February 1, 1928

GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH

ADDRESS IN REPLY


The house resumed from Tuesday, January 31, consideration of the motion of Mr. Ilsley for an address to His Excellency the Governor General in reply to his speech at the opening of the session.


LIB

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. J. F. POULIOT (Temiscouata):

Mr. Speaker, my first word will be an apology for speaking in a language which is not my own, but I will do so to the best of my knowledge and I hope every hon. member will catch every word of my speech. My second word is one of regret that in the high position which you occupy you do not take your share in the debates in this house and I think every member regrets not having the advantage at the present time of hearing your eloquent voice in this house.

May I point out a fact of importance that happened last year when the Holy Father called as a prince of the church His Eminence Cardinal Rouleau? The reason why I mention this fact at the beginning of my speech is because His Eminence, whose dignity and science have been admired throughout Canada, was born in my constituency. I boast at the same time that the Primate of the Roman Catholic church in Canada is a son of Temiscouata county, as is also, I am glad to say, the Minister of Justice (Mr. Lapointe). I am very proud of such electors although they have never voted for me.

I wish to congratulate my hon. friend the leader of the opposition (Mr. Bennett). Judging by his speeches since he has attained the leadership of his party, he is a great patriot, and as he is still a young man, I hope that he will continue to serve the country in that capacity and to the best of his ability in the years to come. During the course of this session I hope the house will have the advantage of being told by the leader of the opposition, when it is timely to ask the House

of Commons at Westminster to repeal the Colonial Laws Validity Act, and also, as he says that his is a constructive policy, I hope that he will supply the house with a constructive program on immigration if the present arrangements are not to his taste.

I also take the liberty of congratulating from the bottom of my heart the mover of the address, the member. for Hants-Kings (Mr. Ilsley). Though I did not have the advantage of hearing his speech, I read it carefully. I admire his eloquence, and I am very glad that his predecessor in this house has been so ably replaced. I mention his predecessor because everyone in this house knows that we were on speaking terms.

I also admired very much the beautiful language used by the hon. member lor Proveneher (Mr. Beaubien), in seconding the address, in French. I am not at all surprised that he had the honour of being elected by acclamation at the last election if he delivers to them speeches such as he delivered in this house the other day.

As to the hon. member for South Wellington (Mr. Guthrie), whose eloquence I admire very much although I do not always share his views, I consider him one of the ten best debaters in this house, and if we did not have the advantage of hearing his speeches answered we might believe everything that he said. I listened with deep interest to his address yesterday, when he attempted to show that the taxes now are higher than they were in the last years of the Conservative administration. That might be true; I am not discussing that, but the point I wish to bring out is that in the years previous to the Liberal administration coming into power the public debt grew very considerably, and instead of imposing taxes upon the people the Conservative government of that day used to borrow money to such a large extent that I think the Minister of Finance to-day should be warmly congratulated upon having reduced the debt. I have another request to make of my hon. friend the leader of the opposition in this connection, and that is that he would be kind enough during the budget debate to give us a constructive policy for reducing the public debt without imposing taxes.

I come now to a most important question mentioned in the speech from the throne, and that is the Dominion-provincial conference.

I wish to tell the truth and nothing but the truth, but I shall be unable to tell the whole truth on account of the forty minute limitation on speeches. I shall not speak otherwise than as a member of the rank and file, as a back-bencher, and what I shall say will be

The Address-Mr. Pouliot

spoken entirely upon my own responsibility, but it will be in conformity with the opinions and sentiments of the people of Temiscouata county who sent me here as their representative in this house. I shall speak very calmly; I shall try to be as cool as ice, and my hon. friends will notice that every word I use will be uttered with the greatest sincerity.

I have been elected as a Liberal, as a supporter of the right hon. Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) and of his government. The Prime Minister is my leader, and I have to follow the advice of his ministers. I wish to be loyal to them, just as my hon. friends opposite wish to be loyal to their leader. The party system has existed for a long time in this country, and while perhaps it does not suit everyone, it is the system that appeals to most of us, and we have to follow party lines. I crave the indulgence of the house for the few remarks I am going to make.

First of all, may I say that the bonne entente is no longer young; she is now quite an old lady, having been born in 1867 when the parliament of Canada first met after confederation. Sometimes we do not share the opinions of hon. gentlemen opposite. It is our right just as it is theirs, to have their own opinions, but when we go out of this house the friendship that has always existed between us continues to exist, and during the few years -that I have been in this house one of the things that I have admired very much is the good companionship that I have always found existing among members of different races, different creeds, and different political parties.

There are, Mr. Speaker, three forms of government in this country. I am looking at this question from a different angle than the leader of the opposition. There is, first, the municipal government, secondly, the provincial government, and thirdly, the federal government; and ever since I have taken an interest in public life I have never seen in any paper a report that a federal minister had ever criticized the acts of a provincial administration, whether Grit or Tory, whether Catholic or Protestant, whether English-speaking or French-speaking. It has never happened, to my knowledge that a federal minister, in his capacity as such, has ever criticized a provincial administration. I have never seen the leader of the federal opposition leaning on the shoulders of a provincial administration for support. I am sorry, Mr. Speaker, that I am compelled to say something of a similar character of the Premier of the province of Quebec. May I say, first, that I consider Mr. Taschereau is a good citizen and I am sure he acts in good faith, but he is not my leader.

If he makes a statement I can tell him in very plain language that he is wrong; I can remain loyal, to my own leader without sharing Mr. Taschereau's views and I can be loyal to my own leader when I express entirely different views from those of Mr. Taschereau. May I add that he is, in many respects, a good premier, and that he shares with the Minister of Roads, Hon. Mr. Perron, with his Minister of Mines, Mr. Perrault and with Mr. Nicol, his treasurer, a good part of the credit for the real prosperity of the province of Quebec.

As you are a scholar, Mr. Speaker, you will remember having read that before 400 B.C. Xerxes, king of Persia and Media, who abolished the kingdom of Babel and took away the statue of Bel, crossed the Hellespont. When the Newfoundland case wao to be argued in England Mr. Taschereau crossed the Atlantic in the same glorious fashion. It is always a dangerous thing before a case is over to express an opinion.

The province of Quebec and the Dominion government lost the case before the Privy Council. I give credit to the people of the Department of the Attorney General at Quebec, as well to those of the Department of Justice at Ottawa, because they did their best in that case. No one is to blame. However, they did not succeed. The blame might be put on the lords of the Privy Council, but that cannot be done, because they are immune from the law. I wish to say a word in reference to the judgment in that case. Then Mr. Taschereau gave an interview to the papers. That interview he has never denied-but perhaps he will deny it to-morrow after reading the report of my speech-to the effect that if Canada and the province of Quebec lost Newfoundland and Labrador, it was because Mr. King, the Prime Minister, had' too much to do with imperial questions, and that if he had done some lobbying, as the premier of Newfoundland had done, Labrador would have remained as a part of Canada. Well, Mr. Speaker, if Mr. Taschereau is right in saying that when a Prime Minister attended the Imperial conference he paid too much attention to imperial matters, one thing is sure, and that is that Mr. Taschereau did not study imperial questions at that time,, and if he had known more about imperial questions the speech * from the throne in the province of Quebec, which was read on the 10th January last, would not have contained this paragraph:

My ministers believe that Canadian unity and the future of Canada will be best assured by respecting provincial autonomy and by remaining loyal to the British North America Act in the spirit as well as in the letter.

The Address-Mr. Pouliot

In reference to the Newfoundland case, Mr. Taschereau was wrong when he tried to evade responsibility by putting it on the premier's wide and strong shoulders. There was no responsibility at all, as I have previously said, but when I read part of the speech from the throne in the Quebec legislature, I heard some gentleman opposite who never did anything to support Mr. Taschereau in his elections say: "Hear, hear." My hon. friends opposite appear to be acquainted with Mr. Taschereau, and I will have a few words to say about that afterwards. What I want to say now is that equality of status between Canada and the mother country is like the equality of mind between Sir. Taschereau and my hon. friends opposite.

Just to please my hon. friends on the other side of the house, may I quote an extract from an interview given by Mr. Taschereau the day after the last general election, which has been published in Le Soleil, of Quebec on the 17th of May, 1927. It reads:

Nos amis du federal, ministres et deputes, nous ont prete leur concours avec un empresse-ment et une generosite dont je tiens a les re-mercier vivement. La solidarity qui existe entre les liberaux d'Ottawa et les liberaux de Quebec ne pouvait etre mieux demontree.

I will translate the statement as best I can. It read thus:

Our federal friends, ministers and members, have helped us with such earnestness and generosity that I wish to thank them warmly. The solidarity that exists between the Liberals of Ottawa and the Liberals of Quebec could not be better shown.

It means that when Mr. Taschereau called on us for support everyone of us answered, "'Ready, aye, ready." And I tell you that when Mr. Ferguson calls on Mr. Taschereau, he answers, like a pupil, "Ready, aye ready."

Well, Mr. Speaker, there was a great change of attitude after the election. During the election Mr. Taschereau was saying, "My dear federal friends, pray come to my help against those Tories of the province of Quebec." After the election he was saying to the Tories, "Now I don't need my federal friends any more; come and I will kiss you on the cheek." And they seemed to like it.

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CON

John Wesley Edwards

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. EDWARDS (Frontenac):

Does the hon. member get that idea from the attitude of [DOT] the present government towards the Progressives?

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LIB

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. POULIOT:

The hon. member is a great humorist. I think, Mr. Speaker, that the word "solidarity" used by Mr. Taschereau in his message after the elections of the province of Quebec was wrong. There can be no

solidarity between the federal and the provincial administrations because the spheres of action and the problems differ in the respective fields.

We were allies during the election, but afterwards let us see what happened. In municipal government there are pressing problems, as there are in provincial and federal government, but those problems are entirely different in each jurisdiction. Each body has its own way to travel, and what Mr. Taschereau did about imperial matters reminds me of a little story. One day while at college the teacher was giving a lecture in astronomy, in the course of which he explained an eclipse. Holding his watch in his hand he said, "This is the earth;" then he put his fountain pen in front of his watch and said, "This is the moon;" and, indicating himself, he added, "I am the sun." Immediately one of the pupils retorted, "You are a damn liar!" I apologize for the expression-

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LIB

Hewitt Bostock (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

I was about to draw the hon. member's attention to the fact that it is not strictly a parliamentary expression.

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LIB

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. POULIOT:

Yes sir, and I withdraw

the expression. Perhaps Mr. Taschereau regards himself as the sun on imperial questions, but if so I cannot help but remember my old teacher. We cannot overlook the fact that as a nation we are growing up, and that our constitution must develop with our growth. But of course nothing will be done to change our constitution without the consent of all the provinces of Canada which were parties to the pact of confederation. Then what is the danger to provincial rights? I never heard in this house that the government had the least intention to override provincial rights in the settlement of the very difficult and important questions that arise from time to time in this Dominion.

I do not propose to discuss the imperial conference or imperial questions any further, but I would ask: Is Mr. Taschereau a specialist

on imperial problems? WThere did he study them? He has his own business to attend to. He has the Saguenay aluminum plant to think of and is so busy talking with American people about their settlement in Canada that he has very little spare time to study imperial questions. Those questions will be discussed in this house. But, Mr. Speaker, I do not see why the premier of Quebec should put in the speech from the throne delivered by the lieutenant governor of the province a paragraph that is a direct attack on the federal administration. Mr. Taschereau came to

The Address-Mr. Pouliot

Ottawa. I am told you were even gracious enough, sir, to lend him your apartments while he was here. He had ample space to work in-he had the library at his disposition. He could have talked with the members of the federal government about everything. Did he not do so? He has every right to his own opinions as a private citizen, but, sir, I submit that as Premier of the province of Quebec he has no right to speak against his friends who gave him such strong support during the election, when there is now no reason for him to fear anything. I respect Mr. Taschereau's views, he may think as he likes so far as I am concerned,.but I contend that the paragraph to which I have referred does not express the real sentiments of the people of my province. We rely on the Prime Minister and the Minister of Justice (Mr. Lapointe) and their colleagues to express our views as a national entity. *

Now, Mr. Speaker, I come to the St. Lawrence waterway. I believe it was the part of wisdom to submit the case to the Supreme Court of Canada, the legal advisers of the government of this country. At whose request was such step taken? I do not know whether it was at the instance of the federal or any provincial government, but, I repeat, it was a wise course to take, because when there is controversy on a point of law, the judicial part of our administrative system, to use the expression of the learned leader of the opposition (Mr. Bennett) must be consulted. There are three rights of ownership of rivers; private, .provincial and federal. May I give a citation, Mr. Speaker, to show how private ownership of this kind has been treated by the . provincial government of Quebec since Mr. Taschereau has been a minister of the Quebec government. I quote the first paragraph of article 2252 of the revised statutes of the province of Quebec, 1909. It reads:

Sales and free grants of lands belonging to the crown are and have been since the first of June, 1884, subject to a reserve, for fishing purposes, of three chains in depth of the lands bordering on non-navigable rivers and lakes in the province.

A most important case, that, of David McLaren and others against the attorney general of the province of Quebec, was taken to the Privy Council, who gave their judgment on June 28th, 1914. One of the considerants of that judgment reads:

That the appellants were owner?, and proprietors of the bed of the Gatineau river and of the lands and -water powers therein, opposite their property. (20 R. L. 248).

I quoted that judgment to my learned friend the leader of the opposition last year, and I would point out that in it it was held:

That in such rivers the property of the riparian owner extends ad medium filum aquae. ... to the middle line of the water.

This judgment had an important bearing on the legislation of Quebec. In the first place the civil code, which gives the rule3 governing property, was amended a few years afterwards, by 8 George V, chapter 72. That amendment was to the effect that the article did apply to all non-navigable and non-floatable rivers and streams and their banks bordering on lands alienated by the crown after February 19, 1890. But this is not the most interesting amendment; there is another one.

I have read the law as it stood; I have quoted the article showing that there was a reserve, in the case of the crown, for fishing purposes. Now I will quote for the information of hon. members the amending statute, which will amaze them and from which they will see that, by a change m three words, a government can rob the people of their rights. This amendment reads:

Article 2252 of the revised statutes, 1909, is amended:

It seems that this is just as easy as swallowing a spoonful of honey.

(a) By replacing the words: "for fishing purposes''. in the third line thereof, by the words "in full ownership by the Crown". (9 G. V, c. 31, s. 1).

And in this instance the crown was the provincial government of Quebec. Let me quote the law as it now is, from which you will see just what the difference is:

Sales and free grants of land belonging to the crown are and have been since the first of June, 1884, subject to a reserve, in full ownership by the crown, of three chains in depth of the lands bordering on non-navigable rivers and lakes in the province. (R.S.Q. 1925, c. 83, s. 7).

This is my point. A case was submitted to the Privy Council with a view to securing an opinion on this provision, and when the judgment of the Privy Council was shown to be against the province of Quebec as an entity the law was amended with the result that the province, by changing three words in the statute, has acquired the full ownership of the interest of these riparian owners. As a responsible member of this house I make the statement that nothing of this nature has been done by this parliament, and the people have no reason to fear that parliament will take any such action. That is not our attitude and I am sure the federal government will never pass such a law. However, let me add this: If the federal government should introduce such a provision, loyal as I am to my leader and to the government as well, I should feel called upon, being also loyal to my electors, to vote against it.

The Address-Mr. McGibbon

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LIB

Hewitt Bostock (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mt. SPEAKER:

The hon. member's time has expired.

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LIB

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. POULIOT:

By leave of the house may I continue five minutes longer?

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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Yes.

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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

No.

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LIB

Hewitt Bostock (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

I fear that if the house gave way in this instance it might lead to an abuse of the privilege.

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CON

Peter McGibbon

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. PETER McGIBBON (Muskoka-On-tario):

The government of the day has seen fit to call parliament together at this time, presumably for the despatch of business, and probably no more bloodless and pulseless speech from the throne has ever been presented to this house than the one now under consideration. I do not know that this is very much to be wondered at when we consider that this administration has never had sufficient courage to do, at the proper time, what should be done. For example, it is not surprising that no mention is made in the speech of the problem in relation to the great St. Lawrence waterway. I can imagine that when the contents of the speech were being discussed in the council chamber the shades of the Siftons, the Joneses and the Holts were hovering around like the ghost of Banquo before Macbeth. How could the government speak; how could they bring down a policy upon this great subject until the masters behind them had decided what they were going to do?

Yesterday, sir, the Prime Minister said to the leader of the opposition with great emphasis that we do not want people in this country until we have work for them to do. That is a very correct hypothesis, I agree, and I also agree that at present in Canada we have not the work for them to do. But I wondered, sir, if it ever occurred to this government and to the Prime Minister that it is the duty of a government so to shape their policies as to create work for the people? No greater crime can be laid to the door of any government than that which is laid at the door of the present government when we say they have not been able to create sufficient work to keep our own people in Canada. By way of explanation, the Prime Minister remarked that ocean fares had gone up, that conditions in Europe were different from those prevailing ten years ago, and that was the reason we were not getting immigrants. At the time I could not help but think of the people who wanted to migrate to the United States, and wonder if they were any different from the people we are trying to get. Is there any material difference be-[Mr. Pouliot.l

tween the fare from the old country to New York and from the old country to Canada? And yet, with a similar people, a similar climate and a similar country, we have been spending millions of dollars with no success in getting immigrants while the United States have been spending millions of dollars keeping immigrants out.

What is the reason? The reason can only lie in the incapacity of the men who sit on the treasury benches. No government ever had the opportunities to secure immigrants that this government have had. Coming into office shortly after the great war, when this country was advertised to the ends of the earth and the eyes of the whole world were upon our country with its vast stretches of land, its forests, pulpwood, mills and factories, still for five years this government have not been able to bring into Canada a number of immigrants to equal those Canadians who have left and gone to the United States. I drew the attention of the Prime Minister to that yesterday, and lie said he would much prefer that his statement go out to the world instead of mine. Coming from the Prime Minister, of course, I do not doubt that, but I speak the facts. I say to him that there is not a man on this side of the chamber who would not be ashamed to sit in the chair of the Prime Minister to-day while more full-blooded, native-born Canadians are leaving Canada for the United States than we can replace with immigrants from all the countries in the world.

If there is any dispute as to that I have the figures here. In one hand I hold the report of the Minister of Immigration (Mr. Forke) and in the other the annual report of the commissioner general of immigration for the United States, and these show that for the last five years some 50,000 more Canadians moved across the line into the United States than this government have been able to bring to Canada from all over the world. I want you to remember this, sir; since 1924 none but native-born Canadians can go across the American line, and consequently the drain is much more serious. So I ask you, Mr, Speaker, and through you the government, how long this country can stand this drain with a population of only eight or nine million? How long can we afford to lose, eighty, ninety or one hundred thousand people a year to the United States? Since this government came into power 720.000 Canadians have gone into the United States, registering and paying their head tax, and I think it a fair estimate to say that no more than three out of four of those going into the United States register, so I think it fair to

The Address-Mr. McGibbon

say that since the Liberal government came into power in 1922 a million Canadians have crossed the line and taken up residence in the United States. I say to the Minister of Immigration (Mr. Forke) that he is charged with one of the most important portfolios in this government, and I say to the Prime Minister that he and his government have been hopelessly inadequate in dealing with this question. I do hope, sir, that some good may come from the establishment ot the commission which has been suggested by my leader.

That is the most important question in the country to-day, because involved with it is the question of our national debt and taxation. I was pleased to read in Hansard today the remarks of the hon. member for South Wellington (Mr. Guthrie), because he took up a subject with which I was going to deal to-day, but upon which I now find it unnecessary to speak. I refer to the matter of our national debt and the taxation in Canada.

I think he proved conclusively that when you consider all our commitments the national debt has not been reduced since this government came into power. I have the figures showing the revenue for every year since this government came into power, and there has not been a single year in which this government have not taken more money out of the pockets of the people of Canada than did their predecessors in 1921 and 1922. Consequently I ask them, how can taxes be reduced when they have been obtaining through taxation more money year by year? If they wish an example, however, I would refer them to the system of debt reduction in force in the United States, as I have done in this house before; I would recommend to them the plan worked out by Mr. Mellon, Secretary of the Treasury in the United States, by means of which they have reduced their debt from over 26 billion dollars to $17,900,000,000 at present. Under this system of rigid _ economy, something which is foreign to this government, they have reduced the per capita taxation from $50 to $25.

Working under these new rules, Mr. Speaker, one is rather handicapped; you feel that if you digress too far you may get lost and be unable to return, so I will have to pass on. I would like to devote a moment or two particularly to the Minister of Finance (Mr. Robb) and the Minister of Trade and Commerce (Mr. Malcolm). Some time ago I noticed in the Financial Post a full page advertisement signed by the Minister of Trade and Commerce who, during the last twelve months, has been promoted to practically a

publicity agent for the government, to boost their stock in a falling .market. I find that this is the creed of the government, as laid down by the Minister of Trade and Commerce:

It remains for our producers and manufacturers to learn more fully of the opportunities awaiting them abroad. To help in this direction, to assist producer and manufacturer, to teach our people "export trade consciousness"

I want you to notice that, sir, because I am going to refer to it later.

-is the duty of this department of the government. The Department of Trade and Commerce has an active organization in the principal trading centres of the world. Working under the direction of the commercial _ intelligence branch at Ottawa, this organization has already enabled Canadian firms to obtain profitable and permanent markets in foreign lands. Canadian officials, strategically located, search out opportunities for the sales of _ Canadian products, and investigate all conditions under which these may be transported and offered for consumption. These official trade commissioners stand ready to assist the Canadian producer or manufacturer. Their whole effort, co-ordinated from Ottawa, is designed to create new markets for Canada, and help hold those we already have. Such a service is at the call of every Canadian who asks it.

That is a pretty fine creed for any government. After reading it I began to look over the record of this government to see how they have fulfilled the conditions laid down by themselves. I noticed, on getting the returns in regard to the different countries with which this government had entered into negotiations respecting commercial treaties, that in practically every country this government had fallen down in the very doctrine which I have just read to the house. For . example, they made with Belgium a treaty which came into effect on the 22nd October, 1924. Prior to that treaty we were importing annually about $3,000,000 worth of goods. After it in 1927 we imported about $9,000,000 worth of goods. Prior to the treaty we were exporting about $12,000,000 worth of goods and in 1927 our exports had risen to $21,000,000. That is one of the most favourable examples.

We made a treaty with Czechoslovakia and our imports in 1926 amounted to $1,272,000 and in 1927, $1,726,000. But the fact is that our exports had not increased in any proportion to our imports.

We made with Finland a treaty which came into effect on August 1, 1925. Before the treaty came into effect we were importing about $15,000 worth of goods and in 1927 we imported about $82,000 worth. On the other hand our exports increased from $1,038,000 to $1,882,000.

The Address-Mr. McGibbon

We made with France a treaty which became effective on September 5, 1923. Prior to that our imports amounted to about $12,000,000 whereas in 1927 we imported $23,992,000 worth of goods. Prior to the treaty we were exporting annually about $14,000,000 worth of goods and last year our exports had increased to only $15,000,000. This export trade does not show an increase in line with the doctrine laid down by the present government. These are the important markets which they said it was their duty to get for the manufacturers of Canada.

We made with Italy a treaty that came into effect on January 8, 1924. In that year our imports amounted to about $1,800,000, whereas, in 1927 they amounted to $3,444,000. On the other hand our exports had increased in the same period only from $18,000,000 to $22,000,000. I might continue and read them all, but as my time is limited I am going to refer to only one more, and my reason for doing so is that it is one which affects the farmers more directly than the rest of the people of this country. I refer to the trade treaty with Australia. As nearly every hon. member knows, this treaty was negotiated in 1925 between the Minister of Finance (Mr. Robb) and the government of Australia, and by it radical reductions were made in the duties on certain articles, notably butter, coming into this country. In lieu we were supposed to get certain advantages on automobiles and automobile parts, pulp and paper, and some kinds of fish. What has been the result? Members on this side of the house denounced the treaty and said that it would be bad. Events have proved that our denunciations were not even half strong enough because the treaty has proved worse than we ever dreamed it would be. Let me give the house some figures with regard to our trade with Australia. The imports and exports are as follows:

Fiscal year Exports of

ended March 31 Imports Canadian produce

1924 $1,037,451 $10,923,9971925

2.634,713 12,035.0861926

3,042,054 15.411,7461927

6,296,197 18,965,881

When you put side by side with that the importations of butter, which is the principal thing I want to speak about, you find that the importations of butter from Australia and New Zealand have risen year 'by year until this year they amount to more than ten million pounds and the price of butter in this country has dropped on an average, as estimated by wholesalers, from twelve to fourteen cents a pound. What did we receive in return for this? We were supposed to receive a benefit

in the intermediate and general tariffs on automobiles and automobile parts, and we got it for a while. Then the government of Australia increased their general tariff and left the British preferential alone, so that to-day we have been legally robbed altogether of this market. Shortly after that this government by order in council made the terms of this treaty applicable to New Zealand as well. The Prime Minister, in discussing this treaty with the National Dairymen's Association, made a significant remark to which I want to refer. They met in Ottawa and after they had discussed it for a while and had pointed out to him how these vast importations of butte-were ruining the dairy industry in this country, the Prime Minister made this significant statement:

We must think of empire trade.

The Prime Minister of Canada takes a market for ten million pounds of butter away from the farmers of Canada and gives it to the farmers of New Zealand and Australia, and especially New Zealand, for nothing. Is that a patriotic thing to do to the great dairy industry of Canada? There you have a market amounting to ten million pounds of butter given to the people of New Zealand and Australia and lost to the farmers of Canada.

But that is not the worst of the story. In order to encourage imperial trade with Australia they raised the duty on raisins from two-thirds of a cent to three cents a pound. This practically raised the wholesale price five cents and the retail price six cents. When I looked up the importations of raisins I found that out of 40,000,000 pounds imported into Canada, two per cent or about 800,000 pounds came from Australia. Consequently, the Prime Minister taxed the consumers of this country six cents a pound on 40,000,000 pounds of raisins, or about $2,400,000, in order ..to encourage an imperial trade which we did not get. This was a tax on the people of this country of about $2.50 per pound on raisins, imported from Australia. If you take the gross tax that was paid in this country and divide that into the importations from Australia you will see that it works out between $2 and $3 per pound. That is the price which this country is paying for one of the trade agreements made by this government.

I hope before the session is over somebody in this house will have the courage to rise up and demand that this agreement be modified. We have lost the automobile business because Australia, legally and within its rights, boosted up the intermediate and general tariffs and there is nothing left for us but the paper industry and the fish industry, the exportations

The Address-Mr. McGibbon

of paper amounting to only $2,500,000. I wish that I had time to go more into details but, as I said before under these new regulations I have not the time.

Another matter to which I wish to refer is the question of the status of this country. Last year I did not say anything about it and I do not intend to say very much this year. But when I saw the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King), the Minister of Jus-[DOT] tice (Mr. Lapointe), and all the rest of the cabinet going about this country preaching this new charter of liberty which they had secured overseas, I thought it was time for someone to say something for the people who really won that charter, namely, the soldiers who fought in Flanders and France. Before anything more is said about this matter by the government, I would like the Prime Minister, the Minister of Justice or any other member of the cabinet or any hon. gentleman opposite to stand up in this house and tell me what this government ever did to advance our status. I have read all the reports of the different imperial conferences, and I think that every prime minister from confederation down has contributed something along that line-one of the principal contributors was Sir Robert Borden-but I have not been able to find a single thing that the King government ever contributed. Sir Wilfrid Laurier, after he became prime minister in 1896, went to the Imperial conference and demanded the repeal of the Belgian and German treaties, and he succeeded in getting them repealed. That did something to unfetter this country and give us more freedom, because the British preference- was involved, and from that time on his voice was heard at every conference until in 1911 he succeeded in getting a little more detailed information than he had ever got before. Up until that time the prime minister of this country had been practically a spectator at the Imperial conferences. Let me read a sentence taken from Sir Robert Borden's Canadian Constitutional Studies: [DOT]

Although questions touching foreign relations had occasionally come under discussion at the conferences from 1887 to 1911, there is no reason to suppose that the Dominion representatives had been taken into the confidence of the British government with respect to general policy or commitments.

That is quite true; they never had been taken into the confidence of the British government. In 1911, Mr. Asquith, at the close

of the Imperial conference that was held that year, said:

Gentlemen, I again advert to a matter which has been referred to by Mr. Fisher and Sir

Joseph Ward, that this is the first time-and this conference will be significant in memory in that respect-when, in Mr. Fisher's happy phrase, the representatives of the dominions have been admitted, as it were, into the interior, into the innermost parts of the imperial household; what in the old classical phrase were called the "arcana Imperii" have been laid bare to you without any kind of reservation or qualification.

That was the first time that the prime minister of this country was ever taken into the confidence of the British cabinet so far as imperial foreign relations were concerned.

A few years later Sir Robert Borden did what had never been done before. He attended the imperial cabinet meetings in 1915. We do not know what took place at those meetings because there is no record of them, but at any rate he was admitted into the cabinet councils at that time. Following that development along still further, in 1917 there were two cabinets in London-the British war cabinet and the imperial war cabinet. The imperial war cabinet included not only the Prime Minister of Great Britain and some of his colleagues, but the prime minister of every dominion, and these dominion and colonial representatives expressed the views of the people they represented. It was at one of these conferences that Sir Robert Borden succeeded in getting passed a resolution which I think is the basis of this greater charter of liberty which we are supposed to have got in recent years. In the records of the conference of 1917 you will find this resolution:

The Imperial War Conference are of opinion that the readjustment of the constitutional relations of the component parts of the empire is too important and intricate a subject to be dealt with during the war, and that it should form the subject of a special imperial conference to be summoned as soon as possible after the cessation of hostilities. They deem it their duty, however, to place on record their view that any such readjustment, while thoroughly preserving all existing powers of self-government and complete control of domestic affairs, should be based on a full recognition of the Dominions as autonomous nations of an imperial commonwealth.

That resolution contains I think the phrase upon which this new charter of liberty was founded, and the foundation was laid by Sir Robert Borden in 1917. Further on in the minutes of that conference, you will find a resolution stating that there should be new means of communication between the United Kingdom and the dominions, and a resolution was brought in by Sir Joseph Ward stating that the Prime Minister of Canada had the right to communicate directly, if he wished to, with the Prime Minister of Great Britain.

The Address-Mr. McGibbon

Certain reservations were placed upon that for business reasons, because the Prime Minister did not want to be bothered with the details of trivial matters, and so it was left to the ministers to be the judge of what communications should go through that channel.

A little later on, the matter of Canada's representation at the peace conference came up. Sir Robert Borden on behalf of this country demanded that Canada should be represented there. You, Mr. Speaker, will remember that when parliament was sitting in the museum we were kept up all night one night in order to ratify the peace treaty before it wras ratified by the parliament of Great Britain. It was desired that our ratification should precede imperial ratification, and we were kept up all night for that purpose. That I think was Sir Robert Borden's main reason for calling a special session of parliament, in order to vindicate the right of Canada to make her own treaties and to make clear that no treaty would be binding on this country until it was ratified by parliament. We did not get that without a struggle, nor did we get representation at the League of Nations without a struggle. Objections were made not only by Great Britain but by the United States, but we finally got representation on the league.

I want this government to tell me anything they have done to improve our status. Sir Robert Borden, as I have already pointed out, had that resolution passed at the Imperial conference in 1917, but what has this government ever done in that direction to justify them coming here and telling us they have brought home to Canada a new charter of liberty. I for one am glad that we have a fuller liberty in our domestic affairs. I do not think any of us would like to go back to the time when we sent over our first contingent, the Princess Pats and all that, and when the imperial authorities tried to requisition our ships during the war, but Sir Robert Borden and his government asserted our rights and I do not think any man can reflect on that time without feeling glad that we have greater liberty in our domestic affairs to-day. But I say that that greater measure of liberty came, not only to Canada but to the other dominions as well by reason of the fact that there were one million soldiers from the colonies on the battlefield; it was not through the influence of the King government. That is all down in the records for any man who wants to read it. I say to you, Mr. Speaker, that this government's patriotism must be pretty poor. They must feel their poverty, as far as the patriotic people of this country

are concerned, when they come back here and try to take credit for something they have not done. I ask this country in all seriousness, why should this government rob the dead?

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PRO

John Evans

Progressive

Mr. JOHN EVANS (Rosetown):

Mr. Speaker, neither in the speech from tihe throne nor in the speech of the leader of the opposition was any new fiscal policy or forward outlook for Canada outlined. The government seemingly is very satisfied with things as they are as indicated in the first paragraph of the speech. But over against this is the dismal wail of the leader of the opposition regarding unemployment and the money which is leaving Canada to buy foreign goods. It is one of the economic fallacies often voiced in this house that to be prosperous we must not purchase goods or trade in foreign countries; but the class who put that forward are those who are the favoured ones in our tariff schedules. In answer to the leader of the opposition, I wish to tell him that we do not lessen employment by increasing imports. The increase of imports indicates always an increase of employment, because there must be increased exports to pay for increased imports. It does not lessen employment. But according to the view of the protectionist manufacturer and distributor, it is a detriment to import anything ready to use, because the idea back of protection is not prosperity for the country, but control of the earnings of the primary producers by a certain class in this country. The tariff system can never be a national benefit. It is only a benefit to a certain class and that olass generally one of the smallest in any country. The tariff is always a class advantage and, as far as as that is true, it is the protected class only that benefits. The eighty million dollars worth of goods which we purchased abroad this year more than we purchased last year indicates two things; first a larger purchasing power on the part of the primary producer, and an indication that the earnings of the workers of the country are not completely under the control of the protected class.

Last year the government informed us that no changes were to be made in the tariff because the tariff advisory board were not ready to report, or had not dealt sufficiently with the applications placed before them. The income and excise taxes were cut, which benefited only the rich. We hope that this session will see a reduction in the tariff, and not a further cut in the income tax, and in support of our contention I was very glad to see that the Montreal chamber of commerce passed a resolution recommending the government at Ottawa to maintain an income

The Address-Mr. Evans

tax permanently, as a source of revenue, believing that it is economically sound, a just tax and the most economical to collect. I quote that in support of our contention which we have made for years under the organized farmers of the western provinces. This year the long overdue repeal of penalties on the working class is due. Last year's session of parliament was a rich man's feast. The farmer is penalized on the necessaries of life and his tools of production, and he has to sell his products in the open markets of the world, against all the cheap labour of the world, the cheap labour of Europe, Asia, Australasia and every country that exports. I do not think this truth can be too often reiterated in this house.

A good deal has lately been said about the Australian treaty as it affects the dairymen of Canada. Some protectionist journals of the east have been poking a little fun at the farmer in asking protection against butter, cheese and other agricultural products being imported from Australia. These journals, owned and controlled 'by protected manufacturers and distributors, for whose benefit the protective system of import penalties has been imposed on our primary industries, all wilfully ignore the facts of the case. Trade treaties are always part of the old game of class privilege, and a trade treaty never can be consummated without hurting some one class, to give another class an advantage. The Australian treaty is so pregnant with these features and abuses that it has, more than any other, served to bring these feitures before the people of the country. I would not mention the Australian treaty here were it not for the fact that some of our protectionist papers have, in their blind selfishness, played on the minds of their readers, to whom they are careful not to convey the real truth. As the mover of the address in reply to the speech from the throne said, "the country you are negotiating with always requires a quid pro quo", and in the Australian treaty we lowered the duty on butter from four cents to one cent per pound. That was to give the manufacturers of automobiles, paper, and certain other commodities a freer entry into the Australian market; indeed, some agricultural products were placed on the free list for this purpose. The four cents per pound of import penalty on butter never gave the Canadian farmer any advantage. Neither did it raise the price to the consumer. The price to the farmer on all dairy products was based on the export value, and the Canadian farmer never exceeded the export price. Four cents a pound was put on in the hope of furnishing an excuse for the Canadian 56103-7

manufacturer to exploit the dairyman on the price of the supplies that he was bound to purchase. The present duties on some of these supplies go as high as 35 per cent. Even the equipment most necessary to the dairy industry-chums for example-is very heavily taxed. When the four cents a pound could be of any use to the Canadian farmer to penalize the urban dweller for purchasing Australian butter the government promptly removed that duty. In my view this at once branded the administration as a capitalist government, favouring one class in particular and willing to sacrifice the whole dairy industry for the sake of the protected manufacturers. The government left the duty as high as 35 per cent on many of the supplies required by the dairyman.

Not only does this inequality and injustice exist, but the treaty itself facilitates the landing of agricultural products on our shores to compete with our own producers. So much is this the case that in the comparative short haul, say, from the prairies to Vancouver, our railways declare that they cannot meet the competition of ocean transportation all the way from Australia to Vancouver. So after tying up our farmers by trade restrictions for the benefit of our manufacturers, we see these protectionists in their selfishness gloating over the fact that they have got the dairymen squirming in agony under this injustice. Some years ago Goldwin Smith in his book, Canada and the Canadian Question, used these words:

What corruption can be more pestilential or more dangerous to the commonwealth than the surrender of the commercial policy of the country to private interests in return for the support of their money in elections?

I cannot interpret the terms of the Australian treaty in any other light than that described by Goldwin Smith. He made his comment on the statement of Tilley who, speaking in the House of Commons in 1879, said:

We have invited gentlemen from all parts of the Dominion to assist us in the readjustment of the tariff, because we did not feel that we were prepared without advice and assistance from men of experience to readjust and make a judicious tariff.

The provisions of the Australian treaty were never made by disinterested statesmen, but were dictated by men interested in paper, in automobiles and other commodities who desired priority in the Australian market. I think the words of Goldwin Smith are as true to-day as when he wrote them, and I cannot look on these features of our protective system in any other light than that they always involve a bargain.

The Address-Mr. Evans

. Now, let me discuss this treaty a little further just to show the callousness exhibited by those who negotiated it towards the workers in general of this country in regard more particularly to raisins and currants, which are very necessary articles of food. On those fruits to-day the duty is as high as 43.46 per cent. We import over forty million pounds of raisins and currants per year, yet they carry about the highest rate of duty of anything in the tariff schedules. But the strange thing about it is that our government, for the sake of a small class in the country, the manufacturers of certain articles getting an advantage in the Australian market, has laid the whole consuming public of Canada under tribute. Why? Will any protectionist say that it is benefitting the nation for its housekeepers to pay $143.46 for $100 worth of goods? It is the height of folly, whether committed by statesmen or lunatics, to increase the burden on our own people when negotiating a trade treaty.

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UFA

Edward Joseph Garland

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. GARLAND (Bow River):

Would the hon. gentleman make clear the difference between, them?

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?

An hon. MEMBER:

Order!

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John Evans

Progressive

Mr. EVANS:

The economic research

department of the Canadian Council of Agriculture made an investigation respecting the effect of the increased duty on raisins at 1he port of entry, and they found that the increase of two and one-third cents totals to the consumer nearly five cents a pound. This agrees with the statement by Mr. Trent of the Bread and Cake Makers' Association. Now, forty million pounds at five cents a pound totals $2,000,000, or about $2.20 for every family in the Dominion. And all this to give an advantage to one class!

Having studied the tariff question for a long time, I am more convinced to-day than ever that all advantages given to any class of persons by this means always involve a bargain. Sir Wilfrid Laurier, whose name is still eulogized by many in this house, called the tariff system, "The mother of corruption." I think those words apply to-day as truly as when uttered by that great Liberal leader. I see no reason for the government any longer to put off dealing with the tariff. While I never could see much good in a tariff advisory board. I must confess that the present one has been instrumental in showing to the public the utter absurdity of maintaining a tariff at all on very many of our products, particularly on the necessaries of life and the implements of production. I predict that the new leader of the Conservative party (Mr. Bennett) will have a stupendous task to

reconcile the arguments of the protectionists for a- higher tariff with a consistent line of action for himself and his party. The hon. leader of the opposition is. in favour of dealing with Britain in preference to any other country. I gather that from his Toronto speech last November. His words were:

Has England helped the world? How can I help England? We can trade with England, and we should trade with her in preference to any other country.

In the brief presented to the tariff board by the cotton manufacturers there appears the following sentence1:

As between British and American imports into Canada to-day the Canadian cotton industry needs a higher protection from Great Britain on these fabrics on which manufacturing cost is relatively high than it does from the United States.

Not only would they abolish the preference given to Britain but they want to raise the tariff higher than it is against the United States. Not only are they not satisfied with a preference in favour of Great Britain but they want to have a duty against the motherland higher than the rate levied against the United States.

The one argument for protection has always been employment for the wage earners, but the tariff in many cases not only lowers the standard of living for the working man but actually fleeces the consumer in general so as materially to diminish the volume of labour and compel our workmen to seek employment in other countries. Whenever the consumer is charged an unduly high price for any article the purchasing power of the public is correspondingly lowered, and the labour market is always affected to that extent. No protectionist can get away from that fact. Let me give a concrete case to illustrate the point: We will take sugar with the duty as it stands to-day. I select this article as one concentrated on by the research department of the United Farmers of Saskatchewan. There is a duty on Cuban sugar entering Canada of $1.89 per hundredweight, and despite that heavy duty we find that the tendency is to some extent to keep down the price of the refined article in this country. We refined in Canada for domestic use in 1926, roughly, 800,000.000 pounds of sugar. Now the refiners, in the brief they submitted to the tariff board, showed that Canadian prices ranged from 55 to 65 cents per hundredweight above American prices. We should be quite safe in taking 60 cents as the mean. If we multiply that by our sugar consumption we have at least $4,500,000 as the sum we pay above American prices for the amount of

The Address-Mr. Evans

sugar we use. In the same year the total wages paid by all refiners of Canadian sugar amounted to $2,897,109. If we deduct one-eighth of that sum on account of the 100,000,000 pounds exported there is left $2,533,000 as wages paid in the refining of sugar consumed in Canada; and adding to wages the salaries paid the total is $3,460,000, or approximately $1,100,000 less than the extra cost to the people of Canada for the sugar they are using today. This is the result of the operation of our tariff. This was brought out before the tariff board, and surely a government which calls itself a Liberal and low tariff government, as declared by the Minister of Railways (Mr. Dunning) on the authority of the Minister of Finance (Mr. Robb) last year, and in accordance with the principles embodied in the platform of 1919, cannot allow an incident of this kind to exist any longer than it will take them to deal with it at this session of parliament. Just fancy. In this case we could pension off all the men engaged in the sugar refining industry in Canada and save $1,100,000 if we bought our supplies abroad. Surely the government cannot countenance such an incongruity as that which now exists in our trade policy.

Before I conclude I want to say a word regarding immigration. The leader of the opposition (Mr. Bennett) wants to have more people in the country, and from one end of the Dominion to the other, apparently, all urban interests are calling for a vigorous policy of immigration. Why? What is the purpose of this demand? Why the present craze for more people? In the cities of the west this winter many have sought shelter in the goals of the country in order to be fed and to be kept warm. The leader of the opposition himself stresses the fact of unemployment when he states that Manitoba to-day is seeking help from the Dominion government to feed its unemployed. He says:

If you will look at the young, vigorous men who are employed in shovelling snow in this city-

That is, Ottawa.

-you will realise the lack of employment that prevails in Canada.

I quote that from page 14 of Hansard. At page 24 the bon. member is reported as follows:

It is high time that something be done to put the power of parliament unitedly behind an effort to bring people over and settle them in this country.

What does he mean?

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UFA

George Gibson Coote

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. COOTE:

Maybe he is expecting more

snow.

56103-7i

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PRO

John Evans

Progressive

Mr. EVANS:

He goes on:

We cannot continue as we are and maintain our present position very long.

Putting the two statements together, what are we to make of them? What do they mean? And what does the same man mean by putting forward two such views? I am at a loss to understand it. This, however, is a sample of the illogical utterances on immigration which we are hearing throughout the country. Last summer-and in the summer employment is at its height-we had to go on our knees to Uncle Sam and beg him to allow 4,000 of our men to cross the border daily in order to get a day's wages on which to live. It seems to me it would have been better for our immigration department to send our immigration officers to Windsor and other border cities and, by offering the same inducements as we are holding out to foreigners, persuade many of these people who were going over into the United States to go on the land. Instead of that we had to appeal to Uncle Sam to permit our men to cross the line to obtain a day's wages. The United States agreed to certain conditions, that those who were Canadian-born might cross daily to work for their daily wage, but that this number must be deducted from the quota allotted by the United States to Great Britain this year. So those gentlemen who boast and have boasted of a monopoly of patriotism will accept this favour at the hands of Uncle Sam at the expense of Great Britain, knowing the terrible unemployment problem existing there to-day. Is it reasonable? It certainly is not.

The excuse given for immigration is land settlement, but those who are interested in immigration are those who like to see a hungry crowd around their factory doors every day. Those are the only people who are benefiting to-day by immigration, and I can see no other purpose in a vigorous policy of immigration than to lower the cost of labour and consequently lower the wages of the working men in our cities; I can come to no other conclusion. Those are the men advocating immigration; they are the ones who want raw material for their own factories brought in free, but the policy followed in land settlement is to penalize the primary producer in the prices of his tools and necessary supplies. If land settlement is the object, Mr. Speaker, I want to say that all we have to do is give the man on the land a square deal. If the policy followed in respect of urban industries were followed with regard to agriculture, all our waste places within reach of every railway would be occupied today. Then there would be no need of the

The Address-Mr. Evans

despairing cry of the leader of the opposition, as reported on page 22 of Hansard in these words:

Now, sir, this question transcends party; it is larger than the lives of parties because it strikes at the very life of this Dominion. We must have settlers.

Another feature I would like to mention in connection with immigration is this: If we decide on a policy of immigration the government should engage in this work itself; it should not be given into the hands of railway companies or even religious bodies. It should not be dealt with by private concerns of any kind. If immigration is needed we *should have a definite policy to follow, and the government should carry out that policy. In the return to an order of the house dated February 24, 1927, it was shown that 29 clergymen of the Roman Catholic church were in the employ of the government in immigration work. This has caused a great deal of ill-feeling and comment of a caustic nature throughout the country. There is no need for it, because this is work which should be done by the government. If immigration is needed at all it is a work which rightly belongs to the government. In the past we have seen private companies importing men for their own work; I mention the British Empire Steel Corporation as an example; they have done it more than once, to the detriment of the men themselves and to the embarrassment of this government. I believe our immigration policy to-day should be to let in those who wish to come, if they are from the nations of which we approve and if they are mentally and physically sound. We do not need to spend money by the millions of dollars on any immigration scheme.

These are some of the things which I wish to bring before the government before their policy is laid down in the estimates and the budget, and I hope that in the discussion of these questions it will be understood that I am not looking at these problems from a local standpoint but from the viewpoint of the welfare of the whole nation.

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February 1, 1928