March 11, 1929

CON

Robert James Manion

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MANION:

We are not trying to convince the hon. gentleman.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL
Sub-subtopic:   FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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LIB

James Layton Ralston (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. RALSTON:

The remarks seem to be

addressed to me.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
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CON

John Arthur Clark

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CLARK:

My hon. friends have established the tariff commission, which might be classed as the third greatest extravagance of this country. It has been the means of disseminating political propaganda through this country but it has been the most useless thing the country has ever seen. It costs about $120,000 per year, and there must be an additional cost of upwards of $200,000 to the companies who are dragged to Ottawa and put to the inconvenience and expense of retaining counsel to defend themselves against attacks inspired by members of parliament organized under the guise of a Consumers league. One hundred and fourteen industries have been investigated, but

no constructive action has been taken by this government. It has been a mere useless camouflage, and the hon. gentleman is a party to it.

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LIB

James Layton Ralston (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. RALSTON:

I am still waiting for an answer.

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CON

John Arthur Clark

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CLARK:

You will get your answer

after the next election.

One does not have to look very far to discover the reasons for the prosperity that exists in Canada to-day. The abnormal wheat crops of the past two years are something for which this government should thank Providence every, night. Another outstanding reason for this prosperity is to be found in the stock market. The market value of one mine, the International Nickel Company, has risen in three short years from about $100,000,000 to $1,200,000,000. That is greater than the gross agricultural wealth of the province of Alberta; greater than the gross agricultural wealth of the provinces of Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Manitoba combined; and within $100,000,000 of the agricultural wealth of Your Honour's own province of Quebec. Mr. Speaker, think what it would mean if the wealth of your own province could increase twelve hundred per cent in three years. What would that mean to your province and to the country at large? Think of the prosperity that would result if the agricultural wealth of the provinces of Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Manitoba increased twelvefold in three years. That is what has happened with this one mine, and there is nodoubt that thousands of people have reaped their total prosperity through the increase in the value of that stock. Another illustration might be the Consolidated Mining & Smelting Company. That stock has increased three thousand per cent in a very few years. The people of Canada can thank their natural resources for their increase in wealth and for the present prosperity of the country. What has this government done to assist in the discovery of these mines, to increase their production to find markets for them? The French treaty?

I am sorry the Minister of Finance (Mr. Robb) is not present, because next to giving a market of $120,000,000 to the automobile and farm implement industries of the United States, perhaps the French treaty is his greatest extravagance. Last year that treaty cost Canada $23,500,000. Our adverse balance of trade with France was $16,500,000, whereas our favourable balance before the treaty was negotiated had been $7,000,000. The Minister of Finance represented to the house that that treaty would be of value for

The Budget-Mr. Clark

marketing nickel products. I take nickel products as an example. Under that treaty we sold France $19,000 worth of nickel, and that is typical of what that treaty has done for Canada. It has 'been one of the poorest pieces of business ever transacted by this country and one of the best for France.

While we are on the question of extravagances I might mention, apart from the purchase of a $10,000 car for the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Motherwell) to tour Europe with, apart from the European trip which he gave his chauffeur; apart from extravagances in the constituency of the Minister of Trade and Commerce (Mr. Malcolm)-and incidentally it might be observed that the Minister of Trade and Commerce still has a duty of 30 per cent on his furniture. What are the hon. member for Weyiburn (Mr. Young) and the consumers league going to do about that?

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LIB

Edward James Young

Liberal

Mr. YOUNG (Weyburn):

What about the duty on coal?

Topic:   THE BUDGET
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CON

John Arthur Clark

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CLARK:

Apart from the $3,000,000 wasted in tearing down revenue-producing properties in Ottawa in order to produce a tiny park, the interest on which investment is going to cost the country $150,000 a year plus the upkeep, we find another extravagance which I do not think has been mentioned in the house this year. That is an extravagance on the part of the Minister of Public Works (Mr. Elliott) in the purchase of the New Edinburgh mills. That purchase is one of the most disgraceful performances we have had with public money in this country. The purchase cost the country the sum of $525,000, and, according to the minister's own statement, it will cost $125,000 to make it habitable. It is a place hardly fit for a stable but it is to be used to house the Bureau of Statistics although it is inconvenient to members Who use the bureau most of all. It is a property unsuited for residential purposes, unsuited for stores, unsuited for every commercial purpose, except possibly a warehouse or a factory, and it is very much antiquated for that. In fact it could not be used for those purposes to-day. The Minister of Public Works said that it had some water-power connected with it, I think 2,000 horse-power, but with the hydroelectric development surrounding Ottawa, any development of 2,000 horse-power, even for a particular industry, will never be undertaken again because the cost would be prohibitive. That amount of power can be bought much more cheaply from the hydro power companies or from the Hydro-Electric Power Commission of Ontario. That amount

of $525,000 plus $125,000 to make the property habitable, or a total of $650,000, is money thrown away. That money might have been spent more advantageously anywhere within the vicinity of these buildings, have beautified Ottawa and have given to the public service of Canada a useful asset.

We have a new bridge up the Ottawa river. I mention this bridge because recently in Vancouver we made a request of the government for a contribution for a. bridge crossing a public harbour, thereby making necessary a draw. The bridge is going to carry rail traffic, giving facilities to the Canadian National in the city of Vancouver. A small contribution was asked of this government for that purpose, and it was refused, yet a bridge for the beautification of Ottawa is built without any hesitation whatever. Where a bridge is going to serve a commercial purpose and Where it is going to cross a harbour which, admittedly, is the second most important and in the not far distant future will be, I believe, the most important harbour of this country, a small grant in. order to make that harbour safe is refused. Other similar instances might be mentioned.

What I have stated does not exhaust the extravagances of the government. I notice a despatch from Vancouver dated March S which states:

. A select committee of the legislature started out this morning to investigate the secret service liquor fund. . . . Andy Blygh, former

justice of the peace in Vancouver, said he was paid $165 a month by the Liberal attorney general and part of his duties was "to anticipate the arrival and public appearance of Liberal cabinet ministers from Ottawa and Victoria and to arrange for an enthusiastic audience, plenty of hand clapping and cheering, so as to make a public impression of hearts welcome and enthusiastic reception."

I wonder how this is going to be carried on now that their allies have been ousted from power. Will the Minister of Finance grant supplementary estimates for that purpose? He got quite a good reception there last year. I do not know whether it cost one month's pay to Andy Blygh or not. We would like to see him there again and I -think we would give him an excellent reception foT nothing.

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CON

James Dew Chaplin

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CHAPLIN:

They say the Minister of Trade and Commerce got a better one.

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CON

John Arthur Clark

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CLARK:

I do not know what that

cost. My time is drawing to a close and I am sorry it is because I (have a good deal more that I could discuss with -the government this afternoon. However, before I take my seat

The Budget-Mr. Pouliot

I should like to direct attention to the statement of the Minister of Finance in regard to debt reduction. I note that the public accounts show a debt reduction from 1922 to 1928 of some $126,000,000, and a further general reduction for the current fiscal year of $69,000,000 making a total of $195,000,000 of reduction since 1922.

I have before me, Mr. Speaker, a list of guaranteed securities of the Canadian National Railways which have not been taken into consideration in that' net reduction. They amount to $327,000,000. I realize, of course, that some of those guaranteed securities were guaranteed for the purpose of refunding-:n all, I believe about $150,000,000 refunded from cash and guaranteed securities.

If, Mr. Speaker, these figures are analysed it wild be found that there has been no debt reduction whatever, if the same system were followed to-day as was followed up to the time when Mr. Fielding left the office of the Finance department. And I would like to point out also that year after year some of the reported surplus has been swelled by moneys, which, Mr. Speaker, were paid to this country for the benefit of widows, orphans, and men who have been maimed or suffered loss and who Should have received those moneys years ago. This country now has in its possession $15,000,000 to pay reparations provided for under a treaty, claims little in excess of $4,000,000, and yet the Finance minister retains those moneys and annually permits his surplus to be swelled thereby.

I would like to appeal to the sense of fairness of the Finance minister, and to the sense of fairness of this government, that they should no longer hold these moneys, that they should no longer permit the annual surpluses bo be swelled by moneys that rightly belong to men who served their country during the war, or to their widows and their orphans, and their dependents generally.

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LIB

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. J. F. POULIOT (Temiscouata):

Mr. Speaker, I have just a few words to say to my hon. friend from Vancouver-Burrard (Mr. Clark). He spoke about the Edinburgh mills. We have there the. bureau of statistics from which we get very valuable information, and if he had obtained his information there instead of finding it in American magazines or publications, he would have been more accurate in his quotations.

I wonder if the house should be thankful to my hon. friend for the tip he gave us on International Nickel? I wonder if the stock will go up now. In any event, however, I 73594-53

entirely disagree with him on the matter. I have been telling my people that it is a very dangerous practice for them to trust to the stock market. No doubt some make money but they are the exceptions. They are few, and if my hon. friend is one of the few, I wish to congratulate him. But the vast majority of the people do not make money on the stock market.

As to the hon. the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Motherwell), we disagree again, because I think he is one of the ablest ministers oi agriculture that we have had in this country since confederation. And I am very sincere in praising his accomplishments. If Canada is prosperous to-day we owe it first to Providence, and then to the government, because Providence is acting through the government in those accomplishments.

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CON

Peter McGibbon

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. McGIBBON:

The answer is, their cup of inquity is not yet full.

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LIB

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. POULIOT:

We believe in Providence on this side of the house, and we are very glad that toe good years in Canada are the years during which the Liberal party have been in power. It reminds me of what the acting leader of the opposition (Mr. Guthrie) said the other day in his very illuminating speech. He said that toe surpluses at toe time when the Tories were in power were much bigger than the present surpluses under the direction of the very able Minister of Finance (Mr. Robb). Well, there is a great difference. The surpluses before 1921 were made of borrowed money, and the surpluses these last few years since the Liberals have been in power are, in fact, made up of earned money. As I say, there is a great difference.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL
Sub-subtopic:   FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

May I correct the hon.

gentleman? The surpluses were surpluses of the consolidated revenue fund and did not include borrowed money. The borrowed money was to pay for demobilization and railways.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
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LIB

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. POULIOT:

I see that my hon. friend (Mr. Bennett) is just as mixed up as his acting leader.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

See pages 44 and 45 of

the public accounts.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
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CON

Peter McGibbon

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. McGIBBON:

What is a surplus, any

way?

Topic:   THE BUDGET
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LIB

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. POULIOT:

I did not mean to deal

with my hon. friend from Muskoka (Mr. McGibbon) just now, because I hope to quote him later on.

The Budget-Mr. Pouliot

With regard to the grading and standardization of farm products, the Minister of Agriculture the other day said:

But the policy we have adopted has been commended by those who are buying our goods, and I am encouraged to go forward in a policy of grading.

And he added:

I look for some measure of support, if not from my friends immediately opposite, then from the balance of the house in carrying forward this policy of standardization of the remaining articles that are the be dealt with.'

I think it would be just as well to quote my hon. friend from Muskoka now. I wish to say something about dairy products, and I am very glad that he mentioned the fact that the cattle herds have been reduced in all provinces except in Quebec and British Columbia. That is why I want to quote my hon. friend.

I have the report of the Minister of Agriculture for the year ended March 31, 1928. Quebec sold 294,197 packages of first class pasteurized butter-0.6 per cent of special,

92.1 per cent of first, 7.0 per cent of second and 0.3 per cent of third. That was for 1927. That shows a large increase over 1926. In

1926, 220,528 packages wer sold in Quebec-special, 1.1 per cent; first, 88.7 per cent; second, 9.4 per cent; third, 0.8 per cent.

With regard to unpasteurized butter, I am pleased to be able to state that in 1927, Quebec sold 87,122 packages, 74.7 per cent first quality, 24.2 per cent second quality, and

1.1 per cent third quality. Ontario during the same period, 1927, sold 47,179 packages of butter-78.0 per cent first, 20.9 per cent second, and 1.1 per cent third.

Ontario, on the other hand, produces more cheese than Quebec, but I am glad to say that the province of Quebec is the banner province with regard to the butter industry.

Grading has resulted in great improvement in quality and, as the records will show, it has brought about a much more satisfactory condition for producers and manufacturers. The average price of first class butter per pound is as follows: 1923, 38-4 cents; 1924, 37-2 cents; 1925, 39-4 cents; 1926, 39 cents;

1927, 40 cents; July, 1928, 40 cents; August,

1928, 41 cents; September, 1928, 43 cents; October, 1928, 42 cents; November, 1928, 43 cents, and December, 1928, 43 cents. The price has increased since 1925, the year in which the Australian treaty came into force, in spite of what was said in this house by the former member for South Oxford, our genial friend Mr. Donald Sutherland, who spoke on the matter at great length when the treaty was under consideration. I see by my hon. friend's

smile that they remember the occasion very well. At that time we were warned that Canada would become bankrupt by the operation of the treaty but as a matter of fact it has done no harm to our commerce.

The farmers in eastern Canada are complaining that the price of potatoes has gone down this year, but it should not be forgotten that the price varies according to the demand. Larger areas were cultivated and the yield per acre was greater in 1928 than in the previous years. Therefore the larger supplies depressed the price and it went below fifty cents a bushel. Not so good as International Nickel.

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CON

Richard Burpee Hanson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HANSON:

Or butter.

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LIB

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. POULIOT:

That shows that there will be a continuous market for seed potatoes. Then I have another interesting despatch which appeared in the Montreal Gazette of December 10, 1928. This is fAm Fredericton, New Brunswick, and is as follows:

New Brunswick seed stock, although of high quality, is meeting severe competition because of the heavy yield of potatoes in all sections of the country. A considerable movement of seed potatoes took place during November with the states of Maine and Vermont taking the shipments. Other shipments are on order and will begin to move in January with others following in February and March. Virginia and North Carolina will take the bulk of that with some going to Long Island. The first of the shipments now on order amount to 15 carloads.

Fifteen thousand bushels of seed potatoes moved out previously. A price of $2 and $2.50 per barrel was paid for the best.

Then follows a despatch from Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, as follows:

A total of 1,094,580 bushels of potatoes were shipped from this province during November, 719,250 bushels going by rail and the remainder by water from the following ports: Georgetown, 271,547; Summerside, 145,716; and Charlottetown, 58,067.

About 560,000 bushels of table stock were shipper to Ontario this season, and 150,000 bushels to Quebec.

I have here an interesting article written by Mr. D. Baribeau, of the Department of Agriculture, which appeared in a Rimouski paper Le Progres du Golfe, under date of .February 22. It is very short, and I will read it:

It may be inquired how this decrease in the potato crop of the province of Quebec can be overcome and outside competition met. Just simply (1) procure seed potatoes from certified stock (that is the main and indispensable requirement, without which you will^ not succeed in lowering the cost of production. Prince Edward Island sows 65 per cent of its area with certified seed stock and note the yield per acre). (2) Set aside a portion of land in order to maintain the yield of certified seed stock at its maximum. (3) Reduce the sown area, have a better prepared soil and make use of chemical fertilizers. (4) Sow the variety or varieties which the market demands. (5) Spray thoroughly with Bordeaux mixture. (6) Uniform grading of the varieties which are the most popular on our markets.

Now, Mr. Speaker, may I point out to this house the importance of this trade, which is of interest not only to my province or my section of that province but to all the provinces of Canada, because farmers everywhere grow potatoes. Although I am not a technician in this matter I will take the liberty of submitting some proposals which would perhaps improve not only the production, but also the sale of potatoes. No farmer in my constitu-

ency would ask for potatoes the price that was paid during the war owing to peculiar circumstances; they would be very well satisfied with an average price of $1 per bushel, and I think the consumer could not complain, of thal price. First I would ask the Minister of Agriculture to see if something could not be done in regard to the grading of potatoes, because it is very important that different grades should not be mixed. You may have a very good brand of potatoes, but if they are mixed with other potatoes they cannot be used as seed stock. That is my first point, and my second is that potato sheds should be built at railway stations by the provincial governments. The government of Quebec had this in view for some time, but the idea was finally abandoned. I think this proposal should be revived, because if there are sheds built something like the grain elevators, although not so large, where the potatoes could be placed and where Green Mountains, for instance, would not be mixed with Early Roses, it would be a great advantage to the farmers, and I believe our provincial governments should undertake that work.

My next point is that there should be a reduction in railway freight rates and also in maritime rates, because if we are to get new markets it must be made easier to ship our products to those markets. I take this opportunity of thanking the Minister of Agriculture, the Minister of Railways and the officials of the Canadian National Railways for what they have done in that direction. One cannot forget that the government does everything possible for the farmer.

My last point is that we should promote the organization of cooperative societies for the exportation of farm products. It is very hard for a single farmer to send his products to Hong Kong, Bermuda or anywhere else abroad; there must be something in the nature of a cooperative movement by which the farmers may be brought together. This might be done by means of the agronomists who are employed by the provincial governments; there are two of these gentlemen in my county, very able fellows, and I think they might organize cooperative societies and also try to locate new markets for farm products, especially potatoes. I believe if this plan were carried out it would be of great advantage to our farmers. This system has been put into force already; a cooperative movement has been organized, under the direction of the provincial agronomist in connection with maple products, at Compton, Quebec, as published in L'Action Catholique of February 7th last.

The Budget-Mr. Hanson

I have another article here by a professor at the university of Fribourg. This does not deal with potatoes, but covers general cooperative associations for the exportation of farm products. This method of procedure has been carried out in New Zealand in respect to dairy products, and it has been shown to be very successful. Under the circumstances, I hope the federal and provincial governments will continue to do what they can to relieve this situation.

What has the Department of Agriculture done with regard to the dairying industry? We have cargo inspection, iced butter ear service, iced cheese car service, dairy news letters, dairy market intelligence, subsidies to cold storage warehouses, creamery cold storage bonuses, research in dairying, the excellent administration of the Dairy Industry Act and milk utilization service. There is a useful cold storage warehouse in my county, which has been operating very well. I hope that what has been done for the dairying industry will be done for the potato growers and that both will be equally successful in the future.

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CON

Richard Burpee Hanson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. B. HANSON (York-Sunbury):

Mr. Speaker, I desire to congratulate the hon. member for Temiscouata (Mr. Pouliot) on the amount of research which he has evidently made in the preparation of his speech. I am sure when all these figures reach his constituents that they will be very much elated at the effort he has made. I was struck with the tribute which he paid to the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Motherwell) in connection with the prosperity which is alleged to be prevailing in this country. He put the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Motherwell) on a pinnacle and it was a long time before I could understand why he was doing it. But in the latter part of his speech the nigger in the wood pile appeared; the Minister of Agriculture and the Minister of Railways (Mr. Dunning) have given the farmers of Temiscouata, Rimouski and Bonaventure counties a special freight rate on potatoes-that is the reason we have had this paean of thanks to the Minister of Agriculture this afternoon. If the Minister of Agriculture is entitled to all the encomiums which the hon. member has given him this afternoon, then I can only say in words of the poet Cowper:

God moves in a mysterious way His wonders to perform. [DOT]

I am sure the Minister of Finance (Mr. Robb) will not expect me to waste any time on empty compliments to him. I intend to devote a few minutes to some general observations on his budget, but before I do so

I want to take this opportunity of placing on record my appreciation of the magnificent speech which was made by the hon. member for South Wellington (Mr. Guthrie) on Thursday last. I have been a member of this house for some eight years and I think I can truthfully say, and I believe hon. gentlemen on both sides of the house will re-echo the statement, that there has never been a more forceful, clearer or more courteous exposition of the budget made by an opposition critic, and we have had some very able opposition critics during those years. I hope that the message contained in that speech will not only get across the floor of this house but get across to the people of this country. It would do a world of good if that could be the case.

With all due respect to the Minister of Finance, for whom I entertain a very high personal regard, I would say that during the six years he has occupied the position of either Minister of Finance or acting Minister of Finance, we have never had a real budget, such as the term is understood in England, on the financial condition of this country. Budgets may be viewed from two or three aspects. We have had a resume of the country's business for the preceding year; we have had certain taxation proposals and readjustments, but we have never had in any one of the budget speeches which he has delivered a straight categorical statement of the fiscal policy of this country, or any policy upon which the business men of Canada could build for the succeeding year. Apparently the Minister of Finance considers that there is only one aspect to a budget; a mere tabulation of fiscal and trade figures. Viewed in that light his budget is clear and illuminating, and to that extent he is to be congratulated, but from the standpoint of its being a disclosure of public policy it is as disappointing as it is gratifying on the former count. We have never had from him any estimate, based on announced fiscal policy, of the result of the nation's business for the ensuing year; we have never had submitted to us in any one year a true balance sheet of the country's business. Any hon. member who is interested in corporations knows that there are many ramifications in business; that many companies have subsidiary companies, and it is invariably the custom that every company submit annually to its shareholders a consolidated balance sheet, not. only of the parent company but of all the subsidiary companies. We are the owners of the entire issued capital stock of the Canadian National railway system, and I believe it is the duty of any Finance minister, no matter what his predecessors may have done in that regard, to submit annually to the people of Canada a

The Budget-Mr. Hanson

consolidated balance sheet which will take in the assets and liabilities of that great system. We have not had that from the minister, and that is one of the things for which I think he is to be criticized.

Why was this budget brought down on Friday last? Some wag on this side of the house has said it was because there was no meat in it. There was some meat in it, as that, of course, was only by way of a passing joke. Undoubtedly the Minister of Finance was anticipating the inaugural address of Mr. Hoover. Mr. Hoover has delivered that address and it is now an assured fact that he will implement his promises by both executive and congressional action. Friday's papers announced that congress had been called to meet in a special session on April 17th. The call for a special session of congress proposes legislation for agricultural relief and limited changes in the tariff. The proclamation says:

These matters cannot, in justice to our farmers, our labour and our manufacturers, be postponed.

Those are very significant words for the people of Canada. We may expect, and undoubtedly we do expect, that tariff schedules aimed directly at the agricultural production of this country, if not against other production, will be the direct result. What is theattitude of this government? We do notknow. If we are to judge from the statements of the Minister of Finance in his budgetspeech; if we are to judge from the veiled references in the minister's statement, the administration intend to adopt a policy of " watchful waiting." That is the policy which destroyed Mr. Asquith, and let me

tell the Minister of Finance that that policy will destroy him and his government. Are we not entitled at this juncture to something more specific than the veiled references contained in the speech of the Minister of Finance? Is there in this country anyone, aside from the blind partisan followers of the government, Who can view with composure such a declaration of "watchful waiting"? Is there anyone who believes this government, when they are actually confronted with the situation which will undoubtedly arise in the next few weeks, will rise with the weapons that are available to meet that menace? I use those words advisedly, because the action of the United States congress will be a menace to this country and it is up to our people to protect themselves. If there is any doubt upon this point, an analysis of the budget speech of the Minister of Finance, shows that he makes one specific declaration

which to me at all events is very significant. I refer to his statement that-

The policy of this administration is not a high tariff policy; it is a low tariff policy.

When he nails his colours to the mast on a low tariff policy he turns his back upon the only effective weapon he can use against the menace to which I allude. In other words, he has wiped out from under his own feet the only ground upon which he can effectively stand when the time for action comes. Such a declaration indicates to me but one thing-the unwillingness of the administration to use the only weapon at its command, namely, the application of the principle of protection. The situation cannot be better met than by the method indicated by the acting leader of the opposition in his speech in the house last Thursday. As reported at page 757 of Hansard, He raid:

So far as I can see, any difficulty that may possibly arise in the future can be completely overcome by action on the part of this government and of this parliament. We have nothing to fear in Canada in this respect, though 1 grant that we are going to reach as last a situation

if things develop as I anticipate they will-in which we must introduce into the tariff of this country, to protect our own people, that element of protection which the Canadian tariff does not now afford.

On the next page he advocates:

A radical change in our fiscal policy will soon be necessary; the government must face this situation. They can do it; we know what we can do in this country; we have everything at our disposal. Do not let us have stage fright and do not let us feel any over-anxiety in regard to the matter. The matter rests entirely in our own hands. AH can be put right, and if this government does not put it right another government will take its place in the very near future.

Does anybody believe-and I say this with respect-that the Prime Minister, in view of his well known past history, in view of his well known affiliations of the past, in view of the fact that for years he has advocated and when in power has put into execution a policy which has made for the peaceful penetration of the business of (this country and the absorption of its industries and natural resources by United States capital, will do anything to protect this Dominion? Does anybody believe that the Minister of Finance, a low tariff man, will willingly use the only effective weapon at his command? Rather shall we not see again the spectacle of the government turning the other cheek in the face of hostile United States tariff schedules? Time only will tell, but a policy of "watchful waiting" should not be the declared policy of this country at this

The Budget-Mr. Hanson

juncture. A declaration of virile Canadian independence ought to have been made in the fiscal budget. Such a course would have won the respect of and, I fully believe, would have been heeded by those now framing the proposed tariff schedules for presentation to congress.

The Minister of Finance in his remarks spoke of the optimism which is now obtaining in Canada, and I agree with him there is optimism. We have always been optimistic; those of us who believe in this country are optimistic and I associate myself with what the Minister of Finance said in that regard. But there is a vast difference between optimism and prosperity. The one is the hope, the wish for things yet to come; the other is an accomplished fact, and I deny absolutely that there is universal prosperity in Canada. If anybody does not believe me, let him come down to New Brunswick and mingle with the agriculturists and industrial people of that province. Last year we had tinkering with the tariff schedules; we had readjustments of the tariff, and the effect of those readjustments on the cotton industry in my constituency robbed the operators in that industry of eight per cent more of their labour and wages. In other words, they are receiving eight per cent less than they did the year before. They have been on short time practically every year since he and his government came into power, and to-day in the cotton industry, in the cotton mill town in my constituency the operators are feeling the direct pinch in the lack of wages. That has been the result of the minister's interference with the tariff schedules.

In reference to the agricultural population, we grow more potatoes in New Brunswick than in any other part of the Dominion of Canada. Can there be prosperity among the agriculturists of New Brunswick with potatoes at thirty cents a barrel, which was the price payable for potatoes in my province just prior to my coming to Ottawa The farmers of New Brunswick are going bankrupt; you cannot prate about prosperity to a farmer who cannot pay his fertilizer bill. That state of affairs is not by any means confined to New Brunswick. A similar state of affairs prevails in Prince Edward Island, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, anywhere you like, and before I conclude my remarks I shall have something more to say about the potato business.

I do not intend to refer at any length to the dairying industry and to the losses which our farmers have sustained by reason of the importation of so much New Zealand butter.

But would you believe, Mr. Speaker that today we are eating New Zealand butter in the restaurant of the House of Commons? I know the Ottawa Dairy Company imported six carloads of it within the last few weeks. That is butter that should be produced and sold by Canadian farmers. I believe the Minister of Finance made the greatest slip in his whole history when he put through the Australian treaty and forgot about New Zealand and its right to come in under the provisions of that treaty.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL
Sub-subtopic:   FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink

March 11, 1929