There is no question that the United States, which is a tariff country, is prospering.
Mr. ECCLES J. GOTT (South Essex): Mr. Speaker, I presume that as a young member of this honourable body, possessing the average degree of cordiality and fellowship, I should be actuated by a spirit of appreci-9 p.m. ation to offer to you my congratulations on having again been extended the high honour of the speakership. It is a source of personal gratification when one observes a gentleman so competent and possessing such a high degree of dignity acting in a capacity where grace, fairness and despatch are the outstanding characteristics of a successful term of office. I trust that at the end of the session my expression towards you, Sir, may be equally commendatory. I take this my first opportunity of extending to you and through you to the loved ones who share your distinction my sincere congratulations upon the honour that has been conferred upon you by this parliament, the highest honour within its gift. However envious one might be of your personal capacity, I can assure you, Sir, that there is little of this weakness and no animosity, in my makeup and I trust that any breach of the rules of which I may be guilty you will regard as an innocent offence and not as an intentional violation of parliamentary practice.
I trust further that as the session proceeds our mutual relations, if I may venture to say so, will strengthen into something like friendship; and I am sure that, whatever happens, the present parliamentary term will be successful at least so far as a strictly impartial guiding of its deliberations is concerned.
I fully appreciate the privilege and the honour which I have, as a result of the last election, of representing in this House one of the most progressive constituencies in Canada. My first desire in representing that constituency in this the fifteenth parliament of the Dominion is to correct certain statements that have come from sources unreliable and incredible, and in doing so I accept as an invitation the remark of the hon. gentleman
The Address-Mr. Gott
who leads the remnant of a shattered and discredited government, if it may be called a government, in the person of the Minister of Justice (Mr. Lapointe), to the effect that lavish expenditures had been made for political purposes in the last election. The wail of a defeated party, it has been said, is always audible and to these lamentations there seems to be no end. I am compelled to conclude that it is not in the interests of the party opposite that their inner activities in the last campaign, their expenditures at any rate, should be revealed at this particular time. Even the Prime Minister-I beg your pardon, I mean the Right Hon. Mr. Mackenzie King-made the charge that financial interests were against him in Prince Albert. But taking a casual glance at the result in that by-election one would wonder just how many financial interests had really been at work there. I believe that the Independent candidate has as much reason to make that charge as Mr. Mackenzie King had. Certainly the Independent candidate did not prove to be much of a politician so far as vote-getting was concerned, but he has the credit of being a better soldier; at least military report would lead the average person to think so. I wonder whether I should be ruled out of order if I offered the Liberal party my congratulations on the marvellous victory it obtained on Monday last, a victory which, according to the newspapers, had the effect of bringing even the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Motherwell) to life, to lead a demonstration in celebration of the event.
The press of western Ontario a short time ago oarried an article which, according to the reports, emanated from Dr. C. C. Ross of Hyde Park, Ontario, on January 10, appearing in the Border Cities Star in its issue of January 11 under the heading:
Charges American gold beat Graham: Dr. Ross bitter at London over defeat of Railway Minister.
"American gold" defeated both Premier King and Right Hon. George P. Graham, in their respective ridings, according to an address by Dr. Cecil C. Ross at the convention of East Middlesex Liberals, held in Hyman hall, London. At the meeting, Dr. Ross was nominated as Liberal candidate for the riding, in prospect of another federal election.
To this I say that the vote in South Essex was not purchasable; the vote in South Essex is not purchasable; and the vote in South Essex never will be purchasable. And if the vote in South Essex were purchasable I can assure you that it is the huimtole opinion of my constituents, particularly my workers, that I, like poor Burgess, would have lost my deposit. South Essex was not won in a day or a week or a month; it was won by the cooperation of the loyal support of fifty or-14011-81
ganizations. On January 27 I took occasion to write to Dr. Ross as follows:
Dr. C. C. Ross.
Hyde Park, Ontario.
Dear Dr. Ross,
Have you been correctly reported by the press when they say that you say I defeated the Right Hon. George P. Graham by the use of American gold?
Very cordially yours,
Eccles J. Gott, M.P.
House of Commons,
To this I received no reply; Dr. Ross did not even extend to me that courtesy. Hence I must describe his chatter as leather-lunged political hypocrisy. Now a Detroit newspaper early in February reported Mr. Charles Tuson, a very prominent, highly respected and prosperous business man of Windsor, as having made the statement that money had been expended to defeat Mr. Graham, and I wrote this gentleman under date February 9 as follows:
Mr. Charles Tuson,
My dear Mr. Tuson:
It has been reported to me that you made the statement in public that much money had been expended by the Conservatives in South Essex to defeat the Right Hon. George P. Graham-down Amherst-burg way.
Is this so?
Very cordially yours,
Eccles J. Gott.
In reply I received the following:
I was surprised to receive the above lines, as you know that I took no part in the last federal elections, here or elsewhere, had not the faintest idea what was going on. I do not know of any moneys being spent by either parties or their agents. I did not make the above statements, and am sorry that any reports that in any way might get into print are not true. I did hear that you worked very hard. This is of course to your credit. We all know that elections cost money for legitimate purposes. We spend too much in Essex county in this way.
That is the difference between writing to a man of ability, capacity and sincerity and writing to what I have termed a political hypocrite.
Now I hold in my hand a copy of the famous Australian treaty which has been discussed at considerable length in this House. I do not intend to go into the details of this treaty but I may observe that it was discussed on several platforms in the south riding of Essex, and on one in particular to which I shall refer in a moment. I hold in my hand a list of comparative duties between Australia and Canada, and they seem to me to be absurd in that they are conducive to making our farmers pay the very highest prices for what they buy and accept the very
The Address-Mr. Gott
lowest prices for what they sell. I believe the farmer works longer hours and receives less money for his toil than any other man who labours.
Three weeks prior to the election my worthy opponent asked that there should be no last minute appeals. I am going to submit to the House one such appeal that was issued by him at 6.30 o'clock on the night of October 28, when printing houses in small towns are closed. There is no date to this, but I think hon. members will take my word that it was issued on the 28th.
To Brunner Mond workers:-
Brunner Mond is an alkali concern in the town of Amherstburg, and this appeal was issued particularly to its employees.
The Brunner Mond makes soda ash. Soda ash enters largely into the manufacture of paper. Under the treaty which Mr. Graham and his colleagues concluded with Australia, millions of tons of paper will be sold to Australia, and every ton of that paper sold is just so much work for the Brunner Mond and Amherstburg. Mr. Meighen and his candidates have roundly abused this treaty, while the "outside man," Mr. Graham, has been quietly working for the welfare of his constituency.
Think it over-vote for Graham.
Amherstburg Liberal Association.
Hear about it, Liberty Theatre, Wednesday night.
That was Mr. Graham's last-minute appeal, although three weeks prior he had requested that do such appeal should be made. The people who went to hear the issues discussed at the Liberty Theatre did hear Mr. Graham remark, "We have sacrificed' the farmers and their interests in this country for the paper manufacturers." I issued a circular shortly after in this form:
To Brunner Mond workers, fellow electors.
The Brunner Mond makes soda ash. Soda ash is used in the manufacture of glass. Glass factories have closed under the King government. Glass contains 30 per cent soda ash. The Brunner Mond needs protection. What protection they have was obtained from the Liberal-Conservative party. If they desire more protection they are entitled to it. Tariff on glass is essential. Think it over. Don't be hoodwinked. Vote for Gott-a South Essex man for a South Essex seat.
That was the last that the electors of South Essex heard from Mr. Graham. They heard from me the following day as follows:
Amherstburg, Ontario, October 30, 1925.
My dear friend:
It is difficult to convey in words my heartfelt appreciation of your honest efforts and loyal work that did so much to accomplish our brilliant victory yesterday. You have a great deal to be proud of, for in retiring my opponent from South Essex politics, you decisively and convincingly defeated a man who was considered the most prominent and outstanding figure in the Liberal party in our Dominion.
During my incumbency of the office with which the electors of South Essex have honoured me, I expect to enjoy the same hearty co-operation with you that marked our campaign efforts, and to serve your interests
in parliament as well and faithfully as you have served mine. I hope to meet you often personally during the next four years, and shall do my utmost at all times to work constructively for your welfare and to show myse'.f worthy of the confidence you have placed in me by an active, honest and faithful representation of the electorate.
With a hearty "thank you"
Now, the electors of South Essex have even heard from me since. On December 21, 1925, I addressed them as follows:
My dear Friends:
As member-elect of the House of Commons for the South riding of Essex, I desire to extend to you my sincere Yuletide greetings, and at the same time thank my friends for the fine endeavour made by them on October 29. True, I may not have been your candidate, but I am your member, and only by conciliation with the powers that be and co-operation with the member-elect can we obtain for a progressive constituency the things we are justly entitled to. Hence I ask your co-operation during my incumbency of the office with which the electors of South Essex have honoured me, as I have no grind to make with those who opposed me, and forgive those who adapt themselves to tactics ill-timed and unbecoming Christian intuition.
I have 6.851 supporters whom I desire to thank for their loyal support, and I expect to enjoy the same hearty co-operation from them that marked our campaign efforts, and to serve their interests in parliament as well and faithfully as they served mine in the campaign.
I hope to meet all the electors personally during the next four years, and shall do my utmost at all times to work constructively for their welfare, and to show myself worthy of increased confidence in the future by active, honest and faithful representation of all sections and classes, regardless of colour, creed or political affiliation.
In thanking you for your valuable assistance, and in kindly expression to those who opposed me, as well as to the 4.000 voters who failed to express themselves by ballot, I would call to your attention the fact that when Premier King dissolved parliament he gave as his reason for not being able to properly conduct Canada's business, that in a House of 235 members there were only 117 Liberal members. In appealing for a more definite mandate, he clearly intimated that unless given more Liberal supporters he and his government would retire from office.
The election resulted in the return of 118 Conservatives, 100 Liberals, 23 Progressives, 2 Labour and 1 Independent. Premier King and nine of his cabinet ministers were defeated. Of the 26 Progressive, Independent and Labour candidates elected. 18 of them denounced the record of the King administration and defeated its candidates, and the Conservative party polled over 200,000 more votes than the Liberal party. Yet all this means nothing to Mr. King, who clings to office in defiance of the verdict of the people and in contempt of the popular will. If, as Mr. King himself declared, he could not carry on the business of Canada with 117 supporters and a full cabinet, how can he hope to carry on efficiently with only 100 Liberals and he and half of his cabinet without seats? The good-thinking Liberals have advised Mr. King to admit defeat, while others advised him to hold on at any cost, which brings a spectacle of shameless usurpation of power, a spectacle the like of which has never been witnessed in any other civilized country in the world.
If another election with its enormous expense is forced upon the people of Canada, do not fail to impress upon the people that Mr. King, and he alone,
The Address-Mr. Gott
is responsible. In such event I ask the electors of South Essex to demonstrate their sense of fain play and political honour and decency by registering their emphatic protest against the unconstitutional and high-handed methods employed by Mr. King. By so doing you will at least have done your part in preserving the good name of Canada.
For your convenience and in grateful appreciation of your valued assistance, and in anticipation of the full confidence of all the electors of South Essex, I am appending a statement on the back of this missive of the votes polled in the recent federal election, in the constituency of South Essex.
With a hearty "Thank you" for the fine manner in which I was received throughout the constituency, and with the wish that the Almighty in his wonderful providence may permit-
Topic: GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH
Subtopic: ADDRESS IN REPLY