March 8, 1929

PRO

John Evans

Progressive

Mr. EVANS:

Would you put an export

duty on British Columbia lumber?

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CON

Charles Herbert Dickie

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DICKIE:

I do not think I would do that.

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PRO

John Evans

Progressive

Mr. EVANS:

Why not?

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CON

Charles Herbert Dickie

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DICKIE:

Because there is no fifty

per cent duty on lumber going into United States. We hear the fear expressed that Mr. Hoover is going to do something. Why wait to see what he will do? To do that would be right in line with what this government has been doing during the long years I have been coming to Ottawa. It reminds me of that old quotation: "I am of all sects, but blindly sworn to none; for where the tempest drives I shape my way." This government has been shaping its way and trimming its sails for passing breezes instead of coming out with a strong, courageous policy and doing something which Canada wants it to do. The govern-

ment has men of great ability, and if it would take a strong stand for a protective tariff which would keep the money in this country and make it prosperous, the name of that government would go down into history. As it

is, it will not endure with the policy it has to-day. Supposing the special session which has been called by Mr. Hoover places a higher duty on our products going into the United States, as will probably be the case, there would be strong opposition in this country and the government would be forced to take some action. What will be said of a government that is forced into any action? Why not get out now and get some credit? France is doing

it, Belgium is doing it and the United States is doing it, and a million of our people have crossed the line. We are right at the apex of our prosperity at the present .time and we should take advantage of it. Why not make this country what it was designed to be by a munificient Providence? It can be done with very little trouble.

While you are protecting the farmers you are also protecting the manufacturers and others. I see no reason why a manufacturer who is protected by a high tariff should take advantage of that fact and charge too much for his goods. He should be allowed to make a good profit, sufficient to pay his employees as good or better wages than are paid any place else on the American continent. The manufacturers should not be allowed to profiteer and the books of any company should be subject to examination in order that we could extract from them, through an excise tax or in some other way, any money they had received through profiteering. We could go even further than the Americans have gone. They never consider whether a manufacturer is going to profiteer or not when they put a duty on articles coming in from Canada or the rest of the world. The greatest profiteer in the world to-day is Henry Ford, but have you ever heard one word against that gentleman on the American side? Certainly not. He gives employment to an army of people who are able to pay good prices for what they require, and that means good business all along the line. I would stop what they call cutting of melons. Let them make a liberal profit on the money invested and beyond that I would say: Thou shalt not go. By doing

that we could build up mass production in Canada and have our factories running full time. We could sell in Canada just as cheaply as they sell in the United States. That great country to the south of us has 120,000,000 people as a market for the products of their manufactures and industries. We in Canada

The Budget-Mr. Dickie

are struggling along with about 9,000,000 and we divide our market with the United States. What chance is there for mass production in Canada? Absolutely none. The Americans have got the right angle on this question, and they have pursued that course for years. They have made that country a wealthy nation. They may have carried it a little to extremes, and I do not deny that protection carried to its ultimate conclusion perhaps is not for the best. I know of no reason why such a country as Canada is to-day would not succeed if we had a tariff similar to the one across the line. We have a wonderful agricultural country and it would be a foolhardy man who would even hazard a guess as to the mineral possibilites of that great pre-cambrian shield which runs through northern Ontario, Saskatchewan and up to the Bering sea.

We are exhausting our great forests all too rapidly. We are doing that too recklessly in British Columbia by not making the lumbermen clear up the floor of the forest after they log it off. This would prevent the terrible holocausts which sweep through the country when everything becomes as dry as tinder in the summer time. I understand they have the same difficulty in northern Ontario. We should make the lumbermen clean up and thus eliminate that danger. Reports have been sent out that there is no danger of using up the pulpwood in Canada for all time to come. The Minister of the Interior (Mr. Stewart) has expressed himself as being against that belief, and I thoroughly agree with him. If you want to find the real forests of today, where do you have to go? Right back to the headwaters of the rivers. If you would go up the Gatineau river among the Gatineau lakes, as I did last year, and climb a high hill, what would you see? You would see light green trees, poplar and birch, and perhaps once in a while a sombre pine rearing its head above the broad-leaved trees. There is no sign at all of a new forest growing. That is the trouble with this country; we have allowed the broad-leaved trees to spring up in the place of those wonderful fir trees which we had. Last year we exported 1,500,000 cords of pulpwood, or about one-quarter of the puplwood manufactured in Canada. I have no objection, Mr. Speaker, to the exportation of poplar pulpwood, as that tree is one that grows very quickly. Many farmers are able to go out' and cut these trees and ship the wood at some small profit. But the poplar tree is not to be compared with the black spruce so far as pulpwood purposes are concerned. If you went over to Hull I think you would find that the average age of the black spruce trees which had been cut for pulpwood would

run from sixty to seventy-five years. For the sake of argument let us assume that the 1,500,000 cords of pulpwood exported last year was all black spruce. I know it was not, but I want to use that as an argument. The black spruce areas of northern Ontario and Quebec average about six and one-half cords of pulpwood per acre. One million five hundred thousand cords would mean 360 square miles. Is that lumber going to be reproduced fast enough to keep up the supply of pulpwood? Not a chance in the world. People will say: the farmers will suffer. How many farmers will suffer? Take every bona fide farmer who is cutting spruce pulpwood to hew himself a home out of the forest; you can keep him in the Chateau Laurier and make millions and millions of dollars for Canada. The people who are crying out for the exportation of pulpwood are companies that are making a great deal of money by exporting it. I have heard more than one American say that if that pulpwood did not go across the line, they would manufacture it into paper in Canada. Our pulp and paper people have been too ambitious. They have reached out a little too far, and just at present the industry is running to perhaps only seventy per cent of its capacity. If you kept that million or million and a half cords of pulpwood in Canada, those mills would run full time and pay better wages than, I am sorry to say, they are paying to-day. They could pay better values for the pulpwood they buy from the farmer, and we could keep $40,000,000 or $50,000,000 in Canada instead of sending our people across the line to participate in the prosperity that results there because we are sending our raw material to that country to be manufactured.

I do not know that I have any more to say in this debate. After such brilliant speakers as our house leader (Mr. Guthrie) and the hon. member for Fort William (Mr. Manion) got through, they have pretty well picked all the meat from the bones; the bones are thrown back to us and the best we can do is to look them over for the little meat that may be left on them and growl. I have endeavoured in a few words to show the house how I think we can do something for this Canada of ours, a country of which I am sure we are all proud.

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LIB

Henri-Edgar Lavigueur

Liberal

Mr. H. E. LAVIGUEUR (Quebec-Mont-morency):

My first words in the debate will be to congratulate the Hon. Mr. Lemieux, Speaker of the house, upon the great success he achieved in Europe again this year, especially at La Sorbonne -Where he delivered a series of lectures. He did honour to this house, to Canada and principally to his race. We are proud of his achievements.

The Budget-Mr. Lavigueur

This year we have in the house four new members, two on each side, who have replaced four very prominent former members. There is the hon. member for West Lam'bton (Mr. Gray) who has replaced the late Mr. Goodison; also the hon. member for Joliette (Mr. Ferland) who has replaced Mr. Denis who has accepted a judgeship. The hon. member for Joliette is a bright young man who, I am sure, will be a great success in parliament. I take much pleasure in tendering my congratulations to the hon. member for Victoria, B.C. (Mr. Plunkett) who has replaced the distinguished ex-Minister of Agriculture, Mr. Tolmie; also to the hon. member for West York (Mr. Lawson) who has replaced Sir Henry Drayton.

I wish to express my deep regret for the incident that occurred in the provincial legislature in the city of Quebec when an attempt was made upon the life of the Hon. Mr. Taschereau.

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LIB

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. POULIOT:

No one takes it seriously.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
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LIB

Henri-Edgar Lavigueur

Liberal

Mr. LAVIGUEUR:

We do.

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LIB

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. POULIOT:

My hon. friend is the only one who does.

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LIB

Henri-Edgar Lavigueur

Liberal

Mr. LAVIGUEUR:

Probably my hon. friend is the only one who does not take it seriously.

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LIB

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. POULIOT:

It is a great joke in Quebec.

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LIB

Henri-Edgar Lavigueur

Liberal

Mr. LAVIGUEUR:

The people of Quebec are entirely sympathetic and regret the incident. We are proud and happy that Mr. Taschereau's life was saved for the good of the province. The Hon. Mr. Taschereau is the best premier that Quebec has ever had and he is so recognized, not only in Quebec but throughout the Dominion generally. We all hope that the Hon. Mr. Taschereau will be able to retain the premiership for many years to come for the good of the province.

I take much pleasure in again congratulating the Minister of Finance (Mr. Robb) upon the splendid budget he has brought down. I wish also to congratulate the acting leader of the opposition (Mr. Guthrie), the hon. member for Fort. William (Mr. Manion) and others upon the brilliant speeches they have delivered upon the budget. Of course they have a very hard case to deal with, and I do not believe their arguments will convince the people of Canada that the present budget is not a good one.

Since 192:1 the situation in Canada has improved greatly, principally since 1923, the public debt having decreased to the extent of $226,000,000. The net debt of Canada to-

day is $2,227,068,000. That is admitted by both sides of the house. The Minister of Finance, to the great joy of our people, has announced a surplus of $69,782,000, with a reduction in taxation of $26,000,000. I heard the hon. member for Fort William say to the house to-day that the reduction in the sales tax would not help very much; that it would mean only one dollar on a purchase of $100. That is so, but if you take the case of a farmer who buys $700 or $800 worth of agricultural implements and who spends for the upkeep of his family a like amount, or, say, $1,500 altogether, this reduction in the sales tax means a saving to him annually of $15. The reduction in the sales tax which the Finance minister has proposed in this budget will mean a great deal to every labourer, every farmer, and every citizen in this country. There has also been a substantial decrease in general taxation, by which all of our citizens will benefit. It has been stated that this has been, made possible by the increased trade and the greater prosperity of the country. We all rejoice at this prosperity, but if we have prosperity in our country it is due to, the good administration of this government. There is more confidence to-day in the public mind and in our commercial and industrial life. The people know that this government is giving them honest administration, and that the enormous debt of the country is being diminished year by year. As long as we have this government, and a man at the head of our finances like the Hon. Mr. Robb, the people of this country may rest assured that their affairs are in good hands. Another important fact which the minister mentioned was that we had a favourable balance of trade amounting to $154,000,000.

A great deal has been said about immigration. My hon. friend from Nanaimo (Mr. Dickie) who has just taken his seat, had something to say on this question. I cannot endorse absolutely all that he said, but undoubtedly there is a good deal in what he said about immigration. We must bring people to Canada who will help us to build up this country and pay off our enormous burden of debt. On the other hand, we should do everything possible to keep our own young people in this country. With that end in view, this government last year provided for grants to the provinces for repatriating our Canadians who are now resident in the United States, the grant being $50,000 to every province that would contribute a like amount. The government started with that amount as an experiment, and I am glad to say that in the province of Quebec, which contributed $50,000

The Budget-Mr. Lavigueur

for this purpose, this movement has proved a success, like everything else which is done by the government of the province of Quebec.

I saw by the reports of the Minister of Colonization of the province of Quebec, the Hon. Mr. Perrault, .that 651 Canadian families had been brought back to the province of Quebec on the sum of $100,000 jointly contributed by the federal government and the province. If 651 families oan be brought back with an expenditure of $100,000, if the federal government would vote $100,000 instead of $50,000, and the other provinces would follow the example of Quebec, I think we would succeed in bringing back to this country from the United States many, many more of our citizens, and it would be a splendid achievement. I hope that the government and the Minister of Immigration (Mr. Forke), who is,

I believe, doing his utmost for the benefit of this country, will take my suggestion into consideration and that a larger grant will be made for this purpose this year.

I notice that according to the estimates a large amount of money is to be expended this year on public works which are urgently required in the different provinces, yet in spite of that we shall have a large surplus. The acting leader of the opposition (Mr. Guthrie) took exception to the large amount of money that was to be expended in the county of North Bruce, represented in this house by the hon. Minister of Trade and Commerce (Mr. Malcolm), so it is obvious that if we have a large surplus it is not due to the fact that the government is not spending money on works that are urgently required. All necessary works are going forward; we have a large surplus, the debt of this country is being dim-inshed year by year, and the Finance minister has announced that he will have enough money on hand to pay off the $60,000,000 loan coming due in August next, as well as other liabilities. So I think every citizen in Canada can have confidence and rejoice in the splendid showing which the Finance minister has made.

Now, Mr. Speaker, I purpose to deal with the subject of old age pensions. Some of the provinces, including Quebec, did not take advantage of the old age pension legislation passed last session. In my province we have several institutions that look after the aged poor, and under the laws of the province the provincial government contributes to the upkeep of these institutions. Moreover, the people of the province are accustomed to taking care of their old folks. This probably prompted Premier Taschereau, who is a statesman of large vision, not to take advantage of

the federal statute. I am in favour of old age pensions, and I would suggest that where a province does not pass the necessary legislation to implement the federal statute a special grant should be made to such province to assist it in looking after its aged poor, such grant to be distributed by the province in whatever manner they may see fit. I trust this suggestion will also be taken into consideration by the government.

In view of the prosperous condition of Canada as set forth by the Minister of Finance in his budget statement, I think it may be well for hon. members to bring to the attention of the government the urgent needs of their constituencies. On previous occasions I have called the attention of the government to the very unsatisfactory railway situation in the city of Quebec. Over thirty million dollars is being expended in the city of Toronto to provide terminal facilities, and I understand that if the report of Mr. Palmer dealing with the terminal situation in the city of Montreal is adopted it will involve an expenditure of a hundred million dollars. In the city of Quebec we are urgently in need of terminal facilities. The Canadian National Railways is forced to use the Canadian Pacific Railway station, with the result that passengers brought to the city by the Canadian National system go to the Chateau Frontenac and the Canadian Pacific get the advantage of the outgoing traffic. We have made sacrifices to secure a railway station, and I believe ours is the only city that has contributed an enormous sum of money in the hope of securing terminal facilities. But notwithstanding this heavy expenditure we are still without those long-promised facilities. Once more I appeal to the government to come to our assistance, I appeal also to the railway commission, and I invite Sir Henry Thornton to come to Quebec and investigate the situation. He has made such a notable success by his capable administration of the Canadian National Railway system that I am sure a personal investigation of the situation would convince him of the necessity of providing these long-promised terminal facilities.

On several occasions, Mr. Speaker, I have brought to the notice of this house the question of the minority stockholders of the Quebec and Lake St. John railway. Some years ago a group of business men in the city of Quebec with the help of some friends in London, England, built this railway. It now forms part of the Canadian National Railway system. The railway is seven hundred miles long and runs through the lake St. John, Chi-

The Budget-Mr. Lnvigueur

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LIB

Hewitt Bostock (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

The hon. gentleman's time has expired.

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LIB

Henri-Edgar Lavigueur

Liberal

Mr. LAVIGUEUR:

Then my time having expired, sir, I will take up the subject again on another occasion.

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CON

Grote Stirling

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GROTE STIRLING (Yale):

Mr. Speaker, with the amendment proposed by the hon. member for South Wellington (Mr. Guthrie) I find myself in complete accord. In his thrilling speech yesterday afternoon he referred to industry after industry in ihis country which is suffering from the lack of that interest and care which it is within the power of the Dominion government to grant the industries of Canada.

My hon. friend referred to one industry in particular in which I take a deep interest; I refer to the fruit and vegetable growing industry which one finds scattered all over Canada and than which there is no finer section than the constituency of Yale, which I have the honour to represent. We are able to come to parliament this year with the experience of another shipping season and to lay before the government the difficulties as we see them, and which we consider have grown worse during the past season. I speak particularly of that part of British Columbia which lies between the Alberta boundary on the east and the line of the Fraser where it inns south to the town of Yale. Much the greater part of the products of that area come from the constituency of Yale, and last year there was an abundant crop. In order to give some idea of that crop, with the permission of the house I propose to place a few figures on Hansard. For instance, the total number of carloads of apples shipped during the last shipping season was 5,803, as compared with a total based on the average for the last four years of 4.956. The total carloads of all fruits for 1928 was 6,947, as compared with an average for four

years of 5,955; the total carloads of vegetables for 1928 was 2,248, as compared with an average total for the last four years of 2,670. It will be seen from these figures that there was a very considerable increase in the fruit shipped from that area, almost the entire increase being in apples, while there was a comparatively small falling off in vegetables.

In examining the problems with which we are faced-because in common with all industries in this country we have problems peculiar to our industry-we may look upon them as being divided into three main classes, as follows: the problems the solution of which is in the hands of the producers alone; the problems which the producers must take to their provincial governments for assistance, and those problems which the producers would wish to discuss with the Dominion government. By itself the solution of any one of these problems will not put the industry on its feet. I do not maintain, for instance, and the prdoucers in my constituency do not maintain, that if the government should suddenly change its views and correct the de-ficiences which we consider exist in connection with our tariff, all would be well, but we do maintain that it would be a step in that direction and that our other problems might be made easier of solution. The problems which are peculiarly in the hands of the growers are the producing, harvesting and packing of the fruit or vegetables and the removal of dissension within the ranks of the producers themselves, because it is only by maintaining perfect cooperation among the producers that we can hope for success. The problems for which we turn to the provincial government for assistance include irrigation, and it must not be forgotten that throughout that great area practically all the fruits and vegetables are produced under irrigation with its attendant cost; in addition to that there are the marketing difficulties which are affected in one way or another by provincial legislation. In the third category come those problems connected with the Dominion government such as the fruit act, the assistance which we do obtain and may still obtain from the Dominion experimental farm, and last of all the Canadian tariff. It would not be proper in this place to discuss the problems coming within the first two classes, but it is proper to discuss those matters for which we turn to the Dominion government for assistance.

So, Mr. Speaker, with regard to tne fruit act let me point out that it is entirely desirable that the production and marketing of fruit should be governed in all the provinces by a Dominion fruit act; it is entirely desirable that the fruit should be graded and that there

The Budget-Mr. Stirling

should be clauses within that act for the purpose of safeguarding the consumer. But there is one change for which the producers in Canada are looking in the fruit act. They believe that the grades of apples should be removed from the act itself and taken care of in the regulations under the act. For instance, why should apples be singled out from all the other fruits and have their grades almost unalterably fixed in the act? This is not the case with regard to other fruits, nor is it the case with regard to vegetables, eggs, seeds, butter or cheese; in all these cases the grades are fixed by means of regulations put into effect by the minister, which grades may be changed after due consultation with the industry. The reason why I want a change in that respect is this: In my short experience in parliament occasions have arisen when the government has not seen fit to introduce legislation affecting the fruit act for the purposes of amendment; the exigencies of the political situation have been such as to make it inadvisable to bring up a certain act for amendment. At the same time, however, there being fashions in marketing as in other things, it has become desirable that a change should take place. The minister has the opportunity of consulting the industry; he has the opportunity of taking it up with that parliament of horticulturists which he brought into existence in Ottawa, the Canadian Horticultural Council, on which all branches of the industry are represented. It does not seem to me that the industry suffers any danger through leaving the regulating of grades in the hands of the minister.

Another matter which should be considered in this house is the question of the tariff. A great deal was said last year about the tariff on fruits and vegetables, and I desire to report what has happened in my own particular part of the country in that regard. We had a bountiful crop and we ascertained quite early that there was also a bountiful crop on the other side of the line. We also discovered that it was the full intention of the Washington growers to dispose of their lower grade fruit in our market. With the unwillingness of the government to give us any assistance under what has been nicknamed the dump clause, it looked as though we were in a powerless position. It was not possible to take the matter up any further with the Dominion government, and we therefore consulted among ourselves. An important meeting was held in the city of Vernon, which was attended by the representatives of the fruit and vegetable growers from this great area. It was decided at that meeting that a delegation should be sent to the prairie provinces

to consult with those in those provinces who had been opposed to our ideas on the subject of a tariff on fruits and vegetables, and see whether it would be possible to iron out our differences. Before going into the doings of that delegation, I might refer for a moment to the report of the markets commissioner in the city of Calgary, who acts as a lookout for the fruit markets in the three prairie provinces. The following are one or two extracts from his report:

It was early seen that United States importers had set their minds determinedly upon exploiting Canadian markets as the most profitable field to dump their glut surpluses in. Strawberries from Missouri in car lots were sent as far west as Calgary and Edmonton. Saskatchewan and Manitoba were canvassed and supplied with the cheapest berries of the year from Missouri and for the first time much of the preserving done by prairie housewives was done from fruit imported from the United States two weeks before British Columbia produce was ready to roll.

In_ all, ninety-seven cars of American strawberries were consumed on the prairie markets and only about eighty cars of British Columbia berries were consumed there. Most of these berries arrived at prairie points within two weeks of the advent of British Columbia stuff. This same condition was found in cherries, plums, prunes, peaches, apricots, pears and even apples.

And then again:

Prunes, peaches, grapes and potatoes have been quoted at prices far below the home cost of production and supplied to Canadian markets. The dump duty could not be invoked because glut conditions in the United States compelled the shippers to quote ruinously low prices on their home market and it could not be proved that prices quoted in Canada were less than the glut price on their home markets.

From that report it will be seen that we were at a decided disadvantage in marketing within Canada the fruits grown in Canada. We consider we should have ample facilities for selling to Canadian consumers. The situation in Washington is that they desire to sell their high grade products in their own city markets, but they want to save those city markets from the competition of their own lower grade stuff, and so they search for another outlet. They discover that Canada is improperly and imperfectly protected by a tariff fence, and they say: Into Canada let the surplus go. It is against that practice that we complain, and we suggest that it is only a reasonable request to make that the Dominion authorities grant us some form of protection against glut surpluses. We suggest that it might be a good thing to try to forget that word " dump." Many battles have been fought to decide whether or not we hold to that clause, but we suggest that it is not

The Budget-Mr. Stirling

beyond the wit of the advisers of the government to devise some clause which, if put into operation, would protect us from that surplus of glut fruit. Those in the United States who have considerable quantities of such fruit at their disposal are naturally desirous of interesting Canadian brokers in its sale, and they use many methods to advertise their goods. I have before me a bulletin which was sent out by a certain firm of brokers in the state of Washington, in which they describe the goods at their disposal. I will read an extract or two from this bulletin:

The apples which we shall describe hereunder are now packed and in the warehouse. The management did not realize that it would probably be impossible to sell these apples but in the meantime they have their packing costs invested and would like to sell all of the descriptions shown hereunder at the best obtainable prices.

But they did not want to sell them on their own American markets. Those three states produce about- seven- times as much as we do under irrigated conditions in British Columbia. They market that seven-fold crop to a population twelve times as large as that of Canada, and we say that if they cannot dispose of their surpluses without hurting their own markets then they should not be permitted to send them into Canada to hurt ours. Another extract from this circular reads as follows:

You will note that I have placed no prices on these descriptions and bearing in mind that every penny over and above packing costs means help to these growers, I therefore want you to tackle this proposition and help us sell these few cars.

The bulletin continues with a description of the fruit:

The indentations are not severe; most of the apples carry a beautiful blush; here and there will be found an apple or two that is badly hail-marked, but taking them as a whole, these cookers or hail-marked Bananas are not bad.

And then again:

This personal letter to you is to find that market. It is up to each one of you receiving this bulletin. *

The bulletin concludes with the following:

Please don't read this bulletin and say to yourself "It can't be done." If you have the will to do and the sympathy in your heart to help someone wrho is rather in a bad situation it can be done. Now it is up to you. Let me hear from you by wire.

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?

John Warwick King

Mr. KING (Kootenay):

If I may interrupt, would my hon. friend give the name of the writer of that letter?

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CON

Grote Stirling

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STIRLING:

In reply to the Minister of National Health, I would be entirely pleased to show him the letter, but as it was given 78594-52

to me as a letter which had been received in the trade and it was considered inadvisable to publish the name, I would prefer not to do

so.

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?

John Warwick King

Mr. KING (Kootenay):

I must take exception to that. This is the second time I have heard that letter read.

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CON

Hugh Guthrie

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GUTHRIE:

I rise to a point of order.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
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?

John Warwick King

Mr. KING (Kootenay):

The name of the writer should be given.

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CON

Hugh Guthrie

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GUTHRIE:

Order.

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March 8, 1929