February 24, 1930

ADDRESS IN REPLY, MOVED BY MR. R. W. GRAY AND SECONDED BY MR. VINCENT DUPUIS


The house proceeded to the consideration of the speech delivered by His Excellency the Governor General at the opening of the session.


LIB

Ross Wilfred Gray

Liberal

Mr. R. W. GRAY (West Lambton) moved:

Topic:   GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH
Subtopic:   ADDRESS IN REPLY, MOVED BY MR. R. W. GRAY AND SECONDED BY MR. VINCENT DUPUIS
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LIB

Vincent Dupuis

Liberal

Mr. VINCENT DUPUIS (Laprairie-Napier-ville) (Translation):

Mr. Speaker, fully

relying that the good will of the house will be graciously extended to me, I rise to fulfil the task the government has entrusted to me. In this matter, I suspect that the right hon. the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie

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King) and his colleagues, while highly honouring my compatriots, wished, at the same time, to pay a mark of respect to the memory of one who, during more than a quarter of a century, was able to retain the esteem of his own people and so worthily represent them in this house. My constituents and all those who were acquainted with the late Roch Lanctot will recall that his predominating traits were, among all, an unwavering determination, a sincerity without evasion and a frankness devoid of affectation. I feel rather reticent to speak about my humble person, nevertheless I have a sacred duty to fulfil: that of

acknowledging the truth bj- stating that Roch Lanctot was for me, both a benefactor and a true friend. For three years, I had been going from door to door hoping to get sufficient influence in order that I might secure a position which would permit me to attain the goal that I had conceived of life, and during all the while I met but with rebuke or disdainful indifference from those to whom I appealed. It was then that my thoughts turned to Roch Lanctot who, immediately and without the slightest hesitation, came to Ottawa and obtained, in the Laurier government, from the Postmaster General, the present Speaker of this House, the so much sought post which afforded me the chance of completing my law studies at McGill University.

Ever since that day, I realized what was liberalism, that liberalism which affords to all citizens, regardless of their humble, ignored or poor circumstances, the opportunity of advancement in life and of seeking their legitimate share of the rights inherent to the title of citizen in a democratic country like ours.

The distinguished leader of the Liberal party had, therefore, reasons to state, when on the 31st of May last the hon. members of this house spoke in praise of my late predecessor, that he was a patriot and champion of the people's rights, especially those of the farming classes to which he w-as so much attached. How could it be otherwise, when it is known that he came from that small corner of the country which I have the honour- of representing. No doubt the whole of Canada is a land of predilection, where the most noble attributes of the soul expand as if by enchantment, however, it seems to me that nowhere else in Canada are there to be found more favourable conditions than in my part of the country for the bringing up that type of citizen which from the cradle grows up, lives and dies with but one vision before

his eyes and in his heart but one aim: the vision of a greater, more prosperous and more united country; and the aim of serving it in such a w-ay so as to give his fellow citizens a little more happiness and contentment. I need no further proof, Mr. Speaker, than your own example. It is most gratifying to your friends of Laprairie and Napierville to cherish the thought-though illusive as it may be-that if fame has spread to all parts your high reputation, if you preside with so much tact, distinction and judgment over the meetings of this house, you owe it to some degree to your maternal ties by which you are so closely connected with the old parish of Laprairie; perhaps you may also ow-e it somewhat to the fact that you passed some of your happiest childhood days in the quiet and peaceful surroundings in the midst of the good folks of St. Edouard. Knowing that I grew up in such favourable surroundings, you will not be astonished, if when I am called upon to champion the interests of my constituents and especially those of the farming classes, I appear to be tenacious to the point of seeming at times uncompromising. It will be twenty years on May the 6th next I w-as employed by a general merchant in a small American village close to our frontier, when the sad news of the death of Edward the VII reached us. I must confess that never had the burden of exile weighed so heavily upon me than at that moment, never was I so deeply wounded than when I witnessed the indifference of those with whom I was living, never had I so much longed to return to my country and find there people with whom I might sympathize and unite in prayer to beseech God to grant everlasting peace to one who had made himself the apostle of universal peace and who has since been so justly called the peacemaker King. As much as my soul w-as depressed at the time, as much to-day our hearts rejoice having the assurance that our gracious Sovereign has at last recovered his health. Allow me, Sir, to be the interpreter of his loyal subjects in this house and in Canada, by expressing the sincere wish that Providence may watch over him so that he may still preside with as much dignity during numerous years, over the destinies of his vast Empire, because to us the Crown is not only the emblem of sovereign authority; but also the safeguard of our nation still in its youth.

We were much distressed at the news of the demise of the late Hon. James A. Robb, who had shown himself so generous a neighbour towards the people of my county and especially to me. We also deplore the death

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of the distinguished member, the late Georges Doreze Morin, who unrelenting destiny so prematurely took away. I therefore wish to associate myself with the hon. members of this house who so eloquently expressed their sympathies to the bereaved families. We must, however, console ourselves at the thought that the people and the government have chosen representatives who will be able to continue the work of their predecessors and fulfil their task with honour and distinction. I shall always look back with legitimate pride to the happy event which has led to my being introduced to the house on the same occasion as the hon. Minister of Railways (Mr. Crerar), who has returned among us, sacrificing his personal interests in order to devote his time to public affairs.

Prosperity, sir, which has manifested itself ever since the coming into power of the Liberal party is for us an excellent reason to have faith in the future. The ratepayers of this country are aware that since that advent, deficits have made way to surpluses; that the latter have gradually increased; that our revenues have unceasingly grown, thus affording the government an opportunity of lightening the burden which weighs on the shoulders of the people, by reducing taxation and decreasing the public debt by more than S125,000,000. The same is true in other fields of national activity; and this advantageous situation is certainly well known to our opponents.

With reference to the international aspect, the progress made has not been less marked, and in numerous cases we shall have to legislate to make laws harmonize with one another so as to place us on the same level which this new international situation demands. With this aim in view the hon. Minister of Justice (Mr. Lapointe) last autumn, represented Canada at a conference held in London. I must here add, sir, we feel highly flattered at the honour reflected on us through the hon. Minister of Justice each time his colleagues entrust him with a mission to the British government or a foreign country.

The optional clause of the statute of the Permanent Court, having been signed by our representatives, will be submitted to the house. The numerous evolutions which have taken place since-I should add as a consequence of-the war infallibly lead us further and further on the path of our international freedom. When, for instance, causes of conflict do arise with foreign countries or disputes with other members of the British Commonwealth, we shall be at liberty to submit these disputes to the Permanent Court of the

League of Nations or to a similar tribunal in order to obtain redress according to the principles of international law.

I wish to put forth, here, views which are entirely personal. I am of the opinion that the last word has not been said with reference to the dispute between Canada and Newfoundland in regard to Labrador. It being understood that the judicial committee of the privy council was but requested to pass an opinion on this matter and owing to our present status which entitles us to international independence with regard to the other dominions or colonies in the British commonwealth, I have my doubts whether this judicial committee is qualified in cases where an international question arises; I fear therefore, that it is not the proper tribunal in this matter. I am led to believe that the only tribunal having the necessary authority is truly this Permanent Court or a similar tribunal which we shall be called upon to recognize. I leave to our legal lights the (*are of looking into this question which deserves to be studied, not only with regard to Labrador, but for every dispute which might arise between the dominions, as I feel confident that, in this house as well as throughout the country, one would not wish that the judgment just handed down should serve as a precedent in other cases which might arise.

Thanks to the interpretation that the judicial committee has just given of the law, women have now the same right as men to be represented in both Houses of Parliament. We must congratulate the government on the appointment they have just made to the Senate, and at the same time pay our respects to the incumbent who, previous to being called upon to perform her new functions, had accomplished-we must highly proclaim it-the most sacred state duty, being the mother of eight children and bringing them up as our Canadian mothers know so well. We must not be too greatly alarmed of that new departure for the Canadian mother has always recalled to mind this elementary truth that the family is the' foundation of society, that she fulfils a noble duty when she gives birth even to only one child and forms its character. When I thus express myself, I am not losing sight of the fact that it is well to bear in mind the notable exception of those who sacrifice themselves by remaining single in life-and this house furnishes us with noble examples.

The success of our domestic and foreign policy affords us no doubt cause for rejoicing; however our country will certainly not

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reach its high destinies if our legislators concern themselves only with the material side of the nation, because, above the social body and more important than its functions, there is the national soul. No one to-day can deny the existence of a national soul in Canada, for its attributes are easily discernible. Indeed, we have a national conscience, we have a national pride and we also have the veneration of historical memories, and the days no more exist when we could be taxed with being a nation without a history.

The collective soul which Canadians possess is a hardy and vigorous one, having its own attributes and a unique character in the world, it will moreover be found that the Canadian soul, owing to these special and unique qualifications which it possesses, is sufficiently powerful to rise into those spheres where one's vision is not obscured by parochial considerations or by prejudices inherent to our race, but where we are able to embrace all our fellow citizens, regardless of the race or religion they may belong to, and to also include in a single glance all the beauties and wealth of our vast national patrimony ad mari usque ad mare. And since our soul can harmonize with the national soul, it is .possible for us to draw from our glorious past the lessons and strength which will guide us with certainty towards the .future which a-waits us. Endowed with this mentality which takes its roots deep in the Canadian soil, we are equally proud of-our discoveries, pioneers and toilers of the land, whatever may be their race. We love to praise the courage and, valour of those 60,000 Canadians of French origin which comprised the whole population at the time of the conquest, likewise we love to praise the dauntlessness and devotion to the British crown of those loyalists who forsook what they cherished most in the thirteen colonies so as to settle in Canada at the time of the American revolution. With equal pride do we laud the fame of the companions of Wolfe and Montcalm, whose immortality was sealed on the stone of a common monument erected to their memory near the old Quebec citadel.

To continue my argument forgive me, sir, if I appeal to the living patriotism of the citizen rather than to the legitimate sentiment of the bereaved father-to continue my argument, I say, that when we recall the victories won and heroic struggles engaged in during the last war, it is with sublime pride and loftiness of mind that we say, in speaking of those who fell on the battlefields and who now sleep their last glorious sleep on French soil: Our Canadians were there; they fell it is true,

but they fell in order that freedom might survive and remain erect such as they had dreamed of it.

We moreover admire the courage and determination of those w'ho cherishing an ideal of liberty and desirous of improving their lot, forsake their native country to come to Canada and contribute, together with us, to the building of the national edifice. May I here make a digression to state that if it were possible to choose those who cherish such an ideal the problem of immigration would thereby be solved. I avail myself of this opportunity to state how much the true Canadians admire the self-made man, the type of person I have just been referring to and to whom the right lion. Prime Minister has just entrusted the Minister of Finance (Mr. Dunning). His life will always be for us and for future generations a lesson and symbol.

Having thus risen, our soul has acquired such a freedom of action that not only can it develop the virtues and culture belonging to one race but it easily and without effort, so to speak, acquires the virtues and culture of the other race, convinced that these various traits coordinate and complete themselves to form that special and unique type, the Canadian citizen such as Providence has willed it and in whom I have faith. As for those to whom this duality of character is burdensome owing to the fact that they are forced to learn another language than their own, why should they not allow themselves to be convinced by this charming legend, that destiny decreed that we were in need of the most beautiful languages in the world to laud the beauties of our enchanting nature and the heroic deeds of our ancestors? These, sir, are the feelings which inspire the majority of Canadians in this country; that is the goal towards which we are inevitably moving, willingly or not.

I recall in the history of the United States that ^ymlbolic picture which an American patriot distributed to stimulate enlistment, and which represented a serpent whose body had been sectioned off in thirteen parts; and below these words inscribed on stone: "Unite or die". We also know by experience that we must unite, for God expects much from us. It is not without a purpose that He has willed that the descendants of two great races must develop this country. Destiny .points out the path to follow. "Blind, who fails to see it, and guilty who seeing fails to follow it."

No doubt, we shall always have extremists who will unceasingly advocate contrary doctrines, who will always seek to spread trouble

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and dissension among the people. Instead of wishing to destroy them, we must protect them, even love them, because they are the tools of an eternal law which exists in ethics as well as in nature, and by which it is possible for us to harness and direct the flow of energies-which otherwise would be lost,- and of no benefit to our fellow creatures. Nations of old and our ancestors well understood and often applied this law, when instead of allowing the stream to flow uselessly, they harnessed it with the purpose of putting its waters in motion towards their mill wheels; and are not the students of engineering in these modern days vying with one another to obtain water power rights, and build dams so as to multiply indefinitely nature's forces, thereby contributing to the full development of the natural resources and to the progress of industry. And in the moral sphere for twenty centuries Christianity has been teaching us its application: "Love your enemies"; " And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other"; "Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness for they shall be filled"; and, again: " Blessed are they which are persecuted". I therefore maintain that if the extremists, to whatever school or race they may belong to, play a deplorable part, we must admit that it is a necessary one, unconsciously obeying that law, the application of which I have just explained. For, indeed, when they rouse the prejudices of a part of the population against the other, when they persist in persecuting their fellow-citizen, they unwillingly build up a dam behind which our revolted feelings keep watch and form what the poet has so well described as the "eternal vigilance which is the price of liberty."

Just as the old British lion who, looking down from Westminster lends an indifferent or benevolent ear to so-called revolutionists clamouring on the public squares of London, likewise we must not be too much alarmed at the tactics of these extremists; we fully know that, our vigilance being always on the alert, there will always be found citizens right-minded enough and in sufficient numbers to turn, at the critical moment, the scales on the side of imperishable justice.

The study, sir, of political history during the last fifty years, personal experience of twenty years during which we have been privileged to follow and take part in political movements which have agitated public opinion, have firmly convinced me that the Liberal party is the best intermediary by which it is possible for us to attain this ideal of Canadian nationship such as I understand it. And if I had the right to add to it an

element of faith, I would state that I truly believe that Providence has always made use of the Liberal party to revive hope in the hearts of the people and prosperity in the country, and that Laurier was right when, in 1908, at a meeting held at Laprairie, to his opponents who charged him of attributing to the Liberal party a prosperity which they said was due to Providence, he answered by this sally which has been handed down in history: " Am I to be blamed if Providence favours us and frowns on them." This study of history and personal experience have also convinced me that the men who succeeded one another as leaders of the Liberal party were endowed with those essential principles necessary to the statesman. I could not better illustrate the character of our Liberal leaders than by giving you a description written by a great philosopher and thinker of what he considered to be a true statesman. The following is the description which he wrote:

"A politician proves his genius for statecraft by so gently guiding public sentimemt that he seems to follow i.t; by so yielding doubtful points that he can be firm without seeming obstinate in essential ones; and thus gain the advantages of compromise without the weakness of concession; by so instinctively comprehending the temper and prejudices of a people as to make them gradually conscious of the superior wisdom of his freedom from temper and prejudices-it is by quality such as these that a magistrate shows himself to be chief in a commonwealth of freemen."

That is why, sir, being convinced that in the material as well as that of the intellectual and moral spheres, the Liberal party governs with wisdom; being moreover confident that the legislation embodied in the speech from the throne will bring us somewhat nearer to our ultimate destinies, I have much pleasure in seconding the motion which my hon. friend from West Lambton (Mr. Gray) has so eloquently moved.

Topic:   GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH
Subtopic:   ADDRESS IN REPLY, MOVED BY MR. R. W. GRAY AND SECONDED BY MR. VINCENT DUPUIS
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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. R. B. BENNETT (Loader of the Opposition):

Mr. Speaker, my first words

must be words of congratulation to the hon. gentlemen who have moved and seconded the reply to the speech from the throne.

The hon. member for West Lamibton (Mr. Gray) discharged his duty in a manner in keeping with the traditions which attach to that obligation, and his speech indicated a knowledge of Canadian conditions which although somewdiat partisan could have been gained only through considerable study.

The hon. gentleman (Mr. Dupuis) who has succeeded to the position held by one of the oldest, most distinguished' members of the house, Mr. Lanctot, has discharged his duty in just the manner that one would expec1' I have

The Address-Mr. Bennett

often said that the young men of Quebec show a knowledge of political history unrivalled by the other young men of this country. The hon. gentleman has indicated his widie knowledge, his intellectual powers, and his disciplined mental processes, and I am sure his speech met with the approval -of all members of tliis house.

But when I say that of the speeches which have been delivered, I have said all that can be reasonably expected, because the mover and seconder of the address had a most difficult task to perform. I venture to say that in the many years which have elapsed since Confederation it will be somewhat difficult to find a speech from the throne so vague, so filled with generalities, and so lacking in the promise of useful -legislation. It might indeed be said that instead of being a prospectus, as all speeches from the throne are supposed to be, indicating something of the intention of the administration with respect to the future, it was a record of the past, a record of the days that are no more. When the speech from the throne undertakes to rejoice in a prosperity which has passed it is not serving its purpose; as I understand it, the purpose of the speech from the throne is to give an idea of how the government proposes to deal with the problems which have oom-e upon the country. It is not sufficient to say that in 1929 the country enjoyed -a prosperity which we do not at the present moment enjoy; what we expected to -h-a-ve from the government, and what we should have had was some indication as to how ithe problems now before the country w-ould be dealt with, and what its intentions were with regard to them. Perhaps the -absence of our old friend the late Minister of Finance (Mr. Robb), to whose untimely passing we referred the other day, had something to do with the sparse bill of fare. The sagacious mind -and great wisdom of that distinguished gentleman perhaps would -have given this house something better to deal with than it has now.

This affords me the opportunity, perhaps, to congratulate -the hon. gentleman (Mr. Dunning) who now fills the office of Minister of Finance. I trust that he may emulate his predecessor in regard to his public declarations. In every instance in which the late Mr. Roibb had occasion to deal with public affairs, he never engaged in claptrap oratory for the purpose of appealing to the mob.

May I venture further to congratulate the Minister of Railways (Mr. Crerar) upon his recession to the cabinet. "Oh what a fall was there, my countrymen!" As the hon. gentleman looks upon those who sit opposite to

him he will see the faces of some of -those with whom he was once -a colleague, and -as he looks to his right upon the benign countenance of the Minister of Justice (Mr. Lapointe) he must recall the scathing remarks he made about the administration -of which he was on-ee a member. He must -recall those days, and those gl-ib phrases which slipped so easily from -the mouth o-f the Minister of Justice.

I can readily understand why the Minister of Railways the other day made the speech which he did in Regina. Perhaps some of the member's of this house are unaware of t-he observations he -made. He said that in seeking a concise definition of liberalism he went to the dictionary to find the meaning of the word, and by that dictionary he was able to classify himself. It was impossible by any other means at his disposal to determine what he was. He must recall that in the days gone by he had denounced -the cotton industry in Canada as being an industry which was not indigenous to this -country and on-e which should not exist. He said that a few thousand people were given employment in Sherbrooke or Yatlleyfield but that the Canadian people as a whole should not be penalized to provide employment for those who lived in the -constituency of the -former Minister of Finance. He denounced the rubber industry and said that that industry was not indigenous to Canada, and yet his. colleague, the Minister of Trade and Commerce (Mr. Malcolm) just a few days ago sent out to the members of this house a record of the rubber industry in Canada for the month of January last only, showing that Canada sold $2,500,000 worth of rubber in competition with the rest of the world. In competition with the United States, where that industry is not indigenous either, Canada was able to secure $2,500,000 worth of rubber trade in the markets of -the world. Is it any wonder that lie had to seek the dictionary in order to find what party he belonged to?

Then he said he was a free trader and he denounced protection in all modes and forms and clearly expressed his detestation of that principle. He said, "The Progressive party will lead the Canadian people into the promised land." The hon. Senator Forke and the hon. Minister of Railways both have seen the promised land!

I venture to say, Mr. Speaker, that nowhere in the history of our institutions will you find a case in which you have opinions so diverse and so strongly expressed as those which have been expressed by the hon. Minister of National Revenue (Mr. Euler) and the new Minister of Railways and Canals. Imagine

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the conduct of the business of this country by these gentlemen, the one denouncing the cotton, rubber and every other form of protected industry and the other saying that he is an out and out protectionist. Then the Minister of Trade and Commerce, whom I do not see in his place, is interested in an industry protected to the extent of 30 per cent.

Topic:   GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH
Subtopic:   ADDRESS IN REPLY, MOVED BY MR. R. W. GRAY AND SECONDED BY MR. VINCENT DUPUIS
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?

An hon. MEMBER:

Thirty-five per cent.

Topic:   GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH
Subtopic:   ADDRESS IN REPLY, MOVED BY MR. R. W. GRAY AND SECONDED BY MR. VINCENT DUPUIS
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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

How can we expect to get any form of united action on the part of an administration thus constituted?

In 1922 the hon. gentleman (Mr. Crerar) became a prophet. To his many delightful attributes he added that of prophecy, and in 1922, when speaking in this house, he ventured to say that the day was not far distant when the United States would abandon its mistaken idea with respect to protection, and that they would practise the doctrine of free trade as it was practised in England. Yet we know that within a few months after that statement was madte legislation was enacted by the Congress of that great republic, the result of which was so apparent upon the exports from this country during the succeeding year. So whether one should take him as a prophet, as an enunciator of free trade principles, or as a new minister, it matters not, but one can readily understand why it was necessary for him to secure a dictionary definition as a justification of his faith.

The definition that he found was, "not narrow minded or prejudiced". That is the one he selected, and it is no wonder-he needed it. He knew that the Minister of Justice would not be narrow minded or prejudiced in taking him back into the fold, that he would not recall the days which are now long since forgotten. He knew the Minister of National Revenue would not be narrow minded or prejudiced in dealing with one who had returned 'to the fold, and he knew that the Minister of Trade and Commerce would look with pride and satisfaction upon the efforts madie to bring back one sinner to the fold as being better than ninety and nine just men. So I understand why he selected that definition and why, in conscious pride, he justified his position by reference to that great work which I turned up and in which I found the definition he gave.

In days gone by this administration has been pleased to impose upon this house and upon this country certain tests of prosperity. It has said that if you apply to the conditions of the country certain tests and find the results to be satisfactory, the country must be prosperous. Last year the right hon. the

Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) was pleased to intimate that Providence had been very careful in the selection of His instrument, and that he and the others about him had been chosen as the instruments of Providence to bring prosperous conditions to this country. Before I impose the tests I am about to mention, and which have been proposed by the former Minister of Finance and the Prime Minister himself, I will ask any hon. member of this house if he has been as prosperous in the past year as he was in the preceding years of his life. Is his condition as good? That is the question. Now, let us look at the tests imposed.

One of the tests imposed by the administration in former days was the railway earnings. It was proclaimed in loud tones that the earnings of the railways were a test of the great prosperity of the people. What about 1929? What about January, 1930? How do they compare with previous years? Let the minister answer that and explain the difference of millions of dollars. So by that test imposed by the government its claim must fail.

Then take the next test which they used to impose, the stock market prices. Who has not heard the Prime Minister talk about the high prices of stocks as compared with what they were in previous years? What does he say about them now? If we apply that test, is the country prosperous?

Then you turn to the third test that has been imposed, the cost of living that the Miniser of Labour (Mr. Heenan) has worked so arduously to reduce. Yet when I turn to his report for the month of January last, I find there that the cost of living was 160 as compared1 with 100 in prewar times and it has alternated between 156 and 160 during all the years since the government came into power. One of the loudest declamations made by the Minister of Railways in days gone by was that the policy he proclaimed would reduce the cost of living. How, with 'the cost of living unreduced, does he now find himself in the family fold? That test must also be answered against the administration.

Then we turn to the next test, the balance of trade. Who has not heard of it? Why, last year, taking one of their speeches out of cold storage in western Canada, they forgot they were dealing with 1929 and thought it was a previous year, and they said: Canada has the greatest favourable trade balance of any country in the world but one. But while they were saying that, an adverse balance was running against Canada. Last year the adverse balance of trade in this country, taking domestic exports apart from foreign exports that pass through Canada, was $116,000,000.

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western Canada was in the hands of the -wheat pools and that the non-pool wheat constituted 45 per cent or more of the total production. On the grain exchange at Winnipeg we saw wheat selling at $1.45, $1.53, $1.60, and higher prices per bushel, and at that time the farmers were being advised over the radio, by men whom they thought, were responsible, to hold their wheat. Then the market broke, and the price of wheat fell to less than $1.20 a bushel. One of the primary causes was this: The pools have not sold wheat on the grain exchange this year. But there has never been a day in the last five months when you could not buy wheat from the pools at the market price on the Winnipeg grain exchange or for less than that price. Let that be told to the people of this and other countries. I say that the central government, having regard to the far-reaching consequences, was recreant to its duty when it did not make known to the world what the facts were. The Minister of Finance went out to Regina and said: You can trust the men

in charge of the pools. Instead of simply saying that, the farmers should have received the support and assistance of the Canadian people because they were not selling wheat on the grain exchange, but only through their agents located throughout the world, and I repeat, there was no time during the last five months when wheat could not be bought from the pool at the same price or less than it was being sold in open competition on the Winnipeg grain exchange. I wonder how many members of this house realize that fact. 1 have found the gravest misunderstanding in this country with respect to the situation, and I would fail in my duty if I did not endeavour to clear up that misunderstanding without further delay.

When we talk about what -the government has been doing, let me ask what the Minister of Trade and Commerce (Mr. Malcolm) was doing during the last year, and what the government of this country was doing to broaden the markets of the Canadian wheat grower? They talk in glib terms of what they are doing to extend our markets and increase our export trade, and they have gone up and down this country telling the people of the new markets they were securing for our products. New markets? Sir, this country made a treaty with France by which it bound itself to permit French goods to enter Canada under certain specific tariff rates mentioned in the statute, and France gave us certain benefits. But what happened? I wonder if the Minister of Trade and Commerce realizes that in May of last year the French government increased the duty on Canadian wheat to 53

cents a bushel, practically a prohibitory rate; and that duty of 53 cents a bushel on Canadian wheat entering France met with the approval of the French artisan and workingman. Why? Because in France in December last there were only five hundred unemployed on the registers, and since the war two million aliens have been absorbed by French industries. Did hon. gentlemen see the despatch in the press yesterday indicating that 18,000,000 bushels of wheat were now available in France to market in Great Britain in competition with Canadian wheat? What did the government do about that? What did the government do when France increased the duty on Canadian wheat to 53 cents a bushel? Did they in any respect touch the French tariff or raise the duty on French goods? No. The only answer the government have is: We pay the minimum duty on our goods entering France.

Take Italy. While we were sitting here in May last I directed the attention of the Minister of Finance to the fact that Italy had increased the duty on wheat to 73 cents a bushel, shutting out Canadian wheat, so that w'e lost whatever portion of that market we had as well as the French market. What did the Minister of Trade and Commerce do about it?

I turn to Germany. Germany increased her rates on wheat so that American wheat went into Germany for 6 cents a bushel less than Canadian wheat. Why that discrimination? Where was the voice of Canada then? What has been done with respect to it? What about your trade treaties? These are the questions that are agitating the men who produce the new wealth of this country. In order that my infommation could not be questioned I obtained the figures from the Department of Finance, and they show that Germany has a duty against Canadian wheat of 48.6 cents peir bushel and against American wheat a duty of 42.1 cents only. There is the record. Representing as I do, not one constituency, but speaking on behalf of all the people who produce the wealth that represents so great a part of the purchasing power of the people of this country-the agriculturists- I ask the Prime Minister and his government to tell the people of this country what they have done to meet the situation. I am not unmindful of the fact that last year in June the Minister of Trade and Commerce stated from his place in the house:

In so far as the sale of wheat is concerned, it is usually sold on contract, and I do not think a trade commissioner could be of very much assistance dn that regard or in the sale of newsprint.

The Address-Mr. Bennett

What a counsel of despair! It is not a question of helping the sale: it is a question of putting Canada's position right before the world and seeing to it that we are not discriminated against by trade treaties with France and Italy and Germany. I protest against Canadian wheat having to pay 6 cents a bushel more duty than. American wheat entering Germany. The Minister of Finance treats it as a huge joke. He laughs about it.

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LIB

Charles Avery Dunning (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. DUNNING:

No, at you.

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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

To him it is a joke.

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LIB

Charles Avery Dunning (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. DUNNING:

You are.

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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

He is in office, but the

farmers are on the farm.

I shall not dwell upon the question of exports and imports further exicept to indicate that certain observations made in the speech from the throne are hardly borne out by the facts. If hon. gentlemen will refer to the trade returns-and I have particularly in mind my friend from West Lambton (Mr. Gray)- they will find that the situation is not quite as the hon. member thinks it is. The figures issued by the government show a somewhat different position, but perhaps it will be unnecessary at this time to deal with them at any length because there wild be ample opportunity further to discuss them. It is only necessary to say that our trade with the British Empire last year was less than in the preceding year, that our trade with foreign countries showed some small increase, and that our trade with the United States reached the highest point in the history of that country. That is, we were the best customer of the United States. We bought $893,000,000 worth of goods from them, according to our returns; $968,000,000 worth, according to their returns. I understand the difference is explained by the fact that grain shipped through Canada is included by United States statisticians as part of their export trade. Our purchases from the United States were larger than ever before in the history of that or our country.

It perhaps is somewhat significant that, of our total export trade last year, amounting to $1,182,000,000, $624,000,000 comprised grain and grain products, wood and wood products. In other words, over half of our whole export trade came from our grain, pulp and wood products. That is a position which I think my hon. friend from West Lambton may verify if he will take the trouble to look up the facts, which he will find somewhat at variance with the statements he was making a few minutes ago. This perhaps arises from the fact that he was taking the fiscal year, which

is not yet complete, while I have been dealing with the calendar year, covered by the reports of the department.

Now, let us look at another paragraph of the speech from the throne which perhaps emphasizes the incompetency of the government as fully as anything to which I could direct the attention of hon. members.

The construction of the Welland ship canal is now nearing completion. On the opening of the new canal the upper lake grain carriers will he able to reach lake Ontario and upper St. Lawrence ports. The work of providing suitable terminals is proceeding.

I wonder if the government has taken the trouble to ascertain just what the facts are? I wonder if the government has realized- and I commend this to the Prime Minister- that on the lakes the fairway is from twenty-two to twenty-three feet deep, and that a ship drawing twenty-one feet of water can come down the Great lakes to the mouth of the new Welland canal, which will have accommodation for ships drawing twenty-five feet or perhaps a little more. But when a ships gets through the Welland canal, traverses lake Ontario and enters the St, Lawrence, what depth of water do you suppose is available? Seventeen feet. So until the St. Lawrence has been deepened, this imposes a limitation upon the use of the new Welland canal. In the meantime the government is putting up terminals at Prescott which can be reached only by ships of a draught of seventeen feet. What good is the new Welland canal? I asked one of the department's eminent engineers, and he said, "Of course, until the St. Lawrence is deepened, the new Welland canal cannot be fully used."

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LIB

Charles Avery Dunning (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. DUNNING:

My hon. friend had better ask the member for Kingston (Mr. Ross).

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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

I am only putting it to the house as an engineering matter that when a ship drawing twenty-one feet of water on the Great lakes passes through the new Welland canal, and eventually reaches the St. Lawrence, it finds a maximum draught of seventeen feet. Of what use to that boat is the twenty-five foot channel through the new Welland canal? Now, the St. Lawrence out of lake Ontario is an international waterway, and we were certainly led to believe that some understanding had been given by the federal authorities of the United States to assist in dredging that waterway. Until that is done ships drawing more than seventeen feet of water will not be able to reach Prescott. In the meantime the Minister of Public Works (Mr. Elliott) is spending millions of dollars there on terminals which, as I say, cannot

The Address-Mr. Bennett

be reached by ships drawing more than, seventeen feet of water. There is the story. Could anything better illustrate the manner in which this administration approaches the transaction of public business? Does it sound well that we should spend millions of dollars on terminals at Prescott without deepening the St. Lawrence channel sufficiently to enable the new Welland canal to be taken advantage of to the fullest extent? What are you going to do about it is the question I am asking the government? Are arrangements being made with the American government to assist in dredging the St. Lawrence river? It is an international waterway, and we cannot change the channel ourselves, we can do it only by arrangement with the neighbouring government. I repeat, has any arrangement been made, or are any negotiations in progress to this end?

Now, may I ask the Minister of Railways (Mr. Crerar) just what the next paragraph in the speech from the throne means. It says:

Legislation will be introduced respecting the several railway properties formerly privately owned and now embraced in the Canadian National Railway system.

Are we to have another branch line? Or is there to be a capital reorganization? What does it mean? Is this house to be subjected to the indignity of not being told in the speech from the throne just what is meant in regard to this legislation respecting the Canadian National Railway system? Will any hon. gentleman say what is meant by that paragraph? Perhaps they are going to build a new bridge, perhaps they are going to build another branch line. The paragraph is vague and indefinite, and I say it is unfair to this parliament that it should be so.

Then the speech from the throne passes on to deal with the relations the government have had with the various provinces of the confederation. The Duncan report dealt with the rights of the maritime provinces. From time to time the hon. ministers from those provinces have told us that the report has been implemented one hundred per cent, some even say one hundred and twenty-five per cent, and yet we are told in the speech from the throne that matters are now engaging the attention of the government in connection with that report. There is one important recommendation made by Sir Andrew Rae Duncan which has certainly not been implemented; that is in connection with the iron and steel duties. The Minister of Finance (Mr. Dunning) will probably deal with that at an early date; the tariff board has heard evidence upon it. In a word, it is one of the essential parts of the Duncan

report-I have read the recommendation so frequently to the house that I refrain from again quoting it-and yet, though the government and its supporters say that the Duncan report has been implemented one hundred per cent, we are told that consideration is now being given to the final revision of the financial arrangements contemplated by that report.

Then we come to our western provinces, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta. Manitoba has been dealt with; Alberta has been dealt with; Saskatchewan has had an offer made which has not yet been accepted. This is neither the time nor the place to deal at length with these matters; that opportunity will be afforded when the legislation is presented to the house. But may I direct attention to one paragraph of the Alberta agreement? I refer to the second recital:

And whereas it is desirable that the province should be placed in a position of equality with the other provinces of confederation with respect to the administration and control of its natural resources as from its entrance into confederation in 1905;

Note the words "from its entrance into confederation in 1905." That statement is either accidental or it is placed there by design. If accidental, it is inexcusable; if by design, it should disappear. Here are the words of the proclamation of the Queen in Council made on the 23rd day of June, 1870:

And it is further ordered that, without prejudice to any obligations arising from the aforesaid approved report, Rupert's Land Shall from and after the said date be admitted into and become part of the Dominion of Canada upon the following terms and conditions,

That is the Queen in Council. Then I turn to the British North America Act of 1871, under which this power is given:

The parliament of Canada may from time to time establish new provinces in any territories forming for the time being part of the Dominion of Canada, but not included in any province thereof,

So that jurisdiction to create a province arose only if the territory included therein was part of the Dominion of Canada. Lastly I come to the Autonomy Act of 1905. The first recital reads:

Whereas in and by the British North America Act, 1871, being chapter 28 of the acts of the parliament of the United Kingdom passed in the session thereof held in the thirty-fourth and thirty-fifth years of the reign of her late majesty, Queen Victoria, it is enacted that the parliament of Canada may from time to time establish new provinces in any territories forming for the time being part of tbe Dominion of Canada, but not included in any province thereof,

The Address-Mr. Bennett

That is the position; in drawing attention to that error, which may be accidental or designed, I do so at this moment, before the agreement comes up for consideration, merely that the government may have opportunity to make it read in accordance with the statutes of the parliament of Canada and the imperial parliament as well. That is, I think, all I shall say about these matters, because the time will come for discussion in detail.

With respect to Ontario and Quebec, the government has been pleased to say that the water-power difficulties are not yet adjusted. I think I may venture to point out that the reference made to the supreme court, in the terms in which that reference was made, was futile and a waste of time and money. It is now some months since the judgment of the supreme court was delivered, and surely some progress should be made in dealing with the difficulties that have arisen regarding water-powers between Ontario and Quebec and the federal authority. This responsibility rests with the administration of the dlay, and should it be said that we have in any sense embarrassed them in dealing with that problem, may I point out that we have expressed no opinions and have endeavoured so to conduct ourselves that the administration would have unembarrassed opportunity to deal with the situation. They have not done so, and I think that the common sense of the people of Canada asks why, with all these months that have elapsed, this matter is no nearer solution so far as our records are concerned than it was when the first reference was made to the Supreme Court of Canada.

We now come to a matter which I hoped would never be disputatious but which, unfortunately, the Minister of Pensions and National Health (Mr. King) has made disputatious. I refer to pensions to returned men. I was in Chilliwack last summer and a returned soaldier came to me with a letter signed by the Minister of Pensions and National Health in which the minister said he was sorry he could not do better for him because of the opposition of Mr. Stevens, Mr. Bennett and others on the opposite side of the house. I saw that letter and there are other letters I saw at other places.

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?

John Warwick King

Mr. KING (Kootenay):

I should be very

glad to have that letter.

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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

You will get it. We endeavoured in this house to have the matter of soldiers' pensions arising out of the great war free from partisan controversy. May I remind the hon. member for West Lambton (Mr. Gray), who took such credit to his

administration for the pensions law, that it was not this government that made that law; it was a former Conservative administration that set up the department. It is true we have established new machinery, and the hon. Minister of Railways and Canals (Mr. Crerar) was very desirous of assisting, while a member of the Union government, in making that machinery more perfect. It was a difficult problem with which to deal and we have from time to time appointed a committee of this house, usually consisting of returned men, to deal with it in a non-controversial and non-partisan manner. My friend from Quebec West (Mr. Power) has been chairman of the committee on more than one occasion, and he will say that since I have been in the position I now occupy I rose in my place when the report was submitted and said that if the returned men had unanimously arrived at conclusions with respect to these matters, they should have the support of those who sit to the left of the speaker. Then in 1927, when I felt very strongly about the matter because of the cases with which I had to deal, I urged the government to insert a new clause, as section 4, by which it would be provided that the returned man would receive the benefit of the doubt, and further that for the purposes of the Pension Act the disability on discharge of an applicant for pension who actually served in the theatre of war should, in the absence of misrepresentation or concealment on enlistment, be conclusively presumed to be attributable to military service. In other words, when a man was passed by the doctors as being fit for service and came back disabled after service, it should be conclusively presumed that the disablement was referable to military service in the theatre of war. That was voted down. My friends opposite voted it down, and I commend my friend from West Lambton to a perusal of pages 545-547 of the journals of this house of 13th April, 1927, where the record will show that his predecessor in this house voted against the proposed section to which I have just alluded. I am of the opinion that the view I held at the time was correct, and I still adhere to the soundness of that view. A man who served in the theatre of war, who was passed as fit into the line, and came back disabled should -receive the benefit of the doubt. The country should be estopped and precluded from saying that the disability was not referable to the service he gave to his country. I hope that we may still be able to prepare a measure that will commend itself unanimously to this house. I have no doubt

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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Oh, oh.

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LIB

Hewitt Bostock (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

Order.

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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

I say it was something to be desired. I will not repeat what I have said so often with reference to the high regard in which I hold the former minister, but in the public interest the Prime Minister must have

The Address-Mr. Bennett

found it highly desirable or he would 'have kept him here. That is the only conclusion that can foe reached.

I have indicated the situation we have in this country to-day, and I have endeavoured to apply the tests to which I have alluded to the conditions as they exist. I have shown that the Minister of National Revenue (Mr. Euler) in Brantford a few days ago, in strong and vigorous terms, declared his supreme confidence in the doctrine of protection. I have endeavored also to show how the Minister of Railways and Canals had declared that protection -was really something which was injurious to the state, that he believed in free trade as a principle and believed that that principle would foe adopted shortly by most countries of the world.

As the Kincardine Review-Reporter, the home journal of the Minister of Trade and Commerce, has paid him such a beautiful tribute in saying that he resembles a Greek god, I would be very lacking in courtesy if I did not also pay him a tribute, as one would expect almost anything from a Greek god. He is an avowed protectionist; not only does he believe in it but he practises it.

May I point out that the Minister of Finance newly appointed has announced to the people of this country in great, flaring headlines that "Dunning upholds low tariff principles."

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LIB

Charles Avery Dunning (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. DUNNING:

That is right.

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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

And he now reiterates that statement. Then I almost forgot my hon. friend the Minister of the Interior (Mr. Stewart) who sounded1 the death knell of protection.

I put to this house this query: Can a government function piroperly, effectively and efficiently in a country like Canada where you have such divergent views held by the leading ministers? What sort of management would you have in a railroad if you had one director with one policy, another director with another policy, and so on, a difference in policy affecting the very fundamentals of the existence of that corporation? Has the Minister of Railways and Canals recanted? Will he make his recantation now? Will he say that he has been wrong? Will he say that whe-n he endeavoured to lead the Progressives into the land of promise it was only promises that he had in mind? Will the Minister of Trade and Commerce say that the farmer is entitled to only one per cent protection on dairy products while he himself is entitled to thirty per cent? Will the Minister of National Revenue say to the people of this country that poultry, eggs, and various dairy products

should receive only from one to seven per cent protection while furniture receives thirty-five per cent?

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February 24, 1930