Mr. WILLIAM DUFF (Antigonish-Guys-borough):
Mr. Speaker, I am sure after you have listened to the different speeches which have been offered during the last three or four weeks on the important matter of the budget, or what is perhaps more properly known as the annual statement of the government for ths year 1928, that you will feel, as I do, that the quicker this debate is brought to a close the better it will be for all concerned. However, I have not raised my voice very often during the last three or four years, and I may be pardoned if I take up a few minutes in discussing certain questions which have been brought to the attention of the house during the past two or three weeks. I have listened with a great deal of interest to most of the speeches, and while I cannot refer to all of them, I would like to discuss some of the remarks which were made by the hon. member who has just taken his seat (Mr. Quinn).
In concluding his remarks the hon. member referred to speeches delivered by Mr. Fielding and the late Hon. Mr. Roche with regard to the Transcontinental railway. Although the hon. member did not intend to do it, he paid a compliment to the Liberal party when he spoke of the building and the completion of that road. If Mr. Fielding's ideas and the ideas of the Liberal party had been carried out, more grain would be flowing over the Transcontinental to the port of Halifax than is the case at the present time. When the Liberal party was defeated in 1911, and when our Conservative friends came into power, instead of trying to build up the port of Halifax through the construction of that road, they started in to cut the grades down and put in wooden bridges instead of the iron bridges which had been contemplated by the Liberal party and the Transcontinental commissioners. Therefore, the Conservative party and not the Liberal party is to blame for the fact that more traffic is not going through the port of Halifax to-day.
Let us compare the record of the Liberal party with regard to the port of Halifax with the record of the Conservative party. We do not hear anything about what was done for the port of Halifax between the years 1911 and 1921, the ten years during which our Con-
servative friends were in power. But what did they really do for that port? Practically nothing. It is only since the Liberal party came into power in 1922 that the port has been developed, and everyone knows that during the last three years the traffic through the port of Halifax has amounted to three times the traffic which went through it during the years of the Conservative regime, with the possible exception of the war period. Who has spent money on the port of Halifax? The hon. member reminds me of some people with whom I have done business; the more you do for them the less they appreciate it. If you do ninety-nine good turns for them and you can not do the hundredth, they will turn on you and rend you. That seems to be the attitude of the hon. junior member for Halifax. Does my hon. friend condemn the Liberal party because we are going to vote five million dollars in a few days for the Halifax harbour commission? Does my hon. friend condemn us because a contract was given the other day to the gentleman he named for $300,000 to cover certain work for the harbour commission? Does he condemn the expenditure of $2,500,000 for cold storage facilities in the port of Halifax, $700,000 of which is being voted this year? The hon. member said that nothing had been done for this country or for the province of Nova Scotia during the time the Liberal party had a solid sixteen here from the province of Nova Scotia. Let me say to him that since I have been in parliament I have done as much as he has, and a great deal more. I have stood up for the port of Halifax and the province of Nova Scotia, while he has voted against the things which this government tried to do for that province and that port.
The hon. member referred to the fact that the hon. member for Hamts-Kings (Mr. Ilsley) had spoken of the lamentations, the whinings and complainings of Jeremiah which came from the Conservative side. I do not think my hon. friend on this side of the house has used the right terms and the hon. junior member for Halifax, being musically inclined, will be able to appreciate what I am going to say. During the last three years, day in and day out, session in and session out, they have talked about the Duncan report and have endeavoured to take the credit for what the Liberal party has done. We have heard complaints made that the Liberal government has not fulfilled 100 per cent the pledges or the promises contained in the Duncan report, and when they keep talking about this matter they remind me of a night I spent last year in one of the theatres in the city of
The Budget-Mr. Duff
Ottawa. One of the vaudeville stunts that evening was a competition among old fiddlers. There were nine or ten of these fiddlers on the platform, some with whiskers down to their knees, and they had fiddles which were about one hundred years old. One of the contestants started and he ran over his fiddle, and there were wailings, gnashings of teeth, and caterwauling-that is the word I wanted to remind the hon. member of-and then the next one played his little piece. They all played just the same as my hon. friends from Nova Scotia, who have been playing, rasping and wailing on their fiddles, sometimes only on one string, and all being led by the leader of the orchestra, the 'hon. member for Pictou (Mr. Cantley). They complain that the Duncan report has not been carried out in its entirety, but I am going to show that not only have the Liberal party carried out that Duncan report in its entirety, but they have carried it out in one case to the extent of over 150 per cent; they have gone too far with it.
Before I take up that particular phase of the matter, I would like to refer to one or two things which were mentioned by the hon. member for Halifax (Mr. Quinn) with regard to certain contracts which have been given in the city of Halifax. In order to make his point against one of the Liberal members of the local legislature, he referred to a contract given to that gentleman two or three years ago by the Department of National Defence. It is quite true that Mr. MacMillan was given a contract, I think in June, 1926, by the Department of National Defence. Tenders were called for and when this government went out of power on the 1st of July, 1926, the contract had not been awarded. The hon. member for South Wellington (Mr. Guthrie) came in as Minister of National Defence and he and my good friend the ex-Minister of Marine and Fisheries, the senior member for Halifax (Mr. Black) met in solemn conclave and gave the contract to Mr. A. S. MacMillian. Does the hon. junior member for Halifax disagree with his colleague the senior member who gave Mr. MacMillian that contract at the price of his tender? What happened? Mr. MacMillan, after receiving the contract, assembled his plant, brought horses, teams and men from the county of Antigonish and started work. He did certain work there and then some of our Tory friends in Halifax-no doubt my hon. friend the junior member for that city knows something about this-thought it would never do to see this Grit contractor do the work and so they got after somebody in Ottawa with the result that he had to cease work. He had to send his horses home and he had to disorganize his whole staff, the result being that
afterwards, when he was asked to complete his contract, he put in a bill for $9,000 for extras, and if anybody is to blame for his putting in that bill, the Conservatives at Halifax should assume the blame and not try to load it off on -to this government or the contractor.
The hon. junior member for Halifax referred to Mr. MacMillan's contract at Hudson bay.
I know, Mr. Speaker, you are most generous; sometimes I think you are perhaps a little deaf, because this afternoon the junior member for Halifax was unquestionably entirely out of order in referring to the contract which Mr. MacMillan had to take supplies to Hudson bay, the reason being that papers have been called for and the matter is now before the public accounts committee. But since you allowed the junior member for Halifax to mention the matter, perhaps I may be permitted to reply to him. Mr. MacMillan has nothing to hide in connection with the matter. The Liberals in Nova Scotia are willing to have the public accounts committee meet and Mr. MacMillan will come to Ottawa and give a good account of himself.
But my hon. friend says that another member in the Nova Scotia legislature, Mr. Kin-ley, sold $3,000 worth of drugs to the Hudson's bay expedition. My good friend, with tears in his eyes, complained because Tory druggists in Halifax did not have a chance to put in a price or to get this contract. Why should they? I want to congratulate the Minister of Marine and Fisheries (Mr. Cardin) because he did not ask Tory druggists or Tory contractors to contract for anything with regard to Hudson's bay. Perhaps I might have had something to do with that myself; I might have given him a hint that that was the proper way to do the thing, because this government is entirely too prone to give Tories contracts and positions when the Liberal party is in power. Let me say to the junior member for Halifax: It is true Mr. Kinley got a contract for $3,000 worth of drugs and he made the huge profit of $90 on that $3,000 contract.