Robert Hardy SMALL

SMALL, Robert Hardy

Personal Data

Party
Progressive Conservative
Constituency
Danforth (Ontario)
Birth Date
December 15, 1891
Deceased Date
October 5, 1976
Website
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Hardy_Small
PARLINFO
http://www.parl.gc.ca/parlinfo/Files/Parliamentarian.aspx?Item=9ba3cbc0-772b-4a63-8e8e-116b51d77d7c&Language=E&Section=ALL
Profession
advertising executive

Parliamentary Career

August 10, 1953 - April 12, 1957
PC
  Danforth (Ontario)
June 10, 1957 - February 1, 1958
PC
  Danforth (Ontario)
March 31, 1958 - April 19, 1962
PC
  Danforth (Ontario)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 5 of 73)


May 16, 1961

Mr. Small:

That is the reason I brought up this matter. I was at a loss to know whether it had to do with the board of directors, having regard to the way the debate was proceeding; because the sum and substance of the debate seemed to be the increase in the board of directors. That is all I could get out of it, and as it seemed there was no attempt to bring the debate into line I thought I would continue along that line.

However, we are now talking about freight rates, and I listened to hon. members this morning referring to the Crowsnest pass rates and pointing out that none of the parties would be opposed to them. That is beside the point, because I have never heard of any party opposing them. They were established in the latter part of the nineteenth century to take care of the situation in the west. It was very necessary for the west to have these rates. We are now concerned with present conditions as to freight rates, and the matter of the directors who are going to sit on the board in the future has been interwoven in the debate. Members have injected any subject they wanted to discuss into the debate as if we were discussing a resolution preceding a bill.

I want to say that I brought up this question before. I was surprised to hear from the hon. member for Assiniboia and also the hon. member for Bonavista-Twillingate on

the matter of the Crowsnest pass rates. I thought they had discussed this subject once before, and I thought any interference with the Crowsnest pass rates was anathema to them. They said that we dare not touch those rates because they were a form of protection given to the farmers out west who were bringing their grain to market. This is something new coming from that motley crew of free traders over there.

However, since they are questioning these Crowsnest pass rates, perhaps it would be wise for us to examine the various things that have been brought forward with regard to the movement of our wheat. It was natural that when costs went up freight rates were increased. In the case of the Crowsnest pass rates, there was more or less a covenant that those rates would remain the same. I have no opposition to that. As I have said before, I have no particular objection to what I call these built-in preferences for the benefit of agriculture in the west, but now these free traders ask, where is the money coming from? If you are going to give subsidies, where is the money coming from?

I never heard such a nonsensical question before. It is quite obvious where the money is coming from. It comes from the people who pay taxes, the working people. This is the place from which all the money comes. No matter how you present the case to the people, the fact still remains that it is the people who pay taxes who supply the money that the government uses. We have to see that the money is wisely spent, wisely allotted. If the government is going to make more money available for freight costs out west, let us say frankly that it is going to be done by means of a subsidy or whatever the method may be. Let us say so, and let us be honest about it.

Let me make an interjection at this point, and I hope I will be allowed the same latitude as others were permitted on the subject of the board of directors. I have listened to the debate here, and I go along with the hon. member for Port Arthur and also the hon. member for Greenwood-

Topic:   FREIGHT RATES REDUCTION ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT EXTENDING APPLICATION OF REVISED RATES
Full View Permalink

May 16, 1961

Mr. Small:

I thought I might get the debate ended by interjecting in this way.

Topic:   FREIGHT RATES REDUCTION ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT EXTENDING APPLICATION OF REVISED RATES
Full View Permalink

May 16, 1961

Mr. R. H. Small (Danforih):

Mr. Speaker, when this bill was introduced and I read it I found that it had to do with an increase in the board of directors of Canadian National Railways, which brought back to my mind a former board of directors and the bringing of a motion in the house with respect to the then president of Canadian National Railways. The hon. member for Northwest Toronto at that time, later the member for Broadview, had some pertinent things to say about the president of Canadian National Railways, and I presume the introduction of this motion to increase the board of directors provides an opportunity to say something about this matter.

Topic:   FREIGHT RATES REDUCTION ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT EXTENDING APPLICATION OF REVISED RATES
Full View Permalink

May 16, 1961

Mr. R. H. Small (Danforth):

Mr. Speaker, I hope I am on the right spot now. After listening to the remarks of the hon. member for Laurier I can probably get on to the subject which is the matter of increasing the board of directors from seven to 12; in other words, adding five extra directors. This brings back to my mind a time when there was a motion before the house having to do with lending the president of the Canadian National Railways to the government of Mexico for six months with the purpose in mind of rehabilitating the railway of that country. I recall that the then member for Toronto Northwest (Tom Church), who afterwards became the member for Broadview, was heartily in favour of it. In fact, he was going to support the motion. The president at that time was Sir Henry Thornton, for whom he did not have a very high regard. It was suggested that the motion would apply first for only six months, but he suggested that it be 365 days for next year and for five years hence and put the motion through as a local improvement.

The legislation before us has to do with increasing the membership of the board. The hon. member for Laurier says that he does not see any reason why the membership should be increased because we have a great deal of unemployment. I would say there are good reasons for increasing the membership of the board. We should have more people on the board, but they should not be there from the regional point of view; they should not

Canadian National Railways Act be on the board for the reason suggested by the hon. member for Port Arthur, namely that it would add prestige. We should get men of business renown who would help to increase the business of the railway. The hon. member for Greenwood made the same statement and I think it is quite reasonable.

The board of directors should consist of practical men who know how to run the railways and would run them as the president did in the days when Tommy Church was the member for Broadview. The president at that time was a railway man and had great experience in the first war. He made a fairly good job of running the railroad. In fact, he was very popular with the railroad men because he made a real good job of public relations. He was highly admired by the men. The same cannot be said of the president of the Canadian National Railways at the present time.

I have said in the past in this house that I am not an idolater of the president of the Canadian National Railways, nor am I enamoured of the work he has done as president of that organization. I have repeatedly said that to my way of thinking he is not the proper man in the right place, and this is the time to discuss it. I have repeatedly made remarks along this line and I have found out one thing. It seems to me there is a coterie of members in this house who seem to regard him very highly. If you make any remarks about him with which they do not agree they assume right away that it is almost treasonable. They start to go after you. This is the way I see it. If you gore or goad one of their sacred oxen they immediately put you down as looking for the job. One thing is certain. I am not looking for the job. I have no inclination that way. I have no intention of seeking it. I do not suppose anyone in this house would care for the job under the conditions under which it is operated at the present time.

However, now that we are taking steps to increase the board of directors I presume it is being done for the purpose of improving the board. When I first read the bill I thought that here was an operation like that which Tommy Church tried to carry out in order to get rid of the president at that time. I thought that this would be a good opportunity to dispose of the president of Canadian National Railways, not becaus'e we want to do him any particular harm but because he has appeared before committees of this house and not only has defied them but has told them that if they were not satisfied with his services they should get rid of him because he did not want to be there and we should oblige him.

There are enough people throughout the country who are not satisfied with his services, particularly those who are working for Canadian National Railways. I have had many of them write to me and call me on the telephone and having sorted out the ones you would not pay attention to from those putting forward genuine criticisms and offering suggestions for improvement but who do not want to have their names mentioned I would say this is the time to discuss the matter of what you are going to do with the board and whom you are going to appoint. I would say at the salary-

Topic:   CANADIAN NATIONAL RAILWAYS ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT INCREASING NUMBER OF DIRECTORS
Full View Permalink

May 16, 1961

Mr. Small:

I have read both debates of yesterday and I cannot distinguish between the two of them. There seems to have been a very wide latitude permitted and obviously the subjects were not separated, so far as

Freight Rates Reduction Act I can see. I thought perhaps I would be giving an omnibus and see if in that way I could get it all in.

Topic:   FREIGHT RATES REDUCTION ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT EXTENDING APPLICATION OF REVISED RATES
Full View Permalink