February 21, 1921

CON
L LIB

Henri Sévérin Béland

Laurier Liberal

Mr. BELAND:

That will condemn him. He has selected his ground - the tariff issue; he will not have anything else, and he protests very much when we Liberals charge him with being the instrument of the big financial interests of this country. He asks: "Where is your ground for the assertion?" This reminds me of the story of a lover who paid a visit to his sweetheart who was a little shy. He asked her: "Do you love me?" She did not answer. "If you love me, say so; if you do not love me, say so, and if you love me and do not want to say so, squeeze my hand." In this case, I think the big interests have come to the right hon. gentleman and have asked him: "Do you love us?" He did not answer. "Do you not love us?" He did not answer. "Well, let us settle it this way; if you love us and do not want to say so, squeeze our hand," and the right hon. gentleman has squeezed the hand of the big financial interests.

The hon. member for Muskoka (Mr. P. McGibbon) was asking us: "What is your policy on the tariff question? Have you a policy at all?" And all of those- gentlemen on the other side to whom it has been my privilege to listen since the beginning of the debate have put the same question and have .charged the leader of the Opposition with having no policy at all on the tariff question, of refusing to state his policy publicly. It has been my great advantage and pleasure to accompany the leader of the Opposition at some public meetings in Ontario, Manitoba and Saskatchewan, and at every meeting the leader of the Opposition has made a clear exposition of his fiscal policy. When the time comes, on the Budget debate, to discuss the Liberal platform, I think my friends will be satisfied; but let me say that the Liberal platform has a few advantages which I will summarize as follows: The

Liberal fiscal policy harmonizes the diverse interests in Canada. It avoids extreme protection and its curses. It preserves in Canada the legitimate industries, especially those industries which are based upon our natural resources. It relieves the great body of agriculturists in Canada from the burden of taxation which bears upon them, and thereby enhances production. It renders more accessible to the housewife and to the workingman the procuring of the necessaries of life. It ensures revenue which is so necessary to face the present financial obligations, and it has the stabilizing effect which is all-important in this agitated epoch and period. We are here face to face with a case of personal power. If you wish an instance of personal regime in Canada, since the right hon. gentleman has taken the reins of office, the House will remember that last session and the session before last, measures were introduced into Parliament to create what was known as the Canadian Purchasing Commission. At the session before last this Bill which was introduced was never enacted into law. At the last session, the same fate met the same proposition.. The session came to an end on the first day of July, 1920, or thereabouts. The right hon. gentleman was selected as the Prime Minister of Canada, and two or three weeks had not elapsed before he convened around the council table his advisors and passed an Order in Council, in face of the refusal of Parliament in two sessions, creating the Canadian Purchasing Commission. If that is not a case of personal power and personal regime, I should like to know what is. All trace of a personal regime passed away in England with William IV, and indeed in France one has to delve back in history some two or three centuries to find an absolute monarch, Louis XIV, who when he was reproached for having ordered an iron mask on a man's face, answered, "I, I alone,

I am the King." That is the language spoken to-day to the people of Canada, through the House of Commons, by the right hon. gentleman. Now that the war is over, now that the majority of the members composing the Union Government has left it, now that the leader of the Unionist party of 1917 has resigned and has almost entirely disinterested himself from the public life of Canada, the proper course for this Government to take is plainly indicated; it should dissolve Parliament and appeal to the people of Canada for a new mandate.

Mr. Speaker, I have only a few more remarks to offer, and they are on the Quebec situation. A situation has developed in Quebec which seems to have attracted a large measure of attention on the part of the press outside of Quebec, of the population in general, and of the public men of this country. It is claimed that Quebec is isolated. I have never been able to understand from what, and from whom. Has not Quebec been in as complete intercourse with the other provinces of Canada as heretofore? For my part, I have never visited more of Canada than during the last two years-and-a-half. The personal and social relations as between province and province have certainly not been altered in any way. So much for the social aspect of the case. As far as commercial intercourse is concerned, competent authorities will tell you that the trade as between the province of Quebec and the other provinces of Canada is more flourishing than ever. In an international sense also, Quebec is not any more isolated. She trades with the Mother Country and the rest of Europe, with Asia, Africa, Australia, the United States, and the countries of South America. Numberless bottoms ply down the St. Lawrence in the navigation season laden with the magnificent produce of Quebec's arduous labour in the mines, in the forest, on the land, and in the factories. What is wrong? Is there anything wrong?

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L LIB
L LIB

Henri Sévérin Béland

Laurier Liberal

Mr. BELAND:

My hon. friend from St. Hyaeinthe-Rouville (Mr. Gauthier) has laboured the contention to the breakingpoint, as it were, but one could not help observing this anomaly in his comparison. St. John the Baptist, to whom he humbly compares himself, lived in a desert. Why should he seek company? And is he not aware that the very place where he seeks company is the most isolated in the world? Or perhaps I am wrong. Maybe he is looking for deeper isolation, and that is why he is going to the other side. The population of French race, Mr. Speaker, are in point of number but meagrely represented in this Government. No member of the Canadian Government belonging to that race has been returned from Quebec. I do not wish to re-hash what passed during the fateful and famous elections of 1917, and shall confine myself to giving advice to the Government. The election of 1917_ was an abnormal or, at least,

lli

an extraordinary election. It was a war election.

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L LIB
L LIB

Henri Sévérin Béland

Laurier Liberal

Mr. BELAND:

We had in 1917 a war general election: what is the matter with having to-day a peace general election? Let us have the election, let us bury the old feuds. Mr. Speaker, I would be the last man to seek political advantage out of appeals to racial prejudices, and in my twenty-four years of public life one would vainly search for a line or a word or an act of mine tending to create ill-feeling between the noble races which make up the population of Canada. Yet I feel bound to-day to bring to your attention and that of the country some accomplished facts, which may be, and as a matter of consequence, are more eloquent than words. The remarks I am about to make, Mr. Speaker, apply equally to the right hon. gentleman who leads the Government to-day and the right hon. gentleman, his predecessor, whose administration he claims he is responsible for, and rightly so. Therefore, he cannot have any objections to my holding him responsible for the actions of the Borden Government, and it is proper that it should be so.

Mr. Speaker, had it not been for the declarations made by the right hon. the Prime Minister himself, in Sherbrooke, in Granby, in Montreal, lately, and in Stirling, Ontario, as well as the challenge issued two or three days ago by the hon. member for the county of Frontenac (Mr. Edwards) I would not have laboured the point any further, but let me call your attention to some of the deeds of the Borden Government and some of the deeds of the Meighen Government.

We have in Canada a Board, constituted by Act of Parliament, called the Canadian National Railways Board. It comprises nine directors. Now the population of Canada is about nine millions, and the French population is in round numbers three millions.

I will read to you the names of the directors of the Canadian National Railways: Hanna, Mitchell, Wood, Riley, Hobson, Bell, Laporte, Cantley, Barnhill. One man of French race. Does my right hon. friend think that is a fair distribution of public offices? That is one example. The French race comprises one-third of the population of Canada. Now, let us take the Board of Commerce. Here is the first board: Robertson, O'Connor, Murdock; secretary, White; four men. Is any one of them of

the French race? None. Take the year 1920; the re-constituted Board of Commerce consists of the following gentlemen: White, Acland, Allan; no secretary. Is there any man of French race among them? None. Take the Board of Pension Com-missiohers.

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L LIB
L LIB

Henri Sévérin Béland

Laurier Liberal

Mr. BELAND:

Here is a board created to deal with the big question of pensions to Canadian soldiers and their dependents. The French race, I make bold to say, furnished 35,000 men at least to the armies that went from Canada to the other side. Thirty-five thousand is my figure; of these, a few thousands have laid down their lives across the ocean for their country. Many thousands more are disabled to-day and have to deal with the Pensions Board, and it will be interesting to see of whom this board is comprised. Its personnel is as follows: Thomson, Margeson, Davis; and secretary, Ahearn. Any man of French race among those gentlemen? None. Let me say here, Mr. Speaker, that when I refer to these gentlemen who happened to have been appointed to any of these boards, I do not desire to imply, in the remotest degree, that they are not qualified for their positions. Not at all. But that is not the point; it is not the question under consideration. Let us go one step further; let us take the International Joint Commission. There was at one time Mr. Casgrain, who was later called to the Government of the country, and was replaced by Mr. Mignault. The latter became a Judge of the Supreme Court during, I think, the administration of the hon. member for King's Nova Scotia, (Sir Robert Borden). What is now the composition of the International Joint Commission? Here are the names: Magrath, Powell, Hearst, and Burpee, secretary. Any man of French race there? Is the French race, the third of Canada's population, represented there? No. Let us go another step further.

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L LIB
L LIB

Henri Sévérin Béland

Laurier Liberal

Mr. BELAND:

In 1918, after the armistice was signed, the question came up of selecting three men to represent Canada at the Peace Conference, in the heart of France, at Versailles, a few miles from the great French centre, Paris. Now, here is one-third of the population of Canada comprised in the French race, and although three men are selected to represent this country in Frence, not a single one of them is of the French race or tongue. They were Sir Robert Borden, the Hons. Foster and Doherty.

Some HON. MEMBERS: Shame.

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L LIB

Henri Sévérin Béland

Laurier Liberal

Mr. BELAND:

Here now is the first meeting of the Assembly of the League of Nations at Geneva, where three gentlemen were apointed to represent Canada. Who were they? The Right Hon. Minister of Trade and Commerce, Sir George Foster; Mr. Rowell, the ex-President of the Privy Council; and the present Minister of Justice, Mr. Doherty. Is there any man of French tongue among them, any man of French race? Not at all. Now Mr. Speaker, this is the first time that this matter has been brought up in the House, and I bring it up not because I want to complain but because we were challenged. Were we challenged? Let me quote to you the words of the hon. member for Frontenac (Mr. Edwards), uttered the other day:

I, Mr. Speaker, have more confidence dm the judgment and' sense of fair play of the people of Quebec than have these hon. gentlemen who profess to speak for that province, and my confidence in their judgment and sense of fair play is such that I believe in the course of time they will ask the men who are making these charges and indulging in these unwarranted statements to back up their charges and assertions with facts, and back them up in a way that will leave no doubt as to their truth of falsity.

On the other hand, my right hon. friend spoke in Montreal about three weeks ago and said that you could not point to one single sentence of his or a word uttered by him in the course of his public life that could be interpreted as being hostile to the French race in Canada. But, Mr. Speaker, actions speak louder than words, and is it any wonder to my hon. friend if the heart of Quebec is somewhat wounded? Is Quebec isolated? No, Mr. Speaker: Quebec is not isolated. She has a warm place in her heart for other provinces, and I venture to say that the provinces of Canada have a warm place in their hearts for the province of Quebec. And the hands of Governments are powerless to destroy feelings and sentiments that are three-quarters of a century old. Quebec's scientists, literary men, traders, bankers, capitalists, and manufacturers are in daily contact and constant communication with the scientists, the literary men, the traders, the bankers, and the manufacturers of the other provinces; and there is not in the province of Quebec so remote a hamlet in the centres of colonization, there is not a roof in the*whole province but where and under which the hard-working, the law-abiding, the liberty-loving peasant has not in his heart a warm feeling of human fraternity

and Christian love for his brother,-his brother the miner in the coal mines either of British Columbia or of Nova Scotia, his brother the fisherman of either the Atlantic or the Pacific coasts, his brother the working-man in the factories of Toronto or of Hamilton, London and Halifax, his brother the hardy tiller of the western plains. Isolated? Quebec does not feel isolated; it feels that the rest of Canada is with it. The average French-Canadian feels that the rest of Canada is in sympathy with him. And I have for this man boundless admiration and the profoundest respect, because he is in Canada to-day an element of stability, a factor of ponder-ation and a fruitful source of economic wealth. I love this man, this average French-Canadian. Trust him for he is true to his language, true to his creed, true to his traditions, true to his institutions and last but not least true to his King.

Mr. W. I). COWAN (Regina) : The hon. member (Mr. Beland) who has just taken his seat did what practically every opponent of the Government has done when confronted with the impossibility of successfully criticizing its actions-he complimented the members of the Cabinet upon the success that has attended their efforts. In his opening remarks the hon. gentleman complimented the representatives of the Government upon the attitude which they took upon international questions at the Geneva Conference. Let me say that if this Government had done nothing else than to appoint representatives who would so ably represent Canada at that Conference they are entitled to the gratitude of the people of this country. It was a question with a great many of us as to whether or not Canada-a nation which had never taken part in international affairs until quite recently and had been most domestic in all its politics-had representatives who could go and meet in council the great men of the world and hold their own in the deliberations which were to take place. A great many of us watched-as I am sure all intelligent and patriotic Canadians did - the proceedings of the Conference and when we saw, as my hon. friend from Beauce (Mr. Beland) admits, that Canada's representative not only held their own, hut that they led in some of the debates and thereby established for their native land a position throughout the world which has reflected, and continues to reflect, credit upon this country, we were exceedingly satisfied with what had been done. Personally I am glad that our representatives so ably acquitted themselves, I am glad that they showed themselves to be equal to the task that confronted them, and I am sure the result will be that Canada will, more heartily than ever, uphold that great in-' stitution which has been created, the League of Nations, and which will, in time, save the world from any such conflicts in future as we witnessed a few years ago.

The tenor of my hon. friend's remarks was as I have indicated. Towards the close of his speech he changed his attitude and said: The present Government is a war government, elected under war conditions, and we want a peace election. Would it be a peace election if there were conditions such as prevailed some time ago when the Winnipeg strike was in progress and a dangerous agitation was at its height? Had an election been ordered then would we have had a peace election throughout Canada? There was nothing that the coolheaded business men of Canada felt more anxious about than that we should not have an election at that time because they were afraid of it. We in Western Canada particularly knew what the situation was and what it meant and we realized what the result would be. To-day though that agitation has subsided it has not yet entirely disappeared. Hon. gentlemen opposite themselves still admit that there is a great deal of unrest in Canada, and that agitation still continues. While in our part of the Dominion demagoguery has practically been taken by the throat by the common sense of the common people and placed where it properly belongs, while the demagogues have been practically compelled to stop their agitation, yet that agitation in some measure is still going on in various sections, and until it is completely quelled I myself would not be desirous of holding an election. On that issue I am prepared to abide by the calm, cool judgment of the Canadian people rendered under perfectly tranquil conditions. We are very gradually hut very perceptibly approaching that point, and when it comes I for one am quite prepared to abide by the consequences whatever they may be. Mr. Speaker, why should I be a party to disrupting the business of this country at this most critical period in its history, why should I subordinate my opinion to the political whims of the leader of the Opposition in order to assist him in his political aspirations? The amendment which he offers calls for an election but what would an election

mean at the present time? It could not be held for a considerable period, there is no question about that. Parliament would have to vote supplies before going to the country, and consequently there would be considerable delay. But what would an election mean when it did take place? What has an election always meant, not only to the business of Canada but the business of the United States where they have four-year election periods? In the United States that fourth year is always looked upon with dread by the commercial men because they know that it paralyzes business from one end of the country to the other. In Great Britain, in Canada, and in all the other British Dominions where the system of responsible government obtains, the idea has always been to disrupt business as little as possible by having the lowest minimum of time between the announcement of the election and the election itself. Admitting then that business will be disrupted by an election, is the present a good time for having it take place? In my opinion most undoubtedly, no.

What are the business conditions in Canada to-day, and what have they been for some little time back? As we all know business for the past two years has been carried on under most abnormal conditions. It is a matter of wonder to me that Canadian business men have succeeded in carrying on as well as they have done. They were faced with tremendous uncertainties because of the high prices, the conditions brought about by agitation, all the results that have followed the war. Because of all these factors they were faced by most abnormal conditions and yet they carried on splendidly. T think nearly every one of them during the period of uncertainty knew that a slump had to come. Many of them in conversation with me admitted that it must come, and quite a number were surprised that the date of its coming was delayed so long. But the slump did come last fall, and our business men are to be congratulated upon the fact that they buckled in as well as they did and have succeeded as well as they have in carrying this country through such a trying period. The conditions of the past winter have not been anything like as bad in this country as they were in 1917, or in 1913 and 1914. Still they have been bad enough. But times are improving. Every financial report that is being issued indicates that we are gradually and surely getting on to better ground, in fact that the worst

has passed. Yet at this time when our business men have succeeded in carrying us through so well, when the amount of unemployment is small in comparison with other countries, the leader of the Opposition comes along with an amendment to the Address and says: Let us have an election in order that we may further disrupt business interests as much as we possibly can during the coming summer. For in reality thtat is what the proposition means. The result will be that the business men of the country, faced with the uncertainty which an election occasions, will not carry on as they have at present arranged and that next fall unemployment will be much greater in Canada than it is to-day-much greater indeed and there may be no remedy for it. If, however, we continue as at present until business is again on a thoroughly firm foundation, then let there be an election whenever you please, because nobody in this House, Mr. Speaker, loves an election better than I do. It is the only sport, if you can call it sport, I take pleasure in.

But why does the leader of the Opposition desire to have an election immediately? If his star was in the ascendant, if he was sure of his ground, if he knew that by an appeal to the country he would gain strength, and that he would by five or six months' or even a year's delay be stronger than he is to-day, do you think he would ask for an election now? Far from it. He knows very well, as do his followers, that he is weaker in the Dominion to-day than when he was chosen leader of his party. There is not any question about that at all in Western Canada.

The hon. member for Beauce (Mr. Beland) says that he went with his leader through the western provinces. I wish he could tell you, Sir, some of the things which we see as a result of their visit to our section of the country. The hon. the leader of the Opposition held meetings in the city of Regina, as he did in other places, and the result was very, very plain to any one who cared to study the situation-in fact, it was not necessary to study it to see the effect. The hon. the leader of the Opposition, speaking the other day, said, that the spirit was far more important than the letter of the law. I said to myself: Yes,

and out in Western Canada, the tariff being the chief issue, our people expected to see some tariff spirit in the various addresses which you delivered. Did we find any?

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UNION

Charles Colquhoun Ballantyne (Minister of Marine and Fisheries; Minister of the Naval Service)

Unionist

Mr. BALLANTYNE:

No.

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UNION
PRO

John Archibald Maharg

Progressive

Mr. MAHARG:

Mr. Speaker, might I ask the hon. gentleman a question?

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UNION
PRO

John Archibald Maharg

Progressive

Mr. MAHARG:

Did I understand him to say that there were , two papers published or under the direction of the Agrarians in the province of Saskatchewan?

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UNION

Walter Davy Cowan

Unionist

Mr. COWAN:

No, I said that these two papers were the leading papers in the province of Saskatchewan supporting the Agrarian party. They do nothing else. The Government or the Opposition do not receive their support. This is the opinion they have formed of the hon. the leader of the Opposition.

Then, Mr. Speaker, I wanted to find out the opinion of the business men of our city and district with regard to the fiscal announcements made by the hon. the leader of the Opposition while in the West, and I have yet to find a Liberal or a Conservative who is satisfied with those announcements. The question I heard on all sides was: What is his policy, what does he

stand for? They have not yet been able to find out. I want to say that that kind of willy-wabbling is something that the people of Western Canada will not stand for. They admire at any time even an opponent who has the courage of his convictions and who expresses them, rather than a man who tries to play the oily game of promising this locality one thing and that locality another. The people of the West prefer courage and honour-and honour is really honestly in that case. We want men who will be honest and fair with the electors.

Then I went amongst a great many of the returned men, and I remember one of them said to a group of his comrades: " Oh yes, he wants us to come and save him. But why should we do that? Did he come and save us?" That is the attitude they take, and you will find that that is the attitude they are taking all over Western Canada towards the hon. the leader of the Opposition. So he knows full well from what he has heard from his suporters if they are at all

observant, that his star is waning and that he cannot possibly come into power under normal conditions. But he thinks he has a chance when agitation is at its height, when the discontent which he and his party have manufactured has not been entirely wiped out by the improved conditions which are now rapidly coming into existence.

Now, Mr. Speaker, it seems to me that the very fact that the hon. the leader of the Opposition has entirely ignored the tariff in his amendment proves conclusively that he himself knows that his fiscal policy is a miserable failure. I quite agree with you, Mr. Speaker, in your statement last week, that the proper time to discuss the tariff is when the Budget is before the House; but I am satisfied that had the hon. the leader of the Opposition moved an amendment dealing with the tariff issues referred to in the speech from the Throne, you would have found it very difficult indeed to rule any references thereto out of order. But instead of taking up that question, he has taken up another question altogether. If he knew that his fiscal policy was the strongest policy that he could possibly submit to this country, if he knew it was the winning card, do you think Sir, that he would have played the deuce? Not at all. He would have played the card which he knew would win, and the very fact that he has ignored it here is a confession that he knows his fiscal policy is a failure.

Yes, Mr. Speaker, we had the leader of the Opposition out with us. We welcomed him; we were glad to welcome him because of his personal worth. We were glad to welcome him also because of the fact that he is the leader of a great party-we are always pleased to welcome a man into our country even if we disagree with him. Politically we welcomed him and we who are on the Government side, will welcome him again even more heartily than we did before. To him we say: Come again, if the result is going to be as it was before-come as soon as you can and as often as you may; hold as many meetings as you can-because it is quite evident that the more meetings the hon. gentleman held when he was last in our part of the country the weaker became his case and the less his strength.

It seems to me that it would be quite unfair to ask the Government to hold an election at the present time, and I for one am going to oppose the proposal of the leader of the Opposition. What has happened is this-and it has been stated so often in the House that it seems ridiculous to repeat it: for a period of two years,

while demobilization was going on, the Government were so busy carrying out their duty that they had no time to attend to the political side. But did hon. gentlemen opposite play the game fairly during that time? Did they assist the Government in their demobilization work? Instead of that, they and their press all over the country were carrying on an agitation against the Government in a most demagogic way. And now, when they have created as much discontent in the country as they can, they say: The time is ripe; we have chosen

our weapons; we have chosen the time; we have chosen the ground; we are going to force the Government to a fight. Well, I do not think that the members of the Government are such political fools as to agree to any such terms as that. So far as I am concerned, I am going to have something to say about the time; something to say about what the weapons shall be; something to say about what the conditions shall be. These things are not to be left entirely to the Opposition; when the fight is fought it will be in a fair manner, and each party will be given an equal opportunity. The Government will be given time to explain its policy; to lay before the country its record, and to offset the demagogic agitation which for some little time has been so dangerously carried on by the Opposition.

I wish to make a brief reference to one or two matters mentioned in the Speech from the Throne. I am not going to discuss tariff to-day, but I should like to make reference to the duty on fruit, a phase of the question which was referred to the other day by the hon. member for Yale (Mr. MacKelvie). It has been argued that we who in past times favoured a duty upon certain articles were, by reason of that fact, the sworn enemies of the farmers of our country. In my humble opinion the duty on fruit has been of the greatest possible benefit to the farmers in the Prairie Provinces. I think all will agree that it is to the general advantage of Canada to have our fruit lands cultivated. Fruit lands abound in British Columbia; it is the natural fruit producing district of the Prairie Provinces. Is it of advantage to the farmers of the Prairie Provinces that these fruit producing areas shall be cultivated; that the orchards shall increase and the production of fruit become greater? I unhesitatingly say, yes. The member for Yale told us the other day that during his lifetime the production of fruit in one little valley had increased from one car-load to five

thousand car loads, if I remember correctly. Is it an advantage to the people there to have these five thousand car-loads of fruit produced? Obviously, it means that they can get fresher fruit, because the fruit can be taken from the prairies to that district in a much shorter time than it can be brought from the states of Oregon and Washington. Besides, the fruit from our own fruit-growing districts arrives in much better condition; a much smaller amount of it is decayed and spoiled. Furthermore, the expansion of this industry creates a population tributary to the railways; the volume of traffic carried by the railways increases, and the lowering of the cost of transportation is, or will be in time, materially assisted. That is a very important consideration. The fruit does not ripen in British Columbia until a month or so later than it ripens in Washington and Oregon. That is a tremendous advantage to the foreign shipper and the foreign grower; he can and does come in and supply our market a month before our own growers can take advantage of it. If we are going to have these lands cultivated at all, is it fair to ask the fruit growers to do it under those conditions? I unhesitatingly say, no. What is the result of this condition? The result is that to-day the farmers are feeding their splendid apples to the cows-all because the Oregon and Washington producers were able to get into our market last fall and supply it before our fruit had ripened. In a letter which I received to-day, a fruit-grower in the Nelson District says: "I am feeding my apples to the covfs." He says further that two things are necessary: one, that the duty on fruit should be maintained, and second, that the express rates to the prairies should be lowered. In that I absolutely agree.

I do not believe that the increase in express rates, recently put into force on our railways, is beneficial to our country. The effect is that the people cannot pay the rate; the railways do not get the traffic; the volume of business is not there; men are not required; unemployment results. It seems to me, therefore, that the proper policy to pursue is to establish the rate at such a figure as will ensure a maximum of traffic for our railways. If this is done the result will be more satisfactory. The question of transportation rates is of far greater moment to the farmers of Western Canada than any tariff question can possibly be.

I notice a reference in the Speech from the Throne to the intention of the Government to introduce a Bill with regard to scientific and industrial research. I am sure that the member for London (Mr. Cronyn) must feel very much pleased. I have been associated with him on the special committee which has been studying this question for the last couple of years. I hope that in [DOT] the Bill to be brought down the Government will make most generous provision along these lines. It has been my pleasure during the recess to address some twelve to twenty meetings of business men, clubs and so on, on the subject of the establishment of a scientific and industrial research bureau in Canada. Without exception these men have unanimously passed resolutions, many of which I have with me, favouring the establishment of such a bureau. They do not believe in the agitation which has been carried on for so many years and which has led the people in Eastern Canada to believe that the prairies are a purely agricultural country. We do believe that agriculture is our basic industry, but we further believe that a great deal of manufacturing can be done in Western Canada. The agitation to which I have referred has caused our eastern people to believe that there is no opportunity for the investment of capital in our western country. We know otherwise, and we want this bureau because we wish to have an industrial life in Western Canada. That is the attitude taken by hundreds, probably thousands of men to whom I have spoken, and they are all agreed, so that I hope the Government will make very generous provision in that regard.

I am not going to vote for the amendment. Before I left the city of Regina, it was rumoured through the press that this amendment was to be moved, and I took it upon myself to consult as many as I could of the business men, Liberals as well as Conservatives, of my city. There was not one-and I did not pick them out-but said: " No, we do not want business conditions upset any more this summer; we want an opportunity to get back to solid foundation, normal times, and until then we do not want any such upheaval as an election would precipitate. For that reason, because I think the business interests of Canada are to be greatly considered in these matters, I am going to vote against the amendment.

Mr. H. A. FORTIER (Labelle), (Translation) : Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to be able to have in this important debate on

the Address, an opportunity to offer a few considerations in favour of the amendment moved by the hon. leader of the Opposition, and I avail myself of the occasion to offer him the tribute of my admiration for his energetic and patriotic attitude before this House and before the country.

The main argument, the essential argument put forward by the leader of the Opposition, under whose flag I am proud to serve, in his contention that the Government's duty is immediately to order general elections, is that the Government does not command the confidence of the people. If the Government does not hold the confidence of the people and governs the Dominion in spite of the people which denies them its confidence, this Administration is unconstitutional; for the constitution provides for the government of the people by the people. If this Administration is unconstitutional inasmuch as it takes no account of the national will, then this is nothing but tyranny, nothing but manifest despotism. And it seems to me that the Government cannot but be convinced that the people of Canada have withdrawn from them their confidence.

There are public facts which undeniably show that the will of the people are for a change of government. In the western provinces, for instance, it is plain that the Agrarian movement is very popular and consequently very powerful; and it is evident that this Agrarian movement wants to do away with the present Government. Indeed, the place occupied in this House by the political leader of the farmers (Hon. Mr. Crerar) clearly shows that the sentiment of the farmers is that the Unionist government should go.

Another fact, one of yesterday only, the election of West Peterborough, is a signal evidence that the Unionist block of the old province of Ontario is disintegrating, and consequently it seems evident, in view of the election of our friend Mr. Gordon, that Ontario, a prey to many opinions, is however manifestly inclined to give its confidence to the leader of the Liberal party, the Hon. Mr. Mackenzie King. The victory won in Peterborough West is a kind of popular ovation which bids fair for the hopes of our leader, and is, for the right hon. Prime Minister, pregnant with painful anxieties.

Finally, another fact which is not of yesterday, and is but a persistent reprobation of the present Government, is the attitude of the old province of Quebec. Indeed old Quebec remains manifestly so antagonistic,

so unanimously antagonistic to the Government that the hon. Prime Minister is powerless to add to the Cabinet a single French-Canadian from the people's Chamber, understanding as he does that the man of his choice could not be elected in any county of the province of Quebec. To characterize this attitude of old Quebec the friends of the present Government speak of the "Isolation of Quebec". The phrase is a false one. Quebec is not isolated; Quebec has its place here. Its place is not by itself, its representatives are part of the powerful group made up from all the Eng-glish provinces. The Quebecers are to be found in the powerful mass of citizens who are the enemies of all despotism, enemies of all tyranny, and faithful servants of the nation's will, all those who, at this time, long for a general election to overthrow a Government which are keeping themselves in power by means of an infamous campaign of fanaticism, who obstinately cling to office through an infamous tyranny, and who stand before us -crowned with power but tramping under foot the groaning nation.

Thus this Government offers to our astonished eyes the lamentable spectacle of its powerlessness to represent upon the floor of this House the oldest, the most Canadian ethnic group. Does this party represent the nation? It does not. Not a single French-Canadian member of my province is to be found in the ministerial camp to represent the race of the discoverers, of the pioneers, of Canada, whose sons by the next census will show to be nearly one half of the total population of this country.

Since the disappearance of Unionism, could the new National Liberal Conservative party be acceptable to the people? Its very name is nothing but a camouflage. This party is the very reverse of what its assumed name implies-What! National, these hybrid remnants of uncompromising and persecuting Unionism? National, in its true sense, means belonging to the whole nation, suitable to the whole nation, to its ideals. Anti-national is the term which best fits this party and this Government.

Nothing therefore should interfere with a prompt election. On the contrary, circumstances imperiously require one. Have we forgotten that we are in 1921, and that since 1911, we have had but one election? The election of 1917 was not so much on a programme of local politics as on one of foreign relations. Practically we have had no election in view of Canadian affairs

since 1911. This is ten years ago, the limit of duration of two parliaments under the constitution of the country. Had our would-be masters any respect for the constitution, any care for the people's interests, any anxiety for the prerogatives of the nation, they would have already appealed to the people and would not cling to office until the last day of the last month of the last possible year of the life of this Parliament.

But, the partisans of the Government will say, to have elections in 1921 is to have them on the present electoral map, when the next census might justify a new arrangement of constituencies which might entitle the western provinces to a larger representation. I will answer that it is not by changing the limits of the constituencies that you will change the sentiment of the people. The cunning of these territorial delimitations in view of elections, succeeds. I admit, in displacing majorities in many cases. Thus, by clever manipulations of boundaries, the majority in a county can be drowned by the majority to be found in a neighbouring constituency, The consequence of the census is to change the vote majorities in some constituencies, and espcially to modify the number of the members of the House, by making them, for instance, two hundred and forty instead of two hundred and thirty. But what will not be changed is public opinion, the popular sentiment of the country. This popular will, this popular sentiment will be made known quite as well by 230 members as by 240. It therfore seems to me that if the Government had no other object but to find out public opinion by a general election, they could do so just as well by appealing to the present constituencies as by [DOT]waiting to consult newly redistributed electoral divisions. I therefore say: to

give as a reason for justifying the putting-off of a general election, the propriety of waiting for a new redistribution, is but a pure pretence, a mere put-off, under the circumstances a putting off of the coming demise of their moribund Government.

If, in compliance with the wishes of the western people, which the Prime Minister seems to want to fall in with, the general election is retarded, I am willing to concede that the West will have secured a local advantage, an increase of its prestige, but on the other hand the general good shall have been sacrificed. This general good is of constitutional import. It is a thing which makes for the happiness of the whole population of the Dominion to be

governed by men enjoying its confidence, to be saved from unconstitutionality, from tyranny and manifest despotism, a crime the result of which is to put the government of the people in the hands of a party leader who does not possess the confidence of the people. Is it not criminal for a government to sacrifice the general good, that is the government of the people by the people, to the individual good of the citizens of the West? I wish my voice could compete with the powerful organ of the Prime Minister and reach the citizens of the West; I would say to them: "Gentlemen of the West, this individual good which you covet, that of coming back to the Federal Parliament with two or three more representatives, do you want, in order to obtain it, to sacrifice the general good I have mentioned, in order to obtain what is after all but a paltry increase of your prestige in Ottawa?" I would add: "Gentlemen of the West, we are living in the same country; should your wish prevail, it would mean the sacrifice of the individual good of the old provinces, the province of On

tario and the Maritime Provinces, which, contrary to your good fortune, would see their representation and prestige at Ottawa decrease by the loss of a few members in Parliament." And I would conclude: "My good friends of the West, let us first save our dear country, so proud in the enjoyment of her young liberties; let us save our dear country from the great evil of despotism, of the great evil of tyranny, of which I spoke a moment ago, by having general elections immediately."

For all these considerations, Mr. Speaker, I join my voice to that of my leader (the Hon. W. L. Mackenzie King) and say: "Let us go to the polls."

At six o'clock the House took recess.

After Recess

The House resumed at eight o'clock.

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UNION

Herbert Macdonald Mowat

Unionist

Mr. HERBERT MACDONALD MOWAT (Parkdale):

Mr. Speaker, I had almost hoped that this debate on the Address would have been confined to the chief leaders on both sides of the House, so that by shortening it we could the sooner get down to practical business, but as this seems to be a free-for-all, I avail myself of the opportunity to make a few observations on current events.

In the speeches made by hon. gentlemen opposite I notice references to the continued presence on this side of the House of the class to which I belong, called

eral-Unionists on this side by our friends opposite, although I do not assert that those remarks are prompted by bad feeling. The situation is analogous to the illustration I have given of the hockey team. But everyone knows that a man who plays hockey on one team can play just as well on another, and while he played for all he was worth for his home team he will play with equal vigour and zeal for the team he has lately joined. If he fails to play as well for the one as for the other, then he is no sportsman at all.

I now desire to make an observation or two upon the amendment of the leader of the Opposition. It is a surprising thing to us to find that instead of the main issue which agitates and will agitate the country he should have chosen nothing but the mere resolution which he presented in the form of an amendment to go before the country at this time. What is it? He simply submits the issue to an intelligent people like the Canadians that an election must take place at one part of the year instead of later in the year or even next year, that a few months between an election is to be the whole issue between the people of Canada as to whether this Government shall remain in power or not. Is there anything more in it? It is an expression of want of confidence and, if carried, the Government would be expected to go out. There is nothing but that one issue -no substance, no principle, no facts, nothing to argue before the people, but there is the hope that a vote will take place which will turn the present Government out of power and bring my hon. friends opposite into office. Is that enough to present to the country in view of the issues which have previously been raised by my hon. friends opposite? The real issue is contained in the resolution of the Liberal convention, and in the Speech from the Throne, and the clause in the speech is worth repeating : .

It is the opinion of my advisers that in such revision regard must be had to the necessities of revenue and as well that the principle of protection to Canadian labour and legitimate Canadian industries. including agriculture, which has prevailed for more than forty years in this country, must be consistently maintained; but that the customs duties' imposed to that end should be no higher than is essential to ensure good standards of living among our working population, and to retain and make possible the normal expansion of the industries in which they find employment.

Now, one would suppose that that issue would have been taken up at once because that is the essential policy of one party as against a contrary policy of another; and

yet the Address will leave the House without assertion by my hon. friends of the policy which they proclaim as their own. When the Address carries it will therefore carry without one dissenting voice on the really vital issue between the two parties. Nevertheless we are asked to blindly vote on simply the one question of power or no power, without regard to the principle it is maintained upon or the reason advanced for making the change.

Now what is the result of this, what seems to be behind it? My hon. friend the leader of the Opposition wants power too quickly. Is it likely that when he won that very notable victory in the convention of the Liberal party in 1919 they had any idea that they were boosting him at once to the position of Prime Minister of Canada? Neither in this country nor in any other has it been the practice to take a person not in public life at the time being and suddenly make him Prime Minister. That was not done in the case of Sir Wilfrid Laurier. For ten years Sir Wilfrid patiently laboured to build up his party until he got it into a position of solidity. It was only after ten years of effort of that kind that he found himself at the head of a party which was possibly stronger than had ever before been seen in Canada.

My hon. friend should take note of the examples because there are many in the world's history, of sudden ambitions coming to naught. Let me point him and his followers to one only. My hon. friend should look at Mr. Longfellow's notable poem of "Robert of Sicily, brother of Pope Urbane and Valmond Emperor of Allemaine who was divested of his magnificent attire" and placed in a humble position. . He could not acclimatise himself to the surroundings and demanded that he be restored. But it was not until after three years service in a humble position that he was acclaimed again and then only after making an admission of humility which would very much become my hon. friend. You will remember, Mr. Speaker, that in Longfellow's poem the angel addressing this poor fellow, going about clothed in the garb of servitude instead of being dressed in regal robes said to Robert of Sicily: "Art thou the King?" And he replied:

I am the King and come to take my own ' From an imposter who usurps my throne.

Well that was the position but it took many years to put the King of Sicily in a position where he admitted that his former conduct had been unwise and that he must humble himself before he could attempt to attain power.

My hon. friend asks for a vote of want of confidence without any reasons of policy at all, not even contradicting by resolution the policy which is opposed to him in the speech from the Throne, and he asks that those whom he is pleased to call usurpers be put out and he be put in. There is a great moral lesson to be obtained from the poem "King Robert of Sicily" that I commend to my hon. friend's attention.

With regard to the tariff it is quite true that this is not the time to discuss it, and I do not propose to do so, but there are certain political considerations connected with the tariff question which may well be considered here because there is a paragraph in the speech from the Throne at present before the House which deals with that subject. I point out- that the tariff question has always been an unhappy, not to say a disastrous one, for the Liberal party. For years we had the idea that there was a large body of free traders in the country, men brought up on the old doctrines from England-where the circumstances are quite different-who had to be appeased in the matter of the tariff; and throughout the history of the Liberal party in the last forty years there have been sharp differences of opinion and well-discussed policies brought in with regard to it. It is quite true that we as Liberals never hit the right note with regard to the tariff in the whole course of our history. I was reading the other day,-the remarks made in 1882 by Mr. Collins who wrote the "Administration of Lord Lome." At page 246 of that work he says this:

The demon of discord-

He is now speaking of 1882 when Mr. Blake was leader and Mr. MacKenzie was still his second in command in the House of Commons:

. . . the demon of discord had entered into the Grit party family. There were the modified free-trade Reformers and' those who admired the political rectitude of Mr. Blake, 1 . Mr, Blake went out to Durham and told the people that ''free trade is for us impossible." Mr. Mackenzie raised his voice in East York and assured the electors that any doctrine but that of free-trade was pernicious, retrogressive and a relic of commercial barbarism, and so an era of Reform speech collisions began all over the country and the enemy made the most of the clashing declarations. Thus it came to pass that the leader of the Opposition could scarcely make utterance on any question that a counter statement made somewhere else by Mr. MacKenzie, by Mr. Mills or the Toronto "Globe" did not rise like the ghost of Banquo to confront him, and vice versa.

That was the situation in 1882. For some time we Liberals were perfectly satisfied,

I think with very few exceptions,-those being the theoretical free-traders,-with the policy of Sir Wilfrid Laurier on the tariff. For some time matters were settled and quiet, but there were claims made by the theoretical free-traders-chiefly, I think I may say, the editor of the Toronto Globe and others-for a greater reduction; and the heart of the old Grit Free-trader was at last satisfied, apparently beyond measure, by the declaration of the Liberal party in convention in August, 1919. Then the promised land seemed to be in sight because there was no question and no compromise there as to what should be the policy of the party on the tariff. The proceedings of the convention are contained in a very handsomely gotten up book, which, unlike the manna from heaven, which was free, can be had at any time for the price of one dollar from the organization committee of the Liberal party. I notice that this was the resolution on the tariff; I shall not read it all but merely the part that is important. It is to be found at page 204:

That the best interests of Canada demand that substantial reductions of the burdens of Customs taxation be made with a view to the accomplishing of two purposes of the highest importance.'

That a revision downwards of the tariff should be made whereby substantial reductions slhould, be effected in the duties on wearing apparel and footwear, and on other articles of general consumption (other than luxuries), as well as on the raw material entering Into the manufacture of the same.

And this is important because it gives to the old free trader who has been waiting for it for so many years a pledge that this policy will be put into legislation. The last clause of the resolution reads:

And the Liberal party hereby pledges itself to implement by legislation the provision of this resolution when returned to power.

In addition to that, in an admirable speech of appreciation on his appointment as leader of the Liberal party, my hon. friend from Prince, P.E.I.-he apparently having been a party to these resolutions- said:

That platform, ladies and gentlemen, is the chart on which is plotted the course desired by the people of the country, as expressed through the voice of the Liberals assembled here. So with this chart and this compass, forgetting the things which are behind, and stretching forward to the things which are before, let us press on from this moment, a great, a united, a mighty force, making ever for new liberty, for wider freedom, for greater righteousness in the public affairs -of this nation ; press on, evermore' zealous and united, till we have reached the goal where

the principles and policies laid down on this historic occasion will have become, through legislation, part of the law of our land.

Yet despite that pledge to the old free trader, when the matter comes up squarely for decision in the House of Commons, my hon. friend, instead of moving a counter resolution defining the terms under which his party are decided to go definitely before the country, and so making those terms part of the proceedings of the House of Commons, brings in this bare, scarecrow resolution charging usurpation against those who are in power.

But there is one satisfaction-that this resolution which I have read was a deliberate resolution emanating from the Committee on Resolutions, and is contained in-this book of the National Liberal Convention of August, 1919. This is a very nice little book and is apparently got out by my hon. friend from Russell (Mr. Murphy). There may have been others besides the hon. member for Russell who were important figures at that convention; one would have thought that perhaps the hon. members for Gaspe and Maisonneuve (Mr. Lemieux) would have had some influence there, or Mr. W. T. R. Preston, or some other persons who are supposed to be great in the Liberal party; but apparently this is the product of my hon. friend from Russell, because in the front of the book there is a very fine photograph of him [DOT]- which hardly does him justice, although it is a very handsome one-and under his name, Hon. Charles Murphy, M.P., are these pregnant words: "Who planned, organized and directed the Convention."

It is strange that while this Convention took place on August 5th, 6th and 7th in 1919, it was not until the month of January, 1921, or a year and five months afterwards, that this book was given to the public at the price of a dollar. One wonders why this delay. It was impossible during that time to know what was the policy of the Liberal party. I asked several persons if they could give me the resolutions, as having lost my newspaper published at the time of the convention, I was in the dark as to the definite pronouncement of the Liberal party upon the tariff question. Now there is no more doubt on the point, for here is the book with these photographs and speeches and resolutions, and we all know what the policy of the Liberal party is. So it is no use for my hon. friend from Ste. Hyacinthe (Mr. Gauthier) to repeat that somebody had said that the tariff [Mr. Mowat.)

policy of the Liberal party was only "theoretical." It is a perfectly definite policy set down in black and white, and the Liberal party must stand or fall by it.

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?

An hon. MEMBER:

Hear, hear.

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UNION

Herbert Macdonald Mowat

Unionist

Mr. MOWAT:

There is one "Hear, hear" from the other side, and I am glad to hear him. /

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February 21, 1921