The manner in which hon. gentlemen have received that statement looks like an invitation for me to resume my seat.
No, go on.
We are here to do the business of the country and I feel that in speaking at such length I have imposed upon the patience of the House, but I pro-
mise to do better in future. On resuming my seat I wish to thank hon. members for the attention with which they have listened to me.
Mr. MURRAY MacLAREN (St. John City and counties of St. John and Albert):
Mr. Speaker, before proceeding to discuss some of the subjects which are referred to in the Speech from the Throne, I desire to associate myself with preceding speakers in extending congratulations to you, Sir, on your elevation to the high position which you now hold, and to say that I am fully of the opinion you will discharge the duties appertaining to the chair with distinction to your self and tc this House. I also desire to express my regret for the cause which has necessitated the absence of the Prime Minister from the House at this time.
Public ownership and operation of the national railway system is a question of outstanding importance which is now engaging the thoughts of the House and of the country. The Government proposes to continue the policy of public ownership and operation, and has stated that the policy will have a fair trial, carried out under the most favourable circumstances. One of the most favourable circumstances demanded, I think, is the confident and undivided attitude of the Government that will stand behind the policy. This, I take it, is lacking. It is an inherent weakness and therefore it appears to me that there is not proper justification for using with respect to this trial the term "under the most favourable circumstances." Mr. Speaker, public ownership and operation of the national railways should be viewed from a strong, broad national standpoint. The interests of all sections of the country are to be considered; and the very breadth of the Dominion adds to the difficulties in meeting the diverse requirements of the various sections of the country. What adds to the prosperity of one section adds to the prosperity of all; what creates adversity in one portion of the country has its effect on the rest. Therefore there is an interdependence, a community of interest, involved which should stimulate us to arrive at the most perfect arrangement which can possibly be reached so that all portions of the country shall receive equitable treatment.
This being the ease, I deem it my duty to my constituency and to my country to draw attention to the uneasiness and dissatisfaction that now exists in the Maritime provinces concerning the railway question. This, I may say, is not due to local feeling; it is not sectional; their vision is not restricted. I am glad to be able to affirm that no portion of the country is freer from narrow prejudice or sectional feeling, or more truly inspired by patriotic and national ideals, than are the Maritime provinces. It will be admitted that for the administration of the country to be successful all portions of the Dominion must receive equitable treatment. But a feeling of uneasiness and dissatisfaction exists in the Maritime provinces; it prevails among people of all shades of politics and is reflected in the press representative of all political views- in a word it is general. Much regarding this matter has appeared in our newspapers; and the comments of the press of other provinces, principally of the Liberal press-the press supporting the Government
have been such that the condition of uneasiness to which I refer has been greatly increased.
There are two phases of the railway question on which I desire to make some remarks. The Government has taken over the Grand Trunk railway and a portion of that line runs to Portland, Maine. The question that arises is what shall be the policy of the Government regarding this portion of the Grand Trunk which runs to the seaport of Portland? Shall governmental control, to the extent that it can be made available, be directed toward the development of our own ports, or shall it partially or completely assist in the building up of Portland, or other foreign ports, to the detriment of the cities on our own coast? This is a question that is now engaging the attention of our people, especially the Maritime provinces, because it is a matter of vital interest to them and it also greatly affects the interest of the country at large. I propose to read to you extracts from some of the newspapers dealing with this subject wihch will illustrate public opinion; and I shall quote from papers supporting the present Government for the reason that they cannot be credited with any desire to embarrass the present administration, and also for the reason that hon. gentlemen opposite will give more attention to the utterances of those journals than they will to expressions of opinion by other newspapers. I propose first to quote from some of the Liberal newspapers in the Maritime provinces on this subject, and I shall now read from the St. John Globe
of March 7, an article in reply to an editorial in the Toronto Globe which has not viewed the situation in the same light. It is stated here:
On another page to-day will be found a Toronto Globe editorial on Portland and the Canadian ports. The article, intended as a reply to the insistent demand of this paper that in working out the national railway problem the ports of the Maritime Provinces must be protected against government operated competition through Portland or any other foreign port, takes the broad general ground that if the government does not do this business somebody else will.
This refers to the Toronto Globe editorial:
The answer is obvious. Let them try, but do not use the resources of Canada to help them. The Dominion of Canada by and through a government commission must not own and operate a railway designed to carry to and from a foreign port trade that could and would go through the ports of the Maritime Provinces if the national system was devoting all its energies to the building up of trade through those ports. The long haul on which our Toronto contemporary lays so much stress is by no means the important factor it is represented to be. Gradients on the national system to New Brunswick are so much better than to Portland by the Grand Trunk that mileage advantage is nullified. That national system was built to keep Canadian trade in Canadian channels, but will be made to do so only if the administrators of the road are very plainly told what must be. Only a few weeks ago, when a United States Congress committee was considering a proposal which would have compelled the use of American shipping for the American carrying trade representatives of British steamship lines now doing business with the Grand Trunk at Portland declared they would have to transfer their ships to Maritime Province ports. Is it not the business of Canada to study ways and means to help them to do that very thing? The Maritime Provinces can be built up and developed only if there is Canadian co-operation. Competition by the Canadian National Railways system through Portland, with Canadian money spent to improve the terminals there, to encourage trade there, and with every Canadian National Railway employee from Montreal west to the Pacific an agent for Portland business, means stagnation in the Maritime Provinces. Canadian National co-operation with the C. P. R. in developing trade through the home ports means continued prosperity and steady development. The national idea must ever be kept uppermost in mind in the working out of the national railway scheme.
Then the same paper on March 4, says:
The fact that business has been done through St. John and Halifax is the proof that it can be done. What share will the Maritime Provinces have in Canada's trade if under the National Railway system Portland is made the national winter port? Neither the long haul nor the shipper's routing is a matter of the great importance which is so often suggested by the special pleader. It will always be for the shipper to route his freight as he likes. What is required in the Maritime Provinces is full pro-
tection against the government agents-the railway officials-routing via the competing port. The question of real importance is whether Canadian government interest is to centre in the development of home or foreign ports. Everything in reason must be done to prevent the Canadian development of a foreign port in competition with the ports of the Maritime Provinces, and everything in reason must be done to keep Canadian trade in Canadian channels.
And then it says,-and it is a Liberal paper:
That was the policy of Sir Wilfrid Laurier which must not be departed from by any Canadian Government.
Might I say it was also the policy of the Conservative party. The Daily Telegraph, of St. John, a well-known Liberal paper- in its issue of January 4, says:
There is a new government at Ottawa. In the near future it will be developing policies in connection with the great system of railroads under public control, and one feature of the railroad situation of sharp interest to St. John and Halifax is the Portland complication in connection with the Grand Trunk. Existing conditions would seem to demand strong co-operation by the Maritime Provinces, which are now well represented at Ottawa, in order to present the need for systematic development of Maritime ports in accordance with the policy of all-Canadian transportation.
I therefore, desire to draw the attention, especially of the Government, to the views expressed in various papers supporting their policy. I would urge, Mr. Speaker, that the policy of Canadian trade for Canadian ports be confirmed, and that the Government, so far as it is concerned, shall not be instrumental in carrying trade to foreign ports to the detriment of our own. This is vital to our interests and our prosperity.
The second phase of the railway question which I desire to deal with is that regarding the Intercolonial. We have heard speeches from the hon. member for Cumberland (Mr. Logan), the hon. member for Pictou (Mr. Macdonald) and other members on this subject. The railway was built as a condition of Confederation, and it is so stated in section 145 of the British North America Act. It surely will be conceded that in the construction of this railway is involved its operation, and its operation under favourable circumstances, so that the provinces may do business with each other and with other portions of the Dominion. The very high freight rates which now exist are so many barriers against the profitable operation of the railway. In many cases they restrict the trade, and in some cases even prohibit it. I shall read another extract, dated February 7, which deals with an article which appeared in the Toronto Star written by an
Ottawa correspondent. The Daily Telegraph says: *
Political blackmail is the description applied by the Toronto Star's Ottawa correspondent to representations made by maritime members of Parliament to the Government in connection with Intercolonial freight rates, and the relation of that railroad to the development and prosperity of this part of the country.
I think I should state that we are informed through the press that a deputation of Liberal members of parliamemnt from Nova Scotia and New Brunswick interviewed the government recently with a view to establishing headquarters of the railway in Moncton. I am not aware of the exact request that was made, but, in general terms, I understand that it was a request that the headquarters be restored to Moncton. Then the Toronto Star's Ottawa correspondent makes some comments. The article reads as follows:
The Star's correspondent lectures the Maritime M. P.'s at some length, and then proceeds to threaten this part of Canada with the expansion of Portland at Canadian expense-expense to which we would contribute-for the purpose of reducing the people of the Maritime division to what some people in Toronto regard as a proper state of subjection. Having declared that nearly every community in the world is to-day complaning of industrial depression and high freight rates, and having dwelt upon the need for national thinking and national unity, The Star writer proceeds as follows :
"Furthermore, the Maritime Provinces should be the last to begin the game of political blackmail in Canada, for they are the worst equipped for playing it with success. After the next redistribution their political power will be considerably less than half the strength of either Quebec, Ontario or the West, and their proportionate weakness will steadily increase. If they set this fashion, the West or Ontario may imitate it with demands which the Maritime Provinces acutely dislike. What if Ontario and the West combined to insist that in order to save paying heavy freight rates, Portland should be made more use of as a winter port?"
There is something further that I shall not detain the House by reading. I do not know what the Liberal representatives from the Maritime provinces who waited on the Government think of this article from the Toronto Star, a paper supporting the present Government, has written regarding the nature of their views and actions. I would think questions of such moment should be discussed in a reasonable, tolerant way, so that the matters could be fairly and equitably dealt with.
The fact of the headquarters of the Intercolonial railway being situated in Toronto, a distance of something like 800 miles from the seat of operations, has proved anything but a success. I would have my hon. friends from Toronto under-
stand that the objection is not any more to the headquarters being in Toronto than it would be to their being in Hamilton or any other town in that vicinity, but it is to the distance which separates the headquarters from the field of operations. They are simply not in touch with the wants and needs of the people using the railway. The proper place for the headquarters of a railway system is in the midst of its work. What then do the people desire? I take it that their desire is the restoration of something like what formerly existed; that is divisional control at Moncton, in order that officials might be in close communication with the business people and the industries of the locality, so that business might be done in an understanding way and that difficulties that always arise might be promptly adjusted.
It is important for us to remember that the right hon. Prime Minister of the preceding government (Mr. Meighen) made a pronouncement on this situation. He stated that, on the reorganization of the national railways, his policy would be to found a grand division of the national railways for the Maritime provinces, with headquarters at Moncton. That, I believe, would satisfy the people of those provinces and would add greatly to their prosperity. I would commend the policy of the right hon. the Prime Minister of the preceding government to the careful attention of the Government which is now in power. So much for these matters.
I wish to refer very briefly to the question mentioned in the Speech from the Throne of granting their natural resources to the three Prairie provinces. There can be no objection to that; it would seem a proper thing; but it is stated that there will be an accounting and other investigations in reference to this matter and that, on the completion of that, a report will be brought down to the House. I regret that apparently no provision is made for there being a reference so far as the other provinces have claims. The other provinces have claims. It seems to me that it is due to the provinces to be granted an opportunity of presenting those claims; and when the report comes to the House, surely it is desirable that we should have a comprehensive report rather than only a partial one concerning the Prairie provinces. I would, therefore, urge that when this matter is taken up, it be taken up in a thorough and comprehensive way, so that all questions bearing on it may be con-
sidered properly and a comprehensive report made to the House.
I have just one subject further to refer to, and that is the question of the returned soldier, and more especially the disabled soldier. It is a matter of great gratification to all Canadians to be aware of the fact that Canada has led the world in its care of returned soldiers; but we also understand that there can be no finality in a measure of this kind, because experience is of value and experience teaches that new problems arise occasionally to be settled, and naturally, from time to time, these will, I take it, come before the House for such readjustments as are found necessary and proper. In all cases and events, I assume that these matters will receive the very sympathetic attention of members of the House.
Mr. MILTON N. CAMPBELL (Mackenzie) : Mr. Speaker, I wish to join with those who have preceded me in expressing to you my congratulations on your elevation to that high and honourable office that you now hold. In congratulating also the mover and seconder of the address, I wish to state that I heartily concur in the remarks of the hon. member for North Winnipeg (Mr. McMurray) regarding the inequalities in the franchise. Let me say that if we are ever to make good Canadian citizens of the many races that come to our shores, we must frame our institutions to command their respect and appeal to their sense of justice.
I regret exceedingly that, through an incomplete knowledge of the French language, I am not in a position to discuss the speech of the hon. member who seconded the address (Mr. Mercier), and who spoke in French. It is one of the principal regrets of my life that I have not a full and complete knowledge of the French language, and I think the time has arrived when we of the Anglo-Saxon race must give to the French language the prominence that it deserves in our national schools. I would like to live to see the day when every school child in this Canada of ours would have at least a reasonable knowledge of the tongue of our brethren of Quebec.
I also wish to congratulate the hon. members of this portion of the House, particularly our honoured leader (Mr. Crerar), for the high moral tone, the mild and conciliatory nature of their remarks and the lack in their speeches of that acerbity, so noticeable in those from the other benches. But I may assure you that a legion of
avenging angels with flaming swords will not be more terrible in their wrath than will this mild and domesticated looking group if no relief is granted the farmer during this session of Parliament. Like the dame of the nursery rhymes, who went to the cupboard in search of food for her starving canine, we have come from the rural districts to see what the legislative cupboard contains for our suffering and impoverished tillers of the soil. I tender no apology to the farmer of the prairie for comparing him to that much abused, long suffering and highly intelligent animal of domesticity, for at the hands of those possessed of power, and lacking in appreciation and sympathy, the treatment accorded him has very often been singularly similar.
I do not believe that the financial position of the western farmer is fully appreciated in Eastern Canada to-day. Never in the history of the country has his burden of taxation been higher, and never before has the purchasing power of his products been lower; and I would point out that a reduction in tariffs and freight rates, and better marketing conditions, are not only necessary for a return of prosperity to the West and, incidentally, to the whole country, but are vital to the very existence and continuation of the farming industry in the Prairie provinces to-day.
Each increase in freight rates during the past four years has added a 5-degree angle to the backs of our farmers, and, in all, has moved the West a thousand miles further from the East. Tens of thousands of acres of grain stand rotting in our fields to-day because, after threshing, it would not realize the freight to ship it out. The farmer's overhead expenses have been heavy, and for the past two years he has operated at a tremendous loss that in a great many cases has meant complete ruin; and many thousands to-day, after a life time of hard work, self-denial and privation, have not sufficient assets to equal their liabilities. To the hon. members of this House, I would say: that their hands are extended in supplication to you to-day and I trust that history, in this case, will not repeat itself, but that the family cupboard will contain some small morsel essential to the preservation of the life of that most important of all industries.
I must apologize to this House for any distinction I may draw between the East and the West. I would be the last to raise any geographical discriminations. But nature has created them, our Governments have fostered and intensified them, and it
is only by a reduction in the tariffs and freight rates that the work of man can be undone; and we will be left with only nature's handicap, under which we are quite satisfied to labour to the end of our days.
The question of freight rates brings into the limelight the whole railway situation, which is a problem so great as to be staggering in its immensity; and I would say to the honourable leader of the Government, (Mr. Mackenzie King) that the place that will be accorded to him in the future history of this country will be largely determined by his ability to lead us out of this railway wilderness.
Perhaps it will be considered presumption on the part of an obscure and inconsequential individual like myself to offer suggestions to this House as to how this difficulty could in part be met, but I have the word of President Wilson that the suspicion is beginning to dawn in many quarters that the ordinary man knows the business necessities of the country just as well as the extraordinary man, and emboldened by this suggestion, I now go so far as to risk some proposals of my own.
I do not wish at this particular juncture to inflict on this House a lot of wearying facts and figures. I will leave that for a future time; but I am convinced that handled in a business way, our railways can be made to pay, and I heartily agree with many hon. gentlemen who have spoken on this subject before that to this end our first duty is to consolidate, under one management, the existing roads held by the Government in order to eliminate to the fullest extent any duplication of service, either passenger or freight.
Prom my personal observations, and I may say that I am a practical railroad man, I am convinced that the whole system is overmanned and overstaffed, particularly at the official end, and a ruthless wielding of the pruning knife, and the total elimination of all deadwood and surplus timber, is absolutely essential to put these roads on a paying basis.
Attempts have been made to convince the public that the increases in freight rates were made necessary on account of the wages demanded by the men; but in so far as the wage of the men in charge of the rolling stock is concerned, freight can be moved more cheaply to-day than twenty years ago on account of the heavier types of engines in use, and coal consumption is less by about 70 per cent on account of improvement in the modern locomotive.
Now it is not my desire to inflict my opinions on the Government, but I submit, Mr. Speaker, that a more scientific handling of freight could eliminate a lot of waste and loss on the Government railways to-day. Any practical railway man will admit that from April 1st to November 1st freight can be handled for less than half the cost of moving it during the winter months, and in revising our freight rates we should give the summer customer the benefit of at least a part of this saving and have in effect a winter and a summer tariff which will encourage the handling of our heavy freight during the summer season. From this source alone many millions of dollars that are sacrificed to nature could be saved to humanity. By creating more steady employment this plan would also materially assist in solving the wage question. I am not unmindful of the many difficulties in the way of holding part of our grain until the following spring, but to effect the saving, farmers would soon provide extra storage, and credit conditions would in time adjust themselves to the change. We need the most competent railroad manager that North America can provide, and no salary is too big for the right man. We went to the United States to get a Van Horne; let ns not stop outside the planet Mars for what we need for this big man's job. It is needless to remind you that this type of man will brook no political interference and must be given a free hand. A Roman emperor once said: "It is the fate of princes to be ill spoken of for their good deeds," and whatever policy is followed by the Government they must expect criticism. But the organized farmers are not destructionists, but constructionists. Their mission is not to destroy but to build up; and I can assure hon. gentlemen that the criticism that shall come from this portion of the House shall not be hurtful but helpful, and I trust, Mr. Speaker, that in the handling of this gigantic problem he shall also have the cooperation of the group to your immediate left.
I listened with a great deal of pleasure to the speech of the hon. member for Kings, R.E.I. (Mr. Hughes), and had I been dozing or been sitting behind a screen I would have thought that the hon. member was a Progressive. At all events, he gave a Progressive speech, and I am sure he is Progressive in sentiment. I therefore take this opportunity of advising him -I am sorry he is not in his seat, but this
remark will no doubt be brought to his notice-that if at any time he finds the atmosphere of the Government benches rather frigid, and the surroundings not quite as congenial as he would like, there will be a light in the window for him in this portion of the House, and the latch string will always hang on the outside. In fact, we have been seriously considering the advisability of making room at this end of the chamber for the whole Maritime group. I was also greatly interested in the speech of the hon. member for Brantford (Mr. Raymond). I regret that he, too, is absent. It was very eloquent and very lucid; in some respects it was one of the finest speeches we have listened to during this session. One thing I must give the hon. member a great deal of credit for is his frankness with regard to his stand on the tariff. There is nothing particularly wrong in that, Sir; I admire the man who will come out and tell you just where he stands, whether he is against you or not. The hon. gentleman's opinions happen to be diametrically opposed to mine, but that makes no difference. But in hearing him through I was quite convinced of the truth of what one of the hon. members of the official Opposition told me in the corridors the other day: that the hon. member for Brantford had been elected because he was more consistently protectionist than the Conservative candidate. I was surprised to hear the hon. member quote from John Bright. If I understand John Bright correctly, he would have had little sympathy for the high tariff and protectionist doctrines of the hon. member for Brantford.
I was also very much interested in the speech of the hon. member for Cumberland (Mr. Logan), particularly where he described the conditions under which the Maritime provinces entered into Confederation. It is something, Sir, that I have always known but which I had earnestly tried to forget, because I wished to pass on to my children the idea that the Fathers of Confederation were actuated by higher and nobler aims than those described by the hon. member. If you will excuse a personal reference, Sir, I may say that I, too, come from the Maritime provinces; my parents still reside there, all the cherished traditions of my boyhood days cluster round the land of Evangeline, and, if you will pardon my unpoetic language, the land of the potato and of the herring. What the hon. gentleman told us was, in a few words, that
in entering Confederation the Maritime provinces sold their birthright,-otherwise their fiscal freedom-for a mess of pottage, -otherwise a railway built for military and not for commercial purposes. British Columbia has a similar tale to tell and that province was on the point of withdrawing from Confederation when the promised railway was not built within the time prescribed and guaranteed by the Dominion Government. Quebec and Ontario conceived the idea of having "colonies", as one hon. gentleman described it,-I hate the word, Sir, in that connection, but I feel that I must use it,-colonies in which they could sell their manufactured goods under a protective tariff. After sizing up the situation from every conceivable angle we must frankly admit that the whole structure of Confederation was erected not on the solid rock of national unity but on the yielding sands of provincial selfishness, and I have seen enough, Sir, in the short time I have been in this House to convince me that this spirit dominates our public life to the same extent that it did in 1867.
I wonder if all hon. gentlemen actually realize the financial position that this country is in at the present time. The hon. member for Kindersley (Mr. Carmichael) in his speech the other evening mentioned the fact that our national debt is now $2,300,000,000, but I would add to this the debts of our provinces and the bonded indebtedness of our towns and cities, which brings it up to the enormous and staggering total of over $4,000,000,000. It takes about $15,000,000 more to pay the interest on our national debt to-day than it took to run the whole country before the war. Our railways are losing us, or were until recently, nearly a quarter of a million dollars a day. I was doing a little figuring while one of the hon. members for Toronto was speaking in the House the other evening-he spoke at a considerable length-and I came to the conclusion that during the time he was speaking in this Chamber the interest on our national debt had accumulated to the extent of about $125,000. I trust, Sir, that the hon. gentleman will be presented with a bill for that amount and be asked to settle it before the end of the session.
Hundreds of our schools are closed today for want of money to run them. Tens of thousands of working people are walking the streets without work and without any immediate prospects of getting it, while their families are insufficiently provided with food and clothing, boots and shoes.
Thousands of our farmers do not know where their seed is coming from; many thousands more do not know where they are going to get the supplies necessary to put them through until the next harvest. And yet,. Sir, there is a tendency on the part of the best intellect and statesmanship of this House to waste time in pugilistic, and, shall I say, gladiatorial exhibitions for the amusement of the galleries. We are fiddling to-day, Sir, while Rome is burning, in a manner worthy of Nero himself. Let us away with these petty animosities. Let us turn our backs on the past and set our faces toward the future; and may the fate of Lot's wife befall him who looks behind.
I have in my hand a letter addressed to the Progressives in Parliament from one of the grand old men of the organization to which we belong and whose insignia I am proud to wear on my lapel. I refer to Mr. E. A. Partridge, of Sintaluta, Saskatchewan, who with the hon. gentleman who is now Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Motherwell), called in 1901 that historic meeting at which was formed the Territorial Grain Growers' Association, the forerunner of all that we represent at the present time. In part, this is what he says:
Does this Progressive movement now propose to take on all the characteristics of a parliamentary party, dub its nominal chieftain, "Official Leader of the Opposition", and proceed to perpetuate the old party struggles under new party names? If it does, the clock of progress will be set back at least a quarter of a century, a most unseemly act for men calling themselves "Progressives". With solemn earnestness let it be urged that the Progressive members go to Ottawa . prepared to treat the Premier-elect, not as a political opponent to be harassed and thwarted at every turn, but rather as the regularly elected chairman of a convention of two hundred and thirty-five delegates assembled to find solutions for grave national problems, chief among which is the problem of providing every honest citizen with the opportunity of making a decent living.
Further he says:
There are exceedingly grave conditions to be dealt with by the Fourteenth Canadian Parliament.
Unemployment is rife and increasing.
Farm products are selling below the cost oi production.
Many retail merchants are in financial difficulty.
Debts, public and private, are piling up, because outgo exceeds income.
The cost of decent living is beyond the means of a majority of the people.
Interest rates are so high, an involved debtor must remain a debtor or become a bankrupt.
Freight rates have gone so high that commerce has been in many cases crippled and in others actually killed.
Home markets are narrowing. Seemingly the same people possess both the goods and the money. The majority of would-be customers are too poor to buy. It is a case of under-consumption, not of over-production.
"Dirt"' Lord Palmerston said, "is only matter out of place. The good food from your dinner table becomes dirt when it touches your clothing; it is simply matter misplaced." I would ask you if we have any statesmanship left in this Canada of ours? Have we any of it in this House? 1 am quite convinced, Sir, that we have an abundance of it, both on the Government benches as well as on those of the Opposition, but it is misplaced and misdirected and its efforts destroyed. Let us display some of the spirit manifested by our boys in France when they went over the top. They did not wait to ask whether the next fellow was from Nova Scotia or British Columbia, whether from Prince Edward Island or Alberta. They did not waste their time in petty animosities, but, animated by a single idea, they went over the top and they emblazoned the name of Canada on the heavens of fame, where it will remain as long as the Anglo-Saxon and Gallic races shall last. If we have any of this spirit-and I am assured that we have-let us get down without delay to a solution of our grave and serious domestic problems. The situation is not hopeless, Sir. We have the intellect; we have the ability, we have the statesmanship, but like our railways they need consolidation. Let them be consolidated and made one great driving force for the good of the country; then we need have no fears for the future.
We can make of this Canada of ours the happiest, the most prosperous and the wealthiest country on the face of the globe. Let me quote from a speech delivered in the British House of Commons over a century ago which, although referring to a different country and to different conditions, is equally applicable to Canada today:
God has blessed Canada in soil, position and in climate; He has not forgot his promises nor are they unfulfilled. There is still the rain and the sunshine, still the seed time and the harvest, and the affluent bosom of the earth yet offers sustenance for man. But man must do his part -we must do our part, we must retrace the blunders, I might even say the crimes of our past legislation, and then, and only then, will we find that Labor, hopeful and remunerative is the only sure foundation on which can be reared the enduring edifice of union and of peace.
Mr. J. L. STANSELL (East Elgin):
Mr. Speaker, at the request of the hon. mem-
ber for Strathcona (Mr. Warner) I rise at this late hour in order to relieve the pressure on the necks of hon. members to my left. Let me say that I am not unfamiliar with the art of riding, but I never did feel that I could get anywhere with a mount that persisted in travelling in a circle.
I wish to associate myself, Mr. Speaker, with the many kind and complimentary things that have been said in connection with your elevation to the high office which you now occupy, and which have been expressed by other hon. members in a much more eloquent manner than I could hope to do. I will only say that I am most heartily in accord with the sentiments they have given expression to.
So many hon. members have prefaced their remarks by stating that they were new members and craving your indulgence on that account, and then have delivered such excellent and eloquent addresses, that I hesitate, Sir, to declare myself a new member lest too much should be expected of me. But I am a new member and, of course, am under the disadvantage of that ignorance of parliamentary procedure which is natural to a new member. However, I sincerely desire to extend credit where credit is due, no matter with what party that may be associated, and in this connection, despite some references to the contrary, I should like to compliment hon. members on the Government side for their prompt action on two questions that are of pressing moment to this country; I refer to the extremely critical railway situation and the tariff policy. My congratulations are the more hearty and sincere because so far as we have been enlightened,
I refer to the remarks of the hon. Prime Minister, the hon. Minister of Justice (Sir Lomer Gouin), the hon. member for Brantford (Mr. Raymond) and others-they evidently are going to carry out the policy of the late government.
Some time has been spent during the last few days in attempting to give a definition of party names. This practice has been indulged in by members on both sides of the House. I have been very much charmed with some of the definitions offered, but I noted that while hon. members opposite seemed to be willing to name those in this corner Tories, there was no reference made on either side to any similar name that hon. members on the Government side were once known by. I was very much pleased with the defi-
nition given, I think by the hon. member for Stanstead (Mr. Baldwin). He described the elements of sweet charity that were to be found in Liberalism, but I must observe that those elements are much more conspicuous in his definition of charity than in his demonstration of its qualities. Now, Sir, I believe that what we on this side of the House are most concerned in, indeed, I think I can safely go further and say what the majority of the people are most concerned in, is not the definition of the name, but the policy of any party and the way in which that policy is implemented by legislation. I believe this is what the country is calling for to-day,-a party not of a certain name, but a party that is known by its performances and the way in which it keeps its pledges; not a policy that is like the wind, subject to change without notice. And I might say that in some respects the policy of hon. members opposite has been similar to the wind in another important respect, and that is that while for months past we have heard the sound thereof we do not yet know whence it cometh or whither it goeth.
I have been struck by the reference made by hon. members on my left to certain matters, and I must say that I am very much in sympathy with the statement of their situation. I can appreciate that situation very well, although not a western farmer. The situation that they so eloquently described is the more easily understood by me because I happen to be a farmer myself. I am much more familiar with the handling of a plough or a herd of dairy cattle than I am with the Rules of this House. I believe that hon. members to my left have presented the situation just exactly as it is, and I sympathize very much with them. I should like to point out, however, that the farmers in Ontario- and I believe most of the references have been to the farmers of the West-the farmers of Ontario, and I speak from experience, during the past year, have been operating their farms also at a loss.
Now, perhaps because I am a farmer it may seem to hon. members to the left that I could not be a protectionist. Well, Sir, I think I can explain my position in a very few words. I am a protectionist for this reason: I have given some study to the question, and the conclusion I have arrived at is applicable to conditions now prevailing. Since coming to this House I have been confirmed in my conclusion because the leaders of all three parties have ex-
pressed themselves along the line that at least some basis of protection is necessary. Some difference of opinion has been expressed as to how it should be described; whether it should be called a protective tariff, a tariff for revenue only, or a tariff such as I believe the leader of the Progressive party would characterize at the present time as a tariff of necessity. No matter what name it masquerades under I prefer to call it just what it is; and so long as the tariff is fixed at a certain rate it matters not whether you call it a protective tariff or a tariff for revenue only. As I view it at the present time that is the main difference between our policy on this side and the policy of the hon. members opposite-but it is a difference in name only. As an Ontario farmer I am a protectionist and possibly I take a selfish view because my constituents, owing to their geographical location, are mainly protectionists. Perhaps the views entertained on this question by hon. members from the Prairie provinces are due to the same influence. I have no quarrel whatsoever with any person who holds such views; I believe it to be the duty each hon. member owes to himself and to his constituents to fairly represent their views.
During the debate reference was made to the cause of the defeat of the former government; but very little has been said respecting what I believe to be, in the opinion of members on both sides, the real reason. It is a matter of history, and a well known fact that hardly any government ever passes through the period of a devastating war' without later suffering defeat. I would like to draw the attention of the House to the fact that during that great struggle the strain under which the members of the late government laboured was simply tremendous; and those who indulge in criticism should recollect that burdens were placed upon the shoulders of the members of the Cabinet greater than were ever borne by any previous administration in Canada. I would like to say too that 1 do not believe any group of men in this House or elsewhere, or any group of self-constituted critics, could have carried the public administration through those trying times more creditably to themselves than did the late administration, and in my belief no government would have fared any better at the hands of the electorate when the election took placj. In my opinion it is
only fair to give credit where credit is due.
In connection with the work of the late government, there was one man who, more than any other in Canada, sustained the burden and the heat of the day-I refer to the right hon. gentleman I have the honour to acknowledge as my leader (Mr. Meigh-en). From all sides have come expressions of satisfaction at his return as a member of this House; and I believe, Sir, that the majority of people in Canada, no matter to what party they belong, share in the satisfaction that this capable leader, who went through those trying times with such distinction, is still in a position to give his services to Parliament and to the people that are so proud to claim him as a fellow citizen. We on this side have unbounded confidence not only in his ability, but in his candour, his courage and his desire to serve his country to the limit of his power.
A good deal has been said in this debate with respect to economy, and many expressions on the subject have been uttered by hon. members to my left. That is one question, Sir, upon which we cannot lay too much emphasis. Economy under present conditions should be practised not only in the home but also by the municipalities, by the provincial authorities, and in the federal arena. I am bound, however, to say with respect to certain hon. members on my left who have talked somewhat on economy that they do not extend the application of this principle to the department of the King's Printer.
Allusion has been made to the cattle embargo. That question is one in which members of the House in general are intensely interested. Unfortunately the decision of this question is in the hands of the British Government and not in ours. Were it possible for us to raise that embargo I believe we would unanimously agree to do so. Let me point out, however, that efforts to have the embargo removed have not been confined to the Minister of Agriculture for Ontario. To those hon. members who have expressed themselves as so well satisfied with the work of the Minister of Agriculture of Ontario towards removing the embargo, I would suggest that the provincial minister be also sent to Washington there to make an effort to bring about the removal of the Fordney tariff.
Much has been said on the existing railway situation in Canada. I do not propose for one minute to take up time
in endeavouring to solve such an intricate question, one of the most important issues before the people of this country to-day. There is one thing however that I would like to point out, and before doing so I must make a confession that were it possible I would be inclined to favour private ownership rather than public ownership. But there are many things to be considered and the situation to-day in Canada is the result of private ownership. I am not an authority on the railway question but I believe this phase must be carefully considered for this reason. Immediately after my election I became the recipient of certain papers-I may say they were published in Montreal-containing articles on the railway question showing the awful consequences that would come to the country from public operation. No doubt other hon. members received copies of these articles which were marked in pencil so that the reader should not overlook them. I have also received various circulars, apparently emanating from the same source, all dealing with the awful results consequent upon public ownership. Now, Sir, are we to suppose that this propaganda is being financed and directed by some greathearted benevolent and patriotically minded citizen who is doing it all for his country's good? If so, I expect that we shall receive pamphlets and other literature, from the same source pointing out the horrible consequences that will flow from private ownership by reason of the situation that has developed in connection with the Merchants Bank. Now, Sir, while I do not profess to have mastered the railway situation I believe I am safe in saying-* and I commend the thought especially to hon. members on my left.-that all this propaganda must have something behind it, that it is more than the work of a mere patriotic citizen, and should be taken with more than the usual grain of salt.
Allusion has also been made in this debate to racial differences. That such should exist is a surprise to me but let me say that condition will exist just as long as hon. members of this House, or people elsewhere, continue to use the question for selfish or political purposes and no longer. I trust hon. gentlemen on both sides of the House will rise above any such suggestion. Now I reach a point which, possibly more than any other, was the cause of my taking part in this debate, although there has not been very much said in regard to it yet. I have felt, Sir, that since the war we, as a Canadian people, have been so
troubled with the many perplexities and difficulties that have arisen out of that great struggle, that we have forgotten our duties and responsibilities as Canadian citizens and that we have developed a sectional and provincial spirit rather than a national one. This has been exemplified by the debate in this House. Almost every question that has been brought up has been discussed almost entirely from the point of view the particular member represents. I appeal to all hop. gentlemen in this House that, at this stage of Canada's existence, while it is quite right to have our personal convictions, it is only possible for us to progress if we are able to approach the questions of the day in a spirit of compromise and unity. Let us hope, Mr. Speaker, that we in this Parliament, having aired our views in a political way, shall manifest that spirit of unity and compromise, in order that we, as representing the Canadian people, may help Canada to achieve that destiny that she, by reason of her great natural resources and the indomitable spirit of her people, is justly entitled to attain.
The motion of Mr. McMurray for an Address to His Excellency the Governor General agreed to.
On motion of Hon. W. S. Fielding (Min-' ister of Finance) it was ordered that the said Address be engrossed and transmitted to His Excellency the Governor General by such members of this House as are of the Hon. Privy Council.
On motion of Hon. W. S. Fielding (Minister of Finance) it was ordered that the House will, on Monday next, resolve itself into a Committee to consider of the supply to be granted to His Majesty.
Motion agreed to.
WAYS AND MEANS
On motion of Hon. W. S. Fielding (Minister of Finance) it was ordered that the House will on Monday next resolve itself into a Committee to consider of the ways and means for raising the supply to be granted to His Majesty. Motion agreed to. On motion of Mr. Fielding the House adjourned at 9.55 p.m. Defence Friday, March 24, 1922