CRUISE, Robert

Personal Data

Dauphin (Manitoba)
Birth Date
December 11, 1868
Deceased Date
June 19, 1932
businessman, farmer

Parliamentary Career

September 21, 1911 - October 6, 1917
  Dauphin (Manitoba)
December 17, 1917 - October 4, 1921
  Dauphin (Manitoba)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 3 of 12)

May 21, 1917

1. Is the Government giving preference to returned soldiers in the appointment of postmasters?

2. Has an application been received from a returned soldier for the position of postmaster at Smiths Falls?

3. Has a recommendation of a returned soldier been made for this vacancy?

4. Is it the intention to appoint a returned soldier to the vacancy at Smiths Falls?

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May 15, 1917


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:-


1914- 15

$182,192,0331915- 16

170,317,8471916- 17



Now we will take the receipts for the corresponding j^ears, and which were as follows :-


1914- 15

$133,073,4811915- 16

172,149,3931916- 17



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.

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May 15, 1917

Mr. ROBERT CRUISE (Dauphin):

Mr. Speaker, I have listened with surprise to hon. gentlemen opposite praising this wonderful Budget of the Minister of Finance. In my humble judgment, the Budget is no compliment to the intelligence of the people of this country. A Budget was brought down in Great Britain a few days ago. They know they are at war in that country, especially do the rich. While the British Chancellor is taking 80 per cent of the gross war profits and raising enormous sumsj the Canadian Minister of Finance runs a small tooth comb through the fringes and raises the paltry sum of $12,500,000. It is time our rich men were making sacrifices commensurate with those of the boys in the trenches. There is a great contrast between that $12,500,000 and the twelve

thousand casualties at Vimy Ridge It is time our manufacturers disgorged. Lloyd George, at the commencement of this war, said that men and money would win the war. Canada has given over 400,000 of her brave sons to fight the battles for freedom and justice in France. And when I think of the hardships that these men have to undergo, in the trenches with water to their knees, and sometimes to theirlhips in mud, sometimes going for days and nights without food and sleep-when I think of the sacrifices these men are making on the fields of France and Flanders, and then think of the paltry sum of only twelve and a half millions taken from the wealth of this country toward the expenses of the war, I think it time that some change were made in the matter of raising money to meet war expenses. As I speak there comes to my memory instances of the sacrifices that have been made. In the principal town of the constituency I have the honour to represent are 'a number of widowed mothers. One of these mothers had two sons; both those sons went to the front and gave their lives cheerfully on behalf of this country. And the widowed mother must put in the rest of her life on $22 a month, the gift of a grateful country. Another woman lost her husband in a Canadian Northern wreck several years ago. She had three or four sons. Of these, two went to fight our battles, and they will never return. Still another woman lost two of her five sons in defence and for the maintenance of the world's freedom. When I think of these sacrifices and then of the fact that the wealthy men of Canada have given only twelve and a half million dollars, I am compelled to say that is not a square deal for the common people. And in my constituency-and I presume that the same is true of every other part of Canada-the noble women lhave worked night and day, sewing, and knitting, and raising money in every way to give to the Patriotic Fund, Red Cross, and Soldier's Aid Society. These people give every dollar in their power, and the wealthy men of Canada have been left practically untouched. In calling for volunteers to fight, we do not take the weak men; if a man is not physically sound, he is turned down. If we want men who are physically strong to fight our battles, surely it is only square to the people that we should look to the men who are strong financially to pay for the war. The Solicitor General (Mr. Meighen) has told the House that the war orders last year amounted to $300,000,000. If our Minister of

Finance had taken: of war profits to anything like the same extent as in Great Britain, he would have had a great deal better showing, to make in taxation. Instead of $12,500,000, he could have shown war profits taxation of $100,000,000. Hon, gentlemen opposite have asked us how we propose to raise revenue if not by tariffs. I have. just, pointed out one way in which a large sum could be raised. Further, there is. no reason why the Finance Minister of Canada should not follow the example of Great Britain and the United States in the matter of income tax. Again, certain calculations have shown that a tax of one per cent on land values in Canada would yield large revenues. Mr. Henry Timmis, of Montreal, in a speech reported in the Montreal Herald and Daily Telegraph of March 28, 1917, estimated that the land values of Canada total $8,000,000,000-five billions; in the towns and cities and three billions in the rural districts. A tax of one per cent on this valuation would bring revenue to the amount of $80,000,000 per annum. I have already shown where the Minister of Finance could have got $100,000,000 in war taxation, and I think that my estimate is a very moderate one, for men who pretend to know say that instead of $100,000,000 he could have taken $200,000,000 from the manufacturers during the last fiscal year. Then, if he had imposed an income tax, I feel satisfied he could have raised at least $50,000,000 by that -means. I am not sure of my ground in this respect, having no means to make more than a rough calculation. The minister has financed the war from the revenues of the year just closed to the extent of $60,000,000. Now, taking all these items together-$100,,000,000 direjct war

taxes, $80,000,000 land value tax, $50,000,000 income tax and $60,000,000 surplus revenues of last year, and we have a total of $290,000,000. I submit in all fairness that if the methods I have -suggested had been adopted, we could have financed the war as we went ialong, which would have been much more -satisfactory to the Canadian -people than to balance our accounts by borrowing money, thus leaving future generations to pay the bill. Had -the Minister of Finance -the courage to follow these methods, he could have accomplished two things. In -the first place, he could have removed some tariff taxation. For instance, he might have taken the tax off agricultural implements, and this would have given a tremendous boost to production. There is no further excuse for this tax, for our manufacturers now have free entry to the United

States, of which they have taken advantage -many agricultural implements made in .Canada are now sold more cheaply in the western States than in our own country. (These patriotic gentlemen are making production easier in the United States by robbing our own farmers. Let me dwell on this point for a moment to show what the western farmer is called upon to endure. When he 'buys agricultural machinery he has to pay a duty of from 25 to 27j per cent. Let me cite my'own specific case. I bought a gasoline tractor and a separator, and, as pearly as I could figure, I paid duties amounting to $500.

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May 15, 1917


I paid $1,275. I do not

iknow what the valuation is in the United States.

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May 14, 1917

1. What amount, if any, has been paid by the Government to Colonel Joseph Glen, who crossed to England from Saskatoon with the 9Sth Battalion?

2. In what capacity is Colonel Glen now

employed? .

3. What amount, if any, has been paid to the family of Colonel Glen for separation allowance?

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