March 19, 1929

CON

Henry Herbert Stevens

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEVENS:

Over all the period of

Canada's history from confederation down j 2 ilpO

to the present time. Let me turn to the record of this government from 1923 to 1928 inclusive. These are the figures:

Imports from United Kingdom

Dutiable goods $901,000,000

Free goods 205,000,000

Or only 18 per cent free.

Imports from United States

Dutiable goods $2,502,000,000

Free goods 1,797,000,000

In other words, during the last seven years 42 per cent of 'the goods we imported from the United States were admitted free of duty. Let us compare the totals. The totals for the whole period since confederation are as follows:

Imports

From the United Kingdom. $ 4,400,000,000

From the United States.. 13,300,000,000

In other words, six times as much free goods entered this country from the United States as from Great Britain. I ask where the keystone of the foreign trade of this country is. I ask the minister: Where is the enthusiasm

on the part of the government for the upbuilding of empire trade?

Topic:   THE BUDGET
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LIB

Arnold Neilson Smith

Liberal

Mr. SMITH (Stormont):

Are the imports from the United States not largely raw material for further manufacture?

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CON

Henry Herbert Stevens

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEVENS:

No, the situation is exactly the opposite. There are some hon. members who hold the view-and it is the old Adam Smith view-that if you want to sell your goods, you have to buy goods. I have often heard that from hon. gentlemen opposite and from some of my hon. friends to my left. I ask them sincerely and earnestly to consider the figures. Since confederation we sold to the United Kingdom $12,500,000,000 worth of goods, while during the same period we sold to the United States only $8,500,000,000 worth of goods. In other words, we sold 50 per cent more to the motherland than to the United States. On the basis of this so-called Adam Smith theory of trade I ask this of my hon. friends: Is it not time that parliament

addressed itself to the problem of buying goods where we sell them? Let us remember that in the same period we bought from Great Britain only $4,000,000,000 worth of goods or one-third of what we sold them. We are just $8,000,000,000 behind in our purchases-from Great Britain. Qn the other hand we are just $5,000,000,000 ahead in our purchases from the United States. To show that this-condition is increasing in its adverse influence

The Budget-Mr. Stevens

upon British trade, I can quote the figures of the United States. During the years 1923 to 192S our total purchases were as follows:

From the United States. .. $4,300,000,000

From Great Britain 1,100,000,000

In other words our purchases from the United States were four times as much as from Great Britain.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
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LAB

Herbert Bealey Adshead

Labour

Mr. ADSHEAD:

Is it not a fact that we purchased all we needed from Great Britain and the balance went to pay our debts in the United States?

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CON

Henry Herbert Stevens

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEVENS:

I see the hon. member

for Lisgar (Mr. Brown) taps his desk a little timidly. I might as well interject this at this point. The excess of our trade with the United States amounting to $5,000,000,000 is represented in $4,000,000,000 of investments in this country. In other words, when we speak of the great investments of the United States in Canada amounting to $4,000,000,000, we ourselves have overpaid that by $1,000,000,000. It is our own money that the United States is investing in Canada. I am not going to labour that point further, but I put to the house this problem as one of the problems challenging the attention of Canada: if we are going to continue this process of trade and purchasing, we are going to make Canada an economic vassal of the United States. If we persist in this course, there is no other outcome for us. I think it is about four years ago, speaking on the budget, I took even a more analytical form in presenting similar figures and I concluded my remarks then with this observation to the Prime Minister. I said: If the policies of the right hon. gentleman are persisted in, he will deliver Canada shackled and bound economically into the hands of the United States. I now bring forward additional figures to show that the progress in that direction is, if anything, accelerated.

There is more that I would like to have said, but I shall have to cut a good deal of it out. The Minister of Trade and Commerce offered, as his answer to the contention that conditions in this country were perhaps not all that some held they were, that car loadings in Canada were some 846,000 cars over what they were in 1923. He used these words:

It cannot be otherwise than that this increase in tonnage has helped employment in the transportation systems.

He left it at that. What are the facts? I get this from the Bureau of Statistics as well as from the railway board and I hope

the minister will not challenge my figures. The number of employees in the transportation business were as follows:

1923 178,000

1928 176,000

Or 2,000 less than in 1923. Yet the minister came before parliament and said that, because there was an increase in car loadings, there was an increase in employment in the transportation systems. What is the explanation? It is a simple one and parliament ought to know it. We have passed through parliament from year to year large sums of money for the purchase of new locomotive power for the Canadian National; the Canadian Pacific has done the same thing, and to-day they are hauling trains of 100 or 125 cars whereas a few years ago they hauled probably 50 or 60 cars. The result is an actual falling off in employment in that branch of activity. I am not criticizing this; I am saying it because the government comes before parliament and says that because there is an increase in car loadings, ipso facto there is an increase in employment in that branch of activity.

I said a moment ago that there were two types_ of policy that might direct the affairs of this country. One is a broad, comprehensive policy that keeps constantly in mind the vast potentialities of Canada. I wish to cite just a few of the milestones in Canadian history and I invite the house to consider the fact that every one of those milestones, each one of which called for broad vision, was brought about under Conservative administration.

Confederation was inspired and directed not wholly but largely by the Conservatives; they at least took the initiative in it.

Take the western territories and the organization of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police-the Canadian Pacific railwayiSome hon. MEMBERS: Oh, oh.

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CON

Henry Herbert Stevens

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEVENS:

Some laugh. That was introduced by a Conservative government and was opposed bitterly by the Liberals of that day. The road was Said to be incapable of earning the axle grease necessary for the trains, and yet to-day it is one of the greatest, if not the greatest, institution in the world, with its steamships running to all quarters of the globe and its railway lines penetrating every corner of this country-an institution that has done more to advertise Canada perhaps than any other agency that we have, whatever we may think of it.

Then there was the national policy of 1878. I am not going to argue that; I simply say

The Budget-Mr. Stevens

that it was introduced as a result of a large vision of the needs of the country at that time.

Then there was the conduct of Canada's part in the Great war. There may be divisions of opinion and schism in regard to this, but the conduct of that great war by this country was an almost superhuman task, and, Mr. Speaker, there are men who broke under the weight of that responsibility, and no wonder. Nevertheless, that great task was conducted by a Conservative administration.

Then there was the foresight shown in opening up the St. Lawrence river and the making of the little eight-foot Welland canal into a big ship canal; the opening of navigation through the Soo from lake Superior to the ocean, and bringing what was then a great unpeopled west in touch with the seaboard. That task was undertaken by a Conservative administration.

Then there was the co-ordination of the Canadian National railway system. Well I remember the bitterness with which that was opposed. I want to say here that it was one of the most mammoth undertakings ever attacked by any government or any parliament, and it was due to the former leader of this party that that great task was successfully accomplished.

The system of trade commissioners, of which the Minister of Trade and Commerce is to-day so justly proud, was introduced by Sir George Foster when he was Minister of Trade and Commerce.

Then there was considerable of what might be called social legislation. There was a vote of 910,000,000 for technical education, aid to which is now rejected and refused by the government, which has set up in this country a magnificent system of technical education, giving our young lads and our young girls a chance in the growing industrial activities of this country. Aid to technical education is now coldly rejected by this government.

Housing,. There was a time immediately after the war when the housing problem in this country was acute. The Conservative government set aside 920,000,000 to help solve the 'housing shortage.

Aid to highways. One of the most necessary things in this country is a highway to link up the different units of confederation. One of the biggest things that could be undertaken by parliament is the opening up of a national highway to unite this great country. The Conservative government appropriated 125,000,000 for that purpose, and started the work. The work was well done and the money well spent, but there ar certain gaps remaining.

Civil service reform. The basis of whatever benefits the civil servants now enjoy was given to them by a Conservative government.

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

Charles Marcil

Liberal

Mr. MARCIL:

Will the hon. gentleman

allow me a question? He spoke of technical education and civil service reform. Both of these measures were introducedl by the Liberal party, under Sir Wilfrid Laurier.

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CON

Henry Herbert Stevens

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEVENS:

No, certainly not. The

hon. gentleman is not strictly correct. Sir Wilfrid Laurier, in 1910, appointed a commission, but I have not time to go into that.

Aid to agriculture-

Topic:   THE BUDGET
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?

An hon. MEMBER:

And votes for women.

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CON

Henry Herbert Stevens

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEVENS:

Yes, and we extended the franchise to women. We provided for seed grain advances, and some of our friends from the prairies will realize what a great benefit that was to the farmers.

The original national parks scheme-

Topic:   THE BUDGET
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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Time.

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CON

Henry Herbert Stevens

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEVENS:

The Speaker is in the

chair, and if hon. gentlemen will allow him to call time, he will do it at the proper time.

The Conservative government introduced measures for the establishment of national parks. The Conservative government created the fuel board, but it has been allowed to languish under- Liberal rule and nothing to any extent has been done since this government came into power.

These are some of the milestones, Mr. Speaker, in Canadian history, and it was because of breadth of vision and foresight that these great things were inaugurated under Conservative administration, and to my mind, sir, that is what is required to-day to cope with the embarrassing problems that are now facing us.

Miss AGNES C. MACPHAIL (Southeast Grey): I sometimes think that Canada

suffers greatly from an inferiority complex, but evidently it has not infected the Conservative party. I greatly enjoyed the speech of the hon. member for Vancouver Centre (Mr. Stevens). He always speaks clearly and well, but I am astounded that in this enlightened day he should claim credit for the Conservative party for giving the franchise to women. I do not know of anything more scandalous except the War Time Elections Act, of which it was a part, than the manner of granting of the franchise to women in 1917. Does the hon. member for Vancouver Centre and his party not know that it was the starvation and the fighting fhe going to

The Budget-Miss Macphail

jail and the forcible feeding suffered by the suffragettes of Great Britain, and to a lesser extent of the United States, that gave the franchise to the Canadian women?

Topic:   THE BUDGET
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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Oh, oh.

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PRO

Agnes Campbell Macphail

Progressive

Miss MACPHAIL:

Hon, members do

not show good sense in laughing at that. It is true; it is not a thing to be laughed at. The Conservative government-they called themselves the Union government-gave votes to women in 1917, but not to all women. That would be too risky, and I have noticed that the Conservative government and the Union government did not take many risks; in fact, governments, no matter what kind they are, do not take many risks, and so the Conservative government did not give votes to all women.

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CON

Peter McGibbon

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. McGIBBON:

They gave them to those who were qualified.

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PRO

Agnes Campbell Macphail

Progressive

Miss MACPHAIL:

The hon. member for

Muskoka-Ontario (Mr. McGibbon) can make his own speech. They gave votes to women who they thought would vote for them at that particular time, and their guess was good. They gave votes to some women, not to all women, and not because they were intelligent, but because they had a husband or a brother or a son fighting at the front. Whether war time or not, it was a very stupid way of extending the franchise to women.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
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CON

Richard Burpee Hanson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HANSON:

You were not qualified,

that is all.

Miss MACPHAIL If my hon. friend was, I have no apologies to offer because I was not. In 1921 for the first time, women voted, and I am very glad to say that 1921 brought me here. I am sorry that more did not come with me.

To talk for a moment of prosperity, it is true, as almost every speaker has said, that there is a degree of prosperity in Canada, but that prosperity to my mind is spotty, it is felt only by certain classes, and by the classes, by the way, who need it least. We live m a spending age. People want to buy things whether they can afford them or not, and business wanting to help them buy because business, quite rightly, wants to sell, has instituted the instalment plan of buying. We buy stocks on margin. People to-day borrow from the banks to a degree never thought of ten or twenty years ago, and when they

borrow from the bank it is written down in bank's books as a deposit. Yet everybody will admit that wealth has not increased by that act of borrowing. The use of automobiles and their rapid replacement has released a very great deal of credit. Possibly the savings of the last generation have beenspent, as well as what has been earned inthis generation, and in addition, the months and years that lie ahead of us have been mortgaged in many cases to purchase these things. I do not call that very real prosperity. Yet there has been some real prosperity, and I would not want to appear to pass over it. The mining industry has really developed. New fields for agriculture have been opened up, either through a more intensive agriculture or the opening up of new territory, and that is real development.

I want to show the house-and I will have no difficulty in doing so-that farming is not one of the industries participating in the prosperty that is being so much talked about. If the government reads its own publication, Sixty Years of Canadian Progress, published by the Department of Trade and Commerce, it will find that there must be an investment of seven dollars to produce one dollar annually in agriculture; while an investment of three dollars will produce better than two dollars annually in the manufacturing industries. The full figures will be found at pages 60 and 89, but I will not quote them now, having dealt with them last session. I need not say that capital and labour are leaving the land, they are fighting shy of it, because it does not pay the return on either capital or labour that almost any other industry does.

I have before me a statement compiled by and for the life insurance companies of Canada to show that they had better not continue investing their funds in rural mortgages. With the consent of the house I shall be glad to put this table on Hansard. The figures show that in 1926, $73,086,916 was invested in rural mortgages, and the loss was $1,313,810. The amount of money invested in urban mortgages was $192,264,998, and the loss only $256,015. That is, with two and three-quarter times more invested in urban property the loss was only one-fifth the loss on rural property. The figures for 1927 show a little improvement in both agricultural and rural property, but the proportions are about the same. I place these tables on Hansard:

The Budget-Miss Macphail

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ALL INSURANCE COMPANIES-FARM MORTGAGES


Province Alberta British Columbia Manitoba New Brunswick CO go JN o o o <0 $ 16,830,397 355,583 13,918,771 800 m Ip 2 ft ^ ,5 ft co rt ft? ft<M P > u „ Q O O ,-T -M'S p tn CO <D <D ft £ ^ w a;*-1 S3 d c C pO O c3 $3,360,334 68,985 2,888,800 S S 2 ° 2 S' « g « 8 * S 8^ . ft tv-1 a> p-* r-^- o ^Sug-sis-sg n u C O * C o ®03 C-l r- C QJ O O 1-1 $ 941,996 13.482 158,694 Nova Scotia Ontario Prince Edward Island 1,727,150 27,800 45,444 457Quebec 105J73 15,902 Saskatchewan 3,556,590 199,181$ 73,086,916 $9,936,055 $1,313,810


ALL COMPANIES-OTHER THAN FARM MORTGAGES

March 19, 1929