Eccles James GOTT

GOTT, Eccles James

Personal Data

Conservative (1867-1942)
Essex South (Ontario)
Birth Date
September 4, 1884
Deceased Date
June 15, 1939
real estate broker

Parliamentary Career

October 29, 1925 - July 2, 1926
  Essex South (Ontario)
September 14, 1926 - May 30, 1930
  Essex South (Ontario)
July 28, 1930 - August 14, 1935
  Essex South (Ontario)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 180 of 180)

February 23, 1926


Anything of a Christian origin seems to provoke laughter in this House, Mr. Speaker.

-you to enjoy a bountiful Christmas season, with a flow of yuletide blessings, and bring you peace now and forever, is the earnest wish of your representative in my Christmas message of thanks and good cheer, in which I sincerely extend to all a Merry Christinas and a Bright, and Happy and Prosperous New Year.

Mr. Speaker, the Australian treaty, along with many other issues and reasons, was the cause of Mr. Graham's defeat. He did not purpose, not for one moment, that the Civil Service Commission would function to the disadvantage of his political standing in the riding. In giving a few details in connection with only one of several cases in South Essex where he was dictator, I desire to submit

Having been officially appointed by the Civil Service Commission, before he could be sworn in he was relieved of his appointment through the advice and dictation of Mr. Graham. In other cases, and in not simply a few, Mr. Graham's interference with the Civil Service Commission was as brazen as in this case. These I shall not mention other than to say that in them he showed a defiance of any regulations that might govern the Civil Service Commission. Mr. McCallum is a returned man of excellent standing, fine executive capacity, qualified in every way for the position, and slightly indisposed at times due to war service. I was the recipient of a letter from Mr. McCallum, under date of February 5, in which he states:

Re-Kingsville Customs Appointment

This is a rather complicated affair and quite difficult to explain by letter.

I am forwarding herewith two official documents, the result of marks obtained on the examination, also the appointment, both signed by the secretary of the Civil Service Commission.

14011-81 i

I carried out instructions on appointment, and on presentation of same was informed that my duties would not begin until authorization from Minister of the Department at Ottawa had arrived.

Through some reason, the news of my appointment became known, and our friends here became active, by wire, with the result that although I was appointed on June 30th, headed the examination, served approximately three years in France, was rejected on account of a charge by some political henchmen of this district, but the enclosed letters will explain all I think to your satisfaction.

This appointment did not follow the usual procedure, and instead of going through the commission, came from the department by wire, in due time being passed through the usual channels.

Pressing the commission personally for a reason, also the department through the Windsor G.W.V.A., will enclose herewith the letters which are self-explanatory, the charge against me by the department (manufactured for the instance), and also letters from the C.N. and C.P. Telegraph Companies, whose agent I was here. These letters are from the inspectors who personally checked my office at the time I resigned.

You can easily see what becomes of the charges of the department, against the name of a man who had served his country in the time of need; charges that had not the slightest foundation, nothing more or less than a political dodge from beginning to end.

When we fellows enlisted they did not stop to ask what our politics were.

The defeated representative of South Essex, Mr. Graham, with whom I had several interviews, the first one the day that I had been informed that the appointment was made definitely. Mr. Graham said that the Civil Service Commission was absolutely and entirely supreme. The commission and the department usually met and decided on the appointment, but if the commission made the appointment, recommendations or anything else from the department would take no effect.

I immediately produced the result of my marks, also the .appointment, and said: "In view of the facts already stated by you with these official documents in your hand, how do you account for another mar. receiving the appointment?"

Mr. Graham: "Well, the Customs Department have got busy, Mac."

Mr. McCallum: "You have just finished telling me

that this could not possibly be done."

Mr. Graham: "But, of course, you understand this

is not my department?"

Mr. McCallum: "This may not be in your department, but this is your constituency, and are you aware of the fact that there are hundreds of returned soldiers in South Essex?"

Mr. Graham then promised that he would get in touch with the department, and the Civil Service Commission, and see what could be done.

The next interview I had with Mr. Graham was the day that he was endorsed as Liberal candidate in South Essex.

A fateful day:

He admitted before Lafferty, President of the Windsor G.W.\.A., and others, that according to the evidence produced from Lafferty's files, part of which I herewith enclose, there was no doubt I had been done an injustice, and on arriving at Ottawa he would immediately get in touch with the Minister of Customs and see if he could not have my name cleared of these charges. As usual his actions were conspicuous by their absence.

This was a fine endeavour-quite characteristic of him, though-to try to clear a man.

The Address-Mr. Gott

of a charge which was manufactured by his opponents. What manner of man is he who can so gracefully clear a man of charges of which he was innocent when these were only in the preferred class and manufactured for the occasion?

Now, Mr. Speaker, I hold in my hand the documents in connection with this case, and they show an absolute disregard of the Civil Service Commission as instituted by my worthy opponent, the Right Hon. George P. Graham, and his former colleagues. I have first the time table calling attention to the examination to qualify for permanent appointment to the position of sub-collector of customs and excise at Kingsville, Ontario:

Time Table

Examination to qualify for permanent appointment to the position of sub-collector of customs and excise, at Kingsville, Ontario.

Date: May 29, 1925.

Subjects Time

General questions 9.00 a.m.-3 hours

Place of examination:

Enquire A. W. Massey, Esq., B.A.,

Principal, High School, Kingsville, Ontario.

Civil Service Commission Examination Branch May 22, 1925.

Next I have the instructions issued by the Civil Service Commission, all of which were lived up to. Then I have the result of the examination:

Statement of marks obtained by candidate 137 at an examination held on May 29, 1925, in order to qualify for permanent appointment as sub-collector Department of Customs and Excise, at Kingsville, Ontario.

Now taking the different subjects: on general questions the candidate received 72 marks out a maximum of 100. On education and experience he received 85. In the oral examination he received 88, or a percentage of 80.7. He was pronounced to have passed the examination successfully and to have ranked first.

Under date of June 25 I have his official appointment by order of the Civil Service Commission as received by Mr. McCallum in Kingsville on June 26, which says:

Civil Service Commission of Canada Notification of Report for Duty

Name-Charles R. McCallum.

Address-Kingsville, Ontario.

Department-Customs and Excise.

Branch-Kingsville, Ontario.

Title of position-Sub-collector of Customs and Excise, outport, Kingsville, Ontario.

Duties-As specified in the official definition, and such other related work as may be required.

You have been selected for appointment on probation as shown above, subject to your ability to furnish the commission with satisfactory evidence as

to your citizenship, age, physical condition, character and habits. Report for duty at the time and place indicated below, and present this notice to the officer named. Also please note the extracts from the law quoted before.

Place to report-Amherstburg, Ontario.

Person to whom to report-By letter to the Collector of Customs and Excise.

Date to report-Immediately.

The appointment was closed. A few days later Mr. McCallum learned that another appointment had been made. He went to Amherstburg and presented himself to the Collector of Customs to be sworn in, but that official did not have any authorization from the department to do so, consequently he could not swear him in. A few days later, under date of June 13, Mr. McCallum wired to the Civil Service Commission, and they wrote to him under date July 16, 1925, as follows:

Dear Sir:

In reply to your telegram of the 13th inst. I am instructed to inform you that the Deputy Minister of Customs and Excise has notified the commission that your services will not be acceptable to that department, and the commission has therefore made another assignment to the position of sub-collector of Customs and Excise in the person of Mr. Allan Dorland Peareall, who qualified for permanent appointment at the same time as yourself. Mr. Pearsall did not serve overseas during the late war, but you were the only successful candidate who did so. Mr. Pearsall was regularly assigned to this position on the 3rd instant.

Yours truly,

C. H. Bland,

Assistant Secretary.

The Great War Veterans' Association in Windsor pressing the Civil Service Commission for an explanation, the latter communicated with the Customs department, which department, under date of August I, wrote to the Secretary of the Civil Service Commission as follows:

I am in receipt of your letters of the 21st and 27th ultimo respecting the appointment of a customs excise examiner at Kingsville, Ontario, and the rejection of Mr. McCallum one of the candidates.

You are advised in reply that it was reported to the department that Mr. McCallum was discharged from the service of the Canadian Pacific Telegraph Company for cause, and the department is therefore not prepared to recommend his appointment to a position in its service.

I have the honour to be, Sir,

Your obedient servant,

R. R. Farrow,

Deputy Minister.

Naturally they had to find some excuse. I may say that the G.W.V.A. of Windsor took the matter up on behalf of Mr. McCallum and have proved -that the charges were baseless and without the slightest foundation. I present a letter from the Canadian National Telegraphs sent to Mr. L. J. Lafferty, Pres-

The Address-Mr. Gott

ident of the Great War Veterans' Association, Windsor, Ontario, under date August 15. 1925:

Dear Sir: Further to my letter of recent date in

connection with former agent C. R. McCallum.

Kindly be advised that Mr. McCallum was not discharged from the service but resigned of his own free will, not wishing to assume further responsibility as he was not acquainted with the wire work.

Under the circumstances consider he acted very wisely as our system is quite complicated which made him dependent for information from his operator.

Yours truly,

G. R. Kerby, Inspector.

I have a further letter to Mr. McCallum from the Canadian Pacific Railway Company under date of London, Ontario, September 2, 1925, as follows

Dear Sir : With regard to your inquiry I am glad

to confirm the fact that you resigned the Canadian Pacific Railway Company's telegraph agency at Kingsville of your own free will, and with the object of securing a more lucrative position.

Wishing you future success.

P. G. Galbraith, Telegraph Inspector.

Now it is shown definitely, Mr. Speaker, that the ruling of the commission was overridden by Mr. Graham. It is very easy to make up reports about men. If I were guilty of the things that were said about me in the campaign, some of which have evidently

been carried to Ottawa, I would not be worthy of a seat in this honourable body. McCallum was persecuted for political purposes, and for political purposes only, and I think it is the duty of the Civil Service Commission, and also of the Department of Customs and Excise, if they prize honour and virtue in their operations, to rectify the error so grossly made in the heat of a political contest. I trust the Department of Customs and Excise and the Civil Service Commission will note my remarks and take' immediate steps to correct the error to the committing of which they contributed thereby preventing the proper functioning of their own express regulations.

Now, Mr. Speaker, I was not elected to parliament on promises. I told the electors of South Essex that if I had to tell one lie, or make one promise, or purchase one vote, I had no desire to sit in the House of Commons. I said that the only promise I could conscientiously make was that if I were elected I would put forth my best endeavours at all times in the interests of my constituents regardless of colour, creed, or political affiliations; for I believe that a person who has one spark of prejudice in his make-up has no right to aspire to the highest honours within

the gift of the people. We have had many promises in our riding from public men in the past. My worthy opponent, Mr. Graham, in the 1921 campaign, promised the onion and early vegetable growers of Leamington and Mersea township protection on their products. Then when a delegation of fanners waited on Mr. Fielding and Mr. Graham at the Prince Edward hotel in Windsor on the 22nd May, Mr. Fielding turned to Mr. Graham and said, "George that is not our policy". I say to this House and I say to the people of this country at large that this is our policy, and when our party comes into power, whenever that may be, legislation will be enactedwhereby the necessary tariff can be implemented, and it will not be necessary for a delegation to go to see my leader or the

representative of their constituency, if I am sitting member.

I have no apologies to make for the defeat of my worthy opponent. I classed him in the campaign, as I do now as the leading man in the ranks of the Liberal party in the whole Dominion of Canada. I think he stood head and shoulders over the Prime Minister, not only in stature but in

capacity and ability, a man worthy of any man's steel, a good all round fellow, with sportsman-like qualities. When he was defeated he wanted to retire. Why should he not do so? I have been connected all my life with those lines of sport by means of which we put on the map our county and the town in which I was born and raised and in which I live-Amherstburg, Ontario. In other words, we have known how to be good winners and good losers. We organized and instituted an amateur county league system of baseball and we tried to instil into our boys a realization of the fact that a dishonest victory was less to be prized than an honourable defeat. Had the Right Hon. Mackenzie King been a member of our league he would have had the same teaching and the people from coast to coast in Canada to-day would not be saying that Mackenzie King was not even a good sport.

My worthy opponent possessed sportsmanlike qualities. In addition to that he was straightforward and outspoken, especially when I was not present. He is the possessor of a genial disposition; his character is unsullied; and on the whole he has the qualities which make him a lovable chap-the term I believe which has been applied to him by the hon. member for Southeast Grey (Miss Mac-phail). Mr. Graham was a part of the sporting fraternity in our county, but he was

The Address-Mr. Gott

in the county so little that he grew away from the people and they grew away from him. If I am any judge, his absence from this House is conspicuous. I had the unique experience of meeting a lady who was a personal friend both of the Minister of Railways and of the Minister of National Defence (Mr. Macdonald) and she whined because I had defeated Mr. Graham and pined that it was not the Minister of National Defence who had been defeated.

Now I desire to say a word or two about the part of the country I come from, the constituency I have the honour to represent, and the town of my birth. I was born in the town of Amherstburg, Ontario, the oldest town in Canada, how many years ago I shall not say unless requested. Amherstburg is an historic place, being situated eighteen miles south of Detroit, at the foot of the Detroit river where the river enters into lake Erie. It was known over a century ago, in the war of 1812, as Fort Malden, and the block house used by the Canadian soldiers in that war still stands on Bois Blanc island. The very trenches used by the Canadian artillery to repulse the attack of the Americans in that war still hold their grassy mounds at the north end of the town, and in the town there has been preserved on the property now owned by Mr. John Fraser the very stone from which Tecumseh, the great Indian chief, made his last address to his soldiers before he took the Indian trail north of the town on his retreat to Moraviantown, where he was slain. Being historic we still maintain traditions in some sense, for we have to-day a mayor occupying the red chair for the sixteenth year. He is not an old man and may be good for half a century yet, in which event he may occupy that office until the Master calls.

We produce in the town of Amherstburg soda ash; we have the only alkali manufacturing establishment in Canada. We have a 15,000,000 plant which employs 300 men, known as the Brunner Mond Canada, Limited. The employees of this firm are one happy and contented family of devoted wage earners. The plant was constructed during the war and when ready to operate, the government of Sir Robert Borden, with Sir Thomas White as Finance minister, had not placed a tariff on soda ash as promised and 600 men who were then engaged in construction were laid off. Soon a tariff of 124 per cent was placed on soda ash; the men resumed work and that factory has operated from then until now. It is the bulwark of sustenance for scores of homes in the community, and offers the sur-

IMr. Gott.]

rounding farmers a ready market for all produce.

Just recently officials of the Brunner Mond went into eastern Canada to ascertain why certain institutions were not using Brunner Mond products, and the only reason given was that the Michigan Alkali people were underselling our Canadian firm by the smallest kind of margin, due to the fact that the Michigan firm turns out ten tons to every ton manufactured by the Brunner Mond. I am not asking for or suggesting, nor has the Brunner Mond Company done so, a raise in tariff, which would be conducive in my humble opinion to materially increasing their output, giving employment to more men and supplying the Canadian market exclusively with Canadian products, manufactured in Canada, the output of Canadian brain and labour; but what the Brunner Mond Company needs is protection on glass.

The people of Amherstburg are interested in the manufacture of soda ash, which is an indispensable product in the manufacture of glass. Glass contains thirty per cent soda ash. Canadian glass factories are unable to withstand the importation of American glass at a low duty, and are closing, or rather have closed their doors, for the lack of profitable business. Across the river two huge factories employ thousands of men manufacturing glass that is shipped to us for consumption, while our own factories employ but a few men because our government allows the market for its product to be choked by the product of our competitors.

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February 23, 1926


I have noticed a disposition on the part of Jion. members to my left to interfere with younger members who are making their first speeches. The hon. member who spoke before me was not interrupted; I have not yet interrupted a speaker in this House, and if my hon. friend desires an answer to any question I shall be willing tomorrow to sit down with him and go into the question in an intelligent manner.

This was one of the issues-one of the many issues-that was discussed in Amherstburg during the campaign. Mr. Graham carried the town of Amherstibuirg, a small town of less than 3,000 souls, in 1921 by a majority of 325. But after the visit of Mr. Duncan Marshall to Amherstburg the town flopped to the tune of 295 the other way. I do not know whether or no-t the term "flopped" is unparliamentary. Mr. Marshall sought to impress

The Address-Mr. Gott

upon the people that the woollen factories of Canada were working night and day, whereas the official report that had the day before been placed in the hands of residents of the town disclosed the fact that twelve woollen factories had closed their doors in Canada during 1924; that hundreds of men had been thrown out of work due to their failure to operate, and that the twelve failures had resulted in a loss to the operators of $1,463,000, whereas others failed without actually going into liquidation and the woollen business of Canada was not in the healthy state in which Mr. Marshall said it was.

My first remark in connection with the railways of this country is that if any one of the 245 members of this parliament is not vitally interested and concerned in the government-owned system, he is not a loyal Canadian. During the campaign I sent out a circular letter dealing exclusively with railways, asking for an understanding on the question, and to-day I say to the nation at large: Let us understand one another on the railway question. At various times I have criticized the waste, the useless expenditures, the pledging of credit and the promise of railway lines where the traffic would not justify extensions. To-day I am opposed to the building of t'he Hudson Bay railway or any other line while our backs are breaking with a railway debt of $2,056,181,517.70, with the 1925 addition still to be made. It is too late in public life in Canada to place the blame on any party or person. It is not a political question; it is a national problem, the biggest problem facing the Canadian people to-day, and we must grapple with it in a genuine business-like manner or we shall be heading straight towards national disaster. The Conservatives blame the Liberals; the Liberals blame the Conservatives. In one of the thirty-one paragraphs of that circular letter I placed the blame on the shoulders of the Right Hon. George P. Graham, who, when he was Minister of Railways and1 Canals in the Laurier government, overbuilt this country with railways in anticipation of an immediate influx of immigrants swelling our population, so that to-day we have the railways capable of handling the population but unfortunately we have not the population. I hold in my hand the circular letter to which I refer. It comprises thirty-one paragraphs, but I am going to read just this one:

The Hon. George P. Graham is one of those rare optimists that the returning annual deficit cannot for a moment disturb. You will recall, many of you, that he was preaching optimism when the Canadian Northern lines were being built and the Grand Trunk Pacific was under construction. He has that same optimism. He boasted of it and he ridiculed those

business men who counselled caution in those enormous expenditures. The Grand Trunk Pacific, you must recall, was built in part during Mr. Graham's earlier years as Minister of Railways and Canals, under the old Laurier administration. Even in those days Mr. Graham was a successful builder of deficits with the old Intercolonial railroad which ran from Montreal to Halifax. In those days, however, he had not attained the success that he now has achieved as a deficit builder. Three or four million dollars of a deficit per year was his crowning achievement. To-day, he never bats an eyelash with a deficit of $35,000,000 or $40,000,000. And even this amount is modest for there have been expenditures incurred for the Canadian National lines that have not been charged to the railroads, but that are charged to the government as general expenditures.

Still, this deficit builder has been until Saturday hanging on to the reins of office as Minister of Railways after having been swamped in South Essex. The people said: We want no more of your administration; and the voice of our section of the Dominion of Canada spoke very audibly. Four years ago the three seats in this section were held by three cabinet ministers by enormous majorities, namely, the Right Hon. George P. Graham, the Hon. James Murdock and the late Hon. W. C. Kennedy. Since then another seat has been added, and it must be painful- yes, it must even be mournful to the officeholding government, to discern on this side of the House four Conservatives, all with proud majorities. Strange as it may seem, with full faith and confidence they sent an Englishman, a Frenchman, a Scotchman and an Irishman to conduct their business in this parliament. I might add that so far the Irishman has not been out of bounds except on one occasion, and that owing to the fact that he has been seated in this House between two Scotchmen. I took occasion to turn to one of the Scotchmen and I asked him if he knew the difference between a Scotchman and a cocoanut. He advised me that he did not, and I told him that he could get a drink out of a cocoanut. I turned to the Scotchman on my left and I asked him if he knew the difference between a Scotchman and a canoe. He told me that he did not, and I had to tell him that a canoe tipped-sometimes.

A great deal has been said about keeping the railroads out of politics and I believe even this House could agree unanimously on that. There are in my riding five newspapers, three Liberal and two Independent, supposedly and during the campaign they carried advertisements headed: "Keeps the railways out of politics." Naturally I thought some' interested citizen had been prompted by independent motives to take the initiative and to write the article; but when I was speaking to the owner of one of the news-

sor-and this is the only port of entry I use as an illustration because it is a stone's throw from my riding-there were admitted to Canada-and they were not all Canadians-by way of ferry boat 47, by way of trains 26, or a total of 73. When we make the comparison that I am about to place before the House showing the absolute disparity that exists, those who are responsible for the policy that causes it say we are crying blue ruin, that we are calamity howlers, pessimists. I am not a calamity howler, nor am I a pessimist. I am just optimistic enough to think that a roadster can carry six passengers if they are well enough acquainted. Hence when I tell you, Sir, that for the first fifteen days of this year there were regularly admitted at Detroit from the Dominion 1,375 permanent residents-and the American officers think they do well if they get two out of three- the disparity is patent. During the same period we lost at the port of Windsor emigrants over immigrants 1,302 citizens that there are records of, and how many more crossed over never will be known. But those who assert that our boys are returning in large numbers know little, yea, very little of which they speak. It is not a pleasure for me to cite these conditions; it is rather painful. I think they are disgraceful. Let me quote a paragraph from the Border Cities Star of January 2, 1926:

Detroit Is Mecca For Canadians

The exodus of Canadians to the United States continues with the new year, according to a report by H. F. Hawley, United States consul at Windsor. Applications by bona fide Canadian citizens for legal entry into the United States are piling up rapidly, the consul said. That appointments with prospective immigrants have provided for every minute of his staff's time until February 26. The majority of those who propose departure from Canada by way of Windsor desire to settle in Detroit or vicinity, according to the records.

Now, Mr. Speaker, can you imagine what this means to Canada, losing the flower of her population? And yet we have a government in power that does not even know this is taking place! As to how many Canadians we will lose for the first quarter of 1928 from the port of Windsor -alone no person can make even a conservative estimate. Those who left during the first fifteen days of January paid $13,750 to get passports, and the head tax aggregated $11,000 or a total expenditure of approximately, $24,750 of good Canadian rn-oney for the mere purpose of our fellow countrymen entering the States to reside there permanently. This is assisting to solve unemployment in Canada! I admit it, Mr. Speaker. It is helping as well our exports. All of these people are heads of

families, and their dependents will follow later. Taking their furniture and so forth, their settlers' effects, and averaging them at $500 each, we are losing in wealth $687,500-a mere trifle. I claim this is the greatest challenge to any government or even a professed government that has ever -been made. I ask what is being done t-o meet it.

The hon. member for Queens (Mr. Jenkins) recently said:

I have noticed in the speeches that have already been delivered in this debate that not a great deal has been said by hon. members regarding the particular constituencies they represent.

I did not regard his own statements as being very specific with respect to his constituency. I have the honour, Mr. Speaker, to represent the most southerly section of Canada. I have the honour too of representing Jack Miner, the leading bird naturalist of the world-also Jack Miner's birds. Jack Miner is a good Christian soul, kind hearted and with a very charitable disposition. Through his sanctuary he protects annually more birds than all the paid officials of all the governments of Canada combined.

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