the hon. member for Assiniboia (Mr. Gould), in answer to a question asked by a member on this side of the House, said he considered that any company that made over 30 per cent profit on capital was profiteering. The hon. member for Assiniboia, I think, is a shareholder in this company, although he may not be a director, and I should like to know what he thinks of these profits of 66 per cent, 44 per cent, and 130 per cent in his own company. In 1912, the, company had a capital of $586,000, and, so far as I can ascertain, they had no reserve. But in 1918, the capital was more than $2,159,000. The reserve in that year was $1,898,282. During this period of six years the company paid to the Farmers' Organization for political propaganda purposes the sum of $82,200, and invested, in the export company, dividends to the extent of $375,000, thus making total earnings, above expenses, and 10 per cent on capital of some $2,355,982, which is more than 100 per cent on their capital of 1918, and 325 per cent on the original capital of 1912.
That is a very good showing, and proves that the company is a very successful concern. But these items represent surplus earnings during these six years which have been taken out of the pockets of the people who do business with them. The people who do business with the company are not all shareholders and do not participate in the 10 per cent dividend, and the company is not what it claims to be, a philanthropic concern doing business for the benefit of the people of the country, because they are taking out of the pockets of the people more than is necessary to run their business. I think, strictly speaking, this surplus belongs to the shareholders of the company hut it is held by the directors, and cannot be paid out unless the company is wound up.
Now, Sir, I think it is obvious that this company is a cold business corporation doing business for profit in competition with other corporations and individuals in this country, and is by no means a philanthropic concern as hon. members on the other side claim. Their operations may have the effect of reducing the cost of living to a certain extent, but, if they do, it is in the same way as any other corporation in the open market may be said to reduce the cost of living to the Consumer as a result of competition. The organization department consists of the
10 p.m. United Farmers of Alberta, the Saskatchewan Grain Growers'
Association, and the Manitoba Grain Growers' Association which, in the words of Mr. Rice-Jones, " is the educational and legislative end of the farmers' end of the association." The Grain Growers' Guide is the mouthpiece of this organization department and is the medium used to educate the people. Grants amounting to $82,500, were made to these different branches during the years preceding and including 1917. '
I wish to draw attention to another circumstance. Some years ago the company conceived the idea, which was a very useful one, of organizing what is called the Canadian Council of Agriculture for the purpose of bringing all these variotis associations and joint stock companies into one organized body for the purpose of increasing the benefits to themselves, of getting better markets for their grain, and of getting legislation through the parliaments of the western provinces of the Dominion, favourable to themselves. I do not quarrel with that. They had a perfect right to do so, and if the farmers by such an organization could improve their conditions, I am in favour of it. This Canadian Council of Agriculture is composed of executive officers and the following associations: The United Farmers of Alberta, the Alberta Co-operative Elevator Company, the Saskatchewan Grain Growers' Association, the Saskatchewan Co-operative Elevator Company, the Manitoba Grain Growers' Association, the Grain Growers' Grain' Company, the Grain Growers' Guide, and the United Farmers of Ontario, the United Farmers' Co-operative Company, of Ontario, representing 65,000 farmers distributed over the Canadian West and Ontario. The executive officers of these various companies and associations form the Canadian Council of Agriculture, which drafted the farmers' platform. The Canadian Council of Agriculture is the executive of the United Farmers' or Progressive party. I am not taking exception to that organization being the executive of their party. The leader of the Farmers' party (Mr. Crerar), is president of the Grain Growers' Grain Company. He is in the House as representative of the Independent Farmers' party and as representative of the Grain Growers' Grain Company. On March 25, 1919, the Council of Agriculture discussed the question whether or not they Should enter into politics. This matter must have been discussed on various occasions, but I refer to the year 1918, and a report of* that discussion will be found in their
annual report for that year. I might explain that apparently the company had sent a delegation to the United States to inquire into the farmer organizations there to see how they were getting along with their political work, and they were making a report I presume to the company. The report says:
One of the main reasons given by the officers of the organization in several of the states was that in our Canadian organization we have not mixed in politics but have used our strength to influence legislation that was in the interests of the farmer and the people of Canada in general, while they state in most of their organizations in the United States there has been an inclination to organize their associations into political associations taking an active part in politics. This fact has been more responsible for wrecking the farming organizations in the United States than anything else.
Then they go on to state:
In spite of the efforts of the organization to the south of us in the political field we can safely, state that more legislation favourable to farmers and in the interest of the people of Canada has been passed in the three western provinces than all the twelve states we visited.
That was the opinion of the Canadian Council of Agriculture in the fall of 1918; they came to the decision they had better not enter into politics. Yet in spite of that decision what have we witnessed? On March 25, the hon. member for Brome (Mr. MpMaster) introduced an amendment to the motion to go into Committee of Supply which proposed the acceptance of the Reciprocity Pact with the United States providing for free trade in foods, in natural products, and in agricultural implements. In speaking to that amendment the hon. member for Marquette (Mr. Crerar)-then the Minister of Agriculture in the Union Government-said this:
"If the amendment were accepted It would mean the overthrow of the Government and a general election, with all the necessary turmoil that woultj ensue. I say that it would mean the launching of this country into a general election, and that is not desirable at this stage. It is wholly undesirable for several reasons, which I do not need to enumerate. This amendment is introduced for no other reason than to embarrass the Government in carrying on the business of the country."
The hon member supported the Government at that time and voted against the amendment in order to prevent the Government from being defeated. If we examine the situation then we will see that the country had just come through the war, the demobilization of the army was well under way, reconstruction was well advanced, the country was at peace and everything was favourable. The Government was in a strong position, it had
a large majority in the House and apparently it was not the desire of the hon. member to oppose the Government and attempt to defeat it. But what do we find a couple of months later? On June 9, of the same year, the hon. member for Brome introduced his amendment of March 25, as an amendment to the Budget then brought down by the hon. ex-Minister of Finance, the hon. member for Leeds (Sir Thomas White.) But at that time the hon. member for Marquette was no longer a member of the Government and he voted for the amendment of the hon. member for Brome that he had voted against two months previously, in order that the country might be thrown into the turmoil of a general election, which he had stated, only two months before, was wholly undesirable.
The propositions introduced in that Budget went further in reducing the tariff on agricultural implements than the Fielding tariff had gone in fifteen years. It remitted seventeen and a half millions of customs taxation and imposed taxes on the wealthy; yet the hon. member for Marquette opposed all this and tried to force the country into a general election.
Now I wish to direct your attention, Mr. Speaker, to the coincidence of the resignation of the honourable member as Minister of Agriculture, the appearance of the Farmers' political party and the Winnipeg strike.
On May 15 a sympathetic strike involving ninety-five unions was called in the city of Winnipeg, resulting in a complete tie-up of business, a declaration of control over civic affairs and an effort to control provincial and federal employees. The object of the strikers was to control municipal government in the city of Winnipeg when sympathetic strikers in various cities of the Canadian West 'would take control of the Provincial Governments. The condition became so serious that revolution was threatened and the future of Canada was imperilled.
So serious was , the situation on June 2 that a resolution was moved in the House of Commons by the hon. member for North Winnipeg (Mr. Blake) for the purpose of discussing a matter of urgent public importance, namely, the strikes in Winnipeg and other Canadian cities. The hon. member for Kamouraska, in speaking to this resolution, said:
"This debate is one of the most extreme urgency. We have been criticised for not having already discussed in the House this alarming situation."