October 25, 1932

LIB

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. POULIOT (Translation):

They are

very cheeky because they are double-faced.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   IMPERIAL ECONOMIC CONFERENCE
Sub-subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE MOTION FOR APPROVAL OF TRADE AGREEMENT BETWEEN CANADA AND THE UNITED KINGDOM
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LIB

Joseph-Achille Verville

Liberal

Mr. VERVILLE (Translation):

If they

contend that they have done their best, they are easily satisfied. This being so, then they give us a real proof of their powerlessness, and they can without fear renounce to others their powers and that would redound to the advantage of the country as a whole.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   IMPERIAL ECONOMIC CONFERENCE
Sub-subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE MOTION FOR APPROVAL OF TRADE AGREEMENT BETWEEN CANADA AND THE UNITED KINGDOM
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CON

Joseph-François Laflèche

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LAFLECHE (Translation):

Of all

party healers.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   IMPERIAL ECONOMIC CONFERENCE
Sub-subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE MOTION FOR APPROVAL OF TRADE AGREEMENT BETWEEN CANADA AND THE UNITED KINGDOM
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LIB

Joseph-Achille Verville

Liberal

Mr. VERVILLE (Translation):

I shall not be so unfair towards our opponents as to doubt of their sincerity. It may perhaps be that they were sincere and are still so. It may be that they have faith in their policy. It has happened that doctors have killed

their patients while endeavouring to cure them. I shall even concede that they are in earnest. They simply made the mistake of advocating a poor policy and of trying to persuade the people that it was the right one.

They imagined that by giving protection to large industries the interests of all would be safeguarded. It is simply a deception, a dream, almost folly, however, one must admit, sir, that many, unfortunately, felt the effects of this disease, especially among those who sit on the opposite benches.

At all events, the leader of the government seems to have realized the failure of his policy, and this is to his credit. Today, he wishes to accomplish something which may induce the public to forget his past errors. He has felt the need of rehabilitating himself in public opinion and wishes to prove that he is really the man, the super-man, sent by Providence, as a number of his followers delight in stating. Hence the conference of August last. He has found in it a cure-all but, especially, a cure for the ills of his party which is in such a bad way.

He has .such faith in this panacea to remedy all ills, that he has instructed his faithful followers to broadcast it all over the world.

It has been put on the market in Ontario, but as we are aware, lately, the people refused to subscribe to this fake remedy.

We were favoured, in. Quebec, immediately following the Imperial Conference, with the visit of the hon. Postmaster General to the Lakei St. John district, the marvellous spectacle of a man who, notwithstanding his title of Minister of Dismissals, in the present government, travels to the remotest part of the largest province in the dominion, in order to sing to those people the broadcasted song of Madam Bolduc "Gentlemen be of good cheer, the event is not yet at hand, but it is coming."

The same circus where there was to be seen more trumping up than elephants, if I am allowed to say so, the same troop proceeded to the county of Dorchester, adjacent to my own, and finally to the idland of Orleans, a countryside of enchanted legends, further enriched by another one; that of Mr. Bennett's Imperial Economic Conference, revised edition by my hon. friend, the member for Que-bec-Montmorency (Mr. Dorion). Note well, sir, that this theatrical tour took place long before the terms of the agreements entered into at Ottawa, were made public. Thus they praised the results of the Imperial Conference before ever knowing what they were, probably because the master had said to proclaim that they would be wonderful. 1 have all the respect due to the Prime Minister of my

United Kingdom

country; I have a great admiration for the leader of this government, I even acknowledge that he is doing his best to emerge from the pit in which he has fallen because of his foolish theories of exaggerated protection. I even believe that he is in earnest and 1 sympathize with him over the great distress in which his dangerous economic policy has plunged the country; however, I trust that neither my constituents nor the people of Canada will ever forgive him for having tried the game of " bluff " with their interests at stake, being careful to mark the cards in order to promote the political interests of his friends and his own.

We were charged in this house with having resorted to all possible means in order to prevent the success of this conference, it was contended that the apposition, envying the anticipated success of the government's policy, had broadcasted from the tops of roofs and in every possible time that the conference would be a failure.

Together, sir, with a number of my hon. friends on the opposition benches, I state that this charge is entirely unfounded, the same may be said of the charge of disloyalty which was also levied at us and which should never have been resorted to in the house by members on the apposite side. We are not envious of the success won by the government, first, because there is no such success, neither as a result of its policy nor as that of the last Imperial Conference, and if they had obtained any, as good citizens, we would have rejoiced because such results would have been beneficial to the people anid to their interest. As did many of my friends, I abstained commenting beforehand on the results of the Imperial Conference, preferring to wait and find out what they were before approving or criticizing them and advising also my constituents to have faith.

This blame attached to the opposition, rebounds on the members of the party in power, because they travelled through the country boasting of results before they were ever made public. This is, they stated, the remedy which we bring; this is what the government wishes us to do; we repeat it to you so that everybody may know; we are aware that it will surpass all expectations.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   IMPERIAL ECONOMIC CONFERENCE
Sub-subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE MOTION FOR APPROVAL OF TRADE AGREEMENT BETWEEN CANADA AND THE UNITED KINGDOM
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LIB

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. POULIOT (Translation):

That is

another promise.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   IMPERIAL ECONOMIC CONFERENCE
Sub-subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE MOTION FOR APPROVAL OF TRADE AGREEMENT BETWEEN CANADA AND THE UNITED KINGDOM
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LIB

Joseph-Achille Verville

Liberal

Mr. VERVILLE (Translation):

As to the question of loyalty, we have shown in the past that we are as devoted to the mother country as our friends opposite, and that it is not being disloyal to England to criticize

the acts of this government, When we are satisfied that they are opposed to the interests of our people.

Today we are apprised of what transpired, we are aware, in part at least, what the agreements of the conference were. The game of hide and seek is over, the magic lantern is shining, but the figures on the white sheet are blotted. I should very much like to be as optimistic as the government and our friends opposite. I should rejoice if from these trade agreements there was forthcoming all the good results which the government expect. Even conceding that perhaps some good may result from these agreements, for it is seldom that even a bad bargain does not profit someone, I cannot, however, have faith in the new remedy of the right hon. Prime Minister, whose patent is very insecure. I listened the other day to the Prime Minister reading, on large size paper, to the house the famous agreements, up till then kept jealously secret, no doubt so that nobody would be able to criticize, and I thought, like many others that, truly, it was unnecessary to surround with so much secrecy the hatching of this political chicken.

I do not know, sir, whether you have ever been present at a public auction sale, an "auction" as it is called. You must have witnessed some. Suddenly, in order to draw the attention of the public, the auctioneer in his loudest tone calls out: "Gentlemen, I take pleasure in putting up a surprise box, who will bid for this box."

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   IMPERIAL ECONOMIC CONFERENCE
Sub-subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE MOTION FOR APPROVAL OF TRADE AGREEMENT BETWEEN CANADA AND THE UNITED KINGDOM
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CON

Charles Napoléon Dorion

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DORION (Translation):

That is the

way they do things in Lotbiniere.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   IMPERIAL ECONOMIC CONFERENCE
Sub-subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE MOTION FOR APPROVAL OF TRADE AGREEMENT BETWEEN CANADA AND THE UNITED KINGDOM
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LIB

Joseph-Achille Verville

Liberal

Mr. VERVILLE (Translation):

Then bids follow, the surprise box is sold to the highest bidder who, out of curiosity opens the box, and most of the time, to his disappointment, he finds that it contains nothing of value, and therefore he discovers that he has paid too much for it.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   IMPERIAL ECONOMIC CONFERENCE
Sub-subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE MOTION FOR APPROVAL OF TRADE AGREEMENT BETWEEN CANADA AND THE UNITED KINGDOM
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CON

Charles Napoléon Dorion

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DORION (Translation):

It is a picture of St. Agapit's surprise box.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   IMPERIAL ECONOMIC CONFERENCE
Sub-subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE MOTION FOR APPROVAL OF TRADE AGREEMENT BETWEEN CANADA AND THE UNITED KINGDOM
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LIB

Joseph-Achille Verville

Liberal

Mr. VERVILLE (Translation):

The surprise box of the leader of the government is, in our eyes, like all others, it contains very little for our people. We may even question whether it was worth while to make an outlay of $100,000, which would have been very welcome elsewhere, instead of organizing and entertaining this economic bazaar of which the profitable results are very doubtful.

The Canadian people had a right to expect immediate and practical results from this Imperial conference, and the fact of surround'

540 COMMONS

Imperial Conference-Trade Agreements

ing the latter with so much secrecy, so that nothing would transpire gave us a legitimate hope that we could expect a pleasant surprise; unfortunately it was not the case and the whole affair is greatly to be regretted.

Indeed, sir, what advantages do we derive from these trade agreements? We are entitled to know.

We quite perceive, as we examine them, the desire and good will shown to tighten the ties between the mother country and its colonies; we find, in this respect, tariff changes on hundreds of items, having as principle and foundation British preference and protection, the everlasting chant of the Prime Minister and his friends.

We are aware that protection as advocated and enforced by a political party-history supports my contention-has always resulted in protecting the large interests to the detriment of the masses, and that, as a fact, the larger number of the population, the consumers have always had to suffer from such a policy.

If we look back and study the past, we have to admit that each time we had a Conservative and protectionist administration, the country's affairs were jeopardized and distrust crept over the population, while on the other hand, we have always seen confidence return and affairs improve under Liberal administrations.

This is so true, so evident that the people, at present, greatly desire a change of government. That is at least what we hear repeated in numerous centres, and the government is well aware of this fact. I do not know whether it is the fear of losing power that prompts the government to inform us, through its ministers, that an appeal to the people cannot take place before two or three years.

At all events, the people are waiting, and I feel certain that, when the time comes to give their verdict, they will clearly show by their vote, and this without any ambiguity, that they have had more than enough of our opponents' protective policy. If the agreements that we are requested to approve clearly show that industries will be protected, do they also take into account our rural population and the requirements of our farming classes? Is there anything in these agreements to indicate that the government is aware of the needs 'of this class, the most important of society and, today, the most affected in its economic life?

Are there any clauses inserted in these agreements to make us think that this im-

portant class, of our population, will receive before long its quota of protection?

Since it is a question of protection for all, let us protect these people who are at the very foundation of our institutions and who constitute the active asset of this country, let us protect the farmer before protecting others. Do we find anything in these agreements which points to the protection of farming? There is absolutely nothing. And if we scrutinize these agreements, item by item, we find that farmers have been entirely neglected, those upon whom we depend, the only class which should be protected.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   IMPERIAL ECONOMIC CONFERENCE
Sub-subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE MOTION FOR APPROVAL OF TRADE AGREEMENT BETWEEN CANADA AND THE UNITED KINGDOM
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LIB

Joseph Georges Bouchard

Liberal

Mr. BOUCHARD (Translation):

Hear,

hear!

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   IMPERIAL ECONOMIC CONFERENCE
Sub-subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE MOTION FOR APPROVAL OF TRADE AGREEMENT BETWEEN CANADA AND THE UNITED KINGDOM
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LIB

Joseph-Achille Verville

Liberal

Mr. VERVILLE (Translation):

Unfortunately, the prospect of the farmers receiving protection is very slight and uncertain. Yet the contrary should be the case.

I reside in a farming community, I know their requirements and I am aware of the financial situation of many of them. I can state with knowledge that, owing to the very low prices farmers obtain for their products and the too high prices they must pay for manufactured articles, which they require for farming, it is impossible, notwithstanding prodigies of thrift of which they are -capable and do practice, to make both ends meet.

Take, for instance, the case of farmers, as a whole, who throughout last summer, because of the ridiculously low prices they obtained for butter and cheese, earned 7 cents per day, by -milking the cows twice a day, feeding them and moreover carrying the milk to the butter or cheese factory; this represents 50 cents a week for each cow. D-o you not think that these conditions are not discouraging and of a nature to utterly crush the energies of our farming class which is not exacting, it is true, but which is entitled neverthless to a living wage and the government's protection.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   IMPERIAL ECONOMIC CONFERENCE
Sub-subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE MOTION FOR APPROVAL OF TRADE AGREEMENT BETWEEN CANADA AND THE UNITED KINGDOM
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CON

Charles Napoléon Dorion

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DORION (Translation):

Especially, as regards the provincial government.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   IMPERIAL ECONOMIC CONFERENCE
Sub-subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE MOTION FOR APPROVAL OF TRADE AGREEMENT BETWEEN CANADA AND THE UNITED KINGDOM
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LIB

Joseph-Achille Verville

Liberal

Mr. VERVILLE (Translation):

This is one case in a thousand which I could quote, but I think it is unnecessary to do so, because no one in the house should ignore the sad conditions which our farmers have to contend with.

My hon. friend from Quebec-Montmagny will permit me to think that he is fully aware of the situation which I have just described.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   IMPERIAL ECONOMIC CONFERENCE
Sub-subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE MOTION FOR APPROVAL OF TRADE AGREEMENT BETWEEN CANADA AND THE UNITED KINGDOM
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CON

Charles Napoléon Dorion

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DORION (Translation):

Taschereau is aware of it.

United. Kingdom

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   IMPERIAL ECONOMIC CONFERENCE
Sub-subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE MOTION FOR APPROVAL OF TRADE AGREEMENT BETWEEN CANADA AND THE UNITED KINGDOM
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LIB

Joseph-Achille Verville

Liberal

Mr. VERVILLE (Translation):

If, on the other hand, a farmer requires to purchase a mower or another farm implement which he needs to carry on his work, he must pay such high prices that he cannot afford to do so.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   IMPERIAL ECONOMIC CONFERENCE
Sub-subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE MOTION FOR APPROVAL OF TRADE AGREEMENT BETWEEN CANADA AND THE UNITED KINGDOM
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CON

Charles Napoléon Dorion

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DORION (Translation):

He follows the Quebec government's example.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   IMPERIAL ECONOMIC CONFERENCE
Sub-subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE MOTION FOR APPROVAL OF TRADE AGREEMENT BETWEEN CANADA AND THE UNITED KINGDOM
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LIB

Joseph-Achille Verville

Liberal

Mr. VERVILLE (Translation):

To what must we attribute this high cost of articles necessary to the farmer? Is tariff protection responsible for such a situation? We have a right to think so. I shall add that I feel certain that tariff protection is one of the causes which maintains the high cost of all articles necessary to the farmer, and this policy was introduced iby the leader of this government.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   IMPERIAL ECONOMIC CONFERENCE
Sub-subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE MOTION FOR APPROVAL OF TRADE AGREEMENT BETWEEN CANADA AND THE UNITED KINGDOM
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LIB

Joseph Georges Bouchard

Liberal

Mr. BOUCHARD (Translation):

Hear,

hear!

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   IMPERIAL ECONOMIC CONFERENCE
Sub-subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE MOTION FOR APPROVAL OF TRADE AGREEMENT BETWEEN CANADA AND THE UNITED KINGDOM
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LIB

Joseph-Achille Verville

Liberal

Mr. VERVILLE (Translation):

I find

nothing in the agreements under consideration which will better the lot of our farmers, because an agreement based on protection cannot attain this end, and the agreements under consideration only mention preference and protection; and for whom?

The other day, when the right hon. Prime Minister imparted to the house all the benefits which he expects from these agreements which grant a preference to the mother country and her colonies, he confided to us his hopes for an improvement in our wheat and lumber trade. (Nevertheless the western farmer is only getting 30 cents per bushel for his wheat, and there is no market for our lumber.

While on this subject-I see the hon. Minister of Railways in his seat-may I, sir, make a request to the government. There is in my constituency and neighbouring counties a very large quantity of cord-wood of good quality and the farmers and settlers would only be too glad to find a good market for it, even at low prices. It would be to their advantage as well as that of dealers in cities, especially in places where municipalities and charitable societies distribute cord-wood to a great number of poor families. The press informed us that there was a movement on foot to have the charitable societies distribute cord-wood instead of coal, because the cost of the former is much less and our farmers and settlers who have cord-wood to sell would make something thereby. It so happens, however, that the freight rates are so high that it is out of the question to sell this cord-wood in cities where it has to be shipped by rail. I wish to draw the attention of the hon.

Minister of Railways to this matter and would request him to take the necessary steps to obtain a substantial reduction on freight rates, so as to enable our farmers and settlers to ship their wood.

Referring to the agreements which are under consideration, we are informed, as a consolation, that the results will be slow and that in a few years we shall begin to reap their benefit. Is this not, sir, simply adding insult to injury telling the people a large number of whom are starving beside a pile of wheat: "Do not die now, in five or six years you will have plenty to eat."

Another aspect of the question, is that we shall be bound by these agreements for a definite period and that it will be impossible for us to negotiate any treaty with other countries, especially with our neighbours, if the latter, after their election wish to trade more freely with us. By signing these agreements, we forsake our economic independence, we are stepping back a hundred years, and abandoning before hand the advantages which might accrue to us, shortly, by trading with our neighbours beyond the 45th parallel, where our natural trade channels lay.

(For these reasons and many others I shall register my vote against these agreements.

In doing so I am following the dictates of my conscience; furthermore, I deem it a duty to my constituents and dear country.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   IMPERIAL ECONOMIC CONFERENCE
Sub-subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE MOTION FOR APPROVAL OF TRADE AGREEMENT BETWEEN CANADA AND THE UNITED KINGDOM
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October 25, 1932