February 13, 1925


John Franklin White

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. J. F. WHITE (London):

Mr. Speaker, the Speech from the Throne is supposed to embody the conception of the government as

The Address-Mr. White

to the needs of the country for the coming year. The most important problem which faces the people of Canada to-day is the cost of living, a subject which is referred to in the Speech from the Throne, and referred to in a rather hopeless way. The government states that the most rigid economy that it can exercise will not suffice to solve the problem. The relief which that will afford to the people generally, who are deeply concerned about this question, is not very great, and relief in the matter of taxation is avery necessary thing in Canada at this time. I have never known a time when so much objection was voiced to the extent of thetaxation imposed upon the people. Like the hon. member who has just spoken (Mr. Manion) I have met many people on the street who have protested strongly against the taxation to which they are subjected. People have even telephoned me at my house and protested in the same way. Not only is the burden of taxation objected to by the rank and file of the people, but men who are in high positions are giving a great deal of

thought to the matter and are expressing opinions along the same line. The views ot these men of attainment who occupy commanding positions, should be deserving of attention.

Mention was made during the progress of the debate that the presidents of various banks had expressed their confidence in the future of Canada; that they were hopeful of the future. But at the same time they issued a strong warning as to the direction in which Canada was headed on account of high taxation. A great deal of attention was devoted to the subject by the president of the Bank of Commerce, Sir John Aird, in his annual address. After going into it thoroughly, he said:

Undoubtedly we shall suffer by the handicap of the higher level of income in this country as compared with the United States since the reductions recently made in that country.

Sir Herbert Holt President of the Royal Bank also had a good deal to say with regard to taxation and tariff stability. He said with regard to the income tax:

Let me emphasize here that it is not the wealthy who are the greatest sufferers from high surtaxes, but the rank and file of the people, who find it difficult to secure employment when industry is stagnating, and those who should be investing their money in new enterprises find no incentive to do so. Such a situation can only end in capital leaving Canada to find employment in the United States and elsewhere.

Mr. J. W. Hamilton, general manager of the Union Bank, said in his address:

Taxation in this country has reached the point of oppression. It has become more than a problem; it is a menace.

Mr. W. R. Allan, president of the same

bank, said:

Taxation in Canada requires anxious thought. Federal and municipal taxes with in some cases provincial additions have become so onerous as to stifle business and discourage effort.

Mr. Speaker, similar warnings were given in many speeches in this House last session, but in spite of that the government pursued a course which aggravated the situation. The result is that not only has the revenue declined very seriously, but the public debt has gone up, and the remedy now proposed by the government is increased production and the development of new and wider markets.

First, as to the necessity of increased production, I am in absolute agreement. It is only by increased production, by mass production, that the costs of manufacturing can be reduced.

As to wider markets, that also is very desirable. The government, however, should not forget that we have the old and reliable market, the home market right here. It is not being supplied by Canadian people, and it should have more attention. We have been abandoning policies which retained in large measure the Canadian market for the Canadian people, and substituting therefor a policy which has given a great deal of our market over to the workmen of other countries. Our Department of Immigration states that the regulations are being enforced very rigidly. No immigrant can come into this country except under agreement to take up domestic service or to work in agriculture. No shop workman, no tradesman is allowed in; he is kept out absolutely, and yet when the product of the labour of that tradesman who is refused admittance comes and knocks at the door of Canada for admittance, what does the government do? It welcomes it by lowering its tariff, and it welcomes it by its neglect to provide this country with a reasonable protection against the depreciated currency and the lower standard of living of these other countries.

The Speech refers to a reduction made in the cost of production of raw materials and the necessaries of life by two measures passed last session. One of these is the reduction in the sales tax, but inasmuch as the government in 1923 increased the sales tax by 100 per cent, and subsequently reduced it from six to five per cent, I suppose they are entitled to all the glory they can extract out of the achievement.

The Address-Mr. White

The other factor that is mentioned as having reduced the cost of production is the reduction that was made in the tariff last session. This I suppose refers principally to the changes in the tariff on agricultural implements. I propose to consider that from three angles: first, from the standpoint of the consumer, second from the standpoint of the manufacturer of implements, and third from the standpoint of the manufacturer of the materials that go into the implements.

There has been some controversy over the result of the reductions in the tariff. The right hon. leader of the opposition has maintained that the government has not redhced prices on agricultural implements; the Prime Minister claims that the prices

9 p.m. have been reduced, and quotes figures comparing the last two years only. I support the leader of the opposition in his contention that this government has not reduced the price of agricultural implements. I will go further than that and make this assertion, that on many of the different implements in use on the farm to-day the prices are higher than when this government assumed office. My authority for that statement is found in the retail price lists of implements that have been issued' from time to time from December, 1921 to December last by the International Harvester Company, copies of which I have here. The prices I am going to quote are the retail prices to the consumer f.o.b. Hamilton, London and Ottawa. The prices are given in every case as for two October payments These prices include the sales tax in every case where sales tax was applicable. The sales tax on these goods in December, 1921, when this government assumed office was three per cent; that was raised in the session of 1923 to six per

cent, and cancelled entirely in April, 1924. There were five distinct price lists issued and used since December, 1921. d'own to the present day, namely one issued December 1, 1921, and the others on February 1, 1923, November 1, 1923, April 11, 1924, at the time of the announcement of the budget last year, and the last one on December 1, 1924. I have prepared a table showing the prices charged at the various dates on eight different machines, confining myself principally to the list used by the Prime Minister on Monday of this week. I have compared' the prices on wagons also, and in fairness must say that the price of wagons is somewhat lower than in 1921, ranging from one to eight dollars less, depending upon the type of wagon. For the sake of brevity and clearness I shall only quote the prices in December, 1921, and those ruling to-day, and I would ask that the whole table be inserted in the record.

A seven-foot binder with no attachments, in 1921 cost $235; the price tc the farmer today is $237. A sales tax of 3 per cent existed in 1921, and does not exist now.

A five-foot heavy mower in 1921 cost $96 50; to-day it is the same price.

A ten-foot rake with thirty-two teeth, in 1921 cost $52; to-day $54.

A single disc drill with thirteen discs, two and three horse, in 1921 cost $147; to-day $157.

A six-foot, twelve-teeth, three horse cultivator, in 1921 cost $79; to-day, $82.

A sixteen-teeth, spring tooth harrow, with teeth one and a quarter inches wid'e, in 1921 cost $16,50; to-day $18.

A walking plough, No. 121, in 1921 cost $23.50; to-day $23.50.

A disc harrow, out-throw twelve discs, in 1921 cost $58; to-day $62.



Number and date of issuance of price list 7-ft. binder, no attach- ments 5-ft. heavy mower 10-ft ra«ce, 32 tooth Single disc drill, 13 discs, 2 and 3 horse 6-ft. 12-tooth 3-horse cultivator 16 tooth spring tooth lbtooth Walking plow No. 121 Disc harrow out- throw 12-disc Sales Tax at various times$ cts. $ cts. 5 cts. $ cts. $ cts. 5 cts. S cts. S cts. Dec. 1, 1921-List No. 22.. 235 00 96 50 52 00 1*7 00 79 00 16 50 23 50 58 00 3% sales tax.Feb. 51,1923-List No 23.. 243 00 99 00 53 00 153 00 84 00 18 00 24 50 64 00 \\% sales tax.Nov. 1, 1923-List No. 24.. 264 00 106 50 58 00 166 50 91 50 20 00 26 50 68 00 6% sales tax.April 11, 1924-When Budget announced discontinuance of Sales Tax-List 2,* 251 00 101 50 55 00 153 00 86 00 Sales tax discontinued.iy *.3 Dec. 1, 1924-List No. 25.. Compared with Dec. 1921.. 237 00 $2 higher 96 50 Same 54 00 $2 higher 157 00 -510 higher 82 00 53 higher 18 00 51.50 higher 23 50 Same 62 00 54 higher Sales tax discontinued. *A11 prices include Sales Tax 3% until Session 1923, 6% thereafter until April 1921. The Address-M:. White

These figures, Mr. Speaker, should throw some light on the controversy. The price lists I have here contain a diversified list of machinery, and cover many different types, but I have taken one machine and carried the price through on that same machine in making my comparison. It may be found in these price lists that the prices are in some cases lower than in 1921, but I submit that the prices of the great majority of the machines used by the farmer to-day are higher than they were in 1921. Now let us consider the question from the standpoint of the manufacturer of implements. The prices I have just quoted were the prices the farmer paid, and included a three per cent sales tax which was collected in 1921. This sales tax was paid by the maker of the implement into the exchequer of Canada. When this reduction was made; the price the manufacturer really received for the binder referred to was, in 1921, $227.95, while he now receives for the same machine $237, which gives him to-day a price actually $9.05 higher than he charged in 1921. For the mower he receives $2.90 more than in 1921: for the rake he receives $3.56 more than in 1921; for the disc drill he receives $14.41 more than in 1921; for the cultivator he receives $5.37 more than in 1921; for the spring tooth harrow he receives $2 more than in 1921; for the plough he receives 70 cents more than in 1921; for the disc harrow he receives $5.74 more than in 1921. These advances in price figured out, make the price received by the manufacturer to-day about 5 per cent higher than the prices charged the farmer in 1921. In the meantime, the government by its 1924 budget reduced the duties on raw material to the manufacturer of implements. Pig iron was put on the free list; previously, being subject to 99 per cent drawback of duty. Rolled iron and steel bars were put on the free list, being a reduction of duty of 21 cents per 100 pounds. All other materials entering into the machinery, a list of which comprising some 140 different articles was placed on Hansard by the Acting Minister of Finance on May 23, 1924, were also reduced. This long list was formerly subject to varying duties on all but averaged about 20 per cent. The duty was reduced to 6 per cent thereby making a saving to the agricultural implement manufacturer of about 14 per cent. No wonder the manufacturer of implements, as he reviews his position of three and a half years ago and contemplates the enhanced price of his product and the cheaper price of raw materials, can say with a smile that the tariff changes of 1924, " didn't hurt us at all." Now let us go one step farther back in the process of manufacturing and consider the effect on the business of the makers of the raw material for the manufacture of agricultural implements. I find by the Trade and1 Commerce report issued in November, 1924, that items in the miscellaneous list of materials reduced to 6 per cent duty have been coming into Canada from the United States since April last at the rate of about $1,000,000 per year-manufacturing business lost to the workmen and manufacturers of this country. Pig iron used in this business has been coming in at the rate of 32,000 tons per year; this is also business lost to the workmen and manufacturers of this country. Iron and steel bars, on two items only, No. 445 and No. 446 of the tariff-which was all I could identify in the report-are coming in at the rate of 13,000 tons per year, the manufacture of which is also lost to this country. Nor is that the true measure of the harm that has been done to the iron and steel industry of Canada, as many manufacturers, unable to get enough business to keep going and anxious to keep working organizations together, are taking a portion of such business at a loss. The Prime Minister in his address referred to the iron and steel business of Canada and sought to give the impression that Canada had not suffered in 1924 as had the United States. Everyone knows that in 1924 the United States was in the throes of a presidential election. The experience of that country is that presidential election year is rarely a good business year, and owing to the peculiar circumstances existent during last election, there was an unusual amount of uncertainty in the minds of the people and, as a consequence, business was halting. Business had been good until April of that year. In fact, the pig iron output-which is regarded as a very good barometer of business-was in April of 1924, within a comparatively small amount of the highest monthly record of the last five years. This pig iron output gradually declined during the progress of the election campaign, but; when the election-with its reassuring results-was over the business activity revived at once. The iron and steel trade recovered quickly and is now producing at 80 to 90 per cent and in some cases 100 per cent of its capacity. The Prime Minister also quotes the Iron Age, a trade journal published in New York, as an authority. I accept his authority, the Iron Age is generally regarded as a fair and1 accurate mirror of conditions in the iron and steel industry. The Address-Mr. White He made some quotations from an issue of January 1925. I would like to make reference to, and quote from, an article which appeared in the columns of the Iron Age in the last issue of last month, with particular reference to Canada. The Iron Age commissioned one of its correspondents to make special inquiries as to the results of the tariff of 1924 as it affected Canadian iron and steel industries. The report was published in the issue of January 29, 1925. It is headed; "Tariff reductions have disastrous effects"; "Canadian industries depressed and production greatly reduced". The iron and steel industry is one of the most important factors in Canada's national life. Accord ing to the latest returns available there were in 1922, 1,046 firms engaged in the manufacture of iron and steel products in this country. In 1922, 75,434 wage-earners were employed in the steel industry of this country; the amount of capital employed was $526,109,953. Following the close of the Great War, the iron and steel industry of Canada has been waging an uphill fight to keep its head above water. In addition to the general depression in the markets of the world, the Canadian industry had to contend with steadily decreasing tariff protection, with the result that the number of plants engaged in this industry have been steadily decreasing for the past three or four years. Reliable reports indicate that 30 plants engaged in the iron and steel industry failed in the year 1921; 77 in 1922 and 83 in 1923. While figures for 1924 are not available at the moment, it is estimated that the number of firms to cease operation during the past twelve months will equal if not exceed those which closed down during the previous year. The monthly reports of the Dominion government indicate that in 1923 the iron and steel industry experienced a partial recovery from the depression of the two previous years, but that a marked decline took place at the beginning of 1924, followed by nn upward trend during the first quarter, when a further decline took place, following the announcement of the Robb budget with its drastic tariff reductions on April 11. Data on the comparative number of workers engaged in the iron and steel industry indicate that only 48 per cent of the normal working force is employed at the present time. Presenting the antithesis of this, there exists in this particular branch of Canadian industry unemployment to the extent of 52 per cent of workers who could be given employment under normal conditions. The returns show iron and steel plants to be working only 74.4 per cent of normal or full time, with the 48 per cent of working force referred to above. This in effect means that workers now employed are, on an average, losing 25.6 per cent of their working time and the corresponding earnings, due to short time operations, which in itself adds appreciably to the extent of actual existing unemployment. A majority of firms engaged in this industry are operating on reduced schedules, in many cases at a loss, merely as an alternative to closing down and adding further to the volume of unemployment. Data as to the additional number of workers who could be. engaged, if conditions should warrant an immediate return to normal operations, indicate that on a very conservative estimate 51,000 additional workers could be given employment. As a consequence of the unemployment situation brought about by depression in industry chiefly resulting from the lack of adequate tariff protection, it is estimated that upward of 400,000 workers emigrated to the United States during the past four years to seek employment in the protected industries of that country. While the loss of Canadian workmen through emigration during the years 1921, 1922 and 1923 was a serious blow to this country's population, the number of workmen who left this country in 1924, following the depression caused by the Robb tariff changes, was considerably greater than for any corresponding period during the past four years, being estimated at between 13.000 and 14,000 per month. While it is recognized that the depression in the iron and steel industry is not entirely attributable to lack of tariff protection, it is certain that conditions now existing definitely reflect the adverse influence of tariff reductions made effective early last year, and point clearly to the conclusion that proper and adequate protection would contribute largely to a revival of business and a renewal of productive activity. Complete information as to the number of plants closed down as a result of tariff reductions would require considerable time and investigation to secure. It is reported, however, that nine plants have closed down as a direct result of the tariff reductions and in other case3 these reductions contributed largely to discontinuance of operations. The gas tractor industry might be cited as an illustration of inadequate tariff protection. Considerable investment was made in former years in plant and equipment for the manufacture of gas tractors. The tariff on these was removed during the war period and was never restored in spite of promises that this would be done. Foreign competition on a free basis forced the closing down of Canadian plants, or their diversion to other lines, and the great volume of the Canadian tractor business has gone to the United States. There is a further report as to the reduction of production and a statement as to the reduction in the tariff in 1924, followed by these remarks: Not only has the volume of business in the agricultural implement manufacturing industry been definitely curtailed as a result of these tariff reductions, but prospects for improvement have been seriously affected by reason of the widespread uncertainty and lack of confidence which the possibility of further reductions has engendered in the minds of financial men, individual investors and manufacturers generally regarding the stability of factors which control industrial operations. The report is a long one and takes up many other phases of the situation. It refers to the effect of putting pig iron on the free list. I have referred to that in my earlier remarks. It gives a table of production of pig iron in Canada during 1923 and 1924, showing that during the eight months which succeeded the bringing down of the budget of 1924, the decline in the production of pig iron in Canada was 52 per cent. The 'production for last year was the lowest on record since 1908 with the single exception of 1923. The report states further: Within the past few months, European interests have been making strong bids to secure a footing in this market. Especially is this the case with regard to Belgian concerns, whose production costs are considerably below those of Canadian mills and are able to undersell the latter in their own market. The Address-Mr. White

Then follows a table, showing the production of steel ingots and castings in Canada during 1924, the results being practically the same as those in connection with the production of pig iron. The report concludes by stating: In a speech delivered in Toronto on January 12, Hon. W. L. Mackenzie King, Prime Minister of Canada, stated that, for the time at least, the Liberal government is through with tariff reductions, and there will be no more tinkering with the existing schedule of customs charges until there has been an opportunity to see how the present arrangement works out. Despite the foregoing statement Canadian steel interests are not ready to announce future plans, but are waiting to see what steps will be taken by the government with regard to tariff changes when the budget for 1925 is brought down. That is from the authority quoted by the Prime Minister and accepted by him. I have another statement in regard to the export business in iron and steel in the United States during 1923-1924, which shows that in 1923 Canada consumed 39 per cent of the total export business of that country and in 1924 she consumed 31 per cent, the next highest being Japan with 16 per cent. It also adds that Canada, whidh was the largest individual foreign market for United States iron and steel in the 1923 period, " maintained its commanding position in the 1924 period." The report I have just read contains statements as to the lack of continuity in employment in this industry in many concerns, giving names, and I communicated with one concern which, in June 1924, wrote me that their production had been affected to the extent of 65 per cent by the tariff changes of last year. I have this wire in reply to my inquiry: Hamilton. Replying wire there has been no improvement our business situation since advising you last June. Cannot ourselves look for any decided improvement under present tariff conditions. Same restricted business operation continues as result budget changes explained in our letter June 24, 1924. Mill operations from July 1st to January 31st only 23 per cent of the possible. Mill closed down since February 1st. Outlook immediate future not good. Unemployment situation most serious. That, Mr. Speaker, is the situation in which the iron and steel industry of Canada finds itself to-day, and it is anything but a healthy condition. The customs duty is specific, so much per ton, no matter what the price may be. On rolled products, the duty which used to be about nine to twelve dollars per ton was placed at seven dollars per ton in 1907. It has remained the same when the commodity was selling at one dollar per hundred pounds as when the price was three times that amount. Gradually the duty has been lowered by means of drawbacks until the description IMr. White.] which I have just read from the Iron Age of the condition of the industry is a very accurate one. I said last year, in speaking ou the budget, that I believed that as regards the implement industry, only the manufacturers themselves could make an accurate forecast as to how these changes would work out, because they only knew all the intricate details of their business. I also said that in my judgment the iron and steel industry was called upon to make the greatest sacrifice. I also said that the whole situation in relation to the industry should be subject to an exhaustive survey and intelligent treatment if the industry was to be retained in Canada I showed that, as regards the iron and steel used in the implement industry, Canadian manufacturers were deprived of all tariff protection while they were subjected to customs levies on their fuel, to customs levies and sales tax on their machinery and supplies of all kinds. Events that have occurred since last session have been a confirmation of my statements. Truly, as the Iron Age states, Canada "is in a commanding position," a position of prominence, of eminence-yes, eminently foolish in my judgment when, with ail her natural resources of millions of tons of coal and millions of tons of iron ore, she welcomes from the nation which produces 55 per cent of all the iron and steel produced in the whole world, one-third of the export business in iron and steel which that country does. If the government last year had even left the tariff as it was, and in its opulence, due to the surplus then claimed, had reduced the sales tax still further; or if it had made provision for competition with the United States in the reduction of its income tax levy, then Canada, and particularly the iron and steel business, would be in a better position to-day. I am not now referring to the detrimental influence which this has had on the National Railways or on general business. According to the press, many requests have been made of the government recently for increases in the tariff. Not long ago the coal and steel interests of Nova Scotia were reported as having interviewed the government; and they were supported, I understand, by most of the members from that province. These hon. gentlemen supported the government last year in helping to destroy an industry, and in a few short months they come back asking that their mistake be corrected. The boot and shoe workers have also demanded recognition of thear claims for consideration. Nor is the The Address-Mr. Ross (Kingston) demand all from the industries. During the life of this parliament the onion growers of Essex, the tobacco growers of Kent, the sheep breeders of western Ontario, the Niagara Peninsula Fruit Growers' Association, the United Farmers of Quebec, only a few days ago, and no doubt others, are all on record as to their desire to keep Canadian markets for the Canadian people. In spite of all this expressed public opinion there are some in the government who say that they are determined to persevere until the famous 1919 declaration becomes a reality. The Prime Minister declares that for the time at least nothing more will be done; but this is not reassuring to business. There is no stability, and business men are afraid to invest. I should like to know why the government does not proceed to carry out its entire programme. There were other fields to be entered; the principal articles of food, lumber, oils, gasoline and cement were all to go on the free list; they have not been interfered with and the government has been in office four years. The substantial reductions that were to have been made in wearing apparel and footwear have not yet become evident. I might suggest also automobiles and furniture; but of course if the government were to tamper with automobiles they might lose the support of the hon. member for South Ontario (Mr. Clifford) or possibly the support of the hon. member for North Essex (Mr. Healy), while if they touched furniture they might suffer the loss of the support of the hon. member for North Bruce (Mr. Malcolm). Only this week the leader of the Progressive party (Mr. Forke) has pledged the support of his followers, to the last man, to the government if they will carry out the 1919 platform. The hon. gentleman might, hoTvever, keep his eye on the member for South Waterloo (Mr. Elliott). If the government has any faith in its platform it should give it effect; if it has lost faith in its doctrine it should retrace its steps and try some other plan. Reference is made in the Speech from the Throne a6 to the constitution and powers of the Senate. Like many a new member, I had hopes of a few reforms in the Senate, myself. When I read in the press the declarations of the Prime Minister in many speeches, during the recess, I had hopes that he had a panacea for all the ills brought about by the Senate, and I expected from the tone of the speeches it would be handled as some express it, in two-fisted, he-man fashion. But when I found the programme had taken the form of a mild request to parliament to sanction the calling of a conference on the subject, my hopes vanished. Why ask the sanction of parliament for the calling of a conference? If the Prime Minister was deeply in earnest on this subject, why did he not call a conference during the recess and bring the results to this House in the form of a government measure? Action could then have been taken at this session. Without the consent of parliament, the government has called other conferences. There was a conference on the natural resources question which was to be settled, instanter. There was a conference on taxation, which *would be productive of a lessening of the burdens of the people. There was a conference on unemployment, which resulted in the advice to everybody to employ more workmen, but nothing further. If this proposed conference on Senate matters is not productive of more tangible results than those I have mentioned, the members of the Senate may rest at ease in Zion for some time to come. In closing, I wish to say that a careless House of Commons which lets legislation go through without due consideration, or a politically careful House of Commons which lets legislation go through rather than offend some of the electorate, will have to assume responsibility in direct proportion as the powers of the Senate are curtailed. Is the House of Commons ready to accept the responsibility and discharge that responsibility in the interests of good government?


Arthur Edward Ross

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. A. E. ROSS (Kingston):

Kindly permit me, Mr. Speaker, to express my regret that the genial leader of the Progressive party has seen fit to take a retrograde step in his decision to oppose an ancient custom of the British race, that of free and unrestricted speech. I want to remind the hon. gentleman on this occasion that opportunities to discuss matters that arise in the Speech from the Throne are not always available. I would call his attention to the fact that last session many matters of interest would have failed to receive adequate discussion in this House had it not been for the insistence of another leader of the Progressive party that sufficient consideration should be afforded-I refer to the hon. member for Bow River (Mr. Garland). We must at this time take issue with those who seek to restrict discussion of the Speech from the Throne; otherwise we disclaim our responsibility as individuals in this parliament to study, to advocate or to support statements when they have been made. And once that phase of routine passes, then, as we saw this afternoon, it is very difficult to revive it. Consequently as an individual member of the


The Address-Mr. Ross (Kingston)

House I am willing to take whatever criticism comes to me concerning the detention of the House while I undertake to express my views touching the Speech.

We must after some study in the House concur in the opinion that there are two parties and but two parties here. There is a party that sings prosperity and there is a party that doubts it. There is a party that has a policy and there is a party that has none. There is a party that had a policy but has not now, and there is the other party that has a policy of stability. There is the party also which, no matter what policy it may adopt, will be certainly followed by the other party even if it comes to a question of agreement by silence. Therefore, when there is dissatisfaction with statements that have been made in the House, no member has a right to sit silent. The Speech from the Throne has been defended wholly by the Prime Minister, consequently our differences of opinion will be largely with him. His speech was filled with tables, graphs and indices. In my school days I always regarded with amazement the student who could go to the blackboard and prove: Cosign 1 equals cosign 2 plus X over Y minus Y over Z. Such a problem we have had exhibited to us by the Prime Minister, but the mystification will not deceive the country.

He states emphatically that our people are returning from the United States. Why? Because, he says, Canada is more prosperous than the United States. I have interviewed some of our men who have returned, and I find the principal reason for their doing so is that most of them had not legally transferred themselves. As the House is aware, at the present time this transfer necessitates the completion of several papers at a considerable expense. Many of our workers, unfortunately, have not had the requisite funds, ana' have crossed illegally, and after some length of time they have been forced to return. That period may run to six months and over, because very often they are given the privilege of securing the necessary papers from Canada. Another class cf worker who has returned is the physically unfit. Many of the factories across the line are ready enough to retain our physically fit men, but they object to the physically unfit.

It is impossible to maintain the position that there is no exodus at the present time from the Dominion to the United States. I have a clipping from the Kingston Standard in reference to this migration, in the course of which it is stated:

It is learned from an authentic though unofficial source that the exodus of Canadians from this Dominion to the United States in search of continuous employment has iby no means ceased. In this city three or four Canadians apply every day for passports and other documents necessary for them to cross the boundary line, while in Toronto the records of the United States consul are reported as showing that 25 Canadians leave that city daily to take up permanent residence in the country to the south. In addition to the general exodus amongst bona fide Canadians, it is understood that Britishers, that is, English, Scotch and Irish, who do not come under the category of Canadians, are just as anxious as the real Johnny Canucks to leave the country of their adoption. The quota for Britishers is complete, but this does not deter many of them from applying for passports to cross the boundary, and it is interesting to note that there is at present a waiting list of such applicants which is sufficient to fill the quota from Kingston until November, 1925, while in Toronto the waiting list is so big that the quota is easily filled for the next ten years to come.


James Murdock (Minister of Labour)



What is the date please?


Arthur Edward Ross

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. ROSS (Kingston):

This month-

February. Another sign of prosperity relied on by the Prime Minister was the opinion expressed by bank managers at the annual meetings of their shareholders. The hon. member for Centre Winnipeg (Mr. Woods-worth) stated that the Prime Minister quoted what suited him from such statements, and I agree with the hon. member. The House will pardon me if I repeat what the hon. member for Centre Winnipeg quoted. Sir Vincent Meredith of the Bank of Montreal said:

The figures of foreign trade are encouraging. We have been able to reach this large amount chiefly because of the enormous western grain crop in 1923. The other outstanding item in respect of exports is forest products.

These two things are taken up in the trade reports.

But the general manager of this same bank reports as follows:

Business is quiet. A stronger definition might be used without exaggeration.

Then we have the rather interesting words of Sir Herbert Holt, president of the Royal Bank. I will quote only these few lines:

At our last three annual meetings while expressing faith in the utimate future of Canada, I have on each occasion to chronicle a year of slow business.

These bank managers do not at all agree with the Prime Minister. He sees another sign of prosperity in the blowing of factory whistles-a sufficient proof to him that industry is very satisfactory. Well, one of our largest industries in Kingston blows its whistle every day, but out of an ordinary payroll of between five and six hundred men only fifty are employed. And that is the state of affairs at a time when engines are being manufactured in the United States for our Canadian railways, paid' for by Canadian money, and giving employment to workmen in that country.

The Address Mr. Ross (Kingston)

The whole speech of the Prime Minister can be answered by a single word,-why. If this country is prosperous, why do people leave? If this country is more prosperous than the United States, why are our people crowding the American Consul's offices to be transferred across the boundary? If the policy of the government has produced results so satisfactory in the opinion of the Prime Minister, why does the government pause in its course; why not go full steam ahead until all the desires of the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Motherwell) and the Minister of the Interior (Mr. Stewart, Argen-teuil) are fully satisfied by the death of protection? No, Mr. Speaker, these are not the signs of prosperity. The Prime Minister, I am afraid, has surrounded himself with his graph master and his index master, instead of going out among the people and observing conditions as they really exist. If he will come with me through the main streets of any of our towns and cities he will see there unoccupied stores, for the first time in many years, and if he goes into the occupied stores he will find the clerks standing idle; if he goes down to the parts occupied by the working people he will find for the first time in many years signs "to let" on empty houses all along the streets; if he comes to our city markets he will find there abundance of agricultural products, but few buyers and low prices; if he goes to the grocery shop he will find the grocer complaining of lack of money -a complaint that is general throughout the city. These are more reliable signs of the condition of the country than second-hand evidence.

The Speech from the Throne refers to immigration. If the government would cease its declaration of policies and be practical, it would absolve itself from many errors and complaints from different classes of the people; it would withdraw from any aggressive policy of immigration at the present time. And in that I am voicing the opinion of our municipal authorities and our labour men. I quite agree that we need more population, but it will not be gained until we have employment or places to put people who come to this country. Great errors have been made by the government, indirectly by their agents or by the railway agents. Let me refer here to the experience of three splendid men who came to the city of Kingston and interviewed the mayor. They complained that they had been misled by lectures and by shows in the Old Country. The experience of these men is set forth in the following paragraph:

The Dominion immigration problem as it affects local conditions was brought home very forcibly this morning when three young English-men interviewed the mayor, registering a complaint against the inference which they were allowed to draw regarding industrial conditions in Canada by Canadian government and steamship agents in the Old Country before taking their passage to Canada.

The trio were all married men, splendid types of intelligent mechanics, one of whom held a commission in the Imperial army during the war. Each one of them is in possession of references proving them to be experienced workmen of a high grade, and one of them was for twenty years a supervisor with the same firm in England.

These men told a story to the mayor, corroborating one another as they went along, which points very distinctly to the fact that there is something wrong with the present immigration system.

They stated that they had been greatly influenced by lectures which they had attended in England, in which the industrial and agricultural opportunities which exist in Canada were painted in very glowing colors. Questioned by the mayor they were unanimous in the statement that the need for agricultural workers m Canada had not been emphasized in any degree whatsoever, and that industrial conditions were painted m the same colors as agricultural conditions.

This will show that the policy of bringing immigrants here indiscriminately for the sake of numbers is a very wrong policy, and the government, whether directly or indirectly, is subject to criticism in that respect. '

With regard to the government's settlement policy as referred to in the Speech from the Throne, I should like to deal with one feature of that subject which has already been touched upon by one of the speakers, namely, the intention to bring settlers to this country and place them in the Peace river district. I think we have already seen the great mistake of having men go .away up into the Peace river country and then make complaints. It would be very unwise, it seems to me, on the part of the government to place even one settler in the Pe'ace river country when there are other sections suitable for settlement. There is a great opportunity to resettle areas in Nova Scotia. Here are vacant farms; here are pleasant conditions by which our British citizens can be surrounded. There is also an opportunity in New Brunswick and in Quebec, and there is a very great opportunity in Ontario. I would refer the government to what I look upon as one of the most promising areas in this Dominion. Astride the Grand Trunk Pacific, in northern Ontario, on iand just north of the great divide separating the drainage into James bay from that into the St. Lawrence, is situated a great area of arable land 40,000 square miles, more or less, in dimensions. It projects about 140 miles into Quebec and the same distance into Ontario. The greater part of this area lies south of the 50th parallel of latitude, which on the


The Address Mr. Ross (Kingston)

prairie passes just north of the city of Winnipeg. The physical properties and derivation of the clay in this area are exactly those of the Winnipeg clay belt. Both are the result of glacial lake deposits. Both represent the existence of a huge lake which was formed by the damming up of the northward flowing rivers as the ice cap retreated northward from its great southern encroachment. Where thick beds of this lake deposit have been sectional by post glacial action of rivers, it is found to consist of comparatively thin bedded sand and clay which when cultivated will form the richest of loams.

Here is an area far preferable at the present time to that of the Peace river district, although I will not disparage the Peace river district, because I know the quality of the land there; it is one of the finest areas in the Dominion. But here is an area almost as good, with all sorts of possibilities, with proximity to transportation and with very many other advantages to the settler. In addition to that the settler would be close to the great gold belt, and he would have a diversified employment. He would have the privilege of cutting the light timber which is found there, for the purpose of making a living in between seasons. I would strongly urge upon the government the desirability of considering these areas which I have mentioned rather than the Peace river district for the purposes of settlement of this kind. If the intention of the government is to create a railroad connection to serve that elevator which is to be built at Prince Rupert, then I think they are placing a great burden upon the country, increasing the taxation and the capital expenditure, which we in time will have to pay, without very much result.

In regard to ocean rates. I look upon the reference to the matter in the Speech as a red herring, nothing else, to draw the attention of the people from the unemployment and from the other conditions of depression which prevail. Or it may be a camouflage, to pretend to carry out this promised war on the combines. If that is the case I fail to see why they should undertake to bonus when they have in their midst the greatest combine eater in America in the person of the Minister of Labour (Mr. Murdock). Why, for years he has been gnashing his teeth against the combines; he has had three years of opportunity, but nothing has been done. If the proposal is really a measure of protection, and as our friends to the left intend to support the government, then that will be another policy of protection which they must stand back of.

If that is what it amounts to, where are those champion bell ringers, the Minister of the Interior (Mr. Stewart) and the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Motherwell), and will they permit this system of protection to be instituted? We had an example of the position in which the government finds itself in the expedition, referred to by another speaker, which, accompanied by the chief whip of the government, came up from Nova Scotia and asked for protection. As the chief whip journeyed to Ottawa I would like to have known his inmost thoughts when he remembered the declaration of his two colleagues that they were ringing the death knell of protection. Here he was, coming up from Nova Scotia to plead the very cause of protection. I would like to have had his thoughts as he recalled the many days and nights that he worked here, pressing his party from both sides of the House to kill protection, to murder it at any cost; and now the ghost rises up to torment him in this latest protection proposal of the government. If this proposal is real, why not place in the Speech from the Throne the promise of a bonus to the National Railways and to the Canadian Pacific to carry coal from the east and the west to the central part of Canada for the benefit of the workingmen and the miners of the east and the west? A bonus for that purpose is just as much justified as a bonus to ocean steamers. If the government is really sincere, why not bonus a Canadian steamship company? One cannot say very much further on this matter. We can only wait for the promise to be carried out; but if there is to be a bonus to a steamship company, then I am willing to support members from Nova Scotia and members from Alberta in asking for a bonus for the railways to develop the mining industry in eastern and western Canada and to help bring Canadian coal to central Canada.

Passing from a mere criticism of the Speech from the Throne, I would like to refer for a few minutes to some special requirements pressing upon us at the present time. Reference has been made to improvements in the harbours on the St. Lawrence route. I want to join with the member for Leeds (Mr. Stewart) in pressing upon the government the opinion he expressed this afternoon, that more important to the province of Ontario is the development of power on the St. Lawrence. Some years ago -when the hydro-electric system was introduced in Ontario, we believed that we had an abundance of power in this country. We never believed that we would reach a time of shortage, and yet so splendid has been the development of that system and

The Address Mr. Ross (Kingston)

so popular and widespread the use of electricity in the province that we are now face to face with a power shortage, and if the government does not give immediate support to the offer of the Ontario Hydro-Electric Commission, it will bring about a very unsatisfactory state of affairs in this province. The development of this power will not cost the citizens of Canada one cent; the province of Ontario is willing to pay the cost of the whole development. All the province wants is that the federal government shall give the commission permission to go forward with that development. Electricity is not now used simply in the development of industry. It has become just as important to the farmers and to the citizens in general; its benefits are not confined to any one class. We in the east have stood aside, and have supported the development in the central part of Canada, believing that our time would soon come when the development of power should take place upon the St. Lawrence, and we do not wish now to see that project connected with any other problem. The deepening of the St. Lawrence is important and will come in its own time, but there is a pressing necessity at the present time for the development of power on the St. Lawrence, and we feel that we can ask for the sympathetic support of the east and west in this matter, especially as the development will not cost Canada in general one cent, for Ontario is willing to bear the whole extent. There is no reference to this matter in the Speech from the Throne, although if this question is not faced by the government it will bring a calamity upon the province; it will affect the country generally, because if we cannot get electrical power in the province of Ontario we must turn to the importation of coal and increase the millions of dollars we already send over to the United States for that purpose, unless we give a bonus to the railways to bring coal from western and eastern Canada. A calamity will face us if this development is not gone on with, and we feel that we can appeal for the sympathetic support of both east and west in urging upon the government the granting of immediate permission for this power development on the St. Lawrence.

There is also before us the question of the completion of the Welland canal. We are quite aware that its completion will be some years off yet, but the government-

10 p.m. should now place itself on record as to the policy they will adopt in regard to navigation beyond the Welland canal. We in Kingston believe that the harbour of Kingston has been naturally selected as the terminus of the deep waterway to the Welland 12i

canal. Work was begun there some years ago, and we are now looking to this government to say that the policy which was instituted some years ago will be continued by them when the proper time comes.

There is another matter of very great importance to this country which has not been mentioned in the Speech from the Throne, and that is the effect of present conditions on shipbuilding. Some time before the war and during the war the shipbuilding industry in this country developed greatly, especially at such points as Port Arthur, Collingwood, Midland, Toronto and Kingston on the Great Lakes, at Montreal, Quebec and Halifax in the eastern provinces, and at Victoria, Vancouver and Prince Rupert in British Columbia. Now the people who have invested their money in this great industry in Canada find themselves in this peculiar position. Perhaps I had better read the clauses of the resolution which has been submitted to the government by the Associated Boards of Trade in aid of the shipbuilding industry:

Whereas under the provisions of the United States Merchant Marine Act, Chapter 250, of the year 1920, known as the Jones Law, all ships built or owned outside of the United States are prohibited from entering the coast-wise trade of the United States, and under the customs tariff of the United States, a United States vessel which has repairs made or purchases equipment in any foreign port is subject to an ad valorem duty of 50 per cent on the cost of repairs or equipment, to be paid at the first United States port of call;

That is a very important clause, and is another example of how thoroughly the United States protects her industries. The resolution goes on:

And whereas under the Canadian Customs Act of July 20th, 1908, there is no duty payable on repairs or equipment purchased in any foreign port, except a duty of 25 per cent in the ease of vessels engaging in the coast-wise trade within a year after repairs have been made or equipment purchased in the foreign port-.

No other industry suffers such an apparent disadvantage as is placed upon the shipbuilding industry by these two clauses, one from a United States law, and the other from a law of Canada. The shipbuilders of Canada are pleading with the government to come to their support and give them a law somewhat similar or equal to that which has been given to shipbuilders of the United States, and they have asked:

Therefore be it resolved that the Dominion government be urged to take such action in respect of repairs made or equipment purchased in a foreign port for any Canadian registered vessel as will accord thereto the same treatment as the country of such foreign port extends to repairs made or equipment purchased in Canada.

I am going to make a suggestion as to the ways and means by which the condition in


The Address Mr. Ross (Kingston)

this country can be changed. I have another suggestion, which I think should have a place in the Speech from the Throne and should have been dealt with by this government; that is as to the development of our ores. I suggest that the government could very well cut two or three millions dollars out of their present immigration expenditure and employ that money on the development of those . ores in the Dominion of Canada. We are rich in ores and yet the only use made of them is to carry them to the United States. The development of our ores would mean a great deal to the industrial world of Canada, because some of the largest industries of the United States are purely developed from the smelting and converting into products of Canadian ores in that country. I would thoroughly and heartily support any assistance by way of bonus that this government could give to the development of our iron ore industry. It would build up an immense asset, and would result I am sure, in an immense increase in our population.

I should like to make another suggestion which if adopted by the government would enable them to make use of men who are walking our streets. As hon. members travel over our Canadian railways they will hardly ever pass a central place at which they will not see a number of idle and disabled cars and engines. The government could very well undertake the repair of these cars and engines at the present time. Hundreds of them are lying idle. My suggestion would give employment to our people, and would also lessen the capital expenditure which will have to be made later on for equipment and so forth, on the railways. If anyone travels along these railways he will see hundreds of these cars lying idle at different places, and these cars simply require repairs to make them useful. This would obviate expense in the future.

In conclusion I point out that what we need more than anything else is a policy. We cannot hope for any change as long as our present government look at the conditions as they do. I am sure that, even though the members to our left support the government, they feel the need of just such a policy, and I would like to read the words of the hon. member for Springfield (Mr. Hoey), speaking in the west, in which he demands a new policy. These are his words with regard to the Prime Minister:

What about Premier King? I heard him speak in Winnipeg recently and it was the address of an elocutionist. There was not an interesting sentence or a stimulating thought. What is the Liberal policy? I have been trying for three years to find out and am more mystified than ever.

IMr. A. E. Ross.]

And I am sure after he has heard the present Speech from the Throne his mystification will very much increase. We need a policy, Mr. Speaker, which will look conditions squarely in the face and will undertake to better those conditions. If I am wrong in saying that there is unemployment and dissatisfaction in the country which can be corrected, then I should like to hear discussion on those lines in the House and not merely a policy of silence. If the government have no policy, if the leader of the Progressive party has no policy as he said in the debate, then surely it would not hurt him to come under our banner where there is a policy, not of to-day or to-morrow, but a stable policy under which we will guarantee a return to satisfactory conditions in this country. We ask consideration and discussion of such a policy, but we do not want a policy of silence, or apparent agreement with conditions, as expressed by the Prime Minister. If we are wrong in what we point out now as the real condition in this country, then it should be up to the government to further discuss this question.

Mr. ALEXANDRE J. DOUCET (Kent, N.B.) (Translation): Mr. Speaker, I wish with your permission, to move the adjournment of the debate.


Henri Sévérin Béland (Minister of Soldiers' Civil Re-establishment; Minister presiding over the Department of Health)


Mr. BELAND (Translation):

It is yet

early; my hon. friend has his notes in readiness; with his glib tongue, I fancy he would find it an easy matter to go on with the debate this evening.


Alexandre Joseph Doucet

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DOUCET (Translation):

For several reasons, I should have preferred abstaining from addressing the House this evening: In

the first place, it is rather late, and after sitting for three consecutive hours, some relaxation is welcome. However, I shall go on speaking in English.

In attempting to speak upon the debate, Mr. Speaker, I will adopt the old English axiom, that brevity is the soal of wit; not that I pretend to be witty, but I assure hon. members I shall endeavour to be brief.

When I moved the adjournment of the debate, it was not due to superstition, because this is Friday and the thirteenth of the month; but because I did not wish to tire the House at this late hour of the evening, after we have been in session since three o'clock.

I wish to say a few words upon the Speech from the Throne as delivered in this House. In my view the first section of it which states that the year 1924 was a period of substantial progress is altogether at variance with con-

The Address-Mr. Doucet

ditions as they exist from the Atlantic to the Pacific. No one knows that better than the members of the government who have been travelling from the Pacific to the Atlantic during the recess. Progress we have not in this country, and I make no apology for stating here this evening that unless the policy of the government is amended so as to give some benefits to the various industries destined to develop and manufacture our raw materials, we shall not have substantial progress in Canada.

Again referring to the Speech from the Throne, I find that the government intends economizing on public works. This is somewhat in keeping with a statement made in Vancouver last October by the Prime Minister himself, but only as regards the east, because I have in my hand a copy of the Vancouver Sun of the 22nd October last, according to which the Prime Minister himself said:

Recalling the difficulties of government, Premier King said he would have to tell his friends in the east that they could not yet count on their needed public buildings, wharves nor branch lines as the money was needed in the west.

We, in the east, interpret that, in these words, " that the east must wait ". The east is anxious to give fair treatment to every section of this Dominion; the east is anxious to see that fairplay is given to every part of this Dominion, but the east, after having submitted to the tariff reductions of last session which have paralyzed its industries, is not in a mood to submit to a curtailment of public expenditures for the benefit of one section of the country alone. We are told in the speech delivered by the Prime Minister in this House the other day and reported on page 38 of Hansard, that farm implements have been reduced in price in 1924. Citing six different farm implements, he states that they have been reduced from S953.50 to $905.50, a total reduction of $48. That does not cover the excess in price due to the increase of the excise tax which the present government placed in the statutes of 1923. Yet they try to pacify the farming population of this country by stating that their tinkering with the tariff in 1924 has caused a decrease in the price of farm implements. My hon. friends to my left must realize by this time, as we representing the farming population of the Maritime provinces realize, that there has been no decrease in the cost of farm implements; that while there have been various and substantial cuts in the tariff on farm implements since 1907, I submit, as has been submitted by the hon. member for London (Mr. White) that to-day

we are paying more for farm implements and will continue to pay more. Why? Because our farm implement industries are not getting the protection they need against goods from without. From the speech of the Prime Minister, as reported on page 39 of Hansard, we find that the cost of living has decreased, or that it is not as high as it is in the neighbouring republic to the south of us. It does not matter very much to me whether the cost of living is reduced or not if our workmen, our mechanics, our railwaymen and all men who work for a daily wage are not getting the money with which to buy the necessaries of life. In making the comparison, the Prime Minister states that, taking a number of articles, the cost in the United States is $10.46 as against $8.70 in Canada. In taking those figures, I am led to ascertain in what respect the cost of living is less in Canada than in the United States. I find the following:


Commodities Quantity States Canada

Beef, four different cuts. 1 pound 44 cents 32 cents

Milk 1 quart 13J cents lli centsButter 1 pound 49 cents 39 centsCheese 1 pound 34.4 cents 28.4 centsEggs 1 dozen 39.4 cents 31.8 centsPotatoes 1 bushel $l.y8 $1.28


Willis Keith Baldwin



Is my hon. friend aware that it takes five quarts of American measure to make four quarts of Canadian measure?


Alexandre Joseph Doucet

Conservative (1867-1942)


I quite realize that, and I believe at the same time it takes sixteen ounces of American measure to make sixteen ounces of Canadian measure. While I have cited six different items, the quart measure appears only once and the other items reveal a much greater spread in price. How can we expect our Canadian farmers to be prosperous when there is such a variation in the prices of their products as between the two countries?

I wish to compliment very sincerely the hon. member for Restigouche and Madawaska (Mr. Michaud) who, speaking on the Address the other day, spoke very feelingly of what is known throughout Canada to-day as Maritime rights and the grievances of which that part of the country is complaining. He stated that the St. John Telegraph and the St. John Times and Star had sent delegations to the western provinces for the purpose of trying to induce the people of those provinces to develop an inter-provincial trade with the Maritime- provinces. True; and the unfortunate part of it is that this government, while spending through its Department of Trade and Commerce thousands of dollars from the provincial treasury in advertising its political principles, did not see fit to make

The Address-Mr. Doucet

any effort to develop an inter-provincial trade between the western and the Maritime provinces, but left it to private enterprise to undertake this task. Unfortunately, I cannot agree with my hon. friend on the question of protection. He says that if we had a population of 110,000,000 such as they have in the United States we should be able to stand protection; he wants a lower tariff so that the farmers may be in a better position to carry on. Now, I will submit a few figures for the consideration of the House. In the year 1923 our importations from the United States of fresh fruits amounted to $5,000,000, while fresh vegetables totalled $2,500,000; grain, $8,230,000; seeds, $1,660,000; tobacco in its unmanufactured state, $5,600,000. And the total of such imports as are represented in the category of farm produce was $65,559,000. This was all to the disadvantage of each and every Canadian farmer who is trying to carry on within the bounds of this Dominion. This being the case, how can we hope to secure any advantage, how can we derive any benefit or render the Canadian farmer more prosperous, by taking away even the little vestige of protection that still exists? The argument of my hon. friend should be taken the other way; what we do want in this countiy is higher protection on farm produce so that this $65,559,000 worth of farm produce would not be permitted to cross the imaginary border to supplant, on the Canadian market, the produce of our farmers who have tilled the Canadian soil.

I have listened patiently from time to time to my hon. friends on my left advocating free trade in every commodity, and I have an extract from their own platform of 1921, which demands that all foodstuffs be placed on the free list. Let us consider a few more figures in this connection. The estimated value of the production of the farms for the crop year 1922-23 was $1,172,855,000, of which $822,918,000 worth was consumed in Canada; or 70.16 per cent of the total production was consumed in Canadian territory. Let me amplify this statement. Taking wheat out of production and consumption, of the balance, 90.78 per cent, was consumed in this country. In view of this fact it will be seen how important it is to us to conserve the home market for the Canadian farmer. Apart from the growing and the shipment of wheat, those farmers who are occupied in mixed farming require a certain protection. The question may be asked why the farming population of Ontario, Quebec and the Maritime provinces should' have any grievance. Well, they

have a grievance because their farm produce is not bringing the revenue which it did two or three years ago. I have taken the trouble to prepare a comparative statement in regard to the Maritime and Quebec markets, for which I have the figures for the years 192122-23 and 24. In 1921 the wholesale price for hay delivered on the Maritime market was $32 per ton, whereas in 1924 it was $17. Fresh pork was worth 18 cents per pound in 1921 as against 12 cents in 1924; beef was 10 against 8; mutton 17 and 12; chicken 40 and 30; butter solids 42 and' 36; eggs by the case 50 and 38; and cheese 24 and 18 At the same time, what the farmer has to buy has increased, so that the purchasing power of the farmer's dollar to-day is much less than it was in 1922. With these conditions existing, and in view of the increased burden of taxation, how can we expect the farmer to q'o anything but complain of the situation? And what is the reason for all this? It is all due to the nibbling at the tariff and the juggling that has been going on. Tariff conditions in the country are unstable and our manufacturing industries of the Maritime provinces and even of central Canada are not in a position to provide employment for our own Canadian born and bred, who are leaving the country by the thousands. The Prime Minister questions the accuracy of my right lion, leader's statements in regard to immigration, and he gives us the impression that the people are returning to the country in train-loads. Now, I do not care how you manipulate statistics, but the best proof one can have of the depopulation of Canada is one's own experience in his travels. Going through the rural sections of this country from Montreal to the Atlantic, you will find in numerous sections country houses by the dozen, yes, indeed by the hundred,boarded up, the farmers and their families having left for the United States where they hope to better their fortune.

We have statements made by those who appeared before the government no later than November last, all supporters of the administration from the Maritime provinces, led by the Premier of Nova Scotia, who is also a stalwart and faithful follower of the government. They said that for the lack of protection on bituminous round coal and on slack coal mined in Nova Scotia, and by allowing the entry of anthracite dust from the United States free of duty, coupled with the lack of preferential freight rates for the transportation of the coal of Nova Scotia to central Canada, their industries in the Maritimes were languishing and their population of between

The Address-Mr. Doucet

125,000 and 150,000 people was seriously affected. This is not Tory propaganda, this is not Tory camouflage; it is gathered from the statements made by the delegation which interviewed the government. The members of the government themselves know that what I am saying is correct, because in spite of the fact that the hon. member for Vancouver Centre (Mr. Stevens) and the hon. member for Fort William and Rainy River (Mr. Manion) have challenged the government time and again throughout this debate to refute a single argument, not one member of the administration has yet taken time to reply. It is true, Sir, that the Minister of Labour (Mr. Murdock) ventured the assertion that the offices of the British Empire Steel Company at Sydney were over-manned with officials. But with ten blast furnaces idle since June and with only three or four hundred men working out of a total force of thirty-five hundred it stands to reason that no financial or any other genius is needed to tell us that the company do not require the same number of officials.

No, Mr. Speaker, conditions have been brought about because the government has been trying to please a certain portion ol this House to the detriment of the rest.


Some hon. MEMBERS:

Oh, oh.


Alexandre Joseph Doucet

Conservative (1867-1942)


Well, I am sorry for my hon. friends to my immediate left that they are to-day realizing that the juggling, the nibbling and the cutting of tariff duties is not going to benefit anyone. What we want is a consistent policy of protection. The National Policy wias introduced in 1878 and consistently maintained by every administration up to a recent date. It was even maintained after 1895 by the very men who on every platform talked freer trade, by the very men who in that general election advocated a low tariff policy. It is a matter of history now that before the first budget speech was delivered the Liberal party resorted to the policy that had been in force since 1878, with a few minor alterations, I admit. With a population of slightly over three million in 1871 we have under protection prospered to the extent which the figures I now wish to place on Hansard amply demonstrate. Our field crops in 1901 were valued at $194,953,420; in 1923, at $891,755,200. Our live stock in 1901 was valued at $268,651,026; in 1923, at $613,260,000. Our dairy products have increased in value four times, from $29,-

731.000 in 1901 to practically $105,000,000 in 1922. Our fisheries, which in 1871 produced less than $8,000,000, in 1922 produced $41,800,210. Our minerals, developed through a system of protection that is to-day denied the mining

industry, were worth $10,221,255 in 1881 as against $214,102,000 in 1923. In 1871 our manufactures employed about 188,000 men, as against 517,141 in 1921, and while in 1871 the salaries and wages paid amounted to $40,851,000, by 1921 they had increased to $581,402,385. The products of these factories were worth $221,617,000 in 1871, whilst in 1921 they had reached the enormous value of $2,747,926,675. All that progress, Sir, was made under a protective policy.

Now, I do not maintain that protection is a panacea that will cure all ills; but I certainly say that unless we have such a fiscal policy as will give our industries a chance to work full time, manufacturing our raw products and giving employment to our working men, we are not going to prosper. Unless every class of our population gets employment six days a week and a full dinner pail, this country cannot be said to be flourishing. I am reminded that in 1921 the right hon. Prime Minister-then leader of the opposition-and his present colleague, the Secretary of State (Mr. Copp), addressing a meeting in the Grand Opera House in the town of Sussex, county of Kings, N.B., stated that with the return of their party to power we would get the benefit of a golden era of prosperity and our working men would have a full dinner pail. There was a by-election in the city of Moncton last November and some one was uncharitable enough to place an advertisement on a billboard, worded after this fashion:

Lost, a full dinner pail between the city of Moncton and Ottawa.

And a reward was offered if it should be sent to a certain person in Ottawa.

Now, in order to benefit the Maritime provinces there must be some reduction in transportation rates. If the Maritime provinces are prosperous; if they can develop their industries; if their people are contented- and the same thing applies to the prairie provinces-the whole Dominion will benefit thereby. But we are told that if we do reduce transportation rates on the Canadian National railways the result will be an increase in the deficit. Not necessarily. Let the government and the Canadian National Railway Board practise some economy. I do not mean that they should practise economy by laying off the men with overalls, by curtailing their hours of employment or by giving them two weeks' holidays without salaries at Christmas time. But we have numbers of highly salaried officials on the Canadian National railways who could easily be dispensed with and others whose remuneration could certainly be reduced without any loss to the country or to the railways. I say advisedly

The Address-Mr. Doucet

that the administration of the Atlantic section of the Canadian National railways, between Halifax, Sydney and Riviere du Loup on the Intercolonial and between Moncton and Monk on the Transcontinental, is costing more today than it did prior to December, 1922, when the Atlantic section extended to Montreal on the Intercolonial and on to Winnipeg on the Transcontinental. That is where we can practise some economy.

Then it might be well to suggest that the management of the Canadian National railways should forget about this radio craze. In Moncton we were treated last year to the erection of a radio transmitting station that cost, I am told, $125,000, while those who ship their produce over the railway in that district are struggling in vain to get a reduction in rates in order that they may place their products on the central markets of the Dominion. Then, again, why not eliminate a few of the private oars? That is another craze. Everybody has to have a private car over that railway. The president of the board himself made a flying trip to the Maritime provinces in November. I understand that he left Montreal with six private cars attached to his train, and when he reached the hub of the Mari times he had eight. No one seems to know how many he had by the time he got to Sydney. When we realize that apart from his salary of $50,000 a year his expenses for 1924 amounted to something like $75,000. we can appreciate the fact that transportation rates could be easily reduced if the necessary economies were practised in connection with the higher paid officials and the administrative heads of the railway.

But if we ask for a reduction of transportation rates, what do we get? In a brief submitted by the secretary of the Nova Scotia Poultry Association before the Board of Railway Commissioners at their last sitting in the city of Halifax, he pointed out that while it cost three cents per dozen to import eggs in refrigerator cars from Chicago to Halifax, it cost two cents per dozen to ship them from Truro to Halifax, a distance of 64 miles, and four cents per dozen from Loch Broom station to Stellarton or New Glasgow, a distance of 11 miles. I could quote also a statement presented to the same board by the North Atlantic Fisheries Company which shows a discrimination against the fishing industry of the Maritime provinces in respect to carriage by express. The fish merchant shipping 100 pounds of fresh fish by express from Halifax to Winnipeg, a distance of 1,993 miles has to pay $10.06 per 100 pounds, or 10 cents a pound, in round figures, whereas the shipper

of fish on the Pacific coast can ship 100 pounds of fresh fish from Prince Rupert to Winnipeg, a distance of 1,758 miles, for $3.59. The service is the same in each case-express- and the cost is $3.59 in favour of the British Columbia or Pacific fisherman and $10.06 against the Atlantic fisherman.

The hon. member for Rimouski (Sir Eugene Fiset), in moving the Address in reply to the Speech from the Throne, said that we should select our immigration, and in that I quite agree with him. It should be the bounden duty of this government, before introducing any legislation in connection with immigration or adopting any further immigration policies, to study the conditions with a view to seeing that our own native born Canadians should be enabled to stay in this country and not have to leave in hundreds of thousands. Why, Sir, it is appalling when you realize from the public accounts that practically five millions of dollars have been taken out of the public treasury within the past three years to bring something like 350,000 immigrants into this country from European shores, whilst in every town and hamlet of this Dominion you will find vacant houses and houses boarded up by our own native born Canadians who have gone across the line. I care not what statistics may say; I know as one who has travelled considerably in the last eight months, and some of my honourable friends know it, of villages in a neighbouring county where I have counted as many as fifteen houses in succession boarded up. I made it my business to inquire and found that they had been boarded up within the last two years. Yet we are spending millions of dollars to bring men to take their places on Canadian soil. To my mind one of our own Canadian bom citizens, one who knows our soil and is used to our climate and our customs, is worth more than half a dozen of these importations from European countries who take years and sometimes decades to accustom themselves to conditions in this country.

I think I have said sufficient on the question of transportation to demonstrate to this government that what is necessary for our farming population both east and west is equalization of conditions, not favouritism to any one section of the country, but the same standard of conditions throughout every part of this Dominion. Give us a chance to keep our own population in this country, to develop our industries and the production of our natural products, and enjoy a measure of prosperity not comparable with the prosperity spoken of in the Speech from the Throne.

The Addrnss-Mr. Doiret

In connection with steel and coal, I wish to give a few figures, because to my mind they are very striking, and as one from the Maritime provinces I think it is my duty to do so. I am sorry that we could not during this debate enthuse one of the representatives from the province of Nova Scotia to speak on this subject and place the facts as they should be placed before this House and the country. In view of the policy that has been consistently maintained by the present government of ignoring conditions as they are in the provinces by the sea, of ignoring the hundreds of thousands of tons of bituminous coal and anthracite dust and screenings that are being imported into this country and come into direct competition with the products of the mines of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, I think it behooves one of the representatives from the provinces by the sea to get up and state to the House the conditions as they actually exist.

The government was advised last year that the wiping away of the $2.50 per ton duty on pig-iron and $7.00 per ton on rolled iron and steel would cripple the steel industry of this Dominion. What do we find? We find that whilst practically 115,000 men were employed in the steel industry in 1920, less than

75,000 men were employed in 1924; that while $150,000,000 was paid in wages to the men employed in the steel industry in 1920, only $90,000,000 was paid in 1924; that while in 1913 the total production of coal in the province of Nova Scotia was over 8,000,000 tons, that amount had fallen to something like 5,500,000 tons in the year 1924. And yet with a production that had fallen off by practically 3,000,000 tons, they are unable to find a market for their products.

While on the subject of coal, let me say that we have in the province of New Brunswick considerable coal deposits. In the county which I have the honour to represent in this House there is a coal mine, and although they have endeavoured to get our Canadian National Railway System to purchase their coal, which is within easy reach of the divisional station of Moncton and of Newcastle, I learned from the general manager less than a week ago that he had not been able to place the product of that mine for use on the Canadian National railways.

I bring this matter to the attention of the government because I believe ttiat this coal deposit in the province of New 11 p.m. Brunswick should be developed and encouraged, inasmuch as it is a much shorter haul for the coal from the

Beersville coal mine than it is from any other section of the province.

Having placed these facts before the House, in conclusion I wish to say that with conditions as they are to-day in the eastern provinces of this Dominion, what is required is the equalization of conditions. Let the transportation rates be such as to permit of our natural products, the products of the farm, the fisheries, the forests and the mines, reaching their logical market in the central provinces. Let the government consider the advisability of increasing the protective duty on bituminous coal so that our own coal in the Maritime provinces and Alberta may find its way to the central provinces, and that less of our good Canadian money be sent across the line to give employment to American workmen in the bituminous coal mines over there.

Mr. W. F. GARLAND (Ca^leton) moved the adjournment of the debate.


Henri Sévérin Béland (Minister of Soldiers' Civil Re-establishment; Minister presiding over the Department of Health)



I think it is a great disappointment to the House generally that this debate has not come to an end this evening, but in view of the intimation that a few more speakers intend to address the House I think we should now adjourn the debate, it being understood with the leader of the opposition that the debate might come to an end on Monday.

Motion agreed to and debate adjourned.

On motion of Mr. Beland the House adjourned at 11 p.m.

Monday, February 16, 1925


February 13, 1925