May 16, 1923 (14th Parliament, 2nd Session)


Joseph Henry Harris

Conservative (1867-1942)


budget? In other words, what has the budget done to help him out of the predicament in which he now finds himself? Is there anything in the budget that can be held up to prospective settlers? Is there anything in the record of this government during the last fifteen months which will make the people of other countries say: "That will be a good place for me to settle, a good place for me to bring up my boys and girls?" Is there anything in the budget, anything in the record of the present government, to encourage people to come to our shores? It is time we rose to our responsibilities; it is time we had a little bit of statesmanship here. Let us bring governmental institutions to the same businesslike basis as that upon which ordinary business institutions are run, and in the end we will solve many of the problems which at present face the people.
There is one other paragraph in the budget to which I should refer if I am not to be remiss in my duty to the good old Conservative party-tariff stability. I congratulate not only the Minister of Finance but the Liberal party as a whole in coming to an acknowledgement of the absolute necessity of tariff stability. I expected to see with one accord the whole party to my left rise to their feet, but perhaps they will do it with a vengeance when they once get started. It is quite easy to criticize the protective principle; those who have not reviewed the conditions prevailing in Canada from Halifax to Vancouver are wont to agree with many of the policies enunciated by people who are desirous of having in this country a certain amount of free trade. When I think^ of free trade I am reminded of an industry that I have observed for quite a number of years. It happens to be located in the heart of the riding represented by the right hon. Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King). We have there an industry which is indigenous to this country, its raw material being drawn from our own natural resources. It comes under paragraph 9 of the tariS schedule, wood and woodenware products. I am going to give a reason why I feel that it is necessary to have a reasonable tariff as applied to many industries of that nature. These people manufacture such things as clothes-pins, wash-tubs, patent pails and rolling-pins. We have in Canada at present but nine millions of people. The raw material for the things these people manufacture-and I have mentioned only about four of them-is capable of being manufactured into a great number of other lines of goods. If we had a population close to this industry which would absorb the whole output of any one of these articles being the sole
product of industry, the whole attention of that manufacturing plant could be concentrated on that one article, and it would not be necessary, perhaps, to have a tariff against similar goods entering Canada. Take any one article you wish-the rolling-pin, for instance. There are more Mrs. Jiggs' in England and the United States than there are in Canada. But take rolling-pins; if that factory were able to do nothing else but work three eight-hour shifts a day in the manufacture of rolling-pins alone, and if there was a market for the product close to the factory which would absorb all the rolling-pins turned out, then it would not be necessary to have protection against that article. I am not going to dwell on that, because twenty or thirty per cent of the material in the Library of parliament deals pro and con, not with tariff stability, perhaps but with tariffs in general.
I am sorry to note in the budget speech the paragraph that has to do with reciprocity. The people of Canada gave notice to the governments of Canada that they did not want to put themselves in the position-oh, I was going to use the expression, of beggars waiting for crumbs in the way of reciprocity to drop from the industrial table of Uncle Sam. It is well known to the powers that be in the United States that we have a Liberal party here which is pledged to reciprocity. Why make the people of Canada feel badly in the thought that they have on record in black and white, embodied in this budget, a request-to my mind, and I am speaking for myself, a begging request-that Uncle Sam should drop a few crumbs of reciprocity from his industrial table? If he should do so, he would only give us something from which he would receive the majority of the benefit; otherwise he would not give it. I submit in all sincerity that it is bad business. It will not be good for the young people of Canada to feel that we lower ourselves-I hesitate to use that expression; but to feel that we put ourselves in a begging position so far as Uncle Sam is concerned.
I must hurry on, Mr. Speaker, because I do not want to take up too much time. I have some sympathy for the view expressed by the hon. member for Cariboo (Mr. McBride) who has suggested on a number of occasions that twenty minutes is sufficient for the average speech. At that rate I have about one minute to go. [DOT]
A great many committees of the House are sitting at the present and are doing a lot of good work. They are accumulating a great deal of useful information, and I am going to refer to one item of information I gathered from one of these committees on Thursday

The Budget-Mr. Hams
last. It has to do with a subject which I am sure is of vital interest to every citizen of Canada, of particular interest to my hon. friends to my left who come from the prairie provinces, as well as to the hon. members for Quebec city. It has to do with cattle shipped from Winnipeg to the port of Quebec for export to Glasgow and Liverpool. Anyone who has sat in the Railway Committee room and looked at the map hanging there, instead of perhaps listening to the orations that have been delivered from day to day, must have been impressed with the shortness of the route from Winnipeg to the port of Quebec and with the possibility of our taking a great deal of the products of our western provinces over the Canadian National down to Quebec, and from Quebec to the markets of the world. It impressed me that way as I sat in the Railway Committee room some two or three weeks ago. I recognize, and we all know, that the transcontinental railway now known as the Canadian National Railway is a white elephant on the hands of the people of Canada. But we are Canadians, and we can rise to the occasion and take hold of that expensive organization that is on our hands now and use it to the best advantage, and here is one opportunity in my humble opinion for us to make use of it. The rail haul via the Canadian Pacific from Winnipeg to Montreal is 62 miles longer than the Canadian National route from Winnipeg to Quebec city. The grade over the Canadian Pacific to Montreal is much harder-I use that word for want of a better term-than the Canadian National grade from Winnipeg to Quebec. Why not, then, ship the 60,000 cattle, which we expect to ship to the Old Country in the next open season, over the Canadian National to Quebec city, and from there to the markets of the world? I merely bring this point up on the floor of the House, not because I hold any brief for the city of Quebec or for our western friends; and I hold absolutely no brief for the cattle industry of this country. I suppose you would expect me to be a ' little narrow and sectional and think only of Ontario or perhaps one of the Yorks where I come from, but I feel that in short-circuiting Toronto and Montreal in this way we would be doing something of benefit to the country as a whole.
I want to enlarge on that for a moment if I may. There is also some 18 hours shorter travel for cattle going over the Canadian National route to the port of Quebec. There is also that 24 hours' delay avoided going down the river from Montreal to Quebec.
What is needed now is a recommendation perhaps from the Agricultural Conditions committee or from some department of this government that the shipping interests shall give the same privileges to the port of Quebec, so far as shipping space and facilities are concerned, as are given to Montreal, and to see to it that perhaps some of the boats of the Canadian Government Merchant Marine-I know some of them were used in 1921-be diverted to take care of this particular traffic, and more particularly to see that no influence emanating from the city of Montreal shall in any way interfere with this flow of trade on that railway-that great white elephant which we still have on our hands. Any remarks I might make in regard to the cattle industry will in my humble opinion apply in the same degree to other products from the western provinces, such as flour, which may flow to the markets of the world.
In view of the fact that I have said this much for the province of Quebec and for our friends from the West, I want to ask their indulgence for a moment while I say something which more particularly concerns the people of Ontario and our western friends, but which in my humble opinion concerns also the whole Dominion of Canada, and that is the canalization of the St. Lawrence river.

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