Mr. MARTIAL RHEAUME (St. Johns-Iberville) (Translation):
Mr. Speaker, I owe it to my constituents to apprise you that I represent the finest riding of the province of Quebec and of Canada, because, since confederation, it has always remained loyal to the Liberal party-this is evidence of the foresight; and enlightened patriotism on the part of the true Canadians of both sexes whom I am privileged to represent in the house.
My riding is both agricultural and industrial. The farmers carry on mixed farming and endeavour to improve their flocks. They have always been satisfied with the policy of the Liberal party and they understand that in a world-wide crisis the farming class may suffer like other classes in the community.
I listened closely to the speech delivered by my neighbour, the hon. -member for Brome-Missisquoi (Mr. Pickel) who contended that the trade conventions of Canada with Australia and New Zealand were detrimental to the Canadian farmer. The farmers of his riding like those of my own carry on mixed farming. They therefore meet with the same conditions.
Last September, sir, we were called to attend an emergency session in order to vote $20,000,000 and thus settle the question of unemployment; that is, to fulfil pledges made by our opponents during the election. In answer to my hon. friend, the member for Missisquoi, who stated the other day, in the house that the city of Farnham, which is located in his riding, had recently made great progress, I 'have a letter here which reads as follows:
Farnham, Que., March 21, 1931.
Mr. Martial Rheaume, M.P.,
House of Commons,
With reference to our conversation by telephone, this afternoon, I wish to inform you that two new factories were established here in 1929, about the month of March: one the
Collins & Aikman Company Limited, manufacturers of plush, etc., and the other the Dewey
J. E. Lefebvre,
Town of Farnham, Que.
No other factory has since been established I must point out, sir, if the town of Farnham has progressed, if these factories were established there, it is due to the Liberal policy. I may add, if my hon. friend the member for Missisquoi is among us to-night, he owes his mandate to the pledges he gave during the last election. This gentleman with his friends went from door to door telling every farmer who had lost cattle as a result of the tuber-culine test, that he was authorized 'by his leader, Mr. Bennett, to promise $20 -for each animal killed within the last three years. I know farmers in that riding that have lost as many as 30 head. It was certainly an alluring offer.
As to the question of unemployment, I wish to state that in St. John we have an industry which employed, in 1929 and 1930, 1,400 people. Since September 2, 1930, to January, 1931, this factory worked 32 hours iper week, and since then 24 hours per week; in the week ending March 21, 1931, 42 persons were dismissed. There only -remains at present about 900 people working at this factory. I ask my friends the Conservatives where is to be found their success in relieving unemployment? The hon. member for Jacques-Ga-rtier (Mr. Laurin) stated the other day that the government had fulfilled all their pledges; that he himself had obtained the construction of two tunnels; I do not intend to -further discuss this subject because my hon. friend the member for St. Denis (Mr. Denis) discussed it at length.
I do not wish, sir, to miss the opportunity of answering a remark m-ade a short while ago by the hon. member -for Quebec-Montmorency (Mr. Dorion); he stated that the Conservatives had carried off 24 ridings in Quebec. I think, sir, that the hon. member for Quebec-Mo-nt-morency-I do not know what pledges he made -to his constituents-^must have taken his cue from the other Conservative candidates of Quebec. I cannot resume my seat without answering a remark -made by the hon. Postmaster General (Mr. Sauve), member for Laval-Two Mountains, who in his speech on Thursday last, rebuked the Liberals for not having made any suggestion. I think, sir, if the hon. Postmaster General had remained in his seat from the very outset of this debate on the address, he would certainly have heard
suggestions made 'by members on this side. He was conspicuous by his absence. I well remember that last year he taunted the exmember for Laval-Two Mountains for having been indifferent to the debates in this house. The hon. Postmaster General at present seems to exhibit the same failing. I think that this indifference at times applies to him.
I also recall the pledges of the hon. Minister of Marine (Mr. Duranleau) the member for Chambly-Veroheres-my neighbour-during the last election. I realize that his success in the election was somewhat of a surprise, like that of many Conservative members from Quebec.
I know that the hon. Minister of Marine made numerous pledges, especially to some of my personal friends whom he persuaded to vote for him because of the advantages and favours that he would grant them. Since parliament was convened I know of no bill introduced aiming at fulfilling the pledges that the Minister of Marine gave. He also promised an indemnity to the farmers who had lost cattle, owing to the tuberculine test; he promised that they would be paid at the rate of 82.50 per hundredweight; that their butter would sell at 45 cents per pound, and that the bridge between Longeuil and Montreal would be exempt of tolls. Conservative candidates throughout the country made numerous pledges to the electorate, however, if to-day new elections were held the result might perhaps not be the same.
I do not wish to delay the house any further;
I only wanted to take this opportunity of expressing my views. In the course of this debate on the return of prosperity in this country, the hon. members on your right, sir, censured us and at times these gentlemen told us: "Do give us a chance." A few days ago I had the privilege of listening to the speech of the hon. Postmaster General. I am not aware that he has prepared any program, he who always proclaimed himself, when in Quebec, 'the champion of the farming class. I think that he will take 'his cue from his leader whose policy is rather to favour manufacturers and industrialists.