February 24, 1921

UNION

George Brecken Nicholson

Unionist

Mr. NICHOLSON:

This is what the vice president of the United Grain Growers' Company has to say on the subject:

Under the system we propose, men are not elected as representatives in the sense heretofore understood. They will go to Parliament as our delegates

These are not my words, they are the words of the vice president of the United Grain Growers' Company. He says:

They will go to Parliament as our delegates, to carry out our instructions.

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Subtopic:   ALBERT DECARY, CHARLES J. BAILLAIRGEON, N.P.
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UNI L

Thomas Alexander Crerar

Unionist (Liberal)

Mr. CRERAR:

May I ask my hon. friend who made that statement?

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UNION

George Brecken Nicholson

Unionist

Mr. NICHOLSON:

Mr. Woods, vice

president of the United Grain Growers' Company.

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UNI L

Thomas Alexander Crerar

Unionist (Liberal)

Mr. CRERAR:

Mr. Speaker, may I be

permitted to say that Mr. Woods has no connection whatever with the United Grain Growers' company.

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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Oh, oh.

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UNION

George Brecken Nicholson

Unionist

Mr. NICHOLSON:

Mr. Speaker, I am

ready to admit, that it would be exceedingly difficult for any man to say just who is associated with the United Grain Growers' Company and who is not. But I may just as well give this to the House right here since my hon. friend has raised the question-In 1918 the general manager of the United Grain Growers' Company, Mr. Rice Jones- am I right?

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?

An hon. MEMBER:

Yes.

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UNION

George Brecken Nicholson

Unionist

Mr. NICHOLSON:

-came before a committee of this House, brought here by gentlemen associated with the United Grain Growers. He was asked the question, whether this corporation had any subsidiaries. He sat back in his chair in blank amazement. Any subsidiaries! Can it be expected that any ordinary man would carry around under, his cranial bones sufficient information to say offhand what the subsidiaries of the United Grain Growers' company were? Mr. Woods, if not the vice President of the United Grain Growers' Company, is president of the Alberta Grain Growers' company which is closely identified and affiliated with the United Grain Growers' company. These are Mr. Woods' words, and let me repeat them:

They will go to Parliament as our delegates to carry out our instructions. We will retain complete control by means of the recall, or advance resignation, &c.

That is just exactly what this party is that sometimes calls itself the Farmers' party, sometimes the Agrarian party, and sometimes the Progressive party; and that is why it is here.

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?

An hon. MEMBER:

National, Liberal

Conservative.

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UNION

George Brecken Nicholson

Unionist

Mr. NICHOLSON:

I said a moment ago that you could not suggest a more violent misuse of terms than those titles. What has been their attitude towards the farmers of this country? What has been the attitude of the hon. member for Marquette, their leader, towards the farmers of this country? The hon. gentleman was Minister of Agriculture for at least a year and a half at a period when every government in Canada, provincial and federal, backed by the whole body of public opinion was bending its energies to increase production, when the Dominion treasury, one might say, was wide open for the hon. gentleman to use its funds in any way that would stimulate our agricultural production. Can he point to one single Act that passed

through this House at his suggestion to improve the condition of our farmers? Not one single act or suggestion. We are told that the hon. gentleman did have something to do with a plan by which the elevators at the head of the Lakes were permitted to use poisonous seeds in the manufacture of stock food for Ontario farmers.

Now, let us go one step further with regard to the position of this particular party concerning the farming industry of this country. Anyone who has given the question thought will agree that you cannot have stable agricultural conditions if you produce grain and nothing else; you must have mixed farming. How are you going to bring that about? By making it possible for farmers who are real farmers to get an abundant supply of stock foods- the by-products of the milling industry- at reasonable prices. What is the .attitude of this organization towards the milling industry? Members of the House will recall that when this close corporation agreement was entered into between the two wings of His Majesty's Loyal Opposition the Toronto Globe had something to do with it; they put an asset into the pool by turning over to this organization in Western Canada their western correspondent, Mr. Norman Lambert, to act as secretary and general publicity manager for the group. Anyone who has had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Lambert and discussing economic problems with him will agree that he is a clear-headed man of outstanding ability. Mr. Lambert is managing with a very considerable degree of skill the publicity campaign for the hon. gentlemen who call themselves the Agrarian party. Let me quote from an article contributed by Mr. Lambert to an Eastern paper on the subject of the tariff. I will not read the whole of it; I will deal with [DOT] only one vital point. Mr. Lambert, discussing the question of the manufacture of macaroni in this country and whether it should be imported, says:

Prior to 1910 there was one macaroni factory in Quebec and one in Manitoba and Canada imported a major portion of the macaroni consumed. Since that time there has been established an additional factory in Alberta and a third factory in Ontario-

It was bad enough that we should establish factories in Manitoba, Alberta, Ontario and Quebec to employ Canadian workmen in the manufacture of a food product for this country; but here is the pinch:

-using as their raw material for the manufacture of macaroni, flour produced from Canadian wheat.

'"Flour produced from Canadian wheat;" that is the sting in the thing so far as the United Grain Growers are concerned. Why should there be any opposition on the part of men who profess to be the friends of the farmers to the milling of wheat in Canada? Well, there is just this reason for it; the milling industry in Canada is the most serious competitor that the United Grain Growers of Alberta have. They buy a lot of wheat and they manufacture it into flour and mill feeds. Every bushel of wheat they buy is a bushel of wheat which the Grain Growers cannot buy and upon which they cannot make fat overages at the head of the Lakes; a bushel of wheat that they cannot ship out of the country through one of their subsidiaries, the Export Company of New York or the Export Company of Canada, and thus secure fat profits. That is why they are opposed to the milling industry; yet they 9 p.m. have the presumption to go before the people and say that they are the friends of the farming industry.

"But," they say, "look at the commercial business we are doing amongst the farmers; look at what we are doing for these men in Western Canada by getting them all the things they require-feed, clothing, machinery, fuel, and everything else." Well, just let us look at it. The manager of United Grain Growers, Limited, gave valuable evidence before a Committee of this House,-evidence which it is worth any hon. gentleman's while to read. I will not delay the House by going over very much of it, but here the question of flour comes in again: My hon. friend from Marquette

(Mr. Crerar) and other hon. gentlemen, going up and down the country in their campaign of abuse against other business men, have held up the millers as an institution that was bleeding the people white by the profits they were taking. In the year for which I am going to give you some figures, the Ogilvie Milling Company, the Western Canada Flour Milling Company, the Lake of the Woods Milling Company and the Maple Leaf Milling Company made profits ranging from 9 to 11 i cents a barrel on the flour they produced, and they did all the work of manufacturing that product. The United Grain Growers, Limited, carry on a sort of letter order business. They write a letter to some milling company and ask them to forward a car of flour to some farmer or group of farmers with draft attached to bill of lading. In this way they handled, without

the cost to them of a single cent, something over a million dollars' worth of flour, and they collected from the farmer between eighty cents and one dollar a barrel as their rake-off for doing it.

I shall not go over the whole list, but let me come down to the question of agricultural implements. The whole farming community, particularly in Western Canada, is suffering because of the high cost of their farming implements. The |United Grain Growers, Limited, handle a lot of farming implements, and in the year for which Mr. Riee-Jones gave the figures, on every $100 worth of farming implements they sold to the western grain growers, they collected a profit for themselves of $21.06. Mr. Rice-Jones was asked: Do they give the farmers any service by way of time within which to pay for these goods? The reply was, in effect: "Nothing in the world-cash on the spot. We send in the order; the machinery goes forward, the farmer pays for it, and we collect $21.06 per cent."

At the moment I will not pursue that point any further. There is one other matter to which I wish to refer briefly. In the campaign that these hon. gentlemen carry on to divide this country along class lines, the Eastern newspapers are a constant object of attack. They are referred to as the "capitalistic press," a "hired press," and all that kind of thing. I am not speaking in defence of the Canadian newspapers; they are amply able to take care of themselves. But the House will recall that during last session the hon. member for Mackenzie (Mr. J. F. Reid) stood up in his place and occupied over half an hour of the time of the House in the reading of a pamphlet issued by a man by the name of Murray, one time secretary of the Canadian Manufacturers' Association. The House will recall my hon. friend's peroration; he stood with his hands clasped across his breast and his eyes rolled towards Heaven in such a way as to cause one to wonder whether he was practising for an experience meeting of United Grain Growers or taking his part as end-man in a minstrel troupe that was going to stage a worn-out political farce.

What did Mr. Murray say to cause all this? He said that in his judgment the time had come when Canadian manufacturers should cease financing newspapers, the avowed object of which was to destroy the manufacturers' business. I am pot going to say that Mr. Murray was right

from the standpoint of those who say: "When thine enemy strikes thee on one side of the face, just turn the other." I am not sure whether that is a correct quotation.

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L LIB

William Duff

Laurier Liberal

Mr. DUFF:

You have got that all

wrong. You should study your Bible.

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UNION

George Brecken Nicholson

Unionist

Mr. G. B. NICHOLSON:

I am not here

to defend Mr. Murray, however, when he says that Canadian manufacturers should cease financing newspapers, the avowed object of which is to destroy the manufacturers' business Perhaps he was wholly wrong. But just let us turn the camera in another direction and see what picture it will produce. The same Mr. Rice Jones to Whom I referred a few moments ago appearing before this committee of the House of Commons of which the hon. member for Mackenzie (Mr. J. F. Reid) was a member-and I think my hon. friend had something to do with Mr. Rice Jones coming here; my information is that my hon. friend is a director of the company of which Mr. Rice Jones is general manager-on this question of financing newspapers, said what? He said, in answer to a question by the counsel for the committee: "The Grain Growers Limited paid one political organ in western Canada $100,000 in one year." What for? For advertising purposes? No, for educational and propaganda purposes.

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UNI L

Thomas Alexander Crerar

Unionist (Liberal)

Mr. CRERAR:

They did good work.

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UNION

George Brecken Nicholson

Unionist

Mr. G. B. NICHOLSON:

I have no doubt that it is quite true that, as a political organ of hon. gentlemen opposite, they did good work and the Western Grain Growers, out of the profits they extracted from the producers and consumers in this country, paid that political organ $108,000 for purposes of political propaganda. Yet these same hon. gentlemen will declaim in this House against eastern newspapers as being a hired press, paid political organs.

These statements are on all fours with the whole campaign these hon. gentlemen carry on. I said in this House last year, and I repeat to-night, that no honest man has any right in the world to criticize in the least degree the business that the Western Grain Growers are doing. So far as I am able to discern, they are carrying on an honest business; they are the largest commercial organization that ever came into existence in this country; but when they are doing that, what right have they to come down into eastern Canada or to go any other place in their efforts to set class

against class in this country or to tell me that I am not carrying on an honest business: that I am extracting undue profits from the people; that I am oppressing the workingman; that the farmers are not getting their rights? I say that the whole thing is a campaign of blatant hypocrisy.

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L LIB

William Duff

Laurier Liberal

Mr. DUFF:

A guilty conscience needs

no accuser.

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LIB

William Cameron Edwards

Liberal

Mr. EDWARDS:

This must be hurting

you.

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Subtopic:   ALBERT DECARY, CHARLES J. BAILLAIRGEON, N.P.
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UNION

George Brecken Nicholson

Unionist

Mr. G. B. NICHOLSON:

During this

debate a good many things have been said regarding the declarations of the Prime Minister in favour of giving to the province of Quebec more adequate representation in the government of this country, and hon. gentlemen opposite have become cynically sarcastic with regard to that. I must confess I was amazed to hear utterances of this kind fall from the lips of some hon. gentlemen opposite. I was surprised to hear the hon. member for Beauce (Mr. Beland), and the hon. member for Maison-neuve (Mr. Lemieux), join in that kind of criticism of the efforts which the Prime Minister was honestly making. I was surprised to hear the hon. member for Marquette (Mr. Crerar), join with them in voicing the same cynical criticism of the Prime Minister's efforts.

Is there anything wrong with the declaration of the Prime Minister that he believes the province of Quebec and the French-Canadian minority of this country should have more representation in the government? Is there anything wrong with the suggestion by any public man that it would be wise and well to bring about a better understanding between the two races that are living and growing up side by side in Canada? The Prime Minister would be unworthy of the position he holds if he did not exert every ounce of influence that he has to break down misunderstandings that admittedly have existed.

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L LIB

Lucien Cannon

Laurier Liberal

Mr. CANNON:

That he brought on

himself.

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Subtopic:   ALBERT DECARY, CHARLES J. BAILLAIRGEON, N.P.
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UNION

George Brecken Nicholson

Unionist

Mr. G. B. NICHOLSON:

I do not wish to enter into a discussion with my hon. friend regarding that, because that is not my purpose in this debate. I prefer that, if possible, anything I may say with regard to that subject shall tend to create a better understanding and not a worse. We are never going to arrive at a right understanding by hurling insults across the floor of this House, one against the other.

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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Hear, hear.

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February 24, 1921