May 18, 1921

UNION

John Frederick Johnston

Unionist

Mr. JOHNSTON:

When the House rose at 6 o'clock I had asked to put on Hansard a report issued by the Soldiers' Settlement Board, giving a summary of the operations of that Board up to January 31, of this year. That report shows:

Number of veterans applied for privileges of Act 58,276

Number accepted as qualified to farm. . 42,285Number qualified, but not yet located. 22,254

Number in training under supervision

of Board 781

Number completed training 1,579

The loans to these men were as follows:

Number granted loans 20,231

Amount of loans approved. $82,043,414 Amount of loans disbursed. 73,711,558 Initial Payments on land

purchased 3,869,159

Number liable for repayments Nov 1,. 12,507Number who made repayments

9,355

(or 74.8 p. c.)

Amount of money due at

Nov. 1 2,323,582

Amount repaid 1,634,972

(or 70.4 p. c.

Number who have repaid all loans in

full 320

You will notice, Sir, that the number liable for repayment at November 1, was 12,507.

Adjustments

Number of failures and changes of owner

ship adjusted 179

Amount invested In these farms. $635,484 Amount realized in re-sale of

farm equipment 637,347

The report goes on to give the area of soldiers' land, the stock, equipment, etc. I wish to bring this matter to the attention of the House for the purpose of showing just how much these soldier farmers will be called upon to pay of the new taxes imposed under this Budget. The minister expects to raise $62,000,000 by this increase in the sales taxes. This would mean about $7 per capita, putting our population at between 8,000,000 and 9,000,000. Now, we have put 20,231 returned men on the land. Multiply this by seven-the per capita tax -and you have $141,617. I think it would be fair to assume that there would be three members in each family, and that would mean a total taxation of $424,851, which the returned men whom we have put on the land would have to pay, or $21 per family. Let us follow this a little further and see what it means. We are charging these returned men 5 per cent for the money we have loaned them. It will be seen, however, that the amount taken from them by the sales tax would more than equal the interest on $8,000,000, and I submit that this extra amount could very well have been used by these men who are trying to establish themselves upon the, land. The figures I have given do not take into account the pyramiding of the taxes which is bound to take place. If this were done, the amount I have mentioned would be at least doubled, and I think that this is a concrete example of the way in which the protective tariff works. I am sure it must make the manufacturers of the country feel like real patriots to know that they have shifted the burden to the backs of the returned men. I suppose, however, when the next election comes

around we may expect to find these barons of special privilege going around waving the flag and calling every one disloyal who votes against them and their party.

I have pointed out, Mr. Speaker, that in my opinion there is little use of looking for any great development of the natural resources of Western Canada under existing conditions, and one of the things that are hearing heavily upon the western farmer to-day is the increase in freight rates. This increase put on last fall does hear very heavily upon the people of the western provinces, because everything that they use on their farms, or dispose of from those farms, has to be hauled great distances. The Prairie Provinces, through their Provincial Governments, have made representations to the Railway Commission and to the Government regarding this matter, and have protested as vigorously as possible. I desire to read the opinions expressed by one or two influential organizations upon this matter. I have here a clipping reporting a resolution passed at the sixtenth annual convention of the Saskatchewan Rural Municipalities Organization. This resolution reads:

Resolved that this Convention desires to protest in the strongest manner against the recent large and unreasonable increase of freight and express rates. The present high rates Trill result in making successful farming on the prairies difficult, if not impossible-

The opinion I have expressed, Mr. Speaker, that no great development in Western Canada can be looked for under existing conditions is borne out by this statement.

-and will retard indefinitely the further settling up of farm lands in Western Canada; and we further protest against the want of sympathy with the public, where railway matters are concerned, manifested by the Railway Commission ; and, further, that a copy of this resolution be forwarded to the Prime Minister of Canada.

The organization that fathered this resolution is representative of every municipality in the province of Saskatchewan. I have another clipping, dated Toronto, March 13, which reads as follows:

Delegates representing all the large stockyard centres in the Dominion attended a meeting of the Canadian Livestock Exchange here Saturday night, and the prevailing opinion expressed was that the high freight rates had a tendency to keep shippers from shipping to *the greater number of markets. Vice-President O. Attwell was delegated to confer with E. St Todd, of the Eastern Canada Livestock Exchange, with reference to Itfhe question of appearing before the Dominion Railway Doard with a request for a reduction of rates governing the shipment of livestock.

This matter, in my opinion, must receive immediate attention if the producers of Western Canada are going to be able to carry on with any degree of success.

Now, Sir, I desire to touch briefly upon another matter, and I offer some apology for bringing it to the attention of the House at this time, because it has already had some discussion in Parliament. I refer to the question of returning the natural resources to the Prairie Provinces. I did not avail myself of an opportunity to speak upon this subject when it was before the House on a previous occasion, but I wish to do so now as briefly as I can. The return of these natural resources to the Western Provinces is a matter that has been before this Parliament and the country for a number of years.

I believe it is in the best interests of the whole of Canada that these resources should be returned to the provinces for the very good reason that the provinces would develop them .much faster than the Dominion is doing. Furthermore-as was pointed out when this matter was specifically before the House-the Fathers of Confederation never intended that one part of Canada should be, as was termed at the time, "Crown colonies," while the rest of the country should have full autonomy. Besides that we had the direct promise of the ex-Prime Minister, the present member for King's, N.S. (Sir Robert Borden) in 1910 that if his party were returned to power he would return these resources to the Prairie Provinces; and we have had upon many occasions, the unanimous vote of the legislatures of the different provinces interested in favour of that course.

I submit that the other provinces, as provinces, have no claim in this matter at all other than that whatever case they have should be presented to this Parliament. Every one of those provinces has its representatives in the Federal Parliament and this is where the matter should 'be decided. In this connection let me read a short quotation from a speech delivered by the Hon. Mr. Turgeon to the legislature of Saskatchewan on November 23 last. On that occasion Mr. Turgeon said:

All the provinces of Canada are represented in the Federal Parliament. Each province as a province, sends so many members there, and one of the duties of each of these members is to look after the interests of his province and more particularly is this the duty of the Senate of Canada which was created and intended to he the custodian of Provincial rights; and if you look into its composition and how its numbers are allocated that fact is very much in evidence. All the provinces are represented in the Senate

and let some Government at Ottawa have sufficient courage to formulate a policy which will run the gauntlet of the Senate and Commons: in this manner only can the question be settled.

That is what we want. We want the Government of Canada to make up its mind as to what should be done, not after consulting the other provinces and waiting until they all agree on something, but on its own responsibility to the Parliament and the people of Canada. What is fair to us is to hand back our natural resources and to.fix what allowance we should continue to receive. If at the same time any province of Canada wishes to go to the Federal Parliament and say: "you have reopened the terms of confederation because you have reopened the constitution of one province" let Parliament settle with that province in the way best suited to that province. If Nova Scotia, for instance, thinks it should have an increased subsidy let i-t go to the Government of Canada and lay its case there.

That is our attitude and I see no hope for anything being done until the Government of Canada will take our attitude as the proper one, form iits own policy, bring it down and put it through.

That statement, I think, carries with it the opinion of the vast majority of the people of the province of Saskatchewan, and I can only add that I sincerely hope that something may be done in this regard in the near future.

Another matter that has been brought before the House, and to which I wish to make reference, is the proposal to send an ambassador to Washington. I am of the opinion that Canada should have a representative at Washington. I believe it is not only necessary but essential for us to have a representative there to look after our interests. There is also the matter of Canada appointing trade agents in the United States. I understand that the United States have over fifty of these agents in Canada. Well, Mr. Speaker, if the neighbouring republic hav'e seen fit to send some fifty trade agents into Canada to drum up business with eight or nine millions of people, it surely follows that it would be a sensible thing on the part of Canada to have at least a few trade agents in the United States where we have a chance of trading with one hundred and ten millions of people.

Returning to the question more particularly before the House, I believe that the strictest economy should be practised at the present time by this Government and by every spending body in Canada. I further believe that the Government might have effected a considerable saving in the Estimates which have been submitted to Parliament. The expenditure on the Trent and Welland canals and the dry-dock at Victoria could have been very materially reduced, to say nothing of the expenditure of over

$11,000,000 on the militia. A very considerable reduction could have been made in these votes without causing any harm to Oanada or the Canadian people. The expenditure of public money for the purpose of creating employment can be carried too far. I think we have had evidence that such a policy has been carried too far in Canada by the shipbuilding programme of the Minister of Marine. While speaking on this subject I would like to explain, in regard to some figures that I submitted to the House before six o'clock and which were questioned by the Minister of Militia (Mr. Guthrie), that the figures in question were quoted from the Budget, showing the consolidated revenue receipts and expenditure, of the Commonwealth of Australia for the year 1920-21. I wish to make that explanation to show that the figures were official.

There is another matter I wish to touch upon before closing. I hesitated to do so earlier in my remarks because the Prime Minister (Mr. Meighen) was absent from the chamber. He is present to-night and therefore I shall make the statement I had in contemplation. A day or two ago when the hon. member for Gloucester (Mr. Turgeon) was speaking, he said that the Prime Minister had alluded to the followers of the Farmers' party as wreckers and Bolshevists. The right hon. gentleman then asked the hon. member to do what the members of the Farmer's party had not done, support the statement by a-quotation from his speech. I do not happen to have the particular speech in question before me but I have a quotation from another speech. The Montreal Gazette of September 2, reports the Prime Minister as having used these words at Sherbrooke:

A new party has arisen i-n Canada, best described as "The Parmer Free Trade party." It took its birth in the Western Provinces and for some twelve years or more it has been gaining strength. It has adopted the old Liberal free trade policy of 1S93. It demands to be placed in power in Canada. It has gathered under its banner and trails behind it every class of theorist and malcontent, and to-day beyond all doubt it constitutes the most numerous and strongest organization opposed to the present Government.

I think the right hon. gentleman will not dispute this report of his remarks; it is taken from a newspaper that, I believe, would be very careful not to misquote him.

But I wish to draw the attention of the House to the closing words of this quotation :

It constitutes the most numerous and strongest organization opposed to the present Government.

In the face of that, Mr. Speaker, the right hon. gentleman in his address the other day termed this party, to which I have the honour to belong, a "dilapidated annex" of some other party. Such words coming from the Prime Minister are pretty hard to take, and in view of his statement that the supporters of this party are the most numerous and strongest of any organization opposing his Government, one may well wonder why he should attempt to be so sarcastic. I may be pardoned if I reply in kind and say that, if my party looks like a "dilapidated annex" to the right hon. gentleman, after the next general election I cannot think of any better term to describe the remnant that he may or may not then be the head of than to liken it to an exploded blister, and in all probability that remnant will be very easily accommodated in the few unoccupied seats in the most southeasterly part of the chamber next to the wall.

In conclusion, Mr. Speaker, let me say that the records of this House will show that I voted want of confidence in the Administration on the amendment to the Address at the beginning of this session, and I must confess that the Government has not improved in the meantime. Some hon. gentlemen opposite in a previous debate said that this Government-mark the expression, Sir, this Government-was elected in 1917. I said at the time that it was not elected at all but was manufactured in this city last July, and everything that has transpired since its formation confirms my view. I do not want to be unkind, but the fact of the matter is this Government wished itself on the people, and it has not the good sense to see that it is not wanted. Undoubtedly we should have had a general election long before this. For these and many other reasons, Sir, I purpose to vote for the amendment. I believe that the people want an opportunity to elect a government representing their views-a government with some sense of its responsibilities to the country, and an appreciation of the necessity of rigid economy in the expenditure of the public money at a time when the financial outlook is so serious.

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L LIB

Joseph Archambault

Laurier Liberal

Mr. J. ARCHAMBAULT (Chambly and Vercheres):

Mr. Speaker, I do not intend to enter into a general discussion of the Budget, or the 'relative merits or demerits of the fiscal policy of the Government. I have already given my opinion on the question in the course of other debates in this House, and it has been thoroughly discussed by many hon. members on both sides. But I shall take the opportunity of answering the statements made by some hon. members on your right, Sir, and of touching on a few points that have already been called attention to during the course of this debate.

First of all, I shall correct a wrong impression which has been conveyed through the subsidized press to the people regarding the financial operations of the fiscal year 1920-21; then I shall say something about economy,-the practice of which is totally ignored by the Government; I shall also deal with the worn out appeal that the Minister of Militia made in this House last week; then I shall answer the Prime Minister regarding the Grand Trunk speculation, and finally, I shall deal with the moral mentality of the Government, including their scandalous misuse of the Roumanian and Grecian loans in order to feed their hungry friends and keep them in line.

The subsidized press of Canada have tried to convey an impression to the people, by arithmetical and acrobatical arguments, that last year's operations closed with a surplus. In order to destroy that impression and to point out to the country the net result of those financial operations, I shall simply quote the words of the Minister of Finance himself, to be found at page 3,217 of unrevised Hansard. In Ms speech on May 9 last, he said:

The country's revenues have been well maintained. The revenue for the fiscal year when the accounts are finally closed will approximately reach $432,000,000-

This is for 1920-21. On the same page will be found this passage:

-The estimated expenditure for the year amounts to $533,368,077.-

Making it clear, Sir, that the deficit on last year's operations was $101,368,077. Furthermore, on the next page, as if to prove this fact, the Minister of Finance, speaking of the increase of the national debt, said:

As already stated, there have been no fresh borrowings. On the other hand, the debt has increased by the amount that the liquid surplus of the year before has been used, namely, $101,368,077.

These are plain figures without any frills or garniture, and when the people come to discuss the financial operations of last year they will find out that they resulted, as the minister implies, in a deficit to that extent.

Now, Sir, I purpose to devote a few minutes to the necessity for rigid economy

in our national expenditure. The estimated expenditure for this year is $591,-437,698-about $250,000,000 more than the total national debt in 1914. But the word "economy" has been deleted from the vocabulary of the Government, and the word "extravagance" with a capital "E" has taken its place.

When a firm or business concern i3 nearing the edge of the cliffs of bankruptcy, is it not common sense to say that the first thing to do is not to enhance \ prices to its customers, but to reduce the expenses of administration? That is the only hope of rescue. But what do we see here? Instead of curtailing expenditure the Government is increasing the taxes. The Government in this Budget is increasing the cost of living. It is true, Sir, that they do it in a camouflaged way; they do it by increasing the duties on goods imported from the United States through changes based upon the ratio of exchange. Every one in Canada will know when this Budget comes into force that he will have to pay more for goods coming from the United States. Instead of adopting this course the Government should have used the knife for the purpose of eradicating the gangrene of extravagant expenditure. There are many items in the Estimates that could be reduced; some of them could be altogether eliminated. I shall not go over all these items; it would take too long. But, Sir, I may mention some of the items on which expenditure could have been cut in two if not reduced by three-quarters. There is $500,000 for the Canada Temperance Act. There is $10,456,800 for the housing scheme. There is $80,000 for the Purchasing Commission, when it has been shown in this House that every department has its own purchasing agent, and that for these purchasing agents in the different departments the House is asked to vote the sum of $53,000. There is $200,000 for the Secretariat of the League of Nations. There is $5,165,000 for the Welland canal, and $854,000 for the Trent canal. There is $1,000,000 for the Toronto harbour-to make boulevards on which the millionaires of Toronto may drive. There is $1,250,000 for St. John harbour-probably to redeem an election promise. There is $2,500,000 for the naval service, *to take care of ships which, it has been stated by Lord Fisher, a great naval expert, will be obsolete in three or four years. There is an additional sum of $8.330,000 for ship building-we have already spent $70,000,000 on this item. I am sorry that the Minister of Marine (Mr. [Mr. Archambault.j

Ballantyne) is not ip his seat I hope he will be here later. We are spending $168,000,000 on the railways, $5,000,000 for a dock at Victoria, and $20,000,000 for militia, naval defence, and police.

Now, Sir, the Minister of Militia (Mr. Guthrie) during the course of his speech in this debate, made a comparison between the military and naval expenditures of Canada and those of certain other countries. The comparison which the minister makes in this regard is found at page 3383 of unrevised Hansard. He compares Canada to three classes of countries-European countries, South American countries, and British Dominions. Now, is it fair to compare the necessity for military expenditure in Canada with that of European countries which are practically still at war? Is it fair to compare the necessity for military expenditure in Canada with that of the South American republics, which are fighting together practically every day? And then, Sir, is it fair to compare the necessity for military expenditure in Canada with that of the other British Dominions? So far as Australia and New Zealand are concerned, these countries need a strong navy because they are isolated in the middle of the ocean and have to protect themselves from attacks on the part of Japan or other countries; the same need is not apparent in the case of Canada. Is it fair to compare the necessity for military expenditure in Canada with that of South Africa, where there is a large black population which is threatening that British Dominion, and ready to rise at any momoent? In my opinion, Mr. Speaker, this comparison made by the minister cannot stand.

The minister resorted to the old cry which has been used for five or six years, and especially during the last two or three years; he questioned the loyalty of the Opposition and their sympathy for the cause of the returned soldiers: In other words,

he made the inevitable answer which the Government make to any criticism that we may bring against them. Hon. gentlemen know what this insinuation is; it is an attempt to convey the idea that the Government alone have the monopoly of patriotism in this country and that the Opposition are antagonistic to the soldiers. Answering the leader of the Opposition (Mr. Mackenzie King); answering the hon. member for Shelburne and Queen's (Mr. Fielding) ; answering the hon. member for Quebec South (Mr. Power) who had contended that there was no necessity for training men at the present time because we had

a great number of trained men who had enlisted and who would in a case of emergency be useful for the protection of Canada, the minister, as reported at page 3386 of Hansard, made the following attack and insinuation:

What do these statements mean, Mr. Speaker? They mean simply this, that we have in Canada at this moment albout 400,000 of the most highly trained soldiers that the world has ever seen, men who have gone through the worst grilling in ibattle that the world has ever known. They have hared their breasts to the shot and shell of the enemy, they have taken their chances, they have done much to secure us who stayed at home in our lives, our homes and our liberties. And the message to those brave lads from the leader of the Opposition,' from his chief lieutenant who sits beside him, and from the hon. member for South Quebec means, if it means anything: We will be so penurious and so miserly that we will not spend any further money for military training, but if trouble come in the future we will call again on those brave souls to protect us. Surely, in the name of God, these men have earned some measure of relief, surely under high heaven one may honestly declare that these men have done their bit, their full bit, and are entitled to rest and to immunity while others are in training to take their places.

I will admit that it was a great temptation for the minister to endeavour to revive the falsehood that the Opposition has no sympathy for the returned soldier. The minister could not resist this temptation; but if the minister had given all the facts regarding this matter, his sentimental appeal would have fallen flat. If he had given to the House a very pertinent part of the evidence taken before the special committee which inquired into the Soldiers' Civil Re-establishment, if he had taken the opportunity of reading in this House what is said at page 456 of the report of that committee, he would have found out that, besides the brave boys who went overseas and risked their lives, besides those who were in the front trenches, besides those who went to Prance, there were 232,520 highly trained men who never saw the firing line, who never touched the soil of France or any other place where fighting was going on. This is what I read at page 456 of this report:

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L LIB

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

Laurier Liberal

The Chairman:

I desire to read to the committee a letter received by the secretary at noon from Mr. Cox (reads) :

Ottawa, Canada, October 1, 1919. The Secretary,

Special Committee,

Soldiers' Civil Re-establishment,

House of Commons, Ottawa.

Dear Sir,-As instructed by the committee, I have prepared an estimate as to the amount it would cost to pay gratuity of $2,000 on account of every soldier who saw service in France, $1,500 on account of every soldier who

saw service in England, and $1,000 on account of every soldier who saw service in Canada only.

From the figures at present available, I estimate the cost of paying this gratuity would be $983,624.

Yours faithfully,

(Signed) Thomas Cox, Assistant Director Pay Service . (Demobilization).

By Hon. Mr. BC'and :

Q. What is that based on?-A. It is based on official figures.

By the Chairman:

Q. Who prepared this estimate?-A. I did, sir.

Q. Upon what basis was it prepared?-A. The total enlistments in the Canadian Expeditionary Forces were 590,572. Of those

418.052 proceeded overseas, leaving a balance of 172,520 who had service in Canada only.

Q. How many in Canada?-A. 172,520. And

418.052 proceeded overseas. Of them it is estimated that 50,000 did not get any further than England.

This makes a total of 232,520 who saw service in Canada only or who did not proceed further than England. I do not wish to cast any reflections on members of the Canadian Expeditionary Forces who did not go overseas, who did not go into the trenches and who rendered valuable service in this country towards the war. But when we are discussing the military expenditures of this country, when we are trying to do our best to reduce the expenditures of this country, is it not fair to say that, when the Minister of Militia and Defence comes with his Estimates for training men for military purposes, we can answer him, that if a case of emergency were to arise, these 232,520 highly trained men, who enlisted during the war, but who did not proceed overseas, w'ould be available to help us and to protect and defend Canada in such emergency?

While talking about expenditures, I should like to direct the attention of the House to a couple of items in the Auditor General's Report. The House will understand that it would be tedious if I were to go over many items that I could criticise. I have chosen two items showing lack of economy and extravagant expenditure on the part of the Government. At page ZZ-30 of volume 4 of the Auditor General's Report of this year, there is one item showing that J. A. Huot, Ottawa, was paid, by Order in Council dated September 29, 1919, the sum of $25,000 for purchase of patent rights of an automatic rifle attachment. This was one year after the war was over, one year after the armistice was signed. I had an opportunity of seeing the cheque, and it is endorsed to a man in Montreal who made a fortune during the war and who is a very close friend of the ex-chairman of the War Purchasing Commission, Sir Hormisdas

Laporte. I have another item to show how the Government treat their friends. Every one has heard of the Winnipeg strike, and I am not going to discuss the merits or demerits of that strike. I am not ready to blame the Government for having acted in the way they acted in repressing the strike, but the expenditure incurred in prosecuting men who were accused in that strike is extravagant and scandalous. At page. ZZ-13 of Volume 4 of the Auditor General's Report, I find that the expenses of prosecution alone during the Winnipeg strike cost the country the sum of $180,259.38 for two of three months of work. The sum of $140,000 was paid to lawyers; one firm alone, the firm of Andrews and Company for their three months' work was paid the sum of $56,000. But I also find something else. During the election of 1917, many good Liberals left the Liberal party quite honestly because in their conscience they felt that conscription was the only measure that would provide for the winning of the war. I have a great respect for those who did that honestly. Amongst them was a prominent lawyer of Winnipeg named Isaac Pit-blado. Although a supporter of the Union Government in 1917, Mr. Pitblado, a few months afterwards vigorously denounced the Union Government in bitter words, and everybody in this country was amazed when on October 27, last, the press of Canada - gave us the report that Mr. Pitblado, who had bitterly denounced the Union Government, had presided over the right hon. the Prime Minister's meeting in Winnipeg. The Government press made a lot of it. I do not want to connect Mr. Pitblado's action in that regard with an item that appears in the Public Accounts-I will leave hon. members and the people of this country to draw their own conclusions-but I find that Mr. Pitblado for his services as prosecutor in the Winnipeg strike received for 102 days' work the handsome sum of $26,990, making more than $225 a day.

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L LIB

Arthur Bliss Copp

Laurier Liberal

Mr. COPP:

He could afford to act as

chairman for one evening after that.

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L LIB

Joseph Archambault

Laurier Liberal

Mr. ARCHAMBAULT:

county, I suppose he was not playing the game to the detriment of politics in Canada when, in 1917, he endorsed the racial cry, which is not yet forgotten, if the hon. member for Marquette was well informed when he stated that even to-day, in the election in New Brunswick, the candidate is making an appeal on religious questions; the Prime Minister was not playing the game when, during the troublesome times in Montreal, his Government was engaging a man named Ti-noir Desjardins, who was the prime cause of the dynamiting of Lord Atholstan's house. My hon. friend from Jacques Cartier (Mr. Lafortune), who was the prosecuting attorney in Montreal, knows these facts and knows that the Government, in order to release Ti-noir Desjardins, who had been accused with the other dynamiters, put up a check for $10,000 to bail him out. My hon. friend the Prime Minister was a member of the Government at that time, and he is responsible for their actions in this matter. Yet he dares to come to the House and accuse hon. members of playing the game. ^ He is not playing the game now, but is elevating Canadian politics, when he uses the utmost of his ability and his cunning in the effort to induce members of this side of the House to board the Government boat that is leaking and rapidly sinking. Is it conducive to a high standard of decency and a high ideal of political ethics in this country for him to endorse a candidate in Yamaska, who says of the Prime Minister-I will quote the exact words-that:

He is the most narrow-minded and the most bigoted politician who sits at Ottawa, a hangman and an autocrat.

I am very glad to see the Minister of Marine (Mr. Ballantyne) in the House. He is right at the back, but I can see him well. When the hon. member for Maison-neuve and Gaspe (Mr. Lemieux) cited that letter the other day, the minister said:

" Wait until Mr. Mondou, who is the Government candidate, talks about this letter." Well, he has talked about the letter. The letter was read to Mr. Mondou at a meeting, and he said that while it might have been exaggerated in the papers, he did not withdraw anything that he had said. He said, at Liberal meetings:

They say that, if X am elected, I shall be made a minister in the Meighen Government. Do not forget the opinion I have of Mr. Meighen and which I have expressed.

Well, Sir, if you were not convinced of the high morals of the Prime Minister in [Mr. Archambault.J

politics, I could convince you by reading that right hon. gentleman's words in defence of the Minister of Customs and Inland Revenue (Mr. Wigmore), who had written to the French purchasing commission, begging for business for his own firm of Nagle and Wigmore, stating that he was Minister of Customs and Inland Revenue. The Premier's words are to be found on page 3181 of Hansard

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L LIB

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

Laurier Liberal

Mr. DEPUTY SPEAKER:

Order. I am obliged to ask the hon. member to desist from reading those words. He is undoubtedly quite familiar with the unwritten law of Parliament, set forth on page 357 of Bourinot's Parliamentary Procedure where it is stated that a member in speaking cannot refer to anything said or done in a previous debate during the same session.

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L LIB

Joseph Archambault

Laurier Liberal

Mr. ARCHAMBAULT:

I was under the impression that the Premier's remarks were uttered during the Budget debate.

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L LIB

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

Laurier Liberal

Mr. DEPUTY SPEAKER:

They were

made in committee upon the Estimates of the Department of Customs and Inland Revenue.

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L LIB
L LIB

Jacques Bureau

Laurier Liberal

Mr. BUREAU:

May I be allowed to

remark that in reading Burinot this afternoon I noticed that formerly it was the rule in the English Commons that you could not refer even to a debate of a previous session, but that the tendency of late has been towards the relaxation of the rule, and it is now permitted to do that. I think we ought to have the same liberty in this House and that we should be permitted to cite from a speech made during a previous debate. Otherwise we must give the quotation from memory which would lead perhaps to unintentional misrepresentation on the part of an hon. member whose memory was not faithful to the text. Under the circumstances I think the ruling ought to me made that as long as the member does not abuse the privilege by taking up the time of the House in quoting from speeches made during the same session he should have the liberty of referring to a previous debate. I would like to have the expression of hon. members on the subject.

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L LIB

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

Laurier Liberal

Mr. DEPUTY SPEAKER:

All I can

say, in answer to the hon. gentleman, is that the occupant of the Chair acts at all times subject to the judgment of the House, and that his ruling can be reversed by a ma-

jority of its members. I may be permitted to add that the present incumbent of the Speaker's Chair has several times in my hearing during the present Parliament given the precise ruling which I have repeated to-night, and even though I desired to do so, I would not intentionally, during his unavoidable absence, create any new precedents in the House of Commons.

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L LIB

Jacques Bureau

Laurier Liberal

Mr. BUREAU:

May I be allowed to say in explanation, although I have no right to speak a second time, that in speaking as I did I intended no reflection upon the Chair, but the suggestion was that you, Sir, as the present occupant of the Chair might take into consideration the tendency in the British House. For my part I think there ought to be some relaxation of the rule in question.

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L LIB

Joseph Archambault

Laurier Liberal

Mr. ARCHAMBAULT:

Mr. Speaker,

when I referred to the opinion of the Prime Minister (Mr. Meighen) in regard to the letter written by the Minister of Customs and Inland Revenue I was under the impression that that letter had been brought down during the Budget debate. However, I bow to your ruling and will not read the speech referred to. At the same time every one remembers that the Prime Minister endorsed the attitude of the Minister of Customs and Inland Revenue, that the right hon. gentleman stated he was not profoundly moved by the accusation against his' colleague, and that it was no penal offence for the minister in question to use his name as a member of the Government, and to write a letter upon Government paper, in order to secure business for his own firm. Sir, I am not surprised at that attitude of the Prime Minister; it is up to the standard of high morality which has characterized this Government. We certainly can call such a letter and such an endorsement "playing the game," and feel that it is doing credit to the politics of Canada!

I now come to a very interesting matter and one with which I dealt to some extent last year, I mean the credits extended by the Government to Greece and Roumania. Although I spoke upon this question last year there have been some further developments, and I believe I shall be able to convince you, Sir, that the high standard of political morality in this country has remained unimpaired according to certain mentalities that we find in this House. Sir, in our efforts to probe the morality evidenced in connection with these credits let

us examine the whole subject. It will be remembered that in the month of May, 1919, the then Minister of Finance, Sir Thomas White, asked this House to vote these credits because the population of Roumania was starving and needed food; and I can well remember the right hon. gentleman saying at that time, "Will the population of Canada remain unmoved and not help the population of Roumania which is now starving?" Well, Sir, two credits of $25,000,000 each were opened, one for Roumania and one for Greece. Of this amount, $26,989,000 has already gone and only $3,500,000 has been spent on food. The rest of the credits have served for the purpose of buying goods from the manufacturers of this country. The hon. member for Megantic (Mr. Pacaud) said the other night that the Government of Canada, in answer to a merchant in Belgium who asked that food should be exported from these moneys, said that only one-fifth of the credit to Belgium could be devoted to the purchase and exportation of food. Now, Sir, a return was brought down last year to an Order of the House-I refer to "Sessional Paper No. 147." This return shows conclusively that companies controlled by the Minister of Marine (Mr. Ballantyne), the hon. member for Haldimand (Mr. Lalor), the hon member for Brantford (Mr. Cockshutt), the hon. member for Lincoln (Mr. Chaplin) and the hon. member for St. John (Mr. Elkin) had sold goods for export which had been paid for by the Government. I was under the impression that the disclosures of last year would have had their effect and that there would not be a repetition of any such transactions; but although since April 19, the Government of Roumania has defaulted in two or three payments of interest, and probably Greece also, more of this money has been going to favourites of the Government, and a further sum of $5,342,077.32 has been advanced. On March 4 an Order of the House was passed for a return showing:

1. The amounts loaned or the credits made by the Government of Canada since the 19th of April, 1920, (a) to Greece, (b) to Roumania.

2. The respective dates of these loans or credits to (a) Greece, (b) Roumania.

3. The nature of goods bought by the Government of Canada (a) for Greece, (b) for Roumania.

4. The names of corporations, firms or persons from whom these goods have been purchased, (a) the nature of the merchandise in each case, (b) the amounts paid1 by the Government to these corporations, firms or persons in each case and also the date of said payments.

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S564 COMMONS


Let us examine this very interesting document. Although the Minister of Militia in duscussing the Estimates of his department the other day denied that any goods belonging to the Militia Department had been sold to Rumania or Greece, I find at page 3 of the report the following- I am giving the various sums in round figures: Militia and Defence: March, 1920', military equipment.. $36,000 May, 1920, military doting 325,000 April, 1920, dubbin 3,000


UNION

William Foster Cockshutt

Unionist

Mr. COCKSHUTT:

If the hon. gentleman does not object, I should like to ask: Does he say that I was a controller of one of the companies that was paid certain sums? *

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L LIB

Joseph Archambault

Laurier Liberal

Mr. ARCHAMBAULT:

I said that my hon. friend was a director of one of the companies.

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UNION

William Foster Cockshutt

Unionist

Mr. COCKSHUTT:

No, you did not use the word "director"; the word "control" was used. I entirely repudiate any such control.

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L LIB

Joseph Archambault

Laurier Liberal

Mr. ARCHAMBAULT:

It was a directing control. My hon. friend knows that every director has a certain control of the company of which he is a director; otherwise he should resign-

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UNION

May 18, 1921