March 8, 1928

LIB-PRO

John Livingstone Brown

Liberal Progressive

Mr. BROWN:

You have apologized for it since.

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

William Thomas Lucas

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. LUCAS:

No. The hon. member for

Marquette (Mr. Glen) also made reference to our attitude at that time, and imputed certain motives to members in this comer of the house. As the hon. gentleman is a comparatively new member and has no personal knowledge of what happened during the session of 1926 or the sessions preceding, his views cannot be based on personal observation. They must be taken as a reflection of the views of certain of his colleagues, and I can only regret that he saw fit to mar an otherwise skilful and well delivered address by making such ill-founded insinuations from unreliable sources. If the hon. member for Marquette will reflect on his own situation he will remember that he came to this house, as the hon. member for Nelson (Mr. Bird) well said this afternoon, full of Liberal and Progressive ideas. He had a double-barrelled pistol, loaded to the muzzle with those principles. When he pointed that double-barrelled pistol at the head of the government, however, what happened? The Minister of Railways (Mr. Dunning) rose and said, in effect, "You have your gun loaded with the wrong ammunition. That is the ammunition we use when we are talking in the country, but it is of no use in this house." So the hon. member for Marquette immediately extracted that ammunition, and we find him to-day,

The Budget-Mr. Lucas

meekly kneeling at the feet of the government. I think the hon. member should reflect a little before he begins to impute motives to other hon. members.

So much has already been said with regard to the budget that one finds it rather hard to uncover anything new. I feel, however, that if through the discussions whidh have taken place even one new suggestion may be offered or some of those suggestions already made driven home in such a way as to help in some small degree to bring about the solution of our many and varied problems, then our time will not have been wasted. I must congratulate the Minister of Finance (Mr Robb) on again being able to present a surplus to the house. The minister has been able to show a surplus ever since he took over the office which he now occupies, which is very gratifying indeed. But, Mr. Speaker, in my opinion, it would be much more gratifying if we could honestly believe that that surplus really existed, because many good arguments have been presented to show that if the method of book-keeping to-day were the same as that employed by his predecessor, Mr. Fielding, the minister would have a very substantial deficit instead of a surplus. I think the people of Canada today want to know the true situation. I understand that Mr. Fielding presented some seventeen budgets in this house, and we all know the respect in which he was held by the people of this country, irrespective of political feelings. Permit me to read just a short extract from the budget speech of 1923, which will be found at page 2641 of revised Hansard for that year:

The revenue for the year was $381,952,386.99 against ordinary expenditure of $347,560,690.63. If the surplus is to be ascertained by comparing the ordinary revenue with the ordinary expenditure-and that was the time-honoured way of determining surpluses-then on that year there was a surplus of $34,391,696.36. But there was a capital expenditure of $16,295,332.55. If we take that into account, both ordinary expenditure and capital expenditure, there was still a surplus of $18,096,363.81. Then there were certain special expenditures including demobilization charges, of $1,526,583.22. So, if we take into account ordinary expenditure, capital expenditure and what is called special expenditure, there still was a surplus of $16,569,780.59. So far this is a story of surpluses; but there is a further statement to be made which quite destroys that happy picture. There were charges for advances to railways of $97,950,645.36. If we take, then, the whole expenditure for the year, ordinary, capital, special and railways, there was a deficit in that year of $81,380,864.77. After allowances for some deductions are made, the next result was that year we added to the public debt $81,256,818.04.

We turn now to the year 1922-1923 which closed not many days ago. We have not the

complete accounts before us, but there is sufficient information to enable us practically to announce the result. Ordinary revenue amounted to $393,619,000. These are estimates, as the figures are not absolutely final. Ordinary expenditure amounted to about $331,780,000. As between those two items there was then a surplus of $61,839,000. Capital expenditure, however, represents $14,500,000; adjustment of war claims, $6,700,000; cost of loan flotations, $3,050,000; these representing in all $24,250,000. There was thus a surplus over ordinary, capital and special expenditures, of $37,589,000. But again the railways have to be taken into account. We had to advance during that year $92,190,000 for railways, and $6,060,720 for the Canadian Government Merchant Marine, making in all for that charge, $98,250,720. This, of course, takes up all the surplus I have mentioned and leaves a large balance on the other side of the account. If we take everything into consideration for the year, the net result was that we added to the public debt in the year just closed $49,293,086. The receipt of something over $8,000,000 from the British government on exchange account helped us to keep down what otherwise would have been a larger addition to the public debt.

It will be seen, Mr. Speaker, that in 1921-22 Mr. Fielding added $97,950,645 to the expenses of that year in the shape of advances to the railways. In 1923 he again added advances to a total of $92,190,000, and in both those years he had heavy deficits. In 1924 the new Finance minister, out of a total advance to the railways of $74,550,000 added only $24,550,000 to the expenses of the year, and took care of $50,000,000 by way of guaranteed bonds, and by so doing was able to show a substantial surplus. Now what I should like to know is this: If the Finance minister followed exactly the same method of bookkeeping as his predecessor, would he have been able to show that surplus? I am not saying for one moment that the system of bookkeeping which the Finance minister adopts at the present time is a wrong system, but I do claim it is not fair to make these deductions until the Canadian National railways are recapitalized and started off with a new balance sheet, and that balance sheet placed before us when the budget is brought down. We should then be in a position to judge whether any new borrowings should be charged to public debt or not. Until this is done we shall not be able intelligently to discuss the reduction of the public debt, and until this is done the government cannot make a just claim to any such reduction.

I have a very high regard for the Finance minister. His genial personality and his fair treatment of members generally is certainly appreciated. I have also a very high regard for his ability as a politician. A man who can show surpluses where apparently no surpluses exist, a man who can juggle with

The Budget-Mr. Lucas

the tariff and make people believe they are getting something when they are getting very little, must certainly be given credit for cleverness. Why cannot we be frank in regard to this matter? The Liberal party in their platform of 1919, which has been read many times in this house, declared explicitly that they are in favour of free trade and a lower tariff, and yet the statement has been made, and figures quoted to prove it, that a difference of not more than one or two per cent exists on the whole between the present tariff and the tariff which prevailed under Conservative governments.

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

Malcolm McLean

Liberal

Mr. McLEAN (Melfort):

What year of Conservative administration are you taking in making that comparison?

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

William Thomas Lucas

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. LUCAS:

I am taking the average tariff.

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

Malcolm McLean

Liberal

Mr. McLEAN (Melfort):

In what years?

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

William Thomas Lucas

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. LUCAS:

If the hon. gentleman refers to the figures furnished by the bureau of statistics and takes the average tariff from about 1868, or when the first tariff was framed, and compares the averages for all those years, I think he will find that >my statement will be pretty well verified.

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

Malcolm McLean

Liberal

Mr. McLEAN (Melfort):

No, sir.

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

William Thomas Lucas

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. LUCAS:

The budget of 1926 affords

an excellent illustration of how this juggling with the tariff takes place. The hon. member for Macleod (Mr. Coote) brought in a resolution in 1925 asking for a reduction in the duty on automobiles. When the vote on that resolution was taken we received more support from hon. gentlemen to my right than we did from hon. members on the government side, and the records will bear me out in that statement. However, the support we received was very small. The next year the hon. member for Macleod again introduced a resolution asking for a reduction in duty on automobiles. That year the government accepted the resolution, and a straight cut of 15 per cent was made in the tariff on automobiles of $1,200 value or under. Now our Liberal friends represent to their constituents, and to the country generally, that there was a straight cut of 15 per cent in the automobile duty. They are quite right in stating that a cut of 15 per cent was made in the duty, but do we find an actual reduction of 15 per cent in the price of automobiles to-day? Only last night the hon. member for Macleod placed on Hansard the actual prices that have to be paid for automobiles, and instead of the reduction in price being 15 per cent, as claimed, it only amounts to about 5 per cent. Now from the

party standpoint this may be considered good tactics, but it is certainly not a courageous or a manly way to deal with the people.

Now we come to the present budget, and at first glance one is inclined to think that the changes are fairly sweeping. But on closer examination these changes turn out to be little more than a mere reclassification, and we have not had any explanation from any member of the government yet as to just what the changes actually do mean. We find that there are 122 items struck out, and 159 items substituted. The budget looks like an attempt at window dressing in order to cover up empty shelves. This manner of dealing with the tariff reminds me of one receiving a valentine box. When one is unwrapping layer after layer of highly coloured paper, hope soar^ high that something worth while is within, but the hope is quickly dispelled when the contents are found to' be nothing but a cigarette which quickly disapears in a few puffs ol smoke. When one looks at every cut that has been made in the tariff by the present government we find that the manufacturer has been given some compensation which practically offsets the cut so far as protection is concerned. If the government finds it necessary to do this then I say that the philosophy of the Liberal party practically disappears. I have always understood that their contention as put forth to the people was that the manufacturers or the big interests were taking too great a toll out of the masses of the people, and yet while they may reduce the tariff they give some compensation which still allows those big interests the same amount of protection. If after several years in office they have found that it is not in the best interests of Canada to reduce protection, one would have no fault to find with them, if they would come out frankly and say so. I feel safe in saying that since the days of confederation no other question has received more consideration than the tariff, yet we do not seem to be any closer to a solution of it.

We now come to the question of the income tax reduction. I am absolutely opposed to that reduction, but the most serious thing in that connection is the statement of the Minister of Finance as follows:

It is proposed that the Dominion shall continue gradually to lighten the load in the income tax field.

In my opinion the income tax is the fairest tax that has yet been devised, because it bears most heavily on those who are best able to pay it. It has already been stated in this debate that Great Britain receives a very large proportion-forty-five per cent-of her revenue from the income tax. The United

The Budget-Mr. Lucas

States, as has been stated, receives sixty-five per cent, while Canada receives less than fourteen per cent. If the income tax is to be lowered or wiped out, this means that we shall have to depend on the customs tariff for revenue to cover both ordinary and war expenditure and the Liberal pledges as to lowering the tariff and shifting the burden from the masses of the people will become a mere phantasy. I cannot for the life of me see how the government can propose to reduce the tariff if they are going to reduce these other modes of taxation, because we all admit that we must raise a certain amount of revenue to carry on the business of the country. We find that this year the total war revenue amounted to $146,470,000 and the tptal war expenditure to $164,501,000, so that we are short of raising sufficient money to pay actual war expenditure by $18,031,000. Yet the Minister of Finance proposes to make a further cut and gradually to wipe out the income tax. What does that mean? It means that we will have to raise by means of customs tariff not only the ordinary revenue but a sufficient amount to take care of war expenditure, and therefore it is not reasonable to expect that under those conditions the tariff can be reduced.

A great deal has been said about prosperity in this country, but I think one of the best tests of prosperity is to show how our population is increasing. The question of immigration is being discussed more than any other problem in Canada to-day. I have read the speech of the hon. member for Comox-Albemi (Mr. Neill) and I agree very largely with the ideas he expressed in regard to an immigration policy. His policy will be found on page 1018 of Hansard, and briefly it is that he would admit anyone of British origin, sound in body and mind.

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

William Thomas Lucas

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. LUCAS:

Yes, white; and that he would apply the family quota to continental Europe, so that those from continental Europe who are now in Canada would have to nominate their relatives in order that they might be permitted to enter this country. If those people who are here at the present time were prosperous they would be only too glad to nominate some of their relatives to come to Canada and ^hare that prosperity with them. He quoted from a pamphlet prepared in the United States showing that population did not increase according to the amount of immigration. I have that pamphlet in my hand. It deals with United States conditions, but I believe from figures which I will present to the house in a short time that this will apply also to Canada. The pamphlet states:

Except for brief periods, immigration will not increase the population above the figure it will reach without immigration. . . If we admit those from other lands we shall decrease by a like number those who will be born of those now here. . . The question for coldblooded consideration by the American of to-day is this: Do you want the soil inherited by your son or by the son of one who now toils in a foreign land?

While studying the question of immigration I secured from the bureau of statistics some figures which in my opinion are startling, and I am going to place them on Hansard. I will ask hon. members to study them and I am sure they will come to the conclusion that this problem is so serious that we as Canadians should place it above party politics and face it like men. The last Canadian census was taken in 1921, and a quinquennial census was taken of the three prairie provinces in 1926. I wish to quote figures in connection with the population of the three prairie provinces in the period between 1921 and 1926-because this is not an estimate; the figures are accurate on account of the census having been taken in

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

Alan Webster Neill

Independent

Mr. NEILL:

White. those years. The figures are as follows:Actual Natural NewPopulation five-year increase immigrationProvince 1921 1926 increase 1921-1926 1921-1926Manitoba .. . . .. 610,118 639,056 28,938 52,446 67,243Saskatchewan . . .. 757,510 820,438 62,928 76,362 59,137Alberta . .. 588,454 607,599 19,145 50,216 54,545Totals.. . . .. 1,956,082 2,067,093 111,011 179,024 180,925

We should have had in those provinces in 1926, counting the natural increase and the new immigration, a total population of 2,316,031. What does that mean? It means that we lost our whole natural increase of 179,024, and 69,914 out of 180,925 new immigrants, or 38.6 per cent of the new immigration. We hear a good deal about our own Canadians going across to the United States.

We know the United States has a quota law against the people of other countries than Canada, and therefore I believe I am quite right in assuming that these people we have lost must have been our own Canadians who have gone across to the United States.

While the figures for the Dominion are not quite as bad as those for the three western pi ovinces, they are still very startling. A

The Budget-Mr. Lucas

census was taken in 1921, and while we have only an estimate of the population of the whole Dominion for 1026, the bureau of statistics gives the following figures: Total

population in 1921, 8,788,483; 1926, 9,390,000. But we had a natural increase between 1921 and 1926 of 856,682, and new immigration amounting to 667,349. When we total this up, we find that we lost our whole natural increase of 856,682, and 65,832 of our new immigration, or about ten per cent.

We find that in the three prairie provinces the number of farms occupied in 1921 and 1926 was as follows:

Manitoba Saskatchewan Alberta

1921

53,252 119,451 82,9541926

53,251 117,781 77,130Decrease. . 1 1,670 5,824

What has been our general immigration policy? It has been to bring the agricultural class to this country. And yet we find after spending the amount of money we have to bring people to engage in agriculture on our western farms, that we have lost 40 per cent of our new immigration and the whole of our natural increase. Surely these figures are so startling that no one will deny that there is something wrong. We are spending a vast sum of money from our own Dominion treasury, and on top of that I venture to say that every provincial government in Canada is spending a certain amount of money, to bring in immigration. The two great railway companies and many private organizations in this country are also spending vast sums for the same purpose. While it is impossible to get the complete figures, it has been estimated that something like $10,000,000 is being spent each year in Canada to bring immigration into this country, and the result is as I have indicated.

What is the trouble? Is there anything wrong with Canada? I think every hon. gentleman will agree with me that there is not, that we have one of the finest countries in any part of the globe. Is there anything wrong with the people? I think we will answer no, because we find that our Canadians, no matter to what part of the world they may go, are able to capture the very best positions, and can hold their own either in business or in war, if necessary.

Then what is the trouble? Mr. Speaker, in my opinion the greatest curse with which this country has been afflicted has been partisan politics, where men are fighting for party instead of for the country. I believe that if those men would put the same energy into fighting for Canada as they are putting into

fighting for their party we would certainly get better results. We should get back to the days of old, when none were for the party and all were for the state There are a great many problems facing Canada and I think every member will agree with me that we spend far too much of our time in bickering over party politics. I picked up a paper the other morning, and the first thing that caught my eye was "421 postmasters dismissed in Canada from October 1, 1926, to February 1, 1928." A few nights ago when we were discussing a vote that had been cut out for a post office at Camrose and one for Mahone bay, the Minister of Justice (Mr. Lapointe) justified the dropping of those items on the ground that the other party did the same thing back in 1911. What we need, Mr. Speaker, is men of the calibre of the fathers of confederation, men who will be ready to sink their party differences and work together in the interests of Canada as they did, laying the foundations of which we are all so proud, and until we have men of that calibre there is very little hope of bettering our present conditions. When one looks at these immigration figures, one realizes that we are spending all this money to bring in immigrants, millions of dollars every year, and the only result we are getting is to supplant our present population; we are changing its complexion without increasing the numbers.

I would just like in conclusion to read the advice which Premier Baldwin gave to Canada when he was over here. He said:

Canada has an enormous future, and if it be not impertinent to say so to Canadians, I would say: The future is with you; do not be in too much of a hurry. Your country is a country for men of the north, virile races. Quality before quantity any day. Build up with the best. What does it matter if it is a hundred years, or two hundred years, or more, before your country is full? Keep the stock you have, and the men and women you have, and see to it that the coming generations are in no whit inferior to them. I have often thought that it is a dangerous thing to the morale of a nation to get rich quickly as it is to an individual. Time is all on your side. Maintain the values; maintain the standards; and may the prayer of Canada always be the prayer of the Greek sailor which has been preserved for us by Seneca: "God, You may save me if You will; You may sink me if You will; but whatever happens, I will always keep my rudder true."

Mr. ALEX T. EMBURY (Hastings-Peter-borough): Mr. Speaker, this is the first time I have attempted to address the house, and I will be very brief, but I feel certain that what I have to say will be received with consideration by all the members.

The Budget-Mr. Embury

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

Ernest Lapointe (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. LAPOINTE:

Hear, hear.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
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CON

Alexander Thomas Embury

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. EMBURY:

When I add that I will

detain the house for only twenty minutes, I feel sure that I have already received' the commendation of hon. members. At the outset may I be permitted to say a few words about my own riding. It is a new electoral division formed by the last general redistribution, and like most of the ridings in the rural and central parts of old Ontario, it has not received that publicity in this house that has brought into more or less prominence the ridings of the prairie provinces and also of the maritimes, whose members have spoken occasionally during the last three sessions on maritime rights. I do not suppose there is a riding in the whole Dominion with more diversified resources and industries than the one which I have the honour to represent. I will briefly enumerate a few of these:

Lumbering is carried on on a considerable scale.

Before the discoveries of our great mining fields in new Ontario, northern Quebec and northern Manitoba, which have lately made Canada famous, Hastings county was the most talked-of mining district in Ontario. Iron, talc, corundum, feldspar, fluorspar and gold mines have been operated at different periods to a more or less considerable extent, and our marble deposits are among the greatest in the world. The talc mines in the Madoc district are known the world over, because practically the whole of the supply for the American continent of talc for toilet purposes is furnished by us. Italy is the only country that has talc of a quality at all approaching it.

Next come our manufacturing plants. We have at Deloro in the very central part of the riding one of the most modern, scientific and largest smelting and refining plants in operation.

I must not forget our tourist trade, which has already developed on a large scale, due to the net work of lakes among our hills-lakes stocked with game fish in abundance.

Last and greatest of all of course is our old stand-by and most important asset, mixed farming.

Now, Mr. Speaker, in spite of all these natural advantages and attractions, I cannot, like the member for North Huron (Mr. Spotton) and other Conservative members, boast of ever having had the honour of a visit from a cabinet minister, to say nothing of the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) and his whole cabinet. They pass through on the train and do not even stop at the water tank for water. When they look at their political map they find the constituency of Hastings-Peter-borough marked-barren; soil unfertile. That

[Mr. Embury.)

is true, but in one sense only, and I extend to the Prime Minister and his cabinet a cordial invitation to this interesting riding. I may say, however, that it will not be necessary to come at election time.

Now, sir, the outstanding problem of the Dominion to-day is the growth of our population. It is discussed by men in all walks of life, from great economists to the man on the street. In legislative bodies the theme is almost worn threadbare. Yet it is a fact that under present conditions no remedy seems in sight, Canada, so much talked about by ourselves and by other nations as a land of opportunity, a land of great natural resources, a land of rapidly increasing wealth, a land of unlimited possibilities in agriculture and in mining-this land, so far as population is concerned, is almost stagnant. There must be a reason for this, as there is always a reason for everything. The real and only reason is our failure to furnish employment for our own people and for newcomers from other lands. Our situation in relation to the United States is, in one respect, analogous to that of Scotland to England. Scotland has a race of people second to none in the world, but England has the population and the wealth, and always will have. But on closer study there will be found to be a vast difference in the two cases. Sixty years ago Canada looked like a mighty poor neighbour to our friends across the border; but undreamed of wealth and development in our prairie provinces, mining fields and water powers, has changed the situation entirely, and to-day we are looming large in the eyes of the world. But there is still something wrong,/ ' United States capitalists are grabbing great volumes of our best investments, while we are giving them in exchange the best of our young manhood. We spend millions of dollars on immigration schemes, but still the exodus goes on, and it will continue until a policy is devised ond put in force that will furnish work for those already here and those who would like to emigrate here from other countries. Canada has a citizenship that averages as high as that of any country, and is vastly superior to that of most countries. It is the duty of this government, therefore, to throw aside all selfish considerations and compromises and lend its efforts wholeheartedly to a solution of this great problem.

Another subject of controversy has been the effect of the Australian treaty on the dairy industry of Canada, but not until this year, Mr. Speaker, has the situation become so acute as to cause real alarm to the whole of rural Canada as well as to the government

The Budget-Mr. Embury

itself. I have before me some figures which will give a pretty accurate idea of the effect of the treaty on this great Canadian industry. I do not wish to worry the house with too much detail, and therefore I will give these figures in concise form. On December 1, 1927, there were 26,932,669 pounds of creamery butter and 660,088 pounds of dairy butter in cold storage-over 6,500,000 pounds more than the average for the preceding five five years. On the same date in 1926 we had over 7,500,000 pounds more in cold storage. On top of this there was brought into Canada from Australia in December 28,000 pounds, and from September 1 to December 31, 3,031,153 pounds; in the month of January, 1927, we received 248,584 pounds from Australia and 3,183,289 pounds from New Zealand, according to the figures supplied by the bureau of statistics. From the latest information received from leading produce men who operated with the steamship companies in Halifax and Vancouver we learn that from September 1, 1927, to February 15, 1928, 5,000 boxes, or 276,584 pounds of Australian butter and 5,437,040 pounds of New Zealand butter were received at Vancouver, and at Halifax 4,685,240 pounds of New Zealand butter. I am told that recently a steamer arrived from New Zealand with about 30,000 boxes, and that another steamer left Auckland for Vancouver on February 12 with 27,000 boxes. From this information it is estimated that the amount of butter brought in or on the water in transit will amount to about 13,500,000 pounds. Then with the several boatloads due to arrive before the end of the month, it is estimated that over 15,000,000 pounds of Australian and New Zealand butter will have come into Canada between September 1 and April 30.

Now, Mr. Speaker, it is difficult to see how our creamery men under these conditions can compete with Australia and New Zealand, ff our creamery men during the coming summer are not able to operate at full capacity, it means serious loss to themselves and much lower prices to the farmers. In my riding we have an area 100 miles in length and in parts 50 miles in width, with a network of hundreds of miles of roads, travelled daily from May 1 until November with cream trucks, collecting the cream from the farmers to supply many creameries. Is it any wonder that we view with alarm the entrance of foreign butter at one cent per pound duty? Of course, I am free to admit that other provinces, especially British Columbia, benefit in other ways from the Australian treaty, but it seems that in this case the farmer is the principal sufferer from the policies of the government. I may say that during the session of 1926 those men who were most strenuous in their opposition to the treaty, and who probably most clearly saw its ultimate effect on the farmers of Ontario, met defeat at the polls. I hope that what I have said to-night will not result in my meeting a similar fate at the next election. Now, Mr. Speaker, it does seem to me that this state of affairs is undermining the very foundations and knocking out the main prop of mixed farming. Mixed farming is one of the elements that has made Ontario the richest province in the Dominion of Canada to-day. This government, by the Australian treaty, is dealing a serious blow at this time honoured and basic industry; yet there is absolute silence on the part of the ministry. Does the government intend to act, or not?

Perhaps I may be allowed to digress for a moment to say a word about group government. Let me say at the outset that I hold no brief for group or class government of any kind. Class government in Canada was a post-war condition and we shall not see it again, at least not in our time. But I cannot fail to see that there is some softening of the bitterness that has prevailed in politics from this cause, and in support of this contention I wish to quote, if. I may, from the eloquent speech of the hon. member for Southeast Grey (Miss Macphail) in defence of the group to which she belongs. The hon. member says in part:

The history of the whole attitude of the Liberal party to the new groups since 1921 has been one of protestations of friendship, which, if accepted, have proven to the honest the graveyard of their hopes and to the others a fulfilment of their treacherous plans.

She goes on to say:

Speaking for myself, I would rather have the bitter, uncompromising, unfriendly and snobbish attitude of the Conservative party. At least it was honest and we knew where we stood. I often wonder why these Conservatives think they are so much better than other people.

On the surface this lo^s like a slam, but to me it looks like a little friendly slap; and this being leap year I do not think anybody would for a moment accuse the hon. member of boldness in this mild flirtation with the Conservative party. On the other hand, much more vitriolic was the attack of the Minister of Railways (Mr. Dunning) on the Progressive group, which I think showed very bad taste considering that the government of which he is now a member was held in power for years by members of that same group which he now takes particular pains to snipe at from his seat in the house. I presume he speaks for the government.

The Budget-Mr. Embury

With reference to the budget, almost the first words of the Minister of Finance (Mr. Robb) are these:

Mr. Speaker, seldom have the annual statements from leaders of finance and industry throughout Canada so generally reflected such progress and prosperity as that of the year 1927.

Granting that prosperity does exist, granting for a moment that the minister's statement is absolutely correct, I should like to know what this government had to do with this alleged prosperity. In my opinion, the provincial governments, with their extensive road policies and railroad construction into their mining fields, should be given a large share of the credit for Canada's present position in world finance and industry. Highway construction and maintenance, provincial and county, highways, and colonization road construction, have become almost as important as our railway system. Nothing but an advanced provincial policy in the construction of highways has been responsible for our large and increasing tourist trade, which is now an annual item of over $200,000,000, and is increasing at a rapid rate. But above all, the prosperity of 1927 was due to an almighty and beneficent Providence or Creator who tempered the winds and guided the rains over one of the greatest crops that Canada has ever seen.

Another statement of the Minister of Finance in his budget speech reads:

We expect to receive from customs duties $153,600,000, an increase of $11,600,000 over the previous year; excise duties $57,000,000, an increase of $8,400,000.

This statement was received with applause by members on the government benches, as well as by their Liberal-Progressive allies. They forgot themselves for a moment. If ever a country owed an eternal debt of gratitude to any party for making it possible for the Finance minister to utter such a statement as that just quoted, this country owes that debt to the Conservative party of Canada; and I say this without trying to detract for a moment from any credit to which the present Minister of National Revenue (Mr. Euler) may be entitled.

In conclusion, Mr. Speaker, I think that the budget is a compromise on the part of the Minister of Finance between what he would like to present to the country and what his Liberal-Progressive allies on his right allowed him to present; and I also believe that the interests of this country will be better served when a party is elected which is free to guide our destinies, unhampered by the fear of offending any particular group of politicians on which it is obliged to lean for support.

I have one definite suggestion to offer the government: there should be some economy practised in administration. The government is spending money lavishly, as the estimates will show. The establishment of new and unnecessary embassies, and other gigantic undertakings that are not pressing, seem a trifle out of place for a comparatively new country with a tremendous debt and so few people to pay it. If we build for the future, let us do so in proportion to our ability to meet our obligations. The motto which every government and every nation should have constantly before them is this: In time of prosperity and plenty prepare for adverse contingencies. But in this respect the motto of this government seems to be: "Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof."

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

Georges Dorèze Morin

Liberal

Mr. G. D. MORIN (Bagot) (Translation):

Mr. Speaker, allow me, on behalf of the people of Bagot and my own, to convey to you our warmest congratulations, as well as our feelings of deep respect and admiration for the innumerable services rendered, and that you will for a long time to come, we trust, continue to render to our country through your good example and fine qualities as a statesman.

It also gives me pleasure to again pay our respects to our illustrious leader, the right hon. Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King), to his worthy colleague the hon. Minister of Finance (Mr. Robb), and also to all the members of the cabinet, whose names will be handed down to posterity as types of energy, work and application.

I also wish to take the opportunity of conveying our sincere congratulations to the hon. leader of the opposition (Mr. Bennett), chosen, on October 15th last, in the city of Winnipeg, to guide the destinies of the great Conservative party. Let me assure him that if he does us the honour of a visit to our riding, he will be welcomed with as much dignity and courtesy as was his predecessor, the Right Hon. Arthur Meighen, at the time of my first election, that famous partial election in Bagot, in December 1925.

Many speeches were delivered on the budget or rather on thoughts suggested by the budget; I think we have heard about eighty-five of them. On this side of the house we claim that, on the whole, from the Atlantic to the Pacific, it was received as very good news, spreading joy and encouragement; on the other hand our opponents find in it but sorrow and desolation. To justify our joy let us, in the light of facts, briefly compare the budgets of the last five years of the Conservative party's rule, from 1917 to 1922, with the bud-

The Budget-Mr. Morin (Bagot)

gets of the last five years of the Liberal party's regime, from 1922 to 1027. If we look in the Statistical Year Book for 1926, we find at page 795, statement 23, that the country's debt which, in 1917, was 1879,186208, had increased, in 1922, to $2,422,135,802, an increase therefore of $1,542,949,504; and that, in 1926, it had decreased to $2,389,731,099; and moreover it had still decreased in 1927, by $38,000,000. According to the same statement, the debt per capita which, in 1916, was $76.55, was increased by our opponents to $270.93, in 1922; the present government brought it down to $251.43, up to 1926. These figures illustrate why our colleagues on the other side of the house do not face squarely the financial issue of the country. It is better and indeed suits their purpose better to make a flank attack, by attributing to the kindness of Divine Providence as well as to the zeal and diligence of a young and enthusiastic nation, the great improvement in our finances. Yet, notwithstanding so obvious a success, our opponents hold this government responsible for all the grief caused by the departure or exodus of our people to the United States. Although they do not say it openly, they endeavour to show that in order to stamp out this evil, we should apply the great remedy, high protection. Let us return to the Statistical Year Book for 1926 and look up page 95, statement No. 4; we find that under the high protection regime, from 1881 to 1891, the rate of increase in the population of this country was 11.76 per cent; while under the Liberal rule, from 1901 to 1911, it was 34.17 per cent; and from 1911 to 1921, under the protectionists, it fell to 21.95 per cent. These figures are sufficient evidence and indicate quite the contrary of what our opponents are trying to show.

Instead of so much pessimism, would it not be better policy to spread hope and encouragement, to say exactly what our country is; an ideal spot for every good Canadian inhabiting it or for any person who may in the future settle here bringing with him the qualifications required to be a good Canadian. While we hear in the house much slander or calumny about our country, let us see what is said of it abroad.

In the Canadian review "Quebec" published in London by Mr. L. J. Lemieux; in quoting figures as to Canada's progress, the London editor expresses himself as follows:

In 1926, the Dominion of Canada, with a population of about 9,500,000 people, manufactured as much as did the United States, when they had a population of 50,000,000; has as much foreign trade as had the United States when they had 76,000,000 people; mined minerals equal to the total mining output of the United States, when they had a population of

38.000,000; had a favourable trade balance of $400,000,000 (the largest of any nation in the world).

On the other hand the "National Foreign Trade Council" of New York, recently stated: That Canada surpassed every nation in regard to the increase of her trade from 1913 to 1926. The Canadian trade increase was 85 per cent, while that of American trade was but 31 per cent. At the beginning of the year, the League of Nations published a communique in which it is shown that the increase of wealth in Canada reached 1,100 per capita, in 1903; $2,406 in 1926; a rate or progress never reached by any nation. "Le Canada" from which this information is taken, continues as follows:

Should not these statistics published by organizations that are not Canadian, suffice to convince us of our real prosperity.

After such testimonial how could there be some one in Canada to maintain that our country is not on the path leading to prosperity and material welfare.

However, such an intense and rapid development, as well as the increasing number of motor cars in this country and in the United States with its 6,000' miles of international boundary, has created in Canada a new situation which requires more than ever the attention of our public corporations, and particularly the federal and provincial governments.

Speaking on behalf of an electoral riding almost exclusively agricultural, I submit that it is especially to the farming class that we, in this house, should, to-day, more than ever interest ourselves. We must seek the means to make farming a more paying and alluring proposition; we must, by unceasing work, filled with courage and real sympathy, better the lot of the farmer, so that all those who are at present or will become farmers, may be proud of it and happy. The out of data methods must make way, as in all other spheres, to methods more appropriate to the needs of the time. The farmer must really be protected and encouraged by a more active and effective propaganda. Steady and constant work should tend to bring back to our farms the small home industries, to improve house planning, farm management, stock breeding, general farming methods, implements and tools. Is it not evident that to help farmers is to preserve and improve the base on which rests the whole social fabric.

The farmers of my district and those of the whole country, I think, are not and will not be opposed to anything which may improve their conditions. Most of my electors are well off, but they are aware that owing to

The Budget-Mr. Morin (Bagot)

the great changes which are taking place certain reforms are needed to ensure to their descendants all the affluence they themselves enjoy. The farming class in my riding seem to be quite satisfied of the present administration; it highly appreciates our rapid recovery from the disastrous war. The same may be said of our industries, specially those of our only town in my riding, the pretty town of Acton Vale. All are aware of the enormous difficulties which represent, for our government, the administration of such a vast country, they however humbly request, in their interest as well as in the general interest of the community, that the adequate remedy be applied.

After the ordeal of the terrible war of 1914, after perhaps other calamities less terrible and disastrous than that one we trust, our country is courageously recovering from its trials and will attain, with the concourse and application of all, its high destiny, that of becoming the most beautiful and happy country in the whole world.

The honours and success of the past being certainly the best guarantee for the future, I therefore intend, sir, to cast my vote in favour of the present administration.

Mr. ROBINSON moved the adjourment of the debate.

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

Ernest Lapointe (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. LAPOINTE:

I have no objection, provided that this will not interfere with the arrangement to conclude the debate on Tuesday.

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

Sidney Cecil Robinson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. ROBINSON:

I thought that was the arrangement between the whips.

Motion agreed to and debate adjourned.

On motion of Mr. Lapointe the house adjourned at 10.02 p.m.

Friday, March 9, 1928

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   DEBATE ON ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF MINISTER OF FINANCE
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March 8, 1928