Thomas Alfred THOMPSON

THOMPSON, Thomas Alfred

Personal Data

Party
Conservative (1867-1942)
Constituency
Lanark (Ontario)
Birth Date
August 5, 1868
Deceased Date
May 12, 1953
Website
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Alfred_Thompson
PARLINFO
http://www.parl.gc.ca/parlinfo/Files/Parliamentarian.aspx?Item=aa6d068b-338a-49cc-a128-e8b6da7f61b7&Language=E&Section=ALL
Profession
farmer

Parliamentary Career

July 28, 1930 - August 14, 1935
CON
  Lanark (Ontario)
October 14, 1935 - January 25, 1940
CON
  Lanark (Ontario)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 52 of 53)


January 22, 1935

Mr. T. A. THOMPSON (Lanark):

I wish to congratulate the mover (Mr. Rowe) and the seconder (Mr. Dorion) on their splendid addresses; they have maintained and upheld the high traditions of this house. The speech from the throne was the most comprehensive and far reaching that has been delivered in this chamber since confederation. It clearly indicates that a new consciousness has arisen in the hearts of the Canadian people and that henceforth first things in this country will have first place and the welfare of the masses of the people will have first consideration.

There are many questions that must be dealt with by the Canadian people in the near future, questions of vital importance to our national welfare. One of them is our railway problem; another is our national debt, and another is government reform. We have too much government in this country. It is

nothing short of financial suicide that ten and a half million people should continue to support ten governments. We have more governments to govern ten and a half million people in Canada than Great Britain has to govern forty-five million. I am quite sure that one government would suffice for the western provinces and one for the maritimes, but whatever alterations are to be made, the question must be solved by the Canadian people in the near future, because we cannot continue to support the multitude of governments that we have at the present time, and nothing, whether it is the British North America Act or any other act, should be permitted to stand in the way of promoting the happiness and welfare of our people. Conditions are constantly changing and changed conditions must necessarily bring new remedies, but any alteration in the economic life of a nation to be productive of the greatest good must be made with a wholesome distrust of the unknown and a love of the old familiar paths, coupled with a reverence for religion and authority and the protection of our civil and property rights. It is true that the dead branches must be pruned from the tree and new branches grafted on to it, but great care must be exercised that the life giving trunk and roots of that tree are not destroyed.

Under our present capitalistic system there have developed social and economic injustices that must be remedied, but this does not mean that the capitalistic system is to be destroyed or that individual initiative is to be suppressed. There is no greater motive power known to man that will develop in him the faculties which his Creator gave him than the profit system, but that profit system must not be permitted to run wild; it must be regulated and it must be curbed. When a man contemplates making an important change in his own private business, if he is wise he does two things: he looks back to see what has caused him to make those changes, why it was necessary that he should make them so that he may avoid similar pitfalls in the future, and he looks ahead to ascertain if possible what the result of those changes is going to be on his future welfare. A survey of our national life in Canada at the present time is dictated by both wisdom and by common sense.

The difficulties confronting the Canadian people at this time did not arise yesterday or the day before or last year or ten years ago; they are the product of many, many years. They began when machinery, the steam engine, electricity, the automobile, each in its turn drove the human element from almost every walk of life. At first we noticed the handicraft workers in our towns and

108 COMMONS

The Address-Mr. Thompson (Lanark)

villages closing their doors, having been forced out of business by the factories. Those dislocations were easily adjusted in the earlier stages, but as industry developed there grew up, almost imperceptibly and unnoticed, evils in our economic and financial systems, and under cover of the unwarranted prosperity of war time those evils ate into the very vitals of our economic system and imperilled our national life. During the years that followed the war we saw nation after nation engaged in a mad scramble to save their economic life, raising insurmountable barriers around their borders, making it impossible or almost impossible for other nations to trade with them. We saw the United States of America closing their markets to our products; we saw England, the mother and the home of free trade and the champion of sea-going commerce, take her place among the protected nations of the world, until economic nationalism stifled international trade. We also had to contend with the products of Russia, of her slave camps, her forced labour, her mines, her wageless farmers. These were dumped on our markets, depriving our own people of the Canadian market. Between the years 1921 and 1930, while the markets of the world were being closed to our Canadian exporters, our friends of the Liberal party sat idly on the treasury benches and permitted the markets of Canada to be made the dumping ground for the surplus products of every nation of the world. During the nine years immediately prior to 1930 there were formed in this country 120 mergers, which gathered into their relentless maw hundreds of our small well-organized industries and formed them into over-capitalized stock watered companies that bled the investors of this country of their hard earned savings. Surely these things must be purged from our national life if Canada is to live and prosper. It was with a view to eradicating these evils that the price spreads committee made their investigation.

When the present government took office the depression was well under way. There was an adverse trade balance of around $100,000,000. There was an immigration policy that was adding thousands to our already large number of unemployed. This government took charge of the economic life of Canada in that very diseased condition and immediately set to work to revive our industries and protect and open up markets for us. They increased the tariff against countries that had raised their tariffs against us, they cut government salaries b3? ten per cent, they initiated the Ottawa trade agreements which put millions of dollars into the pockets of our farmers and also protected them against fMr. T A. Thompson.]

profiteers in marketing. I do not know what answer our Liberal friends who voted against these agreements will make to their farm supporters, in view of the statement made under oath by Mr. MacLean, president of Canada Packers, before the price spreads commission that there had been distributed among hog growers in Canada for bacon shipped to the old country $36,000,000 more-than they would have received had these-agreements not been in effect. The government also revived the textile business and put new life into the lumber business. They instituted the central bank; they passed1 the Natural Products Marketing Act and the Farmers' Creditors Arrangement Act. All this legislation was passed against the bitter opposition of our Liberal friends, who opposed all these acts brought in by this government in an honest endeavour to raise this country out of the slough of depression into which it had come; and this without one constructive suggestion being made by the opposition as to what should be done in the existing emergency, when Canada was fighting for her national existence.

It may be asked why the government did not bring in some measures of reform during those trying years. Our friends ask why the government did not perform a major operation upon the country when she was struggling for existence and almost at her last gasp. I answer, for the same reason that the skilled surgeon will not operate on a patient in a weakened and dying condition. They must administer palliatives, they must build up the body until it is in a condition that it can be operated on. So it was with Canada; the present government has nourished this country back to at least some degree of prosperity and into such a condition that it caD stand being operated upon. The government has decided that it is necessary to change our system. We shall be asked to give our consent to a reform that will assure our old folk that they have no longer to look forward to a destitute old age. We shall be asked to consent to a reform that will assure the wage earners that they will no longer be obliged to work for starvation wages. You will be asked to give your consent to a reform that will lead to a more just and honest distribution of both the wealth and the taxation of the people of Canada. You will be asked to give your consent to a reform permitting the farmers to make a decent living from the products of the soil and the labours of their hands, and that in the marketing of their products will protect them from the exploitation of get-rich-quick racketeers. You will be asked to consent to a reform that will

The Address-Mr. Neill

ensure the honest industrialists of this country against being crushed by unfair and unjust competition of men whose only interest in business is to heap up wealth for themselves with utter disregard for the human element, which in every phase of our national life must be protected if we are to continue to exist.

There are those who tell us that the evils we now have arose during the last five years. I will ask them to take what consolation they can from the fact that these evils reached their height in 1929, the last year that our friends opposite were in power. To those who say that the proposed reforms will lead to fascism, I say that fascism is the very negative of the reforms proposed. Fascism is not government-controlled business, it is business-controlled government. I ask you to search out the hidden power behind a Mussolini, behind a Hitler, behind communistic Russia, and you will see the iron hand of big business with its world wide, interlocked directorates, crushing the very lifeblood out of the people without any thought or regard for the welfare of the masses. In this country we must come to a true conception of the ideal progress of a nation, realizing that true progress does not consist In superabundance piled up for the enjoyment of a few, but in plenitude honestly distributed for the welfare of all. Students of history tell us that the downfall of the Roman and the Grecian empires began with the oppression of the common people. They forgot the true elements of national greatness and their glory faded because they forgot the humanity of their people.

We must realize that if our industries are to prosper we must make it possible for them to sell their goods. Their products must be consumed or prosperity would be impossible. Clothing manufacturers cannot succeed if thousands of our people are underclad; our food manufacturers, our millers and bakers cannot prosper if thousands of our people are hungry. There can be no prosperity in Canada until the purchasing power of the farmer and the working man is materially increased. The proposed reform in our economic system is not an attempt to make the rich man poor; rather it is an honest effort to make the poor man rich or to give him at least a fair share of the wealth his labours have produced. It is not a levelling down to a common mould, as our socialistic friends would describe it; it is not an effort to make all men on a common basis, but it is a levelling up from the undertrodden. In Canada the body politic has been nursed back

to a state of convalescence, and health has been so far restored that blood is again circulating in the veins of our industries and the body politic is in a position where it can stand a major operation. The people of Canada will shortly be asked to decide who shall perform the operation. Will they pass the patient back to the care of the laissez-faire rugged individualist opposite whose blundering had brought it to the point of death? Or will they not rather trust to the hand of the skilled surgeon who has so cleverly nursed it back to its present condition?

The democratic control of industry will I am sure bring about a wider distribution of the nation's wealth which, after all, is the product of the labours of all the people. The day is past, long past, when we can cry with Cain, "Am I my brother's keeper?" No man can live to himself, nor can any nation live to itself. Then let us march forward into a new era of security and peace, an era of decent standards of living for all. In the introduction of these important reforms we are this session taking one of the most forward steps the Canadian people have taken in many decades. Why not let us be united in our efforts? Let us throw aside our political differences. Let us discard our sectional bitterness and march with an united step towards the horizon of a brighter and happier day.

Topic:   GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON ADDRESS IN REPLY
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February 1, 1934

Mr. THOMPSON (Lanark):

The province of Ontario pays approximately 45 per cent of the taxes of the Dominion of Canada, Quebec approximately 30 per cent and the remainder, some 25 per cent, is paid by the other seven provinces. How long should the federal government make good-I ask as a business proposition

the extravagance of these provinces? These provinces are not poor, they have wonderful natural resources. The trouble has been poor administration. I am of the opinion that they should be told to put their own houses in order, balance their budgets, live within their means, and that it is high time they were self-sustaining. Since this government took office in 1930

The Address-Mr. Woodsworth

they have had to deal with an overwhelming succession, of new phases of the economic situation for which there was no precedent in Canadian history and for which our oldest and most experienced statesmen were altogether unprepared. The fact that the ship of state has been safely guided through the dangerous shoals and is to-day heading for the high seas clearly indicates that a master hand has been at the helm.

I have every confidence in the future of this country; I am not one of those crying blue ruin. I have every confidence in the two great races that form the foundation stock of Canada, the English and the French. They have the hardihood, the business ability and the courage to surmount every obstacle that may lie in their path, and I hope they will work in unison for the future development and prosperity of our common Canada.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH
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February 1, 1934

Mr. T. A. THOMPSON (Lanark):

In rising to resume the debate, I wish at the outset to congratulate the mover (Mr. Gobeil) and the seconder (Mr. Barber) of the address on the splendid speeches they made, reflecting great credit not only upon themselves but also upon the constituencies which they have the honour to represent.

I listened very carefully the other day for over four hours to the speech of the leader of the opposition (Mr. Mackenzie King) and I was very much disappointed when he was through. During that entire time there was no constructive policy, there was nothing put forward by the right hon. gentleman but fault-finding. He found fault with the present administration, and I began to wonder whether these men sitting on the treasury benches, grown old in the service of their country, were attempting to pull down and ruin the reputation of Canada, or whether after all they did not have some business judgment and there was not something that they had done that could find approval from the leader of the opposition.

The right hon. gentleman made the statement that we had a million on relief and a million and a half unemployed, a statement which is not borne out by the facts. I have received a report from the Deputy Minister of Labour giving the figures for the months of November and December of 1932 and 1933 respectively as to the number of families on

rMr. Lapointe.]

relief, and that I submit is the fairest way of estimating the number of people on relief in this country. A bread-winner is out of work and goes on relief. He may have a wife and family of half a dozen children, but it is not right to suggest that his wife and children should be numbered amongst the unemployed. He is the head of one family, one bread-winner who has gone on relief. I am therefore giving the number of families that have been on relief, which as I say is the fairest way of arriving at an honest conclusion.

In November, 1933, there were 17,783 less families on relief than there were in November, 1932, and in December, 1933, there were 25,679 less families on relief than there were in December, 1932. That shows conclusively that we are to-day in a better and not in a worse condition than we were a year ago. I cannot understand therefore what good purpose is to be served by public men decrying and blackening the reputation of their own country at a time when every loyal citizen is straining every effort to pull the Canadian people out of the morass and entanglement in which they have found themselves.

Yesterday we listened to another speech, this time from the hon. member for West Edmonton (Mr. Stewart), in which he denounced the tariff policies of this government. He waxed very eloquent and worked himself into a great fever, holding up his hands in holy horror. I thought at the time he was longing for a tambourine or a little tin drum on which to beat the death knell of protection. Whatever it may be, he charged the Prime Minister and the Conservative party with being responsible for all the ills that exist in this country at the present time, and especially did he charge that the policies of the present government were responsible for our unemployment situation. These statements are not borne out by the facts. I claim that the greatest factor in causing unemployment in Canada was the unbusinesslike immigration policy of the Liberal government from 1921 to 1930. During those years they brought in 1,187,319 immigrants against the protests of the provinces in which those people were placed and against the business judgment of our most able Canadians. In the last two years during which they were responsible for immigration, and at a time when our own men were unemployed and when every man who had any insight into our future knew it was a wrong policy, they brought in 331,000 immigrants, of whom 99,000 who came in during the last year were single men who immediately went on relief. Had the former Liberal administration followed the same

The Address-Mr. Thompson (Lanark)

immigration policy that is being pursued by the present government and restricted immigration to the extent we have done there would be no unemployment and no need for relief here to-day.

When the present government took office they found the markets of the world largely closed to the Canadian exporters. France, Germany, Italy, that formerly took millions of bushels of our wheat, had raised their tariffs to a prohibitive height. The United States to which we had sent a large quantity of our produce had from time to time raised their tariffs making it impossible for us to do business with them with any degree of satisfaction. In 1922 the Fordney-McCumber tariff hit the Canadian exporter a serious blow, and this was followed in 1930 by the Hawley-Smoot tariff, making it impossible for the Canadian exporter to do business with the nation to the south of us. The point I would emphasize is that these European and United States markets were lost to the Canadian exporter between 1921 and 1930 when our hon. friends opposite were in power. I do not blame the Liberal government of that day for the tariff policies of foreign countries but I do blame them for taking knock after knock lying down. I blame them for sitting with folded hands while the markets of the world were being closed to Canadian products and allowing the Canadian market to be the dumping ground for the surplus products of every other nation in the world. Further I say that the tariff policy of the present government has kept Canada solvent and that by securing in the British market a substantial preference for the Canadian exporter they have safeguarded the Canadian producer and protected the Canadian farmer from the very worst effects of the present world depression. The imperial trade agreements made at Ottawa and the general policy of the present government have combined to wipe out a heavy adverse trade balance and to replace it with a favourable trade balance of $136,000,000. This has been one of the greatest achievements of the present government. Notwithstanding the fact that economic nationalism has been paralysing international trade, the Canadian exporter found a haven from the general chaos of world trade in a sheltered market of the British Empire where, in the best market in the world for agricultural and other primary products, the present government has secured for him a preference.

There is nothing that affects Canada to a greater extent than the repayment of her foreign debts and her future borrowing in the foreign money market, and judging from our experience in the past I am convinced there should be set up in Canada a board of 74726-10

financial experts to whom all prospective borrowers should be asked to submit their propositions before being permitted to enter the foreign money market. Such a board would safeguard us against excessive, borrowings and protect us from those dangerous terms of repayment that have characterized so many of our loans in the past. The whole economic system of the world is to-day labouring under a nightmare of debt that is paralyzing and demoralizing those who receive the loan as well as those who make it.

We have to the south of us a great nation of 130,000,000 people experimenting with a species of dictatorship, feverishly endeavouring to raise themselves out of the morass of economic and financial entanglements in which they find themselves involved. We wish them well; we trust they will be successful because we realize that the future welfare and prosperity of this dominion is inseparably associated with that of the United States. We are neighbours living close together and what affects the one will always materially affect the other. But while they are strenuously endeavouring to bring about new conditions and a better social life in their country, they seem to forget all about the debt, and I should like to call to their remembrance this fact, that the same prayer which says "Thy kingdom come" says also "Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors."

Our hon. friends opposite during former sessions in the house and on the stump throughout the country have apparently taken great delight in comparing prices of farm produce since 1930 with what they were prior to that date. They seem to forget that no government can control world prices, and that the inexorable law of supply and demand rules the world to-day as it ever did. The only comparison that can be fairly made is between the prices of farm products in Canada and the prices in other countries. I submit, Mr. Speaker, that the prices of agricultural products in Canada since 1930 have been higher in comparison with those in other countries than they were during the regime of our hon. friends opposite. Take prices to-day; we have pork selling on the hoof in Montreal and Toronto at 10 cents, while in Chicago it is selling at only 4 cents. The best sign of the recovery from the depression is to be found in the fact that agricultural products are continually rising in price. Canada is essentially an agricultural country, and until the farmers of Canada receive a fair remuneration for their labour and the capital they have invested there will be no real prosperity in this dominion. As a direct re-

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The Address-Mr. Thompson (Lanark)

suit of the agreements made by this government, Canada to-day has a wonderful opportunity to supply bacon to the British market. I find that in 1932 Denmark supplied 67 per cent of Great Britain's imported bacon, Poland, 10-02 per cent, Holland, 8-05 per cent, Sweden, 3-77 per cent, Lithuania, 4-52 per cent, Irish Free State, 1-75 per cent, and Canada only 1-6 per cent, the lowest percentage of any country. Under the agreement with Great Britain, Canada is permitted to send into that country 280,000,000 pounds of bacon annually. While we have doubled our exports to the British market we have not yet exceeded 25 per cent of the ' quota that has been allowed us. With pork at the price it is to-day, and still 75 per cent of our quota not taken up, there is a wonderful opportunity for the farmers of this dominion.

In the county of Lanark, which I have the honour to represent, the policies of the former government had driven our manufacturers almost to the wall. Many of our factories were closed down, few of them were running over half time. To-day every textile mill in the county of Lanark is running full time, and several are running day and night. Some of the mills that have been closed for years have been reopened. This is a direct result of the tariff policies of the present administration in restricting imports from foreign countries where the scale of wages and the standard of life is so much below that of Canada that they can afford to undersell us in our own market. The opening of these factories in Lanark county has been of great assistance to the farmers, because when the men and women engaged in industrial life have steady employment, they have purchasing power wherewith to buy the commodities that the farmers produce. Mouths are the farmers' best market.

We hear a great deal about social betterment in this country. We want social betterment, but we want it without socialism and without communism. We must have progress, in a young country like Canada we cannot stand still. Changing conditions must bring new remedies. But I have no sympathy with those organizations which would attempt to build up an economic system in Canada such as they have in Russia, based upon atheism, hatred and repudiation of debt. The danger to our present democracy does not lie in attacks made upon it by the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation or similar organizations. The real danger to democracy to-day lies in the apathy of its own defenders, the men on the one hand who claim that our

present day democracy is rooted and grounded in Magna Charta and the Bill of Rights and so cannot be disturbed, and on the other hand those who use the privileges and liberties afforded by democracy to further their own selfish interests without due regard to the interests of their fellowmen. To-day we have agitation to change the whole system, but it gets us nowhere to damn it and to call it a canker on the body politic. The wise statesman must look for the cause of that eruption, and honestly- endeavour to heal it. And in lopping off the dead branches we must be careful not to destroy the living branches or the living part of the tree that has taken ages of the very best that was in humanity to produce.

Just before this house opened there was held in Ottawa a conference of the premiers of the different provinces. While the meetings were held in secret, enough has leaked out to assure the public that several of these premiers were here asking further assistance for their provinces. Now, Mr. Speaker, if these provinces have been unfortunate, if the grasshoppers have eaten them up, if the drought has burnt them out, if the hail and frost have destroyed their harvests, then I say let us come to their assistance, because these are things over which they have no control. But if those provinces insist on electing legislatures that will spend their resources unwisely, that will bonus railways, guarantee wheat pools, enter into social legislation which they cannot afford and which the application of sane business principles would have taught them to avoid, then I say it is out of the question that they can continue any such expenditure and come to Ottawa to have their bills paid.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH
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October 24, 1932

Mr. T. A. THOMPSON (Lanark):

The

question before the house, Mr. Speaker, at the present time is whether or not the parliament of Canada will approve of the conclusions which were arrived at by the delegates who were assembled in this city at the Imperial economic conference a short time ago.

I have listened very carefully to the addresses which have been delivered by hon. gentlemen opposite, and I have failed to hear anything from them but condemnation of the agreement. There is scarcely a man among them who has spoken who has found anything commendable in them. The tactics of hon. gentlemen opposite suggested to me that they were playing for some political advantage, and as speaker after speaker on the other side arose and condemned these agreements I read between the lines a fear on their part that some good would come from them and that the Conservative party and the Prime Minister would get the credit. Their tactics, I submit, are not worthy of the traditions of the Liberal party. There has been no crisis in our country's history when the Liberal party did not lay aside their politics and come to their country's assistance. Sir John Macdonald never could have gathered the scattered provinces that now comprise this Dominion and welded them into one harmonious whole had it not been for the assistance that he received from the Liberals of that day. Canada could not have prosecuted the war as she did had it not been for the assistance she received from those Liberals who left their party that they might better serve their country. Contrast such an attitude with the attitude of the opposition at the present time when Canada, in common with every other country of the world, is struggling for her economic existence, striving to extricate herself from the mire of the greatest depression that the world has ever known; and in such a crisis these agreements receive nothing but knock after knock from the Liberal party. It is a glaring case of fiddling while Rome burns.

Great credit is due to the Prime Minister of Canada for having brought the conference to the city of Ottawa, thereby gathering

together here the brightest minds and the best brains of the British Empire in an honest endeavour to unravel the tangled web of economic conditions in which the British Empire in common with the rest of the world is struggling. Probably none of the delegates present at that conference went home feeling that they had got everything that they desired for their own country, and if they had done so, the conference would not have been a success. It was only by every part of the empire making some concession to the rest that it was possible to arrive at any definite agreement.

I listened with keen interest to the speech by the right hon. leader of the opposition (Mr. Mackenzie King) when for nearly four houre he laboured in a fruitless effort to discredit the provisions contained in the agreement now before us, and to try to persuade the house and country that the treaties would bring only higher tariffs and special privileges for a favoured few. I was astonished to hear him state that if returned to power he would place the tariffs back to where they were when the Liberals left office, and that he would give a British preference of 50 per cent. I want to say to him that if that policy were carried into effect every textile mill in Canada would be closed, and industry would be crippled. The greatest sufferers would be the farmers.

We are looking for markets, farmers cannot sell their products to their neighbours. Their sales depend upon the purchasing power of men and women engaged in industrial life, and who are non-producers of agricultural products. If a workman in a town or city has steady employment and good wages he creates the very best market the farmer can obtain. Industry and agriculture are not enemies they should not be flying at each other's throats. They are partners in the development of Canada and the success of one means the success of the other; they must stand or fall together.

Much has been said during this debate about high and low tariffs, and hon. members opposite would have us believe that the fiscal policy of this government has had something to do with the low price of commodities. I want to say that tariffs are nothing more or less than instruments in the hands of governments whereby on a basis of equality one country may deal with another. And these tariffs must be changed from time to time as other countries change their tariffs to suit the everchanging conditions of trade. Tariffs must be regulated. We know the United States have raised their tariff to an extent whereby

United Kingdom

Canadian produce is practically shut out. Would any thoughtful man suggest that we should leave our markets open and make ourselves the dumping ground for the surplus products of our neighbours? To a great extent the deliberations during the conference were in the interests of agriculture. We had lost our market in the United States, and were looking to markets within the British Empire.

Tariffs do not interfere with the prices of commodities. A high or a low tariff will not raise or lower the world price. The old law of supply and demand still rules, and so far as agriculture is concerned, stimulated as it has been by excessive war prices and the introduction of more efficient farm machinery, there has been a production which has greatly out-balanced world consumption. I state further that a comparison of prices obtaining in Canada and in other countries would show that we are enjoying prices relatively higher than when hon. members opposite were in power.

Already we have witnessed one result from the Imperial economic conference at Ottawa, namely, the notice of termination by Great Britain of the Anglo-Russian treaty. In that connection I should like to read an article appearing in the Toronto Mail and Empire of May 20:

The opposition argument at Ottawa that Great Britain would never implement the imperial trade agreements by stopping Soviet dumping in the United Kingdom has been promptly answered from Westminster. The British government has given the Soviet Union the necessary six months' notice for the termination of the present Anglo-Russian Trade Treaty. In making this announcement, Mr. J. H. Thomas, Secretary for the dominions, said that continued importation of sweated goods from Russia would violate the United Kingdom's agreements with the dominions to prevent importation from any country that would stultify those agreements.

When questioned by Labour opponents, Mr. Thomas declared no investigation was necessary to convince the government that Soviet goods have been and are being dumped in Great Britain. Mr. Thomas was referring to Article 21 of the Anglo-Canadian agreement, whereby each party to the agreement undertook to prohibit imports from any foreign country where state control of industries and commodity prices resulted in the dumping of goods under cost. The effect of Britain's denunciation of the trade treaty with Russia will be to cut off the importation of large quantities of lumber, fish, grain and other products heretofore sold in Great Britain below cost.

The trade in such commodities will be automatically transferred to Canadian producers and producers in other parts of the empire. Mr. Charles A. Selden, the chief European correspondent of the New York Times, cables his newspaper that the announcement made by

Mr. Thomas in the British House of Commons "signalizes one of the most important victories won by Premier Bennett of Canada."

The condition described in this newspaper article is a direct result of the deliberations of the Imperial economic conference. Millions of dollars worth of goods which have been supplied by Russia to Great Britain at less than cost will now be supplied by Canada and other parts of the empire at a fair market price. Through the provisions of the agreement now under consideration-the farmers of Canada, by having a sheltered market in Great Britain for their wheat, their cheese, their butter and other products, will be greatly benefited. The statement has been made by some hon. members opposite that the farmers are not satisfied with the trade agreements. Speaking in this house the other day the hon. member for West Elgin (Mr. Hepburn) stated there were no more Conservative farmers, intimating that they were dissatisfied with the agreements. I am as closely in touch with the agricultural communities of this district as is any hon. member in the house, and I say that the farmers are not dissatisfied; on the other hand they are well pleased. I state further that I would not be afraid to take this trade agreement in my hand and go before the hard-headed, honest farmers of Lanark county and by an overwhelming majority receive their en-dorsation.

All I have to say in conclusion is that the motherland and the dominions, after deliberation by the ablest men in the Brtish Empire, have arrived at an agreement that has been the dream of the leading statesmen of the empire for a quarter of a century. They have laid the foundation upon which there will be built in the future a noble structure of interimperial trade that will be the admiration of the whole civilized world. I claim: that if I were to vote against these agreements I would not be dealing fairly by my country.

Topic:   IMPERIAL ECONOMIC CONFERENCE
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE MOTION FOR APPROVAL OF TRADE AGREEMENT BETWEEN CANADA AND THE UNITED KINGDOM
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March 3, 1932

Mr. T. A. THOMPSON (Lanark):

Topic:   THE PUBLIC SERVICE
Subtopic:   PROPOSED DEDUCTION OF TEN PER CENT IN INDEMNITIES AND SALARIES
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