May 18, 1921

REVISED EDITION. COMMONS


sympathy in so far as I realize that he has been faced with a gigantic task in the preparation of the Budget which has lately been presented to the House and, further, in the infinitely greater task with which he will be faced in the future should he retain office. While the Budget that he has presented to the House is of a character that will no doubt be looked upon with favour in some quarters, from the point of view from which I see it, it is highly unsatisfactory, and I think that will be the opinion of the majority of those who regard it from the standpoint of placing the burden where it can most easily be borne. It is a high protectionist Budget, and it contains in every particular the old system of special privilege, the system which seeks to build up an industrial structure without regard to the stability of the foundation upon which it must depend for its safety, a system which says: Let us build up our manufacturing industries; let us create large cities at whatever cost, even though our better judgment tells us that this is primarily an agricultural country, and let the farmer and the wage earner, who are the national beasts of burden under the system of special privilege, continue to bear that burden, no matter how great it may be. The Budget removes the business profits tax. It is claimed by the minister that there is little use in continuing this tax, for the reason that profits are not being earned and very little revenue would be derived from it. If this be the case, I do not see how any person would be hurt by leaving the tax as it is. There is always a possibility that some revenue might be derived therefrom. It always commended itself to me as a tax which procured revenue from those who could best afford to pay. Under the present Budget, the load is lifted to a very great extent from the shoulders of those who are able to pay and is placed where it will be felt most by those who are living in poor circumstances with large families to support. This Budget is merely another illustration of the contention of many inside and outside of this House, that the present Government is a Government largely under the control of, or at any rate in great sympathy with, the big interests of the country. With its ultra sympathetic tendencies in that direction, it has lost sight of the needs of the common people. Let me give you, Sir, one or two examples as proof of this contention. It will be remembered by all that a Board of Commerce was appointed in answer to the insistent demands of the people for the control of the prices of the necessaries of life. This board did not control. After futile attempts they resigned, giving as a reason for their resignation the fact that they could not obtain Government cooperation in making their regulations effective. Then the board was reconstituted, evidently with men who were more sympathetic to the suggestions of the Government. Almost their first move was to set the price of sugar, not in the interest of the consumer, but to protect the refineries from the result of their unwise gambling in raw material, at the same time placing an embargo on sugar coming in from the United States. While this order was disallowed by the Government, I am satisfied that it was, not made without their knowledge, and only the nationwide outcry that went up when it was made public, and the fact that the Prime Minister wished to create as favourable an impression as possible before going on his western tour, influenced the Government in setting it aside. Then there is the increase in the freight rates, and let me not forget the fact that when the Minister of Finance was looking 'for advice as to how he should levy his new taxes, it is a notorious fact that he went to the Manufacturers' Association and kindred associations for advice, utterly ignoring the labour and farmers' organizations of this country. In contrast with this, we have the refusal of the Government to continue the Canada Wheat Board, notwithstanding the persistent demands of the grain producers for its continuance.. In this connection, I am sure that it will be remembered that several times during this session hon. gentlemen opposite have attempted to fasten the responsibility for the discontinuance of this board upon the farmers, and particularly upon those members of the House who have the honour to be numbered with this party. While their efforts were unsuccessful, in order to illustrate my point that the present Government is largely controlled by the big interests, I deem it advisable to place upon Hansard an extract from a trade journal published in the city of Montreal. This journal is known as the Canadian Milling and Grain Journal. It is published many hundreds of miles from the great wheat fields of the West, and it was evidently the belief of the publishers that they could afford to deal with this matter with perfect frankness, feeling assured that their words would not get back to the western grain grower. In their issue of August 1, 1920, under the caption "Exit the Wheat Board," I find the following, which is published editorially: A triumph which is all the more notable because it was won by a minority in the face of well organized opposition, has been scored by the announcement of the Government that the 1920 crop will not be subject to control, thereby opening wide the door for a return to the normal trading conditions which have been so long and so ardently desired. Ever since the adoption of the Government's "enabling" legislation during the final hours of the last session of Parliament, the grain growers of the country 'as well as their supporters have been harbouring the conviction that nothing could prevent the continuation of control for another year. Consequently, the official statement which was made just six weeks before the expiration of the present Wheat Board's term of office came upon the grain growers and their friends like a bolt from the bjue. In their consternation the growers are wildly threatening to pool their interests but whatever effect this may ultimately have, the fact remains that thousands of grain handlers can get back to work, make plans for the future, and endeavour to repair the ravages caused their business by control. There is not the slightest doubt that the termination of control and the restoration of future trading in the United States had much to do with influencing the Government's decision but if reports from reliable sources are to be believed the chief reason why the authorities at Ottawa decided in the face of the strongest kind of opposition to abolish control of the 1920 crop was because such was desired by the banking interests which feared, as was the c^se in many other influential quarters, that another year of control would pave the way for the establishment of a state monopoly in the grain trade. Then a little further on this editorial continues: When it was learned in Regina that the Government had decided to discontinue control so far as the 192-0 wheat crop is concerned, there was a wailing and gnashing iof teeth among the members of the Saskatchewan Cooperative Elevator Company, the -Saskatchewan Grain Growers' Association and last but not by any means -least the Regina representatives of the iNational Council of Agriculture who had regarded continued control as a fore-' gone conclusion. Blair criticism of any project should not be ignored and the disappointment of the other fellow oan always be sympathised with, but a decidedly selfish view of the decision of the Government has been taken, according to reports, by -a high official of the Saskatchewan Grain Growers' Association who openly deplores the fact that as a result of de-control the grain handlers will endeavour to make up the losses whioh control imposed upon them, and that furthermore the farmers will suffer the loss of the millions of dollars the grain handlers will make. 226J There is no pretence here of congratulating the grain growers on having freed themselves from the Wheat Board. Instead, it admits that the grain growers generally wanted the Wheat Board continued, that it was to their advantage that it should be continued, that the people who did not want the Wheat Board were a minority whose interests were not those of the grain growers, and that the victory was a victory gained by the minority at the expense of the grain growers. While the Business Profits tax has been removed and herculean efforts are being put forth to stabilize the manufacturing industries of the country, in what condition do we find the real basic industry -I refer to agriculture? I have recently returned from the West where I spent a few days superintending the planting of the crop for this year. I think I am, in common with the average Canadian, not of an unhappy disposition, and far too much inclined to live in the present, without very much thought for the future, but the condition that confronted me was such that it brought me up with a jerk, and it has given me food for serious thought. Last year we produced a fair average crop in the portion of the country where I reside, and in this we were fortunate, for in many districts, farmers experienced their third successive failure. Little benefit has been derived from the high prices brought about by the war on account of these unsatisfactory crop years. The crop of last year was produced under very heavy expense, and when it was finally harvested we -were very soon made aware of the fact that we were selling upon a rapidly falling market. Transportation difficulties were met with which prevented the speedy shipment of the grain to market in order to take advantage of the higher prices that prevailed earlier in the season. The result is, that a great deal of last year's crop is still in the hand of the farmers, and the price now obtainable for wheat, after the freight charges are paid, Will scarcely meet the cost of production. Oats cost 14 cents a bushel to thresh, and in many cases 10 cents a bushel is the price offered, which means a straight loss of 4 cents a bushed on the cost of threshing alone, without taking into consideration the preparation of the land, seed, twine for harvesting, and the incidential expenses of labour and hauling to the market. The cattle market is such that heavy loss is the result when a sale is made. Hides are not worth the labour of bringing them to the market alone. Wool will



not pay the- freight to the point of sale. Horses have little or no value. The other day a buyer purchased a car of horses in my immediate vicinity at $15 per head, and shipped them to a point where he thought he could sell them; he put them up at public auction, but could not secure a single bid. In the face of these conditions the farmers are going ahead with their seeding operations, putting in every available acre as usual, and trying to make the best of a very bad situation. If, as a result of their labours, an abundant crop is secured the prospect of finding a market for it is not very bright. Should the terms of the Young Bill be made permanent in the United States it may have the effect of excluding a great portion of our wheat from the American market. This also applies to live stock. With the British embargo on our cattle, and the lack of purchasing ability on the part of the European nations, I cannot see where the outlet is to be found for our produce. The home market, which is so much talked about by hon. gentlemen opposite, may be all right for the truck gardener, but it is of no use for the western farmer. I am not mentioning these matters for the purpose of creating a bad impression of the future of the agricultural industry in Canada, or merely for the purpose of painting a dismal picture. My object is, if possible, to bring home to the Government the fact that our agricultural industry is facing the gravest period in its existence, and it is my belief that if the Government would take this matter seriously to heart and give it one-half the consideration that they seem to give to the condition of the manufacturing industries of the country, some way could be found to rectify this condition and stabilize an industry without which we have no hope of national prosperity. While the price of farm produce has dropped to the extent of somewhere in the neighbourhood of two-thirds on an average, it is rather a remarkable thing to find that the price of the machinery necessary to production, in place of coming down, has actually gone up with the single exception of traction engines and threshing machines. The price of farm machinery at the present time is so high that it is absolutely stifling the trade. I know of numerous instances where farmers have gone into town and priced machines that they needed in order to speed up the work of putting in their crops, and finding the price so high that they returned to their farms and put an extra outfit of horses to work, working a [Mr. Wright.! double shift on the machinery they already had. I think it is a pretty well recognized principle in business to set the price of an article just about as high as the trade will stand. The present price of farm machinery is away beyond that level, and my advice to the manufacturer is, if he really wishes to stabilize his industry and get back to the condition where his factories will furnish employment, to make an immediate readjustment of his prices and cheerfully accept his loss, if loss there be, in the same way the farmer is trying to accept his. The longer this readjustment of prices is delayed, the longer will both the agricultural industry and the farm machinery industry be retarded in returning to their normal conditions. Much is being said as to the desirability of bringing in immigrants to settle upon our unoccupied lands, more particularly adjoining the Canadian National railways. There is no doubt in my mind that, under normal conditions, this would be a very desirable thing to do, but in the present state of the agricultural industry, where the cost of the necessary equipment to start operations is so abnormally high, and the prospect of a market for farm produce so very discouraging, I am afraid that in place of these immigrants, should they come to Canada in any great numbers, being an asset to the country, they would rapidly become a charge upon the state. There can be no doubt that it will tax the resources of some of the old settlers to the utmost to retain their land holdings and continue their farming operations if conditions do not better themselves speedily. _ The right hon. the Prime Minister, who occupies in this House the position of leader of the shattered remnants of the defunct Union party, has stated, both here and in the country, that it is the aim of the Progressive party to bring about immediate free trade. From my place in what the right hon. gentleman is pleased to term the dilapidated annex of the Liberal party, I wish to make a statement as to where I stand in this matter. The term, free trade, has no terrors for me. As a goal to be kept in view and Worked for just as speedily as conditions will permit, it is commendable. Democracy and freedom of trade go hand in hand, while the policy of high protection, which is synonymous of special privilege, is the twin brother of plutocracy. In this instance, as is his custom, the Prime Minister has apparently not taken very much pains to see that his statements were fair to those whom he chose to criticise. If he had said that the Progressive party was absolutely opposed to the policy of high protection, to which he adheres most zealously, he would have been correct. On September 14 the Canadian Council of Agriculture presented to the Government Tariff Board, then sitting in the city of Winnipeg, a memorandum setting forth their views on the tariff. May I be permitted, Sir, to read a short extract therefrom. Under the heading " A New National Policy", I find the following: The Farmers' platform is indeed an attempt to define a New National Policy for Canada, and the principal thought which it seeks to leave in the mind of the Canadian people is that Canada is, and will be for years to come, a pioneers' country. It is based upon the facts that agricultural land is Canada's richest natural resource ; that the bulk of it lies in idleness ar*di waste; and that the Dominion's greatest need to-day is people living and working on the land. Because for 40 years the development of this Dominion has been subject to the influence of a so-called National Policy -which has failed to make the most of the true natural source of the country's wealth, the suggestions contained in the Farmers' platform have to do mainly with question of fiscal reform. The bed-rock upon which the Farmers' platform would lay a new national policy for Canada is upon a low customs tariff and upon direct methods of taxation. It does not ask for drastic legislation which would tend to unsettle and injure Canadian industry, but it does take the position that a national policy based upon the principle of protection is wrong. It suggests that the fiscal policy of Canada's future governments should aim at reducing the customs tariff to a strictly revenue basis. Production and trade in Canada have been forced into narrow, unnatural and uneconomic channels through the application of protective duties, and thereby development of vast supplies of natural wealth has been retard**! and the Dominion prevented from proceeding favourably towards a realization of the fruitful destiny which nature has intended for her. In view of what I believe to be a fact, that the Government of this country has always been in the hands of a few who have exploited its resources for their own personal advantage regardless of which party held office, it is borne home to me that there is urgent need of a new and a peoples' party in Federal politics. I turn to the New National Policy as that which will produce just such a party, and I commend it to your careful and unbiased consideration, as a policy which starts at the real foundation of production and builds its structure upwards, unlike the practitioners of other policies, who attempt to suspend their structure from the clouds. I support the New National Policy because it is a policy that has sprung spontaneously from the hearts of the people and is not the product of any party machine; because it is framed in honesty and sincerity of purpose and gives equal rights and privileges to all; because dt is the policy of those who have learned their lesson in the school of adversity and hard knocks, where human sympathy is most pronounced; because it is the policy of the sane and sensible citizen who believes in supporting properly constituted law and authority. * I Support the New National Policy because its supporters are not trammelled with the fetters of party campaign funds, whose donors exact special privileges for the giving; because it is not tainted with sectionalism, and does not harbour any radical or religious animosities; because it is a policy that will go far to build up a great and united Canadian nation, embracing all creeds and nationalities and welding them into a common Canadian citizenship, thus strengthening the great Empire of which we are a part. While we live in a wonderful country, and enjoy many privileges that we are truly thankful for, the very abundant richness of our heritage, a gift of heaven itself, unsurpassed by that of any people on the globe, gives us reason to be watchful, for these riches of natural resource are not inexhaustable, and we should see to it that they are not exploited for the benefit of the few, but that they should yield their munificence to every citizen of this great Canada of ours. I will take great pleasure in supporting the amendment of the hon. member for Queen's and Shelburne (Mr. Fielding).


L LIB

William Daum Euler

Laurier Liberal

Mr. W. D. EULER (North Waterloo) :

Although the Budget affords an opportunity for the discussion of public affairs in general, it is my intention to restrict my remarks to but a few phases, to make some observations with regard to the railway situation, and to discuss briefly the. amendment which has been introduced by the member for Shelburne and Queen's (Mr. Fielding).

The Budget which has been presented by the Minister of Finance is not one that has any very outstanding features. One might have thought, after the delay experienced by this House and the people of this country', that something much more profound would have been submitted; but, as a matter of fact, there are only two outstanding features in the Budget that has been

I am surprised that the Minister of Finance has had so little to say about our national railway enterprise, which is making such great demands upon his revenue. Despite the heavy loss of the past year, which we all regret, and despite the propaganda that has been-[DOT] deliberately' by some and innocently by others-spread throughout the country against public ownership of railways, I may say that I still have some faith in the ultimate success of our public ownership experiment. It is only now that the country is obtaining control of the Grand Trunk Railway system, and for that reason it is only now that we will be able to co-ordinate that system with the national system, both being necessary for the welding together and the formation of a system which will he complete in itself and will offer some possibility of economic operation. But it will take some time to accomplish it. It cannot be done in a year or in two years. In this House the Canadian Pacific railway is repeatedly pointed to as being all that is efficient in the wav of railway operation, and I quite agree with that view; but we should not forget that that railway, too, had its difficulties in its early years. Indeed, it has its difficulties to-day. During the past year even the Canadian Pacific railway would not have been able to pay its dividends from its railway operations alone; it was able to do so because of the inclusion of its earnings from hotels, land sales and shipping.

I am going to refer again to what I have said in previous sessions with regard to the management of our national railways. I held in 1919 that the cause of public ownership would receive a black eye if the management of the national system was not placed in other hands. I do not desire to reflect upon gentlemen who probably are doing the very best they can, but it does seem to me that with so much at stake it was the duty of the Government to place in charge of that system men who had made a success of the railway business, not men who had failed on a smaller scale and expect them to manage successfully a much greater enterprise. It was also necessary in my opinion when we entered upon this great public ownership project, to place in charge men who had not behind them a record of constant and consistent opposition to the principle of public ownership. In that regard, Mr. Speaker, I think the Government has not done its duty, and I trust when the Grand Trunk system is united with the national system that

TMr. Euler.]

a board will be placed in control of the reorganized system that will be the best that it is possible to obtain, no matter what the cost.

With regard to the proposal made by Lord Shaughnessy to the Prime Minister, it seemed to me that it was merely the culmination of one stage of the propaganda which had for its ultimate purpose the sole control of Canadian railways by the Canadian Pacific Railway Company. The proposal of Lord Shaughnessy suggested that the national railways be combined with the Canadian Pacific railway; that the Grand Trunk railway be cut adrift to work out its own salvation, if it could; that the control of the national railways be taken away entirely from Parliament and become to all intents and purposes the enterprise of the Canadian Pacific; and that the Canadian Pacific stockholders and security holders should be guaranteed for all time to come, by the Canadian Government, a fixed dividend upon their holdings. That looks to me, Mr. Speaker, like a very good proposition for the Canadian Pacific Railway shareholders, but I do not see where the Dominion of Canada can possibly be the gainer. One would have thought that when Lord Shaughnessy made that proposal he would have tried to make it somewhat attractive to the people and the Parliament of Canada; but when we examine it, we find that in the sequel, all he can figure out as a result of the combination of the two systems and their operation by the Canadian Pacific Railway management is a deficit of $80,000,000, as compared with our own little $70,000,000 that we have now. In my opinion, a few years of that sort of thing would so disgust the people with the whole proposition that they would be very glad to hand over the national railways to the Canadian Pacific company and wash their hands of the railway business, and public ownership would be dead for many years to come, probably for all time. In the interim no doubt the Grand Trunk Railway would find itself in the difficulties that it encountered before the Government came to its relief, and the natural result would be that the Canadian Pacific Railway Company would ultimately come into possession of the Grand Trunk system, and we would then have a railway monopoly such as exists in no other part of the world. That may be a far-fetched conclusion, but it seems to me that the probabilities would be entirely in that direction. I have no hesitation in express-

rng the opinion that the people will not for one moment stand for that sort of thing. I am sure they would say: Sooner than have such a railway monopoly we will take our annual losses for a time and try to work out bur own railway salvation. It should be remembered, moreover, that the object of public ownership is not the making of profits but the rendering of efficient service to the public.

In concluding my remarks, I want to deal very briefly with the amendment that has been offered by the hon. member for Shelburne and Queen's (Mr. Fielding). I do not propose to debate any fine economic theories; in fact, I am not concerned whether the tariff is called a tariff for revenue or a tariff for protection; but I am interested in the results obtained, no matter under what name. There are few men, in Eastern Canada at least, who do not admit that for a great many years to come this country must have a tariff of some kind. The obligations of the war leave us no option in the matter, for we are under the necessity of raising half a billion dollars or more each year. Even with the heavy taxes that we have now we find ourselves quite unable to reduce our enormous capital indebtedness. As the Minister of Finance told us in his statement, during the past year, in spite of the large revenues received, the national debt was increased by a round $100,000,000. So, as a matter of fact, a tariff we must have. If you have a tariff for revenue-and this is the point I desire to make-you have also in practice, a tariff which protects.

I do not think there is any escape from that. The amendment says the tariff is a tax. Well, to the extent to which you tax imports just to that extent do you place a handicap upon the foreign manufacturer. If your tariff tax handicaps the manufacturer of a foreign country, it must follow necessarily, that it benefits the Canadian manufacturer. If the tariff is extremely low, it may not, as my hon. friends opposite might say, protect adequately. If it is extremely high, it gives a degree of protection that becomes monopolistic and unduly burdensome to the consumer, and I am not in favour of that kind of tariff. But most reasonable men in Eastern Canada-and I hope some in Western Canada-believe that there is a wise middle course; that Canada should have a moderate tariff which will maintain such industries as we have; that will still leave the field open to competition and provide revenue by means of a customs tax

upon imports. So that I am quite content, Mr. Speaker, to have hon. gentlemen on the other side argue with hon. members on this side as to what they are going to call the tariff so long as the desired results are obtained. Morever, I will say quite frankly, that one of those desirable results, in my opinion, is the preservation of Canadian industry and the conservation of the interests of the Canadian workingmen. In the city from which I come, -the city of Kitchener, and in the * town of Waterloo, there are upwards of 150 manufacturing industries; in the whole of the riding there are probably 175 manufacturing establishments giving employment to many thousands of workingmen.

I am not going to say what a tariff should be; I am not in a position to say that. But I do say that I have no intention whatever at any time of supporting any sort of legislation which would imperil the interests of the workingmen of the constituency which, I represent.

I believe, further, Sir, that Canada had a most admirable tariff during the fifteen years of the Laurier Administration and when the hon. member for Shelburne and Queen's (Mr. Fielding) was Minister of Finance. Designate that tariff as you like-I am not taking any issue on that point with the hon. member for Shelburne and Queen's -it is a fact that during that period Canadian industry flourished as it never did before. And we have the significant fact -at least it is claimed to be a fact by the Prime Minister-that the Borden Administration or the present Government have not revised upward the tariff of the hon. member for Shelburne and Queen's, and that it is the same tariff. Indeed, I was rather surprised to hear the Prime Minister make the remarkable claim the other day that his Government, or the Government which preceded his-I do not know just exactly where one government ends and the other begins-he had reduced to 21 per cent the average tariff rate under the Laurier Government, which had been 26 per cent. So I repeat that I am not very much concerned with names and theories. If a liberal Government were in power I would have no fear that it would injure Canadian industry at this time any more than it did in the years between 1896 and 1911, and I do not believe hon. gentlemen opposite believe that such an Administration would injure Canadian industry. I will say further that if I did not feel secure on that point; if I had any doubt that the general tenor of the amendment submitted was in accord with the position

I have taken, I would have no hesitation whatever in voting against it. I want to assure hon. gentlemen right now that I have no such fear.

After all, Mr. Speaker, the interests of all the people of Canada should be regarded as one. No sectional advantage should be sought. In a far-flung country such as ours, with its diversified interests, there must be some compromise. The western farmer in many cases desires free trade or a very low tariff; the eastern manufacturer, perhaps in too many instances, though not in all, would like a prohibitive tariff. Let each yield what he can for the general good. In Ontario at least-I think in all parts of this country-the prosperity of the city means prosperity for the farmer, who recognizes that the city man is his best customer.

The present Government, Mr. Speaker, hopes to be returned upon an issue which, I contend, important as it is, is not the paramount issue in this country-the matter of the tariff. The Government would distract the minds of the people from its misdeeds, its many errors of omission and commission, its autocracy, its extravagance, and its continued usurpation of power. But the Canadian people will not be misled by any tariff herring that the Government is drawing across the trail. They are waiting as patiently as they can; they know their minds with regard to this Government, and they await but the opportunity to remove it. Whatever party or group attains to power, the industries of Canada will be just as secure as they were after 1896.

In conclusion, Mr. Speaker, I would like to refer to the speech of the Prime Minister last Friday. He did me the honour of addressing some of his remarks to me, as also did some of the hon. members who have preceded me in this debate. The Prime Minister, after describing this amendment as being in effect a protectionist amendment-I do not think I do him any wrong when I interpret his remarks in that way-further described me as a protectionist. If he was quite sincere in what he said-and I do not doubt that he was- I cannot quite understand how he should have any doubt as to how I should vote. If the amendment is a protectionist amendment and I am a protectionist, naturally I would support the amendment. While his whole speech was an effort to prove that the record of the Liberal party in office was protectionist and while he expressed his conviction that it still is so and that

the amendment, in part at least, bears out that contention, he intimates that in some respects there is inconsistency in the motion before us, and he is curious to know which part of it I am going to support. Well, even if what he says with regard to inconsistency were true, a decision under all the circumstances should not be very difficult. The Prime Minister, of course, knows just as well as any one, and better than most persons, that he and I must vote for the amendment as it stands, in whole and not in part. He said on Friday that he was quite in accord with a good many portions of the amendment submitted by the hon. member for Shelburne and Queen's. That being the case, I assume that he would like to vote for those portions. He asked me which part I intended to vote for; I might very well ask him the same question. The amendment calls for the encouragement of industry based upon the natural resources of this country. It asks that readjustment of tariff should have in mind existing conditions of trade; that any changes should cause the least possible disturbance of business, and, further, that such changes should reduce the cost of living. I am quite sure that the Prime Minister (Mr. Meighen) is in accord with these principles; but will he for that reason vote for the amendment? Of course, there is only one reply. While he has laboured to show J;hat both Liberal practice and the present amendment are in accord with his tariff policy, he will regard the vote on the amendment as a vote of want of confidence. I have no particular fault to find with that. Like himself, I believe in the principles which I have just enunciated, but I differ from the Prime Minister on one very vital point. I have no confidence whatever in this Government. It obtained office by unfair means; it obtained office by a Franchise Act which did not give to the people of Canada an opportunity for a complete, unprejudiced and unbiassed expression of opinion. It continues to hold office to-day in defiance of the will of the Canadian people. That is true. If any proof were needed, one need only to look to the left and see the wholesale defections that have been made from the party across the way. If any further proof were needed, one need but observe the results of the byelections since this Government or the government of the former Prime Minister (Sir Robert Borden) came into power. I believe I am correct in saying that the government since 1917 has not won a single by-election from its opponents, whoever

they may have been, but it has lost many seats held by its supporters. It has lost Glengarry and North Ontario.

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UNION

Francis Ramsey Lalor

Unionist

Mr. LALOR:

How many seats have the

party which my hon. friend supports in this House won in the by-election?

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L LIB

William Daum Euler

Laurier Liberal

Mr. EULER:

We have won some. I

will name some in a moment. The Government has lost Glengarry, North Ontario, Temiskaming, Carleton, Assiniboia, East Elgin and West Peterborough. It is a most unprecedented condition of affairs that a Government in power, from the day that it took office, has not been able to win a single by-election from its opponents, and has lost the number which I have enumerated. What is the result of that? As a result, it is an undoubted fact that the Government is weak and reactionary. It has not to-day the courage even to maintain the occasional good legislation that it has enacted. Today, at the command of its patronagehunting followers, it is prepared to sacrifice its Civil Service Act just as that law was beginning to be shaken down into good working order. I give the Prime Minister all credit for courage and ability, but he cannot carry the burden alone; he needs assistance, and yet he dare not complete his Cabinet because of the necessary by-elections. His position is too weak to-day to enable him to rid himself of a minister who uses his public position to advance the interests of the firm of which he was a member. I would put the challenge to the members of the Government who are now in their seats, to say whether they approve the action of the Minister of Customs and Inland Revenue (Mr. Wigmore) in writing that letter. I believe that there is not in the House to-night a minister who does not in his heart, and probably in some other places, condemn to the utmost the action of his colleague in this matter. Further, the Prime Minister is put to the necessity of enacting an election law disfranchising 100,000 British subjects who might vote against him, and even then he dares not put his fate to the touch in a general election. I have no confidence in such a Government, and the people of Canada have no confidence in it. There is nothing that the people desire more than an opportunity to remove this Government from office. For that reason as for other reasons which I have already given, and because I know that my constituents would resent anything that might be construed as an expression of confidence in this Government, I have no hesitation whatever in supporting the amendment.

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L LIB

Jean-Joseph Denis

Laurier Liberal

Mr. J. J. DENIS (Joliette):

Mr. Speaker, on the morrow of the evening on which the Budget was delivered, one could read on the front page of the outstanding newspaper. the Montreal Gazette, the following headline:

Budget meets approval and disapproval. Government members and industrial interests satisfied.

Those words in the Gazette were true, in fact, much more so than many of us could readily realize. The Budget has satisfied two groups of the community if it has satisfied no others-Government members and industrial interests. As regards the first group, namely, the Government members, my esteemed colleagues in this House for whom I have the greatest personal regard, I have but little comment to make. Every one of us in this House has to bear the responsibility for his actions, and he must answer to his electors for his conduct in Parliament. My hon. friends opposite will be called upon in due course to render to the electors an account of their actions and of the vote which they will give on this Budget. Happy will they be, however, if in order to justify their vote, they can put forward some better reasons than the sole desire to give support to the present Administration. So much for the alleged support of Government members.

But what concerns me more in this matter and what concerns the people of this country is the approval of the Budget by the industrial interests. May I say that the industrial interests are not the only ones who are satisfied with this Budget? The whole group, generally comprised under the term of "interests," is satisfied with it. To use an expression very common on the other side of the border line, the "interests" are satisfied, and for any one who knows what the "interests" are, no further explanation should be necessary. For the average person who does not know of the "interests," it is well to mention that the "interests," generally speaking, and in the broad sense of the word, include capitalists, manufacturers, speculators, and also profiteers. That is the particular class commonly called the "interests" as opposed to the ordinary common people, the poor people and the well-to-do people. Any one who has perused the Budget should not be surprised to hear that the "interests" are satisfied, because this is a Budget framed with the obvious intention of satisfying the "interests." But what about the common people, the poor people who represent 90 per

cent, or perhaps, more of the population? Are those people satisfied with the Budget? I say that they are not. They cannot be satisfied, because this Budget adds enormously to the taxes which already bear heavily upon them. To my mind, Sir, the Budget can be properly described in a four-word sentence, as "the poor man's burden." It is the poor man's burden in that it imposes upon the common people, the poor people, and the middle classes the taxes that should be paid by the rich-by the interests which I have just described. It is the poor man's burden because it imposes upon the poorer classes heavy additional burdens, when that class is already taxed to the breaking point.

One of the taxes that must bear heavily on the poorer classes and the working classes generally is the sales tax in its new form. This tax was already heavy, but this Budget makes it much worse. A sales tax of 3 and 4 per cent is a tremendous tax upon the poor people, while it is hardly a tax at all on the rich. This new sales tax will be added directly to the price of commodities, and as the larger part of the consumption of the nation is represented by the family budgets of the poorer classes and the lower middle classes, almost the totality of the tax will rest upon the masses of the people. As the poor spend the largest portion of their income on commodities, the sales tax will bear most heavily upon them. It will increase the cost of living at a time when the Government has been so strongly urged to reduce the cost of living, and when so many assurances have been given by the Administration that efforts were being made in that direction. The sales tax rests essentially upon a false and unjust principle, the basic iniquity of it being that it ignores the ability to pay, as well as the difference in circumstances. No wonder the interests are in favour of the sales tax, because they know that this tax in a large measure will shift the burden of supporting the expenditure of the country from their shoulders to the shoulders of the poor and the moderately well-to-do. It is hardly more commendable than a head tax would be. A head tax would indiscriminately place upon the head of the poor the same tax as upon the head of the rich. This sales tax works in the same way to a large extent. This tax is not a wonderful discovery at that. In the United States Senator Smoot has introduced into Congress a Bill providing for a sales tax of 1 per cent that is being very strongly criticised in many quarters. Now if a sales tax of 1 per cent is depre-IMr. Denis]

cated in the United States, there are good reasons for contending that a sales tax of 3 and 4 per cent in this country makes the taxation the poor man's burden.

The next increase in taxes which we find in the Budget is an increase in the taxes on spirits. Last year, and the year before, heavy taxes were imposed on wines and spirits. The taxes on wines are maintained this year, and the taxes on spirits doubled. I say again, this new tax on spirits and the maintenance of the heavy taxes on wine will bear heavily on the poor man. If the consumption of wines and spirits is to be allowed in this country, why should those using those commodities, if commodities they are, be called upon to pay such an enormous tax as the Budget imposes? Again, why should a particular class of the community, the class that is using these beverages, be penalized, for the new taxes have been raised to such a point that they have become equivalent to a penalty? According to the principles of sound economics the burden of taxation should be imposed as much as possible on the community generally, according to the ability of each class or each individual to pay, and not upon one particular class or group in the community. The new taxes are in direct contravention of these principles, and again, the reasons which I alleged a few moments ago with regard to the sales tax apply equally to these new taxes on wines and spirits. It is little or no burden for the rich to pay these taxes, but it is a very heavy burden for the poor to pay, and these beverages will in the future be available only for the rich. If the poor man wants to make use of them, he will have to neglect his duty of looking after his family, or give up the use of some other commodities. In stating this, I do not intend by any means to be understood as making a plea in favour of wines and spirits; far from it, but I say that we must be logical. If these beverages are to be allowed in this country, let them be allowed for everybody; if they are not to be allowed for everybody, let them be denied to the rich as well as to the poor. Under the new system of taxation they are allowed to the rich and denied to the poor. If the poor man wants these beverages he will have to pay an enormous price, and of necessity deprive himself and his family of other needs. For these reasons, I say that the maintenance of the taxes on wines, which were already very high, and the doubling of the taxes on spirits, make the taxation the poor man's burden.

I now wish to pass to a question which has been very thoroughly discussed before in this House session after session, but which seems yet far distant from solution;

I refer to the railway problem which confronts Parliament at the present time. It is a stupendous problem. The Minister of Railways (Mr. Reid) in making his annual statement on March 17 last said:

What is the best way to improve the situation? I am ready to take, in fact I seek, advice from any or every member of this House, or whoever may be able to make any suggestion of value.

What a pity, Sir, that the hon. gentleman did not before this year appeal to the House for advice and suggestion, because in past years, before it was too late, he could have received very good advice from this House. But he has not shown any real inclination to accept any advice. The Government have made a terrible mess of their railway policy, and now they have reached the point where they do not know what next to do. They are in a state of despair. The minister admits the failure of his administration; he throws up the sponge and, with hands uplifted to high Heaven, he cries for help. Sir, I do not believe that any suggestion which hon. members of this House might offer *the minister with regard to the railway situation would be of any avail, because we know from past experience that the Government does not really want advice; and even to-day their request for suggestions is only pretended. They want it to appear to the country that no advice is offered on this side of the House, and their object is to try to make every party share the responsibility, which belongs to them alone, for the present calamitous state of affairs in connection with the railways.

The position of the Minister of Railways might best be illustrated by the following illustration: Let us suppose a rich man to be the owner of a magnificent boat. He hires a captain to take.charge of that boat and safely pilot her. The pilot, against the orders of the owner, steers the boat into dangerous currents and finally lands her on the reefs, partially destroying the boat. Having done that, he comes to the owner and asks for advice. What would the answer of the owner be? What would any practical man do in a case like that? I cannot conceive of anything else than this answer, on the part of the owner: "You have carried this boat into dangerous waters against my orders; you have disobeyed me; you have stranded

the boat on reefs, and have destroyed it, partially, if not completely. The first thing for you to do is to leave the helm as quickly as you can, for I am going to place some one else in charge." Now, in* the case in which we are interested, the owners of the ship-the ship of state- are the people. They have charged the Government, which is the pilot, with the responsibility for the safe conduct of this ship, but the Government has directed the boat on to the rocks. Time and again they were warned against sailing the boat in dangerous waters, but they disregarded every signal of danger, and now that the boat is wrecked, they come asking for advice. Well, there is only one answer which the people of the country can give them, and it is this: Leave the helm; we have no confidence in you, you are not worthy of the trust we placed in you, because you deliberately disobeyed our instructions, and now that you have stranded the ship, we will put some one else, who is capable, at the helm. The point at which the comparison ceases is this: in the first case, the owner would have no difficulty in immediately replacing the pilot; but in the present instance, the people, who are anxious and only too ready to displace the pilot, are just waiting for the opportunity to put another and more competent one, in his place. A better pilot and crew are available, but for the time being the people are helpless. However, the time will soon come when they will be able to dismiss the captain and crew at present in charge of the ship of state and put in their stead others who will be able to steer clear of the banks and shoals after the ship has been repaired.

In his speech on the railway situation, the Minister of Railways submitted a financial statement. Last year he admitted a deficit of $48,000,000, in round figures, in the administration of the railways, and this year he admits a deficit of $70,000,000. To say the least, the increase calls for comment, and it would be staggering even were the figures of the minister correct. But his figures are far from being accurate and complete. The minister's accounts give only half the truth. I will not say that he is trying to deceive the people, but I do say that his method of book-keeping is unsatisfactory, because it does not reveal the true financial situation of our railways and the full extent of the disastrous result of the Government's railway policy. On

March 19, 1921, two days after the Minister of Railways had delivered his railway Budget, Mr. John Lambert Payne, former Chief Railway Statistician for the Cana' dian Government, published in the Montreal Daily Star a startling article giving a summary of our railway situation. According to the statement made by Mr. Payne, whose authority on railway matters is not, and cannot properly be, disputed, the book-keeping of the Railway Department is wrong and does not disclose the true capital accounts. According to the statement by Mr. Payne, the total deficit on the railways for the year 1920 is $128,829,330 instead of $70,000,000, as admitted by the Minister of Railways. Any one who peruses the statement of the Minister of Railways, compares Mr. Payne's statement with it, puts the two together, and tests them, will inevitably come to the conclusion that the statement of Mr. Payne is accurate and must be taken as representing the facts with respect to our railway situation in so far, at least, as the deficits are concerned.

Under the circumstances is it not apparent to you, Mr. Speaker, that our railway situation calls for immediate action? Any one who would deny this would be ignorant of the terrible situation in which this country is at present placed as regards our national railways. That immediate action should be taken is the least one should ask for. Yet what are the Government doing? They are not doing anything. They are simply carrying on aimlessly and hopelessly; they stand pat on the railway situation. While that situation alone would be sufficient to drive the country into a bottomless pit of deficits the Government stand pat. Sir, this is not the time for the Government to act as stand-patters. This is the time for action and for immediate action, and it would be nothing short of criminal on the part of the Government if immediate action with respect to the railway situation was not taken-in fact, the Government should have taken such action long ago. In the beginning they should never have acquired the systems of railway which they now have, but having acquired them they should immediately have set themselves to the task of placing the operation of those railways on a sound basis. The Minister of Railways calls for advice, but what did he or the Government do at the time of the acquisition of the Canadian Northern and Grand Trunk railways? Certainly the minister will not complain

that advice was not given him at that time. Day after day, week after week, the Opposition fought in this House in order to prevent the perpetration of that nefarious transaction, but the Government had made up their minds, that they were going to acquire these railways and they did acquire them. They did so by using all the means at their disposal, including the application of the closure. They used every method in their power to perpetrate a transaction which for all time will remain as one of the most lamentable transactions of which any government was ever guilty. Now that they have done this they ask for advice, but the advice given to them will not be heeded. They ask for advice before the public, but in Parliament they will take no advice. The Government have not the courage to cope with the present railway situation. They do not dare to attempt to initiate any new railway policy; they merely ask for advice in order to try and show that they are acting in good faith. But it is useless to give them advice; they are stand-patters while this railway tragedy is developing, and the people of the country are being bled to provide the hundreds of millions of dollars necessary to meet the deficits indicated in the railway budget of the Minister of Railways.

If any advice should be given certainly one can say with reason that no panacea exists for the railway situation. The remedy which should be applied is not one which can cure in a very short time, even if it could ever cure at all. The proper thing to do is to adopt different remedies, different means, which, working together and tending in the same direction, will help to extricate our railways from the situation in which they now are. If the matter were in my hands I would, in the first place, ask that a board of responsible people be placed in charge of those railways. I would in the second instance ask for the application of the strictest economy. I would also demand the kind of immigration which we need in this country in order to develop it and provide a revenue for our railways. I would also consider, if not adopt, the scheme of Lord Shaughnessy which was placed before this House a short time ago. What we need first, Sir, is a responsible board to govern our railways. The present board are not responsible in the real sense of the term. True they are responsible to the Government, and the Government are responsible to Parliament and the country, but there

is no liaison, there is no tie between the Government and that Board of Management such as would make the latter a responsible body. The present Board of Management have no interest whatever in the operation of our railways. They can spend money on these railways like drunken sailors if they want to, and they are not any the poorer or the richer at the end of the year whether they do or do not spend money lavishly, whether they give or do not give a good administration. How can you expect under such circumstances that a board of management, honest though they may be, could ever operate any concern or any company with success? I say it is absolutely impossible because the very basic principle, the very foundation, upon which that hoard are managing our railways is wrong. In order to have a good management we must have a responsible board. We must have a board responsible to somebody, a board whose actions can be checked and controlled by somebody-a board that can be censured when they make mistakes, a board like that of the Canadian Pacific railway as much as anything of the kind can be created in connection with the management of our railways.

To give you an example of how absolutely helpless the people of Canada are with regard to relieving this railway situation-except paying the deficits each year which is the part, and the only part, they are playing in the game-I will give you an example of what happened not very long ago in Joliette, the town from which I come and which I have the honour to represent in this House. The Canadian National Railways have a line from Montreal to Quebec which passes through the city of Joliette. Last year improvements or repairs, I do not know exactly which, were made to some of the bridges at and near Joliette. As a matter of fact on the bridge spanning the 'L'Assomption river, in the city, work has been in progress for about one year. It appears that the work has been so badly managed that about a month ago the bridge by some accident was partially destroyed, and as a consequence all the Transcontinental trains for several days had to be diverted and run over other lines. Can you imagine, Sir, the enormous loss to the Canadian National Railway system as a result? Being aware of these facts I asked the Minister of Railways recently, when the Estimates of his department were before the committee, if he knew of any contractors by the name of Fletcher and Company who were working on that bridge, and if he had any knowledge of their work. The minister and his deputy examined the books of the department, but could not find a single entry in relation to the building of this bridge, and therefore the minister said: " Seeing that this matter is

not in the hands of the department of Railways and Canals, it must be in the hands of the board of management, and consequently I must take it for granted that this bridge is being built or repaired by the board." That is the end of it; after the minister has said that, no one can go any further, because the board of management is an irresponsible body. If the Government were responsible we could find out who was paying for the damage, and so on, but in this case we are helpless. All the people have to do when they are told that the board of management is responsible for any error or misstatement is-to pay the bill.

Having asked for a responsible management, I would also ask for efficient operation of these lines. Of my personal knowledge I know that an enormous number of claims are being made against the Canadian National Railways for losses of freight and express in the province of Quebec. It appears to me that there must be something wrong with the management when so many losses are happening. I was called upon by a client, not very long ago, to make a claim for seven pieces of baggage which had been lost. What about it, Sir? The claim is made against the company, and the company answer that they will give the matter their attention. Generally that is the last we hear of it, After that action has to be instituted in the courts, the company come along in due time and either settle the claim or defend the action, and in the latter case it has to pay both the claim and the costs. It would be extremely interesting, Sir, to know the number of claims that the Canadian National Railways and the Canadian National Railways Express are paying each year. I believe it would be found that by comparison they are losing more baggage, freight and express than any other railway in the country. This again I attribute to bad management. But the management not being responsible, what are the people to do? All they can do is to make claims for their losses and enforce payment, which in the long run the people at large must pay. *

Now, Sir, a remedy which in my estimation would certainly ibe of some value would be a proper immigration policy.

Speaking on this question on March 21 last, Mr. E. W. Beatty, President of the Canadian Pacific Railway, gave the following interview to the Canadian press, which I find reported in the newspapers of the same date. It reads as follows:

E. W. Beatty, K.C., president of the Canadian Pacific Railway, interviewed by the Canadian Press on the subject of the deficit of $69,593,441 on the last year's running of the Canadian government-owned railroad systems, said that without immigration the prospects of the Canadian National lines were, iin his opinion, hopeless and any legislation which would stem the tide of desirable immigration must inevitably pile up further deficits. It was, he said, an aggressive immigration propaganda that built the Canadian Pacific Railroad and he claimed that Hon. T. A. Crerar, leader of the National Progressive party, struck the right note when he declared before the Canadian Club in Montreal recently, that a wise and vigorous policy of immigration would help solve the problem.

Mr. Beatty added: "I quite agree wiith those who object to immigration of city-bred continentals of poor physique and doubtful health, who would at once drift into slums, or of large communities of foreign-born who frankly declare that they do not intend to assimilate wfith English-speaking conditions. But the gates of Canada should be opened once more not only to the British, French and American immigrant, but also to the Scandinavian and the more desirable type of continental." He pleaded also the cause of the skilled mechanic in addition to that of farm hands and domestics, on the ground that Canadian industry would be handicapped in its progress without them.

He concluded: ''Policies which are perfectly appropriate in the case of the United States would not necessarily be applicable to this country. By all means let us exclude the undesirable immigrant, but admit those who in time will contribute to this country's commercial prosperity and economic strength."

I must say, Sir, that in a very large measure I concur in the views which -were here expressed by the president of the Canadian Pacific Railway Company. What we need in order to effect a solution of our railway problem and to bring about a development of the country generally is to get immigrants of the right kind, who will stay on the land rather than crowd into the cities. We want as immigrants not those who will increase the city population, but those who, coming from the land, will stay upon the land.

My hon. friend from North Waterloo (Mr. Euler) who spoke immediately preceding me, said that he would not have a tariff which would prejudice the workingmen of his community. I am of his opinion, Sir; I would not have any tariff that would prejudice the workingmen of our population. But I believe that the tariff policy which the Liberal party have propounded in this House is sufficiently wide to afford to the workingmen of this country all the pro-

[Mr. Denis, j

tection that they need. And as to the matter of immigration, I repeat that the crowding of our cities by immigrants would have the effect of taking away from our own workingmen employment of which they are so badly in need, and which at the present time is very scarce. It would help nobody; it would not enrich the country but rather impoverish it. I stand for the protection of the workingman against any such immigration. The only kind of immigration we want at this time, the only kind that will be a source of revenue and of wealth to the country, is that which involves settlement upon the land. The hon. member for North Waterloo made reference to Lord Shaughnessy's plan for dealing with our railway situation. In my opinion, this plan is worthy of consideration. Many people who are authorities on railway matters, great economists and men of sound judgment, are of the opinion that the adoption of the plan suggested by Lord Shaughnessy would be the best for our railways. I do not say that I am in favour of that plan or that I am against it, but I do say that before the House prorogues and members go home for about eight months, in the meantime letting the railways look after themselves and letting the millions of deficits pile up, it is the duty of the Government to adopt some policy that will relieve the taxpayers of Canada of the enormous burden which is bearing upon them through the increasing deficits in connection with the operation of our railways.

There are before the House Estimates which have been passed and there are others which are still awaiting consideration with regard to the militia and the navy. As to the proposed militia expenditures I do not know that I could do any better than emphasize what was said the other day by the hon. member for Quebec South (Mr. Power), that there are actually in this country about 400,000 ex-soldiers who could at a moment's notice be called to the dolours if necessary. [DOT] That being the case there is ho present necessity for large military expenditures. As to the navy, Sir, I am afraid that the gift of a few ships from Great Britain, made, no doubt, with the best intention, was one which we should have refused. It is my view that in the future we should curtail as much as possible our expenditures with regard to the navy, because I am convinced that a navy for Canada is at the present time and will for many years to come be quite unnecessary, to say nothing of its

being a heavy burden. The present tonnage of the three largest navies of the world is as follows: Great Britain, 808,200 tons; United States, 467,250; Japan, 319,140. If, therefore, the amount of tonnage represents the strength of a navy, Great Britain's navy is by far the strongest at the present time. Indeed, the navies of Japan and the United States combined have a tonnage a little less than that of the navy of Great Britain. But if the present programmes of these countries are carried out, in 1924 the United States will have a tonnage of 1,117,850, Great Britain 808,200, and Japan, 543,140. Under the circumstances, Sir, having regard to the immense size of these three navies, I cannot help wondering of what use a Canadian navy can be, or of what use the little navy is that we now have, if we have any at all. We cannot suppose for a moment that Canada will ever be at war with England, and, consequently, our navy would be absolutely useless as regards the Mother Country. Is our navy necessary to defend ourselves against Japan? It is not, for at least two reasons. First, the United States, with their navy twice as strong as that of Japan, would never allow the Japanese to land in this country, and second, we have, to protect our shores, the British navy which would never allow the Japanese to attack Canada. Would our navy be of any use against the navy of the United States? This eventuality again has to be set aside because, in the first instance, no one would think for a moment that war would ever be possible between Canada and the United States, and if, through unfortunate circumstances which we cannot foresee, such a war should ever take place, our navy would be so small and powerless as opposed to the American navy that it would be much better for us to have no navy at all than to have the kind of navy which we could not probably have even if we should decide to go to the expenditure of large amounts of money on a Canadian navy. We have had an example of this in the past. Let us recall for a moment the war between the United States and Spain. The Spaniards had a navy at that time; but it was an obsolete one; it was a navy which could not cope, by any means, with that of the United States. As soon as war was declared, the United States sent their navy to battle with the Spanish navy, with the result that the poor Spaniards who were on those obsolete ships, nearly all lost their lives, without being able to do the least damage to the United States navy.

I am very sorry that I have taken up so much of the time of the House, and I wish to be pardoned for so doing; but this is an exceptional occurrence, and I thought I would avail myself of the privilege of making my views known, obviously not on all questions, but on a few of the most important ones that are now before the House.

Parliament, we are told, will soon prorogue. Before it prorogues, if I had any advice to give to the Government, I would ask them to set their house in order, to look more to the business of this country than to any Imperial conference which is to be held in England. According to reports which have been published in the newspapers, the Prime Minister (Mr. Meighen) is scheduled to leave for England on June

7. It is all very well for the Prime Minister of Canada to attend the Imperial Conference, but it is much better for the Canadian Government to look after the business of the Canadian people. At the present time our country is in financial straits. We hear the Minister of Finance (Sir Henry Drayton) telling us that he has a deficit this year of over $100,000,000, when other countries of the world, France, England, the United States, have surpluses. The United States are paying their national debt; England is paying her national debt. I do not know to what extent France is paying her national debt, but I know that she is paying it. France, destroyed as she has been during the war, tried as she has been, at the present time, has come to a point where her exports exceed her imports by hundreds of millions of francs. Canada is in a different position; Canada has still an adverse balance of trade against her; Canada is not going in the right direction; we are becoming each day more rapidly and surely an economic dependency of the United States. Before the Canadian Government think of going into European politics, before the Prime Minister embarks for Europe, if I had a friendly piece of advice to give him, I would tell him first to set in order the business of this country. In order to do so, he should take into account the fact that we cannot continue as we are going on now, piling up deficit upon deficit each year; we cannot let the railway situation look after itself; we cannot be indifferent to a right immigration policy upon which I am founding strong hopes; we cannot be indifferent to all the other problems which confront this country, and before going to England to look after the affairs of the Empire upon the pretence that

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   REVISED EDITION. COMMONS
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REVISED EDITION. COMMONS


Canada is now a nation and that she is admitted into the councils of the Empire, it would be right and proper for the Prime Minister to look after the business of our country. Therefore, I trust the Prime Minister will not look to the necessity of soon proroguing the House in order to allow him to go to England, but that prorogation will not come until the more important business of the country has been looked after, so that the Prime Minister can go, leaving no stone unturned behind him which can accrue to the welfare of Canada. On motion of Mr. Sutherland the debate was adjourned. On motion of Hon. Mr. Calder ,the House adjourned at 11.56 p.m. . Thursday, May 19, 1921.


May 18, 1921