Wilbert Franklin (Frank) Rickard
Mr. W. F. RICKARD (Durham):
As one of the new members of ths house and a farmer I feel it my duty to say a few words on the question now before the house as it affects the people of this country, and particularly of the county I represent.
In the first place I want to congratulate the Minister of Finance (Mr. Dunning) on his presentation of this budget, andi to assure him and the house that I am going to vote for the budget and against the proposed amendment of the leader of the opposition (Mr. Bennett). I am a little disappointed that this amendment was brought forward; I thought from the attitude taken by the leader of the opposition at the beginning of the session that he intended! to follow the example of Sir Robert Peel in the session of 1834. At that time Sir Robert Peel was leader of the opposition, and he deemed it his duty to support the government of the day on its policy of peace, security and financial reform. He set the welfare of the nation above the interests of party. Miss Ramsay, in her book on Peel, at page 170 goes on to say:
The Tories were not so dainty about their methods, and many of them considered that a factious opposition was quite compatible with conservatism.
They had to learn that they must take their leader as they found him, and pardon *his liberalism for the sake of his talents, and that, hanker as they might for a reactionary policy, they were helpless to carry it out without his assistance; that in fact the only chance for their party was to group themselves once more around this most unsatisfactory chief. I am sorry that the leader of the opposition departed from the resolution which he appeared to have made earlier in the session. It is a matter of regret that the board of strategy has appealed1 to him to give battle on the budget and on the tariff question. The people of Durham county are satisfied with the budget, as are the people of most counties throughout Canada. The agricultural vote is the largest in point of numbers and financial importance in my riding. The farmers are satisfied that last year's budget, and this year's budget too, are well calculated to widen their markets.
It has not been our experience in Durham county that there has been a falling off in the price of cattle and live stock generally during the past few months. We do not find that the importation of vegetable fat
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has cut into the dairy market to any great extent. Up our way I am confident that good cooks will continue to use a good deal of old-fashioned lard and butter for their cooking. The county of Durham is famed for its fruit, its Devonshire cream, its pure bred live stock and its fertile fields. Strawberry shortcake made with Durham strawberries, and apple pie and Devonshire cream, still taste mighty good to the people of that county. No amount of advertising could induce the cooks in my riding to abandon their tried and proved methods of producing these things or to jeopardize their family reputations by introducing into their cooking too much vegetable fat instead of lard and butter.
Next in order in my riding must be considered the manufacturing interests. In the town of Port Hope a new industry has grown up as the result of a geological find in the Great Slave lake district. During last year we produced 28 grammes of radium, and thanks to the cooperation of our representative in London who is also a Durham boy, a market has been found for this commodity, which sold for $25,000 a gramme or a total of $700,000. This is one industry that is not clamouring for protection. In addition, the revival in the motor industry seems to assure a steady market for the important rubber factory at Bowmanville, the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company, Limited. The file factory at Port Hope is the only factory in Canada producing files, and that plant is doing a bigger business than ever before, notwithstanding the fact that during the last election the men were told that if they voted for King and the Liberal candidate the doors of the plant would be closed the next morning and the men would be out of work. Women were told that their husbands would be on relief if they supported Liberal policies, but instead, as you see, an even greater business is being done. Their export trade has increased; the wages of the men have been increased by ten per cent, and in many lines they are working overtime.
We have other industries in Durham county as well. For instance, there is the Ideal works, which makes bathtubs, et cetera, and is working at full capacity, and we also have several foundries which are doing a good business. In the village of Newcastle, where I live, we have a small cabinet factory employing twenty-five to thirty men and women, which is working overtime, with orders for many months ahead. That plant is located in part of the factory where the Massey-Harris company started years ago.
In the county of Durham we have that desirable state of affairs of which the hon.
member for Huron North (Mr. Deachman) spoke in his splendid address on. Thursday last-the opportunity to work and to live in clean, healthy surroundings. The towns are not large but they are prosperous. I should like to be able to speak on this subject as Hon. Edward Blake was wont to speak. I cannot match his eloquence, but in love of the county and devotion to its interests I do not yield even to Hon. Edward Blake.
There is another section of the community about which very little is heard in parliament. I refer to citizens who, either by their own thrift and industry or as the result of those qualities in their ancestors, are possessed of a modest competency which they have invested in stocks and bonds. They are the financial backbone of the community, and they are glad to see that the Dunning budget does not indulge in any sensational or freak attempts at financing. They feel certain that their investments will not be jeopardized by any action of this government. Ours is an old, settled community, and during the course of the past four or five generations many small private fortunes have been made. I can remember in my boyhood days when the merchants of Bowmanville put on special sales for the days on which the interest on bonds was paid. "Coupon day" in Bowmanville was a big event. For the past six or seven years coupon payments have been slim, but now they are growing in importance again, and I hope "coupon day" will again return to all the towns in my constituency.
The budget that was brought down last year has worked to the advantage of the people of my riding, and we expect further benefits from the budget now under discussion. The trade agreements that have been made with the United Kingdom, Japan, Russia and other countries, as well as the agreement with the United States, have been very beneficial. I am surprised when I hear farmer members of this house talking in favour of high tariffs and high protection. Surely they must know that our market in the United States during the past year has been of great benefit to the farmers of this country. What would the farmer have received for his cattle if it had not been for the United States market, to which we shipped 160,000 head last year? I venture to say that we would have been hardly able to give them away. I would not have it understood, however, that I am an out and out free trader. I refuse to subscribe to the principle that it is always best to buy in the cheapest market. If the advantages of free trade simply mean the progressive and well-
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considered relaxation of restrictions on commerce. then I am for it. The industries that are carrying on in Durham county are well established, and by this time they have realized that they need not fear the competition of other countries. With growing markets they feel that they can carry on without asking for contributions from their fellow citizens.
Now, Mr. Speaker, I should like to say just a word about some phases of the unemployment situation. We in Durham county are not very much affected by unemployment; of course we have some people on relief, but that situation does not exist to the extent that it does in the larger cities. We have men and women who would like jobs, but in addition we have a great many young people graduating from our high schools, collegiate institutes and agricultural colleges who cannot find jobs, except possibly at something which does not pay them anything like the cost of their education. In my county we have young people of the finest type, young boys and girls who have put Durham county on the map in various judging competitions, both provincial and interprovincial. These boys and girls are the men and women of to-morrow, and it is up to us to do something for their future. They are getting to the age where they would like homes of their own, but if *conditions do not improve it will be difficult for them to realize that ambition. I have *every confidence, however, that this government will do something for the young men and women who will have to shoulder the responsibilities of the country to-morrow.
I think the government should be congratulated on the steps they have taken to relieve the unemployment situation, and especially in regard to the demobilization of the relief camps which were in operation under the former administration. By closing these camps and placing the men at work wherever possible the government have effected a great saving to. the taxpayers, and, what is more important, have restored independence to the men and brought about a general change for the better in their morale. I believe the problem of unemployment may be with us for some time, even though statistics show a marked improvement in the situation. But we must encourage our people to work for a return of the prosperity which all Canadians feel is their right. With the unlimited reserves within our boundaries, and a selfreliant people, we are bound to succeed and to restore to them the heritage with which the Creator has blessed them.
I do not feel justified, Mr. Speaker, in taking up any more of the time of the house on this question. I do venture the prediction, however, that the budget will be carried by a tremendous vote, and that the size of the vote will favourably reflect the opinion of the country as a whole on this subject.
Subtopic: CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE