February 8, 1923

CON

Henry Lumley Drayton

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir HENRY DRAYTON:

He touched on the question of the railways and he was rather mournful about them; but one thing he said was: "We have a new board and they are all Grits." And he said: "If Grits cannot do the impossible, no one can." Of course, that is a difficult thing to do. The Prime Minister says: "These railways are going to be kept out of politics," and so as to keep them out of politics, so that there can never be any political discussion around the railway board, he sees to it that the directors are all Grits. Consequently, this puzzles me a little, but I am much more puzzled at what the Minister of Finance says. He says frankly: "The railways are in politics." If the idea be that the railways are to be in politics, had we not all better stop and do a little thinking? in the other board, they were not; there were Liberals and Conservatives on the other board.

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LIB
CON

Henry Lumley Drayton

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir HENRY DRAYTON:

My hon. friend may say "Unionists." Is there anything particularly bad in being a Unionist? But there certainly was no politics in the former administration.

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Some hon. MEMBERS:

Oh, oh.

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CON

Henry Lumley Drayton

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir HENRY DRAYTON:

Hon. gentlemen laugh and hon. gentlemen sneer. It is very

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easy to do that. They have had a good opportunity of going over this whole question since they came into power. Mr. Speaker, do you think if anything wrong had been found out we would not have heard about it? There was no political interference, and I challenge any evidence apart from a laugh or sneer.

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LIB
CON

Henry Lumley Drayton

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir HENRY DRAYTON:

The Address-Sir Henry Drayton

ment, $354,987 less; Soldiers' Civil Re-establishment, $2,945,429 less, or a total reduction of $6,346,990. If you add that amount to what is being spent, the expenditure this year is actually greater than the expenditure last year, and that from a government pledged to practise economy. Why, their expenditure is greater than ours, and we were economizing in a very difficult time, when there was unemployment, when you had shrinking of values, and disarranged conditions. The government now face better conditions in some cases, because they have denuded the country of the people who were troubling them. They are not worried because of unemployment now, because having done nothing for the unemployed, because, drifting as Canada has drifted for a year without the slightest idea of any fixed fiscal policy, so that no one could come in here with clean, new money and start the wheels of progress, the government has got rid of our people. You hear it said of all parts of Canada, of the West, of the East, and of the Maritime provinces. They are driving them out of Prince Edward Island, too, as the hon. member told us who spoke from that province this afternoon. Yes, the government have less troubles, and yet they are not economizing. Mr. Speaker, something ought to be done.

I just want to give another figure. It is not simply the cost of government, but costs everywhere have gone up so much that somebody has got to start something, and I think we are the people who will have to start it. I want to refer for a moment to railway operations. The increase in the cost of carrying on business in Canada by the railways constitutes to-day a greater burden than was placed on the railways by the war. Hon. gentlemen talk an awful lot about the war debt, but do they realize that the gross earnings from operations from Canadian railways in 1917 were $310,000,000, and in 1921 $458,000,000, or an increase of $147,000,000-more than the whole of our war interest. You have that increase on a business less in amount than we had in 1917, and on the other hand you have operating expenses growing up in a far greater degree. The increase in operating expenses is 89 per cent, as against 32 per cent gross earnings from operations.

Something, Mr. Speaker, certainly is necessary, and the thing that is necessary is economy, and we cannot too much stress it. So far as I am concerned, I propose to vote for the amendment of the hon. member for Calgary West (Mr. Shaw). It is at least one thing: it is a clear, direct call for economy. I am forced to vote for it after hearing the

speech of the hon. Minister of Finance, who assures us that increases in the public debt are apt to be necessary. He thought so differently a year ago when he brought down his budget. Then he was not only going to stop deficits, but start doing something towards reducing the war debt. That is why we are licking so many stamps. That is why they put on the luxury tax, and why to-day we are being taxed in every conceivable way we can be taxed and still allow things to carry on. .Notwithstanding all that taxation, he says the debt must go up. Under these circumstances I am forced to vote for the amendment of the hon. member for Calgary West. At the same time I intend to vote against the main amendment. Sir, we have too much unemployment, we have too much de-population to-day. I am reminded of the appeal sent out only two weeks ago by the Department of Agriculture in connection with the dairying business, in which it was pointed out that there were only two markets and that the real market for the whole of that industry was the home market, and it is shrinking, shrinkipg sadly. Mr. Speaker, we can stand no further shrinkage. We vote against the main amendment.

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LIB

William Gawtress Raymond

Liberal

Mr. W. G. RAYMOND (Brantford):

Mr. Speaker, in order that I might not appear to be transgressing one of the rules of the House, I might perhaps be permitted to say that through the kindness and courtesy of the hon. member for Quebec South (Mr. Power), who has exchanged places with me, I am not in the place I previously occupied.

I have listened with a great deal of interest to the wide range the debate has taken, and the many opinions that have been expressed by the various members-representing a territory stretching all the way from the Yukon to the Atlantic coast-as they have spoken, and I must say it has been very interesting to note the various views that have been given expression to. With the congratulations that have been extended to members entering the ' House for the first time, I would like to associate myself as well as with the compliments that have been passed, which I do not consider necessary to repeat at this time.

I -was very much pleased to hear one hon. gentleman opposite in particular last night. He was giving us a very interesting story of a sale that took place in the West in which two teams of horses-such horses as the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Motherwell) would consider fine, I understand-sold for the sum of $35, and one second hand wagon sold for $90. I expected to hear that gentleman say

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that the wagon in question was made in Brantford because, Mr. Speaker, in Brantford are made the most durable farm wagons that are produced in this country. I do not think that there is a wagon of any other manufacture that could be used in the manner described and then be sold second hand for $90. I felt it was a compliment to my constituency, and I was glad to hear the hon. gentleman make the allusion. But I would have liked him to have gone on and stated the origin of the wagon to which he referred. With reference to the price of the horses he later answered his own question. He stated that only $35 could be realized, as I understood it, for two teams of good draught horses-good young horses-and a little later he said that they had to pay 5 cents here for apples that were much cheaper in the Annapolis valley. Now if he had taken the horses in question to the market where they were in demand, he would have obtained a better price for them, or if he had gone to the place where the! apples were produced he would have got the apples cheap, at the price at which they are grown in Nova Scotia.

I think that the mistake that - has been made, perhaps, in the minds of some of the hon. gentlemen opposite is in painting the part of Canada from which they come-that is the three prairie provinces-in too dark, too gloomy, too unattractive colors. Those of us who have not had the pleasure of visiting that part of the country, and have to judge of it only by their description, would not, I think, form a very pleasurable picture of it or of its attractions. In fact, if we compare that description with the one that was given of the Yukon we find the latter of an altogether different character. Although we were told that the temperature was sometimes minus 60, yet the whole tenor of the address of the gentleman from that part of Canada was cheerful and optimistic, as compared with the utterances of those who live in the more fertile parts of the prairie provinces. I should like a more cheerful spirit inculcated by those who wish to see the country filled up with immigrants.

I must congratulate the hon. member for Brandon (Mr. Forke) on the fact that he has been elected to the leadership of the Progressive party. During the time he has been in this House I feel sure that hon. gentleman has received the confidence, and has justly earned it of every member in the Chamber. He certainly has the universal respect of this House, and I am sure will always

enjoy the respect of gentlemen on this side. But there is one little suggestion that I would make, if I may, to that hon. gentleman. In his criticism of the Speech from the Throne he alluded to the omissions from it, and said it was notable for what it did not contain, and I observe that many of those who saw fit to criticise the Speech took the same ground. While I have not examined the Hansards extending back to confederation I believe, and I am assured upon the best authority, that there have beetn very few Speeches from the Throne since that time of which exactly the same remark has not been made-that they are very notable for the omissions from them rather than for what they contain. It is a remark that is hoary in its age, but I do not know that it would indicate any particular originality in the gentleman who makes it.

Then when the hon. member went on to express condemnation, because there is no allusion in the Speech to a still further reduction of the tariff, and expressed the desire of his party that there should be a still further reduction of the tariff, I would like to say this: I am, of course, but a new man in this House, and I can only judge of things as they appear to me, but it does seem to me that when the hon. member was elevated to the leadership of the Progressive party that elevation brought certain responsibilities with it that do not belong altogether to the position of a private member of the House. I mean in this way, Sir, that when he undertook to say that a certain section of the revenue of this country, amounting to $88,000,000, should be removed it was his place, as a statesman, to suggest to the Finance Minister some way in which that loss of revenue could be made up. But there was no suggestion as to what should take the place of those taxes that would be taken off by removing the tariff; and we know, as everybody knows-I believe the gentleman who has just taken his seat, the hon. member for West York (Sir Henry Drayton) knows-that the great difficulty of government to-day is to raise enough revenue to meet the requirements of the country-that instead of removing taxes-because the tariff is, of course, a tax-the difficulty is to raise enough money to meet the national requirements. They are large; we have heard them explained from all points of view. It is difficult to take them up now without consuming a great deal of time; but we have heard the various speakers allude to the existing charges, the interest on the debt, and the necessity of raising more money; and therefore it seems to me that

The Address-Mr. Raymond

when it is suggested that a certain amount of money now raised through the tariff should be taken from the revenues of the country, it would be only fair and reasonable to expect a man, who is looking at the country's interests, to specify in what manner that money could be replaced in the public exchequer. It was a matter of regret to me that the leader of the Progressive party did not in his very able address indicate how that was to be done.

There is another matter to which I wish to allude. The hon. gentleman who introduced the amendment, which we understand is to be supported largely by the Progressive party, took, it seems to me a rather peculiar stand. When an amendment is introduced into this House by any serious minded member, it is surely introduced in the hope that it will carry. If this amendment carries the effect of it, I think, must be apparent to hon. members opposite. I do not know that the question is as to whether or not there is an exact precedent for it, but the amendment, if carried, would be equivalent to an expression of want of confidence in the government, and that would mean immediate dissolution. ' Hon. members must know that this is so, and I have no doubt they will endorse my statement. In that case, we would find no fault whatever with them. But this is the position in which those who support the amendment, whoever they may be, would find themselves; they would force the government to the country before they had time to introduce a redistribution bill. I presume they have their reasons for such a desire, although they have not explained them. I presume they could explain if necessary. In addition to that, Mr. Speaker, they would have to explain to those people who expect, and who are, by constitutional right entitled to greater representation when the redistribution bill is passed, and they would have to justify themselves in causing a dissolution and a general election before a redistribution bill had been passed. It seems to me that is very plain. Members from certain provinces expect additional representation. Their increase in population entitles them to it. There would have to be an adjustment of the representation in the cities. The representation of the city of Toronto, for instance, is based, I think, on a population of some 300,000. In the redistribution the representation would have to be based on a population, I think, of 507,000. Manitoba. I understand, would be entitled to an increase of some three or four members, and the province of Saskatchewan would have an increase of five members. How would these

hon. members answer the people who live in the cities and provinces if they brought about a general election, which postponed for five years the redistribution which would give them the additional representation to which they would be entitled?

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CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

Does it not follow from the hon. member's reasoning that as long as the government neglects to pass a redistribution bill nobody should vote against it?

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LIB

William Gawtress Raymond

Liberal

Mr. RAYMOND:

If I understand the hon. member aright, he stated that as long as the government failed to pass a redistribution bill nobody should vote against them? The answer is that the government has not had an opportunity to pass a redistribution bill, and you would have an opportunity to vote against them after they had passed redistribution.

I think that it is worth while to bring this matter to the attention of hon. members opposite and the members of the House generally. It does not seem to me that it is a contentious question particularly. I think it is a very plain question. I do not observe any legal quibbles or anything of that kind in it. It is a plain proposition; it is common sense and good judgment. If an election is brought on before the redistribution bill is passed, certain parts of the country will not be represented, and it will not be the government that will be responsible, but it will be the hon. members who forced the government to resign and go out of office. That is plain enough.

Another matter has been alluded to in various ways, and the omission of it from the Speech from the Throne was referred to by more than one hon. member who spoke on the other side of the House. No particular reference was made in the Speech from the Throne to the Near East troubles which occurred last September. The discussion on this question in the House and in the press rather tends to show what a variety of views may be taken of it. Some made it a ground of attack upon the government. The hon. member for St. John (Mr. Baxter) in referring to it, described himself as a patriot and a lover of peace, and at the same time wished to place himself with those who would condemn the government because they avoided war. It was a position which was hard for me to follow, as were other things in the hon. member's address. I thought, however, that it was very difficult to see how a man could be a lover of peace, a conscientious man and a patriot, and at the same time find fault because war had been avoided by the government of the country in con-

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S, 1923


The Address-Mr. Raymond nection with the embroglio which occurred last September. He said, as I understood it, that parliament should have been assembled. Now, I do not know that it is advisable on every such occasion that parliament should be assembled. It would rather tend to indicate that we had not the confidence in the administration that we should have. Nothing has transpired since to show that it was necessary that parliament should have been called together, and when he or some other member who criticised the government action, said that the only one that was consulted then was the then leader of the Progressive party (Mr. Crerar) and suggested that the right hon. leader of the Opposition (Mr. Meighen) should have been consulted, it seemed to me that the member's mind was going back to 1914. I think hon. members might well go back and consider who was consulted then. Was the opposition at that time taken into the confidence of the government?


CON
LIB

William Gawtress Raymond

Liberal

Mr. RAYMOND:

The right hon. member says, " yes, they were," but if they were, why was it necessary afterwards to form a Union government? If the opposition had at that time been taken into the confidence of the government, we would have had a united government, and never would have had any cause afterwards to remedy the mistake, or to pretend to remedy it by forming what was called the Union government, but it will forever be looked upon by future historians as the greatest mistake that ever happened in the history of Canada, that party politics-I can call it nothing else-prevailed to such an extent that Sir Wilfrid Lautier and the Liberal party were not taken into the confidence of the then government of Canada, in order that they might turn their attention to winning the war. To me that is and always will be one of the most regrettable incidents in our history, and I think there is no man who remembers those times who will not say that the action of the then government was strongly coloured by that partisan spirit that hon. gentlemen have this afternoon deplored, or pretended to deplore from their seats in parliament.

But to go back to the incident of last September, I understand-and I think I do -the events that happened then and their sequence, I will endeavour to describe them without meandering through the circuitous paths of diplomatic language or crossing the plain highway of thought. I would ask the House to consider carefully this circumstance, because it was the actual circumstance by

iii

which the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) had to be governed at the time. A telegram came, which was as a bolt out of the blue, asking the extent to which Canada was prepared to back up the British policy in the Near East. I think hon. members will agree with me so far that that is what happened. The Prime Minister had to consider from whom that telegram came. It did not come from the coolest-headed member of the British government; it came from one who has been considered rather impetuous, a very Hotspur, one who said, if you remember, Sir, at the beginning of the war, that he would send the British navy to dig the Germans out of their holes like rats if their fleet stayed in port. That was a bold statement ; but it was one at which the First Sea Lord and the men of the Admiralty smiled with their tongues in their cheeks. It was fiom a man of that impetuous disposition that this telegram came, and the reply of the Prime Minister, when he asked for further information that he might be informed more distinctly what the policy of Great Britain was in the Near East with regard to Turkey, sprinkled upon the ardour of the one who had sent the message those few cold drops of modesty that were necessaiy to cause a more deliberate consideration.

If as the event proved, it became unnecessary either that Canada should signify her distinct acquiescence in the policy of Great Britain with regard to Turkey, or state whether she would send a contingent to assist in the execution of the British plans in the Near East, it would have been absurd or ridiculous for the Prime Minister or the government to commit this country to anything of the kind. We should know exactly what we are going to do before we undertake to support any commitment. Some say: "Well, Australia did this, and New Zealand did it." I do not want the action or the attitude or the mind of Australia or New Zealand ever to influence the mind of Canada with regard to her destiny. We have a right to say that, amongst the various dominion-of the Empire, this Dominion, which was the one which solved the problem of Imperial government and made it possible for those other dominions to come into existence and exist as a commonwealth of nations, is not called upon to heed to their actions. Each one must act for itself, and it is for Canada to take her own place, her own part, to look at her own future and destiny in the decisions which she makes.

Some say: "It should have been done foi the moral effect." Mark the use of the word "moral"- the moral effect. If bluffing

The Address-Mr. Raymond

is a moral game, then it would be done for the moral effect. In effect, to back up a bluff, was what Canada was asked to do, and I should be very sorry if it ever was in the history or nature of this people to become bluffers, to become rattlers of the sabre, and in a great crisis to take that kind of attitude that would be brow-beating and boastful. I would rather that Canada were a nation that does not say too much, but that acts right up to what it says and does it. That is what the people of the nation after which we claim to model our institutions, to a great extent are n.ted for-not saying more than tiiey will do, but thoroughly doing that which t!, y say. That was the attitude of the Prime Minister of this country at that time, and we have every reason to be proud of him that he acted in the good old traditional way in which we would expect a Canadian government to act. It is not always hasty action, the showing of alacrity, that is the wisest course. There is an expression that came to me often in 1914 when I thought of the great crisis and how much was in the balance, when I thought how deliberately Britain took the stand that she did. I would apply those same words to Canada in September last and through her future history, and I hope it will always be the idea that will govern her statesmen. The words are these:

Rightly to be great

Is not to stir without great argument,

But greatly to find quarrel in a straw

When honour's at the stake.

Was honour at the stake? Our government did not stir without great argument. They did not see the argument in the matter, and they did not stir; but had honour been at stake, I feel sure they would have taken those steps that would have been necessary to protect the honour of this country. No, there was a reversal of policy. Almost immediately that those few drops of cold modesty were sprinkled upon the ardour of the British ministers, their policy was reversed, and newspapers came out in England applauding Canada for the stand she had taken. Resolutions were passed by city councils and other bodies, congratulating this Dominion that she was able to take the wise stand that she did. The election came off, and hon. gentlemen know what happened. That policy was reversed by a majority in that election, and that showed that the people did not back up the gentleman who was then Prime Minister of England, nor the gentleman who sent the message.

When the gentleman who sent the message, who was known, I believe, as I said, as a

Hotspur, to be of an impetuous nature, and who wished to play this game of bluff in the East, went north to his constituents in Scotland, why, Sir, he was beaten. The people showed him that they did not approve his policy.

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An hon. MEMBER:

By a prohibitionist.

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LIB

William Gawtress Raymond

Liberal

Mr. RAYMOND:

That is just what I was going to say. It is bad enough to be beaten at any time; but when hon. members consider the bitter irony of the position of being beaten in Scotland by a prohibitionist, they will realise the strength of feeling that was in the hearts of those voters must have been much more than usual. I consider the fact that these incidents were not mentioned in the Speech from the Throne was rather a good thing than a bad one. Why should these incidents have been mentioned in the Speech from the Throne? If you are going across the Atlantic and you pass a dangerous rock or reef, and if the captain or the pilot were to point it out to you and say: "We passed that rock safely," you would think he was looking for credit for passing it. Had this matter been mentioned in the Speech from the Throne, we would have had the criticism that the government was looking for credit for having saved the country from the dire calamity of war, the most dire calamity that could have befallen it. The government did not mention it in the Speech from the Throne, not desiring to have that criticism, and hence its absence is commented upon. I think it is a good thing that no reference is made to it. It was an event that sank deeply into the hearts of all the Canadian people. It was one of the events that will help to make and mould the public mind of this country, so that whenever the eventuality faces us, whether we shall be at war or at peace, those who are rulers at the time when this may happen, will consider the matter so carefully that they will not stir without great argument; that they will form their decision very resolutely, carefully and wisely; that they will count all the costs; that they will count the cost in money.

There is no one who will not admit that even the enormous sum that the war cost us was very little indeed to what it cost Canada in other respects. We cannot forget those graves which you, Mr. Speaker, went over to visit last summer; and he who would commit this country to war at any time must do it so that he can look the widow and the orphan in the face afterwards. The Prime Minister did not feel that he could do so last September,

The Address-Mr. Raymond

Find naturally, until the necessity should present itself with overwhelming force, he shrank from any appearance of committing this country to war, or anything of that kind. We have every reason to be proud of a government that could take such a step, and we hope that successive governments in Canada will always follow that example and avoid in the future as far as possible any entanglements in war.

Are we to be responsible for the foreign policy of Great Britain, whatever it may be, without knowing what it is, without its being clearly defined? Why, the question is not worthy of being discussed here. I do not think there is a man who would take that stand here. If so, we have gone back to a position of tutelage, as a colony, from which we thought we had escaped many years ago. As a part of the commonwealth of nations or, as you please, of the dominions that form the great British Empire, we in the future are going to take our own position on these matters. We are going to form our own opinions, and are not going to be bound to follow the foreign policy of Great Britain in every matter that would entangle us in war. Nor do I think that the statesmen of Great Britain feel that we should be so bound. They have no right to think for a moment that we should be bound by their foreign policy without some say in the matter. Of course, if the occasion arose again as it did in 1914, when the principles of liberty, and honour and justice were at stake, Canada could be depended upon to perceive her duty by instinct, as she did then. But let it be known to those who are ambitious to prosecute certain policies in certain parts of the world in which we ' are not interested, that we are not going to spend -either blood or money to further their designs. The revulsion of opinion showed after the event that the policy of Great Britain in regard to the East had not been of the wisest. When the military headquarters were at Chanak on the south side of the Dardanelles, had Canada sent any message, such as Australia despatched in regard to the situation that then existed, so as to strengthen the hands of those who were carrying on this bluff, and had there been the least conflict between those armies that were then face to face within gunshot distance of each other, had there been a few rifles discharged on that occasion, the consequences would have been inconceivable. We did not know for certainty then, but we know now, that at once Turkey would have plunged into war against us; and she would have been joined immediately by Russia, whose soviet government is as anxious to drive Britain out of those states as Britain is to drive Turkey out. Then that combination of Turkey and Russia would have been joined by Germany, who would be only too ready, if she had the allies, to take some military position that would enable her to repudiate all her enormous responsibilities of debt and reparations and depreciated currency. I am not overstating the case, for subsequent events have actually proved it; had the action of our Prime Minister at that moment been rash 11 p.m. there was a possibility that the world might have been plunged again into a war not much less serious than that of 1914. Now, I hope that the same temperate course will always be followed by the rulers of this country. It was Victor Hugo, I think, who said that moderation is the very breath of judgment; and I believe it is. And judgment is the quality that is required in all such cases.

I trust we shall always beware of entering into any quarrel, but that having entered it, we shall so play our part that the opponents may beware of us. But those who impute any lack of loyalty in the fact that we did not make some boastful or threatening declamations do not know the history of this country. Certainly, such a statement could never be made by an Englishman or by any other Briton, because he knows what Canada did in the late war, and he would never think that she lacked loyalty. I should be very sorry to think that such a statement could ever be made by a true Canadian, because the history of no country is more inspiring so far as the courage of its inhabitants is concerned. Canada's people have always shown themselves a brave people from the very earliest days of its history until the present time. Of course, we have had but few wars, but in her record Canada has never shirked her duty, and her sons could never be called cowards. There is not a more interesting event in modern history than the fact that after the Treaty of Paris in 1763, when this country was invaded from the south and no British troops were here to defend it, the French Canadians rose and repelled the invaders and saved the country to the British flag. In the war of 1812 all the inhabitants took an equal share; and in all succeeding struggles down to the last great war there has not been a time when Canada could be accused of failing to take her rightful place when occasion called. Anyone who suggested the contrary could not be either a true Briton or a true son of Canada. We have, I think,

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* every reason to congratulate ourselves on the stand which the Prime Minister took, and which shows that he possesses that particular kind of wisdom that is required in meD who have the responsibility of governing a great country and of meeting issues that are fraught with terrible consequences.

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PRO

Thomas Henry McConica

Progressive

Mr. T. H. McCONICA (Battleford):

Mr. Speaker, I did not expect to participate in this debate but circumstainces are such that I deem it my duty to myself, to my associates and to the members of the House to make some pronouncement as to where I stand. I should like to go to some extent into the discussion of the Speech from the Throne, but I have decided under the circumstances to forego that pleasure. I am admonished that it is the desire to conclude this debate to-night and I shall certainly not weary the House I want to congratulate the mover (Mr. Putnam) and the seconder (Mr. Rheaume) of the Address on the excellent speeches they delivered in discharging that duty. I concur in all that has been said in commendation including the speech that I was unable to understand when the seconder delivered it I do not think it is entirely my fault if I could not understand it. I spent long hours in my younger days trying to master the French language, and I failed. The trouble was not that I did not study with sufficient diligence, but that the Almighty did not seem to have ntended me for a Frenchman. But I would say to the hon. member that I have since given myself the pleasure of reading the translation of his able remarks, and I most heartily congratulate him.

I would say a word with regard to those who are not with us. I was well acquainted with but one of our late members, who have crossed the dark river, and I feel that I should say something as to him. I refer to the hon. member who formerly represented Lanark (Mr. Stewart). My acquaintance with him was all too brief. Soon after coming into the House I met him as an inexperienced, green member meets the experienced member who has reaped the reward of occupying a high position among those with whom he is associated, but I found him to be a considerate, kindly, courteous, polished gentleman. A gentleman in all that the term applies. I had the pleasure of being associated with him as a neighbour on this side of the chamber and in committee work for one session, and I came to esteem him as a statesman, careful, industrious, painstaking, honest, efficient and able-a most valuable member of this House. I esteemed him as a citizen worthy in every respect, patriotic, and devoted to

the best interests of his country. In a word, Mr. Speaker, such a gentleman, such a statesman and such a patriot as we may well honour, and therefore I desire to add my tribute to what has been so well expressed concerning him.

I would touch on one or two matters that have arisen in this debate. I am still from the West, Mr. Speaker, and I am still proud of the West. I am proud of her people, and I would admonish you that they are not a whining, complaining set of people out there; they are men with good, strong nerves, they are patriotic, they are intelligent, they are industrious, they are courageous, and they are bound to fight to the bitter end. This they are doing under most adverse circumstances. I can assure you. I am not here to retract anything that has been said as to the arduous conditions existing there Indeed, I am personally in such a position that I dare not attempt anything of the kind. We are not getting enough for our wheat; that is what is the matter with jus. Wheat is the thing we must depend on in that country. My esteemed friend, the right hon. leader of the Opposition (Mr. Meighen) says he can see that there is a relation between 75-cent wheat and an exhausted, bankrupt Europe with exchange demoralized and credit gone. We can all see that. But I want to remind the right hon. gentleman that Europe has bought all the wheat we could send them. There has been no trouble to find a market for our whear, over there. And they have paid for it. But if the papers are to be credited, the spread between what they pay to-day for our wheat and what we get for it is from 40 cents to 50 cents. more per bushel than it was before the war when conditions were normal, when money was plentiful, and when exchange was in their favour rather than otherwise.

Now, where is the trouble? There is a leak, somewhere. That is what is the matter with us. The two parties that are interested in this business, the producer and the consumer, are not receiving proper consideration. They are the real parties in interest, and the gap is too wide. We are informed by my esteemed friend from Saskatoon (Mr. Evans) that bread costs about a third less in London than it does in Saskatoon where we raise the wheat from which the bread is made. There is something wrong. I am not going to emphasize this now, although I should like to discuss it fully, and I may say to my hon. friends that I am still for the Wheat Board. We intend to have a board of that kind some of these days, but I won't weary the House

The Address-Mr. McConica

with that subject to-night. We must have some relief. We are promised in the Speech from the Throne that a committee will be appointed to investigate, with power to make recommendations. I have lived in Canada quite a considerable number of years, for fifteen years I have been trying to raise wheat, and I think I have put in about one-half of my spare time reading reports of investigations by committees, Mr. Speaker, and yet to-day we are still in worse shape , than we ever were in respect to the wheat business. We want investigation, but wo want something more.

But it is to the amendments that I desire to speak. We have offered an amendment through the hon. member for Springfield (Mr. Hoey), raising a question which we still think is vital to Canada. We attempted to raise that same question last year, and were ruled out.

I am not disposed to question that ruling. However, we had no opportunity of bringing that question to a discussion. Now it . is objected that we are attempting to embarrass the government by introducing the amendment at this juncture. Nothing of the kind is intended. Here is a proposition upon which the people of this country are divided, upon which the members of this House are divided. Now if we can bring that to a square-toed issue and draw that line, and this government is defeated, then I am willing to accept the consequences, Mr. Speaker. That is where I stand on that proposition. There are two sides to that question, and I am here to maintain the platform upon which I was elected and the principles in which I believe, namely, that the tariff should be reduced. I do not believe that this country can continue to exist and prosper half free trade and half high protection. The farmers must sell their products in the markets of the world in competition with the cheapest labour imaginable, they must encounter everything that tends to pull down their prices, including an exorbitant spread between them, the producers, and the consumers, and they, the producers, must buy what they require at high protective tariff prices. As I say, we are selling our wheat cheaper than we did before the war. And what are we getting? We are getting a dollar which is worth sixty cents,as compared with the dollar we got before the war. The reason for that to my mind is not that Europe cannot buy, for she is buying our wheat. I say we are here to support the amendment offered by the hon. member for Springfield (Mr. Hoey). and we are ready to accept the consequences, even if the government should decide in the event of the amendment carrying, that it was

ready to retire from office. We do not want that, I will admit. Personally I do not want it. It would interfere with my plans to some extent, and I do not believe the country wants it. But I believe the country does want a pronouncement on this question, and if the majority of members in this parliament are in favour of a radical reduction in the tariff, and say so, I do not know but what we could form a government out of that element and run this country in pretty good shape. Therefore, I am going to support that amendment, ar.d I hope everyone here will.

We have another amendment, offered by the hon. member for Calgary West (Mr. Shaw). Ii presenting his amendment to the House, he was good enough to relieve the Progressives from all responsibility in connection with it. He defined his position in the House, which we have well understood, and with his definition and attitude we fully agree. It is perfectly proper that he should take the position he did; he was so elected. We would like to co-operate with him fully in such legislation as we think should be enacted, and in that respect we would like to co-operate with every member in this House. But we would like it understood that when he says it is not our amendment he is proposing, that that is the position exactly. We have a notion on our side that we will vote as we please on a thing of that kind. What is the amendment of the hon. gentleman? He 3ays:

The House views with alarm the substantial increase in the national debt.

In that sentiment I fully agree. I apprehend we are all of one mind upon that. We must view with alarm the fact that the national debt has been materially increased. It has been fashionable with me to view with alarm any increase in my own indebtedness or any indebtedness of the country, so I think we are all a unit on that. But is it the office of the Speech from the Throne to catalogue al! the things we view with alarm? If that is its function, I submit that the list is far too short. The hon. gentleman seems rather to insist on limiting it to one thing. If he would submit the list to my good friend for St. John (Mr. Baxter), who delivered that Jeremiad this afternoon, I am sure he would view with alarm conditions with regard to the potato growers, lumbermen, and everything else in that part of the country, and my hon. friend from Hants (Mr. Martell) could also add a lot of things that he views with alarm. My hon. friend from King's (Mr. Hughes) could also furnish him with a list. When the cars on his line, are hot they are too hot, and when they are cold they are too cold. If the hon.

The Address-Mr. McConica

gentleman really wants a substantial list of woes, let him consult his own associates from the province of Alberta. Why, they could furnish him with an unvarnished tale of woes that would make each individual hair stand up like the quills upon the fretful porcupine, and the pity of it is they would all be true. That is the tragedy of it. They would all be more real than the rather academic and thumb-worn general proposition which he has seen fit to include in his pronouncement. I think he would have been well advised to have left out that part of his amendment, because it is a proposition with which we all agree, and the list is not in any way complete when he limits it to the one thing. He says:

This House views with alarm the increase in the national debt and urges Your Excellency's advisers to exert every possible effort to economize in the expenditure and administration of government.

I agree with that. It is proper that we should have economy in the expenditure and administration of government; I think they mean about the same thing. But I want more economy than that. I want to see economy in the management of our railways, that great enterprise that has passed out of the hands of the government and in which the people of Canada are vitally interested. I want to see economy in the management of our harbour commissions and terminal elevators, and in all our great quasi-public institutions. I go further, I want to see economy in all the railways and among all the people of Canada. We must have economy everywhere. The trouble with that part of the amendment is that it does not go far enough. It is limited to the expenditure and administration of government. My friends to my right seem to think that is all we should eponomize on in this country, but I do not agree with that at all.

The amendment goes on to say that the purpose of this economy is "to lessen the burden of federal taxation." That is a very commendable thing to do, and I am in favour of it. I think we would be very wise indeed if we were to practise economy everywhere and lessen the burden of taxation. But I would go further than that. I would say that we should conserve our resources to such an extent that we can not only cut out this deficit but pay something on the national debt and carry on all the great public improvements that are needed. We might improve the harbour at St. John, for instance, and at Quebec and Montreal. We should complete the Hudson Bay railway. Let us economize to that end. We should send out feeders to our railroad lines on the prairies-

build branch lines. My good friend the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Motherwell) some little time after the new Board of Railway Directors was appointed, and before they had had their first meeting, I think, certainly long before Sir Henry Thornton came from England, is reported to have said out in the West that they were going to build a lot of lines on the prairies. I do not know how he got his information. I thought Sir Henry Thornton was the man to make a statement of that kind. It embarrassed me a good deal, because I could not back it up. I did not know, and I did not know whether he knew or not. If he did, I would like to know how he found out, because I do not think Sir Henry Thornton knew as he had not then seen the railways. .

But I want to see economy. It will assist us in that respect, it will assist us in the building of the terminal facilities out at Vancouver. I do not want to limit our economy to merely relieving the burdens of taxation. The qualifications that the hon. gentleman has put in here are words of limitation. They cut down the scope of our aims. If I had drawn that amendment I should have said, " I am in favour of economy," that is all. Economy is what we want-economy in administration and expenditure, economy in the operation of every public enterprise, and in our own private lives, and to the end that we may not only reduce the burdens of taxation but that we may build up this country to the future that certainly lies before us. When that is done we shall have the results which are spoken of here, and many more blessings will follow in its train. So I say this amendment does not commend itself very much to me.

Now what is the pronouncement of His Excellency? He says that the public accounts will be down soon, and declares that a strict economy in all public expenditures continues to be a necessity. Now, does not that cover the matter pretty thoroughly? Is not that just about as broad as you can make it? I ask the hon. gentlemen on my left, does that not mean a lot more than the statement of the hon. member for Calgary West (Mr. Shaw)? I think it does, and I submit, Mr, Speaker, that in the first place this amendment is not germane to' the amendment of the hon. member for Springfield (Mr. Hoey) ; it does not touch a single thing that is contained in that amendment; it is not relevant in the most remote degree; and I do not quite understand how it was held to be in order. It is also a contraction of the declaration of His Excellency. The Governor General de-

The Address-Mr. Stewart {Leeds)

dares that economy in all public expenditures continues to be a necessity. That course we are admonished to follow, that rule is set up for us to adhere to. What more do we want? I apprehend it would hardly do for His Excellency to intrude into our private lives and tell us what we should do there; he was instructing parliament. My platform is a litle broader than his. I want economy to begin right in my own household, and then to permeate this whole great country of ours, permeate public and private bodies, permeate every enterprise and every interest; and when that time comes I believe that the. clouds that lower upon our horizon will be buried in the deep bosom of the ocean.

That is all I care to say, but I think I have made myself clear as to the position some of us occupy upon this matter. But we are not going to be unanimous-some voting one way and some voting another. I do not propose to cast a vote that will dissolve this House unless I mean it. Suppose a vote on the second amendment had the effect of dissolving parliament, as I infer it would from the excellent speech of the Minister of Finance, what does it mean? What would we be going to the country on? On something as to which we are all agreed-that- is that we want economy-and what good could result? I think the hon. gentleman would be well advised to withdraw his amendment.

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CON

Hugh Alexander Stewart

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. H. A. STEWART (Leeds):

Mr. Speaker, I must apologize, as a comparatively new member, for intruding myself into this debate at this late hour. However, I shall endeavour to be brief, and I have to a large extent condensed what I proposed to say on this occasion. I feel some embarrassment in speaking as a new arrival and I entertain a greater sense of responsibility in discussing such matters as we are considering at this time.

I wish to join with the other speakers who have extended their congratulations to the mover and seconder of the Address, and to associate myself with the congratulations that have been extended to the new leader of the Progressive party. I would also extend a warm word of welcome to the new members to this House, and express the hope that they will all take the active, intelligent interest in the proceedings which the older members have taken.

In the Speech, His Excellency has been pleased to refer to the pleasure which he has derived from his extended tour through Canada, and the many courtesies he has received at the hands of the Canadian people. We are very grateful indeed that Their Excellencies have taken such a kindly interest in our welfare, and that they are making themselves so familiar with all parts of the country. We would recognize in the office of the Governor General one of the bonds of Empire, and we are sure that so long as the occupants of that high office display the same intelligent, active interest in our affairs, as the present incumbent and his predecessors have done, they will continue to receive our expressions of appreciation and gratitude. We wish Lord and Lady Byng success and happiness in their continued visit with us.

Some extended reference was made by one hon. gentleman who has spoken to the Near East question. I rather thought that he gave it more attention, perhaps, than it deserved. Some of the cablegrams exchanged with the British government were read, and a summary of others given, by the Prime Minister. I think it is perfectly clear to all that the British Empire was not preparing for war, that the British authorities were endeavouring to bring about peace in the Near East. Yet the hon. gentleman to whom I have referred, approached this matter as if the British government were endeavouring to launch a new war. Quite the opposite was the intention.

I am sure nothing could have been more calculated to prevent war than the knowledge that all parts of the great Empire stood together united for the same purpose. I am sure that the answer which went from Canada did not make for peace, that it was very disappointing to the British authorities, and to many * people in Canada itself. I am likewise sure that a prompt cablegram assuring the Imperial authorities that we, with the other portions of the British dominions, were united with the Mother Country would have had a very good effect indeed. In short, a cablegram of that nature, promptly sent, would have been better than a contingent despatched months afterwards.

I think, Sir, it is very fortunate indeed for all concerned that this crisis has passed, but it is no more fortunate for anyone than for the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) and the government of Jhis country.

The Speech from the Throne has referred to an increase in our commerce. It is true it is not very substantial, but it is a step in the right direction. It is encouraging and it is satisfactory to us on this side of the House to know that that increase in our commerce was accomplished without any change in the fiscal policies which had been pursued by the predecessors of this government.

The Address-Mr. Stewart (Leeds)

There is a belated acknowledgement that our financial depression is due to financial conditions in Europe following the war. I am inclined to think, Mr. Speaker, that that explanation should have been given to this country much earlier by the Prime Minister and the members of this government, because I am sure that explanation was not made by him before the last election and I know that all of our troubles, financial, commercial and otherwise, were attributed to the alleged shortcomings of the then existing government.

Some reference has also been made to the trade conventions with France and Italy. It will take time to study these, and it will also take a considerable period of actual working to know whether the results will prove beneficial or otherwise. We will have to leave that to those who are more familiar with the trade question, and await results.

The removal of the cattle embargo or the alleged approaching reihoval of the cattle embargo, has also been referred to, because it does not yet appear that it has been entirely removed. In the province of Ontario we have been told that the credit for this action is due in a very large measure to the Minister of Agriculture for that province, the Hon. Manning Doherty, who, as we recall, went to the Mother Country and engaged in a campaign there in support of the removal of that embargo. He offended public sentiment in that country, received a well merited rebuke, and, I think, his activity retarded rather than helped the removal of the embargo. Yet in that province they are claiming for the provincial government [DOT] and for the Minister of Agriculture in that government a large measure of credit for this removal. There is, of course, a difference of opinion as to the value of the removal of this embargo. I think that it has been exaggerated. But again, we will have to await its complete removal, the regulations that follow, and the results also that will follow the removal of the embargo. The ultimate removal of the embargo will come in fulfilment of a promise secured by Sir Robert Borden at an Imperial Conference.

Some reference is also made to immigration, and upon this very important question I believe it is well understood that there are two views or two opinions fairly strongly held in this country, one in favour of practically unrestricted immigration, and another in favour of restricted immigration. As far as we can judge from the speeches of the hon. Minister of the Interior (Mr. Stewart), and from the record, the government has not yet made up its mind upon this very important

matter. They have not yet adopted a policy, and we are without any knowledge as to what their intentions are in this respect. Speaking for myself, Mr. Speaker, I favour restricted immigration, restricted both as to quantity and as to quality-restricted as to quantity to the extent that we shall receive into Canada only those who can be well placed when they come here, only those who can come with advantage to themselves and with advantage to those who are already here, and restricted as to quality in that they shall be suitable for agriculture and for the industrial occupations which they may desire to pursue in this country. I submit that it is the duty of the government to bring down to this House and submit during the course of this session a well considered and well rounded policy upon this important matter. We have, I am afraid, been drifting, we have been losing time and losing opportunity, and immigrants have been going to other parts of the Empire, when they should have been coming to Canada. We should also, if possible, do something to prevent the emigration from this country which has been so pronounced in the last year.

I think it is only fair Mr. Speaker, that the government should have credit for having decided to make use of the Soldiers' Land Settlement organization in connection with the placing of immigrants in Canada. This excellent organization formed by the late government has rendered invaluable services to the returned soldier, and is, I believe, capable of equally valuable service to immigrants. I say the government are entitled to credit in this respect for their expressed intention of making use of this organization.

Then we are promised a revision of the Bank Act. It comes to us in the ordinary course. It is not a matter for which the government claims or, I think, is entitled to claim any credit. The act has in the main worked well, but changed conditions and certain occurrences of the last few years have demonstrated the necessity for some amendments to it. I wish to suggest an amendment which, I think, will give some relief to agriculture in this country. At the present time, as I understand the provisions of that act, a bank cannot lend upon the direct securities of farm products or chattels, it must be done in a roundabout way, and I know that in the province of Ontario there is a strong feeling on the part of those engaged in agriculture that too much of the funds that are received on deposit are not available for the immediate requirements of agriculture in Ontario. I would suggest that an amendment be made which would permit banks to loan to those

The Address-Mr. Stewart (Leeds)

engaged in agriculture and others requiring advances the amounts which they require on the direct security of chattels. A simple form comprehensive in terms could easily be made a record, and when made of record would create a lien on the chattels. In this way there would be a fair, proper, and safe extension on banking accommodations, and agriculture would receive a stimulus. I submit this for the consideration of those who may have this matter in charge.

Another matter that is referred to in the Speech is an investigation into the alleged combine in connection with shipping rates. That brings to mind the allegation, particularly, of the member who now occupies the position of Minister of Labour (Mr. Murdock) in this government in the last election campaign, that combines were rampant, that they were numerous, and the Dominion Textiles Corporation was mentioned. It was pointed out that they were simply eating up the poor people of this country, and he promised that there would be investigations; that there would be prosecutions, and that this matter would be attended to at once. Since he has come into the House, we have not heard so much about the matter. We have not had any investigations; we have not had any prosecutions, and if these combines did exist, they have been allowed to continue and to flourish.

Redistribution is in order, and this suggests a subject of considerable difficulty and possibly of bitter strife. I hope this will not be necessary, and I do not think it is necessary if the government who will have the measure in charge, is prepared to follow well-established lines, to make a fair distribution, to adhere to county boundaries, and to appoint a committee of all parties represented in this House who will, upon these general principles, settle the details of this troublesome matter. I think it was one of the members of the Progressive party who suggested that we might have proportional representation in some of the cities. I do not know why this experiment should be wished upon cities and not upon other parts of the Dominion. I suggest that it might as well be tried out in Manitoba or Saskatchewan or Alberta; but I am not in favour of it at all. I think, when you consider the fact that only about sixty to seventy per cent of the electors vote in any general election, you will find, if you ask them to adopt a new and complicated system, that a smaller proportion of the vote will be cast. The results of this are uncertain; it leads to groups and to group government with all its compromises, with all its uncertainties, and

with the difficulty of fixing responsibility. What I think the Canadian people desire is that they shall, by a direct, simple and positive method, be able to cast their votes in favour of a government which they approve or against a government which they do not approve, and the present method is the best calculated to accomplish that result. I admit, of course, that there are anomalies and inconsistencies in connection with the present method. Sometimes the majority of the voters do not elect a majority of the members of this House. But then again, I think this is due to some faulty redistribution of the constituencies. This may be overcome, and there are anomalies and difficulties also in connection with the system that has been proposed. We had better, I submit, "bear those ills we have, than fly to others tha< we know not of." Therefore, I submit that proportional representation should not be adopted, either in the cities or in any other part of Canada at this time.

I was pleased with the address of the last speaker (Mr. McConica) who dealt with the subject of economy in such an illuminating manner. I was pleased to hear him say that he was prepared to go the whole way in connection with this very important matter; but really if he was prepared to go as far as he outlined, I could not see how he could be hurt very much by voting for the principle that is involved in the resolution of the hon. member for Calgary West (Mr Shaw). I can see, however, how he might, fear, and his party might fear, that this would embarrass the government of the day, and of course they do not wish to do that.

I wish to refer to another statement that was made during the course of the debate. The hon. member for Springfield (Mr. Hoey) moved the amendment, and I have before me Hansard at page 69 of which he is reported to have made this statement. He seemed to go a little bit out of his way, I thought, to make some references to the leader of the Opposition (Mr. Meighen) and to this party. In order that we may have exactly his words, I will read a sentence os two of Hansard. He said:

I could not help but think as the right hon. gentleman concluded his remarks that he himself was rapidly becoming Canadianised. But what of his immediate followers? I trust the Canadianisation of my right hon. friend will not lead to the fossilization of his immediate followers. Why this ominous silence? The country did not expect much from them, we know, but surely the country expects something. Well might an angel exclaim "Why seek ye the living amongst the dead?"

I wish to assure that hon. gentleman that this party is neither dead nor sleeping. I

The Address-Mr. McMaster

wish to tell him that it is resting and recuperating from a long period of arduous activity, both in peace and war, in the interest of the people of this country. I wish to point out to him that these professions of superior virtue from his following, these reflections that are, from time to time, made upon both the old parties, would come with better grace if my hon. friends had to their credit some slight achievement in the interest of Canada. After hearing the address of the ex-Minister of Finance (Sir Henry Drayton), I think my hon. friend will revise his opinion and come to the conclusion that this party is not dead after all. No, Mr. Speaker, we are not dead; we are not sleeping; we are observing everything that is happening in this House.

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CON

Hugh Alexander Stewart

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEWART (Leeds):

We are rejoicing in the vindication of the policy and the programme of our party that is coming through the merciless logic of events and by the action of our successors in office. I repeat that we are not dead, nor sleeping; and when the time comes-and it may not be very long- we shall be found ready and well equipped to resume the conduct of the complicated and difficult affairs of Canada, keeping her, with all her obligations, national and international, in a position of respect and responsibility in that great family of nations that go to make up the British Empire.

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February 8, 1923