April 23, 1926

CON

Peter McGibbon

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. McGIBBON:

Yes.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL
Sub-subtopic:   FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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PRO

John Millar

Progressive

Mr. MILLAR:

Without further information I would not undertake to deal with that statement at the moment. Considerable effort was made by an hon. member last night to show that if our farm products were protected we would be better off-at least that was the implication. He stated that farm products in the United States were protected, and in every instance they rose in price. There is just one serious oversight there. If you have two lakes separated by a ridge of land, and you cut away that ridge, the direction of the flow of water will depend on which lake is higher. Now, it is quite understandable that in the United States, where the prices of those commodities are higher because of the larger population, protection is sure to raise those prices; but to jump at the conclusion that the effect would be the same in a sparsely settled

The Budget-Mr. Millar

country like Canada, where we are exporting ail those commodities in large quantities, and where the prices are lower than on the other side of the international boundary, is to say the least rash; such an argument is fallacious. Can you imagine that a tariff against American wheat is going to raise the price of our commodity? Why, never! Suppose there were no tariff, would the Americans ship their wheat over here when they can get several cents a bushel more in their own country? It would only be practicable for them to ship to some corner of Canada inaccessible to our wheat supply and close to an American wheat field. There a certain quantity will pass backwards and forwards it is true, but you cannot protect by a customs tariff a commodity where the price is low against the similar commodity of a country where the price is high. It is useless to attempt it.

In conclusion let me say that we from the west will always strive for greater unity of thought and action throughout the Dominion. There are difficulties in the Maritime provinces, and I hope that something will be done to overcome them, to assist the people there to get back to a sound economic basis. Notwithstanding the great wilderness of a thousand miles between central Canada and western Canada, I hope there will be nothing but justice and fairness on the part of all. We ask no more. In the past I am afraid those outlying parts of the Dominion have not received that fair consideration to which they were entitled. One reason why it is difficult now to get back to a basis of fairness and justice is that errors were made in the past; too much protection in some cases and too much government assistance in others were given to certain favoured sections. We are striving only for the square deal. There is no thought on our part to injure the manufacturing or any other industry. There is no wish on the part of anyone in this quarter of the House, so far as I am aware, to get back at those Who have accumulated large sums of money. They may have gained their wealth fairly, they may not, but if they are using it properly, if they are investing it to give work to other Canadians, we have no desire to injure them in any way. We would, I believe, readily take action to extinguish that class which has gained its money by means that are questionable, by exacting too high prices for the commodities it has sold, by securing from governments grants of natural resources in the way of timber limits and mines. We desire to prevent a recurrence of that state of affairs. But as a representative

from the west, I can say that we want to pay our share of freight rates and everything else, we want to do justice by all the other parts of Canada. With the limited knowledge I possess, Sir, I am striving to understand our national problems so that I may vote intelligently with respect to their solution. In short, I desire to do justice by all and give favours to none.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL
Sub-subtopic:   FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink
CON

George Hamilton Pettit

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. PETTIT:

In what respect have the

Maritime provinces not been fairly dealt with?

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL
Sub-subtopic:   FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink
PRO

Robert Forke

Progressive

Mr. FORKE:

Leave that to the Maritime

people themselves.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL
Sub-subtopic:   FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink
CON

George Brecken Nicholson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. G. B. NICHOLSON (East Algoma):

Mr. Speaker, in rising to say a few words on the budget it is not my purpose to follow at any considerable length the hon. gentleman who has just resumed his seat. There are just one or two things on which I would like to touch very briefly. The hon. gentleman referred to the statements issued by the railway companies in such a way as to lead one to believe that in his opinion at least, and in the opinion of those who think with him, the statements as to earnings and operating costs cannot be relied on; that when the Minister of Railways brings down a statement in this House to the effect that it costs more to earn a dollar than the dollar itself in handling grain in western Canada under the present freight rate, the statement is misleading, and the officials who prepared it are not making a correct statement.

Mr. MILLAR- I made no comment on that statement; I refused to comment on it.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL
Sub-subtopic:   FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink
CON

George Brecken Nicholson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. NICHOLSON:

I submit that the only conclusion we can draw from the remarks of the hon. gentleman and from similar remarks made in regard to that question is that the hon. members are not prepared to accept as genuine the figures presented to parliament by the Minister of Railways. At the moment it is not my purpose to go into the transportation question at any length, because a time will come later when we may deal with that. In the meantime I might just put to my hon. friend and those who sit around him this question: Do they feel disposed to support a government that would wilfully issue false statements in order to deceive those who invested their money in the construction of what is now a portion of the Canadian National Railways? That is exactly what is being done, if the statements-

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL
Sub-subtopic:   FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink
LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

I rise to ask

if it is appropriate for the hon. member to say that the government wilfully issued false statements in regard to this matter. I noticed

The Budget-Mr. Nicholson

the right hon. leader of the opposition conferring with the hon. member; I hope this language does not emanate from him.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL
Sub-subtopic:   FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink
CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

Mr. Speaker-

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL
Sub-subtopic:   FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink
LIB

Hewitt Bostock (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

Order.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL
Sub-subtopic:   FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink
CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

The right hon. gentleman referred to me, and I have the right to make a reply. The language used by the hon. member was not given him by myself, but I support every word of it, and every member on this side of the House supports it.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL
Sub-subtopic:   FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink
CON

George Brecken Nicholson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. NICHOLSON:

If the Prime Minister feels it necessary for me to go around the House borrowing language, there is no one to whom I would rather go than the right hon. leader of the opposition. But let me repeat my statement. I simply asked my hon. friend whether or not he questions the reliability of the statements given to this House by the government as to what it costs to earn a dollar in the transportation of grain under the rates now existing in western Canada. My hon. friend implied that he was not disposed to accept these figures as genuine. The figures are given by the government; there is an issue of $25,000,000 of income bonds against the construction of the Canadian Northern Railway, the lines of which are to a very large extent in western Canada. These income bonds provide that interest will be paid to those who have put their money into the construction of that line, just as soon as that interest is earned. But no interest has been paid since 1910. Why? Because the government, which is in reality responsible for the payment of the interest, says that the freight rates in western Canada did not make it possible for the railway to earn the interest. Let me again ask my hon. friends; jf they feel, as they say they do, that the statements are not correct and that the government or the servants of the government are issuing these statements for the purpose of deceiving these bondholders, do they consider that in supporting the government they arc representing the feeling of the Canadian people? I submit, Sir, that if the Canadian Northern Railway, now a part of the Canadian National Railways, is earning the interest on that money, the people who purchased these bonds have a right to that interest, and it is for the government and my hon. friends to discuss now as to who is right and who is wrong.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL
Sub-subtopic:   FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink
PRO

Robert Forke

Progressive

Mr. FORKE:

Would the hon. gentleman

mind stating what he means when he speaks of the lines in western Canada?

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL
Sub-subtopic:   FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink
CON

George Brecken Nicholson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. NICHOLSON:

All lines west of Port

Arthur and Fort William. My hon. friend

knows as well as I know that when anyone refers to the railway lines in western Canada and the special rates on grain in western Canada, he refers to those parts of the railway lines west of Port Arthur and Fort William.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL
Sub-subtopic:   FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink
PRO

Robert Forke

Progressive

Mr. FORKE:

To Prince Rupert?

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL
Sub-subtopic:   FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink
CON

George Brecken Nicholson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. NICHOLSON:

The special rates only apply from prairie points to Port Arthur and Fort William.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL
Sub-subtopic:   FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink
PRO

Robert Forke

Progressive

Mr. FORKE:

Then let me remind my

hon. friend that the president of the Canadian Pacific Railway said that if Mackenzie and Mann had been content to build railway lines to Fort William they would have been the richest railway men in the world.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL
Sub-subtopic:   FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink
CON

George Brecken Nicholson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. NICHOLSON:

My hon. friend finds

a very easy way to beg the whole question. What the president of the Canadian Pacific Railway said with regard to Mackenzie and Mann has no bearing on this question. My hon. friends contend that the special rates applicable on grain from prairie points to Fort William and Port Arthur give an adequate return to the railway company for the traffic handled. I am not going to stop at the moment to dispute that contention, but I do say that the government supported by my hon. friends has given to this House and to the country a statement that these rates are not equitable, because^ the lines do not earn their operating costs in the handling of grain. My hon. friends can take one of two positions; if they support the statement of the government they deny their own statements; if they support the statements made by themselves, they charge the government with deceiving the people who put their money into these bnnds. That is clearly the

Referring to the delegation which waited on the government this morning, my hon. friend said that there were very few members of this House who would wilfully injure any class of people in this country. I think perhaps that is true, but the great difficulty is that this country is in such a position, in regard to its national government, that all that is required is two or three men desiring to do something, and the government gets down on its knees and yields.

Just one other point, Mr. Speaker. My hon. friend said-and this is an additional warning to the delegation which arrived here this morning-that the time for negotiation had passed. When did the time for negotiation begin? When was there an opportunity given to the manufacturers of automobiles or to the representatives of the men who are

The Budget-Mr. Nicholson

engaged in this industry to come and lay their case either before the government or the tariff board which the government have appointed to deal with tariff matters?

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL
Sub-subtopic:   FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink
CON

Robert James Manion

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MANION:

Or before the Progressive

party?

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL
Sub-subtopic:   FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink
CON

George Brecken Nicholson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. NICHOLSON:

Yes, or before the

Progressive party? When did my hon. friend from Brandon (Mr. Forke), before he reached the decision to hold the gun to the ear of the Prime Minister, ask these men to come here and lay the facte of their case before him? When did he do that? When? But now that the axe has fallen-

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL
Sub-subtopic:   FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink
PRO

John Millar

Progressive

Mr. MILLAR:

Is there any reason why,

at any time since the House met, a delegation from Oshawa could not have come here if they wished to present their views to the Progressive party?

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL
Sub-subtopic:   FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink

April 23, 1926