Personal Data

Conservative (1867-1942)
Huron North (Ontario)
Birth Date
March 23, 1877
Deceased Date
April 20, 1936

Parliamentary Career

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

Most Recent Speeches (Page 54 of 55)

March 15, 1928


Full View Permalink

March 8, 1928


Who built the Grand

Trunk Pacific?

Full View Permalink

March 1, 1928


I will leave it to this house and to the people of Canada if a man who has carried his majesty's mail for fifteen years, and is prepared to go on doing it as cheaply as a new man, should be thrown aside, and the department write to the defeated Liberal candidate to see who's who.

I see the member for North Perth (Mr. Hay), in the house. I do not know whether this route lies in North or South Perth, but I noticed in the press an article that a man was brought up in the city of Stratford by the society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. His horse was in such a condition that the Humane Society took action against him. But when the case came up in the police court and the magistrate found out that he was carrying his majesty's mail daily, keeping up a horse and rig and trying to support a

The Budget-Mr. Spotton

family on $1.75 a day, he dismissed the case. This is no hearsay. I wrote the police magistrate at Stratford and asked him to send me an authoritative clipping from the newspaper, and I have his letter and the clipping here. The same thing has happened on the suburban routes around the city of London, where men have been brought up who were carrying his majesty's mails franked by cabinet ministers and the rest of us who are receiving more salaries than we are worth. With these poor, fellows who are carrying the mails, it is just another case of the man who does the most work getting the least money. The Postmaster General, of course laughs at this. I remember in the chemistry room we used to manufacture a certain thing which caused laughter. But, Mr. Speaker, this is no laughing matter.

As I may not be in the house when the estimates come up, and as the sky seems to be the limit, I should like to make a little plea to the cabinet ministers present on behalf of Goderich harbour. No doubt the country has heard that Goderich has a harbour. That is not part of the Robb budget, but it assisted and supplemented the support given to the Robb budget in North Huron. At a meeting in Goderich Mayor MacEwan presented an address of welcome to the Prime Minister, and this is what the Prime Minister said, according to the Liberal newspaper:

The government of which I have the honour to be the head has paid considerable attention to Goderich harbour-

Then, of course, some of the cabinet ministers sitting there smiled very graciously, you know, as he was speaking; they did not say a word:

*-and in the future the government must continue to pay considerable attention to the harbour here. As head of the government I am pleased, however, to note in the address with which you have welcomed me words of appreciation of the government's work in this connection. Usually things of this kind are taken for granted.

And they should be, Mr. Speaker. Just at this point I wish to say that I hold no brief for our friends to my left, but an unkind attack was made on them yesterday by the Minister of Railways (Mr. Dunning). Oh, how kind and sympathetic he was with like-minded people so long as he needed them, during that period of log-rolling and dickering and dealing, to keep him in power in this house, but the moment he did not need them he scolded them most roundly. On behalf of my friends to my left, I wish to say that the campaign for the United Farmers erf Ontario candidate was conducted largely by the brilliant and able lady who represents Southeast

Grey in this house (Miss Macphail), and they fought in the open; they said the same thing in the country school house that they said at Goderich and in the town of Wingham. But not so with my friends opposite. The Minister of Railways stands up and characterizes us as high protectionists. I was branded as a high protectionist in the campaign; I am not. Some say, as the Globe says that: "follow your convictions" is just as good a slogan as "follow your leader." There have been times when I have not been able to follow my political leader, and that time may come again.

I wish to say, sir, that in my riding, owing to the high pressure salemanship of cabinet ministers cailling on all local manufacturers with that bludgeon called the Robb budget, this Liberal paper was able to say that all the manufacturers and captains of industry, regardless of their politics, were behind the King administration. And yet they had their friends going in and1 out of the farmers' homes calling me a "high protectionist", and a "friend of the manufacturer", and, as I say, the Liberal paper boldly stated that all the captains of industry of Goderich were supporting the King administration. I think the time has about come when this advertising agency will not be able to run with the hare and hunt with the hounds; that they will not be able to pose as protectionists in the towns and cities, and then try to hold us up to ridicule in the rural sections as high protectionists. I represent a farming constituency, and of 274 delegates at our nominating convention I suppose 240 were farmers. I was opposed by a farmer, but the farmers of the constituency said they would trust me to present their case in the House of Commons. I believe that the manufacturer and the farmer are interdependent, I believe that what is good for one will eventually be good for the other; but let me say, as I have said1 in North Huron, if there ever comes a time when their interests Clash, then I am on the side of the farmers and the labouring men of my riding.

I was reading, Mr. Speaker, what our Prime Minister said, that usually these things were taken for granted, but of course they were gifts from a benign government. Let me give his words:

Usually things of this kind are taken for granted, and it is pleasant therefore to have the government's efforts appreciated as you here [DOT] in Goderich have appreciated them.

Another gentleman who followed the Prime Minister said:

If you expect the government to be sympathetic with you, you should show your sympathy with them.

The Budget-Mr. Spotton

As the hon. member for Southeast Grey (Miss Maephail) knows, it was a joke throughout the riding as to whether the Goderich harbour was to receive one quarter, one half, three-quarters of a million, or a million a year. Anyway, the people of Goderich were canvassed from house to house and told that industry would ilag if the Liberal candidate was not elected, so much so that in the town itself a change of nine hundred votes

was made in favour of the Liberal candidate. So you cannot blame Goderich for what the rest of the riding has done. Everything you promised Goderich, Goderich deserves. Goderich harbour is the greatest receiving port in the upper lakes. These figures, taken from the records of the lake shippers' clearance association, bear out my statement that Goderich leads among upper lake ports:








Depot Harbor.. ..




Owen Sound.. ..

Fort Colborne.. .. Port McNicoll.. .. Port Stanley.. ..




Local elevators.. ..


Wheat 79,827,085 Oats 1,138,273 51,524 Barley 9,008,448


4,815,912 4,647,184 1,972,839 748,751 9,639.807 6,654,662 4,130,179 3,232,193 31,044.204 6,286,722 266,000 250,679 1,726,347 4,175,434 4,709,674 134,556 105,000

281,186 300,253 844,389 708,699 1,650,461 209,045 54,544 76.428 10,964 222,582 144,416 796,726 370,248 3,484,562 60,000 55,216 91,342 122,889

164,127,672 5,399,236 14,595,985Flax Bye Total227,070 2,137,213 92,338,089175,665 227,189236,000 236,00073,4704,950,4634,752,1841,972,839863,926 1,612,677480,680 302,535 10,926,790145,000 7,244,331130,121 279,664 6,181,07960,000 107,996 4,479,136507,284 2,883.318 39,569,829197,604 6,544,326321,216459,72433,874 1,906,10750,000 271,589 4,573,4512,615 4,846,1421,866,820 7,225,334 193,215,047

I repeat, Mr. Speaker, Goderich harbour is the greatest receiving port in the upper lakes. It needs public money spent upon it, no matter what political party is in power. Everything that these gentlemen promised publicly, and everything their cohorts promised in private canvassing is all right; I have no objection to it. Goderich needs to be dealt with liberally-and I find in the estimates they have allotted us $9,000! Why, sir, they spent more than that in one ward of my riding. There is a revote of $66,000, making with this $9,000, a total of $75,000. That $66,000 is what the government at another time told the people of Goderich they were to get, but they did not get it. But I know that the Minister of Public Works (Mr. Elliott) appreciates the position. I do not believe that either in public or in private he made any promise about what the government would do about Goderich harbour. But I do know that hangers on, canvassers land other cabinet ministers who had to make good smiled and let it be known that money would be spent there in plenty. Now we ask for Goderich harbour an expenditure which its national importance demands. We ask the government to keep faith to honour their campaign managers' pledges. I am not speaking now unkindly of the hon. member for North Bruce (Mr. Malcolm). We are proud of the three cabinet

ministers from western Ontario. Their constituencies all border around mine, and they are all estimable and capable gentlemen; we are proud of them; they are the best men that could be found within the Liberal ranks. But I cannot forbear a comparison of what is contained in the estimates for public works in North Bruce. Kincardine, where there is nothing but a couple of fishing boats and a few canoes-a passenger boat or a freight boat never enters the harbour except to bring in a little bit of coal-Kincardine got about $16,000 last year. Port Bruce-I do not know where it is, although I know every foot of North Bruce-got $1,023.68. Saugeen river, Where they fish only with pole and line, got $8,994.48. Southampton-never a cargo went out of there since Adam was a boy-got $4,999.21. Stokes bay-where a man has a saw mill-got $3,950.60. I have no ccmplaints about these expenditures, but if the riding of North Bruce is entitled to that amount of money, with no shipping whatever, what should Goderich harbour receive? Judging by what North Bruce got last year and again this year, I may tell my friends in confidence that it looks like a general election. These expenditures are a pretty good barometer.

Now, Mr. Speaker, I should like to add a word about immigration, but as the committee on agriculture and colonization will deal with

The Budget-Mr. Spotton

that-and at the present rate of going it will be the last couple of days of the session-I had better not attempt to deal with it. I have been attending the committee, and I may frankly say that no progress is being made, the work is not being taken up seriously, and it looks to me as though the government was not very anxious that we should reach an investigation of the Immigration department. Immigration is a big problem that will take a long time to consider. A good many people will have to be called tc give evidence, and therefore I think that a more permanent committee would be better able to deal with it.

We are told that there is a great deal of prosperity throughout the country, but each member, regardless of politics, says it cannot be found in his constituency. My hon. friend from Temiscouata (Mr. Pouliot) said that while in his riding the people are equally as prosperous as hon. members opposite would have us believe is the case in the country generally, the boys in his riding went to the United States to make money so they could come back and pay off the mortgage on the old man's house.

Topic:   $ 9,415,291 4,519,690 21,236 $13,956,217 816,487 $14,772,704 2,956,689 4,610,984 135,001 5,982,407 13,685,081 MARCH 1, 192S
Full View Permalink

March 1, 1928


We have also been told that we are emigration agents for the United States. Now, Mr. Speaker, if I had a son twenty-one years old, fully equipped for life, and he came to me and said: "Dad, all my friends who have gone to the United States have made good, and those who have remained here are getting along indifferently with no bright prospects," I would be torn between my love for British institutions and the material welfare of my son. But why should I? For I fancy that about the only time the Prime Minister of Canada (Mr. Mackenzie King) ever went out to seek a living he went to the United States.

Topic:   $ 9,415,291 4,519,690 21,236 $13,956,217 816,487 $14,772,704 2,956,689 4,610,984 135,001 5,982,407 13,685,081 MARCH 1, 192S
Full View Permalink

March 1, 1928

Mr. GEORGE SPOTTON (North Huron):

Mr. Speaker, in attempting to address the house for the first time I am sure I shall have your kindly sympathy, and if I transgress any parliamentary rule I know you will reprove me in a fatherly fashion.

Inasmuch as this is my first appearance in parliament I suppose it would be quite in order for me to congratulate you, Mr. Speaker, upon your re-election as speaker of the house. From what I have observed you have always displayed the most admirable qualities of heart and head, and have always held the scales of justice evenly. May I take this opportunity also to thank all the members of the house for the kindly manner in which they have received me.

A feeling of deep regret and sorrow creeps over me when I realize that I am simply filling out the term of the late lamented John W. King, who was elected for the constituency of North Huron in the federal election of 1926. The late Mr. King and I were opponents in 1921 when the Progressive movement was at its height. We were again opponents in 1925 when the courts had to decide who should take a seat in this house. Whether in the heat of election, or otherwise, I found the late lamented member a man who stood four-square to all the winds that blow. I am sure, Mr. Speaker, that in voicing my own feeling with respect to him who was called home I am expressing the sentiments of everyone in North Huron. We feel that our county is the poorer for his death and that Canada has lost one of her noblest sons.

In the few remarks I purpose making I hope that my friends on this side will not expect too much from me, and I trust that even if hon. gentlemen opposite do not agree with me they will at least be sympathetic. I wish to tell them that I am always open to conviction.

We have been hearing a great deal of late about a deliverance which has been heralded from the Atlantic to the Pacific as the Robb budget. It appears that the budget is an

annual event, and opinions differ a great deal with respect to it. Evidently the present government feel that every time the budget comes down there must be some tinkering with the tariff. I should like to see a tariff which would possess some element of permanency and remain in operation for at least a period of five or ten years so that the manufacturers of this country would know where they stood and would not always have a club held over their heads.

When I look into the faces of some of the ministers who visited our riding during the last election I recall the fact that I was told on the hustings that I had some nerve to be a candidate for the great Liberal-Conservative party because that party had no leader. The Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) himself when he came to the constituency with his troop emphasized the idea very strongly that it was rather audacious on my part as an humble citizen, a native eon of Huron, to put myself up as a candidate because I had no leader. Well, we reminded him, Mr. Speaker, that he had directed the affairs of this government from the gallery for a time. We reminded him also that we had as temporary leader a parliamentarian of wide experience, and if that gentleman was to be permanent leader I would be quite satisfied and so would my constituents. I was asked whether I was going to follow a man from Calgary or from Montreal or from Guelph.

Topic:   $ 9,415,291 4,519,690 21,236 $13,956,217 816,487 $14,772,704 2,956,689 4,610,984 135,001 5,982,407 13,685,081 MARCH 1, 192S
Full View Permalink