February 3, 1938

LIB

Charles Avery Dunning (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. DUNNING:

It is not quite 13 per

cent.

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LIB

John Gordon Ross

Liberal

Mr. ROSS (Moose Jaw):

You are taking

in all the free items.

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LIB

Charles Avery Dunning (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. DUNNING:

Of course.

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LIB

John Gordon Ross

Liberal

Mr. ROSS (Moose Jaw):

The average tariff I am referring to is that given by the Minister of Labour (Mr. Rogers) to the Jones commission. That was the average tariff on dutiable goods.

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LIB

Charles Avery Dunning (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. DUNNING:

For what year?

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LIB

John Gordon Ross

Liberal

Mr. ROSS (Moose Jaw):

1931. The Minister of Labour made a report to the Jones commission sitting in Nova Scotia which showed that the average ad valorem duty at that time was 26 per cent. He has been criticized for giving that figure. It has been said that the figure was too high, but my criticism is that it was much too low.

The consumer in Canada is more affected by the tariff on finished articles than by anything else. He is more affected by the tariff on goods manufactured or produced in Canada. and after all that is the high tariff. The

26 per cent that the minister used at that time was got by taking the average tariff on all imported goods, many of which were imported by manufacturers for further processing, and many of which were lower tariff goods because they were not competing with goods produced in Canada.

Again, in the very high tariff brackets, there is much less volume of trade on account of the height of the tariff. That again makes a difference in your average. Of course, if you had a tariff that was altogether prohibitive, it would not enter into the picture at all. Therefore I say that the rate of 26 per cent as used at that time by the Minister of Labour was a low, and not a high, figure. It is therefore fair to say that the people of this country paid at that time an average of 26 per cent more, by reason of the tariff, for the goods that they purchased. The figure may be lower now, and for the purposes of my argument I will take the figure of 20 per cent, instead of 25 per cent. Then what do we find? The salaried people, the people in the primary industries, and the wage earners of this country are paying 20 per cent more for the goods that they purchase than they would pay if it were not for that protective system.

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CON

Alexander McKay Edwards

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. EDWARDS:

Where would they get the money to pay for them?

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LIB

Malcolm McLean

Liberal

Mr. McLEAN (Melfort):

You do not pay for goods with money.

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LIB

John Gordon Ross

Liberal

Mr. ROSS (Moose Jaw):

I am not going to be diverted from my argument, but I shall be glad to answer any questions my hon. friend wishes to ask after I have finished my speech.

Take the figure of 20 per cent as the average tariff. What does that mean? It means for the farmer growing wheat on the western plains, which gives him the money to buy the goods he needs to purchase, that he has to give one load out of every five in order to bolster up some of the secondary industries of this country through the protective tariff system; or one head of cattle out of every five, one head of sheep, one head of hogs out of every five. The farmer's wife, when she gathers five dozen eggs, turns over one dozen to the protectionists, and one pound of butter out of every five that she churns. The fisherman on our coasts or on the lakes is in the same position. He makes a donation of one-fifth of his catch to carry the protected industries in this countiy. The logger and the lumberman can figure that every fifth blow of his axe, or every fifth cut

138 COMMONS

The Address-Mr. Ross (Moose Jaw)

of his saw, is his contribution to the protected industries. The miner working down in the dark can ponder the fact that every fifth ton of coal he raises is his contribution to Canadian protected industries. It matters not where you go in Canada, you will find that this protective system is taking one-fifth from the doctor, from the lawyer, from the street-car conductor, from the bus driver, from the stenographer, and from every wage earner. That is what they have to pay to carry the secondary industries that are supported by the protective tariff system.

It is said that the tariff is the mother of trusts and monopolies, and I believe that is true. You will find that our people say it is very difficult to deal with monopolies. It is. But at least we can stop protecting them and giving them more control.

When the Minister of Finance (Mr. Dunning) next makes a submission to the tariff board, let me suggest that he ask them to find out at what rate of duty the government can raise the greatest amount of money for their purposes. I do not believe that a submission on that basis has ever been made to the tariff board. Let the tariff board determine the amount of money that it is costing the people of Canada to raise the 883,000,000 that was received in tariff taxation last year. Let the tariff board find out the exact extent of the cost to the people of Canada of carrying uneconomic secondary industries. They can do it, and we ought to have some figures on these questions at this time. The protective tariff has fostered in this country secondary industries many of which are inefficient and unnatural to our economy, and this has placed a heavy burden upon our primary producers.

In Canada to-day we have four geographical divisions: the maritime provinces, comprising Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick; Ontario and Quebec, which we in the west ordinarily call eastern Canada; the three prairie provinces, which are ordinarily called western Canada, and British Columbia.

That part of Canada lying east of the great lakes, this central part, has fine agricultural land; it has in large part a wonderful climate; it has great waterpowers for the development of electrical energy; it has lakes, canals and rivers, furnishing cheap transportation for imports and exports to and from world markets.

That part of Canada comprising the three prairie provinces extending from the eastern boundary of Manitoba to the western boundary of Alberta, is a large plain or prairie country admirably suited to the raising of small grains and live stock. We have there,

as you have in eastern Canada, lumbering, fishing, mining and agriculture as our primary industries. But we have no lakes or rivers or canals for cheap transportation. We have little electrical energy. We have a severe climate, and we can grow only some of the things that we need to use. Our costs of transportation are high and our rail hauls are long. In western Canada we can manufacture or process only those natural products which it is cheaper to process there than to carry an added weight of raw material to a more favourable position for manufacturing, because we have to travel over such long and costly transportation routes. Therefore there is little chance of building in the three prairie provinces any great manufacturing industry. A protective tariff can help them in no way. On the contrary, it increases the cost of production of every one of our primary industries. In western Canada to-day we have come to this position, that we must cut our production costs or quit. We cannot go on paying an added amount of twenty or twenty-five per cent, for which we get nothing in return, and be able to make a living, much less a profit.

I came to this house in 1925, almost thirteen years ago. I have consistently and persistently endeavoured to have tariffs in this country lowered. I have finally come to the conclusion that no matter what party is in power we can never get a tariff that will be satisfactory both to the three prairie provinces and to the rest of Canada. If it is low enough to suit the prairie provinces it will be too low for the rest of Canada; if it is high enough to suit the rest of Canada it will be too high for us to be able to carry on in our western country. Having come to this conclusion, let me say that I am just as sincere now in advocating what I am about to advocate as I have been with regard to the tariff in past years. I do not believe that we in the west can carry on under the present protective tariff system. I do not believe we have the right to place obstacles in the way of any other part of this country. If the people elsewhere in Canada believe that it is best for their economy to have a protective tariff system, by all means let them have it. I say you have a right to your opinion, you have a right to that policy, but for your own part of the country, not for mine. If we have come to the place where advantages to one part of Canada become a great disadvantage to another part, there must be some way of straightening out that situation. Nobody here will deny that, as a free trade area, western Canada would develop greatly, it would prosper and grow, and would thereby help to develop the whole dominion. I admit we

The Address-Mrs. Black

have no right to try to prevent the rest of Canada from having a protective tariff provided they think that that is best for their economy, but I am just as emphatic in saying that they have no right to place in the way of our part of the country obstacles on account of which we cannot carry on and prosper.

There has been in Canada a lot of talk of secession. In parts, there has been more thought than talk. The protective tariff has driven a wedge into confederation. I do not know how long it will take, but sooner or later a split will come. I am not advocating it. I am endeavouring to save Canada from it. Is it just or fair that parts of this dominion that are endowed by providence with a much more equable climate, that can raise many fruits and vegetables which in our severe climate cannot be grown at all, should, endowed as they are with this boon, ask us to contribute further in their behalf? Is it just or fair that the people occupying a territory within the dominion where transportation costs are low, where electrical energy can be freely developed, where there are many natural advantages, should be allowed to take a heavy tribute from their less fortunate brothers in this confederation?

I repeat that the protective tariff system placed upon this country by parliament has been a great detriment to the three prairie provinces. They cannot carry on under a system such as we have to-day; and here and now I say, for the people of western Canada, that we demand fair play within this confederation. We are a British people, and no British people have long remained inside a country and stood for what we are standing for to-day. We demand justice. We demand a free trade area in the three western provinces of Canada.

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IND

Martha Louise Black

Independent Conservative

Mrs. MARTHA LOUISE BLACK (Yukon):

While congratulating the hon. members who moved and seconded the address in reply to the speech from the throne, I have wondered if they realized the compliment that their government has paid them. It is somewhat over thirty-five years ago that a former hon. member of this house told me he had been selected by the then Mr. Wilfrid Laurier, leader of the Liberal party, to move the address in reply to the speech from the throne. This young man, afterwards a commissioner in the Yukon territory, was at that time only twenty-one years of age. It was a privilege and a compliment that he will pass down to his children and grandchildren.

I have listened with a great deal of attention to the previous speaker. The hon. member

lived in the Yukon in the very early years of his life. I thought, as I listened to his statement on the conditions of the middle prairie provinces, that he was either very brave or very foolhardy. Time will tell which.

We in the Yukon have perhaps fewer problems than the majority of people in Canada. We have fewer desires; our main desire, our chief wish, is to be let alone. That we seem to have gained in some small measure. We would ask the government, however, for consideration of old age pensions. Men and women living in the Yukon territory work for their living or they starve; as long as they are able to work they work. Young and old alike, they feel that if they have the strength and ability they must work rather than accept help from the government or from individuals. But when old age comes on or ill health strikes them, then they do ask that the government help them. Twenty dollars a month is given in the Yukon. It is given more in the form of a dole than as an old age pension, and our people there who are obliged to accept it find fault with the way in which it is passed out. There are many Yukoners who have lived there since 1896, 1897 and 1898, who are now too old or too poor in health to work. They would like to go to the coast to live. That is impossible; no matter how long they have lived in the Yukon or how hard they may have worked or no matter how diligently they may have helped in building up the mining industry in that country, if they leave the Yukon the government does not. give them that paltry sum of S20 a month. While I realize that the Minister of Finance (Mr. Dunning) has burdens which he sometimes thinks are almost too heavy to bear, I should like him, if he has an odd moment to spare now and then, to consider what $20 a month would mean to the Yukoners who would like to finish their days on the coast. The increase in population is very small. We had from March 1936 to March 1937 eighty-eight deaths, largely of men and a few women who had been in the Yukon since the very early days, who had worked there and lived and died in the country they had grown to love.

Recently there has been considerable talk about air mail in the north. I heard a Vancouver man, a friend of the Minister of National Defence (Mr. Mackenzie), say that Vancouver had finally awakened and emerged from the tomb when the people there asked that an air mail service be established from Vancouver to the north. It was only a few short days ago that the first trip was made from Vancouver into Dawson, Yukon. The

The Address-Mrs. Black

ship was piloted by W. S. Holland, a very well known pilot. The only passenger was the president of Northern Airways who owned the plane-George Simmons. On the way to the Yukon they stopped at Ashcroft, Bums Lake, Telegraph Creek, Atlin, Carcross, Mayo and finally Dawson. The trip was made with these stop-overs, in winter weather, in wind and storm, in less than forty-eight hours.

This is the logical air route from Vancouver and the coast cities; for over ninety per cent of the mail and freight going into the Yukon goes via Vancouver. Why not send it by that route as far as we possibly can to help to build up the coast city of Vancouver? When men or women, in the fall, wish for a surcease from the cold weather, they wish to spend their winter holidays either in Vancouver or in Victoria or some other city on the coast; and when one reads in the newspapers of the temperatures in the prairie provinces one wonders-"Coming from the Yukon, why go to Edmonton?"

The tourist traffic is a matter of vital importance to us. The local government does comparatively little to build it up, but what it can do, it does. The one transportation company there does its very best in every possible way, but it is hampered every season by changing river conditions. Every time the ice goes out, every time there is high water, there are new river beds both in the Yukon and in the Stewart and the Mayo rivers, ft is impossible for new pilots to come in and carry on as the old pilots have done. A year ago last summer we lost two of the finest vessels in the fleet. This summer we were fortunate, both in regard to steamers and in the air. In fact, not one of the three concerns in the Yukon, owning the fleet of ships we have now, has ever suffered a fatal accident, which I think is probably a record for most enterprises of this kind.

I have seen in the newspapers recently, and have heard considerable talk, about the increase in the radio licence fee. This pronouncement of mine may not be very favourably received by either friends or enemies, but I do not think that S2.50 is too much to ask.

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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Hear, hear.

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IND

Martha Louise Black

Independent Conservative

Mrs. BLACK:

I would rather have the

applause come from this side, but I think I hear someone say I won't get it. However, we in the north want better music; we want better broadcasts; and if the labourer is worthy of his hire, surely we can afford to pay that S2.50, with all due apologies to others.

The territory of Alaska is beating us in one respect; I refer to the care of game. At present we have no bounty on wolves, nor have we had for a number of years past. The territory of Alaska has a large bounty. We want all the tourist trade we can get, not only the ordinary visitor who may come in-and we had over 4,000 last year-but the big game hunter as well. They are the people who bring the money. The big game hunter coming into the Yukon and going into the Kluane and other districts never spends less than from $5,000 to $10,000, and that money is largely spent locally. We feel, therefore, that not only the local government but conservation committees and the federal government should consider ways and means of protecting our game by paying bounties both on wolves, which are a horrible menace to larger game, and coyotes, which are a menace to birds. Only three or four years ago bands of wolves attacked great herds of caribou, and my husband saw hundreds of caribou lying dead on the ground. They had been killed by wolves. The wolves do not eat the carcass; they sever the jugular vein, drink the blood, eat the entrails, and the carcass is left to rot. Our game will not last forever and we should endeavour to protect it.

Speaking of game naturally brings me to the fisheries and the fur trade. When I went to that country thirty-five or forty years ago I saw small creeks when the salmon were coming up the Yukon river to spawn, and I saw these creek beds so filled with salmon that one could almost walk across. Now, however, whether it is owing to the wheels and the traps that are used by the Indians on the lower river, or whether it is due to the canneries that are operated in the open water by the Japanese, our fisheries have gone down rapidly. A few years ago the value of our production reached about $70,000, while in 1936 it amounted to only $14,000. That is bad for the country and bad for the natives, who depend upon the wild game and fish for their food.

There is some talk, of course, among far westerners in regard to the Japanese question. It is a matter that must be approached very delicately but, as I have read my history, Holland, followed by Portugal, Spain, France, Great Britain and finally the United States, went into the orient following the cannon. They did not want us, and now I am just wondering if we are not reaping what we have sown. Perhaps it is not so easy for us to

The Address-Mrs. Black

think that we have to suffer for what our forefathers did, but if we have that feeling we had better think of what those who are coming after us may have to suffer because of our actions in many ways. I believe it was a member of the British House of Commons who, while making a speech, said they must do a certain thing for the sake of posterity. He was immediately followed by another member who threw up his hands and asked, "After all, what has posterity ever done for us?"

In the north our exports consist principally of minerals and some furs. The Yukon produces 1-8 per cent of the fur pelts that are placed on the market in Canada, so that our production of fur does not amount to very much. We do send out gold, silver, lead, coal and a very small amount of petroleum. The present high price of gold, silver and lead, is what has saved the Yukon mines. The Yukon Consolidated Company in the Dawson district employs about six hundred men. The Treadwell Mining Company, in the Mayo district, employs perhaps four hundred men. If those mines were closed down the Yukon would be almost on its uppers. Mining is carried on now in mines that had been abandoned because of the low price of gold. A few years ago $16 was the average price received, but now with gold at over $30 it is possible to work property that could not be operated a few years ago.

I should like to congratulate the Minister of Finance (Mr. Dunning), if I may, on the new silver coins. The ten cent piece and the twenty^five cent piece, or the two-bit piece, as we call it in the north, are artistic and beautiful, but I have yet to see a coronation silver dollar. I have asked for one at five different banks and the answer has been, "We have none." We all know that British Columbia and the Yukon depend on silver production to a large extent. How easy it would be to help those miners in some degree. I do not know that it would be possible for a government to order a bank to give so many silver dollars when a person gets a certain amount of money, but if that were possible it would help us. If we were patriotic enough to think not only of the farmers of whom the hon. member for Moose Jaw (Mr. Ross) spoke, but also of those silver miners, when we go to a bank to cash a cheque for $25 we might ask for five silver dollars. I believe our silver dollars are not large enough to be called cart-wheels. They are not awkward to carry, at least so I have been told, though as I say I have yet to see a coronation silver dollar and-of course I was in the

north-not until about five months after the jubilee did I see a jubilee silver dollar, when one was very kindly sent to me.

I see on the order paper a notice of motion by the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) regarding the appointment of a deputy chairman of committees. I feel very keenly about this question. As many hon. members know, I was intimately associated with a former Speaker. His deputy was an invalid during the four years that he served. I have kept a diary for over forty years, so I am very sure of my ground when I make the statement that the deputy was not in his seat for more than twelve days during any one of those four sessions. The Speaker had to ask members of his party to take the chair, and there are many hon. gentlemen here who helped out that Speaker. It is a difficult task to sit in the chair and listen to the talk of 245 members, day in and day out. If I may 'be allowed to say so, my sympathy is always with the Speaker, especially when I am speaking, and I should like to see a deputy chairman appointed and paid, because the workman is always worthy of his hire.

Foreign goods entering the Yukon come directly through Vancouver. Every cent of customs and excise is paid in Vancouver, to the federal government. Last year $160,000 was paid into the federal treasury, through the port of Vancouver, on goods sent in to the Yukon. There is no telling how much duty was paid on goods coming from other parts of Canada, but in any case I think the Yukon has been a pretty fat plum for the province of British Columbia. The telegraph system in northern British Columbia has always been charged to the Yukon. That is not right; it should not be done. The Yukon has been a very happy hunting ground for that province. According to the Handbook of Canada for 1938, which contains a summary of the value of production in Canada according to provinces, the value of production of British Columbia is given as $187,087,995. There is a note at the bottom of that statement which says, "This includes the Yukon." The per capita net commodity production of Ontario for 1935 is given as almost $286; British Columbia produced about $250 for each citizen-and as I said before that includes the Yukon-while poor little old Alberta, whose hardships we have been hearing about for years, had a per capita net commodity production amounting to $203. I am rather losing my sympathy for those Alberta people. In 1935 the Yukon produced $1,263,567 in gold; $90,165 in silver; $7,250 in lead; $3,483

The Address-Mrs. Black

in coal; $25,575 in oil, and $230,070 in furs, making a total of $1,620,114. We have a population of less than 5,000 men, women and children, but for the purposes of computation I shall place the population at 5,000. If we divide $1,620,114 by 5,000 we have a per capita net production of $340. I do not think the Yukon has much to be ashamed of.

There is considerable shipping industry in the Yukon. There is this difference, however, that the money spent for the maintenance of lights and buoys in other places [DOT]is not spent with us; the companies spend their own money.

I am sick and tired of the whispering I can aear with respect to the great expense the Yukon is to the federal government. If the truth were known, and if hon. members on both sides of the house would study the question, they would find that for years the Yukon has pap-fed the federal treasury. Of course there have been some injustices in the Yukon, owing to the change in the political complexion of parties in power. Those changes are to be expected. The Conservatives come in and harass the Liberals; the Liberals in *turn come in and harass the Conservatives. That always happens. Perhaps I believe, as much as anybody else, that to the victor belongs the spoils. Possibly it is too bad that that is so, but until we sprout not our wings but our pin feathers, it will last.

I must say however that I do deprecate conditions in the Yukon which have arisen because of personal animosities. I do not like to speak of these things, because at my age I am not looking for trouble. I want life to be as pleasant and easy as it can be, not only for myself but for everyone else. But I firmly believe the time will come when those of us here and those in the government at home will reap as we sow. If we are unjust, if we are unchristian and dishonest, we will reap exactly as we sow.

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SC

John Charles Landeryou

Social Credit

Mr. J. C. LANDERYOU (Calgary East):

Mr. Speaker, the speech from the throne contains reference to the coronation in the month of May of Their Majesties King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, an event of special significance to the nations of the British commonwealth. We find, too, in the speech from the throne a review of the progress made along certain lines during the past year. We are reminded 'that the royal commissions which have concluded their duties will submit their reports. It indicates what legislation will be brought down during the present session.

Then, the following paragraph appears:

Cooperation of the provinces will be sought with a view to an amendment of the British North America Act, which would empower the parliament of Canada to enact forthwith a national scheme of unemployment insurance. My ministers hope the proposal may meet with early approval in order that unemployment insurance legislation may be enacted during the present session of parliament.

We are in favour of any legislation which will improve the economic conditions of the working man in Canada. We are in favour of legislation designed to give a greater measure of economic security to our working population. However, we will have to wait until the bill is brought down before we can arrive at a proper understanding of the government's proposals.

It must be' pointed out that certain provinces of Canada are not prepared to relinquish any of their power to the federal parliament. There are forces in the country which are attempting to centralize power in the parliament of Canada. For a number of reasons we are absolutely opposed to this, because we believe if it is done grave disturbances would be the result and confederation itself would collapse. If power were centralized in the federal parliament we would have a few men forming a cabinet, with powers almost as great as those exercised by Mussolini and Hitler. True, a measure of control would be exercised by other hon. members, but it is well to remember and to consider the fact that more than sixty per cent of the voting strength in the house is controlled by members from Ontario and Quebec. In fact, Liberal members from those provinces outnumber the members of all parties from western Canada.

Practically all our great financial and industrial institutions have their headquarters in Quebec or Ontario. The interests of those provinces are not the same as those of the western or maritime provinces. Certain policies of trade and tariff have increased the prosperity of Ontario and Quebec to a greater extent and sometimes to the cost of other parts of Canada.

When engaged in an investigation in eastern Canada on the effects of tariff the Minister of Labour (Mr. Rogers) brought to light the fact that the enhancement of prices due to tariff costs in western Canada amounted in one year to approximately $124,000,000. The following table will serve as a comparison of the tariff costs and tariff benefits in the three western provinces:

Tariff costs Tariff benefits to the people to the people

Manitoba $29,185,740 $19,910,971Saskatchewan. .. 29,288,285 3,275,850Alberta

27,909,396 8,211,148

*

The Address-Mr. Landeryou

While the west paid millions in tariff costs, Quebec gained $31,685,885 and Ontario gained $51,989,761. The west has suffered from the great disequilibrium in prices as between the manufactured goods of eastern Canada and the primary products of western Canada, as well as from high interest and freight rates.

As an instance of that, may I mention the farmers of western Canada who sell their wheat to the cereal plants in the east? We will suppose they sell at $1.20 per bushel, or two cents per pound. That wheat is puffed and sold back to the consumers, some of whom are the original producers in western Canada, at a price of 67 cents per pound. So we have the farmer who sold his wheat for two cents a pound buying it back for 67 cents,-two cents for the wheat and 65 cents for the puff. We know, too, that farmers have sold their hides for just enough to buy a pair of shoe laces. Whole carcasses have been sold, returning to the producer scarcely enough to buy a pair of shoes. We know, too, that the west has suffered from high freight and interest rates. It is a matter of common knowledge that agriculture, the great industry of the west, has suffered to a greater extent than the large industrial, commercial and particularly the financial institutions which have their headquarters in eastern Canada, principally in the provinces of Ontario and Quebec.

The province of Alberta has no member in the cabinet and no one acceptable to that province was appointed to the Rowell commission. In fact, the personnel of the commission was criticized by the leader of the Conservative party.

Little has been done by this parliament to enable the coal producers of western Canada to increase their markets, particularly in eastern Canada. It is felt that these injustices cannot be corrected by relinquishing any of the powers now possessed by the provinces.

The Minister of Justice (Mr. Lapointe) was reported in the press as having said during the recent by-election in Quebec that the Liberal party has always stood for the preservation of provincial autonomy. I was encouraged by his remarks. It is my opinion that the Minister of Justice recognizes the need of maintaining provincial autonomy if we are to avoid fascism or communism. The minister also expressed himself last year in the house as being opposed to fascism or communism; in fact he said he hated them both. I suggest to the Minister of Justice that if he hates communism and fascism he should do everything in his power to safeguard the autonomy and sovereignty of our provinces. The preservation of the democratic rights of our people can best be maintained by safeguarding the sovereign powers of the provinces.

The Minister of Justice is reported in Hansard of March 30, 1937, as saying he was surprised that an hon. member would suggest the disallowance of provincial legislation. Recently certain acts of the Alberta government were disallowed by the governor general in council. I ask this question of the minister: Why were the padlock laws of Quebec and the Ontario legislation dealing with power contracts not disallowed? Judgments pronounced by the supreme court and the privy council have clearly established the fact that the provinces have jurisdiction over social measures. The parliament of Canada maintain that they have jurisdiction over banks and the issuing of money.

We find many provinces, like hundreds of municipalities and hundreds of thousands of our private citizens, unable to support financially many of the social reforms that they may feel are necessary. The Liberal government assured the people of Canada before the last election that if they were elected money and credit would be issued to meet the needs of the people. If, in the opinion of the government, unemployment insurance is necessary and desirable, then let the government finance it by issuing money to the provinces under terms satisfactory to all. Why should the provinces be asked to give up any of their powers? We do not want a dictatorship in this country. In fact, I will go so far as to say that if the financial institutions of Ontario and Quebec will keep their hands out of the pockets of Alberta, that province will do all right.

The speech from the throne also contains the following paragraph:

The government is convinced that, in seeking to cooperate with the United Kingdom and other countries in efforts to promote international trade, it is pursuing one of the most effective means of ensuring economic security and progress in Canada, and the betterment of conditions in other parts of the world.

However, in spite of the great increase in world trade, which has equalled in volume, if not in money value, some of Canada's best years; in spite of a favourable trade balance, we have failed to bring about the improvement in our economic conditions which many of us were hopeful would be brought about. Do we have to feed all the world before we ourselves can eat? We still have our great housing, unemployment and debt problems. For years the United States enjoyed an extensive foreign trade. In thirty years that countiy piled up favourable trade balances estimated to be in excess of $27,000,000,000.

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CON

Thomas Alfred Thompson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. T. A. THOMPSON (Lanark):

Mr. Speaker, the speech from the throne, now before us for consideration, is a remarkable document. It gives to the members of the house no definite idea of the legislation they will be called upon to consider. There was a time in this country when the speech from the throne gave to the house and the country a definite intimation of the legislation that would be presented during the session, but the document now before us appears to be skilfully drawn with the evident intention of mystifying the house as to the government's program. As I said, it gives to the house and the country no definite idea of the legislation that is going to be presented during the session. Indeed, so barren is the speech from the throne that it puts me in mind of the frame of a turkey that one might see on a platter the morning after Christmas-just a sorrowful skeleton. It would appear that the government has no policy for dealing with the questions of supreme importance that are facing the country and demanding the attention of parliament. I speak particularly of the problems of unemployment and relief. Why, in normal times, should we have the amount of unemployment that we have to-day, and the amount of relief that we have to provide? These are really better than normal times because the greater prosperity we are now enjoying has largely been brought about through the purchase by other countries of war materials of every description from Canada, and so we have normal times but our prosperity has been augmented by the purchase of these war materials.

The Address-Mr. Thompson

The Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King), in speaking the other day, seemed to take great satisfaction in comparing present conditions with those of the dark days of the depression, but to my mind his comparison was very unfair. We have in Canada a debt that is a veritable nightmare, and there seems to be no solution coming from the government for the reduction of that debt. We have also a railway problem which it will take the very best brains of this country to solve, and let me point out that this railway problem is the child of the Liberal party. It was the Liberal party that built the roads which afterwards became bankrupt and were taken over by the dominion. It was a Liberal government that brought to Canada Sir Henry Thornton at a salary of $75,000 a year, with expenses, which very often mounted to as much as his salary, and it was a Liberal government that permitted him to go on the wildest spending spree that ever was known in any civilized country. During his term of office as president of the Canadian National he added to the debt of the railway $460,000,000, and almost ruined it financially; and not only did he almost financially ruin that road but he did a great deal of injury financially to the Canadian Pacific Railway, because they thought they had to keep up with the Joneses. During Sir Henry Thornton's presidency, money was spent lavishly, in building palatial hotels the like of which one would not see elsewhere on this continent, buying up branch railways, building ships, creating great parks. Money was spent as if it could be gathered off the trees by the roadside.

We have also a housing problem in this country. I have no objection to the government building houses for poor people, but I would point out that an abundance of money is lying idle in our banks to-day, drawing one and a half per cent, money which people would be only too glad to invest in the building of homes and houses throughout Canada if only a man could build a house, pay the taxes on it, and then rent it and make a profit. But he cannot do that to-day. Neither can he build a home and sell it for what it would cost to build. That is why we are short of homes.

How is it that the governments are getting the easy money they are getting today? They are getting it because the people of this country have lost confidence; they have no longer a sense of security in Canada, and they are afraid to put their money into agriculture or industry. They leave it in the bank, drawing one and a half cents on the dollar.

and the government comes along and gives two or three cents on the dollar for the use of it. But if our people had confidence in this country the government would not be getting money so easily; our people would be building homes, and industry and agriculture woud not lack for money as they are doing today.

We have in these days provincial unrest such as we have not had since confederation. While the government is numerically strong, it would appear to me that it is morally too weak to grapple with the serious problems which confront Canada at the present time; it appears to be allied with the big interests and the money barons, and neglects the farmers and the working people, and it is doing nothing to better the condition of the average citizen.

The fathers of confederation gathered together the provinces on the northern half of this continent and formed them into a federation known as the Dominion of Canada. They had a vision of building up this country into a great nation that would be the pride of the British Empire, building it up from the French and British stock that was here, representing two of the finest civilizations in the world. They looked forward to a united, happy people, to Canada becoming a great nation, with a strong central government. One of the powers that was given by the fathers of confederation to the central government was the power, under the British North America Act, to disallow any provincial legislation if the parliament of Canada felt that it was not in the best interests of the country as a whole. But what do we see happening now? This "happy family" of provincial and federal Liberal governments seems to have brought about such unrest and distress and disquietude from one end of the dominion to the other, that the very foundations of confederation and of our democracy are being shaken. What did we see in Ontario not very long ago? We saw the government of that province repudiating their solemn contracts. But that was not bad enough, for in repudiating the contracts they robbed thousands of investors of the money they had invested in power bonds. That would have been bad enough, but after robbing these people of their rights-for they brought these securities because the seal of the province of Ontario was attached to them

the Ontario government passed a law prohibiting the owners from appealing to the courts for justice. We in this country are proud of the fact that the poorest man in it, as well as the wealthiest, can appeal to an impartial court

The Address-Mr. Thompson

and get justice. Where was the dominion government, which had authority to disallow such an act as that? Here were citizens robbed of their property and denied the right to appeal to the courts for redress.

Then in Quebec they have passed a statute; I do not know what it is but I am told it is a padlock law, and from what I can learn about it, in that province a man's home is no longer his castle. Under British institutions a man's home is sacred to him; no officer of any government has the right to go to his hearth and take away the literature he is reading. Action of that kind is an infringement of the liberty of the British subject, f ask, why was nothing done about that?

We come to Alberta. We find that that province passed certain laws which the federal government felt were not in the interests of the people, so immediately they disallowed those laws. I am not finding any fault with the disallowance of them; in fact I rather agree they should be disallowed. But the point I want to make is, why was Alberta treated one way and Ontario and Quebec another way? These are the things which are causing distrust and dissatisfaction in this country. If we want to preserve our democracy we must have a strong central government that will not shirk its responsibilities.

It would appear that the present government is staking its very existence on international trade and the export market, to the utter neglect of our home industries and our home market. In this connection I should like to point out that at the last session several hon. members called the attention of the government to the fact that a serious menace to our domestic dairy industry had arisen because of the importation of vegetable oils. Some years ago parliament deemed it necessary and proper to forbid the importation and sale of oleomargarine, because it was coming into competition with butter and lard. Today we are faced with a much worse menace in the sale of domestic shortening made out of these vegetable oils that are shipped in. In 1933, 81.000,000 pounds of vegetable oil were brought into Canada; by 1936 the amount had increased to 195,000,000 pounds. In 1932, 61,000,000 pounds of shortening manufactured from these oils were sold in Canada, and in 1936 the amount had risen to

103,000,000 pounds. In eastern Canada the dairy industry is what wheat growing is to the west-though dairying is now being followed in western Canada as well-it is our

TMr. Thompson.]

staple business. Looking over the government returns, I find that in each of the last ten years the value of the daily products of the dominion exceeded by some millions of dollars the value of the wheat produced. We have a very large industry to protect. Now this vegetable oil is brought from tropical countries where native labour is very cheap; it is landed at a few cents a pound, and is refined and manufactured here to the immense profit of a few large concerns but to the detriment of the producers of our butter and other animal fats. The United States impose a duty of 3| cents a pound against animal fats imported from Canada, and they levy the same duty against vegetable oils brought into the United States. So while our market is a dumping groimd for these oils, our animal fats are excluded from the United States.

I listened this afternoon with great interest to the hon. member for Moose Jaw (Mr. Ross). He made a very clear statement, and it was a pleasure to listen to him, but I cannot agree with his arguments. I believe that if we followed the policy he enunciated we might as well all pack our bags and leave this country, because industry, to a larger extent than agriculture, must take up the slack of unemployment. Industry and agriculture must work hand in hand. The farmer buys the product of the factory, and the men and women engaged in our industrial life represent the best market that our farmers have for their produce. I repeat that industry and agriculture are partners in the development of this dominion, the one supplying markets for the other.

I think all hon. members will agree with me that it is the first duty of any householder to see that those dependent upon him are housed, clothed and fed. Likewise it is the duty of any country to feed and clothe its citizens as far as lies in its power and to buy nothing outside if it can be profitably produced at home. But what are we doing? In Canada to-day we are producing surpluses of every foodstuff that can be profitably grown in this country. What about clothing ourselves? Fifty per cent of our people are wearing garments that are imported from a foreign country where the standard of living and the scale of wages are far below those enjoyed by Canadian workmen. We shall never have prosperity until we learn to clothe ourselves in the same way that we have learned to feed ourselves. I have never worked a day off my farm, and it is my experience that the man who is a success as a farmer buys nothing that he can produce

The Address-Mr. Thompson

himself. If he can produce an article he should produce it, and not buy his eggs, butter, or cheese elsewhere. The same policy must be adopted by the country as a whole so far as clothing ourselves is concerned. By so doing we shall build up a wonderful market for our agriculturists. The present government's tariff tinkering has in many instances slowed up our factories. I know of several of them to-day where the hands are working on short time because such great quantities of goods have been dumped into Canada from other countries.

A great deal has been said about spending public money in order to produce prosperity. That cannot be done. There was an example of that sort of thing in the country to the south of us, where billions have been spent; and they are worse off to-day than when they started. You might as well try to pull yourself out of the mire by tugging at your bootstraps as try to bring about prosperity by spending public money. When the money is gone, where are you? What we want to do is to build up agriculture and industry and give our people work. That, and nothing else, will bring prosperity. A great deal of the prosperity we enjoy to-day is due-and it is rather a sad reflection-to the purchase of war materials.

I want to say a word about by-elections. The Prime Minister seemed to find great satisfaction in declaring to the house that the government had carried practically all these by-elections. Well, if the reports that come from the constituencies where the by-elections were held can be verified by facts, it was no credit to the government that their representatives were returned, because the reports go to show that bribery and corruption unprecedented in Canada were carried on in these ridings. The right hon. gentleman twitted the Conservative party for losing these by-elections. We are not numerically strong on this side of the house, but we are here honestly; and the leader of the Conservative party was never forced to stand up in the house, after revelations had been made by a commission, and say: This has put my party in the valley of humiliation. We would, therefore, just as soon be numerically weak as have strength of that kind. One man said the other day, "Oh, your party is dead." I replied, "It may be dead, but Conservatives are very staunch Christians and they believe that there will be a glorious resurrection."

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LIB

Robert Emmett Finn

Liberal

Mr. FINN:

On the last day.

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CON

Thomas Alfred Thompson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. THOMPSON:

Yes, the last day of this government.

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LIB

Robert Emmett Finn

Liberal

Mr. FINN:

Which will be years hence.

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CON

Thomas Alfred Thompson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. THOMPSON:

The Canadian people are alarmed at the prospect of some change being made in connection with the imperial preference which we enjoy at the present time. Why should Canada make any great effort to get markets in the United States? I am willing to sell to people in the United States or to anyone else who will buy from me at a fair price; but there is not one agricultural product that we are exporting to-day to the United States of which they have not a surplus that they are exporting. Furthermore, our markets there have no stability; they depend upon the whim of government. When the government changes, the tariff policy changes. We have had some experience in this regard with the American people. There is no stability about any agreement made with the United States so far as trade arrangements are concerned. Take the British market, on the other hand. The British people are obliged yearly to buy hundreds of millions of dollars' worth of foodstuffs which they cannot possibly produce. That is where the stable market is; that is the market we should encourage.

Let us for a moment look at the British preference. It was first brought to the attention of the British people by the late Joseph Chamberlain, one of the brightest minds of his day, and it had been the dream of every Prime Minister of Canada from confederation down to get some preference in that market. But they failed. It was a herculean task to get Great Britain, whose proud boast it had been that her ports were all open to the commerce of the world, to break away from her old moorings and to declare a tariff against other countries. It was a tremendous task, but it was accomplished by the present leader of the opposition, (Mr. Bennett) then Prime Minister of Canada, at the Ottawa conference in 1932. At the conclusion of that conference it was agreed that the delegates should go back to their respective parliaments and ask them to endorse the agreement, and every government in the empire endorsed it at once, except Canada. They knew they had received what they had been longing for; they knew it was a good bargain. But what was the spectacle in Canada? The present Prime Minister, (Mr. Mackenzie King) then leader of the opposition, kept us here week after week denouncing that treaty and declaring that if he ever got into power he would repeal it. But it was made law in Canada by forcing a vote through the house, with every Liberal member, with the exception of one man, voting against it. That man will go down in history as the only Liberal of sound judgment of that day.

Main Estimates-Mr. Dunning

These British preferences have kept Canada solvent and her farmers from bankruptcy. Take one commodity, pork. When these preferences came into force pork was selling at from S3.75 to S4; at once it went up to $8, and the price has been hovering between $8 and $9, having been as high as S10. We have a preference of $1.50 on apples; we have a preference of six cents a bushel on wheat. The British Empire produces within its own borders everything that mankind requires. Why not build up within our own bounds a great nation, trading among ourselves, and buying outside only those things that we cannot produce? That is what will make this country prosperous.

At six o'clock the house took recess.

After Recess

The house resumed at eight o'clock.

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MAIN ESTIMATES, 1938-39


A message from His Excellency the Governor General transmitting estimates for the financial year ending March 31, 1939, was presented by Hon. Charles A. Dunning (Minister of Finance), and read by Mr. Speaker to the house. Hon. CHARLES A. DUNNING (Minister of Finance): Mr. Speaker, at this time of course I cannot make the customary motion referring these estimates to the committee of supply, because that committee is not yet set up and cannot be set up until the debate on the address concludes. At the appropriate time I shall make the motion of reference. In the meantime, due to the fact that there is a complete change in the form of the estimates this year, I desire to ask the indulgence of the house so that 1 may make a brief statement with regard to the estimates in order that hon. members may have it before them in Hansard to-morrow morning when they are studying the estimates. In the budget speech of last year I made an attempt to show the percentage distribution of our revenues and expenditures, but found it necessary to point out that the form of our estimates and appropriations made it impossible to achieve accuracy in such calculations. I then stated that before another year had passed I hoped to be able to introduce such changes in our procedure regarding estimates and accounts as would make it possible to determine more accurately the real costs of the various services of government. I am glad to be able to announce to the house that the main estimates for 1938-39, which are now being tabled, are being presented in a new form, with what I believe is a greatly improved classification and with much greater detail. The purpose of the revision is to facilitate a greater control over expenditures and to present a clearer and truer picture of the operations of government. The need for revision has been recognized for years, in that items in the estimates did not reflect the cost of services. In this respect they were actually misleading, because, with few exceptions, they were supplemented from civil government or other appropriation of a general character. Other defects included provision for numbers of distinct activities under one general item, and assembly of items under obsolete captions without relationship to existing departmental responsibility. The principal object of the revision is to give to parliament, by removal of these defects, a reasonably accurate estimate of the costs of functions, assembled under the departments responsible for administration. Application of this principle involved rearrangement of votes and disappearance of the civil government and miscellaneous sections. It also involved selection of the distinct services or projects on which the taxpayer's money is spent and insertion of an item for each. As all expenses cannot be allocated on this basis, the remainder for the department or branch has been included under an item for administration of the department. As comparison with estimates of the previous year are always of first rate importance to parliament, these have been shown in each instance. The amount entered for 1937-38 is the sum voted for that particular function, though it may have been authorized under several general or specific votes for that year. Any member interested may obtain details of these allocations of former votes in committee of supply. The new form is composed of two main sections. The first, to page 53, is made up of items to be included in the supply bill, together with statutory appropriations, each of which is marked with the letter S. The second section, from page 54 to the end, is for the information of parliament and will not be in the supply bill. In the first section, division by items has been with the object of showing clearly the cost of the various services carried on by the government. The second section, which is entirely new, is designed to furnish parliament with detailed information as to how the various proposed votes are to be spent. For convenience the page number of the details is printed opposite each item. The Address-Mr. Thompson In effect, items in the first section will become votes which must be administered strictly in accordance with their terms and amounts. On the other hand, the details by Objects of expenditure contained in the second section may be varied to meet administrative requirements. In general, they will be the basis of classifications compiled by each department at the beginning of the fiscal year under the terms of section 26 of The Consolidated Revenue and Audit Act. These classifications are submitted to the Department of Finance at the beginning of the fiscal year, and may not be amended except with approval of the treasury board. The ruling principle of this revision has been the endeavour to furnish the cost of functions. At the same time, it has been necessary to give due consideration to the requirements of administration, accounting and audit, since all are necessary to a full measure of parliamentary control. While the new form is an attempt to meet all essentials, it is not regarded as final. Rather, it is believed that experience in operation and consideration here will suggest further improvements for future years. I need not say that the changes which have been made have resulted in a great deal of work during the past year for all the departments and for the treasury board. It will be clear, also, that the larger number of votes will probably increase the work of my colleagues and their departmental officials in getting their estimates through the house. We have, however, received the cooperation of all departments in making the revision possible, and I trust that the changes which have been introduced will, after study, commend themselves to the house. This explanation appearing in Hansard in the morning, Mr. Speaker, together with copies of the estimates which will be distributed to hon. members as soon as the distribution office can arrange it, I am sure will enable hon. members to achieve a thorough understanding of the revision itself and particularly of the objects which it is sought to attain.


February 3, 1938