April 26, 1926

PRO

Thomas William Bird

Progressive

Mr. BIRD:

I would not be surprised if he buys some of it; it would only be logical. Like my hon. friend from Fort William (Mr Manion) why should he not pay $40 more than he needed to pay for something just in order to help industry? Mr. Baldwin may have the same type of mind and buy his wife all kinds of lace, believing that it is better to wear lace these days than nothing at all.

Before I close, I want to discuss for a moment the cut in the income tax. This is one item in the budget that I was strongly inclined to criticize, but our friends to the right have saved me the trouble because they tell me that it is not a reduction, but simply a transference. I was afraid myself that it was a reduction, but I am satisfied if it is only a transference, and I am still more satisfied if it is transferred from those who are less capable to pay to those who are more capable. I believe that there will be some little suffering, as in all adjustments, but I would ask the hon. member for Fort William not to be too gloomy about his hypothetical widow, because, after all, she will not starve anyway; there are a good many widows in the land and there is a multitude of widows whom this will benefit.

There is this thing to be considered, that it is a blessing the income tax was not reduced if it meant that other taxes had to be increased. What would the widows have done then? What would they have done if you had taken the tax from the wealthy people and had put it on the poor people? That is the gentle art of giving more cakes and ale to Dives and less crumbs to Lazarus. I do

The Budget-Mr. Bird

not intend while I am in this House to support any attempt to reduce the income tax so long as our sales tax and our customs duties remain where they are at present. We are yet in the grip of war taxation, and the annoying thing is this, that half of our annual revenue is going every year to pay interest on our war debt. That is the irritating thing, that after our country should have sacrificed, its blood and its substance, it should find itself now these many years after the war still paying by the hundreds of millions interest upon that war debt. That is bad enough, but what would it be if our friends to the right got their way and succeeded in the next few years in foisting that burden on to the backs of the consumers and working people of this country?

I have noticed that during the last few years -I do not think it is the result of conscious action on the part of the government-that the ratio of direct taxation to indirect taxation has gradually swung over. In 1922., 67 per cent of our revenue came from consumers' taxes and only 33 per cent from direct taxation. Last year those figures had come to be SO per cent from consumers' taxes and 20 per cent from direct taxation. I do not think, Mr. Speaker, there is a civilized country in the world where such conditions obtain, where so much of the burden of running our country and of meeting our war debts is put on the shoulders of the people who are least able to bear it. And the ironical thing is that a considerable portion of the burden-bearers includes the returned soldiers. That is the place to work up a little sentiment. Now our hon. friends say: These humanitarian considerations are all right, but you are going to deplete savings, you are going to retard the accumulation of capital. I should like one of my hon. friends to show me how the extracting of a tax from income and paying it over in the interest to the bondholders is going to reduce the capital of this country: It simply means that you are taking money out of one pocket and putting it into the other. So long as we have a national debt of its present size all our revenue from income tax will be handed over immediately by the government to exactly the same people who have paid it, and thus in this transaction a great national obligation will have been fulfilled and at the same time a large measure of distributive justice achieved. I do not think that my reasoning is exactly watertight-

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Some hon. MEMBERS:

Hear, hear.

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PRO

Thomas William Bird

Progressive

Mr. BIRD:

-and I do not think my hon. friend sees where it is not. I suppose some hon. meTnber will say: If you put the tax on

consumption you would have not only the tax but the interest too for capital. Well, that seems fair, but I want to say this: If this government or any government could relieve the consumption in Canada from some of the taxes it is unjustly bearing now they will immediately increase the purchasing power of the people to such an extent that the wheels of industry will hum as never before. And that is the time when capital is created- when everybody is busy. It creates itself overnight, like Jonah's gourd. You 'often hear the doctrine that it is the savings of the wealthy that creates capital. It is no such thing: it is the hard work of the people, it is the consumer and producer that create capital. It is time that fallacy was knocked on the head, because there is nothing so misleading. What we call capital, and what our wealthy friends complacently call their savings, is after all the surplus production which is left after we have all done our best in the course of a year. A lot of those Who pride themselves on being in possession of it ought not to be in possession of it. They have got into the possession of it through no merits of their own, they have simply sat at the toll gate, and they would make it still harder for the consumer and the producer by unloading the burden of taxation on them.

Now, what are these captains of industry we hear so much about, these super-Canadians who think that every other Canadian has been created to pay tribute to them? I do not think they are so important in the body politic as they think they are, by a long way.

I know they are important. I

10 p.m. know that the ability to organize the multifarious factors of modern industry is a very necessary function, and a very remunerative one too. But the other factors are a thousand times more important. I chanced to be reading a work on economics, and I came across a delightful description of a modern captain of industry. I do not think it applies to any hon. members in this House, because they would not be here if they were not a little bit above the average. This is what it says: that the captain of industry is-

"-the type of intellect that leads unerringly to great business success-a mind moving in one dimension, without depth or breadth, but incredibly flexible and adaptable to the needs of the hour." The financier's "reputation for profundity arose from his unexpected resourcefulness; and this, in turn, was a product of a makeshift intellect. He had no definite plans, and no far-reaching vision, but he knew how to surmount obstacles as they arose. In his essential relations to life he was like a peddler on a country road, meeting people who came by, and getting the better of them."

The Budget-Mr. Bird

Again, his "career illustrates clearly the fixity of purpose which is the first law of great financial success. It is a career for the single track mind, blind to wide horizons, and bent solely on material acquisition."

. . . "They have deals, . . . but their ideals are usually naive, incredibly childish, and guided with a meritricious gaudiness. Through the control of power they are able to impose these mediocre ideals upon civilization, and thus set a standard of achievement which is unworthy of the human spirit."

That may be an overdrawn picture, but I think it is very largely true. We have gone a long, way from the time when the biggest biceps marked the superior man in society to the time of the man who happens to have some peculiar gift of cunning in his grey matter and a good nose for profit. But we have gone that distance and we have not gone very far because there is not very much to choose between the two; the principle is the same-

That they should take who have the power,

And they should keep who can.

And it is very easy for them to keep it, because until recent years they have had the assistance of the parliaments of the country. And even at the present time these same gentlemen-not all of them, but one or two of them-think that men in this House who represent the common people and who are sent here at their expense are no more or less than intruders. One hon. gentleman stood up in his place the other day and referred to them as ignorant trash or something of that kind. That is something very significant. I have been surprised at the new note that has been struck in this parliament by a certain member from Montreal. I do not recollect that ever in this House we have heard the hectoring, dictatorial tones that that gentleman sometimes see3 fit to adopt towards the group in this corner of the House. I do not know, but I think that hon. gentleman sometimes thinks he has been sent here in the fulness of time to discipline these insurgent groups that have come here for the first time in the history of this country to voice the needs of the producers of Canada. I do not know whether that gentleman has any proclivities of the Mussolinic kind, but it seems to me sometimes that he is thinking that way. I do not think that in these days our manufacturers and captains of industry can command the old-time subservient worship that they did. I do not think they can get away with those manipulations of legislation so that the producer and the consumer has to pay the expense every time. I do not think they can; I am very much mistaken if they can do it any more.

One of the supreme duties of a government in these times is to get out of the old idea that the functions of a government are to preserve life and property. We have outlived that conception of government, or at any rate we must enlarge our conception of life. We must read into that conception of our duty as a parliament a certain standard of living that every born Canadian has a right to, and we must consider it our prime duty to see that that standard of living shall be maintained, no matter who has to be sacrificed for it, because the necessities of the people should always be the first charge upon the surplus production of revenue of our country. It is the business of government so to adjust themselves that that will become their end and aim. I do not think we have reached the stage yet where there is a sufficient consensus of opinion to make that the legend on our political banners.

I do not know how true it is, but I will take it for what it is worth that this budget is not decreasing the income tax. I sincerely hope that no Liberal, no Progressive, will ever lend his support in any movement of that kind, to take off the burden of these profiteers, these men who sit at the receipt of custom, wear fine linen and fare sumptuously every day, and unload it on to our hardworking and toiling multitudes in the cities and on the prairies of this country. They will not get my support for one moment in any movement of that kind.

I want to say just a word as to my private and personal view of the attitude of western farmers as to tariff and other issues that we have to face in this House, because I think in some sections it is badly misunderstood. The pivotal fact in the attitude of mind of the western farmer towards the tariff, for instance, is the surplus that he has to market outside of this country every year. The western farmer at last has acquired a sufficient knowledge of elementary economics to know that that fact is fundamental; that that is the basis of his whole position as a producer; that he cannot add one cent to the price of his produce by taking thought or by any effort; and as a corollary, that every cent that you put on to him by way of taxation, by way of freights, transportation, by way of interest, must of necessity come not out of his profits or his dividends, because he does not know anything about that, but out of his living. He knows that it means that he must degrade his standard of living; that he must ask his wife to work harder; that he must deprive his children of some of the

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The Budget-Mr. Bird

elementary rights of Canadians. That is what it means in plain terms; that is the incontrovertible fact concerning the farmer of this country. Knowing that fundamental fact as he does, I wonder sometimes that he has not gone to greater extremes than he has when he has witnessed constant attempts to unload on to him extra costs so that by little an|d little his living has been reduced and his hardships and privations have been multiplied. 1 think the farmer of Canada-and I have known him intimately for fifteen years or more-of all classes in the community takes the most moderate, the most conciliatory attitude towards all other classes in the community. That is what I think about him in spite of all that has been said about him to the contrary.

I will tell you why the farmer, notwithstanding his stark economic position, is what he is-a law-abiding, enthusiastic Canadian. In the first place it is because he is a Canadian who will bear comparison with any other individual in the nation. Most of the farmers in my constituency are the sons of Ontario, Quebec and the Maritime provinces. Many of them are getting old now, but many years ago when conditions in the east compelled them to go out from their homes, instead of going south as the sons of the east are doing now, they went west and they laid deep and true in the west the foundations of what some day will be Canada. Those men, as I know them, have nothing but the most loyal sentiments towards their countrymen, in spite of all that has been said to the contrary. I believe, perhaps in contradistinction to the opinions of some of my colleagues, that the average western farmer does not dream and never has dreamed that protection in Canada can be wiped off the slate in a moment, or perhaps in a generation, or perhaps ever. The western farmer knows his country well enough to know that protection during a generation or two has become so embedded in our social, commercial and economic structure that it might be disastrous to take any radical and sweeping action with regard to it. In all my experience with farmers I have never heard them talk nearly so widely about free trade as I have heard hon. gentlemen in this House talk about protection. The farmers have a right to talk wildly about free trade, not only from their basic economic position, but because it has been the traditional policy of their native country for many generations.

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CON
PRO
CON
PRO

Thomas William Bird

Progressive

Mr. BIRD:

No native of the country towhich I belong ever needs to say which country he belongs to. I was proceeding to say that the Canadian farmer during all his organized history, as I have known him, has talked moderately about the fiscal question. He wants stability just as much as my hon. friends wants it, only he wants it at a somewhat lower level than they want it. The farmers want it at a sufficiently low level to enable them to live in decency with their families in their native country. That is all they want; they are not the wild-eyed fanatics that my hon. friends think they are. It takes a fanatic to see fanaticism in others.

Now, the fiscal question in Canada is not a purely economic one at all; it is a political question, having -been associated with party politics for a generation or more. For two generations now it has been a football in the politics of Canada. Parties-to change the simile-have see-sawed upon this question until the farmers have become sick of parties and have shown a disposition to be done with them. The farmers do not criticize the parties for not having gone very far in fiscal matters, and I do not think that this is what precipitated the agrarian movement in Canada. In my opinion it was something wider than that. I believe the farmers felt that so long as this game was going on, so long as the old parties were prepared to engage in this sham battle every few years to the exclusion of everything, else, the interests of agriculture would not derive very much benefit from governments. Nor have they done so. The old parties in this parliament for two generations have played this miserable game and, what is worse still, they have not played it sincerely. In fact, they have been shockingly insincere, and the manner in which they have treated the whole question is a black mark against our political history. Unfortunately, during alt these years, the people chiefly concerned have not been here to put an end to the game. While the parties have been engaging in this futile business, such problems as transportation, interest rates and other matters even more vital to the farmer than the tariff have been held in contempt. And why? Simply because the old parties-I am not speaking now about parties as presently constituted-accepting their election funds as they did, from our banks, our transportation companies

The Budget-Mr. Johnstone (Cape Breton)

and such institutions, could not do otherwise, in relation to the producers of the country, than to neglect them altogether. That is one of the reasons why the farmers of Canada are not so fanatically intent upon the tariff today; they have come to see that there are many other things that are vital to their interests.

There is one more point, w'hich I have left to the last in view of its importance. In recent years the farmer has lost interest in the fiscal question because he has caught the vision of a great co-operative effort. From [DOT]one end of Canada to the other, especially in the west, the farmer for the first time in his history has glimpsed the mighty potentialities of co-operation. As one who has been keenly interested, in a more or less detached wTay, in the prosperity of the farmers of western Canada I may say that it came to me, as it came to others, as a thrill of satisfaction and hope when we discovered one fine morning that the farmers had at last awakened to the fact that in co-operative effort there lay the solution of a great many of their problems. I believe that in the co-operative movement of the farmers at the present time there lies the germ of a new order of things in Canada. The farmers in a marvelous way have blended two elements which sometimes it has seemed impossible to reconcile-a purely visionary thing and a very practical idea. And this co-operative movement in the west, which today markets between 70 and 80 per cent of the staple products of that part of the country, is going to make itself felt in the history of Canada as nothing else has done since confederation. I am making no vain boast; it is plain to be seen by anyone who cares to recognize it. The producers of Canada for the first time in their history find themselves to-day, without the help of governments, capable of organizing their economic power and able boldly to confront other organizations which so long have exploited them. That is something which every sincere Canadian must sooner or later take notice of. I am not much concerned about the fate of parties. It would not have -worried me much if at the last election the Progressive party had sunk into oblivion.

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An hon. MEMBER:

It will the next time.

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PRO

Thomas William Bird

Progressive

Mr. BIRD:

It may, and so may the Conservative party, as it nearly did in 1921. Political fortunes are not certain at all. But ( do not care whether this happens or not. There is something more vital, more farreaching, more dynamic in the life and thought of Canadian farmers to-day than ever there was in any party in Canada,

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An hon. MEMBER:

Oh, oh.

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PRO

Thomas William Bird

Progressive

Mr. BIRD:

An hon. gentleman behind

me-I do not know who it is-prefers cachin-nation to argument, but I wish he would be courteous enough to allow me to proceed.

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CON

Arthur Edward Ross

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. ROSS (Kingston):

Order.

M. BIRD: The hon. member should admonish his own colleagues; I do not think that he himself would indulge in such childish antics. I was proceeding to tell the

House my personal belief regarding the future of Canadian farmers, who are only beginning to realize their economic power. And what difference is there in the long run between economic power and political power? Let me warn the House that however contemptuously parliament may have treated the vanguard of this new movement it will not be able so contemptuously to treat the main body when it arrives here.

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CON

Lewis Wilkieson Johnstone

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. JOHNSTONE (Cape Breton):

Mr. Speaker, I move the adjournment of the debate.

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LIB

Ernest Lapointe (Secretary of State of Canada; Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. LAPOINTE:

Go ahead.

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William Duff (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. DEPUTY SPEAKER:

It is only twenty minutes after ten.

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CON

Lewis Wilkieson Johnstone

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. L. W. JOHNSTONE (Cape Breton North-Victoria):

Mr. Speaker, I should like

to congratulate the hon. member for Long Lake (Mr. Johnston) who spoke this evening. I followed his discussion of the various governments that have held power during the last ten years. He has had peculiarly good opportunities of judging the merits of those governments, as I understand he gave valuable support to them all, and I have reached the conclusion that his judgment of the word '"wobbler" should be taken without question.

I must congratulate the Minister of Finance (Mr. Robb) on giving the country a very attractive programme. In fact I might almost term it a very fine piece of election propaganda. Still it looks as if the minister himself had forgotten a very important point -that the Maritime provinces are still in existence. One would imagine that after all the discussion which has taken place in this House on Maritime rights he would at least have remembered the name, for I am sure it. must be familiar to the ear of every hon. member. I certainly thought, Sir, the govern-

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The Budget-Mr. Johnstone (Cape Breton)

ment would have done something for the only two stable products we have in Nova Scotia, namely, coal and steel, to the continued existence of which adequate tariff protection is vital. These are two of our greatest industries, and because all things are not equal in competition where /these industries are concerned, they being subject to conditions over which this country has no control, they must be protected if they are to live and prosper. Therefore it was a disappointment to us in the Maritimes that the government failed to correct the mistake .made last year when the duty on bituminous coal was lowered three cents instead of being raised; failed to make anthracite screenings dutiable at the same rate as soft coal with which it competes, and failed also to adjust the duties on iron and steel.

I notice in the Speech from the Throne that mention was made of the prosperity this country was enjoying. I fail to see how prosperity could exist in one part of the country while destitution is prevalent in another, factories closed, our people leaving by the hundreds, a depleted population, and our country robbed of its best blood. Now, Sir, why is this? Why in a country which contains everything that goes to make up a prosperous and contented nation should such things exist? There is only one answer: something must be wrong with the government of the country. And who is responsible for the mismanagement? The government that rules the country. The policy of the government must be wrong and the personnel of that government is incapable of appreciating the wants of the people.

Three things to my mind are necessary: Stop the stream of our raw materials going into other countries and allow such imports to come into Canada as can be used by our own people in increasing industries and the manufacture of the finished articles. That'is the only way to keep our people at home- put a duty on all foreign goods that come into Canada to compete with our own natural products, our industries and our manufactures. Now, why should we allow our raw materials to go into other lands, in many instances to be returned to us as the finished article, the labourers often being our own people, perhaps the sons and daughters of the men who helped to send the material out of the country. I could refer in this connection to pulp wood, minerals, and so on; why not use those products at home?

The flow of emigration must be prevented, and the best immigration policy that I know

of is protection. We are exporting the best asset that Canada can produce-our sons and daughters-educated at the expense of the Canadian taxpayer, giving their brains and brawn to a foreign country. How can we stop this flow of emigration? By simply making our country more attractive to our own people, passing legislation that will in many instances appeal to our young people, establishing industries and manufacturing centres, thus giving them work and building Canada up.

We have got within our own borders everything to work with. A bountiful Providence has dealt well with us in giving us a beautiful country and endowing us with an immense natural wealth, much of which has not yet been developed. But to take full advantage of this great heritage we need government help and encouragement. Think of the rich mineral deposits of all kinds not yet touched by the hands of man. Now, Sir, we want the government to understand that Canada is not entirely dependent upon other nations. England was until recently the greatest cotton manufacturer in the world but she grows no cotton; the greatest woollen manufacturer, but she imports most of her wool. Ireland imports most of her flax, and yet it is a great linen manufacturing country. The United States manufactures 70 per cent of all silks in the world, but she grows no raw silk; she is the greatest rubber manufacturer, but grows no rubber; the greatest manufacturer of asbestos, nickel and sugar, but all the asbestos and nickel come from Canada and all the sugar from Cuba. She lets this raw material in free and places a duty on the finished article. She can dictate her own ways and means because she does so behind a high tariff wall. All the articles mentioned are just as available to Canada's factories and consumers; all we have to do is to allow them in free and protect the finished article. In that way we could have large industrial centres which would give work to our young men. Then agricultural conditions would improve, and our farmers would have a large market for their produce. I know in Cape Breton we have a beautiful farming district entirely dependent upon our coal and steel industry.

Now, Mr. Speaker, as I have said, what we want to do is to have a strong government, with a solid, stable policy, a government that the people of Canada would have confidence in, not such a government as this, with a different policy for each province, but a government under the leadership of the present leader of the opposition (Mr. Meighen), wdio has so definitely laid his policy

The Budget

Mr. Johnstone (Cape Breton)

on the table. There is no use in fighting 110,000,000 people with 9,000,000 unless we have something to fight with; and that something, Mr. Speaker, is a strong protective policy. Every country in the world, with few exceptions, is for protection. Even England, the great free trade nation, is talking protection. The United States was built up under it. I am a protectionist by conviction.

I well remember the first political speech I ever heard; it was on protection, in the year 1878, when Sir Charles Tupper-then Dr. Tupper-first formulated the great National Policy. I think I am safe in saying it was his first speech on the subject. He spoke in the town of Sydney-now the city of Sydney. At that time there was great destitution in Cape Breton. Hon. Alexander Mackenzie's government was in power. My hon. friend from Long Lake (Mr. Johnston) this afternoon stated that history did repeat itself. Let me remind him that on this occasion it did not. The people appealed to the government, and the government sent down food, a great deal of it being corn meal. To this day the old people there speak of that government as the "corn meal" government. But, Sir, in 1925 when the same class of people asked this government for relief they were turned down. Sir Charles Tupper in 1878 spoke from a platform in a field, part of an uncultivated farm, with very few houses in the district. There was only a wooden pier extending into the harbour, with a few fishing vessels at anchor. Sir Charles Tupper predicted the time would come when instead of one wooden pier there would be six steel piers; when instead of wooden vessels there would be iron and steel steamships made of steel manufactured in our own country. At that time there were no mines working on the southern side and only one on the northern part of the island. Sir Charles Tupper lived to see his prophecy fulfilled: steel piers, steel ships, important ' steel and coal industries, and flourishing towns. In a word, the district became prosperous.

The duty on all coal in 1879, regardless of size or quality, was 50 cents per ton, but a year later it was raised on bituminous coal to 60 cents per ton. In 1887 anthracite, Which is not produced in Canada in any great quantity and which is essentially a household coal, was put on the free list. It was not until 1897 that soft coal was rated at 53 cents, and I am sorry to say that it was a Nova Scotian-a gentleman who is held in the greatest respect by the whole country-who first made the change and reduction.

I believe in protection-I do not mean high protection ali round, but I do mean a protection that will prevent Canada from becoming the dumping ground for foreign goods. I want, Mr. Speaker, a national policy all over Canada so that the east can do business with the west; and all Canada should unite together in working for one common cause, namely the uplifting and building up of our country, taking her out of the rut into which she has fallen.

I believe immigration is the principal ques-1 tion to-day; the greater the number of people who go away the harder it is to keep our country up. Look at our closed industries, our vacant farms, the amount of head money spent in the last number of years, and it seems little surprising to me, Mr. Speaker, to find that although there is said to be great unemployment in the United States, our men and women always find something to do. Of course, brains and education will tell, and our American friends readily appreciate our skilled labour, no matter where it comes from. Our Canadians are not afraid of work, and when they cannot get it at home they have to go abroad for it. But, Sir, does it not mean something that there should be this great gathering of our best brains and muscle in another country? I do certainly think that the government are not taking this matter seriously enough; they seem to shut their eyes to the fact of immigration. It is time, Sir, to sit up and think; the leaders of our country should take this problem seriously into consideration and in some way try to solve it.

I wonder what would happen if such a thing as secession took a start? I hope that such a thing will never be seriously considered, but we cannot shut our eyes to the fact that it ha* been freely spoken of. We must remember that there is hardly a family in Nova Scotia -and I am speaking of that province alone just now-that has not one or more sons or daughters in the United States, and if a vote were taken to-day, or ten years hence, would it not have a bearing on the question? The fact that so many of our race are over there might be the means of blending the family together; even to-day I know of several instances where young men and women have sent for their parents to join them on the other side. Mr. Speaker, this whole problem of immigration should be well considered; surely there are men in Canada who can solve it and save our country before it is too late.

I am sorry the government did not go into the protection question a little more; it may

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The Budget-Mr. Johnstone (Cape Breton)

be that they left it to the tariff commission to deal with. We in our province want more protection on coal and steel. The transportation difficulty should also be rectified. Our coal mines down by the sea have the right of way in the summer through the St. Lawrence, but our navigation closes about December 1. Then our mines must be idle, because the rates on the people's railway are prohibitive and no work of any kind takes place, the result in many cases being misery and destitution for six months. Surely, Sir, we in the east are entitled to fair play at the hands of the railway people. Our steel should be protected, because when the steel works are running we have a market for our coal, but now foreign steel products are coming into Canada cheaper than they can be made in Sydney or landed in Montreal. With our steel works protected and working full time, and our mines doing the same, just think what a change would take place. The farmers would have a market; they would be encouraged; business would look up, and the effect would be felt all over the province. Then why, Mr. Speaker, should we not have these things? We are part of Canada; why deny us our rights? At present we use about 80 per cent of our own farm products. If we shut out the United States farm products, as they have done to ours, and promote our own industrial products, we could consume at home the other 20 per cent of our own farm products; we could sell at Canadian prices instead of at the world's prices, and put our farmers on a better basis. Exporting our products forces us to low prices.

Agriculture is one of our mainstays. The American tariff is prohibitive except as concerns raw materials, which Canada would be wiser to keep, or ship out in the finished state. Our farmers and fishermen have been turned out of the American market and our industries were never allowed in. On the other hand, American farm products, fishermen, industries and minerals are welcomed with almost open arms.

On the question of protection I would like to repeat what the president of the Steel Company of Canada said at the annual meeting of that company:

Canadian products show an increase of less than per cent in fifteen years, while in the United States the increase has been 75 per cent. Canada's imports in recent years have almost equalled the tonnage of the Canadian output. We can never hold up Canada and pay Canadian wages by buying our requirements from foreign factories. We can only develop Canada by developing our Canadian industries.

When the United States was buying her steel in Great Britain, Lincoln said:

If we buy steel in a foreign country, you get the steel and the foreign country gets the money, but if you buy steel at home, you have in your own country both steel and money.

I would like now, Mr. Speaker, to quote from Haliburton on Intercolonial Trade; Our Only Safeguard Against Disunion. This was written in 1867; it is ancient history but very interesting, and I would like to show the similarity between affairs as they existed then and those existing to-day. He says:

Nova Scotia having already become familiar with this foreign trade, Halifax must become the entrepot for the outlet of our produotions, which must be sent by the St. Lawrence via Pictou to Halifax during the summer, and in winter by the Intercolonial Railway. But to make the trade profitable, we must reduce fre ghts to the lowest possible point, and this can only be effected by providing a remunerative return freight. The only return freight which can be sent is coal, and even if the price of fuel were increased by the imposition of a similar duty to that imposed by the United States, it would be amply repaid by its reducing freights, and ihence enhancing the value of the flour and other products and manufactures of the west. It is necessary, if for no other purpose, in order to create a large trade without delay, and to get us into a new groove. It is necessary for the cheap transport of the productions of Canada to the seaboard, which will have to be as low as possible in order to enable them to compete abroad with the cheaply carried products of the United States. It is necessary in order to render the Dominion independent of the United States in the all important matters of fuel, and to prevent the serious consequences which the sudden stoppage of our supply in the autumn might entail upon us. It is necessary, in order that Ontario and Quebec, instead of strengthening the hands of those who are endeavouring to crush the coal interests of the Dominion, .may teach them some of the fruits of their own policy, and convert them into advocates of more rational measures. It is necessary, to prevent the Americans from starving the Nova Scotians into annexation. It is necessary, to promote intercolonial trade; but above all it is necessary, in order to unite the people of the Dominion by the only bond that can endure-'that of common interests and commercial sympathy.

In addition to these considerations, there are others which are, at the present juncture, of equal moment to us. I have hitherto avoided dealing with this subject in a sectional or local point of view, but knowing , as I do the serious disaffection which exists in Nova Scotia, I believe that the imposition of a duty on American coals, similar to that which is levied on ours, will cut the ground from under the feet of agitators, who represent the Dominion government as indifferent to our maritime and mining interests, and watchful only of the welfare of the two great provinces that hold the reins of power in their hands. That prompt action in this matter, and a desire to sacrifice everything for the general interests of tfte Dominion, will in time soothe the alarm that has been excited in Nova Scotia, and the prejudices that have been aroused, we cannot doubt. Looking at the matter from their point of view, we cannot be surprised at their indignation, nor should we condemn that spirit of independence which they have exhibited, without which no people are fit' for self-government. The day will yet come, we must hope, when they will contend with equal vigour and earnestness for the permanence and per-

The Budget-Mr. Fish

petuity of the New Dominion. As matters now stand, assuming their views to be correct, the fate of Nova Scotia has no parallel except that of afflicted Job. She has had her coal trade and her market for her fish and other products cut off, and her wordly possessions depreciated. Political Sabaeans have robbed her of her birthright, and the cup of affliction is filled up by the conduct of ungrateful friends. It is possible also that the parallel may go a little further and that the evils have been aggravated by the temptations of an agitator, who exaggerates her calamities, and endeavours to make patience an impossibility.

I have read that, Mr. Speaker, because I thought it had a bearing on the case.

In conclusion, I would ask the government to consider these matters either after or before they have the tariff commission's report. There are three ways to improve the situation in the Maritimes: First, by an increased duty on coal and steel so that our people can be kept at home; secondly, by the establishment of coke ovens to take our coal, encouraging, by also imposing a duty, the use of coke to take the place of the outside anthracite that is coming into Canada. I firmly believe that our people can be educated to the use of coke instead of anthracite -I am speaking on the authority of those who have used both-and in that way we would be helping each other and working for a common cause, namely, the building up of Canada for Canadians. The third point is transportation. As I said before, we should have cheaper rates on our railways so that our coal could be shipped in the winter months and our mines be kept working, instead of lying idle for several months. We should work shoulder to shoulder in these things, so that Canada may take the place the Fathers of Confederation intended she should take, that of the brightest gem in the crown of that great empire upon whose flag the sun never sets.

Topic:   EDITION
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CON

Charles Elijah Fish

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. C. E. FISH (Northumberland, N.B.):

Mr. Speaker, the budget which is now before us opens up a field for very wide discussion; at least, I judge so from what I have heard since its presentation to the House. I cannot say, in fact the House would not expect me to say, that I entirely acquiesce in all the proposals contained therein. I am not so sure that even hon. gentlemen sitting on the other side of the House, if they were to make an investigation as to our country's ability to stand the reductions now proposed, would find that the country could afford these reductions. In view of our enormous debt and the very little we have done towards reducing our war debt since the conclusion of the war, we can hardly make the reductions 14011-180

now proposed without a need for additional taxation cropping up somewhere else.

I also want to state that I am not one of those who believe in these special taxes.

I like to see them thrown out. I believe the source from which we should obtain most of our taxes, in fact, practically all of them, is the revenue tariff. I believe that is the most equitable method of taxation, because it gives every man a fair chance. The man who wants to be economical can go without certain classes of goods that are taxable; he need not buy them, and then he does not have to pay any revenue in that way, and as for those who can afford to buy these goods, they get good value for their money. That is why I believe the tariff is the proper source of raising taxation. The tariff, if it is put on for the purpose of raising revenue, is not protection, according to my idea. Protection is the protecting of an industry against the inroads being made upon it from outside countries. You protect it so that it may survive, and I believe industry is entitled to protection for a certain length of time. My ideas of protection run back a very long way. It was my fortune to be sitting in this House in 1878. When Sir Charles Tupper introduced the National Policy I was sitting in the Speaker's gallery, and from that day down to the present I have been a consistent protectionist.

I remember very well the time before confederation when we had a reciprocity treaty with the United States. Older Canada enjoyed the privilege of reciprocity with the United States for a period of ten years. During that time the Americans unfortunately were engaged in a civil war, and due to protection and the extra money that was in circulation at that period, we had most excellent times in older Canada. That, of course, was to be expected. We can always account for good times by one of two causes; either some great expenditure is being made, or we have good crops. That has been the rule, according to my observation, as far back as I can remember.

Prior to confederation we in the Maritime provinces had to depend almost entirely on the United States as a market, and for reasons with which most hon. members are familiar, we were quite intimate with the Americans in those days, practically our whole trade being with the New England states. But at the close of the American civil war that reciprocity treaty was annulled by the American government. Two reasons were given for that. One was that the Americans had discovered that we were too intimate with the Mother

The Budget-Mr. Fish

Country; but that reason was disputed. The other reason, and I believe the true one, was that the Americans had discovered that in the ten years during which the reciprocity treaty was in force we in Canada had escaped paying them somewhere in the neighbourhood of forty-five or fifty million dollars, and they decided that that would be quite a good sum to help them in their difficulties and in paying off their debt. The treaty, therefore, was cancelled. Then came dire times for us in the Maritimes, and that was equally true I think of older Canada. At any rate, we set out to get a market for ourselves, and while we were exploring in that direction confederation came on the horizon. Just as we were on the eve of arriving at a conclusion with regard to securing a market for ourselves, the older provinces came down to us and induced us to enter confederation.

I remember very well the election that took place after that. The slogan was: The great Quebec scheme-because it originated, I believe, in the convention that was held in Quebec. When we accepted that proposal offers were made to us that I do not think have been carried out. I will not touch further on the subject-it will come up later in the session -but it brought us to the position where we had to abandon a great deal of our trade and our methods of doing business down there. At that time about five thousand of our seagoing vessels were registered in the Maritime provinces, and we had some twenty-five thousand seagoing men. To-day we have neither. At any rate the seagoing vessels are very few, and the number of sailors is almost nil. I merely mention these facts to illustrate the sacrifice we made when we abandoned our trade channels and went into confederation.

Reference has been made to the word "secession" a number of times during this session. Now, down in the Maritime provinces the majority of the people are not aware what the word used in that sense, signifies. It does not and never did mean disloyalty to the British flag; it means we thought there were other ways in which we could improve our trade than by hanging on to confederation. That was all that secession meant in the Maritime provinces.

When confederation was inaugurated the Conservative party were in power. For sixty per cent of the time which has since elasped they have held the reins of power, the Liberals having been in office the remaining forty per cent. The Conservative party may regard with disdain the imputations cast at them across the floor of the House, because their record is to be found in the history of Can-

ada and it is one of progress and achievement. From the beginning of confederation the Conservative party took hold of the development of our railways. They built the Intercolonial, they bought out the Hudson's Bay Company, they constructed the Canadian Pacific. Some trouble then occurred and the Liberals came into power, and Canada had four or five years of the bluest time the country ever experienced; there never was any experience equal to it either before or since. Once more the Conservatives were returned to power, and the National Policy was adopted, which policy has been in force to a greater or lesser degree ever since. Although the Liberals under Sir Wilfrid Laurier governed Canada for fifteen years they never interfered with the National Policy. I do not think they improved it very much; whenever they acted they departed from its principles. I believe that if the policy of the Conservative party had been strictly adhered to the country would have been farther on the road to prosperity than it is to-day.

May I be permitted to say that the Conservative party have no idea of introducing legislation that would strangle or injure any branch of industry? The idea that anything of the kind is contemplated is a great mistake. They do believe, however, that if an industry can be improved by granting it protection that course should be followed. Other countries believe in the policy of protection after trying it out-the United States for example. In the country to the south they do not take very long to decide what is best to do in regard to any industry. Whenever an industry is found to be in need of protection they extend protection immediately. That is

11 p.m. what the Conservatives propose to do in this country. Of recent years a new element, the Progressives, have entered the public life of Canada. Their idea seems to be that the farming interests shall be exempt from taxation of all kinds. I do not know where the revenue would be obtained if such a policy were carried into effect. Putting selfishness altogether to one side, I do not think they have very much to complain of. I wonder what our Progressive friends would do if they were in the same position as the original settlers of the Maritime provinces. Those people did not ride in Pullman cars into a land flowing with milk and honey; they came to the promised land by water, and they were obliged to locate upon the banks of streams. At first they could not go inland because there were no roads and no way of getting them. They had to settle down where they landed, and go to work. None of the

The Budget-Mr. Fish

blessings of paternalism were available for them; they had to stick there and work hard. It was a case of "root hog or die"; nothing else for them to do but win or lose. The farmers in the west have not had to meet the hard conditions such as the old pioneers in the lower provinces had to overcome. They have a fertile soil and they have had much encouragement in carrying on their occupation.

I do not for the life of me see why they want to interfere with the manufacturing industries of the country. We cannot get along without manufacturing, and the farmers themselves would be very much better off if manufacturing in Canada were carried on to a greater extent than it is. Take the woollen industry for example. What do our farmers get out of wool? They go to all the trouble of raising sheep, and doing all the hard work incidental thereto and they receive thirty-five or forty cents a pound for the wool of a pelt. Altogether they

probably benefit to the extent of $2; they put this in their pocket and go home and think they have done well out of the transaction. On the other hand if the conditions were such that that wool could be manufactured in this country, instead of their getting only $2 the country would probably benefit to the extent of $12 to $14. It reminds me very much of a contractor I once knew whose occupation was sawing wood. His plant consisted of a woodhorse and a crosscut saw, and two men working for him. He took a contract to saw a pile of wood for 111. The men's wages amounted to $10.40 and when he was paid off he only received sixty cents for himself. He asked if that was all that was coming to him and received a reply in the affirmative. When receiving that information he said that it didn't matter, that he had bossed the job anyway. If you go into a store and purchase a blanket you have to pay $8 or $9 for it. For the wool used in the manufacture of the blanket the farmer only receives $2.80. Would it not be much better for him if the $8 or $9 which that blanket costs represented money spent on its manufacture in this country? To manufacture a ton of wool would mean employment for 60 men for about a month. Surely it would be much better in the interests of all concerned that that wool should be manufactured in Canada than that it should be shipped to some other country and manufactured. And the same argument applies to many of our natural products.

The farmer is always complaining about the price he gets for his wheat, setting up the 14011-1801

claim that agriculture is the basis of production. Well, wheat is a commodity that can take care of itself. It is a pretty sure crop provided the weather conditions are all right. When we try to export our wheat to the United States we are up against a duty of 42 cents a bushel. There is no question but that the Yankees are enterprising; and I have to admire them for that quality. They import our wheat, mill it and their government refunds 41 cents. I do not believe the United States can increase their output of wheat much more than they have 'been doing during the last few years, and their population is increasing so rapidly that I believe they will be one of our best customers in a very short time. There is no need to worry about our wheat; ah our farmers need to do is to grow more and more of it and they will find a market for it. I think the same thing may be said in regard to all our agricultural products.

We must however try not to let our people be imposed upon. Our farmers are being imposed upon now in regard to the idea of letting Australian butter come into this country, and they cannot see it. Last winter our farmers in the Maritime provinces got as much as sixty cents a pound for their butter, but this year the buyers are very independent and the price does not come within fifteen cents of that. The buyers say: We will not give any more; there is plenty of butter in Canada. These importations of Australian butter have made our market a big one; we have our own butter and the Australian butter together, and this influences the buyers so that they are quite independent and do not care whether they buy from our farmers or not. Notwithstanding all the quotations about the price of butter in Montreal and Ottawa where, in my opinion, it ought to be cheaper than anywhere else in the Dominion, in the Maritime provinces last year we were getting from sixty to sixty-five cents a pound for butter and to-day we cannot get more than forty to forty-five cents. That is the effect that the importation of Australian butter has had upon us.

Our friends the farmers would do better if they would give up the idea of free trade. It was played out long ago; it is moth eaten, and the proof of that can be seen just by looking around. England is the mother and home of free trade and there are reasons why she is so. Situated as she is with her marine, she can go all over the world, gather the raw products everywhere, bring them home and manufacture them. But she is now having a hard time to continue doing that and within

The Budget-Mr. Fish

a very few years she will be protectionist as much as any other country. In fact she is that now. When the Labour government came into power in England automobiles were entering that country under a preferential tariff, but our friends the Labour government over there immediately cancelled that. We continued sending automobiles to England and were doing a good business, but when the present government took office they restored the tariff and what has been the result? Today in England they are manufacturing cars better and cheaper than we can make them, and although Mr. Ford's car had the call on their market at that time, 'he does not have it now. When the present government in England put a tariff on automobiles and protected that industry, the automobile manufacturers there went to work and produced a better car and they are selling a cheaper car there to-day than we can manufacture.

Of course, the great question is protection, and until that is finally settled in Canada I do not know that we shall ever get any further ahead than we are. Looking back over the time since I first began to pay attention to politics-which is as far back as I can remember, because I have practically always taken an interest in public affairs,-I think something must be done in order that this country may progress as rapidly as it should. Why is it that with the unlimited natural resources we have we are practically marking time? I am not prepared' to lay down a policy for the country, but from the success that other countries have won through protection I think we also ought to be able to gain something by it.

This meddling with the tariff will never get us anywhere. The delegation that came to Ottawa the other day is only one instance of what might come from several other sources under similar conditions. Those people who came here were really more than simply a crowd of people coming and going away again. They did not buy tickets to come down here merely for the sake of making a show; there was something more than that at the bottom of their visit. They must have seen that the wolf was at their heels, or was likely to be there, and I think far more attention should have been given to their case than was given. The proposed reduction in the tariff on automobiles certainly means that many of these people will be deprived of a living. We are always preaching in this country about the necessity for a good, decent living, about our advancing civilization, and so on, but when such a stab is given to this industry as this House has given or will give,

fMr, Fish.l

it is time for us to sit up and see what we are doing. The automobile industry was going along very quietly and nicely; large numbers of fine, respectable men and women were employed in it, living in contentment; and without any warning whatever consternation is thrown into their camp. What do we find? We had an exhibition of what the result was in their coming to Ottawa to see us. When that industry was going along as it was, why should we not have let it continue and have a chance to breathe?

These reductions are .being made simply because somebody wants to get an automobile cheaply. I am not in the automobile class and I do not expect I ever shall be; indeed, I think there are already too many automobiles in the country. A very respectable old gentleman and a very wealthy farmer was here last fall and I said to him: "Where is your automobile?" He said: "I sold it;

I had to sell either the automobile or the farm. It took all the money the wife could make in butter, milk and eggs to pay for gas and tires. Worse than that, last year I lost about half my crop through gadding around the country, and the best thing I could do was to sell either the farm or the automobile, so I sold the automobile." I think we are better off without these automobiles, with people joy-riding and running around] the country morning, noon and night, and dear knows what is going on. The automobile is really a luxury; no one can prove to me that it is a necessity. People can get around in some other way than by owning an automobile, which is a very expensive toy. These automobiles were bringing a fine revenue to the country, and we should let gentlemen who can afford to buy them either pay for them, or stay at home, or go on foot.

As regards the hydro developments in our province, we have a proposition that I think hon. members from Quebec and Ontario ought to foe familiar with so that they will understand that they have not the prospects of any greater power than we shall have down there. It is proposed to harness the bay of Fundy tides. This is something new in the way of developing power, and I think later on this question may come up in the House when we shall have an opportunity of discussing it. In the meantime I want to remind hon. members that there is a possibility of developing a power there that will far exceed anything in Ontario and Quebec, not excepting the Niagara falls. It is a power which may be depended on at all times irrespective of rainfall or snow; it goes on continuously with the rise and fall of the tide.

The Governor Generalship

I thank you, Mr. Speaker, for the patient attention with which you have followed1 my remarks, though I have not said all that I should like to have said.

On motion of Mr. King (Kootenay) the debate was adjourned.

On motion of Mr. Lapointe the House adjourned at 11.10 p.m.

Tuesday, April 27, 1926.

Topic:   EDITION
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April 26, 1926