January 30, 1911

RECIPROCITY-DUTIES ON PULP AND PAPER.


On the orders of the day being called:


IND

William Findlay Maclean

Independent Conservative

Mr. W. F. MACLEAN (South York).

I would like an explanation from the Prime Minister (Sir Wilfrid Laurier), or the Minister of Customs (Mr. Paterson) in regard to a very important question of construction of the tariff arrangement recently made. The construction put upon it in some quarters seems to be quite different from that conveyed to this House. In the New York ' Herald ' of Saturday last appears a despatch from Washington, from which I read a few sentences in order to explain what I desire to know:-

The American Newspaper Publishers' Association insists that paper and wood pulp will be free as soon as the agreement becomes law. The official announcement issued by the State Department yesterday said regarding this matter: 'Printing paper is to

become free on the removal of all restrictions of the exportation of pulpwood.'

This would mean that unless the restrictions in the way of the provincial charge were removed paper would continue to come in at the Payne rate of $3.75 a ton, plus $2 a ton countervailing duty.

The agreement made by Mr. Knox and Messrs. Fielding and Paterson makes paper, paper board and pulp free with a provision which, stripped of all verbiage, says free paper and pulp provided no export tax of any form or device should be imposed by Canada on paper or wood pulp or the wood used in the manufacture of 'such paper.'

It is felt here that if this means wood used in the manufacture of 'such paper' for export it does mean free paper, because no tax is imposed by any of the Canadian provinces on pulp wood cut from Crown lands which enters into the manufacture of paper made in Canada, whether for home consumption or for exportation to the United States. Should this be true, then the real issue has been waived and the purpose attained by the use of an ambiguous expression deliberately framed.

There is the statement, in effect, that a proposition deliberately framed-^and with the implication to deceive-will allow free paper under the agreement. I would like to hear from the Minister of Customs an interpretation of that clause of the agreement.

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LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER.

The Minister of Finance (Mr. Fielding) is not here. I have only to say that the agreement is exactly as set forth in the correspondence between the Minister of Finance and the Minister of Customs and Mr. Knox, and already laid on the table of the House.

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PRIVILEGE-MR. KNOWLES.

LIB

William Erskine Knowles

Liberal

Mr. W. E. KNOWLES (Moosejaw).

I

wish to make reference to a few lines in an article in the press. I refer to the ' News,' a paper published ini my own city-

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LIB

James Kirkpatrick Kerr (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER.

Does the hon. gentleman (Mr. Knowles) wish to put a question?

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LIB

William Erskine Knowles

Liberal

Mr. KNOWLES.

I wish to speak to a question of privilege-is it not in order?

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LIB

James Kirkpatrick Kerr (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER.

The hon. gentleman (Mr. Knowles) did not say what he was going to do, and I wished to know.

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LIB

William Erskine Knowles

Liberal

Mr. KNOWLES.

I quote a few lines from this newspaper, the ' Morning News,' of Moosejaw,.dated 27th inst.:

For four years a Liberal member, Knowles of Moosejaw, has set himself down for practically the same resolution, hut never proceeded further than having it printed again and again iu the programme.

And the closing paragraph contains these words:-

That Mr. Knowles had used his annual low tariff resolution as a means for blocking the Mr. MACLEAN.

real discussion of the matter in the House of Commons is now pretty well known.

I would not take up even the minute or two of the time of the House I wish to occupy were it not that I find that it seems to be taken for granted in this House, and even more so outside the House, that I had such a motion and that such a motion was used for the purpose of blocking the discussion with regard to the matter of lowering the tariff duties. I find that such papers as the Montreal ' Gazette,' the Ottawa ' Citizen,' the Winnipeg ' Telegram,' the Toronto ' News,' and even the Toronto * Globe,' which is supposed to be an organ friendly to Liberal members, take more or less this view of it. This motion of mine was on the Order Paper for two sessions. It was first placed on the Order Paper on the 15th of February, 1909. Newspapers, or persons, who say that this notice of motion has been before the House for four years are absolutely in error. As the date when it was first given notice of was comparatively near the close of the session, the last private members' day being the last Monday in March, the motion was never called during that session. So that, for the purpose of criticism, there is eliminated entirely the session before last, because my motion was never reached that session, and there remains for me to account to the public, to my constituents and to hon. members of this House, only that notice on the Order Paper last session. It was placed by me on the Order Paper with the full intention of bringing it before the House. Even taking the very worst view of the matter, that worst view would be that I had the notice upon the Order Paper for one session, and it was not gone on with. That is by no means unusual. I dare to make the statement that every session dozens of motions go by the board on the taking away of the last day for the discussion of private members' business in the same way as my motion was taken away last session.

With regard to this motion, I had intended to proceed with it. I was asked by different hon. members on the other side who wished to be advised as to the day when I intended to proceed with the motion. I told them of a certain day when I had made up my mind to proceed. I recall having told my hon. friend from Dauphin (Mr. Campbell) of the date and also my hon. friend from Souris (Mr. Schaffner). Upon my telling the hon. member for Souris, as he had asked me as a matter of courtesy when I intended to bring on the discussion, he, for the first time, informed me that he understood an arrangement had been made between the chief whin of the other side, the hon. member for Leeds (Mr. Taylor), and the Prime Minister (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) that a motion of the hon. member for North Renfrew (Mr. White) in connec-

tion with the Georgian Bay canal should be taken up. I went to see the hon. member for North Renfrew, and he said he had been informed by his chief whip that it was so. Though my motion had priority, yet, as a matter of courtesy-as, I think, the hon. member will bear me out in saying- I decided to defer bringing on my motion. It turned out that this was the last private members' day. Of this, so far as I know, notice had not been given, and I was not aware of it. Had I been aware of it, I would have hesitated to give up the place of priority which I held. The hon. member for North Renfrew took the day and afterwards the House resolved that po more motions from private members should be heard that session. Therefore, I wish to say this motion never was used to block discussion. During the first session, when it was on the Order Paper, I could not discuss it, even though I wished to do so, because it was never called, and last session, after I had decided to proceed with it on a certain day, it was because of my desire to show courtesy to an hon. gentleman on the other side that the-matter was not brought up for discussion on that day.

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CON

Gerald Verner White

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. WHITE (Renfrew).

Since the hon. member for Moosejaw (Mr. Knowles) has referred to me, I think it is but right that I should make a statement to the House. Last session I well remember that when I had a motion on the Order Paper, I spoke^ to the hon. member, who had a motion in precedence of mine, and he was good enough at that time to give way to me. The facts as stated by him with reference to me are perfectly correct.

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SPRINGHILL STRIKE.

CON

Richard Blain

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. RICHARD BLAIN (Peel).

I desire to ask the Minister of Labour (Mr. King) as to the present position of the strike at Springhill, N.S., which was commenced, I think, in 1909. And may I ask him, also, if any of the Canadian militia are in attendance to keep order there?

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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Hon. W. L. MACKENZIE KING (Minister of Labour).

I understand that at the present time about 600 men are employed in Springhill. The men who went out on strike about a year and a half ago are still out-or a large number of them are; some of them have left for other places. I am not aware as to there being any Canadian militia at Springhill at the present time, though I could not speak definitely on that point.

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CON
LIB

RECIPROCITY ANNOUNCEMENT AND THE PRESS.

CON

Edgar Nelson Rhodes

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. RHODES.

Before the orders of the day are called, I would like to put a question to the government based upon an editorial which I see in the Manitoba * Free Press,of Saturday, January 28, which paper is I believe the government organ in the province of Manitoba. It reads as follows:

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SHABBY TREATMENT.


The Minister of Finance in connection with his announcement of the tariff arrangement with the United States, treated the newspapers and the public very shabbily in failing to see to it that the moment he rose in his place in the House at Ottawa to make his statement, there were furnished to the representatives of the newspapers of Canada in the press. gallery copies _ of the new schedules, and a summary resume of the whole arrangement. In making his statement, the minister was speaking not only to the House, but to the country. In listening to that important statement, the men in the press gallery were the representatives of the people of Canada-decidedly more so, in that special sense, than the members of the House. The people of the whole Dominion were keenly expectant in regard to that statement. At Washington the government was guilty of no such failure to discharge the duty, it in like manner owed to the eagerly waiting public of the United States. At the time agreed upon between the two governments for the announcement of the tariff arrangement, the new schedules were handed to the press correspondents at the capital of the United States, together with a comprehensive summary, containing about a thousand words setting forth the substance and meaning of the arrangement. The afternoon papers throughout the United States were thus able to lay before the public the main facts in regard to the tariff arrangement, its scope, and its bearings. It was from Washington that the first comprehensive news of the tariff arrangement came to Canadian papers, hours before a word of information came from Ottawa. At Ottawa it was not until after Mr. Fielding had come to the end of his speech, about six o'clock, that there was furnished to the press correspondents one copy of the undigested schedules-a great mass of figures, requiring to be studied carefully, before it could be dealt with. There was no summary available, such as at Washington was furnished before four o'clock in the afternoon to the press correspondents. I would like to ask if the grievance complained of in this editorial is justified, and if so, why it was that the newspaper press ' of Canada had to get its first information from Washington. I would ask also if that was the practice followed one year ago when the Minister of Finance was at Washington?


January 30, 1911