Mr. Speaker, I will occupy but a very short time in offering a few observations on the subject matter before the house. For the very eloquent and kindly words expressed by the hon. member for Lethbridge (Mr. Jelliff) in his certificate of character and integrity of our honoured leader (Mr. Bennett), on behalf of the members on this side, I extend to him our sincere thanks. This debate has been under discussion now for the past eight days and I am sure we all agree that it has been earned on in a most gentlemanly and kindly manner. As I sat in my seat on the opening day and listened to the eloquent speech of our honoured leader and the reply of the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King), I wondered if the Christian era had at last reached parliament hill.
So much has been said throughout this debate on many matters which I wished to discuss that I will not tire the house with any repetition. There is, however, in this house a custom that will bear repetition, and that is in hon. members extending to the mover and seconder of the address their felicitations. It is particularly pleasing for me to-night to offer to my fellow Nova Scotian the hon. member for Hants-Kings (Mr. Usley) and to the hon. member for Provencher (Mr. Beau-bien) my congratulations on the very creditable way in which they performed a somewhat difficult task. In the great republic to the south of us, we Nova Scotians, or Blue-noses as we are sometimes called over there, are noted for three things: codfish, handsome girls, and college professors. I have no doubt that the Prime Minister, looking around him to select a member to move the address in reply to the speech from the throne, and make a good job of that task, would naturally look towards the little province down by the sea which has such a reputation as I
have indicated and which has given to this great Dominion three of its prime ministers.
Throughout the debate on the address I have observed that there is a tendency on the part of a great majority of members who have spoken to confine their remarks largely to that part of the country from which they come, and I may be permitted to do the same, particularly as the hon. member for Hants-Kings interjected into his speech a distinctly maritime flavour. He volunteered to give this government some advice; he advised his government that down in Nova Scotia they wanted wider markets. The cry of " wider markets " is a very old one. Hansard has been loaded up with it from the day that it was first issued. It is a catch-cry that is used in this house at every session. Wider markets are desired when we produce more than we consume.
The hon. member for Hants-Kings referred to apples, which constitute a very large crop in that portion of Nova Scotia from which he comes. I confess that in regard to markets for apples the hon. member is much better informed than I am. I know, however, that the home market consumes about fifteen per cent of the apples that are raised in that province, while the British and European markets consume the remaining eighty-five per cent. I realize that if the whole crop of fruit from the Annapolis valley were thrown at one time upon the home market, the producers would receive barely enough, if enough, to pay for the package that contains the fruit, but I know further that from now until the new crop comes in next year it is almost impossible to buy in the stores of that province Nova Scotia apples. Our stores are filled up with a highly-coloured, poorly-flavoured apple imported from somewhere else. I would not venture to say that they are from Ontario or British Columbia when I have around me so many hon. members from those two great provinces.
Do we want wider markets for our butter when the province of Nova Scotia does not produce one-half of the butter it consumes? What the farmers of Nova Scotia do want is a policy which will give Nova Scotia products a preference over foreign products in the Canadian market. What we want is increased production to meet the demands of our own consumption. Our farmers cannot meet those demands in the face of the conditions that are confronting them to-day.
I asked a question yesterday in the house regarding the dumping clause, if it was still being applied to butter coming in from Australia, and the hon. Minister of National
The Address-Mr. MacNutt
Revenue (Mr. Euler) informed me that it had not been applied for some time. With butter coming into this country as it is, and has been-only a few days ago twenty-seven thousand packages arrived in Victoria, B.C., averaging about fifty-six pounds to the package-I say, Mr. Speaker, that with such conditions existing, our farmers have no incentive to endeavour to increase their production. Not only does this Australian butter come into the Canadian market at a duty of one cent a pound, but the farmers who produce that butter, the shippers and exporters from Australia and New Zealand are being paid by their own government a bonus of six cents a pound. These conditions, Mr. Speaker, in the province from which I come are driving our dairy farmers out of business.
From the county which I have the honour to represent, during the past seven months 2,000 of the best and highest butter fat-producing cows were shipped out, mostly to the United States, and as I left my home to come here American buyers were at that time loading several carloads more for shipment into their market. Our farmers are being driven out of business. Of course, we cannot stop our American friends from coming into N'ova Scotia and buying our cows if they find they can buy them cheaper there than elsewhere. With a Canadian duty of one cent per pound and a duty of twelve cents protecting the American dairymen it is easy to see why our cows go to the United States. I do say that the government have it in their power to apply the dumping clause to stop the importation of this foreign butter that is driving our Nova Scotia farmers out of business. I have on the order paper a question asking when this dumping clause was applied and when it ceased to operate, and I may have something more to say about this matter in the future.
Do we want wider markets for our farmers? Let me read a resolution that was passed by the farmers of Nova Scotia at the annual meeting of the dairymen's association held in the town of Truro, the seat of the county which I have the honour to represent. This resolution was passed in January, 1927:
Whereas the agreement as negotiated between the Canadian and Australian governments has reduced the customs tariff on butter coming into Canada from 4 cents per pound to 1 cent per pound;
And whereas as a result of this agreement coming into effect October 1, 1925, the price on Canadian butter has been reduced more than the amount of the original duty;
And whereas this reduction has had a detrimental effect on winter dairying in Canada, affecting both the producer and manufacturer; Be it therefore resolved that we, the dairy-
men s association of Nova Scotia in annual convention here assembled, do humbly pray that the Dominion government do restore the customs tariff to its original rated duty of 4 cents per pound or equal to the Australian bonus of 6 cents per pound, at the present session of parliament;
Further resolved that a copy of this resolution be sent to the hon. Minister of Agriculture, Ottawa, and each of the Nova Scotia M.P.'s as well as a copy to the Hon. J. A. Walker, Minister of Natural Resources, Halifax, asking the Nova Scotia government to use their good offices in our behalf.
I will now read the resolution that was passed by the same association in January, 1928:
Be it resolved that the Nova Scotia dairymen s association in annual session assembled in Truro, January 17th-18th, 1928, reaffirm the action of this association in passing a resolution at the annual convention, January 19th-20th, 1927, asking the government to
cancel the clause of the Australian treaty and the order in council which allows butter to enter Canada at the fate of one cent per pound duty and cheese free and restore to the farmer that which was taken from him by the signing of this treaty and the order in council allowing New Zealand butter and cheese to enter Canada at the same rate of duty.
Further resolved that we request that the dumping clause be at once applied to all butter coming into Canada from New Zealand and Australia whether on direct sale or on consignment.
Further resolved that the copies of this resolution with the 1927 resolution attached be mailed to the members of the senate, the Right Hon. W. L. Mackenzie King, Prime Minister of Canada; the members of the government; the federal members for Nova Scotia, and the Minister of Natural Resources, Hon. J. A. Walker, Halifax.
Those are resolutions, Mr. Speaker, that were passed at a convention of hard-headed farmers, farmers who are members of the two old political parties in this country. They realize that the situation that exists in that province is for them a very precarious one. In view of these resolutions I do not think that the question of wider markets is receiving much attention from the farmers of that province.
Again, do we want wider markets for our pulpwood, when we have steamers leaving the shores of Nova Scotia almost like ferries, carrying the raw wood across into the American market, to be followed there by the young men of our province who follow the wood to find employment in American mills, working up into the finished product that wood that should have been manufactured at home. What we do want in Nova Scotia is home manufacture of our raw materials, and a fearless determination to develop our own heritage for the benefit of our own people. I
The Address-Mr. MacNutt
could go on and at considerable length mention many more of the products of the farm of which we do not produce in Nova Scotia nearly as much as we consume. I refer to cheese, to eggs and many more products.
So much has been said throughout this debate on the question of coal that I hesitate to venture upon it, particularly in view of the fact that the hon. member for Cape Breton South (Mr. MacDonald) and the hon. member for Pictou (Mr. Cantley) discussed that question this afternoon. I may, however, be permitted to congratulate the hon. member for Bow River (Mr. Garland), upon his very able speech in this house a few days ago. His analysis of the situation in the province of Alberta, having reference to the demand that an out-of-pocket cost rate be given the coal producers of that province, is so similar to our demand from the maritime provinces that I could not add anything to the splendid analysis of that subject which he gave upon that occasion. I might say that my hon. friend robbed me, in that able speech, of a good deal of matter that I intended to present to the house. .
Canadian coal for Canadian people is a slogan that I believe should be sung throughout the whole of Canada. It is a national question. It is a question that can be solved, if it is energetically taken hold of. Give the railways the out-of-pocket cost on moving coal and you will at once bridge the great gulf which is now fixed between the coal producers in these provinces and the consumers in the central provinces. The coal operators of Alberta are demanding this out-of-pocket rate to overcome what is known as seasonal unemployment. During the summer months they have not sufficient market to keep their mines operating at full capacity, while in Nova Scotia, as was stated this afternoon by the hon. member for Pictou, we require this seasonal employment, and this out-of-pocket rate would give employment to our miners after the St. Lawrence river has been closed to navigation. During the summer months our mines are worked to capacity, but with the closing of the St. Lawrence the work automatically ceases and destitution soon follows.
I wish to compliment the hon. Minister of Railways (Mr. Dunning) on the fact that he is always a very good listener when matters pertaining to his own department are up for discussion. He interjected a question when the hon. member for Pictou was speaking, and asked why 700,000 tons of coal were brought from Germany and England into the metropolis of Montreal during the summer months. Why should this coal be brought such a great distance when it could be obtained from the mines in Nova Scotia, which are much nearer Montreal? From the shake of the hon. minister's head I do not think he quite understood the meaning of the remark of the hon. member for Pictou. Let me say, therefore, that during the open season of navigation our mines are worked to their full capacity. The people of the great metropolis of Montreal, knowing that they cannot get coal by the St. Lawrence route in winter, naturally have to store large quantities and keep it on hand, and not being able to get it from the mines of Nova Scotia, they had to obtain it elsewhere. What we ask is that this out-of-pocket cost which the Alberta government and the Alberta operators are asking for, be extended to the province of Nova Scotia. If that were done the necessity for buying and storing such large quantities of foreign coal during the summer months would be immediately eliminated.
I do not want to bother my hon. friend or interfere with the trend of his argument, but for the sake of clarity would he tell me just what he means by the out-of-pocket cost? That is important, of course.
admit, between the contention of the operators, the government of Alberta, and that of the railway commission, as to the cost. The railway commission, as stated by my hon. friend from Bow River, claims that it costs as much to move empty cars as it does to move loaded ones. I do not think anyone believes that. I agree that the difference would not be so great as perhaps appears at first sight, but I do not believe it costs as much to move empty cars as it does to move loaded cars.
My hon. friend misunderstood me. I did not intend to interject an argument, but rather to find out whether he meant the out-of-pocket cost as determined by the board of railway commissioners, or the claimed out-of-pocket cost as stated by the hon. member for Bow River and others, who argued that the commission was in error? It has an important bearing, from my point of view, on the question of the transportation of coal from Nova Scotia.
Mr. MaeNUTT: Not being an expert in
rates I am not in a position to say whether the railway commission are right in their contention about the out-of-pocket cost, or whether the government of Alberta is right. But if they are right in their contention that it costs as much to move empty cars as to move loaded ones, I say we have thousands of cars coming into Nova Scotia during the winter months that of necessity must be returned to the central provinces, and if you take the out-of-pocket cost as mentioned by the hon. member for Bow River, I think the Canadian National Railway will be making money out of the transaction.
created a misunderstanding. I was not asking whether the commission's figures were right or wrong, but I was asking whether the figures my hon. friend was giving as being so useful to his argument, were the commission's figures or the lower figures quoted by the hon. member for Bow River. The difference is material and would have an effect on the economic situation. If you say you are taking the lower figure, that is an answer to my question.
has been said on the question of immigration in the debate that I hesitate to make any reference to it. I understand we are to have a commission or committee appointed to investigate the Department of Immigration. The first duty of the department or of such a commission should be to find ways and means of keeping our own people in the country. If our own native sons cannot make a living in Canada-Canadians who succeed everywhere else in the known world *-how, I ask, can we expect people from foreign countries to come here and succeed where such Canadians fail?
not quite catch what the minister said. Yesterday, as the Minister of Immigration (Mr. Forke) was addressing the house, I could not help wondering when he told us
that in his visit abroad he had met so many people who desired to come to Canada. Knowing as I do the conditions that obtain in the farming industry in my own province, conditions of which I have already spoken, I wondered why these intending immigrants referred to by the minister would come to Canada and go in for farming, especially dairy farming such as is carried on in my constituency, rather than go to Australia where they would receive a bonus of six cents on every pound of butter they might ship out. As I say, I could not help wondering as to this as the minister presented his case to the house
Now a word in regard to the Duncan report-because if a maritime member addressed the house and had nothing to say in that regard, the people at home would think that something was wrong with him. I was pleased to hear the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King), in his excellent speech a few days ago, assure the house that during this session the question of implementing the remainder of the recommendations contained in that report would be taken into consideration. The hon. member for Hants-Kings (Mr. Ilsley) spoke of improved-conditions in the maritime provinces. In this we can agree: the carrying into effect of part of the Duncan report has had a wonderful influence on that section of the country; and what is more important is the moral feeling it has produced. The old feeling that existed in the maritime provinces against the rest of Canada is dying out and the maritimes to-day are facing the future with confidence and hope. A striking development has been in evidence in the growth of the cooperative movement aniong farmers' clubs, womens' institutes, egg circles, fruit companies, creameries and organizations having to do with potato and live stock shipping, all of which have taken heart anew. The people are looking not to the past but to the future. In the city of Halifax we have under construction two chateau type hotels which will cost millions of dollars, and believing that they are an index to prosperity we welcome them. There is no question that a better future awaits that little province and the people who are behind the construction of these hotels no doubt foresee such a development in the maritimes as warrants them in undertaking the expenditure. Tourist traffic will be doubled and trebled immediately. Those members who come from the interior provinces and who have not yet had a sniff of good salt air from the Atlantic, I invite to come down to Nova Scotia and receive the benefits from the change.
' The Address-Mr. Sinclair (Queens)
As we did a year ago, we on this side of the house are disposed to take the word of the Prime Minister at its face value. Our attitude will be one of watchful waiting during this session, and I want to assure the house that in taking this attitude we do not imply that the time has yet come when the sword can be sheathed.
It is my pleasure at this time to join with those who have preceded me in this debate in extending congratulations to the mover (Mr. Ilsley) and seconder (Mr. Beaubien) of the address upon the way in which they have discharged the honourable duty conferred upon them by the government. In continuing the debate 1 may be permitted for a moment or two to refer to some of the things that have been touched upon by the hon. member for Colehestei (Mr. MacNutt). In the opening of his remarks he made the statement, with which I can pretty much agree, that we in the maritime provinces are renowned for our codfish, our handsome girls and our college professors. The only amendment we in Prince Edward Island would suggest to that sentiment is this: we would mention the handsome girls before the codfish.
Belonging as I do to the agricultural calling, I may perhaps be allowed to say a word in reference to the statements that have been made regarding the production of butter and other dairy produce in the maritime provinces. It has been claimed by many public speakers throughout Canada that our farmers are suffering as a result of the Australian treaty and that there is consequently no incentive to the butter and dairy producers in Canada. 1 was at a loss to gather, when the hon. member for Colchester was speaking, whether he put himself on record as being opposed to Americans coming here to buy our dairy cows, because I know that in the maritime provinces during recent years, especially since the policy was put into force of bringing these provinces into the disease free area, the eyes of American dairymen as well as of dairymen in central Canada have been turned towards the njaritimes. There is an appreciable movement from the large dairies 'from time to tipfe throughout the year to replenish their stocK^f dairy cows from disease-free areas,, and that is largely the reason why we see so many leading dairymen coming to that part of the country, particularly during the summer season when cattle can be shipped. Further than that, a movement has developed in recent weeks, perhaps I should say months, from the West Indies, for dairy cattle from the maritime provinces. Shipments are now being collected for the West
Indies. This movement is largely due to the fact that tests have demonstrated that the dairy cattle of the maritimes are freer from tuberculosis than the dairy cattle of any other section of the Dominion. I feel that if the hon. members who are interested will compare the prices of butter throughout Canada during the past few years they will find that those prices have not been depressed by reason of the competition of the butter producers in our sister dominions of Australia and New Zealand. If as a member of the empire we are going to advocate inter-imperia.1 trade, how can we ask for a repeal of the Australian treaty and be loyal to our professions in that regard? As an agriculturist in direct touch with the work of finding markets for our dairy products, I am in a position to state that the main result of the importations of Australian butter has simply been to put the speculator in Canadian dairy products out of business rather than to injure the farmer. To-day we have a ready market all the year round in Great Britain for our dairy products. It is in the same market that the dairy farmers of Australia and New Zealand dispose of their surplus product. That market controls the price of butter in the markets of Canada, Australia and New Zealand. And undoubtedly the dairymen of Canada are ready to compete wfith the other sister nations of this great Commonwealth in supplying the British market. I cannot let the opportunity pass without saying that I am unwaveringly opposed to the suggestion, made by the hon. member for Colchester that an additional duty of four cents a pound be imposed upon butter. As. to the bonus, New Zealand butter-which I think is chiefly coming into Canada-does not enjoy the incentive of a bonus. The bonus system applies only in Australia, and 1 am not sure whether it is in full operation at the present time or not.
Before proceeding further, Mr. Speaker, let me refer to one or two of the outstanding points in the speeches that we have heard from representatives from the maritime provinces during the past few days. The hon. members for Pictou (Mr. Cantley), Cape Breton South (Mr. MacDonald), and Colchester (Mr. MacNutt), spoke to-day, and a few days previously we heard from the hon. members for Cumberland (Mr. Smith) and Queens-Lunenburg (Mr. Ernst), as well as my hon. friend from St. John-Albert (Mr. MacLaren). In all those speeches the one outstanding feature was their reference to the Duncan report on maritime claims, and each hon. member complained that the government had not fully implemented the
The Address-Mr. Sinclair (Queens)
recommendations contained in that report. But, with some very slight exceptions, all those hon. gentlemen were very careful not to specify any particular recommendation that had not been implemented by the government as far as possible up to this time. Unconsciously they congratulated the government upon the effect produced in the maritimes by the Duncan report. The hon. gentleman who preceded me (Mr. MacNutt) said that it had had a wonderful effect in the maritimes. My hon. friend from South Cape Breton stated that the Duncan report gave new life to the maritimes. But my hon. friend from Pictou was more cautious-he said our thanks were due to the God of the harvest. However, in the latter part of his speech, when associating himself with the Minister of Railways (Mr. Dunning) in pressing the completion of the Hudson Bay railway and other western projects, he said: "Members from the west should remember our views when considering this dissatisfaction and unrest in the maritimes." As a maritimer, Mr. Speaker, I claim that such reference to the maritime provinces is unwarranted, and is not a true reflection of the spirit of our people at this time.
Now, sir, let us look at the Duncan report and see how far our friends are justified in raising this cry of inaction by the government. Taking the recommendations paragraph by paragraph, the first is that a money grant should be made to each of the maritime provinces. This recommendation has been implemented as far as possible to date, pending a general adjustment as recommended by the commission. The second recommendation is that there should be a reduction of twenty per cent in freight rates on all traffic which both originates and terminates at stations in the Atlantic division of the Canadian National railways, including export and import traffic, by sea, common to that division, and that the same reduction be also applied to the Atlantic division proportion of through rates on all traffic which originates at stations in the Atlantic division, excluding import . traffic by sea, and is destined to points outside the Atlantic division. That has been implemented in full, with the exception of incoming freight by water destined for maritime points and the freight going out to United States points by rail and water originating in the maritime provinces. Our friends opposite claim that this also should be implemented. I am confident that a close perusal of the freight revenue statements that have been made by the Canadian National Railways at the end of each month from July 1 to
December 31, 1927, will show that compared with the same volume and the same period in 1926 the freight earnings on the Atlantic region have shrunk 20 per cent. So that they have given full effect to what has been recommended by the Duncan commission. The figures that have been published bear out that statement to November 30, and the figures published to the end of the year will I am confident show a similar result.
volume of freight as compared with the previous period of 1926.
Now, sir, on page 27 of the report will be found one of the recommendations of the Duncan commission with respect to Prince Edward Island. That recommendation is in two parts. First, it is recommended that a survey be made of the railroad with a view to straightening it and giving better accommodation. This survey was made during the past year. Then there is the recommendation for an improved ferry service between Prince Edward Island and the mainland. A survey was made during the past year with a view to implementing that recommendation and I would say here in passing, in harmony with my colleague (Mr. Jenkins) who spoke yesterday, that the increased volume of' trade in Prince Edward Island demands that at the earliest possible moment greater capacity should be provided in connection with the ferry service. In the matter of the recommendation for improved facilities in connection with the Prince Edward Island railway and the ferry service the government have gone as far as it is humanly possible for them to go up to this date.