Agnes Campbell MACPHAIL

MACPHAIL, Agnes Campbell

Personal Data

Party
United Farmers of Ontario-Labour
Constituency
Grey--Bruce (Ontario)
Birth Date
March 24, 1890
Deceased Date
February 13, 1954
Website
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agnes_Macphail
PARLINFO
http://www.parl.gc.ca/parlinfo/Files/Parliamentarian.aspx?Item=1d6a8f18-7d15-4909-b0f5-88f9b514f20a&Language=E&Section=ALL
Profession
farmer, teacher

Parliamentary Career

December 6, 1921 - September 5, 1925
PRO
  Grey Southeast (Ontario)
October 29, 1925 - July 2, 1926
PRO
  Grey Southeast (Ontario)
September 14, 1926 - May 30, 1930
PRO
  Grey Southeast (Ontario)
July 28, 1930 - August 14, 1935
PRO
  Grey Southeast (Ontario)
October 14, 1935 - January 25, 1940
UFOL
  Grey--Bruce (Ontario)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 4 of 217)


May 13, 1939

Miss MACPHAIL:

Well, I had said all I wanted to say about it, anyway. I wish to

Supply-National Defence

stress for a moment the fact that it is but a form of hypocrisy to say that we want to defend Canada and at the same time allow powerful interests in this country to go on arming the nations against which we are preparing to defend ourselves. It is not honest; it is not sensible. Either we must stop sending munitions and materials to make munitions to the countries we fear, or look continually foolish to ourselves.

It is such a distorted picture that possibly the less we say about it at this time, the better. But it is perfectly clear that the Canadian government is, with regard to foreign affairs, becoming a mere shadow of the British government. I do think Canadians want to know what we are going to do with this money. Are we going to use it to defend Canada, or are we going to use it in overseas wars which, so far as we are concerned, will be brought about by Great Britain? Frankly I have certainly not agreed with the policy of the Prime Minister of Great Britain. I have felt that I wanted as publicly and carefully as possible to dissociate myself from his policy-not that it would matter to him, but because it would matter to me. The Canadian government has just yes-yes'd the British government in whatever position it has taken. Whether it took one position or another, the Liberal government in Canada, led by the present Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) came out and justified what the British government had done. That is not at all in keeping with other statements which have been made by the Prime Minister to the effect that Canada will decide what we are going to do, and that Canada will decide what our foreign policy is to be. That has not been shown to be true. As I have said, the picture is an extremely distorted one. Those people who were the great peace advocates are those who are most upset by the appeasement policy, and those who were the imperialists have become advocates of appeasement, or peace at any price.

It would take a great deal of time and very careful speaking to try to follow the situation through. I shall not take time at the moment to say more than that in the crisis last September I could scarcely believe that Canada would so enthusiastically support Great Britain. That support certainly was not given democratically, because the Prime Minister, whether with or without the consent of the cabinet was saying what Canada thought with respect to the crisis, when I do not suppose any one person in Canada actually knew what Canada did think-because Canada thought this, that, and the other thing.

[Miss Macphail.)

I am not going to speak any longer with respect to this matter, nor am I going to oppose the national defence estimates. But I do feel we ought to know what Canada intends to do with the money; and, not only that, but having spent it, what does she intend to do with the equipment? Is it to be used to defend Canada, or is it to take part in overseas wars? I would also-well, almost warn the government, to be honest with parliament and with the Canadian people. Whatever it intends to do, let it say so now. Do not let us have a repetition of what occurred during the last war, which was so heatedly referred to-and I can scarcely wonder-only a short time ago by an hon. member from the province of Quebec. The people were misled. They were definitely promised there would not be conscription; but there was conscription, and that one thing has done more to divide Canada than has any other event.

The government has a very grave responsibility, and should be completely frank with parliament, or with a committee of parliament. It should be frank with the people of Canada and state whether it will follow British policy wherever it goes, spend the money of Canada and offer the lives of Canadians to defend British policy, or whether it intends to use the money to defend Canada's shores. Those are very different policies, and, as the hon. member for Vancouver North has said, it is high time we knew which one we are pursuing.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF NATIONAL DEFENCE
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May 11, 1939

Miss MACPHAIL:

Lawyers are experts

on everything.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   POWERS OF BOARD RESPECTING THE MARKETING OF WHEAT-INITIAL PAYMENT OF 70 CENTS A BUSHEL
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May 8, 1939

Miss MACPHAIL:

If western Canada had dominated the policy of Canada as eastern Canada did, that difference in distance would have been taken into consideration to a much greater extent than it has been.

I turn to that part of the brief presented by Premier Bracken, in which he dealt with loss of farm income in western Canada. He said that in the seven years following 1930 the total farm income of the prairie provinces declined by twenty-five hundred million dollars, compared with the seven years prior to that time. That is a great deal of money, I should think-twenty-five hundred million dollars! If the manufacturers in eastern Canada had lost that much money, something w'ould have been done about it long before this. We can imagine the howls there would have been-well, one does not even like to contemplate them.

_ In fact, agriculture in all parts of Canada is not paid anything like the proportion of national income it should be paid. In this same brief Premier Bracken said that when we realize that nearly one-third of the people of Canada, w'ho are actually engaged in farming, receive only one-sixth of the national income, it is not a situation we can look on with any degree of happiness. I am not using his exact words, but that is the essence of what he has said.

The other night I agreed entirely with what the hon. member for Qu'Appelle (Mr. Perley) said. I think we ought to have a two-price wheat policy. The one-third that is consumed in Canada should sell at a price comparable with the general price level, and the loss on the two-thirds sold abroad absorbed to some extent by the Canadian government. I feel quite sure we are going to have a two-price agricultural policy, one price for domestic consumption and one for world consumption.

The hon. member for Muskoka-Ontario (Mr. Fumiss) said that the farmers of Ontario or of any other part of Canada could not say that so much of their product was for the

world market and so much for the home market. Of course they can. When they get dominion marketing legislation, and when they are not only the producers but the processors and marketers they can and will do it.

I can imagine many Ontario farmers will take the view that the west has everything and the east gets nothing. But that is an uninformed view. However, an uninformed view is one that prevails at election times and it might be well for me, if I were playing politics, to take the position taken by some eastern farmers, that the west is getting much more than it deserves. I do not believe that. I think the west, has suffered to an extent which is affecting not only the west but the whole Canadian economy.

I do not pretend to know much about the wheat question, other than it is a matter affecting the whole of Canada. If we cannot get back the markets that we had, we are facing a terrible time in Canada; there is no doubt about that. Those are problems which cannot be laid upon the shoulders of westerners only; we shall have to bear them together. I want to say again what I said the other afternoon in connection with another bill, that the greatest calamity which can happen eastern Canada is to have 30,000,000 acres now devoted to the export, if not of wheat, at least of all grains, turned into the production of products which eastern Canada specializes in now. If that happens, there will be a collapse in all agricultural prices. That is the way in which eastern farmers should be thinking at the moment. At least we should be able to understand and sympathize with that portion of agriculture which has borne the brunt of our loss in export markets.

It seems a sad thing to me that we should go on saying that we have a great surplus of wheat, possibly a carry-over of 100.000.000 bushels in Canada and an estimated world carry-over of 1,150,000,000 bushels, and yet in a civilized country like Canada and in a fairly civilized world there are great numbers of people who are not getting enough to eat. I am inclined to agree with the hon. member for Greenwood (Mr. Massey) in his very much discussed criticism that there are people in Canada who are not well fed, and that these people are dying in numbers none of us knows. I think he was more right in his statement than was the Minister of Labour (Mr. Rogers) When he quoted an official in British Columbia as saying that the poorer and more destitute we are, the healthier we will be. That is a curious attitude.

Prairie Farm Assistance

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   PRAIRIE FARM ASSISTANCE
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May 8, 1939

Miss MACPHAIL:

And of his own

conscience.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   PRAIRIE FARM ASSISTANCE
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May 8, 1939

Miss MACPHAIL:

Do you agree that it

should be that way?

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   PRAIRIE FARM ASSISTANCE
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