April 9, 1935

LIB

John Angus MacMillan

Liberal

Mr. MacMILLAN (Mackenzie):

Yes, I

had sympathy. I am sympathetic towards everything, but that does not mean that I will support everything. I am sympathetic towards the man who is lost spiritually, politically and otherwise. The platform of the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation received a great deal of consideration and thought in western Canada. I know it did in that portion of Saskatchewan from which I come. The fundamental difference between the platform of the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation as it originated in Calgary, and the platform of the Liberal party was the stand taken on the land policy, many parts of our platforms were in common, and it would be impossible to have conditions otherwise. The Liberal party has much in common with the Conservative party; that is inevitable. On land matters, however, platforms of the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation and the Liberal party are not in common; in fact that was the fundamental difference between those two parties. It is not necessary for me to elaborate on their land policy, for every member of the house knows as much about it as I do. They were going to give assistance to people who were in debt; those people in return were to transfer their land to the government if the party attained office, and the owners were to become tenants. Now suppose such a thing were to happen that the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation should come into office as the federal government of Canada and put their land policy into operation; what, effect would it have upon the people? The great Sir Wilfrid Laurier, whose name has gone down to imperishable renown, speaking in the city of Montreal fifty years 92582-164$

ago, said that property rights and property possession were the most sacred things belonging to the individual. But would it remain that way if this policy of the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation were to become operative? I submit that it would not. To become a tenant I submit that a man would have to surrender entirely his spirit of independence. We are not unmindful of the sad and bitter experience of the first tenant known to us in history, that of the Adams' in the garden of Eden. Because of one single violation by one of the tenants of one of the covenants in the lease, the whole family was expelled from the garden. I sometimes think that there must have been a cooperative commonwealth federation group in existence at that time and that it was the leader of the group who found his way into the garden and beguiled the tenant.

If the policy of the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation were carried out, we would lose all property rights. I have here an article which contains an extract from Morgan's Ancient History, as follows;

The idea of property was slowly formed in the human mind, remaining nascent and feeble through immense periods of time. Springing into life in savagery, it required all the experience of this period and the subsequent period of barbarism to develop the germ, and prepare the human brain for the acceptance of its controlling influence. Its dominance as a passion over all other passions marks the commencement of civilization. It not only led mankind to overcome the obstacles that delayed civilization, but to establish political society on the basis of territory and of property. A critical knowledge of the evolution of the idea of property would embody, in some respects, the most remarkable portion of the mental history of mankind.

Independently of the movement which culminated in the patriarchial family of the Hebrew and Latin types, property, as it increased in variety and amount, exercised a steady and constantly augmenting influence ir the direction of monogamy. It is impossible to overestimate the influence of property in the civilization of mankind.

The growth of the idea of property in the human mind commenced in feebleness and ended in becoming its master passion. Government and law's are instituted with primary reference to its creatioh, protection and enjoyment.

The growth of property is thus closely connected with the increase of inventions and discoveries, and with the improvement of social institutions which mark the several ethnical periods of human progress.

I submit, Mr. Speaker, that if that land plank in the platform of the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation party were to become operative in this country, before the present generation would pass away we would be reduced to the condition of the nomadic wanderers, upon the primeval plains.

2576 COMMONS

Long Adjournment-Mr. MacMillan (Mackenzie)

Strange and devious are the paths of history. The Cooperative Commonwealth Federation had to pass through the fiery furnace of affliction, and during the year 1933, as I have already mentioned, they fought strongly in the constituency of Mackenzie. It was their best fighting ground, and they met with defeat. Then in the provincial elections in Saskatchewan on the nineteenth of June last they were practically put out of business, only five being elected out of fifty-five, and four of them by minority votes. They began to see that they were human like everybody else. They were very anxious to attain office.

Then what happened? At their convention held in the city of Regina in the year 1933 many of the farmers were opposed to nationalizing the land. The farmers were in favour of nationalizing the banks and every other enterprise except themselves. They expressed themselves very strongly in the matter, and I believe the hon. member for Vancouver South (Mr. Maclnnis),who was an active participant in that convention, lost his temper. I am only surmising that, but when I read the statement that he did make I cannot imagine that it would be made under any ' other conditions than that his mind was agitated and that he was not quite normal.

If the farmer wants a cooperative commonwealth in which everything is socialized but himself, he had better have a cooperative commonwealth of his own.

I would not make that statement unless I was somewhat agitated-offended. He went on to say:

If the farmer is anxious to benefit from the cooperative movement he will have to come half way.

I do not know what is meant by "half way," whether he meant that the farmer should allow half of his possessions to be nationalized and the other half not, but that was the statement of the hon. gentleman, and I admire him for the ground he took; he was sincere. He was espousing principles and policies in which he believed and he wanted to stand his ground. He had said:

If the farmer wants a cooperative commonwealth in wliioh everything is socialized but himself, he had better have a cooperative commonwealth of his own.

He was quite right. When fate was deciding against the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation party, when they were losing all their elections, they had a convention in the city of Winnipeg last July, and I just want to show you, Mr. Speaker how the influence of that party has dwindled. At every convention they have a group photograph taken; it is the most important business of their convention. I have here the photograph that was taken of the group in the city of Regina. They sat there on July 10, 20 and 21, 1933. I do not know on which of these three days the photograph was taken, but it was the day on which they all looked their best. I have counted the number in the photograph and I find that there are 198, so altogether there must have been 199 persons in the group, because I know that the hon. member for Weyburn (Mr. Young) made it his boast in this house last session that he attended that conference. I cannot see his physiognomy in that group, and what happened I think was this; that when the photographer was adjusting his camera my hon. friend from Weyburn started talking about sound money and somebody sat on him. Mind you, there were 1,98 people present. Subsequently the party met in the city of Winnipeg on the seventeenth of July last. Of course they had their photograph taken there also, and would you believe it, Mr. Speaker, there are only eighteen in the group; the number had dwindled in one year from 198 to 18. Of course, we have to allow a certain latitude because the city of Regina is not very attractive compared with Winnipeg, and no doubt in Winnipeg some of them were out taking in the sights. But regardless of attractions in the city of Winnipeg the fact remains that in Regina in 1933 there were 198 present in the group and a year subsequently in Winnipeg there were only 18. Compare that with what took place in the Chateau Laurier on the twentieth of last month. On that evening nearly a thousand souls met to pledge their loyalty and devotion to the Liberal chief. It can easily be seen which party is in the best position to administer the affairs of this country and to satisfy all the electors. There is only one party, the Liberal party. I am not taking the present Conservative government into consideration at all because for the last two or three years the people have decided that they are out or will be out as soon as they have the opportunity to put them out.

I should like to return to a discussion of the human element to which I referred a short time ago. These people have a very human weakness, they are anxious to get into office. As I said before, the fundamental difference between the two parties is the land policy. What happened last year at Winnipeg? They came to the conclusion that they were pursuing the wrong policy and they

Long Adjournment-Mr. MacMillan (Mackenzie)

decided whether or not that policy was in the interests of the people, they would forsake it for the time being. They decided to drop their land policy. The provincial elections which were voted upon in Saskatchewan on June 19 were fought on a platform containing a land plank, which was the chief issue. What happened at the convention when the agricultural plank was presented? This convention was held in Winnipeg last July. Mr. Hyman, a non-voting member of the convention but a member of the provincial legislature, declared that the plank, in its drafted form, was the weakest in the platform. This is the plank they had previously considered as being the strongest. He pointed out in a powerful speech that enemies of the C.C.F. had so worked on the psychology of fear of the farmers by misrepresentation that farmers were afraid of the name. Farmers as a class resisted socialization the world over to a stronger degree than any other class. Yet they wanted to nationalize the farmer. Here is the excuse this man gave, according to this article:

The farmer's land was his most valuable possession and usually it was something he had wrested from nature and developed by the work of his own hands, and he did not want it taken away from him. The farmer feared what had happened in Russia. Mr. Hyman thought that the soviets action in dealing with agriculture had been its greatest mistake.

That was the opinion which Mr. Hyman advanced at this convention. However, the main thing to be considered by this house is the result. They all fell for this suggestion, even their leader, the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre (Mr. Woodsworth). Be is one of the few men in Canada who I think would never veer from a policy he was pursuing once he thought it was right. However, on that particular occasion he fell and the results are accumulating upon him with astonishing .rapidity. This party is losing out in every part of Canada. The convention passed a new platform eliminating the land policy, and I shall say no more about what took place at that time.

Subsequently, on December 15, the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre was speaking in Reston, Manitoba. The people were not yet satisfied; they had grave doubts that if the C.C.F. party was returned to office they would nationalize the land. The hon. member is reported in the Winnipeg Free Press of December 15, as follows:

He advocated public ownership of all utilities such as water power, railways and banks, stating that the bad feature of the new centi'al bank is that it is privately controlled.

In that we agree. The article continues:

He stated the aim of the C.C.F. party is to bring about the kingdom of heaven on earth while we are living,-

I concede that, as many of the C.C.F. supporters are saying that this will be a long range program, that it will take many years to be brought into being, and it is quite likely that we will have to be bom again, that we will have to return to our kindred dust when we are reanimated from the tomb to find the C.C.F. at the helm of state. When questioned as to whether they would nationalize the farms, the hon. member said, "no." He made that very emphatic. I shall say no more about the C.C.F. and their platform, as I see that my time is rapidly passing and I am sure the clock, is right to the minute.

This group claims that they have no connection or association with the communist party of Canada, I believe that that statement is correct, ibut the fact remains that this Cooperative Commonwealth Federation is the best incubator that I know of for the hatching of communist ideas. What has taken place recently? The following appeared in the Western Producer of March 21:

Parties Agree on Joint Aims

To work together in a campaign of public meetings on three points, the Regina C.C.F. council and the communist party have come to an agreement.

This is the official organ of the C.C.F. for the province of Saskatchewan. The article continues:

The three aims for which the two organizations will direct their joint activities are:

1. For the improvement of conditions of unemployed workers on relief.

2. Against forced labour and disenfranchisement, or partial disenfranchisement, of workers, whether employed or unemployed.

3. For non-contributory unemployment insurance.

The C.C.F. and the communist party are working hand in hand in connection with three issues. When the fox once gets his nose through the net, in a very short time his whole body is through. That is just what is happening. The communist party and the C.C.F. are working hand in hand on these things and in a very short time the, communist party will be in control. I give my hon. friends in the far comer this warning.

This party is preaching peace day in and day out. The other day we heard a very brilliant speech in this chamber by the hon. member for Laibelle (Mr. Bourassa). It is unfortunate that the hon. member is as old as he is, as I should like to see him one of those of whom it is said, "Millions now living will never die."

2578 COMMONS

Long Adjournment-Mr. MacMillan (Mackenzie)

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IND

Joseph Henri Napoléon Bourassa

Independent

Mr. BOURASSA:

That is too long.

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LIB

John Angus MacMillan

Liberal

Mr. MacMILLAN:

A resolution was passed at this convention in Winnipeg in favour of peace. They said they were not going to send their sons across the Atlantic ocean to fight the battles of civilization. They said they were not going to participate in the battles of Europe regardless of what country might be involved, but listen to this report of what happened at the conference:

Willingness to leave Canada's shores to fight was expressed by E. Winch, British Columbia M.L.A., but he emphasized that it would be only to defend socialism against capitalism.

I believe the communists are getting the better of them; they are too easy going and I warn them to be careful. I would hate to see my bon. friend, the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre, in the ranks of the communist party. I do not think he belongs there, as he looks more like one of those priests who used to adorn the ancient temple with the oil flowing down his beard rather than a meandering marauder with a scalping knife and a tomahawk concealed on his person. The article continues:

Everyone had a responsibility to fight when soviet Russia was threatened with attack by capitalist powers in his opinion.

That sentence is pregnant with admonition for every hon. member in this chamber. They did not repudiate that statement and there is nothing in the press to indicate that they did. If they had repudiated it I should have as much confidence in them now as I had when they came into existence in 1932.

The acting leader of the government is in the house and for his benefit and the benefit of his colleagues I will read a letter that appeared in the press a short time ago. I have a feeling that after I have read this letter the right hon. gentleman will put his hand over his intrepid heart and with all emphasis announce, "The recess is off; we will go on with the business of the house, sitting steadily until the proposed reform measures become law."

I quote the following:

Kitchener, Jan. 14.-The following business letter regarding a mortgage recently arrived at Waterloo from a southern Saskatchewan farmer:

"Received your notice calling for payment of $6,238.92. Some figures, this amount has grown from $4,000 in 1028, our last crop. This is certainly 6ome racket. I wish I could make money as fast. Your offer of giving $2 for every dollar paid on interest arrears is a step in the right direction, but of no avail, as we have bad no crop this year to pay anything, so you can put a few more figures on for next year; they look nice, anyway. You will soon have it u:p to $10,000 on paper and on paper it

will remain unless yo.u make a real adjustment of balance and give me a definite amount to pay, not one that grows by leaps and bounds like a baby elephant."

The writer said the original loan, -when assumed by him was $6,000. He said payments miade totalled $8,355.96, "and according to notice I still owe you more than I originally did. I may be dumb, but what I would like to know is, who the h- owns the place?

Many hundreds of farmers in western Canada could justifiably write letters of a similar nature. It is evident that an immediate move is urgent.

We all regret the absence of the Prime Minister from this chamber owing to illness. There is a pall hovering over the chamber and it is of as deep a hue on this side as on the other. We are all aware of the exceptional abilities of the Prime Minister; they are in evidence every day we see him at his desk. He works hard and we all recognize that his integrity is like a fixed star-the darker the night the brighter it shines. I might appropriately apply to the Prime Minister the words which Charles James Fox employed with reference to George Washington:

The breath of censure has not dared to impeach the purity of his conduct, nor the eye of envy to raise its malignant glance to the elevation of bis virtues.

We sincere!y hope that he will be back in this chamber in a very short time because, since his absence, the government has been like a rudderless vessel on an uncharted sea.

Now Watchman, what of the night? In a few more w7eeks we will be fighting the battle of democracy. We on this side of the house are of good cheer.

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LIB

Albert Edward Munn

Liberal

Mr. A. E. MUNN (Vancouver North):

I wish to support the amendment because, coming from the Pacific coast, I naturally object to the proposed adjournment; it is not convenient for the members from British Columbia. If there were to be the ordinary aidj oumment of two or three weeks we would not mind, but we object to an adjournment of five weeks. It takes almost a week to go and a week to return and that is too long a journey for the sake of three weeks at home. It is a hardship and I am opposed to the long adjournment.

Several members on the other side of the house have discussed the lumber situation more or less. A short time ago the hon. member for Toronto-Scarborough (Mr. Harris) proposed a resolution in connection with the Ottawa agreements. In this house, during the session of 1932, I spoke opposing the treaties and I gave my reasons, from the point of view of a lumber man. I have been in the lumber

Long Adjournment-Mr. Munn

business all my life, and at that time I pointed out that we were making a mistake in connection with these agreements, because the lumber business in this country would be ruined. Let us see what our trade has been so far as lumber is concerned. In the nine years prior to 1932 we were importing from the United States, in round figures, $11,000,000 worth of lumber. That is just lumber, and does not include shingles or any of the products of wood. Most of that lumber was expensive hardwood for furniture, and our average of importations was $11,417,000 per annum. Those were our average imports for nine years. In the same period our exports of lumber to the United States averaged $40,665,000 per annum, so that we had an advantage of almost four to one.

In the 1932 session, on October 27, page 672 of Hansard, I gave figures showing our exports and imports, and at that time I went on record as being opposed to the Ottawa agreements for the reason that we were simply making trouble for ourselves and would lose a market that had been the backbone of the lumber business in Canada for all time. No one can deny that statement; it is absolutely true. I made that speech on October 27, 1932, and on November 15 I received a letter in which this statement appeared:

It seems to me this contains

"This" was a copy of the speech which I sent my correspondent, asking him for his criticism.

-more information pertinent to conditions in the lumber industry than anything yet stated in the dominion house.

In 1934 I went on record again as opposed to the agreement. On May 14 last I said:

Speaking in this chamber on October 26, 1932, I made the statement that in my opinion the lumber business in Canada would not get back to anything like normal conditions until we got back into the United States market. For years the Pacific coast states have been asking for a higher rate of duty or tax on Canadian lumber going into the United States, but until 1932 they could not get Washington to act. During 1931 and 1932 a very strong lobby movement was engineered by the Pacific coast states to raise the tariff or put a tax on Canadian lumber imports into that country, and finally the argument was advanced that through her imperial conference treaties Canada was raising her tariffs against the United States, through preferences granted to other countries. Let me quote some of the statements which were made in Washington in support of the proposed increase in the tariff or tax on Canadian lumber. The Pacific coast lobbyists made a very strong move for the imposition of extra tax, or duty, whichever you choose to call it. As evidence of the points I have made I shall read from the proceedings before the Senate finance committee on the Revenue Act of 1932.

Then I went on and quoted the evidence; it is here in Hansard of May 14, 1934, and it is not necessary to repeat it. I gave the names of the senators and others who testified before the committee in Washington. That was their argument all the way through, that British Columbia was getting a preference in the United Kingdom and at the same time was doing more business with the United States than with the United Kingdom.

Prior to the enactment of this tariff or excise tax and the granting of the ten per cent preference, there was a time when more lumber was shipped from Oregon and Washington to the United Kingdom than from British Columbia. Now of course with the ten per cent preference we have been able to get practically all the lumber business of the United Kingdom formerly held by Washington and Oregon, but in the meantime we have lost the United States market. I should like to give the figures. I am sorry the Minister of Railways (Mr. Manion) is not in his place, because I wish to show him how careless some of these statements are. I do not altogether blame these gentlemen; I think the information they get is often incorrect. For instance I have here some information that was supplied to the Prime Minister (Mr. Bennett) from H. R. Macmillan, one of our biggest lumber exporters in British Columbia; the picture is simply misleading, but one cannot blame the Prime Minister. I do blame Mr. Macmillan, who is supposed to be a lumberman, although he is not a practical lumberman; he is a lumber dealer. Presumably the Minister of Railways got his information from the same source. He said, speaking in this house on March 27 last as reported in Hansard at page 2158:

Then in regard to lumber may I say that I have before me a report from the British Columbia Lumberman, the official journal of the British Columbia lumber industry. This report is dated January, 1935, only a couple of months ago and from it I intend to quote only one sentence. They say:

"The exports of British Columbia lumber in 1934 easily beat all previous years with a total of 860,(MX),00*0 feet board measure."

That included not only exports to the United Kingdom but all exports. It continues:

"Note how gains in empire trade have more than compensated' for the loss of the United States waterborne trade. More lumber was exported to the United Kingdom alone last year than was ever shipped by water to the United States of America in any twelve monthly period."

Now, Mr. Speaker, any lumberman or any boy who knows anything about lumber knows that practically all our shipments to the United States go by rail. What, lumber would eo

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LIB

Charles Murphy

Liberal

Mr. MURPHY:

I beg the hon. member's

pardon; I heard every word he said.

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LIB

Albert Edward Munn

Liberal

Mr. MUNN:

I am very glad the minister

was interested enough to listen, because I know whereof I speak. There is an IndiaD

Long Adjournment-Mr. Munn

reservation at Pemberton. Those Indians have a very fine tract of land; all they need is a little encouragement and cooperation, but the agent very seldom goes there himself. He sends some understrapper who lords it over these poor fellows so they get no satisfaction whatever. This is a serious matter and I think something should be done to straighten it out, perhaps not in connection with the Indian department itself but in connection with the treatment of the Indians. They are entitled to fair, human treatment which they are not getting so far as my riding is concerned. Close to Vancouver we have what is known as the Squamish valley, in connection with which I have had considerable correspondence with the department, since there is quite a large Indian reserve there. I wrote the minister from Vancouver on July 25 last. I am sorry to have to put this on Hansard, but really there is only one way to do business and that is along business lines. I wrote as follows:

For your information I am enclosing a reference to the Squamish river published in the Vancouver Daily Province on the 25th instant.

I happened to he at Squamish a few days ago and went to the trouble of looking over the flood situation at that point and I have come to this conclusion, that your Indian agent is neglecting his duty. There is a lot of land in the Squamish Indian reserve being washed away, and in order to correct the situation it would only cost possibly at the outside $1,000.

Unless something is done to protect the river bank there is liable to be serious damage and my private opinion is that you should instruct your agent in charge of that reserve that you have a report with a view to protecting not only the Indian reserve land but the other lands tributary. This is really serious and should have prompt attention.

The minister acknowledged receipt of my letter on July 31, saying he had asked for a report. Then I heard nothing further until February of this year, when I wrote the minister as follows:

In July, 1934, I wrote you from Vancouver pointing out a very serious flood situation at the above mentioned river in British Columbia. At that time you acknowledged receipt of my letter and stated that you woulld have the Indian agent secure a report for you and when

it was received you would unite me again. To date I have heard no further word from you.

At that time I did not get my information in regard to conditions sitting in an arm chair in some sort of office or at some hotel. I put on old clothes and a pair of rubber boots and walked miles to personally acquaint myself with conditions and decide what should be done. I have been associated with woods operations in connection with lumber all my life, and naturally have had some experience in the handling of water in rivers.

I may say that one poor fellow lost his land and his house, and when I was there last July all he had left was the garden gate and a little piece of fence in front of his farm. To-day there is a very serious situation at that point; the property not only of the Indians but of other persons as well is being washed away, and the river is running wild. One poor fellow sends me a letter in which he complains that his fruit trees and even his poor old horse and buggy have been washed down stream. No one paid any attention; no one tried to help him out. There is a real danger at that point, where there are two rivers and the soil is very light. There is a town of perhaps five hundred people at that point, and there is danger that some day that river will take the whole town into the ocean. A very small expenditure for river bank protection would remove any possibility of danger of that kind. I do not entirely blame the Indian department, but in cooperation with the provincial government and the Pacific Great Eastern railway I believe they should do something to protect both the Indians and the white people living in the Squamish valley.

I do not want to take up too much time, Mr. Speaker, but I should like to say a word with regard to tarifis. We have heard a good deal with regard to high tariffs and low tariffs. It is no wonder that we in the west are against high tariffs because we suffer and pay because of them. I have a statement here which appeared in the Financial Post of September 1, 1934, showing the net cost and the net loss or gain from the tariff, as follows:

Benefit from Cost of Net lose or Net L or G tariff tariff gain per capita $ ? $ $Prince Edward Island.. . . .. . . 467,992 2.042,150 L 1,574,158 L 17.88.. . . 9,488,493 15,784,123 L 6.296,631 L 12.28.. . . 8.126,059 12.891,077 L 4,765,118 L 11.67.. .. 132.867,447 101.171.562 G 31,695,885 G 11.03.. .. 220,722,484 168,732.723 G 51,989,761 G 15.15. . .. 19,910,971 29.185.740 L 9,274,769 L 13.25Saskatchewan . . . 3,274,950 29.228,285 L 25.952.335 L 28.16.. .. 8,211,148 27,909,396 L 19,698,249 L 26.93British Columbia .. .. 22,378,571 37,737,247 L 15,358,676 L 22.33425.448.115 424.880.384

Long Adjournment-Mr. McKenzie

I shall not take up further the time of the house.

Now that the Prime Minister is on the way to recovery I sincerely trust his improvement will continue, that he will be able to attend the jubilee celebrations and return in fit physical condition to continue with the business of the house. Before taking my seat I would urge that instead of asking for an adjournment of five weeks the time be shortened to three weeks; surely that would be sufficient. Three weeks' time should be long enough, and at the end of that time we could proceed with the remainder of the work of the session and then return to our homes where we could do some real work.

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LIB

Robert McKenzie

Liberal

Mr. ROBERT McKENZIE (Assiniboia):

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CON

Charles Hazlitt Cahan (Secretary of State of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CAHAN:

Would the hon. member

permit me to make a statement? The preparation of his return entails the searching of many documents. Many other returns are equally voluminous. All I can say is that we have not the assistants necessary to prepare all these voluminous returns in a week or ten days.

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LIB

Robert McKenzie

Liberal

Mr. McKENZIE (Assiniboia):

If it is so

voluminous, that is all the more reason the government should resign, and not drive us into bankruptcy by employing so many additional employees at salaries of $5,000 or over.

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CON

Charles Hazlitt Cahan (Secretary of State of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CAHAN:

That is not a fair criticism.

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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Order.

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CON

Charles Hazlitt Cahan (Secretary of State of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CAHAN:

In order to obtain the information required, a search of fifty or sixty thousand names is necessary.

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LIB

Robert McKenzie

Liberal

Mr. McKENZIE (Assiniboia):

You had

five weeks to do it, and yet to-day you say it cannot be presented for some time.

Just while I am on that question of salaries, permit me to say that speaking in this house on February 26 last I made mention of the question of salaries and pensions. One of the local papers in the city of Ottawa rather took exception to what I stated then, and attempted to show that I was talking about the civil service superannuation fund. I made no reference whatever, Mr. Speaker, to the superannuation fund, and I do not think we need raise any objection to that because the civil servants pay for their superannuation themselves, and they are entitled to it. Nor did I make any reference to soldiers' pensions. But I did refer to certain other pensions, and I would ask the members of the government to turn to page 22 of the estimates of this year and state whether or not they think that the list of pensions provided in the bottom half of page 22 and on all of page 23, amounting to something over $300,000 a year in payment of pensions to exjudges, is really justified under conditions as they exist in Canada at the present time. The number increases year by year. These pensions run, very many of them, from five, six and seven thousand dollars to as much as twelve thousand dollars a year. I do object to pensions of that kind, and that is what I was referring to. These judges do not pay one dollar while in office to help pay for the pensions which they draw.

There is another thing. This government employs officials, such as the members of the tariff board, at exorbitant salaries, and after they have served a certain number of years they draw pension equal to half of their salary. One of my colleagues mentioned last night the salaries paid to the men in charge of the Bank of Canada. The governor of that bank I believe draws a salary of $30,000, his assistant $20,000, and another assistant $10,000, while the men who do the work are probably drawing from $1,200 to $3,000. That is the thing I object to, and I say that sooner or later this country must come to grips with that problem. This country cannot afford to go on paying pensions at exorbitant rates without receiving something by way of compensation for the donors. It will have to stop.

It is unfair in another respect. In the constituency that I represent in this house there are some ten or twelve lawyers living in the little towns and villages, maintaining an office and employing probably at least one stenographer at least a part of the time, paying their taxes, and doing their duty to the community as they should. Those men, in spite of the fact that they are maintaining an office and giving part time employment at least to one employee, would be pleased indeed if they thought they had $100 a month to themselves. I believe there are plenty who do not make that. Then why in the name of heaven should we pay a pension five or six times the amount that these men could earn if they were out in private practice, and give it to them for nothing whatever? It seems to me that if the country were seized of what is going on in that respect they would not stand for it any longer. I intend as long as I can to raise my voice in this house in protest against these pensions.

I do not think that the members of our tariff board, who are engaged at enormous salaries, the chairman at $15,000, and the other two members of the board at $10,000 each- they have nothing to do; they are afraid to

Long Adjournment-Mr. McKenzie

do anything; the only one judgment they handed down that would be of any benefit was appealed by the government and the decision of the board reversed, so they are there for nothing-I do not think they should, after they have served a few years, draw half their salary by way of pension without paying anything towards any pension fund. A few years ago a Liberal government established an annuities branch in the city of Ottawa, and I believe it is a very fine thing. It seems to me that these men who are drawing such enormous salaries should be able to buy their own pensions. By the payment of a few dollars they could provide a pension for themselves, and surely a man who is drawing from eight to thirty thousand dollars a year should be able to pay a few dollars into a pension fund in order to be able to provide a pension for himself.

It is also very unfair to the people who are paying the taxes of this country. I come from a part of the country where there is real hardship. I had a letter today from a lady in one of the towns of my constituency, who said that through the past winter she was drawing $9.50 a month for some work she was doing, taking care of a building in the town, and with that $9.50 a month she kept five of a family off relief. Now when people are existing under such conditions as these, why should they be called upon to pay a cent a pound on all the sugar they consume? Why should they have to pay these high taxes on tea and other necessaries in order to provide pensions of five and six and eight and ten thousand dollars a year to men who neither paid for not earned them? I say that it is very unfair indeed. This government of course will say: Oh, well, that has been going on for years, and it is not only this government that is doing it but other governments have done it as well. I realize that that is true, but conditions at the present time are such that we must not continue to do it any longer.

During the recent budget debate, supporters of the government in their speeches endeavoured in the first place to lay the blame for the loss of trade since 1930 on the previous government. Let us see to what extent that is true. I have here a statement of the trade of Canada with all countries by fiscal years, and I find that in the year 1930 our imports amounted to $1,248,273,000, and our exports in the same year amounted to $1,144,938,000. In 1934 our imports had fallen to $433,776,000, and our exports had fallen to $585,680,000.

When this government came into power our total trade was almost two and a half billion dollars. Now it has fallen below one billion dollars, but this government will try to prove that business had fallen off before they came into power.

Another thing which this government always stresses is that there was a favourable balance of trade of some $115,000,000 during the past year. Well, Mr. Speaker, I think possibly one of the reasons why our imports have fallen down to $433,776,000 is because of the action which this government took in raising the tariff as they did, which prevented goods from entering this country in the first place; and a second reason for the fall in imports is that our working men and our farmers have no income with which to buy the goods even if they were imported. That is why imports fell off to the extent they did. A favourable balance of trade does not mean very much. I would rather have the volume of trade as it was in 1930.

Certain hon. members have made the statement from time to time that Canada has come through the depression better than other countries. I would like that to be true, but when we consider how business has fallen away during the last five years, how revenues have decreased, how debts have increased and how everything possible to be taxed is taxed, how can we say that this country has come through the depression? A week or so ago there appeared in Ottawa a delegation of mayors from cities all the way from Halifax to Vancouver. I should like to repeat some of the statements made at their meetings, which I think are conclusive proof that we are far from being through this depression. It was stated that unemployment relief constitutes a national emergency. It was said that the municipalities are facing bankruptcy and that the country was in the direst distress. These mayors are close to the people and these are some of the expressions which were made at their meetings. They claimed that the depression is not less than it was, it is greater. For the first time the actual facts are now available to hon. me.me,rs. We were told that there would be no want in Canada, but there is want. These men were talking about the conditions in the cities, but how much worse it must be in the rural areas.

I do not think the government of the day has kept its finger upon the pulse of public opinion, especially when such statements as these are made. If this government puts its program into effect and appoints many more boards we will be into bankruptcy much sooner than anticipated.

Long Adjournment-Mr. McKenzie

What does the government expect that people who have not worked eight hours in any day for the last four or five years will think of legislation for an eight hour day or forty-eight- hour week? This matter took up considerable time a few weeks ago, but in my opinion the time is not opportune for such legislation. It might be all right if things were normal, but they are not. Wha-t does a man who has no work care about minimum . wages or maximum hours? All he wants is some work and he is not particular as to the number of hours. I do not think there is much need of this legislation at the present time. I expressed my opinion -of the unemployment insurance measure when it was before the house earlier in the session. I do not think the government- expects that this legislation will be ever put into force, and it will be a good thing for the country if it is not. The Prime Minister has told us that the cost will be between $6,500,000 and $7,000,000 per year.

One measure was passed by this house which I believe will prove to be of some benefit to the community I represent. I refer to the amendments to the Canadian Farm Loan Act. What is going to happen to this legislation? It passed this house over a month ago but it has not passed the senate. Is this house to adjourn for five or six weeks without this legislation receiving royal assent? I receive letters almost every day asking for information in connection with this act. People want to know when they will be able to get money under the provisions of this measure, but I have to tell them that for some reason this bill has not passed through the senate. Perhaps the government could throw some light on the rumour going about to the effect that there is .to be no money made available for the dried out areas of southern Saskatchewan, Alberta and Manitoba.

The government has given as a reason for a five or six week's adjournment that they must prepare legislation made necessary by the report of the price spreads commission. I contend that the government knows at this minute-if it does not know it can find out by inquiring from any daily newspaper in the country-what the legislation is going to be. It is intended that four or five boards will be appointed, and that is all that is to be done. Why not go ahead with the appointment of these boards and let us finish the work of the session and go home to hold an election? That is what the people want.

In conclusion I should like to put on record the particulars in connection with some tariff items which are of considerable concern to

the farming communities of this country. 1 should like to show what has been done in the way of increases in the tariff on agricultural implements. This is a very perplexing question and it will become more so as the years go by. If we have a few crops in the west we will be needing new machinery. Very little machinery has been bought during the last few years and the people have not felt the effect of these higher tariffs on agricultural implements. Some hon. members opposite, particularly those from western Canada, endeavoured to show that there is no difference between the two parties when it comes to tariff matters.

The following table shows the duty which prevailed in 1930 against different agricultural implements and that which was put into force by the present government:

1930-35

Article- Per cent Per cent

Mowers, binders, reapers,

combines

Cultivators, harrows, seed

drills, et cetera

Field growers, fodder and

feed cutters

Hay loaders, tedders, grain crushers, post hole diggers, et cetera .. ..

Incubator brooders.. ..

Threshing machine separators, fanning mills, farm wagons, sleds. . ..

Barbed wore free

Cream separators.. ..

Windmills 174

6 25

n 25

10 25

10 25

10 25

10 25

free 10

free 25

174 25

There are several other items I could mention but these are the ones in which the farmers are particularly concerned. I think this government should consider reducing these items before the farmers will be requiring new machineiry. This could be done after we come back from the Easter recess, provided the government still insists on the long recess.

I think this government should also do something about the pensions being paid and for which no contribution is made by the persons receiving them. That is a very sore spot, and I think it is a good thing for governments that the people of the country generally do not know how much is being paid out in this way. It is simply ridiculous and I hope the government will see their way clear to do something about it.

For these reasons I am opposed to a long adjournment. I do not think there is any necessity for a long adjournment to prepare the legislation that will come out of the price spreads investigation. The government must be pretty well assured of what it will do in that regard, and there is little else to detain us here. I submit that we should

Long Adjournment-Mr. Gagnon

adjourn for not more than two weeks and come back so that we may conclude the business of the session and allow the people to decide who shall govern the country for the next five years.

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CON

Onésime Gagnon

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. ONESIME GAGNON (Dorchester):

We have just listened to the twentydirst speech made by hon. gentlemen opposite on this great question of national importance as to whether we ought to adjourn for three or four weeks instead of one or two. Everyone understands that a motion of the kind that has been proposed, which is tantamount to a motion of non-confidence, cannot be moved unless the member who wishes to exercise the immemorial right of putting forward grievances before supply has some question of national importance which he intends to discuss. What is that question? I gave a summary of it a moment ago when I said that the only question at issue was whether or not it was wise or advisable to adjourn the house for four weeks instead of two weeks. But this is not the real grievance; it is rather an imaginary one, because there is no motion before the house for adjournment. It is true that the acting leader of the government (Sir George Perley) a few days ago stated that in a week or so a minister of the crown might move for an adjournment, but that motion has not yet been made; therefore I humbly submit that the whole discussion is based on a wrong principle and the procedure is unsound. However, we are living in a world of surprises and we must not be too scrupulous in regard to the procedure to be followed.

We remember that a week ago the hon. member for Labelle (Mr. Bourassa) asked leave of the house to discuss a question which was really a matter of great national importance-the menace of war which is beclouding every issue in Europe, and the probability of Canada becoming entangled in a European conflict. The house was ready to hear the hon. gentleman and everyone agreed unanimously to the principle of his motion. But if we carefully examine each of the twenty-one speeches that have been made by hon. gentlemen opposite we find that the grievances they urge are rather curious. I have made a note of some of the speeches delivered by hon. gentlemen opposite and I observe for instance that my hon. friend from Belle-chasse (Mr. Boulanger) discussed for about twenty minutes the great qualities of the secretary of the commission that investigated mass buying and price spreads, Mr. Pearson. Surely my hon. friend would not contend that this is a grievance. The hon. member for Antigonish-Guysborough (Mr. Duff) discussed the question of by-elections, and like his

colleague the hon. member for Quebec East (Mr. Lapointe) he boasted that the opposition had feathers in its cap from two byelections. Surely this is not a grievance which must be urged before supply. We have heard also the hon. member for Frontenac-Adding-ton (Mr. Campbell) and the hon. member for North York (Mr. Mulock), who spoke with eloquence and talent with regard to by-elections, enumerating the number of Conservative gentlemen who had spoken in the ridings they represent. Surely that is not a grievance to be urged before supply. All these speeches were made on the same line, but they are not real grievances of such a kind that we must stop voting the money that is needed for administration. These speeches are merely a litany of hotchpotch arguments of no serious importance. I wTould aslc hon. gentlemen opposite to meditate on a certain article which appeared in the Ottawa Citizen on July 28, 1933, in which the eminent journalist who wrote this article said:

Nothing has been more pathetic in Canada in Canadian politics since 1930 than the failure of Liberals in parliament to advance any effective alternative to the government's policy.

We can understand why hon. gentlemen make their budget speeches in this roundabout way. Yesterday the hon. member for Quebec East said that the Liberals this year had spoken only one hour and twenty minutes on the budget, and he was right in that statement. The budget was so good that the Liberals, who are prone to criticize anything coming from this side of the house, deemed it wise to discuss it only one hour and twenty minutes, but now they regret that decision and have made twenty-one speeches on the question noiw under consideration-speeches which are absolutely out of order but which suit their purposes.

I quote again from the editorial of the Ottawa Citizen of July 28, 1933:

The self-satisfied ignorance of Liberals on other issues than tariff in world politics, as on the collapse of international finance, the progressive departure of nations from the gold standard, the revolutionary experience in national planning, particularly in Russia and the United States of America, has come more to turn young people from the Liberal party into the lines of the C.C.F. than anything else.

Hon. gentlemen all conclude their speeches by praying that the Prime Minister (Mr. Bennett) may be restored to. health so that he may come back to the house. Are they sincere, when their friends and lieutenants out of the house say that the right hon. gentleman is so ill that he will never come back? But since they are so well disposed to hear compliments about my leader may

Long Adjournment-Mr. Gagnon

I quote what the Ottawa Citizen said on May 20, 1933?

However strongly an opponent may disagree with Premier Bennett on vital issues of policy -and there has been no fundamental challenge to the government this session on national policy-no one can fairly charge that personal ambition has been an actuating motive. It would rather be fair to acknowledge that Premier Bennett has retained the confidence of the Canadian people, under the devastating collapse of almost everything else in politics during the last three years, largely because he has demonstrated beyond dispute that he is prepared to sacrifice himself to Canada. No public man-

This is what the Ottawa Citizen says-a very important Liberal paper.

-has shown greater courage in adversity; no political leader has shown himself more ready to put national interests above party or personal interests.

May I humbly urge my good friend from Charlevoix^Saguenay (Mr. Casgrain), who has to do with publicity for the Liberal party, to publish some extracts from that article that appeared in the Ottawa Citizen.

Now when we analyze the speeches of our hon. friends opposite we are surprised at their arguments. Of course I am not presumptuous enough to profess to be able to analyze everything they said, but there are a few observations I should like to make, especially with regard to the speech made by the hon. member for Drummond-Arthabaska (Mr. Gi-rouard) this afternoon. He dwelt mainly on a petition which was circulated in the rural districts, which had something to do with setting the price of butter, eggs and other agricultural products. This petition dealt also with the advisability of voting a premium on the export of butter, eggs, cheese and similar commodities. I should like to show that hon. gentlemen opposite have not always been unanimous on the question of bonusing rural products and even paying a premium on their export. You will remember, Mr. Speaker, that in 1932 a very interesting debate took place in this house on a motion proposed by the hon. member for Medicine Hat (Mr. Ger-shaw). He moved a resolution on the sugar1 beet industry, as follows:

That, in the opinion of this house, the government should in cooperation with the sugar factories encourage in every reasonable way the use of sugar made from home grown raw material.

And the hon. member for Lethbridge (Mr. Stewart), who as you know is an expert on the sugar beet industry, added an amendment asking the house to refer that motion to the committee on agriculture. I had the honour of speaking to that motion, and I profited

by the opportunity to draw the attention of the house to the very important industry which flourishes in the province of Quebec, the maple sugar industry. I suggested that the hon. member for Medicine Hat should add to his motion the following words:

and encourage the production and extension of the maple sugar industry in Canada.

What was the stand taken on that by hon. gentlemen opposite? Only two spoke on it, the former member for West Elgin, now the Premier of Ontario, Mr. Hepburn, and the hon member for Prince (Mr. MacLean). Mr. Hepburn was a strong opponent of bonusing the sugar beet industry, and the present Deputy Speaker of the house (Mr. Morand) interrupted and asked him the following question :

Mr. Morand: After listening to the hon. gentleman's speech I would ask him: Is he in favour of helping the sugar industry?

Mr. Hepburn: I am opposing the motion

and the amendment thereto, absolutely.

The hon. member for Prince was also emphatic in his opposition to the policy of bonusing rural products. What has taken place since? In my remarks on that occasion I urged the government to do something for the maple sugar industry, and you may be surprised to learn that Le Soleil, the great Liberal organ of Quebec, attacked me for having dared to move in the house that some bonus be given to the maple sugar industry. I have here an extract from what was published in that paper on Monday, October 28, 1932. I shall read the article in French and translate it afterwards:

Des que les Americains vont entendre parler de eela, ils vont remonter leur barif au niveau ou il etait avant que M. Vaillancourt nous ob-tienne les concessions qu'il nous obtenait l'an dernier. C'est d'ai'lleurs le resultat qu'on ob-tient avec tous ces bonis du Gouvernement. Les aeheteurs etrangers en prennent occasion pour augmenter leur tarif centre nos produits. Le resultat est done au desavantage des cultiva-teurs.

I should like to add a few words to explain the argument made by the writer of that article. The article said that Mr. Gagnon, the member for Dorchester in the House of Commons, and other members, have recommended that a bonus be given to the sugar beet industry or the maple sugar industry. Le Soleil said: This principle is wrong,

because Mr. Vaillancourt; who in Quebec is the head of the cooperative maple sugar producers, has met with serious obstacles in the United States because it was shown before the American congress that the Quebec government was helping the sugar industry, and when the Americans knew that, they raised

Long Adjournment-Mr. Gagnon

their tariff on sugar; therefore, the writer added, Mr. Vaillancourt was obliged to go to the United States and make representations to show that the farmers ought to be helped. This is why the writer in Le Soleil added the words I have just quoted a moment ago, and which I am going to translate into English:

As soon as the Americans hear about that they will raise their tariff to the level where it was when Mr. Vaillancourt obtained the concessions which he secured last year. Futher-more it is the usual result that we get when with all these subsidies supplied by the government to purchasers from abroad the producers from abroad take advantage of that to raise their tariffs against our products. Therefore it follows that the result is disastrous to the farmers.

I was blamed, and hon. gentlemen on the other side of the house were blamed by Le Soleil, the Liberal organ of Quebec, because we had advocated the giving of a bonus to the maple sugar industry. But now the hon. member for Drummond-Arthabaska is having petitions circulated in our counties asking this government to give a bonus on butter, cheese and eggs. When I received that petition I was rather curious to find out if the great union of farmers of Quebec, which has more than ten thousand members, had approved of that step, so I wrote to the secretary and I shall read to you the letter which I received:

L'Union catholique des cultivateurs de la province de Quebec, Inc.

Head office and general secretary's office: 5505 St. Lawrence Boulevard

Montreal, February 19, 1935. Mr. Onesime Gagnon,

House of Commons,

Ottawa.

Dear Sir:

I made an inquiry about the petition you are mentioning in your letter. Some farmers had started preparing a petition to be sent to Mr. Taschereau. Mr. Wilfrid Girouard, member for Drummond-Arthabaska, told them: You should rather send a petition to Mr. Bennett requesting him to raise the price of farm products. He gave $15 out of his own pocket or from the party fund's to pay for the printing of that petition. The U.C.C. has nothing to do with it. We know that the price of butter and specially the price of cheese depends on the world market which in turn depends on supply and demand.

The best method to secure a fair return for farm products would be to organize their marketing through the Marketing Board. But the very people who are asking Mr. Bennett to fix the price of farm products on the world market refuse to avail themselves of the Marketing Board.

Believe me, hon. Sir,

Yours very truly,

Albert Rioux,

President.

Now, Mr. Speaker, this gentleman is right. He says that the farmers of Quebec ought to take advantage of the Natural Products Marketing Act which was passed by this government last year. Everyone in this house and in Quebec knows that at first Mr. Taschereau was opposed to the marketing act but the pressure of public opinion was so strong that a few days ago we heard that Mr. Godbout, the provincial minister of agriculture, had consented that the producers of potatoes in Quebec should come under the eastern potato marketing scheme. I have here a letter which was sent to me by Mr. L. S. Burrows, the chairman of the eastern Canada potato marketing scheme. I think it is worth while to put it on Hansard:

Following your request for information regarding the comparative prices being paid for potatoes to the farmers in the area under the regulation of this board, that is Ontario, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia, on January 31, 1935, and February 28, 1935, I wired to our various offices and secured the following information:

Ontario-

(Per 90-lb. bag) Jan, 31 Feb. 28Orangeville. . .. . . 17c. 35c.-40c.Alliston . . 15c. 35c.Uxbridge .. 15c.-17c. 35c.-40e.New Brunswick- (Per 165 lbs.) Woodstock.. .. .. 17c.-20c. 40c.Har bland . . 17c.-20c. 45c.Perth . . 17c.-20c. 35c .-40 c.Grand Fa Ids. . . . .. 17c.-20c. 40e.-45c.

Prince Edward Island- (Per bushel)

Four largest dealers

report paying.. .. 8c.-10c. 13c.-14e.

Nova Scotia-

Barrels for export (in-

eluding the barrels) 75c. $1 0090-lb bags 22c. 30 c.

Mr. Burrows adds:

The eastern Canada potato marketing board while authorized on January 18, 1935, did not begin active operation until February 1st. I think you will agree directly due to the operations of this board the price which the farmer is receiving for his potatoes is showing a very strong increase.

I am also glad to advise you that the movement has remained normal in spite of the materially increased price.

These figures show in a very convincing manner that the farmers of the province of Quebec ought to follow the example of the farmers of other provinces and enjoy the benefits of the provisions of the marketing act. I think the provincial minister of agriculture was well advised to encourage this eastern Canada potato marketing board. I heard today also that the jam manufacturers of Quebec have decided to join the producers in Ontario and come under the provisions of the market-

__________Long Adjournment-Mr. Gagnon

ing act. If the butter and egg producers decide to do likewise, they will certainly derive great benefits which will be extremely advantageous to them.

Before taking my seat I should like to d'well for a moment on a subject raised by my hon. friend from Quebec East. As one of the subjects which he thought should be discussed before going into committee, he raised the famous question of decorations, honours and titles in Canada. I was really amazed to hear the hon. gentleman raise that' question a second time, because everyone knows that in the province of Quebec there is an annual shower of decorations on the members of the Liberal party. Therefore, I am at a loss to understand why my hon. friend from Quebec East, who is one of the leaders of his party, should be scandalized if the King of England deems it wise to grant decorations to English speaking people in Canada. In the province of Quebec almost every Liberal provincial minister and deputy minister has received decorations from the republic of France, the King of Belgium and His Holiness the Pope. I have no objection to that; on the contrary, I am very happy that hon. gentlemen opposite may have done something to entitle them to decorations, but I would ask them to be more consistent and not to vote against decorations in this house while they are pleased to have their friends in Quebec benefit by this shower of decorations to which I referred a moment ago.

The hon. member referred to the Nickle resolution of 1918 with respect to titles. It is true that the hon. member for Quebec East supported that resolution, but every child who has begun the study of constitutional law recognizes that a mere resolution voted by only one house cannot bind parliament. This resolution never received the support of the Senate or the governor general, and, therefore, it never bound parliament. But why did my hon. friend support the Nickle resolution while at the same time he approved of that shower of decorations falling from the republic of France on the provincial ministers of Quebec, and even on some hon. gentlemen who sit on the other side of this house? I may say frankly that when the right hon. leader of the opposition (Mr. Mackenzie King) moved a resolution against titles, I was scandalized to see the hon. member for St. James (Mr. Rinfret) rise in his place and vote against honours and decorations in this country. That hon. gentleman wears in his buttonhole the rosette of the Legion of Honour, which has been awarded to him, quite properly, by the republic of France. Why should he vote

against decorations? Why should he seek to prevent Englishmen from receiving decorations from the King of England when hon. gentlemen opposite are so alluring to the government of France that they receive decorations by the tens and hundreds in a year?

The hon. member for Quebec East said that the practice of giving decorations was obnoxious and abhorrent to the people of Canada. I was surprised to learn that this practice was abhorrent to the Premier of Quebec, who has received at least five or six decorations from foreign countries and who, just this year, received the Grand Cross of the Legion of Honour, for which I am pleased to congratulate him. Just to show how easy it is for gentlemen to get decorations in Quebec, there is a Liberal chief in that province who is a bailiff of the superior court. He has received five decorations, one from the King of Belgium, one from the republic of Argentina, of which he has been consul, one from the republic of France, one from His Holiness the Pope and one from the King of Montenegro, because several years ago he was consul for that country also. When hon. gentlemen opposite are so enraptured with these much coveted decorations why should they object to gentlemen in other provinces receiving decorations which are merely a recognition of the services they have rendered their king and country? I think hon. members opposite from the province of Quebec ought to be ashamed of themselves for being so inconsistent in regard to this question.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Order.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
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CON

Onésime Gagnon

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GAGNON:

They will probably ask

for a decoration for keeping order in the house.

The hon. member for Quebec East has also proposed that a referendum should be taken on this question of titles. If we are to have a referendum on every secondary question that may be raised, where should we stop? Why should we not have a referendum on the advisability of removing the tax on liquor or on the advisability of awarding the title of king's counsel? Where should we stop? Why should not hon. members opposite move for a referendum asking the people what they think of the policy initiated by Mr. Hepburn within the last few days which will cause the bondholders of the province of Quebec to lose $40,000,000, according to what Mr. Taschereau said at Quebec just last week? Hon. gentlemen opposite ought not to be so insistent on referendums. By breaking the pledges they made in 1919; by their utter

Long Adjournment-Mr. Rinjret

disregard of principles; by their obnoxious and unscrupulous methods; by their utter disregard of ethics and conventions they have corrupted the wells of public opinion.

In concluding my remarks, Mr. Speaker, because I understand that a vote is to be taken in a few moments, may I say that I am not afraid to place, myself on record as being in favour of decorations. That is not because I expect to get one; in the province of Quebec no Conservative would dare hope for a decoration of this kind, but I am in favour of the principle. I think if bon. gentlemen opposite are so keen on receiving decorations from foreign countries they should not try to prevent Conservatives or even Liberals in other provinces from receiving decorations from their king. The motion of the hon. member for Quebec East is not serious; it is not declarative of any principle ; it is merely a motion to delay the work of this house, and therefore I will vote against it.

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LIB

Louis Édouard Fernand Rinfret

Liberal

Hon. FERNAND RINFRET (St. James):

Mr. Speaker, before taking the vote I should like to say only a few words on the debate generally and to refer briefly to some of the remarks we have just heard. The first observation of the hon. member who immediately preceded me (Mr. *Gagnon) was to the effect that we have not a real grievance, that the amendment moved by the hon. member for Quebec East (Mr. Lapointe) did not express a grievance and therefore should not have been moved. I will say that if we were dealing with a motion for adjournment the objection taken by the hon. member might have some weight. May I point out, however, that the real grievance lies not so much in the proposal of the government to adjourn the house for an extended period as in the fact that the adjournment is merely adding to a sequence of political acts through which this government month after month has been delaying what the public has demanded, namely a general election.

If the government had followed tradition the results would have been suicidal, I admit, but we would have had elections last fall. But instead of having the elections, the government, realizing it did not have a ghost of a chance to survive public opinion, made an heroic but futile effort to divert the attention of the Canadian electors to the program of reform that came into existence with the new year and was diffused throughout the country through the medium of radio speeches. Instead of appealing to the country on its record of four and a half years, a procedure which would have been

according to tradition, we were confronted with a new program backed by practically a new government. As the Prime Minister (Mr. Bennett) put it at the time, we were to become the .Conservative party and they were the new Liberal party with the new program of reform.

Parliament met, and it was quite evident that had we opposed the reform program we would have been branded immediately as a reactionary party and one opposed to all progress. Immediately upon the commencement of the session we did everything by omission and commission to assist the government in putting through the reform program as quickly as possible. However we were confronted with delays-this bill would not be ready; that bill would not be ready; that resolution was not ready; this resolution was not ready; that minister was not feeling well on a particular day and would not be able to introduce his measure; this minister was not feeling well, and so on- and from week to week we have been waiting. Then came the budget, when we witnessed the extraordinary performance of a government and its supporters day after day obstructing their own budget. That, Mr. Speaker, is our grievance.

Now that we are willing to put through additional reforms, if there are any-not because we think they are so very good, but just to make sure that this government is forced to the country on its record and not on a program newly adopted at the last moment-we are met with another proposal. Not only are we not to go on with the reforms, and not only are we to be given the opportunity not to oppose them, if I may put it that way, but we are going to adjourn for six weeks. That is the grievance, Mr. Speaker. This proposal is part of the sequence of political acts whereby the government have postponed a general election, notwithstanding the fact that throughout the country there has been a general demand for it. They have delayed the elections to suit their own convenience and their own comfort, and to prolong for a few months the pleasure they have in holding office when nobody wants them there but themselves. They hold office without the least regard for public opinion or for the rights of the people. That is our grievance.

We want to be here to discuss whatever the government may have to offer as ante mortem testimony, and then we desire to proceed to a general election. We may win or we may lose-X think we will win.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   OBJECTION TO PROLONGED ADJOURNMENT EXPRESSED IN AMENDMENT TO MOTION FOR COMMITTEE
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CON

Alfred Duranleau (Minister of Marine)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DURANLEAU:

You will lose.

___________Long Adjournment-Mr. Rinjret

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   OBJECTION TO PROLONGED ADJOURNMENT EXPRESSED IN AMENDMENT TO MOTION FOR COMMITTEE
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LIB

Louis Édouard Fernand Rinfret

Liberal

Mr. RINFRET:

The country wants a new government, a stable government. It does not want a moribund government hanging to power by the tips of its fingers. It does not want a government which, had it paid the least attention to the desire of the people as expressed in by-elections, would not now be in office.

Many references have been made to the byelections. The statement has been made that if we take the whole record of the five years the government has held power, it has lost only one or two seats. I have not taken the trouble to ascertain whether or not that statement is correct. But this I do know: You must not go back to the by-elections held about five years ago if you wish to obtain accurate information. It is only natural that when a government has just been elected the first by-election will turn in its favour. This government in that respect has been treated as other governments have been treated. They won an election in Three Rivers about a year after they had been in power. On the strength of the promises made during the general campaign and repeated in the by-election campaigns they won a few by-elections in the first years in which they held office. But let us look back at the last two years. What do we find? They lost three by-elections in 1933; they lost four out of five in 1934, and they have only a little Church left-and we are not even sure it is perfectly orthodox.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   OBJECTION TO PROLONGED ADJOURNMENT EXPRESSED IN AMENDMENT TO MOTION FOR COMMITTEE
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CON

Joseph Léonard Duguay

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DUGUAY:

The hon. member did not have-

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   OBJECTION TO PROLONGED ADJOURNMENT EXPRESSED IN AMENDMENT TO MOTION FOR COMMITTEE
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April 9, 1935