The Budget-Mr. Humphrey
trict practically depend to a great extent upon their mining. A great deal of the copper that is obtained from the province of British Columbia is refined and turned out from a smelter situated in the district I represent. At the location of this smelter, which is a very large institution employing very close to
2,000 men at the present time, outside of their employees in connection with their different mines and property, there is a small city of nearly 5,000 inhabitants, which is kept up by this concern. I do not wish to go into the principle of providing this bounty, but I wish to point but the facts that have occurred through the action of providing a bounty of one cent and a half upon copper products. In the past few years nearly all of the copper that has been used for the producing of copper rods and wire has been obtained from the United States. The providing of the bounty of one and a half cents a pound on copper products will be the means of opening up, according to reports that I have received since the delivery of this budget, a copper rod mill that has been built in that district at a cost of veiy close to one half million dollars. It will create employment for from three to five hundred men, and instead of $3,500,000 yearly going to the United States, as it has in the past- and I believe those figures are correct that the Dominion of Canada has sent $3,500,000 to the United States for their copper-the providing of this bounty will keep this money within the Dominion and particularly within British Columbia. The information I have is that within thirty days this rod mill will be operating with the number of men increased to from three to five hundred.
In expressing the views of the constituency which I represent, I can state them only in a spirit of optimism. There exists among the people a willingness to meet the conditions of the future in a spirit of confidence and good will, 'believing that there is a future for British Columbia. I am well aware that this does not quite meet with the views of the friends on this side with whom I have the privilege of associating, and the people of British Columbia are cognizant that conditions throughout the prairie provinces are not as they should be and not as they would like to see them.
It is only right and fair that I should make my position clear respecting the action taken on this budget. Since becoming a member of this House, I have followed with a great deal of interest the remarks made by the different leaders of our parties and the remarks made by the different individual members as regards platforms. Some have spoken about the plat-
forms that they were elected upon; others have spoken about the platforms that they are standing on. I feel that I would perhaps be slighted or slighting the House if I did not place my platform before hon. members. In that respect, I might say that I was elected a member of this House, not supporting the platform of the Liberal party, not supporting the platform of the Conservative party. I was not elected a member of this House to support the platform of our Progressive friends so far as it pertained to tariff questions. I believe it is only fair to the hon. leader of this party (Mr. Forke) that my position should be made clear. I realized in the past and I realize now very fully the situation which has arisen. The people of my district feel that they have a great deal in common with the members of this party on many questions, but as a member who was elected on a platform which was drawn up as an Independent platform by a joint conference of farmers and labour representatives, a platform which had in it the recall, I believe, together with a plank stating that I could not commit myself to low tariff proposals, under those conditions, and with all respect to the leader of this party, to members of this group and to the House generally, I feel that I can point out the platform on which I was elected and confine myself to it in respect to supporting this budget. As one of the planks of that platform stated that I could not support the hon. leader of this party as respects tariff questions, I cannot support him in respect to this amendment. I feel that this explanation is due to the leader of this party and to the members of this House, and I consequently must govern myself accordingly. As long as I am a member, I shall consider it my duty to follow out the pledges made in that platform as it is practically a platform pertaining to my own election.