Mr. H. A. MULLINS (Marquette):
Mr. Speaker, being a new member from the western prairies I take the privilege of congratulating you on your re-appointment to the Chair. It is nearly thirty years since I had the privilege of being a legislator; it was as a member of the local House in the province of Manitoba. The same class of men that sent me to that House have sent me to this one. It was said by some hon. gentlemen opposite that the question at issue in the recent election was the tariff. Well, in my constituency that was not the case. The tariff came into the issue slightly; the transportation question stood out foremost in the election. Marquette was formerly represented by Hon. T. A. Crerar. He was a grain _ grower, or at least he was in the grain business. I have the honour now to occupy that seat. But I am in a distinctly different business- the old time-honoured business called the cattle trade; in other words, the live stock industry of western Canada.
The live stock industry will save western Canada, if hon. gentlemen opposite will give it some consideration. Several attempts have been made to help out that industry, one
attempt being to secure lower ocean freight rates. Being closely identified with the business, I was asked by those interested in Manitoba to attend before the special committee appointed last session to consider the Petersen contract, to give evidence and to do what I could to help the industry towards getting a reduction of freight rates. I attended with a perfectly open mind, but I never witnessed such an absolute farce or such a sham perpetrated on the public as the Petersen contract committee. There could not have been any sincere intention on the part of the government to give us a reduction in freight rates and so help that old industry, the cattle trade of western Canada.
I say that advisedly, Sir, for if they were sincere in their desire to help the industry they had the remedy in their own hands, without subsidizing any steamship company, without making any bargain with Sir William Petersen; they had their own ships-the Canadian Government Merchant Marine. When I discussed with the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Motherwell) this means of reducing ocean freight rates on cattle he said: Oh, those ships are no good, they cannot carry cattle. I submit that that is not correct. I have shipped cattle by the Canadian government boat Victor, and she carried my live stock as satisfactorily as any ship that I have chartered for the last thirty years. There are twenty-four ships of the Canadian Government Merchant Marine of over 8,000 tons . each that could be utilized to carry the live stock of the western prairies to the markets of the world, and they would be as suitable for this traffic as any cattle ships that are now in the service. A company in Toronto has taken over the Jensen line, and they have turned their ships into the cattle traffic by simply removing certain interior fittings and making a few other alterations. The first boat leaves this week, the Ontario; she will be followed by the Manitoba, the Saskatchewan and the Albertan.
If the Government were sincere last year in their expressed desire to help us as producers on the land, they could have refitted those ships of the Canadian Government Merchant Marine so that they would have been available to carry our cattle to the markets of the world. But no, Sir, they preferred to sell these ships at prices which make my blood run cold when I reflect how far they are below the real value of the ships.
I have been told by a man who knows thoroughly well what he is talking about that eight of these ships were worth three times the price they were sold for. I have under my
hand a list of the ships sold. Six were sold to one company called the Great Lakes Transportation Company of Midland, and two others to N. M. Patterson. The latter were sold for $50,000 each, while those sold to the Great Lakes Transportation Company realized $40,000 apiece. Why, Sir, they were worth that for scrap iron. I do not know whether they were put up at public auction or not, but to me it looks wrong to sell these ships at such a low figure. The gentleman whom I travelled with on my way to Ottawa told me that he is connected with a shipping company in Cleveland, and that he would have bought these ships at three times the prices realized had he known they were going to be sold. He has a number of ships tied up in Fort W illiam at the present time and he is using them for the storage of wheat. He told me that these government ships were worth more money than they were sold for just for storage purposes.
All these ships were over 3,000 tons. In the early days when we were shipping out of Montreal the boats only averaged about 4,000 tons. A good many years ago one of the boats of the old Donaldson line of only 3,000 tons carried our cattle very satisfactorily. But these government ships were from 3,500 to 3,900 tons, and yet they were practically given away for the ridiculous prices of $40,000 and $50,000 apiece. This is wrong, this is unfair to those of us in western Canada who are engaged in the live stock business, and western Canada has protested and sent representatives to champion the cause of the live stock industry. There are plenty of men sitting at the other end of this chamber who will look after the wheat but not enough of them are looking after the live stock. I am not one of the men who is a soil robber; I am not one of those who went out to that western country and Stole the fertility out of the soil; I am not that type at all. I am in the live stock industry, a feeder and producer of cattle, one of those on the prairies who are trying to make two blades of grass grow where but one grew before. In the early days, as general manager of one of the leading ranches in western Canada, the Cochrane ranch, I was driven from pillar to post by those steam-plow propositions, those disturbing elements which came into that western country, stole the fertility out of the soil, drove the legitimate business off the prairies and took possession. They came in, tore up the soil and robbed it and what do we find to-day? We find the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Motherwell) with a number of professors from the Minnesota Agricultural Col-
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lege coining back to seed the land they took from us and gave to their friends. Their friends had closed leases and they made us take open leases. The settlers came in and plowed up the land and we gave way to them. To-day we find them spending thousands of dollars on professors to re-seed that land and bring it back again. The constituency which I represent is one which believes in diversified farming, not in a steam-plow only, who if there is a little bit of roll in the land do not want it. They come in there with a steam-plow-God help them-sowless, cowless, and chickenless farmers. Just a short time ago, Mr. Speaker, I was asked to an old-timers' meeting in the northern part of the province. While I was there a chap came into the store and asked for six cans of Borden's milk, or Carnation milk-I do not know which, but he asked for canned milk. Then he turned around and asked for a crock of butter. I turned to him and asked if he was a farmer, and he said he was. I said: "Well, you cannot be much
of a farmer if you are buying butter and canned milk," and he said "I haven't a live thing on the farm." Nothing but tractors and gasoline! The tractors are ruining western Canada. I am pleased to say to this House that the trend of the times is changing and they are starting again to love the horse; they are thinking more of the horse. They do not like the smell of the exhaust pipe. I read in the paper something to the effect that it was cancerous and they are afraid of a cancerous growth. They much prefer the smell of the horse, and we are going back to the horse on the prairies. When we do that we are approaching success and we will have a richer country. God and nature have endowed western Canada as they have no other country. We have wonderful opportunities out there. I can do on the western prairies, in the provinces of Manitoba and Saskatchewan, what cannot be done in any other country-raise and produce live stock outdoors without putting them in a stable, fatten and prepare them for the British market and make a gain of two pounds per day on those fertile prairies. Many farmers neglected the live stock industry and let his lands run to weeds. The live stock industry has to come back and redeem a lot of these farms now in a deteriorated condition. The right hon. leader of my party (Mr. Meighen) knows what has happened in the Portage la Prairie district through the continual mining of the soil. The weeds have been allowed to grow and very little attention has been paid to fertilizing the soil.
Now, Mr. Speaker, I can only say to hon. gentlemen opposite who hold the reins of power that if they will give us a chance to get to the markets of the world at something like a reasonable figure we neither want nor ask for anything more. The tariff had very little to do with my election; it was the transportation problem that came in first and last, and the insincerity of the gentlemen opposite, who were always going to do something. I met the secretary of the hon. Minister of Agriculture-who apologizes for him quite often-the day I was leaving to go out on this campaign. She said "Oh, Mr. Mullins, we fixed it. We are going to get you the reduced rates on live stock." I said "Miss Cummings, you are too late; we are going to do it ourselves." She said "What do you mean?" and I said "I am going to run in a constituency and try to solve this question." You will not hear very much from me, Mr. Speaker, as to the constitutionality of the government's position or as to the question of who should control parliament, but you will hear from me on live stock and transportation questions, as they affect the men on the land in western Canada.
The mover of the Address in reply to the Speech from the Throne (Mr. Elliott) seemed to want to take the credit for the removal of the embargo. That is a question I at least should know something about. Twenty-eight years ago I wired a member of this House who was then sitting on the government benches as to that embargo. I have taken it up with every minister of agriculture including the present member for Victoria, B. C. (Mr. Tolmie), Hon. Mr. Crerar and the present minister. I have discussed the question for thirty years with various persons in authority. I was in Dundee when the British government placed that stigma against Canadian cattle, an action on the part of Great Britain which was absolutely unfair to Canadian shippers while it was in the interests of the Irish. Ireland at the time was represented in the House of Commons by a number of gentlemen who fought its case with vigor, and they finally won out. The occasion of the embargo was this. Two ships known as the Montseaton and the Huronia arrived in Dundee with shipments of cattle and it was claimed that an animal taken from one *of these ships was affected in some way. The cattle were removed and without a fair examination it was decided that they were suffering from pleuro-pneumonia. The Canadian cattle were thenceforward shut out. At the time of this incident I had an interview with two of my friends, a Mr. Edward Watson
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and a Mr. Witherspoon and they both agreed that beyond any doubt it was a most unfair deal to Canada. Mr. Witherspoon said to me, "It is utterly unfair, Mullins, but so long as I live on this side of the water I am determined to press for redress; I will fight the case on behalf of the Dominion." I on my part undertook to do the same; I said that I would champion our cause so long as I lived on this side and so long as the embargo remained in force. And between us we have fought on this side and in Great Britain incessantly for thirty years for the removal of that embargo. Those two gentlemen I am sorry to say have crossed the Great Divide; I am the only one now living of the three. Hon. gentlemen opposite are taking credit to themselves for the advance in the price of live stock which has accrued to us since the removal of the embargo. Well, the prices did advance. There was an increase of 2 cents a pound while the price was around 4 pents; that was before the embargo, was removed, whereas now the price is around Q cents per pound. It did make a wonderful difference to Canada, for the removal of the embargo opened up a great market for us.
I do not claim credit for this achievement; it was not I who brought about the removal of the embargo. But there are gentlemen to whom the credit is due and who are too modest to claim it. The removal of the embargo from our Canadian cattle was due to the efforts of two gentlemen who sat at the War conference in 1917. Mr. Walter Long had asked the question, "What can we do for Canada?" The answer came from a gentleman whom I can see sitting in this chamber at the moment; he said, "Take the embargo off Canadian cattle ". And the reply came back that this would be done upon the declaration of peace. This fact cannot be denied for I have the proof right here in a report of the proceedings as published in the Westminster Gazette. With your permission, Mr. Speaker, I should like to read a brief extract from this report so that hon. gentlemen may know exactly to whom the credit belongs. Sir Robert Borden and the hon. member for South Winnipeg (Mr. Rogers) took part in that conference and I have never heard either of these gentlemen on any platform in this country taking credit to himself for what was done. I do know however that the promise to remove the embargo upon the declaration of peace was extracted from the British authorities at that conference, and I am proud to live under the flag of a race of men whose word can be relied on. Let me read from the report:
Mr. Rogers: Yes, but still, we do not want to be placed in a false position. This is an old sore and an old grievance, and now is the proper time to have it cured, because the facts are all in our favour.
Chairman: The Minister of Agriculture has undertaken to do it.
Mr. Rogers: Do not you think we should have a resolution about it?
Chairman: You do not want a resolution, do you- or if you like you can simply move that the embargo on Canadian cattle be removed as speedily as possible.
Mr. Rogers: I beg to move that.
Chairman: Mr. Prothero accepts that, and there is an end of it.
_ Arthur Griffith-Boscawen, who was Minister of Agriculture in Great Britain at the time, was utterly opposed to the admission of our Canadian cattle into the Old Country and he would not listen to any proposals looking to that end. He stood for election in England and his Labour opponent, with only one plank in his platform-the admission of Canadian cattle into the British Isles for the purpose of improving the food supplies of the labouring masses-was able to defeat so considerable a public man as Sir Arthur Bos-cawen by a majority of some 10,000 votes. Sir Arthur Boseawen got elected in Taunton afterwards but at that time he would not listen to any suggestion that Canadian cattle should be allowed to enter Great Britain. A royal commission was appointed to look into the health of Canadian herds and that commission reported a clean bill of health for Canada. I may say that on two or three occasions I took the matter up myself, writing to the Minister of Agriculture with a view to discussing the subject of the embargo with some authority. I received a letter from the present leader of the opposition (Mr. Meighen) together with an introduction to Sir Arthur Boseawen and I proceeded to England at my own expense to interview that gentleman. But he turned me down quite coldly; he positively refused to have anything to do with the question. I said therefore that inasmuch as I had fulfilled my mission I considered myself at liberty to do what I liked. As a consequence we held a meeting. Some of my friends who were very much interested in the live stock industry in England called a meeting in Central Hall in London and we moved a resolution which was accepted unanimously by that audience of 7,000. Everyone in that assembly was in favour of the removal of the embargo and the resolution carried without a dissenting voice. Let me read a paragraph from it:
This meeting of London retail meat traders expresses its great dissatisfaction at the decision of the government not to remove the embargo upon Canadian cattle coming into this country for purposes other t^an immediate slaughter at the ports. It reminds the government of the pledge given to Canada at the
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Imperial conference in 1917, to remove the embargo at the end of the war, and also points out the unanimous decision of the royal commission which reported on August 30 last, in favour of the removal of the embargo.
That resolution was transmitted to the British House of Commons. I accompanied Lord Beaverbrook to Norwich where we held a similar meeting and passed a similar resolution. I went also to Newcastle where the Duke of Northumberland presided at a large meeting and where the same resolution was adopted. The same thing occurred in Dundee and in Beccles, and these resolutions were all forwarded to the British House. The cause became so popular over in England that it came before the House in 1922, and became law in April, 1923. It has opened up a great market for us. As I said before, I do not claim any credit for this result but for thirty years I have fought for it, and I certainly know that no credit is coming to hon. gentlemen opposite. I leave that to the judgment of the House. This government has taken credit on the public platforms all through the west for the great prosperity in our cattle trade, and I say it is not fair for them to take the credit from those to whom it rightly belongs, and who really did the work. This is what former Prime Minister Asquith said, in part:
It really does not require any comment. Can you be surprised that every Canadian statesman-I think Sir Robert Borden was the principal representative of Canada at that conference-that every Canadian statesman from Sir Robert Borden onwards, including, as we know from the statement which he has made in the Canadian House of Commons, Mr. Meighen, the late Prime Minister, took that as an explicit and direct pledge, given with the full authority of the Imperial government, that the embargo would be removed, and removed as speedily as possible? This amendment asks the House to go back on that. Quite apart from the merits of the case-which, I agree, are arguable-this amendment asks the House of Commons to authorize the government to repudiate a pledge given with as much solemnity, as much emphasis, and as much definiteness as any pffedge could possibly be.
Commander Bellairs: It did not bind the House of Commons.
Mr. Asquith: You can repudiate it if you like. But consider the effect of a pledge, given as far back as 1917, to one of your principal dominions. Is the House of Commons going to go back on that?
A pledge was given to Sir Robert Borden and to Mr. Meighen regarding the entry of our Canadian cattle into Great Britain, and I say that the action of these two gentlemen has made thousands and thousands of dollars for the cattle raisers of western Canada. Western Canada does not want to ship young, light, immature steers into the United States, for feeders there to make a profit on them. We want to bring the animal up to about 14011-16
1,200 pounds, and then have an avenue open to a profitable market, and the British market is the best market of all. Great Britain is rampant with foot-and-mouth disease, their herds are depleted; but here in Canada we are in the unique position of having a clean bill of health all over the country, we are raising the best type of steer, the very kind that is asked for in the Old Country market. I know that the hon. member for Brandon (Mr. Forke) will endorse what I say. He is a Scotchman, and he knows the Scotchmen like our Canadian steers. I was over there last winter, and I saw the Irish steers standing at the rail while our Canadian steers were being taken. Our cattle do wonderfully well over there. The Scotchman, Mr. Speaker, is a wonderful man for feeding cattle. He commercializes his farm, makes a real farm out of it. He is not a soil robber, but puts back fertility into the soil. He is not a disturbing element at all, but is a satisfied, well-doing man. He believes implicitly in two things- the Sabbath day, and turnips. He feeds turnips lavishly to our cattle that go over there from western Canada. We can go into that market with our immature cattle and get the very top price. The United States market is all right for the bigger and older cattle, but the immature cattle of from 800 to 900 pounds should never be shipped over to the United States and sold there. In my opinion financial arrangements should be made so that a man can put cattle on feed lots in western Canada. The day of the big ranches is gone. All through the west, south of the main line of the Canadian Pacific, was a big ranching country, and it should have remained so, but the ranches have gone, and smaller herds on feed lots must now be raised in that part of the country, and cattlemen should prepare for that market on the other side which offers such wonderful opportunities.
Now the question is, how to get our cattle over there. I had 250 cattle on feed just outside the city of Winnipeg, and it is on account of shipping conditions in the cattle industry that I am in this House to-day, because it means a sacrifice on my part to be here. I did not come here for any other purpose except to champion this cause. I took up the question of moving these cattle with the Minister of Agriculture, because I found when I wanted to ship them from a point just thirty miles west of Winnipeg the transportation companies wanted to go fifty-fifty with me, and no man in the west, or in any other country, could stand that. The transportation companies took just one-half of these four-year cattle to pay the freight,
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and who were the offenders, Mr. Speaker? It was largely the Canadian Government Merchant Marine, under the control of hon. gentlemen who sit on the other side of the House. I have a copy of the bill of lading here. I took that space at $25 a head, and contracted for shipment to Dundee. I then wired to the Minister of Agriculture and asked him if there was no way of getting that rate reduced, that it was excessive, and we could not stand it. The regular shipping companies, Mr. Speaker, if you put five cattle in the space intended for four will make a reduction of 10 per cent, but the merchant marine does not do that. The capacity of the Canadian Government Merchant Marine boat, the Victor, is 233 cattle, and they wanted me to put 270 cattle into the space intended for 233. I refused to 4 p.m. do it; I said I would not crowd my cattle in that way, that they would not ride properly. But I put 243 cattle into that space, and they charged me for space for 270. They made me pay $27.33 a head, whereas in the old days I have shipped thousands of cattle at $7 a head. That is one of the hardships that the man on the land is suffering at the present time.
But there is worse than that. I had to pay $6,750 for ocean freight before ever the ship left the dock. The regular shipping companies never do that, but the Canadian Government Merchant Marine, which this government controls, make you pay the freight before ever the ship sails, and as I say, I had to pay $6,750 for freight before the ship left the dock. Suppose, after she had run out one hundred miles, she had struck a rock; where would my freight have been? I had insured the cattle, but not the freight. Of course, if you insure your freight as well as the cattle, it is an additional expense to be charged to the cattle. If that sort of thing goes on and the freight rates continue to be charged up against the live stock industry where will it end? I tried to compile the figures up to date and it was a herculean task to find out all they really charged against the moving of the live stock from the western prairies. I looked up as many items as I could think of and memorized them. When we can draw these eastern provinces closer to the western provinces by establishing a reasonable freight rate we can build up the western country and we can supply feeders to the eastern provinces. You could put Ireland in one part of my constituency, and yet Ireland is shipping a million cattle to England per year, and this wonderful country of ours only ships
110,000 head of cattle per year. True, the man on the land got discouraged. There were so many charges piled up against the live stock that he was getting very little out of it. In the old days we had a rate from Winnipeg to Toronto or Montreal of 601 cents, and to-day the freight rate is 85 cents a hundred. If you speak to the transportation companies, as I have done, they will say that there is no money in cattle. But they are common carriers and they must carry all commodities. Of course they like a car of wheat and lean more to the wheat man than to the cattle man. They can get 60,000 pounds of wheat in a car, and they can get only from 24,000 to 25,000 pounds of cattle in a car. They do not like the live stock industry because they cannot get the amount of earnings out of it. They have piled all their charges up against the cattle and have practically driven the cattlemen out of business.
Those who sit in the seats of the mighty ought to go out to the provinces of Manitoba and Saskatchewan and see the position of the farmer there. This country will never go ahead. The prosperity we hear about from members on the other side of the House does not exist. If those gentlemen simply go west to touch Winnipeg, Brandon, Saskatoon, Regina and the principal cities, they can have no idea, and cannot speak with authority as to the condition of the man who is struggling in the rural parts of the different provinces. They are simply struggling for existence, and are not at all in the position they are represented to be. When you get away from the cities and into the interior the conditions are such that the men become discouraged on account of the charges which are piled up against them.
From the year 1917 the rates went up considerably. In 1916 the rates were 60i cents a hundred to Montreal. In 1918 the rates were raised to 69| cents; in 1919 to 79 cents and in 1920 to $1.08 per hundred pounds. In 1921 the rates were reduced to $1.05. Today the rate stands at S5 cents a hundred. All those charges have been gradually raised for transportation of the live stock. It is not simply that charge, but it is the charge from here to St. John that we complain of. The government owns the shed at St. John and they charge for the cattle walking through the shed and for the electric light in the shed. They charge against the cattle everything possible. They charge for light and charge for labour. They charge in every way that can possibly be imagined, so that it means destruction to the cattleman.
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and he has gone out of the business. But this condition of affairs must be remedied and the trade must be put in such a position that it can survive. I say to the banks, "Under section 88 of the Bank Act you must give money at a reasonable figure to the man who requires it for the purpose of feeding live stock". They say to me, "We cannot do that". I say further, that more discretion should be given to the young men who manage the branch banks to make loans to the farmers under section 83 of the Bank Act, so that they can produce cattle. If any man comes to the bank and asks for a loan under section 88, and the risk is a good one, he should have a perfect right to get the money at six per cent, and not a rate of eight per cent, which is charged now, should be permitted. Cheaper money should be got for the purpose of assisting the live stock industry to bring back the fertility of the soil and rehabilitate the live stock industry in the country. I know that many good farmers have made applications to the banks for loans and have been refused. These men have not the banking facilities necessary to carry on the industry. I am not going to say much more now, but hon. members may rest assured that they have not heard the end of this question, because I will deal with it again. I may not present the case just as I should, in my first attempt after thirty years. After waiting that length of time it takes a little energy and a little nerve perhaps to appear here and speak before educated men including many trained in the learned professions. I am merely a cattleman of the western provinces, but I have tried to put it as fairly as I can.
The tariff does not play any part at all in connection with the live stock industry. One dollar will take care of the binder and fifty cents will take care of the mower, and so on, in regard to all the machinery that is used. You do not have to renew your machinery every year. I heard a discussion about the binders. When the tariff was 33i per cent I bought a binder for $168. To-day the tariff is 6 per cent, and I am paying $268 for a binder. If we have protection I honestly believe the price of all those commodities will come down. I would not be here behind my leader one minute if I thought the tariff would bear heavily upon the man struggling out in the west. If the manufacturer hides behind the tariff and raises the price of commodities my right hon. leader will see to it that that price is reduced. Knowing my man, I am convinced that in such a case the price will be reduced. I am satisfied 14011-16 J
to follow my right hon. friend as a leader. I have known him and watched him grow up, and I would rather take one dose from him than take the conglomeration of tariff doses that is handed out by the other party. I have talked to my constituents along that line and only one man said anything about the tariff. Mr. Mackenzie King started at the coast and gave the people there one dose; he came to the middle west and gave the people there another dose, and then he came to Kingston and gave the manufacturers there another one. This reminds me of the story of the man who had a nice cow which took ill. He met a friend who told him to give the cow a dose of assafcetida. Another friend told him to give her a dose of oil, and another said: "Put some ginger in," and he put all this into a bottle, mixed it all up and gave it to the poor old cow. The result was that everything was all right if she had not belched. The country is belching if we are to judge by the legislation that has come across from the other side.
Mr. Speaker, that good, kindly soul called W. T. R. Preston came into my constituency during the last campaign to talk on that sacred business, the cattle trade. That good, saintly, old man sang when I was a boy in Sunday School:
Bringing in the sheaves,
Bringing in the sheaves,
We will come rejoicing,
Bringing in the sheaves.
And on Monday the paper said that Mr. Preston was bringing in doubtful voters in the constituency. He endeavoured to talk on that sacred industry, the cattle trade and how he was going to place our cattle in the markets of the world. Fancy a man like that discussing a sacred proposition like the cattle trade! That is not the kind of man we want in our constituency. I do not know whether he was in the employ of the government or not, but he came into my constituency, and the result of his visit was that my good opponent, who was a rare type of man, received only 1,665 votes out of the whole constituency whereas 8,000 votes were cast against him. I would, therefore, advise my hon. friends to send a different type of man if they are sending anyone into my constituency.
I have spoken at some length and taken up the time of the House; but I speak conscientiously in regard to that sacred old industry, the first one that was established on the western prairies, that held sway out there until the soil robber and the exploiter of the soil came in and drove us out. Give us some consideration; help us to get to the markets of the world. Give that industry some prae-
The Address-Mr. Motherwell
tical help. Give the farmers some assistance. If the government are serious, with their merchant marine, they can break that ocean monopoly in ten minutes. Do not talk about the Petersen contract and the Atlantic combine or conference, as it is called, dictating from New York as to where the boats will sail, bringing us here to help the government in the effort to get redress so that we can reach the markets of the world at reasonable cost.
Topic: GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH
Subtopic: ADDRESS IN REPLY