June 13, 1922

UFA

Alfred Speakman

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. SPEAKMAN:

I will speak louder

presently. We have been accused of selfishness-and speaking of their unselfishness has reminded me of this-and why? Because we object to having to live indefinitely under a policy from which we receive no benefit and for which we have to pay the price. That is why we ape looked upon as being selfish. May I ask those other hon. gentlemen: Is it any more selfish to wish that as we have to stand on our feet, they should have to stand on their feet, than to wish that any particular interest should be bonused in order that it might be able to carry on successfully? I am not accusing them of selfishness; but if there was a question between the selfishness of free and fair trade and the selfishness of those who prefer a protective policy, I think any honest, impartial jury would say that, if there was any choice, those who favoured a protective policy would be a little the more selfish of the two. As I say, however, I do not intend to throw any slurs at any one else; I am simply answering what we consider to be rather an unfair insinuation or assertion against ourselves.

Since I have come here and during this debate, I have been endeavouring, in order to be fair, to imagine myself for a moment in the place of the Minister of Finance (Mr. Fielding). I am quite aware that this is rather a presumptuous flight of imagination; but if we are going to try to get anything at all, we must endeavour to put ourselves into the other fellow's place and to look at things for a little while through his eyes. I considered what I would do, were I by some peculiar freak, placed in a position where I would have to carry a policy into effect and to impose that most unpopular thing, taxation, upon the people. I quite agree with the Minister of Finance that any one who taxes other people is a most unpopular gentleman, and more than that I quite agree that, in the opinion of most people, there is only one fair method of taxation in the world, and that is the method that leaves us alone and makes the other fellow pay it all. This makes me more moderate in my statements. Looking at this matter from the point of view of revenue alone, if I believed that protection was not a right principle, as the present Minister of Finance has stated in his

opinion, and if I were endeavouring to raise revenue and at the same time endeavouring to go against the principle of protection, I would see if I could not balance these two things, and my suggestion would be that instead of a sales tax, an excise duty be placed upon those articles within our country that were protected by too high a tariff. That is not a very popular sentiment; but I believe it is absolutely just. We have heard it stated that, had it not been for the attitude of the United States, in all probability our tariff against the United States would be lower. Thai means that it could be lower without damaging our own interests. If it could be lower and if the present attitude of the United States makes it unprofitable or unwise to lower the tariff, why not, to some extent, do away with some of that protection on the Canadian side by imposing an excise tax and thus take off some of the surplus profits that may accrue? I believe that is sound. Although I am a free trader in principle, I am not one of those who believe that we can step in at a moment's notice and change the fiscal policy of this country right around. I believe, however, that we could make a very material advance in that direction and that we could serve notice upon those interests that are protected at the present time, that they must put their house in order, because, bit by bit, inevitably, just as sure as death and taxation, the tariff is going gradually to come down and they are going to be thrown on their feet to fight out their own salvation.

In connection with that and in connection with another matter, I was very much interested in following the debate regarding depreciated currency in other countries. I am not an expert in depreciated currency, and I am not going to discuss the matter from that aspect. But one thing struck me very forcibly during the debate and during the remarks of some of our speakers to the right, and that was this. According to their statements, manufactures in Germany, which was singled out as the shining example, were apparently able to manufacture and deliver goods at from one-quarter to one-tenth of the cost of manufacture in this country. I cannot quite understand that, when we consider that a large quantity of their raw material must be imported. But if that be a fact, I have this suggestion to throw out to hon. gentlemen to my right, in return for many suggestions that we have received in the past as regards better meth-

The Budget-Mr. Speakman

ods of farming, that the Government should send a commission to Germany to find out how they do those things, or that the Government should establish a school of manufacturing in this country and bring over a German professor or two to instruct our manufacturers. If the Germans can produce manufactured articles at so much less than the cost of manufacture in Canada, and live happily, cheaply and apparently comfortably while they are doing that, their methods are well worth studying; some of our manufacturers might well take advice from them, might study their methods, and then they would not need a protective tariff at all. That is only a suggestion, because I always hesitate to advise another man how to conduct his business, although I notice other men are not always so reticent about advising us.

There are two other matters I want to touch on very briefly, not so much in connection with the tariff itself, as in connection with other matters which come up under the budget. In the Speech from the Throne, part of which I admired very much, whatever I may have thought of it since, in referring to agriculture, His Excellency, speaking, I presume, as the mouthpiece of the Government, said that in order to encourage agriculture, they must necessarily proceed along three lines: better marketing facilities; lower transportation costs and lower costs of production. In our opinion, lower costs of production, to a large extent, lie in the hands of the fiscal policy. We may, to some extent, be wrong in that view; but I believe lower costs of production can only be brought about by permitting us to buy our means of production more cheaply. The subject of transportation has been so thoroughly touched upon that I do not intend to go into it at any length at all. I can only say this, that I wish all success to the efforts of the Government in that respect. I believe, not only is their policy sound, but it will eventually prove to be the right policy. I am speaking of the official policy of the Government, that is the policy of absolutely co-ordinating their lines, of cutting out unnecessary competing lines, of cutting down expenditure as far as possible and of making the shortest haul with the heaviest tonnage possible. I think that can be done; and when the time comes-as I trust it will be soon-I hope they will have branch lines built as active feeders so that the products of the West may foe carried to this end of Canada. As the matter

183i

of marketing is one that is of great significance in view of some work that is going on in this House at the present time, we most sincerely hope that when the proper time comes the Government will be prepared to implement that suggestion in the Speech from the Throne and support us in our efforts to bring about a better system of collective marketing.

Now, I think I have covered all I intended to say to-night. I had no intention of speaking for more than twenty minutes, but I shall say a word or two as to the manner in which the budget meets my views, personally, at least. I have said that I believe the government of this country can only be a government of compromise. That is my opinion. But what is compromise? Compromise is a matter of give and take, is it not? It is a matter of one man going part of the way and the other man going the other part to meet him. It is the balance of opinions between two adverse views, meeting on common ground somewhere near the centre. And in that respect I very-much regret to say that the budget does not constitute, to my mind, one of fair compromise; because I believe that it calls upon us who are opposed to the principle of protection to take about ten minutes' walk to meet what has been aptly termed a mere footstep or a shuffle in our direction. I do not feel that that can fairly be called a compromise. I am well aware that what steps have been taken have been taken in the right direction. I am well aware of that. But I do not think for one moment that it can properly be said that these reductions have changed the previous budget from a protectionist budget into one for revenue only. In other respects, I found myself in perfect harmony and agreement with the statement of the Minister of Finance (Mr. Fielding). With his efforts towards reciprocity, I had, and I think we all had, the fullest and most complete sympathy, and I can tell hon. gentlemen on the other side of the House that the one outstanding, saving grace in the history of the Liberal party in the last twenty years, at any rate in my opinion, was the fact that they went down honourably to defeat in what was the greatest move that had been made up to that time towards free trade. During our campaign in the West, where we fought about as hard with the Liberals as we did with Conservatives, and where practically every contest was a three-cornered fight, I was asked what I thought of the Liberal party. That is

The Budget-Mr. Speakman

a hard question to ask me, especially as asked by a Conservative. However, I said that as far as I could judge, taking their past record into account, the only difference between that party and the Conservative party consisted in their stand in the 1911 election; and that, as a matter of fact, the worst thing I had ever heard said against them-and I have heard some mighty hard things-was that they were nearly as bad as the Conservatives.

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LIB

George Perry Graham (Minister of Militia and Defence; Minister of the Naval Service)

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM:

That was going far enough.

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LIB

Ernest Lapointe (Minister of Marine and Fisheries)

Liberal

Mr. LAPOINTE:

Not guilty.

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UFA

Alfred Speakman

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. SPEAKMAN:

That, at all events, was the point of view of those whose opinions I had learned; and whether it will be greatly altered for the better by the present budget I cannot say. But from my own feelings in the matter, and from the messages I have received from the West, I should judge it has not altered greatly. No one, of course, is wholly black or wholly white, and there were varying shades of opinion with regard to the Liberal party. Some thought that it was a little lighter shade of grey than the Conservative party.

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?

An hon. MEMBER:

Muddier.

Mr. iSPEAKMAN: ;Perhaps muddier.

And speaking of mud, that reminds me of something that happened a few days ago. An hon. member to our right made an attack on our organization as a whole, and on our leader (Mr. Crerar) in particular. I was sorry the hon. member for Marquette was not present at the time to answer for himself. The attack had reference to the fact that when in private life he was engaged in the commercial pursuit of handling a large grain company, a most heinous offence indeed. I thought at the time that the statements that were made in the House bore a strange similarity to the contents of a number of pamphlets that used to flood the western country during the election. Why, we waded knee deep in them. Of course, they were anonymous pamphlets; like illegitimate children, whom no man would own, they were laid at our doorsteps. But there was a strange similarity between the utterances of one or two hon. gentlemen on our right and the contents of these pamphlets, which invariably wound up with the entreaty to "Vote for Meighen and save the country". And I began to wonder whether those hon. gentlemen had anyri'Ir. Speakman.]

thing to do with those pamphlets. There is a homely adage that when you see shells you suspect the presence of eggs. Perhaps my suspicions are unfounded, and I hope they are; but I have suspicions. Well, there was one answer to those pamphlets that flooded the West, and that answer was emphatic. From the whole West, which was interested particularly in the grain trade, and which knew more exactly the untruth of the assertions contained in those pamphlets, not one single member of the party supposed to be responsible for those pamphlets was returned to this Parliament. On the other hand, almost a solid delegation of men came in support of the leader whom hon. gentlemen have attempted to malign. That was the answer given by the prairie provinces to those allegations, and it shall continue to be the answer which those provinces shall give in the future to allegations of that nature, from whatsoever source they come.

Now, I have stated rather briefly that I do not altogether admire the budget, and I may say even more briefly that I have absolutely no use for the amendment that has been offered. It is all very well for any party to climb to the mountain tops of morality and therefrom deliver sermons directed towards their political opponents, and to offer advice on public morality to members of this group. I can say quite safely that I am not particularly seeking inspiration on questions of political morals from hon. gentlemen to my right. Mind you, I do not say that they are much worse than other gentlemen, but we are not seeking advice there. An hon. gentleman suggests that we are not seeking it at all. Well, perhaps we are not; we have not been in, public life long enough to have lost our own morality. However, that is simply a passing jest; it is merely by the way. I have no intention, I can assure you, Mr. Speaker, to oast any slurs on men in this House, because there is one thing that I have learned, if nothing else, that will be useful to me since coming to this Parliament, and that is that the average decency, morality and common sense in this House is at least equal to the average decency, morality and commonsense outside. And that remark I mean to apply to all three corners of this House. As I have got more acquainted with the men who compose this Parliament, I have come to the conclusion that even the devil is not as black as he is painted; and you will find a sense of public duty and a desire to do what is right all

The Budget-Mr. J. J. Denis

over the House. But I also think that that sense and that desire have become somewhat perverted and distorted by the unfamiliarity of some hon. gentlemen with the whole of Canada. At least, they are not as familiar with Canada as they would lead us to think they are. I believe that half of the trouble and the differences of opinion in this House could be adjusted if we could only know one another better; and that is one reason why I enjoyed my trip to Montreal and Quebec city, because I believe that if we could get to know one another better and understand our problems better we would have more sympathy one for the other, and I believe that with greater sympathy would come closer co-operation, and in that closer cooperation of honest, decent-thinking men lies the salvation of the country.

Since coming here I have been working somewhat intensively on the soldier's special committee, and I am going to speak of that committee from one standpoint only. Over the door of our committee room is the inscription, "Abandon politics all ye who enter here."-metaphorically speaking of course. And we have abandoned politics absolutely. Conservatives, Liberals and Progressives-we all mix with one another there. No man is regarded from the party standpoint, but we all meet there on common ground, each anxious to distinguish between right and wrong, to contribute his quota to the common stock of knowledge, and so reach a conclusion as to what is best to do under all the circumstances. My experience on that committee has often made me think that what has happened there is very much like a fulfilment of my dream of Parliament in the days gone by.

. Now, Mr. Speaker, you will say that that is the dream of an idealist, and although I know I shall be looked down upon by some gentlemen here, I will admit that I am an idealist. And I will go a step further than that: I believe that no man has much business in our public life who is not to some extent at least an idealist. Because when all is said and done, what is an idealist? Is not he the man who has an ideal of conditions which shall be a little better, a little fairer, a little cleaner, a little juster than existing conditions? I say, God help the man who has no such ideal, who thinks that everything in this world is right just exactly as it is at the present momentt, because that man is past all human help.

I am sorry in more ways than one not to be able to approve or to support the budget of the hon. Minister of Finance. As I sit here in my place and look across the floor at that honourable gray head, and think of the years of honest, clean public service which he has given to his country-as many years as I have numbered during my whole life-I can assure you, Mr. iSpeaker, that it is very difficult for me to criticize the owner of that head. And I am not now criticizing that man, at least I try not to speak unfairly or harshly. I cannot approve of his ideas or of the budget he has brought down, but so far as he himself is concerned, I respect and honour him.

Mr. JEAN J. DENIS (Joliette) : Mr. Speaker, at the outset of my remarks it is a duty as well as a pleasure for me to join those who have preceded me in offering my tribute of homage to the hon. Minister of Finance (Mr. Fielding). Perhaps all hon. members are not aware that the hon. gentleman has been a Minister of the Crown for. about thirty years either in the province of Nova Scotia or in the Dominion. I am told that this record is unequalled in the British Empire to-day.

Coming down to the budget, in my opinion it is, generally speaking, satisfactory. We must not forget that the good old days have passed, and I am sure the hon. Minister of Finance has had more worry and more labour preparing this budget than perhaps he had in preparing the fifteen other budgets which he has had the distinction and honour of presenting to this House. In 1911, a new government came into power, the government of our Conservative friends, and later this country joined the Allied powers in that worldwide war which cost so much in life and treasure. The expenses of that war increased our national debt eight times beyond what it amounted to when the Liberal party left office in 1911, and unfortunately our successors did not take the care they should have taken in looking after our national expenditure so that to-day our financial burden is very heavy indeed.

The old Liberal chieftain of 1911 is no more, but the man who was his right arm, who was his Finance Minister for fifteen years, is still with us, and representing in himself the genius of the man who is gone as well as his own, and he is to-day presenting the most satisfactory budget that can be presented under the circumstances.

The Budget-Mr. J. J. Denis

I have every sympathy for my hon. friends obliquely opposite. Unfortunately they are not satisfied with the budget. But, Mr. Speaker, after listening to various speeches from that quarter of the House I have asked myself several times: What is it that would satisfy them? These hon. gentlemen have come here with theories; they do not grasp the facts-at least, they do not as far as national events are concerned. They are interested in whatever may concern their own respective provinces, but in my humble opinion they have failed to comprehend the situation from a national standpoint.

Coming back to the old Tory party, it was unfortunate for the country that the unavoidable increase of our national debt should have been aggravated by the extravagance, I might even say the foolishness, which characterized their administration of the affairs of the Dominion. Of course, we all acknowledge, as I have just said, that a great proportion of our expenses incurred during the war was unavoidable. But could they not have avoided buying the Canadian Northern and the Grand Trunk and placing on the shoulders of the people annual deficits of from $70,000,000 to $100,000,000? I assert that they could have avoided that course, and they must bear the responsibility of their action. Could they not have avoided building the Canadian Government Merchant Marine that they are so proud of? And they are the only ones that are proud of it, for I have never known any one outside the late government and their followers to take any pride in that exhibition of government folly. They gave contracts to the amount of $70,000,000, without tenders, for the construction of the ships comprised in the merchant marine. It looks suspicious, Mr. Speaker, to see a government build a merchant marine at a cost double the amount at which the ships comprising it could be bought in England or in other countries. We all know that the Canadian merchant marine is hardly worth fifty cents on the dollar, if it is worth that. The Canadian people, after all the sacrifices they have made in blood and money, could not reasonably be expected under the circumstances to bear the burden involved in this project; so I say on that score again the late administration was faulty.

Then, the late government lent money to the Balkan States. I will not go into the details, but as hon. gentlemen know, this transaction also was a disastrous one. For all these reasons, Mr. Speaker, and

many others which I will not now mention, the old Tory party, which for so many years had the confidence of the people, has fallen to a depth never experienced by any other party in this Dominion since Confederation. For a party which in the last Parliament had about one hundred and fifty followers it has, since the last electior fallen into very great depths indeed. It is unfortunate for the party; it is unfortunate, to a certain extent,

9 p.m for the country itself, because if the people lose faith in politics; if they lose faith in those who represent them and those who administer the country's affairs, we come to a very serious condition indeed. Here was a party that was in power for ten years, and during that time they ruined the country; they lost all that had been accumulated during generations by the old Tory party, all that had remained in the way of tradition. This, Sir, should be a lesson to the Conservative party and should serve as an example to any other party in this country.

The Liberals are now in power, and they have to face the music; they have to impose taxes to meet the necessary expenses of the country. Last session and the session before, the Tory party had to acknowledge to the House a deficit of some $70,000,000-in reality it was a deficit of over $100,000,000. From the way matters were going at that time, it is evident that if the Tory party had remained in power these deficits of $100,000,000 or more each year would have been continued. But the people awakened to the seriousness of the situation, they placed the control of the country's affairs in the hands of a new administration, and they expect it to make both ends meet. No matter what government is in power, whether it be Liberal, Progressive or Tory, it must at least make an earnest effort to meet the expenses of the country. We cannot indefinitely go on borrowing money; we cannot indefinitely add to our debt. There must come a time, and that very soon, when receipts will meet expenditures. Look at England; though she was so sorely tried by the war, she has during the last three years been paying off annually a considerable amount of her public debt. She has had a surplus every year. We in Canada, a young country with vast natural resources, have done nothing in that respect. I hope we shall be able to do something in the future. I can hardly hope that this year the expenditures will

The Budget-Mr. J. J. Denis

be met by the revenue, but I am confident that very soon the Liberal party will be able to accomplish that end. If it does nothing else, I am sure that on that score it will deserve credit and will meet the commendation of the people of this country.

This is the first time since Confederation that we have had in this House three parties aligned. The new party, the Progressive party, have their ideals and their programme, as is their right. I may point out that since I have been in this House the Progressive party have changed their name about as many times as the Tory party changed theirs during the same period. First it was known as the " Farmers' party then the word " Agrarian " replaced the word " Farmer," and to-day they call it the Progressive party. Whether they be farmers, agrarians or progressives, there is one thing they must not forget, namely, that they must adjust their policies to the conditions which exist throughout the country. They must acknowledge the facts and they must frame their policies accordingly. As the name of a party, the word " Progressive," is a peculiar one. Progressive, I suppose, implies progress, and when a party takes the name of " Progressive," it might appear on the face of it that other parties were not progressive; that other parties were reactionary; that they did not know, perhaps, what they were talking about; that they did not know much about politics or were far behind the new party which, under the name of " Progressive," had come to save the country. If the word " Progressive " is supposed to refer to a party which favours progress, I acknowledge that the word is well chosen. Our friends obliquely opposite certainly favour progress, but they favour it so far as it affects their own group; they favour it accordingly as it is expedient for them to do so. They favour progress as long as we are willing to give them what suits their purpose, what suits their own particular progress. But I have yet to hear one of them favour national progress, and that is what we want in this country. No party can exist very long in this Dominion if it does not keep steadily in view the progress of the nation as a whole. We must look to the interests not of one province, not of two or three provinces only, but of the country generally. I ask my hon. friends to look to the welfare and the benefit of the country generally, not to the welfare and the benefit simply of their own provinces.

The science of government is a very difficult one; it entails moderation, broadmindedness, co-operation, compromise, and self-sacrifice. I was glad to hear the hon. gentleman who preceded me (Mr. Speak-man) speak of compromise and co-operation. I believe that no government in this country can govern unless it governs on the principles which I have enunciated. Why, Mr. Speaker, this is news to no one in a country like this, extending as it does from one ocean to the other, and with multifarious races and creeds and opinions and a great diversity of interests, and with people who do not know one another. Certainly this country is a hard one to govern. It cannot be compared to any of the European countries, to France or England, for instance, where you have a homogeneity of race, of character, of sentiment and aspirations. Our aspirations are different, our characters are different, our sentiments are different. But if only we will look at the interests of this country from a broad national point of view, if we are broad-minded and willing to cooperate with one another, we can do a lot, and we can govern this country properly. I am afraid that some of my friends on the other side have not yet learned the first chapter of the book which might contain these teachings. Our friends opposite, for instance, want the Wheat Board. The Wheat Board to them is the best thing in the world, but they forget one thing, and that is that we in the East have no use for the Wheat Board. We in the East will not suffer a bit whether the Wheat Board is established or not, and if we chose to be narrow-minded, if we lost sight of the fact that we must cooperate with one another and compromise, surely none of us in the East would ever vote for the Wheat Board. But I do not look at it in that way. I say to my friends from the West: If the Wheat Board is a good thing for you, and if I feel it will not injure the East to any great extent, so far as I am concerned I am willing to take the risk and give it to you, because my policy is a policy of broad-mindedness and co-operation.

Our friends from the West also want a reduction in freight rates. They do not ignore the fact, I am sure, that while reduction in freight rates would be of direct benefit to them, it would be detrimental to the provinces of Ontario and Quebec. Do they ignore that? Certainly they do not. When the freight rates are reduced,

The Budget-Mr. J. J. Denis

the deficits on the railways will be increased, and when the deficits on the railways are increased, the whole of Canada will have to make up those deficits, and the share that the East will pay will be very much larger than the share paid by our friends from the West. A calculation would prove that for every dollar that we reduce the freight rates our friends from the West are making a profit of 50 cents, and the provinces in the East are making a loss of 50 cents. Oh, our friends know that. They have started this agitation for a reduction in freight rates, although they know it will be giving them advantages to the detriment of the East. Shall we reduce the freight rates? We might do that. I am not ready to say that I shall not vote for a reduction in freight rates. Why? Because I want to co-operate with them, I want to compromise.

There is something else my friends from the West want. They want free trade. Do our friends from the West forget that fifty years ago, as was said this afternoon by the senior member for Halifax (Mr. Maclean), there were very few people in the West? Do they forget that the West has been opened up with money taken from the eastern provinces? Do they forget that their railroads have been built by money taken from the eastern provinces? Do they forget that the old province of Quebec was inhabited more than three hundred years ago?

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PRO

John Livingstone Brown

Progressive

Mr. BROWN:

Has my hon. friend ever examined the customs returns from the port of Winnipeg, and ascertained the amount of customs paid by the people of the West to help Canada?

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LIB

Jean-Joseph Denis

Liberal

Mr. DENIS (Joliette) :

I have not examined those figures particularly, but I would ask my hon. friend to examine the customs returns for Montreal, and he will find there is no comparison between those figures and Winnipeg's figures.

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PRO

John Livingstone Brown

Progressive

Mr. BROWN:

How much that goes through the port of Montreal goes to the prairies and is paid for by us?

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LIB

Jean-Joseph Denis

Liberal

Mr. DENIS (Joliette) :

It is not fair to ask offhand a question like that. I do not possess in my head all the figures that are in the public books, but I know one thing which cannot be controverted, and it is that there is no comparison whatever between the customs receipts of the port of Montreal and the port of Winnipeg. But that is not the question.

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PRO

Henry Elvins Spencer

Progressive

Mr. SPENCER:

The hon. member has informed the House that the railroads in the West have been paid for by the people in the East. Does he realize that half the country in the West has been given away to the railways to put those railways through, and given free of taxation, and the taxation has been paid by the people in the West for forty years.

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LIB

Jean-Joseph Denis

Liberal

Mr. DENIS (Joliette) :

If much of the land in the West was given to the railways, the people in the West certainly never paid for it. It never cost them anything. But that is not the point. My point is this: It matters little whether land was given to the railways or not. These transcontinentals, leaving out the Canadian Pacific, have been built with the money of this country, and subsequently they have been bought by this country to the great detriment of the country as a whole, and for the benefit of our friends from the West, and now that these railroads have been built and are in our possession our friends from the West say: We want reduced freight rates. They want the deficit on the railways to be increased. T do not blame them. It is to their advantage, but again I say, do not forget: the principle of co-operation. That is what my friends from the West are forgetting.

I have said that they also want free trade. Do our friends forget for a minute that free trade would spell disaster for the eastern provinces? No one can ignore that, but just the same our friends from the West are in favour of free trade. They do not care what happens to Quebec and Ontario and the rest of the country. They want free trade because free trade might be good for them. After they have asked for all these things, after they have come to this House and expounded all their principles, they plead with the Minister of Finance in a pitiful voice and say: It is too bad. we did not have a better budget. If you. had given us something that we had expected, we would have been so glad to vote for you, but we cannot accept these reductions. Well, Mr. Speaker, I should like' to hear my hon. friends propose something better than the Minister of Finance has proposed for this country. I hope 1 shall give no offence to any one when I tell the House that in my estimation there is no man in Canada who is miore capable, more learned, and of greater experience and fitness to prepare a budget and submit it to the country than the present hon. Minis-

The Budget-Mr. J. J. Denis

ter of Finance. My friends on the other side want free trade. Hid they expect for a moment that this Government was going to give them free trade or anything like it? They did not. Some concessions have been made. These concessions, of course, might be open to criticism. The high protectionists say: These concessions are too great; you have gone too far; you should not have given them. Then the free traders say: The concessions do not go far enough. Again, we see the necessity for compromise. What is the best that can be done under the circumstances? I say that the Minister of Finance and the Government have done the best that they possibly could under the circumstances to satisfy, not one group or one province, but the people of this country at large.

I now propose going into a subject which is not very interesting to the House generally, but which is particularly interesting to the constituency which I represent, and the district of Joliette. I refer to the tobacco question. Perhaps, very few people know of the importance of the tobacco industry in this country. In the last twenty years it has developed to such an extent that to-day the government of Canada is deriving $29,000,000 from that industry alone. The government receives from tobacco the largest revenue obtained from any one article. The tobacco that we use is partly produced in Canada, and partly imported from the United States. Figures are wearisome, but I cannot help placing before the House the figures indicating the quantity of tobacco we are now importing into Canada. The quantity and value of unmanufactured tobacco imported into Canada from all countries during the ten years ending March 31, 1922, are as follows:

Tear Pounds Value1913

22,153.588 $5,719,7551914

17,598,449 5,109,6411915

18,593,959 4,718,4881916

20,834,772 4,624,7671917

17,702,637 5,029,3551918

17,824,947 6,634,9481919

25,103,080 10,910,0101920

24,345,295 13,604,7571921

20,007,411 13,083,2931922

20,870,509 8,867,469

The total quantity imported for the last 10 years, ending March 31st, 1922, is 205,036,545 pounds, having a value of $78,302,323. That is the total quantity from all countries. From the United States the total quantity is 192,503,253 pounds; value $71,666,631. Therefore, Mr. Speaker, for

the last ten years we have imported into Canada over 200,000,000 pounds of tobacco, and we have paid foreign countries over $78,000,000 for that tobacco. We have imported from the United States alone over 192,000,000 pounds and paid a total sum of over $71,000,000. These facts are rather startling. Since Canada has become a tobacco growing country, since the best methods for producing tobacco have been adopted, and the province of Ontario is producing certain grades of tobacco, and the province is producing other grades the growers have asked themselves more than once if it would not be possible to adopt some policy that would give them more protection, or, at all events, whether it be called protection or anything else, something that would prevent this importation of some 20,000,000 pounds of tobacco each year from the United States. A couple of years ago, Quebec and Ontario organized and began sending delegations to Ottawa. The Conservative party was then in power. The organizations met the government session after session, and between sessions, perhaps, but the result was that nothing was done. Those organizations asked, above all, two things. First, they asked that the duty of 5 cents a pound on the raw leaf 'be abolished. Secondly, they asked that the excise duty of 40 cents a pound on raw leaf, imported from the United States, or other foreign countries, be raised in order to prevent tobacco being imported in such immense quantities from foreign countries. Tobacco comes free into Canada from foreign countries, but there is an excise duty on raw leaf tobacco of 40 cents a pound when it is unstemmed, and 60 cents a pound when it is stemmed. It might just as well be a customs duty, because it would work out just as well, but, at the present time, it is an excise duty, and if you will look at the statute you will see that raw leaf tobacco is free when brought into Canada, but subject to an excise duty of 40 cents a pound.

This tobacco question, which interests certain localities in the provinces of Ontario and Quebec, has become very acute. I must say that although delegation after delegation came to Ottawa, no remedy, no relief, no help was ever offered by the late administration. To-day we are in a position to say to the tobacco growers of Canada that the present Government has given them relief, and the tobacco growers of Canada owe a debt of gratitude to the present Administration for having given

[DOT]2892 COMMONS

The Budget-Mr. J. J. Denis

them the relief which they requested. When the budget was delivered on May 23, the Minister of Finance (Mr. Fielding) announced that this duty of 5 cents a pound, which was bearing heavily on the planters or growers, was to be taken off when tobacco was sold to a manufacturer, but when tobacco was sold to the public the duty was not to be removed. Yesterday, I was delighted to hear the Minister of Finance, in his exposition of the amendments which he made to the budget, declare to the House that he had decided to abolish the tax of 5 cents a pound altogether, and that, in the future, raw leaf tobacco grown in Canada would be free of duty. I make myself the echo of my constituents and of the people generally of the district of Joli-ette, in offering our best thanks and congratulations to the Minister of Finance and the Government for what they have given us on this particular occasion. Last night, the Minister of Finance said:

Canadian raw leaf tobacco has a tax now of 5 cents a pound upon it. We did propose to remove that tax, as respects the portion of the raw leaf sold to the Canadian faotory, because when it goes in there and later on comes out, we get the tax on the manufactured article. There remained a tax on that .portion which was not to he sold to the factory. It has been represented to us that there is a very large quantity of raw leaf tobacco on hand almost unsaleable, and that where they get sale for it, it does not command more than 6 to 10 cents a pound at the most. It would mean a tax of 5 cents on- goods which, ,in some cases, had to be sold at 7 or 8. Therefore, we have concluded to abolish the tax altogether.

I must say to the Minister of Finance that the case was even worse than what was supposed. Raw leaf tobacco to-day, or yesterday, at least, was selling in Quebec at 5 cents a pound and less. It was high time that the Government should give some relief to the tobacco growers of Quebec and Ontario also; they have given that relief, and for the support and encouragement which they have given to the tobacco growers of Canada, I wish to offer my best and most sincere thanks. The minister said yesterday that recommendations had been made to them. This is true. I made strong recommendations to the Cabinet, and so did other hon. members. Especially did I make those recommendations in my statements dated June 8 and 10; but the difference between this Government and the late government is this, that when recommendations are made to this Government and a request is made for support or help or assistance to a certain class of the community, they are ready and willing to give it, while the late administration always re-

fused to give the help and support which we are now receiving from this Government.

Taking conditions as they are now, we have three categories of tobacco in Canada. We have first of all what I might call free tobacco, that is tobacco free of duty. That is the poor man's smoke. Then we have Canadian manufactured tobacco which should sell in the neighbourhood of about 75 cents a pound. In the third instance, we have imported manufactured tobacco, which sells at from $1.25 to $1.50 a pound. Is it not right and proper that when tobacco has become a necessity of life, different grades of tobacco should be offered to the public at different prices suitable to the different means of the public? It has been said many a time that tobacco is a luxury. It is and it is not. Tobacco is a necessary of life for the poor man. It is a necessity of life when 90 per cent of the men of this country have to use it. We all know that the poor man would very often rather go without a meal than without his tobacco. Therefore, I say that tobacco has become a necessary of life. For the rich man, for the man who wants to buy imported tobacco, for the man who wants to smoke manufactured tobacco, it might become a luxury. Therefore, the new provisions give the poor man a necessity of life in giving him a free smoke, and they give the rich man the luxury which he wishes, for, of course, the price is not the same. There is a price for the poor man and a price for the rich man. But is it not reasonable that, at least, something should be given free to the poor man? The taxes of this country have been increased. The situation could not be otherwise: they had to be increased. The sales tax and many other taxes have been increased. If taxes, of necessity, had to be increased all around, I say: At least give the poor man a free smoke, and to-day the poor man has been given a free smoke by this Government. This, Sir, is a Liberal policy; this is a policy which looks for the poor man and tries to alleviate as much as possible the burdens of the poor. I was saying a minute ago that many delegations for the last three years came to Ottawa, but they received no support from the government of the day. We asked that the duty of 5 cents a pound on raw leaf tobacco be removed, and it has now been removed by the present administration. I would ask something else from the Government, not this session perhaps but later on. There is another improvement which might be made that would benefit both the Gov

The Budget-Mr. Findlay

eminent and the people of this country, and it is this. I do not think we should let this state of things continue whereby we have to buy 20,000,000 pounds of tobacco each year from the United States. I do not think the government of the United States would stand very long for a condition of affairs by which Canada would sell yearly to the United States 20,000,000 pounds of tobacco, or, say $10,000,000 worth of any other commodity which 'could be produced in that country. We all know of the Fordney emergency tariff bill. When the United States wanted to protect their produce against that of foreign countries and especially against Canada, they, not very long ago, passed a bill called the Fordney emergency tariff bill. That bill was far-reaching; but the government of the United States were not satisfied with it, and now they are passing a new bill which enlarges on the Fordney bill. Therefore, I say this is again a matter of co-operation and compromise. If the United States will not admit the natural products of this country within their borders or territory, if they will not permit the cultivators and farmers of this country to sell their produce there, then I would say, not that we should close our doors to them, but that we should take every possible means to prevent the United States from flooding this country with 20,000,000 pounds worth of tobacco which Canadian can produce in this country in as good quality as the United States can export into Canada.

. Now, I have already spoken too long. I ask to be excused, and I will resume my seat immediately. Before doing so, however, I desire once more to congratulate the Minister of Finance on his health, on his courage and on his ability in submitting to this House the splendid budget which he has prepared together with the other members of the Cabinet. I wish to thank him again, and the Cabinet generally, for the assistance they have given to the tobacco growers of my constituency, and to tell them right now that what they did on May 23rd, and again yesterday, will not be forgotten by the people of the district of Joliette, who, when the day of reckoning comes, will not fail to stand by those who have proven themselves their friends and have helped them in their hour of need.

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

John Walter Findlay

Progressive

Mr. J. W. FINDLAY (South Bruce) :

It ' is neither from any desire to prolong the debate nor from any wish to hear the sound of my own voice that I rise to take part in the debate; nor have I any great

hope that I shall be able to introduce anything particularly new into the discussion. As the debate has been in progress three weeks and has been contributed to by a great many experienced parliamentarians, I have very little hope of being able to add any new features to it; and I would not rise to-night if it were not for the fact that I feel it my duty to myself and to my constituency to state clearly to this House and to the country my position with regard to the budget. The old historic constituency of South Bruce which I have the honour to represent in this House, sent me here as a protest against the protective principle and, as well, as a protest against blind and bigoted partyism. I feel it my duty, therefore, having been elected under those circumstances, to state the reasons why I cannot see my way clear to support the budget brought down by the Minister of Finance (Mr. Fielding). I have for years had a great deal of respect for the Minister of Finance, and I want to state that fact right here. I have watched his career and have admired his ability, and I want to join my voice in words of congratulation to him on his preserved strength and vigour. I trust that he will continue to give his services to the country for many years to come, and I hope that before he brings down his next budget he will have seen his way clear to going a great deal further in the way of reducing tariff taxation on the people than he has seen fit to do at the present time. It is not my intention to take up the time of the House at any length tonight. A weekly newspaper published in the constituency I represent, making some personal remarks about myself during the campaign, said I would never tire an audience with a long speech, as some of my predecessors had done; neither would it be necessary, after I had stated my position on any question, to call around the next day to see where I stood, as was the case with another gentleman who preceded me in the representation of that constituency. And I think that if these two policies, of brevity in speech and constancy in principle, were more largely practised in this House, the business of Parliament would be conducted with more expedition and with greater satisfaction.

I want to refer for a moment to something that may be regarded in a way as ancient history. In 1911, we had an election on the reciprocity agreement which had been negotiated by the present Minister of

The Budget-Mr. Findlay

Finance, and his colleague the late Hon. William Paterson; and whenever the political machine which calls itself the Liberal party at the present time is charged with insincerity in its attempt to lower the duties in this country, its members have always instanced their endeavour in 1911 to gain free access to American markets for Canadian products. I was willing then, I have always been willing, and I am willing now to give them credit for the effort they made at that time; and I may say that I myself did all I could to help elect the Liberal candidate in South Bruce during that campaign, because he stood on the reciprocity platform. I have debated the question with myself many times as to what were the causes that led to the defeat of that agreement, and I have been forced to the conclusion, very much against my will, that one of the chief causes was the fact that there was within the Liberal party itself a large element that was opposed to reciprocity, as it is opposed to the principle to-day, and that is the protective element. That is one of the chief reasons why the reciprocity agreement was defeated.

Now, Ontario farmers are charged with being protectionists because they did not support the agreement in 1911 as they should have done. Let me say that the Ont'ario farmer is not a protectionist. Whenever any hon. gentlemen in this House refer to the Progressive party they always speak of that party as though it consisted exclusively of men from the western prairies. I take exception to that view; the Progressive element is not by any means confined to the prairies. The Ontario farmer's ideas are just as progressive as those of the western farmer. But the Ontario farmer has been in the past a very strong party man, and it was largely because of his party affiliations and the fact that he was tied up to party in 1911 that he did not vote according to his convictions. I am thankful to say that a very great change has come over the Ontario farmer since 1911. He has had his eyes opened to the folly of allowing party to stand in the way of principle and firm belief. We had a very candid confession the other evening from the member for Portage la Prairie (Mr. Leader) that he voted against the pact in 1911 because he had always been voting Conservative, and could not bring himself to vote Grit, as he would have to do if he wanted to support the agreement. That confession of the hon. member can

be multiplied by thousands of others in the province of Ontario.

There was one other circumstance which I believe had a great deal to do with the Ontario farmer not supporting the reciprocity pact of 1911, and that was the coupling up with it of the Laurier naval policy, which was not popular in the rural sections. Another factor which helped to defeat the reciprocity pact was the very general suspicion that the Liberal party in going to the country on that issue was really desirous of securing a new lease of power on what they naturally considered was a popular issue rather than the American market for the products of Canadian farms.

It has been stated that this is not a protectionist budget because the tariff changes are all in a downward direction. Well, it depends on what we understand by the term "protectionist budget". The reductions are very slight, and they are not on the necessaries of life. With all due respect to the Minister of Finance, I think that the 2J per cent reduction on certain farm implements will be looked upon by the farmers as a sop to gain their support.

A great deal has been said in this debate about public morality and political honour, having particular regard to the failure of the Liberal party to redeem the promises they made during the election campaign. Well, people who live in glass houses should not throw stones, and as between the Conservative party and the Liberal party I cannot decide which is the more guilty. We all know that both parties have made election promises and broken them. I well remember that when the Liberal party was returned to power in 1896 they were elected not only on their platforrn of a tariff for revenue but also on their promise of Senate reform. I can readily understand that when people talk of reforming the Senate they are not taken seriously. But at any rate the Liberal party appealed to the people in 1896 on a platform of which Senate reform was a prominent plank, and yet after fifteen years of power that branch of our legislative machinery, which a great many people look upon as unnecessary or at least as not at all democratic, remained unreformed. It appears to me that those who appeal to the support of the electors should realize that when they make promises of what they will do if returned to ' power they are supposed to be speaking in earnest, and they must realize that no. longer will the people tolerate hollow pro-

The Budget-Mr. Laflamme

mises. Therefore I would counsel our statesmen and politicians to mend their ways in that respect.

We all realize that we have an enormous debt to take care of. But is there no other way of meeting our obligations than by increased taxation? When a sensible business man finds his income is less than his expenditure, he at once attempts to curtail his expenditure. Why is it that the business of the country cannot be run on the same principle that applies to private business? Surely there are many ways in which our national expenditure might be curtailed. I was glad to hear the hon. member for Cumberland (Mr. Logan) suggest that economy might be practised by reducing the sessional indemnities. Of course, this is not a very popular subject to bring forward in this House, and it may be suggested that any one who discusses it is playing to the gallery. But I do not refer to it from any such motive. I do believe that it is time to practise what we preach, and while it might entail some considerable sacrifice on many members, I feel that all who are sincere in advocating economy should support a bill to reduce the sessional indemnities of both Houses and the salaries of ministers.

It was stated last night by the Minister of Finance that when raw material is imported by the manufacturer and the finished product is exported, he receives a refund of about 99 per cent on the duty paid on his raw material. It appears to me that there is something in that feature of our tariff which is not fair. If on account of a scarcity of domestic feed for his stock a farmer is compelled to buy feed in a foreign country, he has to pay duty on that feed, but after he has manufactured it into beef or pork and exported this finished product he does not get any drawback on the duty so paid. He pays duty the same as the manufacturer does, but when he exports his finished product, which is his fattened beef, he receives no drawback. Why does the manufacturer get a privilege which is not extended to people in other lines of business?

I want, in just a few words, to make my position clear with regard to this budget. I have given the matter considerable thought, and I have tried to do what I believe my constituents would expect me to do. As I said in the beginning, I was sent here as a protest against a protective tariff. In spite of the fact that speakers

on the Government side claim

10 p.m. that this budget is not a protective budget, I cannot see it in any other light. It is a protective budget. In fact, it is admitted by the official Opposition, as well as by a great many Government supporters, to be a protective budget, and under those conditions I feel it my duty to oppose it. It is a disagreeable duty, I may say, because my affiliations in the past have always been with the Liberal party, and I should have been glad if the budget brought down by the Minister of Finance had been of such a character as to enable me to support it. But under the conditions to which I have referred, and having regard to the purpose for which the people of South Bruce sent me here, I feel it my duty to register my protest against the action of the protective element in the Liberal party in bringing about the introduction of a budget which, in my opinion, is not in the best interests of this country.

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

Napoléon Kemner Laflamme

Liberal

Mr. N. K. LAFLAMME (Drummond and Arthabaska) (Translation) :

Mr. Speaker,

I feel certain that you will, in all justice, recall that since the opening of this Parliament, I have in no way overtaxed your patience. I have endeavoured to put into practice an economy very seldom found, that of speech. I have, on the contrary, sought to become somewhat acquainted with my new, and, I may add, interesting surroundings on more than one score. I have made some progress, but I fear very much that I have, at present stumbled against an insurmountable obstacle. What has occupied the House's attention ever since May 23rd? A main motion and an amendment to this motion. I think there is no better means to elucidate the discussion than to examine again the question, as Webster said, to discover how far the ship has drifted from port. The main motion which the hon. Minister of Finance (Mr. Fielding) made, is that the House resolves itself into Committee of the Whole to consider and pass upon the principal business of this session, that is to say, using parliamentary language, to provide ways and means so as to allow the Minister of Finance to carry through his budget. That is without doubt the question. It would only be repeating things said a thousand times, to discuss the disastrous consequences of the world wide war; it has baffled the financial world, changed the conditions of living, burdened us with debts which, ten years ago, would have frightened us. All

289G

The Budget-Mr. Laflamme

these events were commented upon both by word and writing and all were sadly deplored. What credit has the Minister of Finance been given? The hon. leader of the Opposition (Mr. Meighen) who has, in this House, no greater admirer than myself and who commands a prestige far in advance of what his age would entitle him to-I say it openly; I stated it in private, I may do so in public-and who is a powerful debater almost without any rival in this House-merely told us in picturesque language which I shall condense into a simile after the Latin mind, by saying: that the hon. Minister of Finance's head was as white as winter. He forgot to add this: that time had not impaired his vigour, which recalls a spring day. What was the answer to this proposal? A motion was put forth, which parliamentary practice enjoins me to call a motion in amendment, but which amends nothing, which is placed along with the main motion but nevertheless has no connection with it. Taking up this question with the reserve characteristic of a new member, I should say: that the so-called motion interposed by those who in the past were known as the loyal opposition, but who have rechristened themselves by taking the name of official Opposition, ask that the House do not resolve itself into Committee of the Whole and that Parliament refuse the Ways and Means, which would permit the Minister of Finance, as I mentioned a few minutes ago, to carry through the House his annual budget. In fact if not in its wording at least in its effect, this motion, if adopted, would entail the fall of the Government, because it amounts to a motion of lack of confidence. It is a great responsibility to assume under the circumstances; however, as far as I am concerned, I would rather have the question put in clear-cut fashion-the people understand simple and plain questions, only because they solve them by a yes or no- it is better that the test should take place now.

What arguments are brought to bear in favour of this counter proposal? Do they affect public interest or do they come under the scope of party reasons? Let us examine these arguments which I have heard and read. They must weigh heavily upon the lips of those who have public duties to carry out, and particularly upon the lips of those who wish to uplift Parliament. What was said? The right hon. leader of the Opposition and my hon. friend from

rMr. Laflamme.]

Vancouver (Mr. Stevens), asserted and reasserted that the policy introduced in 1878 had been the salvation of the country, that under the shadow of this protective policy our industries, then in their infancy, had developed, that the country had grown with them, and that the policy, which was necessary at that time had become essential to-day. That is clearly the summary of what the representatives of the official opposition have submitted to us. What is the second reason invoked by them? They argued, with a subtlety of mind, which I am not inclined to imitate.

We perceive in this, they said, our way of looking at things, we find the imprint of our principles, we see the protective policy reproduced almost word for word in the speech of the Minister of Finance delivered in this House on May 23rd. In a word, they tell us: The policy we have held forth since 1878, you carry out, and you follow in our footsteps. Anyone who is not familiar with the versatility of parliamentary life-and I am one-might be led to conclude that these two reasons would militate in favour of the main motion. But we are in the midst of parliamentary surroundings: we are not allowed to draw such conclusions, we must perform some special feat the ingenuity of which I admire, but nevertheless a feat, to conclude that these two reasons justify an adverse vote on the motion brought down in the House by the Minister of Finance.

Accordingly an excuse was offered. What is the plea? We were told: The Liberal party-I may speak of the Liberal party with an open mind; being one if its musketeers, a free lance and outspoken-we were told: The Liberal party held, in 1919, at Ottawa, a convention which it seems the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) had thought imbued with a democratic spirit. At this convention, you discussed what is termed a platform with definite leanings. This platform was well threshed out by the right hon. leader of the official Opposition, who is at present listening to me; I shall not dwell upon it. He came to the conclusion that the ministerial party of today, with duplicity-that is the expression he used-had thrown overboard the pledges given and promises made. In other words the gentleman sitting opposite to us stated: Your policy is a poor one, but you are wrong in not having followed it. On the contrary, they add, the principles we

The Budget-Mr. Laflam-me

have been preaching for the last half century are the only true ones; by applying them, you are wrong. This is, Mr. Speaker, one of the things that I have not yet understood, during my short experience in this House. I hope that public life will impart sufficient suppleness of mind to enable me to understand that this distinguished political leader and statesman was right when one day he endeavoured to reassure me in' these words: My friend, logic and politics in Canada are two grand ladies who have never met in the same drawing room.

I shall but add one remark in reference to the hon. members who hail from the prairie provinces. They are dear to me on more than one score, because I come from a county where were recruited and where they hold in the highest esteem the farmer's party: the county of Drummond and Arthabaska. I was anxious to know if, on the actual field of operations, the enthusiastic statements which I heard in December last, would come up to expectations. The trial is not over, it is on; it would be untimely therefore to pass a judgment. For the moment and I speak for myself alone, I understand the responsibility which weighs upon those who speak here, and I take the full responsibility, I do not acknowledge that a country like ours begins at Fort William and ends at the foot of the Rockies, and I do not wish to hear utterances which, after all, reminds one of "1'In-ternationale," and tell you-it is useless to hide the truth of what is brought out by the discussion that has taken place here for the last four months-which tells you: Toilers of the soil, you are small because you are on your bended knees; rise and you shall become their equals! I leave it to you, Sir, is that not the theme which served for more than one remark made since March 8th, last?

I think the time has come for one who, to-day, enters public life to shoulder his responsibilities, but I must, casually, remind the very able and estimable leader of the Agrarian party (Mr. Crerar) that to-night or in the wee hours of morn he will meet at the cross roads that lady of which I spoke a few seconds ago, and by name-cold logic.

If I remember well, a sub-amendment was moved. Why? Because our friends who hail from the prairies, apparently, were not satisfied with the amendment moved by the former Minister of Finance (Sir Henry Drayton). Their sub-amendment was declared out of order.

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

Henry Lumley Drayton

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir HENRY DRAYTON (Translation):

Oh! oh.

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

Napoléon Kemner Laflamme

Liberal

Mr. LAFLAMME:

My hon. friend sees the point at once.

Therefore there are no longer three roads open, there are but two. By their sub-amendment they have implicitly condemned the terms, the purpose of the amendment. I would not be astonished that a great number of them would realize the difficult situation into which the windings of the discussion have led them and would lean towards the main motion.

One last word: I do not know why some of the most brilliant leaders in this House have thought it proper in a debate which had no relation whatsoever to the general topic of our parliamentary customs, to point out the necessity of mending our ways. It is a rather cold reception for an ordinary layman who comes with illusions and who sees men of experience that have fought against one another for twenty years and hear them say: The time has come when we must raise the standard of public life. Others thought that public men should have been the first to give the example rather than follow it. These things were said and repeated, why? In my opinion so as to find a reason more plausible than true, to attack the main question which is before the House. Mr. Speaker, the hon. member for Wellington (Mr. Guthrie) asserted this afternoon that, when the Minister of Finance, clearly admitting the forcefulness of the argument set forth by the member for Vancouver, surrendered on the question of foreign exchange fluctuations, there only remained to criticize the question of the dumping of foreign overproduction and that of the marking of foreign goods. These two subjects that are capable of being openly discussed, serve to-day as a last theme for criticism on the part of the Opposition, and would suffice to induce the Canadian Parliament, under the grave circumstances we are placed in, to decide that there is no necessity for the House to resolve itself into committee of the Whole so as to dispose of the budget. Three reasons, which I shall sum up, are given to uphold this contention; in my opinion, these are not sufficient to make much of an impression on my mind: first you promised, in 1919, something that circumstances prevent you from carrying out; secondly, you give an example of public men who promise things they are unwilling or unable to carry out; and, lastly, because you want to strike out clause 7 of the Customs Act

The Budget-Mr. McConica

December, 1921, and because you want to cut out clause 8, we are called upon to obtain from the Parliament elected in December, 1921, a vote which will mean: the Government's defeat. So far as I am concerned, this threat will have no effect,- and the view I express is that of many who sit on this side of the House-we are backed by something that will comfort us and by a power able to uphold us. I submit, Sir, that these three reasons are not worth much. I am sorry to say so-because the right hon. leader of the Opposition, who does me the courtesy of listening just now, will not find in this House a greater admirer than me-I find with regret that the exigencies of politics have induced him, in his anxiety to defeat the main motion which is before Parliament, to take a stand giving the impression that there comes a time when the image of his country is dimmed by the clash of party interests, to the point of preventing him from taking a broader and more lofty view of the question.

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

Thomas Henry McConica

Progressive

Mr. T. H. McCONICA (Battleford) :

Mr. Speaker, it was my intention to discuss the budget, but certain things that have occurred during the debate impel me to beg the indulgence of the House for a few moments. I regret that my duties on one of the special committees have prevented me from studying the budget and following this debate as closely and carefully as I should have liked. I have given very considerable thought to the subject, however, and I must confess that I have been more or less perplexed by the subjects that have been presented.

The first question that comes before us is the amendment of the ex-Minister of Finance (Sir Henry Drayton). What is the purpose of that amendment? What would be the effect if it were carried? Why is it presented for consideration? I apprehend that it is very clear to the mind of every hon. gentleman present that if by a vote of this House that amendment could be engrafted upon the budget now before us, the most decided vote against that amendment would come from the hon. member who has presented it for our consideration. He would run like a turkey if he thought it would pass; there is no question about that. It is not presented for the purpose of securing the benefits, as we conceive it, of the planks that are presented in the platform of the Liberal party. The hon. ex-Minister of Finance would under no consideration cast a vote which would engraft those planks upon the fiscal policy

rilr. Laflamme.]

of this country at this particular time or at any other time. For that reason we are not to understand that a vote for the amendment is a vote in favour of all the policies set forth in the platform recited in the amendment. That is very evident. Then what is the purpose of the amendment? It recites that the present budget is not guided by the planks of the Liberal platform, and I apprehend that that is very substantially true. I have failed to recognize in the budget that has been presented for our consideration any resemblance to the planks recited in the amendment.

On the other hand, it is urged that these planks were adopted with certain mental reservations, that they were not very fluently proclaimed, that they were not in fact and in truth a proper expression of the intentiop of that convention. As to that I am not advised.

There is another defence, and that is that the mover of the amendment and his associates have also violated tariff promises. That has been proclaimed in this debate. I recall that on certain occasions there were certain promises, and I think on one occasion we had it promised with all the sanction and authority of His Excellency the Governor General in the Speech from the Throne that the tariff was to he revised last session. We have heard a good deal said about the revision of the tariff by hon. gentlemen to my right. We had their promise, but what it means no man on this earth can tell. It is one of those convenient tariff declarations which is supposed to look in all directions and be in favour of all things. The tariff was to be revised. It was an easy promise to make. It was a Janus-faced arrangement. To the protectionist it meant revision upwards, and to the free trader revision downwards. It was a promise that could easily be made and as easily be fulfilled. Any change could be called by the man who made the promise, a revision of the tariff, in his opinion, but even that small tribute was not paid to the promises which the right hon. gentleman to my right made, as. I understand it. He could easily have made some change in the tariff, and he failed to make any. Hon. gentlemen opposite do not keep their promises, it is alleged, and hon. gentlemen to my right do not keep their promises, it is alleged. We in this corner are willing to agree that both of you are guilty, and if you want to find a political party in Canada that has never violated a tariff pledge, here

The Budget-Mr. McConica

it is-the only party of its kind. Now, gentlemen, if you are all of the opinion that we should have a purification of political life in this country present yourselves in due form, and if you are found worthy and well qualified you may be admitted over here on approbation.

What is the matter with the amendment? It does not amend. That is the trouble. It does not even amend the political morals of either party, and I am willing to agree that both of you need it pretty badly. What is the matter with the budget? it does not budge. That is what we complain of in this part of the House. It is much too stationary to be much of a budget, and it follows too closely the lines which were followed by the leader of the Opposition. I want to say here and now that I have the most profound respect for the Minister of Finance (Mr. Fielding), and I want to join in all that has been said, and said so well on that subject by hon. gentlemen who have preceded me. I congratulate him most hearti'y on the splendid patriotic courage he displayed when he assumed the onerous duties of the very important position in which he now so ably presides. I want to congratulate this House and the country and the Empire on the fact that we are favoured with the great ability, the wide experience, and the sound judgment of so able a financier.

There is much in this budget with which I am not particularly pleased. In fact, I have a theory that a tax is a good deal like a pain. It is never where you want it, unless it is on the other fellow. It was said by one of old time that any old tax is a good tax, and any new tax is a bad tax, and I apprehend there is much truth in that. An old tax is established. It conforms to business conditions, and contracts are made with reference to it. It is settled as a part of business policy. An old tax is therefore a good tax. It may bear heavily, but rights are fixed with reference to that. Contracts are made with that in view. Any new tax must disturb, to an extent, business conditions, must, to some extent, interfere with values, and call for a readjustment of the conditions in which the world finds itself. Therefore, it is a bad tax in that respect. I am not in favour at this time in our history of sudden changes in our taxing system. I do not think it would be advisable, and, for that reason, there is something in this budget that commends itself to me. It, surely, is not a very

radical change in the system which has prevailed, but there is something in it that I do not like, and which I will discuss later.

I was pleased to hear the hon. member reaffirm his allegiance to the principle of reciprocity. I certainly was in favour of reciprocity when it was before the country, and I have never seen a reason for changing my view. I honour the minister for the attempt he made to bring about a reciprocity treaty with the great republic to the south. I noticed, with a good deal of interest, the very able argument of the hon. leader of the Opposition (Mr. Meighen) against reciprocity. It was a cleverly conceived, clearly stated, and forcible presentation, of all the arguments, I think, that could be marshalled against the proposition. Now what were they? He is in favour of reciprocity as an abstract principle. But he is not in favour of reciprocity with the United States. The government that succeeded Sir Wilfrid Laurier's government was in favour of reciprocity everywhere, excepting where they could get it. We had rumours out in the prairie provinces of the blessings of reciprocity that were to come to us. Sir George Foster, Minister of Trade and Commerce at that time, went to Australia, seeking a reciprocity treaty with that distant island continent. He was gone for some time, and made a diligent effort, as I am advised, and, I think as I recall, all that country could offer, in regard to which we could enter into a reciprocity agreement, was prunes. That substantially exhausted the list, and we were not particularly in need of prunes, and, as we had not anything we cared to trade for prunes, and, I think, we were pretty well supplied with prunes, nothing came of that effort. But Sir George Foster stopped in China to look up our trade relations there, and we, in the West, thought we were going to have an opportunity of shipping our wheat over the highest mountains on the continent, across the widest ocean on the globe, and selling our products to that great nation of Chinamen who live on rice and rats. Nine-tenths of them could not tell the difference between a biscuit and a balloon. That is the place where we were to find a market for our wheat and other products. He was going to persuade them to abandon their rice lands, to sell their rat-traps, beat their chop-sticks into bread-knives, and buy our wheat, but that did not work very well. Now, what was the effect of the reciprocity

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arrangements that were entered into by that government? Well, I believe they did, after a long time, make some trade treaty with the West Indian islands. That was the end of it. Here was the great country to the south of us ready to enter into trade relations with us and anxious to take our products. That market stood open for years, and what was the result? Why was it not arranged? The hon member tells us that the public men decided that that was not a proper proceeding, and that it was a dangerous thing to enter into a reciprocity treaty with the United States. When I try to discuss a question, it is always my specialty to do most of it from a book, and I have here a book entitled, " Makers of Canada," volume XXI, and on page 319 I find the following:

Reciprocity-

Efforts were made from time to time by Canada, between the years 1847 and 1854, to secure the free admission of goods between Canada and the United States, but without success, until the latter year, when Lord Elgin negotiated a treaty. It came into force in 1855 and was abrogated in 1866, at the instance of the United (States.

Now, mark this-

The renewal of the treaty was urged by Canada in 1866, 1869, 1871, 1874, 1879, 1887, 1892 and 1896, but in every instance the American authorities failed to respond.

Many public men had a good deal to do with the affairs of Canada during that period, and they evidently were in favour of reciprocity. I have here a list of names of illustrious men who favoured reciprocity, but I will not bother to read them. Hon. members know who they were. Yet the hon. member said that, in the opinion of Canadian statesmen, it was an unwise policy. But in 1896 the efforts on Canada's part stopped until there was a proposition from the other side of the line, and then the eminent Canadian statesmen of that time embraced that opportunity, and a reciprocity treaty was negotiated, which afterwards failed in Canada. When that treaty was first proclaimed Liberal and Conservative statesmen alike uttered shouts of delight, and said that it was a marvellously clever thing, it was just what Canada needed. After some little time, a change came over the spirit of their dream, and some of these gentlemen concluded that it would be dangerous to have business relations with the United States. Why? They said they are too big, that it would be unsafe for us to sell them our stuff or to buy their stuff. I cannot conceive that that is a proper ob-

jection. The bigger the market the better; we will not buy anything from them, unless we want it, and we will not sell them anything unless it is to our advantage to sell it. That is the effect of the reciprocity treaty, and the larger the market for us down there, in my opinion, the better for us- They say it is a dangerous thing to establish trade relations with the United States, yet in this last year 52 per cent of our foreign trade was with the United States, and the year before 58 per cent was with the United States. What is the matter with that kind of trade, if reciprocity is dangerous? They say it might be abrogated, and we could not trade with them. Our arrangements might be disturbed and we could not deal with them. Well, when that calamity comes it will be met as our difficulties have always been met. " Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof."

But hon. gentlemen tell us that we send our trade east and west, and if we entered into such an agreement with the United States, there would he a danger of our trade routes being destroyed. Are not many of our trade routes now running down into the United States? I am advised that more than 60 per cent of our wheat goes tc the ocean by way of Buffalo and as shipped from United States ports. I am advised that a large quantity of the merchandise that comes to Canada is landed at United States ports and is shipped from there into this country. I am advised that a large part of the grain that goes through the port of Montreal is United States grain. Our trade relations are, therefore, at the present time a good deal mixed up. I recollect that when my right hon. friend (Mr. Meighen) was in power, he took over 1,700 miles of railway, and as near as I can remember, both ends of it were in the United States. He also took over an ocean port down in the United States.

We are doing more and more business every day with the United States, and, in my opinion, that is a good thing. What is the trouble? 1 have heard hon. gentlemen suggest that we should not improve the St. Lawrence because there would be danger of trade complications. By the way, my recollection is that while hon. gentlemen were in power, they proposed to improve the St. Lawrence; they were not afraid at that time of our trade relations getting mixed up, of our trade routes becoming contaminated. I do not think there is anything in that argument.

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What trade complications are liable to arise between us? If you visit the city of Windsor and look out over the Detroit river, you will see more tons of freight shipped past a given point on that little river than were ever before seen on the bosom of any inland' waterway on the face of the globe, more tons of freight by far than pass through the Suez canal, or through the Panama canal, or through the Kiel canal, double the quantity of freight that passes through all those great artificial waterways together. You will see boats of all kinds, large and small, of every colour and of every shape, moving up and down, across and through and around, mingling in perfect harmony without a jar, some bearing the Stars and Stripes and somje the Union Jack, in absolute unity of understanding, a tribute to the good sense, amicable business relations and the mutual confidence that exists between these two great nations.

We have our St. Lawrence river. It has been there for some time, I understand, and I apprehend that it will be there for some time to come. It is the great natural gateway to this continent. There is nothing like it anywhere else on the face of the globe. It is navigable for a thousand miles; it is a source of power, an inlet to the nation. It bears between its banks the surplus water from more than one-half the fresh water lake surface of the globe, and it will remain with us until the end of time. We cannot well get that confused if we should enter into a reciprocity arrangement with the United States.

I am in favour of sendng our wheat to the United States every time we have an opportunity to do so, and why? Oh, we are told, the United States export wheat. Secretary Hoover has, however, recently stated that within ten years the United States will be importing foodstuffs. Ten years hence the farmers of western Canada will be needing an outlet for their wheat. Russia to-day is out of the market. Russia in the future, will be our competitor. Russia has entered into some sort of relationship with Germany. Russia, herself, is not so formidable; but when German energy, industry and business sagacity penetrate that great empire, we shall be compelled to seek diligently for a market for the wheat of the western provinces. We can put the wheat fields of the United States out of business with our cheaper land, our higher production, our better quality of grain. The day will not be far

184i

distant when we can turn their wheatfields into corn fields, tobacco fields, alfalfa fields and cotton fields, and in time, there must be our outlet for the surplus grain of the western prairie.

But, say hon. gentlemen, we are going to build up manufacturing industries in the East and have a home market for our western products. Western Canada produces 300,000,000 bushels of wheat a year, and as about six bushels of wheat will feed a man, that means 50,000,000 people. Supposing we have 50,000,000 people in Canada and not a single one of them engages in producing wheat, then we have a possibility of consuming the wheat of western Canada in the home markets of Canada. But what will the 50,000,000 people do? Will they engage in manufacture? It is a laudible business, and apparently in the past it has been a profitable business; but where will they sell their products? That is the question. Where will you find an outlet for your commodities? You can manufacture goods in abundance in eastern Canada. I know of no place on the face of the globe that appeals to me more strongly than the great St. Lawrence valley as a hive of manufacturing industry, and nothing will please me more, nothing will please the people of western Canada more, than to see that the busiest place on the face of the globe. You have the power. My esteemed friend has often told us of the great electrical power that is capable of development in the St. Lawrence and in Canada. It is a power unequalled anywhere else, a power easily controlled, constant in its application, cheap to produce, and susceptible of being distributed in every direction at an exceedingly moderate cost. We have here an abundance of raw material. Why then, cannot Canada manufacture as cheaply as any other place on the face of the globe? What is the trouble between the East and the West? What is the matter with our economic situation? The trouble is that it is not balanced properly. We in the West are buying in a highly protected market; we are paying railway freight rates to support workmen whose cost of living is fixed by highly protected markets; we are buying our implements of production from firms that are highly protected, and we are selling our products in a free trade market. That is what is the matter; and when we come to cast the balance at the close of the year we find it on the wrong side.

Now what is eastern Canada going to do about it? Why do they not sell their

The Budget-Mr. McConica

goods now? Why are they not shipping trainloads of commodities into the West these days? We need everything out there that the human imagination can conceive, and we need them in large quantities. We want fencing, lumber, hardware, paint, glass, and everything that the East can produce; and we want these things in abundance. Why do we not buy them? We do not, simply because the purchasing power of the West is exhausted; it is gone. We cannot buy because we have not that with which to pay; and it seems to me that the prospect for the future is dark indeed. I listened with attention to the hon. member for St. John (Mr. Baxter) the other day, who challenged the statements of the hon. member for Springfield (Mr. Hoey), with regard to the farmers, which he said were overdrawn. He implied that those statements were not entirely reliable. Now, I have great confidence in the hon. member's judgment on some things. I consider him the greatest living expert on morganatic political alliances; in that matter he is an expert in practice as well as in theory; and I was pleased when I saw the smile that spread over his countenance when he rose the last time in his place to foregather with his friends across the way with whom he was so tenderly, and touchingly, and ticklishly united on that occasion. He seemed to enjoy it immensely. But when it comes to conditions in the West, I fancy he does not know as much as I do. I am a farmer; I do not do anything else; I have no other means of support; I do not know what we should do with reference to the budget and all that sort of thing.

But, Mr. 'Speaker, that is not the pressing question with me. The question with me just now is, what I am going to do with my holdings in the West, the farming enterprise that I have on my hands, I paid the Canadian Pacific Railway Company last year over $4,000 in freight, and I have bought $23,000 of eastern made farm implements and vehicles in the last eleven years. My business has come to the point now where I cannot make it pay, and the problem with me is, how am I going to save myself. I see no light in the future. And that is the problem that all of our farmer friends here, and people in the West, have to face. We do not know what to do. We are paying too much freight; we are paying too much for our supplies. Our help we employ in competition with railway men and men employed in factories

at exhorbitant wages, and we also must pay high wages. Now, the budget does not balance with us; I hope it may balance here. But what are we going to do? We must have cheaper freight rates; we must have a .better system of marketing grain; and we must have cheaper supplies; otherwise we cannot succeed. And what will be the effect if we do not? Where do the manufacturers sell their goods? Where will hon. gentlemen's manufacturing friends find a market? what is the matter with the market now? You have all the protection you need, I think. Protection has been the order of the day in this country for fifty years. Well, what is the trouble with the manufacturing interests? Why do not the wheels of industry start if protection is the remedy? These men should call on their god Baal, the god of protection, and ask him to come down and start the fires in the furnaces. Perhaps he may be asleep. It is going to take a miracle to start things in the West, under present conditions, and if our industrial enterprise in this country is to keep going we must begin by improving conditions in the West. You are ready to start your factories; your workmen are standing idle; your warehouses are piled high with unclaimed goods. Where is the trouble? You have no outlet for your products. The time has come when Canda must take her position in the world.

I listened with interest to the address of the Minister of Justice (Sir Lomer Gouin) for whose ability I have great respect; and I can see his viewpoint. But that viewpoint will not stand in western Canada. I say to him, in all candour, "We cannot buy your stuff". I listened to his recital of history with reference to Hon. Edward Blake and other eminent statesmen of the past. I did not know whether his citations were correct or not, and I do not care very much whether they are. I think those gentlemen have been out of business for some time, and the conditions that prevailed then are not the conditions that exist now. In those days Canada was a little, unknown colony and her commerce consisted in loading a ship and sending it somewhere to trade and sell goods and bring back something we needed here. Today the world is one great industrial manufacturing centre. Conditions are entirely different. The means of transportation are so rapid and so universal, and the means of communication are so instantaneous, that every man in any particular line of

The Budget-Mr. McConica

business knows exactly what the world status is every day of the year. He knows where he can find the best market for his goods and where he can supply his wants at the lowest price. So that the conditions that existed in those days no longer prevail; and Canada must do one of two things; either decide to live within herself, or determine to become a world power and one of the world's' commercial nations. We must seek an outlet in the markets of the world for all our products. I am a wheat grower. I am getting up in years, but I can go on a farm and with a fair chance stand up against any wheat producer on the face of the globe. And so can any of us in that country. But we want a fair show; we want reasonable means of marketing our produce; we want reasonable freight rates. Give us these and we ask for no better opportunity than to meet all the producers of the world and sell our commodities to the nations on such terms as they choose and at such prices as they can afford to pay. Why is it that Canada cannot manufacture as cheaply as the United States? Oh, say my hon. friends, the factories there are large; the United States has a population of 110,000,000 whereas we have a little less than 9,000,000. Do hon. gentlemen know any one down in the United States that is supplying the wants of 9,000,000 people? It is not necessary to have an enormous factory in order to produce at a profit. Better management is usually found in the more moderate sized factories. No factory in the United States has a monopoly of any line of business, never has had, and those factories succeed because the moderate sized factory is the most successful. Many of our factories here in eastern Canada are big enough to produce as cheaply as the American factories. We are told by the hon. gentleman from Halifax (Mr. Maclean) that this is a young country. It is in some parts, and in other parts it is pretty old. Our industries are young we are told. Why, we have had protection for fifty years, and we have industries with whiskers as long as your arm-but they are infants still. Mr. Speaker, none of them is of age yet. The hot-house plant is very beautiful, but it is not very robust and soon languishes. So it is with our hot-house industries. If they cannot stand alone after forty or fifty years of nursing, the sooner you tell them to get down to, or out of, business the better in my opinion. Protection ! Infants! Those infants are grown so big that they cannot move themselves, and yet they want us to protect them!

The way to put industrial business on a substantial basis in eastern Canada is to take such industries as can properly be conducted here, and say to them, "Root, hog, or die." If they need protection, let them show how much-that is our platform-let them show why they need protection, and then if it is worth while to nurse them along, all right, we will consider the question. The proposition that in this country where the raw material comes in free we cannot manufacture woollen goods without 30 or 40 per cent of a protective tariff is to my mind exceedingly strange. Why, my friend from Yale (Mr. McKelvie) tells us that an Okanagan apple tree cannot compete with a Yankee apple tree; that the apple trees down there are highly specialized. Now, I cannot understand the philosophy of that statement. Our peach trees blush when they think of competing with the peach trees across the line. The gentleman says: "Why, the Yankee fruit is earlier, and the Yankee growers have a chance to supply the prairies before our fruit is ripe." Let me tell the House that the farmers of the West do not buy early apples. They do not buy them until they have marketed their crop, paid their threshing bills, their hands, their grocery bills!; they do not buy them until they have laid in a little supply of coal which they hope may carry them through the long winter; they do not buy them until they have bought boots and shoes and clothes for their children; they do not buy them until they have paid the interest on the mortgage and their taxes-and when that time comes they do not have any money left. That is what is the trouble with the apple market of the prairies. It is not that we want Yankee apples, but we cannot afford to pay $4 a box for Canadian apples. That is all there is to it. And what have we done? We are planting rhubarb. We send the children down along the edge of the coulees to pick choke cherries and Saskatoon berries, and we get along without your $4 apples; and we will continue to do so. We would like to buy them, and our children need them, but we cannot afford the price

My hon. friend from Halifax says that the prairies are prosperous, and he has a peculiar way of estimating that prosperity. "Why," he said, "you had so many population in 1912, and you have so many more in 1921." Well, let me tell you that in 1912 there were just four Mc-Conicas out there; now there are thirteen.

The Budget-Mr. McConica

We believe in some kinds of protection, and we want immigrants under certain conditions, but, sir, we first want to take care of-

The 'immigrants that come across the unknown sea,

The unknown sea that reels and rolls.

Specked with the barques of baby souls;

Barques that were launched on the farther side,

Slipped from heaven on an ebbing tide.

They are the immigrants that have the first claim upon our affections, our diligence and our earnest solicitations, and it is for them that we are most concerned. I believe I am talking too long.

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Some hon. MEMBERS:

No, no. Go

on.

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Thomas Henry McConica

Progressive

Mr. McCONICA:

I want to get in Hansard. Now, Mr. Speaker, I was interested in the address of the hon. member from East Calgary (Mr. Irvine) which he delivered in the course of this debate. I followed him as best I could with my poor ears, and I have since read a portion of that address. I do not think I understand it now, and I am not sure that I ever will be able to.

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Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF THE DEBATE OP THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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An hon. MEMBER:

There are others.

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Thomas Henry McConica

Progressive

Mr. McCONICA:

I thought when he started out that he was going to catch the rainbow and coin it into drachmas, Spanish pieces of eight and doubloons. But I was satisfied with his description of the vast wealth of Canada, of our man power, and of the resources at our disposal to pay our national debt. Mr. Speaker, I remember the debt of the United States after the Civil War. I am not so old but I remember as a lad the condition which then confronted that country. The nation owed more than $2,000,000,000, and in those days that was a fabulous sum. Not only was that a stupendous national debt, but the land was rent by civil feuds, devastated of its man power, and many of its cities in ruins. In a word, conditions were deplorable, and it was then that I first heard the word, "repudiation". I remember my mother used to read in the evenings from the great newspapers of New York that we would have to repudiate our national debt, that it was impossible for us even to meet the interest upon that vast obligation. The State of Virginia did attempt to repudiate its debt, but finally some readjustment was made as a result of the efforts of a political party known as the Readjusters. But the country was

distressed beyond measure. What did the people do? They called in immigrants, they started to produce and to ship their products into the markets of the world; they forgot their differences, they forgot their little state troubles; they started in to meet their obligations manfully, and that great debt just melted away and no one ever knew when it was paid. Now, that is a thing that we can do here in Canada, and we can do it only by getting together, only by getting to work. We must do that thing by producing the commodities which we can best produce and by putting them in the markets of this country and of the world at prices that people can afford to pay.

The Great Architect of this universe prescribed a remedy for human ills away back in the days of the Garden of Eden, and that remedy was work. He has seen to it, Mr. Speaker, that there has always been a job. There are one hundred times the number of opportunities available today that were available one hundred years ago. We are engaged in lines of industry that were undreamed of fifty years ago, even twenty-five years ago. Take the automobile business. I remember when I first heard of a horseless carriage; to-day I suppose the automobile business employs more men than any other manufacturing business carried on in this hemisphere. In the manufacture, in the sale, in the repair, in the use of these machines, I apprehend we are employing more people than are employed in any other line of manufacture. And so it will be in the years to come. We shall have plenty to do; every man will have a job if we adjust our industrial affairs properly; and we shall be able to pay him an ample price for what he does. We shall have no trouble to develop the West. We shall be able to take care of immigrants, and we will welcome them to our shores, but you must put us in such a position that we can live, for if we cannot live, they cannot. We have no bread lines in the West; we have no soup kitchen on the prairies; with us it is "root, hog, or die." (But we cannot take care of men who cannot earn a living there. First, I repeat, put us in such shape that we can live; then they will be able to live.

Now, I do not object so much to this budget, but I do not believe that Canada should be a high protection country. I do not believe that the principles advocated by Hon. Edward Blake stand good to-day.

I am not a free trader; none of us in this country are free traders. We are not in

The Budget-Mr. McConica

favour of throwing down the tariff entirely, but we are in favour of a substantial and continuous reduction of the tariff. I listened and waited for some hon. gentleman on the other side to say: "We propose to continue this fight. We pledged ourselves to give freer trade in certain commodities, and we are going to keep on until we achieve that end." But as yet I have not heard anybody say that. I would be glad to hear it. I would be' glad to support a budget that contained such a statement. I do not exactly like the kind of budget that has been brought down, but I am not particularly fussy about that; I will stand for almost anythng, provided that it is going to sweep us on to the goal which I believe it is necessary we should attain if we are to have industrial prosperity in this great Dominion. I see no reason why we should not put our commodities into the markets of the world. Put us where we can compete fairly with any wheat growers on the face of the globe and we will compete with them; we will buy your manufactured goods and pay you for them. We want to encourage the industry of eastern Canada. We want no sectional strife, no differences between the East and the West. But I had sincerely hoped to see a much more substantial reduction in the tariff than we have seen.

Another thing: I was not pleased with the address of the Minister of Justice (Sir Lomer Gouin), and I was not pleased with the addresses of some of his associates. I want to be perfectly frank; they do not reflect my views. I want to tell you squarely and candidly that the sticking point with me is not so much the budget as what has been said in favour of it on both sides of the House. That is what 1 do not want to endorse, and I am sorry that that is the position.

Now, I have talked longer than I should. I extend to the Minister of Finance my congratulations upon his eminent service and I extend to the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) my very best wishes. I hope that his administration may be exceedingly prosperous. I did not come down here to try to settle political differences. I had a theory when I came here that this was a time in the history of the country when men who had some idea of public questions should get together and agree on a solution of our difficulties, not merely try to solve political troubles. But I have failed to see anything advanced so far which is destined to put Canada on the return road to prosperity and that is something which I deplore. We are in debt; our fixed charges are very great. But we cannot tax ourselves rich; we cannot adjust our problems by levying taxes. We must adopt some remedy that will go to the root of the evil, and I contend,-and I think I am unselfish in the contention- that the place to begin this business is at the foundation, and that the foundation is the agricultural industry of the country. The agriculturists of the East can find their market here; we must find ours abroad. I have so far failed to see-and I sincerely hope I may see-the proposal of something of a remedial character that will put this great country back in the path of prosperity, that will open up our great resources, that will result in the development of our mines, the tilling of our fields, the operation of our factories, and bring peace and contentment to all our people.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF THE DEBATE OP THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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June 13, 1922