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

PRO

Thomas William Bird

Progressive

Mr. BIRD:

I do not wish to repulse the hon. member in any way, but really I do desire to continue my speech. I think that in a general way the fact is as I have stated in the case of the small industries. As a general rule it is true in the United States and Canada that the small industries have given way to the big industries, and that we, at the present time, are pretty well in the grip of these big combinations. I tell you that a big industry to-day can tax the clothes and the boots I wear with more impunity than our Finance Minister can tax soft drinks or candy. I believe these big trusts can tax us in a way that would turn King Charles I. green with envy if he were looking on, and make such men as Pym and Hampden turn in their graves, and that is a long time ago in the history of British liberty. I can refer you to a book on industrial relationships, issued by the United States government, that would make you sit up and take notice of the conditions on this continent in regard to the freedom and liberties of the people. We are pretty well within the grip of these 'big industries, and what does it mean? It means this: The people of Canada, as a rule, do not read much Red literature; they are better balanced, I suppose, than to do so. But they do observe the operation of the big trusts in their daily life; and I tell you that the operation of those trusts is a better argument for socialism of the most extreme type than any Red literature that was ever spewed forth from a Bolshevist press. Now that is Where you manufacturers have gone; there are no longer any manufacturers in the usual historical sense. Now just let me conclude with a word-

The Budget-Mr. Bird

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