February 24, 1930

LIB

James Malcolm (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Mr. MALGOLM:

Thirty per cent.

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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

You would make it

thirty-five per cent if you had the chance. Will the hon. gentleman, with a rubber factory in his own town of Kitchener, say to the people of his own constituency that the rubber industry is not indigenous to Canada and should: be wiped out? Will the hon. gentleman who has just succeeded the late member for Chateauguay-Huntingdon (Mr. O'Connor) go back to the people of Valley-field and say that the Minister of Railways and Canals is right and that the cotton industry should be wiped out and that it is affording employment to a few hundred people only? Will the Minister of Justice go back to Quebec and read what the Minister of Railways and Canals has said about boots and shoes?

These are the questions which the people are asking themselves. Is this government sincere? Is there any unity of purpose or thought in. their minds? We know that there is no unity of thought, and there is no unity of purpose except to retain the promised land. Is there any unity of purpose or policy? If so, what is it? Is it anything more than to stay in. office and1 retain power? That is the question, and I have a right to ask it.

I have gone over this speech from the throne and' indicated what conditions are and I do not think that anyone can say that I was not within the facts. This country is confronted with the situation of an adverse trade balance for last month of over $10,000,000. The United States figures show that we purchased last year nearly $1,000,000,000 from that country. What are you going to do about it? What about the adverse balance of trade with reference to butter, cheese and dairy products? What about bacon? What about hams? What about pork, and similar products? A carload of eggs and a carload of pork products came into Calgary the other day from the United States. Is that to continue? What about vegetables and fruit? What about market garden products? Is it true that the Minister of Agriculture for the province o!f Quebec has been promised that legislation affecting those products will be passed this session? I commend to my hon. friend from Weyfourn (Mr. Young) the report of that hon. gentleman. Has assurance been given, as is freely stated in the province of Quebec, that such legislation as will protect the-market gardener will foe enacted at this session of parliament?

The Address-Mr. Mackenzie King

Bare your backs for the burden, O ye Progressives. Be prepared for the great recantation. We will watch for it. It has been promised and we are prepared for it. Watch them as they go up to the block, one after the other. It was all wrong a year ago; it is all right now. What is the change? Not in conditions, except that they are a little worse than they were. Have you changed your mind? Then you were a false .prophet and misled the people of this country when you asked them to adopt the principles which you now say they should disapprove, or vice versa.

That is the reason that there is evident throughout this country the keenest interest in what this parliament will do. There is the keenest feeling that the Canadian parliament should do something for Canadians, that we should not waste our time in empty resolutions but that we should do something which will be of value. We have been told that this ministry is to go to London to attend an economic conference, this ministry which had only forty-three per cent of the votes of the people of this country at the last election, this ministry which never has had a majority of the Canadian electors vote for it. We say that it is not right or fair that a government such as that should represent this country at such a conference until the people have been consulted.

One step more. Time after time when I have endeavoured to speak a word on behalf of Canada I have been told by the right hon. the Prime Minister that I should not say anything that is provocative to the United States of America, and he denounced the speeches which were made last year as being provocative. He went to western Canada and spoke in the city of Calgary and he told them there that the question of a general election would be dependent to some extent upon the action of the American congress. I put to this house this question, a question which I think every serious minded Canadian must consider. Shall the determination of the date of the next general election depend upon matters of Canadian concern or upon the course which the United States government may see fit to adbpt in respect to tariff and other matters? We are not advocating legislation against anyone; what we are asking for is legislation for Canada. At the time the right hon. gentleman was making those speeches in western Canada, another gentleman, with whose writings he is very familiar, Professor Taussig of Harvard university, one of the most eminent authorities on economics, had this to say in the Foreign Affairs Journal, a powerful magazine published in the United States:

For many years we have treated Canada much as a big bully .treats the smaller boy.

The article reviews the new tariff bill of the United States and the above sentence appears at page 3. I commend it to the attention of the house and this country. Remember that those words are not mine. When I ventured to raise my voice last year in defence of what I considered to be Canadian rights, I was denounced as a jingo. Because I ventured to speak a word for this country and criticized other countries I was denounced as saying things which were provocative. But justification comes, not from my own friends, not from this parliament or from this .country, but it comes in the words of one of the most eminent economists in the United States, a man who was the chairman of the tariff commission from 1917 to 1919. Mark you, he was not speaking about days gone by; he said, "For many years we have treated Canada much as a big bully treats the smaller boy."

Mr. Speaker, so far as I am concerned and so far as those with whom I am associated are concerned, we propose to protest against being bullied by any power on earth.

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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Right Hon. W. L. MACKENZIE KING (Prime Minister):

Mr. Speaker, like my hon. friend who has just taken his seat, I find it indeed a pleasure to be able to congratulate very warmly and sincerely the hon. gentlemen who in such an admirable way have moved and seconded the address to His Excellency. Both the hon. member for West Lambton (Mr. Gray) and the hon. member for La-prairie-Naipierville (Mr. Dupuis) are members of the legal profession. They are new members of this house; they are young in years and they are young in experience in this parliament. They each succeeded hon. members who were greatly respected and who played a very important part in the proceedings of this house. I think I cannot better express what I believe is in the minds of all here present with respect to their presentation today, in what was, I believe, in the case of each his maiden speech, than to say that in the manner in which they have addressed the house, in the substance of their remarks, in the arguments which they have brought to bear upon the matters with which they have dealt, they have reflected credit upon themselves, upon their profession, upon the constituencies which have sent them to parliament, upon the memory of those whom they have succeeded in this house as representatives, and upon the House of Commons itself.

With respect to my hon. friend (Mr. Bennett), may I say at once that we on this side, and I am sure the house generally, enjoyed his remarks this afternoon. They were for

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The Address-Mr. Mackenzie King

the most part cheerful; they were chatty; they were spicy. At the close they were emphatic and a little dramatic. So far however as giving us any real conception of what the Conservative party stands for at this time; so far as presenting any idea of what my hon. friend has in mind with respect to the nature of the appeal he proposes to make to the people when the opportunity comes, I am afraid we will search his address from beginning to end without the least in the way of enlightenment. Indeed, as one listened to my hon. friend it was apparent that he had gone through the speech from the throne with the aid of a microscope. His remarks in reference to it were in large part related to words which he thought had been wrongly left out in one place and to others that had been wrongly inserted in another place; to a phrase that might have some special significance because it happened to be just where it was, or to something which he alleged had been put in by design or which had been left out by design, and so on from the beginning to the close. It was certainly illustrative of industry from the point of view of microscopic Observation, but as for discovering anything more I am afraid we shall have to search the records in vain.

I did not expect that my hon. friend would find the speech from the throne to his liking. He said that the mover and the seconder of the address had some difficulty with respect to their remarks. If there is anyone who has had difficulty with respect to his remarks, it is my hon. friend himself; because his difficulty has been to discover, in a time of great prosperity, wherein he could make any effective criticism of the record of the present administration. In the course of his remarks he has been very careful to confine his criticism, not to the record of the government during the period we have been in office, not to the record of the government since the last general election, not to the record of the government during the past year, but to a few temporary circumstances prevailing at the moment, or exhibiting themselves in one form or another in particular localities. His remarks had no reference to ithe past year as a whole; they were confined to this and that community in which there happened to be perhaps a little more than elsewhere in the way of unemployment, to the last month or two when trade statistics were not quite as favourable as in the previous months. But the very fact that my hon. friend carefully avoided attempting to review the situation as a whole is evidence of the fact that having made that survey carefully himself, he de-

cided it was best to confine his remarks to what largely because of seasonal conditions had happened more or less within the past few weeks.

My hon. friend concluded his address with some reference to the present administration not being entitled to have its members attend an imperial conference without first of all appealing to the people and receiving a mandate for that purpose. I do not know whether or not it is my hon. friend's wish that the people should be given that opportunity, but I may tell him it is quite possible they will have it. My hon. friend says to us: "We on this side of the house are not asking for legislation against anyone; we are asking only for legislation so far as Canada is concerned."

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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

For Canada.

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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

Yes, for Canada. What was his attitude and that of all hon. gentlemen opposite at the last session when they said they were prepared to sit in their places from June of last year until, if need be, the year following, for what purpose? Was it not to legislate against someone?

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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

No.

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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

The whole

attitude of hon. gentlemen opposite was this: We are ready to wait and see what the United States do, and the moment we know what they are going to do, we will slap back at them; we will enact reprisals that will teach them a lesson they will never forget. But now my hon. friend says that he has not any desire to legislate against any person. He quotes Professor Taussig, and he says Professor Taussig has said that the United States has treated Canada for a number of years "much like a big bully treats a small boy." May I say to my hon. friend that is no reason why this country should play either the part of a small boy or a bully? May I direct my hon. friend's attention to what Professor Taussig had in mind in that particular remark? The whole purpose of the article in which that remark appears and which I have in my hand-I thought my hon. friend would probably quote from it here-was to point out the unwisdom in international affairs of attempting anything in the nature of reprisals with a desire to effect any good. My hon. friend says that I ought to know something of Professor Taussig. I do know something of him.

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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

I did not say the hon.

gentleman ought to know; I said he did.

The Address-Mr. Mackenzie King

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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

He is quite

right, and I would like to give him a little of the fruit of that learning. I have in my hand a copy of Principles of Economics by Professor Taussig, third version. At page 537 my hon. friend will find out what Professor Taussig has to say about the method of reprisals and what it means. Professor Taussig says:

In its direct economic effects, the levy of duties on imports in retaliation for duties elsewhere on a country's exports makes the situation not better, but worse.

Does my hon. friend who has quoted Professor Taussig to this house as an authority on economics, and particularly with respect to the tariff, endorse his teachings in that particular?

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CON

Isaac Duncan MacDougall

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MACDOUGALL:

What is the date of that publication?

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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

It is 1926. My colleague the Minister of Justice (Mr. Lapointe) reminds me that in referring to Professor Taussig my hon. friend the leader of the opposition quoted him as the greatest authority in America.

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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

One of the greatest, and

I still say so. I had in mind the right hon. gentleman himself as the other.

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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

May I read,

then, further what one of the greatest authorities says and ask my hon. friend if he agrees with it? This is what Professor Taussig says with respect to the protectionist doctrine, at page 543:

Making all possible allowances for the various ways in which the initial burden has been offset in the United States, there probably remains a heavy debit balance against protection, through the creation of industries dependent upon it.

Is that, may I ask, the doctrine which my hon. friend is going to put before the people?

Now let me read from the article from which my hon. friend has quoted, it appears in Foreign Affairs, for October, 1929. I will read first the paragraph which has reference to the small boy and the big bully, on page 3, and I hope my hon. friend will then tell the house whether he endorses Professor Taussig's views in their entirety:

There is no ease in which complete freedom of trade for the staple agricultural products and the fundamental raw materials is so fully justified as in our trade with Canada.

Reciprocity in natural products-is my hon. friend going to advocate that when he goes before the people of this country? This is the paragraph that contains the sentence with reference to the small boy and the big bully:

Its substantive importance, however, lies not so much in its effects on agricultural production or profit at large, as in its equalizing and stabilizing effect on seasonal fluctuations and on local trade (across the border) both ways. Our much debated duties on wheat, for example, stand in the main for a restriction upon the equalization of seasonal fluctuations. When crops of hard wheat are bad here, Canada makes up our deficiency; when crops are bad in Canada, we make up the deficiency for the United States and help to make it up for the world at large. It would be going too far afield to enter on any detailed discussion of our trade with Canada; it is great in volume, mutually beneficial if ever any trade is, and politically of pregnant importance. For many years we have treated Canada much as a big bully treats the smaller boy. Those Canadians who have championed friendship with us have had no easy task in enlisting their countrymen, and our intolerant tariff policy makes it harder and harder for them to preserve the good relations".

In other words, Professor Taussig's whole plea in the connection in which there appears his reference to the small boy and the big bully is that this business of treating a neighbour as if he were anything but a neighbour, this putting up of tariff walls for the sake of reprisals, is very far from being the kind of thing which is essential to true neighbourliness, to a better understanding between nations and to the promotion of that goodwill which should prevail throughout the world. My hon. friend the leader of the opposition uses for the purpose of stirring up ill-will the passage that Professor Taussig introduces for the purpose of trying to promote goodwill. He seeks to create in this country a prejudice against the United States.

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CON

Thomas Erlin Kaiser

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. KAISER:

Not at all. I protest against that.

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?

An hon. MEMBER:

Order.

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CON

Thomas Erlin Kaiser

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. KAISER:

We have listened to that for a great many years.

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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

I am sorry that my hon. friend finds the truth so hard to stomach.

Let me now take the first paragraph in this article from which my hon. friend the leader of the opposition has quoted. I do not know whether I should call this new Tory doctrine:

Tariff legislation is a perennial source of international distrust and irritation. Almost all countries proceed as if international trade meant not mutual gain but rivalry in grasping an advantage. Rarely, almost never, does it occur to the tariff expert or commercial negotiator that by imposing high taxes you may burden your own people. Such a person w'ould readily grant, as everyone will, that imports are paid for in the end by exports, and that exchange betw-een nations, like that betw'een different regions within a country, is advan-

The Address-Mr. Mackenzie King

tageous to both sides. But when it comes to commercial negotiations or customs legislation, all this ceases to have any significance.

And a little further on in the same paragraph :

The phraseology of war is constantly used in discussions of commercial relations. We hear of attacks upon domestic industry, defense against foreign aggression, industrial invasion, boring from within, the conquest of markets. One is almost ashamed to speak of'mutual gain, friendly cooperation, emulation that stimulates to betterment all around.

Does my hon. friend take all of that to heart? Did he have that paragraph in mind when he talked of an economic menace as he has done wherever he has gone in referring to our relations with the United States? When we were selling to the United States, it was an economic menace. If we were exporting our raw materials to the United1 States it was parting with our estate, selling our birthright; it was an economic menace. If goods were bought from the United States in some wav that too was an economic menace; the home market was being invaded. If the United States threatened to raise its tariff walls, that was in some way or other an economic menace: we would then be prevented from selling. Whether selling to, buying from or prevented from selling to the United States, it was always an economic menace. I would suggest to my hon. friend the wisdom of perusing with great care this article from beginning to end. May I read the concluding paragraph?-it is very pertinent to discussions in this house.

Mr. BOURAlSSA: Spare him.

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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

Professor Taussig says:

Iu all these matters, it is the direction in which we move that chiefly counts. At the present juncture in international affairs, more depends on the spirit which we show than on the precise things which we do. The Kellogg treaty is perhaps, as some of its critics say, no more than a gesture. But it is a noble gesture, and points the way in which mankind should think and the direction in which we should move. So with the disarmament negotiations. It makes no great difference just how we figure on parity between different ships and different ordnance. But it makes all the difference in the world whether we proceed whole heartedly on the supposition, the expectation, and the fervent wish, that peace is to prevail in the future, not war. Everyone who has meditated on the underlying causes of international friction and combat cannot but feel that it is the spirit which signifies. We must have a new and better attitude toward foreign countries. We must dismiss the language of war when we speak of our intercourse and trade with them. Something other than suspicion and enmity must sink into our hearts. It is from this higher point of view that we may well consider, not only the peace treaties which we are invoking and the disarmament which we

[Mr. Mackenzie King.l

promote, but our commercial policy as well. Shall we continue to suspect, to fear, and to cultivate fear? To treat the foreigner from whom we get goods as always an enemy and an intruder? To circumvent him, bully him, rouse his resentment and his irritation? Or shall we treat him a6 we wish to be treated ourselves? Here too it is the spirit that signifies.

That concluding paragraph, Mr. Speaker, seems to me to sum up as conclusively as any words possibly could, the attitude of the present administration, with respect to all phases of our international relations. Whether our international relations have to do with matters of trade, whether they have to do with disarmament, whether they have to do with treaties,-with whatever they have to do, the spirit of this administration is the same; it is to seek to foster good-will and to lessen ill-will, to treat neighbours as neighbours and to treat the several countries of the world as though they were members of one great human family, members, who, it was intended, should dlwell together in unity and good-will.

I have said to my hon. friend that he may find that during the course oif the year he will be given, along with others, an opportunity of presenting his views to the public at large. I do not wish this remark to lead to any misunderstanding. I wish to make the position perfectly clear. As respects the date at which a general election is to be held, that matter has not as yet been considered by the government. Under the British system .there is a limit fixed, I think very wisely, beyond which no government can ,be permitted to remain in office without appealing to the people. There is also, equally wisely, I believe, the practice of permitting as occasions may arise an appeal to the electorate in order to secure its support of an administration with respect to any matter of outstanding concern to the people at large. Whether an election will come this year or next year will depend upon developments which may take place-not in a foreign country only, but in our own and within the empire. I do not for one minute hesitate to say that tariff changes which may be made in another country might occasion an appeal to the people in this Dominion with respect to the attitude which the government might propose taking towards them. My hon. friend states that I have said that an election would depend on what takes place at Washington. I made no representation of that kind. But I will tell him this, that I can imagine a situation arising in connection with the tariff of this country which might very well be the occasion of an appeal to the people of the Dominion on the part of the present administration.

The Address-Mr. Mackenzie King

What I want to make clear to the house and to the country is this, the time that an election will take place, as to whether this year' or next, will depend upon developments which will take place in this parliament or in this country, or in relation to some things which may happen in other parts of the world but which have an immediate bearing upon conditions here. The government will reach its own decision with respect to what in the public interest it deems the best time to make an appeal. However, I will give my hon. friend this promise: the present administration will not continue in office to the last hour of the last day of the last week of the last year that tlhe constitution permits a government to remain, as 'happened in the case of a government of hon. gentlemen opposite.

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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

That was in 1896 when they were fighting for the rights of the minority.

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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

My hon. friend will remember the date.

The leader of the opposition has made certain references to changes which have taken place in the ministry since the last session. Parliament expects a statement to be made at the opening of a session with regard to such changes, and I might as well, in order to fulfil the obligation which rests upon the leader of the bouse in that particular, take advantage of the moment to state what I imagine already is everywhere known.

I was in western Canada at the time of the death of the late Mr. Rob-b. As soon as I returned to Ottawa I took up with my colleagues in council the question of a successor to be appointed' to fill the position of Minister of Finance. With the warm and hearty cooperation of members of the government I advised His Excellency to call on the Hon. Mr. Dunning, the present Minister of Finance, to fill that position. Mr. Dunninig was appointed on November 26, and took office that day. I think I may say that the approval which the country has given thiat appointment is as wide and general as was the expectation that it would be made.

Some little time ago the Horn. Mr. F'orke mentioned to me that if he were some ten years younger nothing would give him the Same satisfaction as to be able to continue in the work of the administration, but he hoped at some suitable time I would relieve him of responsibilities which he felt at his years were becoming increasingly onerous. It will be recalled that the Hon. Mr. Forke took office in 1926, and that he has been the head of toe Department of Immigration for over three

years. I did not think my hon. friend this afternoon was very chivalrous in his remarks with respect to Mr. Forke. I recall that on a previous occasion he was similarly lacking in chivalry in reference to the same gentleman. May I say this, that I question very much whether any minister in any government has been a more loyal colleague or has discharged his duties more faithfully, more conscientiously, or indeed with more ability and greater human sympathy than did the Hon. Mr. Forke his responsibilities as Minister of Immigration. It was the view of my colleagues in the cabinet generally, and it was my view, that Mr. Forke's services were far too valuable to be lost to the public life of this country, that with the wide experience he has, particularly of agricultural problems, an experience enhanced by the knowledge of national affairs gained by his many years as a member of this house and as am administrator in the cabinet, it was desirable that his place in parliament should be secured for as long a time as might be possible. Accordingly when a vacancy occurred in the senate representation in Manitoba, again with the united good-will of my colleagues, I recommended to His Excellency the appointment of Mr. Forke to the Senate, and at the same time the appointment of a successor in the cabinet to the Minister of Railways and Canals. Mr. Dunning at the time of his appointment to the position of Minister of Finance resigned the portfolio of Minister of Railways and Canals. It was at that time, after conferring with members of the government and with their hearty acquiescence, I recommended to His Excellency the appointment of the present minister, Mr. Crerar, who took office on the 30th of November.

My hon. friend in the course of his remarks this afternoon said something about agriculture; hie said it was the most important of all the industries in this country. He now nods his head in approval. Well, amongst other things a signal service has I think been done agriculture by bringing into the present administration one who was minister of agriculture in a former administration and who for a number of years was the leader of the Progressive party in this house, and by conserving for parliament in the upper chamber through years to come the services of the other gentleman who was also a leader of toe progressive group in this parliament and that immediately prior to the time he came into this administration. In other words, the administration has succeeded in placing in the two houses of parliament the one to-day in the Senate and the other to-day in the

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ministry, and in each case through or in association with the ministry, the two gentlemen who above all others were the preferred leaders of the Progressive party. The country generally will recognize in the appointments which have been made a sincere desire on the part of the government not only tlo select the best men for these positions, but to select gentlemen who are particularly well qualified to render service in the parliament of Canada to the great industry of agriculture.

My hon. friend expresses some surprise that the present Minister of Railways and Canals should find himself on this side of the house at the present time. I would ask him to let his thoughts go back to the situation as it existed in this parliament in 1922.

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February 24, 1930