April 19, 1932

CON
LIB
CON
CON

Jean Louis Baribeau

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BARIBEAU (Translation):

There is another class of people to which I want to draw the attention of the house, the navigators many of whom reside in my county. We have a number of associations of navigators, among these a branch of the National Association of Marine Engineers of Canada, also numerous pilot associations. May I therefore make a few suggestions to the hon. Minister of Marine (Mr. Duranileau) who, I feel certain, will lend a kind ear to my remarks. I think the government should interest itself especially in the young men who wish to become pilots. No government, up to now, have taken -any interest in these young men and yet this profession is a necessary one, even indispensable. These apprentices are destined to replace the pilots as the latter disappear. Most of them are obliged to make great sacrifices to become pilots. A large number belong to families that are poor, as those who have means are not attracted to the hardy life of a sailor which they must undergo to reach their goal. These apprentices find it practically impossible to earn anything in other trades.

They are, on the contrary, obliged to make an outlay of almost $200, each season to complete their apprenticeship. Generally their parents are not in a position to help them, so that you can easily realize their sad lot. According to regulations laid down, these young men have to undergo an apprenticeship of 5 or 6 years before obtaining their officer's certificate. This consists in travelling on ships to and fro between Quebec and Father Point, and between Quebec and Montreal. They must have to their credit at least 50 trips during each season. They are therefore kept busy during the whole season. During that time they receive no salary; on the contrary they must pay their board and travelling expenses, except when on service on the ships. When the trips stipulated by the regulations are over, the season of navigation closes, they have not the opportunity of serving on vessels crossing the ocean. They are idle all winter. Those whose families have

certain means are less to be pitied, however, most of them are in straitened circumstances. I think it is the duty of the government and especially that of our worthy Minister of Marine to help these young men. Why should they not be given the preference in working on the government's ice 'breakers in winter? While thus helping these young men, the latter could complete their naval instructions and become familiar with the difficulties of winter navigation. There is a tendency to further prolong the navigation season, this almost makes it necessary for pilots to have a better knowledge of the difficulties of winter navigation. Where is there a more appropriate school for our future pilots than that of passing a few winters on our ice breakers? They would certainly discover hidden difficulties that perhaps they would never find out during the summer months.

Previous to closing my remarks, sir, I must inform the house that I had the honour of being invited to call on His Excellency, the Governor General, Lord Besslborough-

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LIB
CON

Jean Louis Baribeau

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BARIBEAU (Translation):

-and I would consider it amiss if I did not thank, in the house, the representative in Canada of His Majesty, the King, both on behalf of my fellow-citizens in Champlain and mine, for the cordial reception I received. I felt some pride in being welcomed by words spoken in the language of my forebears and, I think, I am giving expression to the French Canadians' feelings, in quoting, in this respect, a letter addressed to His Excellency, the Governor General by the President of "L'Institut Canadien-frangais d'Ottawa":

To His Excellency, the Earl of Bessborough, Governor General of Canada,

Rideau Hall, Ottawa, Out.

Excellency,-

The Institut canadien-frangais of Ottawa, the oldest French society in Ontario, founded in 1852 and incorporated by an act of parliament in 1865, having since its foundation, been the purest expression of French self-respect and determination, in Ottawa, is pleased to express to Your Excellency, the deepest feelings of gratitude and heartfelt thanks for the wise counsels that you had the kindness and courtesy of extending to the Canadian people, since your arrival in Canada, on the importance of learning the French language.

To those sentiments we add the testimonial of our proverbial loyalty to the British Crown.

Your Excellency possibly does not realize to what extent the interest you take in the French language is appreciated by the French Canadian population.

I beg of Your Excellency to accept, as a source of information, a copy of the constitution and rules of our society. You may thus judge for yourself what is our aim and what are our means of action.

The Budget-Mr. Spencer

On behalf of all the members of the Institute and on behalf of all my compatriots, Your Excellency, will allow me to express to you again our sincere and cordial thanks.

I have the honour to be, sir,

Your obedient and faithful servant,

H. Beaulieu.

President.

Allow me also to congratulate, perhaps somewhat late, the hon. member for Toronto Northeast (Mr. Baker) for the splendid speech he delivered in the French language, in the house, last year. So long as the two great races of this country will understand and admire one another, we may depend on them to elect legislators who will realize what are the best interests of Canada, and I believe that the 'harmonious cooperation of these two great races constitute one of the surest guarantees of the respect of the constitution and one of the most powerful factors to solve our national problems, whatever they may be.

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UFA

Henry Elvins Spencer

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. H. E. SPENCER (Battle River):

In rising to take part in this debate, Mr. Speaker, I wish to congratulate the hon. Minister of Finance (Mr. Rhodes) on the very able way in which he presented his first budget. We have, however, to condole with him on having to present a budget in this time of crisis, for it could not be a pleasant task. I desire also to congratulate him on paying the courtesy to this house of remaining in his seat while the debate is in progress. It is a courtesy which we very much appreciate, as we have not received it from some of his predecessors in office.

The budget contains figures that cannot be very pleasant reading for the people of Canada. For instance, our exports and imports are much lower than they have been for several years. Our expenditures and revenues are down. As far as our reduced exports and imports are concerned, we can expect nothing else, for the policy of the government-carried out, I know, in good faith-could have had no other result even in good times. The government have been putting into effect the policy on which the Conservative party were returned to power, and they have done their level best to interfere with trade, to stop imports wherever they could-with the natural result of checking exports. One pays for the other; and if we stop goods coming in, we are bound to affect adversely the selling of our goods in the markets of the world. This year unfortunately we have a deficit of about $119,505,000. We might have had a deficit under any circumstances, but the situation has been aggravated by the trade policy of the powers that be. For instance, the revenue from customs this year is about

$77,000,000 less than it was two years ago. Admitting that we are passing through a depression, the customs revenue would not have been as low as this had we encouraged trade with other countries. The interest on the national debt this coming year is estimated at $121,163,000. I am glad to see that this is a little less than it was a year ago, brought about no doubt through the refunding of large blocks of bonds last year.

Reference is made in the budget to the $11,000,000 paid out in respect of the wheat bonus. Canada did not lose by taking this course. Never in the history of the western provinces was that amount more needed than it was a year ago, and every cent has gone into the circle of trade. If the amount had been even greater I feel the dominion generally would have benefited considerably, and I am sorry that the budget contains no announcement as to a continuation of the bonus.

I regret the Minister of Finance has found it necessary to impose a lot of nuisance taxes -stamp taxes, taxes on telegrams, long distance telephones, and so on. These taxes have a detrimental effect on business, and I should be glad to have seen the Finance minister get his additional revenue through a more steeply graded income tax rather than by this means. Those of us who from time to time happen to come under the income tax legislation would, I am sure, have been only too pleased to pay the additional taxation in that form rather than in the form of these vexatious nuisance taxes.

I was glad to notice that the action taken by the government a year ago in guaranteeing the bankers against loss on their advances to the wheat pool, has not involved the country in any liability. I hope the newspapers that at one time so loudly proclaimed the large amounts that the government would have to make good on this guarantee, will please note that their doleful foreboding were quite uncalled for.

Reference is made in the budget to the Canadian farm loan board. Of all the legislation that has been passed in the house with the idea of benefiting agriculture, I think the Farm Loan Act has been the greatest disappointment. When it was going through the house we hoped it would be of real help to agriculture, particularly at such times as these when the farmers are in great need of having some means of carrying them through for a few years until the situation improves. I find, according to a return given to me some time ago, no less than 14,432 applications have been made under this act for loans.

The Budget-Mr. Spencer

Of those, however, only 4,119 loans were granted, the total sum lent amounting to $7,500,000, and the cost of administering the act being $338,788. These figures are up to December 31, 1931. First of all, they prove that there is a great need in Canada of more loans to help the farmers carry on and, second,. it seems to me it must be on account of the very low value of farm property that the board has seen fit to grant only a little over

4,000 loans as against about 14,500 applications. When one realizes that in Saskatchewan alone, according to some figures given me last year, $216,000,000 was taken out in farm mortgages, the fanm loan board has had very little effect when it has advanced only $7,500,000 in the whole of the dominion.

This year the Dominion government has considered that the most important thing it has to do is to balance its budget. There are more important problems than that to-day. If you are going to balance your budget at the cost of the people of the country by taxing them heavily and by cutting down public expenses when we need more purchasing power instead of less, then it is not a good thing to balance the budget. We would have been ahead if we had for the time being added to the national debt the amount by which we were short or issued currency directly to meet the deficit, collecting, through taxation in better times, enough to make up the difference. To increase taxation at this time and to cut down salaries and wages in the civil service, an action which naturally has been followed throughout the dominion in commercial life, will have the effect only of cutting down purchasing power all along the line, and next year we are likely to be in a worse position than we are now. In support of my suggestion that it would have been better not to balance the budget this year but to add the deficit to our national debt, I should like to quote from Mr. D. M. Garvin, economist of the Royal bank, who made this statement when he was speaking to the Canadian Club at Toronto, on February 22, 1932:

The first influence of an unbalanced budget may be to injure confidence to such an extent as to destroy part of the outstanding volume of credit, but sooner or later the borrowing to make up these deficits must tend towards producing the larger volume of credit necessary for expansion.

I wish to congratulate the government on the change which they have made in the income tax, and which was much overdue. I regretted to see .the government of the day in 1927 and 1928 reduce the income tax by ten per cent. If it had not been reduced; if even it had been increased at that time, we

would be in a .position now to make the tax less on smaller incomes. I am sorry, however, while on the one hand the government have seen fit to cut down wages and public expenditures, on the other they have deemed it wise to pay higher rates on borrowed money. I should like to quote from an editorial in the Vancouver Sun a few words which express very well my thoughts in this respect. It reads:

If it is right for the government of Canada to reduce the wages of civil servants ten per cent, is it not right that the wages of money should also be reduced?

What right has any government to protect a dollar rather than a man?

What right has Canada to protect and actually increase the interest rate on her five billions of federal and provincial debts, and at the same time decrease the earning power of a man?

What right has North America to make a fetish of past performance and at the same time refuse to protect present employed and find work for North America's seven million unemployed? Real industry and labour are working together to get conditions back to normal. Should capital be allowed to hold itself aloof?

The present government came into power with two main promises: first, to raise the tariff and, second, to cure unemployment. We have to give them credit for carrying out the first. They raised the tariff on over four hundred different schedules. We all know, however, this has not been a cure. As regards curing unemployment, it has been a hopeless failure. The public, in regard to the raising of the tariff, is to be blamed, first of all, for putting the government into power with a promise to increase tariffs and, second, for expecting that that would solve the problem. A high tariff, when all is said and done, is no protection. Surely we are beginning to realize that an opposition next door to a factory^ is much keener than when it is on the other side of the international boundary or across the ocean. When under a prohibitive tariff factories are forced into this or any other country, the new factories must be keener competitors of the older ones that have already been established. If we have brought into this country one hundred new factories, as I believe we have, then those that were already here must be suffering' in consequence, because during the last two years, not more, but less money has been put into circulation. This can easily be discovered by following the bank statements. If there is less money to be spent and more goods are being made; if the newer factories are getting the business, then this must be at the expense of some of the older ones.

The Budget-Mr. Spencer

I believe I am safe in saying that to-day our unemployed in Canada number over five hundred thousand. The government having failed, first, in its trade policy and, second, in its unemployment policy, it is trying the third method, and that is, to practise drastic economy. But while drastic economy may be all right for the individual, it is very bad for us collectively, and if anybody can afford to spend at this time it should be the government because it has all the credit of the nation at its back. While we have some five hundred thousand unemployed largely in the cities, it is well to remember that on the farms of Canada we have nearly half our population very much over-employed and very much under-paid. To follow out its policy of drastic economy the government has reduced its estimates by $55,000,000 and increased taxation to an equal amount. This, in my opinion, is bound to fail, and when we come back here a year hence I quite expect to see a deficit in the next budget. I say this regretfully.

I take this opportunity of directing the attention of the house to the railway situation in the south end of my constituency. Between the two points of Bulwark and Airways there has been great need of a railway for many years. The last time the Canadian National program was put before the house it was agreed to build a line between these two points to meet the great need of the large farming community in that area. A year ago, after some delay, the grade was built. There was time, I may say, to put the rails on, and had they been put on there would have been opportunity to haul from that country an enormous amount of grain which to-day has to be hauled a very considerable distance to other railways. For reasons best known to the railway management, when the grade was made and everything was ready for the rails, no rails were placed thereon. It has not only been a great disappointment to the country itself, but it must be an entire loss to the railways, because they have gone to half the expense and can receive no revenue. They cannot receive any revenue until the rails are laid. When the question is asked why the rails have not been laid, the answer is simply that the railways have not the money. What would be thought of a farmer who built half a house and then, when asked why he did not go on with it, replied that he had not the money? The first thing people would ask him would be, "Why didn't you think of that before you began to build the house?" We might ask the same question with regard to this railway. Only twenty-five miles of steel

is needed to give service to 800 square miles, but the people are left with this white elephant and while waiting patiently for the rails to be laid they have to haul their produce a great distance, as they have been doing for a number of years.

Reference was made in the budget to the Imperial conference which will take place in Ottawa next July, and great hopes have been expressed that something worth while will be done. I sincerely hope, for the sake of Canada, that something will be done for the benefit not only of this country but of the empire at large, but I want to warn those who are feeling too optimistic about it that there are going to be great difficulties. For instance, they are going to talk a great deal about empire trade. Now, looking up the figures with regard to British trade, I find at page 498 of the Trade and Commerce Journal that in 1931 British import trade outside the empire was 71-2, while exports were 56-2 to outside countries, showing that they are doing the greater part of their trade outside the empire. According to the figures given to us by the Minister of Finance, the major portion of the trade of Canada is also done outside the empire. Naturally, therefore, the delegates from the various parts of the empire who will come here looking for. benefits, will find that they are facing considerable difficulties in the matter of trade. As regards the wheat quota, the offer from Great Britain will not help Canada in the slightest, so far as I can see, because Britain cannot take the whole of Canada's crop, yet she will pay for Canadian wheat on a basis of world price, and we shall have to sell the rest in other markets, with the result that we shall have to meet competition just as keen as we are meeting to-day.

Of all industries that are suffering in this deflation, there is none that is suffering more than agriculture, because, in the ups and downs of price levels, whether it be inflation or deflation, agriculture is the last one able to take advantage of the rise and the first one to suffer from the drop. The deflation that was brought on in 1930 and 1931 had the effect of halving, and more than halving the values of farm prices. This, in turn, had the effect of doubling debts; and when you consider that most of the larger farm debts were incurred during the war, that since that time these debts have about doubled, and that the farmers have paid in interest rates an amount equal to the debts-because, at the interest rates the farmer pays, in ten to fourteen years he pays as much in interest as his total debt- you can readily understand why agriculture is in difficulties at the present time. We must

The Budget-Mr. Spencer

realize that agriculture is the basic industry of Canada. There are other very important industries, but that is the basic one, and the general business of Canada is not improving and cannot improve to any extent at all until agriculture is again on its feet.

I will put on record now a few figures taken from a government publication to show the difference between the prices of agricultural commodities and freight rates. When wheat was worth SI.25 per bushel, the freight rate was 5i per cent, and when wheat dropped to 60 cents, the freight rate was 12 per cent. When potatoes were SI per sack, the freight rate was 10 per cent, and when potatoes were

increased from 4 to 6 per cent, because it is a consumer's tax and will fall upon the family man.

It is claimed that if the western farmer would only go into mixed farming, all would be well, but this statement is made only by those hon. members who know very little about the matter. I have before me a statement giving the percentages of the different mixed commodities raised on farms in eastern and western Canada. The quantity of cattle on farms in eastern Canada is given as 10-65 per farmer, while for western Canada it is 13-62. The figures for hogs are 4-44 for eastern Canada, and 5-85 for western Canada.

Tff ccnTsr pe'f

bns-lml- the-freight raj-ie. wag 9d-i The production of butter in eastern Canada

per cent. When hogs were Sll per hundred, the freight rate was It per cent, and when the price dropped to $5 the freight rate had jumped to 3t per cent. When eggs were 40 cents a dozen, the freight rate was It per cent, and when the price was 20 cents, the freight rate had increased to 2} per cent. I may point out here that these prices are a good deal higher than we are getting to-day. For instance, wheat is lower than 60 cents and the price of hogs has dropped as low as $2.40, while eggs have dropped to 8 cents a dozen. I might say that during last December and January, turkeys-an item which does not appear here-sold in western Canada for less than one dollar each.

There are no financial institutions in Canada which can properly give the aid required by agriculture. The private banks are not giving the service needed. I shall not deal with this matter at any length because I have dealt with it before, but I do contend that interest rates are far too high, terms of loans far too short and renewals far too uncertain. Agriculture finds itself to-day in a very difficult position, so difficult that if something is not done a still larger number of people will be driven from the farms, where they cannot make a living, to the cities, there to join the ranks of the unemployed. I am told that 85 per cent of the farmers of Saskatchewan would be bankrupt were it not for the generosity of their creditors, and I believe the farmers of Alberta and Manitoba would be running them a close second.

I appreciate the fact that the Minister of Finance (Mr. Rhodes) did not see fit to increase the tariff on repairs to farm implements, although the increase of the excise from one to three per cent has the direct effect of a tariff. To-day the tariff on repairs ranges from 6 to 17j per cent, and to that duty will have to be added the 3 per cent for the so-called excise tax. I am sorry the sales tax has been

is 345 pounds per farm; whde that for western Canada is 355 pounds per farm. The egg production for eastern Canada is 291 as against 345 for western Canada. These figures should be an answer to those who say that if western farmers would go into mixed farming, all would be well. I know that those who are carrying on mixed farming in eastern Canada do not want the western farmer to enter that line of farming to any greater extent because he proves to be a keen competitor, but the fact remains that at this time there is no money to be made in farming of any kind, mixed or otherwise. At the present time, farming is not a business; it is a pastime, and the land is a liability.

I should like to say a few words in connection with the debt situation. Canada, like all other countries, is facing a serious problem in connection with debts. We must recognize the fact that we are carrying on a debt-creating system. A debt carrying 5 per cent simple interest doubles itself in twenty years, and at the rate which agriculture has to pay, the debt is doubled in about half that time. When this house realizes, as it must realize, that interest in the aggregate can never be paid, then we shall realize why debts accumulate to such a degree. These debts are necessarily increased very rapidly during a change from inflation to deflation, such as we have passed through during the last few years. According to figures furnished by the Bureau of Statistics, the interest-bearing debts of this country amount to no less than over nine billion dollars and this figure does not take into consideration the mortgages on farms or urban property, which some people estimate would bring the total to over seventeen billion dollars. I shall not go into the details of this larger amount; I am perfectly willing to base my argument on the other figure, which proves that Canada, with her small population, is faced with an enormous debt. How long can it continue?

The Budget-Mr. Bertrand

We have not done the best we could for the internal and external trade of Canada. Because of the rash and foolish policy adopted with regard to Russia, orders have been refused which would have proven to be beneficial to many of our manufacturers, particularly the implement manufacturers. Hundreds of thousands of men might now be employed had we not taken what I consider to be a very foolish stand in connection with Russia. I should like to quote from the Vancouver Sun of July 18, 1932. After referring to the fact that the government had started backdoor trading with Russia by admitting Russian furs into Canada, the article continues:

If Premier Bennett would think a little more of history and a little less of his own pride, he would realize that finally Canada will have to do business with Russia. Why not now?

In 1792 England implored world powers to have nothing to do with bloody revolutionary France. "France would wreck world thrones and imperil civilization," etc., etc. For twelve years the Pitts and others hurled against French revolutionists the identical language that, until the last few months, one heard against Russia. Finally, in 1804, British statesmen admitted that Britain's stand against France had been childish, and Britain's twelve years' loss of French trade was a blot against British diplomacy and common sense.

And again:

Standing on the floor of the British house of commons more than a century ago, Charles Fox said: "After twelve years of futile experience we are compelled to recognize the Republic of France which we refused to do business with twelve years ago." Only six years ago Mr. Asquith said: "England's experience with

France in 1792-93 was a fearful mistake. Let us not repeat that mistake in regard to Russia."

Apparently Canada has seen fit to make that mistake, and no doubt we shall regret it in the years to come.

Canada is not a poor country, as sometimes I think the budget would lead us to believe. According to the Bureau of Statistics the national wealth of Canada amounts to nearly $31,000,000,000. When we realize that in this country we have goods in abundance, that we have everything that man needs or wants, that our greatest trouble to-day is not to produce goods but to get rid of those that we have produced, surely we must see that a cog has slipped somewhere. When we are living in an age of plenty, in a country with surpluses in everything except the budget, surely we should find ways and means of seeing how these goods and services that we possess can be distributed among the people. Purchasing power is needed, and needed in greater amounts, to enable the goods that we have produced in abundance to be transferred to those who want them. The difficulty apparently is in our monetary system.

If our monetary system as it is to-day does not work, and we know that it does not, surely it is not beyond the capabilities of mankind or of Canadians to find ways and means to make it work. That system is man-made, and if it has not been made properly it surely can be man-mended. To-day man is a slave to an incomplete invention. I was much interested in reading the other day a letter by W. F. C. Devlin, printed in the Ottawa Journal of April 15. In the course o>f that letter on the monetary situation the writer says:

Our country is loaded with the physical necessities of life, but we find the circulation of our means of exchange slowed down or withdrawn, so that we cannot freely exchange our goods and services with each other.

Never before were we so physically healthy, yet, on account of our "book-keeping" having gone out of kilter, we are allowing ourselves to believe that we are sick. Our difficulties are therefore of "book-keeping"-not of physical fact. We are allowing our "book-keeping" to control us-instead of we it. There is a strongly growing feeling that the present state of affairs is not only unsatisfactory but unnecessary, and it is high time we set about controlling conditions instead of letting conditions control us.

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CON

Pierre Édouard Blondin (Speaker of the Senate)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPEAKER:

The hon. member has spoken forty minutes.

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UFA

Henry Elvins Spencer

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. SPENCER:

In conclusion, if I may be permitted, Mr. Chairman, I am entirely in sympathy and in full accord with the subamendment which has been moved by the hon. member for Acadia (Mr. Gardiner).

Mr. ELIE O. BERTRAND (Prescott) (Translation): Mr. Speaker, in rising in this house to speak on the budget and its amendments, it is certainly fitting to congratulate the hon. Minister of Finance (Mr. Rhodes) on the delivery of his well prepared speech. Before indulging in too many compliments, it is well to go over and seriously consider the various matters pertaining to the budget, and while the preparation and delivery of the speech might be worthy of praise, that is as far as we should go.

The hon. member for Shelbume-Yarmouth (Mr. Ralston), in reviewing the budget, analyzed and criticized each one of its various features, and in every instance, he proved that far from making for the welfare and prosperity of this country, this budget was conducive to stagnation and a more acute depression. Later on, the hon. member for Acadia (Mr. Gardiner) moved an amendment. I do not quite see how the hon. member for Acadia could explain to this house and to the country what he means, for instance, by stabilized currency. We actually believe that there is no stabilized currency in Canada any more than in any other part of

The Budget-Mr. Bertrand

the world. However, that is one of the remedies which he has to offer to solve our problems and to get over our present difficulties.

Before dealing with the matters to which I desire to call the attention of the house in the course of this debate, I wish to refer to some of the speeches from hon. members opposite. They have read numerous letters to show how their constituencies had benefited by the tariff, as revised since the coming into power of the Conservative party, that is at the special session of 1930 and the session of 1931. The hon. member for Stormont (Mr.' Shaver) told us to what extent Cornwall had become prosperous, thanks to its silk industry. The hon. member for Shefford (Mr. Tetreault), read several letters, and endeavoured to show how prosperous his county was; he even said: "There are no unemployed in my constituency that we know of." The hon. member for Pontiac (Mr. Belec) told us of the prosperity obtaining in certain parts of his county and many other hon. members opposite attempted to show all the benefits derived from the tariff and asked the members from this side to give them credit for all the good things that the Conservative policy had afforded the people and the country since their party is in office. What impressed me most in their speeches, was the statement that they would not have fulfilled their duty had they not spoken of the condition of the farmers. Agriculture being stagnant, we were wondering what arguments they could put forth in that regard. They claimed that if farm products could not be disposed of, it was due to world conditions; that, of course, we have to compete with world prices, that the other countries are actually suffering from the depression which is particularly detrimental to this class of the community, and, therefore, they were not to blame.

On each occasion, however, they read letters asserting that the tariff had helped some particular industry or increased the profits of some individual.. In each case, they said: "Do us at least the favour to acknowledge what we have done for the country." And then, they turn to the fa'rmers, just as the hon. member for Shefford (Mr. Tetreault) did and said: "Do not blame us for the bad conditions obtaining in your districts, as we are not responsible for them." On the one side, they claim credit for what they have done, and, on the other, they do not want to take the blame for the uneasiness that might exist among the farmers.

It is a fact that a certain class of our population is still enjoying, at the present time,

rather fat revenues, and that some individuals are more particularly benefited by the protection afforded in the tariff. This very protection, which favours certain industries and trades, is detrimental to other industries that are compelled to pay more for the products they have to buy from the favoured ones.

I regret, Mr. Speaker, to be obliged to make such a dismal picture of the condition of agriculture in Ontario. After what we have heard about the conditions in the west and the maritime provinces, it would seem that our position is not worse than elsewhere. If, as several hon. members have stated in this house, agriculture is the foundation upon which all our economic system is resting, the government should surely protect it and help it to survive.

In my constituency, the farming industry is not lagging in progress. We have fine herds which won the first prizes at the Toronto exhibition and also at international fairs. I would like to add just a few words about the growing of red clover. In Toronto, at the seed exhibition held in November, the county of Prescott got seven prizes out of the first ten. In Ottawa, during the same month we were awarded seven prizes out of the first nine for red clover, and we had the great honour of winning the world championship at Chicago. The winner, on that occasion, was Mr. Remi Lamarohe, of St-Isidore de Prescott, who had the best improved red clover seed in the whole world. Nevertheless, much to my regret, we must admit that farming in my county is not a paying proposition. And since we admit that fact, surely we must consider what the future might be and what will become of the farming community.

I would like to say a few words about the hay growing industry. Some might say that it is a thing of the past, but when I am through with my remarks, I think you will admit that you cannot change your farming methods as easily as you change clothes. Some years ago, we were growing hay in the eastern Ottawa valley. Many of our farmers have given it u.p for the raising of -cattle and the dairy industry. However, to carry out the change, you have to erect new buildings and incur a large expenditure which -the farmer is unable to bear. Consequently, the farmers who still get some hay out of part of their farm, have to sell it, at present, for $4 a ton. When you know that the cost of the pressing, the wire, the food for the men, the rent and the wear of the machinery, amounts to $2 a ton, you will realize that it leaves only $2 to the farmer. -Let us -consider the awkward position in which our farmers are now. Last

The Budget-Mr. Bertrand

year, the crop averaged one ton per acre. Municipal and school taxes vary from $1.50 to S2 an acre, or an average of $1.75. Take off these different amounts, and you will see

that 25 cents is all the revenue that the farmer gets out of one ton of hay. That shows without any doubt what are the conditions we have to face, and I think that the whole country should know it. You must also figure out how many years it would take to effect the change, in order, as I said a moment ago, to go into the cattle or dairy industry.

Let us see now what is the position of those who choose to go in the cattle raising. I have been preparing statistics on that subject since my arrival at Ottawa; consequently, they apply to the month of February. Allow me to tell you what were the prices of live stock delivered by the farmers on the Montreal market. These figures are taken from the price lists of the companies and jobbers who buy live stock on the market. Here are the prices for the week of February 15th: steers, grade one, $6; grade two, $4.50; grade three, $3; cows, grade one, S3; grade two, $2.50; cutters, $1.75; canners, $1; bulls, grade one, $3; medium grade, S2.25; lambs, $6; bucks, $4; sheep, grade one, $3; grade two, S2; lower grades, $1.

In each case, the price is quoted on a hundredweight for live stock on the hoof, and the commission of the seller as well as the freight must be deducted from the already low price that the farmer is receiving for his cattle. Hon. members who are familiar with farm products know that it is very hard to ship first class live stock in February, on account of the cattle having to remain indoors. Consequently, live stock sold in winter are nearly always of the second grade. Take pigs weighing from 150 to 225 pounds, that is selects which are being sold at $4.75 to $5; the second grade is worth only S3.25 per hundred. Deduct the freight and you will see that a farmer cannot raise pigs at that price. The same may be said of second grade cows which are being sold at $2.50 per 100 pounds. In our district when a cow weighs about 1,000 pounds, we consider that it is a nice cow. It would yield about $25 to the farmer, less the freight costs, the commission to the buying agent and then the commission on the sale in Montreal. That would leave an average of $18 or $20 per head for the best cattle that we have for sale.

I stated, a moment ago, that hon. members opposite, whenever mention is made of the condition of the farming industry, did not want their party to be blamed for it. They say: Give us all the credit for what we have

accomplished with the tariff which helps a

few privileged interests, but do not blame us for the farming situation! Let them read the statement issued by the leader of the Conservative party on July 15, 1930, in which he said:

We pledge ourselves to promote and develop agriculture, the live stock industry and the dairy industry, that are presently so badly neglected.

Thus he spoke when the products which I have just mentioned were bringing more than double the present prices.

Here is another statement made by the right hon. Prime Minister during the last campaign, when, as leader of the Conservative party, he delivered a speech at Ormstown. He was reported by the Morning Citizen of June 30th, as follows:

He said it was necessary for the farmers to receive for their efforts a remuneration equal to that which is afforded in other occupations. We must see to it that this profession be made as remunerative as any other.

And we hear hon. members opposite say: "Give us credit for helping the industries and the financiers to better their position; as to the farmer, do not speak about them."

He also said:

We of the Conservative party pledge ourselves to see that farming becomes again as remunerative as in the past.

Have we not a right, Mr. Speaker, to tell the party in power to-day what we think of their achievements as regards the farming class and the results thereof?

In order to show more clearly to what extent the prices of farm products have fallen down, I shall compare the prices of the week of January 28, 1930, that is a few months before the Conservatives came into office, with those of the corresponding period in 1932, after eighteen months of Conservative administration. In 1930, cheese sold at 18 cents; in 1932, 10 cents; butter, 36 cents in 1930 and 17 cents in 1932; wheat, $1.20 a bushel in 1930, and 56 cents in 1932; oats, 55 cents in 1930 and 27 cents in 1932; steers, $9.50 per 100 lbs in 1930, and $5.75 in 1932; pigs $1255 per 100 lbs in 1930, and $4.50 for selects, in 1932; sheep, $7 in 1930, and $3.50 in 1932; and I could keep on naming many other prices. The leaders of the Conservative party and those who supported the Conservative policy were then asserting that the 1930 prices were not in keeping with the needs of the farming class and that the farming industry had to be made as remunerative as in the past. They said: "We pledge ourselves to promote agriculture in order that our farmers may receive

The Budget-Mr. Bertrand

a remuneration equal to that of other professions. What was the result? Prices fell by more than 50 per cent since 1930.

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CON
LIB

Elie-Oscar Bertrand

Liberal

Mr. BERTRAND:

I will surely go ahead, my friend.

In his budget speech, the hon. Minister of Finance, who, I think is very clever, mentions public debts, railway revenues, and taxes; but we find nothing in this budget concerning agriculture which might be of any future assistance to the farming class and the country as a whole. I hope that future budgets will contain measures beneficial to all classes of the community. The farmers, like any other class of people in this country, were expecting some relief from the budget of 1932; they were hoping for a few privileges to recover some measures of prosperity and to enable them to balance their own budget.

It is said that a broken morale may cause a lot of harm. Well, Mr. Speaker, I must say that the farmers have certainly lost confidence in their own profession, and they are wondering how to get out of the depression in which they are now.

Protection is in force since two years. During the last election there was no question of our country being affected by the world crisis. At that time, the people simply thought that the government should avert the crisis,

in order that this country may not suffer from it. What changes have occurred since then and what is the attitude of hon. members opposite toward the farming class? That is where the tariff policy of the government is calling for criticism. They tried higher tariffs which did not protect the Canadian industries during this period of depression. They could not maintain the standard of wages, nor the standard of living in Canada.

They tend to deprive the treasury of revenues, thereby obliging the government to increase the burden of taxation by raising the income tax, sales tax. and all kinds of annoying taxes, which contribute, the more and more, to restrict the purchasing power of Canadian consumers on the home market. The tariff has been raised unreasonably. They had faith in such a policy. They can no longer plead ignorance as to the result of high protection. They now realize that tariff is not the supreme remedy to all the ills. The experiment tried by this government has clearly shown the meagre success which high protection gives. The prices of farm products are now at a lower level than we have seen them for a great number of years past.

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LIB
LIB

Elie-Oscar Bertrand

Liberal

Mr. BERTRAND (Translation):

To clearly show how the Canadian farmer stands, I shall quote the prices of the various farm products, for the past 20 years.

Top Closing Prices and Comparisons

- Cheese Boards No. 1 Coloured Cream Butter Solids Eggs Extra Ontario Wheat Mixed Ontario Oats Butcher Steers Hogs Choice Butcher Sheep Spring Lamb EwesJan. 28/32 cents cents cents $ cts. $ cts. t cts. $ cts. $ cts. $ cts.10 17 17 0 56 0 27 5 75 J4 50 3 50 7 001931 141 32 25 0 70 0 28 7 00 8 50 112 25 6 25 7 00 7 00 6 00 6 50 8 00 8 50 8 00 7 50 6 00 7 00 12 50 10 00 15 00 10 50 8 75 8 50 12 25 14 50 13 50 12 251930 36 50 1 20 0 55 9 50 1929 41 38 1 32 0 52 9 50 til 75 1928 37J 40 1 27 0 58 11 75 f 9 15 1927 411 48 1 28 0 50 7 50 11 50 1926 45 46 1 40 0 43 7 50 13 85 11 10 7 75 10 50 12 75 15 25 19 25 16 50 1925 32 J 58 1 85 0 60 7 25 6 75 8 25 16 251924 43* 42 1 00 0 43 1923 411 38 1 13 0 47 1922 35 45 1 00 0 35 7 00 1921 551 65 1 70 0 45 10 50 1920 65 70 Nom 1 02 14 75 16 75 1919 51* 50 2 13 0 68 1918 47 55 2 14 1 00 11 90 18 50 14 75 10 45 8 30 9 65 9 10 6 90 19 001917 40 50 1 70 0 70 11 50 1910 32* 31 1 15 0 49 8 29 8 25 8 50 7 00 31 30 1 60 0 70 0 dO 1914 29 34 0 93 0 41 6 00 5 00 29* 27 0 97 0 40 1Q12 35 40 0 97 0 52 6 90

>

"d

to

1923-6 Hog quotations are for thick smooths.

tHog quotations are for selects weighed off cars. tHog quotations for bacons, f.o.b.

The Budget-Mr. Be

Bankruptcy Act

As you can see, the 1912 prices were as much as 100 per cent higher than at present, and taxation 100 per cent less.

Allow me to inform the house, before it rises, of the various municipal and school taxes in Prescott, for a hundred acre farm: In 1901 the taxes amounted to S38; in 1914, $60; in 1930, $175; therefore an increase, from 1914 to 1930, of 300 per cent. The Dominion government, in 1901, levied $8.72 per capita; in 1914, $16.56; in 1930, 836.01; therefore an increase, from 1914 to 1930, of 120 per cent. The provincial tax amounted in 1901 to $1.85 per capita; in 1914, $4.49; in 1930, $17.50; therefore an increase, from 1914 to 1930, of 400 per cent. Such taxation greatly increases a farmer's overhead charges.

At six o'clock the house took recess.

After Recess

The house resumed at eight o'clock.

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BANKRUPTCY ACT AMENDMENT

PRESENTATION OF PETITION IN LOCALITY OF DEBTOR


Mr. MAURICE BRASSET (Gaspe) moved the second reading of Bill No. 36, to amend the Bankruptcy Act (Locality of a debtor). He said; The purpose of this bill, Mr. Speaker, is to compel creditors in the province of Quebec to take bankruptcy proceedings in the district where the debtor resides. Last session a similar bill was withdrawn on the representation of the hon. Minister of Justice (Mr. Guthrie) that this year a general revision of the Bankruptcy Act would be undertaken, which revision would very likely cover this point, but I fail to see that anything has yet been done in this direction. Last session it was objected that such an amendment would make it more expensive for creditors, but on the contrary I think that the procedure proposed would be less expensive in the long run. At present debtors in outlying districts have to come to Montreal or Quebec when bankruptcy proceedings are taken against them, and in many cases the expense is very burdensome. I hope the bill will be given second reading.


CON

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

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. HUGH GUTHRIE (Minister of Justice):

Mr. Speaker, I have no objection to this bill being read a second time and referred to the special committee which is now considering the question of amendments to the Bankruptcy Act. The committee was appointed in connection with a general bill to amend that act, and this is one of the subjects under discussion before that committee.

My advice to my hon. friend is that he lay his case before that committee, when I am sure it will receive the fullest consideration. In fact the matter is already under discussion in that committee. Therefore I suggest that the bill be read a second time and referred to the special committee.

Topic:   BANKRUPTCY ACT AMENDMENT
Subtopic:   PRESENTATION OF PETITION IN LOCALITY OF DEBTOR
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Motion agreed to, bill read the second time and referred to the special committee considering the Bankruptcy Act.


CON

Pierre Édouard Blondin (Speaker of the Senate)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPEAKER:

Business under the heading of private and public bills having been completed, the house will resume the adjourned debate on the motion of the Minister of Finance.

Topic:   BANKRUPTCY ACT AMENDMENT
Subtopic:   PRESENTATION OF PETITION IN LOCALITY OF DEBTOR
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THE BUDGET

April 19, 1932