March 18, 1924

CON
LIB

Henri Sévérin Béland (Minister of Soldiers' Civil Re-establishment; Minister presiding over the Department of Health)

Liberal

Mr. BELAND:

When the legislation is introduced, my hon. friend will know.

Topic:   THE GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH ADDRESS IN REPLY
Permalink
CON

Leon Johnson Ladner

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LADNER:

May I ask if the principle of extending the bonus is to be carried out, or is the bonus to be made a portion of the pension?

Topic:   THE GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH ADDRESS IN REPLY
Permalink
LIB

Henri Sévérin Béland (Minister of Soldiers' Civil Re-establishment; Minister presiding over the Department of Health)

Liberal

Mr. BELAND:

I have made my statement.

Topic:   THE GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH ADDRESS IN REPLY
Permalink
CON

Leon Johnson Ladner

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LADNER:

And that leaves the country in the doubt in which it now is, and it is because of that we find the most deserving group of men perhaps in Canada coming here to Ottawa in a great convention on the 5th and 6th of next May. The Amputations Club of Canada propose to come here and hold a convention. Along with other organizations they have submitted a petition to His Excellency the Governor General and "to the honourable members the House of Commons in Parliament assembled." The relief sought is this:

We therefore humbly submit that the payment of the bonus should be abolished, and the amount of the pensions commensurately increased in each case by the sum nowr'paid as a bonus; in other words, the pension should consist of such a sum as is now paid as a pension with the addition of the present bonus.

This petition is signed by The Amputations Association; the Imperial Veterans in Canada; the Great War1 Veterans Association: The War Widows and Widowed Mothers Association. I think when you consider whal the pensions amount to, no member of this House would have the ingratitude to endeavour to either lessen the pension or restrict it to a bonus. Let me remind the House that a total disability pension is $50 The bonus amounts to $25. If a man has an arm off he is paid at the rate of 60 to 80 per cent disability. If he has a leg off he is paid at the rate of 40 to 80 per cent disability. If he has two legs off below the knee he is paid at the rate of 80 per cent disability. A widow's pension is $40 and the bonus amounts to $20. The first child receives $15, the second $12, and the third $10. We must bear in mind the depreciation in the purchasing power of the dollar, a depreciation which-as in the case of the Napoleonic wars-increased by 70 per cent and has never returned to the rate it was before the war. The purchasing power of the dollar in this country will never, in the light of history and the knowledge of present day events, return to the rate at which it was before. With that one simple fact before us, and with a knowledge that the total disability of a man who has two legs and two arms off

The Address-Mr. Black (Halifax)

only entitles him to receive $75 a month, may I ask in all seriousness is there an hon. member in this House whose memory is so short, whose gratitude is so small, whose conscience is so callous that he would hesitate one moment in granting the prayer of the petition which has been presented to this House.

I thank hon. members for their courtesy in listening to me with such patience, and I say this in conclusion: When this convention of the Amputations Club shall take place in Ottawa what a gracious act it would be on the part of the parliament of Canada if it were to receive these heroes as the Romans were wont to receive their heroes in the days gone by when they presented them with the laurel wreath of victory in recognition of their distinguished service in defence of the country. Instead of a laurel wreath we might give to these gallant men the solemn obligation of the parliament of Canada that so far as the pensions are concerned they need have no worry, and that the gratitude of the people of this country would be expressed through the parliament of Canada by making the present bonus a permanent portion of the pension.

Topic:   THE GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH ADDRESS IN REPLY
Permalink
CON

William Anderson Black

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. W. A. BLACK (Halifax):

Mr. Speaker,

to the complimentary words of preceding speakers, I ask the privilege of adding my felicitations to those gentlemen who have so gracefully moved and seconded the Address to His Excellency in reply to the Speech from the Throne. And, with a mandate fresh from the people, I wish to acknowledge the pleasure afforded the people of Nova Scotia by the visit of their Excellencies to that historic province last summer. Whether as Commander of the Canadian Army Corps in Prance and Planders, or as the representative in Canada of His Gracious Majesty, the people I have the honour to represent are proud that His Excellency is in spirit and in deed all that those who occupy high places in a democracy should aim to be. Such I can assure you is the appreciation of His Excellency in that historic province by the sea which I am proud to own as the province of my nativity and life long home, than which none of the provinces of this great Dominion more proudly acknowledges and values its British allegiance and traditions.

I think it right and proper that His Excellency be congratulated because of the fact that in his early career, serving as a subaltern in one of England's celebrated regiments, the 10th Royal Hussars-which fought at El Teb-he now has been selected as its new Colonel.

29i

I desire to express my regret at the absence of my personal friend, the Minister of Finance, tMr. Fielding), because of severe illness;

I hope that he may soon be restored to his usual good health. We, as boys, travelled the streets of Halifax together, each pursuing his respective calling, and whilst I have followed a retiring life, my lifelong friend has occupied a prominent position in the government and history of our Dominion.

To the former Minister of Justice (Sir Lomer Gouin) I extend my sympathy, and trust that the balmy winds and the warmth of the Sunny South may be of lasting benefit to him.

I desire to extend congratulations to the hon. member (Mr. Lapointe) who has been selected as Minister of Justice, and to the member for Richelieu (Mr. Cardin) who has taken the portfolio of Minister of Marine and Fisheries.

If, in exposing to this House the hardships and grievances under which my province is labouring, and which the trying post-war conditions have served not to create but only to clarify, we protest against our established order of things, please rest assured that it is not because of any slackening of fealty to the Crown. But we do indeed hold the view that unless all parts of the Dominion shall enjoy equal opportunity for prosperity, no prosperous Dominion can exist. Nova Scotia, having surrendered much and suffered much through her adherence to confederation, asserts the right to equal participation in the vast opportunities opened up by confederation in this great Dominion.

It is true that, for many years past, I have given allegiance to the Conservative party. I believed in the principles of that party, I believed in confederation, I believed in the wisdom of uniting the British communities of North America in one Dominion. I believed in the National Policy, and I believed that never was national decision more wisely made than when at the outbreak of the Great War, Canada's government of the day placed itself and the country unreservedly on the side of those who sought to repel German aggression. I have believed that in the great national issues confronting it, the Conservative party adopted the right national course and I have faith that in adjusting the balance of differences and setting the Dominion in the way of a new national prosperity, we are more likely to succeed under the direction of Conservative policy than under that of the present government. You may ask, Mr. Speaker, why I hold this view. My answer, in a word, is that the government has not kept faith.

452 COMMONS

The Address-Mr. Black (Halifax)

My life has been spent in a commercial atmosphere trading in a community where contracts and commitments once made were adhered to, no matter at what cost. Now, I ask has the government adhered to its contracts and commitments? I ask were the commitments made in solemn convention in Ottawa in 1919 adhered to? Indeed, it is notorious that they were not. They have been more honored in the breach than in the observance, and the breach has been repeatedly and cynically condoned by the Prime Minister himself and by the hon. Minister of Finance who, laughing in his sleeve at what he thinks is the gullibility of the electorate, advances his unworthy view that platforms are only useful to attain power. Now, Mr. Speaker, that is a too low and debasing plane on which to conduct public business; it is unacceptable and repugnant to our people; it will not wash.

Why, when the government's candidates presented themselves for election in 1921, they pledged themselves to bring us to a golden era, they were willing to promise anything that would secure political support. The hon Minister of National Defence (Mr, Macdonald) promised, if sent to Ottawa, to move a resolution in the House for an increase in the duty on coal to a level that would provide "real" protection instead of what then existed and what he called "fake protection" Have any of the members of this House encountered the "golden era"; have any of the members seen the resolution of the hon. Minister calling for "real" instead of "fake protection" on coal? And during the campaign in North Cape Breton in July last, the press reported the same minister appealing to the electors of that riding at North Sydney on July 28 as follows:-

A revision of freight rates on the Canadian National railways has been prepared and is now awaiting the return of Sir Henry Thornton from the West to put them into effect. It provides for a general reduction in rates affecting local traffic between Ontario and the Maritime provinces.

Polling day passed, and again the electors trusted the government. Have any of the members of this House seen the revision of freight rates? Seven months have passed and no one in Nova Scotia is conscious of any reduction. They continue to labour under rates which Hon. E. H. Armstrong, the Liberal premier of Nova Scotia describes as "excessive freight rates choking our industrial life."

Leaders of the Liberal party in Nova Scotia were formerly much addicted to the use of a slogan "Trust the people." It is founded on an axiom which must propeily prevail in all democracies, but it carries with it a natural

corollary that the people should trust the elected representatives. The representatives must needs be W'orthy (if trust. Can any one wonder that, in view of the broken promises to which I have alluded, the high-spirited electors of the city and county of Halifax should have turned from their false gods and sent to Ottawa a member to support the opposition. So it was in Halifax and so it was in Kent. And now I find myself honoured with a seat in this House, not as, primarily, a Conservative partisan, but as a protest against the perfidy oi politicians and with a mandate to strike hard for the rights of my beloved province. To that mandate I shall be true, no matter if it should lead to a breach in the present happy relations which have always exi=ted between my leader and myself.

I am going to ask for time to set out the embarrassing position wth which the province of Nova Scotia finds herself confronted today. Hansard p. 4220, June 19th, 1923, reports the hon. Minister of Finance as follows:

Many institutions which were prosperous in the Maritime provinces before confederation are complaining to-day. I do not want to discuss the question of confederation. I simply state a fact. I remember when there were twenty wholesale houses in Halifax all doing a prosperous business; to-day there is hardly one of them left. They have all been driven out by Montreal.

In order to get a pioper setting for the picture of to-day one must recall those prosperous and self-contained conditions hinted at by the minister in those days. Ten banks were then operated and contiolled in the province. To-day not one so remains. Fortunes were then being made by many different importers, exporters and shipping men, their varied activities affording generous employment to all who wished to work. To-day conditions are hard and, according to a reliable local authority, 30,000 of our best people are going annually to the States- driven to find a solution of their embarrassment in emigration to a foreign land and under an alien flag. Mr. Speaker, these things ought not so to be. These were not the prospects that were held out to Nova Scotians at the time that Ontario and Quebec statesmen were proposing that the Maritime provinces should enter a umon to safeguard the defence position of the country and create a nation. When these statesmen toured the lower provinces after the Charlottetown conference, they naturally dilated on the benefits that would follow the adoption of a plan of confederation. The politicians who attended the conferences were in favour of the adoption

The Address-Mr. Black (Halifax)

of their scheme, of couise, but it was received coldly by the public of the province. Indeed, it has never at any time been approved by the voters. Perhaps Cartier put the invitation to enter confederation as tersely as any one of the Fathers of Confederation. Speaking at Halifax on 12th September, 1866 he said:

I have heard since I have been in Halifax the objection thrown out that you will be absorbed. It will be very easy for me to dispel such fears. I answer them by a question: Have you any objection to being absorbed by commerce? Halifax, through the Intercolonial Railway, will be the recipient of trade which now benefits Portland, Boston and New York. If you are unwilling to do all in your power to bring to a satisfactory consummation this great question, you will force us to send all this trade, which you ought to have, through American channels. It is as evident as the sun shines at noon that when the I.C.R. is built- and it must necessarily be built if confederation takes place-the consequence will be that between Halifax and Liverpool there will be steamers almost daily leaving and arriving at the former. In fact, it will be a ferry between Halifax and Liverpool.

At St. John on the 14th' September, he said:

Canada has population and territory to make a great nation in course of time. But she wants what the Maritime provinces possess, an outlet to the sea.

He then explained how business would develop.

-when the goods of the Maritime provinces are exchanged for the goods of Canada-

And that

-the products of British Columbia and the vast prairies would also pour through Halifax.

Topic:   THE GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH ADDRESS IN REPLY
Permalink
LIB

Robert Emmett Finn

Liberal

Mr. FINN:

May I ask my hon. colleague

what was the policy prior to 1896? Were the subsidies given by the Tory government to the line to Portland or Halifax?

Topic:   THE GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH ADDRESS IN REPLY
Permalink
CON

William Anderson Black

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BLACK (Halifax):

As it is evident

that the hon. gentleman has not heard much of the debate, I will proceed. The irony of the situation to-day is that the Canadian government, through its ownership of the Grand Trunk, with its chief railway terminus at Portland, is the chief instrument through which United States ports continue to be enriched by trade from the provinces situated west of New Brunswick. The present government has gained some friends by providing lower duties under the preferential tariff when goods enter through a Canadian port, although like much of their legislation the step is faltering and incomplete. And the idea of Canada now "taking the products of Nova Scotia in exchange for Canadian goods" is a joke. Geography and the fiscal system adopted by the Dominion are preventing that province from reaping the benefits of its maritime position, and are forcing its people to become

hewers of wood and drawers of water to the central provinces. "Canada," as it was called before Confederation, finds a good market in Nova Scotia for its products manufactured and sold under a 10 per cent to 35 per cent tariff at correspondingly high prices, and takes payment, not in trade, as Cartier foretold, but in cash, which Nova Scotians raise by selling their fish, potatoes, fruit, lumber and other natural products in the highly competitive markets of the world. Located on the circumference of a circle, Nova Scotia cannot become a factor in the Canadian industrial system because she cannot overcome the costly carrying charges to reach the centre and the other side of the circle in competition with the mass producers situated at the centre of the circle in Hamilton, Kitchener, Toronto, Montreal, and other cities. And her banking control, with its collateral benefits, has gone to the latter mentioned cities, absorbed, not by commerce, as Cartier prophesied, but as the result of legislative enactments imposed quite naturally by those sections who command a majority in the councils of the nation, who also naturally make the fiscal policy suited, not to the needs of the smaller provinces, but to their own. Our smaller factories of former days, with a few notable exceptions, have been driven out of business by the mass producers centrally located, and new factories with us are unknown. It is an interesting fact, and it tells its own story, that the 700 Canadian manufactories and branches of United States concerns erected in Canada in the last 25 years have passed up the Maritime provinces as a location for their factories. Their benefits accrue to Canada, but not to the East.

In 1867, those who opposed confederation did so because of the disadvantages and losses that they feared would follow. To-day the successors of the "antis" need invoke no one's imagination; the worst fears have been realized. The advantages then enjoyed from control of fiscal policy were surrendered; the advantages that were to take their place have not materialized. Along with the other supporters of confederation, we seek a remedy that will afford the residents of this province the same opportunity for profitable activities and development of its resources as are enjoyed by any sister province. Surely a way can be found. To admit failure is to concede that that province has no place in the Dominion, and this concession we do not wish to make. The present severe business depression in the Maritime provinces-the total building permits of their 1,000,000 people only amounted in 1922 to 2| per cent of the total of Canadian building permits-has caused a

464 *' COMMONS

The Address-Mr. Black (Halifax)

questioning of underlying conditions, and a feeling of exasperation that has not existed there in a lifetime. You find it in conversation with nine out of ten of the people you talk to. I would that you, Mr. Speaker, and the House and the country generally, should appreciate the difficulties which have weighed on us so heavily, but which have been borne in silence compared with the vocal prairies, who are making better material progress, and who, never having enjoyed large realized wealth, as our people formerly did, have surrendered nothing, and have no good old days to look back to.

Some Liberal partisans in considering the dilemma which confronts us assert that it could have been avoided had we accepted the reciprocity pact of 1911. There is something in their contention. Putting aside for the moment the instability of that arrangement, I willingly admit that between conditions in Nova Scotia to-day and what they would have been under reciprocity, we are worse off. While reciprocity lasted we could have marketed our natural products to better advantage than we can now market them in the competitive markets of - the world. But, Mr. Speaker, I wish to draw your attention to the fact that when my province refused to approve of reciprocity, it did so on the highest national grounds. We were told at that time that it was essential to maintain an east-and-west system of transportation to which the treasury of the country and our national destiny had been overwhelmingly committed. That was good enough for us. Our imaginations carried us forward to the day when our east and west transport systems would include an All Red route from Vancouver to Liverpool which would carry the fertilizing stream of commerce and travel on Canadian soil alone and under the folds of the Union Jack by land and sea, and the immediate monetary advantages of reciprocity we passed up in favour of the grand idea of nation building.

But we never contemplated the idea of carrying Canadian trade part way east and west by rail and the surrendering it to the enrichment of Canadian Atlantic winter ports situated in a foreign land. In this our province has again been betrayed. We went on in good faith and while we have been let down, allow me to express the conviction that it is only for a season. We demand and shall insist on the remedy. No government since that day has addressed itself to the task. While the war was on we in Nova Scotia considered it our duty to devote our attention to its prosecution to the exclusion of all interprovincial differences. That peril is, fortunately, past, and the duty before all bluenoses

now lies clear. No government can ignore it except to forfeit all support. In this matter I feel confident that I speak with authority.

The question of taxation is a very serious one, but this government it would appear by the Speech from the Throne, after two years of slumber, seems to have awakened to a realization of conditions in our Dominion, especially in relation to taxation under which our people are groaning. Possibly the thunder from Kent and Halifax is responsible for this awakening. Relief is indicated. Let us "wait and see."

In my province, we are not at all interested in discussing who is or who is not to blame for this or that thing in the past. Hair splitting and casuistry do not interest us. We are confronted by vital living issues; we want a chance to live and we shall have it. We intend to place forever behind us the day when an ambitious young man or woman, in order to attain success, must desert his or her place of birth and go to the States-or migrate even to Montreal or Toronto. We feel that no political party can afford to write off even the decimated fourteen seats that will be our lot after redistribution. And we intend in future in our province to speak with a united voice. I have the honour of being here to-day as the first public spokesman for that voice.

The city of Portland, Maine, the chief Atlantic winter terminus of the publicly-owned Canadian National Railways, recently formed a 100,000 Club. The " Outlet " radio station at Providence, Rhode Island, is fond of broadcasting the importance of its city as an outlet for export trade. Less than a year ago, the state legislature of Rhode Island was assured by our railway people that if the charter of the Southern New England Railway was renewed construction would be completed by the Central Vermont and Canadian National Railways, whose subsidiary it is, and another Canadian Atlantic winter port in a foreign land be thus established. The people of Nova Scotia, Mr. Speaker, are opposed to the policy of upbuilding Canadian National ports under an alien flag while their own harbour fronts are idle, the wharves deserted and the longshoremen unemployed. No longer are they content to remove from Halifax and reside in Portland and Providence in order to benefit from Canadian production, Canadian industry and the expenditure of the money of the Canadian taxpayer. For such, in truth, are the deficits of the Canadian National Railways. For over two years, these matters have gone on without a protest being uttered

MARCH 18, 1924 s

The Address-Mr. Black (Halifax)

in this chamber by our representatives-the former solid sixteen-elected by the votes of the people on the promise of the candidates that they would usher in a golden era, reduce the high cost of living and generally ease the conditions under which the people were labouring.

Hon. E. H. Armstrong the Liberal Premier of Nova Scotia, stated in the Montreal Gazette on April 24th of last year that:

The people of the Maritime provinces feel keenly that they have not been fairly treated by the rest of the Dominion. They have been made to feel that they are and should remain isolated, more or less forgotten, tolerated at the best, and not provided for like the more fortunate provinces to the west of us.

Sir, I have arrived at the time of life when I could fairly claim a period of rest, quietness and ease. It was only at the earnest solicitation of patriotic Nova Scotians that I consented to forsake the easier way and offer myself for election in opposition to this government which has so signally failed to solve any of the difficulties that their candidates promised to solve. Living, as I did, in pre-confederation days, throughout the early days of the Dominion, and up to the present, confident of the great destiny of our country, provided its fortunes are directetd by men of wide vision, I come before you to-day and plead for consideration of the conditions I have outlined. I implore the government to rectify the grievances. I say to you, Mr. Speaker, and the country, that early action is imperative. I warn you that failure will bring us all to regret, if not to disaster.

Now, Mr. Speaker, before resuming my seat, let me refer to one or two matters.- The right honourable gentleman, the Prime Minister of this Dominion, on March 3 last, told this House that the by-election in Halifax was won on local issues-that the hon. member for St. John City (Mr. Baxter) was in the constituency making appeals of a sectional character, and he drops the subject with these words,-"This by-election had no significance whatever." I will venture this statement, Mr. Speaker, that never in the history of this country have members of government sat in this House with greater anxiety, uneasiness and disappointment than do the gentlemen occupying the chairs on your right at the present time, because of the result of the election in Halifax-an election "with no significance whatever"-says the Prime Minister. Their position has been made still more uncomfortable by the electors of Kent who sent to this House my good, capable friend, roommate and desk mate (Mr. Doucet). Give us, in the Maritime provinces, Mr. Prime Minister another opportunity, and we will still further add to the discomfort of our friends opposite. p . .

If this by-election had no political significance why was it necessary to arrange by cable with the Prime Minister, then in England, to address a political gathering in Halifax just before polling day? In order that the right hon. gentleman might be in time for this meeting, the steamer on which he was a passenger was diverted from her course and came to Halifax. The Prime Minister was not the only speaker at this gathering, but was supported by half a dozen more or less of his ministers. His party was further fortified during the campaign by many hon. gentlemen, members of the once solid sixteen, representing in this House surrounding constituencies. "No significance whatever" in the Halifax byelection? I leave it with the House to decide whether or not it had any significance. The electors of the city and county of Halifax heard and read what the battalion of speakers had to say, heard their promises and pledges, thought out in their own minds the vital questions affecting our country, and decided for themselves. The result is well known to this House, and by none is it more keenly realized than by the hon. gentlemen opposite.

In passing I might mention that one reason given, but not the real reason, why the Prime Minister should divert his steamer and land at Halifax, was that he desired to reach Ottawa at the earliest possible moment. This is a distinct compliment to the port of Halifax, and I thank the hon. Prime Minister for it, as it emphasizes the fact that starting from Great Britain or any eastern point the quickest and most direct route to the West is via the port of Halifax.

The hon. member for St. John City (Mr. Baxter) has been referred to by the right hon. leader of the government. I want just here to say that this hon. gentleman was in my constituency during the campaign, that he did excellent work discussing the problems of our country, and that his forceful way of presenting the truth to the electors added greatly to our success.

Our campaign was carried on on the basis of a fair, broadminded discussion of matters concerning our great Dominion. Our friends opposite seem to have dwelt upon promises and to have pinned their faith to these, but there were already too many broken and unfulfilled promises, and this the electors full well realized and acted accordingly.

Much has been said on the question of an elevator for Halifax. I do not propose, Mr. Speaker, taking up the time of the House at the present moment discussing this important

456 COMMONS

The Address-Mr. Black (Halifax)

matter. Suffice it to read the words of the Minister of National Defence, who represents the county of Pictou (Mr. Macdonald) in relation thereto. Speaking at a large gathering a few days prior to election day, he said:

With the prospects of an enormous grain crop, the government, carrying out the policy of Canadian trade through Canadian ports, had decided upon the erection of a grain elevator at Halifax, modern and complete. Tenders had been called for and eight had been received. If Hon. W. S. Fielding, the acting Prime Minister, had not taken ill upon his return to Ottawa the other day from Halifax he would have called a council meeting and the contract would have been awarded by now. But just as soon as the Prime Minister returned to the capital-

He was then in Halifax, thirty hours' journey from Ottawa.

-the contract would be awarded by the Cabinet and the work of construction would start at Halifax immediately. (Cheers).

Of course there would be cheers.

Topic:   THE GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH ADDRESS IN REPLY
Permalink
LIB
?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Order.

Topic:   THE GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH ADDRESS IN REPLY
Permalink
LIB
?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Order.

Topic:   THE GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH ADDRESS IN REPLY
Permalink
LIB

Robert Emmett Finn

Liberal

Mr. FINN:

-and the hon. Minister of Finance (Mr. Fielding) said nothing of the sort.

Topic:   THE GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH ADDRESS IN REPLY
Permalink
LIB

George Newcombe Gordon (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. DEPUTY SPEAKER:

Order.

Topic:   THE GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH ADDRESS IN REPLY
Permalink
CON

William Anderson Black

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BLACK (Halifax):

Well, hon gentlemen opposite are so fond of commissions that I suggest they might have one appointed to examine the reporter and ascertain whether or not that language was used. Anyway, this was another of that hon. gentleman's promises which is still unfulfilled.

No elevator has yet been arranged for in Halifax. If this government was sincere, if it was in earnest about even considering maritime traffic-that is, the sending of Canadian goods through Canadian ports-why should it not make some use of the elevator now standing there? A beginning could easily be made with the existing facilities. Why not employ Canadian Merchant Marine steamers in this business instead of having them carry cargoes at low rates to American ports? But like all else with the present administration, it is a case of "let us wait and see."

Some items promised in Halifax prior to the election of December 6th were: elevator, pier, railway sidings-well, I shall not take up (he time of the House in mentioning them all. Hon. gentlemen have heard of the promises that were made in regard to the elevator as well as in regard to numerous other things.

I might again refer to the inconsistency of hon. gentlemen opposite. One minister, the Minister of National Defence, for the improvement of our valuable fisheries promised Halifax a fishery station, while at that moment his colleague the then Minister of Marine and Fisheries, was touring the county of Kent. New Brunswick, and telling the electors of that constituency that he woidd not allow officers of his government again to enter that county to stop illegal fishing for lobsters. Consider the situation, Mr. Speaker: a minister of the Crown telling the people of this country that he will assist them in violating the laws, especially those of his own department!

It perhaps is not generally known by members of this House that of late complaints have been reaching this country from England and the continent about the quality of the finned lobsters sent to those markets. May these complaints not arise from the fact that lobsters are illegally caught, caught out of season when not fit for human food, packed in cellars and barns, swamp water being used in the process? Such are the facts, and in the face thereof the then Minister of Fisheries not only condones these offences but rather encourages them. The lobster industry is too valuable to trifle with in this way. With so much instability on the part of this government, is it to be wondered at that depression exists throughout our Dominion?

I was much gratified to hear from the lips of the hon. Minister of Public Works (Mr. King, Kootenay), some encouraging words on the subject of Canadian Trade through Canadian ports. Yesterday when speaking he, as a member of this government, placed himself on record in unqualified terms as favourable to that policy, and I cannot do better than quote the hon. member's words which I will lead from Hansard of March 17. pages 377 and 378. He said:

It has been decided that an officer will be placed in New York who will there clear goods in transit for western Canadian ports and also goods coming from western ports to eastern Canadian points. But in the order making provisions for an officer at New York the government have thought it wise to stipulate that goods so moved should be placed in British bottoms, that is, ships of British or Canadian register. It is hoped that by this provision there will be established sailings of British or Canadian ships from Canadian Atlantic ports which will fully accommodate this traffic.

Mr. Ladner: May I inquire whether there are any lines operating ships of British or Canadian register which send vessels that way?

Mr. King (Kootenay): Yes, there is one line, and recently the Canadian National Railways have indicated their intention to put on two ships. I am informed also that there are two or three lines which propose to establish a regular service between eastern and western Canadian ports this summer.

The Address-Mr. Maclean (York)

Mr. Ladner: Has the government any definite

arrangement with those lines, with a view to making certain that the goods will be carried?

Mr. King (Kootenay): I am satisfied that lines will be established if there are goods to be carried, and we have reason to believe that there will be a very considerable amount of business offering, because it is within the knowledge of the Minister of Customs (Mr. Bureau) that no less than two, and possibly three, lines are prepared to enter into this traffic.

Mr. Ladner: Why would it not be in the interests of traffic to allow any competing lines which would give the service at the reduced rates to have the benefit of the establishment of the customs officer at New York?

Mr. King (Kootenay): There will be a customs officer at New York and goods shipped to that point will have an opportunity of entering into ships of British registry.

Mr. Ladner: My question is, why not other ships?

Mr. King (Kootenay): I think it only fit and proper that we should endeavour to keep this trade within Canadian channels. It will travel over Canadian railways to Canadian ports and will there enter into ships of our own register or of British register to be transported. We are satisfied that in the British merchant marine we have facilities which are sufficiently extensive to give accommodation and to bring about a competition which will control rates in the matter of this tonnage.

I regret to say that one important public body in Vancouver has taken exception to this ruling and contends that these goods should enter ships of any registry and be allowed to move freely. Now, as a representative of British Columbia and a Canadian I do not agree with this contention. I think it absolutely essential, if we are to grow as a nation, that we develop and maintain our national ports. No maritime nation can afford to build up the ports of an adjoining country at the expense of its own. I am satisfied that the people of British Columbia as a whole will endorse this attitude. I am sure that if the position were reversed and the people of Alberta and central British Columbia were to find it more acceptable to ship their goods via the ports of Seattle and Portland, our friends of the Vancouver Board of Trade would be the first to take exception and to insist on certain restrictions that would tend to confine this business to our own ports.

Mr. Ladner: Is the government in possession of any assurances to make certain that the nature of that arrangement does not mean that the rates by water will be adjusted somewhat on the same basis and at the same rate as by rail in which case the advantages of going via New York would be virtually nullified so far as lower rates are concerned.

Mr. King (Kootenay): The government will always have it within their power to amend that regulation if it is found that the people who are going to engage in this business are trying to make excessive profits out of it; but primarily, I think, we are on safe ground. It is the policy of this government to develop our own national ports, and this business, which I believe is going to become of very great importance not only to our people in western Canada but I think of even greater importance to our manufacturing friends in central and eastern Canada, should certainly remain in the channels where the people of Canada will derive the most benefit from it.

Mr. Speaker, this is a move in the right direction-the policy which the Maritimes have been asking for for years. Apply it to transportation between Canadian Atlantic ports, and Canadian Pacific ports then it cannot be denied to transatlantic business.

I do not wish to further detain this House but hope to again refer to this subject, which is of such vital importance to the Maritime provinces.

Topic:   THE GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH ADDRESS IN REPLY
Permalink
IND

William Findlay Maclean

Independent Conservative

Mr. W. F. MACLEAN (South York):

May I on behalf of the House extend to the junior member for Halifax (Mr. Black) its congratulations upon his maiden speech, and express the surprise of the House at the rather brusque manner in which he scorned his colleague.

I have listened to the debate with a great deal of interest, and I am going to take up the time of the House for only a few minutes; but I wish to say that I do not think I ever heard a better debate in this House than the present one. It has been marked by a great deal of independence, independence on the part of the last speaker, independence on the part of the speaker who preceded him (Mr. Ladner) in regard to banking institutions, and a great deal of independence from the other side of the House. Certainly three of the best and most independent speeches in the debate came from supporters of hon. gentlemen opposite. There has also been a great deal of independence shown by the hon. members from the western provinces, and, speaking in the sense not of a critic but one who has observed this House for a good while, I think the most encouraging thing to-day is the splendid spirit that is manifesting itself in regard to political affairs by the men who have come to this House from the West. I cannot endorse all that they say, but I think it is a good sign.

I am going to take up the time of the House just for a few minutes to refer to the issue now before us, and it is this: I happen

to represent in this House 100,000 people, as shown by the last census, and to-day, if I can judge aright, I represent over 130,000. My neighbour in East York (Mr. Harris) represents at least 100,000 people, and my neighbour to the west of me, the hon. member for West York (Sir Henry Drayton), I should think represents 100,000 people. Over 300,000 people are represented in this House by three members, representing three constituencies, made up largely of the city of Toronto, of the growing township of York, and the growing townships of Scarborough and Etobicoke. Yet we in this House have only three votes, while, the other member for York, the Prime Minister of this country (Mr. Mackenzie King)-and it is not his fault at all, and I make no comment upon him in that respect-represents 25,000 people. At

The Address-Mr. Maclean (York)

this time and under these conditions, judging by what we heard in the Speech from the Throne, confirmed more explicitly by the Prime Minister when he said there was to be a substantial change in the tariff as applied to instruments used in one of the basic industries of this country, and still further outlined and exemplified by hon. gentlemen of the Progressive party, there is not any doubt in my mind that an effort is now about to be made perhaps to wipe out the national policy of protection of the industries of this country, with which policy I have been identified for many years. I wish to take this opportunity of saying that that should not be done before at least two things transpire. Before that should be done, the first thing that we owe in an issue of this kind, which is far-reaching, which is a reversion of the past, and which may involve a great change in the future, is that the Redistribution Act should become a fact; and that the still more important act bearing on representation and the franchise should be revised. While that is being done the question of what should be done with the tariff policy of this country should be held in abeyance until revision in those two respects is made, or what has been put forward in this House very prominently, that there should be a conference or an attempt made by the different parties in this country to get together in regard to the tariff.

Further a policy which has been advocated m this country, and which I think ought to obtain, is the appointment of a royal commission of experts, to hear evidence from all quarters and to make a report to the House as to what the revision of the tariff ought to be. I believe the tariff question can be better dealt with in that way than in any other manner, and I should like to see that pohcy carried out. On behalf of the people of Toronto and I think I may also speak for the three ridings of York-I should like to say that they will regret, and will certainly protest against, this effort to change the National Policy without affording them an early opportunity of expressing their opinion in regard to it. I also want to point out that amongst the three hundred thousand people who live in the portion of Toronto of which I am speaking, and the county of York, the half of them are women, and the coming vote of Canada may be largely the women's vote. On account of their husbands, their sons, and their female representatives, they are just as much interested in the National Policy as anybody in this House. I say, therefore, that a great mistake is being made, and a

departure from parliamentary practice is taking place, in changing the present tariff policy without due consideration, and without creating the public machinery whereby a full and adequate Expression of opinion can be obtained from the people of this country. Before that opinion is obtained there should be a revision of the Redistribution Act and of the Representation Act of this country. With all the emphasis I can command I make the point that there should be no revision of the tariff without carrying out these two essentials at any rate; a thorough hearing by trained experts of the pros and cons of the case and recommendations by a tariff commission to the House, and an appeal made to the people on the issue. Hon. gentlemen opposite have chosen to bring up the tariff issue, and they are taking advantage of the situation in rather an unfair way. All I have undertaken to do here to-night is to express the view-on behalf of my own constituents, on behalf of the city of Toronto, on behalf of the people of York, and also on behalf of the great industrial population of the city of Montreal and other industrial centres in this country which are absolutely under-represented-that the question of revision should be held up until we can have a thorough investigation, can hear evidence, and the people are put in a proper position to decide the question at the earliest date, if it be remitted to them. I think I am absolutely on constitutional grounds when I say that, I do not think the Progressives should oppose that proceeding.

I think if they are the Progressives they claim to be, and think they are, they must listen to the people of Toronto and the people of Montreal. I am a democrat, and I am not the only one in this House, and I demand on behalf of democracy and progress, on behalf of the principle of government by the people, that the revision of the tariff shall be undertaken only after a thorough and competent investigation, that there shall be a revision of the act of distribution, and that there shall be an acceptance of the principle of equality of votes as between constituencies. It is not fair that one constituency with a population of 25,000 should have the voting power of a constituency with a population of 50,000. That does not obtain in any other modern country with a political practice similar to ours. They have that equality I want to see in the United States. Certainly the people who live in the industrial centres and pay their full share of the taxation of this country should have that share in the representation in parliament to which they are entitled.

The Address-Division

I think I am speaking on behalf of the industrial centres of this country in saying that they want a hearing before a competent board in regard to the tariff policy of Canada; but before even that they want the representation and the redistribution question so adjusted that there will be an equality of voting power, and an improvement in the franchise. If these essentials are not granted and one attack is made on the tariff, we may hear of many other changes proposed by this irresponsible parliament that undertakes to deal with it. There has been no mandate from the people to this parliament for changes in the tariff. I should only like to point out-and I am not going to discuss the question at any length to-night, I will have the opportunity of doing so when the budget comes up,-to the members from the West that their real relief does not lie so much in change in the tariff. The farmers of the United States have tried it and failed. Real relief to our western farmers-they have had their trials, I know a great deal about them and they have my sympathy-lies in other meas-urse perhaps than the tariff. It is their right to ask for tariff changes but I cannot agree with them that it is the proper course to pursue. When the budget is brought down I shall take an opportunity of showing that greater relief can be brought to the farmers of this country, and especially to the people of the West in certain other directions which ought to meet with the approval of the whole House, of all the parties in this Chamber, for the amelioration of the unfair conditions under which agriculturists live.

Mr. Speaker, this is all I have to say on this occasion. I shall have an opportunity later on to discuss the Banking 12 mid- Act, to discuss the question of the

night tariff and of railway legislation. In the meantime I enter my protest against this beginning of a whittling down of the tariff policy of this country, without at the same time making provision for an immediate appeal to the people on that issue. By that issue I agree to be judged and to accept the consequences whatever they may be.

Topic:   THE GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH ADDRESS IN REPLY
Permalink
CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

I do not rise to take any part in the debate but to what may be called perhaps a question of privilege. I am not desiring to correct any hon. gentleman, but rather to correct myself. I find that when I stated to the hon. member for Comox-Alberni (Mr. Neill), that the hon. member for Marquette (Mr. Crerar) at the time given by him for the passing of the estimate for the Victoria drydpck was Minister of Agriculture, I was mistaken. I was a month out in my recollection. The Minister of Agriculture

(Mr. Crerar) resigned on the 4th of June, not on the 4th of July. Not only was he not minister at the time the estimate was passed, but on research I am convinced he was not in the government at the time the estimate was formulated; so that he can dissociate himself from the estimate altogether.

Topic:   THE GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH ADDRESS IN REPLY
Permalink
LIB

Hewitt Bostock (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

Before the vote is taken I would ask hon. members on both sides of the House, kindly to facilitate the task of the officers of the House in the polling of the vote. The custom is that leaders vote first, members then rising in their seats in succession, row by row. It will facilitate matters if this practice is closely adhered to.

Topic:   THE GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH ADDRESS IN REPLY
Permalink
CON

William Alves Boys (Whip of the Conservative Party (1867-1942))

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BOYS:

I was paired with the right

hon. the Minister of Finance (Mr. Fielding). Had I voted, I would have voted for the amendment.

Topic:   THE GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH ADDRESS IN REPLY
Permalink
LIB

Charles Gavan Power

Liberal

Mr. POWER:

I was paired with the hon. member for East Hamilton (Mr. Mewburn).

[The Chairman.)

Had I not been paired, I should have voted against the amendment

Main motion agreed to.

On motion of Mr. Mackenzie King, seconded by Mr. Lapointe it was ordered that the Address be engrossed and transmitted to His Excellency the Governor General by such members of this House as are of the honourable the Privy Council

Topic:   THE GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH ADDRESS IN REPLY
Permalink

March 18, 1924