May 31, 1920


Fleming Blanchard McCurdy


Mr. F. B. McCTJRDY (Colchester):

Mr. Speaker, I have no intention of debating tonight the relative desirability of raising the country's necessary revenues by direct taxes or through the incidence of a customs tariff. Canada's need to-day challenges every one of every party to unite their services in a long strong pull to repay the massive liabilities that were incurred during the years of military conflict. It is quite apparent that there is needed in Canada to-day a fuller understanding and appreciation by the public of the difficulties of the national financial position.

No man dealing with his own financial troubles or embarrassments would encounter difficulty in understanding his position because he would be confronted with figures and totals with which he had long been familiar. The totals that are involved in the nation's balance sheet, however, are so unprecedented in this country that they are apt to be confusing and perplexing, if only because of their size.

The annual review of Canada's financial position as detailed by the minister in his Budget Speech will afford students of such matters a stack of information on national finance. It is doubtless wise that the Budget Speech of the minister be given the widest possible publicity in its present form, so that the contents may reach the maximum number of students of such matters. But, Mr. Speaker, do you think that such a publication is best calculated to reach the eyes and claim the attention of the public whose co-operation is so needed at present? Every one knows the fate of lengthy parliamentary documents and blue books. Probably not one out of a hundred receives attentive perusal. Would it not be well that

the salient points be condensed into a statement written in popular language so clearly that he who runs may read, and in that form given out to the public? Such a statement should contain a clear and concise presentation of the national dilemma. It should indicate a distinct goal, say the extinguishment of the deadweight debt in the life of the present generation (a sinking fund of 3 per cent per year would accomplish that) and appeal for the co-operation of all in the efforts necessary to attain the indicated goal.

During the war Canada, as did other belligerents, exhibited a stamina and exerted a united effort that no one theretofore considered possible. This effort was rendered feasible because the whole population realized that the war was a life and death struggle and that the Allied Nations must either conquer or go under. So we saw an exhibition of team play on the part of all the people, spurred on to sacrifice to the uttermost in order that victory might be achieved.

The huge task encountered and successfully overcome in the war is a demonstration that present and future difficulties can by team work be met and surmounted. Great as are the impending problems they are not so difficult as those of the war period, which happily lie behind us. I am confident that, provided the same realization of present difficulties can be implanted in the public mind, we will be afforded the same co-operation in team play on the part of the public that was exhibited during the war. In the present struggle and in that which lies before us every one has his part to play. In the immediate future there is a call to public duty scarcely surpassed at any previous period in the country's history.

It has been my observation that at all times if the need can be placed before the public in a sufficiently lucid manner there will be no lack of response on the part of the people. I am sure I am not guilty of an overstatement when I say that the spontaneous response during the late war to appeals for recruits and money far exceeded the most sanguine expectations of even our most high-spirited and far-seeing public men.

Curiously enough, the country at large has been harbouring the delusion that the whole of Canada has enjoyed great national prosperity during the past six years. W-hat is the cause of this delusion? The proximate cause is that, measured in terms of money, prices of commodities have constantly risen until (according to the Dominion Bureau of Statistics) it now

requires $216.38 to purchase at wholesale the goods that might have been bought in 1913 for $100. It necessarily follows that any person owning saleable goods worth $100 in money in 1913 could, if he held until to-day sell these goods for $216.38 in money. Such a man naturally feels that he is now more than twice as wealthy as he was then, whereas the fact of the matter is that on the average he is no better off at all because his $216.38 of to-day will not buy him any more of the things he needs than would his $100 of six years ago. The upward movement of prices and the illusion of prosperity that is induced is apt to continue until inflation is checked and deflation commences.

The Minister of Finance in his statement went into the reasons for to-day's high prices, recounting the well-known effect of the removal to fields of destruction of millions of former producers, to the interference of Governments, necessary during the war, with the normal course of supply and demand, the enormous dislocation of world industry in every direction, the destruction of wealth, and the inflation of credit and currency. All these causes have been influential in increasing prices; perhaps the last mentioned more than is generally appreciated.

What is the position of our currency today? On March 31, 1914, the total amount of bank notes in circulation in Canada issued by the

Dominion Government was $122,612,175

Chartered Banks 96,S-4'8,384

These notes circulated freely and were accepted by all Canadians and also by our foreign creditors at their face value for the reason that they were payable in practice in gold, the only medium recognized internationally as a standard of value. The Government and the banks -were in practice able to pay in gold because against their outstanding note issue they held 66.9 per cent in specie, leaving the amount of note issue not covered by specie, $72,636,280.

Under the Finance Act of August, 1914, an expedient designed to meet the emergency of war, gold payments in Canada were suspended. Under an Order in Council passed by virtue of powers created in the "War Measures Act, 1914," the export of gold from Canada was prohibited and the embargo thus created has never been lifted. In this regard Canada is not, however, peculiar amongst the late belligerent nations. All of them, with the exception of the United States, prohibit the exporta-

tion of gold. I am not in a position to asseTt that it would be wise to lift the embargo at once, although we must steadily set our faces towards the day when we will be again on a gold basis.. The fact remains, however, that Canadian debtors may not pay their foreign (and domestic) creditors in gold and the partial effect of that disability may be seen at any time in the rate of premium that we must pay to convert Canadian funds into New York exchange, the New York market being the nearest approximation that exists to a free gold one.

What changes in Canadian note issues have occurred since March 31, 1914? At that date, as I have said, our excess note issues over and above the amount of gold and specie held by the Treasury and the banks amounted to $72,636,280; in two years, viz., on March 31, 1916, it had grown to $98,893,206; in the next two years, viz., on March 31, 1918, it had leaped to $224,451,483; and at March 31, 1920, had further increased to $346,925,313.

So, it is clear that by the expedient of August, 1914, there has been manufactured in connection with our note issue an inflation of the difference between $72,636,280 and $346,925,313, or $274,289,033 payable on demand, but not payable in gold. The purchasing power of the country has been increased by this device, and unless the quantity of commodities available for purchase by this purchasing power has increased in the same ratio, why, you have created a buying force that was bound to inflate prices. And that is what has happened.

Now let us see how our gold reserves stand now. I have pointed out that on March 31, 1914, before the war the proportion of gold and specie held by the Treasury and the banks was 66.9 per cent of the outstanding notes. Reference to the Canada Gazette shows the note issues on

March 31, 1920 to total $537,702,420

against which we have gold in the

hands of the Receiver General$100,286,281

Gold and specie in hands of banks $ 79,990,826

In central gold reserve (presumably gold) $108,200,000. But the Gazette shows that of this reserve $97,700,000 is not gold at all but is the promise to pay of the Dominion Government leaving in gold only $ 10,500,000

that a bold attempt was being made to consolidate .the national position by getting in a time of comparative prosperity the wherewithal to reduce the nightmare debt.

Canada's deadweight debt (Hansard, page 2556) amounts to $2,273,305,436.92. The national debt while it exists in such tremendous volume is bound to be a deterrent to immigration, industry and commerce. AH who appreciate Canada's present financial position will, undoubtedly, not only support the Government's decision to raise additional revenue by taxation, but they would, I am sure, 'be prepared to go even further fox they must realize that it is of the utmost importance that taxes be imposed at the present time of comparative prosperity when the pre-war dollar is only worth, according to the Dominion Bureau of Statistics, 46 cents rather than carry it along to a time when the dollar will resume its real value of one dollar.

I have full confidence that if the public is clearly informed of the difficulty and need of the moment they will conclude that such a course is wise and statesmanlike and will gladly co-operate. But it would not be reasonable to expect their co-operation without an understanding of the full need and of the goal to which the country should strive to attain.

Now, admitting that the situation was once clear in the minds of the public, to what distinct goal should the national policy in finance be directed? Should it not obviously be to the provision of a sinking fund which will retire the national debt in so far as it is a deadweight debt within a stated period? If we attempt as courageous a course as that attempted by Great Britain, viz., the extinguishment of our deadweight debt in 20 years we should need to provide for the payment annually of $68,000,000 towards diminution of debt. A settled policy in this regard would afford tax-payers a prospect of reaching the end of their heavy exactions within the lifetime of the present generation and give a buoyancy and hope to business that would otherwise be lacking.

There is no sovereign remedy for our existing ills. They are the natural and inevitable consequence of the war. So far as our industry is affected by conditions in other countries, it can wait until they commence to recover. That recovery depends partly on the wisdom of the governments concerned, but far more on the energy and initiative, hard work afd hard living of the people of each country. While, however, the troubles of other countries will

bring us troubles too, these can be enormously diminished or aggravated by our own aotion. The Government's duty is clear. It must continue its courageous attempt to bring its expenditure within the limits of its revenue, cease borrowing except for redemption of short dated loans, and stop inflating credit and currency. That course will, I admit, require great courage. All sorts of schemes which ought for other reasons to be carried out must be abandoned and one criterion alone established, viz., " Can we afford it "? not " Is it an attractive and desirable scheme "? A man would often like to spend much more than he does for the benefit of his family but if he is not rich enough he cannot. So with a nation. A large part of the population believes still that the war either did, or at least ought to, bring great improvements in conditions. They look for some new thing, for a new Canada, where every one will be financially better off than before and they regard, very naturally, drastic state action as the main means to achieving this end. The State is to spend vast sums on housing, reforestation, public works, buildings, canals and other laudable objects. It is to find the means by raising great sums from the rich voluntarily if possible, or if not by compulsion. It is to secure to itself the lion's share of all profits of business or industry, or if necessary to confiscate a good part of existing wealth. Such a programme is not feasible. If a capital levy is resorted to the proceeds must be devoted to reducing existing indebtness, not to meet further expenditure. It is true there is urgent need for large expenditures in many directions but there is no benefit Government expenditure can give that would be at all commensurate with the evil of further inflation and further rise in prices.

We wish to secure an appreciation by the public of the factors of the national dilemma and the full co-operation of all in the efforts necessary to reach the desired goal. How shall we set about it? You have a peculiar situation. In the first place Canada having from the loftiest motives hazarded everything in the great war emerges from that war with a national debt of $256 per head or $1,280 per family of five, rich and poor, in the land, and is materially much poorer than in 1914. The war time inflation, extension of credit, debasement of the currency, or whatever you choose to call it, resulting in any case in a delusion of increased wealth has increased the extravagance of the population. Production does not increase. People on small fixed

incomes are at their wits' end to make ends meet. A large section of the people, having during the war received larger wages with shorter working hours than ever before has decided to take life easy, with the result that production is being curtailed.

A clear statement exhibiting the country's present debt, estimates of annual unescapable expenditures and the necessary ways and means to meet them, would help to bring home to the people a realization of the comparative national impoverishment caused by the losses in the war, and the necessity of harder work and harder living by all to balance the national Budget.

The Government should at once undertake an extensive national campaign to urge upon the people in every rank of life the vital necessity of suppressing extravagance and reducing expenditures. The public must be informed fully and frankly of the state of the national finances in language and by means that are so plain that all can understand. During the war when recruits were needed, additional agricultural production desired and war loans had to be floated, campaigns of this character were willingly carried on by public co-operation and assistance. A similar bringing home of the post war necessities is absolutely necessary. But this campaign will not be successful until the Government in its own operation sets the example. Every member of Parliament who has been brought in contact with the conduct of public business knows that there are in the Civil Service many individuals of ideal capacity, hard working, conscientious and capable. But the. operation of the service as a whole will offend his business sense. He will detect laxity and inefficiency in many places. He will learn of Government offices and staffs that exist only because they had previously existed. It is, I am sure, within the knowledge of members, ministers, deputy ministers and heads of departments that theoretical safeguards and devices, honest without doubt in their conception, have resulted in a lowering of efficiency, multiplication of staff and red tape and, consequently, in a waste of public funds. Instead of confining its energies to insuring beyond peradventure a life tenure to the civil servant, the Government would be well advised to devote a part of its attention to the interest of the public that pays. I am convinced it were well that the Government secure from Parliament a power to be freely exercised to retire officials where services are no longer of value, or whose positions have become superfluous.

It is, I submit, a surprising condition that the public service, instead of reverting to normal now that the war pressure is well past, has actually increased its personnel during the year by over four thousand, indicating a prima facie waste in salaries alone of many millions, entirely apart from rentals of buildings to house superfluous staffs and provide them with stationery, sealing wax, and all the other paraphernalia that goes with official position. So long as the citizen knows that public appropriations are being spent without full value being given in return we cannot make an effective appeal to him for economy and co-operation in the national behalf.

Topic:   THE BUDGET.

Robert Henry Halbert


Mr. R. H. HALBERT (Ontario North):

Mr. Speaker, I have listened with interest, and, I must say, with some amusement, to many of the speeches that have been delivered upon the Budget. I shall not take uip any of the time of the House in extending my appreciation to the minister; I will simply ask him ito take mine as read. We have heard the lawyers, the doctors, the manufacturers, the ministers, and the politicians; they have all stated their views with regard to the Budget. With your permission, I would like to present the views of what are very often called the common people, especially the fawners. I believe that the views I .shall now express are those not only of a great many of the farmers, but also of a great many people of other callings in Ontario.

If cutting words, cross looks and scathing remarks could have killed this group on the cross benches, Mr. Speaker, we would have all been in the cemetery long ago. But you will see that even though there are no by-elections, we are still grow'-ing. I did not intend to take up the time of the House in replying to criticisms, but with your permission I feel it my bounden duty to reply to at least a few. I shall speak for only fifteen or twenty minutes, and I will make as good use of that time as I possibly can.

The member for Brantford (Mr. Cock-shutt)-page 2940 of unrevised Hansard- said that this little group was dangerous. I would like know why? The farmers never went on strike. If we are dangerous, I wonder to whom? If he means that we are dangerous to -the Union Government, perhaps what he said was right. The hon. gentleman objects to the farmers organizing without first calling in the labour men, the clergymen and the manufacturers, and consulting with them. Well, I do not think

that when the Manufacturers' Association organized they sent for the farmers, or the clergymen either. I wondered when my hon. friend made that remark whether it was the One Big Union that he had in mind? Surely it was hot that. I wondered, too, if it was Union Government that he meant when he was referring to the formation of a union. Well, Mr. Speaker, we have had a sample of that; enough said.

My hon. friend also said that the fruit growers did not belong to the 'farmers' organization. Well, I can say this with authority, because I have been down through the fruit-growing section of Ontario; we have the farmers' clubs among the fruit growers and we also have a prominent fruit grower from St. Catherines as director of our organization. I 'admit that there are a few fruit growers left of the same stamp as the hon. member for Fraser valley (Mr. Stacey) who still want to charge the poor people ninety cents a barrel on their apples.

The member for Brantford also referred to us as free traders-page 2942 of unrevised Hansard. No man has ever heard me say that I am in favour of absolute free trade. He said that in our platform we mentioned free trade with Great Britain, and he as-[DOT] serted that if we had free trade with Great Britain we would have free trade with the world. Now, if the Americans along the border can ship their goods to Liverpool, as he said they could, bring them back and lay them down in southern Saskatchewan and compete so dangerously with .the Canadian manufacturers, then I say there is something absolutely wrong with the Canadian manufacturers; they should wake up and go to sleep right.

On page 2943 of unrevised Hansard the hon. member for Brantford found fault with the plank in our platform about raising revenue by a graduated inheritance tax on large estates of wealthy men. He objects to that; he says we are taxing the dead man's wealth. But the hon. member himself has always supported

11 p.m. a tax not on the wealth of the, rich man but on the widow of the poor man, a tax from which there is no escape; a tax upon his shroud, upon his coffin and upon the screw nails that fasten down his coffin lid. He is also willing to take from the widow of the poor man, if she has to earn her living by taking in washing, $13.05 by way of duty on her washing machine. If the widow happens to make her living by

sewing he is satisfied to take $14.43 on her sewing machine. He is very anxious indeed to look after the poor. But that is not all. At page 2939 of Unrevised Hansard the hon. member drew a very pathetic picture. He told us a very heartrending story about the Scotchman and the steers. There was a small bunch of steers on good pasturage inside a barbed wire fence, while outside there was a large bunch of steers on very poor pasturage, and he was very much afraid that the fence would be let down. Now let us put our gas masks on and examine this. As we approach we perceive that the scene changes. He told us that on the inside of the fence there were shorthorns and moolies and they were very fat. When we get up close we find that inside the fence among the clover are some great manufacturers with a barbed wire fence of protection all round them. They have good pasturage, while outside the fence are the por common people, and no doubt they are on poor pasturage. He almost trembled for fear some ruthless man will take a few strands off the top of the fence so the poor people might pick an odd bunch of clover over there inside the fence.

Now we come to the income tax. On page 2944 we find the hon. member very wrathy, and he said "it was unfair and an unwarranted islander " because he had heard or read somewhere that some person had insinuated that there were defaulters in the payment of income tax in the Tory city of Toronto. He was very wrathy about that, and said that there were only 314 farmers who paid1 income tax. He insinuated that the farmers were shirking payment of their taxes. Mr. Speaker, there is no man on the face of the earth who would be more glad to pay an income tax if he had an income of $5,000 or $10,000 than the farmer. Give him the income and he will pay the tax. If the farmers have not paid the tax it is because they have not the income. The hon. member for Dundas (Mr. Casselman)- page 2967 of Unrevised Hansard-said that he would welcome a return to private life. Well, Sir, just as soon as his Government gets ready to go to the country, he may get his wishes gratified. The hon. member at page 2970 - this is a personal matter and I do not like to refer to it-and the hon. member for South Oxford (Mr. Sutherland) said that the day the Farmers' party came into existence was when the hon. member for North Ontario- myself-led his little band up the hill and led them down again here in Ottawa. Mr Speaker, I did not come here to protest

against my son being conscripted. I was not fortunate enough to have a boy. My boys happen to be all girls. I had not a relative to conscript either. All my relatives that could go had gone voluntarily before conscription was introduced, so I had no one to. plead for in that respect. What brought me here was this. It was after I came here that I was elected chairman of the delegation, and I may say that not one out of ten of the men who came here belong to the United Farmers of Ontario. At the request of Premier Hurst of Ontario I had given my services gratis since the war began-my railway fare and expenses were paid, that was all-to the Organization of Resources Committee which sat in the city of Toronto. I also was asked to serve gratis, of course, on the Victory Loan Committee, with headquarters at Toronto. I had been closeted in the Parliament Buildings with a representative of the Canadian Food Board and of the American Food Board, and we had been told the food situation in terms that we were pledged not to divulge outside of the walls of the building. If you had a boy sick and got him the best doctors and the best nursing, but he happened to die after all, you would have a clear conscience because you had done your duty. I considered that it was my duty, and nothing has happened since to make me change my mind, to lay the situation as I saw it before Sir Robert Borden and his Cabinet. We did so, and the farmers behaved like gentlemen while they were here. I want to say further that the great majority of those who came here with that delegation did not need to take a back seat to any member of the Government as to knowledge of the conditions in the back concessions of this province, because they came from there and lived among those conditions.

The hon. member for Dundas also made a remark which I cannot let pass unchallenged. At page 2971 of Unrevised Hansard he said that every member who sits in this little group had been a supporter of the Liberal party from 1896 to 1911. I want to contradict that statement most emphatically, for I, for one, did not support the Liberal Government, I did not support it in 1911. I was brought up a 'Conservative of the hottest kind; but a wise man changes his mind, a fool never. I have changed my mind. I was raised on the farm arid have lived on the farm, and those of you who have lived on the farm know this: If you take a calf, when quite young, from its mother it does not make much

noise, but let it run with its mother for some time and then take it away, and both calf and mother raise an awful row. It looks to me as if the manufacturers of this country had been helped so long and are so needed by the Government at election time, that both manufacturers and Government raise a terrible howl if you talk of letting down the tariff.

I shall not take up the time of the House to deal with any more of the questions raised in this debate, because I think a lot of time has been wasted already. The farmers are abused, but the fact remains that they are employed in the most important industry in the world. The farmers of this Dominion have as much at stake as any one else, the farmers and their wives are just as good citizens, just as patriotic and as loyal Canadians as are to be found in any other calling. The farmers are just as honest in their convictions, just as anxious and just as willing to do their full share in the re-establishment of this country and in paying the debt as are the people of any other calling. Some hon. members have displayed great anxiety for fear the common people might get hold of the helm of the ship of state. This thought seems to give them the nightmare, and they see all kinds of things happening. But there is one thing sure, Sir, these people would not make any worse mese of it than some others have done. I admit, iSir, that the farmers in the past have paid very little attention to national affairs. They left that to the politicians. But no result of the war argues as certainly for a bigger, better and stronger Canada than the demand of the agriculturist and labouring people for a place and a say in the guiding of the affairs of the nation. No longer will the farmer feed the world and produce the great bulk of the revenue, and have no voice in the conduct of its affairs. Representatives of the financial and protected interests would be well advised to take notice of this fact or like the Shuna-mite women of old they will go back to where they came from and among their own -eople. Any one who can still conscientiously advocate the old tariff policy should be given the Iron Cross, or perhaps it would be better to give him the Humane Society medal. The farmers and the farmers' organizations have during this session received considerable criticism and abuse. I prefer, Mr. 'Speaker, not to take up the time of the House replying to any more of those misrepresentations; I just consider where they came from and let them pass at that.

The farmers' movement constitutes the first real challenge to the party system, which has been in operation for over forty years, and that is why some hon. members are so uneasy. Having developed from adverse economic conditions that movt-ment lays the emphasis on economic questions. Born in an age of democratic desire it is filled with the democratic spirit. The privilege holders of Canada to-day are maintaining a rigid vigilance to keep Canadian workers on the farm and in industries in economic enslavement by means of the protection tariff, although it is mostly done in ambush. It is very necessary, Mr. Speaker, at this critical period in our history, when there is so much unrest, when the whole civilized world is in a state of turmoil, when we as: a young nation have tremendous issues to face and surmount, and surmount them we must if the ship [DOT]of state is to be steered clear of the rocks and shoals that may be in its course. And in my judgment it is necessary for every citizen of this country, no matter what his colour, race or creed may be, and especially every representative of the people, to apply all his ability and energy, not to abusing one another, as I have witnessed here, but to the solutions of the problems with which this country is faced, in a manner that will bring the greatest benefit to Canada and the Canadian people as a whole. It is the duty of the Government to see to it that no obstacles are put in the way, that no artificial burdens put upon the back of the wealth-producing people of this country. The agriculturists ox Canada not only supply the food for the people of Canada, but they also will have to very materially assist the Finance Minister in furnishing the wherewithal to finance the re-establishing of the returned soldier, the paying of the pensions, the care of the widows and orphans, and caring for the crippled and the maimed. Agriculture is the basic industry upon which the success of all other industries primarily depends. The agriculturists supply the food that stiffens the muscles, that stimulates the heart, that feeds the blood, that quickens the pulse, that nourishes the brains of the nation. Therefore, they are not going to be a football in the future as they have in the past, to be kicked, exploited and taxed by every little manufacturing concern that wants to start up. They have been the hewers of wood and drawers of water from time immemorial. For years, Mr. Speaker, the common people have been the human oxen, they have bowed their

necks to the yoke, they have been driven in the furrow, they have borne the burden of the race, they have rooted in the rubbish barrels at the back doors of the legislative halls of this fair Dominion of ours and they have had to be satisfied with the dry crusts and the bare bones carelessly thrown away by the other fellows. But, Mr. Speaker, the day is not far distant when they will come in at the front door and demand their rights as those engaged in the basic industry of the Empire. It is our duty, Mr. Speaker, if we want to keep the producers on the land and encourage others to go on the land, to see to it that they are not penalized by a protective tariff for the benefit of a privileged class; that they get their implements of production and the clothes that they wear without being taxed anywhere from 12J to 310 per cent to help the lords of finance and the idle rich.

Now, Mr. Speaker, the Government will be well advised to consider these matters, for no nation can succeed indefinitely without a vigorous, prosperous and contented population identified with rural life. The rural home has been the source from which has come the main supply of strong manhood and womanhood to our seats of learning, afterward to fill important positions of trust and leadership in the councils of our nation. In all that makes for national stability, intellectual power and social and moral uplift, the home in the country stands pre-eminent; within it the very soul of Canada may be said to be contained. In view, then, of the great importance of rural population in the building of a nation, it is the duty of every loyal' citizen of Canada, and, of the Government of Canada, to see to it that the tariff-fed plutocrat and profiteer is taken off his back, the shackles off his feet, the handcuffs off his hands, and the padlock that has been upon his mouth for years unlocked and the-key thrown away. Mr. Speaker, the economic issues of Canada are very vital and must be kept steadily to the front. The issue to-day is whether Canada is to have its destinies controlled forever by a greedy plutocracy, or whether it is to be allowed to develop a real economic democracy without which political democracy is farcical. There must be a change, or our civilization will be hopelessly brutalized. It behooves Canada, which was foremost in the fight against Prussianism, not to be behind in the struggle for a new social order. It looks to me that a change can never come from this Government. The country does not hope for anything

from this Government because figs do not grow on thistles, nor are silk purses made out of sow's ears. There may be setbacks in the struggle before Canadian democracy, but the result is none the less sure. The day is not far distant when we shall see embodied in active legislation the ideals and aspirations of the plain folk of Canada. Though the ship may sway with the tide, while the anchor holds firm we are safe. Democracy in every Anglo-Saxon country will rise and make an end of this existing tariff system which makes exploitation possible. I see by the Press, and the fact was mentioned by the hon. member for Mackenzie (Mr. J. F. Reid), that the manufacturers, the high protectionists, were creating a press censorship by way of boycott of papers that advocate or favour lower tariff. Which goes to show how anxious they are that the public should not be informed on the workings of the tariff, and also how insidious the action of coloured or suppressed news has been upon the formation of public opinion. The public, in whose hands lies the ultimate power in a democracy, cannot form a proper opinion upon domestic or international questions if their sources of information are systematically poisoned to suit the interests of some particular political or economic propaganda.

Our present economic system is based upon the incentive of profits, but we must be prepared to let it function naturally and not foster it artificially by a protective tariff. It may take a certain amount of courage on the part of the Government to affront the pillars of society, the financial and manufacturing barons, whose word seems to be law in certain matters, but Canadians must be prepared, Mr. Speaker, to face and deal with these matters if they hope to become worthy citizens of a free country. It is often only a step from the sublime to the ridiculous, so sometimes it is not far from a form of patriotism to treason. It is not necessary that Canada should have great factories established artificially, but it is necessary that there should be a chance for a good comfortable living for everybody who is willing to work. Let us devote our efforts to what we can do 'best, with our immense resources and then exchange freely with other lands. This is the method which will mean the greatest profit to us. However fertile the soil of a country may be, and however frugal and industrious its people, it will remain poor and backward and the people will be lacking in the highest comforts of life if its trade laws and its fiscal policy are unsound. It is common belief that the protective tariff

has fostered combines, trusts and "gentlemen s agreements" in almost every line of Canadian industrial enterprise, by means of which the people of Canada both urban and rural have been shamefully exploited through the elimination of competition, the ruination of many of our smaller industries, thereby giving to manufacturers the power to make Canadians buy made-in-Canada. goods at made-in-Canada prices and pay penalty duties at rates dictated by those manufacturers, thereby taking from the pockets of every consumer a sum to be put, not in the public treasury, but in the pockets of the Canadian manufacturers. The result is that on the back of the Canadian commonwealth there rides an association of protected interests making the country contribute to their gains. The Government has no right to take, or allow any one else to. take, from the earnings of any one anything except what is absolutely needed to. carry on the business of the Government. The moment one cent is taken and that one cent does not go into the treasury, that is robbery. There was a time perhaps when the industries in this country were in their infancy, when tariff for protection was necessary; but when husky infants like the Dominion Textile Company can make 310 per cent profit, a protection does not seem to me to be necessary. The horn and hoof of the protected interests have been long enough upon the doorstep of Canadian homes and also of Canada's House of Government. The fight for freedom from its vulgar and oppressive domination has only begun in earnest and it will never let up until the common people, the wealth-producing people of Canada, are liberated from the thraldom of financial barons who own this country financially and control it politically, until we have equal rights to all and special privileges to none. To reduce the high cost of living it is necessary to lessen the cost of production and lessen the cost of distribution. The world is hungry and the indications are that it will be more hungry unless conditions are radically changed. In this naturally great agricultural country, Canada's food production is hampered by unjust fiscal laws, excessive distribution tolls, and the lure of short hours and high wages in the cities. The decrease in farm population which, according to the Bureau of Municipal Affairs of Ontario, averages about 16,000 annually, should give rise to thought and consideration on the part of the Government. We have been told that the tariff is for revenue; if so, why is the manufacturer refunded in drawbacks 99 per cent of

the duty on their raw material which they charge up in this machinery when sold to the farmers?

It may be interesting if I should just quote for the information of the House a

International Harvester Co

Massey Harris Co

Frost & Wood Co

Cockshutt Plow Co

Ford Motor Co [DOT] [DOT]

Quaker Oats Co

I cannot imagine, if the tariff is for revenue, why these Christmas boxes should go back to the manufacturers.

Now, Mr. Speaker, I think it is high time that th manufacturer was taken off the back of the producer and consumer and stood upon his own feet, which in my judgment, is absolutely necessary in this reconstruction period.

And now, Mr. Speaker, I come to the final chapter. If, after carrying all this load through the years of farm life, the farmer who has gone bankrupt in the process, falls by the wayside when he hovers in the shadow of the Great Divide beyond which I trust there is no tariff tax before he can enter Heaven, I find that when he turns his mind to the purchase of the lumber with which to build the pine box in which his remains will be enclosed, his last days on earth are disturbed by the nightmare that before he is buried the few mourners must take up a collection in order to pay a tariff tax to the millionaire lumbermen like my hon. friend from East Algoma (Mr. Nicholson). The transactions of some of those Arms with the people are now being investigated iby a Farmer Government at Toronto, while his erstwhile honoured political provincial leader is said to have gone south for the benefit of his health. But, even after the tax is paid on the pine box, the grave is still to be dug, and before the aged sexton in the old churchyard on the concession line is permitted to delve into the last six feet of earth, the hereafter dream of the broken, unhonoured agriculturist is made hideous by the thought that there must be paid on the shovel which digs the grave a tariff tax in the interest of my hon. friend from Lincoln (Mr. Chaplin) who, while so patriotic as to advise this House and us farmers to stand fast and protect everything Canadian, thinks so little of his own patriotic doctrine that he has told us he actually ships his hardware products away down to Mexico, up the American coast,

few items with regard to the drawback paid to the manufacturers.

I find that the following amounts were paid to Canadian manufacturers on account of drawback:

1915. 1916. 1917.$101,613 12 $ 64,279,256 40 32,31,065 27 . .14,442 34 6,389,435 07 127,74,034 05 264,000 00 $ 29,006 00000 06 97,000 00323 4>6 10,163 84000 00 71,000 00000 00 231,000 00

and into the Canadian city of Victoria, B.C., right at the door of my hon. friend from Vancouver Centre (Mr. Stevens) rather than pay an extra ten cents per hundred to that great, patriotic, loyal Canadian institution, the Canadian Pacific Railway. I may be disloyal when I buy a shovel from an American. I may go down to the last resting place of an unhonoured disloyalist when I want to patronize an American factory because I can save money, but the ultra-loyalist manufacturing member from Lincoln can hand his money over to the United States railways and ships at the beginning, contribute something to the Mexican Greasers who load and unload his goods, put these same goods aboard a United States freighter and 'take them up the American Pacific coast to a Canadian city, and when he tells this House about having been able to beat a great, loyal, patriotic Canadian railway corporation out of 10 cents his brother loyalists in the House applaud his statements. Weighing all these facts, looking them straight in the face, Mr. Speaker, I am constrained to ask if the time will not soon arrive when some modest capitalist or manufacturer or lumberman who supports this Budget and this tariff system will arise in his place in this House and ask that he be given some kind of a privilege that will enable him to charge some kind of a tax for the last prayers said over the grave of the farmer, some tariff tax before he can get into Heaven, and, if not bound in that direction himself, then some kind of a privilege from this Government that will give the modest gentleman some kind of a "corner" among his old high tariff supporters.

Topic:   THE BUDGET.

Joseph Bruno Aimé Miville Déchêne

Laurier Liberal

Mr. A. M. DECHENE (Montmagny):

Mr. Speaker, in rising to take part in this debate, and to address the House in a language with which I am not as familiar as most of the members, I feel at a loss. I may not render full justice to this subject of national importance. I will endeavour

to present my remarks to the best of my ability being sure that in your fairness you will not find fault with my many mistakes.

The present Budget debate has given us the pleasure of hearing many good speeches, and the occasion of studying the Government's policies. We know now what the gentlemen sitting on the treasury benches have in their minds: to help the Canadian people carry the burdens of war and return to peace activities. For these purposes they preach economy and increased production on the people's side, while they attend to their part of the scheme by taxing the,same people and spending lavishly the money they can get hold of. By the proper operation of this scheme the Government's friends will get richer, and the people at large poorer. In their minds, that being so, everybody should be happy. "Quand le roi s'amuse, .... la France est heur-euse "

I believe that the hon. Minister of Finance (Sir Henry Drayton) has had very little trouble in applying the Tory system of taxation; he has well succeeded with the help of his colleagues. These taxes will be heavy on the whole of the people, the consumers, while the rich men, his friends the millionaires, the backers of the present administration, will go unharmed. These gentlemen will help to carry on. They will do the book-keeping for the Government, while the people will do the paying. Being Tories, we all know that they excel in the taxing business, and that they always fail, in so doing, to impose taxation with justice and equity. On one hand, the Minister of Finance expresses his deep de-sii're to do his best to promote harmony, unity and welfare, in Canada.; on the other hand, with his 'Colleagues, he is doing his best to perpetuate unrest, hate, and class movement among our people. His last taxes are only the latest acts in that directi on. They are so unjust, and iso tyrannical that we cannot condemn them too strongly. What pleasure it will be for me to vote against them with the hon. member for Shelburne and Queen's (Mr. Fielding), and the rest of the gentlemen on this side of the House, and assert once more the true principles off pure Liberalism, and the Government of Canada for all Canadians and by all Canadians!

Now, Mr. Speaker, let us, for one moment, study another point of Our national problem, and see what can he done in the interest of the majority of our people. The friends of all the industries o'f this country have voiced -their sentiments and put toe-187

fore the Government wlhat they thought best in the interest of their people. We have heard the manufacturers' viewpoint on our fiscal policies. We .all know that they want protection for the $2,786,649,727 -as per statistics of 1917-invested in their industries. Their shops during the same year put on the market $3,015,577,940 worth, of products for which they want a higher tariff and still more protection, and yet there were only 692,067 men working for the benefit of this huge amount of capital. Hardly one-tenth of Ithe population is making a living out of this peculiar branch of our national life. The industries in which the manufacturers are engaged certainly deserve -a good deal of attention on our part. Those manufacturers help in building up this country and in making our possibilities known the world over. We must not overlook the fact tShiat in 1919 they exported $549,284,268 worth of their products, or about one-filth of their total production. What is left from that exportation is for home consumption. But even with this magnificent statement from ithe manufacturers' side, we must not take Jar granted that they stand ifinst in Canada as a class. They are only second; second as to capital invested hr the business; second as to the number of people employed; second in importance. They stand first only with respect to the value of exports, and then only by a small margin over the farmers of Canada as a whole wiho really constitute the first class. Mr. Speaker, I have just stated that the farming community was the first in this country. I must add that to the farmer we must give the largest part of our attention. In 1919, according 'to the best available sources o'f information, there were in Canada 51,427,190 acres of land under field crops, wtoieh, valued at $50 an acre-taking the- value given by the Minister of the Inferior-represents a total value for land alone of $2,571,359,500. The value of stock was, in 1917, $1,102,261,000, making a grand total of $3,673,620,500, exclusive of farming implements and capital invested in the farming industry. The total value in 1919, of Canadian farm products, was $1,975,841,000, of which $467,625,311 were exported.

We must also bear in mind the number of people interested in agriculture. According to the best authorities, five-eighths of the total population of this country is rural, that is pretty nearly four millions of people. There is a great difference between the capital 'invested in farming and the value of farm products, compared with the in-

dustrial capital and its output. That is accounted for by the fact that the farm products sell at a lower price per article. We must also bear in mind that the capital invested in farms brings a less return. The average farm in the East does not pay 6 per cent on the investment.

We have heard of the western farmers -also, through their most prominent leaders. We know tiheir aims and what they are after. Their motto may be expressed in a few (words: More railroad facilities; more elevators at home, at the head of the Great Lakes and at the shipping ports; free agricultural implements; and most of ithe expenses to be borne by the country at large. What o'f the eastern farmer and his needs, and relation to Ms western brother? First of all, he will be the one to pay the major portion of the heavy expenditures, of the millions in fact, needed for the West, while the western farmer will not put up a cent to help the eastern farmer. The two are as far apart in their interests as they are in the land. The western stockmen and farmers enjoy the full benefit of the Government grant and the money voted to buy ' seed grain's, feed and stock. They enjoy the full working of 'the car lot policy and of its supplement, the free freight policy. The eastern farmer does not get money to buy his seed or feed. He benefits very little from the car lot policy, which is not applied to its full extent in the East. What the eastern farmer needs is encouragement in improved methods of production; real, practical teaching in agriculture and its by-products-(butter, cheese, live stock, eitc. I do not think I am misstating the facts when I say that the interests of the western farmer and those of the eastern farmer are far apart, and cannot be merged together with success to them and to the country.

Will the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Tolmie) permit me to make one suggestion on the farming problem of the East, and how he can help to make farming pay? And here let me say that I am sorry the minister is not present-in fact there are few members olf the Government in their seats at the present time.

The last years of strenuous work in the different classes of our people have changed many recognized standard ideas. Many new methods of production have been found and put into practice. Many new necessities have come to life and must he satisfied. To meet this situation the Government must change its old policies and put forward improved ways and means of in-

creasing production and wealth in the various fields of human activity.

Among the different kinds of production, the art of producing food, that is to say, agriculture, stands first, and, as already stated, it is the main principle of prosperity in a country as big as ours. The farmer, either active in his fields or retired in hie native village, is the best customer of our industrial world; in fact, he buys more than half of the total output of our manufactures. That, of itself, should be enough to draw attention to his activities. But he is more than that to the country; he is the feeder of its people, he is the framework of any national prosperity. Gut the farmer out and what will be left in (Canada will not be worth while to look at. The actual situation of reconstruction depends a good deal on him. To reduce the high cost oi living, everybody is looking to the farmer. If we want to help, let the Government do its share and devise new means of promoting greater production on the farm.

New ideas have appeared even in the agrarian world, and the experimental farm as the practical factor of assistance to the agriculturist is giving way to new methods. I regret to differ from my hon. friend, the (Hon. Minister of Agriculture as to the best methods of encouraging agriculture, but our differences are very slight, our aims being the same: Progress. The hon. gentleman and this Government favour few big farms; I favour many small ones. He has many good reasons to support his eontention. I believe with him that the experimental farms are a. necessity, il also believe that the present and near future is actually well provided for.

Out of the $3,903,000 voted for the Department of Agriculture $1,200,000 goes for experimental farms; $520,000 for administration of the Meat and Canned Food Acts; $1,400,000 for the Live Stock Branch and indirectly for the Meat Packers' Trust. Very little is left for real agricultural purposes.

Mr. Speaker, the work of the experimental farm to he of any use to the farming community must he known by that community. The farmer must have belief that he can get on his land the results obtained on these farms. Everybody knows that such is not the case. The reason for this situation lies in the fact that the farmer knows that these farms are costing lots of money for their upkeep, and that he cannot spend big money on his farm to achieve the same results. So he is little interested in those farms. He may he wrong, hut it is the fact.

Some may say that he should go to those farms and see for himself the work done there. That is partly true. We must not, on the other hand, forget that at the time when it is worth while to visit these farms the farmer has more to do on his own farm than he can properly attend to. Under these conditions, are we obtaining the results we are aiming at? Are we getting the full benefit of our experience? We are surely getting some benefit, but it is coming in slowly. We are too much in a hurry to wait for slow results. Let us change our methods and try to get immediate results. If the farmer will not come to the experimental farm, let us go to him with it. Go to the farmer's field and demonstrate there, by actual practice, what has been found profitable on the central farms. For this purpose, the Government should multiply its illustration farms, or, to achieve still better results, transfer its activities in that field to the provincial government, and help them financially to carry on this work. These special farms have found favour with some provincial governments, and their number is increasing every year. This increase is due to many causes, one of the first, o'f which is organization. We have 256 demonstration farms in Quebec, the details of which are as follows: 37 fruit (trees); 65 small fruits; 3 kitchen gardening (not including school plots); 42 sugar beets; 45 pototato fields; 64 experimental stations for rotation crops, wheat, oats, corn, barley, clover. The local Government pays the cost of these with successful results. They have passed the stage of mere experiment; they have come to stay. Their value to the farmers has been demonstrated, the improvement they have effected in the agricultural field is making them more necessary every year. Their results are immediate and lasting. That is what we are looking after,-results, more results, and immediate results.

I claim results, but you may think, Mr. Speaker, that II have brought little proofs to support my statement. The value of crops and stock value is the most significant and conclusive proof that can be presented to the house. First, the area under cultivation in the province of Quebec in 1914 was 4,863,850 acres. In 1918 it was up to 13.292,798 acres, an increase of 8,428,948 acres.

The value of the crop in 1914 was $98,779.600; in 1918 it was up to $271,750,900; in 1919, $307,994,280. It has practically increased threefold. The value of stock on the farm increased from $122,208,000 in 1914 187J

to $252,445,000 in 1918. These results surely are due to the system of helping agriculture and the methods behind them.

'There is also a better reason for this pre-eminent position of the province of Quebec in agriculture. That is Liberalism. While Quebec was under the Tory rule, it was making slow progress. Ontario had then a Liberal regime and was progressing very fast. A change came. Quebec went Liberal and is fast gaining ground, untario made slow progress during these late years of her Toryism.

The Tories have made the millionaires richer. Liberalism made the farmers well-off. Let us see what Ontario was doing during the same years. The value of crops which in 1914 was $168,455,253 has since increased to $384,013,000, a little more than double. Is it surprising, in view of these facts, to see the farmers of the province take their interests in their own hands and go into politics? These facts are really more th$n was necessary to support my statement that proper methods of agriculture will bring astonishing results.

These illustration farms in Quebec usually consist of a small plot of land, just a few acres, cultivated according to new methods under the special supervision of a rural demonstrator, a Government official. The farmers see one of their neighbours cultivating four or five acres of his land with some kind of crop. They know him; they see the work he does on these acres; they know how much the work costs. They discuss with him the whole of the experiment and are still there when the crop is gathered and results known. They then feel that what their neighbour has done they all can do. They are convinced, and are ready to follow this lead. That brings results. The experimental farms, I am sorry to say, cannot boast of such immediate progress. To help the farmers carry on experiments on their own lands, and to help those in charge of the Provincial Government's illustration farms, the Quebec Minister of Agriculture, the Hon. J. E. Caron, has retained the services of special agricultural experts or demonstrators, most of them are young men. They are obliged to reside in rural districts; they visit the farmer in his fields; help him with advice and show him how to get results. They are the farmer's friends. I recently read in an agricultural magazine of this province a quotation from Hoard's Dairyman, published in the United States, saying that the county agent, who corresponds to our district agronomist, is gradually becoming the

hub of the agricultural wheel around which are grouped all the individual or collective activities of the county. He is as much an adviser as a man at everybody's disposal. He is becoming more and more the farmers' business agent and friend.

The author of the above mentioned article added:

The same might be said of our district agronomists. They strive to help each farmer with the means at their disposal; what they want is to make farming more remunerative and the farmer better liked and esteemed. Farmers who despised their agronomist despised their best friend, their most desinterested adviser and one of the most powerful factors for insuring the progress of a region. In ten years from now we will be able to recognize at once the regions under the happy influence of a good agronomist. They who still resist the agronomist's influence are the inveterate partisans of old routine or the great meddlers in people's affairs who find themselves hampered in their interested calculations, by a man of progress, a champion of the farmer's rights.

It is important to mention especially the proof of t'he appreciation of the. district agronomists' work given by the counties which have an agricultural information bureau. This appreciation was manifested in the shape of bonuses varying from $200 to $600 voted the agronomists by the county councils. In the month of July, 1918, eighteen counties having the services of an agronomist had already voted bonuses. Since then, seventeen of the counties have done the same. One county only is needed to complete the list, but we hope it will not delay in .following the example of others. Time and again these experts call the farmers of a particular locality into one field and give them practical demonstrations of what the new methods will do. Perhaps the House will permit a personal reference to illustrate my point. In one locality of my riding the rural demonstrator called a meeting of farmers in a potato field. That season there was much disease in those potato fields and the crop was endangered. The demonstrator had to fight the plague and show the farmers how to fight it. With their help he treated one field and -a few days later he called the same farmers to the same spot ito see the results of his teaching and compare the conditions with those in the neighbouring field. The results were immediate; every farmer started to work on his own land, using the new methods, and the crop was saved. That, is practical teaching. That is immediate results. The illustration plot o!f land, coupled with the district rural demonstrator-that is the new idea in farm experiments; that is the new method. This new idea, these

new methods, have superseded with the people the experimental farms. The cost to the local government of those illustration farms is very small; it averages around $200 in Ottawa, and a good deal * less in our province. In Quebec the 64 illustration farms, on which wheat, oats, corn, barley, clover, were raised, cost to the province an average of $35 a piece. The 102 devoted to fruit trees and small fruit growing received no grant of money. Our financial contributions are limited to the purchase of seeds, plant sprayers, chemical fertilizers and farming implements. We also supplied seeds and fertilizer for quarter-acre fields for the 42 sugar beet demonstration plots. The same methods are applied to the 45 potato plots. This demonstrates very clearly that these illustration fields are not expensive when the proper organization is behind them. If the number of these farms was increased in a large measure ; if we had thousands of them under the federal control instead of forty-two, the results would be wonderful and the country would reap big profits from these expenditures. The unrest among the farmers would soon disappear when these gentlemen would see that their interests were being well taken care of. They would he more interested in their work, and their sons would not be so anxious to leave for the industrial town1. I would recommend that a few farmers in each municipality be given the advantage of such illustration farms. Do not take the whole of a farm, hut only a few acres, on as many farms as possible. The farmer in charge of a small plot of this kind is bound to follow the move on the whole of his land. He will toe obliged in order to avoid the criticism of his neighbours, to cultivate his farm up to the new standard and use the new and more modern methods. That is our experience in Quebec, and is, I am sure, the same in all other provinces, for the farmer is everywhere the same, a man of sound judgment. The report of the hon. Minister of Agriculture bears testimony to this. It says on page 62:

During the past season, it was quite noticeable that crops grown on the illustration stations, and for several miles round, gave higher yields than those grown on farms more distant.

The Government ishould take notice of this new formula in agricultural improvement and do its utmost to get all over Canada the same results, and get at least some returns for the money spent. The Government should get in touch with the provincial Departments of Agriculture and co-operate with them in carrying out the

best means of promoting the system oi directly illustrating to the farmer what can be done. This principle has been accepted for cow testing with good results. "Why not in illustration stations? During the third week of March many, of the Provincial Deputy Ministers of Agriculture were in Ottawa; if I am well informed, these gentlemen have taken up this question of cooperation between their Departments and the Federal Government. They have specially advocated that the work on these illustration farms be left in their hands, the Central Government making special grants to help pay the expenses. This was not agreed to by Ottawa,-why, I do not know. If I am permitted I may guess the reason. "No money to help the farmer; what we have we hold, for the big interests." What these gentlemen from the provinces are after is not simply dollars and cents; they are after results; they want unity of operation in their respective provinces to get efficiency; They have the staff to carry on the work. They can do it much cheaper than this Government. The duplicating of salaries, travelling expenses, and overhead charges would be done away with. That will leave more money to promote the real interests of agriculture. I will with pleasure ask the hon. Minister of Agriculture to give the best of his time to the study of new ideas and new methods in the farming business. I feel sure that as a farmer himself he will understand the strength of my plea, and give it his whole support.

"We are increasing subsidies in many branches of this Administration by the millions, while we are hardly spending three millions of dollars for agriculture and the betterment of the farming community. I hope the minister when he brings down his Supplementary Estimates will have another million for agricultural purposes to be spent along the lines of the new idea and more modem methods of farming. Let him take his money from the ruinous Department of Militia, the Mercantile Marine, and the other war marine projects under consideration. Cut down the expenses there and give the savings thus made to his countrymen at large.

I have mentioned the farmer's son and his willingness to stay on the farm. It is easier to keep him there than to take him back to the farm. Prove to him that he can make a clean living there, that there is money in the farming business, and you will have good results. Seeing his father a leader in this line of social activity will stimulate the son's desire to follow in his

steps and make good. Let us not forget this aspect of a big problem. This young man has also felt the changing state of mind of the world. He has also learned many things and is full of energy to carry on his aspirations. He wants to learn more, and is looking for better and quicker results. Let us use his good will and give him the best chances of getting educated in things pertaining to the farm business. We need leaders in that field. Our schools of agriculture could make those leaders if they had the proper support and were not so few and so far apart. The farmers' sons of to-day will be the farmers of to-morrow. If they are made progressive, the next generation of farmers will be a blessing to this country.

The well-being of the farmer, his progress and enrichment is the safest asset of this country. In time of stress the farmer stays on his land and works. He does not invest his savings in American funds like the millionaires do. His money works on the farm, in this- country of curs, for the benefit of all. Everywhere the farmers have done more for their country than the millionaires during the war. They are still there to play the highest part in reconstruction work. If the farmer is rich, the country is rich. Millionaires don't make a country rich; they live on a rich country.

So my last word will be; Get behind the new idea and the more modem methods of increasing farm production; make the farmer well off, and the country at large will be prosperous.

Topic:   THE BUDGET.

Samuel Francis Glass


Mr. S. F. GLASS:

As the hour is late, I beg to move the adjournment of the debate.

Topic:   THE BUDGET.

James Alexander Robb (Chief Government Whip)

Laurier Liberal


This motion is not debatable, but I wish to say that we shall not be able to arrive at a vote to-morrow night unless the debate is proceeded with now.

Topic:   THE BUDGET.

Avard Longley Davidson



The Whip for

the Progressive party arranged with me that the adjournment should be moved for the leader of the Opposition.

Topic:   THE BUDGET.

Georges Henri Boivin (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Laurier Liberal


Under the

circumstances, I take it, the hon. member desires to withdraw his motion. He will thus reserve his right to continue his speech. If the motion is put to the House and negatived, the hon. member will be debarred from taking any further part in this debate.

Motion withdrawn.

Topic:   THE BUDGET.

Oliver Robert Gould

United Farmers

Mr. OLIVER ROBERT GOULD (Assini-boia):

Mr. Speaker, as I rise in my place

to address the House I am reminded that I have waited not impatiently, nor with great expectation, for some 46 years to have the *opportunity of expressing .my views in the House of Commons upon matters pertaining to the welfare of Canada.

I would approach the hon. Minister of Finance (Sir Henry Drayton) and speak to him a few words partly in approbation, because I have tried to realize the great task that confronts him as Minister of Finance, inasmuch as it seems to me that the heritage handed to him and the task before him is greater than that assigned to any other Finance Minister in the whole history of Canada. It seems to me that the hon. member for Shelburne and Queen's (Mr. Fielding) was absolutely correct when he stated that the ex-Finance Minister (Sir Thomas White) and his Government did not have a task, for the road was then a highway of enthusiasm. The people knew of the task in hand, that of winning the war, and anything, reasonable or unreasonable, that was asked of them at that time was forthcoming. All the people demanded was that the funds they so lavishly provided for the Government should be used with judgment and discretion, and the day has long since dawned when the people believe, as I believe, that the funds so lavishly given to the Government have not been disposed of in a fair or equitable manner. It further seems to me, Sir, that the ex-Minister of Finance, knowing of that enthusiasm, should not have taken the attitude that he did in the flotation of the war bonds when he advertised them to the people of Canada tax free. That, Sir, in my humble opinion, may be interpreted as either a bribe to the people or permission to the millionaire and the wealthy man to hide much of their wealth away from taxation, which wealth, he knew, must be increased materially as a result of our war efforts, and I am here to say, particularly for the West, that during that whole period, during the flotation of those bonds many of the people of the West used their credits at the banks to provide the necessary $50 or $100 to purchase a bond, thereby demonstrating their patriotism and their desire to do what they could. These people cried out loudly against the issuing of the war bonds tax free. For this reason, Mr. Speaker, the present Minister of Finance has my sympathy, and I may say to him that I believe, and wish to believe, that we might have received a Budget at this time much better than the one that has been brought down if no artificial difficulties had intervened. fMr. Gould.]

I would now draw the attention of the House to the able address that was made in this debate by the hon. member for Red Deer (Mr. M. Clark), and I wish to record the fact that I am pleased as a member of this group to have as an associate a man of his abilities, foresight and power of expression. Truly, his abilities are the envy of the House, and when the hon. Minister of the Interior (Mr. Meighen) stands in his place and presumes to tell this House that he does not fear the task imposed upon him to reply to the hon. member for Red Deer, in my opinion that was only meant to be read in Hansard and after reading it to find out that the boast was not made good. I regret very much that the Minister of the Interior is not in his place, but he is not to blame for that, of course, because it is Tather extraordinary to be talking at this time of night. There are a few things, however, that I would rather say in his presence than in his absence.

I would direct a few remarks across the Chamber to the Minister of the Interior, perhaps because he directly addressed us "angularly," as he put it, across the floor of the House. Twice did the hon. gentleman refer to the Progressives, or to us who sit behind the hon. member for Red Deer, as being out in the side lines in the townships. Twice did he advise us, or advise the member for Timiskaming, to do certain things. Twice it is also known that he himself visited the same townships, Carle-ton, Victoria, and Timiskaming, and twice it is recorded that he returned humiliated and defeated. And acknowledging his defeat he presumes to tell the Progressive party of this House what to do. Does the hon. gentleman think, after failing to persuade the people out in these electoral districts that he visited that anything he could say here would persuade us who represent these people, that he is on the right track?

I think not, Mr. Speaker. May I inform the hon. gentleman that his story, so far as I am concerned, falls upon deaf ears-

I have listened too long, and I fear I am an unbeliever of his doctrine. The arguments the hon. gentleman presented were based largely upon the findings of a commission that was appointed by the Asquith Government of Great Britain in the year 1916. The report was handed in to the Government in the year 1918. It purported to show, according to the interpretation of the hon. minister, that Great Britain was a decadent nation, and to show the dire state into which agriculture had fallen, and the inanimate status of the iron and steel

Topic:   THE BUDGET.

3L 1920

industries. And the minister endeavoured to prove that a high protective policy for Great Britain would be her only salvation. Mr. Speaker, to my mind it appears presumptuous on the part of the minister to think that he should criticize the Government of which right hon. Lloyd George is Premier, and the people of Great Britain who placed him in that position. Well do I remember, in the year of 1918, coincident with the report that was issued by the commission in question, how the high protectionist press of Canada heralded it all over the country that Great Britain would resort to high protective principles. To me, Mr. Speaker, the soft impeachment suggested by the hon. Minister of the Interior on a coalition between the official opposition and ourselves was to be expected, though in his later effort he failed to construct anything on his foundation of sand. Similarly, his charge was almost offensive that there was a proposal of a coalition designed to deceive the people. The idea of any proposal to deceive the people has never entered my mind, and I regret for his sake to believe that such thoughts could and did enter the mind of the minister. I wonder whether this is the first time that such a question has entered the mind of the hon. gentleman. We believe that many hon. members who have listened to his teachings and his doctrines are at present well-nigh persuaded to come out from among his party. It is our cry that they come o-r. from among them. As I have listened to the debate upon this Budget I could not help feeling that this has been a discussion absolutely and entirely on the merits and demerits of the tariff, and that the debate is only a preliminary to that which will take place throughout the whole country. This being so, the time spent in debating the principles of the question has been well spent. We do object to special privilege and we do argue for equitable distribution of taxation. During the address delivered by the Minister of the Interior he stated that our whole platform and our arguments were designed toward free trade. That statement I wish to repudiate, and I take as my authority 'the platform of the Canadian Council of Agriculture. If I may be permitted, Mr. Speaker, I wish to refer particularly to two cases, which we consider may be typical of many others in our Dominion of exorbitant protection given to industries. The first one I wish to refer to is the Dominion Textile Co., of whom we have heard the familiar phrase: "Their factory was not built for the glory of God but to make money for the shareholders." If I might be permitted to add my sentiments to that phrase I would say it was specially built for the financial exploitation of the people. Protection heralds the cry of increased wages for increased cost, and it is a recorded fact that woollen textiles advanced 80 per cent in price to the consumer. Was the increased cost paid in wages? We will see the schedule: Groups of Earnings. Male. Female. Under $5 per week.. .. . . 29 74$5 to ill . .. 292 1,104$10 to $15 . .. 745 1,047.$15 to $20 . .. 73S 234$20 to $25 28Over $25 .. 268 2 Or, in other words, the average wage paid per week to their employees was $12, or $624 per year. Is that schedule any justification of an increase of 80 per cent in their selling price? If we were to deduct 80 per cent, or even 40 per cent of the selling price from the schedule of wages I have given does it not afford an illustrative picture? And this company's privilege is a 30 per cent or 35 per cent protective duty. As regards these gentlemen who built this factory, not for the glory of God but for their own profit, I will say that whatever may be their state of mind, they are undoubtedly dressed in sheep's clothing. The cotton industry is even worse, where the annual wage paid to employees was $516 per year or $10 per week. What now of their boasted cry of high wages? If high wages were the determining factor along with the advertised fact that there had been greatly increased costs of production, there would have been an accompanying list of the wages paid that would be a proof of the sincerity of their arguments. But never have these companies seen fit to -advise the people and to prove their assertions by such statements. Allow me to inform the House that the determining factors as regards the salaries paid are: Firstly, the unionism of workers that endeavour to force a living wage from the employers; and, secondly, the supply and demand of those who wish to work and those who wish to employ them. These, Mr. iSpeaker, are in all countries in the world the determining factors of wages paid, and not the amount of the protection that the interests receive from gratuitygiving governments. In this mulcting of the people by the tariff and the greed permitted thereby, the Minister of Finance

assists by further imposing a tax, a tax, Mr. Speaker, which rests primarily on the necessities of life. I would, Sir, give to the House a concrete illustration of the manner in which the necessity becomes a luxury by and through the combination of excessive tariff and the proposed excise tax now brought down by the Minister of Finance. Let us imagine a pair of shoes made by a United States manufacturer in 1914 and regarded as an actual necessity because of their low cost. These shoes are purchased by the Canadian retailer in 1914 at, let us say, $3 per pair f.o.b. Chicago. The same pair of shoes-still a necessity-made by the same manufacturer in 1920, is purchased by the Canadian retailer, but because of increased production cost, labour, etc., it has increased in cost during the six years by one hundred per cent and is therefore sold to the Canadian retailer in 1920 at $6 per pair f.o.b. Chicago. Now, let us make a comparison between the cost of those shoes in 1914 and in 1920 and let us remember that in view of the price the shoes must still be considered a necessity and not a luxury. Adding to the 1914 Chicago price of $3 a 30 per cent customs tariff, amounting to 90 cents, freight and handling charges 10 cents, you get a cost laid down in Canada of $4. The Canadian retailer adds his profit of 40 per cent or $1.60 and the price to the purchaser in 1914 is $5.60. The price of the same shoes in 1920, f.o.b. Chicago, is $6 and the addition of the customs tariff, amounting to $1.80, freight and handling charges 20 cents, makes the cost laid down in Canad $8. The Canadian retailer adds his profit of 40 per cent, or $3.20 and the price to the purchaser, exclusive of the excise tax, is $11.20. Under our new excise tax ten per cent is added to the cost of what was originally a necessity but which through the customs tariff is placed in the class of luxuries. The $1.12 excise tax making the cost of this necesity to the purchaser in Canada now a luxury with an inflated value of $12.32. I would now ask tolerance, to inform the House something about this Farmers' platform, particularly in view of the complaint made by the hon. Minister of the Interior during the course of his address. It is within the knowledge of many of the members of this House that during the central portion of the war period many public men and others throughout the Dominion foresaw the reconstruction period, and an institution known as the Canadian Reconstruction Association was formed with Sir John Willi- [Mr. Gould. 1 son as the head. That board was composed of members of the majority of the big industrial and financial interests of Canada, but mining, agriculture and labour generally were not represented. In their selfsufficiency they ignored the advice; in fact thy desired not the opinion or advice of the factors I have mentioned, and they proceed to educate the people of this country as to their duties during the reconstruction period. Now this titled gentleman, Sii John Willison, who is known to be an able platform man, toured the Dominion and addressed meetings in the most populous business centres, but it was not long until the people of Canada seemed to believe that the whole object of the Canadian Reconstruction Association, as outlined in the policies of its advocate was to do nothing more than propagate in the minds of the people the theories of high protection. Now when a manufacturer appears in the West and presumes to tell the people, those hard-working and sunburnt people of the West, the merits of his protective policy under the guise of the name of the Canadian Reconstruction Association, while they listen, they do not believe. To-day it seems that the vision had been lost for under the name or guise of the Canadian Reconstruction Association they have for months been singularly quiet. While in session in 1916, the Canadian Council of Agriculture, seeing under the mask of this doughty knight, realizing what the objects of the association were and that the advocacy of its cause -was not in the best interests of Canada, conceived the idea that they would endeavour to frame a platform suitable for all the people of Canada, having particular reference to reconstruction. I wish to inform the House, Mr. Speaker, that the platform was not designed for a political party purpose, but as a suggestion to the Government in power as to the best way of meeting the problems of reconstruction. That I am sure of. I could go on much longer and tell this House of the earnestness displayed by the people of the western plains after their discussions in the local associations. I could make a long story of how they fought it out in their big conventions, how they argued and amended, but when they saw that those who sat in high places ignored all the advice that was tendered in that platform they began to conceive the idea that nothing but their own determination would give to Canada the benefit of this platform whose merit, Mr. Speaker, has been acknowledged by the ablest men and politicians in Canada. In connection with this story, having particular reference to the silence of the former Canadian Reconstruction Association, I have been interested in an article appearing in the Montreal Gazette of 22nd May, describing a proposed organization to be called the Western Canada Colonization Association. I would not have it understood that I speak in a critical way regarding this, yet I would have it distinctly understood that I do speak in a very questioning manner. As 1 look over the photographs and I read the names of the gentlemen whose photographs appear on this page, I see: Charles R. Hos-mer of The Canadian Cottons; Sir Joseph Flavelle, whose close connection with the Davies Meat Packing Co. we all remember; D. Lome McGibbon, of the Atlantic Sugar Co.; Huntley R. Drummond, of the *Canadian Sugar Co.; Brig. General F. S. Meighen, of the Lake of the Woods Milling Co.; Sir Edmund Osier, banker, and leading high protectionist; Sir Charles Gordon. In connection with this organization a note in the paper says: The organization will carefully select settlers, welcome them into the country, give them such information and advice as they require, and make of them good Canadians. All very good if that is their platform, but I wondered why these gentlemen showed such an interest in this matter. It goes on further and says that the Government and the railways are cooperating with this organization in the great national undertaking. It seems to me, Mr. Speaker, that when the plain people ask for something they are ever denied; but when "big business" comes to this House it is received with open arms. The denial that was given to the suggestion of the big steel merger that was brought up in this House some weeks ago is not much in evidence. Might I remark again that When the Bell Telephone Company wished to increase their capitalization by one hundred per cent they found their sponsors ready and willing to tell this House, or to tell the people of Canada, that no harm could result from it. My idea in connection with the steel merger is that it does not merely propose to capitalize the assets of the country in a certain manner, but it does propose to capitalize the taxpaying ability of the people; and in the spirit of prophecy I predict that should this merger really take effect the day is not far distant when-after selling to the people of Canada five, and ten-dollar shares of stock-they will return to the Government and say "Here is public opinion represented by these shareholders," and they will ask for a bounty or a subsidy. I wish to say to this House that the people are tired of bounties, subsidies,, high protection-tired of broken promises, of profiteering, and graft. We listened some weeks ago, during an exposition given by the hon. member for Fort William (Mr. Manion) to the statement that millions of tons of iron ore were in close proximity to the city of Ottawa, and it was stated these ores assayed sixty per cent. A scientist in my office, in connection with the statement that was made by the boo. member, gave me authority to state that thirty-three per cent of iron is a workable basis, and by that I presume is meant that it can be handled at a profit. Well, the hon. gentleman spoke briefly of having a bounty given to some one to work these mmes, but it has occurred to me that the difference between a thirty-three per cent assay which shows a profitable basis and the sixty per cent assay referred to should provide 'dividends enough for any company that wished to go to work diligently and make a profit in that direction. Now, Mr. Speaker,, I might refer at length to the number of names that have been applied to this party since the House met on the 26th of February. However, I do not wish to dwell upon it. Neither do I wish to say that I am in anything but a good mood because I am prepared to believe -and if the House had as much evidence as I have concerning this matter it would also believe-that the abuse that has been heaped by hon. gentlemen opposite on this little aggressive party during the present session has been the greatest capital for our cause that we could ever have. Hon. gentlemen opposite have made charges and counter charges absolutely without knowledge of the facts, aiming at something and hoping to get a retort from this side that would give them a little capital. We have been called "Bolshevists", "One Big Union", "Agitators", "Reds", "Free Traders", and "Little Canadians". We have been styled "dangerous" not once hut many times, 'and we have also been called "Levites". The hon. member for Brantford (Mr. 'Cockishutt) pictured us as Levites. That hon. gentleman also drew a picture o>f "steers" that was referred to tonight. The picture of the steers reminded me- and I think it also reminded the hon. gentleman-o>f the cartoon that was published hack in 1911 during the reciprocity cam-

paign. I would advise the hon. gentleman, or anyone who speaks in that fashion, that they have altogether a wrong conception of the minds of the people. We are too big-and we were too big in 1911-to be persuaded along the way they wished us to go. When they produce a carto'on purporting to be educating to the people and wish to send it out West they should send something other than the picture referred to- something bigger. That is a piece of advice I wish to give to the hon. member for Brantford. With reference to the assertion respecting "free trade with Great- Britain" I shall not consider it at any length other than to say this. If my hon. friend's argument holds good, that free trade between Great Britain a.nd Canada would result in free trade with the whole world, why does it not work out that way under the British preference? The hon. gentleman's argument is a bugaboo, something that he fears and is unable to prove. However, the thing that has occurred to me is this: We have been called "Little Canadians," and I have wondered what constitutes a big Canadian. I have wondered, Mr. Speaker, if some of the hon. gentlemen who have made these charges would be considered "Big Canadians"; and I have 'been to some pains to find out wherein I am lacking as a Canadian as compared with any individual who charges me, or any member of my group, with being a "Little Canadian". Now, I was not in the House when the Budget was brought down, and I did not have the opportunity of hearing a number of the speeches both for and against the high protectionist Budget of the Government-a Government that promises tariff revision downwards in spite of the statements of men like the Minister of the Interior, who tells us that some other countries have been almost ruined by looking in the direction of lower tariffs. But I (found much interest in reading in Hansard several of the speeches delivered in this debate, and among them I may say the deliverances of the hon. member for Vancouver Centre (Mr. 'Stevens), of the hon. member for Parkdale (Mir. Mowat), and of the hon. member for Fraser Valley, B.C. (Mr. Stacey), interested me immensely. It was not, perhaps, so much what these hon. members said as the fact that these three, this 'significant trinity of kindred spirits in Union Government, represent three distinct schools of thought in this House, and when we see the spectacle of this trio lying down together with the sheep and the goats and the lambs within the protected fold of the Union Government-over whose destinies the big interests of this country are watching with such zealous care and solicitude-it is time, I believe, that some private member of this House should draw attention to the peculiar combination that, in the minds of the people who know, must take on a three-faced external appearance, with but the one bleeding, patriotic hpart beating beneath the bosoms of the three. On the one hand, we have the hon. member for Vancouver Centre, whose widespread far-reaching, diversified interests in the country are said to extend from the operation of newspapers, of dredging companies and Government dredging contracts, of lumber and canning mills and factories on the far Pacific ocean- Mr. STEVEN'S: Does the hon. member suggest that I personally am interested in the businesses which he has mentioned?


Oliver Robert Gould

United Farmers


Oh, these are interests out there. You are not interested in farming in the fruit country; you come from a country where all these things-

Mr. -STEVEN'S: I am asking the hon.

gentleman a question, if he will permit me: Does he suggest that I am personally interested in these businesses?

Topic:   3L 1920

Oliver Robert Gould

United Farmers


No, I do not say so-Now let me continue where I left off when interrupted-to the ownership of newspapers, of grain elevators, of stock 'food dispensaries along the broad prairies, to catch up again with terminal- elevators, dredging companies, steamboats, etc., when the head of the Lakes is reached, speaking to this House as the pure and undefiled Tory of the old school of forty years ago. During all these forty years of the National Policy his confidence in it seems never to have wavered, and he tells the House to-day that he supports it as did his grandfather, perhaps, at the time of its inception.

The National Policy of this and other Governments, seemingly, has been good to the interests in the country with which is connected the hon. member for Vancouver Centre. Under it great lumber mills, large dredging companies, immense terminal elevators, and even Tory newspapers, have grown up and prospered through the benign influence of this policy, -and in the days when the people of this country, after forty years of it, have come to the conclu-

sion that the protective policy as a developer and a populator of Canada has failed to populate and has failed to develop, except in some remote cases of which the hon. member for Vancouver Centre might tell this House, my hon. friend, knowing as he must the sum total of what this protective system has done for Canada, has the temerity to rise here and sing the praises of a Government and a policy that, if we may judge by the census figures of Canada, its huge national debt, and the trade returns for a no later period than the month of April last, is little less than throttling the legitimate and natural growth of the whole Dominion. Truly we can put the first member of this strange trinity I have mentioned down as Faith. I am not going to even suggest that it is misplaced faith on his part, for who knows but himself the extent of the ramifications of the interests for which the hon. member for Vancouver Centre speaks in the province from whence he comes and so ably represents in this House.

Then we have the hon. member for Park-dale (Mr. Mowat). For this same forty years, up'to quite recently, the hon. member for Parkdale, could find neither hope nor virtue in the protective tariff. His despair began, it seems, about the time of its inception, when .a great man named Mowat was Prime Minister of the great province of Ontario, a man who at times was prone to dispute with the father of the protective system in Canada certain constitutional rights with respect to the province of which he was guardian for so many years, and who, because of his staunch loyalty to principle and right and justice, earned from the Tories like the hon. member for Vancouver Centre and from some other hon. members of this House who were always Tory, always will be, just about the same kind of criticism as we hear levelled to-day at the men of this little Progressive party and others who think as we do, and who today are carrying on the same fight against class and privilege and injustice to the common people as did the illustrious forbear of the hon. member for Parkdale some thirty or forty years ago.

This is a free country, oif course, and men are privileged to change their minds. Some men change their minds from conviction, and some because in changing sometimes the way is better paved to get a seat in Parliament-the seat that could never had been secured unless there was a change of heart. But I am constrained to

ask this House and this country, what would the late Sir Oliver Mowat say-the man who helped to lead Sir Wilfrid Laurier to victory under the motto " Laurier, Mowat and Victory"-if that sterling old Liberal were privileged to-day to look down upon the wayward namesake, the hon. member for Parkdale, who in his declining years of a rather chequered and unfortunate political career finds it necessary to swallow the Protectionist Budget. It seems to me I have heard a story of an occasion that in this particular, might interest the honourable member for Fronte-nac, (Mr. Edwards), I tell this story chiefly because one of the figures in it happened to be a certain Joseph Haycock, at one time leader of a Farmers' party in Ontario and a rival, I understand, of the hon. member for Frontenac when he was much younger than he is to-day. It seems to me that I have read somewhere among the political reminiscences of the county of Frontenac and of Joe Haycock that on a certain occasion, when he was chided by a certain speaker, then much younger than to-day, for having changed his political coat, remarked that ''a man sometimes changes his mind, but a donkey never will." Perhaps the hon. member for Frontenac has heard that story before, perhaps indeed he may have been present on the occasion. A't any rate, to give due credit to the hon. member for Parkdale for his eleventh-hour repentance, it cannot be Charged against him that he has not changed his mind, no matter what the reason for the change. We do not have to go back very far for a record of the political affiliations of the hon. member for Parkdale. Even as late as 1911, he was, I understand, a supporter of free trade and lower tariff, and, if I mistake not, the good offices of the late Sir Wilfrid Laurier, with whom the elder Mowat served with such distinction, were at that same time put forth to secure for the hon. member for Park-dale a seat in this House from among the past protectionist province of Ontario that has sent to this House during these forty past years so many Tories that, to give credit where credit is due, might be placed in the category given by the late lamented Joseph Haycock to those who' never change their minds. Not being fully conversant with the various events in the political history of the hon. member for Park-dale during all these long years in Ontario, of his struggles and hardships in the midst of the Ontario Tories who have seemingly taken him to their fold, not being acquainted

who own tall chimneys in protectionist Toronto and big lumber mills on the Pacific coast, while the hon. member for Fraser Valley and the

hon. member for Brantford (Mr. Cock-shutt) utter a sort of a benediction as we begin our journey down to Jericho and a prayer that no danger may meet us on the way, juet ,so long as we can keep paying the prices demanded by the implement factories of Parkdale and the lumber mills of British Columbia and have enough left to shell out the 30 cents per box on apples that tends to keep the wolf from the door of the friends of the hon. member for Fraser river-no matter whether or not the same wolf howls about the door of every prairie farmer in Western Canada. No "class legislation" ifor these three. Surely Shylock, in all his larvorice, would never have exemplified (anything like that. Shylock did not boast of such big, broad Nationalism as is so frequently and loudly proclaimed here, while the action is denied.

We were advised that the hon. member for Fraser Valley had saved the prairie farmer from the clutches of the Nash fruit interests and had given the poor, downtrodden prairie farmer cheap fruit at about 45 cents a box for berries and something like $15 a barrel for No. 1 British Columbia apples. But a closing "Amen" from our high protectionist friends will give the proper color to the end of a little tragedy in which another erring brother has joined with the hon. member for Macdonald (Mr. Henders) and in the anxiety to swallow the Tory doctrine as graciously as possible, despite the groanings, the cries and the supplications the Minister of the Interior has told us about, has taken freely of the hook, line and sinker without making even an unpleasant face.

Mr. Speaker, in view of the fact that each one of this trinity described before, represents a distinct and different commodity for which the western farmer is the chief customer, it might be of interest in this House to outline some of the conditions under which the farmer purchases the commodities involved in the transactions. Let me take them one by one.

Let me for a moment refer to the question of the agricultural implements turned out of the factory under the smoking tall chimneys in the riding of my hon. friend from Parkdale-^chimneys that smoke only when the farmers buy, and whose temperatures, when the farmers don't buy, descend to a degree about in keeping with the political reception my hon. friend received at the

hands of his admirers in the large number of ridings in which he was a candidate up to 1917. The hon. member for Parkdale in his speech the other day cited as one of his reasons why he should support this protectionist budget of his friends, that the Massey-Harris Co. shipped their machines as far west as Medicine Hat, presumably to sell to the farmer whose cause in this House finds no merit in the eyes of protectionist members, and that that company had given millions of dollars in credit to those same farmers.

It is admitted, for the sake of

argument, that the farmers did get a good deal of credit from the implement companies in the West. If the farmers had not, then, in the absence of any intelligent conception of successive Protectionist governments as to what the West really needed in order to populate it, the chances are that many a farmer would have been unable to start in the

farming business. But I understand, too, that when the war broke out, the implement companies in Canada had out in Germany some seven millions of dollars in credit which had (been given to the Germans; and, when we take into consideration the fact that the Germans were given credit and probably sold their implements cheaper than they were sold to the farmers of this country in which these same companies have enjoyed protection for over forty years, surely it is not expecting too much to ask that the Canadian farmers be given at least the same credit as was extended to the Germans.

But did any one in the West ever hear of an implement company giving a farmer any credit on his farm machinery unless that company was amply protected in the way of security? I do not think so. My hon. friend from Vancouver Centre, who, I understand, has had some little experience with newspapers at Vancouver, if not at Winnipeg, will probably understand that when a representative of a printing machinery company sells a machine to a newspaper, that machine is sold on a lien that affects only the machine in question, and that the accompanying notes carry an interest of somewhere from 6 to 8 per cent. But what about the machinery of the farmer? That's a different matter. When a farmer, on the other hand, in the past has wanted to buy a machine of some kind lie has had to give a lien note of the same kind, but he has had to pay anywhere from 9 to 15 per cent interest on that note, and, besides holding a chattel mortage on the machine in quest-

ion, it has not been the fault of the implement agent if he did not secure a mortage in addition on all the stock and other machinery on the farm, and, if the farmer was not keenly alert, a blanket mortage on the whole old homestead.

The heart of the hon. member for Park-dale need not bleed for4,he poor implement companies. They have usually been able to take care of their own interests, and when they cannot do it, then any individual member of this House is wasting his time when he ventures to fear for the future and safety of the factories with the tall smoking chimneys in the protectionist constituencies of Toronto. Those chimneys, let me say, will smoke just as long as there are farmers in this country to purchase implements and no longer, and, if my hon. friend would consider the real interests of his capitalistic friends, he might better employ his time in this House in devising ways and means to increase the number of farmers and to increase the prosperity of those already on the land, knowing as he must know that the greater the number of farmers and the greater their prosperity, the greater the volume of smoke that will be emitted from the tall chimneys in Park-dale. I do not desire at this time in any way to minimize the consideration given the farmers by some of the implement companies. That would be unjust, and it is not the method we have of doing business among the farmers. All we desire is a square deal, a fifty-fifty split, and I am satisfied that that kind of an arrangement will be of just as much benefit to the implement companies, many of whom neither need nor desire a continuance of protection. But, in case the members of this House do not know it, I want to tell them that the provincial governments of both Alberta and Saskatchewan a few years ago found it necessary to place upon the statute hooks of those provinces legislation which would prevent the implement companies from selling implements to the farmers under agreements that not only loaded the farmer with implements, but virtually gave these companies a blanket mortgage on everything the farmer owned. It might be of further interest to this House, particularly to the member for Parkdale, to know that the man who framed that legislation, first in Alberta and later in Saskatchewan, was none other than the late Hon. A. G. Mackay, a lifelong friend, I believe, of another public man called Mowat, who in his declining years was found steadfast in

the faith that he had helped to inculcate in the late Mr. Mackay, and perhaps to some extent in his distinguished and hon. relative of the same name who occupies a seat in this House. It may be of further interest to this House to know that because he framed that legislation, Mr. Mackay in a subsequent by-election was the target for attack on the part of representatives of the implement companies who were having their credit extensions curtailed in the interests of the farmers, and that, despite their opposition, he was elected to the Alberta legislature. I would advise my hon. friend to desist shedding any crocodile tears for the oppressed, down-trodden, self-sacrificing implement companies. Rather might he keep them for the farmers who have to pay the price of the machine, plus the duty-an amount vastly increased during the past few years, despite the statements of the Minister of the Interior, who first spoke of having reduced the duty, then pleaded the cause of high protection, and thirdly and finally told us of the reduced pressure and benefit the cutting off of per cent would have. Some somersault and swallowing all in one address! And he might keep some of his tears, too, for the workingmen consumers in his own constituency who will pay much of the taxation of this Government, while the capitalists who own the factories with the tall chimneys will contribute but very little. And, if he has any tears left, let him keep them for himself and his colleagues for, unless all signs fail, there will be enough political funerals in the protectionist party at the next election, both in the rural districts and in the cities, to keep a multitude of mourners busy shedding tears for a considerable time. There does not seem to be much hope even for the member of the trinity who has been designated by the name of Hope. The position of my hon. friend from Fraser Valley is somewhat different, yet I can scarcely think that there is much hope, or that there should be much charity, for the man who will virtually place a price of 30 cents a box on his political convictions. As I have said, compared with his confreres, he appears to have sold out cheap, conducted a sort of bargain sale, as it were. However, as he has told this house that his market is to be among the prairie farmers, perhaps we on the prairie have some cause to raise our humble voices in supreme praise when he starts his protectionist dogma, and offer our devout thanks that his fruit growing friends in British Columbia did not insist on some-

thing like 47 per cent tariff on valuation, as are the textile and other interests supporting the protectionist Budget of this Government.

But, if my hon. friend imagines that he has the Western Canadian fruit market free to himself without interference from the Nash fruit interests, which he so greatly fears, then he has made a grave error. As a matter of fact, he must know, as most of us do on the prairies, that it is a combine that sets the price of fruit in Western Canada, that this combination would at times rather see the fruit destroyed than sell it cheap to the long-suffering public on the prairies that is denied fruit altogether except at exorbitant prices. And let me tell him this, that if the fruit farmers of his province ever hope to overcome the ramifications of that combine, if they ever hope to get for their fruit a price consistent with what the prairie pulblic pays for that fruit, then he will have to join the movement, of farmers, and he will have to provide for co-operation like his brother fruit farmers have found to be absolutely necessary in the marketing of their wheat, in order to protect themselves from those interests in respect to which perhaps the hon. member for Vancouver Centre could enlighten his neighbour from Fraser Valley. Rightly or wrongly, I might liken my friend in this House to Charity, but I want to tell him he will find very little charity in the marketing of his fruit until he places the marketing and selling of it in the hands of the men who grow it. And he will find that because he compels the prairie farmers, through a tariff, to pay an additional 30 cents a box for his products, he has not solved the problem so far as he and his neighbours are concerned. And I would like to tell him here and now that the best market for his British Columbia fruit will be found in the prairies, not because he tries to shove it down our throats with a thirty cent tariff tax, but because he can get it to us at the right price and in the Tight condition. After that, if he expects his prosperity out of the farmers on the prairies, I would suggect to him now that, if he will vote for the square deal for those farmers and relieve them from some of the economic bondage that the member for Red Deer outlined here the other day, then the population of that country will double and treble, and with it will come a doubling and trebling of the volume of British Columbia fruit consumed by its people.

The same thing may be said to the hon. member for Parkdale. If he wants the in-

dustries to grow, if he desires the smoke to continue from the tall chimneys, give the man who has to buy and use the implements manufactured a fair chance. The farmers of our country do not want it all; they do not want to destroy any Canadian industry. On the other hand, they desire to build up Canadian industries to see them grow and expand, to see them pay good wages, employ large numbers of men, and supply the bulk of the consumers of Canada. But that cannot be done by a tariff that throttles the great basic industry of this country, upon which all others depend. It can only be done by increasing the farmers and their prosperity, and by putting them in the position where they are substantial customers for the products of the manufacturing plants of Canada.

Mr. Speaker, let me now refer briefly to another point that I find involved in connection with the numerous interlocking interests as represented by the speeches of the three members whom I have mentioned. Let me give a wrord to the member for Vancouver Centre and the interests which he represents in this House. I am told that they are newspaper, shipping, dredging, canning, lumbering, and elevator, terminal and otherwise. But it is to the lumbering industry that I desire to particularly refer, because we in the West just now have an outstanding illustration of just what tariff protection has done for the lumber business of British Columbia. Just as long as I can remember the British Columbia lumber men have claimed a tariff on lumber because they declared they need it in order to build up a Canadian industry and to prevent unfair competition from Washington and Oregon to the south. Sometimes they got what they wanted, and sometimes they did not. But for many long years there has been more or less duty on lumber, and every homesteader who has gone into the West to build his little shack, every workingman who has constructed his little cottage, and every business mam who has ventured .to build, has. gone down in his pocket and has paid tribute more or less in the shape of tariff protection to the lumber mills of British Columbia, for which, I presume, the hon. member for Vancouver Centre speaks in this House. Not being in favour of protection, I did not favour it. And there were others of the same mind. But we all had to pay, and among those who did pay were thousands of men and women who believed in building up Canadian industry and thought they were assisting it when they kept on the tariff.

Topic:   3L 1920

Oliver Robert Gould

United Farmers


Fifteen or twenty minutes longer. Why, do you not like it? Things went on, and the prairie supplied the only market these lumber mills had. The prairies virtually built up their industry. Yet w-hat do we see to-day? We find that, in spite of the protection given toy the people of Western Canada for these long years, the lumber kings do not give a snap of their fingers for the welfare of the people who gave them that protection. We find the mills, on the other hand, would rather sell their product to the Italians, to the Germans, to anybody outside of the prairies, provided the foreigners can pay a higher price than the prairie farmers and the workingmen of Western Canada can afford to pay. We find, indeed, that the Canadian price to-day is not only a hundred per cent higher than it was five or six years ago, because these protected mills are shipping abroad, but we in the West also find that the Canadian price is a price actually based on the value of Canadian money plus the American exchange. That is one sample of just how much one protected industry cares for the interests of the people who give it protection.

In Regina, Winnipeg, Calgary, Saskatoon, and every other city, thousands of men and women, hard-working Canadians, are clamouring for some place to live, but they can find none because the price of building material, lumber among the others, is out of all reason. The man who has fought overseas has in many cases returned to Canada, frequently with his bride and more frequently still having married a Canadian wife; and these young people find themselves virtually without a roof over their heads, with a cold wintet staring them in the face, and there is no relief in sight for thousands of people who will need accommodation when the first of next November comes. Does anybody hear of any suggestion of relief from the protected lumber interests. Not much! The trade with foreign countries goes merrily on, and these patriots who a few years ago needed the protection of the Canadian people to enable them to build up Canadian industry care, no more for the protection of the Canadian people who were generous to them than if these Canadian people never existed and never had a right. To show the ideas that are entertained by

men engaged in the lumbering industry, I have haTe a clipping which contains certain statements that are credited to Mr. A. E. Clarke, a prominent lumber man, who stated in Toronto, recently that even if the cost of production were to decrease at once lumber prices would not begin to come down for another two years. A telegram from Prince Albert intimated that prices there had increased 85 per cent in the last twelve months, with nothing like a corresponding increase in the cost of production.

Topic:   3L 1920

May 31, 1920