I have thought, after listening to this debate for several days, if a composite picture could be drawn of it, I would like to have that picture. We have had all kinds of expressions of opinion and arguments with respect to the policy brought down by the minister, and I do not see any finality in anything that has been said with respect to that policy. I am sometimes almost persuaded to one phase or another, and then another speaker arises and disabuses my mind. I am reminded of an old man of ninety-two years of age who had never taken a drink in his life. Some prominent temperance people were holding a meeting in the vicinity, and they decided to motor out to interview this old gentleman. They went out and saw him. He was hale and hearty, ninety-two years of age. He said:"Yes, gentlemen, I have never taken a drink in my life." While he was talking, there was a noise of furniture being broken upstairs, and someone expressed a little concern. The old man said: "Never mind, that is only father;
he has been out and had a drink or two, and they cannot do anything with him." So that shows that what may seem almost unassailable is probably not quite as sound as it would seem. I sympathize with the minister in connection with the policy that he has placed before the House. I sympathize with him because of some of the criticisms that policy has received. It is my humble opinion that he is trying to do what is best for the country in what is a most complex, difficult and contentious problem.
I am going to deal with this problem from an entirely different angle. I am going to try to show that it is of very little use bringing immigrants to this country, unless we can prepare the country for them. For a number of years now we have had very many of our men and women going to the country to the south of us. Why are they going? I am going to endeavour to tell this House why they are going, and they are going in greater numbers now than in previous years. This is due in large measure to the wonderful prosperity which that country is enjoying at the present time, to which prosperity we are contributing in a large degree. Our young men are leaving the West, leaving the Pacific province, of
which I am best able to speak, and their fondest wish when they leave is that they will return at some early date, for they love their country and are only leaving it because of the better opportunities that exist in the United States. The reason, I think, Mr. Chairman, is this: We have an adverse trade balance with our neighbours to the south, of $200,000,000 every year. A fairly constant stream of $200,000,000 of gold or its equivalent is flowing yearly from this country to the United States. Just imagine-one billion dollars every five years from a population of nine'million people! What can be the result? We must inevitably follow that stream of gold. We will drift the way the gold is going. We have a trade balance in our favour with the old countries of Europe and people from those countries are following that gold out here at all times. We want them to stay here. Canada cannot afford to be a preparatory school for people from European countries whose ultimate destination will be with our neighbours to the south. If they come here and remain here they will probably displace some of our citizens, and then they will go. One man who has been brought up in the resourceful Canadian school is in some respects worth on an average three men that come to us from European countries. I think that will be conceded. We must keep our people at home.
How are we going to stop them following this constant stream of gold to the United States every year? My remedy will be one which will not appeal to my hon. friend from Saskatoon probably, but he may agree- with me before I get through with my argument.
One phase of my remedy would be for each of us to practise a little patriotism ourselves for the sake of our country. There is not a person in this country who does not buy something that is manufactured in the United States when probably he could buy something here that he could get along with just as well. I do not mean to discourage trade with that wonderful country to the south, but we must keep our money at home, and we can probably do that by a little self-denial on the part of each person in Canada, if we only would do it.
Let me explain a little further how this stream of wealth affects us. In the island where I live, Vancouver Island, we have a large coal mining population in the district represented by my hon. friend the member for Comox-Alberni (Mr. Neill) and myself. We have a coal mining population of 20,000 people. We find a market for not one half the coal we can mine, and it is rated as the best bituminous coal on the continent to-day. In
the years 1920 and 1921 we were sending $1,000,000 approximately every month out of British Columbia for fuel oil, $12,000,000 a year from a population no larger than the city of Toronto. What could occur under those circumstances? What did occur was this: We send out that million dollars a month, and we are importing 360,000,000 barrels of oil every month. That is the equivalent of 90,000 tons of good coal. That displaces that output of
90.000 tons of coal, and to mine that
90.000 tons .of coal monthly would represent a population of 6,000 or 7,000 pepple. This oil comes into our country. Our coal mines are only working part time, and none are paying dividends. They have been good to their employees. We have had no trouble with our coal miners in British Columbia, although they are largely imbued with socialistic ideas. They were true all through the war, and we had uq complaint of them loafing on the job. Our coal operators tried to treat them as men, and receiving such treatment, they are content. But with this $1,000,000 worth of oil coming into our country every month, these coal miners and others who are dependent on what the coal miners do, drifted down into California, and they are down there now working in the oil fields. They simply followed our money to California. There is no other way out of it. The thing seems perfectly plain to me. In California they are having a period of unexampled prosperity. What is known as the Huntington Beach field, near Long Beach, has turned out to be a wonderful oil producing field. In a strip of barren country known as Elk Hills, from which geologically speaking iittle was to be expected, there is I believe, the deepest well in the world. It was drilled to 6,500 feet and was a failure, but with all the money they have there they tried again, and at 4,500 feet I understand they opened up a gusher of 45,000 barrels a day. Since then numerous wells have been placed there, and it is now one of the great oil fields out-rivalling even Oklahoma. On the Pacific coast transportation is very cheap, as the oil comes in tank steamers to British Columbia. At one time before this Huntington field was opened up, we had to pay $2.75 a barrel. Now by buying for future supply we can get it at $1.24 a barrel. It we had the assurance that we were going to get it that cheap for two years more, our coal mining population would be absolutely wiped out. There is always a chance, as people know who are familiar with the oil question, that some day a well will begin to spout salt water, and then the well is done, and it is only the uncertainty
of the life of the oil regions in California that keeps our coal mines operating at all to-day. We are just living from hand to mouth in that respect. I am not going into the remedy for that now. I shall leave that to a time when the subject may more appropriately be discussed.
Just on the subject of people leaving our country, I may say that our probably greatest potential wealth in British Columbia, is timber. Nearly every day immense booms of our logs leave British Columbia for the state of Washington to be manufactured into lumber in the mills there. That raw material is going over there every month to be manufactured, and our people are leaving this countiy and going over there to assist in that manufacture, or people are manufacturing over there who would come to our country and do the manufacturing here if they were forced to manufacture it in British Columbia. The slojfes of our mountains are being denuded. There is a regular timber boom on out there, and a great part of this timber is going to our neighbours to the south. Is not that a matter for grave consideration?
There is another matter which occurs to me at the present moment. I am quite familiar with an undertaking in which half a million dollars has been embarked, and that is the creosoting industry in the constituency of Burrard, which I believe the Minister of Finance has had drawn to his attention. This industry has had simply a life and death struggle for years. For this reason: On the American side they have two immense creosoting plants doing an immense volume of business. I do not need to tell any of you gentlemen that an industry conducted on such a scale can simply crush the life out of a smaller competitor. We have a comparatively small plant in British Columbia, but given equal treatment, given a chance to succeed, it can be made a success. That would mean giving employment to 200 people, which would represent a population of nearly a thousand souls. In that industry preference has always been given to married folks and to white people. When tenders for piling are asked for, the creosoting plants on the American side put in bids at such a low figure that our people cannot compete with them. It has been asserted that the American firms put in such low bids that they made no profit at all. They do that, we have reason to think, in the hope of crushing out their Canadian competitors. The minute they succeeded in doing that, competition would disappear and the prices for creosoting piles and material would go up to rates much beyond
what the British Columbia company is doing this business for. That is another argument which undoubtedly will be used later on in favour of a higher tariff wall.
A policy which appeals to one section in Canada we well know does not appeal to another. In the Maritime provinces free trade is looked upon very kindly. I do not believe that Quebec could succeed under a policy of free trade, or that Ontario would be any more successful. Undoubtedly the prairie provinces would succeed; free trade would be a great temporary benefit to them. In British Columbia free trade would simply put us out of existence. I could multiply arguments showing what the result would be. Therefore, why cannot we sit down and reason together, regardless of political dissensions, and see if we cannot devise some remedy, such a remedy as a business man or a business firm would devise. I know of no reason why we could not do that. I believe that every thinking man in Canada should be in favour of erecting a tariff wall in this country corresponding in height to the tariff wall that has been erected against us by our neighbours to the south. Why, Sir, I have heard Americans laugh at us for neglecting to do this; they wonder at our being so slow in adopting this protection. What argument is there against our doing this? We import forty million pounds of pork products every year from the United States. We also import, I do not know how much, butter-probably a couple of million pounds. We allow the United States to ship butter into this country under a duty of only 4 cents a pound, whereas in the case of the five million pounds of butter which we exported to that country last year we paid a duty of eight cents a pound- That meant a difference of four cents a pound which might represent the profit to the Canadian manufacturer of that butter. What is the argument in favour of such a policy? I can see many good arguments in favour of reciprocity which was so strongly supported by the Minister of Finance. Some of us, however, were fearful of the future effect of reciprocity on this Dominion. Whether right or wrong I for one was fully convinced, from personal judgment, and in view of the statements of Mr. Champ Clark, Mr. Taft, and others that the policy was one which required careful consideration on the part of Canadians. But, Sir, reciprocity is absolutely out of the question at the present time. Under the circumstances why allow to these gentlemen in the United States privileges which they do not extend to us?
With respect to our Progressive friends to my left something must undoubtedly be. done for them and for those whom they represent. Unless the farmers on the western prairies prosper, to a limited degree anyway, we cannot prosper as a whole in Canada. Out in British Columbia we look to them for our market, we would like to be more closely associated with them so that we might work together. In the matter of Canada's welfare we should all be closely united. As the hon. member for Pictou (Mr. Macdonald) so eloquently said, we must be united if we are to make of this Dominion the country which it should be, a country of which we will all be proud. Why not let us all work together? Why not let us forget this miserable political bickering and sparring for position; let us sit down in council together and try and do business. The benefits which my hon. friends to my left would lose under a policy which I advocate could be made up to them in some other way. The hon. member for Comox-Alberni suggested that we might possibly bonus the production of wheat. I do not agree with that suggestion, but possibly some concession in the matter of freight rates might be given to them which would be sort of equivalent for any benefit they might otherwise derive under free trade. The great argument in favour of a policy which I recommend is that under it our money would remain in this country. If we only had $100,000,000 of the $200,000,000 which we send over to the United States what could we not accomplish in this country. The future of Canada is fraught with great possibilities. I have made a somewhat modest study of geological and mineralogical conditions and I say it is the consensus of opinion among mining men that the great Laurentian plateau away to the north of us holds possibilities leading us to expect that it will prove to be the greatest gold mining country in the world. We have plenty of reason for optimism. But let us try and stop the flow of gold which is at present going from Canada to the United States. If we do this it will help to put an end to the exodus of people from this country. At present there is a great boom over there to which we are contributing very materially. People will go to a country which holds strong attractions in the way of possibilities, but after all there is in the heart of every man a love for his own country. Make the conditions here more attractive and you will be able to repatriate many Canadians now in the United States. Personally I think very little of a man born in this country with a soul so dead
that he will ever forget that he is a Canadian.
There is another thing which would contribute materially to the prosperity of this country. We have got to find a remedy for the situation which exists in Canada at the present time in regard to coal. Our American friends have been more than kind; they have allowed Canadians to have coal when they could have used it themselves to good advantage. In 1922 we sent 860,000,000 to the United States for anthracite and bituminous coal. Now that flow of gold to the other side of the line could be stopped. Suppose we have the anthracite fields that are said to exist in Alberta. I do not know whether the facts are overdrawn with respect to these immense deposits or not; at any rate we know there is plenty of coal there. Even supposing our railways haul that coal at a loss, if we can only keep in the country that $60,000,000 now going to the United States do you not see how we could make good any losses incurred in the transportation of coal via Canadian channels. Such a policy would work to the great benefit of Canada. We have unbounded reason for optimism. If we will only work together we can make this country a land to be proud of and we can prevent our people from leaving the Dominion and going to the country to the south. We will also pave the way for a flow of acceptable immigrants from European countries.
With respect to immigration, reference has been made by some of the British Columbia members to the oriental problem in that province. I am not going to say anything about it tonight except that it is a very serious problem, more serious than this House evidently realizes. We also have to have a good white population out there; some of them are not just what we would wish. In saying this I hope it will have some influence on any action which the minister may contemplate in respect to bringing immigrants from Europe. During the peregrinations of the Fishery Commission last summer we called at Malcolm Island where there is a Finnish settlement the members of which are said to be free lovers and socialists. I do not
know whether they are Marxians or Leninists. I do know that they are absolutely discontented although they live on an island which is an elysium compared to the country from which they came. Owing to the noxious doctrines evolved from the unsound reasoning of unsound brains, they have imbibed, however, they are absolutely discontented. There is no reason why they should be. We listened to their woes
for a while. We sat in a large hall with a drop curtain on the stage. There was depicted on the curtain an Hogar-thian female with a large red flag. We deliberated under the red flag in this country with people living better than they had ever lived at home. Those people were told at the last election that if they did not exercise their franchise they would probably lose it. We were informed that a number of them voted and deliberately spoiled their ballots. We want no such citizens. It may be said they were white people and perhaps their children will be all right. Well, they may be, but what chance has a child raised in an atmosphere of sullen discontent and sodden lust to become a good citizen? It may be true that in after years environment will bring out the best that is in them, but. the best that environment can bring out is pre-determined by heredity. True, some may be useful citizens, but the chance for children of that kind is a remote one. I would very much prefer that no more of those people should come here. With respect to oriental immigration, I have no doubt that other hon. members will deal with that in a very comprehensive way later on.