Mr. T. A. THOMPSON (Lanark):
Mr. Speaker, before the conclusion of the debate I should like to make a few observations. May I first congratulate the mover (Mr. Slaght) and the seconder (Mr.- Fournier, 12739-12
Maisonneuve) of the address upon the eloquent presentations they made to this house and upon the moderation of their remarks. Both of these new members have reflected great credit not only upon themselves but also upon the constituencies which they have the honour to represent.
I also wish to congratulate the hon. member for Rosetown-Biggar (Mr. Coldwell). I have been in public life for many years, in the provincial house and in this house, and I have never listened to the maiden speech of a member of parliament with greater interest than I did to the speech of the hon. member who has just taken his seat. I predict that this young man will go far in the public life of this country. One significant statement that he made was that associations and environment leave their impression. I am sure that a wider view of public affairs and the environment of this house will cause him to modify some of his views. One statement he made to which I must take exception is that he is not in favour of tariffs; that we want English manufactured goods to come into this country in exchange for our agricultural products. At the present time that would mean disaster to this country. We are living in a world of tariffs, and it would be madness for Canada to throw her market open as a dumping ground for the surplus products of other nations while our neighbours keep up their tariff barriers against our goods. If manufactured goods from Great Britain were allowed free access to the Canadian market this would destroy the manufacturing business of Canada and our farmers would be the greatest losers. I have been a farmer all my life, and I never was able to sell the produce of my farm to my neighbour. My market was found among men and women in the industrial parts of the country. The men and women engaged in the industrial life of Canada, if they have steady employment and good wages, have the purchasing power to buy my products. We cannot build up this country on a solely agricultural basis. The urban and the rural communities are dependent one on another; their interests are so inseparable that you cannot place upon our statute books laws affecting one without affecting the other. We prosper together or go down together.
Canada is just emerging from five years of the greatest depression the world has ever known; in common with every other country she has suffered severely, but I think it is generally conceded that she is coming out of this depression better than almost any other country, and that is due solely to the wise
The Address-Mr. Thompson
policies and statesmanship of the former government. Those years have been years of great depression, but also of great achievement. During the past five years more legislation beneficial to the common people has been placed upon our statute books than in any other five years of the history of this country.
What did the Conservative government find when they took office in 1930? They found the markets of the world closed to Canadian products; they found the markets of Europe closed to our wheat. When were they closed? Between 1921 and 1930 when the Liberal government with the present Prime Minister at its head were in office; that is when our markets were lost. In 1921, when the Liberal government took office Canada was exporting to the United States $175,000,000 worth of agricultural products. In 1930, when they left office Canada's exports had fallen to a little over $3,000,000. That calls to my mind a bill board that faced us all through the country last autumn. I spoke in many Ontario ridings during the last election campaign and where-ever we went we saw the smiling countenance of the present Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) on a great billboard 'giving his benediction to the words that were under it; "Vote Liberal and restore the markets lost by Bennett and Stevens." There never was a statement more utterly void of truth. Those markets were not lost by those two hon. gentlemen; they were lost between 1921 and 1930 while the Liberal government were in office. When was the Fordney-McCumber tariff passed? When was the Hawley-Smoot tariff passed? These are the tariffs that shut the Canadian exporter out of the United States market; and they were passed during the time the Liberal government were in office in Canada. I do not blame that government for the tariffs of foreign countries; but why should they say, "Vote Liberal and restore the markets lost by Bennett and Stevens-" What we want in this country is truth and honour. I have been in public life, municipal, provincial and federal, since I was twenty-one years of age; I have tried to run my campaigns honestly and in a gentlemanly manner, and I think I have succeeded. I have never sent out literature that reflected on the personal character of anyone. Until we get away from making reflections of that nature we shall not have clean politics in Canada.
I take exception to a statement made by the hon. member for Vancouver East (Mr. Maclnnis) the other day. He staled that in the last election the people did not vote for
the Liberal party; that they voted against the Conservative party. I believe the policies of the Liberal party or of the Conservative party had not much to do with the last election. The people were restive under five years of-
Topic: GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH
Subtopic: CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON ADDRESS IN REPLY