March 27, 1931

CON

Sidney Cecil Robinson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. ROBINSON:

What does Mr. Tas-chereau think about it?

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LIB

Ian Alistair Mackenzie

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE (Vancouver):

I am glad to hear that the administration is prepared to take a lesson or two from the Prime Minister of Quebec. We had during this debate a most marvellous spectacle. First there was the contribution made by the hon. member for Montmagny (Mr. LaVcrgne); then we had the contribution made by the hon. member for Regina (Mr. Turnbull). In my mind's eye I could see a new form of unity springing up in the Dominion of Canada. Here we have in the centre that great stalwart, the right hon. the Prime Minister of Canada (Mr. Bennett). On his right is his political henchman Premier Anderson of Saskatchewan. On his left sits his own appointee to the deputy Speakership of this house, the hon. member for Montmagny (Mr. LaVergne). "Unity in diversity" as Lord Milner said many years

The Address-Mr. Lucas

ago! I can imagine the hon. member for Regina (Mr. Turnbull) introducing this trio to the Dominion of Canada, and the song they sing would be:

Behold how good a thing it is And how becoming well Together such as brethren are In unity to dwell.

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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Hear, hear.

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LIB

Ian Alistair Mackenzie

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE (Vancouver):

And to make the picture complete, for the sake of unity in Canada, we would have the hon. member for Long Lake (Mr. Cowan) taking up the collection.

My time is about gone, Mr. Speaker. Hon. members from Quebec have already deprecated the attacks on the memory of Sir Wilfrid Laurier, but perhaps I, coming from the far west, may add a meed of praise to that great memory. Surely we have sufficient contention amongst the living here to keep us from stirring up the ashes of our great dead throughout the Dominion of Canada. Laurier to-day is of the immortals, and his example and inspiration will always be something to guide us as a beacon light throughout future years, under the splendid leadership of my right hon. leader the hon. member for Prince Albert (Mr. Mackenzie King).

I wish to conclude my contribution to this debate with a statement of that great Englishman, Right Hon. Stanley Baldwin:

Canadians, the future is with you. Do not be in too much of a hurry. Your country is for the virile men. Let it be filled with the best. What does one hundred or two hundred years matter before your country is full? Keep the stock that you have and the men and women you have, and see that your future generations are in no way inferior to them. Time is on your side. Maintain your values and your standards, and may your prayers be that of the Greek sailor which lias been preserved by Seneca:

'Oh God, you may save me if you will, you may sink me if you will, but whatever happens I will always keep my rudder true.'

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UFA

William Thomas Lucas

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. W. T. LUCAS (Camrose):

Mr. Speaker, I wish to offer my congratulations to the hon. member for Vancouver Centre (Mr. Mackenzie) on the very excellent effort he has just made in delivering his maiden speech in a major debate in this house.

Parliament meets this year, Mr. Speaker, under circumstances differing perhaps from those under which the representatives of the Canadian people have ever met before. It is true that we have had depressions in the past from which we have temporarily emerged, but it is doubtful if we have ever been involved in

such world wide depression with so much unemployment in the midst of so much plenty in every industrial country in the world, and in which our whole social and capitalistic system has been challenged so strongly. Every thoughtful person admits the gravity of the situation and yet, Mr. Speaker, it is most discouraging to find, that while we meet here to grapple with and if possible solve the problems which confront us and give a lead to the people who are worrying and struggling to carry on, so much of our time is wasted in political, party warfare, wrangling over tariff issues and trying to decide how the last election was won, instead of endeavoring to make a proper diagnosis of our real problems and then dealing with them in a scentific and business like manner. I do not believe the people of Canada are at all interested in holding post-mortems over the results of the last election but they are interested in getting relief measures dealt with at this session of Parliament.

We have been attaching too much importance to the question of tariffs. These periodical depressions have taken place at times when tariffs were not such an important factor as they are to-day. It is my opinion that a proper diagnosis will show that dur major problems arise from sources other than the tariff. The same unemployment conditions exist in free trade England as exist in 'protected countries. Different countries have different fiscal policies, but they are all suffering in the same way. Most countries have the same monetary and financial system, based on the gold standard, so it would seem to me that a greater study of this question by this house would bring about more useful results than spending so much time in connection with tariffs, especially when we consider the time that has been spent on this question in this house and throughout the country for the last fifty years, and the meagre results that have been obtained. Lord D'Abernon, a well known English financier and diplomat gives two causes for the present world depression. The first cause he gives is a crisis in currency, and the second is a crisis in indebtedness. He attributes our currency trouble to the gold standard, and when we find two countries in the world to-day controlling approximately CO per cent of the gold, one is inclined to believe there is a great deal in his contention.

With the consent of the house I wish to read a short extract from an address delivered by Lord D'Abernon before the Liverpool chamber of commerce. He had this to say, in part:

We are in the midst of a severe crisis which affects industry, commerce and finance. It can-

The Address-Mr. Lucas

not be said that this crisis is more severe than others which have been experienced before and surmounted, but it is differentiated from them by certain marked features. It affects practically the whole industrial world, unemployment in the United States of America and Germany being, so far as we can ascertain, equal in amount to this country, if not greater.

Another peculiarity of the crisis is that, so far from being produced by scarcity or bad harvest or political disturbances, it occurs during a period of full production, both agricultural and industrial; it does not proceed from any dearth or insufficiency, nor has it been caused by political disturbance or labour unrest. On the one side we have a plentiful harvest; on the other, a development of industry producing goods in larger volume than ever before. So much is this the case that the superficial complaint is of over-production.

Now, I am inclined to be skeptical about over-production when applied to staple trades and the larger requirements of mankind. The more plenteous the bounty of Providence, the more effective the ability to produce, the better for mankind if mankind is intelligent enough to deal with the situation, and to handle the goods efficiently. That appears self-evident. When on the one side you have a vast volume of production, and on the other side you have millions of men insufficiently supplied with the requirements of life, such as food and clothing, the obvious conclusion is that failure proceeds from inadequate facilities of circulation and exchange rather than from excessive ability to produce.

Another peculiarity of the crisis is the complete failure of politicians in this or any other country to suggest an adequate remedy. What is the reason for this strange failure? In my judgment, false diagnosis of the real causes of the present distress. It has been treated solely as a trade crisis, when it should be considered rather as a crisis of currency in the first place, and a crisis of indebtedness in the second, the one complicating the other; both aggravated by defective lubrication through the money factor and through impediments to trade.

He-gives-as the second ..cause _of the present depression the indebtedness of the world, and he has this to say in that connection:

I turn now to the subject of indebtedness, which is another of the causes of the present crisis. Everyone recognizes that the world is heavily in debt-individual to individual, country to country. What they do not recognize is that a fall in the price of commodities, or, in other terms, a rise in the price of gold, unduly increases the burden of debtors.

I think this is quite true. We are living to-day under a debt-increasing system, a system which is gradually becoming so top-heavy that in time it will break down of its own weight. It is true also, as Lord D'Abernon says, that a fall in the price of commodities or in other words a rise in the price of gold unduly increases the burden of indebtedness. One of the chief problems with which our farmers are confronted is this very problem of the fluctuating value of the dollar. Debts are contracted largely during periods of inflation, and indeed I might say that is the

only time credit is plentiful and easily obtained. Take as an illustration a farmer who contracts a loan in good faith when wheat is at $1.25 a bushel and then attempts to repay that loan with wheat at 35 cents. His debt has been increased over threefold and he simply cannot pay. This policy of the banks I have never been quite able to understand, unless it is done deliberately to embarrass the farmer; and frankly I do not want to believe that such is the case. I believe I am stating the fact when I say that during periods of inflation, when only limited credit should be given, credit is almost forced upon us,, while in periods of deflation, when the element of risk is at the minimum, credit cannot be obtained. We find that situation in Canada at the present time. Certainly every farm commodity is deflated to the limit and there should be no risk in loaning money on present values; yet farmers to-day are unable to obtain any credit.

I think I am safe in saying that there is a general feeling that Great Britain will never be able to liquidate her huge war debt, which was contracted when all commodity prices were at the peak; and I am equally confident that the farmers of the west, under the present system, will never be able to liquidate their indebtedness contracted when wheat was at $1 and $2. Unless there is a definite understanding of this question, and a solution found, there can be no real prosperity. France has endeavoured to grapple with this question by inflating her currency and depreciating the franc to one-fifth of its original value, and France has not been considered an outcast nation for so doing.

There has never been a time in our history when industry and science have made such rapid strides as they are doing to-day. But there is a growing feeling that our credit and monetary systems are lagging behind. In support of that statement I wish to read an extract from Business Week of New York.

Business in general has given a good account of itself since the war. It has been remarkably successful in establishing a high standard of living in this country by energetic effort in making and distributing things cheaply and widely; and it has done the best it could through private initiative to soften the shock of depression for labour and the investor.

In the course of time we shall understand that this depression had its origin and will have its end in other, more fundamental factors than the management of individual industrial and commercial enterprises.

And here are the important words:

Of these, our monetary and credit system and our governmental machinery are the most

The Address-Mr. Lucas

important. Both are a century or more behind business in their development. Management can do only so much and no more to offset their deficiencies, and the stable progress of business is limited by them.

In my opinion there is nothing that will require so much boldness and courage to tackle as this huge question, and I believe there is no man in Canada who has such a wide grasp and thorough understanding and knowledge of the financial question as the present Prime Minister (Mr. Bennett). I believe he is also endowed with the courage and boldness to tackle it if he can only see his way clear to do so. I remember he gave a very excellent address in this house-I think it was in the session of 1927-dealing with the financial question, and no one following his speech at that time could help admitting that he had a thorough grasp of the subject. At that time, I believe, he recommended that a 4 per cent security should be developed and our banks and insurance companies be compelled to subscribe thereto. By so doing Canada would save over SI5,000,000 a year in her finances. I might point out in that respect that if our financing were done internally in that manner it might cause our dollar to take a different course and not be supported by making foreign loans as at the present time.

I am inclined to agree with the hon. member for Macleod (Mr. Coote), who spoke a few days ago, recommending the deflation of the dollar. I believe our dollar should follow the course of our trade. If our exports are not sufficient to balance imports, then our dollar should fluctuate with it. This would be the greatest means of bringing trade back to balance, because after all when the dollar is depreciated it becomes a source of protection, and it will eventually right itself.

In regard to the Russian situation, which has been under consideration in the house to some extent, I am not sure that the government acted wisely in stopping all trade with that country, unless they have some intimation or understanding that other countries are going to follow suit. Why should Canada sit back in a holier than thou attitude and refuse to trade with Russia when all other countries in the world appear to be vying with one another to get that trade? As reported in the press this morning, it would appear that even the bankers of Great Britain are now endeavouring to arrange financial credit with that great country. It is true that Great Britain so far has not refused to take Russian wheat. Whether the Russian experiment will succeed or not, no

one can tell. It is true that we have been pooh poohing her efforts for the past ten years, but in spite of everything Russia has succeeded to such an extent that the capitalist world is worried to-day more than they care to admit. It may be that some threat of this kind is needed to arouse our leaders to action, for when we find approximately fifteen million people unemployed in the world to-day, facing starvation or living on charity, men denied the right to work, surrounded with the greatest wealth the world has ever known, one pauses to question whether our system cannot be improved. Surrounded by plenty as we are, while in the midst of such poverty, we are like a man in a rowboat adrift on the ocean, with water, water everywhere but not a drop to drink. Why should we be afraid of this Russian experiment? If our own system is meting out justice to the people to-day then we should have nothing to worry about.

Senator Borah, chairman of the Senate foreign relations committee in the United States, speaking on the question of recognizing Russia, has this to say:

Are we afraid that the capitalistic system will break down if it conies in contact with communism? In such a struggle we have the-experience of 3,000 years on our side, plus the most dominant desire of the human heart, the will to possess property.

Have we lost faith and confidence in our institutions? Is our religion so feeble that it dare not come in contact with men who say in their hearts, "There is no God?"

I have no fear. During the French revolution, religion was disowned and property was confiscated, but the French people came back The Russian people likewise will come back. . .

The Russian people realize that the present rulers have done more for them in ten years than the old regime did in 200. But I do not think of Lenin. Trotsky and Stalin. I t-hini* of the 150,000,000 people who, in their own way and under adverse circumstances, are working out their own salvation.

The leaders are here only for to-day; the people are here for all time. The people will determine the destiny of Russia.

Our difficulties do not spring from these communistic teachings. Our difficulties arise from the unsolved problems of capitalism. The modernization of industries has left millions of men and women where they must adjust their lives to new conditions, to start life over. They are asking capitalism how- to do it. Capitalism has not answered.

Mr. Speaker, I endorse the statements made in this house in regard to economic conditions faced by the western farmer. The sooner we frankly face these facts, the sooner we will be in a position to find a solution for them. According to Mr. Legge, the ex-chairman of the farm stabilization board in the United States, wheat prices last fall were the lowest in 337 years. It is a well-known fact that the drop

36S

The Address-Mr. Lucas

in the price of all farm products has been out of all proportion to that of other commodities The people of western Canada are a hopeful people; they are generally over-optimistic and that optimism has carried them through many of their difficulties in the past. The men and women who have pioneered those western plains, who have withstood the difficulties of frost, hail and drought, who by their tenacity and courage have made civilization possible in western Canada, are not people to be easily discouraged, but I have never seen the morale of those people so low as it is at the present time. With grain prices so far below the cost of production, with such a disparity between the price of everything the farmer has to buy and what he has to sell, with no hope in sight for improved prices, with debts contracted at higher levels, with high interest rates of from eight to ten per cent and the banks refusing to loan money, men after years of toil see their life work slipping from them. The west has always 'been a great "next year's" country; it has always been optimistic but to-day the farmer is facing the coming season in a state of mind which is more or less bewildered. Everyone is telling the farmer that he should go into mixed farming, but today he is the most badly mixed man in the world. His experience in mixed farming has not always been a happy one. -

I well remember the season 1919-20 when, because of deflation, a serious slump in the price of wheat occurred. The same advice was given and people pointed to the live stock grower as the man who was making money. In the fall of that year, owing to drought conditions, a serious shortage of feed occurred. The prices of cattle were high, in fact-they were inflated, but the banks came forward and voluntarily advised the farmer to hold his live stock and they would be quite willing to advance money with which to purchase feed in order to carry that stock through the winter. Everyone is familiar with what happened. The following spring prices dropped and the farmer was unable to realize an amount for his stock equal to the sum paid for feed alone. This is another example of the policies adopted by the banks, to which I referred a few moments ago. The farmers of western Canada have not forgotten that experience because the ones that did not go broke because of the slump in wheat prices, certainly were broke when the slump occurred in the price of cattle. I think it will be found that many debts were contracted during that period which still remain unpaid.

In spite of past experiences I for one believe that the western farmer will have to develop

a more balanced production. There is no reason why all branches of agriculture should not be fully developed in Canada, but there will have to be some encouragement given in the way of better credits and lower interest rates. The farmer oannot continue to pay eight and ten per cent interest and hope to succeed. The proposition advocated by Mr. Beatty, the president of the Canadian Pacific Railway, sounds fine but not being familiar with its details I am not prepared to-day to criticize or commend it. I hope it will prove to be a success for anything which will assist agriculture will receive my support. Where we have a banking system with branches in every little hamlet and the different managers understanding local conditions and knowing every farmer in their district, where we have a farm loan board and provincial 'credit organizations, it does seem strange to me that we should- have to duplicate all this by setting up another financial organization to supply credit.

Mr. Beatty could help the farmers of western Canada in other ways. There is the matter of a reduction in freight rates, and I refer especially to the domestic rates. This matter has been referred to by other speakers, but I would point out the difference between the domestic and export rates. Take two carloads of grain en route from Calgary to Vancouver, both in the same train and drawn by the same engine. Because one is billed for export it has to pay only 20 cents per 100 pounds, while the other, being billed for domestic use, is forced to pay a rate of 414 cents. This is not a new question because it has been before this house for the last eight or nine years, but as yet no~ satisfactory answer has been obtained. I. think this matter should be dealt with immediately. The other day we heard a very excellent speech by the hon. member for Souris (Mr. Willis), in which he referred to a possible market for barley. British Columbia is a great dairying and poultry raising country and we in western Canada have considerable feed which would be suitable for both purposes. That feed has to travel to British Columbia under the domestic rate, which makes it impossible for us to do business with the British Columbia farmer.

There is another question to which Mr. Beatty might give his attention, that of a revaluation of company land. A very bitter feeling has developed in certain sections of the west where what are known as C.P.R. settlements are located. Certain settlers, having become in arrears, have been dispossessed

The Address-Mr. Lucas

of their property. The company will then revalue that land and offer it to a new settler at a very much reduced rate rather than give the man who has spent years on the land developing it and helping to develop the country, a chance to make good at the lower price. Very often the new settler is a man who has come from Europe without any experience in this country and yet he is given the advantage of this reduced price of the land instead of the man who is here, acclimatized and with experience on his side, being given a chance to make a fresh start.

I am going to offer a few suggestions which I think are reasonable and will help to improve the agricultural situation. I know some of these suggestions have already been made, but it will do no harm to repeat them.

1. That the government establish an experimental processing plant to determine the spread between the live hog and the finished article.

There is no question in my mind that, as I have stated before, we have to adopt a more balanced production, and one of the greatest developments we could make in Canada would be that of our bacon industry. Yet we find that the spread is such in Canada as compared with what it is in Denmark, our chief competitor, that the farmer feels the dice are loaded against him, and there is very little use of his making any effort along this line. In regard to the government establishing this experimental processing plant, we have a precedent in the fact that a federal government some years ago established an experimental dairy plant at Finch, Ontario. Anyone who is familiar with that knows that plant did excellent work for the dairy industry. I understand that the plant carried it3elf and eventually was sold at a profit. The government could do no more popular thing to-day than establish an experimental processing plant to determine the spread between the live hog and the finished article in order to encourage the farmers to go into the production of bacon.

2. That a conference of the packers and representative producers be called to see if a steady supply of bacon cannot be sent to the British market.

The hon. member for Red Deer (Mr. Speakman), in the very able speech he made the other day, went fully into this question, and as my time is limited, I shall not dilate on it. There is something radically wrong in Canada, which is first of all an agricul-22110-24

tural country, when we consider the fact that last year we had to import agricultural products as follows:

Commodity Quantity

Pork

22,000,000 lbs.Beef

5,241,937 lbs.Mutton and lamb

4,979,227 lbs.

Canned meats, poultry and

game

7,029,956 lbs.Butter

42,000,000 lbs.Eggs

2,853,277 doz.

Now we find Denmark, which has to import a great deal of her feed, is paying freight on that feed, feeding the hogs and shipping the bacon to Canada, selling it in some cases as far west as the prairies.

3. Lowering of freight rates, especially domestic.

4. A system of intermediate credits for live stock with lower interest rates.

5. Lowering of all interest rates by putting a penalty clause in the Bank Act to enforce the present legal rate of 7 per cent.

6. Encouragement of cooperative agencies.

In the present age the whole tendency is for the development of tremendous mergers and combines. Seldom does a week go by that one does not read of some gigantic merger or combine. We know the chain store is displacing the individual, and the large combine is displacing the small company in order to meet the keen competition with which we are faced in the world to-day. The only way the farmer can meet that competition is by organizing in a cooperative way, because he cannot combine in the ordinary w'ay that industrial concerns do. I believe it should be the duty of the government to bend every effort to assist the development of our cooperative organizations.

7. The establishment of a federal bank of rediscount and issue.

I believe this would be a step that would go a long way towards helping to improve our present banking system.

Conditions are such to-day with agriculture that it is going to require the wholehearted cooperation of every interest in Canada to reestablish it on a solid foundation. I offer these suggestions for the betterment of agricultural conditions in Canada, in the hope that, as the government has done its best to help industry by increasing the tariff, by voting $20,000,000 to assist the unemployed, surely in view of the promises of the Prime Minister to aid agriculture, these not unreasonable requests may be granted. It is recognized that conditions are serious, especially in view of our wheat situation.

The Address-Mr. Lucas

It is true that there has been talk of secession in western Canada, but that movement has not received any widespread support. As one man put the matter to me when it was under discussion-and I think this expressed the view of a great many people- we do not want to see secession, but there is a feeling in western Canada that the people of the east do not recognize the serious condition with which the west is confronted. He said: "I do not want to see secession, but I feel that unless we do something to attract the attention of the people of the east, we will get no relief,"

The people of western Canada are just as loyal, just as patriotic, and love Canada just as much as anyone in the east. The men and women of the west are playing their part and playing it nobly in helping to develop this vast country. They are not asking for any special favours; all they ask is a fair chance, an equal opportunity to make good. Speaking for the province from which I come, I know of no other people in Canada who are giving so much earnest thought and study to the vital problems that confront them, and who are endeavouring to such an extent to develop an intelligent citizenship for the purpose of making Canada a better place in which to live.

Nature has left a physical barrier between east and west, but broadminded people realize that this vast country with its unlimited resources cannot be developed in any lopsided manner, and that agriculture and industry must march together hand in hand; and personally, I deprecate in the house any speeches that fend to create class, racial or religious prejudice, or divisions between east and west. I think these beautiful lines written by Wilson MacDonald express the view of every true Canadian:

The East hath her genius and culture; the West hath her vigour and brawn;

And one hath the splendour of noonday, and one hath the glory of dawn.

So, God give Thy smile to the Westland, wherever a true heart abides;

And God give Thy smile to the Eastland, and blot out the line that divides.

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CON

William Addison Beynon

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. W. A. BEYNON (Moose Jaw):

In

rising to make my first contribution to the debates of this house, I can assure you, Mr. Speaker, that it affords me a great deal of pleasure to join with the speakers who have preceded me in extending to the mover (Mr. Cormier) and the seconder (Mr. Porteous) of the address my most hearty congratulations. This might seem to be more or less of a form, but I want to assure these hon.

gentlemen that it is much more than that; for I really feel that they are entitled to the very heartiest congratulations on the able manner in which they discharged their duties on that occasion.

Many other speakers have contributed to this debate to whom I should like to extend my congratulations, but so numerous are the addresses worthy of mention that I feel I would be taking up too much of the time of the house were I to mention each one. I would like, however, to join with my friend and colleague the member for Regina (Mr. Turnbull) in extending my congratulations to the member for Acadia (Mr. Gardiner) on his elevation to the very important position of the presidency of the farmers' party of Alberta. I wish him every success in that position, and perhaps the best I can wish him is that he may fill it with the same devotion to principle and the same farsightedness that characterized his illustrious predecessor.

I desire also to make special reference to two addresses made from the other side of the house, one by the hon. member for Red Deer (Mr. Speakman), and the other by the hon. member for Mackenzie (Mr. Campbell). Of those two addresses I would say that one was most eloquent and the other a masterpiece of debate. To a new member they were not only very impressive but also very inspiring, setting an example that all of us as new members might well strive to follow.

Coming to the address in reply to the speech from the throne, there are some phases of the proceedings of this house which are more or less puzzling, if not bewildering, to the new member; and if they so impress the new member I think it is not unfair to-say that perhaps they have the same effect upon the man in the street. I had occasion early this week to visit the home of a friend in this city, a resident of Ottawa. He told me that he had read all the speeches that had been delivered in the house this session, and added, " I am very glad indeed to see someone from the west, for I would like to know what the real condition in the west is." After all the speeches that have been delivered in the house this session with respect to conditions in western Canada, it may seem a reflection on them that a citizen of Ottawa who had read them should have to ask someone from the west what the actual conditions in western Canada really were. But I think, Mr. Speaker, that it is not quite so bad as it seems on the face of it. It might appear from this gentleman's remarks that hon. members who spoke on that subject either did not tell the true story or else did not

The Address-Mr. Beynon

know what the facts were. However, I think the discrepancies are more fancied than real. My impression is that there is a tendency in this house, perhaps due entirely to our peculiar form of government, to accentuate rather than to minimize differences. The diversity of the opinions expressed with regard to western Canada is due, I believe, to two causes. In the first place, western Canada comprises a very large area; conditions in one district may not be nearly as bad as they are in others, and naturally one is inclined to gain his impression of conditions generally by looking at conditions in his own particular district.

There is another factor bearing on this apparent diversity, and that is that different people have entirely different ways of expressing the same thoughts and emotions; they use different terms. For instance, the hon. member for Vancouver Centre (Mr. Mackenzie) who spoke a little while ago, being of the Scotch race, if he were asked to describe a certain condition, might say: It was not so good. Perhaps some of the Irish members on this side of the house, speaking of the same condition, would say: It. was very bad. O they might say: It was horrible. They are all describing the same condition, and they all mean the same thing, but they use very different language in giving expression to their thoughts. I think in the final analysis there is really not as much difference as there appears to be between the opinion of the hon. member for Regina and that of the hon. member for Red Deer as to actual conditions in western Canada, although the opinions they expressed in the debate seemed to differ very decidedly. It is well, I think, in estimating the conditions in western Canada to remember this.

A good deal has been said about conditions in western Canada that I think did not need to be said. We are all prepared, however, to admit this, that the condition in that part of the country is critical. I think we are prepared to go even a little further and say it is urgent, that it has ceased to be merely a condition and has become a problem, a national problem so urgent that it behooves this government to bring to its immediate solution the best thought and the best means at its command. Having admitted that much, why do we need to debate at great length the shades of differences of opinion as to the actual condition in western Canada? Having gone that far, that is all that the government needs to know, and upon that knowledge it 22110-24}

can take the action that is necessary with respect to western Canada.

There are some other things in the proceedings of this house which to a new member appear rather bewildering. On occasions it appears to new members that the older members are inconsistent in the statements they make in the house. I say, "it appears" advisedly, because I do not wish to do injustice to any hon. member. In this connection I wish to refer to certain statements that were made by the right hon. leader of the opposition (Mr. Mackenzie King) in his masterly speech on the address a few days ago. He criticized the Prime Minister very severely for his action in calling a special session of parliament. He contended that it was not necessary to call that session, that the money required for unemployment relief could have and should have been obtained by means of a governor general's warrant. At page 28 of Hansard of this session the right hon. leader of, the opposition, speaking of the right hon. the Prime Minister said:

Having the opportunity and the power he started at once to use that method in the special session. As all know, the special session of parliament was called for the purpose, nominally, of relieving unemployment. We were no sooner assembled than we discovered that the relief of the unemployed was a mere subterfuge, that the session in reality was to revise tariff schedules upward and to amend the Customs Tariff Act so as to give powers to the governor in council to do what council pleased with respect to many matters affecting the tariff.

Then in addition to that we read the following :

Throughout the campaign it was never thought that at the special session there would be changes of any extent in the tariff.

Those are the reasons, according to the leader of the opposition, why the Prime Minister was wrong in calling the special session. Turning to page 24 of Hansard of the special session, I find the following:

Speaking at Regina on June 10, the present Prime Minister said, as reported in the Regina Leader-Post, June 11, 1930:

If the party I belong to on the 28th day of July is given authority to conduct the affairs of this country, at the first session of our parliament. the government of which I am the head will pass laws that will give Canadians an equal opportunity with their competitors outside of Canada, or we go out of power.

Then again on page 25, I find the following:

At the first session of parliament the Conservative chieftain stated he would see to it that Canadians would be afforded fair competition, or perish in the attempt. Canadians must have their home markets first and afte markets abroad.

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Then continuing on the same page I find the following:

I propose, if elected to power, to call a session of parliament immediately after July 28 to deal with the unemployment problem, to authorize national undertakings which will give work to our workmen.

Then, listen to this:

Side by side, I propose to have enacted such measures as -will give Canadians fair competition and equal opportunity noth the nations of the world.

In view of the very definite statements made by the present Prime Minister during the election campaign as to what he would do if elected to power, it strikes me as peculiar indeed that the present leader of the opposition should have said that throughout the campaign it was not thought that there would be changes of any extent in the tariff. I believe the leader of the opposition was sincere when he made that statement. The undertakings made by the present Prime Minister before the electorate were read into Hansard by the leader of the opposition during the special session. Judging from the record of the Liberal party it is not difficult to understand the point of view that may have been taken by some that the election promises of the great Conservative party would not be implemented were they returned to office, because the failure of the Liberal party to carry out its election promises would lead the people to believe that the same thing would happen with respect to the promises made by the leader of the Conservative party.

The leader of the opposition said we would be perfectly justified in taking this money by issue of a governor general's warrant. If we refer again to page 142 of Hansard of the last session we find the leader of the opposition taking the most serious objection to the actions of the Prime Minister in this respect. He said:

The one exception that I have to take, and it relates to the bill in the form in which it appears, is as to the manner in which the government is asking this house to vote the moneys necessary for the purposes described. Why should there be at a special session any change in the procedure which is adopted at ordinary sessions of parliament in voting supplies that are necessary to carry out the various undertakings and obligations of the government? As hon. members well know, the usual practice, whereby parliament secures its control over expenditures, is for the house to be moved into committee of supply, for the Minister of Finance to bring down his desired appropriations in the form of estimates, for estimates to be fully discussed in committee of supply, and for appropriations to be made in that way for specific purposes as set forth in the supply bill.

[Mr. Beynon.1

The objection is that the Prime Minister did not proceed according to the views of the right hon. leader of the opposition. Yet at the special session the leader of the opposition stated that if the Prime Minister had merely obtained a governor general's warrant, and given no information to parliament the procedure would have been quite all right. At page 151 the leader of the opposition is reported as follows:

In all deference, Mr. Chairman, if we are to be asked to vote $20,000,000, surely we are entitled to ask any question whatever that relates to how that $20,000,000 is to be spent. It is impossible for the house to be asked to vote a vast sum of money of that amount and to be restricted in its discussion of how the money is to be spent.

In view of those statements by the leader of the opposition surely the Prime Minister would have been unwise to proceed by governor general's warrant and to have relied on the opposition giving that unquestionable support which at this late date they say they would have given. I believe the leader of the opposition was honest in his statement to this house that he did not expect any amendments to the tariff at the short session of parliament. And there were other members of the house who did not think the Prime Minister intended to carry out the promises he made during the election campaign. The speech from the throne delivered at the opening of the short session forecast certain amendments to the customs tariff. During the debate on the address in reply to the speech from the throne a number of speeches were made by members to the left of the official opposition and also by members of the official opposition. In a great many of those speeches-1 remember the phrase, "You cannot expect to improve the conditions very much by tinkering with the tariff." That phrase "tinkering with the tariff" was used in practically all the addresses up until the time the legislation was introduced. However when the legislation was brought down the phrase was conspicuous by its absence. The fact was brought home with staggering suddenness to the members of the house that at last we had a leader of government in Canada who meant "protection" when he said "protection", a leader who when he stated he would place on the statute books of this country certain legislation, had the courage to do so, a leader who believed his actions were in the best interest of Canada and, was prepared to stake his political fortune on carrying out the promises he had made to t'he people. When the legislation was brought down the official opposition gasped

The Address-Mr. Beynon

for breath. After they had recovered sufficiently they raised a hue and cry against the Prime Minister. This man who but a few hours before had been characterized as a mere tinkerer, as one who was not prepared to carry out the promises he had made to the people, became all of a sudden a brutal, driving, slashing, cutting, blazing, blasting, arrogant autocrat. That all happened over night, as it were.

The opposition have characterized the present administration as a one man government. They have stated that the leader of this government is an autocrat. In connection with that all I have to say is that the Prime Minister must be big enough and strong enough to gather round his council table the very best brains in Canada. He must sit in council with these men and yet be their unquestioned leader. Any man with less force of character or less power is not the proper man to be Prime Minister of this country.

I wish also to refer to the fact that during the last campaign this country was flooded from one end to the other with cartoons depicting >the present leader of the government as in bathing and the then Minister of Finance (Mr. Dunning) stealing his clothes. I thought the inference was very clear, but the Liberal party seemed to have some fear that the public might be mistaken in the inference to be drawn. Chuckling with glee they told all and sundry that the Minister of Finance had stolen the Conservative policy of protection, and that is the policy which hon. gentlemen opposite now denounce so roundly. They vie with each other in the extravagance of their denunciation of it, and urge that it has accentuated the unemployment situation, has been the means of rendering ineffective the Imperial conference, has threatened our relations with the mother country, has threatened to disrupt the empire, and is bringing Canada to blue ruin and destruction. Yet the official opposition was prepared to commit larceny in order to obtain that policy. Another charge made against the Prime Minister was that, thus bereft of his raiment through the theft committed by the Liberal party, he shamelessly stole the slogan of that party, "Canada first." We are told that the Conservative party had no right to that slogan, that it never belonged to them. It would have been a pity if such a good slogan had been left unused; the Liberal party could not use it, because it did not fit their policy.

These, Mr. Speaker, are things of the past. For a great many years there has been much speculation throughout Canada as to the effect of protection upon Canadian trade and the

prosperity of the country. That question has been argued pro and con for some generations. At last it has been placed beyond the realm of speculation; to-day, for the first time in history, it is an accomplished fact. We have now a prime minister and a cabinet who are going to give this policy a trial. It is not now a question of arguing, speculating and prophesying what this policy will do; they are going to see what it will do. By its fruits ye shall know it. We have in power now a party which is prepared to stand or fall on the results of that policy.

I do want to point out, however, that the advocates of protection are subjected to a much more severe test than are the advocates of low tariff. You will remember that during the regime of the Liberal party, whenever they lowered the tariff and the price went up all they had to say was, "Well, we have done all we could; we wash our hands of the matter. If the price went up we cannot help it; we put down the tariff." If they put up the tariff on some commodity which we import and the price of that commodity went up they said, "We must have revenue. This is a tariff for revenue only. Pay up and do not split the low tariff vote." On the other hand, when the advocates of protection put up the tariff and internal competition forces the price down, then we are told, as we were told yesterday, that we have pegged the price at a high level, and if it did come down it did not come down as far as it would have come if the tariff had not been there. By that reasoning they can always produce an argument that no one can answer, because no one knows where the price would have gone if the tariff had not been there. That is the burden which is placed upon the advocates of a protective tariff.

The hon. member for West Edmonton (Mr. Stewart) painted a very gloomy picture, not only of the present but of the future as well. He told us that there was not a vestige of hope, that this country has heading for blue ruin as long as the present administration continued to support its present policies. I am inclined to think that perhaps the hon. member does not intend to stand for reelection at the end of this parliament. However, he has a colleague who I believe does intend to stand for reelection. I refer to the hon. member for St. James (Mr. Rinfret), who did not want to agree to the propositions suggested by the hon. member for West Edmonton. He did not want to go on record as having said that the country would be ruined unless the policy of this government was changed, so we find that he is willing to take in advance from this government am

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credit which might come to it, no matter

what the eo3t. At page 107 of Hansard he said:

I suppose after two or three years have passed, in the ordinary trend of events and the normal evolution of business conditions throughout the world this country, notwithstanding the fact that my hon. friends are in power, will again reach the point it had attained two or three years ago, and then my hon. friends will say: We have done it; give us credit for it; we have cured the evil, not at once, but it cured itself without our aid. Give us credit for it. We have at last redeemed our election promises.

So you see that already the hon. gentleman realizes that the policies which have been inaugurated by this government will bring Canada within two or three years back to what they themselves claim was a condition of prosperity. But when that happens, they are going to attempt to deprive this government of any credit for what it may have done.

In the very able speech delivered yesterday by the ex-Minister of Justice (Mr. Lapointe), he criticized the attitude of the Prime Minister while at the Imperial conference, and enlarged upon the statement that the empire is held together by sentiment rather than by dollars and cents. The hon. member stated that our trade with the empire is governed by sentiment, but I wonder if it ever occurred to him to consider whether, when the people from the mother country went to the Argentine, they did so because they had a greater sentiment for the people of that country than they had for Canada, or whether they did so because of dollars and cents. When the late administration gave away the dairy market of this country to Australia and New Zealand was it done as a matter of sentiment, or did the people of Australia ship their goods here for dollars and cents while we were selling our manufactured products to them for' the same consideration? After all, you cannot make an English miller weep very much by telling him sentimental tales, but if you go over there and talk dollars and cents probably you will be able to make a bargain with him.

We were also told that the statement made by the Prime Minister at the Regina meeting was the most unwelcome statement that had fiver been presented to the western people. We were told that the stage had been all set for a great ado and that the thing fell very flat. I will admit that the stage was set, but it was not set by the government or the supporters of the government. The stage was set by the Liberal press of Saskatchewan in an attempt to develop an expectation that no one but a wand-waver could satisfy. For days and weeks the people of Saskatchewan and

IMr. Beynon.]

western Canada were worked up to a pitch of high expectation, but what happened when the Prime Minister did come? I hold in my hand an article dealing with that meeting, appearing in a paper which I do not think can be said to be a supporter of the Prime Minister. The newspaper is the Saskatoon Star-Phoenix, which is on very friendly terms with the Regina Leader. The writer sets out the various propositions brought forward by the Prime Minister at that meeting, and this is the comment which is made:

This is an impressive array of proposals in which few citizens of the west will wish to pick holes. This paper finds itself in substantial agreement *noth the program as stated and is ready to give crdit to Mr. Bennett for having faced the emergency boldly, sifted the numerous proposals put before him and stated his conclusions without hedging. Much will depend on the manner in which his policy is translated into action but, as it stands on paper, the policy is sound and calculated to give the farmers at least temporary relief.

Not a bad recommendation from a paper so bitterly opposed to the present administration.

I referred a little while ago to the addresses given by the hon. member for Red Deer and the hon. member for Mackenzie. We expected-at least I expected when I came into the house-to hear constructive criticism from that corner and from the sources whence those speeches came. I was not disappointed. These men came forward temperately, mildly, constructively, kindly, with suggestions to the government at to what might be done for the relief of conditions in Canada. I think perhaps the hon. member for Acadia (Mr. Gardiner) is sufficiently human not to be averse to being the one who should lead the country out of the difficulty in which it now is. But I will give him credit for this: I cannot refer to his love of party, because he has none; but I think his love of country is much stronger than his aversion to political parties, and I believe he is prepared, though not one of the government, in a position to lead the country out of its difficulties, to give all the assistance he can to the administration in finding a solution for the problems of the country. I believe that also characterises his followers in the main, and I was very much impressed with the addresses they gave.

The hon. member for Battle River (Mr. Spencer) was, I think, perhaps carried away by the sound of a certain phrase he used. I fancy it was sound rather than sense that appealed to him when he said that the reference to agriculture in the speech from the throne was nothing more than a hollow mockery. I do not believe he really thought

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that. The hon. member for Red Deer was much more cautious and, in my opinion, much better advised when he said that the speech from the throne might mean everything or might mean nothing so far as agriculture was concerned. That, I believe, is true of any speech from the throne; for after all, all that it is expected to do is to foreshadow the legislation, and the government may carry out seriously and earnestly the things that are foreshadowed or it may try to evade them altogether. In that sense any speech from the throne might mean everything or nothing.

I was quite interested in what the hon. member for Red Deer said about the attitude towards the farmer group in this house some years ago. He attributed the changed attitude largely, I think, to the change in the attitude towards agriculture. A good deal of it is due to that; a good deal is due to the fact that people are realizing, at other times than during elections, that agriculture is the basic industry of this country. I know that for as long as I can remember it was considered the basic industry of this country at least once in four years, while for the rest of the time it was not. Perhaps the hon. member for Red Deer is correct when he says that people have begun to realize between elections that agriculture is in fact the basic industry of the country. I have made on other occasions a statement which I am prepared to repeat here, namely, that the people who carry on the basic industry of this country should have a standard of living at least as high as that of any other class in Canada. It is a very nice thing to go around to the farmer once in four years and tell him he is the salt of the earth, that he is the horny-handed son of toil, and is carrying on the basic industry of the country. But if that means anything it means that he has the right to have a standard of living which will serve as the basis for the rest of the community.

I believe, however, the changed attitude towards hon. gentlemen who sit to the left of the official opposition is due to another factor, and I know my hon. friends will take this kindly. I think their own attitude to government, that is, the functions of government, and the difficulties of government as well as its possibilities, has changed considerably in the last ten years. I think they will admit this. A good many of the ideals they hold have changed-perhaps not the ideals, but the hope of the attainment of those ideals. They know the limitations that are placed upon governments and how far we are apt to fall below our ideals, let us strive

how we may. That, perhaps, has partly to do with the changed attitude towards hon. members in that corner. But I believe there is something else. No one could listen to those two addresses to which I have referred without being convinced that these hon. gentlemen had developed in that ten years into parliamentarians of such ability that any parliament, I care not whether in Canada or in the old land, must pay attention to their representations.

There are a good many other things I had thought of dealing with. The hon. member for Red Deer remarked that sometimes it roused his ire when people spoke about the kicking farmer. I was raised on a farm in western Canada myself. The hon. member spoke of having gone there forty years ago.

I did so before that. I know what pioneering in western Canada is and I know the character of the men who conquered the prairies.

I do not find fault with what the hon. member says because I have the same feeling when I hear people, who know nothing about the hardships that must be endured, and the courage and fortitude necessary to accomplish what has been done in the west, saying to-day that these farmers are always kicking. If you analyze conditions you will find after all that when there is inflation of prices the product of the farmer is the last to go up- nobody's fault, it is true-whereas when prices come down the farmer's prices are the first to fall. When kicking starts naturally the farmers are the first to start kicking, because they are the first ones to be hit. That is all the difference.

I cannot add in this debate anything to what hon. members have said about the question of interest and so forth. I think it was the hon. member for Battle River who spoke about certain practices of the past. The banks would tell a man that if he would come and pay his account, later on, after the first of the year, they would extend him credit; and that was a very trying and unfair attitude to the farmer. I am sorry to say I believe the hon. member is correct in that. Too many cases of that kind have come under my notice for it to be a mere matter of accident or mistake on the hon. member's part. I do think, however, that the head offices of the banks are unaware of that practice; I do not believe they are parties to it. Brit there is a responsibility upon them. If they say to their local managers, "You must get in the money that is outstanding," and then fail to enquire into the methods by which they get

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it in, they must be charged with that responsibility. I hope, therefore, that they will take notice of the fact that this matter is receiving public attention, and I trust the local managers of the banks will be instructed to deal fairly, honestly and uprightly with the farmers, because that is not fair dealing.

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LIB

Frederick George Sanderson

Liberal

Mr. F. G. SANDERSON (South Perth):

Mr. Speaker, I should like to join the speakers who have preceded me in paying a sincere compliment to the mover (Mr. Cormier) and the seconder (Mr. Porteous) of the address in reply to the speech from the throne. It is a privilege enjoyed by young members coming into this house for the first time to move and second the address, and I think the house will agree with me that both hon. members performed their duty with credit to themselves as well as to their constituents. However, they were placed in a very embarrassing position because they were put up to defend the record of this government from the time it took office last summer until the present day. They must have known down in the bottom of their hearts, as do other hon. gentlemen opposite that no defence could be made of the record of this government.

They were put up also to defend, if I may use that word, the speech from the throne which was placed by the government in the mouth of His Excellency the Administrator. It was a difficult task for anyone to stretch his imagination sufficiently to defend the speech from the throne. I was rather surprised that the hon. member for North Grey was chosen to second the address, not because of any lack of ability, but because he demonstrated the fact that being" a farmer he was put up as a smoke-screen. An effort was made to show the farmers of this country that at least one farmer from the province of Ontario was ready to defend the government in regard to its attitude toward a great basic industry. If the hon. member for North Grey, as a farmer representing a farming constituency in the province of Ontario, can find any grain of comfort in the record of the government up to date as it pertains to the farming industry, or if he can find any grain of comfort in the speech from the throne, then he stands in a class of his own. I doubt very much whether the farmers in his constituency will endorse the defence he attempted to make of the record of the government and the speech from the throne.

I have the honour to represent what is largely a rural riding in the province of Ontario, and in passing I might say that South Perth is a farming constituency which stands second

to none in the Dominion. It has a record extending over many years, not only for the fertility of its soil but for the aggressiveness of its farmers. They have stood at the head of the list, not only in mixed farming but in the hog, dairying and cattle industries. All during my business life I have been in close touch with the farmers in my constituency, not only my Liberal friends but my Conservative and Progressive friends as well, and I have never found so much criticism of any government, so much discontent, so much downright bitterness at the result, as are to-day manifested by the farmers of South Perth irrespective of politics. I think the same would apply to every rural riding in the province of Ontario.

The reasons for this are plain; in order to discover them we do not need to go further back than the elections of last summer. The then leader of the opposition, now the right hon. the Prime Minister (Mr. Bennett) started out by making promises. He taught a lesson to those who were canvassing with him, and they started to make promises backed up by their chief. They said: This man, the Hon. R. B. Bennett, is a miracle man, he can turn day into night or night into day. He was portrayed as possessing the best business mind in the Dominion of Canada, a man who had accumulated a very vast fortune, and who deemed it to be his duty, if his party were returned and he became Prime Minister, to right immediately all the evils and all the wrongs suffered by the Canadian people. The farmers of Ontario, some in my riding and some in adjoining ridings, took these promises in good faith, but they have now awakened to the fact, as stated by the hon. member for Southeast Grey (Miss Mac-phail) in her admirable speech, that these promises were gold bricks. They were promises which no human being or party could keep. Our hon. friends would not listen to any talk of a world-wide depression; they went so far as to say that there was no worldwide depression but that the present economic conditions in Canada were due to the administration of the government which had held power from 1921 to 1930. The farmers listened, unfortunately for themselves, to these promises.

I should like to give the house an illustration of what took place during the elections in my riding, and I feel quite sure that the same procedure was followed in other ridings. A canvasser would come along with a Conservative candidate and say to the man who owned a farm: You have a nice farm there; don't sell it until after the elections in Sep-

The Address-Mr. Sanderson

tember, because if the Conservative party is put into power the value of your farm will go up fifty per cent. Not only that, but they were told that if Mr. Bennett, the wizard, the superman, got into power, they would be able to sell their wheat at $1.25 per bushel. They were told that the price of hogs would go up to war-time levels and that although they were getting only 32 cents per pound for their butter, when Mr. Bennett got into power the price would be 60 cents per pound.

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LIB

William Duff

Liberal

Mr. DUFF:

They were told in Nova Scotia it would go to 70 cents.

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LIB

Frederick George Sanderson

Liberal

Mr. SANDERSON:

So far, the record of

this government is a record of broken promises. They kept only one, that they would call an emergency session to relieve unemployment. Nothing was said in the rural parts of Ontario as to the possibility of their increasing the tariff at the special session. They kept that quiet, but the farmers have awakened to the fact that the increase in the tariff has not been for their benefit. It will not do them any good at all, and had the majority of the farmers of Ontario known that at the emergency session, in addition to the relief that was attempted for unemployment, there would be increases in the tariff on about 150 or 200 items, running all the way from 30 per cent to 150, 200 and even 300 per cent, I doubt if they would have voted for a Conservative candidate. So I say that the record of the government to date is one of broken promises. As usual-and this has been mentioned by several speakers on this side of the house, but I think it will bear repetition- they have trotted out their old panacea of tariff. That is the only medicine they can prescribe when there is a depression or when business is bad. It is the old, old story. It puts me in mind of the old days when the medicine fakir used to sell his medicine on the public market. He had a "cure-all" for everything from chilblains to tuberculosis. It was all in the one bottle, which he sold for a dollar, and around the bottle he wrapped a printed guarantee. He said: "We will guarantee this to cure all ills; it is a medicine that will cure everything." Finally, when he had got the dollar from the customer, he would say: "If it does not cure you, you can keep the guarantee." That is about the situation the country is in as regards the present government's high tariff policy as a cure-all for the problems that at present confront us.

Let me repeat that the tariff changes in September were not for the benefit of the farmer, the labouring man, the mechanic or the ordinary wage earner. The only people who have benefited are the manufacturers,

behind whom the government is prepared to stand at all times to the detriment of the masses of the people. It is true that at the special session of parliament $20,000,000 was voted for the relief of unemployment, but our Conservative friends said during the campaign that they were going to cure unemployment, to end unemployment. In fact some of the speakers said that in three days after the Conservatives came into power they would end unemployment. I know they say they were misquoted, but hundreds of people who perhaps did not read that in the newspaper, but heard it over the radio are prepared to assert that the statement was made that in three days after the Conservatives came into power they would end unemployment. What do we find? They have not ended unemployment. I want to be fair to the government; they may have relieved to a certain extent, temporarily at least, unemployment in some parts of the country. But as members in opposition pointed out in September, the government were putting into the hands of provincial governments a political weapon; they were practically giving the provincial government a blank cheque, and during the campaign the question of relief was made primarily a federal matter. Promises were made by Conservative speakers, led by the present Prime Minister, that the federal parliament would deal with the relief of unemployment. I am not going into the question whether the relief of unemployment should be a federal or a provincial matter, but I say that in the campaign they made it a federal issue. We on this side of the house pointed out during the special session that there was no check, no audit on the $20,000,000 appropriated for unemployment relief; that the federal share was checked out of the public treasury, a like amount from the provincial treasury, and a similar amount from the municipalities; that the federal authority had no control over the money after it left the federal treasury. That has been proven. As I said a moment ago, they placed in the hands of the provincial governments something in the way of a political weapon that could be and was in fact used. So far as the people of Ontario are concerned, during the eight or nine provincial by-elections that have been held since last September, the fact that the provincial government controlled that money was used, if not directly, then indirectly, to buy votes. If time permitted I could quote chapter and verse for my statement, and it may be that before the close of the session I shall have an opportunity of doing so. But, as I have said, the record of the government is one of

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broken promises, promises that could not be kept, promises that will never be kept. The only promise they did keep was that a special session of parliament would be summoned.

As regards the question of the Imperial conference, if the Prime Miinster and the government did not want the Imperial conference to succeed as far as the Dominion of Canada was concerned, certainly when they increased the tariff on British importations they did the one thing that made success impossible. They were defeated in their cause before they ever went to London. I could never understand, and I doubt if the majority of the Canadian people understand, the attitude of the present government in increasing the tariff against the mother country. A few years ago the members of the Conservative party used to wrap the union jack around themselves and parade their loyalty on all occasions. They used to insinuate from time to time that they were really the loyal political party in this country. But in September last they adopted an attitude that, to my mind, is the worst thing they could have done in regard to preserving friendly relations between Canada and the mother country. The Prime Minister, some of his ministers and a large delegation went over to London, but nothing was achieved. There is no use in the Prime Minister or any of his ministers or supporters saying that the right hon. gentleman's visit to London was a success. It was an absolute failure and the majority of the Canadian people know it was a failure and lay the blame directly on the heads of the Prime Minister and his government.

Several speakers have spoken of the manner of approach of the Prime Minister at the conference. In his speech in this house the other day the Prime Minister rather took pride in the fact that he had spoken for only seventeen minutes at the conference. I will quote his own words, at page 65 of Hansard of this session:

I can only say that the presentation of the case from the Canadian standpoint before the second plenary conference took exactly seventeen minutes by the clock, and there was at least one Canadian there who, although not a member of the delegation, listened and thought it was as clear and as concise a presentation as it was possible to make.

I am sure, Mr. Speaker, that the people of Canada will be glad to know that there was at least one Canadian who endorsed the Prime Minister's statement on that occasion. I would point out to the Prime Minister, however, that a gentleman with his vocabulary

and with his temperamental nature can sometimes do more harm in a seventeen minutes' speech than it wild take seventeen years to repair; and I imagine the people of Canada, when they read that the Prime Minister presented his case in seventeen minutes, will say: Thank God he did not speak an hour.

The method of approach of the Prime Minister at the conference was one that could not possibly succeed. It is impossible to sit down at a business conference, and that was a business conference, one of the most important meetings which the Imperial conference has ever held, and work a bluff. You may attempt it, but usually your bluff is called. The Prime Minister's bluff was called, to the detriment of this country. The Prime Minister played politics when he was at the conference in England; at least, his actions had all the earmarks of playing politics. By gestures and by speeches he endeavoured to convey to the people of England that if they would only change their government and put in a Conservative administration, it might be better for themselves and for the Dominion of Canada. I say, Mr. Speaker, that the Prime Minister had no mandate from the people of this country to talk politics in England at all, and by playing politics, instead of helping his cause, he injured it. So on the whole, Mr. Speaker, the conference was a failure.

I should like to quote to the house what the hon. Minister of Justice (Mr. Guthrie) gave as his opinion of the conference when he landed in Canada. He was interviewed by a reporter for The Toronto Daily Star on board ship before he landed. The interview is dated November 21, 1930, and is headed, Conference a Flop. It reads:

The Imperial conference was a "flop" to the extent that the economic branch which he characterized as "perhaps the most important branch" failed to come to a definite conclusion, Hon. Hugh Guthrie, Minister of Justice, and the first of Canada's delegation to return to her shores, confessed to The Star in the course of an interview before landing.

I will read to you the reasons which the Minister of Justice is reported to have given in this interview for the failure of the conference :

The failure was due to lack of sufficient definite information about the trade of Great Britain and the dominions, coupled with twn complications, the necessity of the Imperial parliament sitting, and the arrival of the Indian princes for the round-table conference now on.

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Those are the excuses which the Minister of Justice gave for the conference being a flop. The interview continues:

The Star called Mr. Guthrie's attention to a report in the Manchester Guardian of Nov. 5, of a speech which he made at a luncheon tendered in London by the National Citizens' Union, in which he is quoted as saying: "I don't believe that the conference is going to achieve anything in the nature of concrete proposals at the present time." Asked whether this was a fair report, the Minister of Justice said that it was. "The economic branch came to no conclusion for the reasons I have already stated," he said.

It appears to me, Mr. Speaker, and I think it will appear to members of this house and the country at large, that these excuses which the Minister of Justice gave for the conference being a flop were really no excuses at all. Surely the Canadian delegation had advisers enough and secretaries and assistant secretaries enough to get all the information they wanted over there. I took the trouble to obtain some information as to the numerical strength of the staff they took over, and I find in the report of the Imperial conference that in addition to the Prime Minister and members of his government there were a staff comprising twenty-two persons. Surely they could get enough information together for the delegation to get down to facts. So I say that is no excuse at all; it is not even the semblance of an excuse, and the Minister of Justice is right in saying that the conference was a flop. The Minister of Justice is also reported to have said in this interview that there would soon be a British election and he hoped when it came off that Mr. Snowden and Mr. Thomas would be snowed under and the Conservatives take power.

This word "flop" is not an unusual word, but I looked up the dictionary to get the exact definition. I am sorry the Minister of Justice is not in his seat at the moment, because "flop" is a word which I think he has thought over very often, and probably dreamed about, and so it naturally came to his mind in speaking of the failure of the Imperial conference, in this interview which he gave on board ship. I find three definitions of "flop" in Webster's dictionary: first, "to throw oneself heavily or clumsilysecond, "to strike about with something broad and flat, as a fish with its tail, or a bird with its wings; to rise and fall." The Minister of Justice might have had in his mind the flop that he got with something broad and flat at the Conservative convention of 1927. The third meaning given is: "to change suddenly,"

and it gives as an example of the use of the word in that sense, the phrase, "He flopped to the other party." Those are the dictionary definitions, not mine. So I think, Mr. Speaker, that the Minister of Justice was quite justified in using the word "flop."

I should also like to read to the house what the genial Minister of Railways and Canals (Mr. Manion) said about his leader when he came back from England, but my time is limited.

At six o'clock the house took recess.

After Recess

The house resumed at eight o'clock.

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LIB

Frederick George Sanderson

Liberal

Mr. SANDERSON:

When the house rose

at six o'clock I had just finished a few remarks with regard to statements made concerning the Imperial conference by the Minister of Justice (Mr. Guthrie) on his return to Canada. I mentioned that when the house resumed at eight o'clock I might make some further remarks about what the Minister of Railways and Canals (Mr. Manion) had said concerning the actions of his chief at the conference. I would like to quote, Mr. Speaker, from the Toronto Globe of December 3, 1930. At a banquet on the evening of December 2, held in the city of Toronto, the Minister of Railways and Canals was the chief speaker, and naturally he touched on the conference. He spoke about the attitude taken at the conference by his chief the Prime Minister and the Prime Minister's great success at the Imperial conference. I quote from the report in the Toronto Globe of December 3, 1930:

The Conservative party, he said, "certainly is sitting on top of the world, such as the world is to-day."

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LIB

Edward James Young

Liberal

Mr. YOUNG:

A very uncomfortable seat.

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LIB

Frederick George Sanderson

Liberal

Mr. SANDERSON:

My answer to the

Minister of Railways and Canals is that most people think the world is upside down at the moment, and if the Conservative party is sitting on top of the world-

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CON

Robert James Manion (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MANION:

Where must the Liberal

party be sitting?

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LIB

Frederick George Sanderson

Liberal

Mr. SANDERSON:

The Liberal party will come back to the top of the world when it turns round the other way. Let me tell the minister that when conditions right themselves he and his colleagues in the Conservative party will find themselves at the bottom of the world, in the bottomless pit, and the Minister of Railways and Canals will be with them.

3S0

The Address-Mr. Sanderson

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CON

Robert James Manion (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MANION:

As you people are at the

present time.

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LIB

Frederick George Sanderson

Liberal

Mr. SANDERSON:

But he was not quite satisfied with that statement. The report in the Globe continues:

So much was Hon. R. B. Bennett the outstanding man at the Imperial conference, said Dr. Manion, "that I am told there are many people in the British Isles who would like to see Mr. Bennett one of their great leaders."

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LIB

Frederick George Sanderson

Liberal

Mr. SANDERSON:

I venture the opinion, Mr. Speaker, that there is no such good fortune in store for Canada and Canadians. There are a great many people in the Dominion of Canada who would welcome a change if it could be brought about. They would be pleased to see the gentleman who now occupies the position of Prime Minister of this country go to England as one of the leaders of that country. The report in the Globe continues:

In view of numerous press queries as to how federal ministers felt about Premier Bennett's London Snowden speech, "when Mr. Bennett speaks,' he said, 'lie speaks for the whole government of the Dominion of Canada." In other words the present Dominion government has one mind, not twenty minds, as was so often demonstrated in the Mackenzie King government.

We have it from the lips of the Minister of Railways and Canals that there is but one mind in the cabinet as it is now constituted. The contention from this side of the house and the opinion of most people of this country is that we have at the present time a one man government.

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CON

Robert James Manion (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MANION:

So much the bigger man.

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LIB

Frederick George Sanderson

Liberal

Mr. SANDERSON:

I can quite understand the genial Minister of Railways and Canals interjecting those remarks. Hon. members knows that the minister has been termed a convert to the Conservative party. His chief has said that a convert never could be trusted, that he was always liable to make a mess of things. However no doubt the Minister of Railways and Canals wishes to redeem himself in the eyes of his chief and therefore is doing everything in bis power to achieve that end; nobody can blame him for that. However it is a fact, Mr. Speaker, that we have a one-man government and I have no doubt that the Minister of Railways and Canals will be the chief "yes, yes" man as long as he is in the government. The reason is that he does not wish in any way to ruffle his chief. He knows if he did so he would not remain in the government very long. The report in the Globe contains the further statement:

The Liberal press, he said, trying to make out the Imperial conference and Canada's part in it as a failure. "What, may I ask the Liberal press," said Doctor Manion, "would Mr. King have done had he represented the Dominion at the conference?" What could Mr. King have done, he added, in the face of the attitude of Mr. Snowden? What could Mr. King have brought back from the conference that Mr. Bennett failed to gain?

My answer to that statement is that if the Right Hon. W. L. Mackenzie King had gone to the conference as Prime Minister, backed by the Dunning budget, which has been scrapped by this government, we would have to-day in Canada a different story to tell as far as trade and commerce are concerned. The attitude of the Right Hon. W. L. Mackenzie King at Imperial conferences is one of which the people of this country are proud. They are sorry that in the turn of the political wheel he did not have an opportunity to attend the conference.

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CON

Robert James Manion (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MANION:

They showed how anxious they were to send him there by keeping him at home.

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March 27, 1931