Karl Kenneth HOMUTH

HOMUTH, Karl Kenneth

Personal Data

Party
Progressive Conservative
Constituency
Waterloo South (Ontario)
Birth Date
December 12, 1893
Deceased Date
March 19, 1951
Website
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karl_Kenneth_Homuth
PARLINFO
http://www.parl.gc.ca/parlinfo/Files/Parliamentarian.aspx?Item=21ef4ab0-5bdb-4468-9c93-b860e974eed4&Language=E&Section=ALL
Profession
manufacturer

Parliamentary Career

November 14, 1938 - January 25, 1940
CON
  Waterloo South (Ontario)
March 26, 1940 - April 16, 1945
NAT
  Waterloo South (Ontario)
June 11, 1945 - April 30, 1949
PC
  Waterloo South (Ontario)
June 27, 1949 - June 13, 1953
PC
  Waterloo South (Ontario)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 466 of 466)


January 27, 1939

Mr. HOMUTH:

I referred a moment ago to the distress of our people and some of the promises that were made in 1935. Who can forget the tirade carried on by the Prime Minister, particularly in 1935, against the camps that were established throughout this country, or the promises he made that he would take the boys out of those semimilitary institutions and give them jobs throughout the country at decent wages? Yes, they closed the camps, but what did they do with the boys? Scattered them over the highways and byway's of Canada. Motoring through the country I have picked up many of them, forgotten men, uncared for by anyone. Who are these young men? If the crisis which threatened last September had broken, as many of us feared it would, they are the young men that this government would have expected to take their part in the military service of this country. They are the young men they would have expected to line up for whatever service the Department of National Defence wanted. They are the young men they would have gone to and said: Here is your opportunity to do something for your country. "Fight for the country-why?" they would ask. "Fight for the privilege of wandering up and down the highways and byways of this country, not wanted by anyone?" What answer could this government have given to them? If that crisis had broken, this government would have found ways to raise millions, yes hundreds of millions of dollars for the purpose of equipping these men, feeding and clothing them-for what? To defend Canada, yes; to be killed or to kill. If we can find money for that, why can we not find money to give them a chance to live and work out their destiny here? If we had been in power when the riots occurred in British Columbia about which we all read, I can easily imagine the Prime Minister and his supporters hurling taunts and accusations across the floor of the house about it. The riots that occurred out there were directly due to the policy of this government.

I have referred to the destitute people of this country. By destitute I mean people who are hungry, ill clad, ill housed, without decent

The Address-Mr. Homuth

living conditions. This government is working on a long range policy, so hon. members tell us in their speeches. As a result of it we have had three disastrous years. They are so busy looking at that long range policy, looking at the horizon hoping against hope that the sun of prosperity will break through, that they fail to see the poverty and destitution at their feet. We hear of communism in this country. Certainly -we have communism. The surprise to me, after the failure of this government to do something for the people of this country, is that we have not something worse. We all read the stories that appeared in the Globe and Mail relative to the condition of the fisherfolk of the mari-times. You do not have to go down there to find poverty-stricken people. You can find them in Ontario; you can find them in Ottawa; you can find them in every township, village, town and city throughout the Dominion of Canada.

I wonder what the poor, hungry people of this country think when they read in the press all the talk coming from the Liberal benches, and learn that the government are hunting for markets for the milk and cream produced on the farms of Canada, when we have thousands of children who are not getting enough milk to build strong, healthy bodies; that they are hunting for markets for our pork and our beef, when we have families in Canada that do not see meat twice a week. The same thing applies to many other commodities the hon. gentlemen are talking about exporting. Give our people jobs; give them adequate, steady wages; give the farmers decent prices for their produce. Then a great deal of this surplus produce will be used up. Our people do not want government pap; they do not need it. We have the right kind of people, who can work out their own destiny if they are only given the opportunity by those who are in power in the provinces and the dominion.

I said I wanted to deal at some length with the trade treaty, and because of my knowledge of the condition of industry in this dominion to-day I say that industry has the jitters and is afraid. There is no security for industry.

Topic:   GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON ADDRESS IN REPLY
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January 27, 1939

Mr. HOMUTH:

And a lot more of you are going the same way too. This is what Mr. R. K. Serviss, the Liberal candidate, said at his nomination meeting:

"It is my belief," the mayor continued, "that the urban workers particularly in the textile and shoe industries must have adequate protection. We in Ontario are the big brother among the provinces of Canada. If we are going down into our pockets to help sustain the free trader prairie provinces by subsidizing their wheat at 30 cents a bushel, the farmer in Ontario whose province is contributing 47 per cent of the total revenue to the dominion treasury is entitled to some consideration too. These same free traders be they Liberal, Conservative or bolshevik must give consideration to the working men and women in Waterloo South. They must make their contribution by permitting an adequate tariff for the protection of the workers."

Listen to this. This is the prime piece of the whole platform on which the gentleman ran:

"The two greatest problems in our country to-day," said the speaker, "are relief and the railway problem, and we will never solve the latter problem until you get a man like Mitch Hepburn at Ottawa to do the job for you."

Topic:   GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH
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January 27, 1939

Mr. HOMUTH:

You will have the jitters too, before this is all over. The other day the Minister of Trade and Commerce said they had heard no real protests against this trade treaty. Perhaps not, but there will be plenty of protests yet. I do say that industry is afraid when the Liberal party is in power, 71492-25J

because for the last few years it has been their direct policy continually to chisel, chisel, chisel at the tariffs under which these industries have been operating. Sometimes I am amazed at the childlike simplicity of the Prime Minister, at his belief in the benevolence of those countries with whom we make trade treaties. He believes they would do him no wrong, but in the working out of the treaties we find that they are the sort of countries who would trade a coconut for a peanut any day, and we would get the peanut. I recall a little ditty that I heard in my childhood and which, with a little revamping, fits very well the attitude of the Prime. Minister since 1935 in connection with trade treaties:

Tinker, tinker, little man;

Do your tinkering while you can.

Mischievous tinkering cannot last;

Elections come and your tinkering's past.

The other day the Prime Minister accused our party of being apostles of economic nationalism and of saying that trade was war. He also suggested that we were not being fair to the government in that we continually knocked it. In the first place, Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member for Kootenay East (Mr. Stevens) said the other day, we are not the apostles of economic nationalism. We are interested in national economics, which is something this government apparently has forgotten. And when the Prime Minister asks us to say something kind and good about this government, why do they not give us a chance to do so? Why do they not do something so that at least we can go to our people, who are worried and harried and wondering what is going to happen in the future, and say, "At least the government are going to do this." Would it not be a good idea for the Prime Minister to take some of that philosophy to heart? Can one forget the campaign that he carried on in 1935? Was there ever a more bitter tirade against a leader or a party than that of the Prime Minister and his supporters in 1935? The Prime Minister accuses us of saying that trade is war. Well, Mr. Speaker, speaking for myself I say yes; trade is war. It is commercial war, and when we make a deal with another country the only way to figure out whether or not that deal is fair to Canada is by the number of lucrative jobs that are given the workingmen of this country as a result of that deal, and the type of market that is given to the farmers at the same time.

The other day we heard two different lines of thought from hon. gentlemen opposite. In his speech the Prime Minister referred to trade

The Address-Mr. Homuth

under the new treaty but dealt more particularly with the treaty from the standpoint of appeasement; that it was necessary to do this; that even if the benefits were not as great as they should be, this was the one thing Canada had to do. The Minister of Trade and Commerce, my fellow representative from Waterloo county, dealt with the question from an entirely different angle; and to my mind, poor as his argument was in regard to the benefits that Canada would receive as a result of this trade treaty, at least he dealt with it strictly from the standpoint of the trade between the two countries. To me that is the right way to deal with it; because under this so-cajled trade treaty from the Prime Minister's standpoint of appeasement, we make a treaty not only with the United States but with Germany, Italy and Japan, while some of the nationals of those very countries are to-day attacking us and trying to undermine the British constitutional system of government. So I ask: What mandate has this government from the people to go out and try to make a trade treaty as a gesture of appeasement to Japan, Germany and Italy? If the safety of the democratic institutions of the United States, Great Britain and Canada is to be predicated only upon the question whether or not we are prepared to sell out our workingmen and farmers to the people of the United States and other countries, then, as reverently as I can, I say God help democracy.

In his speech the other day our leader referred to the question of shoes. The Minister of Trade and Commerce immediately checked him up and quoted figures showing that only some two or three per cent of the shoes used in Canada were brought in from other countries. I still say, Mr. Speaker, that as a result of the trade treaty of 1935 and the trade treaty just negotiated we are going to give work to Czechs, to Germans, to Japanese and to people in the United States, while our own people will be put out of work. But it is not a question alone of how much stuff comes in, because after all we are not going to have the factories closed. Men who own industries dare not close them. Every cent they own is invested in them. They dare not close their doors; they have to keep them going. And so, regardless of what is done with the tariff, they try to keep their industries in operation.

How do they do it? Right to-day, in order to compete with the United States on shoes, manufacturers have to reduce wages in the shoe industry in Canada. They will have to lower the quality of the goods which go into many lines of shoes. It is not a question of how much stuff comes into Canada because

of trade agreements; rather it is a question of what, as a result, will have to be done in our industrial areas in order to compete against conditions in other countries. When the trade agreement is up for discussion I shall be able to show only too plainly that the conditions are just as I have described them. I will give facts and figures which will indicate that even though they are importing shoes to-day, and bringing them into Canada in competition with shoes made in the county of Waterloo and other parts of the country, the consumers in this country will not get them one cent cheaper. They are purchased over there simply on the basis of the amount of write-up that the merchant and wholesaler can put on them.

So that when we look back and read what the Prime Minister said in 1935 as to what he expected the trade treaty to do, we have cause to wonder. I challenge the Minister of Labour to go out to any industrial riding in Canada and say to the people, "As a result of the trade treaty of 1935 we have brought you prosperity." I challenge the Minister of Agriculture to go among the farmers of Canada and say to them, "As a result of the trade treaty of 1935 we have brought you prosperity, as predicted by our leader at that time."

Topic:   GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON ADDRESS IN REPLY
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January 27, 1939

Mr. HOMUTH:

Long before I came to

the house I heard that the Minister of Agriculture was more or less the bantam or the scrapper of the cabinet. But I have no hesitation in saying he will never be able to sell the argument in eastern Canada that this government has brought prosperity to agriculture in Canada. If he can do it in the west he has made a poor job of it, because he has a minority supporter from Brandon.

My time is nearly up, but there is one more matter with which I did wish to deal, namely the question of commissions. The people of Canada are sick and tired of commissions -commissions for this and commissions for that. Our party has not been wholly blameless in the matter, either. But I do not hesitate to say that the people of Canada, and I include myself, are sick and tired of commissions. A commission which was supposed to work free-8300,000; a provincial commission now set up is going to cost over $100,000, simply because the federal government at Ottawa could not agree with the provinces.

The Address-Mr. Homuth

Surely if we are to have commissions to govern the country we might just as well go home; we might as well quit having cabinet ministers. I cannot understand why we should pay cabinet ministers the large salaries they are paid, and maintain their staffs, if we are going to turn over to a commission every real problem that comes before them.

Furthermore, there has been too much of this business of trying to build up some constitutional issue with regard to everything the people want to have done for them. If a request is made for something, immediately a constitutional issue is raised; lawyers are always able to find one. While I have every regard for the legal members of the house,

I do not hesitate to say that the people of Canada are sick and tired of being told, every time something should be done for them, that it cannot be done because of the lack of constitutional authority to do it. I sometimes wonder why the Prime Minister has not taken the bit between his teeth once in a while and done something about it. But he is one who can raise a constitutional issue just as quickly as anybody else.

The people are tired of the whole thing, and they want to see action this year from the government.

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January 27, 1939

Mr. HOMUTH:

If we will forget this interprovincial disunity and the hostility of provincial governments to the federal government ; if we forget our political bickerings and get together and deal with this matter from the standpoint that there is no east and no west in Canada, no Quebec, no Ontario, but just one nation, willing to give and take, if need be to give more and take less-if we do that there is no reason why we cannot cure many of the ills that afflict us to-day without interfering with the sacredness of provincial rights. These things can be done. All we need is some lead from this government, who promised in 1935 that they would do it. Every hon. member of this house and I believe every provincial government in Canada would do its utmost to bring that about. Instead of that we have quarrelling, quarrelling, quarrelling; charges of conspiracy, and so on. I take some pride in the fact that the by-election in Waterloo South had

The Address-Mr. Homuth

something to do with bringing this condition into the open, because it is just as well for the people of Canada to know something of what is going on behind the scenes. The Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Gardiner) did not have to go to Toronto to see Mr. Hepburn in order to find out why the Liberals lost the election in Waterloo South. They lost it because of the three years of do-nothing policy of this government, and fear of their trade treaties. Is it strange that when we think of this break between the Prime Minister of Canada and the various provincial premiers, particularly Mr. Hepburn, we wonder if there is the solidarity in the dominion cabinet that hon. gentlemen opposite would like us to believe exists? In fact if the editorial suggestion of the Montreal Standard of Saturday last is true, they had a very interesting caucus a week or so ago. And the two peacemakers who went to the Bannockburn farm and tried to bring peace and harmony in the party apparently were thoroughly chastised for their efforts.

In the campaign in Waterloo South we had three cabinet ministers taking part, the Minister of Trade and Commerce (Mr. Euler), the Minister of Justice (Mr. Lapointe) and the Minister of Transport (Mr. Howe). Whom did they come to speak for? Naturally for the Liberal candidate. But I do say they did me a lot of good. What was the Liberal candidate's attitude so far as the Prime Minister of Canada is concerned? Let me read what he said in his nomination speech. And. mark you, this gentleman made this the one great point throughout his campaign.

Topic:   GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON ADDRESS IN REPLY
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