February 26, 1926 (15th Parliament, 1st Session)


Joseph Henry Harris

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. J. H. HARRIS (Toronto-Scarborough):

Mr. Speaker, in rising to address a few remarks to the House I would be remiss in my duty, perhaps, if I did not say something to you, Sir, commendatory of the great example you have set to the younger members. First of all, in order to make the Liberal party understand that the rank and file of our party-in fact its entire membership-want to get down to business I will just add the word "amen" to all the tributes that have been paid to you, Mr. Speaker.

The Address-Mr. Harris

With regard to the tribute paid to our leader by the whip of this party some few moments ago, let me say that in the opinion of the people of the constituency from which I come Arthur Meighen stands on a pedestal which will never be reached by anyone else in our day and generation. On every platform in the city of Toronto and throughout the province of Ontario where it was my pleasure to address an audience, one of my first remarks, Sir, was that at the head of the Conservative party we had leadership of which we were mighty proud, and whenever I expressed that sentiment, at all my meetings, ranging from little groups of a dozen to one that I recall on convention night numbering some 1,200, I heard from all quarters of the hall a mighty hurrah and hear, hear, for the leadership of the Right Hon.'Arthur Meighen. But, Mr. Speaker, in contrast to that, let me draw the attention of the House just for a moment to what happened down in my constituency when the name of the Right Hon. William Lyon Mackenzie King was mentioned to an audience. Not quite so good. Mr. Speaker, my constituents have no confidence in the Right Hon. William Lyon Mackenzie King. My constituents have no confidence in this Liberal administration, they demonstrated that not very long ago, and the degree to which it was demonstrated might be reviewed for just a moment.
I will ask the members of this assembly to go with me back to the days of 1921, when the Conservative party were not just as strongly in favour with the people of Canada as they are to-day. I had a very large constituency then known as East York, a constituency which gave to this Dominion some years ago a Liberal Prime Minister in Alexander Mackenze, a constituency which in 1921 gave .to me the largest Conservative majority in Canada, and that majority only 6,500. But, Mr. Speaker, after four years of administration by the Liberal party, after four years of observation of their actions in this House of Commons and of their want of public policy, that constituency although it had been annihilated by redistribution, still had a remnant left in about its centre which I contested in the last election, and that remnant which was changed in name, changed in boundary, and reduced in numbers to perhaps about one-half, gave to me a majority of 14,500. I do not say that in any bragging sense, because I am not a politician, I hope; I am just an ordinary kind of business man, but I want to say that if the boundary line of East York constituency had been left where it was in 1921, instead of having a majority of 14,500, I might have had 20,000, and if you

go to the country this June I will have 30;000. The reason for that jump is that not far away from where I live, at Richmond Hill, there was a speech made on the 6th of September last, wherein William Lyon Mackenzie King, the hon. Prime Minister of this country, said: "We possess the confidence of
this country to a degree greater than when we took office." He got an answer on October 29th, but not being satisfied with that answer he suggested that we who also got our answer on the 29th of October should come here and decide what then should be done. If, Mr. Speaker, the Liberal party had come to this House of Commons and had enunciated in the Speech from the Throne what they enunciated throughout the length and breadth of this country as their policy- with the exception of the war with Turkey; I do not think that should be in the Speech from the Throne-if that policy as outlined in the Speech from the Throne had been in accordance with what they enunciated during the campaign to the people of Canada, instead of being, as it is, a handout to the Progressive party, the probability is that I for one would not have taken any of the time of this assembly on this particular occasion. But as it is, Sir, I am justified in saying a few words, in explanation perhaps to my constituency, which will let me out, as it were, for expressing my viewpoint on this occasion.
The government has brought down a Speech from the Throne in which are mentioned matters which were being asked for by the membership of the Progressive party. Then in a subsequent amendment to 5 p.m. the Speech from the Throne the government made certain concessions to those members of this House who are known as Independents, those members who usually sit on the cross-benches-and I wish they were in their seats because I have something to say to them. I remember the hon. member for Nanaimo (Mr. Dickie) saying to me the first session I was here, when we were talking about mankind in general and certain men in particular, "Beware of any man that wears a No. 6 hat." He said, "If you will examine into humanity of all kinds, you will find and phrenologists will tell you that the man who wears a No. 6 hat has probably got his brain a little warped." I am not suggesting that the members who sit along the cross-benches over there are warped in their brains at all, but I sometimes think their judgment is badly warped, and when I see in this chamber the statesmanlike look of that hon. gentleman from Labelle (Mr. Bourassa), when I behold him strutting up and down this hall, I do not know for

The Address-Mr. Harris
whose edification unless it be for the edification of the Fourth Estate, represented by the press gallery, and perhaps the Fifth Estate, the public galleries in this House. And when I think of his attitudes and his meanderings around this chamber I often think our friends of the Fourth and Fifth Estates in the galleries here must be glad that there are guards on the door in the event of our all taking to that kind of foxlike movement around the chamber. But I have got away, Mr. Speaker, from what was on my mind.
This Liberal party which was condemned at the polls told the people of Canada that they were going to meet parliament; and had they met parliament fairly and honestly they would have got their decision. But when it came to getting a straight want of confidence motion before this House by our leader, the words were so twisted by the hon. Minister of Customs (Mr. Boivin) to make our friends of the Progressive party believe that it was not a want of confidence motion at all, that in the final analysis we found them using that excuse to keep this remnant of a government in power. To my mind, Sir, that is a straight case of this Liberal administration flouting the will of parliament. First, they flouted the will of the people when they did not resign on October 29th, or shortly thereafter, and now in their Speech from the Throne they have flouted the will of parliament.
Our friends the Progressives, by reason ol the fact that in their constitutional platform they want some of these handouts which are mentioned in the Speech from the Throne, find themselves unable to be honest with themselves, unable to be conscientious, but, thinking of their constituents, and considering the possibilities of coming back here again, they think they had better accept the lesser of the two evils and keep this party in power. We were told by the Prime Minister in that speech of September 6th, or whatever the date was, that with a majority of one they could not carry on and could not solve the great national problems which are to-day waiting for solution in this country. I say to these hon. gentlemen: How are you going to do it with a minority of fifteen? You are fifteen times worse off to-day than you were at that time, and you do not know it. But you are going to wake up some of these days; when public opinion gets roused to a certain pitch, you will find you can no longer remain in the seats which you now occupy and then you will realize that it is time to get out, but you ought to know it 14011-87$
now. If the Liberal party want to remain as a party in my lifetime, and to again come into power, the best thing they can do now is to square themselves with the people and resign. That is my opinion and the opinion of a great number of people in Canada. If with a majority of one and a bloc of sixty-odd to help them when they needed assistance, they could not perform the executive or legislative duties demanded of them by the country in the four years gone by, much less can they do it now, in my opinion.
The Speech from the Throne has been enlarged upon by several members of the government and that is the reason why I wish to say a few words in regard to it. It has been enlarged upon by the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Motherwell) and I am glad he is here. I am going to say something nice about the Minister of Public Works (Mr. King) in a few moments and I hope he will come into the chamber. The Minister of Agriculture discussed the Speech from the Throne. He spoke about railways, and if I remember correctly he said, "Sure we gave Quebec five million for a harbour, gave Montreal a large sum for a fine bridge, gave the city of Toronto a viaduct, and we are going to give it a Canadian National Railways building at the comer of King and Yonge streets. Now come on you chaps and be fair with us; give us the Hudson Bay railway." That is the idea of the Minister of Agriculture-give them public works. The Minister of Public Works was not so very far behind when he spoke about the gift of potato houses down in St. John.
I am going to give a few of the reasons why I am satisfied1 that the lack, on the part of the Liberal administration, of a policy for the solution of the problems which are pressing on the people of Canada to-day, accounts in a large measure for the present condition of the government. I will also give a few reasons why any policy that they may enunciate will not prove a success, but will result in failure and will be of no benefit to the country. I take for my cue in that connection words which, one or two evenings ago, fqll from the lips of the Minister of Public Works. He said " Why, the Tory party are becoming greatly enamoured of the people of the United 'States." I hesitate to compare our people with the people of the United States. I hesitate to laud the people of the United States, because I feel that on the whole we have a far better race of people on this side of the boundary line than they have on the other side. I feel that we have better opportunities in practically every field of activity in Canada than they have in the States. But he says
The Address-Mr. Harris

the Tory party is becoming enamoured of the people of the United States. Perhaps they have pretty good reason to be, if we look back over the last thirty-five years, and take notice of all the Canadians who have gathered together their flocks and herds and everything belonging to them and gone over to the States. We will probably find as many Canadians in the United States to-day as we have in Canada, and that fact is worrying the people in the constituency from which I come. Why is that the case? One reason why such a condition exists is that God did not make all men alike. All of us do not want to go to Saskatchewan to work in the wheat fields; some of us desire to engage in other vocations than that of farming. There are many of us who do not w-ant to grow wheat or other grain, and there are those of us who do not want to go into the bowels of the earth to bring forth ferrous and non-ferrous metals. Some of us want to attend a technical school perhaps, to- obtain an education such as we can get in Canada-thanks to our excellent educational institutions-so that we may be fitted to earn a livelihood. But under the policy enunciated by the liberal party, we find we have to go into the field of larger activity in the country to -the south of us, to find our vocation, and that has been the history of Canada since confederation under liberal administration. There is one feature which appeals to me when I read the policy of the Conservative party and that is that that policy is calculated to make work for the miners, the labourers, farmers and people of all the different classes.
With regard to -the imports and exports of Canada, the Minister of Public Works said, " Some people would say it was unhealthy to have a favourable trade balance ". That is not correct. A favourable trade -balance is a very healthy sign, but that trade balance must not be the result of the exportation from this country of raw materials, which do not embody -the handicraft of the artisans of our country. If we -have a favourable trade balance from the export of manufacturers, I would say that that was a healthy condition for Canada. But Mr. Speaker, take the records of the last few years and see whait they disclose. Take one commodity by which, in the preceding generation, -the trade of the country was measured, the commodity of iron. I have here the figures of the importations into- this country of iron in the raw state; that is iron ore and metals which constitute the raw material with which the men ant-women of Canada work to produce manufactured goods. We find the importations of the raw materials were 39 per cent of the total im-

ports for the calendar year 1923; 33 per cent for 1924, and then in 1925 they dropped to 29 per cent. The exact figures are as follows:
Imported into Canada for Consumption
Twelve months ended December
Commodities 1923 1924 1925Iron, total . $ 173,720,299 137,979,471 156,573,076Ore .. .. 1,972,094 912,740 1,037,225$ 5,765,413 2,345.038 2,015,580Pigs, ingots, etc. . .$ 2,450,605 1,969,661 1,551,783Rolling mill products n.o.p 50 ,S66,319 36,391,019 38,006,810Tuibes, pipes and fittings .. 4.146,738 2 624.013 3,142,701Wire 4,061.777 2,843,726 2,648,40367,290,852 46,173,457 47,365,277Raw material imported 39% 33i% 28%
There is a drop in the importation of raw material. But what have we to say about the Liberal policy, and what is happening to imports and exports in this country when we come to the manufactured goods? Of manufactured goods, engines, boilers and so on, our importations were:
Imported into Canada for Consumption
Twelve months ended December
Commodities 1923 1924 1925Engines and boilers ..i 8,137,435 7,440,989 11,603,174Farm implements.. 11,893,646 6,585.750 11,234,839Hardware and cutlery. $ 3.876,183 3,262.944 3,369,937Machinery 28,724,664 25,470,872 30,158,936Tools 1,916,229 1,664.065 1,912,204Vehicles, total.. .. 29,535,104 26,606,764 36,416,906Autos, freight .. .. No. 1,355 957 1,146$ 1,879,574 1,438,666 1,693,369Autos, passenger .. .No 10,467 8,344 13,486$ 10,447,045 8.202,643 12,855,940Auto parts 15,047,633 15,173,108 20,690,989
These importations represent work done by foreign artisans, and I make a plea this afternoon for the 60,000 people in my riding who have found work in the shops and factories of the city of Toronto close by. I see a few -of the Saskatchewan members in their seats, and I ask them to bear with me when I put to them fairly and frankly this question: Is it not far better that importations of engines and boilers, which in 1923 amounted to $8,000,000 worth, should drop to $4,000,000 rather than rise to $12,000,000 as they have done in the last three years? Does not the difference between those two items mean work for the people of Canada? We are willing ,to do something for Saskatchewan; we are willing to do something for Nova Scotia; we are willing to do something for any of those people who are asking for free trade; but let them give us a fair deal. We want work for our people. Let me tell the members from Saskatchewan something and particularly the Prime Minister who is about to represent the constituency of Prince Albert. It is not many years ago when single men were very much in the majority in Saskatchewan; but

The Address-Mr. Harris
now you are becoming a little more civilized or up-to-date; you have got a wife; before you are much older, you will have a family and before a generation passes you will find, as I said before, that God did not make everybody alike. You will find some of your children wanting not to grow wheat, but to start some kind of a factory in order to make something for the rest of the people unless they migrate to the United States or some other country where these g^oods are made for them. It is not very many years ago when Ontario had a population of only 750,000, but the people did not pay all their attention to growing wheat, although they can grow as fine wheat as can be grown out in the west; they diverted their attention to other lines of activity. If you want a uniform, united race of people on this northern hemisphere, one
way to bring that about is to establish factories, not only in Ontario and Quebec, but out in the west. If you do not establish them, you are going to have a great deal of trouble building up a united race of people working in all kinds of occupations throughout the whole of Canada.
From 1923 to 1925, importations of machinery jumped from $28,000,000 to $30,000,000 and automobile parts from $15,000,000 to $20,000,000 worth. That is taking work away from our people and it is not a healthy condition for Canada. This condition of affairs does not exist merely in regard to the ferrous metals; the same situation prevails in regard to the non-ferrous metal group. For the information of hon. members, I should like to place on Hansard this table showing the importations of raw materials:
Importations of raw materials (Non-ferrous metals)
Nickel bars, ingots
Silver bars, ingots, sheets, platinum
1920 1921
$ 2.105,979 $ 2.566,015
227,317 663,468
8,16S,955 8,961,014
765 086 2,080,243
240,565 257,043
5,119,812 2,284.311
783,241 489,281
3,143,048 2,869.732
$20,554,003 $20,171,107
1922 1923
5 863,291 $ 1,978.583
144.142 256.206
2.509,978 5.928,247
99,754 212 410
90,935 318,293
1.277,257 1,318,205
353,457 406.583
1.267,812 1,787,840
$6,606,626 $12,206,367
1924 1925
$ 2,731.442 $ 2,913,948
183 489 299,017
7.648,486 5,540,611
144,615 83.892
230,399 175,546
1,596,179 1,654,996
396.145 357,512
2,129,243 2,546.318
$15,059,998 $13,571,840
These are raw materials used by our artisans to make into finished products for the people of Canada, and this shows that they are being imported in a lesser degree as one year succeeds another while this administration stays in power. Hon. gentlemen may be surprised to learn that we have to import wood in the raw state, but there are some grades of wood which we have to import. I will ask hon. members to put side by side, wood manufactured and wood in the raw state coming into this country and they will find that while the grand total is about the same, the condition as regards dollars and cents is reversed.
Commodities imported into Canada
Twelve months ended December 1923 1924 1925Wood, unmfd., total.. $11,850,818 $9,954,608 $9,751,676 Wood, mfd., total.. . 7,756,688 7,795,353 8,448,319
This means that every time the United States or any other country imports an increased quantity of raw material, it imports an increased quantity of man power to manufacture that raw material into finished goods.
Mr. EVAiNS: Would the hon. member
be in favour of placing a duty on raw material that can be produced in this country and abolishing the drawback?

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