Fred Langdon DAVIS

DAVIS, Fred Langdon, Q.C., B.A., LL.B.

Personal Data

Neepawa (Manitoba)
Birth Date
August 6, 1867
Deceased Date
April 9, 1951

Parliamentary Career

December 17, 1917 - October 4, 1921
  Neepawa (Manitoba)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 26 of 28)

April 9, 1918


May I ask the minister whether the calculation he has made includes the necessary equipment for the completion of the Hudson Bay railway?

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March 26, 1918

Mr. F. L. DAVIS (Neepawa):

I would remind the House of a practice that was initiated by the city of Portage la Prairie which is of importance in this time of greater production. The business men of that place began closing their business places at four or four thirty, and motof parties were formed, who took the employees and the businessmen themselves to the fields where they stooked the grain. Thousands of acres of grain were put up in that way, which would not have been put up but for that assistance. They worked from the time they arrived in the fields until dark. The passage of this Bill will add one hour to that labour, because it is a class of labour that is right at the doors of the farmer, and in this time of shortage of labour which apparently threatens us for the coming year, it will add millions of hours to the assistance the farmer gets in the fields and will offset, at least in the West, any loss that the speakers who have put up a contention in favour of the farmer have referred .to.

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October 14, 1903


I want to draw attention to the fact that if the hon. gentleman goes through 'Hansard' he will find that I have brought the subject up several times in this House.

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October 13, 1903


We are not getting too much, but I think we have been fairly

*well treated. I want to point out one feature of the case, and it is this : The hon. leader of the opposition thinks that provincial autonomy is a new proposition in the territories. There was a meeting held in my own town 13 years ago, and a committee was appointed and money collected to agitate for provincial autonomy, but that agitation soon died out. It is, therefore, an old scheme. Four or five years ago, when Mr. Haultain started his agitation we had a population of 100,000 ; to-day we have a population of 330,000, we are told, and if we are entitled to have $33 per head placed to our credit on capital account, we are $7,590,000 better off to-day than we would have been if Mr. Haultain had succeeded when he first commenced. It is all very well to say that we could get a re-arrangement, but I notice that the other provinces have not been successful in their attempt in that respect. When we do form a province, we want it formed on such terms and conditions that we will not have to ask for better terms from year to year. We see the province of Manitoba loaded up with a big debt. We may call it a guarantee of bonds and say that the people will not have to pay the interest, but nevertheless it is a liability against the province which they may be called upon to pay. The North-west Territories is getting all that work done by the federal government, and I think they are better off as they are to-day. The leader of the opposition told us that he considered the question of the number of provinces into which we are to be divided as a secondary consideration. If he went to my district he would find out what a mistake he makes in that. The southern belt of the North-west Territories has had the advantages of a transcontinental railway for 22 years, but the northern belt has been without railways until the last few years. There were a couple of railways there, but they might as well have been built to the moon, for they were of no use whatever to colonization. It is only now that the northern portion of the district is getting immigration, and as a member of the district I will say that the people there are not prepared to go in with the people of the southern portion to form one province. We think there should be two provinces, and if my hon. friend (Mr. Borden, Halifax) were leading the government he would not coerce us unless he wanted to have another rebellion on his hands like that which the Conservatives fomented in 1885. All that has to be taken into consideration. If the hon. gentleman (Mr. Borden, Halifax) goes to Calgary, which is the centre of this agitation, he will find that the people there want three provinces, and some of them want four provinces. If he told the people of Calgary that he wanted one province, the first question they would put to him was : Would he have the capital in Calgary, and if he proposed to leave it to the legislative assetn-Mr. DAVIS.

bly to decide, as Mr. Haultain proposes, they would tell him that they would prefer waiting until something else turned up. The leader of the opposition has perhaps approached this subject in a fair spirit, and I am glad to know that he is prepared to lend his assistance at all times, and to sympathize with us. We would be much better satisfied if he would tell us that he is prepared to sympathize with us to the extent of demands made by Premier Haultain. They are modest demands in a way, and the people of the North-west would be glad to know that my hon. friend (Mr. Borden) endorses them. If the hon. gentleman only gets up and states that it is a good thing to have provincial autonomy he might as well say that it would be a good thing if the sun would shine to-morrow, or that it would rain next summer, but the people of the territories want something more definite than that. They have been educated by-I was going to say my friend Mr. Haultain-they have been educated by the friend of the leader of the opposition up to considering that they were entitled to the conditions laid down in his proposition, and the leader of the opposition will find it hard to satisfy public opinion without going as far as Mr. Haultain proposes. The hon. gentleman (Mr. Bor deni stated that in 1902 Mr. Haultain swept the country for provincial autonomy. Everybody knows that Mr. Haultain adopted the tactics of the wily politician, and that be took a snap verdict. I fancy that if sufficient time were given to have threshed out the question of political autonomy and other questions, Mr. Haul-, tain would not have a majority at all. But, when the people were putting their crops in, and could not get to the polls, he brought on the elections and got a snap verdict, and he claims it as a verdict in favour of provincial autonomy. I want to say that the people took no stock at all in that question. The leader of the opposition might as well say that when Mr. Roblin was returned to power the people of Manitoba pronounced in favour of a high tariff, because Mr. Roblin mentioned it on the platform. Mr. Haultain is in the same position. The people did not take any stock in the question of provincial autonomy, because they knew it had to come from Ottawa and not from him, and as a matter of fact Mr. Haultain got several in my district. I supported him myself, and I helped him to the best of my ability to carry some seats, and 1 never considered the question of provincial autonomy at all. I want to say as one of the representatives from that country, that the people whom I represent are opposed to provincial autonomy at present. I think we are well off as we are. We have been treated very; generously, and with the help of the leader of the opposition, we will be treated more generously in the future in getting sufficient subsidies to run the affairs of the country without going into debt, and without

putting taxation on the people. There is no part of Canada where a taxation is lighter at present than in the territories. I have had some intimation that Mr. Haultain intended to introduce the municipal system. If he does, he will grant the municipalities power to borrow money, because, although he cannot borrow money himself he has power to give the municipalities authority to borrow. I understand he intends to submit a Bill of that kind. I do not know how true it is, or how it will be received by the people, but I believe that taking everything into consideration, we are doing very well as we are and we had better adopt the old saying : Let well enough alone. I believe the people of the North-west Territories are of that opinion.

Subtopic:   GEO. H. V. BULYEA.
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September 18, 1903


I want to draw the attention of the committee to the fact that the hon. leader of the opposition himself objected to people who were not members being heard before the committee when I wanted to bring some from outside.

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