It was not Beauharnois
Mr. McPHEiE: That seems to hurt. We
can go on to something else.
The next item of reform was technical education. This bill was passed with the unanimous approval of this house but it has been placed in cold storage; it has not yet been declared law by order in council. We come next to the investigation into price spreads which I suppose will be considered as a reform. The former Minister of Trade and Commerce (Mr. Stevens) is the only hon. member on the other side of the house who can be classed at all as a reformer. Yet he had his head chopped off by the man who announced himself during the first
week in January as the Messiah of reform. I should like to place on Hansard a paragraph of the letter written by the former Minister of Trade and Commerce (Mr. Stevens) to the Prime Minister after he was decapitated. It reads:
Your letter dated October 26 accepting my resignation, was delivered to me at my home by your special messenger at 4.30 Saturday afternoon, October 27.
Apparently the mails were not considered swift enough and this letter had to be delivered by special messenger. It continues:
In your letter you seek to establish that in my work as chairman of the "price_ spreads and mass buying committee" I had enjoyed the full support of my colleagues of the government. This, sir, you know is not true.
From the moment of the organization of the committee, following my speech in Toronto of January 15 last, almost daily throughout the long period of the last session I was subjected to irritating criticisms. One day it would be regarding my manner as chairman, the next the treatment of witnesses, particularly that of Stanley McLean of Canada Packers and the heads of the Imperial Tobacco.
It would be interesting to place side by side with this letter the evidence in connection with the Imperial Tobacco Company. The letter continues:
Then the question of cost was constantly thrown in my face, and through it all from one of your senior members ran the constant refrain on a minor key, "what can you do about it anyway."
The fact that I refused to be influenced by these mischievous interferences is now advanced by you as evidence that I have had an "absolutely free hand." In the interests of simple truth I must protest your claim in that respect, for, on the contrary, there has been constant criticism emanating almost exclusively from a small minority of the cabinet who, together with yourself, now seize on the "pamphlet" as a culminating excuse for an unwarranted attack on me as chairman of the commission and as a minister of the crown.
It was only six months ago that the only supposed crusader for reform in the cabinet was being criticized by the right hon. gentleman who had announced himself during the first week in January, 1935, as the Messiah of reform.
We come now to the marketing bill. I suppose this will be considered a reform which we have blocked for the past five years. This is a Mussolini, sovietized bill. In this connection it is interesting to note that the poultry pool under the provisions of this bill has been defeated in the three western provinces. If the rest of Canada has the same idea in connection with this legislation I know hon. friends opposite will regret that this has been part of their reform policy.
Long Adjournment-Mr. Bradette
The next thing which I presume we shall be accused of obstructing is the budget-a budget that maintains a tax of one cent per pound on sugar and reduces the duty on alcoholic liquors by $3 a gallon. I presume this is the government's idea of a poor man's budget. It is a budget that supports the nation as the hangman's rope supports the hanged. Now here we are asked to approve of an adjournment for six weeks to enable this moribund government to get its second wind and to come back with more proposed reform legislation-a government which, according to its own Minister of Finance, admitted in the budget speech that it had gone into debt to the extent of $669,900,000 in its five years in office. In other words, hon. gentlemen have gone into debt $669,900,000 in 1,680 days, the number of days they have been in office-$400,000 a day. Just imagine what the adjournment would cost this country; $16,660 an hour, or $2,750 a minute, or $50 a second is the rate at which this government has gone into debt in 1,680 days in office, and we are asked to grant this adjournment. Multiply the 42 days of the adjournment by $400,000 per day and you will find this country going into debt to the extent of $16,800,000 during the time of this adjournment, the time gentlemen across the way want to get their second wind. They have received a blow on the solar plexus and cannot carry on unless they get their breath again.
I oppose the adjournment on grounds of policy.
Topic: WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic: OBJECTION TO PROLONGED ADJOURNMENT EXPRESSED IN AMENDMENT TO MOTION FOR COMMITTEE