DONNELLY, The Hon. James J.

Personal Data

Progressive Conservative
Bruce South (Ontario)
Birth Date
November 14, 1866
Deceased Date
October 20, 1948
lumberman, president / manager, rancher

Parliamentary Career

February 16, 1904 - September 29, 1904
  Bruce East (Ontario)
October 26, 1908 - July 29, 1911
  Bruce South (Ontario)
September 21, 1911 - October 6, 1917
  Bruce South (Ontario)
December 11, 1942 - October 6, 1917
  Bruce South (Ontario)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 270 of 270)

June 15, 1904

Mr. JAMES J. DONNELLY (East Bruce).

I have listened attentively to the speech of the hon. member for Labelle (Mr. Bourassa) and was glad to learn from his opening remarks that there is at least one gentleman on that side who appreciates the benefit this country had derived from the tariff policy introduced by the late Sir John A. Macdonald and the Conservative party in 1878. The hon. member appears to be very favourably impressed with the proposition of the government to appoint a commission to consider the tariff. I am inclined to think that many other hon. members on that side are also favourably impressed with the proposition, and especially so in view of the general election, because they will now be able to go into high tariff districts and preach high tariff, and into low tariff districts and preach low tariff. The greater part of the hon. member's speech was what might be called a personal explanation of his views in reference to the tariff policy of Mr. Chamberlain. I shall not deal with that. I think that at this late hour, hon. members are not in the humour to listen to long speeches. I shall endeavour to condense my remarks as much as possible.

During the course of this debate much has been said in reference to the present prosperous condition of, the country. We on this side of the House are as proud of the present prosperity of the country as hon. gentlemen on the other side can be ; but it still remains for supporters of the government to show that the present prosperity is, to an important extent, due to any efforts of the present government, unless we give them credit for adopting the tariff policy which they strongly opposed when in opposition. We have had placed before us the diagram showing the increase in the exports of the country. I have looked up the items in the report of the Department of Trade and Commerce, and I find that one of the principle items is wheat. In 1896 we exported 9,919,542 bushels of wheat. Last year 1903 we ex-poted 32,985,749 bushels. Here is an increase of no less than 23,000,000 bushels. What has the present government done to bring about the .present increase in wheat ?

Yery little that I am aware of. The Conservative party, under the leadership of the l(ite Sir John" Macdonald, secured the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway into our western country. The early settlers who went into that country were men of small means, and, for a time, there was no marked increase in the export of wheat But, in course of time, they went into wheat growing on a larger scale and their success encouraged men of capital to go into the business upon a scale larger still. The result was there has been a marked increase in recent years in the export of wheat. The following figures show the increase of our exports in the three important staples :

Exports Cheese.. Bacon.. Cattle..

1896. 1903.

13,956,571 24,712,946

$ 4,381,968 $15,906,334 7,082,542 11,342,632

So that, in the three items that I have mentioned, we find a total increase of about $24,000,000. The increase in the lines that t have mentioned are largely due to the improved conditions of farming and also the bountiful harvest with which Providence has blessed us.

It seems to me that the government have taken a step in the right direction by increasing the minimum valuation upon horses imported. Put. to my mind they have not gone far enough to prevent altogetliei the importation of American scrub horses. Under the change they have made, the minimum duty on horses will be $10 per head, while the minimum duty on Canadian horses going into the American market is $30 per head. In 1903 there were several carloads of low grade horses brought from the western states into the county of Bruce. This would be of comparatively little disadvantage if they were used for work only, but the danger is they may be used for stock raising, and in that case there is danger from the inferior breed of horses. The horse breeders of Ontario have expended large amounts of money introducing from Great Britain the best breed of horses to be had, and it is very important that the strain of our horses should be kept up.

The government by their increase in the duty on woollens have shown that they have at last come to the conclusion that a little protection may be a good thing for a languishing industry.

I wish to say a word or two with reference to the furniture industry. During the present session I met a deputation of prominent furniture men who came here to interview the government. They told me that what they wanted was to have the same duty placed on American furniture coming into Canada as is now placed on Canadian furniture going into the United States. In western Ontario at the present time, there is a large amount of capital invested in establishments for the manufacture of furniture, which manufacture

appears to be a natural industry in this country. We have the raw material in the shape of timber, and the industry gives employment to a large number of persons and thus creates a home market for the products of the surrounding farm.

Where we find prosperous manufacturing industries we ought to find prosperous towns and villages. Where we find manufacturers prospering we find land values increasing. From the report of trade and commerce I find that we exported to the United States furniture in 1903 to the value of $14,754, while we imported furniture from the United States to the value of $518,217. Xu other words, we paid to the Americans $35 for furniture for every $1 that were received from them. And yet, Sir, this government refuses to grant to our furniture manufacturers the same degree of protection that the American people give to their furniture manufacturers. Speaking as a farmer, I wish to see not only our farmers protected but our manufacturing industries protected also. We are often told that the price of farm products is governed entirely by the British markets, I cannot agree with that statement. If that is so, how is it that land lying within twenty miles of the city of Toronto sells for $100 an acre, while an acre of land equally productive in the outlying districts only brings $45 per acre ? The British market is open to the products of both districts. To my mind the reason is because the land surrounding the city of Toronto finds a market for its products in that city, and the same principle applies throughout Canada.

Subtopic:   TOTAL REVENUE.
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June 15, 1904


Liberal party that these results have been attained. Time and again hon. gentlemen in the Conservative party have asked us to point out what the Liberals have done to bring about this wonderful progress. Well, Sir, if time permitted I could easily point out many things they have done. We know that the Minister of Agriculture, for instance, has done a great deal to increase the volume of our exports of cheese, butter and other' articles that come under his purview. Those of us who are engaged in business cannot fail to witness the great increase of our trade with Great Britain in those lines.

Now I wish to deal with some remarks of the hon. member for Pictou (Mr. Bell) who undertook to reply to the Minister of Finance. He spoke in regard to the duty of kerosene oil, and stated that the Liberals ought to have taken that duty off years ago. I would like to know how that tallies with the remark of the hon. member for Lambton (Mr. Armstrong) who, in this House to-night, gave lengthy reasons why the duty should have been retained on kerosene oil. There are two distinct statements from the Conservative side that cannot be made to tally at all. So far as I am concerned, I shall be glad to go back to the people of my province and tell them that this government has reduced the duty on kerosene oil, because I know it will result in benefit to our people. The people in my riding were told in the last election campaign that when the Liberals came into power they promised to reduce the duty on kerosene oil, but instead of cutting it down by one-half they only reduced it by one cent a gallon. Now, I am glad to find that the government have seen tit, in the interest of the farmers and the labouring classes generally, as against a few rich manufacturers, to make a further reduction in the duty of kerosene oil. In other ways also I think this government have dealt, with questions affecting the public people in a way that is commendable. Although I do not think it is necessary to protect the woollen industries to any great extent, still I am glad that the government have granted some relief to some of those industries which, I am told since I came here, are suffering. At the same time I wish to say that I believe that if those depressed woollen industries had adopted modern methods and modern machinery they would have been able to hold their own as well as some other woollen manufacturers in Canada are doing to-day. I could name woollen mills that are prospering to-day and were quite satisfied with the tariff as it'stood before this last change. I have noticed that the Conservatives are greatly given to finding fault. If the duties are lowered they find fault. We are told to-day that taking the duty off binder twine had a bad effect. That question has been so fully dealt with thata- I am not going to enter

into it. X have also noticed that when the duty was slightly increased the Conservatives found fault also on that score. Tobacco has been mentioned time andj again, but I think the Minister of Inland Revenue has made a very satisfactory explanation in that regard this afternoon.

I need not take up the time of the House in talking about that at any further length. I notice that the hon. member for Pictou (Mr. Bell) produced a table showing the increase in the exports of home products from 1896 to 1903. The increase in seven years was 3108,251,674 or $15,464,525 per year, and he claimed that that was not a satisfactory showing. But, let us look on the other side of the question. In 1878 the total value of domestic articles exported was $67,989,800. It increased in 1888 to $81,382,072 or an increase in ten years of $13,392,272, being $2,072,253 less than one year under the Liberals. In 1896 it had increased to $109,915,337, showing a total increase in 18 years under Conservative rule of $41,925,537, or an average increase per year of $2,329,193. The hon. member for Pictou also claimed that the Liberals are adopting the Conservative policy excepting the cautious financing of the Conservatives. I do not think it necessary to dwell at any length upon that point for the reason that that is also a question that has been fully dealt with. If the hon. member for Montreal, St. Mary's (Mr. Tarte), had been in his seat when that hon. gentleman made his statement, I think he would have smiled as he had some experience as to bow the Conservatives managed the finances of the country in years gone by. The Liberals have so managed the affairs of this country that notwithstanding the fact that the expenditures have been increased in nearly all of the departments, we have yet to hear from the Conservatives in this House or in the country any great attack on the Liberals on account of then- expenditures. They know full well that any extra expenditure will be accounted for by the fact of there being greatly increased revenue. What are the conditions prevailing in Canada to-day ? There is full employment for willing hands at high wages. Our manufacturers are prospering as they never prospered before. Mortgages are being paid off as they never have been before and savings bank deposits have increased very largely. Has this prosperity which Canada is enjoying been worldwide ? The Conservatives have claimed that it has been world-wide, but my right hon. friend the Minister of Trade and Commerce (Sir Richard Cartwright) has very clearly pointed out that such is not the case. We have only to go to Germany, Russia, Australia and even the Lnited States to find that the measure of prosperity which Canada is enjoying has not been world-wide. I was very pleased indeed to hear the statement of my hon. friend the Minister of Finance that a commission would be appointed to

revise the tariff at an early day. I think this is a very practical way of dealing with the affairs of this country. I do not know that anything better could be done. As has been pointed out, the Conservatives some years ago, appointed a commission to deal with this matter which was not satisfactory, but I think we have already learned that the commissions appointed by the Liberals since they came into power, have produced good results, and I think we ought to feel quite satisfied that in the different provinces we can make some suggestions to the hon. Minister of Finance when the time comes, that will be valuable to him and beneficial to the country. Hon. gentlemen opposite would, no doubt, like us to adopt a policy of high protection, but they are not willing to grant that any changes should be made from time to time, claiming that the policy of high protection should be, like the laws of the Medes and Persians, unchangeable. I think that changed conditions require that the tariff should be modified or changed from time to time. Sir, a policy of moderate taxation and general good government such as the Liberals have adopted and which has increased the total volume of the trade of Canada from $230,000,000 in 1896 to $459,000,000 in 1903, should satisfy all true Canadians who place country before party. As has been pointed out by my right hon. friend the Minister of Trade and Commerce, the Canada of to-day is as far apart from the Canada of 1896 as the Canada of 1866 was from the Canada of 1896. I think that very aptly illustrates what has been done since the Liberals obtained power in 1896. Fault has also been found with the preferential tariff as arranged by the Liberal party. It has been claimed that it was not made absolutely perfect and that it did not anticipate every possible contingency from the outset, but hon. gentlemen opposite do not dare to question the advantage it has been to us in setting an example to the world. Several hon. gentlemen have already dealt somewhat fully with that question. I am only going to say that if nothing else ever came from that preferential tariff than the advantages we are experiencing to-day, I would consider that it had achieved very great results. Its advantages are well known to those who have had any experience in exporting to the markets of Great Britain. During the last three or four years, or since this preference has come into force, the products of this country have received a much greater share of attention in Great Britain than they ever did before. I have had a good deal of experience in shipping to the markets of Great Britain the products of this country, and I am proud to say that we have been able to reach a higher point for our cheese and butter than has been reached in almost any part of the world or by countries, at any rate, which have been shipping to the markets of Great Britain. I also know that no person need

Bureau, Maepherson,

Calvert, McCarthy,

Campbell, McCool,

Carbonneau, McGugan,

Champagne, Mclsaac,

Christie, Maiouin,

Copp, Marcil (Bagot),

Costigan, Marcil (Bonaventure),

Cowan, Matheson,

Davis, Mayrand,

Delisle, Meigs,

Demers (Ldvis), Mignault,

Demers (St. John), Monet,

Desjardins, Morrison,

Erb, Mulock (Sir William),

Ethier, Murray,

Fielding, Oliver,

Fisher, Parmelee,

Fitzpatrick, Paterson,

Fortier, Prefontaine,

Gallery, Proulx,

Galliher, Puttee,

Gauvreau, Reid (Restigouehe),

Geoffrion, Riley,

German, Rivet,

Gervals, Ross (Ontario),

Gibson, Ross (Rimouski),

Girard, Ross (Victoria, N.S.),

Gould, Ross (Yukon),

Grant,' Rousseau,

Guthrie, Russell,

Harty, Schell,

Harwood, Scott,

Haszard, Sifton,

Heyd, , Sinclair,

Holmes, Smith (Vancouver),

Hughes (Kings, P.E.I.), Stephens,

Hyman, Stewart,

Johnston (Cape Breton), Talbot,

Ker.dall, Tobin,

Lang, Tucker,

Laurier (Sir Wilfrid), Turcot,

Laurier Turgeon, and

(L'Assomption), Wright-110.


Ministerial. Opposition.

McEwen, Sherritt,

Emmerson, Fowler,

McColl, Ward,

Wallace, Tisdale,

Dyment, McCormick,

Sutherland (Oxford), Haggart,

Cartwright (Sir R.), Tuppper (Sir C. H.),

Lovell, Kendrey,

Roche (Halifax), Lennox,

Douglas, Brock,

Wade, Gourley,

Sutherland (Essex), MacLaren (Perth),

Beland, Ball,

Lcmieux, Roddick,

Power, Johnson (Cardwell),

Lapointe, Porter,

Charlton, Maclean.

Dugas, Ganong,

Johnston (Lambton), Lancaster,

McLennan, Sovth (Wentworth),

Thompson (Haldimand), Boyd,

Tolmie, M< Inicsh.

Amendment negatived. Mr. HASZARD.

Motion agreed to on division, and House went into Committee on Ways and Means.

Progress reported.

Subtopic:   TOTAL REVENUE.
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May 11, 1904

Mr. JAMES J. DONNELLY (East Bruce).

Living, as I do, on one of the branch lines of the Grand Trunk Railway in western Ontario, I have good reason in my own experience to know that the hon. member for Dundas (Mr. Broder) and other hon. members who have spoken have good ground for the criticisms they have directed against that company. We not only have to pay high freight rates, but we have great difficulty in getting cars in reasonable time. We suffer from this difficulty now, but the same difficulty existed even last year, before the snow blockade. Then, the time-tables on these branch lines are a very poor guide as to when the trains will come along. It is quite a usual thing for trains to be an hour or an hour and a half late. I am not speaking of freight or mixed trains, but what are called express or mail trains. Occasionally a train will be on time, and so the public are obliged always to be at the station at the hour given in the time table, and very much valuable time is wasted in this way. These causes of annoyance have been frequently brought to the attention of the company, but, though there has been some temporary improvement it has never continued for a very long time.

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April 15, 1902


HUGHES (King's, P.E.I.) Before that motion is carried, I desire to call the attention of the government, the House and the country to the intolerable condition of things that exists in relation to the telegraphic communication between Prince Edward Island and the mainland. I had intended to bring this subject up on the third reading of the Bill of the Minister of Justice dealing with telegraphs and telephones, but as it has been decided to leave that Bill over until next year, I am obliged to bring it up in this way and now. I have said, Mr. Speaker, that the position is intolerable ; and I think I have only to mention the bald facts of the case to have every hon. member in this House agree with me that that language is not one whit too strong.

The Anglo-American Company, which has its head office in London, is the only telegraph company doing business in Prince Edward Island, and is the only company that has a cable connecting the island with the mainland. That company closes its offices on Prince Edward Island at eight o'clock in SO

the afternoon, and does not open them again until eight or nine o'clock on the following day. That is a very great hardship not only to the people of Prince Edward Island but to all others who may have to do business with them. It was found to be a very great hardship during the early stages of the South African war when, no matter how important the message might be coming to Sackville, N.B., only a short distance away, if it came after eight o'clock in the afternoon It did not reach the island until after eight o'clock the following morning. Even with so many relatives and friends of young men engaged in that war anxious for news concerning them and with all the people desirous of learning the progress of events, yet, no matter how important these messages might be, they could not reach the island until the following day; they would not be printed in the morning-papers and so would not reach the country until twenty-four hours after the news had reached Sackville. This is the age of progress, this is the twentieth century. Yet to-day we have one whole province of this Dominion entirely shut off! from telegraphic communications with the outside world for twelve hours out of the twenty-four. '

But that is not the whole trouble. We on the Island are obliged to pay twice as high for messages as those on the mainland. This is a serious drawback to business men in Prince Edward Island and also to those who wish to do business with Prince Edward Island. I have here a letter from a business firm in Charlottetown, which refers to this point:

We find that our telegraph bill for November was $106.44, and if our rates were the same as on the mainland, we could get the work done for about one-half the amount, which would be a very material saving. But this does not, by any means measure our loss. You can quite understand that our customers, say at Sydney, would not think of wiring us for supplies as it would cost them twice as much to get information as to prices, &c., from Charlottetown as from Halifax or St. John. This is where the real loss comes in. Business that we should get passes us every day owing to the extra expense in wiring. In buying and selling goods, at least two or three messages must pass between the buyer and seller. First, an inquiry as to price, second an offer, third a counteroffer, and Anally a telegram to close the transaction. So it will be easily seen that the excessive telegraph rates become a serious tax on our business, and drive business away from us as well.

But even that is not the whole matter. This cable was laid many years ago, at a time when the making and laying of cables was not as well understood as it is now. I understand that that cable never was very strong, and it is liable to break at any time and leave us without telegraphic communication altogether. As a matter of fact, it did part last fall and was not repaired for about three weeks. If it should break during the late

autumn it could not be repaired until the following summer. But, even while the cable was broken, if any person went to the Anglo-American Company to send a message across the Straits to have it repeated to some point on the mainland, though the sending of it cost the company only two cents, and the answer might not come for several days, yet they charged the old rates that they were charging when they sent the messages across on the cable. Many tourists come to Prince Edward Island, especially from the United States, and they are simply astonished to find that they cannot communicate with their friends for twelve hours out of the twenty-four. And we as a people are humiliated that such a state of things should exist throughout a whole province of this Dominion. As I say, this is a matter that affects all the maritime provinces and all Canada, and I am glad to find that the people of Canada generally do not take a narrow view of the question. Let me read a resolution passed by the Maritime Board of Trade on this matter.

I believe that this resolution was sent to the government:

A subject brought to the attention of this Board is ' improved telegraphic communication .between Prince Edward Island and the mainland.' The facts of the case are, we believe, well understood by the government, and especially, by one member, Sir L. H. Davies. As briefly put before the board at its last meeting, they are substantially these, that :

' Telegrams could only be sent to and from the Island between nine a.m. and one p.m. and between two and eight p.m. The Anglo-American Company, though it has only one hundred miles of wire, controls the situation. A telegram to Boston costs $1-50 cents to Sackville, and 50 cents to Boston. Pressure should be brought to bear upon the company, whose head office is in London, to secure a better service. They get a subsidy of $2,000 a year. The island papers cannot get the press dispatches at night. There would not be so much objection to slightly higher rates than those on the mainland if it were possible to get messages and press dispatches through at any,time, or at least up to midnight. There are two steamers now every week from Boston to Charlottetown with crowds of tourists who stand amazed that they cannot send a message home, between eight p.m. and nine a.m.

We earnestly hope that this will receive that careful attention which its merits most certainly demand.

(Signed) M. G. DeWOLPE, President.

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