Some hon. MEMBERS:
That is not an intelligent
interruption. I am sorry the Liberal members from western Ontario are adopting the attitude they do with respect to such a very serious question as this.
What was the interruption?
I did not hear it; it was
Imported raw leaf. Domestic raw leaf
Stems and cuttings
All other products
The values just given are, of course, factory values. The price to the consumer would include these values plus the cost of distribution through the wholesale and retail trades. The per capita consumption of
Then what are you complaining about?
It was not even
My hon. friend sitting neat
me suggests that it was not even sensible. Continuing my subject may I say that the amount of capital invested in the industry is given as $44,348,333. Of this only $8,213,094 was in fixed assets such as land, buildings, fixtures, machinery and tools. The balance, $36,133,239, was in materials on hand, stocks in process, cash, and trading and operating accounts.
Some idea of the cost of the raw leaf to the factories and of the prices received for the manufactured product is shown by the following quotations of the 1925 business:
Lbs. used Price paid Price per lb.15,234,855 $ 9,415,291 61.8 cents15,259,693 4,519,690 29.6 cents30,494,548 Lbs. Valuemanufactured Value per lb.5,707,632 $ 5,711,878 $1.0007356,671 372,372 3,134,342 3,393,820 1.082711,247,195 13,595,674 1.208855,348 27,248 .49234,015,006 1,272,575 .316919,000 7,760 .4084724,429 872,985 1.2050174,286,000 10,442,351 .0599 each2,079,036,000 23,964,031 25,425 153,891 59,840,010 .0115 each
tobacco in Canada is given by the Canada Year Book as 3.12 pounds.
As shown by the figures which I have quoted, the cost of manufacturing tobacco in Canada for 1923 was $57,037,026, the cus-
The Budget-Mr. Gott
The state of Ohio has recently presented what is known as a farm relief plan, which was advanced by the Ohio farm bureau federation. The plan seems to have real merit and, in addition to being sponsored by the Ohio farm bureau federation, has the backing of the executive committee of the Ohio state grange. The plan is for giving equality to agriculture. It is claimed:
1. That the plan would give benefits to farmers on crops of which a surplus is produced.
2. That it would discourage over-production.
3. That it would afford protection against competing commodities.
4. That it would not discriminate against some groups of farmers in favour of others.
5. That it would not set up intricate machinery for its operation.
6. That it would encourage cooperative marketing.
7. That it would safeguard the treasury and the cooperatives against loss.
The outline of the plan is as follows-and I would suggest that in the interest of agriculture in our Dominion a study of the newly instituted Ohio plan be made to ascertain its merits:
1. A federal farm board, headed by the secretary of agriculture, to act (in like manner as the federal reserve board) in the stabilization of markets, in general supervision of other boards set up, and to be in charge of federal funds appropriated for marketing purposes.
2. Advisory councils for each commodity, to be selected by the federal farm board, members to be nominated by recognized co-operatives. These councils to find the facts as to each particular commodity and present them to the public and the farmer-grower.
3. Commodity stabilization corporations to be set up for each commodity to centralize control and responsibility. These to be formed from the co-operatives handling the same commodity and be selected by the co-operatives subscribing to the capital stock of the commodity stabilization corporation.
4. $300,000,000 revolving fund; $50,000,000 to be loaned to co-operatives to purchase plants or loaned on physical properties already owned by co-operatives; $250,000,000 to be ioaned for the purchase of farm products by the commodity stabilization corporations upon approval of the federal farm bureau.
6. The federal farm board to be required to find the average yearly production of farm commodities of which the United States produces a surplus for export and the estimated production for the current year. The full amount of the debenture to apply only in the crop years in which the surplus is the average or below the average. When the yearly production is estimated by the federal farm board to be above the average, then the debenture to be reduced in proportion that the year's production exceeds the yearly average.
7. All imported agricultural products, which compete with United States agricultural products, either directly or indirectly, to bear a sufficient tariff rate to afford the home product protection, and, at the same time, furnish additional revenues to assist in caring for the debentures issued.
8. A tariff commission, or some other body, to be created, given the duty of finding the estimated added cost, by reason of the application of the debenture, of the production of animal products, and the president to be given power to increase the tariff on these animal products in the proportion as the debenture plan increases their cost of production.
No country, Mr. Speaker, can be built up on free trade or low tariff. Resources cannot be developed; and to be properly developed they must be developed by those most vitally interested and concerned.
Was there ever a time in the history of the world when a certain section of a great country was crying aloud for industrial expansion and development like western Canada is to-day? Huge coal resources of unknown depths awalit development. It is one of the most fertile and most abundant producing wheat sections in the whole world, producing the finest grade and the finest quality of grade wheat in the world, and millions of bushels leave that great country un ground.
The need of the west to-day is immigration. To have immigration we must or should have employment, to have employment we must have industry and if the God^given, overabundant resources of western Canada are to be properly developed it will be by and through a network of industrial activities reaching to all sections of that land of opportunity.
Go west, young man-go west. How often have we heard the admonition, but that admonition is not so freely given to-day since free trade proclivities took hold of the people there, which is bound to have, if it has not already had, a disheartening and bad effect on a country so badly in need of industrial expansion as much as any section of any country in the world to-day.
The prosperity that has been enjoyed by the western Canadian people has not come through free trade, tariff tinkering, or a lowering of duties, but by and through a protective policy; and what the west needs to-day, as do all farming communities in Canada, is not the removal of the tariff duties but the implementing of certain duties and protection for the produce of the farm and the product of the farmer's labour.
If the fanner is worth having in Canada, his produce and the product of his labour is worth having, retaining and protecting, with a policy
The Budget-Mr. Gott
quite similar in effect to that of our closest competitor, the United States. In 1924, alone $494,349,000 of farm produce and foodstuffs were imported from the United States, and despite this the Canadian farmer is not standing up for his just rights in asking and demanding that these importations, to some extent at least, should cease. These high importations are of produce and foodstuffs which could and would have been produced in Canada had the proper protective policy for the farmer been in operation.
The farmers in Canada, many of them, have taken the wrong view, and it is time that they began to realize that in a protective policy, and in that alone is the only reasonable cure and sure remedy for the serious ills which face them. Heretofore there has been a movement seeking tariff changes, which will wreck the industrial structure of our centres if granted, and which gives not a thought to the proper side of the solution that would revolutionize the most basic industry in our land.
The west is the land of opportunity, a wonderful section of the greatest dominion in the greatest empire the world has ever known, and to 'the people of that great country I say: Do not be led astray through improper conviction, no matter how attained. Study your economic ends from the viewpoint of a sure, certain and sound progress which will ultimately lead to an industrial' expansion, the network of which will make western Canada the livest, busiest and most progressive section of our great Dominion, free from dissension, and content to foe and remain the hive of industry that it should be, taking and maintaining its place along with and among the leading industrial, commercial and progressive sections of the British Empire, where coal can be supplied direct and at short haul from the abundant mines of the province of Alberta.
Mr. GROTE STIRLING (Yale):
I do not propose at the outset to deal at any length with the tariff proposals except, in passing, to express the acknowledgments of the onion growers for the provisions which will enable them to bring onion plants freely into Canada. The reason why this schedule was applied for was that these minute plants, no thicker than a bristle, are not produced in Canada; they are produced in a warmer climate to the south. They are used in lieu of seed, which seed does come in free, and they are used to plant out a certain number of acres in the onion growing district in the southern valleys of British Columbia with the object that a portion of the tonnage may reach the market early, and so reduce the tonnage which has to come forward at the time of the main crop in September and October.
The marketing of our perishable products continues to be the greatest problem. Some progress has been made of recent years, but until that difficulty is surmounted it will not be possible for the producer really to earn a decent living, nor can that development which has taken place be extended lucratively. It is no longer a question of whether these fruits and vegetables can be grown in southern British Columbia; for that has been demonstrated at provincial, dominion and imperial exhibitions. It has even been demonstrated on more than one occasion that the premier dessert apple of the whole British Empire is grown in that country. But the difficulties are not yet all surmounted. Under the cooperative movement, progress was made, but from the very fact that the cooperative movement received a considerable amount of support, and that the smaller amount of crop to be sold was handled by the independent shippers, an unfair share of the difficulties of marketing remained with, the cooperative shippers. Let me illustrate.
British Columbia has always looked upon the three prairie provinces as its domestic market, and it has been the attempt of each of the independent shippers, although marketing but a very small fraction of the total crop, to get rid of their produce in that market rather than have to bear their share of the export market. Our apples, for instance, have to go west to the Pacific cost, round by sea through the Panama, and thence to the European markets, where they come into competition with the apples from the three western states on the Pacific coast. That area where the fruit grows in Washington, Idaho, and Oregon is but a continuation in the United States of the similar area in British Columbia. They produce seven times what we produce and our apples have to compete in the open export markets of Europe with theirs. As a consequenece, the independent, shipper, each marketing so small a quantity, was more than often successful in getting rid of that quantity on the more lucrative prairie market, leaving an altogether unfair burden on the co-operatives with the amount they had to market.
Progress was made also by means of round table conferences between the cooperative shippers and the independent shippers, but the agreements so arrived at always fell down on one point, and that was that there was no means of enforcing the arrangements arrived at. However, in 1925 and 1926 there was harmonious working between the co-operatives and the more responsible of the independents, but no sooner had orderly marketing arrangements been made in the domestic market than
The Budget-Mr. Stirling
some independent within the independents, some grower-shipper marketing but two or three cars, or, worse still, several small shippers marketing small quantities, would send their cars rolling into those markets in regard to which arrangements had been made in an orderly fashion, and chaos resulted. An attempt would be made by telegraph to cut off those rolling cars, to deflect them perhaps to Swift Current or north to Edmonton, but in each of those centres of marketing there was an adequate quantity of fruit coming forward, and chaos followed there also. I think it is quite evident that the only possible mode of success is through orderly marketing. Chaotic marketing never produced any good for any part of the industry, and the trouble almost invariably was that when waste occurred it had to be borne by the producer.
Last winter another scheme was tried. I want to refer to this new plan at short length, because although it has not primary connection with this parliament, it has secondary connection, and it has received a certain amount of criticism, some of which I consider as being founded on a lack of knowledge. A federation of shippers was formed under an act of the British Columbia legislature. The act was not a government measure; the bill was put forward by a private member; it received - a good deal of attention; was hammered into shape in the legislature, and was finally passed by a considerable majority It was a very good thing, I think, that the attempt to include in the measure other kinds of produce, such as milk, was not entertained. This new scheme was the result of work among the fruit growers in the Okanagan valley, and I think it would have been a great pity if other perishable products had been brought within the scope of the act, which of course was of an experimental nature.
The federation of shippers appoints two members to a committee of direction of three, one representing the co-operative movement, the other representing the independent shippers, and the third, who is also its chairman, is appointed by the provincial government. In the few minutes at my disposal there is not time to go in detail into this measure, but I will define the chief functions of the committee under three heads. In the first place, the committee of direction issues licenses to shippers of fruits anid vegetables within its prescribed area without which no shipper may ship; in the second place, the committee directs the distribution of the crops; in the third place, after the most careful examination it announces at what minimum price each variety and grade of fruit or vegetable shall start on the market.
Now, it is evident that before the committee can form an opinion as to these matters it must do a very considerable amount of work, and I think, that undobtedly the main credit for whatever success has been attained in the first year of the committee's operations is due to the Hon. F. M. Black, at one time provincial treasurer of Manitoba, selected by the government of British Columbia to act as chairman. He and his colleagues entered an empty office-empty except for furniture, paper and ink-in Kelowna on May 31, 1927. They there and then prepared their plans to create the machinery under which the committee should operate and endeavour to instil some degree of confidence into the whole industry-the producer, the broker, the jobber, the retailer and the consumer. They had most carefully to examine the territory from which they were going to draw the produce, and they had also most carefully to consider the markets into which they would direct shipments. They had not only to obtain estimates of the crops, they had continually to revise those estimates week by week and month by month, making such alterations as climatic and other conditions might dictate. So well has that committee of direction functioned in its first year that confidence was immediately present in the mind of the trade.
And this has tended towards orderly marketing. As an illustration of what I mean by that term, let me point out that the committee divided the three prairie provinces into certain marketing centres. Taking Regina as a typical centre, in the districts to which Regina distributes, under the ordinary marketing conditions the idea would be to send in a certain number of cars of, we will say, McIntosh apples in regular rotation. Under the chaotic conditions of previous years, no sooner bad such an arrangement been, made than an independent shipper or a grower-shipper, or someone else who had not the general good of the industry at heart, would "roll" some extra cars, and everything would be upset. Under the committee of direction such a chaotic condition cannot prevail, because the shipper is told what he may ship and when he may ship it, and the minimum price at which he may sell. It follows that the broker knows what fruit is coming forward, and -when the jobber knows definitely the quantity and price he is not afraid to buy ahead, for he knows there will be no fruit rolling in on consignments.
Just exactly what the consumer has paid during the last season compared with prices that prevailed in preceding seasons is extremely difficult to arrive at. I had hoped to
The Budget-Mr. Stirling
be able to place on record a comparative statement, but the kinds of fruit are so many, the varieties are so diverse, and the quantity of those varieties has fluctuated so much from year to year that I have not found it possible actually to compare one year with another. However, I think I am within the truth in saying that whereas the producer has received a rather better price in the past than in the previous shipping seasons, the consumer in Canada eating British Columbia fruit has not paid more than the average price of the four preceding years.
As further evidence that there was not very much wrong with the price charged, I should like to record the quantity of the British Columbia fruit which has found its way to the other provinces this year. These figures refer to apples only; it would be impossible to include all the other fruits and vegetables in this statement: British Columbia, 264,971 boxes; Alberta, 550,992; Saskatchewan, 693,077; Manitoba, 355,175; Ontario, 177,994; the rest of Canada, 108,250, or a total of 2,150,459 boxes marketed in Canada. There were 596,250 boxes exported, which is about 20 per cent of the total crop. A less quantity had to be exported in 1927-1928 than in a good many of the preceding years, which is all to the advantage of the producer. Some of the criticism which has been levelled at this worthy experiment came from the mouth of the chairman of the Advisory Board on Tariff and Taxation, and one of the pretty strong statements he made was that it did away with competition. Now I do not agree in any sense whatever that it does away with competition. In the first place, had the cooperative movement of past years received the backing of 100 per cent of the growers, or anywhere near it, there would have been just as much control of price under that union as there is under this committee of direction, and I very much doubt whether a cooperative movement amongst one set of farmers would have been described as price control such as would be harmful to the consumer. I would point out also that Ontario is only too anxious to see, as a result of this committee of direction in British Columbia, the price of this produce rising in the prairie markets, because Ontario is sitting on the other doorstep from us of the prairie provinces and therefore is, as I say, only too anxious to get its produce into those markets.
I should 'be glad if the critics of what we are attempting to do to help the producer would realize just exactly what it is that we are trying to do. It is a problem of some magnitude. We are endeavouring to sell, as much as we possibly can, perishable products
which we have to carry very considerable distances at correspondingly high freight rates, protecting that produce from heat in summer and from cold in winter and distributing it without glut or shortage, so that when it reaches the end of its journey it may give satisfaction to the consumer both as to quality, price and variety. I think it is a noteworthy event that a bold experiment such as I have just described-this committee of direction- has been tried out and that in six months the committee did succeed in creating machinery of an entirely novel character, has carried out the direction of one season's fruit and vegetables in very considerable quantities, and has succeeded also in restoring in the whole industry that confidence which was so badly lacking.
To pass on for a few moments to more general matters connected with the budget, it appears to me that after the Minister of Finance (Mr. Robb) has given birth to yet another budget it must afford him a certain amount of amusement to sit in his seat day after day and hear criticisms levelled at that budget from all directions. He hears the farmer asking for higher income tax. The farmer as a rule pays but little income tax. The Minister sees in the press of Montreal, for several days prior to the bringing down of the budget, the requirements of industry in the form of reduced income tax, the manufacturers arguing that, as the farmer pays but little income tax, there is no reason why they should pay so much. He hears the farmer appealing for a complete cessation of the sales tax. The farmer has to pay a certain amount to the national revenue on every purchase he makes of clothing, say, for himself, his wife or his children. The manufacturer, on the other hand, asks the Minister of Finance, if he is going to cut the sales tax at all, to shave it very gradually so that the quantities of goods on his shelf shall not be badly hurt and so that the amount that will have to be deducted from the price may be very minute. The consumer, on the other hand, wants to have it cut all at once so that it will be necessary for the manufacturer to pass on to him the reduction in the sales tax. And so the Minister of Finance listens to all of these various requests made of him and he reflects,' amongst other things, what a wonderful aggregation the Liberal party is -the Liberal party which has foundations somewhat similar to the feet of the image that Nebuchadnezzar saw in his dream, feet of iron and clay. Forty members from Quebec signed a petition appealing for greater protection on market produce and potatoes; they
The Budget-Mr. Stirling
wanted that protection raised to the height of the United States tariff. They have not got that protection. The seasonal tariff application has never been brought down; no report has been made of it. The government seems to pay very little attention [DOT] indeed to the reports which the tariff board does bring down. We see from the return asked for by the hon. member for Acadia (Mr. Gardiner) that of only one case, amongst all these matters reported on, has the government taken cognizance in its budget proposal. I wonder whether there is some connection between that and the difficulty in reporting, which the chairman refers to in his report. He says that:
Difficulty exists as to determining the nature of the advice we are presumed by the order in council to tender to the minister.
To get over that difficulty he finds that the best mode of advising the minister is to pass on the transcripts with only "explanatory comment". What a deadly phrase-explanatory comment. One can imagine a particular application being described as one of no merit whatever-it might even be of benefit to some Conservative industries. This other application, on the other hand, is one of great merit because it is quite possible that Wabasso Cottons may be able to decrease their expenditures and increase their profits. It is truly a wonderful method of handing a report on to a government from a board of inquiry, so different indeed from the method proposed under the Conservative tariff board, which was to publish its findings. Explanatory comment! In much that way, I should imagine, the Cheka gives its views to the bolshevist government in Russia when it is endeavouring to remove some of the middle class workers to more salubrious climes.
It will be noticed that the Quebec fruit and vegetable grower not only is not to receive that assistance from the tariff for which he has appealed, but he finds in opposition to himself, within that wonderful Liberal party, a vociferous, earnest, not very large in number, group of ardent free traders. They lose no opportunity of preaching their gospel, and they probably mean exactly what they preach. That I do not agree with the view they express does not interest them and does not really matter, but it is worthy of note that last session the hon. member for Wey-burn (Mr. Young) did what he could to bring about the repeal of clause 47a of the Customs Act, as it was then constituted. He did not succeed, so he returned to the charge this session and proposed a resolution which would bring about the repeal of the section now called 43 of the revised statutes, which, if
repealed, would remove the machinery which enables the dumping clause of the customs tariff to operate. I would ask my hon. friends from Quebec whether they are fully satisfied that they are safe with regard to the dumping clause? My own idea is that the hon. member for Weybum is so pertinacious that he would not allow his resolution to be twice called and then pass into limbo unless he had come to an understanding with the government, and I wonder very much whether the forty members from the province of Quebec who signed that petition really look upon the situation with equanimity. That such is not wholly the case I think is evident from a resolution which I believe has been sent to all the federal members from Quebec as well as to myself, and I do not know how many other hon. members. As it is interesting in this connection, when we are discussing the brotherly love which exists between two branches of the great Liberal family, I want to put it on record:
Whereas the vegetable, fruit and poultry industries are entitled to as much protection as all other industries, and
Whereas section 43 of the Customs Act, Revised Statutes, gives them this needed protection by authorizing the Minister of National Revenue to set the fair market values for customs purposes and so prevent the surplus of production being imported from United States at prices below such fair market value, and
Whereas the withdrawal of said section would have, as immediate result, the curtailing of production and would leave the producers of perishable products without the protection against dum^jng which is afforded every industry, and
Whereas we have reason to presume that several prairie members of parliament look favourably at the withdrawal of said section 43 and may move a resolution to this effect:
It is moved and unanimously resolved that the Quebec Farmers' Association; the Quebec Catholic Farmers' Union, as well as the Quebec Market Gardeners' Society, representing an aggregation of over 15,000 farmers, wish to draw the kind attention of the Minister of National Revenue and of the representatives of this province in the federal parliament to the great importance of this section 43 and to respectfully solicit your influence to prevent its withdrawal from the Customs Act.
Quebec Market Gardeners' Society.
Quebec United Farmers' Association.
Quebec Catholic Farmers' Union.
I am naturally at one with my hon. friends from Quebec and with the members of the fruit and vegetable growers' associations which are so much interested in this protection, because I am equally in need of it. I earnestly hope that on this occasion the victory will lie with my protectionist friends from the province of Quebec rather than with that section of freetraders sitting to their right.
The Budget-Mr. Stirling
We do not know anything in particular with regard to the policy of this government in carrying out the development of our natural assets, but I am glad to see that the minister has brought down a resolution which favours carrying on for three years longer the Copper Bounties Act. That act was passed in 1923, and has been made use of. Naturally the maximum results would not be produced immediately, but from the figures showing the amounts which have been paid it is certain that it has had a beneficial effect. It was introduced for the purpose of carrying on the refining of Canadian copper to the very end of the process before that copper is used in Canada, the bounty not being payable on refined copper going out of this country. The figures showing the amount paid under this bounty are as follows:
1924- 25 $ 14,551 75
14,822 671926- 27
164,242 301927- 28 to Feb. 4
Those figures demonstrate that a considerable quantity of the copper used in Canada has been refined within our own borders. This, of course, has carried with it the advantages of increased employment and the turning over of Canadian dollars, because this means that in all probability some 30,000,000 pounds of copper have been refined and used in Canada.
British Columbia produces more copper than any other province of Canada. In the southwest comer of the constituency of Yale, which I have the honour to represent, on top of the mountain behind Princeton, in the Similkameen valley there is thedopper Mountain mine. You can stand on the edge of the glory hole on top of the mountain and look into the pit and watch the lumps of ore which have been blasted out of the earth guided and barred through the chutes until they get into the mine cars which are run through the tunnel and sent down the wire rope-way to the tipple. There they are tipped into railway cars which run around the mountain to the mill at Allenby, where, first by crushing and then by flotation, the ore is reduced to concentrates. Again I am glad1 to notice that the minister has allowed the free entry of potassium xanthate, which is an obscure chemical for which I endeavoured to obtain free entry a few years ago. This chemical is not produced in Canada; it is only used in this one process and allowing it free entry would tend to knock a fraction of a cent per pound off the production cost of that copper. Sixty tons of ore from the glory hole are turned into three and a half tons of concentrates in the Allenby mill; those concentrates are carried1 by a Canadian railway
three hundred or four hundred miles east to the smelter at Trail, where they are put through the refining process and, to use the trade term, turned into one ton of refined copper in the form of wire bars. These wire bars again continue east and are taken to the rolling mill at Brockville where they are rolled into copper bars; from Brockville they continue their journey to Montreal, where they are drawn into copper wire, and that copper wire is used in the different industries of Canada- With that object lesson before them, I hope the government will see to it that that copper bounty is continued at least until the time when a very much increased production takes place in Manitoba and Ontario.
I hope the government will also reveal to us as soon as possible what its policy is with regard to the refining of other of Canada's resources. The fact was revealed to us that when the international waterways treaty was being negotiated, the United States said to Canada: Yes, we will make a treaty with you, but we will allow no discussion whatever on the subject of lake Michigan. They admitted that the waters of lake Michigan were on a level with the waters of lake Erie, but old glory floated over the former lake and they said they would allow no discussion as to that stretch of water. Their attitude did not hide the fact that a certain quantity of water was being taken out of that lake, out of these boundary waters, and turned into another watershed altogether. It passes the bounds of my belief, Mr. Speaker, that the engineers of that day could have been oblivious of the fact that that diversion of water would do damage to the harbours of Canada, and still more to the great waterway that leads to the sea from Montreal. However, the government of that day, whether it could help the fact or not, bowed to the decision of the United States and the treaty was made, and possibly as a quid pro quo an extra amount of water was used by Canada at Niagara. The situation to-day is entirely different. The United States wants Canadian co-operation to develop water power on the St. Lawrence river. They want that water power to increase the power in their industries in the state of New York, a part of the products of which industries will come back into the markets of Canada to compete with our goods. Further than that the United States want our pulpwood, they want our nickel, they want our lead, they want various things that Canada has to offer. Has the government a policy to offer the people of Canada, a policy based on a vision of the future, a policy Which will enable the assets to which I have referred to be retained until
The Budget-Mr. Spotton
a proper return is made, until we can negotiate, until we can barter, so that these assets shall not pass out of our possession without our getting full value for them? I do not think, Mr. Speaker, there is any matter which this government could put forward to the people of Canada which would give greater satisfaction from one end of the country to the other than the declaration of a policy that will tend to increase the production of our resources and effect their ultimate refinement within the boundaries of Canada.
Mr. GEORGE SPOTTON (North Huron):
Mr. Speaker, in attempting to address the house for the first time I am sure I shall have your kindly sympathy, and if I transgress any parliamentary rule I know you will reprove me in a fatherly fashion.
Inasmuch as this is my first appearance in parliament I suppose it would be quite in order for me to congratulate you, Mr. Speaker, upon your re-election as speaker of the house. From what I have observed you have always displayed the most admirable qualities of heart and head, and have always held the scales of justice evenly. May I take this opportunity also to thank all the members of the house for the kindly manner in which they have received me.
A feeling of deep regret and sorrow creeps over me when I realize that I am simply filling out the term of the late lamented John W. King, who was elected for the constituency of North Huron in the federal election of 1926. The late Mr. King and I were opponents in 1921 when the Progressive movement was at its height. We were again opponents in 1925 when the courts had to decide who should take a seat in this house. Whether in the heat of election, or otherwise, I found the late lamented member a man who stood four-square to all the winds that blow. I am sure, Mr. Speaker, that in voicing my own feeling with respect to him who was called home I am expressing the sentiments of everyone in North Huron. We feel that our county is the poorer for his death and that Canada has lost one of her noblest sons.
In the few remarks I purpose making I hope that my friends on this side will not expect too much from me, and I trust that even if hon. gentlemen opposite do not agree with me they will at least be sympathetic. I wish to tell them that I am always open to conviction.
We have been hearing a great deal of late about a deliverance which has been heralded from the Atlantic to the Pacific as the Robb budget. It appears that the budget is an
annual event, and opinions differ a great deal with respect to it. Evidently the present government feel that every time the budget comes down there must be some tinkering with the tariff. I should like to see a tariff which would possess some element of permanency and remain in operation for at least a period of five or ten years so that the manufacturers of this country would know where they stood and would not always have a club held over their heads.
When I look into the faces of some of the ministers who visited our riding during the last election I recall the fact that I was told on the hustings that I had some nerve to be a candidate for the great Liberal-Conservative party because that party had no leader. The Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) himself when he came to the constituency with his troop emphasized the idea very strongly that it was rather audacious on my part as an humble citizen, a native eon of Huron, to put myself up as a candidate because I had no leader. Well, we reminded him, Mr. Speaker, that he had directed the affairs of this government from the gallery for a time. We reminded him also that we had as temporary leader a parliamentarian of wide experience, and if that gentleman was to be permanent leader I would be quite satisfied and so would my constituents. I was asked whether I was going to follow a man from Calgary or from Montreal or from Guelph.
Or Fort William.
Or Fort William. But
my people decided that even if we never had a leader they would trust me to come to the House of Commons rather than a follower of the King administration. It was a most childish argument because I had an able house leader who was not going to desert the party and within nineteen days of my election we were meeting in Winnipeg to select a permanent leader, so I was not going to be an orphan for very long. They wanted to know who was my leader. Let them take a look at him now. We have a leader of the Liberal-Conservative party who is a worthy successor to the great leaders of the past, a man of wide business experience, of the highest legal attainments, of ripe education, a trained parliamentarian, a man of whose service the president of one of our greatest banks could say along with the rest of the directors that they had lost a man whose business experience nationally and internationally was such a great asset that they will suffer an irreparable loss; and the people
The Budget-Mr. Spotton
of Canada will say ,at the earliest opportunity that a man of that type will make a good business manager for this Dominion.
It has been heralded throughout Canada that the Robb budgets have been very popular. I am not boasting; neither on various public platforms nor in private have I boasted of our victory in North Huron. I have been defeated and I have taken my defeat gracefully; I was elected and I took my election modestly; but the latest tribunal to which the Robb budget was submitted was in North Huron on September 12 last. When the Prime Minister came to my constituency he was paraded down our streets with the calliope ahead, and there was with him a stripe of cabinet minister to suit every stripe of elector in my constituency. The matter was placed in this way before the electors by the Prime Minister: "You have an admirable county"-and so we have. The hon. member for South Huron (Mr. McMillan) and I can at least agree with the Prime Minister that the county of Huron is the greatest county in Canada, a little country in itself. We have shipping interests, manufacturing interests, fishing interests; we have great agricultural lands and the finest type of people in this Dominion. There we have practically every class of people that are interested in any great Robb budget. The King administration will not say for a moment that the Robb budget was not fairly placed before the electorate of North Huron. I read this from the Goderich Signal, a Liberal paper:
The ministerial party included the Hon. Lu-cien Cannon, Solicitor General; Hon. J. C. Elliott, Minister of Public Works; Hon. James Malcolm, Minister of Trade and Commerce.
These were just at the one meeting.
Others on the platform were P. G. Sanderson, M.P., South Perth; Wellington Hay, M.P., North Perth; M. F. Hepburn, M.P., West Elgin; W. H. Taylor, M.P. Norfolk-Elgin; Thomas McMillan, M.P., South Huron; W. T. Goodison, M.P., West Lambton: Dr. W. A. Hall, M.P., South Bruce; Senator Rankin, of Stratford; T. Cayley, M.P., South Oxford: W. G. Raymond, ex-M.P., Brantford.
And hosts of others. That was the first shot, Wingham in the afternoon and Goderich at night. We were glad that many of these men stayed in the riding for several weeks. We were pleased to welcome members from all parts of Ontario and even a couple from Quebec. These men were valiant fighters and I have no complaint against them because they had a perfect right to come into our riding. They brought in excellent organizers, some of whom had been there for the six months previous, but as we drew nearer to
the election there came along those fellows who could not look you just as clearly in the eye as could our good friends opposite. The King administration presented the Robb budget and the jury of North Huron spoke. Of course our friends of the government will say: This was an accident; it was a three-cornered contest; that is, like-minded Liberals and Progressives were split and the Tories slipped in between. That is why they keep on whistling to keep their courage up, like the boy going through the cemetery at night. But the fact remains that in 1925, John W. King, a life-long Liberal, stood on the platform and said he was one hundred per cent Progressive, and the Prime Minister of this country sent in a secret message which was placed in every Liberal home telling them to get behind John W. King; that he was as good a supporter of the government as any Liberal. This was supplemented by Liberal organizers and Liberal sinews of war. The contest was so close that the county judge awarded me the seat and the high court judge reversed his decision. So it was not any great accident that occurred on September 12th of last year. If we turn back to the votes in 1896, 1900, 1994, and 1911 in the municipalities which comprise the new riding of North Huron and in which Judge Lewis, Mr. Bowman and Doctor Chisholm used to run, the results were as near a tie as you could get. Just a few months before our by-election on September 12th last, a Liberal member was elected in North Huron -the identical riding which I represent-in the Ontario elections by over 2,000 of a majority. Therefore our friends can take any cold comfort they like. They may point to the war-time election of 1917, but at that time our citizens, regardless of politics, were supporting the Union government. I mention this just to show that when the Robb budget was presented to the jury of North Huron, it received a fair testing out and the Prime Minister said that he would take it as a commendation or a condemnation. In addition to that we had these high pressure salesmen in the riding.
I was twitted with not having a leader, but the Prime Minister only thinks he is leading. He is just being pushed around. If you ask him were he is going, he says: Ask the crowd behind. This administration reminds me of the "Maid of the Mist" down at Niagara Falls. It starts out and it just goes around in a circle: it is not propelled in any way, it is just carried here and there wherever the current takes it, and it lands back at the place it started from. But they are one of the best advertising agencies that Canada ever
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had, the best advertising agency that I know, and they are so busy advertising that they forget to do a little work. Abraham Lincoln once said of an opponent in a law court who was making a great deal of fuss over nothing, that his friend reminded him of a boat on the Sangamon river that puffed and snorted about. It had a five-foot boiler and a seven-foot whistle, and every time the whistle blew the boat stopped. This administration, it appears to me, are so busy blowing their whistle that they have not had much time to bring forward any real legislation to assist the people in North Huron or elsewhere.
We are told that we have great prosperity in Canada. After the King meeting at Goderich I met a fellow outside and he was counting his money. I said to him: " What are you doing here, Bill? " " Well," he says, " I was a poor man when I went into that meeting but I am a rich man now." He says, " I know I must be because they told me I was, and I have been looking at my one dollar bills and I thought they would have become tens, and I have been looking at my twos and I thought they would have become twenties, and I have been looking at my fives and I thought they would have become fifties, and," he says, " I had a ten and I thought it would have become a hundred, but " he says, " they are here just as they were." He wrote me afterwards that when he returned home he asked his wife if they were prosperous and she said, " No, there are many things which I would like to get. It is costing more to live and we are not getting any more money than we did a few years ago. It may be all right for the very rich in this country, but so far as we are concerned there is no great prosperity here."
Lest I forget, I would just like to tell right now about a class of people who certainly are not prosperous, and that is the rural mail carriers in my riding. The Postmaster General is prosperous, his deputy may be prosperous, the men in his department may be prosperous, but the rural mail carriers in my riding are not prosperous. I cannot understand how in the whole civil service of the Dominion of Canada the poor fellows who drive the old mare and go over the snow banks every day on his majesty's service are the only ones that have to stand up every four years and be shot at, and hired at starvation wages. I know the Postmaster General (Mr. Veniot) will say that we put the routes up to tender, and why do they tender if they do not want the job? I want to say that if the postmaster generalship were advertised to-night, I believe the Postmaster
General would take three or four thousand dollars less a year to hold the job.
That has always been the case under my hon. friend's government.
But my friends were defeated. They were chastised for their sins.
I am not living in the past, and I commit sins enough myself without having to carry the load of all my relatives. The Conservative party is now in opposition; it has been purged, and we have shaken off the old clothes.
There is one innovation the Postmaster General has made. He has put more politics per square inch into the postal service than all his predecessors ever did. In the town of Goderich, rural route No. 6, Goderich- get that, Mr. Postmaster General-a man there carried His Majesty's mail for fifteen years, and there was not a kicker on the whole mail rou,te; they all love him. He performed little services for them coming in and out of town. He was put up to be shot at. They advertised this job. A new man comes along and applies at the same salary as the old faithful servant was receiving, and the Postmaster General has not backbone enough and is not British enough to say: " Well done, you good servant. You have been with us a long time, and I will give you the job." No, sir, his department writes to the defeated Liberal candidate in North Huron to ask, Who shall get this job? If the Postmaster General wants any more concrete examples, I will give them to him. I am going to be very modest with him to-night, because I have not had time to dig and delve very much.
He is not asking to be spared.
I will leave it to this house and to the people of Canada if a man who has carried his majesty's mail for fifteen years, and is prepared to go on doing it as cheaply as a new man, should be thrown aside, and the department write to the defeated Liberal candidate to see who's who.
I see the member for North Perth (Mr. Hay), in the house. I do not know whether this route lies in North or South Perth, but I noticed in the press an article that a man was brought up in the city of Stratford by the society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. His horse was in such a condition that the Humane Society took action against him. But when the case came up in the police court and the magistrate found out that he was carrying his majesty's mail daily, keeping up a horse and rig and trying to support a
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family on $1.75 a day, he dismissed the case. This is no hearsay. I wrote the police magistrate at Stratford and asked him to send me an authoritative clipping from the newspaper, and I have his letter and the clipping here. The same thing has happened on the suburban routes around the city of London, where men have been brought up who were carrying his majesty's mails franked by cabinet ministers and the rest of us who are receiving more salaries than we are worth. With these poor, fellows who are carrying the mails, it is just another case of the man who does the most work getting the least money. The Postmaster General, of course laughs at this. I remember in the chemistry room we used to manufacture a certain thing which caused laughter. But, Mr. Speaker, this is no laughing matter.
As I may not be in the house when the estimates come up, and as the sky seems to be the limit, I should like to make a little plea to the cabinet ministers present on behalf of Goderich harbour. No doubt the country has heard that Goderich has a harbour. That is not part of the Robb budget, but it assisted and supplemented the support given to the Robb budget in North Huron. At a meeting in Goderich Mayor MacEwan presented an address of welcome to the Prime Minister, and this is what the Prime Minister said, according to the Liberal newspaper:
The government of which I have the honour to be the head has paid considerable attention to Goderich harbour-
Then, of course, some of the cabinet ministers sitting there smiled very graciously, you know, as he was speaking; they did not say a word:
*-and in the future the government must continue to pay considerable attention to the harbour here. As head of the government I am pleased, however, to note in the address with which you have welcomed me words of appreciation of the government's work in this connection. Usually things of this kind are taken for granted.
And they should be, Mr. Speaker. Just at this point I wish to say that I hold no brief for our friends to my left, but an unkind attack was made on them yesterday by the Minister of Railways (Mr. Dunning). Oh, how kind and sympathetic he was with like-minded people so long as he needed them, during that period of log-rolling and dickering and dealing, to keep him in power in this house, but the moment he did not need them he scolded them most roundly. On behalf of my friends to my left, I wish to say that the campaign for the United Farmers erf Ontario candidate was conducted largely by the brilliant and able lady who represents Southeast
Grey in this house (Miss Macphail), and they fought in the open; they said the same thing in the country school house that they said at Goderich and in the town of Wingham. But not so with my friends opposite. The Minister of Railways stands up and characterizes us as high protectionists. I was branded as a high protectionist in the campaign; I am not. Some say, as the Globe says that: "follow your convictions" is just as good a slogan as "follow your leader." There have been times when I have not been able to follow my political leader, and that time may come again.
I wish to say, sir, that in my riding, owing to the high pressure salemanship of cabinet ministers cailling on all local manufacturers with that bludgeon called the Robb budget, this Liberal paper was able to say that all the manufacturers and captains of industry, regardless of their politics, were behind the King administration. And yet they had their friends going in and1 out of the farmers' homes calling me a "high protectionist", and a "friend of the manufacturer", and, as I say, the Liberal paper boldly stated that all the captains of industry of Goderich were supporting the King administration. I think the time has about come when this advertising agency will not be able to run with the hare and hunt with the hounds; that they will not be able to pose as protectionists in the towns and cities, and then try to hold us up to ridicule in the rural sections as high protectionists. I represent a farming constituency, and of 274 delegates at our nominating convention I suppose 240 were farmers. I was opposed by a farmer, but the farmers of the constituency said they would trust me to present their case in the House of Commons. I believe that the manufacturer and the farmer are interdependent, I believe that what is good for one will eventually be good for the other; but let me say, as I have said1 in North Huron, if there ever comes a time when their interests Clash, then I am on the side of the farmers and the labouring men of my riding.
I was reading, Mr. Speaker, what our Prime Minister said, that usually these things were taken for granted, but of course they were gifts from a benign government. Let me give his words:
Usually things of this kind are taken for granted, and it is pleasant therefore to have the government's efforts appreciated as you here [DOT] in Goderich have appreciated them.
Another gentleman who followed the Prime Minister said:
If you expect the government to be sympathetic with you, you should show your sympathy with them.
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As the hon. member for Southeast Grey (Miss Maephail) knows, it was a joke throughout the riding as to whether the Goderich harbour was to receive one quarter, one half, three-quarters of a million, or a million a year. Anyway, the people of Goderich were canvassed from house to house and told that industry would ilag if the Liberal candidate was not elected, so much so that in the town itself a change of nine hundred votes
was made in favour of the Liberal candidate. So you cannot blame Goderich for what the rest of the riding has done. Everything you promised Goderich, Goderich deserves. Goderich harbour is the greatest receiving port in the upper lakes. These figures, taken from the records of the lake shippers' clearance association, bear out my statement that Goderich leads among upper lake ports:
Depot Harbor.. ..
Owen Sound.. ..
Fort Colborne.. .. Port McNicoll.. .. Port Stanley.. ..
Local elevators.. ..
Wheat 79,827,085 Oats 1,138,273 51,524 Barley 9,008,448
4,815,912 4,647,184 1,972,839 748,751 9,639.807 6,654,662 4,130,179 3,232,193 31,044.204 6,286,722 266,000 250,679 1,726,347 4,175,434 4,709,674 134,556 105,000
281,186 300,253 844,389 708,699 1,650,461 209,045 54,544 76.428 10,964 222,582 144,416 796,726 370,248 3,484,562 60,000 55,216 91,342 122,889
164,127,672 5,399,236 14,595,985Flax Bye Total227,070 2,137,213 92,338,089175,665 227,189236,000 236,00073,4704,950,4634,752,1841,972,839863,926 1,612,677480,680 302,535 10,926,790145,000 7,244,331130,121 279,664 6,181,07960,000 107,996 4,479,136507,284 2,883.318 39,569,829197,604 6,544,326321,216459,72433,874 1,906,10750,000 271,589 4,573,4512,615 4,846,1421,866,820 7,225,334 193,215,047
I repeat, Mr. Speaker, Goderich harbour is the greatest receiving port in the upper lakes. It needs public money spent upon it, no matter what political party is in power. Everything that these gentlemen promised publicly, and everything their cohorts promised in private canvassing is all right; I have no objection to it. Goderich needs to be dealt with liberally-and I find in the estimates they have allotted us $9,000! Why, sir, they spent more than that in one ward of my riding. There is a revote of $66,000, making with this $9,000, a total of $75,000. That $66,000 is what the government at another time told the people of Goderich they were to get, but they did not get it. But I know that the Minister of Public Works (Mr. Elliott) appreciates the position. I do not believe that either in public or in private he made any promise about what the government would do about Goderich harbour. But I do know that hangers on, canvassers land other cabinet ministers who had to make good smiled and let it be known that money would be spent there in plenty. Now we ask for Goderich harbour an expenditure which its national importance demands. We ask the government to keep faith to honour their campaign managers' pledges. I am not speaking now unkindly of the hon. member for North Bruce (Mr. Malcolm). We are proud of the three cabinet
ministers from western Ontario. Their constituencies all border around mine, and they are all estimable and capable gentlemen; we are proud of them; they are the best men that could be found within the Liberal ranks. But I cannot forbear a comparison of what is contained in the estimates for public works in North Bruce. Kincardine, where there is nothing but a couple of fishing boats and a few canoes-a passenger boat or a freight boat never enters the harbour except to bring in a little bit of coal-Kincardine got about $16,000 last year. Port Bruce-I do not know where it is, although I know every foot of North Bruce-got $1,023.68. Saugeen river, Where they fish only with pole and line, got $8,994.48. Southampton-never a cargo went out of there since Adam was a boy-got $4,999.21. Stokes bay-where a man has a saw mill-got $3,950.60. I have no ccmplaints about these expenditures, but if the riding of North Bruce is entitled to that amount of money, with no shipping whatever, what should Goderich harbour receive? Judging by what North Bruce got last year and again this year, I may tell my friends in confidence that it looks like a general election. These expenditures are a pretty good barometer.
Now, Mr. Speaker, I should like to add a word about immigration, but as the committee on agriculture and colonization will deal with
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that-and at the present rate of going it will be the last couple of days of the session-I had better not attempt to deal with it. I have been attending the committee, and I may frankly say that no progress is being made, the work is not being taken up seriously, and it looks to me as though the government was not very anxious that we should reach an investigation of the Immigration department. Immigration is a big problem that will take a long time to consider. A good many people will have to be called tc give evidence, and therefore I think that a more permanent committee would be better able to deal with it.
We are told that there is a great deal of prosperity throughout the country, but each member, regardless of politics, says it cannot be found in his constituency. My hon. friend from Temiscouata (Mr. Pouliot) said that while in his riding the people are equally as prosperous as hon. members opposite would have us believe is the case in the country generally, the boys in his riding went to the United States to make money so they could come back and pay off the mortgage on the old man's house.
He said they were coming back.
We have also been told that we are emigration agents for the United States. Now, Mr. Speaker, if I had a son twenty-one years old, fully equipped for life, and he came to me and said: "Dad, all my friends who have gone to the United States have made good, and those who have remained here are getting along indifferently with no bright prospects," I would be torn between my love for British institutions and the material welfare of my son. But why should I? For I fancy that about the only time the Prime Minister of Canada (Mr. Mackenzie King) ever went out to seek a living he went to the United States.
Mr. J. C. BRADY (Skeena):
After I heard the splendid address of the hon. member for North Huron (Mr. Spotton), I could not help believing but that the Postmaster General (Mr. Veniot) had been dropping a lot of orange peels in the path of the various ministers of his own cabinet.