Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)
If by that statement the hon. gentleman is saying they were able to coerce a reluctant government into acknowledging them as adherents, I suppose it was felt, and I apprehend that the government would say it was not only feLt but was apparent.
At any rate, we may now leave for the moment the question of our trade. It would be a very interesting matter to discuss at length, but it would serve no useful purpose. The Minister of Finance has indicated that we are now confronted with an adverse trade balance, with diminishing trade and falling revenues, and that we must prepare for a situation which some of us ventured to point out to the house would one day arise. Are there any hon. gentlemen here who recall that I was received with some scoffing when I endeavoured two years ago to point out that the era of speculation in this ocuntry was reaching a stage where it would involve Canada in very great losses. If the gentlemen are interested in reading Hansard, they will find the warning which I then gave. I stated at that time that those of us who felt these things to be true might be jeered and laughed at, but the moment might come when people would look back and say: At least there were some public men who had courage enough to point out to the people of Canada what would be the inevitable result of overinflation. I little dreamed at that moment when I listened to the then Minister of Finance, that I would hear another minister of finance rise in his seat and point out to the people of this country that one of the difficulties we are now labouring under is the great fall in values on the stock .market.
The fall in values did not touch this government except in so far as it may have touched the mining tax which my hon. friends yonder were so insistent upon. The shrinkage in values upon the exchanges of this country from the high point in 1929 to the low point in 1929, excluding bonds and debentures, amounted to very nearly $5,000,000,000. That shrinkage included oil stocks, speculative mining stocks, and various securities of that kind traded in on the regular exchanges as well as 2419-115
on the curb exchanges. If the Minister of Finance had pointed out that that did no
Subtopic: CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL
Sub-subtopic: FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE