I only do this because I do represent a very famous district. A team of curlers from my home town has just won the Brier cup. We are all very, very proud of our champions.
The district I represent happens to be one that was traversed by the white man perhaps a hundred years before there was an Ottawa. Count La Verendrye and his three sons, who were the first white men to traverse what is now the prairie provinces, built a fort, Fort Dauphin, somewhere around 1741. In the district that has maintained the name of Dauphin and the lake has also remained Dauphin lake, many of our societies are called La Verendrye and we do revere the name of La Verendrye. We feel our district has been honoured by these people who came there in the early part of the eighteenth century, and for many years maintained a fort in that district.
However, to come back to the hon. member for Greenwood, in referring to the Canada-United States trade agreement he had this to say-and it is going to be necessary, Mr. Speaker, for me to read what the hon. member said, and then read what the then leader of the Conservative party, Mr. Bennett, said in this house on February 10, 1936. The hon. member for Greenwood had this to say as recorded at page 2345 of Hansard for February 24, 1953:
It is in these circumstances, and in this atmosphere, that R. B. Bennett made his proposal to the British' and all other governments of the empire. These resulted in providing Canada at the time with a sheltered market, especially in Britain. But Mr. Bennett did not stop there. He made a definite proposal for a trade agreement with the United States, and in his proposal he included what Mr. Fielding would not include in 1911, an offer of the intermediate tariff. Up to this time, no Canadian leader or other statesman had dreamt of offering the intermediate tariff to the United States. This resulted in a trade agreement made between Canada and the United States in November, 1935, thirteen days after the King government was returned to power.
Now, listen to this:
What they really did was to sign on the dotted line the agreement that had been on the point of being signed while Bennett was still in office.
Farther down the hon. member continues:
It is true that in 1930 the Bennett government had made substantial increases in the Canadian tariff right across the board.
I should like to remind the house that I was very active in political affairs at the time. Most of these tariffs were around 80 per cent, let that be remembered. On textiles and many of the necessities of life the tariff was 80 per cent or more, and some tariffs ran above 100 per cent. They were nearly all around 80 per cent. Then the hon. member goes on:
Rightly or wrongly, he did what practically all countries in the world were doing, including Britain, for the first time in nearly three-quarters of a century, that is, taking measures to protect the national economy against the devastating fall in world prices and shrinkage in world trade.
Mr. Bennett did not do much by his threatened blasting into the markets of the world. I pause here to say this. I recall that in the election campaign of 1930-I was a candidate and was defeated in that election-Mr. Bennett, in speaking throughout the west and his lieutenant who spoke in Dauphin, Dr. Manion, at that time said that if Mr. Bennett was returned to office he would reduce the imports coming into Canada by at least half a billion dollars.
Shortly after that I happened to be addressing a meeting in the same town and T made these remarks or predictions. I said if Mr. Bennett is returned to office and does the things he says he is going to do, this is what will happen; and I warned them that I had every confidence that Mr. Bennett would do exactly as he said he was going to do. Some of my Conservative friends said, "Oh, that is just political talk." But I knew Mr. Bennett well enough-I had sat in this house with him long enough to know that he meant what he said.
I predicted that if Mr. Bennett was elected and did the things he said he was going to do, this would be the result. I said to my farmer friends: You will sell your good wheat that is now worth a dollar for 25 cents per bushel. Your good two-year old or two and a half-year old steers for which you are now getting $45, you will sell for $15. Your good bacon hogs for which you are getting 11 cents per pound on their feet you will sell for 2J cents per pound.
The morning after that meeting a good friend and a good Liberal came to me and said, "What was the matter with you last night?" I said, "I never felt better in my life. What do you mean?" He said, "I am talking
about those crazy predictions you made." "Well," I said, "if you will just be patient and just tuck it away in the back of your memory; then when it happens, come and tell me."
Mr. Bennett was elected; and two years and four months almost to the day from that morning, this same man rushed into my office with his hands over his head and said, "My God, it has all happened." It had all happened. Why did it happen? Because of the very same things that this party of which I was once a member-I am an exConservative; I escaped in time, though
are now advocating such as tariffs on sugar, protection for this and protection for that.
If we do not buy, we will not sell. That is the reason we are selling today, and the reason our good friend the Minister of Trade and Commerce (Mr. Howe), who is the greatest salesman to ever breathe the air of Canada, has been able to sell 650 million bushels of the crop of wheat threshed last year. I wonder how long it would have taken our Conservative friends to sell 650 million bushels of wheat under the policy that was not only advocated but practised during the last years of their term in office.
I now want to turn to something else. I have read what the hon. member for Greenwood said about that agreement. I want to turn now and read what Right Hon. R. B. Bennett said of that agreement on February 10, 1936, as reported at page 56 of Hansard:
Now what is the case today? Today an agreement has been made that in my judgment-I may be wrong; I never undertake to speak with any sense of certainty in these days-