Walter Allan HALL

HALL, Walter Allan, B.A., M.D., C.M.

Personal Data

Bruce South (Ontario)
Birth Date
August 24, 1867
Deceased Date
August 4, 1944

Parliamentary Career

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

Most Recent Speeches (Page 5 of 6)

March 14, 1927


The object of this bill is to

give some discretionary powers to the Civil Service Commission in the matter of appointments, instead of confining them in every case to the appointment of the person whose name stands highest on the eligible list. This list is not always prepared by the commission nor approved by it. May I say that the bill does not propose to repeal a single clause or even a word of the present act; it simply seeks to insert a clause expressing the purposes of the measure.

Motion agreed to and bill read the first time.

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April 30, 1926

Mr. W. A. HALL (South Bruce):


Speaker, may I be permitted to congratulate the Minister of Finance (Mr. Robb), not so much on the splendid financial statement he has presented, but upon his courage and good sense in taking advantage of the circumstances that made it possible? Doubtless this is the best budget since the Fielding budget of 1897. Its good effects will be felt by people of all conditions, especially the working classes. The circumstances that made this budget possible constitute the greatest achievement of the King government. According to the press of both political parties the Robb budget is being well received by all the people in this country, except by two cities where motor

cars are assembled, or perhaps I should say where motor cars are manufactured in part. However, Henry Ford, of the Ford plant, has declared himself in favour of a reduction, not only of 15 per cent, but of 35 per cent in the duty on automobiles, in other words, in favour of free trade. This may be accounted for by the fact that the Ford plant has passed the-stage of infancy and does not require further nursing. Let me remark here that it would! be a Godsend if we had more Fords in Canada.

The Robb budget presents six things-three-reductions and three increases. Reductions, first in taxation, both direct and indirect; secondly, reductions in expenditure; thirdly, reductions in the national debt. It presents increases, first in trade and commerce; secondly, in reveune; and thirdly, an increase-in the surplus.

Direct taxation has been reduced in four different ways: First, by removing the sales

tax on many articles; second, by wiping out the receipt stamp; third, by adopting two-cent postage instead of three-cent, and fourth, by lowering the income tax. These adjustments in the income tax have been so welt -planned that the greatest relief will come to the most numerous class of our income tax payers. It will bring relief to the people of small incomes, and will doubtless produce widespread benefits. The reduction in the income tax will doubtless not affect national revenue very much, as there will be more money available for production. This has been the experience of the United States and also Great Britain.

Coming to the increases, first, the trade of Canada has been increasing during the last eight years by leaps and bounds. Canada ranks second among exporting nations of the world on a per capita basis, and stands fourth among the world traders in foreign markets. The total trade for the fiscal year ended' March 31, last including exports and imports was 82,258,534,453. The increase in exports from last year was $249,000,000, and the increase in imports $130,000,000. The favourable balance of exports over imports during the year amounted to $402,695,000, as compared with a favourable balance of trade of $29,000,000, during the last year of the Meighen government. Our import trade accounts for about ninety per cent of the increase in the balance of trade which shows the value of trade treaties within the empire.

Now let me deal wdth the question of expenditure. The expenditure has been reduced in five different w^ays: First, by practising rigid economy in the different departments of the government; second, by lessening the number

The Budqet-Mr. Hall

of civil servants; third, by lessening interest in the refunding of debts; fourth, by lessening the deficit of the Canadian National Railways; fifth, by lessening the deficit of the Canadian Government Merchant Marine. The total expenditure last year was 1342,890,000, or $120,000,000 less than the total expenditure for the last year of the Meighen government. The national debt was reduced from $2,417,437,685 to $2,395,084,685, by applying the surplus or excess of revenue over expenditure to reduce it. The revenue for the last fiscal year was $376,000,000 as compared with a revenue for the previous year of $346,000,000, showing an increase of $30,000,000. The surplus of revenue over expenditure was more than $22,000,000 or an increase in surplus over last year of almost $22,000,000. The deficit on the Canadian National Railways amounted this year to $38,800,000. This represents interest to the public amounting to S7,400,000 and interest to the country amounting to $31,400,000 on money loaned to the railways by the government. The deficit on the Canadian Government Merchant Marine last year was $668,000. This shows a great improvement as compared with the deficit in the last year of the Meighen government which was over $9,000,000.

The Liberal party stands for a downward revision of the tariff, while the Conservative party calls for an upward revision. But there are insuperable obstacles in the way of too great reductions, chief among which are financial obligations. The Conservative party argues for stability of the tariff, while at the same time it talks of building a tariff wall brick by brick equal to the United States tariff, necessitating change and thus instability. The United States during the last quarter of a century has had the Wilson tariff, the McKinley tariff, the Dingley tariff, the Underwood tariff, and the Fordney-MoCumber tariff. In Canada we have had the National Policy, the Fielding tariff, the White tariff, and the Robb tariff, the last the best of all. Thus we see that in neither Canada nor the United States has there been any great stability, but rather stability by change. A gradual reduction in the tariff should be our aim.

Let me remark here that a tariff for revenue and for protection is somewhat of a contradiction. This double function cannot operate at the same time. If our industries have to be protected the tariff must keep goods out of the country. If revenue is the aim of a tariff goods must be brought in. Goods cannot be brought in and kept out at the same time. Tariff revision downward is all important. The limit to this is adequate revenue. The future prosperity, solidarity and stability

of our country depends on increase of our exports and imports. The only way to carry on foreign commerce is to import and to sell exports in exchange for imports. We need to export $200,000,000 worth of produce yearly to pay our foreign liabilities, namely, the interest on borrowed money. This is the only way we can pay that interest. These exports are derived largely from agriculture and allied interests. The products of the farm, the products of the forest, the products of the mines, the fisheries and so forth must pay the greater part of our external liabilities. We must be able to meet our financial liabilities as a nation. Consequently we must not place any unnecessary obstacles in the way of trade -no high tax on instruments of production, no unjust tax on capital, and no high tariff wall to obstruct trade and international commerce.

Just as expenditure of the individual should be within the limits of his income, so should the expenditure of the government be within the limits of the revenue. But what is fat better is to have a large surplus, as the King government had for the fiscal year ended March 31, 1926. Doubtless this government has made long strides along the road of public economy. This, Cobden described as public virtue. While lavish expenditure is a terrible public evil carying in its train many others, the only solution is individual and national economy. The estimates presented for this year show a very great reduction in expenditure, $120,000,000, from that of the last year of the Meighen government, 1921-22.

Then to return to the tariff again, may I ask what is a sound and sane and sensible and safe tariff policy for Canada? To whom shall we go for such a policy? Not to the Conservative party. We all know that the historic policy of the Conservative party is a policy of protection-protection for protection's sake-to enrich the few who are protected, at the expense of the many who are not. But the right hon. leader of the opposition endeavours to meet this in a rather sly way by promising to place a high duty on the products of the latter class. Is this not another blind intended to deceive? Although many good citizens believe this to be a sound policy, yet many more, just as good citizens, pin their faith to a moderate tariff-a tariff only for adequate revenue. This is the policy of the present government. However, I am of the opinion, if we are to get a sound and sane tariff policy we shall have to turn back to the policy of the Liberal party in 1911. That is the tariff as it then was with the amendments that were contemi976

The Budget-Mr. Hall

plated by the government when it went out of power. In this there is the framework of a sound and sane tariff policy. However, with changing conditions, variations must be made to suit the changed conditions.

The hon. member for South Wellington (Mr. Guthrie) said that the policy of the Liberals from 1897 to 1911, was the national policy of the Conservatives from 1879 to 1896. This is not so. If the hon. member will read his own speech, as recorded at page 1705 of Hansard of 1901, I think he will be convinced that this is not the case. In that speech he charges the Conservatives with inconsistency. He reminds them that they said that the policy of the Liberals at the revision of the tariff in 1907, had torn down and destroyed the National Policy, and then afterwards, when things changed, he says they turned to a sane and sound policy. If you will turn to the records of that time you will find that the Tory leaders as well as the Tory press denounced the Liberal policy of 1897. They said that the Liberals had torn down and destroyed the National Policy. But as the years passed and the country prospered and developed the Tories swung around and claimed the policy to be theirs, namely: to be the National Policy. In the same manner the hon. member claims that the right hon. leader of the opposition is the father of the Canadian National Railways, having unified and consolidated the different railway systems. But what is the truth? The Meighen government passed the Railway Act to take over the different systems, but the unification consolidation and co-operation of the different systems was left to the King government to accomplish. This government placed the Canadian National Railways under one board of directors with one president and general manager, Sir Henry Thornton,, instead of under four or five boards with as many presidents and managers. We all know the results produced by this policy.

But to return to the Liberal policy of 1897; proof that it was not the National Policy of the Tories is afforded by taking the facts and figures of the period from 1897 to 1911. Take the actual savings in custom duties, and the savings that were made by the reduction in the prices of home manufacturers. You will find the changes made represented hundreds of millions of dollars in the pockets of the people of Canada. Then how could it be the old National Policy? It was the policy which made this country grow and prosper as it never had before. During this period, there was the greatest development, the greatest prosperity,

and the greatest increase of population- amounting to 34.17 per cent-that had ever taken place in Canadian history. There was added to the population almost two and a quarter millions. This was Liberal rule under Laurier, with a tariff for adequate revenue. But the period from 1879 to 1896 was characterized by depression, by lack of development, by lack of prosperity, by a very small increase of population, amounting to only 11.44 per cent, the smallest of any like period in the history of Canada. Mark you, this was Tory rule with a high protective fiscal policy. They called it the National Policy. Indeed, several of the then leading Conservatives confessed in the House of Commons that high protection had not accomplished what it was intended to do,-in other words, it had failed.

But in the early part of this period of Tory rule, their leaders as well as the Tory press claimed that the National Policy would cause industries to flourish, would give employment to everyone, would retain in Canada her own people and would increase her population greatly. What happened? From 1884 to 1891 there came to Canada 886,00(0 immigrants. Out of this number only 36,000 remained in Canada as shown by the census containing the number of foreigners born in Canada.

Now, Mr. Speaker, permit me to read some extracts from Hansard bearing on this matter. In 1892, Hon. T. M. Daly, Minister of the Interior, in the Tory government, said:

I do not believe that our fiscal policy has anything to do with our people going to the other side of the line. As the census showed that the National Policy had not accomplished its objects.

Mr. Daly declared that the National Policy had nothing to do with the emigration. In the same year, Mr. R. Armstrong, president of the Young Conservative Association of Toronto, said:

The question as to why thousands are leaving this country every year and going to the United States, should engage our serious attention, for it is quite evident that the older heads are not going to do so.

I am informed that no fewer than 6,000 persons have left this city during the past year-left all that is near and dear-and gone into foreign exile. In short, there is no concealing the fact that we are being annexed in job lots every week and there is not a voice raised against it.

In the same city, Mr. J. H. McGhie, afterwards one of the members for Toronto, said:

The men who were spangled with knighthood, sit talking of loyalty in the midst of ruin and desolation. It was from the young men, that they must expect a new order of things.

Now' judging from these statements and facts, a few out of many that might be cited, those were very dark days for Canada,-

The Budget-Mr. Hall

manufacturers making no headway, unemployment, emigration almost keeping pace with immigration, Canadian-born drifting by thousands across the line, farmers quitting the land, skilled workmen leaving for the country south of us and unsatisfactory conditions generally due to industrial depression. This is another case of promises made to the people of this country-promises that could not be fulfilled. The National Policy of the Tory party was to be a panacea for all ills. But it utterly failed. Consequently, the Tory party with its policy became discredited, was defeated at the polls in 1898 and was succeeded by the Liberal government which had a real fiscal policy.

One of the first things to engage the attention of this new government was tariff reform. In 1897 a thorough revision of the tariff took place when forty-seven different articles were added to the free list and duties reduced on 147 o|hers including farm implements. In addition a substantial preference over the rest of the world was given to the products and manufactures of Great Britain. Sir Charles Tupper, and his party due, I suppose to their super-loyalty, bitterly opposed the British preference as well as the whole revision of the tariff. Sir Charles surprised the House by his historic attacks found in Hansard, volume I, page 1291, year 1897. He said in part:

The result is that this tariff goes into operation and the hon. gentleman knows that the industries of this country are already paralyzed, while hon. members gloat over the destruction of Canadian industries. I was reading the wail, the sorrowful wail of these industries in the Montreal Gazette, where one manufacturer after another declared that these industries were ruined, that their mills must close, and that they saw staring them in the face, a return of the deplorable state of things that existed when the hon. gentleman who last addressed the House was in charge of the fiscal policy of this country. I say that a deeper wrong was never inflicted upon Canada.

I ask, where was his super-loyalty? The Tory cry was, as it is to-day, preference for preference, Canada first. This makes one think of the present leader of the Conservative party in his pre-election speeches last year when he repeated Sir Charles Tupper's words: "preference for preference, Canada first." Thinking like this, made it easier for him to make his famous Hamilton speech.

The concessions given to the farmers of free binder twine, barbed wire, other fencing wire, Indian corn, cream separators, and so on, were denounced by the Tories on the score that they would result in the wiping out of these industries in Canada. But what happened? These industries continued to flourish as never before. The Robb tariff will have a similar effect on the automobile 14011-189

industry. Although binder twine and the other products mentioned are on the free list still as far as I am aware, and although these gentlemen declare that the British preference and the tariff changes would seriously injure our manufacturers, the contrary has proved to be the case. Mr. Speaker, will you allow a few more extracts from Hansard? On different occasions the Tories moved in the House the following resolutions:

Moved, that the House, regarding the operation of the present tariff as unsatisfactory, is of opinion that this country requires a declared policy of such adequate protection to its labour, agricultural production, manufacturers and industries as will at all times secure the Canadian market for Canadians.

Speaking on this resolution, Mr. Rufus Pope, Conservative member, said:

The resolution that I would have preferred would be a resolution for a Chinese wall all round.

Mr. Blain, member for Peel, during the same session-1902-said as reported in Hansard of that year, page 1499:

I hold that the tariff should be so arranged that every institution in this country which is manufacturing goods to be consumed by the Canadian people, should have sufficient protection to keep out the same class of goods made in any foreign country; and I have no hesitation in saying that if that country should be England, the policy of Canada should be framed in the interests of the Canadian taxpayer as against the people who are producing the same class of goods even in the Old Country under the same flag.

Mr. Henderson, Conservative member for Halton said, during the same session:

It was said in the early days of the present tariff that the Liberals had stolen our clothes. I have never said so, and I do not consider that they have done anything of the kind. I am only sorry that they did not, for it would have been better for the country if they had. Their tariff is instead just the antithesis of ours.

That is what Mr. Henderson states in regard to the Liberal tariff as compared with the Tory tariff. He says that one is the antithesis of the other. These quotations amply show that the Tories regarded this as a new fiscal policy. Indeed, they claimed that the Liberal policy would paralyse the industries of the country. They hoped and prayed for this, but their expectations were doomed to disappointment. On the other hand the Liberals claimed that this new policy would benefit the industries instead of injuring them, just as they claim that the Robb tariff will help the automobile and allied industries on account of increased sales rather than hurt them. Indeed, I challenge anyone to point out a single industry ruined by similar changes in the tariff. On the contrary, all modifications of this kind have invariably produced beneficial results to the industries affected.

The Budget-Mr. Hall

In this instance, as in all others, time proved the Tories wrong and the Liberals right. There followed a great revival of business, trade and commerce improved and even manufacturers flourished as never before. After this the Tories swung around and said that the Liberals had made no material changes in the tariff; that their so-called National Policy was still in force, and that the Liberals were wearing their clothes. Is this not what the Conservative party now claims? But the people had not forgotten what the Tory leaders as well as the Tory press had said and done when the Fielding tariff was enacted.

Perhaps the most outstanding feature of the new tariff was the British preference. Its results have been highly beneficial alike to Canada, Great Britain and the empire. This preference at first was a reduction of one-eighth, later one-fourth and still later one-third of the general tariff. As I said before, the Conservatives strongly opposed this preference; they spoke of it as a myth, a sham, a fraud on the British people, a danger and menace to manufacturing industries, the thin end of the wedge to destroy protection in Canada.

The leader of the opposition (Mr. Meighen) referred to this preference in his speech at Kitchener last October in the following words: I would give a preference to the people of Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand, any people within our empire, but on this condition that they give us a preference in return, until then it is no duty of Canada to continue the preference.

Now, Mr. Speaker, what does the leader of the opposition mean by this statement? If he were leader of the government would he terminate this preference? That seems to be the logical conclusion. The Conservative party is certainly true to its name; the same yesterday, to-day and forever. The very language of Sir Charles Tupper is employed by the present leader of the opposition, namely: preference for preference. Let me say here, that the Hamilton incident is in keeping with this occasion at Kitchener. On both occasions, what a manifestation of superloyalty! By the way, further proof of Tory super-loyalty in Lord Elgin's time was shown by the burning of the parliament buildings in 1849, by pelting the Governor General with malodorous eggs, and by other manifestations of hostility.

We also heard during the campaign last autumn a great deal about the decrease of immigration and the increase of emigration. The opposition in the House as well as the Tory press still continue the mournful, doleful wail. May not this account for the great


increase in the favourable balance of trade- the large export of exaggeratedly pessimistic news? The leaders and press of the Tory party have indulged in this trade, apparently with a certain morbid satisfaction. This tendency has been altogether too general among responsible persons in the Tory party. Their dismal prophecies, loud wails, though not taken too seriously at home, cannot fail to be believed by the people of other countries, and thus produce incalculable injury to Canada. The Robb budget, however, should dispel any such lurid and unwarranted impressions in Canada.

We are ready to admit that since the Great war immigration has slackened and emigration has been more active. There are many reasons for both, which we all know. But I am glad to say that the grounds for these reasons are gradually passing away and conditions are already fast improving. But my Conservative friends claim to have one sure remedy: "protection for all industries"-their cure-all nostrum. Why, Mr. Speaker, it reminds one of a patent medicine advertisement. What are its claims? It would beckon the exiles back to their homes. It would call home the sons and daughters who have gone. It would give work to those who are here. It would bring immigrants from other lands and so forth. But will this remedy do all these things? No more than any patent medicine will cure all diseases. Why, Sir, this is an old remedy, tested and found worthless, tried by the Tory party for nearly twenty years. The experience they had with it was that the longer it was used the worse conditions became, especially during the five or six years from 1891 to 1896. These were the darkest days of Canada.

The population of Canada was practically at a standstill outside of Quebec. The population in the Maritime provinces actually diminished. Ontario's population increased in these five years only about one per cent. Most of the few immigrants that came to Ontario soon found their way into the United States. The results of the Conservatives' efforts during this time to populate the west was described by a western Tory paper in the following graphic language:

The trails from Manitoba to the states were worn, bare and brown by the wagon wheels of departing settlers.

During this period between 1891 and 1896, about 100,000 immigrants were brought into-Canada at a great cost, most of whom crossed the line later into the United States. Indeed, we could not keep our own people. The United States census of 1900 showed that over

The Budget-Mr. Ryerson

1,000,000 of the population of that country had been born in Canada. Is it any wonder then that the people of Canada discarded this once much lauded nostrum of "High Protection" and voted a change of government in 1896, thus securing for themselves a worthwhile remedy-Liberal rule?

Then followed the golden era of prosperity and contentment under Laurier, the brightest and most glorious period in Canadian history. In conclusion, let me say that the Robb budget augurs well for a repetition of similar conditions in Canada under the King government.

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February 1, 1926

Mr. W. A. HALL (South Bruce):

Mr. Speaker, for the sake of variety may I be palrdoned if I forego the customary congratulations to Your Honour as well as to the mover (Mr. Elliott) and the seconder (Mr. Lacombe) of the Address. The congratulations are perhaps becoming somewhat monotonous, and doubtless you are weary of hearing them.

Being a new member of the House I make with hesitation and diffidence this first attempt at addressing hon. members. However, the new members will doubtless sympathize with me; nay, more, the older members will doubtless be as indulgent as they have been with previous speakers.

I wish first to make reference to some of the things that have been said. In the first part of this session a good deal was said about the manner in which the general election was conducted. We have not heard so much of that from Ontario members; it has been more particularly from Quebec. The hon. member for Labelle (Mr. Bourassa) gave a very lucid description of the Patenaude campaign as carried on in the province of Quebec, where millions of dollars were spent in support of a certain railway policy looking to the amalgamation of the two systems with the Canadian Pacific railway in control, thus effecting a huge railway monopoly the evil effects of which no one can imagine. Coming from Ontario I can assure hon. members of this House that the same sordid means used in the province of Quebec were practised in the province of Ontario.

Some hon. members opposite have tried to make us believe that the defeat of so many of the Liberal candidates in Ontario was due to two things: first, the bad effects of the Australian treaty; and second, the lack of a sufficiently high protective tariff, especially for the farmers. But such was not the case. An enormous amount of campaign funds was expended by our political opponents in Ontario, abundant evidence of which was seen in almost every constituency in the province. Together with this, a most scurrilous campaign was carried on by some of the Tory papers in Ontario, especially the Toronto Telegram. These no doubt are the Tory tactics which have always been practised. We had another example of it in the first debate this session, but it was a somewhat different case. To hear speakers on the Conservative side talk about constitutional practice and time-honoured precedent being ruthlessly violated by the Liberals would almost make one unacquainted with the political history

The Address-Mr. Hall

of Canada believe that they were the only body of one hundred per cent pure patriots. But what did this same body of constitution worshippers care for our constitutional practice and time-honoured precedents when they robbed hundreds of thousands of the people of Canada of their constitutional rights in 1917, deprived myriads of Canadian citizens of their votes, gave votes to people who had neither moral nor legal right to them, used the votes of soldiers in Europe to elect themselves in constituencies which would otherwise have rejected them, and then unblushingly stayed in power without a mandate from the electors of Canada to do so?

Still another example of these same constitution worshippers casting constitutional practice and time-honoured precedent to the four winds was the passing of the Conscription Act of 1917, more properly called the Selective Conscription Act of 1917. The latter name more accurately describes the intention and purposes of the act, namely, selection and exemption. Hence, I need not elaborate it; the name is self-explanatory, but the memory of that act will remain as a dark spot in the history of our country. May I add parenthetically, that a book which the whole world could not contain might be written on these two words "selection" and "exemption" as applied to this act of 1917. It should have been indiscriminate conscription, not selective conscription. Wealth should have been conscripted as well as men. and lastly I would add that the Militia Act of 1904, ns amended, should have been used instead of the Conscription Act of 1917.

Mr. Speaker, these are only a few of the many flagrant examples of the total disregard of constitutional practice and time-honoured l>recedent by the Conservative party. Many more might be cited, but these will suffice to show that in this respect they are lacking in loyalty and patriotism to their country, notwithstanding their loud and emphatic protests to the contrary, especially before every election. Many of you will remember the reciprocity election of 1911. You remember how they waved the flag and shouted their slogan, "No truck or trade with the Yankees!'' Needless to say this won the election, to the everlasting disgrace of the Canadian people.

Now turning our attention to what the hon. member for South Winnipeg (Mr. Rogers) stated, that the King government had not reduced expenditure, had not lowered taxation, had not decreased the national debt, and had not increased trade, what are the facts? Before making a comparison may I state that, to be fair, we must omit a consideration of

the railroads during the Liberal administration, as in the comparison they are not included during the Tory administration. Let me give some figures in this connection:


1921- 1922

$464,000,0001922- 1923

434,000,0001923- 1924 370,000,0001924- 1925


So during the time of the Liberal administration the expenditure was reduced in four 3rears by $114,000,000; in other words, the Liberal government last year spent $3 for every $4 that was spent in 1921-22.

Now let me deal with the question of the reduction of taxation. In 1920-21 the total amount of taxation was $369,000,000. In. 192425 it amounted to $294,000,000. This shows a decrease in taxation of $75,000,000. In other words, in 1920-21 the taxation amounted to $41.99 per head; in 1924-25 it was reduced to $31.38 per head, a decrease of over $10 per capita. How was this reduction in taxation accomplished? It was accomplished by reducing the tariff, especially on agricultural implements and on other implements of production; and by lessening the sales tax or by wiping it out entirely as was done on many household articles, as well as articles of food.

I wish now to deal with the national debt. In the last year of the Tory administration, 1921-22, the national debt amounted to $2,422,000,000. On 31st December, 1925, the total national debt was $2,381,000,000, a reduction of over $40,000,000.

Now I come to a consideration of the trade situation. During 1920-21, the last whole year of the Conservative government, the entire foreign trade in Canada totalled $1,450,000,000 with an unfavourable trade balance of $29,000,000. But under Liberal rule conditions were greatly changed. In the twelve months ending December 31, 1925, the entire foreign trade was $2,161,000,000 with a favourable trade balance of almost $393,000,000. Does not this show a phenomenal growth of trade? How otherwise should we characterize a growth of $711,000,000 in five years and an increase of $422,000,000 of exports over imports for the same time?

Now, Mr. Speaker, turning to the amendment of the right hon. leader of the opposition (Mr. Meighen), we notice that he is very solicitous about the welfare of the farmer and apparently shows no concern for his friends, the manufacturers. Doubtless this is a blind. This promise of building a tariff wall brick for brick with that of the American tariff wall, to protect the fanmer, will doubtless be followed by a like structure to protect the

The Address-Mr. Hall

manufacturer. Has there not been a tacit understanding between the right hon. leader of the Tories and the manufacturers to this effect? Why? Did not the latter contribute large sums to the campaign funds to secure for the Tories the government of this country? But, alas! they failed.

When I read of the right hon. leader of the opposition going over this country telling the farmer that he would build up a high tariff wall around this country and thus benefit the agriculturist in the general price of farm products, I often wonder what he thinks the Canadian farmer is. It reminds me of the expression of Thomas Carlyle regarding the com laws of England, in his work entitled Past and Present, when he said:

Impartial persons have to say with a sigh, that for so long hack, they heard no argument for it, but such as might make the angels, and almost the jackasses weep. [DOT]

But, Mr. Speaker, I shall in a few minutes refer in some detail to various arguments used by the right hon. leader of the Conservative party in his pre-election speeches, arguments that possibly might make the very crocodiles shed tears. I may say that about seventy-five per cent 'of many of the farm products such as wheat, live stock, dairy products, and so on, are exported and sold in the open world markets where the price is fixed for the domestic market. So that no tariff, however high, can increase the domestic price of a product when there is a large exportable surplus of that product. In regard to the fruits and vegetables that come into this country in early spring, much has been said by our Tory friends about this injuring the farmer, but we must remember that these commodities are subject to a tariff of 30 per cent. That I think is sufficiently high.

Now let me say a word or two with respect to the trade treaties. These treaties, although only recently made, with several countries, have already shown beneficial effects on our foreign trade, and this trade has greatly increased. For the twelve months ending December 31, 1925, it was no less than $2,161,000,000. Our exports to many of these countries have also increased very much more than our imports from the same countries. I give these figures to illustrate the increase which has occurred:

To New Zealand exports increased in two

years over $ 4,000,000

To Belgium exports increased in two years

about 8,000,000

To Netherlands exports increased in two

years about 12,000,000

To Russia exports increased in two years

about 12,000,000

The trade treaty with the West Indies will be mutually advantageous. The West Indies need the products of Canada-such as wheat, flour, dairy products-as well as Canada needs the products of the West Indies, including tropical fruits, and so on. This treaty will also have the effect of increasing trade through Canadian ports and the business of Canadian railways. I expect the right bon. leader of the opposition will say with respect to this treaty what he has said about the other treaties negotiated by the present government -that it is a disaster to Canada.

And here let me pause to consider what the right hon. gentleman said on his general election tour last autumn. In his many speeches delivered during his trip over Canada, he made a very strenuous effort to convince the farmer that he should have protection, as well as that he was being seriously injured by the shrinkage in the home market caused 'by the exodus to the south. These two points were largely emphasized. Indeed, they were the central thoughts df the right hon. gentleman in every speech, and he practically made the one speech, using the same illustrations and figures. In his speech at Wingbam, Ontario, on September 9, the opening speech of his campaign, the right hon. gentleman said:

When 200,000 people leave Canada, about $100,000,000 of market is lost to the farm producers of Canada.

Speaking at Chatham, Ont., three days later, he said that:

Two hundred thousand people had left Canada for the United States, and this number was consuming $100,000,000 worth of produce. This money thej' were now spending on United States farm products.

Some days later at Charlottetown, P.E.I., he said, as reported in the Charlottetown Guardian:

When Nova Scotia loses 40,000 people that loss means a loss of $20,000,000 of products, part of which we lose in the sale of farm products. Now the American farmer sells them instead.

Notice that he modifies his statement, but maintains the same ratio between the number of people and their purchasing power.

At Calgary, on October 10th, the Albertan reports the right hon. gentleman as having said:

While we don't know how many Canadians slipped over the border, we know that the United States Department of Immigration reports 200,000 Canadians as entering the borders of our southern neighbours during the last year. Not only did we lose this tremendous population; we lost that which they took with them, a purchasing power of $100,000,000 which is being spent on the eggs, butter, honey and other products of the farmers on the other side of the line.

What does the right hon. leader of the Conservative party mean when he tells the farmers of this country that they lost

The Address-Mr. Hall

a $100,000,000 market last year? Why, he simply means that every Canadian consumes farm products at the rate of $500 a year, or almost $10 a week. In other words a family of six would require $3,000 to keep them in dairy products, flour, meat and vegetables, not including groceries, such as, tea, coffee, rice, sago, and so forth, or manufactured goods, such as clothing.

Let us analyse this further, Mr. Speaker. The net value of everything produced in Canada in 1922, according to the Canada Year Book, 1924, page 184, was $2,950 millions, say $3,000 millions for ease of calculation. On the basis of the calculation of the right hon. leader of the Conservative party, the 9,000,000 people of Canada ate $4,500,000,000 of farm products, in 1922, or $1,500,000,000 more in value than was produced by all the industries in Canada engaged in farming, manufacturing, lumbering, fishing, hunting, trapping-everything. But in 1922 the agricultural products amounted to less than $1,500,000,000; so that there would be a deficit of $3,000,000,000. In other words there would be $3,000,000,000 worth of farm products less than were required for home consumption-a very melancholy condition indeed. The Conservative leader must now realize from this analysis, though dreadful to relate, that the Canadian people consumed all the products produced in Canada and had to import twice as much from other countries. Now what about the poor? The sad tragedy of it all is that the Conservative policy of sky-high protection would so boost the price of farm products that the poor among the labouring classes, amounting to many thousands, mud die of starvation, and this would cause a further shrinkage in the home market. Where would it end? What a vicious circle would thus be established! W'hat a mournful, doleful tale!

Topic:   S90 COMMONS
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February 1, 1926


Why, Sir, do you not know?- Mr. Patenaude of Quebec, and possibly, I may add, the hon. member for South Winnipeg (Mr. Rogers) and the hon. member for West York (Sir Henry Drayton). But please do not let the right hon. member for Portage la Prairie (Mr. Meighen) know this.

Now a word in regard to the tariff board. In my opinion this board should, as its name indicates, simply give advice on tariff matters after a diligent search for information and a careful study of the problem of taxation in its relation to industry and revenue, but it should in no wise exercise authority nor express any


The Address-Mr. Hall

final judgment. It should function only as the servant of the ministry or government, the Finance minister being fully responsible for all the board's acts. In this way the board would be responsible to parliament.

Before concluding I want to say a few words on the proposal to complete the Hudson Bay railway. As this proposal implies, it is not for the construction of a new railroad but rather for the completion of a road that is now almost completed. This road nms from The Pas to Hudson bay , a distance of 424 miles. The steel is laid on 332 miles and the whole distance of the road graded, the bridges being all built. So that all that has to 'be done now is to lay the steel on 92 miles. Apparently there are steel rails enough to cover about one quarter of this distance, so that there is no reason why the cost should stand in the way of the completion of the road. From all' reports it seems to me that now is not the time to cease construction; to use an Irishism, that time was before construction began, not after the expenditure of about $21,000,000. This route seems feasible, and if perchance it cannot be utilized in connecting the western prairies with the European markets, why, then, the money for its completion has not been squandered, because this road will open up thd country west of Hudson bay, a country highly mineralized especially with iron, not to speak of the wealth that will accrue from the fisheries of Hudson bay. Besides, the money for this project has been provided by the sale of crown lands in the west. So it seems to me that parliament will be fully justified in completing the road.

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February 1, 1926


In conclusion, Mr. Speaker,

let me contrast a period of Tory rule with a like period of Liberal rule-or a period of high protection with a like period of moderate tariff.

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