May 15, 1923 (14th Parliament, 2nd Session)

LIB

William Gawtress Raymond

Liberal

Mr. RAYMOND:

I do not understand whether the objection is to the banks or to the widows and orphans. What I mean to say is this, that if they will examine the stocks of these banks and the stocks and bonds of our insurance companies they will find that they represent, as I say, the savings and the thrift of somebody. For instance, if a man dies and leaves an amount of money, what is done with it? It is put into seme sound investment for his family, and that investment constitutes the capital upon which the member (Mr. Woodsworth) who was speaking last night said he would like to make a levy to pay our national debt.
I do not understand a great deal that is said and written nowadays about capital and labour, how can we get money for nothing, and how the purchasing power of people can be increased without the people working and
The Budget-Mr. Raymond

saving. It may be my stupidity, Mr. Speaker, it may be the old-fashioned way in which I was brought up, but I think what a man does not earn by his hands and save, that he cannot have by enactment of parliament. There is no sense in spending money and calling it purchasing power and then throwing it back on to the general aggregation of the wealth of the country. Why, what are the mines and the forests that he spoke of?-and I doubt his figures in regard to these when he said they were only worth $1,200,000,000, because the forests of Quebec alone, according to a report of the government of that province, are worth $600,000,000; I believe our forests and mines are worth many times what he said they are worth. But what good are they ? How can you coin them, how can you issue paper against them? They are worth nothing until they are developed-they are worth nothing until the gold, silver, copper and iron are brought to the surface, until the trees are cut down and sawn up into lumber or converted into pulp and paper. And what does develop these natural resources? The capital of the country. And this capital, I repeat, represents the thrift and savings of the people. If >rou can point to so many billion dollars' worth of farms and farm buildings, to several hundred million dollars' worth of live stock, it is because the farmers have worked and earned and saved money; it represents their capital; and if you have mining corporations or milling corporations functioning, it is because somebody has saved the money for their purposes, and that money constitutes capital.
The idea of having ary hard feeling against capital or against capitalists, or making laws against capital or capitalists 1 Such legislation would be the wreck and ruin of any country. We have seen it done in Russia. We have seen war made upon capital in that country by gentlemen who hold something of the same kind of views that the Socialists profess. I must here admit that I cannot distinguish very clearly between a Communist, a Socialist, an Anareh'st, and an out-and-out Bolshevist; there may be a difference, but I fail to see it I think that anyone who understands this country realizes that it is necessary to have capital if we want to develop our resources, that while those natural resources are there under the ground they are of no value, and that it is only by capital that we can hope to develop them.
Now, the logical consequence of that is that we must have laws that make property safe, we must have laws that respect the rights of the people. We must not counten-

ance anyone who should change the basic principle of our jurisprudence, because if we do we shall have trouble. While we have, as I say, the gross example in front of us of Russia at the present time, we should proceed with due caution. We know what they did in Russia. They first destroyed their ruler, then they destroyed their parliament, then they destroyed their banks and merchant citizens and murdered them for their money, and finally they destroyed the farmers and took their wheat away from them.

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