Donald Alexander MACKINNON

MACKINNON, The Hon. Donald Alexander, K.C., LL.B.

Personal Data

Party
Liberal
Constituency
Queen's (Prince Edward Island)
Birth Date
February 21, 1863
Deceased Date
April 19, 1928
Website
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donald_Alexander_MacKinnon
PARLINFO
http://www.parl.gc.ca/parlinfo/Files/Parliamentarian.aspx?Item=a7e51c0d-8966-4959-a4a4-78a3f3a64fa7&Language=E&Section=ALL
Profession
lawyer, teacher

Parliamentary Career

November 7, 1900 - February 11, 1901
LIB
  East Queen's (Prince Edward Island)
March 20, 1901 - September 29, 1904
LIB
  East Queen's (Prince Edward Island)
December 6, 1921 - September 5, 1925
LIB
  Queen's (Prince Edward Island)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 3 of 13)


April 6, 1925

Mr. MACKINNON:

If that helped, I am pleased to acknowledge it, but that development took place under a reduced tariff. The trade of the country increased by over half a billion dollars from 1896 to 1911. Everything was going right ahead at a rapid rate. Of course, the tariff for revenue did not do it all. The people had to do it, but it was under that system this growth took place. Having learned that lesson, I think it is up to us to have a tariff for revenue only, and to reduce it here

and there as soon as we can get along with less revenue, but you cannot get along with less revenue than the minister is seeking this year to meet the country's requirements.

The United States is often quoted as an example of a high protectionist country that we should imitate. I am surprised that some speakers urge that, because to-day the United States is more free trade than protective. She imports 58 per cent of her merchandise entirely free of duty. If we were to imitate the United States, we would be allowing agricultural implements to come into this country free; we would also allow leather for boots and shoes, and manufactured boots and shoes to come inito this country free. If some of those who urge us to follow the example of the United States knew that, they would not point so often to that country as an example. But that is the situation in the United States. They are handling more in the free trade line than in the protective line. They have, of course, high protective duties on different items, but taken as a whole their protection is not nearly so high as ours. If you will compare the two countries you will find that the duties in the United States amount to about $5 per capita, compared with $10 or $11 per capita in Canada. That is another reason for reducing the duty. What I maintain is that we are more protectionist to-day than is the United States by that per capita difference. Very few people think so, but if you will look at the statistics you will find they figure out that way. I think the time has gone by to talk of protection. We do not want to hurt any industry at all. Industries developed better under a tariff for revenue than they did under protection, and they will do it again. The manufacturers of this country will prosper a great deal more under that system.

On motion of Mr. Mackinnon the debate was adjourned.

Topic:   EDITION
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June 26, 1924

Mr. D. A. MACKINNON (Queens, P.E.I.):

I was a member of the Private Bills committee which had this question before it for six weeks. The chairman of that committe in his address to the House expressed the conclusions of the committee in a very fair way, and I must say that in his conduct as chairman throughout the whole time the bill was under consideration he discharged his duties admirably and to the satisfaction of the entire membership. For my part however, I have come to the conclusion that we should not by legislation compel our brethren to go into the courts to have a matter like this decided. If we do that it seems to me that we demonstrate one of two things; i Mr. E. M. Macdonald.]

that we are incapable of deciding this matter ourselves, or that there is a danger of perpetuating strife. If we can avoid litigation I think there is a peaceful and prosperous future ahead of both the Presbyterian and the United churches. I believe it is not generally known that under the bill as first introduced Presbyterians were 'practically legislated into the union whether they are willing or not. None of us cared to see such a course as that adopted. Accordingly the clause was amended in such a manner that every Presbyterian congregation from sea to sea has the right and the privilege to vote itself into union or to continue Presbyterian as it wishes. The last speaker urged the importance of 'caving th:s matter to the votes of the people. Let me point out that the bill in its present form does leave it to the vote of every congregation in Canada to decide whether they shall or shall not join the union. That is the result of the amendment made to the tenth clause of the bill, and I consider that was the fairest thing that could be done. In this matter there has been a proposition to refer this matter to the Supreme court or to the Privy Council. Supposing that were done and a decision favourable to the minority was rendered; is it contemplated in that event that the minority shall hold all the property o' the church? Is that their position?

Topic:   UNITED CHURCH OF CANADA
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June 26, 1924

Mr. MACKINNON:

Is not that what the bill proposes? We have gone into that matter as a committee very carefully and I for one would not agree to any .proposition that did not extend fair treatment to all concerned. Personally I do not care for a reference to the courts on such a matter as this. Getting into litigation means the creation of enmities and not friendships. Recourse to litigation means the continuation of the present ferment. There may be a delay of six months or a year or more if the case goes to the Privy Council. Contention may have an attraction for some Scotchmen but it does not appeal to me, and I am as full of the Scottish spirit as any man. I am speaking here to fellow Canadians and I plead for the display of a broad and generous spirit. I think that those who do not come in under this bill will be treated generously and that is the right Canadian sentiment.

A great misunderstanding has arisen over the disposition of property. This legislation does not touch a church or a manse from ocean to ocean; that is a subject for the provincial

United Church of Canada

legislatures. What is dealt with here chiefly are the funds of the churches. To listen to some arguments that have been advanced one would imagine that these funds were the property of the minority, whereas they belong just as much to the majority of the General Assembly as they do to those who are opposing union; in fact the unionists have a greater right to a share of the funds when it comes to the question of division. These moneys certainly are not owned by the minority. As to the appointment of a commission what is the situation? The membership might have been chosen on the basis of five to one. But a fairer decision than that was made. Those in favour of union, said "We will only appoint three and the minority may appoint three. These six will choose the remaining three." What fairer arrangement, as between Presbyterians, could be arrived at.

I regret some of the remarks which have been made this evening with respect to some of the distinguished clergymen who have been here supporting church union. They have been working incessantly for a fine ideal, and they have not merited the criticism that has been passed with Tespect to them. They are men of vision, they look out and see the church of the future and they hope that their anticipations will be realized. But we shall not get very far along the path of progress in this country if we have strife where there should be unity, if we have discord where there should be peace. Only by working together in a spirit of amity and goodwill can we proceed in this country towards the goal of prosperity and success- Not by might or by power but by the spirit of conciliation and love may Canada be regenerated religiously, socially and nationally. Let us pass the bill and allow the Presbyterians and United churchmen to go forward to their duties courageously and with good cheer.

Topic:   UNITED CHURCH OF CANADA
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May 2, 1924

Mr. MACKINNON:

Well, you would find our sea trout unexcelled. We would like to have some of you make a visit to the island during the summer in order that you may enjoy a healthy dip into the breakers on the north shore. It is a country that will go ahead; the production was better last year than it had ever been, but what is missing is an adequate price for our products. Our position is something like that of the West, where there was a very large yield but not enough realized because the price was wrong and freight- rates were too high. We are in the same fix. It is not the fault of the present government, mind you. It was under the former government that the freight rates were made so high; it was under the former government that the Crowsnest pass agreement was changed and the rates put up. You remember how we were criticized in respect to the Crowsnest pass agreement the year before last; we four members from Prince Edward Island were denounced for voting for the legislation then introduced. But what has

The Budget-Mr. Mackinnon

happened? The return to the Canadian Pacific since the restoration of the old agreement has been better than if was during the period when the suspension was continued. It is well that we should have these facts in mind, because we have been accused of losing to the Maritime provinces $17,000,000 by our vote in favour of the restoration of the Crowsnest pass agreement. Men like Mr. Beatty and Mr. Hanna predicted that they would lose millions by the change, but it turned out the very opposite; their judgment did not happen to be right.

I have referred to this matter of freight rates because it affects us a great deal. We pressed very hard to get the freight rates reduced, because our people were carrying their goods with horses owing to the fact that they could not afford to ship by rail. The railway returns in the Maritime provinces have not been good, simply because the people are .too independent to ship by rail when they have to pay such high freight rates. The new board made some reductions very soon after their appointment, and the situation improved accordingly. But we cannot hope to have the country prosper unless our workshops are kept going and unless we have easy and cheap means of conveyance from one place to the other both for goods and for people; I think that goes without saying. These are the greatest drawbacks that affect us down there. Special rates for tourists would be appreciated.

I wish the Minister of Railways (Mr. Graham) were here. I had intended to bring a matter to his attention, but perhaps the Minister of Justice (Mr. Lapointe) will do it for me. We have a good many people leaving our province. It is proposed to spend a considerable sum for immigration. There were two little branch railroads proposed and agreed to both by Liberals and Conservatives in this House as far back as 1911, the New London and Rustico branches. Plans were prepared and sites allotted for buildings and so on, but the work was never gone on with. In New London we have people whose fathers or grandfathers came from Scotland a hundred years ago, and in Rustico we have the descendants of French Acadian settlers. It is two hundred years since the first settler went into the Rustico district. What I ask the Minister of Railways, through the Minister of Justice, is that while he is providing for the settlers in the new districts in the West by twenty-six branch line resolutions he should not forget the descendants of the old settlers in the districts I mention, who have been there for 100 and 200 hundred years. Let him give us these branch lines this coming summer so that

we may have a celebration and the return of our own people.

Yesterday a man well known in public life who came from Prince Edward Island passed away in the person of the late Chief Justice of Canada, Sir Louis Davies. He was highly honoured in the province and in Canada as a whole; his career was long and honourable and an inspiration to the young men of the province. Undoubtedly his field was larger than it would have been had he remained in the province and practised law, but his illustrious career is only one instance. Go to another room in this building and you will find Sir Robert Falconer and the Reverend Doctor Pringle who came from Prince Edward Island, fighting on one side of the church union question, and on the other side the Reverend Doctor Fraser and one or two others. Doctor Pidgeon is a descendant of the Pidgeons of New London, Prince Edward Island. I mention these simply as instances of men now in the struggle who came from the province by the sea. Had they remained down there they probably would have worked at farming or something of that kind, but their education was good and they have gone out to other parts of the continent. You find them from California to Massachusetts and all through our western country-workmen, clergymen, doctors, lawyers and judges. I could give you the names of many who have gone out and have attained eminence in different parts of the world. I will mention just two others, if you will permit me; one is J. Gould Schurman, who grew up on a farm in Prince Edward Island, was president of a university in the United States and to-day is ambassador for the United States in China. Another was Franklin K. Lane, who was a distinguished member of the cabinet of President Wilson during the war.

I do not mention these things in a spirit of boasting; I am simply pointing out that although the place is small it is turning out .men who have proved their worth in other parts.

We have fewer people there by ten thousand than we had when we entered confederation, but we are not inclined to secession; we believe in standing by the union; we believe in Canada going ahead. But we cannot get population without industries. There is a splendid opening for industry in Prince Edward Island if the capitalists would, instead of concentrating their activities in large centres, establish branch houses in other parts of the Dominion. I admit that the practice of concentrating in the large centres

The Budget-Mr. McConica

is good from the point of view of foreign trade, but it is ruinous for our local industries. Many of our sons have gone out to the world, so that part of the intellectual force of the island has been spent in other provinces and countries, and although we do not have the benefit of it, I think it is well spent and that we have no reason to regret it.

Mr. T. H. MeCONICA (Battleford): Mr. Speaker, I have no disposition to prolong this discussion, but there are a few observations that I should like to make. To my mind this budget and the amendment offered by the hon. member for Kent (Mr. Doucet) raise a very important issue in Canada today, the question whether the future fiscal policy of Canada is to be a tariff for protection or a tariff for revenue. That, it

seems to me, is the issue. That is where we stand to-day as a parliament and as a country. Now, for my part, if that issue is fairly joined, I would take my position in favour of a tariff for revenue. We have had a good deal of talk about free traders, but there is no use discussing this question except as it stands. I do not think any one in this House to-day is in favour of putting this country under free trade at any time in the near future. We believe in a revenue tariff, with such incidental protection as that affords.

Now what is a protective tariff? It is a tax levied for the purpose of protection. It is levied for the purpose of taxing the many to protect the few. It taxes the money out of the pocket of one private individual into the pocket of another private individual, and I do not think that is the proper function of government. I deny that a government has the moral right to say to one man: I will 'help you, and I will do so by hurting your neighbour. That is what protection is when you reduce it to its final essence. Now what excuse is there for this proceeding? What good end is obtained by this discrimination between our citizens, for that is what it is? It is taking from one and giving to another, for what purpose? Why, the hon. gentleman says, we will be able to build up the home market; that is the great desideratum. Well, in the first place, can we do it? In the second place, what does it amount to if we can do it? So long as the price is the same, I cannot see that it makes any difference to the man who sells whether he sells in the home market or abroad. There may be some sentimental reason why he would prefer to sell at home; perhaps he would like to bring in people to associate

with him and to whom he could sell, but so far as the money that goes into his pocket is concerned, I cannot see that there is any difference between the home market and the foreign market. So far as bringing relief, for instance, to t'he wheat grower of the West is concerned, there is no difference.

Take our wheat. Our price is fixed in Liverpool, and the Canadian consumer pays the Liverpool price, less the cost of sending the wheat to Liverpool. The producer in western Canada realizes exactly the same price in both cases, and it makes no difference to him financially whether the wheat stops in Ontario or goes on across the water. So as far as relief is concerned, the home market is not of any particular consequence. Suppose we bring people in here. Well, the price of our wheat is fixed by the world price, and if we could transport enough people to Canada to eat our wheat, they would not eat any more wheat here than they would if we left them in Europe, would they? Not a bit; perhaps not quite as much, for there I understand the ration is a bowl of soup and a loaf of bread, while over here we have meat and potatoes, vegetables and fruit and everything else, so I think they would eat rather more wheat on the other side of the water. So far as a market is concerned, this home market is a myth.

Another thing: We are raising about 300,000,000 bushels more wheat than we consume. We raised last year 470,000,000 bushels, and we eat about 50,000,000 bushels or a little less than that. A man eats between five and six bushels of wheat a year, or about

50,000,000 bushels for eight and a half million people. We also sow about 50,000,000 bushels a year, or a little less than that. We have at least 300,000,000 bushels of wheat to ship abroad. Now suppose we tried to consume that wheat at home; 300,000,000 bushels divided by six means 50,000,000 people to bring in here to consume that wheat, and not one of them would be raising wheat. What would they do? That is the question. If we build up this home market they talk about, what are we going to do with these 50,000,000 people? Are they going to manufacture? Where will they sell their stuff? The hon. gentleman says that we should be self-contained; we should live on what we produce. Now we can produce enough to keep ourselves and still have a large surplus. What are we going to do with it? Send it abroad? We are self-contained, we are raising what we need and we should send our stuff abroad; load a shipload of our products, send it to the markets of the world and

The Budget-Mr. McConica

sell it, and bring back a shipload of money; then load another ship and bring back another shipload of money. But how long could we keep that up? We would not get three cargoes out of this country till they would say: We

will buy your stuff if you will b.uy ours; our money is all gone. Yes, Mr. Speaker, we must depend for our foreign trade on our ability to buy foreign goods. There is no other way of doing business, and we cannot build up a foreign market unless we buy abroad. Fifty millions of people brought into Canada and engaged in manufacturing or any other vocation you could put them at would not eat a bit more wheat than if they had stayed in Europe. We would not have a market for an additional bushel.

The hon. gentleman says we are producing too much wheat. Well, they are buying all we send to them; they take all we produce. He also says the price is too low. But the price is not going down; it is as good this year as it was last. That is not saying much for it, but that is the situation. He also offers very good suggestions as to how we can relieve our farmers. They should not produce so much wheat, he says, and they should sell at a better price. But how are you going to get a better price? Then he says we must go into other lines of farming. Now what other line, I would like to know? I am a farmer and I am ready to shift to some other line. I have shifted to other lines, and it does not pay. There is nothing else that can be suggested for a farmer in the West to engage in. Talk about the dairy business-we cannot compete writh eastern Canada in that. Why Our cows are practically all dry fed for ten months in the year. We have a little fresh grass for feeding purposes along about the beginning of June, and then it dries up and our cows are practically fed on hay for the balance of the year; they give scarcely any milk. We cannot manufacture dairy products and compete with the farmers of Ontario and Quebec, even if we were as close to the market as they are. We are told to go into some other line, go in for raising cattle. I have raised cattle; I am raising cattle now. It takes ten acres of our prairie grass to keep a steer. That ten acres will cost $200. At 8 per cent that is $16 a year. You can summer the steer on that ten acres but then you have got to winter him. Sixteen dollars a year for three years. That is $48 and you will do mighty well if you can sell him for $30. That is the cattle business. We are told to go into some other line. I want to say to you that the other lines are worse than wheat, and I have tried

a good many of them. We are told that the aggregate reduction in the price of agricultural implements is not going to help us much. The reduction will not help us a whole lot, but it will help some. The hon. gentleman to my right (Sir Henry Drayton) told us that we would only save about $750,000 by this tariff reduction on agricultural implements.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE ACTING MINISTER OF FINANCE
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May 2, 1924

Mr. D. A. MACKINNON (Queens):

1

have listened with a great deal of interest to the speech of the hon. member for West Lambton (Mr. LeSueur), and while I think that we can agree with him in regard to some of the views he has expressed, I do not think that he 'has given us an adequate explanation of the difficulties under which agriculture is labouring at the present time. These difficulties it is hard to explain; one hon. gentleman offers one explanation, and another gives a different explanation of the causes of the present unfortunate state of agriculture. The fact is that there are a great many causes to which the present situation may be attributed, one of which I think is the fact that the relative prices of things are so .uneven; t'he prices of the products the farmer has to sell are not commensurate with the prices of the things he has to purchase. The two are not compatible. Now, the question that we have to solve is, how we shall alleviate this depression in agriculture. In the United States they proposed to remedy the situation by a different means from the one we have adopted in the present budget; they decided upon protection. The farmers of the United States deemed if wise to have protection because they thought it would solve their problem for them. But the fact is that you will find in the United States to-day that the problem has not been solved and the farmers there are in as difficult a position as they were in before they passed their- high tariff protecting their agricultural products from the competition of the world. You will find in New York state, in Minnesota and in other states, that the farmhouses are boarded up just as they are in different parts of Canada. I regret to say that in our own part of the Dominion that condition prevails, and hundreds of farmers have been going to the United States. That is also the case throughout other parts of Canada, and it is due to some condition that is very hard to diagnose. The government has attempted in this way to grant some relief, and I think it is wise to make the attempt at least by reducing the tariff and abolishing the sales tax. The tariff affects our dairying, poultry raising and all the other different branches of farming. [DOT] It is a wise experiment at any rate, to make this reduction in order to see if it will help the farmers in the business which they are pursuing.

The Acting Minister of Finance (Mr. Robb), in his resolutions, proposes first to extend the British preference to some territories that are under the League of Nations and also to withdraw the preference from some others. I am not going into the particulars of that. His next resolution deals with tea, which will affect households in every part of the country, perhaps in a very small way, but this is a move in the direction of helping households to get through more economically. Other industries that are affected are the fruit growing industry, the poultry industry, the dairy industry. These are industries that we in the East have a good deal to do with, and let us hope that the reductions will be of assistance. I should like to see a little more sportsmanship on the part of those who talk of protection being increased for the benefit of the manufacturers. They realize that the farmers are in this position throughout Canada, and yet I would suggest that they be sportsmen enough to have a unity of feeling with them to help them to get out of that position. It is in the interest of the manufacturers that the farmers should progress, because the farmer cannot buy unless he is able to sell his product at a profit. He cannot let the cream of his work go away to others continually. I am reminded of a little story that I might tell illustrating the struggle that the farmer has. It is an old fable about two frogs going out one morning and falling into a large pan of cream. They struggled for some time and at last one fellow looked at the nature of the liquid and as he could not understand it, he gave up the struggle and dropped to the bottom. The other frog kept struggling along and after a while he found a little lump. He kicked and kicked still more, struggling to get out of that dish, and at last a lump of butter appeared, so he stood on the lump of butter, sprang out, and his life was saved. We need a little of that cream reserved for the farmers so that their lives may be saved. If the cream is going to be taken away from them by the railway freight rates, tariffs and taxes, they cannot make much headway and we want them to succeed.

I wish to refer to the amendment moved by the leader of the Labour party (Mr. Woodsworth). I am in favour of one part of it, that is in regard to the inheritance duty. I think it is the most equitable system of adding to the revenue that the government can adopt, and my reason for saying so is this-and I have studied the philosophy of the matter-that when people accumulate large estates and do so under the legislation that we pass here, it is right, when they pass away, that the country where this money has been earned should in some way receive com-

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE ACTING MINISTER OF FINANCE
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