April 17, 1923 (14th Parliament, 2nd Session)


Alfred Speakman

United Farmers of Alberta


I crave the indulgence of the House for about five minutes while I make a few comments

upon the method in which this resolution has been presented and upon some of the arguments by which it has been supported. As I understand this question, it is a matter in which the twin sisters, or the two provinces of British Columbia and Alberta, are vitally interested, and so far the two governments | have been working in partnership in order, if possible, to have the differential rates under the mountain scale removed, believing it would be for the benefit of both parties in that partnership, to enable those two provinces, and also the province a little further east, to trade together on the same terms on which the other provinces of the Dominion are permitted to trade. We believe it would be for the advantage of the province of British Columbia and the province of Alberta, and we believe also that the removal of that differential would enable the Alberta men to take advantage of their proximity to the sea, and on that ground I and the other Alberta members, and, indeed, I think most of the Progressives in this House, would be solidly behind any bona fide attempt to have this differential removed, whether it is accomplished in this House or outside of it.
But I must confess. Sir, that I somewhat resent the manner in which this matter has been presented to the House at this time. I believe as I said, that this is a matter of partnership between the two provinces, and yet what do we find in the presentation of the case this afternoon and evening? I am not reflecting on the sincerity of the hon. member (Mr. Clark) who introduced the motion, but we find on the part of many hon. members who supported the motion simply a camouflage attack on the Crowsnest pass agreement. That is all it is, and all it is intended for, to my mind, on the part of many hon. members. I think I can say that, and at the same time be absolutely fair in saying it, by simply referring to what was said by the right hon. leader of the Opposition (Mr. Meighen) and concurred in, as far as I could see, by the party who sit behind him, when he made the offer to the Prime Minister regardless of the other party to this agreement, regardless of the rights of Alberta, that if this government would cancel the Crowsnest pass agreement which it put in force last year, which meant more to Alberta than to any other province of Canada, he and his party would be willing to withdraw their resolution. Is that fair play? Or does it savour more of treachery to the other partner? I and others in this branch of parliament resent the attitude that has been taken, and the camouflage attack that has been made upon what we consider to be one of the charters under which we can work the

Railway Rates
charter of our liberty I was going to say, but, at least, one of the safeguards of our possible success.

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