October 25, 1932 (17th Parliament, 4th Session)


Alan Webster Neill


Mr. A. W. NEILL (Comox-Alberni):

Mr. Speaker, when I first heard this agreement explained by the right hon. the Prime Minister (Mr. Bennett) I felt very hopeful. I thought there was much of promise in it, but the more I dive into the intricacies of the thing and investigate the peculiarities of its terms, the less hopeful and more disappointed I become. I am beginning to think now that instead of being full of promise, it is full of promises, many of which are of an illusory character. I think that some such idea may have passed through the mind of the right hon. the Prime Minister when I find him warning us of the danger of sticking too closely to the letter of the agreement and telling us that we must depend more on the obligations, not necessarily written but forming part of the warp and woof of the agreement. An analogous situation might be that of a lawyer drawing a mortgage and omitting to put in anything about the payment of interest. Upon his client objecting he would say: "Well, yes, there is nothing about interest in the actual mortgage, but the intention to pay interest is part of the warp and woof of the whole transaction." I think the mortgagee, in the one case, and the industrialist, the worker and the unemployed, in the other, would prefer to have any benefits expressed in the bond.
Later on we find a sort of omnibus phrase which is perhaps calculated to cover up any charge of neglect or inability to improve conditions. This indicates that the government, the Prime Minister being the government, has no desire to make it any too easy for us or for the worker to get out of the present situation. I quote the exact words as follows:
Well, we have no desire to undermine that high courage, that resourcefulness and ability of our citizens to emerge out of difficulties, strengthened by trials as by fire.

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