April 3, 1925

CON

Henry Lumley Drayton

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir HENRY DRAYTON:

Does my hon.

friend know what proportion of the reparation damages that amount represents?

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

Robert Alexander Hoey

Progressive

Mr. HOEY:

I think it amounts to considerably over one-half.

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

Henry Lumley Drayton

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir HENRY DRAYTON:

I am sorry to

tell my hon. friend that as a matter of fact it is less than one per cent.

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

Robert Alexander Hoey

Progressive

Mr. HOEY:

I will read this statement:

Payments already made for the reconstruction of war damage of all kinds amount to 98 billion francs, and it is reckoned that another 84 billions will be necessary to complete the cost of compensation and reconstruction. Under annex V of the treaty, Germany also undertakes to deliver to France 7 million metric tons of coal annually for ten years, and to make good any deficiency due to war causes in the production of coal in the department of Nord and Pas de Calais. The most important manufactures are of metals, watches, jewellery, cabinet-work, carving, pottery, glass, chemicals, dyeing, paper making, woollens, carpets, linen, silk, and lace. Glass manufacture and pottery are also important, and the sardine fisheries and the culture of oysters are of a source of wealth.

So that according to the official statement of France reproduced in Whitaker's Almanack, page 785, over one-half the reparations have been paid.

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

Henry Lumley Drayton

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir HENRY DRAYTON:

I am afraid my hon. friend is very much astray according to the last report which I have. However, I do not wish to delay him.

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

Robert Alexander Hoey

Progressive

Air. HOEY:

Now, let us look for a moment at the obligations of the two countries.

The Budget-Mr. Hoey

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

James Alexander Robb (Minister of Immigration and Colonization)

Liberal

Mr. ROBB:

Would my hon. friend allow

me; it is only for information; he has made a study of this matter: As he knows England collects 26 per cent on the amount levied on imports into Germany applied to reparations. Can he tell us to what extent that is represented in the amount which has been paid?

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

Robert Alexander Hoey

Progressive

Mr. HOEY:

That would undoubtedly be

included but I am sorry I have not got the figures. [DOT]

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

James Alexander Robb (Minister of Immigration and Colonization)

Liberal

Mr. ROBB:

My hon. friend does not know to what extent?

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

Robert Alexander Hoey

Progressive

Mr. HOEY:

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

Thomas Wakem Caldwell

Progressive

Mr. CALDWELL:

Before we get away

from Great Britain's loans will the hon. member tell us if anything has been collected, either in interest or in principal, on the loans Britain made to her allies.

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

Robert Alexander Hoey

Progressive

Mr. HOEY:

I should not like to be

dogmatic but my judgment is at the moment that nothing in the way of principal or interest has been paid.

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

Henry Lumley Drayton

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir HENRY DRAYTON:

There is but one exception, Poland, as I recollect-a very small proportion.

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

Robert Alexander Hoey

Progressive

Mr. HOEY:

I want to quote briefly from an article which appeared in the Saturday Evening Post of two weeks ago by Mr. Garet Garrett dealing with conditions in France:

On the state of visible and audible facts, the French people, who idolize reason, are suddenly very difficult to comprehend. What controls them is an event of the mind. It is not an idea; they seem unconscious of it. From this arises the complex probability that they do not comprehend themselves.

The three principal physical facts are these:

First, since the war, their ancient power of agriculture has declined. Yet one would have expected this to be the first power restored by all means.

Second, since the war, their industrial power has increased. It is now greater than ever before.

Third, the apparent economic prosperity of France is the first wonder of Europe.

It cannot be that the decline of French agriculture is owing to the scars of war. The scars are deep. Emotionally and politically, they are deep. Physically, as touching the product of the fields,

Nevertheless it is clear that France, hitherto potentially self-sustaining in food, with a precious economic equilibrium between industry and agriculture, has set her feet in a new road. If she pursues it, then more and more, like England, she will buy her food, exchanging for it the products of her fabricating skill and artistry''.

It is the immemorial way of empire, already old in the time of ancient Greece.

Meanwhile, of course, the price of bread is rising, to everybody's wonder, and the French parliament, in the silly way of parliaments, votes 100,000,000 francs to make the price behave.

The food imports of France now are greater than before the war, amounting to nearly 4,500,000 tons annually; her exports are correspondingly greater of such things as wines, perfumes, soaps, silks, cotton and woollen textiles.

The spectacle is pleasing. It makes one feel very genial. And one asks what is wrong. Why is it saic there is anything wrong? Is prosperity not its owr witness? The people are better off. Therefore thei-new way is right. The method pays. They can afforc to buy their food.

Yet there is a grotesque contradiction. What is wrong is intangible. You do not see it.

Notwithstanding the material prosperity that is the envy of other countries; notwithstanding the higher standards of living, the greater well-being of people, the brilliant trade record, the increase of industrial power of which the translation is what you see- despite or because-the financial condition of France is desperate.

Since the war the value of the franc has fallen from eighteen cents to less than five, and although it has recovered a little, nobody can imagine that it will ever go back to where it was. The government's credit is low and running out. Its bonds sell at a discount even among its own people; and how to balance the state budget-that is, how to make income equal outgo and bring the state back to a condition of solvency- is a problem of such difficulty that there seems no immediate solution. The rich have been discovered trying to get their capital out of France because they think it

The Budget-Mr. Hoey

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

Andrew Ross McMaster

Liberal

Mr. McMASTER:

Not bad for a country

ruined by free trade.

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

Robert Alexander Hoey

Progressive

Mr. HOEY:

During this debate statements were also made in an attempt to show

The Budget-Mr. Hoey

that American industries, French and German industries, were driving the industries of Great Britain into the sea. I do not know if that was the exact statement he used but that was the substance of it. The hon. member for Fort William and Rainy River in reply to a question some time ago made this statement:

I am not saying that it favours the manufacturer. England is a free trade country and the fact that they do not favour the manufacturer is one of the reasons that to-day the manufacturers of England are finding it difficult to carry on their business because protectionist Germany, the United States and France are dumping their stuff into England. That is the reason the manufacturers are being put out of business.

I have here a statement made by Sir Charles W. Macara on the cotton industry, and I do not think anyone will question his authority to speak on that industry, in Great Britain at least. Referring to the depressed condition of the industry at the time he spoke, he said:

I have shown again and again that Lancashire has nothing to fear in the matter of foreign competition, given an ample supply of the raw material and control of the output of yarn and cloth scientifically, to meet the vicissitudes inseparable from a great international trade.

I should like to direct the attention of the Acting Minister of Finance (Mr. Robb) to the next statement, "It is all a question of proper organization":

At the time of writing, a telling object lesson comes to my notice. Two important American spinners and manufacturers, with whom I have been discussing cotton trade matters, inform me that it is still impossible to put down mills in America, even with the considerable reduction in the price of machinery and building, at less than double the cost of building and equipping mills in Lancashire, and Lancashire mills still cost fully double the pre-war rate. To this has to be added the further handicap that Lancashire operatives can spin finer and better yarn than is produced in America from cotton of a somewhat cheaper and lower grade than is used in the United States. These two circumstances combined must give Lancashire an enormous advantage in the markets of the world, especially when it is taken into consideration that America is, perhaps, farther advanced in the art of cotton manufacture than any other foreign country.

I quote that statement actuated by a twofold purpose. In the first place I want to show that the Americans are not driving British industries into the sea; indeed the Americans are demanding to-day higher tariffs on cotton goods coming from Great Britain into that country. But Sir Charles Macara attributes that, not to normal trade but to the fact that there was a price war amongst the cotton manufacturers of England which led to a slaughter of prices and to a consequent demand for 'greater protection on the part of the American manufacturer. I have quoted the passage, I say, to show that the industries in 119i

Great Britain are not being driven to the wall in the sense that some people think. No one will doubt the authorities I have quoted, and I believe I have established that contention. In the second place, I have submitted the quotation to base a question upon it. How can we possibly hope to build up a cotton industry in this country to compete with the cotton industry of Great Britain, organized as it is there, without imposing upon the Canadian consumers for perhaps half a century an almost unbearable load? It is quite true that there are certain lines in which the Americans excel and in which perhaps in a sense the Britishers are not quite on the same level. But unless our manufacturers here endeavour to specialize I cannot see that they have a chance in the world in the next half century of competing successfully with the British manufacturers. The only possible way in which they could compete would be by lifting our tariff schedules up considerably higher than they are at tihe present time.

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

James Arthurs

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. ARTHURS:

Has the hon. gentleman any figures as to how many industries in Great Britain are protected under the Safeguarding of Industries Act?

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

Robert Alexander Hoey

Progressive

Mr. HOEY:

The Safeguarding of Industries Act has been abolished. I will tell the hon. gentleman this, that the cotton industry has certainly not been protected under the Safeguarding of Industries Act. Now, Mr. Speaker, I have taken up altogether too much time but there are just a few general observations I desire to make before concluding. I have been thinking for some time that it might be wholesome if we had brought down and submitted to the House a statement showing the entire obligations of the Canadian people-a statement, I mean, showing not only our federal obligations but our provincial and municipal undertakings as well, together with other obligations of an almost private nature. If we had such a statement as that one might well pause and ask who is the real owner of this country. And I am of the opinion that the submission of such a statement would shock the Canadian people, as they have not so far been shocked, into a sense of the absolute need for drastic retrenchment and economies in public expenditures, economies not only in the federal field but in the provincial and municipal spheres as well. I may be growing unduly pessimistic in my old age but I cannot help feeling that this young nation is losing its enthusiasm; I cannot help feeling that Canada at this juncture is losing nerve and showing evidence of drift. I do not know to what extent governments are respon-

The Budget-Mr. McKillop

sible for that condition; they may not be responsible at all. It may be that the Canadian people are suffering too much from government intervention, from government subsidies and doles and from government interference; and it may be that a temporary withdrawal of interference in a great many of these respects would throw the Canadian people back upon their own initiative and upon their own resources and would exercise a wholesome influence on the public life of the country. During the course of a speech delivered before a convention of the United Farmers held in Brandon some months ago, after I had attempted for an hour to evolve and outline a policy which I considered would be measurably equitable to all sections of this country, I incidentally made the statement that if the different sections of Canada could not be held together on a basis of justice I did not see why they should be held together at all. I do not know why that statement was broadcast from ocean to ocean. There was no doubt in my mind at that time that such a policy could be evolved; I never doubted that for a moment. But if such a policy is going to be evolved it will require courage; it will require men of exceptional and outstanding ability, men who will have to displace some of us even if they come into public life at tremendous sacrifices.

It seems to me that unless such men are prepared to make the sacrifices and give this country a lead, the outlook is far from promising. If such men are prepared to come in-and frankly I do not care whether they come in as Liberals or Conservatives or Progressives or members of the Ginger group, provided they are men of ability, courageous and fearless men, and patriotic in the truest sense of the term-if such men are available in this crisis, then I have no fear as to the ultimate outcome. As my concluding statement, Mr, Speaker, allow me to read into the record an excerpt from a speech delivered of Ramsay MacDonald, ex-Prime Minister of Great Britain:

There will be no more grand political days, no more political giants, until politics is raised from being a hasty auctioneering scramble to being an expression of large hope and inspiring ideals.

Mr. HUGH C. McKILLOP (West Elgin): Mr. Speaker, the budget which has been brought down by the Acting Minister of Finance (Mr. Robb) is, to say the least, quite a complicated affair. From the great jumble of figures it is hard for the average taxpayer to tell how much the Dominion is in debt. In fact, if it were to be shown to the average citizen without his being told what it was,

[Mr. Hoey.J

he would at once come to the conclusion that it was the very latest in cross word puzzles. Unfortunately conditions in this country today are very serious, much more- so than the average citizen dares admit. When we think of the great amount of money going out of the country every year for goods that we can produce, when we look around and see so many industrial plants standing idle, so many working men without work, taxes going higher each year, expenditure increasing apace, new forms of taxation being invented so as to raise more money from the already overburdened taxpayers,-when all these things are considered, is it any wonder that the people are getting so restless and murmuring, "When is there going to be a sto-p to this? When is the burden going to be lightened? When is the economy that the Prime Minister was so fond of recommending before coming into office going to be put into effect?" This government has been in power for four years, and as yet there is no sign of economy. To-day over 2,000 industrial plants are closed down, thousands of unemployed are walking our streets, thousands of our working men with their families have left Canada to reside in the country to the south of us. All this I claim is wrong. The loss of so many working men is nothing short of a national disaster. While we all realize that agriculture is our basic industry, yet I contend t.ha* a satisfied working man is one of Canada's best assets; and further, I contend that there is not a more loyal or more law-abidin

class of citizens than our working men, and it should be the duty of the government to give them every encouragement to stay here. I am convinced that it is not doles that the working man wants. All he asks is a square deal, steady work and wages that he can live on, raise his family and educate them for the battle of life. That is all the average working man asks, and surely it is not too much. Now, let me say that I hold no brief for bolshevism or bolsheviks. The working man that I refer to is the sincere and honest working man, a man who wants 'o give an honest day's work for an honest day's pay, and I am satisfied that 90 per cent of our working men belong to that class.

Since the debate began, Mr. Speaker, a great mass of figures has been quoted to prove arguments, and while I do not intend to weary the House further along this line, still I wish to express my very strong opinion that practically all our manufacturing industries need protection, and I propose to refer to two of them to emphasize this need. Take our boot and shoe industry. As is well known,

The Budget-Mr. McKillop

we have 190 boot and shoe factories scattered over the Dominion from the Atlantic to the Pacific, representing an investment of millions of dollars and employing thousands of hands in the manufacture and marketing of their goods. These factories have a very heavy payroll and spend a lot of money for raw material, and I think all hon. members will agree with me that they are a great asset, to the Dominion. But, unfortunately for them, the tariff has been lowered to an alarming extent, allowing outside competition from countries where labour is so much cheaper and other conditions so unequal that our factories cannot overcome the handicap. I *would draw attention to the fact that while our duty on shoes from the United Kingdom is only 15f .per cent, British shoes going into New Zealand have to meet a duty of 28i per cent, and into Australia a duty of 38i per cent. Anyone will understand what this means to the Canadian manufacturer. It simply means that the Canadian duty on imported British shoes barely offsets the difference in wage costs alone, leaving no protection to the Canadian industry against 'higher costs of material, higher taxes and other factors. In this connection let me read a clipping from a publication of recent date dealing with this matter:

Importations of British boots and shoes into Canada increased remarkably during the 12 months ended February last, as compared with the preceding 12 months. Figures issued by the Dominion Bureau of Statistics show that the value of British boots and shoes imported sprang from $663,455 in the 12 months ended February, 1924, to $1,053,078 in the 12-month period just concluded.

This is one result of the lowering of the tariff protection, and there is the further result that the whole boot and shoe industry is headed for bankruptcy unless the present unhappy conditions are righted.

There is another class to whom I wish to refer briefly-our vegetable growers, more commonly known as truck gardeners. This is a business that a great many are engaged in throughout Canada, and especially in the counties of Essex, Kent and Elgin, in the province of Ontario, where many thousands of dollars are invested in greenhouses and land suitable for the production of this line of produce. Owing to the difference between the climatic conditions of this country and those of the southern part Of the United States, where vegetation is much earlier, the southern producer has a great advantage- that of earlier marketing. As a consequence, when our producers here are ready to market their crops they find the home market

flooded with vegetables from the southern states. One result is that many Of our producers cannot find a market for their produce at all, and another is that thousands and thousands of good Canadian dollars find their way to the south for commodities which are produced here a little later in the season.

I contend, Mr. Speaker, that these truck gardeners should have protection, and plenty of it; I am convinced that they need it. In this connection I remember reading of an interview between a deputation of onion growers from Essex county a few years ago, in Windsor, with the then Minister of Finance (Mr. Fielding) and the hon. Minister of Railways (Mr. Graham)-and by the way, I am sorry the Minister of Railways is not in his seat at the moment. The deputation was from the constituency of the Min-inister of Railways himself, and they asked that more duty be put on onions coming into this country. The answer of the Minister of Finance was: "It is not our policy to put

more duty on anything, is it, George?" The Minister of Railways replied: "I did not say that in my election campaign." I presume from that remark of the hon. Minister of Railways that he gave the Minister of Finance to understand that in his election campaign he had made promises to the electors in 'this connection. Well, it was only one of a good many promises made by members of this government to be elected on, but soon forgotten. The onion growers are still waiting for the minister to keep his word and give them the protection they so manifestly need.

Since coming to this House, Mr. Speaker, I have at every session asked the government to put a higher duty on beans coming into this country. At present the duty is twenty-five cents per bushel, while on beans going into the United States the duty is $1.05 per bushel, I contend that this is not fair to our bean producers, and why the government persists in leaving this duty where it is is beyond me. If there is any good reason, I would like to hear it. If any hon. member of the government can tell me the reason, I would like to hear him explain why this duty is left year after year the way it is. I will wait a moment for an answer. As no answer is forthcoming, I will take it for granted there is no reason, and that the government knows the bean producers should have more protection.

I wish to give the House, Mr. Speaker, a statement which will show the quantities of beans imported into this country during the fiscal year ended' March 31, 1924, and

186S

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

Charles Gavan Power

Liberal

Mr. C. G. POWER (Quebec South):

Mr. Speaker, though I have been a member of this House for -a number of years I have never yet ventured to address it on the budget. I only do so to-night because by custom and tradition it is the time-honoured occasion on which his subjects and followers lay before the King their grievances before they vote the supply necessary to -carry on his government.

I wish to congratulate th-e government upon the budget as brought down, not -because there was a great deal in it, but rather because there was very -little in it. We have arrived at a stage in our country's development when it behooves the government to make haste slowly, to proceed with prudence and caution. Admittedly,, and -undoubtedly, conditions -in this -country are not good. Trade is bad, business is bad, and whatever we may say, the state of our national finances is not good. We have not reached the stage where we can afford to tinker with the tariff. Last year we did -make certain changes in -the tariff, and -there -are some who think no very great good was done, -but at any rate there is one very sure thing, no very great -harm was done.

I agree to. a large extent with what has been said 'by my hon. friend from Springfield (Mr. Hoey) in his -admirable address this evening, that we need -tariff revision, but as I said before, we must proceed slowly. The tariff is full of -contradictions, anomalies and inconsistencies. It -must be revised!, and it must be revised by persons who have the time and the ability to study it, and make recommendations with regard to it which will be for the general good -of the country. They must study the conditions of every -trade and of every industry -to see that these industries and trades may be carried on in the best possible manner, always having reference to the -general welfare of the country. To that end the government very wisely, I think, decided to create a tariff board, not a tariff board which

The Budget-Mr. Power

would be independent of the government, which of its own initiative would decide what should be the fiscal policy of this country, for our constitutional system does not permit of any outside dictation. The revenues to carry on the king's government must be raised by the king's ministers, who must decide upon the policy which is to be fallowed in order to raise those revenues. This 'board, as I understand it, is to be of a purely advisory mature, a board which will study the conditions of industry, and having studied those conditions and having obtained the fullest possible information, report to the Minister of Finance, who then with the aid of his colleagues will frame the government policy and be responsible for it on the floor of this House and in the country.

My hon. friend from Springfield asks whether this board is to be instructed to base their recommendations upon the principle either of free trade or of protection. So far as I am concerned, Sir, I would tell the tariff board to pay no attention to the principle either of free trade or of protection. I would tell the tariff board to give us advice as to the conditions of each industry, irrespective of whether the policy of the government should be one of free trade or of protection. To my mind, Sir, there is no such thing as principle in the tariff. The tariff is only a question of opportunity, after all. Each industry must be judged' on its own merits, and on the conditions of the country at the particular time the study is made. If the tariff were based on principle, how is it that in a tariff such as we have, admittedly protectionist, there are so many articles on the free list? If it is based on principle, how is it that there are some articles on the free list, and yet those very same articles are dutiable when utilized in some other industry? It seems to me, Sir, this is to a large extent due to the very thing which we wish to get away from by the creation of a tariff board-to government by delegation. Delegations from some particular industry, delegations representing interested parties, call on the Minister of Finance before the budget is to be made, and very often meet, with a sympathetic hearing, and various articles are placed on the free list, or are made dutiable, irrespective of their relation to the rest of the tariff. This has occurred, I think, under high protectionist Tories and under tariff stability Liberals. I think both parties have been remiss in this respect. A tariff board can make a clean-up of the whole situation, and make our tariff consistent all the way through. We shall then eventually arrive at some sort

of a policy to which we may at any rate for a considerable time be able to adhere.

We have heard a great deal in this House during the past year on tariff stability. I think it is admitted that this very same system of government by deputation and delegation has on many occasions done away with tariff stability, and the very men in this House who have been urging us to stick to the Laurier-Fielding tariff as a suitable tariff would possibly be the very men who some day, when it suited a particular industry in which they were interested, would come before the Minister of Finance and the government of the day and ask for tariff changes.

I hope that when this tariff board comes into operation it will make a study of the British preference. As I understand, from my reading of recent political history, the British preference perhaps has been a good thing, perhaps is a good thing now; I do not know; but it has been said, and perhaps with truth, that after all the British preference was only introduced by Sir Wilfrid Laurier in 1896 in order to show the Tories that he could be as loyal as they were. It may have benefited the country too, incidentally, but I think the principal reason was a political one. That reproach to the Liberals now having disappeared it might be well for this tariff board to look into it carefully and to see if certain industries were not injuriously affected by the British preference.

One of the only things of importance introduced in the budget was the increase of duty on slack coal. I think the government deserves congratulations on that .point, and I hope the provision will be of some benefit to Nova Scotia. That province is going through a period of hard times, owing to high freight rates, prohibitive tariffs on the American side, and other reasons too numerous to mention. For years Nova Scotia has not obtained much profit from confederation. It is, in fact, one of the few provinces which were coerced into confederation. It has suffered patiently, courageously; it has not attempted to form sectional groups with a view to bludgeoning or blackmailing either of the political parities into granting it special favours. It has, as I said, suffered courageously and patiently without complaint; and now, at the time of its trial I think it is the duty, as it should be the pleasure, of the remaining provinces of Canada to treat it fairly and generously; to attempt, in so far as possible, to equalize its opportunities with those of other provinces and to allow it ito derive the best possible advantage from the resources which nature has given it. It is to be hoped, however, that the

The Budget-Mr. Power

miners 'of Nova Scotia will profit, in some degree at least, by the increase of duty which has been placed on the products on which they labour. It would be a calamity, a catastrophe, if sdhemers such as Wolvin, and bullies such as MfiLurg profit in any way from what it intended for the benefit of the whole people of that province. I do not desire to-night to enter into a discussion of the merits or demerits of the miners' case or that of the Beseo company in the warfare in Which they are at present engaiged. But let me say this: Owing to a turn of the wheel of fortune, or perhaps through mismanagement on the part of the military authorities, I found myself at one time a lieutenant in the third Toronto bat' talion. Drafted to us there were sixty or seventy-five Nova Scotia miners. What men from Quebec and from Nova Scotia were doing in a Toronto battalion, and why we were sent there I 'have never been able to find out; but all those seventy-five were among the bravest, the truest, the most patient, the most hardworking and the most courageous -of tlhe whole battalion. I cannot believe, Sir, that those men-those that are left of them-their brothers and their fathers have here in Canada become malingerers and bolshevists. I cannot believe that men who were so brave on the field of battle and were so readty to do anything that was asked of them would be to-day deliberately committing sabotage and refusing to do the work which they could do.

Another innovation has been introduced into this year's budget, and I hope a successful one, that of placing an export tax on power. There are a number of theories which have been evolved in this country in relation to the disposal of our natural resources. It is no't for me to go into these theories and to discuss them here to-night. Time does not permit of that and I do not think the occasion is ripe for it but I will say this: It ill

becomes a party which allowed the whole cost of the war to be borne by future generations when it could have taxed its own friends the profiteers when it need not have issued tax-exempt bonds, to say what those future generations shall do with the resources which Providence has put at their disposal. It ill becomes also the party which for the past few years has been preaching up ana down this country that we are bankrupt or on the verge of bankruptcy, to prevent us from using those natural resources which we have in order to put us on our feet. As well tell a man who has been ruined in his business but has victory bonds in the bank, that he must not sell those bonds but must allow him-

self to go bankrupt. We should be allowed if we are on the verge of bankruptcy, at any rate to use what we have in order to place ourselves once more in a sound position. Furthermore it is hardly the time, when trade is bad, when the same party of which I have spoken declares that business is bad throughout the country, to dislocate industries such as those carrying on the exportation of pulpwood, of nickel, or asbestos, until at least such times as we have attained a certain state of normalcy. Then the occasion will be propitious to discuss whether or not the export of our natural resources should be prohibited. The government has decided, wisely I think, to profit to some extent by the use of these natural resources, and by placing an export duty on power a certain amount of revenue will be derived. I hardly think however the tax will affect the people of Canada and we will have found one means at least which potentially will become of great value to the Dominion as a whole.

I had intended saying a word or two in reference to the Petersen contract seeing that I was unable to obtain an opportunity of speaking when the matter last came before the House. I am glad to say that the Prime Minister has enlarged the scope of -the committee to which this matter has been referred so as to permit any suggestion other than that contained in the Petersen contract to be advanced. I would here make one suggestion and it is this: Let the government instead of entering into a contract with Sir William Petersen use its own Canadian mercantile marine. Not to administer it itsdif; rather than do that I would be prepared to vote the Minister of Defence two or three million dollars to sink the ships; but let them give the ships to Sir William Petersen. Let him run the ships. Apparently he is a very good man. In that way we might break the combine and we would save seven or eight million dollars a year. There is no doubt to my mind that there is a combine and that it has been disadvantageous 10 this country. That it has injuriously affected our trade I think there is no doubt. It has, I am sure, affected the interests of certain Canadian ports, and among others the port and harbour of Quebec, which brings me to a matter which I hardly like to mention at this stage, but which I am forced to bring to the notice of this House since I have no other means at my disposal of drawing to the attention of the government this very urgent matter. For years, Mr. Speaker, as you are probably aware, the equipment and development of the port of Quebec has been made a species of political

The Budget-Mr. Power

football at the hand's of all parties, of all shades and colours.

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

Robert Forke

Progressive

Mr. FORKE:

Not the Progressives.

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

April 3, 1925