April 8, 1929


William Duff



That, Mr. Speaker, shows how little he knows about fitting out the Lunenburg fishing fleet. Not ten pounds of Lunenburg butter have been used on any Lunenburg fishing schooner in the last ten years. The butter has to be bought all over the country, and sometimes we have to buy New Zealand butter to fit out the Lunenburg fishing fleet. Of course, if my hon. friend wants to give our fishermen oleomargarine, that may be all right so far as he is concerned, but I can assure him that the fishermen of Lunenburg county believe in having good grub. They want good butter for their bread, even if it does come from New Zealand. My hon. friend also played on a fiddle. I do not know whether he had any bow at all; I think he was playing over the bridge all the time. He complained that conditions were terrible among the fishermen of Nova Scotia. Well, of course, conditions are not as satisfactory as we should like to see them. But to bolster up his argument he made the statement that the average amount earned by the fishermen was $300 a year.

Topic:   S, 1929

Harry Bernard Short

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. H. B. SHORT (Digby-Annapolis):


expected that my hon. friend (Mr. Duff) would have something to say with reference to this wonderful Robb budget about which the Liberals have 'talked so much, but he did not mention the budget at all. The hon. gentleman's whole speech was a tirade against the Conservative members of Nova Sootia. Evidently those members who had previously spoken had touched my hon. friend in the wrong spot. The hon. gentleman says that the Liberals have done a great deal for Nova Scotia; they have implemented the Duncan report 100 per cent and in fact 150 per cent I venture to say that my hon. friend would not appear in his own constituency and tell his electors that story; nor would he make the same kind of speech in Nova Scotia as he has made in this house to-night.

Topic:   S, 1929

Harry Bernard Short

Conservative (1867-1942)


My bon. friend made pretty nearly the same kind of speech in this house rn 1926. I remember his standing over there and speaking about this commission which was going to be appointed to investigate maritime rights which we were presenting on behalf of Nova Scotia. He said dit was nothing but Tory propaganda, because there was

The Budget-Mr. Short

nothing wrong with Nova Scotia; Nova Sootia was prosperous. That was his attitude: all you needed to do was to go to Halifax when a fair was on and see the automobiles driving in and look at the well dressed people who were on the streets. But when it came to his election down in that province it was a far different question. My bon. friend stated on the hustings there that he was in favour of the Duncan report; conditions were not right in Nova Scotia and, if he was elected, he Was going to see that the report was implemented in full. He would see that it was carried out or he would resign his seat if elected. Does the hon. gentleman now stand up in this house and say that the Duncan report has been implemented in full?

Topic:   S, 1929

Harry Bernard Short

Conservative (1867-1942)


Well, I would point out to

the hon. gentleman that the principal item in the recommendations of that report, referring to coal and steel, has not been touched by the government; so far as this item is concerned they have not turned a hand to give any assistance to the coal and steel industry. Yet the hon. gentleman says that the government have implemented the Duncan report 150 per cent. What has he to ^ay in regard to the subsidy to the province of [DOT] Nova Sootia? Evidently he has never read the report. The report stated that the $875,000 was an amount additional to the subsidy which was already being paid to the province. The government paid what the Duncan report suggested they should pay, and not one dollar more. So much for the hon. member; I will not refer to him again because it is not necessary. I might however observe this before I leave him finally. I was surprised that an hon. gentleman who is so much interested in the fisheries had nothing whatever to say about that great industry. He was so absorbed in his tirade against the Conservative members in Nova Scotia that he forgot all about the fishing industry.

Topic:   S, 1929

Harry Bernard Short

Conservative (1867-1942)


Now, Mr. Speaker, it was

not my intention to say anything with reference to the budget, for the reason that practically everything which it was necessary for us to say on this side of the house was so admirably put forward by the hon. member for South Wellington (Mr. Guthrie) in his excellent speech some weeks ago. I feel however, as a member from Nova Scotia, that it is incumbent upon me to say something in refutation of what has been represented by some of the Liberal members opposite. Those gentlemen would lead the house to believe 78594-87

that conditions in Nova Scotia are thoroughly prosperous. Now I am not a pessimist by any manner of means; I am an optimist, and I believe that there are some sections of Nova Scotia that are prosperous. But there are other sections that are anything but prosperous. Take the farming industry of Nova Scoria, the dairy industry and the fishing industry: not one of these great industries is prosperous; there is no prosperity about it.

I was surprised at the attitude of my hon. friend from Hants-Kings (Mr. Ilsley) the other day. He suggested that there was wonderful prosperity in our beautiful province. As I say, I am willing and glad to admit that some sections are prosperous, and I hope the time is coming When the whole province will share in that prosperity. But that time will not come under this administration; we shall need to have a change of government before there is general prosperity in the country. The country will never prosper under this government.

My hon. friend from Hants-Kings would lead this house to believe that the Annapolis valley is one of the most prosperous sections of Nova Scotia. My constituency happens to join that of the hon. member and I venture to say that he dare not go down to his constituency and tell the farmers that they are as prosperous as he tried to make this house believe. It is true that they had a fair crop this year, but owing to lack of markets that crop did not pay the cost of production. We in Nova Scoria were not so fortunate in getting special rates on our potatoes as were some sections of Quebec, where the farmers were given special rates in order to permit them to send their potatoes to the markets of Montreal and Ottawa. Then our fruit crop was below the average .this year; in some sections of the Annapolis vallley the apple crop was almost a failure. It is true that the farmers received a good price for their apples but the returns were not anything like average.

The hon. member for Hants-Kings complimented the government on the reduction of one per cent in the sales tax; he said that was a wonderful thing for the people of Nova Scotia as well as for the people of Canada generally, and he thought the government should be commended for not wiping out the tax altogether. For years we on this side of the house have been advocating that the sales tax be completely abolished-not reduced at the rate of one per cent per year but wiped out entirely. The removal of the tax on telegrams and on parlor oar tickets is no good to the labouring man; we on this side advocate those things which will help

The Budget-Mr. Short

the workingman rather than the rich man who travels by ipuMman or the large concerns which send so many telegrams. Those taxes might be continued, but I presume that the Minister of Finance (Mr. Rdbb) is waiting until next year, when he will bring down his election budget, before he abolishes the sailes tax. I am going to tel the minister, however, that he will get -no credit for it then, because everyone knows that for years past we have been advocating the removal] of the sales tax in its entirety.

Then let us consider the dairy industry, which has been so greatly affected by New Zealand butter coming into Canada practically free of duty. I am not going to say very much in that connection, but I have been asked by the Nova Scotia Farmers' Association to present a resolution which was passed at their convention in Truro last January. The resolution is as follows:

Whereas, in consequence of the persistent tendency to carry on dairying on too slender a margin of profit, or even at a loss, has resulted in a corresponding failure to cope with the ever growing demand of the home market, not to mention export trade for milk, cream, butter, cheese and ice cream supplied; and

Whereas the consequent shortage of the home made creamery pasteurized butter has resulted in opening the door widely to the importation of this necessary product from, other parts of the empire under treaty privilege, thus enabling New Zealand butter, for instance, to be sold in Canada at prices with which Canadian dairymen cannot compete; and

Whereas the farmer who produces milk for human consumption is also so hemmed in by government regulations of health and standardization that his expenses have increased without any appreciable increase in his income; and

Whereas the dairy industry is now in such a state as to require an effective stimulant and guarantee of stability to bring about the necessary improvements and development to ensure progress and prosperity;

Therefore be it resolved that we members of the Nova Scotia Farmers' Association in annual convention assembled, do ask the federal government at once to increase the tariff on butter from the existing four cents to, say ten cents per pound, or to such a rate that after allowing the preference of three cents per pound, will give the butter industry sufficient protection to enable its paying the producers a rate that will be adequate to yield a reasonable profit on their investment of money and labour.

I am sorry the Minister of Trade and Commerce (Mr. Malcolm) is not in his seat; I intend to bring up a matter now with which he has to do and which is of great importance to the fruit growers of Nova Scotia. They are up against the problem of freight rates to continental Europe; they have been held

up by the North Atlantic Shipping Federation in this connection, and I think this is a matter which should be looked into by the Department of Trade and Commerce. The federation insist that in order to obtain the SO cent rate to Great Britain the apple shippers must sign a contract guaranteeing that all their shipments will be sent by these steamers; otherwise they are charged $1 per barrel. At the annual convention of the Nova Scotia Fruit Growers' Association, which was held in January of this year, a resolution was passed which I intend to put on Hansard in order to bring the matter before the Minister of Trade and Commerce. The resolution is as follows:

Resolved, that we, the Nova Scotia Fruit Growers' Association in annual meeting assembled. resent the ultimatum of the North Atlantic Freight Conference, whereby, all shippers using their lines to European markets are compelled to sign contracts to use these lines exclusively, or pay a freight on apples at the rate of 20 cents per barrel, in excess of the contract rate.

We can only oonsider such contract, removing as it does the possibility of using any boats outside the conference, as a serious threat against the welfare of our industry, in paving the way toward a general increase in the apple carrying rate.

We commend the action of the Canadian National Steamships in [announcing that they would not be bound by the contract requirements of the North Atlantic Conference, and would^ petition the federal government to use such influence as they may .possess that such contracts be not required in future;

And further resolved, that a copy of this resolution be sent to the federal members for Annapolis and Kings, and to the Minister of Trade and Commerce.

'I presume that my hon. friend from Hants-Kings received a copy of that resolution, but he did not mention it in his remarks.

Now I wish to pass on for a few moments and discuss our fisheries in Nova Scotia. This is one of our greatest natural resources, and it has been sadly neglected not only by this government but by practically all governments. I am not going to say that this government is the only one that has done nothing; we never have had a department of fisheries which has looked after that industry as it should be looked after in order to obtain from it all the benefits which the country should derive. The other day the Minister of National Defence (Mr. Ralston), during his excellent speech, stated that the fishing industry in Nova Scotia was going ahead by leaps and bounds. I think he must have been badly misinformed, because in looking up the statistics having to do with fisheries, I find that we have made practically

The Budget-Mr. Short

no progress in that direction since 1910. The following figures show the value of the fisheries industry of Nova Scotia:

1910 $10,119,243

1918 15,143.066

1920 12,742,659

1921 9,778,623

1922 10,209,258

1923 8,448,385

1924 8,777,251

1925 10,213,779

1926 12,505,922

1927 10,783,631

The figures given by the Department of Marine and Fisheries show that no (progress whatever has been made, and still the Minister of National Defence tells the house that the fishing industry of Nova Scotia has been going ahead by leaps and bounds. It would go ahead by leaps and bounds if we had a department of fisheries which understood the business. The Minister of Marine and Fisheries (Mr. Cardin) is a most estimable man, and I have great regard for him, but he is a lawyer. He is of the same profession as some of the ministers who have held that portfolio in the past, and I am not finding any fault with the government in that regard.

This great natural resource of this country was hardly mentioned in the house until what are known as the maritime righters came here. We have talked about fish, and I venture to say a great many members of this house have eaten more fish during the last three years than ever before. So long as I am here I am going to talk about the fisheries of this country, because I believe we can obtain the best advertising right on the floor of the house.

The Department of Marine and Fisheries has done absolutely nothing to help this industry. They appointed a royal commission to look into the fisheries of the maritime provinces, but what happened? That commission cost this country upwards of $80,000. They presented a report, and while many of the recommendations contained therein would have been of value to the fisheries, some of them would have been detrimental had they been carried out. This report was tabled a year ago but the government has taken no action on it at all. One of the recommendations made was that a minister of fisheries be appointed. The Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) was asked during the early days of this session if a minister of fisheries would be appointed, and he replied that the government had the matter under consideration and would appoint one at the opportune time. Of course that opportune time will not come until just before the elections, but it will 78594-871

be too late then. It may be good politics, but no government should play politics with a natural industry like our fisheries. The trouble with the Department of Marine and Fisheries is that they have been playing politics ever since this government came into power. Nothing has been done about appointing a minister of fisheries although they have appointed a deputy minister, or rather changed the title of the director of fisheries to Deputy Minister of Fisheries. That is the only change which has taken place.

The fishing industry will never make any progress until there is a reorganization of the department and an efficient minister appointed. They should appoint someone who knows something about the industry, a man of business training and experience. The Liberal party have such a mam on their side; why do they not appoint him?

The fishing industry of Nova Scotia has asked this government time and time again to try to increase the production of fish and find new markets for those products. I was impressed the other day when the hon. member for St. Lawrenoe-St. George (Mr. Cahan) suggested that the Department of Trade and Commerce might well look after our domestic trade. What has that department done in an endeavour to find markets for our fish or other natural products? Nothing whatever. It has done very little to increase cur trade with foreign countries, and I think the Minister of Trade and Commerce might well look after our domestic markets in an endeavour to find an outlet for our natural products.

As I said, we have asked the Department of Marine and Fisheries time and time again to do something to increase the production of fish and find new markets for us. What has happened? In 1925 Mr. J. J. Cowie, practically the only expert man they have in the department, was sent over to England to look up markets for Nova Scotia fish. After visiting different places in Great Britain, Mr. Cowie came back and reported that there was an excellent market there for fresh fish, provided that some assistance was given by the government to get the markets started and assist the industry in an educational way as to the preparing of the fish, as to the varieties best suited, and that sort of thing. But nothing was done about that report.

In 1927, Mr. Cowie, accompanied by Mr. G. R. Earl, of Yarmouth, N.S., was sent to Great Britain in connection with the imperial economic committee's inquiry into the marketing of the fish production of the empire. On their return they presented a very elaborate

The Budget-Mr. Short

report. I cannot read the whole report, but I would like to quote a few sections in an endeavour to show the house hew neglectful the Department of Marine and Fisheries has been. One of the sections is as follows:

It was pointed out there are two ways by which the situation in eastern Canada could be improved: One is by the shipment of fresh fish in ice to the British market. The committee was informed that it had been clearly demonstrated that such fish can be landed overseas in excellent condition but that transportation difficulties retard development until the volume of the traffic, by some means, has grown sufficiently to overcome them of itself. The other is by freezing the fish under the quick process known as brine freezing, which leaves the fish when defrosted, with all the original juices it contained when taken from the sea. It was pointed out that the Canadian fishing grounds were so near the shore in many places as to make possible the landing of fish almost alive, and, if frozen, could be placed on the British markets in a much better and fresher state than most of the so-called fresh fish landed there direct from the fishing grounds.

The committee was further informed that the marketing of brine frozen fish would have this great advantage: the fish need not be dumped on an over-supplied market, but could be held in storage until the markets had recovered and prices had risen.

The adoption of this means of marketing by the British trade, as well as the Canadian trade, would stabilize supply, demand and prices and push out the existing antiquated method of hurrying fresh fish to market and selling them immediately, whether the supply is such as to constitute a glut or a scarcity.

The report continues:

The opening up of this market would be of far reaching benefit to our shore fishermen particularly who produce fish of the more desirable quality. But as there are shipping difficulties to be overcome and as risks of loss would have to be undertaken in the beginning we would commend to the consideration of the department, the matter of giving to shippers financial aid of some kind during the few initial months to overcome discouragements that may arise from consignments arriving on unremunerative market days, and to enable them to enable them to hold on and continue until the trade has obtained a sufficient foothold to take care of itself.

The report concludes by stating:

We strongly feel that the establishment of central meal-making plants on the Atlantic coast is of as much importance as the finding of new markets for fish as a means1 of rebuilding our fishing fleets and retaining our fishermen. If. therefore, firms of standing engaged in the fisheries could be induced and encouraged to take hold of this means of development, there would appear to be no room for doubt that a shore fishery greater than has yet been on the Atlantic coast could quickly emerge from its present low unprofitable state.

To summerize, in conclusion, the main features of the foregoing report, which in our opinion would bring immediate beneficial re-

suits to the fishing industry of our maritime provinces, we would note that these are two, namely:

1. The marketing of fresh fish in ice in Great Britain and

2. The establishment of meal-making plants to take care of the great amount of material at present being wasted.

That was a report made by Mr. Cowie in 1927 and still no action has been taken on it. They got this report, filed it away in a pigeon hole and nothing is heard of it again until some person like myself brings it up.

Topic:   S, 1929

Harry Bernard Short

Conservative (1867-1942)


That is right. That is when the people are going to have something to say about it. The government are waiting until next year when the budget comes down. No doubt the Minister of Finance thought he was doing something wonderful for the fishermen of Nova Scotia when he put needles for repairing fishermen's nets and brass swivels on the free list. I made inquiry as to what quantities of these two articles were imported and I was told they were so small that they were not enumerated at all. I have been in the fishing business pretty nearly all my life and I have never heard of fishermen in Nova Scotia using brass swivels. I think it must have been as a joke that somebody suggested to the Minister of Finance that he put those on the free list. The minister, not being a practical man, thought there must be something in it, but it is actually nothing but a joke. There is nothing in the budget this year for the fishermen or anybody else in Nova Scotia. I do not suppose there was ever a needle for mending nets imported into that province. I know I never heard of one being imported. Perhaps it was in order to sew buttons on their oil coats.

I trust that the time has arrived when something will be done in connection with this important industry. There are great possibilities in the fishing industry of Nova Scotia. We should be producing there not

810,000,000 but 850,000,000 worth a year, and we could do it. We have off the coast of Nova Scotia the greatest fisheries in the world, but the government do not realize this and do not appreciate their responsibilities. The Minister of Marine and Fisheries does not think he has any responsibility as regards the fisheries. All his attention is devoted to marine matters, but the time has arrived when he must pay some attention to the fishermen of the maritime provinces.

Let me say a word or two to the Minister of Public Works (Mr. Eliott) with reference to breakwaters along the coast of Nova Scotia. There are perhaps more 'breakwaters

The Budget-Mr. St. Pere

in my constituency than in any other constituency in that province,, and some of them are in a very 'bad state of repair. Ever since I have been in the house I have brought to his attention the matter of dredging and repairs in connection with many of these breakwaters. It is true he has listened to me in a few cases and some of .those breakwaters have been repaired, but many of them are at present in a dilapidated condition and repairs are urgently needed. My hon. friend would not allow a building in the city of Ottawa to get out of repair or go completely to ruin. Why should he allow breakwaters in which we have invested millions of dollars in Nova Scotia to become so dilapidated that (hey are no protection whatever to the fishing industry? They were constructed for the protection of that industry; indeed we cannot build up a fishing industry in that province without them. The minister is a very good-natured man and I think a great deal of him. I implore him this year particularly, because next year we are going to the country, to do something in this .matter for his own benefit and for the benefit of the fishermen of Nova Scotia. He will get some of the credit, and I will take some of it myself. If the minister will simply take the reports he gets from his engineers in connection with the condition of those breakwaters in Nova Scotia and grant the expenditures they ask for, I shall be .perfectly satisfied. I am serious about this matter and I trust that when the supplementary estimates of the minister come down they will include substantial grants for breakwaters, especially for those of my constituency in Nova Slcotia.

Mr. E. S. ST-PERE (Hochelaga) (Translation) : Mr. Speaker, in the course of the year just ended, the press, banks and all large financial institutions of this country were highly gratified in being able to state that the financial and .trade conditions were satisfactory, and that the future was replete with bright prospects.

The budget brought down a short while ago by the hon. Minister of Finance (Mr. Robb), officially confirmed these previous statements.

In a parliament composed like this one of two great parties and various groups, the budget always gives rise to a debate in which the views of pessimists and realists are reflected. The former's loquacity takes the form of an unrelenting criticism. It is the allurement of power which haunts them. And as they must use all expedients and have recourse to hair-splitting so as to uphold their stand, they always stick to one or two subjects of the budget in their criticisms, embodying

them later in an amendment or subamendment. The subjects under discussion at present refer to agriculture, industry and the working classes to whom the government it seems promises nothing for the future.

We are preoccupied, to-day, with the problem of agriculture. It has brought on a change of government in Rumania, and at the Last presidential elections in the United States, the American farmer has insisted on protection of industries in return for his vote. The campaign which is in full swing in England presents the same problem. The Labour party requires the stabilization of farm product prices. The Tories seek the support of the farmers by offering them as an allurement the policy advocated by Churchill in the shape of the lowest taxation for the basic industries. The Liberals have as .remedial legislation in their program, an increase in exports and decrease in imports. In order to satisfy the farmers Lloyd George has advocated a program of state ownership of lands, which, we must admit, does not guarantee to the English consumer a greater production of farm products nor, for that matter, prices more in keeping with their purse.

As it wias in the United States that the great protectionist movement was started on behalf of the farmers, let us study the .remedies advocated by .the champions of the farmers' cause. Senator Brookhart suggests that the farmer should be assisted by doles and that he should have the right to .raise money to sell his crops. Mr. Chester Davis wants the farmer to regain his status through the disposal of the surplus of his crops and the assistance of a higher tariff. Mr. Davis forgets that the evil lies, not in the surplus produced, .but really in the cost of production, when it is a question of competing with Canada on the markets of the world.

Senator Borah, forgetting for a .moment the great interest he takes in the international relations of the United States, suggests to President Hoover a high tariff wall against all imported products. He fears, it is true, the opposition of certain manufacturers already protected who are more interested in the enforcement of the tariff clauses against foreign products similar to those they manufacture ; and he even ventures so far as to state that certain manufacturers will demand an embargo; however, what does it matter, the American farmer must be protected by a measure which will increase the cost of living for the consumer across the border!

The American farmer is aware that the foreign market is drifting away from him, and that he must prevent, by a higher tariff wall,

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two billion dollars of foreign products competing with him on his home market. He was badly prepared for the after war depression; there lies the entire reason for the crisis he is at present experiencing.

The financial critic of the opposition (Mr. Guthrie) discovered in this great protectionist movement which is developing in the United States the subject of his amendment to the resolution of the hon. Minister of Finance (Mr. Robb). His colleagues of the opposition found it possible to enlarge on the subject. As usual, it is the high protective policy they seek as a remedy to all the evils which Canada is supposed to suffer from at present. Allusion was made to unemployment, smoking smoke-stacks, well filled dinner pails-old stereotyped phrases which fit in nicely with the spirit of this definition which Disraeli gave of politics, "that it was the art of governing the people by fooling them." Echoes are constantly a threat against the spreading of a good opinion. The very moment that the American press spread throughout tihe world the news that the United States government would surrender to the pressure of the agrarian party in favour of a high tariff, our protectionists advocated a tariff of retaliation against the United States. An appeal to our national pride, using such terms as "red-blooded nation," etc., required us to polish our tariff weapons. Where would this lead us to, sir? To ask tihe question is to answer it; to the first step of oppression against the consumer by certain unscrupulous manufacturers

for let us not forget that the golden rule finds no place in business-who would take advantage of the high tariff to overcharge the consumer. And all this to afford a so-called protection to the Canadian farmer who, whatever may be said to the contrary, is in a much more enviable economic situation than his colleague in the United States, if we are to place any faith in an inquiry recently carried out by an important agricultural association of the province of Quebec. If we are to place any faith in the resolutions and data presented in 1925, at the meeting of the Catholic farmers of the province of Quebec, we find that according to conclusions based on an inquiry, eleven per cent only of the farmers interested contended that their present state, as well as the exodus of our country folk, was due to a rather low tariff. The high tariff, according to our hon. friends opposite, would be the great remedy to the new ills which they are endeavouring to find.

For some time past, it seems to us that the President of the United States, Mr.

Hoover, has become a bugbear. The systematic Mr. Hoover, like the silent Mr. Cool-idge, will certainly not allow himself to be influenced by outside interests. How could he do otherwise? How could he be so little consequent with himself after the great speech he delivered at Erie, Pennsylvania, in 1925, when he characterized the tariff reforms, monopolies and price control as satan's arguments. Never will the United States have recourse to such means in order to balance their economic situation.

It is always interesting-and this is a balm to me-to recall some historical statements notably the one that the great Gladstone made in 1881 before an English audience, he said:

"Your trade superiority is assured as long as the United States adhere to high protection. Let your sleep not be disturbed by the fear that the United States will dominate England on the free markets, so long as high tariff is their motto."

If we go further back in history, we should not forget that it was freedom of trade which built, up large prosperous Flemish cities like Ghent and Bruges.

Unemployment has been broached in the present debate as an agreement in favour of protection. It is highly proclaimed that protection is synonymous with high wages. Nothing is so erroneous from the economic viewpoint. Duties are not imposed with the idea of equalizing the difference of wages between European and Canadian workers. Our workers are better paid-and I lay stress on this point-because their efforts tend1 more to mass production and they can accomplish in a set time twice as much work as the average European workers.

It is Andrew Carnegie, the great American leader of industry, who stated that the cheapest products are always manufactured by high wage workers, using modern machinery; and we could further quote, in support of this assertion the great economists Maurice Low, Arthur Shadwell, W. M. Evarts and Leroy Beaulieu.

Since the President of the United States is quoted a little everywhere as an authority, I shall give his views on the subject of unemployment and the best means of relieving such a situation.

Nowhere does he allude to tariff as a remedy to unemployment. This is how he expresses himself:

The control of credit by banks during prosperous times, the careful supervision of affairs by business men and the retardation of large municipal, state and federal enterprises, when the business of the country is good.

The Budget-Mr. St. Pere

These, sir, are the means he advocates to guard against unemployment. The high tariff, for certain politicians, has always been a doctrine. It is rather a ritual custom accompanying an old-time performance. Unemployment is less felt in Canada than in the United States. More than 2,000,000 unemployed walk the streets of large cities in the United States. The new American tariff, unless revised with care-and any practical man understands this-will never succeed in equalizing the wages paid in the spinning-mills of New England with those paid in similar establishments of the southern states.

Let us now turn to the realists, and I am one of them. I look upon concentrated optimism as a dangerous thing, however, I willingly surrender to facts. Canada possesses a genuine government looking after the nation's interests as a whole and refusing to allow itself to be controlled by those who would benefit by its being muzzled in order to further their own interests. Our financial situation is more than satisfactory, our trade is expanding, in fact all tends to show that Canada is acquiring a national conscience, a progress which asserts itself through unrelenting work of preparation. We refuse as practical people to believe in the proverbial accident which would lead nations fo success.

In my opinion, the prosperity of this country asserts itself still more through the general satisfaction reigning everywhere, than through the testimony of bare statistics. The people witness our markets expanding, our treaties with other nations increasing our exports. Our ambassadors of trade, trade attaches who devote their time in making Canada known abroad, are properly speaking the authors of this trade expansion of Canada. Mr. Isaac Marcosson, the great journalist and economist of the United States considers that these ambassadors of trade are most precious in helping the economic expansion of nations.

I stated, sir, just now that optimism was sometimes dangerous. Of course, we are living in the twentieth century, and times have changed since biblical days when all could live happy in the shade of their vines and fig trees, but who could deny that the conditions have greatly improved in this country since the Liberal party took over the direction of affairs?

Sir, I should like to have seen a greater

reduction in taxation. There is a tax-the income tiax-which weighs heavily upon the people. I would even state that, in order to avoid paying this tax, many citizens have used their revenues to speculate on the exchange and have lost large sums in the recent

slump in stocks. Unfortunately, it is impossible to suppress entirely this tax under the present circumstances. Our war debt, ithe enormous obligations that Canada must face forces us to maintain it. One word as regards the manner it is being enforced.

I have no hesitation in stating that the rate of interest which those in arrears are forced to pay to the government is an exorbitant one. Ten per cent is an excessive rate, for you are aware as I am, sir, that it is not through evil designs that certain citizens put off paying to the state the income tax.

The government has again reduced the sales tax this year, It is therefore entitled to our congratulations. As we are, unfortunately, too much in the habit, in the House of Commons of adopting certain social legislation without thoroughly studying the situation, without considering as to whether the exchequer of Canada is in a position to meet these obligations, I would suggest that this tax, if it is maintained, be turned over to a special fund which might help in paying family allowances to our large families. It would be the people's tax returning to the people, and I cannot see any more practical means of helping this new social movement which has recently sprung up.

The province of Quebec has never complained. Our claims in this house have been very trifling compared to those presented to us by our hon. friends from the Maritime provinces. The government has been kind enough to remember certain districts of the province of Quebec by purchasing two railways, a purchase which for a number of years past had become necessary. The government is again entitled to our thanks for having given to a group of our compatriots settled in the Canadian west, in the Cold Lake district, the means of transportation which they had requested for a number of yeans past. Our people who settled in that district were, like our missionaries after all, the pioneers of colonization, and since we have thought proper to send them in those parte, since they have been looked upon as the best settlers of the Canadian west, it is but fair that those groups be given by our government all the consideration due to them.

I represent a labour division in Montreal; I was not elected to represent them in the House of Commons because I posed as * demagogue, but I know their needs and have no fear in stating that, as a whole, they are satisfied with present conditions. But there is always a dark side to a picture. I openly state that it is the competition they Lave to meet at present from certain classes of European immigrants. It matters to me little whether they are of British, French or

The Budget-Mr. St. Pere

Flemish origin, etcetera,, I state that Canada should cease inducing those artisans to come and settle among us; and I shall go one step further, I shall state that the moment these immigrants land in Montreal or Quebec, a job seems to await them. No doubt, the government takes no pant with regard to such a situation, however, it seems to me that certain classes have a special preference and that these immigrants, on their landing in Canada, receive special advantages which have the effect of displacing, the native sons from jobs that they have earned by their work and intelligence. The Canadian artisans compare favourably with those in Europe. They hold responsible positions in all our workshops. Let genuine farmers be brought over, group them together in the west; so much the better. Our railways need them; our vast tracts of lands need hands to develop them. But I state that our fellow-citizens both English and French Canadians, bom in Canada, suffice to fill in our large city factories the positions set aside for experts. Our provincial governments especially, and even the Dominion government have subscribed considerable sums for the development of technical education. Where shall we find positions for our graduates? What advantages shall we offer them if foreigners still continue to take the positions which by right belong to the students of our technical schools? Immigration commends itself and must be encouraged, but not to the extent of being detrimental in any way to the right held by our people to fill the first positions in the land.

Economists, sir, have their own way of solving the problem of unemployment. I do not think however that this problem can ever be solved by any government. That is my personal opinion. I state that the all important problem of unemployment must be solved by industry itself, and I cannot side with the views of Julius Bames, the President of the Board of Trade of the United States, who persists in maintaining that artisans displaced because of modern machinery are absorbed by other rising industries.

Mr. Green, president of the American Federation of Labour also states, that industry itself should solve the problem of unemployment. Many means have been suggested. The five-day week, for instance, finds little support, even among labour unions. Industries are at present making enough profits to solve by themselves the problem of unemployment, and I do not think that the solutions to this problem will ever be found in

any political measure, whatever shape or form it may take, be it tariff or otherwise.

The people-and I shall be frank about it -notwithstanding the present situation, felt somewhat uneasy. They note with some apprehension the intermarrying of millions in the shape of mergers and trusts. After all, it would only be right to establish a difference between this merging of industries and the great trusts which are established a little everywhere. It is an unfortunate state of things-and I avail myself of the privilege of being a member to mention the fact to the house, since it interests especially the working classes. I am not adverse to large industries. I shall always decline to take any part in stirring war between capital and labour, but what is to be said of the attitude, for some time past, of certain large manufacturers who, after our province had passed legislation in connection with labour accidents, endeavoured to protect themselves by dismissing from their workshops the fathers of large families? They are the same people who advocate and write articles in the newspapers under their own signatures or support in election times a self-styled policy opposed to the emigration of our people and who, to-day, put these very people whom they have dismissed from their workshops in the way of emigrating.

There is another question: how are we to prevent unemployment? The printing trade- and I have some knowledge of this business, having been a journalist for about twenty years-is, to-day, experiencing quite a serious crisis. Ask the owners of our large workshops, they will explain to you one of the causes of the emigration of our people. It is this: the great patriotic men who advise us to keep our people at home, those large manufacturers who would like to see all our fellow-citizens exiled in the United States return to us within fifteen days, have a very strange way of fostering our national industries by having their printing done abroad.

Our opponents have referred to considerable expenditures. In my opinion, it would be better for them to conform their actions to their principles, since, only a short while ago, they unanimously voted to burden the Dominion government with extraordinary expenditures in order to build up national highways and further subscribe for technical education, matters exclusively pertaining to provincial legislatures.

Mr. Speaker, I will close my remarks by saying that the amendment moved by the financial critic of the opposition rests on no sound argument so far as bringing prosperity to farm-

The Budget-Mr. Tiding

ers, or steady employment to artisans. I am opposed, moreover, to the subamendment because it is contrary to the policy advocated in the past by Sir Wilfrid Laurier; and being aware as a realist-not as an optimist-of conditions, at present, prevailing in our own country, a prosperous state, one that promises much for the future and, as I stated at the outset of my speech, a state which gives general satisfaction to our people, I shall vote in favour of the resolution put forth by the bon. Minister of Finance.

Topic:   S, 1929

William Kemble Esling

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. W. K. ESLING (West Kootenay):

Although many hon. members have spoken on this budget, I feel it incumbent to add a word by way of protest against the utter failure of the Minister of Finance (Mr. Robb) to provide in this budget any relief for the farmer, the fruit grower, or the poul-tryman, notwithstanding the fact that the government admits that it has both the power and1 the machinery to restrict at a moment's notice the importation of surplus farm products from the United States at glut prices during a period when the Canadian producer hopes to secure a reasonable and fair return from his labour and expense.

May I also emphasize the protests which have come from various boards of trade, mining companies and individual operators and many others against the new provision in this budget respecting the tax on the transfer of low-priced shares.

Of course, Mr. Speaker, any budget which provides for a reduction of taxation is always greeted with approval and applause, and the one under review is mo exception. The Minister of Finance stated in his budget announcement that it was the policy of the government to do away with the so-called nuisance taxes, but I think it will be generally admitted, after the country has had time to digest the provisions of this budget, that it means practically nothing beyond relieving the big fellow of his taxes and transferring the burden to the shoulders of the little fellow.

Let us take the proposals of the Minister of Finance with regard to the abolition of the nuisance taxes, as they are generally called. First of all, there is the abolition of the tax on insurance premiums. No matter to what city of Canada you may go you will usually find a huge structure in course of erection for one of the large insurance companies. Their profits are so great that they hesitate to distribute them among the shareholders, and they are therefore compelled to put them into buildings. I submit that in abolishing this tax the minister is simply

relieving the large companies, for after all, the tax on insurance premiums is not very much of a nuisance to the man in the street.

Next the minister proposes to abolish the tax on railway tickets costing over one dollar, and on pullman and steamship staterooms, compartments, berths and parlour-car chairs. This is another tax that is not very much of a nuisance to the average wage-earner. These conveniences and comforts are indulged in largely by the representatives of large corporations and commercial concerns, which, of course, are glad enough to get rid of this tax; but let me ask, what particular nuisance .is this tax to the wage earner?

Then there is the removal of the tax on cablegrams and telegrams. This is another of the so-called nuisance taxes. When I read that provision in the budget I thought how these thousands of civil servants earning $50, $60 or $75 a month, and the innumerable wage earners throughout the Dominion getting about the same income, must have thrown up their hats with joy and taken a day off and night out to celebrate their being relieved from this tax.

Now all these so-called nuisance taxes have been abolished. But the sales tax, which is paid by every man, woman and child, has been cut only one cent. That is a tax that the wage earner pays on his clothing, boots and shoes, wearing apparel and every kind of household necessity. If, for instance, he builds a modest home on the outskirts of the city at a cost of $2,500 or $3,000, he pays all the way from $35 to $50 sales tax on the material which enters into its construction; if to get into the city to his work he buys a low-priced automobile, his sales tax is about $30; if he builds a fence or a sidewalk, or buys a little paint or other materials to improve his property, he has to pay this sales tax. For several years the Conservative party has been endeavouring to have the tax abolished, and in 1925 Sir Henry Drayton brought in a resolution for its total abolition, but practically every member among the government's followers voted against it. In 1927 the hon. member for South Wellington (Mr. Guthrie) said, Well, if we cannot have this tax abolished absolutely, we will see if the government will not be good enough to the man of small income to remove the tax on clothing and boots and shoes. Again every government follower voted against the proposal. It is difficult to understand how some of them can explain their vote to their constituents; but no doubt by the time the next election comes around the sales tax will be abolished entirely.

The Budget-Mr. Esling

In order to find some other way of raising funds in lieu of these so-called nuisan.ee taxes, the government proposes to tax the little fellow by a tax on the transfer of low-priced stocks. On the purchase of a share costing less than $3 there is a tax of one cent; on shares costing from $3 to $20, two cents; on shares costing from $20 to $100, three cents; on shares from $100 up, four cents. Let me illustrate the injustice of this proposed tax. We will say the little fellow has $25 to invest, and he buys 500 shares costing five cents each. Heretofore on such a purchase he paid no tax; under this budget he is called upon to pay a tax of five dollars. By way of contrast we will take an insurance company or a trust company with funds to invest, say $250,000. The company can purchase 500 shares costing $500 each-we have such shares to-day in the case of Smelters-and the total tax is but $20, whereas prior to this budget it was $75. So you see the government is merely putting the burden on the little fellow and relieving the big fellow. Or if you want to take it another way, we will say the little fellow has $1,000 to invest, and buys $1,000 worth of ten cent shares. I cannot believe that the hon. Minister of Finance had figured out this proposed tax, for on such an investment the actual tax is $100. One hundred dollars on an investment of one thousand dollars. But the big fellow with plenty of money says, I will take a chance and put $1,000 into ten shares costing $100 each. His total tax is only 40 cents. There is such a striking disparity in these cases that it is no wonder so many protests have reached the minister.

There is another phase of this matter worth consideration. The money that this little fellow puts into cheap shares goes to work and develops some mining property. The big fellow puts his money in as an investment, for interest only. Experience has Shown, Mr. Speaker, that the most successful and popular way of raising money for mining development is by the sale of these low-priced shares. The fact is that it was the sale of these so-called penny shares that was responsible for the first lode mining in British Columbia; it was that lode mining which was responsible for the construction of the smelter at Trail. To be sure, it was a very small institution in those days, but it was the sale of those low-priced shares which developed more mining properties in the district, and these in turn enabled the smelter to be supplied with custom ore and to carry on until research work has made it to-day the greatest and most important metallurgical

institution in the British Empire. That of itself, I submit, is an argument in favour of the low-priced Shares.

Take the huge mining developments to-day in Quebec and Ontario, in Manitoba and Saskatchewan; they would not get very far without the initial purchase of those low-priced shares by the little fellow. The business on .the Vancouver stock exchange is just about a million dollars a day. On that exchange during 1928 eighty-seven million shares were traded in at an average price of 42 cents. This year there promises to be from seven to ten times that volume of busines. Similar conditions exist on the Montreal and Toronto exchanges. Prior to this budget the tax on the transfer of these shares was three cents per hundred dollars. This produced a considerable revenue for the government and did no harm to the public. But there is something still more interesting in the figures of the Vancouver stock exchange. Of the huge volume of business to which I have referred only two of the stocks traded in are of a higher par value than one dollar; two are ten cents par; three are twenty cents par; eleven are twenty-five cents par; nine are fifty cents par; twenty-three are one dollar par. On nine of these listed stocks the new tax would amount to between fifteen and twenty-five per cent at present market prices. So that one must almost admit that this is not taxation but in reality confiscation; and if the government insists on this new tax it will really mean that the transactions in these low-priced shares, instead of being carried on in our Canadian exchanges, will be diverted to exchanges across the line. The result will be that there will be bootlegged stocks as well as bootlegged liquor. In view of the numerous protests it is to be hoped that the government will either withdraw or modify this feature of the budget, because there is nothing in Canadian history which has so contributed to mineral development as the sale of these low-priced shares. And in view of this huge development which is now in progress it is difficult to understand how hon. members opposite, following the government, can vote for this taxation and hope to justify their vote when they return to their constituencies.

I am a firm believer in the income tax, on the principle that a man should pay in proportion to his prosperity. But I do think there are some phases of taxation which have been already embarrassing to investors in Canada, and one of these in particular is dual taxation. As the situation now is, a company is taxed 8 per cent on its dividends.

The Budget-Mr. Esling

And it should pay; there is no question about that. But to tax that dividend again after it is distributed to the shareholders is dual taxation and dual taxation cannot be justified as a means of raising revenue.

There is another inequitable feature to which I would ask the minister's attention, and that is the failure to permit, in the preparation of one's income tax return, of deductions for local improvement taxes. In preparing one's return one is permitted to deduct the tax on land and on the buildings from which revenue is derived. But he is not permitted to deduct the special tax for the construction of sidewalk or sewer or street paving in front of his property. That to me is manifestly unfair, for this reason. In municipality A, let us say, all such local improvements are paid for out of the general fund, whereas in municipality B they are assessed against the abutting property. The public at large uses all these improvements and has the benefit of them, and it seems only just and reasonable that -the owner of the abutting property should be permitted, in preparing his return, to deduct such taxes as well as the general tax against his property.

The other day we had a resolution from the hon. member for Athafoaska (Mr. Kellner) concerning federal aid to highways, and I know of no federal! appropriation which returns to the federal exchequer more money than does aid to good highways. There is no question in the worfd about the meaning of the resolution which the hon. member introduced. He intended that resolution to be practically a renewal of the grant on the same lines as provided in the act of 1919 whereby $20,000,000 was appropriated and apportioned amongst the various provinces, 40 per cent being contributed by the Dominion towards the construction of highways, the other 60 per cent being furnished by the provinces. Such a contribution from the federal government is justified, I contend, because the tourist and the -motor car are the -main factors in encouraging good roads. The Minister of the Interior (Mr. Stewart), in 'his publication of March, 1928, makes the plain statement that it is estimated approximately that through the motor car tourist traffic distributed throughout Canada during the year 1927 the huge sum of $260,000,000. That was from tourist traffic alone. In, addition there was collected during the past year, in excise and customs, on freight and passenger cars, the sum of $25,000,000. And as there are- I think this will be admitted-approximately

1,000,000 cars in CapaRa, each one of which pays not one cent/fess\han $30 in sales tax, you have $30,000,000 frotn that source. The

various provinces, too, collect annually by way of fines, registration and gasoline tax another $25,000,000, according to the report of the highways commissioner. One can readily see therefore that -there is probably no disbursement from the federal treasury which would bring back such generous -returns to the business interests of Canada as would a vote in aid of highway construction. It is difficult to understand ho-w any member opposite can go back to his constituents and justify his vote against federal aid to the construction of highways, because every province is keen to have -more roads built into the hinterland, and this aid from the federal gov-ern-mnt -permits of the construction of more central roads. One hon. minister felt he would be so embarrassed if his vote were recorded that he sidestepped the vote entirely.

As to policy, the budget states that it is the policy of this government to encourage production at home and the export of excess products. That may be all very well in theory; it sounds well, but actual evidence shows that the real policy of this government is to discourage production at home by encouraging the importation of surplus farm products from the United States.

The Canadian producer only asks that he be given an opportunity to sell his products in the Canadian market. It must be remembered that such conditions existed years ago, -and that in 1921 the Conservative party enacted statutory provisions restricting the importation of surplus farm products. These restrictions were discontinued in 1922, and an amendment was adopted making it discretionary with the minister to apply the restrictions if he saw fit. Unfortunately he never saw fit to do so; from 1922 to 1925 the Liberals applied these restrictions only in the year 1923, when several large fruit importing concerns were penalized. However, their penalties were handed back to them, according to page 109 of the Duncan report.

Then we come to 1926, when the Conservatives came into power for a short time. While we were in office only a few months we worked fast on behalf of the farmers. We went into office on June 29 and it took the acting Minister of Customs (Mr. Stevens) only two weeks to pass an order restricting the importation of these surplus farm products. That was a good order; apparently this government admitted that to be the fact, because they passed a similar order in council in November of the same year. However, while the government considered this measure an excellent deterrent to the importation of farm products there happened to be a political alliance between Progressives and Liberals. We

The Budget-Mr. Esling

have heard a good deal about this hybrid grain ticket, but I would call this a hybrid political matrimonial alliance, by which those hon. members agreed to obey the Prime Minister so long as he met their wishes. It was not long until they demanded1 that these restrictions be removed; the Prime Minister hesitated to do so because several of his own ministers did not deem it expedient to adopt that course. However, this little group put the gun to the head of the Prime Minister and he had to remove the restrictions, which was done in March of 1928. Since that time many protests have been addressed to the government; we had protests against the importation of surplus strawberries and surplus crops of all kinds from many sources. The Conservative members moved a resolution asking that these restrictions be restored, but that resolution was defeated, Liberal members opposite were quite willing to sacrifice the farmers of this country.

We also had a rather amusing political situation in British Columbia in connection with the removal of these restrictions. According to a press despatch under date of May 16, I find that Hon. E. D. Barrow, the then Liberal Minister of Agriculture for British Columbia, expressed confidence that Canadian farmers would be adequately protected against attempts to dump imported produce upon their markets. Then a little later a telegram was sent by the then Premier of British Columbia requesting the government to restore the dumping regulations which had been removed by the order in council to which I have referred, and he asked Hon. T. D. Pattullo, then provincial Minister of Lands, to take up the matter. This will indicate the feeling of the people of British Columbia, not only of the farmers but of the Liberal party as well; we have both the Liberal Premier and the Liberal Minister of Agriculture of the province requesting that this situation be rectified, but nothing was done.

Then I would refer to the Minister of Health (Mr. King), and I do so because he is the minister from British Columbia. In defending section 47a he said that it was for protection against unfair and unreasonable competition and that the amendtnent was only intended to overcome conditions which arose at certain times when there was an unfair competition under which the grower of natural products could not exist. During the last session of this parliament I submitted several protests to the government which indicated conditions under which the farmer and fruit grower of British Columbia could not exist, but no attention was paid to those protests

notwithstanding the fact that the Prime Minister said such conditions could foe remedied at a moment's notice.

These two statements to which I have referred, coming from the Premier and the Minister of Agriculture of British Columbia, were made during April and May; there was a provincial election in the offing in July. The Premier and the Minister of Agriculture then became enthusiastic about having these restrictions restored and the matter almost became a campaign issue until some of their friends reminded them that from 1922 to 1928 the Conservative members of the British Columbia legislature had consistently and persistently urged a resolution asking this government to enforce these restrictions against the dumping of U.S. surplus farm products. That was rather embarrassing of course, because the Premier, the Minister of Agriculture and every Liberal member of the legislature had voted against that resolution. So they withdrew the dumping clause as an issue and took up other issues. You all know the result of that election.

The Minister of Health is the sole representative of our province in the cabinet, and he knows the adverse conditions under which the farmers, the fruit growers, and the poultry-men of that province are suffering. He took the trouble to go into the Okanagan district to ascertain just what those conditions were, but I submit that he, having been a member of the provincial legislature for many years and having been a minister in this government since 1921, should have known just what those conditions were when he voted against the restoration of these restrictions. I ask the Minister of Health to use his influence in urging the government to bring those restrictions into effect, which they say it is possible to do at a moment's notice, and thus give some relief to the farmers, the fruit growers and the poultry-men of West Kootenay and Canada.

Topic:   S, 1929

Alfred Goulet


Mr. A. GOULET (Russell) (Translation):

Mr. Speaker, it is the first time that I rise to address the house since 1925, when the people of the riding of Russell did me the honour of electing me to represent them in parliament.

I trust therefore that my hon. friends will be indulgent towards me.

With pleasure I join the hon. speakers who have preceded me in this debate in order to extend to the hon. Minister of Finance (Mr. Robb), my hearty congratulations-no less sincere for being somewhat late-for the clear and precise statement which he made on the financial situation of this country. The budget which he has just brought down in the house is,

I think, his eighth since he holds the strings

The Budget-Mr. Goulet

of the national purse. All have been received with evident and well justified satisfaction; the last introduced on March 1st is an additional proof of the efficient Liberal administration under the sound leadership of the Right Hon. W. L. Mackenzie King.

Under the Conservative regime, the Canadian people awaited with uneasiness the end of each fiscal year. They foresaw that the statement of accounts would but confirm their doubts on the good faith of their government, that the announcement of the increase of the debt and thereby the decrease of its credit, would possibly be followed up by a peremptory demand-under the form of additional taxation-to cover the accumulated deficits. The present Minister of Finance has changed this state of affairs. Uneasiness has made way for confidence. The Canadian people calmly await each year the financial statement, knowing that their affairs are administered soundly and economically.

The financial statement for the year 192829 is most satisfactory, and the general prosperity which it discloses highly justifies the trust of the people in the Liberal government. It shows not only that our national revenues have been sufficient to meet our obligations, including the payment of $125,000,000 in interests on the public debt, inherited mostly from our hon. friends on your left, Sir, but also that the debt itself has been reduced by $70,000,000. A surplus of $70,000,000 from receipts of $455,000,000 is by itself a remarkable feat, and I am sure that the whole nation-with the exception possibly of hon. members on the left-will be thankful to the present administration. But we have greater expectations. This sum of $70,000,000 applicable to the reduction of our national debt foreshadows the redeeming of this debt in the near future.

I have before me an article published recently in Willsons Monthly, a serious publication discussing public affairs in Canada and the British Empire, and I shall quote the following extract:

In his budget speech of March 1, 1929, Mr. Robb stated the present amount of the debt to be $2,330,835,086. For the past four years the average annual reduction of the debt has amounted to roughly $47,750,000. While for the past year alone it will amount to nearly $70,000,000. If we add together the amounts paid as interest on the debt and the amounts applied in reduction of the debt we find that for the past four years there has been applied to the debt an average amount of over $171,000,000. Taking the last year by itself, the total is over $190,000,000.

If we continue to wipe out the debt at these rates, how long will it take to retire it completely? It may come as a surprise to many to learn that if the rate of reduction for the past four years is maintained, there will be no national debt in 24 years. If we keep up the pace we went last year the debt will be wiped out in less than 20 years.

In twenty years our national debt will be extinct if our Minister of Finance continues to present us with budgets like the one which now occupies the attention of the house.

The hen. members on your left, sir, although admitting that the country is prosperous, deny that the present state of our finances is due to the good administration of the country. They make use of all possible arguments in endeavouring to ascribe this prosperity to an entirely different cause. Their acknowledgment that after eight years of Liberal administration the country is prosperous is something in itself if we recall the alarm they raised during the electoral campaign of 1925, when they were seeking power by attempting to have the people believe that rain awaited them if the Liberals continued to administer the affairs of this country. Forced to submit to evidence, they seem today more anxious for the future of their party than that of the country. They are aware that it is the Conservative party which the Liberal government is ruining by fostering national prosperity.

The hon. member for Laurier-Outremont (Mr. J. A. Mercier) quoted the other day certain statements given out by the leaders of our large institutions on the financial situation of Canada. The hon. member, I trust, will allow me to read again one of these statements, the one by the President of the Bank of Montreal, which is a further proof that the prosperity of the country is general and reaches almost every industry. Sir Charles Gordon says:

Canada as a whole has enjoyed more prosperity than ever before; our live stock industry has shown marked improvement. Cattle have been in better demand at better prices than for some years past. Between 1926 and 1927 there was an increase of about 25 per cent in the output of our dairy factories, and progress has continued in 1928. One of the' happiest developments has been the definite revival of prosperity in the maritime provinces, coming into line with the rest of Canada in this respect.. Canada is great in agriculture, but the glory of her heritage lies in the variety of her resources. Minerals are steadily growing in importance. The tourist trade is of the highest importance; according to government statistics tourists from abroad spent $275,000,000 in Canada in 1927. Reports from all provinces report an even larger number of tourists, and the amount spent has no doubt also been greater in 1928.

The general prosperity of the country spreads to our railways. It is true that here our hon. friends disavow Providence and consider the

The Budget-Mr. Goulet

financial situation of the Canadian National as their work. They congratulate themselves on the purchase of this railway. They now pretend to ignore what, in 1919, they were at great pains trying to convey, that state ownership of the Canadian Northern was not of their choice but that they were forced to introduce this measure to protect the shareholders. They forget to mention that it is thanks to the sound and honest administration of the Liberal government if the Canadian National is to-day in a flourishing state. The Liberal government neglected nothing to make a success of this enterprise of which it assumed the management when it was bankrupt. The Minister of Railways (Mr. Dunning) and the President of the Canadian National (Sir Henry Thornton) are therefore entitled to our congratulations.

I aim pleased, sir, to note thaft the budget includes a reduction in the sales tax and I express the hope that this tax will gradually disappear. It is no longer required and its disappearance will not be regretted. The income tax is certainly far more equitable, since it reaches especially those who can most afford to pay.

I have closely followed the debate on the budget and I am sorry to note that members have devoted too little time, in my opinion, to the study of problems connected with agriculture. Other industries have 'had their full share of the discussion; but agriculture notwithstanding its importance, was but touched upon. We should bear in mind that probably half of our population is either directly or indirectly interested in agriculture, and that the problems which concern and interest such a large number of our people is entitled to a more serious study. I would even venture to say that a wiser and more appropriate expenditure could not be made than the one which would foster prosperity and happiness among our farming classes.

I take this opportunity to congratulate and thank the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Motherwell), for what he has already done for the welfare of the farmers. His task is difficult, but I am confident that he will bring to a happy issue what he has already so well begun. I wish to thank the minister, his deputy and also assistant deputy, for the special interest they have all taken in the beautiful county of Russell by endowing it with a demonstration farm for the preserving of home products, the first of its kind in Canada. This farm has given a great impetus to this industry in my county and its establishment has already been amply justified; it is only reasonable to hope that before long [Mr. Goulet.)

this industry will be flourishing not only in my riding but in all rural districts in Canada. You will no doubt be astonished to learn that the products of our demonstration farm are to be found already on the tables of our best hotels. May I ask hon. members, when they dine at the Chateau Laurier not to forget to ask for Indian corn preserved at Bourget. I guarantee them a real treat which will convince them at the same time of the excellent quality of this product.

Let me refer to another question. The hon. member for Athabaska (Mr. Kellner) mentioned the case of a young Canadian who, having begged for a meal on the streets of Edmonton, was arrested and brought before the magistrate Having heard that he came from eastern Canada, he was given twenty-four hours to leave the city with the option of one month in gaol. On the same day, a number of immigrants, arrested for the same offence, were sent to the railway company which undertook to feed them. I had no intention to discuss the immigration question: it is an intricate subject which requires much study and especially interests the western provinces. I admit, however, after hearing of this incident, that it is my duty to make a few comments on the subject. The immigration problem is very much to the fore at present; the press is continuously discussing it, the public is daily taking a greater interest in it and the government are seriously endeavouring to solve the problem in a satisfactory manner. Much money is spent each year in an endeavour to attract to our western lands European citizens and, according to an agreement concluded for some time past, youths from 14 to 17 years old hailing from Great Britain and the north of Ireland, who wish to settle in this country are brought over at the expense of the Imperial and Canadian governments. Adults, themselves, who come over with the intention of settling on the land have almost their entire travelling expenses plaid. I do not intend to criticize the government's policy, being of the opinion that this expenditure is justified; however, it seems to me that the first step to take in order to solve this problem of immigration and colonization would be to use every possible means at our disposal to keep in this county our people and thus stem the exodus of Canadians to the neighbouring republic. A practical way to attain this end would be to offer to the sons of our farmers the same material advantages that we beg immigrants from the British Isles to accept. I am convinced that the evil from which we suffer would not long resist this efficient remedy.

The Budget-Mr. Goulet

Most of the young men who emigrate are sons of farmers horn and brought up on. the farm, and they need no further training. They are already acclimatized and are the proper people to settle our fertile free lands in the west. Our old Canadian parishes which should be the natural recruiting grounds for our settlers, are unfortunately but the recruiting grounds of artisans for the industries of large American cities. There comes, in the life of most of the young people of our countryside, a time when they must leave their native village to go wherever they expect to make a livelihood. They have heard of the fertile soil of the Canadian west, where labour is generously rewarded, and many of them are anxious to settle there; unfortunately their financial means are not sufficient to realize the dreams of their ambitions, they are therefore forced to take the roads leading to the large American cities which seem to offer them an easy means of living. This emigration of our young people is a serious problem which gives food for reflection to all Canadians who have at heart the welfare of their country, and I have no dioubt the government will give their kind and special consideration to this problem and that, before long our young farmers will choose the road thet leads to the beautiful western provinces in preference to that of flange cities.

After taking every possible means to stem this emigration of our people we shall endeavour to bring back to this country those whom we have had the misfortune to lose; that will be repatriation. If we place at the disposal of Canadians abroad attractive financial advantages, we shall obtain very happy results and the return to the native land of these prodigal sons will be of great benefit to us.

I do not intend, sir, to praise up the riding of Russell; my feeble voice would not suffice to describe the beauties of this corner of Canada where I have lived for over 30 years, or to enumerate the real and Stirling virtues of its people. It is an essentially Canadian population and they have at heart the expansion and progress of Canada first and all. The interests of my constituents are intimately linked with those of the citizens of the Capital. This means that what affects the government service affects them personally since a large number among them are members of the Civil Service, and I must frankly admit that many others would also wish to be included in this service. Unfortunately, they often find obstacles to their ambition, and these are legitimate for the most part. There is one obstacle, however, upon which

I want to draw the attention of the house because it seems not to have been foreseen by the authors of the Civil Service Act, and to-day it creates a situation prejudicial to the interests of Canadians. The preference in appointments granted by the Civil Service Act to the veterans of the Great war has my hearty support in so far as it applies to our Canadians or veterans of the allied nations who resided in Canada when they joined the army. But this preference goes much further and in order to explain its effects, I cannot do better than to cite the following incident. The Civil Service Commission some time ago advertised an examination for a position then vacant. Two candidates applied for the post, one of them belonged to my constituency. The latter, had all the qualifications required but had only done military service in Canada. He had voluntarily offered his services in the first months of the war, however, for reasons of health, the military authorities would not send him overseas and employed him in Canaria during the whole course of the war. According to the act, his services gave him no right to any preference. The other candidate had come from England three years previous and had, if my information is correct, been conscripted in 1918; his military service was limited to a few months passed in training camps in England immediately previous to the armistice. According to the act, England is considered as a seat of war, giving right to military preference; this gentleman was therefore given the position to the detriment of the Canadian whose qualifications were much superior to his. This case is probably not the only one. Other members no doubt could cite similar cases; it therefore seems to me that the time is ripe to remedy such a state of things. Canadians have a right to expect that they be placed at least on an equal footing with strangers. Our Canadian veterans find themselves displaced by people recently come to this country. Canada belongs to the Canadian, the latter is intelligent and industrious and must receive first consideration, especially when it is a matter of a position in the service of his country.

I am greatly interested in the Civil Service and I should have liked to discuss at length all questions connected with it. As I do not want to prolong this debate, I shall content myself with adding to what I have already said that I am entirely in favour of a reasonable minimum salary for all the employees of the Civil Service, in order that the most humble among them can live in a decent manner and provide for the needs of his family. This generous act of the government

Privilege-Mr. Kennedy

would be not only to the benefit of the employee himself, but in the interests of the country at large.

I have, sir, spoken longer than I intended to. It was not in vain that at the outset of my speech I begged the indulgence of hon. members; they have granted me a very kind hearing and1 very sincerely do I thank them.

On motion of Mr. Casgrain the debate was adjourned.

Topic:   S, 1929

At eleven o'clock the house adjourned, without question put, pursuant to standing order. Tuesday, April 9, 1929

April 8, 1929