March 3, 1932

UFA

Edward Joseph Garland

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. GARLAND (Bow River):

Fortunately I am in a position to answer the hon. gentleman. It happened that a few years ago the hon. member for Battle River (Mr. Spencer) was interested in the Beatty commission which was about to make an inquiry into this matter, and he made a request for a return showing the facts. The information given him, which I am glad to furnish my hon. friend, is that of the 3,761 employees in the public service receiving less than $100 per month, 2,376, are men with dependents.

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CON

Peter McGibbon

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. McGIBBON:

That was not the question I asked; probably the hon. member did not understand me.

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UFA

Edward Joseph Garland

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. GARLAND (Bow River):

Well, it

really does not matter. Even for single persons $70 a month is not any too much, even under present conditions. If the hon. gentleman has any illusions on that matter I suggest that he turn to' the report of the committee on industrial and international relations for the session of 1926. He will find some splendid evidence given there as to a budget for a decent standard of living, and for a poverty standard as well, in Canada. I turn to page 19 of this report, and ask the hon. gentleman to listen to the words of the official of the Department of Labour who was giving evidence. He said:

The investigation was confined to average families; that is, families with about three children. They found that when the income fell below $1,400 the family did not get enough to eat.

I will continue further; the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre interjected some questions, and the answer was:

The budget published in the Labour Gazette conforms practically to the third one mentioned by Paul Douglas,-about $1,650 per year.

That is the moderate standard of Paul Douglas, 'the labour economist in the United States. Again, on the same page, he says:

I mentioned the United States investigators in 1918 found that when the family income was less than $1,400 the family did not get enough

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to eat. They found they economized on their food to such an extent that they were not getting a healthy diet, they found they did not have enough rooms to live in; there would be perhaps five people living in four rooms; they might be living in a six-roomed house and renting two rooms and that is a very common basis for economy,-many people whose income is low and rent is high, rent part of the house. Another plan is to keep boarders, which is equivalent to the same thing.

Then he is asked:

In a case of malnutrition-

Such as is implicated here.

-who pays the bill?

A. The death rate is usually high.

Q. Is it in direct ratio with the amount of malnutrition?

A. It affects the community indirectly in every respect.

I have been talking about a moderate standard of living, and now I turn to the budget prepared by the Department of Labour of this dominion. This budget covers the yearly expenditure of an avergae family of five, with an income of 81,400, which, as I have just pointed out, is very much higher than the income of most of the members of the civil service. I leave out of the question for the moment, although hon. members would find it very interesting, the budget provisions for the man; and because most of the members of this chamber are married men I ask them to turn to that section which deals with provision for the wife. I will not give all the items, though they are very interesting to read. The wife, under this budget, is provided with one skirt worth $4. You go home and tell your wife that you are going to live on a budget of 81,400 a year, and that she will get only one skirt, and see what she says to you about it. The budget provides two wash dresses, worth $1.50 each. It also provides material for a hat. It does not provide the hat, but it provides materials for a hat at a total cost, for trimming and everything, of $3.50, and that is all. I do not mean that is all the clothes provided for the wife, but these are some items picked at random to indicate how closely pared must be the clothing comforts of the wife in that family with an income of $1,400 a year.

Let us even make provision for the reduction in the cost of living that has taken place since 1926. It is alleged by the Prime Minister that this reduction amounts to about ten per cent. Take S140 from $1,400, and you still have an income producing a standard of living so low that I doubt if any hon. member in this chamber would wish it for himself or for any member of his family.

Mention has been made of the condition of the farmers. I represent a constituency in the southern part of which we have had almost constant drought for three years. In the northern part we had moderate rains last year but a very light crop, and a heavy hail storm destroyed the crop over a large area. The fanners in my riding are as poor as any farmers in western Canada, particularly those in the south half of my constituency, but I venture to say that no considerable percentage of them would want me to sitand up in this House of Commons and vote to drag other already underpaid people in Canada down to their basis of living. But I will tell you what they do not want; they do not want the Sir Herbert Holts, the Gundys and the other millionaires in Canada to escape carrying their fair share of this burden. I am satisfied that my people will not ask that civil servants who are receiving less than 81,500 a year should be asked to accept any reduction. I do not believe my constituents will criticize or censure me if I reject this resolution, first on the basis that it is inequitable, and in the second place because the salary of $1,200 is too low a point at which to start the 5 per cent reduction. The salary adjustment should be on a sliding scale; I could offer proposals to the government in that regard, but I. will wait until the bill comes down. Then there is another reason: Much has been said about the cut of ten per cent, but very few hon. gentlemen on the government side have been frank enough to admit or to point out that there is actually more than a ten per cent reduction. In addition to the ten per cent cut, the statutory increase is to be eliminated. A man receiving a salary of 82,000 has a net salary of 81,900, after the superannuation is deducted; the proposed reduction of ten per cent amounts to $190, the elimination of the statutory increase means a further $120, making a total reduction of S310, or fifteen and a half per cent instead of ten per cent. I regard the abandonment of the statutory increase as a breach of contract. If the Prime Minister gives as a reason for exempting the judges from this cut the fact that their salaries are set by statute, I ask him how he can justify the elimination of this amount also provided by statute in the case of the civil servants?

While I am discussing this point, I ask the house if it realizes that after the embargo was placed on the shipment of gold from Canada the government continued to purchase gold from the mines, and I am informed in addition to paying the stated legal value in terms of

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Canadian currency, paid a premium sufficient to bring the price up to that which would have been received in the United States. Would it not have been fair in a crisis such as this to eliminate that premium? The gold producer has the price of his product fixed by law and no other producer is in as favourable a position as he. When the price of wheat was advancing on the foreign markets during the war the government brought into being the federal wheat board to keep down the price of grain, but in the case of gold, they put on an embargo and then paid an extra premium. That may have been a necessary and equitable policy, but if it was fair in that case I contend it is utterly unfair to break the contract with the civil servant without reducing all contractual salaries.

It might be interesting to know what men like the Right Hon. Reginald McKenna- who is, with all due respect to the Ottawa Journal, a little more than a theorist-have to say in this regard. Mr. McKenna is a practical banker of considerable reputation and at one time was Chancellor of the British Exchequer. No man can reach that office without having had a thorough and real experience in banking circles. He is not a faddist or crank, in fact, in my own humble opinion and in no way making an invidious comparison, he is the equal in financial matters of any hon. member in this house, including the Prime Minister of Canada himself. Mr. McKenna and several men associated with him in discussing changes in salaries and incomes, had this to say:

We consider that a change of this character cannot, with equity, be concentrated on salaries and wages, but should apply to every category of income alike, including those protected by contract. The benefit of an increased value of money is just as fortuitous in the case of the rentier as in the case of the wage-earner, and the burden of enterprise and on the budget of having to pay the same amount of money as before to meet interest charges, _ though the value of money is greater, is similar in character to the burden of having to pay the same money wages as before. Moreover a great social change of this kind cannot be carried through except by general consent.

This view is reinforced by a consideration of the monetary history of recent years. A large part of the national debt was incurred at a price level much higher than that which now prevails. The long period of deflation which culminated in the return to gold at the pre-war parity had the effect of increasing the burden of this debt.

This remark might well be applied to Canada. The statement continues:

The fall in world prices which has occurred more recently has caused a large further aggravation of the burden. In view of the fact that the increase in the value of sterling was delib-eratedly intended-

Just as it was deliberately intended that we should go back to the gold standard in 1925.

it seems difficult to require a reduction of salaries and wages without proposing any modification of the uneovenanted blessings which accrued to the holders of the national debt and of claims on money generally and to other classes whose incomes have remained unaffected.

Our conclusion is, therefore, that if a substantial change should become necessary, it must be a general change and apply, so far as possible, to every class of income alike.

The Prime Minister in pleading his case in this house the other day-no, I should not say pleading; he does not plead anything- in directing the house in regard to his opinion, quoted a letter which he said stirred him to the very depths of his being, or words to that effect. He said that he would not forget this letter to his dying day. It was a letter from a lady who expressed joy at the opportunity being afforded to her of making the sacrifice of ten per cent to Canada during this crisis. I have nothing but congratulation for that lady, but I should like to know her income and whether or not she has any dependents. The disclosing of that information might have given greater force to the illustration. In answer to the Prime Minister I should like to quote from one letter picked at random from many, and I ask the house to compare these two letters and decide upon which one the policy of the administration should be governed. This letter is dated Vancouver, February 27, and reads:

Dear Sir:

As the wife of a Canadian and civil servant and a mother of three small children under seven years (three boys), I am taking the liberty of writing you in regard to the wage cut. I am putting before you the bare facts. How in heaven's name are parents to bring up children with such a small salary as $75 per month, as that is what it will be if this cut takes place. We have made terrible sacrifices as it is to buy two quarts of milk and oranges for our babies. What of rent, insurance, fuel and clothes? If the government want healthy population for pity's sake try and get a decent wage for parents, as the children at present are not getting the proper nourishment. How can they? Please do your best to stop this cut if it is in your power. I thank you in anticipation.

I submit that that letter offsets absolutely the letter quoted by the Prime Minister. This is a letter from a woman who is burdened with the carrying of the load of budgeting for a family on $75 per month. In all decency, in all humanity, do not touch salaries of that kind. Hit the salaries over $2,000 if you must, but do not cut the very low wages. I urge upon the administration the necessity of taking into consideration a most serious and drastic cut in the incomes of the millionaires of Canada.

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Mr. JOHN T. SPROULE (East Lambton): Mr. Speaker, I had not intended to take part in this debate, but after listening to the previous speaker (Mr. Garland, Bow River), I feel it my duty to say a word or two. The previous speaker mentioned the fact that he came from an agricultural district. I also come from an agricultural constituency, and I venture to say that if the average farmer in my constituency, were to sell every bushel of grain and every head of stock he possesses he would not realize S750, the figure mentioned by the hon. member. When he got that he would still have to pay taxes and interest, or he would be sold out.

I was interested in the remarks this afternoon of the hon. member for Southeast Grey (Miss Macphail). She said that she would follow the views expressed by her constituents and vote in favour of the resolution. I do not think many hon. members opposite know how the people in the agricultural districts live. The hon. member who preceded me referred to a letter he had received from some woman, stating that on account of the cut in salary they would not be able to buy oranges and milk for the children. That may be true, but in the agricultural districts there are many people who have not seen an orange for a long while and are not likely to do so for some time to come. I often wonder if hon. gentlemen opposite believe all they say, or whether they are speaking on behalf of their own salaries. I have every respect in the world for those returned soldiers and nurses, and I have every reason to believe they are broadminded enough to take this cut in a philosophical way, as we should all take it. While I am not a firm believer in the Globe, I noticed in that paper a statement that the agricultural people more than a year ago had taken a forty per cent discount, and they were not asked to take it.

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LIB

Cameron Ross McIntosh

Liberal

Mr. McINTOSH:

What is wrong with

the Globe?

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CON

John Thomas Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE:

My hon. friend no doubt reads a paper a little stronger than the Globe. The people in the agricultural districts will be veiy fortunate if they do not have to take more than a ten per cent cut, and the same thing might happen to other classes. I have every sympathy in the world for the returned soldiers, who voluntarily went to fight in defence of this country, but many men and women in the agricultural districts worked day and night to provide food and money during the war and many a mother sat up until midnight thinking of her son who was over there. I am sure those soldiers

who have been fortunate enough to return to Canada are sufficiently big, knowing the present situation, to be willing to accept this ten per cent cut.

I do not think there is really half the complaint that we hear from the other side of the house. I assure you, Mr. Speaker, that hon. gentlemen on this side are not very anxious to make this cut; it is not a thing any of us want to do; but we have all to share this burden together, and by doing so we shall live through it.

While I was listening to the speeches to-day, I was reminded of a trial that took place on a certain occasion, when a young man was charged with stealing a suit of clothes. There did not appear to be anybody who had seen him steal the clothes, but they tried to convict him and they employed such clever lawyers as there are on the other side of the house who are trying to convict us on this side. The young man's answer always was: "No, I did not steal the clothes." But just before it was all over, the judge turned to the accused and said: "Young man, you stole the clothes; you had better own up to it and we will make it as light as we can for you." The young man replied: "I did not steal the clothes, but after listening to these clever lawyers I am commencing to wonder whether I did or not."

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LIB

Pierre Auguste Martial Rhéaume

Liberal

Mr. MARTIAL RHEAUME (St. John-Iberville) (Translation):

Mr. Speaker, in taking part in this debate, I have no intention to protest against the ten per cent cut in the members' indemnity. However, I wish to register my protest against the manner in which the government is treating the civil servants. This afternoon, when the hon. member for Gaspe (Mr. Brasset) alluded to the foolish expenditures the government is making in the Gordon inquiry, the hon. member for Compton (Mr. Gobeil) contended that the government was justified in spending that money. I entirely differ with the views of the hon. member for Compton. I state that if the right hon. Prime Minister's pride was wounded he could have applied to our courts to obtain redress. When Canada is passing through a crisis, I consider that it should not be called upon to make considerable outlays for such trivial things. I am anxious to see the government's counsels' bills in this inquiry.

The hon. member for Compton stated that within the last years the farmers' returns have considerably dwindled. I ask the hon. members on your right, sir, whether in making a ten per cent reduction on all civil servants' salaries, they will not also suggest to large

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concerns and departmental stores to cut down the salaries of their employees. I think the government has given a bad example, and I can state, according to my information, that here in the Capital, since the government announced this ten per cent cut, owners of departmental stores have reduced the salaries of their employees by ten per cent; yet the sale price of goods has not come down ten per cent.

I know that a number of concerns in my own county have taken advantage of this measure to cut down the salaries of their employees by ten per cent, giving as an excuse that it was to meet the competition of rival companies; yet I am in a position to state that I paid, previous and after the crisis, the very same price for goods that I bought from these manufacturers. However, the dividends as well as the salary of the managers and president. of the company were not affected. This afternoon, the hon. member for Stormont (Mr. Shaver), speaking of the Royal Mounted Police, stated that he had a great admiration for that body of men which I admire as he does. However, there exists a class of employees whose work is unknown by members. Namely the post office employees, and I have a number in my constituency.

I notice that the hon. Postmaster General (Mr. Sauve) is in his seat. In the Quebec Legislature Assembly he once was the champion of the workmen and farmers. I trust that the hon. Postmaster General will take part in this debate and champion the cause of the civil servants whose salary amounts to only SI,080 to 81,500. These ^employees, namely letter carriers, are obliged, during seven or eight hours per day, to walk the streets of cities such as Montreal, Ottawa and other large centres; they must carry on regardless of weather, rain, wind or snow; whether it is fine or not it matters little. Yet, they are the very men who are the least remunerated. I trust that the hon. Postmaster General will champion their cause here as he did in Quebec.

Now, sir, there is a certain class with which no one dares to interfere, because their salary is supposed to be statutory. Namely the Lieutenant-Governors who receive a salary of SIO.OOO per year and cost the provinces over $100,000. Well, when the Canadian people are taxed to balance the budget, I contend that we should begin by taxing those who are in receipt of larger salaries. Salaries of $10,000, per year to Lieutenant-Governors and expenses amounting to over $100,000, for receptions, travelling, teas, etc., while the people are starving, I say that it is more than time, before we clip the salaries of employees receiving $1,200, to begin by these high officials.

I now come to army officers. I have some in my constituency and I state that if there are people who do not earn their salaries, they are the army officers. This afternoon, the hon. member for Grey Southeast (Miss Mac-phail) stated that there are 18 employees who earn between $4,000 and $5,000, 5 who earn more than $5,000, 1 earning over S8,000 and 1 over $12,000. I wonder what is their occupation. I suppose they are busy doing pretty much the same thing as those in my county: a little riding jolt of one or one hour and a half in the morning, and the day's work is over. ,

There is another class: the judges. Their

salaries are as follows: Superior Court, from

$9,000 to $10,000, and for the Supreme Court up to $15,000, and a pension when they become invalids or reach the statutory age. I wonder whether the judges' salaries should not be reduced by twenty per cent.

We find, in the estimates which were brought down for this year, that the budget of the National Defence last year amounted to $13,000,000 and this year $10,000,000, in round figures, namely a reduction of $2,500,000 or one-fifth. If there is money spent uselessly, it is for the National Defence; I do not think that there is a cent spent more carelessly.

The budget of agriculture for 1931-32 amounted to nearly $10,000,000; this year it has been cut down to a little more than $3,000,000, that is one third. The hon. members for the province of Quebec shed many tears, they were greatly moved over the lot of the poor farmers; I trust that, when the budget of that department comes up, they will stand to their guns and try to fulfil their pledges of 1930. A ,

Last year the government had $2,000 voted to compensate the ministers for the loss of their motor cars. I understand that they made use of the government's cars for a period of over seven months last year; I am unaware whether they drew their $2,000, but I do know that this amount was voted when the supplementary estimates came up for consideration. I think that the government could not show a better example this year than striking out this $2,000 allocation. Let the government prove its sincerity. It is all very well to advocate economy, but let the government first set the example. This $2,000 is equivalent to $40 per week of motoring between the Chateau Laurier and the Post Office or Marine department. I am assured that for $5 this service can be had, for 5 or 6 days per week, from the Landreville Motor Co., that is, it would only cost between $250 and $300 per year instead of $2,000. I trust that the French

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Canadian cabinet ministers will avail themselves of this advice and give the example by declining to accept this $2,000.

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CON

Peter McGibbon

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. PETER McGIBBON (Muskoka-Ontario):

Until a short time ago it was not my intention to say anything in this debate, but I feel that I must compliment the hon. member for Bow River (Mr. Garland), as one of the greatest interrupters in this house, upon the gentlemanly way in which he receives interrogations from this side. I want to compliment him also on the innumerable great people in the world with whom he agrees. Nearly every speech he makes is one largely of quotations of men whose opinions he always agrees with; but I have never, in my time in this house or in my reading outside the house, ever found very many of these great men who agreed with him.

The debate on this question has extended far afield. But after all the question is a simple one-a ten per cent reduction in the salaries of the civil service of Canada. Everything from Dan to Beersheba has been brought in, but I want the house to come back for a moment to the real question at issue, and that is whether the civil service of Canada should or should not take a cut along with every other man and woman earning wages in Canada to-day. That is the question, and I hope the government will see to it that every member of this house votes upon it, so that the public will know just where each of us stands. That is a duty that we owe the people of Canada at the present time.

The hon. member for Bow River is always quite eager to lecture the house. He sets himself up as the great defender of the poor of this country, but I venture to say that I could pick out at least a dozen in the house who do more for the poor of the country in a year than he does in a lifetime. I repeat that, and it can easily go on record. I know men in this house who have contributed, not from their revenue but from their earnings, and therefore it is a deduction from their revenue, eight to ten thousand dollars a year looking after the poor of the country. I get tired of being lectured by people who would rather play the demagogue than discuss the issues that come before parliament and the country.

This cut is either right or wrong. If it is right, then the people who are affected were receiving adequate compensation for their services two or three years ago, because the cost of living has fallen at least to that extent. And if the civil servants were not getting adequate salaries at that time, the fault lies not with this government nor on this side

*

of the house but with hon. gentlemen opposite. But, sir, I rose to say this, that there are people in this country besides the civil servants of Ottawa. Ottawa seems to think that it is the whole Dominion of Canada, but as I said the other evening it is the people outside Ottawa who pay these salaries. Let me observe in passing that if the civil servants of Ottawa do not wish to take the cut of ten per cent they have the same recourse that every other wage-earner in the country has: they have the alternative of resigning. And if they did resign at the present time there would be such a rush for their positions that it would make the bombardment of Shanghai look like artillery practice.

There is, however, another side to the question, and I wish to present it to the house and to the people of Canada. These salaries and wages are paid by the people outside Ottawa I represent a workingman's riding, and I take second place to no man in standing up for the working class; and I venture to say that not two per cent of the wage earners of the district I represent earned in the last year half of $1,200, the amount at which the exemption is fixed. What does that mean? It means that if they are going to keep up their contributions to these salaries their tax is doubled, and in my present position I am not in the frame of mind to go back to my people and ask them in this time of depression to double their taxes to pay the civil servants of Ottawa.

I will not do it.

I say, what every man knows, that there is no one in the Dominion of Canada to-day whose wages have not been cut. I do not care whether he is living on an income or working for a salary, or is in business or in a profession-every man has suffered a reduction. The professional man's income to-day has not been cut ten per cent but sixty and seventy per cent; and the professional men are doing the same work to-day as they did two or three years ago. I therefore wish to voice my opposition to the speeches that have been made against the reduction. These speeches are not consistent with the times. Pick up any newspaper you like and see what it says. Here, for instance, is to-day's Globe announcing a ten per cent cut in telegraphers' wages; and both railways have done the same thing. A large number of industrial concern.? have done not only that but worse: they have dismissed their men. In many places people are taking a cut not of ten per cent but of one hundred per cent. Ask the member for Essex or the members from the border cities, and what will they tell you? Then we come to the great city of Ottawa. These

Public Service-Salary Deduction

people are protected from the day they enter the mem work from 3.30 or 4 o'clock in the the service until the day they die. They get morning until S o'clock or 9 o'clock at night *wages in good times and bad, in good weather for $25 or $35 a month. In the spring they and foul; and when they are too old to work get into the cold water of the rivers when ice they go on pension, to which the government remains in them and drive the logs down, they

contributes so long as they are in the service, are there not one hour a day but eight or ten

I fail to see any reasonable ground for ob- hours, and get out of the water at night and

jeetion to the cut. In fact, I say that the sleep on the banks in their wet Clothes,

opposition to this measure is, outside of the Mr. COTNAM: They do not grumble, either,

cities of Ottawa and Hull, the best election- ^ McGIBBON' No, no grumbling there,

eering campaign that the Conservative or any Hon ' members opp0Site ask this house, and

other party could imagine, because the action agk to g0 to those men and say. "You

of the government is fair and honest. I can arg earning only half what you earned before,

tell you, Mr. Speaker, that in my riding there ^ wg wan). t0 double your taxes so that the

are many men who do a half day s work be- overworked civil servants at Ottawa will

fore the civil servants in Ottawa begin theirs, nQt have tQ stand a cut* 0h, it is a beautiful and those same people do another half days dootrine

work after the Ottawa employees leave their Then 'the h,on member for Bow River (Mr. offices at four or five o'clock in the afternoon. Garland) gets up, and with all his IrishYet the party opposite would ask me to go to eloquence pleads an imaginary cause. We mustthe people who are now on half pay or less remember this; The hon. member for Bowand say to them. "Double your taxes; work RJver Iiveg on]y in a hurricane or a storm,a little harder and a little longer so that you 'j'he peaceful atmosphere never suits him;

may keep the civil servants in Ottawa in ease contentment and happiness never suit him, and and luxury like they had a few years ago. there is not a storm he will make one. And It is time some one spoke in this house, Mr. he is pretty good at it, too.

Speaker, for the taxpayers of Canada. Their it seems, Mr. Speaker, that every time the burden is heavy and, I think, is getting almost civil service question comes up in the house to the breaking point. It would seem that we members flock from all comers to speak. The

have to come here, sir, and be lectured because other day I went into an office where there

we ask the civil servants of this city to accept were five civil servants. Not a single one of

a meagre ten per cent cut. The people outside them was doing a thing,-not a single one.

of the city of Ottawa are not grumbling about I think that statement pertains to the civil

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Mr MACKENZIE (Vancouver):

I should object is to get on the pay-roll; they want to like to correct the hon. member on that point, let the country keep them. Let me say that

. llllC Vi. V 11 OC A. VIVA- OliOlU "J

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CON

Peter McGibbon

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. McGIBBON:

Probably the people in woman who has the grey matter to takeVancouver are, but those in the decent cities ^vantage 0f it. That opportunity would haveof Ontario are not. meant a great deal to some of us who were

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?

An hon. MEMBER:

Ontario is not all of brought up back in the country with very

it.

service in this city generally. Their main

the civil service offers a career to any man or

Canada.

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CON

Peter McGibbon

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. McGIBBON:

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to the house concerning the matter now under discussion. Coming from the county of Oxford, one of the fairest agricultural districts in the whole of Canada, "fair as the garden of the Lord," I can say we have some of the greatest, most tenacious and patriotic farmers to be found in the dominion. I want to state, however, that to-day they are carrying on with fear and foreboding, but are putting up a wonderful fight. They are heavily burdened by taxation of one kind and another, and I have received many sad tales of their heroic efforts to hang on. I want to tell hon. members that those farmers are expecting that every Canadian who is highly favoured in this country will do his or her part in this national emergency. I agree with the hon. member for East Lambton (Mr. Sproule) who held forth on behalf of the farmers of his constituency. What applies in his constituency applies equally in the fair county of Oxford. I know of the sad conditions there, and I can say that those farmers are expecting-in fact, I believe civil servants are expecting-to come across and to do their share willingly in this time of stress. I am sure the civil servants appreciate the seriousness of the present emergency. I do not doubt for a minute that they are ready to do anything they possibly can to help meet it. It is like a war-time emergency when every man and every woman must do his part. And they will do their part, but they want fair play.

The hon. member for East Lambton said that the greatest depression is on the farm, and that we must bend every effort to benefit the farmer. I did hope that if any one thing more than another would be emphasized this session it would be the necessity for solving the great problems confronting our farmers to-day. I do not see any signs on the order paper, I do not see much of a program, I do not see so very much indication that the farmer is going to get anything beneficial out of this session. Perhaps the emergency is so great that we cannot do anything. But I tell you the farmers are expecting something. They were promised something, and they are looking forward to the fulfilment of those promises that were made to them in such a convincing way. They want greater markets. The hon. member said that a farmer could sell all his cows, horses and everything else and they would not bring him $750. Of course, to a great extent that is true. Undoubtedly our farmers are in a very difficult position. A lady came to me not many days ago. She and her husband are on two hundred good acres of land.

fMr. Cayley.]

She said to me: "What are we to do?

They are going to foreclose the mortgage on us. We cannot meet the payments. We have already borrowed on my husband's life insurance policy, we have raised every last dollar, we have scraped together and borrowed money to pay the taxes, and now we have reached the limit of our resources." She and her husband had devoted years and years of hard effort to cultivating their farm and developing herds of cattle-and there are no herds like the Oxford herds. They have done their very best, and now they are asking the rest of Canada if they will not join in an endeavour to relieve them of the burden of taxation; they are asking the great crowd throughout Canada to get off their backs and give them a chance.

This, I understand, is an interim appeal to meet a great emergency. The Prime Minister (Mr. Bennett) if I recall his words aright, implied that it was a great patriotic appeal. Then, sir, that appeal should stir the hearts of every Canadian. But when I go back to my people and tell them that in this great patriotic appeal for a ten per cent cut- and they are all for a cut, ,so am I; there is no justice unless we all do our part-when I tell them that this ten per cent cut will apply to everybody in the civil service, from those getting from $35 a day down to those getting a couple of dollars a day, what will they say? And what will they say when I tell them about the poor lad who came to me and said, "I get only $95 a month. They are going to cut off $5, and out of the $90 left I have to provide for my wife and seven children and pay $25 a month rent." Do you mean to say the good farmers and the workingmen of Oxford county will think this is a fair deal all the way down the line? No, I can imagine them saying: "That is what we have had to put uip with all the time. There is a favoured class in this Canada of ours, and there is an unfavoured class." Then worse than that, what will be their reaction if I have to tell them: "Here is a body of public servants who are exempt-they are the great 'untouchables ; you must not touch their salaries." Yet we are appealing to -the patriotism of all these great Canadians! It seems to me, and I know many of these gentlemen well, that they will resent being left out in the cold in this way. Now, in this great emergency why not call upon these men of the army and navy and the bench? Let the Prime Minister go out and in that convincing way of his ask them to make their contribution in this great national emergency. It is only an interim shift to balance our budget. Let us all work

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together. The farmers are doing their part, they are hanging on; and after all they are the foundation of this great dominion. They are doing their part. If they can only make ends meet you will not hear any grumbling from them. But I do believe there is a great deal this government can do to relieve these farmers of the oppression that is now upon them. The agriculture committee should get together and dhow greater interest in the problems of our farmers and do their best to help them solve their difficulties.

The other day the Prime Minister, speaking of the merit system, exclaimed: "If we had only some way by which we could ascertain real merit!" Is there any real merit in a ten per cent cut in salaries ranging all the way from $35 a day clear down to $2 a day? Let us bear this burden in proportion as we have strength to bear it. Then the farmers of Oxford county and the workmen throughout the whole dominion will say: "At least they were fair."

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Subtopic:   PROPOSED DEDUCTION OF TEN PER CENT IN INDEMNITIES AND SALARIES
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CON

Henry Alfred Mullins

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. H. A. MULLINS (Marquette):

Mr. Speaker, I had not intended to intervene in this debate, but after hearing so many members offering apologies for a ten per cent cut it is well nigh impossible for me to keep my seat, for I have had over a fifty per cent cut. My constituents also have had a heavy cut, they are backed up against the wall, fighting conditions in an endeavour to bring back this old country of ours, this country Canada, to a condition of prosperity. If they are let alone by the agitators they will bring back this country into its rightful position.

While I listened to the hon. member for East Hamilton (Mr. Mitchell) I thought of a little pamphlet that was left at my farm some years ago at a time when I was paying my man $100 a month and giving him the very best on the farm. Some gentleman came around with a pamphlet called "The Slave of the Farm," in an attempt to get my man discontented. I have the pamphlet before me. It was printed in 1014. Ever since 1914 they have been agitating in various ways, sowing discontent throughout the country. This pamphlet was got up by the socialist party, not the communist party at all.

So far I have heard no practical suggestions to help the farmer. The farmer has a lot to contend with. I have made up a statement of conditions on the farm when the farmer was getting a dollar a bushel for his wheat, and I am going to place it on Hansard. I have no doubt it will be subjected to criticism by my friends of the United Farmers of Alberta. I am going to place it on Hansard because I know it is correct; it is based on fifty years' experience on the 41761-50

farm. The farmer has had more than a ten per cent cut; in my constituency he has been cut twenty per cent, thirty per cent or forty per cent, but he is not discouraged, and I tell hon. gentlemen opposite that this is the wrong time to try to shake the foundations of this old country of ours. My constituency is purely agricultural, and I made up this statement for the benefit of those who lack any knowledge of agriculture.

The other day I made a statement which I am going to repeat-and I do not refer to the hon. member for Bow River (Mr. Garland) at all-that education without brains is the cheapest commodity on the market, but that education with brains is scarce and hard to get. I have listened to some hon. members who have had lots of education but very little practical knowledge. I am proud of my constituency, and one reason is because Sir John A. Macdonald represented it at one time. It has been represented by some outstanding men; the chairman of the Civil Service Commission, Hon. Doctor Roche, represented it for years. There are real men in that constituency, and they sent me back here with a majority of nearly 2,700. We had a few agitators running around the country, men with hyphenated names, calling themselves Liberal-Progressive, and Progressive-Liberals. One of them who called himself a Liberal-Progressive, should have cut off one part of that name. I said I was a progressive Conservative, and they could not understand it.

I want to congratulate the right hon. leader of the opposition (Mr. Mackenzie King) on one thing. I do not think any other man in Canada could have held possession of parliament, as he held it in 1925 and 1926, with the various occupational groups with which he had to contend, made up of men with such a variety of ideas. He held them together; they flocked from all parts of Canada to gelt behind him; they came back here at all hours to support him, and I must congratulate him on that.

Having said that, Mr. Speaker, what about to-day? I see the hon. member from Battle Creek-

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Subtopic:   PROPOSED DEDUCTION OF TEN PER CENT IN INDEMNITIES AND SALARIES
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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Oh, oh.

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CON

Henry Alfred Mullins

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MULLINS:

-or is it Battle River (Mr. Spencer), in his seat. He made the statement, which appears in Hansard, that I farmed the farmer, and made my money in that way. I emphatically deny that statement on the floor of this house. I am retired and out of business now; I am giving my services and my knowledge of farming in western Canada

786 COMMONS

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for the benefit of the farmers, and I am proud to say that I paid every man one hundred cents on the dollar for everything I agreed to pay him. I never misled the farmers; I never farmed the farmers, as the hon. member stated.

I am supporting this resolution because my people in Marquette wish me to do so. They have suffered, and by this statement I am going to show that even with wheat at SI a bushel the farmer cannot make a dollar on a 320 acre farm under present conditions. They must have lower freight rates, but not one hon. member opposite said a word about that. I was a member of the local legislature in Manitoba When the freight rate was 20 per cent lower that it is to-day, but that was taken away from us in 1917. In order to obtain a lower freight rate we put the name of the province on the back of the bonds, and it did not cost the province of Manitoba one dollar. We had a ten cent rate on wheat; we secured a lower rate on cattle, and through the actions of the government of Manitoba, of which I was a member, we were able to get the .products of the farm to the seaboard at a reasonable rate. Did I farm the farmer then?

We must have less agitation; we must have outstanding men to get behind the farmer and bring conditions back to where they Should be. I do not want to see our country crash;

I want to see prosperity come back, and the only way that can be done is to help the farmer to get his commodity to market at something like a reasonable rate. No man can farm at a profit under present freight rates.

We must 'have a little economy also. I wonder how many of these civil servants, who are getting a ten per cent cut, went to see Jack Dempsey box in Winnipeg. I saw several of them there, sitting in the $3 seats. A short time ago I was asked to go to the Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto to see a hockey match. There were 15,000 people at that match, and the seats cost from $1 up to $3. I see all the luxuries of the city, and I think of the hardships and struggles of my people in Marquette, who are fighting with their backs to the wall. These men who have all the luxuries of city life, who can afford

to pay S3 to see a prize fight in Winnipeg or a hockey match in Toronto, are complaining about a ten per cent cut. I asked the gentleman who took me to see the hockey match What he paid for the seat, and he said he paid $3. He bought three seats, and I told him he was pretty fortunate, since he was on a salary. Let me tell you what you must get down to. I walked from Sfcouffville to Toronto, with one cow on the end of the rope, and made $8 out of it. When we get down to work and start off again we might get somewhere.

We must have economy and we must work. Talk about work; I see so many people earning money so easily, and it makes me thank back over my life. I have worked, and I have every sympathy for the worker. I would be the -last to go against the worker, but this is not a normal year, as hon. gentlemen opposite know very well. We all must make a sacrifice, I am making one just as much as any other member of this house is making one. I say that if we get back to work and practise economy we will save this country from getting into a worse condition than exists to-day. This statement I have referred to, showing the operating costs of a 320-acre farm in the province of Manitoba, discloses that under the 'beat of conditions the lady of the farm cannot buy even a four-dollar skirt.

We hope to get Churchill opened up to bring Manitoba nearer to the seaboard, and with the prospects of the St. Lawrence waterway we hope to be able to ship from the prairie provinces at something like a reasonable rate.

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Subtopic:   PROPOSED DEDUCTION OF TEN PER CENT IN INDEMNITIES AND SALARIES
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CON

Pierre Édouard Blondin (Speaker of the Senate)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPEAKER:

The hon. member for

Marquette (Mr. Mullins) has mentioned putting something on Hansard, but I would advise him .that nothing goes on Hansard which has not been either read or spoken in the house.

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CON

Henry Alfred Mullins

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MULLINS:

The statement is rather lengthy and I did not want to tire the house.

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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Read it.

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CON

Henry Alfred Mullins

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MULLINS:

I spent some time in the preparation of these figures, and they may be received with some criticism. They are as follows:

Public Service*-Salary Deduction

320-ACRE FARM

Estimate of capital invested in land and equipment necessary to farm a half-section in western Canada.

Also revenue therefrom and expenditure in connection therewith to cultivate in proper manner, averaging over a ten year period.

Land apportioned as follows:

Acres

For buildings, yards, lanes, garden and pasture 20

For grain and feed for horses, cattle and hogs 50

Summer-fallow, to keep land clean 80

For wheat-or other equivalent crop 170

Investment in land: 320 acres at $20 per acre $ 6,400

Requisite buildings thereon as follows:

1 dwelling house (medium size) value $1,5001 barn and stable, sufficient for horses and cattle value 1,500Hog stable, hen house and implement shed value 500Portable, or other granaries value 500Well and pump (water reasonably obtainable) value 100Investment in land and buildings

4,100Total investment in land and buildings

$10,500

Implements required and cost thereof:

1 general purpose plough

2 gang ploughs (4-horse), $136 each

1 disc harrow (4-horse)

1 sixsection diamond harrow

1 double disc drill (24 spouts)

1 nine-foot cultivator (6-horse)

1 pulverizer and sub-soil packer (or manure spreader)

1 binder (4-horse) 8 ft. cut

1 mower 5 ft. cut

1 steel rake, 10 ft

1 fanning mill

1 small gas engine, jack and belt

1 cream separator

1 platform scales (2,000 lbs.)

2 wagons, box and seat complete, $177 each

1 buggy, fairly good class

1 cutter (jumper)

1 sleigh (running gear only)

1 grindstone and frame, wheel barrow, forks, shovels, rakes, hoes, pails,

bags, tools, chain, racks for hay and grain, hay-fork, rope and pulleys and sundries-say

cost $ 30

cost 272

cost 69

cost 47

cost 233

cost 142

cost 210

cost 250

cost 91

cost 53

cost 40

cost 115

cost 100

cost 50

cost 354

cost 145

cost 50

cost 55

147

Investment in implements

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$ 2,500 HORSES, CATTLE, HOGS AND POULTRY


9 horses (8 working and 1 driver) at $150 each cost $ 1,3504 sets general purpose harness at $40 each cost 1601 set single harness cost 309 halters for stable, etc. ($1.50 each and up), say cost 15Blankets, robes, brushes, currie combs and sundries cost 505 cows, good grade milkers at $50 each cost 2503 young cattle, averaging $10 each cost 301 brood sow (good class) cost 355 shoats, for meat supply for table cost 50Chickens, ducks, geese, etc., say cost 30Investment in horses, cattle, hogs, etc $ 2,000 Recapitulation, capital invested Land and buildings, etc $10,500 Machinery, implements, etc 2,500 Horses, cattle, hogs, etc 2,000 Total investment in land, buildings, implements and equipment $15,000 41761-50} 788 COMMONS Public Service-Salary Deduction Revenue from crop sales-From 170 acres wheat, or equivalent crop, as follows-* Bushels 80 acres summer-fallow, 20 bushels per acre over seed 1,600 80 acres 1st year stubble, 17 bushels per acre over seed 1,360 10 acres 2nd year stubble, 14 bushels per acre over seed 140 3,100 3,100 bushels of wheat, or equivalent at $1 per bushel $3,100 Less cost of threshing, etc., elevator charges, dockage and storage, average 20 cents per bushel 620 Net revenue, 3,100 bushels at 80 cents per bushel $ 2,480 Note:-In addition to sale of grain, there will surplus proceeds from brood mares, cows, hogs, poultry, etc., in excess of table requirements. It is not, however, considered that such sales will be in excess of necessary purchases of flour, fresh meats in season, tea, sugar, coffee and other groceries required for the table in addition, for board of owner and wife and hired help. Operating expenses, etc.-Hired help- 1 farm hand for 7 months at $45 per month and board $ 315 1 extra hand for 1 month in harvest and board 75 Cost of hired help $ 390 Depreciation and maintenance- On buildings, including painting and repairs, $4,000 at 5 per cent $ 200 On machinery, implements, etc., including repairs, $2,500 at 10 per cent.. .. 250 On wagons, horses, etc., including shoeing, etc, $2,000 at 7 per cent 140 Cost of depreciation, maintenance, etc $ 590 Taxes and Sundries


March 3, 1932