Mr. J. H. RAINVILLE (Chambly-Ver-cheres):
Mr. Speaker, I am sorry that I
have to take part in this debate, as it seems to be rather a western issue; but I feel it my duty, as an eastern man, to say what I think on the question which has been brought before this House largely by our western friends opposite, and to express my views with regard to the proposals which they have placed before us. We know that nature has separated the West from the East by the Great Lakes and by a stretch of rocky country where no farmers will ever be able to establish themselves. I wonder if
our friends from the West realize the great sacrifices that we were called upon to make on this side of lake Superior in order to develop the western prairies. I wonder if they know that the Canadian Pacific railway was built with the money of this country at a time when the largest population was on this side of lake Superior. I wonder if they know that the Transcontinental railway has been built, that the Canadian Northern railway has been built and that we are now building the Hudson Bay railway to help the western country. I would like to know if they appreciate the importance of the building of the terminal elevators at Fort William and interior elevators at Moosejaw, and if they are aware that this Government intends to build another interior elevator very soon near Calgary. These elevators, as well as the one that is being built at the port of Montreal and those that are being built in the big cities of the far East, are all for the benefit of the citizens of the West. I do not know if the intention of the late Government, when they undertook to build these great works, was to direct the freight and the wheat and other products of the West to the United States. Speaking on my own behalf, I would consider it very dangerous if that were the case, and I am not ready to stand for it, because, seeing that we have been building such big works in our country, our duty to-day is to keep our trade and all our trade for our own railroads, for our own ports, for our own workmen, for our own people, in order by that means to unite the West with the East once for all, and to use our money to make this country a great one.
Our western friends are complaining that the price of wheat at certain seasons of the year is higher at Minneapolis than it is at Winnipeg. If the people of the United States want our wheat, why should that he? I am sure that all western members will agree with me that it is because they know the reputation of Canadian No. 1 Northern wheat. The farmers of the West have been complaining that even in our own elevators we have been mixing the wheat in such a way that the trade of the West is being spoiled. The Grain Commission interfered and settled that evil. But I want to ask my hon. friends on the other side of the House, if we have a little difficulty in keeping our wheat, by inspection and other means, in the way it should be kept in our country, how are we going to control the quality of our wheat if we let it go on to the American market where it may be
mixed up with American wheat and shipped to England as Canadian wheat? Of course, I am not an expert on this subject. I am not a farmer. 1 have no land in the West; but it seems to me that we have built our Tailroads for some purpose; that we have our ports for some purpose, and that is for the benefit of the Canadian people. If we in the East have been making little sacrifices or big sacrifices-and we were willing to do so and we are willing to do so again-it has never been for the purpose of directing our trade into United States channels. We want to keep our trade here.
At the time that reciprocity was being discussed throughout the country in 1911, in my own county, where I had the pleasure of running and where I had the pleasure of winning, there was a man buying hay. He covered my county and all the surrounding counties with pamphlets stating that, if reciprocity went through, he would pay $2 a ton more on all the hay that he might buy. What has happened now? The only side of reciprocity for which that gentleman was looking is now in existence. There has been a reduction of $2 per ton on hay. Do you think for a moment that that gentleman would come this year and pay $2 a ton more for hay? Not at all,
Subtopic: THE GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH.