April 14, 1925

LIB

James Murdock (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. MURDOCK:

I will read the hon.

gentleman's own words which are to be found

at' page 158 of Hansard :

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CON

Robert James Manion

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MANION:

I am not' so sure if at the present

time a vote were taken in the section of which he speaks it might not carry, due to the terrible conditions brought about by the foolish policies of this government.

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CON

Robert James Manion

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MANION:

Wait a moment. Just before that, if my hon. friend will permit me, I quoted the authority for the statement.

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LIB

James Murdock (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. MURDOCK:

My hon. friend said on

the occasion referred to:

I did not give that as my own statement; I gave it as the statement of an outstanding gentleman in this country-

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CON

Robert James Manion

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MANION:

Hear, hear,

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LIB

James Murdock (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. MURDOCK:

-a gentleman whose name is familiar to everyone in the House. He said to me that if a vote for annexation were taken in this section of the country, which comprises one-third of the people of Canada, it would carry overwhelmingly.

Well, let us see what the result of that was. On the strength of a press despatch with reference to this statement going out from Ottawa the following item was published in the Chicago Tribune of February 15, 1925:

Canada Hears Third of Nation Would Join U.S.

Ottawa, Can., Feb. 14.-(United News.)-Talk of secession from the British empire was heard in the Canadian parliament last night when opposition speak- ' ers, battling with the government, declare that if a vote were taken "tomorrow in an area comprising one-third of the Dominion's population" it would be overwhelmingly in favour of annexation to the United States.

Minister of Labour Murdock told the House of Commons that it was "criminal" for the opposition to bring this issue into the debate. But Dr. Manion,

The Budget-Mr. Murdock

one of the opposition leaders, stuck to his guns, declaring that' he would back the secession statement with facts.

With the great trek of Canadians continuing across the international boundary line into the United States, Canada, according to many politicians, faces a crisis.

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CON

William Garland McQuarrie

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. McQUARRIE:

May I ask the minister if he is quoting from another American paper?

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LIB

James Murdock (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. MURDOCK:

I said I was quoting from the Chicago Tribune of February 15, 1925. The item was sent to me by a personal friend, a good old boy raised in Zorra in the county of Oxford, who loves Canada and everything in it, and who wanted to know if that was the kind of talk that was going on here because, he said, he did not believe it.

My hon. friend in his speech on the budget referred in very critical and unkind terms to this government. He said many things with respect to us, and among other criticisms referred to those hon. members who went over to the Wembley exhibition. He said something about his not having voted for the appropriation to meet the expenses of the trip but that he did not dodge the vote. "I do not dodge votes," said my hon. friend. At the time I could not see what the purpose was of a statement of that kind, or why the hon. gentleman should make such a positive declaration. Accordingly I took the trouble to have some figures compiled in order to find out if the hon. member for Fort William and Rainy River was always "on the job" when a vote was taken, because that is what he seemed to want us to understand. I find that in 1922 the hon. member voted on nine occasions, was paired on two occasions, and on two occasions missed the vote. In 1923 he voted on seven occasions, was paired on six occasions, and on twelve occasions did not vote. I find that in 1924 the hon. gentleman voted on ten occasions, was paired on six occasions, and on eight occasions did not vote. I do not know even yet what his statement at the time had to do with the particular question under discussion, but it seemed to me that it was quite proper the House should know what my hon. friend's record in the matter of voting had been. When attention is being called to these matters, it seems to me to be proper to bring to the notice of my hon. friend just what his record in the matter of voting had been.

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CON

Robert James Manion

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MANION:

Would the minister give

his own record?

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LIB

James Murdock (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. MURDOCK:

I will be glad indeed

to have it checked up.

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CON

Robert James Manion

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MANION:

I wish the hon. minister

would go ahead and give it now. I venture to say it is not any better than mine.

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LIB

James Murdock (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. MURDOCK:

I am quite sure it is

better than the record I have just read. I missed two or three votes last year, Mr. Speaker, because certain hon. gentlemen wanted "to uphold the honour and dignity of parliament;" otherwise I would have been able to vote.

We had a great deal of discussion on certain matters. I wan-t if I can, Mr. Speaker, to see ourselves as others see us. We would get the blues absolutely if we ever came to the point of being convinced by our Tory friends opposite of what a bad job we were making of running this country, and how nearly to the merry bow-wows Canada has gone since the Liberal party came into power. Therefore I do not think it would do any harm if we digressed for a short time to ring a note of optimism into this discussion and to bring to the attention of the House what the press of Canada thinks of us and what are really the conditions as shown by the press. I am not going to deal only with papers that are favourable to the Liberal party. Let us take the other newspapers and go over them as briefly as we can. I will quote first Agricultural and Industrial Progress in Canada, published monthly by the Canadian Pacific Railway. It should be a reasonably conservative journal. In the issue of March 25, 1925 I find the following:

The coast province-British Columbia-is very active. Its building programme is of considerable dimensions; its lumber prospects are better with new sawmills and new logging camps opening up in districts that have been lying fallow. The mineral situation is active, showing all signs of a progressive year. Agricultural development along all lines is quite normal with a better outlook, and altogether British Columbia is looking forward to a first-class business year.

My hon. friend from New Westminster (Mr. McQuarrie) and my hon. friend from Vancouver South (Mr. Ladner) will be glad to bear that. Then, Dun's Review March 5, 1925-

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CON

William Garland McQuarrie

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. McQUARRIE:

Does the minister

think the government is responsible for that?

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LIB

James Murdock (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. MURDOCK:

I did not say that.

Mr. MoQUARRIE: I do not think so.

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LIB

James Murdock (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. MURDOCK:

No, but I think the

government's policy has helped.

Mr. MoQUARRIE: Then the hon. gentleman does think so.

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LIB

James Murdock (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. MURDOCK:

Then, Dun's Review

published in Toronto has the following:

The Budget-Mr. Murdock

Industrial activity is growing slowly and the outlook appears quite bright. Lumbering companies are discontinuing operations for the season in so far as cutting is concerned but are still holding a number of employees in reserve for the spring drive. Lumber merchants anticipate a steady trade all through the summer and look with particular favour upon the prospects for export trade to the American side, where prices have been rising and supplies are in a narrow compass. An extensive building programme has been mapped out for the province and artisans and labourers in this line should be well employed until the snow flies. Overall and shirt factories in most cases have all the business their capacity allows.

Then referring to Quebec, Dun's Review states:

Clothing manufacturers have more spring orders on hand than at this time a year ago, but bookings for fall are coming in more slowly.

Car loadings reported by the Bureau of Statistics are:

The number of cars loaded in 1924 show an increase of 53.723 over 1923.

From the beginning of 1925 up to the week ending March 14, car loadings have exceeded those of a similar period in 1924 by 5,784, the totals for these periods being 564,662 and 558,878. It might be noted that in this period of 1925, there have been over 20,000 fewer grain cars than in 1924 and the increase in other cars must be considerably greater to offset this decrease.

The Toronto Financial Post, March 20, captions an article in these words:

West is getting back to a much sounder basis

What one good crop has helped to do for Manitoba.

Then the Ottawa Evening Journal, March 16. 1925:

Work is started in sulphite mill.

The Ottawa Citizen of March 18, 1925 says:

Kingston lead mines will open up again, Syndicate takes over plant and will instal modern equipment.

The Montreal Gazette, March 27, referring to the Brantford Cordage Company, says:

Brantford Cordage Company.

To issue block of first preferred stock.

This increases their productive capacity by about fifty per cent. At the present half of the Canadian requirements in binder twine are imported and this addition to the plant will enable the company to share, in a larger way, in supplying Canadian domestic requirements. The Brantford CoTdage Company have since their inception grown until to-day they are the largest manufacturers of binder twine in the British Empire.

And I understand they are not using the bottle of protection any longer. Then the Montreal Gazette, March 27, captions an article in this manner:

Good showing by Steel of Canada.

Profits equal to 9.3 per cent on common after all charges.

Working capital up. .

Increase of $664,000 brings excess of current assets to nearly twelve millions.

We have in the same paper on the same date an advertisement of the Brantford Cordage Company which has this to say about that concern:

The company is the largest manufacturer of binder twine in the British Empire and owns and operates a plant occupying seven and a half acres at Brantford, Ontario. There has been completed and put into operation last January a third mill with the most modern equipment, which increases the productive capacity of the company approximately fifty per cent. The business is largely domestic, but the company's product is also exported to practically all the grain-growing countries of the world. Owing to its low manufacturing costs, the business has been able to meet all competition.

The Vancouver Sun, of March 19, publishes an article captioned in this way:

New industry located here.

K. and L. Box Company to erect $100,000 plant in royal city.

The Kitchener-Waterloo Record of March 23, says:

New industry for Kitchener.

Threshing dust and fire preventer company will assemble machines in this city.

The Winnipeg Tribune, which will not be charged with being too favourable to this government, has an article in its issue of March 19, referring to unemployment in Canada, the last part of which says:

But just as the present industrial depression is being felt in all our cities, so will the period of prosperity which lies in the offing be equally general and widespread.

The Port Arthur News Chronicle, March IS, 1925, publishes an article on this question, and my hon. friend from Fort William and Rainy River ought to get this:

One 'hundred men will work from June to November on new dam.

The Hamilton Herald, February 17, 1925, says:

Plants here hum as large orders come.

McLaren's Limited now working night and day on output.

Steel of Canada, too.

Greening's working double shifts; government to spend fifty thousand dollars here.

The Toronto Globe of February 13, 1925, says:

Hamilton factories find business good.

Working full time and on Saturday afternoons. Extra hands engaged.

Steel plant also busy.

The Montreal Gazette, February 26, 1925:

January steel production up.

Ingots and castings output reached total of 27,126 long tons.

Pig iron advanced.

January output was 25 per cent above that of December. Prices moved upward.

The Hamilton Spectator, which is not too friendly to the government, on February 17, 1925, published the following:

The Budget-Mr. Murdock

More signs of prosperity in factories here.

McLaren's working day and night on orders.

Steel Company opens mill at Ontario plant.

B. Greening Wire is using some double shifts.

The Kitchener-Waterloo Record, February 13, 1925, says:

Cost of charity is much smaller.

Little being spent on relief this winter in comparison with last year; believe $9,000 will cover bill.

The Smiths Falls Record News, February 26, 1925, says:

Almost a record staff of men at work in the Frost and Wood Company's implement plant. Some excellent foreign orders have been received, which they are Imsy working on at present, and shipments of carloads are being made daily to the seaboard.

Reductions in the price of farm implements were made last April and further reductions became effective in December, and there is every evidence that these lower prices to the farmer have already stimulated the placing of orders that had been held back by the higher prices which prevailed during the past few years.

The Hamilton Herald of March 3, states:

Other Hamilton firms feel the return of better times.

The Globe of February 13, states:

Hamilton factories find business good. Working full time and on Saturday afternoons-extra hands engaged.

The Ottawa Citizen of March 31, says:

Profits practically doubled by Smelting Company of Canada.

The Hamilton Herald of March 27, states:

Industry in Hamilton to get impetus. Brightest outlook in years, says C. W. Kirkpatrick, New plants likely. Many delegations visiting city with an eye for industrial sites.

There have been more inquiries and delegations here during March than during any two months last year," said Mr. Kirkpatrick. "The department has had an average of one and two delegations studying the industrial situation and looking over industrial sites in this city every day this month."

This is all optimism, something that our hon. friends opposite should take a large dose of.

The Hamilton Spectator of March 28, under an editorial caption " Looking Up," has this to say:

The period of depression through which Canada has been passing has been extended longer than was really necessary, it is now admitted, because of the fact that money was both tight and afraid. If industrial representatives are now seeking sites for expansion, it can only be interpreted as meaning,that investors realize the time to put their money to work again is at hand. The improvement in the local unemployment situation has not been sensational, but it has been steady. By ones and twos the army of the jobless is being depleted, as the men return to lathe and bench and make the acquaintance of pay envelopes again. It will not be a boom year, but there is every evidence that trade and commerce will be more brisk than it has been in any other year since the armistice. The greatest asset will be confidence.

I commend that to the consideration of my hon. friends opposite.

fMr. Murdock.]

The Chatham News of March 28, says:

Chatham Sheet Metal Works well pleased with prospect for business this season.

The London Free Press of March 28, states:

Sheet Metal Works is opened in city.

The Toronto Globe of March 27, says:

Prosperous season for wool growers. Nice surplus for distribution among shareholders and shippers.

Then it goes on to say:

The Canadian Co-operative Wool Growers are smiling. After transferring $10,000 to reserve, paying an 8 per cent dividend on capital stock, and reserving over $2,000 for income taxes, the company still has sufficient surplus on the year's operation to pay bonus of one-third cent per pound to all 1924 shippers.

I come now to the monthly letter of the Royal Bank of Canada and I find this:

In Ontario, statements from 5,832 concerns, employing 709,878 people on February 1, 1925, indicate an increase of 16,821 over the number employed at the beginning of the year. The labour requirements, both in manufacturing and logging, are increasing.

Then we find in Agricultural and Industrial Progress in Canada, published by the Canadian Pacific, a publication which was referred to a short time ago, this article under date of April, 1925:

Montreal, Que.-An increase of approximately 50 per cent has taken place in the live cattle exports to the United Kingdom in the period January 1 to March 19, 1925, as compared with the corresponding period last year. Up to March 19 the exports of cattle in 1925 were 14,662 head, as compared with 10,531 in the same period in 1924 and 9,511 in 1923.

Ottawa, Ont.-Canada exported meats to the value of $2,528,070 during the month of February, as compared with exports of $1,294,046 in the corresponding month of 1924, according to a report of the External Trade Branch. Shipments for the twelve months ending February, 1925, had a total value of $27,843,848, compared with shipments worth $22,291,385 in the preceding twelve-month period.

That does not look like too bad business.

Ottawa, Ont.-Canada's exports of automobiles continue to increase and New Zealand is the Dominion's best customer for such vehicles. Last month a total of 4,008 passenger autos, valued at $1,843,551 were exported, and of these New Zealand took 1,114. These shipments compare favourably with January when 3,732 autos were exported and with February, 1924, when 3.230 were dispatched to foreign markets.

Hamilton, Ont.-There has been a noticeable revival of building activity in Hamilton since the beginning of the year and, if present anticipated business crystallizes, the city will experience in 1925 one of the best building seasons for some years. The latest project on foot here is the announcement that from forty to fifty residences will be built by one contractor in a new section of the city being developed.

Winnipeg, Man.-Approximately $1,000,000 ahead of last year, to date, in contracts let and buildings under construction.

The Budget-Mr. Murdock

Then we have the Montreal Star of April .6, which has an article captioned:

National Brick had more favourable year

It sa3^s:

C. C. Ballantyne, the president, remarks that while the sales for the fiscal year show only a slight improvement over the sales of the previous year, the higher profits were obtained through improvements made at the plants, which have resulted in greater efficiency and lower manufacturing costs. While the demand for brick has enabled the plants to operate only at 60 per cent of capacity, ho stated that the directors consider the outlook for the coming year as favourable, and an improvement is anticipated.

Evidently, he has an optimism for the future of his company if not for that of his party. The Galt Reporter of April 3, has .this to say:

Campbell Chrome Leather Belting Company, Limited, is Galt's newest industry.

The Monthly Commercial Letter, issued by the Bank of Commerce for March, 1925, makes this statement:

That general business has not receded is evidenced by the fact that car loadings continued to be equal to those of twelve months ago, although the grain crop is so much less in volume. In industrial districts of the Dominion there have been fewer complaints of unemployment in February. It may also be noted that permits for building construction issued during January exceeded by 22 per cent those of January,

1924.

I am very sorry the hon. member for Fort William and Rainy River (Mr. Manion) has left the chamber, because this is something that he should really hear. I would suggest that the hon. gentleman and some of his associates should get in step with their press. The Tory press and some of the members of the Tory party are entirely out of step. The hon. member for Fort William and Rainy River had this to say on April 2 as reported in Hansard, page 1795:

Now, Sir, what does the Conservative party offer the country in place of the policies which I have been criticizing? They offer a stable tariff policy which will bring about prosperity and success; and they offer it to all classes, to manufacturers and to farmers to the 2,000,000 farmers of Ontario and Quebec who require protection.

And so forth. He goes on to complain bitterly about the tariff. This is an advertisement from the Montreal Gazette of April 6,

1925, over the signature of the "London Free Press, western Ontario's foremost newspaper." These two Tory papers are certainly out of step with the hon. member for Fort William and Rainy River and some of his colleagues. This is what the advertisement says:

A rich industrial area. The London market.

Then there is a picture of the belching smoke.

London itself is the home of four hundred and sixty-four thriving industries. And these thriving industries bring wealth to London and spend it there.

And fa the territory surrounding London are to be found innumerable towns and cities, each with its quota of factories and factory workers. Ingersoll, Woodstock, St. Thomas, Aylmer, Tillsonburg, St.' Mary's Stratford, Sarnia, Chatham, Glencoe, Petrolia, Clinton, Goderich, Wingham, Listowel and other towns are the sites of a great variety of thriving industries.

The wealth expended in these towns and paid to factory workers is no less important than the revenue from the rich agricultural districts in this territory. The whole of this territory, in town and country, is catered to >by the London Free Press.

That is optimism in advertising; and it is to be hoped that the London Free Press and the Montreal Gazette will be just as optimistic in their news columns when referring to the budget debate and the work of this session of parliament.

I want now to refer to one other matter which I think we might call Tory propaganda. Here is a letter sent out by the Canadian Labour Press under date February 5; I presume it is a circular:

Attention General Manager

Gentlemen, In view of the near approach of another general election the Canadian Labour Press deem it an opportune time to issue a series of bulletins (to Ibe posted in different factories, labour temples and other prominent places in the country) dealing with the need of effective tariff protection in Canada.

The Canadian Labour Press realizes that without tariff protection Canadian industry and Canadian labour will be greatly handicapped and the various arguments presented in the bulletins will be with the idea of educating labour to a sound and sensible viewpoint on this important question. We know of no more effective manner of reaching Canadian workers than by a series of concise and forceful bulletins such as the one enclosed.

That is Tory propaganda, and it will be seen that in this they are sailing under false colours, for it is sought to give the impression that labour is back of it. It is well for this House to know that the Canadian Labour Press has no standing with organized labour; it is unauthorized; and it is handled by certain gentlemen for their own purposes and in their own interests. I think it can be shown that, generally speaking, they have been pretty sane and reasonable. Why not? Note their head offices-Room 25-A, 207 St. James street, Montreal, Quebec, and 79 Adelaide street east, Toronto, right in the heart of the Tory district in each case. They start out with this kind of propaganda, which is being disseminated among the various manufacturing interests in the industrial centres of the provinces. The document winds up thus:

The Budget-Mr. Murdock

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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

Read the

article.

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LIB

James Murdock (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. MURDOCK:

Perhaps I had better

do so. The article in its entirety reads:

Says Many Thinking the Prime Minister not Pro-Canadian

Canadian Press Despatch

Montreal, April 7.-Frequency of the Prime Minister's visits to the United States was referred to in an address by Senator Gideon Robertson, late minister of labour in the Meighen government, in an address to the Liberal-Conservative Association here last night.

"Throughout Canada," said Senator Robertson, "many people are thinking that the policy of the Prime Minister is not pro-Canadian."

Senator Robertson declared that a year ago the budget was held up for four days while the Prime Minister went to the United States, and that last Friday when the budget was before parliament "the Prime Minister got suddenly tired and went to New York- and is there now."

The Speaker said there were many indications to prove this feeling, and he was amazed that Quebec did not take more interest in "that tendency on his part." He thought that this province would be the last in the Dominion to look favourably on a pro-American policy.

Senator Robertson denounced the government for the sums expended on royal commissions, and went exhaustively into the financial standing of the country.

That is Tory propaganda. But what are the facts? There was a slight delay last year in the discussion of the budget but it was due to bereavement in the home of a very responsible member of this House who desired to be present during the debate on the budget and who had a right so to wish. That was the only adjournment of the budget debate last year, and it ill becomes my distinguished

The Budget-Mr. Murdock

predecessor to have tried to make the situation appear otherwise.

But let us analyze it further. The distinguished gentleman who was telling this story for the purpose of trying to fool the people, and particularly those in the province of Quebec, receives his instructions from, makes his reports to, and receives his pay cheque monthly from an organization with headquarters in the city of St. Louis, Missouri. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that, so far as I know. I do not in the slightest object to the position that the hon. gentleman finds himself in, but how little indeed must our Tory friends have of reality to present to the people of the country when they have to resort to such camouflage and subterfuge in an effort to fool the electors in the event oi an election coming in the future.

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LIB

Andrew Ross McMaster

Liberal

Mr. McMASTER:

What international union is he connected with?

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LIB

James Murdock (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. MURDOCK:

He is vice-president of the Order of Railway Telegraphers. He holds the same position in the Order of Railway Telegraphers that his successor held in the Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen. His successor's headquarters were at Cleveland, Ohio, up until the 9th day of January, 1922. The distinguished gentleman of whom we have been speaking has his headquarters at St. Louis, and his pay cheque comes from there monthly. That is all right. But why should he go out and start to talk about something that is not material or worth while?

I am sorry, Mr. Speaker, to have taken up so much time. I am not quite through yet, but I think I can finish in the few minutes remaining before six o'clock.

We have heard from the opposite side of the House, and particularly from our distinguished friend the former Minister of Finance (Sir Henry Drayton), about the terrible foolishness of this government in its tariff policies. We have been charged with everything that is unfair, even dishonest, I think, and untruthful in our declarations, and in our relations with the House and with the people of Canada. I think the distinguished gentleman who represents West York, and who was Minister of Finance in the previous government, should really give some attention to the position of his own government. When they had an opportunity to fix everything up ship-shape, what did they do? We find that in the Speech from the Throne which was delivered to this House on February 14, 1921, His Excellency was made to say:

My advisers are convinced of the necessity for revision of the customs tariff. In order to secure the most complete information a committee has conducted

an extensive and thorough inquiry, and has secured the views of all parties and interests in every province. The hearings necessary for this purpose have now been completed, and the conclusions founded thereon will be submitted to you in due course.

And, Mr. Speaker, they are still due. Those conclusions have never been submitted; they have never been, so far as I know, compiled. The bills for the inquiry, which covered the length and breadth of Canada, have been paid. My friend, the member for West York, the former Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Tolmie), and my predecessor in the office of Minister of Labour, toured this country to find out all about the tariff and what should be done about it, and they put words in the mouth of His Excellency on February 14, 1921, indicating that they were going to deal with the tariff; but let us come now to May 9, 1921, when we can visualize the distinguished member for West York on the floor of this parliament delivering his budget speech, and here is a portion of it:

It is not proposed to put into effect now a general revision of the tariff schedules. While Canada must make her own tariff and while that tariff must be a tariff dictated in the interests of Canada and her people, it is not advisable that frequent changes should be made.

Did you ever hear of crawfishing? Is not that as fine an example of it as anyone ever heard? and it emanates from men whc have-shall I say, to put it as kindly as possible-the nerve to get up here on the floor of the House and charge this government with this, that and every other thing. In other words, Mr. Speaker, the Tory party did not have the nerve to make the changes in the tariff that their friends wanted, because they knew the people of Canada would not stand for it, and now they are continually finding fault with this government because it has not done so, and does not propose to do so.

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April 14, 1925