Yes, if you want to be loyal to your country buy American machinery, because then the revenue goes to the Crown. We have to pay more for every thresher, binder and mower, and yet we get no more for our products than does the American farmer, and so the American farmer is given an advantage over U3 by our own laws. If the Minister of Finance could only see his way clear to adopting this method of raising the revenue, he could remove a burden from the western farmers and put them on a fair competitive basis with the American farmers. In that way he would increase the production of western Canada. Speaking from memory, we produced $600,000,000 worth of grain last year in the three western provinces. That is $600,000,000 of clean, hard-earned money and if the burden were lifted from the farmers' back and markets opened up to them to encourage settlement, there is no doubt in the world that instead of producing $600,000,000 worth of grain we could produce twice that amount in a short time
Before we get away from the war situation, et me say that the most important thing that we have to do at the present time is to wm this war. There are four essentia! things in connection with it that require organization and support. First, there is the question of our men in the trenches next the munition factories, then the farmers and producers, and lastly the transportation question. Our men in the
trenches are no good without munitions
with which to face the Germans. They can not face them for any length of time without food. Food and munitions are no good in Australia or Canada or the United States without means of transportation to get them to the men. I feel as if the Government had risen to the occasion in connection with practically everything but the finding of men to take the places of our brave soldiers who are in France. Our distinguished Prime Minister promised 500,000 men to Great Britain. He has failed so far in getting those men. I think it is up to every man on both sides of this House to do everything in his power to fulfil the Prime Minister's pledge to the British Government.
Another point I want to make while I am on this subject is that it appears to me as if this Government were centralizing the wealth of the country. Before the Prime Minister went to England he made the statement in this House that we were getting $700,000,000 worth of war orders. The Minister of Finance made the statement in Toronto that he believed after the war was over Canada would come out of it in a better financial position than that in which she was when she went into it. I 'would like to ask the Finance Minister and hon. gentlemen on the other side of the House, as well as on this side, who is going to come out of this war in a better position? It is not *the' common people of the country, it is not the men who are fighting our battles, but it is the men who are making millions out of the manufacture of munitions. It has been stated that they are making from 25 to 900 per cent. I do not know what they are making, but they are certainly making large profits, and they are allowed to invest them with the Minister of Finance in the war loans, with the result that they are exempt from taxation. In this way the Government are centralizing the wealth of the country. These men are making large profits, a good deal larger than they should make, and they are investing them in Government bonds, which cannot be taxed, so that, in my judgment, the Government are centralizing the wealth of the country in the hands of probably 3,000 or. 4,000 people, which is a great mistake and a great hindrance to the progress of the country.
There has been a great deal said about the way in which this Government are financing the war. I would like to give a few figures bearing upon that question. The tot-al expenditures, apart from the war, for the last three years, were, as follows:-
Now we will take the receipts for the corresponding j^ears, and which were as follows :-
If you subtract the total expenditure from the total receipts you get the sum of $10,712,994. If I am correct in my figures, and I think I am-I do not want to mislead this House or the country-all that has been used to finance the war since it was started is $10,712,994. When hon. gentlemen are talking about financing a great part of the war as we go along, it seems to me that they are misleading the House and the country.
I would like to submit a few more figures in connection with the claim that the expenses of Government are not increasing. In the last year of the Liberal Government, 1911-12, the total disbursements were $137,142,082. In 1915-16 the expenditure of the present Government for a full year, apart from the war, was $170,317,847. If you subtract $137,142,082 from $170,317,847, you get $33,175,765 as the sum that it cost this Government during the last fiscal year to carry on the affairs of the country more than it did in 1911-12, the last year that the Liberal party had anything to do with the running of the country.
I come now to free wheat. I do not intend to dwell upon the question of free wheat to any great extent. It has been said that the farmers of western Canada are pleased to have free wheat. We are pleased to have free wheat because we have asked for it and we have fought for it. We have got it from the present Government, and we appreciate it very much. But we regret that when the Government, or the Minister of Finance, were turning a somersault they did not also give us free oats, free flax and free barley.
The Minister of Finance, when he made his last speech, mentioned the Highways Bill, and claimed that hon. gentlemen on this side of the House were against that measure. If I understand the situation, that statement of the minister is unfair. When the Highways Bill was under discussion, an amendment was moved that when any province got its allotment according to population, every other province should get its proportion on the same basis. That amendment was moved to prevent the hon. the Minister of Public Works (Mr. Rogers) from taking power to create an organization in each of the provinces to spend that money. Wherever there was a Liberal Government in power this Government would create another -organization to spend the money, and the people of Manitoba know what the late Roblin Government did in connection with the building of rpads. In some provincial constituencies they spent as much as $90,000 to win a by-election. We do not want that to occur again.
The hon. gentleman also mentioned the extension of the boundaries of Manitoba. We appreciate very much the extension of our boundaries, but every one in western Canada knows that the territory allotted to the province of Manitoba by this Government was the same as that offered by the late Government. The amount of money paid over may have been a little larger, but the territory was the same. In extending the boundaries of Manitoba, this Government gave Ontario a five-mile strip across the northern part of our territory and a strip ten miles down the Nelson river, half a mile wide; so that Ontario owns the townsite and this strip of land across the northern territory. The amendment moved by the right hon. leader of the Opposition (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) was to the effect that while the House favoured the extension of the boundaries of Manitoba the terms proposed were unfair and unjust to the people of Manitoba and the other provinces of the Dominion. That was the amendment moved, and for that I voted. When the Minister of Finance mentions Manitoba and what has been done for western Canada, and when hon. gentlemen cast insinuations across the floor of the House to the effect that the Opposition, when in power, did not carry out their pledges to the people, I would remind hon. gentlemen that when the present Prime Minister (Sir Robert Borden) was in western Canada previous to 1911, he told the people of the three western provinces that one of the first things he would do if he was returned to power would be to restore to the three western provinces their natural resources. I would remind hon. gentlemen that this pledge has never been fulfilled. I hope that it will be fulfilled in the very near future.
Topic: DEBATE ON ANNUAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE.