February 12, 1926

CON

James Dew Chaplin

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CHAPLIN (Lincoln):

I have more than I want now.

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CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

Just wait.

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CON

James Dew Chaplin

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CHAPLIN (Lincoln):

On January 13, the minister told this House the same thing. I took the trouble to look up the Montreal Trade Bulletin, which paper, I am led to believe, amongst the trade, is an authority on prices. I examined the issues of that paper covering a period of seven weeks in the library here. The minister said that the price of Canadian butter was approximately as low in New York as it was in Montreal. Let me quote the figures which I found in this journal which anybody can read. On December 24 the price in New York for their second grade of butter, not their extra grade creamery, ibut the grade of butter that scores 92 under their method, was 48 to 48J cents a pound. In Montreal No. 1 pasteurized creamery butter, which I am told by the head of the Dairy and Cold Storage branch of the Department of Agriculture grades higher than the butter which I am quoting in New York, is 41^ to 42 cents. On December 31, the next week-this is a weekly paper-the same class of New York butter is quoted at 49 and 50 cents, and in Montreal it is quoted at 41| to 42. On January 8, the price in New York for that

The Address-Mr. Chaplin (Lincoln)

same butter that I have described was 47} to 48, and in Montreal 42} to 42}. On January 15, only two days from the date the minister refers to, the price in New York was 441 to 45, and in Montreal 42} to 421. On January 22 the price was 44 to 44} in New York, and 42} to 42} in Montreal. On January 29 the price in New York was 46} to 47 and in Montreal 43} to 43}. On February 5 the price in New Yrork was 47} to 48 and in Montreal 45 to 45}. More than that I took the trouble to go through the Montreal Gazette, which I understand is also an authority, to get its prices. I went through it each day for the whole month of January and I could not find one day in which the same quality of butter sold as cheaply in New York as it did in Montreal. The minister says he has given me one instance today. I am very glad to get it, because it will certainly be a treat to see it.

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LIB

James Alexander Robb (Minister of Trade and Commerce; Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. ROBB:

I accept that invitation and I pass it over, and in doing so may I remark that, according to my hon. friend's own argument, the importation of Australian and New Zealand 'butter has increased the price of butter in Canada.

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CON

James Dew Chaplin

Conservative (1867-1942)

Air. CHAPLIN (Lincoln):

No. I did not say anything of the kind. In reply to his assertion I will read him a statement which appears in the same Trade Bulletin, and this will show whether there is a fluctuation in price. This is taken from the Alontreal Trade Bulletin of February 5, and reads:

Sales of odd small lots of western No. 1 pasteurized were made yesterday at 44 cents, to arrive, while New Zealand No. 1 [pasteurized near at hand sold at 44$ and a lot for shipment-

That is for future delivery.

-of New Zealand pasteurized butter was placed at 41$ cents.

Does that look as if it were increasing the price of Canadian butter? It just depends upon whether or not there is a shipment close. There was a good sized shipment on the way. It was reducing the price because it was near at hand and ready to be delivered, and anybody who says that with a consignment of a million pounds of butter a month coming into the common market the price is going to be forced up wants to have his head read.

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LIB

Charles A. Stewart (Minister of Immigration and Colonization; Minister of Mines; Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. STEWART (West Edmonton):

Your argument is that it was forced down.

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CON

James Dew Chaplin

Conservative (1867-1942)

Air. CHAPLIN (Lincoln):

My argument is that it takes away a good1 profit that the people of this country should have for the manufacture of butter in an off-time of the year when it costs them more money to produce it.

Now, Mir. Speaker, in reference to the working out of the French treaty I want to miake a little further comparison. We had no treaty with Germany. I hope otir government will not try its hand at that. Every time they have tried to make a treaty we have been a little worse off.

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CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

Hear,.hear.

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CON

James Dew Chaplin

Conservative (1867-1942)

Air. CHAPLIN (Lincoln):

Always for the Same reason-the blighting hands of the government are laid upon the business of the country with disastrous results. These hon. gentlemen made a treaty with France and children really could make a better treaty. We got the worst of it in the treaty with Belgium. That was natural, because having given it to one we must give it to the other. In making the French treaty we opened the door to ten other countries and' gave them the same; terms. This government reduced the duty upon a long line of luxuries which cculd well afford to pay. They reduced the duties on those luxuries and allowed them to enter into this country, with a loss of millions of dollars of revenue, and that was all done in the interests of the poor agriculturists; the treaty was made for the farmers particularly.

I want to draw the attention of the House to the difference between our trade with Germany and our trade with France. We have no treaty with Germany. Three years ago we sold to Germany for the twelve months ending December 23, in round figures thirteen million dollars worth of commodities. We are selling them to-day without a treaty thirty-one million dollars' worth. We bought from them four million dollars' worth in 1923 and we are now purchasing nine millions, so that we have a balance of trade of over twenty-two million in our favour, whereas owing to our treaty with France to-day this is the result. We started out in 1923 with a trade balance in our favour, and now we have a trade balance against us of seven million dollars. That justifies me in saying that when this government makes a treaty the effect is like a blight on a tree.

Now we come to the Netherlands. I hope the minister will not claim anything for his treaty with that country. We made a treaty with the Netherlands, but I am afraid the blight will get there too, because they are mighty good customers. Here is the position of the Netherlands' business to-day. Three years ago we sold them eight million dollars worth, and1 now we are selling them twenty-two million dollars worth and this business is goit practically without a treaty. We buy from them about five or six million dollars worth and we have a fine balance of

956 COMMONS

The Address-Mr. Chaplin (Lincoln)

trade. We have made a treaty with them, and heaven forbid that it should tjurn out anything like the other treaties. The returns I am reading from, as I said before, are published by the Department of Trade andi Commerce.

The minister further read us a few testimonials from different papers and he read something to show us that everything was all right in Denmark and going fine. The minister has in his possession some petitions from the west. Unfortunately, I do not have copies of these, but I see from the Regina Leader of the 6th February that the Saskatchewan Co-operative Creameries, Limited, have sent a very strongly worded resolution, passed by their board of directors, expressing the wish that the government would rescind this treaty. The government also have in their hands a resolution and notes of minutes from another corporation out there, the Saskatchewan Dairy Association, endorsing the action of this other corporation and asking for the same thing. It would be a good idea if the minister would table those in the House so that we might see what value is placed upon this treaty by these people in the west. Of course, the minister says that the United States have a duty of eight cents per pound on butter and that it does not get them anywhere; that it does not raise the price of butter. Is that the usual free trade argument that a duty of eight cents per pound in the United States does not raise the price of butter there? I think not. My friends to my left will agree with me that any time you put a duty on an article, you are going to hit the consumer by the amount of the duty, and then some, because the fellow that produces gets something too. I think I can prove all that from the Farmers' book which I took the trouble to bring here. I think I can prove it to them right out of their own book, and yet we find the minister saying that if you put a duty on butter, you will not raise the price. My idea is to put a duty on butter and raise the price by keeping out the other stuff.

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PRO

John Evans

Progressive

Mr. EVANS:

What book is the hon. gentleman quoting from?

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CON

James Dew Chaplin

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CHAPLIN (Lincoln):

It is a favourite book of mine-the Farmers' platform. This [DOT]was drafted by the Canadian Council of Agriculture and it was adopted by the United Farmers of Alberta, so my hon. friends are all in it-the Saskatchewan Grain Growers' Association, the Manitoba Grain Growers' Association and the United Farmers of Ontario. It is published by the Canadian Council of Agriculture That is a pretty safe book.

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PRO

John Evans

Progressive

Mr. EVANS:

May I suggest that the hon.

gentleman turn to the page on the plunder of boots and shoes? He will find the principle very well set forth there.

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LIB

Joseph Georges Bouchard

Liberal

Mr. BOUCHARD:

Will the hon. gentleman allow me a question?

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CON

James Dew Chaplin

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CHAPLIN (Lincoln):

One at a time.

I was going to answer the other one. Why did the hon. member not ask that question of the government? Why ask it of me?

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PRO

John Evans

Progressive

Mr. EVANS:

The government never challenged the statement.

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CON

James Dew Chaplin

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CHAPLIN (Lincoln):

Neither did I,

so far as that is concerned. I said that I could prove certain things from this book. The hon. gentleman asked about boots and shoes. I w'ould like him to ask that question of someone on the other side of the House. I am in favour of protection on boots and shoes. How many hon. members who live by the boot and shoe industry are ready to say the same thing? How many of them have made appeals on that ground and are now afraid to admit the fact? I will now answer the question of my hon. friend.

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LIB

Joseph Georges Bouchard

Liberal

Mr. BOUCHARD:

Was my hon. friend so keen about the interests of the dairy farmers in 1923 when he voted for oleomargarine, although there was a strong recommendation from the National Dairy Council against oleomargarine ?

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CON

James Dew Chaplin

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CHAPLIN (Lincoln):

If I voted for

oleomargarine, I did so because I believed a I, that time it was in the interest of my people to have it brought into this country. It was war time. We had that measure on the statute book as a war measure. Why did this government, I will ask the hon. gentleman, keep it on the statute book for two years after they came into power? I voted on that proposition in the same wTay as my hon. friend's late leader, Mr. Fielding.

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LIB

Joseph Georges Bouchard

Liberal

Mr. BOUCHARD:

I mentioned just 1923. The war was over then.

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CON

James Dew Chaplin

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CHAPLIN (Lincoln):

The war was

over in 1923; but who kept this measure on the statute book during 1921, 1922, 1923? It was a war measure; but the Liberal government kept it going and they could not get rid of it. It was not got rid of in a frank-open manner; it was got rid of only by a subterfuge in the House, by the government chucking it over to a private member to do the work. The government were scared to take hold of the thing and do it themselves.

The Address-Mr. Foster

Mr. A. de WITT FOSTER (Hants-Kings): Mr. Speaker, in rising to address the House,

I feel very much in the position of the hon. member for LabeJle (Mr. Bourassa), who after an absence of eighteen years, told us the other day that his reappearance here was more ghost-like than real. I am glad that you have allowed some latitude in debate, because I want to avail myself of that privilege and the courtesy of the House. While I may not cover as many subjects as did the hon. member for La'belle, I can assure the House that I have one regret, namely, that whereas hon. members were repaid on that occasion with an eloquence as brilliant as any ever heard in this chamber, they will have to forego that pleasure in any remarks which I may make.

During the last ten years I have had the privilege of viewing such progress as Canada has made from a vantage point outside of the Dominion itself, working all that time, I may say, in the upbuilding of a greater Canada and devoting myself to those things which would make for the progress and advancement of this Dominion. I find many changes here in the last ten years, some of them very much for the better. This pile, magnificent in beauty and symmetry, has been erected on the old site of the House of Commons where you, Sir, and I sat some ten years ago, and erected I may-observe under the supervision of the hon. member for South Winnipeg (Mr. Rogers) who at that time was Minister of Public Works. I take this opportunity of congratulating that hon. gentleman and the committee who worked with him on that occasion on the building of such a splendid structure. I would add by the wav that in the interior of this structure a much needed improvement might be effected, and I would suggest that the committee of the House having charge of the matter might investigate one of the new things that have been devised for the comfort of mankind, in order to facilitate the transaction of business here. In particular I would mention a material called celotex made from the waste product of sugar cane known as bagasse, which is used for the purpose of deadening sound and thus increasing in a very material degree the acoustic properties of buildings of such vastness as this chamber. Having acted for twelve or fourteen months as publicity counsel for the manufacturers of this article I came more or less in contact with the great work they were doing in the United States and I know that there are many public buildings there, some as large as this, which are now equipped with this device. I do not

wish by any means to give them a free advertisement in this House but I have, at least, a desire to improve the speaking facilities of the chamber and I can assure the government that such an improvement could be brought about with great benefit to all of us.

Speaking of the old building, I am naturally reminded of things that create in me some feelings of sadness. In the burning of that building I barely escaped with my own life, while one of the hon. members of this House at that time, a representative from the province of Nova Scotia, in the person of the late Mr. B. B. Daw, was less fortunate. I wish even at this late day, inasmuch as I had not at the time an opportunity to extend my sympathy to his family, to place on record my feelings of sorrow and at the same time my appreciation of the services which that gentleman had always rendered to his country. I desire also to sympathize with those of his family who have remained. I recall also another fellow member of that time who passed into the great beyond while in the service oi the country. I am sure that hon. gentlemen who pass in and out of this chamber must have a kindly thought, tinged though it may be with the sadness of recollection, of the services rendered by the late Lieutenant-Colonel Henry Baker, at one time the member for Brome. I want to place myself on Hansard in appreciation of this House in its tribute paid to that gallant gentleman, a tribute which will stand for years and years to come.

I am reminded, w-hile speaking of days gone by, that when I first entered the House as a young man I was impressed with the personality of many men and among those who impressed me then none did so to a greater degree than did the then leader of the opposition who has since passed on, the Right Hon. Sir Wilfrid Laurier. In those years, inexperienced as I was in business and struggling with problems in which it requires a long probation in a young man's life to bring him to an adequate knowledge of human nature, I had many times a kindly word from that right hon. gentleman who led the government of this Dominion for fifteen years from 1896 to 1911 and who thereafter served as leader of the opposition. I was impressed with the dignified and stately way in which he rose on all occasions during my time in this House to present the views of His Majesty's loyal opposition, and I am sure, Sir, that the public life of Canada is the poorer for his having passed.

The Address-Mr. Foster

I venture now to offer to yourself, Mr. Speaker, a word of congratulation upon your re-election to the high and hon-5 p.m. ourable office you now hold. I have a pleasant recollection of your eloquence in those years when first I came to parliament, and while it is a matter for regret that the House should so seldom be inspired by that eloquence it is a compensation that hon. members, the younger members of parliament particularly, should have the benefit of your kindly and invaluable guidance as Speaker of this House. I desire also to compliment the present leader of the opposition (Mr. Meighen) on the victory he has won. Appealing to this country, as he did, at the head of a group of fifty members, he was returned with such a measure of confidence as is seldom seen in any democratic country in the world. It speaks something for the character and the ability of a young man that, by studious application to work and by the faithful pursuit of his principles and ideals, he should endear himself and his followers in the hearts of the people and so commend himself to the strong common sense and the genius of the Canadian public as to come back to parliament with such a strengthened fallowing as the right hon. the leader of the opposition has behind him in the House to-day, and of whom the present speaker is one of the most humble.

Before touching on the matters related to the amendment to the Address, I desire to say a word or two apropos of the debate which has just taken place between my hon. friend from Lincoln (Mr. Chaplin) and the Minister of Finance (Mr. Robb). It seemed to me that the hon. member thoroughly repudiated the suggestion put forward in this House in regard to prices obtaining in the United States and in Canada respectively of various commodities, but I took the Minister of Finance at his word when he said that the price of butter in New York was 42 cents and in Canada 421 cents. When he made this statement however I wondered, assuming it to be true, what became of the argument which we have heard all over the country from east to west that protection will raise the price to the consumer. I thought surely the Minister of Finance had not that argument in mind when he made that statement. Now having lived some time on the other side of the line, where I enjoyed the benefits of protective tariff, a tariff higher than any which this country has ever had, I have no hesitation in saying that the cost of living in that protected country is not a bit higher than it is in the Dominion of Canada where the tariff is less than half as high as it is in the United States.

Any hon. gentleman who spends any time in the United States can verify that fact for himself.

What does happen with regard to the price of butter and of agricultural products generally under protection on the other side of the line? This thing, a very important thing: under protection they have a more stable and a more uniform price for the things they have to sell. We talk about the wonderful markets there and we forget the peculiar conditions that exist in the United States as in other countries. We talk about sending across the border our products such as potatoes, fruit and' so forth. Well, let me tell hon. gentlemen who talk that way that if we want to send our produce over there we have to go over not only a tariff wall but something else as well. And I would invite the attention of the House to that something else. It is this: in the great centres of the republic to the south of us, from the Atlantic to the Pacific, there are trade organizations of all descriptions, dealers' associations, and so on, and you will find that the market is preserved to their own people, and preserved at a uniform level. That is a tremendous advantage to the home market and the fact is that in Canada the home market takes care of almost 90 per cent of our production. If it were not for the home market in the United States there would be chaos and the farmers of that country know it. They are all convinced of this fact with the exception of a few odd ones here and there in the farmers' organizations who. are ambitious to become president or secretary of their particular organization, to attain office and probably run for Congress or the Senate. These people set up the usual argument in order to get into the limelight and to win for themselves positions in the public life of the country. But the solid common sense of the farmers of the United States is in keeping with the New England common sense as exemplified by Calvin Coolidge, which the farmers of that country will endorse for some years to come. They are satisfied to continue on that basis.

I desire to make a few observations with regard to the mover (Mr. Elliott) and the seconder (Mr. Lacombe) of the Address, to which the amendment before the House has been moved. I am a little more familiar with the language of the mover than with that of the seconder, but, Sir, I hope some time within the next twenty-five years to have the privilege of availing myself of a knowledge of that language-a language which I love second to none on earth, the tongue native to yourself, Sir, and to your compatriots of the province of Quebec. Having

The Address-Mr. Foster

worked with my French-Canadian brothers and knowing something of them, I appreciate why they show such a keen regard for their mother tongue.

The mover of the Address in the course of his speech made a few statements to which I desire to direot the attention of the House. He said that in the early part of 1922, when the present administration took control, they realized that if a country with a population of nine million and a debt of $2,400,090,000 were to make progress there must be reductions in the public debt and a policy of rigid economy. We have had in the Speech from the Throne somewhat similar sentiments. Well, I thought, it was too bad that the mover of the Address had to speak before the hon. Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Motherwell), for if he could have had the benefit of listening to that hon. gentleman he wrould have discovered how in the past four years that policy of economy had been put into effect. At page 246 of Hansard the Minister of Agriculture is reported as speaking of the many great public undertakings that his government had carried out, such as the Welland canal, the Toronto viaduct, the bridge at Montreal, the harbour improvements at Quebec. I say, Sir, there was " economy " with a vengeance 1 On the other side of the line the greatest question confronting the United States government was the necessity for rigid economy and they have carried out such a thorough policy of retrenchment that to-day their income tax is reduced, their stamp tax has been abolished, as well as several other taxes, and they are more strongly entrenched in power than ever because of having carried out the policy on which they were elected. By contrast with the policy of our neighbours I thought of the costly undertakings which the Minister of Agriculture enumerated a few days ago. According to the figures given to this House $572,000,000 has been expended on the national railways during the last five years, the major portion of it by this government. A consideration of this and other facts gives us some idea of what real economy means as practised by hon. gentlemen opposite. I am aware that the $572,000,000 was challenged by the hon. member for Queens-Lunenburg (Mr. Duff) and I shall deal with this point in a moment or two.

According to the figures in the public accounts, the public debt of Canada when this government came into office was $2,340,000,000. If we take the proportion of the railway expenditure and the $77,000,000 which was added to the public debt according to the records, we find tot-day that our commitments are close to $2,750,000,000. Now, where is there

any reduction in the public debt? Is it to be argued that if you give yoMr note and get money on it, or the equivalent, that you do not go into debt? Well, if that is so it is a new system, and we hope we may be able to avail ourselves of it during the next three or four years. The hon. member for West Middlesex (Mr. Elliott) laboured for some time to show that a reduction in the public debt had been made, but the further he went the more apparent it became that his government had greatly increased our national obligations. He said that the total disbursements for the year just passed-I suppose he meant for the fiscal year ended March 31, 1925.-were $339,000,000 odd. Buit I find in looking over the ptu'blic accounts that another $17,000,000 must be added to capital expenditure, and approximately $118,000,000, according to their own figures, was spent on Canadian National Railways account. These give us a total of $474,000,000. This divided by nine million, the population figure used by the hon. member, gives us a per capita expenditure for that year of $52.80 instead of $37 as claimed by him. Well, instead of the reduction of $14 per capita that he gives his government credit for having effected as against the expenditure under the preceding administration, we have actually an increase of $7.40 per capita, according to his own method of computation. I am not particularly struck with his method, but I follow it simply to make my comparison intelligible.

The hon. gentleman also gave the House some comparative figures on the cost of agricultural implements to the consumer. I should like some hon. member who knows all the facts to give this House the exact reductions-if there have been any-that have been passed on to the farmers of western and eastern Canada by virtue of any tariff reductions, because then we would be able to place alongside those reductions the fact that industries in Ontario have been put out of business by virtue of those tariff changes. The best information I have been able to obtain is very dissimilar to that which has been presented to the House, and I desire to mention some of the prices quoted by my hon. friend. I hold in my hand two price lists of the Massey-Harris Company, one for 1925 and the other for 1921. In 1921 the hon. member told us that the cost of a binder was $335, whereas in 1925 it had been reduced to $268.50. I cannot vouch for my 1925 Massey-Harris catalogue being the latest edition issued by that company, but it is the most recent one I have been able to obtain. I find that for 1925 the price was

The Address-Mr. Foster

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February 12, 1926