June 6, 1922

LIB

William Richard Motherwell (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. MOTHERWELL:

I thought I

made it plain that I was arguing for it. I even tried to illustrate my position so that he who runs might read. I said that if I were five steps away from the edge of a precipice and took one step towards it, I was substantially nearer the edge. I thought that was plain enough even for my hon. friend.

At the Liberal convention in 1919 we crystallized our thoughts and our views and got as near as we possibly could to a platform, and there it is. Of course, you cannot get a body like that all of one mind. Some have reservations. As a matter of fact, there was another statement made, and I want to say this much: Every member of this House last session spoke another word with respect to his attitude on tariff. Now which holds good? If you or I, Mr. Speaker, or anybody else made a will last year, and we decided to make another one this year, which would hold? Is it not the last one?

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PRO
LIB

William Stevens Fielding (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. FIELDING:

No, we will have an opportunity of making others.

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Mr MOTHERWELL:

If you take the opposite view and say that the first expression of opinion, no matter whether it was given forty or fifty years ago, should hold to-day, do you call that progressive? We have a precedent furnished by our Progressive friends themselves. I am speaking entirely from memory, and my hon. friends will correct me if I am wrong, but I understand that a year ago the Canadian Council of Agriculture revised their platform. You will remember it had a plank calling for 50 per cent British pre-

The Budget-Mr. Motherwell

ference, and free trade with Britain in five years, but at a meeting of the Council of Agriculture last July the words "in five years" were eliminated. The platform was modified absolutely, and they had a right to do that. Which is their last will and testament in that respect?

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PRO
LIB

William Richard Motherwell (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. MOTHERWELL:

I would be very glad to be corrected, because I remember it quite distinctly.

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PRO

Thomas Alexander Crerar

Progressive

Mr. CRERAR:

I want to keep my hon. friend on the. right track if I possibly can. He has wandered far from it. His statement in respect to that change is not correct.

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LIB

William Richard Motherwell (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. MOTHERWELL:

Then set me right. I do not know whether my hon. friend was present at the meeting or not, but I had a clipping with respect to it, and I have given it as I remember it. Unfortunately, the clipping got lost in the mix-up of the election. Nearly everything but the counting of the votes had disappeared by that time.

I said a few moments ago that there would always be individual opinions. Do you mean to say that they do not exist over there? I will say for the Conservatives that they are absolutely at one in regard to what they think are the

9 p.m. benefits of protection. I do not know whether it is a detriment to a party to have a diversity of views within itself. I hold views with respect to helping young industries. I absolutely oppose the present system, because you cannot get rid of them when they grow up. Do you think that Sir John A. Macdonald, who introduced the system, would declare that what were infant industries in his time were still infants? The thing is ridiculous. It was my privilege to have the opportunity of assisting a young industry, the dairying industry in Saskatchewan. It was not by import duties that we assisted it but in various ways, by loans, by guarantees, and by a certain amount of office staff. At the end of ten years we had a flourishing dairying industry on our noble prairie, and we handed it over to the farmers and said: "We are going to wean it. Take the industry over and run it yourselves." But our friends of the Manufacturers' Association, who have been on the nursing bottle forty-four years, do not want to be weaned, and the longer you leave them there the less they will want to be weaned, but we

must do it now if we ever expect to do it, or as soon as possible. I am going to show you how it can be done. In common with the Minister of Finance I may say that there were features about our platform that I did not approve of. Not being here, and not taking any part in the resolution that was adopted last session, I feel I am in honour bound by the convention. There was another expression by the leaders of the Liberal party in this House, which has a right to take precedence. But I am not going to take advantage of that. Here is what I said in my nomination address in Regina City on the last day of September:

Large amounts of revenue are raised under the excise duty on home manufactures in England, and the adoption of a similar policy in Canada, varied to suit our circumstances, would not only permit of a substantial reduction of customs taxation on articles of common ware, consumption, and for the purpose of more production, but also supplement the much needed revenues of the Crown.

Two or three speakers, including the chief Liberal Whip, the hon. member for Cape Breton South (Mr. Kyte), dwelt on the prevalence of the excise duty in Great Britain. There are hundreds of millions of pounds raised by excise duties. If the import duty was reduced to 121 per cent or 10 per cent, if you like-some of the duties are down to 10 per cent, binders, harvesters and mowers; no, I do not think mowers are, but some of the implements are down to 10 per cent-but supposing the import duties were reduced that far and an excise duty put on, that would take out the protection. What is the use of my hon. friends in the Progressive party talking about a revenue tariff unless it also implies an excise duty? Take a 10 per cent duty, or a 121 per cent duty, or a 15 per cent duty-no, I will not say 15 per cent, that is getting on dangerous ground-but say 10 and 121 per cent-there is incidental protection. There is protection if the duty is only 5 per cent -it is only a matter of degree-unless you invoke the principle of the excise duty. Is that sound doctrine? I say it is.

Well, let us talk right from the shoulder now on this matter. I 'believe there is a solution to be found but it is not in a list of free implements'. Why not? 'Since 1919 our financial situation has changed immensely; we cannot get revenue by means of a free list. Is that hearsay? Is that going back on our platform? Will the leader of the Progressives not agree with me that a substantial duty on articles not made in Canada, and an excise duty on things that

The Budget-Mr. Motherwell

are made in Canada, are not incompatible with the principle of free trade. I do not think I said that very well, so I repeat the statement: I say that high duties on articles not made in Canada, as well as excise duties on things that are made here, are not incompatible with the principle of free trade-that is better. Is that not right? Well, I thought we had in the present budget a start-off in that direction with motor cars. I am not sure whether that is the ease or not, but if it is the case that there is an excise duty on motor cars that would be the principle to which I have reference; and we have the same principle, of an excise duty, in the tariff in a dozen places. It is not new in this country or *any other country that I know of-it is simply carrying out the thing to a logical conclusion, and you would have a revenue from the best available resources. So much for the revenue tariff.

My hon. friend (Mr. Crerar) would like to know if I am talking for or against the budget. Not only am I talking for the budget, but if my hon. friend followed up the attitude which he took previous to the election last fall he would be supporting the budget also. I am willing to make all kinds of allowance between the time my hon. friend was looking for votes and the present time. Like many another man, he was seeking to indulge in a little bit of a stunt that would read well. We all have to, I suppose, to use legitimate means to save our faces.

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Some hon. MEMBERS:

Oh, oh.

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LIB

William Richard Motherwell (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. MOTHERWELL:

Just think of it, Mr. Speaker, making these admissions. Speaking about a first instalment of tariff reduction, if we do not get any more instalments think of what I shall have to face next year and the year after, as a result of putting on Hansard these statements. However, I am going to take chances. I am now going to quote statements made by my hon. friend from Marquette before the last election. These statements are taken from the Globe, a newspaper that was not unduly favourable to the Liberal party last fall. The first statement from the issue of October 31, is as follows:

Mr. Orerar gave some applications of bis economic views to the local industries of coal mining and steel. He repeated that the Progressives had no intention of sweeping the tariff away over night, but he hoped to see the day when the principles of protection would be abandoned in Canada's fiscal policy.

He hoped! He was not going to sweep it away over night! Has my hon. friend the

Finance Minister swept it away over night or even over day? He has complied with the requirement laid down by my hon. friend (Mr. Crerar). What did that statement mean, if it did not mean that the tariff should be reduced gradually? Mr. Speaker, I believe that the people of Canada, outside of the prairie provinces, would support us in not touching the tariff this session at all-I believe that. The tariff was not touched in 1896, the first session of the Laurier government. It was substantially amended in 1897 when the British preference was brought down. Can my hon. friend recall any period, in the history of this or any other country, where the tariff was in issue, when a new government came in and modified the tariff in its first session more than this government has done? I cannot recall such an occasion; I would like to be set right if I am wrong in that statement. Now I want to continue; and I do not want to do so in any spirit of petty criticism. I merely want to show why my hon. friend (Mr. Crerar) should support this budget. I quote again from the Globe:

Sumimerside, Prince Edward Island.

Mr. Orerar agreed that the tariff could not be swept away over night.

My hon. friend is very much like the rest of us; we all make one speech of pretty much the same type all along the line. When we get it off it seems good to us, and we repeat it although not exactly in the same terms. We have repetition here showing that the reporter has reported my hon. friend correctly. Now here we have another extract. This is dated November 11:

Mr. Crerar said that the tariff reduction on the necessaries would reduce the cost of living.. Premier Drury-

I think that is the wrong quotation.

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Some Hon. MEMBERS:

Oh, oh.

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LIB

William Richard Motherwell (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. MOTHERWELL (Reading) :

-spoke briefly at both meetings, urging that the best policy for Canada was the policy of the National PVogessive party.

I have no marginal note with respect to this extract

probably it was not of so much importance. Well, they are all very much alike. Mr. Crerar wanted to know where the campaign funds came from. That was another topic of discussion but I will not recall it.

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PRO
LIB

William Richard Motherwell (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. MOTHERWELL:

However, my hon. friend goes on, right through these ex-

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tracts, to speak about moving gradually in the matter of tariff reduction. Well, is not the present budget a case of moving gradually? "Gradually eliminating the protective features"-is not this gradual? My hon. friends on the Progressive side ought to have no difficulty in supporting us on the basis of moving gradually and permitting "the industries to adjust themselves." That is another term of my hon. friend. "Permitting the industries to adjust themselves" -to temper the wind, as it were, to the shorn lamb. Well, the lamb is having lots of time to adjust itself; I am sure that my hon. friend, in view of his repeated pronouncements against our doing this over night should not find any difficulty in supporting us. I repeat that my hon. friend will not be able to put his hand on a single illustration in the history of this country where a new government has taken up the question of tariff reform and dealt with it any more vigourously, or thoroughly or to a greater extent, than we have done in this case. If that be so, where is the justification for heaping ridicule upon us and indulging in all kinds of criticism?

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Robert Alexander Hoey

Progressive

Mr. HOEY:

The hon. gentleman speaks of a gradual process. Is it the intention of the Government to announce this gradual reduction?

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LIB

William Richard Motherwell (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. MOTHERWELL:

Well I have no authority to speak for the Government. The Prime Minister spoke this afternoon and dealt with the unfairness of taking the ground that we should be judged as not having carried out our pledges after having been only five months in office. I repeat that statement. We shall let next year take care of itself. A certain hon. gentleman who at one time was in this Parliament used to say: "Just see us next year." I am not justified in saying that with respect to the matter which is under consideration.

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Arthur John Lewis

Progressive

Mr. LEWIS:

May I ask my hon. friend a question?

Mr. MOTHERWELL No, I have no authority. Next year will take care of itself. I am going to read another extract, and it must be remembered that I made this statement in the city of Regina before a city audience, one of the best gatherings that I was ever at in my life. I made it where I would be least likely to get support and approbation, and yet they both came. This is what I stated:

The more general adoption of the excise, a strictly revenue tax, as above suggested, will

get at the past beneficiaries of protection, and relieve the poor man correspondingly, and has the further very obvious advantage that if any attempt is made to pass such a tax on to the consumer, t'he corresponding foreign cheaper article would immediately displace it on the market..

I can recall the time not very long ago in the city of Swift Current, when the leader of the Progressive party (Mr. Crerar) made a speech in which he spoke just as favourably of this way of dealing with protection as I am doing to-night. I have not heard him say anything of it recently; but I want to tell him and to take this ground that I do not believe there is any way of eliminating the protective element from the tariff except by the invocation of the excise tax, although I am willing to be enlightened on that point. We could, of course, abolish the protection altogether; we would have no revenue, and at a time like this, we need revenue. It seems to me, however, that every man should, at every opportunity, consider the matter of dealing with this question of finding a remedy for the evils of protection as soon as the time is opportune. I will go further. There are times when we should not take any drastic attitude, and I have pointed out a number of excuses that I might offer. We might take the ground that inasmuch as the Americans have increased their tariff, we should not do anything. I am not taking that ground; but 1 would take the ground that this is not a propitious time for making a drastic inroad into our protective system. Is it not right to take that ground? Everybody knows that the businesses of Canada, whether farming or our various industries, are not in a healthy condition at the present time. I might say that they are more or less sick; their morale is low. Is it right to wean an infant or a domestic animal when it is sick? If it is not, then this is not the time to make rapid inroads into the protection that our industries have been enjoying all these years. But what is this tantamount to saying? If I were Minister of Finance, the chances are that I would say this: "You manufacturers of the implements of production can surely get on your feet in a few years; things are going to look brighter in a little while, and you had better get your house in order and be prepared to see whether you cannot stand on your own feet." As for those of us who are family men, what a delight it is to our hearts when our child first walks or even toddles along! After forty-four years of waiting, would it not be a

The Budget-Mr. Motherwell

delight to all our hearts to see this thing toddling along on its own feet?

I am going to give some of the reasons why I think those industries can at least toddle if we give them a chance. When the war came on, the flower of Canada rushed to the colours, a civilian army; they went to the battlefront and measured themselves with the standing armies of Europe. Did they ask for protection in the front line or the rear line? Did they ask to be covered by the British or the French guns? Did they crawl down into the trenches and say: "We want to be protected; we cannot stand up, if necessary, above the parapet and take the chance." No. They stood out there with the standing armies of the world, and they came back home with the laurels of victory on their brows? Is that not the case? Do you mean to say that those men who returned, leaving their comrades on the field of battle, and those who remained at home, cannot compete in peaceful avocations? I think more of Canada than to believe that. Do you mean to tell me that, because there is an invisible line along the 49th parallel, men who have acquitted themselves well in military avocations cannot acquit themselves equally well in peaceful avocations? I should like to see the experiment tried out before I would believe that. It would not, of course, be wise to try it out all along the line; but we might do what we did with cream separators and binder twine. Try it out if you like on Toronto- we cannot lose much there anyhow.

I promised not to speak very long on the tariff. As a new man in this House and one in charge of probably one of the most important departments of government, a department which is connected with an industry on which the country is going to rely possibly more than on any other to help to pay this war debt, I want to say now that there is no royal road to paying this debt. We have to pay it in the same manly way that we contracted it; we must go at the task with our coats off. As the one for the time being in charge of this department, I wish to make a few remarks regarding what I think should be the objective of the Department of Agriculture in the immediate future. How are we going to assist in this great task of getting this country on to its feet? This must be done through the medium of our natural resources, with labour and capital applied to them. How are we going to go about the task? These are some of the things that I would like to see started just

as soon as we have the finances to take care of them. 1 should like to build fairly rapidly upon the foundation so well laid by my predecessors, the hon. member for Victoria city (Mr. Tolmie) and the hon. member for Marquette (Mr. Crerar), with respect to the matter of accredited herds.

For the last year or two we have been spending annually half a million dollars in connection with the extermination of tuberculosis amongst our cattle. We are doing this for two purposes. I think, in the hearts of many of us, it is primarily for taking care of the youth of Canada. It is known that tuberculosis is extending rapidly throughout practically all civilization, and the "White Plague" is to-day one of the great problems with which the nations of the world have to deal. One of the most prolific sources of contagion, especially amongst infants, is from cows' milk. There has been laid down by the government and by the hon. gentlemen to whom I have referred, the accredited herd system, and it is the only way of dealing with this matter. Only about seven years back not much stock was taken in this system; but during the last seven years an accredited herd was started in this quarter, another one in that quarter, and another one elsewhere, and all intervening was more or less tubercular. The result was that if you did not have an active follow-up policy, the infection spread back until it covered the whole territory again. The time has now come when we should have a broad policy as regards the elimination of tuberculosis in Canada. This would mean more money. We have had representations made to us to block out and to clean up certain whole territories, so that the infected area in between the present accredited herds would be removed and would not be a source of contagion to the adjoining accredited herds.

There is a suggestion that if you want to do that safely there is a splendid opportunity of doing it afforded in the two islands that lie at the extreme east and west of Canada. We have Prince Edward Island, with its water boundaries, where we could establish a herd and entirely eliminate the disease, with the minimum possibility of contagion from adjacent territory. Then there is Vancouver island in the West. I was talking recently with Premier Oliver and he informed me that the method they had adopted, of picking out herds, whether adjacent to cities, or from other places, was not showing any progressive results. He said that the work was not meeting with the success they had hoped for, simply be-

The Budget-Mr. Motherwell

cause they lacked the necessary money, equipment and men for carrying out a proper continuous policy. I am convinced that the time has come when we should select blocks of land, establish herds, clean them up entirely, and then pass on as rapidly as possible to other areas. After it had been demonstrated by the Government that this was practical, we might have then some system whereby the municipalities or the provinces in which the territories were located could co-operate with the Federal Government in eliminating tuberculosis from the herds. I think the people are ready for a forward movement in the direction I have indicated.

There is another matter I may refer to, and I am taking no credit to myself in respect thereto, because while I did to a smaller extent assist it along, I was in no way primarily responsible for what was done. I refer to the matter of cold storage. Canada to-day, and especially Eastern Canada,-I trust hon. members will forgive me for saying this-is a long way behind the times in regard to cold storage facilities. I believe that some of the propaganda that was spread broadcast during the war is in a degree responsible for this. I think the Board of Commerce made some report in reference to packers and cold storage plants ; and a gentleman whose name I will not mention, but who has been in the lime-iight, made some remarks about the evils of cold storage. I remember that we were just establishing a chain of cold storage plants in Saskatchewan at that time, and this propaganda nearly knocked the business out, because we could hardly sell the stock. The people were alarmed, and one would have thought that all the evils that were talked of were attributable to the cold storage plants. Now, the fact is that a properly conducted and adequately supervised cold storage plant is one of the greatest of modern institutions, and it is one of the best media by which you can develop the live stock industry, and other industries as well. The late Hon. Sydney Fisher, many years ago inaugurated a system of subsidizing cold storage plants. During the war the regulations were changed so as to apply only to municipalities, and no doubt there were good reasons for the change. Since that time very little has been done under the system. As a matter of fact, I do not believe the system is a proper one, although there is not much money spent under it because there are not many applications for assistance. I think the regulations under that act should be

changed as speedily as possible. The assistance given formerly of 30 per cent is, I believe, too much; it is more than is required to encourage the establishment of cold storage plants, because the people know very well the benefits that are to be derived from these institutions. All that is necessary is a reasonable aid to encourage the erection of these plants in the various parts of the country, and at as early a date as possible we ought to reintroduce the system of assisting co-operative institutions to establish cold storage plants. There should be many of these plants in the eastern provinces. I was very much surprised to discover how few facilities there were in that part of Canada in this respect. In my opinion half the subsidy of 30 per cent that was given in the early days would meet the present requirements, and a comparatively small amount of money would go a long way towards promoting the establishment of these greatly needed institutions throughout Canada, not only for the handling of dairy products, but also for the storage of fruit. There is no industry *in Canada that requires more legitimate assistance right now than the fruit industry. We are all aware that decomposition sets in very easily with fruit that is not pre-cooled. Apples, for example, are picked at midday and are put away in warm buildings, and before the chill of night gets into the barrel bacterial action sets in and decomposition rapidly ensues, so that before the fruit reaches its destination across the water it is in bad shape. Pre-cooling therefore is absolutely essential, and this can be provided by a system of cold storage warehouses for that purpose alone. I hope to be able to get on the right side of the Minister of Finance (Mr. Fielding) before many years, if not months,-at least, when the financial situation of the country warrants it-in order that I may be able to do for Canada what I was privileged to do for Saskatchewan, where there is a chain of eight cold storage plants, the finest in the Dominion. The sooner we get that done the sooner we shall be able to develop not only the dairy and live stock industry generally, but the fruit industry of the country as well.

Just a word now about the experimental farm system. I see that the hon. member for South Oxford (Mr. Sutherland) is in his seat, and I am sure that he will sympathize with some of the remarks, at ail events, that I am going to make in this respect. I have come to the conclusion that the time has arrived when, instead

The Budget-Mr. Motherwell

of establishing very many more experimental farms, we should strive to improve those that we already have. Hon, gentlemen will recall that in the course of the discussion on the estimates I intimated that possibly one or two more farms might be established which my predecessors had had in mind. But we have 22 now, and instead of going on and extending the system further I would strongly advise that we go about putting those 22 into proper shape. There is no question that that is the right policy to adopt in this matter. I am not familiar with all the farms yet, but from what I see of those that I do know I can say that as a result of the conditions brought about by the war, and the necessary tendency towards retrenchment in consequence thereof, a number of these farms have been starved to the point where they are not more than 50 per cent efficient. We are not blaming any one for that condition, but it is the condition that exists nevertheless. It will be necessary to spend more money on these institutions in order to obtain any benefit from the money that has already been invested in them. Hon. members will no doubt have noted by the press that Dr. Charles Saunders, who has figured so conspicuously in research work in the cereal world, has left Canada for a trip, broken in health. Now, the facilities for carrying on the work which he has been doing are of the most primitive kind, and it speaks well for him that he has been able to achieve the results which he has achieved in spite of that handicap. But you cannot always find that class of men who will so devote their energies and their talents to their work notwithstanding the lack of even fair facilities. We had a flax plant at the Experimental Farm, but it was burnt about a year ago; and the botanical building, an important building in which is carried on the experimental and research work in connection with the diseases of plants, is now 30 years old. All the work related to the investigation of plant disease and the hybridization of plants, which has been conducted by Professor Gussow and Dr. Saunders, has to be done in a wee little building in which two or three members of this House, if they tried to turn around, would upset things. That building was erected thirty years ago, and while no doubt it did good work in the pioneer days, it has long since ceased to serve the purpose for which it is now required. The work that is being done in connection with the discovery of

plant diseases and their remedies cannot be over-estimated. For instance, we have to discover the remedy for that scourge which is known as rust. Our crops in the West some years are cut in two by the ravages of this plague; and just as we discovered a remedy for smut in grain, and found a new kind of cereal called Marquis wheat that will ripen earlier, being worth millions to the country, so we have possibilities of finding remedies to cure the other diseases that exist in our plant life.

We have the possibility of discovering the best varieties of grasses and grains, for the foundation work is already done, and all we need to do to-day is to continue and extend that work. If we could only develop Varieties of grain resistant to rust it would be worth all the money that has been spent during the last thirty years in the maintenance of these experimental farms. But we cannot accomplish this with inefficient equipment and low-salaried men. You cannot get men to work under these conditions, for every man in the research world that is worth his salt does not want to work indefinitely without showing results. I have ' almost come to the conclusion-this may sound like economic heresy-that there are circumstances under which it is desirable, if we are to pay off our debt, to equip ourselves properly for the task by going into further debt. Take any business that is suddenly confronted with disaster; for instance, supposing a man is burned out, does he sit down helpless and despondent, or does he take off his coat and with courage and vision and determination apply himself to restore his broken fortune? Of course, he goes ahead and gets results. The Chicago fire, the Halifax disaster, the burning of our oM Parliament buildings1-all these losses were quickly made good by courage, energy and resourcefulness. Well, the world was on fire for four years. We know Canada was solvent when the war broke out, and we know we have $2,000,000,000 of debt now. What are we to do, sink under the burden? Or are we going to vow that we will not increase that debt by another dollar? I think the Minister of Finance and the Government are taking the right course now in making just as few capital outlays as possible. That is right, because we want to do some national stocktaking to see where we stand. But I am of the opinion, with all deference to those who think differently, that once we get established again we must make wise investments that will develop our natural

The Budget-Mr. Motherwell

resources. That is the way to pay our national debt. Wise investment is often true economy, and the refusal to invest will leave this burden of debt on our shoulders indefinitely. I know we are absolutely sound as a nation, and I would be sorry if we spent even modestly before we have completed this national stocktaking. But once that is done we ought to go full steam ahead. My colleague, the Minister of the Interior (Mr. Stewart), will have to help out in this connection by means of a wise immigration policy that will encourage desirable immigrants to come here and help in the upbuilding of this country. I think the Immigration Act needs some amendment to remove certain of its restrictive features; and the regulations will also need further amendment.

If the Department of Agriculture is to function, it must have equipment, it must have men. Look where we are at the very outset when I speak of men. I want a good cerealist, a good entomologist, eleven butter graders and twenty hog graders, but I cannot go to suitable men and say: " Here, I want you to come into the department. I will give you so many dollars." And then if they refuse I cannot add, " I will give you so many dollars more." We have not got that system, unfortunately. It is said that being in public life in the smaller provincial sphere fits you for the larger federal arena. In the matter of equipping my staff, manning my ship with the best men, the freedom I have exercised in the past in the provincial field has spoiled me for the federal under present conditions. If these conditions are to continue with respect to facilities for selecting my staff, then, I believe, Mr. Speaker, that inside of two or three years the efficiency of my department will be diminished 50 per cent. The public practically forced the then government to establish the Civil Service Commission away back in 1908. In 1918, I think it was, the late government in response to a pledge demanded by the people to destroy what was known as patronage, resorted to a rather ingenious way to destroy it. One of the Liberals on the old commission they let out, and appointed two good Conservatives. That is one way to destroy patronage. It simply transferred patronage from the crowd to the few, by whom it is looked after properly. I think that a Civil Service Commission is only possible, unless it is to partially destroy the public service, when that commission is friendly to the government. I am of opinion that the

members of the Civil Service Commission should go out of office with the government that appointed them. I believe we should have a civil service commission, but not one that has no interest in my department- not one that is more interested from a political standpoint in something else than trying to man my department with good men. It is not possible for men who have been in politics, as we all have been, to be put on the Civil Service Commission, to be transmogrified overnight, and then to search the earth for the best men dn each department. I know what I am talking about. I have been on bended knees before that commission and have stayed bended and got up without getting what I wanted. Are the judgments of these hon. gentlemen with whom I am privileged to be associated to be subordinated to that of an extraneous body responsible to nobody? Is that the way we are to conduct the affairs of this country? I do not care how good the members of the commission are, they are tied up by the Civil Service Act. They are handcuffed; they are hobbled; they have to abide by the terms of the act under which they were appointed. I am not making any particular statements against them; I am simply taking the ground that the system is bad. If in the selection of men I have to subordinate my judgment to theirs, then my staff will be just what they make it, not what I make it. I accept the responsibility, but they have the power to do or not to do. How can we pay a war debt in that way? The people of Canada have asked us to assume the administration of the affairs of Canada, but we are denied the right to man our own ships. I never heard of such a proposition. I had heard of a civil service commission; we had one and it worked all right-there was only one man you had to deal wiith and he was all right; he did good work. Nobody suggests that we can go back to no civil service commission, but I do take the ground that the key men in the various departmentsr- well, I will speak only for my own, the key men in the Department of Argicul-ture-should be chosen by the deputy minister and his minister. Let me be fair; in the working out of this thing the head of the department sometimes gets what he wants; in fact, I think in most cases we do get what we want. But that is not the only difficulty; it is the time it takes. Why, I ran across Mr. William Graham, Indian Commissioner, who wanted a farm

The Budget-Mr. Motherwell

foreman to replace a man on one of the Indian reserves who had died or resigned, I forget which; he was not there, anyway. Well, look at the rigmarole he had to go through; it takes nearly four months, with good luck, to run that gauntlet. But he wanted that farm foreman right away. Spring would not wait; the land was ready for seeding, and there was no farm foreman. Well, I did not go down to the Hunter Block this time -I had such poor luck the first time. So one of the staff was good enough to come to my office. I pointed out to him that spring would be gone and the harvest reaped before a farm foreman would be obtained under the present system, and he was good enough to tell me that he would make arrangements for a temporary appointment. Now, how would any farmer like the idea of starting out in the spring, With all the difficulties of seeding in a year like this, and then be told that some other body, especially if that some other body was a rival of his, would select his men for him, taking all summer to do it? Will the spring wait while that kind of humbug and nonsense is going on? That is far worse, Mr. Speaker, than getting the wrong man; it is the interminable time it takes to get any man. I admit that the commission are doing their best now; they are trying to get over the difficulty; in fact, I think they got a little bit wised up lately, and here is what they are doing. Instead of making a selection four or five months after the application for the filling of the position has been made, they are making temporary appointments. Well, just see the difficulty you are up against in that respect. Take the case of a butter grader, who has to be a man of the highest type, of first-class ability and absolutely honourable. A butter grader always has a good job; he is not knocking at your door every day in the week and twice on Sunday looking for employment; you have to offer him better money, and when you tell him that you want his services for only a month, why, he simply Will not come. That is why I say that if this thing keeps on for three or four years you are going to degrade the service. I will come nearer home than that: I have been trying to get these butter graders for a number of months-ever since January, in fact; that is six months; and I have not got them yet. It is not all the fault of the commission, but if my deputy and myself had been in a position to go ahead and get the men, they would all have

been on the job at the drop of the hat. The hon. member for Glengarry (Mr. Kennedy) had a motion on the Order Paper-it died on the roost-asking for information with regard to these butter graders, and had that resolution come up I was going to make a statement in the matter. But it has come to the point where we have to have temporary appointments; the same applies to the hog graders. Then, in the case of temporary appointments you have to go through the whole rigmarole again to get the men appointed permanently- "It's a long, long way to Tipperary"; it is a long, long way to get anything from the Civil Service Commission, and when you get it, it may not be the right thing. Am I exaggerating this?

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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

No.

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LIB

William Richard Motherwell (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. MOTHERWELL:

The Lord forgive me if I am, because I have not intended to. The truth is bad enough, Mr. Speaker, without making it worse. I had hoped that the House would wake up and see the folly of perpetuating this system. Of course, every one who knows nothing about it will tell you to-morrow morning that I am asking for a return to the vicious patronage system; that I want to get back to the loaves and fishes; that I am preaching the doctrine that to the victor belongs the spoils. No; I am preaching this: You have given me the responsibility; for pity's sake, give me the power to serve my country. I would be almost afraid to say these things if it were not for the fact that if I have a reputation that is looked upon as commendable at all in any particular line in connection with my public life it is that I have always sacrificed everything to secure the selection of good men. It is more important to have a good staff than it is to have a good minister, you can administer a department better with a good staff and a second-rate minister than you can with a third-rate staff and a first-class minister.

Well, what are we going to do? The Conservatives, of course, will oppose any change. They know they have got us up against it; they know the best way to trim us is to keep us just where we are- with responsibility, but without authority. And I do not blame them; they are up against it themselves. They will never see daylight in the next fifty years, so the best thing they can do is keep us here. The hope, Mr. Speaker, lies in the direction of my hon. friends the Progressives. What are they going to do

The Budget-Mr. Charters

about it? Are they going to play the game, the way they were doing on the amendment to the budget? I do not blame them if they play the game, but I will blame them if they pretend not to play it, but play it just the same. The hope of betterment is with the Progressives until we get a majority, and I appeal to the Progressives, are you going to allow agriculture to struggle on under this handicap, handcuffed, shackled, hamstrung, and expect it to be one hundred per cent efficient?

If I were dealing with the matter myself I would call in the recess a conference of business men and the press, because you cannot get anything under way until you convert the press, and I would take counsel with them how best to deal with this question of appointments to the Civil Service. I would show them how the work is now handicapped, and I am satisfied that it would not take long to convince them that the remedy for patronage that has been in vogue now for some time, perhaps with the best of intentions, is a hundred times worse than the disease it was designed to cure, and I say that with a desire for bettering the conditions. This Parliament of Canada, we here in these beautiful buildings, are actually handicapped in our service twenty-five or forty or fifty per cent as a result of this load on our necks that we cannot get rid of until a majority of this House introduces something better. I hope the day is near at hand when we shall buckle on our armour and bring about the proper conditions, so that we can give the very best service at our disposal.

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CON

Samuel Charters

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SAMUEL CHARTERS (Peel) :

Mr. Speaker, my contribution to the debate will not occupy very much space in Hansard. I shall not attempt to follow the hon. gentleman who has just taken his seat (Mr. Motherwell) as he is altogether too elusive for me. When I learned that his election literature was headed "Vote for Motherwell and the Wheat Board," and saw that when he reached Ottawa he opposed the Wheat Board, I knew that he was somewhat versatile, but I never thought he was equal to the performance he has given in this House to-night.

Two weeks ago we were told by no less an authority than the Minister of Finance (Mr. Fielding) that the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Motherwell) is a free trader in everything except butter. Tonight he is a protectionist in supporting the budget presented by my hon. friend. He tells this House that no government has done more to implement its pledges than this Government has done in the first session of this new Parliament. My hon. friend and those associated with him knew very well what should be done four years ago, three years ago, two years ago, one year ago. They believed then that implements should be on the free list, that all foodstuffs should be free of duty, that all articles of clothing should carry a greatly reduced duty, yet when they come to Parliament and are asked to put into force the pledges they made they say, "We have not had time to get ready." I would remind the hon. member and the House when he says that no government has done better in implementing pledges, that in 1878 the Conservative party laid before the people their policy, and in the very first session of Parliament, in 1879, they brought that policy down into the House and had it confirmed by Parliament, and that is the policy in force to-day with the variations that have taken place under the different governments that have ruled the country.

The hon. Minister of Agriculture tells us in one breath that the infant industries in this country are forty-four years old, with patriarchal whiskers and all the rest of it, and therefore they should be able to provide for themselves, and in his next breath tells us that they are infants still, and have not yet acquired sufficient strength to justify their being weaned. Could anything be more absurd or ridiculous? I suppose he wants to circulate in one part of the country the idea that he is a free trader denouncing the bloated manufacturers, and in another part that he is not so difficult to deal with after all.

Then he said that if a man made a will last year there would be no trouble about changing it this year. I thought that was a peculiar illustration to give, and there came to my mind the lines:

A mericiful Providence fashioned us holler.

In order that we might our principles swaller.

I think if any hon. member has done that, it is the Minister of Agriculture.

I am in favour of the amendment, because I believe the failure of the Government to put into force the policy on which they secured power deserves the condemnation of the House and the country. The budget wo are debating, and the

10 p.m. record of the administration during the few months it has been in office, furnish sufficient evidence, I believe, for the most interesting breach of promise action in the history of this country. If the thousand-times repeated solemn promises of members of the present

The Budget-Mr. Charters

Government and of their supporters, and of some of their allies in this House, if the solemn pledges of the Prime Minister and the leader of a political party are to be disregarded and the men and women of Canada are to be indifferent to such deception, to such political dishonesty, then I say let us remove from the archway at the entrance to this building the Scripture text and substitute for it the one word "Ichabod", for assuredly the glory will have departed. In saying that I am only saying in other words what has been said by a prominent member of this Administration, one who is in the habit of saying frankly what he believes, and saying it without any danger ot' being misunderstood. Addressing a meeting of women at Milton on November 25, 1920, the hon. Postmaster General (Mr. Murphy) made use of this language:

Repeated breaches of public professions not only dishonor those who are guilty of them, but, what is far worse, they destroy those standards of public morality which the people have been accustomed to associate with men in public life. And what are the results? The first result is that when those whose duty 'it is to set an example in political integrity fail to do so, there is a progressive decline in public morality among the people themselves. The second result is that with the decline of public morality there is a corresponding decline in private morality that operates to the injury of the State no less than it does to the injury of the individual.

That was the statement made by the present Postmaster General. Does the present Government come under the implied condemnation in the statement of the hon. member? Let us look for a minute or two. We were told that the late government should be condemned because it was an autocratic government, governing by order in council, and forestalling action by Parliament. We expected that when the new Government came into power all that would be changed, but what are the facts? They were very well presented last night by the hon. member for George Etienne Cartier (Mr. Jacobs), who said:

We criticised the Conservative party that .ived by order in council, and made our battle cry the question of orders in council, and "down with the government that insists upon governing by order in council," but when we came into power, we lapsed into the ways of the Philistines.

Not only did they lapse into the ways of the Philistines, but they went ninety per cent or, at least, a very great deal further, because we have had the statement made in this House that in the three months of this year there were ninety more Orders

in Council passed by this Government than were passed in the corresponding period last year. All of which goes to show that that is just another pledge broken by this Government.

We were condemned last year for abolishing the business tax and the luxury tax. Why are they not restored this year? The Minister of Finance says that we need revenue more and more. Why does he not secure some of it in the way he advocated last year? We were condemned for not recovering some portion of the wealth of what were called the profiteers in food and so on, and we were told by the Prime Minister that:

Mr. Murdock has exposed the manner in which, as respects the necessaries of life, the food, the clothing, the articles required for the shelter of the people, associated businesses with their trade agreements, combines and monopolies, have been permitted, with the assistance of a protective tariff, and to the detriment of consumers, to reap their excessive profits through unrestrained freedom of action.

What has happened? The hon. gentleman who exposed all this trouble is now the Minister of Labour in this country. What has he done? I am afraid-to use one of the expressions he is familiar with -that he is "loafing on the job"; because so far there is no evidence of any action whatever. Let me give you one item, an item which was brought to the attention of the people last year

that is the quantity of food in cold storage. In 1921 there were three million dozens of eggs in cold .storage, and complaint was made that these should be liberated in order that they might be made cheaper to the public. On May 1 of this year, just a year afterwards, there were upwards of four million dozens in cold storage; and my hon. friend is not doing anything to bring that condition before the public at the present time. That is an illustration of what is being done, or rather not being done.

Then too, we were told that taxation was oppressive, that it was too grievous to be borne. The Government has answered that by increasing the taxation, thirty or forty or probably fifty million dollars. Hon. members opposite condemned the action of the government in imposing the sales tax day after day, and they redeemed their pledges by increasing it 50 per cent. The public debt was to be provided for in a way that nobody had been informed of and the action of the late government was condemned. Furthermore we have just had, in the address of the Minister of Agriculture, some reference to patronage. His

The Budget-Mr. Charters

reference could only mean one thing, and that was that at the earliest possible moment the Civil Service Commission would be abolished and patronage would he returned to the boys who are supporting the Government. That statement was applauded more vigorously than any other statement the minister made in his speech. But the Government has not simply been confining its attention to the party

workers. Let me remind you that no fewer than five defeated candidates have been appointed to judgships in this country, and several good appointments have gone to others who have been defeated and to others who are prominent party workers. In the United States, in order to become a judge a candidate must be elected, but in Canada to become a judge a candidate must have been defeated; that is the difference between our system and theirs.

The Minister of Agriculture talks of the absolute folly of perpetuating "this system"-that is the Civil Service system. Well, all over the Dominion-at least I will say all over the province of Ontario- in the literature of the Liberal party it was announced that the abolition of patronage was part of their platform, and so with my hon. friends of the other section of the Opposition at that time; they had on their cards, on their literature, the same slogan "Abolition of Patronage". Well we know what is the position of the Government-that is if the hon. gentleman does not change his mind over night as be has done so frequently in relation to that question. Now these are a few of the points as to which no man living can say that any action has been taken along the lines suggested. Has anything been done to improve the standard of public morality to which the Postmaster General referred in the speech alluded to? Furthermore, if anybody can say that anything has been done to lessen the burden of the people, to increase the employment of the workmen *of the country, or to lessen the cost of living, then all I can say is "I have not seen such great faith, no not in Israel".

It would be very unwise, I think, for me to undertake to discuss anything in relation to the tariff at this time after it had been so exhaustively dealt with this afternoon, but I want to refer to one or two things. At every session -of the Parliament that expired last September the question of protection and free trade, or higher protection and lower protection was presented, and in every case the position taken by the present Government and its followers was

that we should have as near an approach to free trade as possible. Some of them were in favour of absolute free trade until we met together in the House this time. For instance in 1919 the member for Brome (Mr. McMaster) was the financial critic of the then Liberal opposition. He was a real free trader and he spoke very lengthily and very learnedly in favour of the adoption of that policy. He told us about getting up in the morning to perform his ablutions and commencing to dress, and his difficulty in doing so because of the tax on his boots and the tax on his clothing- the tax on everything that he wore. The member for North Ontario (Mr. Halbert), who is not here to-night, took up the song and made it a little stronger. He said that even the coffin in which he would be buried was taxed. Well, the hon. member for Brome is still wearing the clothes that are taxed and he will wear them a long time because this Government continues to levy a tax on them; and my hon. friend from North Ontario, who is looking for free trade in coffins, will have to wait a long time before he will get it from a government of this kind.

Topic:   C, 1922
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June 6, 1922