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

PRO

Thomas William Bird

Progressive

Mr. BIRD:

Let my hon. friend present a case and I will give my judgment upon it; but I am not going to be led into any digression. Just the same I do believe in a Wheat Board.
Now I am going to say a word on the patriotic aspect of these questions. The protectionists are nothing if they are not flag wavers. We have had a lot of talk about Germany. We have heard something about the "Blood-stained hand of Germany" and we have heard even worse statements about that country; and when you get that spirit turned inwardly on internal affairs you get an attitude that is very hard to bear. I mean you get a superior attitude; you get an attitude that ought not to obtain between reasonable citizens in the same country as to patriotism and fidelity to one's country. What does all this talk by protectionists about the building up of our country by protection amount to? I want to say very briefly that in my humble view we have three difficulties in Canada in the way of building up a strong or united nationhood. The first of these difficulties is that we are a federation of divers political units. I think it is, Bagehot who says, "Of all forms of government, a federation demands most of its people and of its statesmen." Now in the future Canada is going to demand much from its statesmen and its people by reason of the fact that it is a far flung country with divers political units federated. The second difficulty is of a geographical nature. Nature-the greatest sectionalist in Canada, infinitely worse than the Progressives -has divided this country very effectually. Nature could not very well have reared a higher range of mountains than the Rockies; it could not very well have made a wilder wilderness than Ontario-I beg your pardon, western Ontario.

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