James Lorimer ILSLEY

ILSLEY, The Hon. James Lorimer, P.C., K.C., B.A., LL.B., D.C.L., LL.D.

Personal Data

Party
Liberal
Constituency
Digby--Annapolis--Kings (Nova Scotia)
Birth Date
January 3, 1894
Deceased Date
January 14, 1967
Website
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Lorimer_Ilsley
PARLINFO
http://www.parl.gc.ca/parlinfo/Files/Parliamentarian.aspx?Item=396d7d47-d79c-4aea-bf33-18c3e7b199e3&Language=E&Section=ALL
Profession
barrister

Parliamentary Career

September 14, 1926 - May 30, 1930
LIB
  Hants--Kings (Nova Scotia)
July 28, 1930 - August 14, 1935
LIB
  Hants--Kings (Nova Scotia)
October 14, 1935 - January 25, 1940
LIB
  Digby--Annapolis--Kings (Nova Scotia)
  • Minister of National Revenue (October 23, 1935 - July 7, 1940)
March 26, 1940 - April 16, 1945
LIB
  Digby--Annapolis--Kings (Nova Scotia)
  • Minister of National Revenue (October 23, 1935 - July 7, 1940)
  • Postmaster General (May 23, 1940 - July 7, 1940)
  • Minister of Finance and Receiver General (July 8, 1940 - December 9, 1946)
June 11, 1945 - April 30, 1949
LIB
  Digby--Annapolis--Kings (Nova Scotia)
  • Minister of Finance and Receiver General (July 8, 1940 - December 9, 1946)
  • Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada (December 10, 1946 - June 30, 1948)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 3504 of 3506)


April 4, 1927

Mr. ILSLEY:

Not at all; I think my hon. friend is entirely wrong.

Topic:   CANADIAN NATIONAL RAILWAYS
Subtopic:   FREIGHT RATES TO BE CHARGED ON EASTERN LINES
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April 4, 1927

Mr. ILSLEY:

Consider the Conservative

party in Canada at present; we find one group from the maritime provinces which probably would be in favour of a higher duty on coal; we find a group from Ontario which would certainly be against a higher duty on c:oa!l, while the third group from the province of British Columbia would also be against it, because in that province they depend very greatly upon their export trade. As my hon. friend knows, a market ior 50 per cent of the output of the

C.N.R.-Eastern Freight Rates

Crowsnest pass mines is found in the United States, and about 10 per cent of the output of the Vancouver Island mines is marketed in that country. The United States has a countervailing duty; that is, the duty there is equal to the Canadian duty on coal. As the hon. member for Comox-Alberni (Mr. Neill) said the other night in the course of another debate, a duty of SI on Canadian coal would automatically raise the American duty to $1, which would put out of business a great many of the coal mines of British Columbia. I suppose ry>

man in the House better knows the sentiment of the country with regard to the question of coal than does the hon. member for Cape Breton South (Mr. MacDonald), who represents a coal mining constituency. In the Halifax Chronicle of February 5 he is reported as follows:

On the general trade policy recommendation of the report, and its lack of tariff recommendations, Mr. MacDonald said candidly, "With regard to duties on coal I am not hopeful."

He said his experiences on the coal committee of the House last year had convinced him that central and western Canada are immovable in their opposition to such relief for the east.

That question was raised in the House, and his answer corroborated rather than contradicted that statement, because he said it was probable that central and western Canada would be against it. It is well known, so why do my hon. friends opposite tell the people in the coal mining constituencies that if returned to power they would raise the duty on coal? That is absolutely impractical as a political proposal, and I venture to say that hon. members on the other side of the House know it.

To come back to the argument from which I was distracted, I was about to say that I agree to a large extent with the hon. member for Acadia (Mr. Gardiner) and the hon. member for Roeetown (Mr. Evans) as to the fundamental causes of the decline of the maritime provinces. I think the Canadian tariff is probably the greatest cause, and that next in importance comes the American tariff. That is particularly true with relation to the fishing industry; twice in the history of Nova Scotia our fish have had free access to the American market, once between 1854 and 1866 under the old reciprocity treaty and again between 1873 and 1885 under the Treaty of Washington. ^During both of these periods the fishing industry was prosperous, reflecting a great deal of prosperity upon the province as a whole. We rejected a third opportunity in 1911, for which the great majority have been sorry ever since.

Topic:   CANADIAN NATIONAL RAILWAYS
Subtopic:   FREIGHT RATES TO BE CHARGED ON EASTERN LINES
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April 4, 1927

Mr. ILSLEY:

No; there was a lowering

of the tariff.

Mr, SHORT: .And many articles were

placed on the free list.

M.r. SPEAKER: I must ask hon. gentlement to come back to the question of freight rates.

Topic:   CANADIAN NATIONAL RAILWAYS
Subtopic:   FREIGHT RATES TO BE CHARGED ON EASTERN LINES
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April 4, 1927

Mr. ILSLEY:

Is any subsidy to the Canadian National lines necessary if business increases sufficiently? A subsidy would not be necessarily involved in this legislation.

Topic:   CANADIAN NATIONAL RAILWAYS
Subtopic:   FREIGHT RATES TO BE CHARGED ON EASTERN LINES
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April 4, 1927

Mr. J. L. ILSLEY (Hants-Kings):

Mr. Speaker, my remarks on the second reading of this bill will be very brief. I realize the desire on the part of every member to finish this session at the earliest possible moment, and I would not say anything on the bill at all if I did not deem it my duty to do so. Thus far in the debate no one on either side of the House has given expression to a very wide spread sentiment existing in the maritime provinces at the present time, namely, a sentiment of appreciation of the efforts of the government in introducing this and other measures for the benefit of the maritime provinces. I was very much surprised this afternoon to hear the partisan speech of the hon. member for York-Sunbury (Mr. Hanson), and I should like to remind the House that in his remarks he did not in any way represent the true sentiment, either Liberal or Conservative, of the maritime provinces. I can assure hon. members that the feeling of the people of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island is one of appreciation of the government's activities at the present time.

I do not propose to go very fully into the merits of the bill before the House. The bill carries out one of the findings of the commission which was presided over by Sir Andrew Duncan. It has the weight of the findings of a non-partisan, independent and judicial inquiry presided over by a brilliant Englishman, Which of itself, in my opinion, creates the presumption that these

C.N.R.-Eastern Freight Rates

findings are sound and should be implemented by legidation.

I want to congratulate the Minister of National Defence (Mr. Ralston), the Postmaster General (Mr. Veniot), the Minister of Railways (Mr. Dunning) and particularly the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) upon the statesmanlike way in which this whole question of maritime rights has been handled. If we look back on the agitation which has been made for a recognition of maritime claims I think it will be agreed that there is not a man in this House, indeed there is not a person in the maritime provinces, who will not now say that the proper step to have taken was precisely the step that was taken, namely, the appointment of an independent commission of inquiry. It will be recalled that, during the course of the agitation for maritime rights, various views were put forward by various persons in the maritime provinces as to what should and what should not be done in that part of Canada. The Conservative party conducted the agitation for some years with great political success. They suggested a number of remedies of various sorts. Some of these suggestions have been condemned by the Duncan commission while others have been partially adopted. The course of the Conservative party in the province of Nova Scotia in the matter of maritime claims has been a tortuous one. In the year 1923 they started by advocating secession of the province. A little later they branched off to secession of the Intercolonial railway; and in the array of remedies which they advocated one was always in the forefront, namely, the restoration of the integrity of the Intercolonial railway. No one believes to-day that the integrity of the Intercolonial railwaj'- should be restored, that is to say, that the Intercolonial should be withdrawn from the Canadian National system. As a matter of fact the Duncan commission specifically finds against anything of that sort being done. I say, therefore, that the Prime Minister took the proper course when he decided, prior to the session of 1926, upon the appointment of a non-partisan commission of inquiry. It will be remembered that in the session of 1926 the government was bitterly assailed by the members from Nova Scotia on the Conservative side because of the appointment of that commission. It is quite interesting at this time to find the hon. member for York-Sunbury (Mr. Hanson) attempting, as he did this afternoon, to claim for the Conservative party credit for what has been accomplished. It is interesting to refer to Hansard of last year to see what stand was taken then by hon. members on

the Conservative side of the House in relation to the appointment of this commission. My predecessor in the representation of Hants-Kings cun page 969, said this:

Surely we have a right to conclude that Bourbon stupidity could not be better exemplified than in the present proposal to appoint a royal commission to inquire into this matter.

The hon. member for Digby-Annapolis said on page 1415:

We want no commission to tell us what is required to bring prosperity to this part of the country We have no faith in commissions of this sort; they will not satisfy the minds of the people. . . . Why waste the

country's money on needless expenditures of this kind.

That was the attitude of the member for Digby-Annapolis in the last session of parliament. At page 2331 the hon. member for Pictou (Mr. Cantley) said:

I have no present intention to here or now attack the personnel of the proposed commission, but for the weighty reasons I have referred to and others eqally important we decline to submit our case to or to be in any way guided or obligated by any finding arising out of an investigation by such a commission.

Later on:'

I again tell the government we do not want a commission.

The junior member for Halifax, at page 436

of Hansard, is reported in terms most emphatic against the commission, while the hon. member for Cape Breton South said, as reported at page 1351:

We do not want any commission in Nova Scotia.

The hon. member for Inverness is reported as follows on page 1407:

As to the appointment of a commission of inquiry, however, I want to tell them that on October 29, the people of the maritime provinces appointed their own commission. That commission now sits within the four walls of this chamber.

It would be very interesting if we had the recommendations of that "commission" put into force at the present time rather than the recommendations of the Duncan commission. To begin with, in regard to the question of freight rates, the Duncan commission has recommended three times as much in the way of benefits to the maritime provinces in this direction than the Conservative party ever advocated. The whole remedy as prescribed by the Conservatives of Nova Scotia for the conditions in those provinces consisted in the reduction of freight rates on certain traffic originating in the maritime provinces and terminating in central Canada.

C.N.R.-Eastern Freight Rates

: That was the sum total of their proposal, You may scan their platform from beginning to end and you will not see any evidence of its having occurred to them that there was anything wrong with other freight rates than those on traffic originating in the east and terminating in central Canada. The Duncan report, on the other hand, properly recognizes the importance to the maritime provinces of local traffic and of the export trade. I was very much interested this afternoon to hear, from the lips of the hon. member for York-Sunbury, admissions which he never would have made in 1911, for instance, the admission that maritime produce is rushing by carloads from New Brunswick into the United' States. In my own constituency, I know, the most important feature of the Duncan report, so far as freight rates are concerned, has to do with the export rates. In my constituency we grow a great many apples. Of this commodity we export more from that constituency, than is shipped from any other part of Canada. Some time ago I had occasion to look into the figures to see -where these apples went and I found, taking the last five years, that of every 100 barrels of apples packed and shipped in Nova Scotia only seven went to the central provinces, while nine were sold in the maritime provinces and no fewer than eighty-four were sold abroad, most of them in the English market. Take potatoes, of which we raise large quantities: ninety-nine per cent of our

potatoes go to the United States, Cuba and the West Indies. In the county of Hants we have large deposits of gypsum, more probably than in all the rest of Canada put together. East year our output was 600,000 tons, practically all of which went to the New England States and to New York. Take, again, evaporated apples. We sent 300,000 barrels of apples to the evaporators in 1925. The finished product went largely to Germany and the Netherlands. Practically all of it was marketed abroad. And a great many of our other farm products such as turnips and strawberries, to mention a few, go to the New England states; others produced in the constituency, and which I cannot recall at the moment, find their markets abroad. It is therefore of the utmost importance to people in. that part of Nova Scotia that the export rates should be lowered. From the map it may be thought that, being on the sea, we have no export rates to pay. This is not so. In the matter of apples, for instance, the rate from the town of Berwick in the county of Kings, which is a large shipping point, to Halifax was seventeen cents per barrel in 1915; it is now thirty-four and a half cents. The

shippers consider that the rates on apples form an onerous burden which is not justified by the circumstances, and they are looking with great interest to the action of the government with respect to export rates.

With regard to the course this debate took this afternoon, I do not intend to pursue the lines of inquiry which were then started, but I agree with a great deal of what has been said by the hon. member for Acadia (Mr. Gardiner) and1 by the hon. member for Rosetown (Mr. Evans). From the best consideration I can give the economic history of the province of Nova Scotia I believe that the question of tariffs is more important than that of freight rates, and that the greatest injury to that province has been done by the protective policy of Canada. I am not here to enter into a discussion of protection versus free trade, but I believe that the population figures, the figures relating to industry, and the facts which are apparent from an examination of the whole countryside show that the decline has been rapid in the province of Nova Scotia since and because of the protective tariff of 1879 and those Which have followed. I am fully aware that certain industries in Nova Scotia may benefit from a. protective tariff, such as the steel industry and possibly the coal industry, but nothing is more useless and nothing is more absurd than for hon. gentlemen to get up in this House and advocate a duty of SI or $2 or $3 on coal, because at present it is not at all practicable.

Topic:   CANADIAN NATIONAL RAILWAYS
Subtopic:   FREIGHT RATES TO BE CHARGED ON EASTERN LINES
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