Mr. HAROLD PUTNAM (Colchester):
Mr. Speaker, it was not my pleasure nor my leisure to hear the whole of the speech of the hon. member for North Toronto (Mr. Church). That hon. gentleman has a generosity which inspires good faith on the part of his friends. He told me in good faith that he should be concluded at a few minutes after eight o'clock, a statement which I accepted in good faith,
and in the quality of that good faith there was an absolute and unrestricted reciprocity.
As I say, I did not hear the whole of that speech. The hon. gentleman never disappoints us with a speech in the factor of quantity. I have no doubt that he said a great deal that was instructive and a great deal that was logioal, 'but it was my bad fortune, in the parts of his speech that I heard, to gather only those remarks which were uninstructive and very illogical. For instance, during the afternoon, while I was in for a few moments, he was telling us in positive and academic and unqualified terms that a high tariff was an absolute cure for unemployment. I could not help remembering that those who constitute the official opposition have warned us very unctuously not to allow any more labour to come into Canada. It is a strange coincidence that this high tariff which they idolize and which ithev say will fully take care of the unemployment, will hunt down the last unemployed person in Canada and set him to work at a fair living wage according to his station and degree in life, but that in the desideratum for more immigration we must not let any more labourers in, however respectable they are in the country from which they come. Against such they would put up the bars of protection sky high. But it just so happens that they could noit take care of one man more of the unemployed, though exactly able to take care of all present unemployed in Canada by the simple device of high protection.
May I. at this belated stage, join with those members who, irrespective of the part of the House in which they sit, have expressed their lament that the power of sickness still detains the right hon. Finance Minister of this country (Mr. Fielding)? Those of us who have taken the opportunity of calling upon him at his home during this session are delighted to report that 'his health is visibly better than it was twelve months ago. I am sure that ithe House and the country will wish that he may regain that health which was his, notwitstanding the comparative advancement of his years; that health which was his when he applied himself to every complex problem of his wonderfully patriotic career, reserving no force of that master mind, forgetting nothing in the line of his duty except his oft earned holiday.
I am interested, Mr. Speaker, in the tactics and the attitude of the official opposition during this debate-and it may perhaps not be egotism on my part to point out in this connection that so far as actual presence in this chamber is concerned their numbers are very
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few. As I understand the matter, in times past and normally any full dress debate upon the question of tihe tariff is reserved until the time when the budget is brought down. But in this present session we find amongst the notices of motion one from no less distinguished a member than the right hon. leader of the opposition (Mr. Meighen),, praising to the vault of heaven the doctrine of protection, which by all rules of the game in the past was reserved for the introduction of the budget.
We also find that the right hon. leader of the opposition was a little bit impatient to deliver his broadside on the beauties of protection before the normal announcement of the budget, and he accepted with absolutely bad grace the fact that the day of the budget appeared before he could deliver his paeans of praise over the blessings of protection and his condemnation of any government, and in the concrete this government, if it refused to apply immediately that particular elixir to our national life. We on this side of the House are sometimes accused by those immediately opposite on the ground that the Liberal handbook, which was used here and there throughout Canada by some in compassing the defeat of the late administration, was too rosy in its promises. Well, I tell you, Mr. Speaker, that that book was one hundred miles to the leeward in moderation and modesty and in paucity of promises compared with the innocent little notice of motion put on the order paper by the right hon. leader of the opposition.
Now, why was it that there was this change of tactics? Why was it that, contrary to the history of this parliament, the amendment to the budget moved by the opposition made no mention whatever of the subject of the tariff? Well, we may in the liberty of this free country at least surmise reasons. Possibly the right hon. leader of the opposition had heard that Napoleon made it an almost irre-fragible rule that he would attack the enemy rather than wait for the natural time of battle. I may be permitted to suggest another speculative reason. Possibly the keen and speculative eyes of the right hon. gentleman turned towards his left and saw the Progressives there in pretty good numbers, those who not so long ago the right hon. gentleman had named the "dilapidated annex," those same Progressives who in a comparatively brief space of time exemplified the rapidity with which retribution may follow the sin of trying to place an undeserved nickname, for in a very short time they had come back to this House with a following thirty per cent
greater in numbers than the following behind the right hon. gentleman in this selfsame House. I can fancy the right hon. leader of the opposition asking himself the question: Incorrigible as those Progressives are on the question of the tariff, is it possible that they could be wooed on the dissociated question of the alleged extravagance of this particular government? These were the tactics carried on, and I submit, Mr. Speaker, that reason dictates that the purpose is not unsearchable. By this motion there was to be a discussion of the tariff ahead of the budget, and later discussion of an amendment to the budget which makes no mention whatsoever of the normal factor of the tariff.
There are naval critics who say that in the battle of Jutland the Germans pursued1 tactics which for a little while at least rather took the British by surprise, and that was the device of concentrating their fire upon one British ship and sinking it before picking out another British ship for destruction from their massed fire. Naval critics actually say that those tactics not only took the British by surprise in the early stages of the 'battle, but that to some extent they were successful. It does seem to me that there is some homely parallel here, and that the Conservatives thought, "If we can single out the tariff by this notice of motion and get it in operation, fire well upon the tariff by that particular means, concentrate the Tory fire upon the tariff, we may have the good luck that in the low visibility of the close of a private members' day we may sink the tariff doctrine with our big guns before the Liberals and Progressives may rush up to answer the fire." I think the intention next was to concentrate the Tory fires upon the alleged horrible extravagance of this govern-ernment in the hope that the unsophisticated and bewildered Progressives, at that stage of the battle, and in the gathering darkness, might 'be trapped into the expedient of joining their fire with that of their high protectionist enemies the Tories and sinking the Liberal government, only awakening in the dawn to discover in the better visibility of another day that they had united their fire with their worst tariff enemies in sinking their best allies.
Mr. Speaker, during the Great war the allies did not all admire one another as to their dharacteristics and customs
10 p.m. and nationality, and perhaps even their courage, but they all did sensibly say that they would forget these minor differences while the mad war dog of Europe was still unmuzzled. There is no
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doubt that these two traps were set. There is no doubt that the first one did not go off: there is no doubt that the second one is in plain view, and I would1 very respectfully appeal to my Progressive brethren to 'have nothing whatever to do with springing the second trap. Otherwise they might find as their allies the high protectionists of this country who have made millionaires, and who see potential millionaires still in the hatching, at the expense of the great consuming people, the great general masses of the people of Canada.
I suppose most of us, Mr. Speaker, or perhaps all of us, are here as the result of a contest, and I hope we all had common sense enough to know the uncertainty of an electoral contest. No public man of any intellectual size ever assumed that an election was certain, and I suppose that humanly we all felt a little glow of pride, though it may have been only temporary, that we had, if I might use a semivulgar expression, beaten the other fellow. I hope we had a sympathetic feeling. I hope we realized, and tenderly realized, that that which meant for us the sunlight of victory meant for the other man the shadowy side of the mountain of defeat. I will go a step further. I dare say that we have sometimes had that searching of conscience, if we are frank, which has asked of us: After all,
were our tenets, were our propaganada and our policy sufficiently better than that of the other man, and sufficiently feasible of accomplishment, to have made it fair to defeat him, to have made it ethically worth while. Now Sir, if I am right, or even if I am not right in that particular speculation, I happen to be in this House the one man whose conscience should not experience the first symptom of rebellion for having defeated my particular opponent in the contest of 1921, because, Sir, within about three short years after that rather memorable campaign he himself openly and most publicly, and without the first shadow or sign of equivocation, told the world at large that he had suffered a complete recantation of all those policies and propaganda with which he had once tried to defeat myself and the Liberal party in Colchester county. He was no less a personage than the ex-Minist-er of Public Works (Mr. McCurdy) in the cabinet led then by the present right hon. leader of the opposition. Now the publicity to which he resorted was spectacular. He published a pamphlet which he called A New Confession of Faith and therein he gave his complete and his absolute recantation. I remember Mr. Speaker, that in the campaign he was also a pamphleteer,
and he sowed my county knee-deep with pamphlets protesting that high protection was the one hope and remedy not only for the Maritime provinces but for every area of this wide country of oure. In each case he had the front page adorned with his own picture. It may have been Apollo-like in its beauty, but I think that whether or not we all agree that the hue of political genius was upon his cheek, everybody will agree that those two pictures were exactly alike in having on his cheek the glow of good health and self-satisfaction, the picture on the pamphlet when he was opposing a lower tariff and the picture on the pamphlet when he made his confession that he was in utter and basic error in doing so. And whether there was depicted there the hue, as I say, of political genius, there was depicted the hue of the most rosy good health and self-satisfaction. Sir, in great contrast with that is the device of the patent medicine man who gives two pictures, one "before" and one "after" taking the remedy-the one "before" taking showing a man emaciated in body, shrunken in features and perhaps shrunken in conscience in the view that his latter end is rapidly approaching; and then, "after", we have the rosy cheek and the air of self-satisfaction, a complete and absolute contrast between that and the first picture. But I congratulate that mentality which belongs to the ex-Minister of Public Works. I congratulate him upon the ethical standard which evidently belongs to him so that he can swallow a dose of high protection and a dose of low protection and in each case show no possible sign that the contrasted medicine had made any perceptible difference whatsoever- in fact I think it was precisely the same photograph that was used for the two occasions.
I am inclined to congratulate the right hon. leader of the opposition-against whom personally I would find it impossible even on a limited acquaintance to wish any personal harm-I am inclined to congratulate him that he was defeated before the McCurdy conscience asserted itself and denounced the high protection which its owner had formerly preached. That hon. gentleman and I were brought up on two respective farms about a mile apart, and with apologies to the Liberals of ward 1 in the city of Halifax before whom I used this metaphor a few weeks ago when I had the honour of addressing them. I am going to use a certain illustration again. The ex-minister of Public Works and my humble self have both known the phenomenon of a hen having duck eggs placed under her at setting time. In her innocence she sets there about one week longer than the normal time.
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It is true she hatches out a brood over whom she presumes she will have leadership; but it is equally true that as soon as the ducklings see a pond of water she realizes that her own leadership instantly ceases to function. The horrible, stupid, tragical part of it in the case of the ex-Minister of Public Works was that in denouncing high protection' as a cure for the ills of the Maritime provinces he conceived that he was a leader of thought. He had done so great a deed as to defeat no less a great imperialist no less a great Canadian than the distinguished Minister of Finance of this country in 1911. He then assumed, perhaps very rightly so on paper, that he had hatched protectionist chickens with which he would still be able to tramp over the dry lands of Ontario. There was a war election in 1917 and perhaps for that reason the hon. gentleman thought that his brooding process had again bred protectionist chickens. But there came the election of 1921 and thereafter in the silence of his deliberations the ex-Minister of Public Works realized that he had been setting on the wrong eggs and this time instead of hatching protectionist chickens he had hatched real, web-footed, Maritime ducklings, and when they rushed into their native element the sea, he followed them to the edge of Halifax harbour waving after them his latest pamphlet and thereby trying to imitate the honest quack of a mother duck. Were I inclined to indulge in the Latin tongue to which some hon. members are prone, I should say of him sic transit gloria McCurdy. I would also say in Latin for the benefit of the right hon. leader of the opposition: "So perish every traitor." It was no discovery on the part of the ex-Minister of Public Works that we in the Maritimes have been somewhat surfeited with the medicine of high protection.
In regard to the present budget-and let me say here that I wish to congratulate the Acting Minister of Finance upon the budget that he has produced-some hon. members have seen fit to praise its diction, its clarity, and its preciseness and arrangement. It does seem to me that ought to be taken for granted for I for one would be astonished if there has been a budget since confederation as to which that preliminary and that mere literary compliment is not entirely due. I for one would be astonished if it were so. But coming to the substance of the budget, it seems to me it exhibits the qualities of carefulness, and if you like of caution, and at a time when these qualities should be at a very high premium. Because, Mr. Speaker, this is a time when we do realize as never TMr. Putnam.]
before the differences in the economic conditions, the differences in the physical conditions, of the various provinces and the various areas which we call Canada-this far flung country. It seems to me that we realize as never before the great length, I might almost reverently say the discouragingly great length, of the country from east to west and from west to east back again; and perhaps we realize as never before that the average settled width of the country from north to south, using the word "settled" in any reasonably strong sense, is comparatively a very narrow width, and when we realize that our immigration has been checked by the war, and realize the frightful results of the war and realize also that immediately to our south there is a great country, a highly civilized country, which happens to have climatic conditions much milder than our own and which is a perpetual temptation for emigration of our people down to that country, we do come to this conclusion, that much as we desire more population, much as it is well nigh imperative in the problems we have, and particularly in our ambitious railway problems, there is no immediate prospect- and we might as well look the facte in the face-that in the very near or immediate future we shall have any material addition to our sparse population-sparse I say reverently-in comparison with our very vast area. And while I believe the low tariff people are much .in the majority in this country, there is that high tariff school supported by powerful interests, which really makes two schools of thought, as .to whether the tariff should be very much raised, or whether it should be greatly lowered, and therefore under all these perplexing conditions the very outline of which I have attempted merely to mention, and in presence of that double school of economic thought, I commend the acting minister, for his prudence, in bringing down a budget which in the main confessedly so closely resembles the budget of a year ago, which I believe won the approval of the vast majority of the people of Canada.
I am sorry that the hon. member for Fort William and Rainy River (Mr. Manion) is not in his seat, although possibly he has been so sufficiently bandied about within the last few days that it is not rendered necessary for any other hon. members on this side of the House to say anything in regard to the hon. member. But I have been amused at his reading of English history, when he in effect makes the sweeping assertion that protection made England and that free trade is ruining
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England. I wonder if he has ever heard of the Napoleonic wars, because wars of that magnitude and the war of the great magnitude which we have experienced since that time, have dis'ocated all the normal and ordinary rules of business. During the Napoleonic wars the industrial situation was such on the continent of Europe, that those people who gave their energies in a death struggle very fully demonstrated that fact, and in spite of protection England saw wonderful prosperity then. Now there was the aftermath of the war. There was the readjustment which in some measure we are having, and it is a simple matter of history that England then saw terrible depression in her industries though high protection still obtained. I wonder if the hon. member for Fort William and Rainy River ever heard of the hungry forties, and I wonder if he realized, as would be my reading of it, that the industrial position of England became so desperate that Premier Sir Robert Peel took the action that he did with regard to the corn laws as an experiment. I am sorry the hon. member is not here, because I should be only too happy to discuss with him our respective interpretations of English history respecting the whole question at that time of protection and free trade.
I was interested in the contention and argument last evening of my hon. friend from Cape Breton South and Richmond (Mr. Kyte) to the effect that even in this young country high protection as such and properly divorced from controlling side issues had never won a single victory. At the expense of repeating some of his statements, and possibly with the hope of developing a little of what he stated, I wish to review very briefly the elections which have been referred to. Starting with 1878 we had the frank, the implicit, and the unequivocable promise of Sir John A. Macdonald himse'f that protection would only be used temporarily for those infant industries, and as a lever and a club to bring about reciprocity itself. Then we come to the election of 1S83 and at that time hon. gentlemen know the industries were enjoying something of an artificial stimulus under protection, but even at that time stood the promise of Sir John A. Macdonald, which is still a clear matter of political history, that this high tariff was only a temporary expedient and that before long we would have reciprocity. Then when we come to 1887, the industries were a little older. I think the hon. member for Cape Breton pointed out that at that time we were confronted with the Revising Barristers' Act, a deliberate attempt, as those of us who are older in this House know, to
defeat the free and voluntary will of the people. But apart from that, there had been the Riel rebellion in the Northwest, and all sorts of racial and religious and provincial side issues were dragged into the contest, and I think it is only fair to say that in 1S87 there was no fair and separate pronouncement upon the question of protection as such. Coming to the year 1891-and I personally well remember that election- it was purely an appeal to loyalty. It
was a waving of the old, old flag. It
was an unctious statement of Sir John A. Macdonald in his old age: "a British subject I was born; a British subject I will die," and it sufficiently swept the heather against the economic principle of a commercial union with the United States if that were obtainable.
Coming to 1896 my hon. friends were defeated, much as they tried to hold to the front this doctrine of high protection. Then in the general election of 1911 there was a tragedy. Again the Canadian people allowed themselves to be fooled by the misappropriated cry of loyalty. In 1917 we had the War Time Elections Act and my hon. friends were successful on the canvass of prejudice. Coming to the elections of 1921, I am going to give the right hon. leader of the opposition credit for trying-and I believe he succeeded -to conduct that election upon the sole and the dissociated question of protection as such. There was no question about the right hon. gentleman's position in regard to high and "adequate" protection*. He had announced his policy many months before and continued to announce it right along. There was no subterfuge and no statement that thi3 protection was for infant industries. He had finally and fully abandoned the position Sir John Macdonald took in that respect. Week by week during that election-and I was carefully following newspaper reports of his speeches and of his tours, little expecting that I should be in the fray-I noticed that protection was to be the sole issue in the election of 1921, and he told us-and I direct the attention of hon. gentlemen directly opposite to this-that there was no danger that the public should be misled by side issues at that time. It was insisted that the high tariff of protection on the one hand, or the low tariff on the other, which was promulgated by our friends the Progressives, and largely by the Liberals as well, was the issue and the only major issue; and he told us that preliminary to that we should have an ample campaign of education. He staked his word as it were that there would be no
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side issue, no minor issue, that there would be no red herring drawn across the trail this time; in 1921 we were to have a clear cut issue and decision on the question of protection as such. And I think that question was voted upon; I am absolutely of the belief that this was by far the major issue in the last campaign. With what result? With this result, that those who favoured the low tariff propaganda literally swept the country and left behind the (followers of the right hon. gentleman's party, with numbers which were a record for their historic paucity.
WThen I go to Nova Scotia, which has been greatly in the limelight, I need not depend upon any alleged new found doctrine of my late opponent, the eix-Minister of Public Works in the last government. There is no doubt that Nova Scotia, in a proper sense of the word, is still all right. I do not know that we ever expect to be a great numerical people with teeming industries and millions of people in that little province, where our geographic position is modest and where, to be frank, we are just a little out of the way as compared with Canada as a whole. But we are not pessimists as regards the future of Nova Scotia. We, all of us, believe, as does the ex-JMinister of Public Works in the' late administration, that high protection after a long and more than a fair trial has done harm and harm only to the Maritime provinces. I picked up the Morning Chronicle the other day, and while it is true it is a Liberal organ, it so intelligently summarizes some figures from tTie census returns that I shall take the liberty of reading a portion of the article setting them forth. After showing that protection and the element of railway rates have been against us, the editorial goes on to say:
In spite of all this, if the growth in population of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia since confederation in 1867, be compared with that of Quebec and Ontario, it will be found that Nova Scotia and New Brunswick have increased respectively by 58.74 and 53.9 per cent, while Ontario and Quebec have only increased by 110.13 and 112.42 per cent respectively. This is no startling difference when the huge free grants of extra territory which the two larger provinces have received-still at our expense-are taken into consideration along with the operations of high " protection " entirely in their favour and to our most serious disadvantage and loss. Ontario has never gained an additional representative in parliament through increase of population since confederation. She came within an ace of suffering the loss of one by the last census. Nova Scotia did gain one extra member, by the first census after confederation, that of 1871. Her losses, since then, began under and have kept pace with the " National Policy " of high protection for the advancement of central Canada.
To show how that policy has affected Ontario as well as Nova Scotia, a few facts will suffice. These facts will show, at the same time, that tariff " pro-
tection " is for the exclusive benefit of cities and towns at the expense of rural communities. In brief, then, the facts are that 35 counties of Ontario lost
78.000 in population between 1911 and 1921. Thirty-five counties are, all but one, twice the number of counties in Nova Scotia. Yet in those ten years Nova Scotia's eighteen counties made an increase of nearly
25.000 population. The thirty-five Ontario counties made very considerable progress towards becoming a " Withered Arm," because they were unduly and improperly taxed for the upbuilding of the cities and towns of that province. Nova Scotia was blighted by the same means, but held back of the " withering " stage.
Nova Scotia was an old settled country at confederation. In the preceding 120 years she had gained a population of only 330,000. She has increased this by 200,000 in the fifty odd years since confederation. The prairie provinces, relatively, are now where Nova Scotia wTas at confederation. Their days of rapid growth are as definitely over as are ours. The next twenty years will tell where the " Withered Arm," if it exists, will have to be looked for.
That is more concisely put than I could state it, and it expresses the effect of the operation of protection so clearly that I have taken the liberty of reading it to the House.
Our friends of the official opposition are prone to twit us with the commercial treaties we have sought afar, such notably as the French and Italian treaties as well as the suggested Australian treaty, and they have declared that these treaties do not amount to very much, being hardly worth the time, the effort and the ambition which this government has spent upon them. All I can say to that is that it does not lie in the mouths of these hon. gentlemen to make any such criticism, [DOT]because in 1911 there was the golden opportunity, to defeat which they immediately lined up their followers, by the means they employed. If we had then achieved the reciprocity which was offered us by the United States, and as we thought honourably offered by Canada in return, we should not have needed to send our missionaries over the earth to search out infinitely (inferior trade treaties. We missed an opportunity which possibly may never occur again; and, if I am not using slang, it makes me a little bit tired and decidedly impatient to sit here and listen to the official Tories twitting us about the trade treaties which we are trying to secure in lieu of that master treaty which we could have had with the United States. I say that it does not come well from hon. gentlemen to suggest that these treaties are not of so much importance.
I do not know precisely the attitude of the Conservative opposition towards our coal duty which we recently raised as respects slack coal. I do know, however, though I am not in a coal county, that 50 cents a ton on slack coal is a lesser ad valorem duty to-day than 14 cents was formerly. As I understand it,
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slack coal is in its initial stage a waste, something comparable to the sawdust which the lumberman encounters in getting his lumber sawn. If that sawdust comprised about 50 per cent, instead of a very small proportion, of the actual lumber, the comparison would be almost complete. The fact is that with the American slack coal coming in, this byproduct of the coal industry in Canada was well nigh a waste to our coal operators. But by putting the duty up to 50 cents on slack coal we think the coal operators of Nova Scotia will be able to ship about half a million more tons of slack coal1 into the market and sell it at a small profit.
Do not tell any Nova Scotian that that change is going to raise the price of round coal, because it is not. It will be far more apt to have the effect of slightly reducing the price, inasmuch as by getting a better price for what otherwise would be his waste product the mine operator will produce coal on the whole cheaper than he did before. I am willing to admit that it is somewhat of a reversal of the trend towards a lower tariff. But we have to recognize this fact, as it was succinctly stated to me this afternoon by a very bright member of the press gallery-that confederation to be held together seeks resort after resort to artificial means. I admit that on economic grounds the raising of the tariff upon slack coal is something of 'an artificial means. I had no patience with my good friend from Brome (Mr. McMaster) when he said that we were not entitled to this assistance, and that if Nova Scotia coal could not be placed in New England at a living profit we should let the mines go down. If we go back to the time of confederation-and surely nobody will discount the promises of leading Canadians at that time-we were told and openly encouraged to believe that our coal mines were a part of the great contemplated Canadian partnership assets, and that the coal of Nova Scotia would be burned in the grates of Ontario. The hon. member for Brome cannot tell us now, with any semblance of justice, fair play or equity, that it just depends on whether it is a strictly economic transaction, and that if we cannot mine our coal under the conditions of profit we have to go out of business, we have to throw that pride of asset out of the reckoning of confederation as a whole.
I have another view on this coal question, Mr. Speaker, which I think probably has not been touched in the economic aspect. During the Great war the coal fields of Sydney helped at one stroke materially to bring victory to the Allies. The armed minions of the British navy saw to it that the warships,
the troop ships and the freight ships were assembled at Sydney, carefully guarded and bunkered, so that we were dependent on no nation outside the British Empire to get our supplies and men overseas, and to keep open the arteries of commerce, which was a tremendous and spectacular undertaking. We are not so far advanced towards universal peace that we have any proof that Armageddon may not come again. During the last war the government put an embargo against the export of Canadian coal, showing that we would take no chances in the winning of that tremendous struggle, and that we appreciated the strategic position of Sydney with its coal fields nearer to the pivotal points of the world than those of any other part of Canada. Therefore for that reason I say we should never allow these coal mines to be dismantled. There can be no economic profit for the British government to keep great stores of ammunitions, but it is a preservation against the storm. Our coal fields at Sydney, in Cape Breton and in Nova Scotia generally are directly in that category, and I say that if all other economic reasons for this duty were absolutely unsound, we should preserve these coal mines in working order against any such horrible and unexpected contingency as that which we passed through only a few years ago. The people who know this business tell me that you cannot drop a coal mine like a pitch fork and take it up again when you please; you have to keep it open, you have to keep it running practically to capacity to be able to draw upon it in case of emergency.
I have alluded to the position of my opponent the ex-Minister of Public Works in the late government. When I read that pamphlet of his I found he said that if we cannot get rid of this high fence of protection we in the Maritime provinces might as well cut the painter so far as the Canadian connection is concerned. I have a personal friend in this House in the hon. member for Springfield (Mr. Hoey). He said something a little along the same lines, and the Tory press from one end of the country to the other proceeded to denounce him as a traitor to confederation and a dangerous demagogue, and I cannot remember the variety of anathema which they poured out against him. It is wonderful that the ex-Minister of Public Works in the late government so well escaped the adverse criticism that fell to the lot of the hon. member for Springfield. I would say of the latter gentleman that a better Canadian, a more intelligent or more fearless member, one who understands the spirit of our constitution better, one who is
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more widely read and a more thorough allround Britisher, does not in my humble opinion sit in this parliament. And I only want to say that if these denunciations are to be continued, he has the company of a gentleman very recently a minister in the government led by my right hon. friend. But I think the statements of these two hon. gentlemen are capable of a reasonable interpretation. The hon. member for Springfield does not make the stupid mistake in that regard of thinking that he is a leader of public opinion, although his ability is widely recognized. My late opponent, the ex-Minister of Public Works in the late government, does evidently profess to think that his conversion made of him a leader of thought. The hon. member for Springfield did not come out with any flamboyant pamphlet with his portrait on the first page. What those two hon. gentlemen said was in effect simply this: There is a
way to have even-handed justice dealt out to the various sections of this Dominion, there is a way to do it before it is too late, and if you could imagine a state of affairs wherein we could not do it, why what is the good of maintaining confederation at all? You might as well tell me that if I put up at an hotel and said to my host, "If you don't give me fair accommodation here I will not stay," it would not be other than a simple and firm invitation to the host to treat me fairly. It would be intended to bring results and would succeed. And we in the Maritime provinces, with our friends in the west, do feel that under the scheme of confederation we have not yet got anything like even-handed justice, and that the chief factor against that justice which we seek is the bane of this high protection, which the hon. member for North Toronto (Mr. Church) was extolling with his last utterance to-night when he left By-town for Hog-town.
Now, if we take the $344,000,000 representing the revenue of this country, I think it will be enlightening to tens of thousands of hard-shelled Tories and high protectionists to find that only 31 per cent of that revenue, or less than one-third, is made up from customs duties. I approached an otherwise intelligent man in the last Dominion election to vote against the forces of high protection, but I could not persuade him that high protection was not the be-all and the end-all of our national existence; he seemed to think that protection was the one idol which was our salvation and our sure and only means of revenue. I am sure that when I see him again and tell him, "Why, my good man. less than one-third of the money that is
necessary to carry on the country is obtained from that idol of protection of yours," he will begin to see that there are other and more open and manly ways of raising the revenue than by this subterranean method of the tariff. There is a sales tax and there is an income tax. I admit that taxation in any form is never welcome, and these two forms of taxation are no exception. But they have at least this virtue, that they are collected in the daylight, whereas this 31 per cent coming from customs duties is collected in the dark. I hope that the government will diminish more and more the percentage that comes from the customs tariff.
Our Progressive friends have been subjected to tactics which do no credit either to their intelligence or to their astuteness. I would not assume to dictate to them, but I would ask them, in the presence of those who have been responsible for the tactics to which I have alluded, to be very careful about giving their imprimatur to the high protectionist tactics involved in the innocent notice of motion that I have mentioned, and the budget amendment which contains no reference to tariff. These are tactics which, I submit, are divested of every element of candour and good faith.
As to my statement that the hon. member for Springfield (Mr. Hoey) said nothing more un-Canadian than my opponent in the last election, the ex-Minister of Public Works under the late government, I wish to gay that the hon. member said nothing more un-Canadian-it was not un-Canadian at all-than Mayor Murphy of Halifax said the other day when the Maritime delegation came here to press for their rights and to supplement the efforts of the Maritime province members in this parliament. Most hon. members heard what he properly said.
In conclusion, I merely wish to congratulate the Acting Minister of Finance upon the fact that his budget is commanding the support of the hon. member for West Calgary (Mr. Shaw). The hon. member is the leader of a non-negligible group in this House, and last session he voted for an amendment which condemned the government for not proceeding more rapidly toward the goal of a very low tariff. I think therein we have some indication that the public at large appreciate with the rate of geometric progression the difficulties which the government has to face and realize that after all we are making steady progress toward better financial conditions through the destruction of the idol of superhigh protection.
The Budget-Mr. Hodgins