February 2, 1923

REPORTS AND PAPERS


Fifty-fifth annual report of the Department of Marine and Fisheries for the year 1921-22.-Hon. Mr. Lapointe. Return of leases of wharves, piers and breakwaters.-Hon. Mr. Lapointe. Return of tolls and dues of government harbours, etc., for the year 1921.-Hon. Mr. Lapointe. BEVISED EDITION [DOT] The Address-Mr. Forke



Fifty-fifth annual report of the Fisheries Branch of the Department of Marine and Fisheries, for the year 1921-22.-Hon. Mr. Lapointe. Report of the Canadian Battlefields Memorials Commission from April 1, 1922, to date.- Hon. Mr. Graham.


CANADIAN NATIONAL RAILWAYS AMALGAMATION


On the Orders of the Day:


CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Right Hon. ARTHUR MEIGHEN (Leader of the Opposition):

Referring to the statement of the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) yesterday, that there had been an amalgamation of the Grand Trunk with the National system, I should like to ask if he would intimate to the House to-day what orders have been passed under the Canadian National or other Acts effecting the amalgamation, and also if he will place such orders on the Table to-day?

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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Right Hon. W. L. MACKENZIE KING (Prime Minister):

I may promise my right hon. friend that I will place the orders on the Table to-day. I will send and get them at once.

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ADDITIONAL DIRECTOR

CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

In the same connection, some ten days ago the Minister of Marine and Fisheries (Mr. Lapointe) is reported to have stated, I think in the city of Quebec, that there was to be added to the new Canadian National Board another representative from that province. Is that correct?

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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

I have discussed with Sir Henry Thornton the advisability of an additional director from the province of Quebec, and Sir Henry is of opinion and the government is also of opinion, that it is desirable to have a director appointed from the city of Quebec, and one will be appointed shortly.

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THE GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH

ADDRESS IN REPLY


Consideration of the motion of Mr. Putnam for an- Address to His Excellency the Governor General, in reply to his Speech at the opening of the session, resumed from Thursday, February 1.


PRO

Robert Forke

Progressive

Mr. ROBERT FORKE (Brandon):

Mr. Speaker, reference was made in the Speech from the Throne to the Governor General's visit to the West and North. I would like to say only this, that if the Governor General received as much pleasure from his visit

to the West as the western people had in welcoming him there, it was a very happy visit that he had to the West. The Governor General made a very good impression, winning the hearts of all the western people, and there is nothing but the most pleasing recollections in connection with that visit.

Might I refer for a moment to the very kind notices that were taken of myself and the position which I now hold in the party in this part of the House? During the last month or six weeks I have been learning a great deal about myself, some of it very nice, some of it, perhaps, not nuite so nice. Certain ideas, however, have been borne upon my mind, one of them being that I am canny. I have never failed to find that expression used by everyone in connection with myself since I have assumed the position of leader of the Progressive party. I hope that is true, and that if I am not going to shine as a brilliant light in this position, I am not going to make any very fatal mistakes anyway. I must thank the previous speakers for the very kind notice which they took of myself. I will say only this, that I hope, no matter what may be our political differences, they shall not interfere with our personal friendships. I am one of those who believe that we may have different points of view and yet all be thoroughly in earnest in what we advocate, working for the best interest of our country as a whole, so that I hope differences in politics will be no bar to friendship.

I must compliment the mover and ' the seconder of the Address in reply to the Speech from the Throne. I listened with a great deal of attention to the very eloquent speech made by the mover (Mr. Putnam), and I could not but feel a certain humility when I recollected the fact that I had sat in this House all during last session and scarcely ever heard that member make a speech in this chamber, and yet found that he had a gift of oratory and expression that, perhaps, very few can equal. I am sure that the House, as well as his constituency, is to be complimented on having an hon. member capable of making an address such as he made on that occasion. I remember, while speaking in the House last session, expressing my regret that I was unable to follow the speech made by the seconder of the Address. The same difficulty has occurred this year, and I still feel the same as I did last year, sorry that I am unable to understand the French language, and although a year older, expressing the same idea that I still would like to have a knowledge of that language.

The Address-Mr. Forke

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LIB

Ernest Lapointe (Minister of Marine and Fisheries)

Liberal

Mr. LAPOINTE:

You can learn it.

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PRO

Robert Forke

Progressive

Mr. FORKE:

I am afraid, however, that I lack the courage and the perseverance ever to attempt any such thing at this late date. But I am going to make this statement: I have in my household some people who are younger than myself, and I hope I shall have an opportunity of seeing that they at least understand the French language when it is spoken.

I should like to say a few words in regard to the resignation of the hon. member for Marquette (Mr. Crerar) as leader of this group. I can assure the House that there was nothing but regret on the part of members of this party, and, I think, probably of all members in this House over the hon. gentleman's resignation as leader. There was no difference of any kind, nothing but the greatest of respect and admiration on the part of his followers, and were it not for the business with which he is connected requiring his close attention, he would still, I suppose, be occupying the same place. We are glad that he still remains a member of this House, and we are likely to see him here just as often as he possibly can come to take part in our deliberations. He was five years in public life, for some time occupying the high position of a cabinet minister, and we are glad to reflect that during all that time he had nothing but the respect and admiration not only of the House but, as well, of the people back home where he was so well known. Let me assure the House that the change in leadership will make no difference in the policies of the group in this part of the chamber. We still retain exactly the same position we have held all along. We are neither supporting nor opposing the government; we are here to give expression to and to advance the ideas and principles which we hold to be in the best interests of Canada and to see them, if possible, carried into effect in the form of legislation.

Now, we all know quite well that we are passing through a very difficult and trying period; we do not need to be told this fact. We believe, however, all of our difficulties notwithstanding, that we are to-day in a very happy position in relation to the rest of the world. Over in Europe we see a very different state of affairs. During the years when the great war was in progress we buoyed ourselves up with the conviction that this was a war to end war. We told ourselves that never again would the world be called upon to sacrifice so much and to suffer such terrible hardships. We have been disillusioned to a very large extent. We realize that human nature after all is liable to the same 3i

old weaknesses and is just as apt as of yore to go astray. Over in the old continent, the home of civilization, we find hatred and jealousy still rampant, standing in the way of peace and the re-establishment of normal conditions. There, there is economic distress which brings untold misery in its train. This world, Mr. Speaker, is growing smaller day by day, and no part of it, no matter how remote it may be, can escape some of the consequences that follow the disturbances and sufferings that are caused in any country to-day. We are realizing in Canada to-day that we shall never have a return to normal conditions, nor have real prosperity, until stable governments are re-established on the continent of Europe, until trade once again flows back and forth as in days gone by.

The Speech from the Throne states that Canada is recovering from the depression following the war and that there is less unemployment. This may be, perhaps, somewhat optimistic, although I hope it is true. Probably there has been some improvement in the situation, but we have still very many difficulties to overcome. We cannot believe that we have surmounted those difficulties, and we must set our faces resolutely towards the. future and earnestly seek a solution for all these problems. In reference to the matter of unemployment mention is made of the trek towards the cities. There are many causes to which this fact can be attributed. During the war the high wages paid in connection with war industries attracted a large percentage of the rural population to the ccties. A great many of the returning soldiers no doubt went back to the land, but a large proportion of those who left the country districts to work in the cities at that time never returned, and this has naturally accentuated the difficulties that have arisen by reason of the congested state of population in the cities. This condition of things, however, existed to a great extent also before the war, and the country to-day has a serious rural problem on its hands. I would emphasize the fact right here, Mr. Speaker, that this is the problem we have to (solve to-day in Canada. When you have made the countryside a good place to live in and have helped to make rural homes happy and prosperous, I have no difficulty in believing, you will have gone a long way towards solving your industrial problems. I really believe that people have attempted to build up the country from the wrong end; they have tried to build it up from the industrial, instead of from the rural, point 'of view. The development of the natural resources of the country is the first duty that lies at the hands of the govern-

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inent, and nothing can be done in this direction by herding people into large cities. I might go on for quite a while stating just what was the trouble with the countryside, but I may tell you that one of the first things we have to take into consideration is the lack of remuneration. You cannot get people to stay anywhere or undertake any work if they are not going to receive adequate remuneration for their labours. In by-gone years it has not taken the young people in the country districts very long to learn that more remuneration and better conditions were to be found in the cities than in the country, and consequently they have sought them. We cannot blame those people; they did just what was natural, and what others would likely do again. Perhaps every dweller in the rural districts will agree with me in what I am about' to say; at least I know it is true of my own particular district, where I am well acquainted. Look over that district and pick out the best homes and the most intelligent people, and in the great majority of cases you will find that the brightest and best of the children have left the countryside and gone to the cities. I am not going to attempt to solve the problem which that state of affairs presents; I am simply pointing out what is a fact, and I should like the government to take notice of it and endeavour to find some remedy.

The government may be congratulated upon the trade treaties which ministers have been able to make while they were abroad. I sometimes, however, wonder why such efforts should be made to secure treaties for the improvement of our trade when one of this countiy's policies has always been to erect barriers against international trade. It seems so contradictory. I believe that if artificial restrictions were removed trade would flow freely and naturally, to the advantage of all sections of the country. The Minister of Trade and Commerce (Mr. Robb! has been over in Australia, and we have learned that he has not been very successful in his endeavours to enter into trade arrangements with the people of that continent. I am rather sorry at this, because as a true Briton I should really like to see as close connection between the countries of the British Empire as it is possible to have. But looking back a few years I cannot help wondering that such desperate efforts should be made to enter into trade treaties with nations far distant after we have ignored the opportunity we had of making a treaty with the nation that lies at our doors. I am not going to be too critical of our ministers going abroad and trying to make treaties,

but I certainly desire to see closer attention paid to matters at home. We have many home problems that need looking into. We have trade commissioners in these countries abroad, and I hope they are on the job and are trying to do the business they have been sent out upon. We have only one trade commissioner in the United States, resident in New York, and it seems to me that perhaps a little more expansion might be made in that direction.

We had the Prime Minister's assurance that the railways had been co-ordinated and unified. We were glad to learn this. I am sure we heard a great deal last session about co-ordination; we have made advancement, and we find that that has been carried into effect, and I am willing to congratulate the government on that step. A new board has been created with Sir Henry Thornton as chairman. He has made a very good impression on coming to Canada. I noticed that the right hon. leader of the Opposition criticized him a little at the time it was announced he was coming to this country. I have no doubt that Sir Henry is all the better of the little touch-up that he got from the right hon. leader of the Opposition and no doubt will be very careful to carry on his duties in the way he should. However, I think we are all very anxious to see that the new board and the new manager get a good start and be afforded an opportunity to make good the situation. It is far too serious a matter for party politics, and I hope that patronage and every political aspect of the case will be removed far away, that the board will have a free hand, and that public ownership will receive a fair and just trial in the Dominion of Canada at the present time.

Much dissatisfaction has occurred this fall in regard to lake freights. A royal commission has been appointed. I am not very sure just where to apportion the blame, but I know there was a good deal of dissatisfaction in the West that some move was not made a little earlier. It seems just a little like locking the door after the horse has been stolen, and as far as the trade last fall is concerned, no remedy can now be obtained. However, we will hope for better things in the future. The farmers-and I might say all the people in the West, because it is not confined to the agricultural population-were delighted that the Crowsnest pass agreement was brought into effect this fall in the carrying of our grain. I want to be perfectly fair, and I may say that I think the right hon. leader of the Opposition is very sincere when he says his heart is sore for the people and

The Address-Mr. Forke

the difficulties they have in the West; in fact I know he is sincere. But at the same time I could not forget that we had his active opposition while we fought, during the last session of parliament, for a reduction of the freight rates last fall. Perhaps it is a little hard on him to bring that up at the present time. At the same time I think it is just as well to remember those things.

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CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

I have no objection to the hon. member bringing the matter up, if he is faithful to the facts. I did not oppose any reduction of rates, but I opposed the House doing what parliament had delegated to another institution.

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PRO

Robert Forke

Progressive

Mr. FORKE:

The effect was exactly the same anyway. However, we will let that pass. Mention is also made in the Speech from the the- Throne of the question of immigration. I know that this is a very difficult subject to deal with. A great deal of criticism is coming to the Minister of the Interior (.Mr. Stewart), because he has been slow in making a move in this direction. I do not know that I will blame him very much for trembling on the brink a little before he makes a plunge. However, I think he might talk just a little less about it, if nothing is going to be done, because the people have been looking for quite a long while to see that stream of immigrants, that has been so much talked about, begin to flow into the country. There is a good deal of diffidence among the people of the West in regard to the matter of immigration, and if we are holding a meeting in the western provinces and mention the matter of immigration, we are immediately met with the statement, Why are you going to bring more people her when the people already here are not contented with their position? However, Mr. Speaker, I believe in immigration, and I think that immigration will help us out of a great many of our difficulties. Whatever our conditions in Canada are today, if we look abroad, to the Motherland or to Europe, we find conditions a great deal worse than in Canada, and I do not think we need have very much compunction in asking people to leave these countries and come to take up their lot with us. They are not, to say the least of it, coming to any worse conditions. However, notwithstanding all our difficulty, I am optimistic enough to believe that unfavourable conditions in Canada are not going to last. We have not lost faith in our country. We are having hard times in the prairie provinces, but I have not lost faith in those provinces. This year in the West we had a splendid crop, a magnificent crop, and no fault could be found with the country.

The country is just as good as it ever was. The trouble was on account of economic conditions, artificial conditions, and some of them world conditions, that no one could possibly help; but we believe that these conditions are going to change, and that this great country is going to be prosperous once again. And to make it prosperous we must have capital and we must have people.

Lord Shaw, speaking in Dunfermline, Scotland, after he went back from Canada, said it was almost ridiculous to think of eight and a half or nine million people occupying half a continent, rich in natural resources, yet unable to take possession of those riches, just because they had neither the means nor the people to do it, and I believe that with increased population, with increased capital, if we can possibly get it, all of us, those who are her now and those who come here, will be in better condition. I sometimes think, when we speak of our great natural resources in Canada, that we are like the small boy who sees something well worth the having but just a little out of his reach, and he cannot obtain it. That is exactly the position we are in to-day with the great resources we have in Canada. We cannot develop them or get hold of them, because we have neither the means nor the people. I believe immigration would help our trouble to a very large extent, but the difficulty arises here: Where are you going to get the millions of people with money to come here and establish themselves in the agricultural districts of Canada? I am sorry to say that I do not believe we are going to get many immigrants of that class. I may be wrong, but I do not think so. If we look to the country to the south of us, where we are likely to get the very best class of immigrants, what is the situation? I hardly like to say it, but under present conditions we find on this side of the line that the cost of living is higher than it is on the other side of the line, and the price of agricultural products on the other side of the line is higher than in this country. What is the inducement to bring those people here under present conditions? That is one of the difficulties we have to meet, and we may just as well face it. I saw another statement-I do not know whether it was correct of not-that the Anglo-Saxon people were not an agricultural people. That perhaps may explain the trend of the people towards the city, and if you go into the States the large percentage of the farmers is not of English or French descent, but is largely German, Scandinavian and other European nationalities. I give the House that statement for what it is worth. At the same

The Address-Mr. Forke

time we are quite ready to take the Scandinavian or German either, for that part of it. I do not know whether I should say that in this House, but I think it is all right. They are good farmers; we can get along with them, anyway. There is a class of immigrants we can get, and I am sure they would be a valuable asset to this country. Agricultural labourers from the British islands can be got by the hundreds-yes, by the thousands, and there is employment for them to-day right here in Canada. I do not know what the conditions are in Ontario and the eastern provinces, but I do know that there is a place for that kind of farm labourer in western Canada just as soon as he lands on this side. That is the only system of immigration that is any good-get the immigrant and have a place for him when he lands so that he can go right to work. I have no doubt that the Minister of the Interior has given this matter a great deal of consideration, so that I shall not deal with it further. I reiterate the statement, however, that I would like to see this class of people gone after, and I believe they can be got if they are sought in the right way.

It has struck me as very strange-I think the right hon. leader of the Opposition (Mr. Meighen) also referred to it yesterday-that in the Speech from the Throne no mention is made of the tariff. I do not know that I have quite recovered from the shock I received on hearing that speech and realizing that the word " tariff " had not been mentioned in it. I have lived in Canada for forty years, and it is a word that has never been out of my hearing during all that time; yet here in the most important assembly in this Dominion the matter has evidently entirely escaped notice. I sincerely hope, however, that the face of the government is still in the right direction, and that with a little encouragement they may take another step forward.

I noticed that before parliament opened the government was receiving delegations from various interests protesting against certain methods of raising taxes. Their representations may have been right or may have been wrong, but I could not help wondering what delegation had waited on the government in the interests of the common people, who, in the final analysis, actually pay the taxes. I hope, Mr. Speaker, that at least in some parts of the House the interests of the common people will be as well looked after as possible.

I have mentioned the tariff. I do not think that in this part of the House we are going to give up the fight for a reduction of

duties. I do not refer so much to ploughs or farm machinery

you know, we are sometimes accused of being a little selfish;-but we would like to see the duties reduced on all the necessities of life that have to be purchased by the common people. I say that we are not going to give up the fight until we reap some reward for our endeavours.

The decennial revision of the Bank Act is due at this session. I have noted with some alarm-I do not pose as a financial authority, but I believe the matter is worthy of some examination at least-the condition under which so many financial interests in this country are concentrated in a few hands, in a few institutions. Whatever is done in regard to a revision of the Bank Act, I hope that the interests of the common people will be well protected.

I notice also that in the Speech from the Throne reference is made to the proposed appointment of a committee to inquire into agricultural problems. I understand from that that a parliamentary committee is contemplated. Now, I do not know that a parliamentary committee can go into this question just in the way that it ought to be gone into. The inquiry will have to be a real one; the matter will have to be gone into from a great many different points' of view. The difficulties which have arisen in the West have been accentuated-matters affecting grain marketing and transportation-but these are not all the difficulties we have in Canada to-day. We have fruit industries; we have dairying; we have the difficulties experienced by the people down in the Maritime provinces. When I listened to the delegation that came from there the other day to interview the Minister of Finance (Mr. Fielding) I came to the conclusion that the Maritime provinces were in just as difficult a position as we were in the West. I only hope that if a committee is appointed there will be a real investigation and that, some practical solution of the problems involved will be arrived at.

I have listened to a great many speeches during the last few weeks, some of them delivered by professors of economics who have spent a good deal of time elaborating upon the different movements that have led up to the present state of agricultural depression. With bated breath I have waited to hear what the suggested solution would be, but these gentlemen generally led you up to the brink and left you there. I do not know what our professors of economics are paid for if they are only able to show us that we are in trouble and are not able to show us the way out. However, I believe that agricul-

The Address-Mr. Forke

tural people will have to begin by helping themselves. They can do that in a great many ways, and it is my view that they have a. perfect right to get into politics and try to help themselves in that way also.

All artificial restrictions must be removed and agriculture must have a fair show. And in speaking of agriculture, I want to speak for all Canada, because I go back to where I was and say again that we have got to solve this problem before we can have a prosperous country. We generally estimate the value of our products by what they will purchase. I suppose that down in the Maritime provinces, in the constituency of the hon. member for Victoria and Carleton (Mr. Caldwell) they estimate the value of their products by calculating how many commodities a bag of potatoes will purchase. Out in the western provinces we put it this way: How much can you purchase for a bushel of wheat? Money, after all, is only a counter, and that is the way we get at values. A bushel of wheat cannot purchase very much in western Canada to-day, and the large overhead expense is one of the reasons why we are in a difficult position.

I notice also that a bill is foreshadowed " to safeguard the interests of consumers and producers." Now, we will have a splendid thing if we can get any bill that will safeguard the consumer and the producer. I heard it stated not very long ago by a very high economic authority that in a great many instances there was a spread of 300 per cent between what the manufacturer or the farmer got and what the consumer paid; on an average the spread was 100 per cent. That is something that ought to be remedied; this whole question of the distribution and handling of goods and products from the producer to the consumer is well worth the attention of the government. But we have a policy that does encourage trusts, mergers and combines and makes it possible to have those very " gentlemen's agreements " that are the source of difficulty, from the point of view of the consumer at least. I think we might have a system of economics that would remove a great many of these troubles without very much investigation.

Just a word in connection with the cattle embargo. There was some little dispute yesterday as to whether the embargo was actually removed or not. At all events, I am inclined to believe that it is going to be removed, and I am glad that this is so, because from my knowledge of agriculture, even in the western provinces, I know that their salvation depends to a very large extent upon

finding a market for their cattle. The lack of such a market has been one of the causes of bad times in the last few seasons, when there was no market whatever for our cattle. It would perhaps astonish the House were I to mention the price at which cattle were sold on the public yards in the city of Winnipeg last fall. In some cases a car of cattle scarcely paid the expense of shipping them to market. Agriculture can never prosper under such conditions. Though the removing of the embargo will help to relieve the situation, I am inclined to believe that the best market we can possibly have is that great market to the south of us, and I hope every endeavour will be made to see that that gate is opened to us once again, if it be at all possible.

I want to say a few words on the subject of economy. Economy is a word we hear repeated over and over again everywhere these days. We must economize and taxation must be reduced. The burden of taxation is becoming almost too heavy to be borne. The country is weary of the load and some remedy must be found. A halt must be called in expenditure, or we shall find the ship on the rocks in a very short time. I am sorry to see that we are still adding to our national debt. Tins cannot go on indefinitely. It does not take a wise man to see that something is bound to happen unless some remedy is applied very promptly. I am willing to admit that we have been passing through a period of extravagance. Individuals, corporations, and governments have all been extravagant, or, I will put it this way, too optimistic; there is no question about it. But we have learned our lesson. We in this Dominion, have spent the money, and we have now to meet the bills. We are beginning to practise economy, and I am sorry to see that the Dominion of Canada has added to its public debt during the past year. That is a cause for deep disappointment to all well-wishers of our country. It is all very well to devise measures for extracting money from the pockets of the people-and I pay this tribute to the Minister of Finance (Mr. Fielding) he is an adept at that; he deserves all the credit that can come to him as the financier for the government-at the same time, getting money in order to spend it will not solve any of our problems. I think all parties are agreed today that something must be done to reduce expenditure. We might have some measure of civil service reform, for instance. I believe that the government of the country is costing too much, and that economies could be effected in that direction. I think the three parties in this House might well get together

The Address-Mr. Forke

on a matter of this kind and try and work out some arrangement for reducing the expenditure under this head. I know it is very difficult for any government to attempt to reform the civil service. In fact, it is almost saying good-bye to office to do so. At the same time, I believe we are all sufficiently in earnest on this question to get together and try and do something to reduce the cost of carrying on the business of this country.

There must be no return to patronage. Since becoming a member of parliament, I have thanked my stars time and again that there was a Civil Service Commission. We want no return to the old order of things.

We are promised a measure of redistribution. That matter will be taken up in a way that I think will be satisfactory to all sections of the House.

Just a word in regard to our national status. I do not intend to take up any time in dealing with this matter at this particular moment, but I would like to say here, that I like to count myself a loyal citizen of the British Empire. I am proud of that connection, and I hope that nothing will ever occur to make me feel less proud of it. At the same time, I agree with the steps that were taken by the Prime Minister and with his government's reply to the telegram that was sent from the Prime Minister of Great Britain last fall. I agree with the position that the government took at that time. I hope that whatever measures may be taken, nothing will be done to retard the progress of Canada as a nation controlling her own destinies within the British Empire.

In conclusion, I would make a few recommendations :

Trade. I would say, increase trade by the removal of trade barriers, and increase the British preference.

Unemployment. I would encourage the industries where unemployment does not exist to-day-agriculture, etc.

Railways. I would give Sir Henry Thornton a fair trial, and in so far as possible, give government business to the government railways.

Great Lakes freight rates. Speed up the investigation, and make it a real one.

Anti-trust bill. It would not be necessary to find a cure if prevention were exercised, and the best prevention is to take away the tariff on which combines, trusts and mergers flourish. Every industry needing protection should be made to prove it. This would eliminate profiteering of this kind.

Immigration. The best immigrant that ever comes to Canada is the one which the

stork brings to the Canadian home. We should study how to keep at home those we already have. Secondly, we should see that there is a job awaiting every immigrant. If there is no job, then no immigrant. There are plenty of jobs at the present time for agricultural workers.

The Bank Act. This needs careful study, not from the banker's standpoint, but from the people's standpoint. I am going to give all the encouragement I can in that line of business.

Redistribution. I should like to see a measure of proportional representation applied to the urban centres, as a trial.

Vimy Ridge Monument. I am glad that the French government has made a present of 250 acres to the Dominion government upon which a monument is to be erected. Putting up a great monument to the dead is doing what is right. But while we remember those who gave up their all, let us not forget the living who may need our attention.

International agreements. These should be in accord with the national and individual conscience. The Golden Rule might well be applied in an international sense. I believe Canada should stand by the League of Nations.

The Tariff. There is nothing in the Speech from the Throne on the most important matter of policy which has been before this country for the last forty or fifty years. We still demand further reductions on the necessaries of life. Cheaper food and clothing are far more essential than cheaper ploughs and binders.

Civil Service. Fair warning-no tampering with the Civil Service Act. A return to patronage is unthinkable. If the Civii Service Act is not functioning properly, it is the fault of the personnel, and not of the Ac! itself.

Taxation. It is time that municipal, provincial and federal authorities learned to "cut the coat according to the cloth." There is too great a tendency to make estimates and then seek new ways and means of taxation to provide the money. For a change, why not approach the problem from the other angle? -Estimate what money can be raised without oppression, and readjust national expenditures to keep within those estimates.

National debt. No plan appears to be under consideration for the reduction of the national debt. An increase in last year of $45,000,000 is a matter for some alarm, but the government appears to have no project under consideration whereby this staggering debt of

The Address-Mr. Woodsworth

nearly two and a half billion dollars is to be reduced. I would urge the government to formulate a plan whereby something definite and concrete may be done in the way of reducing this debt.

Mr. Speaker, and gentlemen, I thank you for your very kind attention.

Topic:   THE GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH
Subtopic:   ADDRESS IN REPLY
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LAB

James Shaver Woodsworth

Labour

Mr. J. S. WOODSWORTH (Centre Winnipeg) :

Mr. Speaker, there are certain points in the. Speech from the Throne upon which I should like to comment from the standpoint of labour. When I came into this building I had rather a curious sensation of how far removed the concerns of this assembly are from the actual life of a large number of people of Canada. During the recess I have had the opportunity of moving back and forth, and talking to a great many of those whom the hon. leader of the Progressives has called the common people of Canada; and I think I would agree with him that they are the most important people in the Dominion. And yet in the Speech to which we have listened there is comparatively little that bears directly upon the welfare of that great mass of people. It is now more than four years since the great war came to a close. Conditions the world over are in a bad way. We know the horrible conditions in Europe; and I think no thoughtful man, or no student of economics but must realize that very fundamental changes are necessary if we are to be able to solve even our local problems. And yet, I submit, there is very little in the Speech from the -Throne which would indicate any thoroughgoing changes in our policy. Some of the same old policies are brought forward that we have been familiar with since our childhood. We are told again, that now the war is over we are to bring in more people; as if we had not had a progressive immigration policy fifteen or twenty years ago. We are told that we have to arrange for foreign markets; as if the old national policy of Canada was not very largely built up on securing foreign markets. We have had these things; they have gotten us nowhere.

I think, perhaps, I am rather glad in many ways that the tariff was left out of the Speech from the Throne. It is possible that we are getting down to a rather more serious consideration of the actual situation-

4 p.m. the recognition that, after all, the tariff is not fundamental in our economic solutions.

Although we have been running behind to the extent of some 845,000,000 there is no indication in the Speech from the Thione that we are to have any lessening of the taxation on the great mass of the people. Nor is

there any scheme proposed by which this great debt may be in any wise reduced. Sometimes I think that those responsible for the policies of this country almost resemble a cornered rat, as he darts first into one corner and then into another in order to try a way of escape, and then even after he has been the rounds he starts again and darts into the self same comers.

It has been given out very generally that we have comparatively little unemployment in Canada and I think that this year, at least, as representing a section of the people largely interested in this question, I shall have to deal first of all with this subject. May I read an excerpt from the Daily Mail, of London, bearing date December 15, 1922:

An appeal for more British emigrants to Canada was made by the Speaker of the Canadian House of Commons, Mr. Rodolphe Lemieux, at a luncheon given in his honour by the Empire Parliamentary Association at the House of Commons restaurant. He said: "There is no unemployment in Canada. There is work for all those who are anxious to do work-to work more than eight hours a day. We are anxious to increase our population of labourers and farmers, and we expect that that stock will come from the British Isles."

I trust that the speaker has been incorrectly reported; but the point is, that the information is going out very widely that we have little or no unemployment in Canada. I notice that in the Speech from the Throne reference is made to the diminution of unemployment. May I read an advertisement that appeared a few weeks ago in the Manitoba Free Press of my own city:

Public Notice

The Council of the city of Regina have by resolution declared that the policy of the city will be one of utterly refusing relief to any person. Notice is further given that there is not sufficient work during the winter months for the present residents, and the public are warned against coming here in search of work.

James Grassick,

Mayor.

Geo. Beach,

City Clerk.

In commenting upon that the Manitoba Veteran says:

We read and hear a lot about the various brands of "red" isms, which seek to undermine our freedom, our constitution, and our civilization; but if any thing more anarchistic can be found in all the red propaganda than this "starve and be damned" pronouncement of a constituted body, we would like to hear of it.

Let me now read a letter that was forwarded by the Mayor of the city of Winnipeg to the Prime Minister:

This winter it has been necessary for the city to open up a special emergency unemployment relief office similar to that opened during the winters of 1920-21 and 1921 -22. There are being relieved at the present time,

The Address-Mr. Woodsworth

through these offices 583 married men with 1,630 children, making a total of 2,781 persons and 146 single men, making a total of 729 cases and 2,927. This certainly indicates an abnormal condition. Winnipeg, during the time of depression, is the focal point to which the unemployed of western Canada come in the hope there will be a better chance of getting work, and consequently it is called upon to look after persons who are not really citizens. These persons might be called "Dominion citizens at large," but at the same time they cannot be allowed to starve and this is one of the reasons why Federal aid is sought. Of the total of 583 families now being cared for, representing 2,781 persons, 202 cases are families of returned soldiers or over one-third of the total. In the case of single men, unfit for farm or busy work, the percentage of returned soldiers is considerably greater, out of a total of 146 men there are 104 returned soldiers. I quote for your information the particulars in regard to several typical cases in the classes of "returned soldiers" and "Dominion Citizens at large."

From England, three months, ex-army No. .203, married, three children, wife pregnant. The above-noted man arrived from England the latter part of September and with the exception of a few weeks work in October has been a public charge. His health is poor and his eldest child is only fourteen. This family, due to the condition of his wife, are unable to support themselves, having no person with an earning power in the family.

Ontario resident, No. 27, three months in Manitoba, married, one child, wife sick. The above man left Ontario to farm in Alberta in the spring of 1922. Attempted to return to Toronto and obliged to stop over in Winnipeg on account of wife's confinement. Is destitute and wishes to return East.

Soldier settler: returned soldier, married, six children. This man had farm under Soldier Settlement Board for three years, but was obliged to give same up this fall. Came to Winnipeg and with exception of temporary employment at Canadian National shops on arrival, has been out of work. No employment for two months before registration.

And there is a long list of similar cases which the mayor assures us are typical. This condition is not confined to Winnipeg. For example, in the city of Montreal an organization which is under the direction of one of the most' capable and careful social welfare experts states:

The general secretary of the Montreal Council of Social Agencies is of the opinion that there is just as much unemployment and just as much distress this winter as last. In his report for last year he states that 1,777 came or were directed to them for assistance of one kind or another, as against 1,400 in 1921. Sixty per cent of these cases were classed as "sickness," and this amounted to about 1,080.

The report says:

Much of this illness had been preventable were it possible to provide right living conditions for these families. Among citizens who have sufficient means to live in houses decently built and properly heated, who have plain, wholesome food to meet the demands of normal appetites, who have proper clothes to secure protection against heat, cold, wind and rain, and who can enjoy recreational facilities, there is comparatively little illness. But to the man and woman who must leave a cold flat to face colder weather with thin clothing and poor shoes, who knows not the luxury of the necessitous pair of rubbers and work for hours in wet foot gear, to the ill-fed scantily clothed youngsters

_____________________________% [DOT]______________________

who lose much of the value of schooling because they are not in a fit physical condition to enable their mental equipment to assimilate the knowledge presented, illness of a more or less serious nature is a very constant and disagreeable visitor.

We in this country might well set our own house in order, might very well care for the thousands, the tens of thousands, of people who are more or less living the life described by the general secretary of social agencies, before we begin to talk very much of bringing in more people to swell the ranks of the unemployed. If my memory serves me aright, the government last year accepted a resolution which was passed by this House, that it was a certain responsibility of theirs to furnish a scheme to provide for the unemployed in Canada. We have yet to hear what policy the government is going to adopt on that point.

An immigration scheme has been mentioned in the Speech from the Throne, and that scheme has been outlined and given to the press by the Acting Minister of Immigration. We find that it is proposed to adopt a progressive immigration policy again, to carry on an advertising campaign in the older lands and in the United States. We are told that our free lands are exhausted. Before, we had free lands to offer. We no longer can offer free lands in western Canada, and we are told that the immigrants who are desired are the tenant farmers and agricultural workers. For a great many years in this country it was our ideal for Canada that every man who went to work on a farm might ultimately own a farm of his own. Now it seems that that time is past and that all that we can offer as an inducement to the immigrant is that he may become an agricultural labourer or a tenant farmer. Secondly, we are told that we are to have household workers. I suppose that means young girls who will, for a time, serve in the homes, in the cities or on the farms. I might say that they are not going to remain very long in that condition and that that is not going to be any very great addition to the whole population and the permanent productivity of this country. We are told further that we are to have orphan children brought over to this country. I verily believe that if we would give simply half a chance to the people who are already in this country, they would be able to rear children in Canada instead of having to go overseas to secure them. This is a real trouble. To-day, whether in the rural districts or in the urban districts, the ordinary wage earner finds it is practically impossible to bring up a family in decency. Further, we have been told during the last few weeks

The Address-Mr. Woodsworth

or few months that we are going to have a national settlement land plan. Paid advertisements were put forth some weeks ago in our newspapers. Let me read the opening paragraph from one of them, from the Calgary Daily Herald of September 12:

The National Land Settlement Plan. The British and Canadian Governments have joined with the Canada Colonization Association and the Canadian railways in a co-ordinated land settlement plan covering all the provinces. An efficient colonization machine is being set up and will begin to operate forthwith. Colonization in Canada has been at a comparative standstill ever since 1913. Yet nothing is clearer than that effective land settlement on a comprehensive scale is the only available solution of the country's pressing economic and financial problems. By increasing the farming population and agricultural production throughout Canada, we shall lower freight rates, stimulate business, lighten the burden of the national debt to every individual family, lessen federal, provincial, and municipal taxation, and go far to eliminate the serious annual deficit on the National railways.

That sounds suspiciously like the old protectionist programme that most of us have listened to for a very long time. In fact.

I cannot but be struck with the great similarity which exists between that programme and another that was given great publicity just three years previously, namely, June 25, 1918, as a national policy. I fancy the two are written by the same hand, and I would venture to suggest that the one will go the way of the other, because we are fighting against great economic forces and we are not attempting the real solutions. With regard to that land settlement plan. I should like to read what one group of workers thinks of it. I quote from the Alberta Labour News of September 23:

The first thing necessary in order to intelligently criticize the plan is to examine the details thereof. We can do this by taking the figures of the Association. A settler buys a quarter section of land for twenty dollars per acre, or $3,200 for the 160 acres. He pays two dollars per acre down, or $320, leaving a balance unpaid of $2,880. For the first two years he makes no further payment, but the interest accrued during this period is added to the principal. This creates a curious situation. At the end of three years he owes more than the original price of the land, the $320 he has paid in cash being more than eaten up by the interest. In the third year the purchaser begins to pay $234.34 per year on the principal and interest. After paying this amount annually for eight years or ten years, after he started on the venture, the purchaser still owes $3.15 more than he did after making his first cash payment. Or in other words, after paying, $2,194.72 to the vendor after ten years of toil to develop a farm from raw prairie the purchaser has a smaller equity in the land than when he made his first pajunent ten years before.

The plan provides for thirty-two years in which the purchaser may pay for the land at the annual rate of $234.34. At the end of the period he will have paid $7,350 for his farm, or $4,150 more than the nominal purchase price. In other words, he will have paid $4,150 interest on the $2,880 which was the unpaid balance after he had made his first cash payment.

I submit that no emigrant who understands the situation will fall for a real estate exploitation scheme of that character. Let me look for a moment at our immigration policy-in the past. The expenditures in promoting and regulating immigration, from 1898 to 1908, the period during which our immigration policy was in full swing, amounted to $6,779,823. By the way, I take my figures from a United States Senate document, in which I find the best study of Canadian immigration problems that I have met with. Of the amount spent outside Canada, 45 per cent was spent in the United States, 38 per cent in the United Kingdom and 16 per cent in Continental Europe. Let us look at the figures in regard to the United States. In 1901, there were in Canada 4,761,815 native born Canadians. In 1910, when the census was taken in the United States, there were in that country 1,181,255 native born Canadians, as well as large numbers of trans-Atlantic emigrants who had been temporarily resident in Canada. Now, what has been accomplished with all this vast expenditure of money in the United States? In 1909, we received approximately 60,000 immigrants from the United States, of whom Scandinavians, Germans, Italians, English, Russian and Scotch predominated. But we lost 53,448, almost as many as we gained. And the American report notes the fact that a very large proportion of these were skilled labourers. According to their country of origin, our immigrants may be classed as British, Continental or United States. The British immigrants have invariably shown a tendency to drift to the cities, and afterwards a considerable number of them -especially skilled labourers-go to the United States. In the case of Continental immigrants, we are faced with the serious problem of mixed nationalities. We find that in the last few years large numbers of Men-nonites, who were amongst our very best settlers in Manitoba and Saskatchewan, have been forced to cross the border into the United States; and I believe that negotiations are now in progress looking to the Doukhobours leaving this country to go back to their homeland, Russia. So far as United States immigration is concerned, as I have said, we cannot even hold our own with that country, as has been proved as the years have come and gone. Classified according to the work they do, immigrants are very largely either farmers or farm labourers, or industrial workers. I suggest that before we adopt a progressive immigration policy we should very carefully consider the agricultural conditions in western Canada and the labour

The Address-Mr. Woodsworth

conditions in the Canadian cities from coast to coast.

Let me say a word or two with regard to the financial situation with which we find ourselves faced. Surely we do not need to go very deeply into economics to understand that something is very radically wrong with conditions in Canada when we have abundant natural resources, with plants lying idle, when there is a world in dire need of goods, and when, on the other hand, there are large numbers of unemployed. I turn to our big financial institutions and ask what light they can throw on the question, and I find in their annual reports that they have to tell us of huge crops and large exports of live stock, greater than we have ever had before, and yet all these things at very inadequate prices. They have to tell us of large numbers of failures in the business world; they have to tell us of the immense deficits in our government and other public bodies. And yet at the same time they tell us of their own great gains. I wonder whether it will not make some of us suspicious as to whether or not the financial structure itself is sound. My colleague (Mr. Irvine) last year suggested that we should have an inquiry, not merely into the present system of banking, but, one deeper than that, into the whole present system of currency and credit itself. It seems to me that we are not going to get very far if we begin merely to tinker with the present bank-system without getting deeper down than that. Most of us find ourselves somewhat at a loss to follow all the details of what the economists tell us about money. But I may venture to put forward several propositions in this connection. Sometimes we confound money with wealth. This country may be poor so far as money goes, but I submit we have all the wealth that ever we had. We are told we ought to economize, but it may well be that the more we economize the worse off we are. One of the great needs of to-day is that the ordinary people of the country should be given buying power, which they do not at the present time possess. Money is not wealth; at best it merely represents wealth, real or potential. Some of the banks are trying to delude us into the belief that there still exists a gold standard. The interim report of Lord Cun-liffe's Committee on Currency and Foreign Exchanges says:

1. Before the war this country possessed a complete and effective gold standard.

2. During the war the conditions necessary to the maintenance of that standard have ceased to exist.

I submit that Walker is correct when he says that " money is that money does " and that to-day the cheque currency is the real currency of the country. It is a well-known law of economics that the value of money depends on the quantity in circulation. It depends ultimately on the community credit, but is mechanically controlled by the amount issued. What do we see round about us today? That money is a public utility, as Adam Smith said many years ago, a highway through the air, and yet this is monopolized by a comparatively small group of the people. The banks may be quasi-public institutions, but they are managed in the interest of a comparatively small number of people. I have sometimes thought that the financial situation in Canada might be illustrated in some such way as this: Suppose that all this country was dependent upon irrigation for its agricultural production, and suppose that one group of people controlled the Fraser river in the west: another group controlled the great rivers that pour their waters through the Nelson river into Hudson bay: another group controlled the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence, and so on, and that through underground canals the waters of all these great rivers might be pooled. The men that controlled such an irrigation system as that would be absolute in their control. They could make of Ontario a wilderness, or they could make the prairies to blossom as the rose. Have we not the same condition prevailing with regard to our financial affairs to-day? A small number of people, some seventeen different groups, are able to draw a tribute from every country district, from every little hamlet and every town, and through the control of the community credit they are able to determine where things will be produced and what will be produced. Never was there a dictatorship so. absolute as that which we have to-day. We are not going to get very far until we recognize that fact frankly, and get at the foundation of the financial control that exists.

The Speech from the Throne refers to the fact that we can never hope to have prosperous conditions in Canada until conditions in the Old World become more stable. I am sure we are all very glad to have seen that * commercial arrangements or treaties have been made between this country and France and between this country and Italy. I sometimes wonder why it is that those in authority should feel free to make a treaty with Italy when they have failed to make treaties and failed to enter into commercial relationships with a much greater country, the great country of Russia. I take it, that if we de-

The Address-Mr. Woodsworth

precate the Russian revolution which was brought about by a measure of force we ought also deprecate the revolution in Italy which was brought about by force. If we recognize the government of the latter country, for the life of me I cannot see any reason why we should not recognize the government of the former country. Personally-and I think I am speaking for a very large number of the labour people in Canada-I should like to express endorsation of the action of the government this fall in regard to its action in the Near East trouble. I am sure it was a tremendous relief to a great number of the people of Canada when they found the Premier of this country did not intend to plunge this country into war without the consent -of parliament. I want to compliment the Premier on adopting a policy which is, I believe, essentially in line with the very best Liberal traditions. But, on the other hand, I take it that a negative attitude with regard to European affairs cannot very well be maintained. It would seem to me that we must ultimately face the alternative: that either we shall have to develop into what is practically an independent nation, or else we shall have to set up machinery by which we can have an effective voice in the affairs of the British commonwealth. I do not know which way events will drive us, but I think we ought to frankly face that alternative. I for one should like to have seen the government bring before us at this time some policy which would enable us to define more clearly our relationship to the British Empire. The Premier in his speech yesterday dwelt upon the right of parliament to decide this question of parliament being consulted before Canada embarked on war. I agree with him. On the other hand he refuses, at the request of the British government, to place before this House certain correspondence which was said to be confidential. Mr. Speaker, as a representative of the people of this country, I claim that I, and the whole body of citizens, have a perfect right to know what negotiations are proceeding between Canada and the United Kingdom. It may be all very true that the present government may say that they will take no step to commit us to war without submitting the matter to parliament, but, on the other hand, we all know that negotiations may be going on steadily, which practically commit the country to war before we reach the final step where parliament is to be consulted. If we really believe in democracy we ought to do away with secret diplomacy in every form.

Topic:   THE GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH
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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

May I ask the hon. gentleman a question? Is it his opinion,

inasmuch as the British government have asked that certain cables which they have sent to this government should not be made public, that the government should decline to meet their wishes in that matter?

Topic:   THE GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH
Subtopic:   ADDRESS IN REPLY
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February 2, 1923