January 19, 1926


On the Orders of the Day:


CON

George Black

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GEORGE BLACK (Yukon):

Mr. Speaker, I should like to call the attention of the government to the following despatch appearing in the Province newspaper of Vancouver:

Aviators Halted at Yukon Border American Flyers Forced to Travel Last 100 Miles By Dog Team

Dawson, Yukon Territory, Jan. 2.-Barred by Canadian regulations from continuing their trip by airplane, J. McPherson and E. B. Bigham, mining engineers of Fairbanks, Alaska, who flew to Eagle, a distance of approximately 300 miles, in four hours last Sunday, were obliged to travel the last 100 miles of their business trip to Dawson by dog team. They arrived here Tuesday, the journey over the snow from Eagle requiring three days.

I would ask the government whether the foregoing statement is correct, that these men by reason of our regulations were forced to make a hazardous trip on foot extending over several days when they might have reached their destination by aeroplane in as many hours. If this is so, I would ask further, whether the government will not invest its officials with certain discretionary powers so that they may administer the regulations with some degree of common sense.

Topic:   AVIATION REGULATIONS
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LIB

Edward Mortimer Macdonald (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Hon. E. M. MACDONALD (Minister of National Defence):

Mr. Speaker, my attention has not been called to the despatch referred to by my hon. friend, but I am aware that there is a regulation which provides that aeroplanes coming from the United States into this country must first have permission from the proper Canadian authorities. However, I will investigate the matter and see if there is anything unfair or improper in enforcing that regulation.

Topic:   AVIATION REGULATIONS
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GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH

ADDRESS IN REPLY


The Bouse resumed from Monday January 18 consideration of the motion of Mr. J. C. Elliott for an Address to His Excellency the Governor General in reply to his Speech at the opening of the Session, and the proposed amendment thereto of Right Hon. Arthur Meighen.


CON

Henry Alfred Mullins

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. H. A. MULLINS (Marquette):

Mr. Speaker, being a new member from the western prairies I take the privilege of congratulating you on your re-appointment to the Chair. It is nearly thirty years since I had the privilege of being a legislator; it was as a member of the local House in the province of Manitoba. The same class of men that sent me to that House have sent me to this one. It was said by some hon. gentlemen opposite that the question at issue in the recent election was the tariff. Well, in my constituency that was not the case. The tariff came into the issue slightly; the transportation question stood out foremost in the election. Marquette was formerly represented by Hon. T. A. Crerar. He was a grain _ grower, or at least he was in the grain business. I have the honour now to occupy that seat. But I am in a distinctly different business- the old time-honoured business called the cattle trade; in other words, the live stock industry of western Canada.

The live stock industry will save western Canada, if hon. gentlemen opposite will give it some consideration. Several attempts have been made to help out that industry, one

The Address

Mr. Mullins

attempt being to secure lower ocean freight rates. Being closely identified with the business, I was asked by those interested in Manitoba to attend before the special committee appointed last session to consider the Petersen contract, to give evidence and to do what I could to help the industry towards getting a reduction of freight rates. I attended with a perfectly open mind, but I never witnessed such an absolute farce or such a sham perpetrated on the public as the Petersen contract committee. There could not have been any sincere intention on the part of the government to give us a reduction in freight rates and so help that old industry, the cattle trade of western Canada.

I say that advisedly, Sir, for if they were sincere in their desire to help the industry they had the remedy in their own hands, without subsidizing any steamship company, without making any bargain with Sir William Petersen; they had their own ships-the Canadian Government Merchant Marine. When I discussed with the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Motherwell) this means of reducing ocean freight rates on cattle he said: Oh, those ships are no good, they cannot carry cattle. I submit that that is not correct. I have shipped cattle by the Canadian government boat Victor, and she carried my live stock as satisfactorily as any ship that I have chartered for the last thirty years. There are twenty-four ships of the Canadian Government Merchant Marine of over 8,000 tons . each that could be utilized to carry the live stock of the western prairies to the markets of the world, and they would be as suitable for this traffic as any cattle ships that are now in the service. A company in Toronto has taken over the Jensen line, and they have turned their ships into the cattle traffic by simply removing certain interior fittings and making a few other alterations. The first boat leaves this week, the Ontario; she will be followed by the Manitoba, the Saskatchewan and the Albertan.

If the Government were sincere last year in their expressed desire to help us as producers on the land, they could have refitted those ships of the Canadian Government Merchant Marine so that they would have been available to carry our cattle to the markets of the world. But no, Sir, they preferred to sell these ships at prices which make my blood run cold when I reflect how far they are below the real value of the ships.

I have been told by a man who knows thoroughly well what he is talking about that eight of these ships were worth three times the price they were sold for. I have under my

hand a list of the ships sold. Six were sold to one company called the Great Lakes Transportation Company of Midland, and two others to N. M. Patterson. The latter were sold for $50,000 each, while those sold to the Great Lakes Transportation Company realized $40,000 apiece. Why, Sir, they were worth that for scrap iron. I do not know whether they were put up at public auction or not, but to me it looks wrong to sell these ships at such a low figure. The gentleman whom I travelled with on my way to Ottawa told me that he is connected with a shipping company in Cleveland, and that he would have bought these ships at three times the prices realized had he known they were going to be sold. He has a number of ships tied up in Fort W illiam at the present time and he is using them for the storage of wheat. He told me that these government ships were worth more money than they were sold for just for storage purposes.

All these ships were over 3,000 tons. In the early days when we were shipping out of Montreal the boats only averaged about 4,000 tons. A good many years ago one of the boats of the old Donaldson line of only 3,000 tons carried our cattle very satisfactorily. But these government ships were from 3,500 to 3,900 tons, and yet they were practically given away for the ridiculous prices of $40,000 and $50,000 apiece. This is wrong, this is unfair to those of us in western Canada who are engaged in the live stock business, and western Canada has protested and sent representatives to champion the cause of the live stock industry. There are plenty of men sitting at the other end of this chamber who will look after the wheat but not enough of them are looking after the live stock. I am not one of the men who is a soil robber; I am not one of those who went out to that western country and Stole the fertility out of the soil; I am not that type at all. I am in the live stock industry, a feeder and producer of cattle, one of those on the prairies who are trying to make two blades of grass grow where but one grew before. In the early days, as general manager of one of the leading ranches in western Canada, the Cochrane ranch, I was driven from pillar to post by those steam-plow propositions, those disturbing elements which came into that western country, stole the fertility out of the soil, drove the legitimate business off the prairies and took possession. They came in, tore up the soil and robbed it and what do we find to-day? We find the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Motherwell) with a number of professors from the Minnesota Agricultural Col-

The Address-Mr. Mullins

lege coining back to seed the land they took from us and gave to their friends. Their friends had closed leases and they made us take open leases. The settlers came in and plowed up the land and we gave way to them. To-day we find them spending thousands of dollars on professors to re-seed that land and bring it back again. The constituency which I represent is one which believes in diversified farming, not in a steam-plow only, who if there is a little bit of roll in the land do not want it. They come in there with a steam-plow-God help them-sowless, cowless, and chickenless farmers. Just a short time ago, Mr. Speaker, I was asked to an old-timers' meeting in the northern part of the province. While I was there a chap came into the store and asked for six cans of Borden's milk, or Carnation milk-I do not know which, but he asked for canned milk. Then he turned around and asked for a crock of butter. I turned to him and asked if he was a farmer, and he said he was. I said: "Well, you cannot be much

of a farmer if you are buying butter and canned milk," and he said "I haven't a live thing on the farm." Nothing but tractors and gasoline! The tractors are ruining western Canada. I am pleased to say to this House that the trend of the times is changing and they are starting again to love the horse; they are thinking more of the horse. They do not like the smell of the exhaust pipe. I read in the paper something to the effect that it was cancerous and they are afraid of a cancerous growth. They much prefer the smell of the horse, and we are going back to the horse on the prairies. When we do that we are approaching success and we will have a richer country. God and nature have endowed western Canada as they have no other country. We have wonderful opportunities out there. I can do on the western prairies, in the provinces of Manitoba and Saskatchewan, what cannot be done in any other country-raise and produce live stock outdoors without putting them in a stable, fatten and prepare them for the British market and make a gain of two pounds per day on those fertile prairies. Many farmers neglected the live stock industry and let his lands run to weeds. The live stock industry has to come back and redeem a lot of these farms now in a deteriorated condition. The right hon. leader of my party (Mr. Meighen) knows what has happened in the Portage la Prairie district through the continual mining of the soil. The weeds have been allowed to grow and very little attention has been paid to fertilizing the soil.

Now, Mr. Speaker, I can only say to hon. gentlemen opposite who hold the reins of power that if they will give us a chance to get to the markets of the world at something like a reasonable figure we neither want nor ask for anything more. The tariff had very little to do with my election; it was the transportation problem that came in first and last, and the insincerity of the gentlemen opposite, who were always going to do something. I met the secretary of the hon. Minister of Agriculture-who apologizes for him quite often-the day I was leaving to go out on this campaign. She said "Oh, Mr. Mullins, we fixed it. We are going to get you the reduced rates on live stock." I said "Miss Cummings, you are too late; we are going to do it ourselves." She said "What do you mean?" and I said "I am going to run in a constituency and try to solve this question." You will not hear very much from me, Mr. Speaker, as to the constitutionality of the government's position or as to the question of who should control parliament, but you will hear from me on live stock and transportation questions, as they affect the men on the land in western Canada.

The mover of the Address in reply to the Speech from the Throne (Mr. Elliott) seemed to want to take the credit for the removal of the embargo. That is a question I at least should know something about. Twenty-eight years ago I wired a member of this House who was then sitting on the government benches as to that embargo. I have taken it up with every minister of agriculture including the present member for Victoria, B. C. (Mr. Tolmie), Hon. Mr. Crerar and the present minister. I have discussed the question for thirty years with various persons in authority. I was in Dundee when the British government placed that stigma against Canadian cattle, an action on the part of Great Britain which was absolutely unfair to Canadian shippers while it was in the interests of the Irish. Ireland at the time was represented in the House of Commons by a number of gentlemen who fought its case with vigor, and they finally won out. The occasion of the embargo was this. Two ships known as the Montseaton and the Huronia arrived in Dundee with shipments of cattle and it was claimed that an animal taken from one *of these ships was affected in some way. The cattle were removed and without a fair examination it was decided that they were suffering from pleuro-pneumonia. The Canadian cattle were thenceforward shut out. At the time of this incident I had an interview with two of my friends, a Mr. Edward Watson

The Address-Mr. Mullins

and a Mr. Witherspoon and they both agreed that beyond any doubt it was a most unfair deal to Canada. Mr. Witherspoon said to me, "It is utterly unfair, Mullins, but so long as I live on this side of the water I am determined to press for redress; I will fight the case on behalf of the Dominion." I on my part undertook to do the same; I said that I would champion our cause so long as I lived on this side and so long as the embargo remained in force. And between us we have fought on this side and in Great Britain incessantly for thirty years for the removal of that embargo. Those two gentlemen I am sorry to say have crossed the Great Divide; I am the only one now living of the three. Hon. gentlemen opposite are taking credit to themselves for the advance in the price of live stock which has accrued to us since the removal of the embargo. Well, the prices did advance. There was an increase of 2 cents a pound while the price was around 4 pents; that was before the embargo, was removed, whereas now the price is around Q cents per pound. It did make a wonderful difference to Canada, for the removal of the embargo opened up a great market for us.

I do not claim credit for this achievement; it was not I who brought about the removal of the embargo. But there are gentlemen to whom the credit is due and who are too modest to claim it. The removal of the embargo from our Canadian cattle was due to the efforts of two gentlemen who sat at the War conference in 1917. Mr. Walter Long had asked the question, "What can we do for Canada?" The answer came from a gentleman whom I can see sitting in this chamber at the moment; he said, "Take the embargo off Canadian cattle ". And the reply came back that this would be done upon the declaration of peace. This fact cannot be denied for I have the proof right here in a report of the proceedings as published in the Westminster Gazette. With your permission, Mr. Speaker, I should like to read a brief extract from this report so that hon. gentlemen may know exactly to whom the credit belongs. Sir Robert Borden and the hon. member for South Winnipeg (Mr. Rogers) took part in that conference and I have never heard either of these gentlemen on any platform in this country taking credit to himself for what was done. I do know however that the promise to remove the embargo upon the declaration of peace was extracted from the British authorities at that conference, and I am proud to live under the flag of a race of men whose word can be relied on. Let me read from the report:

Mr. Rogers: Yes, but still, we do not want to be placed in a false position. This is an old sore and an old grievance, and now is the proper time to have it cured, because the facts are all in our favour.

Chairman: The Minister of Agriculture has undertaken to do it.

Mr. Rogers: Do not you think we should have a resolution about it?

Chairman: You do not want a resolution, do you- or if you like you can simply move that the embargo on Canadian cattle be removed as speedily as possible.

Mr. Rogers: I beg to move that.

Chairman: Mr. Prothero accepts that, and there is an end of it.

_ Arthur Griffith-Boscawen, who was Minister of Agriculture in Great Britain at the time, was utterly opposed to the admission of our Canadian cattle into the Old Country and he would not listen to any proposals looking to that end. He stood for election in England and his Labour opponent, with only one plank in his platform-the admission of Canadian cattle into the British Isles for the purpose of improving the food supplies of the labouring masses-was able to defeat so considerable a public man as Sir Arthur Bos-cawen by a majority of some 10,000 votes. Sir Arthur Boseawen got elected in Taunton afterwards but at that time he would not listen to any suggestion that Canadian cattle should be allowed to enter Great Britain. A royal commission was appointed to look into the health of Canadian herds and that commission reported a clean bill of health for Canada. I may say that on two or three occasions I took the matter up myself, writing to the Minister of Agriculture with a view to discussing the subject of the embargo with some authority. I received a letter from the present leader of the opposition (Mr. Meighen) together with an introduction to Sir Arthur Boseawen and I proceeded to England at my own expense to interview that gentleman. But he turned me down quite coldly; he positively refused to have anything to do with the question. I said therefore that inasmuch as I had fulfilled my mission I considered myself at liberty to do what I liked. As a consequence we held a meeting. Some of my friends who were very much interested in the live stock industry in England called a meeting in Central Hall in London and we moved a resolution which was accepted unanimously by that audience of 7,000. Everyone in that assembly was in favour of the removal of the embargo and the resolution carried without a dissenting voice. Let me read a paragraph from it:

This meeting of London retail meat traders expresses its great dissatisfaction at the decision of the government not to remove the embargo upon Canadian cattle coming into this country for purposes other t^an immediate slaughter at the ports. It reminds the government of the pledge given to Canada at the

The Address-Mr. Mullins

Imperial conference in 1917, to remove the embargo at the end of the war, and also points out the unanimous decision of the royal commission which reported on August 30 last, in favour of the removal of the embargo.

That resolution was transmitted to the British House of Commons. I accompanied Lord Beaverbrook to Norwich where we held a similar meeting and passed a similar resolution. I went also to Newcastle where the Duke of Northumberland presided at a large meeting and where the same resolution was adopted. The same thing occurred in Dundee and in Beccles, and these resolutions were all forwarded to the British House. The cause became so popular over in England that it came before the House in 1922, and became law in April, 1923. It has opened up a great market for us. As I said before, I do not claim any credit for this result but for thirty years I have fought for it, and I certainly know that no credit is coming to hon. gentlemen opposite. I leave that to the judgment of the House. This government has taken credit on the public platforms all through the west for the great prosperity in our cattle trade, and I say it is not fair for them to take the credit from those to whom it rightly belongs, and who really did the work. This is what former Prime Minister Asquith said, in part:

It really does not require any comment. Can you be surprised that every Canadian statesman-I think Sir Robert Borden was the principal representative of Canada at that conference-that every Canadian statesman from Sir Robert Borden onwards, including, as we know from the statement which he has made in the Canadian House of Commons, Mr. Meighen, the late Prime Minister, took that as an explicit and direct pledge, given with the full authority of the Imperial government, that the embargo would be removed, and removed as speedily as possible? This amendment asks the House to go back on that. Quite apart from the merits of the case-which, I agree, are arguable-this amendment asks the House of Commons to authorize the government to repudiate a pledge given with as much solemnity, as much emphasis, and as much definiteness as any pffedge could possibly be.

Commander Bellairs: It did not bind the House of Commons.

Mr. Asquith: You can repudiate it if you like. But consider the effect of a pledge, given as far back as 1917, to one of your principal dominions. Is the House of Commons going to go back on that?

A pledge was given to Sir Robert Borden and to Mr. Meighen regarding the entry of our Canadian cattle into Great Britain, and I say that the action of these two gentlemen has made thousands and thousands of dollars for the cattle raisers of western Canada. Western Canada does not want to ship young, light, immature steers into the United States, for feeders there to make a profit on them. We want to bring the animal up to about 14011-16

1,200 pounds, and then have an avenue open to a profitable market, and the British market is the best market of all. Great Britain is rampant with foot-and-mouth disease, their herds are depleted; but here in Canada we are in the unique position of having a clean bill of health all over the country, we are raising the best type of steer, the very kind that is asked for in the Old Country market. I know that the hon. member for Brandon (Mr. Forke) will endorse what I say. He is a Scotchman, and he knows the Scotchmen like our Canadian steers. I was over there last winter, and I saw the Irish steers standing at the rail while our Canadian steers were being taken. Our cattle do wonderfully well over there. The Scotchman, Mr. Speaker, is a wonderful man for feeding cattle. He commercializes his farm, makes a real farm out of it. He is not a soil robber, but puts back fertility into the soil. He is not a disturbing element at all, but is a satisfied, well-doing man. He believes implicitly in two things- the Sabbath day, and turnips. He feeds turnips lavishly to our cattle that go over there from western Canada. We can go into that market with our immature cattle and get the very top price. The United States market is all right for the bigger and older cattle, but the immature cattle of from 800 to 900 pounds should never be shipped over to the United States and sold there. In my opinion financial arrangements should be made so that a man can put cattle on feed lots in western Canada. The day of the big ranches is gone. All through the west, south of the main line of the Canadian Pacific, was a big ranching country, and it should have remained so, but the ranches have gone, and smaller herds on feed lots must now be raised in that part of the country, and cattlemen should prepare for that market on the other side which offers such wonderful opportunities.

Now the question is, how to get our cattle over there. I had 250 cattle on feed just outside the city of Winnipeg, and it is on account of shipping conditions in the cattle industry that I am in this House to-day, because it means a sacrifice on my part to be here. I did not come here for any other purpose except to champion this cause. I took up the question of moving these cattle with the Minister of Agriculture, because I found when I wanted to ship them from a point just thirty miles west of Winnipeg the transportation companies wanted to go fifty-fifty with me, and no man in the west, or in any other country, could stand that. The transportation companies took just one-half of these four-year cattle to pay the freight,

The Address-Mr. Mullins

and who were the offenders, Mr. Speaker? It was largely the Canadian Government Merchant Marine, under the control of hon. gentlemen who sit on the other side of the House. I have a copy of the bill of lading here. I took that space at $25 a head, and contracted for shipment to Dundee. I then wired to the Minister of Agriculture and asked him if there was no way of getting that rate reduced, that it was excessive, and we could not stand it. The regular shipping companies, Mr. Speaker, if you put five cattle in the space intended for four will make a reduction of 10 per cent, but the merchant marine does not do that. The capacity of the Canadian Government Merchant Marine boat, the Victor, is 233 cattle, and they wanted me to put 270 cattle into the space intended for 233. I refused to 4 p.m. do it; I said I would not crowd my cattle in that way, that they would not ride properly. But I put 243 cattle into that space, and they charged me for space for 270. They made me pay $27.33 a head, whereas in the old days I have shipped thousands of cattle at $7 a head. That is one of the hardships that the man on the land is suffering at the present time.

But there is worse than that. I had to pay $6,750 for ocean freight before ever the ship left the dock. The regular shipping companies never do that, but the Canadian Government Merchant Marine, which this government controls, make you pay the freight before ever the ship sails, and as I say, I had to pay $6,750 for freight before the ship left the dock. Suppose, after she had run out one hundred miles, she had struck a rock; where would my freight have been? I had insured the cattle, but not the freight. Of course, if you insure your freight as well as the cattle, it is an additional expense to be charged to the cattle. If that sort of thing goes on and the freight rates continue to be charged up against the live stock industry where will it end? I tried to compile the figures up to date and it was a herculean task to find out all they really charged against the moving of the live stock from the western prairies. I looked up as many items as I could think of and memorized them. When we can draw these eastern provinces closer to the western provinces by establishing a reasonable freight rate we can build up the western country and we can supply feeders to the eastern provinces. You could put Ireland in one part of my constituency, and yet Ireland is shipping a million cattle to England per year, and this wonderful country of ours only ships

110,000 head of cattle per year. True, the man on the land got discouraged. There were so many charges piled up against the live stock that he was getting very little out of it. In the old days we had a rate from Winnipeg to Toronto or Montreal of 601 cents, and to-day the freight rate is 85 cents a hundred. If you speak to the transportation companies, as I have done, they will say that there is no money in cattle. But they are common carriers and they must carry all commodities. Of course they like a car of wheat and lean more to the wheat man than to the cattle man. They can get 60,000 pounds of wheat in a car, and they can get only from 24,000 to 25,000 pounds of cattle in a car. They do not like the live stock industry because they cannot get the amount of earnings out of it. They have piled all their charges up against the cattle and have practically driven the cattlemen out of business.

Those who sit in the seats of the mighty ought to go out to the provinces of Manitoba and Saskatchewan and see the position of the farmer there. This country will never go ahead. The prosperity we hear about from members on the other side of the House does not exist. If those gentlemen simply go west to touch Winnipeg, Brandon, Saskatoon, Regina and the principal cities, they can have no idea, and cannot speak with authority as to the condition of the man who is struggling in the rural parts of the different provinces. They are simply struggling for existence, and are not at all in the position they are represented to be. When you get away from the cities and into the interior the conditions are such that the men become discouraged on account of the charges which are piled up against them.

From the year 1917 the rates went up considerably. In 1916 the rates were 60i cents a hundred to Montreal. In 1918 the rates were raised to 69| cents; in 1919 to 79 cents and in 1920 to $1.08 per hundred pounds. In 1921 the rates were reduced to $1.05. Today the rate stands at S5 cents a hundred. All those charges have been gradually raised for transportation of the live stock. It is not simply that charge, but it is the charge from here to St. John that we complain of. The government owns the shed at St. John and they charge for the cattle walking through the shed and for the electric light in the shed. They charge against the cattle everything possible. They charge for light and charge for labour. They charge in every way that can possibly be imagined, so that it means destruction to the cattleman.

The Address-Mr. Mullins

and he has gone out of the business. But this condition of affairs must be remedied and the trade must be put in such a position that it can survive. I say to the banks, "Under section 88 of the Bank Act you must give money at a reasonable figure to the man who requires it for the purpose of feeding live stock". They say to me, "We cannot do that". I say further, that more discretion should be given to the young men who manage the branch banks to make loans to the farmers under section 83 of the Bank Act, so that they can produce cattle. If any man comes to the bank and asks for a loan under section 88, and the risk is a good one, he should have a perfect right to get the money at six per cent, and not a rate of eight per cent, which is charged now, should be permitted. Cheaper money should be got for the purpose of assisting the live stock industry to bring back the fertility of the soil and rehabilitate the live stock industry in the country. I know that many good farmers have made applications to the banks for loans and have been refused. These men have not the banking facilities necessary to carry on the industry. I am not going to say much more now, but hon. members may rest assured that they have not heard the end of this question, because I will deal with it again. I may not present the case just as I should, in my first attempt after thirty years. After waiting that length of time it takes a little energy and a little nerve perhaps to appear here and speak before educated men including many trained in the learned professions. I am merely a cattleman of the western provinces, but I have tried to put it as fairly as I can.

The tariff does not play any part at all in connection with the live stock industry. One dollar will take care of the binder and fifty cents will take care of the mower, and so on, in regard to all the machinery that is used. You do not have to renew your machinery every year. I heard a discussion about the binders. When the tariff was 33i per cent I bought a binder for $168. To-day the tariff is 6 per cent, and I am paying $268 for a binder. If we have protection I honestly believe the price of all those commodities will come down. I would not be here behind my leader one minute if I thought the tariff would bear heavily upon the man struggling out in the west. If the manufacturer hides behind the tariff and raises the price of commodities my right hon. leader will see to it that that price is reduced. Knowing my man, I am convinced that in such a case the price will be reduced. I am satisfied 14011-16 J

to follow my right hon. friend as a leader. I have known him and watched him grow up, and I would rather take one dose from him than take the conglomeration of tariff doses that is handed out by the other party. I have talked to my constituents along that line and only one man said anything about the tariff. Mr. Mackenzie King started at the coast and gave the people there one dose; he came to the middle west and gave the people there another dose, and then he came to Kingston and gave the manufacturers there another one. This reminds me of the story of the man who had a nice cow which took ill. He met a friend who told him to give the cow a dose of assafcetida. Another friend told him to give her a dose of oil, and another said: "Put some ginger in," and he put all this into a bottle, mixed it all up and gave it to the poor old cow. The result was that everything was all right if she had not belched. The country is belching if we are to judge by the legislation that has come across from the other side.

Mr. Speaker, that good, kindly soul called W. T. R. Preston came into my constituency during the last campaign to talk on that sacred business, the cattle trade. That good, saintly, old man sang when I was a boy in Sunday School:

Bringing in the sheaves,

Bringing in the sheaves,

We will come rejoicing,

Bringing in the sheaves.

And on Monday the paper said that Mr. Preston was bringing in doubtful voters in the constituency. He endeavoured to talk on that sacred industry, the cattle trade and how he was going to place our cattle in the markets of the world. Fancy a man like that discussing a sacred proposition like the cattle trade! That is not the kind of man we want in our constituency. I do not know whether he was in the employ of the government or not, but he came into my constituency, and the result of his visit was that my good opponent, who was a rare type of man, received only 1,665 votes out of the whole constituency whereas 8,000 votes were cast against him. I would, therefore, advise my hon. friends to send a different type of man if they are sending anyone into my constituency.

I have spoken at some length and taken up the time of the House; but I speak conscientiously in regard to that sacred old industry, the first one that was established on the western prairies, that held sway out there until the soil robber and the exploiter of the soil came in and drove us out. Give us some consideration; help us to get to the markets of the world. Give that industry some prae-

The Address-Mr. Motherwell

tical help. Give the farmers some assistance. If the government are serious, with their merchant marine, they can break that ocean monopoly in ten minutes. Do not talk about the Petersen contract and the Atlantic combine or conference, as it is called, dictating from New York as to where the boats will sail, bringing us here to help the government in the effort to get redress so that we can reach the markets of the world at reasonable cost.

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

William Richard Motherwell (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Hon. W. R. MOTHERWELL (Minister of Agriculture):

Mr. Speaker, let me at the

outset extend my congratulations to all who, on an occasion of this kind, are most worthy of them. I refer, Sir, to Your Honour and to the mover and seconder of the Address. Before dealing with the Speech from the Throne, I wish to refer to the vote of last Thursday when I think this parliament established a certain precedent. While some of us may interpret it differently, as I understand it, the meaning of the vote is that in the future no government representing a minority in this House will be justified in handing over the reins of office to another minority group, disregardful of all the rights of other hon. members even though they may number twenty-eight as they did in this particular instance. In other words, it is the majority of this parliament that governs, and not any particular group although it might be the largest group. After this, with that precedent established in this country, we shall not require to go to the dim and distant past, to the time of Gladstone and Morley and perhaps a century before that, in order to find precedents. We have established a precedent in this particular instance. It may be to the advantage of the government on this occasion, but at some subsequent time the leader of the present opposition (Mr. Meighen), with the various groups that are apparently developing on his side of the House, such as the Pate-naude group and the Maritime group, may possibly be able to summon this precedent to his aid in order to carry on. In the meantime the advantage falls to the government of this day, who themselves admittedly cannot carry out this programme alone. On the other hand, the opposition cannot carry out their programme alone; but one or the other must carry out their programme with the aid of some other group. Otherwise, we shall cease to function in this parliament, and some other parliament must be given an opportunity to carry on the affairs of this country. That is the present situation as I understand it.

Let me pass on to the Speech from the Throne that, after all, is the subject matter before us. The electors of Canada are responsible primarily for the present constitution of this House; but even though that be the case, they have a right to expect us to give them good government and that the affairs of Canada will be taken care of even under the present difficult circumstances. It will be noticed that while we are in this House debating and likely for many days to debate the Speech from the Throne, an Address in reply has already been passed by that honourable body the Senate of Canada. This may be putting the cart before the horse and I do not know whether there is a precedent for it or not, but the hon. member for West Calgary (Mr. Bennett) will, perhaps, be able to get his books together and tell us whether that constitutes a precedent or not. What I want to point out is that if there were some constitutional way whereby this parliament could extend a graceful address to Their Honours in the Senate for having anticipated the action of this House, I would personally be agreeable to moving it. By a sort of premonition the other half of this parliament has anticipated what we are going to do, so that that gives me some idea as to what the result of this debate will be. They have done this without debate, without opposition, in the half of this parliament in which the Liberals have no majority. That is surely a precursor of the co-operative spirit that must be abroad in this parliament if we are going to carry on acceptably.

Our opponents were very savage at the outset, but to-day they are almost as tame as pet lambs. When the debate opened a week ago last Monday, one would think they were going to eat us all up, without salt. But any of them now, even the wildest, will eat out of one's hand. If the Speech from the Throne is a bribe, an offer, anything improper, what are we to say regarding the Speech from the Throne that is accepted by the opposition with a very innocuous amendment added to it? That is an additional bribe, a little bigger one than the one we have been said to make. What about all the speeches of the last three or four years, of all parties since confederation, of all countries that have our practice of introducing a Speech from the Throne, outlining in a general way the sessional programme? I have in my hand the last three Speeches from the Throne. Hon. members will not be surprised to know that the same old harangue, the same old rancorous stuff has been handed out as on past occasions -this is a bid to the Progressives in order

The Address-Mr. Motherwell

that the government may get their support. If this is a bribe then all Speeches from the Throne are bribes, particularly the speeches introduced by this government. And equally is the amendment which my right hon. friend has moved to be considered a bribe if the .present Speech from the Throne is regarded in that light. We are only anticipating the wishes of the people in what we have outlined in the document. What would this House have thought if we had come down without any Speech from the Throne? Then indeed it would be said that we were not fit to govern, that we had no Prime Minister and that no government existed. So far as this allegation is concerned, I may observe in passing, I trust that hon. gentlemen opposite have discovered their mistake.

We must have a Speech from the Throne; is it not the most natural thing under our democratic form of government? The very essence of government is to anticipate the wishes and the requirements of the country and to embody these in legislation. That is what entitles any body of men to the right to govern. And we have anticipated the wishes and the requirements of the country in the proposals we have set forth in the Speech from the Throne, which proposals can be given effect to by the co-operation of the two groups in this House who voted together on Thursday last. But what do oppositions of all shades ever have to say about any Speech from the Throne? Did you ever see any opposition that came as near to agreeing to the Speech as did the opposition in the amendment proposed last night? Well, if the opposition can so nearly approximate the Speech from the Throne why should not hon. gentlemen adopt it as the Senate has done and let us get on with the business of the country? Of course I can sympathize with my right hon. friend: he got so near and yet he is so far from his goal. It is enough to make him and his friends opposite appreciate what Moses must have felt like when he was so near the .Promised Land and yet was denied the privilege of entering it. Hon. gentlemen are not so much worried to-dhy although they were last week. Their attitude of a week ago reminded me of a statement attributed to the late Sir Richard Cartwright, that a Tory out of office .was like a she-bear robbed of her cubs. That may be a little bit rough on the Tories of yesterday and to-day, but one thought last week that it was 'a trifle rough on the she-,bears. At any rate my hon. friends are becoming disciplined or chained, however you like to put it; and quite reasonably so. Now I will take up the Speech from the Throne.

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An hon. MEMBER:

We are waiting.

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LIB

William Richard Motherwell (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. MOTHERWELL:

If any hon. gentleman wants me to hear him I would suggest that he throw out his chest as if he believes what he is saying. I would refer for a moment to my hon. friend from St. LawrenceJSt. George (Mr. Caban), whose genial countenance always charms me and whose voice I am delighted to hear because I can hear it. To hear him one would think that he was actually going to take a fainting spell in describing the heinousness of the government's conduct. I was afraid that he would be seized with a panic. According to the hon. gentleman we were fit for almost anything. Now, if hon. .gentlemen insist upon describing the Speech from the Throne as a bribe, will any one of them put his finger upon one single paragraph which is not consistent with Liberal principles and practices of the past? I invite any hon. gentleman now within the sound of my voice to say what particular paragraph in his estimation constitutes a bribe. I shall wait a second or two and if my hon. friends fail to answer me I shall take their silence as an admission that they agree with what is contained in the Speech. But they are all tamer than ever. Mr. Speaker; no one will say wherein the bribe lies. Well 'they must admit that there is no such .thing as a bribe in the Speech from the Throne. My hon. friend from Mount Royal (Mr. White) in referring to the government was no doubt gentlemanly but he was obsessed with this idea. Is the bribe the Hudson Bayrailway? The leader of the House, I Would .point out, indicated in the famous Halifax /speech that Sir Robert Borden himself in 1908 jrad been pledged to the Hudson Bay railway, and Sir Wilfrid Laurier similarly pledged himself in a speech at Hamilton-a different sort of Hamilton speech from the one we usually conjure up in our minds at the present day. In that speech Sir Wilfrid Laurier for the first time committed his party to the building of .the Hudson Bay railway, taking the ground that whether it was likely to be a success or not it was the price that must be paid for a united Canada. The western people believed that it was practical and Sir Wilfrid Laurier committed1 himself and his party to the undertaking. And the Conservative party when they came into power in 1911 also committed themselves to the building of the road which Sir Wilfrid had started1 in 1910-11 but had to abandon because of his defeat at that time. So that the two historic political parties are both pledged to this project, from away back in 1908, and there is no doubt about it that the other groups in parliament representing

The Address-Mr. Motherwell

such an important factor at this time are also in favour of it. Now where is the bribe? Are we to wait another eighteen years before going ahead with the work? Have not all the great undertakings which have been in abeyance in the east been proceeded with during the life of the last parliament? Has not the Welland canal been gone ahead with pretty rapidly, and is not the viaduct at Toronto under way? That was a business proposition entered into by the railways prior to this government's coming into office. And has not the bridge in Montreal been undertaken, just as the harbour improvements so much needed in Quebec have been begun? Well, how much longer do you expect the west humbly to wait for this project when the road is within ninety-two miles of completion? Do you call that a bribe? The country knows too much to attach any importance to any such bunk coming from hon. gentlemen opposite. Evil to him that evil thinks, Mr. Speaker.

And what about natural resources? The very first session of the last parliament this subject was mentioned in the Speech from the Throne and we endeavoured for two or three years to bring about some working arrangement with the four governments concerned. But from my experience I am convinced that it is impossible to secure any satisfactory agreement with four governments negotiating, and about two years ago we came to the conclusion that one at a time would be good fishing. We decided therefore to negotiate with the government that was ready and so we began to discuss the natural resources of Alberta with the government of that province. Is that a bribe? How delightfully silent hon. gentlemen opposite are, scraping away with their pens pretending not to be listening. Last year the then premier of that province, Mr. Greenfield, accompanied by his attorney general, came to Ottawa and spent some weeks negotiating with the government in regard to this matter. I would direct the attention of my Progressive friends to this fact. The Progressive government of Alberta came here in the person of its premier, accompanied by his attorney general, and sat around a common table with a sub-committee of the government to discuss the subject. The committee consisted of the leader of the House, (Mr. Lapointe) Senator Murphy, the hon. Minister of the Interior (Mr. Stewart) myself and one or two others. We worked out a solution which we incorporated in a bill, and that bill it was hoped would have been enacted into law at the last session of the last

IMr. Motherwel 1.]

parliament, but all hon. gentlemen know how that session was prolonged and the reason for it. In addition, to that handicap, certain opposition elements crept up both in the east and in the west, with the result that it was decided to let the bill stand over for another year. Is not this the logical time to re-introduce it? You all know that the opposition which then manifested itself both in the east and in the west has since disappeared. Where is the bribe in that proposal?

Then we come to rural credits. The hon. member for Vancouver Centre (Mr. Stevens) suddenly became a convert to the desirability of rural credits. Apparently he did not wait to consult his leader. Evidently they believe in being free lances over there. I wonder if that is the nucleus of another group at the coast. If it is, you will have another precedent to refer to without going back into the hoary past. I do not want anyone to think that rural credits, no matter what system is recommended, is going to solve all the troubles of our farmers; but there is a certain class of farmers, just as there is a certain class of businessmen, that got such a frightful jolt during the deflation period following the war that something of almost a heroic nature will have to be done to enable them to hold on. Outside of that, Mr. Speaker, I do not believe there is very much need in Canada of further borrowing facilities; but I do believe there is a real need with respect to the class that I have referred to. We brought down a bill last session, but even with the aid of the most powerful X-ray no support from the other side could be detected for it. Of course, the Senate, as they usually do, took their cue from hon. gentlemen opposite, and threw out the measure under the pretext that it came to them too late in the session. I wonder what would have happened if it had reached them later still. Can you think of any parliament that may ever be convened here that will not have to consider some legislation near the end of the session? It is like the outside row of corn. Well, evidently the bribe is not rural credits, because the right hon. leader of the opposition is agreeable to that proposal. He is getting very, very adaptable these days, Mr. Speaker, he is not nearly so stiff-necked as he used to be. I should not like to say that he was becoming pliable, I should not like to even think that, but it is astonishing how fast he is coming around on the rural credits proposition. I wonder why. Oh, no, he is not making goo-goo eyes at anybody! Oh no,

I would not suggest such a thing as that.

Now, I have run over the main features of this Speech from the Throne, and I have not

The Address-Mr. Motherwell

yet found wherein any of them constitutes a bribe. There is one other subject mentioned in that Speech-an advisory tariff board. Well, what difference is there between that board and the tariff commission suggested by my right hon. friend in his resolution last year? Why, there is hardly the splitting of a hair between an advisory tariff board and the tariff commission that my hon. friends opposite are agreeable to. We hope to be able to solve some of our tariff problems through this impartial and independent medium. Anyone who has ever sat around the council table must know how inadequate and unprepared the average privy councillor is in working out a tariff schedule. I hope to see that tariff board functioning at the earliest possible date. Then, I think, it will act as a great winner of the confidence of the country that the adjustments made in the tariff from time to time are not entirely and exclusively for expediency or for political purposes, but are based on the merits. It is quite possible that that tariff board may even recommend to the government some raises in tariff. We have a large free list and a great many people are wondering why many of the articles it covers .should not bear a certain measure of taxation. Nearly 40 per cent of our imports are free. The proposed tariff board will have a tremendous responsibility. I do not know, Mr. Speaker, that I should like to be on it. I think I would prefer even to sit in this government, depending on co-operation with another like-minded group, rather than be a member of that board. Nevertheless, I think we oan find men to act on such a board who will do their duty regardless of consequences.

Now, not one citation of a single paragraph of the Speech from the Throne has elicited the faintest peep from hon. gentlemen opposite that it is a bribe. What becomes of all their humbug and nonsense of last week? It falls by the wayside. Some of the newspapers have been castigating pretty severely the hon. member for South Wellington (Mr. Guthrie) and describing him as the greatest sinner of them all. Well, he is only a half-baked Tory; it may be that that is the reason. But he is described as offering the Progressives a bribe. Well, he made some pretty visible gestures towards that corner of the House, there is no question about that; but the hon. member for Lisgar (Mr. Brown) said he did not object, he was capable of analyzing those gestures and apportioning to them their proper worth-which he and his colleagues did.

1 think I may pass on from the Speech from the Throne that they all thought with

one accord was a bride, but regarding which when it is put up to them our friends opposite are as silent as King Tut's tomb. We will have to get that explorer-is it Carson?

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Some hon. MEMBERS:

Carter.

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LIB

William Richard Motherwell (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. MOTHERWELL:

That is the one.

We will have to invoke Carter's services to burrow into these archives and get an answer from some of our hon. friends opposite. But our Conservative friends are running true to form. To show you that there is nothing extraordinary about either the programme of the government or the attitude of our friends opposite towards it, let me give from Hansard of May 15, 1924, what the right hon. leader of the opposition said about the budget, which, it will be remembered, contained certain substantial reductions in duty, especially on the implements of production:

This is the price hon. gentlemen of the government have paid, this is the sacrifice made to the Progressive gods in order to secure that party's vote.

So do not blame them, that is their regular style, they are running true to the Tory form that I have seen ever since I became a member of this House. Then we have a rather remarkable statement that 1 wish the leader of the opposition were here either to confirm or refute. We have heard something of the "sweets of office." Well, I do not see very much saccharine lying around government offices these days. Nevertheless it is the duty of somebody to shoulder the responsibilities of administration, and the body that can secure a majority in this House must be delegated to perform that important duty. I have before me two clippings, one from the Manitoba Free Press of December 21, 1925, and another one from the Morning Journal of the same date, reporting a speech made at Brandon by the right hon. gentleman. My hon. friend the leader of the opposition properly enough went out to express his pleasure, his appreciation and, possibly, his surprise at being elected. Here is what he said-and it is very seldom that you ever hear of such an honest statement. Perhaps if my hon. friend were here he would revert to his practice of denying things. This is what he said:

The whole of those opposed tq the administration are back with their numbers doubled.

That is so. There is a pretty formidable looking number of hon. gentlemen opposite. I must say, speaking for myself and I think, some of my colleagues-perhaps all of them that we would rather see them in reasonable numbers; not quite so many as at present, but a little more than they had in the last

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parliament, because they were certainly shot up then in a way not in the best interests of the country as a whole. But it is hard to regulate oppositions. If you begin to increase them too much, they become really dangerous. My right hon. friend said in his speech:.

The whole of those opposed to the administration are back with their numbers doubled, back with the people of Canada behind their candidates and policy ready-

Ready, do they say? Yes, "ready, aye, ready."

-ready to enjoy the sweets of office and the emoluments of power.

Being moved by these feelings they naturally anticipate that those are the feelings we entertain and that that is why we are here. Just mark this well: Here it is in

another paper. I thought at first perhaps that messages had been twisted, because you know it is very convenient to sometimes blame it on your secretary or on the reporter or on some mix-up in the transmission from east to west. But mark the similarity of this report in the Winnipeg Free Press:

They go back with the people of Canada behind their candidates and policy and now ready to enjoy the sweets of office and emoluments of power.

If that is the feeling entertained by my right hon. friend-I will not say by those who sit about him, because they have not expressed themselves-I can imagine his disappointment at not getting over here and as no one on that side refutes that statement I have to assume they are measuring our corn in this respect in their half bushel.

Now I come to another phase of the matter and I wish the right hon. leader of the apposition were in his seat. I am sure that if he had anything to say regarding me he would much rather I were present, and I feel the same about him. I come to a phase of my remarks which will have to d'o with his party as a whole and with my right hon. friend in particular. I refer again to that famous Hamilton speech. I do not want to read too much of it, but I want to show, Mr. Speaker, that this government and this party which we represent have been charged up hill and down dale with not carrying out their promises-and with regard to individual items I admit that this is so. With the best of intentions any government will bring down a bill of fare which they may find impractical and impossible to carry out. Why? That bill of fare is prepared before the private members arrive here, and frequently the private members, as factors in this House, cannot see their way to support the entire

programme, and it is modified. That is not a new thing in any parliament. I would not say it was quite common, but it occurs in all the parliaments and legislative assemblies in this Dominion. Mark you, however, that while that is so, for the past forty years or more the Liberal party, because they have stood true to their principle on the tariff- that is, a revenue tariff in contradistinction to a protective tariff-has gone down, as my right hon. friend read in Hansard from my remarks of a year ago, three successive times, standing by their guns all the way. I refer to 1878 when Alexander Mackenzie was defeated; I refer to 1891 when the Liberals under Sir Wilfrid Laurier were defeated, and I refer to 1911 when we were swept out of office by the fury of not only the Conservatives of that day but also some thirteen Liberal-Protectionists whom we got rid of and who went over, as they always do, to the tariff party. Then, in the last election, fighting again on behalf of the common people of Canada, we did not go down-but we came awfully close to it. But there is an old saying that an inch of a miss is as good as a mile. If that is so we are grateful for the inch. But let me refer to the Hamilton speech of my right hon. friend which I had almost forgotten. He said:

In future it will be best for all that before a government takes a step so momentous as the despatch of troops the will of the people should be known.

When I read that in the Morning Journal I certainly sat up and took notice.

Never would any government so much as dream of sending troops beyond our shores unless the authority of .parliament were first obtained.

Good Liberal doctrine, that. He did not think so at the time of the Dardanelles.

Indeed, I would go further. I do not anticipate that we of this generation will ever be called upon to take part in war again, and I earnestly hope that our children and our children's children may be free from the curse of war.

To which we all say amen.

But if ever the time should come when the spectre of 1914 should again appear I believe it would be best, not only that parliament should be called, but that the decision of the government, which of course would have to be given promptly, should be submitted to the judgment of the people at a general election before troops should leave our shores.

Do you realize, Mr. Speaker, what that means? Has the hon. gentleman gone mad to enunciate that doctrine? My right hon. friend made the remark referring to myself that my mind must be becoming diseased.

I wonder if that is the ailment that is befalling my right hon. friendl? But when you come to think of it there is method, as a rule, in his

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madness. Who does not remember the wartime election? No, it was not an election at all; it was a procession, a parade. I remember talking to some of my good Conservative friends in the west and they said: "Well, this is one time it is downhill with us, with the wind at our backs. We never had it before and will never have it again." It is all right for the Tories to win a war-time election. But, after all, is this the action of a madman or the action of a man who wants an opportunity of repeating his experience of 1917? Worse than thait, what is going to be done when troops are being marshalled and trained, but not sent out of the country? Precipitate an election among people of such a heterogeneous nature as are the people of Canada to-day? Why, all hell will be let loose under such circumstances as that. Does he realize what it means? Anything for power-that seems to be his motto. Does that involve the War-time Elections Act too? Do the right hon. gentleman and his hungry followers intend to bring down another war-time elections act, wiping out a lot of the prospective supporters of the Liberal party, giving a selected portion of the women the franchise and then go triumphant, amidst the sounds of battle and -beating drums, to the polls? There was a king of Great Britain once who, when a fighit was just in the balance, lost his horse through a defective shoe, said to be due to the absence of a nail in the shoe, and cried out, " My kingdom for a horse." Why, my right hon. friend and his followers opposite are almost prepared to say: Our political souls for power; anything for power-a war-time election even. Is that going too far, Mr. Speaker? We do not need to conjure up what a war-time election would mean. If his language means anything, then it means just what I have said. Have I not put the right interpretation on his words? If I have not, let me invoke his loyal supporter the hon. member for St. Lawrence-St. George, who in an equally famous speech in Toronto, this time among the Tories of the Tories-

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Charles Hazlitt Cahan

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CAHAN:

I was always one of the

Tories of the Tories, and I remain so.

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William Richard Motherwell (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. MOTHERWELL:

Well, that is nice.

I like a real good Tory, I must admit, provided we can keep him over there. It is not nice that I should have to rub it in, but I think I will read a little bit. This is what my hon. friend from St. Lawrence-St. George said, and he is not a Patenaude disciple at all, I understand, but a real Conservative :

They (the people of Quebec) contended simply that the matter of Canada's participation in a new war was one which the parliament of Canada must decide.

I am quoting from the Montreal Star, famous for its "whispers of death" last year; it has gone on whispering ever since, and now death has come to its hopes. This is how the Montreal Star reports the right hon. leader of the opposition (Mr. Meighen):

Britain sends a message to the Dominion-

I want the House to remember that this speech was made at a time when the government of Canada were staying up till twelve and one o'clock every night by the side of the cable operator, wondering what the next move would be. It Was only about five days after that, that this speech was made by my right hon. friend the leader of the opposition. We were all wondering what was going to happen; we wanted to do the right thing by our former allies and by the empire, but we were fearful lest this country might be thrust into another costly war, with all its toll of death and waste of treasure. We have been through war, and we know what it means, and at a critical time like that the right hon. gentleman with the responsibility resting upon him of leading the opposition in this parliament, waiting for an opportunity to strike, to do something heroic, to say something that would catch the popular ear, used this language, but like so many other times in this parliament he guessed wrong:

Let there be no dispute as to where I stand. When Britain's message came, then Canada should have said: Ready, aye ready; we stand with you. I hope the time has not gone by when that declaration can yet be made. If that declaration is made, then I will be at the back of the government.

Ready, aye ready! Just think of any nation that took the part we did in the war, and to our glory, going around with a chip on our shoulder and saying to everybody: Ready,

aye ready! How long would the right hon. gentleman be lacking the opportunity to fight if he went strutting around in that unbecoming manner? When the history is recorded of the stirring and important events of that week, the very week in which that unbecoming statement was made by the right hon. leader of the opposition, it will be found that the firm stand taken by the government of Canada on that occasion was a big factor in avoiding war; I am confident of that. "Ready, aye ready," says the right hon. leader of the opposition. But no, his Hamilton speech evidently indicates he is 5 pm. not ready; he is only semi-ready, for various reasons, to come over here. I do not think he is impatient that he is not over here, because he knows his position would not be without difficulties. So,

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Mr. Speaker, we have to assume that his policy is no longer, "Heady, aye ready," but just partly ready-a fit-reform sort of business. I shall not go any further with that.

We on this side of the House have been hounded up hill and down dale for alleged departures from policies, but in the main 1 say that we have stood, and to our loss, to the same policy of revenue tariff for the last forty or fifty years. But what shall we Say of the right hon. gentleman's change of front on the war question? Did you ever hear of such a complete recantation by a public man, of such a right-about ohange from his " Ready, aye ready " speech in Toronto, as he indicated in his Hamilton speech, when he enunciated the doctrine of consulting the people in an election before going to war? What was going on, M)r. Speaker, at the time of that Hamilton speech? The Bagot by-election. Somebody has absolved the right hon. leader of the opposition from any possible intent of affecting the result of that election by his speech, but mark you, the Bagot election was on, and the right hon. gentleman thought the government was trembling like an aspen leaf -anything for a seat in the province of Quebec, anything. Behold his attempt to execute his abdominal, his craven crawl all the way from Hamilton to Bagot; get there any way, on all fours so long as he gets there. But how vain a thing it was for the Tory net to be set in the sight of the Bagot electors, as the result of that by-election went to show. Maybe the House is not very familiar with the extract which I have made in part, but I think I have given it according to the Revised Version. How vain it was for the right hon. gentleman at Hamilton to set the Tory net in full view of the Bagot electors 1 And the result of that election showed that the Bagot electors saw the net, and acted accordingly' I am sure if I were a Quebecker I would resent that more than I do now as a Canadian coming from another part of Canada. I think it was the most shameful recantation ever uttered by any public man in Canada, and from now on the right hon. leader of the opposition will be rightly known in this parliament, in this year of our Lord 1926, as the great recanter; there is no question about that.

Now I come to recantation No. 2, his amendment to the Address. Where was the courage, the boldness, that he exhibited a year ago on the tariff when he came to draft this amendment? He had cause, I think, to be bold and courageous, judging from the number of seats that he won, but where hag all his courage gone? I have in my hand the programme of the Conservative party of last

year. It speaks of protection, and all that sort of thing, makes no bones about it; it stands out in bold relief. It reads:

This Dominion requires an immediate revision of the Canadian tariff on a definitely and consistently protective basis.

What semblance is there between that and this innocuous milk-and-water amendment to the Address, containing not a single word about the tariff or protection? I wonder what it means? It is left to everybody to put the interpretation he desires upon it. According to Hansard I see that just as soon as my right hon. friend had read that amendment he squatted right down in his seat, as if overcome by the spuriousneSs of it himself. Never, Sir, did he utter one word of explanation-take it, there it is-no word, no reference to tariffs, no reference to protection, except inferentially, and then you can infer what you like on the hustings. There is where it will be, and there is his amendment -another abject recantation of his principles enunciated less than a year ago in this House, leaving an impression, no one knows what, but certainly lacking the phraseology that he presented a year ago. It may imply protection. It may imply subsidizing coal transportation on the railways and may imply anything you can imagine, but it does not say so in words. Thus we have another exhibition of recantation.

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Leon Johnson Ladner

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LADNER:

Is the minister really serious in all he is saying, or is he simply making a joke? Does the minister not remember that our right hon. leader stated specifically in that same speech when the amendment was moved that our policy was-and he stood by it- the declaration contained in the resolution of the 2nd of June? Of course the hon. minister may have been out of his seat.

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William Richard Motherwell (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. MOTHERWELL:

No, I heard that.

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CON

Leon Johnson Ladner

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LADNER:

Then the hon. minister

is making a complete misstatement.

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LIB

William Richard Motherwell (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. MOTHERWELL:

And he can go outside the House, or inside of it, and blather away all he likes about whatever he likes, but there are the goods; there it is put into one or two paragraphs, and that is what he may be expected to be held responsible for. Go off anywhere else, and a cock-and-bull story may be told, which he can deny the next day. I am serious in this matter and I think my hon. friend will be feeling somewhat serious too by the time I get to the real substance of my remarks.

Here is another evidence, if such were required. The leader of the opposition said at Portage la Prairie:

The Address-Mr. Motherwell

1 have never used the expression of a tariff wall "brick for brick" with the United States, except in relation to farm produce.

The "brick for brick" policy was well understood all over the Dominion, and has been quoted in this House in various speeches, and it could not refer to anything else but ithe industries. Now that is recanted out in Portage la Prairie and in Brandon. Out there where they do not like protection, they are given a sort of lullaby, that it does not mean the industries at all-that it means the agricultural products. If the hon. member thinks he can hoax the farmers on the plains into believing that he can protect the wheat and the steers, he has some job on his hands. He was speaking to an audience whose farm products go beyond the seas for export. How in the name of conscience can the leader of the opposition, or any other protectionist, protect the wheat, cattle, butter and other exportable commodities sent abroad when we have a surplus in 'this country? Every child in economics knows that- the exportable surplus determines the price of what you use at home. I do not know whether you call it a recantation or not, or just an ordinary foolish statement, but it was certainly not a very wise statement to make before the men out in Portage la Prairie. He would not snare many rabbits that way. I hope the hon. member for Vancouver South (Mr. Ladner) thinks by this time that I am serious.

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CON
LIB

William Richard Motherwell (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. MOTHERWELL:

What would have

to be done before the farmers of the plains could have their wheat products protected? They would require to have sufficient population there to consume all their wheat, and then the tariff would protect it against any coming in from outside. It is estimated that the average man, woman and child in Canada consumes about six bushels of .wheat. Therefore we would need to have enough people in Canada to consume the 400 million bushels of wheat that we produce. Anybody who has a pencil can divide 400 million by six, and he will find the population that is necessary in Canada to constitute a home market for our wheat. The hon. member for Vancouver South got off a lot of nonsense about the home market last year as he has done every year, and I say that I do not disparage the home market for those who are catering to it, but remember that this speech was delivered at Brandon, where ninety per cent of the revenue of the farmer is derived from the products that are exportable, the price of which cannot be determined by any protective tariff on those

articles. I do not know how my right hon. friend expects to get support for such a proposition when he is going to have it carried out on farm products that they grow on the plains. There is something to be said on behalf of protecting vegetables, and something to be said on behalf of protecting fruit, if you like, and something to be said on behalf of protecting other products, but he was not talking Ito the fruit growers nor to the vegetable growers, but was addressing the men engaged in mixed farming, the cattle and grain growers and dairymen.

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January 19, 1926