February 22, 1926 (15th Parliament, 1st Session)


Willis Keith Baldwin



I thank my hon. friend
for the correction. I am trying to keep within the rules of the Chair, but an hon. gentleman in the back benches opposite used very strong language the other day; he said: If
you don't get out we are going to push you out. Well, that is a fair sample of those who are condemning group government. Let me tell him and other hon. gentlemen who share his views that this government is going to rule Canada for the next four years. Do not have any doubts about that. Let those who have so villainously attacked the government bear that in mind. The other night while the hon. member for St. Lawrence-St. George (Mr. Cahan) was speaking there was a feeling among some hon. gentlemen that he was rather ill and some expected him to collapse. Happily however the hon. gentleman belies that suggestion; he is apparently quite vigorous and I am pleased to see him looking so bright and charming to-night.

With regard to the tariff, I have not taken the trouble to analyse the figures, but it is significant that whereas between 1911 and 1921 hon. gentlemen opposite did not undertake to increase duties to any extent, for the simple reason that they knew the people would not put up with it, so soon as this government came into power they began howling for protection and higher protection. That shows the insincerity of the opposition. Hon. gentlemen opposite have accused this government of every wrong which could possibly be laid at the door of a party, but they know very well that these charges are without any foundation whatever. The hon. member for St. James (Mr. Rinfret) not long ago was provoked to make certain remarks and in the same way I too am provoked to say things sometimes for which I might apologize. I am sure also that some hon. gentlemen on the opposite side of the House regret many of the speeches that their confreres have made in this debate. I think it is most unfortunate that we should be wasting the time of parliament as it is being wasted at present. Here we have spent seven weeks discussing almost nothing else but the Address in reply to the Speech from t-he Throne and amendments while matters of great national importance are waiting to be undertaken. Why should hon. gentlemen obstruct the business of parliament in this way instead of allowing the House to get down to business? One important matter that should be attended to is the effort to prevent the present diversion of water at Chicago. One hon. member at the last session of parliament spoke about deepening the river to accommodate larger boats, and he made the suggestion that it might be well to make boats that were adaptable to the river. Well, let me tell the House that the Chicago interests pay no more attention to the overtures of the western states, which are working in conjunction with this government to stop this diversion, than they would to the moaning of the winds, and they will continue draining off the water from the lakes until some effective action is taken by this parliament to deal with the matter in co-operation with the United States government. An attempt will be made on the other side to build a canal from lake Erie through to New York and when that is done it will be good-bye to Canada and to Montreal as the port of our ocean steamers.
Hon. gentlemen opposite are obstructing the business of the House and I charge them with keeping people from coming into Canada. Through their "whispers of death" and their

The Address-Mr. Baldwin
Jeremiah wailings during the past five years they have served to drive untold capital away from Canada, and the gloomy speeches which they have been making in this House and which have been recorded in Hansard have been circulated broadcast not only throughout this country but in other parts of the world as well. But although hon. gentlemen may retard for a time the progress of Canada, nothing that they can say or do will prevent this country eventually from being one of the greatest on earth.
The ex-Minister of Finance (Sir Henry Drayton) the other night devoted considerable time and attention to the Rouyn railway, which it is proposed to build into the gold fields of Quebec. Why hon. gentlemen should oppose a proposal of this kind, having for its object the development of one of our great resources, I cannot understand. We have been paying $6 a bushel for potatoes in Rouyn gold fields and it is impossible for us to develop our mines without proper transportation facilities when we have to meet such prices. You cannot mine gold or silver unless you can do the work at a cost that will bear comparison with the cost of similar labour elsewhere, and in order to make this industry a success it is necessary to have such transportation as will make it possible to get foodstuffs and other supplies on a reasonable basis. Along with certain other gentlemen I waited upon Premier Taschereau with a view to having some action taken in this matter and I was sorry to see the ex-Minister of Finance throwing cold water on the proposition the other night, after the efforts which the Prime Minister and the government of Quebec have been making to provide transportation into that country. A highly reputable geologist was sent into that country to explore it and his report was quite favourable. I am interested in the concern and you could not induce me to take up any proposition if I did not consider it profitable.
Hon. members opposite, it seems to me, have not yet caught the vision of a united Canada, such as the late member for St. Law-rence-St. George, who sat in this House from 1921 to 1925, pictured to us. I regard him as one of our outstanding Canadians and though he did on one occasion vote against the budget, in the year 1924, he saw his mistake and later rectified it. And as that gentleman showed us, it is impossible for us to have a united Canada without give and take.
So far as the proposed tariff commission is concerned, I would suggest' that in addition to manufacturers there should be on that board representatives from various walks of life. I would even include some mother who
had raised a number of children and who would therefore know what it was to clothe, house, educate and discipline a family. I would not have only manufacturers who could spend their winters in California, in Florence or in Naples and their summers on the golf links, and have a retinue of servants to wait upon them, living in chateaux and palaces. Any country in which that sort of thing exists must sooner or later sink into the depths of an Ireland or a Russia, if they will not think of the toilers of our land. Do you think for one moment that the brains of the poor are not the equal of those of the rich who are swaddled in eiderdown and fed on luxuries? No public man who has not a heart should be in any government, municipal, provincial or federal, or on any board administering public affairs in this country. Right here I think of two examples. The hon. member for Argenteuil (Sir George Perley), when he was High Commissioner for Canada, wTas the means of raising men who had not a doilar to the high pedestal of the councils of men. They have been made rich. He said, if I remember rightly, that he had got through with his lumber product business. We on the eastern coast have to pay our taxes, insurance and overhead, and we have had to ever since the Panama canal was completed. That is what we are suffering, but he gloried in what he was able to do. Then he said that the young ladies were most efficient in that wonderful country to the south. I would ask him why he did not stay in this country. We have wonderful resorts here, a Caledonia, a Carlsbad. we have the springs at the old Welland canal, and they are delightful. People from the south come up there and are delighted. Why don't our people stay at home in our own country and see our beautiful resorts? Then our beautiful maidens would stay here.
The hon. member for Victoria-Carleton (Mr. Flemming) has been over at Clifton Springs, New York. He could have found1 much better springs on the Canadian side, within fifty miles of where he was. But he went to Clifton Springs and watched the trainloads of coal coming to Canada. I pray that Canada with her mountains of coal will develop her own coal resources, and I heartily agree with every member on the other side of the House who has expressed any patriotic ideas in regard to coal or anything else. I agree with every one of them -who has expressed patriotism and love of this grand and glorious country. The hon. member for Cariboo (Mr. Fraser) in an eloquent speech the other night told us of the wonderful mineral resources of our country. If we would only develop them, and as yet we have hardly touched the
The Address-Mr. Baldwin

fringe, we would develop wealth that would make our public debt seem a bagatelle. We have exploited our timber resources, our farming lands, and to some extent our fisheries, but our mineral wealth we have hardly touched. Let us work together and develop these wonderful resources for the sake of thi3 great and wondrous country. Do hon. members realize that more than two-thirds of this country is west of the western
border of Ontario? We have members telling us how large their constituencies are. One member the other day mentioned that his constituency was 300 by 600 miles. The hon. member for Skeena (Mr. Stork) compared his constituency with some of the empires of Europe. Let me tel you a little story, and it is true. Last June I was introduced to a German on Bank street, and he told me something of his business. He had met a Canadian in London and Berlin, who had told him of this wonderful country, and he came out here. First he got his Dominion charter. He was told of the great deposits of silica in this country, and at last he found a wonderful silica mine at East Templeton. To show his sincerity he took out a 125,000 insurance policy for the benefit of the company to be; he took out a guarantee bond with a guarantee company for $25,000 for the benefit of the company to be. He went to a man like the late J. R. Booth, who put his hand on the German's shoulder and said, "Mr. Pease, I know something about glass. I sent my son Jackson over to Belgium, and made over a million dollars out of glass'. Soon after, 1 met this young Bavarian and I asked him how things were going. "They are not going at all," he said, and he laid the blame on the public men of this country. He said, "J went down to New York and they said yes, they would finance me. They told me to bring the silica on the boats below the falls of the Ottawa river, and then bring them over here. They told me they would furnish me with one and a half million dollars for this glass factory." It was a factory making bevelled mirrors, automobile glass-expensive plate glass, not common glass. He referred me to one gentleman in this city, a noble old gentleman, a hard worker like myself, but ten years older, though full' of pep and ginger and energy. I went and saw him and he said, "I will be vice-president and put forty or fifty thousand dollars in the company. We do not want our money going to the United States; let us keep it here." The next morning I gave the man a cheque for $10,000. Within three weeks, I saw a very substantial man, running

up into the millions, one of the members in this House, and I asked him for a cheque for $10,000. lit was the member for Sherbrooke, and he said, "I will do it on your reputation." We have now got out our prospectus, and our auditors are Price, Waterhouse and Company. That firm is good enough for me. The foreman, the superintendent, the general manager, the vice-president or the president of your company could not take ten cents worth of merchandise without that firm property charging it up. I wrote to them and said, "I have put a good deal of money in my life in companies because you were the auditors." I got a letter back on Saturday saying, "We accept with pleasure, although you will not want us this year. We never accept the position of auditors without knowing the members of the board personally, for it is our business to look out for the shareholders." If we had more companies like that Canada would be the gainer, and we should not be troubled so often as we are by crooks, shysters, and hot air artists. There is no place in Canada where we are more troubled with people of this class than we are in this building. I do not know how it . is but they swarm through these precincts, and even invade our very rooms. The other day I put this notice on my door: "One hundred thousand dollars waiting for crooks, hot air artists and shysters. Kindly rap before you enter."

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