George SPOTTON

SPOTTON, George

Personal Data

Party
Conservative (1867-1942)
Constituency
Huron North (Ontario)
Birth Date
March 23, 1877
Deceased Date
April 20, 1936
Website
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Spotton
PARLINFO
http://www.parl.gc.ca/parlinfo/Files/Parliamentarian.aspx?Item=ba3650e7-a4d8-4fb8-8d43-805b396ec85a&Language=E&Section=ALL
Profession
businessman

Parliamentary Career

September 12, 1927 - May 30, 1930
CON
  Huron North (Ontario)
July 28, 1930 - August 14, 1935
CON
  Huron North (Ontario)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 3 of 55)


April 2, 1935

Mr. SPOTTON:

Well "reciprocity" is only a word. We might as well say "man," but there are different types of men. We might say "Do you like apples?" "Well, some kinds of apples." The word "reciprocity" does not mean anything unless there is some equitable trading arrangement behind it.

Speaking of the Liberal party-and when I say "the Liberal party" I want it to be understood that I am speaking not of the Liberal party at large in the country or of all hon. members on the other side

of the house, but of the men who are temporarily in control-I wish to say this to the country: The same old crowd that

was cast aside in 1930 are in control of the Liberal party to-day. If this government is defeated the people know just exactly whom they are getting back.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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April 2, 1935

Mr. SPOTTON:

That was July 14, 1930.

I do not think I will take up the time of the house discussing the Fordney-McCumber tariff, the Hawley-Smoot tariff, or other tariffs. I am just going to leave it to the country that

The Budget-Mr. Spotton

the greatest finance minister Canada ever had, according to the Liberals, made this statement in the midst of the last election:

All major European markets are now closed to us as a result of prohibitive tariffs following the -war. Only one market remains-the British market. If we lose it, there is no other market. Losing it, Saskatchewan farmers would be ruined. Are we in danger of losing it? Yes, 1929 proved unless we act now. How can we secure and hold the British market? There is only one answer.

And I will not read any further. But he states clearly and definitely from period to period that one observation which I wish to read to the house. I am going to make my own speech, such as it is, but for the benefit of the member for all Vancouver I shall read that first paragraph again:

All major European markets are now Closed to us as a result of prohibitive tariffs following the war.

And then the next:

Only one market remains-the British market.

I shall be glad to show my hon. friend the paper. In fact I am going to have it photographed so that all may be able to see it.

I can well remember some years ago in the house when, the leader of the opposition used always to speak about "us like-minded people." That is the time he was courting the Progressives. I can well remember that he twitted me as being a minority member in the house because "us like-minded people" had divided.

To come back to my leader, I would like to leave this one thought with the younger people of Canada. In 1911, the present Prime Minister, in seconding the address, placed before the house practically every piece of forward and upward looking legislation that we have had during the last two sessions. I do not know that I shall take the time to read his remarks in full.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
Full View Permalink

April 2, 1935

Mr. SPOTTON:

I hear the professor again, but don't blame him, Mr. Speaker; it is his profession. We have always been told by these Liberal spellbinders that the Conservative party was owned body and soul by the big interests. Yet we have it from the leader of the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation, speaking in Kingston, that he thanked God and took courage that the Right Hon. R. B. Bennett was the first leader of either of the major parties that had ever attacked capitalism. And I am glad too, as a humble member who was elected by a farming constituency, and by the way at a by-election. We have heard so much about by-elections

The Budget-Mr. Spotton

[DOT]this session that I suppose it will not be out of order for me to refer back to the last administration. They lost a by-election once when they had eleven cabinet ministers in the riding, also Hon. Duncan Marshall, Hon. Nelson Parliament and every Liberal member, I think, of the Ontario house and of the legislature in Quebec. They brought in the whole circus, the calliope and the whole troupe. They brought in the Minister of Finance to hold up the treasury of Canada in the one hand and the credit of Canada in the other, and told them just to ask for what they wanted. But they lost that by-election. I am not twitting them over it or boasting about it, because I have often lost myself; and I think I have been a good loser just as I have striven to be a modest winner. But when the Liberals lost that by-election they did not say that the Liberal government was discredited and should immediately go before the people. I was twitted by the then Prime Minister that I was a minority candidate. I wish to say to him to-day that he has never been other than a minority prime minister in this country. I listened to him in the 1925 election when he made great promises, and in my opinion, Mr. Speaker, he is the record promise-breaker in Canadian history. He promised that if after that election he did not have a clear majority in the House of Commons he would refuse to carry on because he had in the back of his head, and in a book, beneficent legislation which the Progressive group had not permitted him to put upon the statute books. Well, he went to the country 116 strong and came back 101 strong, and yet his lust of office was so great that he broke that pledged word, and by the way gave me several votes from Liberals who had heard him make that promise.

He also said that he was going to reform or abolish the senate, and I remember that he brought with him to my county a concrete example, as it were, the late Senator MoCoig, who stood up after the right hon. gentleman had made that declaration of reforming or abolishing the senate and said, "Yes, it was upon that understanding I was made a senator." He was to do the bidding of Bunty when Bunty pulled the strings. But we heard nothing more about the reform or abolition of the senate.

We listened the other day to the Labour member from East Hamilton (Mr. Mitchell) putting on Hansard planks from the Liberal platform of 1919, sixteen years ago, and it has remained for this government to put most of those planks into operation. That platform declared for limiting the hours of work 92582-152

to eight per day and forty-eight per week, along with a weekly day of rest of at least twenty-four hours. That promise was not fulfilled, but that legislation has been placed upon the statute books of Canada by this government. The Liberal platform of 1919 also called for:

Abolition of child labour and the imposition of limitation ^ of the labour of young persons to assure their proper education and physical development;

Abolition of sweatshops by setting legal standards for conditions of labour which should have due regard for the equitable economic treatment of all workers;

Industrial control to safeguard workers' interests and shape industrial policies;

An adequate insurance against unemployment, sickness, dependence in old age and other disabilities:

Steps to overcome questions of jurisdiction between the dominion, and the provinces on these matters;

And the right hon. leader of the opposition is still harping on that subject to-day, and saying that we should not pass the unemployment insurance measure until that question of jurisdiction has been determined. The Liberal platform also declared for government action to deal with the high cost of living, and so on, and so on. I just wish to point out, Mr. Speaker, that mo prime minister ever attained office by so many promises and fulfilled so few as the right hon. gentleman opposite. I am glad that this government has the stability and the gumption and the courage to place on the statute books in an orderly manner this legislation for which the people have been asking.

In a small measure I pledged myself when I was first elected that I would go out and do battle against the combines which had been formed under the King administration, 120 in number, and embracing 550 firms. My own town was ruined through them. It was during the Liberal administration, when the Liberals were saying that they were the friends of the masses, that trusts and combines flourished as they never had done before. In my first speech in this house I attacked the packing houses and the stock yards, the department stores and chain stores. In season and out of season I have done my little part to create an atmosphere so that some day this whole matter should be fully investigated. As we talked over the line fence or the garden gate we thought we knew what was going on, but as it says in the good book, we know now in part, and some day we shall know in -full. And now, Mr. Speaker, we do know in full from the accountants and the auditors and the bookkeepers, from the presidents and general managers of these firms testifying under oath,

The Budget-Mr. Spotton

Railway contractor to run an election, and the sons of those old pioneers now lick their lips and smile to think how smart their party was, when by a secret order in council, when this house was in session, they enabled the Liberal party to get $720,000 for campaign purposes. Yet they go about the land as Simon Pure apostles.

But let us take the evidence that we get from the independent comer. The hon. member for Wetaskiwin (Mr. Irvine), speaking in Toronto, made certain statements which I am going to quote. There they were carrying slogans on the trucks: "Beat Bennett; vote against Tommy Church"-because Bennett was a millionaire. But they did not use that language in North York where there was a millionaire behind every bush. However, this is what the hon. member for Wetaskiwin1 said:

"Beat Bennett" not C.C.F. plan.

William Irvine, M.P., warned that the C.C.F. was not interested in any plan to "beat Bennett."

"Mr. Bennett has been a far better Prime Minister than Mr. King. Voting only to 'beat Bennett' would make fools of us."

"Bennett has been turned out by St. James street because last year he gave us the best legislation in fifty years," asserted the speaker. "I'm not supporting him; don't mistake me. The only thing we have in common is that we both eat. But the new measures he introduced challenge the power of St. James street. That's why they're through with Bennett. And that's why you should vote to 'beat King,' as he's on the job for them now."

These are not my words but the words of an independent member of this house. Then I would quote the opinion of the talented lady member for Southeast Grey (Miss Macphail), who said that Mr. King could do nothing in grander style than any person she had ever known.

I am not going to attempt to preserve any continuity in this speech but I am going to discuss a few things which we notice in the press. None of the members here would say some of these things, and I know that no United Farmer in Ontario would say them, but there are Liberal candidates and some Liberal speakers, mostly from the west, who do not know the temperament of the people of Ontario, and they have said that the Prime Minister refused to see the farmers who came to Ottawa. Well, there are many members here who accompanied that delegation. I was asked to introduce a deputation to the Prime Minister, and as we went into that meeting we were handed pamphlets, one of which I have in my possession, that set out the different orders of business. This deputation, at a particular hour, was to wait on the Prime Minister. We were an hour

late, but the Prime Minister-and some Liberal gentlemen were with us-gave us a hearing. It is true he refused to go down and address the meeting; that was not a part of the arrangement. The arrangement was that he should meet a deputation, a committee from that meeting. I know whereof I speak because I introduced the deputation, and I shall be glad to have my statement backed up by the United Farmers of Ontario. He refused to go to the coliseum, but he did not refuse, as arranged, to meet the deputation, and he did see the committee that was appointed. The United Farmers of Ontario are not kicking about this, but there are Liberals who are striving to make political capital by falsifying the premier.

A former minister of trade and commerce used to say that the Liberal government kept the dollar at par. I wonder what he would say now that this government, during this period of stress and strain, has brought the dollar above par. Is not this government to get some credit for the fact that, whereas in 1930 the superstatesmen left uE the sixth trading nation in the world, we are now fifth? Is it not to the credit of the government and of the country that we had such a financial genius to steady the financial structure of Canada? What does it matter if you gain the whole world and lose your own soul? What does it matter if you own the city of Ottawa and the Dominion of Canada is bankrupt, as we are told many western provinces are? The credit of Canada has been preserved, and it is sounder to-day than it has ever been since confederation. If it were not so the Prime Minister would be blamed for it; and when it is so should he not get some little credit for it?

There is another matter I must refer to. Campaigners have been going through Ontario saying that this government has clogged the channels of trade. Let me quote what Mr. Dunning wrote in a Liberal campaign paper. He said:

All major European markets are now closed to us as a result of prohibitive tariffs following the war.

There is Charlie's picture and there is Charlie's signature.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
Full View Permalink

April 2, 1935

Mr. SPOTTON:

At school I always noticed that the fellow who walked around with a chip on his shoulder wouldn't fight. I never saw the fellow around the barroom who took off his coat and rolled up his sleeves, fighting. I never boasted that I would be back; I do not know whether I will or not. That rests with my people, but I do know this, that from headquarters here they have sent up their chief-well one of the fellows in my riding calls him the chief statis-ishun; he got the word "statistician" mixed up-in the last ten days saying that Barkis was willing if they would give him the nomination. But I have nothing to say as to who will have it; that is not my job.

In 1911 twenty four years ago the present Prime Minister said in this house:

Too often it has been found that child labour and the work which has been undertaken, especially by married women, in the older countries has involved a loss of vital force in the succeeding generation, and' we Canadians- we in this young country-must, it seems to me, if we are true to our best traditions, realize that at best we hold this great land with its brilliant opportunities and its splendid resources as trustees for that posterity which will one day weigh us up in judgment 'for the manner in which we have discharged the trust reposed in us.

I do not think there has been a time in the history of the Canadian people when it was more apparent that we should have a band of trained experts capable of gathering at first hand full and accurate information for the benefit of the Canadian farmer, manufacturer and' workman than in the election that has just passed.

In my judgment, in this complex civilization of ours, the great struggle of the future will be between human rights and the property interests; and it is the duty and the function ot government to provide that there shall be no undue regard for the latter that limits or lessens the other.

It is of transcendent importance that this house and this parliament should be seized of the fact that the people demand that some tribunal shall be created that will have control over the extent of the issue of securities by public utility companies, and that the capitalization of industrial concerns should bear some just proportion to the outlay, and to the physical value of the enterprise which it represents.

It is essential that we in Canada, as the greatest partner, should extend our trade so far as possible among the British dominions and with the motherland.

The Budget-Mr. Spotton

If any hon. member has any doubt, I will give him a report of that speech. I would also refer him to a speech for which I thank the hon. member for Labelle (Mr. Bourassa). We in Ontario thought him a very fiery politician in days of old, but I am glad to know he was fair enough from his place in the house to pay a tribute to the sincerity of o'ur leader, the Prime Minister of Canada.

I would like to have said a word or two about the Farmers' Creditors Arrangement Act, but I will give just one incident that happened in a neighbouring county the other day. A young farmer was bowed down with a first mortgage of 85,000 with 8800 accumulated interest, and was paying six and a half per cent to some money Shylock. He had a second mortgage of $1,000 with $400 accumulated interest and was paying six per cent on it. Each year his back was bowed down by a burden of $461 of interest. The $5,800 mortgage was reduced to S5,000 and he gets that for five years at three per cent. The $1,400 mortgage was reduced to $1,200 and he gets that for ten years at two per cent, so that instead of having an interest burden of $461, which no farmer could bear, he went home happy making a new start in life with an interest charge of $174. I wish to thank the Minister of Finance on behalf of the farmers of Ontario, who have been turned down coldly on the word of the deputy minister of agriculture for Ontario, for increasing the amount to $90,000,000.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
Full View Permalink

April 2, 1935

Mr. GEORGE SPOTTON (North Huron):

Mr. Speaker-

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
Full View Permalink