Ralph Melville WARREN

WARREN, Ralph Melville

Personal Data

Renfrew North (Ontario)
Birth Date
March 4, 1882
Deceased Date
May 6, 1954

Parliamentary Career

April 5, 1937 - January 25, 1940
  Renfrew North (Ontario)
March 26, 1940 - April 16, 1945
  Renfrew North (Ontario)
June 11, 1945 - April 30, 1949
  Renfrew North (Ontario)
June 27, 1949 - June 13, 1953
  Renfrew North (Ontario)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 85 of 85)

January 31, 1938

Mr. R. M. WARREN (Renfrew North):

Mr. Speaker, in rising to second the motion for an address in reply to the speech from the throne, may I first be permitted to thank the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) on behalf of the citizens of North Renfrew for the honour conferred upon us. There is no doubt that in conferring this honour he had in mind the paying of a tribute to the memory of an old and staunch friend, the late Doctor Matthew McKay. Doctor McKay was an unusual character. In his profession he served the poor just as readily and willingly as those who were able to pay. He always took an intense interest in public affairs. I suppose there had not been an election held in

The Address-Mr. Warren

the last sixty years in which he did not take an active part. He was progressive in his ideas and always striving to raise the standards of the poorer classes.

During the past year we have lost many useful public servants. I am sure we all greatly regret their passing, but their works remain to keep their memories fresh.

In the speech from the throne mention is made of the coronation. It must have been pleasing to the Prime Minister and his ministers to know that while they were taking part in the festivities in England, all across the Dominion of Canada, in every city, town and hamlet, citizens from all walks of life were gathered together to rejoice and celebrate as was being done in England. This must have been pleasing also to Lord Tweeds-muir, the representative of our king, George VI. We have followed with intense interest the travels of His Excellency during the past year. A gentleman who is so anxious to gain first-hand knowledge of the remote parts of Canada must be a useful servant, not only of the people of Canada but of His Majesty the King.

Mention is made also of the tragic crop failures in Saskatchewan and southern Alberta. It is hard for us to realize just what these successive crop failures mean. There is not only a loss of purchasing power to thousands of farmers, but also a reduction in the revenues of our railways. Then in addition the thousands who have been left without any means of support must be cared for.

There is one feature of the handling of this situation which I think is worthy of mention. The government decided, I believe rightly, that it would be much cheaper to reduce the number of live stock in the dried out areas to the minimum rather than to import feed to carry them over the winter. The stock was gathered together and taken to feeding grounds in Manitoba. They were then graded and each animal was sent to the proper market. It appears to me that that was good business on the part of the government. As we all know, there are speculators who are ready to take advantage of the distress or lack of knowledge of the farmer, but the opportunity of taking that advantage was eliminated by the action taken by the government. Much of this stock was sold by auction at the yards in Manitoba and the returns from the sales were made to the farmers in the dried out areas.

We are glad to report that the condition of our farmers generally is gradually improving. Back taxes are being paid up and cars which have been locked up are again being taken out. Telephones which have been disconnected for some time are now being-hooked up. The new agreement entered into between this government and our neighbours to the south has had a great deal to do with improving the condition of many of our Canadian farmers. To quote a few examples: In 1935 we sold $12,987 worth of alfalfa seed to the United States; in 1937 this had increased to $826,507, Of cattle we sold in 1935, $5,617,861 worth; in 1937 this had increased to $13,553,064, an increase of 141 per cent. Of horses we exported in 1935, $630,331 worth; in 1937 the export had increased to $1,309,535, an increase of 107 per cent. Of live poultry we shipped in 1935, $14,535 worth; in 1937 this had increased to $833,235. The percentage of increase in this case would be so great as to look rather ridiculous, so I have not worked it out. Of cream, in 1935 we shipped S7 worth; in 1937 the value of our shipments was $191,911, and even at that we did not nearly fill our quota.

These results do not appear to have interfered at all with our trade to the British Isles. We find that, as regards .the export of cattle, in 1935 we shipped to Great Britain 6.704 cattle; in 1937 this had increased to 9,610, an increase in the numbers shipped of 43 per cent. In 1935 the value was $428,838; in 1937 it was $858,347, an increase of 100 per cent. Of cheese we shipped in 1935 527,196 hundredweight; in 1937 we shipped 811,815 hundredweight, representing an increase in quantity of 53 per cent and in value of 97 per cent.

There is in Renfrew county, and, I suppose, in a great many other counties throughout Canada, quite a number of farmers who to a considerable extent depend upon forest products for their living. We have now reached a stage where we have a market for any of those products. No longer is our pulpwood rotting at the sidings and' our mature timber deteriorating in the woods for lack of a market. Yet we as farmers have a great deal to learn, particularly as to the proper preparation of our products for market as well as the proper method of marketing them. It is comforting to know that in this regard the government proposes to give to the farmers of this dominion every possible assistance. I will give a small example of what may be accomplished in this respect During the last two or three years the live stock branch of the federal government has been responsible for the organizing of some twenty-six associations throughout the province of Ontario which handle eggs and poultry on a graded basis. This business is done at the very minimum of cost. The farmer

The Address-Mr. Warren

*who brings in his product knows he is going to be paid for it on a graded basis, and that the grade he gets at the grading station will be accepted on any market. It is estimated that this has resulted in an increase of three cents per dozen to the farmers who deliver eggs to these associations. That is only a beginning, one small beginning, perhaps, but there are many opportunities; for the field is so large. It is some comfort to know that throughout Canada, outside this house as well as among many hon. members, men are studying and grappling with these questions, and it is to be hoped that the farmers generally will cooperate to bring about better methods of marketing our products.

We have heard a great deal during recent years of the problem of unemployment, and it is some comfort to know that the figures of the past year show a decrease, in this respect, of 213,000 persons receiving relief, representing a decrease of 21 per cent as compared with 1936. In thinking of this question, or for that matter any other, one is likely to be snore or less influenced by local conditions; :and I am glad to be able to report that, as 'compared with 1934, in the north riding of Renfrew relief has been reduced by 85 per cent. I am also pleased to be able to report that for the last seven months of 1937 we have not had any employable men in receipt of relief. I do not think that conditions are particularly abnormal in Renfrew county, but I want to take this opportunity of paying a tribute to the active employment officials and to employers of labour in that county. We have officials who are not afraid or unwilling to go out and hunt jobs for men, and employers who are willing to give a man a chance to get experience and to become hardened up to his job after some months of idleness. We have had splendid cooperation from our officials and our employers of labour. This condition is not anything of a miracle; it is, I believe, something that might be accomplished in a great many municipalities if the .same effort were put forth.

A great deal is said on public platforms regarding the problem of youth. In the rural districts, particularly in those of North Renfrew, this has never been much of a problem. Our boys and girls, apparently, are capable of going out and finding their own jobs. We have had some very happy experiences, particularly during the past year, of young fellows who, having drifted away to the mining areas or the woods, have come back in shining cars, well dressed, with a sufficient competence to enable them to marry local girls. The neighbours get together and give them a

grand reception, showering them with gifts, and away they go to become home builders in Canada.

I suppose this problem of youth is one that has to be faced in the towns and cities. During the last session there was a move on the part of this government to train the youth of Canada, and now upwards of fourteen thousand of our young people are receiving training on a fifty-fifty basis as between the province and the dominion government. These young people are being trained in industry, in forestry, in domestic work and in many useful callings. I note that this work is to be carried on, and that a school for the training of girls is to be opened this week, I believe, in the city of Ottawa.

I have often wondered why more of our young women do not take up -this line of work. It is true that most of our girls prefer to be office workers or school teachers, but it is often very true that the girl who is willing to go into a good home and do domestic work -has more money in her pocket at the end of the year than the office girl or the school teacher; and in engaging in such work she probably gains about as much in culture and really useful learning as she would in a ladies' college.

It is important, I suppose, that we should know what our young people are working at; but it is much more important that we should know that they have an opportunity to work at some useful occupation. I am glad to observe, therefore, -the indication in the speech from the throne -that the government will continue to deal with this problem. This is only the beginning, and I feel confident that what is now being done will develop into something that will be of great benefit throughout the dominion.

In -the collection of revenues, there have been no new sources of taxation this year, so that if we have an increased revenue that is a sure indication that conditions have improved. If there is an increase in revenue in all branches, that again should indicate that the improvement is general. Now what are the facts? In a statement issued recently by the Minister of Finance (Mr. Dunning) we are told that in the first eight months of the fiscal year our revenues had improved over those of the previous year by 18-8 per cent; or, stated in figures, our revenues were up by $57,200,000. The -total for those eight months was 8360,330,000, or -the highest ever recorded.

The use of the mails ought to be a fairly true indication of conditions, because when conditions are exceptionally bad, people hesitate to buy postage stamps. In the Post Office Department, however, we have a

The Address-Mr. Bennett

wonderful machine that delivers our mails in sunshine or rain, every day, in rural as well as in urban districts, a machine that manages somehow to take care of the great increase in the amount of mail handled during the Christmas rush. And what is the situation in that department? The Post Office Department is operated, not for profit, but for service, though if it can show a surplus so much the better; for a surplus naturally helps the taxpayer, whereas if there is a deficit it has to be paid by the same taxpayer. We have a surplus in the Post Office Department of $3,735,976.73, the highest on record.

Do you know, Mr. Speaker, that in sixty-nine years this particular department has shown forty-two deficits as compared with twenty-seven surpluses? It is gratifying, therefore, to know that there is a surplus in the Post Office Department; it undoubtedly indicates more favourable conditions among the people. In the matter of revenue, it is also worthy of note that the great increase has come from our external trade. Our external trade is largely responsible for the improvement; and there is one feature in this connection which must cause a tingle of pride in every Canadian, and that is that Canada, a nation of eleven million people, now occupies fourth position among the exporting countries of the world.

It should also be of interest to the Canadian people that during the past year new trade agreements have been arranged with fifteen different countries, and that negotiations in the direction of liberalizing trade have become almost continuous. I am sure there is nothing that would do more to prevent war and to put an end to the fear of war than fair trade agreements. I hope that the example set by the Department of Trade and Commerce will be emulated by all the nations of the world.

We have in Canada at present a royal commission of inquiry which apparently has been causing a measure of unrest in the minds of some people lest changes which might be proposed would create disharmony between provinces. Undoubtedly their fears are uncalled for. I had the pleasure of attending a little dinner the other day at which were present members of this house from almost every province in the dominion. The impression I gained at that dinner was that if the matter is left with hon. members on this side of the house, harmony and unity will prevail.

Taking the good with* the bad I believe this government can face the coming year with great courage and optimism and hopefulness. I doubt whether in the history of

Canada any government ever more fully enjoyed the confidence of the people. This sentiment is clearly felt as one travels here and there throughout the country; one gathers it not from Liberals alone, but from members of different political parties. The people feel an assured confidence that this government is carrying on and will carry on in the best interests of our great dominion. If any proof of that were required we have sufficient in the fact that since this house met last year six vacancies have been filled, five of which were filled by Liberal members. One went to the opposition, but even that was due to the generosity of the government in allowing an acclamation.

I take great pleasure, Mr. Speaker, in seconding the motion of my hon. friend (Mr. Francoeur) for an address in reply to the speech from the throne.

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January 31, 1938


May I ask the right hon. gentleman a question?

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