Well, I do not know what may happen in the future, but it is costing a great deal now. I think it costs now more per annum than the whole of that estimate; at any rate it is costing a very epormous sum of money. There is another question to which I wish to refer, and it gives me much pleasure to do so. I had expected that the task would fall to me of saying something about Canada's position, and establishing the fact, as it can easily be established, that of all countries that have taken part in this war, from its commencement, as Canada did, of all countries whose effort at all compares with Canada's in any one of her activities, having regard to her income and population, not one is in a better position than Canada. This is a claim I have made before, a claim that has also been very generously and free-
ly made by the financial papers and financial authorities of foreign countries in the best position to speak on this subject. I have said before that we were in at least as good a position as any other country outside of the great United States, which, of course, entered the war a good deal later than we did; but the duty of re-asserting this fact has been removed from my shoulders by the frank admission that appears in the Speech from the Throne. My hon. friends, who a short time ago saw nothing but darkness and ruin ahead of us, and talked of annexation with the United States as a result of the country's position, just in a few brief hours discovered that not only was my claim correct, but that they could go further and say that the position of Canada is better than that of any other country. Now that they are in office they make a wider and stronger claim than I have ever done. May I congratulate my friends upon their newly found faith in their country. These conversions are splendid. It does one good to see doubting Thomases who are quivering and quaking, afraid of annexation and all kinds of bogies of this kind, turn round, when they attain the ministerial benches, and from gloomy doubters become valiant upholders of their country's position. Again I congratulate them. I admit that I was amazed, although I ought not to have been, because there were apostles and emissaries going out telling them how awfully mistaken they were in what they had been saying, and that after all the financial newspapers knew more about the question than they did and were perhaps worth heeding. And so the gospel of optimism was commenced. I should not be surprised, because I notice that on December 22, my hon. friend the then member-elect for St. Antoine (Mr. Mitchell)-and he is a financial authority, Mr. Speaker-was talking on this very question, and I find that he is reported in the Gazette of December 23, as having said:-
The time had come for turning away from the dark side of things, that it was well to look away from the sombre tints shown during the campaign and with the aid of a strong immigration policy, work together for the development of Canada as a unity, and not as a country made up of easternism and Westernism, was the message which Mr. Walter Mitchell, M.F.-elect for St. Antoine, and late provincial treasurer, gave to the Commercial Travellers at the annual meeting of the Dominion Commercial Travellers' Association, held at the Windsor Hotel last night.
"Do not believe in the dark pictures we painted for you during the election," he said amidst laughter. "I would have painted them
still darker had I not been afraid that my majority would be too big."
So it is, Mr. Speaker, and I ought not to have been surprised that my hon. friend, financial critic and authority as he is, had started this great work of conversion of the Liberal party from pessimism as far back as December 22. I congratulate him upon his success.
In the course of his speech my hon. friend the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) ventured into a calculation as to the popular support given this party, whose defeat he was so cheerfully gloating over, and upon whose defeat-now that he is in his seat-I freely and sincerely congratulate him. Why, he said, if the majority of the votes only were considered we-the official Opposition-would be given merely 22 seats. Well, I would have thought that in the case of what I believe to be the first Canadian Premier holding office with a substantial minority vote, the hon. gentleman would have found it just as convenient to say nothing about that matter. But perhaps he is rather proud of that position. It is quite true we were not dealt with very kindly. Personally, I think we got not only the worst of the fight, but I believe we got worse- treatment than we merited. But let us see how this works out.
Of a total of 3,121,844 votes cast in the general election-I cannot vouch for these figures, but I believe they are correct- 1,296,723 were cast in favour of the Liberals, representing 41-53 per cent of the votes polled. My hon. friend talks about the minority candidates returned. Why, this is entirely a minority Government, and if his principles are correct, he should resign from office. It would be a dreadful thing, of course, to borrow some of the language used by him on a previous occasion when he talked about usurpation by a minority of the rights of the majority, but his language seems to be applicable to the present situation. The Conservative vote was 971,502, or 31-52 per cent of the total, while the Progressives with 769,387 votes polled 24.64 per cent of the whole. I should like to give my hon. friend the member from Marquette (Mr. Crerar) credit for drawing my attention to this question. I was chaffing him for not undertaking what seemed to me to be his absolute duty in this House as official leader of the Onnosition bv reason of the fact that his party had a considerably larger representation than we had. He said to me: I cannot follow you in that
reasoning, because after all you got over 200,000 more votes than we did. Well, analysing these figures I find he was right.
The unit of representation per member for the Government supporters averages therefore 10,989; the Conservatives, 19,430 per member, and the Progressives 11,836. We have 118 members supporting the Government, 50 Liberal-Conservative members, 65 Progressives, and 2 Independents. If we were to take the basis of the vote of the Liberal-Conservatives as the basis of representation, the Government would have only 66 seats as against our 50, and the Progressives would have 39. If we take the Government unit, the Conservatives would have 88 seats as against their present 50, and the Progressives 70 seats. I think the fortunes of war have dealt pretty kindly with my hon. friend the leader of the Government, and that on reflection he will think that after all he should not perhaps gibe us too much on forming a party which can only properly count 22 members.
If there is one thing that this House ought to do during the present session it is to pass a redistribution bill. The Speech from the Throne does not indicate any very extensive legislative programme. My. hon. friend is the head of a minority government. I do not know what the future holds in store for him or for his party; nobody knows; he himself does not know,. In order, therefore, to ensure something like fair and proper representation of the people in the next Parliament, the necessary steps to effect redistribution should be taken at once.
We have heard a good deal about campaign literature. Definite pledges, platforms and statements have been referred to by my leader and brought to the attention of the Prime Minister. Am I unfair in saying that the Prime Minister's reception of this recapitulation of campaign promises was, to say the least, cynical? The Prime Minister tells us not to take seriously this campaign literature; not to take seriously the pledges given to the people during the election campaign by the different parties. The hon. gentleman reminded my leader of a certain poster which contained the statement that Canada needed a certain very eminent gentleman, and went on to remark that the country did not think so. But if the cartoonist was wrong; if that idea was for the moment mistaken, is that any reason why the plighted word and solemn pledges of gentlemen returned to office should not be observed?
What is the use of an election if those who have voted for the victorious party find that the pledges on the strength of which they voted never existed? Does my hon. friend intend during the present session to bring down a bill to amend the Criminal Code? In that code there are laws dealing with misrepresentation,- and I may point out to my hon. friend that the crime of misrepresentation is only complete when the offender charged gets the goods. My hon. friend has the goods here; he is in office. Anyone who by false pretences, or misrepresentation, obtains property, even of infinitesimal value, is guilty of a crime and liable to a long term of imprisonment. Does my hon. friend think it is a small thing to say that faith with the people may be broken, that representations made for the purpose of obtaining office may cynically be disallowed? I am disappointed, more than disappointed, in the attitude of my hon. friend. I have had a high opinion of his character, and I am sure that upon reflection he will admit that such a serious matter cannot be disposed of by an easy gibe.
I am disappointed in my hon. friend for another reason. You know, Mr. Speaker, something happened during the last election-the Liberals discovered something during the campaign. Why, they discovered Toronto, and they proclaimed their discovery in their pre-election literature. Here is another of those things to which the Prime Minister thinks we should not pay attention. I was in hopes that what I am about to read was a distinct conversion of the great Liberal party to the just claims of Toronto. What do they say? Here is a campaign advertisement graced by my hon, friend's picture. I use the word "graced" advisedly; it is a very good portrait.
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First rate; it is all good, but apparently it is not to be "taken seriously." It reads:
Is Toronto, which produces over twenty-three per cent of the total revenue of the Dominion, entitled to adequate custom house facilities, and a post office worthy of a city of the size and importance of Toronto?
Was it not the duty of the representatives of this city to secure, long ago, the construction of the viaduct, the custom house and post office? These great public works that Toronto needs and is entitled to should be commenced immediately, in order to relieve the present unemployment in this city.
I was sure, Mr. Speaker, until my hon. friend made the answer that he did to my leader, that in the Estimates there would be provision for these much-needed works.
I am glad to see the hon. Minister of Labour (Mr. Murdock) in his seat; I congratulate him upon his most recent successes. I am particularly glad to see him here, because I wish to draw his attention to these words in the advertisement which I have just read: "in order to relieve the present unemployment in this city." I wish to point out to him further that for the period ending January 31, 1921, the percentage of employment in the trades reporting, was 90 1, and the percentage of unemployment, therefore, 9-9. For the period ending January 15, 1922, the figure was 80-6, unemployment, 19.4. For the last week that I have been able to get information, January 31 of this year-my hon. friend will have more recent information-the figure was 78.9, with an unemployment ratio of 21.1. I would like to point out to my hon. friend the Minister of Labour that compared with the same week of last year, at a time when he was disturbed by the spectre of unemployment, we have to-day nearly three times the amount of unemployment, and I would ask him whether, in view of that unemployment, which he professed himself concerned about, and sincerely I believe, he does not think these public works should be proceeded with immediately, as the candidate's advertisement says.
At six o'clock the House took recess.
The House resumed at eight o'clock.
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When the House took recess at six o'clock, I was discussing the advertisement published in the city of Toronto, in the interests, among others, of my hon. friend the Minister of Labour, and dealing with the unemployment situation. I still hope that that is not to be included in the list of discarded pledges by my hon. friend the Prime Minister. I would be very loath to think that the underlying motive of that advertisement was to signalize the direct return to what is vulgarly known as porkbarrel politics in Canada. That the only idea was that it should be a bait and a bribe to Toronto to elect the Minister of Labour, and that, as a penalty for his
non-election-that the admitted measure of justice should not be extended to that municipality. It was either one thing or the other. I sincerely hope it was not the latter proposition, but I am afraid we may expect disappointment. Mr. Speaker, I
do not see the hon. senior member for Halifax (Mr. Maclean) in his seat, but it is within the memory of all of us how insistently he fought for Civil Service reform, how he piloted through this House the Civil Service Act, how
the very name of patronage was
something most distasteful to him, but I notice little kites up in the air already, and some newspapers, very close to the administration are drawing attention to and making attacks on the Civil Service Commission, and most startling of all, I see one of these kites now being flown by the senior member for Halifax. I read from a Halifax paper, I think the Chronicle, this note, which appeared in the issue of February 9:
Name Patronage Board
At a meeting of the Liberals in Halifax yesterday, the following were named on what is said to he a patronage committee; Alderman Findlay, Harry Murphy, B. W. Russell, Ralph Hendry, Mayor J. S. Parker, and C. H. Bennett. These men were selected by the Hon. A. K. Maclean and Dr. Edward Blackadder.
I could not commence to in any way vie with the hon. gentleman in the tremendous claims that he made for the total abolition of patronage. It was his long suit. We find that that long suit was played when he was in the Union Government, to make sure that no patronage could be indulged in by the Union administration, the Liberal-Conservative administration, but patronage of the oldest and worst type can be indulged in just as soon as the Liberal administration takes office. We all know what the idea of the kite is, how these things are thrown out for the purpose of seeing just how they are going to be received. The hon. gentleman still has time to say that he does not intend to stultify himself, that he meant what he said, that he believed, and still continues to believe, in reform-and I may tell him that there was more reform granted to the people of this country in the last five years than in the preceding twenty-five years-ax'd that now, simply because his political friends occupy the treasury benches, he is not going to throw into the
discard the principles which he affected to hold most dearly. I do not know what advice the hon. gentleman is getting as the result of the publicity given to this proposed change. I hope that he will take advantage of the present situation to deny that he has any intention of proceeding further and by disbanding that committee.
We have had lota of misrepresentation, and I think many of the misrepresentations -and I want to be fair about it-were made in the heat of conflict, as they are . often made, without proper information as to the facts. But I would like to impress upon the gentlemen who now form part of the administration that misrepresentations cap no longer be indulged in, that we are entitled to facts and that the business of the country should be conducted on a basis of facts. Let me illustrate what I mean by this, and I am going to address myself again to the Minister of Labour. I do not know whether many of the gentlemen in the House have had the privilege of hearing the Minister of Labour talk. He is a most eloquent and convincing talker. I think sometimes he gets carried away by his own eloquence, and says a great many things which he never intended to say. I may be wrong, but at any rate I would' like to approach the discussion of one or two matters to which I am going to call the attention of the House, in that spirit.
Oh, Mr. Speaker, you should have heard the eloquence of my friend in the last campaign. You should have heard his denunciation of trusts and combines. He left nothing to be desired. These denunciations were delivered with the greatest force and eloquence and there were some peculiarly bad combines which he directed special attention to. He did me the honour of coming to my constituency and delivering a tremendous address denouncing anything and everything in his endeavour to make a hit. I have notes of his address taken at the time. He picked out for a very special part of his attack these iniquitous trusts and combines. He fastened all this upon the back of the late government. They were the protectors of the trusts; they created them; they fathered them; they aided them; the trusts were their children. He quoted Biblical phrases in connection with them; he found new decalogues in connection with them, and he was going to do tremendous things with them. Why, you should have heard him speak of Sir Charles Gordon
of that iniquitous concern, the Dominion Textile Company, the concern that he had been waiting for two long years for an opportunity to hale before a proper investigating committee and to exhibit in all its nakedness and frightfulness to the Canadian people!
There was another concern that he said a great deal about, the Canada Cement Company. He disposed of the Dominion Textile Company and the Canada Cement Company to his complete satisfaction, but he never told the people that both those companies were incorporated under the Liberal regime. His charge was that they were Conservative creations. The fact is that the merger of the Canada Cement Company took place in 1909, and the merger of the Dominion Textile Company took place on January 4, 1905. I am making no charges against those companies. The charges were made by the Minister of Labour. He has been in power for some time; he has had an opportunity of considering the case of that awful man, Sir Charles Gordon. He has passed upon his case; he has sentenced him for his crimes and iniquities by sending him over to Genoa for the purpose of representing this country at that great conference. The minister (Mr. Murdock) laughs. Oh, the election is over! He charged us with having the support of these companies; and if he did not know, he ought to have known that, at the very time those charges were made the name of Sir Charles Gordon was to be found upon the nomination papers of the Minister of Justice (Sir Lomer Gouin). That was the sort of thing that we took uncomplainingly.
The hon. member had a bigger complaint than that. Sir, the most monstrous, the most dreadful octopus, the worst of all the companies in the world, the one that surpassed all others in frightfulness, according to his way of putting it, was that dreadful organization known as the British Empire Steel Company. Why, my hon. friend waxed eloquent even for him; he rose to a height of superlative eloquence when he was denouncing that concern, and he went on to tell the people how he had investigated it and had found that, in the capitalization of the company there was no less than $230,000,000 represented by water or by good will. He went on to draw such a harrowing picture that it would bring tears to the eyes of the most hardened, as to the tremendous, awful burden that was cast upon the unfortunate people of Canada who would have to pay for all time
dividends on watered stock, dividends on values that did not exist, simply because the wicked government that was, countenanced such things. And he stopped there, for if he had told the truth his purpose would not have been served. If he had told the truth, it would have been known that the minister and his friends were responsible for that incorporation. If he had told the truth to the people of Ontario, he would have said: "This is the investigation that I made. I found this tremendous amount of water. These incorporators came to Ottawa with their petition for incorporation. They went away without it and they took practically the first train to my political friends, the Liberal government of Nova Scotia and they got their incorporation." If he had gone further, he could have said; "Why, Mr. Macdonald, K.C."-he was not then member for Pictou; he has since been elected-"Mr. Macdonald, one of my political friends is general counsel for, or at least very high up in the councils of that company, representing them, working for them. Ah, yes, here I am also, walking the goose-step with Ned Macdonald in our nondescript army." But he did not tell us anything of that kind. Oh, no, there was nothing that was said about the facts. After all, it is all ancient history now; I hope it has gone not to return; I hope that, with office, my hon. friend will stick to facts. I wish him every success in his department. The country needs success in the administration of the Department of Labour; and as regards those who sit around me, my hon. friend can take no proper step to help labour, no proper step to help unemployment, but his hands will be upheld by those sitting on this side of the House.
Are we very much better off to-day? I am hoping we are, but are we? Look at the discrepancy that we have between the Prime Minister and the hon. member for Marquette. It is not a discrepancy as to a mere matter of form; it is a discrepancy that is vital. It goes to the question of establishing fairness and loyalty to his friends on the part of the member for Marquette (Mr. Crerar) or else a willingness to desert them and to scrap his party. He has taken his position and the leader of the House has taken his. They are diametrically opposed, the one to the other, and I am afraid we cannot do anything to help solve this question except to point out that, in view of all the circumstances, in view of the fact that a meeting was held of the members of this
House supporting the leader of the Progressives, and that these matters were favourably considered, the great probability is that the leader of that party was correct in what he said. But, as I say, we cannot do much one way or the other to solve the question. It is a pity that we have so early in the session, such a sharp divergence on a matter of fact involving a question of veracity as we have between these two hon. gentlemen.
Well, we are attacked rather severely in connection with our railway policy. All the troubles of the railways, according to the hon. member for Pictou (Mr. Macdonald) are attributable to the one man of whom, for some particular reason, he seems to try to make a Machiavelli. The Prime Minister dealt with the same question and did me the honour of referring to a report which I made to this House some years ago. I wonder whether he will put the rest of the report into effect, or whether he is going to confine his en-dorsation to just a few lines of it, because those lines serve, for the moment, a useful purpose. I wonder whether he believes what that report shows as to the woeful waste, the reckless extravagance, and the manifest impropriety of the whole Grand Trunk Pacific and Transcontinental venture; or is his endorsation applicable merely to these few lines? Well, it is quite true that the figures quoted by my hon. friend are correct. It is equally true that at that time the mileage of railways in operation was nothing like what it is today. It is perfectly true, for example, that in 1911, although the lines had been very largely completed, neither the Grand Trunk Pacific nor the Transcontinental was reported as an operating railway in Canada. But to adopt the argument based on the figures of the mileage of railways in operation would lead to the result of charging the Liberal-Conservative party with the responsibility of it all, the party that did its very best and fought its hardest to stop that iniquitous scheme. Why, hon. gentlemen know that railways are not operated immediately on their completion. Those gentlemen who come from the West know that long after construction has been completed much time elapses before any application is made to the Railway Board to open the lines for operation, and there have been brought to the board, time and again, cases which could not be dealt with simply because the lines concerned, although completed, had not been declared by the company to be ready for operation and the
operation was carried on by the contractor. Furthermore, I think the House knows very well that, in connection with the right to charge operating expenses to capital account, there was a very special reason for a great delay on the part of the officials of the Grand Trunk Pacific in making the necessary application to the Railway Board, although the lines had been completed. To such an extent was this the case that the question was considered as to whether or not Parliament should take to itself power to declare the lines open and ready for operation although the companies themselves had not done so.
Now, I desire, in the plainest possible terms, to take issue both with the Prime Minister and with the member for Pictou as to who is responsible for the overbuilding of railways in this country, and who is responsible for this mess. Did any gentleman in this House, Mr. Speaker, ever hear the suggestion, until made by the Prime Minister in this debate, that it was open to this country to cancel all the charters that had been given and to set aside all the bond issues that had been made? Not only were these bond issues made, but the moneys had been provided and were in the hands of the trustees of the issues; and these moneys could be applied only to the one purpose. The fact is, as is very well known, that the great part of these undertaking's had been completed at that time, that the right of way had been bought throughout, that a large proportion of the steel had been laid, and that the companies and the Government that had endorsed their bonds were absolutely committed to the undertakings and had to go on with them. I say that every charter, which is responsible for the overbuilding of lines in Canada, where that overbuilding to-day is burdensome upon the public, was authorized by the Liberal Government. Why, during the whole long term of the Liberal administration, during fifteen years, there were only two years in which there was not some Canadian Northern legislation giving charters or guarantee charters, guarantees, and the like. My hon. friends will find a great number of them, and they will further find only two years when none was granted. I do not want to weary the House by giving a list of all these, but I should like to specify some of the main charters,-charters which have resulted in unnecessary mileage, and consequent financial embarrassment.
Hon. gentlemen know that the invasion of Ontario by the Canadian Northern has
proved very, very expensive, and is now demonstrated to have been for the most part entirely unnecessary. The charter for the line from Montreal to French River was granted on July 20th, 1905, but if you count the railway as in operation you will find that in 1911, according to the Prime Minister, we became liable for it. For the line from the township of Chisholm to Capreol, their divisional point in Ontario, the charter was granted on the 19th May, 1909. For the line from North Bay to Port Arthur, linking up the system with the West, and committing the country absolutely to the project, the charter was granted on the 15th May, 1902. When you get out farther west you will find that the charters for the lines from Dauphin to Battleford and thence to Edmonton were granted on the 29th June, 1897, and the 15th May, 1902, respectively. There is no doubt of one thing, Sir, and that is that, generally speaking the prairie lines of the Canadian Northern are good lines. If the Canadian Northern had been left where the Laurier administration found it, on the prairies, and allowed to expand there, and had devoted the hundreds of millions of dollars which were sunk in the building of unnecessary lines in the East towards giving absolutely necessary lines to the western farmers, its prairie system would indeed have been a great asset to this country. I repeat, those lines were good and necessary lines.
But the Canadian Northern system was not to stop there; that bold administration was determined to continue extension to the Coast, and it granted a charter for the line from Edmonton to Vancouver on the 11th August, 1899.
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Might I ask the hon. gentleman a question? Is it not a fact that the line from the Rockies to Vancouver, known as the Canadian Northern railway, was built under a provincial charter granted by the Government of Sir Richard McBride?
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I am pointing out that so far as the corporate administration was concerned, these rights
were given. The whole of that expensive Ontario-Quebec system was constructed under legislation of the former Liberal Government. It is absolutely true that, having got their charter from the Laurier administration, the promoters of the Canadian Northern system went to the British Columbia government and, for the purpose, as I think, of evading Dominion regulation, constructed that remaining link through that province under legislation granted by the provincial government. There is no question about that.
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