February 8, 1923

REVISED HANSARD


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):

I wish to call the attention of the government to the delay in printing the bound volumes of.Hansard. One cannot get the bound volume of Hansard of last session. I am informed that not for many, many years has parliament met without the advantage of the bound and indexed volume of Hansard.

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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 am obliged to my right hon. friend for bringing this matter to the attention of the government and I shall have it looked into at once.

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LIB

James Murdock (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Hon. JAMES MURDOCK (Minister of Labour):

On Monday last I sent to my right hon. friend the leader of the Opposition a bound copy of Hansard, and sent copies also to the Prime Minister and the leader of the Progressive party. The other volumes will be ready for general distribution on Monday next, I am informed. There was some delay in getting the index proof down to the Printing Bureau. It did not reach there, as I told my right hon. friend on Monday last, till the 5th of January, hence the delay.

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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 The Address-Mr. Hughes opening of the session, and the proposed amendment thereto of Mr. Hoey, and the amendment to the amendment of Mr. Shaw, resumed from Wednesday, February 7. Mr. JAMES J. HUGHES (King's, P.E.I.): Mr. Speaker, the Speech from the Throne which was read by His Excellency contains an outline of the legislation which the government intend to introduce and pass during the present session, and the debate on the Address .in reply gives hon. members an opportunity of presenting their views on this proposed legislation and on any other matters which they think should be baought to the attention of the government. The debate should therefore serve a useful purpose. The members, being fresh from their constituencies, should have first-hand knowledge of the needs and requirements of the nation as a whole, but should have as well the latest views of their constituents upon the public questions of the day. One paragraph in the Speech from the Throne reads as follows: During the course of the session your attention will be invited to other agreements of an international character and significance, and to other matters requiring legislation. This is pretty broad, and may contain many things. But it is more in connection with the specific legislation promised that I intend to speak. Several important subjects are engaging the attention of the people of Canada at the present time, but I shall refer to only three. The first of these, as I group them, is the financial question, or the question of ways and means, which since, the war has been brought home to every taxpayer and to every householder in Canada in the most direct and impressive manner possible. But, as another and perhaps a better opportunity for discussing this important subject will occur later, when the budget will be delivered, I will reserve any further remarks until then. The next question to which I will allude is our social and industrial unrest, and in which, of course, is included the labour problem; and the third, is the question of transportation in which is involved the great railway problem with all its far reaching consequences and influence on every phase of our national life. Now, Mr. Speaker, I will endeavour to present my views on the second subject to which I have alluded. While there is comparative industrial rest in Canada at the present time we have had our labour troubles and we may have them in the future; and it may well be that even during this session some legislation on this subject will be introduced, so that the remarks which I now make may perhaps be in order. In the early days of society all or nearly all things were held in common. Then, as the race increased and multiplied and spread out over the earth new conditions arose. The old patriarchal order of society gave way to a new form of autocratic government. It was no longer the father but the king who ruled. Still further and further went the divisions and sub-divisions of society, until the last vestiges of the feudal system, with all its vices and virtues, disappeared until now in all communities called enlightened democracy in some form holds the balance of power. With the passing of the feudal system came greater freedom of opportunity, and fuller reward for labour to the mass of workers; but no one was now responsible for the welfare of the employed or the unskilful. Even the skilled labourer found himself unable to cope with the power of the successful commercial or industrial leader, who was often assisted oy some direct or indirect privilege denied to the mass of his fellows, so that the last state of labour became worse than the first. From out of this oppressed and almost hopeless condition grew the organizations which have since spread over all the world, known as labour unions. Animated at first by a desire to secure justice, and reasonable opportunities and rewards for manual workers, the movement spread, and by force of circumstances, became militant in nature. The status of labour was tremendously improved in consequence, and its organization was perfected. But over-organization often defeats its own well-meant purposes by destroying individual freedom of thought and action. As soon as unionism approached this stage of its existence, it became less concerned with the welfare of the unemployed and more concerned with the maintenance of its own place and power. The age of the professional labour agitator and the professional labour boss had arrived, and a new tyranny was born, more relentless and more destructive than anything that preceded it, as witness the horrible butchery at Herrin, 111., some months ago, and the terrible upheaval in Russia. Few, indeed, could be more sympathetic than I with every honourable and lawful effort that labour could make to improve its own condition, and conditions generally, but at the same time few would be more resolute than I in opposing its unlawful aims and aspirations, or in preventing it from imposing the decrees of its sometimes badly-informed The Address-Mr. Hughes



leaders upon the rest of the community. And I take this stand in the best interest of labour itself, because if labour, or any other group of men, should succeed in establishing a tyranny, destroying organized and regulated society, the first and the last and the greatest sufferers would be the poor and the lowly. It is often said, and I think generally admitted-often admitted in this House-that organized labour has the right to order strikes, tie-ups even in the production of those things that are necessary, or almost necessary to the life of the state. This proposition I deny, and having denied the proposition I, of course, deny still more emphatically the right of any man, or group of men, to prevent another man from working when, where, and for whomsoever he pleases. The family is the unit and corner stone of the state-


LAB

James Shaver Woodsworth

Labour

Mr. WOODSWORTH:

May I ask my hon. friend to make that rule apply to all groups, whether of employers or of labourers?

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LIB

James Joseph Hughes

Liberal

Mr. HUGHES:

Before I sit down I will answer my hon. friend on that point and give my opinion without any equivocation or reservation whatever. I have said that the family is the unit and corner stone of the state, and the father or head of every family has , the right and duty of supporting his wife and children by the work of his hands or brain; and no other man, or no other group of men combined, have the right to take that right away from him, or hinder him, in the discharge of that obligation because it is inherent, it is fundamental, it is God-given. Whenever and wherever that right is taken away, and that duty interfered with the foundations of society are either injured or destroyed. '

I have said that I absolutely deny the right of any labour union to order a strike, because I cannot give to labour unions greater rights and privileges than are accorded to other men and groups of men. If any man, or group of men, in the state get more than [DOT] justice, some other man, or group of men, necessarily get less than justice. I think it has long been the law that a strike or mutiny on board ship is punished by the most severe penalties, because of the tremendous risks involved and the terrible suffering inflicted upon the innocent. For somewhat similar reasons a strike or mutiny in the army is punishable with instant death. No community can or should allow its firemen or policemen to go on strike-they must arbitrate. What would be thought of the doctors of a city, or the nurses of a hospital, who went on strike even against hard conditions? And it

would be still worse if they went out on a sympathetic strike. If such a thing happened public opinion would be so outraged that these men and women would be driven from the country of their birth or adoption, and no other country would allow them to enter. And what if the farmers and fishermen struck, or loafed on the job, and produced only enough food for their own sustenance? Of course such a thing is unthinkable; as well might the feet and hands strike against the head and refuse to work, or the head strike against the feet and hands and refuse to direct their operations. The fact of the matter is that modern* society is so complex, and so complicated, we are all so dependent upon one another, that no nation can properly exist to-day without the hearty, sympathetic, honest co-operation of all its citizens; and no group of nations can prosper without the hearty, sympathetic and honest co-operation of each and all of them.

From what I have said it may be readily inferred that my condemnation of strikes though severe is mild compared to what my condemnation of lockouts would be, or even the bringing about of such a condition of things that strikes would be inevitable or probable. No punishment would be too severe for men who would or could be guilty of such crimes, because the head that would deliberately plan mischief against the feet and hands should be cut off from the body.

In this connection labour, and the community generally, have a grievance which I am prepared to voice. Labour says, with much truth I fear, that the over-capitalization and stock-watering of industrial corporations, and on which such excess capital or watered stock, dividends are often paid, gives money or value to men who are not entitled to it, raises the price of the things produced beyond their fair market value, and thus reduces the rewards of labour below the fair wage level. If this argument be sound, -and I feel there is much truth in it,-the policy or the manipulation which gives such results presses unfairly upon all classes in the community and helps no one except those who are its special beneficiaries. Legislation that permits such things is defective, legislation that encourages such things is bad, and will end in destruction, because, I repeat, if any man or group of men in the community get more than justice, some other man or group of men must necessarily get less than justice.

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LAB

William Irvine

Labour

Mr. IRVINE:

Which group does the hon. member think has got less than justice in the past few years?

The Address-Mr. Hughes

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LIB

James Joseph Hughes

Liberal

Mr. HUGHES:

If the hon. member will follow my remarks I will endeavour to explain that.

When we see men, who by manipulation of the stock market, by the cornering of the necessary things of life, by the promotion of mergers with a capital far greater than the combined capital of all the companies merged-when we see such men become millionaires and multi-millionaires in a few years we may be quite sure that the community as a whole has been wronged. I recognize the fact that rich men sometimes usefully employ part of their wealth. They establish libraries, they build hospitals, they endow universities and other seats of learning, they contribute to scientific research work, they even give alms to the poor, and such things are highly commendable. But the good done in these ways never compensates for the wrongs done the community as a whole. Better by far to raise the standard of living generally *than to make a few millionaires and a multitude of paupers. Better by far to have justice and charity in the proper meaning of these words than almsgiving. " Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you ".

Strikes and lockouts are civil war which must be prevented by the organized power of all the people. Because, the first and greatest duty of the state is to protect the lives and the property of its citizens, and particularly to protect those who are honestly endeavouring to make a living. Organizations or groups of men, labourers or millionaires, to extort more than justice'must at the very least be controlled or the state will eventually perish. It is hard to draw the dividing line, but when we see labour unions demanding for their members far higher wages and shorter hours, than unorganized men doing somewhat similar work in other callings can receive, we may be sure that injustice is being done. And on the other hand, when we see other men seizing the natural resources of the country, calling these resources their own, exploiting them for their own personal advantage and by means of this exploitation become millionaires, then we can be equally sure that injustice is being done. There can be no doubt but the earth and all it contains was made by God for the use of the human beings he placed upon it. If some men can seize greater portions of the earth's surface than they can by any possibility ever make use of, and will only let other men live upon it by paying them rent for it, then manifestly there is injustice.- And what applies to the earth's

surface applies, as well to the minerals, the water powers, the forests and every other natural resource. If some men could seize the air and the sunshine, and only let other men use them by paying for them they would certainly be seized and sold, but as they cannot bd readily fenced around they are comparatively free.

And yet the results and rewards of industry and economy must belong to him who exercises these great virtues, or you destroy energy, initiative and ambition, and produce stagnation and decay. The true division should be the giving to man the full ownership of everything he produces by his hand and brain, and the giving to the community everything God created for the benefit of all. It might be hard to draw the dividing line in all cases, but when correct principles are once recognized details become easier. And many difficulties would disappear if men and Christian nations would only remember the Sermon on the Mount; would only remember and practise the Golden Rule-to do unto others as they would that others should do unto them.

But in all probability it will be a long time before men and nations come to practise this rule. Then, why would it not be proper for the state to make laws to regulate the conduct of groups of men in the same way that it makes laws to regulate the conduct of individuals? If my neighbour and I have a dispute we will not be allowed to settle it with clubs or guns, we must take our dispute to a properly constituted tribunal, when, in all probability justice will be rendered-at all events we must be satisfied with the decision, because it is the best that can be done. As I have stated we must not be allowed to settle our dispute with clubs or guns, neither must we be allowed to settle it in a way to suit ourselves, and to bring injury to other people and to innocent people, the way in which strikes are often settled. All disputants no matter how few or how many, should be bound by the same laws, and if the state be unable to establish tribunals that will render justice, and if the state be unable to enforce the decrees of such tribunals, our civilization, as I see it is near an end. In short, I favour, with all my heart, compulsory arbitration. I know some of the arguments that are advanced against it,-that you cannot force men to work and should not try. I agree with that, but in my judgment the man who will not work, who refuses to work under reasonable conditions at all events, should not eat bread at the expense of the community and I have the highest authority in the world in fact the highest Authority in the universe

The Address-Mr. Hughes

who said in addressing men: "In the sweat of thy face thou shalt eat bread." And work is not a penalty but idleness is. There are only two classes of men in the world; the working man-and nearly everybody is a working man, -and the parasite or the beggar.

And now Mr. Speaker, I will take up the third question to which I alluded in my opening remarks, namely transportation and the railway problem with which the best and most highly trained experts in the country are hardly able to cope, and which is pregnant with the possibilities of great success or colossal failure. The ordinary layman should, T suppose, hesitate before entering upon a discussion of this question, still we must discuss these things. I know Sir Henry Thorn-tor. has warned the politicians away from this subject, but an older man than Sir Henry, Euripides I think, has said "That is true liberty when free born men having the right to advise the public may speak free." Now I happen to have the right to advise the public, and whether I do it badly or otherwise I cannot shirk the duty.

Some few years ago a working arrangement was entered into between the railway executives of North America and the railway brotherhoods, which arrangement is known as the McAdoo award, and I venture to say that nothing like this arrangement was ever before known in the heavens above, on the earth below, or underneath the earth. I shall not attempt to describe this arrangement, but I have my own opinion of the sanity or the business ability of the railway executives who entered into it. Suffice it to say that it provides for promotion by seniority and by seniority only, and it pays a premium for loafing on the job, it holds out inducements to men to loaf. I shall try to give a few examples of how the thing works out in practice before I conclude. There is no business under the canopy of heaven that could be a success handicapped by such conditions. Railwaymen are not angels any more than the rest of us, and they would be more than men if they failed to take advantage of some of the inducements held out to them to get overtime and other rewards from the extraordinary schedules under which they work. But, to their credit be it said, many of them do not take full advantage of all their privileges, and hence conditions are not as bad as they might be. Sometimes there are strikes by the railway brotherhoods in the United States, and sometimes the newspapers convey the information that there is talk of strikes by some of the brotherhoods in Canada. But I have more faith in the common sense and common patriotism of the

railway men of Canada than to think they would be guilty of any such folly or crime. And against whom would the railway men strike? Why, against their own government, against their own brothers and fellow-countrymen, who are carrying a railway burden that is well-nigh crushing them to the earth.

Since more than half the railways in the Dominion have become the property of the people, what need is there in Canada for railway brotherhoods except for benevolent purposes? If a portion of the people of Canada, must organize themselves into a brotherhood to get justice from their own government, that is from the rest of the people, what kind of a country have we? And if the railway brotherhoods want more than justice for their own members, they are a menace to the rest of the community and should be disbanded.

When Sir Henry Thornton was in Charlottetown some weeks ago, I heard him speak and I heard him emphasize the necessity of willing co-operation in all branches of the service and among all the officials and employees. I heard him say there must be esprit de corps among all officials and men from the president down to the last office boy. I also heard him say that capable men should be selected for divisional superintendents and upon their shoulders should be placed large responsibility. With all of this I heartily agree, and I will go further and say that to these things should be added a desire and a willingness on the part of officials and employees to serve the public; otherwise there can be no proper efficiency. I do not think the Canadian National system has these things at the present time, and I do think the Canadian Pacific railway system has them, to a measurable degree, at all events.

Now, Mr. Speaker, let me give you my reasons for the belief which I hold. A little more than a year ago, travelling from Montreal to Prince Edward Island, we changed engines at Moncton. The engine attached to our train broke down before we got clear of the Moncton yard. The next engine we got, broke down as we entered the yard at Sack-ville, a few miles further on. A month or two before that, while travelling from Sack-ville to Tormentine, the train stopped a few miles out of Sackville-cause, a hot box. Upon examination it was found that there was no waste in the box to hold the oil, and no waste on the train. After some delay we got started again; but soon another box became warm for the same reason and another stop ensued. Finally, a third box showed signs of undue caloric pressure, and this necessitated further delay. By stopping at every

The Address-Mr. Hughes

brook and pouring water on the boxes, we controlled the heat somewhat and got to Tormentine several hours late. What kind of efficiency did that indicate? Was that an isolated occurrence? I do not know. It apparently was not. While travelling from Halifax on the 30th day of October last by the Ocean Limited, I had a seat in one of the first class coaches. The day was cold and the car in which I sat was very cold and draughty. The officials, of whom there appeared to be a great number on the train that day, frequently passed through the car, and invariably they left both doors open. I shut the doors two or three times and some of the other passengers also shut them. I spoke to one of the officials as he went through the car and stated that, in my opinion, there was no use trying to warm the province of Nova Scotia with the little heat we had in that car. He scowled at me and shut the door; but in a moment another official came along and opened it; then a fellow-passenger told me that it was better to leave them alone, because a few days before he had drawn their attention to the coolness of the car, and they made it so warm that the cure was worse than the disease. I know that the temperature in the chair cars and the Pullmans is kept comfortable; but should not the comfort of the men and women who have to ride in the first and second-class coaches be considered and should not everything possible be done to make them comfortable?

The editor of one of the Charlottetown papers told me that he was in Halifax last summer and travelled to Sackville by the Ocean Limited. He had two fairly heavy grips and wishing to get them checked he went to the checking room in the Halifax station and made known his wants. There were two men working there and they were moving more slowly than the mourners at a funeral. They paid no attention to him. After' a little while he repeated his request, adding that he would miss the train if they did not attend to him soon. Still no attention, so he had to pick up his grips and run, and as he was going out the door they jeered at him.

I was in the rotunda of the Brunswick hotel at Moncton last fall, and ten or twelve men were sitting there, most of them commercial travellers, I think. One of the men was talking over the telephone, and when he had finished his conversation he turned to the others and explained that he wanted to go to Montreal and wished to travel via St. John if it did not cost him any more than going direct by the Canadian National railway. He

stated that an official of the Canadian Pacific railway had arranged the matter for him in less than ten minutes, and that it would take a day or two to make a similar arrangement with an official of the Canadian National railway, because it would be hard to find one who had the authority to act. And all the men in the hotel agreed with him. Last summer three clergymen residing in the eastern part of Prince Edward Island wished to spend a few weeks in western Canada. They desired to travel by the. National railways because they were national. They wrote to the then District Passenger Agent at Charlottetown for information. A week passed before they got an answer, and then a telegram came with thirty-three cents to collect. The money was paid under protest, not because of the amount, but because of the principle involved. The station master &t Souris reported that the money had been paid under protest, and later a telegram came back stating that a mistake had been made and telling him to refund the money. In the meantime the agent of the Canadian Pacific railway had been communicated with. A reply with all information came back at once followed by letters soliciting the patronage. These men travelled by the Canadian Pacific railway and they state that they received every kind of attention and civility. In nearly every city they were met by an official of the railway who inquired if he could do anything for them, and who informed them that they could stay off at any point as long as they wished, and could change their route if they so desired without any additional cost except the added mileage. In short, every official of the Canadian Pacific Railway seemed anxious to please. Moreover, the information they got in the West in regard to trains was to the effect that while the Canadian National trains would likely leave on time, there was no certainty when they would arrive at their destination. On the other hand, the Canadian Pacific trains not only left on time, but in nearly every instance, arrived on time. These men in common gratitude feel it to be their duty to recommend the Canadian Pacific railway to any friends who may contemplate a trip.

I have heard it mentioned during this debate that there were sufficient cars in Canada to take care of the traffic and that the government need not have given an order for more cars. Well, I know there was a shortage of cars in eastern Canada last fall. I know there were not enough cars to carry the coal from the mines to the people who needed it. I know that the mines were held

The Address-Mr. Hughes

up for cars and the dealers in coal could not supply their customers. And I further know that at that season of the year it took from four to seven weeks for a car of coal to come from Sydney to Charlottetown, a distance, I suppose, of about three hundred miles. Now, I do not think that it was efficient management for a car to have been six or seven weeks on the road, coming a distance of some three hundred miles. Cars, I believe, are worth four, five or six dollars a day to the railways, and the car that is twelve or fifteen days out of commission means a loss to the railways of sixty, seventy or eighty dollars, not to mention the loss which is entailed to the people.

So much as regards general conditions on the Canadian National railway system. And now, Mr. Speaker, I will ask you to bear with me while I relate some of the conditions on the Prince Edward Island division, with which I am personally familiar. During the last few years the management of that division has greatly reduced the train service and the train accommodation and has at the same time, I am convinced, increased the cost of the service. I refer more particularly to the eastern part of the division. Owing to the complicated schedules governing the wages of railway men, it is difficult for a layman to accurately estimate the comparative cost of operating trains, but I shall try, in a general way. For instance: Eight hours or one hundred miles constitute a day's work on a freight or a mixed freight and passenger train, whereas, ten hours, or one hundred and fifty miles constitute a day's work on a passenger or express train, the employees, in all cases, having the right to calculate the day's work by the mile or by the hour whichever method of calculation would give them the higher pay. Moreover, the men on the freight, or the mixed freight and passenger trains have not only shorter hours and fewer miles, but they have higher pay per hour or per mile, as the case may be. And further, when the hours which constitute a day's work are exhausted, every hour after that is called an hour and a half.

From the time the Prince Edward Island railway was opened some fifty years ago till a few years ago we had a daily freight train in summer between Charlottetown and Souris, and a daily passenger train as well. A few years ago the freight service was reduced to a tri-weekly train. This tri-weekly train is unable to carry all the freight offering, the overplus, or some of it, has to be sent by the passenger train which thus automatic-

ally comes under the shorter hours, the fewer miles, the higher pay, the overtime, and what should be a day's pay for the train crew is changed into a day and a half or a day and three-quarters. But, there is more than this. The passenger train that carries freight is always late, and when this happens day after day, passengers who can travel by auto or in any other way will not travel by train, and the passenger service is greatly injured.

But this is not all. The daily freight train between Souris and Charlottetown some years ago took care of the freight originating on the Georgetown-Montague branch. This the triweekly freight cannot do. The consequence is that the Georgetown-Montague train, which according to the schedule, has its terminus at Mount Stewart, has to be ordered into Charlottetown, some eighteen miles farther, as a special freight. Now, according to the schedules, when a special train is sent out, no matter how short the distance, or the time, it is a full day's pay for the train crew. There is therefore a day's pay from Mount Stewart to Charlottetown, another day's pay from Charlottetown back to Mount Stewart and of course a day's pay between Mount Stewart and Georgetown, or three days' pay in one, for that train crew. But even this is not all. The tri-weekly freight train between Charlottetown and Souris, trying to take all the freight, is often overloaded and therefore makes very slow time. It is sometimes out on the road sixteen hours. The first eight hours constitute a day, the second eight hours a day and a half, or two days and a half in one. And this kind of thing is called management by railway experts. To be just to the men I don't think they want this kind of management, they would prefer to have regular working hours and regular pay.

Mr. Speaker, I have not yet told all the story of the peculiar railway management we have in Prince Edward Island. There is a branch line of railway, extending from Souris to Elmira, some ten or twelve miles long and known as the Elmira branch. Before last summer Elmira was the terminus of the eastern line. Last summer, Souris was made the eastern terminus and a motor bus, or a little gasoline car locally known as a "jitney", with one man in charge, was* put on the Elmira branch to carry light freight, baggage and passengers, and a regular freight train once a week. The motor bus, or jitney, was a complete failure. The car was too small to carry the cream the farmers wished to send to the butter factory and any baggage or other light freight at the same time. The

The Address-Mr. Hughes

engine was constantly getting out of order, so that no one could be sure the little thing would ever get to its destination. It frequently broke down when about half way between Elmira and Harmony Junction, where it was supposed to meet the regular train, leaving the cream it had aboard at a side station' for a day or so, and compelling the passengers who started by it to walk back to their homes and miss their train connections that day. The repair parts were kept at Moncton, N.B. and when the thing would break down a commnunication would be sent to Moncton to send new parts. Sometimes these parts would fit when they came, but sometimes they would not. This necessitated further communication with Moncton and further delay. The consequence was the jitney was out of commission about half the time. When it wras out of commission the train had to be ordered out from Souris as a special. I have already stated that every time a special train was ordered out, no matter how short the run, it is a full day's pay for the crew, so when the train -was ordered out from Souris in the evening it was a day's pay to Elmira, another day's pay from Elmira to Souris the next morning, and, of course, a day's pay between Souris and Charlottetown or three days' pay in one. But this is not all; when the train crew would be ordered out from Souris to Elmira on Saturday evening there would be a day's pay for that evening, another day's pay for Monday morning and a day's pay for Sunday, because the men were away from the terminus mentioned in the schedule; and in addition to all this the man in charge of the jitney was on full pay all the time. And this is the kind of management we have on the Canadian National railways and this describes what the country has been paying for a demoralized service. If this is any indication of the kind of management' we have over the system or over any large part of it, all I can say is; God help the country. And Mr. Speaker, I have some fears that it is an indication of the kind of management that may be found outside of Prince Edward Island.

When the jitney of which I spoke broke down for the last time, and when it had been thirty or more days out of commission, and when there was no hope of it being able to do any more * work last fall, I spoke to the divisional superintendent, Mr. Grady, and suggested that he put Elmira back on the train schedule and let the people know they would have a train every day, thus improving the service and decreasing the cost. He informed me he had tried to do this, that he had put the whole matter before Mr. Kingsland, the

general manager at Montreal, and the reply he got was to mind his own business, and that he would make no more suggestions. My statement to Mr. Grady was that if I were in his place I would not take such a reply from Mr. Kingsland, I would say to him that I was minding my own business and the public business as well, and that I would go - beyond Mr. Kingsland with my suggestion. Later in the year, in the month of December, the Elmira branch was put back on the schedule and a daily train service re-established, but this was made a mixed freight, and passenger service, the most expensive train service that could be established. .During the summer and during the months of October and November, when a considerable quantity of freight would be moving, the people served by the Elmira branch had to be satisfied with a weekly freight train, while during the month of December, when there would be much less freight moving, a daily freight was put on. The only. possible explanation of such conduct is that the local management wished to so increase the cost of operating the Elmira branch that the general management would allow him to close it altogether; and this has been done. Apart altogether from this incident, which should be sufficient to condemn any management, I know that the Prince Edward Island division of the Canadian National Railways is not run on either railway or business principles, but on sectional and personal prejudices ; and if Sir Henry Thornton or any member of the board should wish to get further information on this point I shall be glad to supply it.

When Mr. Grady told me that Mr. Kingsland had given him the answer previously mentioned, I was surprised, because I knew it was not the way the officials of any large business concern act towards one another. I spoke to some of the other officials of the Prince Edward Island division in regard to the matter and they informed me such an answer was possible because " that is the very answer Mr. Grady would give to any of his junior officials who would dare to make a suggestion to him." Not only would they be told to mind their own business, but one or two strong adjectives would be placed before the word " business [DOT]

I ask you Mr. Speaker, and hon. members to picture to yourselves the kind of co-operation, the kind of esprit de corps there must be in the Canadian National railway service when language of this kind passes between the officials. No business on the face of the Foot-

The Address-Mr. Hughes

stool could be a success managed under such conditions. I am afraid a general housecleaning is required.

Perhaps it will be a good place here for me to say that I think Sir Henry Thornton wili make the Canadian National Railway system a success, if any man can. I think he is a big man in every sense of the word. He has had railway experience on two continents; he has met railway men in the United States, in En

' There are a few other things I wish to mention in connection with the Prince Edward Island section of the Canadian National railway system and I will then conclude my remarks. When Prince Edward Island entered confederation in 1873 it was on the distinct understanding that effioient steam service would be established and maintained between the Island and the mainland, winter and summer, thus placing the Island in continuous communication with the Intercolonial railway and the railway system of the Dominion. In fact "it was so nominated in the bond." This promise has never been fully implemented, either in the letter or the spirit. The establishing of the car ferry was a step in the right direction, but the benefits of that step will be almost nil till the Prince Edward Island railway is standardized, and I was therefore glad to hear Sir Henry Thornton say in Charlottetown a few weeks ago that this work would be taken up without delay.

Confederation has undoubtedly benefited the two central provinces, Ontario and Quebec. It has been injurious to the provinces on the Atlantic sea-board, and very injurious to Prince Edward Island. In proof of this statement many facts could be given, but a few will suffice. When Prince Edward Island entered the confederation fifty years ago, we had several small flourishing industries, now we have none, except a few small lobster canning establishments, which could not be moved away because the fish have to be canned where they are caught.

Mr. JACOBS; What about fox farming?

Topic:   THE GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH ADDRESS IN REPLY
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LIB

James Joseph Hughes

Liberal

Mr. HUGHES:

Fox farming is another

industry. All our industries save those I have mentioned have gone to Ontario and Quebec. Then our population was increasing every year, now it is decreasing and to-day we have some six thousand souls less than we had in 1871 and some twenty thousand less than we had two decades ago, which is equal to one-fourth or one-fifth of our total population. This is surely a startling and challenging fact. Nova Scotia and New Brunswick (are not increasing in population as they should, but they are not actually decreasing. Our people are engaged entirely in farming and fishing!, and I sometimes ask myself whether a burden has been put upon these industries which they cannot carry. Our climate is healthful, our soil is fertile, our fisheries are productive, and we think our people are mentally and physically equal to others, in fact many of them do well when they go abroad. Then what in the world is wrong with us? I ask the members of the railway board, I ask the members of this honourable House, I ask the people of Canada generally if they can be indifferent while one province, small though it be, slowly bleeds to death. We think our transportation difficulties have much to do with our dwindling population, we think the railway freight rates are unjust to Prince Edward Island- I shall give examples. We also think that no railway board composed entirely of men from the other provinces can fully understand or sympathise with our local difficulties. We therefore think we should have a man on the railway board. I put this matter as strongly as I could before the government, and I now put it before the parliament and the people of Canada, and hope for good results.

If it be thought that representation on the railway board would give Prince Edward Island too many men in public or semi-public life, so far as I am concerned, I would gladly give up part of our representation in this House and in the Senate for representation on the railway board. We have the Railway Commission and the Civil Service Commission, and if Canada is to be governed by boards and commissions we of Prince Edward Island want representation on some of these bodies, where power and responsibility rest, and where there is work to be done.

I said I would give examples of unjust freight rates so far as Prince Edward Island was concerned, and I shall now try to carry out that promise. I find that the rate on grain from Montreal to Halifax, local, is 32 cents per 100 pounds; while on the same article from Charlottetown to Halifax, much less

The Address-Mr. Hughes

than half the distance, it is 31 cents. Charlottetown to Sydney, still less than half the distance, it is 35 cents, while from other points on Prince Edward Island the rate to Halifax and Sydney is 37 cents and 38 cents respectively. If we take potatoes, the discrimination is still worse. We have seen that grain is carried from Montreal to Halifax for 32 cents. The rate on potatoes from Charlottetown to Montreal is 38 cents, and from other points on Prince Edward Island to Montreal the rate is 40 cents, and from Prince Edward Island to Sydney, 38 cents. It does not cost the railway any more to carry 100 pounds of potatoes than it does to carry 100 pounds of grain. Moreover, I always understood that railway freight rates were based, to some extent, on the value of the commodity carried; in which case potatoes should be carried cheaper than grain, but so far as Prince Edward Island is concerned, it is just the other way round.

The soil and climate of Prince Edward Island are admirably adapted for growing potatoes, and the farmers of that province are therefore much interested in their production; but it would seem as if the National Railways management wished to discourage such farming, because for every two bushels of potatoes grown, the railway gets five pecks for carrying them three hundred miles to market, and the farmer gets three pecks for preparing the soil, providing the seed, providing the fertilizer, planting, spraying, digging and marketing Of course, the farmer who grows potatoes gets nothing at all for his labour. I am quite safe in saying that the farmers of Prince Edward Island do not get more than a dollar for a day's work of twelve to fourteen hours, while the coal miners and the railway men get from one to two dollars an hour for their work-and yet these men, or some of them, listen to labour agitators who tell them they are slaves, and that they should strike for higher wages and shorter hours.

Modern civilization has turned our economic system upside down. The basic industry of agriculture has a load that it cannot carry, and some of. the young men on Prince Edward Island who understand farming will not take farms from their fathers as a gift, if they are obliged to live on them, and the young women will not marry young men who intend to follow farming as an occupation.

Lord Shaughnessy, the president of the Bank of Montreal, the president of the Bank of Commerce, and other men of large affairs in this Dominion, have said that a large immigration of agricultural workers would cure

9i

or at least help to solve many of our difficulties. Perhaps they are right. But we are producing more food products now than we can readily market, and if we produce two or three times as much, would it help the situation? It appears to me that conditions are such that men of British descent and perhaps men of French descent in this country, if not the world over-it may not be peculiar to Canada-are leaving the land and flocking to the cities to take up industrial occupations and professional work. It might be that men from some of the countries in Europe who are accustomed to a lower standard of living would be satisfied if they came to Canada and went on the land. That might be a better arrangement. These are the men who, if they were satisfied with a lower standard of living than we are accustomed to, might make a success of farming. I do not know whether that was the idea of Lord Shaughnessy and the others who spoke of immigration as being a cure for our troubles. It is the trend, at all events, of the British people to flock to the cities. Whether other people will come on the land and take possession of it, I do not know; but in the long run the men who possess the land will own the country, for the cities cannot renew their own lives. In three generations they die if they are not renewed from the country, and if that is the tendency of people of British and of French descent in this country, then other people will come in and take our place.

There is another thing in connection with the railway service on Prince Edward Island which tends to make young men discontented with farm work, and so far as I can learn, it is not found in any other province of the Dominion. Eight hours constitute a day's work for a stationmaster. This regulation, or something like it, may perhaps be all right in large cities where there is heavy traffic and the men are kept on the jump, and where enough men are employed to make a shift; but in small villages and country places where only one man is employed, it is simply ridiculous. When the station-master goes on duty at seven o'clock in the morning, his day ends at three o'clock in the afternoon, after which the station and the freight shed are locked and no more business is transacted that day. Just imagine a man driving in some miles from the country to deliver or receive some freight and arriving ten or fifteen minutes late and finding all railway business suspended for the day. Again, imagine a trader or business man in the town or village; who is loading or unloading cars having to quit work at three o'clock

The Address-Mr. Bnxter

in the afternoon, if he can't get a special permit to continue the work at his own risk. These things are of daily occurrence on Prince Edward Island, and this is the method pursued by the railway to get business.

There is another aspect to this kind of thing which has a most injurious effect. When three or four o'clock arrives the station master runs out his car-he can afford one-and takes his wife or his sweetheart as the case may be for a drive through the country. The young men working on the farms see what is being done, they contrast their toil and work of twelve or morb hours per day, with that of the station master, and they decide to get into the railway service or leave the country, and they^-are leaving it by The score and by the hundred.

There are stations on the Prince Edward Island railway where the train leaves or passes early in the morning, say six o'clock, and returns about seven or eight in the evening, and the station master is not there, either when the train leaves or when it returns, to sell tickets, to look after the freight, or do anything else. He comes for a few hours in the middle of the day- when there is nothing or very little to do-[DOT] after which he locks up and leaves. I know one station, Elmira, where the train left at six o'clock in the morning. The station master was not obliged to open the station at that hour, and did not open it. The station master at that place was the agent for the Dominion Express Company. Before these regulations came into force the fishermen in that locality shipped a good many smelts to the United States by express. This business gave the fishermen employment and gave them some money to enable them to support their families during the winter months. After the regulations came into force there was no station master or express agent there in the morning to take charge of the goods and give a receipt for them, and in any event the little jitney of which I spoke was unable to carry heavy goods such as fish. The consequence was the Dominion Express Company closed the office, the fresh fish industry was killed, the fishermen lost this means of making a living, and the railway lost the business.

A man sitting in his office in Chicago, or in some other American city, who is the head of this branch of the railway brotherhood, has the power to enforce these regulations, and the power to protect the brotherhoods in this kind of thing. In my opinion the time has come when Canadians will have to be master

in their own house, and will have to manage their own business and their own industrial activities.

I have not, however, despaired of my country or of my fellow-countrymen. I think if the matter were put before the railway brotherhoods and the labour unions as it really is, if it were shown to them that unless we all pull together we shall all be destroyed together, they would act the honest patriotic part and we would all acquit ourselves like men.

Topic:   THE GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH ADDRESS IN REPLY
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CON

John Babington Macaulay Baxter

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. J. B. M. BAXTER (St. John City and Counties of St. John and Albert):

Mr. Speaker, in rising to continue the debate on the Address, I would like to pause to say just a word with reference to those who were with us during the last session and are with us no more. Individual references to our deceased colleagues have been made by the leaders of the three parties in the House, and I could add nothing to what has been said. But, I would like to express the feeling that our late colleagues, no matter which party they represented came here as Canadians believing that it is part of a man's duty to do his share of the work in the public service of the country. And in these days it is all too necessary to impress upon the people who have time to give, who have ability to give, who have force of character to lend, that they should come, even through the dusty ways of politics, to this Chamber to help in the solution of the very real and very grave questions from which we shall not be free, perhaps, during the span of a generation. The men who have passed, saw their duty. No matter what feeling of personal ambition may have influenced them, they came here and did their duty according to their lights, and I trust that we may take some inspiration from their example, for there were among them men of strong character, men of real energy, and men, above all, of absolute sincerity. It was said by a great Imperialist in the last moments of his life: "So little done, so much to do!" That is true here and now as it was when uttered by Cecil Rhodes the Empire Builder: and it ought to be with some feeling of the gravity of that statement that we should approach the work of this session. And may I suggest, Sir, that in approaching the work of this session we get at it man-fashion and not consume merely three hours a day, or less, as we have been_ doing for the last five days? Real work needs real energy and real attention from real men; we cannot handle the problems of this country by merely playing with them, or dawdling from day to day and occupying our time in other

The Address-Mr. Baxter

pursuits, letting the business of the country wait until we can rush it through some months later on when wre are all anxious to get home and are a bit tired of-shall I say?-passing our time rather helplessly here. There is much to do, and I would ask of those who have the programme in hand that they should let us get at the doing of it. We are going to differ, we are going to disagree, about the doing of it; the people of Canada are going to differ and disagree about the way we are going to do it; but let us get at it for we come here for the purpose of settling or solving problems, and we can only do that by being in action.

I would like to be able to refer to the Speech from the Throne in happier terms than it was referred to by the hon. member for Springfield (Mr. Hoey), who once again donned sacerdotal vestments and inveighed against the barren figtree with traditional severity. He found it barren, and I do not think that, the group which sits to his right will be able to gather any more figs from it than they could even from the thistles which adorn the wayside. He gave it a good eurs-ing; and I hope that my hon. friends opposite will realize that, after all, there comes an end sometimes to the hopes-the dazzling, sparkling, scintillating hopes-which may be held out before the eyes of even the most trustful of mortals. My hon. friend from Springfield, after one session's experience of the scintillating hopes, comes back this year, gets on mount Ebal and gives the cursing which always came from that celebrated spot. Of course, he gives a little flicker towards us, but I did not think the group of which I am a member had been doing anything in particular, I did not think we had been irritating him, I thought that we had left him alone pretty well this session. We had not, as yet, reminded him of those most unfortunate results which I predicted last year would flow from that morganatic alliance into which he had plunged. However he has perhaps discovered something about the Conservatives-he may think he has-found something such as has been found in the tomb of King Tutankhamen. I may tell him that we are not yet quite buried, and that he will find that, even with us, we endure for a good many years, and that, like the celebrated Pharaoh, we have remained in the same place. He may look around about, and he may find another party which has not stayed in the same place with regard to its policy. I think he has already discovered that fact. Or, if he would like something a little lighter, something in the poetic vein, he might be induced to look up the quotation given by our dear

friend the Minister of Finance (Mr. Fielding) when he was not occupying his present position, but when he was a critic of the then government, and quoted, I have no doubt with admirable zest and fervour, some lines that, although not appropriate then, are at least very much in place to-day. We can quote them back. They were as follows: - They promise, prepare, propose, postpone,

And end by letting things alone.

I trust that my hon. friends to my left can fully appreciate the vagaries of government policy which in two sessions have gone through the whole course indicated so pathetically by the hon. Minister of Finance. One hon. member says he does not appreciate it. In last year's Speech from the Throne I find the following paragraph-

It is intended at an early date to co-ordinate the Government-owned systems in the manner best calculated to increase efficiency, and to effect economies in administration, maintenance and operation.

And I have just had the pleasure of listening to a very interesting speech from the other side of the House in which the effect of economies in administration, maintenance and operation has been set forth in a most salutary manner for the government to hear. I learned, however, with surprise the other day from the hon. Acting Minister of Railways (Mr. Graham) that this co-ordination had not been effected. I judged from what he said that there was some serious legal obstacle. What legal obstacle there could have been that was not in existence when the Speech from the Throne was delivered last year I utterly fail to conceive, but apparently things are put in the Speech from the Throne without very much reflection, and possibly in the hope that the ambition of the late P. T. Barnum may be comfortably realized, in fooling all the people at least part of the time until the next session. My hon. friend apparently did not know there was an obstacle, but they had a whole session in which to find out and introduce any legislation which was necessary and we come here and find, I think it was after the opening of this session -I am not sure of the exact date, but very close to it-that they did get through the order in council co-ordinating these systems. Why the delay? I do not want to be misunderstood. I never speak as an enthusiastic advocate of government ownership. I look upon government ownership as an unfortunate necessity, as something that cannot be avoided, as something that we have got to make the best of. It is no use to go back into the reasons that led up to it. There is no use travelling through the years when my hon. friends were in power, and when their

The Address-Mr. Baxter

unwise acts with regard to railway building rendered ultimately necessary the steps that had to be taken with regard to these railways. But we are facing, as some one said the other day, a condition and not a theory-we have the railways. I would like to hear something-and I speak in all seriousness; if we are going to face, this problem from a national standpoint, I would like to hear something more hopeful, something more helpful and more trustful than I have heard from my hon. friend the Minister of Finance the other day. He did not speak of this, and I had assumed, perhaps wrongly, that he was an ardent public ownership man. He certainly did not speak as such. I would think however thak-it would be better, for the education of the people of this country as to the necessity of vital co-operation of all interests in this country, to make the best of the amalgamated roads. I would think it would be well for a man of the high standing of the Minister of Finance to give us some hope and some light in dealing with this problem, instead of rather reprobating it and treating it as if it were something nobody could ever hope to accomplish. If that is the real view of the government, if they have made up their minds on this important subject, if they feel we can never make a success of these railways, then I would invite them to put an end to the farce at once and let us proceed to get rid of these railways before the burden on the country becomes more and more intolerable. There are just the two courses to pursue, one is to go ahead and make good with the railways, and the other is to get rid of them. Whatever course the administration sees fit to pursue, let us have energy and force back of it, and do not have any cold water thrown on the proposition by any member of the administration. The order in council has been passed, and we have co-ordination to some extent. Whether we have within the system the real desire to make it effective I do not know.

I am not going to criticise the choice made by the government of the administrator of the railways. I believe every man has a right to a chance to make good, and I propose to reserve any remarks or any criticism of that appointment until we get a full, fair opportunity for a demonstration and see what the gentleman can do. Let him be judged by his works. In the meantime I might enter a little plea for somewhat more action and somewhat less speech. This country is probably unknown to Sir Henry Thornton, and I trust he will be able to grapple with the tremendous problems that he has to face. But I would rather hear him

FMr. Baxter. 1

tell afterwards, if that will be necessary, what he has done, than hear quite so much about what may be done. While touching on this subject, I do not think that the attitude, perhaps, of some public men is altogether wise, when they tell us, both in this House and out of it, that you cannot keep the railway system out of politics, or rather, that you must have politics in the railway system. I am going to be extremely candid and say that I am afraid they are right. But I would rather have them say to the public the thing that they do not mean than say the thing that they believe. They do so on other occasions, why should they not do it on this? They are telling you, or they are telling us, that there is this higher class of politics, this general direction of the affairs of the railways, that is necessarily political, and that this House which, after all, means the government, must control. I cannot quarrel with that. The administration for the time being, must settle things. I think, perhaps, our criticism is that they do not quite settle things enough. What I do object to are the suggestions that come in this very chamber, and that I have heard in Sir Henry Thornton's presence at public meetings from prominent members of the Liberal party, that you cannot keep the road out of politics; that the country is paying for the services of the men who are on the road, and that they are going to have some control. That means just this to my mind: perhaps not all the leaders, but certainly those who control the political activities of the party, have made up their minds that, under the guise of public declarations that there shall be no politics, there shall be a very effective and very operative political programme permeating the whole course of the National railways. We have some evidence of this in the province of New Brunswick. I do not care how far they go; all I want is that the thing shall come out in the daylight. If they are right in what they say, that you cannot keep the railroad out of politics, then we ought to get together in this House and get the railroad out of the hands of the people as quickly as possible. If you can run the railway without politics, then we ought to use the whole force of all political parties in this House to keep politics out of the railway administration.

When, a little over a year ago, the party of which I am a member was making efforts to obtain or to retain the confidence of the people, in which effort we were not as sucess-ful as we would like to have been, in the Maritime provinces we told the people frankly wbat our programme was, not that we had the direction of the railway system, but that as

The Address-Mr. Baxter

far as we could exercise influence, we thought there ought to be large regional divisions of the government railways for the purpose of effective administration. That was approved by the then general manager, the president of the road, and a statement was made publicly; but our statement, I will be frank enough to say, was absolutely beclouded and derided, and the people apparently did not believe it. It was, however, like all our other public pronouncements upon the platform, or of the platform of the party, absolutely true and sincere. The other side were prepared to go to any length, and a railway millennium would dawn if they got back into power. Well, they got power as regards the province of Nova Scotia, got it abundantly; they got it as regards the province of Prince Edward Island to the full extent that that province was capable of giving it. And you have heard the result to-day. They did not get it quite so largely in New Brunswick; but they did get many of the counties in which the old Intercolonial operates, and I will say that, in the city of Moncton and through the counties of Nova Scotia where that railway runs, the people had absolute faith and belief that a Liberal administration would give them a regional administration that would extend at least as far as the city of Montreal; that that portion of the railway would be managed from the common centre of the city of Moncton. Hon. members will recollect that originally the Intercolonial railway. ran only to the city of Quebec; but that under the administration of the late Hon. Andrew G. Blair, when he was Minister of Railways, the Drummond County line was bought and the road was extended to the city of Montreal Now, I am told to-day-my hon. friends will correct me if I am wrong-that this eastern region is to end at Riviere du Loup. * I am sorry the Acting Minister of Railways (Mr. Graham) is not in his place, but I would like to know whether that statement is or is not correct. On the assumption that it is correct, I want to point out something which is_ of a good deal of importance to us in the Maritime provinces. If the bookkeeping of that railway system is to charge up against that particular region the overhead expenses of the general staff, that will be just one nail more in the coffin of the Maritime provincial railway administration. If you take a lin' from Halifax to Montreal, you can administer, as regards the supervisory portion of the management, with exactly the same number of men as if it were merely from Riviere du Loup to Halifax. But, if you are going to pay as many men for a smaller portion of the road, why necessarily the overhead is distributed over a smaller amount of receipts and a smaller mileage of the railway. We do not, after all, want something for nothing in the Maritime provinces, but we do want the most efficient use of that railway which was built for us as part of the compact of confederation. We do not want to put an unnecessary dollar of burden upon the country to do that, we want it to be as self-sustaining as it may be, having regard to the absolute necessities of the people in the Maritime provinces, and having regard to conditions of Canadian business as well. But we do not want to have any part of the system loaded Tip with more unnecessary expense than any other. I think that is a fair business proposition, and I trust that before the session ends, I shall hear from the Minister of Railways whether this statement is a correct one and if so, what reasons have prompted the Government to allow that limited distance to become a regional system.

Last year my hon. friend, whose absence from the House this year we all very much regret, the hon. member for Cumberland (Mr. Logan), wanted the Intercolonial railway to be restored to its former status. I do not know that I agree with that. I want to see the Intercolonial railway of the best possible benefit to the Maritime provinces, and I believe, whether in public hands or in private h: nds, it would be better that the whole

22,000 miles of railways should be under one and the same management. I believe that in that way we can get better results, and I believe the people of the Maritime provinces will have faith that under one system or the other we shall get better results by having unified management and control, provided that the local necessities of the railway situation are given fair and sympathetic consideration by that management, whatever it may be. My hon. friend from Cumberland, however was probably relying on the Speech from the Throne for that year, which said:

Conferences have been arranged between the railway [DOT] authorities with respect to the reduction of rates upon basic commodities.

Last year the government had a programme until the Speech from the Throne was delivered. Then that programme, whatever it may have been, was put under the table and the whole matter was referred to a committee. On the 22nd of June that committee adopted a report which never saw the light in this chamber, and a portion of which was as follows: -

Your committee therefore recommend a suspension of the Crowsnest pass agreement for one year, from sixth July, 1922, with power to the Governor in Council to

]36

The Address-Mr. Baxter

suspend for a further period of one year, if in its judgment the then existing conditions justify the same. And your committee recommend that suitable legislation be enacted to make effective this recommendation.

That was, in clear terms, a recommendation for a general suspension. It carried out the provisions of the Railway Act, which otherwise would have expired on the sixth of July, 1922. The recommendation of that committee was made, as the report stated, in view of the great necessity for a general reduction in freight rates on basic commodities as a whole, and in what was considered to be the general public interest, and not in consequence of the proposals for rate reduction made by the railways. We had that point of view, then, from the committee, that there was a great necessity for a general reduction in the freight rates on basic commodities. Our friends in the West were, quite naturally, striving to hold an advantage that they had, an advantage which had been purchased not by them alone but by all the people of Canada, and purchased under conditions very materially differing from the post-war conditions in connection with the railways. Now, the very fact that we meet here in a parliament duly convened emphasizes this other fact, that there always is, always will be and of necessity must be, sectionalism. I do not mean sectionalism in the improper sense by which one section tries to get something to which it is not entitled. I mean sectionalism in the fair sense in which it ought to be used in parliamentary institutions,-that sectionalism which presents its local difficulties, and its means or want of means of meeting these difficulties, and comes to parliament in a general conference to decide what can best be done in the common interests of the whole country, from east to west and from north to south. We do not always accomplish that, but I trust that, even though there are misunderstandings, we always have that point of view in mind. And it is with that point of view in mind that I address some remarks to this Chamber this afternoon. As I say, the West came here feeling that they had a right to something, to wit, certain rates lower than anybody else in the country could enjoy for the movement of commodities. They felt it was not fair to deprive them of that advantage. They felt that it was a difficult matter for the people of the West to market their wheat crop, and that, transportation being so vital an element, they ought not to be asked to give up the privilege they had been enjoying. Now, I am not saying that their point of view was correct. Indeed, I do not think it was wholly correct, but I say it was a point of view that had a right to be presented and to be taken into consideration in framing any policy. But it had

a right to be taken into consideration only along with the requirements, the difficulties and the needs of all other portions of Canada served by the railways. And in considering this matter it was for the government to formulate a policy which should do as equal justice to all sections as it is possible for any policy to secure. The government shrank from taking up that burden. They felt they were not strong in the House, and they proceeded to make a bargain with my friends to my left, by means of which they got all the political support they could obtain and gave in return-I will not say lavishly, but nevertheless they gave-rights or privileges in utter disregard of the Maritime provinces, of the province of Quebec, the province of Ontario and the province of British Columbia.-That may sound harsh, and I do not want to put anything bitterly; but it seems to me that it is just a fact. I am going to ask you, Mr. Speaker, to follow me, while I discuss the case of my own province of New Brunswick although I can only do it in the most imperfect manner. Without trying to get anything for New Brunswick that it should not have.

I think it is my duty to put before this House the difficulties under which that province labours because of that very bargain which the government entered into for the purpose of obtaining political support. If that agreement did not hurt the province of New Brunswick, I suppose I would not say anything -about the matter; and I presume that some hon. members may say that New Brunswick was not hurt. Now, I think that, from the very evidence taken by the committee that considered this matter and which was then shut off, I can demonstrate to the House that New Brunswick in some particulars was rather cruelly hurt. We do not pretend down there to be grain growers. On the other hand, we do not allege that grain growers have no rights; we think they have a right to fair treatment; But we think we have a right to fair treatment ourselves, and we cannot see why a large section of New Brunswick-I will refer particularly to the counties of Carleton and Victoria, where potato growing is largely carried on-should be injured by reason of any agreement with any other part of the country. We cannot see why any 'man in this House possessed of a fair mind should vote to destroy, to hamper or to impede the potato growers of these counties in order that some [DOT] portion of the middle West might derive a tremendous advantage. One hon. member from the province of New Brunswick belonging to the group to my left did vote so, carried away, again, by the party spirit. The party meant more to him than his constit-

The Address-Mr. Baxter

uents, and he voted to sacrifice the potato growers of his own constituency in order to help out the, no doubt unfortunate, grain growers who were, in the higher circles, pocketing the spoils in the way of overages, shortages and these other things.

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PRO

John Evans

Progressive

Mr. EVANS:

Does the hon. member infer that the West is getting a service for which it does not pay?

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CON

John Babington Macaulay Baxter

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BAXTER:

I am not inferring anything of the kind, and I am not even going to discuss that point elaborately. What I want to get at is, that if the West wants, as the West has said it wants, all sorts of commodities to come in free of customs duties, and if it wants all commodities hauled as cheaply as can be on the railways, then, if there is an agricultural industry down in New Brunswick that is vital to us, we do not want to have our rates raised above the cost of haulage in order to make these other things possible for the West or the East, the North or the South.

Now at the time this parliamentary bargain was made last year the railways had already lowered their freight charges, taking about three million dollars off the general cost of railway haulage of grain; another fourteen million dollars was taken off by the retention of the Crowsnest pass agreement; making about seventeen million dollars of a reduction on one commodity alone, and paying no regard whatever to any other class of freight.

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PRO

Robert Forke

Progressive

Mr. FORKE:

There was more money made by the railways out of that one commodity than out of any other class of freight they carried. ,

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CON

John Babington Macaulay Baxter

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BAXTER:

Perhaps a greater quantity of that commodity was handled than of any other freight. Perhaps my hon. friend will also recollect the suggestion that of this seventeen million dollars saved to the grain growers by the action of this parliament, a very considerable portion was taken by the lake transportation companies.

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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

All of it.

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CON

John Babington Macaulay Baxter

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BAXTER:

Was it? Then perhaps my hon. friends to my left will contrast the action of the autocratic government of my right hon. friend here (Mr. Meighen), as it has been termed, when its leader took the bit between his teeth and suspended the navigation laws in order to afford relief to the West, with the want of action on the part of a government so friendly to them, but which refrained from granting my hon. friends similar relief. I am not fighting my hon. friends to my left and I am not working with them, I am simply putting forward the case of the

potato growers of New Brunswick, and 1 am going to ask my hon. friends to my left to examine their consciences and say if the New Brunswick potato growers have received a fair, square deal.

In the parliamentary agreement of last year potatoes were not mentioned. Now, can you tell me anything that distinguishes the man who grows grain from the man who grows potatoes? Is there any reason why a burden should be even partially lifted from the one and yet allowed to remain upon the other? I know my hon. friends will not say there is any reason. Well, then, what happened? The government's action paralyzed the Board of Railway Commissioners, and the potato growers of New Brunswick could not seek relief in that quarter. Railway rates were so much reduced that the railway companies, which have to pay their bills like every other company, had to get money from some source and the only source of course, of their revenue is the passengers and freight they handle. Therefore the Railway Commission could afford no relief by lowering the freight rates on potatoes or lumber, except upon one commodity only coming under the classification of building materials, namely, bricks, and in this instance the reduction was very small.

Now then, the action of the government, in combination with my hon. friends to my left, shut out the potato growers of

5 p.m. New Brunswick from any redress at the hands of the Railway Commission, a tribunal whose purpose is to see that there is no unjust discrimination in railway rates. That is the tribunal to which we go for justice in transportation matters. The Railway Commission said: We cannot give you any relief by reducing the freight rates on potatoes or other commodities without reducing the revenues of the railways to such a point that they will not be able to meet their operating expenses, and such an unsound financial position would only bring ruin upon the railways of Canada a little sooner. Remember, the government interfered with the Railway Commissioners, otherwise they would have taken up the case of the potato grower, of the -lumberman, and of the shipper of all other classes of freight. No one class would have got all they wanted, but the most expert railway brains in the country would have been put to work upon the freight rates problem, and we would have got the best attempt possible to do equal justice to all classes of freight shippers-a far better attempt than can ever be made by any government or any parliamentary committee, no matter how able it may be.

The Address-Mr. Baxter

Denied that recourse, the New Brunswick potato growers put their case before the parliamentary committee. I do not say that that committee was unsympathetic, for even in its first report-the report that was suppressed- a chance was afforded for equal justice. But the action of the government deprived us of that chance. The rates on potatoes from June 7th, 1917, to December 1st, 1921, were laid before that committee, and I have no doubt it will astonish some hon. members to hear how these rates were increased in that period. These rates which I am about to quote are in cents per hundred pounds of potatoes, and are calculated on the same basis as grain rates. In 1917 the rate from the potato shipping points in New Brunswick of Debec, Hartland, Andover and Florenceville to Montreal was 19 cents; in 1921, 34J cents. In other words, it had been increased 81 per cent.

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February 8, 1923