October 13, 1932

CON

Henry Alfred Mullins

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MULLINS:

They did not send cattle.

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PRO

Agnes Campbell Macphail

Progressive

Miss MACPHAIL:

Let the hon. member for Marquette (Mr. Mullins) make his own speech. He knows all about cattle. It does not matter whether they are finished or store cattle or live or dead cattle, we are paid in the English paper pound and when we try to convert it into Canadian currency we are losing 25 per cent of the price of the stock in Liverpool. Someone suggests that they lose 318 a head on steers. I know on one shipment of cattle amounting to seven hundred head that went from the stockyards in Toronto last summer just before we did not meet the Prime Minister in Ottawa, they lost $10,008 on that deal in exchange. If the same deal were to go through now with the cattle at S80 a head, they would lose $14,000 in exchange. For any responsible minister of the crown, able and intelligent men as ministers of the crown are-and I say that with all respect and deference-to stand in his place and say: Here is a great market for the Canadian farmer, is sheer nonsense. If they' want us to go on respecting them they had better admit this. There is nothing quite so provoking about a person as to be always right; that is the thing about the Prime Minister that infuriates me.

May I quote from Lord Rothermere-and I hope I may have time to do so, because the Prime Minister holds Lord Rothermere in such high regard that he met him in preference to meeting a delegation of four thousand farmers from two provinces, one-third of whom had been his ardent supporters, a delegation that was supported by the clergy of the province of Quebec and by a very large number of prominent citizens, not farmers, from the province of Ontario. But the Prime Minister was so busy-and one does not wonder at that-that he could not meet them, and his Minister of Agriculture was so overcome with work that afternoon he could not come down for half an hour. However, Lord Rothermere was honoured by an interview which we were not honoured with, although we had tried to make the arrangement on the 24th of May and had made about six contacts with the Prime Minister between that time and the

date of our coming. Lord Rothermere, when speaking of the exchange situation, said:

Canada's being on the gold standard and haying her currency "linked*' with that of the United States rather than Great Britain, was leading to "a slow assassination of the Dominion's trade and industry."

If he really got that through the Prime Minister's head, I do not regret that he had the interview. He ends up by saying:

Regarding Canadian currency, Lord Rothermere said: "Canada's efforts to keep her

currency linked with that of the United States will mean slow assassination of the Dominion's trade and industry. Canada has a great future within the empire, but she can have none as an appanage of America."

I agree wholly with Lord Rothermere on currency. The odd thing about the Imperial conference which met here was that while they' devoted a great deal of time to trying to work out trade agreements, most excellent trade agreements, if they could be used, they dismissed the whole problem of exchange and money with a pious resolution, a resolution which said that interest rates should be lowered and that price levels should be raised, and they let it go at that.

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?

An hon. MEMBER:

And they expect

Providence to do that.

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PRO

Agnes Campbell Macphail

Progressive

Miss MACPHAIL:

Yes, but since we were given intelligence I fancy we shall be left to do it ourselves.

I would say in closing that while there are many other problems and while I do not maintain that an issue of new money based upon the resources of Canada would solve all our problems, I do say that if the federal government with the machinery they have could be induced to put a large issue of new money out into circulation without interest, it would do very much to raise the price of basic commodities in this country and it would lower our money to the level of the value of the British pound sterling, thereby enabling us to enter and make use of the market so aggressively displayed by the Prime Minister yesterday'.

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LIB

Robert McKenzie

Liberal

Mr. ROBERT McKENZIE (Assiniboia):

Mr. Speaker, although this session has been called, as the speech from the throne says, for the purpose of approving the agreements that were entered into at the Imperial conference, I feel that there is a duty devolving upon me, not only to give expression to the views that are held by the people in the constituency that I represent, but also to let the government know what in my opinion is the proper thing to do to overcome the adverse

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The Address-Mr. McKenzie

conditions which prevail in the country at this time.

In the governor general's speech, delivered on the 6th of October, there are three clauses to which I should like to give some attention, and one in particular that I shall go into in more detail. The first relates to the Imperial conference. That is of considerable importance and will be taken up in the house as a separate subject of debate. We had yesterday the explanations of the Prime Minister (Mr. Bennett) regarding that conference, but I could not help noticing that as he was announcing his views concerning it, when he came to an item where there was an apparent reduction in tariff, he would look around among his supporters as much as to say, "Give me a little applause now." I could not help but think of the expression of Sir Arthur Salter with regard to Mr. Baldwin. Immediately after the conference concluded Sir Arthur Salter was reported to have said he believed that the Right Hon. Stanley Baldwin could be classed as one of the great Liberals of today. I wonder if the Prime Minister would not like to have Sir Arthur Salter, or some other distinguished man, say something like that about himself.

The hon. member who has just spoken (Miss Macphail) said she could not see that very much benefit could possibly accrue to the farming interests from the Imperial conference. We, in the west perhaps place too much emphasis upon wheat, but, Mr. Speaker, the very fact that wheat today is worth 11 cents a bushel less than it was the day the Imperial conference closed does not give us hope that much benefit can come to us from the Imperial conference. So much, then, for the Imperial conference, which we will have an opportunity of discussing a little later.

The next clause in the speech from the throne deals with the royal commission's report on railways and transportation. We are pleased indeed-I am, and the people I represent, I am sure-that this report does not attempt to impose a private monopoly upon us in connection with the railways. We are pleased that public ownership, as far as our railways are concerned, has been confirmed. Indeed, I might go further and say that public opinion in the part of the country from which I come would not permit of a monopoly in our railways, nor would it permit of a sale, or even a lease, of our publicly owned railway to the privately owned institution. In connection with that report I do not know whether this government will have anything to do with the question of buses, but I believe

the time has come when whatever government has the power of dealing with bus services should see to it that our railways, which are such large employers of labour, get a fair deal in connection with the bus service, especially in regard to the long haul.

The next paragraph deals with unemployment. Since two years ago last month, when we were called here for the short session for the purpose of ending unemployment, a great deal has been said on that question. It almost seems like threshing over old straw to speak of it further. But I am going to say one thing, that I want to impress upon this government. I believe I said it a year or two ago, but I want to impress it upon them again. It is this: that there is as

much labour employed in the production of S100 worth of farm products, grain or whatever it may be, as there is in the production of manufactured products of equal value. For that reason the solution of this problem of unemployment, our economic problem as it exists today, will not be reached I think until there is an improvement not only in agriculture but in the other basic industries of the country. We must begin with the basic industries. Our manufacturing industries apparently are able to look after themselves fairly well for the reason that they are able to close down and discharge their employees. But we cannot have improved conditions unless we improve the condition of the primary producer. One reason why our manufacturing industries are idle today in spite of high tariffs is that the farmers have no buying power. I have here a clipping that I would like to read, taken from the Financial Post early in this year. It is headed:

Business Disappears

After two years of depressed prices for all farm products, and the third failure of crops in southern Saskatchewan, farm implement manufacturers in Canada approach 1932 possibilities in a very chastened spirit. With sales in 1931 of tractors at 873, combines at 178 and threshers at 493 for the prairie provinces, the situation must be almost bewildering to manufacturers. In previous years the sales were as follow's: tractors, 17,143 in 1928,

14,557 in 1929, and 9,108 in 1930; combines, 3,657 in 1928, 3.295 in 1929, and 1,614 in 1930; threshers, 6,247 in 1928, 2,095 in 1929, and 2,034 in 1930.

In fact this business has for the time being almost entirely disappeared.

That proves, Mr. Speaker, that protection is not a remedy for the economic condition that exists today. Our industries are in a deplorable condition, as well as the farmers.

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The next item is the one to which I wish to direct a little more attention. It has been dealt with to quite an extent by the hon. member who has just taken her seat. It is the clause which reads thus:

It is a matter of gratification to us all that in those large areas of the west where, during recent successive years, crop failure was followed by widespread distress, this season's bountiful harvest forecasts greatly improved conditions and makes possible a corresponding reduction of relief measures.

Just think, Mr. Speaker, conditions in western Canada as they are today, and the Prime Minister saying that "this season's bountiful harvest forecasts greatly improved conditions." From the point of view of bushels of grain the crop just harvested probably may be considered a bountiful harvest. Estimates have been given as high as

460.000. 000 bushels to 470,000,000 bushels, which in my humble opinion is possibly

100.000. 000 bushels too high. But the important feature is not the amount of grain that is produced. Four hundred million bushels at a proper price would mean a considerable amount, but not with the prices that prevail today. When I left the west at the beginning of this month to come down here, No. 1 northern wheat in the town in which I live was worth 33 cents a bushel at the elevator. That is below the cost of production. Yet they say this bountiful harvest is going to improve conditions, while the farmers are out money on every bushel of wheat they grow. Whoever is responsible for this statement was certainly not conversant with the actual conditions that exist on our farms. I wondered when I read that statement if by any chance the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Weir) was responsible for it. It is very much on a par with the statement that he is reported to have made in the South Huron by-election, and I think possibly that ridiculous statement was partly responsible for the very large majority which the Liberal candidate received in that constituency. A few members of this house know to what I refer. The Minister of Agriculture went into South Huron and, as reported in the press, made the statement that the policies of this government during the past eighteen months had put $36,000,000 into the pockets of the farmers of Canada. Our farmers in Saskatchewan are wondering just where that money is, because they certainly did not get their share of it.

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CON

Frank Thomas Shaver

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SHAVER:

What about the wheat

bonus?

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LIB

Robert McKenzie

Liberal

Mr. McKENZIE (Assiniboia):

Hon. gentlemen over there would not support us in our efforts to get a bonus of one dollar an acre, and so we did not get any. I have driven over my constituency, which is largely an agricultural one, every summer for a good many years, and have in that way become well acquainted with the condition of the farmers. Within the last year or two I have noticed a great difference, not only in the countenances of the farmers themselves, but in conditions generally around their farms. I go to a man's place and instead of seeing his farm buildings nicely painted and his fences kept in repair, with the summer fallowing well done and the weeds kept down, I see the summer fallows growing weeds, and everything in a state of disrepair. I ask him how he is getting along, and he will reply: You can see just how I

am getting along, and how conditions around here now compare with what they were two or three years ago. He will say: I cannot

keep my summer fallow in proper shape or my buildings in repair, because the prices we get for our farm products will not enable me to hire men even at the low rate of wages that prevails to-day. Many farmers on a half section or a three-quarter section, and in a few cases on a whole section are attempting to do all the work themselves simply because they cannot afford to hire help. In some cases we find that they are not keeping their land in proper shape. Probably it is not ploughed, even the summer fallowing is not done. You ask what is wrong and they say: Well, my

machinery has got into such a condition of disrepair that I cannot go on working my land. One man told me: "My ploughshares were worn out. The land got dry and I could not plough it." The hon. member for Lisgar (Mr. Brown) pointed out a short while ago- and I hope that either the Minister of Finance or the Minister of National Revenue, both of whom I see before me, will explain before this house rises just what was the reason for this -that there was one rate of tariff placed on the products of one parts manufacturing industry and a higher rate on the products of another. Unless we receive an explanation the farmers of our district will be able to draw only one conclusion, namely that when these smaller independent manufacturing firms started to manufacture parts a few years ago and sell them at lower prices, the large manufacturing industry came to the government and persuaded them to impose a higher tariff against the products of the smaller, independent manufacturers so that they could not cut the price. As a result of

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the action of these independent manufacturing concerns, our farmers were able to buy their ploughshares for two and three and four dollars a ,pair less than they had formerly paid, but now that the extra duty has been put on, they will not be able to get that saving. .

Some people-I meet them on the tram and at different places-ask why is it that our farmers do not go in more for mixed farming. Our farmers, Mr. Speaker, are not all fools. They know what is the best thing to do in the environment in which they find themselves. Some of them cannot go into mixed farming because of the scarcity of water, and that is the main reason. There are districts on the prairies where it is impossible to get water, and of course you cannot raise live stock unless you can get water. Other people will ask, why do the farmers let the weeds grow on their land? The reason is as I stated a moment ago, that a man on a half section or three-quarter section who formerly was able to hire a man when prices were better is now unable to afford to hire help, and consequently he cannot keep up with his work. Another answer to those people who say that our farmers are not trying is this: In the district in which I live, farmers are driving thirty and forty and fifty miles with teams and wagons to the mines to get their coal for the winter, simply because they do not see how they can get their winter's fuel supply in any other way. It is a common sight to see a man hauling coal from the coal mine to his farm fifty miles away. Our farmers did not do this when they were getting a proper price for their products and when they were getting along fairly well. _

Further proof that conditions in the west have not greatly improved can be had by any member of this house who goes into the reading room and inquires for the Saskatchewan Gazette, in which he will find advertisements by municipalities in the province of Saskatchewan of from six hundred to seven hundred quarter-sections offered for sale in a tax sale list. That means that half the land of the municipality, and in some cases more than half, is up for sale for taxes. In addition to that, a further large part of the land in the municipality may have been advertised for sale for taxes in a previous year, and it will not be advertised again. So there is no proof there that there has been any great improvement in financial conditions in western Canada. While on this question of tax sales and the taxation of land in the province of Saskatchewan, I might mention that an amendment was made to the Municipal Act at

tMr. McKenzie.]

the last session of the Saskatchewan legislature, making it compulsory for the municipality to appoint a tax collector. Formerly, ever since the municipalities were organized twenty or more years ago, the secretary of the municipality had been the collector of taxes, remaining in his office for the collection. But now they are compelled to appoint a collector in each municipality with all the powers of a bailiff in order to collect the taxes. In the immediate district in which I live we have not a great deal of fault to find with the system, because they are using what we might call common sense in the collection of taxes; but in going about through the district I have heard some very caustic remarks.

A few days ago I took a clipping from the Winnipeg Free Press. This is a special despatch from Regina dated October 7, and is as follows:

Grain is seized in Saskatchewan by Municipalities. Farmers in Districts east of Regina express strong opinions on official action. ''I've got a gun in the house and I'd_ like to ^see anyone get any more wheat off this farm!"

Thus spoke a farmer in a district east of Regina, Tuesday, and his statement, although a little drastic in tone, just about expresses the opinion of many an agrarian in these parts.

Investigation of reports that municipalities were seizing grain for taxes and tax arrears, conducted Tuesday in four municipalities east of the city, reveals that seizure of -wheat for taxes and for advance of twine and binder repairs has left literally thousands of farmers in southern Saskatchewan with $100 and less with which to face the next 12 months. Municipal officials, it seems, are insisting on their claims for taxes, even though they amount to half or more of the total crop threshed this year.

The four districts were Fort Qu'Appelle, the southern end of which stretches down in the Edentvold district; south Qu'Appelle, which centres on the town of Qu'Appelle, Indian Head and Francis lying to the south.

Some details of the situation are:

In the rural municipality of Indian Head, where there are about 300 farmers a total of 231 seizures for taxes have been made.

At this point may I add that the Indian Head district is by no means a poor farming district. The hon. member from that district will bear me out in my statement. It is about thirty-four years since I resided for a short time in that vicinity, and I know that at that time it was well built up, a splendid farming country, and recognized as one of the best wheat growing areas in the prairies. The article continues:

In the other three municipalities visited, taxes are being collected by the municipality through having elevator agents make over the storage tickets on grain delivered to them, to the municipality. Very few farmers, it appears, were able to take advantage of the relief commission's 70-cent pegged price plan for repaying

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relief advances, since they did not have enough wheat to live on after taxes had been taken.

The plain fact of the situation is that, with the farmer getting around 30 cents a bushel for wheat, and with a light yield of less than 10 bushels per acre, he has not enough wheat to go around to all his creditors, and if his crop is seized for taxes or taken for relief repayments, he has not enough left to live on. Added to that he has to save enough for seed for next spring.

Binder repairs and twine relief given this fall by the Saskatchewan Relief Commission represents the first charge to be met by farmers, after that comes taxes, and the situation revealed in the municipalities visited was that other creditors came nowhere, since the wheat did not last for their turn. Collectors for machine firms, loan companies and other creditors of the farmers are very active, the farmers report, but there is nothing for them in most cases.

One farmer in the rural municipality of South Qu'Appelle stated he had $11 left with which to live throughout the winter. It appears that the Saskatchewan Relief Commission -will have a bigger problem than they anticipated early in the season, for even after a man has enough grub in the house he will need more than $1 a month to tide him over.

That sets forth the actual conditions existing on the farms in western Canada. With such distress we wonder that the Prime Minister in the speech from the throne could have spoken of greatly improved conditions which made possible a reduction in relief measures. Today relief is needed in western Canada far more than it was at the time of the special session held two years ago. Then, why is it that whoever is responsible for the preparation of the speech from the throne has stated that a reduction in relief measures may be expected?

In the address delivered on October 11 by the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre (Mr. Woodsworth) he expressed wonder as to whether or not the Prime Minister and the Liberal party were going to be converted to his viewpoints and policy. I have always contended that in Canada there is room for only two political parties, that the Liberal platform is broad enough to indicate all those with a forward outlook. In my view the main difference between the two political parties in Canada is that the Conservative party have always been satisfied to maintain and preserve the old order of things, and the Liberals, on the other hand, have advocated any measure which would help to improve the social and economic conditions of the people. Even today, we hear the Prime Minister and the members of his party lauding the policy of the Conservative party as it obtained in the days of Sir John A. Macdonald. They glory in the thought that today they are following the same policy, but

forget entirely that since the days of that leader, two million or more people have located between the great lakes and the Rocky mountains.

The hon. member twitted the leader of the Liberal party and the hon. member for Vancouver Centre (Mr. Mackenzie) on some of the remarks they had made recently. I want to say that I am one hundred per cent behind our leader in the statements he uttered during the campaign of the South Huron byelection. We are ready to go forward as fast as the people will follow us. There have been times before when the Liberal party went forward in advance of public opinion. They did so in 1911, and again in 1930. I believe that had the people understood the Dunning budget as well in the summer of 1930 as they understood it six months later, there would have been a great change in the votes polled for the Liberal party.

In his address on October 10, the Prime Minister made one statement to which I shall refer. At page 54 of Hansard, he is quoted as follows:

I put this question to every individual member of the house. Let him go home with it tonight and let him answer it to his own conscience: If it were possible for the chief products of Europe, for the products of the United States to come uninterruptedly into this dominion, what would have been the result in the last two years?

I shall take a Scotchman's privilege and answer by asking another question. In the first place, I ask why he inserted the word "uninterruptedly", because no person has suggested an uninterrupted admission of goods into Canada. I would ask him this question: How much better would it have been had these goods come in under a ten per cent tariff and no more, instead of coming in, as some did, under prohibitive tariffs? In answer to that I would say that our industries in Canada would not be worse off because they are practically all idle anyway; but it would have had this effect, that thousands of families all across Canada who have scarcely sufficient to eat, and who are very badly in need of boots and clothing at this time of the year, might be able to buy these goods if they could obtain them at a reasonable price. But this they cannot do under the high tariff policy of this government. Not only that, however; if these goods had come in, even though they came in and sold here very cheap, for every dollar's worth that came in, the country that sent them in would want one dollar's worth of our goods in return. In further answer to the question of the Prime Minister, I would say, as has so often been said, that if we do

The Address-Mr. Gershaw

not buy goods from other countries we cannot expect them to buy ours; and if the industries in this country were not as well off under a tariff of 10 per cent as under the tariff they have at the present time of 30 and 40, yes, counting taxes of all kinds, probably 75 or 80 per cent, they are idle anyway. So that our people might as well be enabled to buy reasonably some of the things they sorely need.

I said at the beginning that I wanted to emphasize the condition of affairs as it exists today and to suggest some remedy. Let me in conclusion say to the government that owing to the conditions that exist in our country our people cannot stand any further increase in taxation. This government has increased every form of taxation-sales tax, excise tax, import tax, stamp tax and all manner of taxes, until the burden is far more than the people can bear. We cannot permit of any additional taxes being imposed, and if Canada is to return to prosperity we must remove the barriers that stand in her way.

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LIB

Frederick William Gershaw

Liberal

Mr. F. W. GERSHAW (Medicine Hat):

At this stage of the debate I desire only to refer to conditions that affect chiefly the constituency whence I come and to say a few words on the monetary system. The constituency of Medicine Hat was honoured recently by a visit from Lord and Lady Bessborough. At that time the people of Canadian or British birth and many born in distant countries gathered to welcome and to do honour to the vice regal party. The people of that district appreciated the visit and I wish on their behalf to thank the vice regal party.

Seven or eight years ago the then government established in the south of the Medicine Hat district a ranching research station, and during the last few years the officers of that station have been doing splendid work. They have been experimenting in the growing of grasses and in every line of ranch practice. From time to time they have been publishing information which will be of great value to the people throughout the district. Ranching is still carried on there on a large scale. You can see flocks of from eight to ten thousand sheep, and also cattle in herds amounting to thousands. There are, of course, many farmers working on a very much smaller scale, but whether operating on a large or on a small scale they are all either bankrupt or are rapidly and certainly drifting in that direction. They are selling their wool, meats, cattle and wheat at prices which do not cover lost of production. They find that the

IMr. McKenzie.]

articles which they have to buy have come down about 14 or 15 points, whereas the articles which they have to sell have come away down 70 to 75 points. They find themselves in an impossible position because taxes are increasing. The interest on the money which they owe is still high and they are worried and cannot understand why the price of money should stay up as high as it is while the price of everything else is down so low. I realize that all this has been said before; but to see the real condition of the people of that district you must go into the homes. There you will see women and children getting along without the variety of food they should have. Their clothing is sadly lacking, and books, magazines and papers never find their way into those homes. Not only is it impossible to send the older children to schools and colleges but it is quite impossible to buy ordinary school supplies for the younger children. In that locality, during the years that have passed, two large irrigation districts were developed. It happens that the farmers of these districts are even in a worse position than the farmers on dry land. They are worse off because they must meet heavy overhead charges in connection with digging the irrigation ditches, upkeep, cost of water, machinery and so forth. If prices were as they have been in the past they could meet those charges, but at present it is quite impossible for them to do so. Last year some of us who are trying to represent that part of the country brought forward in this house a resolution in an endeavour to persuade the government to do something to help the people on these irrigated lands. We pointed out that there was one crop in Canada which could be produced profitably and sold entirely within our own boundaries. I refer to the sugar beet crop. This house accepted the resolution as amended and asked the agriculture committee to make an investigation into the whole problem. This investigation was made. Witnesses were brought from all parts of the country and were able to show that the growing of sugar beets and the manufacture of beet sugar would be a profitable industry. They found that where factories were available the farmers were able to make a good income from sugar beets. More than that, it created a great amount of work. It provided freight for the transportation companies and helped greatly to develop stock raising and similar industries. It was pointed out, however, that, owing to the low price of sugar, assistance was

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needed if factories were to get started. After deliberating the committee decided that they could not recommend the giving of this assistance, but they did point out one important factor, namely that the cane sugar refineries in Canada were enjoying very high protection. The committee reported that in their opinion the cane sugar people should undertake the manufacture of beet sugar. The report of this committee was presented to the house and passed without a dissenting voice. Many thousands of men and women who are interested in this matter have been waiting anxiously for some action, but nothing has been done. I am again bringing the matter up in the hope that this report will not be allowed to go into the limbo of forgotten things. I am hoping that some action will be taken to assure the people in the Medicine Hat district that a sugar factory will be built. This factory could be operated on a low cost basis because of the low price of natural gas for fuel. There is the necessary sunshine, fertile soil and a dependable supply of water to ensure a high sugar content in the beets. There are five sugar refineries in Canada but so far no arrangements have been made as to which one shall expand and take the responsibility in this connection. I am hoping that action will be taken before long and something accomplished as a result of the recommendation made in the report adopted by this house. That is one way in which I believe conditions could be improved in that community.

In 1931 the government paid a five cent bonus on wheat. I do not contend that that bonus was equitably distributed-if it had been based on an acreage basis it would have met the situation better. Men who had owned the land and provided seed should have had a share; but it did afford a great deal of relief. When that bonus was granted wheat was worth from 40 to 45 cents per bushel. If a bonus was needed then it is needed much more at the present time, because to-day wheat is selling from 26 to 29 cents per bushel in that southern country due to the fact that there is much No. 2 and No. 3 northern wheat. Wheat is a product which has made Canada famous in the markets of the world, and assistance to the wheat farmer would prove to be of benefit to every man and woman in the country because the farmer's money soon spreads in all directions.

I know -of one man who with the members of his family worked long hours on his farm and succeeded in producing two thousand bushels of wheat. After selling that wheat and allowing for his expenses he found he had

$40 left. If he had received the bonus he would have had $140, which would have been a great increase in his net income. I believe that this farmer with many others in that district is approaching rapidly the condition of a certain farmer of whom I heard not long ago. This family had only one cow and a few chickens left, but the mother of the family was brave enough to say: "We are not as badly off as our neighbours; they have to go seven miles for water while we have to walk only four."

These are the two suggestions I offer to the government. The first would not cost anything, while the second, when adopted a year ago, cost something like $11,000,000. However, if the government feels that it cannot accept either of these proposals, I have another one to offer which I think would help those men and women who have added the most to the national growth of the country.

I refer to the making of some change in our monetary system. I urge the government to join even at this late date the sterling group of nations and derive the results which would be expected to follow. I have listened to the debate but I have yet to hear a single hon. member argue that our present money system is adequately meeting human needs. Has our present system given us any measure of stability? In 1928 a bushel of wheat was worth $1.50; today the same bushel of wheat which will make the same amount of flour and feed the same number of people is worth only twenty-nine cents. Is our money system meeting human needs when we have so many hungry, so many poorly clothed and housed in the midst of great supplies of food, clothing and lumber? As time advances changes occur and new methods must be adopted. The circumstances under which a rigid gold standard worked smoothly bear little resemblance to the conditions pertaining in Canada at the present time.

Other countries have made changes. The house knows what President Hoover has been doing in the United States. We have heard of how he put out large sums of money in order to buy in government bonds. It was intended to increase the money in circulation and the recent rise in the stock market would seem to indicate that it succeeded. Owing to circumstances which have been referred to before in this house, Great Britain was forced to abandon the gold standard, and some seventeen nations followed her lead. The greatest economists including Sir Arthur Salter, Sir Basil Blackett, Sir Josiah Stamp, Mr. J. Maynard Keynes and others have seen no great calamity follow this step which the mother

The Address-Mr. Gershaw

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LIB

Thomas Reid

Liberal

Mr. THOMAS REID (New Westminster):

Mr. Speaker, even though we have been told, since coming down here, that the prime reason for our being summoned to parliament was to discuss the agreements entered into at the Imperial economic conference, I should like to discuss some matters in connection with the affairs of the country and matters contained in the speech from the throne.

First of all I should like to speak for a moment on some of the utterances of the Prime Minister (Mr. Bennett) in relation to the conference, with particular reference to his statements in which he accused the leader of the opposition (Mr. Mackenzie King) of endeavouring to throw every possible obstacle in the way of a successful fulfilment of the conference, and accused the members of the opposition, both inside and, I believe, outside the house, of going around hoping in their hearts that the conference would be a failure. I say, Mr. Speaker, that such thoughts are utterly baseless. I do not believe that there is a man in the house who, realizing the acuteness of the conditions by which we are faced, would be base enough to wish the conference a failure. What many Liberals did say was that if agreements were to be reached with the old country and other nations, tariff barriers would have to come down. They said that, and I think they said it rightly. As a matter of fact the conduct of the leader of the opposition during the conference is to be commended: for he not only kept quiet during the whole time, but was hardly observed at

all. And some close observers have said that it just suited the right hon. the Prime Minister and his government, because if he had not kept quiet they would have seen to it that he was quiet and out of the way. Contrast this, Mr. Speaker, with the attitude of the right hon. the Prime Minister when he went to England in 1930. The first man that the Prime Minister saw at that time was Mr. Stanley Baldwin, then leader of the opposition. He was not in power, but he went, and interviewed the Prime Minister and said, "Your policies are very acceptable to us.'

I ask the members of this house to contrast that attitude with the attitude of the leader of the opposition during the last conference at Ottawa. It seems that what they do is all right for those of Conservative thought and the Conservative party and is terribly wrong if done by those in opposition. In fact the Prime Minister's whole attitude has seemed to me to be "We are running this affair. Leave it to us; keep out. We have not only a mandate from the people but from heaven as well."

I was amused the other day when I heard the Prime Minister say he believed no purpose was served by speeches on the address made in this house, that they were ornamental rather than useful. The thought that went through my mind was, what he would have done had he been sitting on the opposition benches, and what some of those sitting with him would have done had we said, "Your speeches are ornamental rather than useful." As the poem says, "There is a good time coming," but we may not live to see the day they will remain silent.

I was particularly pleased the other day when the hon. member for Swift Current (Mr. Bothwell) again brought up the matter of gasoline and gave some veiy valuable information to the house regarding the prices of gasoline and oil in this country. I believe that question should be kept alive until something is done to control the ramifications of the oil interests in Canada. The oil interests in this country in my opinion are just the oil interests of the United States. For them no boundary exists, unless for the purpose of more profits. I can well remember the Prime Minister in 1930 when the tariff of two and a half cents was placed on gasoline rising in his place and reading four affidavits to the effect that these companies would not raise the price of gasoline because of the tariff. I have learned something since coming to this house, and that is that when lawyers are reading anything you have got to be very careful. There was a little joker in that, it is the word "because." I venture to say that if

The Address-Mr. Reid

the government and the Prime Minister were challenged with the recent rise in the price of gasoline they would say "It is not because of the tariff, it is because of something else." But to my mind the impression intended to be given at that time was that the price would not be raised. But it has been raised, and the people of this country are being fleeced, to speak in plain language, by the oil interests. If profits are going to be too large in this country they just ship some of it across the line in one way or another. That is evident to even the man on the street. Take the dumping duty; no one has yet been able to learn the source of the figure of 7 or 6.5 cents on which that duty is based. They may purchase it at 3, 4 or 5 cents but when it comes to the boundary line it is priced at 7 cents, and no one yet has explained just who informs the official or where he gets that figure. But all these great patriotic oil interests-how patriotic they are-instead of seeing that the people of this country get the benefit from that dumping duty, simply pay the companies across the line 7 cents, give them 2.5 or 3 cents more than they are asking, amounting to millions of dollars of extra profit, rather than give it to the people of this country. That is how patriotic they are. One wonders how they obtain the protection they have obtained. I say take off the 2.5 cents a gallon and the dumping duty, and the people of this country will be able to purchase gasoline at 10 cents instead of 27 cents. It was said that if the examination by the committee had been carried a little further it could have been fully proven that gasoline could be laid down in this country, without dumping duty or customs tax, at some 8 cents per imperial gallon.

The Prime Minister the other day made some mention of cheap nostrums and soapbox orators in connection with the question of monetary inflation and finance. I have here an article that I would like to read, and if he likes he can apply that appellation to this man, who in my opinion has some considerable standing and is at least as wealthy as the Prime Minister. I refer to Mr. Ford. He says this is an editorial from the Vancouver Sun:

As long as a money system helps life it is allowed to exist; when it begins 'to cramp and hinder life it should be discarded. Money exercises a strange magnetism on most minds. In itself a conveyor of goods between man and man, money has been made a symbol of power over man; and abuse of that power has now become a strangulation in the exchange of goods.

A money system that served mankind thus badly was foredoomed to challenge. It is not man's wisdom that has challenged it, but the laws of nature,-or shall we say the laws of [Mr. Keld.I

God. Money and credit, which should come under the control of government, has been

farmed out" to private interests, like sandwich concessions at a country fair, until, scorning to be the handmaid of the people it has sought to be their mistress.

When we think of money, we think of stock markets and banks, but it is little use to inveigh against either. Both markets and banks, when they perform their proper functions, are of service to society. But when they fall down on the job of distribution we should mark their system for challenge and change.

Now it may well be that he had some idea of nostrums himself, but the average citizen is beginning to ask very seriously and in greater numbers just why the government of the country cannot issue their own money to themselves instead of giving it to the banks at 3 per cent, and then borrowing it back at 5 or 6 per cent. That is being asked, and asked very seriously, and so far I have not heard any supporter of that position explain it. In my own mind I am quite satisfied as to why the revision of the Bank Act has been postponed for another year. The veil of mystery has fallen to some extent, or been torn away-that veil of mystery that has been woven around this thing we call finance and money; and it has been found to be not such a mystery after all. In my opinion the bankers are really worried, feeling that if the Bank Act revision came up at the present time, when it was through they would not be in the enviable position, nor hold the grip on the people that they have to-day. They fear criticism.

But in case Henry Ford is not accepted as a good authority I will quote Lord Melchett, whose statement has just created a stir in British economic and banking circles. He says-I quote from the same newspaper:

The world is infinitely better off today than it was in 1929-

That is, in goods.

but we cannot enjoy the fruits of progress unless we devise a new means whereby more of the world's goods can be consumed, by our unemployed and the millions of people who still have an insufficient quantity of them in a world of plenty. We crave economic stability, but to achieve it we must completely revise our views of economic and financial questions. We have got to learn to increase bank credit and money to fit commodities and 9top trying to reduce commodities to fit money.

The spectacle of destroying thousands of tons of food and goods simply because they cannot be fitted into our profit and credit system, is abhorrent. The principle is stupid and vicious and must be changed; it shows the necessity of making bank money and credit as cheap and as available as food and goods and commodities are abundant.

I think that should be taken very seriously to heart by those who mention cheap nostrums and soap box oratory.

The Address-Mr. Reid

I have just one more article along that line which I wish to quote. It is from the Toronto Saturday Night, and this, by the way, touches also upon the economic conference. In that paper, Mr. Collingwood Reade says:

While the politicians are meeting to discover how they can avoid receiving good things from other lands and persuade peoples abroad to accept the commodities which their own people would be glad to have, the financiers and money experts are meeting to explain just why it is that they cannot be expected to finance the consumption of the world's surplus by the needy, who produced it. It is all very bewildering. It has to do with the distribution of a particularly useless yellow metal; with debts which the lender doesn't want to collect and which he nevertheless still seeks to preserve. It is affected by the very natural unwillingness of the borrower to borrow any more imaginary bank money to set up capital structures for the production of goods for which there is no market.

I am also in hearty accord, Mr. Speaker, with the resolution on the order paper standing in the name of the hon. member for Red Deer (Mr. Speakman) reading in part as follows:

Therefore be it resolved that in the opinion of this house, the government should give serious and immediate attention to the question of debts and interest rates within this country, and the possibility of their reduction, either by way of direct action, or by the submission of the entire problem to a special committee of this house, in order that the subject may be fully enquired into, and if possible, some solution found.

As the hon. member for Medicine Hat (Mr. Gershaw) has pointed out, the debts of this country are colossal, reaching as they do the gigantic sum of over five billions of dollars, or a debt per capita of five hundred dollars. How on earth ten millions of people are ever going to pay that sum at the present high rates of interest I must confess is quite beyond me, and if the Prime Minister had been very anxious to do some good and lasting thing for this country, he should have taken a lesson from the old country and converted many of these debt bonds to a lower rate of interest. At the present high rates of interest I do not see how we can ever carry this staggering load of debt. The Prime Minister, in replying to the leader of the opposition, referred to Jeremiahs the other day. I would like to remind him and hon. members that it is not always wise to quote from the good old book because if I remember the Scriptures, Jeremiah pointed out to the people at that time that if they did the things which he said they should do, good would follow, but that if they did not, desolation would cover the land. I leave that thought with the Prime Minister and the members of his party, because Jeremiah's words proved to be only too true.

Even at the risk of being branded by the Prime Minister as another Jeremiah, I am going to say a few words with regard to agriculture. It is said by some that the turn has come, and some have even said that agriculture is on the mend. I have before me the accounts of two shipments of farm produce that were made from British Columbia. One man shipped two hundred sacks of potatoes this year and received for the shipment some $4 per ton. With such prices farmers would be better off among the unemployed, because it means that the farmer is actually going into debt, whereas amongst the unemployed he would at least be getting a little sustenance. The other was the shipment of a 440-pound sow to the Swift Canadian Company Limited. This shipper received the magnificent sum of $8.76.

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LIB

Charles A. Stewart

Liberal

Mr. STEWART (Edmonton):

He was

lucky.

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LIB

Thomas Reid

Liberal

Mr. REID:

Probably he was, but in view of such prices I ask how anyone can say that agriculture is on the mend, and why should we be called Jeremiahs because we dare to place these facts before the house?

In addition to the curtailment of employment British Columbia is now faced with the importation of agricultural products from Alberta. We thought we were doing fairly well in the matter of eggs until Alberta began to ship its surplus eggs into British Columbia and drove the price down last week to eleven cents. They are paying the farmer for milk 23 and 25 cents a pound butter fat, or one dollar for the ten-gallon can. I am not going to go much further into the question of agriculture because I have some matters in connection with unemployment which I wish to place before the house.

I know, Mr. Speaker, that hon. members to your right do not like it very much when we throw up to them what they said in 1930. But I well remember that before the election of 1930 the present leader of the opposition, then Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King), was frequently challenged in this house for not doing something to relieve unemployment, and in reply he stated that under the British North America Act that was primarily a provincial and municipal matter. The present Prime Minister challenged that statement, and when the election campaign came on he swept this country with very definite prom-

The Address-Mr. Reid

ises. He said in effect that he would take care of the situation. He held out to the people that the Liberals had said that nothing could be done by the federal government to relieve unemployment because it was purely a provincial and municipal matter, but if elected he would take care of the situation. I was therefore rather surprised the other day when the Prime Minister in no uncertain terms told us that the relief of unemployment was the duty of the provinces and of the municipalities. That was just the reverse of the position he took in 1930; and remember, unemployment at the present time-I am speaking of British Columbia-is far greater than it was in 1930; in fact, it has reached an extent which was never dreamt of in 1930. There are now some 80,000 people in British Columbia-this is the official figure given by the provincial government to the Dominion government-who are either unemployed or in need of relief, and thousands of whom are destitute. Now what happened this year in regard to unemployment? The premiers met in the month of May and we were told before the end of last session that the agreements were just about to be signed by the various provinces. After going home I found that further negotiations took place and weeks of suspense followed, with telegrams passing back and forth, but still with no plan formulated and no progress made. In fact, many municipalities are carrying on today merely in the hope that they will be paid. They have no assurance to that effect either from the Dominion government through the province or direct from the provincial government itself. Then on September 30 a new plan was announced, and the Vancouver Daily Province came out with these large headlines:

Next Winter's Belief Estimate is $4,500,000- Program of Government Officially Announced- Expenditure on Direct Aid Only-Immediate Survey to be started by New Board.

The new board was appointed to go into the whole question. Plans were made and a program outlined by the provincial government, but instructions from Ottawa ordered them to halt. Now we find that this board is still awaiting the text of the federal program on relief. In the Colonist of October 10 I find the following:

Hon. J. W. Jones stated yesterday the provincial authorities have not yet received word of the new federal policy on relief for western Canada. If this policy should be one of direct relief, with single men to be placed in camps, it would be a continuation of the course followed by the province for the last eight months. In the absence of express advices from Ottawa, Mr. Jones declined to comment on news reports which hinted that control of

relief in municipal centres may be shifted to the shoulders of the province. During the day the government asked the federal authorities for early advices on its relief policy for the west.

Four months have elapsed since hon. members met in this house, yet there has been no settlement concerning relief or agreement of any kind between the federal government and provincial and municipal authorities. That condition exists despite the fact that the situation is getting worse, if that is possible. Many municipalities have appealed to the government of British Columbia, but have been told to appeal to Ottawa. Provincial authorities know very well that Ottawa will turn down all appeals, because both the Prime Minister and the Minister of Labour have stated very clearly that the Dominion government will act only through the provinces. No financial help has been given to the municipalities, to help them finance, although we were told last session during the discussion on the relief bill that the Dominion government would come to the aid of municipalities unable to finance themselves, if representations were made by the provincial government. The situation is becoming more serious daily. I know of one municipality nearly in the receiver's hands, and others are threatened. The provincial government has been asked in one instance to appoint a commissioner. There are other municipalities barely managing to carry on, after having long negotiations and trouble with the banks.

I find fault with the assurances given in this house that financial aid would be given to those municipalities unable to carry on, and which, up to this date, have not received any help or any assurance that help will be given. There can be no doubt that the government is aware of the unfortunate circumstances in which some of those municipalities find themselves.

Another matter which forms part of the unemployment problem, and with which I am not in accord, is the government's policy in regard to forcible deportations which have taken place throughout the country, and particularly in the province of British Columbia. Many municipalities and some cities having great burdens on their hands because of those in destitute circumstances, have learned through information given them on relief slips that some of these people have been in the country less than five years. Throughout practically the whole of this year, an average of fifty people per month have been deported forcibly from the city of Vancouver. I claim many of those people, if not all, would if

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given a chance make gcod citizens. Why challenge a man or a woman for being in destitute circumstances when we know that to-day it is impossible to find work and in many cases difficult even to find sustenance? Those men and women came to Canada in good faith; some have come from the old country and others from central Europe. To my mind it is most unfair that these people should be forcibly deported just because under present economic conditions they have been compelled to accept some form of charity from a city or municipality. I believe a change should be made in our immigration laws which would put a stop for the present to many of these deportations. I wonder what the feelings will be in the old country when those hundreds arrive back with the stigma on their names that they were ejected from Canada for what under our law is termed a crime. Further, although in the city of Vancouver there are forty oriental families in distressed circumstances, there has been no move whatever to return them to the land of their birth.

In closing I have only two statements to make, first that the high tariffs of this government have nearly put the country out of business, and second, that no good will result until we have a governmental attitude that accords men the same consideration as money.

Mr. ELIE O. BERTRAND (Prescott) (Translation): Mr. Speaker, when the official

gazette announced the opening of this session, rather early this year, we were informed that we would have to deal with the various treaties prepared at the Imperial economic conference, and which were to be presented to the various parliaments of the empire. It is nevertheless a fact that-although we take a great interest in such proceedings, hoping that these treaties may produce all that can be expected for the people of this country as well as for those of other parts of the empire -as representatives of the people, we cannot hope that these agreements will bring us, in the near future, the immediate relief that the masses have a right, at present, to expect from the government. Therefore I shall be frank, sir, and admit that after scrutinizing the speech from the throne, I find it difficult to find in it anything which might bring relief, in the near future, to the less privileged classes of our population. When we consider the difficult situation in which are the Canadian working and farming classes, we really wonder whether the government could not, in the course of this session, and even before adjournment, adopt measures to relieve these various classes of our population.

When speaking on the budget last year, describing the sad lot of our farmers, I quoted statistics covering the last 20 years and showed that the income of the farmer was less last year than it was 20 years ago, because the sale price of his products had greatly fallen. On the other hand, the price of goods which he required was much higher than in the past, while the taxes levied on this class of our community had greatly increased. When endeavouring to describe the rather sad lot of our Canadian workmen and farmers, almost at the door of bankruptcy, the only answer which I received from the government was given to me by the hon. member for Laval-Two Mountains, the Postmaster General (Mr. Sauve) in the following words:

Before proceeding with my remarks, I should like to say to my hon. friend the member for Prescott (Mr. Bertrand) that my criticism is not levelled at him, for I congratulate him on the high plane of his speech as well as on the great effort he displayed in order to find fault with the government.

It is, sir, about the only consolation we obtained, after the description we gave of the pitiful condition in which were our people. And notwithstanding the pleasure it gave me to be congratulated by the hon. member for Laval-Two Mountains, on the high plane of my speech, it is nevertheless a fact that the people of my constituency find it difficult to believe that we must make a great effort to criticize severely the government. The people certainly blame this government for not having the present situation in hand and not carrying out the pledges made at the election of 1930. It is not a pleasant task for us to keep repeating these pledges, but when we draw their attention to the people in distress, the government simply put up the plea that we only wish to criticize their policy and make the situation more difficult for them. At the last general election, we appealed to the people by telling them that if the depression existing in other parts of the world was felt in our country, the only solution was to find markets for Canadian goods, if we wanted to sell the surplus of our products and provide work for the Canadian workmen. The answer to this was that we felt too uneasy about our foreign trade, that the Conservative party's policy was first to protect the domestic trade and provide markets for the Canadian industries and in acting thus the workman would have ample work and the farmer would easily dispose of his products. Our opponents, however, did not say what they intended to do with the surplus of our products, they simply stated

The Address-Mr. Bertrand

that they wished to keep the Canadian market for domestic products and that prosperity would follow.

At that period, sir, we had about 117,000 unemployed in this country. In April, 1932, the number had increased to 450,000. Today the number of unemployed is certainly over 500,000, and many whose work brings them in contact with the unemployed contend that it is close to 700,000. If there was sufficient ground to blame our fiscal policy, two years ago, because there were 117,000 unemployed in this country, have we not the right, today, to draw the attention of the government to its own policy, seeing that we have, at present, nearly 700,000 unemployed in Canada?

In this respect, I shall read the text of an appeal made by the Hon. A. D. McRae, in a letter written on June 28, 1930, and addressed to the people of Canada:

Claiming everything that is creditable, the Liberals refuse to take responsibility for the present economic conditions which they have created. It is evident that the public has no patience with the Liberal effort to revive their blue ruin cry of '25 and '26. The time lias surely come when we must discuss unemployment conditions, and other serious issues involved in our unfortunate economic situation, even though the Liberals would have you shut your eyes to them.

That is the appeal of the chief organizer of the Conservative party to the Canadian people. And when we mention the distress prevailing in this country, we are told that we are straining a point to find fault with the present administration. I stated last year that the farmer was practically on the eve of bankruptcy. This is absolutely true. The farmers, in my district, are experiencing great hardships. They are excellent workers, offsprings of pioneer families who cleared the land and made it productive, who bequeathed to their progeny estates upon which the latter depended to develop the legacy left to them. All their hopes have been frustrated. Conditions were far from being as bad, when at the last election, the right hon. Prime Minister (Mr. Bennett) appealed to the farming class in a letter dated July 8, 1930, and which reads as follows:

We will go further and take the necessary steps to foster and develop our agriculture and the live stock and dairy industry, now so badly neglected, to protect for our farmers the home market, and to assist them to regain their position in the world market. That much I promise the dairymen of this country if I am entrusted with the government.

The people of my county put no faith in these alluring pledges, nevertheless the Con-

servative leader of the day was chosen by the Canadian people to administer public affairs. Having given these pledges, the farmers had a right to expect that he would carry them out and trusted that better returns would result from the sale of their products. How great was their deception! Instead of seeing their products selling dearer, the prices fell from month to month and week to week, out of all proportion. I shall quote, to bear out my statement, from the Economist of September, 1932. Assuming as one hundred the figure on which is based the ratio of all products for the year 1926, you will find that the whole of the farm products for 1930 were worth 86-6 and had dwindled down to 66-8 in August, 1932, therefore, we find a loss of 20 per cent on every dollar. If you take the farm products separately, that is those of the fields and those of livestock -the latter are of special interest to the farmers of my district-you will note, taking always the figure one hundred as a base for 1926, that farm products in 1930 were quoted at 82-3 and in August, 1932, at 48-3. Therefore, the farm dollar is now only worth 48-3 in farm products, that is a decrease of 34 per cent in two years.

That is far from what the farmer expected from the Conservative policy which was to guarantee to him the domestic market and give him a large share in the foreign markets.

As to the products of the fields in 1930, the figures indicated 70 and in August, 1932, it had decreased to 41-7. Consequently the farm dollar concerning field products being only worth 41-7, it had decreased 28-3 per cent from 1930 to August, 1932.

As regards live stock, the ratio in 1930 was 102-9, and in August, 1932, it had fallen to 59-3. Therefore the farm dollar, as regards live stock, being 59-3 has decreased 42-6 per cent. With reference to articles of first necessity which the farmer must purchase, without mentioning the taxes which he has to meet. Quoting again The Economist, in 1930, the ratio of retail prices and farm hands was 99-2, and in August, 1932, 81-5. Therefore the Canadian is obliged to pay 81-5 for articles of first necessity and for the necessary work to be done on the farm, with an income of 59-3 peir cent for live stock, 41-7 for products of the fields and 48-3 for all farm products. The farmers in my district find the situation unbearable.

In June, at the annual meeting of the county council, the farmers whom I have the honour to represent and those of the neighbouring county, applied to the council for a reduction in the taxes to be levied on them.

r: OCTOBER 13, 1932 205

The Address-Mr. Bertrand

The answer of the council was that they had not the authority to do so. The farmers then requested that the council address itself to the provincial authorities in order that they be relieved from taxation pn provincial and municipal roads constructed through loans and sponsored by the provincial legislature, under the direction of the latter's engineers. They further requested that taxes for the administration of justice, old age and mothers' pensions, those levied under the act relating to neglected children and that relating to hospitals, as well as those levied under the Elections Act which charges a great part of the election expenditure to the counties of this province, be reduced. The farmers contended that they could not pay these taxes and meet their liabilities; if the government did not relieve them to a large extent from the burden of taxation they would be forced to repudiate their debts. Nothing was done as regards this matter and the province's answer is still awaited while the accounts for the yearly taxes will be due in a few days. Last year some of them were paid by a loan while the others are still due. In a few days the farmers will be handed their annual tax bill for 1932. There is absolutely no escape. This is why I deemed it my duty to rise in the house and draw your attention to 'the conditions prevailing among the farmers in my district. From what I have heard, the same situation exists in the west, in Quebec and throughout Canada. The government should therefore act immediately toward relieving the farmers.

Notwithstanding the moratorium in force in Ontario, there is a large number of farmers whose chattels have been seized for taxes and other debts which they were unable to meet. After disposing of their farm implements, live stock and all they possess, they find that there hardly remains enough to defray their expenses and pay the previous year's taxes. The moratorium permitted them to remain on their land, but there remains absolutely nothing to these people to carry on fanning. What will become of them? They certainly cannot exist very long under such conditions. These good Canadians rely at present on the pork remaining in the salting tub, the last crop of potatoes, and on what they were able to save from distress while awaiting the time when they will be forced to join the ranks of the unemployed or suffer from hunger.

The government should enact the necessary measures in order to place at the disposal of these farmers an emergency loan which would keep them on the farm and prevent the situation from growing worse in our villages and

towns, thereby preventing the spread of unemployment. We foresee that conditions will be worse next spring and fear that 50 per cent of our farmers may be forced to abandon their farms and thus forfeit the legacy left to them by their forebears.

In our district milk sells at 50 to 60 cents per 100 pounds. Steers on the hoof at 1 cent per pound; hogs on the hoof, hardly 3i to 4 cents per pound. These prices are not sufficient to defray the cost of production in many cases. How can we expect the farmer to remain on the land under these conditions?

Before the various treaties between the different parts of the empire are approved I must appeal to the government to appropriate an emergency loan to relieve these farmers. A few miles out of Ottawa, there was held yesterday, a congress of farmers which voiced the same request to the government; this request of the farmers will, before long, certainly reach the agricultural department. If we are anxious to prevent the farmer from repudiating his liabilities and following in the footsteps of the American farmers, we shall have to enact measures not only to safeguard large interests or to maintain and increase trade between our country and other parts of the empire, but also to protect our people from want.

I read in the Analyst that in the United States, a country with a high tariff wall like ours has been for the last two years, the farmers, in large numbers, are bankrupt. According to quotations from that newspaper, from December 30, 1931, to June, 1932, $157,000,000 were lost by those who had made loans to farm owners. Either the farms were sold at a loss or the mortgage reduced. The same thing is happening in our country. A notary in my county told me, a few days ago, that half his work at present consisted in making out deeds to reduce the amount of the mortgages, for instance, from $4,000 to $2,500 and the like, the money lender was willing to bear this loss in order to allow the farmer to remain on his land.

If such sacrifices can be made by the small money lender in an endeavour to safeguard this industry upon which rests our economic structure, could not the government do their share and help the farmer as much as possible? Could they not enact the necessary measures to protect the farmers and relieve them, to some extent, of the burden of taxes? If again, the future gave us some hope that the situation would improve, we could say: This crisis will last perhaps a little longer but prosperity will soon return and our people will again see sunny days. However, in order not to har-

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CON

Pierre Édouard Blondin (Speaker of the Senate)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPEAKER:

The hon. gentleman has spoken for forty minutes.

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LIB

Elie-Oscar Bertrand

Liberal

Mr. BERTRAND (Translation):

Seeing

that my time has expired, may I simply state that I trust the government will enact the necessary measures so that all classes may be dealt with fairly.

On motion of Mr. Vallance the debate was adjourned.

On motion of Mr. Stevens the house adjourned at 10.50 p.m.

Friday, October 14, 1932

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October 13, 1932