November 30, 1909

CON

Joseph Elijah Armstrong

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. J. E. ARMSTRONG (East Lambton).

Mr. Sneaker, I feel satisfied that the present treaty will comnlicate our trade arrangements with other lands. I am glad and willing to support any trade arrangement that will bring to Canada better trade facilities and means whereby we can get our products to the markets of the world, but I am satisfied that the present treaty, as it grants to practically every important country in Europe, except Italy and Germany, advantages similar to those granted to France, there is no doubt in my mind that it will create all kinds of trade disturbances. ,

In granting to France this treaty it seems to me that instead of our writing across it the title ' Franco-Canadian Treaty,' we might as well have entitled it ' The Switzerland Treaty ' or the ' Austrian Treaty ' or the treaty with any of the European nations. j

I feel it my duty to place on ' Hansard ' some statistics in regard to the effect it is likely to have on the agricultural interests of Canada. The total exports ^to France from Canada last year were $3,176,000. The exports of foreign produce amounted to $834,000, so that the total Canadian produce exported to France amounted to only $2,340,000. In looking over the Trade and Navigation returns, I find the following items of export which are interesting from a farmer's standpoint: Our exports from Canada to France of the following items of agricultural produce were: Butter, none; cheese, $81; eggs, none; animals, none; meats, viz. bacon, $40; beef, none; hams, $144: mutton, none; pork, none; poultry, dressed or undressed, none; meats, all others, not otherwise specified, none; milk and cream, condensed or canned, none; wool; none; dried apples, $3,000; green apples, $2,000; barley, none; buckwheat, pone: Indian corn, none; oats, none; peas, $34,000; split peas, $3,000; rye, none; wheat, $105,000; other grain, none; bran, $6; flour of wheat, none; oatmeal, none; all other kinds of meal, none; hay, none; hops, none; clover seed, $730; flaxseed, none; grass seed, $1,120; all others, none; straw, none j trees, shrubs and plants, $2,500; vegetables, canned or preserved, $195; potatoes, none; turnips, none. It is quite an exception for Canada to export $105,000 worth of -wheat to France because France is a large producer of wheat herself. In normal years our exports to France in wheat are very small. France is really an exporting country in farm products. Taking all the products of the farm last year the exports to France amounted to only $150,000. And vet the Finance Minister practically admits that Canadian farm products will not go in under any more favourable conditions and are not more likely to be exported to France under the new treaty than thev were under the old. What you do by this treaty is to say to the steamship companies that you shall give them $200,000 per annum to trade with France directlv when practically all the products exported from our farms to France

last year amounted to only $150,000. Let us see how you are going to benefit our trade with France. The imports into Canada from France amount to about $10,000,000 and you can depend upon it that the French manufacturers will be able to ship goods into this country in much larger quantities than they have in the past. But, are . we Canadians getting any benefit from this treaty? Our exports of agricultural implements to France were as follows: Mowing machines, $184,000 worth: reapers, $62,000 worth; harvesters, $260,000; hay rakes, $4,000 worth; other manufactured agricultural implements, $194,000 worth; parts of agricultural implements, $44,000 worth; making in all $761,000 worth of agricultural implements that are being shipped by us into France. One other important item is canned lobsters and $990,000 worth of canned lobsters went into France last year. But with regard to canned lobsters the present treaty is the same as the old treaty so that our trade in that respect is not helped in anv degree. However, these two items of export make a total of $1,750,000. and if you deduct this from our general exports you can readily see what a small amount of exports we have in other lines. Now. Mr. Speaker, I believe that we should have a definite tariff policy with regard to all countries in the world. Look at the sad plight our trade is in with the German empire. Surely it is time for the government to wake up to the fact that the time has come when we should improve our trade relations with Germany, and yet when I mentioned Germany a short time ago the Prime Minister indulged in a hearty laugh.

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LIB
CON

Joseph Elijah Armstrong

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. ARMSTRONG.

Let the Prime Minister look at the immense importations which Germany is making from the different nations of the world. Germany is today importing two billion dollars worth of goods, one billion dollars worth of which is in food products and over $300,000,000 worth of which is for just such agricultural * products as we produce in the Dominion of Canada. Let the Prime Minister remember that Germany imported last year $96,000,000 bushels of barley, 41,000,000 bushels of oats, 25,000,000 bushels of rye, 73,000,000 bushels of wheat-not one bushel of-which was from Canada-a total of 236,000,000 bushels of grain valued at $216,000,000 and yet Canada got into Germany out of that immense quantity only $2,619 worth. Surely the German trade is of some importance to the people of this country. France is selfsupporting in the matter of agricultural products, but Germany is far from being so, and hence it is incumbent on the government to arrange a trade convention with the German empire and put an end to this trade war which has had such disastrous Mr. ARMSTRONG.

results for the last thirteen years. To-day we are supplying forty per cent of the British demand with the products of our farmers, and when you take into consider-atk n that ten years hence our great western prairies will be producing 500,000,000 bushels of grain, must we not arrive at the conclusion that It is absolutely indispensable we should have a trade arrangement with Germany, which is the second best market in the world for agricultural products. Just take one other item; the United States sent into Germany 28,000,000 pounds of evaporated apples last year, valued at $2,400,000; 123,000 barrels of green apples, valued at $620,000 or an average of over $5 a barrel. The total quantity of apples imported into Germany was 2,839,000 barrels and Great Britain imports only about 2,500,000 barrels. Germany with its 63,000,000 of a population need's just such products as Canada produces and it is in our interest to trade with her. Look at some other figures which will be of interest: There was imported into Germany from Australia $42,000,000 worth, from Brazil $47,000,000 worth, and from the Argentine Republic $106,000,000, from Chili $46,000,000 worth, from the United States $16,000,000 worth, and from Canada a paltry $1,900,000 worth. The Prime Minister knows full well that perhaps eighty per cent of the exports of the Argentine Republic are agricultural products, and I would be safe in saying that at least $80,000,000 worth of her expel ts to Germany were agricultural products. The Minister of Customs told me that last year we sent to Germany $500,000 worth of agricultural products and that this year it would only reach $300,000 worth. When is this tariff war going to end? Should we not come here like business men and take steps to put an end to this disastrous condition. Does not the Prime Minister know that during the past few months there have been in Canada, speaking before our Canadian clubs and our Boards of Trade, representatives of the Board of Trade of Berlin, Germany, who realize that the tariff war between Germany and Canada has lasted long enough and who urge that some amicable arrangement should now be arrived at? I have met these gentlemen from time to time and I feel satisfied that were the Canadian government to make approaches to Germany their advances would be most cordially received. We have had enough of these tariff treaty blunders; the Minister of Finance has for years been neglectful of his duty in this respect, but I trust that now he and the other members of the government will realize the importance of making some sensible trade arrangement with Germany. Instead of more Canadian goods going into Germany from year to year, there are constantly less and less, and there are less German goods coming into Canada. We can not expect to obtain

control of a large portion of the German market in a short time, for it takes years to develop a trade in Germany. It is all very well for this government to spend thousands of dollars to try to develop a trade with Japan, when we have to educate the people of Japan to eat the products which we are producing. But here are 63,000,000 people who are importing a billion dollars worth of food products every year. It is time we got rid of this trade war with Germany and come to some, understanding with this country.

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CON

Francis Ramsey Lalor

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LALOR.

If I am not out of order, I would like to ask the Minister of Finance or the Minister of Customs what brought about the misunderstanding with Germany? Was it our British preference? In what year was it that Germany placed a surtax on Canadian goods, and in what year was it that Canada retaliated?

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LIB

William Stevens Fielding (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. FIELDING.

My hon. friend has correctly stated the cause of the difference between Germanv and Canada. When Canada claimed the right to grant preferential treatment to Great Britain, the point was raised that we were debarred from doing so, not by reason of what is called the ordinary favoured nation treaty, but by two treaties of a different character. The favoured nation treaty demands only that whatever favour is given to one foreign nation shall be given to another. But in the cases of Germany and Belgium there were special treaties which provided that in the British colonies German goods and Belgian goods should be received on the same terms as the goods of Great Britain. It was felt, therefore, that we were not free to carry out our desire to grant a preference to Great Britain unless those treaties were removed. As a consequence, I think I mav fairly say, of the action of the parliament of Canada in declaring for that preference, and in putting it into operation as far as we could, the British government gave notice to Germany and to Belgium that those treaties would be denounced; and they ceased to exist, if my memory serves me rightly, in 1898. Thereupon Germany complained that they were not receiving from Canada the favours which they had formerly received. After the denunciation of those treaties bur British preference had full effect. We granted the preferential rates to Great Britain, while, of course, the products of Belgium and of Germany paid the rates of the general tariff.

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

The British preference had been granted before that.

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LIB

William Stevens Fielding (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. FIELDING.

The British preference was granted in the first instance in 1897. Out of that grew the discussion to which I am referring, and in 1908, on the

first day of August, if my memory serves me, the German and Belgian treaties were denounced. I think the denunciation of the treaties took effect in the summer of 1898, and thereupon Great Britain received the preferential rates, while Germany and Belgium became liable to the rates of the general tariff. Belgium, it is only fair to say, never complained, but to her credit recognized the fact, apparently, that this was a family affair of the British empire, which we had a right to arrange as we pleased. Germany took exception to our action, and thereupon imposed her maximum tariff on imports from Canada. After the treaty was denounced, Germany entered into a new treaty with Great Britain, but from its benefits specifically excluded Canada, and from that time forward Canadian goods entering Germany were made to bear the maximum rates of duty. From that time forward we were obliged, under our policy, to impose the higher rates on German and Belgian goods. We entered on negotiations with Germany through the usual diplomatic channels, which occupied a long time. At a later stage we entered into negotiations directly with the German Consul General at Montreal, Mr. Bopp. Representations were made by the government of Canada to Germany, to this effect, that we were not denying to Germany anything that we gave to any other foreign countrv, but something that we were giving solely to the mother country; and we urged that Germany should not recognize what was a family affair of the British empire as discrimination against Germany. We urged that view of the matter in various ways, and several years passed before we reached the conclusion that nothing more could be done with Germany; and finally we imposed what is called the surtax on German goods imported into Canada. This was done because Germany claimed the right to interfere in the family affairs'of the British empire, and that we would not agree to.

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CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

Sir Charles Tupper

warned the government in 1897 that that would be likely to take place.

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LIB

William Stevens Fielding (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. FIELDING.

If we had not undertaken the step we did at that time, it is a moral certainty that the treaties would never have been denounced.

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

My recollection of the dates is that the new treaty between Great Britain and Germany was made on the very day the old treaty ceased to have operation, or on the day immediately afterwards.

air. FIELDING. Quite likely.

air. R. L. BORDEN. That treaty, then, must have been in process of negotiation for some months during the period imme-

diately anterior to the -denunciation of the old treaty. Was this government aware that the British government was going to enter into a treaty with Germany from the benefits of which Canada would be excluded? *

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LIB

William Stevens Fielding (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. FIELDING.

It might be understood that we would get the benefits of that treaty if we gave up our preferential policy.

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LIB

Frederick William Borden (Minister of Militia and Defence)

Liberal

Mr. E. L. BOEDEN.

There is another question. Did the new treaty give to Germany the same rights in the markets of the other British dominions as the mother country had?

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LIB

William Stevens Fielding (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. FIELDING.

I think that Canada and one of the West India Islands were excepted. Otherwise the treaty applied to the whole British empire.

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LIB

Frederick William Borden (Minister of Militia and Defence)

Liberal

Mr. E. L. BOEDEN.

That is not quite an answer to my question. The old treaty provided that Germany should have in the markets of Canada, Australia and all the other British colonies, the same rights! as Great Britain herself had. In the new treaty, which must have been before the' government, and the terms of which they must have been aware of, was there any provision similar to that?

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LIB

William Stevens Fielding (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. FIELDING.

I have not had the treaty before me for years, but I remember that it -did exclude Canada and, if my memory serves me, one of the West India Islands.

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LIB

Frederick William Borden (Minister of Militia and Defence)

Liberal

Mr. E. L. BOEDEN.

I do not make myself clear to the 'hon. Minister of Finance. The new treaty might give the benefits of the -minimum German tariff to Great Britain and all the British dominions without at the same time providing that Germany should have the same tariff rates in those dominions that Great Britain herself had. What I would like to know is whether that is the case. When the German minimum tariff is applied to all the British dominions except Canada, was that the consideration of the granting to Germany of the same rights in the markets of those dominions as. Great Britain herself had?

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LIB

William Stevens Fielding (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. FIELDING.

I would not care to answer off hand as that applies to a matter now somewhat distant. As respects the other colonies, I would not care to say definitely how it affects them, but its relation to Canada we had clearly in our minds and that was as I have described.

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LIB

Frederick William Borden (Minister of Militia and Defence)

Liberal

Mr. E. L. BOEDEN.

In the despatch which announced the denunciation of the treaty, Lord Salisbury said it was denounced in the interests of the whole empire. That was the principle he affirmed. But when a new treaty was being made by which the minimum German tariff was to be applied to the remainder of the empire, Mr. E. L. BOEDEN.

why should it have been withheld from Canada?

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LIB

William Stevens Fielding (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. FIELDING.

At that time Canada was the only portion which adopted a preferential policy and the others were not affected as we were.

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LIB

Frederick William Borden (Minister of Militia and Defence)

Liberal

Mr. E. L. BOEDEN.

That shows the importance of the other question I put. Unless Germany retained the right within the markets of every dominion of the empire to have the same privileges as Britain herself, the answer of the Minister of Finance is absolutely without significance unless that particular provision were made in the new treaty.

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November 30, 1909