February 8, 1934

CON

Maurice Dupré (Solicitor General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. MAURICE DUPRE (Acting Pc0i,-master General):

In reply to the hon. gentleman, I cannot make any announcement today, but I will look into the matter.

WHEAT SHIPMENTS On the orders of the day:

Mr. CAMERON R. McINTOSH (North Battleford): I have a question for the Min-

Wheat Shipments

ister of Trade and Commerce (Mr. Stevens). With regard to the free shipment of 8,000 bushels of wheat from Fort William to the port of London, England, via Buffalo and New York, on December 7, 1933, a shipment which was apparently in conflict with the intent of the Anglo-Canadian trade treaty, 1932, under which a preference of six cents a bushel was to be allowed Canadian wheat shipped through British ports, may I ask the minister what action, if any, his government intends to take with regard to the breach which the British customs authorities have made in the government's policy of political and economic imperialism as applied to wheat?

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS
Subtopic:   STRIKE AT CHAPLEAU
Permalink
CON

Henry Herbert Stevens (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. H. H. STEVENS (Minister of Trade and Commerce):

Mr. Speaker in the first

place the question of the hon. gentleman involved a great deal of assumption on his part and an ex parte judgment upon the British government for some action which it has not been demonstrated has taken place. Eliminating all the useless matter that was involved, may I say that the regulations governing the movement of Canadian wheat to the British market via a foreign country are British regulations which are set forth clearly in connection with their customs law. I have forgotten for the moment the name of the act, perhaps the British Duties Act, but it is well known and has been referred to frequently here. Those regulations are entirely under the control of the British government, and any movement of grain which complies with those regulations will undoubtedly be admitted by the British government in accordance with their own laws and regulations. I am not aware of any evidence that there has been a violation by the British government of the trade agreement between this country and Great Britain.

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS
Subtopic:   STRIKE AT CHAPLEAU
Permalink
LIB

Cameron Ross McIntosh

Liberal

Mr. McINTOSH:

With regard to the

minister's statement, may I say, western Canada would like to see more shipments through Canadian and United States ports as well for the benefit of western producers.

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS
Subtopic:   STRIKE AT CHAPLEAU
Permalink

SMELT FISHING SEASON


On the orders of the day:


LIB

Joseph Enoil Michaud

Liberal

Mr. J. E. MICHAUD (Restigouche-Mada-waska):

May I ask the Minister of Marine

(Mr. Duranleau) if it is the intention of the government to extend the smelt fishing season in the Baie des Chaleurs in order to relieve the distress of the people of that district?

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS
Subtopic:   SMELT FISHING SEASON
Permalink
CON

Alfred Duranleau (Minister of Fisheries; Minister of Marine)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. ALFRED DURANLEAU (Minister of Marine):

Some requests have been made

to the department to that effect, and the matter is under consideration.

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS
Subtopic:   SMELT FISHING SEASON
Permalink
LIB

Peter John Veniot

Liberal

Hon. P. J. VENIOT (Gloucester):

You

had better hurry up in reaching a decision as the season will soon be over.

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS
Subtopic:   SMELT FISHING SEASON
Permalink

GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH


The house resumed from Tuesday, February 6, consideration of the motion of Mr. Gobeil for an address to His Excellency the Governor General in reply to his speech at the opening of the session, and the amendment thereto of Mr. Mackenzie King. Mr. L. E, PARENT (Terrebonne) (Translation) : Mr. Speaker, when the house adjourned on Tuesday evening last, I was discussing the address in reply to the speech from the throne. I was referring to agriculture and pointing out the recommendations made in the speech from the throne in connection with farm products; I was establishing the ratio between the prices of farm products and those of manufactured goods. I now wish to point out to the house the sad conditions under which our farmers actually labour, owing to the government's policy. One must bear in mind that the Minister of Trade and Commerce is well acquainted with the present situation. Members of this house have, perhaps, not all read the publication "Canada 1934." At page 12 this is what we find: Such .an uneven recession in prices- The prices refer to farm products. -worked extreme hardships because it seriously disturbed the relative purchasing power of different economic groups in the country. Groups refer to farmers. This deplorable state affecting the Canadian farmer is due to the famous protection promised in 1930, which, however, only favoured manufactured products as it was so often proved in this house. Let us briefly examine lvow the farmers suffer from such a state. Purchasing power is equivalent to product exchange or labour exchange or again service exchange. Through the medium of a national currency, namely, the dollar, in Canada. The farmer is forced to pay a tribute to the manufacturer, varying between 25 and 30 per cent, when he purchases the products of the latter. In other words the dollar earned by the farmer only represents 75 or 80 cents of the value in manufactured goods. The manufacturer, on the other hand, can, with a dollar's worth of his goods, purchase SI .25 worth of farm prod- The Address-Mr. Parent ucts. I shall quote some official figures in this connection. On mowing and binding machines, which are two indispensable farm implements, he paid under the Borden regime, a customs duty of 12-50 per cent; under the Meighen regime, the same percentage; under the Liberal adniinistration, half, namely 6 per cent; since this government has assumed power, 25 per cent; and under the preference schedule 28-75 per cent. The outcome, sir, is that when the farmer requires a mowing or binding machine, he must pay 28-75 per cent of customs duty, when purchased outside of the British Empire. I intend, now, to show that farm implements are not purchased in England but mostly from foreign countries; therefore, all Canadian purchasers must pay the duty, according to the tariff in force. According to the Bulletin 423 of the Dominion Bureau of Statistics, published in August, 1933, §203,089 of farm implements were purchased in June, 1933, of which $167,000 came from the United States subject to a duty of 25 per cent, while previously, under the Liberal regime, it was but 6 per cent, and there was only $14,791 worth imported from the United Kingdom. Under the Conservative tariff regime, the farmer therefore pays on almost 80 per cent of his purchases of farm implements, a customs duty of 25 per cent. Let us examine what happens in the dairy industry, a greatly developed industry in Canada. No farmer can compete in this field of activity unless he has one, two and even three cream separators. According to Bulletin 423, August, 1933, statistics show that Canada imported, in June, 1933, 1,130 cream separators, of which 724 came from Sweden, subject to a duty of 25 per cent; 138 came from the United States, subject to a similar duty, and 72 came from Germany, also subject to the same duty, a total of 934 out of 1.130. There were, therefore, only 196 imported from the United Kingdom and entering the country free of duty. Furthermore, according to Bulletin 576, February 1, 1934, one notes that almost half of our imports of farm implements in December, consisted of cream separators. Figures speak for themselves. Half o.f the imports of farm implements in December consisted of cream separators destined to the dairy industry. These imports were valued at $41,039. We imported 567 from the United States which paid a duty of 25 per cent, 166 from Sweden and 70 from Germany. This means that not one cream separator from the British Empire during that period entered Canada. Owing to the Imperial Economic agreements at Ottawa, the duty on all imports of farm imple-74726-241 ments coming from outside the empire, was raised. And according to the evidence furnished by the Dominion Bureau of Statistics, the farmer is obliged to-day to pay a high duty in order to purchase what is indispensable to the farm, while he receives greatly reduced prices for his own products. It is not astonishing, sir, that His Excel-lenicj' the Governor General could well afford making special recommendations to this government in order to fill the deficiencies existing. For the last three years, since this government has assumed power, nothing was provided for and in 1933 we note no change which might improve the lot of such an important class as the Canadian farmers. Let us now discuss the Imperial Economic agreements. Our friends opposite make much capital over the slight improvement of the world or mternaitaional trade and they appropriate to themselves the whble credit for this; they contend that this improvement in trade is due to these agreements. The Imperial Economic agreements at Ottawa, sir, in my opinion, have not facilitated trade relations. The preference granted to the countries in the British Empire has not increased the sale of our products because our trade abroad has decreased since these Imperial agreements took place. Canada took advantage of the stabilization of currency existing between the pound sterling and our dollar. That is the greatest factor in the improvement which has taken place during the last months of 1933. If the government had not raised the tariff and closed foreign markets, our trade would have similarly benefited and this I contend would have been due to the stabilization of currency and not to the Ottawa agreements. It must be pointed out, sir, that the supply and demand between two countries is automatically controlled rather than 'being the result of agreements, and that the stabilization of currency is the most powerful factor in establishing the possibility of exchange between two countries. I shall quote in support of this the views of an authority on the subject, those of the president of the Dominion Bank, one of the most important Canadian banks. In .the course of the speech the president delivered before the general meeting of the shareholders in the Dominion Bank, a speech published in the Ottawa Citizen, the following is how he expressed himself, speaking of our basic industries: Lumbering is conspicuously better partly because of the rise in sterling exchange



The Address-Mr. Parent This corresponds to what I was stating just now. -which has reopened the export markets, especially, the the far east and Great Britain although the situation with reference to Canada's participation in the British market needs to be cleared up, notwithstanding the conference agreements at Ottawa. Those are the views of the president of one of our principal banks. They are of great import and confirm my assertion that the agreements at Ottawa were not the greatest factor in our trade improvement; it was the stabilization of currency between two countries. I also believe, sir, that had our tariff not been so prohibitive to the countries outside of the British Empire, Canada would have exported more on the other markets where we would have had an easy access because in buying from other countries we necessarily forced the latter to barter and purchase from us. Exceedingly high tariff rates have paralyzed and partly closed our factories, reduced the people's purchasing power, plunged the country into the serious crisis we are at present experiencing, brought on unemployment and all the hardships which we had to suffer within the last two years. Moreover, high tariff barriers were responsible for a decrease in customs returns, a decrease which will have to be compensated by various imposts and taxes, such as the sales tax of 6 per cent on all purchases made by the people; also other excise taxes. Now, sir, taking the argument itself of the government in favour of its tariff or protection policy, may I state why the principles advocated daily in the -house-that the Imperial agreements were responsible for the trade increase with the British Empire, because a preference was granted-are false. No consideration is taken of the fact that, if this same preference or if the tariff had not been increased against other countries, the same principle could be applied. Were not the measures which proved advantageous to the countries of the British Empire, advantageous as well to the other countries? In order to prove my contention, sir, may I quote the Dominion Bureau's statistics so as to show that, under the low tariff regime, we traded more abroad, while under that of high tariff, protection and Imperial agreements, our foreign trade decreased considerably. I shall first quote the figures in connection with the countries of the British Empire, I shall only mention those machine in the millions. In 1922, going back slights more than 10 years, at the end of the Conservative administration, we exported for $345,000,000 worth to countries of the British Empire; in 1929, after seven years of Liberal administration, we were exporting $535,000,000 worth, this, under a moderate tariff regime. In 1932, after one yehr only of Conservative administration, our exports had dropped to $218,000,000, and in 1933, following the Imperial Economic agreements, at Ottawa, they had not increased but had remained about stationary, at $222,000,000. Let us examine our imports: In 1922, $149,000,000; in 1929, $257,000,000; in 1932, $147,000,000, and, finally, in 1933, they had reached the lowest level and only amounted to $120,000,000. Is that such a laudable result of which one can boast and thank this government? I doubt it. But that is not all: At page 132 of the publication known as "Can'ada 1934" one finds that -in 1922, at the end of the Conservative regime, our total exports amounted to $740000,000; in 1929, $1,363,000,000, and, in 1933, under the high protection policy of -our friends opposite, $473,000,000. The Same ratio applies to our imports.


CON

Ernest Edward Perley

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. E. E. PERLEY (Qu'Appelle):

Mr. Speaker, in taking part in this debate I do not think it is necessary to add anything to what has been said already, particularly by hon. members on this side. I refer especially to the able speeches delivered by the mover (Mr. Gobeil) and the seconder (Mr. Barber) of the address and to the splendid effort of the Prime Minister (Mr. Bennett) who reviewed the whole political situation for the last three years and outlined wha-t the government propose to do in the way of bringing down legislation at this session. However, I feel I should take part in this debate in order to express my confidence in the government. I believe the people of the west, particularly the people in the eastern part of the province of Saskatchewan which I have the honour to serve, share with me in that feeling of confidence. I think the people realize what it has meant to the government to carry on the affairs of this country under present conditions and those which have existed for the past three years. Hon. members on this side, and I believe the people generally throughout the country, expect reasonable and constructive criticism from the opposition. In times such as these we should have at least reasonable cooperation and moral support. I suggest to the opposition the cooperation referred to the other evening by the hon. member for Labelle (Mr. Bourassa).

Throughout this discussion the opposition has been prone to charge at least some responsibility for the present condition of the country to the government. I do not think

The Address-Mr. Perley (Qu'Appelle)

any one party or any one government can be charged with full responsibility. However, I believe that there is certain evidence which can be produced to show that a large part of this responsibility lies at the door of the opposition. When this government took office in August, 1930, they found many problems facing them which had been in the making for two, three and even more years previously. There was the question of lost markets; there were no markets for the products of our forests, our soil and our mines. Does anyone believe that this government is responsible for that or for the transportation problem? Is this government responsible for the deficits in connection with the operation of our great transcontinental system? Are they responsible for the lack of economy, the gross extravagance of the late government and for the commitments, running into several million) of dollars, yes, into hundreds of millions of dollars, which were left on their door-step by the previous administration? I say that they are not.

I think the opposition will agree that the trade of the country is a barometer which indicates the trend of affairs. A comparison of the gross trade of this dominion in 1920 with that in 1929 will not prove very favourable to the administration of the late government. I have in my hand the Commercial Intelligence Journal of January 20, a publication which is available to all hon. members. At page 92 there is a table of exports from Canada to the United States of principal commodities such as are produced on Canadian farms. We find that in the last six months of 1920 the export trade amounted to SI 19,000,000 and in the last six months of 1929 it had declined to $33,000,000-a difference of $85,000,000 odd as between those two periods.

Turn to another column and you will find that the trade for the last six months of 1932 was $1,763,000, and it had increased during the corresponding period in 1933 to $6,103,000, in other words, an increase of almost 400 per cent. The interesting part of the chart as given on this page is to be found in the items that were entering free into the United States from Canada in 1920, and I would invite the house to compare those figures with the tariff which was in force in 1929. There is a very material increase in respect of many of the articles that appear in the free list of 1920; compared with that year we find a substantial increase in 1929.

Let us now take the exports of wheat. During the period in which the opposition held office there was an abnormal increase in production, and exports did not keep pace with that increase. We find that in 1922 our exports

of wheat from Canada amounted to 185,000,000 bushels and in 1930 the total was 186,000,000 bushels. There was a gradual increase however in the carryover, for we find that in 1923 there was a carryover of approximately

40,000,000 bushels, whereas in 1927 it had reached the figure of 58,000,000 bushels. In 1930 it had reached 140,000,000 bushels and last year the carryover was 219,000,000. A similar story can be found in connection with bacon exports. In 1920 our bacon exports amounted to 200,000.000 pounds and in 1921 they had decreased to 98.000,000 pounds. In 1930 they had gone down to 26,000,000, pounds and in 1931 we ended the fiscal year with 12,000,000 pounds. We find however that under the trade agreements carried out by this government with the United Kingdom our bacon exports have increased until last year they totalled 43,000,000 pounds, a very substantial increase.

It is interesting to review the imports of bacon during the same period. In 1920 we imported into this dominion 4,900,000 pounds of bacon and hams; in 1929, 3,000,000 pounds; in 1930, 7,720,000 pounds; and in 1931, 6,330,000. In 1933 the figure had been reduced to

15.000 pounds. That is the result of the agreement with the United Kingdom.

We find a similar story in connection with cattle. In 1921 we exported approximately

300.000 head of cattle, and there was a gradual decrease until in 1931 the figure was 38,000. We know that when this government took office our cattle export trade had practically dwindled to nothing and there were no facilities for shipping cattle overseas; there was not. a single vessel equipped for the purpose. I am pleased to say however that under this agreement our cattle exports last year increased very materially until we had reached the figure of 53,000 for the year.

The figures I have quoted with respect to trade indicate the record which the hon. member for Melville (Mr. Motherwell) established for himself when he was Minister of Agriculture. It is not a very good record, and it is no wonder that he himself, speaking in the city of Regina on October 19, 1931, made the following remarks with reference to agriculture. I quote what appeared in the Regina Leader of that date:

The Hon. Mr. Motherwell, speaking in Regina, made this statement, that a fresh foundation had to be laid for agriculture in Canada, both east and west, if the country and towns are to be saved.

In no better words could the failure of the Liberal government adequately to care for agriculture be described than in those words of the hon. gentleman.

374 COMMONS

The Address-Mr. Perley (Qu'Appelle)

There has been some talk of tariffs restricting trade. I am getting tired of hearing that statement, and I believe the people of Canada are becoming tired of it too, for there is no evidence of it; in fact, under this government we have now increased our trade. To my mind, such talk is only an evidence of Liberal inconsistency and hypocrisy. It is the Liberal party running true to form, for ever since confederation there has always been the cry about lowering tariffs. In this regard I can do no better than refer to the speech of the hon. member for Vegreville (Mr. Luch-kovich) the other evening, and also the speech of the hon. member for Souris (Mr. Willis); I think they dealt very fully with the argument about tariffs restricting trade and I will not discuss the question further.

What do we find to-day under this Conservative government, in relation to the tariffs which we have put into force Let us consider the gross imports Into Canada free of duty. I have here a table prepared by the bureau of statistics giving the figures for the gross trade into Canada from the years 1926 to 1933 from all countries, from empire countries, from foreign countries and from the United Kingdom and the United States. In 1926, from all countries, the gross imports into Canada free of duty amounted to 37-1 per cent; in 1927 the figure was 36 per cent; in 1928, 36 per cent; in 1929, 35 per cent; and in 1930, a-t the end of the fiscal year, 34 per cent. There was a decrease in the percentage of goods entering free under the late government. In 1931 we find that the percentage was 36-7; in 1932, it was 32-8 per cent; and in 1933, 36-9, back to almost the highest percentage in the last four year's of Liberal rule. The figures are similar with respect to foreign countries. I shall give the percentage of the gross imports from the United Kingdom entering free of duty:

Year-

Per cent

1927

1929

1931

1933

18.7

17.7 19

20.4

21.4

27.4 25.1 35.6

It will be seen that there is, as regards the United Kingdom, a gradual increase under our present tariff of goods entering free of duty until the amount is now almost double what it was in 1926. The same story may be told with respect to imports from the United States. The policy of the Liberal party of a gradual reduction m the tariff was carried out in such a way that by the time they [Mr. E. E. Perley. 1

left office the tariff was slightly higher than when they came into power.

The other night the hon. member for Lanark (Mr. Thompson) in his speech described what tariffs were doing for his constituency; he informed us that many industries had been re-established there, some of them working full time and others on two shifts. This is an evidence of what tariff is doing for industry. I believe the farmers of the west are agreed that the tariff has protected the primary producers and has assured for them the domestic market, that market which absorbs from 90 to 95 per cent of the total goods produced in Canada. There is no market as good as the domestic one.

This government has been carrying on under the most trying and difficult circumstances and I think it is agreed by all that since the very first day they took office they have been addressing themselves to problems which were not of their making. The government has endeavoured to maintain a sound, safe and solvent position and, in doing so, to stabilize markets and also to make markets certain. The Prime Minister (Mr. Bennett) in his address the other day gave conclusive evidence that recovery is taking place in Canada, and in support of his statement I am going to give one or two instances. The fact that consumers are buying more extensively according to reports of the retail trade throughout the country, even in western Canada, is an evidence of this recovery. There is an increase in capital expenditure. The statistics show that 200,000 more of our unemployed have been absorbed in our industrial life in the last eight months. Another excellent sign is that there is a steady increase in our favourable trade balance. When the present government took office there was an adverse trade balance of about $120,000,000, and this year it looks as though we might have a favourable trade balance of $150,000,000. There is an increase in our trade with the United Kingdom and also with the United States and there is a very substantial increase in our trade with other foreign countries. As the figures in this connection were given the other day by the Prime Minister, I shall not enter into details. We have now become the fifth exporting nation of the world; we have a sound financial position and we have the confidence and goodwill of other nations with which we are trading, and that is the greatest asset we can have.

We are now on the road to recovery and when within a very few years we reach a normal state, I believe Canada will then enjoy more material development than she has ever done before. All these instances of recovery

The Address-Mr. Perley (Qu'Appelle)

can, I think, be credited to the United Kingdom agreements made in 1932 and our producers are now, after a year's trial, beginning to realize what those agreements really mean to Canada; they propose to take advantage of such opportunities. In the constituency which I have the honour to represent, I know the people mean to give the United Kingdom agreements a fair trial and to do their part in endeavouring to develop the trade that is necessary. My constituency is favourably situated in this respect. The people of my constituency have from the very first adopted a system of diversified farming; they have developed splendid herds, stock of all kinds, and are in a position to go ahead and take advantage of those agreements. For instance, the town of Wapella, with some 900 of a population and surrounded by a diversified farming district, shipped this year two carloads of dressed poultry, the greater part of which went to the United Kingdom. That is a splendid record and it shows how the farmers there feel with respect to the agreements.

There are many important questions into which time will not permit me to go. For example, there is the monetary problem, the establishment of a central bank and the revision of the Bank Act. Among vital questions which affect western Canada materially are those of debt adjustment and interest and taxes, but I do not propose to take the time now to go into them. On a future occasion we shall have an opportunity to do so. I wish, however, to commend the government on the fact that before they made provision for the establishment of a central bank, they set up a commission before which the people of Canada could go and submit evidence. That was the proper way in which to deal with the matter. As regards debt adjustment, it may be necessary for the provinces to take the question up first but whatever adjustment is made it will have to be with the support and cooperation of the federal government.

The question of the wheat agreement is vital to western Canada at the present time and I feel that this matter should be thoroughly discussed. The other day the Prime Minister outlined the whole situation with respect to the circumstances leading up to the wheat agreement, and it would be presumption on my part to go into it in fuller detail than he did. I am, however, concerned with the carrying out of this agreement. The first thing we must consider is the confidence and good-will that must be maintained with respect to the agreement. When we have become a party to it with

some twenty other importing and exporting countries, it is up to the Canadian people to see that we carry it out and that good-will is maintained. From the statistics prepared and presented before the conference there was one of two alternatives to accept or nursue: first, they could continue the cutthroat system of marketing where supply and demand regulated and prices might go to a level which would be chaotic and cause disaster.

Then there was the other plan, as outlined by the hon. member for Peace River (Mr. Kennedy) the other evening, that the importing and exporting countries get together and make an agreement. This they did. The exporting countries undertook that there should be a 15 per cent reduction in acreage or production. Our country was allotted a quota, and I think all agree that Canada, thanks to the efforts of the Prime Minister and the representative from western Canada at that conference, shared very favourably in receiving an allotment of 200,000,000 bushels, one per cent more than had been Canada's contribution to the total exports for the years between 1920 and 1930. I want to inform this house that the pool in western Canada is 100 per cent behind this agreement. I have heard their directors speak from time to time, I have made it my business to attend their meetings and see what their reaction was to this agreement, and I say they are 100 per cent behind it. I think it is safe to say that 90 per cent of the farmers in western Canada are behind it, with all due respect to what we have heard from the hon. members for Melville (Mr. Motherwell) and Weyburn (Mr. Young) and other opposition members. They do not voice the sentiments of the people of the west, for I know that the farmers are prepared to cooperate in this agreement, to give it a chance to function, knowing as they do what the overproduction of wheat means and the effect of the surplus on prices. As the hon. member for Peace River said the other might, this is the only desirable alternative, as by any other system we might find ourselves in a position where we have no quota at all.

But the farmers are very much concerned as to how they are to proceed to bring about the 15 per cent reduction. I am farming on a considerable scale myself and I am concerned about it. There are three or four ways in which we might go about it. We might have compulsory reduction by legislation. We might have voluntary reduction, by educating the farmers on the subject. We might have

376 COMMONS

The. Address-Mr. Parley (Qu'Appelle)

a bonus system, bonusing the farmer who summer fallows 15 per cent more than normal. A. fourth plan would be an individual quota system under permit. That is the plan I wish to put forward and speak of more particularly this afternoon. But before dealing with it in detail, let me say that there are certain conditions that lead us to believe that there may be in western Canada this year a very material reduction of seeded acreage. Among these conditions are the abandonment of farms in areas where production has not been good the last few years. There is insufficient seed in many quarters; there is also a tendency to replace tractoms by horses, and still more there is the menace this year of the grasshopper infestation causing a very material reduction, which I do not think we can avoid. Now, Mr. Speaker, I am not going into details about the first three methods, but I do want to go at some length into the quota plan. Of course we agree that any plan adopted will have to have the cooperation and support of the provincial governments. Possibly they will have to inaugurate it, but they should have the support of this house. So I want to get the concrete proposition before this house. I am sorry that in this discussion there seems to be more adverse criticisms than concrete suggestions from the opposition as to bow we might with goodwill develop some plan to carry out this scheme.

Speaking of the quota plan in more detail, I wish, Mr. Speaker, you would permit me to read more or less, as I want to be very careful to make it plain. The plan is:

(a) To determine the requirements by adding to the quota of 200,000,000 bushels the domestic requirements;

(b) To determine the acreage seed to produce wheat in 1934;

(c) Dividing (a) by (b) to arrive at the average number of bushels per acre to produce (a). This will be the basis of computation for

(d) Issuing of individual negotiable permits to market wheat to' each farmer who produces a sworn statement of his acreage seeded to wheat for the number of bushels arrived at by multiplying (c) by the verified acreage.

Circumstances over which the farmers of very large sections of the west, particularly in the southern area, have had little or no control, will make it a very difficult matter to persuade them to take a sane view of any proposal to reduce the acreage to be seeded to wheat in the season 1934. Naturally the most strenuous objections are from

those in the drought area. In fact I think there is no district in western Canada where a compulsory proposition would be well received. In submitting the plan I offer I would like to call attention to the fact that it is exactly the reverse of the bonus per acre or ner bushel' plan of two years ago, which gave to those who were fortunate enough to have a crop but gave nothing to those having none. Another feature is that no grain board will be necessary to handle this plan, it will work through the natural trade channels. The farmer fixes his own allotment by giving a sworn statement of acreage, no manipulation would be possible except by perjury. An allotment on a land basis, so much a quarter section, would not be satisfactory.

Taking into consideration the probable reduction from natural causes this year it may be that there will not be more than

21,000,000 acres seeded to wheat in the three prairie provinces; so that, taking the quota and the domestic requirements, permits might be issued to the farmers to market, say, 15 bushels per acre. I want to make it plain that the permit to market should be negotiable. Then in case a farmer's total crop were more than his allotment, he could purchase a permit to market the surplus from a man in a district where there was a partial or total crop failure. That would be. a strong feature of this plan. These permits being negotiable, a farmer who was fortunate enough to have a good crop and had a few thousand bushels more to sell than he had a permit for could purchase a permit from a farmer in an area where they had no crop at all. That would bring him in many cases more than the farmers are receiving under the relief plan at the present time. A board or facilities could be set up to regulate the price, and a minimum price might be fixed for the permits so that there would be no speculation or undue trafficking in them.

This is only a suggested plan. I wished to bring something concrete before the house, and I think it is important that we should give suggestions to the government. I believe this plan will be favourably received in western Canada. I have talked with many farmers who are likely to have a much larger crop or yield than perhaps they would be permitted to sell. However, when anyone who is so fortunate as to be in that position I think he will be very pleased to have the privilege of purchasing a permit to sell the surplus wheat. I claim that at least we should have the assistance and cooperation of every hon. member in the House of Commons, and that we should not have to listen to criticism such

The Address-Mr. Fontaine

as has been made of this agreement. This is an important matter, one which is vital to the people of Canada and more particularly to western Canada.

We have heard criticism by the hon. member for Melville. Only a few days ago he stood in this House of Commons and criticized the government with respect to its operations concerning the stabilization of wheat. More particularly his remarks were directed against Mr. McFarland. Having had experience as a cabinet minister in a former government he must have known that he was asking for information which this government could not give. I believe that on many occasions he has been to the pools endeavouring to get information. In some cases when he has got it he has used it in a political way. That is not the manner in which we believe hon. members should work. The government took its action in connection with wheat stabilization only after they had obtained the best possible advice from every interest in western Canada, including boards of trade, municipal organizations, the wheat pool and the grain exchange.

I have talked with many members of the grain exchange and with the business men of western Canada, I know they are one hundred per cent behind the operations of Mr. McFarland and that the}' are one hundred per cent behind the government's action with respect to wheat, because they know that what was done was the only possible procedure.

In attempting to arrive at an agreement there has been an effort on the part of the twenty-one exporting and importing nations to reach a solution which might result in removing the menace of the world's surplus. Further, this agreement, if it succeeds, would help to increase prices, and we know that if the price of wheat is increased, the prices of other commodities will increase also. If there is success the prices of all commodities will be improved. But if there is failure, what then? Well, we will be in no worse position than we were before the agreement was made. That is certain. I say it is up to all hon. members to get behind this agreement and give it proper support. I claim that the present government has done more for agriculture than has any other government since confederation. Had I time I could outline what has been done. What has the Liberal party offered? There is nothing at all constructive in their policy. In the last three sessions of this parliament they have not offered one practical suggestion for the recovery of agriculture. All their speeches in western Canada have been of a breaking-down and destructive nature.

May I for a moment or two compare the policy, with respect to agriculture, this government is pursuing with that followed by the Americans to the south of us. Since March last under the N.R.A. they have destroyed 6,000,000 hogs, and they are bonus-ing sows for market. In Canada, under the guidance and initiative of our Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Weir) who has devoted himself to the advancement of agriculture, great efforts have been made to induce our farmers to produce the right class of hogs, cattle and all other agricultural products. That is the difference between the two policies. Yesterday the price of live pork in Toronto was ten cents, while the price in Chicago was only three cents. For these reasons I claim that the government is doing everything within its power to help the farmer.

What is the function of a government? I believe I am stating it correctly when I say that it is the duty of the government to guide and encourage the industrial progress and social advancement of our people. It has to preserve industry and agriculture and to direct and control trade and commerce and finance. It has to preserve our national credit. These are the functions of government. In doing these things it has to maintain law, peace and order and has to preserve individual rights and opportunities in the development of our natural resources and our industries, so that there may be a fair and reasonable price to the producer and a fair and reasonable price to the consumer. That is the function of government, and I believe this government is doing that to the letter of the law.

In conclusion I wish again to state that my plan is but a suggestion. I know it will be criticized from many quarters. Certainly, I expect criticism from the opposition, because they criticize every constructive proposition coming from this side of the house. May I again express my confidence in the government, realizing that they are doing everything possible to bring Canada back to a normal state of prosperity and believing that they will be successful.

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LIB

Joseph-Théophile-Adélard Fontaine

Liberal

Mr. T. A. FONTAINE (St. Hyacinthe-Rou-ville):

Mr. Speaker, I should like to make a few observations concerning the speech from the throne, but before doing so may I join hon. members who have preceded me in congratulating the mover and seconder of the address in reply. Listening to those speeches I was impressed by the diversity of problems which we in Canada have to face. In order to make better and greater the country in which we live I believe we must cultivate and maintain the spirit of cooperation so neces-

37S

The Address-Mr. Fontaine

sary to every section of our country. I do not intend to cover in detail all that has been said, because the situation has been well dealt with by my right hon. leader. However there are some phases to which I should like to direct a few remarks.

Now, Mr. Speaker, with your permission, as I am more familiar with the French language I shall continue my remarks in my mother tongue.

Mr. Speaker, according to parliamentary practice, the address which thanks His Excellency the Governor General, on the occasion of his speech disclosing the sessional program, to which the right hon. Prime Minister (Mr. Bennett) is no stranger, is generally moved and seconded by newly elected members supporting the government. We note, however, that this year this practice has not been followed because such a task was fulfilled by members who have been sitting in the house for a number of years, they have, however, well acquitted themselves of their task and certainly deserve our sincere congratulations. There are, however, newly elected members in this house, because during the intersession three by-elections were held. Unfortunately for the government they sit on the opposite benches.

These three by-elections held in the course of last year, in three provinces, representing three different sections of the country, have afforded to all impartial and unbiased observers an opportunity of judging of the unpopularity of this government. Notwithstanding all the efforts and appeals of the government, notwithstanding all the means and resources at its disposal, its three candidates were defeated, two of them losing their deposit, three Liberals being elected. Such was the outcome of the people's wishes, in the three provinces, just on the eve of a Dominion election. One fully realizes that under these circumstances, it is with fear and apprehension that the government sees the approaching expiration of its mandate. That is why it seeks every possible means to delay the day of atonement.

Faced with such a result one easily realizes that the contentions of the right hon. Prime Minister fall flat, when he tells us of the supposed confidence still reposed in his government. However, we are aware that he is the first to realize this fact, since, in his speech the other day, this confession slipped from his lips:

Even if the people are not contented, the government will have had the consolation of knowing that it has performed its duty.

And even if there exists, in fact, a serious improvement in business, and if things are pro-

gressing as well as we are assured, notwithstanding the blunders of this government, why do we hear in certain quarters of inflation measures? If the government thinks or finds itself obliged to have recourse to such measures, it is simply because they are aware that the country's affairs are actually in a sadder state than they were. As it was stated, it is the beginning of the end. All realize that the wind is shifting in every province, to the sorrow of our hon. friends opposite and that at the next Dominion election we shall witness the same result as we obtained in the last three by-elections.

All realize that no improvement is taking place, take, for instance, the very important problem of the sale and shipping of our wheat. The monthly bulletin of the "Banque Cana-dienne Nationale" for January last, points out that, notwithstanding certain hopes, the state of the -world wheat market gives rise to much anxiety. Our wheat exports, since the outset of the present season, namely from August 1, to December 15, have only amounted to 73,000,000 bushels, compared with $112,000,000 bushels in 1932. I have before me this bulletin. It reads as follows:

Since the wheat congress, which defined the export quota of this commodity, estimated at 560.000.00 bushels this being the world's requirements for 1933-34, the production in exporting countries, such as the Danubian states arid Argentina and occasionally in importing countries such, as France and Italy, was found greater than what was first anticipated. Under such circumstances, the possibility of increasing our wheat exports are very uncertain.

Sometimes, one hears of business improving. What, however, are the signs which can lead us to conclude with certainty that this so-called improvement is not factitious or momentary. The real proofs are entirely lacking. Let us take, for instance, the building trade. The old saying is: "When building is brisk, all is well". The Bureau of Statistics informs us that at the end of 1933, in large cities, like Montreal, construction has never been so dull and stagnant, for the last 15 years. The monthly reports of 1933, for the city of Montreal, compiled up to December 19, last, indicate that the value of building and repair permits amount to only $5,180,591, while they amounted to $10,428,613 the previous year, for the same period, that is for the year just ended the decrease amounts to more than half. We must not, however, imagine that this recurrence of normal conditions is this year proclaimed by the government for the first time. The year 1934 may perhaps witness the end of the crisis in the same way that each of the years 1930, 1931, 1932, 1933 have witnessed it, and even as the year 1935, perhaps, is bound to see it.

The Address-Mr. Fontaine

It is interesting to glance back and compare these hopeful forecasts, reassuring prophecies, made this year with those made to us these last years. The hon. Minister of Labour already foresaw the return to normal state, in the autumn of 1932. On the occasion of the anniversary of Labour day, in 1932, he addressed a message to the workers in Canada, of which the following is one of the striking excerpts as reported in the Labour Gazette-an elaborate review1 published by the Department of Labour, at Ottawa, Sept., 1932 edition, vol. 32, No. 9, page 946, French version: *

It is hoped that we have reached the depth of this depression. There are many indications we are beginning to emerge from it. Not the least among these indications is the spirit of optimism which the recent Imperial conference has stimulated in our country.

Further on the hon. minister refers again to an "early recurrence of prosperity." And he ends his message thus:

I express the hope that long before another Labour Day rolls around, a period of prosperity greater than Canada has ever yet known may have been ushered in.

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LIB

Joseph Philippe Baby Casgrain

Liberal

Mr. CASGRAIN (Translation):

Another broken pledge!

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LIB

Joseph-Théophile-Adélard Fontaine

Liberal

Mr. FONTAINE (Translation):

questions, remained helpless before the crisis, etc. In fact, it recalled very much the Tower of Babel.

At times, however, it was rumoured that, thanks to our Prime Minister, the conference had been saved, but that there wrnuld be no further discussion on the subjects which had prompted the conference. It was indeed a strange rescue 1 As all are aware three important questions were to be threshed out: war debts, tariffs and currencies. First, the discussion of these important questions were set aside. Hence, it became quite evident that, a complete stale-mate would result and that is what happened.

This conference, known in certain quarters as the "London omnibus" in which 68 nations had reserved seats for an unknown destination, had opened without the necessary preparation. It ended with entirely divergent opinions, hesitations, sudden changes of views, discontent and even with threats. This is now known to all. The conference did nothing to stabilize international currency and that was certainly the most important problem which it should have taken up. I cannot, therefore, see how our Prime Minister can credit himself with any glory, boast of the so-called advantages and endeavour to make us believe that our country benefited somewhat.

It is unfortunate that this government has practically done nothing worth while to help the farmers of my province. Yet, they suffered for a number of years and are still suffering like all others the consequences of the crisis, when their products sell at ridiculous prices, not even sufficient to meet theiT liabilities. The government within the last years, thought fit to help the western farmers, by granting them a bonus on wheat and setting aside for such a purpose large sums. The eastern farmer, who is also called upon to bear, to a large extent, the imposts and taxes, requested that some help be also extended to him in connection with his products, his dairy products, for instance, and more especially butter. He obtained nothing. Certain privileges were also granted to the western farmer with reference to the distribution of seed grains, yet the eastern farmer, because of the difficult times we are undergoing, would have been very thankful to enjoy similar privileges. I regret that nothing was done, for it is more than time that the government should make a decision as regards helping the eastern farmers, just as it did, in the past, for the western farmers. Faced with these requests the government replied that it regretted to be unable to intervene unless conditions in Quebec, became such that the provincial goviMr. Fontaine.]

ernment found itself unable to cope with the situation. Again do I state that I do notthink that this is a fair distribution of federal

grants. I therefore request that such a policy be changed.

Furthermore, I regret, that as a whole, the government gives no greater consideration to the interests, requests and just claims of the farming classes. It should not so easily forget the pledges and representations made to these classes in order to hoist itself to power in1930. In these days of distress, it should

neither forget that, in fact as well as in principle, agriculture is and remains the most efficacious remedy for unemployment, and that it was rightly said that it is the only industry which feeds and houses its man.

There are also other reasons, in a more general way, which should induce the government to give more consideration and help to the farming class. And I think it is befitting to recall, at present, that it is more important than ever to take the necessary measures to re-establish the disrupted equilibrium between city and rural life. Such fears existed on the eve of confederation, when the rural population represented 80 per cent of the entire population of this country. Strange to say, now that the ratio is down to about 40 per cent no worry seems to exist as regards this abnormal state prevailing in a country like ours. The speech from the throne mentions certain measures which might be enacted in connection with the setting up of farm credit, both as to short and medium terms. Although, regretting that the government had awaited the fifth session of this parliament to give consideration to a measure of such importance, I trust that it will adopt the means by which such a plan may materialize. I further hope that, in keeping with the solemn promises which it made, it will find the markets which the farmers absolutely require for the sale of their products, at fair and profitable prices.

Our opponents still reproach us for not helping them, making suggestions, cooperating with them in solving the difficult problems which they have to face, teaching them how the previous administration, so much taunted by them in 1930, managed to reduce our liabilities, accumulate surpluses, decrease the imposts and taxes, and expand our trade. In their heart they remember the glorious years of the liberal administration and they are fully aware that the people, who equally remember all this, do not lose an opportunity of weighing the facts, and this explains the government's failure in the three by-elections,, last year.

The Address-Mr. Fontaine

First, we might remind them that, in 1930, they were more boastful, they undertook to settle everything, remedy the evil in a few months, relieve unemployment, raise the price of farm products and find work for all. They certainly had no need of the liberals to perform all those deeds. Their leader, the right hon. Prime Minister, could, then, see nothing beyond Canada. He strongly and boastfully asserted that, if unemployment was spreading it was due to the negligence and incompetency of the government, that in a country like ours, unemployment was impossible if the government holding office carried out its duty, that it was an easy matter to promote our trade and, to attain such an end, he proposed, if necessary, to blast the way to the markets of the world. By the way, he naturally did not forget to charitably qualify the members of the King government as "mercenaries," of men thinking of their selfish interests, and he compared the leader of the liberal party to Judas. However, the right hon. Prime Minister has a habit of expressing such kind words towards his opponents. Did he not state, a few days ago, in the house, in his speech that the leader of the opposition did not do honour to the high post he occupies.

What happened following this display, this fine zeal, these ill-considered pledges, unrealizable promises and ridiculous bragging.

Unemployment, which was to be remedied in a few months, rapidly spread in a most alarming way. The number of unemployed was then 117,000; two years later the number had increased to over 1,000,000. The government was therefore not fulfilling its duty. Our trade decreased most alarmingly. The history of our trade, within the last few years, can be told by the following figures:

Year-

1997 $2,306,000,000

1931 1,223,000.000

1939 946,000,000

1933 933,000,000

The government has therefore not done its duty.

Our revenues have not ceased to decrease.

The government has therefore not carried out its pledges.

The national debt has not ceased to grow. The government has not measured up to its task. Ever since this government is in office, we have only heard of deficits. The government has therefore not shown efficiency.

Now, the help, participation and cooperation of the liberal party are sought. What good can come of it, since no account is taken of the suggestions it makes and has never ceased to make? Has not the right hon.

leader of the opposition unceasingly pointed out to the house and to the public that high protection will produce no good, that a greater freedom in our product exchanges is necessary to the economic life of this country.

It is to be noted that in all this the liberal party is perfectly in agreement with the Congress of the International Chamber of Commerce, held in Vienna, at the beginning of last year and in the course of which a resolution was unanimously adopted which stated among other things, that:

The freedom of both national and international trade must be safeguarded.

Censuring, thereby, the folly of high tariff rates, so dear to this government.

The leader of the government will not apply any other policy than his exaggerated protection. The dire lessons of these last years unfortunately have had no effect on him.

As to the Liberal party its policy is well known, I think, and it will find no difficulty in having it endorsed by the people of this country at the next election. It believes and advocates that trade intercourse must be wider and freer; that trade is a series of barters, between free people, and it comprises imports and exports; that in order to promote exchanges, one must wipe out exaggerated tariffs and put an end to unjustified control of prices. Unfortunately, sir, it seems that., at present no economic policy guides the nations of the world, unless it be a system of excessive economic nationalism which, in the end will destroy itself, perhaps, by burying a civilization under its ruins. These are a few eimple and common sense truths that are taught, expounded and advocated by all economists, ever since the beginning of the crisis.

The people are aware that the Liberals in applying their policy brought on prosperity in the past, and they again realize that no good will be derived from putting in force an unsound policy of high protection and barriers to trade. That is why the people anxiously await the day of settling accounts, and that is why also, they wanted, last year, that the result of the by-elections in Yamaska-Restigouche-Madawaska and Mackenzie should be the "mane, thecel, phares'' of this government.

The right hon. Prime Minister has often shown that he likes quotations from the Scriptures. May I remind him that it is written somewhere in the Scriptures that the tree is known by the fruit it bears.

The people who are watching every act of their government are well aware that the putting in force of its policy will not bear sound fruit to our country.

The Address-Mr. Blair

It is the leader of the government himself who signed his death warrant when, in 1930, he made solemn pledges which he never kept. He was the one who laid down the principle that, in a country like ours, if destitution, hardships, distress and unemployment is felt, it is not the fault of individuals but of the government which does not live up to its obligations.

The people heard his appeals, promises, pledges, and after they had placed their trust in them, they were bitterly deceived and they now await the opportunity, in the next dominion election, to give vent to their discontent, by emphasizing the fact to the Conservative party that, if it were able to deceive and fool them in 1930, the same thing will not repeat itself at the next election.

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LIB

John Knox Blair

Liberal

Mr. J. K. BLAIR (North Wellington):

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the opportunity of expressing my view's on economic questions in this debate. We feel that we are under a greater obligation than ever to proclaim the gospel of trade and commerce because w'e believe that the nations of the world have been engaged in a tariff war, and that this narrow policy of economic nationalism is principally responsible for the depression through which we are now passing.

We also believe that in many countries of the world the voice of the poorer classes is not heard, but rather the voice of the upper and wealthier classes. Socrates, an ancient Greek, thought that the voice of the people was the voice of the deity and that the voice of the people should be heard; that the people, by a process of trial and error, would rise to a higher level. Socrates was put to death and was followed by Plato. Plato thought that the voice of the people was the voice of ignorance and should not be heard. Later on Plato said, "Why trust the people who crucified their leader?" After Plato's time there arose another great philosopher, Aristotle, w'ho wras a pupil of both Socrates and Plato. He thought that the voice of the people should be heard in government and that it should be regarded in accordance with the intelligence of the people. He was the teacher of Alexander the Great, and when Aristotle taught Alexander the policy of Socrates and of Plato, the king asked him which of the two he should use. The reply was, "If the people are intelligent, both poor and rich, use the policy of Socrates in some of the Greek states; that policy could be applied geographically." But he went on to say that in Persia, where the people were ignorant and only a few of the upper classes were intelligent, the king should be guided entirely by the upper classes and the poorer people should be ignored.

LMr. Fontaine.]

The question to-day is, Mr. Speaker, which policy is this government following? Is it listening to the voice of the masses or to the voice of a few of the upper classes? I think we can test that by an illustration. When the Liberal government was in power, hon. gentlemen will remember that four thousand people marched upon Ottawa from Oshawa wishing to see the Hon. Mr. Robb and the then Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King). While they were deliberating in the theatre how they would see them, Mr. Robb and Mr. Mackenzie King walked into the theatre and asked them what they wanted. The Liberal government believed that the voice of the people should be heard, that the people should tell them their needs, and when the representatives of those four thousand people presented their case to the government they said. "We want better pay and more work, and you can secure that for us by raising the tariff. But Hon. Mr. Robb replied, "We will see that you get better pay and more work, but we will not do it by raising the tariff." On the contrary, Mr. Robb and the Liberal government lowered the tariff, for that was their policy, and the result was that these people got better pay and more work.

That illustrates in a simple way that the Liberal party believes that the poorer classes should have the opportunity of making their needs known to the government, but they ought not to try to prescribe for themselves. They should go, as a patient does to the doctor, and tell their complaints, but they should not attempt to prescribe for themselves, for if they should try to do so they might poison themselves. In this instance their needs and wants were taken care of but not in the manner in which they had prescribed for themselves.

What do we find in contrast to that? Last year approximately 4.000 people, mostly farmers of Ontario and Quebec, came to Ottawa with a petition for the government. What was the result? Their voices were not heard. I, along with the hon. member for North Huron (Mr. Spotton), went to see the Prime Minister (Mr. Bennett) on behalf of these people. The hon. member for South Huron presented his request in these words: Honourable sir, I know that you are busy and may not be able to come down yourself to see these farmers, but will you delegate someone, perhaps the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Weir), to act as your representative and speak on your behalf? The Prime Minister refused to do this. He said he had come to a decision and would not delegate anyone else to act on his behalf. He said:

The Address-Mr. Blair

I am busy, I have an appointment with Lord Rotiiermere. I think the Prime Minister's action showed an entire lack of responsibility to the people. He was not in the employ of Lord Rothermere; these four thousand farmers were the ones who were helping to pay his salary. They had travelled many miles to see him and his refusal to see them was a declaration that the voices of the masses are not to be heard in the councils of this government.

Our party stands for the principle of equal rights to all and privileges to none. We stand for the retention of the power of taxation in the hands of parliament. We believe that people should pay taxes according to their ability to pay. We do not believe in a horizontal tax such as we had in the case of sugar where the child at a mother's knee pays the same as the millionaire. We believe that the burden of taxation should be according to the ability of the people to pay, but the sugar tax is not of that nature. Such a tax is a crime. We believe in gradually reducing tariff restrictions upon all necessities consistent with the revenue requirements of the country. We believe in the promotion of a favourable reciprocal trade not only with members of the British commonwealth of nations but with all nations of the world.

We believe that that would be a leading factor towards a permanent and successful agriculture, industry, shipping and international trade. We believe it would place Canada upon the highway which would lead to an outstanding position among the nations of the world.

The Prime Minister gave us somewhat of a promise that reciprocity would receive consideration but we have no reason to expect this. I would not expect a man to put through a policy in which he himself did not believe, and the policy of reciprocity Iras been denounced by the Conservative party. We believe that the nations of the world have swung towards higher- tariffs which work to the advantage of the wealthy at the cost of the poor. They are making the rich richer and the poor poorer. The papers announce that thirty-seven new millioanaires have been created in this country during the last three years. This statement cannot be proved as statistics are not available but we have access to the statistics of the United States. That country recently had a government whose policy resembled that of our own and I should like to quote certain figures to show the increase in incomes which occurred from 1927 to 1928. They are as follows:

Class of income

if 100,000 and under if 150,000

150.000 and under 300,000

300.000 and under 500,000

500.000 and under 750,000

750.000 and under 1.000,000

1.000. 000 and under 1,500,000

1.500,000 and under 2,000.000

2.000. 000 and under 3.000,000

3.000. 000 and under 4.000,000

4.000. 000 and under 5,000,000

5.000. 000 and over

Number of individuals

1927 1928

5.261 7,049

3,873 5,678

1.141 1,756

384 685

173 298

138 284

56 108

55 91

22 40

8 18

11 26

Increase

Number Per cent

1,788 33

1.805 46

615 53

301 78

125 72

126 * 90

52 92

36 65

18 80

10 124

15 136

How can any nation exist with such wealth in the hands of the few? Yet the governments seem to be assisting in this process. I believe that the report in our press was correct and that if available our statistics would show a similar condition. These Americans of great wealth are the ones who are advertising what a great depression there is in that country. They claim that this period of great distress is an act of Providence and unavoidable. I believe that depressions are man-made and I do not see why we should have one at this time. My belief is that this class is responsible largely for our present depression. According to the figures I have quoted, it would not appear as though there

is a .depression. It simply means that these people are extorting money from the poorer classes and doing it internationally and in a scientific way, because I think that they work in cooperation with other nations.

This government has granted to the millionaire in Canada many special privileges but perhaps the most cruel has been the sugar tax, which was really a donation to the wholesaler, paid by the poverty stricken consumers. We are told that Canada is rapidly advancing towards greater prosperity, but how can we say that with such assurance when we learn that nearly 190 municipalities in the province of Ontario, for example, are not paying their share of relief, 19 of them declaring

The Address-Mr. Blair

themselves bankrupt and refusing to pay anything,-such places as Windsor and the Yorks and places around Toronto. It would be different in the case of municipalities up in New Ontario where new settlers are trying to get a footing, but I am referring to places near Toronto where there are people living in fine homes. I do not see why the farmers in the county of Wellington should be paying their taxes, when there are people elsewhere living in lovely homes, riding around in large cars and so on. There is something wrong. The strange thing about Toronto and the Yorks is this. Listening over the radio to the messages coming from the Conservative clubs we have been told that there should be a curtailment of everything, that the reason we have a depression is that there is a superabundance of everything. The people in these clubs were praying for scarcity, and at the time of Thanksgiving, while they were praying for scarcity, those churches in Toronto of the same political calibre as that party were praying for abundance to make glad the heart of man. Here were politicians praying for one thing and churches of the same persuasion praying for something else, so that the Almighty himself could not tell what they wanted. What a strange notion, that famine is due to abundance. Suppose we were going along the road and a squirrel came running out of the bush, with tears in his eyes, telling us that there was going to be a famine this winter. One would ask why; and suppose the squirrel said that there would be a famine because there were too many beechnuts. Naturally one would think that there was something wrong with the poor squirrel's head. Yet that is the sort of thing we hear from the government. Hon. gentlemen opposite are great advocates. I believe that our Prime Minister is one of the best solicitors and advocates I have ever heard. He will take an idea that is positively absurd and pro\e it to the satisfaction of the general public prove it to the hilt. And they' will believe him in many instances. He is a great advocate, and if only he had a leg to stand on he could travel through anything. He will try to prove that there is a famine in the land because there is a superabundance of everything. What more absurd idea could be conceived? One would laugh at the poor little squirrel for suggesting that there would be a famine because there were too many beechnuts; one would laugh at the mentality even of a squirrel for suggesting such a thing; yet we give our Prime Minister license to put forward and defend such notions.

All through my territory during the last election the railway men were told that if

the tariff were raised two or three times higher than it was at one end of the road and raised to the same height at the other end, and if a sales tax of 6 per cent were imposed all round, there would be a great improvement in railway traffic. That was an obviously silly idea, of course. While some may not speak too highly of the minds of railway men, I must speak in high terms of the arguments of the Prime Minister; for he put that idea across, so that we could not get it out of the minds of the railway men. He proved to them that if he raised the tariff two or three times as high as it was, and if he put on a high sales tax, the railways would be more flourishing than ever. I do not know how he did it; no doubt it was his capacity for argument and for bringing his ideas to prevail among the poorer classes. But the notion was absolutely absurd to anyone who thought for himself. He carried that argument with the people, although we believed then as we believe now, that the situation is only aggravated by these high tariffs.

The Minister of Trade and Commerce is carrying out the old policy of Joseph Chamberlain, of splendid isolation. Chamberlain argued that the British people were the chosen race of the earth and should isolate themselves from the common herd, and trade among themselves. That is all very well, but we as a party believe that we should trade anywhere and everywhere. We firmly believe in the British preference, but we do not wish to cut off our trade relations with other countries. Our Minister of Trade and Commerce has a splendid appearance: he has the superficial veneer of a high class gentleman, and is, I am sure, a gentleman; but he lacks that discretion and judgment which you find in the Englishman all over the world and which make the Englishman such a splendid trader. When the late government was in power and was about to negotiate with any other country, the keynote of its negotiations was secrecy, and when the minister came out of a cabinet meeting and was approached by correspondents he had no messages to broadcast. The result was that the negotiations were kept secret and the object of the government was not frustrated. When the price of sugar was high and fish and potatoes were cheap in the maritimes, we negotiated a treaty with the West Indies with the result that sugar was reduced in price and we also received a better price for our fish and potatoes. What do we find now? When we go to the moving pictures we find that the Minister of Trade and Commerce

The Address-Mr. Blair

appears on the screen, and there is broadcast a speech prepared by himself or someone else, telling just what he is about to do, what policy he is about to put into force. It seems to me that if any government were about to put into force a particular policy in connection with trade with another nation it would strengthen its position by keeping quiet about the whole thing until the agreement has been executed. But our Minister of Trade and Commerce would seem to be the advance agent for other nations, so that the trade is all gone before this country can benefit. Can you imagine an automobile dealer in Ottawa broadcasting the fact that he is going to Peterborough in ten days' time to sell ten cars to some firm there? Why, his trade would be gone before he got there. But that is precisely the position in which the Minister of Trade and Commerce places himself. He advertises his modus operandi, his method of working and destroys his business before he gets it. And so we have much ado about nothing. We have trips and negotiations, but we find our trade going down steadily. Is that the way in which England wTon the trade of the world? And how much better in trade and commerce has been the work of our Prime Minister? We can well remember when Mr. Forbes was here and the government slammed the door in the face of New Zealand. We lost millions of dollars and did not raise the price of butter one cent.

Our treatment of Russia will be remembered; the Prime Minister was here day after day chasing the Russian bear. He spent his time chasing the Russian bear, and whenever be rose to speak and his followers were applauding him, I was reminded of Arcturus chasing the Great Bear round the polar star every day and returning to the same point in twenty-four hours. Therefore, whenever I listened to the Prime Minister chasing the Russian bear I said: That is Arcturus again chasing the Bear and the Greeks applauding. The Prime Minister would have been much better advised had he put through a trade treaty with Russia. In this way Canada could have obtained millions of dollars; we could have sent our machinery to Russia; we could have traded with her in many ways, but instead of that the Prime Minister seemed to think it was his duty to attend to the social and moral obligations and the domestic affairs of that country. He went beyond the pale of his jurisdiction. The glory of Britain and her sons is that they will trade with any country in the world; the British traders would trade with China where they have loose 74726-25

marriage laws, with Turkey where they have harems, with the cannibals of the South Sea. The British trader did not interfere with the domestic arrangements of other nations; he was out to trade with them. We would appreciate it much more if our Minister of Trade and Commerce, instead of placing himself on the screen in the movies as an advance agent for other nations, would pay more attention to Canada's trade and if our Prime Minister, instead of chasing the bear, because we never elected him as Prime Minister to be Arcturus, would be a real minister of trade and commerce. It will be remembered that the Prince of Wales said:

Failure to recognize trade as interchange and obstacles placed in the way of reciprocal trade are perhaps the main causes for the world's present troubles. The British peoples have the idea of commerce running strong in their blood.

The Prince of Wales believed lack of trade was a great cause of the depression.

As regards the Prime Minister not coming to see the farmers when they were in Ottawa, we wondered what detained him. He was too busy talking to Lord Rothermere. That is rather significant in view of the fact that he has had decorations bestowed and has reintroduced titles in Canada, which is something we do not need here. The idea of bestowing titles never flourishes in a democratic country; aristocracy and democracy are not compatible institutions. As democracy advances, aristocracy recedes and vice versa, so that if we want to maintain Canada as a democratic country, the fewer aristocratic methods we have the better for us. This bestowal of titles is simply an old relic of feudalism and is quite unnecessary in this democratic country. The Prime Minister and his colleagues made a tour of Canada and we thought they were investigating the unemployment situation and the question of trade and commerce. They came back, however, with a long list of ladies' names. When they were out there, they had on their dancing slippers and their long-tailed coats; they were not looking after our labouring people at all. We thought that they would produce a solution for unemployment, but after months of labour they brought forth a list of bouquets to be sent throughout this country. That is the last thing we need here. What we do need is attention to our unemployed, to our trade and commerce; bread and butter are what we want.

Methods of communication have been greatly improved of late; we have the telegraph, the telephone and the radio, but while I may be wrong, I do not believe any labouring man or farmer has any way of communicating with a millionnaire who has always

The Address-*Mr. Blair

been wealthy. There is too much mental static and the message cannot be got across. We have tried for three years to get it across, and have failed. It would have been useless for the Prime Minister to go down to listen to those farmers, because he would not have understood what they were saying. Were a prime minister who is also a millionaire to have been at one time for a week on the end of a crosscut saw or behind the carriers of a threshing machine, he would have something in the nature of a detector bulb in his brain and when a message was being sent to him, the wave length would harmonize, he could tune in and know what was being said. But 3'ou cannot send a message from a labouring man to a millionaire who has always been wealthy. Votes will register, but a message will not. There is too much interference, too much static, too many crossed wires.

The government, instead of handing out bouquets lavishly, should have made some provision for our farmers; it must give them a new deal. Take a farm which three years ago was worth 86,000 and had a 83,000 mortgage on it: to-day the farmer has no equity in it and the mortgage company really owns the farm. In addition, we have to consider. the low prices that are being obtained for farm products and the high rates of interest being charged, and we must not forget that this situation was brought about largely by the actions of the government. They took all the money out of our rural districts and our towns and villages for their national bonds, depleting the whole country. The result is that we cannot get m-ortgage loans upon our farms and those in the towns cannot obtain loans on their houses. I should like to see any person try at this time to secure a farm mortgage. It cannot be done in the rural districts of Ontario and I imagine the situation in the west is worse. The man who holds the mortgage is afraid to seize the farm, because at the present time farms are worth very little. If this government would like to help the farmers let them open the gates of trade so that the farmers' products could get out into the world's markets.

Then there are many little things in which they could help. Take the stockyards such as those in Toronto where S30 a ton is charged for hay when hay is selling for $6. The farmer has to take whatever price is offered for his stock but has to pay these unduly high prices for feed, such as 840 a ton for grain. In every way possible they extort money from the farmer and spoil his sales. Then we have these men stepping around trying to grade pigs on the hoof; it would be

a blessing to Canada to dismiss every one of these hog graders. Hogs should be graded on the rails, they cannot grade hogs on foot anyway. These fellows are simply working in the interests of the abattoirs.

Now I think we should state briefly the policy of our own party. I will mention just a few points before I close. There is the unemployment situation, that is the most important problem. We think that a representative national commission should be formed which would cooperate with the provinces and municipalities. The unemployment situation was the means of this government getting into power and this government has never dealt with it since, not in a reasonable way. They have been giving doles but that is not what the people want.

Then we want the liberation of external trade. The Liberal party believes that trade is the basis of industrial and commercial development, and that Canada needs trade. The Liberal party would promote trade with all nations.

We need the liberation of internal trade. The Liberal party will seek to end artificial price control and agreements in restraint of trade. Price fixing by agreements restricts and hampers trade. The internal trade of our country has become honeycombed with and enmeshed in secret understandings and agreements.

We want to develop the primary industries. The Liberal party by its policies will continue to further the development of agriculture, lumbering, mining and fisheries by effecting reductions in the costs of production of Canada's basic products and by obtaining wider markets.

We want to safeguard our national railways. We want the democratization of industry. The Liberal party believes that industrial reconstruction is the problem of the future. It will seek to give to workers and consumers, as opportunity offers, a larger share in the government of industry.

We stand for the restoration of responsible government and the reassertion of personal liberty, electoral reforms and a balanced budget. We think it is extremely important to have the budget balanced. As the Right Hon. Arthur Meighen said, we cannot borrow ourselves into prosperity.

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LIB

Eusèbe Roberge

Liberal

Mr. EUSEBE ROBERGE (Megantic) (Translation):

Mr. Speaker, after perusing

the speech from the throne and listening to the address moved by the hon. member for Compton (Mr. Gobeil), I am unable to discover anything in them which might relieve

The Address-Mr. Roberge

immediately the present crisis and still less carry out the promises made by this government in the course of the 1930 election.

Since the last session I have visited many of my old constituents as well as a few from the new parishes which were added to the county of Megantic, at the last redistribution. What are the workmen, farmers and all classes of society saying? Bennett is not carrying out his pledges. Farm products, as a whole, have dropped 50 per cent since the Conservative government has taken office. The workers, especially the miners, hardly earn 50 per cent of the wages they had in 1930, and naturally are only employed half time. Moreover, the people of the counties of Wolfe, Beauce and Megantic are dissatisfied at seeing their counties cut up arbitrarily without any good reason and in the mere hope of retaining or winning these three counties within the Conservative fold at the next election. The Conservatives, far from having made their position secure through these changes, have simply created discontent and the people only await an opportunity to vote, as a whole, against them so as to avenge the insult made to them when their counties were cut up and furthermore, because the government did not carry out the promises made in 1930. The Conservatives misled the people in 1930, but they will not do so at the next election.

The bon. member for Dorchester (Mr. Gagnon) who was able to feather his nest at the last redistribution, made a statement of this kind at a large meeting at St. Malachie:

The Liberals think that we are reluctant to discuss the sugar tax; however, I am not afraid to do so. It is an excellent measure, the government is in need of revenue and this tax will net them $20,000,000. All will be called to contribute, yet no one will be the poorer.

I think the hon. member would change his mind were he to take up the subject with the workmen.

The hon. member told the fanners that they would get a better price for their maple sugar. What happened? In 1933, the farmers had to sell this commodity cheaper than they ever did for forty years, ever since I have been in business. In my own parish, a car load of maple sugar was shipped and the following prices were paid to farmers:

Quality-

No. 1

5 cents per lb.No. 2

4 cents per lb.No. 3

3 cents per lb.

The farmers therefore received on an average 4 cents per pound for their sugar, the 74726-25 J

lowest price ever paid in my county. This is all the benefit derived by the farmers from this tax and they had to pay dearer for their granulated sugar. The hon. member only spoke once on this subject. I think he must have been warned, because since then, he never referred to this sugar tax in the meetings he held, at least, judging from newspapers. . . .

If ever there were an unfair tax levied by the government it is certainly the one on granulated sugar.

The Prime Minister (Mr. Bennett) introduced and had adopted by this house a resolution to the effect that a committee be appointed to investigate the dealings of trusts and profiteers. The Prime Minister could have acted before, because there exists an act empowering him to investigate trusts and the dealings of people who rob the people by their exorbitant profits.

The evidence at the coal inquiry showed that coal dealers were not content with twice the profits that our county merchants make. If they were their profits would be quite acceptable and coal would retail at the most $10 per ton. The trusts, however, retail it to-day at $14, $15 and $16. Every coal consumer has, therefore, contributed to these trusts at least $50 more than they should. In these days of depression, I think, that our people would highly appreciate $50.

The same applies to gasoline. If we were not bled by these trusts, this commodity would retail 5 or 6 cents cheaper per gallon.

Another article which is also controlled, to a large extent, by trusts is leather soles. The farmers are paid for raw hides from 1 to 3 cents per pound, the manufacturing process cost, let us say, 10 to 12 cents per pound which is a reasonable profit, so that leather cost the trusts from 13 to 15 cents per pound. The latter first extended their control over the small manufacturers, to-day, they sell this leather from 45 to 55 cents per pound. It is simply robbery to make such large profits on an article of first necessity. These are the trusts that this government tolerates in our country, they are to a great extent responsible here and abroad for the present crisis through the robberies committed when they realized such large profits and over charged the people. Should a poor person steal so as to provide for his wife and children, he is arrested and sent to gaol, but directors of coal, gasoline and leather trusts, etc., are allowed to steal thousands and thousands of dollars, daily, and are not molested. They are the ones who should be arrested and sent to gaol instead of

The Address-Mr. Roberge

the poor people; moreover, the wealth acquired by fleecing the people should be confiscated by the state.

The government, sir, has introduced a resolution, just before the expiration of their mandate. Before the inquiries are completed-a very long time-the people will have swept them from power. This government has no intention of preventing trusts from fleecing the public or of having these highway robbers arrested. Two years ago, I exposed, in the house, a man who had fleeced the public for twelve years. I refer to Garfield McKinnon who had fleeced mail conductors. I supplied the government, then, with affidavits and all the necessary evidence to enable them to arrest this individual. 1 personally, made the request, in the house, to the hon. Postmaster General (Mr. Sauve) and the hon. Minister of Justice (Mr. Guthrie). Nothing was done because he is one os' their partisans, so it is said.

What the people require, sir, are not promises, conferences, inquiries and trips to Geneva or'Cairo, it is work and better prices for farm products. As the government is unable to carry out its promises, it should give the people an opportunity of expressing their views, it would then learn whether the people are satisfied with the administration of public affairs. The recent by-elections have shown that they are not. The other sections of Canada, therefore, should also be given an opportunity to express their views.

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LIB-PRO

Arthur-Lucien Beaubien

Liberal Progressive

Mr. A. L. BEAUBIEN (Provencher):

Mr. Speaker, in rising to make a few observations on the address in reply to the speech from the throne I intend to follow my usual custom and be brief in anything I have to say. There are certain points which concern the people I represent and which I should like to place before the house and government, and I intend to take this opportunity to do so.

Before proceeding however may I congratulate the mover and seconder of the address upon the manner in which they acquitted themselves in the task they had to perform. I had a similar experience some few years ago, and I realize that either moving or seconding the address in reply is no small task. However when I had the honour of doing so I was seconding an address presented by a government which was doing something for the people, a government which had surpluses instead of deficits, a government which legislated for the masses of the people rather than for the privileged few, a government which was reducing the. costs of production in the primary industries and giving them every chance to make both ends meet and a government which was reducing the public

debt. Therefore, with the particularly hard task these gentlemen had to perform, I believe they acquitted themselves very well.

On Tuesday of this week the hon. member for Souris (Mr. Willis) appeared to be very anxious to find out my political status. He is reported as having said the following:

How could we get the point of view of the hon. member for Provencher (Mr. Heaubien)'! He sits with the Liberals, but we find that he calls himself a National-Progressive. Just what is a National-Progressive? I must confess it is difficult to understand even a rational Progressive. but a National-Progressive is quite beyond the bounds of human thought.

Well, if the hon. member for Souris is so anxious to find out what the word "national" means let him refer back to the National Liberal-Conservative party of 1921, and he will get the definition. May I also tell the hon. member that I am not concerned as to whether or not he knows my political status, but I am concerned with the rights of the electors I represent in this house. For the information of the hon. member for Souris may I state that in 1921 I was elected as a National-Progressive; again in 192.5 I was elected as a National-Progressive and in 1926 the Liberals and Progressives in my constituency decided to unite their forces, and after uniting chose me as their candidate. What happened? I was the only man in Canada elected by acclamation. What happened to the Conservative candidate? He got stuck in the mud which they had been slinging all through the campaign. Again in 1930, with the Liberal and Progressive forces in fusion, I was elected by the biggest majority that was ever given to any candidate in the riding. I had three opponents, and I am sure that the Minister of Finance, who is always looking for money, was very glad to get that S600 which I brought into the treasury for him. That is my political record. The electors know where I stand, and they have sent me here for the last twelve years. I believe, Mr. Speaker, that they are just as intelligent to-day as they have been through all those years.

Now a word as to political parties. When the Prime Minister made his opening campaign speech in Winnipeg on June 9, 1930, he promised everything under the sun. He was going to blast his way into the markets of the world, and find work for every man and woman who wanted it: in short, he promised everything under the sun. The people believed him to a large extent. He was a big man, and at that time they thought he might be a superman. But what have been the results? The biggest failure that has ever overtaken any government has taken place in this country in the last four years.

The Address-Mr. Beaubien

We have now in this house another political party, calling themselves the 'C.C.F. I shall not pronounce that like my hon. friend from Melville (Mr. Motherwell) did. As he pronounced it, using an "h," it sounded like C.C.heifers. I do not think that is right. What is this new party doing? They are promising everything under the sun to-day, so much so that after their convention in Regina I went to my spiritual adviser and said, "Scratch me off your roll." He asked, "Why?"

I showed him the C.C.F. platform. I said, "They are going to provide heaven on earth for me and everyone else so why should I seek it elsewhere?" They are promising to socialize the natural resources of this country and to leave unsocialized our greatest natural resource, which is the land. They are promising to uphold and follow the democratic system under which we live, and yet they know that if they are ever going to put their program into effect it cannot be done except under a system of dictatorship.

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UFA

Edward Joseph Garland

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. GARLAND (Bow River):

Rubbish.

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LIB-PRO

Arthur-Lucien Beaubien

Liberal Progressive

Mr. BEAUBIEN:

It is not rubbish, and

you know it because you are intelligent. But they will not fool the people. The man who is out on the land is attached to the soil. He might find himself in a financial position today which is almost unbearable; he might owe a great deal more than he ever will be able to pay, yet that very same man wants to control his own land; he wants to work out his own destiny to the best of his ability without any socialization of our natural resources or of the land. No, Mr. Speaker, the C.C.F. are not going to give me heaven on earth, and since I hat'e listened to their speeches in this house I am going back to my spiritual adviser to ask him to put me back on the roll.

I wish now to deal with a few paragraphs in the speech from the throne. Here is one paragraph the sentiment of which I appreciate:

Since I have been associated with you as the representative of His Majesty in Canada, I have visited every province of the dominion. I have been greatly impressed by the loyalty, devocion and friendliness of the people, as well as the high courage with which men and women were meeting and overcoming abnormal difficulties in their daily lives.

I want to thank His Excellency the Governor General for his.visit to parts of my riding this year. I had the honour and the privilege of accompanying him with a large delegation through certain parts of my riding, and I can assure the house that we were pleased and honoured to see him. Our people were anxious to meet the representative of the crown in

Canada, and I am sure that His Excellency, when he remembers the warmth of the welcome which he received in that part of Canada, will take the first opportunity to revisit other parts of the riding. I invite him most cordially to do so. I wish to assure him that the people will be very glad to see him and show him their loyalty and devotion.

In another part of the speech from the throne the government says:

You will be invited to consider legislation designed to facilitate the efficient and profitable marketing of live stock and agricultural products.

Any legislation along that line will receive my hearty support. There is no doubt that there is too great a spread between the price which the producer receives, especially in the production of live stock, and the price which the consumer pays when he buys the commodity on the market. Any legislation which will give to the actual producer of live stock and other farm products a greater return will be of benefit not only to agriculture but to the whole of Canada.

Another paragraph in the speech from the throne refers to the royal commission on banking and currency and the establishment of a central bank. A central bank might be a very good thing for Canada; I am not in a position to say. But I do know that the establishment of a central bank will not touch the ordinary individual; it will not touch the farmer.

Further on in the speech from the throne the government say that they are making a study of agricultural credits:

My government have been giving careful consideration to measures that might be adopted for the establishment of agricultural short term and intermediate credits; and have invited representatives of the provinces to study the means by which practical elfect may be given to the recommendations in this respect made by the Royal Commission on Monetary and Banking Problems.

Whiat does 'the report of the Macmillan cotmmisison say? At page 70 of the report I find this:

In a memorandum prepared by a committee representing the governments of the three (western) provinces, it is estimated that the annual gross revenue from agriculture in these provinces fell from $843,153,000 in 1928 to $273,738,000 in 1932, representing a loss of 674 per cent in farm income.

You can imagine, Mr. Speaker, the position of an industry which finds itself facing a reduction of 67^ per cent in its income, and yet that same industry is the most important

The Address-Mr. Beaubien

industry to the well-being of Canada. The commission further said:

In the memorandum tiled on behalf of the United Farmers of Ontario, an estimate made by the Dominion Bureau of Statistics of the values of field crops in Canada was given as follows: -

1928 $1,125,003,000

1932 416,580,000

There is a depreciation of two-thirds in the value of field crops. The commission continue :

The following is an extract from the evidence submitted on behalf of the United Farmers of Ontario as to the problem of short term credit in Ontario.

And this, Mr. Speaker, is applicable I think not only to Ontario but to all our centres of agriculture. I quote further:

Generally speaking, within the last two years the banks have ceased to function in regard to Canadian agriculture. Agriculture is taken to be an activity, or an industry that is not worthy of credit, and from the banking point of view 1 am not blaming them.

I do not desire t.o cast any reflection upon the banks, but the fact is that as far as agriculture is concerned they have ceased to function. I hope the genial Minister of Finance (Mr. Rhodes)-when I say "genial " I mean it-will take what I am about to say under very serious consideration. When a farmer wants to get a small loan of $30, S40 or $50 to carry on seeding or harvesting operations, he goes to the bank and asks for money. The banker tells him that he cannot make the loan because he has no jurisdiction, (hat it must be referred to the head office. He then says to the farmer: "Suppose you do borrow this money, how are you going to pay it back?" The farmer tells him that he hopes to repay it from the proceeds of his farm. The banker answers right back: "With the present prices being paid for commodities, you would not be able to repay this loan from the proceeds of your farm because your costs of production are higher than the prices you receive for your commodities." The farmer is absolutely tied. I have known of dozens of cases where 150 or 200 acres of land have been ready for the binder but the farmer could not buy the twine with which to tie his grain. He could not get the money from the bank and the man who was selling the twine would not give credit. What does the farmer do in a case like that? There is no stock prepared for market as it is too early in the season and the only thing he can sell is a milch cow or two. Over and over again I have seen a farmer taking a couple of milch cows to the market to be sold in order to get $30 or $40 with which to buy twine. He is forced to deprive his family of what is

absolutely needed; he has to sacrifice his milch cows on the market at Winnipeg in order to get the small sum he requires for the purchase of his twine. If the grain is not tied a hailstorm might come along or a sudden change take place in the weather and his crop would be destroyed in five minutes.

Both from the national standpoint and the necessity of the continuance of agriculture, there must be short term credits. I do not contend that the farmer should be able to borrow without having to repay, but legislation should be brought down to enable the farmer to get a short term loan. Surely there must be some way of seeing that the lender is protected and the borrower is enabled to obtain the money he needs. I urge the Minister of Finance not to continue to dilly-dally with the provinces in order to find out what is the best form of legislation. Let us have legislation at this session which will provide the short term credits which are essential if the farmer is going to be able to continue.

I come now to the wheat agreement entered into by the Prime Minister with certain other countries and which provides for a reduction of about fifteen per cent in our wheat acreage. In referring to the surplus of wheat, the pamphlet issued by the government states that this surplus has continued to increase since 1928. It states also that the surplus began to accumulate in 1924. There may be a surplus of wheat in the world; I do not know, but I do know that a lot of people are underfed while we have an abundance in this country. In connection with certain schemes this government seems to work in opposite directions. In 1931 tTie Prime Minister introduced a measure to provide for a bonus on wheat of five cents per bushel. A bonus upon any commodity stimulates the production of that commodity. In 1931 there was more inducement to produce wheat than to produce barley or oats because the man who produced wheat got a bonus of five cents per bushel while the man who produced the other grains got nothing. The government knew that a surplus existed in 1931 because they so state in this pamphlet, yet they introduced a measure which had no other effect than to stimulate the production of wheat. The man who produced the most wheat got the most money. The government's action is just like a tug-of-war where the forces are equal; there is a pulling at each end but there is no motion either way-the government just stays put.

At six o'clock the house took recess.

The Address-Mr. Beaubien

After Recess

The house resumed at eight o'clock.

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February 8, 1934