May 5, 1926

FOREST AIR PATROL


On the Orders of the Day:


PRO

George Gibson Coote

Progressive

Mr. G. G. COOTE (Macleod):

I desire to call the attention of the Minister of the Interior (Mr. Stewart, Edmonton), to the fact that I have received from High River, Alberta, numerous telegrams asking whether the aerial force patrol of Bow River and Crows-nest forest reserves is to be discontinued. Can the minister give some assurance that this service will be carried on this year?

Topic:   FOREST AIR PATROL
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LIB

Charles A. Stewart (Minister of Immigration and Colonization; Minister of Mines; Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Liberal

Hon. CHARLES STEWART (Minister of the Interior):

Yes. Perhaps it was unfortunate that any intimation should have been given that the service was to be withdrawn. Arrangements will be made for this service at High River and, in order to satisfy other gentlemen who may be perturbed, at Le Pas: In fact, wherever any service was carried on it will be continued this year.

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S11S COMMONS


The Budget-Mr. McIntosh


OCEAN RATES FOR CATTLE


On the Orders of the Day:


CON

Henry Alfred Mullins

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. H. A. MULLINS (Marquette):

May

I ask the Minister of Railways (Mr. Dunning) whether any action is being taken by the government to secure a reduction of ocean freight rates with a view to helping the cattle feeders of Canada to get to the markets of the world.

Hon. CHARLES A. DUNNING (Minister of Railways): The question my hon. friend

asks can more properly be answered another time.

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THE BUDGET

CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE


The House resumed from Tuesday, May 4, the debate on the motion of Hon. J. A. Robb (Minister of Finance) that the Speaker do now leave the chair for the House to go into committee of Ways and Means, and the proposed amendment thereto of Hon. R. J. Manion.


LIB

Cameron Ross McIntosh

Liberal

Mr. C. R. McINTOSH (North Battleford):

Mr. Speaker, last night during the course of his speech on the budget, the hon. member for South Winnipeg (Mr. Rogers) declared that in the election campaign which culminated on October 29 last, the Prime Minister of Canada (Mr. Mackenzie King) and other members of the government went through the Dominion and opposed the system of group government, and he added that after the election was over and the matter had to be settled in parliament, the ministerial party of the day took advantage of group co-operation in order to retain power. May I ask, Mr. Speaker, whether the time has come in Canada when the leader of a government or the member of a cabinet or the member of any political party may not on the hustings take a stand in support of such public opinion as he may see fit to advocate? Surely the Prime Minister was quite right in the stand he took. He felt that in doing so he was acting in the interests of the Dominion. Prior to the election he endeavoured to mould public opinion in the manner he considered conducive to the welfare of Canada, and after the people had given their verdict on October 29 he simply implemented the will of the electorate as they had expressed it. I claim, Mr. Speaker, that the course which

the Prime Minister and the government have taken is in accordance with the principles of democratic government.

The hon. member for South Winnipeg said that the income tax returns for 1924-25 showed a decrease from those of 1921-22, thereby arguing that under the present Liberal administration the credit of Canada was going to pieces. He evidently took the view that the prosperity of the Dominion was at stake. In considering an argument of that sort we must bear in mind that if the income taxpayers of Canada cannot pay their tax one year they will certainly pay in another.

Now the most important characteristic of any people is the ability to carry on, and this Dominion must go ahead in spite of odds. In 1924 by reason of the crop failure in western Canada trade conditions from coast to coast were not what they should have been. Consequently the income tax that was not paid that year would be paid in a subsequent year, and therefore the argument falls to the ground.

At the outset of his address following the presentation of the budget by the Minister of Finance, the hon. member for South Wellington (Mr. Guthrie) said:

We realize quite as fully as does the government that this country has within the past season been blessed by Providence much more abundantly than in former years; yes, most marvellously blessed have we been in the abundance of crop which this country has yielded. I believe I am within the mark when I say that Providence has blessed Canada during the past season with a wheat yield in the western provinces unsurpassed both in quality and quantity, a yield which is to-day commanding a good price in the markets of the world and this fact constitutes the most important feature of our commercial success.

The hon. member in his subsequent remarks attributed to Providence an even greater share of credit for the splendid crop in western Canada. Well, Mr. Speaker, I do not think that is altogether the correct position to take. I believe in depending upon Providence-

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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LIB

Hewitt Bostock (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

Order. In justice to the hon. gentleman who has the floor, I must ask hon. members on both sides of the House to preserve silence.

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LIB

Cameron Ross McIntosh

Liberal

Mr. McINTOSH:

I believe it is well, Mr. Speaker, to express our thankfulness to Providence for the bountiful harvest, but to give Providence the entire credit for it is, I think, a new kind of theology. I have always understood that Providence helps those who help

The Budget-Mr. McIntosh

themselves, and that we should look upon Providence as working in and through personality in order to bring about a better condition of affairs. So in respect to the splendid crop of last year I believe that Providence cooperated with the tillers of the soil. It is important always to know that we are on the side of Providence, and I think the excellent crop wras due entirely to the co-operation of the farmers of Canada with Providence and of Providence with them.

Now, if we use the same line of argument with regard to the government of the day, we must conclude that since we met here on January 7 Providence has been good to us in preserving the government intact, and we believe Providence is going to be still better to us by co-operating with us in getting through this House a crop of legislation that will be of special benefit to the people of Canada. I believe, Sir, the fact that Providence has not annihilated it is proof that Providence is working hand in hand with the government of the day.

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PRO

Agnes Campbell Macphail

Progressive

Miss MACPHAIL:

Mr. Speaker, may I

ask the hon. gentleman a question? Might it not prove that Providence is merciful?

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LIB

Cameron Ross McIntosh

Liberal

Mr. McINTOSH:

Providence is not only merciful; Providence shows mercy by the spirit of true co-operation. Consequently we have not only been able to keep together, but we have had new accessions of strength to our ranks since January 7.

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?

An hon. MEMBER:

From where?

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LIB

Cameron Ross McIntosh

Liberal

Mr. McINTOSH:

I am just coming to

that. The first accession of strength to our ministerial ranks was in the return to this House of the right hon. Prime Minister, which means that the electorate of a part of Canada has made a favourable pronouncement upon the policies of this government. The name of the right hon. leader of this party brings to one's remembrance some of the eminent Liberal leaders of the past. Our first leader after confederation was the Hon. Alexander Mackenzie, and his integrity, his honour and his reputation as one of the leading statesmen of this Dominion will not soon be forgotten by the people. During his leadership he was loyally supported by the members of the party from coast to coast. His mantle fell upon the Hon. Edward Blake, and he in his intellectual attainments and statesmanlike qualities was easily superior to any of his contemporaries. His followers gave him

unfaltering support. He was succeeded by Sir Wilfrid Laurier, who after winning the respect and support of his native province, impressed his personality upon the whole Dominion. He was Prime Minister for fifteen years, and during that time won the admiration of the empire. He brought to the leadership of the Liberal party and to the direction of the affairs of this nation a vision and a statesmanship that will enshrine his memory in the esteem and affection of Canadians for generations to come. After Sir W'ilfrid's death the mantle of liberalism fell upon the present Prime Minister and leader of the Liberal party. I need only add, Mr. Speaker, that just as the Liberals of the past stood firmly and loyally behind the eminent leaders of the party to whom I have referred, so the Liberals of to-day are going to stand enthusiastically behind our present leader. We are going to do so because we realize that he is eminent not only as a scholar and as an author, but also as a statesman, and his sympathy for and co-operation with labour has won him the respect and support of Liberals from one end of the Dominion to the other. He has given the Liberal party the highest kind of leadership, and we are only too willing to accord him our loyal aira hearty support. It seems to me that the sooner our opponents realize the intentions of the Liberal party in the House and out of it in this regard the better it will be for the public life of the Dominion.

Now, Mr. Speaker, another accession to our strength has been the return to this House of a new Minister of Railways and Canals in the person of the hon. member for Regina (Mr. Dunning). Before dealing with that point more fully I would like to refer to a statement placed on Hansard by the hon. member for North Oxford (Mr. Sutherland). It is perhaps not necessary for me to read the statement, but it was to the effect that the hon. member for Regina (Mf. Dunning) had given expression to a denial of what was given under oath in Saskatchewan during the grain investigation of 11S4. There was also another point in connection with a certain political yam which, although not true, had been repeated both inside and out of the House of Commons. In connection with the hon. member for Regina I must say that the argument of the hon. member for North Oxford was very superficial and undignified; when we are criticizing and judging public men we should be more careful. In that ar-

The Budget-Mr. McIntosh

gument the hon. member took away from the context one or two lines or sentences, and formed judgment upon that dislocated statement. That argument is not worth anything, and consequently the foundation upon which it was based is too superficial to warrant attention. I would ask the House to remember the statement of Thomas Carlyle, when considering public men. In his Life of Bums appears this statement:

The world often, yea too often, is unjust in its judgment of men-"It decides like a court of law, by dead statutes; and not positively but negatively, less on what is done right, than on what is or is not done wrong. Not the few inches of deflection from the mathematical orbit which are so easily measured but the ratio of these to the whole diameter constitutes the real aberration". . . .

Instead of measuring a public man by a few lines in a superficial way, the hon. member for North Oxford should take the whole statement made by the hon. member for Regina in order to arrive at a conclusion. The Minister of Railways, who now represents the constituency of Regina, is well known in Saskatchewan; he rose from a poor British immigrant to the position which he holds to-day. He was first secretary of a grain growers' local; from there he went to the vice presidency of the provincial grain growers' organization an$ then to the general managership of the largest grain-handling concern in the world, the Saskatchewan Cooperative Elevator system. From that position he was called to the office of treasurer of Saskatchewan, and from there to the position of premier of that province. A man who can make such progress in his own adopted province certainly has a message and an influence for Canada at large, and I believe that as the hon. member for Regina continues in his present position he will give not only direction, but support and co-operation as well, to the railway systems of the country and that support and co-operation will be reflected favourably throughout the whole country in the near future.

We have had another acquisition to the strength of this government in the person of the new Minister of Health, Minister of Labour and Minister of Soldiers' Civil ReEstablishment (Mr. Elliott). I think I am right in saying that if he continues the success already attained he will go far. The hon. member has won success in his legal profession, and also as a member of the provincial legislature; he will be a source of strength to the government of which he is now a member and will give to the depart-

[DOT] ments under his control not only the best leadership but the best ideals as well.

Then we come to the Minister of Finance (Mr. Robb), who has brought down the present budget. This budget takes one back to some of the other ministers of finance of Canada. The first finance minister was Hon. A. T. Galt, who was noted for one outstanding qualification. When a new tariff was brought into existence in 1858 and 1859, before confederation, the Colonial Secretary of the day said the tariff could not be accepted. Mr. Galt said, "That is the tariff made by the legislatures of Upper and Lower Canada; that is where we stand on fiscal matters, and on questions of taxation and tariff." So Mr. Galt stood his ground, with the result that Canada won what might be termed fiscal independence, and from that day to this the Minister of Finance, in co-operation with the cabinet and those in this House supporting that cabinet, has taken the responsibility of bringing in a budget from year to year, deciding on questions of tariff and taxation.

After Hon. Mr. Galt came Hon. Mr. Tilley, and perhaps the outstanding point about Mr. Tilley was that although he supported the national policy, he considered that if it could not show a favourable balance of trade from year to year it would not be successful. We find him taking that stand continually, but although he took that stand his contention did not work out, because from 1878 to 1896, during a period of eighteen years, in only one year was there a balance of trade in favour of Canada. That was in 1880, when the favourable trade balance amounted to about $1,500,000, but in that year the national debt was increased by roughly $9,000,000.

Following Hon. Mr. Tilley came Hon. Sir George E. Foster, and he also took the stand that from year to year there should be amendments to the tariff, proving conclusively that even under the National Policy it was impossible to have what we might call an exact tariff; it had to move up or down in accordance with the conditions of business in the country. Those who stand for a high protective policy to-day should listen to the pronouncements made by Sir George Foster in 1894. He said:

If there is to be a (protective system at all, everybody knows that it must be higher in its inception than as the years gradually pass, when industries have become established and when the industrial development of the country grows apace.

Again he said:

The time for revision has come, the time for a complete examination of the whole matter of our tariff arrangements in order that the anomalies exist-

The Budget-Mr. McIntosh

ing might tie done away with and that the tariff might be brougiht down to the existing circumstances and changed conditions not only dn Canada but in foreign countries at the present time.

There we have two pronouncements made by Sir George Foster when Finance minister of Canada, to the effect that the one idea of the National Policy at its inception in 1878 was that when industries were being established there should be a higher tariff, and as those industries got started and gained strength, the tariff should be lowered, because they would be able to compete with other industries beyond the shores of Canada. In his last pronouncement he makes the statement that from time to time downward revisions of the tariff should take place if the industrial establishments of the country were doing what they should in solidifying their business, making themselves strong, and getting ready for national and international competition.

The next Minister of Finance was the Hon. Mr. Fielding. There is one prominent fact we have to note in connection with his administration, and that is that he introduced the British preference in the year 1897. Conservatives had been mooting that question in the eighties but they did not take any action, but when the Liberals were returned to power in 1896, they immediately took action and introduced the British preference. Today that British preference is Still in existence, having been broadened out from year to year to link up the different portions of the empire.

After the Hon. Mr. Fielding, we come to the present Minister of Finance (Mr. Robb), and all we need to do in order to size up his ability as a Finance minister is to look at this year's budget. When we do that, we must come to the conclusion that we have in the Hon. Mr. Robb a man who can honourably and successfully follow the splendid Finance ministers that I have mentioned this afternoon. I am not discussing this question merely from a political standpoint. I am simply relating Mr. Robb to those who have gone before, Conservative Finance ministers and Liberal Finance ministers, because I think by doing that we put the budget discussion on a higher plane, and we give to men who have done nobly by the country in days gone by the honour that is their due.

The present budget has a few outstanding attributes. One of those outstanding attributes is that there is a surplus. This budget is a surplus or plus budget, not a deficit or minus financial statement. That is a very important thing, because if we wincT up the 14011-198

year on the wrong side of the ledger it certainly proves that as a country and as a people we are not prospering. The surplus is $33, 910,000 on government services, and there is a debt reduction of $22,353,000. Our public debt was $2,417,437,685.59 in the year 1925. In 1926 we reduced that debt by $22,000,000, and our national debt now stands at $2,395,084,685.59. The Canadian National Railways statement of earnings for the year shows $30,000,000 in excess of all operating and income charges exclusive of interest.

Another outstanding feature is that we have a favourable balance of trade. This is important because, as I showed before only once under the National Policy and Conservative administration from 1878 to 1896 was there a favourable balance of trade for the year. This year we have a favourable balance of trade amounting to $402,000,000. The total trade of Canada last year was $2,258,000,000. It is greater than the previous year by approximately $380,000,000. The total imports are greater by $130,000,000 than for the year 1924, and the total exports are greater than the preceding year by $249,000,000. Our empire trade in cattle has increased from approximately $3,000,000 in 1923 to over $11,000,000 in 1926. That is, although we have, as we heard in the House the other day some wonderful beef eaters in the city of Hamilton, we have been able to send over 100,000 cattle to the British market in the past year. There has been an increase of over 3C0 per cent in our empire shipment of cattle during the last four years.

Penny postage will be introduced on July 1st. That date is the sixtieth anniversary of Canadian confederation, and I think it is a favourable time to reduce the postage in this country from three to two cents. Not only did a Liberal government introduce penny postage, but cheap postage is an important factor in linking up one portion of the empire with another.

This budget also wipes out the receipt tax and reduces the sales tax in well defined directions. There have been certain reductions made in other duties, and certain drawbacks.

Perhaps one of the mosit important features of this budget, relatively speaking, is that since confederation we have had only eleven budgets where the national debt has been reduced. Seven of those budgets were presented by Liberal finance ministers and four by Conservative finance ministers. The debt re-

The Budget-Mr. McIntosh

ductions have been in round numbers as follows:

Under Liberal Administration

Amount of Debt

Year Reduction

1926 $22,000,000

1925 345,000

1924 36,000,000

1907 3,250,000

1904 750,000

1903 10,000,000

1900 750,000

Now what about Conservative administrations, during the time that has elapsed since confederation?

Under Conservative Administration

Amount of Debt

Year Reduction

1871 $ 500,000

1882 1.750,000

1912 125,000

1013 25,000,000

In other words, the total reductions under Conservative administration since confederation amount to $27,000,000 as compared with a total reduction of over $73,000,000 under Liberal administration, so from the standpoint of comparison with previous budgets, this one is certainly a success.

Now looking at it from another point of view there is in this budget a real touch of nationality, and that touch of nationality is found, so far as I am concerned, in the statement of the Finance minister that the British preference in the years to come shall be applied only in cases where the goods are shipped direct to Canada, where they are carried from one portion of the empire to another without any transhipment; that is when the goods are landed at any ocean, lake or river port of Canada. That is an important thing, Mr. Speaker, for the building up of inter-imperial trade, and also for giving a chance to our Maritime ports on the east and on the west. I have here a book edited by Watson Griffin. It is an epitome of industrial Canada, and I am sure my protectionist friends will not quarrel with what I read from it. I shall quote an important line or two from an article headed " Patronize Canadian Ports." This is an important question to-day for Canada, and I believe that the feeling of hon. members, no matter on what side of the House they may sit, is that as a people we ought to face and solve this question as fairly as possible; and if there are economic grievances and other difficulties before us, let us do our best as a people to meet and solve them in the interests of a greater Dominion. This writer says:

A considerable part of the export and import business of Canada comes through United States ports

in winter. This is not because Canada lacks good winter harbours of its own. It is chiefly due to the fact that the railway systems of Ontario and Quebec made connection -with United States ports before the ports of the Maritime provinces were connected with central Canada by the Intercolonial railway and because old established ports with numerous steamship lines attract business for the same reasons that the well established industries of an old manufacturing country have an advantage over the young industries of a new country.

It is as desirable that Canadian business should be done through Canadian ports as that goods for Canadian consumption should be made in Canadian factories. The business that goes through Montreal and Quebec in summer should pass through St. John and Halifax in winter. The government commission which has been appointed to study the transportation question should devote special attention to this problem. Canada cannot be commercially independent so long as our business is done through United States ports.

And then the book says further:

The best way to put an end to such threats is to do all our foreign business through Canadian ports in winter as well as in summer.

Another way would be to make the Canadian preferential tariff apply only to goods imported direct through Canadian .ports and ask the British government, in case of a preference being given to colonial products to make it apply only to goods shipped direct from colonial ports to Britain.

And then later on:

Owing to the fact that so much Canadian business goes through United States ports in winter the impression prevails in both the United Kingdom and the United States that Canada has no ice-free Atlantic ports.

And then it goes on to name ports of the Maritime provinces, such as Louisburg, Liverpool, Yarmouth, Halifax, St. John, and St. Andrews. I think the pronouncement in the budget on that subject is an important one.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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CON

Charles Hazlitt Cahan

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CAHAN:

Does my hon. friend approve of the statement he has just read with respect to doing business through Canadian ports?

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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May 5, 1926