February 20, 1935

LIB

William Duff

Liberal

Mr. DUFF:

I can understand the hon. member for Stanstead (Mr. Haekett) asking such a question; children and some other people do ask questions of that sort.

Mr. HAlOK'ETT: Oh, you can do better than that.

Topic:   FISHING INDUSTRY
Subtopic:   PROPOSED REDUCTION IN CUSTOMS DUTIES ON INSTRUMENTS OF PRODUCTION
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LIB

William Duff

Liberal

Mr. DUFF:

I admit I have a good deal to learn from the hon. member for Stanstead and other hon. members, but as far as my fiscal views are concerned I have no apology to make either for introducing this resolution or as to what I have stood for during my public and business life in this country. I have always been in favour of a 'better trade arrangement with the nation to the south, and therefore I have no regrets for having brought in this resolution, nor do I agree with the Minister of Finance that it might affect the negotiations which are in progress between the leaders of thought in this country, President Roosevelt and his cabinet. I think

Fishing Industry-Mr. Duff

my attitude a few days ago, when I had a motion, on the order paper with regard to a reciprocal trade arrangement with the United States, which, generously, may I say,

I withdrew after I found that this government was entering into negotiations with that country, shows that I am not open to the accusation of embarrassing either this government or the government of the United States. To use the words of several statesmen in this country, which have been bandied back and forth across the floor of this house, I do not wish to provoke the United States. I remember that the hon. Minister of Railways (Mr. Mandon) in my younger days, perhaps after I had achieved the years of maturity referred to by the hon. member for Stanstead, gloatingly referred to a remark made by the leader of the opposition (Mr. Mackenzie King) that he did not wish to provoke the United States. Well, sir, history has a fashion of repeating itself. There is an old saying that birds come home to roost. It is rather strange that in this year of our Lord 1935 we have hon. members on the other side holding up their hands in holy horror and begging us not to do anything to provoke our neighbours to the south. If those negotiations do not reach what I and others of the same views would consider the acme of perfection in regard to a reciprocal trade arrangement, I do not want to be accused of putting any stumbling block in their way. Consequently, sir, I am willing to do any kind of penance in order to bring about a proper trade arrangement with the United States of America relating to certain natural products of this country.

Reading the newspaper on Monday last I was pleased indeed to see the report, which I hope is correct, of a speech made by the Prime Minister in New York last Saturday night. The utopian ideas expressed in that speech gladdened my heart. But after I came to consider them I wondered whether they were utopian ideas or Ethiopian. I wondered whether the Ethiopian could change his skin, or the leopard his spots, or the politically ungodly man change his ways. I remember, sir, that in the years from 1911 to last year the Prime Minister of this country, whenever the matter of better trade relations between Canada and the United States came up, always opposed it. Of course 1 believe that while the lamp holds out to burn the guilty sinner may return, and I welcome his accession to the Duff Reciprocity Club of Canada. I remember, sir, in 1911 when perhaps the hon. member for Stanstead had not reached years of maturity, the late Mr. Fielding and Mr. Paterson had come back from 92582-641

the United States with reciprocity agreements applauded by both sides of this house, it was afterwards said by the late Sir George Foster that he did not wish any truck or trade with the Yankees, and I remember that eminent exponent of western ideas, the present Prime Minister, going up and down western Canada saying that if we accepted reciprocity "we would become the back door of Chicago."

Topic:   FISHING INDUSTRY
Subtopic:   PROPOSED REDUCTION IN CUSTOMS DUTIES ON INSTRUMENTS OF PRODUCTION
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LIB

Ernest Lapointe

Liberal

Mr. LAPOINTE:

He entered parliament by it.

Topic:   FISHING INDUSTRY
Subtopic:   PROPOSED REDUCTION IN CUSTOMS DUTIES ON INSTRUMENTS OF PRODUCTION
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?

An hon. MEMBER:

Hear, hear.

Topic:   FISHING INDUSTRY
Subtopic:   PROPOSED REDUCTION IN CUSTOMS DUTIES ON INSTRUMENTS OF PRODUCTION
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LIB

William Duff

Liberal

Mr. DUFF:

I heard someone say " hear,

hear." Perhaps it is a good thing the Prime Minister is not in his place; he might have some difficulty with the members sitting behind him due to the fact that some years ago, in his youth, the Prime Minister made the statement that he did not want Canada to be the back-door of Chicago.

It was only last year that I introduced my resolution on reciprocity, a resolution which you will remember was introduced also in 1933. If hon. members, especially those on the other side, will look at Hansard for last year at pages 73 and 74 they will see what the Prime Minister said at that time. No doubt you, sir, will remember that the Prime Minister asked us on this side whether we wanted reciprocity in hogs, in cattle, in butter and in eggs, and he went on to try to prove to us that a reciprocal trade arrangement with the United States was not necessary because at that particular moment the prices of hogs, butter and eggs were perhaps as high in Canada as they were in the United States. I am wondering what has come over the Prime Minister in the last few months. In a speech delivered a few days ago he said that he has been in a position to arrange for a conference with the United States government in order to discuss this matter for only a short time, because President Roosevelt only received his power from congress in May, 1934. But let me say, sir, that it is a well known fact-and I do not think I am giving away any political secrets-that even before President Roosevelt was sworn in his liberal government sent a delegate, an emissary or an ambassador to this country in order to approach this government in regard to this very important matter. That was in December of 1932. So while I welcome all converts to the faith, I cannot understand why the Prime Minister and his government, especially my good friend the Minister of Finance (Mr. Rhodes), now should be so afraid that if I discuss this resolution or if the hon. member for West Edmonton (Mr. Stewart) discusses the question of lowering

Fishing Industry-Mr. Duff

the tariff-which I have favoured all my life -this will interfere in any way with the negotiations between Canada and the United States which are likely to take place within the next few weeks.

After the Prime Minister made his speech last year, in which he practically said that reciprocity was not necessary, the hon. member for South Huron (Mr. Golding) referred to the fact that in 1930 this country had sold $15,000,000 worth of cattle to the United States, and I think we can all agree with the Prime Minister who now admits that one of our great markets is the United States of America. A few days ago the Minister of Finance deprecated the fact that the hon. member for West Edmonton had brought in his resolution. May I say to my hon. friend that if the resolutions brought in by the hon. member for West Edmonton and myself, asking for lower tariffs, might affect any reciprocal trade arrangement or understanding between the two countries, does not the minister think he should have disciplined the hon. member for Toronto-Scarborough (Mr. Harris) when he brought in a resolution with regard to the Ottawa trade agreements? 1 can tell my hon. friend that one of the things he is going to be up against when he goes to Washington next month, or whenever he does go-and no one is more qualified to discuss these matters with the President of the United States and his cabinet than is my hon. friend-is this very question of the Ottawa agreements. My hon. friend will not be faced with my resolution, because President Roosevelt knows that the Liberal party, and especially myself, always have been in favour of lower tariffs.

Topic:   FISHING INDUSTRY
Subtopic:   PROPOSED REDUCTION IN CUSTOMS DUTIES ON INSTRUMENTS OF PRODUCTION
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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Oh, oh.

Topic:   FISHING INDUSTRY
Subtopic:   PROPOSED REDUCTION IN CUSTOMS DUTIES ON INSTRUMENTS OF PRODUCTION
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LIB

William Duff

Liberal

Mr. DUFF:

The minister will be faced

with the resolution introduced by the hon. member for Toronto-Scarborough, because nothing that has happened in the last number of years has so strained the relations between this country and the United States than have the Ottawa agreements.

The resolution moved by the hon. member for West Edmonton dealt particularly with the duties on agricultural implements. Perhaps the Minister of Finance was quite right when he said to the hon. gentleman that in view of the fact that we import a large volume of agricultural implements from the United States it might be as well if his resolution did not pass. But, sir, my resolution deals with a number of items, not only those which come-and should come in larger volume- from the United States, but also those items

fMi Y>uff.3

needed by the fishermen which are brought from other countries of the world. Consequently my hon. friend cannot accuse me of hindering any reciprocal trade arrangement with the United States, since many of the articles to which I refer, and which the fishermen must use every day, come from Greece, Italy and other European countries as well as from Great Britain.

I should like to give my hon. friend a list of the articles coming from countries other than the United States; I have not time to do so but I want to refer particularly to one item. The fisherman must have certain articles with which to build his boats and fit up his gear, but in addition these vessels must carry certain articles of food when they go to the fishing grounds, and before my hon. friend brings down his budget I should like to show him what an intricate thing the tariff policy of this government has become. In fitting out for the fisheries, either deep sea or shore, a fisherman must secure certain kinds of provisions. Among these provisions is salt beef, which must be carried by every fishing vessel. I do not know whether or not the hon. member for Toronto-Scarborough was so anxious to support the government in connection with the empire trade agreements for this particular reason, but nevertheless this is a very important item of food which must be carried by the fishing vessels. This salt beef comes either in 200 pound barrels or 100 pound half barrels. It is true that this beef is packed in Canada; it is also true that salt beef coming from the United States has to pay certain duties and taxation of other kinds. I regret to say that for some reason or other the fishermen prefer the United States brand of beef to the Canadian brand. I hold in my hand a statement from the manager of one of the outfitting and ship chandlery firms in which I am interested, protesting very strongly against the duties and taxes he has to pay on beef brought to this country for the fishermen.

I should not be surprised if the Minister of Finance and other members of parliament reply, "Yes, but beef, pork, lard, kerosene oil and some other articles can be purchased by the fishermen out of bond and consequently free of duty." That is true in connection with vessels of more than 50 tons, but the great majority of the fishermen who use beef sail in vessels of less than that tonnage. I am sure this will be a surprise to the Minister of Finance; I could not believe it myself, when I got it. The figures before me show what it costs to import a barrel of beef for fishing purposes into this country. The value

Fishing Industry-Mr. Duff

on beef, made up for duty purposes, on one barrel weighing 200 pounds is as follows:

200 pounds at 24 cents $48 00

Less $1.80 value for barrels.... 1 80

Value of one barrel beef for duty

(nearest dollar) $46 00

Duty on 200 barrels beef at 6 cents 12 00

Excise tax, 3 per cent on value of

beef and duty, $46 plus $12 ($58) 1 74

Value of barrel for duty $2, duty

on barrel 25 per cent 0 50

Sales tax, 6 per cent on value and

duty ($2 plus 0.50), $2.50.. .. 0 15 Excise tax, 3 per cent on $2.50.. 0 08

50 per cent special duty on total

value beef $46; barrel $2 ($48). 24 00

Topic:   FISHING INDUSTRY
Subtopic:   PROPOSED REDUCTION IN CUSTOMS DUTIES ON INSTRUMENTS OF PRODUCTION
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?

An hon. MEMBER:

Oh, oh.

Topic:   FISHING INDUSTRY
Subtopic:   PROPOSED REDUCTION IN CUSTOMS DUTIES ON INSTRUMENTS OF PRODUCTION
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LIB

William Duff

Liberal

Mr. DUFF:

The constituency of the hon. member opposite is suffering because the Tory party of the United States put a high duty on butter. He should be the last one to laugh at me when I am seriously discussing a matter of vital importance, a matter which affects the real life blood of this country, and when I say that until such time as we obtain a proper reciprocal trade arrangement with the United States, Canada will never enter into her own.

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Subtopic:   PROPOSED REDUCTION IN CUSTOMS DUTIES ON INSTRUMENTS OF PRODUCTION
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CON

Edgar Nelson Rhodes (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. E. N. RHODES (Minister of Finance):

Mr. Speaker, I hope it is not necessary for me to reiterate a confession of faith with respect to my attitude regarding trade relations between Canada and the United States. I do, however, wish to say to the hon. member for Antigonish-Guysborough (Mr. Duff) and to the house that I take exception to his suggestion that the Conservative party is now or ever has been opposed to a trade agreement with the United States. I do not purpose interjecting a party flavour into any remarks I may have to make, and I assure the house my observations will be brief, but I cannot permit that imputation to go unchallenged. We may agree to disagree with hon. gentlemen opposite with respect to the merits of particular proposals. That is one thing. But it is not for them to say that the Conservative party is opposed, or that it ever has been opposed, to a trade agreement with the United States. I am prepared to say to my hon. friend immediately that I believe he is absolutely sincere in his desire to effect better trade relations with our neighbours to the south, but surely I have the right to expect from him and those associated with him that they will attribute to me and to those who surround me feelings of equal sincerity with respect to that same matter.

Topic:   FISHING INDUSTRY
Subtopic:   PROPOSED REDUCTION IN CUSTOMS DUTIES ON INSTRUMENTS OF PRODUCTION
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LIB

William Duff

Liberal

Mr. DUFF:

I thought I did.

Topic:   FISHING INDUSTRY
Subtopic:   PROPOSED REDUCTION IN CUSTOMS DUTIES ON INSTRUMENTS OF PRODUCTION
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CON

Edgar Nelson Rhodes (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. RHODES:

If my hon. friend says

he did I am prepared at once to accept his word, but the clear inference I drew from his

Fishing Industry-Mr. Rhodes

observations was that there was not that game favourable attitude, to put it euphemistically, on this side of the house as there was on the other with respect to a trade agreement with the United States.

I am going to resist the temptation, although I must admit that it is a very great one, to remind my hon. friend of the fact that during the nine years his government was in power we got farther and farther away from a trade agreement of any kind with the United States than in any similar period in Canadian history, and that the opportunities of effecting a trade agreement with the United States were made more difficult in that period by reason of the attitude of the United States regarding their tariff action against this country. In making that statement I find no fault with our neighbours to the south. They were dealing with their own tariffs in their own way, as they had every right to do. I might elaborate and embroider that attitude to a very considerable extent, but I do not wish to impart a party flavour to this discussion at all. I do, however, submit that it is only fair that I should not accept without question the statements of the hon. member for Antigonish-Guys-'oorough (Mr. Duff) which do not conform to our feelings and beliefs with respect to this matter.

Having said so much I do not think it is necessary, particularly in view of the attitude of the Conservative party towards trade relations with the United States as disclosed by the right hon. the Prime Minister last year, for me to make any further comment upon my hon. friend's suggestion that we are now converts and have changed our attitude in that respect.

My hon. friend alluded to a reference I made the other night to the effect that to discuss this matter at this stage might be good party politics but was not good national politics. That observation arose out of something which had been said by my hon. friend from West Edmonton (Mr. Stewart), and I can assure my hon. friend from Antigonish-Guysborough and the house that in making that statement I had no desire to impute motives to hon. gentlemen opposite. That was farthest from my thought. All I had in mind was that this was not the proper time to discuss matters of this kind, and that was why I said it was not good national politics at this time.

Let me say to my hon. friend that in suggesting that I had said, even by implication, that we should not provoke the United States

he was imputing to me words and thoughts which were neither expressed nor even conceived. I never used the word "provoke."

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Subtopic:   PROPOSED REDUCTION IN CUSTOMS DUTIES ON INSTRUMENTS OF PRODUCTION
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LIB

William Duff

Liberal

Mr. DUFF:

I did not say you did. I said the Minister of Railways (Mr. Manion).

Topic:   FISHING INDUSTRY
Subtopic:   PROPOSED REDUCTION IN CUSTOMS DUTIES ON INSTRUMENTS OF PRODUCTION
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CON

Edgar Nelson Rhodes (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. RHODES:

Quite so, but the Minister of Railways was merely quoting a remark of the right hon. leader of the opposition when he was taken to task for not having taken the tariff action which was called for in view of the action of our neighbour to the south.

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CON

Robert James Manion (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MANION:

And when no trade treaty was pending.

Topic:   FISHING INDUSTRY
Subtopic:   PROPOSED REDUCTION IN CUSTOMS DUTIES ON INSTRUMENTS OF PRODUCTION
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CON

Edgar Nelson Rhodes (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. RHODES:

Topic:   FISHING INDUSTRY
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LAND SETTLEMENT

FIVE TEAR PLAN TO ENCOURAGE AND ASSIST RURAL POPULATION IN FARMING

LIB

Joseph-Arthur Bradette

Liberal

Mr. J. A. BRADETTE (North Timiska-ming) moved:

That, in the opinion of this house, it is expedient that the government should take into immediate consideration the establishment of a five-year plan for settlement on the land of the young farmers of this country.

He said: I greatly appreciate this opportunity to discuss the basic industry of this country, namely, agriculture, and I think I am justified in taking a few minutes to point out the importance of the proposal I am making. At the beginning of my remarks I might quote that old maxim, that the source of a nation's vitality is in its rural population and that the foundation of its prosperity is its agriculture. In the last hundred years we have seen the industrial state superimposed on agriculture, and there is no doubt whatever that the condition that has resulted has created a burden of responsibilites and taxes which is weighing heavily on the agricultural classes.

I wish to point out some of the phases of the problem facing our rural population and to suggest what in my opinion is the way to solve that problem. The basic industry of all

Land Settlement-Mr. Bradette

civilized countries is agriculture-such countries as France, the United States, Japan and Russia, and I will not omit England, although England is highly industrialized. But generally speaking the basic industries and wealth of these countries are farming and forest activities. Even in England we have witnessed an agricultural revolution in the last three years. Under the dynamic leadership of the Minister of Agriculture, the Hon. Mr. Elliott, Great Britain is trying now to make herself almost self-supporting in regard to agriculture. Whether this is due to the trade agreements adopted in 1932 or whether it is the result of the industrialization of all the civilized countries, I am not prepared to discuss at the moment. The fact remains however that to-day in this country we find ourselves in a situation similar to that which exists in other countries. We are faced with an agricultural problem, and I wish to discuss some phases of that problem.

First of all I would make it clear that not only has the industrial state always to some extent superimposed itself upon agriculture, but governments, whether local or central, have worked to the detriment of the agricultural class. In this country we have on the one side the great industries and on the other the basic industry of agriculture, and though we have not had severe convulsions, we have witnessed a conflict in Canada between the agrarian class and the industrial, so much so that sometimes the conflict has been expressed in party lines. Only a few years ago we had the spectacle in this House of Commons of a very strong agrarian party, which had its rise in the feeling of the farmers, a feeling which they still have, that they were not receiving from the legislative assemblies and from the central government that attention which their problems deserved. And we have the same spectacle to-day. Quite often in the discussions that take plaoe here we have sensed a certain conflict between the two classes. We can see in the far comer the attempt to unify parties under C.CiF.'ism, when my hon. friends try to reconcile the interests of the agrarian and the working classes and they find it impossible to do so.

I think the house must realize that in the industrial development that has taken place, in the mechanization of industry everywhere and in Canada as well, there has been laid on the shoulders of the farmers an added burden. When the present government came into office in 1930 they realized at once, as others had realized in the past, that the even

balance between the urban and the rural population had been lost, and that is why we have seen inaugurated by the government the so-called back to the land movement. I am going to be outspoken in regard to that scheme, speaking from the point of view of a man who knows something about farming. During the war the appeals made to men were coloured by patriotic feeling; but to-day there is not very much poetry in the life of the farmer, the man who is trying to make a living out of the soil. We must be sensible, logical and practical in dealing with the problem; for the farmer does not live an arcadian life. For generations the agricultural class has been trying to get a living out of the "oil; but generation after generation we have seen all governments working more and more into the hands of the industrial state. We see this in the banking system, in connection with social questions, credit questions, the tariff and all the modern social activities converging towards one end, and working more and more, as I say, into the hands of the highly industrialized state.

It is true that during the present session there has been mention in the speech from the throne of the Natural Products Marketing Act. That was perhaps a debatable matter and .perhaps it may prove beneficial to the farmers as a whole.

The Farmers' Creditors Arrangement Act was also mentioned. This is to some extent a step toward a solution of the problem, but from the discussion yesterday and on previous occasions of the Unemployment Insurance Act, I am sure everyone will realize that that measure, although I am and I believe Canada as a whole is in favour of the principle of it, will without doubt prove an added burden to the rural population without any expectation on their part to receive any benefits from it. I was rather astounded a few days ago when the hon. member for East Hamilton (Mr. Mitchell) said that the employers in industry tried to help their employees while the farmers at this time were trying to get cheap labour on their farms. It is all they can afford to pay their help; they have not the means with which to pay high wages to labourers to help them to till their soil, although they would like to do so.

To come to the back to the land movement, I maintained in the fall of 1930 and again in the year 1931 that unless the central government found it possible to spend large sums of money to make that scheme a real success, it was bound to fail, because in those days the government was claiming that the scheme was a success even if they did not spend a

Land Settlement-Mr. Bradette

single dollar in placing people back on the land. Since then they have found it possible to make a tripartite arrangement comprising the municipalities, the province and the dominion, each party advancing $200, making a total of $600 per family to take the unemployed from the urban centres and place them on the land. At that time I maintained that even if the scheme were not a complete failure, it would certainly not rectify the unemployment situation. Now, after four years of application of this scheme, I must state that it has not proved a solution of the present unemployment situation in the urban centres, for three simple reasons: first, under that scheme the urban centres tried to unload some of their responsibility on to the rural districts; second, there was no access to the people who were best qualified to take action under the scheme to get some of the land simply because the municipal organization or people in the unorganized rural districts could not claim any of the money under the back to the land movement; third, it was a recognized fact that there was unemployment in every section of the country and when you have unemployment in the cities, naturally you have unemployment in the rural sections. What happened under the scheme was that those in charge were left to their own initiative to find settlers and tne rural population had no access to the back to the land money. The government must find it possible to generalize the idea and not to attach too many strings to it. They have been taking people who have left rural occupations for ten or twenty years, who are in many cases now advanced in years, and are trying to put them back into farming. Such a scheme is bound to fail. I have seen in my section many fine men and women, splendid types of Canadian citizens, trying to carry out the scheme, but I have received visits from tens and hundred's of men; I have visited most of those settlements in northern Ontario and I an convinced that as soon as the industrial situation in the urban centres is rectified quite a number of these people will flock back to the occupations they had in the past. In the meantime, the population best qualified and equipped to take advantage of the scheme has been left severely alone.

In the past we have had many different schemes of colonization and I have before me at present a circular letter from Brigadier General Hornby. I admire his activities, but I say to the house that it is no use for him to try to bring rural immigration into Canada. There is no room for such

immigration and we need not fool ourselves in that connection. When I was sitting on the government side of this house some years ago I told the then ministry that it was an anomaly to bring people from Europe and try to put them into agricultural occupations. That situation applies more forcibly to-day than it did then. It is absurd to bring people from the old country and place them on the land under government supervision and on government money, while the rural population, the one that is best qualified, the one that has made faiiming a profession, the one that is fully equipped to carry on this occupation, is neglected. They should be given the protection and support they deserve.

I want to make my position on this point quite clear, Canada at the present time does not want any new rural immigration. It is fine sometimes to be idealists and to speak in terms of having 100,000,000 people in this country; but we must be realists; we must realize that new centres of population, so far as agriculture is concerned, are pushing back the available land not south, but north, thus meeting certain harder climatic conditions, for instance in the matter of early frosts. This applies not only to northern Quebec or northern Ontario but to British Columbia and the western provinces. I am making a very fervent plea because I speak from experience on this important question. It is absolutely no use at the present time to bring large numbers of people from Europe or even Great Britain and try to place them on the land. What will happen will be the same as occurred five or ten years ago; these people at the first opportunity will flock back to the urban centres. Such a situation should be avoided. I can remember very vividly a year after the war when with the very best intentions and with the close cooperation of the Ontario and federal governments we had the so-called colonization scheme in Kapuskasing. Settlers were placed there, the finest agricultural section in the country, under the guidance and supervision of both governments. They built homes and cleared some land on some of the richest soil there is in Canada. Returned soldiers, mostly from Canada and some from Great Britain went there with the best intentions; they wanted to devote themselves to farming in our section of the country. But what happened? Within only three years at the most, ninety-five per cent of them had gone away, showing that a great proportion of those people were not fitted for, not acclimatized to agricultural pursuits. Such schemes are bound to fail.

Land Settlement-Mr. Bradette

That is the reason why I world urge the government to turn their vision, their activities, to something better in the back to the land movement. The Minister of Labour (Mr. Gordon), under whose department the back to the land movement is, is not in his seat at the moment, but I know he is willing to listen to suggestions that will work towards a solution of the problem presently facing us. He is also familiar with the fact that that scheme cannot be practicable any longer; we have had experience with it. I remember also only seven years ago, when the Hon. Mr. Finlayson was a minister in the Ontario cabinet, he tried to take some people from the older sections of Ontario where the soil was unsuitable for cultivation and bring them to northern Ontario where the soil was better fitted for agriculture. Most of those people after one or two years left, because they were unused to their new surroundings. The same situation exists at the present time under the back to the land movement. We are studying agriculture from all angles and the same spectacle that was seen in the last hundred years, if not prior to that, will be seen in the future unless we treat the agricultural problem in a rational manner.

To-day what picture do we see so far as the rural population is concerned? We find in most of the agricultural sections of Canada the young sons of the farmers cannot get into their natural occupation, not having the means to establish themselves on the land. Agriculture is more than a profession, a craft; it is an art. A man must love the soil and be fitted to cultivate it, and he must be willing to make a certain amount of sacrifice, because notwithstanding all that may be done for the agricultural class they are bound to have to sacrifice more than other members of the social order. That is why I ask the government to let my resolution go before the agriculture and colonization committee. This is the scheme I have in view; I know it will involve a substantial expenditure, but I want the government to realize that the present unemployment insurance scheme will involve an expenditure of some six or seven million dollars a year for administration purposes only, from which, I repeat, the farmers will not get any direct benefit. They may get some indirectly through the increased buying power of the working class, but no one will deny the statement that the unemployment insurance act will be of no direct benefit to the farmer. I want the government to spend the sum of $20,000,000 in the course of the next five or ten years in placing on

the land 20,000 young Canadians. I am basing my figures on these studies; the natural increase in population in Canada is 12 per thousand annually. Out of a total population of 10,700,000 people the natural increase will be 130,000 annually. If you take the division between urban and rural as 50 per cent that gives 65,000 born every year in the rural centres. Then if you take the division between the sexes as fifty-fifty you have 32,500 boys born every year in the rural centres. I believe I know enough of the rural situation to prophesy that if the government found it possible to promise to place on the land- crown land or otherwise-18,000 to 20,000 of these young people between the ages of 16 and 22, who are sons of farmers and whose natural occupation would be farming, and to give them a sum of $1,000 in five payments of $200 a year, requiring them to fulfil provincial regulations as to clearing a minimum of twelve acres in the first three years and building a house of standard size, we should find there the solution of our problems for which we have been looking for so long. Unless something drastic is done to preserve that fine, rural population it will be absolutely impossible for the government to solve the unemployment problem. What will the present unemployment insurance legislation do? It will simply accentuate the drift from the farms and rural centres to the towns and cities. What will happen to our young boys when they come out of the public and high schools and colleges? Those who at present are residing on farms will visualize the actual situation, the grind they will have to go through if they remain in rural occupations. They will realize that legislators are always working to increase the comfort and social advantages of the city population, and those young men and young women will yield to the superior attraction of the towns and cities and will thereby accentuate more and more the lack of balance between urban and rural populations. This scheme would apply to every province.

I know the house fully realizes the seriousness of this situation. I have some of my nephews in northern Ontario, and I know how it appeals to them. Under the present order not one in ten will remain in rural occupations, because our social legislation simply tends more and more to give leisure, corn-font and' security to the town populations. But we have in Canada the descendants of those who pioneered this country, and who have the same spirit as their ancestors. We have the descendants of the United Empire Loyalists who colonized Ontario and the shore of the St. Lawrence, and the new-comers,

Land Settlement-Mr. Bradette

and all that the majority of the sons of these people want is a chance to remain in their natural occupation, the occupation their ancestors had; but under the present conditions they find it almost impossible to continue to follow the calling of their fathers. I sincerely believe that if my resolution is given a chance to go before the agriculture committee some rectification of that abnormal situation will be found. The rural population has the same right to comfort and happiness and good living conditions as any other section. The young farmer has the same right to live as a real Canadian as any other section of the population. In considering this problem we must newer forget the fact that once people from the rural areas become established in the cities you cannot get them to go back. Can you visualize the sons of farmers who become civil servants, for example, thinking of going back to farming as an occupation? Can you visualize the sons and daughters of profess sional men taking to farming as an occupation? There is no comeback from the cities to the farms. Unless farming can be made interesting for those young people who have the natural inclination for it we shall not find a solution of our present problems. It must be remembered that the young farmer knows in his early years that if he stays on the farm he will never become wealthy, his name will never be known in his own land; but he does think, in most cases wrongly, that if he goes to the cities he may get riches, and his name become known. There is that great temptation for the rural population to find its way to the cities. I have no quarrel with the industrial state, but there should be closer cooperation between the two parts of the population. Surely we cannot expect to see prosperity back in our midst and a contented and satisfied population unless we make it possible for all sections of the population to be prosperous. We have all read with interest of the great experiment of Russia in her five year plan, trying in five years to industrialize a highly rural population. What happened? Those plans almost failed. Why? Because they forgot one factor, they forgot that agriculture is working with nature and Providence. I venture to prophesy that if Russia does attain to high industrialization it will mean her doom, for we realize to-day that industrialization alone is not sufficient. We have to-day the habitant in some parts and we have farmers in the rest of the country who within the next twenty years, if present tendencies continue, will become a peasant class. Under

our present educational system to be called a farmer is in the minds of many almost an ignominy. It is hard sometimes for the son of a farmer to find a wife, just because he is a farmer. Our educational system is at fanlt in that respect. Canada must necessarily remain primarily an agricultural country and we must preserve that fine population which produces the basic wealth of this countiy. But you have a new school of thought in this country. Last fall I read an article in Saturday Night which said that Canada was at the crossroads; that it would be much better for the farmers to fold their tents and go back into the cities; that Canada had to cease being an agricultural country, and that its future lay in industrialization. Can any member visualize what would happen to our country within ten or twenty years if such a thing happened to our agricultural population? It would be the doom of our country. Take the history of the past; once agriculture is neglected the country fails. That was true in Persia, Rome and' Greece of old; the moment those nations neglected agriculture they *reached the end of their civilization. The same problem exists at the present time in almost every country in the wotM; every country that neglected agriculture is paying the price.

I do not want to speak at any greater length on this important subject, although I will refer to it again when the back to the land movement is under discussion. Again let me say that the back to the land movement, which was inaugurated in all sincerity in an attempt to solve this important question, has practically failed to relieve the situation. Certainly it has not solved the difficulty so far as the equilibrium in population is concerned, and it has done very little to relieve the urban centres. That back to the land movement has not played the game with the population best qualified to remain on the land, and I ask the government to let this resolution go to the committee on agriculture and colonization, where it may be discussed in detail. We want to be fair. In connection with this (resolution I ask for the expenditure of $20,000,000 over a period of five or ten years. During this session we will pass one measure, the administration of which will involve the expenditure of $7,000,000, in order to help the workingmen of this country. The farmers have no quarrel with the workingmen; they would be quite satisfied to see the workers better looked after under the new act, but surely the rest of the population should be willing to give a certain amount of relief

Land Settlement-Mr. Roberge

and attention to those engaged in agriculture, who are ready to play the game with this country.

In conclusion let me say that unless we find it possible to implement this resolution, in part in least, we will not have prosperity in this country. There is no need for conflict between industry and agriculture; rather there is need for the closest possible cooperation between the two, because the happiness and prosperity of all the people are absolutely bound up with the application of this fundamental formula. The agricultural class appreciates the problems of the other sections of the population, but does that class in turn receive the same consideration of its problems? We hear of new deals and new orders of things. Many times these expressions are simply catchwords, sometimes used to blind the vision to reality. We must come to the crux of our problem; no class can prosper to the detriment of another class, and if by our study, our legislation and our effort we can restore prosperity to the primary producers, the farmers, then and only then will the prosperity of the whole country be assured.

Topic:   LAND SETTLEMENT
Subtopic:   FIVE TEAR PLAN TO ENCOURAGE AND ASSIST RURAL POPULATION IN FARMING
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LIB

Eusèbe Roberge

Liberal

Mr. EUSEBE ROBERGE (Megantic) (Translation):

Mr. Chairman, the resolution

now before us has for its object to help farmers' sons to establish themselves on the land, and it provides for a five year plan. I have on the order paper a similar resolution, but providing for a three year plan. My resolution reads as follows:

That, in the opinion of this house, it is expedient that the government should study immediately the question of amending the Unemployment Relief Act. in such a way as to enable the Minister of Labour to accept the Vautrin plan in extending the same privileges to the family heads who establish their sons on abandoned farms.

This resolution being pretty far down on the order paper, I shall probably not have the opportunity of discussing it this year. I therefore take the present occasion to offer the observations I would have made in presenting my own motion.

Mr. Chairman, we have in the province of Quebec an act that provides for assistance to the farmer wishing to establish his son on an abandoned farm or on other land purchased by him. This act, which has been in force for three years, has given good results. For the first and second years, the government limited the grant to $300 to ten persons in each county. During the two first years, almost every county in the province of Quebec took advantage of the act, and, in the third year, the grant was made to twenty persons per county.

Last year, as Megantic county was without representation in the Quebec legislature, owing to the appointment of my colleague Mr. Laureat Lapierre to the post of sheriff of the district of Quebec, all applications from farmers came to me, although I was not in charge of patronage, and I forwarded them to the hon. Minister of Colonization. The popularity of the measure is shown by the fact that in the course of the year I received fifty applications, of which forty came from industrious people and were considered worthy.

Last autumn, the Vautrin plan was approved by the large convention held at Quebec and attended by hundreds of persons who had assembled to discuss the advantages of a colonization plan. The provincial government then raised to ten million dollars its grant for the establishment of farmers' sons and of unemployed men on farms or colonization lots. The limitation of twenty grants per county, fixed by the first act and in force since one year, was withdrawn and to-day the Quebec government makes the grant to any head of a family who wishes to purchase a farm for his sons, providing the farm be registered in the name of the son, that the latter settle upon it and that he be a bona fide farmer.

I believe, Mr. Chairman, that if the federal government contributed an equal amount to this plan, it would be much more advantageous, in many cases, than to send farmers' sons out to new land far removed from their families. To establish a son in the same parish as his father would cost much less, for many reasons. The first reason is that the son could use all his father's farm machinery. Secondly, he could borrow, during the first year, his father's horses to do his ploughing, seeding and other heavy work. That would make it unnecessary for him to buy farm machinery and would allow him to use his income to purchase a certain number of head of cattle which would make it possible for him to earn his living on his farm from the first year. The third advantage would be to put back into operation the abandoned farms that dot our beautiful Quebec parishes, while making it possible for the sons of farmers to remain near their families. Today, thanks to improved farming methods, the farmers of the old parishes of the province do not need so much land as formerly. Dwelling in an agricultural county, I am in a position to state that in my own parish, farmers obtain from the same amount of land twice the crop they harvested twenty years ago. My parish, like all the others of my county, still has unoccupied farms.

Land Settlement-Mr. Gobeil

It is for all these reasons that I urge the federal government to do its share and to contribute as much as the Quebec government towards helping fathers of families to purchase land for one of their sons. With this $300 grant, you will immediately find that farms will sell and that farmers sons, instead of leaving home, will in most cases remain in their respective counties, where they will be much happier near their relatives and friends than they would be in distant colonization districts.

I do not object to the grant the federal government makes to farmers sons settling on colonization lots, but I believe that the scheme I have just submitted deserves to be encouraged as well. For this reason, I ask the hon. Minister of Labour (Mr. Gordon)- who also administers the Unemployment Relief Act-to have the act amended in such a way as to grant to fathers who wish to establish their sons on farms in our old parishes an amount equal to that granted by the Quebec government. I am convinced that once this scheme is put in operation, our abandoned farms will be occupied once more, farmers sons will settle upon them permanently, the federal and provincial governments will find that it costs less to establish these young men on farms that will provide them with a living from the first year, and that they will have to make only one grant. I repeat that this scheme will be less costly to our governments, for if you establish these young men in colonization districts, you will have to grant them each year ploughing and clearing bounties and even direct relief. There will be everything to build: roads, schools, churches; whereas, in our old parishes all that has already been done.

In my opinion, that would be one of the finest things the government could do tn assist the farmers of our province.

Topic:   LAND SETTLEMENT
Subtopic:   FIVE TEAR PLAN TO ENCOURAGE AND ASSIST RURAL POPULATION IN FARMING
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February 20, 1935