BRITISH COLUMBIA AND CONFEDERATION
AN ADDRESS BY HONOURABLE T. D. PATTULLO
Tuesday, April 5th, 1938
THE PRESIDENT: It is a source of gratitude to me to welcome on your behalf and introduce to you the Prime Minister of British Columbia, the Honourable T. D. Pattullo. Several of my predecessors in office have invited Mr. Pattullo to address us but it is my good fortune to reap the reward of their endeavours. The name of Pattullo is so well known to this province that it is strange to introduce one of that name as coming from British Columbia. His career in the West, however, shows that he is a part of that great country. The Yukon in that never to be forgotten year, 1896, knew Pattullo and British Columbia has been guided by him since 1933. From his knowledge of the West and his background of the East he has a right to speak with authority, not only on problems of one section of Canada but as to how they may affect this country as a whole. "British Columbia and Confederation" means much to Canada and the Empire. It is my pleasure and honour to call upon the Prime Minister of British Columbia, the Honourable Mr. Pattullo. (Applause.)
HONOURABLE T. D. PATTULLO: Mr. President and Gentlemen: I appreciate very much the observations and the very kind remarks of the President toward myself and I wish to thank the Club for the invitation extended several times to me to address it and to take luncheon with you. Events have transpired heretofore that have made it impossible. I understand that it is the policy of your Club from time to time to invite men, prominent, temporarily or perhaps permanently, in their respective spheres of endeavour to give reasons for the faith that is in them. I am sure that opportunity is appreciated by all who have the pleasure of breaking bread with you.
Now, Mr. President, you spoke of my association with the Province of Ontario. I was brought up as a boy in the most prolific and the banner agricultural county of the Province of Ontario, namely Oxford County. (Unless it is superseded by Middlesex, Mr. Kirby?) I know Oxfordites are of the opinion that Oxford County is the banner agricultural county.
I can well remember, like many boys, reading tales of high adventure and regretting that we lived in a too prosaic age. Nothing seemed to be happening. All the adventures were in the past, there seemed nothing for the future.
I remember also the occasion when the Bell Telephone Company was established between Woodstock and Brantford and while science has been going on over a long period of time, revealing the laws of nature to men making a study of it, with the coming of the telephone everything seemed to be accelerated very much. Since that time surprise after surprise has met us and surprise is always an element of interest.
Science, through discovery and invention has created so many surprises that really we are almost so sophisticated now that nothing would surprise us at all. We would hardly be surprised if we were to be suddenly transported to Mars: the only thing that would surprise us would be if we ever got back.
I am making these observations now, Mr. President, as to the discoveries and inventions made by science because they have a great deal to do with the position of affairs we find ourselves in today. Not only have they changed the mode of living of people the world over but they have actually changed our viewpoint and mental attitude toward living conditions, toward social conditions throughout the length and breadth of the world. They have not only changed our mode of living but have changed our mental attitude and conception toward questions of morals and religion. If that be so, and it is so, there must be some reason for the disquietude that now exists in some fields of economy. Whether in financial economy or in commercial economy it must mean that financial economy and that commercial economy has not kept pace with science, with its discovery and adventure.
Following the World War we find mankind exhibited right out in the open a primitive instinct which seems to guide him from time to time. I don't know how far the conditions existing in the world today will go in the immediate future in further disruption, which we are, suffering from, but I do say this, while science and invention have made the standard of living possible on a higher basis, on the other hand we know this, that the gods of war must be well appeased because the standards of killing have been so much improved. I think that which we are passing through is a part of progressive evolution. Many changes have been occurring in recent years with kaleidoscopic swiftness. We may not thoroughly understand, we may not appreciate all the implications that are involved. Sometimes we are too close to the picture to appreciate it. We do not see the forest for the trees. I believe, notwithstanding the lowering clouds over us at the present time we should not become pessimistic. We should be courageous, not pessimistic. Pessimism never accomplishes anything, pessimism kills, the only thing it ever does create is chaos. Rather, I think the very conditions that exist today should be a challenge to us, to the very best that is in us to see that we preserve an optimistic spirit in the belief that there is a destiny that achieves our end, rough-hewn though it may be.
In Canada, I think, we are indeed fortunate. We are in an enviable position. We have a vast territory with great resources, and a strong and virile people. I doubt if any other country in the world, taken by and large, has a higher average of intelligence than is found in the Dominion of Canada.
On the other hand, while Canada is in a fortunate position in a physical sense, she has suffered some disabilities. We are fortunately situated in a physical sense; we are not immediately subject to attack by any foreign power. The reason we are in that fortunate position is that we enjoy the protection of Great Britain and the United States. Were it not for the protection of Great Britain and the United States there is no doubt whatever that we would long since have been exploited by peoples with large populations who have no recourse comparable to ours.
Canada has been suffering and is suffering now from growing pains. We have made wonderful progress but we find the terms laid down by the Fathers of Confederation under which the provinces joined into one confederation of the Dominion of Canada are not now meeting the exigencies which have since occurred, are not meeting the responsibilities placed upon the provinces and which rest also with the Dominion of Canada. We find, therefore, that there must be some remedial measures enacted if we are to adequately and properly meet that situation.
I do hope that not only men in public life but all those who have the opportunity through the press and otherwise will not at this time use language or say things that are going to make the logical outcome more difficult. (Applause.) It is easy to create discord and discussion. I have heard it spread across Canada, in our own provinces, in our press and otherwise, by public statement, that the provinces rare too narrow, too insular, too parochial, that they are not taking the broad view of the Dominion of Canada. Let me say this, the provinces are representing their case as they .see it in the light of the responsibility which they have under the terms and conditions laid down by the British North America Act. We do not know yet what the position of the Dominion of Canada will be or what attitude it will take. Not all of the evidence has been heard. I say it would be well if all parties and the people of Canada generally would withhold any judgment and withhold harsh criticism until they hear the whole story. He who answers the question before he heareth it, it is a folly and a shame unto him.
As a consequence of the conditions existing, the Dominion Government has appointed a Commission to investigate various phases of our economic life, particularly the financial relationships between the Provinces and the Dominion.
As you know during recent years several Dominion-Provincial conferences have been held in Ottawa. I had the advantage of attending all those conferences. It was evident from those conferences that the provinces had not sufficient information of each other, nor of the Dominion; nor had the Dominion sufficient information of the provinces to enable the Dominion to come to conclusions, that is decisive conclusions. I think it is well, therefore, that the Dominion Government did so appoint this Commission.
I may say, so far as British Columbia was concerned, we have always felt, since the province joined in confederation that the terms under which we entered confederation were not just. During all this long period of time we have been continually making representations to Ottawa in respect thereto. In the recent conference in Ottawa British Columbia made representations to the Dominion Government, insisting that a Royal Commission should be appointed to investigate the special claims of British Columbia in Canada. Subsequently there came a movement across Canada that there should be a general investigation as to the relationships existing between the provinces and the Dominion. British Columbia agreed to that but this Commission now functioning did in Victoria announce publicly that it was authorized or instructed by the Dominion Government to hear the special claims of British Columbia as well as to hear the broad general question, the larger question of the relationship of the provinces to the Dominion.
So when we proceed to Ottawa, as we will following the report of the Royal Commission--as a matter of fact I asked Chief Justice Rowell, Chairman of the Commission--we are to meet all the provinces before this Commission with the Dominion Government itself, when they may have a free-for-all. Following that, let me say there will be beyond question a conference of the provinces and the Dominion because this Commission can only advise, it cannot determine. It can only advise and it remains for the provinces and the Dominion to get together.
Let me say this, unless we approach this question in a spirit of tolerance and mutual good will, it will not be a success. It is not a question of what each one should get, but of what each one should have, including the Dominion Government itself. Unless we approach on that basis it will never be a success. (Applause.)
I appreciate the opportunity to speak here today the more because of the fact that I think that British Columbia, generally speaking, understands the East better than the East understands British Columbia, and it is natural that that should be so. So many of us come from the eastern provinces, all the way from Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, .all the way across Canada, and settled in British Columbia. We know the eastern provinces, we know their mental attitude toward questions, and we know British Columbia. On the other hand, with regard to Easterners, men in public life, men interested in business life and some tourists come to British Columbia. They go through so hurriedly, particularly the tourists, that they cannot possibly be expected to understand the Province of British Columbia. I want to thank the President who has suggested that perhaps I may be able to speak with some authority.
British Columbia is in the same position as the Dominion of Canada, so far as our resources are concerned minerals in our mountains, timber in the hills, fertility fn the soil, fish in the sea, game in abundance, lake, river and mountain scenery unsurpassed on the face of the globe, salubrious climate, strategic position for rail and water transportation. In fact it seems if Nature had been any more beneficent to British Columbia she would have done an injustice to the rest of the world. We may therefore start the premises that our resources are of a character capable of supporting a very much larger population than we have at present.
Notwithstanding our great resources we have, not due to man's stupidity, but due to his frailness or weakness or non understanding, been subjected to artificial restrictions which have not worked to our benefit.
British Columbia did not enter into Confederation in x867 but in x871. Since that time it has always been felt in British Columbia that the terms of union were more onerous than they should have been. I do not need to go into the details with respect to them. The basis of the per capita grant then given has not been considered equitable and subsequent events have so transpired as to aggravate the disabilities from which British Columbia has suffered. Were it not for the fact that British Columbia is the rich country it is, it would probably have succumbed under some of the disabilities frail man has put upon it.
Now, that British Columbia has not been fairly treated has been evidenced by the fact that as recently as 1934 the Dominion Government, headed by the Right Honourable Mr. Bennett, after the submission of a brief to that Government, was sufficiently impressed with the justice of our claim that an annual interim payment of $750,000 was added to the per capita grant and subventions of $875,000 which we had previously received, until the whole question was heard. When you consider that the amount we were receiving was $875,000 and the Bennett Government gave an additional $750,000, it is evident we made but a prima facie case. Subsequently the Honourable Mr. Bennett said, and it was so reported in Hansard, that including the amount of $750,000 British Columbia would be left in a little better position than the Provinces of Ontario and Quebec, but considerably less than some of the other provinces of the Dominion of Canada.
Now, you know when the provinces entered Confederation they surrendered to the Dominion the customs and excise, the total tariff went to the Dominion. The provinces, in lieu of that were given this per capita grant. What was it for? It was for the purpose of enabling the provinces to carry on the functions of government, such as education, social services, administration of justice and so on.
So far as British Columbia was concerned, we found the amount we were receiving to carry out these functions was about one-tenth of the cost of those services.
I am not going to quote many figures today. I am going to show you the total amount of money received from 1871 until the year 1936-37 from the Dominion Government, with respect to the capital grant I am speaking about, was a. little short of $33,000,000. How much do you think the Dominion collected through British Columbia for customs and excise? $478,000,000. And we received back $33,000,000.
So we present our case and suggest that the terms of the British North America Act are now working a hardship on our province. Surely no one will think of coming down and adopting a narrow, insular attitude, in spite of the facts, in order to maintain the integrity of our province. That the Fathers of Confederation anticipated something of the kind would occur is evidenced by many of the statements made by public men at the time of Confederation. Sir A. T. Galt made this observation: "It must be evident to everyone that some portion of the resources thus placed at the disposal of the General Government must in some foam or other be available to supply the hiatus that would otherwise take place between the sources of local revenue and the demands of local expenditure."
Even at that time they anticipated some changes, so the B.N.A. is not like the laws of the Medes and Persians, unchangeable, but should be changed in order to meet conditions as they exist today.
When the changes are made three changes should take place. One is, so far as human language can, it should be put in such a form that it won't have to go from court to court, guessing as to what the intention of the law is, but that it shall be clearly defined. There shall be placed certain responsibilities upon the Dominion authorities, certain responsibilities in which the Federal authorities and the Provincial Authorities must collaborate and co-operate if we are to carry the necessary public functions required by our people from one end of Canada to the other.
Now, speaking of some artificial handicaps to which we are subjected. I wonder if it is safe to mention the provinces of Ontario and Quebec in matters of tariff and freight rates? I am not going to attack the tariff, nor am I going to attack freight rates. We are glad the central provinces are prosperous. The stronger you are the more it will help us because we are the Pacific bulwark of the great Dominion of Canada. But you know and I know, in respect to the tariff, it so happens by reason of your physical situation here you are getting the head start and having the large population, you get the benefit here from the tariff which the outlying portions do not.
I am going to assume, for argument's sake, you have a perfect tariff--I don't admit it--and the freight rate structure is perfectly sound. We will admit that for argument's sake. What I want to point out is the incidence of tariff affecting British Columbia and which affects comparably the Maritimes, and in ratio the Prairie Provinces. Would it surprise you to know that we have an adverse provincial trade balance between the province of British Columbia and Ontario and Quebec of $50,000,000 a year. A $50, 000,000 a year adverse trade balance. When I represented that to what we call the Royal Commission, the Chairman said, "Why didn't you present that argument in your 1934 presentation at Ottawa?" I said, "The reason we didn't present it was because we hadn't the information. We went to our Doctor of Economics and found what was the situation."
I pointed out and I want to point out to this gathering that information was not gathered over a period of time for the purpose of building up a case against the rest of the Dominion or these two provinces. It was purely incidental. It came about in this way. We created an Economic Council and put a very eminent Counsel at its head. I said to him, "Doctor, I would like you to go out and find with what countries we are doing business, in what goods and in what quantities. Is there any manner in which we can extend the trade of British Columbia. Also, are there any countries we axe not doing business with which we should be doing business with?"
After a year or two of investigation we found to our surprise--we were not thinking of comparing Ontario and Quebec--that we have an adverse trade balance between these two provinces and British Columbia of $50,000,000 a year.
I have always found in public life and it is good in any other sphere of endeavour, that it is wise to try to put yourself on the other side of your own desk and see if you can't get the other fellow's viewpoint as well as your own. I believe in this way you will be better able to appraise the ability of your own viewpoint.
In Ontario you have four or five times our population. Let us assume you have had an adverse trade balance in favour of British Columbia, say four times our population, of $200,000,000 a year. Let us assume an adverse trade balance of $200,000,000 a year against you in favour of British Columbia. And $200,000,000 a year would be quite a sum of money, even for the rich Province of Ontario. Now, you ask, where do we get the money to pay the $50,000,000? I will tell you where. We get it by going out and being good commercial travellers, good drummers, we go out and do business with the rest of the world. We are peculiarly dependent on off-shore trade. We have got to sell our timber, we have got to sell our minerals, we have got to sell our fish, we have got to sell our furs, we have got to sell large quantities of agricultural products. We must sell in off-shore trade. We have gone out and drummed up business to the extent that in the last year for which I have figures we had a favourable balance with all the world, including the Provinces of Ontario and Quebec, of $12,000,000. So, by going out and drumming up business elsewhere we have been able to meet our obligations as we have always done and as we are going to do in the Province of British Columbia. We are going to meet our obligations.
Take, for example, our position in the automobile trade. The automobile industry is very valuable to the Province of Ontario when you think that on the automobile running presently on the roads and streets of British Columbia we have paid $35,000,000 more, by reason of the tariff. We could go across the line to Seattle and buy for that much less. It is quite an item, all told, since the automobiles have been running. There has been paid $100,000,000 of bonus to the automobile industry. We are not finding fault with that. What I say is this, that being the case, there ought to be some compensatory measures for those provinces which suffer most or benefit least as a result of the tariff, and I suggested this to the Commission, and they put the question, "How are you going to arrive at figures of dollars and cents?" I said, "It is very difficult. You can at least come to a conclusion as to which benefits most from tariffs and in the per capita, because in the total aggregate it amounts to comparatively little, if they do in effect now and then make recommendations to the various provinces, they may well take into consideration the incidence or effect of the tariff on the freight rate structure as effecting the provinces. Naturally, we would get a little higher than we get at the present time, and it is only fair that should be done.
Now, let me see--I want to refer to the Income Tax. The reason I refer to the Income Tax is this. We were in the income tax field in 1876. Not until after the war did the Dominion enter that field. It was a very comfortable field for us. After the war, Sir Thomas White, then Minister of Finance, and well known to you all here, made the statement that he regretted very much to have to introduce that measure into Parliament, but he was compelled to do so, though he expressed the view that the measure was temporary and he recognized the primary right of the provinces. Why wouldn't it be when the only means of raising taxes placed at their disposal under the terms of the B.N.A. was the income tax? So the Dominion Government entered the field and everybody believes they are there for good.
I use the metaphor. Here in British Columbia we have a well stocked larder. Someone, very powerful, comes into our pantry, seizes the pantry and begins to push us out and some people suggest he is an interloper. That is an imposition. What are we going to do?
Do you know that the Dominion Government collects more income tax today in British Columbia than we collect? Were it not for the fact that the Dominion Government is in the income tax field we would not have had to go to Ottawa to borrow a single dollar. To increase the present Provincial Income Tax, with the Dominion Government in the Income Tax field, would be altogether too heavy upon our people and we have not increased the income tax in British Columbia. How can that continue indefinitely when we are forced to go and borrow money from the Dominion Government because they invaded that particular field? We recognize the exigencies that occurred at that time but the government being in control of banking and credit, surely the responsibilty devolves more on the Dominion Government than on our Province to evolve ways and means to meet that very difficult situation.
To those who say there should be one Income Tax in Canada and that should go to the Dominion, I say I want to know where we are going to get our other revenue, because, as I say, we borrow money from the Dominion Government and pay interest. We pay it too. We don't pile up or compound it, we just pay it. There is a gentleman right in this room-he knows, because we keep paying him too.
Now, Mr. Chairman, you will say, how are we going to adjust this matter. You will recall the Province of the Dominion, and British Columbia was primarily responsible for the fact, introduced into the House a resolution suggesting that the B.N.A. should be changed so the Provinces had the right of the Sales Tax. We don't like it, but we have to do something. Finally, the resolution passed the Commons, but the good old Senate threw it out and we are back in the position we were, namely, we have the Income Tax, but not sufficient to meet all of our need, particularly on account of unemployment relief. When you think if that field of our taxation had not been invaded we wouldn't have had to borrow a single dollar today, you understand how we feel about it.
Now, we have this problem of unemployment and it is certainly a very difficult problem. We think everybody thinks his troubles are worse than the other fellow's. We find that a large number of transients are coming to British Columbia. They keep on following until they get to the Pacific Ocean and they can't go any further, and, in the second place, we have a very salubrious climate. The result if we have many people coming in. The younger men come in and pick up the jobs and the older residents are placed on relief. From the prairie provinces they have been trekking in on account of the visitations of nature, particularly from Saskatchewan they have come into British Columbia and our population now, I should imagine is about 800,000. They present a very serious problem at the present time. At a later date when they get or their feet they will be an asset; at the present time they create these great difficulties.
I am afraid this unemployment is permanently with us, There was a time when friends or relatives took care of those out of work and not able to take care of themselves, That day is gone and unemployment is definitely on the doorstep of government. Fathers and mothers don't want to support children and children don't want to support fathers and mothers. We know that from actual and practical experience today. They want to depend on governments.
We have seasonal occupations in British Columbia. Timber is seasonal, outside of milling; mining is seasonal outside of the mines on a permanent producing basis; fishing is seasonal; trapping is seasonal; so much is seasonal. What formerly happened was that those engaged in occupations made enough money to tide them over the time they were out of employment. That doesn't happen now. Today it is, eat, drink and be merry, tomorrow we go on relief.
I made a suggestion and I still stick with it. That is, if the government must intervene, not in a crazy programme of public works, but in a reasonable, sane and sensible programme, I see no reason why they should not do so. Our own Dominion Government the last three or four years has been collaborating with us on highways and so forth, for the advantage of tourists and so forth. That is very advantageous. I still think they ought to have a more expansive programme. I don't know what Ottawa is going to do for the coming year but I am going down tonight to try and find out. I want to say this, we are not going down to mulct the government out of money. If anyone mulcts that government out of money--(Laughter)--I don't mean that particular government, I mean any Dominion Government! We are not going to do that, but with the many thing that are required, I call them necessities, in addition to the tremendous number so desirable, there is less reason for unemployment in the Dominion of Canada than in any other place I know of. (Applause.)
Let me just recite this, too. You know when the returned men came back from the front, 36,000 came to British Columbia, promptly demanding that they should be rehabilitated in the Province of British Columbia. We undertook all kinds of projects, some of which I recommended myself. There was a housing programme in conjunction with the Dominion Government, land development schemes and so forth. One scheme in particular I, myself, recommended, and it cost three and a quarter millions of dollars. More than I wanted it to cost. We will never get that money back in the treasury. How many people do you think are on that project today? There are 4,000 and it is one of the most prosperous sections of British Columbia. We got a run for our money. It is better than having men lying around the cities. It is true they are keeping body and soul together. That little district is helping to solve that adverse trade balance of $50,000,000 from the Province of Ontario and Quebec. I say that seriously. We import everything from these provinces.
I want to point out another thing, too. Let us reason as to why we are in the position we are. You know the amount of money that was spent on railways in the railway era. Millions were spent on the railways in anticipation of an increase of population and an increase of business and concurrently, comparable billions have been spent by private endeavour. There was a constant stream of immigration anywhere from 75,000 to 400,000 a year. Now, what do we find? The railways are spending almost nothing. For many years there has not been a cessation of immigration, trade is cut in half, and then you wonder at unemployment. I want to pay tribute to private endeavour so far as British Columbia is concerned, because it has co-operated to the full with the Government. We know of many instances where private companies kept on more men than they required to carry on business, simply to alleviate that situation and cooperate with the Government in meeting that problem. When that has been done by private endeavour what other means is there than through governmental services? If anybody has any sleight-of-hand knowledge of how to do it I would like to hear it.
I wanted for a minute to say something about the North. I took too much time in the beginning talking about something perhaps not quite so consequential. You have heard of the Yukon Territory, a large territory with about 40,000 people formerly but now with only about 5,000 about 2,500 of which are white. Last year an agreement was reached between the Dominion and our Province under which Yukon will be included within the boundaries of British Columbia. It will be better for administration there and will present a greater opportunity to develop that territory.
Alaska, too, is going ahead by leaps and bounds. $25,000,000 came out last year in gold, more than ever before. The United States Government is taking special interest in the development of Alaska, for various reasons. Several parties are going in this year. Three geological and two typographical, or vice versa. They are going in to open up that country. The United States is intensely anxious that there shall be a road built through British Columbia in order to connect the United States with Alaska. Whether for sentimental reasons, business reasons, or any other reasons, I know positively the United States people want it. I know the Government of the United States wants it; it is no secret. I think we ought to help that proposal along. It will cost quite a few million dollars. It means that during the next few years millions of dollars will be spent, not only in opening up the road but in supplying stations and road houses and so forth, the people going in to develop along the line of the railway. I say we would like the sympathy of the East in that respect. All the food required during construction, all the clothes they will wear, the implements and machinery and so forth will have to be sent in. Where will most of it come from? From the Province of my friend here, Mr. Kirby, the Province of Ontario. I say from the business standpoint it will pay the people to support us in our contention and our great desire. Why shouldn't we co-operate with the United States, the friendly nation of the south? They are on both sides of us. Give them access through the Dominion of Canada, from their territory of Alaska to the United States--especially as it will benefit ourselves.
I have no understanding with the Dominion Government in what I am saying now, but I have just officially, without and discussion, asked them to also extend the boundaries of British Columbia to include the Mackenzie Basin, including the 120th meridian, the boundary line between Alberta and British Columbia. I have rolled down the map and I am not going to roll it up until I can roll it up to the Arctic. That means an immense development.
I was speaking about the Pacific Great Eastern Railway. When it was built, by reason of agreement between the Grand Trunk Railway and the Pacific Great Eastern Railway. Prince Rupert was to be the terminus of the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway, even though the outlet was at Vancouver. The Canadian Northern had its outlet at Vancouver. The agreement between the Pacific Great Eastern Railway and the Grand Trunk Pacific was that all destined for the Port of Vancouver would come down by destined for the Port of Vancouver would come down by the Pacific Great Eastern Railway, which runs north and south to the Port of Vancouver. Now, with the amalgamation of the Grand Trunk Pacific, the Canadian Northern and the Intercolonial, and two or three dozen small lines into the Canadian National Railways, that agreement was nullified by reason of the fact, so determined by those in authority, that hundreds of miles of rail were taken up along the Grand Trunk Pacific which paralleled the Canadian Northern line for a considerable distance.
Now, all traffic originating in Eastern Canada is routed over the Canadian Northern section. We say there is a moral obligation on behalf of the Canadian National to take over the Pacific Great Eastern Railway. Recently our Government made recommendation to the Royal Commission that the line should be taken over by agreement under joint operation of the Canadian National and the Canadian Pacific Railways. We say that the two great railways should also extend that line to the Peace River Country. It is a wonderful country. There is a chance for the manufacturers of Ontario and Quebec to sell millions of dollars of products. There is the gold mining in the Cariboo Country, millions of feet of timber and Dominion geological examinations and actual drilling operations indicate that possibilities of discovering oil are of a most favourable character. I, myself, have had the opportunity of drilling, not actually to get oil but for determining the structure in the Peace River Country, and we anticipate on the British Columbia side that there is every possibility and every probability that we will have a field just as valuable as the Turner Valley in Alberta. Isn't that business worth while going after? I am showing you where you can spend your money and get returns for it.
Gentlemen, I have a whole lot here and only two minutes to go. I am very sorry I rambled along.
I want to say in closing, we have been accused in British Columbia of going too far in social legislation. We don't think we have gone too far. I know I told the people when the Government was elected in 1933, wherever precedent was good we would follow it, where it was bad we would throw it overboard, jettison it. We think we have moved just about right, a little faster than the rest of the Dominion of Canada. We are getting on, our revenues this year are bigger than ever in our history. We have a surplus of two or three million dollars on ordinary operating account. We are paying every dollar. We are not going to repudiate anything. We are encouraging capital to come in. When capital comes in, I assure you, to use a colloquialism, we are going to give it a run for its money. We encourage private endeavour, and we axe getting away as far as possible from the unemployment situation which is tearing Canada from one end to the other.
In conclusion, may I say this, we live in the shadow of the cataclysm of war. At one time in the dance halls of Great Britain they were singing: "We don't want to fight, but by jingo if we do, we've got the ships, we've got the men, we've got the money too." So aroused did the militaristic spirit become that the Government had to intervene and advise the dance halls to no longer sing the military air. Today there is not the jingoistic spirit in Great Britain, yet never before have they been so determined. I understand they acre going ahead at a rate never known before in the history of Great Britain, arming to meet present day conditions. Nobody likes it, it is there. What are we going to do in Canada? Do you think if there is a world war that we are going to keep out of it? You will find the whole North American Continent will be driven into it. On land and sea, in the air, Canada must do its share in proportion to its capacity. Self-preservation is the first law of nature. So far as British Columbia is concerned, we stand behind the Canadian Government in a broad programme of National Defense for the preservation of our country and the integrity of the Empire.
(Applause.) THE PRESIDENT: Mr. Pattullo, we are indeed grateful to you, Sir, for your address and in thanking you we are not unmindful of what your presence here today means to you in your busy life. You have told us much of great interest that will long be remembered by us and we hope that the free-for-all will be successful in the solving of Canada's problems.
On behalf of The Empire Club of Canada and your vast coast-to-coast radio audience, I thank you most sincerely.
The meeting is adjourned. (Applause.)