April 26, 1926

PRO

John Warwick King

Progressive

Mr. KING (Kootenay):

Are you sure?

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

William Garland McQuarrie

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. McQUARRIE:

None of this would be rebated.

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

An hon. MEMBER:

How much was collected in luxury tax?

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

William Garland McQuarrie

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. McQUARRIE:

I have not the details; someone else will give that. It seems to me that something such as I have suggested might be done, and certainly it would be more effective than the proposal the government now makes, if it is the intention of the government to help the people. It has always been the policy of the present administration to reduce the cost of living although they have never succeeded in doing so. But if, as I suggest, they would take off the sales and luxury taxes then everyone would be relieved.

I am not going to enter into any exhaustive discussion of the reduction in automobile duties. That is something which no doubt will be handled by someone much more competent than myself. My only point-and I want to make it perfectly clear-is that the automobile industry has been very unfairly treated. As stated in the amendment proposed by the hon. member for Fort William (Mr. Manion), we had a distinct promise on the part of the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) on the hustings, and a definite promise made in the Speech from the Throne, that any tariff changes that might be introduced would be made only after proper consideration of such industries as might be affected. For this purpose we were told that a tariff board would be appointed, as in fact it has been. We had that statement in the Speech from the Throne, and we actually had the tariff board constituted. Yet, a few days afterwards, the budget was brought down with a very substantial reduction in the duties on automobiles. I say, the automobile manufacturers have been badly treated. They were just as much entitled as anyone else to lay

their side of the story before the tariff board, and they had a right to fair consideration. I do not say that possibly there should not be some reduction in automobile duties; I am not saying that at all. I do not pretend to be an authority on the subject, nor do I think that the members of the government are qualified to decide the question. It may be, however, that thej' have no confidence in their own tariff board. Certainly it is strange that this reduction should have been made so soon after the board was appointed.

You will observe, Mr. Speaker, that the chairman of the tariff board was a member of the cabinet in the last parliament. He was a very prominent member of the government and one who was thought a great deal of in this House. He had wearied of his job and did not wish to continue in public life; as a matter of fact, he is not in the very best condition to live a strenuous life. He therefore declined to carry on in the cabinet. No one can say that the government could not have found him a seat somewhere. It might have been difficult for him to get elected in Ontario, but he might have gone to Quebec or Saskatchewan. However, after hesitating a long time, and after, as I have no doubt, a great deal of pressure had been brought to bear upon him to continue in the government, he decided that he was not equal to the task. Yet the government appoints him to the position of chairman of the tariff board! Surely that will be an arduous life for him, and I cannot see how under the circumstances we can expect him to be anything more than a tool of the administration. He will not be any different in that position than if he were a member of the present government.

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

John Warwick King

Progressive

Mr. KING (Kootenay):

It is hardly fair for the hon. member to suggest that the chairman of the board will be but a tool of the government. We all know him for what he was in this House, and he is known throughout the country.

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:

May I suggest that if

the minister wishes to make a speech he will have an opportunity.

Mr. MicQUARRIE: I have no intention

whatever to be disrespectful; indeed, Mr. Speaker, I have the greatest admiration for the chairman of the tariff board. But what I want to know is why this government, suddenly and without any warning whatever, took this important matter away from the board. Why should they have done so if they had confidence in the board? I want to see a tariff board which will be above and outside of politics, a board which can be relied upon

The Budget-Mr. McQuarrie

to give a square deal to everyone. In any event, I say that the automobile industry was entitled to a chance to place its case before the board even though the government were not in favour of these manufacturers.

We are interested in certain tariff matters in British Columbia, and I regret to say that some questions in this regard the government have not seen fit to consider. I do not know whether they will be referred to the tariff board or not. Time after time in the last parliament, members on this side of the House brought to the attention of the government the unfair situation which the farmers of the country had to face under the tariff, particularly in relation to eggs and butter. I remember that on one occasion, when the estimates of the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Motherwell) were under consideration, I called his attention directly to the fact, and the only reply he volunteered was this. He said, " I am more interested in pulling down duties than in raising them." Two members from British Columbia, the former member for Fraser Valley, Mr. Munro, and the former member for Cariboo, Mr. McBride, stood up in their places and belittled the statements I had made in emphasizing the seriousness of the situation. Right here I want to remind the government that those two gentlemen were defeated at the last election; when they went back to their constituents they received their reward for the stand they had taken in this House on that question.

Now, what is the tariff in this particular? I am going to put on Hansard, with the permission of the House, the tariffs of Canada, Australia and the United States respectively on certain commodities. For the moment I

will refer to two,-eggs and butter. The United States tariff on eggs is eight cents per dozen as against our tariff of three cents, while their tariff on butter is twelve cents, having been increased recently from eight cents. The Canadian tariff is four cents.

In regard to the United States tariff, I think it is a crime that we should place our farmers at such a disadvantage with relation to their American competitors; our tariff at least should be equalized with that of the United States. My constituency borders on the United States, I represent quite a large number of farmers, and they have probably some of the best farms in Canada. It is a crime that when they wish to send their eggs over to the United States they have to pay a duty of eight cents a dozen, whereas farmers in the United States can send eggs into this country at three cents a dozen. If our farmers want to send butter across the line they have to pay twelve cents a pound duty, while we allow American butter to come in under a duty of only four cents a pound. I have contended all the way through that our tariff should be equalized with that of our neighbours. The government might have fixed this with respect to butter and eggs without reference to any tariff board, because they know the present condition of affairs is an absolute injustice to our farmers.

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

John Warwick King

Progressive

Mr. KING (Kootenay):

Do I understand, Mr. Speaker, that my hon. friend proposes putting the contents of that pamphlet on Hansard?

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

William Garland McQuarrie

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. McQUARRIE:

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


The Budget-Mr. McQuarrie even members of this government assume to know. What do we find these farmers are doing? Are they worrying about this situation, or are they not? Well, they have been holding mass meetings of their institutes and associations and have been protesting taost vehemently against the unfairness of the present situation. Why? Do you suppose they do not know their own business? Do you suppose they do not know whether there is any danger to their prosperity? Do you not realize that those men are $ware of the real significance of the present state of affairs? I say that when the government finds them protesting so emphatically it should pay some attention to their protests. I have before me a number of resolutions, but I am not going to take the time of the House to read them all, I will merely enumerate a few. I have a resolution passed at a mass meeting of poultrymen held at New Westminster January 26, at which were represented many thousands of poultry producers of the mainland of British Columbia. In my constituency and in other constituencies there are a great many returned men who were encouraged to go into the poultry industry and who have done their best to make it a success, but now they are being slapped in the face by this government. I have also a resolution of the Surrey Farmers Institute, passed at Cloverdale, B.C., January 12, 1926; a resolution passed at a mass meeting of poultrymen held at Duncan, B.C., January 5, 1926, representing the poultry-men of Vancouver island; resolutions passed by the Strawberry Hill Poultry Association December 1, 1925, and January 25, 1926; a resolution passed by the Courtney Comox Board of Trade November 13, 1925; a resolution passed by the Comox Creamery Association November 12, 1925, and a resolution passed by the Harmsworth District Farmers' Association November 19, 1925, as to grading. All those resolutions referred to eggs. Then I have a resolution passed by the British Columbia Dairymen's Association at meetings held at New Westminster January 21 and 22, 1926, in regard to butter. Now, the same subject is of concern to the farmers of Quebec, for I hold in my hand this despatch from Three Rivers, Quebec, dated February^ 26, 1926: A plea for adequate protection for Canadian butter against foreign competition was made this evening by Frank Byrne, of Charlesbourg, first vice-president of the General Breeders' Association of Quebec, at the closing meeting of its thirty-fourth convention. "If w*


EDITION


The Budget-Mr. McQuarrie



could produce 15,000,000 pounds of butter more annually," said Mr. Byrne, "we could sell them, but a difficulty arises in the way of success. Other countries threaten to send their butter here. We ought to hit foreign butter as hard as foreign countries hit our butter. Duties as high as those established by foreign countries ought to be imposed here, and I hope the government will see to it." I desire to place on record one of the resolutions regarding eggs, to which I have already referred. This resolution was passed at a mass meeting of poultrymen held at New Westminster, British Columbia, on January 12, 1926: Resolution No. 1: Whereas, eggs coming into Canada from United States points under a tariff of 3 cents per dozen, are making it unprofitable for British Columbia poultry- . men to send their eggs to the prairie and eastern Canadian markets; Be it therefore resolved: (a) That the federal government be requested as an act of justice to Canadian poultrymen to raise the tariff on United States eggs coming into Canada to 8 cents per dozen, which is the tariff imposed on Canadian eggs going into the United States. (b) That the federal government be requested to make the Eggs Marks Act of British Columbia applicable to the Dominion of Canada as a whole. And be it further resolved that copies of this resolution be sent to Hon. W. R. Motherwell, Minister of Agriculture at Ottawa, Hon. E. D. Barrow, Minister of Agriculture for British Columbia and to each of the federal members for British Columbia. Resolution No. 2: Whereas, under the Australian-Canadian treaty eggs from Australia are allowed to enter Canada free of duty; And whereas under the Dominion of Canada egg grading regulations it is possible that eggs from Australia, raised under summer conditions, will be able to enter Canada as fresh eggs at a time when winter conditions prevail in Canada; And whereas this will increase the already serious competition which Canadian poultrymen have to meet from eggs from the United States; Be it therefore resolved: That the federal government be requested to add to the present definition of the word "fresh" the length of time during which eggs intended for sale as "fresh" in Canada may be held when in transit at a temperature of 35 degrees Fahrenheit or less. And be it further resolved that copies of this resolution- And so forth. Resolution No. 3: Whereas there is reason to believe that an effort will shortly be made by certain produce dealers in the prairie provinces to secure the modification of the present egg grading regulations, which modification amounts practically to the abandonment of egg grading; Be it resolved: That the federal government be requested to make no alteration in the present regulations- You will notice that this resolution does not specifically call for the increase in the 'Canadian duty against Australian eggs to equal the Australian duty, but that is covered by some of the other resolutions. I wish now to read the resolution passed by the British Columbia Dairymen's Association: I beg to advise you that ait the annual convention of the British Columbia Dairymen's Association, held on January 21 and 22 last at New Westminster, the following resolution was passed: Resolved that whereas, at the close of its last session the federal parliament rushed through legislation giving to Australia a preferential tariff on cheese and butter; And whereas this legislation is likely to discourage the production of cream during the winter months in this country, owing to the maintenance of low prices to meet the competition of Australian products moving to our ports by low ocean rates against our high railway rates; Be it resolved that this convention goes on record by voicing its disapproval of this concession, and that such action be taken as may be deemed necessary for the protection of our dairy industry. I have here a return tabled on a motion made by myself, showing the importation of eggs from the United States and other places. With the permission of the House I will place these tables on Hansard: Countries from which Imported Fiscal Year ended March 31, 1924 Fiscal Year ended March 31, 1925 Month of December, 1925 Quantity Value Quantity Value Quantity ValueEggs in the shell- dozen $ dozen $ dozen $United States 6,454,313 1,961,477 2,564,551 917,100 33,133 16,533China 1,150 174 77,908 15,243 116 31Eggs, n.o.p.- pounds 3 pounds $ pounds $United States No statistics prior to 1925 413,383 90,729 800 640China 560,257 89,545 157,616 25,395 All I ask, and all any reasonable person could ask, is that we be placed on a businesslike basis in our relations with the other dominions. Give our farmers a fair chance and they are prepared to compete with the world, [Mr McQuarrie.] but under present conditions they are at a very great disadvantage. I would like now, Mr. Speaker, to refer for a moment to the question of immigration. I am not going to discuss at any length the The Budget-Mr. McQuarrie question of oriental immigration; I have referred to that on a number of occasions, and any hon. member who is interested may look up Hansard and read my remarks. Other hon. members are prepared to deal with this subject, I believe. I wish to say, however, that the people of British Columbia are not satisfied with what is being done by this government. in the way of effective restriction. The resolution which I moved in 1922 providing for exclusion was defeated, because the government promised effective restriction and the then leader of the Progressive party, Mr. Crerar, stated that he was prepared to give the government a chance. All the hon. members from British Columbia are a unit, I believe, in demanding that there be exclusion, but on that occasion my resolution was defeated, because the government said, "We will give you effective restriction of such a nature that it will practically amount to exclusion, although the word exclusion is not used and therefore will not give offence to Japan." The people of British Columbia are not satisfied with the way that promise is being carried out. I have a great mass of material which has been sent to me during the present session, particularly from the Oriental Exclusion League of Victoria, covering this question. That league, which is very active, has proposed that, a royal commission be appointed to investigate the whole question of oriental immigration, as well as that of orientals already in Canada, and on that royal commission they believe British Columbia should have the majority representation. That is a matter for consideration. The league also suggests that an effort be made to get orientals already in Canada to go back to their own countries. It is said that thousands of Chinese would go back to China providing they were assisted by the return of a portion of the head tax already paid. In South Africa a policy has been adopted under which bonuses are given East Indians to help them back to India; that policy has not worked out in such a way as to get rid of all the East Indians, but some of them have taken advantage of the opportunity. I am given to understand by the secretary of the Oriental Exclusion League of Victoria that a great many-he says " thousands "-of Chinese would go back to China if some such policy were adopted. They would be glad to go back, because they came to this country under the false impression that they were needed here and would be welcomed. They were brought here more or less under false pretences, for which the trans-14011-178J portation companies are responsible; they find conditions here not as represented, and they would go back if the government would bonus them to the extent of their steamship fares. If that is so, it might be a good thing to do. I have referred, Mr. Speaker, to the policy of the Liberal party, announced many, many times on the hustings and in this House and in their platform, that the cost of living would be brought down if they were returned to power. Well, I think that has not turned out to be the case, but rather that the cost of living has gone up, and has been going up practically all the time since thi3 government came into power. In this connection let me refer to the Labour Gazette, a government publication, of February, 1926, where at page 93, I find this: Retail food prices were again somewhat higher, the cost per week of a list of twenty-nine staple foods for an average family of five, in terms of the average retail prices in some sixty cities was $11.63 at the beginning of January, 1926, as compared with $11.56 for December, 1925; $10.77 for January, 1925; $10.78 for January, 1924; $10.52 for January, 1923; $11.03 for January, 1922; $14.48 for January, 1921; $16.92 for June, 1920 (the peak); $15.30 for January, 1920; $12.42 for January, 1918; and $7.73 for January, 1914. I am afraid, therefore, that this government has not been successful in carrying out that plank of its platform, and I submit that there must be something wrong. I submit that the government's policy is responsible for this increase, and that the government's policy as announced in the budget this year will be responsible for a still further increase in the cost of living. Now I come to another matter. This government takes credit for a lot of things. I wonder if it will admit that it is responsible' for the state of affairs to which I am now going to refer, namely that the birth rate in Canada has decreased steadily since October of 1921.


LIB

Ernest Lapointe (Secretary of State of Canada; Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. LAPOINTE:

The whisper of death

is responsible for that.

Topic:   EDITION
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CON

William Garland McQuarrie

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. McQUARRIE:

Has the policy of this government anything to do with that decline in the birth rate? Whether it has or not the fact remains that it is absolutely true; the birth rate in Canada has decreased steadily since October, 1921. I quote from a recent press despatch:

The birth rate continues to fall. In October, 1925, the last month of record, returns from all the provinces except Quebec show a total of 11,887 births in Canada, compared with 12,768 in October, 1924. The equivalent annual birth rate per thousand of population in the eight provinces was 20.5, hawing decreased steadily since October, 1921, when it waa 25.3. Vital statistics for Quebec are not available.

The Budget-Mr. McQuarrie

The above figures are living births. In October last 416 infants were born dead. There were 129 pairs of twins. Sixty mothers died dn childbirth. Infant montallity also was slightly higher; 1,075 infants under one year old died in October.

There must be a reason for this decrease in the birth rate. Does it mean that our population also has decreased? I submit, Mr. Speaker, that if this government pursues the policy which has been enunciated in the budget, we shall have a still further decrease in our birth rate, because Canada will not have even the population that it now has.

Another matter I wish to refer to in this connection is this: In British Columbia,

along the coast and in the outlying districts, a very serious condition exists. A great many children come into this world without a doctor or a nurse being available.

Topic:   EDITION
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CON
CON

William Garland McQuarrie

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. McQUARRIE:

The situation is very serious, and a similar condition might exist in other provinces. It may be responsible for the high infant mortality, but I would suggest to the government a way in which they can help. I submit that this government is doing very little in the way of assisting in this very important matter now, but we have an organization in this country that is doing splendid work, so far as its funds will permit, and that is the Victorian Order of Nurses.

Topic:   EDITION
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CON
CON

William Garland McQuarrie

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. McQUARRIE:

I submit also that that order is not receiving a decent grant from this government. This government is not giving as much assistance to this organization as some municipalities are subscribing; it grants only $10,000 a year, whch is a disgrace to Canada. I submit that the grant should be very largely increased, and that we should give at least $50,000. If we are as prosperous as the Minister of Finance would give us to understand, surely we can afford to give at least $50,000 to assist the Victorian Order of Nurses. Such a grant would enable them to enlarge their work, and I am sure they would then be able to attend to some of the outlying districts where no assistance is at present being given.

The government is doing very little for the farmers, and there is one branch of farming that is being overlooked entirely, namely, the raising of sheep. No encouragement is being given to our farmers to raise sheep, although I believe conditions in this country

[Mr McQuarrie.]

are suitable for sheep raising. When I was in South Africa I had the pleasure of meeting one of the greatest wool experts in the world, the man who wrote the article on Sheep and wool in the Encyclopaedia Britannica, Senator Guthrie, of Australia. He told me that he was surprised we produced so few sheep in Canada. He said that the climate, the soil and the conditions generally were suitable to the large production of sheep in this country. I have in my hand a pamphlet which deals with this subject, and I shall make a short quotation from it:

Canada is a fine sheep country and the raising of sheep is a tremendous factor in successful farming. Yet we keep only 2,500,000 sheep while the size, climate and feed conditions would permit keeping 25,000,000, to grow wool and mutton for home consumption and export. Our farmers should have the profit of growing 50,000,000 of the 70,000,000,000 pounds of wool consumed annually by the people of Canada, instead of growing only 15,000,000 pounds, of which a large quantity is exported.

There are no more sheep in Canada to-day than there were in 1897, because Canada then reduced its duties of woolen goods from Great Britain, which resulted in closing down eighty-eight mills, which reacted on the sheep raising industry.

The government should put a proper duty on and give the sheep producers of this country a chance.

Topic:   EDITION
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PRO

April 26, 1926