January 22, 1914


Frederick Laurence Schaffner

Conservative (1867-1942)


fortune to have received the felicitations of the great statesman of Canada who leads this Opposition (Sir Wilfrid Laurier).

I wish, as I come from one of the smaller provinces of this great Dominion, to call your attention and the attention of the House to, one of the first remarks of the mover of the Address, the hon. member for York (Mr. McLeod 1, in reference to redistribution, the subject which forms perhaps the most vital part of the speech from the Throne. The hon. member for York has expressed his views upon the principle of representation by population in this House of Commons. He has not altogether expressed the views which some from the Maritime provinces have urged in the past. Owing to unforeseen events since the Fathers of Confederation adopted the system of representation by population, we are to lose some of our representation. My hon. friend has admitted that we have no legal status, but he intimated that something might be done in sympathy with our position. I thought we might have learned that it was his intention or that the suggestion might have been made to him that in the Redistribution Bill some possible remedy might be introduced for the province of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, which has not yet been defined, but which might possibly again be found a just cause for the postponement of the Redistribution Bill for another session, if we are not to have an election this summer. I for one have always entertained the opinion that it is better for the Maritime provinces, for the smaller bodies of this Dominion, to be very careful before departing from any of the fundamental principles of the British North America Act. I know that these views are supported in the province of New Brunswick by men of the most intelligent class in that province. They feel that the future development of this country depends not on such questions as representation in Parliament, but upon the development of the resources of this great country, to which jjjiere is no limit, and I, standing in the province of New Brunswick, viewing our great harbours, through which will flow the products of the great West, feel just as much pride as does the farmer in the West who surveys every morning his endless wheat fields from which he will reap a crop which will be the astonishment of other countries. We should cease finding fault with the Fathers of Confederation, more especially as the Fathers of Confederation, in anticipation of the preponderance of the West in the future, did net. confine the


Maritime provinces or the smaller provinces to representation in this House alone, but provided that they should have a fixed representation - in the Upper Chamber, in the Senate, in compensation for the sacrifices which the Fathers of Confederation from the Maritime provinces had to make for their people, and that representation in the Upper Chamber is just as essential to us as our representatives in the House of Commons. Our representation in the Senate is to be equal to that of Ontario or that of Quebec, or of all the western provinces combined, and therefore I find reason to believe that the Fathers of Confederation had foreseen the marvellous future development of the West. Twenty-five or thirty years before Confederation, Joseph Howe, from the city of Halifax, foresaw a new British Empire in those prairies of the West, together with the great resources of British Columbia, and was predicting that, perhaps before the century waS over, the centre of the empire would be transferred to the very middle land of Canada between the Atlantic and the Pacific oceans.

At six o'clock, the House took recess.

The House resumed at eight o'clock


Onésiphore Turgeon



(Sir Wilfrid Laurier) when he was leading this Government. The provinces for some years had been clamouring for an increase in their subsidies, asking for more money to spend on their roads and upon education and this demand came more particularly from the Maritime provinces. Before changing the principle with regard to provincial subsidies the Prime Minister of that day (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) called an Interprovincial conference composed of the Premiers of all the provinces of the Dominion and he told them that if they agreed upon one principle the Government would ask the Imperial Parliament to make a change based upon such agreement. They came to an agreement and the policy laid down by the Prime Minister of that day was carried out. But the premiers of the provinces, during the conference last October, were not able to agree upon such a principle. We have had some reference during the present discussion to the question of subsidies. The premiers agreed upon the necessity of granting further subsidies to the Maritime provinces, but there is nothing in the speech from the Throne which mentions that part of the proceedings of the Interprovincial Conference. I would have been pleased to have seen something in the speech from the Throne giving some hope that that part of the proceedings of the Interprovincial Conference would be looked into. Such an announcement may, let us hope, come before the end of the session. I sincerely hope that it will, but so far we are at a loss to know whether the Government of the day is willing to entertain the unanimous recommendation of the premiers of the provinces for an increase of these subsidies.

Meanwhile, do not think that I am indifferent to the position which may be created for the provinces by this diminution of representation. Perhaps if I were to view this question from a party standpoint I might say-although I do not say it with the intention of blaming the Government in advance-that it is most likely that it will be the Liberal party that will be affected most seriously by the change of representa-[DOT] tion owing to the Act of Confederation. Meanwhile we are willing to submit to it. It is not with indifference that I take up that point and recommend it to my fellow countrymen and to the people of the Maritime provinces in whatever position they may be. In anticipation of the possibility that the representation might be decreased in certain portions of the Dominion, the fathers of Confederation inserted a provi-

[Mr. Turgeonl.

sion in the British North America Act guaranteeing as far as possible the representation which the provinces acquired at the time of their entrance into Confederation. It is provided by section 51 of the British North America Act that:

On any such readjustment the number of members for a province shall not be reduced unless the proportion which the number of the population of the province bore to the number of the aggregate population of Canada at the then last preceding readjustment of the number of members for the province is ascertained, at the then last census, to be diminished by one-twentieth part or upwards.

This means that although the Maritime provinces might not perhaps possess the unit of representation made necessary by the unit of representation in the province of Quebec, there is still the safeguard that unless the population of the provinces is diminished by more than one-twentieth as compared with the figures of the preceding census-not with the first census taken after Confederation, or after two or three decades, but the last census-these provinces shall keep the representation which they possessed at the time. Therefore, I wish to call the attention of the Government to that point. It is more particularly in order to call the attention of the ministers and of the members of any committtee which may be formed to look into a redistribution of seats in this House that I have undertaken to speak on that question this evening.

I ask the Prime Minister, who represents Nova Beotia, and I ask the Minister of Marine (Mr. Hazen), who represents New Brunswick, to take care that they safeguard the interests of their native provinces, and, if in the computation to be made there is any chance of one member holding his seat in New Brunswick or Nova Scotia by the operation of this saving clause in the British North America Act, then I ask that it be applied. I know that our population is very close to the necessary number and I trust that the computation may be carefully made so that we shall be justly dealt with. There can be no object in delaying further the introduction of the Redistribution Bill and pressing it to a conclusion at the present session. If only one-half of the people in the Maritime provinces, who are in the United States to-day, had stayed at home, we would have the necessary number of people to give us full representation in this Parliament. We have invited the citizens of the world to come to our shores and we have filled up the West, but in time to come that huge volume of

immigration must lessen or cease altogether, and then, when in the future we have to depend upon the natural increase of population, I believe the Maritime provinces will be able to maintain the standard of representation which was allotted to them at Confederation. We have been in a rather unfortunate position in the Maritime provinces, because in the early days of Confederation when wooden ships were superseded by steel ships, thousands of our people were thrown out of employment at home and they had to seek their means of livelihood in the United States.

Let me say, Sir, that I look with hope to the day when the island of Newfoundland will be included in the Dominion of Canada and when will be consummated that grand idea of rounding out the union of all the British people in North America. I urge upon every member of the House the importance of securing by all proper means the inclusion of Newfoundland in Confederation, for our benefit as well as for the benefit of Canada, and especially of the Maritime provinces. The interests of the Maritime provinces and the interests of Newfoundland are cognate in many respects, and should the ancient colony come into Confederation with a representation of ten or twelve members in this House, and her share of representation in the Senate, then, Sir, tire Maritime provinces would become a powerful entity in this Parliament. I quite understand that to induce Newfoundland to enter Confederation is not an easy task now, but I do regret that the efforts in the past which at one time seemed near to being crowned with success proved futile, and especially do I regret it because of the fact that on one occasion only a sum of half a million dollars stood in the way, a sum which to the Dominion of Canada at the present day is of comparatively small account. Now that we are thinking of establishing a navy, the inclusion of Newfoundland with its hardy maritime population becomes a matter of prime importance. I know of my own personal knowledge that the best people in Newfoundland, the professional men, the clergy of all denominations, are educating the people of that island to appreciate that the destiny of their colony is to become one of the provinces of this prosperous Dominion. For my part I would rather see New Brunswick or Nova Scotia represented here by ten or eleven members, holding their seats by the strength of the constitution, than by thirteen members holding their seats by the 81

charity of the West or the sympathy of Canada. We want to be here by the right of the people and the right of the constitution. We do not want to be here otherwise. We do not want to encroach upon any principle of the constitution, nor do we want to encroach upon the rights of any other province of the Dominion of Canada. I hope that after this debate is concluded the Government will bring down the Redistribution Bill. I expect that the redistribution will be made in all fairness to every party and every province. The Government, in bringing down this measure, will at least be acting according to the constitution, as it should have been done last year, if not two years ago. According to the constitution it should have been done immediately after the figures of the census were obtained, so that the country might be ready for an election.

After speaking in regard to immigration, my hon. friend the mover of the Address (Mr. McLeod) spoke of the Transcontinental railway as it affects New Brunswick. He spoke of the Transcontinental railway having been brought down through the middle of the province of New Brunswick as a great mistake. While I am on this question of redistribution, I must say that this railway is of advantage for this very reason alone, the increase of our population, the opening of our territory to the people in order to bring more population to the centre of the province. New Brunswick has its population to-day merely scattered along the boundaries of the province between Nova Scotia round the north shore, and between the province of Quebec and the state of Maine. We have immense areas of virgin forest lands which have seen no homes yet. By introducing the railway to the centre of the province we are opening up that portion of the province to the lumbering interests and the farming interests, and are thus bringing in many people. We have increased our population already by bringing the Transcontinental railway to the centre of the province. That was one of the considerations which, I remember, the right hon. the leader of the Government of that day (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) took into account, namely, that it would bring more population to New Brunswick, which we desired so much, and which we needed to retain our representation.

I shall not speak of the other advantages, which would accrue to the provinces of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island as well, by the building of a branch line from either one point or another to St. John, New Brunswick. It would connect St. John

by the centre as well as by the other route. It seems strange to me that the hon. member for York (Mr. McLeod) blames the Government of that day so much, because the railway has gone through the centre of the province of New Brunswick, a province the interest of which I am sure he has as much at heart as myself. He ought to see that the representation, the very principle upon which he is working to-day, would be greatly benefited by the increase of population in that district.

He has spoken of the forests which were destroyed by fire owing to the railroad going through. Railroads go through other forests in the Maritime provinces and through other forest areas in Canada. At the same time, I would sooner see the immense forest area of New Brunswick in danger of fire caused by railroads than see it without any railroad at all, because, if the railroad was to set fire to the forest traversed by it, you would be sure to have quick communication and speedy assistance, and you would be able to control the fire; whereas you have not been able to do that in large forests where there is no communication of any kind. In northern New Brunswick, before the building of the Intercolonial, you

had the Miramichi fire, which destroyed millions and millions of feet of lumber of the best quality. There was no railroad, no communication, and you had to wait until the elements were able to subdue the activity of the fire. Since the Intercolonial has been built fires have done some small damage, but they have been stopped at once, and the same would happen in the centre of the province.

My hon. friend from York (Mr. McLeod), who moved the Address, is a man of many virtues and good qualities. He is a man who recognizes no limitations; and as the speech from the Throne was not big enough for his ambition, he would not be bound by its subjects, but went further afield. He discussed the Highways Bill of last session and the session before. Following what we have heard from the other side of the House during last session, he has blamed the Senate for having killed the Highways Bill, which was to be so beneficial to the province of New Brunswick, from which he comes, as well as to the other provinces. As I said a short time ago, it was merely in the exercise of one of their protective functions, the protection of provincial rights, the protection of the Constitution, that the Senate made an amendment which would have rendered the Bill constitutional, which would have made it fair to every province in the Dominion, and which would have preserved the rights of provincial governments, whether Conservative or Liberal. The Senate has the custody of the rights of the provinces under the Constitution, and the Constitution states positively that road-building and road-structure belong to the provinces. We only asked that they be left to the provinces, and an amendment to that effect was moved on this side cf the House. The right hon. the leader of the Government replied that it was his intention to do so. We asked him to put his intentions in black and white in the Bill. The Prime Minister and the hon. Minister of Railways and Canals refused to do that. The Bill went to the Senate, and a majority of the Senate took the same ground as we did and added the same amendment. It is said that the majority was a servile majority. If there was any servility, it was servility to the Constitution.

No senator would be true to his mission unless he intelligently and conscientiously exercised that function when he felt it his duty to do so. The Senate put the matter down in black and white; the Bill was referred back to this House, and the amendment was rejected by the Government. It would be better for the provinces to wait a year or two than that the money should be given them against the provisions of the constitution. The hon. member for York (Mr. McLeod) said that it would have been a great benefit to the farmers of his province to have obtained that money for the improvement of their roads. The matter was debated in this House, and I do not wish to go over it again, but I would call the attention of hon. gentlemen to the fact that while the Minister of Railways and Canals and the right hon. the Prime Minister said that the money would be distributed to the provinces according to their population and under their own supervision, when the Bill went to the Senate the representative of the Government in that body put upon the Bill an interpretation different from that of the Prime Minister and of the Minister of Railways and Canals. Mr. Senator Lougheed, who addressed the Senate on behalf of the Government side on May 22, 1913, as reported in the Senate Debates, page 661, had this to say:

It seems to me that hon. gentlemen who have been performing the role of critics of this Bill have a very great misconception of the policy, the nature and the origin of the Bill.


Hon. gentlemen seem to be obsessed, if I may use that term in its more courteous sense, with the idea that a great constitutional wrong has been done not only to the province but to the Senate of Canada by the Government in the introduction of this Bill. Hon. gentlemen seem to be equally obsessed by the idea that a very great discourtesy has been extended by the Government of Canada to the Senate on account of their failure to attach that importance which certain gentlemen think should be attached to this amendment which the Senate made to the Bill last year. If hon. gentlemen will look at the preamble of the Bill they should come to a different conclusion than that which they apparently have arrived at as the object of this Bill. If they will observe the language in the preamble of the Bill they will find that this is not a local undertaking. This has not for its object the improvement of roads in a particular municipality, or group of municipalities. It is not intended for a moment that this assistance should be given to the ordinary highway in a local sense.

Then I direct the attention of hon.

gentlemen to the first clause of the Bill in which this is entitled the Canadian Highways Improvement Act. A proper distinction should be drawn between the BUI and the meaning which hon. gentlemen are disposed^ to attach to it. Hon. gentlemen seem to think that the Government of the day in its generosity has suddenly come to the conclusion that municipalities should be helped and that the provinces should be helped only so far as the development of local highways is concerned. But there is a larger object than that in view. The Government has the object in view set out in the preamble of the Bill. I maintain that while highways in their local sense are peculiarly provincial undertakings, that this is more than a provincial undertaking. This is an interprovincial and national undertaking and does not come within that class of cases referred to by my hon. friends, and particularly the hon. gentleman from He Lorimer, who cited to us last night section 92 of the British North America Act, in which he sought to bring this undertaking under subsection 10 of section 92, and within the language local works and undertakings.'

Another interpretation, therefore, was placed upon the Bill by a member of the Government in the Senate: an interpretation which had not been given in this House, and which would seem to make it impossible for the farmers living along the byways and byroads of any of the provinces to have obtained the benefit of a single dollar of that money if the Bill had passed and the money had been appropriated according to the views of the hon. gentleman of the Senate from whose remarks I have quoted. I ask the hon. member for York, who pitied the farmers of his constituency because they have not been given that money, would that money have been of any benefit to his friends the farmers of York, or to the farmers of Gloucester, Queens and Sunbury, or any of the other portions of the province? It is not the farmer who lives

within a few miles of a town or city who need this money the most; it is those who have to go from ten to twelve miles over roads that are sometimes impassable, who should obtain the benefit of any money to be appropriated for the improvement of roads. If the recommendation of the Interprovincial Conference is put into effect by this Government, the money given to the provincial governments will be used on behalf of the farmers who particularly want it, and therefore it will pay the-farmers to have waited a year or two to get the money in the way they want it.

There are other considerations which demand the attention of the people of this country. We have heard a great deal during the last few years about reciprocity with the United States. We know that the arrangement which was made by the late Government did not meet with the sanction of the people on September 21, 1911. Although the majority of the people, for many causes and because of many influences, did not appear to approve that policy at that time, I still maintain with all respect that the verdict of the people was a popular error-an error for which the people of Canada have already repented, and which they are ready to repair at the earliest opportunity. I am convinced, although the verdict of the people was against reciprocity, that if the question had been given a fair trial; if the reciprocity pact alone had been 'onsidered; if the question had not been diverted by other considerations, the result would have been different. In the meantime, things have changed. The United States has taken action, and in this country we are confronted with conditions which have changed considerably during the last few years. My right hon. friend the leader of the Opposition has made an offer, as leader of the Liberal party-a leader who has always stood by the principles of true Liberalism-he has told the people of Canada in a speech at Hamilton that he would advocate, free food for Canada-that is food free from customs duties.

The Minister of Finance, the day before yesterday, did not consider very favourably the proposition; he did not, in 9 p.m. my estimation, treat it with the seriousness and the consideration with which he should have treated it as coming from the greatest Canadian statesman of the day. Meanwhile, under the circumstances in which we are situated, with an increasing cost of living and with a great number of our working men out of employment, my right hon. friend, in his

policy of free food or food free from duty for the masses of the people of Canada, has a determined follower in the person of the member from Gloucester. They say: but you have been promising the farmers of Canada a larger market. Yes, we have been promising the farmers a large market and we would have given them the greatest market that any country can look for, a market of ninety five millions of people, which was refused to them by the erroneous policy of the Government supporters in defeating the reciprocity agreement. To-day the right hon. leader of the Opposition appealed for free food for the people and the Minister of Finance says: What effect would it have on conditions? He says that the tariff is not the cause of the increased cost of living. It is not the only cause but it is certainly one of the causes and one of those causes which can be removed at any moment by the action, not of this Parliament, but of the Cabinet itself by the removal of the prevailing duty on wheat and flour. It will not remedy everything but it will remedy one great burden which weighs on the shoulders of the people, more particularly on the working classes who, like the farmers, earn their bread and the bread of their families by the sweat of their brows, the workingmen in the factories, the men on the railroads, the men in the merchant marine of Canada, the men working at days wages. During the last fiscal year the workingmen have paid into the treasury of Canada an amount of over $10,000,000 of duty upon food introduced into Canada for the sustenance of the Canadian people. You must add to that $10,000,000, as was well illustrated by the scientific member for Red Deer (Mr. Clark), the other day, a profit of 25 per cent or 33 per cent which the importer will add to the cost of the food he imports and then you have another $2,000,000 or $3,000,000 to add to that $10,000,000. There is, therefore, in the customs duty upon food for the masses of the people of Canada during a portion of the year, the winter season, when the supply of food from Canada is bound to get short, $13,000,000 that, by the removal of the duty, you can spare to the people and more particularly to the class of wage earners. That class compose the largest portion of the population and they also consume the largest quantity of food products. The poor man has at his table a larger number to feed than the rich man and, therefore, though his table may be more modestly .

served, it is as expensively served as the table of the rich man with two or three children, and while you save. $15,000,000 or $16,000,000 for the people you have done something towards reducing the high cost of living. This is particularly necessary in a period of depression in business and in trade, when you have a lack of work in Toronto, Montreal, Eegina and every other city in the Dominion. Under these circumstances, certainly one of the best remedies that can be employed and one which can be applied at once is the removal of the duties on food stuffs, and then we can look for other remedies.

The Minister of Finance talks of education and he says his Government did a great deal last year because it voted $1,000,000 for the education of the farmers of Canada. I submit that the farmers of Canada need, in many respects, more education, but that cannot be done in six months, in three months or in three years. It is a matter of time to give education to the the farmers, and it will have to be made permanent and to be made effectual. The hon. member told the House that his Government had been ahead of the leader of the Opposition (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) in this respect. He ignores the fact that four years ago the Liberal party and Liberal Government created that Commission on Technical Education which has gone around the world and is preparing a report which I am sure, when it is published, will command the admiration of the people of Canada and will result in the establishment of a real system of technical education for farmers as well as for mechanics. But all of that will take time, that is, for the generation that is growing. It is not a remedy for the conditions of to-day. However, I claim that the Liberal Government must be given the credit of having appointed that Commission in consideration of the conditions existing in Canada. They say that production is not sufficient to meet consumption. I admit it, but the best way to increase production would be to give a market, and, four years ago, the Liberal party, under the supervision of its devoted and admired chief, asked the country to accept an agreement with the greatest market in the world, the United States, by which our people would have all the market that would be required at any moment, and that market would have benefited the people of the West as well as those of the East.

But they say that by that agreement Canada would have lost its fiscal independence. Are we British subjects? If we are British

subjects, if there is any British spirit in any Canadian, he will never lose his fiscal independence any more than he will lose his loyalty to the flag we all revere. Lose our fiscal independence! Look to-day and compare the agreement of 1911 between Mr. Fielding and ex-President Taft with the tariff that the United States, looking only to their own interest, have adopted for themselves. It is in their own interest that they have made a new tariff, they have not looked to Canada but to themselves, and we find that the pact agreed upon by both the Canadian Government and the United States Government would have given Canada a great many more advantages than Canada secures by the tariff framed by the United States looking solely to their own interests. Therefore I claim that conditions have changed in Canada to-day owing to the enlightenment of the new President of the United States. I claim that the people of the West would have saved over $20,000,000 if the reciprocity treaty had gone through. To my mind its defeat has contributed very largely to the condition prevailing to-day.

I heard with interest the hon. member for Edmonton say the other night that but for the reduced duty on oats going into the United States the- people of the western provinces where the crop of oats this year has been immense, would have made a dead loss. It was the reduction of duty that saved the farmers of Alberta and Saskatchewan. But supposing the six cents duty were taken off altogether, what a difference that would make.

The revision of the American tariff has been an immense relief to the people of this country; but there is one thing the farmers of the West want, and that is the removal of the duty on wheat going into the United States. It is up to the Government to open that market to the farmers of the West. They can do it at any moment by simply removing the duty on American wheat. If that had been done this year the people of the West would have shipped their immense crop of wheat across the border and made bigger profits. The Argentine Republic was quick to remove its duty on wheat *in order to get the benefit of the American market and are we behind the Argentine? I do not wish to be severe in my remarks but I must say I cannot understand the attitude of the Government in maintaining the duty on American wheat. If it were removed now it would at once let free the immense amount of wheat in the elevators and granaries of the West. The Minister of Public Works told the electors in the

*constituency of Macdonald last December that the Government would consider the advisability of removing the duty on wheat. Is it possible that the 13 or 14 wise men of Canada have taken that matter into consideration and have not been led to the conclusion that it was to the advantage of the West that that duty should be removed? They will not take advice from their best friends, not even from Premier Roblin of Manitoba. They would not take advice from the Conservative members from Alberta who came here a few days ago with a resolution from their friends in that province. It would seem however, that they must have left the resolution in the train, because, as -soon as they get here they vote a motion of confidence in their present leader. I addressed several meetings in my constituency before coming up here-I do so every year-and let me tell you, Mr. Speaker, that the farmers of my country in expressing their desire for free food were voicing the opinions of all the farmers of Canada. What we want is large markets which would benefit both the working classes and the farmers. When we claim larger markets for the farmers we claim also the reduction or elimination of the duties on farm implements. The farmers to-day are expecting that more particularly since they became rich had the advantage of that great market which should have been placed at their disposal a few years ago. When you tax the farmer for his implements, for any article of necessity he has to purchase for the maintenance of his family-boots and clothing for himself, his wife and his children-you increase the cost of living, whereas, if you free these articles from taxes you decrease the cost of living and it is by this policy that we can ensure greater happiness to all classes of the community. I repeat that I stand here to-day a determined supporter of my right hon. leader, that the population of Gloucester county sent me here at the last election by a thousand majority and that they are prepared to send me here again with 2,000 majority. We are advocating to-day as strongly as ever, and more strongly than ever, that change of which I speak. It is not because we have been defeated once that we are going to abandon our principles and change our views. We were for larger markets before, we are still for larger markets and we will be in opposition as we were in the Government for larger markets and not till the Government of the day sanctions our policy or gives free food to the people of Canada and opens

the markets of the United States for the wheat and oats of the people of the West will we cease to proclaim the necessity of removing these burdens from the shoulders of the people. They say that the people of the West should go into mixed farming but I believe that the people of the West have gone very largely into the mixed farming of late. We saw published the other day a statement of the immense crop of the West. It is composed not only of the wheat that they have been growing in Saskatchewan and Alberta but also of millions of bushels of oats, barley and flax. Considering that they have been settled only for thirty or thirty-five years, which is a short period in the life of a country, they have made remarkably good progress in mixed farming. While I am a free trader in principle and theory I know that you cannot bring in absolute free trade all at once, but when our friends opposite, because they were accidentally transferred to the other side of the House by the vote of September, 1911, say, that the Liberal party has done nothing towards free trade, I say that under the tariff revision of 1897 there were changes which were notable not so much for the volume of the decrease in the tariff as for the decreases which were made in the rates upon articles required by the mass of the people.

The introduction of the British preference was a great step towards free trade, it was a great step in favour of the farmers of Canada who have to buy a number of articles imported from Great Britain or else from the United States, and if a farmer buys an article from Great Britain in consequence of the lowering of the tariff against that article, which he would otherwise have purchased in the United States, it is an advantage to the country, and it is also an advantage to those poor workers in the British Isles, who are receiving so much sympathy at the hands of the Conservative party to-day in connection with this talk about a contribution, but who never get much sympathy from them when we are talking of purchasing articles from them at a lower rate of tariff. If in this country it is desired to decrease the cost of living without at the same time hurting the manufacturer, let the manufacturer be inspired by the sentiments which inspire the manufacturers of France and Germany; let them so improve the processes of manufactures that they will be able to produce at a cheaper rate than they have ever ,

been able to do before. If we lower the cost of production we lower the price at which the article can be sold in the country, and if an article is sold at a reasonably low price, or as low as it can be sold, the better it is for the home manufacturer, because the manufacturers of other countries are not so interested in trying to fill the markets here with their own goods, and therefore look for markets elsewhere.

There is another subject which was discussed by my hon. friend the mover of the Address; I refer to that great question of a contribution. He also joined the concert on the other side in stating that Canada had been humiliated by the position of the Liberal majority in the Senate, which had in a sense objected to the passing of the Naval Contribution Bill granting $35,000,000 with which to build three dreadnoughts as our contribution to the British navy. I do not wish to speak at length on that question, as I had occasion to give my views to this Parliament and to Canada with regard to it last session, but let me tell you again that I see no humiliation for Canada in the position taken by tlie Senate in asking the Government not to pass that Bill before an appeal is taken to the people, and to put into execution the promise which was given by the right hon. leader of the Government himself when he introduced his measure, and also before he introduced it. He stated publicly upon his return from England that he would introduce the Bill, and that if Parliament did not grant the money he would appeal to the people. The Senate said: Appeal to the people first, and if you are sustained by the

people we will vote your Bill. We are told we have brought about national humiliation because the members on this side of the House did not agree to endorse the changed views of the ministers and their supporters with regard to the navy, but when we remember that in 1909 they were in harmony with us in suggesting a Canadian navy and protesting against the contribution, it is not to be wondered at that we were not able to swallow the altered views of the Government. And if these gentlemen opposite thought our action led to humiliation of the empire, why have they not brought on an election to test the feelings of the people of Canada. Where is there an emergency to-day; why have they not sought the opinion of the electorate? Let

me point out that the people of England, as represented by the First Lord of the Admiralty, have not looked upon the action of this Parliament as a humiliation. The Hon. Winston Churchill, speaking in the English House of Commons on the 16th of July last, after the prorogation of this Parliament, said:

Although the Naval Aid Bill was rejected, the question of Canada participating in her own defence and in that of the empire is by no means dead. Whether we read the speeches of members of the Government or of the Opposition we see that although there are differences of opinion and method, and although the matter is one of party disputation, there is an overwhelming consensus of opinion that action should be taken and that soon.

Mr. Churchill knows that there was an overwhelming expression of opinion that action should be taken by Canada, and that it was only a difference of method between the Liberals and Conservatives, which difference of method was because of the withdrawal of the Conservative party from the Naval Service Act, to which they had given their adherence two years previously. Mr. Churchill went on to say:

The position is not yet clear, and I am very much inclined to think that harm rather than good may result from our attempt to debate it much in public. Canada is absolute mistress of her own destiny. Although I cannot attempt to forecast the course to be finally decided by Canada, I think that these speeches taken by themselves, apart from all other public and private information plainly show that the question of Canada taking effective part In the general naval defence of the empire is by no means closed, and we have no right to assume at present that we are to he left to face the emergencies of the future unaided and left to bear the whole burden alone.

Later on, Mr. Churchill said:

By next year, however, it is probable that the Canadian situation will have defined itself and we shall be in a better position to judge whether further acceleration of next year's ships or atlernatively, direct addition to our programme will be forced upon us. That is the policy which we recommended to the committee and which we regard as a wise, sober and adequate provision. We shall not be drawn from it by any agitation.

In view of the statement of Mr. Churchill, that the action of Canada would be known this present year, it is inexplicable to me why the Government have not introduced their naval policy. The Prime Minister knows that the question of contribution is awaiting the determination of the people of Canada; he knows that his promised permanent policy will have to be submitted to the people, and why then does he not introduce a fair redistribution Bill, pass it this session, and submit the question to the

people. I challenge the right hon. gentleman to take this course. I thank the members of the House for the kind attention they have given me.


Donald Nicholson

Conservative (1867-1942)


Mr. Speaker, I congratulate the hon. gentleman who moved the Address (Mr. H. F. McLeod), on the able manner in which he presented his views, and I specially thank him for the kind references he made to my province. Judging by the applause which the seconder of the Address received from his own side of the House,

I have no doubt that he acquitted himself creditably in presenting the views of his party on the different questions at issue. Reference has been made by several speakers to the non-introduction of the Naval Bill this session, and without going into the details of the question at any great length,

I want to say that I voted for the Naval Bill last year, and I voted for it because I am a true Canadian, because I am a Briton, and because I believe that anything which strengthens the British navy strengthens the position of Canada and of the British Empire. References have also been made to the omission of the Highways Bill from the Speech from the Throne, but I commend the policy of the Government for not introducing that Bill and sending it from this House up to the Senate to be slaughtered there. I believe the people of Canada are heartily in favour of the Highways Bill as introduced by the Government last year, and I believe that the farmers are specially interested and favourable to it. I know that in my part of the country there was much disappointment when the Senate rejected the Bill. As to the question of the higli cost of living, it is needless for me to say that I would be in favour of any policy which would reduce the cost of living to the consumers of this country, but certainly gentlemen on the other side have not shown in their speeches how that may be done. We all know that there are many articles consumed in the household which cost no more now than they did some years ago, and that remark applies particularly to groceries. Sugar costs no more and tea costs no more, and I can give a number of other instances in the grocery line to show that the prices of such articles are certainly not higher, and in some cases they are lower than they were four years ago, or ten years ago, or even twenty years ago. It is true that, with the exception of wheat and vegetables and flour, there are few articles which the farmers produce that are costing more now than they did some years ago. It would require a long

time to enumerate the reasons why the cost of living is more now than it was some years ago, but it is not in the articles that we consume in our homes that the increased cost lies.

In 1911, the United States proposed to let our farm products and manufactured goods in free. The late Government adopted a reciprocal policy. That was the late Government's proposal to the people of this country, but in my opinion the people of Canada refused to adopt that policy for the following reason: I represent a constituency with as large a farming population as any in Canada. Formerly the people down there were free traders, but they saw the benefits of the protection they enjoyed under the tariff. Everybody knows that under our fiscal policy a certain amount of protection is enjoyed by the farmers in lieu of the protection that the manufacturers have. Suppose a farmer in Canada raises a horse worth $200; if he goes over to the United States and buys a similar horse for $200, when he comes back to Canada he has to pay $50 duty. That protects the Canadian farmer to the amount of $50 in lieu of the protection that he allows the manufacturer. On oats there is a protection of ten cents a bushel. On cheese, a farmer is protected to the amount of four cents a pound and on eggs three cents a dozen. To-day eggs are worth about fifty cents a dozen, and a matter of three cents a dozen duty paid on eggs coming into Canada surely would not reduce the cost of living very much. On all these articles, farmers are enjoying a certain amount of protection under our fiscal policy. A man who produces or raises 2,000 pounds of pork-and lots of farmers do that-is protected in his own market that protection and let the country be flooded with the products of other countries? That is the reason why progressive farmers of this country turned down the reciprocity pact of 1911.

I was surprised to learn from my hon. friend the member for Red Deer (Mr. Clark) the other night that 20,000,000 bushels of oats had been shipped from Alberta this year. He appeared to be pleased. I think it is a great mistake. It is simply removing the rich loam of that province to the run-out farms of Dakota and Illinois. I have met farmers out in the West where the hon. gentleman lives. They occupied their farms in the United States for about thirty years. They run-out the farms and then they came out to the virgin soil of Canada, and they are attempting to do the-


same thing on this side of the line. This kind, of farming is ruinous, because if you keep on cropping oats or wheat year in and year out, finally fertilizers will have to be used and you will not get as much as if you had mixed farming. That is the experience of the older provinces of Canada. That is the experience that the farmers of Dakota have had, because they persisted in the raising of wheat continuously.

I would suggest that our wheat be milled in Canada so that our farmers, both in the East and in the West, may be able to procure the by-products, bran and shorts, for feeding purposes. In addition to that we would produce a high grade of flour for export and home use. I believe we ought to do everything in our power to encourage the milling of wheat in this country, as the by-products would be very much appreciated by the stock raisers of this country.

I remember the time in this country when our young men and women had to go to the cities of the United States for employment. In fact, in New England there were large colonies of French Canadians manufacturing boots, shoes, hats, stoves and cooking utensils, besides tools for artisans and also farm machinery, for shipment to Canada. We had reciprocity at that time, and the prices that we obtained were not half as good when we bought our goods in the United States as they are now in our home market. These young men visiting their homes on their summer vacations some years ago, were missionaries in favour of the National Policy that was adopted in the year 1878. They said: Why, we have to leave our Canadian homes and go to the United States in order to manufacture goods for you there. Hardly anything at all was manufactured in Canada, in the lower provinces and especially in the province of Quebec. The city of Lowell, Massaehussets, is almost a French city, populated by French Canadians. The rush of young Canadians to tne United States factories and cities was enormous thirty years ago.

I believe one of the great troubles in Canada is that the farmers do not produce enough to supply the wants of the home market. I need not weary the House with illustrations that go to show that although ours is a farming country, yet we have to import large quantities of produce, including beef and eggs, from other countries. The fact of the matter is that there is not enough stuff produced to feed our own people. That, however, will, I believe, be finally adjusted. Hon. gentlemen opposite speak about the great market we should

have in the United States. Only three or four years ago the cities of St. John and Halifax, and other centres throughout New Brunswick, including Chatham and Newcastle, were importing pork and beef from Chicago at a lower price than that at which it could be procured in Ontario or any of the other provinces, notwithstanding the fact that they had to pay a duty of $4 a barrel. Our great competitors were the United States, with their cheap production of pork and beef. As hon. gentlemen all know, Prince Edward Island, the province from which I come, is adjacent to Newfoundland, which has an independent fiscal policy. The duties on goods going intp Newfoundland from the United States are the same as the duties on goods coming into Canada; therefore they have been our competitors, and, with regard to the articles I have mentioned, and others, they undersell us.

I wish to call the attention of the House to the fact that after the election of 1911 the very best farming districts in the lower provinces returned members opposed to the right hon. leader of the Opposition. In the lower provinces the right hon. gentleman has been very highly thought of, hut on account of the arrangement which was entered into with the United States by his government, his candidates in those counties were defeated. I do not think I should have entered politics at all if I had not really believed it to be in the best interests of the country, and I know that many Liberals turned against him on that very issue. The farmers of Canada fully appreciate the policy of the present Minister of Agriculture, for they recognize that his is a live, wide-awake department. I am informed also that the western farmers appreciate the work of the Minister of Trade and Commerce in the matter of the improvement of transportation facilities.

I would like to ask the hon. members of the Opposition why they did not stand up in the House and insist on the late Government accepting the offer of President Taft instead of a partial or jug-handled agreement, but were content to allow the manufacturers to enjoy protection, whom they always alleged were bleeding the farmers to create bloated monopolists? It appears, to me, Sir, very inconsistent that hon. gentlemen while in opposition should be conducting a campaign in favour of free manufactured goods when they let the opportunity slip in 1911. Although I make

this assertion, I desire to say that I am a protectionist; I stand pat for the protection of every industry in Canada, farming and manufacturing alike.

There is another clause in the Address upon which I wish to say a few words, namely redistribution. The people [DOT]

of my province know that in you, Sir, they have a sympathetic friend, and I ask the indulgence of the House while I state the case of Prince Edward Island. I do hope I shall not weary the House, but this is a matter in which I as well as the people I have the honour to represent, feel very much interested.

I offer no apology for referring 10 p.m. to a subject which has already been so frequently and so ably threshed out upon the floor of this House and in the press of Canada. To .some, the question of representation in the Maritime provinces, and particularly in the province of Prince Edward Island, may not seem to be of that vital importance that it is to the people there; but Mr. Speaker, I hold that no subject that can be discussed here has 'greater bearing upon' the loyalty, the welfare and the solidarity of the Dominion of Canada.

Next September it is proposed to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary, or the golden jubilee of the first conference held in regard to the formation or federation of the then provinces of Canada. If is significant, Sir, that Prince Edward Island, the smallest, but by no means the least important of all the provinces, should be selected as the cradle of Confederation, for it was there that the first conference, which resulted ultimately in the confederation of all the provinces, was held. Now, Sir, under the circumstances, it would be a great deed, a deed of justice, a deed I might say, of righteousness, on the part of the Canadian Parliament, recognizing this great historical fact and the rights guaranteed to Prince Edward Island at the time the contract was entered into between Canada and Prince Edward Island, if the number of her representatives, as named in that contract, was restored. It is well known, Sir, that at the time of that union, the province of Prince Edward Island was given six representatives, although upon the basis of representation set forth in the Quebec terms, its population was not sufficient to entitle it to six members. As a matter of fact, taken on a population basis, the island at that time was only entitled to five. This, Sir, ought to prove clearly that representation of the island was at first not fixed exclusively in proportion of population. -

In the Journals of the Legislative Assembly of 1872, in regard to the resolution by which this province was admitted into the Dominion, I find the following set forth in the addresses at that time presented:

* That the population of Prince Edward Island having been increased by fifteen thousand or upwards since the year 1861, the Island shall be represented in the House of Commons of Canada by six members; the representation to be re-adjusted from time to time under the provisions of ' The British North America Act, 1867.'

It was further contended and insisted upon, that if the province were to enter the union,. a representation of six members at least, would be one of the chief conditions.

I could quote extracts from the speeches of the island delegates at the Quebec conference, which showed definitely their reasons for standing out for the six representatives. I could give you the speeches of Messrs. Haviland, Palmer, Grey, Hensley, Howlan and others, but these have all been set forth, together with a splendid representation of four special claims in this matter, by the. memoranda submitted by the provincial government. Why Sir, I could go on and quote from the transactions of that period in the provincial House of Assembly and in the Legislative Council, and show, beyond successful contradiction, that the union would never have been consummated, had it not been thoroughly understood that the island was to have six members, and that there was never to be any reduction of that number.

No man who reads the reported speeches of the Island delegates, can have the remotest shadow of doubt. We insisted on six representatives, two for each county, because nothing else would suit our conditions. The rest of the provinces insisted on our having only five, and that based on the population of Quebec. Not being able to agree, we stayed out of the Union. The same problem presented itself in 1873. Our delegates continued to fight then and on the same grounds. Less than six of a representation would give us no proper status or influence at Ottawa. At last the federal government gave way, we were to have six, the question of confederation or no confederation was submitted to the people. We voted for the Union on these terms and no other. Surely it would be a fraud on the electorate of this province for the federal Government to go back on the promise held out to us, forming as it did the main inducement moving us into the Confederation with Canada. The people believed we were to have a minimum representation of six, and that .

for all time, and voted accordingly. Is there any doubt on this point ? Has it ever been questioned ? And where is the suggestion anywhere that our representation was to be dependent on the population of Quebec or the rest of the Dominion ? We knew that the Dominion would soon fill up with inhabitants. We knew that our population was comparatively stationary. Were we fools enough, were our delegates dishonest enough to lead us into a trap, whereby our members would go on diminishing, till in fifty years, perhaps, we would have none at all ? The proposition is too absurd for belief. Then look at our representation in the Senate. Would any sane man believe that we stipulated for four in the Senate and in the same breath stipulated for a membership in the Commons that would soon be less than our representation in the Senate ? We respect our senators, but God forbid that we should ever be deemed so disloyal to popular government as to make our voice and influence at Ottawa dependent on our senators !

Then, look at the treatment accorded to Manitoba and British Columbia when they entered Confederation. The latter was granted six members when only entitled to one, and that concession was never revoked. When such concessions were made to these larger provinces, it seems only reasonable that like, or even more generous concessions should be made to the smallest member of the Confederation, without which, despite its smallness, the Confederation would be very incomplete. Why not extend the same treatment to all? That is what is meant by the history and surrounding circumstances.

Again, Sir, it is quite clear from this determined insistence upon six representatives that the Island was not asking for this for a limited time, but as a permanent concession. Had they understood that this representation of six was likely to be reduced, possibly after the very next census taken in Canada, our delegates would not have contended so persistently for it. On the other hand, they evidently regarded six representatives as the smallest number at all consistent with the dignity and importance of a province of Canada. Now, Mr. Speaker, it is manifest that that view of the matter was apparently at first accepted by this Dominion Parliament, for at the redistribution following the census of 1881 no change was made in the Island's representation, although on a strictly proportional basis it would then be entitled to only five members. But later this course was changed, and after the census of 1891

we were shorn of one of our representatives, and after 1901 of another; and so we have already lost two of the six, and by the Redistribution Bill of this session we stand to lose a third, leaving the representation of Prince Edward Island exactly half of whiat it was at the time of its entrance into Confederation.

It naturally must follow, as the years pass and the population of Quebec increases at a far greater ratio than that of the Island, that before long there will not be a solitary representative from the province of Prince Edward Island to the Dominion House of Commons, if representation by population be then severely insisted upon. This would create a unique situation because, as far as I can see, it will nullify the contract of union between Prince Edward Island and the rest of the Dominion. Now, Sir, this would be an intolerable situation. Taxation without representation is, under constitutional government, impossible, and into this condition Prince Edward Island is steadily drifting.

Imagine, if you can, Mr. Speaker, the lapsing or the rendering void of the terms of Confederation between the smallest province and this great Dominion. It would be but a beginning of a most dangerous course. It would establish a precedent fraught with danger, danger not only to the little island, but danger to the great nation of Canada and danger to the British Empire, of which we form so important a part. It is not the area; it is not the number of people; it is not the extent of the trade; it is, Mr. Speaker, the part we are of the nation, which is as important, small though we may be, as any of the greater provinces forming the Confederation, which is termed the Dominion of Canada. Is it the intention because the Island is small and its population only about one hundred thousand, is it the intention of the bigger brothers between the Atlantic and the Pacific, to ignore the smaller brother and cast him adrift without a compass, without an anchor, like a derelict of the waves? Canada has already in other ways failed to fulfil itd contract. Prior to Confederation, the island had a well established commerce with Great Britain and the West Indies, as well as other lands. The colonies now comprising Canada had only a very small proportion of its commerce. By entering the union, the direction and control of its commerce and industrial development were delivered over to Canada. The independent lines of trade which this island had established, were diverted to Canadian channels, and continuous communication

with the mainland followed as a consequence. Before Confederation this island was doubling its population every thirty years. Its revenues doubled every twelve years. If the pre-confederation ratio of increase had been maintained, the population would now be 219,000. It is only right to assume that the unfavourable conditions brought about in the province, were the result largely of the non-fulfilment of the terms of Confederation regarding the maintenance of an efficient steam communication both summer and winter between the Island and the mainland.

I would like to draw the attention of the House to the report of the delegation from the Island to Ottawa for better terms in the year 1873. It would appear that their demand foT six representatives was granted without any reference whatever to further reduction, and they fully believed that they were receiving six representatives as a minimum number.

I have endeavoured to show to this House that one of the chief terms of Confederation between the Island and Canada was the concession of six representatives. I have proved that prior to Confederation our population was steadily and rapidly increasing. I have shown that afterwards our trade and population steadily declined because the terms were not carried out in their entirety. I maintain that Canada is responsible for this condition of affairs and that it is the duty of the Dominion Parliament not to rob or deprive the Island of the representatives justly accorded to it. Otherwise a grave injustice will have been perpetrated, and ere long Prince Edward Island will be altogether cut adrift from the Confederation.

I do not ask for generous treatment from this House. I do not ask favours at the hands of greater powers. I do not present the humiliating spectacle of Prince Edward Island crawling to the Parliament of the Dominion and begging for the restoration of its six representatives, no, Mr. Speaker; on the contrary, I stand upon the floor of this House in the interests of justice, on the firm foundation of right. I stand here as a representative of a people who ask for nothing but their rights, and their rights they must have, if the solidarity of Canada 'is to be maintained.

There are those who scoff and sneer and scorn to treat with others who may be smaller in circumference, smaller in trade and smaller in population; but let me tell those people that it is from the foundations, the walls and the roof that

the fabric of a nation is constructed. Destroy one part of these and the whole thing falls in ruins to the ground. The people of Prince Edward Island were not anxious to enter Confederation. I believe such has been in the order of things to the greater advantage of this wide and glorious country; but I am also firmly convinced that this representation question, which some seem to think of so lightly, may yet prove that power within the nation which, working outward, will shake the very foundations of Canada, and set back our country for years to come.

There are many other phases of this question that I might present to the House; but I do not care to occupy your time further. It is monstrous to suppose that the province is to continue losing its representatives until none are left, because the draughtsman, in drawing up the terms of the union, overlooked the conclusion that would be arrived at as to representation, and neglected to use words necessary to provide for a minimum representation.

I want to call attention to another point. On the Atlantic there is the independent colony of Newfoundland and this great country will never be complete until Newfoundland joins the Confederation and I want to point out this: Prince Edward

Island deals very largely with Newfoundland and if our representation is reduced, it will furnish an argument to the anticonfederates in Newfoundland. They will be able to say, look at Prince Edward Island; forty years ago she joined Confederation with six representatives but the Canadian Government has broken its agreement with the Island and now they have only two or three representatives as the case may be. That will be one of the strongest "'*"urnents they could use against Newfoundland becoming a part of this Dominion and it is well that the leaders of both parties in this House should take this matter into consideration. I say that it is not too late now to hand back to Prince Edward Island the number of representatives that it had at the time of Confederation.

I am and have always been an ardent supporter of protection for Canadian industries, and I would like to see a resolution brought down granting subsidies to shipbuilding firms in this country. I can-% not understand why this Government that appealed to the country with the cry Canada for the Canadians does not at once take hold of this matter. I understand the late Government were prepared to grant such subsidies, and I urge upon thi= Gov-


ernment to do the same thing. There is another article which is largely produced in this country and which ought to be protected-copper. Our annual output of copper for 1912 amounting to about 80,000,000 pounds. All that was taken away in its raw shape to be refined in other countries. The United States got 75,000,000 pounds and Great Britain' the other 5,000,000 pounds. If our Government would subsidize this industry we should see refineries started in Canada giving employment to thousands of our people. What is the use of saying we are in favour of protection if we do not carry it out. We cannot afford to wait and the Government should take hold of these two matters immediately. Let us not worry about the criticism of outsiders, we have the credit and let us go on, or we shall see a young Canadian Government rise up and do this in our stead.

On motion of Mr. E. W. Nesbitt, the debate was adjourned.

On motion of ]\J r. Rogers, the House adjourned at 10.2<^pdn.

Friday, January 23, 1914.


January 22, 1914