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
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