May 11, 1921

UNION

Robert James Ball

Unionist

Mr. BALL:

,

1. Did the Post Office Inspector of the Montreal district visit Madame Boucher on the date of her dismissal as Postmistress of Pierreville?

2 If so, did he say to her on that occasion, "that she had served the Crown and the public faithfully for twenty-five years; but here are my orders from the Postmaster General. Hand me your keys and your equipment. You are dismissed as Postmistress." *

3. Did he give her any reason for her dismissal ?

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   POSTMISTRESS OF PIERREVILLE
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UNION

Right Hon. Mr. DOHERTY: (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Unionist

1. Yes, the Pierreville office was visited by the assistant inspector.

2. No.

3. Yes, that she had allowed outsiders to handle mail contrary to regulations, which she admitted.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   POSTMISTRESS OF PIERREVILLE
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STB. ROSE DE WATFORD-MAIL CONTRACT

L LIB

Mr. CANNON:

Laurier Liberal

1. Wh-o has the nontract for the transportation of mail from the station at the village of Ste. Rose de Watford, in the county of Dorchester?

2. How many times daily is the mail carried?

3. Has the number of trips been decreased* of late?

4. If so, why?

5. What is the amount of the contract?

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UNION

Right Hon. Mr. DOHERTY: (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Unionist

1. Jean Lacasse.

2. Once daily with one additional trip on Saturdays.

3 and 4. Yes. The former frequency was found to be in excess of actual requirements, seven trips per week being a sufficient frequency to meet the postal needs of the locality.

5. Seven hundred dollars per annum.

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JUDGE SNIDER'S REPORT


On the Orders of the Day:


IND

Angus McDonald

Independent

Mr. ANGUS McDONALD (Timiskam-ing) :

I should like to ask the right hon. Prime Minister when we may expect Judge Snider's report.

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UNION

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

Unionist

Right Hon. ARTHUR MEIGHEN (Prime Minister) :

The commissioner has not notified the Government of any date when the report will be submitted. So far as the Secretary of State knows, to whose department the report will come, it has not yet been submitted.

' THE BUDGET

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DEBATE CONTINUED ON THE ANNUAL STATEMENT PRESENTED BY THE MINISTER OF FINANCE


The House resumed from Tuesday, May 10,'the debate on the motion'of Hon. Sir Henry Drayton (Minister of Finance), that Mr. Speaker do now leave the Chair for the House to go into Committee of Ways and Means, and the proposed amendment thereto- of Hon. W. S. Fielding.


UNION

Charles Colquhoun Ballantyne (Minister of Marine and Fisheries; Minister of the Naval Service)

Unionist

Hon. C. C. BALLANTYNE (Minister of Marine and Fisheries):

Mr. Speaker, I am sure that the very able Budget presented to the House by my colleague the hon. Minister of Finance (Sir Henry Drayton) will receive very general approval throughout the country, and I have been very much gratified to hear the warm words of commendation that have fallen from hon. members on both sides of the House who have so far taken part in this debate.

I do not intend to refer in any great detail to the Budget, but one or two salient features of it will, I am sure, appeal to hon. members and to the people generally. The revenues for last year exceeded the ordinary expenses, including all pensions and current war charges by $69,400,000, and exceeded the sum total of the ordinary expenses, together with the regular charges to capital and war, by $12,298,000. I am sure hon. members will agree with me that, considering the very trying year the country has passed through, special thanks are due to our able minister for the skilful manner in which he has looked after the national finances, particularly in view of the very significant fact that he has been able to do so without any fresh borrowings. Another very gratifying feature is that our revenue for the year 1920-21 exceeded that of the previous fiscal year by the large sum of $83,000,000.

I recognize, Sir, that great freedom of debate is allowed to hon. members when speaking on the Budget, but I must say that the hon. member for Brome (Mr. McMaster) last night exceeded, in my humble opinion at any rate, the usual bounds of courtesy and failed to maintain that high standard of debate which is associated with our deliberations when he took up the time of this House by reading imaginary letters evolved from his peculiarly fertile brain. If the hon. member in taking this course had refrained from connecting the names of ministers of the Crown holding two of the most important portfolios in the Government, no one in this House would have taken any exception to the playful diversion that appears to appeal to the hon. member in writing imaginary letters. But I want to say that your Honour very properly described the action of the hon. member last night when you reminded him that it was in very bad taste.

I am sorry that the hon. member is not in his seat at the present time. I am satisfied that he had an ulterior motive when he wrote those imaginary letters. I do not consider that it was either good taste or good political tactics for the hon. member to weave together the letter of the hon. Minister of Customs and Inland Revenue (Mr. Wigmore), the reply of the right hon. Prime Minister, (Mr. Meighen) and his imaginary letter that was supposed to have been written by me as Minister of Marine and Fisheries to my colleague the Minister of Public Works (Mr. McCurdy). I can imagine that when the

general election is on certain politicians of a peculiar type will take care on the hustings all over the country to say: If you

will turn to the pages of Hansard you will find first of all the letter of the Minister of Customs, then the reply of the right hon. Prime Minister, and also a letter written by the Minister of Marine and Fisheries to the Minister of Public Works. And what will follow? The usual declaration, that these men occupying the treasury benches are making an unfair use of their power in trying to influence business to the companies that they may happen to be connected with.

I find it difficult, Sir, to keep within the bounds of parliamentary language in referring to an incident that has never before occurred in this House, and I am sure will never be repeated. Aside from the hon. member for Brome, I do not think there is a single gentleman in this House who would have invented such an imaginary letter and placed it on the pages of Hansard. It is true that I am a director of various companies, and I have on a previous occasion stated to this House that I have no apology to make for holding those positions, for necessarily a business man must be a member of several boards of directors. But I want to point out to my hon. friend from Brome that two of the companies that he credits me in this imaginary letter with being a director of are companies in which I have no such control. Therefore his imagination led him astray in this instance. Sir, I have already taken up too much of the valuable time of this House in referring to the tactics of my hon. friend from Brome. Such tactics are beneath the contempt of every hon. member, and therefore I shall refrain from making any further allusion to them.

In connection with this incident, however, Mr. Speaker, I think it is the duty of this House to so amend the rules that in the future we may have no recurrence of this practice of producing imaginary letters. As I have already stated, I do not know of any other hon. member who would be so lacking in good taste as to follow in the steps of the hon. member for Brome, but at the same time the rules of the House should not allow such imaginary letters to be officially recorded on the pages of Hansard with the names of ministers of the Crown attached thereto.

Now, Sir, I desire to pass from that to the remarks of the hon. member for Shelburne and Queen's (Mr. Fielding). No

man holds the hon. member for Shelburne and Queen's in higher esteem than I do; he is a man very highly thought of in this blouse and throughout the country. There was a time when he and I could see eye to eye on the matter of the tariff, but in these days our views are, of course, totally divergent/

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L LIB

Ernest Lapointe

Laurier Liberal

Mr. LAPOINTE:

Hear, hear.

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UNION

Charles Colquhoun Ballantyne (Minister of Marine and Fisheries; Minister of the Naval Service)

Unionist

Mr. BALLANTYNE:

The hon. member for Quebec East .says, "Hear, hear." But I want to say, Mr. Speaker, that my views have not changed; those of the hon. member for Shelburne and Queen's have. I was somewhat amused to hear the veteran statesman, speaking officially for hon. gentlemen opposite, voice his disappointment that the Government had not seen fit to revise the tariff, and express the view that a general revision should have taken place at this session. I was reminded of the speeches of my hon. friend the leader of the Opposition (Mr. Mackenzie King). I recall, as all hon. gentlemen do, his statements in this House and outside of the House that the Government hold no mandate from the people; that we have no right to change the tariff. Yet in his speech yesterday the hon. member for Shelburne and Queen's expressed deep regret at the decision of the Government not to make any general revision of the tariff.

I was surprised also at the remarks made by the hon. member for Shelburne and Queen's with regard to free trade. As was evident to every hon. member -on this side, he skilfully baited his hook with the very best bait he could get and dangled it for some time in front of our friends of the Agrarian group. He said: "I am a free trader as far as theory goes." He appealed to them and said: "You think you are free traders, but you are not. What is the use of thinking any longer that you are a free trade group? After all, there is a great similarity between the Agrarian party in this House and the party to which I belong." But Sir, I find it difficult to reconcile the arguments of the hon. member for Shelburne and Queen's with the speeches that have been delivered in this House and outside by the hon. member for Marquette (Mr. Crerar), leader of the Agrarian party and by the hon. member for Red Deer (Mr. Clark). Every one will agree that the hon. member for Red Deer is an out-and-out free trader. He has never hidden his light under a bushel; in this House and everywhere he speaks he

says that he.is a pronounced free trader of the Cobden type. The leader of the Agrarian party, the hon. member for Marquette, is equally a pronounced free trader, except that he is of a somewhat more prudent turn of mind; instead of cutting off the heads of the protectionist voters in this country at one fell swoop he is in favour of a slow, lingering death. But so far as the abolition of protection is concerned his views are identical with those of the hon. member for Red Deer. I need not dwell further on that subject; we accept the free trade sentiments so eloquently expressed by the hon. member for Red Deer and by the hon. member for Marquette, and we realize that if they ever reach power they will wipe out every vestige of protection and carry out the policies that they have enunciated. But, Sir, the hon. member for Shelburne and Queen's made another statement yesterday which differs a little from the views which he has enunciated in the past. Referring to the establishment of new industries and the investment of new capital in this country, he said:

If there are any people In Canada who are contemplating the establishment of new lines of business in which they feel that tariff protection is necessary, I do them a friendly service when I say: "Don't do it," because anybody who counts upon the continuance of a protective policy is bound to find that he is pursuing a delusion. If any outside capitalist purposes coming to Canada to start some industry which he believes can only be kept alive by protection, again, I advise him not to come. I say, Sir, that the policy of indiscriminate fostering of industries in that way, without regard to economic conditions, is not a sound one.

Those are the words of the hon. member for Shelburne and Queen's, speaking in this House yesterday. But let us look at the words to which he gave utterance when speaking on the Budget on May 18, 1920. His remarks will be found on page 2505 of Hansard of that year. Here is what he had to say then about infant industries:

Now, I would be always willing to help an infant industry if I were sure that when the infant grew up it would accept the full responsibility of manhood.

Further on he says:

I repeat, I would willingly help an infant industry, and as between protection and bounties, I think I would prefer the bounties.

I think all will agree that the views of the hon. member as expressed last year on the Budget, so far as new industries are concerned, are diametrically opposed to those which he now expresses. I have very

often heard hon. gentlemen who compose the Agrarian group say that they are against the policy of protection but that a still more vicious system is that of bounties; yet the hon. member for Shelburne and Queen's stated last year in this House that he was in favour of bounties. Then he went on to point out-and I do not disagree with him-the beneficial results which accrued through the granting of bounties to the iron and steel industry by the government of which he was a member.

The policy of the party to which I have the honour to belong is well-known; under our young, able, progressive, and distinguished leader we stand four-square in this House and from the Atlantic to the Pacific on the policy of moderate protection. We believe in a policy that will not only keep all the industries going which we now have, but will induce new capital to come to this country. We favour the establishment of all the new industries that it is possible for us to induce to come here. They will be treated fairly. We will not give them a tariff "as high as Haman's gallows," nor do we stand for or believe in free trade. But we do believe in the policy of moderate protection, and so long as we occupy the seats of office we will do our very best to encourage new industries to come in. And I know of no country which offers the same golden opportunities to capital and to business men as this country in which we have the good fortune to live. Especially is that true with regard to my own province. We have a quiet, law-abiding people; we have a splendid labour market; we have good water-powers. While all the provinces of Canada offer excellent opportunities for the establishment of new industries, there is none better than the good old province of Quebec that I have the honour to represent in this House.

The hon. member for Shelburne and Queen's expressed regret that the Government had . accepted from Great Britain the free gift of one modern oil-burning light cruiser, two destroyers and two submarines. He went on to state that, in these days of peace and in view of the sentiment of the country in favour of economy-which he thought was not being exercised by the Government, but which is-we were not warranted in accepting these ships from the Mother Country. He stated that they were a white elephant on the hands of the Government and the people of Canada. I stated very plainly in this House last year, and I reiterate

the statement now, that we are not increasing, nor have we increased, the naval expenditure of this country by one copper. We are carrying out, as regards naval affairs, the policy that was placed upon the statute books of Canada by the passing of the Naval Service Act in the year 1910. What did we do? We said that it would not be right to continue to spend a sum of money equal to what we are spending now (two and a half million dollars) on old, obsolete ships-the old Niobe, thirty years of age, tied up to the dock at Halifax, not able to go to sea, costing the people of this country $450,000 a year; and the Rainbow, another ship twenty-five years old, also absolutely obsolete, tied up to the dock at Esquimalt, costing this country $275,000 a year. This Government saw fit to reorganize the naval service and we have done so; we have put it on an efficient basis; we have done away with 782 naval ratings and civilians that we did not need. We have done all without a single increase in expenditure. Where, then, does the "white elephant" come in? The "white elephant" would have come in if we had continued to spend the money, which we are now spending on a small efficient navy, by keeping these old obsolete ships at Halifax and Esquimalt. Therefore, while some hon. members think the naval question may be of political advantage throughout the country, I want to make it very clear this afternoon that we are carrying out the policy that was put on the statute book in 1910. We are not increasing the naval expenditure by one dollar. We have accepted, as a free gift from the Mother Country-and we thank her for it-the splendid new modern ships that she has given us. While our navy is small, and while I think we are spending a sufficient amount of money at the present time on the Naval Service, this Parliament and the people have the satisfaction of knowing that what we have is a credit to the country and efficient in every way, and that instead of our having a "white elephant" on our hands by accepting these ships, the reverse is the case. We would have had a "white elephant" on our hands had we carried on the inefficient, poor service that we had and the obsolete ships that were lying at the docks of Halifax and Esquimalt.

I will refer just for a moment to our Agrarian friends-I prefer the name "Agrarian"; I do not favour calling hon. members opposite the Farmers' party, because we are aware that the large major-

ity of farmers in this country from coast to coast do not share the radical ideas of hon. members of that party who sit in this House. Therefore, any remarks that I have to make this afternoon, I want it very clearly understood, apply to the radical Agrarian group that is in this House and the people, especially in the western provinces, who follow that group. The large majority of farmers of this country want stable government; they want a moderate policy of protection, and hon. members will ascertain that in a more convincing way when the general elections take place.

Topic:   DEBATE CONTINUED ON THE ANNUAL STATEMENT PRESENTED BY THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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L LIB

Frank S. Cahill

Laurier Liberal

Mr. CAHILL:

When will they take

place?

Topic:   DEBATE CONTINUED ON THE ANNUAL STATEMENT PRESENTED BY THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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UNION

Charles Colquhoun Ballantyne (Minister of Marine and Fisheries; Minister of the Naval Service)

Unionist

Mr. BALLANTYNE:

I know the hon.

member is not in any hurry for the elections.

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L LIB

Frank S. Cahill

Laurier Liberal

Mr. CAHILL:

Yes, I am.

Topic:   DEBATE CONTINUED ON THE ANNUAL STATEMENT PRESENTED BY THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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UNION

Charles Colquhoun Ballantyne (Minister of Marine and Fisheries; Minister of the Naval Service)

Unionist

Mr. BALLANTYNE:

If my hon. friend will possess his soul in patience,. I will promise him an election probably in the year 1923, and possibly in the fall of 1922.

I am glad to see the hon. member for Marquette (Mr. Crerar) in his seat. I always read his speeches with a great deal of interest and I entertain a very high regard for him. I have the famous policy of the Agrarian party in my hand, and I read there a severe condemnation of the protective tariff. The leader of the Agrarian party, of course, wants to wipe out the tariff; but for the information of hon. members and of the country, because the farmers of this country are taking a keen interest in public affairs now, and while they know what policy this party to the right of the Speaker stands for, they are anxious to know how the hon. member for Marquette proposes to make up the revenue of $163,000,000 that we now derive from customs duty, after he has wiped away every vestige of protection, I hope, when he speaks on the Budget in this House, he will explain how he proposes to raise that amount of revenue. It is only a business proposition that I am putting up to-him that he should give the House that information. I recognize that, a couple of years ago, he had some ways and means that he has now discarded entirely. We do not hear any more from the hon. member for Marquette about a land tax, neither do we hear anything from him about succession dues. Therefore, when he rises to speak, as he surely will, on this Budget, I know that he will endeavour to tell the

House how he proposes to get the revenue to take care of the expenditure of the country, and particularly the revenue of $163,000,000 at present derived from the customs tariff. When the hon. member for Marquette was speaking on the address in reply to the speech from the Throne, I heard him make a very extraordinary statement. He said that to his mind there was no reason why the manufacturers of Canada in like business should not compete with the manufacturers of the United States. Being a business man like himself, I was interested and somewhat surprised to hear him make that most extraordinary statement. The hon. member knows that if we had in this country a market of 110,000,000 people, if our turnover was as great as the turnover of similar industries in the United States, of course, Canadians would be able to compete successfully with our American neighbours. But the hon. member for Marquette must know that when an industry is in operation, the cost of production depends upon the turnover. Therefore, it is a very unfair statement to make that Canadian manufacturers, with a limited market, with keen competition, in a country with a population of less than 9,000,000 people and an output so much smaller than that of our American friends, should be able to compete with American manufacturers on even terms. The tariff policy for Canada is the one enunciated by the right hon. the Prime Minister. We want to maintain a moderate protective tariff. The United States since the Civil War has maintained, not a moderate protective tariff, but a very high protective tariff. On this side of the House we are not in favour of a high tariff, but we believe that to make Canada great, in agriculture, in mining, in finance, in manufacturing, and all the other vocations of life, we must maintain a moderate protective tariff in this country. That tariff is not intended solely for, and does not serve only, those who are engaged in dustrial life; it serves equally every citizen of Canada, no matter what his vocation in life may be.

I pass from our Agrarian friends to the hon. leader of the Opposition (Mr. Mackenzie King). We have heard enunciated on more than one occasion the fiscal policy on which the hon. gentleman was elected leader of his party at the National Liberal Convention in this city in August, 1919, but for the sake of continuity in my remarks I crave the indulgence of the House while I place that fiscal policy on the pages of Hansard. It is as follows:

That the best interests of Canada demand that substantial reductions of the burdens of Customs taxation be made with a view to the accomplishing of two purposes of the highest importance: First: diminishing the very high cost of living which presses so severely on the masses of the people; Second: reducing the cost of the instruments of production in the industries based on the natural resources of the Dominion, the vigorous development of whidh is essential to the progress and prosperity of our country.

That, to these ends, wheat, wheat flour and all products of wheat; the principal articles of food; farm implements and machinery; farm tractors, milling, flour and saw-milll machinery and repair parts thereof; rough and partly dressed lumber; gasoline, illuminating, lubricating and fuel oils; nets, net-twines and fishermen's equipments; cement and fertilizers, should be free from Customs duties, as well as the raw material entering into the same.

That a revision downwards of the tariff should be made whereby substantial reductions should be effected in the duties on wearing tupparel and footwear, and on other articles of general consumption (other than luxuries), as well as on the raw material entering into the manufacture of the same.

That the British preference be increased to 50 per cent of the general tariff

And the Liberal Party hereby pledges itself to implement by legislation the provision of this resolution When returned to power.

I think it is only fair that when the hon. leader of the Opposition rises in his place in this House to speak on the Budget, he should tell us in very clear terms that he absolutely stands behind this platform on which he was elected. On this side of the House we also expect hon. gentlemen opposite to get up in turn and say that they stand for this fiscal policy that I have just read. Let us for a moment just look at what would happen if such a misfortune . occurred as hon. gentlemen opposite being returned to power. Business is extremely depressed at the present time.

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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Hear, hear.

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UNION

Charles Colquhoun Ballantyne (Minister of Marine and Fisheries; Minister of the Naval Service)

Unionist

Mr. BALLANTYNE:

I am glad, in a

way, to hear my hon. friends say, "hear, hear." There is a special reason for business being depressed at the present time. All business men know that we are now in this year 1921, for the first time in the readjustment period for business since the war. Every manufacturer, every wholesaler, every retailer, throughout this country has large stocks of raw material and finished goods on hand. These goods could he replaced to-day at half their original cost, and consequently business men are not going to make very much profit, if any at all, this year. Then the stocks which had become depleted throughout the world )iave been replenished, and as a consequence Canada, in common with all other nations

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May 11, 1921