Or Fort William. But
my people decided that even if we never had a leader they would trust me to come to the House of Commons rather than a follower of the King administration. It was a most childish argument because I had an able house leader who was not going to desert the party and within nineteen days of my election we were meeting in Winnipeg to select a permanent leader, so I was not going to be an orphan for very long. They wanted to know who was my leader. Let them take a look at him now. We have a leader of the Liberal-Conservative party who is a worthy successor to the great leaders of the past, a man of wide business experience, of the highest legal attainments, of ripe education, a trained parliamentarian, a man of whose service the president of one of our greatest banks could say along with the rest of the directors that they had lost a man whose business experience nationally and internationally was such a great asset that they will suffer an irreparable loss; and the people
The Budget-Mr. Spotton
of Canada will say ,at the earliest opportunity that a man of that type will make a good business manager for this Dominion.
It has been heralded throughout Canada that the Robb budgets have been very popular. I am not boasting; neither on various public platforms nor in private have I boasted of our victory in North Huron. I have been defeated and I have taken my defeat gracefully; I was elected and I took my election modestly; but the latest tribunal to which the Robb budget was submitted was in North Huron on September 12 last. When the Prime Minister came to my constituency he was paraded down our streets with the calliope ahead, and there was with him a stripe of cabinet minister to suit every stripe of elector in my constituency. The matter was placed in this way before the electors by the Prime Minister: "You have an admirable county"-and so we have. The hon. member for South Huron (Mr. McMillan) and I can at least agree with the Prime Minister that the county of Huron is the greatest county in Canada, a little country in itself. We have shipping interests, manufacturing interests, fishing interests; we have great agricultural lands and the finest type of people in this Dominion. There we have practically every class of people that are interested in any great Robb budget. The King administration will not say for a moment that the Robb budget was not fairly placed before the electorate of North Huron. I read this from the Goderich Signal, a Liberal paper:
The ministerial party included the Hon. Lu-cien Cannon, Solicitor General; Hon. J. C. Elliott, Minister of Public Works; Hon. James Malcolm, Minister of Trade and Commerce.
These were just at the one meeting.
Others on the platform were P. G. Sanderson, M.P., South Perth; Wellington Hay, M.P., North Perth; M. F. Hepburn, M.P., West Elgin; W. H. Taylor, M.P. Norfolk-Elgin; Thomas McMillan, M.P., South Huron; W. T. Goodison, M.P., West Lambton: Dr. W. A. Hall, M.P., South Bruce; Senator Rankin, of Stratford; T. Cayley, M.P., South Oxford: W. G. Raymond, ex-M.P., Brantford.
And hosts of others. That was the first shot, Wingham in the afternoon and Goderich at night. We were glad that many of these men stayed in the riding for several weeks. We were pleased to welcome members from all parts of Ontario and even a couple from Quebec. These men were valiant fighters and I have no complaint against them because they had a perfect right to come into our riding. They brought in excellent organizers, some of whom had been there for the six months previous, but as we drew nearer to
the election there came along those fellows who could not look you just as clearly in the eye as could our good friends opposite. The King administration presented the Robb budget and the jury of North Huron spoke. Of course our friends of the government will say: This was an accident; it was a three-cornered contest; that is, like-minded Liberals and Progressives were split and the Tories slipped in between. That is why they keep on whistling to keep their courage up, like the boy going through the cemetery at night. But the fact remains that in 1925, John W. King, a life-long Liberal, stood on the platform and said he was one hundred per cent Progressive, and the Prime Minister of this country sent in a secret message which was placed in every Liberal home telling them to get behind John W. King; that he was as good a supporter of the government as any Liberal. This was supplemented by Liberal organizers and Liberal sinews of war. The contest was so close that the county judge awarded me the seat and the high court judge reversed his decision. So it was not any great accident that occurred on September 12th of last year. If we turn back to the votes in 1896, 1900, 1994, and 1911 in the municipalities which comprise the new riding of North Huron and in which Judge Lewis, Mr. Bowman and Doctor Chisholm used to run, the results were as near a tie as you could get. Just a few months before our by-election on September 12th last, a Liberal member was elected in North Huron -the identical riding which I represent-in the Ontario elections by over 2,000 of a majority. Therefore our friends can take any cold comfort they like. They may point to the war-time election of 1917, but at that time our citizens, regardless of politics, were supporting the Union government. I mention this just to show that when the Robb budget was presented to the jury of North Huron, it received a fair testing out and the Prime Minister said that he would take it as a commendation or a condemnation. In addition to that we had these high pressure salesmen in the riding.
I was twitted with not having a leader, but the Prime Minister only thinks he is leading. He is just being pushed around. If you ask him were he is going, he says: Ask the crowd behind. This administration reminds me of the "Maid of the Mist" down at Niagara Falls. It starts out and it just goes around in a circle: it is not propelled in any way, it is just carried here and there wherever the current takes it, and it lands back at the place it started from. But they are one of the best advertising agencies that Canada ever
The Budget-Mr. Spotton
had, the best advertising agency that I know, and they are so busy advertising that they forget to do a little work. Abraham Lincoln once said of an opponent in a law court who was making a great deal of fuss over nothing, that his friend reminded him of a boat on the Sangamon river that puffed and snorted about. It had a five-foot boiler and a seven-foot whistle, and every time the whistle blew the boat stopped. This administration, it appears to me, are so busy blowing their whistle that they have not had much time to bring forward any real legislation to assist the people in North Huron or elsewhere.
We are told that we have great prosperity in Canada. After the King meeting at Goderich I met a fellow outside and he was counting his money. I said to him: " What are you doing here, Bill? " " Well," he says, " I was a poor man when I went into that meeting but I am a rich man now." He says, " I know I must be because they told me I was, and I have been looking at my one dollar bills and I thought they would have become tens, and I have been looking at my twos and I thought they would have become twenties, and I have been looking at my fives and I thought they would have become fifties, and," he says, " I had a ten and I thought it would have become a hundred, but " he says, " they are here just as they were." He wrote me afterwards that when he returned home he asked his wife if they were prosperous and she said, " No, there are many things which I would like to get. It is costing more to live and we are not getting any more money than we did a few years ago. It may be all right for the very rich in this country, but so far as we are concerned there is no great prosperity here."
Lest I forget, I would just like to tell right now about a class of people who certainly are not prosperous, and that is the rural mail carriers in my riding. The Postmaster General is prosperous, his deputy may be prosperous, the men in his department may be prosperous, but the rural mail carriers in my riding are not prosperous. I cannot understand how in the whole civil service of the Dominion of Canada the poor fellows who drive the old mare and go over the snow banks every day on his majesty's service are the only ones that have to stand up every four years and be shot at, and hired at starvation wages. I know the Postmaster General (Mr. Veniot) will say that we put the routes up to tender, and why do they tender if they do not want the job? I want to say that if the postmaster generalship were advertised to-night, I believe the Postmaster
General would take three or four thousand dollars less a year to hold the job.
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