Detailed statement of all bonds and securities registered in the Department of the
Secretary of State for Canada, as provided by section 32, Chapter 19 of the Revised Statutes of Canada, 1906.-Hon. Mr. Copp.
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, and the proposed amendment thereto of Mr. Hoey, and the amendment to the amendment of Mr. Shaw, resumed from Tuesday, February 6.
Mr. Speaker, in rising to take part in the debate in reply to the Speech of his Excellency, I wish first to deal briefly with the speech delivered yesterday afternoon by the hon. member for South Cape Breton (Mr. Carroll). I want to compliment my hon. friend upon that speech; it was a good one, and I heartily agree with nearly everything that he said. But I cannot quite agree with some of his remarks in connection with matters concerning western Canada, and I wish, if I may, to make some reference to that part of his speech.
Referring to a letter written by someone in Edmonton to a Scottish newspaper, my hon. friend asserted that the statement contained therein was exaggerated. I agree that it was exaggerated, but I contend that my hon. friend's comment in that connection was exaggerated also. He stated, according to yesterday's Hansard:
There are thousands and thousands of farmers in the West who are comfortably situated-as comfortably situated as the capitalist in Montreal or Toronto.
If the farmers of western Canada, of Manitoba particularly, are as well situated as those gentlemen to whom my hon. friend referred, why is it that the Manitoba reports show that there were 4,000 fewer farmers in that province last year than there were the year before? The reports show that there were 55,000 farmers in Manitoba in 1921 and
51,000 in 1922. I submit, therefore, that the figures do not agree with my hon. friend's statement. In designating the location of the farmers who, my hon. friend alleged, were so prosperous, he described a circle with a radius of twenty-five miles around the city of Winnipeg. Now, the constituency which I have the honour to represent adjoins Winnipeg on the north, and I have an intimate knowledge of at least a great part of the district included in that circle; my own farm, in fact, is very close to it. I would invite my hon. friend, when the session is over, to come west and look into this matter for himself. I will show
The Address-Mr. Bancroft
him around a part of that circle and I will defy him to find a farm there, with the exception, perhaps, of a few dairy farms, that has paid operating expenses in the last three years.
My hon. friend referred also to the number of motor cars in Saskatchewan. Some of my hon. friends to the right say, "hear, hear." It is a common idea on the part of certain people in this country that a farmer should never sit on anything but a wagon box. I do not believe in that, Mr. Speaker. Being a farmer myself I maintain that a serviceable automobile, obtainable at a reasonable price, has become a necessity in modem farming. My hon. friend said that every man in twelve in Saskatchewan had an automobile. I do not think that is enough. In a province where farming is the basic industry-it is practically the only industry there-in a province of great distances-and I know something of those distances, for I homesteaded there thirty-two miles from the nearest town-in respect to a province such as that I would reverse my hon. friend's statement and say that only one out of every twelve had a motor car. I think that would be nearer the mark. Furthermore, in giving those figures, he did not state what proportion of these cars had passed through the hands of the bailiff. He gave us no idea of the number of motor cars owned by men who had moved in there, and purchased perhaps with the money they brought in with them. I maintain again that the motor car has become a necessity on the modern farm.
Another question with which my hon. friend dealt was the United States tariff on farm products; and in dealing with that he asked in effect, what could the Canadian government do to remove the United States tariff against our farm products. I would make this suggestion to my hon. friend and to the government: that the best way to get rid of the American tariff against our products is to reduce the cost of production in this country, and if you do that, there will be a clamour in the United States against the tariff which raises the cost of production in that country.
The condition of agriculture in Canada today is not wholly the result of the reconstruction period through which we are passing, nor is it due to post-war conditions generally. If you go back to the years prior to the war, you will find that agriculture at that time was on the down grade. In the years 1912, 1913 and 1914 the farmers of western Canada were selling their grain below the cost of production, and had it not been for the war intervening, the government would have had to deal several years ago with this same situation that
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confronts us to-day. The net prices received for grain on the farm this fall were similar to those of 1911. Yet in 1911, as was pointed out by my hon. friend from Victoria, Alta., (Mr. Lucas) yesterday, we could buy an eight-foot binder for $180 and to-day the same binder costs us $276. I submit that about the same comparison could be made in connection with most of the articles that enter into the cost of production on the farm. Coupled with this was the fact that in those years many immigrants rvere coming into the country, and many young men who were taking up homesteads were willing to work on the farms at a very reasonable rate in order to acquaint themselves with the local methods and conditions. When we compare the period before the war with the present time, and realize that in those earlier years men were being forced off the farm in no small numbers, it will give us some idea of the deplorable condition that agriculture finds itself in to-day. It is a well-known fact that for years in this country success or failure on the farm has depended largely on the amount of free labour a man could command in his farming operations. When a man's family was small and he had to hire every bit of help required, he invariably had a hard time getting along, but as his family grew up and furnished for a few years free labour on the farm, that was the time the farmer got ahead if he ever did get ahead. I submit that there can be no permanent prosperity in this country while this condition exists, so long as the great basic industry of Canada is dependent for its success on free labour. The fact is, the fiscal policy of this country is not a sound one for the development of our natural industries. That policy was evolved at a time when the Red River valley the most fertile valley in the world, was the principal grain-growing area of western Canada. It was evolved at a time when municipal taxes were negligible, when labour was cheap, when the land was clean; and all these things contributed to a low cost of production. But to-day municipal taxes in Manitoba are in the vicinity of one dollar per acre, due to the extension of roads, and the building of bridges, drainage and schools; and the high cost of transportation and of the necessities of life has raised the cost of production to a point where farmers are quitting the farms in large numbers. There are four thousand less on the farms in Manitoba to-day than a year ago. I submit that that is a serious situation, and one that requires careful analysis, and until we have found out the reason why these men are deserting the farms
The Address-Mr. Martell
in such large numbers, it is useless to talk very much about immigration.
May I deal for a moment, not with immigration, but with emigration, and some of the causes that have contributed thereto? There should be no tax in this country on woollen clothing, which is a necessity in a climate such as ours. Yet we find that clothing and blankets are taxed as high as 35 per cent under the general tariff, and from 20 to 25 per cent under the British preference. That is little short of a crime in a climate such as ours. We find that boots and shoes are taxed from 20 to 30 per cent. Take the case of a farmer' with a large family, situated two or three miles from school-the average distance in western Canada being two miles. Consider the difficulty this man has in trying to clothe his family to withstand the rigours of the Canadian winter in the face of these taxes; and the figures I have quoted do not tell of all the taxes that the farmer has to pay, because the tariff tax is added at the factory, and the factory price increases something like 100 per cent by the time the product reaches the consumer through the ordinary channels of distribution. Therefore, the consumer pays about double the amount of the tairff tax quoted in the schedule. Can we conceive of anything that would tend more to drive men out of this country than the hardship this man's family is forced to endure under these conditions? I maintain that the tariff tax on woollen clothing has done more to drive people out of this country than any other single factor. The whole tax on necessary clothing and boots and shoes should be wiped out in the interests of humanity and in the interests of common sense. A tax on woollen goods might be all right in Florida, but it is decidedly poor business in Canada. The Canadian people voted overwhelmingly at the last election for low tariff, and I submit that they are in no mood to be trifled with. The government should start their reductions at once, and start them on the great necessities-cotton and woollen goods, and boots and shoes.
I have followed with interest the statements of those who suggest mixed farming as a remedy for our economic ills. Many of those who advocate such a policy however overlook the fact that the problem of mixed farming is inseparably bound up with the problem of wider markets. Take the livestock industry for example. In the Winnipeg stockyards last fall cattle sold for as low as 4j cents a pound for prime steers, and one cent a pound for fairly good cows in an unfinished condition. In the city of Winnipeg also, potatoes sold for as low as 20 cents a
bushel. The American tariff practically prohibits the shipment of these products to the .United States. Now, in view of these facts, to suggest a wholesale reversal from grain to mixed farming is simply adding insult to injury. Furthermore it is well known that thousands of farmers in this couniry are prevented from keeping hogs and sheep because of the tax on woven wire fencing which, through the medium of tariff and sales tax approximates 25 per cent. I say that the whole problem of mixed farming is inseparably bound up with the problem of wider markets. If you will give us markets and reduce our cost of production, there will practically be no limit to Canada's capacity to produce farm products. Better trading and better international conditions go hand in hand. International commerce tends to bring about a better feeling among all nations. Every satisfied customer that Canada has in foreign countries constitutes a bond of peace between us and those countries; and I think the idea of a bond of peace can be applied also to - Canada in a national sense as well as internationally. If the manufacturer in eastern Canada felt that he was getting the farmer's products at their real market value and if, on the other hand, the farmer felt that he was getting the products of the manufacturer at their value in the markets of the world, it would result in creating a bond between them which would make for national solidarity-a bond, Mr. Speaker, which would strengthen the chain forged by the Fathers of Confederation, which is now gradually weakening.
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Subtopic: ADDRESS IN REPLY
It was not my intention, Mr. Speaker, to intervene in this debate, but in the course of the discussion things have transpired which have made me feel that it is my duty, representing as I do an agricultural constituency in the province of Nova Scotia, to say a few words from the standpoint of a member from the Maritime provinces. It is customary, I believe, to extend congratulations to the mover and seconder of the Address. I am sure that while I am a young parliamentarian I can do that with a great deal of gratification. Particularly do I feel that I have the right to congratulate my next door neighbour in the political arena in the province of Nova Scotia. The hon. member for Colchester (Mr. Putnam), in the course of his very excellent disquisition, paid a tribute to the honour that was bestowed upon his constituency by his being selected to move the Address in reply to the Speech from the Throne, and as a Nova Scotian I sincerely congratulate my col-
The Address-Mr. Martell
league from that province upon his speech. Most worthily did he uphold the honour of the province from which we both come. Unfortunately I am not familiar with the language of old France, and therefore I could not comprehend all that was said by the seconder of the Address. It certainly must seem rather a paradox that I, descended from French Huguenots, cannot understand the language of my forebears; but judging from the fluency and grace displayed by the hon. member for Jacques Cartier (Mr. Kheaume), and from the manner in which his remarks were received by his colleagues from Quebec, his address was both eloquent and convincing.
Mr. Speaker, we have heard many references to those of our membership who have passed beyond the veil since last we met. When I came into this House last year- although I am the baby, so to speak, of the Maritime representatives-there were some four or five members with us who to-day have passed beyond the veil because "the finger of God touched them and they slept." I was not exceedingly well acquainted with the late hon. member for Lanark (Mr. Stewart), with the late Hon. Mr. Kennedy, and with the late Mr. Lafortune, but of the late Dr. Blackadder, I can speak with authority. We had stumped together in promulgating the principles of Liberalism as followers of the great chieftain, Sir Wilfrid Laurier, and to-day it is to me a great sorrow that he is with us no longer. In thinking of him, the words of the poet recur to my mind: "Although he is absent in body, he is present in spirit." Perhaps I can best give expression to my regard for Dr. Black-adder in these lines:
How can I cease to pray for thee dear heart! Where'er in God's great universe thou art to-day Can He not reach thee with His tender grace;
Can He not hear me when for thee I pray?
Somewhere thou livest and hast need of Him, Somewhere thy soul seeks higher heights to climb, And somewhere too there may be valleys dim, Which thou must cross to reach the heights sublime.
Then all the more, because thou canst not hear Poor human words of blessing, will I pray,
O true brave heart! God bless thee Whereso'er in His Great Universe, thou art to-day.
Divers things find mention in the Speech from the Throne. It is true that criticism has been uttered by some hon. gentlemen opposite because certain matters have been omitted; but the Speech from the Throne is not supposed to contain all the legislation that will probably come before parliament. There is, however, one particular matter upon which we are to legislate this session in which I, as a representative of one of the most his-
toric constituencies in the Dominion, am personally interested-that is the question of redistribution. I stand here representing the historic constituency of the county of Hants. With the prosperity that has come to various sections of the Dominion, Hants, through no fault of her own, has lost in population, with the result that the constituency which in days gone by was the scene of Joseph Howe's greatest battles is to be amalgamated with some other constituency in the province of Nova Scotia. In this regard there is one plea I wish to advance: At the time confederation was brought about it was undoubtedly understood that the representation in this parliament should be founded upon the basis of the four original provinces. It was never intended-I do not believe, Sir, it was ever in the minds of the Fathers of Confederation- that any of the four original provinces should lose part of their representation. The other provinces which were subsequently carved out of the western country are going to get a greatly increased representation, and that increase will be at the expense ofeastern Canada which has borne the burden and heat of the day.
So I believe, Sir, that this is the proper time for us to take into consideration and endeavour to secure for the older provinces an irreducible minimum as regards representation. True, some of us will be told that we are governed in that particular by the British North America Act. I admit that that is the case. But if we have borne the burden and heat of the past, if we at the expense of the East have built up the western country, in return the western country should be prepared to come to our aid and to say: The Fathers of Confederation did not foresee there was a danger of the West overruling the East, and we are prepared to come to your aid and join you in any petition asking for an amendment of the British North America Act which will guarantee to the people of the East an irreducible minimum of representation in the House of Commons.
My hon. friend from Cape Breton South (Mr. Carroll) yesterday in the course of his very excellent address dealt with the problem of immigration. You will permit me, Sir, to be somewhat laudatory of Nova Scotia and to say that I was extremely proud of the fact of being a Nova Scotian after hearing his address, eloquently delivered and replete with sound logic and good common sense. After listening to him, the hon. Minister of Finance, and other speakers of the day it was pleasing for me to recall the words of Tenny-
The Address-Mr. Martell
son so far as the Minister of Finance is concerned : .
At last the Master Bowman, he,
Did cleave the air;
Who but bent to hear
His rapt oration, flowing free.
I was indeed proud of my native province as I listened to one of our youngest members from Nova Scotia and to our grey-headed veteran who is our leader in the Maritimes.
Some hon. members in the course of their speeches referred to our railway problem.I admit, Mr. Speaker, that whether our National Railway system should be under government ownership or not is no longer a debatable question. The government is
pledged to a fair trial of government ownership in respect to our National Railways. It is not my purpose to give expression to my own personal views, but if I were to do so I would say, without fear for the consequences, that I am absolutely opposed to government ownership of our railways; but as the government is pledged to give a fair trial to government ownership I, as one elected to support that government, am bound to see, so far as the power within me lies, that the government is supported to that end.
Tidy friends from the West are clamouring for the construction of the Hudson Bay railway; in fact, they want railways built for themselves. You know, Mr. Speaker, that our western friends are in no way sectional: They do not ask anything for the West; they want it for the whole Dominion. If you are going to put a fair interpretation on what they say, that is what they apparently intend to convey, even though some of their advocates may appear sectional. But so far as government ownership of our railways is concerned, so long as we, the tax-payers, have to vote the money to carry on these railways, then it is all very well for Sir Henry Thornton or any other person high or low in the social or political scale to say there shall be no political interference. I am thoroughly in accord with the dictum that no member of parliament or of the government should have the right to interfere in the ordinary management of the system; but so long as you have to come to parliament to obtain the funds to carry on these National Railways, the matter is of urgent public interest, and the people's representatives in parliament have the right to discuss the management of the system. The government some time ago appointed Sir Henry Thornton president of the Board of Directors of the Canadian National Railways. Of Sir Henry I know but little. He undoubtedly is the best man that the government in their wisdom could secure. However, as the humble representative of the people in the county of Hants, I have one piece of advice to offer that gentlelman, namely, that instead of going about the country attending banquets and repeating "Politicians, hands off!" he should remember the old biblical injunction: Let not him that girdeth on his harness boast himself as he that putteth it off. Sir Henry Thornton is confronted with a great problem. He is endeavouring to make the Canadian National Railways successful. In the course of his administration he will find that he cannot run a railway system here under the same conditions as obtain in England. Our winter climate is altogether different, the railway system is incomparably more extensive, and the conditions generally vary throughout the whole Dominion. So I have one other piece of advice to give Sir Henry Thornton that I trust will help him to make our National Railways successful, namely, that he follow another biblical injunction: Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.
Our people are going to be called upon to pay for the upkeep of these railways, and therefore they should be administered in the interests of Canadian ports. I claim, Sir, that it is the bounden duty of Sir Henry Thornton and of the present government to see that freight rates are so regulated that shippers shipping by way of the great ports of Halifax and St. John be given a preference. You may say that I am sectional when I advocate that, but I claim that our public moneys should be expended towards the development of the Dominion-the upbuilding of our ports. If the operation of our government owned railways results in deficit after deficit, then in the name of every thing that is fair, the money which we have to provide to make good these deficits should go towards the improvement of Canadian ports and so give employment to our people.
We have been told by certain hon. members that we should practise economy. My hon. colleague from Cape Breton South (Mr. Carroll) yesterday afternoon referred to what might be termed the difference between true and false economy. True economy is the expenditure of money, as I understood him, whether it adds to the national debt or not, so long as that expenditure provides increased facilities for trade, and so stimulates and makes that trade easier. False economy is the locking up of our money in a miser's bag, so to speak. Now, we in the Maritime provinces need full and adequate facilities in
The Address-Mr. Martell
Halifax and St. John for carrying on all sorts of export trade. True, nature has endowed us with excellent harbours, but to-day there is need in Halifax for better terminal facilities, for grain elevators, for abattoirs, for cold storage plants to take care of fruit and other products of the farm. To-day the farmers of the Annapolis valley have apples which they cannot dispose of except at prices which practically bring them no return whatsoever. Cold storage plants in Halifax would enable these growers to store their fruit and place it on the market at prices that would bring them a fair return for their labour. In that regard I want to tell my hon. friends from western Canada that they are not the only people hit by the present conditions obtaining in this country. We hear a great deal about, not the unproductive farms, but the production of the farms of the West not yielding a great profit to the western farmers. We undoubtedly have the same conditions in eastern Canada; but you do not find the farmers of Annapolis, King's and Hants coming to the government and saying: "It is true that there has been dire distress as regards trade in this country; things are not prosperous, but we want the government to be our fairy god-father and to pay us for all these things." That seems to be the attitude of hon. gentlemen from western Canada.
Topic: THE GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH
Subtopic: ADDRESS IN REPLY
They come here and they want everything. In other words, they say: "We want the cash; let the people of the East pay the piper." I wish to congratulate the hon. member for Selkirk (Mr. Bancroft) upon his very' excellent address, because he comes from my own county of Hants. But in the course of his remarks he took occasion to disagree with my hon. friend from Cape Breton South (Mr. Carroll). He said that the farmers of western Canada were not prosperous. No person in this House is saying that the farmer of western Canada is prosperous to-day. What the hon. member for Cape Breton South said yesterday was that the farmer of western Canada was as prosperous as any other person in the Dominion of Canada. Will my hon. friend tell me that the farmers of Saskatchewan are all, as the hon. member for Victoria, Alta. (Mr. Lucas) said yesterday, willing and anxious to get out of the country, when last year over
2,000 of them were able to pay income taxes? What about the people in Manitoba who were able to pay income taxes? If the farmer of western Canada comes here with a fair demand, asking for increased facilities for trade,
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and if he meets us in the same spirit as the farmer of eastern Canada is prepared to meet this parliament, he will get what is coming to him from this government in a fair and equitable manner.
It is all very well to talk about the tariff. An hon. member who spoke yesterday quoted from Holland in a very elaborate and eloquent speech, and he almost insinuated that the men of the old parties were political crooks. Undoubtedly, he made the words of Holland his own-"Men whom the spoils of office cannot buy." Can my hon. friend point to any member of this government or any member of the late government who was purchased by the spoils of office? Surely, the time has come in this country when men of all political parties shall be given credit for some measure of political honesty and shall not be called rogues and purloiners because they do not happen to agree with the particular member who is giving utterance to his sentiments.
Topic: THE GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH
Subtopic: ADDRESS IN REPLY
My hon. friend calls " order ". Go ahead and call the order if you wish. We hear constantly in this House attacks made upon men who have become prominent in the industrial life in this country. Yesterday afternoon, one of the speakers did not hesitate to make a few little insinuations about the Minister of Justice (Sir Lomer Gouin). I am sure that if my hon. friend were sincere, if you could look into the innermost recesses of his heart, you would find he was not so much against the Minister of Justice as he was envious of men who, through their greater ability, secured and occupied greater positions in life than he. I want to tell my hon. friend who made that address yesterday that the present Minister of Justice was for many years leader of the people of the province of Quebec; and if my hon. friend wants to know the opinion of people outside of Quebec, he can come down to the old blue-nose province of Nova Scotia, and he will find there what our opinion is of the Minister of Justice. In the 1921 election, when it was said that the present Minister of Justice was coming back into politics, that statement aided every man in every constituency in Nova Scotia in securing his seat in the present parliament. That is the opinion which the people of Nova Scotia have of the present Minister of Justice.
Again, we were told yesterday that the Liberal party came into power on a platform of lower tariff. That is not the case. On every political platform that I had an opportunity of speaking in the province of
The Address-Mr. Martell
Nova Scotia, wherever I heard a colleague from Nova Scotia speak, and wherever I heard any of our leaders in Nova Scotia speak, no pronouncement whatever was made upon the tariff. What we said was this, that we had it on good authority that if the right hon. gentleman who now leads the government were returned to power, Mr. Fielding would be Minister of Finance, and that was all that the people of Nova Scotia wanted. That was our tariff policy - Mr. Fielding as Minister of Finance. I might go on and elaborate on this. It is true that there is a tariff wall in the Dominion of Canada to-day; but what have we to offer in its place? It is all that the people demand. It is said, that Solon, the Athenian law-giver, said that the laws which he gave to the Athenians were not the best laws, but they were the best laws the Athenians at that time could stand. So it is in connection with the present tariff. It is not the best tariff; but it is the best tariff that Canada, under present conditions, can stand.
I am not going to intrude further, to any great extent, upon your valuable time, but I wish to say simply this. As I have already stated, the time has come in this country when public men should get a fair measure of justice meted out to them. My hon. friends opposite stand in their places and say that the two old political parties of this country have gone into desuetude. I want to tell my hon. friends who sit opposite that the grand old Liberal party of this country and the historic Conservative party will exist in the Dominion of Canada when there will be no Progressives occupying seats in this House.
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separately or together, they will exist for the making of good government, government in the interest of all the people all the time, and not in the interest of any particular class or group.
I want to be local for one or two minutes and to call the attention of this House to conditions which exist in my constituency. The other day my hon. friend from Colchester (Mr. Putnam), in speaking had only one fault that I can remember, and that is that he arrogated to his constituency the historic place from which the expulsion of the Acadians took place. I would claim that my constituency is the most historic. There is in my constituency of Hants the town of Windsor and in that constituency also are great lumbering and gypsum industries and
farming interests. W'e are the fourth port in the province of Nova Scotia as regards shipping and to-day we are absolutely devoid of any method of getting our commodities to market. I am, therefore, going to ask the Minister of Finance (Mr. Fielding) and the Minister of Public Works (Mr. King) to look well to the demands of Windsor for improved trade facilities.
Before I conclude, I want to refer for a moment or so to the subamendment which has been moved by the hon. member for Calgary West (Mr. Shaw). I do not know whether that is the fruit of the brains of that hon. member or not. But it seems to me if I read the times aright, that there has been a sort of morganatic alliance between him and some other members in the House, not of the Progressive faith. I believe he has taken sweet counsel of some of the friends of my right hon. friend (Mr. Meighen) who leads the opposition. The amendment reminds one of the deception practised in the case of Jacob and Esau in the days of old: the hand was the hand of Esau, but the voice was the voice of Jacob. There is no reason to-day why there should be any pessimism in this country. True, there is a cry of unemployment all through the country. But, Sir, this notwithstanding, I do not think we have any reason whatsoever to be pessimistic. Canada is rich in her natural resources; she has diversified industries; and all we have to do is to be cheerful and have faith in our common country, looking forward - to the day of prosperity, for already we can see
The roseate hues of early dawn,
The brightness of the dayand Canada rightly taking her place as one of the foremost parts of the British Empire..
I was going to refer to some remarks made concerning Canada and the Near East situation, but I shall not say much on this point. I have only this to observe, that the people of my province are, I believe, absolutely in accord with the attitude taken by the government in the matter. I believe that the issues of war and peace in the Dominion of Canada should be determined entirely by this parliament. We do not want to drift away from the Old Land, but Canada does want to be mistress in her own house. It is for us to say what shall become of the moneys of the Canadian people, and what stand Canada shall take in all matters, national or international. I can do no better, before I close, than to quote the words of Sir Allen Ayles-worth, who was appointed a short time ago to the Senate:
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We do not ask for independence or closer legislative union, but the right to work out our own destiny, with Canada taking a leading part in that galaxy of nations that will forever surround the British throne.
It is not by lip loyalty that we shall retain our attachment to the Old Land. We must show ourselves capable of shoulder-4 p.m. ing the responsibility which devolves from that independence which we have. For
Whilst the language, whilst the arts That mould a nation's soul Still cling around our hearts,
And between, let oceans roll
Our joint communion, breaking with the sun.
But still from either beach,
The voice of blood shall reach More audible than speech,
We are one.
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As a representative of one of the constituencies which were honoured with a visit from Their Excellencies last summer, I am glad to know that our poor efforts at hospitality were appreciated. Before I say anything further, Mr. Speaker, I would tender a word of commendation to the mover of the Address (Mr. Putnam). Unfortunately, I cannot do the same so far as the seconder is concerned, foi I do not understand his language. I was just a little bit surprised at the tenor of the address of the 'hon. member for Hants (Mr. Martell). That hon. member devoted him' self particularly to a criticism of the Progressives for their attitude towards the two old parties. While I listened the other afternoon to the leader of the Opposition (Mr. Meighen) in his very brilliant address, it occurred to me that the right hon. gentleman endeavoured to prove to the House that the present administration are incompetent, unreliable and unfit for office. I think you will agree that the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) came right back. He claimed that in any instance where the present government had failed, it was because of some hopeless and impossible policy which had been wished upon them by the past administration; and he emphasized the fact that his government had done all that could reasonably have been hoped for, so far as anything they had personally undertaken was concerned. He also tells us that we are criticising the government.
Well, if the claim is advanced that both governments have been as good as could have been expected, it seems to me that no one will deny the truth of the statement that, in spite of this claim, Canada to-day is in a worse condition than it has ever been before. I believe that the rank and file of the people are finding it harder to get the necessaries of life than they have ever done at any
previous stage in the country's history. However, I am not one of those who blame either the present or the past government for this. I think they both largely follow the same policy; their course is to a great extent dictated from the same sources, and the results would be much the same, regardless of what party might be in power. The present state of affairs, in my opinion, is due to the culmination of an impossible, a false, and an unfair fiscal policy; and I sometimes think that we take rather a short-sighted view of the situation when we go back only to the years of the war to get an angle from which to draw our conclusions regarding present conditions.
In order to understand the present situation correctly, we should go back over a period of about forty years to what might be termed the inauguration of the industrial epoch. At that time, practically throughout the English speaking world, a new method of business was being introduced. New machines were invented, expert mechanics were contriving devices for expediting commerce, railroads and transportation companies were extending their activities, agriculture took on a new impetus, with improved machinery to replace the old and worn out systems of production. The result was an increase in production in many ways. At the same time there sprang into being a large number of financial institutions to finance these increased operations. Now, I believe that these financial institutions had a dual purpose to perform. It was necessary for them to organize and build up their own business, and it was necessary for them also at least to look after the credit standing of those to whom they were lending money. The result was that early in the game, if one may so refer to this development, it was realized that if competition went on to its logical conclusion many of these financial institutions would be ruined. They therefore encouraged the system of fixing prices in order to eliminate competition; and to-day, in consequence of this price fixing, we have a spread between the cost of manufactured goods and their selling price which is perhaps greater than it has ever been before in the history of the world.
No doubt this is a topic that has been largely dwelt upon by previous speakers, so I will not do more than cite one instance in this connection. Recently in the city of Edmonton a farmer brought four horses to market, and there was no doubt that they were good horses, the kind which the hon. Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Motherwell) tells us ought to fetch good prices. The auctioneer brought out the first two, and
The Address-Mr. Kellner
under the hammer they went for $20. He went back and got the other two and they brought $15; or, in other words, the four, horses, good animals, were sold for $35. The next article put up was a second-hand wagon which had been in use for five or six years. When the auctioneer called for bids the first offer was $25, which was increased by bids of $5 until the bidding stopped at $40. Then the auctioneer made a little speech, to this effect. He said: "Gentlemen, what
would a wagon cost you if you bought it new to-day? Put a little paint on this wagon and it will be as good as new." The bidding was resumed and the wagon finally brought $90. Now, here were four good horses which were sold for $35, while an old second hand wagon could fetch $90. I do not think it is necessary to dwell on the point further. However, I would ask the hon. member for Hants (Mr. Martell) who stated a few moments ago that there were a large number of unsaleable apples in his constituency, why they do not bring them to Ottawa and sell them, where they are retailing at five cents apiece.
Following out the theory of industrial expansion which this country has experienced, I would point out that by 1912 a certain amount of distress in our business operations had become apparent. In 1913 and the early part of 1914 the conditions were rapidly becoming worse, and by the time the war broke out we had practically the same conditions in Canada that we have to-day. Of course, since that time we have added materially to our public debt, and in that respect the condition has become a little more acute. I notice that if you speak about this matter to a banker in western Canada he will say it is the manufacturer who is to blame-that they have kept their prices so high that the people are unable to buy their goods; and if you speak to a manufacturer he will say that the bankers and loan companies are to blame because they lent money at exorbitant rates of interest which it required all the production of the country to pay. That is another case of " passing the buck," somewhat the same as the ex-government and the present government do in evading responsibility. I believe that government has one function to perform, that is, seeing that there is fair play as between the different classes of the people. If they are going to extend advantages to any it should be to the weak, to those who are unable to look after themselves- these should receive first consideration. That, however, has not been the case in the past. Any patronage that has gone out has invariably gone out to the big concerns, to
those who are well able to look after themselves.
Speaking yesterday afternoon, the hon. member for Cape Breton South (Mr. Carroll), referring to conditions in the West, produced a telegram from the East Edmonton U.F.A. an organization with which I have the honour to be connected, that had inspired a letter which he seemed to question the truth of. I take it that he was trying to argue that the West had had a very big crop last year. I have here a report from the Alberta government covering the crop averages in that province. It states that in respect of spring wheat there was an average crop of 11.40 bushels to the acre; of winter wheat, 11.60 bushels; of oats, 21.50 bushels; of barley, 14.90 bushels; of rye, 10.30 bushels.
With regard to the matter of a suggested immigration policy, I would like to quote what the present provincial government is sending out in regard to the conference recently held in this city respecting immigration. The statement says:
Hon. It. G. Reid, Minister of Health and Municipal Affairs, returned last week from Ottawa where he attended the conference of Dominion and provincial cabinet ministers on the problem of immigration. Mr. Reid made it plain to the conference that Alberta was not in a position to encourage any wholesale immigration at the present time but was prepared to absorb new settlers with sufficient capital to establish themselves. He also pointed out that the province was seeking irrigation farmers particularly for the new irrigation districts being opened up in the south.
If the reports we get about Canada being in the most favourable position of any country in the world are true, what is the sense of our going to other countries and trying to get farmers to come in here who have money? I do not see that there is any country you can go to with much hope of getting them. Every country has unoccupied farm lands. Most assuredly the United States has them; every country in Europe has them. There is no doubt that any persons in these countries who wanted to farm could find a good opportunity to do so in their own home land, and if we transplant them to Canada there is little prospect of their remaining here very long. Probably seventy-five per cent of the people who live in our urban centres to-day have had experience in farming, and the reason they are not on the farms to-day is because they tried it and found it did not pay, so they moved off.
Canada is a young man's country, a strong man's country. We cannot afford to take any class of people who may wish to come here. The only men who can hope to make good in our country are men who are physically robust and strong.
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I was a little amused the other afternoon when the right hon. leader of the Opposition (Mr. Meighen) suggested that the redistribution which is to take place this session should follow the lines of the redistribution policy of 1912. I think when he made that request he strayed a considerable distance from the paths of intelligence. In 1912 it was unquestionably the policy to make as many safe Conservative seats as possible, and this time I do not doubt, it will be the policy to make as many safe Liberal seats as possible. Whether or not this government is responsive to the needs of the country I do not know, but I do know that the opinion is held that a small group control and largely dominate the business of the country. That is a dangerous tendency. The people are losing heart; they are becoming dissatisfied, and unless confidence can be restored and the spirits of the people brought up to a higher level, the position will become even more dangerous. That was virtualv admitted yesterday when the Minister of Finance (Mr. Fielding) said that our debt would probably not be paid during the lifetime of the present parliament. That is practically the condition that the individual finds himself in today, except that he is a little worse off, because he has not the taxing power of the country in his own hands. If his business requires new money, he invariably finds that he cannot get it, whereas the government can levy additional taxes to meet the country's requirements. It is the duty of the government, Sir, to see that there is fair play as between the different classes that comprise the people of Canada, a duty which I am afraid in the past has not been faithfully carried out.
Topic: THE GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH
Subtopic: ADDRESS IN REPLY
Mr. Speaker, in rising to speak on the Address in reply to the Speech from the Throne, and after listening to the number of excellent addresses which have been made on the motion of the hon. member for Colchester (Mr. Putnam), I feel that it is not necessary for me to take up the time of the House at any considerable length. However, I feel it my duty to refer for a few moments to certain matters contained in His Excellency's Speech, as well as to try and answer some of the criticisms made by certain members who have preceded me.
I presume I am in order with the other members of this House in offering, as is usual, my congratulations to the mover of the Address (Mr. Putnam) and the seconder (Mr. Rheaume). We in Nova Scotia, as was so ably said by the hon. member for Hants (Mr.
Martel)) are very proud of the honour the government has done us in selecting one of our number to move the Address. We are proud, Sir, of the hon. member for Colchester, and proud also that he comes from one of the old historic counties of the province of Nova Scotia.
Since the opening of this parliament reference has been made to the deaths of certain members which have taken place since last session. Whilst we all lament the four members who have passed away, I wish particularly to refer for a moment to one who for the last four or five years was a very dear personal friend of mine. It is said that if you sleep with a man you come to know him, and I had the honour and the pleasure during an eight weeks' trip to the West in the year 1920 of coming in close contact with one of the hon. members of this House who passed away during the recess. I feel it my duty at. this moment to express my deep sorrow that a personal friend of mine in the person of the Hon. Mr. Kennedy, the late Minister of Railways, is with us no more.
His Excellency in his Speech has given us some very valuable information. The second paragraph says:
It is gratifying to note that in a period of worldwide trade depression following the Great War, Canada has made substantial progress towards recovery.
It is quite true, of course, that conditions in Canada are not as bad as they were a year ago; but still every business man in this country realizes that we are not yet out of the woods by a long way, and it is desirable that there be not only public economy, but private economy by every man, woman and child in Canada if we are ever going to get back on a proper business basis. While conditions are not just exactly what they should be, yet there is hope for this great country. We have great natural resources, and if our people apply themselves and work, not merely six or eight hours a day, but from daylight till dark or as long as there is work to be done, I believe that we shall pull Canada out of the condition in which she finds herself today.
The government seems to be coming in for a great deal of blame for the present conditions. I cannot agree with this statement. It is to be remembered that this government only took office a year ago, and it was faced with certain conditions at that time. I do not blame the conditions altogether upon the late government, but this government was faced with certain conditions, and it is certainly going to take a year or two-in fact, it will take, not decades, but centuries to overcome
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certain things which have taken place in the last few years.
The hon. member for Calgary West (Mr. Shaw) has moved an amendment to the amendment, in which he deprecated the fact that the public debt had increased by $45,000,000 this year. Well, Sir, there is good reason why the public debt should have increased that much, and one reason is what took place, not last year, but several years ago. Whilst the war is responsible for a great deal of the increase in the public debt, my opinion is that most of our troubles are due to what was known as "Union government' 'in this country. If instead of having a Union government in 1917, we had had either a Conservative or a Liberal, we should not find ourselves half as badly off as we are at the present time.
I notice that the hon. member for Calgary West, in speaking of the public debt, offered no solution of our difficulties. He talked, of course, about economizing, and how fine a thing it would be to reduce the public debt, but he did not make any concrete suggestions how it could be done. The hon. member for Springfield (Mr. Hoey), who also moved an amendment, talked about the economic conditions in this country and endeavoured to tell us that those conditions should be bettered. It is all very well to get up and criticize, but unless your criticism is constructive it is an absolute waste of time to get up on your feet before an intelligent assembly of this kind and make statements which you are unable to back up.
Let us look into this question of the public debt for a moment, and see what can be done with regard to expenditure in this country. I hold in my hands the Estimates for the year ending March 31, 1923. These Estimates were passed last year by the members of this parliament, and totalled $466,983,000. If we look at the Estimates for a moment we shall see why the hon. member for Calgary West and the hon. member for Springfield did not show us where this government and this parliament could save money for the taxpayers. What do we find? The very first item is "Interest on public debt, $140,000,000." Now it is impossible for us to get around that expenditure. The interest on the public debt has to be paid until such a time as Canada is capable of paying off all or part of it. This charge, of course, was largely brought about through the great expenditure during the war years. It was also brought about by other causes. Some of the amounts which have been spent were not in my opinion absolutely
necessary, but, of course, there were certain amounts that had to be expended, and some of them very large amounts.
I spoke a moment ago of the cost of the war. Nobody objects to any legitimate expenditure in that connection, but during the past few years the amounts which have gone to make up our public debt have been expended all over this country. For instance, in the city of Halifax, which is the greatest port in Canada, a large amount of money was spent some few years ago. Some $20,000,000 was expended on the port of Halifax, and I say that that amount of money was wasted. It was an unnecessary expenditure. It should not have been expended where it was, because the eastern terminals where they at present exist are really of no benefit to the port of Halifax or to the shipping which comes there. The whole city was cut in two. I say that instead of spending $20,000,000 upon that work, an expenditure of $2,000,000 in another part of the city would give us far better terminals.
Take the city of St. John, where also a large amount of money was spent in development work. Whether the expenditure was wise or not is a moot question. Some people contend that in order to develop the port of St. John it was necessary that that large amount of money should be spent; but I have heard criticisms, especially with regard to the dry-doo.k in Courtenay Bay. I have heard it said that the money spent there was absolutely wasted because a ship cannot be hauled out to be cleaned or placed in dry dock unless you have a high tide in the Bay of Fundy, and as those who read the Nautical Almanac know, the tide is some 35 feet.
There were other great expenditures. This government and the late government have voted large sums of money to the Montreal Harbour Commissioners, for instance. I think everybody will agree that that expenditure has been for the development of the port. Perhaps more money has been voted than was absolutely necessary, but Montreal is a great port, and it seems to me if we are ever to develop the business of this country large sums of money must be spent where development work is necessary. So, when members of this House or people outside regret the increase in the public debt, they should bear in mind that no criticism should be offered to legitimate- expenditure.
Then we have been spending for the last few years large sums of money on harbour works in Quebec. Large amounts have also been expended on harbour improvements in
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Toronto, and we are told, in criticism of this expenditure, that no inconsiderable sum voted for that purpose was spent last year in building boulevards and parks in that city. If that statement is correct the money spent for such a purpose was an unwise expenditure. On the other hand, any expenditure for properly building up the port of Toronto I should say was a wise expenditure for which neither the present government nor their predecessors should be criticized.
Turning our attention to the Pacific we find that a large sum of money has been spent in Vancouver during the past few years. I had the pleasure of visiting that city two years ago, and of visiting it again this year, and I want to say that it is one of the principal cities in Canada. It is a city that every Canadian should be proud of, and not simply the people who live in its immediate vicinity. The port of Vancouver in my opinion is, in the near future, going to equal the city of Montreal-no, I should not say that, but it will go a great length in that direction; and I admit that any moneys spent by this government, or any other government, for the development of that port is in the best interests of Canada. I heard my hon. friend from Skeena (Mr. Stork) speak of Prince Rupert and he extolled that port very highly. The port is certainly an excellent one, and I am told is 600 miles nearer the Orient than Vancouver. In the port of Prince Rupert there- is one of the best drydocks in the world, and a drydock which is not being used either by the general shipping of Canada, or by the government vessels when they need to be hauled out and repaired.
I find that in the city of Victoria a sum of four or five million dollars is to be spent on a drydock. Now, I have nothing to say against that city, and I congratulate the hon. member who represents it upon getting such a large sum of money voted; but I am doubtful, Sir, of the wisdom of such a vote in view of the splendid dock to be found at Prince Rupert. I doubt whether the late administration, or the present government is justified in expending such a large amount of money for such a purpose in the city of Victoria in view of existing accommodation, the huge burden of public debt and the tremendous amount of money we have to pay in the form of interest and for other purposes.
For example during the war there was expended for what was termed naval expenditure and which was almost entirely unnecessary the sum of $30,000,000. This amount was practically wasted; no benefits whatever were derived from the expenditure. Before I
came to Ottawa I went through the dockyard in the city of Halifax. Some of the citizens of Halifax called my attention to the great quantity of stores that was to be found in that dockyard. In order to convince myself of the truthfulness of the statements of these gentlemen I went down and inspected the dockyard and I now make this statement: Whoever are responsible for the great quantity of stores in that dockyard- whether it is the officials of the Naval department under the present government or under the last government-are not fit to continue to hold any office of public trust in this country. Would you believe me, Sir, when I tell you that there is almost enough rope in store in the dockyard of Halifax to reach practically all round the world, and that, too, notwithstanding the fact that within half a mile of the dockyard, in the city of Dartmouth, rope works exist where supplies could be purchased whenever needed, and at very short notice. Well, some official, at the instance of some government, deliberately purchased from some friends sufficient rope to fit out the entire British navy, the vessels of the Canadian government merchant marine and all the shipping that will come to Halifax for the next twenty-five years. Worse than that, there is enough wire rope in that dockyard to rig practically every ship in Canada. Furthermore there are 800 suits of oilclothes hanging up in an upper attic. These are practically burnt and will not be fit for use. Permit me to mention that the dockyard stores contain these among other items-7 tons of pepper; 1,300 dozen teaspoons; 1,500 dozen tablespoons; also knives, forks, teapots, and soup tureens-everything you can think of. I went into one branch and inquired " What is in those boxes?" I received the reply " They contain black ink I inquired " How much is there?" They said " One hundred and forty boxes of ink, twelve quarts each." Now here every day we have to ask a messenger to go and get us a bottle of ink, and yet in the Halifax dockyard there is enough ink to keep the members of parliament' supplied for the next five years. This affords some idea of the wasteful expenditure which has gone on. It is about time the present government set to work and sold at auction or otherwise the great quantity of stores in the Halifax dockyard.
* There is another item, and a very big one which goes to make up our public debt on which such a large sum of interest is payable at the present time, and that is the Canadian Government Merchant Marine, which cost the tax payers of this country some $80,000,000. This money should never
The Address-Mr. Duff
have been spent, and the taxpayers of Canada should never have been called upon to bear such a heavy burden. If the ex-Mmister of Marine and Fisheries had taken the advice of certain members of this House he would have been able to sell these vessels at a fair price, or practically at cost. But instead of doing that he has kept the vessels in operation for several years with the result that year after year they involve a loss of large sums of money. Last year the loss was about $9,000,000; this year I am told the loss will amount to $10,000,000, and that is where the money is going, to increase the public debt. In the Speech from the Throne it was announced that these ships had been passed over to Sir Henry Thornton and his board of directors. I say that it is a mistake for the government to put these ships under the control of the Railway department or under the control of the board of directors of the Canadian National railways. In my opinion they should have remained under the manage-of the Minister of Marine, and I would advise the government at the earliest possible moment to cause them to revert to his control. The minister should then sell them as quickly as possible so that the people of the country will not have to pay any further deficits on the service.
There are other expenditures, and to some I would like to direct the attention of the hon. member for Springfield (Mr. Hoey) and see if he objects to them. For example we passed an appropriation of $8,000,000 last year for agriculture. I am sure my hon. friend will not object to that one, he will not saj* that .that appropriation was not necessary. For my part I certainly think it was necessary and very likely was expended to good advantage.
Topic: THE GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH
Subtopic: ADDRESS IN REPLY
The hon. member for Assini-boia, says it was too small. That is the selfish westerner speaking.
We have a vote of $2,000,000 for immigration and colonization, and in the Speech from the Throne there is a reference to the desirability of getting immigrants for Canada. With that I agree, but I also want to sound a, note of warning to the government. While it is desirable to secure immigrants, and while it. is true that, in view of the burden of our public debt and the existing taxation, we must increase the population of this country, yet it seemes to me that we ought to endeavour as far as possible, to retain our present population as well as attract new arrivals. During the last year, and it is not the fault of the present government, a great many
people have left this country. It may surprise you to know that some of the very best blood in the province from which I come have gone to the United States-this exodus consisting not of old men and women, but of young men and young girls from 18 to 25 years of age. These are the people we should try and keep in Canada; and yet because of certain conditions which now exist, and for which I say the present government is not responsible these young men and women are forced to go to the United States. As far as the province of Nova Scotia is concerned I do not believe we have had a square deal since confederation. One reason why we cannot get the same measure of justice meted out to us as the provinces of Quebec and Ontario, in particular, enjoy is this-on account of our distance from these great provinces we are practically compelled to buy from Ontario and Quebec but we are unable to sell our products to them. Certain people talk about home markets, but so far as the province of Nova Scotia is concerned, we have no home markets except within our three Maritime provinces. Our destiny is on the sea and to the south, and unless we get fair terms from the great republic so we can sell our products there, and unless we can also sell our products in the West Indies and abroad, there is not very much hope for Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick.
Some of my hon. friends on the other side were talking about our railway problems and high freight rates. Well, if anybody in this country has reason to complain about, our freight rates it seems to me it is the people of the Maritime provinces. In view of what happened last year-I refer to the generous treatment meted out to the western provinces by the Maritime provinces-I think our western friends should endeavour to help us in the Maritimes as much as possible. I happened, Sir, to be a member of the special committee on the Crowsnest pass agreement, and I had the honour, as the representative of the Maritime provinces on that committee, to move the adoption of a report in committee which was to bring some relief to the western provinces. This report was filed in parliament on the 24th June, 1922. I think the right hon. leader of the Opposition (Mr. Meighen) said that by that agreement the people of the West saved $30,000,000. Well, if that be so, we in the East who got no redress in the matter of freight rates had to pay our proportion of that saving, because if no reduction had been made in freight rates, and if the Canadian Government Railways had
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received, say, half of that 830,000,000, there would have been $15,000,000 less increase of the national debt. Therefore I say the people of the Maritime provinces had to pay their proportion of that amount.
I want to read to the House one of the clauses of that report. It will be found on page 496 of the Journals of the House of Commons for 1922. Here it is:
Representatives of the Maritime provinces urged that their situation was one of special character, because of the conditions under which the Intercolonial Railway has been constructed as a result of the Confederation agreement. They contended that there was an implied obligation necessarily attaching to these terms which guaranteed to them special consideration in regard to railway freight rates, on account of their distance from the central and Western provinces. It was claimed that the increases in rates of the Intercolonial Railway since 1916 were in excess of rates allowed by the Board of Railway Commissioners on many of their products, which excessive rates greatly interfered with interprovincial trade, and are contrary to the obligation accepted by the Government of Canada at Confederation. The Government was, therefore, asked to take cognizance of the situation and endeavour to arrange such reductions of rates as will, having regard to the actual cost of operation of these railways, remove as far as possible the difficulties complained of, and that the Board of Railway Commissioners should, for the same reasons, and in so far as their jurisdiction extends, restore the differential rate formerly applicable to traffic to and from the Maritime provinces, and we recommend that the Minister of Railways and Board of Management take steps to meet the situation in these provinces by a substantial reduction in rates.
Now, while this part of the report was adopted by the House, practically nothing was done by the Railway Commission to give redress to the Maritime provinces, with the result that we in Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick are at the present time suffering by reason of the high freight rates which we have to pay, and as long as these high freight rates exist it is impossible for the people there to do very much business with the central and western provinces. It is true that a new board of directors of our National Railways has been appointed and are at work, and I sincerely hope that before they get very far in their deliberations they will take into consideration the fact that the Maritime provinces have certain rights under confederation, and if they expect the people there to be prosperous and to be able to pay either their share of the interest on the national debt or of the public expenditure, they will have to put them in a position where they can do more business with the central and western provinces.
But, as I said a moment ago, in my opinion our destiny is not with these provinces. If we are going to get increased business we have to get it either in the United States or in
other foreign countries. While the western farmer has been suffering on account of low prices for his products, the same thing applies to the farmer and every other producer in practically all the other provinces, and applies perhaps to a far larger extent to those in the Maritime provinces. Last year United States congress passed what was known as the Fordney tariff bill, increasing the tariff on goods which we sell to that great country, and that increase has been a great handicap to the farmers, the lumbermen and the fishermen of the three provinces of the Maritimes. Candidly, I do not know what is going to happen. Some people talk of retaliation, of putting up a tariff wall against goods from the United States. I am opposed to that course because I cannot see the wisdom of it. My hon. friends on the other side want lower tariffs. I am in hearty sympathy with them. I think that if it were practical I would go a great deal further than they are prepared to go, because from a business standpoint, if conditions in these countries were normal, I cannot see why there should be any tariff between the state of Maine and the province of New Brunswick any more than there is between New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. But unfortunately there are certain conditions which we have to face. This government has been left a legacy, if I may so term it, by other governments, and they have to carry on and raise sufficient moneys to meet our national expenditure, and therefore it is impossible at the present time to adopt free trade or substantially reduce the tariff. Consequently I do not think my friends from the West should be in *such a hurry. They should give the government a chance, and I feel confident that if they have patience everything will work out all right. As I said before, if it were possible I would have no tariff barriers at all. But I think it is useless for any hon. member to rise in his place and endeavour to convince us that at the present time we can either very much lower our tariff or abolish it altogether. The Fordney bill, as I said, wyas very injurious to the people of Nova Scotia. For instance, the business in which I am mostly interested, fish, is hard hit, a duty of $1.60 per hundred pounds having been imposed on salt dry fish, and on salt fish, herring, mackerel, and so on, a prohibitive duty of two cents a pound. The result is that anybody who ships these goods to the United States receives that much less for them, because the price governing fish is not fixed in the same way as the price on grain or on manufactured products, that is, the price of fish is fixed in the foreign market,
The Address-Mr. Duff
and consequently the shipper has to pay the duty.
Unless this government does something to make an agreement with the United States whereby the tariff on fish is reduced or abolished, I regret to say that the great fisheries of Nova Scotia will soon be a thing of the past. In my own county to-day we have something like 150,000 quintals of fish unsold, representing under normal conditions about a million and a half dollars. It is no wonder that all over Nova Scotia and the other two Maritime provinces the fishermen are leaving for the United States, because they find that under the Fordney tariff they cannot make a living from the avocation they have followed in the past. Therefore, while I congratulate the Minister of Finance (Mr. Fielding) and the Minister of Marine and Fisheries (Mr. Lapointe) on concluding commercial treaties with France and Italy, it seems to me that after the session is over one of the first things to engage the attention of the government should be the making of an agreement with the United States whereby the tariff on some of the commodities we export to that country will be reduced to the point that will enable us to recover our trade with that country.
I was speaking to the House, and particularly to the hon. member for Springfield (Mr. Hoey) with regard to our national expenditures, and was asking him if he objected to any items which were contained in this great list totalling $466,000,000. One large item is $33,000,000 for pensions. I am sure that neither the hon. member for Springfield nor any other hon. member is going to object to that expenditure so long as the money is properly spent, and therefore when he or any other hon. member urges the necessity of economizing I am confident they do not want to economize on this item. There is an item, however, which I am now going to express myself freely upon. The next item I notice which we voted last year was for Militia and Defence, $10,000,000. Personally, I am with the hon. member for Springfield (Mr. Hoey) with regard to a great reduction in that item. I believe there is no necessity to spend $10,000,000 in this country on Militia and Defence. As long as we have a skeleton organization which might cost anywhere from $2,000,000 to $5,000,000, I think Canada is doing her share. I noticed in the speech of the leader of the opposition (Mr. Meighen) the other day-and I should really congratulate him upon that speech, because it was a very mild and good one-he mentioned the fact
that Canada had certain duties in connection with the defence of the country. That is quite true, and Canada, I think, is 'willing at any time to do what is necessary; but in view of the large public debt, in view of the interest and other expenditures that we have, we should, for the next few years at least, economize as regards expenditure in connection with Militia and Defence.
Last year, we voted some $90,000,000 for Railways and Canals; and as I said a moment ago, if this House had given relief to the agriculturists of the West, we would not have to raise so much money in other ways to pay the expenses of Railways and Canals. The next item is Dominion Lands and Parks, $4,936,000. This is an item where, in my opinion, this government could economize. In view of present business conditions in this country, I cannot see why almost $5,000,000 should be spent on Dominion Lands and Parks. Another item is Soldier Land Settlement, $12,000,000. I am sure neither the hon. member for Springfield nor anybody else will object to that amount of money being spent, if it is spent properly in the interest of the returned soldier. Then there is Soldiers' Civil Re-establishment. Nobody, I am sure, will object to that item. Then, under the heading of Miscellaneous, we have the large sum of $14,000,000. I am going to be frank with the government, frank with myself and frank with the House. In my opinion, under that heading, this country can save some money.
Topic: THE GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH
Subtopic: ADDRESS IN REPLY