March 28, 1933

UFA

Donald MacBeth Kennedy

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. D. M. KENNEDY (Peace River):

Mr. Speaker, it may be that I shall be called upon to vote on this bill, and before doing so I should like to say a few words. I have always been in sympathy with the removal of the

Railway Act-Rate Structure

differential on grain or other products moving westward. However this bill goes much farther than I think we ought to go in conferring power and responsibilities upon the Board of Railway Commissioners. Take section 2:

The board may consider the question of what should be reasonable compensation under the circumstances, and may establish a rate structure in the interests of trade development and public policy, though such experimental rates may not at the time or of themselves give reasonable compensation to the railway companies.

Surely this parliament cannot hand over to a board of five members, which is really ^ a subdepartment of the Department of Railways, the right to establish a rate structure in the interests of trade development and public policy. The words are very indefinite, and capable of wide interpretation. Such matters can only be dealt with by parliament itself. For instance we might have the Board of Railway Commissioners deciding to establish a rate to develop a certain industry in a certain locality. But we might have a tariff policy, or a financial policy, of an entirely opposite effect. Only that body which has the power of coordinating and weighing these various questions can properly determine and lay down policies in the interests of trade development.

Another reason why I am opposed to this bill is that if we were imposing on the railways of Canada, the privately owned as well as the publicly controlled railway, rates that of themselves admittedly were not paying rates, how long would it be before the Canadian Pacific Railway Company would be coming here and saying: Pay us our deficit? I do not think we could avoid that. While I do not agree that there is real justice as between domestic and export rates going westward from the prairie provinces to Vancouver, and while I have spoken in this house against that disparity, though I was not here to vote on the other bill-I think I was ill when it came up,-I cannot vote to confer upon the Board of Railway Commissioners such powers as are proposed to be given them by this bill.

Topic:   RAILWAY ACT AMENDMENT
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LIB

Thomas Reid

Liberal

Mr. THOMAS REID (New Westminster):

Mr. Speaker, I would like to make a few remarks in view of what has been said by some previous speakers who have taken part in this debate. Dealing with the remarks of the hon. member for Fraser Valley (Mr. Barber), I am sorry that he substituted personal innuendo for argument. I hope it is not merely to cover the fact that he will not support this bill just because it is intro-

[iMr. D. M. Kennedy.]

duced by me. After such an action I can now understand why British Columbia has long been left out in the cold, especially if that has been the past policy of many of its members.

Topic:   RAILWAY ACT AMENDMENT
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CON

Harry James Barber

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BARBER:

You have been appointed

spokesman for British Columbia, have you?

Topic:   RAILWAY ACT AMENDMENT
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LIB

Thomas Reid

Liberal

Mr. REID:

Such expressions, in my

opinion, lend strength to t'he cry of the people to-day wbb say: Away with all parties. That is somewhat to be expected, especially when hon. members instead of reasoned argument will indulge only in personal innuendos. I have been careful to avoid personalities; even to the Minister of Railways (Mr. Mandon) I was fairly mild, although in a previous speech he had attacked1 me. In almost every speech that the hon. member for Fraser Valley has made since I came to this house he has introduced the personal element particularly against myself.

Topic:   RAILWAY ACT AMENDMENT
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CON
LIB

Thomas Reid

Liberal

Mr. REID:

Last session he did just the

same tiling. But I do not intend to imitate such tactics. I would have been very glad to support any bill on behalf of the people of British Columbia had he seen fit to introduce such a measure. It is regrettable that the hon. member cannot get away from that old political stuff and give fair consideration to a matter that is so vital to the province of British Columbia. I am not interested in the question of who gets the credit. He was so anxious to claim credit for his friends that I wonder why he left out his friend Leon Ladner who has been engaged by the province of British Columbia and paid by them. He was no doubt anxious that both the Minister of Railways and Mr. Leon Ladner get something, the one credit and the other the cash.

Topic:   RAILWAY ACT AMENDMENT
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CON

Harry James Barber

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BARBER:

What about your friend,

Jerry McGeer, who got $60,000?

Topic:   RAILWAY ACT AMENDMENT
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LIB

Thomas Reid

Liberal

Mr. REID:

He blames me for looking

after the votes of the farmers. Last year he blamed me for looking for the votes of the labour men. I suppose that is his idea of a member who works solely in the interests of his constituency. At any rate I do not know how he gets the votes. Service, Mr. Speaker, should be the only thing that keeps men in public life. I resent very much, however, these personal attacks; they do not add; anything to the dignity of the house. I have put forward this bill as well as the bill on freight rates in a straightforward manner and without personalities.

Railway Act-Rate structure

My hon. friend blames me now for changing my attitude. This bill I might say, was introduced after the other one was turned down -that was the bill I introduced asking parliament to grant to British Columbia the same freight rates it had granted first in 1897 and again in 1925 on grain and grain products leaving Calgary or Edmonton for points east. That was turned down at the beginning of this session. That being tinned down, I then endeavoured to follow the matter up by asking that further powers be granted to the Board of Railway Commissioners, to permit of further appeals to them. It is well known to every hon. member of this house, and particularly to those from British Columbia, that British Columbia has spent thousands of dollars in appeals before the Board of Railway Commissioners. The case has also been before the governor in council not only during the term of office of this government but during the time the Liberal party was in power. Every hon. member knows that British Columbia has failed in those appeals, and we have been told by the board that we cannot hope to succeed by simply quoting the Crows-nest pass rates. It is futile for us to go before that board unless some further powers are granted to it. I was sorry the freight rate bill was turned down, and now it appears this bill is going to be turned down-at least they are blocking its going to committee where it could be properly discussed. I was not making a wild guess at something when I introduced this bill. This is the recommendation embodied in the report of the Duncan commission, which made a thorough investigation into the powers of the Board of Railroad Commissioners and who put it on record that that board had not the power to grant in the national interest any reduction in freight rates, but that it was desirable that they should have that power. That was the recommendation of that commission; it did not emanate from myself.

I notice that the hon. Minister of Railways in his remarks paid particular attention to the second paragraph but ignored the first paragraph entirely. It seems strange that he left that alone; it looks as if there must be some good in that section. He should at least have allowed it to go to committee. But he said that this bill might interfere with the present railway bill. That is one of the things I fear. I fear- that when the present railway bill relating to the Canadian Pacific-Canadian National goes into effect, freight rates may be one of the matters to be controlled by the tribunal which is to be set up, and if so the matter will be very serious indeed.

Regarding the arguments made by the hon. member for East Algoma (Mr. Nicholson), they were so childish and simple that I hate to take up the time of the house discussing them. He said this bill was designed to take the control of freight rates away from the Board of Railway Commissioners. What nonsense, Mr. Speaker! Surely no one would advance that argument in all seriousness. It is plain that the hon. member does not know as much about the Board of Railway Commissioners as he does about timber and timber leases.

I should like to see this bill go to the committee, Mr. Speaker, where it could be amended if that was thought necessary. The principle and the details of the bill were recommended by the Duncan commission, who went fully into the whole matter of the powers of the Board of Railway Commissioners. They recommended that such powers be granted to that board. The bill is not mandatory; the board would have all the data before it. No one could go before the board and hope to have an appeal granted because of the fact that he lived in some remote district, and so pleaded for low freight rates.

I should like to have gone more extensively into this question, but it is almost nine o'clock so I will conclude by asking the government even now to allow this measure to get second reading and go to the committee for further discussion and, if necessary, amendment.

Topic:   RAILWAY ACT AMENDMENT
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CON

George Reginald Geary

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GEARY:

I was paired with the hon.

member for Laurier-Outremont (Mr. Mercier). Had I voted, I would have voted against the motion.

Topic:   RAILWAY ACT AMENDMENT
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LIB

Paul Mercier

Liberal

Mr. MERCIER (St. Henri):

I was paired with the hon. member for Hamilton (Mr. Bell). Had I voted, I would have voted against the motion.

Topic:   RAILWAY ACT AMENDMENT
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CON

Harry Bernard Short

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SHORT:

I was paired with the

hon. member for Kenora-Rainy River (Mr. Heenan). Had I voted, I would have voted against the motion.

Topic:   RAILWAY ACT AMENDMENT
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CON

Ambrose Upton Gledstanes Bury

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HAN BURY:

I was paired with the

Minister of Railways and Canals (Mr. Manion). Had I voted, I would have voted for the motion.

Topic:   RAILWAY ACT AMENDMENT
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CON

Franklin Smoke

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SMOKE:

I was paired with the hon. member for South Oxford (Mr. Cayley). Had I voted, I would have voted against the motion.

Topic:   RAILWAY ACT AMENDMENT
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CON

Lewis Wilkieson Johnstone

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. JOHNSTONE:

I was paired with the hon. member for Willow Bunch (Mr. Donnelly). Had I voted I would have voted against the motion.

.

Topic:   RAILWAY ACT AMENDMENT
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CON

Thomas Cantley

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CANTLEY:

I was paired with the

hon. member for Richilieu (Mr. Cardin). Had I voted, I would have voted against the motion.

Topic:   RAILWAY ACT AMENDMENT
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CON

Maurice Dupré (Solicitor General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DUPRE (Translation):

I was paired

with the hon. member for Joliette (Mr. Fer-land). Had I voted I would have voted against the motion.

Topic:   RAILWAY ACT AMENDMENT
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THE BUDGET

CONTINUATION OP DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE


The house resumed consideration of the motion of Hon. E. N. Rhodes (Minister of Finance) that Mr. Speaker do now leave the chair for the house to go into committee of ways and means, and the proposed amendment thereto of Mr. Ralston. Mr. J. L. IL3LEY (Hanta-Kings): Mr. Speaker, there are a few observations which I should like to make upon the budget. First of all let me say that of the seven budgets which I have had tihe privilege of listening to since I became a member of this house, the present one is the most disappointing, the most disheartening and the most depressing. I suppose many hon. members who came into this house for the first time after the elections of 1930 thank it a usual thing for budgets to be brought down from year to year which disclose huge deficits, huge additions to the public debt, and huge increases in taxation. To those of us who sat in the last parliament and listened to the budgets presented by the late Mr. Robb and by Mr. Dunning, budgets which year after year disclosed large surpluses, large decreases in the public debt, and large reductions in taxation, the three budgets which have been presented by this administration since the elections of 1930 are nothing more or less than fiscal nightmares. It is impossible within the forty minutes at one's disposal to deal with all the features of the budget, but I would not attempt to do so even if I had the time. This ground has been covered far better than I could do it by my esteemed colleague, the hon. member for Shelburne-Yarmouth (Mr. Ralston). The speech which that hon. member delivered on Friday last was a magnificent effort; I think it the ablest speech of his distinguished career. Able though he is, the Minister of Trade and Commerce (Mr. Stevens) could not succeed this afternoon in touching the salient points put forward by the hon. member for Shel-burne-Y armouth. The Budget-Mr. Ilsley


LIB

Joseph Philippe Baby Casgrain

Liberal

Mr. CASGRAIN:

The poorest speech in his career.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OP DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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March 28, 1933