May 16, 1923

CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

Of course the hon. gentleman is aware that cotton fabrics now come from the United States. It is from there that we experience competition in cotton fabrics. It does not matter in that case what reductions are made in the British preferential tariff.

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PRO

Donald Ferdinand Kellner

Progressive

Mr. KELLNER:

I admit that, but the Minister of Agriculture stated last night that

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The Budget-Mr. Kellner

the government's reduction in the British preferential tariff would be more than under our proposed amendment. It would be a greater reduction, of course. I have a long list of items here, twenty-four in all, and they are all in the same category. The following is the list of these items, with the present rate of duty, the rate proposed by the goverment, the rate under the Progressive amendment, and the general tariff.

Present Government Progressive General rate proposal amendment tariff Percent Percent Percent Percent

Ribbons

22$ 201 17$ 35Furniture 20 18 15 30Boots

17$ 15} 15 30Screws

22$ 20$ 17$ 35Cutlery .... 20 18 15 30

Then we get into a line of importations. The first one is iron and aluminum hollow-ware. Hon. members may have noticed that the minister stumbled a bit when he came to that item last night, and I could not help wondering if he quite realized what hollow-ware was. I think I should tell him that it is material for making up caskets and they make it in two different forms, iron and aluminum. They bury their old political pledges, the ones which they never expect to resurrect in the iron casket j it is heavier, and they stay firmly in place. But matters like the tariff, which they expect to bring back and use from time to time, it is much more convenient to place in the aluminum casket. This list continues:

Present Government Progressive General

rate proposal amendment tariffPer cent Per cent Per cent Per centLamps.. . . .. 20 18 15 30Sewing macnines. . .. 20 18 15 30Hats and caps 22* 201 17* 35Gloves and mitts. .. .. 22* 20* 17$ 35

I took a great deal of pleasure this afternoon in listening to the Acting Minister of Immigration (Mr. Stewart) in his address when he told us that he had no very great objection to the Progressives assuming power in Canada, and he also made the statement that in the provinces where they are now in power they are not making a very great amount of headway. Let mo tell him that in mostly every province it was the relics of a poor Liberal administration that put them into power, and it is going to be pretty hard for them, or any other government, to make very much of a showing for a little while at least. He made a very strong plea for capital, and I do not blame him, because hon. members will remember that in the last federal election capital showed itself to be just a little frivolous. In the beginning of the

campaign it got in behind the Conservative party and tried to elect them, but before the campaign was very far advanced it switched and got in behind the Liberals and did elect them. Now I think members of the government to-day ought to feel as though 5 p.m. they owed a great deal to the capitalistic interests of Canada. The minister also talked about an inheritance tax, and said he thought it should be a part of the provincial taxes. I do not know whether I agree with that policy or not, but it seems to me that at the present time all the millionaires that we have in Canada seem to die either in Montreal or Toronto. I think probably we make them out West, but when it comes to crossing the Great Divide which the member for East York (Mr. Harris) so very touchingly described a few minutes ago, they always end up in Montreal or Toronto, and the inheritance tax is collected in those cities. I am very sorry, Mr. Speaker, that in discussing the minister's statement of last night I omitted to read an extract from the Toronto Globe of April 17th, which I ask permission to read at the present time. It says:

In Wednesday's Globe, April 11, is a message from Hon. Mr. Motherwell, Minister of Agriculture, in which he blames the raisers of the scrub steer the off-type hog and the dunghill hen-

A class of animal that is very well known to hon. members of this House; we have often heard of it. The article continues:

-for the complaints in regard to the condition of agriculture at the present time. If the Minister of Agriculture will travel through any part of Lambton county, Ontario, and I have no doubt any other county as well, he will see for himself the kind of stock kept on the farm and he will hear from men who know their business that the farmers are facing difficult problems.

There is not one man in one hundred who can start on the farm under present conditions and pay for his farm if he lives in the way any civilized man ought to live. The lifting of the British embargo may help stock raisers. It is to be hoped it will, but the best market by far for the Canadian farmer is just across the border.

And I have yet to learn that our Liberal government has taken any step to secure that market for the Canadian farmer. If our government realized the seriousness of the situation, they would remove the duty on all the necessities of life and on all farm implements. If Canada had free trade with the United States, this country would prosper as never before, not only the farmers, but every class in the country, and, to my mind, that is the only way to make Canada the country it ought to be. At present we have apparent prosperity in our large centres of population, but if present conditions continue the pros-

The Budget-Mr. Kellner

perity of our cities will vanish. The Globe in the same issue makes the statement that the prosperity of the whole country depends on the success of agriculture-scrubs, steers and dunghill hens included, I presume. The Globe says-

The Globe in the same issue makes the statement that the prosperity of the whole country depends on the success of agriculture: this being so, and there is no denying the fact, it is up to the Globe to use its whole influence for the removal of the obstacles that are throttling agriculture.

The Liberal party should put into practice the platform adopted in 1919 or hand the reins of government over to our Conservative friends who are the fathers of protection in Canada.

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LIB

George Perry Graham (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM:

That would be bad.

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CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

We would rather get

them another way.

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LIB

George Perry Graham (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM:

Hope springs eternal.

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PRO

Donald Ferdinand Kellner

Progressive

Mr. KELLNER:

I think it would be well not to read the rest of the article. I am sure I could not expect any applause for it; so that I will desist.

I desire to offer a few remarks on the budget from a personal point of view; I want to criticize it as I see it myself. I do not know that I shall have the entire support of all Progressives in this section of the House in my stand on this budget and therefore, Mr. Speaker, I want to have it known that I am speaking only for myself and that part of the West which I represent. When this government took office I think the people of Canada had more hope and greater expectations of its members than had ever been entertained on the accession to power of any former government in Canada. Just previous to the return of the present government we had experienced a period of very great inflation followed by a time of depression. We were still suffering from that depression when hon. gentlemen opposite took over the reins of power. When the armistice was signed there was a lull in the activities of the country. I believe that the people were of opinion that the devastation of war having ceased they could afford to rest on their oars. But very soon we were told that it was necessary for Europe to be rehabilitated, and the people were requested to get to work immediately and produce even more than they had done during the war. It is our op'.mon now that this request was made probably because certain persons who controlled the destinies of Canada wanted time in which to set their house in order so that they might be prepared to meet the shock which they no doubt knew would come. It has been a great pleasure to me in listening to the discussion of this budget to learn that at last we have

reached bottom and have got as far down the abyss of financial depression as it is possible for us to reach. That at any rate is the good news which we have been given.

In my opinion our financial troubles started at the frontiers of our country long before they began in the more urban sections. In the far East and the far West we felt the pinch many months before the people suffered in this section of the country. And that is ever the case. The people living in those out-' lying communities are never as prosperous as the people in sections like this, and a smaller loss brings them down to the bread line sooner. They are further from the centres of wealth, so that any reduction in the value of their goods is more keenly felt and takes a greater percentage from their profits. Probably that is the reason that we in the West have been more insistent in bringing to the attention of the House the deplorable conditions in which the country finds itself to-day. I hesitate to mention this matter to-day, for I was among those who a few weeks ago were classed as calamity howlers for having referred to the matter at all. We were told that this was one of the things we should not have go out to the world; in fact we were given to understand that it was just about the lowest depth of degeneration even to mention it.

It seems to me, though, that it is a rather poor policy for us to shut our eyes to the unrest that is becoming more pronounced day by day. There is no doubt that people are sinking in financial morasses from time to time through no fault of their own, and they are getting into a frame of mind which this government or any other would do well not to disregard. They seem to feel that human sympathy is dead and that depressing calculations are their only outlook. If that is the state of mind of the Canadian people to-day I think it is high time that these matters were brought to the attention of the House in no uncertain way. This present depression is even influencing social and religious life. A few Sundays ago I sat in Chalmers Presbyterian Church in this city when their budget was brought down, and I gathered from the statement submitted that day thit this year there had been paid into the church more money than ever before in one year find that the revenues were greater than in any past year. On the other hand, however, from every remote section of the countrv it appeared that missionaries had to be called in. Retrenchment is the order on the frontiers of western Canada and in foreign lands, and I believe this is due largely to the fact that a great

The Budget-Mr. Kellner

volume of the money that is collected is taken up in paying interest charges and meeting similar obligations. And this is the same in everyday life in all occupations. [DOT]

Now, these were largely the conditions that prevailed when the Liberals took office. But the people seemed to have an unusual amount of faith in that party at that time. No doubt the promises of hon. gentlemen when they were in opposition were still ringing in the * public ear; the people were still listening to speeches of the kind made in this House in regard to war graft that had gone on, besides graft in connection with the merchant marine and things of that sort. The people hoped that when this government took office it would be the champion of the working classes. I believe that the people had a special confidence in the Prime Minister who seems to have had a reputation as a man of democratic tendencies and one who had especial sympathy for the weak and those who needed help. If I doubt not the people of the country trusted him to a very large extent. But I am afraid that to-day that trust and the hope they entertained then have gone.

The hon. member for Nelson (Mr. Bird), speaking last night, said that there was no difference so far as he could see between the Liberal and the Conservative parties. I do not think he carried the argument quite to its logical conclusion; I would enlarge on his statement to this extent, that in my opinion, it does not matter which one of these parties is in power, it does not govern the country anyway. I believe that this country is governed largely by unseen hands, by different financial institutions; and it matters not who for the time being occupy government benches, they get their orders. And so far they have been carrying out those orders. At all events, the faith which the people had that a better state of affairs would ensue on the accession of this government to office no longer exists; and if Liberalism means anything to-day I believe it means something shady.

There is just a little too much selfishness at work in this country of ours. There seems to be a supreme desire on the part of some of those who are controlling our destinies to get just a little more than it is possible for the country to let them have. The manufacturers say that it is essential that the prices of goods be kept up; they tell us that it is not wise to monkey with the tariff. They say that if we bring in goods from other countries in competition with them they will have to close their factories with the result that employees will be thrown out of work.

The financiers tell us that we should keep interest rates up and get back to the gold basis as quickly as we can; while the merchants claim that their sales are small and that prices must be maintained because they are not doing a large business. Then the railway companies come along and declare that freight rates must not be brought down, that they must be kept up in order that dividends may be paid. And I do not think that anyone will doubt that the professional men of the country have gentlemen's agreements to keep up their charges, and that they are doing so.

On the other side are a large number of people paying these excessive charges-people who live neither in Montreal nor in Toronto

and their purchasing power has been so greatly reduced that commercially they are of little benefit to the country. They are asking for cheaper money, for lower tariffs, for the lessening of taxes on the necessities of life; to all of which this governmenet turns a deaf ear. I think the government's real policy is probably brought out a little clearer in some of the speeches we hear in this chamber from their supporters rather than in the budget proposals, and a= far as I am able to size up their policy from such speeches it amounts to about this- Work harder-cut down expenses

raise a lot. more goods and send them to some foreign country to be sold at about two-thirds the price they will bring in Canada.

The charge is made that poor farming is largely responsible for conditions as they exist in the West to-day. I think the charge is very unfair. Going back to the days of the war, when we were asked for greater production, I would put this question to hon. members: What country anywhere in the world produced in anything like rhe same proportion as western Canada? And is there a farmer in any other country to-day who produces anywhere near as much as the western farmer does7 One hon. gentleman in speaking during the debate on immigration, I think it was the member for North Winnipeg (Mr. McMurray), stated that it was the farmer's own fault that he found himself in the position he occupies to-day. "Why," exclaimed the hon. gentleman, "he does not live in a sod shack like he did in the days when I was a bi y; he lives in a real house now. He is spending far too much money. He even climbs into a Henry, steps on the gas and runs around like other people do. The farmers of the West to-day are overstocked in land in machiueiy and in other things." I should like to compare the ad-

The Budget-Mr. Kellner

vancement of the farmer with the advancement of people engaged in other occupations to-day. Would hon. members who feel that way about it care to go back a few years and view the life that professional men then lived? I think they will fmd that then there were very few of our professional men living in modern houses such as they are able to afford to-day; most of them would be found above a store or in similar quarters. May I also call the attention of !he House to the fact that from the standpoint of intelligence the professional man is uot by any means outclassing the farmer? We have quite a number of lawyers and doctors in this chamber, and I want to ask you: If you had a very difficult case to argue which one of these distinguished gentlemen would you engage? Would you rather do as the Dominion government did, go down to Toronto and hire a lawyer at $400 a day, and perhaps go across the line and hire two or three more at a similar rate? I lemembe'- in the days when I was a boy on the farm back in Ontario we had a doctor who used lo visit our farm, a distance of eight miles from his home, and he did not drive a McLaughlin Six or any car of that kind but a horse and buggy. He made those eight miles for $2.50 a trip- just about what a doctor to-day will charge for writing a prescription.

The difference between what those engaged in the various professions are earning and what our farmers earn was plainly brought out before the Banking and Commerce committee the other day, when the manager of the Weyburn Security Bank told us that they had received reports from two hundred and forty of the best farmers in Saskatchewan which disclosed that their annual revenue above operating expenses had been $600. Now, in nearly every instance that would represent the wages of two people, in many instances the wages of several people-the farmer, his wife and family. For a whole year's work they got the magnificent sum of $600. No doubt that meant getting up about four o'clock in the morning, milking the cows, feeding the calves and working until probably six or seven o'clock at night, and then doing the same chores again before going to bed.

Mr. PUTNAM; I suppose the hon. gentleman does not overlook the fact that those two hundred and forty turners each made $600 over and above living expenses?

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PRO

Donald Ferdinand Kellner

Progressive

Mr. KELLNER:

No, I had not overlooked that. I am quite willing to concede that in these cases they did make their living and

$600 in addition according to the evidence of the manager of the Weyburn Security' Bank.

I was very much surprised to hear this for I did not think it was possible. However, would the hon. member w:sh to compare that income with, sav the income of Mr. Tilley when he was acting for the government in the Grand Trunk arbitration-$400 a day and expenses? That is just a little bit too much of a spread. While the farmer had his living during the twelve months he was making his $600, so also had Mr Tilley when he was making his $400 a day.

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LIB

Harold Putnam

Liberal

Mr. PUTNAM:

If I might answer the hon. gentleman, I do not think the comparison at all relevant. But I have heard that the ambition of the Noble Foundation Farm did not differ from Mr. Tilley's.

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PRO

Donald Ferdinand Kellner

Progressive

Mr. KELLNER:

I might advise my hon. friend that that farm is in the hands of a receiver at the present time.

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PRO

Oliver Robert Gould

Progressive

Mr. GOULD:

Absolutely

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LIB

Harold Putnam

Liberal

Mr. PUTNAM:

I sai'1 the ambition of that concern did not differ from the Tilley ambition. The only difference is that one had luck, the other had not.

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PRO

Donald Ferdinand Kellner

Progressive

Mr. KELLNER:

I do net think "luck" is the right word there. One had an organization behind him to see that legal fees did not go too low; the other had no such organization to see that his grain prices did not go too low. I think that is probably the crux of the situation.

In discussing this budget a good many hon. members try to ridicule representatives of the West because we come here and ask for lower tariffs. They try to make out that we do not 'altogether know what we are talking about and that it would not be a good thing for us to have lower tariffs. I may tell this House that these hon. gentlemen can never make protectionists of the people of western Canada. Neither can they convince western Canada that the people in that part of the country should submit to the excessive interest rates that they are paying to-day. They cannot convince them, either, that it is their duty to pay the high freight rates they are paying to-day. When we ask for lower interest rates it is not going to do us any good to tell us we have the best Bank Act in the world, and say, "You farmers keep your horny hands off it." And when we tell you that we want lower tariffs, it is not going to do any good to get into a discussion of tariff stability or anything of that kind. When we ask for lower freight rates, it will not get you anywhere to tell us that the present rates are just

The Budget-Mr. Kellner

as low as they can be and permit the payment of dividends. I think there is a spirit abroad in the West to-day that will not be much longer denied. When we see the transportation companies and the elevator companies exploiting us from coast to coast in weights, in grades, in transportation rates, it is only natural that we should feel just a little bit strong on some of these questions. We cannot be intimidated, either, by being told that we do not know what we are talking about; the dissatisfaction which prevails in the West will, I am sure, never die out until times are made better. If this House cannot conceive of anything that will enable us to get on our feet, then I say to you in all sincerity, do not do anything to increase that flame. If conditions are such in this country that we cannot live together as one family, by ail means do not interject anything into this House that will keep us from being good neighbours.

I have often thought while sitting here in this House that those who have control of the government frequently lose sympathy with the people. It has often been given as the reason why Rome fell that she had disregarded the soul of her people, and I am just a little bit afraid there is a tendency in this House and in this country at the present time to disregard the soul of the Canadian people. There is nothing that will inspire men to the same degree of feeling as a fight for their existence, and that is what the West is fighting for to-day. We are rapidly losing our homes in that district, and it has been well demonstrated that if there is anything that will inspire a man to action it is to see his home going.

Before I close I would like to call the attention of the House to the very awkward and unsatisfactory position which the Progressives are in at the present moment in this House. We realize that we have little to expect unless we are well enough organized to go out and win enough support to carry the government of this country. At the present that is hopeless, for we have no organization in the East at all. Probably it could be accomplished in the very near future, but at present it is out of the question. Norw, we are forced to this position of affairs: Should we defeat this government by some manoeuvre or another -and no doubt, we could do it-what in the name of common sense have we to expect, from the Tories? So we are forced to sic here; we take the ridicule of the press quite frequently, but we are helpless to better our position, for if we did switch parties the

chances are we might get the worst of the switch.

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?

An hon. MEMBER:

It could not be any worse.

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PRO

Robert Forke

Progressive

Mr. FORKE:

Do not be so hopeless. There is a chance for us yet.

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PRO

Donald Ferdinand Kellner

Progressive

Mr. KELLNER:

In conclusion, I think it would be well, if this country wishes to avoid broils and internal strife, that more attention be paid to the demands which come from the West. The representations made should not lightly be passed by; we should not merely be told it is our own fault. There are many of us who have been through the mill. We have seen the homesteader go in there and work as hard as any man possibly could, exercising all the frugality that any man could be expected to exercise, and the blame is not his; it is that of the method by which our business is carried on in this country. It is my opinion that that method must be changed; otherwise it is very doubtful whether the boundaries of our country^ can be maintained as we know them to-day.

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LIB

Joseph-√Čloi Fontaine

Liberal

Mr. J. E. FONTAINE (Hull) (Translation) :

The Budget-Mr. Fontaine

hon. leader of the Opposition (Mr. Meighen). He would have liked, I suppose, despatching our Canadians to be killed across the seas; he would have felt some satisfaction in forcing upon us a new conscription act.

Let the hon. ministers pursue their good work. The Canadian people do not expect that the present government will succeed in remedying, in a few months, the wrongs perpetrated by the Borden and Meighen governments, during their ten years in power, with their policy of wanting to sacrifice the very last man, the very last dollar to save the Empire. Nor do the people expect that they will immediately change deficits into surpluses, the wretched times into a golden age, but they do expect the government to improve the financial conditions of the country by practising a strict economy, by ceasing to meddle in European affairs and by initiating a policy essentially Canadian, and for the Canadians.

I wish to say a few words, Sir, on the immigration question. I fully realize that it is a serious and embarrassing problem; indeed, the question before us is whether we shall disburse large sums of money to bring hither immigrants from Europe, when many of our best Canadians emigrate to the United States. I know full well that the greater half of our territory is yet to be settled; that we have an abundance of natural resources, which only await willing hands to develop them; I realize that we have a territory that can feed 100,000,000 people and that we number hardly

8,000,000; I am aware that we have a railway system which is a burden to the country, and does not pay for its upkeep because we have not the traffic nor the necessary population to feed it; I concede that it was immigration which built up the wealth and developed the United States which, at the time of their proclamation of independence, in 1775, consisted only of a few thousand people, while to-day they have reached the enormous number of 112,000,000. Notwithstanding all this,

I wonder whether, in the present financial conditions we are placed in, the time is propitious to disburse money to bring over immigrants who, perhaps, will swell the number of the unemployed in cities. I wish to protect the Canadian workman, he is the one who needs most protection because he is the most affected by the present crisis. For the last few years, there has been a shortage of work, salaries have dwindled down to such an extent that many of our families in Hull and elsewhere are forced to cross over to the United States to earn a living. It is sad, Mr. Speaker, to witness our young men, capable and vigorous, cross the border to enrich

the United States citizens when we have here a country just as advantageous as theirs. Let the government find means to keep on this side our population rather than spend money to bring over immigrants.

I realize that the government mean well, they want to place these immigrants on the land so as to develop agriculture, but I fear that these people who, for the most part, have not been brought up on the farm, will make but a short stay on the land and eventually find their way to the cities, displacing the Canadian workman. Would it not be wiser for the government to make use of this appropriation to keep our people here instead of disbursing money to bring in strangers who have neither the characteristics nor the ways of Canadians. I would suggest that instead of spending millions to promote immigration, the government begin immediately the construction of the Georgian bay canal which will open up the country and will give work to our people for a number of years to come.

I also wish to make a few remarks in regard to the Civil Service Commission: when the hon. member for Quebec South (Mr. Power) submitted to this House his resolution to abolish this Commission, I happened to lx sick and could not give my views. I ain opposed to this Commission as it stands today. I maintain that it is unconstitutional and I fail to understand why the government tolerate a Commission which has more power and more prerogatives than they have. Let candidates pass the Civil Service examinations for the positions of copyists or type-writer;, but let us return to the Act passed under the Laurier government-that will be satisfactory. According to this Act, the Commission only exercised its control over the inside service but I cannot conceive how the commissioners should be in a position to judge of the qualifications of candidates to positions in the outside service, for instance, a lock-keeper, a postmaster, a carpenter, a labourer, etc. This is so much the case, Mr. Speaker, that for these kinds of positions, the Commissioners are advised by a committee of citizens gathered a little everywhere in Canada. Do nor. imagine, however, that the members of this committee-amongst whom I see the names of defeated candidates at the last general elections-do not favour their friends; therefore we have a recurrence of patronage, though in a roundabout way and under different control. Why not leave the appointments to the government who would in turn be advised by the members who, at least, are responsible to the people. I was quite astonished

The Budget-Mr. Church

to hear the Conservatives say, at the time this discussion took place, that the Commission must not be disturbed as it would lead to a return of patronage. These good Tories have become over-scrupulous; yet they are the ones, who, in 1911, when they came into power, dismissed 3000 employees because they were Liberals and replaced them by their political friends. They had appointed commissioners to make an inquiry throughout the whole country, and, Conservatives seeking positions had but to come before these Commissioners to have Liberal employees dismissed, stating that they had taken part in the political campaign. In my own place, the city of Hull and the county, many were dismissed through such means. If only the government of the day had been satisfied with replacing those employees who were dismissed! But things were much worse than that; in order to please their friends they crammed all the departments to overflow: 12,000 new employees were appointed. It was at that stage that American experts were called in, the [DOT] Griffenhagens, to establish the famous classification, which was carried out with a great deal of partisanship and injustice, to such an extent that 15,000 employees appealed from the ruling of this classification. I congratulate the government for having appointed a committee of inquiry who will re-establish the facts and will, I hope, facilitate the amending of the Civil Service Act.

Before closing my remarks, I wish to remind the government that last session this House adopted unanimously a resolution which I had the honour to move, asking to adopt an old age pension act. ,1 fully understand that the financial situation of the country is such that it is difficult to even comply with just demands, but this legislation is so necessary, it commends itself so strongly that it should be the first to be taken into consideration by the government. I do not wish to repeat the speech I made last year on this subject, but allow me to remind you, Sir, that the Canadian people expect that the government will move in the matter. I have received hundreds of letters, from all over the country, asking me to follow up this project, and even lately, I had the honour to join a Nova Scotia labour delegation which waited on the Prime Minister. They came here to impress upon the government the necessity for this old age pension and ask the government for immediate legislation to that effect. I was very much pleased with the encouraging reception that the Prime Minister gave this delegation and specially in hearing him say that it was one of the subjects on his pro-1791

gramme, that he had at heart the carrying out of this project and that the legislation in question would certainly be brought down as soon as the government's finances permitted.

Before I resume my seat, I wish to state that I shall vote against the amendment of the Progressive leader (Mr. Forke). I place very little faith in their policy which only favours the western provinces. If we want the country to progress and Confederation to be maintained, we must have a policy which favours equally all provinces and all classes. It seems to me that the old eastern provinces have done their share of sacrifice to develop the West. If to-day we are overburdened with taxes, if we have a system of railways which shows a large yearly deficit, it is because we have built two transcontinentals so as to help in developing the West. If the government were to accept the Progressives' suggestions and establish free trade and abolish the duties which are the main sources of our revenues, where would they get the money to meet the $140,000,000 of interest which is due yearly? Where would they get the money to administer the affairs of the country? They would be forced to have recourse to direct taxation, and again it would still be the old eastern provinces who would have to pay the larger share, since they have reached a higher degree of development than the western provinces.

Mr. Speaker, I have full confidence in the Liberal party and its leaders. I approve of their policy; I shall therefore vote with pleasure for the budget as brought down by the hon. Minister of Finance.

At six o'clock the House took recess.

After Recess

The House resumed at eight o'clock.

Mr. T. L. CHURCH (North Toronto!: Mr. Speaker, the small attendance in the chamber during this debate evidently indicates that now the session has entered upon its fourth month members are about prepared to go home. In my opinion no good object can be gained by delaying the session.

First of all I want to congratulate the veteran Finance Minister (Mr. Fielding) on the budget statement he presented the other day. The minister has served a great many years in public life and is admired and respected by everybody.

I must say that I admire the manner in which those who have so far spoken in this debate have presented their case. There is room for differences of opinion in a big coun-

2.818

The Budget-Mr. Church

try like Canada, but up to the present those hon. members who have spoken have displayed good feeling and a spirit of fairness which have won the respect of those who have listened to them.

Bearing in mind that this is the 105th day of the session I am sorry there should have been so much delay in bringing down the budget. I appreciate the fact that the Minister of Finance has a good many outside matters in the French and Italian treaties to attend to and that he is really overworked; but I think it would be better if this government in future would copy the example of the Chancellor of the Exchequer in the Old Country, Right Hon. Stanley Baldwin, who presented his budget speech in the British parliament on the 10th day of the session. If this government emulates that example in the future I think it will be a step in the right direction.

In my opinion the tariff is not a political question, and I would urge that an authority be set up in this country that could act in an advisory capacity to the government, in relation to this particular problem. The tariff should never have been made a political football by this or the other political party in Canada. It is not a political question in any sense. It is an economic question, a business question, a question of trade and commerce; and more than that it is a great national, patriotic question that concerns every citizen of this country. Neither is the tariff an academic, or what you might call an abstract question, or an abstract theory; it is a national and economic necessity.

The hon. member for Brantford (Mr. Raymond), who yesterday made an able and very fair speech, characterized by courtliness of manner, spoke of the tariff question as being a study in national psychology. I do not agree in that statement. I believe the tariff question is a great problem which concerns everybody and for that reason should not be approached from the party spirit, or with a view to reaping party advantage. There has been a tariff in Canada ever since Canada has been a country. There are those who would like to abolish the tariff; and if I understand the purpose of the amendment it aims to practically eliminate the tariff. Even as far back as 110 years ago we had something in the nature of a tariff.

The Liberal-Conservative party has always been a consistent protectionist party. From the days of Sir John Macdonald every Con-

servative government we have had have been protectionist, and the party preached the same gospel of protection in every part of Canada. In the last election the leader of this Party Right Hon. Arthur Meighen, preached that doctrine whether it was in the Maritime provinces, in central Canada, in the prairie provinces, or on the Pacific coast.

Wherever he went he preached the gospel of moderate protection adequate for the industries of this country. After all is said and done, Mr. Speaker, it was not any political party that made Canada a nation. The people themselves had something to do in bringing that about as well as the government. In my opinion, however, it was the National Policy that made this country the great nation which it is to-day. You may criticize the National Policy if you like, because it has some defects, but when you criticize the defects of the National Policy do not forget its virtues. It is owing to those virtues that Canada has achieved her proud position as a great industrial nation.'

The present Minister of Finance has been responsible for the inauguration of seventeen budgets and if you take the seventeen tariffs introduced under them they are what economic writers would not hesitate to call protective tariffs. Eighty-five per cent of the products of Ontario have a home market in the near cities and towns, and the producers obtain the highest price that can be realized in fair competition on this continent to-day. That home market is not one that is here to-day and away to-morrow. It is a steady market, and is to be found in many cities and towns along lake Ontario, lake Erie, the upper lakes and in the district south of the National Transcontinental in Ontario. An election is pending in Ontario now, and I say that I do not believe the farmers of Ontario believe in free trade, nor do they believe in reciprocity. If it were not for the protection which the farmers of Ontario have had, in view of the hostile tariff commonly known as the Fordney-McCumber tariff, the farmers of Ontario would be 100 per cent worse off than they are to-day, and the province would be suffering from under-production, unemployment, depression, and rural depopulation to a greater extent than at the present time. That remark applies to eastern Canada as well. A very distinguished statesman, Hon. J. Israel Tarte once said that platforms were made to get in on and not to stand on.

My Progressive friends, for whom I have every respect, had a platform in the late election, not only in Ontario, but in other

The Budget-Mr. Church

parts of Canada, which was commonly called a free trade platform, and they made good their promise by placing the principles of that platform in the amendment which is before the House to-day. While I do not believe in the principles which they enunciate. I give them every credit for their sincerity. My hon. friend from Brantford (Mr. Raymond) preached the gospel of adequate protection for the industries of his great city of Brantford. Tint* city is a great industrial centre, in common with other cities in Ontario such as Toronto, Hamilton, London and others. Why? Owing to the principle of adequate protection for the industries of the country. In 1878 the city from which I came had to open soup kitchens. These soup kitchens had to be opened to meet the wants of the large number of men out of work. Many people emigrated to the United States, and the Mayor of Chicago said that that city had become at that date the third largest Canadian city in the world. There was a great deal of unemployment at that time. We had many vacant houses and stores, and evidence of distress on every hand. When the policy of protection was adopted it stimulated the growth of Toronto, Hamilton, Brantford and other places, and the trade and commerce and the population of these cities have greatly increased. Toronto has doubled in population every ten years. The post office receipts for the city of Toronto were over $5,000,000 last year, and the receipts from customs, inland revenue and other utilities, to say nothing of banking, industry, trade and commerce have increased prodigiously. Toronto is only one of the many cities which have made industrial strides as a result of protection. Geography has taught the people of Canada a lesson in more ways than one. It has taught them not to leave themselves at the mercy of a foreign country like the United States in regard to fiscal affairs, especially when the people of that foreign country are the wealthiest and most prosperous, ambitious and industrious people in the world to-day.

Every country in the world is increasing its tariff. Not only the various countries in Europe, and the United States, but Australia, New Zealand and the countries of South America are all increasing their protective tariffs. Can it be argued that all these countries are wrong and that the Progressives in Canada alone are right? I maintain that, as a result of the Great War, more protection will be required to meet the changing conditions in the years that are to come. Sir Richard Cartwright once said that if his party were returned to power he would remove

every vestige of protection from the statutes of this country. If you examine the seventeen budgets of the present able Finance Minister (Mr. Fielding), as I said a few minutes ago, you will find they are all protective tariffs. The tariff resolutions before the House tonight are all of a protective character. The best part in the whole budget speech I think was that in which the Finance Minister spoke of the stability of the tariff. That is an economic principle which is accepted the world over. He said:

There is a thought which does not receive as much consideration as X think sometimes it should be given in public discussions, and that is the desirability of something like tariff stability. Business men do not like to be always threatened with changes in the tariff. There is no finality in legislation either as respects that tariff or as respects anything else. That which parliament can do to-day it can undo to-morrow. Everybody knows that. Everybody must conduct his business in the light of that fact. Nevertheless it is desirable that something like an assurance of tariff stability should be given to business men.

I may say the very able and distinguished Minister of Justice (Sir Lomer Gouin) has on more than one occasion agreed to that doctrine, and I am glad to say that we have, such an able, patriotic and well liked member of the government in the very responsible position of Minister of Justice, because he has done a great deal to instil a sense of responsibility into the government along the line of stability of tariffs.

I may say, as one of the harbour commissioners in Toronto in 1919-1920 and 1921, that we lost a large extension of a basic industry, the Baldwin Tin-Plate Industry from Wales. The present Chancellor of the Exchequer was the president of that company. We had a contract signed and sealed by them to lease some thirty-six acres in Ashbridge's bay, in the industrial area.

It promised to be one of the largest concerns on this continent, and they were going to manufacture granite plates, and tin plates.

Some of the directors came from Swansea, Wales, the headquarters of the company. They spent a large sum of money in erecting a factory, machine shops and buildings, and they were going to in time employ 1,800 men. Just as they got under way bad times came, and there was a conflict between the political parties with regard to the great economic question of the tariff in Canada.

Statements had been -made in the House and out of it to the effect that if there were any people in Canada or out of Canada who were contemplating establishing or extending new lines of business in which they felt protection was necessary, they should not do so.

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Mr BRETHEN:

Would the hon. member inform the House what the respective prices of potatoes are in the United States and Canada to-day?

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CON

Thomas Langton Church

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CHURCH:

I am not an authority on the price of potatoes, and in any case it fluctuates considerably.

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PRO

George Arthur Brethen

Progressive

Mr. BRETHEN:

In the market reports a week ago potatoes were quoted in the United States at $3 a barrel, and I think that the hon. gentleman who is sitting at my hon. friend's right (Mr. Spence) can tell him that potatoes in Toronto have been selling at from 75 to 85 and possibly 90 cents a bag, that is, about $1.50 a barrel.

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CON

Thomas Langton Church

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CHURCH:

As I say, I am not an expert on the question of potatoes, nor am I an expert on small potatoes either. I may say, however, that in the city from which I come it is impossible at the present time to

get good potatoes at the prices quoted by the hon. gentleman. All the potatoes we can get are old potatoes, and. the farmers in the Toronto district have not been growing them to any great extent. They have to import their potatoes mainly from New Brunswick, and I am glad to see them come from that province and as well from Alberta and the West; I prefer to see them come from these provinces rather than from the United States. So that it is absurd to talk about free trade in potatoes; the fact of the matter is that there is no market available in the United States for the potatoes grown in that country, to sty nothing of our own. I repeat, the farmers of this country will agree with the minister in his tariff in so far as it seeks to protect this particular commodity. Now, of all our national purchases during the past year we obtained 69 per cent from the United States, selling them in return only 39 per cent of our own products. In view of that great discrepancy, I think that it is only the part of wisdom that the national policy of Canada should be maintained. Why should the United States be allowed, absolutely free and unchecked, to supply 69 per cent of the purchases of Canada when we can sell them only 39 per cent of our own goods? Why do we give them our market? We should preserve our own markets for the Canadian people. The same thing relates to butter. The farmers of the West, in Alberta and other places, require a home market for their butter. Alberta butter sells at 31 cents in the East. The price of New Zealand butter is 27 cents, and there is a duty imposed upon it of 4 cents. In my opinion the government should try to hold this market for the western farmers by increasing the duty from 4 to 8 or 10 cents.

I sympathize with a great deal that has been said about the West, and no one, I assure the House, would be more pleased than myself to see that great land succeed. I do not agree with the gloomy tone of some of the speeches regarding farming conditions in the West which were delivered in the course of the debate on the immigration policy of the government. No country in the world has such a magnificent record for wheat production as western Canada-the granary of the Empire. The fertility of its soil and the industry of its people are responsible for this great record. Every year hundreds of men go out west to help in the harvesting operations, which extend over a period of about three months. The majority of these harvesters then return eastward. Many of them have suggested to me that it would be a national benefit if either the federal or provincial au-

The Budget-Mr. Church

and the money sacrificed by the exchequer would go straight into the pockets of producers and dealers. He goes on to say:

When it became obvious that the Cuban sugar crop was going to be far below the estimate, prices began to move up strongly week by week until on Tuesday last the price was 30s. 3d. per cwt. or three times more than in January, 1922. This rise was caused entirely because so far as could be seen there was actually going to be a shortage of sugar this year, and the slightest increase in demand might easily cause a panic and send up prices far beyond that.

That was the position, and it was well known in commercial circles. He had information that the increase of sowing in the continental countries of Eufope stimulated by higher prices was as much as from 25 to 40 per cent so that as far as they coaid see by the turn of next year there should be cheaper world sugar and when that came it would be the time to reduce the duty. (Ministerial cheers). But if he were to reduce the duty in this budget the whole of that reduction would go straight to New York, and he was not going to do it. (Ministerial cheers). It would be a very easy thing for him to have proposed this reduction, and said in public that sugar was cheaper by the amount of the reduction of the duty. Let those members who might believe that to be true say it! but he did not believe it to be true, and therefore he was not going .to say it. (Ministerial cheers).

Excise duties on tea and sugar put $200,000,000 per annum into the Old Country treasury. Every half-cent per pound taken off the Old Country sugar duties reduces the revenue by aproximately $25,000,000 per annum. The Old Country sugar duty is four and three-quarter cents per pound. The British Chancellor of the Exchequer refused to take the fraction of a cent per pound off the English sugar duties because Mr. Baldwin said: "The whole of that reduction will go straight to New York."

So when the Minister of Finance takes $2,5O0,0GO or a half a cent a pound off the Canadian duty on sugar the whole of that reduction will go straight to New York and Stanley Baldwin says so.

The excise duties on tea and sugar in the Old Country amounted to $200,000,060 and if the Chancellor of the Exchequer had made a reduction of half a cent a pound in the duty on sugar it would have taken off twenty-five millions from the breakfast table of the sugar consumers of that country. But the British Chancellor refused to make that reduction because he said the whole of it would go straight to New York. I believe the whole of the reduction of 2J millions on the sugar duties which has been made under our budget will go straight to New York also.

Another matter which is much discussed id the cities and towns of the country, especially among the retail merchants, is the tax on receipts. The Finance Minister said that the British Chancellor has retained this tax and that he is going to retain it also. Some labour organizations in this country have characterized this tax as an imposition on the people. Owing to the development of the banking system in this country there are branch banks

in every city and town. Conditions have changed from what they were twenty-five years ago. Formerly working people received their wages in bills; to-day they are paid by cheque. Most of the workers have a bank account in the district in which they live. They pay all their bills, their rent, their groceries, their food, and so on, by cheque. To-day if you go to a retail man and ask him to send you a receipt he will not do it. He will explain to you the reason for that and then you will not ask him to do it. The result is that this tax is being evaded and the government are losing in each case two cents on the postage. There was no loss under the old way of doing things because receipts were forwarded by mail and required a postage of two cents. To-day you can forward a cheque which requires a stamp of two cents on it up to $50 and by the Bills of Exchange Act in this country a cheque is the equivalent of a receipt. The dealer will explain to you now that your cheque is a receipt and he will not give you a written receipt in payment of your account because it will cost him two cents, and as many of jhese men have several thousand customers it would represent a very heavy tax on them. I am sorry an amendment has not been made in this regard because I consider that the stamp tax should operate on the same principle as the income tax. In the case of the latter the bigger the income the bigger the tax, but the receipt tax is not graduated in the same way. It should be on the same basis as the income tax if you desire to have a receipt tax of an equitable character. In my opinion in the case of both the receipt tax and the cheque tax exemption from these taxes should be given until an amount of $500 is reached. This would give the man of small salary a chance. At present he is taxed to death by the federal, provincial and municipal authorities. He and his. family cannot go to a moving picture show without having to pay a provincial tax, an amusement tax under the guise of a war tax. I contend that the provincial amusement tax is illegal because by section 91 of the British North America Act, Militia and Defence matters are under the jurisdiction of the Dominion. If the legality of this tax were contested I think it would be found that the tax is ultra vires of the provincial legislature. I am sorry that the Minister of Finance has not contested that particular point. As I say, the men of moderate income are taxed to death and I am sorry that some relief has not been given to them in the budget through a modification of the tax on cheques and receipts.

The Budget-Mr. Church

I am glad to see the government giving direct tariff aid to such products as copper bars, hemp, wool and artificial silk in the manner in which they are, but I think the bounty insufficient in some cases especially in the case of hemp. It will be very difficult indeed to get the hemp industry on its feet unless the period of time is extended and the amount made a little larger. The hemp industry needs to be nursed very carefully in order to make a success. The farmers of the district where it is grown will have to be instructed in the best ways of cultivation, and it is going to take a long time to develop that industry. No doubt the reason for this action on the part of Canada is the failure of Russia as a source of supply. But the hemp industry is a peculiar one. It is affected by all classes of weather, and it is a problematic investment for the farmer. The same is not true of the copper bar industry because it is already well established. It is organized and is already functioning and there is likely to be a great deal of work to be done by the smelters. The copper bar industry does not depend upon weather conditions like the hemp industry. I commend the government for the good work they are doing with respect to these industries but I am sorry they did not extend the same measure of protection to wool. If the government wish to establish aid to a good basic industry-there is a combing mill at Trenton which could use a lot of raw material. The result would be we would have another addition to our basic industries and the allied industries which would grow up in connection with it would attract capital, provide employment for labour and give a market to the farmer. I would not advocate sending milk out of Canada to be made into butter and then brought back to the Dominion for home consumption. Yet this is what the government are compelling the farmer to do in the case of wool. That commodity is shipped out of Canada to be combed and then brought back into the Dominion for consumption because our legislation has not been framed with such wisdom as to look after the development of our natural resources. I hope some relief will be given in this direction when we go into committee.

I am sorry that no provision has been made in the budget for old age pensions. Unfortunately the war debt and the railway debt have made it impossible for many years to come to extend aid towards the improvement of the public health and the advancement of humanitarian work. In addition our soldiers and their dependents also have to be provided

for. I think the matter of old age pensions should be taken up by the provinces and the municipalities and an agreement arrived at between them to afford relief in the shape of old age pensions similar to the relief now given in the province of Ontario in the form of mothers' pensions. In the case of mothers' pensions one-half the cost is borne by the municipality and one-half by the province, and it is one of the finest humanitarian works that I know of.

The railway situation in this country, Mr. Speaker, has been responsible for the great deficits in our finances. Were it not for the railway situation in Canada to-day we would have a good surplus and we would be facing an era of unparalleled prosperity. After granting $900,000,000 in direct and indirect aid to railways we are now met by an overdraft of $74,000,000. How this is arrived at I am unable to say. It is pretty nearly time parliament re-asserted itself with respect to our railways. If we are to have responsible government in this country we cannot allow the National Railway system to go on spending money in a capital way in the manner they are doing. There must be some control over the National Railway Board in respect to their capital commitments. The deficit in 1920 amounted to nearly $36,000,000. In 1921 the deficits on those railways was $16,000,000. In 1922 there was an operating surplus of $4,000,000 as against a deficit of $16,000,000 the year before. For this year the deficit is set down at $74,000,000. Wait until you see the deficit for next year. I am afraid it will greatly exceed $74,000,000. I hope the House will not pass the votes for railway expenditure without, at least, asking for details in connection with them.

It is time responsible government was restored in Canada, so far as the administration of the Canadian National Railways is concerned. The board should have a free hand in the actual administration of the road, but they should not spend money in a haphazard manner and should not be permitted to run up an overdraft of $74,000,000. In my opinion it was not necessary to go outside of Canada and appoint a president. We could have had a Canadian appointed to that position. President Beatty of the Canadian Pacific Railway is a Canadian and the chief engineer of that road is also a Canadian. The greatest engineers in the world constructed the Chip-pawa-Niagara plant. They are Canadians, they are graduates of Canadian universities, and I think there are a great many Canadians engaged in the management of the

The Budget-Mr. Church

other gigantic power works of Canada. I think we might have found a good Canadian to take hold of the Canadian National Railways. However, not satisfied with appointing an outsider as president we find that they have brought out Colonel N. H. Balfour, as shown in the following despatch:

Montreal, May 15.-Colonel N. H. Balfour, formerly assistant to Sir Henry Thornton in the work of the Great Eastern Railway in England, arrived here to-day to join Sir Henry as one of his assistants in the management of the Ganadian National Railways here. He is accompanied by A. J. Thomas, son of the well-known English parliamentarian, and also a former assistant of Sir Henry on the Great Eastern Railway.

I think it is pretty nearly time that we should find Canadinas to take such positions. If we are going to have any efficiency in the railway system of this country we have got to adopt the principle of promotion. In the management of the New York Central, in the administration of the Great Pennsylvania lines and the Baltimore and Ohio road, the presidents have announced that promotion will be the method in administering these railways. Furthermore in the United States, I may remind hon. members that brakemen have worked their way up to be railway presidents. We find that condition of affairs in the administration of .the United States roads, and the system adopted in that country should be good enough for a road which went behind sixty or seventy millions last year. We should adopt the principle of promotion in the administration of our railways and should not have to go to other countries when so many of our own people are out of work and being laid off by the Nationals.

I believe in Canada for the Canadians. I believe in a national policy for coal and for food, and I believe in a national policy in the administration of our railway system as well as in the administration of our merchant marine, and I cannot understand why we should have to go to England to appoint a president of our railway. Of course, I speak with every respect for Sir Henry Thornton because he has had so far no criticism in Canada, and we hope there will be very little criticism and that he will be given a fair chance. But I am surprised at his recommending the sale of the twenty-seven smaller ships of the merchant marine. I believe that with the deepening of the Welland canal these ships will be necessary for our commerce, and in view of the inquiry which has been held into the rates on lake shipping, we should have held the smaller ships, so as to bring them into competition with the shipping combine on the Great Lakes and regulate this mono-

poly. I believe it is a mistake to put them up for sale at the present time. They have not had a fair trial or chance.

There was a combine in regard to lake rates, and the shipping interests fixed rates for themselves and for others. The merchant marine also sat in when the Atlantic combine was at work. I am sorry these ships are to be sold, because I believe many of them could be used to bring coal from Wales and from the Maritime provinces to the head of the lakes and also to carry grain down the St. Lawrence to the seaboard. At the present time a few of them are not of the proper draught, but with the deepening of the' Welland canal, they will have the proper draught. I am sorry to see the head of the railway system of Canada make the recommendation which he did without proper inquiry or giving a fair trial to the merchant marine.

I believe in the principle enunciated by the Right Hon. Stanley Baldwin that he should seek new sources of revenue from those not already taxed to make up the deficit. What about a tax on pulpwood exported from Canada? We exported to the United States in the year 1921 newsprint to the value of $62,820,000. A duty of 10 per cent ad valorem would produce the sum of $6,282,000. Then with reference to water powers, we exported 158,000 hprse-power to the United States, to the value of $8,000,000. It was pointed out by the hon. member for Nipissing (Mr. Lapierre) and the hon. member for St. Marys (Mr. Deslauriers) that that would be a source of revenue. Referring to the question of coal, the bituminous and anthracite coal brought into Canada amounted to $56,000,000.

I believe if we had a rate for Alberta coal and Nova Scotia coal a large part of that $56,000,000 would remain in Canada, and be paid as wages to our Canadian people. The National Railways of Canada quoted a price of $9 per ton, train load, for transporting coal from Alberta. They evidently would rather charge the $9 prohibitive rate and do no business than quote a $6 rate and get the cream of the business. If the Canadian Pacific Railway had adopted such a principle in business and had never taken a chance they never would have been as successful as they are to-day. They took chances and they made experiments with the rates with the result that they captured the trade and made a success of private ownership. They also made sucessful investments in ocean, hotel, land and oil services. If the National Railways will only have the courage to bring down the products of Alberta to the central provinces

The Budget-Mr. Church

and use the merchant marine for that purpose,

I believe a large volume of business will come and the deficit will be wiped out. I do not agree with the gloomy view taken by some hon. members in the speeches which have been made. Agricultural depression is not a local matter; it is a problem which exists all over the world.

Thomas Bradshaw, the veteran head of the Massey-Harris Company, Toronto, and formerly the ablest and best city treasurer Toronto ever had, gave evidence before the Agricultural committee in Ottawa. I believe there is an Agricultural committee in the United States investigating conditions of the farming industry. We have an Agricultural committee in England and we have a similar committee in Canada holding inquiries with a view to improving the condition of the farmers. I agree with Mr. Bradshaw, and I will quote from his evidence. He says before the House of Commons special committee on Agriculture:

This committee has been investigating agricultural conditions in Canada with a view to discovering what, if any, steps can be taken to improve the position of the farmer, and in concluding this evidence, it may perhaps* not be out of order to express just a few thoughts along these lines.

Now, I returned from Europe not very long ago, and was over there for quite a little time, and therefore had an opportunity of finding out what the people were saying about Canada, how they were feeling.

In the first place, it appears to me that it is most unfortunate that so much emphasis has been laid upon, and publicity given to the so-called agricultural depression in Canada. It seems to me that it has had a bad effect upon our own people, in putting them in a state of mind where pity rather than self-help occupies their attention; and it has greatly weakened Canada's position abroad. She does not now appear a desirable home to emigrants, as compared with Australia and South Africa which have been painting their own charms in no uncomplimentary way; her credit has been undermined, for who cares to deal with a nation apparently thought to be approaching bankruptcy; and her future jeopardized, since the seed of doubt once sown grows vigorously.

I know this from actual experience, because while I have not been in the agricultural machinery business very long, I have been connected with the business of loaning money to the farmer since 1897, and I have been up and down the provinces of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta, on the actual farms, talking to the farmers and making loans to them, and I am still associated with two or three companies making loans to western farmers, and I have had an opportunity of knowing just exactly how they are situated.

As a matter of fact, agriculture at the present period is no more depressed than it ha9 been at other times in the past, and, moreover, it is far from being a local condition. It is as widespread in the East as in the West; it affects the United States as well as Canada; it is a feature of agriculture in the eastern hemisphere as in the western. An "Agricultural Tribunal of Investigation" has been sitting in England and has just brought in its report upon agricultural conditions in Great Britain. In passing, it may be noted that it is evident from its report that artificial restoratives are few.

By Mr. Caldwell:

Q. What was their report, was it rosy?-A. No, it was not rosy, it was not good, but at the same time it was believed that the only way conditions could be improved was by what I think we have all got to do, and that is, we have to work hard, have patience, and have courage.

I find that the report of the Agricultural committee is backed up in a report along similar lines brought down in the United States by the Anderson committee of the senate and congress, a joint committee that had been investigating agricultural conditions in the United States. They have gone into the question thoroughly, having made a most extensive inquiry at Washington, through a joint agricultural committee of congress and senate, under the chairmanship of the Hon. Sidney Anderson, the member for Minnesota. They investigated the problem of rural credits, the question of rural depopulation, the matter of high prices, and so forth, and submitted an exhaustive report. In that report they reached the conclusion that there is not a single factor in the complex modern price structure which can be said to be primarily responsible for the spread between producers' and consumers' prices. The report goes on to state:

The growth of cities is another factor in higher costs to their inhabitants. The congestion of traffic and physical difficulties that attach to city delivery are increased as population grows.

They find practically along the lines of the British committee that agricultural depression is world wide and can bo little helped by legislation.

In conclusion, Mr. Speaker, I want to express my regret that in the budget which the minister has submitted to the House on this occasion he has deemed it fit to make reference to the question of reciprocity. After all is said and done, I do not believe that the people of this country believe in reciprocity. A vote was taken upon this question in the year 1911 when the public of Canada expressed its opinion in no uncertain voice, and if the Minister of Finance had left that reccmmendatic n out of his budget I think that the statemtnt which he has given to the House and ',o the country on this occasion would have commended itself better to the people. The amendment moved by the Progressive party also refers to reciprocity with the United States as outlined in the Reciprocity Agreement of 1911 Reciprocity with the United States is impossible. The Harding administration are going to the country next year, and with the farmer bloc in the United States they nave decided that free trade and reciprocity would be impos-

The Budget-Mr. Reed

sible. I do not believe that it would commend itself to the judgment of the American people. We know what happened to the Taft administration. Reciprocity would carry just as many .American states as President Taft carried at the election of 1912. Vermont and Utah were the only two states that voted for the author of the reciprocity offer. The presidential election resu'ts that defeated Taft were associated with congressional election results that would hive destroyed reciprocity. There has been no mandate from the Canadian people, Mr. Speaker, for any overtures in the direction, of reciprocity, and I do not believe that this reference in the budget will meet with tbp approval of the Canadian people.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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May 16, 1923