March 16, 1931

CON

Charles Hazlitt Cahan (Secretary of State of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. C. H. CAHAN (Secretary of State):

In reply I would ask my hon. friend to put the question on the order paper.

Topic:   CENSUS COMMISSIONERS
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SPEECH FROM THE THRONE

ADDRESS IN REPLY MOVED BY MR. MAX. D. CORMIER AND SECONDED BY MR. VICTOR C. PORTEOUS


The house proceeded to the consideration of the speech delivered by His Excellency the Administrator at the opening of the session. Mr. MAX. D. CORMIER (Restigouche-Madawaska) (Translation): Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to move, seconded by the hon. member for North Grey (Mr. Porteous) that a humble Address be presented to His Excellency the Administrator of Canada, to thank His Excellency for the gracious speech which he has been pleased to make to both Houses of Parliament, at the opening of this session. Mr. Speaker, it is an honour which reverts to the constituency I am proud to represent; a burden which I personally must bear. I hope, however, that the customary indulgence of this house towards new members will facilitate the difficult task with which the right hon. Prime Minister (Mr. Bennett) and his hon. colleagues have been kind enough to entrust me. I believe that this is the first time an Acadian h?s been so honoured. It was also desired that my first words uttered, as a member of the House of Commons of Canada, should be in the language of my forefathers as well as my own. In my own name and on behalf of my French-speaking constituents of Madawaska and Restigouche, I wish . to offer, to whom it may concern my humble token of sincere gratitude. The hon. members who preceded me in the difficult task which I must fulfil may often have been, and with truth, able to boast of Canada's prosperity and thank Providence for its bounty in this respect. Can I, however, say to-day that the country is prosperous? The speech from the throne mentions the fact that the nations of the world are passing through an economic crisis and that Canada has not been spared. If we cannot thank Providence for the difficulties with which we are beset, we can and must sincerely thank Providence for having assisted us to place at the head of the affairs of this country an administration which will take the necessary measures to relieve the situation and provide in the future against the return of present conditions. His Excellency also tells us that, although Canada has not felt the pangs which other nations have, the situation of our country is



The Address-Mr. Cormier not what it should be, and that many of our problems are not the sequel of a universal crisis. If Canada had had, since 1921, a cautious administration, a government determined to toil for the welfare of the people rather than seek the support of a group whose vision did not embrace all parts of Canada, a young country like ours, immensely rich in natural resources of all kinds, with a population less than ten millions, could have passed through this world crisis without difficulty. Theorists, of the old schools, however, setting aside the lessons of our tariff history since 1878, despising the post-war example of almost every country of the world in tariff matters, swerved and began the wilful destruction of the Canadian tariff. The consequence of this fatal policy was soon felt. The closing of mills, foreign .purchases, an unrest among the working classes, a decrease in the purchasing power of our currency and the decline of the home market for our farmers. These are a few immediate results of the policy of a government that the people has punished and which they will not soon forget. Abraham Lincoln once spoke in this strain. I know very little about tariff. I do know, however, that when we purchase rails from a foreign country, we have the rails and the foreigner has our money; but when we purchase rails in our own country, we have both the rails and the money. This is the simple but clear explanation of a great economic principle. This principle can be applied to all products manufactured or not that the Canadian people purchase abroad and which should be produced and bought in our own country. That is why, as soon as legally possible, the right hon. Prime Minister, in less than a month and a half after the general elections of July last, called an emergency session of parliament, in keeping with his pledge; tariff changes were enacted and put into force and immediately an improvement in domestic conditions was felt; foreign industries were invited to establish themselves in Canada; the people's morale rose, and the country began anew its ascending march towards progress. Owing to its geographical situation, Canada needs an adequate protection for its industries and various products. The speech from the throne intimates that changes in the tariff will be submitted at this session of parliament, that a bill providing for a new tariff commission will be brought down, and that this commission wall undertake to stabilize trade and give the Canadian producers a chance of developing our domestic market under loyal com- petitive conditions towards foreign producers while protecting the consumers of this country against all exploitation. I feel certain that the whole country will applaud these statements of a lofty political order, and that the house will enact these measures which aim at developing our industries, thus relieving unemployment and bringing back to the Canadian fatherland happiness and prosperity. The unemployment relief measure adopted at the session of September last, has proved beneficial. This emergency and purely charitable legislation, with the aid of provincial governments, municipalities and our two great railway systems, was the means of providing the daily bread to hundreds of thousands of citizens during the winter. In my own riding this wholesome and providential measure gave to numerous families the necessities of life which had been denied them owing to the decrease in lumbering operations. I do not wish to take up the time of the house in quoting statistics, but I want to draw your attention, sir, to a report of the hon. Minister of Labour (Senator Robertson), published on the l'lith inst. in the Ottawa Journal. The report states that 231,351 people had benefited from the help given the unemployed, that the days of *work secured by the joint assistance of the federal and provincial governments and railways, amounted to 3,975,355, that these outstanding figures did not include the report of the Quebec government. Moreover, there had been direct assistance given to families and individuals in all parts of the country. When the final report is made public, the figures which I have just quoted will be greatly increased. The pledge given by the right hon. Prime Minister, to take immediate steps after the elections to relieve unemployment, is in striking contrast with the dillydallying policy of the late administration which contended that the unemployment crisis existed only in the imagination of the then opposition, and continued blindly to fill the country with immigrants to the number of about 100,000 annually. The present government has shut the door against all those who cannot provide for themselves and, as regards certain countries, it has closed the door definitely, so long as present conditions do not entirely disappear. This sound.legislation has received the approbation of the Canadian people. The house knows, and so does the country, that when an illness is aggravated by the lack of proper care the convalescence is slow. The opposition, through its speakers and press, rebukes the new administration for not having cured, in a few The Address-Mr. Cormier months, the ills from which the country is suffering. They are not in earnest. The late government should have foreseen this. To govern is to foresee. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. This lack of foresight is the direct cause of a great number of our difficulties and the Canadian people have already and will continue to place the blame where it belongs. The speech from the throne mentions the imperial and economic conferences held in London last autumn. Constitutional questions were discussed and agreed upon in principle; however, the resolutions approved will not be put into force until the provinces of Canada have had the opportunity of studying them. An interprovincial conference will be held in the capital, in April next, with the view of considering these constitutional changes and making sure that the rights of the provinces are not violated. The Canadian people are happy to learn that the representatives of all the Dominions of the Empire will meet in Ottawa, in th course of next summer, to discuss the problems already broached at the London conferences, to settle upon plans for closer trade relations between the various parts of the empire and to thus assure a lasting and advantageous policy for Canada and the empire. The Canadian people will closely follow these various conferences which, we hope, without infringing on provincial rights, will result in more happiness and prosperity for our people. The speech from the throne also mentions the order in council prohibiting the imports into Canada of 'certain products having their origin in the socialistic and sovietic republics, in other words, the Russian entbargo. This measure was so favourably commented upon throughout Canada that it is unnecessary to debate it at length in the house. This order is dated February 27, 1931, but it had its source in an Act passed at the special session of the Dominion parliament in September last. Let it suffice to state that the Quebec legislature, by a motion, has shown its appreciation to the Dominion government for having prohibited the importation of Russian products which compete with those of this country. Since the Quebec legislature has deemed proper to congratulate the present government on its action, the measure enacted must be of the utmost importance for all classes of the community. The Pensions Act adopted at the last session of the sixteenth parliament will be amended. The act as it exists is not satisfactory. The federal treasury pays 50 per cent of these pensions to the provinces which undertake to pay the other half. Seeing that the financial state of many provinces does not allow the carrying out of this act, those governments which are not in a position to benefit by it are forced to-day to pay their quota, without receiving any advantages. An amendment was necessary. The provinces of Canada will be relieved of a heavy load and those whose infirmities of old age preclude from earning their living will bless the hand that assists them. The grants to technical schools will be highly welcomed by the people. Technical training deserves to be encouraged by this house. In my own riding, at Edmundston, we have a technical school which justifies its existence. We expended a considerable initial capital believing that the Dominion government would continue the grant already voted. When we learned that the late government had decided to discontinue this grant, there was almost a panic in our town. This meant the closing of this institution which is almost indispensable to our young people who wish to learn a trade in order to better earn their living. I must therefore congratulate the government on taking measures to continue these grants to technical schools. Time precludes me from dealing with all the measures enumerated in the Speech from the Throne; however, these measures herald a period of great prosperity for this country. Among them we find: tariff revision, the appointment of a new tariff commission, economy in our finances, amendments to the Naturalization Act and the Copyright Act; amendments to the Pensions Act, assistance to agriculture, technical education and Trans-Canada highways; assistance in the sale of our wheat crops, interprovincial and imperial conferences at Ottawa; better control of government purchases. It is a policy implying, that the pledges given to the people were given seriously, not mere vote-catchers, but pledges which were destined to be carried out, ensuring a return to prosperous conditions which should exist in this beautiful and vast country. The other day, in Quebec, a veteran of our Canadian politics, the Hon. Thomas Chapais, stated: On July 28 last, the electoral verdict has placed at the helm of this country that eminent statesman, Mr. Bennett, one of the greatest that Canada has produced. And mind you, he added, such will be the verdict of history. That distinguished statesman, beloved and respected by those who will long sit on your right, Mr. Speaker, can depend, in this house and throughout the country, on the support of a united and loyal party. He



The Address-Mr. Cormier may also depend on the votes of the people of Canada. The province of New Brunswick, his native province, is proud of him and the Canadian people now realize that they have found a saviour. It has been said, Mr. Speaker, that history was in the making when last week, for the first time since confederation, His Excellency the Governor 'General was not present at the opening of parliament. If my information is correct, it is also the first time since confederation that an Acadian has received the honour of moving the resolution in reply to the Speech from the Throne. The event may be of little historical importance to the rest of Canada. Acadians, however, an important element of our eastern population, will long remember the occasion and the broadmindedness of the right hon. Prime Minister and his colleagues in this behalf. Permit me to say that the Acadians are law-abiding citizens, proud of their ancestry, proud of their customs and their language, but prouder still of their connection with the British crown. Any move to weaken the ties which bind them to the mother country would be deeply resented. I appreciate to the full the honour conferred upon me. The honour is not due to me personally, but is due to my electors for the loyal support- they gave our party on July 28th of last year. The electoral district of Restigouche-Mada-waska is inhabited by citizens of mixed racial origins and mixed religious beliefs. I am pleased .to say that we live happily together; we are friendly and neighbourly; we mix socially and in business affairs; the race problem there has long been eliminated, if it ever existed. The county of Madawaska, mostly French, for years elected to this house the late Hon. John C'ostigan. In the local legislature we have had as representatives Mr. Thomas Clair and Colonel Jesse W. Baker. In the town of Edmundston, 85 per cent French, since our incorporation, we have elected as mayor, Mr. Burpee, Mr. Hall and Mr. Lawson. In the county of Restigouche, about 65 per cent French, we elect for the local legislature a member of English origin and one of French origin. In the town of Campbellton, English-speaking in the majority the mayor is of English origin whilst -the president of the local board of trade is of French origin. In the last federal election the Englishspeaking sections of my constituency gave me a most loyal support, although my opponent was English-speaking. This harmonious working together of different races and different religions is most worthy of commendation, and it is in deference to the English-speaking members of this House and [Mr. Cormier. 1 in appreciation and gratitude to my Englishspeaking constituents that I make these few remarks in the English language in this my first address in the House of Commons, an address which, by custom, is delivered in the French language. Moderation in all things is a virtue. The principle of give and take in a mixed community makes for good understanding. If we would only follow the golden rule and the teachings of the Sermon on the Mount, how much useless rancour and strife would be eliminated from the face of the earth! I said a moment ago that history was in the making. When the political history of Madawaska county is written, it will be recorded that it voted Conservative from 1867 to 1900; then in 1900, unfortunately for itself and for the rest of the country, it went wrong and until 1930 supported Liberal candidates by very large majorities. It went so wrong that in 1908 it gave our party only 84 votes. Last July the difference between the votes given the two parties was 87, in spite of base appeals promiscuously scattered throughout the length and breadth of the county by our opponents at a time when such appeals could not be met. Mr. Speaker, the prodigal son is coming back home and will never leave it again! I have said that moderation is a virtue. When the political history of Canada is written, if it is written according to the facts, it will record that in times of national crisis the moderates, and therefore the virtuous of both parties in Canada joined together to defend political principles which made for the betterment and the happiness of the people. It happened in 1854, and the result of that union was confederation. It happened again at the election of 1878, when hard times had come over the land. It happened again in 1911, when reciprocity with another nation threatened the economic life of Canada. It happened again during the great war when the moderates of both parties joined together for the common good. And it happened in 1930, when starvation was staring us in the face; again the moderates of both political parties in Canada joined hands to give the country one of the ablest statesmen it has ever produced. The energy, the courage, the determination shown by our 'beloved leader, since he accepted that elevated position are so well known to Canadians and so fresh in their memory that it is useless for me to dwell upon the subject. Let me assure this house, however, that in spite of newspaper talk from sources very well known to us all, in the words of the Montreal Star: The Address-Mr. Porteous .... lie will have the support of a loyal and united party, and he may be assured that he enjoys in the country a popular confidence won by his courageous enunciation of a national policy and the demonstration of an unmistakable determination to prosecute such policy to the end that greater economic development shall set the Dominion's course to new advancement and hasten material prosperity, and in lines that will be parallel and in unison with a sound and broadminded plan directed to increase trade with the empire. With the Prime Minister's great capacity for work goes an equally great capacity to get things done. He does not move in a circle, but marches direct to the goal. Depending upon these qualities, Canadians have a firm belief that Mr. Bennett will accomplish successfully and in due season the great task that lies in front of him.


CON

Victor Clarence Porteous

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. V. C. PORTEOUS (North Grey):

Mr. Speaker, on rising to second the motion for an address in reply to the speech from the throne, if you will permit me, I would like first to touch briefly on a few matters which affect me personally. The first intimation I had that I would be associated with this motion, was that I would be the mover, but I am indeed pleased to have the opportunity of stepping aside to give to the French speaking members of this house and the French speaking people of this Dominion, whom I most highly respect, their just and proper rights according to our customary procedure.

I appreciate to the fullest extent the honour the government have conferred on me in having chosen me to be associated with this motion and, while I feel entirely unworthy, I will try to perform my duty to the best of my ability having had from both sides of the house the assurance of a patient hearing. I am proud to be the representative of North Grey and to be able, as such, to pass on to that constituency any honour that may result from the fact that for the first time in Canadian history a representative of that riding has been chosen to second the address in reply to the speech from the throne.

We have in the constituency of North Grey a riding which, while not rich in the traditions of any one party, has sent many honest, upright representatives to both houses, from both parties. It is a constituency which has at heart the welfare not only of North Grey but of the entire Dominion and which has contributed of its manhood and womanhood to the upbuilding throughout Canada, especially in the western provinces, of agricultural, industrial, marine and business life. I share with the hon. member for Southeast Grey (Miss Macphail) the honour of representing what is in many respects the leading agricultural county in the province of Ontario.

I am proud also in this capacity to represent the farmers of this Dominion, for while we are at present in a period of depression and feeling it keenly, we are not downhearted. We all know that whatever may happen in the future, agriculture is still the basic industry of Canada. I am glad to have been chosen as a farmer because it goes to show me, and the people of this Dominion, that the farmers will receive just recognition from this government.

. We have been welcomed to our duties, Mr. Speaker, at a time of great world economic depression. May we fulfil those duties having ever in mind the hardship that is evident, especially among our labouring classes and our farmers; may we discharge those duties having the welfare of our Canadian citizens at heart, particularly those citizens who at this time and as a result of the depression, are feeling distress, hoping that by sane measures and just administration Canada may be restored to that condition of prosperity which a country so rich in natural resources, should enjoy. We will be called upon to consider means and measures which we believe will bring back prosperity to Canada, We believe there are measures which may be put in force that will have the desired effect; we believe in a country such as Canada, with its agricultural, mineral, transportation, power and industrial wealth, there should not be the depression that exists at the present moment.

For the purpose of dealing promptly and effectually with the situation the government called a special emergency session of parliament last September when tariff measures were passed which we believed would improve conditions. The action taken was not merely a revival of the historic national policy of Sir John A. Macdonald, but rather it was the fulfilment of that policy. Never during the lifetime of Canada's great Conservative prime minister did protection receive the wholesale test which parliament gave it last September. The result has been the revival of industry. Many industries which had closed their doors have again commenced to operate, and many others which were running only part time are now operating to capacity. The restoration of buying power to people who previously had been out of the market has reacted on Canadian industry, which feels not only the stimulus from without due to the elimination of foreign competition, but also from within, due to the increased purchasing power of Canadian workmen. This has been done without increasing the price to the consumer,

The Address-Mr. Porteous

an act unprecedented in Canadian history, but what gives us greater hope is that governing bodies of industries, both within and without our Dominion, are placing their confidence in this administration as an efficient, stable and protective government, and are planning to build new industries and enlarge those now in operation without fear of sudden changes in the fiscal policy of the country.

The Unemployment Relief Act, passed last September, has done much to relieve distress in many families and, while only a temporary measure, it has served the purpose for which it was passed to the joy and comfort of thousands of Canadian citizens from coast to coast.

In the fall of 1930 Canada was represented at the Imperial and Imperial economic conferences. These representatives discharged their duties despite no small amount of ridicule from parties holding other political faiths and from countries outside the empire. Canada's attitude with regard to imperial trade, was presented in a capable manner, the result of which, we believe, will yet bind together the British Empire by a policy which will be beneficial to all concerned and will create a greater market for Canadian agricultural products and make for a stronger and a better empire.

This government has seen fit to prohibit, by order in council, importations of certain commodities from the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. We believe that by so doing we not only protect our own social and economic welfare, but will eventually protect the citizen of that country as well, against a system which we do not endorse. We have learned that there are better means of opposing the objects of a country than by warfare.

Through the organization which we have under the Pension Act, we are convinced that justice will be administered and no legitimate claims will be ignored.

In agriculture we have a condition such as we on Canadian farms have never had to contend with before. The prices of agricultural products never before declined to such an extent as they have in the past twelve months. The reason is that in relation to price, agricultural products, like other raw materials, are directly responsive to supply and demand; therefore they are the first to come down. Others will follow, but not so suddenly. We must endeavour to bring about better conditions in the agricultural districts of Canada, both in the east and in the west, which alike are suffering from the depression of the present period. This may be done by different means.

Wre must try to obtain markets for our products both at home and abroad. This we are endeavouring to do, first, by keeping our people employed at home, and second, by procuring markets in other countries for our products. We must, if possible, lessen transportation costs on agricultural products by using the cheapest means, and to that end we expect the Hudson Bay route to be beneficial. We must cut down the cost of marketing farm products as far as is within our power as a ' government, and we must cheapen the cost of production as far as possible by using more scientific methods. I venture to say, Mr. Speaker, that the cost of production on Canadian farms varies greatly. I believe that in my short period of life production costs have been cut by fifty per cent on many farms by practising better, and more scientific, methods. I believe there is much still to be done along these lines.

We have in Canada the best farm land in the world. We have the best farmers to be found anywhere. We produce farm products unequalled by any other country and we can and we will reduce production costs in competition with any country.

This government is striving to find the cheapest methods of producing quality products which we can sell on the home and also on the foreign market at a profit. To my mind it is not a question so much of reducing production as it is of reducing production costs. If this can be done, it will alleviate to a great extent the depression in agriculture. Then we must strive to relieve the farmer from such high taxation. This is proposed to be done by relieving the municipalities of the burden of the old age pension. When we again bring agriculture to a profitable basis, we will make a more prosperous Canada, both rural and urban.

We must stand together in this unsettled condition, as perhaps we have never been called upon to stand before, remembering that for one class to succeed the other must succeed also. We are a country of diversified occupations and business, but by that diversity we create strength if we all work together. This is no time for one class to try to take advantage of another, or for one industry to try to take advantage of another, or for the rich to try to take advantage of the poor, or for the poor to try to take advantage of the rich; but we must unite in fair competition for the welfare of our country.

Here I should like to quote a verse from Edgar A. Guest's poem Our Country in The Path to Home:

The Address-Mr. Mackenzie King

God grant that we shall never see Our country slave to lust and greed;

God grant that men shall always be United for our nation's need.

Here selfishness has never reigned,

Here freedom all who come may know;

By tyranny our flag's unstained!

God grant that we may keep it so.

And in conclusion, sir, the people of Canada may feel assured of the future progress of our country, under the able policies which are being carried into effect by the sagacity and determination which have characterized the present government and won the confidence of the people in the short time which they have had for the introduction of their principles.

Right Hon. W. L. MACKENZIE KING ('Leader of the Opposition); Mt. Speaker, the House of Commons always listens with great interest to the maiden speeches of its new members, particularly so when they are the mover and seconder of the address to His Excellency the Governor General, who in this instance happens to be His Excellency the Administrator, thanking him for the speech which he has delivered to parliament.

Speaking in the House of Commons is not an easy matter at any time. It is a particularly difficult one to those who come into the house for the first time, and the difficulty increases where the occasion is, like the present, an important one having relation to the particular resolution which has just been moved and seconded. Parliament allows the fullest latitude in discussions on the address, but distinct limitations are placed upon the mover and seconder. They are expected to have regard primarily to what appears in the address itself and they are chosen because it is believed they will endorse everything the address contains and that they will say-nothing but good of the administration. These are very distinct limitations, particularly with respect to the address which this year has been given to parliament by His Excellency, as I think I shall be able to show when I come to point out the extent and more particularly, the nature of the legislation which is set forth as that for consideration during this session.

Having regard to these circumstances, I can say, and say with all sincerity, that those of us who sit on this side of the house, though we do not agree with much that the hon. gentlemen have said, nevertheless can accord to them very warmly our congratulations on the manner in which they have presented their views.

The hon. member for Restigouohe-Mada-waska (Mr. Cormier) has set an example such

as we get, I think, only, certainly mostly, from those of this house who are of French descent and all of whom seem to be able to speak with equal fluency in the French or in the English language. I think he is to be congratulated and commended for having made use at this tame of both languages. He has had much experience as a public man and in the administration of affairs also in his profession at the bar as well as in other ways, and it was to have been expected that he would present his argument in an able manner.

I wish he had not read his speech although that is perhaps quite excusable in the circumstances; but I hope it is a precedent that will not be followed. I believe in his case, it was unnecessary, because after listening to him I am sure there is every reason to believe that had he attempted to speak without notes he would probably have been even more eloquent than he was with the aid of manuscript.

May I say to my hon. friend from North Grey (Mr. Porteous) that while he may not have had the experience which the mover of the address (Mr. Cormier) has had in public affairs, he has the advantage of youth and he will find that to be more and more of an asset as he continues to play a part in the affairs of this house. We congratulate Mm very cordially, especially on many of the sentiments to which he gave expression. .

In listening to both speakers I could not but be impressed with the sentiments, with the aims and with the object which they have in view. We on this side of the house can give to many of the sentiments expressed most hearty assent and accord. I fear, however, cherishing the sentiments they do, they will have to get their leader to change more than one of his policies or they will never be able to see their ideals realized.

With these words, Mr. Speaker, may I repeat how cordially we of the opposition congratulate the hon. member for Restigouche-Madawaska and the hon. member for North Grey on their maiden addresses.

Reference has been made in the speech of the mover of the resolution to the circumstance that this year parliament was opened by His Excellency the Administrator, in the person of one who is a distinguished citizen of our own Dominion. That calls to mind the fact that this is due to the approaching appointment of His Excellency Lord Willingdon, who still is our Governor General, to possibly the most important office in the gift of His Majesty's government in Britain, namely, that of Viceroy of India. I am sure that all citizens of Canada, irrespective of party, will

The Address-Mr. Mackenzie King

realize that the appointment is being made because of His Excellency's exceptional abilities as an administrator, his qualities of heart and mind, his great career an the public service, the part already played by him in India as Governor of Bombay and Madras, and the manner in which he carried out the duties of the high office of representative of His Majesty in this Dominion. We in Canada who cherish constitutional self-government and who wish to see it developed to the full in all parts of the British Empire feel that it is fortunate for India that His Excellency Lord Wdllingdon, has been chosen as viceroy of that country. We believe that at this critical time in the affairs of India no better choice could have been made for the high and responsible position of king's representative in that part of the empire. I am sure I speak in the name of all parties and all classes in our country when I say that Lord Willingdon in entering upon this great responsibility carries with him the heartfelt good wishes, the hopes and the prayers of the Canadian people.

I shall come at once to the address which has been presented by His Excellency the Administrator. It falls into five subdivisions which are easily distinguishable. The first subdivision relates to economic conditions throughout the world and in Canada; the second to the legislation passed aft the last session; the third to the Imperial conference and the Imperial economic conference which met last year in London; the fourth to certain legislative enactments since the last special session, and the fifth-taking a corresponding proportion of the whole address- to the proposed legislative program of this session.

I will comment briefly upon these different divisions. The first, which relates to the economic condition of the world and of Canada, is partly in the nature of a sermon and partly in the nature of a diagnosis. How good a sermon and how good a diagnosis will depend upon the meaning to be ascribed to certain of the phrases in that part of the address. I am assuming that the Prime Minister (Mr. Bennett) has put into the lips of His Excellency the Administrator the phrases which appear here, and I am therefore in no way reflecting upon the Administrator in commenting on the wording of the address. With this in mind, I wish to draw the attention of the House to one or two passages in the address. As I said before, how good a sermon it is will depend upon the meaning to be attached to certain phrases appearing therein. For example, referring to

economic conditions the address contains this paragraph:

It will he your privilege to consider certain measures designed by my ministers to ameliorate existing conditions, to provide further means by which our people may go forward to achieve a prosperity heretofore unattained and to furnish them with all possible safeguards against a recurrence of the present subordination to world forces.

What is meant by "subordination to world forces"? Does the Prime Minister intend that- to mean that Canada is to be put in a position of isloation, a position so completely self-contained as to exclude trade with other countries so that no matter what happens in other parts of the world Canada will not be affected thereby? When we consider the policies which he has presented to this country and which he inteneds further to present to parliament, there is reason to believe tlxat he believes he can make of Canada a self-contained, non-trading country. During this session we will have to consider very carefully, assuming that such an end could be reached, whether it would be in the interests of this country, either immediately or in the long rim.

In another portion of the address my right hon. friend speaks of the gulf which has to be bridged between conditions as they are at the present time and conditions as he hopes they will be in the course of time. As regards the conditions existing to-day in Canada, I think we all recognize the fact that a very large gulf will have to be bridged if Canada is to be started on the way to prosperity, but whether or not that gulf will be bridged successfully will depend very much upon the policies of the administration. I am afraid, Mr. Speaker, that if hon. gentlemen opposite continue to put into effect the policies which thus far they have tried to put into effect, then the gulf will come more and more to resemble the gulf between Dives and Lazarus, on the one side, we will have the rich becoming richer, and on the other, the poor becoming poorer, to the great detriment of the future well-being of our country.

My right hon. friend goes on to say in the speech from the throne that many of our problems arise out of world conditions. It is interesting to notice the stress that hon. gentlemen opposite are putting to-day upon world conditions. They are contending that the situation in Canada is to be expected, that it is a natural result of world influences and that world conditions are affecting this Dominion. We did not hear that kind of statement from the lips of the present Prime Minister or other of his supporters when they

The Address-Mr. Mackenzie King

were appealing last year to the country for support. They were not telling the people at that time that world conditions had anything to do with the situation then existing; it was all put upon the shoulders of the government of the day, which was blamed wholly and exclusively for conditions as they were. But hon. gentlemen had not been in office five minutes before their whole tune changed, and they began to talk about world conditions being responsible for the situation they were about to face.

My right hon. friend speaks about certain conditions antecedent to the world-wide depression-[DOT]

.... that many of our problems do not arise out of world-wide depression, but are antecedent to it; and that domestic factors have also largely determined the degree of economic distress from which this country is suffering.

Here again we must ask ourselves what is meant in that particular paragraph by "antecedent conditions". What are the antecedent conditions to which my right hon. friend refers? If I am to judge by some of his correspondence which has been shown to me by different persons, I would assume he is there referring to the great load which he says he is carrying at the present time, a legacy the like of which except in war time no prime minister of Canada has heretofore had to carry. I have seen correspondence of that kind signed by my right hon. friend, but I notice-

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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Prime Minister; Minister of Finance and Receiver General; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

Will my right hon. friend produce it and read it?

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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

I think I can

produce some of it.

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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Prime Minister; Minister of Finance and Receiver General; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

If my right hon. friend

refers to it he should produce it and read it.

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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

I think I can get permission to produce some of it.

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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Prime Minister; Minister of Finance and Receiver General; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

If it is personal correspondence, reference should not be made to it; otherwise if he refers to correspondence, he is bound to produce it.

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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

I said that

I was referring to certain correspondence which had been shown to me.

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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Prime Minister; Minister of Finance and Receiver General; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

That is not sufficient.

I rise to a point of order. We might as well have a thorough understanding that the amenities of debate are to be observed in this house, and one of them is that nohon. member can paraphrase what someone else says if it is in writing, unless he produces it, because he puts on it his own interpretation and not the meaning of the

writer. This anonymous letter business should not be heard of in this house. Let the correspondence be produced or not referred to.

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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

Let my right

hon. friend wiggle as he pleases at this particular moment-

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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Prime Minister; Minister of Finance and Receiver General; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

I am not the wiggler.

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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

It is quite

apparent that my right hon. friend is fully conscious of certain of his correspondence which was marked "personal" but which was shown to me by the one to whom it was addressed.

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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Prime Minister; Minister of Finance and Receiver General; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

There is a rule of the

house on that point. AAhat does the house think of a leader of the opposition who reads a personal letter which he had no right to see and talks of it? In a court of law, any counsel who did that would be dealt with by the judge, and the rule holds good in any decent society such as this house surely is. It is wholly out of order for any hon. member to refer to personal correspondence which someone has shown to him but which he should not have seen, and try to paraphrase what it means.

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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

If the Prime Minister had sent me a letter and marked it as "personal" I would have regarded it as such. In reply to a workingman in this country who was complaining about the failure of my right hon. friend and his government to make good their pledges to labour, my right hon. friend took upon himself to write to this man an effusive communication which only helped to add insult to his injury and the man showed the letter to me.

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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Prime Minister; Minister of Finance and Receiver General; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

I ask for a ruling on a

point of order. May any member refer to correspondence written to some other person by another member and marked "personal", without producing it? The rule is that no member should put his interpretation upon another man's words without the writing being produced, because the other members are quite as capable of understanding what is meant as is the hon. member speaking. I think the rule is quite clear. It is frequently acted upon in the house.

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March 16, 1931