June 9, 1922

CON

Robert James Manion

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MANION:

How about unemployment in Great Britain under free trade?

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

John Morrison

Progressive

Mr. MORRISON:

I am not an Imperial statesman, and I am not prepared to answer every question that may be thrown at me from all sides of the House. I am not solving the British problems or suggesting a remedy for conditions over there.

The figures I have quoted show that \the customs tariff is inadequate to raise revenue. Our patriotic manufacturers simply frustrate the apparent intent of the Customs Act by taking unto themselves through its operation a great deal of the revenue. I think that an excise duty should be put on those goods when they have demonstrated that they can compete in the world's open market. If they would only charge the market value for their goods in Canada they would have the jump on the outside fellow to the extent of fifteen per cent, and a lot more goods would be bought from them. As a result would there not be more land brought under cultivation? I think so. If that was done, if they would sell to us at the real market value, then their outside competitors would have to pay the duties imposed by this country. But to-day, the American manufacturer gets as much for his goods f.o.b. from the Canadian farmer as he gets from the Dakota farmer. Then, who pays the customs duties? The American manufacturer? Not much; he passes it right on to me. At the same time that is not the worst of it. We have to pay more than the actual value of these goods to the home manufacturer. I submit that is one of the chief reasons why Canada is not flourishing. I would like to see some of my hon. friends that are high protectionists farming out in the West beside me. I think, like Saul, most of them would see a great light; they would not only be converted, but they would become regenerated and sanctified Progressives.

We have about 40,000 miles of railway in Canada, with 200 people to the mile. The expense of running this government is increasing year by year, and it is puzzling our best men to know how to raise the revenue. It is pretty hard to get the perspective of this whole situation. We know we cannot lower our tariff to let in other nations' goods, but one of the big fundamental difficulties we are labouring under is that our overhead is killing us. Supposing we were directors of any company and the industry had developed to

The Budget-Mr. Morrison

the extent of about twenty or twenty-five per cent, that our overhead was such that we could not meet expenses, but still we ran along for forty years, what would the shareholders say at the annual meeting? They would say " You fellows are all right, you are getting your salary, and what more should you care?" If this country had such a policy that we could get all our natural industries under full development there would be work for everybody. The reason people are flocking to the cities is because lots of them in the poorer rural districts cannot make a living on the farm. There is a big district not very far from my constituency where the people abandoned the country on a strip of about ten miles wide. The land was not as good as elsewhere and did not hold the moisture for as many days as necessary, and therefore they abandoned it. There are other districts not so bad as that where the people engaged in farming are merely eking out an existence. Then there are small districts, under better conditions, where the farmers are making a little money but the general rank and file of them are hard up. We have been losing money there within the last few years, and before that many of the farmers never made any. Now, I submit that conditions are fundamentally wrong, and the experience of the past forty years has demonstrated the truth of that statement, My right hon. friend the leader of the official Opposition stated that we could not compete with the industries in the United States. He said that that country was developed from eleven to fifteen times beyond what Canada was commercially, and I think, perhaps, that is a proper statement; at any rate it is near enough for me to use for the purposes of illustration. My right hon. friend would not admit that the United States has from eleven to fifteen times the natural resources that Canada has. I do not know what percentage of good land Canada has, but it is one-half as much at least as the United States has. We had British goodwill behind us all the time, we had British capita], we had British immigrants coming here, and we had protection. Why should Canada not have developed a little more as compared with the United States?

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

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

She did not start so soon.

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

John Morrison

Progressive

Mr. MORRISON:

She started at practically the same time as the United States.

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

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

Not in protection.

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

John Morrison

Progressive

Mr. MORRISON:

She started building up about the same time virtually, and I do not think it is much of a recommendation to Canadian statesmen that we are not in a better position than we are to-day as compared to the United States. I do not like to say anything about men who are not present to-day to speak for themselves, but really Canada should have developed a little faster when she had such a wealth of natural opportunity, and such wealth of natural resources. The capitalists of Great Britain would have preferred to invest their money in Canada; and the people of Great Britain would prefer to come to this country from motives of loyalty. That we are not in a better position to-day is because there has been something fundamentally wrong with the policy we have pursued, and the position in which we find ourselves does not reflect much credit on the protective system. The hon. member for Centre Winnipeg (Mr. Woodsworth) said that repudiation was a word that does not look very well. At the present time we have this situation on our hands: We find that the railways of Canada want to repudiate a covenant which they made with the people of the prairie provinces. We had the heads of these railways down here using every influence that is at their command, and that is no small amount. What for? The one big object sought is to annul the Crowsnest pass agreement permanently. If they cannot influence the special committee on railways to bring in a report to that effect, they are willing to have the agreement annulled temporarily; and then next year will take another drive at permanent annulment. I say that is an unpardonable breach of a covenant on the part of the railways. Where does honour come in, if the railways enter into an agreement with the people and then want to annul that agreement? Not only that, but they come down here and make excuses and endeavour to set the maritime provinces and British Columbia against the prairie provinces. They say, "We cannot put the Crowsnest pass agreement into operation, and at the same time give the other provinces a better rate." Well, I have here the annual report of the Canadian Pacific Railway, and I find that in 1920 their net earnings amounted to 15.30 per cent, and in 1921 their net earnings were 17.72 per cent. It is true we had hard times in 1920 and 1921, but a little lower rate of interest for that company would net have been

The Budget-Mr. Morrison

out of place. We know that the railways, and every man who invests money in this country, should make a profit. That is their object in investing it; if they do not make a return on their money there will be no further investment. We Progressives are not here to knock our railways; we are all so interdependent on one another that we must all have a measure of success or the machine cannot run.

Now the hon. member for Lincoln (Mr. Chaplin) said the other night that he could ship three cars of merchandise to Liverpool for the same price as he could ship one to Saskatoon, and that he could ship two to Liverpool for the same price as he could ship one to Winnipeg. When questioned, he admitted reluctantly that he got a cheaper rate for export shipments, than he did for local home shipments. Contrast that statement with the sworn evidence of Mr. Porter, of Perth, New Brunswick, an exporter of potatoes, who said that the export rates are 100 per cent higher than the local rate on potatoes, and that in consequence of not being able to find a market large quantities of potatoes are rotting.

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

Lewis Herbert Martell

Liberal

Mr. MARTELL:

Does my hon. friend mean to say that in all cases the export rates are lower than the domestic through rates?

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

John Morrison

Progressive

Mr. MORRISON:

I am quoting sworn evidence given before the railway committee; I am not a railway expert.

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

Lewis Herbert Martell

Liberal

Mr. MARTELL:

I would like to tell my hon. friend that in the province of Nova Scotia, as the result of order 350 of the Railway Board, we have to pay to-day about eight cents more a barrel, say upon apples, from Windsor, Nova Scotia, to Halifax, than if we shipped those apples for domestic purposes.

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

John Morrison

Progressive

Mr. MORRISON:

That is not refuting my statement

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

Lewis Herbert Martell

Liberal

Mr. MARTELL:

No.

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

John Morrison

Progressive

Mr. MORRISON:

I am not an expert on freight rates, but I have quoted a sworn statement, and the House can consider it and do as thay wish about it. It is quite evident the manufacturer has been getting the preference in this matter. Now, Sir, there must be a maximum reduction in freight rates in order to get things going properly. People have not been going to the farms and remaining there. We have an immigration problem on our hands, and we are wondering where we will get suitable men to put

on the land. We can get lots of men to go into the towns, but we must make conditions a little better on the farm. If we are not holding the men with experience on the farm, whac is the use of spending money to get more inexperienced men? Let us make the farms more livable for the returned men, and the settlers, that are there doing their utmost. I submit, if we make conditions for the basic industries attractive, the manufacturers will prosper. And we farmers want them to prosper; we have nothing against them. Some hon. members, while speaking, get pretty hot against the Agrarian group, because the members of that group express opinions which are contrary to their own opinions, but we like to present our case. If the truth is not good enough, there is something wrong. An hon. member state! last night that twenty-five boot and shoe firms had gone broke lately. I wonder if they were getting too much protection, or net enough. I am wearing a pair of shoes that cost me $11 or $12. During the last year the best I could get for a calf skin or a cow hide was from 50 cents to $1. The Labour people say they are not getting very much out of it. Where is the nigger? I have a suit of clothes which I bought from one of the biggest tailors in Toronto and which cost me $50. I have a couple of hundred sheep and was selling wool last year. At the price I sold that wool, I did not get $1 for the wool it took to make this suit of clothes. An hon. gentleman quoted prices of cloth the other day, and showed that it took $7 for enough cloth to make a suit of clothes. Now, labour may be getting a good big profit, but capital is not absorbing all the balance. Somebody is not working. Honest labour is not getting it. I do not know where it is going. These are matters which should be investigated. People cannot buy. We want the goods, but we cannot buy them. We cannot exchange our wheat for the commodities that the other fellow produces. Here is a gem. I read in a Conservative paper this week that the leader of the Progressives lacks the qualities of iron and rutblessness, essential to political leadership

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

Thomas Wakem Caldwell

Progressive

Mr. CALDWELL:

That is surely a Tory point of view.

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

John Morrison

Progressive

Mr. MORRISON:

I submit, Mr. Speaker, that the proper qualities for a leader is not iron and ruthlessness. We believe a leader should have a good knowledge of his country's affairs and should have the ability to apply the Golden Rule to public business.

The Budget

Mr. Bird

Iron and ruthlessness have destroyed most of the countries in the world. They have been largely responsible for the hell that is in Europe anc in the world generally; we need the application of Christian principles to public business to-day.

In conclusion I must say that I cannot support the budget, and I am not going to support the amendment, because I think it was political trickery.

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

Thomas William Bird

Progressive

Mr. T. W. BIRD (Nelson) :

Mr. Speaker, it is not my purpose to go very deeply into this discussion. I wish to remark, at the outset, that during the progress of the debate the various attitudes of the three main groups in this House have progressively cleared themselves. The Government have manifestly followed the dictates of expediency, and incidentally they have exposed themselves to the adverse judgment of that section of the public which is still old fashioned enough to believe that the same standard that applies to public conduct applies to personal Conduct. The Opposition, on the other hand, have quite ignored the claims of expediency and have levelled a charge of moral aberration against the Government. I do not wish to enter into the question of expediency. It is a matter of long dispute, but I notice that it is a matter of great importance to the politicians. They have great need of it at times, and, although I am not very well versed in political history, I believe, from information I have received, that, even our rigidly righteous friends to the right have had occasion to use it now and again. I am reminded of a quotation given in this House the other day from an American writer, to the intent that Providence made politicans hollow in order to facilitate the disposal of inconvenient principles. Our friends to the right seem to believe that the members of the Government are very hollow, indeed-so hollow that they have swallowed all their present principles and still there is room. On the other hand, I am reminded of a quotation from another American writer, whiclmruns something like this: W

A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, .

Of little statesmen, philosophists and divines.

You see the Government on the one side, and the Opposition on the other, stand in a compromising light before the public at the present time. One is exposing its integrity and the other is exposing its-well, its "consistency." I am glad I am a Progressive at the present

time. I think we have got the two old parties in a position in which we could smack them very well, if we wanted to. But it is not our duty-at least we do not conceive it to be our duty. We do not wish to reflect upon the integrity of the Government, nor upon the sincerity of the Opposition.

When I thought of these remarks, the hon. member for East Calgary (Mr. Irvine) had not spoken-the right wing of the Labour party, I mean-I do not know whether it is the right wing or the left wing, but one of the wings of the Labour party. In his speech he took occasion to criticise the Progressive party, and I am sorry to say that, in his remarks regarding the Progressive party, he seemed to be labouring under the same mist that enveloped the first part of his speech in regard to our credit system. The former part of his speech about the credit system reminded me of the famous saying about " the blind man groping in a dark room for a black hat that was not there." I am sorry the hon. member is not in his seat. I do not wish to disparage the sincerity and ability of that hon. gentleman; I have known him for many years, and I think in both regards he is the equal of most members in this House.

I want to make just one general remark in regard to the budget, and that is that, I think, this budget proves the old truth that whenever a government begins to revise a budget, the people do not stand to gain very much, if anything at all. When once a protective system is established to the degree it is in this country, it is almost impossible for any government, however sincere its intentions may be, to modify that system in the direction of the interests of the people. If, Sir, you will pardon another parable-and truth sometimes enters in by lowly doors-I am reminded of a legend about a cage of monkeys. There was once a cage of monkeys who had lived for some considerable time upon a diet of six chestnuts in the morning and four chestnuts in the evening. They got discontented under those conditions, so they resolved to present a petition to their keeper in order that that tariff might be revised. The keeper was somewhat perplexed; but by and by he made this proposition that, in future the monkeys should have, instead of six chestnuts in the morning and four in the evening, four chestnuts in the morning and six in the evening. We are told that the monkeys were well satisfied with the generosity of the offer. Some

The Budget-Mr. Bird

of the members in this House, I have often observed, are Scotch in descent, and they do not easily see the point of an illustration.

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

Andrew Ross McMaster

Liberal

Mr. McMASTER:

An English joke.

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

Thomas William Bird

Progressive

Mr. BIRD:

I am a North of England man myself, so that I am pretty nearly a Scotchman, although I have preserved my sense of humour in spite of the atmosphere in which I have been brought up. It is difficult to imagine a cage of nine or ten million monkeys; but I believe there are often more proofs of the theory of Darwin than we imagine, especially when the question is one of economic or political matters.

I want to say a word or two regarding the speech of the hon. member for Brome (Mr. McMaster), seeing that he has interrupted me, and the speech of the hon. member for Brantford (Mr. Raymond). These two hon. gentlemen, each in his own way, possess gifts of expression which are a distinct acquisition to this House. I was sorry to see them placed in a position that was somewhat apologetic, somewhat retrospective, with regard to their political affiliation. It seems to me to be a peculiar circumstance when these two gentlemen, tracing their political descent from a common source, should have arrived eventually at such divergent points of view.. If you will pardon me, Sir, this far-fetched illustration: you may .begin with the original cell that we are told of in our school books, the primordial cell, and after ages of slow development, you get a tiger on the one hand and a sheep on the other. I suppose it should not be impossible, beginning with the primary germ of Liberalism away back in history, eventually to get the hon. member for Brome on the one hand and the hon. member for Brantford on the other. The hon. member for Brantford, it will be noticed, traced his lineage back to King John and the Barons bold. I do not know by what principle of interpretation he did that; but I thought at the time that, for his brand of Liberalism, he might as well have gone back considerably further, in fact, a few million of years further; because I should imagine that in the dim ages the Cro-Magnons and Kitchen-middeners had a protection on their stone hammers and flint knives. But the Liberalism of the Barons is rather an obscure point, I must say. John Ruskin, however, tells us that the Barons bold were protectionists. They built their castles alongside the trade routes on those days, and they levied a

toll upon the passing caravans. They were Liberals in the sense that they were liberal with other people's goods. I do not think the hon. member for Brome is anxious to trace his lineage so far back as that and, as a matter of fact, he did not do so. I noticed this phenomenon in regard to his speech, and I want to pay tribute to that speech. Some of the sentiments in it went much further back than King John; I think some of them went back 1,000 years behind King John, and some of the sentences in his speech were almost memorable. But I noticed that the latter part of 'his speech lacked the enthusiasm and verve of the first part, and I came to the conclusion that there is a difference between eulogising the past history of a great party and apologising for its present conduct. Sometimes the springs of eloquence suddenly dry up, and there is always a reason for that. The hon. member invoked the spirit of many estimable men of the past, without very .much effect, I thought. When he was invoking them, he turned to his own party; but I think there was a rustle of wings above the Progressive party at the time he was doing that. If I read history aright, if I can add my view of history in contradistinction to the views which these hon. gentlemen put forward in regard to Liberalism, I would say that the historic Liberalism, the Liberalism of John Bright, Cob-den, Gladstone, Campbell-Bannerman and Lloyd-George in his palmy days, is represented, not on that side, but upon this side of the House. Progressive-ism is Liberalism redivivus and carried to a further degree of enlightenment. That is the position which we on this side of the House hold.

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

Samuel William Jacobs

Liberal

Mr. JACOBS:

That is Liberalism for the farmers.

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

Thomas William Bird

Progressive

Mr. BIRD:

I think my position in this House has proved that it is not Liberalism for the farmers. I was not going to make this remark; but I will make it now. If there is any analogy in history that fits the party opposite it seems to me that it is Joseph's coat. Hon. members will remember that Joseph's coat was a coat of many colours-about the only thing, I think, about Joseph that is like the present party opposite. If I remember rightly, Joseph was in favour of a wheat board.

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

Andrew Ross McMaster

Liberal

Mr. McMASTER:

He got corrupted by living under a tyrannous Pharaoh.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF THE DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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June 9, 1922