March 16, 1931

CON

Richard Burpee Hanson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HANSON:

Surely.

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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

My hon. friend says "surely." In. the last campaign he and others continually said that the current economic situation required that these things should be done at once, and not only at once but regardless of expense. We were to have a' national highway running all the way from the Atlantic to the Pacific by an all-JCanadian route; we were to have a St. Lawrence waterway, also by an all-Canadian route; we were to have the Peace river outlet (to the ocean; we were to have other routes to Hudson bay. Everything was to be d-one at once. There was to be more in the way of aid to agriculture, technical education and old age pensions. Every old man and old woman who had a vote was made to believe that he and she were going to get full pensions as soon as this parliament met, but now they are told that they will get pensions as soon as the current economic situation warrants. Then listen to the next words:

.... and such as can he undertaken without undue demands upon the national exchequer.

When the late Liberal administration was in office, Mr. Speaker, that administration had control of the exchequer of this country. If we had wished to play in the campaign the part which was played by hon. gentlemen opposite we could have said, "Here is the exchequer in our hands. We will take the moneys out of this exchequer to provide old age pensions for everyone, aid to agriculture for every one, more in the way of technical education for everyone and highways across the country for everyone. We will do it immediately and out of the money of the people of this country." We could have said all that and we might have achieved the result which was achieved by hon. gentlemen opposite.

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CON

Ira Delbert Cotnam

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. COTNAM:

Are you sorry?

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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

I should say not, but I should think hon. gentlemen opposite might well be sorry, and I think they will be still more sorry before they have been in office very long. What I want to make perfectly clear is that we understood what these obligations amounted to. We knew what would be required in the way of taxation to do these things, and we were honest with the people.

Now may I refer to what is said in regard to the revision of the tariff and the establishment of a tariff board. I assume that the revisions will be of the character of those made at the special session, more revisions upward,

and I will have something to say in that regard a. little later on. With regard to the tariff board we will naturally wait and see what functions this board will be expected to exercise before pronouncing upon it. The first act of my hon. friend, after coming into office, was to dismiss the existing tariff board, which had collected a great deal of most valuable information and which had given satisfaction to all classes in this country, industry, agriculture, labour and others. So far as it is humanly possible for any one organization to reconcile differences of opinion and find common ground to help keep groups and parties united, this was done by the tariff board under the administration of Mr. Moore. But my hon. friend abolished the board immediately upon his assumption of office. Now he proposes to establish another tariff board. Was the abolition simply for the purpose of placing partisans on the board, simply to get a new board composed of those who were of his own political persuasion, or is the tariff board to be another instrument designed to wrest from parliament its authority over taxation and the control of tariffs and hence also of moneys of the people? If my hon. friend has in mind giving to any board the power to adjust the tariff at its will, without the consent of this parliament in the first instance, I will tell him now that he will have to fight pretty hard before he will succeed in a step of the kind. May I remind my right hon. friend this is not a special session of parliament. Let me tell him further that we assume the postponed conference is going to take place, and that he had better fix the date of that conference at a period when he may be expected to have leisure to deal with it. Do not let him think that because last year he succeeded in using the Imperial conference as a reason for proroguing parliament and getting through the business of this house in a rush, he is going to succeed by any device of that kind this year. We shall get through the business of the house in an orderly way or the country will know the reason why.

The next measures mentioned are those that refer to the control of finances and to the Naturalization Act and the Copyright Act. We shall have to wait until those measures are down before saying anything about them. That concludes the program with the exception of the reference to public accounts, which contains this interesting statement:

The estimates will manifest my ministers' resolve that, until the revenues of the country reflect a definite improvement in the economic

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situation, every economy compatible "with the proper administration of the state will be exercised.

I wonder what is to come after the revenues begin to improve, should they ever improve, if that is to be the condition laid down. Are we to have economy compatible with the proper administration of the state only until such time as the revenues of the country will allow them to do something different? We shall wait and see what is meant.

There is in the speech from the throne one paragraph to which I wish to call the attention of parliament. May I say it is a paragraph with which I for one am in entire agreement. The paragraph which I am about to read has been inserted, I have no doubt, like many of the paragraphs that appear in statements of my hon. friend, for the purpose of window dressing; it is an assertion of fact with which I think everyone will agree. It is made however, to look like something in the nature of a policy. I believe that anyone who studies the present condition of Canada will conclude that what it asserts is correct. It is as follows:

The present situation has emphasized the necessity of effecting a reduction in the costs of production and marketing of the wheat crop and of providing more stable markets, as the welfare of all parts of Canada is involved in satisfactory returns being received by the grain growers.

That paragraph, to my mind, states the crux of the situation not only as it is to-day but as it has been for some time past. It states the situation exactly as it was when parliament was in session this time a year ago. Let me read it in reference to the situation as it was in Canada this time a year ago so that hon. members may judge whether it was not equally applicable then:

The present situation has emphasized the necessity of effecting a reduction in the costs of production and marketing of the wheat crop and of providing more stable markets, as the welfare of. all parts of Canada is involved in satisfactory returns being received by the grain growers.

That was the .contention of the government of the day a year ago-that the most important of all facts in connection with Canada's economic situation was the position of the grain growers in this country. How was a market to be found for western wheat, to express it in small compass. The outstanding economic problem of Canada, the problem of problems, is summed up in that one question: How are markets to be found for our western wheat? Enlarge that question and ask how markets are to be found for our surplus agricultural and other natural p%>

ducts, and you have a still broader aspect of the trade question. Enlarge it still further So as to include not only natural products but manufactured products as well, and ask how markets are 'to be found for our wheat, for our other surplus agricultural and natural products, and for the surplus manufactures of the country, and you have the trade problem of Canada in its broad aspect and outline. That is the situation.

I am happy that hon. gentlemen opposite and those who sit on this side are in agreement-'I think I am right in saying that we are in agreement

as to what the problem is. That, after all, enables us to get somewhere in the process of debate.

May I say that my remarks this afternoon, from now on, will be directed not So much by way of criticism as criticism, as by a sincere desire, in a constructive way, to point out wherein I believe the situation as outlined can best be met, and wherein I fear the policies of hon. gentlemen opposite, instead of meeting, will defeat it.

Let me say to my right hon. friend, and say it at once: I believe he is thoroughly sincere in his motives with respect to his policies; I believe he thinks the policies which he has laid down will be best for Canada now and in the long run. I think he is thoroughly sincere in that. And I hope he will give to us on this side credit for like sincerity when we say that we cannot see the matter in the same light as he does, that we think his policies are wrong, that his methods are wrong, and that, instead of improving conditions, the policies he has put into force, and is putting into force will lead to a worse state than we have at the present time.

That is the ground of difference between us. We are agreed as to the need for an export trade for our surplus products, and my right hon. friend has certain policies which he believes will help to improve the situation. We believe those policies will work injury instead of helping matters. The debate on that question did not start to-day; it is one that has been going on in different forms, off and on, for a long time past. But it took very concrete form in the last session of the last parliament. At that time we all recognized the position as set forth in this paragraph. In What way did we recognize it? In the first place, we saw-and there was agreement on this point-that the former markets for Canadian wheat were being lost, that some countries, for example, Germany, France and Italy, were putting up tariff walls and making it more difficult for our farmers to compete in those particular markets and

The Address-Mr. Mackenzie King

sell their grain there. Not only did we agree that the available markets were becoming fewer, but we were also in agreement that the British market was the best that Canada could possibly have, that Britain was our best customer, and that to secure, in the British market, something that would maintain our position and expand and develop it was after , all the great objective at which we should aim. We were further agreed as to this: that the problem of unemployment would be solved in the last analysis only by solving the question of Canada's export trade. I think I am right in that, though there was not the same emphasis laid on that phase by hon. gentlemen opposite. We on this side stressed that point; hon. gentlemen opposite maintained that unemployment was mainly due to the policies of the then administration. They did not say, as we said and still contend, that the reason there was unemployment in Canada, and the reason there is to-day, is that agriculture in this country is not getting an opportunity to export its commodities to the extent to which it should, that the grain growers have not the markets they should have. As a consequence there is not the purchasing power in western Canada to afford a home market for many of our manufactures, because the home market is not a locality; it is purchasing power. It is a fund of purchasing power. A large part of that fund, in the first instance, has to come from the sale of wheat and agricultural products. We were in agreement on one further point, and that was that the Imperial economic conference which was to be held in October had an important bearing oi^ the situation. That conference was called yo discuss economic conditions and questions of inter-empire trade, and that was the reason, among other things, why the appeal was made to the country when it was-so that the people might have an opportunity before the conference took place of pronouncing on the respective policies of the parties. When we were in office we realized that if we obtained the endorsation of the people of Canada to the policies as set out in the Dunning budget, we could go to the Imperial conference armed with the support of the people and that in all probability we would get out of that conference something which would mean a good deal to western agriculture and indeed to all agriculture in this country. I do not intend to go over the ground as to why we did not succeed in that appeal, but the fact remains that we put our policies before the people and we gave as our reason for them a desire to get more largely into the British market.

That being the agreement all along the line, where does the difference arise? The difference arises not over any question as to what the situation is, but over the method of approach and policy. If hon. members will be so kind, I am going to ask them to pay a good deal of attention to what I say this afternoon with respect to the difference of methods of approach on these important subjects, because there is a fundamental difference in the attitude adopted by the two parties. There is a real difference between my right hon. friend and myself in this matter of approach, and I do not think he will deny it-he will perhaps correct me if in this I am in error. In approaching these questions he has a certain belief in what he calls bargaining and in action which is in the nature of coercion. Personally, I do not believe that that method of approach, the method of coercion, gets anywhere in the long run. It may win for a day, it may win for a week or for a year, but it brings very strange results and reversals after a time. I believe that the method of conciliatory approach is much better than an approach by means of coercion. I believe that the method of creating an atmosphere of good will and discovering if possible common ground will do more in bringing about agreement than will talk of might, power and force, whether it is economic force or any other kind of force that is to be used. There is the difference between my right hon. friend, and those who sit around him, and myself and those who sit on this side of the house. We differ as to the method of approach, and in fact, as a result, there is a difference also in our policies. The policies of hon. gentlemen opposite are based on this method of approach, and our policies are based on the methods we believe in and have always followed.

Having in mind the Imperial conference and knowing the questions which were to come up, we shaped our course accordingly. We sought to prepare the way for creating a favourable atmosphere in Britain towards what we might seek at the Imperial conference. We sought by the legislation which we passed in this parliament to create through the voluntary giving of preferences a situation which would in the natural order of things place Great Britain and other governments of the empire under certain obligations to this country. If we did not succeed with that method there was still time for parliament to deal with the matter in some other way, but we believed that that was the correct method of approach and we proceeded along those lines.

So that there may be no doubt as to that matter, I will quote the concluding words of

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the then Minister of Finance (Mr. Dunning) in introducing his budget. What was the nature of that budget? In a word, we sought so to arrange trade as to favour in our trading those who traded with us. The country to the south had by an act of its own, which was within its own right, raised tariffs against Canada and made it more difficult for us to trade with them. Britain had been our best customer and had taken no similar action. We said: We will seek by means of legislation to transfer to Britain certain purchases that are now being made in the United States so that what has to be purchased outside can be purchased from Britain rather than from the United States. That was not working an injury to any interest or to any industry or class in this country. During the discussions in parliament, on the hustings and through the campaign you never heard anyone come forward and say, "My business is being injured by the Dunning budget; my business is hurt by the steps being taken in connection with the preferences being given to Britain." The matter was so arranged that what we were doing for Britain was being done in a way that would create a helpful atmosphere in that country, and would in turn prove immediately helpful to the consumers in this country and those manufacturers who later on hoped to get their home market through what might come from sales of our own across the sea in return for what we were buying from them. The whole purpose of the approach was to create that atmosphere and to help if possible to get that additional opportunity of trade.

In order to be clear as to the purport of the Dunning budget in reference to what it was hoped might be accomplished as a consequence of the Imperial conference, let me as already said, quote the concluding words of the then Minister of Finance. They will be found on Hansard of May, 1, 1930, at page 1631, and are as follows:

These tariff favours to those who favour our products are not the result of any bargain with any other country hut of an attitude in international relations which we believe to be mutually beneficial and are an expression of the spirit in which Canada will approach the Imperial economic conference in a few' months time. In other words we do not intend to meet the other countries of the British commonwealth of nations in a spirit of party bargaining but rather in the broad spirit of willingness to become in ever increasing measure good customers to those who treat us in like manner. This is the spirit in which we desire to meet all nations, but we believe that within the British community of nations lies the greatest measure of opportunity for mutual development of trade because of our common heritage, kindred institutions and a common patriotism.

'

That was the statement of the Liberal position. It is quite true that in parliament at that time my right hon. friend (Mr. Bennett) did not say very much against the preference features then announced. He did say something against them in the last hours of the campaign, and his action at the special session was altogether in the direction of wiping out those preferences. Of this entirely different attitude I shall have something to say later on. The position while parliament was in session was as set forth by Mr. Dunning. When we went to the country that was the attitude which hon. members on this side of the house supporting our policies took from one end of the country to the other. We made it perfectly clear that the Imperial conference had an all important bearing on the question of the sale of western wheat, and we stressed over and over again how all-important to Canada was the question of which party was to represent this country at that conference. We stressed that, not merely in relation to individuals, although the names of individuals were mentioned because there was reason to believe that from the part they had taken in previous conferences they would be the best qualified to obtain beneficial results; but we stressed it because we believed the policies we had adopted were going to be helpful to Canada. We stressed those points with emphasis right up to the very close of the campaign.

In order that I may do no injustice to my right hon. friend by any possible misrepresentation of our respective points of view, I would ask the house to allow me to make reference to speeches made during the campaign which related to this question of policies and methods of approach. I ask hon. members again to keep in mind the Liberal point of view as expressed in voluntary preference, and the point of view, if I may say so, of the Conservative party as expressed iu bargaining, and consider these opposing points of view. Our attitude was in the nature of a conciliatory approach; the attitude of hon. gentlemen opposite was in the nature of economic coercion. If I quote from my last address of all in the campaign, perhaps I shall be setting forth more emphatically than in any other way the policies upon which above all we were making our appeal to the people. The last address that I gave in the course of the campaign and which was broadcast from one end of Canada to the other, contained mention of our policies, our methods and of the significance of the right policy in regard to the great economic problem Canada was facing and the problem

The Address

Mr. Mackenzie King

of -western Canada in particular. It was largely a repetition of what had been said from every platform, but it gained emphasis, perhaps, as being the last appeal of the campaign. These are the words as they were reported in the press on the day of the election itself:

In the life of every nation, there are moments when its people are called upon to make a great decision, affecting not merely the immediate present, but the whole trend of its future development. Such a moment, I believe, has come to the Canadian people at this time in relation to the all-important question of interempire trade. In this situation, the people are entitled to expect their political leaders to deal with them fairly and frankly, to meet the issue without hesitation, and to enlighten them as to its true significance in relation to their interests.

A little further on, with special reference to a market in Britain for Canadian wheat, I said:

The Liberal budget of 1930 is not only a forward move in the direction of inter-empire trade and a new influence towards the great object of closer cooperation between Canada and the other members of the British commonwealth, it is also intended to meet one of the greatest economic problems confronting us at the present time, namely the necessity of obtaining a secure and permanent market for Canadian wheat and thereby ensuring a continuous flow to Canada of that purchasing power in the prairie provinces, upon which the prosperity of our country so largely depends.

The words which follow are as true as prophecy could possibly be with respect to what Canada has since witnessed:

Travelling as I did, throughout the western wheat fields, less than a fortnight ago, I have been appalled at the danger which confronts the economic life of the Dominion if we do not find the means of securing a market for this greatest of our primary products, and the greatest single source of the purchasing power which provides traffic for our transportation systems and orders for our factories and business for our retail and wholesale merchants.

The close relationship betwen the solution of the prdblem of unemployment and a market for Canadian wheat was further emphasized as follows:

The wheat of western Canada is the greatest single source of purchasing power in the Dominion. When this purchasing power is contracted, as was the case last year, it has its inevitable effect upon every link in the series which extends from the consumer through retail and wholesale merchants, back to the manufacturer and transportation companies, the greatest employers of labour throughout the country. Apart from the worldwide depression, with its resultant drop in commodity prices, the chief cause of unemployment in Canada was the short wheat crop of last year and the curtailment of export of Canadian wheat to Great Britain.

I also said:

The great proposals for empire trade which are laid down in the Liberal budget of 1930 constitute the only real and permanent solution of this great problem of unemployment.

Let me come now to the Conservative attitude in the campaign. I referred to it also in the broadcast of which I have spoken. Here may I again draw attention to the fact, already pointed out, that in the campaign very little was said by hon. gentlemen opposite in respect of the economic conference. I feel they were hardly fair with the electorate of Canada in that particular. I think they knew or they ought to have known, and they ought to have explained the bearing of their policies and what they bad in mind on the economic conference. I would also draw attention to the faot that very little was said at the outset of the campaign about any changes in the tariff. The special session that was going to ;be called was to deal with unemployment. Unemployment was what was stressed throughout the country. There are hon. gentlemen sitting opposite from western constituencies who would not be seated on that side of the house to-day had their leader told the people throughout the campaign that he intended to deal with the tariff last session. May I pause to say this word to my friends in western Canada: I hope the people of western Canada

will realize that they have the remedy in their own hands. I hope they will realize that parliamentary institutions have a great background; that, after all, what we have in parliament is something that has come into being, not in a day, but through many years of struggle to give to men the right of freedom of expression and to secure the laws they wish to have. If western Canada feels the policies of hon. gentlemen opposite are not suited to the needs of western Canada, then it is not for the people of western Canada to talk about secession or anything of that kind; it is for them to demand of those who sit in this house that they will support only policies that are in the interest of western Canada. I do not say to hon. gentlemen opposite who come from western constituencies which are suffering at the present time and which are going to suffer still more from conditions as they will become under these policies, that they must desert their leader. I am not for a moment putting that suggestion to them, but they have not only a right but a duty to point out to their leader wherein the policies that he has adopted and that he proposes to enact at this very session of parliament are going to work a further injury to the people

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The Address-Mr. Mackenzie King

of the west, and to plead with him, in the name of the party to which they are giving support, that he modify his view so that it will not work the harm that we believe it will.

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UFA

William Irvine

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. IRVINE:

Would the right hon. gentleman kindly indicate in what way he thinks a different approach to the British people would have resulted in their paying a higher price for Canadian wheat than that at which they could purchase wheat from any other country?

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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

What I am

interested in is that the people of Britain should feel it to be not only to their interest but a privilege to buy Canadian wheat in preference to any other, provided that the price is the same as can be obtained elsewhere. I believe that if the policies laid down in the Dunning budget had been accepted by the people of this country, the people of Great Britain would have so viewed their obligations, and that as a result of the last Imperial conference we would have had, either through a quota or in some other way, a means whereby Canadian wheat would to-day have a favoured position in Great Britain.

Let me give the Conservative position as I referred to it on the last night of the campaign:

Now in the closing days of the campaign, Mr. Bennett has announced his intention to summon a special session of parliament to bring about an all-round increase in the tariff, which means, so far as the Conservative party is concerned, they propose to reject this great movement towards empire trade, and deal with the mother country only as they deal with foreign countries, upon a basis of hard bargaining, and upon the condition that the people of Great Britain must change a fiscal policy which they have maintained for almost a century.

That was a pretty good forecast of what has since taken place. That was a statement made in July, 1930, to the electorate of Canada at large. I will say this in regard to my right hon. friend, that before the end of the campaign he made it plain that he intended to introduce higher tariff policies, and to ask Great Britain to change her fiscal policy. I would not for a moment say that my right hon. friend has been inconsistent. He has been consistent, but his very consistency is leading him nearer and nearer to destruction.

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LIB

James Houston Spence

Liberal

Mr. SPENCE:

Surely my right hon. friend is not worrying about him?

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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

I am worrying about the condition of this country. I wish to state to my right hon. friend that I do not in the least distrust his sincerity, but I do distrust his policy. I do distrust his methods,

because I do not believe in them. I think he makes a mistake when he relies too exclusively upon his own judgment and is not prepared to accept the judgment even of his own ministers. I say, Mr. Speaker, that cabinet government as it applies in British parliamentary institutions was devised to prevent the will of any one person dominating an entire situation. Cabinet government has come into being through the belief that out of collective wisdom the best judgment may be formed. There is no collective wisdom in the formation of judgment in the government of my right hon. friend. Ask any minister of the crown how far his opinion goes when it is in conflict with that expressed by my right hon. friend.

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CON

Edmond Baird Ryckman (Minister of National Revenue)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. RYCKMAN:

Where does my right

hon. friend get that information?

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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

I get it on

every side, and from the look in the face of my right hon. friend (Mr. Ryckman) when he oomes out of the council chamber. May I say to my right hon. friend (Mr. Bennett) that I do not believe he is acting fairly either by his colleagues or the country when he takes to himself all the responsibility. It was never intended that there should not be a Minister of Finance other than the Prime Minister; it was never intended that the Prime Minister should function in that office. Surely there must foe somewhere in the Conservative party at least one member whose abilities could be usefully employed at the head of the Department of Finance. Under present circumstances when a difference of opinion arises between the Prime Minister and the Minister of Finance, how is it settled? If I am not mistaken my right hon. friend told us at the last session that the reason he did not appoint a Minister of Finance was that he did not want any minister to have the burden of the measures he intended for the session. He did not think it would be fair to any other man to ask him to put through all those important financial measures. I ask my right hon. friend if that is not correct.

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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:

No, my right hon. friend is not quite correct, but it is as near correct as he can get.

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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

We have passed the special session and we have now reached the general session. I say that my right hon. friend is not fair to himself or to others and is not doing what is right when he attempts to fill so many offices himself; I say that he should without delay bring into his ministry, if he can be found, someone well qualified to serve as Minister of Finance.

The Address-Mr. Mackenzie King

An. hon. MEMBER: Hurry up.

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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

May I draw the attention of this house to one fact: For over six months I have left hon. gentlemen opposite entirely to themselves to say and do as they pleased. Surely they will now have the patience to let me have at least an hour or two to myself to say what I please. I repeat my right hon. friend should enlarge his cabinet to the extent indicated and also should give to hon. members of his cabinet a little more say than they have had in the shaping of policies.

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CON

Leslie Gordon Bell

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BELL (Hamilton):

My right hon.

friend should learn to run his own party.

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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

To return to

the position taken by my right hon. friend during the campaign, may I set forth the manner in which he dealt with certain matters. In opening the campaign for the Conservative party at Winnipeg on June 9, 1930, my right hon. friend the present leader of the government, at that time leader of the opposition, made his coercive attitude perfectly plain. He made perfectly clear that it -was by the method of "fighting" and "blasting" that he intended to find markets for Canadian wheat and surplus products generally. The language he used is all the more remarkable because my right hon. friend told us that the speech was written out, and that in most part it was read. The part of the speech from which I wish to quote was in the nature of a direct appeal to the farmers of our country and to the west in particular. Here are his words:

Listen you agriculturists from the west and all the other parts of Canada, you have been taught to mock at tariffs and applaud free trade. Tell me, when did free trade fight for you? Tell me, when did free trade fight for you? You say tariffs are only for the manufacturers. I will make them fight for you as well. I will use them to blast a way into the markets that have been closed to you.

Then, after making further promises of what would be done in the nature of drastic adjustments and improvements, he made the following pledge, couched in language of the greatest tenderness:

You will have broader markets, and will have them for all time. You have known suffering and have been patient. Let us end it. Take heart.

Another promise, not to relieve, but to end distress! I wonder what the agriculturists of all Canada, and of the west in particular, are saying to my right hon. friend to-day about their suffering and their patience!

The assurance given with respect to "blasting" was repeated at Victoria on June 17 without being restricted to agricultural products.

I quote these extracts because they are not chance phrases. When I refer to "blasting" my hon. friend nods his head in approval. The method he proposes represents one entirely opposed to that which those of us on this side of the house have employed.

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An hon. MEMBER:

My right hon. friend

is a peaceful man.

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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

I am not

ashamed of having the desire to use peaceful methods. We have passed through a devastating world war; hon. gentlemen opposite apparently think that by now starting an economic war they are going to make conditions better. My hon. friends have a mistaken idea however of what is required for prosperity. To illustrate the intent of my right hon. friend when dealing with the question of markets I shall quote from the Victoria Colonist of June 17;

It is true we must have foreign markets, and as I said the other evening, we will blast a way to those markets on a world-wide basis with any exportable surpluses. Wo do not have to worry about that.

And at Vancouver, on the same day, resort to the same method was promised as a cure for all troubles and difficulties. I quote from the Montreal Gazette of June 19:

So will I, when the government is mine, continue to blast a way through all our troubles and difficulties.

I ask you, Mr. Speaker, to note that statement, "So will I, when the government is mine, continue to blast a way through all our troubles and difficulties." In that quotation my right hon. friend was speaking of a time when he might become Prime Minister. Well, that time has come. Now the government is his, and the fighting and the blasting have commenced. Those operations commenced the moment it was his. He might have been a little happier in his choice of words, although it is true we get the truth often in most unexpected ways. My right hon. friend speaks of the government as "his." He might, having regard to what he owes to others, have referred to the government as that of the Conservative party or the government as being that of himself and his colleagues. He might even with propriety have referred to it as the government of His Excellency the Governor General, of whose ministers he was one, primus inter pares, the first among equals. But no, the government is his, he is the first

28 COMMONS

The Address-Mr. Mackenzie King

and the last, alpha and omega-all. Well, again I say my right hon. friend is quite sincere.

And the government being his, the blasting has commenced. It commenced at the special session. I am reviewing the situation as I am 'because the methods which have been adopted are going to continue, and the country will have to make up its mind whether such is the way it wishes to be governed, whether it wishes to have its affairs so conducted in relation to other countries of the world. No longer'is there an opportunity for saying that "blasting" is a chance phrase used in the heat of a political campaign or debate. It is a method deliberately selected and that is believed in by my right hon. friend, a method which he intends to pursue in his policies, a method which he has shown us already he intends to pursue even in this parliament as far as he can, namely, the method of coercion. Because that in a word is what it is-not the conciliatory method, but the method of coercion, the getting things done by force of economic might-that is the method he intends to adopt.

Having the opportunity and the power he started at once to use that method in the special session. As all know, the special session of parliament was called for the purpose, nominally, of relieving unemployment. We were no sooner assembled than we discovered that the relief of the unemployed was a mere subterfuge, that the session in reality was to revise tariff schedules upward and to amend the Customs Tariff Act so as to give powers to the governor in council to do what council pleased with respect to many matters affecting the tariff. Throughout the campaign it was never thought that at the special session there would be changes of any extent in the tariff. My hon. friend made use of the session as he made use of the Imperial conference- as an instrument of coercion-the use he made of the forthcoming meeting of the conference was as effective as any form of closure. Hon. members know that.

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An hon. MEMBER:

Oh, no.

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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

We met here

nominally to pass a vote for the relief of unemployment. As was repeatedly said, that could have been done by a governor general's warrant. A governor general's warrant could have been issued for $20,000,000 without a word of critioism in the circumstances.

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Some hon. MEMBERS:

Oh, oh.

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March 16, 1931