January 26, 1912

CON

Herbert Brown Ames

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. H. B. AMES (Montreal St. Antoine).

Mr. Speaker, it had been my intention at the last session of parliament to bring this matter of Australian-Canadian reciprocal trade relations to the attention of the House because it seemed to me that it was a matter of very considerable importance. But, the Reciprocity Bill which was brought down by the former government so altered our entire situation that I felt it inopportune to go on with the discussion. I, however, am very glad, at this time when the matter has been raised by the hon. member for St. John, (Mr. Pugsley) to take occasion to make a few_ observations to the House in connection with Canadian-Australian trade. When that Reciprocity Bill was brought in last session, as I said a moment ago, our status in so far as our power of negotiation was concerned was completely altered from what it hitherto had been. We were practically inviting all the other sister dominions throughout the British Empire to come in as an incident of the bargain that we were making with a foreign nation, sending them, so to speak, around to the back door and lettmg them in with a stranger's ticket when we should take them in at the front door and deal with them as sisters in the same great nation. Now that the reciprocity question is settled, and let us believe it is settled for many years to come, and we are back where we were before, prepared to negotiate with other parts of the empire, I think we can well spend an afternoon in discussing wherein our trade relationships can be improved. I believe that the present government. even in the short time it has been in office, has given ample proof that it is extremely anxious to enlarge our trade relationships. Because we did not accept the late government's proposition as regards reciprocity with the United States, we have been accused of unwillingness to enlarge the opportunities of Canadian trade with other parts of the empire. That accusation, I believe, Mr. Chairman, is entirely unjust. The reason the reciprocity arrangement was opposed by members on this side of the House and was rejected by the country, in my opinion, was that it involved an entangling alliance in the matter of tariffs and made it possible, or even probable, that we should lose our liberty of independent action. .

Now, the very condition of affairs which throws on this side of the House the responsibility on account of the rejection of reciprocity with the United States is a condition of affairs which we would welcome if it related to an arrangement which we

might make with other parts of the British Empire. The more we can get entangled and bound together with the other parts of the empire, the better it will be for us all. We were the first self governing Dominion to adopt the principle of preferential trade. It is now 13 years ago since we made our famous offer to Great Britain and since that time we have kept that offer in force although our friends in the motherland have not reciprocated. It appears to me that we have gone as far as we can in that direction; the next step is that when the motherland is prepared to place her children upon a better basis than strangers in her market we shall be prepared to make still further concessions than those we have already made. But for the time being while Great Britain is unable to give any advantages to us it seems to me that we cannot be called upon to make any larger opportunity for her. But with the other members of the empire that have a fiscal policy similar to that under which we live, which have tariffs that can be reduced towards favoured nations, with them we can make preferential treaties and along that line of least resistance it seems to me it would be wise for us to go. Both Canada and Australia have already adopted the principle of reciprocal arrangements with other parts of the empire. Canada has made an arrangement of that kind with New Zealand and with South Africa. She has offered concessions to the West Indies which they have not yet reciprocated and she has also offered concessions to many other parts of the empire. Australia on her part has reciprocal trade arrangements with South Africa, and with New Zealand, and she grants a preference on British goods going in to that country, so that both Canada and Australia have established the precedent that they are prepared to make arrangements of this kind. But, although these two countries are the two leading British possessions they have as yet no mutual arrangement the one with the other, and each towards the other is a stranger in the matter of tariffs. Canada and Australia, although they are both countries carrying on large commercial operations throughout the world have comparatively small dealings the one with the other. We find that Australia imports annually goods to the amount of about $300,000,000 and yet

Iall that we Canadians send hex is about one and one-third per cent of that. We find - that Australian exports annually goods valued at $360,000,000 and yet of these exports we take but one nineteenth part. So that the trade as it at pressent exists between Canada and Australia is very much less than we in both countries would wish it to be. That may be partially due to defective steamship service, as

the hon. gentleman from St-. John (Mr. Pugsley) has alleged, but yet we must not forget that we have two steamship lines heavily subsidized from Canada, one from the Atlantic ports and one from the Pacific ports, and that we are annually contributing about $300,000 towards the expense of these two services. It is quite probable that a third service is desirable and necessary directly between Vancouver via Hawaii, and the ports of Australia, and I would even be prepared to urge upon the government that if Australia shows herself willing to contribute liberally towards such a third service that service might be created inasmuch as I think there would be traffic enough for these three services between the two countries.

But, for the present, the matter I want to specially discuss is the question of tariff concessions on the part of the two countries with a view of increasing their mutual >traJde(. (There are many strong reasons it seems to me that should appeal to this House and to the thinking people of this country why such an arrangement should be consummated. These reasons are both sentimental and economic and as such we know they have force with British peoples. In the first place Australians and Canadians are people of kindred races. There is a common language, there is a common historic back-ground, there is a common method of doing business and it should not be at all difficult for these two countries to deal with one another. The difficulties which exist in the way of our dealing with the Latin people of South America for example, do not exist between Canada and Australia. In the second place be it remembered that both these countries face on the Pacific ocean and that there is a smooth and tranquil highway of trade which can be traversed every succeeding year in a lesser period than before by reason of faster vessels, and which really brings the two countries in point of expense of transportation very close the one to the other. Then it is to be borne in mind that Canada lies in the northern hemisphere whereas Australia lies in the southern hemisphere and that there is an alternation of seasons-when it is winter here it is summer with them, when our agricultural .products are in such abundance that we are glad to export them theirs are most scarce, and vice versa; and that it would be quite possible to imagine a condition under which we could profitably in certain seasons of the year each send to the other what the other lacked. Let me point out also that to a very considerable extent Canada and Australia produce complementary products We have no sub-tropical sections of Canada but a very considerable portion of Australia, almost all of Queensland, is subtropical and the relationship between Cana-

Topic:   SUPPLY-INTERCOLONIAL TRADE,
Subtopic:   TRADE BETWEEN CANADA AND THE WEST INDIAN ISLANDS AND AUSTRALIA.
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CON

Herbert Brown Ames

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. AMPS.

da and Queensland is practically the same in so far as products are concerned as exists between Canada and the West Indies. In the exchange of the products of the northern zone for the products of the sub-tropical zone there ought certainly to be ample opportunity for trade. Further let me point out that there are no complications by way of outside trade arrangements that should hinder each of these two countries from dealing just as they saw fit with each other. That was the most embarrassing feature of the America-Canadian reciprocity proposal; that if we were to give the United States certain advantages in our market we would necessarily have to give these same advantages to 12 other foreign nations who had no claim upon us and who would give us absolutely nothing in return. But in this ease we can make just such arrangements as we wish with the other parts of the British Empire and niot 'feel that? we have to concede one single item to any outsider, it being purely a domestic and family affair. I do not need to point out to the House that if our trade relations with Australia and other parts of the empire can be increased and enlarged it will mean the strengthening of the empire, it will mean the keeping of our money and resources within the empire in mutual building up each with the other one common consolidated whole. Notwithstanding the reasons that exist for greater trade between Canada and Australia, I have pointed out how small our mutual trade is: The United States are sending

to Australia eight times as much as we are, Germany is sending five times as much, Belgium and Switzerland, little countries m Europe, are sending to Australia more than Canada does. I think that is due to the fact largely that we have not as yet been able to mutually give to this question that consideration which it naturallv deserves.

There are precedents that can be cited, why a preferential treaty should be made! Take for example some of the preferential treaties we are now working under with other parts of the empire. We have a treaty with New Zealand. In 1903, New Zealand granted Canada a preference in return for that which Canada granted her. That preferential Act, which imposed extra duties on goods from foreign countries, was extended in 1907. Under it, the general tariff on dutiable goods from foreign countries is 30:55 per cent, but goods entering New Zealand from the United Kingdom or British possessions come in on an average tariff of twenty and three-fourths per cent, so that you will see that fully one-third of the duty to strangers is rebated towards members of the same imperial household. Now, that has had a very marked effect upon our trade with New Zealand. In 1902-the year before New

Zealand granted us a preference-the total trade between Canada and New Zealand was $357,873; in 1906 it was $1,036,129; and in 1911 it was $1,917,978, showing that within ten years it has increased between five and six times the amount formerly exchanged between the two countries, and one of the best features of that exchange is that the imports and exports bear an almost equal relation to each other. For example we send to New Zealand goods to the extent of $1,004,370, and we take goods from New Zealand to the extent of $913,608, the balance of trade being almost equal, which is an evidence that the most healthy kind of interchange exists between these two parts of the empire.

We have also an arrangement with South Africa, an arrangement that lias proved profitable and that we are glad to continue. Foreign goods entering South Africa are taxed on an average of 17.38 per cent, but goods that come into South Africa from the United Kingdom or British possessions, like Canada, are taxed at the rate of 14:38 per cent. You will notice that the tariff of South Africa is comparatively low. We get a three per cent advantage, not very much, but it certainly has been enough to stimulate the trade in Canadian flour and some other articles with that country.

I do not wish to allege that the government, which passed out of power so recently, has in any way been neglectful or derelict in its duty in dealing with this Australian-Canadian preferential question. One has only to look through the files of the correspondence brought down to see that for the last 11 years that question has been constantly a subject of negotiation between the two countries, and that on more than one occasion it seemed as though a mutually satisfactory arrangement had been arrived at. But, political conditions in Australia have been, since the establishment of the commonwealth there, uncertain until up to a comparatively recent date. There have been in Australia three political parties, namely, the free traders, the protectionists, and tne labour party. None of these was able to control a majority in the legislature, and consequently it was only by a series of combinations that any party could rule. These combinations were made and broken with great frequency, with the result that during ten years unstable conditions were the rule in Australia. When I was in Australia two years ago I had the opportunity of discussing this matter with some of their leading statesmen, among others the Prime Minister of to-day. I found they were unwilling indeed to deal with anything that affected the tariff, because the government of Mr. Deakin was a fusicmist government, and his ministry contained free traders and protectionists in nearly

equal number and consequently did not wish to raise any question that would involve a discussion of the tariff. They feared that if they did so the Cabinet might fall to pieces. They were kept in power merely by common dread of the outside enemy, namely, the Labour party, and that was practically the only cement that then held the government together.

Since I was in Australia the government existing then has passed from power and a Labour government-.frankly labour-has come in and now controls both Houses. And it would seem as though the time had arrived when we Canadians might deal with a stable government. I may add here that the Labour government of Australia is avowedly protectionist-protectionist from a somewhat different point of view from that on which the question is usually discussed in this country, but nevertheless they are protectionist. They are protectionist from the point of view of the workingman himself. Consequently it seems that we will have protection as a settled policy in Australia, and with a settled government in that country there should be no difficulty in our making some progress.

I maiy further say that I believe that our case has been repeatedly placed before the successive governments that have come one after another in Australia, with a good deal of ability and a good deal of discretion, by our Canadian representative, Mr. D. H. Ross. Mr. Ross is persona grata with both sides of the Australian House; he seems to have friends quite as many in one party as in the other, and he is particularly au fait with the matter and has frequently presented memorials to the government which have been seriously considered by them. I do not think there is much difficulty in respect of information, for I believe that the Australian government have had from Mr. Ross all that they could desire. It seems to me that now an opportune time has come for us-when there is a settled government in Australia, a government which is frankly protectionist- to open up and carry on negotiations with good hopes of getting them carried through.

You will notice by the returns brought down this year that the latest proposition is that we should give our minimum tariff for their minimum tariff. I sincerely hope that our government will not adopt that rough-and-ready method of arriving at 'an agreement with Australia. The question involved is one that requires more delicate handling than that. It is a question that should take into consideration the conditions 'as they exist in both countries 'and the mutual relationship that obtains between the two. Let me point out, in the lirst place, that both Canada and Australia, in providing a maximum and a minimum tariff that should extend the maximum to

the stranger and the minimum to the other members of the great British family, always had their eyes upon Great Britain. The ex-Prime Minister (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) will admit that that is what was mainly in his mind when his preferential tariff was submitted to this House. If you examine the Australian returns, you will find -that one-half the -imports come tram Great Britain and that of that one-half, 64 per cent -are on the preferential list. But, if you examine the list of th-e goods that Australia imports from other parts of the empire exclusive of Great Britain, you will find that 95 per cent of them are affected in no way by Australia's preferential trade tariff. Further than that, if you examine the Australian tariff you will find that while it -contains 711 items, 294 of them carry preferential .reductions and the remainder are exactly the same in the maximum as in the minimum. It would seem to me therefore that for us to offer them our minimum tariff or for them to offer us their minimum tariff, would simply mean giving a very slight reduction upon a large number of items, the great majority of which could under no circumstances be exported from one country to the other. It would seem to me, that a far better method of arriving at a really valuable increase of trade would be a list-for-list arrangement, in which we would endeavour to make such concessions as w-e might on the surplus products which Australia exports, and they in their turn, would endeavour to let into Australia on favoured treatment these things which we are already sending them or which are being sent to them toy competitors similarly .situated to ourselves. We send about $4,000,000 worth of goods annually to Australia and of that $4,000,000 worth, 80 per cent are covered 'b>

five items of the tariff. There you will see that the range of articles is comparatively small, and that it wiou-ld he far -more beneficial to our mutual trade if important reductions -could be made on a few items rather than very slight reductions on a large number.

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Subtopic:   TRADE BETWEEN CANADA AND THE WEST INDIAN ISLANDS AND AUSTRALIA.
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LIB

Alexander Kenneth Maclean

Liberal

Mr. MACLEAN (Halifax).

What are the five items.

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CON

Herbert Brown Ames

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. AMES.

Fish, lumber, agricultural implements, motor vehicles and paper. It is possible perhaps by correspondence to say, we will give you our minimum tariff if you give us yours; but when it comes t-o making a list-for-list arrangement, that cannot be done toy two countries six thousand miles apart, either by mail or by cable. The parties must get together, and I believe the time has now arrived when this matter is of sufficient importance to make it obligatory upon a member of the Australian government and a member of the Canadian government to 1 Mr. AMES.

meet at some common point and take it up in conference, with a view to arriving at a mutually satisfactory arrangement. If it were possible for our Minister of Trade and Commerce to visit Australia, I think I can assure him, from what I know of the men whose names figure in this correspondence, not only that he would have -a hearty welcome, but that they would meet him as far as possible in arranging a mutually beneficial basis of trade; or if the Australian Minister of Finance came to Canada, I am sure that we would find him to be a man with whom we could discuss this matter to our mutual satisfaction. Even if the ministers could not come together a competent commission might meet; for I am satisfied that a satisfactory arrangement cannot be made unless the parties sit down together with the determination to stay until something is really accomplished. In an arrangement of that kind I think we Canadians can afford to be pretty generous, because at the present time the balance of trade is largely in our favour. We to-day send to Australia eight times as much as Australia sends to us. Last year we sent to them $3,900,000 worth of goods, while they -sent to us in return only $480,000 worth. It is obvious that it is not profitable to have trade going all one way. Freight rates, if nothing else, could be very much improved if the quantity of freight coming back were equivalent to the quantity going out. We see what has happened in New Zealand, where a really equitable arrangement has been made: the imports and exports are nearly equal; and a similar arrangement made -between Australia and Canada might make the balance of trade pretty nearly equal between the two countries. Our trade with Australia has grown 75 per cent in the last four years, and yet Australia sent us last year less than in 1907. Bo that it appears to me that we could afford to be generous in our dealings with Australia, inasmuch as at the present time the benefit seems to toe on our side.

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LIB

Hugh Guthrie

Liberal

Mr. GUTHRIE.

What are the chief imports into Canada from Australia now?

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CON

Herbert Brown Ames

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. AMES.

I will give them in a moment. If you make a comparative examination of the Australian and Canadian tariffs, you will find that on goods sent from Australia to Canada, taking dutiable goods only, our tariff wall amounts to 31 -29 per cent. I have not the figures at my disposal to show what was paid in the same year on Canadian goods going from Australia, but as we pay the maximum rate, I was able to get the figures of the total foreign imports going into Australia, and find that

the average rate on them is 24-06 per cent. So that our rate against them is 7-23 per cent, higher than their rate against us. However, our importations from Australia are in large measure admitted free; so that if we take the figures of the total trade from Australia to Canada, we find that the average rate of duty upon it is 16-9 per cent., while the average rate of duty on the total foreign trade to Australia is 21 -5 per cent. Therefore on dutiable goods alone we have * higher wall against them than they have against us; but if all classes of goods are taken into account, they have a higher wall against us than we have .against them. This is due to the fact that fully half of the four or five classes of goods that we take from them are on the free list. Now, as I have pointed out, we grant a wider margin of preference. For example, if the initial Australian duty were 24 per cent., the preferential rebate of i would bring it down to 18 per cent. If the Canadian initial duty were 31 per cent., & off that would bring it down to about 21 per cent. We give a greater preferential reduction than they do, but we start with a higher tariff wall against them than they have against us, and in the end, if minimum were given for minimum, ours would still be higheT against them than theirs against us.

When we came to the question of a list-for-list arrangement, we shall have to consider what we can send them and what they can send us. Perhaps the best way to find out what we can send them is to see what the United States are sending, because the United States are sending them from $25,000,000 to $30,000,000 a year, while we are sending them only one-sixth to one-eighth as much; and yet the great bulk of the goods which the United States are sending to Australia, on exactly the same terms as we are sending, are goods which we can produce and on which we could compete with the United States in the Australian market. My contention is that if we are able to secure in the Australian market a slight advantage over our American competitor, we shall be able to divert a considerable portion of that trade from the United States to Canada, which I think is a very justifiable object. Looking, then, over the list of .goods shipped by the United States to Australia, we find the principal ones to be: boots and

shoes, of which in 1909 they sent $263,000 worth; ammunition and explosives, of which they sent $279,000 worth. I may say that on boots and shoes, the duty against both the United States and ourselves is 35 per cent; the preferential rate is 30 per cent, on ammunition the duty is 5s. 6d. maximum, and 5s. minimum. On explosives the duty is 20 per cent, maximum, 15 per cent, minimum. Had we the 5 per cent.

advantage on explosives I think we could do a considerable business in that line. Some of the other goods are fish, furniture, india-rubber, manufactures, metal manufactures, paper, timber, wood manufactures, vehicles, bicycles and motors. Of furniture the United States sends them $222,000 worth a year. On that the duty is 35 per cent, maximum, 30 per cent, minimum. A 5 per cent, advantage would, I think, help us to do a considerable business in that line. Of india-rubber manufactures the United States sends them $135,856 worth a year; the duty is 25 per cent, maximum, 20 per cent, minimum. Of metal manufactures, the amount sent by the United States is very large-over $1,000,000 worth of wire, over $3,000,000 worth of machinery, over $1,000,000 worth of other metal manufactures, $6,810,000 worth of railway iron, over $400,000 worth of plates and sheets. On these goods there is a varying tariff, but in most cases the difference between the maximum and the minimum is about 5 per cent, on the cost of the articles, and if we had that advantage, I am quite certain we could do a large trade with Australia in metal manufactures. With Tegard to paper, ordinary news print paper is free. The United States sent $799,000 worth in 1909. Of timber the United States sent $2,887,000 worth. Of wood manufactures they sent $389,000 worth. Of vehicles, bicycles, motors and parts they sent $487,000 worth.

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Subtopic:   TRADE BETWEEN CANADA AND THE WEST INDIAN ISLANDS AND AUSTRALIA.
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?

Mr EMMERSON.

What is the nature of the timber shipped from the United States? Is it mainly southern pine?

Mr. AME3. No, the timber shipped from the United States is almost all Douglas fir and Oregon pine from the American Pacific coast-Oregon and Washington. We claimed there that our Canadian product is better than the American, and we urged that if we were able to secure a slight advantage we could supply their wants very largely from our British Columbia forests. Now, taking these articles a little more in detail, let me show some of the main items of our present exports:

Exports of some Canadian Products to Australia for the year ending March 31, 1910. Class of goods- Amount.

Tinned fish $ 475,000

Agricultural implements and machinery 1,260,000

Printing paper (mostly news

print 800,000

Undressed lumber 340,000

Bicycles, motor cars, &c 300,000

Our total exports to Australia are $3,900,000. So it will be seen that these five items make up fully 80 per cent of all we send to Australia. In 1909, we shipped $650,000 worth of rails and fishplates. They were trying them out on

the Victorian railway when I was there, and I understood from Sir Thomas Tait that they were satisfactory. It is easy to see what an advantage a slight reduction on these six items would be to Canada.. Take, for instance, fish in tins. These imports into Australia consist almost wholly of salmon, the total imports of fish in tins being about $2,285,000 annually. As I have shown, we send about $471,000 worth. That is, we supply about 21 per cent, or one-fifth of what Australia imports, the other four-fifths coming 'from the United States., The duty on tinned salmon going into Australia, wherever it may come Torn, is Id. per pound. But if we could get a slight reduction, we could certainly largely increase our exportation at the expense of the Americans. Australia already gives South Africa a rebate of id. per pound on fish from that country. Thus the precedent has been established, and there is no reason why Australia should not give to Canada a rebate on the duty on fish. Take the case of timber: Australia in 1910 imported

$10,278,900 worth of timber, of which $4,500,000 worth was from the United States, $2,600,000 from Norway and Sweden, and $375,000 worth from Canada. It will be seen that the United States sends to Australia twelve times as much timber as we do-practically the same kinds of timber and if anything not quite so good. The tariff upon that timber is 2s. 6d. per 100 superficial feet. We feel that if Australia would make a slight reduction, we could get a much larger quantity of British Columbia timber into Australia than we do. They allow white pine from New Zealand to come in at only 6d. per 100 feet. If they would give us anything like the same rate, we should be in a very much better position than we are. Anottoefi. product of which we could send very considerable quantities at certain times of the year is apples. I had the opportunity of going through seme of the most magnificent apple orchards in' Tasmania, where apple culture is brought^ perhaps, to the highest * stage known in the civilized world. But as everybody knows, Canada and Australia have alternating seasons. I was in Tasmania in November, and the apple trees were in full bloom-it was the beginning of spring. The apple crop would be harvested in February and March. But they have practically no apples of then-own in October and November and December, the very months when our apples aTe at their best. New Zealand has gone so far as to recognize this by reducing her tariff from Id. per poind to id. per pound during November and December, thus permitting apples from the north to come m, though she is a large exporting coun-Mr. AMES.

ty in the right time of the year. It does not seem to me altogether an unreasonable ^proposition that we should admit Tasmanian apples into Canada at a time when our apples are practically exhausted and that they should allow our apples in when their native supplies are low. There are quite a number of other fruits that could be exchanged on the same basis.

The same is true of eggs-these could be admitted on favourable terms at the time when the importing country has least and the exporting country has most. Another item in which our export to Australia is large, is newsprint paper. It is admitted free into Australia no matter where it comes from. If the Australians could be persuaded to put a slight duty against newsprint from foreign countries, and allow ours to go in free, it would give us a tremendous advantage; and I do not think it would raise the price of paper to them, because we can offer far more for export than they can consume. And if they would reduce slightly their duty on wrapping paper made by the Kraft process-the general tariff is 5s. and the United Kingdom tariff 4s. 6d.-if they could give

us this slight advantage we could compete with Sweden and Norway on a basis that would largely help some ol our mills in the province of Quebec. New Zealand gives an advantage of $12.21 per ton on Canadian wrapping paper over that produced in Norway and Sweden, and the result is that our Canadian mills are sending quantities of wrapping paper to New Zealand. Were we permitted some slight preference in the Australian market, it would be a great advantage to the mills in Quebec that use the Kraft process in-the manufacture of paper. There is quite a range of articles which I have referred to, on which the Australians have a double tariff, with a slight difference between them. If we could gain the advantage of the minimum tariff we could replace to a large extent the goods manufactured by the United States. Among them are agricultural machinery, rubber goods, boots and shoes, metal manufactureries, textiles, vehicles, bicycles and motors. If an arrangement could be made by which we could get our lumber, our fish, our fruit (at certain times of the year), and our1 paper free into their markets; and if they will be prepared to put on a slight tax on the paper produced elsewhere, and give us their preferential rates on a number of manufactured articles,

I think we should be content, and we should have the means of considerably increasing our trade.

But, of course, if we ask these boons, we must be very generous in dealing with Australia. We can hardly expect her to give ue further advantages, particularly as trade stands eight to one in our favour, unless we are prepared to make concessions

to them. Now, what commodities does Australia produce? Australia does not produce as large a variety of exportable goods as Canada." We get the best indication of her surplus by looking over her list of exports to Great Britain, for nearly everything that Australia produces in greater quantity than she requires for home consumption she sends to the English market. The British consumption of Australian goods amounts to $150,000,000 a year. Certain articles which Australia sends to Great Britain come into direct competition with our exports. We could hardly expect to send wheat or flour to Australia, nor could we send cattle, for our cattle meet their chilled beef in the British market. They compete also in sending large quantities of minerals-gold, silver, copper and lead.

Topic:   SUPPLY-INTERCOLONIAL TRADE,
Subtopic:   TRADE BETWEEN CANADA AND THE WEST INDIAN ISLANDS AND AUSTRALIA.
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LIB

Alexander Kenneth Maclean

Liberal

Mr. MACLEAN (Halifax).

What is Australia's export of wheat?

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Subtopic:   TRADE BETWEEN CANADA AND THE WEST INDIAN ISLANDS AND AUSTRALIA.
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CON

Herbert Brown Ames

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. AMES.

About $25,000,000 a year. There are a number of articles that we already admit free from Australia-we could hardly do better than that.

We allow all skins, hides, rabbit skins, sheep skins and other skins to come in free. We allow wool in free, we allow tin in free and we allow their unmanufactured timber, many beautiful hardwoods that can be used in the manufacture of furniture, and special timber that will resist the tor-redo, and can be used in wharf construction, and also paving block timber. All of that timber is of most excellent quality and it is all admitted free. But, on the other hand, there are certain lines which Australia would be extremely glad to put on the Canadian market more extensively, lines on which we have a distinct maximum, intermediate and minimum tariff.

Some of these articles are:

Article. Maximum. Minimum

Butter 3c.

Apples 25c. bbl.

Leather

15% 124%Chilled mutton

3c. 2c.Meat ini tins .. '

274% 174%Tallow

20% . 15%

If we should give to Australia our minimum tariff on these items we would undoubtedly considerably increase our importations of them from that country. We might even do better than our minimum tariff, inasmuch as the number of articles Australia can send us is so limited compared with the very large variety we can send them. Then, as I said, a list-for-list arrangement can only be dealt with when commissioners sit beside each other and concession is given for concession. The New Zealand principle that the computed loss of revenue on each article should be balanced might toe applied and in that way the concessions made to measure up by some rule mutually agreed upon.

Australia produces a great deal of very excellent light wine. I can speak from knowledge for I have been there, I have seen the actual making of the wine, and have tasted it as well. Hocks and Chablis and wines of that character. The Australians would toe very glad if they could get from us the same preferential treatment as we give to France on light wines and I think our Pacific coast people would find that the Australian wine would supplant the Californian if such an arrangement was made. There are other items which we include under the French treaty such as lime-juice, prunes, raisins, currants, &c. If we could give to Australia the preference we give under the French treaty it would help them very much in these lines.

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Subtopic:   TRADE BETWEEN CANADA AND THE WEST INDIAN ISLANDS AND AUSTRALIA.
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LIB

Emmanuel Berchmans Devlin

Liberal

Mr. DEVLIN.

Apart from natural products, are there any manufactured goods in which we might give them a preference?

Topic:   SUPPLY-INTERCOLONIAL TRADE,
Subtopic:   TRADE BETWEEN CANADA AND THE WEST INDIAN ISLANDS AND AUSTRALIA.
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CON

Herbert Brown Ames

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. AMES.

I have pointed out that there are a number of manufactured goods vve can send to Australia, but that there are very few manufactured goods that Australia could send to us.

Topic:   SUPPLY-INTERCOLONIAL TRADE,
Subtopic:   TRADE BETWEEN CANADA AND THE WEST INDIAN ISLANDS AND AUSTRALIA.
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LIB

Emmanuel Berchmans Devlin

Liberal

Mr. DEVLIN.

And in these manufactured goods that we might send them according to the list enumerated by the hon. member could we compete with the Americans in Australia?

Topic:   SUPPLY-INTERCOLONIAL TRADE,
Subtopic:   TRADE BETWEEN CANADA AND THE WEST INDIAN ISLANDS AND AUSTRALIA.
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CON

Herbert Brown Ames

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. AMES.

My contention is that at present the Americans get the advantage of Canada because we are both treated as strangers, but if we were given a slight preference in Australia of even 5 per cent or 10 per cent on the selling price over the American manufacturer we could, in many items displace the American manufacturer. In fact the point I mainly have in mind and am endeavouring to persuade the House to consider, is that it is of primal importance that these two great parts of the British Empire should be linked together as closely as can be and there are a great many advantages that would accrue if we had a mutually satisfactory preferential trade arrangement.

I believe that the trade now carried on between the two countries is a mere bagatelle compared with what might be effected if there were proper facilities for transportation and mutual concessions made under the tariffs of the two countries. That would be of great advantage. It would help us to build up our shipping on the Pacific and to build up the empire gener

! 1 ly, it would strengthen us in dealing with the great problem that we must some day Eace, the defence of British interests on the Pacific ocean. But, I feel that the proposal of minimum for minimum, a rough-and-ready system of giving 400 items that neither country could possibly send and

omitting to give substantial reductions on the few items on which they might trade, would never enable us to arrive at a satisfactory conclusion. My contention is that it would be advisable if the government should consider this matter of sufficient importance to request the Minister of Trade and Commerce or some other party deputed by the government to meet the Australian government representatives, to sit down with them to consider an arrangement, concession for concession, and to endeavour, in that way, to arrive at some mutual sacrifices by which the volume of our trade would be increased.

Topic:   SUPPLY-INTERCOLONIAL TRADE,
Subtopic:   TRADE BETWEEN CANADA AND THE WEST INDIAN ISLANDS AND AUSTRALIA.
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LIB

Henry Robert Emmerson

Liberal

Mr. EMMERSON.

The hon. member said that, under certain circumstances, our manufacturers could compete in the Australian market with American manufacturers. If we could do that in Australia why is it that we could not do it in our own market? My hon. friend said that, with a very slight reduction, I think he even specified 5 per cent on boots and shoes and several other articles, we could compete against the United States In the Australian market, and yet the contention of my hon. friend, as I understand, would be that we cannot in our own market compete against the manufacturers of the United States with respect to these particular articles. Then my hon. friend argues that we should have participated in such a policy because it would tend to build up our shipping trade on the Pacific. I presume the same argument would apply with respect to enlarging our trade with the United States, that it would have the effect of building up our shipping and coasting trade on the Atlantic seacoast.

Topic:   SUPPLY-INTERCOLONIAL TRADE,
Subtopic:   TRADE BETWEEN CANADA AND THE WEST INDIAN ISLANDS AND AUSTRALIA.
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CON

Herbert Brown Ames

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. AMES.

The hon. member for Westmorland (Mr. Emmerson) will admit that the first requisite, if a country is to export manufactured articles, is that it should be able to retain its home market. Unless we can be sure of our home market it is not probable that we will have very much to export. I am a strong auvocate of retaining our home market and if, after our home market is supplied, we can get, in other portions of the globe, preferential terms, we shall probably be able to cheapen the very articles here as well, through the fact that a larger quantity of articles permits a less cost of production.

Topic:   SUPPLY-INTERCOLONIAL TRADE,
Subtopic:   TRADE BETWEEN CANADA AND THE WEST INDIAN ISLANDS AND AUSTRALIA.
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LIB

Henry Robert Emmerson

Liberal

Mr. EMMERSON.

What about the shipping?

Topic:   SUPPLY-INTERCOLONIAL TRADE,
Subtopic:   TRADE BETWEEN CANADA AND THE WEST INDIAN ISLANDS AND AUSTRALIA.
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CON

George Eulas Foster (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. G. E. FOSTER (Minister of Trade and Commerce).

We have had a very nice, sociable discussion, undertaken and carried out in good spirit* and I believe that the speeches which have been made, particularly the one just made by my hon. friend (Mr. Ames), will be of very great value not only to members of this House, but also

Topic:   SUPPLY-INTERCOLONIAL TRADE,
Subtopic:   TRADE BETWEEN CANADA AND THE WEST INDIAN ISLANDS AND AUSTRALIA.
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CON

Herbert Brown Ames

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. AMES.

generally as exposing, in a very frank, plain and comprehensive way, the groundwork for possible trade between ourselves and the Commonwealth of Australia. Looked at in one way there is a sameness of production between Canada and Australia which does not augur very well for a mutual interchange on a preferential or reciprocity basis. Looked at in another way, taking into account the two considerations of which we sometimes lose sight, that in the first place there is a reciprocity of seasons between Canada and Australia and in the second place a reciprocity of certain productions along quite an extended plane, we see that, outside of the great bulk which is common to both countries, there is a very wide margin for successful and remunerative exchanges between Canada and Australia.

If we add to that certain preferences which might be given by each and which will enable each in the markets of the other to meet competition from outside countries that have not that preference, I do not think we arre entering upon a hopeless quest when we endeavour to carry out from this time forward what my hon. friends formerly in their government attempted to carry out in their time with the purpose of bettering the trade relations between the two governments. Frankly speaking, I have no fault to find in this respect with the administration of my right hon. friend (Sir Wilfrid Laurier). T think the ten years which have passed and which have now been succeeded by another regime, were particularly unfavourable to the consummation of a trade arrangement between Canada and Australia mainly from the fact, which has been alluded to by my hon. friend, that matters political were always strenuous in Australia, and there was no very decided certainty of the tenure of office of any government which happened to be in power. Looking over and studying carefully all the negotiations which have taken place during the last ten years, we see that they have proceeded upon the plane of endeavouring to get some arrangement and to link that arrangement up on as wide a basis as possible, but at the same time willing to take the initial step upon a distinctly narrower basis in the hope that there would be an eventual widening of it. There is a point for difference of opinion as to whether it was wise to make a proposal looking to preference for preference under the conditions which exist rather than to take a little longer time and try and secure a trade arrangement upon a more mutually profitable and commercially extended basis. Taking the 294 items upon which they give the British trade preference ; it looks large when it is put down in columns on paper, it would seem

as though Canada would actually get a preference on each of the 294 items in the list and that the arrangement would work out very advantageously. But upon scanning the list you find that there is an almost infinitessimal number from which Canada could reap any benefit at all. So that, I think the argument of my hon. friend who has just taken his seat is a very good argument, that it would be better to sit down together and frame a list of really serviceable exchanges between the two countries leaving in what would be mutually advantageous and leaving out what would be barren and unfruitful. It seemed a few weeks ago to Mr. Boss, our agent in Australia, that it might be possible for the Australian government to put upon its statute-book, at the session just past, a British preference in favour of Canada, and the question was asked as to whether this government would advise that an effort be made to bring that about. Looking at the matter as carefully as I could, I came to the conclusion not to make that effort and it was for the reason that I thought it, would be better, instead of tieing ourselves up to an exchange of preference for preference, to try and come to an arrangement which would be less expansive in the matter of items but moTe fruitful in the matter of actual results. The proposition that I have made in writing to the Minister of Trade and Commerce of Australia is one which I hope will result in a conference, if possible, between members of the governments and if it is not possible between members of the governments, at least between special commissioners who shall be empowered to act by the two governments in that line. To my mind it is far better that members of the government shall be brought together where they can exchange views, can authoritatively dispose of item after item under discussion and can give and take in the way of coming to a favourable conclusion. I hope that idea may be carried out and I hope it may be carried out just as soon as posible.

My hon. friend from St. John (Mr. Pugs-ley) thought that we were rather putting the cart before the horse when we favoured preferential trade arrangements as a precursor to improved steamship arrangements. Well, that is a matter of opinion. My hon. friend is of the opinion that the improvement in trade communications should precede the other, at least that it should not be retarded in the least because the other does not exist and that it serves as an incentive to preferential rates. My own opinion is, and I hold it pretty strongly, that it is a great assistance to the betterment of steamship communications to have the inducement of favourable tariff rates between two countries. That holds as well with reference to our trade relations with

the West Indies as it does with Australia, in fact, I think a little more so; I have made these few remarks with reference to our relations with Australia. It is not my part to indicate what I think will be the course of negotiations. My hon. friend who has just taken his seat has given us his views very extensively and very pertinently, but if it so happens that I am to be one of the negotiators, it would probably be better that I should not have gone too largely into the matter prior to my meeting our friends from the other side.

With regard to our relations with the West Indies, I laid on the table of the House the return to which my hon. friend has alluded. The matters in hand at the present time sprang out of and are based upon preceding negotiations and examinations the most important and .comprehensive of which was that which was gone into by the British West Indian commission (of which twio Canadian Ministers were members. The three things which are under consideration now between ourselves and the West Indies are improved telegraphic or cable communications, improved steamship communication and improved trade relations. For a number of years Canada has given to the West Indian Islands a large and generous preference which has met with generous appreciation by the West Indian Islands and which, they acknowledge, has been a help to the West Indies in various ways and particularly in reference to the encouragement of their sugar industries. I am not going to take up the time of the House to dilate upon the conditions which seem to me to favour a reciprocal arrangement between ourselves and -countries situated as the West Indies are. Suffice it to say at the present time that all of these three points that I have mentioned are very important. Improved cable and telegraphic communications contribute to quickness in the transaction of (business and the increase of trade. The same is true, but in a still larger sense, of improved steamship communications.

I am not very enthusiastic and I have (not been for a number of years over the steamship communications which have been existing between ourselves and the West Indies. I do not think they have been up-to-date, as modern and as enterprising as they should have been and as I think it is necessary for them to be in order that they shall adequately promote trade and commerce. We have not had as quick, as rapid, or as punctual communication 'as it is possible to have consistent with the conditions there and which it is necessary to have in order to promote trade to its greatest extent. I would not consider it a mattetr for very much doubt or hesitation if it comes to be a question 1 between a larger amount of good e-s com-

pared with a smaller amount of money if the first will bring you an adequate service and the second will only keep you halting along with an inadequate service. I think that hon. members on both sides of the House would favour an idea like that. It is better economy to spend well and get good returns than to spend poorly and to get equally poo

However, the proposition that was made by this government on my report to the Colonial Secretary was this: That the

Canadian government was ready at any time to meet the representatives of the West Indies so that we might go into the matter face to face with each other in order to carry out what seems to be pretty well in train for being accomplished. Already nine legislatures in the West Indies, including British Guiana, have passed resolutions in favour of carrying out the conclusions of the West Indian commission. I may say that since that return was prepared, I notified the Colonial Secretary to intimate to the West Indian Islands that. if they would send their representatives to Ottawa for a conference, we would be very happy to welcome them here, but that if they would rather that the conference should be held in the West Indian Islands we would send our representatives there. Since that I may say that I have received by cable a communication, informing the government - and I am sure all members on both sides of this House will receive the announcement with pleasure-that it has been decided that the West Indian commissioners appointed by the different legislatures shall come to Ottawa, and I expect at present they will be here about 27th of March. The date was fixed late in March originally in order that if we had to go to the West Indies we would not be there in the very hottest season, but happily the West Indian commissioners are coming here, and they will include representatives from most of the islands of the West Indies and from British Guiana. I am sure these gentlemen will receive from the members of the opposition and from the government a right hearty welcome.

Topic:   SUPPLY-INTERCOLONIAL TRADE,
Subtopic:   TRADE BETWEEN CANADA AND THE WEST INDIAN ISLANDS AND AUSTRALIA.
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LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIEK.

Hear, hear.

Topic:   SUPPLY-INTERCOLONIAL TRADE,
Subtopic:   TRADE BETWEEN CANADA AND THE WEST INDIAN ISLANDS AND AUSTRALIA.
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CON

George Eulas Foster (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FOSTER (North Toronto).

I hope that we may be able to have results, as a return for the long and somewhat patient negotiations which .have been going on now for a series of years.

Sir WILFRID LAURIER, I agree with my hon. friend (Mr. Foster), that we have had a very important discussion on this matter, and I was glad to notice that the remarks of my hon. friend (Mr. Pugsley), Mr. FOSTER (Toronto).

on our trade relations with the West Indies were so well received by the Minister of Trade and Commerce (Mr. Foster). I do not know what trade is to be developed with the West Indies, but be it much or be it little we are all anxious to get it even if we have to pay pretty liberally for the privilege. I regret that our efforts to stimulate trade with Australia, efforts that have been constant for the last ten years, have been fruitless. I may say to my hon. friend from St. Antoine (Mr. Ames), that the expose he has made to-day of the possibilities of trade with Australia is, in my judgment, the clearest we have ever had in this House. He has told us the way in which that trade can be developed if any trade can be developed with Australia. Of course, it is quite true that the uncertainty of government in Australia lias been one reason for the ill success of our negotiations in the past, and I fear there is no certainty that the government now in power will remain long in office, but if a fusionist government under Mr. Deakin is returned I know that he will be most anxious to have with us favoured trade relations. But, the difficulties in the way are not only political. Australia has only two large staples of export, wool and meat. We buy Australian wool to-day, but we buy it largely through Great Britain, and perhaps if we had direct communication from Australia we might get that, product direct to Canada. But, I should judge that there is no market at all in Canada for Australian meat and I do not know that the tariff views of the Minister of Trade and Commerce (Mr. Foster) would favour a very large importation of meat from Australia to Canada. At all events there are some sections of our country where such a proposition would not be favourably received. For my part I think it would be well to make some sacrifice to develop a trade with Australia. I agree with the hon. gentleman (Mr. Foster), that there is a wide field in Australia for Canadian manufactured goods, and if it is possible to induce the Australian government to give us a slight preference over the Americans the benefits to us would be immense. I think it possible that in a very few years we could increase our export trade to Australia which is now only $1,000,000 annually, to perhaps $12,000,000. I agree with the suggestion that we should send commissioners to Australia. We have at present in Australia a very able Canadian agent in Mr. Ross, who is well versed in business, who is conciliatory and diplomatic. He has the ear of all parties in Australia and no better man could be found to negotiate, but Mr. Ross could not move a step forward in these negotiations without being in constant communication with the government here, and the belter wav is for us to send a commissioner to Washington.

Topic:   SUPPLY-INTERCOLONIAL TRADE,
Subtopic:   TRADE BETWEEN CANADA AND THE WEST INDIAN ISLANDS AND AUSTRALIA.
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January 26, 1912