March 19, 1929


Alberta British Columbia.. .. Manitoba New Brunswick.. .. Nova Scotia Ontario Prince Edward Island Quebec Saskatchewan $ 6,213,927 $ 251.266 $ 115,08811,987,084 100,901 76.35222,407,770 590,034 10,968298,291 700,881 34,31685,983,981 307,999 10,2767,700 57,974,044 333,138 6,691,320 84,904 9,115$192,264,998 $1,668,242 $ 256,015


ALL INSURANCE COMPANIES-FARM MORTGAGES


Province Alberta a [DOT]* o o Q CD fiQ . & 1 fi QSO 917 ® Amount of loar a on which interc 3 has been overdi 5 one year or moi o at Dec. 31, 1927 Total amount written off 9 mortgages or jj foreclosed real o estate and loss £ on sale of foreclosed real estate during 1927 British Columbia . 323,183 52,178 «pManitoba New Brunswick * 830 Nova Scotia Ontario Prince Edward Island , 3/5 000 Quebec 15,938 Saskatchewan $ 73,873,774 $8,541,866 $1,558,104ALL COMPANIES-OTHER Alberta British Columbia Manitoba New Brunswick THAN FARM $ 6,780,585 17,557,801 25,875,126 280,737 611,753 101,214,655 7,700 71,573,584 8,970,460 MORTGAGES $ 251,817 154,878 847,622 $ 77,201 14,114 93,936Nova Scotia Ontario Prince Edward Island Quebec 179Saskatchewan $232,872,401 $1,623,486 $ 227,055 [Miss Ma^pUaU 1 10S7 The Budget-Miss Macphail I think many of us have read the articles written by Mr. E. C. Drury in MacLean's magazine dealing with farm conditions. In one of these articles-I do not have the date of its appearance; I made this extract at the time-he stated: No farmer can stay on the farm and maintain the same standard of living at the present time as, for instance, those in other businesses. Others are not cleverer, because we are continually filling their ranks with sons of the soil. Considering capital plus labour-farming pays less than any other calling. I do not think Mr. Drury was overstating what is a well-known fact. To-day one can scarcely sell farm land in many counties in old Ontario. If a sale is effected it must be for the value of the buildings or the value of the land, for certainly the owner will not get the value of both. If farm lands in old Ontario could be sold readily, at least one-half the farms would change hands overnight. It really boils down to this, that the farmer pays more for every service he needs than he receives for the service he renders. In the Canadian Countryman for February 9, 1929, the editor has worked out a table that will no doubt interest hon. members. I have not time to go through it in detail, but he compares the increased wages of men working in the building, metal, printing and miscellaneous factory trades since 1913 with the increased prices of farm products during the same period. He reaches this conclusion: A comparison of this table with the one given previously shows that while people engaged in building trades are getting approximately $1.79 for every $1 they received before the war, farmers are only getting $1.26 in the case of hogs, and $1.44 in the case of eggs, and illustrates clearly the disparity between what farmers earn and what very large numbers of city people earn. And he proceeds to say: If farmers received as much for their products as people engaged in miscellaneous factory trades receive for their labour, instead of the price of creamery butter being 40 cents it would be 58 cents per pound; eggs would sell for 54 cents per dozen instead of 38 cents per dozen; wheat for $1.94 instead of $1.32 per bushel; oats for 80 cents instead of 53 cents per bushel; butcher steers for $14 instead of $9.65 per hundred; and hogs for $18.20 instead of $11.50. But it is not only in labour that the farmer is paying more than he receives-and do not misunderstand me. I do not want labour to get less, rather I want farmers to get more. I am not one of those farmers who want to see cheap labour, and I am not advocating cheap labour-but, I say, it is not only- in labour that the farmer pays more than he receives. When he pays for medical services he pays a very, very high rate. One major operation, one long sickness, and he may lose his farm in meeting the expenses. People who are very poor or people who are very wealthy can afford to be sick, but the middle classes cannot. Dental services are also expensive, and necessary. But much as it costs to be sick or to get a tooth fixed, it is nothing to what it costs to die. Speaking for the province of Ontario, I say that a farmer cannot afford to die-the expenses are too heavy. In fact the burial expenses may absorb all his savings. We can fight shy of the lawyer-that is a blessing anyhow-but if we have to employ his services the fee charged by the doctor or even by the undertaker shrinks into insignificance compared with the lawyer's fee. I have had very little to do with lawyers in a business way, but this year I had occasion to in connection with a farm mortgage. The lawyer-he practises in a town in old Ontario-charged the man who was getting a $4,000 mortgage ten dollars for exchange, although $2,000 was paid by an official cheque and $1,000 by a bank draft. Someone else will have to explain this charge; I cannot. Not only are wages going up all along the line, but taxes also. I might initerject here that the end of the raise in wages has not yet been reached: the deputy ministers are to have a very handsome increase in their salary this year, the judges, I dare say, will be back before long for an increase in their salaries, and so it goes. Municipal, provincial and federal taxes have increased enormously, and the farmer not only pays his own taxes but, as everyone of us knows, he pays a good part of the other fellow's in the increased cost of services and commodities. I do not know of any body of men that is less well informed on actual conditions in the country than the members of tihe government. When they go out into the .country all the people who have been making money on the stock exchange or by some other method entertain them, they get the band out and the flags flying, with the result that being so lavishly entertained our cabinet ministers know nothing about those who are in a poor way and who possibly have not got a dress suit in which to meet these hon. gentlemen. Apparently the government thinks that the wheat crop this year brought great wealth to Canada. The wheat crop of the prairies was certainly a bulky one, and the railways earned as much in hauling down to the head of the lakes No. 3 or No. 5 grade as they did for No. 1. The grade of the wheat does not affect the earnings of the railways. And the banks made just as much on their loan to the farmer who is still carrying that loan as if he had been able loss



The Budget-Miss Macphail to pay it off; indeed, in such cases the banks have made more money in interest charges. The farmer had to borrow funds to buy food and clothes and the necessary machinery to harvest his crop, and in all probability he has not yet paid off that loan. The merchants in the small places would surely agree that they have lost money because the farmer has not been able to meet bis last year's debts. I do not propose to go fully into our loss of population, because this question will be dealt with by my colleague the member for East Lamb ton (Mr. Fansher). I shall deal only with the loss of population in the last twenty years in my own constituency of 'Southeast Grey. It comprises nine townships. Between 1901 and 1911 those nine townships lost 6,543 people, and between 1911 and 1921, 4,200, or in that period a total loss of 10,743. One can clearly see that unless this exodus ceases very soon there will be nobody left in Southeast Grey. I need not further emphasize to an intelligent body of legislators the fact that the agricultural industry in Canada is in a bad way; it is quite clearly the sick industry of the Dominion. And what remedy is offered? I have heard only two; one is protection and the other immigration. It is said that we should have protection by way of the tariff. We have two schools of protection in Canada, both high protection, the only difference being that in the case of the Liberals they talk low tariff and practise high tariff-low tariff to get the votes and high tariff to get the campaign funds in order to enable them to sit on the cushioned seats of the treasury benches. At least I can say this for the Conservative party, that with the one lapse of the Winnipeg convention they are consistent in their tariff policy; whether one thinks of them as they are to-day or as they were a hundred years ago or as they will be a hundred years hence, they are always in the same place-the place of special privilege. At the moment the Conservatives are advocating protection for agricultural products. I am sorry I did not have the pleasure of hearing it, but I read very carefully, and have re-read a part of it many times, the speech of the hon. member for South Wellington (Mr. Guthrie). It seems fashionable to congratulate somebody and I shall therefore congratulate the hon. member for South Wellington. And I may truly say this, that his speech has required more answering than the budget itself. I could not accept it all, but the first part was exceedingly good; and with a great part of it I did agree. I gather from that speech that the hon. gentleman advocates in the main keeping our agricul- tural products at home; that is to say: Don't let the other fellow's products come in, but keep our own products within Canada. One might boil it down to this: Let us eat our own products and so make ourselves prosperous. I am not so sure that it would make us prosperous, but it would make us full. That is clear. On page 757 of Hansard the hon. member is reported: I realize quite well that in many respects the United States market is the most convenient, the most expedient market which we have; in many respects it is the very best market in which to sell many of our farm products. If the hon. member was speaking officially for the Conservative party, then that party was eighteen years too late in finding that out; for in 1911 that was the very thing that was advocated by people who still believe that the United States market is a very good outlet for a considerable proportion at least, of our agricultural products. And if the Conservative party actually thought that the United States was a good market for our farm products, when they went into power in 1911 they could have turned right about face and helped us to market our products there- that is, if it is really the farmer they want to help. It would not have been the first time that a government turned right about face and did what in campaigning it said it would not do. I heard someone-I have forgotten who- say in this house that he more or less resented the inaugural speech of Mr. Hoover, the newly elected president of the United States. Well, I read very carefully what the newspapers reported of his speech and I considered it masterly. I thought it was a broadminded speech, with one exception: it is very difficult to be internationally minded on one thing and nationally minded on another, and President Hoover had something to say about a tariff in regard to farm products. We must remember however, if we intend to be fair, that the United States offered us a market for our farm products and kept that offer open for a long time. We did not accept it, and it is their own business if they shut out our products; and we have no right at all to feel any resentment against them. Indeed, they must think we are very hard to please if neither thing they offered pleases us. I am not one of those who believe that the raising of the tariff will not injure agriculture in this country; I think it will. It will particularly injure the cattle and dairy people. The hon. member for South Wellington did not make clear to me how it is, if protection can operate to the benefit of the farmer, that the American farmer, who has been enjoying a large measure of protection for some time, The Budget-Miss Maephail is poorer, more discouraged and less able to help himself than the Canadian farmer, notwithstanding that he has access to one of the best home markets in the world. How considerable is the protection which the American farmer has enjoyed I will let a noted American tell you. In the last volume of the American Academy of Political and Social Science there appears at page 125 an article by John D. Black, professor of economics of Harvard university. Professor Black canvasses the question whether the tariff will do the agricultural population of the United States any good, and under the heading, " Possible Expansion of the Home Market", he says: The question now to be answered is: Assuming that expansion of the home market by shutting out some of these $647,377,000 of imports would be desirable, how much can really be accomplished in that direction, presumably by raising tariff duties? An examination of the tariff list reveals only two competitive products which do not now have tariff protection-cotton and hides. All the others-coffee, tea, bananas, silk, sisal, etc., are non-competitive. There does not appear much room for expansion here. Apparently the end must he obtained mostly by raising the existing tariff rates. But they seem to be rather high already. The ratio of duties collected to values of dutiable agricultural imports is running just under 40 per cent. These are not my words but the words of an eminent American. I do not think that protection can raise the prices of farm products in a country with an exportable surplus. A very good example of that is to be found in the United States in the matter of wheat. They had an annual exportable surplus of 3 per cent and they had a protection of 42 cents per bushel; yet wheat has been selling in Canada, almost constantly since 1925, higher than in the United States. No one has ever made me see-and I want to see it if it is true-how protection can protect agricultural products in this country with conditions as they are now. What I fear is that the farmer will place himself, if he asks for protection, in the position where he cannot refuse higher and ever higher protection to the manufacturing industry. Let me give an example to show how that works. In the United States, where the general opinion is that something will be done in regard to raising the tariff against imports of agricultural products, the manufacturer of cream separators, feeling that the man who has cream is gding to be considered, has already filed a request for an increase in duty on cream separators. And that is exactly what would happen here. The farmer would have to pay over and over again for any slight benefit that might come to him. There are perhaps a few things of which we have no 78594-69 exportable surplus in connection with which he might benefit in a very small degree, but he would then be in the position where he would be absolutely helpless against the manufacturer who would demand more and more protection for himself. I am particularly anxious that the farmer shall not again be fooled by high protection as he was in 1911. And let me say that the protectionists then were not all Conservatives by any means. On page 257 of the same volume from which I have already quoted there is a clear admission that the farmers of the United States have been fooled by the manufacturers in regard to protection. I should like to put this on Hansard: The manufacturing exporters know they cannot benefit by the tariff. They know that, on the whole, it tends to increase costs of production including, directly or indirectly, their own. Consequently they will, especially if and when competition in their essential external markets becomes keen, advocate a general lowering or abolition of duties. Their success will depend upon their ability to unite with them the farmer, whose interests are the same as theirs. In a footnote exception is made of a minority of farmers producing wool, flaxseed, and hard wheat. If they become numerous and powerful enough to do this before the farmer ceases to produce for export, their success will be easy. The manufacturers of the last two generations have bamboozled the farmer into voting against his own interests. There is no reason why the intelligent export manufacturers of the future may not with equal skill and better conscience convince the farmer of the truth. The only other remedy I have heard proposed is immigration. I noted a welcome change in the speech of the Minister of Immigration the other day, but until the present time the government have advocated getting immigrants, getting more settlers, regardless of cost or kind. Their solution for the agricultural problem was the tariff plus bringing in more farmers to produce more goods further to lower the prices we are getting for farm products. Isn't that brilliant? Only a government could do a thing so stupid; they were afraid they could not do it fast enough themselves to ruin agriculture and so they called to their assistance the railway companies and certain religious organizations. I hope that when the immigration estimates come up every farmer in this house, whether he is an Independent, a Liberal or a Conservative, will take the stand that as a farmer he is not going to be so dull as to sit still and see the people's money spent to bring in more farmers to compete in an already under-paid field. To my mind the way out for the agricultural industry lies with the farmers themselves



The Budget-Miss Maephail rather than with the government, although the government can help; the ability to solve the farm problem is latent in every farming community, although it is quite true that the rapid depopulation of the country makes it necessary that we should arouse the latent ability before all the virile and aggressive people have left the land. Farmers have suffered severely from an inferiority-complex, regardless of their political affiliations; the farmers need to trust themselves and stand on their own feet. This whole condition has come about because the farmer did not look after his own business. He must, not as an individual but as a group, enter the marketing, the financial and the legislative fields; he must become a dominant figure or at least a very important factor in each of these three fields. It is not possible for each individual farmer to study the needs of the market at home and abroad but it is possible for agriculture, well organized and selling its products efficiently, to do that very thing. We heard a great deal about our importations of cheese, but let me say there is cheese and cheese. I know that when the hon. member for South Wellington made his speech he made no difference, but down at the Chateau Laurier I am sure he would find a great deal of difference. We import a great deal of cheese because it is put up attractively and because it is of a kind the Canadian people want. So far as I know the producers of cheese, not the cheese factories but the people who produce the milk which is made into cheese, have not made any cooperative effort to put their cheese on the markets of the Dominion of Canada in a way acceptable to the Canadian people. In the first place they market it too fresh; sometimes I buy and attempt to eat cheese which tastes and feels a good deal like soap. It was not cheese; it was not ripened; it was not good for the home or the foreign market. Sometimes I buy soft cheese, because I like it; I do not care particularly where it is made. Surely one does not have to eat indigestible cheese just because it is made in Canada; that is carrying patriotism too far. If the men who produce the milk which is made into cheese will make of themselves a cooperative unit; if they will study the needs of the market and the needs of the consumer they will get a better price for their product. That is equally true of apples. Why is it that the British Columbia apple can compete at a higher price with our Ontario apple right under our noses, when the British Columbia apple has not the flavour of the On- [Miss Macphail.l tario Spy or McIntosh? Of course, we have been trained to think of an apple as a beautiful thing and we buy it on its looks, just as men pick their wives. That is why I have been so unlucky.


CON
PRO

Agnes Campbell Macphail

Progressive

Miss MACPHAIL:

There is no use in my building up false hopes. When a person buys graded apples be knows they will be uniform and attractively and conveniently boxed and he is willing to pay a higher price. Just as soon as the Ontario apple grower wants to get into the cooperative business he can command a higher price. I do not suggest that he go into a cooperative concern organized by a government; if there is anything in this world I distrust it is a concern of that kind. Let me cite the tobacco pool as a very fine example; but if the growers themselves organize they can put their apples on the market and certainly they will be purchased by the people of Ontario at least.

We have a very considerable degree of cooperative marketing in Canada now. I refer particularly to the grain pools, which came about as a direct result of twenty-five .years of farm organization and education and not from the work of the war-time wheat board. The farmer is learning to become intelligent as a group. I think it would astonish the house, as it astonished me, to learn that in 1927 we marketed cooperatively $500,000000 worth of farm products out of the total of $1,750,000,000 worth of farm products marketed. Supposing the farmers said, "We are going to put over the idea of cooperation to every farmer in Canada regardless of what he produces; we are going to carry on an educational campaign through a body which might be called the associated producers cooperatives." Supposing the farmers levied a tax on themselves, of one mill, or one dollar out of every thousand; that would give them the tidy sum of $500,000 a year. With that they could do very many things to sell the idea of cooperation to the Canadian farmer; they could do it through speeches, through discussions, through marketing schools, through moving pictures and the new "talkies" and through lectures, and it would not be very long before the farmers of Canada would be in the position the farmers of Denmark are :n to-day. Then they would laugh at anyone who tried to convince them that cooperative marketing was a good thing; they would know that themselves.

Then, when they had gone that far they could go still further. I am sorry time does

The Budget-Mr. Heenan

not permit me to go into this question more deeply, because it is a most interesting field, but the farmers could continue this annual levy in order to arouse the national consciousness to the need of rural culture. That exists to-day to a very limited degree, but it could be extended, deepened and sweetened; it is necesary to the moral well-being of this nation. All of this would take time and money, but it could be done, and there are many things the government could do to assist agriculture. Let me say right now that there is no use spending money for immigration; there is no use talking about our great prosperity until we get the basic industries prosperous. I do not claim for a moment that agriculture is the only basic industry but it is the chief industry and the government could do much for it. For instance, they could take the advice of the tariff board, which would be a very good body if the government would listen to them; they could free the implements of production from any taxation whatever; they could cut down expenditure as far as possible, thus lowering taxation; they could stop bringing in immigrants and they could bring about disarmament. No country in the world could lead the world better in disarmament than could Canada. They could revise the Bank Act in the interest of the masses. That may sound a Little like talking about heaven, but it is one of the things they should do. They could carry the grading of farm products through to the finished article. What is the use of grading hogs if we do not grade bacon? Unless we can win a place on the world markets for good -bacon there is no use grading the hogs. They could collect data from the whole world regarding agricultural conditions and broadcast it to the farmers of Canada. They could develop a federal health program which would lead to state responsibility for good health. There are many other things I would like to mention but I have not the time.

There is one matter which needs immediate consideration-if they think about it for five years they might do something-the financing of the wheat pool. Why could not credit be arranged between the treasury board and the wheat pool? The wheat pool has the wheat and they can deposit collateral with the treasury board; the treasury board has the right to issue credit, or give authority to somebody else to do it, but the way things are at present, the banks stand between the two and make a tidy profit out of doing nothing at all.

But when we got all that done we would still have this monstrosity known as the House of Commons; we would still have two 78594-691

hundred and forty-five members sitting here with the seventeen or so who are in the cabinet actually doing the ruling. Unless it is changed, we would still have this place where questions are not debated or decided on their merits; where private members, and particularly private members in the governing party are not free to advocate the needs of the people-the Liberal Progressive are a telling example of this. The people's representatives are bound and gagged by party discipline and by rules and customs. Perhaps I should say that they are bound and shackled because they are hardly gagged, but at least they have to talk to a wilderness of empty seats and closed minds.

When agriculture becomes fully organized it will then be powerful enough to be one of that group of interests which stand outside and pull the strings which operate the cabinet. But that does not seem to be a very democratic way of effecting government; I think it would be much better if agriculture strove to have the form of government changed in a way which would acknowledge the economic needs of the country and the economic nature of government; which would acknowledge the right of the agricultural group to function as they desired to were they not bound by the present rules and usages of the house. The people will soon realize that the geographical unit is a false unit in the electing of members to this house. Good sense may overtake us and we will realize that questions should be decided in this house on their merits; and I think there is a day in the future-possibly a long way ahead-when the cabinet will not rule parliament but will be subject to parliament. When that day does arrive w7e will have something which comes nearer to true democracy.

Topic:   ALL INSURANCE COMPANIES-FARM MORTGAGES
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LIB

Peter Heenan (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Hon. PETER HEENAN (Minister of Labour):

Mr. Speaker, If I am to finish

by six o'clock I must hurry along, and I know the member for Southeast Grey (Miss Mac-phail) will pardon me if I do not pay her the compliments I should like to have paid her.

During the course of the debate I have noticed that some of the hon. members seem loath to believe in the prosperity of this country. I noted that the hon. member for Vancouver Centre (Mr. Stevens) hesitated to accept the figures of car loadings as given by my colleague the Minister of Trade and Commerce (Mr. Malcolm). He pointed out that although railroading activities were improving in this- country there were less men engaged in that industry. In that he is probably correct, but the hon. member should not have

The Budget-Mr. Heenan

taken that decrease in number of employees as proof that we were not progressing. He should have realized that it was because of the more efficient organization of our railroads, the better cooperation and efficiency among railroad men which enabled us to get through the rush periods of traffic without having to bring in men from the United States who would only take wages out of the country. The hon. member stated that 2,000 less men were employed in 192S on our Canadian railways than were employed in 1923. No doubt that is true, but the wages paid the railroad men in 1923 amounted to $253,000,000, in round figures, as compared with $276,000,000 in 1928.

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LAB
LIB

Peter Heenan (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. HEENAN:

That figure covers operating wages. The Canadian railroad employees had $23,453,000 more amongst themselves in 1928 than they had in 1923, notwithstanding the fact that the last thing which was done under the Conservative administration in 1921 was to reduce the wages of railroad men by 121 per cent, involving an amount of $50,000,000.

I should like to take the opportunity afforded me in this debate to answer some remarks which have been made by hon. members opposite. I should like first to refer to a statement made by the hon. leader of the opposition (Mr. Bennett). When in Winnipeg on September 24 of last year he charged me, as I understand from the press, with being adverse to the British harvester movement. The following day I corrected that statement and I thought the matter was ended, but when the hon. member spoke in reply to the speech from the throne he quoted from an overseas publication to the effect that I had repudiated the harvester movement. I do not think it is necessary to go outside of Canada to obtain information as to what Canadian public men have said or with regard to Canadian affairs. I harm before me extracts from different newspapers published throughout the country, from Halifax to Vancouver. These newspapers have stated in effect that the Minister of Labour had defended the harvester movement at the trades congress convention. It may be that the hon. member was confused by the tactics of some of his own lieutenants who appeared before the trades congress convention and criticized the harvester movement. I have in my hand the issue of September 22 of the Labour News of Alberta, in which the following appears:

Senator Gideon Robertson contended that the Britishers were not even required during har-

[Mr. Heenan.l

vest season. "Due to the influx of old country-harvesters," he said, "the second harvest excursion from the east has been cancelled and thousands of young men in the maritime provinces were thus deprived of the opportunity to secure the usual seasonal employment in the west."

If there was confusion it was caused by that statement, and also because one of the delegates, a man prominent in the councils of the Conservative party, not content with things as they were in the convention, having tried to get the reporters to give a garbled account and failed, slipped out to the telephone and endeavoured to give to one of the papers in the east a garbled account of my statement. The editor, however, wanting to be fair, sent a gentleman to investigate the matter and found that it was a deliberate falsehood. The convention took to task the gentleman who sent out the report. That was what caused the confusion. In that connection the Labour News, published at Hamilton on September 28, had this to say:

It begins to look as though the garbled and misrepresented account of Hon. Peter Heenan's convincing address on immigration at the Dominion Trades Congress convention, given out by an unnamed delegate who by the way is ultra-Conservative, has been swallowed hook, line and sinker by certain Tory newspapers, party writers and leaders.

Commenting on this same controversy between myself and the leader of the opposition, the same editor had this to say:

The Minister of Labour is right in what he says. The writer heard his address at the congress convention and the minister did not hesitate to tell the delegates that he had been a party to the arrangement to bring British harvest help to Canada.

I defended the harvester movement. Why should I not? The harvest crop of western Canada is of vital interest to the whole nation. It is of vital interest to the farmers of the west, to our railroads and railroad men, and I might say practically every man in the industrial centres of the east depends upon the prosperity of the farmers in the west. Therefore I say I defended the harvester movement, but in doing so I endeavoured to show the importance of the question. I tried to show that every year there sits in Winnipeg a committee composed of representatives of the governments of the three prairie provinces, the farmers, the immigration department, the labour bureau, together with the transportation companies. They estimated that this year 75,000 men would be required. When I was informed of that-I was along with my hon. friend the Minister of Immigration

The Budget-Mr. Heenan

(Mr. Forke), who was aibsent at the time -I sent this telegram to every premier in the eastern provinces:

From information to hand annual meeting of Canadian Passenger Association western lines, employment service representatives of all three prairie provinces, immigration authorities and farmers' representatives held in Winnipeg on Thursday, it was estimated that 75,000 harvest workers would be required to handle this year's crop in the west, 25,000 of whom would be locally available. British Columbia estimates being able to supply 6,000 leaving balance of

44,000 to be secured from other sources. As the harvesting of the western crop is a matter of national importance would greatly appreciate an expression of opinion from you by wire at your earliest convenience as to the approximate number from your province who may be expected to avail themselves of the usual cheap rates provided by the railways for transportation to and from the prairie provinces for the purpose of engaging in harvest work.

Peter Heenan,

Minister of Labour.

I received telegrams in answer to those, and for the information of the house I want to read them. Hon. Doctor Forbes Godfrey, Minister of Labour for Ontario, telegraphed me on July 25 as follows:

On account of the fact employment index in Ontario is at a higher point 108.5 than it has been since 1919. the interest shown among our applicants in the harvest excursion is less than usual. In the case of Toronto for instance not more than a dozen men have asked (at the employment office) for particulars regarding the excursion dates, et cetera. The harvesting of the wheat crop is of course a matter of national interest and benefits the Dominion as a whole, including Ontario, and there is not sufficient labour in western Canada to take care of this tremendous seasonal project. At the same time I would expect this year to find a noticeable falling off in the number of men available from Ontario.

Hon. Mr. Taschereau wired me on the same date:

I am advised by employment bureau that Quebec usually sends about 5,000 available workers every year and that same number will probably be available this year.

Mr. J. A. Murray, Commissioner of Immigration for New Brunswick, wired:

Estimate approximately 2,000 harvesters from New Brunswick.

Let me point out that this is about 25 per cent of a falling off from the previous year. Hon. E. N. Rhodes, Premier of Nova Scotia, wired as follows-and I should like the leader of the opposition to take note of this answer, because I understand he was in the maritimes at this particular time; and he can see whether this gospel is along the lines of what he was preaching:

During past four years average 1,700 have gone west for harvest. Would estimate 25 per cent decrease this year owing activities building construction, highways, mining industry, and increased agricultural production.

This is the reply from Hon. A. C. Saunders, Premier of Prince Edward Island:

We are very short of farm labourers in our province, having the largest potato crop in our history. We have a large waiting list of farmers here requiring farm labourers. Demand so very keen doubt if 50 men will avail themselves of cheap transportation rate to prairie provinces.

With those telegrams before us, the promise of 5,000 from Quebec, 2,000 from New Brunswick, 1,275 from Nova Scotia and 50 from Prince Edward Island, or a total of 8,325, leaves us still short by 35,675 of the estimate made by the committee, and we could hardly expect that number from Ontario.

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LAB

Herbert Bealey Adshead

Labour

Mr. ADSHEAD:

Has the minister the

figures for the western provinces?

Topic:   ALL INSURANCE COMPANIES-FARM MORTGAGES
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LIB

Peter Heenan (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. HEENAN:

The estimate is 25,00f

from the three prairie provinces.

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LAB
LIB

Peter Heenan (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. HEENAN:

No, that estimate was

from Winnipeg. With that before us, and realizing the position of the workers in England, we heard the cry of the Imperial government and it was decided to try as an experiment the bringing out of 10.000 men. Many opinions have been offered as to whether the experiment was a success or a failure, but at any rate it was tried, and after the Minister of Immigration and the government had exacted every safeguard from the transportation companies and representatives of the Imperial government so that those men would not be a burden on the country, they were permitted to come over. That was the position, and the leader of the opposition should not endeavour to get the government both coming and going on a question of this description. While some of his party and his newspapers are crying out in favour of this scheme, he ought not to have one of his chief lieutenants stand in thetrades congress convention damning the scheme. I hope I have made myself clear on that point, and that the leader of theopposition will now take my word for it that I did not repudiate the scheme butwas a party to it and glad to make the

experiment.

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LAB

Herbert Bealey Adshead

Labour

Mr. ADSHEAD:

Is the minister going to continue it next year?

The Budget-Mr. Heenan

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LIB

Peter Heenan (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. HEENAN:

I am making this speech this year. One thing at a time is pretty good.

Some hon. members have spoken on many subjects, and I should like to refer to two hon. gentlemen in particular who discussed the old age pension legislation, the hon. member for Vancouver South (Mr. Ladner) and the hon. member for Cumberland (Mr. Smith). The hon. member for Vancouver South, in the course of his remarks, made this statement:

Mr. Speaker, to me it is inconceivable that this government and the Liberal forces throughout Canada should be parties to a scheme to submarine their old age pension legislation after it has served their purpose before the electorate. It seems to me that the suggestion to test the constitutionality of the Old Age Pensions Act by a reference to the supreme court is an indirect method of destroying the effectiveness of the legislation, resorted to by certain forces in the Liberal party that do not approve of old age pensions and would like to shift the whole burden upon the provinces.

At this juncture I would pause to say that the only suggestion that has come with regard to testing the validity of the legislation came from a member on the Conservative side of the house, who has several times put a question on the order paper asking whether the government were willing to test the validity of the legislation before the courts.

I should like to outline briefly the history of the old age pension legislation, and after that I shall be surprised if the house and the country are not convinced that my hon. friends opposite attempted not merely to submarine but to torpedo the whole old age pension legislation at every opportunity they got.

In 1919 it was a plank in the Liberal platform to advocate an old age pension scheme in cooperation with the provinces. In 1922, after the Liberal party was elected to power, a resolution was introduced by the then member for Hull urging that ways and means be devised to establish an old age pension scheme in Canada. In 1924 a resolution was introduced by the present Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King), appointing a committee to make inquiries into an old age pension system for Canada. That committee reported in the same session, and recommended that the provinces be communicated with. That was done, and answers were received from the provinces. It is true that the provinces were not enthusiastic over the scheme. The question was again submitted in 1925 to the same committee, which recommended the same scheme again, and submitted in addition the opinion of the Deputy Minister of Justice to the effect that this was a provincial, and not a federal, responsibility. When the report of that committee was before

this bouse my hon. friend then sitting for East Calgary, and sitting on the Labour benches- I refer to Mr. Irvine-moved an amendment

to the effect that the question should be referred back to the committee with instructions to bring in a report upon a purely federal plan. One would have thought that if the Conservatives in this house wanted a purely federal scheme, this was their opportunity to secure one, but the house will be surprised to learn from the record that only two Conservative members in the whole house voted for the amendment calling for a purely federal plan. Every other member of the Conservative party voted against it, and voted for the adoption of the committee's report. The two members of the Conservative party who voted in favour of a purely federal plan were the hon. member for Toronto Northwest (Mr. Church) and the hon. member for the Yukon (Mr. Black).

There was an election in 1925, and in 1920, the first session after the election, a bill was introduced in regard to old age pensions. What was the position of my hon. friends opposite, especially the leaders of the Conservative party, at that time? Sir Henry Drayton, was then leading the. opposition in the absence of Mr. Meighen, who I remember well was ill at the time. Sir Henry Drayton had this to say:

I am not at all certain that it is a good thing for this parliament to try to look after other business than its own, to try to look after provincial business, when I do not think the most enthusiastic supporters of this government can say it is looking after, as they should be looked after, matters of pressing Dominion importance. This is entirely a provincial matter.

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LAB

Abraham Albert Heaps

Labour

Mr. HEAPS:

The Prime Minister said

exactly the same thing a few days ago, did he not?

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LIB

Peter Heenan (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. HEENAN:

The hon. member for

St. Lawrence-St. George (Mr. Cahan), speaking on this question at that time, referring to Nova Scotia, said:

I do not think there is any demand from that province for contributions of this kind in respect of work which they have undertaken as a province and in which the municipalities assist. They regard this as a provincial and municipal affair and they are prepared, I be-live. unless there has been a change of sentiment in recent years, to continue it in the same vigorous and successful way in which they have carried it on in the past.

Another very prominent member of another chamber, the leader of the Conservative party in that house, said:

In this case, according to the Department of Justice, the subject matter over which we are legislating has been assigned under our federal constitution to the provinces. I think

The Budget-Mr. Heenan

it is a good general rule to lay down and to follow as closely as possible, that the parliament of Canada, or any house legislating under a similar constitution, should confine itself to those subjects which have been assigned to it, and the provinces to the subjects that have been assigned to them.

Then, my hon. friend the present leader of the opposition (Mr. Bennett) had this to say in Hansard, March 26, 1926, at page 1975:

I apologize for trespassing again to-night upon the time of the house, but I feel very strongly on this subject. I am deeply interested in it; i desire to see it succeed. I am convinced that it cannot succeed without the cooperation of all the provinces, unless the_ Dominion, in defiance of our constitutional jurisdiction as voiced by the Deputy Minister of Justice, sees fit to undertake the whole responsibility, which would involve us in an expenditure of $23,000,000 per annum, and, in a very short time, an expenditure of $40,000,000 per annum, an expenditure entirely too large for us to entertain at the present time.

So I do not think we got very much encouragement from our Conservative friends on that occasion. In view of the statements I have quoted, it puzzles me to understand how the hon. leader of the opposition, after saying that it would be in defiance of our constitutional jurisdiction to undertake the whole responsibility, could vote at the Winnipeg convention-the press stated that the vote was "unanimous-that the old age pension scheme at present in operation was inadequate and unworkable, and that there should be a federal scheme instead of a Dominion-provincial scheme. But that was the position of the Conservative party. In 1925 they voted in this house against a federal scheme and in favour of a Dominion-provincial scheme, and in 1926'they opposed a Dominion-provincial scheme on the ground that old age pensions were the business of the province, and not of the Dominion.

But the bill passed this house. It went to the other chamber, and there, to use the language of my hon. friend from Vancouver South, it was submarined. An election took place following its execution, and I think of all the questions that were discussed before the public in that campaign, old age pensions was one of the most prominent, and we know with what result. The bill was re-introduced in 1927, and amendments were offered by the Conservative party, which had for their purpose the loading down of the amount involved to such an extent that if they had ever been accepted by the government it would have been killed in the senate almost before it reached the other chamber; because when the senate threw out the old age pension bill in 1926 on the ground that it was going to cost $24,000,000 a year, it could

hardly be expected that they would pass an old age pension bill the next year that was going to cost around $176,000,000 a year. When those tactics failed and the law was finally placed on the statute book, one would have thought, yes, one had the right to expect, that hon. gentlemen opposite would cooperate with the rest of the country in an effort to induce the provinces to make the best of the situation and participate in the scheme. But what did they do? They called a meeting in Winnipeg, the Conservative convention, and there in the centre of Canada they broadcast to the four corners of the country discouragement to the provinces, declaring that the Dominion-provincial scheme was inadequate and unworkable, and they voted unanimously for a federal scheme instead of a Dominion-provincial scheme.

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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

What does Quebec say?

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LIB

Peter Heenan (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. HEENAN:

I will tell the hon. gentleman what somebody else s^ys first.

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March 19, 1929