Mr. MARTIAL RHEAUME (St. John-Iberville) (Translation):
Mr. Speaker, I wish
to take part in this debate so as to reply to a challenge sent, last week, to the Liberal members, by the hon. Solicitor General (Mr. Dupre).
I invited the latter to meet me in my county. He was conspicuous by his absence and sent me the following telegram;
Mr. Martial Rheaume, M.P.,
St. John-Iberville, Que.
I challenged the French-Canadian Liberal members to repeat to the electors of Quebec the charges voiced by the Liberals, namely: that the Conservatives had been too hard on the English at the Imperial conference; that the Conservatives had compelled the English to make concessions; that the Canadian Conservatives were opposed to the English or anti-
British. I again challenge you to repeat these words before your audience of Sunday and you do not require my presence as I will know, nevertheless, whether you have or have not repeated these charges. I trust you will read this telegram at the meeting and that you will explain how it happens that the Liberal party opposes the agreement that protects the farmer, the workman and the manufacturer and opens to us new markets for our products. Please explain to them also the disappointment of the Liberal party because we have succeeded where you have failed. I count on your loyalty to place the facts before your friends in their true light.
I received a letter from the hon. member for Compton (Mr. Goibeil) in reply to a telegram which I sent him. I must add that these gentlemen did not come to the meeting, and, by the way, I shall repeat what I stated last Sunday, at Iberville:
I challenge the hon. Solicitor General to resign his seat and I shall do likewise, we can then both come forward in the constituency of St. Johns-Lberville. I shall further request the right hon. Prime Minister (Mr. Bennelt) not to issue the election warrants for both ridings on the same date, so as to afford an opportunity to the hon. Solicitor General of being rebuffed by the electors of the city of Quebec as he will be in the constituency of St. Johns-Lberville. I also request the hon. member for Compton-who I invited to meet me in my constituency, Sunday, and who never turned up-to invite me to the county of Compton, together with the hon. member for Sherbrooke (Mr. Howard), the hon. member for Laprairie-Napierville (Mr. Dupuis), and other members, where we shall repeat the statements made in the house by our leader and the hon. member for Quebec East (Mr. Lapointe).
If you wish to find out Quebec's views on this subject, open uip a riding and you will soon learn what they are. You have heard the voice of New Brunswick, when the hon. member for Royal (Mr. Jones) who had been elected, in 1930, by nearly 3,000 of a majority, was returned by slightly over 600 votes. You have heard the voice of Ontario in the South Huron election. In 1930, this riding had given a majority of 349 votes to the Liberal candidate and, in October last, the Liberal member for South Huron (Mr. Golding) was elected by a majority of nearly 2,000 votes. I think that they are afraid of Quebec. The government has certainly had the opportunity of finding out the views of Quebec. It has just appointed the Hon. Mr. Rainville to the Senate. I think that the choice of the party for this senatorshiip was the hon. member for Berthier-Maskinonge (Mr. Barrette). However I am informed that he was not ap-
Imperial Conference-Trade Agreements
pointed because the government feared to open a constituency in Quebec. There was a much sought appointment in the Court of Appeals. I think that the hon. Minister of Marine (Mr. Duranleau) would certainly have accepted this post, however the government did not care to bring on an election in the beautiful county of Chambly-Vercheres. The hon. Postmaster General (Mr. Sauve) would also like a senatorship. The government do not wish to appoint him nor will they do so because they fear to open the constituency of Laval-Two Mountains where they may receive the same reply they received in Ontario.
The hon. Solicitor General, in his speech delivered last Wednesday made the following statement at page 380 of Hansard:
We may be wrong, we may be right. The country will decide, and we are ready to go before the country to find out who is right and vdio is wrong.
I think the hon. Solicitor General noticed the slip he made. He immediately asked to adjourn the debate, at 5.45 p.m. The following day at page 383 of Hansard, he stated:
As far as the election goes, I may say that I was not well interpreted. I did not fix any date. And when I saw the fright on the faces of hon. gentlemen opposite I thought I had better correct that statement, and say that we might not have an election before one or two or three years. I hear laughter from the other side, but may I tell my friends opposite that they should keep cool, because they should remember, if I may say so, that there is no more Beauharnois.
I think that a night's rest brought sound advice to the hon. Solicitor General. I was informed that his leader's absence was due to having been called to Albany so as to be in-, vested with an honorary degree. This reminds me that when I was at college, we had a professor who neither allowed us to smile nor utter a word in the class room. Having heard, one morning, that he was i'll, we smiled and chatted. I believe that in the Government leader's absence, the hon. Solicitor General was overzealous, and perhaps went a little too far; he was so advised and the following day, he contended that we had wrongly interpreted his words- I note also that, in his speech, he wrongly interpreted our leader's remarks.
I know that the hon. Solicitor General is very devoted to his leader. He states that there is no more Beauharnois, however, I am informed that there are members opposite who received small gifts from the Beauharnois Company so as to help them in the last election. Both the Liberal and Conservative parties received such gifts; however, I wish to state that we have no need of being helped
financially, we have the people behind us, and all are aware that money has no vote but the people have. You have heard the voices of New Brunswick and Ontario, if you wish to hear Quebec's voice, I offer you the opportunity; I am ready at any time.
In his telegram, the hon. Solicitor General contends that the Imperial Conference agreements are to the advantage of the farming class. I wonder if it is helping the farmer when the customs duties on cream separators and barbed wire are increased by 10 per cent.
There are many kinds of mathematicians, but the hon. Solicitor General has certainly not examined the figures closely, for he would have found out his error.
In 1930, our good friends on the opposite side made use of "Canada First" and I recall that the Conservative candidate, in my constituency stated: "All for Canada." But these were only meaningless words. I had some correspondence with the hon. Minister of Public Works (Mr. Stewart) in connection with goods manufactured in St. John, so as to fill a contract for the National Research Council. "Canada First" it sounds well, but deeds not words should be practised; I found out that the contract, instead of being awarded to the Canadian Trenton Potteries of St. John, in my county, was awarded in England.
I have here the splendid newspaper distributed during the Three Rivers election, the souvenir number of the Victory. This newspaper was published by a Conservative organization. I shall read the following extract:
Mr. Bennett favours a bonus on butter.
St. Eustaehe, 8.-The hon. Arthur Sauve, Postmaster General, made the following statement at the Conservative convention of Two-Mountains, _ which choose, last night Mr. Jean-Paul Sauve, as candidate for the constituency. "After a number of interviews on the subject with my colleague the hon. Mr. Weir, Minister of Agriculture, and also with the Prime Minister, I am authorized to state that the Dominion government is willing to discuss the question of granting a bonus on each pound of good quality butter made in the country butter factories of Canada."
I have personally heard the hon. Postmaster General say that he had never made such a statement; this reminds me of a speech which he delivered last summer at Cap-Saint-Martin, in Laval-Two Mountains, and in which he stated that no more New Zealand butter would enter into Canada. I would advise the hon. Postmaster General to inquire at the Trade and Commerce department, he will there find out that butter is entering into Canada, and perhaps more than under the Liberal regime.
The hon. member for Compton stated in his speech that the farmers should rejoice
at the prices they obtain for their butter. I challenge the hon. member for Compton to repeat that statement in his county. I think it would rather have been his duty to tour his county, after the last session, and apprise his people of the work done by his government to improve the condition of the farming class and also the help which he himself had rendered to safeguard the interests of the farmers of his county. I know that the hon. member for Compton prefers travelling about the country and be the torch bearer and acolyte of ministers, in the county of Maisonneuve, for instance, where he went to uphold the Conservative policy. I think the duty of a member is to travel through his county, as I did last summer, so as to meet the people and give an account of his stewardship.
1 he duty of a member is not only to draw his indemnity but to be the spokesman of those who returned him. He, therefore, must render an account of his activities, of what the government has accomplished, especially after such promises as were made throughout the country by the member for Compton and other members opposite.
Referring to the newspaper just mentioned, I find that the hon. Minister of Marine stated that he had $758,000 appropriated for work in the county of Three Rivers-158,000 for the retaining wall at Shawinigan Falls and $700,000 for the further development of the Three Rivers harbour. I shall this week put some questions to the government in order to find out whether the promises made to Three Rivers have been fulfilled. I think that since the hon. member for Three Rivers (Mr. Bourgeois) has taken his seat in the house, the only speech he has delivered was when he moved the address in reply to the speech from the throne. It is his duty to inform us, today, whether all the pledges the government made, in the course of the election, have been fulfilled. I also notice in that newspaper a photograph of the Right Hon. Mr. Bennett, represented with his arms outstretched saying: "My tariff protects industry," further on an appeal is made to business men:
We, in industry, are reaping the aftermath ot the general crisis.
There should be no question of politics in the present election. Our business and interests should be the first considered. We shall discuss politics when business improves.
On the same page I read the following headline:
We shall discuss politics in four years; for the moment vote for Bourgeois and the government.
In both the Three Rivers and South Huron election the Conservatives preferred not to discuss politics, and contended that unemployment could not be looked upon as a political question.
Was it not their battle horse, in 1930? The government assumed power under misrepresentations and the people are waiting for the Prime Minister, his lieutenants and other members, just as the United States are waiting for the coming election to give their verdict. I know that Mr. Hoover has the support of the financial interests in ;he United States, just as our Prime Minister has in Canada, but Mr. Roosevelt has the advantage of having the people behind him to the same degree as the Liberal party has in this country.
I regret that the hon. member for Compton is just taking his seat when I am about to close my remarks, however, I must make way for the hon. member for St. Denis (Mr. Denis) who wishes to be heard before the adjournment of the house. I may say that I entirely approve the policy of the right hon. leader of the opposition (Mr. Mackenzie King), for when I became a candidate in my county, I pledged myself to support him, and I am keeping my promise.
Subtopic: IMPERIAL ECONOMIC CONFERENCE