Mr. DORION (Translation):
find wrong, sir, is to ascribe to the right hon. Prime Minister of this country intentions attributable to another political man in Canada.
The hon. Senator Beland also paid us a gracious visit in the course of the campaign. It was at St-Gregoire de Montmorency, a village of 6,000 inhabitants grouped around a cotton mill. The hon. senator made a splendid speech and also spoke, like all the others, of war and conscription, lauded the benefits of the Dunning budget, without however mentioning the clauses referring to textiles. A few days later, a number of the people of this village learned that the brilliant speaker was in the county of Beauce and had declared himself against all customs duties on textile imports. Such skill could not pass unnoticed.
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A splendid Conservative majority was gained in that Liberal fortress. I cannot but help thanking the hon. senator.
As to the Hon. Lucien Cannon, who also paid us a visit, I shall refer you, sir, to the hon. member for Dorchester (Mr. Gagnon) who is better informed than anybody with reference to the precious help Mr. Cannon was to him and to all of us in the district of Quebec, by his charges and appeals to prejudices, conscription and war,
However, sir, the all important factor of our great victory in Quebec, was the strong personality of the right hon. Prime Minister of Canada. Through his truly Canadian political stand, his extensive knowledge, his economic science, the consistency of his statements both in the east and west, the Prime Minister won the hearts and esteem of my fellow-citizens. It will not be long before he wins their deep gratitude.
Still another factor of our victory was the entry, into the federal arena, of two men who had already played a considerable part in the provincial legislature: the hon. Postmaster General (Mr. Sauve) and the hon. Minister of Marine (Mr. Duranleau.)
The first, the acknowledged and admired champion of the Conservative doctrines in our province, inspired confidence among a great number of our compatriots. His knowledge and the experience which he acquired in the course of his long political career, the friendship which he has always manifested towards the true champions of his party, the esteem which he has always enjoyed among his own people inspire us whith great confidence.
The wide legal experience of the hon. Minister of Marine, his memorable struggle in the provincial field, were also a precious encouragement for the exponents of the party.
I may add, how pleased we were, we hailing from the district of Quebec, of the right hon. Prime Minister's choice in inviting one of our own people, whose ability is known to us, the hon. Solicitor General, to accompany him to the Imperial conference.
I hope, sir, to have the opportunity, in the course of future debates to explain the needs of my province, of my district and riding; but I wish to state now that my constituents, themselves, do not only live on bread. The hon. member for Labelle (Mr. Bourassa) for whom I have a deep admiration, although I do not always share his views, knows this quite well, for he came one day, about 1908, in my riding during an election which still lingers in our memory.
My constituents have equally confided in me the mandate of expressing their views, sentiments and opinions on the various questions of a national and economic order which were raised in the course of the last election. These views, sentiments and opinions are also those of 23 other ridings in Quebec, uniting with the 112 ridings of the other provinces of confederation which brought to the leader of the Conservative party the support which he needed for the triumph of his economic and political doctrines. Without us, without the province of Quebec, the country, as in the last nine years, would have probably been at the mercy of a coalition government without guidance or fixed principles. Thanks to the stand of our province, thanks to the breaches made in the solid bloc, the government will not only reign but govern. More than ever are we in need of a government that is in a position to govern.
I do not intend, sir, to return to what has been said, in the house, with reference to the economic crisis. May I, however, be permitted to add a few comments of a universal, national and provincial aspect.
The first cause of .this world-wide crisis is to be found in the overproduction of raw material and produces of the soil. The financial crisis was an immediate sequel of this over-production. This financial crisis was intensified by the artificial maintenance of prices. It is to these two crises: the crisis of overproduction and that of finance, that we must attribute, to-day, this industrial and trade depression which is felt the world over.
I spoke, a few moments ago, of over-production. This is especially evident in food products, such as wheat, sugar, coffee, etc. The same phenomenon happened for certain raw materials used in basic industries: coal, cotton, wool, leather, etc. While production was increasing, as a natural sequel, according to economists, we had inadequate consumption. The Great war brought on an era of intense production in all branches. Part of mankind was unceasingly consuming while the other part was unceasingly producing. When peace was concluded!, (production continued to increase and certain consuming countries became producers. Conditions were completely upset in the world. A great wave of economic nationalism took place, each country endeavoured to develop its own industries in order to become selfsustaining. In certain parts of the world, to counteract this overproduction the policy of price pegging was inaugurated. It was an
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artificial policy which could not succeed And, by the way, sir, I congratulate the right hon. Prime Minister for not having accepted the idea of pegging the price of wheat in Canada. Not only this policy would have as a consequence greatly burdened the national budget, but it would have had the same result as the pegging of prices for coffee, sugar and rubber. For if this policy stimulated production during a certain period, it led to the decrease of consumption through the -stagnation of capital and credit. Under-consumption is the sequel of overproduction. While the countries of Europe were carrying on war, the markets of the far east were closed to them, Japan organized its industries. If we add to this tthe unrest in India, the revolution in China and in many countries of Asia, the political disturbance in South America, it is so many markets closed to producing countries.
The destruction of factories in Belgium and northern France has put those countries under the necessity of rebuilding their entire equipment from top to bottom and according to the most up-to-date plans. This reorganization enabled them to compete successfully, on certain markets, with those countries when old-fashioned industrial methods were still in use. But what further entangled matters was the Russian upheaval and the well-known five-year plan.
While the people of Russia go barefoot, enormous quantities of footwear are being exported to England; while the Russian workers are rationed, shiploads of wheat sail from the Black sea bound for England and other countries where it is sold at prices so low that no capitalist nation can compete against them.
I do homage, Mr. Speaker, to the great Canadian statesman, ithe Prime Minister of our country, who was the first t.o teach to the world by his own example, that no Christian nation should have any business relations with countries where the people are veritable outcasts among the states, due to the misdeeds of their political leaders.
I repeat that the Russian unheaval, the civil strife in China, the Hindu boycott, the insurrection in Asia, the disturbance in Latin America, have put the world's trade in a very bad way.
This crisis was felt in our own country, but its effect was much more serious than necessary due to the blind policy followed for nine years by the Liberal administration. From 1921 to 1930 was a time of wilful blindness, of reckless optimism, of misunderstanding complete and absolute. Canada was thrown wide open to the products of all kinds of foreign countries; the balance of trade was always against us; we must remember these things also if we wish to grasp the reason for the economic crisis which is upon us.
Mr. Tardieu, former prime minister of the French Republic, had this to say of the world
Although, quite evidently, we may not control the doings of outside markets we are most assuredly masters, and responsible masters, of what goes on in our own markets. That is our business; as President Roosevelt used to say, our game may be right, or it may be wrong; but there is no doubt of our right to play.
With the optimism which was their weakness, the Liberals did not ask themselves whether they played the game properly; they simply did not play at all.
We were no longer masters in our own house, our home markets did not belong to us. If we had remained under this antiCanadian regime, if our people had not thrown off the yoke, where would we find ourselves to-day, with foreign competition growing stronger in every way, and with our own markets wiped out? It is strange, to say the least, that a young country like ours, which despite its share in the world war had suffered a great deal less than France, for instance, should have been so severely affected by the economic depression following the war. As the right hon. prime minister of Canada has pointed out, nothing shows more clearly the total lack of foresight on the part of our former government.
The Liberal government instead of anticipating the crisis, instead of adhering to a sound policy of protection for its own people, thought that Canada should become a dumping-ground for all the nations of Europe and should gladly admit thousands upon thousands of immigrants to her shores. From 1921 to 1926, we spent $13,000,000 for the purpose of settling strangers in our midst. During the same period thousands of Canadians were leaving home, migrating to more hospitable countries. Was this merely favoritism towards our transportation companies, or did our opponents imagine that a country can be built out of all sorts of materials, like a mosaic? With the importation of foreign products came the importation of foreign labour. And our Liberal friends expect us to cure in a short six months the evils resulting from nine years of misrule! I take this opportunity, Mr. Speaker, of congratulating the government on the vigour of its immigra-
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tion policy; I beg them to believe that this gesture will be memorable in the annals of our country's growth.
During all this time, in the province of Quebec, our opponents, under the spell of the same radiant blindness, were selling our national resources to the foreigner, sacrificing agriculture to industry and business, legalizing the unlawful acquisition of vast stretches of land under cultivation, for the benefit of foreign capitalists; they encouraged the overproduction of paper, established town sites where agricultural centres were already in existence, drained our countryside of its workers who were shepherded into artificial towns which to-day are on the verge of bankruptcy. After ten years of such a policy, we realize to-day that their frog-town that Mr. Taschereau tried to swell beyond the ox s size, is blowing up, that the paper mills are closing down one after the other, thus throwing hundreds of workers on the streets.
Is it any wonder that thousands of unemployed are to-day walking the streets of our cities, with nothing to fall back upon, hopeless-farming folk of yesteryear, fascinated by these artificial cities?
It was in our province also, whose business policy was praised by the hon. member for Richelieu (Mr. Cardin) that the excessive intervention of the state in private undertakings hampered and even-in certain cases-* prevented the necessary accumulation of private capital and its investment in private enterprise. We must make radical changes in our province if we wish to feel the beneficial effect of the economic recovery that the present government is bringing about through the wise and effective measures it has adopted since coming into power. Despite these obstacles of a local nature, which our friends of the opposition must answer for, I can say definitely that the efforts of our present government have already borne fruit; there is abroad to-day, amongst private individuals and in the business world, a finer spirit of generous confidence.
As I recalled a few moments ago, another act that brought joy to the hearts of our people, was the closing of our Canadian markets against all imports from Russia. Just when Ottawa was adopting an order in council to this effect the provincial government of Quebec was -putting a similar measure through the legislature.
Why is it that our friends of the Liberal party did not give expression to any such desire when a Liberal government was in power at Ottawa? Did they take this way of showing their faith in the firmness, the disinterestedness of the right hon. Prime Minister
of this country? Have they begun to realize that the country is far better off in the hands of men who can act freely, heedless of the narrowing exigencies of cliques, and beyond the need of continual bartering with radical elements? There you have a fine certificate of impotence addressed to the former government.
In acting thus, Mr. Speaker, the government of our country has given proof of all its affection, all its esteem, all its consideration for the workers of Canada. He has condemned the conscription of labour without remuneration, the brutalizing system enforced on the Russian proletariat, under guise of safeguarding their liberty. It is also an act of the highest social and moral importance, since it condemns anarchy and all forms of disorder, the overturning of values and of institutions.
The hon. member for Quebec East (Mr. Lapointe) and his colleagues of Quebec were worried, during the last campaign, at the thought that the present Prime Minister might go to represent Canada at the Imperial conference. The voters laughed at his misgivings; and the attitude taken by our Canadian delegation has thrown new lustre on our own dear country. Like Mackenzie Bowell in 1824, the Canadian Prime Minister asked for preferential reciprocity without striving to hide the fact that he was guided first and foremost by the interests of Canada. It is plain that the precedence claimed for the interests of his own country by the leader of each delegation does not exclude his devotion to those of the empire, -but our Prime Miniser was applying in the sphere of economics the principle successfully upheld by Sir Robert Borden, thanks to which Canada was finally recognized at the League of Nations as an independent and self-governing member of the empire
This attitude was particularly pleasing to the province of Quebec. Tied to her soii with all the fibre of her soul, guardian of her language, her laws and her tradition, enamoured of her past filled with trials and moral conquests, she wishes her mother country to stand by itself and to include no other land than Canada: her duties, as her rights, cease at the border line of Canadian territory. There you have Quebec's idea of patriotism; that is our understanding of national sentiment. This Canadian sentiment must beware of two dangers, both from the outside: Americanism and colonialism. Americanism which signifies for us, on the one hand, a young people, weak, made up of two distinct races, each with its own temperament, its own ethnical character;
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on the other, a giant people, rich, powerful, intoxicated with their own strength, their wealth, their power, and sending out beyond their own borders their ideas, their tastes and their morals. The process has been described as the moral, mental and economic annexation of the first by the second, of the weak by the strong: the wolf swallowing the lamb. We may dispense with a definition of colonialism. The right hon. leader of the opposition gave a good example of it in this house last May when 'he interrupted the present Prime Minister who was expounding his doctrine of Canada First, with the query: " But what about the British Empire?"
As to those obstacles of a purely Canadian character which are apt to irritate the national sentiment of my fellow French Canadians may I quote the following from an article written by the director of Le Devoir on August 27th, 1910:
In other words the French Canadian will love and uphold the bond of Empire and British institutions as long as will be recognized their right to freely discuss all problems involving the national future of Canada; if they are not forced to assume, first the glory of Great Britain, burdens and responsibilities which the constitution and simple justice do not impose upon them; and especially if they find throughout the length and breadth of Canada a political and social system which allows of their cultural organization, permits them to foster their mother-tongue and to bring up their children in the love of their traditions both religious and national.
What we strive for is the preservation of the federative spirit and the mutual respect of the two great races who inhabit this country. An eminent citizen of France, Count Saint-Aulaire, once said:
Speaking politically, if an admixture of British genius and French genius were possible, it would shield us from error; just as an alliance between the British fleet and the French army would save us from aggression.
We of the Conservative party, have already proven the possibility of this blending process; it was eminent statesmen imbued with these principles who, in Ontario, generously reorganized our compatriots' right to be educated and taught in the language and in the religion of their forefathers. I long for the dawn of the same intelligent spirit in Saskatchewan for the disapprovance of the mean and narrow-minded persecution of all we hold dear. At a time like the present when, more than ever, we should unite, should understand one another, why waste our energies in quarrelling among ourselves? That sort of thing is unknown in the experience 22110-18
of Quebec province, because that province has always respected in its entirety the agreement signed with the other provinces in 1867.
One of my remote ancestors, Antoine-Aime Dorion, fought with all his might against the compact, before its adoption. He foresaw the struggles we have had to wage since 1867. He abided by the decision of the majority, however, willy-nilly, once it was reached; and even took his seat in this house. Several thought as he did in opposition to Sir Georges-Etienne Cartier; but once the covenant had been signed on behalf of the province that was the end of all dissension among us-there was no further distinction between victor and vanquished.
On behalf of my constituency, on behalf of my province, for the greater welfare of my country, I claim the same measure of justice for my compatriots throughout this continent. Under the intelligent and energetic leadership of the Prime Minister of this country I believe in the future, I trust that the day will come when Canada will know the full enjoyment of peace, harmony and progress at home; of moral, political and economic independence abroad, within the fold of the great British Empire. Let us have faith. Let us face the present with courage. Let us believe in the future. Let those of us who are of French descent, draw that courage from the history of those who, three hundred years ago, discovered this vast country and colonized it; and you, fellow-citizens of English origin, may find this courage in the patriotism of those royalists who suffered so deeply to remain loyal to their king. Let us unite; let us work together to build up a great country.
Mr. OSCAR L, BOULANGER (Belle-chasse) (Translation): Mr. Speaker, like the
two hon. gentlemen who preceded me I shall speak in my mother tongue since this is the first, time I have addressed the house this session. Naturally, French is much easier for me than English; but if my speech is not in English it is not through any reason of indolence, it is rather because I wish to affirm our right to express ourselves in our own language within the walls of the House of Commons of Canada. Moreover, Mr. Speaker, I am convinced that this right will always exist in our country no matter what Mr. Anderson of Saskatchewan, and the Regina Star, may say. I am convinced that the good common sense of the Canadian people will overcome these
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appeals to fanaticism, these hollow, dishonest notions sown here and there throughout the country with the sole purpose of gaining power or, once successful, of keeping it.
My first thought, Mr. Speaker, in rising to speak in the house this year must be for the good people who do me the honour of electing me to represent them here. So I shall take advantage of this debate on the speech from the throne to place before the government the extremely critical and painful plight of the people in the northern part of my riding.
I am happy, Mr. Deputy Speaker (Mr. LaVergne), to see you present here to-night; I am glad to see my good friend from Dorchester (Mr. Gagnon) here, too. I know that the same distressful situation exists in the northern part of your own counties. I ask my two excellent colleagues to help me make the government understand how real is the need of the inhabitants of our constituencies; but especially to help me in my efforts to have this situation remedied. My colleagues know it, if the government does not, there is real hardship in that part of the province of Quebec.
In the parish of St. Camille, for instance, which is the upper parish of the county of Bellechasse, and touches the Maine boundary, I could mention fifty cases of the blackest poverty, people who haven't enough to eat, who are in need of clothing and of all the necessaries of life. I feel sure things are not better in the two neighbouring counties.
Why? Because there is no work in the woods. The people of these parts derive their livelihood almost entirely from working in the woods; they are lumberjacks rather than farmers. Up to now farming has been a side-line with them. They were mainly employed in the woods and tended their farms only when they had nothing else to do.
This year the border is practically closed. The people I am speaking of cannot take jobs in the Maine woods like they used to do. In Quebec province itself lumbering operations have been very much curtailed and wages have been cut enormously. Those who succeed in getting work in the lumber-camps receive in the way of pay barely enough to live.
Only last Sunday I saw at least a hundred of these lumberjacks, easily recognizable by their peculiar manner of dress and their sun-tanned features, going in a body to the soup kitchen in St. Pie Street, Quebec, where the Salvation Army serves free meals. These
poor men come back from the woods without a cent in their pockets and to be fed must appeal to public charity. They spend the day around the railway stations or walking the streets; they have just enough money to pay their fare back home. Such is the plight of the lumber workers in the part of the province of Quebec that I have the honour to represent with my two excellent neighbours.
As I said a moment ago, the inhabitants of these parts worked almost exclusively in the lumber camps. On their land they did only what work was absolutely necessary to obtain their letters-patent; once they had got them they seldom troubled to cultivate them further. These farms are not sufficiently developed to feed those who cultivate them; that is why these men had to find some additional means of earning a living. They had to get work in the woods. To employ a picturesque phrase I heard some time back, these folk, instead of getting a living out of their farms, are bound to feed the farmer. In the summer season they spend on their farms what money they have earned in the lumber camps during the winter.
How could we solve this problem? What remedy should we apply to the situation I have just described? I have no hesitation in indicating just what that remedy is. Besides, the idea is not mine. More than once it has been put forward by others and I have no scruples, as was the case with the Prime Minister (Mr. Bennett) when he was leading the opposition last year. On one occasion after he had been more than usually violent in his denunciation of the government's laws, he was asked: "If you were in our place what would you do?", and his answer was: "Wait until I am at the head of the government; I'll tell you then what I intend to do." His reply was somewhat on a par with that made a while ago by my hon. friend from Quebec-Montmorency (Mr. Dorion): "I'll answer when the proper time comes"; all of which is not very conducive to practical progress in the House of Commons. I have no hesitation in suggesting a remedy to this sorry state of affairs among the people of my riding. In my humble opinion these backwoodsmen or backwoods settlers should be given the means to clear their lands in such a way that the lands woud furnish a living to whoever worked them.
Some time ago I had the honour, in company with several local members, of going with His Lordship, Bishop Plante, before the Hon. Mr. Tasohereau, premier of the province, to explain this situation to him and suggest that clearing bounties or ploughing bounties
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be given to these settlers so as to permit of their getting a decent return from their agricultural labours. Unfortunately the prime minister of the province, like the prime minister here, also holds the portfolio of finance; and when we put forward the above suggestion we were answered not by the Prime Minister, but by the Minister of Finance, that the scheme would prove too costly. I have been shown estimates which indicate that such aid to the settlers would cost some three million dollars. Like the governments of all the other provinces, that of Quebec feels the shock of bad times, although Quebec can still show a surplus which is not true of our sister provinces. Hence my appeal to our federal authorities, which I hope my very good neighbours will support. I know they will not refuse my request. I ask the government of Canada to cooperate with the government of Quebec in granting clearing bounties or ploughing bounties to the settlers in the northern regions of these counties so they may be enabled to become real farmers and get their living from the land, and no longer find it necessary to work in the lumber camps during the winter.
I hope this plan will be put into operation along with several other plans made practical through the cooperation of the provincial governments. There is no more objection to these clearing or ploughing bounties than there was to old age pensions, unemployment relief, agricultural credits, technical education, roadway improvements, and the other numerous schemes brought to fruition through the cooperation of Ottawa and the provinces. During the recess, since last September, I discussed the matter with the hon. Minister of Public Works (Mr. Stewart). He was most courteous and tried to point out that the unemployment relief act did not allow of any portion of the $20,000,000 voted last September being spent for the furtherance of any such plan as I suggested. There was no need of telling me that because at the September session the government never gave a single thought to agriculture, not a thought. They were looking after the manufacturing classes. The farming community was entirely forgotten; that is why we must bring up the question of these terrible hardships to-day. Or rather they did think of agriculture, but in an indirect way. They saw to it that the farmer had to pay a higher price for every manufactured product he must buy. The cost of living was increased; but there was no increase in the price of what the farmer has to sell.
Now, Mr. Speaker, you will allow me to correct certain errors committed by my hon. friend from Quebec-Montmorency (Mr. Dor-22110-181
ion). He spoke of appeals to prejudice and especially of the notorious issue of conscription which he accused the Liberals of bringing up in every election camaign. As ill luck would have it, our Conservative friends were the ones to bring up the question of conscription during the last campaign, in my riding at least. Their main argument was that the Liberal government had become conscrip-tionistwhen it admitted to its ranks the Hon. Mr. Crerar, a partisan of conscription and a member of the former Union government. We were also told about the Hon. Mr. Fielding who became Minister of Finance in the Liberal administration after 1921, and who, it seems, was also in favour of conscription. And the Liberal party was violently upbraided for having admitted to the cabinet conscrip-tkmists like t'he Hon. Mr. Fielding and the Hon. Mr. Crerar.
The member for Quebec-Montmorency spoke on immigration. Our hon. friend is new to the house; knowing how well-disposed he is I feel sure that his mistake was purely involuntary, and that he will be pleased to have matters set right. We who have been in the house longer than he, know that what he claims to be the Conservative policy in matters of immigration is an entirely new departure for the Conservative party. We who have been here for some years remember that in this house the conservative party was always clamoring for more and more immigration; and that the chief fault found with the Liberal administration by the then leader of the opposition, Prime Minister to-day (Mr. Bennett), and those behind him, when they sat on this side of the chamber, Mr. Speaker, was that we were not bringing in enough immigrants, that our immigration policy was far in the rear of the aggressive Conservative program, when they were in power; that the Liberal government was not sufficiently active in settling the country and increasing the population of Canada.
I recall that when the right hon. Prime Minister was leader of the opposition he launched a particularly vicious attack against the Hon. Mr. Forke, Minister of Immigration. Why? Because the Hon. Mr. Forke, according to him, was remiss in his duty of bringing settlers into this country.
I intend to quote proof of what I say. F.vidently I cannot quote all that our friends said on the subject of immigration, when they sat on the opposition benches. But I shall quote the Prime Minister, then leader of the opposition, as also his chief organizer, General McRae, to show that the Coneerva-
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live party, the Conservative leader, the Conservative chief of organization, and our good friend, since gone to his reward, Dr. Edwards, former member for Frontenac-Addington, were endlessly blaming the Liberal government because its immigration policy was not sufficiently aggressive. And when the hon. gentleman from Quebec-Montmorency (Mr. Dorion) claims that this change in attitude was brought about by the Conservative party, once again he is beside the mark. As a matter of fact it was the Liberal party which first began to tell the house that we should begin to cut down on immigration. Without mentioning your humble servant, it was Liberal members, like the hon. gentleman from Charlevoix-Saguenay (Mr. Casgrain) and others who warned the government when unemployment began to threaten. It was Liberal members who advised the government to slow down and claimed that if they wished to settle the country they should use the surplus population of the older parts of Canada for the colonizing of the newer regions. If we were to help the settlers we should first take care of our own people before giving this help to foreigners.
Topic: SPEECH FROM THE THRONE
Subtopic: CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE ADDRESS IN REPLY