George Washington MCPHEE

MCPHEE, George Washington, Q.C.

Personal Data

Yorkton (Saskatchewan)
Birth Date
November 17, 1880
Deceased Date
November 23, 1971
barrister, crown prosecutor, teacher

Parliamentary Career

October 29, 1925 - July 2, 1926
  Yorkton (Saskatchewan)
September 14, 1926 - May 30, 1930
  Yorkton (Saskatchewan)
July 28, 1930 - August 14, 1935
  Yorkton (Saskatchewan)
October 14, 1935 - January 25, 1940
  Yorkton (Saskatchewan)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 64 of 64)

January 29, 1926


I am glad there is one

bright light from the Maritime provinces on that side of the House. I would answer the hon. member's question by asking him how much the contracts due to the war had to do with the increase in population in the city of Moncton.

I said at the outset that our interests in western Canada were identical in many respects with those of the .Maritime provinces; it is so in respect of the matters to which I have just been referring. What did the defeat of reciprocity and the defeat of the Liberal government in 1911 mean to the agriculturist of western Canada? Here is where my good Progressive friends opposite and myself can stand on common ground, because if there is one thing that our Progressive friends and those of us of Liberal persuasion from the western provinces have in common, it is this: that we are sent down here to say to our protectionist friends, with due apologies to the great American commoner who a few months ago passed to the great beyond, "You shall not press down on the brow of the Canadian farmer a crown of thorns. You are not going to crucify western Canada on a tariff wall such as you suggest". What did the defeat of reciprocity and the defeat of the Liberal government in 1911 mean to us in western Canada? At certain seasons of the year we import largely fruit and vegetables. I have here from the Dominion Bureau of Statistics a statement of the amount of duty collected on those commodities as follows:

The total amount of duty collected on fruits and vegetables during the last three fiscal years was as follows:

Fiscal Yea re

Duties Collected 1923 1924 1925

Fruits of all kinds, fresh, dried, canned,

etc., and fruit juices. $1,999,953 $2,182,923 $2,254,310 Vegetables, fresh, dried, canned, etc., including #

pickles 1,240,248 1,358.453 1,542,991

Practically $4,000,000 collected in duty on fruit and vegetables. I do not know what portion of that duty we in western Canada have to bear, but it has been estimated by one gentleman that our share of it w'ould average $1,000,000 a year. Who pays this? The consumer certainly, and those of us in western Canada who are consumers arc bled to the tune of $1,000,000 by way of duty on fruit and vegetables, because we permitted a Tory government to gain ascendency in this country in 1911. Take the matter of agricultural implements. Shortly after the election of 1911 the managing director of one of the largest dealers in farm machinery in western Canada published a statement showing in tabulated form the reductions in the price of farm implements his company would have made if reciprocity had carried, and he said, "What my company would do other companies would be obliged to do." The farmers,


The Address-Mr. McPhee

as far as I gather from his statement, would have saved on an average $1,000,000 a year. There we have the agriculturists of western Canada penalized to the extent of $1,000,000 a year on agricultural implements to satisfy the selfish interests I have before referred to.

I wish to deal briefly with the remarks made by a few of our stalwart Conservative friends in this House a few days ago-and I am prompted to take this course, Mr. Speaker, because of the address to which we listened yesterday afternoon by the hon. member for Frontenac-Addington (Mr. Edwards). Let me deal first of all with the criticism made b3' the hon. member, recorded in Hansard on page 607, of the leader of the Progressive party for the statements he made with reference to Saskatchewan being the greatest dairying province in the Dominion. I have taken the trouble to look up the facts in Hansard in order to correct the hon. member. Let me refer, first of all, to the statement made in this House by the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Motherwell) on May 7, 1924. Here is what the minister gave us, the figures having been obtained from the Bureau of Statistics:

Saskatchewan Ontario

Butter, per capita

30 lbs. 25 lbs.Poultry, per capital

11 lbs. 5 lbs.

I have also taken the trouble to get from the Bureau of Statistics this afternoon the

last statement on record with regard to this matter, and here are the figures:

1924 Saskatchewan Ontario

Butter, value per capita.. .. $10 44 $9 96Poultry, value per capita .. 7 00 5 60

The only product in which Ontario has excelled us is eggs, for which the figures are:

Saskatchewan Ontario Eggs, value per capita.. .. $8 49 $8 60

On page 509 of Hansard the hon. member ,for Frontenac-Addington made the following statement:

Australia is following a policy of encouraging its farmers, giving a bonus on every carcass of beef shipped out of the country, as well as a bonus of six cents on every pound of butter exported, and this government meets that situation by letting Australia and New Zealand butter come in here under a duty of one cent per pound to compete with our home product.

Now what are the facts? I took the trouble to ascertain them from the Dairy Commissioner, and I have a memorandum from him as follows:

For some years there has been an agitation among the creamery operators in Australia to put in force what was called a stabilization scheme, but which is now generally known and referred to in the press as the Patterson scheme.

The scheme is a purely voluntary one, and is not supported by the government. It depends for its success on every creamery in Australia joining on a voluntary basis.

The plan is, briefly, to make a levy of two cents per pound on all butter manufactured, and thus create a fund out. of which a bounty of six cents per pound could be paid on the one-third of the total production which is exported. It is claimed that this would have the effect of increasing the price for that which is consumed at home to the extent of the net bounty, which would be four cents per pound.

It is not yet in force and there is considerable doubt as to whether it can be carried out.

It would not make it any easier to ship Australian butter into Canada, because the bounty would be paid on all butter exported. Australian butter will come to Canada only when the Australian producer can get more money for it here than he can in the world's market.

The hon. member for Frontenac-Addington was very bitter against the Progressive party and relieved himself by an attack on the United Grain Growers' Grain Company. He read a statement to the House and concluded with these words:

The facts are here to prove what I say, that the most unscrupulous and cold-blooded profiteering monopoly that ever existed in this or any other country is represented by the United Grain Growers' Grain Company, the heads of which company laid down the platform of the Progressive party in this House and in the country.

I hold no brief for the United Grain Growers' Grain Company. They are a corporation doing a legitimate business in this country, just the same as any other company in Canada. They conduct their business in open competition with other companies of a like kind. They do not seek any special concessions, and the very fact that they are able to do business and to show the profits which .my hon. friend stated, but which I do not admit, is proof positive that the competing companies have not attempted to undersell them; otherwise they would not be in business. What we object to is not the volume of business these companies do, but to an increase in the tariff on agricultural implements to permit our Canadian manufacturers so protected to take from the farmers purchasing their implements an increase in price equivalent to the increase in duty.

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January 29, 1926


I stated that I did not admit that the statement of profits as given by the hon. member for Frontenac-Addington was correct.

On motion of Mr. McPhee the debate was adjourned.

On motion of Mr. Lapointe the House adjourned at 11 p.m.


Auditor General's Report

Monday, February 1, 1926

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