April 23, 1925

PRO

Charles Wallace Stewart

Progressive

Mr. STEWART (Humboldt):

Do I understand the hon. gentleman to mean that he would prohibit the entry of all goods into the Canadian market that would enter into competition with our own manufactures?

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   EDITION
Permalink
CON

James Arthurs

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. ARTHURS:

No, I am not talking

of that at all. There is something wrong with the hon. member's thinking apparatus. We were talking about a dumping clause- not anything else. In British Honduras there was an increase of 33$ per cent.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   EDITION
Permalink
PRO

Charles Wallace Stewart

Progressive

Mr. STEWART (Humboldt):

I suppose,

as he refusas to explain when invited to do so, it would be useless to ask the hon. member what he understands by a dumping clause.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   EDITION
Permalink
CON

James Arthurs

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. ARTHURS:

I have here a list of all the countries in Europe, South America and the British Empire, and in every case there has been a decided increase in duties since the war, some of them most remarkable, running as high as 500 or 1,000 per cent. I am not going over them, but I have them here and any hon. member can look at them if he wishes.

I have a few words to say with regard to the freight situation, and' I desire to point out, particularly to my hon. friends to my left, that the one great trouble with almost all Canadian conditions to-day is not the fact that we have too much or too little tariff, but that we have too high freight rates. Without regard to the condition of our tariff at all, we are paying annually to the railways approximately $500,000,000 a year. We paid last year in customs $120,000,000; or in other words we are paying four times as much in freight rates as we paid out under the total customs tariff. A reduction of five per cent on our freight rates, which would not be excessive, would be equal to a twenty per cent reduction in our tariff, which would give our friends to my left fourteen per cent bonus on their agricultural implements com-

ing into Canada. This shows how serious the situation is, and while I do not pretend to be a freight expert, or to have a trained mind along the lines of freight or transportation charges, I cannot for the life of me see why a carload of wheat going to Fort William, to be ground for the use of the people in Fort William, should be charged two or three times as much freight as if that carload came to Fort William, was ground in transit and sent to another country. Those are the conditions. We have them in Ontario. We have got to pay a far greater rate on freight which is sent us than is paid on freight which goes right past our door to a point much further away. I pointed out last year that whereas the Canadian National Railways had fixed a rate of $9 a ton from Drumheller to Toronto or points in Ontario, or an average of $450 per carload, they were drawing crockery from Vancouver to Halifax for $360 a car, a vastly more costly article to transport, a thousand miles longer haul; still they were asking $90 less freight on it than was being paid on coal. I cannot see any justification for that and that is why I say that one of the great problems facing Canada to-day is the freight tariff. We should have some reasonable means of applying a remedy. I can see no reason for the present condition.

One other subject which I do not think has been touched upon so far is the question of pulpwood. Most hon. members have handled it with gloves, or left it alone. We have had during the last couple of years,-and would have had for five or six years more if we had not called them back-a pulpwood commission in Canada inquiring into the question of pulpwood1. Eventually the 'government had to recall them after they started on a world's tour. The cost of that commission was something like seventy-five or eighty thousand dollars. We have their report which is absolutely non-committal. We find that propaganda is being circulated through Canada at the present time both for and against an embargo on pulpwood. The average man I think does not understand the situation. If he did, he would oppose an embargo. I think I understand the situation and I am opposed to an embargo for several reasons, but more particularly because, especially in the provinces of Ontario and Manitoba,-and I believe all the western provinces-we have two classes of pulpwood. We have the ordinary spruce pulpwood and we have a poplar which is increasing in quantity all the time, especially in this province, for which we have little or no

The Budget-Mr. Arthurs

market in Canada at the present time. I think somewhere between ten and twenty thousand tons of poplar are used in this province. For that reason, if for no other, 1 would be opposed to an embargo. However,

I am in favour of an export duty. I do not care whether my views are

altogether in accord with the views

of my associates around me os. not, but I state quite frankly and freely that I am opposed to the export of raw material where it is possible to manufacture it in Canada.

I am opposed to the export of asbestos in its raw state, because we control the world's market. I am opposed to the export of unrefined copper or nickel because, in a similar manner, we should be able to control the world's output and the world's price, and the labour and the profit should be conserved for our own people. In an exactly similar manner I would advocate that this government place an export duty upon pulpwood, starting, say, at fifty cents a cord, increasing the duty to a dollar the second year, a dollar and a half the next year and proceeding in that way. The result would be that the settler or owner would not suffer, but would rather benefit, because the Americans would endeavouT to get the pulpwood at the lowest possible price, knowing the duty would be increased the next year. The result would be that on our present export of 1.400,000 cords per year we would have an income of $700,000, which could be used for the general purposes of Canada or for the purpose of preserving our forests both from fire and from the destroying influence of insects, which are perhaps worse than fire. Therefore I think it would be advisable that the government should carefully consider the proposition of placing an export duty on pulpwood. I am in favour, as I said before, of reserving to our own country the other assets which we have.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   EDITION
Permalink
LIB

John W. Carruthers

Liberal

Mr. CARRUTHERS:

Suppose you raised

the export duty high enough, would it not amount to the same thing as placing an embargo on pulpwood?

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   EDITION
Permalink
CON

James Arthurs

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. ARTHURS:

My proposition would

be not to put it so high as to have that effect. The price of pulpwood is a variable one. The Minister of Soldiers' Civil Reestablishment (Mr. Beland) told me the other day that in the Eastern Townships they were Pbtaining, I think, $14 and $16 a cord for their ordinary spruce pulpwood. I speak subject to correction but I am quite satisfied there are parts of Ontario, equally accessible

to the Ontario markets, where the price would be probably $10 a cord; so that, as a matter of fact, the addition of fifty cents or a dollar a cord would have very little effect on the export trade. We would have the benefit of the revenue, and there would be the possible inducement to bring the mills from the United States to Canada, if conditions were suitable.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   EDITION
Permalink
PRO

John Livingstone Brown

Progressive

Mr. BROWN:

The hon. member spoke

about raising the price from year to year, say from fifty cents to a dollar. I think I got him aright. He said that the Americans, knowing that that price would be raised, would come in and buy. The statement was made to me the other day that the Americans, anticipating an embargo, had already overbought, and that, for that reason, the price of pulpwood was lower to-day. Is that the case?

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   EDITION
Permalink
CON

James Arthurs

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. ARTHURS:

From my experience I

would say that such a condition is impossible. Export pulpwood as we have it in this province, because it belongs to the owner is a commodity which is produced largely by the farmer in the winter time, with the assistance, possibly, of a few extra hands, and the quantity available in the winter is more or less limited. It is limited by the quantity of help he can secure and weather conditions. If the snow is deep, very little pulpwood can be got out. If conditions are unfavourable, none is got out. Therefore, I do not think any action of our American friends in that regard could have any effect. That is my experience.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   EDITION
Permalink
LIB

John W. Carruthers

Liberal

Mr. CARRUTHERS:

Does this pulpwood not deteriorate very rapidly? I am told that it does and that they would not be able to secure a price if they kept it for any length of time, as it would not be of much value in making pulp and paper.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   EDITION
Permalink
CON

James Arthurs

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. ARTHURS:

It does not deteriorate at all if it is piled. If you go to one of these pulp mills, you will see where they have immense quantities piled for eight or ten years. Of course, it is peeled. If the bark is left on, it will deteriorate. As regards deterioration in the hands of the farmer, he is never that much ahead. Farmers are largely small operators; they have a few cords here and there; but in the aggregate this amounts to many millions of cords. A farmer is quite able to take care of his own quantity.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   EDITION
Permalink
PRO

John Livingstone Brown

Progressive

Mr. BROWN:

At whose expense would the export tax be collected?

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   EDITION
Permalink
CON

James Arthurs

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. ARTHURS:

That is up to the government.

The Budget-Mr. Arthurs

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   EDITION
Permalink
PRO

John Livingstone Brown

Progressive

Mr. BROWN:

It would mean that the settler producing that pulpwood would receive that much less.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   EDITION
Permalink
CON

James Arthurs

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. ARTHURS:

I said at the beginning that I did not think so. I think the anxiety of the American or other person to get the pulpwood would be equivalent to a small increase of fifty cents a cord, and I believe it will be a dollar in a year.

I want to say just a few parting words. What we require to-day is some policy that will build up Canada. Any policy -that will do this will largely solve our difficulties, especially those difficulties in connection with debt and taxation. I have some notes on taxation, but I will postpone inflicting them upon the House until a later date. What we need in Canada is a larger population, people who will build up homes, who will be happy, who will have fair wages and constant and steady employment. If a man has employment, what does he do with his wages? He spends them, and his purchases help to keep others at work and make conditions better all round. He must be fed, clothed and housed, and so must his family. He pays taxes to the municipality and to this government, thus making the burden lighter for others. But without employment he must either migrate or become a liability to the community.

This party of which I am a humble member is not composed of pessimists. We believe in Canada, but we believe in Canada for Canadians. We welcome immigrants, provided that they are ready to become good Canadians. We believe in and are proud of our natural resources, but we also believe these resources can never be developed nor the prosperity of this country restored under the policy of the present government.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   EDITION
Permalink
LIB

Henri-Edgar Lavigueur

Liberal

Mr. H. E. LAVIGUEUR (Quebec County) (Translation):

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member who has just taken his seat, told us, at the outset of his speech, that he was the eightieth to speak on the subject which is, at present, submitted to the House-the budget. The hon. member further added that he saw absolutely nothing of any value in this budget; that it is insignificant, and means nothing. I suppose that the hon. member for Parry Sound (Mr. Arthurs) came to that conclusion after listening to the numerous speeches which were delivered on the subject. Since the budget has provoked such a protracted discussion, it is a reason not to get alarmed, and we can assert, on that score, that the present government's policy, is one of progress, pros-

perity and especially a policy which in no way can harm the interests of the country as a whole.

Last year, Sir, some people complained that the few changes made to the tariff would bring ruin to the country and the closing oi a great number of our industries. The people of this country can bear witness that nothing of the kind^happened. The House itself rejoiced in noticing that the budget voted last year was truly in the interest of the Canadian people. The industries which we feared might have to suffer by these slight changes, have increased their production instead of decreasing it, and the people of this country benefited by it.

Mr. Speaker, the member for Parry Sound held the government responsible for the exodus of Canadians to the United States; he contended that for the last three years more than 500,000 Canadians have left the country to go and settle in the United States. He should have told the House what was the cause of such an exodus instead of holding the present government responsible for such a state of things. Moreover, the hon. member knows fully well that, during the difficult period of the war-from 1914 to 1918

we were busy, owing to the decision of the Tory government, who at that time was at +he helm of the affairs of the country, sending our last man overseas and spending our last dollar to win the war. But, alas! what a contrast between the attitude we took and that of the Americans! While we were sending over our soldiers to fight in the ranks of the allies, our good friends, the Americans were piling up millions. Certainly, the enticement was great for Canadians who could not take part iD the war, and, when our industries were at a standstill owing to the manufacturing of ammunition or otherwise, our Canadians, I say, were drawn towards the United States by the enormous salaries paid in that country where they took advantage of the war to accumulate millions by supplying the allies with all the material they needed. Is not, Mr. Speaker, the Tory government somewhat responsible for the exodus of our people to the United States during that period. Unfortunately, this state of affairs continued after the war, owing to the sad plight in which the Tory government had placed our country. What has been happening within the last few years is but the aftermath of what took place under the Tory administration. The hon. member for Parry Sound has, moreover, stated that the population of this country had not increased; he is mistaken, for it has increased, and, with the excellent immigrants that we are

The Budget-Mr. Lavigueur

drawing to this country, and especially with the sound policy of the hon. Minister of Immigration, we can hope for a greater increase in our population, which will help to carry the burden left to us by the late government.

I had no intention, Sir, to take part in this debate. I had imagined, like the hon. member for Parry Sound (Mr. Arthurs), that the time already allotted to the discussion of the budget had been more than sufficient to enlighten the House and the whole population of Canada. Nevertheless, I deem it my duty to congratulate the hon. Acting Minister of Finance (Mr. Robb) on the budget he has submitted to the House. This budget will certainly receive the approval of the House and of all the good Canadians, the thinking public, for it is the best that could be brought down under the circumstances, knowing the difficult situation in whifoh -the country is at present. I wanted, especially, as the hon. member for Quebec South (Mr. Power) has done, to recall to the House the pledges of the government towards a certain part of the Quebec district, and more particularly towards the city of Quebec. I wish to speak of the Quebec harbour and of certain urgent work which is absolutely necessary for the government to carry out without further delay.

First, I want to mention some development work to be undertaken in the harbour of Quebec. This subject is not a new one, it has been discussed iu the House for a number of years past; myself, I had occasion at each session, for the last nine or ten years, to claim, together with my colleagues from Quebec, the rights of the city of Quebec on this subject.

Together with all the other members of the district ianld the city of Quebec, I was sorry to see that the government found1 it impossible, last year, 'owing to uncontrollable circumstances, to grant to the city of Quebec the same subsidies-large, it is true-as those that were granted to other cities, in particular to the Port of Vancouver, towards the building of the bridge on the South shore, at Montreal, for which $7,000,000 was voted, and towards the building of the Toronto viadudt, for which the House .voted $18,000,000. And since, a short while ago, $7,000,000 were voted for the breast-works of the walls at Toronto, so as to build beautiful promenades and allow our fellow-citizens of the Queen city of Ontario to enjoy their walks.

I did not criticize the amounts voted for all these works, as parliament voted them after matured deliberations, because these outlays were urgent to carry out developments in certain localities. However, Quebec has Certain legitimate claims, Quebec has a right

that her claims should be considered, and that is why I again rise, this evening, as I have done, at each session, to demand fair-play, the same fair-play for the province of Quebec which has contributed its large share to the advent of this government and has been able to maintain it in power during the last four years, thus allowing the country to be governed in. the beneficial manner it has been under the able leadership of our devoted chief, the worthy successor of Sir Wilfrid Laurier, the right hon. Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King). And, if the province of Quebec has given its sincere support to the present government it is because that province, indignant at the way it had been treated by the Tory government, from 1911 to 1921, wished to avenge itself against the Tory government by sending to sit by the side of tile Prime Minister, sixty-five members representing sixty-five counties of said province.

The province of Quebec, Sir, asks for no favour; I repeat this each session. The city of Quebec simply requests the government to fulfil the pledges contracted towards the city and harbour of Quebec; pledges recognized by the governments which have followed one another for the last fifteen or twenty years, and acknowledged by the solemn word of one of the Prime Ministers of the government which preceded the present one; I mean Sir Robert Borden, ex-Prime Minister of Canada, who, on various occasions, acknowledged the rights and claims of the city of Quebec and even promised to award the contracts. Not only had we moral pledges, on the part of the government, but there was more than that: there existed notarial agreements between the Dominion government and the city of Quebec. These agreements were not carried out by the late government, notwithstanding the promises made, and notwithstanding that it had recognized its legal obligation. The present government, Sir, has also pledged itself, as its predecessor, to fulfil the legitimate claims of the city of Quebec.

I wish to recall to the House the speech which was delivered, on October 22, 1913, at the Chateau Frontenac, in Quebec, by the Right Hon. Sir Robert Borden, and in which he told the citizens of Quebec that the Dominion government acknowledged their claims and would carry out the necessary work for the development of the Quebec harbour, as promised and in compliance with the existing agreements. Sir Robert Borden stated, at the time, that the development of the Quebec harbour was not a local affair, but that it was in the interest of the whole country that millions be spent for the development of our

The Budget-Mr. Lavigueur

harbour. If you will allow rue, Sir, I shall quote a few excerpts from Sir Robert Borden's speech, which were included in a speech I delivered here, on September 15, 1919. Here is what Sir Robert Borden has to say in regard to the work to be carried out in the Quebec harbour:

I shall give the English text which I have here and which faithfully reports the words and phrases which Sir Robert Borden used on that occasion:

Mr. Mayor and Gentlemen:

Will you permit me in the first place to express my grateful appreciation and warm acknowledgment of the kindness and hospitality of my fellow-citizens of this city in tendering me this banquet and in extending to me so cordial a welcome and reception. Whether we worship at the same altar, whether we are affiliated with one political party or the other, we are all united by a proud confidence in the resources of our country, in the possibilities of their development, in the freedom of our institutions and in the greatness of Canada's destiny.

Welcome an Inspiration.

Your welcome is of itself an inspiration but apart from that one cannot fail to be inspired by the memories of the past when visiting this city. Here, more than three hundred years ago were laid the foundations of the Canada of to-day. If even in later years and since the birth of this Dominion it required faith and courage to persevere in this task transmitted to us by the founders of Confederation, how shall we estimate the faith, the courage and the strong purpose of those who consecrated their energies and their lives to reclaiming for the cause of Christianity and civilization what was then a vast wilderness in this western world. May the soul and purpose of our nation ever be strengthened by the memory of the ideals which inspired the pioneers of Canada when first they undertook the task which now committed to our keeping.

Quebec is thus unique among Canadian cities, in the associations and traditions to which I have alluded. But apart from these, when one considers its majestic situation, at the portal of the greatest inland waterway of the world, its commanding position at the head of the gulf of St. Lawrence which lies like a great land-locked ocean almost at your feet, the vast territory largely undeveloped which lies tributary to this city, and the unbounded opportunities for the development of industry and of commerce which are thus afforded, one realizes the immense importance that this harbour should be so developed and equipped as to enable it to compete on at least even terms with any port on this continent for a legitimate share of the world commerce flowing to and from our shores.

Whatever differences may exist between the policies of political parties in Canada, I am sure they will be found united in the view that the great national ports of this country should be adequately equipped for the purpose which I have stated. It is in this view that I desire to set forth to you to-night the works which the government deem necessary and which they have already undertaken for the proper equipment and development of this harbour.

Must look well ahead

In approaching a question, one realizes that we must build not for to-day or to-morrow or for ten years hence, and that no proposals can be regarded as adequate unless they are so comprehensive in their character as to permit of proper extension to meet the necessities of the large future. We can estimate to l Mr. Lavigueur.]

some extent the probable development within a few years; but one would need a prophetic vision to foresee the enormous increase in our commerce and the equipment necessary to cope with it during the lifetime of even a single individual. Considering the resources of this country, still on the eve of development and the population flowing in marvellous streams to our shores, one may conjecture that the bright eyes of children to-day at play in your streets may still be undimmed when this Dominion shall have surpassed in population the British Islands, or that favoured land from which came the ancestors of more than two million Canadians. . . .

Must obtain western traffic Having regard to the probable enormous development of western traffic to this city and its wonderful possibility by reason of the situation which I have described, and seeing also the necessity of providing adequately for future development, the government thought it desirable to possess an extensive waterfront on the St. Lawrence. With this view we have acquired three miles of the best waterfront in Quebeo extending from Sillery to Cap Diamond; and portions of the waterfront from the Cap Diamond to the Champlain market have also been secured. This magnificent waterfront will give to the government and to the Harbour Commission the opportunity of almost unlimited development of port and terminal facilities; and I hope you will agree that in thus looking forward to the possibilities of the future the government have taken no unwise course. In adopting this policy, we feel that we are acting not in the interests of Quebec alone but in the interest of all Canada, for Canada, as a whole is concerned in the provision of modern and effective facilities necessary for the outflow and inflow of commerce at all great ports.

Whenever necessary we can also arrange for connection of the tracks between the Champlain market station and Louise Basin for the transfer of freight which can largely be carried on at night without disturbance or inconvenience to the business activities of the city. While the great union station which the government is to occupy jointly with the Canadian Pacific Railway will subserve the principal requirements of traffic, it is also desirable that there should be a station at the Champlain market for the convenience of that portion of the population in the immediate vicinity. The plans for this station are now in course of preparation and the work will be commenced at a very' early date and will be carried to completion with no unnecessary delay. . . *

Harbour Commission Work Let me now advert to the work which has been carried on by the new Harbour Commission since its appointment less than a year ago. Two English engineers of eminence familiar with the problems of harbour development were instructed to draw up a general scheme for future as well as for immediate development. The plan which they proposed was most carefully considered by the commission which consulted with the railway [DOT] companies, the steamship lines, captains of steamers, pilots and other competent persons and eventually concluded that the recommendations of these engineers should be carried out. Plans have accordingly been prepared in accordance therewith and the work is now under construction. The bulk-head wall on the St. Charles' side is in course of construction. . .

Ministers favour Quebec

Holding strong opinions as to the necessity of adequate equipment for our ports, I have taken a warm personal interest in the proposals for the equipment and development of Quebec. I need not assure you that Mr. Pelletier has been indefatigable

The Budget-Mr. Lavigueur

in his efforts to reach a satisfactory conclusion in these matters. Let me add that Mr. Cochrane, Mr. Rogers and Mr. Hazen have given sympathetic consideration and careful attention to every reasonable suggestion for the effective carrying-out of our proposals. The works which I have described will involve the expenditure of very large sums, but the national purposes which are to be served amply justify that expenditure.

You maj' see, sir, that the claims of the city of Quebec were acknowledged not only by the present government, but also by the late government, in 1916.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   EDITION
Permalink
CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

Hear, hear!

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   EDITION
Permalink
LIB

Henri-Edgar Lavigueur

Liberal

Mr. LAVIGUEUR (Translation):

Now,

Sir, the late government discontinued the work begun at Quebec; war broke out; they invoked the plea of war, and the work on the Quebec harbour was stopped.

Last year we were told, when we requested that the promises and pledges of the Dominion government towards the city of Quebec, be carried out, that the request of the Quebec Harbour Commission had been submitted a little too late to be taken into consideration. I regret -this delay in starting the work on a permament basis. An amount of $500,000 has been placed at the disposal of the Quebec Harbour Commission and the preliminary work has begun. Considerable work was carried out last autumn, and now we request the government to fulfil the pledges made by the late government who neither carried out its promises nor its pledges, and who not even recognized its notarial agreements with the city of Quebec. We, therefore, ask the present government to act and to act immediately; to be just towards the city of Quebec. We, the members of the Quebec district, rely upon the good will of the government, and we hope to obtain justice-of which we have no doubt-and that the necessary amount will be voted to carry on the work. Since we have voted $10,000,000 for the Port of Vancouver and $25,000,000 or $30,000,000 for the Toronto viaduct, we trust that the amount of $10,000,000 requested by the Quebec Harbour Commission, will be granted to us. We expect that from the present government. For my part, Sir, on the plea of being a strong supporter of the government, I trust my hopes will not be in vain, and I rely upon the government to be just towards the city of Quebec.

Apart from the claims which I mentioned a few minutes ago, the city of Quebec has others. It subscribed to the government, for the construction of the Transcontinental, amounts nowhere else exceeded in Canada. Besides, the city of Quebec has transferred, as a free gift, a property valued at the time

at $2,000,000, for the building of the Union station; and, for the Quebec harbour works it practically gave away-for the small sum of $60.000-land estimated at more than $3,000,000. Again, the city of Quebec has subscribed $650,000 for the construction of the Lake St. John railroad! and Canadian Northern. The city of Quebec has done more to promote the building of railroads and the development of its harbour than any other city in Canada.

People will say-and it seems to me, Mr. Speaker, that I have already heard this objection voiced-that the Quebec Harbour Commission is indebted towards the government and does not meet the interest charges. Well, if the Quebec Harbour Commission has not always met the interest charges, Quebec has furnished its port for the landing of immigrants, and if every immigrant landing at Quebec had only contributed the small amount of fifty cents, I believe that would have been fully sufficient to meet the interest coming due by the harbour commission. And besides, the amounts subscribed by the city of Quebec more than fully meet the interest charges past due which the Quebec Harbour Commission may still be owing.

But, Mr. Speaker, every dollar spent in the harbour of Quebec, contrary to the practice followed elsewhere, has been charged to the account of the Quebec Harbour Commission. If the millions squandered to maintain an open channel along the St. Lawrence between Quebec and Montreal were taken into account, as well ns the amount of work carried out in the port of Montreal, or in other ports, by the Department of Public Works, and which have never been charged up against these various boards, it would become apparent that much more has been done in other ports than in Quebec. As I have just stated, every time a dollar has been spent in Quebec harbour, it has been charged up against the commission, which has not been the case in other places.

'Well, to-day, we are relying on our ministers, we are relying on our government, we are relying on the House, so that fair treatment be meted out to Quebec and a grant of $10,000,000 at least, be made to enable the harbour commission to carry out its development plan and develop the port, in the interest of the city of Quebec, of the province, and as it was so ably put by Sir Robert Borden, in the interest of tihe country at large.

The Budget-Mr. Lavigueur

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   EDITION
Permalink
LIB

Lucien Cannon

Liberal

Mr. CANNON (Translation):

Will the

hon. gentleman allow me a question? At the beginning of his remarks, the hon. gentleman has quoted a speech made by Sir Robert Borden, when Prime Minister of Canada. Were the pledges made by its Prime Minister at Quebec fulfilled by the government of Sir Robert Borden? *

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   EDITION
Permalink
LIB

Henri-Edgar Lavigueur

Liberal

Mr. LAVIGUEUR (Translation):

The pledges given by the government of Sir Robert Borden were never fulfilled by the government of the day, neither were they fulfilled by the succeeding government presided over by the right hon. leader of the opposition (Mr. Meiighen). Notwithstanding the protests and repeated demands of the whole representation of Quebec, our claims were always ignored. And to-day we appeal to the present government to fulfil the obligations incurred by the former government, of which they have acknowledged the principle and concerning which they have pledged themselves.

I would like, Mr. Speaker, to call the attention of the House to a request for a grant to bring relief to the population of the island of Orleans which is part of the constituency of Montmorency for the provincial legislature, and which I have the honour to represent in this House. The island of Orleans is a most beautiful spot, only four or five miles distant from the city of Quebec. At certain times of the year, the six agricultural parishes of this island are completely severed from the mainland. Repeatedly we appealed to the government to obtain relief for the people of the island of Orleans and, for a few years, we have been given free use by the hon. Minister of Marine and Fisheries (Mr. Cardin), of a boat plying between Quebec and the island of Orleans, at certain seasons. The people inhabiting the island have organized a company, to ensure communications, previous to the building of that splendid bridge which the former Tory administration had positively pledged itself to build. Sir Rodolphe Forget, then member of the county, had promised a splendid bridge between the island of Orleans and the Cote de Beaupre.

I have already mentioned this pledge agreed upon by the former government and I have insisted that it should be kept, but as I understand the conditions of the country are such as to prevent the fulfilment, at present, of this pledge, undertaken by the former government towards the people of that island. We, therefore, request from the present government, the hon. Acting Minister of Finance (Mr. Robb) to kindly grant a subsidy to a company of enterprising citizens of the island of Orleans,

who have formed a company, subscribed the necessary capital and have awarded a contract for the building of a boat that will carry on a regular service, winter and summer, between the island of Orleans and the mainland, this will have for effect to relieve in the future the Marine department from the necessity of placing a boat at the disposal of those people at certain penods of the year. I requested from the hon. Minister of Trade and Commerce (Mr. Low) a yearly subsidy of $3,000, so as to help this company and allow it to give a useful service, and I do hope that the hon. Minister of Trade and Commerce, who is always well disposed when it is a question of just and reasonable requests, will not refuse these people such a small subsidy and will follow the good example given by the provincial government which has granted this company a subsidy of $4,000 per year, during twenty-five years, so as to help them to build a boat for that service. I, therefore, rely upon the government to grant this subsidy to the directors of this new company of the island of Orleans.

Allow me, Sir, to remind the House that, last year, a subsidy of $10,000 was voted for repairs to be made to the breast-works of the walls of St. Gregoire de Montmorency. This amount was spent and we ask now that there be included in the supplementary estimates, an additional sum necessary to complete the work, pursuant to the report sent to the department by the district engineers. I shall avail myself of the presence of the hon. Minister of Defence (Mr. Macdonald) to advise him to dispose of the Va'lcartier camp which served for mobilization of contingents sent to Europe, during the war. This land was purchased by the government who expropriated a number of Valcartier families, and these, today, wish to buy back their lands. The expropriations carried out by the government were responsible for the scattering of the sixty-five families. We, therefore have now sixty-five good farmers with their families who are ready to return to the land. There is no better work to be performed than to encourage oui fellow citizens of Quebec, or of any other province, to remain on the land and continue to farm it. I would therefore, suggest to the hon. Minister of Defence (Mr. Macdonald) to kindly give his attention to this request and allow those farmers who were expropriated to take back possession of their lands in consideration of a price, if not small, at least reasonable.

I should like also, Sir to strongly support the steps already taken by the hon. member for Lotbiniere (Mr. Vien) and tbe other

The Budget-Mr. Stewart (Humboldt)

members of the Quebec district, in regard to the completion of the Quebec bridge. I mean the building of a vehicle thoroughfare on the bridge. It has always been understood, and the citizens of Quebec have always looked at it in that light, that the Quebec bridge would be completed, since the government took charge of it. When a company, composed of enterprising citizens of Quebec, was formed to build this bridge, it was a question at the time, not only to build a bridge upon which ten or fifteen trains would circulate per day, but to build at the same time a thoroughfare for vehicles and pedestrians. We are told that the estimated cost of a vehicle roadway on the Quebec bridge would be about $500,000. I think that the government should have no hesitation in making such an outlay to complete this bridge, which is one of the marvels of this world, and which, once completed, would be a further attraction for the numerous tourists who visit Quebec. I know beforehand that the provincial government, as usual, would be disposed to do their share, if necessary, also the interested municipalities. I, therefore, ask the government to kindly give consideration to such a request, together with the others I made, and to well receive this claim, which has already been so ably put forth by the hon. member for Lotbiniere and the other members of the Quebec district.

I wish to add a few words in regard to the Gaspe railway, which the government was often requested to take over. The province of Quebec has even made an official request to that effect. As we succeeded in finding millions for the improvement of railways in other parts, we should be able to find means to do justice to the good people of Gaspe, and Bonaventure by allowing the management of the National Railways to take over the Gaspe railway. I cannot too strongly support the requests of the hon. member for Gaspe, the distinguished Speaker of this House, and the hon. member for Bonaventure (Mr Marcil) who very much wish to have this question settled.

Mr. Speaker, before closing my remarks, I make a last appeal to the government who is morally pledged to carry out the development and improvement of the Quebec harbour. I am glad to see that the present government wish to honour their obligations. We are told that the depositors of the Home Bank will be indemnified, that this is a moral obligation on the part of the government. I, therefore, hope, Sir, that if the government wish to honour the pledge agreed upon to develop the Quebec harbour, the ministers representing the province of Quebec, will soon give us the good news that an amount of $10,000,000 has been placed at the disposal of the Quebec Harbour Commission. I feel certain that the people of that province will be thankful for it, and I can further assure the government that the electoral divisions of the Quebec district will do their duty, as they did in 1917 and 1921, by sending to Ottawa, to support the new government of Mackenzie King, after the next general elections, all the members of the district of Quebec.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   EDITION
Permalink
PRO

Charles Wallace Stewart

Progressive

Mr. C. WALLACE STEWART (Humboldt) :

I cannot refrain 'from making a

comment on the hour of the night at which I rise to take part in the debate, but I understand that the whips have been totalling up the pages of Hansard that have already been covered in this discussion and have come to the conclusion that the time has arrived when we must make an effort to conclude our remarks within a reasonable length of time. I would not go so far as to say that I resent having to speak at this hour, but I do feel that it is rather unfortunate, from my own standpoint, that I should1 be the first upon whom the blow should fall and that I should be obliged to place before the House so late in the night the remarks I desire to make. I may assure you, Mr. Speaker, that it may be quite late when we get through to-night if I am required to complete the statements which I wish to make.

Just in passing, while I am speaking of the lengthy remarks that have been made, I would point out that there are now, as I believe, over 650 pages of Hansard covered by this budget debate, of which half may be credited to the members on the opposite side of the House while two-thirds of the remainder may be credited to the party who sit to my right. An hon. member says discredited; I would not say that. But those in this part of the House are not to blame for unduly prolonging the debate. We have taken our turn, it is true, but we have not been unduly long in the remarks we have made to the House; we have tried to place our viewpoint concisely before hon. members and I shall endeavour to do the same to-night.

I do not want to approach a discussion of the budget proposals in any attitude of mere carping criticism; I propose to discuss the budget itself and the amendment that has been submitted by the official opposition, and I shall deal with both in the same temper. I trust I am in a position to accept the advice of Lord Bacon, who declared:

Head, not to contradict and to confute, nor to believe and take for granted, but to weigh and consider.

2404 COMMONS

The Budget-Mr. Stewart (Humboldt)

It is in that frame of mind that I would .approach both the motion and the proposed amendment. Now, I was elected a member of this House independent of any party, and T stand to-night independent of any party shackles, free of any prejudice that may be the influence of any party affiliations. Since coming into this House I have been able to view the proposals put forward by the government from a wholly non-partisan standpoint. I have no objection to anyone referring to those who sit in this corner as a party, so far as our organization here is concerned. But if the word! is used in its full and recognized significance, as it is applied to the two old political parties, I repudiate its application to us.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   EDITION
Permalink

April 23, 1925