

opposite that they have been playing the political baby and crying that the Tories have ben insulting them. I have been in this House for ten years, and I have never heard an hon. gentleman on this side use an improper word towards a French Canadian; that is, for political purposes. I might go further and tell something which has happened, but perhaps it is better to leave such matters alone. From the Atlantic to the Pacific we are, and should be, Canadians in our endeavour to build up this great country, and I regret it very much if in this chamber things have been said that should not have been said. The hon. member for Maple Creek (Mr. Maharg) in his recent speech, told us what the people of Saskatchewan had done in connection with the war, and I know that they have been loyal and good Canadians.

I have travelled in the West, and I do not fear but that there will be an overwhelming majority against the fiscal policy announced by the present Opposition. I have been in the constituency represented by the Secretary of State, the Hon. Mr. Sifton, and I know there are opportunities there for manufacturing that are not to be found in any other part of Canada. Hon. gentlemen opposite talk about the excessive prices paid for farm machinery. Why, you can make farm machinery right there; the rates are in your favour, and farm machinery will be made there some day. It is all very well for men to complain of hardships, but every province has hardships. The province of Nova Scotia has hardships. She has not enough protection.

I am sure my hon. friend from Cape Breton North and Victoria (Mr. McKenzie) thinks we have not enough protection. Coal, for instance, is not protected nearly as much as it ought to be.

With hon. gentlemen opposite it is the same old story. They have one story for Nova Scotia, another for Saskatchewan, and another for Alberta.

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L LIB
UNION

Donald Nicholson

Unionist

Mr. NICHOLSON:

The "Snatcher"

party. They have a different speech for every province. We on this side stand on solid ground. We stand by the policy of 1878, the National Policy that was inaugurated by Sir John A. Macdonald. There may be modifications in the tariff; I hope there will be, but that is the policy we stand by in every part of the country, and I am confident that when there is an election the party now in power will be returned on that policy. Hon. gentlemen may sneer

at the Tory party, but I can tell them that if it were not for the Tory party they would not have a Winnipeg or a Calgary to-day. Hon. gentlemen may laugh at that, but I am old enough to remember the time when the Liberals bitterly opposed the building of a railroad out there. Everything that was done for the west was initiated by the Liberal-Conservative party of this country, although in saying that I do not wish to belittle what was done in the fifteen years of Liberal administration under the late Sir Wilfrid Laurier. Things went along those fifteen years until in 1911, he proposed a change in the fiscal policy of this country, and I think but for that he would have been returned to power.

I come from a farming county, the best county in Canada. We produce more mixed farm produce than any other county. We are not raisers of wheat, but we go in for mixed farming, and the farmers in our county work fifteen hours a day; there is no eight-hour day for them. I am pleased to say that we have in the home market the greatest market. Hon. gentlemen opposite do not like that, but it is true. The home market has done a lot for the people of this country. I have travelled from one end of Canada to the other, and know something about the conditions, and what the National Policy has done for us, and I know that the people in the Southern States of America would give a lot to have the privileges that we have, that is, a national policy of their own. I know there are a lot of Tories in the province of Quebec who think as I do on this question. In fact, they were the missionaries that started this propaganda for protection. They have benefitted by it, and they are ' not going to turn it down. I believe my hon. friend from St. Hyacinthe, will have the backing of thousands of people who loyally supported Sir Wilfrid Laurier, because, as my hon. friend says he retained the old policy and protection.

' In conclusion, Mr. Speaker, let me say that we are all Canadians. Let us tolerate one another, and cut out all this sectarianism and everything of that sort. I am somewhat older than most of the members here and I say that my hon. friend from Dorchester (Mr. Cannon) will regret making the speech he did to-night. It is a very improper speech to make to a mixed audience. However, he is young, and may learn. He may be a minister of the Crown some day but before that time comes he must moderate his views very considerably, and he must not think so badly of our

friends from Ontario as he does at the present time. I thank the members of this House and you Mr. Speaker for your patient hearing.

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UNION

Edgar Nelson Rhodes (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Unionist

Mr. SPEAKER:

Perhaps I should say before submitting the amendment to the amendment that it is a well recognized rule that an amendment must amend; in other words, it shall not be a negative of the motion sought to be amended. The authorities are quite clear that if the word "that" in the original motion is left, this leaves sufficient of such motion to make the amending motion technically in order. The amendment to the amendment as submitted, while perhaps technically in order, does not convey the meaning which undoubtedly the mover had in mind, inasmuch as if it were construed to apply to the first word "that" it would hardly be intelligent. It seems to me that under the circumstances it would be far wiser if it were understood that the motion had reference to the second "that" of the amendment. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the amendment to the amendment?

Amendment to the amendment (Mr. Campbell) negatived.

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WAYS AND MEANS


(The list of Pairs is furnished by the Chief Whips.) Messieurs Loggie, Borden, McGregor, Stewart (Lanark), Crothers, Richardson, Hughes, Rowell. Maclean, A.K. Clark (Red Deer), Maharg, Kennedy (Glengarry ), Reid (McKenzie), Buchanan, Knox, Boivin. On motion of Sir Henry Drayton (Minister of Finance) it was ordered that the House do on Monday next resolve itself into a committee to consider of the Ways and Means for raising Supply to be granted to His Majesty. On the motion of Rt. Hon. Mr. Meighen the House adjourned at 4.35 a.m.


L LIB

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

Laurier Liberal

Mr. DEPUTY SPEAKER:

I was paired with the hon. member for Durham (Mr. Rowell). Had I not been so paired I would have followed my usual custom and voted for the amendment.

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L LIB

John Patrick Molloy

Laurier Liberal

Mr. MOLLOY:

I was paired with the hon. Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Tolmie). Had I voted I would have voted for the amendment.

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PRO

Michael Clark

Progressive

Mr. M. CLARK (Red Deer):

I was

paired with the right hon. member for Kings (Sir Robert Borden). Had I voted I would have voted for the amendment.

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PRO

John Archibald Maharg

Progressive

Mr. MAHARG:

I was paired with the hon. member for Pictou (Mr. McGregor). Had I voted I should have voted for the amendment.

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UNI L

John Flaws Reid

Unionist (Liberal)

Mr. J. F. REID:

I was paired with the hon. member for West Elgin (Mr. Crothers). Had I voted I would have voted for the amendment.

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PRO

Andrew Knox

Progressive

Mr. KNOX:

I was paired with the hon. member for Victoria, Ontario (Sir Sam Hughes). Had I voted I would have voted for the amendment.

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March 3, 1921