June 5, 1922

PRO

Thomas Alexander Crerar

Progressive

Mr. CRERAR:

Our cotton manufacturers contribute very little in the way of exports, but we import a very small amount of cotton goods, so the main business of our cotton manufacturers and other manufacturers of similar lines of goods in Canada is to produce for the needs of the Canadian people under tariff protection ranging from 30 fo 35 per cent.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF THE DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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CON

Henry Herbert Stevens

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEVENS:

Does my hon. friend include in those figures products of the farm that had been manufactured?

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PRO

Thomas Alexander Crerar

Progressive

Mr. CRERAR:

Certainly, those figures include manufactured products of the farm such as flour and meats.

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CON

Henry Herbert Stevens

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEVENS:

Cereals?

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PRO

Thomas Alexander Crerar

Progressive

Mr. CRERAR:

Cereals and everything of that kind. The next item of our exportable wealth is from our forests, and represents $180,000,000. The wealth of our forests gains nothing by protection, because 85 per cent of the pulp and paper manufactured in this country is exported, and the main purpose is to find export markets for our surplus manufactured products. Our mineral products represent $50,000,000. So we have a total in farm, forest and mineral products of $683,000,000 in value, out of a total of $740,000,000 of exports. And yet, for forty years we have been following a fiscal policy aimed to create wealth in this country by building up manufacturing industries, although even last year they were not able to produce more than a few million dollars of exports in the most serious year that this country has passed through in a long time. To my mind the situation is absurd. The fiscal policy of this country should be based on considerations that will give the best possible opportunity for the development of these natural industries, such as agriculture, lumbering, and mining. The production of grain is just as much an industry as the making of goods by machinery. Let us then shape our fiscal policy to give encouragement to

The Budget-Mr. Crerdr

these great natural industries. If by encouraging the production of cereals we can double our production, and so increase by another $200,000,000 or $300,000,000 the value of our exports, our business is going to benefit, our railways will have more traffic to carry, and our factories will give more employment. That is a sound basis upon which to build our industries. But we have, so to speak, inverted the pyramid and endeavoured consistently for forty years to follow protection for the avowed purpose of building up manufacturing industries in the Dominion, creating them as the basis of our wealth, and neglecting our great natural sources of wealth.

The futility of protection is being recognized throughout the world to-day. After the war was over the various European countries sought to enrich themselves and advance their own interests by raising tariff walls against their neighbours so as to exclude their neighbours' goods. What has been the result? It has accentuated the suspicions, hatreds, and distrusts that have cursed Europe for hundreds of years, and after the terrific turmoil of the war was over the spirit of peace, that should be brooding over Europe has given place to a spirit of hate, distrust and strife. Those who were responsible for bringing about the Genoa Conference recognized that truth, and in the resolutions adopted at Cannes for the conduct of that conference specific reference was made to this particular subject. It is so important, Sir, that I shall read it to the House. It stated:

The obstacles to revival-

That is, to the revival and reconstruction of Europe.

The obstacles to revival, however, are economic as well as financial.

The conference will therefore consider how the existing impediments to the free interchange of products of different countries can be removed, in particular by the abolition as rapidly and completely as possible of such new impediments as have resulted from post-war conditions.

That was set out as one of the specific things that was wrong with Europe to-day. I have already alluded to the United States; -what was the position in Great Britain? Some of my hon. friends in this House have cited the safeguarding of industries bill in Great Britain as evidences of the fact that Great Britain was moving toward protection. Well, I advise them, Sir, to get all the pleasure and comfort they can out

of that in the immediate future, because if I can read aright the signs of the times, there is nothing more certain, than that when the British people have an*opportunity to pronounce upon the matter, the safeguarding of industries bill will go to the scrapheap and stay there forever. Lloyd George himself has stated that it is only a temporary measure; he was apologetic for it the other day. There is no organization of bankers, manufacturers, transportation people or labour people which is not opposed to it to-day, and it will soon be a forgotten thing. Yet my hon. friends seek to support the maintenance of this doctrine in Canada on the ground that Great Britain had the safeguarding of industries bill in operation for a few years.

The cure for the world is to have more trade, not less trade. Trade begets friendly feelings between countries. Individuals who are trading with each other, who are exchanging goods with each other with resulting mutual benefit and gain, are invariably good friends; the same holds true in our national life.

I have said that the budget is protectionist. It is protectionist, in the sense that it practically makes no changes in the customs tariff. I want to point out to the House that in 1919 I left the Government of the day because it brought down a budget that was very little different from the one that is submitted now. Under these circumstances, Sir, I cannot support the budget proposals of my hon. friend the Minister of Finance.

I want to say a W->rd now about the amendment that has been moved by my hon. friend the ex-Minister of Finance (Sir Henry Drayton). The first thing that strikes me in that respect is that the terms of the amendment vary entirely from the arguments that have been made by my hon. friends to my right who have spoken in this debate. The terms of the amendment are very simple; they state that the budget proposals brought down constitute on the part of the Government an utter failure to implement its pledges by legislation. Well, while I have been pretty severe in my criticism of the Government, I do not think those words are justified by the actual facts of the case:. My hon. friend the Minister of Finance has wiped out that iniquitous discrimination against countries with depreciated currencies, and he is entitled to some credit for that. But my main objection to the motion of the ex-Minister of Finance is not founded on that; it is founded on the fact that it offers nothing constructive at th''

The Budget-Mr. Crerar

present period of this country's development. We have a serious condition of affairs in this country. We have a burden of debt of almost $2,500,000,000. According to the proposals brought down by my hon. friend the Minister of Finance, on the basis of taxation of last year as I have already stated he will be $140,000,000 short of meeting the need's of the present year as asked for by the Government in their estimates. Under these conditions, what is necessary? I submit that what is necessary is a broad, courageous policy. What is necessary is that we get away from this principle of protection in our fiscal policy and set our eyes definitely and steadily in the other direction. Only in that way can we add to the wealth of our country; only in that way can we make the people of Canada prosperous; only in that way can we bring about such a Change in the conditions as will enable the people to bear the burdens of taxation that are imposed upon them. That is the broad, constructive policy that will lead to the advancement of this country in the development of all its great potential wealth. For that reason I beg to move, seconded by the hon. member for Springfield (Mr. Hoey) :

That all the words after the word "support" at the end of the third last paragraph of the amendment to the motion before the House, be struck out, and the following be substituted therefor:

"That the Liberal party having been returned to power, the budget proposals of the Finance Minister now brought down, based, as they are, mainly on the principle of protection in respect to the tariff, are wholly inadequate to implement such pledges by legislation.

"That while recognizing that changes in fiscal policy should be made in such a way as to give industries affected a reasonable opportunity for readjustment, this House is of the opinion that the principle of protection as a basis for fiscal policy in Canada is unsound and not in the best interests of the Dominion."

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LIB

William Stevens Fielding (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. FIELDING:

I submit, Mr. Speaker, that the motion is not in order.

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LIB

Hewitt Bostock (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

I would like to have the opinion of the most experienced members of the House on that question. I have an opinion, but I do not wish to express it at the moment; I will reserve it until later.

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LIB

William Stevens Fielding (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. FIELDING:

The ground of my

objection is that it is a well understood principle that you cannot have two amendments on a motion to go into Committee of Ways and Means or Committee of Supply.

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LIB

Charles Marcil

Liberal

Mr. MARCIL (Bonaventure) :

I may

add that during my term as Speaker, and

for many years before and since, the custom to which the minister refers has always been followed.

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PRO

Thomas Alexander Crerar

Progressive

Mr. CRERAR:

I submit, Mr. Speaker, that in all the circumstances, the amendment to the amendment which I have moved-should be recognized by you and admitted. I have not had a great deal of experience in the study of authorities who have dealt with these questions, but it is a well recognized practice in the British House of Commons-the Mother of Parliaments, from which we derive practically all that we have in the way of parliamentary institutions and parliamentary practice-to permit the introduction of secondary amendments or amendments to the amendment. Now, I may say with reference to the British practice that the method of procedure, as I understand it, is different from ours. In effect, the permission of the British House must first be secured for an amendment; that being done in each case, as many amend-mens may be offered as hon. members wish to introduce. Our own rules provide that:

In all cases not provided for hereinafter or by sessional or other orders, the rules, usages and forms of proceeding of the House of Commons of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland in force on the first day of July, 1867, shall be followed.

We have no rule of this House which is contrary to the practice to which I have referred as the well established practice in the British House of Commons. Our practice in Canada rests upon a precedent. I quite admit that in recent years, and, indeed, for quite a number of years in this House it has been the rule not to admit second amendments, or even an amendment to the amendment. That practice rests, so far as I have been able to discover, upon a decision given by Mr. Speaker Smith in the old Parliament of Canada in 1858, but as Bourinot has pointed out in his very valuable work: "This peculiar limitation to moving amendments arose originally from a misunderstanding of a Canadian Speaker as to the English practice."

Bourinot had in mind the decision given oy Mr. Speaker Smith upon this occasion. It was a decision that a second amendment was not admissible. I do not need to recite to the House the particulars of that discussion, but a curious thing, I find, happened two years later when Mr. Speaker Smith, the same Speaker who had given the decision in 1858, practically

The Budget-Mr. Crerar

reversed that decision. I quote from Speakers' Decisions, a work compiled by Mr. A. Laperriere, who was at one time First Clerk of the Library of Parliament, and who quotes the decision of Mr. Speaker Smith upon that occasion:

The Hon. A. T. Galt having moved the House into Committee of Supply, an amendment was proposed by the Hon. Geo. Brown, and after debate, an amendment to the amendment was proposed by the Hon. L. T. Drummond. C. Dun-kin, Esq., raised the point of order and asked whether an amendment could be moved to the amendment to the motion for the House in Committee of Supply. The Speaker answered thus:

''The point is very clear. There could be only one amendment to the motion for going into Committee of Supply. The motion of the Hon. D. T. Drummond was simply to amend the amendment, and consequently as it was not a substantive motion, he must rule it to be in order."

And he so ruled, and the House voted on the amendment to the amendment.

I submit that the present case is identical. It is true that subsequent speakers, either through lack of knowledge of the practice or of the decision on this particular occasion, have held that the first decision of Mr. Speaker Smith in 1858 should govern Canadian parliamentary practice, and I recognize that there have been several decisions by Speakers subsequent to that date confirming that view, but I submit, Mr. Speaker, that the full facts of the case were not taken into account and that you, Sir, in your ruling should follow the precedent established by Mr. Speaker Smith in 1860, in the circumstances which I have just related to the House.

There is another reason, aside from the practice and the rules, and that is that at the present time we have in this House a well recognized third party. I submit, Sir, that in fairness and equity this party of which I have the honour to be the leader, should have the opportunity of expressing its view upon a question of this kind in the manner in which we have done in the amendment I have moved. I think that is only a matter of equity and right. I quite recognize that you, Sir, in the duties of your office must be guided by the rules and by the practice that has gone before, but I submit, Sir, that the practice of refusing an amendment to the amendment is not substantially or soundly founded in this country. I therefore hope, Mr. Speaker, and ask you to so rule, that the amendment to the amendment which I have proposed is in order.

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LIB

William Stevens Fielding (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. FIELDING:

I submit, Sir, that the hon. gentleman has stated that something

that occurred sixty-two years ago justifies his present motion. I do not admit that he is correct. I think possibly he may not be; but against his events of sixty-two years ago may I not plead the practice of the Parliament of Canada so long as any member of this House has any knowledge of it?

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LIB

Hewitt Bostock (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

Although I have studied the question, having been made aware that an amendment to the amendment might be moved, yet I find the point raised so important that I shall reserve my decision until to-morrow to give me an opportunity of reviewing the opinion I have formed, and see if I can render justice to the third party in this House. As I stated a moment ago, I have an opinion based upon the practice in the past, but I shall go deeper into the subject during the day, and to-morrow I shall be in a position to give a ruling. In the meantime my decision on the point is reserved.

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LIB

Edward James McMurray

Liberal

Mr. E. J. McMURRAY (North Winnipeg) :

Mr. Speaker, in discussing the budget this afternoon, I do not propose to enter into any philosophical arguments in support of protection or free trade. There are the regular stock arguments

5 p.m. in favour of either proposition.

, The case for protection has been well and ably set forth by the hon. member for Centre Toronto (Mr. Bristol), and that in favour of free trade by the hon. member for Marquette (Mr. Crerar) and the hon. member for Brant (Mr. Good). Indeed, the latter has put forth various arguments in favour of other forms of taxation. Neither am I going to enter into a minute discussion of the budget itself. I am not well enough informed, and it is a matter of a highly scientific nature. The Canadian tariff is described as one of the most difficult of all subjects. I wish to discuss the matter more from a general point of view. It is easy enough to put forward theories, but their practical application in a country like Canada is a far more difficult and serious thing. Circumstances are compelling forces that limit and curtail the carrying into effect of many theories. This is true in all walks and callings of life. We see it every day. We must fashion the suit from the amount of cloth and the material at hand.

Financial conditions in Canada to-day, as in practically every other country of the world, are exceptionally serious. We have a national debt of two and a half

The Budget-Mr. McMurray

billion dollars, and a potential debt in connection with pensions that will amount, before we are through, to practically one billion dollars. In addition we are rapidly accumulating railroad deficits. The difference between the first two kinds of liabilities and the third is that the first two constitute a liability for many generations, while the third in all probability can be stopped. Last year we were short some $86,000,000, and the year before some $90,000,000. This year we are going to be short some $140,000,000. With that facing the hon. Minister of Finance (Mr. Fielding) his policy, as a matter of consequence, had to be more or less limited. He might well have exclaimed with Macbeth that he was " cabined, cribbed, confined " by the actual financial conditions prevailing in this country. He had to face a falling revenue and a rising indebtedness. In addition to that, we will have to meet the Fordney Bill of United States. The minister finds his vessel is driven by contrary winds on a rough sea, but that splendid pilot of the people of Canada has pointed his course true to the Liberal chart and compass as he has ever steered it in the past.

In the discussion of this question we must understand that the indebtedness to which this country is committed is largely that created by war. It was not created in the special interest of any particular industry or section of people in Canada, but in the interest of all, and all have a patriotic duty to bear that burden. The taxation harness has been placed by a master hand. The budget has been drafted so as not to injure any particular industry in this country and yet in such a way that the burden is borne by all. It is a burden in which all bear a part, and no one is injured. I am satisfied that the people of this country as a whole will accept favourably, recognizing all the conditions, the budget as it has been drafted.

I am not so much concerned with the budget to-day, but what of the future budgets? I have listened in this House for some constructive proposition in that regard. But I have not heard anything constructive in the amendment moved from the other side (the official opposition) which I submit is empty, querulous and petulant, harking back to the past election, which appears to be an ever-present and bitter memory. I have heard nothing constructive from the hon. leader of the Progressives (Mr. Crerar). During the

course of his speech he told us he had some constructive suggestions to make. He did refer to construction work in the past, but I listened in vain for something constructive in his amendment. He was purely critical and had nothing, with one exception, to offer. He did not offer any suggestion as to how the vast sums of money that had to be raised annually in this country were to be raised under his amendment. We are annually going back financially. In 1921 we had added a debt of $50 on every family in Canada. In 1922 we propose to add $75 a family. This cannot continue. It must end somewhere. What of next year? Are we going to make any provision for the creation of a reservoir of wealth from which we can draw to meet our needs? We must do something definite. In this country there appears to be a growing tendency to take a grumbling attitude. Everybody is against something; apparently nobody is in favour of anything. That is the attitude apparently of every applicant who besieges the Minister of Finance to lift the burden off his back and "let George pay it." We have farmers from the West wishing to lift the burden from their shoulders to put it upon the back of the rest of the community. There must be created large reservoirs of wealth to pay the debt and lower the insufferable burden of taxation. Wealth is not created by budgets nor by resolutions of Parliament. There is only one way in which wealth is produced, and that is by labour 'applied to natural resources. Providence will not do it. We cannot sit here and wait for rain and favourable climatic conditions to produce wealth. We cannot be like the fable of the frog that sat on the rock with his mouth open waiting for the flies to fly in. He waited there long and grew emaciated and finally died. We have got to do something constructive, if we are going to take care of the heavy taxation of this country. We must not, like Victor Hugo's toiler of the sea, sit on the rock and allow the waves of financial distress to sweep over and destroy us. Providence always sides with the energetic and the capable. Canada is a country of tremendous resources. It seems like tautology to harp and dwell upon this. There is not a man in this House who does not believe that this will be a great country; that it will be a populous country; that it will have diversified industries, large cities; and that, in hundreds of years to come it will be one of the great nations of the earth. Of course, we all believe

The Budget-Mr. McMurray

that, and I submit the great chieftain of the Liberal party, Sir Wilfrid Laur-ier. was right when he .made the prediction that the last century was that of United States and the present century will be that of Canada. The Americans believe that, and the Americans believe in the resources of this country. The hon. Minister of Finance was able to go to the city of New York in the United States and arrange a large loan at a reasonable rate of interest. The other day a friend of mine from Chicago, who had a small sum of money to invest, told me he went to a broker's office, asked for a suitable investment and the broker suggested bonds in a Canadian municipality. His friend asked him if he considered that a good investment and he said, "Certainly". He said that Canada was in the same position to-day that United States was 50 years ago. When the Liberal party went into power in 1896 things were in a bad shape in this country. There was unemployment, the West was unpopulated. There were no cities or towns there worth while. Times were bad and the people were leaving our country as fast as they could. There was blue ruin abroad in the land. The policy of the Liberal Government was that of a keen, active, energetic immigration policy based upon a sound business system. When Sir Clifford Sifton-then Mr. Sif-ton-became Minister of the Interior, he inaugurated an active immigration policy, and a complete revival followed. The West, which was practically a large barren prairie at that time, opened up to thousands and thousands of settlers drawn from all parts of the world. Cities sprang up; industries became active throughout Canada; unemployment disappeared; railroads were built. And that prosperity continued unremitting until 1914, when the war broke out. Since then, that policy has been dropped. Under that policy the manufactures of Canada increased six hundred per cent in twelve years; under that policy the population of Canada increased 40 per cent in twelve years; under that policy the total trade of Canada increased 400 per cent in twelve years. If that policy had been continued, and had not the war intervened we would probably have had in this country to-day, instead of 8,000,000 people, some 15,000,000 people. That policy was halted by the war, and it has not been revived. That policy should, in my humble opinion, be revived instantly. It was the policy that was making us great, prosperous and wealthy.

Sifton was the Canadian Columbus who discovered Canada to the people of the world.

We now have the railroads built; we have the elevators built; we have the mercantile marine; we have the large manufacturing plants created. The stage is all set. All we want is the strong hands and courageous hearts to produce the wealth and "prosperity that we had before, to create that reservoir of wealth of which I have spoken, to secure in this country a body of wealth that can be taxed to take care of the great indebtedness that we must meet some time or another, and to do away with our annual deficits. There must be more shoulders to carry the burdens, and in that way alone can they be got. There are to-day in western Canada lands in unlimited quantities. The roads are built; the railroads are built; the schoolhouses are there; the municipal organization is ready. These lands lie within from twelve to fifteen miles of the railroad. There are some 12,000,000 acres of them along the line of the National Transcontinental from Winnipeg to Edmonton; there are 25,000,000 acres of good arable land in northern Ontario and northern Quebec adjacent to the railroads. In my opinion, there never existed a more favourable opportunity of getting desirable immigrants than exists to-day. Throughout Europe, by reason of the great war, there is great disintegration. Thousands of people there of capacity and ability, who have been disheartened and broken by conditions in that land, would hail the opportunity of coming to this new land with their sons and daughters and starting anew. That this is not a mere idle phantasy, we have the case of Australia to prove. Australia has actually embarked upon a policy of spending $250,000,000 in an agressive immigration policy to bring the people, particularly the British people, to their country, to help develop its resources and to pay the large burden of debt which the Australians, like ourselves, have to labour under. Not only is this true of the Australian Commonwealth itself, but it is true of each and every independent member of that commonwealth, such as New South Wales or Queensland; they are all actively engaged in that immigration policy. We can go out into the world to-day: we can go to Great Britain and we can get 'the best of her people; we can get the Scandinavians, we can get the people of Europe. From my experience of western Canada, an experience of considerable length, I am not one of those who are opposed to the intro-

The Budget-Mr. McMurray

ductio'n into this country of the peoples of Central Europe. Iif I might be pardoned a personal allusion, I have lived in western Canada for some twenty-six or twenty-seven years. I came to that country when it was more or less practically unsettled. There were no cities there except the city of Winnipeg. I have seen the effect of immigration. I saw the hardy people of Central Europe come there with their ox-teams and go out on the prairies. As I have stood on the ridge looking over miles of country in the summer time, I have seen that brown prairie turned into black ploughed land. I have come a year or two afterwards and seen that land in waving fields of grain. I have seen those people go to that land, dig their homes out of the ground, build their sod homes and sod stables, and I have seen them grow rich. To-day their children are going to our schools and colleges; they are competing with the best that we have in the West. In the province of Manitoba, in the high schools, I understand that 18 per cent of all the students are descendants of these people from Central Europe. If there is one weakness that the English-speaking Canadian possesses above all others, it is his sense of superiority to those of other races; he is inclined to look down upon the people of other extractions. But as regards thrift, industry and capacity for hard and continued labour, I do not think he is the equal of the people of Central Europe. The coming of those people was the result of the policy I have described. I have given only one instance out on the prairies; but those people did not get the 'best land of western Canada. They were turned to the wooded districts and to the swamp lands. Out from the city of Winnipeg, some thirty miles, is a settlement of Bohemians who went into a district that was considered practically worthless. To-day it is one of the most valuable districts in western Canada as regards the price of land. Those Bohemians made wonderfully fine settlers. They are cleanly, industrious, with a turn for music and painting, and if one goes down to a place called Ladywood, one will see every sign of thrift. Their condition reminds one of the story of Washington Irving's " Sleepy Hollow," where the schoolmaster went to court the old Dutchman's daughter. He admired the turkeys and geese and all the live stock around the place, the apple orchard, all overflowing with evidences of thrift and prosperity. That is the story of those people. Throughout western Canada, I have never known at

any time the foreign people to ask for help or assistance. They do not need it; they are capable, by their thrift and industry, of baking care of themselves. If this active immigration policy is entered into, it will >in a very short time solve our railroad deficits. I have this upon the statement of one of the ablest authorities on railway rates in Canada, a statement given a short time ago, not many miles from this House. He pointed out that the doubling of the production of grain in western Canada would settle the railway question instantly. I was pleased to hear the hon. member for Last Mountain (Mr. Johnston) advocating an immigration policy. I was doubly pleased to hear the hon. member for South Renfrew (Mr. Low) the other night referring to the necessity of an active businesslike immigration policy, and particularly to hear him speak of the necessity of stirring our agencies in the United States into keen and active work. Some years ago, in the city of Winnipeg, the large real estate offices were busy bringing thousands and thousands of settlers from the United States to western Canada. Practically every real estate office in the United States was a Canadian immigration office. But that is not the story now. One hundred thousand families of farmers settled in western Canada would produce enough added wheat in the next six or seven years to take care of the annual deficit on the National Transcontinental Railway. I believe that this is the view of the business men, and the men of standing in Canada to-day. I have made a point of discussing it with various persons I have met in different parts of the country, and I have rarely met any man who did not think that the solution, and the only solution, of our present unhappy situation is to bring the strong hand and the stout heart of the capable and willing immigrant wherever he can be secured to develop these resources of ours that are idle. Sir Clifford Sifton a short time ago, speaking in Toronto, advocated a keen, decisive, active immigration policy. He dealt with the question of our people leaving Canada, and the hon. member for Marquette (Mr. Crerar) bore out his opinion a few minutes ago in his speech when he said that the men who were leaving Canada were the skilled artisans and the residents of the cities. It has been our mistaken immigration policy in the past that we have

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?

An hon. MEMBER:

Where was that?

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LIB

Edward James McMurray

Liberal

Mr. McMURRAY :

Touchwood Hills.

The West was not built on dollar wheat I would remind my hon. friend. You will see as fine farm houses and buildings in the West as anywhere in eastern Canada. I believe we are to-day in the position of the teeter-we are about at the dead centre, prices are going down and prosperity will return. We Will shortly pass through this valley of depression and emerge again on the tableland of prosperity where we were five years before the war came.

Throughout western Canada there are holders of a vast amount of victory bonds. I know farmers who own as much as $20,000 and $25,000 worth of those bonds-dug out of the soil.

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PRO

Robert Forke

Progressive

Mr. FORKE:

Do you know that I have sold my victory bonds during the last two or three years to keep my farm going?

The Budget-Mr. McMurray

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PRO

John Livingstone Brown

Progressive

Mr. BROWN:

So have I.

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LIB

Edward James McMurray

Liberal

Mr. McMURRAY:

That does not disturb my argument at all. You may have been obliged to do that. I will grant you that last year was very hard on farmers. I farm myself and I know that. But I believe that it is only a temporary condition, and that with lower freight rates

a great desideratum in western Canada-lower ,wages and lower prices of commodities we will be back where we were before the war; in a word, we will be prosperous again.

It is argued that our immigrants must be from the British Isles, that they must be English speaking. I submit, Mr. Speaker, that that is not the test at all. What we want are men capable of earning a living as agriculturists and who will grow into the common life of the country. Many of our people in the province of Quebec cannot speak English at all; who will say that they are not just as good Canadians as those who can speak English? For many years throughout this country people were found-and they are found now, I believe', in some parts-of Scotch extraction who talked Gaelic. They were and are good settlers; and I maintain, therefore, that a knowledge of the English tongue is not a necessary standard. It is not essential that these immigrants should be of English-speaking extraction.

Then, there is an objection against the foreign-born man that he will not become Canadian. I think it is -rather a -hasty view that if the foreigner does not talk our language in ten or twelve years he will not become part of the national life. The building up of a nation, Sir, is a matter of slow growth; it is a matter not of years, but of decades. If these people are thrifty, industrious, courageous, they will in the years to come develop into a solid Canadian people. And it is a scientific fact that from the mixing of nationalities a more competent, more virile race is bound to issue; we see instances of that in the United States.

Then, there is another argument-and it will recur to my labour friends in the House-that the introduction into this country of a large body of immigrants would be injurious to labour; would be detrimental to those of our people who are now idle; would add unemployment to unemployment. I do not believe that for an instant; if I did, I would not be here advocating the policy that I do. In fact, I think the very opposite would be the effect. With agricultural immigration

r Mr. Me Mu rray. ]

into this country taking place, a home market would be created for the products of our factories. If 100,000 families were settled to-day upon the plains of the Canadian West, the result would be the giving of employment to large numbers of men in the annual production of some $50,000,000 worth of goods. Toronto, Brantford, Hamilton

all the cities of eastern Canada in fact-were stung into life under the immigration policy inaugurated by Sir Clifford Sifton following 1896.

There are those who tell us that we should follow the policy of the United States which allows not more than three per cent of any given foreign population to come in during one year. But that was not the policy of the United States when they needed settlers as we need them. After the American Civil War the people of the world were welcome to go to the United States, make their home there and assist in the building up of the great population and the great wealth that that country now possesses. We are now more or less in the situation of the people of the United States at that time, and if we are to build up a population; if we are to create a body of wealth, we must do it by the application of labour to the soil; and we must have the people of the world here to help us do it. They are to be had; they will come, and come gladly. We are not bringing them here to pay our taxes; their taxes are heavy where they are. They will come here and enjoy prosperity, as thousands of their countrymen have done in the past. Nor are we bringing them to a country that is, or should be, despondent. The financial situation of Canada, while it is bad, is fairly good compared with that of most other countries. I take the opportunity of quoting briefly from an influential financial paper published in the United States. It says:

Canada has her troubles. They are the lesser problems of resumed growth, not of reconstruction. She has no war currency to deflate. Her budget practically balances. In foreign trade her cash position is stronger than a year ago. Her production increases. No other country in the world can poimt to the combination of all these factors in January, 1922.

If the course of exchange be the true augury of 1922 eventualities, the Canadian outlook is 100 per cent better than a year ago. The new year opened with Montreal dollars at a 5 per cent discount. The old year began business with Montreal dollars worth 85 cents apiece in New York.

Actual gain in cash position of Canadian foreign trade is stronger by $150,000,000 than 12 months ago. Bath exports and bank clearings have declined less than our own.

The Budget-Mr. Sutherland

Immigration* sets in. Building revives and building costs decline. Production increases. Where is the outlook better or as good?

Now then, what will be the result of an active immigration policy in this country? To-day we have idleness in our cities. We have an ever-increasing annual deficit. We have diminishing railroad returns; we have an idle merchant marine, and apparently we have a despondent agricultural population. With the production of more wealth in the country; with a larger population, there must in every way be created a larger body of wealth. Our railroad situation will be improved; freight rates will be reduced for the western farmer; the annual deficit will be more or less wiped out, and lower taxes will come for all. As I have said, the people of this country are looking forward to the adoption of such a policy as this. Mr. Sifton wasted no time on statistics and red tape and inefficient government employees. He went to get immigrants of the right type by the shortest, most direct methods- exactly the methods that would be adopted by an ordinary common-sense variety of business man, and the greatest prosperity Canada has ever known immediately followed that policy.

What we want at this time, I submit, is a courageous, active immigration policy. Without it, I do not know how we can get on. We require political courage-we owe it to ourselves; we owe it to the poor and to the unemployed; we owe it to the world. We are entitled to enjoy better things. With an active immigration policy; with settlers flowing into this country as they did from 1898 to 1912, I submit, that ultimately there shall come peace, prosperity and happiness; there will be the evolution, slowly but surely, of a great national type, drawn from the kindred nations of the earth, developed by hardy toil in the invigorating climate of Canada, so that in the centuries to come one of the great and distinct races of the earth will be known by the name Canadian.

At six o'clock the House took recess.

After Recess

The House resumed at eight o'clock.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF THE DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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CON

Donald Sutherland

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DONALD SUTHERLAND (South Oxford) :

Mr. Speaker, the budget proposals of the Minister of Finance always constitute one of the most interesting features, if not the most interesting, of a session of

Parliament, and in view of the fact that this is the first session of a new Parliament, summoned on the advent to office of a new government, the present budget is of much more than usual interest not only to the members of this House, but to the country as well. Some hon. members may become somewhat impatient at times owing to the length of time taken by a budget debate. That is frequently the feeling of new members of Parliament, but the practice has, however, the endorsation of old, experienced parliamentary leaders, who consider it very valuable and who believe that the time given to the budget is not lost, but, on the contrary, is very usefully employed.

Under present conditions the budget must of necessity interest every one in this country to a very marked degree. We are experiencing at the present time a condition of affairs in this country, and it is universal throughout the world, such as has not existed before during the lives of those now present, and it is a question whether during the whole history of the world such a condition has been experienced. During the years from 1914 down to the end of 1918 practically the whole wealth of the world has been destroyed-blown up, burnt out, absolutely destroyed-leaving nothing except heavy liabilities. That is the condition of affairs that is confronting this country, as well as the rest of the world, at the present time. It is, therefore, not a theory that we are confronted with, but an actual condition of affairs with which we must deal to the best advantage of our people and of our country. Theories do not count for much under such conditions.

I thought as I listened to some of the addresses which have been delivered during this debate that some hon. members had lost sight of the difficulties in which this country finds itself and of the tremendous efforts which must be put forward by our people. I thought as I listened to the criticisms with regard to the budget, the amendment, and the amendment to the amendment which has just been moved, that possibly some hon. members were losing sight of one very important feature of the situation. But, fortunately for us, or unfortunately, it may be, we have in the Minister of Finance (Mr. Fielding) one of the oldest parliamentarians in the public life of this country. The Minister of Finance brought down in this House on the 23rd of May his sixteenth budget. That is something very unusual; something which I doubt will ever be repeated. I do not believe it will ever be repeated under similar conditions. The

The Budget-Mr. Sutherland

Minister of Finance comes back here a member of the new Government installed in office about six months ago, after ten years in opposition, with all his experience and all his ability, and he has presented this budget to Parliament, and it is now open for consideration and any suggestions which hon. members may have to offer.

It is remarkable how frequently we hear hon. members on the Government benches offering excuses for the budget which is now before this House, saying that it is not the budget which might have been expected owing to the fact that the Government have been in office for only a short period. The hon. leader of the Progressive party (Mr. Crerar) also in his address to the House this afternoon excused the Government for not including much that he thought might have been in the budget, and said that he was not so much concerned about this budget as the one that would be presented in about a year from now. Under certain conditions there might be some justification for such excuses, but as the Minister of Finance has returned to power in full possession of his faculties, to a greater degree, indeed, than many men years younger than he is-and frequent references have been made to his experience and the long service he has rendered -I say there is absolutely no excuse under those conditions, because he has been in touch wiith the public life of this country during the years when he was in opposition.

We know that during the last election the Government professed before the people of this country to have a policy which they were anxious to put into effect if they were placed in a position to administer the affairs of this country. Yet in spite of*that we have presented to us to-day a budget which does not carry out to any degree the promises and pledges which hon. members who now occupy the Government benches made a few months ago when they were appealing to the people of this country. Is it a small matter to break faith with the electors of this country so quickly or at any time? Is it sufficient justification for that breach of faith to say: Oh, we have only been in office for a short time. I thought as I listened to the hon. member for Marquette this afternoon that he also was anxious to justify the Government and to find some excuse for not voting for the amendment censuring the Government for their breach of faith with the electors. What does that amendment say? After pointing out the manner in which the Gov-

ernment had failed to implement their promises and pledges it concludes with this paragraph:

That the making at such solemn pledges, the utilization of them to secure support, and their flagrant violation after the attainment of office reveal a disregard of political honour and tend to lower the standard of public life.

If it is true that the Government have disregarded their pledges and promises, surely there is something to be said for censuring the Government for that breach of faith, but I have looked over the amendment to the amendment which has been moved by the hon. member for Marquette, and I find that the substance of it is this:

The budget proposals of the Minister of Finance now brought down, depending, as they do, mainly on the principle of protection with respect to the tariff, are wholly inadequate to implement pledges of legislation that have been given. This House is of the opinion that the principle of protection, as a basis for a fiscal policy in Canada, is unsound and not in the best interests of the Dominion.

Hon. members will notice that the hon. member from Marquette has not a word of censure for the Government with regard to their breach of faith with the people of this country. It is apparently a custom that has never obtained in this country to move an amendment to the amendment, and, consequently, the hon. member from Marquette must have been aware of this, and had been evidently looking for some ground upon which to justify his motion. I am not altogether sure in my own mind as to whether he expects his right to move that amendment to be sustained by the Chair. The fact that ever since Confederation no such motion has been entertained in this House has established a custom, which would not, I think, be very lightly cast aside by the Speaker of this Parliament. However, I do not intend to deal with that, but I would like to call attention of hon. members to statements that have been made with regard to such breaches of faith or confidence on the part of those who have entrusted the reigns of government to a political party. Hon. George Brown in his day stated:

If, Sir, a public man avows certain principles, agitates those principles, and seeks to overthrow the government of the day and establishes those principles, and if, when he attains power, he laughs at his principles, and casts his professions to the winds, he is aiming a blow at public morality.

This was the view of the Hon. George Brown in his day with regard to promises

248S

The Budget-Mr. Sutherland

made by political parties. Is it possible that we, in this age, can afford to he less strict with regard to such matters than the public men of that day, or is it possible that the public conscience at the present time can be abused and violated in that respect more than in those days? We have also the statement of the Right Hon. the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) a year ago in this House. On 15th of February, 1921, in moving a motion in this House he stated:

What is it, Mr. Speaker, that works havoc in human lives, that destroys the noblest of friendships, that blights all that is most sacred in our human relations? It is the loss of confidence that comes through disillusionment, through the broken pledges the shattered ideals, the lost visions, the vanished faiths, cruel, indeed, it is when that breach in confidence comes between, man and man, between friend and friend, between race and race, between nation and nation; but when it comes beftween a people and its government, there is no saying what injury it may ultimately work.

Is there nothing blinding in conscience and in honour between those who rule a people and those who have permitted them to be ruled.

These are the words of the Prime Minister only a year ago in this House, and yet we find to-day that the platform of the party of which he is the leader is absolutely being ignored in the budget which has been presented to this Parliament. We have also heard hon. members opposite expressing their views with regard to the policy of the Liberal party, not only to-day, not only in the past, but also what it is going to be in the future. We had a few days ago the hon. member for Brantford (Mr. Raymond) declaring in this House that the Liberal party in this country was not a free trade party, that they had never advocated free trade and that he did not expect they ever would. On the following day the hon. member for Brome (Mr. McMaster) rose in his place in this House, argued strongly in favour of the very thing that was condemned by the hon. member for Brantford, and strongly advocated free trade in this country. Then the hon. member for Hants (Mr. Martell), I think it was, interrupted the hon. member for Brantford, declaring that he was in favour of a free trade policy. We have also witnessed ministers bringing their estimates before Parliament submitting them to the consideration of this House, moving to have them adopted, and another hon. member of the Government moving to reduce them by $50,000 or $100,000 or

$400,000, or whatever the amount may have been.

I question whether there has ever been in the history of this or any other country, a similar policy adopted. It is something entirely new. It is something the people have not been accustomed to, and, therefore, it is possibly time enough for us to criticize this budget when we know what this Government is going to do with it. In all probability, when it goes into committee they will change it entirely and we will have another budget emerge from the committee that will not resemble the present one at all. I would not be at all surprised to see that happen, and, in view of the statements made this afternoon by the hon. member for Marquette, I am inclined to think that possibly his views will prevail with regard to the policy of the Government. We have also had-I will not say the spectacle-but we have had the very amusing experience of witnessing the hon. Minister of Finance, metaphorically speaking, chastising some of his colleagues in the Government very severely in the presence of hon. members of the House. We have seen that done in the case of the Minister of Labour (Mr. Murdock) and a little later on our genial friend the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Motherwell) subjected to a similar castigation by the Minister of Finance.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF THE DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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LIB

William Richard Motherwell (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. MOTHERWELL:

It did not hurt me.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF THE DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink

June 5, 1922