Ambrose Upton Gledstanes BURY

BURY, Ambrose Upton Gledstanes, K.C., B.A., M.A.

Parliamentary Career

October 29, 1925 - July 2, 1926
CON
  Edmonton East (Alberta)
July 28, 1930 - August 14, 1935
CON
  Edmonton East (Alberta)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 156 of 157)


January 25, 1926

Mr. A. U. G. BURY (East Edmonton):

I desire to ask another question in connection with the withdrawal of water from the Great Lakes. Will the minister give us the assurance that the government has made as vigorous a protest against the action of the United States in this regard as have several of the states of the union? I understood from the minister's answer that the other American states which were interested in this movement had protested that the government of the United States had no right to countenance or authorize any such steal of water. I wanted to know if the government had made the same kind of protest or whether it had adopted, by its parleys with the American government, the position that there was a certain right to withdraw water from the lakes.

Topic:   CHICAGO DRAINAGE CANAL
Subtopic:   STATEMENT AS TO SITUATION BY MINISTER OF THE INTERIOR
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January 22, 1926

Mr. A. U. G. BURY (East Edmonton):

Mr. Speaker, if you are not already over-weary of receiving felicitations on your re-election to your high office, I should like to preface what I have to say to this House by paying to you as a distinguished member of a great race, and a representative of one of the oldekt of the constituent parts of this Dominion, my tribute as the representative of one of the ridings of the capital city of one of the youngest provinces of Canada. If my constituents should at any future election so far forget, in a moment of mental aberration, their own good fortune and that of the country, as well as of myself, as not to return me to any future house, one of the most striking, colourful and impressive recollections I should always carry with me would be that of your dignified presidency over this chamber.

I hesitate to assure the House that I will not trespass upon its time for undue length, because what is "undue length" is undoubtedly a matter of opinion, and I have observed that it appears to be the custom of hon. members upon that question to form their own opinion.

I listened throughout this debate with assiduous care for some effective answer from *hon. members opposite and particularly from

*ministers on the treasury benches, to the criticism and charges levelled by the right hon. leader of the opposition (Mr. Meighen) against the past and projected policy of the government. I 'have heard none. We did hear from the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Motherwell) certain expressions such as "outrageous misrepresentation" at the very moment when he himself was garbling the language of the right hon. leader of the opposition and grossly misrepresenting his political statements and political position. I do not for one moment assume that the Minister of Agriculture realized what he was doing, because I have no right to sacrifice the honesty of any member on the altar of his intelligence. But whatever be the explanation, reputable or disreputable, the fact remains unaltered that in the very citations which he read from tlhe statements of the right hon. leader of the opposition he himself, immediately afterwards, put them into his own language-language that was almost diametrically opposed to what was actually said. If the ministers who occupy the treasury benches are not too high seated in Olympus for my feeble and very modest congratulations to reach them, I should wish to congratulate the Minister of Justice (Mr. Lapointe) and the Minister of Agriculture for the wonderful expert ness, the wonderful dexterity and skill, which they have displayed in this House in setting up and knocking down men of straw; and the thuds which followed the fall of these dummies were hailed with such applause by gentlemen behind the ministers who were operating that I am forced to believe they have never been accustomed on that side of the House to anything better.

During the debate upon the amendment to the motion for consideration of the Speech from the Throne, the Minister o!f the Interior (Mr. Stewart) ventured to assume two roles, that of historian and that of prophet. He assumed the role of an historian when he essayed to tell the members of this House exactly why the Liberal candidate was beaten in Easi Edmonton in the recent election. Now the .role of an historian is not so easy as some people seem to imagine. It is not easy tc ,make history; it is not even easy to write history after it has been made, and when the Minister of the Interior told the House that East Edmonton had been won by the Conservative and the government candidate had been beaten on the tariff issue, I interposed. I am a fellow citizen of the hon. minister. I have known him for a great many years. We always have had the most friendly and courteous relations with one another when he was a minister of the provincial government and I

The Address-Mr. Bury

was nothing but what I still am-a poor but honest lawyer; therefore citizenship, friendship and charity demanded that I should intervene to lead back the wandering feet of the Minister of the Interior into the paths of truth from those realms of flowery imagination into which I am afraid the members of the ministry too often stray. I interposed to say that the cause of the defeat of the government candidate in East Edfnonton was not at all the tariff but the coal question, and that is the truth, though by no means all the truth. If the hor). members of this House desire to know what were the causes which contributed to that result, I can tell them. The first, indubitably, was the coal issue. We in Alberta find ourselves living over about fourteen per cent of the coal measures of the world. There was a clamour from the Ontario consumers of coal and the Ontario coal merchants for supplies of the very material, the very fuel that was under odr own feet in such enormous quantities. Pressure was brought to bear upon the federal government by the governments of Alberta and Ontario, and you would have thought that some action would have been taken. Weil, there was action taken of a kind, but what it was and what it effected I hope to lay before the House on some future occasion. I am not referring at any length to the coal question now for the simple reason that it is bound to come up here shortly, and I am not going to psk the House to traverse the same ground twice. I only mention it now because I am afraid if I did not do so, that owing to the confusion which seems to exist in the mind of *the Minister of Agriculture as to the meaning of words in his own language, the charge might later be made that I had performed a "recantation."

The second issue and the second cause that contributed to the defeat of the government candidate in East Edmonton was something just about as dark and subterranean in its ways as coal, but without possessing anything like the same latent heat or force or pumber of British thermal units-I mean the government itself. Wherever you went in my (constituency the burden of everyone was "Let us have a change of government." Now, that has occurred before in political history. It occurred in England in 1906 when the Unionist government had been in power almost without interruption for twenty years. .Then the cry rose for a change of government That was not the only cause which contributed to the fall of the Unionist government of 1906. *But I question whether in the political history of any country you will find a parallel- although in this I may be wrong-to a case

where four years after ,a government had come into power with a majority over all parties in the House, the country cried out "For goodness sake let us get rid of these men." That was the amazing, the striking feature in this case of what is sometimes a natural cry for a Change of government.

In his interesting recollections Goldwin Smith mentioned that Dr. Edward1 Pusey, while undoubtedly learned, was very weak in logic; his catenas wanted a link. I think something of the same error or defect marks the logic of some hon. members on the other side to whom I have been listening. The argument, for instance, of the hon. member for St. James (Mr. Rinfret) was this: the fact that the Liberal candidates in a number of constituencies-take my own for example-polled a number of votes which, when added to the votes polled by the Progressives, far outnumbered the votes for the Conservative candidate, was proof that the people in those constituencies did not want the government of the right hon. leader olf the opposition. My experience has been the common experience of many other Conservatives. First the supporters of the Labour candidate came to me and taking my hand said, "If we are beaten we hope that we shall be beaten by you." Then the supporters of the Liberal candidate came to me and said, "We hope if we are beaten that we shall be beaten by you." That does not look very much as though the one thing upon which both parties, Liberal and Progressive, were agreed was that they did not want a Conservative in this House to support the policy bf the leader of the opposition. I rather think it shows that if they had to have a second choice, and could not get their own man in, they both wanted the Conservative; and it is extremely pleasant to be in the position of having gratified both parties.

The third element entering into the result in East Edmonton was the Australian treaty. My constituents are mostly living in the city of Edmonton. It is not a closely populated place. It contains 27,000 acres with a population of about 60,000, or a little more than two people to the acre. They are interested in getting butter as cheaply as they can, and a reduction of three cents a pound is a matter of concern to them. But even the people of the city seemed to argue in this way: "After all what is the use of obtaining butter at three cents a pound less than the price at which it has been sold, if we have not got the wage to pay for the butter?" Further

The Address-Mr. Bury

I think they may have argued, "If this government is so foolish in its fiscal policy as to injure the butter industry in this province, how do we know 'that it will not be hitting to-morrow the very industry in which we are interested?" For such reasons as these, the Australian treaty did not find much favour even in Edmonton. The people understood that if the butter industry of the province was to continue it must not be subjected to the unfair competition with which it was threatened through the Australian treaty. It reminds me of the case of a poor man's wife who went to her husband and said, "John, what do you think? That -beautiful one thousand dollar Persian lamb and sable coat in Eaton's has been reduced to $975." The reduction was not-much good to her because she could not buy the coat anyway.

The fourth element that entered into the result in East Edmonton was the question of the policy of the government in connection with our raw material. I am not going to enlarge on that; I merely mention it.

The fifth was the question of the policy of the government with respect to migration, the movement of our people into the United States, and the inaction, or at any rate the ineffective action, of the government in the matter of getting new settlers on the land. And the last element was the question of the tariff. By the tariff I mean an honest protective tariff that will really protect, for there is no use, but great harm in any other kind of protection. If the question of protective policy did not play the part in the last election which some considered it should play, possibly it was because it was so difficult to understand the attitude of the leader of the government on that very question. There used to be a gambling device on some of the race courses in England-I do not know whether it is there now-consisting of two thimbles and a pea. The thimbles were operated in a certain way, and the bet was made as to which thimble covered the pea. That device reminds me of the operations o!f the leader of the government, the Prime Minister of this country, in connection with the tariff and the question of protection. You did not 'know where he was. You were ready to bet your money he was under -the hat of the Minister of the Interior, but when that hat was lifted, lol he was not there. Then you were ready to bet your money he was under the hat of Mr. Marler, at the other extreme, but when that hat was lifted he was not there either. At last the man on the street was driven to turn to the gen-

tleman who was operating the thimbles and say to him, "You may keep your thimbles and your pea; you are too smart for me. I am not betting."

Topic:   GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH
Subtopic:   ADDRESS IN REPLY
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January 22, 1926

Mr. BURY:

I -hope they did. But on this question of protection, when the ordinary man on the street, who wanted

At six o'clock the House took recess.

After Recess

The House resumed at eight o'clock.

Topic:   GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH
Subtopic:   ADDRESS IN REPLY
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January 22, 1926

Mr. BURY:

When the House rose I had

just concluded my reference to the digression of the Minister of the Interior (Mr. Stewart) into the realm of history, and my attempt as a friend and fellow citizen to correct his error and to inform the House, if it was interested, as to -the real issues and causes which brought about the defeat of the government candidate in my constituency.

I said at the beginning of my remarks that the same minister had in the previous debate assumed the role of a pro-phet. He indulged in prophecy as to the return of the Prime Minister to this House through the main entrance, although I do not know that it matters much as regards the issue whether he comes in through the main entrance or a side entrance. If the Minister of the Interior is as good a prophet u-pon that matter as he was on another famous occasion in respect of another matter, I am afraid hon. gentle-mem on the opposite side of the House will, like Tennyson's forlorn maiden, wait in vain- "He cometh not, she said."

The Address-Mr. Bury

The Minister of the Interior on the earlier occasion to which I refer, indulged in prophecy. At the conclusion, of the Crimean war that great tribune of the British people, John Bright, made one of the most famous speeches of his life, which, from a phrase that occurred in it, got the name and was immortalized as the "angel of death" speech. After the speech was over, Disraeli said to him that he would give almost anything he had to be able to make a speech like that, and John Bright, with his characteristic candour said: "So you could, if you were an honest man." I refer to this because we recollect that in connection with the budget of 1924 the Minister of the Interior made another speech which will go down to posterity, not as the "angel of death " speech, but as the "death knell" speech. I have already said that to attempt to write history is a dangerous thing. To attempt to indulge in prophecy is, I consider, a still more dangerous thing. If the minister must assume the role of a prophet, I would suggest, humbly and reverently, that he should remember two things: first, to try to select an event so far distant that he will certainly not be there when it does not take place; and second, if he must select an event that is of an impending nature, if he must make a prophecy regarding the death of any policy or movement, to make sure, before he buys the whiskey and candles for the wake, that the corpse is dead, and before his hand grasps the bell rope to ring out the tocsin telling the neighbours that the joyful occasion is on, to make sure that the corpse will not rise out of the coffin to enfold him in its cerements and push him into the box which he had intended for it.

Protection is very far from being dead. Coming from the west, I venture to say that protection is more alive than it has been for a long time. There is a general recognition throughout the country, even throughout the west, that protection is necessary for the welfare of the Dominion as a whole. There is a general recognition of the fact that if we assume, for purposes of argument, that proper and effective protection of industry is not in the interest of agriculture, then there are only two solutions possible if we are to have a national policy, if we are to have a system that is to be of benefit to all sections of the country, east and west, and all types and forms of industry, manufacturing and agriculture. Those two solutions are briefly these: Either in the interest of agriculture to do away with protection altogether and bonus industry, or in the interest of industry to have a sufficient, proper and effective protection and to give agriculture some countervailing

benefit in the form either of concessions in the matter of freight rates or of some protection for agricultural products, or possibly a combination of both forms. That being so, and that being the feeling throughout this country, I am not at all surprised that in the Speech from the Throne there has been an abandonment of at least one of the old tariff shibboleths of the Liberal party.

I refer to the shibboleth which we have so often heard cried from the Liberal camp, the shibboleth of "Tariff for revenue purposes only." That has been jettisoned. You have only to look at the Speech from the Throne to find how true that statement is. This is the policy of the government:

In their view the incidence of this form of taxation should bear as lightly as possible upon the necessaries of life and on agriculture and other primary industries . . . that changes in the tariff should be made only after the fullest examination of their bearing upon both .primary and manufacturing industries, and that representations requesting increase or decrease of duties should be made the subject of the most careful investigation and report by a body possessing the necessary qualifications.

Not even the most purblind protagonist of " Tariff for revenue purposes " could claim that that is such a tariff. It is the enunciation of a doctrine that is at least sane, namely, that you have to consider the tariff not only from the standpoint of what revenue it will produce, but also from the effect it will have upon the industries of the country; that you have so to adjust the incidence and weight of taxation that it shall not merely produce revenue but shall have the best possible consequences and exercise the most beneficial influences upon that which is most important to a new country, namely, its commerce and its trade.

Now, I do not wonder that there has been this growing feeling throughout the country, for the simple reason that everybody at heart is a protectionist-at least with respect to his own product. Labour is protectionist. Labour has secured the position it now occupies, the advantages and powers, the privileges and rights it now possesses, by a programme and policy of protection-primarily by the machinery of protection which it devised, erected and put into operation for itself, and afterwards by the supplementary machinery of protection which quite properly it obtained by parliamentary enactment. I do not think there is a member on this side of the House, or on the other side, who does not from the bottom of his heart hope that Labour will long continue its protective efforts for the purpose of securing to itself every legitimate right, every legitimate advantage, every legiti-

The Address-Mr. Bury

mate enjoyment and every legitimate proportion of the profits of industry to which it contributes to such a large and important extent.

And the farmer is also a protectionist. I understand that the members of the Progressive party who were in the House when the Australian treaty was up, voted against it. Of course, they made the explanation that it was because there were other provisions in that treaty to which they were opposed. I wondler whether, if those other provisions had been eliminated, they would not still have voted against that blow to the dairy industry of the province of Alberta. One of the leading Liberals of the city of Edmonton, a gentleman who was most active in bringing voters to the registration offices to get their names on the lists to vote against me, stated that the Australian treaty was going to cost the dairy men of Alberta north of Red Deer not less than $100,GOO a year. He should know of what he speaks, since he has been for years connected with the great Edmonton City Dairy that turns out some of the best butter you can obtain anywhere.

There is also a growing feeling amongst the farmers themselves that the tariff plays a very small part in fixing the price of agricultural implements. I am not a farmer, but no reasonably well informed man can fail to understand that there are a score of other influences affecting the price of agricultural implements, and that the tariff as a price factor is insignificant. Recently there were quoted to the House, in proof of this, figures giving the comparative prices of agricultural machinery in 1921 and in 1925. I have not the figures for 1921. but I happen to have those for 1914, and I have compared them with the figures for 1925. A two-gang fourteen-inch plow with hitch, on which there was then a 26 per cent ad valorem duty cost $85 in Edmonton in 1914; the same plow with only 10 per cent ad valorem duty, exactly half, cost in Edmonton $153 in 1925. Will you tell me what the duty had to do-with that increased cost? I am not going to take up the time of hon. members going through the other items, but they are all pretty much on the same scale-whether disc harrow, mower, horse rake, or binder, the difference between the prices in 1914 and in 1925 is remarkable. Take the binder, for instance: in 1914 the price in Edmonton with a 17i per cent ad valorem duty was $175; in 1925 with a 6 per cent ad valorem duty, a little more than a third, the price was not $175, but $293. What is the use of talking about the effect of the tariff on agricultural implements in the

tMr. Bury.]

face of figures like those, or of the figures that were cited to this House the other day?

Now, Mr. Speaker, I come to the speech of the mover of the Address in reply to the Speech from the Throne. I am not going to compliment the hon, gentleman upon his speech, because I understand that he is a distinguished lawyer, and of course we should expect from him nothing less than what he delivered. In any case, for me to compliment him might be considered as " deep calling unto deep But one part of his speech struck me as showing possibly the undue influence exerted on his thought by his leader. I refer to the passage in which he adopted and endorsed as his own the strange statement in the Speech from the Throne that the prosperity mentioned in the Speech from the Throne was aided by the policies of the government. Now, I think there is something to be said for that idea, because it seems to me that the policies of the government did produce a very general impression throughout the country that the government was going to be defeated at the general election, and I do think that that impression may have had some effect upon the prosperity of the Dominion. Unfortunately this government is not like any other that ever existed in this country; it has chosen to hang on to office and has disappointed the hopes of the people. But still there was the impression that there would be a landslide. I mention this as one of the possible explanations and one of the possible justifications for the statement. But I do not think that sense was in the mind of those who were responsible for putting the language into the mouth of His Excellency the Governor General. I think what was possibly in their minds was the same thought which appears frequently to have been in the mind of the Prime Minister-that divine Providence was in some sense an adjunct or a colleague of the Liberal party-that these great natural forces of sun, soil, wind, rain, frost, hail, snow and so on were at the beck and bidding of the leader of the government, and that .by this providential connection, the Almighty and he had managed things rather well for Canada during 1925. I do not think that is an unfair interpretation, because I remember that the leader of the government regarded one great agent of Providence as his co-operator and colleague in connection with the scheme of Senate reform, which is still in its addled egg, and which when it appears outside the shell will no doubt be a credit to its origin. In discussing that scheme of Senate reform, the nature of which no one knows, the Prime Minister said that he was being assisted by

The Address-Mr. Bury

the Minister of Death-Death, like the Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod, summoning not members of this House to the Senate but members of the Senate to a more august chamber, in the interests of the leader of the government, that he might fill the vacant places with nominees pliant and compliant to his will. Any man who has that conception of death is capable of making the statement we have in the Speech from the Throne. And it is surely merely an extension of the same principle to regard the forces of nature-which have co-operated to produce the great crop of 1925 in which we all rejoice-as colleagues and allies of his own. If that be so I think possibly the question asked by the hon. member for Fort William (Mr. Manion) the other day in respect of the present extreme fertility of the hens may not have been so frivolous as it may have appeared. After all, the fertility may have been part and parcel of the general policy of the leader of the government in respect of the lavish output of our raw material. There was another monarch in Europe some years ago, who was afflicted with a somewhat similar view of his connection with divine Providence. He got himself into a lot of trouble on account of it, lost his seat and has not recaptured it.

Now, I come to another part of the speech of the mover of the Address in reply with which I am in hearty accord, as I am sure must be all members of the House. That is the part of his speech in which he describes the needs of the Dominion. I am not going to occupy the time of the House by dealing at length with each of them. The first need which he mentions is that of rigid economy. That is a very vague phrase. It may mean anything; it may mean an attitude on economy so rigid that you do not do anything, or it may really be a very serious and strenuous attempt to effect economies in the government of the country. There is a second remedy proposed, that of better markets. I think we all agree with that, but the question which arises in our minds is, what has been done to secure them? What is being done to secure the better markets which we all confess we need? There are two elements in this problem of better markets. One is to keep our own home market as much as possible for our own manufacturers-to extend as far as possible their operations within these markets. The other is to get a larger share of the markets of foreign countries-the United States, for example. What is being done to further either of these two objects? We say that the chief instrument by which both of these necessary ends may be attained by any country is a

proper fiscal policy. We say that we should use the vast natural resources with which divine Providence has endowed this country -our nickel, asbestos and other natural resources and minerals-for the purpose of getting entrance into the markets of the United States. What use are we making of them? I think it was the hon. member for South Huron (Mr. McMillan) who, speaking last night, dwelt on the enormous sums of money involved in our trade. I am not interested in the bulk amount; I want to know how it is made up. I want to know how much of our export trade is comprised in the exportation of raw material. You may have an enormous trade between this country and the United States and yet that trade may be little else than the feeding of the country upon its own bowels. Now, I can imagine some hon. gentleman saying: Ah, now we are getting at the real point; this gentleman is advocating retaliation. Well, I am advocating retaliation;

I have always believed in it and have never been ashamed of it. I think it is a common sense principle. It is the policy which the republic to our south would adopt in five minutes if it possessed our -resources. We have natural resources which are absolutely essential to certain industries in the United States-industries in which millions of dollars have been invested, and which could not carry on without us-and we make no use of our possession of these resources for the purpose of fiscal bargaining with that country. We should say: "Unless you give us certain concessions we will retaliate against you in the export of our raw materials, or in any other way which may seem best to us." Let me read to you a passage from an authority on political economy:

A non-protecting duty, on the contrary, would in most cases be a source of gam to t'he country imposing it, in so far as throwing part of the weight of its taxes upon other peo-ple is a gain; but it would be a means which it could seldom be advisable to adopt, being so easily counteracted by a precisely similar proceeding on the other side.

That is, by retaliation.

If England, in the case already supposed, sought to obtain for herself more than her natural share of the advantage of the trade with Germany, by imposing a duty on linen, Germany would only have to impose a duty upon cloth, sufficient to diminish the demand for that article about as much as the demand for linen had been diminished in England by the tax.

That is retaliation.

Things would then be as before, and each country would pay its own tax. Unless, indeed, the sum of the two duties exceeded the entire advantage of the trade; for in that case the trade, and its advantage, would cease entirely. There would be no advantage, therefore, in imposing duties of this kind, with a view to gain by them in the manner which has been

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pointed out. But when any part of the revenue is derived from taxes on commodities, these may often be as little objectionable as the rest. It is evident, too,-

And this is the part I wish lion, members to observe:

-that considerations of reciprocity, which are quite unessential when the matter in debate is a protecting duty are of material importance when the repeal of duties of this other description is discussed. A country cannot be expected to renounce the power of taxing foreigners, unless foreigners will in return practice towards itself the same forbearance. The only mode in which a country can save itself from being a loser by the revenue duties imposed by other countries on its commodities, is to impose corresponding revenue duties on theirs.

Where does that come from? Some Birmingham authority on political economy of the Chamberlain school? No, but from the political economist of the Manchester school, John Stuart Mill. If I believe in retaliation, I have at least his authority behind me. But I want to go-as 'hon. members opposite may deem it-higher in the scale of authority. Not merely does John Stuart Mill teach this doctrine of retaliation, but the leader of the government himself teaches it. Here is what he said in a speech at Alexandria, Ontario, on the 14th of September. Speaking of the suggestion of a tariff on farm products, Mr. Mackenzie King said:

Suppose a duty were put on fresh fruits and vegetables coming in from the United States; what would the United States do?

Well, Mr. Speaker, if the United States would do what we do, they would do nothing. But the Right Hon. Mr. Mackenzie King knows the United States too well to think they would do nothing. He knows the United States too well not to know that they would retaliate at once, and so he says:

What would the United States do? Would the United States not say, if you put a tariff on our fruits and vegetables, we will put one on yours?

Surely they would. And if that is good policy and sound business for the United States, why is it not good policy and sound business for this country? And so, on the authority of John Stuart Mill and the Right Hon. Mr Mackenzie King, I avow myself an out-and-out retaliationist until by retaliation, if need be, the products of the industries of Canada find a fairer share in the markets of the United States.

The hon. member for South Huron (Mr. McMillan) dealt with this question, and his objection, as will be found on page 331 of Hansard, was this:

In other words, if this House will give him (the leader of the opposition) the opportunity, he will enter upon a tariff war with our American neighbours just at a time when the troubles in the New England states

and all over the Union are crystallizing into a demand for a lower tariff policy in that country which will result in giving the Canadian people, and more particularly the Canadian farmer, freer access into the United States nmrket, the world's best market, right at our own doors.

I say that is the most extraordinary argument I have ever heard. "Do not press this matter," he says, "while the United States, and particularly the New England states, are in trouble and considering whether it would not be well to have a low tariff." Why, that is the very time to press it for all it is worth. If opinion in the United States is crystallizing into a demand for a lower tariff policy in that country, for goodness' sake let us help the crystallization process as fast as we can; but you will not help it by telling them that, no matter what they do, we will not put up any tariff against them.

Another remedy which the mover of the Address mentioned was more people. With that, too I am in hearty accord. More people, yes; but what have you done to get them? There are three elements in this problem: The first is the element of keeping on the land the people you already have there; the second is the element of bringing back to the land the people who were on it but who have left; and the third is the element of bringing in new people who were never here before. In my opinion I have given these elements in the order of their importance. The most important problem this government can grapple with is that of keeping on the land the people who are on it now, and the next most important is that of getting back our own people, who know Canada, who have Canadian traditions and Canadian connections, Canadian ties and Canadian viewpoints, rather than bringing new people in. I would much rather have our own people brought back to the land than newcomers brought in. The third element is the least important of all, except for its size; that is all.

In relation to these three problems there are three forces operating. There is the British government across the Atlantic, pouring [DOT] out millions of pounds, for the purpose of what? Of solving the third of these problems, of giving us new people who never were here before. The transportation companies are also willing to pour out millions of dollars to help solve that same problem. They are not particularly interested in keeping people on the land, because the more people move off the land, the more people and the more settlers' effects they will be carrying The third power that is trying to solve this problem is the Canadian government. It is

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pouring out millions and millions of dollars, and what has it got as a result? Something utterly inadequate to the expenditure it has made. What I want to point out to the House is this: We have focussed our attention, bent our energies, and made our expenditure, upon the third element of this problem and have done practically nothing in respect to the other two elements. This government and this country would be infinitely better advised to spend one-half, or even three-quarters, of the money that it is going to spend on immigrants-the British government and the transportation companies are prepared to spend money on that-upon keeping here the men who are here and bringing back the men who have gone, rather than spending it in an effort to secure newcomers to this country.

Now, how are you going to do it? I am not going to deal with this at any length. I think you will have to have cheap land. You are going to spend a lot of money on immigration. Take good care that your efforts in that direction are supplemented by legislation that will prevent land speculators, land companies, and land owners, from coming in and simply getting for themselves the benefit from the enormous amount of money the government is spending. Take care there is land cheap in price near the railways. I would go even this far-I may be rocking the boat; it may be that some of my leaders will come to me and say, if you do not modify your views, we will have to wait for a convenient whale to come along and throw you overboard to him-but it seems to me that one of the most important elements of this whole settlement question is some legislation that will see that land prices do not go up as the men come in to buy.

You will have to have cheap railway rates. I quite agree with the hon. member for Vic-toria^Carleton (Mr. Flemming), that our gigantic railway system should be made one of the biggest assets for peopling this land and assisting those who are already on the land.

You must, in addition to that, have cheap money. That is what the suggestion is in the Speech from the Throne-rural credits. I dare say I shall arouse a good deal of opposition, but may I say this: Rural credits are only a necessary evil. No country gets rich by borrowing. Countries grow by thrift. You may have to have rural credits, but only as a necessary evil; and the best intentions, the best energies, the best brains of this House ought to be directed to the problem of how the men can live without borrowing, rather

than to making borrowing easier. That is my theory; I may be all wrong. I know there are a great many people who are such splendid adepts at borrowing that they are living on their overdrafts, and have been doing that for a great many years. But it is a wrong policy, and one that never made any country rich.

Now, I must not detain the House at any further length, but I just want to say this:

I have indicated the lines along which I think the needs of this country must be met.

I have no hope that they will be met by the present government. I have no hope because that government is a discredited government.

I have no hope because that government is hanging on at the will, at the mercy, at the mood and pleasure of a party in respect to which the Prime Minister made no concealment of his opinions. I read from a speech of his delivered at Saskatoon on October 7, 1925, in which he said:

"Progressives have no hope of forming an administration. If," he added, "you support a party confined to one part of the country you immediately help to put that part of the country, so to speak, in opposition to the rest of the country."

Mr. King held that the attitude of Progressives in the last session instead of helping the administration had hampered it in a hundred and one ways.

And now, listen to this:

"We have had co-operation, very helpful co-operation in some cases," said the premier.

Here is the other side of the picture:

"I can tell you as Prime Minister that every time the government was face to face with some western problem, we had to face the false charge that we were acting as we were because we were living in the grace of the Progressives or because we wanted their support-which made it very difficult for us to do many of the things we would have liked to do."

I ask hon. members to consider this: If that was the position of things from 1921 to 1925, if that was the state of affairs when they had a majority over all, if at that time Mr. King was handicapped and hamstrung, hampered, cribbed, cabined and confined by the fact that he was so nearly dependent then on the Progressives vote to keep him in power that he could not bring in any measures he wanted to bring in for fear of a false charge against him of pandering to them, how in the name of common sense is he any better off now? If that statement is true there is only one conclusion to draw from it, and that is that if hon. gentlemen to my left got nothing in the last parliament they will get less in this; if they were chastised with whips in the last parliament they will be chastised with scorpions during this parliament. Either the statement is true or it

The Address-Mr. Bury

is false, and if it is false there is only one conclusion to come to: that is, that we have a Prime Minister in Canada who has so forgotten the dignity of his position and the traditions of constitutional government as to make a false statement for the purpose of party gain, that he may win seats for his own party.

I will only trespass further upon the consideration of the House in order to relate a short story. A negro had been sent up to mend a roof that was very steep-it was a shingled roof which he had been sent up to shingle. In the process of his work he slipped, and as he was falling down the very steep roof he cried out in terror "0 Lawd save this nigger; O Lawd, save this nig-" there his prayer suddenly stopped with, "Never mind Lawd, I done cotch on a nail." Ever since 1924 the Prime Minister of Canada has been slipping. During this process, and especially during the election campaign, he made the most undignified attempts to hold on and thus avoid a disastrous fall, until last week, when he "done cotch on a nail". ,1 hardly think it is worthy to be dignified as a nail, that half-hearted majority of three. It is but a tack. How long that fortuitous and precarious tack will hold I do not know; but when it does give;, the fall of the right hon. gentleman will not be the dignified descent which we would fain see accomplished by the head of the government of this country.

Topic:   GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH
Subtopic:   ADDRESS IN REPLY
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January 14, 1926

Mr. BURY:

Suppose the resolution proposed 'by the Minister of Justice (Mr. Lapointe) were defeated, no amendment having been moved, would the same result not follow?

Topic:   GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH
Subtopic:   MOTION FOR PRECEDENCE-GOVERNMENTS RIGHT TO RETAIN OFFICE
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