April 14, 1931


The house resumed from Monday, April 13, consideration of the motion of Mr. Max D. Cormier for an address to His Excellency the Administrator in reply to his speech at the opening of the session, and the proposed amendment thereto of Mr. Mackenzie King. Mr. CAMERON R. McINTOSH (North Battleford): Mr. Speaker, in rising to make a few remarks in this debate may I say that last night I listened with a great deal of interest to the hon. member for Qu'Appelle (Mr. Perley), when he presented what he considered to be some of the causes for the present commercial and industrial depression. He made a statement to the effect that the farmers were being exploited. As I listened to him I was wondering just when the farmers were not exploited under our present fiscal system, and I was surprised that he did not realize that the policy for which he and his party stand, the policy of raising the protective wall higher and still higher, will result in our farmers being exploited more and more as the years go by. He dealt also with the banking system and said it was not perfect. Of course we know it is not perfect. I understand the Bank Act will be revised in the session of 1932, and then we shall see just how far the hon. member for Qu'Appelle and his party will go in so revising the statute that our farmers will no longer be exploited nor the national prosperity menaced. My hon. friend also dealt with the wheat situation. He said he did not want to blame the pools, but he stressed the fact that the sales agency was to blame for the abnormal carry-over of wheat. So far as the pools are concerned, I believe that those in western Canada who are standing for a 100 per cent marketing proposition and those who are in favour of a voluntary organization will 22110-374 decide the issue among themselves and decide it correctly. Apparently the hon. gentleman also accepted the fact that the fiscal system under which we are labouring in Canada is perfect; he believes that all we have to do is to apply it more equitably to all Canada, and he is quite certain that agriculturally and industrially 'by means of it we are going to have a great dominion built up, with a complete organization of industries all across Canada, and that everything will be fine. The hon. gentleman also said he would make certain suggestions which might remove these causes and improve conditions commercially and industrially, and among his suggestions was one that the Department of Trade and Commerce should be more active. He tried to throw the blame for the present industrial crisis in Canada on that department under the Liberal government. I think the Department of Trade and Commerce was quite active from 1922 to 1930; in fact it was more active during those years than it ever had been in the history of Canada. The trade returns prove that statement. In 1922 the aggregate trade of Canada was $1,502,000,000. or a per capita aggregate trade of approximately $1,500. What was the situation in 1929, seven years later? Our aggregate trade amounted to $2,655,000,000, or a per capita aggregate trade of $2,655, almost double that of 1922. These figures prove, I believe, that the department was active, and it does away with the argument that under the previous government the Department of Trade and Commerce was responsible for present conditions. It was not. Then the hon. member said that the way to build up our agricultural life was to build it up around expert farmers in western Canada. That has been the policy of the Department of Agriculture almost from time immemorial, so far as I can see-at least since confederation. We have been building up experimental and demonstration farms to show the way in scientific farming; we have been carrying on this program from coast to coast, so there is nothing new in that argument. Then the hon. gentleman said a duty should be imposed on com for feeding purposes. I would suggest that he and other Conservative members from western Canada who agree with that argument should get together with government members from central Ontario and Quebec and present a solid front. When they do this the rest of us might be able to meet them. In Canada, Mr. Speaker, we may expect to have our ups and downs industrially and agriculturally. We may naturally expect to have to meet major problems arising out of our national, our imperial and our international sso



The Address-Mr. McIntosh existence. We may expect that through these problems governments will rise and fall. Under these conditions parliament has assembled again this year, and I take it for granted that our objective is to evolve a legislative program for Canada that will benefit this country from coast to coast. We listened to the speech from the throne, and I was pleased to hear the hon. member for ReStigouche-Madawaska (Mr. Cormier) move the address in reply. I have known the hon. member for several years; I first became acquainted with him seven years ago, when we were crossing the north Atlantic in order to visit the British Isles and the battlefields of the empire on the continent. On that occasion the bilingual ability of the hon. gentleman saved the party of which he was a member a great deal of trouble and inconvenience, and through his proficiency he was able to do away with a great deal of red tape which otherwise might have interfered with the enjoyment of our visit to continental Europe. Now I might suggest to the hon. gentleman that, having proved himself so helpful seven years ago on the continent of Europe, he should prove as helpful now on the continent of America, right here in Canada, by restraining his leader and those who are supporting him in the House of Commons from enacting any extreme legislation that may have the effect of dismembering Canada in time to come, that may have the effect not of building up a prosperous dominion but rather of developing a sectionalism that will not do any good at all. May I therefore ask him to use all the influence he has in this very helpful direction. It is greatly needed. The hon. member for North Grey (Mr. Porteous), who seconded the address, represents in this house the county and constituency in which I was born, and I compliment him upon the observations which he made during the course of his speech. I was interested in the gesture he made to the French-Canadian members of this house and also the French-Canadian people throughout Canada, when he said we ought to have a national vision big enough, broad enough and deep enough to include the two major races in Canada, the British and the French. I would say we must have a national vision broad enough for that, of course, and we should have a national vision broad enough to include not only the two major races but also all the people from the continents of the world and the isles of the sea whom we have invited to come to Canada to help us build up a new nation on the northern portion of the North American continent. I would like to see the hon. member for North Grey get in touch with members of his own (Air. McIntosh.] party from western Canada, so that those who do not follow that vision in that part of our country will be big enough, broad enough and tolerant enough to stand for such a vision throughout the west. During the last two or three years the leaders of the Conservative party in Saskatchewan have been standing for something which is anything but truly national or soundly imperial, something absolutely intolerant and impossible of acceptance. Now, Mr. Speaker, I wish to refer to the speech from the throne. On close examination I find it to be divided in a triangular way. It has three sides, which are very unequal; it has unequal angles, and everything about it is unequal, leading one to conclude that in framing it the right hon. Prime Minister looked at the big questions of Canada from a lop-sided point of view. Therefore I have not much hope that out of this speech from the throne will come a program of legislation that will unite all parties and all sections of this Dominion in order to build up a great, united nation. For instance, we know that a triangle is made up of lines and points. A line has length but no breadth, and the same definition might be applied to the speech from the throne. It has lots of length, lots of words and lots of lines and paragraphs, but when you come to examine its width, which it should have if we are to have breadth in our national vision, we find there is none. It does not apply as it should to the maritimes; we have heard hon. members on this side of the house find fault with it in that respect. It does not apply to central Canada as it should; it does not apply to the middle west or to the far west. Consequently, though it has length, which is the simplest measurement anything can have, it really has no breadth of thought or vision or determination, and not having breadth of thought there is no pronounced area to it. We must have more than length and breadth in Canada with regard to a national policy; we must get under the soil and go down deep. We must have volume. Any policy that is to be beneficial to Canada must scale the heights and plumb the depths of Canadian national aspirations. If it does not do that it will be a failure. I am afraid that the program of the last special session, coupled with the one we have based upon this speech from the throne, will in time prove a failure so far as successfully meeting the exigencies throughout the country is concerned. In the first part of the speech from the throne we find the leader of the government (Mr. Bennett) trying to sell to the people of Canada what we might call an artificial Cana-dianism. I fancy this is an example of what The Address-Mr. McIntosh they call their Canada first policy. We have in Canada to-day canned foods, canned music and canned propaganda, and we have in the speech from the throne an example of a canned or restricted Canadianism. And hon. gentlemen opposite are trying to sell to the people of Canada this canned Canadianism. That is to say, they tell us that if we tie up the national qualities of the Canadian people to the Tory program we shall have prosperity and happiness. Tie up the program of the government to the faith, the fortitude, the honesty and the industry of the Canadian people and it will not be long before we have Canada actually and ideally bridged when all will be well, and we shall never have to submit again to world depression. Now that is all nonsense; it is simply an impossible viewpoint. The Canadian people will judge for themselves what party and what policy they will support in the years to come, and I only hope the people of this country will do their best to become thoroughly posted on national problems-so thoroughly posted that when they go to the polls every four or five years they will make no mistake, but will decide squarely on the issues before them. If they do so I am satisfied that we shall not have the mistake repeated which was made last July, when a government that was progressive in every sense of the word was torpedoed and an opposition without much history behind it was returned to sit on the right of Mr. Speaker. With regard to the second part of the speech from the throne, figuratively speaking, so far as the triangle I mentioned is concerned, we have the portions dealing with the special session of parliament, the Imperial conference, and one or two other things. At the special session of parliament we dealt with unemployment and the sum of 820,000,000 was brought down with the idea of wiping out unemployment. The Prime Minister and his cabinet ministers and all their followers in the election said, "If you just give us one chance we will wipe out unemployment; we will do away with it. We will not discuss it or consider it, but will absolutely eliminate it." And the people of Canada took them at their word. I do not believe that one unemployed person in Canada voted for the present opposition in the election. Practically every unemployed man and woman in Canada went to the polls and voted for our friends opposite. Those hon. gentlemen therefore are absolutely on trial, and unless they can fairly and squarely face this issue and remove it from the arena of party politics, standing true to their promises, I am afraid their political stock will go down considerably during the next few years. What do we find with regard to unemployment? We find that in 1930, August 1, the employment figure was 118 * S; on September 1, 116-6; October 1, 116-2; November 1, 112-9; December 1, 108-5; January 1, 101*7; and February 1, 100-7. That means that the employment index of Canadian industry has dropped from 118 to 100, a decline of 18 points in nine months; that is to say, 2 points per month. If that is not mathematical proof that hon. gentlemen opposite are not facing fairly t'he issue of employment and unemployment, I should like to know what they desire in the way of proof. Take again the unemployment situation. Unemployment on July 31 stood at 9-2; August 31, 9-3; September 30, 9-4; October 31, 10-8; November 30, 13'. 8-you will observe it is steadily increasing __December 31, 17; January 31, 16. In other words, the unemployment index has increased from 9-2 to 16, which is an increase of 7 points in practically nine months, or almost 1 point per month. That is another proof, so far as unemployment is concerned, that the situation has not improved. It is the duty of hon. gentlemen opposite to face the music and have this stigma removed from our national life, as they promised to do. The other part of the speech from the throne deals with the present program of the government. We can neither analyze nor criticize it until it is brought down. When it is before us we shall study it. Now, face o face with the speech from the throne, with ,hese three aspects of it, is the amendment moved by the right hon. leader of the opposition (Mr. Mackenzie King). That amendment, I think, is very effectively arranged. The first part of it deals with the fact that the policy of hon. gentlemen opposite has not proven any remedy in the way of putting an end to unemployment; that agricultural conditions are worse than they were nine months ago; that industrial unemployment is worse than it was nine months ago; that our revenues are decreasing, and unless we do something Canada is in financial danger. The second part of the amendment deals with the fact that the Imperial conference was not a success; and that the policy propounded, the way in which it was presented, and what was done to defeat a freer trade budget in the election and, in its place, to erect high tariff walls in the House of Commons before the Prime Minister went to London, rendered the Imperial conference not only a farce but an imperial blunder. In this regard, then, the conclusion is reached that our trade relations with the motherland have been



The Address-Mr. McIntosh adversely affected, and until something is done conditions are not going to improve. And the last part of the amendment expresses the hope that the Prime Minister and his party, when the conference re-convenes in Ottawa, will do better than the right hon. gentleman did in London; because the situation in Canada is serious and all Canadians are looking to hon. gentlemen opposite for guidance through the depressing conditions now prevailing. May I now deal briefly with certain matters touching the riding I have the honour to represent in the House of Commons. Before leaving for Ottawa in March I thought it would be wise to have a certain number of public meetings in the constituency in order to find out just what the people were thinking about in the way of a national policy and the record of the government. To this end meetings were held at eleven or twelve different points. One meeting was held at Whitkow, and at that meeting the people went on record 100 per cent as being opposed to high protection and in favour of freer trade. At Turtleford there was only a small minority in favour of high protection; the meeting went by a large vote in favour of freer trade for Canada. At Edam the meeting voted in favour of three important resolutions. One of these resolutions was with regard to the Hudson Bay railway, the Hudson bay port, Churchill, and trade between Canada and the motherland via Churchill. The idea was expressed that the lower the rates we had across the north Atlantic, the better the port facilities, and the more the Crowsnest rates were applied to the Hudson Bay railway, the greatei success that artery of traffic would be. Another resolution went in favour of a bonus to wheat farmers in order that they might get cost of production out of the 1980 crop. The third resolution was in favour of freer trade as opposed to high and higher protection in Canada. This was the sentiment by almost a straight 100 per cent. The next day another meeting was held at Medstead which went on record as being opposed to the drastic action of putting tariffs higher and higher in Canada. At Borden also the meeting went on record as being in favour of freer trade as opposed to protection. At Maymont the same thing took place. At Speers there was the same result. At Krydor, where 350 people were present, the meeting went on record as being one hundred per cent in favour of freer trade as opposed to higher protection. At Hafford the following night the meeting went on record as being in favour of freer trade as opposed to higher protection. £Mr. McIntosh.] At Glaslyn the meeting went on record as being in favour of a fiscal system along the line of freer trade as opposed to a fiscal system which afforded higher protection and which would in time divide Canada and ruin her export trade. Previous to these meetings being held I had received resolutions from all sections of my riding, and I believe this to be the proper time to bring them to the attention of this house. This is the time when all hon. members should be given an idea of just what is taking place and the conditions which prevail in the different ridings of Canada. This is about the only way in which an hon. member can find out exactly what the conditions are industrially and commercially. The first resolution was received from Meota, a few miles out of North Battleford, and reads as follows: 1. That we advocate government supervision of the grain exchange. 2. That we ask the federal government to guarantee a minimum fixed price of seventy cents for the 1930 wheat crop. The resolution received from Turtleford reads as follows: Resolved that the Dominion government be requested to set a minimum price for wheat of seventy cents per bushel basis No. 1 northern. Fort William or Port Arthur. The resolution received from Speers reads as follows: In view of the very serious situation that has developed as a result of the collapse of the wheat market:- we the members of the wheat pool^ "Speers local" urgently request that the Dominion government guarantee a minimum price of seventy cents a bushel at Fort William for No. 1 northern wheat grown during the season of 1930. These resolutions contain many suggestions including a fixed price for wheat. The resolution received from Rabbit Lake reads as follows: Resolved: That this council demand that Dominion government take steps to stabilize *the wheat market so that a minimum price of at least seventy cents be maintained. From another point in the north, at Edam, the following was received: 1. That the Dominion government be strongly urged to set a price of seventy cents per bushel basis No. 1 at Fort William. 2. That the Dominion government are hereby requested to supervise the Canadian banks with regard to interest charges and have same reduced to a maximum of seven per cent. 3. That in the opinion of this meeting it has become necessary and expedient for the Dominion government in the interests of the farming community to declare a moratorium until such time as conditions affecting agriculture shall have sufficiently improved to warrant its removal. The Address-Mr. McIntosh 4. That whereas the price to-day is approximately 56 cents Fort William for one bushel of No. 1 wheat, and whereas the price to-day is approximately $3.35 per 98 pound sack of flour. This meeting is of the opinion, and strongly urges the Dominion government that a price be set on all wheat used for consumption in Canada of one dollar and twenty-five cents per bushel. And further that the price of flour per 98 pound sack should also be set at a reasonable price, which should not exceed present P 5. That all freight rates be lowered twenty per cent. These resolutions have been received from points in northern Saskatchewan and they give a resume of the conditions prevailing in western Canada. They were received from pool and U.F.C. locals, the members of which know what they are talking about. When they say that conditions are serious, they are serious. I would like to know what the government intends to do. Resolutions were also received from Spiritwood, about eighty miles north of North Battleford, reading as follows: (a) That a moratorium be asked for embracing a period of one year at least, or for such time as is necessary to give facilities to the farmer to revert to his accustomed prosperity. (b) That all interests and indemnities on taxes bo cancelled until a fair measure of pros-peritv be restored. (e) Failing a moratorium, the meeting asks that no pressure be brought to bear against those persons upon whom debts are pressing heavily. , (d) That all debts owing by farmers to banks, machine companies or any wealthy corporation be treated in the same manner as shown in resolution (b). (e) That a set price be established on wheat and other agricultural products, and in the event of the selling price falling below this set price that the difference be met by general taxation. . (f) That all banks, natural resources, timber. mines, oil wells, and water-powers be nationalized. (g) That the extension of credit should be through the banks alone, controlled by the government. with a suitable provision made for those in distress for whom the said credit was rendered necessary, I notice the hon. Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Weir) is not in his seat, but that is nothing uncommon. Throughout this present session the members of the cabinet seem to be always absent. They are the ones individually and collectively responsible to Canada, but they absent themselves when important discussions are taking place. I would suggest to the hon. Minister of Agriculture that although he and his department, as well as the right hon. the Prime Minister have been telling us during the last six months that mixed farming would be the saving grace of western Canada, such statements do not apply to the constituency of North Battle-ford nor to northern Saskatchewan. That part of Canada has been carrying on mixed farming for the last fifteen or twenty years. It has the best water and feed facilities for that class of farming and is also benefited through having more natural protection than have the prairies. _ _ The people too possess the determination to go ahead, and they have gone ahead. They have worked by day and by night; they have toiled late and early; they have done their utmost; they have economized as best they could but they find their position to-day to be a precarious one. They find they are in financial difficulties; they find that their farms and the equities they have in them are slipping away from them, they find that they cannot pay their debts and that they owe the banks and the machine companies, and consequently something must be done. When a whole community or a whole industry finds itself in danger, naturally it looks in all directions for help. The farmers of northern Saskatchewan and of the North Battleford federal riding have been looking to the Agriculture department, to the Minister of Agriculture, to the Prime Minister and to his cabinet for many months past to see if any help was forthcoming. I read resolution after resolution which shows that the farmers think they ought to have a fixed price for their wheat. They think that because parliament met in special session in September and the government pegged the price of 170 articles which the farmers have to buy, the Prime Minister should in the name of justice come as well to the aid of agriculture. Although the system of pegging the price of wheat or any other product may not be a sound one economically, is there any reason in the world why a government which would go to the rescue of the manufacturers and the industrialists, Should not come forward and extend equal help to the farmers? These men constitute the foundation of agriculture, the basic industry of Canada, they make the wealth upon which Canada prospers; they cultivate the soil upon which all secondary industries are based and unless they succeed our industrial fabric will fall to the ground. Is there any reason why this government should not do something? Is there? I understand 'that these resolutions were most carefully forwarded to the Prime Minister and his colleagues but not one cabinet minister has dared to bring a solitary one of them to the attention of the house. Not one has been read to the house, and that is the reason I am bringing them to light and asking this government to take immediate and constructive action upon them. The Prime Minister came out to Regina and said that nothing would be done, but I tell



The Address-Mr. McIntosh him this afternoon that 'that does not satisfy the western agriculturists; they are going to see that something will be done or something will be doing. They are going to carry on the fight and if they do not obtain redress, we all know what is going to take place when the next elections occur-there are not going to be as many votes cast in western Canada for Tory candidates.


?

An hon. MEMBER:

We will take a chance.

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LIB

Cameron Ross McIntosh

Liberal

Mr. McINTOSH:

Well, it will be a chance, and a very slim one.

The Minister of Agriculture has been doing considerable advertising. I believe in advertising if you have a good thing to advertise, but it should be remembered that every time you advertise you have to make good or else you will fall behind. The hon. minister has been telling us what he is going to do, he has told us about the wonderful national agricultural policy which he is going to evolve. We have not seen it as yet. I would like to have him bring that down with the other resolutions that were spoken of. Let him bring it out of the closet even for half an hour. Let us examine the creature. The day has gone by for talking theoretically about mixed farming, for promises, discussions, mere conferences, announcements, commissions, theories, departmental propaganda, press despatches and statements of policy in magazines and weekly and daily newspapers across the country. The time for action has arrived. The time for fooling, twisting, backing up and turning, and doing nothing practical is over, and I should like to see the government sitting to the right of you, Mr. Speaker, do something. If something practical were done in the way of proving to Canada that agriculture and particularly wheat growing under present conditions and under the present extremely capitalistic fiscal policy, cannot prosper, that would at least be a constructive proceeding.

For instance, I would like to see the Minister of Agriculture, backed up by the government and their supporters in the house, start say two or three practical farms in Saskatchewan, in order to prove this. Let him pick out a farm in northern Saskatchewan, another in the centre and a third in the south. Let him make the farm whatever size he likes. Let him appoint a manager, select his working crew, and secure machinery. Let them start to cultivate the soil scientifically, with all the energy they have. Let the head men be selected by the Minister of Agriculture and the Prime Minister of Canada, and let them go to work and try to

fMr. McIntosh.]

demonstrate to the people of Saskatchewan, north, south, east and west, whether agriculture can prosper under the fiscal system of higher and higher tariff as we have it to-day in western Canada. I venture to say that such an experiment cannot succeed, but I would like to see a real business test made to find out just where agriculture stands.

A farm managed in that way would have a system of accounting and would be expected to pay operating expenses, wages of the help, interest on capital invested, depreciation, repairs and dividends. If it cannot pay these items as big business, industry and commerce pay them, then it will be amply demonstrated to all Canada that with the best of virgin soil, the best of management, the best of equipment and everything in its favour excepting a false fiscal system, agriculture is in the doldrums and cannot be gotten out without some help. It is in a slough of despond. Something practical and constructive ought to be brought forward to prove that under present conditions the problem of farming must be faced resolutely and courageously, with no more theories and mere discussions, and without any more promises made to the people. The time for correlated action has arrived, and the people of Canada are anxiously awaiting for the government to do something.

We have heard from time to time from hon. members opposite that the farmers of western Canada do not know their business; that they do not know how to cultivate the soil; that they are not practical.

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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

That they are

lazy.

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LIB

Cameron Ross McIntosh

Liberal

Mr. McINTOSH:

They tell us they are

not thrifty enough. They tell us that they do not go at the problem of agriculture constructively as our railway authorities and commercial experts do in their particular lines.

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LIB-PRO

Arthur-Lucien Beaubien

Liberal Progressive

Mr. BEAUBIEN:

The hon. member for

Brome-Missisquoi (Mr. Pickel) has aocused them of being lazy.

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LIB

Cameron Ross McIntosh

Liberal

Mr. McINTOSH:

Yes. They tell us that the farmers of western Canada are lazy and that no matter what you do with those at present farming in western Canada, they cannot get anywhere. I resent that unfair imputation. Let the Prime Minister, who is a man of big business, and other hon. gentlemen who are men of genius, so we are told, get behind these practical farms. Let them give these farms their united support and let us see what they can prove to the people of

The Address-Mr. Barrette

Canada with regard to the farming situation. If they can prove that such farms can be made a success, their political future is made. If they cannot do so, their political future is not made; it will be doomed to dire failure, and something constructive for agriculture will have to be undertaken from coast to coast.

May I give some figures just to illustrate the present serious agricultural situation? I have under my hand a trade chart, and I find that price trends are all against the agriculturist and in favour of the industrialist. The figures are as follows:

Price Trend

Declines in commodity price levels from November, 1929, to January, 1931

lion and steel 5 percent

Pipe 2.2 per cent

Scrap -

19.4 percentHardware

1.6 percentWire

no changeManufactured Products

14.5 percentFlour and milled products.. 39.5 percentTextiles and fibres

15.9 percentRaw cotton

41.3 percentCotton fabrics

10.1 percentRaw wool

37.4 per centWool cloth

14.0 percentCarpets

no changeFarm products across Canada.. 49.7 percent

Field crops throughout the

Dominion 54.6 percent

The price of grain in western Canada has declined practically 60 per cent; in other words, wheat is worth now only 40 per cent of what it was a year ago, and the farmer is caught betwixt the upper and nether millstone, -between the price of the industrial products he has to buy, which has been pegged by the present government, and the price of the farm products he has to sell. Consequently, there should be no misunderstanding as to the reason for his present serious economic condition.

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CON

Joseph Arthur Barrette

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. J. A. BARRETTE (Translation) (Ber-thier-Maskinonge):

Mr. Speaker, I first wish

to extend my congratulations to the mover and seconder of the address in reply to the speech from the thrcne. In carrying out their task they made use of very appropriate language and their eloquence did them credit.

I wish also to refer to the sudden demise of two colleagues who were still with us at the emergency session in September last. I mean the hon. member for Hamilton (Mr. Rennie) whom I had not the privilege of knowing personally, but my recollection of him is that of an upright man, who has known but the path which leads to honour. As to the hon. member for Three Rivers (Mr. Bettez), I knew him intimately and he frankly welcomed me to his friendship. The member for Three Rivers was truly one to emulate, he was a

conscientious worker and the result at the polls on July 28, 1930, was ample proof of his popularity. Yet, the old Liberal guard was hostile to him. The leader of this faction was the hon. Senator Jacques Bureau, who openly opposed Mr. Bettez, and that surely was the cause of bitter feelings and heartburns in the ranks of the Liberal party, and I hope the effects will be apparent shortly; when the by-election takes place.

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LIB

Pierre-Joseph-Arthur Cardin

Liberal

Mr. CARDIN (Translation):

That remains to be seen!

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CON

Joseph Arthur Barrette

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BARRETTE (Translation):

It affords me much pleasure to welcome back my friend the ex-Minister of Justice (Mr. Lapointe), following his illness; I knew him on the benches of our university. He is a fine specimen of our race and certainly does us credit.

May I state, sir, that following the elections of 1911, I had the privilege of visiting western Canada. In passing through Calgary I was the guest of honour of the member who then represented that riding, at Ottawa, the right hon. Mr. Bennett, and on that occasion I predicted that he would one day become Prime Minister of Canada. My prophecy has come true. I was a guest at dinner that night of the Prime Minister of to-day.

In 1911, I was elected as member for the riding of Berthier, and from 1911 to 1917 my contentions are that I conscientiously fulfilled my duties as the people's representative in this house. I honestly admit that, at times, it was a real hardship to detach mysel'f from my party, especially on questions of the utmost importance. On imperial questions- those of a higher order-I almost invariably took issue with my party. I obeyed in this the voice of my conscience and justified the expectations of those who had done me the honour of electing me in 1911. I always stated openly what was in my mind and I shall continue to abide by the same rule.

In 1921, I was a candidate in the riding of Berthier. In 1925 and in 1926 I was a candidate in the riding of Berthier-Maskinonge- there was an increase in the family. In each of these elections, you must recall the fact, you gentlemen of the Liberal party, an appeal was made to fanaticism, to public passions, and it was stated that all the leaders of the Conservative party then and in the past, were dangerous imperialists. To be an imperialist meant to foster the interests of England in preference to those of Canada: all for England and nothing for Canada. You will recall, sir, that in all those elections, in the Liberal shops new wars were being turned

5S6

The Address-Mr. Barrette

out. In 1921 it was in Japan. In 1925 and 1926 it was in Russia. In 1930 it was in India. The latter being a dangerous and a serious one. The following manoeuvres were concocted in Liberal clubs: we shall organize, we the good Liberals; once more shall we frighten the people, we shall wave the flag of conscription and with such phantoms we shall win the elections. They succeeded in 1921; again they did the trick in 1925 and 1926, but in 1930 they missed their shot. To prove to you how well their manoeuvres were planned, may I tell you that the Liberals organized an extraordinary press campaign, threats of conscription were resorted to by a leading newspaper of Montreal, three days previous to the 1930 elections:

Threats of Conscription

The English Imperialists rely on the Conservatives of Canada assuming powTer in order to submit at the next Imperial conference in London the question of the empire's defence and a project of military conscription extending to all dominions.

They made use of such an item to further their end, this newspaper was distributed in large numbers in the most remote places of all French speaking counties in Quebec, and even in other provinces where French Canadian parishes existed. This means that absolutely nothing was neglected to influence public opinion, everything was permissible, even the w'aving of the flag of conscription, in order to secure a victory similar to those of 1921, 1925 and 1926.

To show you how little consistent were these prophets of calamities, may I ask what happened to the amendment of the member for Yamaska, which was moved on December 3, 1912, when the debate on the address in reply to the speech from the throne took place? Did those who were then members of this house, support this amendment worded as follows:

That this house is ready and willing to adopt, at any time, efficient measures for the defence of Canada, an autonomous colony under the British crown; but that this house is nevertheless of opinion that the Canadian parliament has no right to impose on the Canadian people responsibilities in regard to the general defence of the empire, as long as under the present statutes of constitutional relations between Canada and the United Empire of Great Britain and Ireland, the government of His Majesty responsible to the people of the United Empire alone, will reserve for itself the exclusive management and control of Imperial and international questions.

This amendment was opposed by the Prime Minister of that date. He stated that he could not accept such an amendment maintaining that its adoption would prevent

Canada of even raising a finger in defence of the empire. I notice that, of all those who are in the house, I am the only one who supported that amendment. No one else here now gave it their support. As to the result of the vote, you may refer to the debates of 1912, page 590. The only members, at that time, who voted in favour of this amendment were Messrs. Achim, Barrette, Lamarche and Mondou.

In the course of the same session, Sir Robert Borden moved that an amount of $35,000,000 be appropriated to increase the empire's naval forces. I supported the leader of the opposition, Sir Wilfrid Laurier, who opposed this measure which fortunately was rejected in the Senate.

On June 20, 1917, I had the privilege to move in the house a subamendment to Bill No. 75, known generally as the Conscription Act, and which is as follows:

That all the words after the word "that" be struck out and the following substituted therefor: "this bill be not now read a second time, but it be read a second time this day six months."

The following were the views of the director of the Devoir, at that time. The hon. member for Labelle (Mr. Bourassa), at a large meeting which he held on the following night, June 21, 1917, in the St. Henry Hall, stated:

A subamendment has just been moved by a member whom 1 cannot exactly place and whose intentions I do not wish to know, but which should oblige everybody to vote by a straight "yes" or "no."

It is the sub-amendment of Mr. Barrette, member for Berthier, who moved the six months hoist of the bill, in other words, its death without a murmur.

Mr. Georges Pelletier, one of the principal editors of the Devoir, wrote:

The proposal of Mr. Barrette, member for Berthier, to give the Borden bill a six months' hoist, is rational, from whatever quarter it may come. It will have the advantage to show * to the people who is for and against conscription. Everybody will have to vote on the principle itself of the bill. This will seem somewhat embarrassing for many politicians, but one must bear in mind first that the interest of the country as a whole passes before those of private individuals. Those interested will come out from their hiding places-and that is what the electorate demands.

And the vote was taken. Nine members supported the subamendment.

The following were the views, at the time, of the editor of the newspaper La Province, and who, is to-day the hon. Postmaster General (Mr. Sauve):

The six months' hoist is nothing less than a motion^ to kill the bill. It is a parliamentary way of strongly opposing a bill. We regret

The Address-Mr. Barrette

that Sir Wilfrid Laurier did not see fit to have his followers vote in favour of Mr. Barrette's subamendment. Would not this have been the means of proving his sincerity and firm determination of opposing conscription?

May I point out to the house that after voting for the subamendment, I gave my support to Sir Wilfrid Laurier's referendum.

I also wish to point out that I voted later, against the conscription bill.

The Liberal party, in voting against my sub-amendment, accepted the principle of conscription, according to the evidence just quoted. The leaders of the Liberal party who had the privilege of travelling through France after the war had quite a different story to tell over there. They stated that here, in Canada, we were all of the same mind and that the Canadian people had made an extraordinary effort in the war.

Some with mezzo-soprano voices, but all with unusual glee proclaimed that we were ready to make any sacrifice for England, for the defence of the empire and to help France. Shortly after, we read in the press of this country that Messrs Dandurand, Lemieux, Taschereau, Beland had been awarded decorations by the French Republic for services rendered to France.

And, I do not wish to omit the provincial secretary, the Hon. Mr. Athanase David, who while in France had himself dubbed "Ministre des Beaux Arts." He also was given a little button-hole rosette for his devotion to the cause of the defence of the national policy. I could mention many others who were thus awarded decorations.

Once back on this side, these people still proclaimed: "We are still against all participation in the war, against any Canadian effort." They once more appeal to prejudice. And why? Did they intend thereby to prove their sincerity? Had France known of this deception would she still have awarded decorations to these gentlemen? I have my doubts.

I am not aware that the ex-Minister of Justice (Mr. Lapointe), whose presence in the house I heartily welcome, has been awarded any decorations. If he has, he does not attach to them as much importance as ro his other hon. friends. If he has not, then I congratulate him, because it is well that France should know her true friends. After pointing out these facts, I wonder who will truly prove themselves to be real national heroes.

I shall add a word about that Senator prisoner. From 1914 to 1918, Senator Beland was a prisoner of war. The Conservative party did its utmost to come to his rescue. He was even paid his parliamentary indemnity

during his entire absence from the house; he was paid the sum of $16,000. The hon. Minister of Justice of that day, Mr. Doherty, offered to exchange two German prisoners, known as Baron Von Polenz and Baron Mundheim in order to have our Canadian prisoner set free. On his return to this country, in his native village of Louiseville, the hon. Senator declared that the Canadian government had carried out their entire duty in the Great war. But when the elections were in full swing, he held public meetings and appealed to prejudice so as to rouse public opinion against the Conservative party which previously, according to his own words, had fulfilled their entire duty. Those were his thanks to his friends who had come to his rescue during the war.

At the last general elections, the leader of the Conservative party carried on a very remarkable campaign. He pledged himself to work out a national and truly Canadian policy, that of "Canada First." Tariff protection was to be given, for the first time, a place of honour in this country. The leaders of the Liberal party never were sincere in applying the policy of protection, and each time the Liberal party endeavoured to deal with this economic problem, the people always withdrew from them their confidence. Thus, in 1911, one of the principal factors of the Liberal party's defeat was-in addition to the naval question-the fiscal policy advocated by the hon. Mr. Fielding. In 1931), the Dunning budget was equally rejected by the popular vote. The results of the last election has wholly changed the appearance of this house. My eyes are resting on my friend the exMinister of Justice who sat on this side of the house, and because of his personal charm, I feel sorry to see him sitting on the opposition benches. All is different, "toto coelo differt." A great change has taken place. However, I trust that the change is for the best and in the interest of the Canadian people.

The Right Hon. Arthur Meighen stated one day:

I have no fear of going before the Canadian electorate when an actual question of protection arises, because the Canadian people are protectionists.

The Prime Minister also promised, to the farmers and industrialists, the old age pensions, unemployment relief and cessation of immigration. Having assumed power on July 28, what did our government do? They first stopped the flow of immigration in prder to protect the Canadian workers. They called an emergency session and appropriated $20,000,000 to help the unemployed. They then

The Address-Mr. Barrette

appreciably increased the tariff on foreign products so as to help the farming and industrial classes.

The leader of the Liberal party, when in power, made the following statement:

The government cannot be held responsible for this economic crisis: it is word-wide and unemployment exists mostly in our opponents' imagination.

Now that the Conservatives are in power if anything goes wrong, they say: The fault lies with the Tories. You may judge, sir, how rational these gentlemen are!

Truly, could we have done more? Since our party assumed power, we have had an emergency session, an Imperial conference and prepared the program of an important session in the course of which we shall enact measures with the view of bringing back prosperity to this country.

The Liberals contend that butter still sells at low prices. That may be. They filled our cold-storages with foreign butter from the very first year of their administration up to October of last year. We have butter to last a year. It is therefore not astonishing that butter sells cheap.

An hon. MEMBER (Translation): There is no more.

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CON

Joseph Arthur Barrette

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BARRETTE (Translation):

To realize how popular protection was, even among the Liberals, ask the ex-ministers, those who wield the greatest influence in the Liberal ranks, such as the ex-minister of National Revenue (Mr. Euler), the ex-minister of Trade and Commerce (Mr. Malcolm), the ex-Minister of Justice (Mr. Lapointe). Did they interfere with the tariff affecting the principal industries existing in their ridings? I do not think so. Were tariff changes made on boots and shoes in the riding of Quebec East? Were tariff changes made affecting the industries which were operating in Huron and North Bruce? I am not aware of it.

The Liberal, moreover, contend that the Conservative policy tends to protect private interests. What is the nature of these private interests and whom do they affect? Are they referring to the Canadian Pacific Railway whose president, Mr. Beatty, is an intimate friend of the hon. leader cf the opposition, the former having been appointed chairman of a royal commission to inquire into the salaries of the civil servants and make suggestions? Do they refer to the bank of Montreal, where the government make their deposits? Are they the textile companies? Are those industries too highly protected?

I Mr. Barrette.]

Mr. ST-PERE (Translation): Certainly.

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CON

Joseph Arthur Barrette

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BARRETTE (Translation):

They are too highly protected?

Mr. ST-PERE (Translation): Yes.

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CON

Joseph Arthur Barrette

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BARRETTE (Translation):

In what

respect?

Mr. ST-PERE (Translation) : We shall

prove it.

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CON

Joseph Arthur Barrette

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BARRETTE (Translation):

Does the amendment moved by the hon. leader of the opposition suggest any remedies? No, sir. That amendment simply express regrets of not being any longer in power; that the present government has done nothing so far and has greatly increased the unemployment crisis. Again do I state that the amendment moved by the hon. leader of the opposition suggests absolutely nothing which can be of any help to the farming class or even to the unemployed.

What do we find in the speech from the throne? A pledge is given that special arrangements will be made with foreign countries and that a tariff board will be appointed.

I could enumerate many good results accruing from a protective tariff. In my own riding, in the town of Louiseville, the Associated Textiles is in operation since a year and employs 400 people, next autumn it will employ 800, and this is due to tariff protection as advocated by the right hon. Prime Minister. The following is an extract from the newspaper The Drapeau, dated March 24, 1931: Deeds Speak Louder Than Words

As Le Drapeau announced last week, the Nash Company will establish an automobile factory in Canada.

On his return to the United States, after having made here the necessary arrangements for the organization of a new company to be known as the Dominion Motors Limited, Mr. Nash made the following statement:

1. The aim of the Nash Motors Company, in this new enterprise, is to serve the best interests of Canadian distributors and salesmen of the Nash car pursuant to the new tariff regulations of Canada;

2. Owing to my long experience and my practical knowledge of leaders among Canadian business men, I must acknowledge my deep admiration for their manufacturing ability and their spirit of progress in industrial matters.

These are two instances which cannot be invoked in support of the old policy of Mackenzie King. The first company mentioned states that it is the Bennett tariff that put them under the necessity of establishing a factory in Canada.

This is a statement which further strengthens others of that nature and is a clear proof of the beneficial effects of the policy which Mr. APRIL 14, 1931

The Address-Mr. Barrette

King persists in regarding as detrimental. The American workers who are employed in the manufacture of motor cars, which Mr. Nash sells later to Canadians, also find this policy disastrous, since it will deprive them of work which will hereafter be done by the artisans of this country.

Mr. Nash's statement has almost the same importance, for we must not forget that Mr. Bennett stated at the short session of September, 1930, that it was recognized that Canada possessed the natural resources and 'the technical business equipment to supply all its requirements in manufactured products. The American and English industrialists are acknowledging this fact. In less than eight months Mr. Bennett gave work to more than 200,000 people. Mr. King will have to make many speeches before this is forgotten.

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CON

Hugh Guthrie (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. HUGH GUTHRIE (Minister of Justice) :

I do not like to interrupt the hon.

member who is speaking, but through an agreement by all parties I must call your attention to the fact, Mr. Speaker, that it is now six o'clock.

At six o'clock the house took recess.

After Recess

The house resumed at eight o'clock.

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CON

Joseph Arthur Barrette

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BARRETTE (Translation):

When

the house, sir, took recess at 4.30 o'clock this afternoon so that we might attend a lovely wedding, I was just going to discuss the Imperial conference. Our opponents were inquiring: who will represent Canada at the Imperial conference? They felt anxious about the fate of Canada. Yet, time has shown that our delegates did as much credit and lived up to the expectations of the Canadian people. Our Prime Minister played one of the leading parts at that conference. He proclaimed the policy "Canada first" in the presence of our King, George V, and the Prime Minister of England. This policy met with the approval of the dominions and also that of the leader of the Conservatives in England. I am pleased to quote in this connection the views of the director of the Devoir:

"In my opinion," he says, "and I state this after giving it full consideration, the Prime Minister took the right attitude at the opening of the conference."

The ex-Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) devoted the greatest part of his speech to the Imperial conference. He seems to attach much importance to the fate of the empire. How things have changed! To-day, our leader returns more Canadian and our good friends in the opposition find that

the Prime Minister of this country is not sufficiently English. Quite the contrary to what had been contended that all the leaders of our nation were avowed Imperialists, to-day it is thought that they are not imperialist enough.

The leader of the Liberal party in his splendid speech on the address in reply to the speech from the throne stated:

I never thought the day would come in this parliament, Mr. Speaker, when it would fall to the lot of any member of this House of Commons to protest against an attempt on the part of a Canadian ministry, to force the hand of a British government but since that day has come there appears to be an element of poetic justice in the circumstance that I have the privilege of being the first to make that protest. 1 do make it very strongly indeed, that any ministry from Canada should seek, by means of coercion to influence the government of Great Britain with respect to any matter of policy which is entirely within its own rights.

Recently an order in council placing an embargo on Russian products was passed by the Canadian cabinet. For that act the Prime Minister received congratulations from the whole country. Among the high dignitaries in religious and civil life who approved of such action, I must especially quote an extract of an article by the Rev. Abbe Omer Valois, editor of the Action Populaire, dated March 5, 1931:

All will admit that Mr. Bennett's government has just made a decision which will have a great social bearing. By Order in Council, he has prohibited the entry of Russian products into Canada: lumber of all kind, paper-pulp, pulp-wood, asbestos and furs. Our natural resources are unrivalled and as unemployment exists, this is not the time to import things which God has placed at our disposal. AVe must protect ourselves-as the United State have done by prohibiting the entry of Russian lumber in their country-against a nation which has virtually reduced the workers to the state of slavery.

May I now, sir, make a few comments on the wheat crisis. I lately cut out an article from the Action Catholique quoting the Oservatore Romano, which suggested a solution to the wheat .crisis. If you will permit me, sir, I shall read this article, it is interesting:

"Store up the wheat in the years of abundance, by withdrawing from the markets its surplus so as to return to the market in lean years." This solution written in biblical style is suggested in the present wheat crisis, by the "Oservatore Romano" the Vatican organ, on the eve of the International wheat Congress which opens to-day in Rome.

"The newspaper adds:" thus the price of wheat could be controlled, and, to attain this end, a small proportion of the world's gold resources would suffice.

The Address-Mr. Barrette

The present surplus of wheat is 420,000,000 bushels. If this wheat was bought at a fixed price of two shillings and nine pence per bushel, that would only call for 2J per cent of the world's gold reserves.

This brings us back to the time of Pharaoh's regime, the latter had as his administrator Joseph who was sold by his brothers. I shall not refer to the wife of Potiphar. If you remember this narrat-iye, Joseph had been appointed superintendent by Pharaoh; the former had accumulated in the granaries of the country'' the entire surplus of wheat accruing from years of abundance and the legend tells us that-

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LIB

Joseph Georges Bouchard

Liberal

Mr. BOUCHARD (Translation):

History.

Mr. ST-PERE (Translation): History', not the legend.

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April 14, 1931