Henry Alfred MULLINS

MULLINS, The Hon. Henry Alfred

Personal Data

Party
Conservative (1867-1942)
Constituency
Marquette (Manitoba)
Birth Date
August 27, 1861
Deceased Date
July 8, 1952
Website
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Mullins
PARLINFO
http://www.parl.gc.ca/parlinfo/Files/Parliamentarian.aspx?Item=6aec5fc3-848c-47c3-b70d-cae7c56afa99&Language=E&Section=ALL
Profession
exporter, farmer

Parliamentary Career

October 29, 1925 - July 2, 1926
CON
  Marquette (Manitoba)
July 28, 1930 - August 14, 1935
CON
  Marquette (Manitoba)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 79 of 83)


March 30, 1926

Mr. MULLINS:

There are a very large number of returned men in my constituency. They are carrying on under great difficulties, but they are holding on, hoping that there

Soldier Settlement Act

will be revaluation. They have been so handicapped that they have not been able to make ends meet. With the experience these men have had I would much prefer to keep them on the land than to admit new settlers who have yet to acquire experience in the western country. It takes a number of years before they can get the experience necessary to carry on operations successfully. The Minister of the Interior knows, as does the Minister of Railways also, that it takes some years to become familiar with the climatic and farming conditions in the west. I am xot going to occupy the time of the House unduly, but during my campaign I came across a number of these settlers who asked me to bring the matter up on the floor of the House and to apply for redress in their behalf. I would suggest that the first minister himself should take a trip into the rural parts of Manitoba instead of paying visits to Regina and Prince Albert, and thus inform himself at first hand of the actual conditions of these men and learn what is going on out in the western country. Having paid $20 an acre for some of these lands, it is absolutely impossible for these men, even in a period of ten years, to break even, in view of the present conditions and the existing ocean rates and railway rates. For the benefit of the House I have worked out a statement of the operation on a 320-acre farm in western Canada, allotting the settler a period of ten years, giving him twenty bushels to the acre and a price of $1 per bushel per year, but writing out the whole thing at the end of ten years. When that time arrives the settler has made nothing but a living unless he raises live stock and possibly poultry. If the hon. member for Brandon (Mr. Forke) takes exception to my remarks about raising nothing but wheat I am willing to put my statement, as to such a case, to which I have devoted considerable time and thought, on Hansard for his information. I suggest to the Minister of the Interior (Mr. Stewart) that he should do something towards helping the men to have live s^ock on the farms, to make them contented'"and to keep them satisfied.

As to the working of the adjustment and as to how it is to be handled, I will have to leave that to the legal fraternity, and to others who are more acquainted with the details. But from the practical standpoint of the men out in the west, I say it is impossible for them to carry on under present conditions I would strongly support a measure for a readjustment of the status of the men on the land in the western country.

Resolution reported, read the second time and concurred in. Mr. Stewart (Edmonton) thereupon moved for leave to introduce Bill No. 17, to amend The Soldier Settlement Act, 1919.

Motion agreed to and bill read the first time.

DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE The House in committee of Supply, Mr. Duff in the chair.

Agriculture-Dairying, including grant of $5,000 to the National Dairy Council, $242,000.

Topic:   SOLDIER SETTLEMENT ACT, 1919, AMENDMENT
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March 29, 1926

Mr. H. A. MULLINS (Marquette) moved:

That, iin the opinion of this House, the Canadian Government Merchant Marine should withdraw at once from the North Atlantic Conference and should be operated independently of any association, conference or combine of steamship lines with the sole object of conferring the greatest possible advantage upon the Canadian producer.

He said: In the investigation before the

committee on Ocean Freight Rates, evidence was given to show that the Canadian Government Merchant Marine were in the combine, and were operating in the combine the same as other lines of steamships. I do not know whether the Canadian Government Merchant Marine is still in the combine and I would like the hon. Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Motherwell) to let us know, because he has stated in interviews on many occasions in western Canada that it was the intention of the government to obtain a reduction of freight rates on the ocean liners. So far nothing has been done. The rate remains at $20, which is too excessive altogether to promote one of the basic industries ol western Canada, the live stock industry.

The sale of the boats of the merchant marine leaves a doubt in the minds of the people out west as to whether we are going to get any redress in the matter of rates at the hands of this government. A private line has been established in the city of Toronto, called the Live Stock Producers' Line, which runs four boats which have been refitted for the cattle trade, and with excellent results. The people in the west are wondering why the boats of

Ocean Shipping Rates

Hon. CHARLES A. DUNNING (Minister of Railways and Canals): My contribution

to the resolution will be brief, and necessarily so. I waited with some interest to hear my hon. friend (Mr. Mullins) who introduced the resolution say something in support of it, and I am still waiting. I do not believe that the hon. gentleman mentioned the resolution at all. It reads:

That in the opinion of this House, the Canadian Government Merchant Marine should withdraw at once from the North Atlantic conference and should be operated independently of any association, conference or combine of steamship lines with the sole object of conferring the greatest possible advantage upon the Canadian producer.

The hon. member did not discuss this resolution at all. Perhaps he is aware now that [DOT] there is no point in it for the reason that it is more than one year late: the Canadian Government Merchant Marine withdrew from the conference in February, 1925. There is, therefore, no object whatever in pressing this resolution upon the House at this stage. I do not think I need say more.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   CANADIAN GOVERNMENT MERCHANT MARINE
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March 29, 1926

Mr. MULLINS:

I am sorry, but I am not in the business. I got old in the trade, and now I feel that a man is so much handicapped by present conditions that he had better be out of it. I feel satisfied that if hon. gentlemen on this side had the reins of power action would be taken very promptly, and that the cattle industry would be on the way to a stable basis within five months. Holding the views I do I would not sit in this House if some action were not taken to obtain redress for the live stock industry, to build up and protect that industry.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   CANADIAN GOVERNMENT MERCHANT MARINE
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March 29, 1926

Mr. MULLINS:

May I ask the minister a question?

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   CANADIAN GOVERNMENT MERCHANT MARINE
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March 29, 1926

Mr. MULLINS:

Mr. Speaker, we have had promises, promises and promises, and none of them have been fulfilled. Western Canada and the country as a whole are tired of promises. The hon. gentleman knows the correspondence which has been going on. We want action; we want something done which will give us redress in connection with ocean freight rates. The trade cannot stand a rate of $20 per head.

The hon. member for Brandon (Mr. Forke) stated that I made insurrections at the grain growers of western Canada. I refute that statement. I am upholding the cattle industry; it is the leading industry; it stands out more and is based on sounder principles than are the activities of the man who is just mining the soil, a soil robber is a menace to the western country. If a man is not in mixed farming he is usually a failure. The sowless, cowless, chickenless farmer of the west! I made that statement before in speaking on this subject, and I make it agaifi. A man cannot be successful in western Canada without live stock. If you go back far enough in

history you will find that we would have very little of the group system and very few Progressives if it were not for the dissatisfied settler who has been producing weeds on the western prairies. He has become so dissatisfied with raising weeds and mining the soil that he is ready to join any old party at all. They have two or three new parties in the west now, which the government will have to contend with if they hold office. There is a party called the Farmers' Union, and there is still another which I have been invited to join. In time you will have the group system, with no stable government at all.

With all due respect to my hon. friend I have everything in common with the man on the land out west. Politics have never played a part and will never play a part, so far as I. am concerned, in matters affecting the interests of the man on the land. I came here with an open mind, ready to support the government in getting a reduction of ocean rates, at the instigation of one of the leaders of the Progressive party, the right bower of the Hon. Mr. Crerar. I refer to Mr. Rice Jones, who requested me to come and give evidence in regard to freight rates. I had some experience in negotiating with the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Motherwell) in trying to get a reduction in freight rates. I took the Canadian government boat Victor, whose freight rates were supposed to be $25 per space. I took her, it is true, because she was the only boat available out of the port, and I had to go to Dundee. I did not want to go to Dundee, but it was all I could get. I asked the minister if he would get a rate of $20, which the conference and the other regular liners were charging, but it was impossible. I was being charged $25 per space and I was compelled to take the boat, because the cattle were ready* on my ranch and I had to ship them to market. The minister wired me and said that on account of going to another port the rate had to be $25. I did not like to crowd the cattle on that ship; they were heavy cattle and I could not put five cattle in four spaces. The capacity of the Victor is 233 spaces, and I was compelled to pay for 270 spaces at $25 per space, which was a gross injustice, for which I was never able to get any redress from the hon. gentleman. I could not do anything. So I was ready to come and support the government in an endeavour to do something in the right direction; I was ready to come to this committee and lend my support to it. But what was the result of that investigation? What did it cost the country? The man behind the investigation was that gentleman who has been in politics since I was a boy in West

Ocean Ship-ping Rates

Elgin. I remember him-W. T. R. Preston- [DOT] a good organizer for the Liberal party; one who used to sing hymns on Sunday afternoon and bring in votes on Monday. I object to such men handling the cattle industry, and if that practice is still followed when the Conservative party comes into power I will still object.

Then there was Duncan Marshall; let me refer to him for a moment. He was sent to England to receive the first cargo of cattle going to the British Isles, and what did he and the other gentlemen do? They put a red 'tape across the gangway, and as the first intelligent Canadian steer saw that tape he nearly knocked Duncan Marshall and the other gentlemen into the Clyde. The cattle should have been allowed to walk off the ship gently, with no red tape in front of the gang plank as a demonstration to the British public of their kindness in removing the embargo. It was a direct insinuation that red tape had kept Canadian cattle out of England for thirty-two years, and in my opinion was a direct insult. Never would a man who understood conditions do a thing like that, but that is what was done, and I say it was an injustice. The government allowed those wild Texas range cattle to go to the Wembley exhibition, which did not permit of the display of true Canadian cattle. Those were not cattle that we raised in western Canada. They were cattle that were brought up from Mexico in the old days of the range and turned loose on our western prairies. They were long horned, range cattle and to represent these as typical of our western cattle was a libel on the undoubtedly fine stock we raise out west. We had the olid range days out west, but those days are gone, and we are now raising thoroughly domestic' ated cattle.

I should like to see the vessels of the Canadian Government Merchant Marine taken out of the steamship combine. They are still charging a $20 rate, and it looks to me as if the officials of the government line still have their feet under the combine table. The present government proposed to give a million and a quarter of the people's money to Sir William Petersen ostensibly to break the steamship combine. What were we to get for that? We were to get a bunch of old hulks belonging to the Thomson line, I think ten in number, vessels not to be compared with the ships of the government merchant marine. I have loaded cattle on the old Thompson line boats in the early days, and they are not ships that are at all fitted for the cattle trade today. What should have been done was to refit the vessels of the merchant marine just as

the Livestock Producers, or the Jensen line, have done. By refitting the ships could have been made very comfortable for the carrying of cattle and could have transported from five himdred to six hundred cattle each, and the government could have handled the cattle transportation problem in the most economical way. But instead of that they proposed to pay out the enormous sum I have mentioned. In addition to that they have paid to their agent, W. T. R. Preston, between nine thousand and ten thousand dollars. They also engaged counsel during the cattle inquiry at $200 a day, with a resultant cost to the country for that item alone of $40,000. Then when Sir William Petersen died the government incurred an outlay of $4,000 to send his remains back to England. This will give an idea of the way the government have been spending money, of the way our debt is mounting up. I do not know where the old ship of state is drifting, but if it continues to drift much longer, God help the man who is struggling to make his way out in western Canada.

1 make this plea not from any personal motive, but on behalf of those who are engaged in the live stock industry in western Canada. They have large numbers of cattle to move to the Old Country this spring but there seems no chance whatever for them to get ocean space. The old line boats have done good work, but their day is past. These ships are not able to make the trips across now, yet it is most urgent that the cattle men should have ocean tonnage for their live stock I would suggest to the Minister of Agriculture that he get busy at once. I suggest that he get say ten vessels of the merchant marine and refit them just as the Jensen line did with their boats. I urge the government to do something so as to afford the live stock industry a chance of moving the cattle so badly in need of transportation. I speak feelingly and earnestly on this matter.

The Minister of Agriculture made an allusion to the dead beef industry, but I may say to him that I am not in favour of shipping dead beef to England. I believe the minister tried the experiment of shipping dead beef at one time and experienced a loss of $50 on every carcass that was shipped. I made a shipment of dead beef myself on one occasion, but that was the only time I ever did it. No man who has any understanding of the Canadian cattle industry would ever favour shipping dead beef to England. He might try it once, but never again. On Saturday evening I had dining with me one *of the largest stock salesmen in England, who imports considerable quantities of South American meats. He told me that

Duty on Automobiles

three and one-half pence a pound was the price at which dead beef sold in England. I asked, "What about the price of Canadian cattle?" He said that the Canadian cattle sold for nine pence a pound. If we can get such a price as that we do not want to go into the lower market. Ireland wants to keep Canada out of the road; she does not want this Dominion to get into the Old Country market. Those who do not understand the trade are the ones who are advocating the shipment of dead meat. Very recently a vessel carrying cattle to the Old Country drifted to the Azores and the opponents of Canada are pointing to the mishaps that they say are likely to occur, as an. argument for the keeping of our cattle out of the British market.

I appeal to the Minister of Railways (Mr. Dunning), who comes from a great producing district in the west, to do something in the interest of the cattle trade. He reminded me the other day that he had sold me cattle twenty years ago. I remember when he was up in that country driving oxen. He knows something about the cattle trade, therefore, and I think we can look to him to take measures that will be in the interest of the industry. Hon. gentlemen opposite are in power through the support of our friends the Progressives and our friends the Labour men. I ask them to do something in behalf of the cattle industry, not to expend all their efforts in the interest of the grain industry. I repeat that the Minister of Railways was identified with the cattle industry and with the building up of the west in the old pioneer days. He knows how badly it stands in need of a helping hand and should be prepared to do something for it.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   CANADIAN GOVERNMENT MERCHANT MARINE
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