FACTOR, Samuel, Q.C.

Personal Data

Spadina (Ontario)
Birth Date
October 26, 1892
Deceased Date
August 21, 1962
barrister, lawyer

Parliamentary Career

July 28, 1930 - August 14, 1935
  Toronto West Centre (Ontario)
October 14, 1935 - January 25, 1940
  Spadina (Ontario)
March 26, 1940 - April 16, 1945
  Spadina (Ontario)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 56 of 56)

April 21, 1931


The question is: Has the government received any application from private corporations for further diversion of water-power rights in the St. Lawrence river?

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March 25, 1931


I hear some hon. members saying, "Hear, hear." I do not know whether that exclamation applies to my remarks that their criticism is reckless in manner or whether they mean that the industry has been ruined. That statement is not correct, and in order to show the facts I intend to quote some figures from the report of the textile industry of Canada for 1928, which has been recently issued by the Dominion Bureau of Statistics. We find that for 1928 Canada's production of textiles was valued at over $100,000,000 more than the production was valued at in 1922. This happened under Liberal administration and with Liberal tariffs.

Referring to the index number of employment by industries we find that in textile products the index number of employment for February 1, I960, was 103.5, while the index number for February 1, 1931, was 99.7, showing a decrease of 3.8. Now I come to the iron and steel products, another of the industries which the right hon. Prime Minister fondles and protects. The index number of employment on February 1, 1930, was 115,5 and on February 1, 1931, it was 93, showing a decrease of 22.5. This table contains statistics concerning 63 industries, of which 56 show a decrease in employment on February 1, 1931, as compared with February 1, 1930. There are only seven industries jvhich show increases and among them are such industries as construction, building of highways and so on, which received artificial stimulation.

Now I should like to refer hon. members to page 6 of this document, which gives us some information with regard to Toronto. I almost said Tory Toronto, but this designation does not apply now. We find that on August 1,

1930, the index number of employment was 115.4, while on February 1, 1931, it was 107.1, showing a decrease of 8.3 in Toronto. On the last page of this document we find the index numbers of employment by cities and principal industries, and in the case of Toronto in, say, the textile industry the index number on February 1, 1930, is given as 108.1 as compared with 97.5 on February 1, 1931. In iron and steel, February 1, 1930, the number is 110.3 as compared with 88.2 on February 1,

1931, a drop of 22.1; while in only one industry is a slight increase shown from Toronto, namely, in the retail trade. This shows at

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February 1, 1930, an index number of 122.3, and at February 1, 1931, an index number of 123.7.

I think that the statements of the right hon. Prime Minister as to industry being revived and stimulated are not correct. As a matter of fact industry has not revived under the policies inaugurated by the right hon. gentleman, and the revival of industry-will never materialize if he maintains those policies, as I hope to show in a moment. What was the situation when the late administration went to the country? The world was in the midst of unprecedented, unparalleled economic depression; inflated stock markets crashed, the flood of unemployment was becoming more widespread; the world was almost distracted trying to meet its economic and social difficulties. That was the situation. It was a situation known to hon. members opposite; and whatever unemployment, whatever suffering existed in this country was due to world conditions and not to the policies of the former administration. Our bon. friends opposite and their followers played politics, a cheap brand of politics. They blamed the former administration for world conditions; they took advantage of a psychological situation; they took advantage of the suffering of the people and handed them a plethora of promises upon which they came into power. But apart altogether from these world conditions we in this country had a national problem of our own as a wheat-producing country, a problem exclusively our own, and that was the finding of profitable markets for our surplus wheat. I wish to refer for a moment to the report of the debates, revised edition of Hansard, of the last special session. Even the right hon. gentleman realized that situation. He knew what the problem was and knew the solution. As quoted at page 29 of revised Hansard we find that the Prime Minister had said:

Recognizing that the marketing of our natural products is a foremost factor in our national welfare I pledge our organization and machinery, in cooperation with private and financial agencies, to permanently establish effective marketing organizations in the countries with which we trade. With these drastic adjustments and improvements to which you are entitled, and with the full employment of our great transportation system, you will have broader markets, and will have them for all time. You have known suffering and have been patient. Let us end it. Take heart.

Well, the people took heart and put the right hon. gentleman into power. And what do we find? I believe that apart altogether from world conditions this trouble of unsold

surplus wheat for which we are unable to find a profitable market has been the source and chief cause of our economic depression, because it immediately effected a tremendous reduction in the purchasing power of the nation, with the inevitable consequences of distress, privation and unrest in the prairie provinces. But Ontario and the other provinces were bound to suffer almost equally, because we must remember that the western provinces consume annually about $200,000,000 worth of manufactured products, and with this purchasing power cut off, the manufacturers in Ontario and in the other provinces were bound to suffer, with the inevitable result of economic depression, accompanied by unemployment and suffering on the part of the people. That was the situation when the right hon. gentleman came into power. We on this side of the house, recognizing the seriousness of the situation, and being very anxious that he should go to the London conference in order to bring back some relief to rescue the farmers from their suffering, and industry from its depression, cooperated in every manner possible at the last special session. We allowed all the legislation to be passed without proper discussion; allowed an upward revision of the tariff to be enacted without proper analysis; even allowed the Minister of National Revenue (Mr. Ryck-man) to become a law unto himself and without consulting parliament to effect changes in the tariff of the country by the subterfuge of the dumping duty. We allowed all this because we realized the seriousness of the situation and wished to cooperate with the government with a view of affording the country some relief. We were also hopeful that the right hon. gentleman would return from the London conference, bringing that relief to our suffering people.

Well, the economic conference took place, and the results are known to this country and to the world. I have not the time to read some of the comments on this conference but I do wish to say in all genuine sincerity that I have spoken with a great many Conservative friends in Toronto-and I have some Conservative friends in Toronto-as to the policies of the right hon. gentleman, and find that even his warmest supporter will not approve of his policies; because a Toronto Tory may be protectionist to the extent of protection against the republic to the south of us but he is not protectionist against the British Empire, against Great Britain. He will not approve of any barriers being set up against the motherland.

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As a new member I listened with a good deal of attention to the explanation offered by the right hon. Prime Minister as to why he came back empty-handed from the London conference. I must admit I was astounded, being a new member, when he compared himself to Sir Wilfrid Laurier as to the conference of 1902. The former Minister of National Revenue gave a full explanation of the difference. But I went to my room and carefully read his speech, and I want to say that the very quotation cited by the right hon. gentleman disproved that claim and that contention. There is no similarity, there is no comparison between the methods of approach, nor is there any similarity or comparison so far as the proposals are concerned. The method of approach of Sir Wilfrid Laurier in 1902, as I read them, implied no demand, no threat. Sir Wilfrid Laurier did not attempt to tell the motherland how to run its business; he did not attempt to dictate the domestic fiscal policy of the mother land. I repeat, that there is no comparison, no similarity even in the proposals. What Sir Wilfrid Laurier said was, "If you remove the tax on Canadian foods we will increase the British preference." The right hon. gentleman decreased the British preference. He put up the barriers higher against Britain and then said, "You tax foreign foods and in return we shall offer"-what? Not easier access to our markets for British products but to make access to Canadian markets more difficult for other countries; that is what he does. Surely there is no comparison; and with all due deference and respect to the right hon. Prime Minister, I think it would have been a finer and more statesmanlike thing for him to have got up in the house and admitted that he was unsuccessful in the conference, instead of beclouding the issue by comparing himself to Sir Wilfrid Laurier.

Although there may not be full agreement upon the part of all hon. members, I desire to offer a suggestion for the betterment of our national progress. Commercial, industrial and even agricultural progress is impossible with our present small population. Our national progress would be accelerated, our national problems largely solved and our future more reasonably assured if we had a larger population. I do not advocate an immigration policy under the present conditions of unemployment, but when we consider that we have nine million people spread over such a large area it does not require much consideration to come to the conclusion that this country can support more than that number of

people and that it requires more than nine million people to support it. Now is the time for the hon. Minister of Immigration (Mr. Gordon) in consultation with the heads of our two transportation systems, in consultation with the leaders of labour, finance, industry and commerce, to evolve some sane, sensible and orderly policy of immigration for the near future under which honest, healthy and hard-working people will be per-mited to come to this country and contribute to its national life and culture. I protest against these unreasonable and inhuman deportations and refusals to readmit people to this county. I attach no blame to the minister; on the contrary I think he and his officials are discharging their duties impartially, efficiently and as humanely as the laws of the land permit, but I do protest strongly against the silly and stupid laws governing immigration and deportation. The sooner these laws are removed from our statute books the better it will be for our national life and progress.

I appeal to hon. members on both sides of the house, irrespective of party and representing as they do all the people, to remove from our body politic that cancerous growth of religious bigotry and racial passion. We may differ in politics, we may differ in solving our economic and social problems, but we should stand united for the good of our country. English and French, Catholic and Protestant, Jew and gentile, rich and poor, labourer and capitalist, old citizen and new citizen, let us all stand united to make this Canada of ours a better and healthier place in which to live, so to build our civilization and our culture that we may be rightfully filled with pride. Let us get rid of this antiforeign complex, this attitude and frame of mind which considers only the native-born as a good citizen and looks upon the new citizen as being a foreigner. Let us get rid of that provincialism which considers it Canadian to ostracize and despise the new citizen. If we do that, in spite of the trying times, in spite of the tremendous problems which we have to solve, in spite of the policies of the present government, I for one will have unflinching faith and implicit confidence in the future of this country because our people have that inexhaustible strength and vitality with which to solve our difficult problems.

On motion of Mr. Sauve the debate was adj ourned.

On motion of Mr. Rhodes the house adjourned at 5.50 p.m.

Easter Adjournment

Thursday, March 26, 1931

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March 25, 1931

Mr. SAMUEL FACTOR (Toronto West Centre):

Mr. Speaker, as the lone and sometimes lonely voice of Liberalism in this house from the great city of Toronto, may I at this time be permitted to participate in this interesting and very informative debate. At the outset however I would like to congratulate you, Mr. Speaker, on your elevation to the high and honourable position you now occupy. I feel certain that I voice the sentiments of every hon. member of the house when I say that you have discharged and are discharging the duties and responsibilities of your office with diligence, dignity and distinction.

At this time may I also be privileged to extend my personal, sincere and hearty congratulations to my leader the right hon. the leader of the opposition (Mr. Mackenzie King) upon the inspiring and masterly address he delivered at the beginning of this debate. I believe, I express the unanimous opinion of all those hon. members who surround and support him and also the opinions of a great many hon. members who sit opposite-although they would not admit it-when I say that the speech of my right hon. leader will go down in history as one of the finest and most powerful presentations of a current political situation ever made in this house. I am sure it will prove a source of information and inspiration to all of his followers in time to come.

Now, Mr. Speaker, may I also as a new member of this house and a young man express my amazement at and profound admiration for the capacity and energy of the right hon. gentleman who now leads the government. W ho said this was a young

man's age? The activity and capacity displayed by the right hon. gentleman clearly refutes that theory; or it may indicate that although not young in years he is still youthful in spirit. I believe it is the wish of every member of this house-certainly it is the wish of those of us on this side, although we do not entirely agree with the right hon. gentleman's policy nor with some of his activities-that he may long continue to enjoy good health and to possess as much vigour and vitality as he has already displayed in his conduct of public affairs.

But, Mr. Speaker, allow me with all respect to suggest to the right hon. gentleman that action without thought is useless; that political action without political thought is often very harmful. He and his colleagues seem to be imbued with the idea-seem to labour under the impression-that action is progress, and progress success, and in their eagerness to act they fail to pause and ponder the significance of their action and the effect of their legislation. A striking illustration of this has been furnished to us by the now famous fiasco of the duty on glass, dr as one newspaper termed it, the "tragedy of effort." Another illustration has been furnished within the last two or three weeks. The government placed an embargo on furs from Russia, ostensibly to protect the Canadian fur industry. But lo and behold we find the same fur industry, every branch of it, sending a delegation to Ottawa to protest against the embargo. That is another example of political action without political thought.

Now, Mr. Speaker, I had intended to present to the house some choice morsels in the way of promises and pledges made by the right hon. gentleman who by virtue of those promises and because of those pledges now occupies the position of Prime Minister, but time will not permit me to go into details. May I summarize his pledges and promises by saying that the right hon. gentleman promised to end unemployment-to provide *work for all those who want work-to build highways, waterways, railways, canals and bridges-to bring prosperity to this country as a whole, to enable Canadian workmen to keep themselves and their families in comfort. And these promises were to be carried into effect to the last syllable or the right hon. gentleman would perish in the attempt. Well, I do not think he himself or any of his followers will contend that he has ended unemployment or redeemed any of those promises even to the first syllable. But what does the right hon. gentleman claim that he

[Mr. J. C. Moore.}

The Address-Mr. Factor

and his government have succeeded in accomplishing since assuming office? Their claims are contained in the remarks made by him on the 17th March, as reported in Hansard of that date at page 59. He said:

Let me ask my right hon. friend and this house this question: Where would this country have been had it not been for the session last fall which gave employment to upwards of two hundred thousand people? Study if you will for a moment the figures of industry. In eight months new factories cannot be equipped and built, but they can be commenced, and the numbers that have been commenced in this country during those eight months are more than those during any other similar period in recent years. New factories? How many men in the counties represented by hon. gentlemen opposite are now finding full time employment against the short days and poor rations preceding the 28th of July? How many of them? What about cotton mills? What about woollen mills?

Later on I find these remarks:

There had to be a session of parliament, as there was, and it gave employment to upwards of two hundred thousand people. So that, with the industrial life of this country stimulated, with improved conditions with respect to employment, with the added employment of hundreds of thousands in the way of unemployment relief, I say that conditions in Canada, bad as they are, are not comparable to what they would have been had we not taken the action that we did.

These are fine words and imposing figures, but may I be permitted for a moment to analyze the statement and scrutinize the figures. In the latest official information furnished the press on March 11 we find that 228,351 individuals have been given employment and 3,975,355 man-days have been afforded to them from the commencement of operations under the Unemployment Relief Act up to February 28, 1931. The figures for Quebec are incomplete. Even these figures appear imposing, but let me analyze them a little closer. I find the government has been in office over seven months, it is over six months since the special session, and I believe fully four months since the unemployment relief branch of the Department of Labour began to function. During that time about

230.000 individuals were given employment, according to the statistics I have quoted,

230.000 individuals obtained 4,000,000 man-days' work. I have added 25,000 man-days' work to complete figures from Quebec. In other words, each man during four months worked seventeen days or at the rate of four days work a month. Analyzing these figures in another way, I find that in the four months that the legislation has been in actual operation we had 100 working days, or 4,000,000

man-days' work. The result is that 40,000 men were given full time work during the four months. At what cost? I want to refer the house to the Senate debates of March 18. But before I quote from those debates may I say this, Mr. Speaker. The answer of the right hon. Prime Minister to a question put to him a few days ago by the hon. member for North Winnipeg (Mr. Heaps) that as regards the appointment of a member of this house as Minister of Labour the intention of the government would be manifested by its action, I think may be regarded as a diplomatic answer or the answer of a statesman.

I submit, however, that the country is entitled to have a Minister of Labour in this house. At a time wffien many of our problems are concerned with unemplojunent, and revolve around labour and industry, this house is entitled to receive information direct, instead of through an acting minister. For instance, the questions in regard to the garment workers' strike in Toronto were answered by the Minister of Immigration (Mr. Gordon). The Minister of Labour said that $69,000,000 worth of employment opportunities had been placed within reach of the people of Canada, and that does not take into account the employment opportunities furnished by the two transportation systems, which bring this amount to about 880,000,000. To summarize the situation, sir, under the initiative of this government, with the aid that all the provincial and municipal governments had provided some $80,000,000, furnished about 40,000 men with four months' work, or 230,000 men with work at the rate of four days per month during that period. Surely the right hon. gentleman and his government will not claim that they have ended unemployment. They have not even reduced it. Unemployment is just as acute now as it ever has been, and in fact it is worse. In the city of Toronto two weeks ago last Sunday we had 5,500 men shovelling snow, and those men were obtained within an hour or two. This will show that the unemployment situation in Toronto has not been ended. Unemployment never will be cured until we properly diagnose some of our social and economic ills and apply proper remedies, even though the application of those remedies may require the readjustment of the relationship between capital and labour, between employer and employee and between the production and distribution of wealth.

Let us further examine the statements made by the right hon. Prime Minister. How many men in the counties represented by hon. gentlemen opposite are now finding full time employment as compared with short

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time employment preceding July 28th? What about the cotton and woollen mills? I want to refer the house to an official document containing the facts and figures, and in answer to the hon. member who preceded me I might say that this is not a mass of unrelated figures and theories. This document contains actual figures which will be admitted by every hon. member of the house; it is published by the Department of Trade and Commerce, under the authority of Hon. H. H. Stevens, M.P., Minister of Trade and Commerce, and it has to do with the February employment situation.

I should like to refer the house to page 5 of this document, which contains a table showing the index numbers of employment by economic areas, the average being based on the calendar year 1926, as 100. We find that on August 1, 1930, the index number of employment throughout Canada was 118.8, while on February 1, 1931, it was 100.7, showing a decrease of 18.1. I should have informed the house that these figures are prepared from data and information secured by the Dominion Bureau of Statistics from 7,431 firms whose payrolls aggregate 904,315 persons, so if the index number for February 1, 1931, which was 100.7, represented a payroll of 904,315 persons it is a matter of mathematical calculation to ascertain that the index figure of 118.8 for August 1, 1930, represented a payroll of 999,570. According to those figures there were 95,255 less men employed in the various industries of Canada on February 1, 1931, than were employed on August 1, 1930.

Hon. members opposite may say that this represents the seasonal drop. I would refer them to the chart on page 1 of this document, which shows seasonal drops for a number of years. This proves conclusively that the seasonal drop for 1931 was the greatest and most pronounced since 1924. This table No. 1 gives the index number of employment so far as Ontario is concerned. We find the same situation in the province of Ontario if we examine it separately. On August 1, 1930, the index number of employment was 115.7, while on February 1, 1931, it was 101.7, showing a decrease of 14. On February 1, 1930, the index number of employment was 117.1, while on February 1, 1931, it was 101.7 showing a decrease of 15.4.

Now I should like to refer the house to another very interesting table contained on page 8 of this document, showing the index numbers of employment by industries, and I intend to refer particularly to two industries contained in that table, textile products and iron and steel industries. Before going into

these figures I might make the general observation that hon. members opposite and their followers in their usual reckless manner, have blamed the Liberal administration and Liberal tariff policy for the ruin of the textile industries.

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