March 11, 1930

CON

Milton Edgar Maybee

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. M. E. MAYBEE (Northumberland):

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LIB-PRO

John Livingstone Brown

Liberal Progressive

Mr. J. L. BROWN (Lisgar):

Mr. Speaker, my reason for taking part in this debate is to warn-as I have frequently done-the farmers of Canada against yielding to the demand that we should stand behind the policy of protection. To my mind, we could make no greater mistake than to yield to the solicitations that are made, that we should ask for protection on our products.

During the progress of this debate, Mr. Speaker, the claim has been made that the National Dairy Council best represents the farmers of Canada in so far as our dairying interests are concerned. I do not presume to speak for any but the farmers of Manitoba, and perhaps I may claim some right to speak for the organized farmers of that province, and I think I can safely say that so far as the fiscal policy of the organized farmers of Manitoba is concerned, the National Dairy Council has no right whatever to claim to

Australian Treaty-Mr. Brown

represent us in those matters. The National Dairy Council does not primarily represent the producers but the manufacturers, and we organized farmers of Manitoba have very jealously guarded our rights to speak for ourselves in these matters. From the organized farmers of Manitoba, the grain growers' association, and lately the United Farmers of Manitoba have sprung a number of commercial institutions, and these commercial institutions have been organized under the good will and patronage of the parent institution. We have established cooperative dairies, cooperative poultry organizations, live stock organizations, the United Grain Growers and the wheat pool. In the very nature of things, those entrusted with the management of these institutions are likely to give their main consideration to making them a success, and it is almost inevitable that they should fix their minds upon the duties that have been particularly entrusted to them, forgetting possibly the wider interests of the farmers as a whole.

I can give you an illustration of action that was taken by one of those institutions, which was afterwards repudiated by the united farmers' body as a whole. Just a year ago, the members of parliament from Manitoba received requests from the poultry pool of Manitoba to endorse the application that they had made for an increase in the customs tariff on certain qualities of eggs. The members from Manitoba replied to that communication, giving them to understand very clearly that we had been elected to oppose the principle of protection, and that we did not propose to yield to the request that they had then made. The poultry pool at the same time made their application to the government. The government referred the request to the tariff advisory board, much to the dismay, I may say. of those who had made the request. They have not yet come forward to plead their case before the tariff advisory board, although the time has been set on different occasions for hearings, and we have good reason to believe that they never will. The organized farmers, through their executive and through their board of directors, and in convention assembled, have repudiated that plea for greater protection on their eggs. So I shall not go any further than that at the moment, Mr. Speaker, only repeating what I have already said, that the National Dairy Council does not represent the farmers of Canada on fiscal matters. References have already been made in the house as to who does and who does not represent the western farmers. I shall have something to say in regard to that on a future occasion. If I should say all that I want to

say on that matter at the moment, you, Mr. Speaker, would probably rule me out of order.

I wish to point out what seems to me to be a very common practice in this house, that is, the misuse of statistics. When some gentlemen have a case to prove they start out with the intention of proving that case but only using those statistics that will enable them to make out their case. They do not take into consideration all the factors that are properly concerned in the problem. As a matter of fact, protectionists can generally prove their case-

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Some hon. MEMBERS:

Hear, hear.

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LIB-PRO

John Livingstone Brown

Liberal Progressive

Mr. BROWN:

-when they fix their minds upon one phase of one particular problem, but they absolutely fail when they consider the question of industry or agriculture as a whole. That is the trouble with the National Dairy Council; that is the trouble with our friends opposite who insist upon fixing our attention upon butter only, neglecting to take into account the dairy industry as a whole, in all its ramifications. If we want to deal fairly with this matter we must consider not only the merits of butter, but the merits of butter in relation to its production, the export of cheese, the export of condensed and evaporated milk and milk powder, and so on. We must take all these things into account and consider them with relation to each other, and with relation to the whole problem. Unless that is done the conclusions at which the hon. gentlemen arrived by the misuse of statistics are absolutely of no value.

Objection has been taken to and criticism levelled against the fact that our dairy cows are not as numerous as they were some years ago. As a matter of fact the reduction is a very small percentage of the total number on the farms, and such reduction can be accounted for in a very large measure by the fact that during a number of years the Americans have been coming over here and paying us big prices for our cows. Some of the hon. gentlemen opposite have looked upon that as a deplorable fact, but I cannot understand the reasoning of those hon. gentlemen. I am reminded of a man who, during the reciprocity campaign, gave forth this piece of wisdom, "Well, it just seems to me that the Americans want to come over and buy our stuff as cheaply as they can get it." We might expect 'that statement from a man who bad not given any consideration to economic problems, but I think -we have the right to expect something better from hon. members of this house. Why should the fact that the Americans come over here and pay us good prices for our cows be considered an

Australian Treaty-Mr. Brown

injury to the dairy industry of Canada? I might point out that during the fiscal year 1929 there were over 21,000 milch cows sent over to the United States, and they returned to Canada the round sum of almost $2,000,000. That does not necessarily deplete out herds. The hon. member for South Hastings (Mr. Tummon) referred the other day to some remarks which he said I had made. He said:

We were told a year ago, and it has been said here to-day, that the Americans were purchasing our cattle and paying handsome prices for them; and I recall the hon. member for Lisgar (Mr. Brown) saying last year that we would raise the calves and let the Americans milk the cows. Well, Mr. Speaker, I have been trying ever since to figure out just how we are going to raise the calves if the Americans have the cows.

Possibly what I said was that we were ready to raise cows, and let the Americans milk .them, but even if we do see fit to sell some of our dairy cows at high prices it does not necessarily mean that we are depleting our herds to any extent; at least, if it is a depletion it is only temporary. AH that is necessary is that we should raise a few more of those good heifers, hundreds of which are sent to the slaughter house, and in a very short time the situation will adjust itself. It is not an injury; rather it is a benefit to the people of Canada to sell these good milch cows at a higher price. Indeed, Mr. Speaker, I think we might very well add that $2,000,000 to our credit, when we are talking about dairy products, because a good milch cow is just as much a dairy product as the milk she produces.

No doubt, however, hon. gentlemen opposite will be gratified to know that thait trade is not as good now as it has been; indeed, the hon. member for Hastings said:

The condition is not quite as good as it was some time ago ....

I think he should have said it was not quite as bad.

.... so far as the purchase of cattle in Canada by Americans is concerned.

I say they ought to be highly gratified, if their other argument is sound, that this is now the case. But it is quite likely that when hon. gentlemen are speaking at some later time, perhaps out on the hustings, they will point to this particular fact as another evidence of the incapacity of this government.

There is no pleasing hon. gentlemen. The hon. member for South Renfrew (Mr. Maloney), in a speech delivered in Toronto, complained that this government was taking exorbitant amounts in the way of taxation, and pointed to the increase in revenue during

the past year. Probably if the occasion should come when our revenues are reduced, through our inability to buy goods abroad, they will point out the fact that the reduction in revenue is also an evidence of incapacity. Thus I say it is not possible to satisfy some hon. gentlemen in these matters.

I am reminded of a story I read of an old professor of music whose pupil was very difficult to instruct. One day the old gentleman lost his patience and said to the boy, "I blay on the white keys, and I blay on the black key's, but you sing in the cracks." Hon. gentlemen opposite are apt to "sing in the cracks". I was interested in listening to the speech of the hon. member for Vancouver South (Mr. Ladner) in which he emphasized very strongly the fact that he was in favour of a treaty between New Zealand and Canada. He said, "Let us get together, and a fair treaty can be arranged." I interjected the question, "What would you accept from New Zealand," but I did not get an answer. We might as well be honest with ourselves in this matter. It would seem from the amendment offered by the hon. gentleman opposite (Mr. Serin), and the subamendment offered by this government, that the majority of the house is in favour of a treaty with New Zealand. Let us face the matter honestly: What will we accept from New Zealand? If we make a treaty with New Zealand we will have to admit into this country, either free or under preferential rates, a very large amount of agricultural produce, because our imports from New Zealand would be chiefly products of the dairy or of the flocks of sheep.

I want to say a word about what I am going to call the great apostasy; I refer to the resolution passed by the Alberta convention and read by the hon. member for Athabaska (Mr. Kellner). I was reminded of the words from Milton's great poem:

Of Man's first disobedience, and the fruit

Of that forbidden tree, whose mortal taste

Brought death into the world, and all our woe,

Hon. members have been tasting of the forbidden fruit of protection. The resolution passed at the Alberta convention has, in its preamble, a reference to the fact that the Australian treaty was opposed by United Farmers of Alberta members in the house. I do not know what debate took place in the Alberta convention but it is safe to assume since the matter was brought forward at this time by the hon. member for Athabaska, that it was introduced because of the present situation regarding the importation of butter

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Australian Treaty-Mr. Brown

from New Zealand. Possibly the delegates at the Alberta convention were given to understand that the members from Alberta had opposed it for that reason.

I had occasion to look up the debates upon this matter and I found that so far as Alberta was concerned the discussion was earned on by the hon. member for Bow River (Mr. Garland) and the hon. member for Battle River (Mr. Spencer). Both these members made somewhat lengthy speeches but they dealt not with the importation of butter but wholly with the question of raisins. The only reference I could find to the question of the importation of competing products is in a quotation with which the hon. member for Bow River closed his speech. His concluding words were as follows:

I am opposed to the treaty in general and I can summarize my opposition to it best by quoting a conclusion arrived at by an eminent writer who discussed this treaty recently. He said:

"The treaty does give the Australian farmer a profitable market for his raisins and currants in Canada, and it will tend to reduce the price he has to pay for his rubber goods, canned salmon, automobiles and agricultural implements. It is a pretty good treaty for the Australian farmer and reflects considerable credit on his government for its bargaining ability.

I or the Canadian farmer it means an increase in his cost of living, increased competition in his home market with agricultural products from Australia,"

And so on. There is only that incidental reference in the quotation, and we may properly assume that had that not appeared in the quotation, nothing would have been said about it. Be that as it may, I would call attention to the fact that the hon. members came into this house supporting the farmers' platform, to which reference is frequently made-

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An hon. MEMBER:

So did the Minister

of Railways (Mr. Crerar).

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LIB-PRO

John Livingstone Brown

Liberal Progressive

Mr. BROWN:

-and a part of that platform is this:

That all foodstuffs not included in the reciprocity agreement be placed on the free list.

Can there be any question that in passing the resolution which they did in Alberta they were not tasting of the forbidden fruits of protection? I know they have a disclaimer in their resolution that they are not here in violation of their general principles on the question of the tariff, but it is all very well to put in a disclaimer and say that you do not intend to do a thing, and then go ahead and do it.

I wonder if the hon. member for Bow River, when he goes down to Winnipeg to speak at a provincial election upon the invitation of the labour men of Winnipeg, will be able to justify the stand that he has taken in advocating what must necessarily be an increase in the price of butter. The hon. member for Weyburn (Mr. Young) said that it was with a feeling of disappointment that he regarded the action of the United Farmers of Alberta. Of course it is a matter for disappointment when we see any indication that the farmers of Canada are willing to turn away from their high ideals and squabble over some of the husks; for after all, Mr. Speaker, it is only the husks that the farmers can ever get out of the principle of protection.

I have regarded this spectacle with somewhat mingled feelings. It brought to mind an experience I had some time ago. An evangelist of a certain type came to town and I remember on one occasion he put his hand on my shoulder and said, "Brother, be holy; brother, be holy." I rather resented that because I thought he had no right to assume I was not as holy as he was, and it was with some satisfaction, and a degree of unholy glee-I am not justifying my conduct, I am simply making a confession-that I read very shortly afterwards in a newspaper that he had got into trouble with his church authorities because he had registered at an hotel under an assumed name. I do not know that I need to press the parable any farther.

If the farmers of Alberta, instead of passing that resolution at their convention assembled, had taken notice of some other matters which were reported at the convention, it would have been much better for them and for the cause which they represented. At that convention Doctor C. P. Marker, the provincial dairy commissioner, stated that it was estimated that the value of dairy products in Alberta last year was the greatest on record, being about $21,000,000, or half a million dollars more than.in 1928. He further stated:

An analysis of dairying in various sections of the province brought out the interesting fact that more men are keeping their yearling heifers than formerly, a state that should reflect in future reports.

In view of those statements, it would not seem that the dairy interests of Alberta in particular and Canada in general are in that hopeless position which hon. gentlemen opposite would lead us to suppose. I see no reason why we should be discouraged and so pessimistic in regard to this matter. These things will adjust themselves naturally; no doubt there will be a variation from time to time between this product and that product,

Australian Treaty-Mr. Sinclair (Wellington)

and taking into account that fact which everybody knows to be true, but as to which no evidence can be offered as to what extent it is true-the increased consumption in Canada of dairy products-there is no reason to suppose that the dairy industry of Canada is likely to suffer, while there is every reason to believe that the high prices paid during the last few years to the farmers for their dairy products will be continued and that the industry will grow and prosper. It will continue to be what it always has been, one of the outstanding branches of Canadian agriculture.

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CON

Robert James Manion

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MANION:

Before the hon. member

finishes, I would like to ask him a question, which I ask in all sincerity. Does he support this treaty as it stands, or does he believe it should be altered?

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LIB-PRO

John Livingstone Brown

Liberal Progressive

Mr. BROWN:

I have no hesitation in

saying that I voted against the treaty when it was introduced in the house. I did so because of the burden laid on the people of Canada by the duty on raisins. I took the same attitude as did the hon. gentlemen opposite.

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An hon. MEMBER:

What attitude do you take now?

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LIB

Hewitt Bostock (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

Order.

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CON

Duncan Sinclair

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DUNCAN SINCLAIR (North Wellington) :

Mr. Speaker, I desire to say a few

words as to the amendment proposed by the hon. member for Haldimand (Mr. Senn), especially as it refers to the dairy industry. The hon. member for Lisgar (Mr. Brown) tells us that the farmers of Canada are obtaining good prices for their cows, and because of that it is good business for the farmers. I claim that it is not good business for the dairy farmers of Canada because those cows could not be replaced at the prices for which they were sold. They are not raising heifers in my own district, they are selling them because the dairy business has got into such a state that there is no money in it for the farmer. An answer which can be made to his remarks is that contained in a questionnaire sent out by the Deputy Minister of Agriculture of the government of which he is a member. This letter, 'which was sent out to the farmers of this country, Teads as follows:

You are, I understand, interested in live stock of some kind, and are therefore, I have no doubt, interested in Canada's holding her place and even doing a little better than that on the world's markets for various live stock products. Now as a matter of fact Canada seems unfortunately to be losing ground in this connection. For instance, we no longer export any eggs

or butter. We send abroad very little dressed poultry or lambs; our exports of beef cattle are dwindling, our shipments of beef are decreasing, our exports of bacon which a few years ago were very large have almost disappeared and our shipments of cheese are rapidly falling off.

That is the reply to the hon. member for Lisgar (Mr. Brown) by the Deputy Minister of Agriculture of the present government. Hon. members on this side of the house have consistently brought to the attention of the country and of the government, the condition of affairs and what would happen if importations of butter from New Zealand continued as has been the case for the last few years. The government paid no attention to our pleadings. In 1927, the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Motherwell), in addressing the National Dairy Council, said in reply to the chairman:

Now we got a preference for certain exports such as paper, pulp and motor cars, what would you suggest, Mr. Chairman, to take the place of butter?

What would we give New Zealand if we did not give thean a preference for butter? Just imagine the Minister of Agriculture, the watch-dog of the farmers of this country, sacrificing the interests of our farmers for those of any other industry, whatever it might be!

What has been the result? According to the Bureau of Statistics report, we have a shortage of 100,000 milch cows. We have a shortage of hogs. We have lost our export trade to Britain in. those commodities and, sad to say, we are losing our home market. Our Canadian-made butter is just as good as any butter made in the world; there is none better. Mr. A. J. Mills, a dealer from London, England, bad this to say of Canadian butter and cheese before the National Dairy Council in 1927-and by the way, the Minister of Agriculture was present at the meeting-that there was no better butter or cheese shipped to the old country market than the Canadian product and there was ^something radically wrong with Canada when her exports had fallen off nearly to nothing.

The dairy farmers of Canada are not asking for any favours. All they want is a square deal. They expect the government at least to save the home market for them. They do not think it fair to have to compete with a country like New Zealand. Doctor Ruddick, dairy and cold storage commissioner, in addressing the agriculture committee last session, informed us that the cows of the New Zealand farmers ran at large practically twelve months of the year; that ithe farms

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Australian Treaty-Mr. Sinclair (Wellington)

in New Zealand were worth from S300 to $700 an acre, and that they could feed from 50 to 80 cows on 100 acres. On the other hand, in Ontario and Quebec, the farmers can keeip only from 15 to 20 cows on 100 acres; their cows are housed for six or seven months of the year, and they are fed on expensive food. It takes a lot of money and hard work to feed these cows during the winter months and the dairy farmers of Canada object to this unfair competition. New Zealand butter is allowed into this country under a duty of one cent per pound while they charge us six cents a pound to export our butter into New Zealand. I would ask the hon. member for Lisgar whether he thinks that is fair treatment.

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LIB-PRO

John Livingstone Brown

Liberal Progressive

Mr. BROWN:

What practical effect has it on the hon. member?

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LIB

John Ewen Sinclair

Liberal

Mr. SINCLAIR (Wellington):

What practical effect has a carload of eggs shipped into my hon. friend's district on the egg market in his constituency?

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LIB-PRO

John Livingstone Brown

Liberal Progressive

Mr. BROWN:

What practical effect on

the hon. member has the New Zealand duty on Canadian butter?

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LIB

John Ewen Sinclair

Liberal

Mr. SINCLAIR (Wellington):

Just the

same effect that I should like my hon. friend from Lisgar to assume. My hon. friend quoted some poetry a little while ago. I would commend to him the following from Scott:

Breathes there a man with soul so dead,

Who never to himself has said,

This is my own, my native land!

The hon. member for Lisgar said something about the county of Hastings. I happen to have in my hand a clipping from the Financial Post, Toronto of February 27, 1930, dealing with general conditions in Hastings county. A picture of a fine dairy herd in the county of Hastings is shown, with the statement that there are many such herds in that county. The products from the dairy business of that county last year was $2,600,000. Are the farmers of Hastings asking for protection? They certainly are; they are asking that their produce should be protected and we should protect them. What has been the consequence of so much New Zealand butter entering Canada? The Minister of Finance (Mr. Dunning) himself admits there is something wrong, because in moving his amendment to the amendment he practically admits that there is a serious state of affairs.

Mr. 10UNG (Weyburn): No, he does not. [Mr. Duncan Sinclair.)

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LIB

John Ewen Sinclair

Liberal

Mr. SINCLAIR (Wellington):

But the

minister is just five years too late. The harm has been done. According to the Dominion Bureau of Statistics, we are short more than 100,000 milch cows. The British market has gone; the home market is completely under the control of the New Zealand butter because it sets the price of our Canadian butter, and the dairy farmers are discouraged. What has the government done in regard to the situation?

I referred a little while ago to the letter of the Deputy Minister of Agriculture. I would hate to be deputy minister under any government and have to send out a questionnaire such as he has sent out to the farmers admitting that the department has actually fallen down on the job. According to a report from dealers in Toronto, the New Zealand butter consumed in that city amounts to 75 per cent of the total consumption. The butter is put up in packages with fancy wrappings. It is not called Canadian butter and it is not called New Zealand butter although it should be. Why should the farmers of Canada be handicapped in this way while the people who are consuming this butter think they are eating Canadian butter when they are really eating foreign-made butter? When any hon. member on this side of the house brings these matters before the government, the Prime Minister in his nice, plausible way, tells us we must not say anything provocative. The other day the Minister of Finance told us we must not hurt the feelings of our sister dominion. But the farmers of Canada are getting fed up on this "hush-hush" policy of the government and are just waiting a favourable opportunity to let the government know that. This trade agreement is affecting Canada in frozen meat, lamb and mutton, because I have been given to understand that even the Prime Minister has gone out of the sheep business on account of the unfair competition he has been suffering from outside.

I will not take up much more of the time of the house. It has cost the country a great deal of money to put the dairy business into the position it held prior to the trade agreement with New Zealand. The injury that has been done cannot be repaired and the dairy industry of this country cannot be rebuilt within the next five years regardless of which government is in power.

I believe that it is the duty of any government to protect in some way our own home markets for the producers in our own country and to provide markets elsewhere for our

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Australian Treaty-Mr. Neill

surplus. This government has absolutely failed to preserve our home market and has lost the British market in so far as the butter business is concerned. I agree entirely with the amendment as proposed by the hon. member for Haldimand.

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IND

Alan Webster Neill

Independent

Mr. A. W. NEILL (Comox-Albernd):

I

realize how hard it must be to legislate for the farming industry of Canada when we find such divergent views expressed by farmers themselves, as we have heard in the course of this debate. I am sorry I cannot support the views of my friend the hon. member for Lisgar (Mr. Brown). His theories are unassailable, his principles fit into each other like the figures of a puzzle, but unfortunately I live in a world of hard realities and I must explore and find, if possible, a remedy for these conditions without regard to theories or academic considerations, however smoothappearing and plausible they may be.

We are considering an amendment moved by an hon. member of the official opposition to the motion to go into supply. The amendment is framed as a want of confidence motion. It was moved on the 4th day of March. I will read it:

That all the words after the word "That" be struck out and the following substituted therefor:

"in the opinion of this house, order in council No. 1757, passed on the 26th day of September, 1925, respecting certain trade arrangements with the Dominion of New Zealand, should be rescinded forthwith, and immediate steps taken to negotiate a treaty with that Dominion on fair and equitable terms."

As I say, that amendment was put before the house on the 4th day of March. On the 24th of February I placed on the order paper the following resolution for consideration and debate:

That, in the opinion of this house, six months' notice should be given to the New Zealand government to cancel the application to that country of the provisions of what is generally known as the Australian treaty.

I trust that the house will bear in mind the wording of my resolution and the wording of the amendment now before' us, and have regard also for the dates when they appeared. My resolution, my -child, as it were, was born nine days before the amendment, and now hon. gentlemen opposite are trying to tell me that they are twins, in defiance of the number of medical men there are on that side of the house. It is said that stolen kisses are sweet; I do not know; I have forgotten'; it is so long ago. But if they are, the same does not apply to stolen resolutions. Stolen kisses may 2419-31

perhaps leave some suggestion of sweetness even on the party from whom they are stolen, but a stolen resolution leaves only a dark brown taste such as some of us are familiar with, the morning after. Perhaps I should be proud to have written a copy book headline which has served and will serve as a text for so many eloquent speeches on the subject in the course of this debate, but I do not know if I do feel proud.

My hon. friends opposite are entitled to some sympathy, and it is sympathy rather than respect that I accord them. Let us visualize the matter. The official opposition comprises some ninety members in this house. They are pleasant to look at. They comprise a large share of the ablest men in the public life of Canada to-day. A large number of them are prominent in finance and in public positions throughout this country. Perhaps thirty per cent of them are millionaires; some of them multi-millionaires. Perhaps another thirty per cent of them are very brainy men, because capital can always command the services of ability and brains. The remainder, while less well known, are of repute in the ridings from which they come. We have this galaxy of money and1 brains, men wise in the political manoeuvres of party warfare gathered here together. They are called upon to formulate a policy, to frame an amendment that will perhaps be historical; it has to deal with the record of the government and, if possible, to condemn it; certainly the intention is to condemn the record of the government. It is to be the spearhead of their attack, not only in this session, but in the election which may possibly come hereafter. Well, the mountain laboured, and -what did it bring forth?- not even the conventional mouse. I do not know what they did bring forth, but I know what happened. They engaged in a species of political bootlegging. They hijacked the brains and stole the resolution of a poor simple lonely, independent member of the House of Commons. Sir, I do not know what they teach in the Sunday schools to-day-evolution perhaps-but in my young days we had a very simple theology and some of the boys framed a portion of it into a doggerel which has always stuck in my mind :

He who takes what isn't his'n

When he's cotehed, he goes to prison.

There is a great thought in that. I do not suggest that any material confinement should be the punishment for the action of hon. gentlemen opposite, to which I have just alluded, but I do think it must result in some loss of respect for themselves, and possibly

Australian Treaty-Mr. Neill

some loss of prestige in the country. It is perhaps natural for them to take that line because we know that in the years past they have been engaged in a line of argument that has been wholly destructive. I am reminded of those lesser devils recorded in the Book of Job, of whom Satan asked what they were doing, and he was told that they had been wandering to and fro seeking whom they might devour. My hon. friends opposite have been engaged for so long in wholly destructive work that it is hard for them to turn to the forward-looking constructive policies which is what the country wants. So in despair like King David, when he fell from grace, they turned an envious and lustful eye upon the ewe lamb of their neighbours-in David's case the ewe lamb took the form of the wife of Uriah, the Hittite; in my case it is embodied in a resolution setting forth a nationwide policy, but my resolution is as dear to me as ever Bathsheba was to Uriah, the Hittite; it is all mine; it is my child, begotten by me, and loved and cherished by me. My hon. friends opposite, having seen it, coveted it, seized it and are now endeavouring to make a partisan use of it for the advantage of the millionaire opposition. I have no objection to them adopting my child. I am proud and pleased when I see them adopt it. All I ask is that they acknowledge the paternity of the infant. All I ask of them is that they admit I formulated their policy, and that they are following the lead I gave them.

Now, possibly the public at large will be less concerned with this abduction, which I might compare with the Rape of the Sabines, than with two conditions that it reveals. First, I would call the attention of the house to the revelation of the paucity of material possessed by the opposition when it is necessary for them to take such steps. Were there no other matters of complaint, no scandals, no extravagances, no mismanagement? Is this the only thing that they could find that they had to seize my little ewe lamb? That reveals a remarkable condition, and I think, it is rather significant. Second, it reveals an obvious condition of sterility of ideas, a sort of atrophy and an absolute lack of constructive ability.

There is another feature I think the public, apart from a few hide-bound politicians on both sides of politics, will be less and less interested in this want of confidence business. Rather they will say: what is there in this for us? They will compare-at least I hope so-the resolution and the amendment in that light. On the one hand, we have the amendment, which is primarily and essentially a vote of want [Mi. Neill.]

of confidence in the government, aimed at turning the government out-old party stuff that we have had ever since confederation. But did the hon. members who instigated and moved this amendment really expect the government or any number of men on the government side to support it? Surely not. It is true, of course, that in the last fortnight we have twice seen the government and a great many of their supporters line up with the opposition, which was a revelation to gods and men. I noticed a Conservative paper published in British Columbia appeared with a headline announcing "Bennett wins first division of the session." It shows the use they make of these things. But we who belong to the smaller groups in this house are not so much surprised, because it has been driven into us by years of observation that the great Conservative party and the great Liberal party in their relations to each other are very much like the Colonel's lady and Judy O'Grady.

This amendment, however, is on a different plane. If adopted it would mean turning the government out of power, and the government of course do not want that. Being coupled, as it is with want of confidence, it is absolutely essential to defeat it to preserve themselves. They must use every effort and pull every string to do so, a fact with which the gentlemen who moved it are perfectly aware. The very fact that it is a want of confidence motion, will compel many members, at least some, to vote for it who would have preferred to vote for the particular resolution which I put on the order paper. Now, we see the old game of party politics in the middle of the road, and the interests of the country scrambling along the side lines as best they can.

There is another feature about this amendment that I should like to call attention to. I do wish when they were adopting my resolution that they had done so wholesale and not attempted to improve on it, thereby making it very inferior in its effect. This amendment will achieve absolutely nothing. I call attention to what it proposes:

That the order in council should be rescinded forthwith.

, Nothing else, except they also propose to go on and make a treaty. They stop there at the rescinding. Now you could rescind that order in council every day in the week for the next twelve months, and you would never get a pound of butter less from New Zealand. This amendment is simply a gesture, and as the hon. Minister of Finance said, a somewhat offensive gesture, because it lacks the six months notice which I put into my resolution.

Australian Treaty-Mr. Neill

The order in council which extended the pro-visons of the treaty to New Zealand provides:

That it will be subject to the provisions of the said act.

That is the treaty. One of the provisions is that it cannot be cancelled as regards Australia without six months notice, and that applies to New Zealand too. So it is no use to say cancel the order in council; you have not done anything concrete, anything effective, because butter will come in until the expiration of six months notice to cancel the arrangement.

There is still another feature of this amendment to which I would direct the attention of the house. Both the hon. gentleman who introduced it and also the Minister of Finance proposed to negotiate a new treaty. Very well. A treaty cannot be one sided. A treaty in itself must give a preference to New Zealand for some of the products they export in return for a preference for some of the products that we export. I desire to quote the hon. member for Lisgar (Mr. Brown) who asked this question of the hon. member for Vancouver South (Mr. Ladner). He said:

Mr. Brown: What does the hon. member propose to accept from New Zealand?

Mr. Ladner: Whatever they can send us

provided it is not going to destroy an industry that is indigenous to this country.

Of course, that was just a lawyer's quibble, because it is simply an evasion. A more sincere man would have said, " I don't know." Had he been pressed he would have given the other stereotyped answer, " That is not for us to say. Put us on the treasury benches and we will formulate our policy." But when you go to make a treaty you must face facts; you can evade them in the house and sometimes on the platform, but you cannot evade them when you go to make a treaty, and the facts are staring us in the face as regards New Zealand. I have the returns of the exports from New Zealand for the last year in which they are recorded, 1927. New Zealand record their exports under five different heads: mineral, pastoral, agricultural, forest and miscellaneous. It will be noticed that they make a distinction between agricultural and pastoral exports. The pastoral exports are wool and mutton, beef, butter, cheese; while the agricultural column covers things such as grains, potatoes, apples. Then they give the percentage of the total exports. The pastoral exports of New Zealand for 1927 represented 92-9 per cent of the total, practically 93 per cent; agricultural exports were 1-7 per cent. The total pastoral and agricultural exports amount to 94-6 per cent of the exports, so 94'6 per cent, almost 95 per cent of the total 24X9-41J

exports of New Zealand are agricultural. The other exports are trivial and comprise a very small percentage of the total exports.

Now, I ask, what are we going to give New Zealand a preference on? Is it to be on motor cars? They do not export motor cars; we do. Is it to be on clothes? The same thing applies. On what are we going to give them a preference? The only things exported by New Zealand that we do not produce are; kauri gum, which is a thing very little used; I think it is a base for varnish; rabbit skins, which I do not think we use in any quantity; and phprmium tenax, a form of native New Zealand flax, which, for reasons I need not go into, it is undesirable that we should import. So we get this result-in any treaty we make with New Zealand; we are bound to hurt our farmers for the benefit of our manufacturers. Is that what the farmers want? Ostensibly the object of rescinding the present arrangement is to benefit our farmers. If we turn our imports from New Zealand against the wool man and the mutton man will that make them any better? We cannot make a treaty with New Zealand except at the expense of our farmers, for the obvious fact that almost all New Zealand's exports are agricultural.

But my resolution was concrete and was calculated to produce immediate action-and we in the west have a way of wanting action once we start a thing. I proposed to give six months' notice for the cancellation of the treaty. I agree with the hon. Minister of Finance when he said that rescinding the order in council at once would be an offensive gesture, and unnecessary and futile; but I do not agree with him when he made practically the same remark as regards the six months' notice, because I do not think there is anything offensive in that; it can be done politely. If I lease a man my house for a long period and he comes and says, " I am going to give you regular notice to quit," I do not take that in any improper spirit at all. Under my resolution you would have six months in which to negotiate a treaty. But the minister says he is going to negotiate a treaty without giving notice, and with the hope that inside the six months he will have a satisfactory treaty negotiated. But it takes two to make a treaty, and he might fail at the end of six months, when he would have to give six months' notice which would mean a whole year before we would get any action. That is my only objection, or practically so, to his amendment dealing with the situation.

My resolution is open to receive the support of everyone. It does better than that, Mr. Speaker. In a large measure, it compels

4S4

Australian Treaty-Mr. Neill

the support of a great many people who could easily justify themselves in voting against the amendment, because they could say they do not want to vote want of confidence against the government. With my resolution, Mr. Speaker, it is different. There is no excuse, there is no loophole, there is no way out of it. It might very easily be accepted by the government as a mere expression of the opinion of the house at large. It is true that we get nowhere as regards a want of confidence vote, but we have here just what the farmer wants.

With regard to the amendment introduced by the hon. member for Charlevoix-Saguenay (Mr. Casgrain) which I have heTe, it reads: -superseded as soon as possible by a treaty with that dominion, and that immediate steps should be taken to negotiate such a treaty.

Thait is, the order in council shall be superseded as soon as possible by a treaty. Had that subamendment included the six months' notice I would have been prepared to withdraw my resolution, but failing that I propose to stick to it. I wish ito emphasize, because there seems to be some doubt in some people's minds, that it is only opposed to the application of the treaty to New Zealand. I am as Strong an advocate as ever for the treaty with Australia, but this resolution of mine will afford an opportunity to every member of this house to express a real opinion, an unhampered opinion without regard to party politics, which is the curse of this country. Last election, especially in the district that I represent, because it was thought appropriate to do it there, the argument was: We must do away with these miserable minor parties, these groups, and those independents; let us go back to the good old days when there were only two parties, the outs and ins, and then only will we get stable government. That was the cry raised at every point in my riding. The result was the very opposite, because we got more groups instead of less, and we have had stable government since then. It may not have been so partisan as it otherwise would have been, but I do not think that is an ill that Canada as a whole can complain of. Look at the situation in Great Britain, where we see the two great panties, th. Liberals and the Conservatives, out of power. Where are they to-day? The public have almost thrown them into the discard. They are squabbling amongst themselves, yet Great Britain is going on, and going on in a very creditable manner. It is popular to say that because the Liberals or the Conservatives are not in power the empire is going to the dogs. But is it? Look at

[Mf. Neill.)

Snowden's action at Geneva after the late government had so messed things up as to have the country almost irretrievably involved. Then take Ramsay MacDonald's action in coming to the United States and the present negotiations with respect to disarmament. All those things suggest that in spite of the lack of prominence of either Liberals or Conservatives, in spite of group government, the empire is in no great danger.

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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

Does my hon. friend know that the MacDonald government was defeated to-day?

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IND

Alan Webster Neill

Independent

Mr. NEILL:

I do not, and I am sorry to hear it. But I venture to say it was due to an improper combination of the two old parties for more or less political advantage.

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LIB

Ernest Lapointe (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. LAPOINTE:

That is very stable.

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March 11, 1930