April 6, 1925

LIB

Edmond Antoine Lapierre

Liberal

Mr. LAPIERRE:

In reply to my hon.

friend, I may say that all that land has been abandoned by the farmers. It is to-day the most suitable land that could be taken up by 122

the government and used for reforestation. There are certain lands in northern Ontario which, when stripped of their timber, are not of any use for agriculture. In the ollden days less care was taken in the selection of farm land owing to the high prices obtained for farm produce. Lumbering was being carried on on a large scale in Ontario. In the old days, timber was floated down the Ottawa and taken as far as Quebec, largely from that section. A tremendous market was created for the farmers in that district, but once the timber was cut and the lumber camps moved from that section of Ontario, the farmer had no market for his produce. In order to make this clear to my hon. friend I may say that in that section the farmers raised nothing except hay, oats and potatoes. Their land was hardly rich enough to make farms.

Now, Mr. Speaker, in this report of Sir Frederick Williams-Taylor I find the third item is, mineral products $158,000,000. It has been an annual' habit of mine to quote figures illustrating the tremendous production of minerals in northern Ontario. Without taking up too much time I will quote a few figures to show what the mineral wealth of northern Ontario means to the future development of Canada. During the last few years tremendous developments have taken place in northern Quebec and northern Ontario. In the great pre-jCambrian range, the most important, the largest, and the most extraordinary deposit of mineralized rock has been discovered. That district, extending from the province of Quebec right around the shores of Hudson bay and reaching into the Yukon, with its southern extremity in Minnesota, will produce almost all the valuable metals known to science, and it has been said by the mineralogists of our Department of Mines that the surface of the country has only been scratched. Here are the figures of the production of northern Ontario for 1924:

Gold *25,000,000

Silver 11,500,000

Copper 13,000,000

Nickel 20,000,000

Now it is interesting to note what this industry means to the other parts of Canada and I have here a table showing what the mines buy by provinces, as follows:

Nova Scotia $ 821,288

New Brunswick 94,968

Quebec 310,790

Ontario 3,382,064

Manitoba 29,214

Saskachewan 31,536

Alberta 789,748

British Columbia 1,892,322

Total *7,382,526

The Budget-Mr. Lapierre

The wages paid were $33,000,000, supplies $25,000,000 and dividends $10,000,000. The following will show who benefits from the production of mineral wealth. Taking the northern Ontario mineral production of $68,284,658 and setting aside $10,000,000 for dividends, wages $33,000,000, the rest is spent

as follows:

Meat $3,692,700

Dairy produce 4,220,000

Flour, bread and cereals, etc.. .. 2,299,000

Fruit 471,000

Sugar 990,000

Tea 380,000

Coffee 130,000

Vegetables 1,121,000

Fuel 3,105,000

Rent 4,309,000

Boots and shoes 943,000

Clothing 3,378,000

The mines spent the balance of $25,000,000 on supplies and equipment, and this is how it

went:

Machine shop work $3,250,000

Chemical and apparatus 2,340,000

Coal 1,070,000

Equipment 1,612,000

Explosives 3,000,000

Freight 2,050,000

Hardware 1,145,000

Lumber 1,080.000

Power 4,750,000

The mines in Ontario paid out in dividends in 1924 the sum of $7,797,043. The total since the opening of the northern Ontario mining area, gold and silver, is $139,780,125. The Hol-dinger mine, the principal gold producer, has already paid in dividends $22,904,000, and in silver the Nipissing $26,383,297, and the nickel mines $85,000,000.

In view of the far-reaching effect this must have on trade in Canada, I would call the attention of the House to the absolute necessity of developing the tremendously rich iron deposits wdiich we have in northern Ontario. I have not the figures at hand in connection with these deposits, but I will refer to this again if I have an opportunity of discussing a resolution which I have on the order paper. What I wish to impress upon the government is the necessity of giving the development of our iron ore deposits the attention that it deserves. There are but few of us in Canada who realize how much the future development of this country depends upon the development of these iron ore deposits. It is known to people engaged in the business that magnetite and higher grades of ore in Minnesota are within calculable distance of exhaustion, and that at the present time those interested in iron deposits are now looking over the situation in Canada. I hope to see the day when this government in co-operation fMr. Lapierre.]

with the provincial governments will give to the iron industry all the consideration it deserves.

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IND

Angus McDonald

Independent

Mr. ANGUS McDONALD (Timiskaming):

Mr. Speaker, I see ;by the trend of speeches made by hon. members who have preceded me in the budget debate, that it is the custom to congratulate the Acting Minister of Finance (Mr. Rofoib) on the budget he has been able to bring down. I cannot go as far as some of the speakers have gone in congratulating him upon his budget, but I must say that I congratulate him upon being able, in a little less than two short years, to bring down a budget, from my viewpoint, at least, somewhat similar in nature to many budgets brought down on this hill in many sessions that have passed into history since 1878. I cannot, for the life of me, see in the budget brought down by the Acting Minister of Finance anything that goes to help the class of people to which I belong, men whe have to work out in the rigours of our northern climate, men who have to work on the farm and who are raising children. I do not see where any reductions are made in the burdens that are placed upon them by reducing duties on the stockings and other necessary clothes that have to be worn by those people who iwork hard, and who, after all, are the pedestal upon which society in this country is built.

The state of my health will not permit me to speak at any length in this debate. The reason that I venture to .make a few remarks at all is to try to correct some statements that were made in this House not so very long ago. I crave your indulgence, Mr. Speaker, and I ask you to extend to me the same privilege that was extended to an hon. member last Wednesday afternoon, so that I may correct a few statements that he made and that I do not believe he would have made had he been in possession of the facts. I refer to the hon. member for Lunenburg (Mr. Duff), who stated in this House last Wednesday afternoon that $240,000 of hard-earned money had been filched from the poor miners of Nova Scotia, and that they were very hard up. The hon, member was somewhat out in his figures. Last year, $247,000 was collected from the miners of Nova Scotia, but the hon. member was not in possession of the facts, or he would not have said that eighty-five per cent of the $247,000 ever left Canada or went into the coffers of the United Mine Workers of America, Out of the portion of this sum that goes to the United Mine Workers' organization on the

The Budget-Mr. McDonald (Timiskaming)

per capita rating of fifty cents on the dollar, $100,000 went to pay merchants in Glace Bay and Sydney, N.S. for debts that had accrued there in January and February, 1924, The balance went into the treasuries of the district organizations and the locals in Nova Scotia. The dues are one dollar per month upon the miners of Nova Scotia. These are facts. I have paid my dollar a month dues for the last thirty-eight years into international unions, but in our organization we do not have quite as high a per capita going to the internationals. Fifty cents out of that dollar goes to the international of the United Mine Workers; thirty-five cents goes to the district organization and fifteen cents to the local. The thirty-five cents and the fifteen cents go to pay funeral benefits, sick benefits and to take care of other accidents that may happen from time to time.

I wish to put on Hansard this statement that can be verified by any member in this House who desires to seek for himself reliable information on this subject:

I extend my thanks for your courtesy in writing me and forwarding clippings from the Montreal Star. The news item from Glace Bay contains information much distorted. As a matter of fact eighty-five per cent of the moneys collected by the United Mine Workers of America in Nova Scotia remained in that province and was expended for the use and benefit of Canadian citizens. One hundred thousand of the amount collected was used to pay Sydney and Glace Bay merchants' indebtedness incurred by the Nova Scotia mine workers in their strike of January and February, 1924. The Montreal Star is, of course, favourable to the interests of the British Empire Steel Corporation.

Reciprocating your good wishes, I am,

Yours very truly,

John L. Lewis,

President,

United Mine Workers of America.

He is a man who knows what he is talking about and he does not make any rash statements. Those are the facts in connection with what money was collected, and I think I can leave it in the hands of the Minister of Labour (Mr. Murdock) to verify this statement for me right here.

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LIB

Harold Putnam

Liberal

Mr. PUTNAM:

Does the hon. member

know whether prior to the disbursements, the money went into the international fund?

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IND

Angus McDonald

Independent

Mr. McDONALD (Timiskaming):

I have

already stated the division that is made of the money collected in dues from the miners of Nova Scotia. Fifty cents per capita goes to the headquarters office.

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LIB
IND

Angus McDonald

Independent

Mr. McDONALD (Timiskaming):

No, it

is handled by the local first, and then a pro

122i

rata share is sent on to the parent organization, the international.

Now I find at page 1772 of Hansard that the hon. member for Lunenburg (Mr. Duff) made this statement:

It is quite true that there is more destitution and poverty there now owing to the fact that, although these poor miners in 1924 paid $240,000 into the United Mine Workers' fund, that organization has not come across with one dollar, so far, to relieve the suffering in Cape Breton.

I want to state that the international union has come across with at least $50 for every dollar of Canadian money sent across the line. I make that statement of my own positive knowledge, and I think the Minister of Labour will bear me out. I wish to get these statements on Hansard to correct what was said by the hon. member for Lunenburg, who I am sorry is not in his place, and who I believe would not have so expressed himself had he taken the time to become seized of the facts. That is all I have to say, Mr. Speaker.

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LIB

Donald Alexander Mackinnon

Liberal

Mr. D. A. MACKINNON (Queens):

Mr. Speaker, the motion before the House is to go into committee of Ways and Means. I take that to mean the ways of spending money, and the means of obtaining money for the purpose. During the course of the debate all sorts of theories have been put forward and I hope they will be helpful to the Acting Minister of Finance (Mr. Robb). By increasing the duty on slack coal from 14 cents to 50 cents he will increase the revenue without making the tariff strictly protective on this commodity, because the coal is sold at $11 or $12 a ton, and 50 cents on that figure is a very small percentage.

While we are looking into means of increasing the revenue, I am going to offer a suggestion. Every year we import approximately $10,000,000 worth of bananas and oranges. Last session in the committee dealing with the National Railways we were told that it was almost impossible to look for trade from the West Indies to the Maritime provinces because the United Fruit Company was carrying the West Indian fruit to New York. I have been thinking this over, and my suggestion is that a 20 per cent tariff be imposed upon these fruits with a 10 per cent preference for those entered through Canadian ports either on the Pacific or the Atlantic. I think this would help solve the trouble we have in the Maritime provinces. Next session when the Acting Minister of Finance announces an addition to his surplus of $2,000,000 from this source, no doubt he will pass a volte of thanks to me for my suggestion. That is the only suggestion I would

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CON

Simon Fraser Tolmie

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. TOLMIE:

May I ask the hon. gentleman what proportion of that expenditure was related to the wiar?

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LIB

Donald Alexander Mackinnon

Liberal

Mr. MACKINNON:

I am coming to that. I say that I am not blaming our predecessors in office for the whole expenditure. Of that, $1,670,000,000 was related to the war. But I do blame them for not meeting more of the expenditure out of current revenue. In Great Britain during the same six years the government expended as much money as bad -been expended for over two hundred years before, but they collected 38 per cent of the expenditure while the people were making profits out of war supplies. Had our government of that day the same vision and collected a similar percentage from those who were making huge profits on war contracts, we would not be obliged to-day to retain the duties on this, that and the other commodity in order to meet our obligations. On the contrary, we would have been in a position to reduce the tariff all around. To ask the Acting Minister of Finance to make further tariff re-iuetions at the present time is to put an mpossible burden upon him. Look at those who have preceded him in the Department of Finance, look at the ex-Minister of Finance (Sir Henry Drayton) Who brings in an amendment, which stultifies itself in that in the first part he asks the government to reduce the sales tax, and in the second part he says that the tax cannot be reduced because we have spent so much money. The amendment is self-contradictory. The exMinister of Finance states that the government have increased the national debt this year, but I submit that he is mistaken and that the amount due has been decreased by over $5,000,000.

I was sorry to note that the member for Vancouver Centre (Mr. Stevens)-coming from a city that has perhaps progressed more than any other city in Canada under this administration-cast aspersions on the Acting Minister of Finance by stating that in private life the Acting Minister of Finance would have been guilty of moral obloquy if he had published such a statement as he has submitted to the House. But we regard him as the soul of honour, and I contend that he has submitted a perfectly correct statement to the House, for any hon. member who examines the budget will agree that he has properly accounted for a cash surplus of $1,823,000. In addition there is $4,000,000 interest due from Greece and Roumania, and if he had1 not included that sum in the assets of the Dominion he would not have been doing his duty as a minister. I find that in 1921 a certificate was given by an auditor brought from the United States, and in it these loans to Greece and Roumania are included; and in the public accounts at the present time there is a certificate, which the minister produces, showing that this conforms with the account as given at that time. The question is asked why that $4,000,000 was put there. Well, it was earned on principal; part of the principal had been paid and part of the interest was due. It was adjusted and there was found to be $4,000,000 altogether due. And that is capitalized in the way that any mortgage is dealt with. That $4,000,000 as I understand it is interest-bearing as the $30,000,000 is. The thing is as simple as it can be and there is no attempt at dishonesty or anything of the kind.

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PRO

Robert Forke

Progressive

Mr. FORKE:

Does the hon. member wish to convey the idea that anyone disputed that this was an asset? We all recognize the fact that it is an asset but it went into the public accounts of the country as money received. That is the difference.

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LIB
PRO

Robert Forke

Progressive

Mr. FORKE:

You have a surplus of $1,-

800,000 and add $4,000,000, claiming $5,000,000 altogether of a surplus. That was the statement of the minister.

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LIB

Donald Alexander Mackinnon

Liberal

Mr. MACKINNON:

That was not the

way the minister put it; he said that the debt would be reduced by $5,000,000. And that is right. If the hon. member will look into the accounts for the year 1921 he will see at the beginning that the entry is cash so much; and the same applies to the year 1924. In 1923, the accounts for which appeared last

The Budget-Mr. Mackmnon

year, there was an entry, " by cash " $45,000,000. Under this are the Imperial loans and loans to foreign countries, Roumania and Greece. All these are set forth in the table, not as a cash balance but merely by way of a statement of the situation; and a certificate of the auditor brought from the United States when the hon. .member for West York (Sir Henry Drayton) was Minister of Finance appears printed in the statement with these items included. The whole thing shows where the country stands; it is a statement of the capital debt in 1921 just as it is a statement of the balance of capital debt in 1925, and the situation could not be properly set forth unless this $4,000,000 were included as going to the reduction of the amount of the debt. Anyone who understands figures will appreciate that. As to the words " cash surplus ", I do not think the minister used that expression.

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PRO

Robert Forke

Progressive

Mr. FORKE:

He certainly used the word surplus. There is no dispute about the amount being an asset, but if the hon. member will look up the speech in question he will find that the claim was made that there was a surplus of $5,000,000.

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LIB

Donald Alexander Mackinnon

Liberal

Mr. MACKINNON:

That amount is so

much ready to be subtracted from the debt of the country.

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PRO
LIB

Donald Alexander Mackinnon

Liberal

Mr. MACKINNON:

What I find fault with is the language that is used, reflecting upon the honour of the man who heads the department at present (Mr. Robb) and who has burdens enough to bear. He fills an important office and should have the sympathy and support as well as the intellectual help of every man in this House. This country is too large and its problems are too great to be managed on the lines of recriminatory party politics; we have tremendous burdens [DOT]to bear and it will require the courage of the best men we have to manage our affairs properly.

I have already referred to the question of increasing our revenue, which amounts to some $344,000,000. Now, the government has been blamed, in the amendment which has been proposed, for extravagance, for spending too much, and that- sort of thing. Our expenditures amount to some $342,000,000 and of that amount $184,000,000 consists of interest and pensions as well as statutory payments to people who retire. The minister therefore can use no discretion whatever so far as this much of the expenditures is concerned; it is

there in spite of anything he may do. The minister must meet interest charges and he must pay the pensions that are due, and those pensions will increase because more people throughout the country will have to be looked after. So that when this $184,000,000 is subtracted from the total expenditures, what is there left for the Minister of Finance to be extravagant with? There is only about $160,000,000 or less. And if we look back to the years 1914, 1912 and 1911 we shall find that the government of that time was expending that much money without any complaint. I think the expenditure in 1914 was some $127,000,000. But there is a great deal more reason to-day for spending money than there was at that time. Now, it is no use creating a feeling throughout the country that the government has been extravagant, because the fact of the matter is that the affairs of the country have been handled with exceeding care; and we should be pleased that the minister was able to come out with any surplus at all. It was estimated that with the falling revenue in customs, and in view of the condition of business in the country generally, the government would come out badly. And some of our critics, it seems to me, would have been better pleased if the government had announced a deficit of $25,000,000 or so. But surely that is not the attitude for hon. members to take. We should be proud indeed that the minister came down with a surplus; and he did not manage that without the greatest possible care, for he was pressed on every hand for increases in the expenditures. Every part of the country has been claiming some increase here and there and it speaks well for the control the minister exercised that the situation is as satisfactory as it is. I wonder what the hon. member for Timiskaming (Mr. McDonald) would do if he were in the minister's place. Reference has been made to the miners of Nova Scotia. Well, I have had a notion of asking the Minister of Finance for enough money to carry on mining investigations in our island, but after the fuss that has been experienced in the neighbouring island I think I shall give it up for a few years. We do not want any disturbance of that nature in Prince Edward Island where the people are doing very well.

There are a few things that have arisen in this debate to which I might refer in passing, and one is the argument that has been advanced that more protection would provide employment for a larger number of people. And France is taken as an example. But

The Budget-Mr. Mackinnon

France to-day has a deficit of four million or five million dollars. Perhaps that might please some hon. gentlemen who are anxious to have the tariff increased. I do not know that many hon. members would object to increasing the tariff here and there if the reasoning were sound. But hon. gentlemen forget when they take the United States and other countries as illustrations that we have our own experience in Canada to guide us; and I think our soundest judgment would be based on what has happened in this country itself. Let us go back to the time the National Policy was adopted and see what progress was made since then. At that time our manufactures amounted to some $350,000,000 and after ten years of protection it had increased only by $165,000,000. That was the first decade in the operation of the National Policy. Men of a different school of thought came into power in 1896, men who were in favour of reducing the tariff and making it one of revenue rather than of protection. They were condemned for doing it. It was said that it would injure the country, but still they went on, and what has been the result? We should base our judgment on experience, which is the best teacher we can have. We had an increase from 1901 to 1911 of $650,000,000 in manufacturing alone.

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PRO

Robert Forke

Progressive

Mr. FORKE:

Does the hon. member not think that the opening up of the northwest, the building of railways, and the large influx of settlers into that territory had more to do with the increase in manufacturing than the tariff had?

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LIB

Donald Alexander Mackinnon

Liberal

Mr. MACKINNON:

I think the government was condemned for opening up the country with railways at that time.

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PRO

April 6, 1925