April 14, 1931

CON

Joseph Arthur Barrette

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BARRETTE (Translation):

History

tells us that in the lean y'ears Joseph's policy rendered great service to humanity. I do not see w'hy' w'e should not adopt the same policy in this country.

One third, sir, of the population of Canada speaks the French language, and I think that proportionately to the total population, we are responsible for one third of the country's debts, w'e should, therefore, on the same basis, equally enjoy its privileges. I have always felt independent in parliament. The leader of the Conservative party' stated, at the last elections, that Quebec would not be neglected and nothing would be too good for her. I heartily and joyfully endorsed such a statement. I am aware that the Prime Minister has been too busy to look into this matter and grant what we have a right to expect, however, I hope that the day is not far off when w'e shall receive all that we have a right to, when we shall hold the position to w'hich w'e are entitled in this country. Under the late administration w'e were neglected; we must be better dealt with and I feel certain that the leader of the government will be lavish in his grants.

As long as I occupy' a seat in this parliament, rest assured that I shall be the champion of our rights, race, language and creed.

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UFA

William Irvine

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. WILLIAM IRVINE (Wetaskiwin):

Mr. Speaker, seeing that the bird of time has but a little way to flutter and the bird is on the wing, I hope the hon. gentlemen who moved and seconded the address to His Excellency will take the amenities for granted.

The speech from the throne which is now being discussed by the house is, I think, characteristic of most of such speeches which it has been my privilege to hear. It of

course claims a great deal more to have resulted from the actions of the government than the facts would warrant; in order to give much needed inspiration to the nation it indicates hopes of prosperity which really have no basis in economic reality; and it is as vague as to the scope and the nature of the legislation which is proposed as speeches of this kind usually are. With regard to the amendment, I think we may describe it as being cold cabbage from the table of the Liberal defeat which is no more acceptable after being warmed up than it was when first served. .

I want first of all frankly to recognize the colossal task which confronts the administration. There were no doubt tremendous difficulties to be overcome at the time of Confederation; in 1914 when this country entered the Great war the government of the day was faced with great tasks; but perhaps no government in the history of Canada has ever been called upon to grapple with problems so pressing, so baffling in their nature, so complex in their ramifications, and so fraught with possibilities both grave and hopeful as has the present government. I shall in a few moments attempt to describe very briefly the economic crisis through which we are passing. But before doing so let me indicate that so far as I can be of any assistance as an individual member of this house I desire to offer to the administration that cooperation which is embodied in the principles of the movement I represent. It is essential to my mind that the government should be successful. I notice that the right hon. leader of the opposition (Mr. Mackenzie King) already has branded the government as a failure before it has fairly got its toes in the stirrups of power, but I am rather inclined to think that the wish is father to the thought. What will happen if the government is a failure? If this government is a failure it will be the failure of Canada, and the

people of Canada will suffer accordingly. I would like to suggest to the opposition that it will show a greater fitness for power when it has indicated to the people of Canada that it has given assistance to the government in order to make it truly successful. Let it be said that the government has shown some action, as was stated by the hon. member for Southeast Grey (Miss Macphail). Whether that action meets with the approval of all members of this house or of the country at large remains to be seen, but at least the government has acted. It did relieve some of the distress caused by unemployment last winter; it did try to secure a market for

The Address-Mr. Irvine

Canadian wheat at prices higher than those prevailing in the markets of the world; it has checked immigration; it did guarantee the wheat pool to the banks, and it has raised the tariff. I presume that the raising of the tariff was the real policy of the administration. That was the policy upon which the government based its hopes for the wiping out of unemployment; that was the policy by the introduction of which the government hoped it would bring prosperity to Canada. I have no hesitation in saying that I think the hopes of the government were much too sanguine in that respect, but that was its policy and let me say again that if the right hon. leader of the opposition (Mr. Mackenzie King) in his nine years of power had reduced the tariff as much as the present government has raised it in eight months, his attack with respect to the keeping of promises would have had a great deal more force than I think we can attach to it.

Let me now for a moment glance at the economic situation. I would like to commend once more to the house the perusal of the speech made by the hon. member for Battle River (Mr. Spencer) and also the speech of the hon. member for Red Deer (Mr. Speak-man). These hon. gentlemen have not been accustomed to use hyperbole in their descriptions of the situation in western Canada. They know what they are talking about; they do not overdraw the picture. I shall not waste any of my time in giving more of the harrowing details to which this house has listened with respect to the conditions which exist at the present time in western Canada. Those hon. members who are in touch with public questions, as I am sure all members are, have noticed in the daily press that at meetings and conventions of farmers and before agricultural committees of the various legislative assemblies of the western provinces we have had voluminous evidences of an economic situation the like of which western Canada has never before experienced. This is not a criticism of the present administration; this is merely a statement of fact, and I shall indicate to you how it comes about.

The western farmers have not been put in a bad position just during the last year; the western farmers haw been suffering from unjust burdens for generations. It is sometimes said that it is a strange thing that agriculture in the west could not stand one bad year, and it is a marvel to some people in the east that the west is in such a plight when only 1930 is regarded as being a bad year. The situation is not so difficult to understand if we examine it carefully. Up to 1930 the farmers had been working from hand to mouth,

as the saying goes. They had been burdened with more than their share of taxation through the tariff; they were burdened with a higher rate of interest than is charged anywhere else in Canada; they were burdened with a heavy freight rate both coming and going on all the business which they had to do, and then, as now, they found themselves trying to sell wheat in a market that was really a dump market. They never had anything left over; they had no resources upon which they could fall back when a year like 1930 came along, and the result was that when it did come along they were in a very poor position to meet it.

I think it was the Prime Minister (Mr. Bennett) who remarked, in effect during the course of his speech, that while the world is passing through an economic crisis, if the Canadian government had applied proper policies during the last decade or so Canada might have escaped this crisis. I do not know to what extent it would have been possible for Canada to escape a condition which is world-wide, but I do know that certain things could have been done by previous governments which would have made a vast difference to the economic life of Canada at the present time. I will not forego this opportunity of laying at the door of the previous government one of the greatest crimes against Canada that ever has been committed by any government. I refer to the return to the gold standard which, either by their failure to understand or through their disregard of consequences, they deliberately perpetrated upon the people of Canada, more than doubling not only the national debt and the provincial and municipal debts, but all private debts contracted under the inflation which took place during the war, and by so doing they placed the farmers of the west in a position which is hopeless.

The government were well warned. I presume they did not think the warning was sufficiently backed by the intelligentsia because it happened to come from this corner, but the question of finance is not beyond the average intelligence, and in this corner of the house we have spent some time on it. We know it was wrong to go back to the gold basis; we warned the government not to do so. By so doing the government have defrauded the entire public of Canada in the interests of a few bondholders. By a proper policy on that one matter alone the previous government would have saved Canada from a great deal of what this country is suffering from at the present moment.

The Address-Mr. Irvine

Added to the burdens which come from an overstocked wheat market and the burdens which come from a tariff which is borne more by the western farmers than by any other class in Canada; added to the excessive interest charges and the doubled war debt brought about by going back to the gold basis, is the world situation. Of course none of us blames either the present or the previous government for the world situation, but we must not allow that world situation to excuse us from getting rid of it, as far as Canada is concerned, as speedily as possible. The depression is world-wide, and I do not know that we would be wise in blaming any particular government, because in this world of ours we have a great many different kinds of governments. We have Labour governments, Socialist governments, Communist governments, Fascist governments, Conservative governments, Republican governments, Liberal governments and even U. F. A. governments, and yet no government has been able to avoid its share of this world crisis. As a matter of fact, in my view the plain truth is that no government in the world knows exactly what to do at the present time. The present situation demands a new type of statesmanship; a vision which partyism seldom breeds, and a courage that may not be conducive to large majorities.

I believe that we are witnessing to-day throughout the world the disintegration of our economic system. I believe that, however long a time it may take to accomplish the transformation, we are passing out of the capitalistic Stage into what we sometimes call the cooperative commonwealth. I believe that the sooner governments appreciate that fact and, to the best of their ability, adjust themselves to the conditions as they exist, with that fact in view, the better it will be for every country concerned. I believe that nothing but disaster can come if we stand in the way of changes which are imminent, and try to carry on the old system in the old way. I believe, as I say, that we are witnessing a disintegration; and integration should certainly take place along with that disintegration if we wish to avoid greater difficulties.

Now let me turn for a few moments to a consideration of the government's policy in so far as it directly affects the agricultural class which I represent in this house. Protection for Canada is not a cure and never can be made a cure for any of our fundamental economic ills. Nevertheless it is in my opinion a necessity-a necessity in view of the laws of national existence, which are as rigorous

in their demands upon nations as is the law of life upon the individual. Either adaptation or death is the law of life, and Canada must obey that law, just as the individuals composing her citizenship must obey it.

What then is the condition to which Canada must necessarily adapt herself in relation to tariffs? The position may be stated very briefly. Practically every country in the world has barred its doors against the importation of Canadian goods. They did not wait for us to raise our tariffs; they raised theirs. That is the first fact. They may have been stupid in doing so, and I think that subsequent history will show that they were. But we cannot speculate on what might have been or what ought to be. It is what is that we must face. And that is the fact: they have actually raised their tariffs against Canada, not only with respect to her manufactured products but also with respect to her raw products such as wheat and every other kind of farm produce.

It has been very truly said by hon. gentlemen to my right that if we do not buy from other countries we cannot sell to other countries. Very true. But it is surely equally true that if we do not sell to other countries we cannot buy from other countries. And other countries have already said, "You cannot sell to us because we will, not allow you to do so." They have already put up their tariff walls. In this connection, let me quote a statement made at the Imperial conference. We have had a good many quotations from that memorable conference, and this is one of the memorable statements which we ought to notice. It is from a speech delivered at the conference by Mr. Thomas, the right hon gentleman whose famous phrase has been discussed at such length in this house. I quote Mr. Thomas:

I therefore, sir, on behalf of the United Kingdom government, want this morning to look at the cold facts as recorded in our trade returns. In 1928 the volume of the world's trade was, roughly, 20 per cent greater than in the pre-war year, 1913. In 1928 the empire trade as a whole had also increased by just about that amount, so that we find ourselves in this position, that, taking the British empire as a whole, its share in the world's trade marches as it were equally with that of the rest of the world. But when we come to the United Kingdom's share of the world's trade for the same period. 1913-1928, the United Kingdom's share of that trade is less by 20 per cent. Now, sir, those are very remarkable figures, and they clearly indicate that, whilst the empire as a whole has shared in the general world development in that period, so far as the United Kingdom's portion is concerned, we have not only not held our own, but we have very much gone back.

The Address-Mr. Irvine

In other words, while the protected world gained 20 per cent, while the protected members of the empire gained 20 per cent of trade in that given period, the only free trade country in the world lost 20 per cent, making a difference of 40 per cent between that country, the only example of free trade the world has, and the protected countries. I am not saying for a moment that this disparity was all due to the fact that she had free trade; there are ten thousand different things that enter into consideration. But the fact is that her free trade did not prevent her from dropping behind all the others in her trade returns. Hon. gentlemen to my right insist -when they are out of office of course-that it would be to the best advantage of Canada if we opened our door. Well, Britain opened her doors and lost 40 per cent more trade than the rest of the world. That is the fact; there is evidence from Mr. Thomas in support of it. Why was that so? Because, while Great Britain opened her doors to other countries, other countries would not open their doors to her; and since trade was made impossible by the refusal of one party to bargain, nothing else could result than what actually did ensue. That is what I mean by saying that, however stupid tariffs may be, however uneconomic, however much against the -best interests of mankind, however much they may stand in the way of internationalism, the fact remains as I have indicated. And it is a fact with which we must square ourselves, and with which we must deal.

That is what I mean when I say that for Canada to exist in a protected world she must have protection. If you want any further proof of that, turn to my hon. friends to the right. For a while they' sounded the death knell of protection on the hustings, though they never tolled any of its knells in legislation. Why? Was it because the manufacturers ruled that government? I know that some people say that, but I will not say it. Or was it because the Liberals deliberately set themselves to deceive the people of Canada? I know that some people say that, but I will not say it. I do not think the Liberals deceive the people any more than I do.

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?

An hon. MEMBER:

Oh, oh.

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UFA

William Irvine

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. IRVINE:

I might tell my' hon. friend that I am giving him perhaps a higher recommendation than I have a right to; but for the moment I am generous. I believe the reason really1 was that they discovered that, whether protection was a good policy or a bad policy, they could not interfere with it in Canada, but had to continue it. And they did continue it.

I am merely interested in this fact. I do not think protection is a good policy as a world policy; I would rather incline to world free trade if anyone ivere working at it. But there is no one working at it. The world is not interested in free trade, and the world is too far away just now. I am living in western Canada and I see the ravages of economic difficulties, which by the way are made worse by this tariff. Nevertheless I can see the eastern problem and the problem of Canada as a nation in relation to other countries, and I am here reluctantly admitting the fact as it actually is. We must therefore find other policies to deal with agriculture to recompense it for a tariff policy which is inevitable in our relations with other nations. Eastern Canada, then, by virtue of the history of the Liberal party, by virtue of our relationship with the world, must have a tariff. The industrial east insists upon it and is getting it. But just as far as the industrial east needs a tariff, to that extent a tariff is disastrous to western Canada as things now stand. That is the problem which confronts us, the problem of adjusting the rights of one class in the community to the rights of another class. The solving of this problem should engage the very best attention of parliament; it should be taken entirely out of politics. I have often said in this house, and I say now, that it is a disgrace that two historic parties such as we have in Canada should divide the nation on a question in respect to which they both follow the same policy, hopelessly alienating one section of the country from another in the hope of obtaining power. The time has come when we must deal with this question, not as an abstract one but as one of practical necessity for the internal wellbeing of the state. The west cannot go on with the tariffs as they are to-day, just as the east cannot go on without them.

Reference has been made in the past to the possibility of secession. Those references may have been made rather lightly but I want to say that I do not think they can be regarded too lightly. I happened to be at the United Farmers of Alberta convention last year when a resolution was moved to that effect. I spoke against it to the best of my ability, as I believed it would be a disastrous move to make. I do not think it would bring any benefits, but tlat is not the point. The point is that a distressed, discouraged people will try anything, and if we at this esssion of the house-not at the next session or the one after that-do not find some means of compensating agriculture for the extra burden

The Aildress-Mr. Irvine

which the tariff has imposed upon it, we shall have to face the disintegration of our Dominion.

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An hon. MEMBER:

Oh, no.

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UFA

William Irvine

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. IRVINE:

I hear protests from the other side, but I can protest just as loudly. I was careful to point out that I argued against this resolution to the best of my ability, and I would do the same thing again. However, such things have been argued against in other countries in times past, but it was of no avail. The economic pressure in western Canada today is of such a nature that it will drive the people to adopt similar action to that taken under similar conditions in the past. The western farmer cannot stand and will not stand another year like. 1930. I want that point to be brought home to the parliamentarians in this house; the western farmer cannot stand this hopeless burden any longer.

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An hon. MEMBER:

Lots of other people are standing it.

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UFA

William Irvine

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. IRVINE:

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LIB

Ross Wilfred Gray

Liberal

Mr. R. W. GRAY (West Lambton):

Mr. Speaker, it had not been my intention to take part in this debate, but having in mind that one-half of the constituency which I have the honour to represent is rural, and having in mind also the fact that Ontario produces 29 per cent of the agricultural wealth of the Dominion, I feel I would be remiss in my duty did I not rise in my place to protest against the silence and the apparent refusal of the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Weir) to participate in the debate. His silence is the more surprising when he must realize that the whole country awaits some pronouncement on his part. Instead of that, what do we find? Silence in the House of Commons, and a so-called exclusive article on agriculture in MacLean's magazine.

I feel also that I would fail in my duty did I not protest as vigorously as possible against the fact that, although this government came into office on a promise to end unemployment, no statement on labour conditions or on the remedy proposed to relieve unemployment can be made by a responsible minister in the house. This is not fair, and it does not speak volumes for the opinion of the Prime Minister (Mr. Bennett) of his elected followers, whose sole duty appears to be to applaud loudly his every move and action.

Some six months have passed since the special session of parliament, and as one sits on this side of the house he is struck by the changed appearance of the ministry opposite. They have now been guiding the destinies of the country for something over eight months. In September last we saw them smiling, happy, confident. Their modern Moses had led them into the promised land, and I think we could go one step further and say that they must have found it a land full of promises. To-day we see them silent and unsmiling, all except the Solicitor General (Mr. Dupre) whose smile lights up an otherwise drab picture of the cabinet as we see it from this side, and one might be pardoned for suspecting that that smile is in anticipation of the three thousand dollars extra salary which according to a resolution which appears on the order paper, the Minister of Justice (Mr. Guthrie) has promised him.

I have referred to the silence of the Minister of Agriculture and to the absence from the house of the Minister of Labour. Where are our Ontario ministers in this debate? The Prime Minister has honoured my native province by appointing to his cabinet six men from that province. Not one of them has participated in this debate. What about the Minister of Railways and Canals (Mr.

Manion) ? Here may I say to him we are grateful at least for the interest he has taken in this debate by listening with an attentive ear to practically every speech. But should we not have expected more from this red-blooded Canadian who is now clothed in all the might and strength of a cabinet minister? In view of his campaign utterances I would think he would have risen in his place and struck old man hard-times a blow in the jaw and with a few strokes of his mighty pen have restored prosperity. *What about the hon. member for Dufferin-Simcoe (Mr. Rowe)? The hon. gentleman went up and down the province of Ontario telling the farmers that their sole trouble could be attributed to the fact that there was a Liberal administration in power. Where is he in this debate? And what about the member for South Essex (Mr. Gott) who on July 8 last issued a manifesto consisting of three pages? On the first page there is a full page cut of the illustrious gentleman himself, and he is quoted as follows:

None realized my position in the opposition better than I did as I fought for the farmers alone.

Is he doing that to-day? And a little further on he is quoted as follows:

Canada is facing an economic crisis to-day, second only to the Great War. Under proper administration the unemployment problem that we are facing should be impossible in a country such as ours so rich in agricultural possibilities and undeveloped natural resources, the greatest in the world.

May we take it that from his point of view the proper administration is now in office? Yet the unemployment situation grows steadily worse. Then follow further modest statements by the hon. gentleman, and when we come to the third page we find this paragraph :

People cannot live on budgets

no matter what they promise. Whoever lived on promises?

Well, Mr. Speaker, if there ever was a time when the hon. gentleman's question might be put to the test it is under the present administration. Speaking of promises, someone has dedicated a few lines of poetry to the right hon. the Prime Minister. The poem is called "I Promise You," and the text is as follows:

I promise all things, great and small, East, west, north, south, to each and all- Or perish in the attempt.

I promise proofs to make it plain That all old shibboleths are vain-

I promise my full strength shall bend All unemployment quick to end-

Or perish in the attempt.

The Address-Mr. Gray

I promise that a seaway wide At once be built to ocean tide-*

I promise quickly and engage To pensions pay for all old age-

I promise that, without delay,

I'll build trans-Canada highway-

Or perish in the attempt.

I promise that each mill and loom And factory will forthwith resume-

I promise that all ills endured By farmers will at once be cured-

I promise, too, when overseas To bring opponents to their knees-[DOT]

I promise that I'll make the grade,

And blast a way for world-wide trade-

Or perish in the attempt.

I promise that I'll show the cause Of Britain's failing trade and laws

Or perish in the attempt.

I promise-but why specify?

Just mention what you want-and why; For all you ask I will comply (A superman indeed am I) -

Or perish in the attempt.

The hon. member for South Essex closed his remarkable manifesto with these words:

Thanking you for your forbearance in me and in my shortcomings.

To which I think this whole house might rise and say, "Amen." When the right hon. the Prime Minister is displeased about something we hear him making use of the expression "what a spectacle; what a spectacle." Mr. Speaker, I ask if there could be any greater spectacle than the sight of a cabinet unable to speak on the two great questions of agriculture and labour. I say that this statement applies equally to the two excellent speeches which we have already heard from cabinet ministers who have failed to touch on either of these great problems.

Various western members have already brought to the attention of parliament the very serious condition of agriculture in the western provinces. I feel sure they have succeeded in convincing those of us from the eastern constituencies that there must be complete cooperation between the east and the west if we are to find a way out of the difficulty. I have already referred to the fact that Ontario produces 29 per cent of the agricultural wealth of the Dominion. This fact must not be disregarded. Sometimes I feel that we Ontario members do not sufficiently emphasize that important fact. Farming conditions in Ontario, and I speak particularly of western Ontario, are not good. Farmers are in a serious plight to-day. Mortgages are being foreclosed not because of a failure to pay the principal but because the farmer has been unable to meet his interest payments. It is not simply a question of low prices;

prices have been low in the past. To-day we find that the increased cost of production, increased taxes, increased interest rates both to chartered banks and to mortgage companies, make conditions such that unless something is done to relieve the situation there will this fall be more assignments in bankruptcy, more mortgages foreclosed against farmers, than ever before in the history of the [province of Ontario. Take for instance the question of taxes alone. During the Easter recess I was told by one farmer that he had been through a similar period of depression when iprices were about the same. While at that time it took only four pigs to pay his taxes, now it requires twelve. I cannot speak as a practical farmer, but I was born and raised on the farm and I think I know something of the problems of the farmer. I do not believe the suggestions I have read and which have purported to come from the lips of the Minister of Agriculture will solve the problem. Many of them are not new. For instance, the suggestion that the farmers should allow a more general introduction of high grade live stock is by no means new. It has been advocated for years. I say to hon. gentlemen opposite, however, that it would indeed require a brave man to accept the suggestion at this time without more encouragement than he has been receiving, realizing it would take four or five years before his stock could possibly be developed. What is required is immediate relief. We hear men say that prosperity is just around the corner, but may I say to them that when the manufacturers, the bankers, the railway corporations, the professional men- yes, in many cases even the wage earners themselves-are prepared to make the same relative sacrifice that the farmer is making to-day, we will have reached a basis upon which reconstruction can start. Then an truth will we be in a position where we may say prosperity is just around the corner.

I would like to say a few words in connection with the Canadian National Railways. During the past few months there have been rumours of political interference with the management of this railroad. If there is any way in which these rumours can be stopped, if by speeches of hon. members or by a statement from the hon. the Minister of Railways these rumours can be nailed, now is the time to do it. Coming as I do fi'om a city where there is a large Canadian National terminal I may say that there is a feeling of uneasiness among employees that has not been noticed in many years past. During the years when the railway company was able to announce

59S

if he had made such comment upon the Canadian industrial and political situation before sailing from England to assume his duties here as British High Commissioner.

How did the press view the speech of the High Commissioner? I quote but one comment which is typical of the majority. The Ottawa Citizen of December 9 described it as follows:

The comical little man capped the performance by describing himself as an imperial missionary, sacrificing himself on the altar of patriotism. He is laying down the cares of state in Ontario to save the British Empire, and particularly to remould the spirit of the British people.

How did the right hon. Prime Minister handle the situation? The new Albany club was opened in Toronto on January 19, 1931. The great and near great of the Conservative party were present. The Mail and Empire, reporting the meeting in its issue of the following day, said:

Bennett and Ferguson engaged in witty repartee as new Albany club is dedicated

Premier provokes laughter with threat to recall new High Commissioner

Reference by Mr. Bennett to some of exPremier Ferguson's recent speeches started the fun. Mr. Bennett jocularly reminded the new High Commissioner of the recall suffered by Sackville-West. Saskville-West was British ambassador at Washington from 1881 to 1888, in which year he retired after what history records as "an unfortunate interference in American domestic politics."

Sackville-West was recalled. Hon. G. Howard Ferguson never should have been allowed to start until he had been rebuked to a much greater extent by the leader of this government.

His arrival in England was marked by another outburst. Speaking before the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in London, England, Mr. Ferguson said:

When I see in England such slogans as "Buy British goods made in England by British labour" it seems to me to be forgotten that goods of Canada and other parts of the empire are equally British. Imperial consolidation cannot be effected on the lines of discrimination.

Does he forget that the policy of the government he represents is "Buy Canadian goods made in Canada by Canadian labour?" Does he forget entirely the part played by the Empire Marketing Board, which costs thousands of pounds annually, which amount is largely paid by the British taxpayer, and which is used in advertising in that country and throughout the whole empire Canadian apples, Canadian cheese and other products? Why should he complain of a slogan of that

kind when the policy of the government he represents is to bar from Canada British goods by the erection of high tariffs?

What are the results of the speeches which have been made by these two hon. gentlemen? Through the methods adopted by Hon. G. Howard Ferguson and by the right hon. Prime Minister, who made an offer to Britain supposedly based upon mutual advantage but which asked for much and gave nothing in return; by the tenor and method of that offer, I say they have weakened our position and placed a wholly unnecessary and unwarranted stigma on Canadians in the eyes of the British people.

In spite of all that has been said and done, however, I am firmly of the conviction that if the Prime Minister of Canada will approach the conference which is to be held in Ottawa in a different spirit, much good will result. I do not mean the spirit in which he proceeded to the Imperial conference at London, where he said in effect, "Here is my plan. Make up your minds once and for all." I do not mean the spirit in which he rose to reply to the right hon. leader of the opposition, after his speech, in which he declared frankly that he had nothing to withdraw, " not a word, not a syllable, not a line," but rather in the spirit in which he announced the policy of Canada, speaking at Regina on December 30 last. I wish to read from the report which appeared in the Manitoba Free Press of the following day:

On the day after the session of parliament ended, I sailed for England to attend the Imperial conference. I left Canada determined to do my best to foster and support a plan for greater empire trade based on mutual advantages. With that purpose in mind I made a proposal to the conference for closer empire economic association based on mutually advantageous tariff preferences. I frankly stated my position. I said that the motive which governed my proposal tvas the interest of Canada first, and I said our primary concern at that time was to secure a more stable market in the United Kingdom for our wheat. How that market is to be secured to us as against the foreigner is naturally a matter to be determined by the government of the United Kingdom. For my part I expressed my entire willingness, having regard particularly to the Russian menace, to accept in lieu of a price preference a quantity preference, called the quota, which would guarantee us a minimum export of wheat to the United Kingdom. To say that this offer has been definitely declined is to unjustifiably anticipate the outcome of the continuing deliberations of the government of the United Kingdom. [DOT]

Does that speech indicate a change of heart? Is the Prime Minister now willing to approach the conference which is to be held in Ottawa prepared to give to Great Britain something which will be really of mutual ad-

The Address-Mr. Hall

vantage, whether it is decided that the best plan is a quota, an import board or bulk purchases? There are those on the opposite side of the house who ask, "Why do you not suggest something? Why do you not cooperate? Has the Prime Minister, through his actions in this debate, shown any desire to cooperate? Even though he has not done so, I say to him now that if he will assure this house that he meant what he said in Regina; if he is prepared to retreat from his "once and for alb attitude and trade with the mother country on some basis of mutual advantage; if he will realize when he uses the word preference that the greatest preference we can have for the mother of the empire is the preference which we hold in our hearts, then 1 for one am willing to do my share in cooperating to bring about the success of that conference, and thus restore in some part at least that measure of prosperity which the Canadian people so richly deserve.

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LIB

Walter Allan Hall

Liberal

Mr. W. A. HALL (South Bruce):

Mr. Speaker, at this late stage in the debate may I be pardoned if I forego the oft repeated and well deserved congratulations that have prefaced almost every speech and proceed at once with what I have to say?

The speech from the throne, though like its author in many respects, is lacking in that brutal frankness and explicitness in which the Prime Minister prides himself. As is the custom, the speech foreshadows a number of measures which the government proposes to present to parliament, but it does more; it insinuates that the late administration had no eyes with which to peer into the future and that as a consequence no measures were advanced which would have relieved the present distress. In effect the speech from the throne says that if there had been adequate protection in past years the present depression would have been prevented, yet strange to say the speech also admits that Canada is better off than most countries. If that means anything it means that Canada, without a high tariff wall, is much better off than those countries which have built up high protection, such as Australia, the United States and other high tariff countries. That being the case, why raise the tariff wall?

The reference in that speech to agriculture is not very encouraging, especially to the western farmer, as it is a wait-and-see policy, leaving conditions pretty much alone and watching developments.

This reminds me, Mr. Speaker, of a case of acute blood poisoning to which I was called in consultation. On asking the attending physician his treatment, the answer was,

"I am leaving her pretty much alone and watching developments"-effective and heroic treatment, indeed. But the critical depression of the west ought to be a challenge to this government to do something. But what it has done by increasing the cost of production and by losing their markets, has added greatly to the distress of the west, besides destroying the morale of the people.

According to the speech from the throne, Mr. Speaker, the country is every day in every way getting better and better since the first dose of the Tory patent medicine at the special session in September, and all that is required now to bring about complete recovery is a larger does of the same medicine. This high tariff medicine is rather nauseating and languishing to some of us, especially to the agriculturists, but wonderfully delicious and invigorating to many others, particularly to the manufacturers and some deluded farmers. As a proof of this improvement the Tory press is printing stories of factories humming that were closed or languishing during the late administration but now have long payrolls instead of bread lines as before.

But what are the facts? According to the Dominion Bureau of Statistics, the industrial production of Canada in 1930 fell by 14 per cent as compared with 1929. The fall was chiefly after July 28. The corresponding decline in Britain was only 10 per cent. In Canada from 1924 to 1929 inclusive, there was an annual increase in production of 10 per cent. What a striking contrast in the volume of output during the administrations of the low and of the high tariff medicine men.

Doubtless, Mr. Speaker, there are some industries that have been revived by the Prime Minister's stimulant and are being nourished on the fiscal dole. Yet these gains are offset many times by other productions being slowed down. Manifestly this government realizes that the symptoms of depression have been growing worse, with a consequent increase of unemployment, notwithstanding what they say to the contrary; as a result they are preparing a strong and drastic dose of stimulant in the shape of higher and higher customs taxation. But the primary reason for this is to reward those money interests that had spent so much in the recent campaign to elect the present government. However, the first dose of medicine satisfied the capacity of only a few of the great multitude clamouring for reward. Doubtless these increased duties will impose additional burdens on the people for whom the depression of general business was otherwise bound to reduce the cost of living.

The Address-Mr. Hall

Apparently, Mr. Speaker, the chief task of this session is a general upward revision of the tariff. I need scarcely say that the main concern of the government will be the interests of the manufacturers. But there seems to be no one in this government to care for the consumer, although he is everybody. The staple argument just now is that the provision of work for our own people justifies all increases. Apparently no account is taken of the fact that there is no real market for what is produced, as exports are greatly reduced because imports are blocked. Besides that, the high cost of living reduces the power of buying and so lessens the home market. Also, in these days of less and less hand labour, it is the machine chiefly and not the man that finds more employment. But who controls the machine? It is he who gets the profits-the manufacturer.

Notwithstanding this condition of things, there are daily bulletins in the Tory press showing how business is humming as the result of the new duties which the people now have to pay to keep certain helpless industries alive. The speech from the throne also smacks of the same boast. It was part of the bargain that they should get going and expect further tariff increases during the present session. This looks bad for the farmers, especially for those in the prairie provinces. These men of the west, almost in despair because of unsold crops, or of low prices for w'hat they do sell, or of excessive rates of interest, or of high rates of transportation, or of many other difficulties of which the rest of Canada has little conception, are compelled to buy much of what they need from the very interests that seek the higher taxation. This increase may force prices up or at least prevent their decline, while all other prices are being reduced. As a consequence, the manufacturer, without raising the price of his goods, is, by increased protection, making a much larger profit. Thus he is able to hide the real benefit that increased protection gives him behind the pledge that he will not raise his price but just increase his profit. It will be noticed that this pledge fixes the manufacturer's prices, at least indirectly. This is preposterous. What other classes have their prices fixed? The prices cannot go up and will not come down although everything else is down. What about the agriculturist?

I have always sympathized strongly with the farmer. No one is more resolutely opposed to tariff raising, such as was so recklessly practised at the first session of this parliament and such as seems likely to take

place this session, according to the speech from the throne. May I say that secession talk is of little advantage as a threat, whether its origin is in the maritimes or in the west?

However, Mr. Speaker, I frankly confess that this government has a strong mandate from the people of Canada to do what they did at the emergency session as well as to cany out what is promised in the speech from the throne. But what is strange is the fact that this mandate came from many of the rural districts. Apparently the farmers of the Canadian west were hypnotized by the Prime Minister through his nostrum of duties against the other countries of the world as well as by the hope of getting local industries at their doors on account of protection. Besides, the Prime Minister assured them that this nostrum was a good old family medicine, tried and proved, and must be all right. Indeed, Sir, John A. Macdonald had dispensed the same kind of medicine fifty-three years ago, with wonderful results-yes, with wonderful results for the Tory party, but with disastrous results for the country. By the way, it was first compounded and dispensed on the American side.

The manufacturers at that time succeeded in getting trade barriers built to protect themselves in overcharging the Canadian consumer, as doubtless they will succeed at this time. Indeed, the present day tactics are very similar to those employed fifty-three years ago. They won the support of the press by revenue from advertising. They won the votes of the workers by promising fatter pay envelopes as part of their share in the general hold-up. They won the dairymen by a tariff of eight cents per pound on butter. They won the western fruit farmers by taxing the prairies for them. They won the prairie farmers by promising them local industries. But, Mr. Speaker, the real reason came from the feeling that things could hardly be worse than they were last summer and a change of any kind might be better. Besides, the Prime Minister was full of promises for an immediate deliverance from all their troubles. He pledged himself many times during the campaign to find a job for every Canadian or perish in the attempt. He said a young country like Canada had no right to have unemployment. Why, the present Minister of Justice (Mr. Guthrie) claimed that the unemployment problem could be solved in three days by the return of a Tory government. Well, a Tory government was returned, and $20,000,000 was voted as temporary relief, with the result that unemployment has been almost doubled.

The Address-Mr. Hall

Has the Prime Minister delivered the people from all their troubles as he promised everywhere before the election? No; on the contrary, he has increased them many times. He even raised the tariff walls much higher against the mother country-Canada's one good customer, indeed her best; and after thus refusing to accept her commodities in payment for Canadian products, he bullied her for not preferring our wheat, with the consequent reaction against the Canadian wheat grower, leaving him without a market for his wheat.

The most absurd thing any country can do is to make that which the farmer has to purchase, including his hired help, as dear as possible by means of a tariff, simply for the sake of carrying on an unnatural business at a loss to the country. This is especially so in view of the present condition of the producing industry upon which all the artificial industries have been feeding and will continue to feed. No doubt this will blast or destroy the selling market by excluding all products sent in return, as well as increase the cost of transportation through having only one way cargoes.

Apparently the government has no misgiving in carrying out any atrocity it may desire to perpetrate, feeling as it does that it has a docile and unshakeable majority-a majority obtained, strange to say, with the assistance of one-third of the farmers of Canada. Apparently the government thinks that the jacking up of the tariff is the panacea for Canada's commercial ills as well as the only cure for unemployment. The Prime Minister seems to be bound hand and foot to the manufacturers. This was quite apparent at the farcical inquiry in connection with the proposed tariff changes, where he and some of his colleagues constituted themselves as special pleaders for the privileged interests. I need scarcely say that there was little pretence of openmindedness.

The greedy and privileged classes which were instrumental in putting the Prime Minister into power look upon him as being at their service. As a recognition of their legitimate claims he gave them a hurried but lavish luncheon with the special session of last September. This was to tide them over until dinner-time, which, according to the speech from the throne, is set for this session. It would seem that each claimant got just enough at the special session luncheon to whet his appetite. Why should those who put the caterer into power with a large majority not get what they want? They were promised it, and who should now object? Not the

opposition at any rate, because the Prime Minister has the country's mandate although it may have been obtained by questionable means. Until the people express at the polls a change of mind, they have every right to get what they asked for at the last general elections, namely, high protection and riches for the manufacturers and bondage and poverty for the farmers.

Under such conditions what need is there for a tariff board? Retaining it would be humbug and needless expense, as its findings would be totally ignored; abolishing it would be but brutal frankness and economy under a one man ruler such as the Prime Minister. It is simply for the hungry ones to say how much they want, and who else can say that so well? It is for the caterer to fill the orders with a free hand. He does not have to pay, because that is added to the daily cost of our living. In gorging his masters he is carrying out with all haste the mandate he received from the country on July 28, 1930.

Some time ago the Prime Minister was considering the adjournment of the demands for further protection until the Imperial conference to be held in Ottawa next summer. Few if any of the promises made to gather in the votes have been fulfilled. About the only thing which has been realized is tfie payment of $20,000,000 for the promised temporary relief of unemployment. The Prime Minister seems to be endeavouring to find some way to cover his dire failure. The postponement of action would give him time to fill other orders on the program and allow him to distract the country's mind with such contentious matters as the St. Lawrence waterway. But apparently the privileged classes would agree to no adjournment of action on tariff matters. They saw that their chance was now or never. So once more the Prime Minister has to cater to his masters and we have the proposed increases in the tariff indicated in the speech from the throne. This will give the mother country another slap in the face in forestalling and frustrating the purpose of the coming conference at Ottawa, a similar result to that accomplished at the London conference by the Bennett ultimatum. It is another case of blasting.

It must be remembered that the Prime Minister has a docile majority to which he will be true as well as to himself. He will always be true to the outside privileged classes whom, though the heavens fall, he will feed on the blood of the nation. The alacrity with which the Prime Minister has acted in certain matters since gaining power has given rise to the cry: Give Bennett a chance, he does things.

The Address-Mr. Hall

Since assuming office he has had as free a chance as that given to Mussolini, but what has he done? Permit me to mention some of his achievements.

1. He raised the duties on imports from Great Britain to such an extent as to amount practically to an embargo-in the case of cheap tweeds the increase from 22| per cent to 96 per cent.

2. He has almost doubled unemployment since taking office.

3. He has blocked our trade with New Zealand.

4. He has antagonized the buying public of Great Britain by his "blasting" speeches made in the old country.

5. He has blocked imports and so has decreased exports, reducing our trade to a prewar level.

6. He has increased the cost of transportation by permitting only one-way cargoes.

7. He has lowered the price of farm products from 20 to 40 per cent, but has kept up the manufacturers' prices at former levels.

S. He has decreased the price of farm lands through reducing the price of farm products.

9. He has decreased the industrial production of Canada.

10. He has decreased the revenue of Canada.

[DOT]11. He has lowered the moral tone of the country by promises that might be intended to bribe.

12. He has barred trade with Russia, thus depriving Canadian workmen of considerable employment.

While the Prime Minister has been adopting this course of action, the farmers in the west have been talking secession instead of protesting against the legislation which permits the manufacturer to plunder by not reducing prices commensurate with the prices received for farm products. Evidently the pledges given seem to have pegged the manufacturers' prices, so why not peg the farmers' prices, especially for wheat? If the government has secured profitable prices for the manufacturer at the expense of the people and primarily of the farmer, it is only right that it should secure also fair prices for the farmer. Any subsidy given would have to be paid out of the public treasury, and it must be admitted that that would be very unpalatable to the country, but the nation could take any amount of that sort of medicine if it were mixed up with its food and drink, that is, in the daily cost of living. The Prime Minister should treat all classes alike.

The Prime Minister has the support of a majority in this house in any action he elects

to take, because hon. members opposite were elected for that purpose. The incident of the glass firm at Hamilton is a case in point. At the request of .this firm parliament voted at the special session to increase the duty on window glass to such an extent as would double the cost of glass to the consumer. This would have cost the country over 81,500,000 in order to give work to about 150 men, or over 810,000 per workman. Fortunately for the country this factory did not reopen, the firm simply doubling the price on their imported glass. This brought forth such a protest that the minister, exercising his autocratic power, revoked .the duty and down came the price. So the Bennett government was lauded by its political admirers for having shut down on this bonused firm because it had failed to perform the reopening trick. lit must not be forgotten that this same government was willing to take over $1,500,000 from the country each year in order to keep this glass factory running and employing only 150 men.

As I said before, the first thing this government did was to reward its benefactors or those who had put it into power. This was done at the special session by the jacking up of the tariff on about 170 different articles out of a total of 1,188 items in the Canadian tariff schedule. Then followed an effort, through preferential trade agreements with the other members of the empire, to increase imperial trade and unity. This was undertaken at the Imperial conference at London when the Prime Minister presented bis offer or "ultimatum." In effect he said: The time has come-and it will not brook delay-to decide between Britain sacrificing herseilf to the dominions or losing them. Such was the import of the Prime Minister's speech at the conference, supported, as the report shows,, only in part by the representatives of the other dominions, and apparently by a sweeping election majority in Canada. But this issue was neither before the people of Canada nor before parliament. It had its origin and development in the Prime Minister's brain, of which it is quite characteristic, although it should have been decided by the people at the polls on election day and afterwards approved by parliament. Doubtless the Prime Minister considered these things as useless formalities when he, the Prime Minister, was Canada. '

But as the demand was that Britain should tax her food, thus throttling her commerce and so reversing the policy that had made her famous and prosperous for almost a century, Britain's answer, through Mr. Thomas, to the representatives of the dominions, was that she was still a part of the

The Address-Mr. Desrochers

British Empire and might also be allowed an equal right to say "Britain first," just as the Prime Minister had claimed that his proposals were inspired by the principles of "Canada first"-or, more accurately expressed, the principle of "some Canadians first." I assure you, Mr. Speaker, that these "some" do not include the farmers for whom he professes that his heart is bleeding. His policy is high protection for the manufacturers, especially for the manufacturers of textiles, but the farmers are hurt instead of helped by the heavy duties on everything they have to buy, nor are they ensured any better price for their wheat in Great Britain by the Prime Minister's scheme, as the suggested preference is an increase of only 10 per cent of the duty. This scheme has few of the advantages of empire free trade.

As soon as Britain gives the dominions a worth-while preference, she imperils her food supply and increases the cost of the raw materials for her industries. But more important is the fact that the Prime Minister's proposed scheme would most likely provoke endless jealousy and friction within the empire as well as increase hostility without the empire. Moreover, it is a one-man scheme, the Prime Minister's, endorsed by neither the people nor the parliament of Canada. Consequently, let all lovers of the empire, by whatever names they are known, oppose this scheme with might and main both in and out of parliament, in season and out of season, and thus maintain unity and concord among all parts of the empire as well as the goodwill of all the nations. May all such selfish schemes as this be aborted or perish at birth. As the Prime Minister himself would say: I will cause the abortion or death of any such scheme or perish in the attempt. Indeed, many times during the recent election campaign he made a number of such declarations or promises, but as yet he has refused or at least has failed to carry them out or even to perish. As, however, he is a man of action as well as of many words, it makes one wonder whether these promises were intended only to bribe or to deceive. Let the Prime Minister answer.

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LIB

Jules Desrochers

Liberal

Mr. JULES DESROCHERS (Portneuf) (Translation):

Mr. Speaker, all my thoughts apparently have already been expressed by previous speakers in this debate on the address. I therefore have the easy task of repeating what others have said. Whether it foe as regards form or substance, all is exhausted and I even think the whole musical gamut has been put to use.

After the splendid speeches of our older parliamentarians, I did not wish to miss the opportunity, perhaps unique, of joining the ranks of the younger members.

I associate myself with those who have praised your remarkable impartiality, sir, and I bear witness to that kind yet firm nature of yours which is in strict keeping with your dignified bearing.

Should I congratulate the right hon. Prime Minister (Mr. Bennett) for having changed his attitude, so energetic and triumphant of the first days-when he was so sure of solving the economic problems which were responsible for his assuming office-into a stoicism which hardly allows him to appear in the house and, to-day, only draws from him the statement that he is convinced of having done his duty as an excellent servant of this country. He was to conquer or perish at the task. I simply congratulate him on having survived.

I congratulate my leader on the great skill with which he handled the hot iron over and within the sores inflicted by the new administration which acknowledged the powerlessness to relieve a single one of the ills that already exist: unemployment and economic depression, the fruits, it was said, of a poor Liberal administration.

Our good friends living in the riding of Portneuf who, at the elections, polled their votes in favour of your political program are always and more than ever proud of being Liberals.

On their behalf and that of the entire riding I offer you the tribute of 49 consecutive years of loyal support to the great party of which you are the so distinguished leader.

Before proceeding further, sir, permit me, as a newcomer to this house, to express my amazement and to strongly protest against the tactics employed by our opponents at the last election, tactics again resorted to in this honoured chamber. Such tactics as shouting and interrupting are so in contrast with your dignified example and British fair play that we trust they will soon be things of the past.

What shall I say now with reference to unemployment, the tariff and the Imperial conference, if not that all these measures enacted to improve our lot were rather detrimental to the country and that we shall soon find the proof of this in the budget speech.

Unemployment-a spectre much exploited in the last election-became a reality by dint of talking about it, and our friends on the government side seem to have lost much of their enthusiasm in this respect. We stated that it was world-wide, they considered it as local. We contended that it was beyond the control of the ordinary economic laws, they

The Address-Mr. Desrochers

insisted that it was due especially to the deficiency of government methods. The government has since changed and they are now forced to admit that it is world-wide, that all countries suffer somewhat more than we do, and that time only will find a remedy. Did the special session and remedies administered have any other results than to definitely graft it upon us? That is what we have reason to fear. There are unemployed people who are paid at a fixed rate of 30 cents per hour, when in my district the genuine unemployed are willing to accept 20 cents and would have preferred to work for a longer time and complete the work left unfinished. Is this not encouraging idleness? Is it not wasting private and public money to oblige municipalities to undertake work-very strictly specified in the regulations referring to unemployment-such as digging up frozen earth or breaking the ice so as to lay foundations of wharves and bridges which in certain localities are already crumbling, work which cost double because of climatic conditions.

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CON

Charles Napoléon Dorion

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DORION (Translation):

In what localities are bridges falling down?

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LIB

Jules Desrochers

Liberal

Mr. DESROCHERS (Translation):

There are wharfs in my own riding which are already giving way in many places. It is not necessary to go any further than St. Raymond.

Is it not, to a certain degree, an attempt against our provincial and municipal autonomy to make it imperative to pass unusual by-laws in order to participate in a small federal grant? I agree with a newspaper whose sympathies are with our friends opposite, the Evenement of Quebec, dated February 20, 1931:

If we can judge, says the Evenement, by the meagre results obtained from the assistance given to the unemployed in Quebec, it would be wise for the Prime Minister to assure us that he will no longer have recourse to this system of aid.

It will have cost more than what it is worth it would therefore be better not to recur to it again.

On that score the opposition could render a public service by obtaining the publication of all the good and bad features in connection with the Unemployment Relief Act. and. by also inviting the Prime Minister to state that the comparative uselessness of this policy is officially acknowledged.

I could not better express myself than this newspaper which is in sympathy with our friends opposite.

Would not the policy advocated by my leader, during the last elections, have been fairer and more expedient? Grant, to a cer-

tain extent, the requests for help, provincial or municipal, without burdensome restrictions.

Permit me, sir, to extend all our sympathy to the western farmers and especially to those who specialized in growing wheat. Let me tell them that we suffer with them, for them and like them. Our banks, with the 68 or 70 million dollars which they have hoarded out there have become commonplace saving banks. Our farmers are not granted any credit. Our manufacturers and merchants can no more depend on any margin of credit. They are helpless owing to prevailing conditions.

I do not wish to enter into details and figures as regards the tariff question, because our leader discussed it as a practical business man and not as an idealist or partisan of a sect or class. I will take the liberty of quoting in this respect the words of His Royal Highness, the Prince of Wales, who, although as amicable as he may seem, is not without representing the views of the crown and British government, when he travels abroad as representative of his country. I quote a despatch of the Associated Press at the opening of the Buenos Aires exhibition.

Mr. LaVERGNE (Translation): It is more

respectable than the Evenement.

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?

Mr DESROCHERS (Translation):

No

doubt. Both speak well and do not follow your example.

The Prince gives as his opinion that mutual trade exchanges have been responsible for the success of that country, and that the word-wide depression is due in a great measure, if not entirely, to a lack of a friendly business intercourse.

In brief, the economic crisis is the fruit of an economic war. Is this not a fatal consequence of high protection, a plank dear to our opponents, a policy which encloses us in a fortress where nothing enters and whence nothing comes out? On the summit of this fortress, the Prime Minister raised his standard with the motto: "Canada First."

Canada First! Sir, for over three centuries this sentiment or cry has been engraved in our hearts from birth, it grows in our soul with the years. But must we as a -conqueror cross the seas and fling it with closed fists at our mother country? Canada First! with the plea that we have followers-Australia and New Zealand. "It is up to you to accept or refuse; there is no need of arguing over it," those are the words of Mr. Bennett.

The answer to an extremist in a sad plight; who has no regard for the sad lot of others, was soon forthcoming: "We cannot!"

The Address-Mr. Vermlle

Often have we seen our representatives go overseas to attend Imperial conferences and always return with substantial concessions, in keeping with the development and progress of our country. Never in our history have we suffered such rebuke!

Never, sir, have Liberal principles and doctrine been to such extremes, and we are ready to fight as long as our voice can be heard in this house, conscious that we are working in the best interest of our country and fellow-citizens.

The Liberal doctrine, thank Heaven, can adapt itself to all circumstances-to depression as well as prosperity-to all provinces, all nationalities and all creeds. It respects itself and respects others. That is our way of shouting: "Canada First"!

Before resuming my seat permit me, Sir, to extend my congratulations to my old friend and University fellow student, the hon. member for Quebec East (Mr. Lapointe), on his complete recovery from his illness, I also wish to express the pleasure we feel in finding him as bright and active as we have ever known him. His eloquence finds admirers on both sides of the House.

I want to sympathize with my friend the hon. member for Berthier (Mr. Barrette). He complained of his colleagues of both sides of the house. He did not receive a fair deal. Monuments were raised to the unknown soldier.

Perhaps the time has come to present a medal to this gentleman who should be better appreciated. He has all my sympathies.

As to my hon. friend from Montmagny (Mr. LaVergne), after the debate in which he figured prominently and his great oratorical effort for which I cannot congratulate him, sinee he attacked our great Liberal leader.

Mr. LaVERGNE (Translation): That was

awful!

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LIB

Jules Desrochers

Liberal

Mr. DESROCHERS (Translation):

It was dreadful. His speech reminded me of a passage in my old classic books. A Greek author has said somewhere: "One day, the handsome Alcibiades, in quest of fame, had the tail of his dog cut. It was a great event in Athens". The embargo against Russia gave my hon. friend the opportunity of covering himself with fame and to again embrace the Conservative party. He was once more found among the extremists, where we have always thought he belonged. I think that by the brilliancy of his intellect and the subtlety of his wit my hon. member was really born a poet-''nascuntur poetae-and that he should never have become an orator.

Mr. J. A. VERVILLE (Lotbiniere). (Translation) : Mr. Speaker, I am sorry I was not here for the hon. Solicitor General's (Mr. Dupre) speech yesterday afternoon. He honours me with his personal friendship-

Mr. DORION. Hear, hear.

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LIB

Joseph-Achille Verville

Liberal

Mr. VERVILLE:

I read the report of his speech in the papers this morning. I was very much impressed with the fact that he had spoken, that he had given expression to ideas and thoughts,-by the way, they are not mine. At least one minister of the crown has had the courage to speak out on the floor of the house! Which adds one more quality to those my hon. friend already had. A minister who dares to speak up when he is under the thumb of the right hon. Prime Minister (Mr. Bennett)!

Mr. Speaker, Lotbiniere county, which I have the honour to represent here, is a rural county where conditions are perhaps no worse than elsewhere throughout the country but where, nevertheless, a pronounced spirit of unrest has already gained a foothold. The people of the country are hard-working folks, labour is plentiful and the relations between the classes are of the very best. Naturally our people feel the effects of the present crisis; for the most part they are working twice as hard and making more sacrifices than ever in the hope that, thanks to their labour and their thrift, they will succeed in weathering the storm.

The election of last July brought to these folks, as it did to all the taxpayers of this country, a multitude of promises, each more appealing, more alluring than the other. If the majority of the voters in my riding did not yield to these promises I beg of you to believe that it was because their political virtue was strong enough to resist the temptations dangled before them by our conservative opponents. Allow me to add, Mr. Speaker, that since July 28th last our people have seen their condition go from bad to worse because our friends to your right, once they had won power, caused very deep, almost heartbreaking, disappointment. You remember, Mr. Speaker, that Voltaire was a reformer full of overweening pride. And you remember that he used to advise bis followers thus: "Keep on lying, tell lie after lie: some oi them are bound to stick." Far be it from me to draw any comparison between the right hon. Prime Minister of the day and Voltaire; but I must confess that, during the last campaign, I was not far from thinking that Mr. Bennett had given Voltaire's slogan to his followers. You know that the public, if they

The Address-Mr. Verville

hear the same thing often enough, and in the selfsame way, finally begin to believe that after all it might be true, despite all appearances to the contrary.

During the last campaign we witnessed a bewildering succession of promises. Our opponents never stopped saying: "This is not a world crisis; Canada alone is affected, owing to the maladministration of the King government. Drive them out of office, put me in their place and rest assured that the day after election you will find yourselves better off." And they added: "Farmers, your plight is scandalous, you are taxed on all sides-

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CON

Charles Napoléon Dorion

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DORION:

Just like Mr. Taschereau.

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LIB

Joseph-Achille Verville

Liberal

Mr. VERVILLE:

-you cannot sell your produce any more, except at famine prices. The policies of the Liberal government have made your lot an unhappy and difficult one. The friends of this government will tell you that at the last session the Hon. Mr. Dunning brought down a very good budget, well adapted to our present needs; but do not be misled now any more than you were taken in by tfie fake measures passed by this government during the last nine years."

The Dunning budget, Mr. Speaker, afforded the country reasonable protection, having regard to the needs of Canadian industry, without neglecting the interests of the other classes of our population: with its countervailing

duties it kept the American market for us and it retained the European market for our natural products. On the other hand what has the present gouvernment done? What did Mr. Bennett do in London when he suggested to the British people that they tax their own food so as to buy our wheat? On the one hand you have the Dunning tariff: protection for Canada and for all Canada's citizens; on the other, Mr. Bennett, whose sole object is to protect a privileged group at the expense of the Candian people.

And our friends would go on: "It is true that the liberal administration has shown a surplus nearly every year; it is true also that they have paid off a goodly part of our national debt; it is true that they have considerably lightened the burden of taxation; but after all what good is all that to you if you cannot get a better price for your butter?"

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LIB

Paul Mercier

Liberal

Mr. MERCIER (St. Henri):

The potatoes are rather small.

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LIB

Joseph-Achille Verville

Liberal

Mr. VERVILLE:

I even heard one speaker say before an audience of several hundred people: "If it really is true that the government has these surpluses why don't they dis-

tribute them among the people instead of paying off the country's debts?" What a pitiable thing to hear from the lips of a man whose mission was most assuredly to pacify the people rather than incite in them feelings that are unworthy and that bear the closest resemblance to the Russian revolutionary attitude which we are striving to overcome. It would take much too long to even begin a recital of the things our opponents did and said in appealing to the worst instincts and prejudices of the people.

Unfortunately some of the public were taken in by these untruthful statements; but, like those who were wise enough to avoid the trap, they are still awaiting the fulfilment, I do not say of all, but at least of some, of the promises made them. But like Sister Anne,-to borrow the. expression used the other day by my good friend from St. Hyacinthe-Rouville (Mr. Fontaine)-they strain their eyes in vain; they see nothing on the horizon.

That is why I said a moment ago that the plight of our farmers is getting worse instead of better; on top of all they have, been sorely disappointed, particularly those who put some faith in the promises made by our opponents. You can imagine the look on the faces of those farmers who had come to believe, because it had been told them times without number, that after July 28th, if there were a change of government, butter would be selling at 40, 50, even at 75 cents a pound-

Mr. LaVERGNE: The "assiette au beurre" is changed.

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April 14, 1931