June 30, 1926

?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

On the basis of honesty.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT RESPECTING FISCAL POLICY ENUNCIATED BY PRIME MINISTER
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LIB

Charles Avery Dunning

Liberal

Mr. DUNNING:

-they were smuggled into office with the help of Moses Aziz. Now, Moses having served his turn and our friends being seated on that side of the House, we can consider the fundamental business of this country, which out of the mouths of my hon. friends opposite when they sat here we learned from day to day was the one great question of protection. Yes, for six months it was dinned into our ears by hon. gentlemen opposite that there was one question, and one question only, which divided the parties in this House. They shed crocodile tears for the young men that were being driven out of Canada because their policy was not being put into effect, and they told us on every conceivable occasion that Canada was being ruined by the late government. Why, Mr. Speaker, if Canada was being ruined by our policy is it not time that this House said something about it? If my hon. friends are right, surely it is not a matter upon which any hon. member, after all the talk we have heard about it, will hesitate to place himself on record. That threat of a dissolution 1 Why, Mr. Speaker, everyone knows that in spite of the undertakings given by hon. gentlemen opposite that there will be another session or two, they are planning dissolution right now, and anyone on this side of the House who is coerced into voting against his own principles in the hope that thereby he will be avoiding dissolution will be deceived indeed by the very men who tell him there will be another session or more.

I want to make it perfectly clear that, so far as the legislation now before the House is concerned, there is no doubt that this House is competent to remain in session until that legislation is placed upon the statute books. That threat need not deter men who believe sin-

Supply-Fiscal Policy

cerely in the principles which they profess. For my part I shall lose no opportunity, as hon. gentlemen opposite lost no opportunity, in setting forward my views on the fiscal policy of this country. From the bottom of my heart I believe that the fiscal policy enunciated by the present Prime Minister when leader of the opposition would prove detrimental to the country's continued prosperity, and especially do I believe that it would be prejudicial to national unity. Are they going to remain in office or partially in office-

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CON

Donald Sutherland

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SUTHERLAND (North Oxford):

Might I ask the hon. gentleman if he is still in favour of the fiscal policy enunciated under his direction in the Saskatchewan provincial legislature a few years ago?

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LIB

Charles Avery Dunning

Liberal

Mr. DUNNING:

I did not direct the

enunciation of any fiscal policy at any time; my views in that connection are well known. I am now discussing what hon. gentlemen opposite intend doing, and in that there can be no mistake; it is on record in the debates of this session. It is well known that we could not discuss anything from the old age pensions to soldier settlement without having the tariff dragged in, and the plea was always for higher protection.

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CON

Robert James Manion (Minister of Immigration and Colonization; Minister of Labour; Minister of Soldiers' Civil Re-establishment; Minister presiding over the Department of Health; Postmaster General)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MANION:

Nothing of the sort; we

never advocated anything of the kind.

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LIB

Charles Avery Dunning

Liberal

Mr. DUNNING:

Well, Mr. Speaker, I can wait until my hon. friends are finished; there is no need for heat in this discussion. At every opportunity hon. gentlemen opposite pleaded individually and collectively for higher protection, and surely they cannot deny it now. If they do deny it let them vote for this amendment, and we will know where they stand.

My hon. friend who has just sat down made some reference to the manner in which the late government resigned office; he contended that some notice should have been given to the then leader of the opposition. It is rather late in the day to talk of the amenities of debate, when we had the spectacle only a week ago of an amendment to the motion to go into supply being moved absolutely as a surprise, admittedly so by the hon. gentlemen who made it. Might I also point out that there was no opportunity for the late Prime Minister to advise anyone of his intention to resign. The moment His Excellency refused the advice of the late Prime Minister to dissolve this parliament the right hon. gentleman's resignation was in order, and it was the only thing he could do. My hon. friends are partly in office, forming'a shadow government, by virtue

of the exercise of the royal prerogative. The advice of the late Prime Minister was that the people of Canada were entitled to settle the question of who should govern this country; that advice being declined there was only one dignified and proper course for the right hon. gentleman to follow. He placed his resignation in the hands of His Excellency the Governor General and came to this House one hour later to advise us of what he had done. Immediately an adjournment was moved in order to enable the situation to be dealt with by the representative of His Majesty in this countrv in any manner which he saw fit. That, I submit, was the proper course to take in this matter. Hon. members have smuggled themselves into office; believers in higher protection, they now control the government when, as a matter of fact, everyone knows that a majority of the representatives of the people in this House at present are not in harmony with such a policy. With a government smuggled into office in that manner-

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CON

John Arthur Clark

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CLARK:

And one smuggled out of office; do not forget that.

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LIB

Charles Avery Dunning

Liberal

Mr. DUNNING:

I have the floor, I think.

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CON

Joseph Henry Harris

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HARRIS:

Will the hon. gentleman

permit a question?

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LIB

Charles Avery Dunning

Liberal

Mr. DUNNING:

Certainly, if it is a ques-lion.

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CON

Joseph Henry Harris

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HARRIS:

Does not the hon. gentleman think that he, along with the late government, was smuggled out of office? .

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LIB

Charles Avery Dunning

Liberal

Mr. DUNNING:

If my hon. friend applies the word smuggling to the efforts which he and his confreres made to get into office, I am quite in agreement with him. The other day I mentioned some of the tactics pursued by my hon. friends opposite, and the episode which took place in another- place yesterday and to-day, with respect to one of these pieces of legislation which my hon. friends are now so anxious should not be hurt, confirmed what I then said. Let us face the question, Mr. Speaker. It may be said that it can wait until another session; can it?

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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Hear, hear.

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LIB

Charles Avery Dunning

Liberal

Mr. DUNNING:

Yes, someone says "hear, hear," someone who does not want a dissolution.

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CON

Richard Burpee Hanson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HANSON:

I will take dissolution tomorrow.

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LIB

Charles Avery Dunning

Liberal

Mr. DUNNING:

You took something else not so long ago. Even if there is no dissolution are we to accept the principle that a government supporting a policy out of har-

Supply-Fiscal Policy

mony with the majority of members of this House shall retain office for a year or more and be able, within the scope of present legislative authority, to put their policy into effect although it is not the will of the members of this House? When I say that what do I mean? I mean that a policy of higher protection can be put into effect to a limited extent at any rate, wiithin the powers of existing legislation, by a government which so desires. There are many ways in which my hon. friends can hand out favours to their special interest friends; they can raise the tariff indirectly and develop their policy although that policy does not command a majority support in this House. It is time, Sir, before this session closes, for men to stand up and say where they stand on this question which has been described all session by hon. members opposite as the most important matter before us. For my part I take the same stand, and I will vote for the amendment.

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LIB

Lucien Cannon

Liberal

Hon. LUCIEN CANNON (Dorchester):

Mr. Speaker, the spectacle that we are witnessing to-day shows how the course of events has proved that we were perfectly right. We have opposite a so-called government representing, according to our constitution, absolutely nothing at all. We have the leader of the House (Sir Henry Drayton) telling U3 from his seat in this House that he really does not reprent a government, but a government to be named later. The situation is absurd; it is ridiculous, and the people of Canada will not stand for it. Notwithstanding the efforts of hon. gentlemen on the other side, efforts which are in some measure published, and efforts which are in a greater measure to be hidden, we know what has been going on; we know the methods adopted by the other side to get into the position in which they are to-day, and the public of this country is entitled to know the true story of the events of this week.

Are we as members of this House realizing our responsibilities? The leader of the House requests us to forget everything which was said this session in order to give a chance to the Tories to organize for the next election, which they will bring on in the fall. Are we, in order to help the Conservative party to put through their policy of protection, to abandon every principle which has been voiced in this House during this session and in former sessions? Are we, Mr. Speaker, because the leader of the House, or the supposed leader of the House, the representative of this embryo government, asks us to go home in order that they shall be rid of

their troubles-are we going to listen to them and refuse to vote according to our principles on this very important question?

I address myself now particularly to the western representatives in this House. This government will either carry on or ask for a dissolution; there is no other course. If they are to carry on as they have pledged themselves to do, how wil they carry on? Will they change their policy? Is any man on the other side willing to get up at this stage of the debate and inform the House that the Conservative party have changed their policy on the tariff question? Will any man with authority get up in this House and give an assurance to the representatives of the western provinces or to the representatives of the eastern provinces that there has been any alteration in their tariff principles, or supposed principles? These gentlemen were either sincere when they spoke on tariff questions in the course of this session, or they were not. If they were sincere, there is not one man in the House who is in favour of a low tariff who can support them for a minute. There is not one man who through any process of mental activity could reach the conclusion that he can support these people if they are sincere in their tariff policy as they have announced it. If they were not sincere in stating their policy, that is a further and a stronger reason to put them out immediately.

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CON

Thomas Erlin Kaiser

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. KAISER:

Can this government raise the tariff without the House approving later?

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LIB

Lucien Cannon

Liberal

Mr. CANNON:

My hon. friend has not been in office very long, but if he happens to remain in office a little longer he will find out that there is many a process that can be used by a government to change the tariff without coming to this House.

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CON

David Spence

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPENCE (Parkdale):

Did you do it?

Topic:   QUESTIONS
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June 30, 1926