June 9, 1922 (14th Parliament, 1st Session)

PRO

John Morrison

Progressive

Mr. MORRISON:

She started building up about the same time virtually, and I do not think it is much of a recommendation to Canadian statesmen that we are not in a better position than we are to-day as compared to the United States. I do not like to say anything about men who are not present to-day to speak for themselves, but really Canada should have developed a little faster when she had such a wealth of natural opportunity, and such wealth of natural resources. The capitalists of Great Britain would have preferred to invest their money in Canada; and the people of Great Britain would prefer to come to this country from motives of loyalty. That we are not in a better position to-day is because there has been something fundamentally wrong with the policy we have pursued, and the position in which we find ourselves does not reflect much credit on the protective system. The hon. member for Centre Winnipeg (Mr. Woodsworth) said that repudiation was a word that does not look very well. At the present time we have this situation on our hands: We find that the railways of Canada want to repudiate a covenant which they made with the people of the prairie provinces. We had the heads of these railways down here using every influence that is at their command, and that is no small amount. What for? The one big object sought is to annul the Crowsnest pass agreement permanently. If they cannot influence the special committee on railways to bring in a report to that effect, they are willing to have the agreement annulled temporarily; and then next year will take another drive at permanent annulment. I say that is an unpardonable breach of a covenant on the part of the railways. Where does honour come in, if the railways enter into an agreement with the people and then want to annul that agreement? Not only that, but they come down here and make excuses and endeavour to set the maritime provinces and British Columbia against the prairie provinces. They say, "We cannot put the Crowsnest pass agreement into operation, and at the same time give the other provinces a better rate." Well, I have here the annual report of the Canadian Pacific Railway, and I find that in 1920 their net earnings amounted to 15.30 per cent, and in 1921 their net earnings were 17.72 per cent. It is true we had hard times in 1920 and 1921, but a little lower rate of interest for that company would net have been

The Budget-Mr. Morrison
out of place. We know that the railways, and every man who invests money in this country, should make a profit. That is their object in investing it; if they do not make a return on their money there will be no further investment. We Progressives are not here to knock our railways; we are all so interdependent on one another that we must all have a measure of success or the machine cannot run.
Now the hon. member for Lincoln (Mr. Chaplin) said the other night that he could ship three cars of merchandise to Liverpool for the same price as he could ship one to Saskatoon, and that he could ship two to Liverpool for the same price as he could ship one to Winnipeg. When questioned, he admitted reluctantly that he got a cheaper rate for export shipments, than he did for local home shipments. Contrast that statement with the sworn evidence of Mr. Porter, of Perth, New Brunswick, an exporter of potatoes, who said that the export rates are 100 per cent higher than the local rate on potatoes, and that in consequence of not being able to find a market large quantities of potatoes are rotting.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF THE DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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