April 20, 1931

LAB

Abraham Albert Heaps

Labour

Mr. HEAPS:

I have been accused by hon. members opposite of speaking too much and thus wasting the time of the house but now the hon. member wishes me to speak at greater length. I do not know which course I am to follow although I would have liked to satisfy both sides.

We find to-day a change of feeling. We find that throughout this country men and women in all walks of life are beginning to consider seriously the economic situation facing us at the present time. A great many people believe that it is time for a change. I do not refer to a change of government, although I believe there are many people who voting as they did last year feel to-day that a change is needed. I find it so in my constituency, and I suppose what prevails in my constituency will be symptomatic of other constituencies.

The Address-Mr. Lawson

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CON
LAB

Abraham Albert Heaps

Labour

Mr. HEAPS:

Yes, they do; they want our party to be the party in power.

Many people think that something is wrong with our whole economic structure; they believe that it has become top heavy and is unable to function properly. They believe the people of the country are not receiving that to which they are entitled. They find that amidst the ever-increasing wealth produced by the toil of the workers in the cities and on the farms, they are daily becoming more poverty stricken. The poverty from which the people in this country are suffering at the present time does not come about because of any shortage of commodities; it is because we happen to have too much of everything. The problem confronting us today is that of so adjusting our economic system as to give to every man or woman that to which he or she is entitled, that is, food, clothing, shelter and security of life. To-day they have neither clothing nor shelter, nor have they that security of life.

Unemployment now is considerably worse than it was twelve months ago, and, goodness knows, it was bad then. The seasonal employment which usually offers at this time of the year has not manifested itself. People who usually find employment in the month of April or May are still out of work. Men and women of western and eastern Canada who usually go to the farms at this season and are able to secure their livelihood, still have no work. The men on the farms will not have sufficient work and will be coming into the industrial centres and thus helping to aggravate an already difficult situation.

With the enormous wealth which we have, surely no one will deny that there is sufficient for all. If we are suffering to-day because we have too much of everything, is it beyond the possibilities of the intellect of this parliament that we should get down to business and find ways and means of overcoming the existing economic situation and thus prevent a continuance or recurrence of the conditions which exist to-day?

That is what we ask for and the government will be tested on that basis. The mere fact that it has attempted to put into effect certain changes in our tariff or has prevented the dumping of commodities into this country means very little in so far as the labourer is concerned. The real test of any government is the condition under which the people happen to be living. The test of any government is the contentment, the happiness and well being of the great masses of the

people. Here in Canada the great masses of the people are to-day worse off than they have been for many years. We ask that the men, women and children of this country be given an opportunity to live a happy, decent and honourable life. I would like to see this parliament drop some of the petty, party warfare which has been carried on at times and attempt to grapple with this situation in such a way as to permit us to say that parliament has not been deaf to the pleadings of the poor people. When we leave this house at the end of the session I trust that something will have been done to remedy the existing economic conditions.

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CON

James Earl Lawson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. J. EARL LAWSON (West York):

Mr. Speaker, I was indeed surprised to hear the confession made by the hon. member who has just preceded me (Mr. Heaps). He stated that he has ascertained from a survey of his constituency that many of that majority which sent him to this house have since the last election changed their minds and would now vote otherwise. I listened very carefully to the speech which the hon. member delivered, but like most of the speeches emanating from the group of which he is a member, I find that it contains not one practical suggestion upon which legislation might be based for the relief of the unfortunate conditions with which this country is now confronted.

The hon. member for North Winnipeg (Mr. Heaps) said: We have had no opportunity

to ascertain from the government its policy with respect to unemployment. If by "we" he meant those hon. gentlemen who sit to the left of you, Mr. Speaker, I think he would have made a more accurate statement had he said: We have given no opportunity during

this session to the government to outline or define any policy with respect to unemployment. I am not criticizing any of those hon. gentlemen in opposition who have spoken during this debate because of the fact that they have spoken; this is the time and the place to express the views which they may have with respect to the problems confronting either their respective constituencies or this country. However, I do say that it does not lie in their mouths to complain because this government has not brought down those measures which they allege they desire to see brought down. Since the opening of this session, they have made on an average of four or five speeches to each one delivered from this side of the chamber. I was indeed surprised to hear the hon. gentlemen say that Conservative speakers have not discussed unemployment but have attacked the Labour group in the house. I have listened to most

The Address-Mr. Lawson

of the speeches delivered; those to which I have not listened, I have read, but I have not observed in any of them an attack upon the hon. member for North Winnipeg or his colleagues. I would like the hon. gentlemen to remember that they cannot expect to rise in their places and make attacks upon the government and at the same time to remain immune, because they represent some particular class in the house.

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LAB

Abraham Albert Heaps

Labour

Mr. HEAPS:

I would refer the hon. member to the speech made in the house by the Deputy Speaker.

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CON

James Earl Lawson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LAWSON:

If time permitted I should be glad to enter into a discussion with my hon. friend concerning the excellent speech made by the Deputy Speaker, but at the moment, particularly in view of the speech just delivered by the hon. member for North Winnipeg, I should like to have something to say with respect to labour and labour men in this country.

Before doing so, however, may I digress for a moment to take the opportunity of congratulating my former classmate, the hon. member for Toronto West Centre (Mr. Factor), upon his maiden speech in this house. He gave ample evidence of intellectual capacity and fluency of speech. I was indeed surprised when I heard him, in referring to the address of the right hon. leader of the official opposition (Mr. Mackenzie King) use such adjectives as "inspiring" and "masterly", while in that of the right hon. Prime Minister of this country he found only "activity" and "capacity". I was indeed surprised to ascertain that since those happy days of scholastic association he had entitrely lost 'his sense of humour. I hope, however, if he perseveres in listening to some of the speeches of his colleagues, he may again acquire that sense of humour, even though it be only for the incongruous and the absurd.

For example, when the hon. member for Yorkton (Mr. McPhee) was speaking, I could not help noting that he went out of his way to make an odious comparison between a little animal called the gopher which is found in western Canada, and what he called a good Tory. He said:

For the benefit of those hon. gentlemen from the east who might not be particularly acquainted with the little animal, I may say that in many respects there is similarity between a gopher and a good Tory. The gopher is a sleek little animal and he pilfers the farmers' grain. In the day of his greatest pilfering he develops a paunch and I would say that gopherism and Toryism might be synonymous terms. They are synonymous because both are pests and humbugs.

As I sat in my place and gazed at the hon. gentleman as he uttered those words, there came back to my mind two lines from Bobby Burns' "Ode to a Louse":

Ah wad some Power the giftie gie us To see oursels as ithers see us!

It wad frae mony a blunder free us And foolish notion.

The hon. member for South Vancouver (Mr. Maclnnis), early after his entry into the house, spoke in condemnation of the procedure adopted by the house. He condemned both the right hon. leader of the official opposition and the right hon. Prime Minister because they failed to agree within a very short time upon a panacea for Canada's ills. Yet I noted that the hon. member took forty minutes to convince us that he disagreed with both, and so we were not advanced by that contribution. I would like to remind the hon. gentleman who comes *here as a new member, that the standing orders and rules of the house are the result of the collective wisdom of statesmen through centuries of responsible government for the purpose of giving free but orderly expression to all phases of political thought.

The hon. member for North Winnipeg today has reiterated what has been said by some of his colleagues previously, namely, that we of the Conservative party now take a different position with respect to unemployment in this country from what we did when we sat in opposition in 1930. I believe my hon. friend fails to distinguish between the issue before parliament in 1930 and the issue as it is to-day when he seconds the subamendment. Let me ask him to go back for a moment to the session of 1930. At that time unemployment was developing and had developed in Canada to an alarming extent. That development was apparent to all of us in the house except the then government who could not or would not realize the condition which then prevailed. We of the other side believed there was a national emergency, and with a view to procuring some action during that national emergency, the hon. member for North Winnipeg moved:

"That in the opinion of this house the government should take immediate action to deal with the question of unemployment."

Every Conservative member voted in favour of that resolution. What was the situation at that time? Liberal speakers, one after another, then on the government side, endeavoured to minimize the national emergency which then prevailed in this country. The then Minister of Labour (Mr. Heenan) spoke on that resolution, but he proposed not a single measure to relieve the situation. He

The Address-Mr. Lawson

told us that the then, government was proceeding with public works and was encouraging the railways to go on with further construction. Our friends the Liberal government were always strong on encouraging somebody else to do something. I well remember the speech of the present leader of the official opposition. He took some pains to tell us the extent to which the government desired to encourage the provinces and municipalities to deal with the then emergent situation, not by a contribution, oh, no, but by cooperation in any discussions they might desire to have upon the question. I was reading just the other day the speech made at that time by the leader of the official opposition in order if possible to extract therefrom a definite pronouncement, if he made one, on that occasion with respect to this problem. I confess, Mr. Speaker, that I found it a very difficult task. The right hon. gentleman seldom if ever made a definite pronouncement. The most definite one that I remember during my short time in this house was the famous, "not a five cent piece to a Tory government," and that has become the epitaph on the tombstone of the late Liberal government. I did find, however, that the right hon. gentleman made this statement:

I can see nothing arising out of a recognition of this problem-

That is, of unemployment:

-as a national problem which obliges this federal government, having regard to our constitution and the division of powers under it, to collect taxes from the people generally in order to meet a situation which affects only a certain group of people in some municipalities in this country, but which does not adversely affect the country as a whole.

Obviously, Mr. Speaker, at that time the federal government failed to recognize that there was a national emergency in this country, and, equally obviously, from that statement, it was not their intention to take any useful action with respect to the emergency. Under those conditions we of the Conservative party voted unanimously in favour of the Heaps resolution.

Let us consider -for a moment the situation in 1931. Within six weeks after being elected to power this government called a special session. We voted $20,000,000, resulting, with the provincial and municipal contributions, in the expenditure of $60,000,000 in this country. We made some tariff changes for which we were condemned, but will any hon. gentleman attempt to prove that by reason of those tariff changes we have not created more jobs in the textile industries and in some others which I could mention? In view of that record of 22110-47

quick action, in view of the intimations in the speech from the throne of further action on the part of this government, do those hon. gentlemen who represent labour in this house, and who have accused us of changing our attitude, expect us of the Conservative party to vote against that government which has done so much to relieve the conditions with which we were confronted in this country?

The hon. member for South Vancouver like the hon. member for North Winnipeg, when he made a speech with reference to the unemployment situation in this country, told us at the outset that he was going to deal with the extent and seriousness of the present conditions; what steps should be taken to meet the situation; the desirability of federal investigation as to the causes, and lastly, what permanent steps should be taken to meet the situation and to provide against these ever-recurring periods of depression. I also re-read the speech of that hon. gentleman to see if I could find therein any constructive suggestion for relief of the situation. I find that he spent a great deal of time telling us of the seriousness and extent of the unemployment situation in Canada, of which the members on this side of the house are fully aware, but I could not find one practical legislative suggestion. His speech was filled with innocuous generalities. It is very easy in times such as these to be a crusader and ride the fiery steed of socialism, clad in the glistening armour of glittering generalities, but when we examine that speech we find that he made only one specific proposal, and that was when he said that the cause of unemployment was the private ownership of the means of production. To prove his case, he asked us to assume that we had all the people in the world assembled in this chamber, which by the way according to his own statement he found such a very dreary place. Then he asked us to imagine if any would go cold and hungry if we had the wealth of the world herein contained with us.

My hon. friend from North Winnipeg today has referred to Russia. Might I suggest to my hon. friend from Vancouver South that he need not take a hypothetical case, which never conclusively proves anything. He has a concrete case of the very doctrine he is proposing in that country which he has compared so frequently in this house with Canada, namely, in Russia. There you have all the means of production owned entirely by the state. Russia is the world's most gigantic corporation and monopoly. True, the individual there may own his boots or his underwear, if he is lucky enough to be able to procure any, but all the means of production are owned by the state, and yet let me remind

The Address-Mr. Lawson

my hon. friend that in Russia to-day both the labour man and the agriculturist go cold and hungry, and if the labour man is not hungry, it is because he has partaken of that limited diet of black bread and a sour pickle which would not be tolerated by the labour man of this country.

I am frequently amused, and sometimes I must confess made impatient, by some of my hon. friends who represent a particular class in this house, and who seem to think that none of us in the Conservative party, simply because we were elected to represent the citizens as a whole, have the interests of the working men of this country at heart. There are many of us on this side of the house who have laboured in many activities of life. So far as I am concerned, I was born in the labouring classes. My father was an iron moulder and at one time president of the local union of the city of Ottawa. I, as a boy, have known what it was for the family to endeavour to exist on the then strike pay of seven dollars a week. I have pounded sand in the foundry. I have swung a sledge on steel in the mica mines of the Gatineau valley. I have worked in several fields of activity and endeavour, and I think I know something of the problems of labour and of the labouring people in this country. I want to say to my hon. friends who purport to represent labour in this house that if they will but advocate in this house measures which are practicable, measures which are within our legislative competence, they will receive a tremendous support from the ranks of the Conservative party. But if they merely persist, as they sometimes do, in making inflammatory speeches devoid of practical suggestion, they will not advance the cause which they purport to espouse.

The hon. member for Vancouver South, who purports to represent labour, during his speech asked a question of the labouring men of this country. The hon. member for North Winnipeg has stated in his speech that we constantly talk of Russia. I would remind him that it was in dealing with Russia and comparing it with Canada that the hon. member for Vancouver South, after detailing the unfortunate emergent conditions prevailing in this country at the present time, asked a question of labour in this country. I cannot quote the exact wording of the question, but it was to this effect: "Would not the labour men of Canada prefer the enforced labour of Russia to the enforced idleness of this country?"

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IND

Angus MacInnis

Independent Labour

Mr. MacINNIS:

May I rise to a point of order? My hon. friend has paid a good deal

of attention to what I said, but I would ask him to quote me correctly, if he is going to quote me at all.

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CON

James Earl Lawson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LAWSON:

Does my hon. friend deny that during the course of his speech he put the question: Would not the labour men of Canada prefer the enforced labour of Russia to the enforced idleness of this country?

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IND

Angus MacInnis

Independent Labour

Mr. MacINNIS:

Evidently the hon. member does not know what I said. I said that in Russia there was enforced labour and that in Canada we had enforced idleness. Doe3 my hon. friend deny that?

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CON

James Earl Lawson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LAWSON:

No, Mr. Speaker, I do not deny it because I did not make the statement. At my leisure, I shall consult Hansard on the point, but my recollection is that my hon. friend from Vancouver South put such a question to the labour men of Canada. I say that the question in the form in which it was put by the hon. member was not a fair one to be placed before the working men of this country nor was it one that the working men could answer. The putting of it does not in the least benefit the cause the hon. gentleman professes to espouse. A fairer question to have asked labour in this country would have been whether they desired the enforced labour of Russia at the prevailing average rate of wage of $31 per month for unskilled labour and $41 for skilled labour, or the opportunity of collective bargaining which they have in Canada. It would have been fairer to ask if they preferred the standard of living in this country with its varied diet or the black bread and sour pickle of Russia. To my mind even the varied diet of the soup kitchen in times of emergency is preferable to the conditions under which labouring men in the country to which my hon. friend referred must work. Lastly I would ask labour if they preferred the living quarters, limited as they are to some sixteen square feet and treble the rental for each extra square foot, of Russia or the opportunities for home and family ties which they have in Canada. So far as I am concerned, Mr. Speaker, I want for the working men of this country the maintenance of the system of collective bargaining, the maintenance of family life and our fairly high standards of living. I want for them an opportunity to rear their children in the belief of a Creator and in the immortality of the soul. I want for them the maintenance of free clinics, hospitals and homes for the infirm, even though I must have them at the hands of the alleged much despised capitalistic system. I want for the labouring men in this country a continuation

The Address-Mr. Carmichael

of progressive and practical legislation which will give labour a larger share of the profits of production to which my hon. friends so frequently refer.

In conclusion I would like to say to my hon. friends that as one who sprang from and still considers himself as part of the labouring class I regret exceedingly the suggestion by hon. members opposite that because some measure is not brought down and passed before we have the opportunity of taking the ordinary parliamentary procedure labour in this country or the unemployed in the ranks of labour will proceed to riot and insurrection. I have great faith in the common sense of the Anglo-Saxon-and that most patient of men, the French-Canadian-worker. I do not believe that they will be in favour of conditions of riot in this country unless they do so under a momentary spell of emotion resulting from speeches delivered by some demagogic leader who is more anxious to express his own views than to advance measures which are most in the interest of labour. If hon. members would content themselves for a short time and give this Conservative government an opportunity to work out the problems of Canada, as our brilliant and honoured leader indicated prior to the last election he would do, wTe will make, as requested by the hon. member for Winnipeg North at the conclusion of his speech, this Canada a happier place in which to live.

May I say that I believe the labour men of Canada will express their will and their views, as they have in the past, not by riot and insurrection, but by ballot. When the time c-omes that they determine by their ballots that this Conservative government has outlived its usefulness, we shall bow gracefully to their decision but will carry on, in an united effort, whether it be in government or in opposition, to enact legislation not beneficial solely to one particular class but in the interest of all our citizens.

At six o'clock the house took recess.

After Recess

The house resumed at eight o'clock.

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PRO

Archibald M. Carmichael

Progressive

Mr. A. M. CARMICHAEL (Kindersley):

Mr. Speaker, the member for Acadia (Mr. Gardiner) in his speech this afternoon outlined conditions in our western country so ably and so fully that it is scarcely necessary for me to dwell at any extended length upon those conditions. True, he might have gone further than he did and not enlarged upon the truth in any particular. He might have 22110-47)

described the terrible dust storms that that country has experienced this spring; he might have stated the conditions existing there under the present trying weather, and he might perhaps have made his description a little more dramatic. I also had the privilege of being home for the Easter recess, and for two days out of the nine I experienced the worst dust storms that I have ever seen in that western country, and I have been there for a period of some twenty-six years. If hon. members can imagine houses being dark in the middle of the afternoon, automobile drivers having to turn on their lights in the middle of the day and even then not able to see the road, and the impossibility of one who was walking along the street seeing very large buildings more than 150 yards ahead, they will have some idea of the extraordinary weather.

In my immediate district during the past year we had a good crop so far as yield was concerned, and yet the farmers after paying their threshing expenses and their hired help had nothing for their store bills, their garage and other accounts, they had nothing left to pay their indebtedness to the banks and mortgage companies, they had nothing left to pay their taxes. Indeed, in my own municipality there was but 38 per cent of the taxes paid during the past year. And what did the agriculturists have to live on during the winter and meet their operating expenses during the ensuing year? They had nothing left, not even in the districts where there was a comparatively good crop. From what I have said hon. members will readily understand what the conditions are like in other parts of the west where they have had little or nothing in the way of crops.

Last fall the farmers out there in their dire extremity looked to Ottawa to do something. There was an almost universal demand for a pegged price of wheat. Municipalities, wheat pool committees, united farmers' locals, farmers' conventions, and even our three western premiers, were unanimous in asking Ottawa to do something towards helping the struggling farmers. Their idea of what should be done to meet the situation was to peg the price of wheat at a minimum of 70 cents a bushel. Ottawa in its wisdom did not see fit to grant that request. Others thought we should have a set price on our wheat consumed in Canada of at least SI a bushel. That did look like a reasonable request, it did look as though we had control of the wheat used in our own country, and that it would not be asking too much to set a minimum price on such wheat. But no price was set. Some wise thinkers in my own district got it into their heads that a

The Address-Mr. Carmichael

reasonable request would be to have a bonus paid by the government based on the number of acres that had been seeded in 1930, and that this would be a fairer method than to set a price on wheat milled for domestic consumption, inasmuch as it would give something to those who had no crop. But nothing came of that proposal. The latest request that I have received from my district is that a bounty should be paid on all grain exported ; that is, so much per bushel on wheat, barley and oats. But up to the present time nothing has resulted from that request either.

Thus we have to look to the speech from the throne for any intimation of how these unsatisfactory conditions may be remedied. There is one short passage in that speech which may contain considerable hopes for us or it may not contain very much. It is this:

It will be your privilege to consider certain measures designed by my ministers to ameliorate existing conditions, to provide further means by which our people may go forward to achieve a prosperity heretofore unattained and to furnish them with all possible safeguards against a recurrence of the present subordination to world forces.

This may mean that the government intends to do something to remedy the conditions to which I have referred. We hope so. But, as I have already intimated, it may be merely a statement with nothing to follow in the way of action.

The amendment to the speech from the throne, as has already been stated in the course of this debate, contains not much more than a negative statement. In fact, if the amendment were condensed to read: "We regret that we are not sitting over where you are," I think this would represent its sum and substance.

In the subamendment-in which I am particularly interested, and to which I wish to address the main portion of my remarks-we have outlined to the house three major requests. First, a committee of this house to investigate conditions and report; second, to consider further agricultural relief; third, a further measure of dealing with unemployment. I choose to take the latter point first, then the middle point and the first point last.

It is true that at the special session last fall by the Unemployment Relief Act we did provide a measure of relief for unemployment. No person can say that the putting into circulation of millions of dollars towards carrying on public works is not going to help unemployment. It does in a measure. Then to further assist unemployment the date for the expiry of payments from the federal treasury was extended from March 31 to, I believe, June 30, That, too, does help. But, Mr. Speaker, the

portions of our country that are chiefly helped by that measure are those larger centres of population, the urban municipalities, so far as western Canada is concerned. During the Easter recess I found my own small town, with a population of a little over a thousand, was scarcely able financially to avail itself of the measure of relief afforded under that legislation, for the simple reason that municipalities are required to put up 25 per cent of the cost of the labour on any public improvement, and in addition to that, if a waterwork or sewage system is undertaken, which would require considerable piping, seventy per cent at least of the cost of such piping or equipment must be borne by the local municipality, and not more than 30 per cent can be charged to the federal or provincial government. This simply meant that a small town or village or rural municipality was practically precluded from taking any advantage under the relief legislation of the special session. They could not put up the 25 per cent of the labour plus the 70 per cent or more of the cost of the material.

I-would suggest, Mr. Speaker, as a further measure of relief, that we continue Dominion public works in the way of Dominion public buildings. We need public buildings through-our our western country, although possibly in our eastern provinces we are very well supplied. I know that that is not the case in the west. We need post office buildings in our large towns out there, and the undertaking of public buildings or public works by the Dominion government, in conjunction with provincial governments, still would keep money in circulation and give employment to those who are out of work. Then, as another suggestion. I would remind hon. gentlemen that the Conservative party of Canada is committed to a trans-Canada highway, by a vote in this house and by a preelection pledge given last summer. They are definitely committed to a trans-Canada highway, so why not undertake that scheme now? I know finances are low; I know it is difficult to make ends meet in our federal budget, but I also know a few other things in regard to conditions in this country. I know that if a war were to break out we would find money for that purpose, so why not find it for conditions which now exist in our country, for which something really must be done? As far as Saskatchewan is concerned, we have room for the expenditure of considerable public funds on the trans-Canada highway, if it were directed through the middle portion of the province. That would give a large measure of relief to agriculturists, who need it at this time.

The Address-Mr. Carmichael

Now I will leave that point and take up the question of agricultural relief. This is something which the federal government also has undertaken to remedy. So far as the province of Saskatchewan is concerned, some action has been taken to give some agricultural relief. I am not sure it is all that should be done, but something has been done. The provincial government have passed what is called the Rural Municipalities Relief Act of Saskatchewan. By that act municipalities are enabled to borrow from the banks, at a rate of interest not exceeding 7 per cent, sufficient funds to grant relief to their ratepayers for the purchase of flour, coal, wood, fodder, gasoline and motor oil. The provincial government may guarantee the loan and may reimburse the municipality, and the borrowing for these purposes does not curtail the borrowing power of the municipality for any other purpose. That looks very good; it looks as though the onus is placed upon the municipalities, and if they take action relief should be forthcoming. While I was at home I learned that some municipalities did take action and are granting this relief, but other municipalities have not taken action. Their councils met and, after consideration, they decided that the scheme was not a good one for them to undertake at the present time, and they turned it down.

Perhaps if we knew all the conditions that are imposed upon a municipality undertaking to pass a by-law for such relief we would not question the wisdom of the councils in what they have done. First, the municipality must pass a by-law; second, they must have the by-law approved by the provincial government; third, the municipality must issue a note to the provincial government for the full amount of the seed grain, due in the fall of 1931; fourth, the municipality must purchase the seed; fifth, the grain must be inspected by a government seed inspector, who will come around at his leisure and make his inspection before it can be purchased and used; sixth, the price is to be the price of grain at Forth William, less the freight, plus five cents a bushel for cleaning; seventh, the seller of the seed must wait for payment from the provincial government; eighth, a caveat is registered against the farmer's land and a promissory note is taken from him by the municipality, and ninth, the municipality must collect the accounts and bear 25 per cent of the ultimate loss. When all these conditions are imposed upon a municipality, with the time almost upon them for seeding operations, I do not wonder that some of them have turned down the scheme, when

you bear in mind the further fact that they carry liabilities running into many thousands of dollars in the way of outstanding taxes and other accounts which they are unable to pay. Schools are dependent upon them for further operations; telephone companies are dependent upon them as well, and there are other schemes which have been undertaken and which are dependent upon the municipal councils for their maintenance and upkeep. So we can hardly question the wisdom of a municipal council in turning down this scheme. It is unfortunate, however, for the poor farmers residing in any municipalities where the scheme has been turned down by the council. They have no hope; they are left stranded financially. I have here a letter from the secretary of the United Farmers' lodge in my own constituency. In part it reads as follows:

The farmers in this part of Saskatchewan are in very bad circumstances this spring. Our municipal council decided not to extend relief for gas, and so forth to farmers, and I know of two cases within five miles of my place that I do not know how they can seed. One man has an engine and only four horses with about GOO acres of wheat to seed; the other man has one section of land with an engine and only two old horses. Neither one of these men has any money and cannot get any and cannot get gas for their engines without money. Both these men have large families and it is quite apparent that unless conditions change quickly the country will have to feed these families.

That is just an illustration of conditions which exist in communities where the municipalities have refused or failed to grant relief.

Then as a further measure of agricultural relief I would suggest that something be done in connection with the price of gasoline out in our western country. I am going to mention in a few moments something that has been done already with regard to the price of gasoline, but it has not been for the benefit of the struggling agriculturists. First, however, I have here a letter from my municipal council protesting against the price of gasoline and the high freight rates. They say in part:

We find upon examination of freight bills of tank cars of gasoline coming to this point that they art billed with the rate figured on the basis of eight pounds to the gallon, and when a gallon is weighed out it turns the scale at seven pounds. The average car will run over 6,000 gallons so that the consumer pays freight as a rule on 3 tons of gasoline which is not carried by the company and never received by the dealer, which turns out royally at $50 per car.

Then further on:

In the present depressed condition of agriculture we are requesting the government of

The Address-Mr. Carmichael

the province and of the Dominion to give consideration and relief in the form of a half freight rate.

That is a suggestion which I pass on to the government, and here is another suggestion in the same connection, sent me by the secretary of a cooperative association:

We have to request that you protest in parliament against the difference in gasoline prices here and in Oklahoma where gas is reported to be selling as low as If cents per gallon in the field. In view of general conditions here it is held that gasoline prices should be much lower than they are.

I have in my hand a Canadian Press despatch clipped from a newspaper under date of March 26 of this year, which outlines the action taken by the Minister of National Revenue (Mr. Ryckman). I wish he were here to listen to what I am going to say. In part the clipping reads as follows:

Values for duty purposes have been fixed by Hon. E. B. Ryckman, Minister of National Revenue, on refined gasoline entering Canada from the United States. In a bulletin issued to-day to customs and excise officers values for import purposes were placed on gasoline for various refining areas across the border. The new regulations come into effect immediately.

The next paragraph gives the values fixed by the minister, and the following paragraph reads:

The effect of the new regulations is that if gasoline is brought into Canada at lower than these figures, the dumping duty automatically applies. Price cutting in some parts of the United States, which in some quarters has been described as a "gasoline war." is understood to have impelled the Minister of National Revenue to take action to prevent Canadian refiners suffering from unfair competition.

It is too bad about our Canadian refiners. They might not be able to declare as large dividends if gasoline came in from the United States where a price war is in progress, but what about our struggling agriculturists who have no money with which to buy gasoline; what about the ones of whom we heard this afternoon, eighty per cent of whom are on the verge of bankruptcy? I wish the hon. Minister of National Revenue would put on a pair of agricultural goggles for a few days through which to look; he has been looking through the manufacturer's glasses so long that he has lost sight of the farmer's viewpoint. I am sure that the government has no desire to see this condition continue. Surely the agricultural industry is of as much, if not more, importance to Canada than that of a few refiners who are trying to make all the money they can. Let them make all the money they can, but they have no right to penalize the agricultural industry by means of protection received from this government. If

there is price slashing going on in the United States we should have the benefit.

I have another suggestion to make in regard to agricultural relief, which is embodied in a resolution passed at a farmers' meeting in my constituency. The secretary advised me that there were 150 ratepayers present, and the resolution reads as follows:

Whereas both our provincial and federal governments have recommended an extension of live stock production on western farms, which lias resulted in an enormous increase in the number of hogs in the breeding pens in Saskatchewan, conservatively estimated at two to three times the number of a year ago and which can be still further extended,

And whereas the present high cost of processing and transportation prevents competition with Danish pork products on the British market.

Therefore be it resolved that we urge the federal government to give immediate consideration to

1st. "i he construction of two or more processing plants at western points.

2nd. Establishment of an outlet for quality pork products on the British market. "

3rd. Strict grading of the finished product under governmental supervision to insure that a market once established may be held.

4th. Adjustment of freight rates to reduce the heavy charges now obtaining.

The matter of interest rates has been discussed quite extensively and it is not necessary for me to enlarge upon this question. Mv own personal experience with the banks is that they are willing to lend money whenever there is a possibility of its being returned. One bank manager told me that he could not see any possibility of the farmer repaying even the smallest loan out of his fanning operations of 1931. That is the reason the banks are not lending money to farmers. However, they are not the only sinners in western Canada in connection with the rates of interest. While I was home during the Easter recess I interviewed the manager of a mortgage company in the city of Saskatoon in connection wdth a mortgage which had been placed upon a farm in my home district. The amount of the mortgage was $1,500 and it had been in force some eight or ten years. I approached the manager with a view to having an adjustment made on the interest rate of 8s per cent, and the only concession I was able to obtain was that if the mortgage could be put in good shape through the payment of last year's interest, and a further payment of $7.50 made for the writing of a new mortgage, the manager would recommend to the board that the interest rate be reduced to 8 per cent. This mortgage is being carried by a widow with four young children. She is finding it almost impossible to make ends meet, and yet she is being forced to pay an

The Address-Mr. Carmichael

interest rate of 8i per cent. I could go on and enlarge in regard to land agreements, and the interest being charged. Many farmers have found it impossible to pay the interest. In some cases they have asked for a rebate and that they be allowed to continue the agreement for two or three years without the payment of interest. I hope that some redress will be made along these lines.

The next point raised in the subamendment is the formation of a committee to inquire into the economic condition. A few years ago many complaints were being received in regard to immigration. This matter was brought before the house and the government of the day very wisely referred the matter to the committee on agriculture and colonization. This committee was given a wide scope to investigate the matter; it was empowered to call witnesses, form a judgment and make a report to the house. That is what is asked for under this subamendment, that a committee of the house be formed and that this matter be turned over to it for investigation. It should have the power to call witnesses and to investigate and discuss the matter from every angle. Expert economists could be called in order that the committee might have the benefit of their knowledge.

Man's genius is great. He is able to travel on and under the water; he can travel at great speed upon the land in railway trains and motor cars, and under the land in underground trains. He is able to travel through the air at tremendous speed. He has girdled the earth with his voice by means of radio. He is able to telephone over thousands of miles and hear the voice of the person being spoken to. He is able to accomplish wonderful things through his God-given wisdom, but when it comes to a situation where there is an abundance of food-our granaries in many cases bursting with grain-and at the same time thousands of people are face to face with starvation, man seems impotent to solve the problem. We see men riding the freight trains from town to town, begging for something to eat and hunting for jobs. With an abundance of food, with vast numbers of people seeking work, we cannot bring the two together. What is the matter with us? Are the brains in this House of Commons not functioning properly? We come here from all parts of this Dominion and seek to do the best we can for those who have need of help, and surely at this time when people are actually starving, something can be done. I have seen men drop off the freight trains at my own home town and go from door to door begging a meal. I believe the majority of these men are willing to work if they can get something to do. The farmers

cannot employ them to any great extent, or if they could they cannot afford to pay very much because they would be unable to get it back from the land.

I noticed when returning to Ottawa that every freight train that passed contained its quota of men taking a ride. When these men get hungry they jump off and try to beg a meal. How long are such conditions going to continue? Surely a committee should be appointed by this house to investgiate these things. If there is any remedy we should know of it. Such a condition is nothing less than a national evil. Surely we do not expect to sit here for three or four months and pass only estimates and a few amendments to acts and then go home and shut our eyes to what is going on. Surely there is some way to get around it. In my opinion a committee of this house would be the best -means of inquiring into this question and I hope the government will see its way cleaT to adopt the suggestion.

The other suggestions that have been made as to assistance to agriculture and further unemployment relief are important, but they are not of as great importance as the appointment of a committee of the house to try to solve the problem now confronting us. Such a committee could suggest a remedy to parliament and we could then act upon it. Suggestions have been made in the house by different members. One hon. member suggested that deflation of currency would be a cure; another suggested that bringing down wages and the cost of living and tightening our national belt would be a cure. A number of splendid suggestions have been made. I hope some of them will be taken into consideration, and that we shall be able to act upon them. Therefore I strongly urge upon the government the idea of having a committee appointed by the house to take action at and report during this session. Such a committee could inquire into the cost of producing farm products, the selling price of the same, and the spread between the two. They could also inquire into the cost of manufacturing articles, the selling price of the same and the spread between the two. I notice from a report and I am informed by the Bureau of Statistics that the drop in the price level of agricultural products is much greater than that in the price level of manufactured articles. I have in my hand a statement showing that for the month of March, 1931, in comparison with the month of March, 1930, the drop in the price level of manufactured articles was 14 per cent, whereas the droo in the price of agricultural products wa*

The Address-Mr. Carmichael

35 per cent. Why is that? Are we as agriculturists to be forced to pay more than we should? A committee could inquire into that and get at the facts of the case. There are many other matters concerning which they could form a judgment and report to the house.

As a last thought to leave with the house I am going to read a quotation from a statement made by a man who is considered an authority on finance. It represents very largely my own thought, but if I gave my own thought it might not be accepted quite so readily. This is a statement by Roger Babson, of the Babson Institute, who is an authority on finance. He has this to say in regard to present economic conditions:

Apparently people to-day are not only tired out physically, but are discouraged. They lack the faith which is essential to personal or national progress. Accompanying this lack of faith is a disrespect for law, order, and experience. Faith, to be effective, must be backed up by righteousness. Faith cannot be bought and quickly obtained when in trouble-like medicine. Faith must be acquired slowly before it is needed-like education. Faith comes through patient devotion, right living, and service to others.

A great mass of wage earners, executives, and young business people have never before witnessed a severe business depression. Ever since Germany declared war in 1914-with the exception of a very short readjustment period after the war ended-there has been a constant demand for labour.

In view' of the steady work and easy profits.

. . . this new generation has felt sufficient in itself. Sabbath schools and churches have been neglected; family prayers have been given up, and Sunday has been made a common holiday. Hence, unlike previous generations, a large percentage of the people now unemployed, or losing money in business, have no faith upon which to fall back. When employed or making money, they did nothing to store up spiritual reserves, and hence have none to draw upon now that employment and profits have vanished. As a result great masses of people are discouraged and know not where to turn. The material w'ealth upon which they solely depended has gone. They have no spiritual wealth upon which to draw, and they are tired out physically. What is true of individuals is also true of nations.

He goes on to say:

More religion-rather than more legislation -is the need of the hour.

I agree with Roger Baibson. By legislative enactments we can cure some of our ills, but as this economist has pointed out, we can perhaps help ourselves also to cure some of our individual and national ills.

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LIB

Peter Heenan

Liberal

Hon. PETER HEENAN (Kenora-Rainv River):

Mr. Speaker, I would like to avail

myself of this opportunity to make a few observations before the debate closes. First

I should like to say how glad I am that the Prime Minister (Mr. Bennett) has returned from Great Britain safely and in good health and that he is now engaged in administering the affairs of Canada in a manner at least pleasing to himself. Some people are very hard to please. I recall that the present Prime Minister, when he was leader of the opposition, advocated the repeal of the New Zealand treaty, a higher tariff against the United States, and a greater trade preference to Great Britain. When the King government put the whole three into effect, he then took the position that the then government had forsaken the country. From that it will be seen that it is very hard to please the hon. gentleman.

The Prime Minister, before he returned to Canada, took the time to visit old Ireland. I know he would be received with the greatest respect in the emerald isle, both in the north and in the south, because the Irish people have always shown the greatest respect to Canadian public men. So I hope that when the Prime Minister met the President of the Irish Free State, he assured that gentleman that the Hon. Howard Ferguson, who was then Premier of Ontario, was not representing the views of the majority of the Canadian people when, during the last federal election, he referred to that gentleman in such a contemptible manner. I hope the Prime Minister assured the Irish people that it was not because of that contemptuous reference that Mr. Ferguson was afterwards appointed to the high position of the representative of Canada in London.

I mention this because, when I read the statement in the press, I thought at the time it was a peculiar position for a gentleman who was contemplating that in the event of a change of government he would go over to England to unify, or "cement," as he himself said, all the countries which comprises the British commonwealth of nations.

During the last election, however, Mr. Ferguson made many statements which were not in accordance with facts. Hon. members will all have read how, for instance, he said that three of the Ontario Federal cabinet ministers would be defeated. Everyone knows now that they were all elected. He repeated time and again that the then Minister of Labour was bound to be defeated, and hon. members all know now that that was not in accordance with the facts. He also stated that he had seen train loads of immigrants being brought to this country from Europe at the public expense, and he said that he had protested to Ottawa with regard to the matter.

The Address-Mr. Heenan

When he was challenged from the public platform, he said that a station agent had told him so and his protest to Ottawa had been to Sir William Clark, British representative in Canada. It is a peculiar incident that just at the time Mr. Ferguson was complaining about too many immigrants coming to this country, I had sent to me an English newspaper showing the Ontario government advertising for more immigrants and, indeed, guaranteeing them free passage to Ontario.

I am sure hon. members will not forget, when Mr. Ferguson returned from Europe in 192S, the criticism that he levelled against the Immigration department. Hon. members will not forget, I am sure, how he pointed out that as long as the Immigration department used red tape, denying, as he said, the entrance of men with cauliflower ears, bow legs and squint eyes, Canada was not going to get the full complement of immigrants she was entitled to receive. I mention that just to show that Mr. Ferguson is given to misrepresentation, and those who know him best do not take all he says seriously.

I have not time, Mr. Speaker, to deal with the whole speech from the throne in forty minutes, but I can, however, agree wholeheartedly with its first sentence, which says:

I welcome you to your duties at a time when the nations of the world are passing through a period of great economic depression.

I would like hon. members of the government to explain how it is that economic conditions have changed so rapidly and have now become world-wide, because both before and during the election the Conservatives emphatically stated throughout the country that it was only Canada that was passing through a period of depression, and that because of the fiscal policy of the late administration. I am sure that the people of Canada will accept this confession of misrepresentation, and at the proper time deal with it.

Many hon. members who have spoken have already shown very clearly that the government has failed to fulfil its election promises, especially with respect to unemployment, and as yet there has been no answer from the government benches. I think I am safe in saying, Mr. Speaker, that the views of the members of the opposition have so far been treated with an indifference which I feel sure has not been equalled in any parliament since constitutional government has been established.

I listened with a good deal of interest this afternoon to the hon. member for West York (Mr. Lawson) and was struck with the ability

of that young gentleman in presenting his views to the house. I was sorry, however, to see him devote so much of his time to a criticism of the three Labour members in the far corner of the chamber. He seemed, as I listened to him, to leave the impression that the three labour members had not offered any constructive suggestions with respect to the unemployment situation. I would remind him that the government of which he is a supporter was elected to end unemployment, without any suggestions from other members of the house. I would also remind him that when the members on this side of the house asked what was the policy of the government with regard to ending unemployment or for unemployment relief, they received no definite answer. The hon. member for West York sought to leave the impression that about all the three Labour members of the house did was to indulge in inflammatory speeches. Well, Mr. Speaker, I have listened to these three members representing labour both inside the house and outside, and I can safely say that for violence, and any inflammatory tendency, their speeches do not begin to compare in the slightest degree with those that were made by leading Conservatives throughout the country during the last election campaign

I fear that the hon. member for West York this afternoon did not correctly represent the position of the hon. member for Vancouver South (Mr. Maclnnis). The hon. member for Vancouver South, as I heard him speak the other day, was simply answering the arguments that had been made by the deputy speaker (Mr. LaVergne) as to conditions in Russia. He pointed out that it had been stated that there was forced labour in Russia, and he went on to show that while there was forced labour in Russia, there was enforced idleness in Canada, and I think every hon. member will agree that that is true. Anyone can read the remarks of the hon. member for Vancouver South as they appear at page 187 of Hansard, and I am sure that the hon. member for West York, if he will read them, will agree that he did not correctly represent the position taken by the hon. member.

The hon. member for West York also complained of the lack of constructive suggestions from the Labour members of the house. Let me remind him that the hon. member for North Winnipeg (Mr. Heaps) has made many suggestions in this house which have been of a constructive nature. If hon. members will look at the order paper they will find a constructive suggestion standing there in his name. At the last regular session of 1930

The Address-Mr. Heenan

The Address-Mr. Heenan

out and given jobs on Ontario government highway construction while many of our own settlers in that district were denied work. This mind you, was done in the name of the Conservative party, and I ask, is it any wonder there were many decent minded Conservatives who expressed contempt [DOT] with such tactics, and I am sure voted accordingly?

I could go on and tell of other tactics equally as contemptible, but I will only refer to one other. A leaflet was circulated in parts of my riding with reference to a certain fraternal society. It is so base, so vile and indecent that I will not take up the time or insult the intelligence of hon. members by dealing further with the matter at this time. The good citizens of my riding, characterized it for what it was-an infamous falsehood.

Propaganda such as this cannot help but fail in a country such as Canada, where we have broadminded, sensible, intelligent and tolerant people. It failed in my riding during the recent election. It failed because the people have known me for the past twenty-nine years. The business men knew that I had fought for the rights of that district in regard to its industrial development against great odds. The farmers did not forget that while I was a member of the legislature, I secured for them many miles of roads and highways, financial assistance for schools, and community halls, and therefore they accepted this propaganda with the usual grain of salt. The workers know me because I represented them for many years in the industrial field before I entered public life, and they did not forget that I had a hand in securing valuable legislation in their interests.

On Friday last the hon. member for East Algoma (Mr. Nicholson) referring to the member for Kenora-Rainy River, suggested it would be an excellent act if some one introduced me to the Minister of Labour from 1926 to 1930. He sought to leave the impression that I was not consistent in my attitude towards certain reforms. Well, Mr. Speaker, I am ready for the introduction, because the workers know (1) that I had a hand in securing increase in wages for settlers and workers on Ontario government work in my riding; (2) I had a hand in securing valuable amendments to the Workmen's Compensation Act; (3) in securing the establishing of the Mothers' Allowance Act; (4) in securing the establishment of the minimum wage for women and girls; (5) that I secured an undertaking from the railway companies to place men in positions after being injured in their employ, when they could not follow their former ocsitions; (6) that I moved and

had passed in the legislature on April 14, 1924, a resolution to provide fair wages in industries using the natural resources of the province; (7) that I advocated in the Ontario legislature the establishing of a system of unemployment insurance; (8) that on April 14, 1924, I moved a motion in the Ontario legislature to provide an eight-hour day on all public and private industrial undertakings.

(9) The workers also remembered that after the change of government in 1023 the Conservative government introduced a measure in 1924, designed to destroy the Workmen's Compensation Act, and they knew that I, as their watchdog, raised the whole Labour forces of Ontario to protest against this measure, resulting in having the bill withdrawn on its second reading. I happen to have a copy of the Toronto Evening Telegram, of July 22, 1924, which comments upon tins action at that particular time. It says:

The bill was withdrawn, although the government was. even at the time it withdrew the measure, mystified at the sudden manifestation oi opposition. Then it was learned that Peter Heenan. who is a member of the railway brotherhoods had sent out frantic wires to the various lodges within his reach, asking them to oppose the bill.

The Toronto Telegram stated further,

There is little doubt but that the provincial government will at the next session of the legislature again bring in its bill to reconstruct the Workmen's Compensation board by creating a board of review.

In that connection, Mr. Speaker, let me point out that although the Toronto Telegram, which paper is very close to the Ontario government, prophesied that the measure would be introduced at the next session, seven years have passed, and I am glad to say the measure has not been reintroduced since, and I doubt if it ever Will be.

Now, coming to federal affairs, I want to introduce the member for Kenora-Rainy River to the Minister of Labour from 1926 to 1930 for the benefit of the member for East Algoma. It will be found that during that period there was passed, in the interests of the workers, such legislation as (1) the Union Label Act; (2) the extension of fair wages policy to the industries using our natural resources and coming within the jurisdiction of the federal government; (3) the passing of an order in council to prohibit the bringing into Canada of labour under contract; (4) the establishing of the eight-hour day for government employees who were required to work longer than eight hours, without any reduction in wages; (5) the inauguration of a national council for the Civil Service; (6) the passage of an act to give a measure of justice to postal

The Address-Mr. Heenan

workers in western Canada; (7) the passage of a bill to provide pensions for all Canadian National Railway employees; (8) an act to provide an eight-hour day and fair wages on public works and on all public contracts; (9) and the passage of what I consider the most humane of all measures, an act to provide an old age pension system for Canada; an act, by the way, which, although declared by many Conservatives as unworkable, is to-day paying out pensions to approximately 60,000 Canadian aged citizens.

(10) The workers also know that the King government referred the question of unemployment insurance to the provinces and that seme provinces have declared in favour of legislation to this end.

The workers knew also that during the four years I was Minister of Labour I endeavoured to the best of my ability to give them a square deal, and a square deal is all the workers of Canada ask for. They also knew that during that period the wages of the workers increased on an average of over 15 per cent; and by the way, although the Conservatives promised during the election higher wages, the wages of the Canadian workers to-day are being reduced. Yes, Mr. Speaker, let me tell the member for East Algoma, I consistently advocated a permanent system to deal with unemployment before I was a member of the cabinet, and while I was a member of the cabinet, and that I intend to persist in advocating the establishment of such a scheme.

The members of the Ontario government who were opposing me during the last election, and their henchmen, knew that the workers in my constituency would not forget those things, and so they attempted to misrepresent my position with respect to the national highway. In order that the house may understand the matter I propose to give a brief history of this proposed highway. My first official connection with it was at the formation at Dryden, Ontario, in the month of November, 1919, of an organization known as the Central Canada Colonization and Highway Association. Let me say that at the formation of this organization, with representatives from Manitoba to east of the head of the lakes, no suggestion was made that the federal government should contribute towards its construction. In March, 1920, the executives of this organization, with a prominent Conservative as its president, presented a memorial to the Ontario government, requesting the construction of the highway, and not one word or suggestion was made as to a contribution of one cent from

the federal government. I was the Member for the Kenora district in the Ontario legislature. I urged the government to send surveyors out, which was done, and in 1921 contracts were let to stump and grub the section from Kenora to the Manitoba boundary line, and some grading was done between then and 1923.

The government changed in 1923 and the work was practically closed down. I urged the new government to continue the work which had been started. In 1921 Hon. James Lyons, then - Minister of Lands and Forests, made a statement at a public meeting at the head of the lakes which can be found in the Fort William Times Journal of May 30, 1924. He definitely promised that the highway to the Manitoba boundary would be completed within three years and that the road eastward to the Sault would be undertaken at once and completed within the next seven years. Again there was not a word of suggestion that the federal government should contribute anything towards the cost. The work was not proceeded with, except in a very small way, notwithstanding the fact that the promise was repeated many times afterwards. During the 1926 provincial election the Ontario government again promised the highway, but after the election the people were again disappointed.

In 1926 I had the honour to be taken into the federal cabinet, and it was after that that a few politicians thought it would be a good political move to raise the cry of federal contribution. They thought that this would serve two purposes; it might have the effect of embarrassing the King government, and at the same time of making the citizens in that part of the country forget the definite promise made many times, and it would serve as an excuse for not fulfilling of those promises. We find that in the Kenora Miner and News of June 4, 1930, the Minister of Lands and Forests is reported to have said at Sault Ste. Marie, on June 3, 1930, that the prosecution of this work depended to a large extent on the attitude of the Dominion government. He said that the Dominion government had not yet accepted the proposal of the province to undertake the work on a 50-50 basis. The citizens of my part of the country have been hoodwinked, betrayed and disappointed by these political gentlemen, but in spite of all this I was elected again.

I want now to make these gentlemen swallow their deliberate misstatements. I hold in my hands sessional paper No. 96, which was brought down upon my motion for the return of all correspondence between the two governments in connection with the highway. I

The Address-Mr. Heenan

have here the answers from all departments of the government, showing there was not one line or one word of correspondence from these departments making such an offer as Mr. Finlayson stated, or even a request for any assistance. However, I am glad the question has been raised, because it is quite evident that the Ontario government never intended to do much but play politics in connection with this highway, but now we have a definite promise, made by the present Prime Minister during the last election, that the federal government would construct a national highway, and I am glad to have been elected to remind the government of that pledge.

The people in northern Ontario want action, Mr. Speaker; we want a highway built. We do not want any more political trickery, and let me say that no matter how much money is asked for this highway, it will have my support and vote. No matter how much a Conservative government spends on this highway it will not compensate the people of northern Ontario for the many years they have been deprived of it, because of the political manoeuvring of a few politicians.

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CON

Isaac Duncan MacDougall

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. I. D. MACDOUGALL (Inverness):

Mr. Speaker, we have had rather an unduly protracted debate, and were it not for the fact that I made certain specific promises to certain of my people, in the province of Nova Scotia I would not for one single instant prolong this debate.

It is customary on an occasion of this kind, Mr. Speaker, to convey congratulations to the mover and the seconder of the address. May I mingle my felicitations with those already offered by hon. gentlemen on all sides of the house on the very high degree of excellence to which each of these speakers attained in his maiden speech in the House of Commons. To those of us in whose veins pulsates French blood it was a matter of great satisfaction that the right hon. Prime Minister of Canada (Mr. Bennett) should have selected to move the address in reply a French speaking member of the House of Commons. He has thus exemplified his high regard for the language of that cultured race and his determination to see that language given its proper position at all times in the parliament of Canada. To those of us who come from the maritime provinces it was particularly gratifying that the French speaking member who moved the address was a member of the French Acadian race. The achievements and sacrifices of that splendid race are written large upon the pages of maritime history. They constitute to-day a very large percentage of our population, and they make

a notable contribution to all that is best in our economic, social and intellectual life in the maritime provinces. Coming as I do from a constituency which is thirty-five per cent French Acadian I wish to thank publicly the right hon. Prime Minister for the signal honour which he has done to this great race by selecting for the first time a French Acadian to move the address in reply to the speech from the throne.

As I listened to the marathon effort of the leader of the opposition (Mr. Mackenzie King), there was brought to me as never before the full realization and significance of that ancient but pithy expression, ''The mountain laboured and brought forth a mouse." In extenuation of his four and a half hour speech my right hon. friend said that for months he had maintained a stoical silence, that he had locked himself up in the fastnesses of Kingsmere in order that he might not embarrass the government. Well, Mr. Speaker, does my right hon. friend suppose that at a time of economic necessity like this, the sole function of a leader of an opposition is to embarrass a government which is tiying to carry on the business of a country? Surely he would not suggest that for a moment. In regard to the stoical silence that he maintained, may I say that the right hon. gentleman is leader of a certain section of public opinion in this country. He' is the leader of what was once a great political party, and the people of Canada had a right to expect a constructive contribution from him. If there was anything of constructive nature that he could offer as a solution for the problems which confront the Canadian people at this time, I think he did not do well to remain silent during those months.

My right hon. friend's speech dealt first with the record of his administration. Well, Mr. Speaker, there is no need to take up the time of parliament in following my right hon. friend there. That record was discussed in every constituency in the Dominion of Canada from Cape Breton to Vancouver, and on that record my right hon. friend and his administration were judged by the people. A great majority of the. people of Canada judged that as a result of that record my right hon. friend henceforth should sit over there rather than over here. So there is no necessity to follow my right hon. friend when he talks about legacies, though I did notice that when he spoke about the legacies left by his administration he rather conveniently forgot to mention that during the time his administration were in power they brought about an increase of 8500,000,000 in the funded debt of the Canadian National Railways. That was

The Address-Mr. Macdougall

one legacy which his administration left to the taxpayers of the Dominion of Canada, but he did not mention it. However, after all, as I have said, my right hon. friend has been tried upon the record which he paraded in that four and one half hour speech, and on that record he has been condemned, so why resurrect a political corpse? Why should we flog a dead horse?

Now I wish to take up some of the other points in the speech of my right hon. friend. He then proceeded-I make this statement very candidly- in a manner which I think was unworthy of his culture and his high intellectual attainments, unworthy of the very important position which he holds in the public life of this country. He tried by subterranean methods to create in this country the impression that the right hon. gentleman who is leading the government is a czar or a dictator, that in him the ego is exaggerated. I think that was very unworthy of my right hon. friend. It offers nothing of a constructive nature either to the people of Canada or to this parliament. The leader of a great political party should not in this house stoop to the use of what cannot be otherwise described than as cheap, demagogic language.

Continuing as to the use of the personal pronoun, he attributed autocratic tendencies to my right hon. leader, but may I suggest that if any hon. member of this house will take the trouble to read the speech made by my right hon. friend he will find that the personal pronoun " I " is used in such statements as, " on such and such a date I said this," or " on such and such a date I argued this " exactly 797 times. When my right hon. friend accuses the Prime Minister of egotism l would suggest that he first " cast the beam from his own eye."

My right hon. friend had something to say about the embargo which has been placed against importations from Russia, foigetting, with that lack of consistency which has ever been the dominating feature of his public life, that in 1927 he did exactly the same thing. One of the reasons why we have a disturbed economic condition throughout the world is because of the tactics adopted by Russia. What is the philosophy behind the Russian five-year plan? Some hon. gentlemen may not like my saying so, but the philosophy behind that plan is to depress wages in Russia to a point where production can be carried on at the cheapest possible rate and to dump the products thus produced on the markets of other countries so that they in turn will have to depress wages, thus causing industrial stress and turmoil leading to revolution in

other parts of the world. Let me read a statement made by the right hon. gentleman when he was far removed from the passion and prejudice of politics. I quote from Industry and Humanity, where he says:

Where consumers extend their patronage to. unscrupulous competitors, a handicap is immediately placed upon those who are preserving peace in industry and securing the welfare ot working people.

That is what motivated the action of the right hon. the Prime Minister. He was trying, to preserve peace in industry in Canada and other countries of the world when he placed an embargo upon importations from Russia^ However, there is another phase to this Russian question, and I think the house and the country are indebted to the hon. deputy speaker (Mr. LaVergne) for bringing it to their attention. Some people may not wish to speak about it, but there is a philosophy behind bolshevism. It is not only an economic theory. The churches in Russia which were built to render adoration to an eternal God' have been turned into places of amusement. The marriage contract is no longer recognized. The sanctity has been taken from that which has been the very bulwark of western civilization. What is the position of woman to-day in Russia? She is used merely as an instrument to satisfy the worst animal passions of man. That system which strives to drive out of the human heart the love for an adoration of an infinite God, R. B. Bennett says shall not prevail in Canada, in spite of what the leader of any other party in this house says.

I notice that my right hon. friend did not spend very much time in discussing unemployment. That is a very delicate question with him. He attempted to criticize my right hon. leader because he had made available to the unemployed people of this country a sum of $20,000,000, which in turn permitted of an expenditure of some $80,000,000 by the different provinces and municipalities. What is the record of my right hon. friend on this question of unemployment, and what is the record of the hon. gentleman who has just taken his-seat (Mr. Heenan)? I remember standing in my place here before the dissolution of parliament and asking the hon. gentleman, who at that time was the Minister of Labour, how many unemployed there were in 'Canada, and as I asked that question I knew that at that time there were 200,000 Canadians out of work. My hon. friend would not reply to that question because he said that it was not a gentlemanly question to ask in parliament. That was his contribution to the unemployment problem. Then we have the famous speech of my right hon. friend, which, speech h a -

The Address-Air. Alacdougall

gone down in political history and will remain there as perhaps one of the most shameful public utterances ever made by a public man in a high place in the parliament of Canada.

My right hon. friend then dealt at great length with the Imperial economic conference. As I said before, my right hon. friend has not the greatest reputation for consistency, and when one makes a speech of - that length it must be very hard to be consistent. It is said that the devil gets into a long prayer; he certainly gets into a long speech. As an example of the inconsistency of my right hon. friend, I would mention his criticism of the Prime Minister for not making known at the special session what he was going to say at the Imperial conference. The words of the right hon. gentlemen appear on page 29 of Hansard, as follows:

I want to say to my right hon. friend that ho did not treat parliament fairly in his attitude with respect to the Imperial conference. I asked him politely at the beginning of the special session to give us a statement of what he intended to do at the Imperial conference. to make known his policies. He was also asked by, I think, the hon. member for Bow River (Mr. Garland) to advise parliament along those lines. He spoke on the Imperial conference two or three times, but he never told this house what he had in mind. I say that was not fair to parliament and it was not fair to the country.

Then on page 31 he said:

I say he should tell us very plainly what his particular policies are going to be, and his attitude with respect to the questions which may come up at the Imperial conference.

The house then rose for dinner, and after recess my right hon. friend took up again the question of the Imperial conference. He spoke about the atmosphere that should be created, the method of approach that should be followed and said, as appears on page 33:

It is important to keep in mind that conferences are exactly what they are termed to be -they are conferences. They are neither cabinets laying down imperial policies, noi are they parliaments in which members meet to discuss in public matters of mutual concern. Unless it were understood there was to be a certain method of approach and a certain amount of privacy thrown around the proceedings at the outset, it would be impossible to get governments to go into conference with each other. If my right hon. friend says that all that is to be discussed at a conference ought to be proclaimed from the rooftops right from the outset, that all should be made known, I would say that if that is to be the known procedure, governments will refuse to go into conference with each other. They must be secure to a certain extent at least until all positions are known against having their positions publicly criticized.

Yet for half an hour he criticised my right hon. leader because he did not tell, at the [Mr. Macdougall.l

special session of the House of Commons, just exactly what he was going to say at the Imperial conference.

There appears to be in some quarters an impression that the Prime Minister of Canada should have gone to the Imperial conference bearing in one hand an olive branch and in the other alms for the British people. Why should any prime minister of Canada have to go to England bearing an olive branch? In 1914, 500.000 Canadians went overseas each bearing an olive branch of good-will towards the empire, and in bearing it aloft, 50,000 of them died. hy should there be any estrangement between Canada and Breat Britain? To talk about estrangement and strained relations is the merest nonsence. No matter what government may be in power, whether it be Liberal or Conservative, the heart of Canada is British to the core, and there will never be strained relations between Canada and our great motherland. As regards going overseas, offering alms such as my right hon. friend was going to offer in the Dunning budget, may I say that the honour, glory and reputation of the British people, the British spirit itself, were never built up on the basis of special privilege or on the receipt of alms. The British people do not want anything of that kind.

I fear there is a motive behind all this talk about strained relations with the motherland. At the Imperial conference the Prime Minister achieved a personal triumph never achieved there before by any other prime minister in the history of Canada, a fact attested to by the better press of England. Another thing that I believe, never happened before in an Imperial conference is that the Prime Minister gave a lead to all the other British dominions and was followed 100 per cent by the premiers of those other dominions. But apart from all this, the central point to remember about the Imperial conference is that it is not over. No one on that side or this side of the house or out of it can say that the Imperial conference has been a failure. Why all this talk by my hon. friends opposite about strained relations with England? Because they know the Imperial conference is meeting in August for the first time in Ottawa, the capital city of our country, and they are trying to create an atmosphere of prejudice, because they are afraid, not that the Imperial conference will fail, but that it will be a success. I say to the representatives of the once great Liberal party: if that be their attitude-and no other explanation of their conduct is possible-in regard to this matter-

The Address-Mr. Macdougall

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LIB
CON

Isaac Duncan MacDougall

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MACDOUGALL:

The hon. member ought to repeat that to the people of his constituency. I think they will prevent any further mistakes.

That is the position with regard to the Imperial conference, and I say to the leader of what was once and may yet again be a great party in Canada, the Liberal party, that to take an attitude of trying to create a prejudice about the conference before it sits in Ottawa, is doing poor justice to himself and none at all to the great party which he leads and the great Dominion to which he belongs.

There are a few matters of a provincial nature to which I wish to make reference. Some time ago-and this is why I have participated at all in this debate-I gave a promise to the representatives of 13,000 coal miners in Nova Scotia that I would try to see that in the budget to be brought down something would be done for steel and coal in that province. My right hon. leader (Mr. Bennett) is not in his place to-night, but I want to convey this message to him now, that the people of Nova Scotia are intensely sincere and in earnest about this question. There is no need to elaborate it. The arguments in favour of a national fuel policy were presented to my right hon. leader and the members of his cabinet by a man whom I consider to be the ablest man who ever entered public life in Nova Scotia since the days of Sir John S. D. Thompson. I refer to the present Premier of Nova Scotia, the Hon. Gordon S. Harrington. Nothing can be added to that case. The arguments were presented and the cabinet have the matter before them. I wish to say frankly and fearlessly to my right hon. leader and his associates in the cabinet that if, when that budget is brought down, there is nothing in it for steel and coal, I certainly, on account of the promises I have given to the miners in Nova Scotia, will not be able to vote for the budget unless it makes some provision for the steel and coal industries in my province.

Another question of great importance to the province of Nova Scotia is one that has been much dismissed by our people; it is one upon which there is practical unanimity, and it is that the people of Nova Scotia feel that they should have the Canadian Pacific railway extend into that province. They feel that they ought not be the only province in Canada to be denied the public service that can be rendered by this great Canadian institution. I make that statement not to 22110-48

deprecate in any way the splendid work being done by the Canadian National Railways in Nova Scotia and throughout Canada. We feel it would be of great economic benefit to Nova Scotia if the Canadian Pacific Railway could be induced to enter that territory. Nova Scotia needs the Canadian Pacific Railway; the port of Halifax needs its ships, and I suggest to my hon. friend the Minister of Railways and Canals (Mr. Manion) that he should take under advisement the question of calling a conference between Sir Henry Thornton, president of the Canadian National Railways, Mr. E. W. Beatty, president of the Canadian Pacific, all the members of parliament from Nova Scotia, Liberals and Conservatives alike-for this is not a political matter-and representatives of the city of Halifax, to see if satisfactory terms cannot be arranged for the entry of the Canadian Pacific into Nova Scotia.

One other question in which we in Nova Scotia are all interested is that referred to by the ex-Minister of Labour (Mr. Heenan). the matter of old age pensions. Certain specific and definite promises have been made in that regard, and the people of Nova Scotia, who were unable to participate under the old act, because it would cost them $2,000,000, and the drain on the treasury would have been too great, expect that this government will substantially increase the federal contribution for that purpose. I hope that will be done. I know how difficult the financial situation is, but I hope the people of Nova Scotia will be enabled to take advantage of an old age pension scheme under which the federal government will pay the major portion, because the finances of the province do not permit them to take advantage of the act as it stands at present on the statute books of Canada. Those for the moment are the matters in which we are particularly interested in the province from which I come.

Canada to-day is passing through a period of depression. We have been caught in the backwash of a world-wide depression. There may be a disposition on the part of certain sections of our population to be pessimistic, ;to think that the future of Canada lies behind us, to think that we cannot emerge from the difficulties that confront us. Let me say, sir, that this is no time for a spirit of pessimism, this is no time to peddle pessimism or to spread gloom. This is a time in our country's history for courage and vision and for constructive statesmanship such as is being offered by my right hon. leader. It is a time for cooperation between political parties, and if we do cooperate, if we have confidence in ourselves and in our country, confidence in

754 COMMONS

The Address-Mr. Garland (Bow River)

our resources and in our illimitable possibilities, Canada will emerge triumphantly from this period of depression, and emerge sooner than any other country in the world. To those who are gloomy about the outlook may I quote, in closing, the words of the poet Lowell, applied in a different direction but I think equally applicable to Canada to-day, "Her mirror is turned forward to reflect the promise of the future, not the past."

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UFA

Edward Joseph Garland

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. E. J. GARLAND (Bow River):

I do not propose, Mr. Speaker, in the short time at my proposal to enter into any attempt to analyze the statements that have been made by the hon. gentleman who has just taken his seat (Mr. Macdougall). I congratulate him upon his eloquence and upon the extraordinary ability he has displayed for debate, even if it be debate of a political character. I would submit, however, that in his latter sentences he discussed the necessity of abandoning what he called pessimism. I agree with him. He offered as his substitute for realism that amazing outworn, useless trash and balderdash known as having faith that we will somehow or other in the future because of our inherent resources, and so forth, pull out of the present depression. We have heard that in every depression; but it has not prevented their recurrence. A thing which this house and all members even like my hon. friend should be interested in is rather the permanent solution of the situation such as has recurred now for at least the fifth or sixth time in the history of this country.

Before I get down to the material that I wish to discuss to-night, may I felicitate His Honour the Speaker upon his elevation to that position and convey my congratulations to all those-I include them all-who have taken part so earnestly and so sincerely in this debate.

I also wish to tender my heartiest welcome to the Minister of Trade and Commerce (Mr. Stevens) on his return not only to health but to us in this house. I have sat with him for some time, and I have always found him to be a very fair but a very vigorous political debater.

Much has been said about agricultural conditions and the depression in agriculture. I intend to refer to this later, but first I feel it my duty to deal with another problem which is also of interest to my constituency. We have thousands of miners who are dependent on the coal industry. The conditions in those districts this year were positively deplorable. I could if I would, but I have no desire to do so, harrow the very heart of every man and woman in this house, with actual stories of

IMr. Macdougall.]

the misery and suffering that these people have had to endure as a result of the conditions under which they are now placed because of unemployment. I could tell them of children fainting in school for lack of food, of men who dropped over on the streets because they had given everything they had to their families. I could tell them of men without a day's employment for months on end, and without a cent of income. I could also point out that these municipalities in many cases are so poverty-stricken as the result of long-continued depression in the industry that they are not even in a position to cooperate with the federal and provincial governments in providing the direct relief necessary. I have in my hand a letter from one of those districts, the Rosedale district, in which there was temporary employment this year. I am informed that this letter was written following a meeting of the Rosedale local of the United Mine Workers of America, in full session of 310 members. They respectfully wish to bring to my attention the fact that they have had only twenty six day's work in three months. Only twenty-six day's work in three months, and only a part of the population actually working. The letter continues:

We are sadly in need of work of suth a nature as will enable us to carry on. Partial relief together with the odd day's work in the mines would keep us going. This of course does not include the Star mine of about 150 miners, who are in a similar position.

I have other letters here much to the same effect, pointing out that even in the town of Drumheller where an attempt has been made to meet the situation, on March 17th last provision had been made for only $3.25 pgr week per family of five persons. In all humanity and decency, how ran we expect a family of five to maintain themselves even in food alone on a sum of $3.25 per week? Fortunately that did not endure too long. I find by a subsequent letter that the married man on unemployment relief is now allowed $6.40 a week. No provision has been made for the single men; the municipality apparently is not in a position to make provision for them. In inviting the attention of the house to these facts, I would urge the government to make some real effort tc solve the problem of the coal miners in my province. It is a problem that has been enormously hampered by the over-capitalization and overdevelopment of the mining industry. This ministry is not itself directly responsible for the problem. Previous ministries have helped to create it. I remember that my hon. friend from Maeleod (Mr. Coote) and others of this group visited the exJMinister of the Interior

The Address-Mr. Garland (Bow River)

(Mr. Stewart) time and again and suggested that all leases should be cancelled that were in arrears, that no new leases should be given to others, that the entire industry should be limited to the then existing development. Our representations were apparently in vain. The transfer of the resources has now taken place, and cooperation between the two governments may be necessary. Legal aspects will be involved which may complicate the situation further. But irrespective of all that, I do urge upon the ministry with all the strength I have that they make some effort to solve the problem of many thousands of miners in my province who are without a futurp.

We heard much during the last election campaign of a fuel policy. I have waited patiently for some pronouncement from the ministry, either during the recess since September or during this session, with respect to that matter. None is forthcoming. I do not know what the government is going to offer to the coal industry in Canada, but I am almost despairing of any action because the right hon. the Prime Minister on his return from England gave an interview to the press, which I find reported in the Morning Albertan of January 23rd last, as follows:

The working out of a national fuel policy is an easier matter on paper than in actual practice. His own view was that the fuel problem would probably be solved by chemists and scientists.

What a ghastly come-down from the brave words spoken at the time of the election! Then all that was necessary was to elect the right hon. gentleman and his party, whereupon at once some mysterious and magic fuel policy would emerge that would rehabilitate the industry', give it full working time and ensure its progressive growth. On top of that my hon. friend the Minister of Mines (Mr. Gordon) quite intelligently but quite depressingly made a speech in Toronto on February 16 in which he intimated, by implication at least, that because of the tremendous cost of moving coal from the west down to the central provinces where it is required- $53,000,000 annually-the difficulty was apparent. I agree with the hon. minister, but that does not absolve the administration from the responsibility placed upon it in connection with the opening up of all these mines and permitting the over-capitalization and overexpansion of the industry without regard for markets. However that is a problem this government has inherited; I wish them well and will give them all the cooperation I can in ts solution.

Now, Mr. Speaker, I wish to make one further remark in connection with the local 22110-48J

situation. Hon. gentlemen opposite are sometimes inclined to discount some of the descriptions of conditions recounted by hon. members in this corner of the house. Particularly do I notice their interjections and expressions of disgust, at least of disapproval, of the utterances of my hon. friends in the Labour group. It is claimed that even I exaggerate at times.

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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

No, no.

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UFA

April 20, 1931