Well, as to that time will tell.
Coming now to a consideration of the Speech from the Throne, may I preface my remarks by saying that I have sat here for the last seven or eight days and the proceedings have been an education to me. I have heard hon. gentlemen from all sections of Canada express their views on various subjects, and it has been a source of much enlighten-
5 p.m. ment to me. I have come to the conclusion, Sir, that despite the abundant argument and controversy that takes place at election time the representatives of ihe different groups in this chamber are not .-o very far apart after all. In trying to digest the Speech from the Throne and to assimilate the various subjects dealt with
there I have noted that a great many of these questions were embodied as planks in the Liberal platform some years ago, a fact which the right hon. leader of the opposition has pointed out. On the other hand the Minister of Justice, the leader of the House, has also pointed out very clearly that the same planks figured in the platform of the Conservative party in former years; and a number of them as I understand, appear as planks in the Progressive platform. So that on many questions I do not think we are very far apart, unless it be in regard to the tariff. As to the tariff I shall in a few moments, if the House will bear with me, express my views just as I expressed them consistently at meetings in my constituency and throughout my canvass during the recent election.
Reference has been made to the necessity for extending relief to the Maritime provinces. I am sure that every hon. member, no matter from what province he comes, will consider it his duty, consistent with regard for the interests of Canada as a whole, to do his best to help in the solution of the problems of that part of the country. Speaking personally I shall try to be sympathetic to the needs of every province in the Dominon having due regard to what is right and proper for the country as a whole and with every desire to avoid mere sectional legislation. Towards the question of the return of its natural resources to the province of Alberta, I shall be sympathetic, just as I should be with respect to the grievance of any other province. Reduction of taxation is an issue which must appeal to every hon. member, regardless of the party to which he belongs. The same may be said of a strong immigration policy.
Dealing now with the question of the completion of the Hudson Bay railway, I should like to offer a few remarks about the present railway situation in this country. I am free to confess that I think very grave mistakes have been made by both the Liberal and the Conservative party in dealing with our transportation problems during the last twenty-five or thirty years. That will be admitted I am sure by all fair-minded people; though I am convinced that hon. gentlemen opposite have been greater sinners in this respect than hon. members on this side. But the records of the two old-time parties is not very creditable to either of them in this regard. We have subsidized railways; we have loaned railway corporations vast sums of money and given them immense land grants; we bolstered them up and carried them along until eventually the country was forced to take them over as bankrupt roads. I shall not dwell on this
JANUARY 20, 1926 j
The Address-Mr. Sanderson
subject further except to say that I consider the question of transportation, the question of our railways, to be of vital importance to the people of Canada to-day. Therefore I approach with an open mind the matter of the completion of the Hudson Bay railway. If it can be proved that it is to the advantage of the western country that this road be completed, that it can be [DOT]financed within reasonable means without a vast outlay of money and that it is for the general benfit of the whole Dominion of Canada, I would be inclined to support it. I want to obtain all the information I can on this question; I want to study it as thoroughly as I can, so that I shall be able to give an intelligent vote upon it, when it comes before the House. *
Several other paragraphs appear in the Speech from the Throne, but other hon. members know more about them than I do. They have been fairly threshed out in the debate so far, and I am not going to dwell on them further except to discuss the question of the tariff. In Ontario, especially in the western part from which I come, the main issue of the last election was the tariff. In my observations of politics, politicians, candidates, members of parliament and governments, I have come to the conclusion that the tariff has been more or less of a political football between the two old parties for a good many years. I have always thought and I still believe the basic industry of the Dominion of Canada is agriculture, and the products of the mines, the forests, and the fisheries. Build up your agricultural industry; introduce legislation to benefit the farmers, and the manufacturers will not have to wait very long for increased business. If you increase your exports of natural products to other countries, as we are increasing them and as, I hope, they will continue to increase, automatically the manufacturers, and indeed the whole country, will benefit.
The matter of an advisory tariff board was an issue in my constituency during the recent election, and I took the stand on all occasions that I was in favour of such a board. As far as possible the tariff should be taken out of politics and administered by a board of experts, men trained along that line. Some hon. member mentioned during this debate that he thought an advisory tariff board should scientifically adjust the tariff. I do not like that word "scientifically." The tariff, if it is to be adjusted, should be adjusted in a fair, equitable, honest way, not for one particular class or section, but for the benefit of the masses of the people of Canada. The
trouble in Ontario was that the cities and towns were stampeded by the tariff issue.
Topic: GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH
Subtopic: ADDRESS IN REPLY