March 7, 1924

DEPUTY RECEIVER GENERAL'S OFFICE, TORONTO


On the Orders of the Day:


LIB

James Alexander Robb (Minister of Immigration and Colonization)

Liberal

Hon. J. A. ROBB:

(Acting Minister of Finance) : Mr. Speaker, yesterday on the Orders of the Day the hon. member for South York (Mr. Maclean) made the following inquiry:

Will the Acting Minister of Finance (Mr. Robb) please inform the House and the country when the Deputy Receiver General's office in Toronto ceased to function as a place for public deposits at interest, with right of withdrawal in Dominion notes, and whether it is true that deposits on similar terms are still being received by the Deputy Receiver General's office in British Columbia and in the Maritime provinces.

I now have the answer which is as follows: The Government Savings Bank agency at Toronto was closed 1st November, 1905, and the Savings Bank deposits transferred to the control of the Post Office Savings Bank. The public could make deposits and make withdrawals at this office. The withdrawals were met by issuing a cheque drawn on the Bank of Montreal. The depositors were not at any time paid in Dominion notes. Government Savings Bank offices are still in existence at Victoria, B.C., St. John, N.B., Halifax, N. S., and Charlottetown, P.E.I. All other offices have been closed out and the deposits transferred to the Post Office Savings Banks.

Topic:   DEPUTY RECEIVER GENERAL'S OFFICE, TORONTO
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THE GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH

ADDRESS IN REPLY


Consideration of the motion of Mr. Kelly for an address to His Excellency the Governor General in reply to his Speech at the opening of the session, resumed from Thursday, March 6.


CON

Donald Sutherland

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DONALD SUTHERLAND (South Oxford) :

Mr. Speaker, those of us who have

been in parliament for a number of years jyill appreciate the difficulties of new members in addressing the House for the first time. Consequently I feel it a pleasure that we can all congratulate the mover and seconder of the Address on the manner in which they faced the ordeal.

Before proceeding to discuss matters pertaining to the Address, I should like to refer to the absence of some familiar faces as the result of illness. I refer more particularly to that veteran statesman, right hon. Mr. Fielding, and to Sir Lomer Gouin. Both of these gentlemen have occupied a very prominent place in the public life of this Dominion for many years, and I feel that I am expressing the sentiments of every hon. member when I say that we regret very much the circumstances which prevent their being present with us, and that we hope they may soon recover their usual health and vigour and be able again to participate in our deliberations. Their absence from this House is a distinct loss to the country, particularly under the conditions which now confront us.

There is nothing to be gained by trying to make ourselves believe that things are different from what they actually are. We are faced with a very serious condition of national affairs, as is every other country in the world to-day. This is something that naturally might be expected after the disturbing events of recent years. When we look back and realize the conditions which prevailed ten years ago and contemplate what has happened since, we can come to no other conclusion than that great national and international events have much more to do with our constitutional development than have the actions of individuals. We find all the nations of the world to-day endeavouring to re-establish themselves on a sound footing in order to meet most effectively the difficulties with which they are confronted. But I am Sony to have to feel that we are not acting with that unity which the occasion demands. I believe that we are altogther too provincial in our outlook, that we are viewing things from a narrow selfish standpoint instead of nationally.

There is an old saying, that a house divided against itself cannot stand. We have the old British system of government which, although not yet perfect, has been developed through the centuries and has been adopted by every progressive country in the world- the party system of parliamentary government. To-day the respective parties represented in this parliament come in solid blocs from certain provinces, and not a solitary representative from some provinces is to be found in the ranks of some of these parties. This is a new experience. I regret very much indeed that we have become, at least in my opinion, narrow and more provincial in our outlook than we were a few years ago. I have no doubt, however, that in the course of time circumstances will Compel us to adopt a broader outlook. Every hon. gentleman in this House must have a distinct recollection

The Address-Mr. Sutherland

of the dark days of 1918 when we were face to face with a grave crisis, and the fate of the world was in the balance. At that time things looked Very black indeed. After four years of strenuous struggle on the part of the leading nations of the world it was found necessary, in order to bring to an end the conflict which had continued for so long, that there should be a united effort put forth by the allied nations to defeat the enemy. We all remember those ominous days. Early in the year 1918, when the greatest events were occurring, as we can quite well recall now, there came a sudden change in the condition that had prevailed, and the end of the conflict was hastened as a result of a united effort on the part of the allied countries, under a single command agreed upon for this purpose. I believe that the same spirit is absolutely essential at this time if we are to successfully overcome the difficulties that face us. Some will say, no doubt, that there is no use in reviewing past events because we are more concerned with the present and the future. Well, the experience of the past is a great teacher, and those who are not willing to profit by the experience of others, and the experience of nations in days gone by, are not likely to meet with much success in dealing with the world's affairs.

I shall mention presently a matter that has been featured in the Speech which is now under consideration by the House; and in doing so I would call the attention of hon. members to an event of some years ago which in many respects resembles the situation that now prevails: I refer to the abrogation of the reciprocity treaty which existed between the United States and Canada at that time. Some can recall what followed; I am not able to do so. I have, however, a distinct recollection of hearing these matters discussed, when I was quite young. When we review our history and see what the people of Canada did, when we realize the tremendous obligations which they undertook and how resolutely they set about overcoming their difficulties, I think we should draw an inspiration from the story of those days. As a result of the trade relations that then existed between ourselves and the United States, a country extending along our borders for four thousand miles, we found it necessary to develop new channels of trade; which completely revolutionized the business of our country. What happened? One of the first things that occurred was an unfortunate raid on our country by an organized body from the republic to the south, this was known as the Fenian raid and it was quickly repelled.

I Mr. Sutherland.]

The next great event was the confederation of the scattered provinces of Canada, and in consequence of that union this great Dominion was formed in 1887. In 1870 the Hudson Bay Territory was purchased by the Dominion of Canada, and in the same year Manitoba became a province. A rebellion took place in western Canada at that time and was speedily suppressed. In 1871 the province of British Columbia came into confederation. In 1873 Prince Edward Island entered confederation, and in 1876 the Intercolonial railway was opened. In 1878 the National Policy was adopted; in 1880 the Arctic islands were added to the Dominion; in 1885 another rebellion took place in the Northwest and was quickly suppressed, and in the same year the Canadian Pacific railway was completed in order to link together the provinces which had come into confederation. In 1891 a great statesman, who had figured prominently in connection with all these events, died,-I refer to Sir John Alexander Macdonald. In 1896 the Canadian Northern Railway Company was formed; in 1903 the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway was chartered; and in 1906 Alberta and Saskatchewan became provinces of the Dominion.

I have referred to these events because I want to emphasize the necessity for a broader outlook on the part of our people. We must unite our forces if we wish to overcome our difficulties effectively. Canada entered the war at the oueset and made tremendous sacrifices in order to assist in bringing about the victory which was finally attained. I listened in this House the other day to a remark by an hon. member to the effect that possibly, if Canada could have foreseen or could have realized the obligations which she was going to assume, she would not have put forth so great an effort, nor would she have undertaken such stupendous obligations. Well, we can all be very wise after things have happened. We can see where mistakes were made. But was that the case in so far as this country is concerned? The forces which went from this Dominion met the enemy at some of the most critical points on the battle line, and it is hard to say what the result would have been had not the men from Canada been there and in the struggle. The attitude of Canada was an inspiration not only to the people of its Motherland, but to the other dominions and to all the allies. I am not one who will ever regret that we put forth every ounce of energy that it was possible for us to exert in those days. I think it was one of the finest things that ever happened in the history of this Dominion, and that it will be an inspiration of generations yet unborn to per-

The Address-Mr. Sutherland

form their full duty to this Dominion in the years to come.

After the struggle was over, we found the nations endeavouring to re-establish themselves and to meet their obligations, we again found that our neighbours to the south-and they were well within their rights-do not imagine for a moment that I am attaching any blame to them; it is their duty and their business to look after their .own country and to adopt the measures that are best for their own people-adopted a customs tariff which placed another obstacle in our way in trading with them. We are again faced with a condition very similar to that which prevailed in this country in 1866 when the reciprocity treaty of that year was abrogated by the United States. I am referring to this because I wish to call the attention of the House to the position of those who argue that we made a tremendous mistake in 1911 in not adopting the reciprocity pact which was brought before parliament in that year. I want to emphasize this feature of that arrangement; it was a pact which might be terminated at any time by either party, and the people of the United States, if they felt that they were not reaping any advantage from any arrangements which they might have adopted at any time, could with a change of government or without again upset the conditions which had been in existence it may be for three or four or five or more years, and we would then again find ourselves with our trade channels destroyed, and new ones would have to be developed. What we need to do in this country is to develop a policy that we ' can be assured will have some degree of permanency, and to follow out that policy without regard to what may be done by people of other countries. Just along that line I would like to refer to some statements which werp made by men prominent in the United States before that country saw fit to adopt what is known as the Fordney-Mc-Cumber tariff. In an address delivered before the New York Chamber of Commerce Mr. Charles M. Schwab said;

Germany has gone back to work as has no other nation in Europe. Her working people are economizing, sacrificing and throwing themselves into real production.

Believing as I do that the strength and prosperity of a nation depend upon the efficiency of its labour, I had something of a shock in contemplating this thought.

Is it possible that after having won the war we of the allied nations, with everything in our hands will allow Germany to win the peace through the efforts of her labour? '

Germany can to-day put a ton of steel in England at a price $20 per ton cheaper than what it costs England to make it. Germany is to-day selling pneumatic tools

in Detroit where formerly we made machinery and shipped it to Germany to sell there cheaper than she could make it.

The difference is solely a matter of labour costs.

Railroad costs must come down and it is in the interests of national prosperity that our government, acting through the Railroad Labour Board and every other agency, shall reduce railroad wages and bring costs down to a living point.

I might also refer to some remarks that were made some time ago by the then Prime Minister of Great Britain, Mr. Lloyd George:

One of the unfortunate results of the war, which had demonstrated the power of international good will, was that it should have developed into narrow, selfish, blind nationalism that was found in every direction, in customs restrictions and in trade and transportation. Transportation organized to develop international trade was used to prevent international trade. Not merely the amount of tariff was objectionable, but its fluctuations and uncertainties.

The human intellect was exhausted in order to make trade as difficult as possible. This is the condition which we found at Genoa. Although peace has been established in Europe it is quite clear that the war atmosphere has to a certain extent remained. While the conference was sitting troops were marching forward towards the frontier. There is an atmosphere in Europe of international suspicion of impending conflict. .

Now you have the opinion of two men very prominent in world affairs. Mr. Lloyd George was regretting the action that was being taken by the various nations of the world in order to re-establish themselves and take care of their own people. He realized the serious situation with which the people of the Old Land were confronted. The hon. member for Brandon (Mr. Forke), the leader of the Progressive party in this House, the ether day referred to the fact that there were two million men out of employment in the Old Land at the present time. Now these are things that are worthy of our serious consideration, and I would like to ask those who claim and advocate that those methods which have been adopted by these other countries are all wrong and are based on false premises, what influence can a small number of people, for there are only nine million of us, have against all these other nations, with their enormous populations, that are adopting protective methods of that kind? Are we going to permit ourselves to be absolutely destroyed for a principle or theory when it is a condition we have to face and not a theory? liven if I were the rankest free trader in the Dominion I should have to study the prevailing conditions. Speaking candidly I personally would much prefer-yes, a thousand times-to see a free trade policy adopted among all the nations of the world under which merit or efficiency would be the deciding factor and dominant influence in the world's affairs. Were that the case Canada

The Address-Mr. Sutherland

would have no occasion to quail at the prospect; she would be in a position to compete with other nations. However, we must be guided by the prevailing conditions.

Here we are, in the northern part of this hemisphere, having a great industrial nation to the south of us, a nation possessed of immense wealth, a nation that did not enter the war at the same time that we did but acquired enormous wealth supplying munitions of war to the allies during that period-* indeed, wealth poured in upon them to such an extent that if the people of the United States are in difficulties 'to-day it is probably largely owing to the fact that they have too great an accumulation of the world's gold in that country. We have a country equal in area to that of the United States but our population numbers only about nine millions whilst they have upwards of one hundred and ten millions of people. Argue as you will, we know that our people are passing to the country to the south, are crossing the international boundary line, every month, every week, and every day in increasing numbers. The prediction has been made by our immigration authorites at the port of Detroit that if the present movement continues, 500,000 of our people will cross into the United States before the end of the present year. In face of this I regret that there is no evidence of any real effort on the part of the government to do anything which will retard this movement, which will encourage our people to remain in the Dominion and develop the great resources which she undoubtedly possesses.

Mr. Schwab referred to what he deemed to be one of the most essential factors necessary to establish improved conditions in the United States, and that is transportation. If that is a prime necessity in the United States what must it be in Canada, a country of equal area but only sparsely populated? To my mind transportation is the great problem we have to solve at this time. The costs of transportation in Canada to-day are so great that they are positively strangling and discouraging industry and enterprise everywhere. We must bring about a better condition of affairs in that regard, or else we cannot develop our natural resources as they should be developed. I appreciate the difficulties that our friends in western Canada have to face, and I may say that I have seen evidence of those difficulties on numerous occasions. As I listened to the hon. member for Swift Current (Mr. Lewis) the other night when he described what it cost to transport the products of the farms in the West to Toronto,

and other eastern points, how it practically absorbed all the profits they might naturally expect to realize on their produce, how absolutely impossible it was for people to carry on under such' conditions, I could not help feeling how serious the situation was.

I am now going to touch upon something that has not been referred to in detail during the debate-the cost of railway transportation in the country. I have had occasion to make purchases in our own province, at points not a great distance away, and the cost of transportation for a distance of a few hundred miles exceeded by far the value of the products. That being the case, what a difficult position our friends in western Canada must be placed in when their products have to be transported over much greater distances than is the case in Ontario. Some time ago this question came before the House for consideration, and in 1920 it was referred to by the then Minister of Railways during the debate on the subject. The minister in question said on that occasion, with regard to the railways under the control of the Dominion government:

The wage bill for the year exceeded seventy-three millions, having, owing largely to the McAdoo series of advances, jumped from fifty-four millions in 1918. In other words, out of every one dollar of revenue earned, seventy-eight cents passed directly, by way of wages, to the employees.

Was the service improved as a result of the changes which took place at that time? And let me emphasize this: When the change took place we were face to face with a crisis. It was absolutely impossible for the government of the day to do otherwise than to consent to the scale of wages adopted in the United States. This was referred to by the chairman of the railway board in 1921. I have here the Canadian Annual Review which gives a synopsis of some of the speeches he delivered at that time. Referring to this subject this publication says:

The railways and the freight rates' question:-The commission and its associated railway problems were much before the public in 1921; the question of freight rates was one of the most conspicuous and difficult of these issues. Mr. Carvell was very frank in his statements and judgments; he expressed himself clearly and did not evade points of controversial character. The railway board visited the western centres in the spring of 1921 and heard various appeals and statements as to freight rates; outside of the commission sittings, Mr. Carvell continued his outspoken utterances. Speaking to the Canadian Club at Brandon on April 22, he described the railway problem as more important than the tariff or any other question before the people: "It cost $40,000,000 more to run the C.N.R. last year than was brought in, and that is not reflection on the people at the head of the railways or on the government. The Canadian National is a conglomeration of a lot of railways that couldn't run themselves and, therefore, had to be taken over by the government, and if anyone thinks the government, or any man, can

The Address-Mr. Sutherland

take over these roads and turn them into a dividend-paying proposition in a year or so he is much mistaken." In reference to the Canadian Pacific Railway, he was equally explicit as being "the finest system on the American continent". Then he turned to the West and its alleged view of railways; "1 have always felt that the true criterion of a public utility that has not the power to increase its own rates is: "What does it cost to run the road"? However, I find here that the criterion is: "What the cattle sell for? What does wheat realize per bushel? Down east it would be the price realized for pulp-wood."

And so on. Further on I find:

As to the future: "No matter what happens, railway labour must be reborn and an honest day's labour for an honest day's pay must be the first principle observed. Canadian labour is not responsible for the McAdoo award, but it is responsible if it is not prepared to give honest service." His view of the labour situation was important because it could not but affect the policy and decisions of the board. "There are engineers and conductors to-day who are making $4,000, $5,000 and even $6,000 a year as the result of the McAdoo Award. I am beginning to be skeptical of the advisability of having Canadian unions controlled in the United States."

Mr. Carvell was unceasing in his expression of opinion along these lines. He told the Kiwanis Club, Vancouver, on April 7th, that, "The people want lower freight rates, but they will not permit us to cut off costly Sunday trains.

Next to the unnecessary train services, the greatest factor in maintaining high rates are the wages which have to be paid as the result of the McAdoo award of 1918 and the Chicago Award of July, 1920. There are station agents on the national railways whose wages are from $120 to $225 a month, but who are making from $75 to $125 a week as the result of overtime." To' the Vancouver Board of Trade (April 12) he was equally explicit in denouncing, as on previous occasions, the government ownership of railways. "People are going to find out that it will cost $70,000,000 more this year to operate this toy than it will earn."

To the local Canadian Club on the 19th Mr. Carvel, declared that: "There must be a rearrangement of working conditions of railway employees, a reduction in wages, a reduction in the price of coal." As to the American wage awards which Canadian railways had to adopt he said: "The payroll for the Canadian National railways prior to the McAdoo and Chicago Awards was $43,265,000; the estimate for the present year is $81,347,000. The Canadian Pacific payroll prior to the Awards was $56,190,000; the estimate for this year is $100,000,000."

So that this matter of transportation costs is to my mind one of the most important with which we are confronted for this reason, that, instead of encouraging efficiency or anything of that nature, ensuring an honest day's labour for a day's pay, there was attached to the conditions a provision which placed a premium upon inefficiency and anything but the giving of value for the money which was being received; by reason of the fact that after a railway employee had put in so many hours, if he could delay a train service he would obtain pay and a half for the overtime. I know as a matter of fact instances where this has been deliberately done by the employees operating trains, particularly freight trains, in the province of Ontario. Hon. members can easily see what an incentive it would be to do something of that nature. Just along that line, I do not want anyone to think that I am opposed to labour unions. On the contrary, I have always approved of laboui unions. I think they have done a great deal for what is commonly called labour in this country, and as a matter of fact in Canada we are all labourers; we have no class in this Dominion who would not come under that category; undoubtedly there have been very substantial results from these organizations. In this regard there has been a slight reduction, in wages, since that time, but they have made it impossible for the deflation to take place in many other occupations, and they have made it impossible to reduce the cost of living in this country. They have maintained a condition which reacts on what is commonly called labour. The cost of transporting coal, for instance, in this Dominion from the east and from the west to the central part of the Dominion is so great that it is prohibitive, and notwithstanding the abundance of this material which we have in our own country, as a result of the attitude of those who are in control of our railways at the present time-and I refer to the regulations which were put into effect in this award,-it has been made impossible for us to bring the cost of living in Canada down to the point where it should be. The deflation has taken place in so far as agriculture is concerned, and it is almost where it was prior to the war, and consequently hon. members can easily appreciate the difficulty with which those who are engaged in that industry are confronted at this time. They have been waiting patiently to see this deflation take place elsewhere. But there are organized bodies here, which are endeavouring to prevent themselves being brought under the same conditions under which one-half of the people of this country are labouring at this time.

Now this is a matter which cannot be allowed to continue, and must be dealt with by parliament so that there may be an end to this condition of affairs. We are not going to tolerate any autocracy of this kind on the part of any organized body in this Dominion. It cannot be permitted. We must have equal rights for all the people of this Dominion, without regard to any organized body which may have considerable influence, to which governments and political parties may at times be listening with a view to securing their support. I know something of what happened during the last Dominion elec-

The Address-Mr. Sutherland

tion in my constituency. I had occasion to interview some parties with whom I was acquainted, and I went down to the railway station just at five o'clock when they would be quitting work, and I was told that the superintendent for the district had just departed on the five o'clock train for London, after issuing instructions to the foremen of the section-men employed on the road that they were all to be taken out of the county on the next morning to test a gravel pit in a county a few miles away; and notwithstanding the fact that there was a train coming in at five o'clock on the day of the election which could have brought these men back, they were not permitted to come on that train but had to wait, for a later train when it was too late for them to vote. These are some of the things of what we had to contend with in the last federal election. I am referring to this because I knew of the circumstances. Not only at this one point, but at another point in the eastern part of the constituency the same thing took place, and these men were all ordered out to Paris to test a gravel pit there on that day in December. I am referring to this matter, because I believe that our transportation system is vital to the prosperity of Canada; that it constitutes the arteries, the veins, the very life blood of this country; that we cannot hope to succeed unless we have efficient transportation. While it may be said and argued that we have built railways much in advance of the requirements of the time, 1 am not going to deal with that matter; but I am going to argue that it is necessary for us to make the best of conditions as we find them and to see that we have efficiency in our transportation system. As Mr. Schwab pointed out to the people of the United States, it is necessary for us to deal with this problem. The Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) the other day, in speaking on the Address, made reference to this and the efforts which were being put forth by the Dominion Railway Board to make a success of our system of railways. I do not wish to say anything that would in any way discourage those who are carrying on that work. I realize that they have a very difficult task and require all the encouragement which we can give them. At the same time, I am going to call your attention to something which I know a good many people in Canada are not aware of, and that is a statement made at Halifax on the 17th January, 1922, by the chairman of the railway board:

When Mr. Carvell declared that the commissioners had no control over rates on government-owned railways in general and the Intercolonial in particular; that {Mr. Sutherland.]

"under the Railway Act, section 5, control of government railway's operation is excluded from the commission's powers although I think it should have supervision of such railways" that, however, "if the minister or the Governor-in-Council wishes the opinion of this board as to freight rates (on government lines) I think they would have a right to call upon it." In its general inquiry as to the equalization of eastern and western freight rates, the board sat in Ottawa in the middle of February and heard W. B. Lanigan of the Canadian Pacific Railway quote the commission's judgment in the western rate case of 1914.

The railway board, who have rendered splendid service to this country in years gone by, have apparently no control over this system. We were told by the Prime Minister the other day that this matter was outside government interference or the interference of parliament. We realized that great efforts were being made to put it far beyond the reach of .parliament when a bill was brought in last year in connection with what is known as,the branch line railways, for construction extending over a period of three years. This parliament was asked to vote a very large sum of money under those eondi-4 p.m. tions. That, however, was not a very good time to advance such a policy as that, in view of the fact that the board which had been created by my right hon. friend, when he assumed the reins of office, had a short time before that ventured into an investment or a' purchase in the city of Paris which rather startled the people of this country and which was known as the purchase of the Scribe hotel for about $2,000,000. When the present government came into power, there was in control of the government system of railways a board of old, experienced railway men who had been brought up and were familiar with the conditions ol this country. Mr. D. B. Hanna, who was in control, by the wonderful work which he had accomplished during the short time in which he was at the head of the government system of railways, had done a great deal towards making a success of those old decrepit roads to which Mr. Carvell refers, that were not able to do business and that had to be take?) over and operated by the government in view of the advances which had been made to them. Did the Prime Minister, when he saw fit to make a change, put forth any great effort to see that a board was selected in whom the people of this country would have confidence? Did he select men of experience, men well known for their general knowledge of the affairs of Canada? I think not; I think, on the contrary, he was looking at matters from a political standpoint rather than from the interests of this Dominion. When you consider the experience of the men

The Address-Mr. Sutherland

who constituted that board, I think you can come to no other conclusion. Sir Henry Thornton may be an outstanding man amongst the railway men of the world; I have not a word to say against him. Personally, I knew little or nothing of him. I hope he will prove to be all that it is claimed he is, and that he will make a success of the government railways; but if he does so, I can assure you that that will not be as a result of the assistance which he is going to receive from the board, but his success will be a great tribute to the personality of Sir Henry Thornton himself. Just along that line, in 1922, before the appointment was made, the Prime Minister, in a speech which he made in his own constituency, referred to this matter, tie had criticized some of the men who had been on the board which had control of this in the past, and he said:

We will give the railways a free hand, out of the control of politics. And we will not put on the board of directors any man who is connected in any way with other railways or who is connected with companies dealing with railways.

No one in such a position would be placed upon this board! In that connection I should like to inquire how it happens that James Stewart, president of the Maple Leaf Milling Company and a, director of the Bank of Montreal, was placed upon this board. I do not object to Mr. Stewart, I think he is a very capable man; but his appointment was in absolute contradiction of the statement made by the Prime Minister just before the appointments were put through. I notice there was another member of the board, a man who occupied a seat in this house for about seventeen years, a man well advanced in life, a most estimable gentleman, but a man who, it seems to me, if we may judge from his participation in the debates of this House did not know very much about railway matters. I think if hon. members will consult Hansard they will find that about nine-tenths of his oratorical efforts were put forth in expounding matters connected with the fisheries of the Maritime provinces. He was well within his rights in so doing, and no doubt he felt he was discharging his duties to his constituency. But I do not think the Prime Minister in appointing that gentleman to the directorate was helping to re-establish the confidence of the country, something which was absolutely necessary at that time. I might refer to other appointees to the National Railway Board. Some of those gentlemen did not occupy very prominent positions in our public life, and did not have the complete confidence of the people among

whom they lived. I think this has been brought up in the House before. One of them, Mr. Frederick G. Dawson, was connected with a rather shady transaction in the province of British Columbia. Another director was a director of the Home Bank; he also was placed on the National Railway Board to ensure efficient railway service. It has been reported in the press that the Home Bank was in financial difficulties some time before it collapsed, and that the National Railway Board deposited in the neighbourhood of one million dollars with the bank in order to enable it to make a satisfactory report to the Finance department, the deposit, having served its purpose, being withdrawn shortly afterwards. It is also claimed by some that in view of the knowledge possessed by those who withdrew this large deposit, it will be incumbent on the country to make good the deficiency by an equivalent amount before the liquidation of the bank is closed. I do not know how much evidence there is to substantiate those claims, but I do say that as a result of the exposure, Mr. Gough had to resign his membership on the board, and another appointment has since been made to fill the vacancy.

These are some of the things which have happened in connection with our National Railway system. The Prime Minister the other night referred to what had taken place in the Kent, N.B. by-election, and how his government failed to secure the support of the electors simply by reason of the efforts that he and his colleagues had exerted to keep the National Railway system free from government interference, and he declared that the directorate are to be given a free hand. Would the evidence which I have submitted indicate that the government are not interfering in the management of these railways? If this great system does succeed,

I am satisfied it will be owing entirely to Sir Henry Thornton and regardless of the board.

I notice that special reference is made in the Speech to the tariff. It has already been pointed out by the right hon. leader of the opposition (Mr. Meighen) that it was an unusual, in fact an unheard-of, proceeding for specific reference to the tariff to be made in the Speech from the Throne. I have personally taken the trouble to search the records back for quite a number of years without finding a single instance where this has occurred before What is the effect of the intimation that there will be a decrease in the tariff on instruments of production? The impression to-day is that reductions are to be made in line with the platform of the party which is *

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CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

And in 1921 also.

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CON

Donald Sutherland

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SUTHERLAND:

And again in 1921.

Strange to say, these secret agreements and understandings were all arrived at in the great metropolis of this country, the city of Montreal.

I heard the hon. member for South York (Mr. Maclean) the other night referring to the fact that my hon. friends to my left were going to have a checker-up, a man who was going to check up on the government every night to see they were coming across and making good their promises, that they were not going to have absolute confidence in the government until the government delivered the goods. Is this not a nice condition of affairs-this process of bargain and sale between two political parties in order that the government may retain power? Is it to be the permanent policy of the once great Liberal party that it is prepared to bargain and barter with some other political party, in order that it may retain office? Are the tremendous obstacles with which we are confronted not worthy of consideration by these men above the paltry fruits of office? I do not think that matter need be dealt with further, but in so far as the tariff references are concerned it is absolutely essential that the situation shall be cleared up immediately.

I have here a statement issued by the Department of Customs and Excise for the last nine months of the past year-that is, after the close of the financial year-and I find that there was imported into this country during those nine months $130,452,285 worth of vegetable products, mainly foodstuffs and animal products which might nearly all be produced on the farms of Canada. In addition to that, there was $43,603,449 worth of vegetable products other than foodstuffs imported, or a total of $174,055,734 during the last nine months of the past year. Let me ask my hon. friends to my left and hon. members opposite if this is not a matter that demands the attention of the government and of parliament? How long can we permit such a condition of affairs to prevail? I know it will be said by some that there is a very limited market in this country, and that this is not going to provide the redress which is necessary in order to overcome the difficulties which present themselves to the people of western Canada. I appreciate to the full the difficulties with which these people are confronted, but I want to emphasize again, as I have endeavoured to do on other occasions, the need for us to realize our interdependence one upon the other. We cannot afford to divide our people into classes and groups. We must unite our forces and give a little here and a

The Address-Mr. Sutherland

little there in order that we may bring about the best results. We ought to have, if we do not have, the same objective in view, and that is to build up on this North American continent a great and a prosperous country.

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PRO

Robert Forke

Progressive

Mr. FORKE:

What is that $43,000,000 worth of vegetable products made up of other than foodstuffs?

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CON

Donald Sutherland

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SUTHERLAND:

It does not specify in this report, but that information could be very easily ascertained from the customs and excise returns which are available. This is a monthly statement issued by the department and does not go into those details.

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PRO

John Livingstone Brown

Progressive

Mr. BROWN:

Would it not have been a good idea to find out if it included rubber,

for instance?

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CON

Donald Sutherland

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SUTHERLAND:

I might go into

detail as to the imports as specified in the trade returns but I do not have them here.

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PRO

John Livingstone Brown

Progressive

Mr. BROWN:

If those figures include

rubber they have no force in this discussion.

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CON

Donald Sutherland

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SUTHERLAND:

Rubber is not included in foodstuffs, that is a certainty. But something that comes very near to rubber is hides. Of calf skins we imported of these

4.300.000 lbs., and exported 5,177,000 lbs. in 1923. There is no tariff on hides coming into this country. Beef hides we imported to the amount of 35,011,886 lbs., and exported 46,519,400 lbs. We are great producers of these things, and hon. gentlemen will observe the advantage it would be to have some control over the situation so as not to permit imports of these goods into our country from the United States and elsewhere under present tariff conditions. Of sheepskins we imported

2.129.000 lbs., and exported 5,538,000 lbs. Of the imports a large quantity came from the United States. Another class of imports is mutton and lamb. During the last four years we imported 17,567,067 lbs., and exported 24,054,700 lbs. Of the 17,567,067 lbs. of mutton and lamb imported, 9,052,817 lbs. came from the United States. Our imports of wool during these same four years amounted to 51,891,000 libs., and we exported 26,173,626 lbs.

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UFA

William Thomas Lucas

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. LUCAS:

Why are these imported from the United States if we have the raw material in Canada?

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CON

Donald Sutherland

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SUTHERLAND:

Because we have no customs tariff on them.

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PRO

John Livingstone Brown

Progressive

Mr. BROWN:

It is because somebody wants them.

fMr. Sutherland.]

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UFA

William Thomas Lucas

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. LUCAS:

Because they can buy them cheaper over there.

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PRO

Daniel Webster Warner

Progressive

Mr. WARNER:

Why do not the manufacturers use our home products if they are so good, and our manufacturers are so patriotic?

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March 7, 1924