December 13, 1926

THE LATE MR. J. C. DOUGLAS TRIBUTES PAID BY .MESSIEURS MACKENZIE KING, GUTHRIE AND EVANS

LIB

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

Liberal

Right Hon. W. L. MACKENZIE KING (Prime Minister):

Mr. Speaker, may I

express to my hon. friend the leader of the opposition (Mr. Guthrie) and the members of his party the deep sympathy which those

The late Mr. Douglas, M.P.

of us on this side of the House feel in the loss which his party has sustained in the sudden death of one of its members, Mr. John C. Douglas, the member for Antigonish-Guysborough? May I also express to the friends and relatives of the deoeased member the sympathy which this House will feel towards them?

On Friday last when the hon. member entered this parliament to attend the opening ceremonies the flag on the main tower was flying at top mast. It was lowered at sundown only to be raised to half mast at day-break on the morrow out of respect to his memory. Surely there could be no more striking reminder of the "one clear call" which sooner or later every one of us will be summoned to obey, and which, in the exercise of our duties, may well cause us to say with the Psalmist: "So teach us to number our days that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom."

The late Mr. Douglas had scarcely more than completed his fifty-second year. He was bom in Stellarton, Nova Scotia, in 1874, and was educated at the leading academy and universities of that province. He was by profession a barrister and a journalist. For over a quarter of a century his life was identified with the politics of his native province. In 1900 he entered municipal politics as councillor, and was subsequently, for several years, mayor of Glace Bay. In 1911 and 1916 he was elected a member of the Nova Scotia legislature. Hon. members who sat in this House during the thirteenth parliament will remember him as member at that time for Cape Breton South and Richmond. He became attorney general in the Rhodes administration upon its formation in 1925. This position he resigned to contest Antigonish-Guysborough in the recent federal election. Mr. Douglas won the seat, but there appears to be little doubt that the condition of his heart which occasioned his sudden death was due in no inconsiderable measure to the fatigue, strain and incidental anxieties of the campaign.

Though his career has been brought to a close at the moment it might have been expected to be nearing its zenith, Mir. Douglas' political activities and public services have been such that he will long be remembered as a leading Conservative figure in the politics of the maritime provinces.

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CON

Hugh Guthrie (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. HUGH GUTHRIE (Leader of the Opposition):

Mr. Speaker, those of us who

sit upon this side of the House desire to associate ourselves with the kindly expressions of regret which have just been voiced by the Prime Minister over the death of our lamented colleague, John Douglas. The awful

suddenness of the call in his case has impressed us tremendously. We who saw him on Friday last in apparent health and vigour can hardly yet realize that he has been taken from us.

I desire to add my testimony to the kind words of the Prime Minister in respect of the late John Douglas. I knew him well in this House between the years of 1917 and 1921. He was a genial, kind-hearted man, always willing to assist in any work, willing to share any burden or responsibility, a man who commanded friendship on both sides of the House. Before he came to Ottawa he had a good parliamentary training in the legislature of his province. He had also an excellent position at the bar of Nova Scotia. He had been engaged in municipal life there successfully, as the Prime Minister has stated. I suppose the culmination of his career as a public man was when he achieved the very distinguished office of Attorney General of the Province of Nova Scotia. To a lawyer that is sometimes looked upon as the culmination of a career. It is a very high and distinguished honour for any lawyer to attain. However, he relinquished that high post for the purpose of giving his services in the parliament of Canada. This parliament must regret the loss of men like John Douglas. The province of Nova Scotia will feel his loss, but we sitting here on your left, Mr. Speaker, will probably feel that loss more keenly than anybody. W'e realize, of course, that there is nothing we can do. We realize we can only express our regret in all the sad circumstances and bow our heads to the inevitable.

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PRO

John Evans

Progressive

Mr. JOHN EVANS (Rosetown):

Mr. Speaker, speaking for this part of the House, I wish to say that although we knew very little of the hon. member for Antigonish-Guysborough (Mr. Douglas), we certainly regret his death in the peculiarly sad circumstances, and we wish also to extend our sympathy to those to whom he was near and dear.

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ST. LAWRENCE WATERWAY


On the Orders of the Day:


CON

Hugh Alexander Stewart

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. H. A. STEWART (Leeds):

I would like to ask the government, and particularly the Minister of Railways (Mr. Dunning), whether the report of the Joint Board of Engineers in connection with the St. Lawrence development will be laid on the table of the House, and if so, whether it will be available to members during the coming adjournment.

Hon. CHARLES A. DUNNING (Minister of Railways and Canals): I shall make inquiries regarding the present situation of the matter, Mr. Speaker.

Privilege-Mr. Brown

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PRIVILEGE-MR. BROWN


On the Orders of the Day:


LIB-PRO

John Livingstone Brown

Liberal Progressive

Mr. J. L. BROWN (Lisgar):

On a question of privilege, Mr. Speaker, I wish to correct a report that has appeared in one of the Ottawa papers, and if I may, I shall read a very brief extract:

Premier King and his cabinet met the rank and file of the Liberal party and with the group of nine Liberal-Progressives who entered the Liberal camp with their leader of last session, Robert Forke.

As a matter of accuracy, the nine Liberal-Progressive members referred to were not present. This occasion may afford me an opportunity, Mr. Speaker, for making a statement with reference to a resolution that was passed at Winnipeg on September 22, 1926, as follows:

Resolution passed by Liberal-Progressive Members for Manitoba at Winnipeg

It was recognized that the country had demanded a stable government and the group are anxious to comply with that demand.

That the policies upon which the Progressives and Liberals were elected are based upon common principles.

That for the enactment of legislation embodying those policies the group are in favour of the acceptance of a portfolio by Mr. Forke in the Liberal cabinet.

That such acceptance shall be upon condition that the Progressive party shall give united support to the government upon those principles, and that the Progressive group shall retain its identity as hitherto.

This statement is made in be'half of the members for Lisgar, Selkirk, Provencl'.er, Souris, Neepawa, Marquette, Dauphin, Qu'Appelle, Macdonald and North Huron.

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GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH

ADDRESS IN REPLY MOVED BY MR. L. M. AUGER SECONDED BY MR. E. A. MCPHERSON


The House proceeded to the consideration of the speech of His Excellency the Governor General at the opening of the session.


LIB

Louis Mathias Auger

Liberal

Mr. LOUIS AUGER (Prescott) (Translation) :

Mr. Speaker, in accepting the task and the honour conferred by the government, I am relying upon the leniency of the House and I feel confident that it will not be denied to a new and quite a young member who finds himself besieged by fear at the slight of the grandeur and majesty of his surroundings. In the presence of so distinguished political men of all parties-friends and opponents-I well realize, notwithstanding all the illusions pertaining to youth, the deficiency of my personal qualifications and I aim fully aware that it is not to my humble personality I owe this

[Mr Dunning.]

privilege, for which I am proud and thankful, of moving the address in answer to the speech from the throne.

The government are broad-minded and magnanimous. In conferring on me this honour they have their eyes on the people of the old French constituency of Prescott, always faithful to their policy. Neither was the French Canadian minority of Ontario lost sight of. Allow me, Sir, on behalf of all my fellow-citizens of Ontario and especially those of Prescott, to lay at the feet of the government, who honours them in my person, the very respectful homage of my most vivid and deepest gratitude.

May I be further permitted, before discussing the speech from the throne, to greet His Excellency the Governor General and his worthy spouse with the warmest welcome, and thank him for accepting the very high and dignified post of representative of the British Crown in our country. We are overjoyed at his appointment. To us he is not a stranger. His high reputation as a diplomat, acquired while he was Viceroy of India and Bombay, preceded him among us. Moreover, he is somewhat of a Canadian through the work accomplished by his ancestors in this country. Canadian readers have read with much interest the book entitled: A Voyage Around the

World in the Sunbeam, and the author of which is no other than Lady Brassey, the revered mother of Her Excellency Lady Willingdon. For all the above reasons, His Excellency may rest assured of meeting here open arms and hearts filled with loyalty and affection.

There is a further agreeable and pleasant duty devolving upon me, that of welcoming the return of the right hon. the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King), and the hon. Minister of Justice (Mr. Lapointe). Having left this country immediately after the great electoral victory, for which they were mainly responsible, they return among us from London, greatly enhanced through the work they have accomplished for the maintenance and natural development of Canadian autonomy and for the welfare of the other parts of the empire.

Allow me, Mr. Speaker, to offer you my sincere congratulations on your re-election to the Speakership of this House. It is to your impartiality, tact, judgment and dignity that you owe this third term. For my part, I shall further add to the unanimous praise that you have already received from this House: the wish that you may remain among us a long time, in order that we may re-elect you a score of times to preside over our deliberations.

The Address-Mr. Auger

I wish also to congratulate the new ministers of His Majesty. They have shouldered great responsibilities as well as honours. We must bow to their ability and personal merit, and wish them the greatest possible success in the accomplishment of their new tasks.

Although, perhaps, I may not always share the same views as the hon. leader of the opposition (Mr. Guthrie), I have too broad a mind not to (appreciate the well-deserved success which he attained at the Conservative convention, and it gives me great pleasure to offer him my sincere congratulations. Everybody recognizes his high qualifications and his experience.

In looking over the speech from the throne, I note that many legislative measures will be presented for the approval of this House. I shall not enter into the details of each one ol said measures, many of which were left over from last session. However, I wish to draw attention to the one which will bring relief to the grievances of the maritime provinces, also to those which concern rural credits and the pensions to old age. We cannot grant too many favours and too much protection to the farming or labouring classes who will always remain, whatever may be said or done, the source of generous toils and heroic sacrifices, in a word, the basis of all national prosperity.

I also note with pleasure that the measures embodied in the speech from the throne interest all the people of the Dominion: Here, we find proposed measures which are of special interest to the west; there, the maritime provinces fey claim to their rights; further on, we come across measures which will benefit all citizens of Canada, the provinces of Quebec and Ontario, as well as the west and the maritime provinces, This tends to emphasize the nature of the present government's policy. Sir, is not this solicitude for the general welfare of the whole country remarkable? No part, class, or race is forgotten. Should we not be proud of an administration which, by a sound and well thought out policy, tends to dissipate all causes of grievances and friction? For the last five years, Sir, the government has put into practice this efficient policy of fair play, good understanding, and harmony and I state, without fear of contradiction, that this is one of the great reasons for their splendid triumph at the polls on September 14 last.

To be powerful and prosperous, a nation must foe united, and there is no possible union should there exist reasons for some to complain of others. To redress grievances of classes, localities, or races by justice and conciliation, are the very means required to unite

the various elements of our young nation and thereby render it more prosperous and happy. The germs of peace which the government is prepared to sow in the hearts of our citizens will bear abundant fruit and the people will maintain in power for a long time those makers of union and peace. When these proposed measures come before us, Sir, we shall consider them calmly and judiciously, laying aside and sacrificing, if necessary, our personal interests and ambitions to think only of the interests of .the nation as a whole, which demands everywhere and always citizens happy and contented with their lot.

As the right hon. Prime Minister stated, the party must serve the cause and not the cause the party. Consequently, when these measures are considered, we shall not have paltry and narrow views; but patriotism being the guiding light of the intellect and will of the representatives of the nation, we shall witness, I trust, a unanimous chorus of approbation in regard to this peace-making program.

Another aspect of the speech from the throne, which gives us pleasure to note, is the ever-increasing prosperity of the country. What a contrast, Sir, between the present conditions in Canada and those that existed five years ago. Look at the official statistics, read the statements of the Dominion banks, containing the views of authorities in financial matters.

Everything in 1921, reminded us of deficits in railways and in the general administration of the increase in the national debt and of trade and industrial failures of taxes always the more burdensome and the sorry nation, downcast and without hope, was drifting rapidly towards the deep chasm of hideous bankruptcy.

However, such is not its lot to-day. Canada is moving towards the future with a firm and assured step. A wave of enthusiasm has spread over the nation which knows no fear, now that a sound economy has put a stop to the series of disastrous failures and replaced them by surpluses in the budget, sufficient to decrease the national debt and realize reductions in taxation which burdened so heavily the Canadian rate-payers. Without fear and relieved from taxation, the people have faith and this faith stimulates their farming, trade and industrial activities. Thanks to this stimulant and also to the trade conventions with the other nations, production and sales have increased in our country. Our trade operations are profitable and show a favourable trade balance of more than $400,000,000 for last year. In other words the amount of money disbursed by other nations increases so much more our national reserve and strengthens

The Address-Mr. Auger

in a like manner our fanning or manufacturing industries. The solicitude of the present administration for the general welfare of Canada has produced splendid results, of which an eloquent testimonial is furnished by foreign capital having no further fear of investment in our country and thus creating here and there centres of industries where to-morrow large and prosperous towns will spring up.

The speech from the throne moreover contains a reference to our inter-imperial relations. Good work was accomplished at the last Imperial conference and whatever news that has leaked out redounds to the patriotism and foresight of our delegates whose speeches over there were in keeping with Canadian statesmanship. The right hon. Prime Minister and! the hon. Minister of Justice advocated the only policy which, in my humble opinion, safeguards the legitimate interests of our dear country and guarantees the permanency of the empire; that is to say the complete autonomy of the dominions and a free cooperation between the various countries thus united by the superior and powerful ties of friendship.

Citizens of Canada, without distinction of race or creed consider themselves as Britishers just as much as their brothers in England. They are loyal and desire the maintenance of the imperial ties, they nevertheless love their country and will not be happy until the day when they will fully share the privilege of British institutions for which they are ready to once more make the generous sacrifices which their ancestors made to obtain and safeguard them. Therefore they gladly welcome the appointment of the Hon. Vincent Massey as Canadian Representative to Washington. To them, it is the consecration of the courageous act of the hon. Minister of Justice, at the time Minister of Marine and Fisheries, when he attached his signature alone as Canadian representative to the 1923 Halibut treaty with the United States, and thus broke away from the old custom which required that the British ambassador in the United States' capital should be the only one authorized by His Majesty bo sign, on our behalf, our conventions with our neighbours.

We are gradually progressing towards our high destinies as a nation, and we must congratulate the government which has just taken this forward step and has made such a judicious choice in the person of the first Canadian Representative.

We are invited to celebrate, this year, the diamond jubilee of the Canadian confederation. At the time when this pact was agreed upon between the provinces, it was a source of apprehension on the part of many upright

and patriotic persons who doubted the possibility of a lasting agreement between the various elements in our country. However, the fathers of confederation based the Confederation pact on a spirit of harmony that will ensure its permanency. It is the spirit of fair-play, harmony, conciliation and mutual concession.

As a French Canadian, I take the liberty of expressing the feelings of my race. If we have wronged any one since Confederation, let us know whom, whiat race, what province, and we shall be but too happy to redress the wrong. On the other hand, I expect the same broadness of mind and the same loyalty on the part of my English speaking fellow-citizens. The jubilee of confederation should be a cause of rejoicing for all Canadians, whether they are English, Irish, Scotch or French Canadian. Again speaking on behalf of my people, we are ready to do our share in order that harmony and peace may always reign in our country.

The political history of my race shows that always we have shown a disposition to side with justice and conciliation. Never have we been moved by bigotry in voting in order to oppose a man, a party or a race. We have weighed the parties and their political programmes in the light of a reason tempered by a generous and patriotic sentiment. We want a united, happy and prosperous Canada. That is our ambition, and that explains the almost unanimous adhesion of our people to the peaceful policy of the right hon. Prime Minister and his government. We shall continue to love Canada, all its citizens and all its provinces, from the Atlantic to the Pacific, from north to south, without any distinction whatsoever of race, language or creed. For my part, I hope to always support in this House, measures of justice and national welfare which will continue to bring more happiness and more prosperity within the boundaries of this country.

Consequently, and stirred by such sentiments, I have the honour to move that an address be forwarded to His Excellency the Governor General to humbly thank him for the speech which he so graciously delivered to both houses of parliament.

Topic:   GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH
Subtopic:   ADDRESS IN REPLY MOVED BY MR. L. M. AUGER SECONDED BY MR. E. A. MCPHERSON
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LIB

Ewen Alexander McPherson

Liberal

Mr. E. A. McPHERSON (Portage la Prairie):

Mr. Speaker, I must confess that

I rise to address this House with considerable fear and trembling, both mentally and physically. Knowing as I do the composition of this House, and realizing the fact that the greatest orators and statesmen of Canada have occupied the attention of this chamber on previous occasions, it is very difficult for

The Address-Mr. McPherson

me to know what I can say that will be of real importance or of interest to hon. members. I can only protect myself to a certain extent from perhaps just but severe criticism by reminding those members who, in common with myself, are new members, that they will soon be in my position. I know that the old members will be lenient in their judgment when I remind them of the occasion on which they were first placed in a similar position. I realized, Mr. Speaker, when I was asked to second the address in reply to the speech from the throne that the choice was not made from a personal standpoint but from the standpoint of constituency. On that ground I can justify the choosing of myself as the seconder of the address, but on no other ground.

The constituency which I represent has a unique history in the annals of Dominion politics. In the first election held in that constituency in 1871 there were two candidates, and the result of the polling was a tie. Owing to the fact that there was no provision for a casting vote by the deputy returning officer the two members were both sworn in and given a seat in this House. Another reason is that the constituency was represented, as every hon. member of this House knows, by one of the greatest men that Canada has ever produced, and who will always be regarded as such. I refer to the fact that the late Sir John A. Macdonald was returned by the electors of Portage la Prairie in 1878. To be represented by such a man is a distinction that any constituency can be proud of. I do not wish to go too much into detail, but I must mention one or two others. Sir John A. Macdonald was followed by a gentleman who is a friend of all the old members of the House and who has been a friend of every member in this House. Our constituency was represented for years by Robert Watson, now Senator Watson. I do not think, Mr. Speaker, that the west has ever realized the work that Senator Watson did on behalf of that constituency during the long years when he was a voice crying in the wilderness, when he was the only Liberal member west of the great lakes. He was followed by a gentleman who was quite prominent, although not from a political standpoint. I refer to Dr. J. G. Rutherford, a Scotchman with a big heart and a bitter tongue, but he was a man above others, and as an official in the Department of Agriculture I think gave more to this Dominion in connection with animal husbandry than any other official has done at any time. Following him, at a later date, the constituency was

honoured by having as its representative the Right Hon. Arthur Meighen, a warm personal friend of mine and a gentleman possessing great ability. In twenty years we disagreed on one thing only, but from a House point it was rather important. As to whether he was right or I was right I do not know. We had our own opinions-perhaps posterity will decide we were both wrong. But as I think of all these gentlemen who have represented the constituency, whom I cannot hope to equal in the matter of ability, it makes my task doubly hard. For these reasons I wish to thank the right hon. Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) and his colleagues for the honour they have conferred on the constituency through its humble representative.

It is also most fitting, Mr. Speaker, that I should congratulate you upon your election to your present position. It was not necessary to hear the words of commendation expressed the other day by hon. members of this House, because your reputation is not at all restricted to this part of Canada, but is as well known in the west as in the east. I sincerely congratulate you. I wish also, on behalf of the western portion of the Dominion especially, to congratulate the country on the fact that we have now with us Lord Willing-don as the representative of His Majesty the King. His long and distinguished career is a guarantee that the bonds of friendship and loyalty existing between this country and the motherland will be strengthened as the days go by, and I am satisfied that in the discharge of his duties he will be ably assisted by his gracious consort, Lady Willingdon, and that she will endear herself to the hearts of Canadians, as her predecessors have done in the past.

In connection with the bond of empire it is fitting that I should congratulate the right hon. Prime Minister and the Minister of Justice (Mr. Lapointe) upon the prominent part they took in the conference from which they recently returned, and the favourable position in which they placed our Dominion in connection with the affairs of the empire. If some years ago, or some months ago, I could have foreseen that I was likely to occupy my present position I might have devoted more time to the consideration of Dominion politics as a whole, but not expecting such an occasion to arise, I must confess that my interest in Dominion politics has been largely confined to those questions which interest us in the western provinces. This attitude was not taken from the standpoint of sectionalism, but because we felt that we required certain

The Address-Mr. McPherson

things in that country to obtain which it was necessary that we should make some effort to force our opinion upon the people of the Dominion. It is true that we had broadcast our demands at great length and for a great many years, on. the supposition that the rule, that if ye ask ye shall receive would be followed. But there seemed to be some difficulty about the reception of these requests at Ottawa, and results were not always as satisfactory as we expected. But I am glad to state that during the last two or three years things have apparently taken a turn for the better. I might confess in reference to western conditions that while we as westerners may talk a lot about our demands out there, I submit that anything that is for the good of western Canada is for the good of Canada as a whole, and that the prosperity of eastern Canada, especially the central provinces, is wrapped up to a great extent in the prosperity of western Canada. So that we are not altogether selfish when we make some few demands from time to time.

I am also glad to note, Mr. Speaker, that there are indications in the speech from the throne of further recognition of conditions in the west. The question that interests us to a very great extent, and one which must interest all of Canada,* is the question of immigration. It is quite true that since the war of 1914 was brought to a close conditions have been such that any thorough scheme of immigration was difficult to carry out. But we have a territory out there which, although populated over a large area, is really sparsely settled in whole, a territory which can hold a great many more immigrants and a great many more producers. I would submit that the most necessary type of immigrant is he who is willing to go on the land and become a producer, that through him only can the wealth of the nation be 'built up, and that immigrants in other walks of life will naturally follow as a demand is made for their services. So I am glad to know that we are to have a progressive and deliberate attempt to bring in as many settlers as possible for that purpose.

In conjunction with this, I also note that it is the intention to extend branch lines of the Canadian National railway in western Canada. This is just as necessary both from the standpoint of those who are now living in sparsely settled districts and for the purpose of giving immigrants proper accommodation and market facilities. There are large areas where the farmers still have to haul their grain to market for considerably longer

distances than they should have to do in order to compete with others in the same line of life.

I am not going to discuss the completion of the Hudson Bay railway because we in the west regard that question as settled and feel that we are now going to have whatever benefits will accrue from the completion and operation of the railway. Leaving aside all argument as to the advisability of the Hudson Bay railway, I might draw to the attention of the House the fact that the people living in any district think that that district is the only place that is worth while considering. I myself went into the district of Portage la Prairie when there was no railway there, and I can remember as I grew up the criticism of the building of the Canadian Pacific railway on the ground that the country to be served would never be worth anything. Of course, events have proved that criticism to have been absolutely without foundation. In like manner I submit we might be hasty in our judgment should we consider that portion of Canada lying between The Pas and Hudson bay to be a wilderness and not worth while developing. I think the development of the natural resources along the line will amply warrant the expenditures on this railway, and that western Canada in particular and Canada as a whole will eventually reap very substantial benefits from the construction of the Hudson Bay railway.

Now, Mr. Speaker, there is one other point in the Speech from the Throne which I wish to discuss shortly, and perhaps it is of more interest to me than to any other member of this House. I refer to the suggestion that the legislation which was not completed last session will be completed in this. This legislation includes the re-valuation of soldier settlers' land. When I am told that in the district lying between lake Winnipeg and lake Manitoba and on the west side of lake Manitoba the conditions of the soldier settlers are worse than in any other part of the Dominion, I regret to say that I cannot very well contradict the statement. I had heard rumours of it from time to time, but I did not realize the gravity of the situation until I went through that district. I am not for a moment suggesting any criticism of what has been done, I do not know who is to blame, but regardless of why or how the conditions arose, Mr. Speaker, I would ask this House to consider that we have a large number of soldier settlers up there who are in dire want, and unless they are relieved without much further delay it is doubtful if they will be able to remain on their holdings. A number of them have al-

The Address-Mr. Guthrie

ready left. I met man after man up there who pointed out to me that there was no possibility of his paying for his land, let alone earning sufficient to return him a good living at the present time. These men did not consider dollars and cents when they volunteered for service to the empire in the days of emergency. Indeed we could not have got one of them to go through what they went through merely for money. Therefore I submit it is not up to the government or to the people of Canada at this stage to consider the financial cost of giving those men justice and fair treatment and thus enabling them to build up homes where they are now located. In short, in considering this the government and the country should deal with these men not on a business basis at all but on a basis of justice and right. These men are not trying to live on their reputation as soldiers. They have gone up there and in spite of the natural difficulties which have existed in that district during the last four years they have hung on in the hope that they would be able to maintain homes for themselves and their families. For that reason one of the first things I should like to see this House give attention to is the revaluation of the land of our soldier settlers, otherwise many of these men will have to abandon their homes. I have seen those so-called "soulless" corporations, the banks of this Dominion, write off agreements of sale on land purchased at the high valuations which existed in the west five or six years ago, I have seen them write off all the interest and reduce the capital by almost fifty per cent, in order that those who bought land under those conditions might maintain their homes and eventually make them their own. When those so-called soulless corporations will do that as a business proposition, how much more should the Dominion be generous in its treatment of these men who are trying to maintain their homes under almost impossible circumstances?

Now, Sir, I have almost broken the rule of brevity that I imposed on myself when I rose. I think perhaps the best interests of the Dominion as a whole will be served and the business of this House will be expedited by the adoption of the amendments to the rules of the House with a view to curtail useless debate. I think our people as a whole will welcome any change that will make our work go through more rapidly and with less discussion. I can only justify my own remarks, Mr. Speaker, on two grounds: I was forced into it, and it is a matter which has to be taken up. I thank you, Mr. Speaker, for your kind attention.

Topic:   GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH
Subtopic:   ADDRESS IN REPLY MOVED BY MR. L. M. AUGER SECONDED BY MR. E. A. MCPHERSON
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CON

Hugh Guthrie (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. HUGH GUTHRIE (Leader of the Opposition):

Mr. Speaker, let my first formal utterance as leader for the time being of His Majesty's loyal opposition in this chamber be words of welcome to the shores of Canada to His Excellency the Governor General as the representative of our sovereign lord the King in this vast and important part of His Majesty's overseas dominions. The people of Canada upon looking backward to the year 1867, the year of confederation, are at all times wont to recall with pride and satisfaction the long line of distinguished statesmen and publicists who have been selected from time to time to represent their own and our sovereign in the government of this country.

In the present instance the people of Canada, without distinction of race or creed or party, will rejoice that the choice of a representative of His Majesty has fallen upon one so prominent, so well versed both in the affairs of the motherland and of the empire in general, and likewise upon one so well qualified by broad and varied experience in the intricacies of government as is His Excellency the present Governor General. To His Excellency and to his gracious spouse, Her Excellency, this House and this country will unite in according a most sincere and hearty welcome.

May I at this point pause for a moment to offer a word of congratulation to my right hon. friend the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) and to his colleague the Minister of Justice (Mr. Lapointe) upon their safe return to their native land, after having been participants in an Imperial conference at the ancient capital of the empire. Before concluding my remarks I may have something to say in regard to the deliberations and the conclusions of that conference, but at the moment my only wish is to convey to Canada's two distinguished representatives at the conference the pleasure which we all experience in this House in seeing them back again in apparent health, strength and vigour.

I now turn for a moment to the hon. member for Prescott (Mr. Auger) and the hon. member for Portage la Prairie (Mr. McPherson) and to the speeches to which this House has listened this afternoon from these two gentlemen. I tender them the sincere congratulations of those who sit on this side of the House upon the manner in which each of them has acquitted himself to-day and has discharged the important and honourable function which has devolved upon him. Both in this parliament and in the mother of parliaments at Westminster, the honourable and important duty of moving and seconding the address in reply to the speech from the throne usually falls to the lot of those who

The Address-Mr. Guthrie

might be considered to be newcomers to the parliamentary arena; and the very novelty of the task, the novelty of the surroundings, may well cause some hesitation, some trepidation, even to the boldest and the best equipped. The hon. member for Prescott and the hon. member for Portage la Prairie have this afternoon demonstrated their ability under trying and difficult circumstances and are entitled to the warm congratulations of this assembly both upon the knowledge of our public affairs which they have displayed and upon their grasp of public issues. We can predict for them, I think, in the course of their public life in this country usefulness at all times as well as opportunities for turning their abilities to account in this great deliberative body of Canada.

I may perhaps be permitted a personal allusion. When I speak of hesitation and trepidation in respect of one whose duty it is to move or to second the address, I speak from personal experience. It is a little over a quarter of a century since I had the honour of rising for the first time and moving an address in reply to the speech from the throne, and I well remember with what misgivings I performed my task on that occasion. My reason for mentioning the incident to-day is the fact that I see before me at this moment, in the person of my hon. friend from Bonaventure (Mr. Marcil), the man who, over a quarter of a century ago, seconded the address on that same occasion, and I am very glad to be able to say that both in his case arid in mine each of us has continuously remained a member of this House, sitting ever since for the constituefieies which we respectively represented in 1901.

In the speech from the throne there is on this occasion one matter that deserves perhaps more than passing comment. The near approach of the sixtieth anniversaiy of confederation is an important milestone in our national history. The proximity of that event is itself sufficient to arouse a certain amount of patriotic fervour in the breasts of our citizens. But when that announcement is coupled with the intimation that we may reasonably expect His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, the Heir Apparent to the Throne, to be with us at that time the event will certainly become of still greater importance to Canada. Nothing could make that event nobler, grander, more patriotic, more historic than the visit of His Royal Highness, unless it were a visit in person from Their Gracious Majesties themselves. We are also delighted to know that an invitation has been forwarded to the right hon. Prime Minister of

Great Britain, who has accepted that invitation, and will endeavour if possible to be with us to celebrate our sixtieth anniversary. It has, I think, been correctly stated that up to the present time no prime minister of Great Britain, while holding office, has ever visited Canada. So that we look forward with special interest to the First of July next, when we hope to have the pleasure of welcoming to the shores of this country the Prime Minister of Great Britain during his term of office.

I have to thank my hon. friend from Prescott for the kindly and the too flattering references which he made to myself. I know that I can never measure up to the requirements and to the high standard which he has set me. All I can assure him is that I will do my best in the position which for the time being I am proud to occupy.. That position I occupy, of course, by reason of the fact that the election of September last proved disastrous to the Conservative party generally but particularly disastrous in the loss of our great leader. Speaking, not as a partisan, not as a follower of the Right Hon. Arthur Meighen on the Conservative side of the House, but simply as a citizen of the Dominion of Canada, I say that his retirement from public life has been a distinct loss to the public service of this country as well as to this parliament. The Right Hon. Mr. Meighen has been an outstanding figure in the public life of Canada since the year of 1908. He entered this parliament as a youth, as a young man at all events, and from that day until the time of his retirement few men have attained as high a standard or as great an accomplishment as he. First he entered the government of Sir Robert Borden as Solicitor General, afterwards filling several cabinet portfolios. Twice in that brief period he held the high office of Prime Minister of Canada, and for the last four or five years has been the recognized leader of the opposition. An able parliamentarian, one of the ablest Canada has ever produced; matchless in debate in this chamber; a keen observer, a wonderful thinker, a man of an accurate and precise mind, as accurate and precise as any who have ever been in this House, his loss is a tremendous one to this House and to the public life of this country. I believe that in our hearts we all feel that it would be a good thing for Canada and for this House if his present retirement from public life is not too long continued.

My reference to the last general election brings me to another consideration. I know it is frequently said that after a general election it is the privilege of a defeated opposi-

The Address-Mr. Guthrie

tion to abstract what consolation they may from the fact that while numerically in the minority in the chamber, they were in an actual majority in the country. I am not bringing up that question now with the idea of taking any consolation from the figures, nor do I make any complaint whatever in regard to the result. My only object in mentioning the matter now is to draw to the attention of the House as forcibly as I can the condition which actually exists in Canada to-day in respect to the representation in this chamber and to show, by the quotation of a few figures, that public opinion as it exists among the people of this country is not fairly reflected in this House to-day. I made that statement publicly about three weeks ago. It evidently received some notice from the editor of the Winnipeg Free Press, who sent me a newspaper containing an editorial upon the subject. His cure-all for the present situation, of course, is the adoption in this country of a system of proportional representation. Another suggestion is that the single transferable vote would cure the difficulty which now exists. I am not a believer in the system of proportional representation; in any country where it has been tried I think the system has proved a failure. I have heard discussions upon the question; I have read books and pamphlets dealing with it, and I am not convinced that any satisfactory change would result from the adoption of that system in Canada. It leads to all sorts of pre-election combinations, many of which are not very meritorious; it leads to great uncertainty in results, and likewise to great instability in the elected chambers in countries where proportional representation is in force. For these reasons and others I do not support that proposal, but I do submit that something must be done to remedy the inequality existing in Canada today.

What is the situation? From the report of the Chief Electoral Officer I take some figures, and from them I find that in the Dominion of Canada, at the general election of last September, straight Conservative candidates throughout Canada polled 1,476,000 odd votes, while straight Liberal candidates throughout Canada polled 1,361,000 odd votes. The Conservative candidates throughout Canada polled approximately 115,000 more votes than did the Liberal candidates, yet in this House the Conservative candidates have 91 representatives, while the Liberal candidates have 115 or 116. Although there was a popular' majority of 115,000 in our favour, there is a difference in the representation in

this House of 24 or 25 seats, the minority having the largest representation. My friend who sent me the paper from Winnipeg remarked that the figures in western Canada are even more glaring. Straight Conservative candidates in the three prairie provinces polled 200,000 odd votes, and secured one representative in the person of the hon. member for West Calgary (Mr. Bennett). All other parties and all other combinations in the three prairie provinces polled 400,000 votes, in round figures, and secured 53 representatives. The disparity there is very glaring, and one must admit that public opinion as it exists in the three prairie provinces is not reflected in this chamber, although good democratic government insists that the will of the people be fairly represented. In the province of Quebec the figures show that 40 per cent of the electors voted for straight Conservative candidates, while our representation in this House amounts to six per cent. I know it can be urged on the other hand that if I take the figures for Nova Scotia and British Columbia, an inequality just as great will appear, but that is no answer to the charge I make. I maintain that this disparity should disappear, and it can be made to disappear if we adopt a reasonable system of representation by population. That is the principle upon which our forefathers acted when they established confederation. We have wandered far from that principle to-day, with the result that there are hon. members sitting on the government side of the House representing constituencies with a population of 80,000, and other hon. members sitting opposite representing rural constituencies containing less than 20,000 people. We have the same thing on this side of the House; a representative from the city of Toronto represents 60,000 odd people, while another from my own county of Wellington represents less than 20,000 people.

Why should there be a disparity as between the voter in urban and in rural districts? It should not exist; there is no reason for it today. Perhaps there was a reason in the early days, when means of communication were difficult in rural communities; when they had no telephones, no good roads, few railways, and slow mails, but that is all changed to-day. The average rural community now has means of communication equal to those of our urban centres. Therefore I say it is the duty of parliament to take notice of this situation. I believe it can be remedied and believe it to be the duty of parliament to consider the situation with a view to finding that remedy.

The Address-Mr. Guthrie

In the speech from the throne the first mention, is of the bounty of Providence, and we all agree that it is our duty to return thanks for the manner in which Providence has treated this country every year in our history. But in the next sentence we are asked to congratulate the government of the country upon the foreign trade of Canada during the past year. We on this side of the House are always willing to rejoice when there are signs of progress and prosperity in the country, and if the figures having to do with foreign trade reflect a real prosperity, iwe are prepared to tender our congratulations *to the government. But one must really confess that governments have not a great deal to do with such matters. Do the figures as set forth by the Minister of Trade and Commerce only a few days ago demonstrate that we have made any real gain in regard to our foreign trade or the material condition of the people of Canada? What do they show? They show that our trade has grown to the enormous proportions of 81,291,000,000 of exports and $991,000,000 of imports. That is a tremendous total, we admit, and I am glad to say it shows that we have a trade balance in our favour of $300,000,000 odd as between our exports and imports.

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LIB

James Alexander Robb (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. ROBB:

Hear, hear.

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CON

Hugh Guthrie (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GUTHRIE:

Does my hon. friend who says "hear, hear" realize how that favourable trade balance has been secured? Does he realize that in only one single instance have we any favourable trade balance, namely in respect of our trade with Great Britain? Our whole favourable trade balance is made up of our trade with a single country. Exclude all the figures of exports and imports in regard to Great Britain and you find that in respect of your trade with the other nations of the world you have, on the figures submitted by the Minister of Trade and Commerce, an adverse trade balance of $9,000,000.

If we could feel that those exports amounting to $1,291,000,000 represented the surplus products of this country after the Canadian market was satisfied, we would all join in congratulations as we would then all participate in the material prosperity which would accrue therefrom to this Dominion. But when we (find that those exports do not represent the exportable surplus of our country, but that we have imported into this country to supply our own demands, $991,000,000 worth of goods, that does not leave very much in our favour, does it? To England we export our agricultural products. We export what is a recurring crop, something we have year by year in larger and larger quantities.

I Mr. Guthrie.]

But our export business with the United States is upon an entirely different basis. They will not take from us our annual recurring agricultural crops which year by year under the bounty of Providence we are able to reap. All they will take from us is the irreplaceable natural assets of this country. The United States are year by year draining us of our natural wealth. They are taking from us our lumber, unmanufactured and partially manufactured, our pulpwood, our pulp, our paper, our mineral assets, our asbestos, our nickel and the like. But they are not taking the products of our farms or our factories. The people of the United States have arranged their tariff on a basis to suit the people of the United States regardless of the people ;of any other country in the world. We have not done so. We have arranged our fiscal policy to throw our market largely open to the competition of every other country in the world, and the result to-day is that as regards our foreign trade, while we export more than $1,200,000,000 worth of the goods and products of this country, we have to replace them with the goods of foreign lands to the extent of $991,000,000, imost of which goods could and should be produced in this Dominion.

I am going to call the attention of the House to one or two things that appeared on this trade return and I am glad that my hon. and genial friend the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Motherwell) is in his place at the moment. I am free to say that there is no more genial, no more entertaining hon. gentleman in this House than the Minister of Agriculture to whom I desire to pay this tribute. I believe he is an agriculturist of very high standing. I believe he is what we know in this country as a scientific agriculturist, and I believe it would be for the benefit of the farmers and the people of Canada generally if my hon. friend would devote himself strictly to scientific agriculture and would leave common, plain matters of business and merchandise to men who seem to know more about it than he does.

I believe the Minister of Agriculture had a good deal to do with the negotiation of those well known trade agreements with Australia and New Zealand. I have heard him pronounce upon those in this chamber time and time again. I have heard him assure the people of Canada that the effect of those agreements would not be to bring the farm products of Australia and New Zealand into competition with the products of the dairy farmers of this country, but the reverse, and he could always demonstrate his position with figures. I ask him to look at the report which his colleague the Minister of Trade and Com-

The Address-Mr. Guthrie

merce has placed in the hands of the public within the last* few days, and which consists of a detailed statement of the trade of this country for the last twelve months. If my bon. friend will turn to page 3 of the report, he will find that in the last twelve months we brought into Canada 8,000,000 pounds of butter. Last year when someone made a statement of that kind, my hon. friend said: What is that? That is a mere bagatelle. Look at what we export. How much -did we export during the last twelve months? We exported just 9,142,000 pounds of butter. Eight million pounds of Australian butter displaced in the Canadian market 8,000,000 pounds of Canadian butter and forced the dairy farmers of Canada to send their butter across to the markets of Europe.

Which is the best market for our produce? I ask a candid question. Will anyone answer? Is it here in Canada or in Europe? The home market is certainly our best market, our readiest and cheapest market. It saves us transportation, insurance, cost of commission on this side and across the water. Why not let the Canadian dairy farmer have the full benefit of his home market in respect of that commodity? I have no doubt my hon. friend will hear from the dairy associations in respect of this situation. I have had communications, not from the associations, but from individual dairy men. I know they are feeling the effect of that importation very seriously, and to me it appears to be a sort of trade outrage that we should allow Australia and New Zealand to ship 8,000,000 pounds of butter into this country, while our farmers are forced to export their butter to Great Britain in order to equalize the situation. Why not allow the Canadian farmer to supply our home demand with 8,000,000 pounds of Canadian butter and then we would have a surplus of only 1,000,000 pounds odd which we could send abroad. Would not that be good business? Is that not sound economics? Does that not appeal to the Minister of Agriculture as a pretty fair business arrangement? If it does not, let him consult his colleague in the government who sits behind him and I know he will commend the justice and wisdom of what I say to him. As I said before my hon. friend should keep entirely out of business transactions. He should let some other branch of the government attend to the business end. Let him confine himself to scientific agriculture and research, and I have no doubt we shall have grand results in the Dominion of Canada.

About a year ago we know that my hon. friend drifted into another business venture in regard to horses. I am bringing this matter

32649-2i

to the attention of the House only to show the business capacity of the hon. gentleman, not to attack his professional standing, not to insinuate that he is not one of the high class fanners of the Dominion of Canada. But he undertook to tell the farmers of western Canada that he would find them a market in Europe for their horses. The horse market is not as good to-day as it used to be. The automobile, I suppose, has affected the horse market. Within the last twelve or fifteen months the Minister of Agriculture thought that he would develop that trade himself, and he employed someone to go out and purchase horses throughout western Canada. He purchased 84 of them and sent them abroad. He had them sold in the European market-those of them that were fit to sell- and the total outlay of the government of Canada on that enterprise was apparently $28,175.39. When the horses were sold they yielded the .handsome return of $7,261, making a net loss of about $21,000 to whom? To the minister? No; to the treasury of Canada; to the taxpayers of the Dominion of Canada, and this is one of the outstanding business experiments of the Minister of Agriculture. Now if he has similar knowledge in regard to the butter trade, I do not see any reason why the butter trade should not also end in disaster. The truth is, Mr. Speaker, that his department should not mix up in business matters of any kind, because when it does, the treasury of this Dominion, or the people of Canada, always seem to get the worst of the transaction.

There is another thing in connection with the trade of Canada to which I would like to draw the attention of my hon. friend the Minister of Trade and Commerce. I recognize in the Minister of Trade and Commerce one of the outstanding business men of the province of Ontario. He is still a comparatively young man. He has had an active business experience. He is the proprietor of one of those large industries in the province of Ontario of which the people of this province are proud, and he has made a success of his business. He is one of the largest furniture manufacturers in the province of Ontario. I know that he has keen business capacity, and I am going to ask him to look over his own trade returns and see if he cannot find some way of curing the situation that has arisen through the operations of the King administration during the last four or five years in regard to treaty making. I charge that in every instance in which the King government has made a trade agreement or arrangement with another country, Canada has got the

The Address-Mr. Guthrie

worst of the deal. I ask my hon. friend the Minister of Trade and Commerce to cast his eye over his own returns, over the first public document that he has issued to the people of Canada. On the front page it says, " Issued under the authority of the Hon. James Malcolm, M.P." I ask him to cast his eye over his own trade returns and see if he does not agree with me in the statement I made, that in every single trade agreement the King government has negotiated, Canada has got the worst of the arrangement.

Take the results of the trade treaty negotiated with France, as set out on page 2 of the trade returns. In the first year of the operation of that treaty, we exported to France $15,817,000 worth of goods. In the last twelve months our exports fell to $14,071,000. We were promised a great export business with France as a result of that treaty. We were to be given most favoured treatment by France, but our trade with France, instead of increasing, has gone back in three years by over one million dollars in spite of all our efforts. We opened our markets to France, but their exports to us have not gone back. During the first year of that treaty they exported to Canada $17,682,000 worth of goods, and that $17,000,000 odd has grown in the last twelve months to $21,787,000. Our exports to France have decreased, while our imports from France have materially increased.

Take the treaty with Italy. During the first year of the operation of the Italian treaty, our exports to Italy amounted to $17,215,000 worth of goods. In the last twelve months they fell back to $15,911,000, a drop of $2,000,000 in our exports to Italy since the treaty came into operation. But Italy has taken advantage of our market and of the favourable terms which we granted, because while in the first year of the treaty she sold us only $1,800,000 worth of goods, last year the figures had grown to $3,124,000. What is the result? Our exports to Italy, under the operation of the treaty, have fallen off, while their exports to us, our imports of Italian products, have largely increased.

Let us take the Australian trade agreement, which is also mentioned on page 2 of the trade returns. In the year before that treaty went into operation, in 1924, we sold to Australia $14,482,000 worth of goods. Last year our sales had increased to $17,848,000, an increase of about 25 per cent. How about our imports? Before the Australian treaty went into effect we imported from Australia $1,183,000 worth of goods. Our imports have risen now to $4,339,000 worth of goods or an increase in our imports of 400 per cent, while the

increase in our exports to Australia amounts to about 25 per cent. It is from Australia and New Zealand that t'he butter comes, and they have increased their trade to Canada materially, while we have had only a very, very negligible increase in our exports to Australia; and so it is with New Zealand. Before the treaty, New Zealand sent to Canada $1,560,000 worth of goods. Last year the figures jumped to $3,856,000, an increase of 260 per cent in the shipment of their agricultural products into this country. Our exports to New Zealand before the treaty were $13,676,000. Last year these had grown to $15,897,000, or an increase of about 20 per cent. The trade is all going one way as between Canada and Australia and New Zealand. They are taking advantage of our open market and filling this country with Australian and New Zealand farm products, while we, who are getting some slight advantage in their market, are increasing to a minor extent only our sales of paper, pulp products and the like.

Now, how can we justify such a situation? iMy hon. friend the Minister of Trade and [DOT]Commerce has always been considered in the province of Ontario an outstanding supporter of protection. He is now sitting side by side an the cabinet with my hon. friend the Minister of Immigration (Mr. Forke), an outstanding disciple of the policy of free trade. Together they sit at the cabinet council, cheek iby jowl, sworn to bear confidence and respect for each other, sworn to stand and act together, to be responsible each for the actions of the other. There they sit side by side, an out-and-out free trader and an out-and-out protectionist. I said a moment ago that the iMinister of Trade and Commerce was one of

The Address-Mr. Guthrie

don (Mr. Forke) think that his colleague the Minister of Trade and Commerce is one of these robber barons we have heard pictured so often in this House? Can my hon. friend from Brandon honestly and consistently sit in that cabinet council and permit a manufacturer in this country to have a duty of 30 per cent on his production?

I should like to hear the opinion of my hon. friend from Rosetown (Mr. E-vans) on this subject. Between sessions of parliament I hear the wo-rd protection, protection, protection. It is ringing in my ears continually, and it always has a strong resemblance to the voice of the hon. member for Rosetown attached to it. What does that hon. member think of the present situation? His former leader is sitting now in the seats of the mighty, side by side with one of the outstanding protectionists of this country. All I can say to my hon. friend the Minister of Trade and Commerce is that I agree that his industry is properly protected. I only ask him to be generous enough and kind enough to extend similar protection to other industries I could name in this country.

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LIB

James Malcolm (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Mr. MALCOLM:

Will the hon. member

give an illustration to show where the protection on furniture is higher than the protection on woollen goods?

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CON

Hugh Guthrie (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GUTHRIE:

I did not say the protection on furniture was too high. I do not wish to be misunderstood. I said if it was not high enough I would make it higher. I say give to the woollen man the same 30 per cent.

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December 13, 1926