March 14, 1930

CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

I did not refer to it this year, and I will tell you why.

Topic:   EXPORT ACT AMENDMENT
Subtopic:   REFUSAL OF RELEASES AND CLEARANCES TO COUNTRIES WHERE IMPORTATION OF LIQUOR FORBIDDEN
Permalink
LIB

Alexander MacGillivray Young

Liberal

Mr. YOUNG (Saskatoon):

We know why.

Topic:   EXPORT ACT AMENDMENT
Subtopic:   REFUSAL OF RELEASES AND CLEARANCES TO COUNTRIES WHERE IMPORTATION OF LIQUOR FORBIDDEN
Permalink
CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

You certainly do know; there is no doubt about that. Mr. Speaker, I was waiting for this occasion; I knew it would come, and it has come. I never had a moment's doubt that the forces that were arrayed against my friend from Vancouver Centre (Mr. Stevens), the effort that was made to destroy him in his constituency because of the position that he took in that committee, would one day in this parliament give me a chance to make the very observations that I am now making. If the hon. member for Saskatoon wants to know why I did not discuss, antecedently to the government making known their policy on this question, I tell him they would have complained that I had impeded them in the discharge of their duties. Not only, sir, has that complaint been made in respect to this matter, but also in respect to other matters that I could mention. It is the policy and practice of the Liberal party whenever it suits them to say: We could have done so and so but for the fact that the Conservatives

did so and so. They say we are jingoes, that we have impeded their efforts to bring about friendly relations with another country because of the attitude that we have taken.

I have remained silent in regard to this matter, and now I put the responsibility where it belongs, on the shoulders of the government. There is where the responsibility rests. The hon. Minister of Railways may laugh, but there is where the responsibility belongs. The responsibility rests with the government of this country and cannot be placed elsewhere; let them accept it.

When the moment came they had to discharge that duty, they could not rise in their places and say that this great party had in any sense impeded them in their effort to bring about a solution of this difficult problem. They could not point to any observations of ours and say that those observations had in any sense restricted or hampered their efforts. Rather this is the situation, that when the conference met at Ottawa in 1929 the American government officials relied upon two matters: the report of the special committee of parliament, and the report of the royal commission. They had a right to. What does "as soon as possible" mean? Can the Prime Minister of this country say that he has discharged his duty to the people of Canada to act "as soon as possible" when hc-has taken four years in which to do it? Answer that. Can he say he has done his duty in 1930 when he gives effect to a report of three eminent jurists appointed by himself, and whose efforts were assisted by one of the most eminent lawyers of this country, the appointee of the government itself? That is the matter to think about. My hon. friends can point to no single act or word of ours that in any sense lessened their ability to deal with the situation by unfair criticism, or prematurely judging the case. The observations made by the hon. member for Vancouver Centre last year on the motion proposed by the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre (Mr. Woodsworth) were directed to the very points to which I have referred. There is the position. I submit, sir, that the people of this country require some answer as to why action was not sooner taken, in view of the recommendation of this parliament, unanimous so far as that phase of it is concerned, except, I should say, for my friends the member for Hochelaga (Mr. St-Pere) and the member for West Hamilton (Mr. Bell)-that action should be taken "as soon as possible."

Now, sir, there remain for consideration the terms of the bill itself. On the second

Export Act-Mr. Bennett

reading of the bill we approve its principle. I naturally have no difficulty whatever in voting to approve its principle, as my vote in the committee in 1926 indicates. But, sir, what have we here? We have amending sections to two statutes of Canada involved in one bill-an amendment to the Export Act on the one hand and to the Customs Act on the other. And we have something more. We have failed to avail ourselves of one of the fairest offers that could be made by one nation to another, namely, to make reciprocal the operations of a treaty. They say, you give us this, we will give you the same. Moreover, sir, I might again point out that the proper method of international contract is by treaty or convention. As I pointed out a moment ago, this parliament cannot legislate for the United States of America. The United States Secretary of State said: Let us make a new convention amending the old convention. Let us provide that the movement of commodities by air or sea or land shall be prohibited by similar regulations in both countries. If Canada prohibits, then they will not give clearances to Canada on any goods so prohibited, whatever they may be. Liquor is only incidental. Unfortunately, or fortunately, it enters largely into the discussion, but, as they point out, and as pointed out by the conference, it is not liquor only that is concerned; it is commodities. On any commodities prohibited importation into Canada the United States pledged themselves to sign a treaty agreeing that they should not be exported from their country into Canada, and they asked us to do the same, whether by the new means of transport, aircraft, or by sea, or by land. And, in that regard reference was made by the Prime Minister this afternoon to conditions with respect to the liquor commission of Ontario. The liquor commission of Ontario, of course, is very greatly interested in the operation of the act as it now stands, because they must see, under their law, that when from a distillery there are released spirits of any kind for export they are exported and not used in Ontario. But if under the proposed legislation, there is in any of the provinces a release of spirits said to be destined for some other country, then if it be moved by land the question of clearances does not arise. This bill refers only to clearances for transport by sea. If by air it is not covered. There is the position.

Now, is that important? Let us see. I took the trouble to have secured from the Department of National Revenue a statement of the exports of liquor from this country during the calendar year 1929. Those exports were very heavy in volume and value. Ale

and beer, for instance, sent to the United States, had a value of $2,787,000; gin, a value of S300,000; whiskey had a value of $17,565,156. Other spirits only had a value of $26,000, and wines a value of $107,000. But here is a figure to which I direct attention, and it is a figure of great consequence in view of the provisions of this bill; the export of whiskey to St. Pierre-Miquelon last year amounted to $4,172,470. The population is a little less than

4,000. That means that last year from Canada alone they imported whiskey to the extent of $1,000 a head for every man, woman and child in St. Pierre-Miquelon. Of course it is obvious that it was not intended to be used for domestic consumption but for reexport. The same could be said with respect to other figures of the same character, but not the same volume.

Now, I put to the government this question: If we pass legislation such as this bill contemplates, having regard to our desire not to engage our officials in any questionable effort or work, may we do indirectly what we are not going to do directly? From the Atlantic seaboard and through the gulf of Mexico, a great deal of liquor has entered the United States. That has in many instances come from islands in the West Indies to which the liquor has been previously shipped. We would have avoided any question of that kind if we had adopted the treaty suggested. I do think that before this bill is finally passed there should be inserted in it some provision dealing with manifests, and of the ships' manifests being taken as evidence of the cargo, because the Canadian people never can undertake the duty of searching ships for smuggled goods after they have been cleared. I think that must be plain to every hon. gentleman here. That, among others, is one reason I have asked the government why they should deprive Canada of the reciprocal provisions offered by the United States.

I want to go one step further. I have pointed out to this house the conditions that have existed since 1922, when this government came into power. There is one matter, however, to which I have not referred. In one way it is not a matter of transcendent importance, but in another it is of very considerable importance. Because the government failed to implement the direction given by this house to take action as soon as possible, the number of distilleries and breweries has been greatly increased. I wonder if the right hon. gentleman has looked at the figures contained in the return I sought the other day. On the 31st of March, 1922, when the present government came into power, there were ten

Export Act-Mr. Bennett

distilleries in Canada; to-day there are twenty-seven. When the right hon. gentleman received that recommendation on the 31st March 1926, there were eighteen distilleries in Canada, to-day there are twenty-seven, or 50 per cent more. I say, sir, that the government of this country must accept the responsibility for encouraging the increase in the number of distilleries in Canada because they failed to take action "as soon as possible" upon the recommendation contained in that report.

That is not all, however. Let us go a step further. It is true there has been a greater consumption of spirits in Ontario and Quebec and other communities. Since 1926 the province of Ontario has voted for government control, and the same condition prevails in other provinces of this confederation. But look at the figures as to the spirits in bond; look at the tale they tell. When this government came into power in the year 1922 there were only 8,000,000 gallons of proof spirits in Canadian warehouses. In 1926 there were 11,000,000 gallons in bond; on January 1, 1930, that figure had increased to 36,593,869 proof gallons. On January 1, 1929, that volume was only 27,615,539 gallons. In other words, the bonded spirits in this country increased in the last year by 9.000 000 gallons. This increased accumulation of spirits results from the fact that four years were permitted to go by and the recommendation to act "as soon as possible" was not acted upon by this government.

Topic:   EXPORT ACT AMENDMENT
Subtopic:   REFUSAL OF RELEASES AND CLEARANCES TO COUNTRIES WHERE IMPORTATION OF LIQUOR FORBIDDEN
Permalink
?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Oh. oh.

Topic:   EXPORT ACT AMENDMENT
Subtopic:   REFUSAL OF RELEASES AND CLEARANCES TO COUNTRIES WHERE IMPORTATION OF LIQUOR FORBIDDEN
Permalink
CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

It is all right to say " oh, oh." but everybody knows that those engaged in that industry believed, and not without cause, that the government which permitted the expression " as soon as possible " to mean one, two. three or four years was the government that would not confiscate and destroy their business. There are the facts.

I have not dealt in this discussion with the numbers of people who hold securities of these industries, but last year the sum total of the highest day's value of beverage securities on the market, including distillery, brewery and soft drink stocks, was over $300,000,000. Probably that is not a matter that should enter into a discussion of this nature, but it indicates that new conditions have arisen by reason of this government's failure to act. If there is one principle understood more than another in this country, and particularly well understood by lawyers, it is that delays are always dangerous in matters of this kind. In this instance the government was directed by parliament to act " as soon as possible."

That finding was approved by the royal commission. but the recommendation by the royal commission was not implemented and no action was taken. Hence the number of companies which have their capital invested in distilleries alone has risen from ten to eighteen in 1926 and to twenty-seven in 1930. I am not dealing with the breweries because the total value of beer exported to the United States in the last year was only about $2,000,000. We will leave the breweries out of the picture, although as the return shows they increased from seventy-eight in 1926 to eighty-six in 1930. Those are the figures indicated by the return.

My hon. friend who sits beside me points out that the last clause of the bill provides that the governor in council may make regulations.

1 am sure there is no student of legislation in this house who has not read the recently published essay of Right Hon. Lord Hewart, Lord Chief Justice of England. He says that the encroachments of the executive by orders in council upon the rights of parliament, whether it be in England or elsewhere, are becoming well known, and describes it as the new despotism. What these regulations may be I know not, but in so far as they affect conditions that may arise between two great powers, our own and another, whether it be the United States or some other country, they should be the subject matter of legislation in this parliament and not framed by delegated power exercised by the governor in council. That has become more and more a fundamental rule of government. The Lord Chancellor, as soon as this matter was brought to his attention, appointed a committee in Great Britain to inquire into the whole question and to deal with the problems thus presented.

I have nothing further to observe in respect to this legislation. As I have said the principle of the bill deserves and will receive my support. There are those on both sides of the house who hold very different views; there are those who. as the Prime Minister said this afternoon, look upon this as a matter in which we are concerning ourselves with the business of other nations with which we should not be concerned. Our complex life, places upon the citizens responsibilities and obligations. Those responsibilities and obligations are national and international; they affect the life of the citizen in his own country, in his domestic relations and his social activities; they concern his health and happiness; they concern the trade and commerce of his country. But these are matters we must deal with in terms of the welfare of our own country and no other. Our national obligation and duty are to Canada, but in matters that touch the life of

o32

Export Act-Mr. Bennett

this nation in its relationship to others we must never forget that there are obligations which cannot be lightly undertaken or easily discharged. Amongst those obligations are those that arise by reason of nations making laws which provide that they will not permit certain goods to be imported into their territory. We recognized that on the special committee when, as you will see, without a dissenting voice-with the exception of two-we concluded that as soon as possible steps should be taken to place this country in the international position which this bill now purports to do. We voiced our profound conviction as to the obligation of Canada in international relations; that was our view, and it was sustained by jurists of repute. This afternoon in his peroration the Prime Minister stated that he could not and would not continue to bear the burden imposed upon him by his office unless this parliament or this country took such action as would enable this legislation to be passed. I say to the right hon. gentleman, "Where has he been these last four years?" Is he a Rip Van Winkle? Has he only awakened to this situation? Was the moral standing of our officials affected only to-day or yesterday or the day before? Every fact mentioned by the Prime Minister this afternoon has existed for four years, and every condition that has existed, has existed in the face of the recommendations of that committee for its betterment. No action; no activity. Four years too late, and then an endeavour to induce the House of Commons to believe-and I protest against it-by quoting the words of a statesman no longer living, that we must pass this bill else we perish. As I have said before, there is no record of there being a single unfriendly word written to this country by that republic or by any other government, dealing with this question. I for one refuse to be terrorized; I refuse to become afraid; I refuse to be fearful because the Prime Minister conjures up the ghosts of the past, the speeches of those who are no more. Because I believe in my country, because I believe as I did when that committee was sitting, as I did when the judges of this country made their report, I shall support this bill and vote for the second reading. It gives effect to a principle in which I believe, but I will leave to those who have different convictions the right to voice them in any way they desire when the opportunity arises and the necessity demands.

Mr. WffLLIAjM IRVINE (Wetaskiwin): Mr. Speaker, in some respects I think this is the most remarkable debate I have ever lis-

tened to during my experience in the House of Commons. In the first place, it is remarkable because it is brought about by a measure which has been proposed primarily to save the good name of Canada. So far as I am aware, there is no economic return or financial advantage in the bill; it is one which endeavours to remove from the name of Canada a stigma which has been put upon it through the relationships which unfortunately had to exist between our officials in the carrying out of their duty in respect to Canadian law and the bootlegging activities across the border. It is remarkable also because it has been devised out of respect for law and order in a neighbouring country. These things are very important, and they are perhaps of more value to Canada in the ultimate than had they implied some great monetary or economic return. For these reasons I feel sure that Canadians will be proud that the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) speaking for the country, has taken such a high stand.

Then I think it is a remarkable discussion because the opposition critics are castigating the government for not having sooner taken this stand. The opposition criticism is well taken, but it does not often happen that the opposition complains that something the government is doing to-day should have been done several years ago.

I would like to make a comment or two, Mr. Speaker, on what seems to me to be the most important aspect o,f the discussion, the political aspect. I do not refer to international politics, but rather to the political aspect as it concerns Canada, and particularly as it concerns the major parties in respect to the next election. I must say the Prime Minister made out an excellent case for the bill, but of course he had some good grounds to work upon. He also made a very skilful argument in favour of the delay to which exception has been taken by the hon. leader of the opposition (Mr. Bennett), but I think the leader of the opposition has punctured successfully the Prime Minister's explanation of that long delay.

I desire to make a correction of a statement made by the Prime Minister. I make this correction because I know he is meticulous of his statements, and would not want to make one which was not absolutely accurate. He said that the subject matter of this bill had been brought before parliament last year by the Minister of National Revenue (Mr. Euler) speaking for the government, and that on that occasion an invitation was given to the hon. members of this house to express themselves freely in regard to the

Export Act-Mr. Irvine

matter. 1 would point out that the Prims Minister was hardly correct in that regard, for it will be discovered by turning up Hansard that this matter was introduced by the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre (Mr. Woodsworth) on the motion to go into supply. It was discussed under that condition, and when the minister spoke, he did so in defence of the government and in reply to the argument of the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre. I think some ten members from this corner took part in that debate. I took part myself, and I think I supported it less than any of the others. I was in agreement with the sentiment, as I am now, that something should be done to clear the name of Canada from such an unfortunate association, but I suggested then, and I am going to suggest later in my remarks to-night, that we should go much farther in that connection. I suggested then that we should go so far as to take over the whole distillery business of Canada, and in doing that we would secure absolute control of all our export liquor trade and it would not be necessary to pass any such legislation as is now before parliament.

I desire to point out in the debate on the amendment of the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre last session, ten hon. members from this little corner spoke in favour of the principle of the bill now before parliament, but what support did we get? First of all, let us look at the government side. I think the only hon. member who spoke from the government side was the hon. member for Lisgar (Mr. Brown), and to use his own phrase, he merely declared to the house that he was upon the horns of a dilemma. I hope he is not upon those horns still, because the result may be serious.

Topic:   EXPORT ACT AMENDMENT
Subtopic:   REFUSAL OF RELEASES AND CLEARANCES TO COUNTRIES WHERE IMPORTATION OF LIQUOR FORBIDDEN
Permalink
LIB-PRO

John Livingstone Brown

Liberal Progressive

Mr. BROWN:

Did I use that expression in the debate?

Topic:   EXPORT ACT AMENDMENT
Subtopic:   REFUSAL OF RELEASES AND CLEARANCES TO COUNTRIES WHERE IMPORTATION OF LIQUOR FORBIDDEN
Permalink
UFA

William Irvine

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. IRVINE:

I think the hon. gentleman did, and if he will look up the record he will discover that I have not misquoted him. There is no reason why any hon. gentleman should not be uipon any kind of a horn which he wants to be upon. I am not blaming the hon. gentleman for being upon the horns of a dilemma; in fact, the subject was of such a character that anybody might have been upon any horn. I merely wanted to point out that that was the extent of the support which came last year from the government side.

What support did we get from the opposition side? So far as I am aware, there were only two hon. gentlemen who spoke, one being

the hon. member for Ontario (Mr. Kaiser) who, I think, spoke in favour of some such measure as we are now discussing, and the hon. member for Vancouver Centre (Mr. Stevens). Therefore, if there is any particular credit to be taken for this bill, it rests right in this corner. I am not so sure of course that it will turn out to be credit; I am going to be very careful about the credit, but if there is to be any credit this is the corner that must receive it.

The Minister of National Revenue made a speech for the government, on the occasion referred to, and I think his speech was an able one. In my remarks I supported him and so far I have nothing to take away from them. I believe he spoke in conformity with the facts before him and as a man in his position under the circumstances should have spoken. But after his speech some of the papers declared that the minister had greatly increased his prestige by the remarks which he had made on that occasion. I wonder whether, if he speaks on the issue now, they will say he still further increases his prestige by taking the opposite position.

I should like to quote a few lines from the minister's speech indicating his attitude. He said:

I will also say very frankly that I am more concerned with stopping smuggling into Canada than stopping smuggling into the United States. The first is our particular business and the other is primarily theirs.

Referring further to the remarks of the Prime Minister, he said that public opinion had to ripen and inferred that the ripening process was the cause of the government's delay. I agree that public opinion should ripen in some cases; however, public opinion became over ripe before the Prime Minister took any action. In this case I should like to ask just what the Prime Minister and the government did to help to ripen opinion. That is the chief criticism which might be levelled against the government in this respect, but I am not going to criticize the government very much about it. The government deserves a good deal of credit for having done something eventually. I can point out more important measures than this that have not been brought up yet and it will be perhaps twenty years before the government bring them up. Those are the matters I want to criticize the government about and not so much in regard to what they have already done. I say frankly I am glad they have at least done this.

Let me now turn to the bill itself. It means a step in advance. It indicates Canada's

Export Act-Mr. Irvine

desire to keep its name unsullied; it indicates our respect for our neighbouring coun-try!'s laws, and it makes for a better feeling between us and the United States. In these matters the bill is of great value. But I believe there could have been a more dignified way of bringing this about, and, moreover, a more advantageous way. It would have been better had this arrangement been effected by means of a treaty agreement with the United States, which treaty would have been reciprocal in character and perhaps more befitting to the great nation which Canada is.

But I do not think Canada has much to be ashamed of in respect to the condition which made the legislation necessary. It was only an unfortunate incident that Canada's officials in carrying out our customs laws should in this matter have been associated with bootleggers. This was inevitable under the circumstances, but it was not Canada's fault, and I do not for a moment think there is any danger of the sinister suggestions and implications in the Prime Minister's remarks in this regard becoming realities. Surely Canada has a right to make her own laws and enforce them without endangering her position with other nations. Surely there is no particular or immediate danger of the United States making any attack on Canada for carrying out her own laws in respect to her own people. I do not think we have anything to be ashamed of in the condition which has made this legislation necessary. It was merely an unfortunate circumstance over which we did not happen to have control. I wonder very much whether, if the United States had been in the opposite position, that country would have taken action similar to that which we are now taking? Let me point out here that I am not saying this as an argument why we should not have acted. I agree with the Prime Minister on the ground he takes there that we ought to be in a position to act for Canada and for Canada's good name, regardless of what other nations may do. But I cannot forget that some years ago we found it necessary to ban a certain publication of the United States for having published things which we did not like about the royal family. The United States government did not come to our aid by refusing to gave clearance to the United States mails for their salacious literature.

Let us take a more recent case. Let us take the attitude of the United States at the naval conference: they apparently refuse to agree, under the Kellogg pact, to stop supplying contraband to aggressor nations,

and this is a much more serious matter than we have to deal with in this case. But I say again that the fact that the United States might not have taken similar action only makes it the nobler for Canada to have taken this action. Nevertheless, we have nothing to be ashamed of in our previous position. The Prime Minister waxed rather eloquent and spoke with considerable scorn in his voice about anyone who should suggest that we should continue a business of this kind in order that we might put revenue into the treasury of Canada. There is a great deal to be said for that attitude. Very few people would feel proud of such a condition of affairs. I suppose he referred to the bootlegging business. Nevertheless the bootlegging business belongs to the United States, but much of our revenue, both federal and provincial, comes from the liquor business. I would suggest to the Prime Minister that some of the revenue which has come in through excise taxes from liquor shipped into the United States in the last year or two should be devoted to establishing a business of some kind for the brewery workers who may be put out of employment when this bill becomes effective. Someone suggests that this is tainted money. Very well; I think the whole business is tainted, so far as that is concerned; but I do not think the brewery workers will mind the taint. Just try them with it. If the government feel diffident on moral grounds about retaining this money in the treasury, let them try it on some of the fellows who will be put out of work through this legislation.

I want to say a word or two about another way which, I think, would have been a better way of meeting the situation than is found by the measure before us. The government should have taken: over the distillery and brewery business of Canada. If they had done so they would not require to stop any clearances because they would have full control, not only of the manufacturing of the commodity, but of the export trade. To have done so would have been in keeping with the expressed opinion of the Canadian people, for in every province except one the people have voted for government control of the sale of liquor. That evidently is the opinion of the Canadian people at the present time. But surely if this business is to go on, it ought to be properly controlled, and if it is to go on, the business itself should be made to pay for some of the wreckage which it brings on the Canadian people; for as everyone is aware it is a business that increases the expenditure on the part of the public for the

Export Act-Mr. Power

upkeep of our asylums, prisons and enlarged police forces. Therefore I suggest that while the Canadian people vote for the sale of liquor the government should see to it that the business pays for the damages it brings on the Canadian people, rather than permit its profits to make millionaires of a fow. I do not propose now to enter into details how that might be done. Perhaps at some future time I shall have an opportunity to discuss my resolution on government ownership of distilleries. In my opinion, to take over the distilleries would have been a better way of bringing about what the government have in mind than by this legislation.

I conclude by saying that I am glad to support this measure, not because I am satisfied that it is the best way of doing what we are trying to do, but because it is one way of doing it, and the only way so far proposed by the government. I support it also because I am assured that there is a very strong public opinion in Canada demanding it. Indeed, I have to say to you, Mr. Speaker, that the farmers' organization in the province of Alberta has passed a resolution urging that legislation exactly as has been brought down should be introduced this session. So I suggest to the hon. members who are iooking forward to being the government after the next election, if they want a real political hunch, that they watch what the members in this little corner are doing, because they will find that the things we advocate to-day become so popular to-morrow that politicians of the highest order are glad to sail into power on them.

Topic:   EXPORT ACT AMENDMENT
Subtopic:   REFUSAL OF RELEASES AND CLEARANCES TO COUNTRIES WHERE IMPORTATION OF LIQUOR FORBIDDEN
Permalink
LIB

Charles Gavan Power

Liberal

Mr. C. G. POWER (Quebec South):

If I

rise to take part in this debate it is not that I have anjr hope or any desire to influence the course of the legislation. It is because I feel that I owe somewhat of a personal explanation to the people who sent me here with respect to the position which I intend to take on the bill now before the house.

When I first came into this house some thirteen or fourteen years ago I was struck by the attitude taken by very influential members of the house, both on the government side and on the opposition side, who appeared to believe that they could best contribute towards the winning of the war by imposing on the people of Canada, on the plea of righteousness and godliness, the most restrictive legislation. They endeavoured in their own righteous way, and to their own pious satisfaction, to regulate not only the lives of the citizens of Canada who were here at that time but the lives also of those who were at that very moment defending the interests of Canada in another country. I took

strong exception to the point of view which was laid down by these gentlemen, and I think I have pretty consistently taken the same attitude during the years which have followed. The people of Canada by a certain revulsion of feeling and reaction have been drifting away from the position taken by these gentlemen, and to such an extent that I believe the attitude which I then took is finding some justification to-day.

I wish to state now that I am opposed in principle to any such legislation as this. It is perhaps well to say at this juncture that I am not interested financially or otherwise, directly or indirectly, either through the ownership of stocks, bonds or other securities, in any brewery or distillery. I make that statement because it has been my experience in this house that the more righteous the cause in which people are engaged the less of Christian charity do they observe towards those who are opposed to them. I have some respect and admiration for the men who are supporters of temperance. I can readily understand, even if I do not approve, the position taken by prohibitionists. I can and do respect and admire the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) for his very able and very eloquent address this afternoon. I may pay the same tribute to the leader of the opposition (Mr. Bennett). I might almost say, indeed, that he pleaded the case of the Prime Minister perhaps better than the Prime Minister himself could have done. I can say with respect to the Prime Minister that only a man with firm, sincere and deep-rooted convictions such as he has could have first persuaded and overcome the objections of his colleagues, and next succeeded in getting the support of his followers, and then, perhaps the saddest part of all, obtain, as he apparently will obtain, the reluctant and somewhat dubious assent of this house to the legislation now proposed. I regret personally that I cannot do more than pay him the tribute of my sincere admiration. I would feel very much better if I could show my support in a more substantial way, but believing in the things which I do believe, and having, as one of the firm convictions which I have retained after some twenty years of practical politics, the conviction that this kind of legislation does not appeal to the people of Canada, and certainly does not appeal either to my beliefs or to my conscience, I would feel-and I say this without reflection on any member of the house-that were I to give to this measure even conditional support or silent acquiescence, I would be indulging in humbug, cant and hypocrisy. And much as I cherish the relations which I

Export Act-Mr. Power

own province we will transfer the activities of those Detroit gangsters and gunmen to our peaceful highways, there to degrade and corrupt our own God fearing, law abiding population. So I say that if we wish to do away with any association with the bootlegger and the criminal gangs, that object will not be attained by the legislation now before as.

We have been told that unless this bill passes there is grave danger of creating an international situation at our border. I ask myself whether this same danger will not continue to exist even if the bill becomes law, and if it will not be even accentuated to a certain extent. It must not be forgotten that even though we pass a bill prohibiting clearances, bootlegging will continue and the United States will be obliged to keep up the border patrol. We, by our own act, will say to the United States of America that every one of our citizens who is implicated in this business of rum running becomes an outlaw. Knowing the character of the border patrol, as we who have followed the newspapers do know it, does anyone believe that that border patrol, largely made up of fanatics, men who are reckless and heedless of human life, will hesitate for one moment if they suspect that a Canadian is endeavouring to cross the boundary with liquor? Will they not follow the well known American axiom and shoot first and investigate later, saying, " This is only a poor Canuck anyway"? I very much fear that we will create such a situation on our own borders if we withdraw, by our own act, the protection to which every citizen of this country always should be entitled.

Then there is a further consideration with respect to bloodshed on our border. I followed the statement of the Prime Minister carefully when he said that this legislation would not involve us in any further expenditure, because we would withdraw from the distilleries and breweries the government officials who are now there giving out permits. Surely we must remember, however, that if this bill passes and we pledge ourselves to prevent the exportation of liquor from Canada, we must take every possible means in our power to prevent that exportation. Our national honour will be engaged, not in the mere letter of the law but in the spirit as well. We will be obliged to take every reasonable means and precaution to see to it not only that clearances are refused to ships but that persons having stocks of liquor in their possession in vehicles or on railway trains are obliged to stop at the border with that liquor. If we take that position, as I think we must if we adopt this legislation, I fear that there will be incidents on our own

[Mr. Power. 1

border which we may regret. Does any member of this house wish it to be said that an officer of the Department of National Revenue, in the exercise of a duty imposed upon him by this parliament, shot and killed a Canadian citizen who was endeavouring to cross the border with some liquor? I leave that point for the consideration of hon. members and ask whether they are prepared to shoulder that responsibility. I submit, sir, that the first incident of that kind would cause a very large number of people, who have not given this subject very great consideration, to pause and ponder it.

I must say, having listened very carefully to the remarkably eloquent addresses made to-day by the leaders of both parties in this house, that I am not convinced by their arguments that either is right. I believe that on grounds of economy and for national and international reasons the position they have taken is not sound. It is not sound on national grounds because we are endeavouring to put into operation a law which has not the support and the assent of fhe whole people of Canada; it is not sound on international grounds because I fear that though we have reached a position of equality of status with our sister nations in the commonwealth of British nations, it may be that through legislation of this kind we will find ourselves subservient to another nation on the North American continent.

I object to this legislation as a citizen, because I am opposed to having my conscience influenced by persons from a foreign country; I object as a representative of the people because I do not believe the electors of my constituency or of those of the constituencies generally throughout the country will support the measure, and I object as a Canadian because I believe it will bring about a moral degradation instead of a moral uplift. I object also as a Canadian because I am convinced it will bring about externa! humiliation

Topic:   EXPORT ACT AMENDMENT
Subtopic:   REFUSAL OF RELEASES AND CLEARANCES TO COUNTRIES WHERE IMPORTATION OF LIQUOR FORBIDDEN
Permalink
LIB-PRO

John Livingstone Brown

Liberal Progressive

Mr. J. L. BROWN (Lisgar):

Mr. Speaker, until we heard from the hon. member for Wetaskiwin (Mr. Irvine), I had not thought of taking part in this debate. Before dealing with the remarks of the hon. member, I should like to say a few words on the subject in general. I am sure we must pay tribute to the hon. member for Quebec South (Mr Power) who, in the face of what he must know to be a very large majority against him, had the courage to express his convictions.

At this time, Mr. Speaker, it is not my intention to offer any defence for the government with regard to the delay in taking action. Personally I should have liked to see that notion taken long ago; I know, however, that

Export Act-Mr. Brown

a feeling of great relief and joy went over Canada, when it was announced that the gov-srnment proposed to bring in a bill forbidding the issuing of clearances, and I know there will 'be also a feeling of great rejoicing when it is known that the leader of the opposition (Mr. Bennett) has climbed up on the band wagon.

There is one point to which I think we should direct a few observations, as the leader of the opposition put things in an entirely unfair position. He properly referred to the great evil of accepting from the liquor interests contributions for political campaign purposes. I am at one with the hon. leader of the opposition in my abhorrence of that method of obtaining election contributions, but I differ from the hon. leader of the opposition in viewing with equal abhorrence the contributions made either to the Liberal party or to the Conservative party. I do not intend to advance this as a tu quoque argument, but since the matter has been mentioned I think it should be pointed out that the investigation made by the royal commission showed that contributions were made by the liquor interests to the political campaign funds of both parties.

I would like to read a few extracts from the record of that commission. The evidence to which I will first refer is that of Mr. Robert Fiddes, and the questions asked were put by Mr. Rowell. Since his name is being mentioned, I might say that Mr. Rowell is a gentleman of very high legal ability and of unimpeachable moral character, and it should be a tribute to the government that such a man as Mr. Rowell was chosen to act in this investigation. The evidence I wish to read is that of Mr. Robert Fiddes of the Consolidated Exporters Corporation, and is as follows:

Mr. Justice Wright: That American liquor brought in under those applications was duty paid?

Mr. Rowell: Yes. duty paid into Canada.

Q. In exhibit 257 in an account, copy of certain items appearing in the books of B.C. Breweries, representing insurance and protection. I notice two cheques issued to you, one October 5. 1925, R. Fiddes, $4,800, and another of August 25, 1926, R. Fiddes, $6,000?-A. What date?

Q. One is October 25, 1925, $4,800; and August 25, 1926. $6,000-what do those items relate to?-A. Campaign funds.

Q, Which you received from the B.C. Brewery?-A. Yes.

Q. Were you collecting from the different breweries-how did you come to receive these amounts from the B.C. Brewery?-A. Because I handed that over to the manager of the campaign.

Q. Were you handing them over as part of another sum, were you collecting certain sums

from the different breweries?-A. Yes, I believe I got-no, just the B.C. Brewery, I think that was the only one.

Q. I notice opposite that is the item "Memo; our proportion of $10,000"?-A. That may be.

Q. I want your recollection of what it is?

*-A. Campaign funds. I think these are items relating to the Dominion elections 1925 and 1926.

Q. How did you come to be getting them from Mr. Reiffel?-A. Just because it was arranged I would hand them over to the campaign management.

Q. Did you collect from the other breweries? -A. I don't think so; the B.C. Brewery I think is the only one; the others handled their own campaigns probably in Victoria.

Q. Here is a cheque to Robert Fiddes dated August 5, 1925, $4,800 signed on behalf of B.C. Breweries by Mr. Marling and Mr. Twittey?-A. Yes. .

Q. And then the voucher for the amount and charge protection account?-A. Yes.

Q. That is part of exhibit 247; and this one is August the 25th, 1926. $6,000 signed on behalf of the company by Mr. Marling and Mr. Howatson and Henry Reiffel?-A. Yes.

Q. And the note on it "Our proportion of $12.500"?-A. I don't know about that notation, but that is what that cheque was got for and paid.

Q. Was it part of $12,500, or was it only $6,000- was this the only brewery?-A. I cannot remember; we paid our proportion I know.

Topic:   EXPORT ACT AMENDMENT
Subtopic:   REFUSAL OF RELEASES AND CLEARANCES TO COUNTRIES WHERE IMPORTATION OF LIQUOR FORBIDDEN
Permalink
LIB

John Frederick Johnston (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

The Chairman:

What do you mean by your

proportion-was there some understanding?- A. There was an understanding of the breweries that they would pay so much to these campaigns 1925 and 1926.

Q. How much was that?-A. I do not remember. but that is our proportion individually, that is the proportion of the B.C. Breweries, and we paid it.

Mr. Rowell: You paid your proportion?- A. Yes.

Q. Did you give contributions to both sides? -A. Yes. to both sides.

Mr. Justice Wright: Equal amounts?-A

Yus.

Q. That is impartial?-A. Yes.

Mr. Rowell: What was the reason you gave these contributions?-A. It is a custom; we have always given contributions.

Q. Always given to both sides?-A. To both sides.

Q. And always treat them equal?-A. Yes.

Q. You are strictly impartial?-A. Strictly impartial.

The next is the evidence of A. L. McLennan, the questions being asked by Mr. Rowell:

A. Well, there is a Ripstein that I met in London by the name of H. Ripstein. I know he is in the liquor business on the east coast, the Atlantic.

Q. In the liquor business on the east coast? -A. He handles agencies for Great Britain. I happened to meet him in London this year.

Q. Why would you be paying money to Ripstein?-A. I haven't the remotest idea. I only met him this year.

Q. Here in July is another payment to Ripstein of $2,000. The first was $5,000?-A. I didn't know he ever got a cent. I don't know what the transaction is at all.

Export Act-Mr. Brown

Q. You initialled it?-A. That is quite possible. *

Q. You have initialled it and he is a man you have met and you didn't know he ever got a cent?-A. I didn't know we ever had any business with him for him to receive any money. AVe may have. I don't know.

Q. Do you handle any political contributions? -A. Yes.

Q. For the Consolidated?-A. Yes, sir.

Q. For which party?-A. For the Conservative party.

Q. The Conservative party. Did you handle all the contributions for the Consolidated to the Conservative party?-A. On two occasions, I think, Mr. Rowell.

Q. Are those amounts in that list?-A. I don't know.

Q. Dili you handle any for the Liberal party? -A. No, sir, none at all.

Q. You are high up in the other party?-A. I wouldn't like to say that.

Then comes the evidence of Mr. Thomas H. Kirk, who was questioned by Mr. Rowell as follows:

Q. You reside in Vancouver?-A. Yes, sir.

Q. And have for many years?-A. Twenty-nine years.

Q. I see your name mentioned in connection with certain payments in the B.C. Breweries charged under assurance and protection account. Did you get any payments from the B.C. Breweries?-A. I can recollect getting a small cheque; the larger amount mentioned in the papers; I probably could identify it if I could see the cheque.

Mr. Justice Roy: AYhat is your occupation? -A. Retired, a gentleman of leisure.

Mr. Rowell (showing two cheques to the witness): The two cheques part of exhibit

247 appearing in your name you received, did you?-A. Yes, I received both those cheques.

Q. For what purpose?-A. $100 I solicited from Mr. Reiffel for I think it is in July on behalf of the picnic fund; the $5,000 cheque I received during the campaign period of 1925 as treasurer for greater Vancouver for the Conservative party.

Q. They were both then for political purposes; you had no interest in it yourself?-A. None whatever.

I have no defence to offer for these practices which I have endeavoured all my life to combat, and I am quite satisfied that when the hon. leader of the opposition spoke this afternoon upon this matter he was not ignorant that such facts were in that evidence.

Topic:   EXPORT ACT AMENDMENT
Subtopic:   REFUSAL OF RELEASES AND CLEARANCES TO COUNTRIES WHERE IMPORTATION OF LIQUOR FORBIDDEN
Permalink
CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

I am bound to say that I have not seen that British Columbia evidence; I was dealing with the Detroit river.

Topic:   EXPORT ACT AMENDMENT
Subtopic:   REFUSAL OF RELEASES AND CLEARANCES TO COUNTRIES WHERE IMPORTATION OF LIQUOR FORBIDDEN
Permalink
LIB-PRO

John Livingstone Brown

Liberal Progressive

Mr. BROWN:

I must say that it is rather strange that a gentleman of such eminent ability as the hon. leader of the opposition, one who is accustomed to search at great length through interminable files, one who undoubtedly reads the newspapers published from one end of Canada to another, should have failed to see those little reflections which

were cast upon the Conservative party. He has heard all about the " rat " fund but of the other fund he knew nothing.

Topic:   EXPORT ACT AMENDMENT
Subtopic:   REFUSAL OF RELEASES AND CLEARANCES TO COUNTRIES WHERE IMPORTATION OF LIQUOR FORBIDDEN
Permalink
CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

I had seen in the public prints that contributions had been made to the Conservative party-do not misunderstand me for a moment-but I had not seen the British Columbia evidence.

Topic:   EXPORT ACT AMENDMENT
Subtopic:   REFUSAL OF RELEASES AND CLEARANCES TO COUNTRIES WHERE IMPORTATION OF LIQUOR FORBIDDEN
Permalink
LIB-PRO

John Livingstone Brown

Liberal Progressive

Mr. BROWN:

Is that not an awful confession? The hon. gentleman saw in the press that these contributions had been made to the Conservative party, and he did not think it worth his while to look up the evidence. Further, because he did not undertake to inform himself on those particulars in regard to his own party, he comes into the house and makes charges against the other party.

Topic:   EXPORT ACT AMENDMENT
Subtopic:   REFUSAL OF RELEASES AND CLEARANCES TO COUNTRIES WHERE IMPORTATION OF LIQUOR FORBIDDEN
Permalink
CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

Topic:   EXPORT ACT AMENDMENT
Subtopic:   REFUSAL OF RELEASES AND CLEARANCES TO COUNTRIES WHERE IMPORTATION OF LIQUOR FORBIDDEN
Permalink
PRO

John Evans

Progressive

Mr. JOHN EVANS (Rosetown):

Mr. Speaker, I am not concerned at all in a discussion of this bill about making any political capital out of it, and I am rather sorry to see that the discussion has turned along party lines. We are considering a bill that is going to mark an epoch in Canadian history. Public opinion has ripened until the government at last has been compelled to introduce legislation which will discontinue the issue of clearances in connection with the rum running traffic. 1 am hoping, too, that very soon public opinion will ripen to the extent that we shall deal with the liquor traffic as a whole and get rid of the accursed thing in our midst.

I am in thorough aocordl with the government in the introduction of this bill. Whether the United States are doing their duty or not in enforcing their prohibition law should be no concern of ours. That the whole traffic is evil I think no one will deny. The acceptance of revenue from such a source is not, I am glad to say, in accord with the wishes of the majority of our people. The Dominion should make known to the world that it has ideals which make it impossible for it to benefit from revenue drawn from a trade that prospers on the depraved tastes of human beings. We should have a national pride and confidence that forbids participation in a traffic that taxes the ability of our government to find excuses for its continuance. I am glad indeed that churches and other bodies have taken the matter up. I received the other day a letter from the Saskatoon Presbytery urging on the government and parliament to cease to give clearances to rum running craft along our border, and commending the government for its introduction of the legislation that is now before the house. I am surprised to see so many Canadian citizens, and so many Canadian journals such as the Montreal Standard, the Montreal Gazette, and the Financial Post, justifying this traffic. These journals are doing it in their editorial columns largely on the assumption that the traffic will go on anyway. The Toronto Globe has been doing all it can to create public opinion in favour of this bill. The Financial Post, in

d42

Export Act-Mr. Evans

answer to the Globe, sees evil in the fact that underground methods will be used anyway for the export of liquor. The editorial in the Financial Post takes the ground that if an, evil is rampant, it should be legalized. These things make one wonder who controls the Canadian press. There is a lesson here for our citizens from one end of Canada to the other to be careful as to who controls the means of creating public opinion. These editorial concoctions I have no doubt come right from the still, right from the vat, whence such poisonous gases may well be expected to emanate. Well might we ask who controls our newspapers.

The liquor traffic in every nation has always been one of shame. Canada's honour is now at stake and the best elements of the nation are wholeheartedly behind the government in its courageous action in bringing down this legislation. I say courageous, because it did take some courage in the face of opinion created by certain influential journals, so called, for the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) to bring in this legislation. I am thankful that he has done so and that we can wholeheartedly approve of the bill.

Looking at the bill from the distiller's point of view, that of Canadian business, is it good business to countenance a traffic the only results of which have been evil? Is it really good business to have our country become the scene of the murders, hi-jacking, slugging, kidnapping, bribery, and intimidation of officials which mark the slimy trail of the liquor trade everywhere? Those who profit by the manufacture and sale of liquor never did keep the law'. We have tried in many ways to control the liquor evil in this country, and I say that those who handle liquor and make a profit by it never have kept the law. We had prohibition in Saskatchewan at one time, and I know who broke the law; it was the liquor interests. When we had the open bar, it was the liquor interests who violated the law. They could not sell enough to make any man drunk in Saskatchewan and keep within the law, and so the law was broken day after day and all day by the liquor interests. What kind of argument is it to-day that we should cater to their desires and make it still easier for them to carry on their nefarious business? Surely it is unthinkable that on our borders [DOT]we should allow to exist the open sore that has festered there during the last five or six years, and the far-reaching results of which no man can foresee.

The passing of this bill will mark a step forward in Canadian progress and civilization. The best elements of our population will re-Mr. Evans.]

joice at its passing and that we shall no longer be countenancing an evil by giving official sanction through clearances to rum craft, a course which has made every citizen a partner in the dirty business. There is no better indication of the efficacy of this bill than the fear of the distillers and bootleggers themselves, who have been active in trying to create public opinion against it. I will read a letter that appeared in the Toronto Globe, and which was reprinted in the Montreal Weekly Witness. It is dated Amherstburg, Ontario, February 25, 1930:

Dear Sir:

There is some indication that the Dominion parliament at this session will deal with the question of export of liquors to the United States, and it is thought in some quarters that an effort will be made to make parliament pass a law preventing the same. If this is done, it will greatly curtail the buying power of ourselves, and all other distilleries. As your concern is one which greatly benefits from distillery business, inasmuch as a great quantity of rubber stamps, inks, etc., are purchased from you, we would appreciate it very much if you would write a letter to the Hon. W. D. Euler, Minister of Customs at Ottawa, pointing out to him the disastrous effect such a law would have upon your own business.

The letter goes on urging this firm to get others also to write to each of the cabinet, ministers to use their influence to prevent the-passing of legislation such as we are now considering. I think this letter is sufficient to show our people the reasons for the opposition to this bill. It is sad when men will base their opposition to the bill on the loss of business derived from such a nefarious traffic..

It is freely whispered that the senate will not pass this legislation. Neither should that; be the concern of the House of Commons. Whether that will be its fate or not I do not know, but if the senate discard the bill, I say the bloody consequences will be on the head of that public body too. Should that body of men, all of mature years, prevent the passing of this bill and favour the system of trade carried on by a gang of outlaws, all belonging to the underworld, I hope the pressure of public opinion that has compelled the introduction of this legislation will also be strong enough to abolish the reactionary forces that may prevent it becoming law. I care not for party credit; I am thankful that the government has at last had the courage to introduce such a measure. When we in. this part of the house last session advocated such a measure, we met with hostility from both sides of the house. Public opinion did not take long to make its influence felt once the thought of organized bodies was turned in

Business oj the House

this direction, and I appeal for the unanimous consent of this house to the passing of the bill.

Topic:   EXPORT ACT AMENDMENT
Subtopic:   REFUSAL OF RELEASES AND CLEARANCES TO COUNTRIES WHERE IMPORTATION OF LIQUOR FORBIDDEN
Permalink
LIB

Hewitt Bostock (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

Is it the pleasure of the

house to adopt the motion?

Topic:   EXPORT ACT AMENDMENT
Subtopic:   REFUSAL OF RELEASES AND CLEARANCES TO COUNTRIES WHERE IMPORTATION OF LIQUOR FORBIDDEN
Permalink
LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

No Mr. Speaker; other hon. members may wish to continue the debate.

Topic:   EXPORT ACT AMENDMENT
Subtopic:   REFUSAL OF RELEASES AND CLEARANCES TO COUNTRIES WHERE IMPORTATION OF LIQUOR FORBIDDEN
Permalink
LIB

Hewitt Bostock (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

Is it the pleasure of the

house to adopt the motion?

Topic:   EXPORT ACT AMENDMENT
Subtopic:   REFUSAL OF RELEASES AND CLEARANCES TO COUNTRIES WHERE IMPORTATION OF LIQUOR FORBIDDEN
Permalink

Motion agreed to, bill read the second time, and the house went into committee thereon, Mr. Marcil in the chair. On section 1-Export of intoxicating liquors; clearances.


March 14, 1930