March 11, 1929

CON

James Dew Chaplin

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CHAPLIN:

They deliberately added

New Zealand afterwards by order in council.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
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CON

Richard Burpee Hanson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HANSON:

While I am speaking about optimism and the condition of our farmers, I should like to refer to the delay of now nearly two years in putting into effect the Farm Loan Act that was passed by parliament in the session of 1927. Everybody knows that that legislation was put through the house and the act brought into effect with the greatest reluctance on the part of the Minister of Finance; that it was put through at the behest of the western farmers who, at that time, had a real need for such legislation. The scene has changed; a few good crops have obviated the necessity for the application of that act in the west, so far as I have been able to learn-

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL
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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

No.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
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CON

Richard Burpee Hanson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HANSON:

-but the necessity for the act in the east is most imperative and it is nothing short of an outrage that two years have been allowed to go by without the will of this parliament having been put into effect by the Department of Finance. I make no criticism of the appointment of Doctor MacLean as chief of the Canadian' Farm Loan Board. I am told he is a good man. It may be that political pressure was brought to bear upon the minister to appoint him. I do not make any such charge, but what I do complain about is the delay in putting the act into effect in the province of New Brunswick, which accepted it from the very beginning. And I want to go a step further and say that there have been a good many complaints among the farmers in New Brunswick because they could not get the benefits of that act. We have in the province of New Brunswick to-day, organizing for the Liberal party, a gentleman who was formerly a Progressive member in this house, a loud-mouthed member, who sat here in the front seats year after year; and he had the audacity to go around the province of New Brunswick and say that the Farm Loan

The Budget-Mr. Hanson

Act had not been put into effect there because the provincial government had not requested it. The Minister of Finance knows that is not so. He knows the provincial government accepted it from the very beginning, and they are anxious and willing to have it put into effect. I myself have had applications from-I was going to say hundreds, but I will limit it to dozens of farmers, who find themselves in the position where they must have relief or go into the bankruptcy court, and I ask the minister to put that act into effect in the province of New Brunswick at the earliest possible moment.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL
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LIB

James Alexander Robb (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. ROBB:

May I reply to my hon. friend now on that point? We will put it through just as soon as the provincial legislature passes its corresponding legislation.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
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CON

Richard Burpee Hanson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HANSON:

He laughs best who laughs last. I am informed by the Attorney General of that province that the legislation to which the minister refers was put through in 1928.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
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LIB

Albert Frederick Totzke

Liberal

Mr. TOTZKE:

It is only March yet.

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CON

Richard Burpee Hanson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HANSON:

That is twelve months. How long does it take to make this great body move?

I wish to say a few words with respect to the national railways, I do not want anyone to say that I am an enemy of the Canadian National railway system. I had the honour for ten years, from 1911 to 1921, to be general counsel for the Canadian National Railways in the province of New Brunswick. I devoted a very large portion of my professional time to their service, and I think the Department of Justice will say that I won more lawsuits for them in New Brunswick in that period of time than all the ten thousand dollar counsel they have employed since.

Much of the railway history that was given by the member for South Wellington in his illuminating address last week was news to me. I was not a student of what took place in this house in 1919 to the extent of going deeply into the political events of that time. But I have had occasion to verify some of the things the acting leader of the opposition said, and if all he said is true, as I believe it is, the attitude of the present administration with respect to the national railways-save and except the Minister of Customs (Mr. Euler), who ever since he came into this house, and even before, has been a friend of the national railways-the attitude of the present administration in respect to the national railways is one of pure effrontery. Go back to 1919 and read the records for yourself; read the part that was played by

the Minister of Finance. I wonder that he does not often blush at his action of that day. If you want any confirmation of the attitude of the Liberal party go to the session of 1922 when the railway estimates were under consideration in this house and read what Mr. Walter G. Mitchell, then member for St. Antoine division of the city of Montreal, said in a prepared brief on this very question in which he condemned the action of parliament in nationalizing the railways. Mr. Mitchell on that occasion, if I remember aright, made just half a speech. He got to the point where he condemned the action of the government, but he had no alternative proposal to offer. The Liberal party accepted that brief. It was their only attitude, it was the only policy they ever had-and again I want to except the Minister of National Revenue, because I heard him stand up against his own party in respect to this very matter, and I want to give him due credit for honesty of purpose.

When the party opposite were confronted with the responsibility of power, however, we had a change of attitude. We had the adoption of the policy of "fair trial," and I congratulate them upon their change of heart. It is very difficult, I know. It is very difficult in domestic life to take in an orphan child and treat it as your own. So far as they have done so, however, the government are to be congratulated upon having given the railways a fair trial-if they have done so. But I want to make the assertion right here that the government, at all events certain portions of the government, have not been free from political interference in the matter of the operation of the Canadian National railways. They have said that they have taken the adtninistration of the railways out of politics. Well, perhaps they have. I hope they have. So far as I can speak as a member of parliament, I sincerely hope that the administration of the national railways is out of politics. But there are so many evidences accumulating on every hand that they are not out of politics that one begins to wonder at the good faith of the declaration of the government. If I were to go down to the city of St. John I could show you a defeated candidate who takes upon himself the burden of saying who shall be appointed as sectionmen on the national railways in that city.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

One of the ministers

sent a telegram dismissing one.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
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CON

Richard Burpee Hanson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HANSON:

You will find that the most petty positions are under the thumb of Mr. Ryan, the defeated candidate in the city of

The Budget-Mr. Hanson

St. John; at least, he arrogates to himself that position. I am not going to say anything more about that, but it is petty to say the least.

I have in my hand, however, concrete evidence of direct political interference with ratemaking on the Canadian National railways, and if I wanted any corroboration of it, I find it in the speech of the hon. member for Temiscouata. In the St. John Telegraph-Journal of last Friday, the 8th of March, there appeared an editorial based on an interview with the chairman of the transportation commission of the maritime board of trade. This editorial is headed "Unjust Discrimination," and I commend it to the Minister of Railways, who, unfortunately, is not in his seat. I also commend it to the Postmaster General (Mr. Veniot) who will please bring the matter to the attention of the Minister of Railwaj's. The St. John Telegraph is a journal which once thought very highly of the Postmaster General; in fact, I think it does so yet. I quote it to him:

In granting special emergency rates on potatoes to shippers in the Matapedia valley-

Please note that the Matapedia valley is that portion of the province of Quebec comprising the counties of Rimouski and Temiscouata, and possibly the county of Bonaventure. I think it would be fair to say that Bonaventure is included in it. It goes on:

without extending similar reductions to dealers in the maritime provinces, the management of the Canadian National railway committed an act which has been interpreted as unjust discrimination against the shippers east of the Quebec province boundary. While the reduced freight tariff was put into effect, according to a note on the face of the tariff, "to assist in meeting adverse agricultural conditions temporarily in the limited section from which it is applicable," similar conditions have been troubling the potato shippers of New Brunswick, and consequently they should have received the same consideration as did their neighbours in the province of Quebec.

Why the Canadian National railways should mete out one kind of treatment to an agricultural community on one side of the Quebec-New Brunswick border, and deny the same treatment to those residing on the other side, and being in a similar plight, is more than the people of New Brunswick can understand.

Will the house please note this:

The railway made the keeping of the reduced tariff in force contingent upon there being no objection to it from other localities. In other words, they shifted the responsibility for its cancellation onto the shoulders of the potato growers and shippers of New Brunswick and of other places who might disagree with the favoured treatment accorded the Quebec potato men. This is unjust, and has placed the maritime potato shippers in an awkward position-if they object, they lay themselves open to a

charge of having injured their fellow potato dealers in another province-if they hold their peace, they must face a discriminatory freight rate against them. _

The logical and only fair solution of the question lies in the Canadian National railways maintaining the reduced rate to the potato dealers in the Matapedia valley and extending it to those of the maritime provinces.

This afternoon we had public thanks given by the member for Temiscouata to the Minister of Railways and the Minister of Agriculture for their action in getting that reduced discriminatory rate in favour of the potato growers in the Matapedia valley and against the potato producers of the province of New Brunswick. They are told: If you object to this rate being given to the Matapedia valley potato growers we will cancel it. In other words, they place on New Brunswick the burden of saying: You have been unjust to us and have favoured Quebec. I do not blame the member for Temiscouata for asking for that reduced rate. There is a distressed condition among the potato growers in eastern Canada, but we are ten times more entitled to a reduced freight rate in Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia than they are in the province of Quebec, because we are just that further away from the Montreal and Toronto markets. When the railway does that and attaches the rider that I have read, I think the situation is almost hopeless. I lay the charge, believing it to be true, that political interference has brought about this special rate, and that it was granted at the instance of the federal members from the province of Quebec working through the Minister of Agriculture and the Minister of Railways.

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

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. POULIOT:

May I correct my hon.

friend? The request was made by the Department of Agriculture of Quebec.

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CON

Richard Burpee Hanson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HANSON:

All right; it is political

action again, and it makes the situation worse. I am glad to have the admission. Representations indeed were made through a certain channel by the hon. member for Temiscouata. If he was alive to his responsibilities as the federal representative for Temiscouata it was natural for him to do what he believed to be his duty when he requested that special rates be given in the circumstances; but 1 object to the discrimination against the people of my province, and the government have not heard the last of it, neither have the management of the national railways.

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LIB

Alfred Edgar MacLean

Liberal

Mr. MacLEAN (Prince):

My hon. friend

I believe would like to be fair. There is a special rate to the other provinces.

The Budget-Mr. Hanson

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 Burpee Hanson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HANSON:

Certainly I want to be fair, but the hon. gentleman does not know what he is talking about. I hold in my hand the report which appeared in the St. John Telegraph-Journal, which quotes verbatim a part of the order. It reads as follows:

This emergency tariff is issued to assist in meeting adverse agricultural conditions temporarily prevailing in the limited section from which it is applicable and expires with April 30th, 1929, unless sooner cancelled, changed or extended.

In reply to a query from Mr. Paterson as to whether the same reduction could not be made applicable to maritime shippers, Mr. Cornell wired as follows:

"Canadian National advise that rates were made from Matapedia valley under distinct understanding that same would be cancelled if any apposition were made by other shippers, and will not make any change in maritime rates."

So the hon. member for Prince does not know what he is talking about-unless it is something that has taken place since last Friday. Perhaps he has got something for his constituency?

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LIB

Alfred Edgar MacLean

Liberal

Mr. MacLEAN (Prince):

No. The rate was put through over a month ago and was published by the national railways. It is applicable to the three provinces. If this is a further reduction, I am willing to be corrected.

Mr. HANS'ON: This is a special privileged rate. Let me quote the following for my hon. friend's benefit:

The reduction is applicable to potatoes shipped from

L'Anse a Giles, Matapedia. Mont Joli, Mont-magny, Riviere du Loup, St. Alexandre, St. Andre, St. Charles, Ste. Florence, St. Francois, Ste. Louise, St. Pacombe, Sayabec and Tobin, all in the Matapedia valley.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
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LIB

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. POULIOT:

Is my hon. friend against that reduction?

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CON

Richard Burpee Hanson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HANSON:

No, I made that quite plain. I am against the discrimination. Not only am I against the discrimination, I am against the political interference with the national railways. I would not think of asking Mr. Appleton to put in a special rate for the county of York-Sunbury. I know he would turn me down; it would not be wise for me to make the request.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL
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LIB

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. POULIOT:

When there were freight rate reductions for the maritime provinces, was there discrimination?

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CON

Richard Burpee Hanson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HANSON:

Well, my hon. friend got his share of it.

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LIB

John Ewen Sinclair

Liberal

Mr. SINCLAIR (Queens):

Will the hon. gentleman give the date when the rate went into effect?

'

Topic:   THE BUDGET
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March 11, 1929