June 17, 1919 (13th Parliament, 2nd Session)


James McIsaac


Mr. JAMES McISAAC (King's, P.E.I.):

Mr. Speaker, when the debate was adjourned
last evening, I was making some reference to the state of our country as unfolded by the Minister of Finance. I had just referred to the fact that the expenditure for the current year, all told, including capital and war expenditure, would amount to $620,000,000, and also that after the total of revenue receipts was applied to the reduction of our expenditure for the year, there would still remain a balance of $300,000,000 which would he the war expenditure. I will, in a moment, refer briefly to the ways and means that may be employed to meet this deficit. I also stated that, under all the circumstances, it appeared to me that this would certainly be a most inopportune time to effect any radical changes in our fiscal policy. It surely is a time when, to use the words of the great dramatist, we should rather " bear those ills we have than fly to others that we know not of." It is better for us to go on in our usual manner of raising revenue than to plunge into any_ new, unknown and untried methods of doing so. It certainly was generous on the part of the Minister of Finance that, under all the circumstances and obligations that confronted the Government from the monetary point of view, he made such changes in the tariff as to remit at least $17,000,000 of revenue. Under all these conditions it is our duty as members of Parliament and as representatives of the people, and it is the duty of the people to unite and to show the same generosity, the same spontaneity, the same enthusiasm in assisting the Government in completing the war from a financial viewpoint as Canada showed when she did not hesitate when the tocsin of war was sounded, but went forward and acted so splendidly and in a manner never to he forgotten, on the battlefield. The same generosity might reasonably be expected from the people of Canada under present circumstances.
There are a few other features of this question to which I wish to refer briefly. The question of the fiscal arrangements embodied in the pact, which was entered into in 1911 and which is known as the reciprocity arrangement, is a matter of which our friends of the Opposition have spoken, have harked back to, have lamented. Their lamentations and their regrets that these arrangements had not been carried out were almost as serious and as constant as those of the Israelites in the desert when they wept and lamented over the loss of the flesh pots of Egypt. But the Finance Minister, in the remission of taxes

that he has instituted, has gone as far and perhaps in some respects further than was intended by the arrangement of 1911.
Hon. gentlemen opposite are not willing to give the Government credit for having done this. Although we have heard them t-alk about reciprocity time and again in this House before the bringing down of the Budget, they have scarcely referred to the matter since. They might indeed, were they so disposed, take a little credit to themselves and say that the Minister of Finance had taken a leaf out of their book and that "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery." But even that they are unwilling to concede. Their principal object in this discussion, as in all their conduct in this House, seems to be to handicap the Government by all reasonable means within their power, and perhaps unreasonable means. They never advance any workable suggestions that might be of assistance to the Government in this trying time, when the country is faced with so many serious and difficult problems. They prefer to talk of the high cost of living, industrial unrest and labour troubles. These problems do, unfortunately, exist, but the Opposition offer no solution; they simply make the bare statement that all these troubles are due to our high tariff. If that were so, how do they account for the industrial unrest and labour troubles and high cost of living in free trade Britain? They have no high tariff there, but they undoubtedly have these troubles. Surely hon. gentlemen opposite would not attribute the troubles in England to the Canadian high tariff These problems confront the United States, Australia, and almost every other country. Are the troubles of all these countries to be laid at the door of the Government of Canada? Surely that would be absurd. The present upheaval all over the world is most unfortunate, but history teaches us that such conditions follow inevitably after every great war," and if that be true of other wars, the disturbance is likely to be a hundredfold more pronounced after incomparably the greatest war in all history. It is only accentuating these troubles for hon. gentlemen opposite to make speeches, as some of them have done, exposing the line of cleavage between the lower classes of society and the very wealthy. The effect-can only be to make those who are not blessed with so great an amount of this world's goods look upon those who strut around in wealth as their enemies and the Cause of all their troubles. At this particular time when people are worked up
to a very high degree of nervous tension it is our duly to do everything We can to bring about a return to normal conditions. At all events, we should refrain from taking any course of action or indulging in declarations that can only aggravate the present feeling of unrest. This is a time when we should all unite in assisting the Government to bridge over this period of upheaval, until in the course of a year or two normal conditions, let us hope, may be restored, and we can proceed as we did in pre-war times with the ordinary business of tih's country.
This brings me to another question to which I wish to refer briefly. During this debate and on- other occasions the question of East versus West has been discussed. In my opinion, it is to be particularly regretted that any such question should be raised, whether it is East versus West or North versus South. There should he only one question-Canada. Canada for the Canadians-and from whatever part of Canada we come we should all unite in an endeavour to promote unity and good feeling between all classes and sections of the country, so that we may help to bring Canada to the place which she is destined to occupy. Can the West exist without the East or the East without the West? Is not the East the complement of the West, and the West the complement of the East? It is within the memory of hon, gentlemen sitting around me when the West was not such a great country as it is to-day, when it was practically unknown and shut off from the rest of Canada to a very great extent. No one would claim that when all Canada united on the project of building a great railway to open up that country that the West, when- the curtain was drawn aside, appeared in all its grandeur of to-day. If this project had not been realized or a railway had not been built into the West by other interests, I am inclined to believe it would have been many long years before the West would have attained to the greatness it now occupies. We are most ready and, delighted to give our meed of praise to the energy, perseverance, virility, and ambition of those of our friends in the West; they deserve the greatest possible credit. They are young and full of ambition, and it is.not uncommon for the young, when they see obstacles in the way of the attainment of their goal, to become exceedingly sensitive and come to the conclusion that those obstacles must at once be swept out of the way.

At the present time, under our onerous conditions, and under the tremendous responsibility resting upon the Government, it would be a pity that any question of east or west should arise, or that any disposition, metaphorically speaking, should be manifested in any section of the country to take the Government by the throat and say: This is oui chance; we are looking for [DOT]something and we think this is t*he time to get it. Whether they have an existing grievance, rightly or wrongly, we shall not discuss at the present moment. We know that the people of the western portion of Canada did splendid service when the call came to enlist for the war, and I am willing to give all possible praise for what they did. There is one thing that I would like to say, however, not with the intention of detracting from the credit that is, due the people of the West, and that is that a great many of those who enlisted in the West belonged to other provinces. Quite a number of those who enlisted in the West were Prince Edward Islanders. At the same time, I am not attributing that as a fault of the West; it was a mere circumstance. Of the adult native born Canadians living in the West I am not sure that very many of them were born in the Western Provinces. However, that is neither here nor there. These are matters that come into my mind when we are discussing the claims of the West. It has been said, too, by a western member in the course of this debate that after the next election there will be an increased representation from the West in this House and that if they do not now get what they are looking for they will then be in a position to demand it. It would be most unfortunate if any idea of that kind should exist in Canada, and especially at this time, when we have done so nobly and so well and when we have sent to the front those who have done such grand work in the war. It would be a pity that we should not go forward as a united and enthusiastic people to complete the task which we took upon ourselves in connection with that war.
I would like to refer fcr a moment to our national debt, which the hon. the Finance Minister (Sir Thomas White) has told us will be, at the end of the present fiscal year, in the vicinity of $2,000,000,000. The deficit, due to the war, will be about $300,000,000. Two elements that will enter into this debt will be the matter of interest on the national debt itself and pensions. These are heritages that we enjoy as a consequence of our noble and never to be forgotten participation in the great world war. How is it intended to raise the money necessary to meet this great deficit? As already stated, there will be a hiatus between ordinary revenue and expenditure of about $300,000,000. In order to provide for this deficit, it is intended to borrow the money in one way or another and probably largely by means of national loans, at least, some of it will be borrowed in that way. On this point I wish to make one remark. Prior to the war no Canadian loans were floated within the Dominion. When the first domestic, or national loan, was issued, it is quite possible that there were some misgivings as to what might be the success of that venture. But in this, as in every other effort put forth in connection with the war, Canada rose equal and superior to the occasion. The loans thus far floated in Canada were subscribed with great facility and generosity, so much so that in every case they were considerably over subscribed. That goes to prove that not only in war is Canada great, but that Canada is great in peace and in her ability to finance her own burden of debt. If we have to borrow at all-and what Government has not to borrow-is it not best to borrow from amongst ourselves, that we raise the money necessary to place in the hands of the Government from our own people? The people are giving the money to themselves through the Government to carry on the public business. The interest comes back to them, in due time the principal, and principal and interest remain in the country. In that way the country is not denuded of this money; it is not made so much poorer, as it would be were these financial transactions carried on outside of Canada.
In this connection I can scarcely refrain from animadverting briefly on a remark made by my hon. friend from Red Deer (Mr. Clark) when addressing the House a few days ago. He advised the Government to stop borrowing. Any government, I suppose, would be glad to stop borrowing were they able otherwise to meet their obligations, but if they have to borrow at all is it not much better to borrow in our own country and from ourselves than to go abroad and negotiate with those outside of Canada who then will be the beneficiaries rather than ourselves? Following this up, I would say that in Great Britain, where the system of government and the fiscal policy presently existing are dear to the hon. member for Red Deer, they are constantly borrowing money for their public expenditure.
Are they not at present negotiating enormous loans? Well, if it is a good thing for

that country 'and for that government which, in his opinion, is an ideal one, surely it cannot be bad for Canada to follow such an example. I have heard it said that the national debt of Great Britain was one of the greatest elements of her financial stability. At first sight I could scarcely understand such an assertion, but its soundness is established upon inquiry, when it is apparent that the money raised is simply handed by the people to the Government and then goes back to the people again, and that it circulates throughout the country, amongst those who have contributed it. Now if such a policy is good for the Motherland, I can scarcely bring myself to believe that a similar policy is bad for Canada. I have already said that the Government is confronted by serious problems. A considerable amount of unrest exists throughout the country and large amounts of money have to be raised for various purposes. Nevertheless, I think we can be assured that all the problems which confront the Government can be solved, that all the difficulties which face it can be overcome, and that all our financial obligations can be well and reasonably met, when we consider the almost limitless resources of our country and the energy, enthusiasm, and patriotism of our people. In my opinion this is the time, above all, when East and West should stand united, when all sections of the country and all our people, whatever views they may entertain, should work harmoniously together to bring about that which we all earnestly desire, the success of Canada, and all lend our assistance so that our country may be firmly and solidly advanced on the path leading to that proud position which she is destined to occupy in the galaxy of nations.
(Translation): Mr. Speaker, the Government have indulged in so much self-praise and- eulogy of their own accomplishments and were so lavishly boasted by some of their followers, that we would be inclined to think that we have reached the millenium. Fortunately, hon. members of this side of the House rose from time to time to throw cold water on the burning enthusiasm of that brotherhood of mutual worshippers, otherwise the members of the Government and their supporters might have thought themselves great statesmen, ready to wear the crown of immortality. However, it looks as though that implicit approval on the part of the followers of the Government has been somewhat less unanimous of late. Never-
[Mr. Mclsaao.1
theless we must admit that the most noisy ones-of course the most interested- continue to bow and cringe more than ever, hoping thereby to make up for the withdrawals that are becoming more and more numerous. No doubt, it is impossible for a man who is used, through better traditions, to assert his independence, to keep on flattering fulsomely a group of politicians who are united under the same yoke by only one bond, that of a common longing for power and the advantages attached thereto.
It is not necesary to be a very astute politician to feel that it is the duty of every honest member of this House to rise and endeavour to stop the activities of a government who are leading the country into bankruptcy through the despotic use of Orders in Council, following the tyrannical gaging of the representatives of the people.
Therefore, Mr. Speaker, my firet duty will be to stigmatize this anti-democratic policy and to protest against such abuse of power. Hon. members opposite-those who sit in the front seats as well as those who are in the background out of which they should have never come out-never cease to speaK about justice and freedom. Since the inception of the War, they told us repeatedly that one could not make too great sacrifices for the safeguarding of democracy and of its principles in jeopardy. They were ready to mortgage everything to save the world from barbarism. The wealth of the country and the blood of thousands of our brave citizens were not too much for the sake of so sacred a cause. Everything was to be set in motion for the sake of liberty. Very well. All these expressions of patriotism would have looked splendid had they been inspired by something else than political ambition. They asked that the freedom of the smaller nationalities of Europe, Africa and Asia, be respected, and the representatives of the Canadian people have just been denied the same freedom. The men who always claimed to possess the exclusive privilege of loyalty to the Empire are the same men who wanted to break up the parliamentary organization and to ridicule the Constitution. Where is the freedom so often preached by the great unionist saviours? It is now buried in oblivion, hidden under scores of Orders in Council and gags which were set up by some clever artists occupying the Government benches.
Orders in 'Council and censure, such is the constructive, clear-sighted and saving policy of those who hold in their hands the future welfare of this country. I do not exagger-

ate, (Mr. Speaker. In reply to a question put by the hon. member for Champlain, the Hon. Mr. Meighen stated some time ago that there had been as many as 32,848 Orders in Council passed since the beginning of the war. Orders in Council even passed at a time when Parliament was in session, relating to questions on which the representatives of the people ought to have been consulted. That is most unfair and provoking. It is nothing but pure Bolshevism, to use an expression dear to the memDers on the other side of this House. Not only have the Liberal members a right to protest against such bold despotism, but the Unionist members themselves should resent so brutal a treatment. At all events, the Canadian people, the good and honest people of this Dominion will not forget me attempt that was made against their most legitimate and most sacred rights. In fact, how could the people forget the insult offered their representatives? How could the people have any confidence in a Government who gag and ostracize those whom they should hear and listen to? I challenge anybody to come and say that I am not telling the actual truth.
, Is it not a fact thait the Government established a system of censorship as an invidious supplement to the series of Orders in Council referred to? That is not ancient history; it is of very recent date. I am even surprised that in this Chamber they kept the beautiful and noble British motto "Dieu et mon droit." I am sure that if the Government could replace that much respected coat of arms by their own armorial bearings, we would have before us the grotesque and allegorical picture of a huge pile of Orders in Council beside a large muzzle, with these words as a motto "Despotism and Power."
In other countries, ito-day, the people are free to discuss, and so were they during the war. With very few exceptions, did they not interfere with members of Parliament, but popular orators were not in any way troubled when they addressed open air meetings in Great Britain, as well as in Prance and in United States. The powerful British fleet was the subject of some very harsh discussions and out of the critisism offered in the French Chamber sprang up Clemenceau, the grand old man of France.
Some people ask us; "Why did you not protest?" To hon. members on the other side of this House who put such a question, I shall answer, somewhat like that general who said to Napoleon, after a bloody battle: "We had forty-two reasons for not firing
our guns, and the first one is that we had no guns." "That will do," replied the victor of lAusterlitz. Therefore, 'I shall answer to hon. members opposite: "We had a thousand good reasons not to speak, and the first one was that we had no right to do so."
I was anxious, Mr. Speaker, to say frankly and openly what I thought of the policy of extortion to which we were submitted.
I would never get through if I wanted to recall all the absurdities committed by the Government under .the famous "Win the war icry." I could refer to the War-time Elections Act, to the exhorbitant profits made by the profiteers, and to many other topics in which the negligence of this Union Government was fully demonstrated. But that would be going a little too far.
I wish to say a word about the industrial condition of this country, and I wish also to refer to the labour situation and to conditions relating to agriculture. I shall add a few suggestions which I hold as advisable. In showing the evil as it obtains and suggesting oertain remedies, I shall have fulfilled my duty as a citizen and as a representative of the people. That will be my humble contribution to the construction of a truly progressive and national policy.
First of all, Mr. Speaker, what is going to be the policy of this Government as regards our industries? What will be their policy in connection with the tariff? Such is the question for which the eastern and western provinces are anxiously awaiting an answer. Judging by the literature which is 'being circulated by the manufacturers now, the Dominion Government will require, this year, to meet an expenditure, to the enormous amount of $437,679,071. Last year's revenue was 260 millions. Therefore we would be confronted with a deficit of 177 millions. Supposing the Government borrows 85 millions, which would increase our national debt by so much, we would still be short of 92 millions. Then you must add to that the amount of the supplementary estimates, which will make the deficit still greater. Where will the Government get the money to cover the difference? The answer is that the people will be taxed to the extent of $351,785,490, which is a crushing burden. And now comes the most alarming question: "How will these taxes be distributed among the people?" Of course the manufacturers have been long complaining that they were ill treated and that they ought to get more protection. They have made millions and millions during the war, but they would like the farmers to contri-

bute the largest portion of the expenditure. We understand their desire to get rich quick and to pay out the least they possibly can. But there are other people than manufacturers in this country, other classes that the Government is in duty bound not to bleed to death. To consolidate their position, the manufacturers claim that they supply the Government with a revenue of $116,577,066. 24. However, they forget to say that, as a matter of fact, the amount is actually paid by the people. Is it not true, Mr. Speaker, that the people are paying money each year to maintain certain industries in the lovely fields of protection, where the streams of privilege and favouritism are following?
This tariff of 33J per cent and in some cases 40 per cent may be compared to a wall as intended to protect the manufacturer against any foreign competitor hut unfortunately tending also to restrict our exports. I don't agree, Mr. Speaker, with those who believe that we cannot compete successfully with our neighbours, as far as manufacturing is concerned, because I have enough confidence in the bright and active energy of the manufacturers of this country to assert our ability to compete on foreign markets. The elimination of these taxes would have three immediate results: First, in view of the competition, the manufacturers would increase their production and thus give more work to the labourers; secondly, by increasing their production the manufacturers could export more goods; then, the tax which we cover under the name of tariff instead of paralyzing our industries would he changed into a revenue as ooming from the increased exports.
You need not be a great mathematician, neither have you >
to prepare budgets to understand that the Canadian manufacturer is reaping a double profit, that made by the American manufacturer and the additional amount that the precious tariff legislation allows him to get. Who is paying for it? It is undoubtedly the farmer. Let the Government allow the agricultural implements to come in free during a period of two years, and I have no hesitation in saying that these implements could be got at 20 per cent less than they cost now. The same argument applies to a thousand other industrial products. Consequently, if our manufacturers were producing a larger amount of goods they would require a larger number of employees who could 'be selected from the returned soldiers-these brave men who more than. once have shed their blood to enrich certain manufacturers who were

thirsting for riches or profiteers still gorged with the spoils of war.
Even supposing-that is impossible-that the revenue derived from the tariff would be reduced, why should not the Government make up for that loss in taxing the thousands of acres of land which are held by speculators in the West. According to people who know, we could thus collect a revenue of ninety millions. Why would not the Government, tax these financial vampires who, with the cry of "win the war," have starved the people and speculated on the very lives of our soldiers?
Mr. Speaker, the Government, who favours a policy of naval construction with a view to developing trade, should understand that protection and privilege must he cut down.
If we have a purely protectionist policy the ships will be useless, in fact, if our country is encircled by a wall which will separate us and leave us isolated from other manufacturing countries, we need not spend millions, for we shall have nothing to export.
Such are the different phases of a question which may look complicated in a certain way, but which is very clear when you have but to determine who is paying the cost. The rich manufacturer ox poor Baptiste?
These considerations lead me to speak of the labour question.. Just as I earnestly wish to see our industries prosperous, I desire also that the worker, who is the essential factor of industry, should be able to live in a well deserved comfort. However, the problem is becoming more and more serious -I was going to say tragic. Strikes, lockouts, troubles and acts of violence are noticed throughout the country. When will this dangerous unrest cease? It will continue until we have found a solid basis of agreement founded on common sense and equity. To reduce working hours and increase wages to an exhorbitant rate are two things which will never go together, and that is what we should prevent in the interest of the workers as well as that of the country as a whole. What the worker needs is to be able to secure good food, to educate his children and to live according to his position. If the wages are increasing too rapidly all the commodities which the worker requires will increase also and he will then be in the same position as before. If yo\i reduce the working hours the cost of the commodities will go up and if you add to that the increased wages you will get the result Which we have witnessed with anxiety since the end of the war.

When war was declared Germany had a very large production and was flooding the international markets with her goods which were manufactured by cheaply paid labour. What was the condition in Germany then? The labourers were working eleven hours and more a day and once their regular work was done many of them were spending their evenings in manufacturing various articles.
That is twhat gave Germany its power of expansion. What would happen now should the Government agree to establish a working day of six hours, such as has been asked for, and if other countries with which we have been at war kept up working eleven hours a day? What would happen? In ten years we would have lost most of our gains and we would be left behind in the export trade and in our legitimate race for economic advantages.
Therefore, let us hope that the Government, will honestly endeavour to bring strikes to an end either by a press campaign or by other means tending to enlighten the masses as to their obligations and duties. But, besides the manufacturers and the workers, there is a class of people, Mr. Speaker, deserving more than any other the attention the support and the encouragement of the Government: I mean the agricultural class. And unfortunately, the farmers do not possess the power which is inherent to the labour organization, and the present Government who are well aware of their weakness, did not set fit to grant them the fair treatment they were entitled to.
In the cities, it is customary to complain about the farmers. But the people that they are 'Complaining about are not the farmers properly speaking, but the merchants who come to the market to sell products which they bought from the farmers. Let us talk about the real farmer. I belong imyself to a county which is almost exclusively populated with farmers, and the condition of the "habitants" as we call them, is dearer to me than that of any other class of people. In fact, I regret that there are not any more farmers in this House.
I will give an example which will illustrate my thought. About a month ago, butter was sold 75 cents to $1 a pound. The people in the cities were justly complaining about this high cost of 'butter. But, Mr. Speaker, the butter had been purchased from the farmer in the fall for 42 cents or 43 cents a pound by the cold storage people, who were using the little savings which the farmer had deposited in the bank. Was not the Government aware that there were millions of pounds of butter in these warehouses? What
did the Government do? Nothing. The Government were deceived by the finance mag-, nates who paid over to the election funds the surplus of their dishonest transactions.
If the Government want to make Canada a prosperous country, they must undertake a campaign of education for the benefit of the fawners and the workers. They must suppress the monopolists and the middlemen these blood suckers who are the parties responsible for the increases which led to the high cost of living. If the Government wish to do justice to the farmers let them deal with the pressing problem to which I have just referred instead of wasting millions in the purchase of useless railroads.
Why did not the Government take the duties off chemical fertilizers? We must absolutely give back to the soil what we take away from it for production, especially after a period of over production such as that which existed lately. Therefore it would have been very important to relieve the farmers from duties on chemical fertilizers. The Government have not done it, what do they intend to do?
I would not resume my seat, Mr. Speaker, without making a short reference to what we call the defaulters. I submit that most of these men were ignorant of the many subtleties of the Conscription Act. Practically all of them were acting in good faith, believing they were exempted as farmers' sons according to the solemn promises which had been made to that effect, on the eve of the election. If these alleged defaulters did any wrong, it was in believing in the word of some of the ministers and of other electoral engineers of similar brand. I do not intend to devote more time than is necessary to this question which has been so often discussed in this House. However, I may be permitted to say that the Government having passed over 32,000 Orders in Council since the inception of the war, the farmers were justified in not knowing all these documents by heart!
Who are the members of this House, who never miss an occasion to charge other people with being disloyal? They are always the same great would be patriots, whether they come from Toronto, Frontenac, North Perth or elsewhere. Yes, Mr. Speaker, they are practically the same talking machines set in motion by the invisible springs of fanaticism, of narrow mindedness and of yellowism, which deafen our ears with the empty noise of their wearisome music.
Taking after Shakespeare's Shylock, these prejudice mongers are every day in need of their pound of French Canadian flesh to

throw out to their bloodthirsty electors. Were it not for that, those popularity .seekers would not loom large in their constitu-* ency, in their town, or in their wigwam. Their plan is to cast aspersions on everything French and Catholic, We are the people whom they ipake a target for their insults, we the descendants of the pioneers of this country! Let these champions of tyranny spend their energy towards furthering other objects. Let them induce their fellow people in Ontario and the western provinces to treat the French Canadian element as the English-speaking people are treated: in the province of Quebec. It is towards securing such a result that many an hon. gentleman might usefully exert his seething powers.
A few words more, Mr. Speaker, and I shall conclude. II may sum up my whole view by stating that I sincerely trust that the system of government through Orders in Council is about to come to an end. I trust, moreover, that the gag system will be replaced by the reign of liberty for tne representatives of the people. Besides, it is desirable that the Government should get busy cutting down the customs duties, and helping the labouring classes to peacefully attain their purposes. And particularly, Mr. Speaker, I earnestly hope that the Government shall grant to the farming community all that it is entitled to. We should not concern ourselves quite so much with enriching capitalists, and should endeavour to put the peace-loving countryman in possession of his own. Let an effort be made to enable the agricultural worker to produce more cheaply, and to reap the full reward of his labours. Let us look after our glorious returned soldiers, but at the same time let us keep in mind those who- have sown, ploughed and reaped towards the soldiers' sustenance.
, Now that peace is about to be signed, we should put victory to good advantage. We may as much as we like enlarge on the great ideals which we have vindicated at the cost of our gold and our blood, but we should bear in mind that liberty, a sublime word which has given its name to the Liberal party, should rule not only in the parliaments of Belgium and Poland, but in this very place within the precincts of our Chambers. And liberty is synonymous with justice and equal rights for all. Liberty goes hand in hand with harmony and union between the races.
If Canada is to become great and prosperous, if Canada is to continue advancing

along the wide course opened by the true champions of our national life, Laurier and others, it is necessary that all should respect the traditions and rights of the minority, the opinions, beliefs and speech of those who are bound up in the activities of the country as a whole. Let us have greater generosity, less hatred, greater earnestness, leas politics, more free men, in short, and then we shall see Canada soaring towards those resplendent heights where its past history impels it and entitles it to aspire.
Mr. EDWARD T. W. MYERS (Kinders-ley): Mr. 'Speaker, at this late stage of the Budget debate I hesitate somewhat in asking the indulgence and forbearance of the House. At the termination of this debate each individual member will have to decide whether his vote will be recorded in support of the resolutions before us or in favour of the amendment, with its uncertainties, of the hon. member for Brome (Mr. Mc-Master). In stating my intention of supporting the Finance Minister in his proposals, I do so with a keen sense of the responsibility which, as a western member, rests upon me. However, after a careful analysis of the amendment, there is no other choice for me.
There is no doubt, Sir, but that there is a unanimous opinion throughout the Prairie Provinces, utterly regardless of past political proclivities, that there should be a general scientific revision of the tariff in order to obtain redress of certain undue burdens which, it is assumed, are unnecessarily imposed upon us. As a Canadian, I want to see adopted a policy which will build up a great nation-not rend asunder the eastern part of Canada from the great western heritage which is only in the infancy of its development. If our policy is to be provincial, sectional, selfish or in the form of class legislation, then our true Canadian nationhood will suffer; dissension, discord, and industrial chaos are bound to follow.
Before offering any further discussion directly concerning the resolutions and the amendment thereto, I wish to refer to a resolution which I placed on the Order Paper early this present session, but which I did not have an opportunity of bringing to the attention of the House before we reached the termination of private member's day. The resolution was as follows:
That in the opinion of this House it is expedient that some immediate action he taken hy the Dominion Government in order to in some manner control the price of wheat grown in Canada in 1919, both in the interests of the producer and the consumer; and, further to

make immediate provision lor the establishment of the necessary credits and' transportation facilities to insure that our farm products be marketed to the best possible advantage.
When I drafted this resolution, Sir, with the many vital issues pertaining thereto, I did so with a full realization of its many complexities. Viewed, as it is, with such diversity of opinion and such confusion of thought, I felt rather incompetent to intelligently deal with its many angles of difficulty. The subject, Sir, is of interest to every public spirited man as well as to the farmer, therefore, I hope I will not be judged as being prompted by a sectional, provincial, or selfish motive. This is not a question "based on a selfish principle; it should be viewed from a broad national standpoint. To be sure, it relates to agricultural products only, but when we remember that 50 per cent of Canada's population is engaged in agricultural pursuits, and the value of agricultural products in 1918 was $1,100,000,000, then, Sir, I feel that this question commands the attention of every Canadian, and of Canada's Government, if regard for national prosperity is to be seriously considered, for agricultural prosperity means national and Dominion wide prosperity.
A great deal of unrest exists in Canada to-day, brought about by the unsettled conditions following the war-its sudden termination, and the resultant chaotic conditions in the world. No line of industry feels easy or comparatively safe, for where there is no stability, there can be no industrial safety. The knowledge the public has being limited, naturally creates unrest, and an unstable feeling is therefore exhibited. This is particularly true in Western Canada, in those provinces where grain growing is the chief industry. I feel, therefore, as a representative of a purely grain growing constituency, and from the province of Saskatchewan, which holds the proud record of being the greatest wheat producing province in the world, that I would be derelict in my duty if I did not draw the attention of this House to the issues outlined in the resolution I have just read.
My action was prompted by repeated requests from hundreds of Local Grain Growers' Associations in the constituency I represent, reinforced by resolutions unanimously endorsed by the grain growers of Saskatchewan in convention, where delegates of two thousand or more gathered from every remote district of the province. Our local legislative assembly also unanimously endorsed the principles of my resolution.
When we consider the fact that Saskatchewan produces more wheat than Manitoba and Alberta together-from this year's statistics it will be found to be nearly 30 per cent more-I think it will counteract the weak argument brought forward that the West was not unanimous on this subject. I must, Sir, in passing, refute the statement that the farmers of Manitoba and Alberta are unanimously opposed to some action being taken towards the realization of the principles of my resolution. Despite the fact that resolutions ofendorsation of this question were
not carried. I wish to express the opinion that 90 per cent of the farmers who are grain growers of these latter provinces are in favour of fixation or some form of control. The constituency of Kindersley, which I represent, is contiguous to, or borders on Alberta, and I have had many expressions of opinion from farmers to this effect.
Many delegates attending the conventions held in Alberta and Manitoba were strongly in favour of Government action along the lines outlined in my resolution. What influences changed their convictions can only be surmised? I do know that at the convention of the agricultural societies in Manitoba, held shortly after the convention of Grain Growers, they repudiated the resolutions of the latter convention and unanimously endorsed the attitude of fixation. Likewise, Sir, at the district convention of the Portage Plain farmers, the delegates similarly repudiated the decision arrived at in the Grain Growers convention. I do not wish to impugn the motives which actuated the leaders of the Alberta and Manitoba conventions or leave an impression that they acted from ulterior motives, yet from certain press statements, conclusions might be arrived at that selfish interests actuated these leaders through their friendship with certain grain corporations in which their profits might be restricted if open marketing was curtailed by any form of control.
I have many press statements, Sir, but I shall read one only that was given out by the Hon. George Langley, Minister of Municipal Affairs, and it is on this statement that I base the expression of opinion that I have just uttered. This is the interview as given to the press:
I only want to say that from opportunities I have had of gathering the opinions of farmers, not only in Saskatchewan hut in Alberta and Manitoba as well, that Mr. Crerar is sadly astray in taking the forced vote of the farmers' conventions of Manitoba and Alberta on the

fixing of wheat prices as an indication of the way the farmers of the west felt in regard to the question. The vote was forced on each of these conventions by the farmers' leaders, and I strongly suspect at the instigation of Hon. T. A. Crerar himself. The vote was manipulated by the officials of the United Grain Growers, Limited, and does not represent the real wishes of the western farmers.
However, Mr. Speaker, the farmers do want action taken by this Government, as in 1917, when the price was fixed and the market stabilized. This is essentially a war year, conditions are not stable, and no one will dispute my statement when I say that fixation of the price of wheat in 1917 did not react to the advantage of {he wheat producers. The price was not fixed in their interests or to encourage production, but in simple language, to hold the price down.
Every member of this House should remember that in May 1917, when prices reached $3.05 in Winnipeg and $3.49 in Minneapolis, and without doubt would have gone higher had no fixation of prices been made, the price realized would have been at least $3.50. The yield in Saskatchewan alone in 1917 was over 130,000,000 bushels. Calculate the difference between $3.50 and the fixed price of $2.24, and you will find, roughly speaking, $150,000,000 of a difference in what was realized by the farmers of Saskatchewan alone in the year 1917.
I have heard the opinion expressed, Mr. Speaker, that we are seeking a bonus. I want to tell the House that we are not seeking a bonus, we are just seeking a square, fair adjustment of conditions brought about by the war.
In 1917 and 1918 the farmers did not complain of the drastic step taken 'by the Board of Grain Supervisors. They received a fair return-or those did who were favoured with a crop-and they were content not to unduly burden the consumer, especially at a time when our Mother Country and her Allies were engaged in a life-and-death struggle. At this critical juncture the farmers put forth every effort towards production and a greater production, always with a view of loyally doing their duty in the way of supplying foodstuffs to the Allied armies.
In passing, let me say we are proud of the part Saskatchewan played in the great war. She not only produced foodstuffs to the utmost of her power, but she sent her quota of men just as freely as any other province-indeed, in a greater ratio, considering her cosmopolitan population-than any other province. You did not hear of many serious objections when the Military

Service Act was amended. Of course, this legislation may have somewhat handicapped production, but the greatest need at that time was men, and our boys went forth loyally. Those left behind kept right on in 1918, producing as best they could.
I need not refer to the. campaign for greater production, only to say that this suggestion also was loyally responded to in the West as well as in the East. Many farmers, at considerable outlay- of capital, broke up more land in response to the call. The cost of labour and of implements was greatly inflated, with no restrictions whatsoever on either; and to-day we find that the farmers have a large acreage seeded at an increased cost, and that conditions are in an unsettled state owing to the uncertainty of market conditions.
Respecting assertions made by some extreme partisans that very little of our 1918 crop has been exported, due to the fact that United States grain was permitted to be shipped to Canadian elevators, I may say that this step was not taken at the expense of Canadian export. I can say without fear of contradiction that it did not in the least interfere with the exportation of Canadian grain, nor will it. Our 1918 crop has all been arranged for by purchasing agencies of Great Britain, and I am confident that it will all be transported before the 1919 crop' is ready for marketing. The question is, to my mind, whether Great Britain may not carry over a large surplus of the 1918 crop and thus affect her requirements for the 1919 crop. The unstable and chaotic conditions in Europe prevent the establishment oi sound credits in many of the European countries. Personally, I do not think it wise financially to extend credits to Governments which are not stable. The advisability of controlling or fixing prices hinges at the present time on the question whether the present purchasing agency of the British Government is to continue active for the new crop or will expire with the clearing up of the guaranteed wheat now in store. If Government buying in Europe continues, then Government selling must prevail. Europe may not be ready for open markets this year. United States is in the position of a grain-buying Government, and therefore must be a selling Government. If, therefore, Canada does not take some action, she will find herself in the unenviable position of carrying on individual buying and individual selling, and I am sure no one would argue that we would have any kind of equitable chance against

organized Government buying and organized Government selling.
The special powers granted under the War Measures Act cease with the proclamation of peace. Special conditions may warrant some special legislation to control unlooked-for events, but up to the present we have heard no announcement from the Government concerning a policy of this nature. Some reports state that the price of wheat may reach $3.50 or over; if it does, what action will be taken by the Government? There is only one sane course to pursue, and that is again to fix the price and thus hold it down. Crop conditions in the West are not any too promising this year; there may be a shortage. If some policy of control is not arranged for and stabilization assured, does any sane man imagine that the banking institutions .of this country are going to finance the grain men? Not for a moment will they risk their depositors' money, having regard to the stability of prevailing conditions. The grain men are bound to take and will take wide margins this fall when buying the 1919 crop, in order to protect themselves in an unstable market. This action will be at the expense of the producers who, through urgencies of financial obligations, are forced to sell at depressed prices. In the spring of 1920 the grain men will inflate prices and thus make huge profits at' the expense of the consumers. This has always been a discreditable state of affairs, and I firmly believe that speculation in the grain trade should be done away with. Why should not the producer get fair and full values from the consumer, instead of so many speculators making fortunes through speculation? In view of the possibility of there being open markets this year, the West is being flooded with circulars from grain men asking the farmers to trade in futures. It is time that was stopped.
Before the fixation of price in 1917 the spread between the price paid in the fall of 1916 and that paid in the spring of 1917 ranged from $1.25 to $2. Any one who knows conditions in the West knows that that has been the order of things; and I feel that such a condition should no longer be tolerated.
I would like to refer to the duty of the Government in relation to transportation conditions. Our crop of 1919 must be marketed at a favourable price, or there will be hard times. If United States has a large exportable surplus and Canada cannot utilize United States tonnage, as before, we must' either arrange for some government 224
controlled tonnage or take the consequence of having to use the tramp market for our transportation, and all that that implies. Therefore it is the duty of the Government, if it has not already done so, to arrange for sufficient tonnage for the transportation of the exportable surplus of our farm products.
I wish to refer for a moment to the work of the Soldier Settlement Board. I have heard the work of this board criticized and statements made that its work would not encourage agriculture. To my mind, its chief aim is to encourage agricultural pursuits by getting the returned men to engage in farming. I have no fear of the ultimate results of the work which it is carrying on. A very encouraging report was given me recently by Major Ashton, the Saskatchewan representative on the board.
I have heard it said that the returned men will not remain on the land. I am sure that they will; but in any case there need be no unrest, for if in all cases where returned men throw up their contracts the opportunity of taking the lands thus given up is extended to civilians, the contract will be gladly assumed. In fact, I would like to see this scheme extended to civilians generally; I am sure that agriculture would thereby be encouraged and that the settlement of our rural districts would be given an impetus. I would urge that the Government consider this suggestion.
Exponents of the system of raising revenue by a graduated income tax must be gratified with the Budget proposals brought down this year. If I had any suggestion to offer, it would be that of urging a more systematic organization for the collection of this tax, for I believe that many who should pay it are not doing so. More stringent regulations should be adopted and enforced. When critics argue that the federal income tax is not sufficiently high they must be overlooking the fact that to-day we have a municipal, a provincial, and a federal income tax. As to the advisability of imposing a tax on lands, in my opinion it would be better if a financial arrangement could be made between the Federal Government and the various Provincial Governments under which the income tax would become a purely federal tax and land taxes would be levied and collected by Provincial Governments and municipal councils. Many provinces have already a surtax on wild lands. An arrangement of this nature would prevent duplication and undue hardship. Unimproved lands held by speculators could thus be taxed by a system of assessment based upon the prices which they are asking for the lands.
REVISED edition

No western member can fail to appreciate the railway policy of this Government. The Minister of Railways (Mr. J. D. Reid) has informed me that from $10,000,000 to $15,000,000 will be spent this year in the construction of branch line railways, and this is a sane policy to follow. No single agency is more conducive towards the development of a district than a branch line of railway. I know that certain districts in my constituency will, by the construction of different branch lines this year, progress rapidly and will have an opportunity for greatly increasing production.
I did not intend to speak about the natural resources of our provinces, but as they have been referred to by several speakers, I just wish to state that I am strongly in favour of the return to the provinces of their natural resources, and it is very gratifying to me to see that this is almost unanimously desired. It is almost a love-feast on the part of those who are in favour of this at the present time. I should like to point out to the leader of the Opposition (Mr. McKenzie) that I remember when the ex-Premier of Saskatchewan, the Hon. Walter Scott, stated on a platform that any person who advocated such a policy was a fit subject for an insane asylum. I have always felt that our resources should be under control of the Provincial Governments, and I should also like to point out for the benefit of the Opposition that when the leader of the Government attempted to restore their resources to the western provinces, most of the opposition came from the other provinces. I am sure the Prime Minister did his duty when he attempted to adjust the matter.
Mr. Speaker, for a brief period I purpose referring to the Budget proposals pertaining to the customs tariff and the amendment moved by the hon. member for Brome (Mr. MoMaster). If the proposals are not just as satisfactory as some western members would like, I would point out that there is a great deal of unrest and lack of stability in Canada as in all other countries as an aftermath of the war, peace is not yet declared, and many grave problems pertaining to reconstruction are engaging the attention of the Cabinet. Demobilization will not be completed until August or September; pensions have to be provided for, and many questions of a really war nature have yet to
be solved. The revenue to be raised is enormous, and, therefore, in the midst of these grave responsibilities, with all the industrial unrest and chaotic conditions, I believe the Minister of Finance did
all humanly possible, without a scientific revision which he promises he and his colleagues will undertake before the next Budget is brought down. Yesterday, we heard from the leader of the Opposition criticism of this proposed revision. He stated that he had his doubts that it would be carried out, pointing out that for the past number of years no revision of the tariff had taken place. We all remember that in 1907 there was a revision of the tariff. I do not think any sane business *man would advocate a frequent revision of the tariff because in that case there would be no stability. That would make the next revision due about 1914 or 1915, and I believe a man would be in the state of Rip Van Winkle if he suggested that a revision should have taken place since 1914. I have every confidence that the Minister of Finance will make a careful, scientific revision of the tariff. From a purely western standpoint, we should like more substantial reductions, but still when one compares the present duties with the duties proposed under the reciprocity pact as regards farm implements, the present duties compare most favourably, and on many articles they are lower than under the terms of the reciprocity pact. To prove my assertion I might cite a few articles. The present duty on farm wagons is 20 per cent. Under the reciprocity pact it was 22J per cent. The present duty on binders, mowers and horse-rakes is 12i per cent. Under the reciprocity pact it was 15 per cent. The present duty on cement is 8 cents per hundred pounds. Under the reciprocity pact it was 11 cents per hundred pounds. With very few exceptions there is no article on which the duty is not just as low as under the reciprocity pact. Small tractors up to a value of $1,400 are to continue free of duty, and this has proved a decided benefit to Western Canada, and I believe a great benefit would be derived if this concession were also extended to the tractors of power known as 15-30, as this is a tractor which is more in common use and more serviceable. Wheat, wheat products and potatoes are all on the free list, and if one studies the customs tariff to-day, one will find that the tendency is generally downwards. This was done under a protective government, not under a government which took office on a policy of low tariff. The tariff reductions aggregate, as stated by the Minister of Finance, $17,000,000, which, added to loss by these reductions, make a difference of $25,000,000. One item particularly pleasing to me is the abolition

of the revenue tariff tax imposed on British preferential rates. I am sure this is a start in the right direction, and I would rather trust a party whose energy was directed during the war in co-operation with our Mother Country, and I believe that through this channel we shall, in the future, always have a most sympathetic trade relationship.
A nation's wealth consists only of a surplus of its exports over its imports, and if the object is to increase 'the imports and to reduce the value of the exports, then we are transferring our wealth to other nations, and, therefore, I hope all our industries will be stabilized through sane legislation.
The leader of the Opposition said yesterday that he was going to support the amendment, but from 1896 to 1911 we did not hear of many amendments along the same lines although we had many, many promises. It seemed yesterday that the leader of the Opposition was grooming himself for a coming very interesting event. He was going to be everything to everybody. He was going to give the West free machinery if we wished it, but would not take away the protection or bounty, as he called it, on iron ore down in Sydney. It is just the old, old story when they are in Opposition.
Briefly analysing the amendment of the hon. member for Brome (Mr. McMaster), let me say first that the hon. member for Lethbridge (Mr. Buchanan) has aptly described it. Expediency is a vague term indeed, and the amendment is most mysterious. I believe it is nothing more or less than political subterfuge, introduced for political purposes only. The hon. member for Brome in this debate has established a reputation for himself as a tariff rhymester, and if I were permitted to reply in the same style I would say that he "works in a mysterious way his camouflage to perform."
In passing, every hon. member knows that we are heavily burdened with our war expenditure, but I wish to refute the statement of the hon. member for Rimouski (Mr. d'Anjou) and other hon. gentlemen opposite, that we are bankrupt through an unreasonable participation in the war. Unreasonable participation in the war! In our hour of trial they failed us. I wonder if they are going to fail us now in carrying our financial burdens. It ill becomes them at this stage to snipe and sneer at the work of the Minister of Finance.
In conclusion, let me repeat that I purpose supporting the proposals brought down
by the Minister of Finance. At least we have made a start in tariff reduction, and the minister has promised that within the year a scientific investigation, will be held into the tariff with a view of remedial legislation being introduced later. I shall support the Government, rather than link up with the Opposition and vote for this amendment of political subterfuge. I appeal to the hon. member for Bed Deer (Mr. Clark), whose consistent and undeviating course no man in Canada dare question, whose sincerity is beyond reproach, and whose efforts to secure reform have always been steadfast, whether I am not justified in accepting these proposals of reality, rather than a mere profession of good faith on the part of the Opposition. I have heard the hon. member for Bed Deer use the old homely proverb, "A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush," and I think that proverb is most applicable at this juncture. I may be criticised, Mr. Speaker, but that does not matter, for in the words of the hon. member for Humboldt (Mr. Lang), which were permeated with real sincerity, this is no time to think of one's personal political future.
We have great unrest in this country, as they have in almost every country in the world, and there is a danger of industrial disruption. We are carrying a heavy financial burden, but we are not bankrupt. Bankrupt nations do exist in the world to-day, but I am proud, as a Canadian, to say that the British Empire is not one of them. Optimism should be the key-note of every sane Canadian citizen. We can never atone for the sacrifices of this war, marked by nearly 60,000 simple crosses in France and Flanders, and demonstrated in Canada today by the deformed and maimed, but surely as true Canadian citizens we can shoulder our share of the burden, stand together four-square, make the needed sacrifices, and show to the world that civilian Canada is carrying on. And surely with the great national heritage entrusted to our keeping to be developed and conserved we can finally throw off the financial burdens which confront us to-day.

Topic:   THE BUDGET.
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