February 16, 1925

CON

Horatio Clarence Hocken

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HOCKEN:

I do not think so. If we had fifty per cent more population our National railways would not be rolling up

deficits but would be yielding a surplus, and that surplus could be applied to the reduction of freight rates.

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LIB

Lewis Herbert Martell

Liberal

Mr. MARTELL:

Keep clear of the National railways.

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CON

Horatio Clarence Hocken

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HOCKEN:

If we had fifty per cent

more population there would be that much larger number in Canada, spread over the country, to help to bear the burden of taxation and in consequence that burden could be lessened.

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CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

We would have to get

jobs for them.

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CON

Horatio Clarence Hocken

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HOCKEN:

My right hon. leader says we would have to get jobs for them, but I take the view that every .family suitably settled in the country represents that much more work. There might be difficulty in-the newcomers getting adjusted, but almost every immigrant who comes to a new country experiences more or less difficulty. The adjustment would take place and the immigrants would settle down in a short time and become excellent citizens.

At six o'clock the House took recess.

After Recess

The House resumed at eight o'clock.

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CON

Horatio Clarence Hocken

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HOCKEN:

The Address-Mr. Hocken

acquainted with the people in every part of the Dominion. What could be of more educative value to a group of children from Saskatchewan, say, who were bom and brought up there up to the time that they had earned such a scholarship? Those children would see the provinces of Ontario and Quebec and would learn something of the manner of life and the methods of livelihood of the people in the places they visited; and they could go to the Atlantic coast, staying such length of time as was found possible, under proper direction of teachers or instructors, or men who had been specially selected for their ability to make the greatest use of such an opportunity. Such an undertaking would not begin to show results in a year but I venture to say that in ten or fifteen years' time, after seven or eight hundred children had travelled up and down the country every year, the admirably useful effects would be apparent to every observer in the country. It will be argued that this parliament has nothing to do with education, and I admit that at bottom this is a matter of education. At the same time, it seems to me to be something more than education in the ordinary sense of the word, and I submit the proposal to hon. members for their consideration. If the government really desire to do something to bring about greater unity of sentiment throughout Canada I think they should carefully examine this suggestion. The cost, no doubt, would be considerable, but in my judgment it would be justified by results.

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LIB

William Daum Euler

Liberal

Mr. EULER:

Would you not obtain more immediate and practical results if you sent delegations of grown-up, intelligent men?

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PRO
LIB
LIB

George Perry Graham (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM:

They will follow.

Mr. HOCKEN; I do not know how the hon. member (Mr. Euler) would make the selection. It is to be presumed that to some extent at least men in business have an opportunity of travelling from one province to another.

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LIB
LIB

George Perry Graham (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM:

Would it not be cheaper

and more practical if the members of parliament themselves would travel on their passes and see their own country first?

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CON

Horatio Clarence Hocken

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HOCKEN:

I presume that was one

of the purposes of the passes, and I may inform the minister (Mr. Graham) that I have personally made use of mine, as I know he has done also. The minister has opportunities now of travelling under comfortable conditions.

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LIB

George Perry Graham (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM:

Beautiful.

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CON

Horatio Clarence Hocken

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HOCKEN:

If he would give us private cars we would all travel too. I agree that the members of parliament should, and to a considerable extent they do, make use of their passes to enlarge their knowledge of the country. However, notwithstanding what hon. gentlemen have said, I still think that the plan I have suggested is the best that could be submitted. We have to begin a thing of this kind with the rising generation, who are susceptible and who will learn things in their youth which they are not likely to forget. They would be anxious to go back, having once visited places of interest, and it would inspire them with a patriotic feeling towards the rest of the country. I am sure that the experience of such a trip would prove of great value not only to them but to their fellow students. I leave the suggestion with the members of the government for consideration.

There is one other matter which I intended putting on the order paper in the form of a resolution, but I thought it would be better to bring it before the government on the present occasion. Two yea"s ago I addressed the House on the question of encouraging the magazine industry of this country. No one can tell to what extent the exodus from Canada is brought about by the reading of United States literature. In my judgment it is due very largely to such reading. Our young men and young women have no other magazines to read, with the result that the United States is presented to them in every magazine they read as the land of promise, this is pounded into them issue after issue, and' eventually, if they move at all, instead of moving to another part of Canada they go across the border. My hon. friend the Minister of Railways (Mr. Graham) will know from his experience in journalism that the only way you can get a man to absorb an idea is to iterate it over and over again. That is exactly what is done by these United States magazines. That that country is a good place to live in, is a place where success is to be achieved, is repeated over and over again to our young men and' young women, and while, as I say, it is impossible to determine its exact effect, I do net think any reasonable man would deny that it must have a very great influence upon the minds of our young people. There is the other fact, that we allow a great deal of magazine literature to come in here that should never be published at all. As a matter of fact, the United States is considering measures for the purification of its magazine and periodical literature. Well, at least we should* not admit that kind of

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stuff. Then there is the other fact, that many of these magazines are 60 per cent advertising matter. If ihat advertising came in separately it would pay a duty of 15 cents a pound; mixed with stories and articles on various subjects it enters free. This works an injury to every Canadian manufacturer who is advertising, and it works an injury to the publishing business of this country. I submit that in view of all the evils which I have pointed out- the bad effect upon our young people, the unfairness to the magazine publishing industry and the manufacturing industry of this country, the government ought to do something. When I spoke on this question before the Minister of Finance (Mr. Fielding), wno unhappily is not able to be with us now, expressed approval of the proposal I then made, and I thought that was a pretty sure guarantee of something being done along the lines 1 had suggested. But nothing has been done. So I venture again to bring the matter to the attention of the government, and again to suggest that it would be good', sound public policy for the preservation of Canadian ideals in our young people to do the decent thing by an industry that has no protection, that is even met with taxes on its raw material, and that cannot survive unless it gets a chance to live through appropriate action by the government. I have witnessed scores of magazines started in Canada, but they have all failed. The very best brains of Canada were employed' upon them. Some of the men who were involved in those failures are now in the United States engaged in the magazine industry. The editor of the Ladies Home Journal, the highest class magazine they have over there, was trained on MacLean's magazine in Toronto. We have the editorial ability, we have the writing ability, we have the artistic ability, but we cannot possibly compete with the flood of pernicious magazine literature thas is sent in here from the United States. I should not say pernicious literature, because much of it is very good and would always come in. I do not care how high priced a book or magazine may be, if it has value in it people will buy it. And those people could afford to pay any reasonable tax that might be put on American magazines in order to make possible the continuance of the industry in this country. I therefore leave these two matters, both of which have an important bearing on the question of national unity, to the favourable consideration of the government.

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CON

John Lawrence Stansell

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. J. L. STANSELL (East Elgin):

Mr. Speaker, before entering upon the subject of the Speech from the Throne, I should like to 14i

endorse the final suggestion of the then, member who has just taken his seat. It must be apparent to every true Canadian that the flood of magazine literature from the country to our south is not in the best interests of Canada. We have only to look at the number of magazines and the quality of some of them on our news stands to realize that their perusal month after month is not likely to develop the best class of young Canadian manhood and womanhood. I am not a newspaper man, and therefore do not propose to offer a remedy, but I do say that something ought to be done to encourage Canadian authors and publishers. In addition to the evils that may be traced to the reading of many American magazines, there is also an' economic menace from the volume of advertising in such magazines attracting Canadian business that should be legitimately supplied by our own manufacturers.

The debates on the Speech from the Throne have for the first time in my recollection been carried on largely by one party in the House. Is it not worth while to ask ourselves if the people will not be curious to know just why the debate has become so one-sided? In this connection it may not be out of place to inquire the purpose of this debate. We must remember that very few of our electors have any opportunity to visit here, and the only way in which they can ascertain whether we have any grasp of the national situation today, and what remedies -we have to offer for anything that needs treatment, is by the printed word that goes out from this place. Many have spoken of the debate as a waste of time. This opinion is, I think, mistaken. Properly conducted, it is not a waste of time. It is true some speeches mi^ht very well be shortened, the ideas enunciated might be very well crowded into fewer words, but after all I believe the view of the electorate is that the debate on the Address in reply to the Speech from the Throne serves a useful purpose. The Speech placed in the mouth of His Excellency usually deals with national affairs and outlines what legislation will be introduced in an endeavour to improve the condition of the body politic. It is just like any other motion that comes before the House and is debated: the opposition exercise the undoubted privilege and right of criticising and bringing before the public what they think the true situation is and what, in their judgment, is the proper course to pursue. As the result of this the public form an intelligent opinion of what their representatives have in the way of a grasp of the situation and what the different parties have in the way of solution for any existing evils. H we rob parlia-

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ment of tMs we have done a great deal to rob the public of their share in the work of this House. We are their elected representatives and I feel sure that we are not doing our whole duty if we do not come here with some intelligent idea of what conditions are, of what conditions are that are wrong, and of what the solution should be.

That there is a desire at this particular time to shorten the debate, to limit discussion, there is no doubt. The silence of nearly all those on the government side is eloquent testimony to their desire, at least. What is still more strange is the corresponding silence of the party to my left. They have not always observed this anxiety for economy of time. This seems to be the first time they have completely bowed to the will of the government in this respect. I have been asked time after time by some who are interested and who voted to send the third party to parliament, just what my opinion was of the independence of that group. I have replied. I thought in all fairness, that with some notable exceptions many of those elected to that group were trying, as far as possible, to take an independent attitude on public questions. But I cannot see, Mr, Speaker, how I can give that same answer after this. It is strange to me, and I think the public will regard it as equally strange, that when the government evince a desire to shorten this discussion or to have practically no debate at all on the Speech, the Progressive party are so suddenly obedient to their will. As I have said, there must be a reason, and we will inquire for the reason.

A great deal has been said during the past year about pessimism in connection with public affairs. We of this party have been accused of being pessimists. I wish to say right here, and I believe I am speaking for every member of our party, that we have no reason for being pessimistic in regard to the future of Canada. But we do have a right to be pessimistic, to be doubtful of the means adopted by the present government working toward that end. And accordingly we have the right to suggest what we think is the proper course. If there has been such a thing exhibited as pessimism within the past year I want to say that the present government have given most glaring examples. As an illustration of pessimism I do not know of anything so striking as this empty, spineless document I hold in my hand, the Speech put into the mouth of His Excellency. I propose to prove that. Most of us remember what the Speech of last year was. You will recall that it started very much as this one does.

It asserted first that Canada was attaining prosperity and making great progress. It referred also to the cost of living and the efforts the government was putting forth to reduce it. It also announced with a flourish of trumpets that as a result of governmental policies, for the first time since 1912 or 1913 they were going to balance the budget. Not only that, but they would announce a surplus and a substantial reduction of debt; and, further, that the time had come when in the attempt to lower the cost of living a reduction in taxation should be given. Why, let me ask you, have they not continued the good work? Why are all such references absent from the present Speech? This fact is an eloquent if silent testimony to the failure of some of the policies put into effect during the past year. Does anyone mean to tell me th-at if the government were confidently looking forward to a substantial surplus this year; if the policy of reduced taxation was so sound that there would be a balancing of the budget and a still further reduction of duty-if this were the case, would the fact not have been mentioned in the Speech? I think it would, but we know very well that such has not been the case. Instead of that what do we have? The Speech starts out just as it did before. The anxiety to relieve the cost of living is just the same as it had been and has been ever since the time before the present Prime Minister took office. This has been a live subject. The government attempted to deal with it last year by a reduction of the tariff; now we are told they are going to try an entirely different tack. No

longer must we contemplate the cost of living and its remedy in reduced taxation.

In effect, by not continuing the discussion of the Speech, they tell us to turn our eyes from the present condition of affairs and not even consider the remedies that were applied last year and the failure of those remedies. They ask us to turn our eyes eastward toward the broad Atlantic and see the rising sun of Petersen, Preston and Company. That is now the important thing. But why not continue the policies of last year? The answer must be found in the fact that there was no surplus last year, with corresponding reduction of debt-and I have it on the authority of a supporter of the government in a speech made in this House that not only was there no surplus last year, not only was there no reduction of debt, but there was actually a deficit of $42,000,000. That must be the real truth of the situation; otherwise, had these policies been sound, had the budget statement of last year been correct, why have they not continued the good work, so nobly begun?

The Address-Mr. Stansell

We have had several speeches dealing with different aspects of the tariff and with the reductions made last session. An estimate was made at that time that the changes would result in a lessening of our revenue by about $24,000,000. If the estimates being made today are correct, they resulted in a falling off of at least twice that much in the revenues of this country.

Now, let us see for a moment: what is the real purpose of the tariff? Briefly, a tariff serves three purposes. One of those purposes is a source of revenue, and those who have occupied the treasury benches know that it is a substantial source of revenue. The second purpose is that it incidentally affords protection to those industries which are common to Canada. The third is that it provides a basis for bargaining in our trade relations with other countries. These three purposes are very useful ones and they should be continually borne in mind. It is true that the changes made last year were not very large. So far as they applied to agricultural implements they may not have affected the industry so very materially, because to offset what was done in the way of tariff reduction, free raw materials were given. In this particular instance the harm was most apparent. Many of the firms manufacturing the raw material formerly supplied to the makers of agricultural implements have either been put out of business or their operations have been seriously curtailed. Some I know of are operating at the present time out of capital at a loss, and operating only three days a week; so that indirectly the result of last year's tariff tinkering was unemployment, emigration, a deficit, a loss to the country of much needed revenue. To balance that, what have we in the way of material advantages? We had the figures given, and no one has disputed their accuracy, that to the farmer, the man most concerned, the man whom it was supposed to benefit, the prices of agricultural implements have not been reduced by one farthing by a reduction of the customs tariff -not even quite enough to make up for the loss of the sales tax. The net result to-day after three years work in the direction of reducing the cost of living, and in the direction of making cheaper the implements of production, is that the farmer, the one who was supposed to be benefited, is paying the same or more for his implements than when this government assumed power. The net result has been a loss of revenue, unemployment, emigration of our best class of labourers, and no one has got any benefit. In the face of this, is it any wonder that debate on this subject is not wanted? I am not at all surprised that the government do not care to have any debate on this subject, and that they are in a hurry to begin consideration of the control of ocean freight rates. I do not blame the government so much for their silence for this reason: it shows that with all their faults, they are just a little bit ashamed of their efforts and are troubled with remorse. What excuse, however, is there to offer for the action of the Progressive party, whose leader arises in his place and in effect says that now he has made his pronouncement everyone else must keep silent, there must be no more debate on this question by them. I must commend the leader of that party in a sense for his stand. He did perfectly right because the whole country knows that he and his party were a party to the mess that has been made.

We are told in the Speech from the Throne that the high cost of living is not going to be cured by further reductions in the tariff; it is going to be cured, and you will find the reference in the Speech, by consideration of transportation costs and immigration. The government, evidently proud of the success they have made in controlling transportation on the Great Lakes, have now ventured out into a larger field and are going to control, single-handed, ocean freights.

With regard to immigration, in the opinion of some people as well as the government the solution of Canada's difficulties lies in immigration. Let us inquire how far during the past three years immigration has operated to cure any of the ills from which we suffer. Of what use is millions spent on immigration while for every raw immigrant we bring into this country two native-born Canadians go out? Of what use is millions spent upon immigration if we cannot find jobs for the men we have? What have we as Canadians to offer to the intending immigrant? We have to say to them that we have a tremendous debt of about two and a half billion dollars; that in spite of our wonderful resources, in spite of all we say about Canada, we cannot make revenue and expenditure meet and are going further in debt every day. This is the bait we are to hold out to the intending immigrant to attract him here to help us pay our debts. Is it not an alluring prospect? That is the scheme that has been brought forward after three years by this government as a cure for the high cost of living-immigration. We do need immigration, but first of all, we need sound policies. First of all, we want to so economize that we shall be able to live within our revenue; we must show some signs of reducing our public debt; and when that is done all that will be necessary for Canada

The Address-Mr. Stansell

to do will be to keep out the undesirables, and the rest will be clamouring at the door for admittance. Imagine a government sending out agents and spending millions of dollars on immigration when the only thing we can say to the intending immigrant is: Come and help us pay our debts. You mght. just as well go to the man who is burdened with debt and unable to balance the family budget and say: All you need is an increase in the family. The first thing we want to do is to develop a sound policy, to practise economy, and have a real business administration of the affairs of this country, and until that is done the money spent on immigration is so much money thrown away.

The other solution offered by the government is the control of ocean freight rates. This is to be done by subsidizing a small line of about ten ships to the tune of a million dollars a year. In my judgment the real reason for this new scheme is to distract attention from the real condition of affairs in this country, from the fact that we are not balancing our budget, that we are not paying our way, but are going deeper and deeper into debt. It is to take our minds from that disagreeable subject that we are asked to consider the control of ocean freights. Some years ago, about the time Sir Wilfrid Laurier assumed power, an arrangement was made with a company known as Petersen, Tate and Company, by which a subsidy was given to a fleet of ships that was to give a quicker service between this country and the old land, and reasonable rates for passengers and immigrants. It is well to remember that this Petersen, of the Petersen, Tate Company, is the same Petersen that the arrangement is to be made with now, but then they were only being paid about half a million dollars; things were cheaper in those days. What was the result of that arrangement? In the first place I want this House and the country to remember that Petersen, Tate and Company failed entirely to live up to their contract, and although they had deposited a considerable sum of money with the Canadian government by way of guarantee, after they had failed to live up to their contract a most generous Liberal government gave them back their deposit. That was the result of the first attempt to control freight rates with the assistance of the Petersen, Tate Company.

Now let us look at the other scheme. Who was the man largely responsible for arranging this deal? We have been told this afternoon that it was W. T. R. Preston. As you have already heard, a number of years ago in my county a man going under the name of W. T. R. Preston was given control of affairs

for the Liberal party, and he attempted to control the elections in West Elgin by bogus ballot boxes and manipulation. Although West Elgin was traditionally Liberal and had always previously elected a Liberal, when the investigation following this particular election was over a Conservative was elected for that constituency and it has never chosen a Liberal since. You have heard much this afternoon from the hon. member for South Oxford (Mr. Sutherland) about the activities of this gentleman who has undertaken this great work in the interest of the Dominion. Much more could be added but the facts have been so well placed before the House that I will not enlarge upon them. Many members who are older in public life than I am are thoroughly conversant with the activities of this particular friend of the present government. The result of his exertions in West Elgin was not only to earn a most disagreeable name for himself but to bring disaster to the Liberal party. Has anyone any idea that the efforts of this man in connection with ocean freights, in combination with the Petersen firm that failed once before, are going to be productive of any greater success than he was able to achieve in West Elgin? Is it any wonder that we of this party view with considerable misgiving the prospects of success under such circumstances? Upon the strength of the report issued by this man a scheme has undoubtedly been arranged in connection with which a million dollars of the taxpayers money is to be paid. This is all being done upon the recommendation of a man whose activities in connection with Canadian public life have been such as were described here to-day. If there is a combine in connection with ocean freight rates, if we are paying excessive transportation charges at the present time, we are just as anxious to reduce these rates as anyone can be; but we have to remember that Canada already owns a merchant marine very much larger than the flee we are about to subsidize, and it is operating at a loss of about $2,000,000 each year, which loss the taxpayers of this country have to make up. I would ask, if freight rates are too high why is the Canadian merchant marine operating at a loss? The Canadian taxpayer already has had to dip down in his pocket to the tune of $2,000,000 to make good the losses of a fleet of sixty or more ships which the government own. Now we have a suggestion that to our merchant marine be added another fleet of ten ships upon which the Canadian taxpayer must pay out another million dollars. It is said we are going to control ocean freight rates. Was ever

The Address-Mr. Stansell

any idea more fantastic than that? If the solution put forward a year ago for a cure of the high cost of living was such a failure- and that it was a failure is admitted by this empty document placed in our hands to-day- then what can be looked forward to in the way of success from an effort along this line to control ocean freight rates?

It is not sufficient to criticise. If we are not satisfied with existing conditions we are expected to point out something that would effect improvement. Let me indicate what, in my humble judgment, I believe would be the proper course for Canada to take to-day. In doing this I want to address myself particularly to hon. gentlemen to my left because, like myself, they are interested from the farmer's standpoint. My hon. friends have now been in public life for three years or a little more. No doubt their intentions are just as good as the intentions of any of us who have been elected to this House. I believe my hon. friends are perfectly sincere in what they are trying to do, but they have as yet offered no national solution, if I may use the term, for Canada's difficulties. I have waited patiently during the past three years for some suggestion to come -from the west in the nature of a national solution, but in vain. What have we heard? We have heard when crops were poor that there should be a reduction of the tariff. When prices were low we were told the same remedy was required. When crops have been better and prices have been high we are still told what is required is a reduction in the tariff. Last year, as the result of their support of the government, and I believe on the part of very many against their better judgment we were given a sample of the reduction in the tariff with the results which I have outlined. The financial year which has closed was so unsatisfactory that the government avoided all reference to it in the Speech from the Throne. Indeed, no one appears to have derived any benefit from the government's policy. Surely our western friends can offer something better in the way of a solution of existing difficulties than merely to ask for a reduction in the customs tariff.

We might ask ourselves why a customs tariff is needed? I believe the answer is clear. No matter what our personal opinion may be, no matter what attractive arguments in favour of free trade can be presented, we are faced with the disagreeable fact that our immediate neighbour for over three thousand miles believes in a policy directly the opposite; and it is surely apparent 9 p.m. to any one who has any business instinct at all that it is absolutely impossible for us to work in the direction of free trade while our neighbour enforces high protection. A splendid illustration was given by the hon. member for Vancouver Centre (Mr. Stevens) the other night when he cited an illustration under which one side of Sparks street was given full liberty to trade, whereas the other side was strictly limited to its own immediate territory. That is the situation exactly. There is no possibility of an industry of any kind flourishing in Canada if it is entirely shut out of the American market, and forced to divide its own market with the country to the south. Such a thing is absolutely impossible and absolutely unjust; I give many of my western friends credit for good business judgment in recognizing that it is impossible to succeed in the face of such conditions, that it is impossible to adopt any such policy as they advocate when our neighbours are not in harmony with us. If trade with the United iStates is desirable there is no one thing that will so quickly bring about an improvement as putting up the barriers on our side to the extent they themselves have done. Let us do all we can to cultivate trade with nations that show a desire to trade with us, let us continue the Imperial preference, but surely in our own great interest it is far better to pursue a policy that will build up Canadian industries rather than the industries of the United States.

In my judgment there should be an immediate revision of the tariff, with the object of protecting Canadian industry from the unfair competition of our American neighbours. I should like very much to have some of our western friends who are satisfied with what has been done in the way of tariff reduction with respect to agricultural implements to spend a short time with the hon. member for Brantford (Mr. Raymond). They could then see for themselves what conditions are in that enterprising city, and just how little cause they have to be satisfied with their handiwork in the matter of customs reduction. They might also go to the fruit growing district where men, who had faith in Canada and invested their money in the country, were forced to allow acres of strawberries to rot for lack of a market, because the Canadian people in many of our large cities had bought the fruit from the United States, in many cases not as good, for twenty-five and thirty cents per box. Surely it would be good business to provide adequate protection for these men who are bearing their fair share of taxation, who have faith in Canada and have invested their money in the country. That is only one illustration but it is an important one. These foreign fruits come on

The Address-Mr. Stans ell

our market somewhat earlier and at a higher price, and those who are able to purchase them contribute very little, if anything, to the revenues of the country. By the time Canadian-grown fruit is ready, the market is pretty well satisfied, and I know of cases where four or five acres of strawberries rotted on the ground because they would not pay for the effort or labour of picking them. Surely it should be a Canadian policy to give, as far as possible, the benefit of our market to our own people. If there are those who are so wealthy that they can afford to buy this early fruit at a higher price, let them pay a reasonable amount into the revenues of the country. I would suggest that a duty of 20 per cent would not be out of the way for the protection of the small fruit growers of this country and that it would not work an injustice to anyone. Those who did not have sufficient money to buy the high priced fruit would be able to buy the Canadian fruit and those who wished to buy the high priced fruit would contribute something to the revenues of Canada.

Let us have a practical and immediate revision of the tariff with the object in view of preserving, for the Canadian people against the competition of the Americans, the Canadian market for Canadian industry, Canadian labour and Canadian production. This could be done by a board properly representative of all classes and could be made equally fair to all, no matter in what industry they were engaged. The main object should be the protection as far as possible by customs regulations of the Canadian market for the Canadian people as against the competition to the south. AVhen that is done, the respect in which we are held by the Americans will substantially increase, and I believe that we could obtain better trade relations than we have hitherto obtained from them if we used the means in our hands as a weapon in this way.

AA e are told, of course, by one of the nunisters that Canada is coming through. Perhaps he should have said: Coming through great tribulation in the matter of government. In the judgment of those Americans who see thousands of our citizens going over the line to find employment and homes in that country, Canada is certainly coming through. But if Canada is to get out of the woods and make the progress that she should, we must have, in addition to a sound trade policy, the most rigid economy, economy pressed to such an extent that it almost hurts. We have heard a great deal about economy in the last three years; but so far as I am able to judge, all the exhibition which

the present government have given of their understanding of economy, is the combination of letters that spells the word. We have not had real, stringent economy. We should have economy to such an extent that we shall have a balanced budget. When we are able to meet our obligations and to show a reduction of the national debt, then and not until then we shall be able to appeal to the right class of immigration and we shall be on the sound road to substantial progress.

There is a rumour that the anxiety on the part of two parties in this House for a short debate is that there is a prospect of an early election, and they wish to hurry through the work of the House in order to appeal to the people at an early diate. I do not know how true this may be; but if this be the case, there never was a time in the history of this country when the electors were more anxious for a reduction of taxation, for a sound administration at Ottawa, for unity, for economy and for progress than they are at the present time. If that is the desire, I am sure the people of this country will welcome the opportunity, and personally I would say: Do

not tremble on the brink; come on in, the water is fine.

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CON

John Babington Macaulay Baxter

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. J. B. M. BAXTER (St. John City and Counties of St. John and Albert):

Mr. Speaker, I shall not, I hope, add very much to the length of the debate to-night, but there are a few observations that I think ought to be made upon a matter of the suggested importance of the Speech from the Throne. There is a tradition, perhaps not much more than a tradition, that a Speech from the Throne is supposed to reveal the policy of a government when a government possesses a policy that is capable of revelation. I have searched the Speech from the Throne, which is at least moderately brief this year in comparison with previous efforts, and I fail to discover anything more than an effort at patchwork. I think, in the judgment of the people of Canada to-day, what is insistently required is a real, comprehensive policy that will fit Canada from one end to the other, and that most confessedly we have not such in the few scrappy sentences which are uttered for the purpose rather, perhaps, of distracting than of focussing public attention.

I do not want to take up much time and I do not think the people of Canada require much time to be taken up in disposing of the obvious misstatements in this Speech from the Throne. I doubt if there is such a wonderful difference between the state of the Maritime provinces to-night and that of the rest of Canada that the language of the open-

The Address-Mr. Baxter

iag sentences of the Speech can possibly be true of the rest of Canada and yet be false with regard to the Maritime provinces. Certainly in those provinces the economic situation has most decidedly not improved since the last session of this parliament. It has as distinctly retrograded. Just as certainly the cost of living has increased in the Maritime provinces; it has not decreased since the last session of this parliament. IVhy use these futile words that can deceive no one? The basic industries of the Maritime provinces are in no better and in a decidedly and visibly worse condition to-day than they were a year ago or at any time since this government took office, and I am not going to blame this government entirely for that condition. What I shall blame them for is that they have not yet created and I doubt if they ever will create a comprehensive, all-Canadian policy that will enable us to grapple with the difficult conditions that exist throughout Canada at the present time. You certainly cannot do it by reciting that the economic situation has improved nor by telling the people who know better that the cost of living has decreased.

I go further in this Speech and I find a statement with reference to our old friend, the Crowsnest pass. I am not going to take time to-night to belabour the governmen: for its variegated policy with regard to Crowsnest pass rates. I found myself only upon one sentence where they say that this matter will, in some measure, necessarily depend upon the decision of the Supreme court in the appeal. I would like all the silent members of the government-and that embraces every member of that body except the Prime Minister, so far as this debate is concerned-who have yet an opportunity of speaking, to point to a decision of the Supreme or any other court in Canada that brought the Crowsnest pass agreement into effect. Why go to the court to "everse the decision? The Crowsnest pass agreement was made by this legislative body of Canada, and if the government of the day were a virile government it would grapple with the question by legislation and not by the artful dodge of sending it from commission to court to deal with. I think I can safely suggest a policy to the government, but I am satisfied that there is so much division in their councils that they will never steal a policy or adopt one coming froim this or any other angle of the House. Wake up and give us a policy I I think it was last year that my hon. friend the Minister of Labour (Mr. Murdock) introduced a bill for the protection of the government; I commented on it as a bill

for the safety of children at sea, and the object of the bill was very patent to us all. This year they want to go to sea in a Britannia ruling the waves spirit, without a navy and for the purpose of fixing ocean rates; and the next thing they know they will be helplessly at sea again in the Supreme court with regard to constitutional questions. Let them give us a real policy. Do not let them bother with the ocean. Do not let them emulate King Canute sitting in his chair at the margin of the shore surrounded by his courtiers and ordering the waves to roll backward. That sort of thing is not worth while. Rather, let the government try to do something useful; let them give us a real policy that will be protective of Canada, a policy that will ensure the men who raise grain in the west that if they use Canadian channels of transportation instead of channels partly Canadian and partly American they will secure a rate as low as, or lower than, they can obtain by the hybrid route. Give us an all-Canadian route, and if you have $10,000,000 or other millions to squander on the Petersen system spend it on internal modes of communication, and route the grain by Canadian rail and Canadian water to Canadian ports instead of through foreign ports That is something which my friends of the government can control, but that policy would be national and therefore it is not required at the present stand.

I have spoken in this House on many occasions, and I shall speak again and again, on behalf of the Maritime provinces and their rights. We do not come here as suppliants nor as would-be tyrants; we simply ask for a fair and square deal in those provinces and we do not propose to be shut out of confederation and such benefits as may reasonably come to us from the existence thereof. I do not think that we are interested in a subsidy to ocean steamships, but we are interested in making the conditions within Canada such, that every pound of freight that Canada has for export will use Canadian rails and both grade systems, as well as Canadian lake systems, employing Canadian boats and making use of Canadian ports. WTe believe that a policy could be devised by w-hich those who enjoy the benefit of the British preference would have it withdrawn from them unless they utilized British shipping and Canadian ports. The government has had the power ever since coming into office, simply by means of an order in council, to bring that policy into effect; but all we have had has been a mere temporizing 10 per cent measure, with the results of which the ministry claim they are satisfied, so far

The Address-Mr. Baxter

as they go. Why are they afraid to take a further step? If the 10 per cent is successful why do they not go the whole distance? They need not be afraid of votes against them from this group.

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LIB

James Alexander Robb (Minister of Immigration and Colonization)

Liberal

Mr. ROBB:

Were not the hon. gentleman and his party opposed to the building of an elevator at Halifax for the purpose of shipping grain through that port?

Mr. MoMASTER: That is the wrong

port.

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CON

John Babington Macaulay Baxter

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BAXTER:

My party and the people of Halifax were opposed to the spectacle of ministers of the crown and their supporters rushing into that constituency on the eve of an election and pretending to discover the necessity for elevator requirements to which they had been oblivious from the day that Nova Scotia gave them sixteen solid and silent supporters. They woke up when they saw they were in peril of having the sixteen reduced to fifteen. And Halifax promptly turned the trick and gave them one less as a hint to the others to rouse themselves and stand up for their rights. We did not oppose elevator capacity in the Maritime provinces, but what we said on the platform in Halifax, and what I say to-night, is that down to that time there had not been the slightest effort to use the limited elevator capacity that had existed in that city. Down to that moment the government had been trucking and trading with two or three of their political supporters about different sites, as to which one it would be most advantageous to negotiate for. That is the sort of thing we were faced with. Will the government grapple with this question as a whole? I do not want to discuss Halifax or St. John from the standpoint of mere partisanship, but I do want to speak of their rights as part of the whole of Canada. The government talks about transportation. It has another sentence in the Speech about a freer movement of commodities through an equalization of railway freight rates as between provinces and localities, and something about lower carrying charges upon shipments by water. What does it mean? Not a minister of the crown has explained it. Are they suddenly dumb, or are they waiting to 3ee what it can be made to mean according to some peculiar side currents and drifts of opinion that may be moving in the House? I will tell them what I wanted to see in the Speech with regard to railway transportation: I wanted

them to come out and declare that the day of falsehood had ended in this country. Does the government realize our position in the Maritime provinces? Does it realize that

when we complained in this House of the shipment of automobiles through New London we were first put off with explanations, and that explanations were then sent to the newspapers from the head of the government railways to the effect that they were doing everything in their power to carry out the bargain with the people of Canada, that every pound of freight should be routed by Canadian rails through Canadian ports, and that the Canadian National railways were doing everything to implement the declaration of Sir Wilfrid Laurier? More than that, the St. John Telegraph sent two emissaries across Canada and they found shippers who declared that not only had they not routed their goods through American ports, but that they had never been asked by a representative of the Canadian National Railways to route them through Canadian ports. And yet we were deluded and deceived, for the people of Canada were told by the head of the National railways that every possible effort was being made to route traffic through Canadian ports, and that it was the shippers who had refused to do so. Those shippers who have come out in the open and made those statements are either right or wrong. If the government is doing anything else but sit on the fence, it will ascertain whether its servant or whether these shippers are making false statements. We had been led to believe by the very people in charge of the National railways that there was a deep-rooted hostility in the western part of Canada to the use of the ports of the eastern provinces, and now our investigators find that the trouble is somewhere else. Transportation policy! Why do hon. gentlemen opposite from Nova Scotia keep quiet throughout this debate when they have not a jot or tittle of assurance of improvement of the conditions to which I have referred, and which must be as well known to them as to me. Why is it that not a minister connected with transportation or any other service of the government railways explains the policy of the government and how they propose to implement it? Has the Speech from the Throne become a barren congeries of words with no meaning and no result?

When a gentleman sat opposite as Minister of Railways w'ho had, I believe, the confidence and good feeling of every member of the House-and in saying that I mean no disparagement at all of his honourable successor-in I think the first remarks I addressed to this House on the railway question I suggested that what was necessary was the cutting down of the enormous waste because of virtual

The Address-Mr. Baxter

railway duplication, that nothing else could save us except an accord between the railways -co-operation instead of competition. Has any step been taken in regard to that as a national policy or to put it in operation? Are we doing anything else to-day except foolishly bucking one national railway against the other national railway? For that is exactly what is occurring to-day. Not an attempt is made to cut out duplication of services. I do not want to be misunderstood. I do not want to see anything like the Board of Railway Commissioners imposing their will upon the two railways; I do not want to see this government pass legislation to impose what it may think to be the will of the people upon the railways. All I ask is that the heads of the two railways shall be invited-as business men trying to solve a common question would invite each other-to sit in a conference and discuss the means by which a combination of the respective systems may be operated more profitably and with less expense. Not merely millions but tens of millions of dollars can be saved to this country by such a course. And that money, whether it is paid as freight rates to the Canadian Pacific or to the Canadian National, is coming just the same out of the pocket of the Canadian taxpayer. But what is the answer we get from the Canadian National Railways? A blast and blare of radio from the Moncton station; great speeches, wonderful noises and rumblings all over the continent; "Hello; good fellow" to every man in the service of the road; amusement for the passengers; but never a sign of co-operation, nothing but coming to this parliament for money and more money and more money still to make good deficits, and never a thought that by a few hours reasonable consultation with the other great system millions of dollars of unnecessary expense might be eliminated.

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LIB

George Perry Graham (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM:

Now my hon. friend has

made this statement two or three times, will he allow me a word?

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February 16, 1925