May 25, 1932

LIB

William Richard Motherwell

Liberal

Mr. MOTHERWELL:

I am going to take the Quebec members of the ministry as I find them. They have all used me right since I came into this house. But they will not take exception to my stating that so far they have shown no particular evidence of any knowledge of agriculture. True, my good friend the Minister of Marine (Mr. Duranleau) has withdrawn his bill to amend the Canada Shipping Act with respect to the coasting trade, and that is all in his favour and may indicate a desire to consider the western farmers' viewpoint on this question. Then we have my two good friends of the medical fraternity, the Minister of Pensions and National Health (Mr. MacLaren) and the Minister of National Defence (Mr. Sutherland); they are both good doctors and I think they will be all right where they are until the electors decide otherwise. I have nothing to say against them.

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CON
LIB

William Richard Motherwell

Liberal

Mr. MOTHERWELL:

All these interruptions are lost upon me; I hear some hon. members, but the chirp of the others resembles a lot of chickadees. Sometimes it is an advantage to be partially deaf. The Minister of the Interior (Mr. Murphy) showed a glowing desire to help agriculture last year when he decided to close the two forestry farms in Saskatchewan in the midst of the most ghastly hurricanes we have ever seen on those plains, but I do not hold that against him. He retreated gracefully into the arms of the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Weir) and left the farms to be administerted by that hon. gentleman, but with no additional vote to take care of them. They were tacked on to the experimental farms as an adopted child of some promise. As I have said, I have a reservation with regard to the Minister of Agriculture who, since he cannot get agricultural information from his colleagues, is showing an inclination to seek that information elsewhere.

Agricultural Conditions

There has been mention even of a royal commission, and to that extent the minister is on sound ground, from which I sincerely hope he does not retreat.

I ask the hon. member for Southeast Grey (Miss Macphail) what she could expect as to Canada's present standstill agricultural policy other than what has already happened as a tree is usually known by its fruit. The electors of Canada are responsible for putting the right hon. Prime Minister in power, and he is responsible for choosing his many non-agricultural colleagues. That is the position, and no one can give redress except the electors. We do what we can by expressing our disgust with the government's lack of agricultural policy, but after all is said .and done the, electors are responsible. Of course they were bamboozled, misled by false pretences and stung generally, and to some extent they must be excused on that account. The electors wanted a change in 1930 and in all conscience they got it. Now many are holding up both hands for another change and that right speedily.

Then we come to that part of the amendment dealing with suggested reforms. It explores ground on which I am none too solid myself, and which I would not like anyone to think I favoured fully just now. But we must explore these grounds. If there had been no explorers in the world the continent on which we live never would have been discovered. Without explorers the human race would have been segregated in a very small part of the world's area, so I am in favour of exploration.' Agriculture is in a distressing, economic condition at the present time. So far I have succeeded in keeping out of gaol, but if ever I were put in a gaol cell, with the windows all safely barred and the door securely locked, and I saw a gleam of light in one corner, certainly I would explore that gleam in the hope that it might lead to a wider opening through whioh I might escape. There is just a gleam of light in these suggestions of the hon. member for Southeast Grey, and I want it explored. If it is no good we can throw it into the discard, but we can hold fast to that which proves to be good. All reformers were explorers; when they once got it into their heads that they were rigid on any given subject, all h- could not stop them from going ahead.

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UFA
LIB

William Richard Motherwell

Liberal

Mr. MOTHERWELL:

It means hades,

though I will say the other word if anyone wants me to do so. I do not know that there is any necessity to deal with this question at greater length.

Agricultural Conditions

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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Hear, hear.

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LIB

William Richard Motherwell

Liberal

Mr. MOTHERWELL:

I am going to stop when I like, within the forty minute limit. I should like to read some of the suggestions contained in the amendment in order to place them on Hansard once more:

Further, this house is of opinion that the government should take into consideration the following suggestions . . .

I think it Shows a great deal of courage and bravery on the part of the hon. member for Southeast Grey to make a suggestion to this government at all, after the way suggestions have been received recently. My right hon. leader was given a slap in the face yesterday for making a most timely suggestion, by the Prime Minister who, however, was squared up by the ex-Minister of Justice. That is the way our suggestions have been received. Last session, and during the early pant of this session, members of the government side howled because we were not making constructive suggestions, but when we do make them this is the way they are received. Of course all members of the government do not act in that way, but yesterday the Prime Minister was in one of his mad fits, and he proceeded to castigate us as already indicated. The amendment proceeds:

(a) the national control and regulation of currency and credit;

Is that not going on now in some countries? I do not believe any meital as a basis of currency in the earth or on top of the earth will stand the test of the times through which we are passing now, nor any combination of metals. I agree w'ith Sir Josiah Stamp, who indicated in his recent Ottawa speech that as long as men and women are so unstable in their emotions and business activities we cannot have anything stable in regard to currency, but we can make it as stable as possible. The stability of currency depends in large measure upon the stability of men, and in turn the stability of men depends upon what anchorage they are tied up to, what kind of a rock they are standing upon. I do not know whether or not that needs any interpretation to the hon. gentlemen of the treasury benches, but I am not going to just now interpret it further-

(b) a measure of controlled inflation having for its object increase in commodity prices. . . .

Anyone who ever had any experience in selling goods in a country where the currency was higher than the currency in our country must know the advantage of that situation, but this is a sword that cuts both ways, as

'Mr. Motherwell.]

I understand it. I am only a student in matters of currency; I recognize that no matter what you do with our currency you must earn your share of it; you cannot get your share by lying down and howling or loafing.

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UFA

Edward Joseph Garland

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. GARLAND (Bow River):

A good

many men got it without doing any work.

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LIB

William Richard Motherwell

Liberal

Mr. MOTHERWELL:

That is quite right, but I was referring to the walk of life of my hon. friend and myself. I know I have never been in that other financial world, though I am not going to say too much against it. I know that we need big interests, but they should be well harnessed. We need capital, but it should not run riot without control. I think we are nearing the day when these things will come under more control, not with the idea of damaging capital but to see that the best possible use is obtained from it and that no public harm is done by its illicit or unbridled use.

Apparently I have again obtained silence, although that does not necessarily mean consent. I have been speaking longer than I intended but I think by this time the hon. member for Southeast Grey (Miss Macphail) knows what I think of and how I appreciate her amendment.

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CON

Henry Alfred Mullins

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. H. A. MULLINS (Marquette):

Mr. Speaker, I have listened to the harangue of the hon. gentleman, and I ask this house and hon. membei-s opposite why agriculture is in its present position? It is due to the hon. gentleman who has just given his criticism, the like of which I have never heard in this or any other parliament. Apparently he is showing a kindly feeling to the opposite side, the farm group, in the expectation of being able to get them later on. Agriculture has suffered in western Canada because of the actions of the hon. gentleman who has just spoken. There are hon. members on this side of the house who have forgotten more about agriculture than he ever knew. If I had a farm in western Canada that looked like his I would get rid of it at once. I am sorry I have not the references before me, as I had not intended to speak again during this session, but I should like to read an article and a letter which deal with this matter. The letter was from Mr. Arkell, whom the hon. member had travelling over the country as live stock commissioner. He came to my farm and then wrote me a letter, and yet the hon. member says there are numbskulls here who do not know anything about agriculture. From ills

Agricultural Conditions

remarks one would think we were all ignorant and knew nothing about agriculture. I have been farming just as long as the hon. gentleman.

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LIB
CON

Henry Alfred Mullins

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MULLINS:

The hon. member was not speaking of the rank and file?

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LIB
CON

Henry Alfred Mullins

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MULLINS:

The hon. member was

looking directly at me when he was speaking-However, there are men on the ministerial benches who know just as much about agriculture as does the hon. gentleman.

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LIB

William Richard Motherwell

Liberal

Mr. MOTHERWELL:

Who are they, outside of the Minister of Agriculture?

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CON

Henry Alfred Mullins

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MULLINS:

Take any one of them.

It is just such harangues as we have been listening to that have ruined agriculture in western Canada. What have we been hearing in the agriculture committee of which I have been a member? We have been hearing of nothing but Garnet wheat. This mongrel wheat was introduced into western Canada after Marquis and Reward wheats had been grown for years. I did not take any interest in the hon. member's remarks with reference to wheat because there was nothing to be learned therefrom.

The hon. member for Southeast Grey (Miss Macphail) has said that the price of hogs is down, but I tell her that thousands of pounds of shoulders and hams are being brought in from the United States to ruin the hog industry of Canada.

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?

An hon. MEMBER:

Why don't you stop

them?

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CON

Henry Alfred Mullins

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MULLINS:

Only a short time ago

two carloads of shoulders and hams came into Toronto from the United States, paid a duty of six cents per pound and broke the hog market by two cents a pound. The hon. member should look into these matters and get a practical knowledge. Export cattle are selling for six and six and one-half cents per pound.

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PRO

Agnes Campbell Macphail

Progressive

Miss MACPHAIL:

The hon. member has stated that the low prices for hogs are due to importation, but I should like him to explain why in January, 1930, when we imported 7,000,000 pounds, butter was selling at 39 cents while in January, 1932, when we imported only 44,000 pounds, butter was selling at 17 cents?

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CON

Henry Alfred Mullins

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MULLINS:

The only thing I can say is that as far as butter and eggs are concerned, when they are scarce the hens scratch all the harder, and over production takes place.

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May 25, 1932