Then it is too bad that such a small number should control the country; that is not majority rule. Now, Mr. Speaker, I think we should talk less about the rigours of our climate; it is bad advertising. I think the House will agree with me that Canada's climate is all right.
With respect to our export trade, I do not think we should be too ready to boast about it. For example, England has a larger export trade per capita than United States, but she suffers from much more unemployment per capita.
Again as to the budget, Sir, I should like to have seen the Minister of Finance incorporate in it a tariff duty sufficiently high to exclude American journals. Those publications are tending to Americanize Canada, and the sooner such propaganda is checked the better it will be for this Dominion.
I should also like to have seen the budget contain an item increasing the duty, against imported woollens so as to revive the Canadian woollen industry. Attempts have been made to controvert the fact that this industry has suffered severely from lack of adequate protection, but there can be no doubt that this is the cause of its being in such a seriously depressed condition to-day. Of the thirty million dollars' worth of woollens we imported last year, considerably more than half could be manufactured in this country if the industry were adequately protected, and this would give employment to a large number of men. It must always be borne in mind that "the man follows the job," and if you want lots of population you must provide lots of jobs. In the course of his speech last week the hon. Minister of Public Works (Mr. King) stated that last year we imported only thirty million dollars' worth of woollens as against forty-five million dollars' worth in 1921, and he appeared to derive considerable satisfaction from this apparent decrease. But we must remember that prices last year were away down compared with those which prevailed in 1921, and therefore the apparent decrease of importation may be good for political purposes but it is misleading. Besides, to really judge the volume of this business we should have regard to the yardage, not to the money value. The, following figures will bear out my contention :
1921 Yards Imported 192569.03.1 Overcoatings 351,1752.585.833 Tweeds 3,327,7606,552.434 Worsteds and Serges 9,756,954
And so on down the list. This shows that while the figures presented by the minister apparently bore out his contention they did not represent the facts, and that the real condition of^ affairs can only be realized when the importations are stated in terms of yardage. We bought tremendously greater yardage in 1925 than in 1921. It is yardage that gives employment, and it is employment we want, for employment brings population.
Now, in framing a budget I think consideration should be first given to labour-in other words, to employment. A protective tariff, it must be remembered, is not simply to protect the manufacturer; this is purely incidental; the prime purpose of such a tariff is to protect the wages of the working people. In short, the safeguarding of our industries is primarily to protect the wage-earners of this country so they can work in Canada at high wages which will enable them to maintain the Canadian standard of living, not at such wages as are current in mid-Europe and Japan, where the standard of living is deplorably low. When discussing the budget the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre (Mr. Woodsworth) pleaded for a minimum wage regulated by the cost of living. Well, so it should be, and we hope that the minimum wage of Canadian workers will always be a good liberal wage. But I cannot see how it is possible for him to consistently plead, as he no doubt conscientiously does, for that laudable objective and at the same time vote against the only party in this House with a policy which will assure to the working people of Canada a minimum wage sufficient to meet the high cost of living. One thing we have to contend with in this House is inconsistency, and I address these remarks to the hon. gentleman in the most kindly spirit and in the hope that he will see his way clear to support the party that is supporting the people whom he is supposed to be representing. I hope he will represent them by taking this course, for there are no people in the world more worthy of proper representation than the labouring people of Canada. I hope he will accept my suggestion and support the amendment of the hon. member for Fort William (Mr. Manion), and so make certain that labour will not be interfered with in the future by a government which fails to properly look after the interests of the working people. We have seen this government ignore the tariff board which it recently created and then take the bull by the horns and shake the automobile industry all to pieces, thus throwing our working men out of their jobs.
The Budget-Mr. Baker
My hon. friend from Winnipeg North Centre has also pleaded, and quite properly, for the relief of unemployment. Might I respectfully suggest to him that the greatest relief he could possibly give them would be by supporting the fiscal policy of the Conservative party which will ensure adequate protection to every Canadian workman.
As to old age pensions, Sir, I think it is a very deserving proposal, and I think every one in this House agrees with the principle; the only difference of opinion is in regard to the details of working it out. In applying this principle I think the one thing we should guard against is to so frame the legislation that it will not be possible for people to qualify for pensions who have not given their labour to Canada between the ages, say, of twenty and fifty. If they need it they should have good, reasonable old age pensions, but foreigners, after giving their labour to a foreign land, should not be able to come here and receive old age pensions at the expense of the Dominion of Canada. That is the old age pension system I think should be put in force.
Then we come to the question of population, and I think we all agree that we need an increase in population; I presume there is no argument on that point. I think it was mentioned by one hon. gentleman that we did not necessarily need increased population to be a good country, but I do not agree with that. We must have more people for our area, for the railroad plans we have laid out, for our expensive government and for our great national debt. We must increase our population and make that population prosperous by a proper fiscal policy. We know, of course, that with double our present population the per capita debt and expense of government would be so much decreased. We have now ten parliaments to govern eight million people; if they are all as good as this one, of course, they will be able to govern forty million people. Let us get the people, and it will then cost so much less per capita for government. Our railroads can handle twenty-five million people as well as they handle our present population, and the overhead would not increase, which would give our railroads a chance to show good profits.
With regard to our population I am satisfied that- the only immigration policy for Canada is one which safeguards our industries by adequate protection. Then we will have an inflow so great that we will be able to put in a quota system and choose our population. We can take as many as we like from the United States-and let us take a large number from there; we can take a great
number from Great Britain, and also from France, Belgium, Denmark, Holland, Norway and Sweden. In other words, let our new population come from Great Britain, the United States and the northern part of Europe. These people are willing to come to Canada, but they will not come and we do not wish them here if we have not employment for them. But there is a way to provide that employment, and only one way.
We have had some discussion in this House about treaties. I have many notes on this subject but I am not going into it in detail. We have a treaty with France, a treaty with Belgium, a treaty with Australia, a treaty with New Zealand and so on. So far as I can see -and I say it fearlessly, because it is only my own humble judgment-this government are very poor treaty makers. That is shown in so many ways, and although the farmer
but I will not say the farmer, rather the farmers and grain growers of this House-
Topic: THE BUDGET
Subtopic: CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL