March 6, 1928 (16th Parliament, 2nd Session)


Ernest Lapointe (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)



Now my hon. friends
are cheering on the other side. The hon. member says later on:
Hon. gentlemen from Manitoba are the doorkeepers, as it were, of western Canada. Are they going to assist us, or are they going to be instrumental in opening the doors to further burdens and to the laying of greater stress and strain on the agricultural industry? I hope not.
Then came a violent offensive on the part of the hon. member for Toronto Northwest (Mr. Church). He had many chapters and I am going to select only a few of them. He said:
Woe be it to the maritime provinces when they deal with some of their industries! Woe be it to the industries of the province of Quebec! ....
The main tariff changes in this magnificent budget with its twelve pages of schedules affect the cotton and woollen industry. I have no doubt that one reason for these twelve pages of tinkering is due to the fact that the government. in anticipation of a general election two or three years hence are making a nice little gesture to the gentlemen on our left in anticipation of a larger vote west of the great lakes. ...
It is just digging up material for the free traders. The tariff board to-day, in my opinion, is composed of nothing but a lot of spade and shovel men who are digging up a lot of facts about free trade for the government to destroy protection and trying to foist free trade on the people. The farmers of this country do not believe in the policy of free trade, and yet the government are going to destroy every industry in Ontario and Quebec before they get through with this Yankee fad, the tariff board. . . .
To-day this government with its free trade gesture * is in effect telling our youth: "Go
south, young men." ....
The expulsion of the Acadians was nothing to the expulsion of 600,000 Canadians by this tariff policy.
There are many others of the same kind but I am afraid time will not permit me to quote my friend from Toronto at greater length. To that the hon. gentleman for East Lambton (Mr. Pansher) says:
As I say, the government appealed to the country saying: Why divide the low tariff
element? But in this budget they have simply tinkered up the old tariff wall, taking off a stone here and replacing it somewhere else, and taking one from there and putting it in the place of the one they took away. They have
given the old tariff wall a coat of whitewash and they have still kept the old barbed wire entanglement known as the dumping clause on top of the tariff wall.
Then the hon. member for Muskoka-Ontario (Mr. McGibbon)-and I am pleased to call him my friend-comes along and says this as reported on page 698 of Hansard:
There we see again the baneful influence of this government, and how its policy is going to strangle the woollen industry and possibly drive more mills out of business. I ask you, Mr. Speaker, I ask any man of intelligence and common sense, why do we crucify our Canadian industries that are giving work to our own people? For the life of me I cannot understand it.
Very fortunately the hon. member for Rosetown (Mr. Evans) came to the rescue and he says, 'as reported on page 737:
Taking it altogether, this budget is a rich man's feast. The money cost to the public through trade penalties has not been at all lessened, and the moral hazard has not been abated in any way. ... _ _
The parliament of Canada is the highest court in the land, the place from which one would suppose justice would emanate for all alike, but the present government^ after having taken every possible means to inform themselves on the evil system of trade penalties, now come forth with a budget in defiance of that knowledge. This has given a direct challenge to the primary producers and workers of this nation; it has challenged the farmers to organize for political action, and it is even an invitation to the workers to strike for justice. ...
Again, the farming class of Canada has been farmed by the capitalistic class of this Dominion for the last forty years, and all governments of Canada for the last forty years, irrespective of party, have done the same thing. In this respect the present budget is no different from the budgets winch have been presented in former years, but it does stamp this government as being composed of men who are willing to continue the sweated labour on the farms of Canada of our women and children, to say nothing of our men, to swell the profits of those who, through their henchmen in this house, proclaim their indolence-
Pardon me for not finishing the sentence. Immediately after that speech the hon. member for South Cape Breton (Mr. MacDonald) rose and, before starting to discuss the budget, he could not help saying this out of the kindness of his heart:
Having listened to the last two speakers, I rather sympathize with the Minister of Finance. They attacked him from entirely different angles, but I do not think he should have very much trouble in deciding which of the two criticisms is deserving of consideration.
His sympathy was not very practical because he started to do the same thing and abused the Minister of Finance. Then the hon. member for Dufferin-Simcoe (Mr. Rowe)
said, as reported on page 830:

The Budget-Mr. Lapointe
The people of this Dominion have been viewing with alarm the attitude of the government towards the manufacturing industries of this country. . . .
The budget may be pleasing to those who are interested in a low tariff: the Minister of Finance calls it a reclassification, but whether you describe it thus, or whether you call it a ratification or a modification or a lowering of the tariff or tariff tinkering, the effect will be the same; it will be felt just as injuriously by industries throughout the Dominion.
The hon. member for Mackenzie (Mr. Campbell) then came forward and said:
The more I examine the budget the more I realize that the tariff is not reduced at all; it is actually raised.
He continued:
To-day I no longer wonder; I am quite convinced from these figures that as between the two old parties the low tariff party sits to our right while the high tariff party occupies the benches opposite, including in their ranks the hon. members from Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

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