Mr. T. G. MURPHY (Neepawa):
Mr. Speaker, when the House rose on Wednesday I was endeavouring to show that the Australian and New Zealand trade agreements are subjecting producers of dairy products to unnecessary and unfair competition. I 'had shown by information that I had received from a local creamery in my constituency that the price of butter had been reduced four cents a pound this spring owing to the competition of Australian butter. I obtained from the Bureau of Statistics the importations of butter
The Budget-Mr. Murphy
into Canada for the period from October 1,
1924 to March 31, 1925 and from October 1,
1925 to March 31, 1926. I book those periods because the trade treaty with Australia came into effect on October 1, 1925. The following are the importations of butter for those periods:
October 1, 1924, to October 1, 1925, to March 31, 1925 March31,1926
Pounds Value Pounds Value
Butter Nill N-ill 2,485,502 $910,814
From New Zealand-
Butter 2,688 $833 2,342,966 $928,345
When we compare these respective periods, therefore, we find that whereas we have imported from Australia and New Zealand butter to the total value of $1,839,159 during the time the treaty has been in effect, our imports amounted on the other hand only to the sum of $833 when there was no treaty. During the month of March of this year I happened to see in a window of one of the retail produce concerns in the city of Ottawa ,a display of Australian butter. I went in and made certain inquiries and learned that at that time this particular concern was selling between 300 and 400 pounds of dairy butter per week, and not only had they at that time no local butter in stock but for the three weeks prior to that they had not sold one pound of the Canadian product. And that store was only one of a chain of some fourteen shops owned by that concern. At the same time the three prairie provinces were exporting dairy butter as western Canada has overtaken production and is on an export basis twelve months in the year. I do not see why any government should subject the producers of butter in western Canada to such competition. They have to export their butter over thousands of miles of railway and then across the Atlantic to the markets of Great Britain while the people of Ontario cities are purchasing butter produced in Australia.
I want to deal for a few minutes now with the situation as it has developed in the province of Manitoba. Until now Manitoba has been almost entirely an agricultural province, but we shall not always remain a purely farming community. As a matter of fact the change is taking place to-day. Three-fifths of the land area of Manitoba is unsuitable for agricultural development. Up to the present we have depended entirely upon the growing of grain, but to-day the people of the province are beginning to realize the importance of development along other lines. There is now being built in Manitoba at Fort Alexander a pulp mill which, when
completed, will have an output of 100 tons of pulp per day. During the last session of the legislature railway bonds to the extent of $3,500,000 were guaranteed by the provincial government for the building of a railway from Mile 8 on the Hudson Bay line to the Flin Flon mine, the guarantee to become effective only when the Flin Flon people expend thirteen or fourteen million dollars on development work in that area. The legislature has also guaranteed bonds for a railway from Winnipeg into the Bice lake mining area. The people of the province are coming more and more to appreciate the importance of general development along various industrial lines. The province, as I have said before, will not always depend solely upon one industry, the growing of grain. To become prosperous we mugt not only diversify our farming but we must branch out into other industrial activities. We have in Manitoba a water power capable of very considerable development. Indeed, competent engineers have expressed the opinion that there is as much potential hydro electric power available on the Nelson river, flowing into Hudson bay, as has been developed on the Niagara, and wre have in Winnipeg the cheapest hydro-electric power to be found on the American continent.
With the resources latent in the province of Manitoba, including pulpwood and minerals, and with the electrical power available there is no reason why our province should not become one of the greatest manufacturing centres of this Dominion. We can manufacture in Winnipeg and in Manitoba generally, we should manufacture the agricultural implements needed in the province and other parts of the west and we have also the facilities for manufacturing our own boots and shoes, our own clothing and other necessities. It is because the people of the province have wakened to the necessity for general industrial development that, in my opinion, there are in this House seven Conservative members from Manitoba whereas in the last parliament there were none. The development of the province along one line is not in the best interests of the people of Manitoba any more than it would be in the interests of the Dominion as a whole if the activities of the people were centred in one industry. A few years ago we bent our efforts to the development of one industry, namely, the growing of grain and as a result of that one-sided development the people of the province suffered whenever there happened to be a poor crop. The greatest handicap under which we have suffered in
The Budget-Mr. Murphy
the past, and from which as a matter of fact we are suffering to-day, has been that restricted policy which has been the means of driving hundreds and thousands of our young men away from the province. Many of the sons of our farmers in Manitoba, on reaching the age of discretion, decided that they did not want to become farmers. Some of them entered the learned professions and some of them took advantage of the technical school in Winnipeg to fit themselves for an engineering career. With what result? When they had received their education and had graduated they found that there was no opportunity for them to apply their talents in their own country. From my own town of Neepawa many young men, after obtaining scholarships in our educational institutions, have drifted away. I do not know of one of those young men who . took the engineering course in Manitoba who is to-day in employment in Canada. They have all migrated to the United States. I am sure the same is true of other parts of the province.
Not only do we need the establishment and development of new industries in Manitoba, but we require also, for the greatest success, the completion of the Hudson Bay railway. I do not intend to deal at any length with this subject nor, to dwell upon the circumstances whereby this road has been left in its incomplete state, having been built within ninety miles or so of its terminus. Every government, leader and parliament since 1881 have committed themselves to the building of this road. In 1881 charters were granted by the government of Sir John A Macdonald to two companies for the undertaking and in 1884 the same government made a land grant of 6,400 acres per mile in Manitoba and 12,800 acres per mile in what was then the Northwest Territories, to insure the building of the Hudson Bay railway. As a result of that policy the road was built up to the present site of the town of the Pas.
I was interested in reading in the Ottawa Journal of May 11 of the present year, an editorial on the Hudson Bay railway. I shall not read the whole of the article, but I shall quote certain facts which the writer thought he had deduced from a debate which had taken place in the Senate this year:
Fact No. One: That lands sold in the west under the legislation of 1908 had no relation whatever to the construction of the Hudson Bay railway.
Fact No. Two: That these lands would have been sold had the Hudson Bay railway never been mentioned.
Fact No. Three: That none of the lands sold was in the Hudson bay area.
Fact No. Four: That, consequently, the whole of the $21,000,000 thus far spent upon the Hudson Bay railway has come out of ordinary national revenue, i.e. the taxpayer of the country.
At this point I should like to pay a compliment to the two daily papers published in the city of Ottawa. I have read them very carefully ever since my arrival in the capital in January, and I really think they are two very high class journals, but on the subject of the Hudson Bay railway the Ottawa Journal seems to suffer from a kind of mental hydrophobia. About the year 1896 or 1897, Messrs. Mackenzie & Mann, a firm of railway contractors, undertook to build a railway from Gladstone, Manitoba, to Dauphin. At the same time they purchased from Mr. Sutherland who had obtained a charter in 1881 for the building of the Hudson bay road, a controlling interest in the South Saskatchewan and Hudson Bay Railway Company. When the line was built as far as Winnipegosis, Mackenzie & Mann continued westerly into the province of Saskatchewan rather than on to Hudson bay. In 1905, upon the creation of the provinces of Saskatchewan and Alberta, the demand became insistent for the completion of the Hudson Bay road. And the Hon. Frank Oliver, the then Minister of the Interior, on behalf of the government entered into an agreement with Mackenzie & Mann under the terms of which they relinquished the Hudson Bay charter and undertook to build a line from a point on the Dauphin and Prince Albert line to the Saskatchewan river, the government undertaking to sell sufficient homestead and preemption lands to provide for the completion of the road to the bay. As a result of that policy Messrs. Mackenzie & Mann built from a point on the Dauphin and Prince Albert line to the site of the present town of The Pas.
I have said that the government of the day entered into a contract with Mackenzie & Mann in 1905 by which the firm relinquished their charter. In 1908 the federal government caused an amendment to the Dominion Lands Act to be passed. On that occasion Hon. Frank Oliver said he found incongruities in the act which made the administration difficult. He also stated, as one reason why he wanted these amendments made to the act, that it was not the policy of the Laurier government to make grants of land towards the building of railways. In that connection I would refer to the debates of 1908, ag reported in volume 6 of Hansard. At page 11130 of that volume I find Mr. Oliver reported as saying:
Therefore, it is a plain proposition. There is, as it were, a (mortgage standing against the lands of the
The Budget-Mr. Murphy
northwest in respect to aid to a railway to Hudson bay. The necessity of such an outlet is greater than ever before and is more impressed on the minds of the people than ever before. Therefore in wiping out the mortgage upon the lands on behalf of a railway to Hudson bay, if we undertook to do as we propose in this act, it is necessary that we should place something in its stead, and that is the proposition that I desire to lay before the House.
Then further on the the same page:
That is to say, in regard to certain sections to allow the 'homesteader to buy an adjoining quarter section at a fixed price under settlement conditions. We believed that by the revival of this privilege we would create a new source of revenue to the Dominion treasury that would be adequate to meet the responsibilities which would have to be assumed by the construction of a railway to the bay.
And again, on page 11135, he is reported as saying:
There was no suggestion of restriction of the area to which the bill of last year applied.
Mr. Oliver had introduced amendments the year before but they had not been adopted; they were dropped.
My if ear was that a question might have been raised as to whether the provision /was adequate or not. What I had in view was to place before parliament a proposition that should put beyond question the fact that we bad adequately provided assistance from an entirely new source of revenue to enable the Hudson Bay railway to be built.
And again on page 11138:
The point we have din view in regard to this preemption matter is that there shall be a railway built to Hudson bay. If we can get a railway built to Hudson bay without any pre-emption provision at all then I am not insisting upon the pre-emption provision. But I am insisting upon the pre-emption provision as a means of ensuring the early building of a railway to Hudson bay.
And again at page 11150, in answer to a question, Mr. Oliver said:
We do not propose that the building of the railway Shall await ithe sale of 5,000,000 acres of this land, but we want to be able to say to the people of the country that if we find it necessary to pledge the credit of the country to an extent to raise sufficient money to aid in the building of the Hudson Bay railway, here is a new source of revenue that will relieve them of the burden of the responsibility they thus undertake.
I think, Mr. Speaker, from the evidence I have submitted, that the statements of the Ottawa Journal in the editorial in question are not facts but fiction. Now, from the year 1908 onward successive governments have recognized that the moneys derived from the sale of these lands were to be expended for the completion of the Hudson Bay road. The people of the west purchased lands on that definite understanding, and to-day there is a contractual obligation resting on the federal government to keep faith with these purchasers.
In answer to certain questions which I put on the order paper earlier in the session I obtained information to the following effect. Under the provisions of the act of 1908, as amended, there were 14,085,880 acres sold, of a value of approximately $42,257,640. Of that amount $19,837,288 have been collected, and there is still owing the sum of $7,300,000. leaving a total to the credit of the fund of $27,137,288. Of that amount $14,944,870 was expended up to February 28 of the present year, so that there is still a sum of $12,192,418 to the credit of the fund. I have said that the total amount collected was $19,837,288. Of this amount the sum of $14,944,870 has been spent,. leaving a cash credit ol $4,892,418. From the very first there has been determined opposition in certain quarters to the completion of the road and now that the completion is likely to be carried out, the opponents of the project are trying to reopen the question of the relative merits of Churchill and Nelson as a terminal. The port of Nelson was chosen as the terminal by two successive governments, after full investigation and report by competent engineers. Over $6,000,000 has been spent on the development of Port Nelson up to the present, and knowing these facts supporters of the road realize that a red herring is being drawn across the trail. But Mr. Speaker, we refuse to be drawn aside; we think there have been enough investigations during the last forty years, and that the time for action has now arrived.
The Conservative members from the wesi are frequently slightingly spoken of in this House as representing minorities. For the three prairie provinces, which may be taken as an economic unit, I would like to submit that the Conservative members do not represent minorities. I find that in these provinces during the last election there were oast for Conservative candidates 171,263 votes; for the Liberals 161,114 and for the Progressives 159,042. To elect each of the ten Conservatives from the prairie provinces it took 17,126 votes; for each Liberal 8,056, and for each Progressive 7,229. If the Conservatives were represented in this House according to the number of votes cast we would have at least twenty me-mbers instead of the ten we now have. I speak of this, Mr. 'Speaker, for the simple reason that the Progressives arrogate unto themselves the right to voice in this House the sentiments of the west, and I claim that the twenty-two Progressives, who represent only 116,114 votes do not express the feelings of the people of the prairie provinces any more than do the ten Conservatives, representing 171,263 votes.
The Budget-Mr. Verville
The Progressive movement is not as strong and flourishing as it was a few short years ago. There is published in the west a paper called the Grain Growers' Guide, sometimes known as the Progressives' Bible. During some preceding years the subscription price has been $2 a year, $1 of which went to pay for the paper, the other dollar being the membership fee in the farmers' local. But so badly have the Progressives fallen off-
Topic: THE BUDGET
Subtopic: CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE