February 16, 1926

CON

John Wesley Edwards

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. EDWTARDS (Frontenac-Addington):

Nor did be call attention to the $181,000 spent on radio outfits.

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PRO
CON

John Wesley Edwards

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mir. EDWARDS (Frontenac-Addington):

"All of value," the hon, gentleman says. Nor did1 he call attention to the $270,000 paid out in providing golf courses for the entertainment or amusement of those gentlemen who have wealth enough to travel up and down the cotuntry with a bag of sticks under their arm and play with' a little round white 'ball whenever they feel like doing so. Nor did he call attention to the Scribe hotel facts, closely connected with our railway arrangements. He did not point out that they paid to a gentleman called Aronovici $16260 for thirteen months work, $9291 for expenses or pocket money, and then gave him a bonus of $7,500 besides, a total of $33,041 to that gentleman, or an average of $85.75 a day for his work. These are the evidences of economy on the part of the government opposite.

But there is more. Between 1917 and 1920, both years inclusive, the Conservative government collected in special war taxes $179,939,000. That was denonuced in the strongest possible terms by hon. [DOT] gentlemen opposite, but in the next four years-1921 to 1924 inclusive-those hon. gentlemen collected $709,-

540,000 from the same source, or $529,000,000 more than was collected by those whom they formerly condemned. The total taxes collected during the period from 1917 to 1920 under the Conservatives were $1,156,000,000, or an average of $289,000,000 a year. That was denounced by hon. gentlemen opposite. "Put us in power," they said, "and we will reduce

The Address-Mr. Edwards (Frontenac)

the expenditure." In the next four years they collected $1,628,000,000, an average of $407,000,000 a year, or $118,000,000 more per year than was collected by those whom they condemned. I will call attention to this fact, which should not be lost sight of: that the Conservative government in the period from 1917 to 1920 made these expenditures: $164,000,000 for soldiers' gratuities; $102,000,000 in connection with the Department of Soldiers' Civil Re-establishment; $80,000,000 in connection with soldier settlement on the land; $10,000,000 on technical education, $7,000,000 on soldiers' insurance; a total of $363,000,000. Most of that expenditure was needed and was incurred before the Liberal party came into power.

Mr. MdLEAN (Melfort): Did that money come out of revenue, or was it borrowed money?

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CON

John Wesley Edwards

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. EDWARDS (Frontenac-Addington):

It does not make any difference whether it came out of revenue or was borrowed money.

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LIB

Malcolm McLean

Liberal

Mr. McLEAN (Melfort):

Did it come out of taxation, or was it borrowed money?

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CON

John Wesley Edwards

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. EDWARDS (Frontenac-Addington):

It came out of the treasury of this country. If 'you borrow money I suppose you intend to pay it back some time; or do hon. gentlemen opposite not consider that a debt or obligation? What difference does it make? The facts are there for everybody to draw their own conclusion. The net debt in 1921 was $2,350,000,000. In 1925 it had grown to

$2,417,000,000. If you add to that the

guaranteed railway bonds in 1924 and 1925, amounting to $118,000,000, it made the debt on March 31, 1925, no less a sum than $2,535,000,000. This is the record of the government which tries to speak of the creditable manner in which it has conducted the finances of this country.

The hon. member also said, if I understood him correctly, that the Conservative party was responsible for our railway problem, in that it was under the Conservatives that the railways were amalgamated. My recollection of it is that the amalgamation of these roads, forced upon the country, was acceded to by members on both sides of the House. There was nothing else to do. The Conservative party is in no way responsible for Canada's railway problem. The railway problem of Canada was brought upon this country by the wild spree of railway building conducted by the Liberals when they were in power between 1896 and 1911. It was the Liberal party which built the National Transcontinental and guaranteed the bonds of the Grand Trunk

Pacific. It was the Liberal party which also brought into existence the Canadian Northern and guaranteed its bonds, with the exception of the bonds in British Columbia.

The hon. member also referred to Canada's favourable balance of trade. He thought that that was a good point. In some cases it might be. I take this view in regard to the favourable balance of trade: If Canada could show it had a favourable balance of trade produced by the sale of goods made in Canada and finished in Canada, I would say that that would be a good argument; but what do we find? Canada exports 73 per cent of its wood and wood products in the raw state and imports 64 per cent of those wood products in the finished state. We export 87 per cent of our metals in the raw state and import about the same percentage of those metals when they have been finished, by work on the other side of the line or in other countries. A favourable balance of trade obtained by the export of our raw materials, and especially by the export of those raw materials which can never be replaced, is not a favourable balance of trade of which we should have any right to boast.

Another matter Which was referred to by the Minister of Public Works and referred to by several other hon. gentlemen is the reciprocity pact of 1911. "Oh," they say, "if

you had allowed us to put that pact on the statute book it would have been a fine thing for the farmers of Canada." That is the ground they take. I take absolute issue with them in that respect. What did that pact propose to do for the farmers of this country? The reciprocity pact did not propose to reduce the duties on the implements of production used by the farmers. It left the duties on, and as a matter of fact the duties on some sixteen agricultural implements, a list of which I have in my hand, were lower in every case in 1921, when the Conservatives went out of power, than under the proposed reciprocity agreement of 1911. In this connection I call attention to this further fact- and I do so because of the reference made to it by the hon. member for Rosetown (Mr. Evans)-that while the members from the west supporting the United Grain Growers Grain Company, which was engaged in the handling of machinery, fence wite, fence posts, flour and various other articles, found fault with the duty in 1911 on binders, mowers and so on of 12^ per cent, which duty they say obliged the buyer of a binder to pay $22.80 more for that machine, they did not want to say one word against that company which was selling binders and mowers and

1046 COMMONS

The Address-Mr. Edwards (Frontenac)

other machines, taking out of the pockets of the farmers $38.30 profit on a binder, $13.80 profit on & mower, and so on all down the list. While these people condemned the Conservative party, or any party that left a duty on farm implements or machinery, the United Grain Growers Grain Company of the west were exacting a profit of over 21 per cent on these very same machines, and were taking absolutely no risk whatever in regard to bad debts-because it was a cash transaction all through the deal so far as they were concerned. They stood in the same position in the buying of machines as anybody else. If they bought a mower from the United States it came over at a certain price. They claimed that the duty obliged them to add a certain amount to that price. Very well; accept that if you like; that does not justify their adding a still further 21 per cent profit for themselves. While they professed to be particularly anxious about the farmer, they were showing that in their dealings with the farmers-cadh dealings in which they ran no ridk of bad1 accounts-they were taking exorbitant profits all along the line, not only in regard to machinery but in regard to everything else.

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LIB

John Gordon Ross

Liberal

Mr. ROSS (Moose Jaw):

Does the hon.

member happen to know that the Grain Growers Grain Company, even if they were taking 21 per cent more on account of duties, or whatever they took it for, sold those implements at a great deal less than the regular line companies of Canada?

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CON

John Wesley Edwards

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. EDWARDS (Frontenac-Addington):

No, I do not know anything of the kind. I know that was the sworn evidence of Rice-Jones, the manager of the company, given in this budding a few years ago. He stated under oath that the company of which he was manager was taking a profit on those implements of over 21 per cent. There is the plain language; there is the source of my information, and my hon. friend can find his evidence in the report in the Library, as I found it. That is my statement, and I again point out that you must take into consideration the fact that they had their men under salary at the various elevators; they were paying them anyway, and all they had to do was to write one or two letters; it was a cash transaction in every case and there was no risk of bad debts. Surely people who profess to be deeply concerned about the farmers should be content to give them the benefit of the service and let them have the machines without taking a profit of over 21 per cent on the transaction. When they were taking

a profit of over 21 per cent in their own dealings with the farmers, I say it ill became them to come to this House and find fault with any government or party which was imposing a tariff of a little more than Jialf of the profits they were taking.

The Minister of Finance (Mr. Robb), referring to the reciprocity election of 1911, paid that the man who wrote "Rule Britan-pia" was the one who won that election for ,the Conservative party. I do not think he is right in that at all. The people of Canada voted as they did in 1911, not because of "Rule Britannia;" not because they were patriotic citizens of the country, but they voted in their own interests. So far as singing Rule Britannia is concerned, I hope the party on this side of the House will always take the lead in singing that grand old hymn, and I say to the Minister of Finance that he will never find this party trying to substitute any other flag for the Union Jack, either.

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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Oh, oh.

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CON

John Wesley Edwards

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. EDWARDS (Frontenac-Addington):

Some hon. gentlemen across the floor laugh, but I am particularly serious when I say that, ,and I am justified in making that allusion because of what was done here about a year ago by the hon. gentleman who is leading the Liberal party in this country.

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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):

It

worked well in the election.

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CON

John Wesley Edwards

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. EDWARDS (Frontenac-Addington):

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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):

Are

those the winter months in Canada?

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CON

John Wesley Edwards

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. EDWARDS (Frontenac-Addington):

The first three months.

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The Address-Mr. Edwards (Frontenac) .

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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):

The

summer months in Australia?

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CON

John Wesley Edwards

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. EDWARDS (Frontenac-Addington):

Yes, I am glad the hon. member reminds me of that because it seems to me still more thoroughly to emphasize the unfairness of this treaty. These are summer months in Australia when the cost of producing butter there is at its lowest and when in this country the cost of producing that article is at its very highest. Surely that should be taken into consideration.

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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):

My

hon. friend is speaking of exports?

Mr. EDWARDS (Frontenac-Addington)-Exports from Australia and New Zealand and Canada.

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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):

I

thought it was to Great Britain.

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CON

John Wesley Edwards

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. EDWARDS (Frontenac-Addington):

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CON

Horatio Clarence Hocken

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. H. C. HOCKEN (Toronto West Centre):

Owing to an inherited and perhaps

unfortunate directness of mind, Mr. Speaker, when I first spoke this session I omitted, much to my regret, the observance of one of the graceful amenities of parliament. I desire now to repair that omission by extending to you my heartiest congratulations upon your re-election as Speaker. Having had the privilege of sitting four years under your direction, I have a full and complete idea of your impartiality, of the dignity with which you maintain the office, and your observance of the best traditions of the speakership under British institutions. I think I may speak for the w'hole House in saying that it is highly gratifying that you have been able so far to sustain the heavy dtrain imposed upon you in the absence of the deputy, and in expressing

the sincere hope that that happy state will prevail to the end of this debate.

If, Mr. Speaker, there is any form of the agricultural industry to which the government should pay particular attention it is in my judgment the dairy industry. The men who are engaged in that particular form of agriculture must work every day. The occupation is not a spasmodic one like grain growing; it calls for work early and late, seven days a week, and a constant measure of industry that is -more exacting, I think, than that involved in any other branch of farming operations. It is more than that, Sir. The dairying industry is really an agricultural manufacturing concern, because the products of the dairy must go through certain manufacturing processes before they are marketed; and the dairy farmer is akin to the manufacturer in the city, both by the constancy of his employment and by the fact that he must manufacture the raw product which he himself produces.

If my argument is sound, Mr. Speaker, it must appear to be most unfortunate that this particular industry should be jeopardized by any treaty that this government could make. It is the business of a government to deal with and to protect impartially all classes of citizens; and there are some forms of agriculture which it is not easy for a government to protect. The growing of wheat is something that is not easily protected, although I think that might be done in this country now. For instance, an export duty on wheat that is exported in bond to be ground in the United States would react, I think, to the advantage of the farming community in Canada. But here is an industry-dairying- which the government could do a great deal to foster. It can protect these men who work harder than any other people, the men on the farm, from unfair competition either from Australia or from the United States, and in my judgment the argument that is based upon the protection of the dairy industry is just as sound as the argument in regard to any other industry.

I entirely agree with the hon. member for Cariboo (Mr. Fraser) who spoke this afternoon. He said that he wanted an equivalent tariff, an adequate tariff. Well, that was put into another phrase in the last parliament, .one that struck me as being very suitable- a phrase used by an hon. member on the other side of the House. The then member for St. Laiwrence-St. George argued for what he called a cost of living tariff. He wanted a tariff just high enough to enable the manufacturer of this country to live-not to ex-

The Address-Mr. Hocken

ploit the consumer; not to reap excessive profits for himself, but to carry on 'his industry and give employment to tlhe men- he had engaged. That is the stand that this party takes, as far as I know its sentiments, with regard to the tariff. We want the factories of Canada to do business. We want to have them busy, for the sake of the men who work in them, for the sake of their wives and families, and for the general welfare of this country.

I do not intend, Mr. Speaker, to direct any particular attention to the tariff, or to say anything more than I have said with regard to the dairy industry. I desire to draw the attention of the House to something different, something touched on by the hon. member for Victoria, B.C. (Mr. Tolmie) the other day. I am not going to repeat his statistics, but I wish to draw the attention of this House to the scandalous indifference this government has shown towards the question of immigration. There is a clause in the Speech from the Throne setting out the purpose of the government now to adopt an energetic immigration programme. I should like my hon. friends opposite to tell me why they did not do that four years ago. If it is necessary now for this country to get immigration of the right type, it has been necessary for the last four years; and if steps had been taken even two years ago something substantial might have been accomplished by this time. But as we look over the immigration figures we are astounded to find that about as many people are leaving the country as are coming into it.

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February 16, 1926