Mr. JAMES ROBERT WILSON (Saskatoon) :
Mr. Speaker, I wish to add a few words to the already lengthy debate on the Budget. We have heard in this debate very many divergent and pessimistic views as to what the future of Canada will be if the fiscal policy is not changed to meet the ideas of those who give expression to these views. Some hon. members express the belief that unless this country at once changes its fiscal policy and turns in the direction of free trade we cannot make any progress.
Others express equal apprehension in case anything is done to disturb our heretofore fiscal policy by lopping off here and there some protective or revenue duty and putting our tariff on a more scientific basis, that the country will go to ruin. It seems to me that there is a middle course that might be pursued which will meet, to a great extent, the extreme views of both of these parties. I think that what we require in Canada at the present time possibly more than anything else is less sectionalism and class jealousy. What we require to achieve the national goal is united, productive effort on the part of all sections of our country, that will result in building up a nation to be proud of.
Every man wbo knows Canada from the Atlantic to the Pacific must realize that this is a country of immense possibilities. It offers not only opportunities to those millions who wish to come from foreign countries, imbued with the ambition to better their condition, but as well, in its wealth of natural resources, magnificent forests, minerals and valuable fisheries, it offers a varied and attractive field for both the workman and the capitalist, for the one to found a home and for the other to secure a profitable investment. There is no other country in the world to-day that offers equal advantages.
I would say then, in view of this, let there be no pessimism. Our country is established on a firm foundation, and with confidence in our ability to meet and surmount all obstacles as they come in our way, we shall not need to fear the future. To Canadians, falls the task of building up and developing the last and best West. With our knowledge of the successes and failures of our American cousins to the South in the development of similar country, and with our own experience gained during the past thirty-five years that we have been dealing with western development, there is no good or sufficient excuse if we should fail in the task.
The Canadian people have the right to ask and to expect that any Government which seeks their support shall deal with a question such as this in a statesmanlike manner. I think every one admits that it is only by the development of our natural resources that we can hope to meet our heavy obligations as a result of the war. While our financial obligations are great, the possibilities of increasing our wealth are equally great. By developing our natural resources we will distribute our financial burden over a greatly increased population and by so
dcing we will not feel so heavily the financial load.
What Canada needs to-day is more settlers on the land. There have been in past years too many of our young people leaving the land tor the more attractive but uncertain life of the city. The Government is to be commended for its soldiers' land settlement policy. It is to be hoped that greai, numbers of our returned soldiers will take advantage of this policy and establish themselves on the land. As soon as we have the returned soldiers settled on the land, it will be greatly to the interest of Canada for the Government to pursue a vigorous land settlement policy by inducing agriculturists from the British Isles and the United States to settle on our vacant lands. During the past twenty-five years we have made fairly creditable progress in 'the development of our agricultural resources but there still remains much to be done along that line. Agriculture, being our main and basic industry, it should, and must, at all times, receive the first consideration of any Government. I wish to say right here that I think the present Government has made an honest attempt to meet the interest of the agricultural classes. I think that it has possibly done more than any other previous Government has done. We have our other great resources, such as timber, fisheries and the deposits of the mines. Of the world's known deposits of coal Canada possesses seventeen per cent, and occupies second place. Compare these resources with the coal deposits of the British isles which only amount to 5.4 per cent of the total and it is possible to appreciate Canada's position in that regard. In Western Canada also, particularly in Northern Alberta and Western Saskatchewan, there are indications of vast deposits of oil. Since the opening of the Canadian oil fields in the early sixties, there has been a continuous production of petroleum in this country, but for a number of years that production has steadily declined, and it would appear that the industry must be abandoned before many years lapse unless new discoveries are made. The eastern part of Canada, I believe, has been fairly well prospected, and I understand a great deal of exploratory work has been carried on throughout western and south-western Ontario. That part of the province may therefore be regarded as having been pretty well examined, and consequently the future of oil production in Canada lies in the possible discovery of new fields. -In the Prairie
Provinces, particularly in Alberta and southwestern Saskatchewan, there is a vast and promising field which remains to be prospected. Some borings have been made in Manitoba and Saskatchewan without any result, and in Alberta only small areas have been prospected. Natural gas has been discovered in the latter province in abundance, but as yet no oil flow of any great importance. In the foothills south-west of Calgary oil has been found in limited quantities. In northern Alberta, in the territory known as the Peace River country, very strong indications of oil have been found. A number of outfits are drilling there at the present time, and while some of them have struck oil the production only amounts to from fifteen to twenty barrels per day per well, which the promoters say is not commercially profitable. What I am leading up to is that the Government should take an active part in hastening the development of the great oil wealth which exists in the territory I have mentioned. I would like to see some arrangement made whereby the people as a whole should possess this supposedly great oil resource if it materializes to the extent that some persons anticipate, so that the State will secure the major portion of the profit resulting from its development. It is of vital importance that every effort should be made to strengthen the industrial position of our country by the development of all our natural resources to the best possible advantage, in order that we may be able to ensure employment to our returned men and those who are expected to follow them from the old land. To this end the Government will be expected to use every legitimate means to encourage an inflow of money as well as the immigration of people. In this way we shall contribute to the development of our natural resources in the interests of the nation of which there has been great talk in the past without however anything being done in that direction. With this object in view the Federal and Provincial Governments must give the matter their closest attention and co-operate in their efforts. By so doing they will to a certain extent blaze the way for others to follow. What I have in mind is proper governmental encouragement, through research, as to the existing possibilities and the giving of proper advice as to the conditions and development of our natural resources. I think that if an active interest is taken by our Governments in these matters, Canada
will assuredly occupy a leading position in the industrial world in the very near future.
Coming to the Budget, the speech which was so ably delivered by the Finance Minister, and dealt with in a very illuminating and comprehensive way, disclosed beyond doubt our great financial obligations as a result of the war and outlined the resources with which we may hope to make those obligations good. Personally, I was well pleased and satisfied to learn that notwithstanding the great need for revenue that exists the Finance Minister had regard to the requirements of the West, and other parts of Canada, by taking off $17,000,000 in customs duties which will be made good by increases in the income tax. This, I think, should meet with the approbation of every fair-minded man in Canada. The tariff reductions provided for in the Budget will be a great benefit to the whole of Canada, and some in particular to the western part of the Dominion. I refer especially to the total repeal of the British war revenue tariff of five per cent on all British goods, the five cents per pound under the British preferential, intermediate, and general tariff on coffee, the three cents per pound under the British preferential tariff on British-grown teas, and the repeal of the intermediate and general war tariff of seven and a half per cent, making it no longer applicable to foodstuffs, linen and cotton clothing, boots and shoes, fur caps and fur clothing, hats, caps, hoods and bonnets, gloves and mitts, collars and cuffs, hides skins, leather, harness and saddlery, agricultural implements, petroleum, oils, mining machinery, and bituminous coal. The reductions in the duties on agricultural implements, including the seven and a half war tax amount to twelve and a half per cent on sixteen enumerated farm implements, namely, cultivators, harrows, horse rakes, seed drills, manure spreaders, weeders and completed parts thereof, hay-loaders, potato diggers, feed cutters, grain crushers, fanning mills, hay tedders, farm, road, or field rollers, farm wagons, post-hole diggers, snaiths, and other farm implements; likewise a reduction of ten per cent on five of the heavier implements such as ploughs and parts thereof, wind-mills, portable engines, and tractor engines for farm purposes, horsepower and threshing machines, separators and appliances thereof. Then there has been the placing on the free list of wheat and wheat flour, and potatoes, from countries which do not impose a duty on such articles produced in Canada. The net result is a
178,200,000 acres. If the cultivated area is worth only an average of $34 an acre in all the nine provinces of Canada, the uncultivated area is of much less value. But for the purpose of making an estimate we will allow the same value for all the surveyed land, $34 per acre. If we levy on that land a tax of only one per cent per acre, as suggested by the ex-Minister of Agriculture, the amount of revenue produced would not amount to anything like $75,000,000; but at the rate of one and one-quarter per cent, based upon a valuation of $34 per acre, the tax would amount to forty-two and-a-half cents per acre, or $75,735,000 on the 178,200,000 acres. Of that surveyed area of 178,200,000 acres, 117,000,000 acres are in the Prairie Provinces, which on the basis suggested, would pay a tax of $49,725,000, while the other six provinces, which contain 61,200,000 acres oi this surveyed area, would contribute $26,010,000. You will note, therefore, that the three Prairie Provinces, which contain about one-fifth of the population, would pay practically two-thirds of the $75,000,000; I do not think it is fair or equitable that the three Western Provinces should be obliged to carry a load which is altogether out of proportion to their population. Anyhow, our Provincial Governments and our municipalities, particularly in Western Canada, are imposing all the land tax that the land can stand, and the doubling of that tax would, to all intents and purposes, be confiscation. The national debt of Canada is only about $220 per capita. I direct your attention, Mr. Speaker, to the fact that in many municipalities, even independent oi the provinces, the per capita debt is over $300. If you tax that land, therefore, as is suggested-land that is now overburdened with taxation for municipal and provincial purposes-and endeavour to raise a large revenue for federal purposes, you would be practically confiscating the amounts so raised.
I wish now to refer to the matter oi Government taking some action to ensure a market for our 1919 wheat crop. Our people are alarmed, because owing to the unsettled conditions of world finance and transportation, they do not know whether or not we are going to have a market for our wheat next fall. Financial arrangements might be made for the handling of the wheat, but owing to the unsettled world conditions, these arrangements might fall through at any time. In the meantime, our wheat, being rushed on the market in Western Canada, would have to be taken care of by private firms or individuals, and
as a result of this condition, coupled with the uncertainty of the market, the price might be depressed much below what the supply and prospective demand would justify. Some arrangement should be made whereby this wheat can be taken care of by government control, as heretofore. It is of the very greatest importance that the Government should look into this matter at the earliest opportunity and see vhat can be done. Some fear that if the Government took action by fixing a price and handling the wheat, there might be quite a loss to the Federal treasury. But I do not think there is much chance of a loss, because present indications are that there will not be any great surplus of wheat throughout the world this year; as a matter of fact, it is a question whether there will be enough to go around.
This concludes my remarks, Mr. Speaker: I am pleased to support the Budget.
Mr. F. F. PAJEtDEE (Lambton, West): Mr. Speaker, as is usual in the Budget debate, the question of the tariff has been taken up. The President of the Council (Hon. N. W. Kowell) has told us that in his opinion the question that must be given attention at this time is not the tariff, but the unrest which prevails throughout the country. I purpose, in the few remarks which I shall make, to give my ideas as to how the non-changing of the tariff and the present unrest throughout the country are linked up.
The question, Sir, is, should the tariff be changed, and is there unrest? Unrest there undoubtedly is; there is no doubt about that. Therefore, if there be unrest in this country, it behooves us as responsible men holding responsible positions to get to the bottom of that unrest and endeavour to find out the remedy or remedies for it. In 1914, the enemy at the gate was the Hun; in 1919, the enemy at the gate is the high cost oi living. In 1914, we took means to meet the enemy, and my question is: What are we doing at the present time to meet the enemy of 1919? In my opinion the only method of making food cheaper is to produce more, and if greater production is desired, the tools with which men produce must be made cheaper. Therefore, my first argument is that the tariff on farm and other implements of production should be reduced to the lowest possible rate. In the second place, all foodstuffs and clothing should be free, and in the third place, there
should be a downward revision of the tariff all round.
It seems to be a debatable matter whether the tariff should be touched this year or not, because it is a war year. If it be a war year, and if the Government in their wisdom had seen fit not to touch the tariff,
I say: Well and good; but if they decided to touch the tariff, then they Lad a right to do so in a way that would have been of some benefit to this country at large. The two courses were open; they took one, and when they made up their mind to reduce the tariff, the very least that should have been done was to knock off the 7i per cent all round, and fish should not have been made of the one and flesh of the other. That, to my mind, is a logical argument. Why did they not do that? There is, in my judgment, only one reason, and that is the fact that they were endeavouring to please the manufacturers. There never was a time when the manufacturers, if approached strongly by a Government determined to reduce the protective duty, were in as receptive a mood as they are to-day. My reasons for saying that are as follows: First, because the manufacturers have made huge profits in the last few years; second, because they recognize the seriousness of the industrial situation; third, because they know that if the industrial situation continues as it is at present, their investment must, of necessity, be jeopardised; fourth, because they knew that for years they have enjoyed the highest of protection, and they should, I think, be willing to-day at least to commence to stand alone; fifth, because as reasonable men, they know they have to make further sacrifices to bring back equilibrium to this coutnry.
There is another reason-and it is only common sense that the manufacturers must surely recognize as business men-namely, the rising tide of opinion throughout the Dominion of Canada that the manufacturers have had a protection far beyond the necessities of the businesses they have been carrying on. That being the case, if they still continue in their stiff-necked position of giving nothing and taking all, is it not reasonably likely to follow that greater ills will come than they have any idea of? We had in 1914 an example of a man at the head of a nation who would not bend, who refused to give, who would have all, even the world itself, who continued in that career until to-day he is the most broken thing in the world. The Kaiser never gave; he wanted all; he would not take timely
and efficacious steps to ward off the evils that were to come, but he continued in his stiff-necked course. What happened to him is history. I do not mean to say that that will altogether happen to the manufacturers, but a parallel may be drawn as between that case and that of the manufacturers that, in my opinion, ought to put the manufacturers upon their best behaviour and make them willing to make .some further sacrifices if they have ever made any. In a country such as this it ought not to be necessary for us to plead for harmony, harmony ought to prevail here; there ought to be the fullest coordination and co-operation between farmer, labourer and manufacturer. That cooperation is absolutely necessary for the successful development of the country, and it must come, because a house divided against itself cannot stand, and Canada must be made one of the nations of the world if she is not already one.
The soldier has a right to expect Canadians to be in time of peace what he has shown them to be in time of war, a nation man for man able to cope with any other nation in the world. He has a right to expect that there will be such an expansion of industry and of production as will bring back to the country that which he fought for, prosperity as a whole. But the soldier wants action; he wants questions settled; he wants matters grappled with in the same manner in running the country as he was accustomed to in France. He has a right to expect that; he is not looking for the onus to be shifted time and again to commissions-and the rest of the people are of the same opinion-but he is looking for this Government to do things on their own responsibility, to be responsible to the people themselves and not, whenever knotty questions come up, to hand them over to commissions and endeavour to shift the burden from their own shoulders.
What are some of the causes of unrest? One of the great causes is that, by reason of the inflation of prices, the dollar bill to-day is worth about fifty cents. In passing, let me say that it appears to be rather an anomalous position that we had one of the ministers of the Crown the other day saying, if I understood him aright-and I am subject to correction-that absolutely nothing is to to done to reduce the cost of living; it cannot be done, practically speaking, any more than you can raise the dead: but at the same time we have appointed by the Government, and sitting to-day in all solemnity in an endeavour to find a way of
reducing the cost of living, a committee which is to report to this House. Is that committee, and is the Bill which has already been drafted, I am informed, simply a piece of camouflage thrown out by this Government in order to give the people the idea that they are really endeavouring to do something, while at the same time one of the most responsible ministers of the Crown from his place in this House states that absolutely nothing can be done and we might as well give up the problem? If that is what the Government really thinks, I think it would be better to call a halt to the labours of the committee, and we might find some remedy altogether irrespective of the Government.
Another reason for the unrest is the profiteering that has gone on. Profiteers roam this country rampant to-day, and have roamed it rampant for many years past. They have taken their ill-gotten gains out of the pockets of the people, and I say that these huge profits should not be allowed unless provision is made for returning to the State a large and adequate percentage of those profits. The manufacturers of this country have reaped huge profits, and there has been no commensurate return to the State from those profits. These two things have added largely to the unrest. Could they do otherwise? I say that the individual or corporation that makes huge profit by reason of the fact that the laws of the State protect him in life and limb and property should return to the State for the good of the whole people everything over and above what would be considered a fair profit on his business.
We have heard it said that you cannot reduce prices. Just let me see for a moment whether that statement by the manufacturers is borne out by actual facts. Why does clothing cost so much? We had an illuminating bit of evidence before the Cost of Living Committee to-day upon this very point, and it all comes back to that much talked of concern, the Dominion Textile Company. Let me read what took place:
When the Roumanian contract was made the yarn known as size No. 10 carded white American was quoted toy the Dominion Textile Company at 71 cents a pound. There is a clause in the customs law which grants a rebate almost equal to the duty on raw material used in good's for export, in order to encourage foreign trade. Manufacturers of shirts and other garments for which this yarn is raw material, decided to take advantage of this clause for their Roumanian contracts, and sent inquiries to the spinners of it in the United1 States. The Dominion Textile Company thereupon dropped their price below 50 cents, and almost as* suddenly raised it to 54 cents a pound, where it
now is. This price of 54 cents is sufficiently low to keep the American product out of Canada, and the assumption is that it is also sufficiently high to give the company a fair margin of profit. The surplus1 of 17 cents a pound was squeezed out of the manufacturers who used the yarn, and consequently out of the consumers of their goods. As there are Probably 5,000,000 to G,000,00-0 pounds of this yarn used yearly in Canada, the difference of 17 cents a pound would -result in an unjustifiable profit at the rate of a million dollars a year.
It is no wonder that, as the Gazette says, "all previous high records in the way of gross sales, profits and final surplus of the Dominion Textile Company are relegated into the background " by this annual statement.
It simply means this: That the very moment the Dominion Textile Company found that yarn was about to be brought in here under certain conditions, and that they would have to compete against outside firms, they dropped the price immediately to the consumers of this country to meet their competitors, but then raised them high, enough to make a profit of $1,000,000 a year. Will any one argue, under these circumstances, that such corporations are entitled to a protective duty which enables them to take money out of the pockets of the consumers of this country? I say that the sooner we get down to that class of case and make that particular child of fortune stand alone unprotected, the better for the peace and prosperity of this country, and t-o its everlasting advantage financially.
Let me give the House this little tit-bit from the evidence of Mr. W. E. Patton before the Cost of Living Committee. I shall not read all Mr. Patton's statement, but he says that for the year January 31, 1919, the profits on his business were 72-9 per cent. Now he is protected. Will any one say that he needs that protection? Will any one say that the people o-f this country should be bled through the nose to give any -corporation, no matter what its capital stock, a profit of 72-9 per -cent? I say, no. There is one other reason why unrest is here: I refer to bank mergers. These have been going on for a very considerable time. The hon. member for North Essex (Mr. Kennedy) said last night that the hon. member for Shelburne and Queens (Mr. Fielding) had stated that a few years ago there were thirty-two banks in this country whereas to-day there were only sixteen. I say that it is not good for this country to have under so few heads the entire management of all the money of this country, for that is practically What it means. In money, as in everything else, competition counts, and banks should not be above it any more than the ordinary merchant.
I now come to the income tax, and I am as glad possibly as any hon. member of this House that it is to be increased, because I recollect making a motion in this House regarding income tax not so very many sessions ago, which the Minister of Finance and the Government considered, but received with no degree of favour whatever. However, after repeated attempts, we finally managed to get an income tax. It is.not as large as it ought to be, but it is higher this year than last. I am delighted that it has been raised in some degree to what it ought to be, but it is not high enough yet. It is not the man with the small income I am after, but the big fellow, and I see no reason why we should not go on taxing the big fellow very much higher than he is taxed under the present proposals. To my mind we should consider not what a man has, nor what he gets, but what he has left after he has paid his tax, and I say that when a man has left over an income sufficient for a comfortable living he should be made to pay very roundly until such a time as the state is again in a,position to lower the tax. I am very much afraid, and I submit that the figures bear me out, that there has not been a wholly sympathetic administration of the Income Tax Act. When you consider -that
31,000 people in the Dominion of Canada have paid taxes on income, and that we have received only $6,500,000 from the whole broad Dominion, with all its wealthy people, I think it will be agreed that there is a cog askew somewhere in -the collection department. Something is wrong; I do not believe that there has been a wholly sympathetic administration of the Act, or why have we not had greater returns? I have only this to say along that line: Speaking for myself, if the figures do not show to a very, very appreciable extent a greater percentage return than they have in the past years, I think the Government will hear something more about it.
There is one other thing in connection with the income tax which I wish to bring to the attention of the House, and that is in connection with exempting the bonds from taxation. I am not now, and never have been, in sympathy with that proposition. I see no reason whatever why the man, or the large corporation that buys a huge amount of bonds should have the right to say: "We shall not recompense the state, although we have the greatest security in the world." I saw in the las-t issue of the Sunday World a remarkable advertisement to this effect: " Bring in your bonds. All
bonds will be taken." Why were they advertising for bonds? It was because there is to be a higher income tax, and -the big men and the big corporations are endeavouring to get in un-der shelter and save their dollars by buying, supposedly from patriotic reasons, the bonds that the little men bought in a really patriotic spirit to help tne country. I should like to see legislation enacted-and I do no-t know whether it would be very radical legislation-that fro-m to-day on every bond sold shall be subject to taxation on the basis of last year's income tax.
It only means this and nothing more, that the man who practically pays no income tax has his little bond. He keeps it. There is no income tax. But, some day, if the large corporation, or the rich individual comes to him and says: " Sell me that bond," and he does sell it, from the minute that individual or corporation takes that bond, it becomes liable to income taxation. I would suggest that that is a matter into which the Government might well look and of which they might well take heed. It might be one of the ways- and it would be one of the ways-in which our loss of revenue of $17,000,000, by reason of the remission of the 7t per cent duty, might be made up.
As the Finance Minister has said that thete would he another bond issue of the Dominion of Canada, I sincerely hope and trust that the next issue will not be tax free. I want to say to the Government very frankly that if that is not done, it will meet with the approbation of nobody except tremendously rich corporations and individuals.
How would you make up your loss of revenue? I would say that you would make it up in two ways which I shall suggest. The one is a graduated income tax; another is a graduated tax on corporations. Sir, in the United States to-day, they collect from their taxes on incomes eight times the amount that they collected two or three years ago. Their income tax exceeds by millions of dollars the customs taxes and to-day in Great Britain the very same state of affairs exists. The income tax-we might just as well make up our minds to that-has come to stay. It has to be put on a scientific basis. The man who is most highly possessed of this world's goods has got his wealth through the efforts largely of other members of the community coupled with his own, and if that is so the community has a right to take a percentage of the return. Sooner or later we have to get to the state where we can
recognize the fact that the income tax is no war measure, but a permanent tax which has come to stay, to be with us always, and if that is so we have to get it on a scientific basis. If we want to make up for the loss of revenue we must have a graduated income tax.
I say to this Government, and to Governments that are to follow: " Tax what
you like but for heaven's sake leave the food and raiment of the poor man alone." Taxes must be get-abable instead of taking them out of the mouths of the people. Unrest. These are some of the causes. In so far as labour is concerned let me say that I believe that for the labourer there must be a reasonable limit of hours of work and there must be fair compensation. By fair compensation I mean that the labourer is entitled to a scientific percentage of the amount that he earns per day to put into the employer's pocket. I believe that has to come. I believe that it will come, and when it does there will be less unrest. It is said by this Government that " We cannot limit hours; it belongs to the provinces." It is said by the provinces: "We cannot limit the hours; it belongs to the Federal House." All I have to say is that the Federal and Provincial Governments in the past have come to an agreement on such matters as roads, health, and other things. Does any person mean to say that they cannot come to an agreement as to who shall limit the hours of work for the workingman? Is it that neither wants to take the responsibility? The sooner the responsibility is taken by somebody, the better and the sooner will the unrest be lessened.
Capital owes a duty to the State, labour owes a duty to the State. They must be made to recognize that fact, because the community is interested; the community has to have the community's business carried on. Therefore, I say that it does not rest wholly with Governments, but it rests with the people at large to see that these disputes are settled.
I just wish to say one word upon the farming situation in regard to the tariff and I am done. It will be admitted, and it is mere surplusage to say it, that there is not a business industry throughout the length or breadth of this land that during the growing time of the crops, and when -the fall comes, is not making its contracts and its purchases always with an eye and regard to what the agricultural outlook is. If you go to a wholesaler, what will he say: I will
buy when I know how agriculture is doing and how -the crop is getting on this year. We hear that everywhere, it i-s a truism, and does not need any amplifying by me. If that is so, then I have merely this to say that to the farmer must be extended the very greatest consideration. I hold in my hand a book entitled "Wake Up, Canada !" by C. W. Peterson. This gentleman has put the case so strongly and in such a manner that I could not hope to present it more effectively, and I am going to ask the House to bear with me while I read a few things which Mr. Peterson says in so far as the farming industry is concerned. The author of the publication referred to says this:
The Canadian farmer has now enjoyed a few years of -prosperity and has been able to discharge his debts-which he always does when he can. He is able to buy * more freely and eastern industry and business, consequently, are flourishing. It is curious how persistently our minds are focussed upon the present to the utter exclusion of the unpleasant past and all its lessons. . . . Shall we cease sneering at the farmer when he gives expression to his well-founded -anxiety about the uncertain future, and perhaps makes reconstruction -proposals that may not appear strictly ortfiodox? Rest assured, that the situation does not call for supercilious criticism or offensive imputations. Every thoughtful and patriotic citizen, irrespective of trade, profession or political affiliation, will ibe well advised to study the real difficulties confronting this country and to contribute his quota towards the solution of the many vital problems that surround agriculture, in the East as well as in the West.
We cannot, of course, control wind' and weather and ensure favourable crop conditions. That is in other hands. But we can, if we will, do much to ensure that when the farmer has anything to sell he shall get it to market in good condition and a reasonable cost, that profitable markets shall not -be artificially closed to him, that, in fact, the returns from his business shall 'be such that he can survive the lean years and thus keep the wheels of industry moving steadily to the everlasting advantage of every one who call Canada his
home Agriculture may
well he termed " the great gamble." The farmer's occupation involves a life of unremitting toil. He must compete in the open markets of the world with farmers of other countries and climates-the -black, the brown, tbe yellow and the white races who have been working at high pressure for centuries, and will probably go on doing so for many more generations. Take it one year with another, our farmer makes a fair living and1 nothing more. And, besides, he has considerable capital invested in his business, on which he draws only a very moderate return. He is at the mercy of the capriciousness of the seasons. , Nothing he can do will enable him altogether to forecast results. Neither can he fix the values of his products. If the season is good in Russia or the Argentine or India, the Canadian farmer must sell his wheat at a discount. The cost of producing It does- not enter into the calculation at all. He comes into the game, but other
people play the cards It is not a
class question. It is our one, great national problem.
That, Sir, as I said before, so entirely expresses my own view in regard to the farming community that I have taken the liberty of reading it to the House for this purpose, and this purpose only, that in any legislation tariffwards that we make, the farmer is the man that must be considered, he is the man that must be considered if we desire the ultimate good of the Dominion. Sir, we are to-day bringing in a land settlement scheme. I want to ask the people of this country, and I want to ask the House, what purpose is a land settlement scheme to put soldiers on the land without you so provide that the soldiers niter they get on . the land can make a living. So far as the tariff, in fact the whole country, is concerned, the East needs the West and the West needs the East. The tariff and industrial conditions are not the same. Under those circumstances, as wise Canadians, we. have got to recognize the fact that the tariff must be a compromise; it is utterly impossible that it should be anything else. That has got to come because, say what you may, Canada must stand as a united and not as a divided nation. I say, Sir, that there should not be dissention. There should be cohesion so that we may build up in this country a great nationality, and cohesion, industry, and work must be the watchword of good Canadians for many a year to conje. [DOT] Sir, the time has arrived when we as representatives of the people must look matters squarely in the face. We have got to speak of the Dominion as a whole and we must be loyal enough to that Dominion, and fearless enough to see that we shall be men enough to grapple with the many intricate problems that are now staring us in the face and'endeavour to find a sane solution, or solutions, for them. I believe, Sir, that the tariff can do much towards that end. I believe that to-day the tariff, with all its attendant followings, is playing a large part in connection with the existing unrest. The position which I took in the first part of my speech I take now, and therefore it is that I shall have much pleasure in supporting the amendment of the hon. member for Brome (Mr. McMas-ter).