A fair question, and one that I am not a bit surprised that my hon. friend, has asked. It is a question that I would be inclined, if the circumstances were reversed, to ask myself. I think the late Government were very remiss in their duty in that respect. I went to them time and again as a private member and asked - them if something could not be done on that line. It was not a very important matter then, not nearly as important as it has been during the last year and a half, because when the war broke out was the time for Canada to do something for the Empire and herself. This Government did not hesitate one moment to stop the farmer and the miller from exporting wheat and flour to enemy countries, and it did not hesitate to prevent others from exporting other articles of commerce in the belief that it would not 'be to the advantage of the Empire to have them exported to Germany, Austria, or Turkey. But when it comes to nickel, the one article that we absolutely control, the Government do nothing. Remember that nickel is not in the same category as wheat, or flour, or
clothing, or anything else. If the enemy countries could not get these articles from us they could go elsewhere and get them. But if an enemy country could not get nickel from the International Nickel Company, of New York, they could not get it anywhere else in the world. The Anglo-French Nickel Company, composed of Englishmen and Frenchmen, own all the nickel that comes from the island of New Caledonia, and the Germans cannot buy any of the nickel that the Mond Company ship from Sudbury to London. But all the nickel that is produced by the Canada Copper Company at Sudbury goes to the International Nickel Company. It is shipped to New Jersey, refined there, and sold by them to Germany, because the Krupp people are big owners of the International Nickel Company.
When war broke out nickel was worth from 20 to 24 cents a pound. This company immediately held up the British Government for fifty cents a pound. Canada allows it to be taken free to the United States, there refined, and sold to our enemies at whatever price they choose to pay for it, because they control it; but Great Britain has to pay fifty cents a pound for it. The International Nickel Company have been making from $1,000,000 to $2,000,000 a month, every month in the year, or $25,000,000 a year, and they have been making this huge profit o.ut of the ore that we are supplying them with. That is a state of affairs which should not be allowed to exist another hour. They do not allow it in Australia, nor in the United States. The United States imposed a duty of $120 a ton on refined nickel entering that country. If we had a refinery in Canada, we could not ship nickel to the United States without paying six cents a pound duty. And we allow our matte to go in there free ! What is the process this company employs? The ore is first of all mined at Sudbury. It contains a large amount of sulphur, and is next gathered into large piles, hundreds of feet long; it is then roasted over wood fires until the sulphur is all burned out. This takes about three months. The nickel then goes to the smelter, where all the other metals, copper, gold, silver and platinum, go into the matte. And we allow this matte to be shipped to the United States free of duty, giving employment to two thousand men in New Jersey! But that is only a small matter. The worst feature is that it enables our enemies to get all the nickel they want.
Those are the plain facts of the case. Let us see how this company treats the settlers in the Sudbury district. The country is simply devastated by the sulphur fumes that are given off as the ore is being roasted. Farm after farm has been devastated, and every bit of vegetation destroyed. In many cases the farmers have been left without a single dollar's worth of crop. Last year things were so bad that 150 of the farmers got together and engaged experts to ascertain the actual damage to the farms, and report to the Canada Copper Company. The company absolutely refused to pay any damages after these experts had reported. Months afterwards the Canada Copper Company sent out its own experts, but this was in the fall when it was impossible to see the full damage that had been done. Their own experts reported on the damage done, but the Canada Copper Company did everything in its power to delay settlement; and you know, Mr. Speaker, what a powerful millionaire company can do when it comes to litigation with a poor farmer. The company in every case refused to settle, except on its own terms. And remember, Mr. Speaker, England is paying this ten or twenty million dollars a year profit that the International Nickel Company is making. That company has doubled its output, and has erected new plant. It could very easily burn the ore in kilns, instead of in the open. If that were done, the sulphur and other bi-products could be saved, but it would cost a couple of hundred thousand dollars to erect the necessary plant, and the company absolutely refuses to do that. What do you think, Mr. Speaker, one of the grounds of their refusal was? To quote:
The damage caused by the Company has been going on to a smaller extent for many years, and the Company in their defence claim to have acquired a prescriptive right to cause such damage even on the enormously large scale.
Simply because this company had ruined every farm in the vicinity in the past, they claimed the right to go on doing it in the future. The local Government at Toronto is just about as bad as this Government. They have recently withdrawn 200,000 acres of land from settlement at the demand of this company-this enemy company that furnishes to the Germans and Austrians and Turks the nickel that they require for the battleships that are to be used against the British Empire. And this Government-sit quietly in their places, and refuse to take the necessary action! The way this company is treating the settlers in the
I do not know anything about him; I speak only of those I know. Probably there are many more of these men.
This work going on in Toronto harbour had to be stopped on account of the rascality that was going on in regard to the class of work which was being done, and we have our enemies doing this work. Why is all this being done? For a little bit of paltry party advantage, a little bit of patronage, of trying to catch the German vote, while the country is bleeding at every pore and suffering on account of this. That is the existing state of affairs, and I call on the Government to put a stop to it.
Now, I ask the Government to put a stop to the exportation of nickel, unless it goes direct to Britain and the Allies. I ask the Government to put a stop to the exportation of nickel to the United States, where it can easily slip through to Germany. The Government will tell me: "Oh, we have an understanding with the International Nickel Company that they will not sell any
nickel to our enemies." Well, who buys it? Why, the Krupps are buying it, and do you expect, Sir, that it is not going to get to Germany, perhaps not as nickel, but combined with other metals? Do you think you can trust them? I remember a few years ago we had at Vancouver and Victoria a German named Alvin von Alvinstein, who-was a great man out there, a fine fellow. He invested there a lot of money, a good deal of which belonged, so he said, to the German Emperor. He made a visit to Germany a couple of years ago; he did not return until after the war had started, and, as he was refused admittance to Canada, he remained in the United States, and what was found? The German Emperor had endeavoured, through this fine fellow, to have an invitation sent by the people of Victoria and Vancouver to the two German warships, the Goeben and the Breslau, the two ships afterwards transferred to Turkey, to pay a visit to British Columbia. Had he been able to carry out that idea, these two ships wrnuld have been in the harbours of Victoria and Vancouver respectfully when the war broke out. If that had happened, what would have taken place at Victoria and Vancouver? Nobody suspected Alvin von Alvinstein; nobody in times of peace suspected the International Nickel Company. But when war comes, our view of these things is changed. War changes everything excepting our friends on tne Government benches; they do not and will not change. Again I call upon the Government to do something to put an end to the state of affairs to which I have referred.
Mr. Speaker, we have just listened to one of the ablest speeches ever delivered on the occasion of the discussion of the Budget, and I am glad to offer to the hon. member for Assiniboia (Mr. J. G. Turriff) my sincere congratulations upon his earnestness and his devotion to his public duty as a Canadian and a parliamentarian. May I offer also my sincere congratulations to the Minister of Finance for the brevity of his speech and the felicity of his words when he delivered the other day a typically White speech to the House, by means of which the will be able to bleed white our >
dear country, Canada. I wish the hon. minister would spare the money of the treasury as well as he spares the time of the House wdien he'delivers his annual Budget speech. [DOT]
Whilst I am complimenting members of
the House, I wish to say a good word to the Minister of Trade and Commerce for the masterly address he gave to the House and to the country the other day. Indeed, it was a clarion call Of a kind to which we on this side of the House are not ae-' customed. It was an earnest appeal from one who, as he said, has been thirty-five years in public life. At last he warns his friends that the moment has come to rid the country of the canker of patronage ' and corruption. If the right hon. Prime Minister had been in his seat that evening, and if, surveying his flock around him, he had been fortunate enough to look instantaneously upon the Minister of Finance, the spendthrift, and the Minister of Trade and Commerce, the preacher of economy, he might well have said: I have a difficult team to drive. The address of the hon. Minister of Trade and Commerce will not raise him in the public estimation, because he already stands high in the estimation of the people of Canada. But I wonder if his address, when read carefully and thought over by his fellow members of the Cabinet, will raise him in the estimation of his own . party. I remember having read, in one of the first books that I read in English, that admirable saying of Hooker:
Even ministers of good things are like torches-a light to others; waste and destruction to themselves.
I think that the effect of the address of the Minister of Trade and Commerce was like the effect of the torch; a light to others, but waste and destruction to himself. After the verdict of yesterday in the county of Peel, where the election was fought on a Dominion issue, not on a local issue, at least we may say that the Minister of Trade and Commerce, after thirty-five years of public life, has been of service to his country. It is said that Queen Mary of England, lamenting the loss of Calais, which for so many years had been the proud possession of England, said to her courtiers: " When I die, open my heart, and there you will find ' Calais.' " Sir, when the Prime Minister read the Toronto and Ottawa papers this morning, and was apprised of the result in the county of Peel-a verdict against corruption; a verdict against the canker of patronage as denounced by the oldest, member of the Cabinet a few days ago-I wonder if he said: Open my heart, my friends, and you will find deeply engraved within it the name of Peel.
Let me, Sir, come at once to the all
absorbing issue, the war, which is being carried on to-day in nearly all parts of Europe. I agree with the hon. minister of Trade and Commerce when he says that the people of Canada, irrespective of party politics, are behind that war and underneath that war. As a Canadian and as a Liberal, all war expenditures on the part of the Minister of Finance that are properly and honestly applied, will receive my unqualified support. Sir, I read with pride as a Liberal and as a Canadian the words spoken by the Prime Minister of England two days ago. In the roar of cannon at Verdun, when peace proposals were whispered by some weak-kneed members, the Prime Minister of England said:
What X said November 9, I repeat now. 'We shall never sheathe the sword which we have not ljghtly drawn, until Belgium-and I will add Serbia-recover in full measure and more than they have sacrificed ; until France is adequately secured against aggression; until the rights of the small nations of Europe based upon an unassailable foundation, and until the military domination of Prussia is wholly- and finally destroyed'.
The pledge taken by the Prime Minister of England is the pledge of every Canadian, as it is the pledge of every Australian and of every New Zealander. The spirit of the Canadian people with regard to the war has never been better exemplified than during the weary months that have passed since August, 1914. The manhood and the womanhood of this country have vied with each other in the effort to replenish the treasury of the Patriotic Fund, in order to maintain the families of the soldiers; in giving to the Red Cross societies, the Serbian Fund, the Belgian Fund, even the Polish Fund, all that they could give. Sir, never was it more remarkably manifested than when, in the month of November last-yes, even under the present Administration-the Canadian people were asked to subscribe $50,000,000 to a domestic loan. From every city, town and hamlet in the country came subscriptions towards 'that domestic loan, and my hon. friend was able to get not merely $50,000,000, but more than $100,000,000. There you have an illustration of the Canadian spirit as regards the present war. Our participation in this war has been questioned by a few. Sir, I do not know that there ever existed, at least in the British Empire-nay, speaking of Cobden, I must speak of him as a citizen of the world-that there ever existed in the world a greater pacificist than Richard Cobden. But, op-
posed as he was to war, Cobden himself said: [DOT]
When a military despot interferes to crush the men of another country while struggling for their national rights, no principle can make it wrong for a free nation to interfere by force against him. It can only be a question of expediency and prudence.
Sir, I have very often heard warlike people criticising Richard Cobden, the apostle of free trade. Certainly he was not a fervent advocate of war. But if Cobden himself had lived in August, 1914, he, I am quite sure, would have stood by the Allies in the attitude they took in fighting the enemy of mankind. In my own province, there are people who have taken to task the right hon. gentleman who leads the Opposition. They claim that he has not been true to himself, because some years ago he stated on the floor of the House of Commons that he was opposed to Canada being launched into the vortex of European militarism. It would be quite easy to make the distinction between espousing the cause of European militarism and fighting the military caste of Berlin, as we are fighting it to-day. But is not this a war between the forces of light and the forces of darkness? Is it not the conflict between liberty and tyranny? It was quite logical for the right hon. gentleman who leads the Opposition to take a commanding attitude in this country and particularly in his own province, in his advocacy of Canadian participation in the war. Sir, look at the United States to-day. T.he Americans are described as a matter-of-fact people. They chose to be neutral from the outset of this great conflict. They kept silent when Belgium was ruthlessly invaded; they kept silent when the crime of the Lusitania was committed. But behold the reaction which is taking place across the boundary. President Woodrow Wilson has been, I must say, a great servant of the American Commonwealth and of democracy. But, Sir, the reaction to-day is against men who are too proud to fight when their country is being humiliated. The issue in the month of November next, when the presidential election takes place, will not be the tariff, will not be any domestic question, the issue will be whether America is to be a factory or a shrine, whether it will adhere to or desert the cause of justice, liberty and humanity. There are many arm-chair critics nowadays. It is extraordinary how their number increases when great events take place. There are armchair critics in my own province, and elsewhere too, who think that England has been rather slow in this war, who say that England has not done her share so far. We hear that statement even here in the city of Ottawa. Mr. Speaker, there is one. cardinal feature of this war which must not be lost sight of: it is that the British Navy saved the Allies from speedy and irrevocable disaster. It gave them time and opportunity to organize resistance to the tremendous German swoop which in August and September, 1914, was the outcome of forty years scheming and planning. The ' fleet has been the vital element and has been the determining factor of the fortunes of the war up to date, this being said without any disparagement of the forces fighting with us. We all know that the Allies have fought nobly, that the French and the Russians have fought valiantly; but we must never lose sight of the fact that without the British navy the war would have soon ended to their disadvantage. If you eliminated the British fleet from the conflict, what would happen even to-day? With superior Teutonic argosies the French colonial empire-which is second only to the colonial e'mpire of Great Britain-Tonquin, Madagascar, Annam, and other dependencies would have been attacked and captured long ago; French and Russian shipping would - have been swept away from the seas; French commerce would have been annihilated; France would have been cut off from Algeria, Morocco, and Corsica, and all chance of obtaining munitions of war, food supplies, and mech-' anical supplies from over the seas would have disappeared. When I hear the armchair critics complaining of England's slowness in moving in this war, I bear in mind the words spoken by the Minister of Marine in France, M. Augagneur, who said:
It is the British fleet that saved the world from destruction by the barbarians of the twentieth century.
Before I come to the .way and means, I wish to say a word or two about two classes of combatants in the present war. Reference was made yesterday by my hon. friend from South Renfrew (Mr. Graham) to the gallant conduct of the British aristocracy. There are two facts in this war that will ever remain salient-the gallantry of the British aristocracy, and the indomitable courage of the French democracy. It has been-said-I read it time and again before the war in books, pamphlets, reviews, that England was decadent, that her aristocracy was effete idle, degenerate. But when the sons of the
British nobility responded to the call of duty on 4th August, 1914, when they buckled on their armour, when they rushed to the front in Artois and Champagne, when later on they were mowed down at Charleroi and Mons, mingling their blood with that of the soldiers of the Republic, I could not help thinking that they were the worthy sons of their sires, of the noblemen Who wrested from King John the Magna Oharta, and of the men of that aristocracy who played such a prominent part in Europe in the course of the 18th century; I could not help thinking that their chivalrous spirit was after all the best evidence that " bon sang ne peut inentir."
As regards the French democracy, let me say this: before the war it was thought that the anti-military party in France would not respond to the call of duty, and fears were expressed that as labour had been more or less internationalized in its organization, the French proletariat would not fight the Germans. Mr. Speaker, the present Munitions Minister of France, Mr. Thomas, is one of the leaders of the old French Labour party. He himself sided for many years with the anti-militarists. But, listen to what he said the other day, speaking at a meeting of labourers in England; one of his friends, who had returned from the front was listening to the complaints of a civilian, and here is the language which he used:
Comrades, I am surprised to hear what is now being said. We, who have been with the colours, know all about the fatigue, the suffering, and the demoralization of French warfare; but we are to-day in the same mind as we were on the day of mobilization. I want to fight in order that my son here may never have to go to war. If I am to die, then I shall die; but I do not want him to see war. To avoid this we will make every sacrifice-our liberty, our blood, and our life.
That is the spirit of the French democracy, a spirit which is on a par with that which animates the British aristocracy.
I now come to the ways and means proposed by the Minister of Finance in order that Canada may stand the test during this crucial period. Let us be sincere with ourselves; let us face the facts as they are, not as we would like them to be. The present war will leave Canada saddled with a huge war debt of probably more than one-billion dollars. As I stated a moment ago, we stand in this war for the ideals which the Allies represent. The first question which any intelligent man should put to himself in this great crisis, is, it seems to me: How best can the Government of this coun-
try help the cause of the Allies? Is it not just by practising, as .all the Allies are practising, rigid economy in civil expenditure, by the elimination of all unnecessary capital expenditures, and of waste in war expenditure. What 'is our financial position at the present moment? Sir, when I look at the array of figures representing our expenditure since 1911, I cannot help but think, pause and ponder. Let us take the fiscal year 1915. The revenue for that year amounts to $133,073,000 and the total expenditure, war expenditure included, is $237,721,000. The year ends with a total deficit of $104,647,000. Let us take the fiscal year 1916. The revenue is $170,000,000; the expenditure, war expenditure included, is $295,000,000, a total deficit of $125,000,000. For the fiscal year 1916-17, the revenue is estimated at $170,000,000; expenditure, war expenditure included, at $415,000,000, a total deficit of $245,000,000. These are facts which the country has to face at the present time.
Now, let us compare the expenditures of 1910-11 with those of 1916-17. I take 1910-11 because that year marked the height of our prosperity in Canada, whilst 1916-17 finds us in the most crucial period in Canadian history. In 1910-11, when we were abnormally prosperous, the interest charges on our national debt took from -us $14,114,000; the estimate for 1916-17 is $39,640,000.
Dept, of Agriculture. ..
Public Works-income .. Public works-capital .. Steamships subsidies .. Naval Service
The list gives us som
e striking contrasts
from beginning to end. The total estimate for 1910-11, when we were prosperous, was
$132,827,000 as against $188,981,000 for 191617. The best interests of the country command the Government to revert to the
figures of 1910-11 when we were prosperous. But I anticipate the answer of the Minister of Finance and the spendthrifts who sit around him. They will apply to the situation the popular slogan, " Business as usual." In a sense I would be inclined to say that this watchword is a true one, but it must not be forgotten that we have to reckon with an unusual business at the present time. We must provide for an army of 500,000 men, we must pay pensions, we must maintain the dependents of the soldiers, we must pay the interest on a huge
war debt, and the war will be long. The immigration wave which swept the prairies of the West during the Liberal Government has passed away not to come back very soon, if we take the Minister of Finance at his word because he predicted a not very roseate aftermath. I believe also with him that the reconstruction of this country will strain all our energies for many decades to come. Therefore, I say that the policy of any wise and patriotic Government during this crucial time should be to practise economy as they practise economy in England, the best ruled country in the world, and in France where they are facing the realities of the war more than anywhere else. Why not imitate England and France in the practice of economy? France and England are wealthy countries. We must preserve our credit. It must be remembered that we have not only interest to pay on our Dominion liabilities. When the Minister of Finance devised his scheme of taxation, which will strike not only those who are profiteering, but legitimate and ordinary business as well, did he think of the other interest charges which bear so heavily on the shoulders of the Canadian people? We have something else than the interest charges on our Dominion liabilities to meet. We have our provincial and municipal liabilities to meet. The Toronto Weekly Sun, a radical paper, one of the best edited in Canada ,and a tolerably good authority, has compiled a list of the liabilities, direct and indirect, of the provinces and municipalities, from which it appears that the direct debts of the provinces amount to no less than $183,000,000. Ontario heads the procession with $44,000,000, while Quebec has liabilities of $26,000,000. The indirect provincial liabilities, consisting principally of railway bond guarantees, amount to $195,000,000, British Columbia leading with $80,000,000, far more than she can afford to pay with her small and not growing population, followed by Alberta with $42,000,000. The municipal liabilities of the entire country have reached the gigantic sum of $625,000,000. The commitments of the provinces and municipalities together amount to $1,000,000,000. Did the Minister of Finance, when he was devising his scheme of taxation the other day, think of the other liabilities that the Canadian people, and legitimate business, have to face? That is one more reason why, as in England, as in France, the Government should practise rigid economy. I know it is a difficult matter for the Government. In England, where
there are statesmen, in France, where there are statesmen, when the war broke out the best men of the various parties sunk their party differences and acted as patriots. They turned their attention to the national issue alone. England formed a coalition government, and so did France. We all know jvhat took place in England. Sir, it was nothing short of a miracle to see Asquith, Grey, Churchill, and Lloyd George sitting around the same table in counsel with Bonar Law, Balfour, Carson, Lord Robert Cecil, and Lansdowne. In France where party passions run very high, it was still more surprising to see Poincaire, the President of the Republic and a moderate Republican' himself, gathering in the Cabinet chamber men like Briand, an exsocialist, Cochin, the representative of Catholic opinion, and Viviani, representing the advanced Socialist opinion, Ribot, a liberal, Combes, an extreme radical; a cabinet mot unlike a mosaic, firm and strong, though diverse in colours.
I have no advice to offer to the Government, I am not looking for a coalition government in Canada, but I say to my fellow members and to the country that if the Prime Minister of Canada had been inspired . by lofty and patriotic motives on the 4th of August last, he would have left the council chamber, and walked across the Parliament building and knocked at the door of the venerable leader of the Opposition, the senior member of the Privy Council in the British Dominions, the Nestor of the British Empire, as he was well described by Mr. Asquith at the time of the Imperial Conference in 1911. He might well have said to the right hon. gentleman: "I want
your advice and counsel, let us put an end to party politics and think only of the great national issue." But nothing of the kind was done. This Government thought only of parish-pump politics. Ever since this war began they have been playing the game, watching for a chance to surprise their opponents. On the 15th of November, 1914, I was present at the first recruiting meeting held in the city of Montreal. The right hon. leader of the Opposition was present at that meeting. Long before, he had made a promise that whenever the Empire was on its trial he would appeal to his fellow men in the province of Quebec to join the colours. That night a telegram was handed to the right hon. gentleman, who was sitting next to me on the platform. The telegram informed him that sinister influences were at work in Ottawa, that a dissolution of
Parliament was impending. But such a protest went up from one end of the country to the other that the Government paused and pondered, and finally Teeeded.
Then, in the month of May last, the hon. Minister of Public Works visited Montreal and practically announced an immediate general election. At that moment, our boys were fighting and dying at Festubert and St. Julien, and next morning, as the people read in one column of their papers the report of his speech, and in another column the story of how our boys had been mown down by the enemy, every one felt this time the veto against an election had been written with the blood of our brave soldiers, and the Government would not dare dissolve Parliament. Yes, Mr. Speaker, it was the blood of the bravest which prevented this Parliament from being prematurely dissolved.
This Government .have been playing politics, instead of playing the part of statesmen. What have they done since 1911? If they really wanted to help the Mo-theT Country, if they were really in earnest, would they not stop at once every foolish expenditure and use the money to purchase equipment and necessaries for our soldiers? For instance, is it not a scandal that instead of conducting a recruiting campaign, this Government is only recruiting camp followers for the inside and outside public service? Since 1911 they have appointed 25,613 men to the service. Of course, I know' they will answer that many employees have died, many have resigned or been dismissed-the larger number of them have been dismissed-but we know that after allowance has been made for all these, there have been 11,147 additional appointments made by this Government during a period when the country was making mighty little progress. In the Department of Agriculture there have been 579 'new appointments; Customs Department, 1,649 new appointments; Indian Affairs, 295 new appointments; Inland Revenue, 165 new appointments; Immigration, 343 new appointments, and no immigration; Mines, 103 new appointments; Public Works, outside service, 1,877 new appointments, inside service, 128 new appointments; Intercolonial railway, 2,076 new appointments; Post Office, civil servants, 3,312 new appointments; postmasters, new appointments, 6,591;'Marine Department, 1,608 new appointments. In the Fisheries Branch alone there have been 269 new appointments. I say in the presence of my hon. friend the Minister
of Marine and Fisheries (Mr. Hazen) that if Ire conducted his own private affairs as he and his colleagues have conducted the affairs of this country, he would very soon have no business to conduct.
What is there oat of order about it? I do not for one moment charge my hon. friend with making a statement that he knows to be untrue. 1 know him too well to believe that he would do such a thing as that. I simply say that the statement which he makes, which I assume he has from an outside source, is untrue.