CHABOT, The Hon. John Léo, P.C., B.A., M.A., M.D., C.M.

Personal Data

Conservative (1867-1942)
Ottawa (City of) (Ontario)
Birth Date
February 23, 1869
Deceased Date
December 8, 1936
physician, surgeon

Parliamentary Career

September 21, 1911 - October 6, 1917
  Ottawa (City of) (Ontario)
December 17, 1917 - October 4, 1921
  Ottawa (City of) (Ontario)
December 6, 1921 - October 4, 1921
  Ottawa (City of) (Ontario)
October 29, 1925 - July 2, 1926
  Ottawa (City of) (Ontario)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 3 of 10)

March 1, 1926


During the succeeding four years, with the King governimient in office, the receipts were:

Receipts for total taxes






382.271.000 403,000,000


The average was $407,059,000, or $118,000,000 more than the average for the four years of ttye Meighen regime. In other words, Mr. King and his associates had that much more per ^annum than had his Conservative predecessors, and to precisely that extent the opportunity was theirs to make immense saving. But instead of saving, they proceeded to spend public money on an unparalleled scale. There is another factor which must be brought into the reckoning. During the four Conservative years preceding 1921 special war taxes in the way of imposts on income

were as follows:





Special War Taxes .. $16,000,000

.. 25,000,000

.. 56,000,000

.. 82,000,000

Following 1921, when our Liberal friends came into power, they amounted to:


1923. 1924

Special War Taxes .. $177,484,000

.. 181,634.000

.. 182,036,000

The King government actually collected $529,601,176 in the form of special taxes more than did the Meighen government, and yet it did not cut taxation by a penny. Not the slightest effort was made by Mr. King and his associates to avoid this terrible showing. They had from the outset appeared to be callous to public necessity, to the urgent need of a really grave situation, to every consideration of prudence and expediency and the need for the most rigid economy. What they gave the country was an orgy of expenditure, and to keep up the pace they had to extract more money from year to year for the purposes of the public service.

The official figures themselves give proof of that beyond a doubt. The Liberal government which took office in 1921 was in a peculiarly favourable position to apply a policy of drastic retrenchment which would have led to a substantial reduction in the burden of taxation. The country had just

emerged from participation in the Great war. Vast economic disturbances had been caused by that war. Inflation followed by deflation had all but shattered the fabric of commerce. Readjustment on a comprehensive scale was everywhere made necessary. The need for readjustment was general. The public mind was prepared for changes. No government ever came into power under pledges of economy with such a favourable opportunity to make good. We may now calmly measure what actually took place. Once in control of the reins of power, all promises to relieve the popular load were forgotten. Instead of cutting down the outgo, the King government added to it. Instead of reducing taxation, official records show that the government took additional hundreds of millions out of the pocketbooks of the people. There was a little saving effected by whittling at the civil service. Imagine attempting to economize at the expense of the poor civil servant! They were always ready to indulge in petty economy, but the faucet was open wader than ever before and the broad result was as indicated. That is one of the main reasons *for the exodus to the United States. That is one of the reasons why since this government took office half a million of our people have been forced to seek a livelihood under a foreign flag. High taxation, allied with tariff tinkering and tariff threats, has strangled Canadian industry, with the result that our young men, young men whose ancestors have been rooted in this Canadian soil for centuries, have been compelled to become exiles in the republic to the south.

When they came into office in 1921 hon. gentlemen opposite declared that they would solve our population problem. Immigrants were going to flow into the country. But what has been their record since then? In 1921, the year that my right hon. leader was Prime Minister, 148,000 immigrants were brought into Canada and 72,000 persons left Canada for the United States-a balance in Canada's favour of 76,000. In 1922, the first year that hon. gentlemen opposite were in office, immigration to Canada dropped to 89,999, and 46,810 persons left Canada for the United States. In 1923, after the effects of tariff tinkering and tariff threats began to be felt, and when continued denial of taxation relief began to strangle business, immigration to Canada dropped to 72,887, while 117,000 persons crossed to the United States- a net loss to Canada of 45,000. In 1924 immigration rose to 148,000, but emigration to the United States rose to the terrible figure of 200,690-a net loss of 52,000 for the year. Last

The Address-Mr. Chabot

year immigration was 111,362, while 102,000 persons left Canada for the States.

Thus in four years we find that while this government was spending something like twelve millions of dollars to bring 422,000 persons from Europe, 466,511 persons left Canada and crossed over to the United States. Canada, in truth, was made into a second Ellis Island for America, and, in addition, tens of thousands of native born Canadians, descendants of families that have been in this country for generations, were forced to abandon this soil. And furthermore, from 192] to 1925 this government introduced at least a dozen measures with regard to immigration, and changed ministers, I think, on three occasions, on the assumption, I presume, that variety is the spice of life. The figures regarding immigration I take from the Canada Year Book. The emigration record is of those who paid the head tax upon taking up residence in the United States, and that does not by any means account for them all.

Since this House has met, hon. gentlemen have never tired of telling us how prosperous the country has become in recent months, and they point to our growing exports as evidence of that prosperity. It is true, Mr. Speaker, that the value of our exports is increasing, but if the figures are closely analyzed some qualification is found for our confidence; for analysis shows that, apart from a bountiful crop, the greatest increase has been in our rich possession of raw materials, our pu'lp-wood, our nickel, our copper and our asbestos. We are simply selling our estate. We are shipping our raw products out of the country, and the American people, who are our chief competitors, are refining them and taking the profits, thereby giving work to their people, paying wages to their workmen, providing purchasing power for their communities, markets for their farmers, traffic for their railways, freight for their harbours and ports. In the meantime Canadians are compelled to leave home to secure employment, Canadian home markets are diminishing, Canadian purchasing power is decreased, Canadian railways are producing deficits, and Canadian ports go without traffic. Too much export trade of that kind is not a good thing, in my humble opinion, for this country; yet that with the other facts that I have cited constitutes the fruits of five years of this government. Summed up, they have been five years of violated pledges and broken promises, Uet me mention just a few of those promises. Mr. Speaker, promises which they intended carrying out in their four years of adminis-

tration, but not one of which has been redeemed.

For instance, they promised to reduce the cost of living, to reduce taxation, to reduce the debt, to solve the transportation problem, to increase immigration, to settle the ques^ tion of the ownership of the natural resources, to secure lower freight rates on the ocean for cattle, to formulate a national fuel policy, to secure wider markets for Canadian products, to establish a government wheat pool, and last, but not least, to reform the Senate. On many occasions during the last campaign the Prime Minister raised his eyes and 'his hands towards heaven and offered thanks to the Almighty for taking to his bosom some of our very much esteemed and invaluable Conservative senators, thereby creating vacancies in the Senate, which the Prime Minister with great alacrity filled with some of his true, faithful and devoted supporters. That is how far Senate reform has gone up to the present. Personally I do not think it requires very much reform, and I am sure my hon. friends from the province of Quebec will agree with me at least on that point.

Instead of the government redeeming those promises, we have had five years of the most wanton extravagance, five years of failure to reduce the debt and taxation, five years that have seen increased living costs, impotence to deal with the transportation questions, incapacity to deal with our fuel problem, depopulation of the country, and an entire failure to grapple with the major questions that imperatively Challenge solution. And why? Let me quote just one reason among many-and this, Mr. Speaker, is from the Ottawa Journal, one of the best edited, most logical!, and most reliable newspapers published in this country; I always like to give credit where credit is due. It says:

The King government has been lamentably lacking in constructive genius. It has either not had a definite grasp of the country's vital needs, or it has not had the skill to grapple with them. The only other alternative is that it did not care. The two outstanding needs were, as the bulletins of the leading banks have put it, reduced taxation and immigration. No other government in our national history had had a finer opoportunity to demonstrate capability in these regards than has the government.

If a government is not to be judged by performance, either positive or negative, how else is it to be judged ?

That is why, Mr. Speaker, neither this House nor the country has faith in the remnant of this ministry. That is why I should like to have been able to vote for a no confidence amendment.

What is the present position? The party which is claiming the right to rule is in a minority in this House and in this country.

The Address-Mr. O'Neill

I hate to repeat that, it has been said so often before, but sometimes by dint of repetition a wonderful effect can be pro-

9 p.m. duced. That minority I think would have been still greater had the government not appealed to the country on a policy of longitude and latitude, resorting in the province of Quebec to those tactics which were described here the other day by the hon. member for Kent, N.B., (Mr. Doucet), and stooping in the west to the almost equally reprehensible tactics of offering bribes, like the Hudson Bay railway.

While I am on the subject of electioneering tactics let me say, Sir, that it was not alone in the province of Quebec that the Liberal party sought to fan racial hate in order to promote its cause. Here in the capital of Canada I was made the target of abuse, was denounced as a traitor to my race, because, forsooth, between 1914 and 1918 I held certain convictions as to how best to strengthen my country's arm in the war. As a French- Canadian who is proud of his origin as a Canadian, who cherishes the traditions and history of the old province of Quebec; as one who for a generation has lived in harmony and friendship with his English-speaking fellow citizens, learning to admire their generosity and their tolerance, I sincerely protest with all the strength that I can summon against such blows at the unity of this country.

Here may I address a word to the hon. member for Labelle (Mr. Bourassa), the leader of the Independent group in this House? What that group lacks in quantity it probably makes up in quality, because I have great admiration for the hon. gentleman. He is very clever, very versatile, and possesses a great deal of erudition, but so far I have yet to learn what policies he has been promulgating and advocating in this House, as well as any definite policies which he may have fought for during the last campaign. But of one thing I am certain, that although he appears here in the role of the leader of the Independent group, he is really a Liberal, and I think it is about time he ceased masquerading as an Independent. I am sorry he is not in his seat at the moment. I am not going to say anything that would injure his reputation in any way, but he proudly told us not long ago that he came from [DOT] Liberal stock, that he was born a Liberal. I think, Mr. Speaker, he is living a Liberal and will die a Liberal unless in the meantime his conscience is stricken and he seeks conversion. After reading the speech which he made in this House some time ago, I am convinced that the hon. gentleman is now undergoing a process of political evolution,

and he seems to be coming our way.

If he does, I am sure he will be well received, and he will find a haven

of rest and of happiness in our midst. As for the Labour gToup and the hon. gentlemen who compose it, I am not prepared to comment upon what they have or have not done since the session began, until I become better acquainted with them-and that will be a privilege-and with their methods and their policies. I can assure them that the pleasure for the present is deferred only.

But, Sir, I must return to this government. There it sits mutilated and formless in body, without control of its own actions, the admitted puppet of an outside force. What is there to suggest, to make one even hope or suspect, that anything of strength, or vigour, or clear purpose can emanate from a ministry in such straits? Do my friends of the Progressive party honestly believe that this government is in a position, or ever will be in a position, to put through any sort of programme? Does anybody in this House, knowing all the circumstances, seriously suggest that this government has the capacity to govern? Do the members of the Progressive party believe that this ministry, which failed to give them certain things when it had a majority of 100 to back their giving, is going to make good that failure now when they have not a majority at all? Anybody, Mr. Speaker, can write cheques. But what I suggest to my Progressive friends is that they are taking cheques from this government when there are not any funds in the bank. They are being deceived more completely now than they were after 1921.

No, Mr. Speaker, this government cannot and will not govern. It may prolong its death for a few months longer; it may succeed through desperate expedients and ingenious subterfuges in usurping office for some time yet-but its end is inevitable. It, has irrevocably lost the confidence of the people of this country, and every day it defies public opinion will but add to the completeness of its impending collapse.

Mr. J. R. O'NEILL (North Timiskaming): Mr. Speaker, it was never my ambition to be classified as a diatribist, but in spite of the Fabian policy of this administration, certain questions and certain considerations have been brought up for discussion, and in the interests of my constituency, in the interests of the greatest riding both actually and in potentia, in this great Dominion, I feel I should be derelict in my duty if I failed at this juncture to speak as the trustee of the

The Address-Mr. O'Neill

principles of the good people of North Timis-kaming who paid me the high compliment of sending me here. Furthermore, in view of the fact that I have not sufficiently mastered the language of our compatriots I shall confine myself to the use of the mother tongue, looking forward of course to the day when by study and application I shall be in a position to reciprocate the courtesies extended by them in the adoption of the English language for use in this honourable House.

Before proceeding further, Sir, by way of felicitation, I would make certain observations relative to your honourable self, personally as well as ex-officio. As a refreshing change from the atmosphere of inter-partisan dispute, of sectarian recrimination and reproach, of inter-racial guttersniping, of the indiscriminate and promiscuous use of the argumentum ad hominem, with nevertheless all due regard for the rules of this honourable House, I occasionally turn to the pages of Parkman, and in the transition, I have observed, Sir, with what facility, being within the shadow of the Speaker's chair, I enter into the esprit of an elder day-my point being, Sir, that you are not only a splendid specimen of our present-day compatriots of Norman extraction, but also to me, you are redolent of our grand and romantic Canadian past. Your experience as an outstanding Canadian citizen; your association with our great Canadian leaders .and statesmen; your personal role in the political life of our country, and greatest of all your personal sacrifice in the interest of our country- which sacrifice, I am sure is ever kept fresh in your heart by the excursions of memory across the sea to the grassy barrows of perhaps the happier dead-all these influences have indeed a mellowing, an endearing effect, as has the patine of time on a work of art.

Such is my tribute, Sir, and following the analysis, I would ask in the interests of our national pride and national unity, why not say henceforth, ex uno disce omnes? With common traditions and aspirations, with this great Dominion as a common heritage, won and held by sacrifices in common, why should the people of Canada, faced with the same great problems, not stand united and mindful of their glorious past, united and fully cognizant of their great future?

This young and aspiring nation is at this very moment hungering for unity and for a great national policy, and I submit, Sir, the National Policy of Sir John A. Macdonald is the sangraii of Canadian destiny. I have great respect for the past, Sir. I love the past. I maintain we should profit by the

accumulated experiences of the past. Holding to the true fundamental philosophy of conservatism, I have in these days a tender regard for the views of Edmund Burke, whose works are unquestionably among the greatest exposition of the philosophic basis of conservatism ever writtten, and who looked upon "society as a pai'tnership between those who are living, those who are dead, and those who are yet to be bom". But it was said "For him the present ceases to be merely the heir of the past, and becomes its slave". In stating that the National Policy of Sir John A. Macdonald is the panacea for all our ills and woes, I would not fall into Burke's alleged fallacy, but with all due regard for national evolution and development, with full consideration for every occupation and every interest, I say, Sir, I stand for the adoption of the principles as held by the Conservative party to-day.

In this connection, it might be well to quote Sir Lionel Phillips who had such broad experience in a country which, like our own has as its primary industries, agriculture and mining. I deliberately and purposely link those industries with reference to Canada, since there is no gainsaying their paramount importance. After stating .that farming stands in the first rank as the industry to foster-he would no,t favour the Australian treaty-he goes . on to. say:

"Whether any other occupations should be protected or not depends upon the extent to which they benefit the country, the number of people they employ, the conditions under which they operate in comparison with the conditions ruling in a competitive country. Every case differs and, for a well founded judgment to be formed, must be investigated separately and all the factors reviewed. Cheapness is not the sole gauge, for it is obvious, if all the commodities used in a country were imported, its inhabitants would earn nothing and could not pay for them. Assuming, however, some of them possessed accumulated funds and invested them abroad, the country would suffer, because the profits earned, though brought to the native land, would again be exported for investment abroad and the fertilizing value of the working costs in producing the commodities would always benefit the places where they were spent. Labels, loosely used, like those of "free trade" or "protection", do infinite harm, because they become political cries, and the masses who know nothing of the subject, range themselves under the one or the other, following, like flocks of sheep, their respective leaders. Politics again- hateful politics-uses in a question of vital consequence, mean phrases like "Your food will cost you more" without answering the pertinent rejoinder "How will our earnings be affected?"

No reference in this, hon. members will note, is made to the preponderating argument -the full appreciation and proper exploitation of the natural resources of our wonderfully gifted country.

The Address-Mr. O'Neill

A moment ago, Sir, I remarked that this young and aspiring nation is hungering for a great national policy. I say further that this young .and aspiring nation is calling for a leader who will, without fear or favour, consistently carry out this national policy to its complete, logical and just end.

You will recall, Sir, my submission was that this national policy is the policy of the Conservative party in Canada to-day, and my further submission, is that the man who will, without fear or favour, consistently carry out this national policy to its complete, logical and just end is, beyond a shadow of doubt, the present leader of the Conservative party (Mr. Meighen), for the moment the party in Opposition in this House. I am not one given to apotheosis and I made the statement with full premeditation, deliberation and sincerity. Wherefore, let us scrutinize the statement and examine into my ratiocinations in this regard. Does this admiration spring from sickly sentimentality, from the exuberance of a novice, or from the enthusiasm of a hero worshipper? Not at all. It is merely a straight cool, businesslike appreciation which, if adapted by the nation, would be in the national interest. I reach my conclusion as follows: In the great north country, a new country just opening up, just coming into its own, anyone interested in public life is confronted with an unusual number and variety of problems such as labour questions, colonization and settlement difficulties, and all the problems of farming, mining, prospecting, transportation, industrial establishment and expansion. In other words, as I stated on a previous occasion, if we consider the anomalies and complexities of our every day commercial, industrial and agricultural life, politically and economically North Timiskam-ing is a typical slice of Canada to-day.

My experiences and disillusionments in connection with municipal, provincial and federal activities have been such as to thoroughly convince me that in the final analysis politics is nothing other than a clash of interests, and I am sure every hon. member has reached the same conclusion. In other words, it is safe and logical for me to generalize and to state that in the whole arena of Dominion politics we have nothing but a clash of interests. I ask: W7hat characteristics must be pre-eminent in the leader who would successfully meet the present day situation? What virtues, if not courage, candour and consistency? I defy any hon. member or any reflective observer in the Dominion of Canada to deny that these are the outstanding virtues of the right hon. the leader of the Conservative party in this country today. Has he not a name for steadfastness and integrity? Of all the ingredients of leadership and statecraft he has admittedly an abundance. He has never derogated in his conception of duty from the great traditions of his predecessors, particularly Sir John A. Macdonald. His views have attained that clear and practical precision incident only to an accurate mind. With conditions as they obtain to-day, to be a leader, and for the sake of independence and knowledge, one must lead virtually the life of a slave and an ascetic. Thus I say that his very aloofness and his penetrating analytical mind are phenocrysts of character and ability respectively, in these days of self interest and over-reaching. In these days, I repeat, when politics is but a clash of interests, the leader of the Conservative party stands, after trial by fire at the hands of factions, friends and foes, beyond the reach of vested interests or privileged class, having demonstrated to this generation that he possesses that combination of moral excellence and intelligence which Canada desires in her public men. Once he is known in his true light to the Canadian people, the first turn in the political kaleidoscope, to use a borrowed plume, will restore to him the full and generous confidence of the electors of this country.

Now, Sir, assuming that the opinion of a new member-a milk white hind on the political lawn-corresponds with or more closely approximates the opinion of the man on the street in commenting on the present situation in this House, I wish to make the following observations: To my mind this rash government or aggregation, forgetful of the past, have in assuming office measured accurately neither public opinion nor practical politics, while the Conservative party, true to their fundamental principles, have been cautious in deference to the old adage "fools rush in where angels fear to tread." It goes without saying in the opinion of the intelligent electors of this country we are certainly on the side of the angels. Furthermore, if I were asked why we were not reinforced by the various vines and weeds which now alone sustain the crumbling ruins of Liberalism, I should say most unhesitatingly that the answer must be arrived at by psychological analysis, and the mere fact that we did have the proffered assistance and co-operation of a certain number strengthens my argument, since I found it impossible to have my theory square with their sterling qualities as I knew them individually. Their refusal or inability to sit in with the Conservatives was due to what I should term their urban complex, meaning by this a more or less morbid pathological mental process resultant mostly from that diffidence, that timidity, that self-complacency,

The Address-Mr. O'Neill

that parsimony, that narrowness, that simplicity, incident to rusticity. Due, I say, to this urban complex, the poor mind conjures up werewolves and hobgoblins at the very mention of industry or big business. As the Indian babes of yesteryear were frightened to slumber by the mere mention of the white bugbear, so the white bugbear who has replaced the savage on the plains shivers to sleep at the very thought of the dragon of industry. My contention is that in this frame of mind-and because of another outstanding characteristic that thrives in the same mental soil, their gullibility -they shrank in terror from the cool, consistent, logical Conservative party, albeit the latter having a monopoly of the intelligence of this House, and instinctively threw themselves as suppliants before the gates of the decadent Liberal party.

This of course implies not only a psychological similarity but two other notions. There is, by reason of intrinsic gullibility, the natural susceptibility to being taken in by a wolf in sheep's clothing; then, most important of all, is the Platonic element. We are forced to recognize the theory that the souls animating the frames of the various individuals in question had previously hobnobbed in some pre-natal sphere. Is it any wonder then that the sensus communis of this nation became spontaneously convulsive at any suggestion of alliance between the Conservatives and at least a certain element of the Progressives? I might remark that I have a great regard and a tender affection for the soil myself, and in making this analysis there is one other fine distinction I always draw, and that is in the aforementioned type, the term is properly spelt "pharmer," indicating as well, a class, presumably from within their own ranks, who would exploit the honest farmer. As to the shrewder and more independent members in the general consolidation, I should say the motivation was rather based on opportunism, with the same higher elements coming into service in the obtaining of the personal mandate-I mean at the source of power. However, no thinking man in any camp will quarrel with the view that the net and final result of this alliance will be the demolition of both Liberals and Progressives as distinct parties.

This brings me to a consideration of the Address in reply to the Speech from the Throne. This heterogeneous government, formed to support a policy of laissez faire, before their leader has found sanctuary in this House, comes before parliament with a minimum of practical programme. A programme has been formulated in which we have on the one hand a well prepared morphia as an anaesthetic to western passion,

and on the other hand the indication of a certain amount of rhetorical sympathy with the east; and last, in the addenda, a sop to Cerberus. I refer to the decretals from the acting leader of the government (Mr. Lapointe) following the obsecrations of the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre (Mr. Woodsworth). I have certain more or less pronounced and definite views on the various items in this so-called1 programme, but I should prefer on the whole to bide my time and refrain from expressing those views until I shall have had the benefit of the opinions and perhaps of the more mature judgment of other hon. members. This is not to be interpreted as a confession or indication of weakness but rather a desire on my part to study the problems from various angles, and to have my say in committee. I have said that my reason for taking part in the debate at this particular time was the fact that certain matters had come up affecting my riding. There are a great many questions under consideration just now of interest to the country as a whole, but we have had no opportunity to discuss these problems for the reasons that the government has presented nothing to parliament upon which parliament can take action. I should like however to discuss for a short while a matter of grave concern to the taxpayers of Canada and one which is agitating the minds of the people in the north of this country just now: I refer to the question of the Rouyn railway. And in this connection I want to tell the House that whatever I may say to-night on this subject is merely en passant, since, so far as any action is concerned, we are completely hamstrung, so to speak, by a motion which has been introduced by an hon. member who, by this very motion, defeats the objective he is supposed to have had in mind.

!I sat in this House and heard the Arguseyed member for Brandon state in his usual Laodicean manner that the railway problem was one which had been laid on the doorstep of Canada prior to the advent of the Progressives to parliament, the remark implying that naught could go wrong now that they were present. Yet here we have the exposure of a case indicating a wanton disregard of the authority of parliament, involving a complete subversion of principle, a clear case of sup-pressio veri, an act, I say, of wanton insolence committed in open defiance not only of parliamentary jurisdiction but of public law. In face of all this, what is parliament to do? There is not a peep out of hon. members to our left, confessedly demons for righteousness.

I maintain, Sir, that unless the members of

M4ROH 1 1

The Address-Mr. O Neill

the agrarian group and the so-called independent members in this House wish to be classed before the electors and the taxpayers of Canada as a mere fungus growth on the outskirts of this crafty administration, as accessories after the fact, in this Rouyn railway procedure, their better judgment should prevail to the extent of having the motion of the hon. member for Nelson (Mr. Bird) withdrawn so that we can come to a point where the representatives of this House will have a showdown on this question.

The Rouyn railway affair is unquestionably another Scribe hotel deal and one equally physiognomical of this government. Before I proceed to review what has been said in the matter, or to make further investigation,

I wish to make my position clear, although, as in the case of members who have already spoken, my premises may be utterly disregarded in press reports. In the first place, I approach this question strictly from the standpoint of a federal representative in the interests of the taxpayers of this country, in the interests of the well wishers of the Canadian National system; and in the second place I have no desire to interject myself in any way into the interprovincial controversy. Nor have I taken cognizance of the contentious utterances of provincial political protagonists. I am absolutely in favour of a railway into the Rouyn district but I stand for a right location and a proper method of procedure. It is hardly necessary for me to review in detail the exposures made of the way in which this matter has been dealt with. The House will remember how much the ratepayers of this country owe to the hon. member for West York (Sir Henry Drayton), whose energy, diligence and scrutiny are responsible for the expose of the nefarious and extravagant Hotel Scribe transaction, and that hon. gentleman has again shown his sense of duty as a member of His Majesty's loyal opposition in giving to this House and to the tax-burdened citizens of Canada the benefit of his observation and of his critical analysis of the financing of the Rouyn railway, which he has proved to have been another flagrant violation of principle and utter disregard of the authority of the people's representatives in this House. I would direct the attention of the House to references in the press of February 19. We find, in spite of the hon. member's declaration that he was treating the subject strictly from a federal standpoint, Le Canada of that date containing the following:

L'honorable J. A. Robb dissipe les images legers ac-cumulea par Sir Henry.

The honourable J. A. Robb dissipates the light clouds piled up by Sir Henry.

La Chambre qui est honnete, a pres tout, a compris les explications du ministre des Finances et n'attachera pas d'importance a la derniere tentative des bleus & deprecier le gouvemement dans l'estime des independants.

The House of Commons which after all, as honest, understood the explanations of the Minister of Finance and will not attach any importance to this last attack on the part of the blues to depreciate the government in the esteem of the independents.

I leave it to the judgment of the House whether the so-called "refutation" did justice to the Minister of Finance, or in any way dissipated, "the clouds that were wracked up by the hon. member for West York." I find La Tribune of Sherbrooke of the same date, contained the following:

Sir Henry Drayton attaque la construction du re-seau de la Rouyn, en favcur de l'Ontario.

Sir Henry Drayton attacks the construction of the Rouyn railway, in favour of Ontario.

After the definite announcement by the hon. member for West York that he was dealing with the question strictly from the federal standpoint and attacking only the method adopted, this paper attempts to lead its readers to believe that he is taking up the case in favour of the province of Ontario! Le Soleil, of the same date, refers only generally to the question, devoting itself mainly to the advance issue of the Dunning propaganda with respect to the millions of dollars to be spent in the construction of railroads in Saskatchewan. That programme, however, was submitted to the House in the estimates and provided $6,000,000 odd for the construction of 168 miles of railway-practically the same amount as is involved for the construction of only 45 miles of railway into the Rouyn district. I find Le Devoir, also of the same date, refers to the argument of the bon. member for West York and sums it up in this manner:

Le gouvernement a observe la loi en tous points. The government has observed the law in every point.

It is because the stand taken by the hon. member for West York was so represented to the country by the press I have quoted that I stated at the outset of my speech that I am taking the matter up in the interests of the taxpayers of the Dominion, not by any means for the purpose of introducing any provincial issues. Those hon. members who had not the pleasure of listening to the member for West York no doubt have since read his speech in Hansard and have familiarized themselves with the main points of his argument and the principal exhibits. As I said, following his arraignment of the facts, we had a few weak, evasive remarks from the Minister of Finance, which were hailed by some of the press favourable to the administration as dissipating all the clouds piled up

The Address-Mr. O'Neill

aside from the question, and I would not wish to have any misunderstanding in regard to the matter.

On March 2, 1925, the Hon. Mr. Perrault said:

"It is a matter of life or death for the district," declared the minister; "at any rate as for Rouyn. I had hoped that the Canadian Pacific Railway would have continued its lines to Rouyn and thus open a promising colonization area, for there is splendid agricultural land in the region as well." It was also hoped that the Canadian National railways would bui'ld from *the Transcontinental line to Rouyn, a distance of forty-four miles.

The Timiskaming and Northern Ontario railway was also mentioned, but the minister refrained from mentioning the newly proposed Abitibi-Southern railway. Railway legislation, he said, is urgent, for without railways the mines cannot be developed.

I submit that in building the road from O'Brien the worst part of the country has been selected. If Sir Henry Thornton is not adopting the role of the shoemaker who in the early stages of the play Julius 'Caesar led the people about the streets of Rome to wear out shoe leather, then I am forced on to the other horn of the dilemma and must conclude that coercion has been brought to bear on him in this matter. I cannot put my own personal opinion against his railway experience or the advice of his officials, but I maintain that the logical route for the Rouyn railway was from Amos and thence eastward, but in building from O'Brien the road passes through some two and a half townships of sand, and then approaches the mining area at right angles. To get to any centre of importance a local train must be operated from O'Brien to Amos. That is another case of where traffic will have to be bolstered up to give the people some sort of notion that good service is being rendered by this end of the National railways.

Now what chance has that forty-five miles of railroad, even from O'Brien to the present centre, of paying? We have in that very same type of country a railroad with a mileage, regardless of yards and sidings, of some 460 miles, the Temiskaming and Northern Ontario railway built by the province of Ontario at an expenditure of some $32,000,000. That road serves the Cobalt camp, the South Lorraine camp, and all the agricultural area in the vicinity of New Liskeard and Englehart. It serves the Kirkland lake and Porcupine country, the Abitibi district-and the Abitibi Pulp and Paper Company alone gives the road a traffic of $1,500,000 a year, but with all these sources of traffic the net return to the provincial treasury is about $750,000 per year. That is regardless of carrying charges, for no interest is paid on the original investment, and there is no capital repayment. Iln 1922 the Temiskaming and Northern Ontario railway brought in a

revenue for the provincial treasury of $712,000; in 1923, $836,000; 1924, $839,000; 1925, $786,000. This, Sir, as stated, was without any provision being made for capital repayment or the payment of interest. This road was built primarily, of course, for service, and there is no question that the province of Ontario is reaping great benefit from the building of the road through other departments, chiefly, Lands and Forests, and the colonization and opening up of the country. But when the province of Quebec wished to accomplish the same objective, apparently they used the Canadian National Railway system as a catspaw.

The Nipissing Central railway was prepared, under federal charter, to extend their road into Rouyn, a distance from the border of some 28 miles. Of course, the story of the holdup in this connection is quite familiar to the members of this House. However, they have no desire to antagonize the province, but are willing to co-operate with the Canadian National railway authorities and give service and help open up that wonderful mining country which is merely an extension of the great belt extending through Manitoba, Ontario and on into Quebec. *

I stated, Sir, that with all these sources of traffic the Temiskaming and Ontario railway could show a net revenue of only some $750,000 to $850,000 per year. I do not wish to cast any reflection on the Temiskaming and Northern Ontario Railway Commission or on the operation of that particular railway, because I believe it is operated as efficiently as any other road in the Dominion, the operating ratio for 1925 having been 80 per cent. The road serves some 250,000 people. Now with traffic running all one way on the Rouyn branch, with nothing grown in the country or manufactured to 'be shipped by return, it is only reasonable that those at the back of the Rouyn scheme should insist that the 30 per cent clause be inserted in the agreement. On that account I am inclined to believe that Sir Henry Thornton was coerced in this particular deal. There is no question about it, when it comes down to the annual repayment on the $5,000,000, the people of Canada will have to bear the brunt of the repayment of $306,957.70 a year, being equal annual instalments for thirty years, at 4i per cent-annuity bond'. And there is nothing in the agreement to show that the Canadian National railway will own the road at the termination of the thirty years.

There are a great many other considerations in connection with this particular project, but since we cannot take any immediate action on the matter I have touched only lightly on the subject, and shall wait until the strangulating

The Address-Mr. O'Neill

motion of the hon. member for Nelson. (Mr. Bird) shall have been withdrawn or properly dealt with before dealing further with the Rouyn railway.

I would like to refer to the great question of immigration and the colonization of that north country. In reviewing the work of the committees that have dealt with this question in the past two or three years, I notice that Mr. Black, one of the officials of this government, calls attention to the fact that the north country is suitable only for Canadians, for good axe men. Nevertheless, the government have insisted on bringing into that north country, very much against the wish of the settlers there, Europeans and foreigners. I maintain that that great north country should be preserved for settlement by the young men from the older provinces, particularly Ontario and Quebec, and this could very well be accomplished by a concerted effort on the part of the municipal, provincial, and federal authorities. If our young men in a municipality in the county of Lanark, for example, were assisted by their own local municipality, by ohe county, and as well by the province and the Dominion, and given an opportunity to settie in that north country and kept together, they would have the same opportunities and achieve the same results which our ancestors achieved in this part of the country in years gone by. I quote from the Illustrated Weekly Journal, Canada, under date of January 30, 1926:

There is no firmer believer in the future of the northern portions of Ontario and Quebec than Dr. C. V. Corless, the general manager of the Mond Nickle Company, and he has on more than one occasion in the past been at pains to expose some of the erroneous notions held regarding them.

Not long ago he pointed out that the area surrounding Hudson bay occupied fully 90 per cent of all Canada east of the western plains. He then predicted that this great "pre-Cambrian shield" would find its greatest economic future in mineral resources, but at the same time expressed his opinion that the ultimate foundation industry for a new country was farming. Developing this view in an address at Toronto the other day, he held that in the pre-Cambrian region there was room in the fertile intervals for an agricultural population of well over a million, and the natural situation was well adapted for the interchange of agricultural products with the near-lying mineral deposits and forest industries. Dr. Corless thinks there is danger of paying too exclusive attention to the agricultural west, to the neglect of the miming and lumbering regions of northern Ontario and northern Quebec.

In the matter of colonization and work done in the north country I would1 at this juncture pay tribute to the administration of the Conservative party in the province of Ontario under the leadership of the Hon. G. Howard Ferguson. I would go further and say that in these days when material considerations are given the greatest prominence, it is pleasing

to refer to the racial unity and religious harmony which prevails in Ontario and which has been the direct result of the efforts of the present provincial administration.

There is another question to which I would refer offhand. It is a matter of meta-politics and should be of interest to the hon. member for Labelle ((Mr. Bourassa). I refer to the question of dual citizenship. So many of our young Canadians go to the United States and when asked to swear allegiance to the American flag, do so unquestionably with a mental reservation, and it occurred to me it, would be interesting to hear a discussion of the old question of dual citizenship.

Now I should like to deal at some length with mining questions as they affect northern Ontario. Few not directly connected with the mining industry really appreciate its true importance in industrial life. Few realize how much industrial life is dependent upon mining and even how much directly and indirectly the present day cost of living is traceable back to mining. A great work has been accomplished in northern Ontario by the provincial Department of Mines and particularly by the present minister; and that hon. gentleman's good work is felt throughout the whole Dominion in the realm of the mining industry.

I should like to quote an extract, in connection with the general awakening of interest in mining, from the Monetary Times of January 15, 1926.

Mining Investments

The great record of Canadian mining in 1925, and the handsome profits derived from some mining securities, is enticing to the investor. Mines have had a bad repute because of shady methods pursued by some promoters and the lack of knowledge on the part of the investor. But where the investor has had a real run for his money he has, on the whole, no cause for complaint. At the recent annual meeting of the Canadian Institute for Mining and Metallurgy, John A. Dresser, Montreal mining engineer, gave the following practical suggestions for putting a mine property through the development stage:-

"After assuring yourselves regarding his title of ownership and making a satisfactory preliminary contract with the prospector, examine the property. Do this thoroughly and with an entirely open mind in which neither wishes nor prejudices have any place. It is a business opportunity that it would be either a serious mistake to miss, or a disastrous one to engage in ill-advisedly. At this time it is relatively easy to be impartial. But after one has become an owner and has expended money, thought and labour upon a property, it is much more difficult for him to be a reaJlly impartial judge of it.

"In the first instance, it is often an economy to employ a reliable prospector or mine foreman to make a preliminary examination in order to learn if the property is worth the expense of a technical examination of greater cost, and perhaps to get it into condition to make an engineer's examination useful. But in any case, neither buy a claim nor


The Address-Mr. O'Neill

make any serious expenditure without really learning all that can be learned about it. Careful and competent inspection is a form of insurance that you cannot afford to do without in mining.

"In the course of a number of such efforts, you will find a claim that proves good-claim that with more time and care and money will become a mine. This period may be described as a period of absorbing interest, both financial and otherwise.

"When it becomes apparent that your claim has established merit, and there is reasonable promise, if not actual assurance, that it will make a mine, it is time to consider the disposition of it, and how to realize on the operation.

"Rarely, if ever, should a development, or exploration syndicate, however successful, attempt actual ' mining. If the pioneer work has been complex, and of a kind to require critical care, much more is this true of the organization and operation of a mine.

"Under favourable circumstances, the novice, for the exploration syndicate may still be a novice in min-, ing. may operate a mine, even at a profit. But in many cases the life of the mine depends on its management, and experience is essential. In any event we may rest assured that the maximum profit can only be obtained by exercising the maximum skill and this should be looked for in an experienced mining company."

There is, of course, the possibility of "grubstaking" a prospector and sharing in his success-if he is successful. Prospecting is generally thought of as an enterprise for individuals, but some of our large mines maintain forces of prospectors, while there are other companies and syndicates which do nothing else. Again, a proven and producing mine becomes an investment, in fact it is about as safe a stock as you can buy, for with an ascertained volume of ore the only uncertainties are 'in regard to market prices and mining costs, and similar uncertainties face an enterprise of any kind.

The prospector plays the same part in the success of the *mining industry as the man who wore the steel helmet did in winning the war: both bear the brunt without receiving proper appreciation. To me the prospector is at once an interesting and a romantic character. A true prospector must be both practical and visionary. His make-up partakes of the nature of poet, seer, philosopher and businessman-these to a greater or a. less degree respectively according to his original temperament. Leagues away from the noise of cities and the general activities of men, he navigates the rivers and lakes, meanders through the avenues of gothic spruce, over rocks and plains, sleeping under the starry heavens, oblivious of the lapse of years that eat away n dreamer's life. Greek-like he loves the rosy-fingered dawn and the beauties of nature. But Aurora is cold and irresponsive, like her prototype in this world of the flesh, when he is broke and without a grubstake. Unless he makes a sale the prospector has no income. To anyone interested in mining-and every true Canadian should be-I say: "Your best bet is to sit in with the honest prospector." And there are hundreds of them in the north country, the best fellows in the world. It has

taken them years of hardship and sacrifice to learn the game, and now with the great impending boom you have an opportunity for tremendous profit at a very small outlay. Help the prospector buy his grubstake, and help him do his assessment work, to show up his holdings to advantage, and when the deal goes through you and your descendants for the next three generations will be sitting pretty.

I would refer, Sir, to other general topics of importance to the north country. As to labour I represent a great many miners,- men from all parts of the continent and all parts of the world-Irishmen, Cornishmen, men from Nova Scotia. And here I would remark that there be something radically wrong with the mines of the east when those chaps found themselves compelled to set up the disturbance they have done in the past. On the general questions of interest to labour I am prepared to support any measure brought down and submitted in workable form; but as regards the standing of the independent groups I submit, that on this short island portage known as life a man's reach should not exceed his grasp. Something definite, something tangible should be accomplished.

With further reference to protection and in connection with the woollen industry, I was interested and ironically amused to hear the remarks of the hon. member for Ottawa (Mr. MfeClenaghan) in connection with the nemesis which had overtaken a woollen manufacturer who had throughout the years stood for the a priori dogmas and principles of free trade.

Questions such as rural credits and railway rates will unquestionably come up in committee form when there will be an opportunity of fuller discussion. At this particular stage of the debate I have other references to make in connection with the general development of the country. I would refer again to the mining industry and particularly to the mining of iron. A proposition was submitted by the provincial authorities in regard to the beneficiation of iron ore. From reports, however, we see that our iron ore development is not going ahead, but foreign deposits are still being operated to the disadvantage of the workers of this country and our great natural resources. I should1 like to quote an extract from the Canadian. Mining Journal of . February 12, 1926:

Still Buying Abroad

The United States Department of Commerce reports that in the month of November, 1925, the exports of primary forms of iron and steel to Canada amounted to 58,826 tons, which was forty per cent of the tonnage exported in that month. Japan came second, but took less than a quarter of Canada's purchases.

The great bulk of these materials could have been produced in Canada in works already established and

Motion jor Closure

by workmen already trained and ready, and most of them would have been produced at home if special inducements were not offered to buyers to procure them from abroad.

These special inducements are of two kinds, those that are normally offered by manufacturers in every country who are desirous of increasing their export trade, and those that are offered by our own government in the way of exemption from duty, or admission upon payment of duties, below normal oraverage rates, or the return of duties, when the

materials are used in favoured industries.

The rates of duty on the steel imported into Canada from the United States in November, 1925, varied from 5 per cent to about 20 per cent. On nearly 20,000 tons there are two rates, distinguished byarbitrary units of size or weight. Material in one

form may pay the equivalent of 20 per cent while material of exactly the same kind, shape and purpose may be required to pay only 10 per cent. And as has been noted, some sorts are on the free list and pay no duty at all, while others have 99 per cent of the duty remitted if they are used for certain specifi.d purposes. If they are used for any other purpose, even though it may be equally essential to the comfort and happiness of some class of the people, no refund can be obtained.

We have great workable iron ore bodies through the north country, and co-operation by the federal authorities in this respect would give us an opportunity to call upon our coal miners for further supplies, give work to the men in that part of the country and at the same time develop the industry in both the east and the north.

I note in the Speech from the Throne a reference to the construction of the Hudson Bay railway. Naturally, we maintain that the first railroad that should reach the Hudson Bay or the James Bay country is the Tern-' iskaming and Northern Ontario, which is now some sixty-five miles south of that point. But I look upon this great body of water in the north country as a national heritage, and the development of mines and power and other natural resources on and back from the shore line will bring about a great deal of inland navigation and traffic which will redound to the benefit of those roads. In saying that I should support the completion of the Hudson Bay railway, I do so with certain reservations as to the amount involved and the plan to be submitted, but it is my opinion that in ten years' time we shall have not only one railroad but three or four railroads to the Hudson Bay area.

Another great question in our northern country is one very closely connected with successful colonization. I refer to the construction of roads. Under the former Conservative administration a certain amount was allocated for expenditure in each province on roads to be built at the discretion of the provincial authorities. Under the Progressive regime in Ontario none of that money was spent in the northern country. I submit that development in Ontario has reached a point 14011-914

as a result of which the area referred to heretofore and very often in this House as the "hump" will shortly become the connecting link between the east and the west. The time is ripe for the construction of a national highway through the great clay belt, and a grant in that connection would be in the interest not only of the immediate district and the settlers there but of Canada as a whole. Money spent in this way would show up to great advantage, and the saving made in the construction of such a proposition as the Rouyn railway could be used in this way to advantage in building up traffic for our national railways along the route.

In conclusion, Sir, I submit that the present administration is not in the confidence of the people of this country, but, compromisers and trimmers, they and their works shall be swept away by the confluence of public opinion and national resolution at no distant date- swept, I say, into oblivion, like autumn leaves on a swollen stream.

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March 1, 1926


The statement has been

made in this House several times and has never been denied so far.

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March 1, 1926


I will answer that question in a moment to the satisfaction, if not of the hon. member, at any rate of the majority of people. Mr. King did not say he would complete the road because he considered its completion to foe in the national interest; he did not say he would complete it even though he knew the country could not afford it. What he said was, " Send me enough supporters, give your votes to the Liberal party, and I will build you the road ".

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March 1, 1926

Mr. J. L. CHAROT (Ottawa):

Mr. Speaker, I trust that I am not too late at this date in the session to tender you my sincere felicitations upon your election as first commoner in this land. It is an honour shared equally by you and by this House, an honour which gives us both pleasure and pride-pleasure from a contemplation of high achievement recognized; pride because I see in you, Sir, the embodiment of those lofty traditions of public services so richly contributed to the history of this nation by the race to which you and I belong.

The Address-Mr. Chabot

I rise to express as briefly as, I trust, will be consistent with lucidity, my determination not to support the motion of the hon. member for Nelson (Mr. Bird). In so doing I am fortified by a knowledge that I am in harmony not only with the overwhelming opinion of this country, but with the view held openly by many, and secretly by some, of the majority of the members of this House. The reason for want of confidence in this ministry is neither invisible nor obscure. It is found1 in four years of cynical betrayal of the platform and pledges by which this government gained power. It is found in the economic dislocation which can be directly traced to the record and policies of this government since 1921. It is found in the humiliating spectacle of the disembodied entity calling itsdlf the cabinet, which lingers on the treasury benches at the present time. What has been the political history of this country during the past five years? In 1921 hon. gentlemen opposite came into office upon certain definite and specific pledges to the people of this country. They said that they would remove the burden of taxation which was then paralysing our industrial life; they said they would reduce the high cost of living bearing down upon the masses of our people; they said they would settle our transportation problem and solve our immigration difficulties; and they said they would give us a new fiscal creed. They were to bring back what they called the golden era of Laurier and make us all happy and rich.

There have been five years of opportunity for the fulfilment of these pledges, five years in which all the rest of the world has recovered from the devastating effects of the war. They were five years which saw this country blessed with some of the most bountiful harvests in her history, five years which saw this government with an enormous majority in the House of Commons to give effect to its policies and its programme. Yet, notwithstanding all these advantages, what has been the government's record? Did it reduce taxation? Did it reduce escapable expenditures? Did it reduce to any appreciable extent the high cost of living? What was its contribution to the solution of our transportation problem, of our fiscal problem, and of our immigration problem? The answer is embodied in the public records of this country. It is that taxation is almost precisely what it was in 1921; it is that this ministry launched1 the country, with almost profligate abandon, on a series of unjustifiable expenditures. It is that the cost of living, according to the reports of our Labour department, has actually increased; that our transportation problem has

not improved; that fiscal tinkering has produced widespread depression; and that our immigration is but a fraction of the emigration from Canada to the United States.

This government's record in regard to expenditures alone invites the severest condemnation. During the past five years nearly every nation in the world has reduced its taxation indebtedness. England, borne down by vast commitments, paying heavily for defence, and with an administration that encircles the globe, has paid her expenditures, reduced her debt by hundreds of millions, and reduced her taxation again and again. Australia, since the armistice, has reduced her debt by more than $300,000,000 and greatly reduced taxation; and little New Zealand, the Union of South Africa and even the little Irish Free State have all been retrenching, reducing taxation, balancing their budgets and giving the masses of their people a decent chance in life. And during the past five years the United States has actually reduced its public debt by over $2,000,000,000; it has cut its per capita taxation from $55 to $27; and although it has reduced taxes again and again, although the income tax in that country was before but a fraction of ours-not more than one-fourth-that country has just adopted a new scheme involving a further reduction of $350,000,000 a year, at the same time exempting vast numbers of the lower salaried people from taxation. To be correct, I believe that 2,300,000 Americans will now be freed from the obligation of paying income tax.

What in the meantime has been the record of Canada? While our competitors have been retrenching, Canada has gone on in a career of extravagance which has done violence to the development of the country. Wharves and sand-bars like Belle River; Scribe hotels in Paris; Union clulb buildings in London; a Prince Rupert elevator whose only service will be to compel our railways to haul grain 190 miles further than necessary; millions for a new harbour at Quebec city, when the present harbour is not being used to its capacity; a million dollar elevator at Halifax which has not yet seen a bushel of grain: these, with a store of other things almost equally unjustifiable, tell the story of this ministry's regime.

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March 1, 1926


I do not recall the dates or the places, but I am quoting from some of his speeches.

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