William Findlay Maclean
Mr. MACLEAN (York):
And what is the proposed remedy?
Exports op Canadian Wheat and Total Grain Via United States Atlantic Seaboard Ports by Ports During the Calendar Year 1920 and Crop Years 1920-21 to 1924-25 23 t- a United States Atlantic " seaboard ports 1920x 1920-2 Iz 1921-22Z 1922-23z 1923-24* 1924-25f Wheat Bush. Total Grain Bush. Wheat Bush. Total Grain Bush. Wheat Bush. Total Grain Bush. Wheat Bush. Total Grain Bush. Wheat Bush. Total Grain Bush. Wheat Bush. Total Grain Bush.Portland, Me Boston, Mass New York, N.Y Philadelphia, Pa Baltimore, Md Norfolk, Va 9,668,910 462,292 9,634,433 3,440,055 2,367.886 9,067,333 751,143 13,664,213 3,440,055 2,367,886 13,544,801 831.995 24,177,275 6,097,346 5,514,161 16,362,864 1.262,835 31,250,316 6,113,217 5,967,278 9.239,260 5,068,470 39,681,733 28,117,198 7,737,973 12,550,593 6,151,661 49,860,010 33,216,018 9,961,767 18,388,570 7,949,845 47,756,779 26,104,236 15,600,473 21,456,503 9,326,405 59,990,202 26,390,642 19,752,318 7,713,330 7,161,283 60,786,540 22,984,111 14,988,030 12,545,505 11,369.796 8,633,642 78,609,458 23,863,867 16,274,561 12,883,413 3,161,590 978,398 34,340,/92 15,889,209 5,632,062 353,460 5,067,920 4,111,452 64,378,158 18,626,125 7,954,943 353,460Total 25,591,576 30,190,630 50,165,578 60,956,510 89,844,634 111,740,049 115,799,903 136,916,070 126,178,799 151,634,737 60,355,511 100,492,058 x Calendar, z Crop year ended August 31, 'Crop year period 11 months ended July 31, t Crop year ended July 31. Note.-Total grain includes wheat, oats, barley, rye and buckwheat. Shipments op United States Wheat and Total Grain Via Canadian Atlantic Seaboard Ports by Ports During the Crop Years 1920-21 to 1924-25 Canadian seaboard ports 1919-20z 1920-21Z 1921-22Z 1922-23z 1923-24* 1924-25t Montreal Quebec St. John, N.B Total 7,334,349 12,300,778 79,214 12,560,138 40,011 1,785,441 38,241,157 82.092 1,828,791 31,080,635 602,357 228,186 81,507,094 3,243,782 4,822,356 28.229,632 335,858 158,102 52,378,774 351,581 2,582,880 16,239,206 22,680,517 545,305 491,947 50,155,229 1,049,035 3,472,556 82,117,608 1,270,032 5,253,5217,334,349 12,379,992 14,385,590 40,152,040 31,911,178 89,573,232 28,723,592 55,313,235 16,239,206 23,717,769 54,676,820 88,641,161 z Crop year ended August 31, * Crop year period 11 months ended July 31, f Crop year ended July 31. Note.-The figures showing the shipments of United States grain are taken from elevator returns at the above ports. The Address-Mr. MacLaren S3,! The Address-Mr. MacLaren The hon. member for Queens-Lunenburg, in his speech of a few days ago stated that we must be wary of this grain that is sent from the United States through Canada. He said that they may do very dreadful things; that they may get annoyed and cut all this trade off because we say that we will not send our grain through the United States. That is not quite a happy way of stating the case. Surely this country is at liberty to do as much trade over its own railways and through its own ports as possible, and it is proper for it to do so. There is .a difference with a distinction that amounts to a good deal; not that we should not do trade with the United States or through it, but that we should have regard to business in our own country and do as much business as possible over our own railroads and through our own ports. That should not give rise to resentment on the part of a friendly neighbour. The way to secure the respect of our neighbour, is to show him that we are doing our utmost for our own country. There is a further table that I wish to place on Hansard, and that is one covering a period of four years showing the total exports overseas through Canada and through the United States. The statement is as follows: Canadian Exports to overseas countries via the United States for the last four years Exports to United Kingdom via United States Per cent of total exports to United Kingdom Other British Empire via United States Per cent of total exports to other British Empire.. .. Foreign countries via United States Per cent of total exports to foreign countries Total exports via United States Per cent of total exports to overseas countries.. .. Years ended March 31 1922 1923 1924 1925$102,148,220 $178,966,431 $152,276,836 $173,556,26434.0 47.1 42.1 43.77.490,639 13,983,246 20,815,847 18,350,57315.9 22.9 26.9 23.137,788,555 39,369,092 50,585,707 65,452,73036.9 31.8 28.3 36.9147,427.414 232,318,769 223,678.390 257,359,56732.8 41.1 36.2 39.3 I notice that the percentages are somewhat similar for the last four years, but in 1925, 39.3 per cent or nearly 40 per cent, of all our exports overseas went through United States ports. These are the reasons on which I base my statement that the country's great movement in the construction of railways and in obtaining the enactments has halted. I come to the third great transportation movement in the history of this country. What is it? It is not governmental. It is not railroad. It is one of the people and the press of this country. The Maritime provinces have felt the transportation question most acutely, but it is now appreciated throughout the whole Dominion. It is receiving the support of the press generally, of boards of trade and other organizations, and of business men all the way from Vancouver to the Atlantic ocean. Not long ago there was read in this House a resolution from the St. John Board of Trade, and in that connection I wish to read an extract from a letter of the commissioner of that organization which accompanied the resolution: The routing of Canadian traffic over Canadian railways and through Canadian ports is, obviously, a national matter of the most fundamental importance- a matter which must not be considered as other than national. Further, it is a matter concerning which the whole Dominion is now thoroughly aroused. The people and press throughout every section of the country express amazement at the alarming economic menace involved in using Canadian traffic to build up 14011-53 United States railways and seaports, and to provide employment for United States workers which, in the natural course, would have taken the form of Canadian wages for Canadian workers. The testimony of 23 out of 29 members of this House from the Maritimes is further evidence of the attitude of the people in that part of the country, and I think the status of hon. members on this side has been misrepresented in that regard. These hon. members are strongly impressed with the importance of a proper national transportation policy, one that would carry from coast to coast; but at the same time that is not the only ,piank with the Maritime members who have come to this House. The other policy which they advocate is that of protection, and that combination of protection and proper transportation is largely the reason that the Conservative party has such a large representation from the Maritime provinces in parliament to-day. I do not wish to suggest, because it would not be the case, that our twenty-three members are here, returned by such large majorities, simply because they are Conservatives. We know that is not so. As a matter of fact we know that so great has been the dissatisfaction with the present government in regard to its transportation policy, to say nothing of other shortcomings, that our majorities have been largely augmented by Liberal votes. I would not attempt to read
The Address-Mr. MacLaren extracts from the public press in this respect; it would be impossible, for the consensus of the press is in favour of what I am now representing to the House. But there is one matter to which I should like to refer, with regard to the Montreal Gazette. My hon. friend from Queens-Lunenburg the other day quoted the Gazette as being unfavourable to Canadian transportation. Let me read a short extract from that newspaper of January 23 of this year: The government, jolted by the very practical expression of dissatisfaction given by the electors, has made a curious play to appease them by announcing its intention to appoint a royal commission to enquire fully into the claims of the Maritimes, and to recommend such redress as may appear to be practical and appropriate The grievances of the Maritimes are neither numerous nor beyond the ability of a properly constituted government to remedy, and they would never have arisen with a Charles Tupper or a Leonard Tilley in office. The Maritimes want Canadian trade through Canadian ports, surely not an unreasonable request, and it is small wonder that they grow angry with policies which send (the winter overseas traffic of the Dominion to Portland and New York, instead of to St. John and Halifax. One of the most striking anomalies in the public affairs of this country is the use of the Canadian National railway dn promoting trade through an American port, and one cannot doubt tlrat the sentiment of the Canadian people runs strongly against the perpetuation of this policy. It may cost something in the way of lower rail rates to deflect this traffic, but the offsetting gain in Maritime prosperity and contentment makes the price cheap. Scores of millions of dollars have been spent on the construction of the National Transcontinental railway for the avowed purpose of retaining traffic to Canadian ports, yet not a bushel of grain passes over the line to St. John or Halifax It should not be beyond the capability of parliament to afford relief. A government animated by a truly national policy, mindful of the fact that the interests of the smaller provinces call for not less care than those of the larger, and that what helps one helps all, would not resort to the transparent humbug of a royal commission, but would itself devise and apply remedial measures. That is the paper which was recently quoted by the hon. member for Queens-Lunenburg as supporting his view that after all there was not much trouble with the Maritimes and that they could not expect much in the way of transportation of grain. There .are only two other references I desire to make, and I shall read them because they are recent. One appeared in a Toronto newspaper on January 27. It reads. Regret that a greater proportion of Canadian products is not shipped out of Nova Scotian or New Brunswick ports was expressed by W. A. Austin, president of the Dominion Bank of Canada, in his address to shareholders at the annual meeting of the bank to-day. Mr. Austin strongly advocated an allCanadian all-winter port route, pointing out that the ports of Halifax and St. John were well equipped to handle grain particularly. He declared the aspirations of the people of the Maritime provinces deserved the sympathetic consideration of the rest of the country. The last quotation I shall venture to read, another recent one, is taken from the London Free Press: If there is to be a happy, contented, united, prosperous Dominion, it can only be by every part of Canada being satisfied and prosperous. As long as the Maritime provinces are dn their present mood Canada as a whole cannot progress as it should. The grievances of the Maritime provinces are real ones, not imaginary, and steps should be taken at once by the new parliament to get at the bottom of the difficulty.
Mr. MACLEAN (York):
And what is the proposed remedy?
The remedy lies with
Mr. MACLEAN (York):
In doing what?
I have already referred
to the hundreds of millions of dollars spent on the construction of our railroads. In respect to that construction there have been legislative enactments declaring that the money was being contributed to encourage trade over Canadian rails and through Canadian seaports. I submit that this government should observe those enactments. Not only that, but as a matter of honour and of good faith those enactments should be observed. I say further to those who may not be deeply impressed with this view, that it is good business to do so, that it will pay the country in a way that the present method of doing business, of sending our export traffic through United States seaports, can never equal in the slightest degree. I am asked by my hon. friend: What is the remedy? The remedy
is to carry out that policy as expressed in those enactments-to so conduct our trade with the outside world that it shall proceed over Canadian rails and through Canadian seaports. That is the principle underlying the legislation, and that is the hope that was held out to the peqple of this country at the time of confederation. I have pointed out how on two occasions we have halted in carrying out that policy; I believe that on the third occasion something of great moment will happen, because this time it is not the government, it is not the railroads, it is the voice of the people that is urging this policy, and the pressure of public opinion will continue until it is carried out.
Now, iu the Speech from the Throne the government states that to encourage the movement of the trade that I am speaking, of it will instruct the Board of Railway Commissioners to investigate the causes of the diversion of traffic-of grain and other Canadian products-to United States ports-
The Address-Mr. MacLaren
The government states that that is its fixed policy. Surely this means that it is a settled policy, a policy that has been pursued for a considerable period. But this quasi government-if I may so term it-has given no sign of having such a settled policy, at least one has failed to find any evidence of it, and I am therefore inclined to look upon its declaration with a great deal of doubt; in fact I am still skeptical whether the government really appreciates what the country expects of it. Why does the government refer this matter to the railway commission? For the last five years the causes of this diversion of traffic have been discussed time and time again, both in this House and throughout the country; the press has been full of it. This discussion was all about mileage and grades, what are spoken of as "economic reasons" for the diversion. I might add that there are also vested interests to be taken into account. One of the great causes, I believe, for this continued diversion of our traffic to United States ports is that routes become ruts; undoubtedly at the present time our trade flows along the path of least resistance. But supposing the railway commission does carry out the instructions of the government and investigate, what more can it know than what the country already knows? It will of course bring in a finding, and then there will be more discussion as to its accuracy or inaccuracy. But why any further inquiry? Has not this country spent two hundred million dollars and more for the construction of railways to carry our export trade to our own ports? Why is not this done?
Let me say that at this time we look at the question from a different angle-not that the railway commission should inquire into the causes of the diversion, but as to how we can recover our trade at the earliest possible moment and in the best way. That is what the country wants done to-day. While I believe that the reference of this question to the railway commission may be of some use, yet I do not think the result will be conclusive or sufficient. What, then, remains? The government must act. There is no use sheltering behind the railway commission or the Canadian National railways. The government itself has a vital part to play in any such policy as the circumstances demand. This brings me to the question: What is the relationship between the Canadian National Railways and the government? I venture to think there is a great deal of misapprehension on this point. Under the terms of the act the board of the Canadian National Rail-14011-53 j [DOT]
ways was appointed to operate and manage the system. Paragraph eleven declares:
The Governor in Council may from time to time by order 'in council entrust to the company the managing and operating of any lines of railway-
Now, mark what follows:
-upon such terms and subject to such regulations and conditions as the Governor -in Council may from time to time decide.
What Idoes that mean? One often hears when any criticism is made of the Canadian National Railways that we are interfering with the board of management. That may be so, or it may not. The board is entrusted with the operation and management of the railway, and there is provision in the act for the Governor in Council to instruct the board from time to time. What does Sir Henry Thornton himself say? In his annual report two or three years ago he stated that transportation from the national standpoint rests with the government, that it is not the function of his board to deal with such a question of higher policy. In that statement I fully concur. Sir Henry Thornton, I believe, is absolutely right in his view that he and his directors are operating and managing the Canadian National Railways in order to make the best financial showing. Now, this does not necessarily mean the best financial results for the country generally. In other words, you cannot expect to have the Canadian National Railway system managed and operated as an isolated, distinct, separate organization. It is an integral and intimate part of this whole country, and it has its relationship with every important and vital condition of this country. It must enter into it as a portion of the organism, and therefore there is no use in saying that it must be treated and looked upon purely as a railroad, because it is artificial; it is uneconomic; it is untrue; it belongs to this country, and therefore there must be a marked and intimate relationship between the function and management of the railroad and the interests of the country. The moment a word is said about the president of the Canadian National Railways one is criticized by people who say that it is an attack on Sir Henry Thornton. I am not proposing, at any rate not this evening, to make an attack on Sir Henry Thornton, although there are occasions when he should be criticised. Sir Henry Thornton can qualify for the humanum est erare class the same as the rest of the people of this country, but that is not my point. I think Sir Henry Thornton is correct in his contention, and it is time the government realized it and took action. If the rail-
The Address-Mr. MacLaren
way company proposes, and correctly so, to carry out these instructions to operate and manage the system, it is for the government to carry out that high national transportation policy which must proceed from the government. You cannot expect a railway board to carry that out of itself; the railway board will not for a moment take the risk of incurring a financial loss or the responsibility.
Many of the conditions which show a good economic result for the railways make poor paying business for the country, for reasons which we all know. Our railways are not using our own coal and rails and so on, and our Canadians are not getting the employment. Before proceeding further I think I might make the observation that if the Canadian National Railways, instead of using its very considerable energy jto provide new trade routes for our grain through the United States, would devote that energy to working up a new transportation system which would carry that grain through Canada, it would be better for the country. I understand that it is difficult for a number of senior officers of the Canadian National Railways, men who have spent years with the Canadian Northern and Grand Trunk systems, men who have been brought up to the habit of advancing the interests of these railroads in the old way, to transfer their enthusiasm and their energy to national directions. If that be the case, and I think there is reason for the statement, such an attitude, must cease. I believe it would be in the interests of Canada to have a well considered and selected superannuation system for some of these officials, and then Sir Henry Thornton might have around him the stimulus and impetus of men imbued with the idea of protecting our own transportation and our own interests.
Then there is something further, the most important point of all-what can the government do? If a government has what it calls a fixed policy, and if it is set forth in the Speech from the Throne, let it mean something real and substantial. Let it be in the form of an order in council from the government to the Canadian National Railways to the effect that the government policy is Canadian trade over Canadian rails and through Canadian ports; that it proposes to observe the legislative enactments which I quoted briefly this evening, and that the national railways should conform as closely to that policy as it is possible and practicable for them to do. Then we would have something worth while.
I think I should say something, Mr. Speaker, in reference to this royal commission which
has been mentioned to inquire into the problems and grievances of the Maritime provinces. The people of the Maritime provinces have asked for redress. One remembers that last year a delegation of five or six hundred people came from the Maritimes asking for redress. And what does the government give them? It gives them a royal commission. Evidently the hon. member for Queens-Lunenburg is in the confidence of this government. He would seem to be the spokeman of the government on the Maritime issue, because he is the only one who has spoken on that subject. Incidentally here I would like to express my appreciation of the attitude of other members of various parties who have made sympathetic and proper reference to this matter. But the hon. member for Queens-Lunenburg says that the whole question of Maritime rights is Tory propaganda. If that be the case why does the government appoint a royal commission? Then, not content with that, the government sends another question, that of transportation, to the railway commission to deal with. There is a doubt cast on the sincerity of this whole business. The question of Maritime rights has been discussed in this House for years. It is well known what Maritime rights are. Why take up time over a matter with which everyone is acquainted? It is a loss of time; it is delay, it is sheltering behind a royal commission. If ever there was a decapitated and eviscerated government it is the one now in power. Why not do something in this matter, instead of pushing it on to a royal commission? I do not think that proposal is going to be well received. I think it is time to act. This is evidently a government of byways and hedges; it will not act; it diverts, postpones and delays matters, allowing them to be dealt with by commissions of various kinds.
But there is something I would like to refer to specifically. In the Speech from the Throne I see the word "immigration" and before taking my seat I propose to say something on that subject. The principle at the back of an immigration policy is to increase our population, either by retaining people or by encouraging others to come to our country and remain here. I believe, and of this I do not think there is any reasonable doubt, that the most efficient means we could take to increase the population of this country would be the establishment of a proper Canadian transportation policy and the application of the protective policy. With proper policies in both these directions the people would have greater inducements to remain here; the
FEBRUARY 8. 102b S3Y
The Address-Mr. Maclean (York)
want of immigration would be very much lees felt, and I believe the country then could almost look after itself. But admitting that it is proper to have an immigration policy in the usual sense, these are the points, I think, that we should bear in mind: First, the agents overseas should represent the various portions of the Dominion, and at present they do not. Those desiring to come to Canada cannot obtain the necessary information regarding those sections in which they wish to locate.
I say, therefore, that the agents overseas should represent fairly the different portions of the Dominion. Secondly, the immigration policy should be applied to the different sections of Canada in a fair and reasonable way; and it should be a part of that policy that each portion of the Dominion should receive the benefit in a way that would tend to meet the local needs and conditions. That has not been so in the past, and is not now the case. There are large sections of Canada that have not participated in the benefits and advantages of immigration although they have been entitled to their fair share of such benefits and advantages. Lastly, I would urge that the policy of immigration be so directed that the peopling of the Dominion should proceed from the populated districts onward, and newcomers should not be encouraged to go to remote points. Of course, we know that distant hills are greenest but permitting people to locate in far distant points only causes harship to themselves and results in difficulty to the railways when it becomes necessary to follow them up. The most earnest attention should be given to a policy of this character so that newcomers may be located within a comparatively 6hort distance of their fellows, and while engaged in earning their livelihood may enjoy the advantages of a certain amount of social intercourse, rather than be allowed to locate at far distant points where railway communication has not yet been provided and where they are almost completely isolated.
Mr. W. F. MACLEAN (South York):
should like for a moment or two to refer to the questions raised by the preceding speaker. I have been very much impressed by what he said. Undoubtedly the people of the Maritime provinces have a grievance in regard to transportation, but my hon. friend has not specified an immediate cure for that grievance. I have proposed a cure, not only this session but in other sessions, and that is-
If my hon. friend will
allow me, I desire to correct that statement. I have already stated in the plainest language what measures should be adopted.
Mr. MACLEAN (York):
The Address-Mr. Maclean (York)
be effected an immediate reduction of railway rates could be brought about.
Another way in which consolidation can be made still more effective is by a re-routing of the rivals into one. The engineers and the traffic managers have worked that out in every detail, and the economies that would result are so large that there would be no difficulty in carrying into effect what my hon. friend has advocated. What he wants is lower rates, rates sufficiently low to compel the traffic to go to Maritime province ports. The .way to accomplish that is first of all to carry out the economies I have described. If you do that you can achieve relief immediately. It would not take two years-indeed, it would pot take one year-to carry out such a policy that the Maritime provinces would experience great prosperity and great relief. The ports of Halifax and St. John can handle all the grain traffic we can give them. But why route our grain to American ports? Because we Canadians are such fools that we insist on wasting money, throwing it away at the rate of two hundred millions a year, when probably one-half of that sum wisely expended would build up our own ports. Let us put a stop to that extravagance. If one can read the signs of the times to-day both the two great railway companies are prepared to stop the extravagance of which I have spoken. They are willing to enter into negotiations to cut out the extravagance, and the duplications. At present they are not doing it. A royal commission is not necessary to bring about consolidation and a cutting out of the waste that exists to-day. It can be done by agreement between the managements of the two systems. When that is accomplished you will be able to re-route the traffic, reduce the charges, allow the freight to go by Canadian ports. People say that the buyers of our wheat ought to say by what route the freight shall be carried. I do not accept that. It is for the country which has spent millions and millions in building railroads in Canada to see that they carry out what was intended in the construction of the railway, namely, the development of our own country and ports.
I have every sympathy with the plea the members for the Maritime provinces place before us. Their ideas have been presented to-night in a very moderate and fair way. It is the duty of the government-not of the opposition-to do something toward the
amelioration of the conditions brought to our attention this evening, and I hope the House will give some time to this discussion, and will permit a much fuller discussion later on.
I desire to express my sympathy with the
members of the Maritime provinces in the case they present to us, which will be presented in still stronger terms by all the men who have come from the eastern section, not so much as Conservatives, but to vindicate the rights of these provinces as members of the confederation.
Mr. J. A. MACDONALD (Kings):
What did the lady pay for it?
Mr. MACDONALD (Kings):
exactly the same price as she would have paid for Canadian'butter. But the question is this: even at an equal price, why should we leave our own Canadian products on the store shelves or in the hands of the farmers -and buy something from Australia, and why should we make that condition possible by giving Australia a .preference in this market?
The lady was not in favour of the made-in-Canada programme.
Mr. MACDONALD (Kings):
That is rather evident, but that is not a cure for the evil. The cure is to do with that industry as we have done with all other industries-protect it.
We have heard a good deal about eggs, and the question has been much discussed; it came up during the campaign in Prince Edward Island. It is a very serious matter with us, because we are large producers of eggs. In March last year the Egg and Poultry Association of Prince Edward Island passed a resolution asking for an increase in the duty on eggs, to bring it to a level with the duty of the United States against us. The Egg and Poultry Association of Prince Edward Island is an absolutely non-political organization; if it were political it would not exist long. Aside altogether from their political ideas they felt the need of protection for eggs, and passed a resolution asking for it. It may be said by some people who have not looked into the question carefully that the fact that cheap United States eggs slump our prices at certain times of the year is the only difficulty we have to contend with. But that is not so, Mr. Speaker. It is not even the serious difficulty, although it is serious enough to have cheap United States storage eggs come here and smash our own market at a time when our cost of production is high. Another point that ought to be considered is this: In the spring when our production
is heavy and the people have a large surplus
of eggs to sell, they have to depend very largely on the dealer who stores them to hold them the following winter. They are the people who, in the time of heavy production, make the price. How do they make that price? They look forward to January, February and March when they can sell storage eggs. Now if there was a protection of eight cents a dozen on their eggs they could afford to pay five cents a dozen more for them for storage purposes. In that way the advantage would apply to prevent the heavy slump on the market at this time of the year and also when the production is heavy and the packing is going on in connection with the egg business.
Some time ago there was a statement by the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Motherwell) in the House as to (possible remedial measures that would be adopted if the existing condition did not soon better itself. I might also say that a banquet was held by the Produce association at the Chateau 'Laurier about the same time, which was attended by the minister. The facts of the Case were weii understood by him; it was known to him that American eggs were being sold at eighteen cents a dozen, and all the dealers at the gathering were very anxious to have a remedy applied. At the banquet in question a song was sung asking the Canadian hen to stop production so that the price might advance. The Minister of Agriculture joined in that song, but so far as I know that is the only remedial measure he has adopted up to the present time.
There are no complaints now, are there?
Mr. MACDONALD (Kings):
must have been a change in the situation very recentiy. All our farm products are about in the same position. I have simply mentioned a few to illustrate the condition we are in and why, in a general way, the protection of these products would be a benefit to us.
The government tell us that they have attempted to deal with the situation by providing better markets for us. They go to the outside world and make treaties with other countries. They go to South America, to the West Indies, and to Australia; they go as far away as they can go, forgetting to take cars of the home market; and every person who has any conception whatever of the conditions under which our products are marketed will agree that no market in the world is equal to the home market. There never was and there never will be any market as good or as stable as the home market. We have on'B
The Address-Mr. Macdonald (Kings)
to glance at the conditions to see that. If we can sell our products at our farm gate, or at the nearest village or town; if we have a consuming population in our immediate vicinity, that is the best market in which to sell. That is the market in which we get the best .price at the lowest cost. Any person who has had experience in a foreign market- for example in the West Indies or South America-knows that when you get down there, specially if you have perishable products, you are up against all kinds of condition? which are dangerous. You have the risk of having your perishable products destroyed, to say nothing of the risks of navigation, and the risk of ever getting your money back In many cases you take all these risks, and they must be reckoned with when the price is being paid for your products. 'More than that, in many cases you are up against competition with the whole world. Some years it may be all right to sell in foreign markets;
I am not objecting to them, they are good in themselves. Neither am I objecting to trade treaties if they are the right kind-that is not my point at all. Those markets are very good when the conditions are right; but there is no telling when you are liable to be swamped by the over-production of the world in certain lines and you will not be able to sell in those markets then a.t any price. On the other hand, if we have a home market, with an industrial population that will consume the larger proportion of our products, and if we have reasonable protection, then we are safe.
Now let us deal with the trade treaties. There may have been cases where they have been productive of benefit, but in other cases they have not resulted in any advantage. Take the treaty with France, which was heralded a few years ago as a wonderful achievement by the present government, as the best stroke of business any government in Canada ever did. What was the result of that, treaty? In 1923 we imported $12,000,000 worth of products from France, and in 1924 our importations amounted to eighteen million odd dollars worth. It was a very good stroke of business for France because it increased that country's sales to us by fifty per cent. When we come to look on the other side of the ledger what do we find? In 1923 we sold $14,000,000 worth of goods to France, and in the year following our sales dropped to $10,000.000 worth. Who received the benefit from, that treaty?
Mr. MACDONALD (Kings):
Of course it was France. As to the Australian treaty,
although it has only been in effect a very short time, it looks as if it would operate in the same way, although we hope for better results from that arrangement. An hon. gentleman asks me what about Italy, but I have not studied the figures in connection with our trade with that country. Now the treaty with France has had this result: Taking the figures as given in the government's own publication, we find that France last year dropped from our fifth to our thirteenth best customer. If this is the result of the trade treaties into which we enter, I hope we shall not negotiate any more of them. I do not at present know enough about the West Indies treaty to discuss it intelligently, but it will be before the House in due course, and I hope it will be shown that we have derived some practical advantage from it and that the benefits to us are not negligible as in the case of other treaties which are already in effect.
I was rather struck with a statement of the mover of the Address in reply to the Speech from the Throne (Mr. Elliott) to the effect that industry depends upon the prosperity of the farmer. In making that statement I believe my hon. friend was putting the cart before the horse. You must have population to consume your farm products. What is the use of raising farm products if there is no market for them? To
11 p.m. say that industries depend upon the farmers' prosperity is not stating the situation correctly. Farmers depend upon a population to consume the products they raise, and if they do not have that market how can they be prosperous? The exodus from this country is very largely bound up in that particular question. The sons of farmers will not, in all cases, stay on the land. Some of them do not want to be farmers, they want to enter industrial life; and if they do not find in this country the opportunity to do so, then they go to other countries where they can find that opportunity.
That is one of the reasons why our population is not increasing as rapidly as it should. We have down in the Maritime provinces, and particularly in Prince Edwnrd Island, no industries whatever in which our farmers' sons who do not wish to continue farming can engage; consequently they have to go to a foreign land. If there were more industries in Canada, say in Montreal or Toronto, or if we had industries growing up in Halifax, St. John or Sydney as rapidly as they should be growing, our boys would find work there; opportunities would be open to
The Address-Mr. Macdonald (Kings)
them nearer home and they would not be obliged to go to foreign lands. We in Prince Edward Island are hit harder in this respect than the people of other parts of Canada, because with us there is nothing but the land. We would like to see the young men, when they leave the land, remain in Canada. That is another reason why, if it is possible, protection should be given to Canadian industries to the extent of enabling them to build up and provide employment for our own people. Our young people are strong for education; they do well when they go into the professions, but the truth of the matter is that we must have an all-round country which will present opportunities for every person, and until we have such a country we will not progress as we should.
The member for South Perth (Mr. Sanderson) stated the other day that the parties were not very far apart. That is true or has been true to some extent so far as the carrying out of policies is concerned. But we find in elections that as a rule they are as far apart as the poles. I can remember the days when the Liberal party had all kinds of fiscal policies-tariff for revenue only, unrestricted reciprocity, commercial unions, free trade as it is in England, and various others. They used these at various elections until 1896, and then what happened? The government of Sir Wilfrid Laurier came into power, and naturally you would suppose that immediately, or as soon as possible, some of these policies would be put into effect. But we find that after the whole of the fourteen years of Liberal administration the general tariff of Canada was higher than it was in 1896. It is interesting to note the manner in which they carried out some of their policies. . A great deal has been said here about the tariff on agricultural implements.
I remember the way they attempted to carry out their policy in that regard. For instance take the question of the binder. In 1896 when Laurier came into power the duty on a binder was 20 per cent, and if a binder valued at $60 was brought across the line from the United States, the farmer in Canada who bought it paid $12 duty. During the first session of the Laurier government they reduced the duty to 17-4 per cent. It was not a very big reduction, but still one would suppose that the farmer would get a $1.50 advantage-2-4 per cent on $60. He was led to believe that the reduction from 20 to 17| per cent would give him at least
that advantage. But immediately after the act was passed lowering the duty, an order in council was passed providing that that binder crossing the line would be valued at $100 instead of $60. You can see the result. Instead of paying $12 duty on the binder as previously, he paid $17.50, and this clause in the Speech from the Throne to-day relating to tariff is designed in such a way that you could do just that kind of thing with it, or anything else you liked, because it does not bind the government to anything.
At what period since confederation was the policy of the Liberal party unrestricted reciprocity?
Mr. MACDONALD (Kings):
I do not think I can answer that question, but I believe it was in 1891 or 1892. I can remember the date, but I am not sure at just which election. I think it was the election of 1891.
As the hour is getting late, Mr. Speaker, I move the adjournment of the debate.
Motion agreed to and debate adjourned.
On motion of Mr. Lapointe the House adjourned at 11.05 p.m.
Tuesday, February 9, 1926