I wish to ask the Acting Minister of Finance whether, in cases such as this, where the family is so large that the exemption of $200 per member of that family will wipe out the excess of income upon which that man might otherwise have to pay, the minister would not consent a bonus to those people.
I realize that I -am, perhaps, trespassing on the arrangement made to confine the length of speeches to some twenty or thirty minutes, and therefore I shall endeavour to bring my remarks to a close very soon. There are just one or two further observations I would like to make.
With regard to the question of production, the ground has been very well covered, I think, and yet I believe the Government do not realize the gravity of the situation which they have created. Those of us who have been among our constituents during the l-ast two weeks, have -a very much more accurate conception of the feeling of discouragement and consternation, and the lack of confidence that to-d-ay exists among the farmers of the province of Ontario. And when I read a few lines from a cablegram sent on April 13 to the Canada Food Board it seems almost the sheerest irony in view of the nature of legislation that has been placed upon the statute book in the form of amendments to the Military Service Act:
[DOT]'In these stern days it is inspiring to learn that Canada is tackling the food problem with redoubled energy.
"We cannot achieve victory without food. There never was a time when it was more needed. The Canadian farmer and the Canadian farmhand now have the opportunity to make an effective reply to the enemy's present onslaughts by bending their undivided energies to the increased production of those food supplies for
fMr. Euler. 1
which we depend to such vital extent upon your great Dominion."
That cablegram was sent by Lord Rhondda, Food Controller of Great Britain. The member for Fort William (Mr. Manion) the other day made reference to what he called a "vicious circle." I believe that the legislation that the Government have passed in conscripting the farmer will result in another vicious circle: No men on the farms, no food, and ultimately, if there be no food, there will be no men.
I was going to comment, Mr. Speaker, on -another phase of the subject, which has already been touched upon, and with which I will deal very briefly. I was somewhat surprised yesterday when the hon. member for Red Deer (Mr. Glark) gloried in the fact that the pledge given -to the farmers had been violated. I hope, Sir, I am no Pharisee, but it is difficult for me-a.s I am sure it is for many other members of the House, some of whom sit on the other side, if they speak -thei-r convictions-to understand the mental attitude that permits any man, or any responsible body of men, to violate a solemn promise given to the farmers of this country. As the hon. member for Middlesex (Mr. Ross) stated the other day in the House, a pledge is a pledge. In my opinion a pledge can be obviated only by the consent of those to whom it was given. The Government nrge military necessities as the ground for thei-r -action. Those military necessities may be very great, but that was the doctrine that was invoked in another case, to which I need not refer, at -the beginning of the war, and which doctrine meets with the condemnation of the whole civilized world.
I trust, Sir, that we have not adopted the vicious doctrine that "the end justifies the means."
I have not noticed in the speech of the Acting Minister of Finance any reference to the claims of the letter carriers of Canada. I do not know what the intentions of the Government are with respect to this deserving class of Government employees, but I read in the press a few days ago that it was proposed to give them some recognition in the form of increased remuneration.
I believe the Government would be justified in giving to these men a very substantial increase in pay. Their work is difficult and responsible, and1 they have not been paid in accordance with their needs. While I say that, I would also make ia plea on behalf of the country postmasters, and the
men who are in the service of the Government driving vehicles on the rural routes, whose case, I believe, is just as good as that of the letter-carriers. While we should exercise economy, the people should not forget that the labourer is worthy of his hire.
One thing more, Mr. Speaker, and I am through. We are told that it is desirable that this House should adjourn to give opportunity for the Prime Minister, the President of the Council (Mr. Rowell), and, I believe, the Minister of the Interior (Mr. Meighen), to proceed overseas to confer with the representatives of the Imperial Government and of the other Dominions. While I do not begrudge the trip, to the President of the Council,-and I would like to remind the hon. member for Russell (Mr. Murphy) that this time the President of the Council will go at the expense of the Government-and while I believe that the Minister of the Interior is weil worthy of any consideration, because we have been told, and I believe it is true, that during the last session at least he was the hardiest worked) member of the Government, it, seems to me that if the consultation pertains to the carrying on of the war the Minister of Militia (Mr. Mewburn) and the Minister of the Naval Service (Mr. Ballantyne) should rather be members of that delegation.
Some one near me mentions also the ex-Minister of Militia (Sir Sam Hughes) and I might say that that is a good suggestion. We have an Overseas Minister of Militia (Sir Edward Kemp) and it would be quite in the interests of the country if the two Ministers of Militia were able to get together once in a while to compare notes. The Minister of the Naval Service in presenting his estimates, I can say without flattery, earned the approbation of members on this side of the House. He handled his work and his figures not only courteously but in the most businesslike way, and with great ability. His department has in charge a work of great consequence to the people of Canada, the construction of ships, which, in itself, is a large factor in connection with the war. It seems to me that these two ministers, in any conference pertaining to the war, might very well accompany the Prime Minister across the sea.
Now, Sir, a last word. We know there are members on the other side of the House who are not altogether in accord with
some of the actions of the Government. We know that is the case in connection with the exemption of the farmers, we know that they desire free implements, and they are setting that desire aside for the time being in the interest, as they say, of the winning of the war. We know that they do not altogether agree with the recent increase in freight rates. But we have the disappointing experience, and the disappointing spectacle of having the protests on the part of these gentlemen made, not in the House where such protests count, but in the corridors of this House and in the Committee on Agriculture. Let me say that so far as, I am concerned, and with all due deference to my right hon. leader I propose to exercise a very considerable degree of independence. We have been told that the Union Government created the opportunity for the exercise of a measure of independence by members on that side such as never existed before. For my part, so far I have failed to see it in a practical way, or in any way that counts. I would say to these gentlemen- and I do not know that it is quite fitting that any advice of this kind should come from a humble back-bencher, a man new to this House-that it is their duty to represent their constituents, that we should all realize that, after all, the Cabinet, the Government, the executive power, should be the servant, not the master, of this Parliament; and that these members will find if they do follow their convictions that they will maintain not only their own self respect but they will not in any way prejudice the winning of the war.
Mr. JOSEPH ABCHAMiBAULT (Chanr-bly and Vercheres) : Mr. Speaker, I listened very attentively on Tuesday of last week to the most interesting address of the Acting Minister of Finance (Mr. A. K. Maclean) also to the speeches made by the various members in the course of this debate. It is not my intention to pick holes in the Budget or to make a long speech at this stage but. simply to draw attention to certain sides of the question which might be of some interest.
Last year, when the healthy, but now convalescent, Minister of Finance (Sir Ihomas White) introduced the income tax measure an article appeared in a newspaper in Montreal on July 31, 1917, of which the following is a translation:
Nobody will pretend that the father of eight or ten young children can easily take away from a salary or income of three or four thousand dollars, the same amount that the head of the
believe that the prices of these commodities were rising because of their great scarcity. He was the Nemesis of the profiteer. But everybody knows that he was practically forced to resign. Change after charge followed in his reports, but despite all this he had to resign; the situation made it impossible for him to carry on his work successfully. Who possesses the power to minimize the effective work of the food investigator? This is a proper question to ask and I hope the Government will answer it. But Mr. Speaker, the resignation of Mr. O'Connor did not come to me as an extraordinary shock, because at the beginning of the session, when the Minister of Labour (Mr. Crothers) brought down his estimates he gave the House a foretaste of his policy. The hon. member for Wright (Mr. Devlin) was questioning the Minister of Labour 'about the prehistoric chickens of Winnipeg', and the minister replied- (page 212 of Unrevised Hansard):
As soon as X heard of the chickens that had spoiled in cold storage in Winnipeg. I wired the manager of that concern, and he referred my wire to the head office in Toronto, who wrote me at once concerning the matter. A few days later I got an explanation from the manager of the concern in Winnipeg, which satisfied me there was no intention of wrongdoing.
I was told before I came to this House that I should expect some surprises from the Minister of Labour-and I can assure you, Mr. Speaker, that I got a surprise at the start.
Why, the people of this country are buckling their belts tighter and tighter every day. . While the Government is asking the people to economize and conserve food for the Allies, profiteers and food hoarders like the William Davies Company when caught in the act-and not their first offence-are allowed to go scot-free by simply writing a letter that tickles the ear of the Minister of Labour. I had always thought that we, the representatives of the people, had something to- say in these matters, and may 1 add these people would not have got off so easily if their explanation had reached this House instead of the well-seasoned and trained ear of the Minister of Labour. We might have been more suspicious of this wonderful hypnotic letter which so easily convinced the minister.
I said that the second condition required by the people of this country to accept cheerfully the pecuniary sacrifices involved in the Budget, and a condition essential to winning the war and avoiding famine, is the maximum production of food. Every-
one admits that, so I will not take the time of the House in demonstrating it. I might, however, remark that when we on this side of the House were urging this fact during the last election we were accused of disloyalty and called traitors. The great economists of the world.-David F. Houston, secretary of the Department of Agriculture of. the United States, Prof. Arthur Bichmond Marsh, Director of the Economic World; Mr. IBoret, president of the French Commission of Agriculture, Sir George Paish, Mr. Prothero, Daniel Belief, Georges Blondel, Victor Gambon, Edward Lyall Fox, Austin Harrison-all agree that famine is at our door. We are now facing a crisis, and it is imperative that production be increased. Remember, Mr. Speaker, the plough will be the gun that will fire the last shot in this war. Appeals for greater production have frequently been made by the Canada Food Board in their bulletins. That appeal is made on practically every page of the Bulletin of February 23, 1918. I am glad to say that the province from which I come is doing wonderful work in that respect. All authorities in the province are bending their energies to that end. The Chief Justice of the Court of Appeal of the province of Quebec, Sir Horace Archambault, appealed to the people of the province through the newspapers. Archbishop Bruchesi has also made an appeal to the people of Quebec, and if il were not afraid of scandalizing some of my friends opposite I would read what he said. However, I do not see present the hon. gentleman who would Ibe scandalized, so I will read his letter, which was read in every Church of the province of Quebec on Ash Wednesday: .
At the present time, other voices than her's Cthe Church's) imperious in their demand for the practice of abstinence and economy, have been heard. These are the voices of governments dismayed by the disastrous consequences of the war, and who foresee perhaps the awful spectre of a universal famine.
Appeals are becoming more urgent day by day.- We must, it is said, eon\e to the aid of our soldiers by sending to them the food which they ask for. The most urgent question of the day is the question of assistance. We must look forward to the eventualities of the future; let us therefore economize; let superfluity be banished from our tables; deprive ourselves every day of some bread and some meat. In certain quarters leagues are formed. Citizens are asked with insistence to sign cards pledging themselves to cohform to these measures called economical, but which are, after all, real measures for the practice of penance.
Restaurants and hotels must abide by laws of privation, the infraction of which entails severe fines. These rigorous rules, these pressing recommendations, are inspired by sympa-
thy towards our brothers, by public interest and the fear of evils ever menacing us.
What is solicited or prescribed by the stress of circumstances and for merely human motives, although praiseworthy and legitimate in themselves, let us continue to do for the supernatural motives recorded in the Gospel, and recalled to our mind by the Church.
This doctrine is for all times; it should especially be understood and accepted during days of suffering and mourning such as those we are now traversing. How can we give ourselves up to pleasure, how can we speak of banquets and worldly feasts, when we think of the thousands of men, women and children who lament and weop, without food or shelter, submitted to all the sadness of a cruel exile; and above alii, when we think of those poor soldiers agonizing in the hospitals or dying on the field of battle.
I think every one in this House will say that that is the kind ot appeal that should be made to our people. I think it was a splendid effort on the part of the head of the church in Montreal. But it is not only the ecclesiastical authorities in the province of Quebec that have made these appeals. Mr. J. A. Grenier, Deputy Minister of Agriculture of the province of Quebec, made the following special appeal:
Our first step was to organize an educational campaign. For lecture purposes the Province was divided into twenty-five districts. In each of these districts we placed two lecturers, one an experienced agricultural attached to the Provincial Department of Agriculture and- the other a practical farmer. These men were made responsible for visiting every parish in their respective districts, and at the present time nine-tenths of the parishes, both French and English, have been covered in this way. The staff of Macdonald College have helped in our campaign in certain constituencies and have given much information to the agronomists of these districts.
We are supplementing this series of lectures by publicity in the Journal d'Agriculture and other newspapers, and also by circulars addressed to the parish priests, mayors, postmasters, bank managers, railway station agents, and others. The first circular letter addressed to the parish priests was read in the churches. The letter to the mayors is being sent out and the others will be issued from month to month in order to maintain the interest of the public.
Up to the present time we have purchased 540 choice sows, which will be distributed in the spring. We are making arrangements with the abattoirs for the purchase of an additional number. The Department has bought several car-loads of shorts which will be sold to the farmers. We are also planning to buy corn as soon as supplies are available.
We are awaiting the decision of the hanks upon the question of exhibition of hogs. At these exhibitions entries will be received from young people, the object being to organize our own hog contests. We are counting upon an increase of 20 per cent in the number of hogs this year over normal production if the province can obtain a sufficient quantity of feed.
The Federal Department of Agriculture has assured us that the province of Quebec will receive the necessary seed wheat to cultivate
700,000 acres and to produce 12,000,000 bushels of wheat, which would be enough to provide for tlie consumption in this province. As this wheat is sold only in car-load lots, we have made arrangements with the more important co-operative societies to provide seed wheat in small quantities in localities where the farmers are not able to buy a whole car load. The Agronomists and Agricultural Societies, and agricultural circles are taking orders at the present time. We have good hopes of being able to treble our normal production of wheat this year.
We have taken the necesary steps to ensure to the farmers seed peas and beans to meet all their requirements. We are confident that the production of these two products will be double the normal crops. .
Here is a short article in the Canada Food Bulletin reporting the pledge card campaign in Quebec:
Quebec Pledge Campaign.
Splendid meetings have been held and card canvass is going well.
The pledge card campaign in Quebec is going well. Splendid meetings have been held under the auspices of Chief Justice Lemieux, Hon. Mr. Caron, Minister of Agriculture, and Hon. Mr. Chapais, a member of the Legislative Council. The first housewife in Quebec to sign the card was the Mayoress, Mrs. Lavigueur, and the second was the President of the Housewives' League, Mrs. Tanguay.
We are not confining ourselves to appeals or preaching, but we are also getting results. Let me compare the agricultural production in Quebec in 1916 with thalt of 1917. The figures are:
I take these figures from the Journal of Agriculture of the province of Quebec dated February 15, 1918. But when we are asked to produce food and when we are bending our efforts towards that end, we are stunned by (the announcement of an Order in Council passed by this Government calling off the exemptions from military service of men between the ages of twenty and twenty-two inclusive who are engaged' in agricultural production. This was followed by voting down an amendment proposed in this: House exempting farmers. This amendment was voted down on the 19th of this month, and the Canadian Food Bulletin of the month of March, issued by authority of the Government, stated that
we were short 118,500 farmers. The publication in question, at page 5 of its issue of 7th of March, 1918, states that the shortage of farm hands in Alberta was 13,000, in Saskatchewan 25,000, in Manitoba 17,000, in Ontario 35,000, in Quebec many thousands, in New Brunswick 2,000, in Prince Edward Island 500, and in Nova Scotia 2,500. Assuming a comparative pro- [DOT] portion for the province of Quebec I might put the shortage there at 20,000, which makes a total shortage, as stated, of 118,500. What will be the result of this policy? It will mean that we will miss our best opportunity to help the Allies. It will mean that if the Allies lose the war on account o-f the food shortage, the Government, whose short-sighted policy has always been to render not the most effective but the most spectacular aid, will be partly responsible.
(Resuming). Mr. Speaker, when the House rose I was trying to impress upon hon. gentlemen the absurd and illogical reasoning of the Government in refusing to exempt farmers from military service, while at the same time declaring in an official publication, the Canadian Food Bulletin, that there was a shortage of 118,500 farm hands this spring. By this short-sighted policy we aTe missing the opportunity to render effective aid to the Allies and are running along the road to suicide at a tremendous pace. You may open the newspapers every day, Mr. Speaker, and find advertisements by farmers offering to sell their land because they cannot get help. Delegations from every province, except perhaps Quebec, are pouring into this House protesting against the folly of such an enactment. Meetings of protestation are being held everywhere from the Atlantic to the Pacific. Why is the province of Quebec not protesting so strongly, why are there practically no delegations from that province? The reason is very simple. The people of ny province were prepared long ago for the reversal of the promises of this. Government. When the candidates of the Union Government in my province told the farmers that they would be exempted the electors did not believe them, and they are not surprised at what has happened now. But the electors of the other provinces, whose votes the Government obtained under false pretenses, are beginning to realize the hollow
ness of its promises; they know how the Government got their vote. On December 3 last, fifteen days before the election, an Order in Council was passed exempting farmers, and on the following day a message from the Government appeared in the press announcing that even those farmers who had already been drafted could apply to the Minister of Militia and be returned to their farms. On December 7 a case was submitted to the -Central Appeal judge, that of Mr. Rowntree, and the judgment was that a person who is habitually and effectively engaged in labour essential to the production of food should not be conscripted. Why, there was a paper published in Montreal, which lived only during the campaign, called Le Vrai Patriot-the True Patriot-in which appears an article which I have translated as follows:
The Central Appeal Judge has rendered a decision in favour. of the exemption of farmers' sons, which the Liberal press does not acknowledge. In order to maintain the Military effort of the allies, it is essential that Canada should not lessen its agricultural production.
Farm hands are not superabundant in the country, they are rather insufficient.
Here are two important principles enunciated by Judge Duff, who constitutes the central appeal tribunal under the military law, on an appeal from the judgment of an exemption tribunal, which had refused an exemption asked by a farmer. The exemption of the farmer was immediately granted.
The decision in this test case will bring happiness to all the farmers of Canada.
A short-lived happiness, Mr. Speaker, after the last announcement.
It will reassure them not only for the present, but for the future.
A future which ended last week or two weeks ago.
Their status has been fixed on a definite unequivocal question. By this decision the farm hands will not be taken away from their work, no matter how hard pressed, we may be by our participation in the war.
The national interests and the Allies interests are served by the farmers continuing to work on the land. Although the law theoretically does not exempt them from military service, it does exempt them practically.
Here is assuredly something that will disappoint the poor Liberals, who were so happy in trying to convince the farmers that they would not escape military service. This judgment of Judge Duff will fall on them with much more vigour than a sunstroke. Any way, these good Liberals never thought for one moment that the farmers would come under the law. They knew that the intention of the government was to exempt all farmers and all farm hands.
This article is from a paper published by the Unionist organization in Montreal. I find on the third page portraits of the hon. Mr. Sevigny, the hon. Mr. Blondin, the Minister of Justice (Mr. Doherty), the
[DOT]ex-vice-president of this House, Mr. Rain-ville, all good supporters of the Unionist party, as well as portraits of all the candidates endorsed by the Union Government in the province of Quebec. And talking about the ex-vice-president of this House, [DOT]here is a letter which was sent to every farmer in my constituency by Mr. J. H. Rainville, my opponent in the last election,
I will translate.
I am pleased to inform you that the regulations of the military law exempt the bona fide farmers
It will be observed that he went further than the election paper to which I have referred, and further than the' Order in Council.
-exempt the bona fide farmers, their families and industrials. X have at last succeeded' in winning this point, and it is only justice. You can, then, send without any fear your sons to the tribunals. Special instructions have been given to that effect.
I hope that the farmers will do all they can to ensure greater production of all that is necessary to feed the population.
With the assurance of my best wishes, believe me,
Yours very truly,
(iSgd.) J. H. Rainville.
But that is not all. In order to get the vote of the farmers, which was slipping away at that time, the whole of the Unionist Press, in elaborate articles, insisted that the Military Service Act did not threaten them; that they would remain on their farms-and similar arguments were addressed to those engaged in national industries. In its issue of August 30, the Montreal Star, referring to the Military Service Act, said:
It is merely a scheme for raising- a definite number of new recruits-one hundred thousand. This is less than one-fourth as many as we have raised already. It proposes to raise these recruits among the young men in the community who have no domestic responsiblities and who are not usefully employed) in war-winning work. It will take only young men who should have gone long ago or who have not before reached military age.
It is, in short, a scheme of selective recruiting. v
If the recruiting officers had continued to get volunteers in sufficient numbers, this Act probably would not have been proposed. But the country would have suffered. Voluntary recruiting-as we now know in ^Canada and as they learned even more -bitterly in Britain-is a wasteful and mischiev/ous way to get men. The working men volunteer very often. That is, a man who is needed for some essential war-work at home offers to go; and) he is taken. In Britain, they were compelled to weed tens of thousands of these skilled' workers out of the army in France and bring them back to the factory, the foundry and the farm. If these
skilled workers had properly known their own value, they would have known that they had no business ta volunteer. For them to volunteer was to desert. But they could not know. That is a matter for the expert organizers of war services. So these expert organizers got a law in Britain which enabled them to simply tap the right young man on the shoulder and say-"You go"-and shake a prohibitive finger at the wrong young man and say-"You stay."
Not only did the Star make these assertions on its editorial page, but papers generally from other provinces were full of similar messages. On December 4 the following article appeared in the Star:
The Military Service Act will be no hardship to Alberta farmers. A short time ago H. W. Wood, President of the United Farmers of Alberta, representing 150,000 farmers, issued an interview to the press stating that it was most unwise of the Government to rob the farms of the producers,- for military service, and stop the production of food for the Allies. On hearing of Premier Borden's anouncement and on receipt of a letter from the military registrar, Mr. Wood has decided that the Military Service Act will not impose any hardships on the farmers of Alberta, pointing out that appeal can be made by all farmers against decisions of tribunals and arguing them to take action in accordance with the modified Government regulations to get exemptions.
On the same page, the Star says:
Ontario has 82 seats and Unionists are confident of carrying 70 of them. That there has been some unrest in the rural parts owing to the anomalies in the ruling of exemption tribunals is not questioned, but the steps taken by the Government a few days ago to ensure that a Ibona fide agriculturist will not -be interfered with neutralize effectively any adverse tendency.
What were the papers of the other provinces saying? I read in the Toronto World of December 10 the following:
General Mewburn announces that all farmers coming within Class A called out for military service under the provisions of the Military Service Act who are actually employed on a farm in the production of foodstuffs for Canada and her Allies, and whose services are necessary in the work of such farm, will be exempted from military service. If such a farmer Is drafted in the army General Mewburn feels that it will be his duty to relieve him from military service on the condition that he returns to the farm and continues to be so employed.
The Canadian Thresherman and Farmer,
of Winnipeg, dealt with this subject nnder such heads as the following: " Vote for Union Government," " Agriculture, Canada's prime industry, must carry on, unchecked iby the draft." " Farmers' sons needed on land." "Sir Robert Borden's guarantees." " General Mewharn's explicit statement in regard to the sons of farmers needed on the home farm." "Necessity of selective draft." This paper says:
Class A men will suffice, and will be placed where they can give most value to Canada and the cause, whether in the ranks, on the land, or in the factory.
No reasons have been brought forward for the changing of the law; the Government is simply going back on its word. Before the election I was against the Military Service Act; I conscientiously believed that we could give better aid to the Allies and to our own country by continuing the system of voluntary recruiting, by encouraging shipbuilding and by increasing food production. I am still against this law; I conscientiously believe that it is a failure, and, if it were possible to do so, by constitutional means, I would repeal it for the sake of .harmony and unity. But I have always been a law-abiding citizen, and when this Act became law I held meetings in my constituency explaining the Act and urging my fellow-citizens to obey it and register. Other hon. members on this side of the House did the same thing. The result was that the province of Quebec had the highest percentage of registrations. Nevertheless, I must confess that the last Order in Council, abolishing exemptions for a certain class of men, is mere national suicide and will not help to win the war. It will reduce production and create, throughout this country, a feeling of unrest.
I must apologize for having taken up so much of the time of the House, but I felt it was my duty to-day to explain my opinions frankly, without prejudice, in accordance with the dictates of my conscience and to the best of my ability. I believe I am expressing the sentiments of hon. members on this *ide of the House when I state that, since the beginning of this session, v, e have felt there has been a distinct effort on both sides to bring harmony between the two great races comprising this Dominion. It is true, a few hon. members on your right, Sir, have to have their unavoidable attacks of nettle rash after a bad digestion. Some of them will never take a polish. Even for the sake of unity, they will not stop their ramblings; but, thank God, they are the minority, and the true Canadians on your right are just as sick as we are of their exaggerated expressions. Let me, in conclusion, read a short article, published in the Toronto Saturday Night of the 27th of April, 1918, regarding one of those hon. members who do not -stop attacking the province of Quebec:
The present session of the House of Commons cannot wind up any too soon to suit the average intelligent Canadian, and last week we noted with (pleasure that thereafter Government
business was to have the preference. This, it is to be hoped, will give the Administration more control over the debates of the House, and the public will be spared some of the imbecile and mischievous oratory which has marked the discussion of almost every question that has come before the Commons this session.
Of all the speeches, perhaps the most mischievous was that of Mr. Clements, of Comax-Alberni, B.C., who went so far as to propose that o0,000- or 75,000 French Canadians be carried away from Quebec and forced to work in the forests of British Columbia. It is nothing short of damnable that such a proposal should be made on the floor of Parliament in times like these. Everywhere, the Prussian policy of forcibly conveying Belgians into the heart of Germany to do war work has been denounced ; yet Mr. Clements has the coolness to propose that we adopt the same course toward a group of fellow Canadians. He added insult to injury by stating that this policy would make better citizens of its victims, which is a good deal like the German boast that it will make better citizens of the Belgians to place them under the yoke of German "kultur."
To this school of thinkers we shall say -that on this side we are well able to tell them what we think of them, and I can assure you, Sir, that our opinion of them is a hundred times worse than their opinion of us. But we keejj ourselves under control for the sake of harmony and unity. We understand in a practical and patriotic way that we are at war. To the others-and they are tlhe -majority-we are glad to say that, through their behaviour and their evident disgust of these intolerant and ill-natured attacks, we foresee the near return of the bonne entente, the harmony, union and prosperity which will make of this Canada of ours a better place to live- in, a better place tp thrive in and a better -country to fight for.
and less again do they represent Great Britain. It is the wound which imposes upon us the sacred duty of healing as quickly and as energetically as we can, but, Sir, it is childish to maintain that such a situation, however grave and pitiful it may be, materially changes our general situation, our obligations as a people* at all times, conscious of its honour, its dignity and its liberty.
I love sufficiently my country, Sir, to be moved by the keen desire to see it fulfil its duty to the end, confident as I am that by these means, and this means alone, it will assure for itself the material prosperity which it deserves coupled with the future and the honour of its children. .
Gentlemen, whatever you may say or think, rest assured that alone in the triumph of the Allied Cause will we find the remedy to the evils from which we are now suffering and the guarantee of our future peace and happiness. To attain, Sir, that lofty purpose it is above all others essential, that we should bind together the individual energies of each of us, direct them as a whole towards that supreme object which constitutes the programme of the Prime Minister of Prance, Mr. Briand, a programme unique in the world's history, and which can be summarized in one word "Victory".
Gentlemen, I do not wish a change in the political status of my country ; let it grow and prosper in the future as it has done in the past; let the link that binds us to Britain remain as it is, imaginary in fact but strong in reality. This is all the liberty that I ask for Canada.
Sir, that is the kind of disloyalty I have been preaching in the province of Quebec.
I am proud to say that at a later day in Quebec I preached the same gospel. I am proud ,to say that in speaking in the way which I have indicated I was but following the advice, of my Tight hon. leader. A year later I addressed some young Liberals in Montreal but it is not necessary for me to quote what I said then because my observations on that occasion were along the same lines. The hon. member for West Toronto (Mr. Hocken), in concluding his speech yesterday said: "I want the province of Quebec to respect the constitution and to recognize it." I would ask the hon. gentleman if the fact of spreading hatred of one race against another, as he has been doing in the past in his newspaper, is respecting the constitution. We have heard much of late about respecting the constitution but would it not be fair to ask those who are so anxious to have the constitution respected to show some respect for it themselves? I would not like to say anything disagreeable to anybody on the other side of the House, hut if the hon. gentleman to whom I have referred desired to be disagreeable to his own leader he would never have spoken otherwise than he did yesterday, because I contend that since 1911 no one has shown more contempt for
[iMr. Gladti. 1
the constitution than the .right hon. the Prime Minister himself.
Let us have a glimpse at his political career since 1911. There is no use trying to make people believe that we are not respecting the constitution when those who are supposed to have the constitution in their special charge do not themselves respect it. When the Prime Minister was called to office in 1911 his first act was to commit a breach of the constitution. We all know that according to our constitution the members of the Cabinet must foe in accord, that they must all feel and think the same way. Is it necessary to remind the House that the right hon. gentleman, unable to count on a majority elected by the people, was forced to appeal to gentlemen who' had. been elected to combat his Adi-ministration and his policy? In 1916 every body remembers perfectly well that the right hon. gentleman sent a message to the people of Canada in which he stated: " I have promised 500,000 men to England and have promised them without consulting any of my ministers." Would the Kaiser himself dare to do the same even in the autocratic country over which he rules? In 1917, the Prime Minister, after having asked for an extension of the term of Parliament, obtained that extension under the distinct agreement and understanding that no contentions measures would be brought before the House. During the session that followed we had the Canadian Northern, measure which was brought in against the will of the members of this side of the House, aud. which was more than a .contentious measure. It was not exactly a violation of the written law of the country, but it was. a violation o.f the law of honour.
In that same year, 1917, we had another measure brought forward. As I was not in the House at that time, I would like to discuss that question at a certain length, because I think that at an early date it will have to be discussed in this House, and, if not this session, certainly at the next session. I refer to the War-time Elections Act. If there is in our statutes a law which deserves the condemnation of the people of this country and of the members of this House, it is the War-time Elections Act. This Act was passed for what reason? Because w.e were at war? To win the war? No, Sir. The reason that measure was passed in 1917 was that the Government did not dare face public opinion on its own merits, and it had to disfranchise hundreds of thousands of British
citizens who were entitled to vote and who were not favourable to the Government at that time. The worst feature of this legislation, to my mind, especially for those who are always boasting of their loyalty and devotion to the British Empire, is that the Government has adopted measures which are a dishonour to this country and to the British Empire. When men of German and Austrian origin came to this country several years ago, they came, as the Prime Minister stated himself in 1914 and 1915, because they were invited to come here knowing that this was a free country, that their rights would be respected, and that they would be treated as British citizens. They took the oath as British citizens. They knew when they took that oath that they were binding themselves to respect the King, and Constitution of this country. When these men were disfranchised, those who did it simp'y repudiated the King's signature and dishonoured the Crown of England.' They gave that legislation retroactive effect going back ais far as 1902. This is an abuse of a serious character. I intended to quote what the Prime Minister said at that time, but I shall just read two or three lines of it. Speaking of the Germans, in 1914, the horn, gentleman said:
Nearly half a million of the very best citizens of Canada are of German origin, and' I am sure that no one would for one moment desire to utter any word or use any expression in debate which would wound: the self-respect, or hurt the feelings of any of our fellow citizens of German descent.
We have no reason to doubt, and we do not doubt, that these people will toe absolutely true to the country of their adoption.
Sir, if the Germans in Canada were true to the country of their adoption in 1914 and in 1915, when the Prime Minister spoke of ithemi, they were equally true to- theii adopted country in 1917. But the very reason why the Prime Minister and his colleagues Changed their attitude towards those Germans who were then British citizens was, as I said a moment ago, that they had no fadth whatever in the Government of that time, any more than one-half the' ministers who are now sitting on the other side had faith in the late Government.
In a copy of the Current History Magazine, published by the New York Times a year ago, I found this article:
Germany's Form of Government
Strange to -say I found in this work the very principle of the legislation which was
submitted to the House last session, and which' is called the War-time Elections Act. So that not only wae this legislation not British legislation, and legislation' in which, of course, there is no British fair play, hut it has been borrowed if not stolen from Germany. IThat is a reason, ISir, why that very legislation, especially from the point of view of the ultra loyalists, should be considered a stain on our statutes: and should be expunged from them,. 'Sir, When you think of the way in which the hon. the Prime Minister is trying sometimes to impose his views upon this side of the House, and upon the country, it is very interesting to notice that there is. another man in the world who. uses practically the same language, and here is what he says:
It is a tradition in our House to consider ourselves as designed toy God' to govern the peoples over which it is given us to reign.
Just as. those gentlemen opposite sometimes tell us, we do this because we want to win the war, and we are the only ones who want to win the war.
:My grandfather placed-, hy his own right-
In our case the hon. gentleman cannot, say that he has been placed by the people's right or voice, when he has been placed only by this outrageous and: scandalous legislation, the War-time Elections Act.
willingly abide by your ruling. I do not contend that this legislation is absolutely bad, because it has produced some good results so far. I cannot say that it has produced only bad results, lest . I forget, Sir, that we owe to- it the great privilege, and the greater honour, of retaining .your services as presiding officer of this House. I quote further:
'My grandfather placed, toy his own right, the crown of the kings of Prussia on his head, once more laying stress upon the fact that it was conferred upon him toy the Grace of God alone, not by Parliament, by meetings of the people, or by popular decision'; and that he considered himself as the chosen instrument of Heaven, and as such performed his duties as regent and ruler. Considering myself as the Instrument of the Cord, without heeding the views or opinions of the day, I go my way which is devoted' solely and alone to the prosperity and peaceful development of our Fatherland.
Sir, it was the Kaiser who uttered those words, and he says further on:
More than ever, unibedief and discontent raised their head. It may happen, though God forbid, that you may have to fire on your own parents and1 brothers. Prove your fidelity, then, by your sacrifice.
Would you not think that had been written for the present situation in the Dominion of Canada? Sir, knowing, as you have reminded me, that I should say nothing against the legislation which has been , passed by this Parliament, let me say at least that I regret its enactment. To my mind it is not only a violation of the rights of the people, but it is un-4 p.-m. patriotic, anti-Canadian, and anti-British.
We have been told, Sir, on several occasions, that we do not show enough loyalty. We have been told that we were not fulfilling our duty as we should in the present conflict. We have been told also, that there were many in this country who have given the best examples of loyalty. I remember a few years ago sitting in the press gallery, a post of honour from which, according to circumstances, I rwas forced to step down to where I am to-day, that a discussion took place in this House, and we heard of several men specially mentioned for their loyalty. I will only mention by name a few of those men, because I want to be brief. I remember that the then Minister of Militia gave us as ian example of loyalty and of devotion to the British Empire the name of a man who had refused any salary to work for the Empire's interests. That man was doing the Empire's work, it is said, from mere patriotism, and his name was Mr. Allison. I remember, also, that at that time they were boosting the name of a man, Sir Joseph Flavelle, who was also refusing any salary, or refusing to accept any money from the British Empire. No, Sir, that man would not accept any money from the British Empire; he was giving his services'on the ground of loyalty and nothing else. Think of Joseph Flavelle giving his services without any indemnity! The man whom we know now would apply the methods of Shylock to his mother's breast if by doing so he could1 pile up a little more money. There were other men-and I hope, Sir, that I am not speaking disrespectfully when I am not speaking of an Act of Parliament passed1 by members of this House -who boasted of their loyalty >and devotion to the British Empire, and they were tue two greatest scoundrels this country has ever produced-Mackenzie and1 Mann. It is rather surprising to learn that these
very men are still before Parliament asking for more of the people's money. There are others I could name, but these are sufficient for to-day. These men have been held up to us as examples of loyalty and devotion to the British Empire. Well, if to be loyal to the British Empire it is necessary to follow in the steps of these men, I will never be loyal to the British Empire. And I will say further, that if all those who have made the British Empire great and glorious, as it is, if all1 those who have immortalized England',-Nelson, Wellington. Wolfe, Roberts, Kitchener, and those who are making history to-day-were told that such men as those I have mentioned have been branded as examples of loyalty and as descendants of their blood, they would simply tell you, Mr. Speaker, that they were- not descendants of their blood, they were not even the foam or the slime of it.
I listened the other day to the Budget speech of the Acting Minister of Finance, and, as was stated yesterday by the hon. member for Maisonneuve (Mr. Lemieux), I think the acting minister was more of a mouthpiece than anything else on that occasion, I think that that speech was framed up in the land with which we were to have no truck or trade, and does not represent the personal opinions1 of the hon. gentleman. I cannot understand-I may be wrong-how the amount of our national debt could be specified with exactness by the acting minister. I remember that, two years ago, the Hon. Mr. Pugsley forced an answer from the Minister of Finance. We were -told what our liabilities to England were in the present war, that we would have to contribute in proportion to the number of men we sent to the front, compared with the number of men sent by England. We were also told that not a shell would explode on the front without Canada paying her contribution. I do not know whether I am misinterpreting what I heard !at that time, but if I am right, it seems to me impossible for the Acting Minister of Finance to state exactly what our debt situation is to-day. We are told that we will have to pay proportionately to the number of soldiers we have at the front compared with the number that England has. If England has five millions, and we have five hundred thousand, would it be wrong to think that we would be Liable for one-tenth of the war expenditure? We are bound certainly to pay a certain part of it. How can we know exactly to what proportion we are bound? Is there any understanding
*which has heen communicated to the House as to exactly where we stand on that question? I do not think so. I think that we are living in a desert absolutely on that question, and that neither the Acting Minister of Finance nor any one else can state where we stand. I say that not to find fault in any way with the Acting Minister of Finance, but 'because it is the right of the people of this country to know exactly where we stand. The Government is asking the people every year for hundreds of millions of dollars. They tell us the money will be loaned to England, that it will yield a good rate of interest; and that some day it will come back to us. The Prime Minister stated the other day that he thought there was a little balance in our favour; but there is nothing certain about that. Do you not think, Mr. Speaker, it only fair that the public should be informed of the exact situation?
For the past year or more the arrangement with the Imperial Government is that we pay the British Government the equivalent of, I think, $1.25 per day per man for the upkeep of our troops, and that arrangement has not been interfered with, so it is an exact amount. That includes also the equipment required for our men and our proportion of the munitions.
The only point in my mind was whether the amount .covered' all expenditures for munitions .and eo' on. I understand by the answer of the acting minister that we will not be called upon to pay any more than $1.25 or something like that.
Coming to another point, the Government claim that our credit stands good. May I tell hon. gentlemen opposite that I ao not agree absolutely with that statement. Not a month ago, the Prime Minister and the acting Minister of Finance went to Washington. For what purpose? We do not know exactly; we can only suppose. How is it that immediately after their return the cost of exchange between the two countries, which was at seveneighths of one per cent when they left for Washington, jumped to two per cent? Does this not indicate that they had to show their cards before the officials of the American Exchequer? The member for Kamouraska (Mr. E. Lapointe) suggests that it would be better for the country il those hon. gentlemen had stayed here.
It is represented that the cost of floating the Victory Loan, which amounted to over $400,000,000, was about one and one-quarter per cent, or $5,000,000. Papers supporting the Government expressed the view that that was a fair and honest cost, and that the people ought to be satisfied. With that I do not agree. It must not be forgotten that this cost of $5,000,000 was incurred in floating a loan not for $400,000,000, but for $150,000,000, and that if the people had subscribed only $150,000,000, as they were asked' to do, the cost would have been the same. The cost, therefore, of floating a loan of $150,000,000 amounted to $5,000,000, or three and one-third per cent, and when the Government float their next loan for $500,000,000 in a few months, the cost, if they proceed as, they did with the last loan, will be $16,666,000, at three and one-third per cent, rather than $6,250,000 at one and one-quarter per cent.
Just a word with regard to the coal question, in which the people of the province of Quebec are specially interested. In past years the freight rates on coal coming into Quebec from Nova Scotia and New Brunswick was $1.80 per ton. In 1916 the rate was increased by the then Minister of Rail- [DOT] ways to $3.20 per ton, making it prohibitive for the people of the province of Quebec, to import coal from New Brunswick or Nova Scotia. This condition is unjust to the province of Quebec, and should be remedied at once. The Acting Minister of Finance knows as well as I do that an extraordinary situation exists with regard to soft coal. The Intercolonial is using and will probably require large quantities of soft coal. This coal has been brought in from the United States where it was formerly purchased at the rate of $10.25 per ton f.o.b. Montreal. This year a quantity of that coal was bought at $7.85 f.o.b. Montreal, and hauled from Montreal to Campbellton, a distance of 464 miles. The cost of that haulage should not be more than $3.40 per ton, making the cost of the coal $11, whereas if the coal had been bought in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick the cost at the mine would not exceed $4 per ton, and the cost of hauling, as fixed by the former Minister of Railways, $3.40,
representing .a total of $7.40 per ton, and a saving to the country of at least $3 per ten. Why has this matter not been taken into consideration? The province of Quebec is entitled to protection in this respect as well as any other province. If proper steps were taken to safeguard our interests with regard to this coal, hundreds of thousands of dollars, which the Acting Minister of Finance so .badly needs, would be saved. We have hired the services of a fuel controller and of an American expert whom we have been paying $24,000 a year-