Mr. E. N. LEWIS (West Huron):
Mr. Speaker, speaking, as I do, for the first time from my seat in the front row of the Government side in this House, I trust you will excuse my diffidence and not allow any imperfection in my presentation of the matters which I wish to submit to prevent you from giving due attention to the facts which I desire to lay before you, and through you before this House.
I was disappointed at not seeing in the Speech from the Throne some reference to the transportation question in relation to the great inland waterways of Canada. I fear that many hon. members, coming as they do from parts of Canada distant from the centres of lake traffic, have no idea of the hugeness of that traffic. To convey to you some idea of what that traffic means, I desire to lay a few facts before you. Sir, we are fortunate in having in Canada a waterway of thousands of miles- to put it accurately-2,384 miles-reaching from the head of salt water navigation to the heart of the country and affording, to a great extent, deep-water navigation to the heart of the continent and making the line of least resistance for the traffic of the one hundred millions of people who line that waterway. To illustrate the size of this traffic, let me give a comparison of canal tonnage. Take the great Suez canal which now takes the traffic of the entire continent of Europe and the British Islands through to Australia and the Orient,-that traffic which originally went around the Cape of Good Hope-and we find that in the year 1911 there were 5,200 vessels passed through that canal, with a freight tonnage of 25,000,000 tons. In the year 1911 there passed through the Sault Ste. Marie canal 25,000,000 vessels. In the year 1913, instead
of 25 000,000 of freight, as in the case
of the Suez canal, there went through the Sault Ste. Marie canal, 79,718,344 tons of freight. And I am proud to say that the quantity which went through the Canadian Sault Ste. Marie canal was 5,674,943 tons more than went through the United States canal at that point. Add to this the traffic that comes through from Lake Michigan on which are the great cities of Chicago and Milwaukee, and the traffic which comes from cur own Georgian bay, and it will easily be seen that the amount in the year 1913 must have been over 100,000,000 tons. This immense traffic on its way to the lower lakes passes in front of the riding which I have the honour to represent. But it will be seen that the questions involved in this traffic are not local questions merely but are of national importance. On the 9th of last November, Sunday evening, while the people on shore were in church, there occurred on the Great Lakes, a catastrophe absolutely appalling, the greatest that ever happened either on the ocean or on the lakes affecting Canada or the United States. The gale that arose at that time wiped out of existence fourteen great steel steamships, eight of them disappearing absolutely, not a soul aboard being left to tell the tale. The loss was 205 stalwart young men. And the vessels, as I have indicated, were not old, unseaworthy hulks, but fine steamships. One of them had been on the ocean for years. Another had been built in a Canadian port. And when the representatives of the owners of that vessel in the city of Toronto were told that the steamship Carruthers had been lost they simply laughed; they said that no gale on the lakes could hurt her. She was a vessel over 600 feet long, and had been built by
the best men on the continent.
One steamship 505 feet long, laden with 9,740 tons of coal, turned over as if she -had been a cork, without a scratch. 0-f the great number of young men who were- lost in front of that port, sixty-four bodies were recovered. Only one of these had been drowned, the others -had all died from exposure, and no bodies were recovered so far that had not life belts on. I refer to -the vessels by name, the Carruthers, the Wexford, an ocean steamship which had been on the lakes for years, formerly in the Mediterranean trade; the Regina, a Canadian boat; the Price, the one of 505 feet long that was overturned with 9,700 tons of coal; the Argus, the Hydrus, the McBean, and Scott. These boats, Sir, could have been saved-I say so here -from the evidence that was given at the inquest-not -a soul need
have 'been drowned, had we been advanced in our aids to navigation. They have on the ocean a wireless call, I believe S.O.S., which gives notice when a boat is in distress, but this is an entirely different proposition. There is no boat in the
world that could have lived or effected a rescue in that sea at that time with the heavy snow storm that then prevailed. To show you the force of the [DOT]storm, I may say that one boiat which was cast ashore on the American side, on which there was an insurance of $300,000, had a hole broken by the sea in her iron plates in the bow, into which you could put a barrel. Her inside bulkheads saved her until she went ashore-in fact all the boats that went ashore were saved.
Nothing could better illustrate the danger of the approach to Goderich harbour in a northwest gale than the fact that since the tragedy of November three steamers on three different occasions had attempted to enter that port in a northwest gale but had to put back to the open water. I contend that had the port which I represent and, which for the last ten years, the Govem-ment of this country have designated a port of refuge, and have been trying to make a port of refuge, had that port been a foul weather port instead of a fair weather port, [DOT]and had there been a wireless station with a hurricane call, there was not one of those boats that could not have been in shelter inside of three hours. As a basis for that opinion, I give you the record as produced at the inquest of the weather bureau in the city of Toronto. On Friday morning, the 7th of November, the *weather bureau sent out to the stations a warning that there was a strong northwest gale coming. The stations of all the upper lakes put up signals to that effect so that every captain had warning. That was on Friday the 7th. That storm continued through the 7th, and through the night of the 7th and on the 8th, but abated on the evening of the 8th. In the morning of the 9th of November the barometer on all the ships went up; the northwest storm signal was still up, but the storm had abated and the Kamanisti-quia left Goderich for Fort William at seven o'clock on the morning of the 9th of November. At half past ten o'clock she met the Wexford thirtv-five miles northwest of Goderich bound for that port, but that boat and her crew were never seen afterwards. At 10.40 o'clock on the evening of the 8th of November, the weather bureau in Toronto, according to the evidence in Toronto, had distinct information
and evidence that there was a northwest hurricane approaching. They were asked why they had not sent out that notice. They said that the telegraph lines were not working. They were asked why they did not use the telephone. I think, Sir, that on one or two occasions since then I have seen telephone messages sent to the lighthouse after the telegraph service was closed, to bring word of a storm. We have at Goderich the highest point on the whole of the shore of 200 odd miles, it is 120 feet above the water. To the north and south of the town the shore declines. I have asked that we should have a wireless telegraph station there. Even with the harbour entrance protected as I hope it will be, there should be still this extra call, because of late years the captains have not placed much credence in the weather bureau reports.
As to the importance of this port which I have the honour of representing, and to show you that this is not a local or parochial matter, but a national matter, we are a link in the great chain of inland navigation from our great northwest to the sea, and you all know that a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. We do not compete with the great ports on the Georgian bay, Collingwood, Owen Sound. Depot Harbour or Meaford. Our trade is entirelv different, although we are eight miles nearer to Fort William and have a straight open course from the entrance to Sault river. The port with which we do compete is the port of Buffalo. To show you how the grain which is grown in Canada and should go through Canadian transportation systems is drafted away, I merely cite that up to the first of last September, 31,483,952 bushels of wheat: 2,465,490 bushels of oats; 1,721,679 bushels of barley; 6,319,303 bushels of flax, making a total of 41,990,990,423 bushels, went through the port of Buffalo from Fort William and Port Arthur.
We have in Goderich two large industries, one an elevator of over one million bushels capacity, which this year and the year before made over 50 per cent of its total value in earnings. That elevator is owned by people in western Ontario; every miller, in almost every town in western Ontario, from Toronto, Guelph, and London, to the Great Lakes, has stock in that company. We also have a mill which is directed by and connected with the Winnipeg Western Canadian Milling
Company, with a capacity of one million, and that mill grinds every day over two thousand barrels of
flour from Manitoba wheat. That flour is shipped to every place in Canada. The stockholders of that mill are in almost every place in Canada showing you what I said is the fact, that the matter is mot one of local concern only.
To show you that the water traffic that passes through lake Huron is the greatest in the world I would cite the traffic of the great port of London which, during the year 1912, had 37,678,142 tons of freight and the great port of Liverpool which had 30,273,355 tons, the two together not making much more than two-thirds the amount which passes through lake Huron. All of this traffic is diverted to the other side of the lake because on our side of the lake there is no port with an entrance properly protected in case there is trouble from the northwest. We have a marine engine works in Goderich second to none in Canada engaged in building engines and repairing boats for this Dominion. Were that entrance properly protected a great trade would develop there. When I say we do not compete with the Georgian bay ports we do in this way: Every dollar that is
spent on a port in the Georgian bay is for the trade that goes to that port, while there is no dollar spent in Canada on public work which can produce the result that would be secured if spent to protect this harbour on this two hundred and seventy miles of coast line, on the second largest lake in the world which has a depth of six hundred feet. I contend, contrary to some statements of one or two at the inquest and the matter was gone into exhaustively, and all the marine evidence that could be was taken-that the plans as set out by the engineers of this Government are amply sufficient to make that a safe harbour. The only thing necessary is that it should be done at once, not piecemeal. This is not a matter of politics, it concerns one side of this House just the same as the other. There is only a certain amount that need to be expended and a great deal would be saved by quick completion because owing to the conformation of the harbour it now fills in each year, involving yearly expenditures for dredging. In the name of Canada, I ask this Government, and this House, in the interests of the country and in the interests of humanity, to make this port a safe port of refuge as it was formally constituted by this Government many years ago, and I ask that it should be completed at once.
It is to be noticed that after the recent disaster the United States Lake Carriers .
Association spent thousands of dollars in rescue work on .our shore and paid for the rescue and other costs irrespective of whether the sailor found was a citizen of the United States or of Canada. Every dollar properly spent in public improvements is well spent. Too much cannot thus be spent.
In that connection I would like to recall fto the House a Bill which I had the honour of introducing in Parliament some years ago. It was a Bill, a very proper Bill, I think, in reference to the load line on ships -Bill No. 98, January 20, 1911. I think our ships on the Great Lakes should have a load line. While it has always been contended by ship owners that a vessel properly built with proper steam capacity and properly loaded would be safe in any storm, the recent disaster proves the contrary to be the case. The only Canadian boat saved that went through the storm was the Kaminis-tiquia. She was absolutely light and left the harbour of Goderich ten hours after the weather bureau in Toronto knew there was to be a northeast hurricane on the Great Lakes. The hurricane began at three o'clock m the afternoon of Sunday the 9th of November, and it was all over apparently that evening because the watches of all the men were found stopped about the same time.
There is another matter which seriously affects the people of western Ontario. I know more of western Ontario than other parts of Canada and I hope other parts of the Dominion are not affected as much as we are in the east. I refer to bank interest. Bank interest has recently been raised from 6 to 7 or 8 per cent. I know that because when I applied for some money to come down here to discharge my duties as a legislator I was told that I should have to pay 8 per cent on the money, although I believe the law says they cannot collect 8 per cent. But we cannot afford to go to law with a bank. I contend-and I ask the Minister of Finance to bear this in mind, for I have already brought this matter before the House-that when a bank raises its interest on loans from 6 to 7 per cent, it should also raise the rate it pays to depositors from 3 to 4 per cent. If they were compelled to do this it would benefit a great number of people because it is well known the farmers of western Ontario have many millions of dollars in the banks at 3 per cent. It is a poor rule that will not work both ways.
I would like to draw the attention of the Minister of Justice to another matter which has been called to my attention in several
communications and to which a great deal of publicity has been given in the press. I refer to some indemnity being given to a man or his family in the case of a man who has been imprisoned and afterwards found to bd absolutely innocent of the offence with which he was charged. In the year 1907 I drew up a Bill at the request of some legal gentlemen in Toronto, men of large and kindly spirit, but on presenting the same to the law officers of the House I was informed that I could not present the Bill as it was a Bill including the expenditure of money and must therefore be introduced by a member of the Government. Here is one letter which I' have just received in connection with this matter:
Let the country know that Parliament had been given the opportunity to clean the skirts of Canadian justice, over this gross miscarriage of justice. It seems to me, that it is one -of the strangest travesties of our laws, that there is absolutely no redress, from the State, in cases of the kind, where innocent men are punished, and imprisoned by the State, on the principle that ' The King can do no wrong ' when every one knows that a cruel wrong has been perpetrated by the representatives of the King, in the name of justice. Surely a compensatory Act could be framed to meet just such cases. That the King can do no wrong is surely a survival of mediaeval darkness, and the blind worship of an ancient fetish, that no legal redress can be obtained from the State, when the liberty of the subject has been subjected to gross injustice by the same State.
I do not believe that there will be very many cases requiring this kind of compensation. For eighteen years I was in charge of the criminal jurisdiction of one of the largest counties in Ontario, and I remember discussing this matter with the jailer who was a man of great thought. He stated that in the whole of his many years' experience as a jailer he only knew of one man who had been imprisoned and afterwards found not guilty.
The hon. gentleman who last spoke made some remarks in reference to the navy. I do not purpose entering into that question, but I would ask this Government if they could not see fit, in the interest of the sea-faring men of the Great Lakes and of Canada generally, to enter into negotiations with the mother country by which five or six large cruisers could be sent here at the Christmas season of the year in order that the young sailor men and fishermen of Canada, who have nothing to do from the end of November to the first of April, might be allowed to take a cruise from Halifax or St. John to the West Indies or other places, and to exercise with the big guns, they to be paid
their wages by the Dominion of Canada during that period, and, after three years of such exercise and winter cruising, to be called naval reserve men, and paid a certain amount in consideration of the fact that they would be at the beck and call of the State when needed. I agree with Lord Fitzwilliam, and other authorities, that the one great need of the British navy is men, and as we have 80,000 odd fishermen and sailors who have nothing to do during this portion of the year, and who would only be too glad of the three months' training and service with the guns, I contend that this would be a very effective way of showing our loyalty to the empire. These men, I think, would be fully entitled to the amount which they would receive up to a certain age limit after passing through their three years of training. There is no more deserving class in Canada than these men who are fishermen or sailors on the Great Lakes or the sea coasts of Canada. The farmer in our fine country knows very well when he goes to bed at night that when he wakes up in the morning he will find his fields in front of him, and his barns in their proper places; or, if they are not in their places, he will find his insurance policy, and not be at any loss if anything occurs while he sleeps. But the poor fishermen, generally hardy men of no great means, when they go to sea, have no idea whether they shall ever return or whether they shall find their nets or what they are looking for. It would be a deserving payment to men of that class.
There was one more question brought forward by the hon. member for Oxford (Mr. Nesbitt); that was in reference to immigration. You may remember, Mr. Speaker, that I had a Bill before this House at one time to restrict immigration from certain parts of Europe. I refer to the southern parts of Europe. I think we should take warning from the example of the great nation to the south of us. From the time of the formation of that nation until 1830 they doubled and trebled in population out of the loins of their own people. They grew strong in stature and intellect. From 1830 to 1880 they doubled and trebled with an immense immigration, but where from? From the proper parts of the Old World in which to get a good class of immigrants-from the British Isles, from the north of France, from Denmark, Germany, Sweden, Norway, and they still grew a nation of men and women strong in
who are treated with some contempt by the more astute politicians who sit in the ministry from the plains of the fertile West. More than wheat grows there.
Now, Mr. Speaker, that is a very significant statement: more than wheat grows on the plains of the fertile West. We have some positive statements in this article. One is that this Government is controlled in Montreal. He goes on to say:
Not only the legislation alone, but the policy of the Government Is dictated by the railways and the banks and the big interests in the city of Montreal.
Now, there could not he a more sweeping indictment against any. Government, and I wish you to note that this indictment is made by a man who ought to know.
That is not all. In addition to the outside influences that we are told control this Government, there is a system of internal boss rule. Special reference is made to an astute minister from the plains of the fertile West, who not only controls the ministry, but treats with contempt the members of the Cabinet who come from the province of Ontario.
In Japan, before they adopted western ideas, some fifty years ago, we are told that there was an official called the great Shogun, who had complete control of all the legislation and of all the official business of the Empire of Japan. He was supposed to be second in rank to the Emperor; but he was not second to the Emperor in power; in fact, he had authority above the Emperor himself. He had complete control in the Empire of Japan. When the great Shogun said: Go, the people went; and when he said: Do this, they did it; for, if they did not do it, why, their heads were cut off.
To speak plainly, my reading of this article which I have just submitted to you, Sir, is that the hon. member for South York (Mr. Maclean) suggests that the Minister of Public Works (Mr. Kogers) is the great Shogun of this Government, and that this great Shogun goes so far as to treat the Ministers from the province of Ontario with contempt. I do not call this witness, however, for the purpose of showing that there are dissensions in the Cabinet. I produce this evidence for the purpose of showing that the policy and the legislation of this Government are dictated by the big interests. If any one on the other side of the House disputes that fact, I would ask him to fight it out with my hon. friend from South York. .
The second witness I am going to produce is no less a gentleman than the hon. Minis-,
ter of Marine and Fisheries (Mr. Hazen). We all know that my hon. friend the Minister of Marine and Fisheries is a man of very great ability and energy. When he took up the important portfolio of Marine and Fisheries, very high hopes were entertained of him in the Maritime provinces; and I have no doubt that it was felt on all sides that he would administer the affairs of the department for the development of the great fishing industry of this country. I feel sure that he would have lived up to those high expectations, if he had not in some cases been ruled by outside influences.
Let me give you an example of how the Department of Marine and Fisheries is dictated to by the big interests. There is. an old regulation, which was passed, I understand, in the year 1894, prohibiting the export of sockeye salmon from the province of British Columbia. It was not a tariff regulation; it was absolute prohibition. The fisherman who caught the salmon could not sell them to the American buyers. If he did so he incurred the penalty of confiscation of his boat and his license, and he was put out of business. He must sell to somebody [DOT] within the province of British Columbia, or not sell at all. That was a regulation which occasionally bore hard on the fishermen. I have been told by hon. members from British Columbia that often the price on the south side of the line was better than the price on the British Columbia side, and even on some occasions the canners in British Columbia would not purchase the fish from the fisherman at all, and that he had to dump them back in the sea. I am not dealing just now with the question as to whether that regulation is a bad one or a good one. It was passed by the old Conservative Government in 1894, and has existed throughout the whole period of the Liberal Administration up to the present time. It may be a bad regulation or it may be a good one; but the question that I am discussing is that the Conservative members from the province of British Columbia, when they were in opposition, took the ground that it was a bad regulation, and that it ought to be repealed. My hon. friend the member for New Westminster (Mr. Taylor) was the champion of the fishermen on different occasions for ten years during the time of the late Administration. I often listened to the speeches on that question and I used to think that he made out a pretty strong case. In order that I may give him fair play, I shall quote his own words as they appear in
' Hansard ' referring to this regulation. They are to be found on page 8424 of ' Hansard ' 1910-11. He was applying at that time for the repeal of the regulation. He makes the statement that there is an absolute fish combineamong the canners of British Columbia. Then he goes on to charge Mr. Brodeur, then Minister of
Marine and Fisheries, not only with preventing them from selling their fish on the Canadian side by limiting the number of licenses, but with prescribing an absolute prohibition of export so that when a Canadian fisherman has 400 or 500 fish in his boat ready to sell, and no Canadian canner will buy them, and when an American canner within a few miles away holds out his hand for those fish, the minister says, I prohibit you by force of law taking those fish across the boundary line. My hon. friend from New Westminster described the regulation as a cruel one. He goes on to say:
We find the Minister of Finance standing up for the capitalists against the fishermen. The minister should he of all men the first to stand by the poor fisherman who is not able to protect himself.
Later on in the same debate, he speaks as follows:
Under the law as It has stood the fishermen are absolutely prohibited from selling their fish on the American side. They are prohibited from exporting it at all, but the canners have not been prohibited from importing fish. Upon bringing it into the country, it is true, they pay a duty, but as they export the greater part of their product, that duty, minus a very small charge for office fees, is always refunded to them, so that the transaction costs them nothing more than putting up a cheque from the time they bring the fish into the country until the time they export it.
After the present Government came into power, I must say it is to the credit of my hon. friend from New Westminster that he endeavoured to carry out his promise to the fishermen. In the session of 1912, the matter was brought before the House. I think it came before the House on the motion of my hon. friend the member for Comox-Atlin (Mr. Clements). Several hon. gentlemen from British Columbia on that occasion repeated the old protest against this regulation. They said it was a bad regulation; that it should never have existed, and they demanded its repeal. They said it was not in the interests of the fishermen, and that it was altogether in the interests of the canners. They condemned the Laurier Administration for not having repealed it. After
the discussion which lasted for a day, I think, the hon. Minister of Marine and Fisheries (Mr. Hazen) summed up the dehate. He denounced the regulation. He said he was surprised that such a regulation could be possible. He stated that he had already repealed it and that statement was received with tremendous cheers by his supporters from the province of British Columbia. We on this side of the House thought that our friends on the other side had scored a kind of victory over us. Let me read a part of the minister's speech on that subject. I quote from page 2492 of the ' Hansard ' of 1912. This debate took place on the 5th of February, 1912. The minister said:
The effect of that regulation was this: a boat might catch 300 or 400 salmon and on bringing its catch to the cannery would find a notice posted up to the effect that on that day the cannery would not take more than 100. One would think that the fisherman could then take his fish to the American or some other market; no, under the regulations he was absolutely prohibited from doing so, so that he had to dump his extra supply, in come cases 200 or 300 salmon, back into the sea.
Acting on representations or representatives from British Columbia endorsed by the officials of my department on Saturday last I had that regulation repealed, so that now the fishermen can send their fresh fish to other markets than to the canneries.
The regulation we have repealed was probably passed years ago, before the fisheries were properly understood, and when probably some wealthy men had sufficient influence to have this regulation made in their own interest. It was then continued in force from year to year until it became a serious scandal and a great subject of grievance to the fishermen.
I wish you to mark these words of the minister : ' On Saturday last I had that regulation repealed.' Now, Mr. Speaker, you will be surprised to learn that this regulation was not repealed at all and that it is still in full force. What is the explanation? No sooner was this declaration of the minister's sent abroad in the newspapers than the combine in British Columbia woke up and for the next day or two kept the wires hot with messages to the Minister of Marine and Fisheries, to the Prime Minister, to everybody who, they thought had influence with the Government. We had these telegrams placed on the table last year in response to an order of this House, and from that return I wish to quote. The first telegram which I will quote is addressed to Hon. J. D. Hazen, Minister of Marine and Fisheries, and is signed by W. D. Burdis, secretary of the British Columbia Canners' Asociation. This association, I am told, represents all
the large canneries in British Columbia. There is evidence of this in the papers submitted to the House. Among these are the following: The Fraser River Canning Association, Limited, British Columbia Salmon Cannery, Canadian Canning, Limited, the British Columbia Canning Company, Limited, the British Columbia Packers' Association, Limited, the Anglo-British Columbia Packing Company, and the Wallace Fisheries, Limited. All these fish canning companies are in this combination, represented, we are told, by Mr. W. D. Burdis, who signs this telegram:
To Hon. J. D. Hazen, Minister of Marine and Fisheries, Ottawa.
Repeal of fishery regulations prohibiting export of raw fish reported in the press. If correct, salmon canners in British Columbia desire respectfully to enter their earnest protest against the removal of the restriction, as it would be disastrous to the industry, already seriously handicapped. It would constitute a reversal of a carefully considered policy adopted by the Conservative Government in 1894, would promote piracy and dishonesty, and deprive citizens of this province of much labour, to the advantage of competitors in the United States. You are prayed to suspend action in this connection, pending receipt of a memorial setting forth the facts.
W. II. Burdis,
Sec'y B. C. Salmon Canners' Assn. Yiou will notice incidentally that this telegram says that it ' would promote piracy and dishonesty ' to allow a British Columbia fisherman to sell fish to the Yankees. In eastern Canada, in the last election, we were told that it would be unpatriotic, and bad for the flag, if we were allowed to sell a barrel of fish or a bundle of shingles to the Yankees. But they go further in British Columbia; it would be piracy-which is punishable by death-in the opinion of the British Cblumbia Salmon Canners' Association, for the fishermen to sell their fish in the United States.
The next telegram I shall read is one to the Prime Minister, which that right hon. gentleman turned over to the Minister of Marie and Fisheries, in the following letter:
Ottawa, Ont., February 19, 1912.
Deputation from British Columbia salmon canneries arrive Ottawa Monday morning next to interview Minister of Fisheries and Cabinet regarding new regulations authorizing export of Canadian Soekeye salmon to American canneries, taking business away from our canneries and Canadians employed. Last year every man and boat was put into service. We were short sixty-five per cent of deliveries in actual sales. If exportation allowed it will be resented by Pacific salmon industry, wholesale grocers, consumers everywhere. Election decided against reciprocity. This new movement will reverse will of people by Order in Council.
Cancelling of boat taking very objectionable. Hope nothing be done until deputation heard. Regret Hon. Hazen's departure for Washington before deputation arrives.
(Sgd.) R. L. Borden.
Hon. J. D. Hazen,
Minister of Marine and Fisheries,
The third telegram is from the Canadian Manufacturers' Association in Toronto. It appears that the canners' combine in British Columbia, fearing that they had not sufficient influence with the Government to secure the reversal of the Order in Council, decided to apply to headquarters. They went to the Manufacturers' Association in Toronto and asked them to send a message to the Government in regard to this matter. And here is the message:
Toronto, Ont., Feb. 20, 1912. Hon. J. D. Hazen,
Minister of Marine and Fisheries, Ottawa.
Advisory Committee Canadian Manufacturers' Association, in conjunction with the Association's British Columbia Branch, strongly urge retention of regulation prohibiting export of raw salmon pending a thorough investigation of the situation by experts, believing that its cancellation at this time may injuriously affect the canning industry of that province. This association stands firmly by the principle of manufacturing Canada's raw material as far as possible in the Dominion.
G. M. Murray, Secretary.
To sum up the whole story, which is a rather long one for me to go through today, it comes to this: First that regulation was condemned by the Conservative members from the province of British Columbia year after year while they were in opposition. Second, it was an issue at the election in the province of British Columbia in the general election, and I" am informed that hon. gentlemen opposite who were candidates in British Columbia, in that election pledged themselves that if they were elected they Wiould have it repealed. The third point is that this was declared to be a bad and oppressive regulation by a number of British Columbia members who spoke after the election of
1911 in the discussion in the session of
1912 to which I have referred. In the fourth place, the minister consulted the officers of the department, and the officers of the department said that it was a bad regulation and ought to be repealed. In the fifth place, it appears from the statement of the minister himself that he consulted the British Columbia members supporting the Government-and it happens that all the members of this House from British Columbia are on that side-agreed that the regulation was a bad
regulation and ought to be repealed. The sixth point is that an Order in Council was prepared, and, as I am instructed, was passed, cancelling the regulation and declaring it repealed. The seventh is that the repeal of that obnoxious regulation was announced in the House by the Minister of Marine; and, after all this had happened, a telegram from the combine in British Columbia, and another telegram from the Manufacturers' Association at Toronto, were sufficient to send them all to the woods, and to hang up the regulation which the Minister of Marine declared was iniquitous, and it is still in full force. I submit that, in that case at all events, I have proved my case. But if it is necessary I can give you further proof. Let me refer you to the fact that when the fishermen on the Atlantic seaboard, in the session of 1912-13, applied for free cordage for their lobster traps, a privilege that had been granted to them for years by the late Administration, they did not get this privilege because the cordage combine had more influence with the present Administration than the fishermen had. Let me also refer to the fact that when the western settlers, after the election of 1911, applied for a proper construction to be put on the tariff clause relating to rough lumber imported into this country, the Government listened to the lumber combine of British Columbia rather than to the settlers, and the settlers had to fight their case through the highest courts of the realm before they could beat the Government out and regain a concession which had been granted to them by the late Administration. And last, but not least in consequence, let me refer you to the fact that when, a few days ago, a unanimous resolution was passed by the Legislature of Manitoba asking for free wheat, they apparently got the cold shoulder from this Administration because free wheat is not acceptable to the railway companies and to the millers. The member for Portage la Prairie (Mr. Meighen), I understand, is to follow me. Perhaps he will tell us whether the Government are really in favour of giving free wheat to the West or not. We would also like to hear from him on the question of free agricultural implements. I understand he was the champion of the farmers some years ago in regard to free agricultural implements, and moved an historic resolution in regard to this question. I presume he 10
did not accept the office of Solicitor General without some understanding about these two important questions, and it would be interesting to know just what attitude he and the Government he supports take in regard to these questions.
In the Speech from the Throne reference is made to the fact that there is a certain amount of depression in Canada at the present time, but no remedy has been suggested, and may I venture to say that there is no remedy possible without an attack upon the privileges of the big interests, and we can hardly expect that there will be any remedy applied by this Government; it would be a kind of suicide for the present Government to apply any remedy of that kind. But they have tried to administer consolation to us by telling us that we have in this countrv unbounded resources. No doubt that is a good thing, but such resources are not much good to a hungry man. Think what a comfort it would be to one of the poor fellows waiting in line to get into some soup kitchen in Montreal or Toronto to be told that in this country we have boundless resources! It reminds me of the story of the Bourbon princess who, when she heard that people in the streets of Paris were crying for bread, at the time of the French revolution, said: * If bread is so scarce as that why do they not eat cake or biscuits?'
Reference has been made in this debate to the navy, although it does not form any part of the speech from the Throne. It is a strange thing that the speech does not refer to this important question. Hon. members who have spoken on the other side, or most of them, have condemned the Senate for their action in regard to the navy. Let me ask, what is the offence of the Senate in reference to that question? As far as I understand, the offence of the Senate is that they have adopted the Conservative policy. The Conservative policy was that no step be taken until first there was an appeal to the people. I suppose that every Conservative in this House who was here in 1911, in the preceding Parliament, voted for Mr. Monk's amendment that no steps should be taken in regard to that very important question of a navy until first there was an appeal to the people. How is it that these hon. gentlemen are in any position to criticise the Senate in regard to this matter when the Senate has simply adopted the policy they themselves laid down? Why, Sir, about twelve months ago, the Prime Minister himself proclaimed
that policy of an appeal to the people. Everybody remembers that in the citv of Montreal a banquet was given to the Prime Minister which was attended by four or five hundred of the leading Conservatives in this country, and that at that banquet the Prime Minister made a very impressive and eloquent speech which appeared in the press of the country with great headlines, and no doubt made a great impression on the people of this country. He said that there was a crisis in the affairs of the empire; he heard the German guns in the North sea, he had visions of trouble for the empire and he said that, so far as he was concerned, he would do his duty, he would clear his skirts, and he laid down a policy which he said ought to be adopted. He said: ' I will call Parliament together, and submit a vote to Parliament asking for $35,000,000 for the immediate help of the empire in regard to naval affairs; if Parliament refuses to vote the $35,000,000 I will appeal to the people of Canada. He carried out part of his programme. He called Parliament together, he appealed to Parliament for $35,000,000; Parliament refused it but he did not appeal to the people of Canada. He thought better of it. No man knew better than the Prime Minister that an appeal to the people of Canada on that question would meet with defeat and consequently he did not make the appeal and I submit that neither the Prime Minister nor anv of his supporters is in a position to-day to criticise the Senate for having adopted the policy that was approved of by the Conservative party and their leader. There has been a very large number of vagaries in connection with this naval discussion and when the history of it comes to be written it will be a very interesting chapter indeed. Two years ago or a little more, hon. members from the province of Quebec thought that the Naval Act ought to be repealed. I understand that many of them came here under pledge that they would repeal that Act. That was an absurd kind of pledge because the Naval Act deals with a number of other things in addition to the navy; it regulates the protection of fisheries on our coasts. We have always had a Naval Act in this country. Prior to Confederation, in the little province from which I come, seventy-five years ago, we had a Naval Act; we had regulations that are to-day in the Naval Act and if the Naval Service Act had been repealed by these gentlemen they would have had to enact immediately another one or else
there would have been a great deal of confusion in the affairs on the coasts of this country. But you will remember that after the opening of the first session in the fall of 1911 my hon. friend from Dorchester (Mr. Sevigny) put a question on the order paper: Does this Government intend to repeal the Naval Service Act? He did that very early in the session. This question was called over again and again for several months. I well remember the scene that used to happen every week when the Speaker called this question. A cloud came over the manly brow of my hon. friend the Minister of Inland Revenue (Mr. Nantel) and an extra wrinkle came into the face of my hon. friend the Postmaster General (Mr. Pelletier). The Prime Minister himself looked anxious, and the question was allowed to stand week after week, and it was only towards the end of the session that they mustered up courage to say: 'Yes, we will repeal the
Naval Service Act.' But the Naval Service Act still stands, and there has been no further word from the Government so far as I know that it is to be repealed. That strikes me as one of the vagaries in regard to this question. A great deal of amusement was created amongst several members of the House at the position taken by my hon. friend from East Hastings (Mr. Northrup) in his speech on naval defence. He was speaking about rivets and riveters. He said he had information that when a ship was approaching shore the rivets fell out in buckets' full, and as there were no riveters in this country capable of putting them in again, it would therefore be unsafe to have ships on the coast until we could get riveters. That seemed a very amazing statement to hon. members on this side of the House, and especially to my hon. friend from Pictou (Mr. E. M. Macdonald) and myself, who live in a town where there are hundreds of as good riveters as you can find anywhere in the world. And New Glasgow is not the only place in Canada where you can find riveters. The latest phase of these vagaries on the part of the Conservative party is in regard to a proposal to establish a shop on the banks of the St. Lawrence somewhere about opposite the city of Montreal. It is stated in the newspapers that the British engineering firm of Armstrong, Whitworth & Co. have organized a company to start a shop at Montreal. Sir Percy Girouard, I understand, is president of the company, and there are a number of able financial men on the board. But the curious thing about it is that while this company is stated in
the newspapers to be building a shop for the purpose of making high grade steel tools and articles of that kind-and it is hoped later on to build ships-yet considerable alarm has been created in the Conservative press over this matter. The Ottawa Citizen has almost gone into hysterics over it. It thinks these people are going to come up here on the Hill and put the German bogey in front of the members, and we shall have to build ships whether we want to or not. That appears to be the idea of the Citizen on this matter. And I understand there are a number of old women in the Tory party who are losing their sleep at nights over the proposed shipyard in Montreal. I think we should be very much pleased to see a new industry coming to Canada. In the discussion of last winter, the argument that our hon. friends opposite used was that we could not build ships. And now they are afraid that we can build ships.
Reference was made in the Speech from the Throne to changes in the Civil Service Act. We are not aware of the nature of these amendments, but you will not blame us on this side of the House, Mr. Speaker, if we are somewhat skeptical about what this Government will do on the question of Civil Service. My hon. friend the Prime Minister, when he was on this side of the House, was a Civil Service reformer himself. He laid down the principle that no man should be dismissed for partisan reasons, that all appointments should be made on merit and not as a reward for party service, that civil servants should be permitted to go on a political platform and make speeches in opposition to the government that was paying them their salaries, provided they did it in a decent and manly way. These are high sounding principles, but how have they been carried out? Will any one pretend that A. B. Morine was appointed on his merits as the best man in Canada for the high position to which he was appointed? Or that Captain Landry, that jailbird down in the county of Richmond, was appointed on his merits? These are only examples. Eighty officials were dismissed in my own constituency, and not one of the appointments made to fill the vacancies was on merit. The appointments were all made as [DOT] a reward for party services. I do not know how many cases there are like this throughout the country, but there must be thousands of them. There have been so many of them that the Government have not been able to count them themselves. More than
year ago a motion was made in this 10|
House asking for a list of these dismissed officials, and while no doubt officials have been working hard at it for a whole year they have not yet been able to give us the list of men turned out of office by this Government.
There are other questions, such as the road question, which is a very interesting one to the people I represent. I take the ground that the Government never intended to make a genuine road Bill. If they had intended to do so, they had an opportunity. There are only six clauses in that Bill, and five of them were passed by the Senate without any amendment. The sixth clause was the one giving the Government power to spend the money just as they pleased ana in whatever province they pleased. We had the assurance of the Prime Minister and the Minister of Railways that this would not be done, but Prime Ministers do not last forever, and Ministers of Railways come and go, too. Changes may take place, and when we pass a Bill we expect it to be permanent. We expect a Bill that will be workable when we have another Prime Minister and another Minister of Railways. The Government refused to accept the amendment that was made by the Senate in regard to that matter-an amendment that made the Bill a perfect one.
Topic: THE GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH.
Subtopic: ADDRESS IN REPLY.