March 26, 1931

PRO

Agnes Campbell Macphail

Progressive

Miss MACPHAIL:

I am not speaking as a member of the Liberal party but as a liberal in the broad meaning of the word. Constitutionally the ex-Minister of Justice has always been a liberal; economically, not always. In opposition he is always a liberal and it is refreshing to hear the liberal speeches made in opposition. Good speeches are always welcome in this house; they are so rare.

In order to avoid having to repeat it, I say now: Between the parties in government there is no vital difference, but between the party in power at the moment and the party in opposition there is a great difference. That difference will disappear when at some future time they change places. However, in justice to both parties, I must say that there is a great difference in manner. I trust that the present government is not a fair sample of Conservatives in power. It has been very amusing to me to note the added touch of arrogance of practically every member of the government and particularly of the leader, (Mr. Bennett). They can go too far and they should remember that governments come and governments go but always the people and the people's representatives in the house remain. Courtesy and decent treatment should at all times be accorded. The reply of the Prime Minister the other day to the hon. member for North Winnipeg (Mr. Heaps) was certainly not worthy of the genial and kindly nature of the Prime Minister in opposition.

The Address-Miss Macphail

The ex-Minister of Justice (Mr. Lapointe) has himself pointed out the danger-and there is a real one-of making speeches while in opposition, which may later condemn one. As has been so well demonstrated by his quotations from the speeches of the Secretary of State (Mr. Cahan), the ex-Minister of Jus-tive, when again he sits on the government benches, needs to remember the speech that he so eloquently made to-day.

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LIB

Ernest Lapointe

Liberal

Mr. LAPOINTE:

I can prophesy I shall.

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CON

Robert James Manion (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MANION:

He will need to have a long memory.

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PRO

Agnes Campbell Macphail

Progressive

Miss MACPHAIL:

I am not so sure of that.

I want to express to the Postmaster General (Mr. Sauve) my appreciation of his courageous attempt to speak in the English language. In a few years he will be making in English speeches of such eloquence and beauty that he will put to shame those of us to whom English is the native language. I am always moved to admiration by the skill and rapidity with which French-speaking members who, when they first enter the house, speak almost no English, learn to express themselves fully in that language. What the Postmaster General was saying, I am afraid I do not quite know. Apparently his remarks had some reference to me. I am sorry that I did not please him, as apparently I did not, but in what particular I am not clear.

Forty minutes soon pass and I must proceed with what few remarks I wish to make. We are living in a day of high pressure salesmanship, of which we saw a very fine sample last summer when the Conservative party was out to sell to the farmer of Canada a gold brick, the gold brick of protection for agriculture, and the sale was made. The farmer bit. The farmer in Canada, like ourselves in the House of Commons, had heard the Conservative party during the depression of 1920 to 1924 tell again and again and again, eloquently and well, how they could cure the depression if they were only in power. They had the remedy; they knew how to cure the disease. So the farmer, feeling that another depression was upon him thought: Well, these fellows say they know how to cure it; let us see if they will. So he bought the gold brick of protection for agriculture and since then he has been wondering why, just as many another one has wondered when the well-dressed salesman left. The remedy proposed is such a simple one; it was and is: Keep out all goods that might enter our country to come into competition with our goods, but sell our surplus goods upon the world's markets. It is an exceedingly simple remedy: Refuse to buy, but sell.

I suppose many hon. members read the Canadian Forum. I am sorry that recently the editor Richard de Brisay died. His was one of the clear voices for sanity in Canada and in losing him Canada suffered a great loss.

I could have given many another quotation from also Canadian publications. I am quoting the policy of the government that was to save us, according to the words of the Minister of Trade and Commerce. Shortly after the election he raised the buying of Canadian goods by Canadians to the plane of patriotism, and almost every newspaper or magazine in Canada carried advertisements, because advertisements they were, something like this:

Every time we buy an imported article-

Says the Minister of Trade and Commerce.

-when we might just as easily have found a Canadian article to serve our purpose equally well, we are helping to do some fellow-Canadian out of a job, and making the job of some foreign workman just that much more secure. Conversely, every time we purposely give the preference to a Canadian article, we are helping to create employment for Canadian workers, and doing our bit towards making Canada as a whole more prosperous.

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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Hear, hear.

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PRO

Agnes Campbell Macphail

Progressive

Miss MACPHAIL:

The applause is not as loud as it once was. Even our women's institutes and other organizations of all sorts were urged by at least the provincial government of Ontario to stage a campaign: Buy Canadian-made goods. De Brisay in commenting on this said that the minister might have finished the quotation I have just given by saying:

Conversely, every time we give the preference to a Canadian article we are helping to do some foreign fellow out of a job. But it is these foreigners who buy our surplus commodities to the tune of $1,300,000,000 a year. If we do not buy their goods they will not or cannot buy ours, so that on the Bennett-Stevens plan we shall find in the long run we are doing one Canadian out of a job every time we make one for another.

As a matter of fact, the thing is so obviously fallacious that it passes my understanding that men of culture, education and brains should really believe it. At one time I thought those who led in advocating this policy did not believe it. Now I am convinced they do. I am not really sure whether this is a compliment or not. But at least the Prime Minister is obviously sincere. Immediately after the election we had a short session which was supposed to create employment or to relieve unemployment. But while it did that to a certain extent, that is, while people who.

The Address-Miss Macphail

had to get something to eat; were fed, it was a session devoted almost wholly to the raising of the tariff. Therefore, as regards the first part of the doctrine, the shutting out of goods so that they would not come into competition with our goods, the government moved into action rapidly, and because I want to be fair, although sometimes on this subject it is hard for me to be, I must admic the government has moved into action rapidly. The point that is most pleasing about the government is that they do act. We may not agree with the action, but at least there is action and to me that is a relief. So we started in the short session to shut out goods. During the campaign we had gone quite a long way towards offending Australia and New Zealand, or if we did not offend them, it is because they are certainly not supersensitive. Then during the short session we had a protectionist policy carried still further whereby we shut out to a greater extent than before the goods of the United States and Great Britain. Following that has come the Imperial conference which has not added to the good-will in Great Britain towards Canada. We are now shutting out Danish bacon, due supposedly to some foot-and-mouth disease, but really so that it will not come into competition with Canadian bacon. We also have an embargo on certain Russian exports so that along the line of stopping goods from entering Canada the government, from its point of view, has done very well. But when the question is one of finding markets in which to sell our surplus goods, the progress has not been so great.

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?

An hon. MEMBER:

There has been none.

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PRO

Agnes Campbell Macphail

Progressive

Miss MACPHAIL:

There has been a lot less than none. All of us get this little bulletin from the Department of National Revenue. By it we see that the total trade of Canada in the first eleven months of the fiscal year 1931 fell over 26 per cent as compared with the total trade of this country for the previous year.

We have not found markets for Canadian products. When the Prime Minister went to the Imperial conference, if one is to believe press reports, which one of course does not always need to do, he went among other things to secure a market for Canadian wheat. I rather think he did go with that in mind since he took with him many experts on wheat marketing. He came back, all of us must admit, with regret and reluctance, without having obtained his objective. What the Manchester Guardian has to say with relation to the Prime Minister's action at the Imperial

conference expresses so well what I had in mind that I am going to quote it. The Manchester Guardian-I am quoting from a reprint in the Farmers Sun of January 15, 1931 -says:

There was no basis for any gain in Mr. Bennett's famous offer at the Imperial conference, and to have treated it as such might have done more harm to good-will within the empire than any brusque remarks by Mr. Snowden or Mr. Thomas could ever do.

It goes on to say:

When Mr. Bennett complains of the treatment his offer received at the hands of the government, and when Lord Hailsham attempts, as he did in the House of Lords, to make party capital out of Mr. Bennett's grievance, they seem to forget that Canada offered Great Britain nothing worth five minutes' consideration, and asked in return that England should reverse her whole fiscal system, increase the price of her food, and damage her foreign trade.

The article goes on to say some claimed that if Great Britain had followed the negotiations further, something really would have developed. To quote again:

But Mr. Bennett began the negotiations by declaring that he would not consider any proposal to lower Canadian tariffs on manufactured articles for the benefit of British industry. That being the one way in which Canada could have offered some substantial return for the tax he desired Great Britain to impose on herself, what but failure and irritation could have come from any pretence on the part of the British government to accept Mr. Bennett's proposals as a basis for negotiation ?

I think that every thinking person in Canada, regardless of politics, feels that in interfering or seeming to interfere with the fiscal policy of Great Britain, much as I believe in the autonomy of the dominions, the Prime Minister went too far. We all know how deeply we would resent any interference on the part of Great Britain with our fiscal policy, if she should tell us what it should or should not be. I believe that in this rapidly shrinking world nothing short of international economic cooperation is of any real use. It may be that while this epidemic of economic nationalism is sweeping the world there might be a short period in which some sort of agreement could be worked out among the component parts of the British commonwealth; but if that is to be, it must be done by a large tolerance, by a real determination to sacrifice immediate gain to attain the larger end in view. It cannot be done by dictating what Great Britain is to do.

May I pause here to thank from the bottom of my heart the Prime Minister for appointing the Hon. Howard Ferguson as minister plenipotentiary to the court of St.

The Address-Miss Macphail

James. It is rather hard on the court of St. James, but it is a great relief to the province of Ontario. When I read in the papers day after day Mr. Ferguson's speeches and saw his pictures and accounts of his career, and how proud that Canada should be that he had gone to London, and so on, and so on, I said to myself: Has sincerity and honesty

wholly departed from our province? I at least am thankful that he has gone, but I am sorry to see that a man of his particular political type-not stripe-should be appointed minister plenipotentiary representing Canada in Great Britain.

Though I believe I said something about this in my speech last year on the budget, I feel that for my own sake I must say it again. We in Canada and the people of the world generally are rapidly bringing about an economic chaos that is going to land us in disaster. We have had experts set to work to see what could be done. I need not go into all the details. You all know that the World Economic conference was held in 1927. The findings of that conference can be summarized by saying that tariffs had already gone too high and a move must be made in the opposite direction if we were to save ourselves from difficulty. We know that Great Britain moved at the tenth assembly of the league to have a tariff truce, and that following upon her action some few countries, eighteen in all, I think, met in conference about a year ago and did agree to call a tariff truce for one year. We know that a thousand experts told Mr. Hoover in no uncertain terms, previous to his signing the Hawley-Smoot tariff, what they believed its results would be. Noted economists everywhere have pointed out the same thing. May I quote Gilbert Murray, from the Contemporary Review, speaking on protection:

Protection not only diminishes trade when we all want trade increased. It makes the fatal error of transforming the competition between economic groups into a strife between nations.

He goes on:

In pure politics the nations have given up their absolute sovereignty and independence. We have agreed not to go to war; not to act as judges in our own cause; to bring our disputes before some mediatory or arbitral body. But in economics we are still in the state of international anarchy which led to the great war. Any nation has the unchallenged right to do injury to a neighbour's trade. It may prohibit, it may refuse necessary exports, it may play tricks with its commercial treaties so as to' kill this trade and help that. It is all a "matter of domestic jurisdiction." The foreigner has no right to protest.

He adds;

As 1 look toward the future of our civilization I see ahead only two causes that may bring it finally to ruin; one is another European war between great powers; the other is a general resort to protection. And in essence these are not two causes, but one.

Yet we go on in this mad race, tobogganing towards the day of disaster. I do not know whether hon. gentlemen think that. I cannot think that the government believes it, because I think that the government i3 composed of as sincere-minded Canadian citizens as those who sit on this side of the house, and if they really thought that, I believe they would stop following the policy into which they have launched, and which evidently they intend to carry on. There is just this to be said about their policy. Since we are in a very severe depression and have in power now the party that knew how to cure it, it is to be hoped that they do carry their remedy as far as they may, just in order that we may all see that it is not the right one. I am hopeful that that will be done because we have always heard what good results protection will have. I must confess after listening to the present Minister of Railways and Canals (Mr. Manion), that rapid-fire orator, I sometimes wondered, was he right? Now we shall see. It seems to me, however, that we are facing absolutely new conditions, and that the depressions which are becoming more numerous and more prolonged are not caused by one party or the other; the causes lie very much deeper. I think all of us will admit that we are in a new industrial age. We have had almost a complete mechanization of industry; machinery has ceased to be labour-saving and has become labour-displacing. We have not any social control over the mechanism, and so capital goes on earning for itself larger profits, more people are forced out on the streets, and so on. I have not time to develop the evils resulting from the private control of public credit. We have insufficient currency to meet our new conditions. I think everybody knows that, and we might just as well admit it. May I quote DeBrisay again:

For the new industrial revolution has brought us to the point where there is no longer enough money and credit in the world to enable us to consume the products of our machine-equipped labour.

The other day the hon. member for South Vancouver (Mr. Maclnnis) described the condition so well, that while I cannot quote him I want to refer to his remarks. In effect he said that the workers in industry because of

The Address-Miss Macphail

unemployment and insufficient wages have not enough money to consume the goods they want to consume, and the capitalists have not the capacity to consume the goods which they have the money to buy. Because of lack of money to buy on the one hand and lack of capacity to consume on the other a surplus of goods piles up until the manufacturer can no longer find a market for his output and closes his doors, and this means more and more unemployment.

It seems quite evident that new methods will have to be found, for the old methods are no longer any good. One whom, I suppose, we would call a Conservative, the Right Hon. Winston Spencer Churchill, said that quite clearly in one of his Oxford lectures. I am quoting now from Toronto Saturday Night of January 31, 1931. He said:

The root problem of modern world economics is the strange disparity between the consuming and producing power. Have all our triumphs of research and organization bequeathed us only a new punishment,-the curse of plenty?

I think the "curse of plenty" is a particularly fine phrase. Churchill suggested that Britishers should create what he would call a "sub-parliament," or at least a committee of experts who should investigate all ways- even radical ways-of solving the problem; they should deal with the problem scientifically, not thinking "did we believe this in the past, or did we not," but in a non-partisan way looking for remedies for the present situation. It seems to me that is a suggestion which this government might very well consider.

Now, in the little time I have left I want to devote myself fully to agricultural conditions. Agriculture in Canada is in a bad way; there is no doubt about that. Not only does the farmer get little for what he sells, and pay a great deal more for what he buys, but this year, 1931, he has no surplus accumulated to carry him through the depression as he did when the depression of 1920-24 struck him, because that one followed the period of high prices after the war. The farmers then had a very substantial surplus, which, it is true, they had to use in the four years of the depression, but they had it at their command; this year they have not any surplus, as every member of this house knows. In my constituency during the last nine or ten months I have been asked for more loans- I am sorry I did not have the money to advance-than in all the other years that I have sat in this house. People are hunting for money everywhere because they have no surplus at all.

Some people say the way to better conditions is to bring the prices of the commodities the farmer has to buy down to the price level of the product of his toil. Well, that would be something, and I should be most happy to see it done. But with a government in power that has pegged the prices of the things that the farmer has to buy at the high level, it is unlikely. The government prides itself on not having raised prices-good heavens! did they expect to this year?-but having kept prices where they were they thereby increased the profits of the manufacturer. But even if prices did fall, the debts the farmer has contracted, his taxation, all his overhead, were contracted at the higher price level, and so he simply has not the money to meet his obligations. I think the government might very well take into serious consideration the suggestion made by the member for Macleod (Mr. Coote) to bring about the immediate depreciation of the Canadian dollar. Unless that is done there is no chance in the world of agriculture being able to meet its obligations.

Now, we. were to have agriculture protected, but out of the mouths of experts it can be shown that agriculture to-day is on a world-price basis, so how can it be protected? It cannot be, though 100 per cent protection were put on by this government. Let me quote from an article by Mr. J. H. Grisdale, Deputy Minister of Agriculture, in the Economic Annalist for February, 1931, entitled Farming as a Business Requires Economic Analysis. He says:

World competition is what we have to meet to-day and the class rather than the individual is the important factor to consider.

Mr. McOuat, general agricultural agent of the eastern lines of the Canadian Pacific Railway, says pretty much the same in other words. Let me quote him:

It is not what hogs or cattle are worth in Toronto, or wheat in Winnepeg, but, rather what bacon is worth in London or wheat in Liverpool that counts.

When the hogs, cattle and poultry on the prairies that are now being fed with cheap grain come down on the eastern markets of Ontario the farmer here will find his products hit the. worst prices he has seen in many years. Bad as is the condition now, it is nothing to what it is going to be. The whole market in the east will be demoralized when the western farmers, through necessity or the coaxing of the government, goes in for mixed farming. Before the government too widely advocates mixed farming for the west, let me say that when mixed farming is started in the

The Addiess-Miss Macphail

west in those sections where it can be carried on it will ruin the mixed farmer in the east. The same thing will happen to Ontario and Quebec in regard to mixed farming as happened in regard to wheat when the west became the wheat producers and the east ceased to be.

I read with a great deal of interest and some sadness Canada's new agricultural policy as set forth in MacLean's magazine of March 15th. The article is centred by a very speaking likeness of the hon. Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Weir). May I say that it shows the intelligence and good sense, of the hon. gentleman that he looks exceedingly sad. So would I if that was the agricultural policy I was putting forward for the solution of the problems of the industry. I would have all hon. members read the article.. Don't eat your dinner until you get a copy of MacLean s magazine for March 15th. All but one point in the new policy advocates more production, produce more efficiently. Of course, I agree it is best to produce, efficiently. But more production? If one increases one's efficiency to the point where there is increased production in all probability under present conditions the result will be lower prices. However, the one new feature is a national marketing board which may mean something or nothing.

There is one other thing which I am very glad is being considered by the government. It has been summarized by the writer, Mr Richard Churchill, in the words, "an increased effort to eliminate parasites." If that means the cut-throat as well as the cut-worm, it is all right; if it means they will take otl the backs of the farmers the bloated, protected manufacturing industry, the greedy banks, the railways with their high rates ot interest, the taxation weight, and so on; it those are the parasites, then I quite agree. On the other hand, if it simply means there will be fewer bugs, it might be as well to let the bugs have the wheat as not to be able to do anything with it.

I will not have time to develop, but 1 should like to outline, an agricultural policy which I respectfully submit to the Minister of Agriculture. All farm or agricultural colleges and experimental farms should to-day teach cooperative marketing of farm products as aggressively as in the past they taught, and are still teaching, greater production. As the central idea of their programs they should have cooperative marketing of farm products, and the government should lend its full moral support to any efforts made along the lines of cooperation. Those of us who are working in cooperative endeavour for farmers know that when we seek a manager for a

cooperative enterprise we cannot get a trained man. There is not a government from the Atlantic to the Pacific that has a school where people can be trained in the management of cooperative enterprises or in cooperative accounting, yet governments are looking for something to do. Do that. That is something which will mean more than growing two blades of grass where one grew before, when you can sell neither.

Then let the government start experimenting in processing farm products, in order to bring the cost of processing down to something like a reasonable figure so that when we come to put our processed agricultural products on the markets of the world we shall be able to meet the competition of other countries. I believe the present Minister of Agriculture does want to help agriculture, but his task in this government is difficult, and I think he knows it. And next thing the farmers of Canada will process their own products, and the sooner the better. The government should give them full moral support, and should lend them the sums of money required on long term loans at low rates of interest. Unless we do these things how are we going to compete with Denmark, where farmers process their own products cooperatively, or with Russia, where it is done by the state? We hear a lot about Russia. If the government of our country had the same initiative and enterprise in putting our products in the markets of the world that Russia is showing at the moment, it might not be a bad thing. It is cut-throat competition, of course, when Russia does it but not when our manufacturers do it. They have been doing it for quite some time, selling farm implements more cheaply in other countries than they are sold at home.

In addition, farmers should begin at once to buy their supplies through their own locally controlled cooperative units. These should have one central 'buying agency, and whatever help and support the government can give should be given. We know the farmers of Denmark and Holland buy their fertilizer more cheaply than any other farmers in the world, because they buy it cooperatively. The same thing can be done in Canada, in relation to everything the farmer buys.

I also believe in lower costs of production, and I would get those lower costs not only by greater efficiency in production but by very considerably lowering tariffs as well. In addition, I think an agricultural program which does not make mention of the modernizing of our financial system is not all it might be. I think there should be special

The Address-Miss Macphail

recognition of the requirements of agriculture. Mr. Beatty evolved a scheme whereby he would have $5,000,000 available for western Canada. That is like making a five cent payment on a hundred acre farm. What about the money the banks have spent on head offices during the last twelve months- financial cathedrals which are manuments to greed? If they had put that money in circulation for the benefit of agriculture in Canada they would be doing much better work for Canada.

Then again, if we are going to have an agricultural policy worthy of the name we must have a strong farm group of free men and women in the House of Commons who can speak, work and vote for the interest of agriculture. I also think we should immediately forsake the gold basis and should secure markets, both the home markets, and the foreign markets which will take some of our surplus if we in return take some of theirs.

One thing we very greatly need in Canada is a vital rural educational system, education that is alive and in close relationship with the lives of people. I notice that under the agricultural policy of this government experimental farms are to be used as educational centres. I hope it may be that sort of education which will stimulate courageous thought, and not just that education which moulds the minds of the people into the old channels.

I do feel that this is the very time for a forward push along the lines of cooperation and mutual endeavour; when conditions are very bad is the time to move forward. It was when the national life of Denmark was at its very lowest that the great Grundtwig came forward with his new philosophy and educational ideas, and from then on the farmers of Denmark made themselves what they are to-day, the wonder of the world, controlling their own products until they reach the markets of the world. We can do the same.

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CON

Thomas Hay

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. THOMAS HAY (Springfield):

Mr. Speaker, in rising to make a few remarks on the address in reply to the speech from the throne let me, like preceding speakers, first of all congratulate the mover (Mr. Cormier) and the seconder (Mr. Porteous). The speech from the throne was delivered under unusual circumstances, at a time when this country and the world generally is passing through a period of depression. We on this side of the house believe the government have policies which, if put into effect, will bring about prosperity in this country. Hon. members

opposite grumble and complain, and say the government of the day is responsible for the condition in which Canada now finds itself. Though we have been in office only for the short period of something like eight months, still the members of the opposition seem to feel that we are responsible for the conditions which prevail in Canada at the present time.

I should like to read from the amendment proposed by the right hon. leader of the opposition (Mr. Mackenzie King) to the address in reply to the speech from the throne, in which he says that-

His Majesty's government have not only failed to afford a remedy for employment and agricultural distress, as pledged by the Prime Minister and his colleagues, but have served further to prejudice the deplorable position of the agricultural interests, thereby causing additional unemployment and substantially reducing the national revenue.

That is the charge made by the leader of the opposition. Taking all things into consideration, I do not think he is justified in moving an amendment of this kind, because I am satisfied, as I believe he himself must know, that the present government cannot be held responsible for the conditions now prevailing in Canada. On the contrary, I feel that the government that went out of office on July 28 last had more to do with the depression than the present government, and during the course of my remarks I will try to prove that assertion.

Some hon. gentlemen on the opposite side have referred to the declining wheat prices, and there again they have endeavoured to blame this government. If those hon. gentlemen had given a few minutes' consideration to the subject and had looked up the facts they would not have made a wholly baseless assertion of that kind. I wish to direct the attention of the house, of the country and of hon. members opposite to this fact: The price of wheat quoted by the Winnipeg papers on July 28 last, that is, the cash price, was $1.78 a bushel. That was on the 28th of July. On the 1st of August last, or about the time the late government went out of office, cash wheat was quoted by the Winnipeg papers at 90 cents a bushel, or a drop in prices during the last year the late government was in power of 88 cents a bushel. In view of this fact it is unfair for the opposition to seek to create the impression throughout the country that this government is responsible for the decline in wheat prices.

I wish to be fair, and therefore I say that I do not believe the government that went out of office in July last was responsible for the drop in wheat prices. I do not think they

The Address-Mr. Hay

did anything to bring about that drop. Nor do I believe that the government now in power is responsible for it. So far as I can see, neither government has done anything that would bring about this fall in the price of wheat. We must be fair in discussion.

With respect to wheat prices, some people blame the western wheat pools for the decline that has taken place during the last year or so. I am of the opinion that the wheat pools had something to do with the drop in prices. I am satisfied that the policies they have been following have been instrumental in bringing about a drop in wheat prices in Canada, and I am not alone in this opinion. Let me refer to an article which appeared in Toronto Saturday Night of February 28. This article was written by the Hon. Frank Oliver, a gentleman who at one time was Minister of the Interior under the Laurier administration, a gentleman who has given considerable thought to conditions in this country, and whose opinion, it seems to me, must have some weight with the people of this country. The article to which I am referring reads:

The pool was in full operation in the marketing of crop from 1924 to 1930. Its advent had introduced a new principle into the marketing of Canadian wheat. Instead of a sales policy that followed the fluctuations of the market, with the object of clearing the crop of one year into consumption before the succeeding crop came on the market, the pool's avowed policy was to maintain or stabilize or increase prices by withholding supply. As it was the largest handling organization in the world, others followed its example.

Further on we read:

A declared policy of withholding Canadian wheat during the shortage of 1929 alarmed the consuming countries and turned their attention to other sources.

The article concludes:

Canada's most distressing problem is that of selling her surplus of this crop year, together with her accumulations of the two previous years. Had she sold, as she could have done in July. 1929, and the following month, the crop of 1929 and 1930, at a handsome profit, the problem of to-day would not exist.

That is the opinion of the Hon. Frank Oliver. He says that the pool is entirely responsible, so far as Canada is concerned, for the present depression through which we are passing. He is of the opinion that had the pools sold at the right time Canada would not have the present problem on her hands.

During the last session of parliament certain changes were made in the tariff. The manufacturing industries of the country have been given an increase in tariff protection. The Prime Minister and the government had at the time promises from the different manufacturing industries to the effect that they

would not take advantage of the increase in tariffs to increase their prices to the consumer. Now that was all very well so far as it went. But let me say, Mr. Speaker, that if I understand the mentality of the farmers of western Canada correctly they will not be satisfied with a promise that the prices of machinery will not be increased. I am satisfied that the farmers of the west are looking for a large reduction in the prices of farm machinery, and I am also satisfied that unless they receive this reduction the manufacturing interests of Canada will not long retain the protection which has been accorded them. I am sure, however, that the policy of the government will have a good effect in lowering the prices of farm machinery to the farmers of Canada.

I wish to refer for a few moments to the tariff. The last two speakers devoted considerable time to a discussion of the tariff, and I do not think it would be out of place for me to spend a few minutes considering the subject. When it came to making changes in the tariff, the Liberal party has always failed to make such changes as would meet the needs of the times. That has been the history of the Liberal party since its inception; all through the years it has failed to make such changes in the tariff as would be of benefit to the people of Canada. A tariff policy is nothing new to this country; it is the same old policy under which Canada has lived and thrived ever since its infancy.

The tariff policy of this government is to give a measure of protection to the manufacturing industries of the country in order that they may to a large extent retain possession of their home markets. Some people feel that the policy of protection is on trial at the present time and that within two or three years there will be settled once and for all the age old dispute between the disciples of high and low tariff. In making changes in the tariff the Liberal government has always failed to meet the needs of .the times, and on occasions disaster has occurred because of their refusal to make a change. I would like to give one or two instances which illustrate this theory. In 1873, when the Liberal government came into power, conditions prevailed in Canada similar to those prevailing at the present time. The manufacturing industries were languishing, people were out of employment, farmers were unable to sell the products of their farms, and the country was passing through a period of depression perhaps worse than that existing to-day. The manufacturers appealed to the government and asked for an increase in the tariff which would safeguard the young and

The Address-Mr. Hay

growing industries. The government steadfastly refused to take action, and the condition of the country was very serious. I wiould like to read an extract from The Story of Canada, by Hopkins, which shows what occurred during that period, how it occurred, and why it occurred. This deals with the period when the Liberal party was in office and when a low tariff, such as some of our Liberal friends advocate, was in operation. It reads:

Between 1873 and 1878 their goods poured over the frontier and beat down prices below what the small Canadian firms, with their limited production and market and capital, could hope to touch. Then, after the local industry had collapsed, prices were again raised and the American firm held its captured market in apparently secure shape. All over the country this was happening and even the farmer began to suffer from the inrush of A meriean wheat and other foodstuffs. From every side came demands for a change of policy, but Mr. Mackenzie and Sir Richard Cartwright, his Finance minister, were firm in their view that while a tariff might, and must in this case, be imposed for revenue and at uniform rates ....

Let me quote another paragraph from the same history:

Meanwhile, matters went from bad to worse in a commercial and financial sense. Whatever the value of the American market it was absolutely closed to Canadian productions in most of the important lines while American manufacturers and producers had a full sweep of the Dominion. American wheat, rye, barley, Indian corn, wheat-flour, oatmeal, coal salt, wool, pig-iron, iron and steel rails, bricks and flax had free entry into Canada, while similar Canadian products entering the United States were charged high duties.

That is what occurred between the years 1873 and 1878 under a low tariff policy.

The trend of the times is towards protection ; France, Italy, Germany, the United States and our own country are moving in that direction. In Great Britain, the home of free trade, the sentiment is changing, as it is in other countries. If we are to exist economically as a nation under present day conditions it is necessary to have a tariff which will protect our industries. Other nations are putting up tariffs to protect their own home industries. The ex-Minister of Justice (Mr. Lapointe) and the hon. member for Southeast Grey (Miss Macphail) seem to feel that no good can result from a tariff, but I would like to direct their attention to an article which appeared in the Winnipeg Tribune, being an extract from the London Daily Times, as follows:

British Tariff Policy Gains Much Support London Times Says Opinion Grows Steadily in Favour of System London, March 17-Though the Labour press, doubtless with Premier MacDonald's authority,

denies the possibility that a revenue tariff of ten per cent will be the feature of the forthcoming budget, The Times to-day says that the number of influential converts to this policy is steadily growing in Britain.

It cites particularly Sir Josiah Stamp, economist and industrialist of world reputation, and Mr. J. M. Keynes, both of whom hitherto have opposed any general tariff system, but who now suggest that there should be two kinds of duties-one on goods generally, and one, much lower, on foodstuffs.

The article continues:

There is scarcely any feature in our financial, industrial and commercial situation that does not clamour for a policy of tariffs to raise revenue and restore confidence.

This article would seem to show that the sentiment of the peoples of the world is changing to a more favourable view of a system of tariffs. I cannot understand the mentality of some people who say that it would be wise to reduce our tariffs. They must know that if that were done we would have a similar condition to that existing in 1878, and Canada would become the dumping ground of the world.

I said before that the Liberal government when making changes in the tariff had always failed to meet the needs of the times. Let me refer to another change in the tariff made by a Liberal government. Many years ago I well remember hearing Sir Wilfrid Laurier speak in the town of Selkirk on the question of protection and free trade. I can recall his exact words; I remember his saying that the policy of the Conservative party was creating sugar kings and cotton lords in this country. Well, the change in tariff policy to which I now refer was made after Sir Wilfrid Laurier came into power in 1896. I am sorry the hon. member for Lisgar (Mr. Brown) is not in his seat, because I should like to have called his attention to the statement I am about to make. After he came into power Sir Wilfrid Laurier placed on the free list several articles, amongst which were coal oil, binder twine and barbed wire. The other day the hon. member for Lisgar was grumbling because an additional tariff had been placed on barbed wire coming from other countries to compete with barbed wire made in Canada. Ever since these articles were placed on the free list by Sir Wilfrid Laurier we have not been able to buy them as cheaply as we had done before. So again I say that when the Liberals attempted to make changes, the results brought about were not in the public interest.

At six o'clock the house took recess.

The Address-Mr. Hay

After Recess

The house resumed at eight o'clock.

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CON

Thomas Hay

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HAY:

When the house rose at six

o'clock, Mr. Speaker, I was showing that whenever the Liberal party had made changes in the tariff policy of the country, disastrous results had followed. I had given one or two examples to show that depression had always followed changes in the tariff policy by the Liberals. I cannot quite understand the mentality of the Liberal party. They do not seem to be able to get it into their heads that it is possible for a high tariff to mean lower prices to the consumer. Hon. gentlemen opposite smile at that, but those of us who have lived in this country quite a number of years know that when we had a protective tariff on agricultural machinery amounting to about 33 per cent, we were buying our machinery for just about the present prices. Of

course, there are none so blind as those who will not see.

I believe, Mr. Speaker, that good results are already in evidence following the tariff increase last September. Only the other evening an hon. member on this side of the house mentioned that a mill which had been lying idle for something like six years was now operating at full capacity and employing some two hundred men as a direct result of the tariff increase which was made last September.

I would like to give another instance of disastrous consequences when the Liberal party made a change in the tariff policy. I refer to the trade agreement made between Australia and Canada in 1926. You will remember, sir, that the Conservative party of that day opposed the agreement, pointing out to the then Liberal government how injuriously it would affect the dairying industry of Canada. But our representations, of course, went unheeded, and the Liberal government put through that agreement. Subsequently its provisions were extended to New Zealand. Speaking on the agreement, the then Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Motherwell), as will be seen at page 860 of Hansard of 1926, characterized the speeches of the Conservative members against the trade agreement as mere propaganda. He said that they were trying to make the people believe that if the treaty passed, an avalanche of butter would descend on Canada. Well, Mr. Speaker, that avalanche of butter did descend on the Canadian people, and it put a good many of our farmers practically out of business. Not only that, but the avalanche of butter which

descended upon us almost put the late Minister of Agriculture out of business politically, and certainly it smothered a number of hon. members who supported the treaty in 1926.

In opening my remarks I said that the speech from the throne this year was read under rather unusual conditions, read at a time when depression existed not only in Canada but throughout the world. The duty of governments of the day, not only in Canada but all over the world, is to find solutions for the problems which are facing the world generally. In my opinion, Mr. Speaker, the depression was created by over-production in all lines of commodities. It was impossible to sell our commodities in the markets of the world, consequently the depression through which we are now passing followed. It is the duty of government, I say, to find a cure for the prevailing world-wide depression. We know the cause; what is the cure? Doctors of economy are prescribing various remedies for the cure of our present ills. Some tell us that the acreage that is being sown to grain of different kinds in this country must, be reduced. Others tell us that we must decrease the cost of production, and still others that we must go into diversified farming. All this advice is very good in itself, but whether it will bring about the results hoped for, we cannot say.

With respect to reducing the acreage, I myself cannot understand how that can be done to any great extent by the farmers of Canada. In former years, when they were farming only from two to three hundred acres, they were able merely to make a living at the good prices that prevailed. How, then, would it be possible for them to make a living at present prices if they reduced their acreage? I say that that would be a dangerous experiment; and I do not think it would be wise to go to extremes in attempting to carry it out.

I am a firm believer in diversified farming. I believe that diversified farming has been the salvation of the province of Manitoba, where it is very largely engaged in, with the result, I believe, that conditions are better in that province to-day than in any of the other western provinces.

With respect to lowering the cost of production, it is to a certain extent beyond the power of the individual farmer to accept and act on that advice. The only chance we have of cutting down the cost of production-I am satisfied that we shall be able to do it through the policies of the present government-is by getting cheaper machinery, lower freight rates, and cheaper money-although I am not a very great believer in the latter, but it might

The Address-Mr. Ilsley

help to some extent. These, Mr. Speaker, are some of the remedies prescribed by doctors of economy in this country. Whether they will effect the cure that is predicted of them, we cannot say. I do, however, wish to reaffirm my belief in the protective policy of this government, because I believe that it will bring about prosperity.

Now, what is needed at the present time is a cure for our economic ills. Of course, no one can be expected to formulate a cure offhand. I believe that a considerable measure of relief would be afforded by the formation of a world credit association whose function it would be to arrange credits for the nations needing them.

Let me say, Mr. Speaker, that in Manitoba generally, and particularly in the constituency which I have the honour tio represent, our people of various nationalities are working together in harmony in an endeavour to bring about a prosperous and united country, and I firmly believe that only in this way can we hope to see Canada fulfil her glorious destiny.

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LIB

James Lorimer Ilsley

Liberal

Mr. J. L. ILSLEY (Hants-Kings):

When, Mr. Speaker, about a week ago I decided to participate in this debate I hoped that I might be able to contribute some original thoughts, but so many very excellent speeches have been made in the interval that I am afraid my hopes are not destined to be realized.

I wish to congratulate the hon. gentlemen who moved and seoonded the address on the very creditable manner in which they acquitted themselves. I agree with the hon. member for Provencher (Mr. Beaubien) that it is a very trying ordeal for a young member to address the house for the first time, and I am very much pleased indeed that my fellow member from the maritime provinces, tihe hon. gentleman from Restigouche-Madawaska (Mr. Cormier) and the hon. member for North Grey (Mr. Porteous) were so successful in their maiden efforts.

This afternon we listened to a very remarkable speech by the former Minister of Justice (Mr. Lapointe). The hon. gentleman's speeches are always worth listening to, but it did seem to me that to-day he spoke with a fire and an intense earnestness more marked than usual, and I am confident that his words carried conviction to every member present.

I desire also to congratulate the lady member of the house (Miss Maephail) upon her very excellent speech. She stated that the former hon. Minister of Justice is a better Liberal in opposition than in power, but my recollection of his speeches in this house during the last few years does not bear out her statement.

His speech this afternoon, was, I think, along the same lines that he always followed when on the government benches.

I shall confine my remarks to a few sentences in the speech from the throne. It is there stated:

Although in the interval world conditions have changed but little for the better, this tariff legislation

That is the tariff legislation passed in the special session.

has resulted in a marked improvement in the domestic situation through the strengthening of established industries, and in addition many others, formerly exporters to Canada, have now become producers in Canada.

The articles which I have read in the press led me to believe that there had been considerable stimulation of industry as a result of the tariff legislation last September. It wfould be strange if that were not the case. The very object and purpose of protective tariffs is to stimulate certain industries. But I was surprised to hear from some of the hon. gentlemen who have spoken in this debate that employment even in the highly protected industries is not as general as it was before the additional protection was given. And certainly if the effect on those specially favoured industries has not been beneficial, it can be definitely and positively said that the effect upon the other industries which are paying for the stimulation of the highly protected industries has been distinctly prejudicial. It is too soon to say from actual experience whether the tariff increases of September last as to be a success or not in any part of Canada. It must be remembered that after the tariff increases of 1879 there was a condition of considerable industrial activity for a few years, but it was succeeded by a reaction, so much so that in the early nineties a wing of the Conservative party advocated "lopping off the mouldering branches of protection." We may find this to be the case also with regard to the tariff legislation of last September.

Speaking as a member from the maritime provinces, I say unequivocally that I am opposed to those tariff increases. I contend that they constitute an aggravation of the condition brought about in the maritime provinces by the policy of protection, a policy which has resulted in their gradual impoverishment. I believe that if it is persisted in our future down there is dark indeed. The farmers and fruit-growers-of whom there are thousands in my constituency-are complaining bitterly about the result of the tariff legis-

The Address-Mr. llsley

lation enacted during the special session. Before I left for Ottawa an importer of spraying machinery was obliged on one shipment to pay about $2,000 additional in duties. Importers of apple-graders and fertilizers also have been obliged to pay greatly increased duties. We must never forget that if we are building up one industry by tariff increases, we are doing so only at the expense of the rest of the country. This is being done, just as surely, though not as visibly or equitably, as if the favoured industries were being bon-used out of the treasury. It may be that the increased tariff will benefit one section of the Dominion, what we are accustomed to speak of as the central or industrial section. This may be, but if this is a "central-Canada first policy it certainly is not a "Canada first" policy. The effect of this policy is disruptive and disintegrating rather than national or unifying.

The next reference in the speech from the throne is to the operation of the Unemployment Relief Act, 1930, which is said to have proved equally beneficial. We on this side of the house at the special session did not disapprove of the principle of that measure, nor do we disapprove of it now. I want to point out, however, that certain definite pledges were given, which are embodied in the act and in the regulations, to the effect that the expenditure of this money was not to be on a political patronage basis. Speaking as a member from the maritime provinces I can definitely and positively say that in the part of Nova Scotia with which I am familiar the expenditure of these moneys has been on a political patronage basis. I may add that I made it my business to inquire into the expenditure of this money in my constituency, and I found that at all times from 75 per cent to 95 per cent of the men employed upon the works were members of the Conservative party, or those whom the foreman hoped to make members of the Conservative party by the distribution of these unemployment relief moneys. That is true in the maritime provinces, at least in the province of Nova Scotia. That was not only a breach, but an open and flagrant breach of the pledges made in September.

I wish to pass on hurriedly to the next reference in the speech from the throne, which is to the Imperial conference which was held in London last fall. The speech says that several constitutional questions arising out of the resolutions of the Imperial conference of 1926 were fully discussed and in principle approved. That matter was dealt with by the former Minister of Justice (Mr. Lapointe) very ably this afternoon, but let me say that

to those of us who during the last four years have always contended that the constitutional principles laid down at the Imperial conference of 1926 and carried out by the recommendations of the subconference of 1929 were right; to those of us who contended that these were the correct principles, that statement in the speech from the throne comes as a source of gratification, and affords us very much satisfaction. I remember, Mr. Speaker, the speeches that were made only last spring, particularly by the present Prime Minister (Mr. Bennett) and the Secretary of State (Mr. Cahan). The present Prime Minister indulged in a lot of loose talk about cutting the painter, about casting adrift from the motherland. Certainly I never would have supported that formula of 1926 if I had thought it was designed to disrupt the empire. It was because I believed-and I think we all believed-that that was the only basis upon which the British Empire could be kept together, a basis of the fullest possible autonomy to the constituent parts, that I supported it. Now the hon. gentlemen who ridiculed and opposed that position have come to our way of thinking.

I remember what the Secretary of State said about the merchant shipping legislation. The proposal with regard to merchant shipping is that hereafter each of the dominions is to have full power to make its own laws in respect to its own shipping, instead of shipping being governed, as at present, by one act passed by the Imperial parliament. We said that uniformity could be attained just the same; we said there could be agreements between the different dominions and there could be concurrent legislation, and let me say that the principles laid down in respect of merchant shipping, the recommendations of the subconference on merchant shipping of 1929, have been approved in toto by the conference of 1930. In fact, a long draft agreement between the various dominions and the. mother country is to be found in the report of the Imperial conference. The front benchers of the Conservative party have swallowed themselves completely on this constitutional matter, and let me say I believe it is the best thing they have done since they took office.

There is another side to the Imperial conference, and that is the economic side. The speech of the former Prime Minister, the present leader of the opposition (Mr. Mackenzie King), was very comprehensive. It covered this matter of the Imperial economic conference in all its phases and probably anything I could say would not add very much to the matter. One thing I do wish to say,

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The Address-Mr. Ilsley

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CON

William Gordon Ernst

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. ERNST:

Will the hon. member permit a question?

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LIB

James Lorimer Ilsley

Liberal

Mr. ILSLEY:

I know what the hon. gentleman is going to ask.

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CON

William Gordon Ernst

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. ERNST:

Would the hon. member

expect any prospective increase in the tariff to be announced publicly in the speech from the throne, or would he expect it when the budget is brought down?

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LIB

James Lorimer Ilsley

Liberal

Mr. ILSLEY:

The question of a national

fuel policy was not put forward primarily as a fiscal measure at all. It certainly should be foreshadowed in the speech from the throne; that is exactly the place wherein the people of Nova Scotia expect to find it mentioned. This is not a minor matter in the province of Nova Scotia or in Alberta. Recently the legislature of Nova Scotia passed a very sweeping resolution asking the government what its proposals were in reference to a national fuel policy.

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LIB

Peter John Veniot

Liberal

Mr. VENIOT:

So did the legislature of

New Brunswick.

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LIB

James Lorimer Ilsley

Liberal

Mr. ILSLEY:

The legislature of New

Brunswick as well, the hon. member says. And delegations have come to Ottawa with reference to the subject. If, therefore, the matter had not been entirely absent from the Prime Minister's mind, it would have found a

33S

The Address-Mr. Ilsley

place in the speech from the throne. I should like to know where the members from the coal mining constituencies have been. Ever since I have been in the house the hon. member for Cumberland (Mr. Smith) has advocated a prohibitive duty on foreign coal; the hon. member for Pictou (Mr. Cantley) has advocated a duty of $1.50; and the hon. member for Cape Breton South (Mr. MacDonald) has advocated as high a duty as practicable, although he did not think a very high duty practicable. Where have these hon. members been to have allowed this omission? And where is the minister from Nova Scotia? What was he doing when the speech from the throne was prepared, leaving out any reference to a national fuel policy?

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CON

William Gordon Ernst

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. ERNST:

Does the hon. member expect the tariff to be mentioned in the speech from the throne?

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LIB

James Lorimer Ilsley

Liberal

Mr. ILSDEY:

I have already answered that question. Now there is another matter I wish to discuss. I refer to old age pensions. If the cry of a national fuel policy was the loudest in the province .of Nova Scotia in the recent election, the promise of old age pensions was, I should say, the most effective. I know that lists were made of all the old people who would be eligible for pensions. These people were canvassed by Conservative campaigners and were promised that very shortly after there was a change of government, if change of government there should be, old age pensions would be paid to them by the Dominion government in full. I have here what the Prime Minister said in Nova Scotia in July last:

I say to you, if the Conservative party is returned to power we will provide for the payment of old age pensions from the federal exchequer, so that the provinces will not be called upon to contribute a cent, and so that the provinces who now find the burden too great will be able to benefit with all the provinces of the Dominon. The constitutional point has been raised by the Premier. If it is constitutional to pay 50 per cent, would it not be constitutional to pay 100 per cent? We will pass a law to pay 100 per cent and it will be legal.

And the present Minister of Fisheries (Mr. Rhodes) stated that if this were not done at the first regular session of parliament he would go out of public life forever. He is credited with having gone further-perhaps he will contradict me if I am wrong. I know that he said what I have just repeated, but in regard to what I am going to

LMr. Haley.]

cite I am not sure. However, he is credited with having said that if it were not dons within three months after a change of government he would go out of public life.

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CON

Edgar Nelson Rhodes (Minister of Fisheries)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. RHODES:

My hon. friend knows it is not competent for me to interrupt him in the course of his speech. I did not hear the first portion of his remarks with respect to myself, but I shall consult Hansard tomorrow to see what he has said. I certainly said nothing about three months. I cannot say anything as to the first part of my hon. friend's remarks.

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March 26, 1931