I have not made any particular study of this, and I was only stating the figures given me by my hon. friend. But I think that if my hon. friend wanted to be fair and to give the proper information to this House, he would endeavour to find out from the Department. The fair comparison would be not the increase in appointments but the increase in the number of employees now in actual service. That comparison would be a proper and
fair one; if the increase were unreasonably large in proportion to the increase and development of the work in the departments there might be some cause for criticism, but there is no ground for criticism along the lines my hon. friends have pursued. This gloomy picture that is painted of our country and the conditions that exist here is not justified by the actual results as shown in the buoyant statements of the banks, with their large reserves and deposits, and also in the statements from loan companies and insurance companies. Under the existing circumstances there has been a surprising growth in our railway earnings and remarkable improvement in the bank balances and clearings. All along the line the tide seems to have turned. On the 30th of January the banks of this country had a total paid-up capital and reserve of $227,203,192. The deposits in the chartered banks in Canada were $996,877,212, the deposits elsewhere were $91,807,007, making a total of deposits of $1,088,684,219. But the increase in the deposits for January over the corresponding month in'the year 1914 is very striking. These are things that come close to us and are indications of improved conditions. The increase in the amount of deposits this year over January, 1914, was $21,929,917. In addition to the capital invested in these banks, our loan companies have a paid-up capital of $59,700,000. I have not the figures of reserves of loan companies but in many cases the reserve exceeds the paid-up capital and I do not think I would be very far mis-stating the fact if I said that the reserves were equal to the paid-up capital. We have invested in our manufacturing industries in this country $1,247,583,609; in railways $2,250,000,000; in canals $102,000,000. Our factory output amounted to $1,600,000,000, and the wages in our factories to $241,000,000. These figures are for 1910. The returns for this year show large increases over them. It does not look to me as though this country were in a deplorable condition financially, and I think that all along the line the tendency is towards improvement.
Hon. gentlemen complain about the cost of the administration of the Post Office Department in Canada. I find upon investigation that even in the United States the total revenue of the post office from 1865, the time of the civil war, to 1913, was $3,775,000,000 and the cost of operation for the same period was $4,555,000,000. There was that difference between the revenue and the cost of operating the Post Office Department of that great country. From 1884 until
1914 there have been almost constant deficits in the Post Office Department of that country. In 1902 the deficit amounted to $2,961,169, and in 1909 to $17,479,770. The aggregate deficit in the United States Post Office revenue from 1884 to 1914 reached the enormous total of $210,544,802, or an average yearly deficit of $7,797,955. That is in the great country south of us, with their much more dense population than that of Canada and their enormous revenue. Looking at that record we have reason to be proud of the administration of the Post Office Department in Canada.
The development of the parcel post system and of rural mail delivery has been a matter of very great interest to the farmers of this country. I do not know that any department of this Government has ever had to undertake a matter more difficult or complex than the arranging of rural mail routes throughout this country. The work has been done well. From the district I represent, a pretty large area, I have not received a single complaint of the service that has been given by the department. When we want to get an estimate, of the prosperity of this country we sometimes look at the annual bank reports. Hon. gentlemen opposite say that the present condition of the country is due to the gross extravagance of this Government. Let me read from the proceedings of the annual meeting of the Royal Bank of Canada which was held on January 8, 1914. Mr. E. F. B. Johnston, K.O., in seconding the adoption of the report, said:
Personally, I have great confidence in the vigour and elasticity of Canada and its people. Compared with many other countries, people in Canada do not know what hard times mean. The fact is that financial stringency in Canada is generally caused toy over-prosperity. Many business men of Canada during the past two or three years have been doing $200 of business on $100 capital. If they had confined their business relatively in volume to the amount of capital they had invested in it, they would not be hard up.
He goes on:
We may ask on an occasion like the present: What of the future? I am very sanguine as regards Canada. Let us look at some of the evi-. dences of prosperity which are laid before us:
Then after giving certain figures in regard to England, he says:
Coming to our own country, we find a pronounced feeling of hopefulness. Prom every province comes the voice of prosperity.
That was the optimistic opinion expressed of the conditions in the fall of 1913 by the
director of one of our banks at that time. The Minister of Finance too, when the Budget of 1914 was brought down in this House, was considerably optimistic as to the future of Canada; for then, neither he nor any one else knew of the great conflict that was lurking in the rear. Let me now turn to the annual meeting of the Royal Bank which was held on January 14, 1915. Sir Herbert Holt, the president, in moving the adoption of the report, said:
The outbreak of war was followed by a convulsive derangement of International exchange and general trade. Stock exchanges were closed, in many countries a moratorium was proclaimed, and a financial catastrophe of world-wide proportions was only averted by the wise and timely action of the British Government in providing through the Bank of England, powerful machinery for sustaining and protecting credit during the war, and for twelve months after peace is concluded. Much credit is due to the Canadian Minister of Finance for the emergency measures so promptly introduced to protect the situation in Canada. The efficiency of these is demonstrated by the fact that the business of the country has pursued its ordinary course, and we enjoy the distinction of requiring no recourse to a general moratorium.
And further on, he says:
Having no misgivings regarding the final outcome of the war, we venture the prediction that its economic effect upon Canada will be beneficial, although the magnitude of the struggle is without precedent. Previous wars during the past half century (namely, the war of Prussia against Austria in 1886, and against France in 1870, the South African war and the Russo-Japanese war) were all followed by active and expanding trade, but in each case, only two countries were engaged, as against the inclusion of nearly all Europe on the present occasion.. .. If the present war be long-continued, the European nations involved may become financially prostrated for many years. Even if the war is not long-continued, the flow of capital from Great Britain to this country is not likely to be resumed for a considerable time, and new . constructional work will therefore be retarded. On the other hand, we reap distinct commercial advantages from our geographical position and remoteness from the scene of warfare, which permit us to prosecute our farming and manufacturing industries unmolested in suite of our participation in the conflict
That is the opinion of the president of the Royal Bank. I have said before that I believe the time will come when our industries in the great West will be so developed that they will impress even our friends in the West that our home market, which industries alone can build up, is a matter of some interest to them; and when that time comes we shall not hear so much of the cry for free trade. I should like to give the House some figures taken from the report of the Royal Bank, from which I
have already quoted, giving the number of capital employed, employees, salaries and factories in this country by provinces, the wages, and the value of products.
1913- Establish- Salaries Value ofments. Capital. Employees. and Wages. Products.Alberta . . 334 $ 34,166,900 8,079 $ 5,052,530 $ 21,747,275British Columbia. . . . 748 142,404,000 38,558 19,955,400 75,473,700Manitoba . . 505 55,491,000 20,053 12,630,800 62,126,500New Brunswick. . . . . . 1,329 41,814,700 28,654 9,623,400 41,000,900Nova Scotia . . . . . . 1,702 92,137,800 33,336 12,303,000 61,007,100Ontario . . 9,201 689,168,540 276,430 136,174,500 671,130,000Prince Edward Island. 508 2,330,000 4,354 614,600 3,618,500Quebec . . 7,592 378,441,000 183,124 80,368,600 406,167,950Saskatchewan . . . . . . 199 8,125,000 3,761 2,240,970 7,329,30022,118 $1,444,078,940 596,349 $278,963,800 $1,349,601,225
The total value of the products from all the factories was $1,349,601,225. Those figures show how this country has prospered under the tariff, and I do not think they furnish any reason for discouraging our optimism. I have said that the evidence all round shows that conditions in this country are not deplorable. In Winnipeg last year, in spite of the adverse conditions, 91 charters were obtained for industries, and 22 new industries were established in that city. Twenty-four of the companies that obtained charters had a capital of from forty to sixty thousand dollars; 24 a capital of from eighty thousand to one hundred thousand dollars; 6 a capital of two hundred and fifty thousand dollars, and 8 a capital of one million dollars. The prospects in that section of the country for the coming year are most encouraging. Since 1913 a great many more acres have been brought under cultivation, and the area under crop this year will be very much larger than last year. But, estimating the crop for next year on the basis of the area under cultivation in 1913, the value of the crop, at present prices, would be $293,281,218, as against $94,604,616 in 1913.
The estimated increased production and price of wheat alone for the coming year will be more than three times what they were in 1913.
A Conservative estimate of the oats, barley, flax, hay, live stock and dairy production, in which the prices for oats are placed at an advance of 100 per cent, barley at 100 per cent, hay at an advance of 30 per cent, with dairy products, live stock and flax unchanged, implies an increase in the returns to the farmers of the west of something like $88,206,758, as compared with a return in 1913 of $63,816,307.
This article goes on to say that
It is reasonable evidence that the farmers' crops for 1915 ought to approximate in value to him something like $381,487,976.
At six o'clock the House took recess.
The House resumed at eight o'clock.
Subtopic: THE BUDGET.