May 15, 1923

PRIVATE BILLS

FIRST READINGS


Bill No. 167 (from the Senate), for the relief of Christina Julia Hamilton.-Mr. Simpson. Bill No. 168 (from the Senate), for the relief of Smith Kain -Mr. Church. Bill No. 169 (from the Senate), for the relief of Gladys Malcolm Mushett.-Mr. Shaw. Bill No. 170 (from the Senate), for the relief of William Francis Rafferty.-Mr. Irvine.


WHEAT BOARD LEGISLATION


On the Orders of the Day.


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 think I owe my right

The Budget-Mr. Raymond

hon. friend (Mr. Meighen) and the House an apology for having given an incorrect answer to a question that was asked me yesterday. My right hon. friend asked me if the government had extended by order in council the operation of the Wheat Board Act, and I replied, "not yet." I had in mind another matter. The answer should have been, that the extension was granted by order in council on the 7th day of April.

Topic:   WHEAT BOARD LEGISLATION
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CROWSNEST PASS AGREEMENT


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):

Has the government yet taken action with respect to the Crowsnest pass or so-called Crowsnest pass agreement extension? It will be remembered that there was power to order an extension of the temporary arrangement, or so-called temporary arrangement, for one year. Has action been taken to do so?

Topic:   CROWSNEST PASS AGREEMENT
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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):

That is the matter I had

in mind when I replied, "Not yet," to my right hon. friend.

Topic:   CROWSNEST PASS AGREEMENT
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CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

When is it the intention of the government to take that step, or does the government intend to do so? It is clear that it had better be done now if it is going to be done.

Topic:   CROWSNEST PASS AGREEMENT
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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

The matter is under consideration. I will give my right hon. friend a reply later.

Topic:   CROWSNEST PASS AGREEMENT
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THE BUDGET

CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE


The House resumed from Monday, May 14, the debate on the motion of Hon. W. S. Fielding (Minister of Finance) that Mr. Speaker do now leave the chair for the House to go into Committee of Ways and Means, and the proposed amendment thereto, of Mr. Robert Forke.


LIB

William Gawtress Raymond

Liberal

Mr. W. G. RAYMOND (Brantford):

Mr. Speaker, so far as the debate on the budget has proceeded, T should like to associate myself with the cheerful sentiments expressed by the hon. member for Skeena (Mr. Stork). It came quite refreshingly after what we had been treated to for some hours before; it came like a refreshing western breeze, full of hope and inspiration. It was as though one had been reading in the Lamentations of Jeremiah, and had turned from that to the glad songs of Isaiah, the prince-poet of Israel.

I should also like to associate myself in the complimentary remarks that he made to the Minister of Finance. I am sure that not only hon. members on this side of the House, but every hon. member of this House, and, in fact, the countiy at large must thoroughly appreciate the great service that the Minister of Finance has rendered to Canada. A record of forty-one years of life devoted unselfishly, honestly, faithfully and patriotically to the service of his country is a record that is very seldom equalled in any civilized country in the world. Net only has his native province every reason to be proud of him, but the great Domin'c n from ocean to ocean has reason to be proud of and grateful for his services.

I am one of those who believe that in this particular budget that he has brought down now, he has rendered his country a great and signal service. I was pleased with it. Although it has been criticized by some hon. members opposite, it possesses many features that must commend themselves to the country generally. In the first place, there is no great disturbance of business; there is no attempt to do something spectacular. His position has been termed "standing pat", and some hon. gentlemen opposite find fault with the expression that the hon. gentleman used of "tariff stability". In my opinion, the very thing that we wanted in this country was tariff stability, and I am bold to believe hon. gentlemen misunderstood the way in which the word "stability" is applied. Stability as applied to a ship does not mean that it will not progress; that it will not change its position; but it means that it is not easily upset. Every time before a Dominion general election, there has been a feeling of anxiety throughout the business world of Canada, and to a somewhat less extent there has been a feeling of anxiety every time a budget has been brought down in this House by the Minister of Finance. But on this occasion a general feeling of confidence was established throughout the country. The people found in the budget speech many things for their general advantage, some things that were to the particular advantage of the farmers and people generally engaged in agriculture, and others particularly advantageous, perhaps, to the commercial and manufacturing industries of rur country.

I do not intend to take up the items of this budget in detail, but speaking in general of it, I think we may say that it is one that has given satisfaction in many regards, partly in the increase in the British preference which I thp'ight was what

The Budget-Mr. Raymond

was wanted by our hon. friends opposite, and the removal of certain taxes whose removal must be beneficial to those engaged in that industry, such as the sales tax on wool, the sales tax on drain tiles, the sales tax on furs, besides the removal of the excise tax on beet-sugar and the reduction of the excise tax on wines. While these items may not appeal to hon. gentlemen who live on the prairies, surely those who have to sell wool, those who have to purchase drain tiles, those farmers who have furs to sell, those persons who raise grapes for the purpose of making wine, or, as in the case of western Ontario where the industry is carried on to quite an extent, those who grow a great deal of beetroot for sugar making, should all certainly feel that something has been done in the way of helping along their respective industries. I regret therefore that there was no word of appreciation, not so much as a syllable, from hon. gentlemen opposite. I had hoped that they would feel some appreciation and would at least recognize that this much had been done, and if there was anything else that they wanted they might have mentioned it. Alas, however, not one word of appreciation comes from them for what has been done for them in these instances.

Had I not been so well pleased with the budget on hearing its presentation by the Minister of Finance (Mr. Fielding), I think that the criticism of it that was made by the hon. member for West York (Sir Henry Drayton) would have given me some confidence in it. We all know that hon. gentleman's power and his knowledge of budget questions; we know that he has had an intimate association with the labours of a finance minister, having filled that important position himself. We know him also to be a man of great acumen and penetration. So, when we consider these qualities and reflect on the little objection which the hon. gentleman could find to the budget, we must come to the conclusion, I think, that the minister's statement was a pretty perfect production. The hon. gentleman's criticism rather tended towards the French treaty; in the latter part of his address he seemed to make a very strong point of the treaty and to repeat the arguments that were made at the time the treaty was before the House, to the effect that it reduced the taxes on luxuries and goods used by the wealthier class. That I took to be his argument when the treaty was under discussion, and it was repeated. But as I stated before in this Chamber when the treaty was being

considered, the satin, the silks, the cords, the braids, the twists, and all these articles that come in cheaper under the French treaty are the raw material of the dressmaker, the milliner, the tailor and the costume-maker, of all who make garments in our country for our people, whether they are rich or poor. Consequently, I pointed out, it was a relief to lighten the tax on the raw material of the garment makers, because the reduction helped those industries and helped to cheapen the clothes of everyone. Again, the hon. gentleman stated that brandy and champagne were luxuries. In the part of the country I come from, I beg to say that brandy and champagne are not luxuries; nor, Sir, is sparkling Burgundy a luxury. On the contrary, these things are classed with blue pills, calomel, salts, and various kinds of similar matters that must be prescribed as medicine by doctors. So that they are not only necessaries, but necessaries for the sick, and if these goods are lightened in any way by the French treaty the reduction is beneficial to those who suffer the afflictions of sickness under the hand of Providence. Now, I should not like it to be thought, *when I say that these things are not luxuries, that they are articles of common, daily consumption, in Ontario at least. But certainly Mr. Speaker, when one who can analyze this budget as thoroughly as did the member for West York finds so little in it to criticize, the effect must be to inspire greater confidence in all the friends of the Minister of Finance. The hon. gentleman's criticisms seemed like some heavy 12-inch howitzer, but the emplacement did not seem to be exactly accurate, the elevation was not precise, nor was the training direct. So that the little soixante-quinze seemed to get away.

In the remarks of the hon. member for Selkirk (Mr. Bancroft) I was much interested, particularly in the lengthy price list that was produced of Eaton's goods, as well as the comparison that was made-which was very instructive-with the goods of Sears-Roebuck, of Chicago. But, Sir, would it not be considered by Wanamaker, by Montgomery-Ward, by Seigel, Cooper, and by other large stores on the other side, a matter of partiality that only Sears-Roebuck should have the advantage of the great advertisement which was given that firm in the placing upon Hansard and the dissemination all over the country, of their price list? I feel sure there was a great deal in the hon. gentleman's argument; but without having the actual goods before me, and just taking the statement in one catalogue that a shirt is worth so much and

The Budget-Mr. Raymond

another statement in another catalogue that a shirt is worth something else, I would want to be quite assured that it was identically the same kind of shirt before I began to compare prices. This is another exemplification of the old adage that the proof of the pudding is in the eating.

We have heard recently of a number of young men who went over to the United States, induced to go there by the high wages on account of the boom. Those young men are now coming back because of the high cost of living on the other side. The member for Selkirk endeavoured to show that the cost of living was lower in the United States than it is here and that it was cheaper to live across the line than in Canada. Well, the Mayor of Brantford recently made the statement that many of the young men who had left that city and gone to Detroit and other American cities were coming back because the cost of living was so much greater in the United States than in Canada. There was another part of the hon. gentleman's speech that I could not help noting.

He stated that because the right hon. member for Grenville (Mr. Meighen) had nailed his protection colours to the mast, the two parties that were opposed to him at the last election received 2,120,000 votes whereas the right hon. gentleman got only some 900,000. I believe that was his statement. I could not help wondering, Mr. Speaker, when the hon. member made the remark, what the hon. member for Grenville was thinking; and it seemed to me, by a kind of telepathy, I suppose, that I could hear with my mind's eye, if I may use that Hibernianism, the reflections that were going on in the right hon. gentleman's mind. He was saying: Did I not try to cultivate you with 5 per cent of a reduction off the duty on cultivators? Did I not try to reap the harvest of your affection by throwing 5 per cent off binders? Did I not try to draw you to my way of thinking by making tractors absolutely free? Did I not try to bind you to my affection by leaving binder twine free on the list? And what was the answer? I am sure that the right hon. gentleman's reply to his own soliloquy must have been that ingratitude was "more strong than traitors' arms." There was no response from these gentlemen-no response whatever. And now when the question is brought up again we are reminded that duties were thrown off at that time to please the Progressive party. Duties have been relaxed now to please them. But nothing seems to please them, they do not appear to be delighted with anything. But is it a matter really to be sorry for? Because, knowing them personally and individually, I

can say they are mostly cheerful, healthy, happy men; but as a party, I should like to see them appreciate those things that are done for them.

Last night we had a very long address that, as far as I could make out, was on the subject of capital and-I won't say labour, but on the subject of capital and no capital. Now, capital is one of the most important considerations of this country and is something that needs to be understood by those that talk about it. When a man rises in this House and tells us what the wealth of this country consists of, and goes over our farms, farm buildings and live stock, our mines and forests, he must not lose sight of this fact, that so far as these represent the wealth of the country, they also represent the hard work and the savings of our people. If you follow that out you will find that the capital in our banks and our insurance companies represents the thrift and the savings and the self-denial of somebody or it would not be there. Therefore I say that when a gentleman rises in this House and suggests that we should make a levy upon capital to pay the national debt, I think he either does not understand what capital means or he does not understand the genius of the Canadian people; because it is contrary to our institutions, it is contrary to the whole spirit of our people to make a levy upon capital to pay the national debt. Why, think of it! These seventeen banks that seem to irk him so much and to grieve him because of their existence-indeed, he looks upon them as some big monopoly apparently-actually represent in many cases the property of widows and orphans.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Oh, oh.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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LIB

William Gawtress Raymond

Liberal

Mr. RAYMOND:

I do not understand whether the objection is to the banks or to the widows and orphans. What I mean to say is this, that if they will examine the stocks of these banks and the stocks and bonds of our insurance companies they will find that they represent, as I say, the savings and the thrift of somebody. For instance, if a man dies and leaves an amount of money, what is done with it? It is put into seme sound investment for his family, and that investment constitutes the capital upon which the member (Mr. Woodsworth) who was speaking last night said he would like to make a levy to pay our national debt.

I do not understand a great deal that is said and written nowadays about capital and labour, how can we get money for nothing, and how the purchasing power of people can be increased without the people working and

The Budget-Mr. Raymond

saving. It may be my stupidity, Mr. Speaker, it may be the old-fashioned way in which I was brought up, but I think what a man does not earn by his hands and save, that he cannot have by enactment of parliament. There is no sense in spending money and calling it purchasing power and then throwing it back on to the general aggregation of the wealth of the country. Why, what are the mines and the forests that he spoke of?-and I doubt his figures in regard to these when he said they were only worth $1,200,000,000, because the forests of Quebec alone, according to a report of the government of that province, are worth $600,000,000; I believe our forests and mines are worth many times what he said they are worth. But what good are they ? How can you coin them, how can you issue paper against them? They are worth nothing until they are developed-they are worth nothing until the gold, silver, copper and iron are brought to the surface, until the trees are cut down and sawn up into lumber or converted into pulp and paper. And what does develop these natural resources? The capital of the country. And this capital, I repeat, represents the thrift and savings of the people. If >rou can point to so many billion dollars' worth of farms and farm buildings, to several hundred million dollars' worth of live stock, it is because the farmers have worked and earned and saved money; it represents their capital; and if you have mining corporations or milling corporations functioning, it is because somebody has saved the money for their purposes, and that money constitutes capital.

The idea of having ary hard feeling against capital or against capitalists, or making laws against capital or capitalists 1 Such legislation would be the wreck and ruin of any country. We have seen it done in Russia. We have seen war made upon capital in that country by gentlemen who hold something of the same kind of views that the Socialists profess. I must here admit that I cannot distinguish very clearly between a Communist, a Socialist, an Anareh'st, and an out-and-out Bolshevist; there may be a difference, but I fail to see it I think that anyone who understands this country realizes that it is necessary to have capital if we want to develop our resources, that while those natural resources are there under the ground they are of no value, and that it is only by capital that we can hope to develop them.

Now, the logical consequence of that is that we must have laws that make property safe, we must have laws that respect the rights of the people. We must not counten-

ance anyone who should change the basic principle of our jurisprudence, because if we do we shall have trouble. While we have, as I say, the gross example in front of us of Russia at the present time, we should proceed with due caution. We know what they did in Russia. They first destroyed their ruler, then they destroyed their parliament, then they destroyed their banks and merchant citizens and murdered them for their money, and finally they destroyed the farmers and took their wheat away from them.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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?

Some Hon. MEMBERS:

Hear, hear.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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LIB

William Gawtress Raymond

Liberal

Mr. RAYMOND:

These are facts. They may be uncomfortable to certain hon. gentlemen, but the farmers of this country should be mighty glad that we have-I won't say no Bolshevists, but so few.

Passing for a moment to the speech of the hon. Minister of Finance, I think we should realize that one of the greatest difficulties he has is to produce the money necessary to run the country. There are many things doubtless that we all would like to see done that he has not been able to do. But I do not think we should for a moment suppose that he has not seen them, I do not think we should imagine they have not come under his consideration and received the due exercise of his careful judgment. However, when such a general benefit to the country is offered as a reduction of the duty on sugar I should have thought it would have helped to sweeten the public generally-I won't say particularly hon. gentlemen opposite, but I should hope they would appreciate it because it is something that affects us all. For myself, I would have thought that had it been possible the Finance Minister would have abolished another tax that I feel sure has been brought to his attention, and being one of an important nature he will, I am sure, exercise his due judgment upon it. I refer to the removal of the war tax stamp from letters. It is something, I think, we should all be very glad to see removed. It is something, I feel sure, the hon. minister will remove as soon as it is possible to do so. It is something that, no doubt, can be removed by order in council, and I hope that later in the year it will be possible to remove this tax, because at the present time we are sending letters to Great Britain and to our sister nations within the commonwealth on which we are obliged to pay twice the postage that the citizens of the the United States have to pay on their letters. Where their postage has been two cents on letters forwarded to those places ours has been

The Budget-Mr. Raymond

four. I hope the time will come when ours will be reduced to a figure at least as low as that which prevails in the United States; and I feel sure that this would have been done had it not been for the unfortunate and regrettable illness of the hon. Postmaster General (Mr. Murphy). But we ought to remember that if the United States at the present time is leading us in the matter of low postage rates there was a time, in 1897, when Canada led the world by establishing penny Imperial postage. I say I hope the time will come, Mr. Speaker, when it will be possible again to send letters all over the British dominions at the rate of two cents.

There is a suggestion I would make to my friends the Progressives-and 1 would emphasize the word "friends," for notmuy thinks more of them than I do; and 1 know they will take my suggestion as I mean it. They seem to concentrate their whole attention on that poor item of our national programme, the tariff. On every question that comes up in the House, whether the French treaty or immigration or anything else, my hon. friends always manage to work around to the tariff, obsessed as they are with the idea of free trade. I would say this to them: that there are other questions well worth their consideration; other questions ten times more important to them than the tariff question. If they will consider the question of transportation and what it means to them coming and going, taking supplies to them and bringing their products away, why, the tariff, as a matter of supreme importance, will disappear; it will become a relatively small thing in their minds. The farmers of the West produced last year something like 400 million bushels of wheat and something like 1,000 million bushels of other grains. If they could only save 10 per cent on that by improving the transportation system, the whole amount involved in the tariff system would be equalized by the amount thus saved on the transportation of their goods. I say the matter is well worth their consideration. The tariff is not the only thing. But it is true that in developing these railways, in developing a transportation system and making it a success, it is necessary to have a tariff system; tariff system and transportation system and immigration policy must go hand in hand in the development of this country. It is not necessary to reiterate this; it has been referred to several times in the House. But I would respectfully urge my hon. friends to look at some other questions besides merely the matter of tariff.

Now, what do my hon. friends propose instead of the tariff? What do they suggest as

a means of raising the revenue that would be lost? They propose an additional revenue by way of income tax, a tax upon unearned income. But if they will examine the figures in the Income Tax department they will see how heavily the income tax already presses upon that part of our population which is included within our towns and cities-it does not press so heavily upon those in the country. I think my hon. friends would see that it would be impossible by any system of increasing the income tax-a tax which is imposed by the Dominion government, in Ontario by the municipalities, and in Manitoba, I believe, by the province-to attain their object. Then, they suggest an increase of certain duties on luxuries. Why, the people who would be buying the luxuries are the very people whose incomes they [DOT] rould reduce by increasing the income tax. The plan they propose, therefore, to make up the money that the tariff now provides would not be at all adequate; a fair consideration of it shows that.

But I would ask my hon. friends, how do they like the other substitute, the one proposed by the hon. member for Centre Winnipeg (Mr. Woodsworth). Among the suggestions he made, one, I think, was a levy upon real estate, upon the land. The whole tariff could very easily be made up by a levy upon real estate, a tax upon the land, but the reason it is not done is that such a tax is thought to be not quite fair to the farmers. Yet that is proposed by a gentleman who associates himself with my hon. friends and who finds that he is able generally to vote with them on their tariff policies and their resolutions. The tariff question is net, I think, rightly understood by some of those who undertake to discuss it.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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May 15, 1923