April 14, 1924

CON

Donald Sutherland

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SUTHERLAND:

Did this great

development not take place under a high protective policy?

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

Charles A. Stewart (Minister of Mines; Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. STEWART (Argenteuil):

No. It never would have taken place under a high protective policy.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE ACTING MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink
CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

Never had one?

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

Charles A. Stewart (Minister of Mines; Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. STEWART (Argenteuil):

No, because the high protective tariff has gradually disappeared. We have had no high protective policy since 1878 or 1896.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE ACTING MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink
CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

The hon. member said it was not changed appreciably in 1896.

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

Charles A. Stewart (Minister of Mines; Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. STEWART (Argenteuil):

It was reduced appreciably all along the line and has been reduced by this government. I want to show in a few minutes wherein my hon. friend the ex-Minister of Finance (Sir Henry Drayton) is entirely astray in his deductions in connection with this matter.

I want to refer for a moment to forestry. For generations the forests of eastern Canada had played a leading role in building up industry and trade. The sawmill had founded more Canadian communities and fortunes than almost any other form of industry. But it was left to the last ten or fifteen years to witness an utterly astonishing advance of forest development. In that period the pulp and paper mill has usurped the prestige of

1342 COMMONS

The Budget-Mr.~ Stewant (Argenteuil)

the sawmill. Lumbering, with its decades and even centuries of growth, still stands as one of the major pillars of Canadian industry; but in an amazingly short term it has seen the rise of a gigantic rival which in some respects already overshadows it.

Let me now make some reference to our minerals-because I am dealing with what may be regarded as our basic industries. The budget does not deal entirely with the interests of agriculture, although agriculture perhaps occupies a paramount place among our industries.

So far as mining is concerned, Canada to-day is very heavily a debtor nation in mineral trade. In fact, from the standpoint of strengthening our commercial position nothing would appear to be more desirable than to see growth of mining enterprise hold the centre of the stage in new Canadian development for the next ten or twenty years. It is true that mining and mineral using industries can show a record of steady and in some respects remarkable progress. But during the greater part of the last twenty-five years mining in Canada has been more or less crowded out of the limelight-first by the sweeping advance of agricultural settlement over the prairies and later by the equally spectacular rise of the pulp and paper industry. The result is that the Dominion's present position in mineral commerce does not appear to do anything like full justice to her natural capacity as a mineral producing country.

Our water power development, which plays so important a part not only in connection with the fuel situation but industry generally, is looked upon with great interest because it provides cheap power for the manufacture of electricity for our manufacturing interests throughout the country. The water power now developed in Canada amounts to nearly 3J million horse power, and represents, including transmission and distribution, a capital investment of $687,000,000. Despite the continuous development that has taken place in the past and some 750,000 horse power of new construction now in hand, the demand constantly exceeds the supply and it is estimated that some $300,000,000 of additional capital will be needed to meet the actual power demand of the next ten years.

May I refer for a moment to the implements on which the tariff has been reduced by the present budget in order to encourage the industries upon which I have already touched, outlining the position they occupy in the economic life of Canada. We have reduced the tariff, in order to encourage the

basic industries of this country on the following: Mowing machines, harvesters, binders, reapers, cultivators, harrows, horse rakes, seed drills, manure spreaders, weeders, plows, threshing machines complete, field rollers, post hole diggers, hay loaders, stumping machines, grain crushers, potato diggers, hay tedders, farm wagons, fertilizers, axes, scythes, forks, spades and shovels; spraying machines, shears, pruning hooks and grading machines, incubators, brooders, milking machines, centrifugal machines for testing butter fat, rock drills, coal cutters, coal augers, stamp mills, ore and rock crushers, rotary and coal drills, coal washing machines, coke making machinery, saw mill machinery, logging machinery, and well drilling machinery.

So it will be seen that we have touched the whole field so far as our basic industries are concerned. The total reduction in the tariff amounts to $750,000, all told, to the tax payers of Canada, but I want to say to my hon. friend from West York that the effect it will have on the five and a half millions of people that I have mentioned and who make up the greater part of the population of Canada will be inestimable. It is impossible to compute the ultimate advantage they will derive in the way of encouragement by these reductions.

Then in addition, we have a reduction in the neighbourhood of $22,000,000 in the sales tax. I shall not deal with that except to say this: My hon. friend from West York has had a great deal to say about the pyramiding of the sales tax. Let me say to him for his information that upon careful computation the sales tax at six per cent is not one whit higher than the sales tax imposed by the recent government when pyramided to the ultimate consumer, and I make that statement without fear of contradiction. So when my hon. friend makes the statement that we increased the sales tax, we did nothing of the kind; we placed it at the point of manufacture, and it does not cost the ultimate consumer one whit more than the sales tax of the former government under the pyramiding - process that went on.

Another very important item upon which the sales tax has been reduced is boots and shoes, and rubber boots. Here the sales tax has been reduced from six to two and one-half per cent. Surely this will not be for. the benefit of the farmer alone; it will benefit not only the agriculturist but the worker throughout the length and breadth

The Budget-Mr. Stewart (Argenteuil)

of this country, and I am sure that will appeal to everyone. I am arguing from the standpoint that this budget is not one-sided; it does not apply to one particular industry or to one part of the country only, but to all our basic industries and to every part of Canada. It will give encouragement and hope to the manufacturers to increase their output and attain to mass production; it will mean more employment for the workmen of this country than they have enjoyed in the past three or four yeare.

One other thing I should like to say in passing, and this has nothing at all to do with the tariff, but it is of particular interest to the West, and that is that from a careful study of conditions as I see them in Canada to-day, if we are to succeed at all as farmers we shall have to meet the competition in world markets. There is scarcely a single article that is grown on the farm in Canada to-day of which the price is regulated by the home market that we hear so much about. Nearly every article of any importance that is produced on the farm to-day finds its way to the foreign market, and the foreign market fixes the price, and what we shall have to do if we are to succeed is to bring about co-operation among the farming forces, not for political purposes, but in our own economic interest, and cut down the immense spread that exists to-day between the price the producer receives and the amount paid by the ultimate consumer. That is something outside the tariff altogether, but I take this opportunity of expressing my firm conviction that we can do a great deal to help ourselves in this respect.

Now a word as to transportation, which plays so important a part in the life of our country. Just now a great deal is being said of the St. Lawrence waterway, and a significant fact in that connection is that sixty per cent of the wheat crop that comes over the lakes passes through the port of Buffalo. Ontario has come forward and is demanding in the interests of power development that they be given the right to secure power development on the St. Lawrence. That, of course, introduces the larger subject, but if this project goes on, I see in it something of immense benefit to the western farmer inasmuch as the grain boats that go to the ports of Montreal and Quebec will be able to proceed to Sydney and other Nova Scotia points and load *with coal for a return cargo. One of the difficulties in the transportation problem not only in western Canada but the country generally is that we have only a one-way cargo and our trains go back empty. That has been one of 86 j

the difficulties in connection with the movement of Alberta coal, but that difficulty will be overcome on our great lakes and rivers if this scheme can be worked out successfully, and it will cut the cost of transportation both ways and mean a saving of a very considerable amount annually to the western grain grower.

Something has been said about the cattle industry. I have already mentioned the impetus given to that industry in 1896. Again I think this government can do something that will be of benefit to the producers of cattle throughout Canada. Our great market for cattle to-day is the British market. We have to ship our cattle to that market over the north Atlantic, and the rates are very high. Negotiations are going on at the moment, and I hope before this House rises that we shall have something of interest to say to the House with respect to the transportation of cattle to Great Britain.

May I give a quotation to show how Canada is viewed by the eyes of the outside world? What is the opinion and outlook of the informed American with regard to Canada? The United States has invested an enormous amount of capital in the Dominion in recent years and American financial men have given keen study to the position of this country in regard to resources, to industry, to commerce and to finance. Quite aside from their investments which speak for themselves, their opinions are worth something. They give us the impartial view of the. foreign business man. Let me quote a statement from an article which appeared not long ago in an American financial publication of the highest standard, over the signature of a vice-president of one of the leading national banks of New York city-Vice-President Russel, of the National Bank of Commerce, New York. He says:

To-day Canada is probably the most favourable field in the world for investment, comparable only with the United States in the era of its most rapid physical development, from the close of the Civil War to the opening of the present century.

That statement, coming from an American, from a banker associated with one of the greatest institutions in the commercial capital of the new world, constitutes about the most sweeping tribute that could be paid to Canada or to any other country in a material sense. Anyone who has the faintest idea of the unparalleled progress made by the United States since the sixties will have some idea and appreciation of the confidence it betokens in Canada's present, and of the faith it implies in her future. The statement I have

1344 ' COMMONS

The Budget-Mr. Steivaft (Argenteuil)

quoted is not a solitary and isolated one. To take another instance, the Bankers' Trust Company of New York has published through its research department a volume on Canada in order that its stockholders and clients and friends may have reliable data about the Dominion. Among other statements the author of that book says: "Canada has

scarcely begun to grow. Canada of to-day will without doubt develop during the next fifty years into a very powerful nation." These, Mr. Speaker, are some of the views held by our friends across the line with respect to Canada.

Let me say that eighty per cent of Canada's indebtedness is held by her own citizens. Canada's deposits in banks are increasing as rapidly as can be expected, showing that our people still have surplus amounts for investment. Returns for the eleven months ended February* 1924, indicate continued healthy growth of Canadian foreign trade. Already both imports and exports exceed those of 1923, and the balance of trade favourable to Canada on eleven months' business i3 $158,524,707. The figures indicate that at the close of this year we shall undoubtedly have exceeded our trade of a year ago by the sum of twenty millions odd. Statistics indicate that each succeeding year Canadians are increasing the percentage of products marketed in the finished or semi-finished condition, thus providing more labour for our own people and higher class freight for Canadian railways.

Canada occupies second place among the world's greatest per capita exporters. She occupies fourth place among the world's greatest traders in foreign markets. With only one-twelfth the population of the United States, Canada does nearly one-fourth as much world trade.

To lend further encouragement, the government is able to strike off by tax reduction no less a sum than $24,000,000. When it is remembered, as pointed out by the Prime Minister, that we have fixed charges of $300,000,000, this is a very considerable amount, but no doubt it will be realized through the impetus given to the basic industries.

May I say in conclusion that this budget should relieve the burden on, and increase the purchasing power of, five million agriculturists, and another 500,000 who are directly or indirectly engaged in mining, lumbering, fishing and kindred industries in Canada. I am therefore safe in assuming that it will lend encouragement to more than half of our population, and I feel confident that this will commend itself to all the people of Canada

when it is fully understood in all its bearings upon our economic life.

Despite the lamentations of the Conservative party, telegrams are pouring in from all over Canada, congratulating the government on the splendid showing. Canada is coming back in fine shape under a business administration. The dawn of prosperity illuminates the business sky. The great producing interests of the country have taken fresh courage. There is now a feeling that the government is being conducted for the many and not for the select few. The grouch will pass away as a night illusion fed by the after effects of war and misleading propaganda. Canada is all right-I am convinced that we will have a steady growth in trade along all lines. Canada's great natural industries will flourish in proportion to the extent that they are unhampered. The government is removing the barriers. Canadians can take heart and go forward.

At six o'clock the House took recess. r

After Recess

The House resumed at eight o'clock.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE ACTING MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink
PRO

John Frederick Johnston

Progressive

Mr. J. FRED JOHNSTON (Last Mountain):

Mr. Speaker, I wish at the outset to congratulate the Acting Minister of Finance (Mr. Robb), although he is not in his seat, upon the splendid statement that he furnished to the House on Thursday last in connection with the financial affairs of this country. One could tell from that statement that the minister was a business man. The statement was clear, concise and well delivered. At the present time in Canada there is a great cry for economy, economy in the expenditure of public money. This is true as regards every spending body, municipal councils, provincial legislatures as well as the federal parliament. This is a time when economy should be practised; but economy, like practically everything else, can be overdone, and wise expenditure of public money in times of stress can be made to pay dividends to the public weal. While I want the government of this country to practise economy in every way, I wish to stress that point, that the thing can be overdone. In the statement presented to parliament by the minister the other day, we have reason to take heart from the figures that he gave us. While the public debt stands at a tremendous amount, $2,453,776,868.74, and that has grown from $335,996,850 in 1914, we can see that a tremendous load has been placed on the shoulders of the taxpayers of Canada.

The Budget-Mr. Johnston

I wish to refer to some figures that the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) put on the records of this House in his speech on the Address. He pointed out in that speech that during the six years of what might be termed the war period, $13,773,733 was added to the public debt over and above what might be termed expenditure for war purposes. That is, the government of that time did not meet their ordinary expenditure, but added this amount to the public debt, while for this year, out of an estimated ordinary revenue of $396,000,000 the Acting Minister of Finance on Thursday last reported a surplus of $20,786,349. He stated further that there might be added to this two other amounts, one of $8,305,760.37 received in settlement of an adjustment between this government and the Imperial government, and another item of $1,317,000, sundry outstanding indebtedness cancelled during the past year. This makes a total of over $30,000,000 as a reduction in our national debt for last year, and this, to my mind, is an encouraging statement for the people of this country. There is also an estimated reduction in the expenditure for the coming year of some $46,000,000 over that of last year. These reductions should be appreciated by the heavily burdened taxpayer of this country.

I think I remarked in this House on a previous occasion that, to my mind, the government having control of the finances of this country during the war period, did not impose taxes in the way that they should have done. When money was free in this country during the war period and huge fortunes were being piled up, it would have been a much easier task to impose and collect taxes than it is at the present time. The people were then better able to pay taxes, but they were not taxed. In connection with our loans that were floated during that period, all but the last of these were made free of taxation. To-day the people who are fortunate enough to have those bonds in their possession are sitting back and leaving what might be termed the producers of this country to carry the load of taxation. If we take into consideration the amount of uncontrollable expenditure that is necessitated principally on account of war activities, I think the taxpayers of Canada must give credit to this administration for materially reducing expenditure. We have that heavy overhead charge which this and no other

government can get away from for a great many years, and I think this is a time when we all should be fair, particularly in connection with matters of finance.

Coming now to a brief consideration of the proposals in the budget as brought down last Thursday, the minister told the House that the reductions would result in a loss of some $24,000,000 of revenue. I think it is not unfair to say that the bulk or the larger proportion of this will come from the reduction of the sales tax. The saving that will result from the reduction of customs duties on certain commodities will form the smaller part. But in that connection it must not be forgotten that the amount of revenue lost from the reduction of these duties is not the whole amount when it comes to the taxpayer. These duties are pyramided very materially. Tariff revenue represents only a part of the burden imposed on sellers by protective duties. I think that is a statement that cannot be gainsaid. The total value of dutiable goods imported in 1923 was $537,258,782, producing a revenue of $133,803,370.12. The significant part of this statement is that of this amount $274,322,000 was the value of articles commonly used in consumption by producers or wage-earners; but these imports produced over $71,000,000 of duty, which is considerably more than half of the total revenue; so that necessities coming into this country are carrying the larger percentage of the customs taxation. Fifty-four per cent, of tariff revenue is derived from 51 per cent, of the dutiable imports. How are these reductions in customs duties received in the country? I noticed a few days ago a Canadian Press despatch dated Windsor, Ontario, where the leader of the official opposition was speaking, and it has this to say:

Prediction that the coming budget at Ottawa will contain no announcement of further reductions in the tariff on agricultural implements was made by Right Hon. Arthur Meighen, speaking here on Saturday afternoon.

" The budget is to be down next week," said the Conservative leader. " I stand here and assume, perhaps for the first time, the role of prophet in this Dominion and venture to say, having watched the whitening gills of the government for the last three weeks, that when the budget is delivered all the reduction you will see on farm implements you can place in the left hand corner of a thimble. The Progressives will be fooled just the wav they have been fooled every session since the government came into power."

I think the right hon. gentleman will have to admit that he is no relation of Jeremiah of old and cannot take his place as a real prophet. I noticed too that after the budget had been delivered the same hon. gentleman stated that the reductions in these duties meant a fatal blow to the industries affected.

The Budget-Mr. Johnston

Another despatch from Toronto dated April 10th which to my mind is a lot more encouraging and nearer the truth, states:

Hon. John S. Martin, Ontario Minister of Agriculture, who farms four hundred acres at Port Dover, Ontario, thinks the Robb budget will benefit Ontario farmers. He could not tell the full effect of the tariff reductions on agricultural machinery without an opportunity of studying the details.

" So far as the proposals affect incubators and brooders," he said, " the reduction will be of material benefit to poultrymen and will undoubtedly aid in increasing poultry production. I say it is a good move, unhesitatingly, because there are no mammoth incubators manufactured in this country.

" The doing away with the sales tax on farm implements and machinery I also have no hesitation in saying is a good thing for agriculture in Ontario, and will to a certain extent relieve the farmer of the difficulties under which he is now working."

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE ACTING MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink
CON

John Lawrence Stansell

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STANSELL:

Will the hon. member also read the statement of the same Minister of Agriculture for Ontario the following day, in which he contradicts in large part the statement which has just been read, and states that it was overdrawn from the facts he gave out?

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE ACTING MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink
PRO

John Frederick Johnston

Progressive

Mr. JOHNSTON:

'I did not happen to see that article my hon. friend mentions. However, when I read the article I expected there would be another one following because the hon. gentleman in question belongs to the same party as my hon. friends to my right. I know Mr. Martin by reputation. He is an active agriculturist in the province of Ontario, known in every part of Canada. In the article I have quoted, from he is speaking as an agriculturist, and I expect that in the article my hon. friend refers to he is speaking as a politician. I expect, Mr. Speaker, that in the case of every industry which happens to get into financial difficulties in this country in the next two months or two years, the failure will be attributed to the reductions in the customs duties. I have also a despatch from Montreal dated April 11th. It is in the form of a letter and reads:

R. W. Gould, secretary of the Quebec division of the Canadian Manufacturers' Association stated today that he had received a letter from the vicechairman of the St. Hyacinthe branch, and who is also head of an agricultural implements plant at St. Hyacinthe, informing him that his firm had been compelled to go into liqidation as a direct result of the budget.

That is pretty quick work. The budget came down Thursday afternoon about four o'clock, and this letter must have been written that day or early next morning in order to arrive in Montreal on April 11th.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE ACTING MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink
CON

Horatio Clarence Hocken

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HOCKEN:

Will the hon. gentleman read the opinion of that good Liberal organ the Brantford Expositor?

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE ACTING MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink
PRO

John Frederick Johnston

Progressive

Mr. JOHNSTON:

I happen to be a busy man and I. have not time to read all these articles.

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

Louis-Simon-René Morin

Liberal

Mr. MORIN:

I am the member for the St. Hyacinthe riding and I may tell hon. members that the news published in the Gazette which the hon. member refers to was fabricated in every part of it and that there is no question of the liquidation of the company referred to.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE ACTING MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink
PRO

John Frederick Johnston

Progressive

Mr. JOHNSTON:

I am glad to have that assurance. I understand that the hon. exMinister of Finance (Sir Henry Drayton) during the course of his speech this afternoon stated that the farmers of this country were not asking for reductions in the customs tariff, that the demand came from farmer politicians. I am sorry the hon. gentleman is not in his seat, for I should like to ask him how it is that we happen to have farmer politicians in the Dominion. We did not have them prior to 1911. At that time his party came into power, and it was during its term of office that the farmers reached the decision that it would be necessary for them to take political action to get a change in the fiscal policy. That is the reason why we have the farmer in politics to-day. I remember reading an address delivered by the right hon. Minister of Finance (Mr. Fielding) in the city of Montreal during the campaign of 1911 in which he expressed the hope that the manufacturers would not turn down the reciprocity pact, and he added, "If you do, I can see the day when you will be sorry." Probably the dawn of that day is about to break.

The hon. member for West York also said that Canada was losing her artisans, the exodus to the United States being made up largely of this class. But many farmers have been and are still leaving this country. In this morning's Citizen I noticed this article:

The problem of the intending farmer who arrives in Canada-

From overseas I expect.

-with little or no capital is occupying the Land Settlement branch of the Department of Immigration just now. A statement issued by the Hon. J. A. Robb says that recent surveys of the situation in Canada have disclosed that in many communities there are farms equipped with habitable buildings which can be had on very nominal first payments or without any cash deposits at all.

That does not bespeak a very flourishing condition of agriculture in this country.

I wish to digress for a moment to take up a couple of matters that are more or less local in their nature, but are nevertheless of vast importance to western Canada. One of

The Budget-Mr. Johnston

tnese may not be very popular with some people in the East, but nevertheless it must be faced squarely by this House. I refer to the completion of the Hudson Bay railway. Last week a delegation came to this city from an organization that was formed inWinnipeg some ten days ago, known as the "On-to-the-Bay-Association." This organization was the outcome of a convention attended by about fifteen hundred delegates, including some from across the international boundary, one of these being an ex-governor. The people of western Canada are desperately in earnest about the completion of this road. It is not necessary for me to go into the history of the project in detail, for it is pretty common knowledge to hon. members. It has been before the country for forty years and was endorsed as far back as 1906 by Sir George Foster, in 1908 by Sir Wilfrid Laurier, and in 1910 the present Minister of Railways (Mr. Graham) turned the first sod at The Pas. I am sure the people of the West are hoping that he may in the very near future drive the last spike on the completion of the road. In the interval we have had several changes of government, but since the project was undertaken we have had no administration that has not endorsed it. Therefore I would impress upon the government the absolute necessity of completing the road. This will call for some additional expenditure, it is true, but the western people believe that the lands of their provinces have about financed the scheme, and they want it completed. I believe that if for no other reason than to steady the morale of the people of the western provinces, it would be money well spent to complete the road to the bay. One of the delegates, a Mr. Patterson, whose firm handles grain in large quantities, operating 130 elevators on the prairies and terminal elevators at the head of the lakes, stated to members of this House that as soon as the road reached the bay he was ready to build an elevator. Enthusiastic delegates both here and at Winnipeg claimed that once the road is built to the bay private enterprise will look after whatever elevator accommodation may be necessary.

The other matter has to do with the effort that is being made in the western provinces to form pools for the co-operative handling of our grain. In this connection a resolution has been forwarded to me from the legislature of Saskatchewan. It is as follows:

" That the federal government be asked to immediately make a division or partial division of the surplus funds from the operation of the Canada Wheat Board among the provinces in proportion to the amount of wheat contributed by the producers of each province, and that in the opinion of this assembly in case such division or partial division is

made, the government of the province of Saskatchewan should advance to the Saskatchewan Co-operative Wheat Producers' Limited, such sum or sums as would from time to time appear to be necessary and warranted, and that the expenditure of any moneys thus advanced should be subject to audit by the provincial auditor."

I believe a delegation waited upon the Acting Minister of Finance (Mr. Robb) in the fall months of last year, but they did not meet with much success. That delegation came from the wheat producers' organization. While I can understand that the minister might hesitate to act on the representation of a delegation such as the one which waited on him, surely he can have no misgivings when he is dealing with a responsible body like the legislature of Saskatchewan. Therefore I hope he may see his way clear to turn over that proportion of the surplus funds which rightly belong to the province of Saskatchewan, and which have been in the Dominion treasury as the result of the operations of the old Canada Wheat Board. It is true the western people owe the federal government money on another account, but it is not right to rob Peter to pay Paul, and the withholding of these moneys from the province is not the way to secure payment of an account that has been past due for years in connection with certain relief given the farmers of the West. I am sorry the right hon. leader of the opposition (Mr. Meighen) is not in his seat.

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

An hon. MEMBER:

He is behind you.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE ACTING MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink
PRO

John Frederick Johnston

Progressive

Mr. JOHNSTON:

During last summer

the right hon. gentleman visited the constituency which I have the honour to represent, and on that occasion he discussed wheat pools and wheat boards. At the town of Govan in the Last Mountain constituency-I hope my right hon. friend will correct me if I am wrong in my statement of what occurred there-he took occasion, in referring to the wheat board legislation of this parliament which was put through in 1922, to say to his audience in the hall that evening that there was only one man in this parliament, one member of this whole House, who thought that that legislation would ever be put into effect, or, if it was put into effect, that it would be any good, and that was the member for Last Mountain. In making this statement, the right hon. gentleman did not have any foundation in fact-

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE ACTING MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink
CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

May I correct the hon. gentleman? He could not have been there or he would not make such a statement. I made no assertion of that kind at all.

The Budget-Mr. Johnston

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE ACTING MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink
PRO

John Frederick Johnston

Progressive

Mr. JOHNSTON:

I am glad to have that from the right hon. gentleman. I did not lightly bring this matter up on the floor of the House; I had the statement from responsible persons in the Govan district.

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

Andrew Ross McMaster

Liberal

Mr. McMASTER:

Were they Conservatives?

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE ACTING MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink
CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

I am afraid they must have been pretty strong Liberals, or Progressives.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE ACTING MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink
PRO

John Frederick Johnston

Progressive

Mr. JOHNSTON:

They were Progressives.

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

April 14, 1924