May 22, 1928

LIB

James Alexander Robb (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. ROBB:

As I said a moment ago, you are getting pretty far away from the Winnipeg convention. You had at the Winnipeg convention a few sane men who were determined not to get the great Conservative party into a position where they would be strangling the industries of this country, and they framed a resolution. I think I know who framed this particular resolution. I did not sit oprevised EDITION

Steeh Industry-Mr. Robb

posite that gentleman for a few years without being able to recognize his style. Here is the resolution:

This convention desires to record its feeling of pride in the growth and progress and prosperity of Canada, under the historic fiscal policy of the Liberal-Conservative party.

It affirms its adherence to the principles of that policy in its declared objects of stimulating the development of the natural resources of the Dominion: preserving and enlarging the market for Canadian farm products; building up the industries of Canada, and thus creating employment for our workmen, promoting interprovincial trade, and generally providing a diversified economic life -which will be effectual in retaining Canada's sons and daughters within our own boundaries.

As to tariff revisions the convention declared :

In such revisions regard should be had not only to the objects of fiscal policy herein enumerated, but to the welfare of the consumer, and it is desirable in the national interest that in such revisions the cost of living and the cost of the implements used in production, of whatever nature, should be given special and attentive study with a view to the reduction of such costs to the extent practicable.

That is a pretty sound position. Now my hon. friend a moment ago advocated bounties. He said: We want higher duty and bounties, but if we cannot get both we want bounties. I recall the attitude of the Conservative party on bounties. I have before me a speech made by a pretty good minister of finance, Sir Thomas White. In his budget speech of 1914 he said:

My own view is that bounties are justifiable to call into being new industries where capital, which is always timid as to experimental ventures, requires special inducement to enter upon their development, but after such enterprises have been called into being and firmly established, it is difficult to justify further aid of a direct character.

That was the view of Sir Thomas White when he was Minister of Finance.

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CON
LIB

James Alexander Robb (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. ROBB:

Mr. Fielding introduced

bounties for this parent industry to get it started, but as the years progressed he allowed them to lapse, and he had exactly the same view as Sir Thomas White, that when an industry got going it should be able to stand on its own feet.

My hon. friends have referred to the question of reciprocal trade, and although they have not emphasized it very much to-day, I observed from some of the preceding speeches that they were very strong on doing something for the maritime provinces by way of getting larger and better markets for their

natural products. I wonder what their policy is to-day. I know the voters in the maritimes are sound on this; they have learned a lesson. But what is the attitude of the Tory party? Is it the same attitude as the party had in 1911? I think it is important that before this debate closes we should know just exactly where the Tory party stand on this question.

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CON

George Spotton

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPOTTON:

Mr. Speaker, I rise to

a question of privilege. I belong to the Liberal-Conservative party.

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LIB

James Alexander Robb (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. ROBB:

There were a good many

people in the constituency of my hon. friend who were not just sure where he belonged during the election.

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CON
LIB

James Alexander Robb (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. ROBB:

I am not going over the

various votes that have been put through to implement the recommendations of the Duncan report, but I observe that the supply bill is practically padded with votes for the maritime provinces.

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CON
LIB

James Alexander Robb (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. ROBB:

I do not know what county

my hon. friend comes from; but notwithstanding the complaints made this afternoon regarding certain warehouses down in Prince Edward Island, I observe that for Georgetown we voted $54,000 odd for the reconstruction of a wharf and frostproof warehouse; for dredging $16,448, and for additional dredging $7,650. With respect to Summerside there has been voted for reconstruction of wharf, $58,497, for dredging $4,972, and for additional dredging $5,400. For Charlottetown there has been voted for the reconstruction of wharf, contract now awarded, $136,000 and for dredging $63,000 odd. So I submit to my hon. friends that the little province of Prince Edward Island has not been badly treated by this government. We have gone a long way, as my hon. friend the Minister of Railways (Mr. Dunning) will prove in a few moments, to implement the recommendations of the Duncan report.

What about the recommendations in that report with regard to the ports in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick? Surely hon. gentlemen opposite have not forgotten their own obstruction when my colleague the Minister of Marine and Fisheries (Mr. Cardin) was trying to put through the different bills for harbours.

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CON

Richard Burpee Hanson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HANSON:

There was no obstruction.

Steel Industry-Mr. Robb

Mr. ROBB. There was obstruction in dealing with the Quebec harbour bill which delayed us getting down to the bills relating to St. John and Halifax harbours.

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CON
LIB

James Alexander Robb (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. ROBB:

Eventually we got down to

the ports of the maritime provinces, and there we advanced $500,000 to one and $5,000,000 to the other.

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LIB

Hewitt Bostock (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

May I remind the hon.

minister that I have upheld the ruling made by those who have preceded me in the chair, that an hon. member cannot accuse another hon. member of obstructing.

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LIB

James Alexander Robb (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. ROBB:

I bow to your ruling, Mr. Speaker, I shall have to use the word "delay". Now, a moment ago my hon. friend complained regarding the additional vote for subsidies to the maritime provinces. As hon. gentlemen will recall, in the estimates last session there were provided additional votes of $875,000 to Nova Scotia, $600,000 to New Brunswick and $125,000 to Prince Edward Island. Similar amounts are in the estimates this year to be again voted. My hon. friend complains because the Department of Finance did not go directly contrary to the statute and pay out these votes in a lump sum. We paid out these subsidies as we always do, semi-annually. We made the first payment regularly, and when the representatives of the interprovincial conference met here in Ottawa I think two of them made this representation to us: Our annual year

ends the last of November: We wonder if

you could let us have that money before the first of January. They recognized that it was not due until that date. They were reasonable men. We said: Yes, we have the

money and we will make the payments a few days in advance to help you out. But those gentlemen recognized that the Dominion treasury was under no obligation to make the payments earlier than we had made the preceding payments.

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CON

Isaac Duncan MacDougall

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MACDOUGALL:

What was the wording of the Duncan report in that regard; was it not that an immediate iilterim lump sum should be paid?

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LIB

James Alexander Robb (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. ROBB:

No, the word "immediate"

was not there. Another point hon. members from the maritimes might very well keep in mind. At the interprovincial conference to which I have referred not one of the representatives of the larger provinces made any objection to giving this additional grant to the maritime provinces.

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CON
?

An hon. MEMBER:

Why should they?

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LIB

James Alexander Robb (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. ROBB:

Not one had any objection.

An hon. MEMBER. Why should they?

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LIB

James Alexander Robb (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. ROBB:

The government intend to

reconsider these subsidies and place them on a proper basis. What more need I say? My hon. friend finds fault because the tariff advisory board have not yet reported. The fact of the matter is that the main industry in his own province is delaying the inquiry by the board. No one could be more anxious to go on with the inquiry and clean up the matter before next session than the members of the government and of the tariff advisory board.

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May 22, 1928