May 18, 1933

LIB

Edgar-Rodolphe-Eugène Chevrier

Liberal

Mr. CHEVRIER:

Mr. Speaker, if I am in order, with the greatest possible respect I would point out to you that when an hon. member had made use of a certain expression at page 2535 of Hansard and you had considered the matter you were pleased to direct, "I am of the opinion that the remark is not directed to the hon. member for Regina." If it was not directed to the hon. member for Regina it was directed to no other hon. member, but Your Honour ruled at a subsequent date that the words should be expunged from the record. Another remark practically of the same nature was made by the hon. member for Temiscouata (Mr. Pouliot) with reference to parliamentary correspondents, and Your Honour then ruled that the words were unparliamentary and that they should be stricken out of the record, and that was done. I have the greatest respect for Your Honour and I have no quarrel with your decision, and the citations I made were simply for the purpose of showing that the decorum of the house is a matter in your hands which I think should be regarded as a sacred trust.

Mr. ARMAND LaVERGNE (Montmagny): In my opinion these are not questions of privilege but questions of personal explanation. An hon. member of this house before the orders of the day were called complained about a newspaper article on what he said was a question of privilege, but it is not a question of privilege; it is a question of personal explanation. When an hon. member of this house is attacked by a newspaper the rule is very dear. He has no other recourse but to have the writer of the article or the editor of that newspaper brought before the bar of the house. That recourse is open to the hon. member, but I think that these are not questions of privilege and should not be raised as questions of privilege.

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CON

Samuel Gobeil

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GOBEIL:

Leaving my personality

altogether aside I wish to submit, Mr. Speaker, that as a member of the redistribution committee I did my duty to the best of my

[Mr Speaker.]

ability. That may not amount to very much, but that is all I can offer, and I submit that I should not be subjected to all the slanders and falsehoods of that dirty individual.

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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Withdraw.

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CON

Pierre Édouard Blondin (Speaker of the Senate)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPEAKER:

I can only say this: I wish it were in the power of the Speaker to protect hon. members from any annoyance, but as I pointed out in reply to the hon. member for Ottawa, if he wishes to deal with the matter, then as the Deputy Speaker has already pointed out, the editor or the reporter can be ordered to appear before the bar of the house. That is entirely a matter within the power of the house itself, and is not subject to be ordered by the Speaker. The whole matter has to be dealt with by the house, and I say to the hon. member for Compton 'that if he wishes to go further, it should be done by motion.

Before this incident is closed, I do not want hon. members to take it that I approve of the language that has been complained of. It is quite within the power and the best judgment of every member of the house to refrain from using such language as will give offence. It is quite proper to engage in debate and severely criticize the policies and even the personal actions of members, without indulging in language of which the house should be ashamed.

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Some hon. MEMBERS:

Hear, hear.

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LIB

JUDGE RUTHERFORD


On the orders of the day:


LIB

Edward James Young

Liberal

Mr. E. J. YOUNG (Weyburn):

Mr. Speaker, a few days ago a petition was presented to the government asking that Judge Rutherford be restored to the air. I should like to know if the minister intends to take any action.

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An hon. MEMBER:

He has just spoken.

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LIB

Edward James Young

Liberal

Mr. YOUNG:

The minister does not answer. I should like to know if he intends to take any action.

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CON

Alfred Duranleau (Minister of Fisheries; Minister of Marine)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. ALFRED DURANLEAU (Minister of Marine):

I believe the statement I made some time ago about Judge Rutherford was quite clear, namely that the air had not been denied to him, but that the commission wanted the discs upon which the speeches of that gentleman were reported submitted to them before they were put on the air. That is all.

Canada Shipping Act-Mr. Kennedy

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CANADA SHIPPING ACT


The house resumed from Wednesday, May 17, consideration of 'the motion of hon. Mr. Duranleau for the second reading of Bill No. 106, to amend the Canada Shipping Act.


UFA

Donald MacBeth Kennedy

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. D. M. KENNEDY (Peace River):

Mr. Speaker, I have read this bill, and I believe the intent behind it is contained in seotion 935.

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CON

Pierre Édouard Blondin (Speaker of the Senate)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPEAKER:

Will hon. .members please be quiet. It is impossible for the hon. member to make himself heard.

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UFA

Donald MacBeth Kennedy

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. KENNEDY (Peace River):

That section reads as follows:

No goods shall be transported by water or by land and water, from one place in Canada to another place in Canada, either directly or by way of a foreign port, or for any part of the transportation in any ship other than a British ship.

I suggest that that section is rather badly drawn. One phase of it is amusing, because I do not see bow one could transport goods in a ship by land. As I see, it,, Mr. Speaker, the issue is between the Canadian lake shippers and the western farmers. There has been injected into the debate the suggestion that the issue was between Canadian and American lake shippers. That does constitute an issue, 'but it is second only to the main one. There is also the suggestion that a question arises between western farmers and labour engaged on Canadian boats on the great lakes. That also is an issue, but does not interfere with the main point.

Personally, under ordinary circumstances, I have no objection to the government trying to bring about conditions which will bring a reasonable return to men engaged in shipping or in any other occupation. But I submit that until the time arrives when the farmers of western Canada are receiving at least a living wage from the sale of their grain it is absolutely unfair to put through any regulation or law which will mean that the producers who are selling at less than cost of production1-'and in this statement I am. taking government statistics-shall be asked to sacrifice something more to help some other people engaged in a legitimate business, simply because those other people are suffering a loss. It is that phase of the matter to which I object. If through the financial or economic policy of Canada we were able to raise the level of wheat prices to the place where they would make a reasonable return to the farmers, and provided we 'had reasonable control of ra'tes on the great lakes, I would not take any objections. That this

is an issue between the grower of wheat who must pay the rates and the shipping interests, is made very plain in the evidence submitted 'to the Senate committee.

I do not wish to read much of it, but I think I am in order to read some because the bill has not gone before a committee of the house where evidence could be taken. The question has been raised as to whether or not there is a combine. I do not know whether it is possible to term as a combine the arrangement existing among Canadian ships on the great lakes. That was not admitted in 1923, despite the fact that .the committee investigating found that there was virtually a combine. But that this legislation is asked for in order to make it easier for Canadian steamship lines operating on the great lakes generally to increase prices is admitted in the evidence, and I shall read just enough to establish that point. The evidence of Mr. Enderby of the Canada Steamship Lines as found at page 54, is as follows:

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CON

Armand Renaud La Vergne (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Conservative (1867-1942)

The Chairman:

You say there is nothing that savours of a combine in that circumstance?

Hon. Mr. Dandurand: Was there any agreement ?

Mr. Enderby: There was an agreement between the Canadian vessel owners to endeavour to get the rate up to where they could get their living expenses out of it.

Hon. Mr. McRae: That accounts for the

advances.

Mr. Enderby: Yes. Even at six and a half cents there is no money in the rate for any Canadian steamship company, or any American steamship company. When steamers have to lay around at the discharge port for four, five, ten or fifteen days, there is no money in a six and a half cent rate.

So I think that establishes quite clearly the intent of the owners of the Canadian steamship lines. Immediately you eliminate one competitive factor you make it easier for the combine, or for the agreement to increase rates, to operate. I't does not matter whether that factor is some interference with the western rate on grain or whether it is the elimination of American vessels in connection with the hauling of any portion of it. May I say that some of the gentlemen who took part in the committee investigation were men who had at least some part in the combine formed in 1923. Therefore I do not think there is any question about the fact that there has been an attempt on the part of the owners of the Canadian steamship lines to eliminate competition in connection with the movement of some portion of the grain which has to be moved from the head of the lakes to Buffalo, in order that they may secure a higher rate. Until the time comes when we have a knowledge of the cost and conditions

5158 COMMONS

Canada Shipping Act-Mr. Kennedy

of the steamship business, and a commission set up that could gain that knowledge, I do not think it will be fair simply to give this additional right to Canadian steamship lines when it is perfectly clear that the money must come from the farmers of western Canada who to-day are selling grain at very little over sixty per cent of the cost of production.

We might as well recognize that a little while ago wheat was at its lowest price for 250 years, and to-day it is a long way from being up to a reasonable price. There has been a tendency in past debates in connection with matters affecting the shipment of grain on the great lakes to suggest that we were playing into the hands of the Americans, and also that the port of Buffalo was not of any real value to the producers of western grain. I think the best thing that has been written in connection with the transportation of grain from western Canada to the markets of the world was written by one of the board of grain commissioners, Doctor MacGibbon. Members who have known Doctor MacGibbon and his record know that he is a very careful and thorough student. He pointed out, in his book published in 1932, the significance of the port of Buffalo in the Canadian grain trade. That port has been necessary for Canadian grain shipments because of peculiar natural conditions. One factor that tended to raise grain rates in 1923, and which the people who were accused of forming a combine and charging exorbitant rates gave as a reason why they were compelled to charge those rates, was congestion in the ports, which prevented them from delivering the grain and getting back for return cargoes. There never are any more than enough elevators, ships, canal space and loading and unloading facilities to take care of the rush in the fall due to a big crop in western Canada. If you eliminate Buffalo or handicap it in any way you bring about in some seasons at least a condition of congestion that will hurt the western farmers. The sale of wheat in the worlds market is highly competitive. It has been pointed out time and time again that Canada is in a rather difficult position; the wheat fields are far from the seaboard, and in the late fall the great lakes freeze up. Therefore in the fall the great effort is to get the grain off the prairies and down as far as possible along the great lakes so that it is in a strategic position for delivery to Europe and elsewhere during the winter. Hauling wheat by rail from western Canada to the east is not economical, the natural route from western Canada to the east for grain is the great lakes. Doctor MacGibbon

in his book says that in the fall it is absolutely necessary, in some seasons at least, to have all the ships that can be massed to handle the crop in order to prevent congestion at the head of the lakes. At page 246 of his book we have the following:

When a new Canadian crop is ready for shipment, especially if it be a large one, the Canadian lake freighters as well as the American lake freighters not engaged in the ore trade, are fully employed in moving the crop from the head of the lake. Indeed it becomes necessary to use to the limit all the ports available, in order that the elevators at the head of navigation may be kept clear, and as much as possible of the crop be shipped east from Port Arthur and Fort William before the close of navigation. Traffic conditions in the great lakes, in the fall season, therefore, tend to cause grain to flow through the port of Buffalo.

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CON

James Langstaff Bowman

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BOWMAN:

Would the hon. member

mind telling us at what time that book was published?

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UFA

Donald MacBeth Kennedy

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. KENNEDY (Peace River):

In January, 1932.

It has been said that we ought to use Canadian ports. I am all in favour of using Canadian ports, but Canadian traffic routes and Canadian ports have not the facilities to handle grain, economically and efficiently. That is a fact. As a matter of fact if you go back in the records you will find that Canadian ports have been handling in some years, at least when the United States was a large exporter, almost as much United States grain as 'the United States ports were handling of Canadian grain, not quite balanced. In 1930 I think Saint John handled 30,000,000 bushels, and 17,000,000 bushels of that was American grain.

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May 18, 1933