I owe the hon. gentleman an apology. The inference I drew from his words-I may have misunderstood him, and T do not wish to put words in his mouth-was that the apples going into the Northwest provinces were Inferior apples, and I naturally assumed that he had reference to Ontario apples, because Ontario apples go in thousands of bushels to the West.
This cry of protection is the old Conservative doctrine. The apple grower has to be protected because, according to the hon. member for East Lambton, it is a great and growing industry in which millions of dollars are invested, and the people engaged in it do not understand their business. Of course, in Canada we cannot do anything as well as it is done in the United States. Our people have no initiative, no brains. We cannot build ships, and we cannot grow apples; we cannot do anything that intelligent people ought to be able to do. We cannot stand on our own legs, but we must get subsidies from a paternal Government. For my own part, I think it is about time that we in Canada were getting beyond that stage of affairs. I think this war has taught us, at all events, that we can build our own ships, and I can speak for the farmers of Middlesex when I say that they do not thank this Government for any extra duty on apples. It is all very well for us to say that we are going to build up a 'big apple industry in this country, but there is one thing that we must not forget. There is a class called the c'om-moti people to whom apples are an absolute necessity. The apple is the orange, or the grapefruit, of the common people. I contend that in the solicitude of this Govern-
ment to help the apple trade, they should not forget the labouring man and they should not make fruit, which to him is a necessity, dearer and harder to procure. That is one of the great reasons why this extra duty is not right and is not in the interest of the country. There is no reason why the workingmen should pay tribute to the orchard owners of British Columbia.
There is another matter to which I would like to refer; it has reference more particularly to the finances of this country. ' The Minister of Finance told us in his Budget speech about some loans which he made. I want to discuss everything as far as possible in an unpartisan spirit, but I do not think that the loans made by the Minister of Finance greatly redound to his credit. Let us take, for instance, the loan which he told us he made in the United States. It was made, as he told us, to cover the capital expenditure in connection with the public works of this country. For my part, I think it would have been much more creditable to the Minister of Finance if he had cut down the capital expenditure of this country, so that it would not have been necessary to borrow $45,000,000 from the American people.
Again, Sir, I think he made a loan which was not advantageous to the people of this country, and in which he did not show that keenness and financial ability which the Minister of Finance in this country should be endowed with. Let us look into this matter for a moment. He borrowed $45,000,000 from New York, and $25,000,000 of that amount was to be paid on August 1, 1916, and the balance of $20,000,000 on August 1, 1917. What were the facts in regard to loans at that time? The provinces of this Dominion were borrowing money in New York at the rate of five per cent, and the municipalities at the rate of five per cent. The great financial corporations of this country were doing the same. It is axiomatic in financial matters that, the standing of the Dominion being superior to that of the municipalities or corporations, Canada should be able to finance a loan of that magnitude at a lower rate of interest than the lesser bodies. At that very time Britain had borrowed three billion dollars at four and a half per cent, and the British loan was subject to income tax. The Minister of Finance took care that the loan he made in the United States should be exempt from income tax. The result was, that so far as Britain was concerned, while it was borrowing at four
and a half per cent, it was really borrowing at four and a quarter. The Minister of Finance borrowed his $45,000,000 and agreed to pay interest half yearly, whereas the interest on the British loan, and on municipal loans, is payable yearly. The Minister of Finance also undertook to pay the money back in gold in New York, and in addition he gave the buyers of the loan the privilege, to be used at any time within three months of the time when the loan matured, of buying Dominion bonds, thus compelling the people of this country to pay to the 'money lenders in the United States the sum of five per cent for twenty years. Besides that, the Minister of Finance paid the New York brokers who consummated the loan three quarters of one per cent commission. What does all this mean in loss to the Canadian people? The Minister of Finance puts the municipalities in this position, that if the Dominion Government has to pay five per cent for American money, it necessitates the municipalities paying a higher rate than five per cent.
However, let us take the matter as it is. This money should, and could, have been borrowed, if the minister had been astute, at four and a half per cent, the rate at which Great Britain was borrowing. The fact that it was not borrowed at four and a half a cent means a loss to the tax-payers of $325,000. That, taken in connection with the three-quarters of one per cent paid to the American bankers as commission for consummating the deal, which means an additional loss of in the neighbourhood of $376,000 to the people of Canada, brought about by the carelessness of the Finance Minister, makes a total loss of somewhere in the neighbourhood of $750,000. I think it would be wise for the party in power, if they would in future have no truck and trade with the Yankees in regard to borrowing money unless they can send some man over to New York who will be a little keener in dealing with Morgan & Company than the Minister of Finance was in this case. I believe that if Mr. Fielding had been negotiating that loan we would not have had the people of Canada paying five per cent for $45,000,000, and we would not have run the risk of being bound for twenty years to pay five per cent on a loan of this magnitude.
I am going to deal for a few moments with the taxation which has been placed upon companies and corporations. I appreciate as well as any man in this House the necessity of raising money to carry on
this war, and I believe the people appreciate it, but, for my part I cannot follow the Minister of Finance in his argument or in his action in connection with these taxes. What I propose to say may, to some extent, be a repetition of what has been so ably said by my hon. friend the junior member for Halifax (Mr. Maclean) and by, my hon. friend from North Oxford (Mr. Nesbitt), but there are some things about this taxation on corporations that seems to be so unjust and inequitable that I am sure I will be pardoned if I reiterate some of the objections which have already -been raised against it. In the first place, it is my contention that, although the Min10 p.m. ister of Finance in his address, discriminated between different classes of companies himself, when he came to the question of taxation, he failed to discriminate between them. Speaking, at page 849 of Hansard, he said:
Now, Mr. Speaker, there are in time of war many businesses and industries, which for one reason or another are able to maintain profits above the average return to capital in time of peace. There are others whose profits arise directly from the manufacture of munitions or the furnishing of supplies in connection with the war itself and are in some instances of abnormal character. It has appeared to the Government that persons, firms, and corporations whose profits have been such might well be called upon to contribute a share to the carrying on of the war. Their position being advantageous as compared with less fortunate fellow-citizens, it is just that a portion of their advantage should be appropriated to the benefit of the state.
That seems to me reasonable, but I do not think the Minister of Finance has carried his ideas out in his taxes. I think there should be a difference between taxes which are imposed on companies manufacturing munitions of war, that have made themselves rich to the extent of hundreds of thousands and millions of dollars of the money of the people, and corporations which have made their money in another way. The munition factories and manufacturers are simply the outcome of this war. They have not helped to build up the country. They are helping to defend the country, it is true, but they are being mightily well paid for it. This tax on the munition factories is, I say, an absolute admission by the Government that their treatment of the munition factories, and the way they gave them contracts, was a mistake, that it was wrong, and that i't was not in the public interest. But, Mr. Speaker, these factories, when the war is over, are not going to help in the development of Canada; they will be out of busd-
ness, they \Vill not be employing men, and in the past they have not helped to develop the country. We have nothing to thank them for as far as that is concerned. Take the industries which, in so far as taxation is concerned, are being put on the same basis; take an institution like the Canadian Pacific railway, which has helped to make this land great; take all our large manufacturing establishments, which have helped to make Canada the prosperous country it is, in which men have struggled end wrought, and into which men have put their money, and in which men will struggle, will work, and into which they will put their money in the future, and which will make this country still greater, and I think you will agree with me that there should be discrimination between the taxes put upon munition factories and the taxes put upon these factories which are so necessary to the prosperity of Canada. It is not fair, it is not according to the usual canons of taxation to ignore the principles which I am now urging upon the consideration of the House. These institutions are not as well able to bear the load as the munition manufacturers. The munition manufacturers have made hundreds of thousands of dollars an a short time. The ordinary manufacturer has built up his industry and made his money slowly; he has been, and will be, of use to the country, and therefore that a different rate of taxation should be imposed upon the munition factories from that which is placed upon the more stable industries of the country.
There is another point I would like to accentuate: it is the difference between corporations and partnerships. The proposal of the Finance Minister does not seem fair to me, looking at it from the narrow point of view which I get when applying it, for instance, to my own town. Here is a corporation, say, which is selling dry goods. They adopt the most modern form of business arrangement, that of a joint stock company, and they have a capital of $35,000 invested. Under this proposal you tax them twenty-five per cent on their profits over seven per cent. I think that is not just. In the first place, I think, they should be given more than seven per cent. If you have a stable industry which is making for the development of the land seven per cent is not enough to give the owner as a return on his capital. In our province we can go out and loan our money at six, seven, and eight per cent on legal security which is beyond the possibility
of loss. A man can put his mortgage in his vault and have no further care or responsibility. Here you are going to a merchant who takes all the risks of trade and . you are only giving him a profit of seven per cent, when a man can get seven per cent on a mortgage, and you are finding him twenty-five per cent of the balance of his profits. I say that is not just. My argument is this: A corporation is
charged with whatever amount of capital is invested. A corporation in the province of Ontario must consist of at least five people; a partnership may consist of as many persons as you like. Suppose that you have a partnership carrying on the same business as a corporation, say a dry-good business, and that it has $35,000 invested. This partnership which is competing with the company, is under no greater responsibility than the company; there may be more men interested in the partnership than in the company; the company has to meet the same emergencies and contingencies as has the partnership, yet the partnership escapes scot free from this taxation. That is not just.
'There is another point that I think is unjust in this taxation. In my town there is one of the best furniture factories in Canada, bar none. This factory happened to be given a little order for $5,000 worth of munition boxfes or shell boxes. I do not know how they got the order; I was surprised, but I was also glad to see them get it. If this taxation is imposed, this corporation, engaged in the manufacture of furniture and turning out probably $150,000 to $200,000 worth of furniture in a year, will, because it has received a little order for 5,000 boxes at 80 or 85 cents a box, be taxed 25 per cent on all its profits over 7 per cent on the whole of its business. That is absolutely unjust and inequitable. In that case, the company should not be taxed on anything more than on the order for shelj boxes.
Besides being unjust and inequitable, this scheme seems to me to be absolutely impracticable and to have many evils connected with it. In the first place, it is going to lead to a great expense to this country. /No man can convince me that, under this system, these taxes are going to be collected without scores and scores of officials being added to the many thousands that are already helping to make this country poor.
It also seems to me that it is absolutely impossible for the Minister of Finance to
get at the capitalization of these companies. What he said himself in that regard on the 15th of February is not alteted to-day. As reported on page 850 of Hansard, he made the following statement:
We found it a practical impossibility to go behind the capitalization of companies and endeavour to ascertain the precise cash value of their assets as can be done in the case of individuals or partnerships.
If it is practically impossible to go behind the capitalization of companies and endeavour to ascertain the precise cash value of their assets, as can be done in the case of individuals or partnerships, then I say that this taxation cannot be levied equitably; because, if you have to take the actual stock issues of companies as the basis for your ' taxation, the company that has inflated its capital so that it is half or three-quarters water, is going to escape taxation, whereas the company that has put its earnings into its business and is in a good financial condition, is going, if I may use a vulgar expression, to be bled at the nose, and that is neither fair nor just.
The only just and equitable scheme for the Government to adopt is that of a graduated income tax, which -has been adopted in Great Britain and in the United States. Under the scheme brought forward by the Minister of Finance, the wealth of men who have their money in bonds or in real estate is going to be absolutely exempt. These men 'have just as much right to contribute to the carrying on of this war as any other men. This country has helped to make them rich; its possibilities, its prosperity, and the protection it has afforded, have made their fortunes, and they should be glad to contribute, out of the* wealth that this country has assisted them in making, their share of the money required to carry this war to a successful conclusion. Therefore, the proper scheme for any minister of finance at this time to adopt would be that of a graduated income tax, starting at $800 or $1,000, and the percentage increasing as the amount of the income increased. In that way every man would pay, and there would be kept in mind the cardinal canon of taxation that the burden of taxation should fall upon the shoulders of those who are the best able to bear it.
Now I come to what I think is the most important pronouncement made by the Minister of Finance in his Budget speech. He said:
The future of Canada rests with the development of its great resources, of which the greatest and most fundamental is agriculture and this development is in turn bound up with the
question of increase in population of the productive sort and the facilities afforded it for the application of its intelligence and industry. It is probable that in the straitened financial conditions which may prevail for some years forward the question of capital for the development of agriculture may be of paramount importance, and it is our intention to inquire carefully during the coming recess into this most important subject, with a view, if desirable in the public interest, to supplementing by federal aid existing facilities in this connection. Particularly will the question of establishment of a system whereby loans at reasonable rates repayable on the amortization principle engage the attention of the Government.
I wish to consider for a few minutes the question of rural credits. The agricultural industry of this country, of which the minister spoke in such laudatory terms, is getting in this case only the bread of promise. I hope it will get the bread itself before very long.
behind the speech which the hon. Solicitor General (Mr. Meighen) made in 1913 in order to establish my argument in regard to rural credits. The Minister of Finance led us to believe that he was going to establish a system of federal aid on the amortization principle. As I view the present needs of the Canadian farmer, in Ontario and in the West, I do not think this is what he wants so far as federal aid is concerned. The amortization principle means that a farmer gets a loan on his land for a long period, say twenty, thirty, forty or fifty years, and he pays back the money, by means of a sinking fund, in equal annual instalments of both principal and interest. It seems to me that that is not the great need of the Canadian farmer to-day, and in that respect I am going to quote the words of the Solicitor General in 1913. I may say, in passing, that I have listened to several speeches of the Solicitor General. At one time I listened to a speech of his on free agricultural implements. The Solicitor General has probably forgotten that speech.
It was a worthy speech, more worthy of the Solicitor General than those that I heard him deliver later in regard to the Canadian Northern railway and in regard to cutting off the privileges of debate in this House. Of all the speeches of the Solicitor General which I have admired, this, to my mind, exhibited the greatest study and research, and was expressed with the greatest lucidity. The Minister of Finance at that time approved of the resolu-
tion of the Solicitor General, and both these hon. gentlemen were very solicitous about helping the farmer. But now they are putting the cart before the horse and proposing a scheme which they say will promote agriculture; and perhaps it would be partisan for me to say that they are postponing the bigger scheme on behalf of their great allies and friends the chartered banks of this country. It may be unfair to say that. These are the words of the Solicitor General to which I have referred:
And, as I approach this part of the subject, let me premise that I am not convinced that the time has come in this country, as yet, when the application of the principle of the lands-chaften bank as now successful in older countries, can be made to advantage in this country. I think we should proceed first along the line of personal credit societies, and that, at least so far as the province with which r am more intimately acquainted are concerned, the time has not yet come when we can import into Canada the central principle of the lands-chaften bank or land banks as existing in Germany and all the older countries. I say this notwithstanding the fact that the report of tne American commission is distinctly favourable to the importation of this system into the United States; I say this notwithstanding that even so high and conservative an authority as President Taft has distinctly and emphatically recommended to the congress of governors the immediate application of the land mortgage banks to the American republic.
I think the Finance Minister and the Government have been derelict in their duty to the agricultural class. Agriculture is the most important industry in this country. The agriculturists have been the mainstay of the country during this war; but for the immense crops of the West we should find ourselves in a most undelightful financial position. These rural credit societies, as the Solicitor General so ably pointed out, are not an experiment. They exist to-day in Belgium, in France, in Germany; they exist under provincial laws in the province of Quebec. They have been an immense success. They have expanded so greatly that in Germany there were, according to the Solicitor General, from 16,000 to 20,000 societies-and there must have been more since, because the Solicitor General stated that they were increasing at the rate of two and a half per cent a day. They have been instrumental in lending to farmers and other producers in Germany as much as $4,000,000,000 a year. They have helped to make the prosperity of Belgium, and of Germany as well; and Japan, as the Solicitor General has pointed out, was so convinced that this is the best system in the world, that she incorporated it holus bolus as a part of her banking system. It seems
to me the Finance Minister could give this system to this country, not a year from now or two years from now, but now. We are not so busy in this House, we are not so engrossed in other matters, that we could not attend to this. We have plenty of time. We should have a measure introduced this session which would give to the people of Canada now, and not several years hence, the great advantage of rural credits as they prevail in other countries.
The advantages of the system are many. As I have said before, the farmer does not want money for a long time, as a rule. I think the remarks of the Minister of Tjade and Commerce (Sir George Foster) are quite correct. We are not going to be crowded out of this country by an influx of immigrants from other lands, and so an amortization system to aid immigrants to buy lands will not be necessary. But it is necessary to provide some practical present assistance to the farmer of the West who wishes to buy a cow, a horse, some grain, or something of that kind to carry on his business. A system should be established under wlhich these men could go to their rural credit association and get temporary loans at a moderate rate to develop their farms and so to develop this country. The Solicitor General, in his speech to which I have referred, pointed out that this was the need of the farmer and producer, and what he said is just as true to-day:
I say to the discredit of Parliament we have provided as yet no machinery whatever of a uniform character, which is the first essential, to give the people of this country the advantage of co-operative hanking as it obtains in almost every civilized country on the face of the globe. I shou'd have said a few moments ago, that not only has it done great service in all the, countries of Europe, but this last year in Japan alone, I believe, some five hundred banks were organized.
I desire to read, also, what the hon. gentleman quoted from a writer of the name of Wolfe. There have been two writers of this name, each of whom has written valuable books on this subject. And the United States has sent two commissions, one appointed by the Government, and another by a central association, to investigate this system. Those commissions travelled throughout Europe, and I have on my desk their reports speaking in the most laudatory terms of this system. The Solicitor General's quotation from Wolfe is as follows :
Personal credit in agricultural Europe is obtained usually by means of the co-operative credit associations. They are also used by artisans and small tradespeople in the towns and
cities. These associations are in fact the only banks which the farmers will patronize for short-time loans in the nations whei e they abound in the greitest numbers. With their aid poverty and usu*y have been banished, sterile fields have been made fertile, production has been increased, and agriculture and agricultural science raised to the highest point. Their educational influence is no less marked. They have taught the farmers the uses of credit as. well as of cash, given them a commercial instinct and business knowledge, find stimulated them to associated action. They have encouraged thrift and saving, created a feeling of independence and self-reliance, and even elevated their moral tone.
And the Solicitor General himself said r
The poorer classes of this country, if they be ever so honest, do not as a matter of practice, and cannot as a matter of possibility, secure the credit to which their honesty entitles them in the commerce of the world. There can be no greater benefit, there can be no greater blessing given to the humbler classes of any community, than to so press out the machinery of our banking system, to so extend it, as to reach those classes of people who are not now served and to enlist in the service of the state and in the full plenitude of citizenship, with all their [DOT] potentialities and possibilities, the poorer classes of the country. By doing so you perform an educational work the advantage of which is hard to over-estimate. More than that, you teach self-reliance, you teach the great principle of mutual help, than which there is nothing more efficacious in securing the common advantage. You implant in the poor man the thought that this honesty of character, known as it is amongst his fellows, has been sufficient of itself to enable him to get a small loan, and, having implanted that in him, you give him an encouragement that is worth not a little.
It seems to me that I have established the point that the rural credit system has gained favour in all the countries of the world. The Minister of Finance has brought in a Bill to amend the Bank Act, which :s fairly good so far as it goes; but it does not go far enough. It is not sufficient merely to amend the Bank Act. In the United States for many years the banks lent money on chattel mortgages, but they are not content with that system. As the hon. Solicitor General knows, a Bill is being considered by Congress to establish a system of rural credits throughout the United. States. They have found that simply to accord the banks the privilege of lending money on chattel mortgages is not sufficient to meet the needs of the agricultural people. In this matter we should not be slow in following the example of the American people; we should keep up with the procession, and establish in this country a' system of rural credits. I am sure the hon. Solicitor General will agree with me in that respect. We have all the information that we can get. Reports of commissions, opinions of textt
book writers and the experience of other lands show that this system, is no experiment. The words of the Finance Minister simply mean that he is making a promise to the rural people that it will take him a long time to fulfil, and that money is 'being wasted without necessity.
A Bill relating to this matter was introduced, I think, the session . before the special war session. , I am free to say that the Government is in favour of legislation of this kind; it is entirely a matter as to whether its importance justifies its introduction at this time. This is the point I want to make: while in the province of Quebec the banks are established under the segis of provincial legislation, they flourish in the province of Ontario without the advantage of any legislative acts at all. Would the hon. member give to the House liis views as to the banks were they to operate under uniform Dominion legislation instead of without legislation at all?
I am obliged again to refer my hon. friend to his own very able speech. The hon. gentleman said that if we had uniform rules and fegulations all throughout the Dominion, a farmer going from Quebec or Ontario to Saskatchewan would know exactly what the system meant, having enjoyed its benefits in his native province.; and he would be able to take advantage of it in his new location without *delay or difficulty. That was the great advantage that my hon. friend pointed out as the undoubted result of uniform federal enactment in that regard. I think it is certainly a very good point.
The1 people of Canada are not afraid of the future. They are rich, prosperous, happy and contented. As long as the taxes deemed necessary to carry the war to a successful and permanent issue, are just and equitable and fair, you will hear no outcry from the people. I do not say, Mr. Speaker, that the people of Canada approve of all the'taxes that have been imposed by this Government. The majority of the people of Canada [DOT] were very much opposed to the increase in the British preferential duties introduced
by the Government last session, and passed by this House. I do not believe that the people will approve the taxes ithat have been submitted by the Minister of Finance in his Budget of this .-year. The people of Canada all throughout this land are doing more than the Government are asking them to do by way of taxes. I am going to refer for a moment to my native county. I do not think that it is parochial to do this, because what the people in my county are doing is typical of what is happening in every province of Canada, and in every country of the British Empire. The people of Canada are not afraid of taxes that are just, because they are voluntarily giving of their substance, out of their plenty and out of their scarcity, to assist the Government in carrying on this war. They are giving not only their money, but their blood as well. My heart throbs with pride and emotion when I recall the sacrifices that have been made by many of the young men of my county and by its noble women in order that Canadian homes and Canadian women and children may enjoy freedom and happiness. The same tale, Sir, can doubtless be told of every county in this country; but, in passing, I am constrained to drop a laurel leaf of appreciation, praise and gratitude upon the memory of those of my county who have gone to the front. They came from every walk of life. They were not divided by questions of race or creed or politics; they were united by a common impulse to serve the Empire. Some of them made the last great sacrifice that their country might live. They did so ungrudgingly, ungrumblingly, nobly, as became Canadians, and their parents sent them forth in the same spirit, rejoicing in the grandeur of their action, and believing, as the old Romans did: Pulchrissima pro patria mori. Some of them sleep beneath the hills of France-but they are not really dead. Their souls, like John Brown's, go marching on through Canadian towns and hamlets, through country fields and country lanes, through the thronged streets of great cities, inspiring Canadian men and women to renewed and redoubled effort in the great crusade which they have begun. Their final acts of devotion were not confined to any one part of this country; they were widespread throughout the whole Dominion. The lesson they contain for us cannot be better expressed than in the language of that greatest of Presidents of the United States at a time when his
countrymen had made similar sacrifices in order that that nation, conceived in liberty and based on the principle that all men are by birth free, should live and perpetuate those principles. At the dedication of the cemetery at Gettysburg to the memory of the brave men who had fought and died for their country, Lincoln used these words:
It Is for us the living rather to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us, that from these honoured dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion. That we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain, that this Empire under God shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people and for the people shall not perish from the earth.
I have inserted the word Empire ipstead of the word Nation. That is the lesson I take from the grand men of my county and the grand men of Canada who have gone to light the battle of the Empire. Who were these noble men? '1 have in my mind Captain Frita Robertson, a son of the rectory, who had two brothers in the service. The rector and his noble wife gave these three sons for this great cause. One of them was a distinguished student at Oxford university, preparing himself for the Church. Captain Fritz gave his life for his country, facing and fighting the enemy. Lieut. Lindsay also made the great sacrifice. His mother, a noble woman, also gave three sons for the good cause, one of whom died in defence of those principles which we all eherish. I am proud to say that one other son gained distinction on the field of battle, Col. W. B. Lindsay. Another widow in my county, Mrs. McColl, gave two noble, stalwart sons, who themselves gave theit lives for Canada in that great battle which the hon. member for North Simcoe (Mr. Currie) scf feelingly described to-day. And these are only a few of those who have brought honour to my county and honour to Canada. It is only fair that I should mention some of their names. Col. Lindsay, I have spoken of. Major Chesham, Chapman, of Ailsa Craig,. Bolton, Degroat, and Pedden were all seriously wounded in the defence of liberty, but their courage was such that they returned again to close with the enemy. In passing, may I mention to the House a little Temark that was made to me which showed the contempt of the Canadian Tommy for the German. This man
of whom I speak had been wounded. I ipet him on the street and asked him about his wound, and he said: "Yes, I was
wounded, but theise Germans are no good." I asked him: "What were you doing when you were wounded?" He said: "Carrying His Majesty's mails from place to place, and they were throwing up flares and I was forty-five minutes in making my round. Every time they threw up a flare I threw myself on the road, as it was too muddy to use a motorcycle. They were shooting at me with machine guns for forty-five minutes, and they only struck me four times!" I would have thought that was quite often enough to be struck, but the pluck of that man was so great that he has gone back to the firing line. Major General Currie came from my county; he has been honoured by the King and by the President of France. We have others, such as Major Leonard, Officers Weir, McGugan (the son of a former member of this House), Scandre'll-these all received recognition for distinguished services. Others have received mention in despatches, such as Malcolm Cuddy. Altogether I think I have a right to be proud of the showing of the good county of Middlesex, because I believe it typifies the showing of every other county in Canada.
In addition to the taxes that this Government are placing on the people of Canada, our people are voluntarily giving of their blood and of their treasure; and just here I want to mention my county again. Only a short time ago the county council of the county of Middlesex gave to the patriotic fund a monthly grant of $6,000 [DOT]for the next year, in other words $72,000. Then every township, town, hamlet and village in Middlesex has in that way, by money grants as well as by giving its sons, shown its generosity and its willingness to give of their means to protect this country. The people of Canada to-day are not afraid of any just burden; the great danger is not that we shall not be able to bear the burden, but that wastefulness and extravagance shall so sap our strength that we shall fail in our effort to do so. That is the great fear in the hearts of the Canadian people to-day.
I charge the Government that, in the first place, they have shown lack of initiative. They have shown lack of initiative in regard to rural credits and in regard to the manufacture of munitions. It is my contention that the munitions factories of this country should have been taken over
or established by the Government long ago, as has been done in England; that these big shops should have been placed at the disposal of the Government so that munitions could have been made there, thus securing a lower price. The Government have shown a lack of initiative also in regard to protecting the great agricultural industry of which we hear so much from gentlemen on the other side of the House. They have shown great lack of initiative in dealing with the horse trade of this country. The Finance Minister expressed great solicitude for the agricultural interests of this country; but in all the Government have done since the war broke out there has been nothing to help the agricultural interests. Take the great horse industry of Canada,-and we all acknowledge that there are not better horses produced in any country in the world than in this land- what was done? The Government were very solicitous about the munitions manufacturers. They could not do too much for them. The Premier guaranteed that they would be protected from loss. They were given immense profits and helped in every way. Ships were commandeered to take their products across the sea. But what happened to the horse producers? First, an embargo was placed on the export of horses so that no horses suitable for artillery or cavalry purposes could be sent across the line. In the second place, an arrangement was made whereby the Allies should not buy horses in Canada but should confine their operations to other countries. In the next place, horses were bought in Canada in such small numbers that no advantage accrued to the farmers. What happened? Since the war broke out, if the evidence before theDavidson Commission is true, the
farmers of Canada have sold for purposes of war about 27,000 horses. For these they have received about $4,000,000 or $5,000,000. On the other hand, the farmers of the great republic to the south have sold to Great Britain horses to the value of $60,000,000, and to the other Allies horses to the value of $140,000,000. In that way, whilst this country has derived an advantage from the sale of horses to the extent of about $4,000,000 or $5,000,000, the republic to the south has been advantaged to the extent of $200,000,000. What happens? In my part of the country, in the county of Middlesex, the farmers are grumbling, and rightfully. They are helping in every way to carry on the war, but they cannot get rid of their product. Their industry is not encouraged
or developed. On every farm of 100 acres in Middlesex, for the past year, I think I am safe in saying, there have been from one to three horses fit for military purposes eating their heads off. In this matter the Government have shown lack of initiative. In fact, I do not know in what respect the Government has shown any initiative except in creating civil servants-and knightly personages. In those two things they have shown great initiative, but in no other. Extravagance is the great sin of this Government. In the first place, in munitions they have squandered thousands and millions of money. In the second place, they have in the post office a deficit of nearly three millions, whereas under the Liberal regime that department had an average surplus of $700,000. They ' have appointed civil servants in great numbers, and so have depleted the funds of the treasury of this country. To-day we find in the Estimates brought down by the Prime Minister items amounting to millions, which the Prime Minister himself says he does not intend to spend. I cannot speak in too strong terms of reprobation of the conduct of the Government in this respect. I say that if the Government does not intend to spend these moneys they should be wiped out of the Estimates. We are supposed not to Ibe playing politics in this Parliament at this time, but to be acting patriotism; and these amounts put in the Estimates are only put there, it appears to me, for the purposes of dangling wholesale bribes, if the word is not too strong, before the constituencies, in which these buildings are intended to be built. The Public Works Department has gone beyond all bounds. In 1910-11, the last year of the Liberal regime, we spent $11,000,000, if I remember correctly, in connection with the whole Department of Public Works. In 1914, the Minister of Public Works spent $11,000,000 in public buildings alone, as much as the Government of my hon. leader spent in the last year of his Administration in the whole Department of Public Works, and in 1914-15 there were eight months of war, during which many public works were not being carried on. [DOT]
I have tried to avoid dealing with any subject in a partisati way. I may have failed, but I have tried to avoid criticism that . might not look like honest, earnest criticism, or such as wouM tend to party advantage. Personally, I agree with that sturdy old Scottish iron founder, who
described the man who tried to make money-out of his country's agony as a traitor, and any man, or body of men who indulge in unfair or partisan criticism and try to make party advantage, either for the Government or against it, are equally guilty of treason to the State. But that does not mean that a Government, no matter what its record may be, shall be subject to no criticism with regard to administrative or military affairs. No criticism might be more treacherous and dangerous to the State than party criticism.
Would the hon. gentleman permit an interruption with regard to something which he has just said? He stated that this Government had made an arrangement with the Allied Governments not to buy horses in Canada. That is distinctly not the fact. I would like the hon. gentleman to give his authority for that statement.
At any rate, the results have been the same. They have not bought horses in Canada, and if the good offices of this Government had been exerted as industriously in the interests of the agricultural population and of the horse breeders of this country as they were on behalf of other interests, the Allies might have been induced to buy horses in this country. Maybe I am wrong, and maybe I am right.
I would like to see it brought down. Mr. Elihu Root made a speech the other day which I commend to every member of this House, and in which he used these words:
There comes a time in the lives of men, as of nations, when to treat wrong as if it were right is treason to the right.
To deprive any one in this House of his right to honest criticism would be to deprive this House of :the very purpose for which it was constituted, and to make it a burden, not a benefit, to the people. When we meet here it is not our duty to sit silent and close our eyes to matters of grave import, especially if those matters are inimical to the State and may lead to its disgrace or its destruction. In such a case he who would withhold just, fearless, and honest criticism would be a traitor to his country. In times of peace, Sir, when the State is prospering and flourishing, and is under no pressure, we may at timesthough we should not even then-overlook little sores and ulcers in the body politic; but when the life of the State is at stake, when its very existence is being tried by the fearful arbitrament of war, we should not tolerate these things for a moment Itest they fester and spread, and leave the State so weakened that she cannot defend and preserve herself.
David Lloyd George has said that this world war will be won by the nation having the most silver bullets, and making the best use of them. No man is in a better position than he to know what is the vital factor for victory. The Government of Great Britain evidently think the same, for they are advising their people to make every possible economy, to forego all luxuries, to use only those things in the nature of food and clothing which are produced within the Isles themselves. Such being the case, the matter of economy in public and private expenditure is one of the most vital questions for this House to consider, and members of this House, on whatever side they may be, who do not criticise this Government for any departure from the most rigid economy are not doing their duty to those they represent. It is as much the duty of an honourable member to your right, Mr. Speaker, particularly at this time, to condemn wrong-doing, or wastefulness, or extravagance, as it is for a member to your left to do so, and to find a remedy for the same if they exist. By not doing so he may be true to his party, but he is false to himself and to his country. So far, I have not seen an hon. member opposite, except, perhaps, the hon. Minister of Trade and Commerce (Sir George Foster), who spoke of the dangers ot party shibboleths and party patronage, rise in his place to criticise this Government. Whenever hon. members opposite do rise, it is always to commend it. Are we therefore to presume, Sir, that this Government is considered perfect and infallible, or are we to draw the other deduction, that even when our life as a nation, and our liberty as a people, are at stake, there is no man among the members of the great Conservative party fearless enough, or thoughtful enough, to disenthrall himself from his party fetters, and say boldly: I stand for my country, not for the selfish interest of any party.
Mr. Speaker, no one can conscientiously deny that, even had the times been times of peace, the Government has been grossly extravagant, and it is alleged by many
thoughtful and patriotic Canadians, not all Liberals, that there is too light a characterization of its conduct. After listening to the masterly non-partisan and fair arraignment of its administration by the junior member for Halifax, this conclusion must have been borne in upon the mind of every hon. gentleman who heard him. From that arraignment, and from events which have transpired, another conclusion must also have been arrived at, and that is, that whatever extravagance and wastefulness and wrong doing there may have been, however dangerous they were to the State, they were the result of our party slavery and patronage system. If we do not destroy this monster, it will eventually destroy this country, or at best, it will ruin its progress and development and make the name of Canada a by-word in the Empire and throughout the world.
In this respect I think it is right for me to refer to what the Minister of Trade and Commerce said the other night, and I wish to say that I agree with every word of it. He said:
Now, as to patronage, I have been thirty-four years in public life; I have been a pretty close student of political parties and political history
in this country, and I have simply this to say___
I give it as my individual opinion-I have long felt it and I feel it now that in the whole course of my political life I cannot point to a single instance where political patronage ever helped the status of the bench, ever helped the status of the Civil Service, ever helped economy in administration or enhanced the status of public administrators, no matter what functions they performed, ever helped a member of Parliament in reality, ever helped a Government in reality; it almost always causes the dry rot and disintegration that break up government after government and party after party, and I wish now, in the white heat and light of this great contest and struggle and the self-sacrifice that we are called upon to make, that we might speak from the heart out, and make an agreement in this country between both parties, that hereafter patronage shall not be applied by political parties in the construction of our public works. Now, that is a frank admission. Some may say to me that X have no right to make it. I presume upon my grey beard and thirty.-four years in public life, and X make that statement for what it is worth/
I will just append to that one single sentence, and it is this: that if there is any laxity in the public virtue of this country to-day, if there is any canker of public corruption, in ninety-nine cases out of a hundred you can trace it to the baneful effect of political party patronage.
To-day, party patronage and slavery to party are decreasing our power and efficiency in the great war of liberation. It is a curse in times of peace and a curse and a crime in times of war. It saps our lifeblood, it destroys our unity as a nation out-TMr Ross.]
side this House and in it, and there is no good in it as a compensation. There never was a better time to destroy it; the people are united as they never were for one purpose and one purpose alone, and every other object interfering with that one purpose fades into insignificance. They are ripe for any change that will put the state before the party, and, if the leaders will only point the way and give the guidance, they will follow.
Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister at this time is the chosen leader of the people. They look to him for guidance and real leadership in this matter, and they look to his opponents to support him in any efforts he may make with an eye to rid us of this monster and win this war, and in their expectation, Sir, I feel that the Opposition and its leaders will not disappoint them.
It may be presumption on my part as one of the younger members of this House, but I say this to the premier, as one who has followed his public career with great interest, while not approving, but himself disapproving, of many things he has done since he attained office, that, as the premier of the Canadian nation, he is no longer playing a minor part in some comedy or melodrama on some provincial or colonial stage. Events have carried him, and all of us, far beyond that. Thanks to the genius, statesmanship and foresight of my beloved leader, we have felt for some time, and we feel to-day the throb of nationhood. Are we, as members of this House, and is the premier as its leader, marching with events?
To-day, all the world's his stage, his audience humanity. He is no longer playing a minor part, but has one of the leading roles in the greatest tragedy ever staged for the world. Each of us has his lesser part to play. Will the Prime Minister rise to the height of the great argument? Will he act the part Canada has entrusted to him in a manner worthy of her and of the Empire? Will we each do our lesser part? Will he, at this.crisis in our history, rid his councils of any man, if such exist, who has not an eye single for the service of the state, and call to his [DOT]councils those alone seeking to serve the nation and the great cause of humanity, and not themselves or their party or their friends? Will he guard the public treasury as a most sacred trust, upon which the very life of the nation may depend?
Destiny has been kind to the Prime Minister even if she has burdened him with responsibilities such as none of his
predecessors were called upon to bear. But responsibilities such as his, efficiently and honourably borne, insures not only the satisfaction of looking upon duties well done, but honour and fame and a lasting place in the memory of the Canadian people and of the whole Empire. No statesman in this land has ever been given such an opportunity to make his name forever as sweet to his people as that of Lincoln to his countrymen. If he will seize the passing opportunity he may, in the Empire's progress, as Tennyson beautifully puts it,
Live to clutch the golden keys,
To mould a mighty state's decrees And shape the whisper of the throne;
And, mounting up from high to higher, Become, on fortune's crowning slope.
The pillar of a people's hope,
The centre of the world's desire.
No one On this side of the House will envy him his glory so attained, but rather is it my belief that if he will just lend himself to the task, every member of this House, irrespective of the past, and the whole Canadian people, will support him with all their heart and soul.
Why, Mr. Speaker, can these things not be so in Canada? Are we never to arise above the muck and mire and mud of politics? Are we always going to be all for the party and none for the state? Are we going to allow the little things of self and party to eclipse the immense things of the nation and the Empire? In this House to-day we are under the surveillance not only of the Canadian people but of the Empire and the world as we have never been before. It is expected of us as men and as parties that we will measure up to the greatness of the occasion and not down to the smallness of party strife, or manipulation, or administration, for party advantage. If we fail I believe the temper of the Canadian people is such, and rightly so, that they will choose new men and new parties to guide their destinies and that a great, radical reform party will arise in this land to give the people what they desire and what they deserve.
In this House we are not lesser than the breeds from which we sprang. We enjoy the same free institutions, we possess the same ideals, we are inspired by the same determination to preserve the freedom and civilization of the world, and to-day our unity is accentuated by having everything that we prize threatened by a common danger. In Canada we are two II p.m. races united for the present and for the future, I believe, as never before. We have two motherlands.
As the hon. member for Rouville (Mr. Lemieux) so truly said m a speech in Toronto, we have the motherland of France and the motherland of Britain; France gave us life, Britain gave us liberty. Today, with us, they are struggling to preserve that life and liberty and they are teaching us how best to do it. Britain is still the mother of freedom. In Britain, party strife, although never so bitter as immediately before the war, is hushed in the land. The leaders of opposing factions united by common ideals and purposes and threatened by a common danger, have clasped hands and, as Abraham said to Lot, in olden times, Mr. Asquith has said to Mr. Balfour: "Let there be no strife,
I pray thee, between me and thee, and between my herdsmen and thy herdsmen; for we be brethren." This action has inspired the people with the same sentiment and Britain is united as never before. Faction has been unable to gather strength in that land. Her sons, gentle and simple, rich and poor, prince and peasant, inspired by her statesmen, are coming forward in millions to fight for liberty, and her daughters are making heroic sacrifices beyond any precedent. Her sailors are taking care that she is still encompassed by the inviolate sea.
As for France, she is the wonder, the marvel, and the admiration of the world. Her statesmen are united, her people have but one thought, the sacrifice of everything they possess, if necessary, for the preservation of her liberty and integrity. She is no longer the gay, frivolous pleasure-loving France of our imagination. She has found her true soul, a new soul, a soul greater than she ever had. She has become inspired, glorified, transfigured. The whole world salutes her with reverence. As the editor of the Providence Journal said, she is fighting wfth the sword of freedom in her hand and the light of God in her face. Every daughter has become a Joan of Arc and every son a Roland, sans peur, sans reproche. She is the first republic of the world and from the ashes of Louvain and Rheims and the peasant homes of France like the fabled bird, there will arise a new France, a greater France, a better France to enrich the ages.
With Britain and the Allies she is fighting for her life, but also for the world's freedom. Over a hundred years ago her peasants fought to wrest for the individual from a kingly and autocratic despotism within her own borders, the blessings of equality, liberty and fraternity, and to-day
they are fighting a nobler fight to wrest from a foreign despot, for nations great and small, the blessing of equality, liberty and fraternity. France made possible the life of other republics who forget her when her life is endangered because they are too mercenary, or too selfish, or too proud, to fight for liberty. France will be remembered for her chivalry and nobility when their wealth cannot save them from scorn.
Mr. Speaker, these are our motherlands -France and Britain. We of British extraction, you of French, all Canadians, can proudly say with the Scottish singer: A dear old land is the Motherland. They are giving us grand examples of unity, of harmony, of self-sacrifice, of patriotism. They are worthy of emulation. They are worth fighting for, worth dying for. Let us measure up to these standards in this House and out of it and make the name " Canadian " one that will live forever.
(Translation.) Mr. Speaker, every hour, events, both in Canada and Europe, take on a more serious turn. More than ever since the beginning of the crisis in which the Empire is struggling, the increasing hugeness of the conflict obtrudes itself on our minds.
The situation, even as .regards our country, is becoming more tense.
In August, 1914* at the time of the declaration of war, all of us, in a common accord and led on by a like enthusiasm, have realized, without any other incentive but our loyalty to the Empire, that Canada was in honour bound to participate, to the extent of its resources, in the great struggle into which the Empire had just been drawn for the sake of its own preservation and the defence of civilization, threatened by a nation scorning its solemn engagements.
At that time, the world did not dream that in a few months the portentous struggle would reach such stupendous proportions. The worst pessimists could not but predict that the conflict would be of short duration; unhappily, those predictions turned out too sanguine and notwithstanding the successes of the Allies, interspersed, it must be admitted, , with a few reverses, and notwithstanding that the final victory is certain, a guess as to the probable termination of hostilities, becomes increasingly hazardous.
Until now, the Allies, although labouring *sometimes under a considerable disadvantage, sometimes have had the best of the struggle, but after long months of unrelenting endeavours, we, are now more convinced than at any time since the opening
of hostilities) that the triumph of the cause to which the Empire is giving the best of its resources in men and money, depends solely on the perseverance of all citizens in [DOT]their devotion and sacrifices. Canada, I must say, has nobly and unsparingly answered the call. Our contribution to the defence of the Empire has been more than generous. The Government, anxious to meet its obligations to Great Britain, without nevertheless derogating from the traditions of the past, has opened its coffers to help the cause of civilization. That those sacrifices have not been in vain, the proof is wafted over to us from the battlefields of France where our valiant soldiers have won distinction, and the proof will again come out evident and eloquent later, on the day of victory, when we shall be proud of having helped in the final triumph, and take glory in the share we are now bearing of the present exceptional burden.
I say exceptional advisedly, because, so long as Canada was not threatened in its existence, there was room for difference of opinion regarding its obligations towards Great Britain. But in this war, as a matter of fact, there is no question of a crisis concerning one part only of the Empire, and, it cannot be denied, the cause of the Allies is not only the cause of the European powers directly at war, but Canada itself, notwithstanding its apparent safety, is nevertheless in danger. Like Belgium, whose automony seemed at first absolutely guaranteed by .solemn treaties, we are not allowed to think of the future without some apprehension, especially with enemies such .as we are contending with. We may from them expect anything, and the events of the last two years, and the happenings of recent date amongst us give us cause to dread.
The present war is not, as would be thought by some, a European war, it is a universal struggle, in which all nations, including Canada are interested.
The events of the last year in Europe have developed into a situation of such gravity that those of us, who had been opposed to Canada's participation in Imperial wars, although at the time absolutely sincere in their opinion, are driven by the present turn of events, to acknowledge the changed conditions and alter their views on the subject.
credit for it, because in 1896, the Liberals who attacked the purchase of rifles by the
Government of Sir Charles Tupper, have changed their minds, and if we, independent politicians, follow their example, how can we be blamed? I still uphold the fundamental principle of national autonomy, but I cannot but tolerate in the circumstances the policy the present Government has hereto followed. Yet, Mr. Speaker, I would make a reserve. As I was saying a moment ago, Canada, as other countries, must look forward to the future, and if there is found to be danger, as seems to be the fact, is not now the time, before it may be too late, to think of our own security? Should Canada be attacked it is hfu'd to state the precise developments that would bring about such an occurrence, but as it is among possible events are we, after the enormous sacrifices in men and money we have been making to this day, in a position to successfully defend our territory?.
I do not thereby mean that we should completely stay those measures now being taken, but I particularly commend to the attention of the Government that in our decisions there be kept in view the safety of our own immediate interests. To this date, millions have been spent to come to the help of the Mother Country and the Allies, but led on by the burst of enthusiasm and generosity which in this war animates its citizens, Canada must not forget its own national security.
much interested in the addresses delivered in this House following the Budget *Speech of the hon. the Minister of Finance. Before adding my own remarks on the subject, 1 must first tell yotf, Mr. Speaker, what I think of the war expenditure.
So as to ward off all misunderstanding, I shall quote what I stated in this House on the 9th of March, 1915, as reported, page 804 of Hansard:-
It was with satisfaction that personally I voted the $50,000,000 required to defray the contribution which we deemed it proper that a country such as ours ought to vote.
But, Mr. Speaker, I believe that such help ought to be proportionate to our resources and that we have no right to indulge in inconsiderate and uncontrolled expenditure. The help which a son is bound to give his father should be proportionate to his own resources and ito the needs of his parent, and if we must accept that proposition as being absolutely logical and reasonable, we must also infer that we have now greatly exceeded the limit of our obligations.
Let us calmly look into the situation, keeping in view solely the performance' of our duty as representatives of the people.
It is-universally conceded that England has all [DOT] the money she wants. We know through the Minister of Finance himself that we go to England to obtain the very moneys that have been appropriated for our war expenses. Is not that sufficient evidence that, instead of fulfilling an obligation, we have on the contrary imposed upon ourselves an immense sacrifice.
In view of the present financial situation in England and in our own country, is it not evident that our sentiments of loyalty and the deep indignation felt at the atrocities committed by those blood-thirsty Germans, have been the sole motives of our spontaneous participation?
But, Mr. Speaker, I ask this House, are we then justified in driving the country into bankruptcy? iNot so, unless it may be shown that our participation to the full is the only guarantee of the certain success of the Allies. And as a member of this House is expected fully to speak his mind, let me say right here that the interest we have in this war, however great it may be, is far from being equal to the interest of England or the other independent nations engaged. We are only a self-governing colony, and we have no war to wage here for the conservation of our sovereignty, as have other nations; and that makes an enormous difference. If we were to follow the dictates of certain visionaries, we should exhaust^ nay, we should already have exhausted at this moment our resources in men and money, and, say I, under what circumstances?
Since the last session, things have gone much worse. During recess, the Government has decided to increase our forces to 150,000 men, then to 250,000 and on ithe 2nd of January last, the Prime Minister, confined in his room by sickness, threw out that stunning news of an army of 500,000 men.
Why not have waited to the 12th of January, on the opening of Parliament, to lay before the House that ridiculous project?
In bringing the 'Canadian effective to 500,000 men, the Government puts us on an equal footing with European nations, leaving out of count the foreign nationalities among our population.
The Prime Minister, in his address on the Speech from the Throne, has declared to the House that the Canadians had saved the Empire at the battle of Langemarek.
So, it is, Mr. Speaker. Our soldiers have been mowed down as by a scythe, on account of our inferior arms 'and supplies and the large number of German guns and munitions of all kinds.
I maintain therefore that it was nothing less than a crime to thrast our soldiers into battle without weapons and supplies.
Mr. Speaker, I denounce with all the energy I can command, all that waste of men and money.
First of all, the request has never been made by England for sacrifices of that *magnitude; she knew that 'it was beyond our power.
Will you not acknowledge, Mr. Speaker, that we could have rendered more yeoman service, a hundred-fold more so, to the Allies, by commandeering all our workshops to the making of munitions, and by getting the Government shops to manufacture shells at cost price? Valuable help would thereby have been given the cause.
The Westminster Gazette, during the month of January, 1915, had the following:-
We are told that Canada desires to carry its contribution in men to 1<50,000 before next fall, should that number be required. It is needless to say that we do not believe such a sacrifice will ever be required from the Dominion. We fully acknowledge that Canada will be with us in the present war to the extreme limit of its resources. But we hope that the recruiting now going on in England will suffice and that we shall never be obliged to make such a call on Canada. We must not forget that what is required from Canada during the present conflict is twofold service. That country must remain the granary of the Empire and if we are to achieve success in this war, the men working in the Canadian fields will help us to that victory just as effectively as those who expose themselves to the fire of the enemy.
Mr. Speaker, I am perfectly aware that the newspapers of the country, Grit and Tory, will denounce me to-mor.row for the stand I now take on the question of our participation in the war, I realize that the yellow papers of Ontario will report my words. I am quite willing they should do so, what I say expresses my own personal opinion.
If my party was in power, and my parity was guilty of such absurdities, I should attack my party with all the >sfre.nuousne&s.
I could muster.
The Ontario papers have spread the report that the Prench-Canadians were not performing their duty, that they did not enlist m sufficient numbers. I am of a contrary opinion. To my mind, their enlistment is too great for the treatment they receive at the hands of the majority.
In Ontario, the French-speaking element are deprived of the rights which were granted them by the Fathers of Confederation in 1867 in an agreement acquiesced in by the different groups which then inhabited the country. The clear intention *was that the French language was to be on an equal footing with the English language, and yet what sight are we given to witness around our French schools in this very capital city of Canada. Are we not refused the liberty of teaching our children the language they learned on their mother's
knee, a right guaranteed to French-Can-adians by the Fathers of Confederation.
I take pleasure in congratulating the hon. member for North Simcoe (Mr. Currie) on the address he delivered this afternoon. I see that during his sojourn in France he has learned to appreciate the French race and the French-Canadians. Should he return, I should suggest that he bring along with him the Prime Minister of Ontario, Mr. Hearst, his colleagues, and many of the members of this House, in order that they may get an opportunity of finding out the real worth of Frenchmen. When they return, it is safe to say that they will no more insist on the children of such a glorious race being forbidden to learn their mother tongue in French-Canadian schools.
The war unfortunately is being waged in Europe since the third of August, 1914. Let us examine rapidly the relative position of both sides, both in men and resources. The Allies, I find, have an aggregate population of over 300,000,000, and greater resources than the enemy. Such being the case, why should the Canadian people be driven to the verge of bankruptcy by its Government in order that soldiers be sent to fight for the Allies, when it has been proved that what was wanting was not men but war supplies.
Let us compare our situation with Great Britain's. The latter, according to the statements made by Lloyd George in the British House of Commons, has enough funds invested in foreign lands to enable it to continue the war during the next four years.
We, on the other hand, are yearly paying as interesting to England $150,000,000, and $50,000,000 to the United States, and we still must go on borrowing hundreds of millions more if the war last another year or more. If after the war, this country should be called upon to pay the expenditure, three-quarters of our people will be bankrupt.
I read the other day the interview given certain New York newspapermen by the hon. member for Centre Toronto (Mr. Bristol). He claims there are now 150,000 Canadians in the trenches at the front and 1,350,000 British. There are in these figures a great discrepancy with the declarations made by the right hon. the Prime Minister and the hon. the Minister of Militia, in the course of their discussion on the address in reply. These gentlemen stated that we had at the front 50,000 men only. That leads me to conclude that if Mr. FEBRUARY 22, 1916
Bristol has made a mistake of two-thirds regarding the number of the Canadian soldiers, he must have made a proportionate error in his estimate of the British forces.
Let us now examine what obligations we have incurred since the beginning of the -war. Those obligations, I fear, will exceed our resources should the war last much longer, as seems to be pointed out unfortunately by present indications.
As a matter of fact, our soldiers are paid $1.10 per day while England only pays them a shilling, and the French -soldier receives only five -cents,a day. We moreover pay twenty dollars a month to the soldier's family, which means that 500,000 men cost more to Canada than 2,000,000 to England. Again I say, 'it is an insensate policy to which the people of this -country are absolutely opposed.
Our newspapers almost unanimously advocate recruiting. Havetho.se Empire-saviours set an example by enlisting first? No, Mr. Speaker, they take good care not to display their patriotism in that manner. But we understand from what source springs all this devotion, paid by the Government at so much a line. Newspapers wiill publish any story for money-and you know the saying, M-r. Speaker: Lie, lie anyway; some of it is hound to stick. But, Mr. Speaker, the people of this country are wise to the patriotism of the great dailies; and s-ooneT or later, a day of retribution will dawn, and the people who are good judges, will punish as they deserve all those who would save the Empire-for money.
I now should make a few remarks on the speech of my friend, the hon. -the Minister of Inland Revenue (Mr. Patenaude), delivered in this House on the 2nd of February.
The hon. minister alluded to addresses *which, he states, were delivered by the hon. member for Teiniscouata (Mr. Gauvreau) and Kamouraska (Mr. Lapointe) in their respective -counties some time last year. He likewise quoted from Le Soir a newspaper published at Montreal at the time of the general elections in 1896, and from the Electeur, the official organ of the liberal party in the province of Quebec, where the main question discussed was Desjardins rifles, Desjardins then being Minister of Militia in the Cabinet of Sir Charles Tup-per. Among other things, Le Soir stated:-
Why light for England?
The e-lector-s will have to keep in mind that -those big and great leaders who are always so anxious to appear greater patriots than the rest of us, more loyal and eager to -send us to war for another country's benefit, are not those who will be called upon to bear -the burden.
Those rifles, those guns, it will be -the electors who will handle them. They see -in you good gun targets. The Tupers, Angers, Taillons will sit quietly in their office at the department, whence -they will despatch you to your doom.
Your sons will be sent to Africa or Asia, never -to return.
That quotation is found at page 542 of the 1896 un-revised edition of Hansard. Twenty years have since elapsed, and the hon. minister could have, meseems, spoken of the happenings of 1910 and 1911. He dared not. Well, I shall supply the omission, which I suppose, he has made unintentionally. In the month of September 1910, addressing a large meeting at St. Re-mi, the -hon. the minister was then neither honourable nor minister. Mr. Patenaude declared among other things that Laurier had sacrificed Canada to secure titles and honours, and added that Borden was following in the same path. Needless to add that he has denied his leader many times during 1910 and 1911.
The elections of the 21st of September came about. Everything was peaceful. The minister's soul was peaceful. But, a few months later, the cock crowded again beside the Minister of Inland Revenue. On that day he was -called on to deny not his leader but the master of his leader, that is the people. He lost no time, and the diminutive St. Peter was consecrated party organizer for the district of Montreal.
No more have you heard the voice of the hon. the minister throughout our counties clamouring that the proposed navy or the intended contribution to the Imperial navy ought to be laid before the people. The offer of three dreadnoughts was before the House in 1913. The hon. the minister did not say that they amounted to more than the real estate assessment of the counties of Laprairie, Napierville. Not so, Mr. Speaker; during the election of 1911, the hon. the minister warned the people of Laprairie-Napierville that the navy would be Canadian in times of peace but Imperial in times of war, and he quoted the Hon. W. S. Fielding, who had stated in this House that our navy could be put at the disposal of the Admiralty in case of need. You must learn, that the minister was very shy of cannon shots at the' time. His nerves have improved. It was then a terrible sight, that of our sons being put aboard vessels to be sent to China or Japan to fight for England's sake.
I never could understand why a difference was made between [DOT] the net and the gross
debt. It is well known that in the amount deducted from the gross debt, there are certain sums which have been loaned to railway companies, and which those companies have never paid back and never intend to make good.
However, another year of this war, and the gross debt will be $1,200,000,000 and the net debt $850,000,000. We will besides have to settle with England for our share of the expenditure for guns, munitions, etc. The figure will be a good round one, because shells have been expensive in this country. What the amount will be, I cannot forecast, but at its lowest figure it must he estimated at $100,000,000.
Since the August session of 1914, the Minister of Finance has, on three occasions, imposed on the country taxes aggregating at the least to $75,000,000, over and above the taxes with which the people were burdened in 1911.
This year, the revenue is considerable, on account of those new taxes. There must be. taken into account that the soldiers* pay, their pensions, the monthly allowances to their families, increase the buying power of the population. A large number of workmen, moreover, get employment in the manufacture of all kinds of war supplies.
But once the war over, our high-paid workmen will be without salary; the soldiers now in training in various parts of the country will be sent back home. I do not think that I am imposing on this House in stating that the closing up of those two sources alone will result in a decrease in .the actual purchasing power by over $1,000,000 a day. We shall have to pay pensions to our invalids, our widows and our orphans. What will this item aggregate? I cannot say, but if the war endures for a year or more the amount will be considerable. 'The hon. member for Carleton (Mr. iCarvell) placed the figure at about $30,000,000. The interest on the debt will add .at least another $50,000,000; to which if you add a sinking fund to cover those three items, the amount will not be far from $100,000,000. Then, the Civil Service expenditure will have to go on, so that, during the years following on the war, we will not be able to put both ends together for those purposes alone.
Since the month of August, 1914, the hon. the Minister of Finance has imposed additional taxes amounting to at least $75,000,000 over and above what the people had to pay in 1911. Those taxes always fall on the shoulders of the common people, whatever may state the Government organs. The last
articles to be taxed are apples, petroleum, and the profits of manufacturers. Let us examine that taxation. The tax on the profits of industry and trade is the introduction of a revenue tax. If the war keeps on longer and if the Government puts into effect its proposal to raise 500,000 troops, every shred of income r^ill be taxed within the next two years.
We need not for a moment put any stock in the declaration of the minister to the effect that this tax will end in August, 1917. My opinion, on the contrary, is that it will be renewed after that date and even increased. The .consumer it .is who will have to pay the tax; the manufacturer will lower the salaries and increase the price of his merchandise to .an equal extent, and the people will pay over one-quarter of what the manufacturer will turn over to the Government.
That tax seems to me unfair to a manufacturer wtho acts in good faith. iSuipipose a company that had a capital of '$100,000 fully paid and doing a successful business. Will not that company, Mr. Speaker, have to pay more to the Government than another company commencing business with an equal capital, but who found *the means of watering it up to $400,000? fhhat last one declares a dividend of 5 per cent on all its paid-up capital and its water stock. The new law does not affect it. If the other company realizes similar profits, namely 20 per cent on $100,000 of paid-up capital, it will retain only 7 per cent free of tax and the other 13 per cent will have to pay a tax of one-quarter. The law as it is appears quite unfair for the manufacturer in good faith and gross injustices will result. I fail to grasp why the minister has made such a slight distinction between the tax on ordinary manufacturers and that on shell producers, 7 per cent on the first and 10 per cent on the mushroom variety.
What strikes me most in all this is the discontent which that tax is raising among the manufacturers. Yet those very gentlemen mostly all favoured sending the first man and the last dollar to save the Empire.
The famous Ballantyne incident at Montreal is well-known. That gentleman, in the course of a speech at a recruiting meeting, held that all manufacturers ought to discharge their unmarried men who did not enlist voluntarily. Many have discharged their unmarried employees to force them to enlist. I have yet to hear that those big heads, those Empire-saviours, have pointed
the way by themselves enlisting; yet now that the Minister of Finance asks them to .contribute twenty-five per cent over a reasonable profit of' 7 per cent and 10 ,per cent, they are dumb as to the needs of the Empire; their chief care is to make money *like other mortals, maintain the war to sell off their supplies, and begin again after the war, like the celebrated Krupp Company, .in Germany. '
As for me, Mr. Speaker, I am opposed to those excessive taxes. I say that we had no right to saddle the country with a war expenditure above its capacity. Future generations, who will administer the public weal, will say, and truly so, that the politicians of 1914, 1915, 1916 and 1917 have driven the country to bankruptcy; that .their pretense at saving the Empire was but a bluff; that their real ambition was to enrich a large number of their friends and swell the electoral funds of the Tory party.
I like a game of bluff, on a green cloth, not in the House. Parliament is no place wherein to play political bluff. [DOT]
I have but a few remarks to add with respect to hay. I have always found it strange that the Agricultural Department should have seen fit to place the hay-presses on the wharves in Montreal. I think, Mr. Speaker, there is no common sense in that. The hay should be pressed on the farm. As early as the month of September, 1914, the Government awarded James McDonald a contract to re-press that hay in small bales at $4.95 a ton. If I am rightly informed, the same James McDonald, of Montreal, had secured a contract for many thousands of tons of hay at $18 a ton for Nos. 2 and 3. What was the result, Mr. Speaker? In October, 1914, there were in the railway yards not less than 2,000 cars of hay. That is, there was enough for two months ahead, with the result that a large number of smaller dealers were ruined, hay was refused in large quantities, repurchased by associates of McDonald, put in shed No. 16 on the wharves, and, if I am rightly informed, paid $10 to $12 to those dealers. There was besides deducted from that price demurrage on each car, amounting in certain cases, to ten, fifteen, twenty and thirty dollars each car. That demurrage was charged to the dealers, so that they suffered to the extent of thirty, forty, and fifty1 dollars per car. Besides that, Mr. Speaker, many of those dealers found a shortage on some of their cars of twenty, thirty and forty bales, which meant a difference of, one, two or three tons per car. I am told further that a certain inspector used to send carloads of hay that had been rejected to a friend in his village, and I suppose that some time later, the same hay, loaded on another car, was sent again to the Department of Agriculture at Montreal.
I have a case of my own. During the month of October, I sold ten carloads of hay to a hay dealer, who had a contract with the department. That hay was shipped in the name of the dealer. It had been agreed between us that in the case of any hay being rejected by the inspectors of the department he was to have it carted by the J. B. Baillargeon Express, Limited. That was done. Out of the ten carloads about forty tons were rejected and carted by the Baillargeon Company. I gave instructions to the company to dispose of that hay and during the month of December, Baillargeon sold that hay to another dealer who was supplying the department. The hay was taken from Baillargeon's sheds, and passed the Government inspectors who accepted two-thirds of it. I am thus led to believe that the inspection was lax and must have been an incentive to many dealers to have an inferior quality of hay accepted by the inspectors. If, on the other hand, the department had awarded contracts of two, five and ten thousand tons to serious dealers, the latter, as was done at the time of the Transvaal war, would have installed their presses in the country, where they could have secured the hay from the farmers *without the need of inspectors. Mr. Speaker,
I have been in the hay trade for the last twenty-one years. Needless to say that I have sold large quantities of hay and my sales were always based on the quality of the merchandise, either No. 1, No. 2, No. 3, mixed clover, pure clover or cull, and be sure that when I had sold ten carloads of No. 1 hay, I had without fail to deliver the quality I had sold, otherwise, the hay would have been refused on its arrival where it had been bought. The same may be said of grain which, like hay, is sold according to its quality. In 1899 and 1900, I sold for the Transvaal 6,100 tons of No. 2 hay. There were no inspectors at the place of shipment. In summer, the hay was inspected on the wharves at Montreal by a Government, inspector and in winter, the same thing was done by Government inspectors at St. John/ or Halifax. Out of those 6,100 tons only 1,232 bales of 100 pounds each, were rejected, and the rejected hay was stored in Halifax or St. John under my name. And I must add that I never had met, and what is more, was not acquainted with the inspectors. I am satisfied as to what they have done. ,
Last December, the Government prohibited the export of Canadian hay to the United states. It seems to me the Government should have followed New York's example. It often happens that an embargo is placed on New York, either for Thirty-third street, Brooklyn or Erie. Immediately all the railway companies of the United States and Canada are notified of the embargo and the very same day should we ask for cars for New York our station agents advise us that no cars are to be had on account of the embargo. I fail to see, Mr. Speaker, why the .same was not done toy the Uovern-iment; much trouble would have been saved to the dealers. If I .am rightly informed, about 300 oars loaded with hay were held at the port of entry on account of that embargo. I have myself two cars which were held at St. Alban from twelve to fifteen days, so that I may expect to have to pay from twelve to fifteen dollars a car. However, I shall know my fate when I shall receive my bills of sale of the two carloads. I am of the opinion that some compensation should be given by the Government to all those who have had to pay demurrage on oars on account of the embargo. As a result of the embargo we are deprived of our market for No. 1 hay and the bon. member for Chambly-Vercheres (Mr. Rainville) is as aware of that as I am. At the present time, there is no one to purchase that hay, and the farmers have to hold it until next harvest time, except what may be sold on the local market at Montreal,
(Translation.) The hon. member knows that last January there was in Eastern Canada, from Ontario to the Maritime Provinces, not more than 55,000 tons of hay to be had, and one hundred thousand tons were 'required for the War Office.