Mr. L. DUBOIS (Nicolet) (Translation):
Mr. Speaker, I am very happy to have this opportunity of raising my voice in the midst of this imposing assembly, as one who speaks for the tillers of the soil. You will allow me to repeat, after one of our great men, that my first speech in this house will be made in the language of my forefathers; thus, in my turn, I acknowledge the principle of the official status of the French tongue, immortalized in the statutes of our Dominion and to which a fitting monument has been erected in the Baldwin-Lafontaine memorial which adorns the northern corner of Parliament Hill. This monument must guide us, like the polar star, in all matters of language and of race between the two important elements who go to make up the Canadian nation.
Like those who have preceded me I find it my pleasant duty to congratulate, in their excellent effort, the mover and the seconder of the address in reply to the speech from the throne.
I trust it will not be held against me if 1 congratulate in a special way the mover of the address, my hon. friend from Restigouche-Madawaska (Mr. Cormier) for having delivered the first part of his speech in our mother-tongue. What deep pleasure he must have afforded his illustrious forebears; how
they must have thrilled with joy on hearing within these portals the resonant syllables of the tongue they loved so well; what pride they must have felt, they who had strewn with shattered hopes the bitter road along which, with faltering steps, they straggled into exile. And the hon. member has not lost any of the typical characteristics of his ethnic group: listening to him I recognized the accents heard on t'he shores of the Madawaska, at Grand-Pre, at Pubnico and at Shediac I have but one regret, that I cannot congratulate him on his political allegiance.
My next duty, before going on with the debate, is to offer my sincerest congratulations to our worthy Speaker in his efforts in the study of French, since the special session. Last fall, Mr. Speaker, we all considered you a distinguished gentleman; today we realize that the distinguished gentleman is, moreover, a broad-minded Canadian. You are deserving of the highest praise for undertaking the study of French at your age; and your study of our tongue will go much further towards the maintenance of national unity than the last speech of-the hon. member for Regina (Mr. Turnbull).
It seems to me that our problems of domestic economy are sufficiently burdensome without launching into debates like that instigated by the hon. member, and without entering into disputes that may prove too forceful for both groups. I do not intend to dwell at any length on this question; without giving answer to the untruthful charges of fanaticism levelled at my party by the hon. member for Regina, I send this bugle call to my fellow F reach-Canadians in Saskatchewan: "My
compatriots, 'way out there, fight on, with all your ardour and with all your courage. But let the fight be waged with loyalty. It is not only your right to struggle, it is your duty, for three centuries of Canadian history look down upon you. You owe it also to your persecutors who, sooner or later, will be forced to recognize the importance of French culture in the western provinces. You will meet with still other obstacles; but they will come from merely a few narrow-minded men without vision. Do not forget that beside this small group of meddlers there are, thank God, a very large number of Anglo-Canadians, and I" say it to their credit, who not only admire you and like you, but are broadminded enough, and patriotic enough, to help you in your struggle for the defence of your rights and your liberties."
The hon. member for Montmagny (Mr. La-Yergne), on the floor of this house, used certain regrettable words concerning Sir Wilfrid Laurier. I owe it to the memory of our great
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compatriot to accept that challenge to-day. The hon. member charged Sir Wilfrid with having betrayed the province of Quebec. Let us open the newspapers of 1905, Mr. Speaker, und ure shall discover that impartial history throws on events a light that will astonish certain contemporaries of that time. While Sir Wilfrid waged his unrelenting fight for the cause of the minority in those parts, demanding separate schools for the new provinces, another man was denouncing this system, rational though it were.
During the bye-election of Mr. Hyman, in a speech delivered in London, Ontario, and reported in The Free Press of May 31st, 190a, Mr. Bennett said what follows,-I quote in English:
The parliament of Canada lias fastened on the northwest a separate school system. It had said they could do what they like: in many other things but they could not interfere with the rights of the minority to a separate school system.
In 1891 and in 1901 the parliaments passed further school ordinances, but still they were given no right to say what school system they were to have.. They might legislate as they might, but they could never free themselves from separate schools, even if they wanted to.
Let us continue-we are still quoting Mr. Bennett:
Tf you turn down Mr. Hyman on the 13th of June,' I think they will withdraw that clause. Never in the history of Canada have men had so great responsibility as is thrust upon you, electors of London. Once this act goes upon the statute book, it cannot be withdrawn. They say they will go to London and get an act "endorsing it before we may do so. I tell you, the west will never stand that. There will be a revolution before the west will submit.
And, on June 5th, 1905, the Tree Press carried this:
Mr. Bennett said it was stated upon authority that Sir Alexander Mackenzie had not intended to place the provision for separate schools in the North West Territories Act. But a certain province that proposed now to control the educational policy of all the other provinces-this great province said to Sir Alexander Mackenzie: You just grant separate schools or go out. And it was the regret of Mackenzie to his dying day that he did not go out.
I defy any man to say we are given any right to do other than to forever and forever maintain that baneful restriction that says we must have separate schools. *
Sir Wilfrid Laurier says that separate schools are the best thing for the state. I deny that. No Church or creed has a right to ask for special privileges. We must stand together. How otherwise may we work out our destiny?
Who betrayed the province of Quebec, Mr. Speaker? Who betrayed not only the province of Quebec, but common sense, harmony and the spirit of justice, if not the Prime Minister
of to-day (Mr. Bennett)? And why hold Sir Wilfrid Laurier responsible for the present difficulties in Saskatchewan?
Our dear departed statesman must have been great indeed, since envy still strives to belittle him. Yes, he was truly great, whose personality traced a path of glowing splendour across the firmament of our history; he was truly great, whom a whole people still mourns; he was truly great, who followed in the footsteps of Disraeli and of Gladstone; he was so great that even those who deserted him at a certain turning in their careers and who found themselves unable to hold their ground, feel the need to-day of trying to cast a shadow on his glory, the better to excuse their betrayal. He was so great that whoever attacks his memory in the terms used by the hon. member for Montmagny, merely succeeds in proving his own smallness, his political insignificance.
Mr. Speaker, the speech from the throne has many remarkable analogies with the election campaign of 1930. We find there the same muddled expression of the means to be employed for ridding us of the economic crisis, which is still with us, and going from bad to worse. The same uncertainty, the same vague, nebulous language which, even to the most practised eye, yields no tangible conclusion. But the speech differs somewhat from the campaign of last July inasmuch as the bell, which has passed into the government's hands, does not give out the same note to-day. In July, 1930, the battle began to the strains of the mournful chant: "The Liberal administration has ruined the country; Canada cannot escape bankruptcy."
In the npeeehTrom the Throne, fourth paragraph, first line, the leader of the government has this to say of the economic crisis:
The fact that in this period of universal distress Canada has been spared the same acute degree of hardship which many other nations have been called upon to bear.
Only eight months of administration and can we not already feel the magic power of the dictatorial wand?
" Put me at the head of the government," said the present Prime Minister in 1930. " and I will bring prosperity back to you. Put me in power and a new day will dawn for our Dominion." With disconcerting cocksureness he led the voters of this country to believe that he had fathomed the causes of the economic depression and found a remedy.
In 1931, ini the speech from the throne, still the same fourth paragraph, the leader of the present government tells us that the obstacles which bar our way to prosperity are numerous
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and important. In. order to arrive at a satisfactory solution of these difficulties we must first of all understand them. So the right hon. gentleman did not understand them during the campaign of 1930?
Last July, our opponents promised to cure all our ills; to-day, face to face with the failure of these so-called remedies, our friends of the government no longer promise a cure; they have come back to earth and, like everybody else, they hope the situation will improve. It is not necessary to recall all the pledges made during the campaign to prove to the voters of Canada that the government has failed all along the line.
The right hon. Prime Minister knew very well that he could not rid us of the crisis Why did he promise to do so? He swindled ,the voters; but the voters have the right to demand that he fulfil the mandate given him in accordance with the terms and conditions under which he received it. Let him remember the words he uttered in Quebec city, and which were reproduced in the Ottawa Citizen of July 14th, 1930:
I ask the candidates who are elected from the province of Ontario, and the other members of my party to throw me out of office if. after having been victorious at the polls, I fail to keep the promises made to the Canadian people. I will not climb into power over violated pledges.
The leader of the present government promised prosperity and the people will never forgive his failure to provide it.
What should we say of the Imperial conference? On this matter I do not speak with authority; nevertheless the government leader's attitude appears strange to me. He was evidently not taken seriously in London. He left Canada in a miniature whirlwind which had become a hurricane by the time he landed on Britain's shores. He believed himself a lion, but he could barely imitate the lion's roar. After several days of fruitless negotiations, like the fox in LaFontaine's fable he turned his face toward home and Canada; no doubt he swore, on the deep blue sea, but a little late, that he would not be caught again.
The ninth paragraph of the speech from the throne touches on a question of principle which I am proud to emphasize. Like all those who interest themselves in the welfare of humanity I believe that the doctrine upheld by soviet Russia is thoroughly opposed to the moral, intellectual, and even material., progress of a people. You have only to rend the contemporary history of Russia to become
convinced that the present day leaders of this gifted people are making Russia into a pitiable outcast among the nations of Europe.
But I am in a hurry to come to the false attitude of the present prime minister as regards the agricultural industry. I note that this government has not given the farming community all the assistance they were fully entitled to expect after the fine phrases used by the prime minister on occasions like the following:
At Woodstock, N.B., on July 2nd, 1930, Mr. Bennett said:
I declare here and now that if I am elected on July 28th my first duty will be to see to it that all the resources of Canada are used to uphold the agricultural industry. I would believe myself unworthy of presiding over this country's destiny if I did not do that.
This is what he told us on June 13th, 1930,
We pledge ourselves to encourage agriculture, stock-raising and the dairy industry all of which the farmer has got so sadly neglected. We must train our young people in agricultural schools and, for this reason, I promise to continue the federal grant to the different provinces; for it is only from a rural population that is educated, in the broadest and best sense that we may expect the results we hope to attain.
At the special session of last September the right hon. Prime Minister insisted still further on the needs of agriculture and in unbelievably highfalutin' language set forth the capital importance of this basic industry. The result of all his fine words has been tariff meddling, and that carried out in such a way as to stabilize the price of all manufactured products and to increase the taxes borne by the farming class. Out of a total of 130 tariff items amended last fall, a mere 28 had to do with agriculture, despite the high-sounding phrases of the prime minister. Moreover, of these 28, only 14 were helpful to the farmer: the other 14 levied tribute on him. On close analysis of these tariff increases, we find that when the farmer, whose interests the prime minister has so much at heart, pockets $1 as a result of the first 14 items, the other 14 make him part with $1.50. And they call that protecting the agricultural industry.
What rural members sitting to your right, Mr. Speaker, have risen in this house to protest against such senseless and deplorable mistreatment of agriculture? Have any among them remembered their leader's own words: "I will not climb into power over violated pledges"?
The members for Marquette (Mr. Mullins) and Long Lake (Mr. Cowan) sought to excuse their leader by claiming that the
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Liberal administration had never done anything for agriculture. But a glance at the records will show that the King government did more for the farmers than will probably ever be done by those now in power.
May I be allowed to give a short synopsis of what was accomplished along this line; hon. members can check up on my statements at the federal department of agriculture here in Ottawa.
The main features, from 1922 to 1929 were the following:
1. The establishing of a research laboratory at Winnipeg for the intensive study of cereal rust and the best means of combating it.
2. The promotion of tobacco-growing in south-east Ontario and in Quebec through the enlargement of the substations at Harrow, Ontario, and Farnham, Quebec, and their establishment as experimental stations specializing in tobacco culture; also the purchase and establishment of a new tobacco culture station at L'Assomption, Quebec.
3. The development of research facilities at Swift Current, Saskatchewan, relative to cultivation without irrigation.
4. The establishment of a demonstration farm at Manyberries, Alta., for the furtherance of the solution of the problem of feed conservation so vital to the rancher.
5. The establishment of the new demonstration farm for irrigation culture at Windermere, British Columbia.
6. The establishment of 133 demonstration stations throughout the country for the purpose of acquainting thousands of farmers, through practical object-lessons, with the value of the methods, varieties and practices followed and recommended by the experimental farms.
7. Cooperative experiments along the Hudson Bay Railway route.
8. Small demonstration linen-mills were established in Quebec and. in the maritime provinces; thanks to which these districts are to-day in possession of a prosperous homespun industry.
9. An inspection service was established for all export honey.
10. A new bacteriological branch was inaugurated at the Experimental Farm, Ottawa, for the study of agricultural problems which must be solved through the application of bacteriological methods.
11. The Elwood farm was purchased at St. Catharines, Ontario, so as to provide the laboratory of plant pathology with more complete facilities for the treatment of fruit diseases, particularly those which attack peaches, grapes, tomatoes and strawberries.
And the Liberal government did nothing?
The most effective method yet for combating tuberculosis among cattle is the slaughter of all animals that react positively to the tuberculin test, within certain well-defined zones, following the system established in 1924. Since that date more than 800,000 cattle have been tested in the nine zones and extension already established, or about to be; 45,000 positive subjects have been slaughtered. At the present time there is at least one of these certified zones in every province of the Dominion.
This system of certified zones has provided absolutely healthy districts for immune herds. It facilitates cattle-raising, reduces to a minimum the danger of reinfection, induces the farmer to provide more hygienic housing for his cattle, and creates a more active demand, at higher prices, for milch cows.
The erection of a modern and thoroughly equipped experimental and research station at Hull, Quebec, completed in 1927, is a most important step towards the establishment of facilities for research work on the diseases of animals.
Experiments and research work on swamp disease were conducted in the prairie provinces, at Saskatoon and at Lethbridge; and at the agricultural laboratory of the experimental farm at Agassiz studies were made of the incidence and cure of hematuria.
And the Liberal government did nothing?
The following developments may be noted as results of the Live Stock Act:
1. The remarkable improvement in the quality of Canadian hogs resulting in large measure from the application of modern systems nf- grading which guarantee to the producer himself the premium paid on high quality animals. This system has brought about a very great improvement in the quality of our bacon which to-day is almost on a par with Danish bacon on the British market, except in the matter of quantity; the Canadian consumer can now buy much better bacon and other pork products than was formerly possible.
2. A registry system for thoroughbred hogs was inaugurated early in 1929; already twenty-three herds have been registered.
3. In 1922 were adopted the rules governing the inspection and grading of all eggs imported into Canada. All eggs exported from Canada are graded; since this grading system was adopted there is a big demand for Canadian eggs in Great Britain.
4. The department insisted that all commission houses having to do with our Canadian stockyards keep a shippers' guarantee
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account so that the producer who sold his animals through commission merchants should run no risk of losing the product of his sales.
5. Since the department organized calf breeders' clubs in 1923 great progress has been made in the growth of clubs among young breeders of cows, sheep and hogs. The encouragement thus given to the younger generation and the lively interest the young folks have taken in these clubs have borne fruit in the general and far-reaching improvement to be noted in all breeding activities wherever these clubs have been organized.
6. The animal husbandry branch inaugurated recently a system of approved incubators, which provides for the farmer a trustworthy source of baby chicks. The poultry pens which furnish hatching eggs and the incubators themselves are inspected. The incubators which come up to standard are authorized to sell certified chicks.
One of the main objects of the Seeds branch of the department is to promote the use and the production of better quality seeds and with this end in view the department, in 1929, increased by S3,OflO its grant to The Canadian Association of Seed Growers.
In 1921 there were only some 40,000 bushels of registered seeds on the market. In 1929 the quantity had risen to 952,215 bushels. And the Liberal government did nothing?
The following are among the chief efforts made by the Entomological branch in recent years to assist agriculture through the destruction of insect pests.
After exhaustive experiments and research work for the purpose of effectively combating the European maize borer, work undertaken and accomplished in co-operation with the Ontario Department of Agriculture, the branch Ontario department of agriculture, the branch made certain recommendations which were enacted into law by the provincial legislature; there is no doubt that as a consequence of these accomplishments the extinction of this pest in the most infested regions is assured and the growing of seed-com in Ontario will once more come into its own.
Measures instituted as a result of cooperative research work undertaken by the federal and provincial branches of entomology enabled us to repeal the invasions of the black beetle in the yellow pine forests of British Columbia.
In 1924 the agents of the entomological branch discovered in Quebec province a certain number of masses of nits laid by the dangerous sponge-worm. Since then the invasion has been repelled, thanks to the cooperation of the Department of Lands and Forests in Quebec.
The main accomplishments of the dairy branch since 1922 have been the grading of dairy products and experimental work concerning dairy produce.
The grading of dairy products has brought about a very great improvement in the quality of these products and the publicity given to quality through the grade certificates has been responsible for a new attitude on the part of both producers and manufacturers. Grading has been very beneficial to the dairy industry. Thanks to this system our Canadian dairy produce is more sought after on the markets of the world. If our Canadian cheese is quoted a little higher than others on the British market it is chiefly due to this system of grading. The improvement in the quality of our butter and of our cheese was most marked, and I speak now not only of the export market but of the home market also: to-day the Canadian housewife buys dairy produce with much more confidence than formerly.
Co-operative sales, etc., etc., etc., etc.
The Liberal government was going to keep up the good work.
And this government of dreamers and idealists did nothing for agriculture?
What has the Conservative government done for the farmers during the past eight months? What are they going to do this year? If we read the speech from the throne, paragraph 12, we find that this government, with a view to protecting agriculture, which it rightly calls the basic industry of this country, has inserted in its program only three words: "Aid to agriculture." As though the farming community were a class of beggars to whom one throws a meagre pittance when one has the time. As if our farmers, who go to make up some 52 per cent of the entire population of Canada, were a negligible quantity 1
Far be it from me to incite my own class against the other classes of the community. I know that it is only through harmony and concord that lasting things are accomplished; but I have faith in my profession and representing, as I do, a constituency which is 96 per cent agricultural, I owe it to my electors to demand for them all the consideration and all the protection they are entitled to. Tireless and peaceful workers, they contribute more than any other class to the development and to the maintenance of our country's prosperity.
For the past eight months the present government has striven in vain to cope with the economic depression and with the unemployment crisis. Why do they not try rather to encourage the farmer, to find profit-
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able markets for our farm products, to favour agriculture as much as possible, to make the farmer feel contented with his lot, become attached to the soil which feeds him, and thus become an apostle of the Back to the Land movement. Is it not a fact that if this Back to the Land movement were to succeed, our cities would be relieved of a number of the jobless who swarm into them? I believe that if the government were to act in this way they would do much more for the people of Canada than in dallying, in theory and in practice, with an excessive protective policy which favours only a very small group of capitalists.
May I be allowed to quote the opinion of M. R. Levrault, French economist, on this matter of protection that is made so much of by our friends opposite:
People do not know what protectionism has done to Europe. Everybody is aware that most of the ills that beset us are derived from that source: it is responsible for the high cost of living and for our staggering taxes.
Protection begets higher and higher protection. When every country is protected none enjoy its advantages any longer. Then starts a race in the building of higher and higher tariff walls. Each country strives to be the first to profit, be it only for a few years, even a few months, by tariff increases.
You are looking for ways and means to cope with the unemployment problem. Would you permit a young man who has spent thirty-seven years of his life on our Canadian land to suggest to you what he believes to be a good way to discover the real cure for our present economic ills? Every democracy must beware of one danger: the sovereignty of wealth. Capitalists of every description, capitalists forever insatiate, follow the lead of certain capitalists in my riding: come down from your pedestals, come out of your ivory towers! If you really wish our people well, rub shoulders with our workers, in the city and in the country; their contact will teach you more than all the shallow generalizations of arm-chair sociologists.
Mr. Speaker, I end with these words: At
the special session allusion was made on the floor of this house to the Unknown Soldier. Like all good patriots I bow, and deeply, before him who sheds his blood for his country. But there is another unknown soldier: his work is less in the limelight, but it is none the less deserving. This unknown soldier is the settler in the northern parts of Ontario, the settler in the northern regions of my own province. This unknown soldier is the farmer in the western provinces, the farmer in the maritime provinces, the Ontario farmer, the Quebec farmer, the farmer in my
county. We bow low before the soldier armed with the sword. What must we not do in the presence of the soldier who guides the plough? Before him, as before the other, we should bow. But one thing must be borne in mind: this soldier does not live on fine words alone; he must have acts, he must have substance.
Topic: SPEECH FROM THE THRONE
Subtopic: CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE ADDRESS IN REPLY