I rise to ask whether the hon. gentleman who now represents in this House our newly appointed Minister of Railways would be kind enough to table the two orders in council relating to the Inverness railway. They should be tabled.
Topic: CANADIAN NATIONAL RAILWAYS
Subtopic: INVERNESS RAILWAY
The House resumed from Friday, February 19, consideration of the motion of Mr. J. C. Elliott for an Address to His Excellency the Governor General in reply to his Speech at the opening of the session, and the proposed motion of Mr. Bird: "That this question be now put."
Mr. Speaker, when the House adjourned on Friday night I was about to make a few remarks on the question of the tariff as mentioned in the Speech from the Throne, but before doing so I should like first to clear the ground a little. On Friday night the hon. member for Regina (Mr. Darke) spoke of a great barrier being set up between the west and the east, and insinuated that there was a likelihood of grave differences of opinion arising owing to the avarice of the protectionists in the east. A few nights before that the hon. member for Lisgar (Mr. Brown), spoke of the people in the east looking upon the people of the west as colonials. The hon. member for Rosetown (Mr. Evans) speaking in this debate referred to the manufacturers as parasites, bloodsuckers and robbers. Evidently, Mr. Speaker, there is a feeling in the west that there is in the east some sort of a conspiracy antagonistic to the west. Now before we can get this question of the tariff properly before the people of the west, we
must try to break down this barrier of misunderstanding that apparently exists. I am not a manufacturer, but I want to say from my experience of some thirty-five years in business as a retailer that I have found the manufacturers of this country, the great big producers, probably the finest class of men in it, and for these gentlemen from the west to have such extraordinary ideas about the ordinary plain business men of the east indicates a very peculiar frame of mind. I have been associated with a great many business organizations and have attended many business conventions, and never upon any occasion have I heard any class of business men in the east, either retailers, wholesalers or manufacturers, reflecting upon the people of the west. We are all proud of the people of the west; we are just as proud of them as we are of oui people in the east, because we are all Canadians, and we should approach this questioi of the tariff purely from a business standpoint I have always felt that the tariff is a question that should be considered purely as a business proposition, and not as a political question at all.
Before leaving this question, I should just like to give the House my ideal of a great manufacturer, and I think hon. members will agree that the majority of the manufacturers in this country belong to his class. Within the last few months in the city of Ottawa there passed from the scene one of the outstanding captains of industry in this country; I refer to the late John R. Booth, probably one of our greatest Canadians. He came to this city a poor man, with just his axe and saw. He started out as a saw filer, then became a mill hand, and eventually started a small mill for himself, and from that small mill there grew the great works that we can see from the parliament buildings known as the John R. Booth industries. I am sure that every member of this House can at once visualize some manufacturer in his own community who has had a similar experience, starting in with practically nothing beyond his own ability and initiative. I believe that ninety per cent of the manufacturers of this country have started from the botton and have worked their way up to be masters of the institutions they control.
I remember hearing the late John R. Booth speak at a banquet held at the Russell House in this city under the auspices of the board of trade. Earl Grey was the guest of honour, and at his side sat the late Mr. Booth and the late Sir Wilfrid! Laurier. On that occasion Mr. Booth made one of the very, very few speeches of his life. He made only about
The Address-Mr. McClenaghan
I have just been in Montreal and Toronto, and I am very much surprised to find that most of your merchants are able to get all they want from the Canadian mills." Practically, he did not get any orders. But the next year they got the extra ten per cent preference, and they are in here larger than ever. In fact the same agent has a permanent office in Toronto, and is handling the whole of the trade of Canada from the agency there, selling the goods purchased in England, instead of buying goods from the manufacturers in this country. To me it is strange that the government seem to be so anxious to safeguard the payrolls of the artisans in Great Britain instead of looking after the artisans of this country. That is a peculiar situation, and I cannot understand why the government does not treat these questions on a purely business basis.
I turn now to another phase of the question, that having to do with the garment workers, especially in women's apparel. I refer to the French treaty and see what is happening there on account of the peculiar way in which that trade arrangement is applied. The French treaty, entered into so gaily by our treaty makers here in Ottawa, and put into effect in September, 1923, put the finishing touch to the difficulties of the wool cloth manufacturers in Canada. It had two effects. It directly increased the amount of goods made in France and sold in Canada and so replaced goods made by workers in Canadian mills, and at the same time it gave an excuse for Bradford manufacturers, to press for 19 per cent reduction in the duties on cloth from Great Britain. The increased imports of cloth from France under the French treaty, added to the increased imports of cloth from Great Britain, is the last straw. Who can fathom the workings of the minds of those who committed the folly of reducing duties on goods from France at a time when the value of the franc was continually depreciating instead of safe-guarding Canadian workers and Canadian industry by increasing the duties? Sir Henry Whitehead, president of the Bradford Chamber of Commerce, addressing that body in May, 1923, said that they could claim that the 1923 reductions in Canadian duties on woollen goods from Great Britain were solely due to their "direct action." That coincides with what Mr. Caldwell says in his letter, that they were given the ten per cent extra without the knowledge of the manufacturers of Canada.
The low duty rates granted by Canada to France under the French Treaty were put into effect#in September, 1923. The total imports of woollen and knit goods into Canada from
France in the twelve months ending September, 1923, which preceded the putting into effect of the lower duties, amounted to $1,439,748. For the twelve month periods end-September, 1924 and 1925, the imports from France amounted to $3,246,813 in 1924 and $3,156,234 in 1925, or an average of $3,151,523 each year following the reductions in duties.
Invoices from France are still valued at the exchange value of the depreciated franc for assessing the duty. In other words, the reduction in the Canadian duties doubled the competition from France.
For the fiscal years ended March the importations of woollen and knit goods from France were:
1922 $ 699,838
Here is another Canadian industry in which the merchants of this country are deeply interested, and the principal place of manufacture is Montreal.
Perhaps there could be no better example of the injurious effect of the tariff policy of this government on industry in Canada than what has happened in regard to the importation of women's silk clothing from France.
There are in Canada more than one hundred factories making women's silk dresses. Up until 1921 by far the greatest proportion of the silk dresses and other silk clothing worn in Canada was produced in Canadian factories. In 1921 the value of silk clothing imported from France was approximately $142,000. This was about the time that the fall in the value of the French currency commenced. As the value of the franc went down imports increased as the following statement shows:
Imports of Silk Clothing from France
While it will be Observed that the imports in 1925 had increased nearly 500 per cent, it should be kept in mind that these figures are based on the value of the franc at the time of importation and, as the value of the franc dropped from approximately 20 cents to less than five cents, it will be seen that the actual quantity of goods increased nearly 2,000 per cent. As a matter of fact what happened was that a very important industry in this country was practically wiped out.
The Address-Mr. McClenaghan
That this was going on was well known to the Minister of Finance. Deputations, not only from this industry, but from many other industries, pointed out to the government that their business was being ruined, but, owing to pressure brought to bear by the Progressive party, nothing was done. Canada remained practically the only commercial country in the world which took no steps to protect industry against the demoralizing effect of the depreciated European currency.
The effect of this lack of intelligent interest in the industries of Canada was reflected in the functions held within the past few weeks, of which members of this House were observers. At the opening ceremonies of this House and later at the Drawing Room I am told by those who are competent to express an opinion that probably more than half of the gowns worn by the ladies attending these functions were made in France. One way in which hon. gentlemen who may not be familiar with the details of feminine embellishment could select the French dresses from those made in Canada would ibe by observing that practically every dress which was adorned with beads or other glittering ornaments was French made. The stringing and sewing on of beads, which is largely done by hand, cannot be profitably done in a country like Canada. In France it is done in the homes of the people, is largely carried on by young children and the older women, who, in their spare time, earn a few francs in this way. This work is frequently carried on in homes where poverty and disease exist and can properly be described as pure sweat shop labour. The products of these sweat shops is a pure luxury in so far as Canada is concerned. Even our Progressive friends, I think, will recognize that a tax upon luxuries of this character is more than justifiable. I venture to say that of the ladies who attended these functions those who wore dresses of Canadian made silk and fabricated in Canadian factories were not less attractive to the eye than those who felt that Paris gowns were necessary to show their beauties to advantage. There is no doubt at all that the failure of this government to recognize the demoralizing effect of depreciated currency of foreign countries has led to the ruination of an important industry.
As I have pointed out, work of this particular character cannot be done as cheaply in Canada as it can abroad, primarily because, in most of the provinces of Canada, we have minimum wage laws. In Ontario the minimum wage for women workers in this industry is $12 per week. This is probably more than a whole family of French people would earn in a month. Few, if any, members of this House will take objection to the principle underlying the minimum wage. Particularly, I am sure, no objection will be found by the Progressives, because, in so far as Ontario is concerned, this legislation was developed and extended under the Drury government.
I have referred to the fact that this government failed in its duty in not taking notice of the effect of depreciated currency on Canadian industry. In this regard it will be interesting to observe the attitude adopted in Great Britain, which some gentlemen regard as the home of free trade. I have in my hand an original copy of the instructions to investigating committees under the Safeguarding of Industries Act. These instructions point out that, where owing to unfair competition the products of other countries can be sold at less than similar products produced in Great Britain, steps may be taken to safeguard British industry, and in describing what should be regarded by the committee as "unfair competition" this document in paragraph (5) of section II stated:
Competition fo-r the purpose of such enquiry is not to be deemed to be unfair unless it arises from one or more of the following causes:-
(a) Depreciation of currency operating so as to create an export bounty.
Ob) Subsidies, bounties or other artificial advantages.
(c) Inferior conditions of employment of labour, whether as respects remuneration or hours of employment,. or otherwise, obtaining amongst the persons employed in the production of the imported goods in question as compared with those obtaining amongst persons employed in the production of similar goods in the United Kingdom.
But this government, dominated as they were by a desire to retain office rather than a desire to safeguard the legitimate interests of the country, failed in their duty, and allowed this and many other industries to be ruined. Many members do not realize that there has been such a ruinous effect on the dressmaking business of many factories in Montreal and Toronto and that enormous importations from France have been encouraged. It may surprise hon. members to know that at the present time there is a duty of 32^ per cent on importations of silk from France into Great Britain because Great Britain is beginning to realize that she must protect and safeguard her industries. On the other hand, the same article can be brought into Canada under a duty five per cent less than that on importations into Great Britain. That will give the House some idea why the tariff should be treated by experts, by men who are familiar with
The Address-Mr. McClenaghan
ticularly point out to you that the Canadian Pacific .Railway and the Canadian National Railways publish pamphlets containing lists of business opportunities. They mention hundreds of different points showing that general stores, grocery stores, blacksmith shops, garages, drug stores, etc., are needed at those points. They accept no responsibility for this but these pamphlets are compiled from enquiries they make from the people in the district and retailers are invited at the request of the community to invest their money in opening up, say a general store only to find that 50 per oent of the business in the community goes direct to mail order houses or to hawkers and peddlers.
It would appear that the purchasing public are friendly disposed towards both catalogue houses and peddlers, but at the same time they do desire to have the country merchant with a good stock within an easy distance so that they can patronize him when they do not happen to have the ready money to deal with the mail order concerns.
My third letter is from the secretary of the New Brunswick provincial board, thus showing that the condition extends right across the continent and affects this vast number of retail merchants. He writes to me under date of January 6, 1926:
Replying to yours of the 4th instant, please note that the mail order houses are on the broad road to putting 90 per cent of the country stores out of business, as well as having a most demoralizing effect upon the stores of our towns and cities, from the fact that the mail order houses are cutting prices on standard lines and freight and expressage is paid on parcels over five dollars from these mail order houses.
The new post office regulations are, we believe, more beneficial to the mail order houses than to the local merchants. Our only suggestion for protecting our local merchants in small towns, is the price maintenance plan, which will stop prices being cut on standard lines, and the proposed legislation, which we are working on at the present time, of taxing mail order houses a certain percentage on the amount of money they receive from each town, city, municipality or county.
One instance of unfair competition is the fact that the Canadian National Railways issue passes to the families of employees and the ladies take these passes to go to Moncton, because Eaton's are cutting on standard lines of groceries, cottons, threads, etc., and it naturally pays them to go to Moncton when they don't have to pay railway fare. _
We will send you a copy of our proposed legislation regarding the taxation of mail order houses as soon as same is received from our solicitor.
They are trying to have a bill put through the legislature of New Brunswick with a view to remedying this unfair condition. He adds the following postcript:
Since Christmas, four firms in St. John have failed and are in the hands of the receivers. Three of these firms were members of our association and the other was a prospective member.
That somewhat offsets the talk about our "great prosperity". Now let me give the Blouse a letter from the president of the association. He is a prominent Liberal of Vancouver and is now in Ontario. I might say that the Retail Merchants Association of Canada has no politics. I am president of
the eastern Ontario branch, and my vicepresident is the hon. member for Russell (Mr. Goulet) who is sitting on the other side of the House. It will be seen that we are pretty well distributed so far as our political affiliations go. The president wrote me on February 16, 1926, as follows:
In answer to your enquiry I would say that, as a result of a resolution passed at our last annual convention in Vancouver, B.C., I arranged to make a tour of Canada, to personally discuss the cause or causes of complaints, made to our association, of unsatisfactory trading conditions.
Accordingly, this tour of investigation began early in September at Victoria, B.C., and up to this date (February 12, 1926) I have visited every chief centre almost without exception in all provinces from there to Quebec city.
In the smaller communiites particularly the outstanding cause for complaint was mail order competition for two reasons
1. By adopting a policy of featuring well-known branded goods at ridiculously low prices, the impression is created that all mail order goods are sold on the same value basis.
2. Mail order houses take business from the community and make no return in kind as a community contribution as is made by local merchants in various ways.
Based on information obtained from all quarters I am of the opinion that Tetail trading conditions are most unsatisfactory not only to the trader but to the public in general, and that it would be in the best public interest for the Department of Trade and Commerce to investigate these conditions, in an effort to improve trading conditions and standards of retailing, in order that domestic distribution could be established on a better basis, to the ultimate advantage of producer, distributor and consumer.
That gives some idea of the feeling that prevails throughout the country to-day in connection with one of our biggest businesses, a business that has never been discussed in this House. Now, the farmer goes upon the principle that the bawling calf gets the milk, while the motto of the merchant is to suffer in silence. If the merchant begins to cry about bad business, inside of twenty-four hours the banker jumps down upon him; if the banker does not catch him the wholesaler does, and if the wholesaler does not get after him and he keeps on talking about bad trade he is pretty soon confronted with the landlord. The moral is therefore that, however bad business may be, the merchant must always take the view that it might be worse. This was the advice given to me forty years ago by an old Scotch merchant. On asking me how business was at that time and hearing my reply that it was pretty bad, he said, "Tut, tut! Never say that. Always say, if business is bad, that it might be worse." And that has been my motto ever since; the merchant should always be optimistic whether he feels so or not.
The Address-Mr. McClenaghan
I want now to show that there has been a certain falling off in relation to the Post Office Department. That department, whether it knows it or not, is contributing to the general decline in revenue. I have no intention of reflecting on the Postmaster General, the Hon. Senator Murphy, whom I regard as one of the best members of the cabinet to-day and who has been one of the most efficient administrators of the Post Office Department. But the facts I shall bring to the attention of the House are important. On September 5, 1925, the Post Office Department put into effect a radical change in the parcel post system of Canada by increasing the limit of weight carried by the post office from eleven to fifteen pounds. When this change was made the rates were fixed on the heavier parcels in proportion to the rates previously in effect on the lighter weights. For example, taking the case of a parcel mailed from a point in Ontario to a point in Quebec, we find that whereas the rate for five pounds was 38 cents, six pounds 45 cents, seven pounds 52 cents, eight pounds 59 cents, 9 pounds 66 cents, ten pounds 73 cents and eleven pounds 80 cents, under the new rates twelve pounds cost 87 cents, thirteen pounds cost 94 cents, fourteen pounds cost $1.01 and fifteen pounds cost $1.08.
This increase in weight was of great advantage to the chief users of parcel post, that is to say, the mail order house. On October 1 postmasters were notified of another important change which notification, however, was not given to the public until October 24, or just five days before the election. In this change great reductions were made in the rates and at the same time another fundamental change was made in our system. Instead of rates increasing from pound to pound, making fifteen different rates, according to weight, for any specific destination, the fifteen pounds were divided into five scales of three pounds each. What I want to point out particularly is that whereas, after the increase in the weight limit, to ship a twelve pound parcel from Ontario to Qubec cost 87 cents, under the new schedule the same parcel can be shipped for 65 cents. A thirteen pound parcel heretofore cost 94 cents and is now carried for 75; a fourteen pound parcel which cost $1.01 is now carried for 75 and a fifteen pound parcel which was carried for $1.08 is now carried also for 75 cents. In view of the fact that for the fiscal year ending March 31, 1925, the operation of the Post Office Department had shown a deficit of nearly $1,300,000, what justification was there for a large reduction in parcel post 14011-77
rates? In order to answer this question it might be well to inquire who was to benefit by lower parcel post rates. There is no doubt that among the chief beneficiaries will be those concerns which carry on a mail order business. It is an interesting fact, which may of course be only a coincidence, that practically at the same time as these low rates were going into effect the chief executive officers of the two largest mail order houses in Canada issued certain documents. I have in my hand copies of statements made twelve days before the election by Mr. R. Y. Eaton, president and general manager of the T. Eaton Company, and Mr. C. L. Burton, general manager of the Robert Simpson Company, Limited. Perhaps it was not the intention of those who issued these statements that they should be regarded as political documents. Nevertheless they were seized upon by Liberal newspapers from one end of Canada to the other and used to assist in the election of Liberal candidates. While, as I have pointed out, these gentlemen may not have intended such documents to serve the Liberal party, they had very good reason to make a thank-offering for benefits just received. These articles were published respectively in the Toronto Star of October 16, 1925, by the Eaton Company and in the same newspaper of October 14, 1925, by the Simpson Company.
I would point out that it is rather dangerous turning the mail order business into express transportation. It is injurious to the express companies in this country, and I refer here to the National Express. It is significant that in the United States, where the weight has been increased to something over fifty pounds, the average loss in the Post Office Department in the last five years has been $54,826,400 a year. This would show how important it is for governments to exercise care and caution in dealing with a matter of this kind. I have brought this matter before the government in order to see whether something cannot be done to get the Department of Trade and Commerce to function so that it may be of service to the 140,000 or 150,000 merchants throughout Canada, because I believe that when the people become aware of the fact that this class of our citizens have never up to the present time received any consideration, although they have always cheerfully paid the fifty-seven varieties of our taxes, they will be given a fair show. I hope the government will see its way clear to look into the question of retail distribution and give to the great mass of the retailers proper treatment.
The Address-Mr. Anderson (Toronto)
Topic: GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH
Subtopic: ADDRESS IN REPLY
the House, Mr. Speaker, I am constrained to ask your indulgence as well as that of hon. members while I endeavour to place my views before you. The debate has been rather protracted and our friends across the way have shown an inclination to charge us on this side with obstructing. This is the point to which I wish to address myself at the moment. We were brought here early in January after the government had had over two months at its disposal in which to put its house in order. The government assumed on and after October 29, although its ranks had been decimated, that it had the confidence of the people and of parliament, and had therefore the right to continue in office. Hon. gentlemen opposite called the House to meet on January 7 and, presuming to function, they presented to parliament an Address through His Excellency the Governor General. They knew nevertheless, as events since that time have shown, that there were doubts as to whether they could continue to administer the government, and from the outset they intended to take such a course as would in ail probability necessitate their asking for an adjournment sooner or later. Early in September the previous parliament was dissolved and the government advanced reasons why it should appeal to the country. The election was fought on those reasons and in the province of Ontario there was no doubt about what the issue was. Protection was the one vital issue before the country. Our fiscal policy and subjects allied thereto were prominent in the various discussions, not only in the constituency which I represent, but in other ridings in the province of Ontario.
When we assembled here on the 8th of January we naturally expected to have presented to us a Speech from the Throne along the lines of the reasons given by the Prime Minister for the dissolution of parliament in September last. The government were not under the necessity in September, 1925, of going to the people at all. The life of that parliament had still over a year to run during which the government could have continued1 to function, but the Prime Minister said that he had very grave reasons for going to the country a year or a year and a half prior to the lapsing of the lifetime of the last parliament, and the reasons he then gave are rather interesting in view of what has happened since. He had carried on the government of this country for four years with the assistance of our friends to the left, and he stated very plainly in his election manifesto
that on all large questions he had had a big majority and was able to carry on. Then where was his fear? Why (fid he not continue for the lifetime of that parliament? Where was the necessity for going to the country? The Prime Minister gave as his reason that he wished to be free from the necessity of depending upon our friends to the left, the Progressives, and upon the other groups in this House, that such a situation was irksome to him; he disliked it and wanted to get away from it; he felt he was under their domination, and he asked that the situation be cleared by a general election. It was certainly no compliment to those groups that had been supporting him for him to take that position. It was ungrateful in the extreme. It showed that he had no confidence in them. It also showed that he himself felt that he was not free to go on and legislate as vigorously as he would like. Apparently he wished to bring in certain legislation on which he was not likely to have the support of the Progressives and the other groups who had been giving him their support for four years. Otherwise, why did he wish to go to the people at all? He even mentioned the matters on which he wished to be free from that alliance and in regard to which he required the extra strength increased numbers would give to his own ranks.
Well, he went to the country, and he came back with reduced numbers. Still he felt that he had the mandate of the country to carry on, and the very first thing his supporters did when the House met was to present a resolution in which they asked the House to express confidence in the government-and when I say the government, I mean the Liberal party, and the government chosen from the Liberal party, and none other. I say that the presenting of that resolution was in itself an evidence of weakness. That motion not being pressed, for reasons that were given at the time, the debate on the Address then began and continued for some weeks. In regard to that debate the hon. member for Regina (Mr. Darke), who has I believe within the last two days tendered his resignation from this House, speaking on Friday night last said that he had been very much pleased with the character of the earlier part of that debate. I suppose it was to his liking because during the earlier stages of the debate the Liberals were taking part in it, but the hon. member was not so pleased with the latter stages of the debate because, I presume, the debate was then left to this side of the House. Whether it was that hon. gentlemen opposite could not debate, or did not want to debate, is a matter for them to
The Address-Mr. Anderson (Toronto)
decide, but in any event the hon. member for Regina was not pleased. Up to two weeks ago the debate had been carried on alternately by the various parties in this House. I do not think anyone could be charged with obstruction there. I consider, Mr. Speaker, that not only has every member of this House a perfect right but it is his duty to express himself in regard to the matters dealt with in the Speech from the Throne, as well as matters that it does not touch on but which he thinks should be contained in it.
In the midst of that debate the Liberal party, through the cabinet and the government, admitted their weakness by asking for a six weeks' adjournment, and that, Mr. Speaker, is the real cause of any obstruction there may be in this House. I did not come here from Toronto for the purpose of adjourning after three weeks' debate. I made all my arrangements with a view to sitting here continuously till the business of parliament was finished, and when the motion for adjournment was placed before us I felt that a great injustice was done not only to myself but to many other hon. members who were similarly placed, and naturally the reasons given for that adjournment were closely looked into. For a considerable time no reasons at all were given why we should adjourn. Later on the hon. Minister of Justice (Mr. Lapointe) told us that the condition of the government was precarious, and that it was necessary to appeal to the country for the purpose of reconstructing the cabinet. I say, Mr. Speaker, that the formation of the cabinet is a matter for the Liberal party alone. The government is composed of members of the Liberal party alone, and only the Liberal party is consulted. The members of the cabinet are not chosen from the Progressives, Independents, Labour, or any other group in the House. Cabinet reconstruction is a matter purely political, and solely for the Liberal party to decide. Then why should we who are not consulted at all in the construction of the cabinet have to adjourn the House simply for their convenience? I submit that the adjournment was asked for merely for the purpose of enabling the Liberal party to strengthen their weakened ranks.
I do not know that it is any compliment, in fact, it is no compliment, to the 101 members who have been elected to this House on the Liberal side that the premier and his advisers in the cabinet did not see fit to reconstruct the government from among the members already elected. On the Liberal side there are 101 members who had gone through the general election and won their
right to sit in this parliament, and surely if cabinet ministers had been chosen from among them they would have had no difficulty in going back to the people and being re-elected. I submit that it was only fair and right that the Prime Minister and his nearest advisers should have taken that course, and taken it as early as they could. They may say in reply: We could not open constituencies. But that has been done in the past, and members have sat in this House as a result of situations of that kind arising. It was open to the government to do it. They could have strengthened their ranks before the 7th of January. However, they did not see fit to do that. A vacancy did take place by death between the holding of the election and the summoning pf parliament. A resignation has taken place since the opening of parliament, and the Prime Minister has been elected to a seat in this House.
Topic: GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH
Subtopic: ADDRESS IN REPLY
from Saskatchewan seem to be pleased about that. I do not begrudge them any satisfaction they may feel, because during the last six weeks I fancy they have felt very much at a loss for somebody to lead them, and that is no compliment to the Minister of Justice and other ministers who have been endeavouring to lead the party. Certainly hon. gentlemen opposite seemed to experience great relief when the news came from Prince Albert that their chief had been elected, and they are welcome to all the enjoyment they can get out of it.
I was saying, Mr. Speaker, that as it has been possible since the 7th of January to fill positions in the cabinet in the way they have been filled, why not follow that up with other resignations in order to elect ministers? As a matter of fact the Liberal party have come to that conclusion. The hon. member for Regina (Mr. Darke) spoke here on Friday night. To-day I understand his resignation is in the hands of the Speaker, the hon. gentleman having vacated his seat, according to the morning papers, to provide a place for Hon. Mr. Dunning. The holding of this by-election justifies the position that hon. members on this side took-that there should be no adjournment for the purpose of filling vacancies in the cabinet, that if the government were afraid of losing their majority in this House they could fill these vacancies one by one. But the government seemingly had no particular fear when they were sustained by a majority of three on the occasion of the first division. On the contrary they were so well satisfied with that small majority that they
The Address-Mr. Anderson (Toronto)
considered themselves justified in holding on to the reins of office. Under the circumstances why do they not open up two or three more constituencies and proceed at once with the reconstruction of the cabinet? I can see no good reason why they should not do so. We on this side strongly take the ground that we are not responsible for any obstruction that may be occurring here. As il said before I can only speak on behalf of my own constituency, and in taking the stand 1 am taking I consider I am only performing the duties for which I was sent here. That is a perfectly legitimate position to take,. and in assuming that position I do not for a moment consider I am guilty of obstruction.
What has been presented to this House except the Speech from the Throne? The Speech itself is a very meagre proposition. It is but a small meal composed of but one particular fare. Instead of giving us an entire meal the government have only given us a very limited portion. It is not the meal they intended to serve up when they went to the country in the first week in September, not by any means. In fact what the government have submitted to us does not appear to be part of the original meal which they contemplated at all. An entire change in their plans has been caused1 by the vote cast on October 28. As a result of that vote the Liberal party came back to this House with a membership of 101 instead of 116, and their friends to our left have come back with a membership of only 28, including the Independents and Labour representatives, instead of 66. That result changed the whole situation for the government. The Liberal party not the government-I am going to put it that way-assumed they had the right to hold on to the reins of office. They assumed that in doing so they would have the assistance of these other groups. I am not going to use the word " purchase " in this connection, Mr. Speaker, as that term has been railed out; but in order to get the support they needed the government placed in the mouth of His Excellency the Governor General a Speech which would naturally appeal to the Progressives, the Independents and the Labour representatives, a speech promising to deal with subjects upon which they were determined to secure some legislation. The members of these groups have some hope of getting the legislation Which they favour, which is going to be beneficial to themselves and themselves only, owing to the weakness of the government. Had the Liberal party been as strong in their own right as they wished to be when they caused parliament to be dissolved, the Speech from the Throne would not have been
in the form in which it is to-day. It is in that form simply because of the weak state in which the government find themselves as the result of that election. But the government need not have limited themselves merely to indicating in the Speech from the Throne matters of legislation. They could have brought down the estimates, they could have nominated the standing committees and those committees might have been functioning; they could even have introduced bills for the House to consider. We are prepared to go on with the work of parliament; and speaking for myself, had the government, when the motion to adjourn was first introduced, said they were prepared to introduce legislative measures, or bring down the estimates, or work of any kind, I would gladly and willingly have helped them in every way I coiuld. But I will not be a party to a motion to adjourn this House to March. 15, or any other date, in order to help the Liberal party with their electioneering programme. My contention is that we were brought here to do business and we Should do the business which the country needs instead of adjourning.
The question naturally arises, why did not the government bring down estimates or measures of some kind so that this House might get to work? To this question several answers can be given but I shall limit myself to one. They knew that without their leader, and in their weak condition, they were unable to bring down any constructive legislation for us to consider. That is the truth of the matter. I make that statement regardless as to whether it pleases or displeases hon. gentlemen opposite. They are inefficient, incapable, and afraid. And they are not certain that they are going to continue in office very long; for the moment they bring down legislation that does not meet with the approval of the other groups upon whom they depend for support, that moment they will be in the same position as they were on October 29. The government have been told very plainly by the hon. member for Labelle (Mr. Bourassa), by the Labour representatives, and also by the Progressives, that they will receive the support of these groups only so long as they bring down legislation of which they approve.
The Liberal party-and when I use that term I refer to the old party that used to boast of their strength and their brilliance in the days of Sir Wilfrid Laurier-are reduced to this humiliating position; ithe3>- are going round with hat in hand to the various groups indicated and saying "Please help us out, we cannot do anything ourselves, we are inefficient". That is the position in which
The Address-Mr. Anderson (Toronto)
they are placed before the country and I make no bones about expressing that opinion. The people of Canada ought to be made fully aware of the pitiable position in which the government stand. I hope the public press will be instrumental in spreading this news far and wide throughout Canada, so that the people will realize how the government are holding on to office without any right, setting aside all proper precedents and making their own precedents, too timorous to allow His Excellency the Governor General to commit them to any very definite undertakings. It is no answer for them, when taunted with the weakness of itheir position, to say that the right hon. leader of the Conservative party could not carry on any more successfully than they. He should be called upon to form a government, and in the event of his failure to obtain the confidence of the House he could appeal to the people who I am convinced would' sustain him. Sooner or later it will come to that, and when that time arrives our Liberal friends will find they are in a minority. They may think that the Progressives are strongly with them. But the Progressives are as conscious as they are that the weakness on the Liberal side is going to be the downfall of that party and of the parties who are co-operating with them-and I hope it will be within a few months rather than a few years.
In reference to the reconstruction of the ministry, I am not veiy particular who is put into the cabinet; that is a matter for the Liberal party. If they have not men of ability among their 101 members who are capable of handling the departments, it is a reflection upon the electors of the respective ridings as to the character of the men they send here to do the business of the country. I do not know any reason why Mr. Marler, Mr. Massey, Mr. Dunning, Mr. McDougald or any other gentleman whose name has been mentioned in connection with the vacant portfolios should be brought in as departmental administrators and members of the cabinet. Mr. Marler was unable to carry his constituency in Montreal. He wenlt down to defeat, as did three other protectionist Liberals. The name of Mr. McCrea was mentioned in the debate the other day. He ran in Sherbrooke, Quebec, and was defeated, as has been pointed out, largely because he was 'a protectionist Liberal. There is no particular mourning over his loss, and there is no particular desire to get him into parliament. There is a desire, however, to get Mr. Marler in, who, as I have pointed out, could not carry the constituency in Montreal which he represented for some considerable
time. Mr. Massey never has been in this House. He is a iman without a home; he cannot get a seat in Toronto or in fact in Ontario. Whether he will get a seat in Saskatchewan where the Prime Minister had to go is a matter for the government to decide; I cannot tell. He is a man without home or friends, yet he wants to get into the government and the government want to bring him in, believing he would be a source of strength to them. Why do they want Mr. Massey? Is at 'because he has veiy considerable means, or because he has administrative ability? If his administrative ability is to be taken into consideration, I do not know where it is. The institution which is the basis of the wealth that Mr. Massey and his family enjoy is one that was built up on the protective system in this country, and it is flourishing to-day because consideration was given it in certain fiscal changes that were made in such a way as to benefit that particular concern. In other words, that institution has been the subject of a certain degree of consideration and favour which has enabled it to function and to make a good showing. That opportunity has not been afforded to other manufacturers in Ontario or in Canada generally; and I do not know that there is any very great credit to be given to Mr. Massey. If it had been urged that the credit was due to Mr. Bradshaw, the general manager of that concern, I would have been inclined to agree, because he is a man of very considerable executive ability and should -have got the credit. I am not particularly interested in getting Mr. Massey into the House.
Why do the government not open the constituency of North Waterloo, and let the present member for that riding appeal to the people with a view to his inclusion in the ministry? His name has been mentioned. Why do they not open West Middlesex for the gentleman who moved the Address in reply? These gentlemen are men of ability who could presumably go -back to their constituencies and be re-elected without much difficulty. But probably not-and perhaps that is the fear; I do not know. Why should any other member resign? Why should the former member for Regina, Mr. Darke, resign in order to bring Mr. Dunning in? The hon. member for Regina felt the necessity of speaking to this House on Friday, because he would have fallen into oblivion if his name had not appeared in Hansard at least once. What will he get for it? I cannot say. Perhaps something will be said about his resignation being purchased, but as the -Speaker has ruled against using the word "purchased" in that way I shall be careful to keep within the
The Address-Mr. Anderson (Toronto)
rule. But the people of the Dominion are very apt to look at the matter in this way: what is there in it for Mr. Darke? Why was Mr. Darke not appointed Minister of Railways? The man who occupies the position of Minister of Railways enjoyed the confidence and good-will of the people of Canada generally. He was a very estimable man. Wo may differ from him on some political matters but everybody feels that the Right Hon. Mr. Graham was a credit to the House and to the country. He was one of whom everybody spoke well. But does he come within the category referred to by Lloyd George when he said, "When everybody speaks about a politician in a creditable way you must take it for granted that he is a back number?" I would be awfully sorry to think that that applied to the Right Hon. George P. Graham. I do not think it would at any rate. But the government are regarding him as a back number and treating him with ingratitude. If a safe seat could be obtained for him in Canada, he is the man who should have the position of Minister of Railways. Why does the government give the portfolio to the man who is at present Premier of Saskatchewan? I suppose the object is to reinforce the debating strength on the other side of the House, which is no compliment to those who are sitting at present on the other side of the chamber.
Reconstruction of the cabinet is a purely political matter, and I am not going to assist the government in any way in regard to it. I propose to stay here as long as it is possible to discuss public questions. I am not physically able to do very much debating myself, nor am I in a position to supply the necessary information to do it. But I will Stay here as long as possible in order that the representatives of the people assembled in parliament will be forced to function in some way.
The Speech from the Throne is a meagre bill of fare. Far from being national in its character, it is purely sectional. It has been framed purely and simply with the object of appealing to the agrarian vote of the prairie provinces of Canada. When you read the Speech and follow up the discussion in this House on the Address you will be convinced more and more that the object is as stated so forcibly by the hon. member for South Oxford (Mr. Sutherland), in his forcible manner. The matters referred to in the Address are not objectionable in themselves: they are proper subjects of legislation, but it seems to me that a great many other matters which should properly be considered in parliament are not mentioned here. For that
reason I say the Speech is not national but sectional and limited.
My conception of the Speech from the Throne is that it should foreshadow all the legislation the government intends to deal with, matters which the government feels are of prime importance to the country at large and which should be dealt with at the session of parliament in which the Speech is delivered. It is not necessary to mention the particular matters in detail, but the 'Speech from the Throne should foreshadow as matters of policy the things that should be attended to at this session of parliament. The Speech from the Throne which is now before us, however, is absolutely devoid of policy. A reading of the various paragraphs of that Speech should convince anyone that the government are at sea. They are unable to state what should be stated. They do not know what they want to do; and they are simply bidding for support.
The first clause' of the Speech from the Throne gives expression to some platitudes, congratulating the House on the favourable character of the conditions prevailing ini Canada. It talks about prosperity. I do not know all the elements that enter into prosperity, tot as we pass along the streets to and from our places of business: from, day to day, certain conditions are apparent to us. The best evidence of prosperity, to my mind, is the distribution of the wealth of the country in such a way that all parts of the population feel the beneficial effects of it. At the present time it seems to me that prosperity is limited largely to those to whom the Speech from the Throne is addressed, namely the Progressives, the agrarians from the prairie provinces. These people may be enjoying prosperity as a result of the kindness of Providence during the last two or three years, although I will give them some credit by saying they are enjoying it probably also as a result of their attention to their own agricultural affairs.
In -this discussion about prosperity something has been said as to the large amount of exports and imports and the great increase of trade that Canada has experienced in the last two or three years. Something has also been said about the considerable amount of money that has accumulated in the banks and the trust, mortgage, and insurance companies. That is an evidence of prosperity. It has also been said-quoted, I think almost unconsciously, from a statement credited to Sir Wilfrid Laurier-that if there is prosperity you will find it jingling in the pockets of the people. If that were carried to its logical extreme we would find very little jingling, because there is no jingling in the pockets of a great part
The Address-Mr. Anderson (Toronto)
of our people, and that is the best evidence that prosperity is not with us. Unemployment is too prevalent to justify our saying that prosperity is here. I represent a constituency which depends absolutely upon industrial, manufacturing, railway and mercantile activities, and which has nothing to do with agriculture except to the extent that any other big city or urban centre has. The western part of the city of Toronto was first formed as a divisional point on the Canadian Pacific and the population there has largely developed as a result of that section being a railway centre. About seventy per cent of the 42,000 people in that section are dependent for their wages, salaries and income upon manual labour or clerical employment. The people in my riding are dissatisfied on account of the extent to which unemployment is rampant in that section of the city, and so long as that condition exists, so long as that jingling does not take place in the pockets of the people, just So long will prosperity not be there.
During the last election my constituents were placed in rather a peculiar position. My opponent was the former Minister of Labour, a representative of the Liberal party, who came before the constituents of High Park as not only the nominee of the Liberal party, but as a labour man, as one who 5 p.m. rose from the ranks of labour.
To his credit it may be said1 that he rose from the ranks of labour-from railway employment; indeed, from a very humble position-to probably the highest position the railway men have in their gift. Because of that he was given prominence in a political way and' he expected to get the support of the labour people and the railway men in that constituency. He appealed to them on the fiscal policy that is 'Supported by the Liberal party in this House; but what was the result? His policy was regarded as that of the Liberal party which had produced the condition of unemployment in High Park and which was producing so much distress and hardship, and he was very properly repudiated on the 29th day of October last. The policy that was presented by your humble servant was one of protection in order to safeguard the industries of the constituency and of the country and, in doing that, to protect the wages of those who depend upon employment for their livelihood. That position was sustained.
I am quite in accord with my leader that protection, is the proper fiscal policy for this country. Established in 1878, it has gone on continuously. It may be it has not always been the most stable; it has been tinkered with; it has gone up and down, and this has
created uncertainty in the minds of those who have capital to invest. The fact that the Liberal party are wavering and have wavered during the last four years in connection with the administration of the fiscal policy of Canada has brought business to the condition in which it is at present. I am not necessarily anxious to see the tariff made as high as some people say it should be, probably as high as it is in the United States. I do not care how high or low it is so long as it gives proper protection to the industries of our country. I want the protection to be sufficient to protect our industries, to protect not only our people who have money invested, but our people who want employment, so that everyone can feel the full benefit of it. Our friends on the left have frankly said that they do not consider it necessary that we should have high protection, or indeed any particular protection. The hon. member for Regina (Mr. Darke) the other night rather qualified that by saying that although he felt free trade was the proper policy for the west, he believed a protective policy was the proper thing for this country under present conditions. That was an admission which I did not expect to get from him, but he made it, and in that he is only frankly stating what I think is in the hearts of many in this House. I had a conversation with one of the members of the Progressive group and if he were free to express himself as he would like; if he were free from the conditions under which he is sitting in this House and the position in which he finds the three parties here, I believe he would seriously consider some scheme whereby protection would be given to industry not only in his own province but in the other provinces as well. There is no reason under the sun why in the prairie provinces, just as in every other part of the Dominion, the natural resources should not be protected in their fabrication into manufactured articles. I believe the agrarians will come to realize the necessity for that.
At the present time the chief natural resource of Alberta is grain; but it is not the only natural resource of Alberta, neither is it of Saskatchewan nor of Manitoba. Let me take the province of Alberta first. Its other great natural resources-coal, oil and gas-are all factors that enter into the production of power, and sooner or later that province will find it necessary for its own economic existence to make greater use of those particular resources than they are now doing. One of the chief natural resources that I have mentioned is coal-and incidentally I may remark that the Speech from the Throne is absolutely silent respecting any national fuel policy.
The Address-Mr. Anderson (Toronto)
This is not only of interest to Alberta, it is also of interest to the other provinces, particularly Nova Scotia. Nova Scotia and Alberta have brought their complaints respecting the transportation rates on coal to the attention of this House. The province of Ontario has recently gone through a serious fuel shortage. Quebec has not said much about her fuel supply. But undoubtedly we should have a national fuel policy, for it is neither a transient nor a sectional question. In Alberta no doubt a very considerable amount of coal is not of merchantable quality, but if industry of the proper type and in sufficient volume were established there, a great deal of this non-commercial coal could be used economically to produce electric energy.
I think in the near future we shall find manufacturing industry established in Alberta on a large scale, and then it will come home to those who represent the people in this House and in the local legislature that they should give it greater attention. In Saskatchewan probably they are not as well provided with other natural resources besides coal, but this form of natural wealth could be developed there just as well as in the neighbouring province of Alberta. I believe that within the next twenty-five or thirty years Alberta and Saskatchewan will have such a greatly increased population that manufacturing industry will become quite as important as agriculture. This being so, it seems to me that we might as well begin now to foster manufacturing industry by protecting it against undue competition from United States and other foreign countries. For
manufacturing industry cannot be built up in a day, it takes many years; its foundation is adequate protection. When Alberta is asking the rest of the Dominion for particular privileges and concessions by way of railway rates, lower tariff, and so on, it seems to me it is only fair that the people there should do something towards advancing the welfare of the other provinces. The
province of Ontario is an industrial province. True, our agriculture is very highly developed and, unlike that of the prairie provinces, is not confined1 to grain growing; it is mixed farming, and it depends practically wholly on the home market for its success. The farm products of Ontario are almost as great in value as those of the western provinces. But rich as Ontario is in her agricultural resources, I believe its future depends not so much on the foreign market as on the home market, not only in respect of the products of the farm but of the factory. I believe it will [Mr. A. J. Anderson.)
develop more and more along the lines of the great republic to the south of us-industrially. This must be so in the very nature of things.
The Speech from the Throne says in general terms that there will be no increase in taxation so far as the tariff is concerned; but that does not necessarily mean very much. True, it is an indication to the Progressives that duties on the commodities they are chiefly interested in are not going to be raised. Of course it does not follow that there will be no variation of tariff duties in response to pressure brought to bear upon the government by its Progressive supporters. But I for one do not think that the Progressives have any great reason to look for much consideration along that line. We in Ontario frankly admit that we want an adequate tariff, and I see no reason why our fellow-Canadians in the western provinces should not consider our needs as well as their own. We in Ontario have been longer engaged in the task of nation-building than our brothers on the prairies. To-day they are represented in this House largely by agriculturists, and they have very frankly told us that they are ready to support anything that will build up this nation. That being so, they are concerned in something wider than the interests of agriculture alone, of buying everything as cheap as they can and selling their products as high as they can. We, in Ontario, are not so largely dependent on the foreign market as are the people of the western provinces. We rely mainly on our home market, and this is affected by the fiscal policy of the United States. In other words, we need protection for our agriculturists and our manufacturers from undue competition from the other side of the line. We have not yet been able to achieve mass production, and until our population has increased very considerably we cannot expect to manufacture on anything like the same scale as is possible in the United States. Therefore there is all the more reason why we should so shape our tariff policy as to adequately protect our -manufacturing and other intersts from, the undue competition of their rivals on the other side of the line. We adopted our national policy in 1878, and since that time agriculture has prospered, and its wonderful development, under protection is a sound reason for continuing a protective policy and so shaping it that our manufacturing industry may be adequately protected from the competition that I have described.
I hold no brief for the manufacturers. I am not in the manufacturing line, being neither the owner of nor a shareholder in a
The Address-Mr. Anderson (Toronto)
manufacturing establishment. Neither am I engaged in raising farm products. But I am interested in a population of which seventy per cent are dependent upon industry. Those people get their daily living as the result of a prosperous manufacturing industry, and if that industry is not on a solid 'basis, of course those people cannot carry on. They are the people amongst whom I do business, they are the people who pay my fees and give me a living. In other words, I am speaking rather from the standpoint of the labouring man, the wage-earner, the salaried man, than from the standpoint of any other class in the community.
Now, we find in the Address two matters particularly mentioned, both of especial interest to the west-rural credits and the Hudson Bay railway. Ontario is not clamouring for rural credits, and I am informed by representatives of Nova Scotia that there is no agitation in that province for such a system; nor have I heard any request from British Columbia or from Quebec. There has been no clamouring in New Brunswick, either. There is an agitation in the three prairie provinces for rural credits on the ground that they are not getting money as Cheaply or as easily as they think they should. I would suggest that the representatives from those provinces consider for a moment what the people of Ontario and the older provinces had1 to go through in years gone by when they were pioneers; and the prairies are at present more or less in a pioneer state. They may think that they have gone beyond that stage in their development, but in my opinion they are still pioneers. Certainly their outskirts are still in the pioneer condition. I do not know that there is much difficulty in the most thickly populated districts of the prairies in the matter of securing credit, although I may be wrong in that regard. But so far as the rural districts in the prairies are concerned I should imagine that they are going through now the same stage which the earlier settlers in the province of Ontario had to experience. Today there is no difficulty in Ontario because there is security to be offered for any credit asked. And security is the basis of all credit. Rural credit in Ontario is just as good as mercantile credit. Any farmer in Ontario who owns a farm and has any particular interest, any equity of redemption in the concern, and who owns any sort of farming equipment fully paid for, has no difficulty in getting all the money he requires either from loaning companies or from banks to enable him to carry on. And he gets it at rates that are perfectly legitimate and fair. The general
rate of interest in Ontario to-day is lower than it has been for some time; for in the city of Toronto any amount of money can be obtained at from 6 to 64 per cent. Not long ago it ran to between 7 and 74 per cent on first-class realty securities, but now the rate is as I have stated. To-day all our financial institutions are in possession of very large amounts of money uninvested and are seeking for opportunities of investment; and the moment the western provinces attain the position of being able to offer security for the loans they ask they will not encounter any particular difficulty in obtaining the money they require.
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rate of interest depends on the security offered. In Ontario, if you go to a loan house, a mortgage company, a bank or a private individual and present security that has in it, not the elements of true security but something that involves a risk, then the institution or the individual will say, "I will take your risk, but I want a certain rate of interest." If, however, you can offer substantial security there will be no difficulty in getting a reasonable rate of interest. I do not know what the government has in mind or what our friend's from the west propose in regard to the rural credit system which it is intended to bring into force, but I notice according to a statement in the Toronto Globe-and I am not saying that the Globe speaks for the government-that the federal act will provide that loans made under the new system shall rank second only to taxes as a charge against property. No doubt the newspaper in making that statement had some idea of what the government proposes to do. The rural credit scheme which is proposed is apparently some form of loaning by the federal government to the provinces or to those people in the provinces who desire to borrow money. So far as I am concerned I am going to hesitate long before giving my consent to any proposition by which the government will enter into the lending of money, whether it be to rural or to urban inhabitants. That is not one of the functions of government.
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the hon. member that the group in this section of the House have never asked the government to advance money directly to the farmers. Indeed, we are opposed to that principle. We are merely asking that the
The Address-Mr. Anderson (Toronto)
government provide the necessary legislation to allow us to pool our own securities and thereby secure better rates.
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