Gerald Grattan MCGEER

MCGEER, The Hon. Gerald Grattan, K.C.

Personal Data

Party
Liberal
Constituency
Vancouver--Burrard (British Columbia)
Birth Date
January 6, 1888
Deceased Date
August 11, 1947
Website
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gerry_McGeer
PARLINFO
http://www.parl.gc.ca/parlinfo/Files/Parliamentarian.aspx?Item=1fa5151a-cf60-4833-969e-dab41c2525c1&Language=E&Section=ALL
Profession
barrister

Parliamentary Career

October 14, 1935 - January 25, 1940
LIB
  Vancouver--Burrard (British Columbia)
March 26, 1940 - April 16, 1945
LIB
  Vancouver--Burrard (British Columbia)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 144 of 146)


March 27, 1936

Mr. McGEER:

I asked that question because I wanted to emphasize the manner in which this credit was being dealt with, and I feel that the remarks of the Minister of Finance and the right hon. leader of the opposition have brought that out very clearly. 'The situation in Saskatchewan is serious; drought and rust have created a condition that necessitates and justifies federal assistance, but the manner in which this assistance is given is peculiar. The security taken for the repayment of any obligation that may develop through the guarantees is the certificates of the government of Saskatchewan or, as the Minister of Finance says, the pieces of paper of the Saskatchewan government. It strikes me that it would be far better for the farmers of Saskatchewan, for the government of that province, for the government of the dominion .and for the credit of this country, to use the most powerful force available to obtain that [DOT]credit at the lowest possible rate of interest 12739-98

rather than to go about the matter in such a way that the highest rate of interest must be paid. Instead of the national government going forward and meeting this obligation at a low rate of interest, what does it do? It permits the municipality to borrow from the bank, backed, in the first place, by the guarantee of the provincial government, and, in the second place, by the guarantee of the dominion government. The bank charges a rate of interest not on the security of the national government but on the security of the municipality, and the national government does not intervene to dictate as to what that rate should be.

Topic:   SEED GRAIN
Subtopic:   GUARANTEE OF LOANS FOR PURCHASE OF SEED AND OTHER ASSISTANCE IN SEEDING OPERATIONS IN SASKATCHEWAN
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March 24, 1936

Mr. G. G. McGEER (Yancouver-Burrard):

Mr. Speaker, I should like to direct a question to the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King). I should like to ask what is the status of the application for leave to construct a bridge over the first narrows near Vancouver, and if the government is aware that if the delay continues a fund of some 812,000,000 of British capital now available for development in and around Vancouver may be withdrawn.

London Naval Treaty

Topic:   FIRST NARROWS BRIDGE
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February 18, 1936

Mr. McGEER:

There was no assurance of that kind given at all. When I asked the minister the reason for the change he gave the curt reply that it was merely economy. With respect to the Atlantic service he gave the other reason, namely, that there had been an improvement in the general returns made, warranting his opinion that no harm would be done to that service. But in reply to my question-and that is the only reason I spoke- he said, "Well, we have decided to economize on the Pacific," quite irrespective of what is going to happen on the Pacific. Well, we have had a little intimation of what has happened in discriminatory freight rates and a great many other matters, and in British Columbia we feel, at least as the representative of one of the constituencies of that province, I feel that we have to make ourselves heard a little bit; and I can assure the Minister of Finance that if he is going to economize by paring things on the Pacific, things which I think we need out there and which I do not think he should pare, then I will use not only Japan but anything else I can think of to convince the committee that the minister is wrong in that regard.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OP TRADE AND COMMERCE
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February 18, 1936

Mr. McGEER:

My hon. friend says,

"Therein lies the danger." What are we in Canada, as part of the British empire, doing to hold our place of leadership in the world's greatest theatre of potential development and trouble, the Pacific ocean? We have in British Columbia and Alberta two of the richest provinces in the dominion. The Canadian section of the north Pacific is richer in natural resources than are Australia and New Zealand combined. What are we doing to fulfil our responsibility on the Pacific ocean? We should realize what is being done by the motherland in Singapore and Hongkong and by our sister dominions in the antipodes and do likewise. But all we do is to reduce a rather niggardly subsidy that should be increased to encourage development on the Pacific. That kind of economy is not going to help the Minister of Finance to gather the taxes necessary to meet the obligations of the dominion. It is not going to help the cities of Vancouver, Prince Rupert and Victoria to gather the taxes necessary to meet their municipal obligations. It is not going to help British Columbia and Alberta to distribute

their grain, lumber, minerals and innumerable other products to Pacific ocean markets. These products should be flowing into these markets in much greater volume than they are at the present time and this volume will not be increased until this country recognizes that it must maintain not only an internal but an external transportation service to all the markets of the world.

I appreciate that these are times of great difficulty, but it seems rather extraordinary that a nation like Japan, with fewer resources than the dominion, or a country like Great Britain, with fewer resources than we have, can find the money and the means to build and develop a shipping service for commerce and at the same time maintain a naval program costing far more than its ocean shipping service. We in Canada have no naval service to maintain and yet we cannot continue to pay a niggardly subsidy for the development of^ our shipping services. Just recently the shipping service of Great Britain was recognized as being in need of assistance and an extensive program of subsidies was brought into effect.

I should like to point out one other matter to the committee. Japan has adopted another technique; she has appropriated to herself that of Great Britain in establishing protectorates over Egypt and India by establishing control over Korea, It is not a question of what Japan may do to-morrow; we know what she has done already in the way of expansion. Unquestionably she is moved to establish the government in Manchuria, and she has now arrived at the point where she can establish a measure of authority over northern China. She has devised a form of Monroe doctrine and has sufficient authority to say to London that she will not approve a sterling loan to the Nanking government. We in western Canada feel that there are great opportunities as well as great responsibilities for the empire on the Pacific ocean. These opportunities and responsibilities are not confined to western Canada; they are not confined to the dominion as a whole; they apply to Canada as a nation and as one of the members of the commonwealth of nations known as the British empire. We should not overlook the fact that there are only about 70 millions of people of British extraction in the 500 millions of people who make up this empire. The position of leadership which the people of the British empire have held in a world of 2,000 million people is something that has been challenged before, is being challenged to-day and will be challenged in the future.

Supply-Trade-Mail Subsidies

If in our desire for economy we allow ourselves to be bound by the outworn, impossible, impractical and absurd conventions of orthodox economy and orthodox finance, which have been abandoned by every country that appreciates the future, then having put the wealth of our nation in pawn, we are now sacrificing the possibilities of progress to pay the pawnbrokers' exactions. It may be that this is the way in which we are going to manage the currency and credit of this nation so that it may be issued in terms of public need. But if we are going to sacrifice trade on the Pacific ocean in the name of economy, we are going to repudiate the most important promise that ever was made by any government to the people of a nation, namely, that currency and credit would be created and issued ini terms of public need. The kind of economy involved in this reduction, will prove to be a ghastly expense to the people of Canada, and it is not the kind of economy that .they expected they were going to receive after the last general election.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OP TRADE AND COMMERCE
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February 18, 1936

Mr. McGEER:

There is a decrease of

SH9.000 in the item: Canada, China and Japan service. What is the reason for that?

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OP TRADE AND COMMERCE
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