February 2, 1933 (17th Parliament, 4th Session)


George Reginald Geary

Conservative (1867-1942)


If my hon. friend wants
to carry on a personal war, that is none of my

Cooperative Commonwealth-Mr. Geary
business. I am dealing with an international situation. My hon. friends have filled pages of Hansard with quotations, and may I say, again in all kindliness, that I do not think they get anywhere with such methods. To me a quotation is absolutely nothing unless I know the context, the local background, and the reasoning which has led the author to the conclusion cited. I fancy that if I dug into books on economy I could find quotations which would be diametrically opposed to each and every one advanced in this debate by my hon. friends. However, if they will examine the quotations which they have placed on Hansard during this debate I think they will find that without exception they are predicated upon a proper international system having been found and adopted.
I have directed my observations largely to this point; that as far as monetary systems go, we are interdependent. Each country is so tied up with other countries in trade that we are dependent upon the facilities provided for exchange. We can not go on our own, and we would be most ill advised to do anything of the sort. If we are able to get a full, frank and free discussion of this matter at the coming conference, it is more likely that the qeustion will be solved there than by anything adopted by this chamber and having a relation only to the bounds of this country.
Hon. gentlemen say: what is to be done? We have one problem of our own which is costing us an enormous amount of money- the Canadian National Railways. That is a matter immediately to our hand. There is also the one I mentioned a little while ago, the control of those who have plundered by their manipulations of the stock market. As the hon. member for Labelle has said, we have not exercised the forces of the law in that regard as much as they have in England. That is a matter ready to our hand.
There is also another vast problem to be solved, that of war debts and reparations. Reparations would not exist if war debts could be abolished. Reparations would be done away with if creditors would do away with war debts. If war debts were abolished there would be a great effect upon the morale of the people of the world. There would be a restoration of confidence and an abolition of fear which would go a long way towards setting this world once more upon the road to recovery.
These observations are not intended to be a discussion as close as one would like to make it of matters still to come up, but I
say once more that if we approach this question in the spirit eulogized this afternoon by the hon. member for Labelle, that of cooperation, that of getting together, that of putting our shoulders to the wheel and recognizing the difficulties under which we labour, then surely out of the united wisdom of this house will come measures which will react to the benefit of this country and probably lead us out of our difficulties.
Before I resume my seat I should like to say that the discussion in this house of the conditions prevailing throughout the country is not without bad effect. As long as we are moderate, reasonable and accurate in what we say with regard to conditions, I suppose no harm can be done. But it should be remembered that this country is not so badly off as many others. I believe, and I think other hon. members do also, that given a chance Canada will find her way out more quickly than any other country provided she has wise and proper guidance. If this country does not think the guidance it is receiving, the direction it has at the present moment, is right, the remedy lies with the house, with the electorate. Personally I earnestly feel that the government can not succumb at this moment to the temptations that beset it in regard to currency. It could popularize itself to many unthinking people by yielding to the clamour of some groups or members, but it will not do that unless it thinks it is right. I believe the government has a quality which must carry the admiration of the house in that it is strong and courageous, that it believes its principles and its policies are right, and that it will hew to the line, let the chips fall where they may; that it will pursue the course which in its wisdom it deems best for this country, and that in its deliberations and acts it will have regard for one thing only, that which is in the best and highest interests of Canada.

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