September 29, 1903

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Mr TAYLOR.

The right hon. gentleman is wrong again, and the hon. Minister of Customs will certainly contradict him, because American grain can come in an American or Canadian bottom to a Canadian port in bond. It is immaterial what boat it is carried in, whether an American or a Canadian boat. If it comes in bond it is loaded in a Canadian or American car, and it is sent through in bond. The hon. Minister of Customs will verify the statement I am making. The right hon. Prime Minister ought to know better and any hon. gentleman occupying his position ought to know what the laws governing the bonding privilege are. The hon. Minister of Customs will verify my statement, and I call upon him to verify or contradict the statement of the right lion. Prime Minister. I shall wait for the hon. Minister of Customs to answer my question.

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The MINISTER OF CUSTOMS.

I was not listening to the hon. gentleman.

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CON

George Taylor (Chief Opposition Whip; Whip of the Conservative Party (1867-1942))

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. TAYLOR.

May a Canadian vessel go into an American port, load with grain, bring it to a Canadian port in bond, put it in an elevator and have it shipped out in Canadian or American cars in bond to Boston or to another American point of destination ?

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The MINISTER OF CUSTOMS.

It can do whatever is allowed to be done under the coasting laws of the United States.

Mr. TAYLOR, That is simply contradicting tlie statement made by the right hon. Prime Minister. 1 could not possibly have a better answer when I call upon one of the business men in this business government to .contradict another member of the government. But it is the same story from beginning to end. When the Bill was introduced the people were led to believe that we were at the mercy of the United States

in respect to the bonding privilege. It was said that if this road were not built for six or seven months of the year we were at the mercy of the United States, because, if the American government should choose to abrogate the bonding privilege we could not ship a pound of goods from Canada by way of an American ocean port. This statement was made by the right hon. leader of the government, knowing that we had a Canadian railway running through Canadian territory to Canadian ocean ports. Now the right hon. gentleman comes down with a blue-book containing a map, as my hon. friend from Dundas (Mr. Broder) has said, locating the line from Moncton to Winnipeg across the state of Maine. Tet, the right hon. gentleman tells the people of this country that this is to be a Canadian railway. I simply rose because I was not disposed to allow the statement of the right lion. Prime Minister or anybody else to go uncoil tradicted to this country that Canadian boats carrying the British flag have not the right to go to an American port and bring grain to a Canadian port either in bond or for sale in Canada.

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Mr. J.@

I). REID (South Grenville) Mr. Speaker, I feel, before allowing this Bill to pass, that I should enter my protest against the clause that my hon. friend (Mr. Osier) proposes to amend, and that I should make a further appeal to the right hon. Prime Minister and his colleagues in behalf of the labouring classes of this country. It is very amusing to members of this House, who have listened to hon. gentlemen opposite in days gone by pretending to be friendly with the labouring men of this country, when we find them now coming down with a Bill which has not been prepared by the solicitor of the government but by the solicitor of the Grand Trunk Railway Company, containing this clause :

No addition shall be made to the cost of construction or to the capital of construction account in respect of customs duties in cases where there is direct importation of material or supplies by the government.

The Minister of Finance (Hon. Mr. Fielding) makes a statement that the government may or may not allow the duties to be imposed. That is no doubt true', but clause 37 says :

The company shall purchase the materials and supplies required for the construction of the western division and the equipment of the whole of the said line of railway from Canadian producers, when the same are produced in Canada, and when such material and sup-, plies can be purchased in desirable quantities and of equal quality suitable for the purposes required.

Here is the important part :

And for prices and upon terms equally advantageous with those procurable elsewhere.

If you put the two clauses together, the result is that the contractor can get prices Mr. TAYLOR.

from foreign manufacturers, and he can go to the Canadian manufacturer and say : I

can get these goods in free of duty, and the Canadian producer has either to accept these prices without the duties added, or else he loses the order.

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The MINISTER OF FINANCE.

It would uot be true if the contractor said that. He could not get them in duty free.

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CON

John Dowsley Reid

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. REID (Grenville).

I do not wish to cast any doubt on the word of the Finance Minister, but at the same time, I would remind him that it is the courts of the country that will construe this clause, and they may hold against his opinion. Why is the government afraid either to make this clear, or to leave it out altogether. If a Canadian producer has to accept prices in competition with foreigners, he will have to cut down the wages of his mechanics who are employed in the manufacture of these articles. We have at present in Sault Ste. Marie, a state of affairs which we all regret, but which gives us an illustration of what may happen in the future if this clause is left in the Bill. The ' Soo ' works were intended to produce steel rails, and with this clause in the Bill, they would have to meet the competition of foreign manufacturers who are ready to unload their surplus stock on Canada, at prices lower than they sell for in their own country.

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LIB
CON
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Austin Levi Fraser

Mr. ERASER.

They have seven dollars a ton.

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CON

John Dowsley Reid

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir. REID (Grenville).

The government of this country is responsible for what has happened at the ' Soo,' because they would not give sufficiant protection.

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LIB

Alexander Johnston

Liberal

Mr. .JOHNSTON (Cape Breton).

What protection on steel rails did the Sault Ste. Marie Company ask for ?

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Some hon. MEMBERS

You tell.

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LIB
CON

John Dowsley Reid

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. REID (Grenville).

The hon. member (Mr. Johnston) knows that there is trouble in his constituency. Let me ask him if he is willing to have the duties increased for the protection of the industry in Sydney, or is lie satisfied with existing conditions ?

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LIB

Alexander Johnston

Liberal

Mr. JOHNSTON (Cape Breton).

I will say to hon. gentlemen, that the people who are operating in my constituency got the very duties they asked for. Let me say further that a few years ago a concern in my province came to the Conservative government, stating they were prepared to manufacture steel rails and asking for a duty, hut that application was rejected.

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CON

John Dowsley Reid

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. REID (Grenville).

The hon. geaitle-man knows that the people in his eonstitu-

ency were bounding the government here for months to get protection, and stating that if they did not get protection their mills would be closed down.

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LIB
CON

John Dowsley Reid

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. REID (Grenville).

The government gave a remedy to a certain extent by granting a bounty,

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LIB

Alexander Johnston

Liberal

Mr. JOHNSTON (Oape Breton).

That is not answering my question. I asked the hon. gentleman what protection the people operating at Sault Ste. Marie asked on steel rails.

Mr. REID' (Grenville). The hon. gentleman can answer that himself when he is making his speech. In addition to steel rails, there will be enormous quantities of nails and spikes used in the construction of this road, and if this clause is retained in the Bill, the mills at Montreal and perhaps in Sydney, will not be able to supply these articles to those constructing the road. I object to this clause because it will have an injurious effect on the condition of every workingman in Canada. If the employees in Canadian manufactories are obliged to take a small wage, they will not be able to pay good prices for their clothing and other necessaries of life, and so every mechanic engaged in supplying these necessaries will be injuriously affected. I cannot understand why this clause was inserted in the Bill, execept it was done at the instance of the Grand Trunk solicitor, who, looking far ahead saw that the privilege to import free of duty, would effect an 'enormous saving to the Grand Trunk Company. I believe that the government are not doing their duty by the workingmen of this country, if they retain this clause, and I am satisfied that when they appeal to the country the result will be disastrous to them.

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September 29, 1903