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


Duncan Sinclair

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DUNCAN SINCLAIR (North Wellington) :

Mr. Speaker, in opening my few remarks on the budget and the amendments thereto I wish to congratulate you on your re-election as Speaker of this house, and I hope (hat on this, my first attempt to speak, I shall have your kindly sympathy. I promise faithfully that I will be under the wire before the flag falls. I also wish to thank hon. members on both sides of the house for their kindness to myself since coming here. Like the old Scottish preacher who once said in opening

The Bridget-Mr. Sinclair (Wellington)
his sermon, "My dear friends, I want to say something before I begin," I should like to thank the Minister of Railways (Mr. Dunning) and the Minister of Finance (Mr. Robb) for the splendid assistance they gave me in the last election. I was very sorry to be so busy in the election that I was not at home when they visited my vicinity, but if they will only send me word next time they come I will be there to meet them and receive them in a hospitable manner.
I had no intention of making a speech this session, but in looking over the speech from the throne and the budget as brought down by the Minister of Finance I decided this was my time to get in, because I could scarcely say less than is contained in either the speech from the throne or the budget. With regard to the budget and the amendment thereto, I must say that I am heartily in favour of the amendment as proposed by the hon. member for St. Lawrence-St. George (Mr. Cahan). I regret that the budget does not contain a remedy for the unemployment existing in Canada, that no attempt is made to induce our boys and girls to return to their native land, and that there is nothing which will prevent the continuance of the alarming exodus to the United States. The budget contains no provision for the preservation of our own market for farm and dairy products, does not provide for the development of the natural resources of this country and does not abolish the sales tax. I suggest to the Minister of Finance and the government that the time has come when there should be no more tinkering with the tariff, a process which inevitably causes injury both to the manufacturers and to the farmers of this country. What I mean by that is that I think the tariff should be left as it is for at least the life of one parliament. Before I ever went into politics I remember how the managers of factories and the people who had their money invested in these industries were kept in a continual state of apprehension because they did not know what this government was going to do, or what industry would next be attacked.
I would suggest to the Minister of Finance that if he had outlined in the budget a national fuel policy for Canada, a national iion and steel policy for Canada, a national pulp and paper policy for Canada; if he had outlined policies whereby our natural resources could be turned into finished products in Canadian factories by Canadian workmen, he would have solved many of the problems which confront us to-day, and the Minister of Immigration and Colonization (Mr. Forke)
would not be condemned, as he is being condemned now, for conditions which have been brought about by the foolishness of this government. There is no doubt at all that our young people are leaving Canada in large numbers. There must be some reason for it, and there must be some remedy for it. Why not apply the remedy and stop the exodus from Canada of some of our best and brightest minds? Recently when crossing the border I got into conversation with a gentleman on the train. He asked me where I came from, and I replied, from Canada. During the journey I noticed some big factory buildings and asked him what industries they housed. He said they were pulp and paper mills. I asked, "Where do you get your pulpwood?" He replied, "From you foolish Canadians." "What do you mean?" I said. He replied, "Exactly what I said. If we could not get this pulpwood from Canada we could not manufacture it here." "What would that mean?" I inquired. He replied, "We would have to go to Canada." Now the question I ask is: Why not bring them to Canada? I would simply give notice to every pulp and paper manufacturer in the United States who gets his supply of pulpwood from Canada that one year from to-day the exportation of this pulpwood will not be permitted, and that they must be prepared to manufacture it in this country. These industries would thus be compelled to establish themselves in Canada and our boys and girls employed in those mills would return with them.
I wish now to make a few remarks on the Australian treaty as it affects our farmers. I cannot understand the attitude of the Minister if Agriculture and the government in this matter. I recall how the former member for South Oxford, Mr. Sutherland, pleaded with the government not to ratify this treaty. He warned them what would happen if they did so. What he predicted would come to pass iX that treaty were ratified has happened. I am absolutely opposed to the enactment of any law which injures the dairymen or the woollen industry of this country, whether introduced by a Liberal or by a Conservative government. I well recollect when every farmer in my own constituency kept from ten to twenty-five sheep. But they are not keeping them now. What is the cause of that? The government must be aware of this falling off. There must be a. remedy for it, and it is up to the government to provide that remedy. The facts given to the house the other day by the hon. member for Victoria B.C. (Mr. Tolmie) should convince the government that something should be done, and done at once
The Budget-Mr. Sinclair (Wellington)
to save the sheep industry and the woollen industry. After reading the speech of the hon. member for Victoria, I was rather surprised to get in nay mail a circular from the Civil Service Association which contained the following notice:
Civil Service of Canada Position Vacant
Applications are invited from residents of the province of Ontario qualified for the position of
District Sheep Promoter-$2,040 per Annum.
The circular does not say whether the district sheep promoter is to have a Mc-Laughlin-Buick or a Ford car. I expect that he will have one. The minister will surely give him a Ford car, although he himself drives a McLaughlin-Buick. Just think of the government employing a man at this salary when the responsibility for the condition of that industry lies in the government itself! They spoil the woollen business and then they try to get some person to jack it up. It is a sad thing that only one-third of the woollen and worsted goods used in Canada is supplied by Canadian mills, and that the remaining two-thirds are imported. We could and we should grow enough wool in this country to supply all our needs.
I wish now to say something about the dairy industry. In order to show the condition of that industry in my own riding I am going to read to the house extracts from communications from the creamery men of North Wellington, showing what effects the Australian treaty has had on the dairy industry there. I will also place on record the importations from Australia and New Zealand under the treaty. I think we all agree that up to the time the Australian treaty came into effect the dairy industry was one of the finest industries in this Dominion, and thanks are due to the Dominion and the provincial governments in the past for the assistance they have always given this industry. Unfortunately the present government entered into this treaty with Australia. I am sorry the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Motherwell) is so little interested in the dairy industry that he is busily engaged in talking with hon. members around him. I suppose he was very busy talking when this treaty was made, and that is why he allowed it to go through.

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