April 20, 1926

PRO

Robert Forke

Progressive

Mr. FORKE:

Mr. Speaker, I am afraid

the hon. member has missed my point, because the whole battle I am carrying on is for the workingmen of Canada. Does not he think that the big interests are quite able to voice their own wants? If the workingmen of Canada do not find members in this House to voice their wants, they are not likely to be heard. When the delegation of motor manufacturers interview the government this week will they not be vocal? What about the great masses of the people all over the Dominion who are buying low-priced cars, will they be in a position to present their wants, their ideas and their claims to the government? They will not be in the same advantageous position as our manufacturers. I am not finding fault with the manufacturers of Canada in looking after 'their interests, but I want my hon. friend t.o understand that I at least am speaking here on behalf of the masses of the Dominion.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE.
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CON

David Spence

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPENCE (Parkdale):

You will put

them out of employment and on the street.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE.
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PRO

Robert Forke

Progressive

Mr. FORKE:

Some people take a very

short view of economics. When 3.000 men found the doors of the motor car factory shut in their face, I know very well what their feelings were; naturally they were resentful that anything should be done to stop operations for a day; but, Mr. Speaker, that does not alter my ideas as to what is the true economic basis for the welfare of this Dominion. My sympathies are with the workingmen.

The Budget-Mr. Forke

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE.
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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Oh, oh.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE.
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PRO

Robert Forke

Progressive

Mr. FORKE:

Well, they ought to be for

I have been a workingman all my life and know something about work. Let me quote a few words by Sir John Willison in regard to the future of our manufacturing industries, and I do not think any of my hon. friends will question such an authority. Not very long ago he said that:

Manufacturing industry in Canada would not be successful unless it was underpinned and supported by the energy, the ability and the enterprise of the Canadian people producing excellent goods at a reasonable price.

Could you get any better doctrine than that? If our manufacturers would) keep that before their eyes and not think so much about protection, they would not be in the difficult position that they sometimes find themselves in. We talk about sectionalism and selfishness. Well, we are all human and all of us are bound to be a little selfish and a little sectional, no one can be in this House for four or five sessions without realizing that generally we are representing the problems of our own particular constituencies. That is quite natural. We cannot put forward the requirements of our own districts without to a certain extent being either sectional or selfish. At the same time let us take a broad view of the whole situation. I know the Progressives are being continually condemned by the press-and I want to speak quite moderately in this connection-by the eastern papers especially, as working only for our own interests. Well, the Progressives, like the members of every other party in the House, are looking after their sections of the Dominion, and it is quite possible to look after the best interests of your own locality and yet preserve a broad view and work for the interests of the whole Dominion. Last week Mr. Calder spoke in the Chateau Laurier on the subject of "A House Divided." I made a humble attempt the other day at Toronto to speak upon "Canadian Unity." I am prepared in this House and in the country, Mr. Speaker, to stand up for Canadian unity, for a united Canada from the Atlantic to the Pacific, and I submit that those who are continually holding up certain members of the House as being selfish and sectional in their views are not doing what will tend to unity of sentiment and action throughout this country; on the contrary they are trying to split the east from the west. If I can do anything in public life I hope it will be to draw those two great sections of the Dominion closer together.

*

During this session we have heard a great deal about Maritime rights. I can assure the House that when we came here at the beginning of the session no member of the Progressive party from western Canada was indifferent to the grievances of our Maritime friends, and every one of us was and is anxious to do everything possible to help them. Entertaining these sentiments, I was all the more sorry to hear members from the Maritimes now and then finding fault with what they called the sectional and narrow point of view that the western members were taking. I hope the people of the Maritimes will solve their difficulties in a very short time and that in the years to come that important and historic portion of Canada will be very prosperous.

What has made the present budget possible? What has enabled the Minister of Finance to tell us that he is able to reduce our taxation by $25,000,000? Do not all members believe that the tremendous crop we had last year is the main reason for the prosperity which we are now enjoying? We are continually attempting to develop the country from the wrong end. Our friends living in the cities and close to manufacturing concerns naturally imagine that we can be made prosperous by enlarging our industrial plants.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE.
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?

An hon. MEMBER:

So we can.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE.
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PRO

Robert Forke

Progressive

Mr. FORKE:

How can we do it? I claim it can be done only by making the primary industries prosperous, and then every other industry will be able to carry on under equally prosperous conditions. We are often told that the high cost of production makes Canadian manufacturers unable to compete with outside manufacturers. If this be so, if they cannot compete with their rivals at home, how can they compete with them in the markets of the world? The great problems before Canada at the present time are to increase our domestic market, to increase the purchasing power of the people, and reduce the cost of living. When you have done those three things, you will have done a great deal towards making industry much more prosperous than it is at the present time.

I have a few extracts here which, with your permission, Mr. Speaker, I shall read:

The three prairie provinces depend solely for transportation on railroads. No traffic moves in or out of this area by water. For .this reason it has been comparatively simple to isolate the prairie section of the Dominion and to tabulate the incoming and outgoing shipments. With the co-operation of the railway companies this was done by the federal Bureau of Statistics, and their pamphlet gives as complete a return of prairie trade as could be given if it were a national unit, with frontiers to the east and west as wefll as to the south.

The Budget-Mr. Forke

Below are the figures for 1923, the last for which

statistics are available.

Net value of production $645,493,271

Exports 270,000,000

Imports 145,000,000

An analysis of the figures shoiws that all three prairie provinces are still overwhelmingly agricultural. The following table shows the exports:-

Wheat $208,000,000

Oats 10,000,000

Barley 5,000,000

Rye 2,800,000

Mixed grains 200,000

Flax 6,500,000

Flo-ur (net value) 17,000,000

Mill products 5,500,000

Cattle 2,500,000

Forest products 1,750,000

Other live animals 500,000

Mine products 250,000

Dairy products 5,000,000

Poultry and eggs 2,000,000

Hides and leather 2,000.000

Manufacturers and miscellaneous.. .. 1,000,000

Our imports are:-

Apples, fruits and vegetables $ 3.000,000

Coal and coke 6,800,000

Crude petroleum 1,400,000

Salt 500,000

Lumber, timber box shooks, etc.. .. 6,000,000Ties *

1,200,000Logs, poles, posts and cord wood.. .. 800,000Refined petroleum and products.. .. 5,400,000Sugar

17,500,000Iron-pig and bloom

400,000Rails and fastenings

2,000,000

Bar and sheet iron, structural iron,

etc 4,200,000

Castings, machinery and boilers.. .. 8,300,000

Agricultural implements and vehicles

other than automobiles 28,500,000

Automobiles and auto trucks 15,000,000

Furniture 5,500,000

Liquors and beverages

700,000Paper, printed matter and books.. .. 17,500,000Canned meats

500,000Canned goods

3,500,000Miscellaneous manufactures

300,000Other miscellaneous articles

5,000,000

These figures show that the prairie provinces imported last year, from eastern Canada, $132,000,000 worth of goods, and a business on the prairie provinces that amounts to $133,000,000 a year is very well worth cultivating, I think, and very well worth looking after.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE.
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CON

Charles Hazlitt Cahan

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CAHAN:

On what basis does the hon. member estimate that business? By railway tonnage?

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE.
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PRO

Robert Forke

Progressive

Mr. FORKE:

I do not know just exactly what the basis is, but, of course, the figures are very easy to ascertain as all the imports and exports to and from the prairie provinces must go through a bottleneck.

We have had hard times in years gone by in Canada, but I am inclined to think that we have reached the top of the hill and that from now on the going will be easier. The west has produced a vast amount of wealth during the past year, amounting in the aggregate to a very large sum, over $900,000,000, as was stated very clearly by the hon. member for West Calgary (Mr. Bennett), in the House a few days ago. That is a vast amount of money, but still there are people out there who have difficulty in making ends meet, and it is not very nice for them to read about the growing prosperity of our country. But I believe, Mr. Speaker, that times are going to improve, and that we are going to have better conditions, with better prices. I want to assure hon. members and those who read my speech, both manufacturers, business men and others, that there is no antagonism in western Canada towards industry as such, that any action we are taking is not a matter of antagonism, but simply a matter of self-preservation. We have difficulties in Canada, we have troubles, but notwithstanding hard times, I believe there is more individual happiness in this Dominion at the present time than there is in any other country in the world. We are still in the year 1926 trying to adjust ourselves to new world conditions, but I believe that we are going to be successful, and that we are going to have better times.

There are two words, Mr. Speaker, which I have heard mentioned in this House. I would not mention them to-day except that I want to make my opinions and my ideas plain. Those words are secession and annexation. Those are two words I do not want to have anything to do with, and I mention them now only to make my opinions plain to this House. We sometimes hear that this country is being invaded by a process of what we might call peaceful penetration, and I believe there is some truth in that statement. Last year Canada paid $4,500,000 for American newspapers and American magazines. I am not going to say anything against American publications other than this, that we have a few high-class magazines in the United States coming into Canada which I should be very sorry to see stopped from coming into this country, but the point I want to make is this: What is the influence of this tremendous amount of American literature that is being read by our Canadian people at the present time? I do not believe they are aware themselves just how much they are being influenced by what they read, but this is a fact I am calling to your attention.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE.
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CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

Would the hon. member be in favour of a duty against them?

The Budget-Mr. Forke

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE.
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PRO

Robert Forke

Progressive

Mr. FORKE:

I would not like to place myself on record at the present time.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE.
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?

An hon. MEMBER:

Playing politics.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE.
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PRO

Robert Forke

Progressive

Mr. FORKE:

I would not play politics

with this question; it is too serious a matter. It is not a matter of economics; it is a matter of-

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE.
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CON

John Léo Chabot

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CHABOT:

Morality.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE.
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PRO

Robert Forke

Progressive

Mr. FORKE:

That is the word I wanted. It is not a matter I would play politics with at all for one moment, and if I thought a duty on American magazines would be the right thing, I would tell the leader of the opposition so right away. But I do not know. There are two sides to the question, and it is a very difficult one to settle. I only mention this to show what is taking place.

There are some people who say that Canada would prosper much more quickly if we were part of the United States. I do not believe that for one moment. I read somewhere lately, I forget just where, that the state of Washington is no more prosperous than the province of British Columbia; it is not as prosperous or as progressive. Are the two Dakotas and Montana any more prosperous than the prairie provinces? They are not at the present time. The farmers and the rural population in those three states are not as prosperous as the people in our three prairie provinces, and when you come down to Ontario, this province is just as prosperous as the state of Wisconsin or some other states to the south. Would my good friends from the province of Quebec change places with any of the New England states? No, I am sure they would rather be Quebec.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE.
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?

An hon. MEMBER:

Then why are our

people leaving for the United States?

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE.
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PRO

Robert Forke

Progressive

Mr. FORKE:

We find that the great

wealth of the United States is being centered in certain places to the south, and that the northern tier of states is 'being left very much out in the cold. We are a still more northerly tier, and I am inclined to believe that were we joined with the United States, we would be worse off still. I say to my fellow Canadians: Stay with Canada. Canada is our country. I have mentioned in this House before that I am not a native-born Canadian, but Canada is my home, and every interest I have is in Canada, and I expect great things of this country. Mr. Speaker, Canada has a destiny of its own to fulfil. It can fill a place in the world's history. It can give something to increase the happiness and welfare of humanity if we

will only follow the course we ought to pursue. I want to see Canadian national unity. I do not know just how to bring it about. On the one hand, we have the east wanting high protection, and on the other, the west wanting low tariff. We must find some com-imon ground of agreement, some stopping place. However, in the meantime I hope all of us will pursue our daily vocations with industry and intelligence, trying to work out our own destiny and that of our nation.

I want to see Canada still retain her place within the British Empire. This is not the place to begin a discussion of Canada's status and her place among the nations of the world, but I want to see Canada a free nation, taking her place among the galaxy of nations. I know a whole lot of difficulties surround this question. You cannot exactly state in words the position we occupy to-day, but I should like to see our country in the years to come still a part of the great British Empire. I believe that our safety in the future, and for a great many years to come, will lie in the fact that we belong to the British Empire. Therefore I hope that we will not forget this idea.

In closing I want to quote a few words that I came across the other day. I do not know who the author is but this is his description of our Dominion:

Canada a daughter of the empire, grown to be a potent factor; but equally strong in loyalty to the British commonwealth, clear visioned-sound in wind and limb, a great race in a great country, coveting nothing, shaping and working out for itseLf with high courage, energy and ability a great destiny.

As my last word I want to say that at this time, no matter in what quarter of the House we may sit, we will be Canadians, loyal to our country and believing in its future. Canada wants men with broad vision and with faith in themselves and in their country. Given these conditions, notwithstanding our political struggles and differences, I have no fear for the future of this great Dominion.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE.
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CON

Felix Patrick Quinn

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. QUINN:

The hon. member spoke of

the sympathy of his party towards the Maritime provinces, but he touched the question of our difficulties very gingerly and lightly. May I ask him to make a declaration to this House that he is in favour of, and would pdvocate the shipment of western grain through the Atlantic ports of Canada in preference to the ports of the United States.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE.
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PRO

Robert Forke

Progressive

Mr. FORKE:

I should like to see all Canadian grain go through Canadian ports.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE.
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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Hear, hear.

The Budget-Mr. Manion

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE.
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April 20, 1926