March 13, 1929

LIB

Peter John Veniot (Postmaster General)

Liberal

Mr. VENIOT:

The hon. gentleman has

made his speech, and I may be permitted to go on with mine. Now I want to touch on the question of unemployment.

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CON

Peter McGibbon

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. McGIBBON:

Post office.

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LIB

Peter John Veniot (Postmaster General)

Liberal

Mr. VENIOT:

Yes, I can do that too

when the time comes, and I will give the hon. gentleman all he wants, as I did on a former occasion. In his tour of the maritime provinces the hon. leader of the opposition attempted to make a strong point of the fact that a number of Canadians crossed the border to seek work in the United States, and he stated that if we had a high tariff like that of our neighbours there would be very little unemployment in Canada. May I be permitted to point out that the percentage of unemployment in the United States to-day is far greater than in Canada. What do we find in the United States for 1927, the very year that my hon. friend was re-

The Budget-Mr. Veniot

ferring to? The New York State Department of Labour reported a decrease of 66,000 factory wage-earners in that state alone. The federal Department of Labour reported unemployment throughout the whole of the United States at five per cent less than in 1926. The percentage of employment in Canada-let my hon. friends follow this- in 1924 was 85-3 per cent; while in the United States it was 90-3; in 1925 our percentage was 86 as against 91-2 in the United States. But in 1926 our percentage jumped to 92 T, an increase of six points, while that of the United States remained almost stationary. In 1927 the percentage rose to 95 '6 per cent in Canada, a gain of fourteen points over the first year I have mentioned, while in the United States the percentage fell to 88-5, a decrease of 3-4 in that highly protected country. The leader of the opposition (Mr. Bennett) speaking in the town of St. Stephen, New Brunswick is reported to have said, on this question:

It was only this afternoon that I learned-

This was August 17, 1928.

-the cotton industry of Milltown was operating on part time, and I looked up the trade report to seek a reason, I found that the importation of raw cotton for the past year had decreased, while the importation of finished cotton had increased. That, to my mind, was one of the reasons why the cotton industry was only able to work part time.

I am glad he acknowledges that.

Employment was given to the people of the countries from which Canada was importing, and that is one of the reasons why Canadian young men and women were obliged to leave home and seek employment in foreign lands.

He condemns the foreign country because it is not sending raw material to us to give employment to our people, and he condemns us because we allow our raw material to go to other countries.

There were thousands of Canadians ready to return if they could get employment.

I do not believe that the leader of the opposition, when speaking in St. Stephen, realized the place he was in. St. Stephen is situated right across the border, a river separating it from Calais, in the state of Maine. There are two international bridges crossing that river. There is a cotton factory, there is a candy factory, and there is an axe factory at St. Stephen and Milltown,, and every morning in the vicinity of from 550 to 600 Americans- residents of that highly protected country- have to icome across the border to earn their living in the cotton factory and in the candy factory on the Canadian side. Is i't any wonder that, as I am informed, when the hon.

gentleman was making that highly protective speech at St. Stephen someone rose in the audience and asked him what he was going to do for the consumer and he was not able to give an answer.

I have only a few minutes left, but in those few minutes I wish to touch upon the question of immigration and emigration. I wish to quote again from the leader of the opposition-and I am quoting him frequently *to-day because I followed him with deep interest while he was making that tour in the maritime provinces. He spoke at several *places there, and when he came back to Ontario he addressed a meeting at Oshawa on July 23, when, according to the newspapers, be made this statement:

Since 1922, 573,000 people have been brought to Canada from all over the world. In the same period 591,000 have gone to the United States. In other words, since the Liberals achieved power 18,000 more people have left Canada to go to the United States than have come into it from all the world. Why? Because there is no work for the Canadians.

What are the facts? Why did not my hon. friend show both sides of the medal and tell the people whom he was addressing on that occasion that while it is true that a number of Canadians did leave the country it is also true that some 474,000 of them came back into Canada and are to-day residing in this country? Why did he not at the same time say to the people at Oshawa that while a number of persons left Canada to go to the United States there were somewhere in the vicinity of 147,000 people, residents and natives of the United States, who came across into Canada and are to-day permanent residents of this country? Why did he not treat the question as it should have been treated? As I say, why were not both sides of the medial shown? What is the record? We find that since the termination of the war 270,066 settlers left the United States-American subjects, American born-and came across into Canada to settle, being to-day permanent citizens of this country. Are we to infer that they had to leave the United States, that highly protected country, and cross the border in order to earn the living which they could not earn under high protection? And in the last fifteen years what do we find? We find that 524,772 Americans have left their native land and are to-day loyal and true citizens of the Dominion of Canada, earning here in a moderately protected country the living which they could not earn at home under a highly protective tariff. This is where my hon. friend was unfair. These facts should be known to him, if they are not. And the

The Budget-Mr. Barber

facts being known to him, he should have been sincere enough, or at least should have wished to be fair enough, to show both sides of the medal to the people he was addressing at Oshawa, allowing them to judge of the issue.

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?

An hon. MEMBER:

No wonder he nearly upset the Rhodes government.

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LIB

Peter John Veniot (Postmaster General)

Liberal

Mr. YENIOT:

I will not refer to that,

although the leader of the opposition did visit Nova Scotia a few weeks before the political landslide in that province. And from what I can hear there, a great many even of the Conservatives say that it would have been better for the Rhodes government if the leader of the Conservative opposition in Canada had not shown his face there.

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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Time, time.

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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Go on.

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LIB

Peter John Veniot (Postmaster General)

Liberal

Mr. YENIOT:

Let me in conclusion quote from the Financial Post-and surely no one will tell us that this is a Liberal organ-regarding the question of immigration.

The fact that the two nations he alongside of each other is bound to remain a constant stimulus to the movement of people back and forth.

Everyone knows that; even the leader of the opposition knows it. The Financial Post did not need to tell us; we all know it. Yet my hon. friend pleads ignorance of that fact when he argues the other way. The article goes on:

After all what counts is the balance of immigration between Canada and United States. During June 4,346 Canadians left Canada to cross the border. At the same time 3,526 Canadians who had gone to United States to take up residence there returned to Canada. But there were in the neighbourhood of 3,000 Americans who came to Canada in June. The net advantage was distinctly in favour of Canada. Distinctly good business in Canada and a high level of employment are bringing Americans and ex-Canadians to Canada.

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CON

Harry James Barber

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. H. J. BARBER (Fraser Valley):

I

will not undertake to reply to the remarks of the Postmaster General (Mr. Veniot) in his tirade against my leader (Mr. Bennett), because I feel sure that when the leader of the Conservative party comes to speak he will be quite capable of dealing with such criticism.

This is one opportunity which the back bencher has to make himself known in this house, and it is fortunate that, under the rules, two debates are provided-one, the debate on the address and the other the budget-in which hon. members are not confined to any particular ground. I wish first of all to congratulate the hon. member for South

Wellington (Mr. Guthrie) upon his very able speech of Thursday last, in which he placed before the people of Canada the true condition of affairs as brought about by the policy of the present administration. Even our friend from Lisgar (Mr. Brown) admitted that the hon. member correctly diagnosed the troubles of Canada, although he did not agree that the remedy suggested by the acting leader of the apposition was a suitable one. In the matter of providing a remedy I think the physician in charge of the patient should be capable of prescribing an effective remedy, and in this instance those who have made a study of the branches of agriculture to which the hon. member referred surely should be in a better position to treat the case or to operate than the surgeon from Lisgar, who I think would take great pleasure in performing the major operation of severing the industry just above the shoulders.

Coming as I do from British Columbia and representing one of the richest districts in Canada I feel it my duty to make a few observations on this budget. I have said that mine is one of the richest districts in Canada; by that I do not mean that we have millionaires there or people with very large bank accounts but that the resources and the amount of money invested by the pioneers are very great. In order to convey some idea of the diversified industries and the richness of that district I would direct attention to the fact that not only are we rich so far as agriculture is concerned but that the amount of money invested in industry in the Fraser valley is about $55,000,000. We have great timber wealth, and although lumber has been manufactured in that district for over forty years we still have one of the richest stands of timber in the country. Over six billion feet of the very finest fir and cedar to be found anywhere on the continent are located in that district. We have some of the largest logging concerns in Canada operating in that valley and we have also the largest lumber mill in Canada. In addition to that, at the eastern end of the valley we have extensive mineral properties which are being rapidly developed.

The Fraser valley is perhaps more famous throughout Canada for its agriculture, for its dairy and poultry industries and for the production of fruits and vegetables; thousands of acres are devoted to the growing of small fruits such as strawberries, raspberries and loganberries, and such tree fruits as cherries, pears, apples, plums and prunes. Some of the largest commercial poultry plants are located in that district, running from 750 to

The Budget-Mr. Barber

5,000 birds per plant; and speaking of records, I would like to inform the house that the Fraser valley was the district in which hen No. 6 made her great record of production. The Fraser valley is famous also for its purebred dairy herds and a number of world records have been made by the cattle of that district. A newspaper man, in an article concerning the district, described it as a valley flowing with milk and honey; I believe this is literally true, because last year a river of over 9,000,000 gallons of milk flowed towards Vancouver, together with a smaller river of about 180 tons of honey. This is not all; we boast of the greatest rose gardens in Canada, covering an area of forty acres, and we have the largest hop garden in the world, consisting of over 000 acres. With reference to the growing of hops I might say that the entire commercial production of Canada is confined to the Fraser valley, where some 1,200 acres are devoted to this crop, the annual value of which approximates three-quarters of a million dollars. This is a very valuable industry which should receive encouragement, and I point out to the government that the condition of this industry at present certainly requires the very best consideration of the Minister of Finance and those associated with him.

This little picture I have drawn of conditions in the Fraser valley would lead one to believe that we are enjoying that prosperity mentioned by the Minister of Finance. I am prepared to admit that the farmers of that district are in a better condition than those of any other district I have visited throughout Canada, but at the same time I challenge the Minister of Agriculture to go into that district and try to convince the farmers and producers that they are enjoying this bountiful prosperity. I do not say that they would treat him roughly, but certainly they would direct him to an institution at Essondale maintained by the provincial government for those not quite mentally sound. Representing this great district and knowing the problems facing the producers there, I heartily endorse the amendment moved by the hon. member for South Wellington. I agree with him that the financial statement is clear and concise; it shows that the financial affairs of Canada are in a very satisfactory condition. It further indicates to me, and I think to the people of Canada, that we are enjoying sufficient prosperity at least to pay our taxes. And now that I have come to the subject of taxes I might say that I believe the country has been rather misled in this respect. If you notice the Liberal press of the day

following the presentation of the budget you no doubt observed headings which said "Robb Reduces Taxation;" "Taxes Reduced" and so on, and even the Minister of Agriculture said the other night that we should keep the Minister of Finance in office so long as he continued to reduce taxes. But, according to the minister's own statement, we find that he has been very careful not to announce a reduction in taxation. He announces a reduction in rates, but as someone has pointed out, it is not the rate but the burden of taxation that counts, and the burden of taxation imposed upon the Canadian people is increasing each year.

Let us examine the statement presented by the minister. Last year we collected from customs taxes about $185,000,000, an increase of some $28,000,000 over the previous year; in excise duties we collected approximately $63,000,000, an increase of $6,000,000 over the previous year; in income tax, we collected $58,000,000, in round figures, an increase of about $1,900,000. The increases from these sources totalled about $35,900,000, and then there were certain decreases. From the stamp and sales taxes we collected roughly $81,500,000, a decrease of about $8,700,000. We collected $450,000 in business profits tax, a decrease of $500,000, leaving a net increase in taxes collected from the people of Canada amounting to $26,700,000.

Another reduction has been made in the sales tax this year, but I think the people of Canada regret that this tax has not been entirely wiped out. Any business man who will sit down and figure out the result of this one per cent reduction can only say that the benefit will scarcely reach the great consumers of this country. The revenues from taxes have been very large during the past year, and I think the Minister of Finance could have wiped out the sales tax entirely.

During the course of this debate we have heard the argument from our free trade friends that a low tariff means lower taxes and a high tariff means higher taxes-an argument which cannot be backed up by the statement of the Minister of Finance. It has been proven that as we lower the tariff the volume increases, and it has been shown that during the past few years, in spite of a lowered tariff, the volume has increased to such an extent that the taxes from that source have increased. The budget announcements were received no doubt by some with a sigh of relief that the minister had ceased to tinker to any great extent with the tariff; by others it was received with disappointment, and a feeling of regret that he had not the courage to step out

The Budget-Mr. Barber

and give relief by way of protection designed to be helpful to the wage-earners and their employers which would stem the tide of imports from the United States. The minister made a very unnecessary announcement, something of which the country is quite aware, to the effect that his party stands for a low tariff. If the minister and the government continue to pursue the policy they have followed for the last few years they will soon be able to announce that grand old Liberal policy:

" tariff for revenue only." Their policy at the present time is to make their imposts revenue-yielding rather than helpful in the building up of Canadian industry.

The trade returns for 1927 show that we imported from the United States goods to the value of $707,000,000, in round figures, while the exports were valued at $474,000,000, leaving an unfavourable trade balance of $233,000,000. For the same period in 1928 our imports are valued at $825,000,000, our exports at $492,000,000, leaving an unfavourable trade balance of $333,000,000. The increase in unfavourable trade balance from 1927 to 1928 amounts to $100,000,000. The policy followed by this government is forcing us to become more dependent on foreign countries. When that point is reached with regard to any particular product we all know what happens. The people of Ontario know that only a few years ago they were forced to depend on the United States for their peaches, when there was a shortage in Ontario. They were forced to pay the highest price they had had to pay for years. The Americans dictated the terms.

The policy of this government has created what we might well term distress in certain branches of the agricultural industry. I refer particularly to the dairy, poultry, and fruit and vegetable industries. Dairying is one of Canada's major industries, amounting to $250,000,000, or equal to our great mining industry. The combined dairy and poultry industries represent a business of four or five hundred million dollars per year, or equal to the great wheat production of this country. A few years ago we boasted of the great future of our dairy industry, and the Department of Agriculture undertook to institute some sort of campaign to encourage winter dairying. The farmers took that up and spent large sums of money in fitting up their buildings and improving their herds, so that the supply of butter might be distributed more equally throughout the whole year. Just about the time they were in a position to place Canadian butter on the winter market, the Minister of Finance with 78594-59

one Stroke of his pen permitted butter to enter this country at one cent a pound duty. Butter fresh off the grass of New Zealand began to come into this country and compete with the product of the Canadian farmer. Thousands of pounds came in, and this increased to millions of pounds until to-day we find that over 21,000,000 pounds of foreign butter came into the Canadian market during the twelve months ending with January of this year. What does this 21,000,000 pounds represent? It represents the production of

100,000 dairy cows, and it means that the worth of those cows has been transferred to New Zealand. We find that the herds of New Zealand have increased by 50,000 cows, while our herds have been decreased to a much larger extent. I do not see how the government can pursue such a policy as this in regard to one of our staple industries.

There is another industry which is a very important one in British Columbia, and it has become a very large industry throughout Canada, namely, the poultry industry. The poultry men of this country are protected only to the extent of three cents, while the American poultry men enjoy a protection of eight cents. The import of eggs for the twelve months ending January of this year amounted to 979,433 dozen in shell, valued at $415,457. I assume this refers to case eggs from the United States. The import of frozen or canned eggs, mainly from China, n.o.p., amounted to 2,921,533 pounds valued at $658,490. The classification n.o.p. might mean "not awfully powerful," but I understand the real meaning is "not otherwise provided." The total value of the imports of eggs amounted to $1,073,947. It may be said that we have been exporting eggs to other countries, but I think the returns will show that the only exporting which did take place was to the United Kingdom, and the value of those exports was $306,708. The Vancouver firms undertook to place the British Columbia egg on the market of Great Britain. They sent shipments through to the old country and they lost on some of them. They went to the department in Victoria, to the provincial Minister of Agriculture, and they said: "We are undertaking to establish a trade in Great Britain; will you guarantee us against loss?" The department could not do that, and the result is that those exports that have been taking place during the past year have been more or less experimental. On the other hand, more than a million dollars' worth of an inferior quality of eggs came into this country last year to compete with the good Canadian egg. Eggs in my district dur-

The Budget-Mr. Barber

ing January were selling at twenty-two and twenty-five cents a dozen Many of the small producers had to go out of business; they could not afford to buy grain. And when I say they could not afford to buy grain, that brings up another question. I should like to point out to the government and our friends from the prairies that we are to-day paying more for grain in the Fraser valley than they are paying for the same grain in China or Japan. This is due simply to the domestic rate on grain, which is just double the export rate to Vancouver. While they pay twenty-one cents on export grain, we to-day are paying forty-two cents to Vancouver and then we pay the freight from there.

Last year British Columbia shipped two cars of eggs to the eastern market, and we have demonstrated that we can put on that market the very best quality of eggs in the best condition, far superior to any that may be imported, but we are barred from the eastern market by the policy of lion, gentlemen opposite who permit the free importation of United States case eggs and Chinese eggs leaving little or no opportunity whatever for our people to place British Columbia eggs on that market.

I come now to the fruit and vegetable industry. If we take into consideration the greatly increased consumption of these products, we wonder why our industry has not developed to a greater extent. The reason is quite plain. The policy of hon. gentlemen opposite has encouraged the replacing of our good Canadian product by that of a foreign country. We in British Columbia remember what happened last year when protests came from almost every fruit and vegetable association from the Atlantic to the Pacific, and when they prayed that the government give them some protection, at least during the season that our fruits and vegetables are ready for the market. A large deputation waited on the government and presented their case, but still nothing was done. The result was that last year was a disastrous one for the small fruit growers of British Columbia, and they were forced to sell at ridiculously low prices. The same conditions prevailed in other branches of the industry.

Hon. members may be surprised to learn that according to the returns we imported from the United States, last year $38,000,000 worth of fresh fruits and vegetables, and I challenge anyone to check over those returns and dispute the fact that at least $10,000,000 worth could and should have been grown in Canada. The government has not even the

courage to step out and give these producers what they ask, namely, protection during the season that our fruit is read}' for the market. They have promised us relief in the budget; they say: We will not raise the tariff on any product, but we are going to do something to help lessen the cost of production. Therefore, under schedule A, item No. 448, they have lowered the duty on spraying machines, fruit or vegetable grading machines, and pruning shears. There is one article in particular to which I wish -to refer, and that is a special machine designed for sterilizing bulbs. This surely is not for the producers of bulbs in Canada, because on Vancouver island and on the mainland of British Columbia we grow just as fine bulbs as are grown in Holland. But we are up against this foreign competition, and now to save the importer of foreign bulbs from loss the government are going to put in a machine to sterilize those bulbs so that they will not be destroyed at the port of entry.

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CON

James Dew Chaplin

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CHAPLIN:

That machine is to sterilize the car of the Minister of Agriculture.

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CON

Harry James Barber

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BARBER:

the problem of highway building. This is a matter that has been left entirely to the provinces, and, coming from the great province of British Columbia, I regret that the federal government have not seen fit to grant relief in connection with some of that work. We have been constructing a great highway through the Rocky mountains, known as the Caribou road. We have spent some two million dollars on it, and it will take another two million dollars to complete it. We are not building it for the benefit of the people of British Columbia alone. We are building it for the benefit of the people of Canada, and 1 believe, sir, that provincial highways through all the provinces should be considered as Canadian highways. I hope that by next session the government will have had some light on this great question, and that they will take a leaf out of the book of our neighbour to the south and bring down a vote in support of highway building. The federal government of the United States have been contributing large sums of money to highways, because they believe that a good highway is one of the best assets any country can have. You can take the highway at Vancouver, British Columbia, and travel *clear through to Mexico, a paved road all the *way, and you can take the highway here and travel right through to Florida. It has been pointed out that it would be a good business investment.

There are two industries closely allied with good roads, that is, the automobile industry and the tourist industry. Good roads and better roads mean more cars and more cars. It means an increase in our automobile industry, and, under the policy of the government, there will be a greater revenue in customs tax because there will be all the more automobiles imported. From the standpoint of the tourist traffic, when we take into consideration the fact that there is one car for every five people in the United States, and that there are sixteen million families in the United States who own their own cars, longing to get out into a new country, it is not hard to realize the benefits that would accrue. Here we have the pulling power. Canada's scenery pulls them this year and next year that attraction will be even more powerful. We have the playgrounds of the maritimes and the beautiful and historic spots of the old provinces of Quebec and Ontario, the grain fields of the prairies and the Switzerland of the Pacific coast?

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LIB

Hewitt Bostock (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

The SPEAKER:

The hon. gentleman's

time has expired.

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LIB

Liguori Lacombe

Liberal

Mr. LIGUORI LACOMBE (Laval-Two Mountains):

Mr. Speaker, We must naturally infer from the budget which the hon. Minister of Finance (Mr. Robb) delivered on the first day of the present month that the affairs of the Dominion are in a flourishing state. Thanks to the prosperous condition of our finances, the Canadian taxpayer will further benefit this year by a reduction in taxation amounting fo more than $25,000,000. The customs returns amount to $185,000,000, an increase of $28,000,000 over the fiscal year of 1927, apart from the increase of excise taxes and the revenue from the income tax, notwithstanding the 10 per cent reduction of last session.

During the last six years, the present government has decreased our national debt by more than $226,000,000. Our favourable trade balance amounts to nearly $155,000,000. This is why, I think, the Canadian people are bound to be proud of the administration. Notwithstanding an increase of $6,000,000 in the country's general expenditure, our government is in a position to apprise the people of Canada of a surplus of $97,000,000. Let me remind this honourable house that agriculture alone will be granted this year $1,189,055 more than it received last year. That, sir, is an act of justice on the part of the government in favour of our largest industry.

The farmer employs on the land 45 per cent of the Canadian labourers; almost half of the hand labour employed in industries. Have we ever seriously considered the consequences which might overtake our economic situation were agriculture to take one step backward or suffer a temporary check? Have we foreseen the disastrous consequences which would follow the desertion of the soil, the contempt for the farm and the disavowal of the patriotic virtues inherent in the calling and the person of our sturdy farmer? Will the happy folks of our countryside to-morrow, inherit the ideal good humour, energy and admirable perseverance of their predecessors?-the strength and prosperity of Canada in the past, and her glory to-day. Yes, so long as those at the helm of public affairs always bear in mind the true, constant and urgent needs of the producer and the consumer, and the welfare of all the citizens of Canada.

In the present debate, the hon. members for South Wellington (Mr. Guthrie) and Fort William (Mr. Manion) have each in turn uttered their usual lamentations and exaggerated complaints. Indeed, the views of the most enlightened industrial and financial men,

The Budget-Mr. Lacombe

the statistics furnished by those who carry weight in the business world, suffice entirely to explode the bold statements of those honourable members. In fact, according to the annual statement of the Royal Bank of Canada, the contracts granted in connection with construction in this country during the first months of 1928 amount to $453,000,000, compared with $247,000,000 for the same period of the year 1924. The outlay for the building of bridges, wharfs, highways and streets increased from $5,000,000 to $100,000,000, during the last four years. This year the Canadian Pacific Railway Company intends to apply to its system of transportation by wateT and land the sum of $50,000,000. and the Canadian National Railways 'will expend $30,000,000.

With these facts before us and the statement of the hon. Minister of Finance, how will the hon. members of the opposition substantiate their charges? How will they contend, without exposing themselves to ridicule that bankruptcy is at our door when the financial situation of Canada reveals an era of prosperity which on the whole is reflected in every field of activity? Is the hon. member for Fort William justified in stating "Let us have a more virile Canadian policy than that advocated by the government"?-when the present virile and courageous administration generously devotes itself to the interests of the nation. Will my hon. friend still persist in his charges notwithstanding the progress accomplished during the last few years? The marvellous strides of our country loudly proclaim the truly national policy of the government.

I shall not tarry over the compliments paid by the hon. member for South Wellington to his ex-leader, Mr. Meighen. I may, however, point out that the hon. member might have raised to his venerated leader a monument more flattering to both of them, than the unbusinesslike piece of legislation to which he referred, and which already has been judged and condemned by the people of this country.

Now,, sir, in closing my remarks I cannot remain silent on the amendment of the hon. member for South Wellington. The object of the amendment was conceived in darkness and brought to light under the mantle of adequate protection.

I shall have the opportunity in the course of the present session to discuss our tariff policy. However, I have no fear in stating right now that the high protection which the hon. members of the opposition have been

using as a talisman for a number of years is not suited as a whole to the interests of this country where the various types of farming and industrial aims are so different. I agree that for certain natural products of a national character we should carry out an experiment of a seasonal tariff during the months of June, July, August and September. I have already advised such a step, and I do now advocate and shall not cease advocating the trial of such a tariff by the government. Our fruit and vegetables, in the interest of the producer, must have free access to our home markets. The consumer, during this period of overproduction, cannot indeed find fault with the high prices since he can find on his own markets fresh vegetables in plenty. Moreover, has the consumer ever taken into consideration that he must often make good to the middleman the transportation charges on foreign products, amounting to from $60 to $80 per car?

Thanks to laudable rivalry among our truck-gardeners and to intensive gardening, the consumer will benefit greatly by the aid given to the farming class. The surplus of hand labour will find work in the neighbouring rural districts of large cities and thereby help production. The grading of garden products, and the ever increasing improvement in the methods of gardening are great assets both to the consumer and producer. Farming needs markets. The government has created them and is ever ready to grant this great basic industry generous assistance. All earthly things are subject to improvement. However, if we consider for a moment the evil regime of the Tory party and peer into the present glorious prosperity, we have no hesitation in giving our verdict.

If, for a moment, we glance at the dairy industry's situation, we see that it is developing splendidly under the benevolent protection of the leaders of the nation. So much so that Mr. Frank Herns, secretary of the Western Ontario Dairyman's Association, recently declared that it never had been so prosperous. If we glance at the marvellous expansion of industry and trade, the increase of more than 3,000,000 acres of our land under cultivation during the year 1928 alone, is it possible to accept as reasonable the exaggerated criticism of the opposition? No, sir! On the contrary, I believe that all well-thinking citizens of Canada will without hesitation cast aside the selfish charges of our hon. friends of the opposition. I am confident that the present government will endeavour to carry on the

The Budget-Mr. Bothwell

administration of the country in the interest of all classes, instead of sacrificing one class to another, always bearing in mind that every individual, in whatever trade or occupation he may be engaged, is entitled to justice and generous assistance.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF OF.RATF. ON THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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LIB

Charles Edward Bothwell

Liberal

Mr. C. E. BOTHWELL (Swift Current):

The budget each year seems to bring many varied opinions from the different corners of the house. After the Minister of Finance (Mr. Robb) brought down his budget I was interested in noticing the press reports as to the opinion throughout the country regarding it, and it seemed to me that the budget was well received in all quarters of Canada I was somewhat surprised when last week the acting leader of the opposition (Mr. Guthrie) m his address in this house criticized that budget. He congratulated the Minister of Finance on the manner in which the budget had been presented, and also on the reduction which was being made in the debt of Canada; but he took occasion to criticize 'him with respect to many particulars in connection with it. I was rather interested in the quotations given by the hon. member for South Wellington from the public accounts. Reading from page 45 he stated that the Liberal government should take no credit for having surpluses because the party which he represents also, *while in power, had surpluses; and he quoted from the public accounts to show that while there was a surplus from year to year during several years of Liberal regime, there were also surpluses during several years of Conservative rule. If the hon. gentleman had turned to the very next page he would have been able to give the country information as to what such surpluses really amounted to. He did not tell us, for instance, when quoting the figures for the years 1917 to 1922, showing an increase from $41,000,000 to $S2,000,000, that these surpluses were gained at the expense of an increasing public debt in Canada from $81,000,000 to $674,000,000 per annum. The increases in the debt, taken from page 46 of the public accounts, for the years quoted by the hon. gentleman, from 1918 to 1922, are as follows:

1918

$312,697,764 701919

382,646,969 941920

674,337,591 351921

92.010,359 901922

81,256,818 04

The hon. member might also have directed the attention of the house to the fact that since confederation there have been only thirteen years in which there have been no surpluses, and ten of those thirteen years

were during the regime of the party for which he was speaking the other day. On the other hand, during the Liberal administration-quoting for the same years, from page 46 of the public accounts-we find that the Liberal government not only had surpluses but also reduced the public debt of Canada. In 1923 there was an increase of $31,641,067.01, and from that time there have been continual decreases in the debt. It might be interesting to put these figures on Hansard in order to compare them with those set out by the hon. member for South Wellington. The decreases in the debt have been:

1924

$35,993,593 861925

345,589 291926

27.706,586 171927

41,896,729 331928

50,984.137 17

And according to the Minister of Finance the amount for the year ending March 31, 1929, will be $69,782,000. Since confederation there have been fourteen years in which there have been reductions in the debt of Canada, and of these fourteen years ten of them have been during Liberal administrations.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF OF.RATF. ON THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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CON

George Reginald Geary

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GEARY:

To complete the record, would the hon. gentleman explain how the public debt was added to during the years from 1917 to 1922, by expenses in connection with the war and railway administration?

Topic:   THE BUDGET
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LIB

Charles Edward Bothwell

Liberal

Mr. BOTHWELL:

The public knows that. During the years from 1914 to 1918, and possibly in the years following, we have had the expenses of war and the aftermath of war.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
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CON

George Reginald Geary

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GEARY:

I am sorry to interrupt the hon. gentleman, but this is a little circumstance which is generally omitted in statements made by hon. members opposite.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
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LIB

Charles Edward Bothwell

Liberal

Mr. BOTHWELL:

Listening to the debate I gather that the main criticisms are two: first, that there should be further reductions in taxation, and secondly that there should be a greater measure of protection of industry. With regard to the first-reductions in taxation-this has been dealt with by speakers who have preceded me, and it has also been discussed at some length by the Minister of Finance himself in his address to the house. Since this administration came into office there have been reductions in taxation in various forms; we have had reductions in the income tax, in the sales tax, in -the tariff, which is indirect taxation, in stamp taxes, postal taxes and so forth. It is not necessary to give the details of the reductions. It may be a fact that more money is being collected

The Budget-Mr. Bothwell

from the people of Canada now than was the case during the former administration, but to me that only reflects the increased prosperity of the country. The hon. member for East Calgary (Mr. Adshead) explained something of the difference between the burden of taxation and the rate of taxation; if the country is in a more prosperous condition it will contribute more money to the government by way of revenue which might be taken as taxation, but such taxation will not affect the people so much as otherwise would be the case.

I am going to leave that phase of the situation there and consider for a few moments the arguments for increased protection. I am reminded of the session of 1926, when quite a number of new members entered this house; during that session we listened for days at a time to different debates and we heard the calamity talk from hon. gentlemen opposite. We newer members almost feared that we were going to bring about the ruination of Canada; we were almost smothered with statistics quoted by hon. members opposite and it looked as though we were facing absolute ruin. Since that time we have learned not to take too seriously remarks made by hon. gentlemen opposite; after three or four years we find that instead of facing ruin Canada is now in a better and more prosperous condition than ever has been the case. It might be interesting to some hon. members to note a page of the Financial Post, which is not particularly friendly to this government. I refer to the issue of March 8, page 7, which deals with Canadian business conditions and where the following headings will be noticed:

Building Values Setting Records in Current Year.

Dollar Business Sets Up New Mark.

Iron and Steel Producers Active.

Labour Situation Best in Decade, Report Reveals.

January Trade Returns Above Those Last Year.

January Imports of Rubber Reflect Increased Activity.

Then in the summary, under the heading "Business Still Moves Forward" we find the following:

Commodity prices:

Steady at present; may be lower.

Iron and steel:

January output largest for some years. Looks like good year for industry. Building:

First two months' total 50 per cent higher than same period year ago.

Foreign trade:

Good. January returns well above those of last year.

Employment:

Best on record at beginning of last month. Outlook exceedingly good.

Car loadings:

Larger for iveek of February 23 than in same week of 1928.

Stock market:

Displays good degree of strength. Company reports of favourable nature.

Credit: _

Abundant for business. Banks withhold credit for stock speculation.

Agriculture:

Farmers in good financial position. Cheese

exports in good volume. Live stock sales satisfactory.

Trend: .

The new budget is uninspiring. Farming, mining and fishing industries benefit by tariff changes. Public debt is lowered. Dollar volume of business again increases. Wholesale and retail trade satisfactory in volume.

That does not look very much like what was forecast during 1926 and 1927; instead of the blue ruin we thought we might be facing from what hon. gentlemen opposite said, to-day under this government we have the conditions I have placed before you.

Many references have been made to the possible increase of the United States tariff; we hope that these increases will not materialize and we do not believe they will to any great extent. We realize that the United States is a country with which we want to trade; it is the natural market for the goods we have to export and we would like to have access to that market as easily and for as long as possible. However, in the event of the forecasts made by some American newspapers coming true and the tariff being increased, what possible benefit would it be to the people of Canada to increase our tariff by way of retaliation? This matter was dealt with yesterday by the hon. member for Lisgar (Mr. Brown), and he gave several illustrations. If we are shut out of the United States market we will not help ourselves by increasing our tariff and paying more for the things we bring into Canada; we will have to look for other markets. This government have been endeavouring continually to enlarge our markets and have our goods exported to countries other than the United States, and we must continue that policy. I say it would do us no possible good to increase our tariffs against the United States.

Over 50 per cent of our total exports are made up of agricultural and animal products; according to the trade summary for the twelve months ending with January, 1929, I find that the total export trade of Canada for that period amounted to $1,362,128,965. Of that

The Budget-Mr. Bothwell

amount agricultural and vegetable product-s totalled $655,028,655 and animal products $162,369,317, so the total of these classes of exports is more than 50 per cent of all our exports, and of the agricultural products exported grain makes up a big proportion.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF OF.RATF. ON THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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CON

James Dew Chaplin

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CHAPLIN:

May I ask the hon. member a question? Would he consider fish as being part of the animal products he mentions?

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF OF.RATF. ON THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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LIB

Charles Edward Bothwell

Liberal

Mr. BOTHWELL:

Ordinarily fish would

not be so considered, but even if I take the figures given by the hon. member for South Wellington (Mr. Guthrie) when he analysed the budget, still I find that agricultural and animal products make up over 50 per cent of our total exports.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF OF.RATF. ON THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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March 13, 1929