February 10, 1925

REPORTS AND PAPERS


Report of the Department of Health for the fecal year ended March 31, 1924.-Hon. Mr. Beland. Copy of order in council No. P.C. 1876 setting out a regulation under The Proprietary and Patent Medicine Act.-Hon. Mr. Beland. Annual report of the Department of Railways and Canals for the fiscal year ended March 31, 1924.-Hon. Mr. Graham. Annual report of the Commissioner of Highways for the fiscal year ended March 31, 1924.-Hon. Mr. Graham. Report of work done and expenditures made during calendar year 1924 in connection with Acts (Chapters 14 to 32 inclusive of 14-15 George V) respecting construction of Canadian National Railway lines.-Hon. Mr. Graham.


THE IRON AGE


On the Orders of the Day: Right Hon. WT. L. MACKENZIE KING (Prime Minister): The hon. member for London (Mr. White) asked me last night during the course of the debate on the Address to give the exact reference to the statement I quoted from the Iron Age with reference to the production of coke, anthracite and pig iron in the years 1920 to 1924 inclusive. I was sorry I had not the number of the Iron Age before me at the time. The reference will be found in the issue of January 8, at page 153.


THE GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH

ADDRESS IN REPLY


The House resumed from Monday, February 9, consideration of the motion of Sir Eugene Fiset for an Address to His Excellency the Governor General in reply to his Speech at the opening of the session.


PRO

Robert Forke

Progressive

Mr. ROBERT FORKE (Brandon):

Mr. Speaker, we have had the Speech from the

The Address-Mr. Forke

Throne, and now it has been moved and seconded that an Address be presented to His Excellency the Governor General to offer the humble thanks of the King's dutiful and loyal subjects in parliament assembled for the gracious speech which His Excellency was pleased to address to both houses of parliament. This very pleasing fiction, the Speech from the Throne, has been put in the mouth of His Excellency the Governor General; as a matter of fact we know it is a pronouncement by the government.

I have much pleasure in tendering my compliments to the hon. members who moved and seconded the Address. Unfortunately I was unable to follow the remarks made by the mover (Sir Eugene Fiset) but judging from his past history and from the delivery of his speech I have no doubt that he will be a valuable acquisition to the debating power of this House. To the seconder (Mr. Hanna)

I also extend my congratulations. He did the work that was allotted to him in a very creditable manner. I am sure that his entry into this House must have afforded the government a great deal of satisfaction, judging by the royal reception they gave him when he was introduced.

We have had two further speeches in the House on the Address, one delivered by the right hon. leader of the opposition (Mr. Meighen) one by the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King). In some respects it was a case of the story being told in a pessimistic way on the one hand and in an optimistic way on the other. It makes a great deal of difference sometimes on which side you happen to be, from which point of vantage you look at the situation. Judging from the remarks made by the leader of the opposition, things are in a bad way and the quicker we realize this the better. I am sure he ably presented that side of the case. Then the Prime Minister made his address, and he took the view that after all we were in a happy condition; that without question Canada is a land of hope and glory; that compared with the United States we are living in a very fortunate condition indeed. But I believe, Mr. Speaker, we can have a fatal pessimism and a foolish optimism- though I do not want for a minute to insinuate that either of these two right hon. members went to that extreme. But if we are too pessimistic we are apt to lose heart. People sometimes get too sorry for themselves, they have too much pity upon themselves, and when they reach that stage their courage is apt to ooze out at their fingers' ends, with

the result that objects aimed at are not accomplished. On the other hand it is sometimes just as foolish to underestimate the magnitude of the task that lies before us. While the Prime Minister was very optimistic I hope he realizes that we are not yet out of the woods, that we have a great many difficulties to overcome and that everything is not just as happy as it ought to be.

I happened to be reading the other day a biography of Sir John A. Macdonald and I came across the statement that he was the originator of the phrase, "Canada is a difficult country to govern." Now, I have no doubt of that fact, having regard to the physical characteristics of our country, reaching as it does from ocean to ocean, divided by natural physical barriers; and to the fact that the different sections of our population do not always take the same point of view and that, unfortunately, their economic interests do not always run parallel. We have a sparse population, compared with the great extent of our country; consequently it is difficult at all times to have legislation that will be in the interests of every section of the community. The factors bearing upon government are very numerous-international relations, manufacturing, trade and commerce, agriculture and all its allied industries-consequently we find that the functions of government are being widened day by day and the position is becoming more and more difficult.

Another point that should be considered in regard to all governments, provincial and municipal as well as Dominion, is the increasing wants of the people, the increasing demands of the people for further public services and utilities. Unfortunately these demands are not always accompanied by a desire to pay the taxes and to bear the burden of debt that is incurred in instituting and carrying on these public improvements and public utilities. I have heard it stated that progress first began when men began to five beyond their income. I feel perfectly satisfied that if that saying is true we have been progressing at a very rapid rate during this last number of years, individually and provincially as well as from the Dominion point of view. However, I am inclined to question the truth of that saying. It has been said also that the people to-day are eager for legislation but impatient of law. I do not know whether that is as true of the Dominion government as it is of the provincial governments, but we find a tremendous demand all the time for new legislation, and it is very

The Adrress-Mr. Forke

often the case that just as soon as the legislation is placed on the statute book it seems to be passed into the limbo of forgotten things. I am one of those who believe that governments, whether Dominion, provincial or municipal, should be careful in passing legislation; should see to it that the legislation is really wanted, that it is really in the interests of the people and not merely the whim of the passing moment.

There is a cry everywhere at this time for a forward-looking policy. Among people on the street, in the public press, all over the Dominion, you find a feeling of dissatisfaction, a feeling that something -might be done more quickly than is 'being done at present to help the situation. There is a looking for someone to lead us out of the land of bondage into the promised land. I do not believe, Mr. Speaker, that we are going to find any supermen; I do not think they make them nowadays. No doubt we need good government, but at the same time the continued prosperity of the people of Canada, the 'practice of the quality of farsightedness, will rest mainly upon the industrious effort of the great masses of the people. Governments cannot make people industrious or happy; governments can remove obstacles and make it possible for the people to do these things for themselves. One of the wrong tendencies of modern times is for people to look to governments to cure every evil of the body politic, things which sometimes they can do much better for themselves.

There is no doubt that we have been passing through very trying and difficult times, and they are still with us; but we are not going to get out of them unless we face the situation and look to the future with cheerfulness and courage. I am going to read a short extract from a speech delivered by a gentleman in Ottawa not long ago. The Prime Minister quoted from his speech last night. I am inclined to believe that the Canadian people must have treated this man very handsomely judging from the remarks that he made during his visit here. I have no doubt he was quite honest in what he said, and I think perhaps he spoke the truth. I refer to Roger Babson, head of the Babson Statistical Corporation, Wellesley Hills, Massachusetts. He said:

I am not indulging in exaggerated language or in flattery, but am soberly measuring my words, when I say that the growth and development of Canada have been of unalloyed benefit to the world. The Canadian people have added to the value of the world's common assets; they have grown to wealth and power; they have so conducted themselves that everywhere the name of Canada commands both goodwill and esteem. A daughter of the Empire, grown

to be a potent partner, your nation stands, strong in self-reliant independence, but equally strong in loyalty to the British Commonwealth, clear-visioned, sound in mind and limb, coveting nothing, fearing no one. A great race in a great country is shaping and working out for itself, with high courage, energy and ability, a great destiny.

I do not know if all that he said is exactly correct, but it does us a great deal of good anyway to hear these things. I think I can say without exaggeration that we have an intelligent and industrious population, one that will compare favourably with that of any other country in the world. In these days we need to have faith in ourselves and in our country. Given these two requisites, I think perhaps we sfiall yet be able to solve the problems that seem so heavy to be borne at the present time.

Now I want to say a few words in regard to the Speech from the Throne. The first paragraph is very optimistic. Of course the reports we are getting from the government side are all very optimistic in character. We are told in that first paragraph that there is an excess of exports over imports to the amount of $260,000,000. That in itself is a very satisfactory statement. I might also mention just at this point that the big increase in our exports is largely due to the products of the field and of the forests; I think we should bear that in mind. The first paragraph then goes on in a very optimistic way and says that everything is very satisfactory, and that prospects for the future are very bright. Well Mr. Speaker, although we may be climbing the hill, I am perfectly sure that we have not yet reached the summit.

The second paragraph in the Speech deals with the cost of living, and says that this problem is to be solved by increased production. I am rather puzzled over this paragraph. High cost of living causes high cost of production; and high cost of production causes high cost of living. Now how are we going to get out of that dilemma? It seems to me that we are going round and round in a vicious circle; we get nowhere; we do not solve our problem.

The right hon. leader of the opposition (Mr. Meighen) has a panacea for all our ills, and I will pay him the compliment of saying that he has been very consistent ever since I came into this House in preaching that one doctrine, the doctrine of protection. The latest resolution he has placed on the order paper is a very happy document. I think it is even more encouraging, perhaps, than the speech of Mr. Roger Babson from which I quoted a moment ago, because the leader of the opposition has something good in his knapsack for everyone, no one is going to be left out;

The Address-Mr. Forke

he includes the farmer, the merchant, the artisan, the manufacturer and the labourer- they are all going to be protected.

Topic:   THE GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH
Subtopic:   ADDRESS IN REPLY
Permalink
?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Hear, hear.

Topic:   THE GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH
Subtopic:   ADDRESS IN REPLY
Permalink
PRO

Robert Forke

Progressive

Mr. FORKE:

Hon. gentlemen say, "hear, hear." I am waiting with a great deal of anxiety to learn just how all this is going to be accomplished. At all events, we are told that no one is going to be left out in the cold, that every one is going to be protected. I notice that one paper in the west says that this solution of the leader of the opposition is something like a Christmas tree; there is something on it for every one. There is green for those who are green, and tinsel for those who do not believe that all is not gold that glitters.

There is one thing I would like to make plain to this House. It is sometimes taken for granted that some of us are not friendly to Canadian industries. Now I want to make it plain beyond any possibility of equivocation that nothing would please me better than to see the industries of this country thrive and prosper and serve the people of Canada. But if we are going to have industries we want them about one hundred per cent efficient. We want all the water squeezed out of the stock, and no dividends paid on watered stock. We want exotic and artificial industries wiped out of existence. And when that is done, I feel perfectly sure, the industries of our country are not going to suffer so very much after all.

We have cheap power in Canada. Two years ago, while the premiers of two of the states of the Australian Commonwealth were here, I heard them again and again express admiration for the great rivers we had in Canada and for the tremendous water powers that were available to the people of this country. One of them said that Australia had no such privileges as Canada enjoyed in the way of cheap water power. We want to take into consideration the fact that we have this cheap water power, and that our people are just as energetic, just as intelligent, and just as industrious as the people of any other country in the world; and, given equal conditions, equal facilities and some privileges I wonder why our manufacturers cannot compete with those of any other nation in the world to-day in industries which are suited to this country. We sometimes hear about mass production, the low cost of living, depreciated currency, and a great many other things that we have to contend against in this Dominion. There may be a little in some of these factors, but I have never attached a great deal of weight to this 4

factor of the high cost of living, because where you find underfed and underpaid labour you will generally find that that sort of labour is inefficient, while the well paid labour in this country, living under proper conditions, is able to compete, I believe, with the labour of any other country in the world. Besides, I do not think you will ever find that by taxing people to keep industries alive you are going to solve the problem of unemployment. The whole thing is economically unsound, and is no solution of what I know is a very difficult problem at the present time. Sometimes we hear of a national policy. Yes, we want a national policy-a national policy for all the people, a policy that will suit the people of this country from the Atlantic to the Pacific. Since the days of Sir John Macdonald we are living in a new Canada. This is not the Canada of Sir John Macdonald. Since his day a vast consuming and producing population has come into existence between the head of the lakes and the Rocky mountains. That fact must be borne in mind when reference is made to the national policy of the late Sir John A. Macdonald; and let me state that no amount of reasoning, no amount of argument can ever convince the people dwelling upon the prairies that a protective policy can be of any benefit to them.

Sometimes we hear a great deal about the home market. And here let me make myself quite plain; we all understand the value of a home market; every one would rejoice if Canada were able to consume all that she could produce, it would be an ideal situation. But we know the facts. We are aware that in some parts of our country production reaches such a volume that it has to find a sale in the markets of the world, and the home market, while valuable in itself, certainly will not solve our problems.

The third paragraph in the Speech deals with the question of production, and also refers to the subjects of immigration, the development of our natural resources, and the need for colonization. I should like to place emphasis on the word " colonization " because I do not believe that we should have immigration unless we can properly absorb the people who come here, unless we are able to provide them with employment, or place them upon the land1 or in some position where they can support themselves. Unless we can do this it would be far better not to induce immigrants to come here simply to swell the volume of unemployment which exists in Canada at the present time. The keeping of people in Canada after we get them here is a very difficult problem. I

The Address-Mr. Forke

listened to the opposing speeches delivered yesterday with respect to the size of the movement of population across our borders into the United States. I q'o not know which speaker gave the correct figures, but I do know that more people are leaving Canada to-day than we like to see quitting this country. I am aware of the fact that living as we do beside an immense country like the United States, containing a vast population of one hundred and ten millions which is rapidly growing, that the country to the south will always offer an attraction for some of our people because of the wider field' there for the exercise of their .talents and the greater opportunity for employment. To my mind the problem presents itself in this form. First, how can we retain our native born people? In this regard a difficulty arises, and I want to state it as plainly as I can without any misunderstanding. Who comes, and who goes? Who are the people who come to our shores, and who are the people that are leaving? I have been very much interested in the question of education and for a very good reason. I have noticed the large number of young people who attend our high schools, our colleges and our universities, and I have wondered what becomes of the immense number who receive such a splendid education in Canada. In speaking upon this subject I do not want to be misunderstood'. I think it is a splendid thing that Canada is able to offer such an education to our young folks but here is the difficulty: A great number of these young people who have been educated in Canada-of course the parents paid for that education but in the long run the cost devolved upon the country-find' no scope for their activities in this country and they cross the border into the United States. There are the answers to the questions: Who come to Canada?-Some immigrants from eastern Europe; who go from this Dominion? -some of the brightest and best minds that we have. I cannot help mentioning these facts. My only regret is that I have no solution for the question.

Topic:   THE GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH
Subtopic:   ADDRESS IN REPLY
Permalink
CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

Hear, hear; support our3.

Topic:   THE GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH
Subtopic:   ADDRESS IN REPLY
Permalink
PRO

Robert Forke

Progressive

Mr. FORKE:

The night hon gentleman

says " hear, hear." I did not catch his other remark.

Topic:   THE GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH
Subtopic:   ADDRESS IN REPLY
Permalink
CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

I say "Support ours."

Topic:   THE GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH
Subtopic:   ADDRESS IN REPLY
Permalink
PRO

Robert Forke

Progressive

Mr. FORKE:

I cannot see that that would help the situation in any way. I think if we could make certain occupations in Canada a little more attractive, a little more remunerative, it is possible we would induce the bright young Canadians to whom I have

alluded to stay and engage in them, a thing they will not do at the present time. If we want people to stay in Canada we must make the Dominion a good couni ry to live in and to do business in.

My hon. friend from St. Lawrence-St. George (Mr. Marler)-and I am sorry he is not in his place this afternoon-

Topic:   THE GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH
Subtopic:   ADDRESS IN REPLY
Permalink
?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

He is here.

Topic:   THE GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH
Subtopic:   ADDRESS IN REPLY
Permalink
PRO

Robert Forke

Progressive

Mr. FORKE:

My hon. friends are quale

right; I observe the hon. gentleman now and I am glad he -is here. The hon. gentleman made a speech in Montreal not so long ago which I must say was most admirable in tone, and a good deal of what he said I appreciate. With your permission, Mr. Speaker, I am going to read a few sentences from the speech in question; to my mind they embody good sense.

Topic:   THE GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH
Subtopic:   ADDRESS IN REPLY
Permalink
LIB
PRO

Robert Forke

Progressive

Mr. FORKE:

By that Temark I intended

no (insinuation whatever. This is the paragraph I have in mind:

There is only one way and that way is to make living profitable not only in one section but in every section of the country, because one depends on the other and on the prosperity of the whole depends the general advancement. There is no other solid foundation on which we can build any immigration policy-money spent otherwise is fruitless and at the best only leads to temporary and not to permanent colonization. That is clearly shown by the results of experience in immigration. In the twenty years (1901-1921) the first ten cf which should be remembered were the greatest spending and immigration period in our history-had we retained our natural increase and our immigration we would have increased our population by 5,580,797 people. We only increased it by 3,417,168. In other words, people who were Canadians or who had come in with the apparent intention of settling left to the extent of 2,163,629. Had we retained these people our population in 1921 would have been 10,952,112, whereas it was only 8,788,483. We spent in these twenty years directly on immigration over $22,500,000. I am attributing no particular blame to anyone in this regard except to repeat that I do not think we were building on a solid foundation.

Now, I think that in those words the hon. member spoke very sensibly. But I am beginning to wonder why he should now preach as a remedy for the existing state of affairs more protection.

Topic:   THE GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH
Subtopic:   ADDRESS IN REPLY
Permalink
LIB
PRO

February 10, 1925