May 22, 1913

LIB

Frank Broadstreet Carvell

Liberal

Mr. CARVELL:

No, you do not. My

hon. friend (Mr. Wright) asked me if I did not know that hundreds of carloads of potatoes were sold at 25 cents a bushel in counties in the United States nearer to New York than the Maritime provinces are. I do not.

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CON

William Wright

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. WRIGHT:

I do.

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LIB

Frank Broadstreet Carvell

Liberal

Mr. CARVELL:

What is more, I do

not'believe it, for this reason. If you go to northern Maine, which is the great potato producing country of the eastern portions of the United States, you will find that potatoes are worth to-day $1.25 a barrel, or fifty cents a bushel. They are worth that to the farmers along the line of railway. It is only 500 miles from there to New York. If the farmer in eastern Maine can get fifty cents a bushel for his potatoes, the man who has potatoes of equal quality elsewhere in the United States will not be compelled to sell them at 25 cents a bushel if he is equally near to New York. It is no use trying to get round the facts. If the New York consumer can buy the same quality of potatoes for 25 cents a bushel at points 500 miles west of New York, he will not go to northern Maine and pay fifty cents a bushel. There is no doubt about it, and my friend could argue until he was black in the face and he could not convince me or any other man who knows the transaction to the contrary of what I have said.

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CON

William Wright

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. WRIGHT:

I am not trying to convince my hon. friend, I am only stating the facts.

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LIB

Frank Broadstreet Carvell

Liberal

Mr. CARVELL:

Unless mv hon. friend

has personal knowledge, I cannot accept the statement he makes as a fact without proof, because I know it cannot be correct. I have given an illustration of what reciprocity would have done in the one item of potatoes. I would not have gone into this had I not been asked to do so by mv hon. friend from Muskoka. I do believe that the result of the reciprocity agreement would

have been not only to increase the price to the farmer in many cases, but to increase his market, - which would have been worth to him ten times the increased price of the article itself.

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CON

William Thoburn

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. THOBURN:

The hon. member stated that owing to the good crop of potatoes in the United States last vear thev were not. able to export their potatoes from New Brunswick. To my mind the same thing would apply under reciprocity. It will not be disputed that the United States export almost every article in the shape of farm produce that Canada does, and for that reason will you tell me why there is a market in the United States for Canadian farm products?

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LIB

Frank Broadstreet Carvell

Liberal

Mr. CARVELL:

Mv hon. friend is trving to draw me from the point. I did not say that you could not send potatoes to the United States, because they had a big crop. I said that the price was so low that you could not do it commercially. I stated that the duty to-day is about sixty-seven cents a barrel, and if you send potatoes to the United States from Canada to-day, you have to pay that duty. That means ruination to the Canadian farmer. But it would be different if that duty were removed, then you would have a splendid price. If the farm, ers of the Maritime provinces can get $1.25 for their potatoes they will get wealthy; they will ride in automobiles in a few years. That is at the rate of fifty cents a bushel. But I am told: If what you say about the price to the farmer is true, what about the labouring man, what about the consumer? I am willing to admit, and I always did admit in my argument on the reciprocity question, that the consumer would pay more for the particular articles included in that agreement. It would not amount to very much, it would amount in the case of the ordinary household, which I suppose does not use more than three or four barrels of potatoes in a year, to a difference of $2 or $3 a year. It would be the same with a few other items. There is another side to this question that my friends do not take into consideration and that is the advantage that would accrue to the consumer in Canada had the reciprocity agreement become law. I wish to give some of the benefits that would have accrued. I have here the trade and navigations returns for the last year down to and including February, eleven months. I have not been able to procure the full returns, for the year and therefore, any figures that I have along this line will be for eleven months only. It is known by my hon. friends if they have taken the trouble to read the reciprocity agreement-but I am afraid that some of them did not read it verv carefully-practically all farm products were to be free. We know that many vegetables and fruits Mr. CARVELL

would have come into this country free of duty under the reciprocity agreement. I have here a list of the articles of consumption by the ordinary people of Canada that came into Canada for the first eleven months of the last fiscal vear. These articles would have come in free of duty had that arrangement gone through. I will read the list, giving the articles, the value of the imports and the duty paid. The list is as follows:

Vegetables and Fruits.

Articles. Value. Duty.Melons $113,412 $ 54,543Potatoes 428,898 92,780Sweet potatoes 56,248 5,390Tomatoes 273,617 82,085Vegetables, N.O.P 909,079 363,748Dried apples

Green " 16,185 6,474751,399 112,325Blackberries, strawber- ries. &c 565,651 138,146Cherries 102,831 25,707Cranberries 129,888 32,470Grapes 279,685 100,833Peaches 330,5S5 145,770Quinces, &c 372,746 66,937Plums.. .., 266,974 75,650$4,811,929 $1,302,841Eggs, 11,529,686 doz 2,456,832 345,890Butter, from all other countries under general tariff 350,145 50,206Butter, from New Zealand and Great Bri- tain 1,479,189 171,825$9,098,095 $1,870,762

In vegetables and fruit alone we imported last year in the eleven months $4,811,929 in value and on this we paid $1,302,341 in duty. In other words, the consumer, the labouring man, the man in the city, village and town, all over the country, would have saved $1,302,000 in duty if that agreement had become law.

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CON

William Thoburn

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. THOBURN:

Did the Canadian

farmer benefit by that?

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LIB

Frank Broadstreet Carvell

Liberal

Mr. CARVELL:

He did not lose to the extent of a dollar, as I shall try to convince my hon. friend. At least what I say will convince any man who wants to be convinced that the farmer did not lose a dollar. Hon. gentlemen may say that the reciprocity agreement is ancient history. It is not ancient history so far as the people of this country are concerned. I am not saying that we will ever get the reciprocity treaty exactly as it was proposed to us, we never will while I live get anything from any country that will be worth as much to Canada as the reciprocity treaty would have been. But the principle for which we fought is not gone, the principle is there to-day as vital as it was two years ago, just as important to the consuming people of Canada as it was two years ago and the

people want it and will have it regardless of whether my hon. friends opposite are willing to give it or not. If my hon. friends opposite will not give it to them they will put in power a party that will give it to them, because I tell the manufacturers, the trusts and combines of this country that they cannot bleed the labouring people of Canada any longer, they will demand cheaper living and they will obtain it. It is only part of the story. It is well known that under the construction of our laws and the proposed agreement anything which came in from the States free of duty would also have come in free of duty from Great Britain or from any of the colonies of Great Britain enjoying our preferential tariff. That was not in the agreement, but it is the proper construction and interpretation of that agreement read in connection with our existing laws. That was one of the great arguments used by my hon. friends opposite with the farmers of Canada that, if they adopted reciprocity, butter would come from Australia and New Zealand, or from any part of the British Empire as well as from other nations with which Great Britain had trade treaties. Of butter last year we imported $350,145 from the United States and other countries excepting Great Britain and her colonies, on which we paid $50,260 in duty. We imported from New Zealand and Great Britain $1,479,189 worth of butter, on which we paid $171,825 of duty. That is a total of something like $1,800,000 worth of butter from the whole world and all that with the exception perhaps of $300 or .$400 worth came from the United States, New Zealand and Great Britain, and if the reciprocity agreement had gone ino effect every pound of that except a small quantity would have come free of duty and the people of this country would have avoided paying over $200,000 duty which they paid on butter alone in the first eleven months of last year.

Then we come to the question of eggs. It is most remarkable that the Canadian farmer will not produce the eggs which are required in Canada, but he does not. We cannot make him, we have no power over him. I have wondered at this fact many times. I admit that the Agricultural Department has been doing a great deal in trying to influence the farmers to engage more extensively in this business, but they do not become interested and do not prj-( duce the eggs. In the first eleven months of last year we imported $2,456,832 worth of eggs and nine-tenths of these eggs came from the United States of America. On these eggs we paid $345,890 in duty. Or, if you take fruit, vegetables, butter and eggs alone, just those four articles, we imported in eleven months $9,098,000 and paid $1,870,762 in duty, and for the

twelve months we imported $10,000,000 worth and the people of this country paid $2,000,000 in duty which they need not have paid and would not have paid if reciprocity had gone into effect. I want my hon. friends to state if it would not have been better for the people of this country, if it would not have been of benefit to the man in Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa and the manufacturing centres of Ontario, if he could have bought his eggs, . butter and fruit and saved that $2,000,000 because, Sir, he is the man who paid it. Out in the farming districts they probably produce enough eggs and butter for themselves; it is the labouring man in the manufacturing centres of Canada who purchases these articles, and who paid the $2,000,000 duty on these ordinary articles of food last year. Would my friend say that would have been of no benefit to him?

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CON

William Thoburn

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. THOBUEN:

Would my hon. friend give me the privilege of answering that question? That was not the issue in the reciprocity question. You never advocated the cause of the workingman, it was the agricultural classes of the community that you professed to benefit.

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LIB

Frank Broadstreet Carvell

Liberal

Mr. CAKVELL:

I advocated it, and 1 went into my own town and met the labouring men and told them and preached to them this doctrine, and I got a bigger majority in my town than ever before in my life. I have had no trouble with the labouring men of my constituency, I have treated them honestly. I have told them that, I tell them that to-day and they stood for it and will stand for it again. I tell my hon. friends opposite that the labouring men all over Canada will respond to the call when it is made.

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CON

William Thoburn

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. THOBUEN:

Still, the farmers did

not respond to the call.

Mr. CAEVELL; I am dealing with facts, and my hon. friend can deal with the matter in any way he chooses. The people of Canada did not respond, the people of Canada defeated the Government that proposed reciprocity. I think that everybody in the world who knows anything oi Canada knows that. We are not trying to get away from that, but I want my hon. friend now to answer my question. He tried to and did not. Does he think that it would have been any benefit to the ' labouring man of Canada?

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CON

William Thoburn

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. THOBUEN:

Eeciprocity?

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LIB

Frank Broadstreet Carvell

Liberal

Mr. CAEVELL:

No, the remission ol

$2,000,000 of duty.

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CON

William Thoburn

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. THOBUEN:

Possibly it would be of benefit to the consumer, but not to the agricultural classes. That is my contention.

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LIB

Frank Broadstreet Carvell

Liberal

Mr. CAEVELL:

Now we have a contribution of some value. We have possibly the greatest apostle of high protection, the man who has grown rich by making the poor little boy who runs in the street pay $35 on every $100 worth of clothing he buys in order to keep from freezing to death, admitting that it would have been some benefit to the labouring man of Canada if he had been remitted that $2,000,000 of duty. That is something we have gained in this debate.

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Aaron Abel Wright

Mr. WEIGHT:

I think that is a very

unjust statement of the hon. member for Carleton to make.

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LIB

Frank Broadstreet Carvell

Liberal

Mr. CAEVELL:

I shall stand by it

anyway.

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Mr. SPEAKEE@

OrdeT. The hon. member for Carleton has the floor.

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LIB

Frank Broadstreet Carvell

Liberal

Mr. CAEVELL:

I have pointed out the

other side of this picture. I have not drawn on my imagination, I have not asked anyone to admit my conclusions, but they are based on cold facts taken from the trade and navigation returns of Canada. I have given figures which my hon. friends cannot deny, and I will make the statement here that in my judgment it would have been worth moTe to the people of Canada than their possible loss by reason of the increased cost of the articles they would have had to buy from the farmers of this country. The farmer would have got more for his produce, the lumberman would have got more for his lumber, the fisherman would have got more for his labours, the consumer would have been in as good a position as before because he would have got his fruits, vegetables, eggs and butter cheaper than he gets them at the present time.

I now come to the broader question asked by my hon. friend: Do I think that the introduction of these articles into this country free of duty would have hurt the Canadian farmer. My answer was: not a dollar; and I stand by that answer, and I will try to prove it to the hon. member. I take, in the first case, melons. We do not produce melons in Canada to any extent.

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May 22, 1913