May 7, 1926

CON

Peter McGibbon

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. McGIBBON:

He should have.

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

Thomas F. Donnelly

Liberal

Mr. DONNELLY:

My hon. friend made

the comparison between Winnipeg and Minneapolis.

The Budget-Mr. Donnelly

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

Peter McGibbon

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. McGIBBON:

I submit that my hon.

friend's argument is fallacious unless he gives those figures.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
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Sub-subtopic:   FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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LIB

Thomas F. Donnelly

Liberal

Mr. DONNELLY:

I shall be happy to

furnish them to my hon. friend if he will come to my room.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
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Sub-subtopic:   FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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CON

Peter McGibbon

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. McGIBBON:

If the hon. gentleman

quoted those figures he would find his argument would not hold.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
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LIB

Thomas F. Donnelly

Liberal

Mr. DONNELLY:

I think I have shown,

Mr. Speaker, from these figures that the duty has nothing whatever to do with the price of wheat when we have an exportable surplus. It is simply a case of the working of the law of supply and demand, that is all. Wheat is a world commodity, and the price is governed by the world's market. The same is true of any article which meets world competition and of which we have an exportable surplus; we cannot enhance its price by placing a tariff duty on it.

I wish to take issue with the hon. member for East Algoma (Mr. Nicholson) on a couple of other points. He tells us that he was out in the west for some time and he found Minneapolis and St. Paul were thriving and people were flocking into the surrounding country. He contrasted this condition of affairs with our western country, which was not increasing in population, and he expressed the view that if we would only put on a protective tariff our country would go ahead and our cities would be built up. In reply to those statements I. would like to read an article taken from the Morning Chronicle of Halifax, under date of May 5:

Speaking in the House on April 23, 1926 (See unrevised Hansard, ipage 2863-column 2), Mr. G. B. Nicholson used these words:

''Why is it that while the two cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul have been adding a million to their papulation and furnishing a market for the people in the northern and northwestern states, the cities of Winnipeg, Brandon, Moose Jaw, Regina, Saskatoon, Prince Albert, Edmonton and Calgary have added less than 100,000"

He then goes on to attribute this marvellous increase in the United States to the policy of protection.

The last census of Canada was in 1921. The American census was taken in 1920. The American census figures give the population of these two cities as follows:-

1910 1920 Increase

Minneapolis

301,408 380,528 79,174st- Paul

214,744 234,698 19,954Total

516,152 615,280 99,128

These are the facts, verify them if you care to do so. The Twin Cities could not have increased their population because their combined population is only 615,280. The increase during the census period was less than 100,000.

Now for the next step. St. Paul and Minneapolis are much older cities than Winnipeg. Population adds population. Because births are a factor in increase of population a city of 300,000 adds more to its poipula-

tion in a year than a city of 100,000. Winnipeg's population in 1910 was 136,035 in 1920 it was 179,087 an increase of 43,052. The United States in 1910 had eight cities with population ranging from 125,000 to 150,000. That is they were then comparable in population with Winnipeg, Only three show a greater increase than Winnipeg-they are Richmond, Virginia, Birmingham, Alabama (in these the increase is only slightly greater than Winnipeg) and Omaha, Nebraska -the latter increased in the census period named 67,505 that ,was the greatest of any city of its class. Meanwhile the northwestern statee which according to Mr. Nicholson felt the life giving impulse of protection increased in population in the ten years 295,311. (This includes North Dakota, South Dakota and Montana). Our three prairie provinces increased 627,961. So much for that section of Mr. Nicholson's story.

This, I think, sufficiently answers the question of what protection has done for the cities of the northern and northwestern United States, as compared with our own western cities. Then the hon. member for East Algoma (Mr. Nicholson) proceeded, at page 2756 of Hansard, to say that the western farmers must raise cattle, hogs, sheep, and other animals of this kind, predicting blue ruin if they continued the raising of wheat only as they have been doing. The hon. member for Toronto Northeast (Mr. Baker) said the same thing last night, and let me tell these gentlemen that this is an old cry in western Canada; we have heard it for the last twenty years. I have been living in western Canada for the past twenty-two years, and though we have raised enormous crops during that time, our supply of wheat has never been in excess of the needs of the world. We have always had a market for our wheat; sometimes it did not pay as much as we would have liked, but we have always found a market. The western farmer is disgusted with eastern bankers, railroad men, lumber men and business men of every kind who ride through western Canada on the back end of a Pullman, spending two or three weeks there, then return east to write an article telling him how to run his farm. He is sick of that idea. What would the eastern business man think if the western farmer came here and went to the bush, the mine or the bank and told him how to run his business?

Topic:   THE BUDGET
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Sub-subtopic:   FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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?

An hon. MEMBER:

Is not that what,

they are doing?

M,r. DONNELLY: Let me tell hon. gentlemen that I have been farming in western Canada for the past twenty years, and I would hesitate to go to any one section and tell the farmer there how to work his land. Different sections of the country require different treatment; some are good for raising;

The Budget-Mr. Donnelly

wheat, others for oats and other products, while some districts are suited to the raising of cattle. One part of the country is not exactly the same as another.

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

Peter McGibbon

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. McGIBBON:

May I ask a question?

Topic:   THE BUDGET
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Sub-subtopic:   FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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LIB

Thomas F. Donnelly

Liberal

Mr. DONNELLY:

Just a moment till I get through. I know the hon. member wants to ask something; I can see it in his eye. Just keep cool and swallow this. As I have already said, while I think I know farming fairly well, having farmed in three different sections of Saskatchewan, I would hesitate to tell any farmer how to work his land. I believe we are here to look after the financial interests of this country, and not to dictate how the mines or stores or farms should be worked. If we look after our financial interests and leave the farmer alone, giving him a square deal, he will look after himself.

We have been told that this government has done nothing to assist the farmers in the west, and that our better times have come about through the workings of Providence. I do not think that statement is true. I know the government have helped western Canada by legislation, and I wish to refer to just one thing in order to show what has been done in my own constituency. I point to the retention of the Crowsnest pass agreement, which has meant millions of dollars to the people in my constituency. We ship out of the constituency of Willow Bunch from twenty-five to thirty million bushels of wheat each year, and the retention of this Crowsnest pass agreement has meant a saving of from 5 cents to 6 cents per bushel, or an average of at least 54 cents. Multiply that out; it is only a short example in arithmetic, and you will see that each year this has meant a saving in my constituency alone of from $1,000,000 to $1,500,000. And yet hon. gentlemen say this government have done nothing for the western farmers. Go to the people in my constituency and tell them that, and see what they say.

The improved condition of the country, especially in western Canada, is due, I claim, not only to Providence, but to some of the legislation to which I have referred which the government has put into effect during the past few years. But there is another factor which has helped to improve conditions. The farmers themselves of western Canada deserve some credit for the restoration of better times in Canada. I believe that the people of the Maritime provinces might do well to copy the example of the western farmers in this respect; it might help to better their condition. The farmers of western Canada faced their own problems

when they were up against hard times. By co-operative marketing, and by adopting better methods of agriculture, they have reconstructed their financial condition and rehabilitated to an amazing extent the agricultural industry. While the Canadian manufacturer has stood hat in hand asking the government for a handout, the western farmer has been helping himself. The western farmer may truly say, I think, to the manufacturing industry: We have saved ourselves by our own efforts; perhaps we may be permitted to save our manufacturing enterprises by the example we have given them in self-help and co-operative efficiency.

Let me refer for a moment to this great system of co-operation which we have formed in western Canada, known as the wheat pool. I believe the wheat pool has placed western Canada in a better financial condition and on a better footing than it has ever been in. I do not mean to say that the wheat pool has enhanced the price of wheat, that it is a monopoly that pushes up the price of wheat, but I do say this, that the wheat pool has encouraged among farmers a spirit of thrift that never existed before. Before we had the wheat pool, the farmer sold his grain in the fall, and after he had obtained his money he paid off his debts, and spent what was left; he was not content until it was gone. For two or three months in the year that made business good, collections were good, and the ordinary small business man had to hire extra help in order to handle the increased business. But immediately after the new year, the farmer would come in and ask for credit again; he would have to borrow money to see him through until the next harvest. But since the wheat pool was established, things are different. The farmer receives an initial payment in the fall when he markets his grain, and goes out and pays his debts; he has then little or nothing left over, and he saves what he has. He receives another payment later on in the spring, another in the summer, and another just before harvest. The payments are distributed over the four seasons of the year, and the result is that the farmer never gets very much money at one time, but he always has a little and he has become more thrifty, and has got on to a cash basis. The banks are not lending the same amount of money in the west that they did before, and our business men have not to carry so many farmers on their books as they did before. Conditions in western Canada are very much better than they were, due practically to the wheat pool. I repeat, it has taught thrift. Our merchants and small business men do

The Budget-Mr. Donnelly

not have to hire extra help now in the fall of the year, because business is good all the year round, instead of being exceptionally good at one time of the year and slack for the rest. This system is popular among our business men, who are loud in their praise of the wheat pool.

We have heard no objections from the other side of the House to the return of penny postage, nor to the reduction in the so-called nuisance taxes. Both of these steps seem to be in the right direction, and will help the farmer and the labouring man. They both seem to be popular throughout the country. The country seems to be well pleased with the budget as it is. Let me read a couple of telegrams which I have received from the constituency which I have the honour to represent:

Never was more proud of being a Liberal and a supporter of the Mackenzie King government than I am at the present time when I see the reduction of tariff duties on autos and general reduction of taxes. Wish there was an election to-morrow so I could speak again in the (interest of the government and yourself.

That is from one of the largest automobile handlers west of Winnipeg, not a member of parliament, but a business man. Here is another telegram-[DOT]

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

Eccles James Gott

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GOTT:

From the same man?

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

Thomas F. Donnelly

Liberal

Mr. DONNELLY:

No, but they all feel

alike out there; they are all feeling good. It says:

The Agricultural Society-

This is not from one man only, but the views of a whole society:

-desires to express its appreciation of the reduction in tariff as provided for in the present budget, and to express the hope that the policy of downward revision of tariff will be continued, as it believes same to be in the best interests of western Canada.

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

Eccles James Gott

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GOTT:

Are those telegrams dated 1926?

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

Thomas F. Donnelly

Liberal

Mr. DONNELLY:

Yes. Does the hon. member want to read them for himself?

The legislation which this government proposes with regard to the revaluation of soldiers' land I believe to be a step in the right direction. We are practically all agreed that the soldiers' land should be revalued. There are some districts in which the valuation appears to have been done in a just and equitable manner, and where the cry is not so strong for a revaluation. In the constituency which I have the honour to represent I have the privilege of knowing many of these men who were valuing the land for the soldiers, and they have done their work efficiently and well. Though there may be

cases here and there calling for revaluation, there are not many when we take into consideration how the price of land and everything else was enhanced at that time, but there are ether districts where there seems to be something wrong. When we learn from page 26S8 of Hansard, in reply to a question that out of forty-eight parcels of land sold to soldier settlers only nine are being held by the soldiers now, thirty-nine having been thrown up, evidently there is something wrong. The land must have been valued too high, and the soldier has been done an injustice. These men who have been crying ' out to help the soldier have apparently done him an injustice in some districts. The forty-eight parcels of land referred to are in one district only, and there are other districts possibly where conditions are equally bad. It is a necessity that the land should be revalued in such cases. This question should be tackled, and the soldiers given a square deal. To revalue the land in such cases would be only doing what is right and fair. Cases such as are mentioned on page 2688 of Hansard should be investigated, and if we find that any wrong has been done, then even at this late date those who committed the wrong should be brought to justice and be published.

In conclusion, let me say that we are going forward in this country; we are making progress. This country has a great capacity for progress; we have great natural resources to be developed. It needs work, however, and it needs vision. That vision, in the larger sense, I think the present government has shown. I by no means give servile service to any form of government, but let me ask this: Is it not true that the government has

shown wisdom in respect to the tariff, the handling of the railway problem, the financing of this great country, the problem of the revaluation of soldiers' land, the aid for the extension of markets, the effort to broaden trade, and the help given during many years to agriculture-has it not in all these ways, and in many more, done well, and is it not entitled to the confidence of the members of this House and of the country at large?

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

Eccles James Gott

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GOTT:

They are not.

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

Joseph Elijah Armstrong

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. J. E. ARMSTRONG (East Lambton):

Mr. Speaker, it is not my intention to follow very closely the remarks of the hon. member for Willow Bunch (Mr. Donnelly) but there are a few of his statements to which I will refer for a moment. The hon. gentleman said that we ought to look after our own affairs, and not the affairs of the coun-

The Budget-Mr. Armstrong (Lambton)

try to the south. I ask my hon. friend how can we look after our own affairs better than by giving reasonable protection to our farmers and to our industries.

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

George Spence

Liberal

Mr. SPENCE (Maple Creek):

How are

you going to do it?

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

Ernest Frederick Armstrong

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. ARMSTRONG (Lambton):

I will

show you later. The hon. gentleman went a little further. He said that other countries are going mad in their support of a protective tariff. He said that it was nice to see Canada lowering its tariff and advised that we should "cut the tariff out entirely." Those were the hon. gentleman's very words. My hon. friend admits that no other country in the world will trade with us on a free trade basis, but he is willing to open our markets so that other countries may dump their surplus products on our shores. That would be fatal, because we cannot compete with the products of the cheap labour and the lower standards of living of those countries.

The hon. gentleman tells us that this budget is a wonderful budget, and he euphemistically refers to it as the Robb budget. I am sorry that I cannot extend my congratulations to the Finance Minister on this budget. I come from a district that has suffered at the hands of this gentleman very greatly. Many people in my riding have had their investments wiped out, as a result of tariff changes, and many of them have been obliged to go to foreign lands to obtain a job. And while this has occurred in my constituency in a small way, I know of some cities and towns which have lost thousands of inhabitants who have been forced to leave their homes and country for a similar reason. Many of the recommendations contained in this budget are similar to the recommendations which have found a place in every budget this hon. gentleman has presented to parliament since taking office. I will be able to show that the Finance Minister has been tinkering and tampering with the tariff ever since he took charge of this department, and the sooner the people of Canada get him out of office, as well as a number of men by whom he is influenced, the better it will be for this country.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL
Sub-subtopic:   FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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?

An hon. MEMBER:

Order.

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

Ernest Frederick Armstrong

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. ARMSTRONG (Lambton):

This

government has shown evidence of folly, lack of foresight, lack of knowledge, lack of conception of the true Canadian outlook, and under the compulsion of a few members who have little at stake in this country, has been responsible for legislation that is not in the best interests of Canada.

The right hon. gentleman who leads the government (Mr. Mackenzie King) was the leader of a party in 1921 which had a majority of one in this House. He said when appealing to the country in 1925 that if he were not given a more substantial majority he would again appeal to the people. This year he came to this House with .his ranks depleted, and can only carry on by bargaining and dealing with the Progressives. Two or three men can compel him and his government to do their bidding and bring in any kind of legislation that suits them. The Prime Minister in his manifesto, announcing his appeal to the country at Richmond Hill, said that before further tariff changes Would be made an opportunity would be given industries affected thereby to be heard before an advisory board. His followers all over the country used that cry in the campaign. The Prime Minister in the Speech from the Throne in January last made the following announcement:

-that changes in the tariff should be made only after the fullest examination of their bearing upon both primary and manufacturing industries and that representations requesting increase or decrease of duties should be made the subject of the most careful investigation and report by a .body possessing the necessary qualifications to advise the ministry with respect thereto. A Tariff Advisory Board will accordingly be appointed forthwith. This board will be expected to make a careful study of the customs tariff, the revenue to be derived therefrom and the effect of the tariff and allied factors on industry and agriculture.

That is a plain statement from the Prime Minister. But why did he change his mind? What led him to ignore the promise he made? I wish that some of the enthusiastic followers of the Prime Minister and his government who sit opposite, or some of our Progressive friends, would give us some reasonable explanation for the change of mind on the part of the Prime Minister. If a public man, and especially the first minister of the country, can make promises in order to obtain office and then when in office can go back on pledges he made to the people and do the very opposite of what he promised, what confidence can the public put in him? The word of a man in business is supposed to be of value; the word of a man in public life should have even greater reliability. But promises are like piecrust to some of the members of this government who break their pledges with greater ease and facility as the days go by. This budget by its assault upon the accepted tariff of Canada will bring about more unsettled conditions and greater instability in business. The people of Canada will search in vain for anything in the Robb budget which will add one dollar to the

3200 COMMONS

The Budget-Mr. Armstrong (Lambton)

wealth of this country, or help to provide a job for one member of the army of unemployed.

I represent an industry in which over $3,000,000 have been invested, in which hundreds of men have been employed, in which hundreds of others in the allied industries have made a living. The industry I refer to is the oil industry, located in several counties in western Ontario, and also in the province of New Brunswick and to some extent in the western provinces. This industry has been in existence in my district for over fifty years, and many of us have spent, the best part of our lives in an effort to develop it. When the Hon. Alexander Mackenzie was Premier of Canada he realized that the flush production of the oil districts of the United States was liable to wipe out the oil industry in Canada. He therefore placed a duty on the crude oil and its refined products coming into this country in order to protect and develop the Canadian industry. This resulted in the building of refineries in Petrolia, London and Hamilton. We have now many large refineries in other cities east and west.

Our industry flourished under this protection. We had about ten thousand producing oil wells in that part of Canada and eight refineries. This protection continued for many years, but about twenty years ago the Hon. Mr. Fielding removed the duty and gave the industry a bonus. This bounty was granted in view of the fact that the industry was not able to carry on without some form of protection, and to recompense the oil producers for the amount of money they were compelled to pay into the public treasury by way of duty on the products used in the development of the industry, because the minister knew that machinery of all kinds, used in the production of crude oil, had to be purchased from protected industries _ in Canada, or, in the event of their importation from the United States, were liable to duty. This condition existed until 1924 when the Hon. Mr. Fielding was led to believe that enormous quantities of crude oil were likely to be produced in our northwest. In order to protect the people of Canada, therefore, as he claimed, from an undue expenditure which they might be called upon to make in the future, he gave notice that the bounty on crude petroleum would be reduced to one-half in June, 1924, and in June, 1925, would be discontinued entirely. Nothing was offered in lieu of the bounty, which was removed without warning or investigation. This legislation opened up the oil industry to world

competition, while producers had to buy all their supplies in a protected market. The producers of crude petroleum sent several deputations to wait on the Finance Minister.

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

Edward James Young

Liberal

Mr. YOUNG (Weybum):

Do I understand that the fact that they had to buy their raw material in a protected market raised the price to them?

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Sub-subtopic:   FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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May 7, 1926