melons produced in Canada is only a bagatelle. There may be a few fancy gardeners raising them in hot-houses, but that is only insignificant. The fact is that we do not produce melons.
I come next to potatoes. I have discussed potatoes to a considerable extent. I tell my hon. friends opposite that prac-Mr. THOBURN. .
tically all of the potatoes which we imported last year, amounting to $428,000, which came in during the months of April, May and June, 1912, were the new article, the early variety brought into this country before our potatoes were ready for the market. I know that there may be a few instances when potatoes are ready in the month of July. I have known potatoes in New Brunswick to be so advanced that we could dig a few and eat them in July, but we do not produce them in large quantities.
Topic: WAYS AND MEANS-THE BUDGET.
we produce potatoes on a large scale, we do not have them until the last of July, and that is true also in the province of Quebec. There may be a few places in Ontario where, under special circumstances, they can get a few ready in the latter part of July, but they are very few; it is not a commercial proposition. If my hon. friends will turn to page 280 of the trade and navigation returns for July, they will find there that in the month of July alone we imported from the United States $198,835 worth of potatoes. During the first four months of the fiscal year-April. May, June and July-we imported $287,413 worth, and for the whole year we imported only $428,000 worth, so that more than two-thirds of the potatoes imported into Canada during last year were imported in the first four months of the ^fiscal year. What does that prove? It proves that in the first four months of the year, when we do not produce those articles in Canada, they are brought in from the United States. It proves that they are brought in at a time when the Canadian farmer cannot produce them, and therefore when they could not hurt him. I got a return from the Customs Department for the
months of October, November and December, and during these months only $5,000 worth of potatoes were imported, I think.
I have not seen the returns for January, February and March, but they practically amount to nothing. Turn, however, to April, May and June, and you find the potatoes coming into Canada in large quantities, but as I have said, they do not hurt the Canadian farmer because the Canadian farmer has not the potatoes to sell at that time.
Let me take another item, tomatoes, which is the next item. In the eleven months of last year, we imported $273,000 worth of tomatoes, on which we paid $82,000 of duty, and in the first four months of thdt year, we imported from the United States alone, $226,896 worth. In other words, practically all -the tomatoes that were imported last year came in during the first four months of the year. Will any hon. gentleman opposite tell me that we had tomatoes on sale in large quantities in the month of July? No one will say yes to that. We do not produce tomatoes in this country in July, and all the tomatoes that we imported last year came in during the months of May, June and July. Why? Because they have them in the United States at that time, and we do not have them in Canada. We brought them in when we did not have them, and we did not hurt the Canadian producer to the extent of one dollar, because the Canadian producer did not have the article to sell at that time. The result was that the Canadian consumer was compelled to pay duty to the extent of $82,000. That amount went into the coffers of the Government, but no producer was injured, and no consumer was benefited, and the people of Canada had to pay duty on those tomatoes. Then you can take strawberries, or early fruits.
Topic: WAYS AND MEANS-THE BUDGET.
We did look it up, and we found that this condition existed. We tried to pass a law in 1911, and my hon. friends opposite succeeded in preventing us from doin" so. If that is any consolation to my hon. friend he is welcome to it. I give him the facts, and if he can gainsay them I would like him to try.
Topic: WAYS AND MEANS-THE BUDGET.
Do not make any mistake about it. I was. going to refer to blackberries, strawberries, cherries, cranberries, peaches and quinces. If my hon. friends will go over the trade returns they will find the same thing in regard to these fruits; they come into Canada very largely during the first three or four months of the year up to July, when we do not have them for sale in large quantities. It is true that Canadian strawberries are on the market by the middle of July, but not before that time, and the fruits mentioned come in before the Canadian article is on the market. In other words, the people of Canada are compelled to pay duty on these articles at a time When_tlie Canadian producer has not them for sale, and when he cannot be injured. By the time our fruits are ready for the market the season in the United States is past, and if reciprocity had gone into effect we would have been able to sell largely in the United States when their supply was gone. I do not believe there is a class of producer in Canada who would have benefited so much as the fruit producer in Ontario. I know they took the opposite view; they were convinced by their friends that they would be injured, but the trade and navigation returns convince me that there is not an industry that would have benefited so much from reciprocity as the fruit industry of Canada. I am satisfied that when these facts are placed before the people of Canada they will see the error of their ways. If the Canadian producer will not see it the Canadian consumer will; no man can read the statements made by my hon. friend from Maisonneuve (Mr. Verville) last evening without pondering over what the end of this condition of affairs is going to be. My hon. *liend from Muskoka (Mr. Wright) thought lie saw something wrong in the statement of my hon. friend as to the cost of potatoes and other articles of food in Montreal as compared with New York, but he was giving the cost of living in the months of June and July, when all those articles are cheaper in the United States than in Canada. If we made the same comparison in the months of September and October we would find that they were cheaper in Canada than in the United States. Why? Because in the months of May, June and July we do not produce foodstuffs, and in the United States they do, while in the months of September and October we have an abundance of foodstuffs while many classes ol foodstuffs are out of season in the United States. It is simply a question of supply and demand, and that is the question ' that the people of this country have to face and will face. My hon. friends opposite may jeer at reciprocity as much as they like, and my hon. friend the Minister of Finance may say that it is dead. I
want to tell him that the principles of reciprocity are not dead, the principle of cheaper production, the principle of cheaper cost of living, the principle of ameliorating the conditions of the masses; they are not dead, and they will stare him in the face this year, and next year, and as long as the present conditions exist.
I wish to point out to my hon. friend the Minister of Finance the logical deduction from the facts I have given to the House. The Americans are taking the duty off many foodstuffs which were included in the reciprocity agreement. So far as the West is concerned, 1 do not look upon the new American tariff as worth anything at all. They have reduced the duty on wheat from 25 cents to 10 cents a bushel, but that is not going to benefit the western wheat producer, because the spread between the prices in Minneapolis and Winnipeg never exceeds ten cents, and seldom reaches that point; so that a duty of 10 cents per bushel of wheat is just as prohibitory as a duty of 25 cents a bushel. If they reduce the duty on live animals to ten per cent that will be a benefit, but, of course, whether or not the Canadian producer does get the benefit, will depend on the supply and demand. This year, it would be an enormous benefit, because millions of dollars worth of live animals have been taken from Canada into the United States showing the demand, and if the demand still prevails under the reduced duty there will be a benefit to the Canadian producer and possibly to the American consumer as well. I believe the reduction in the United States tariff will help the people of Ontario with respect to their cattle and cheese and I know it will help the people of the Maritime provinces in the matter of potatoes, fish, and lumber which are made free. It will not help the Maritime provinces to a great extent on sheep and lambs, because the proposed reduction is not very great and as to cattle, we do not produce cattle to the extent we ought to in the Maritime provinces. It will help the haygrowers of the province of Quebec, who have been sending millions of dollars worth of hay to the United States on which they have paid four dollars per ton, and which is now reduced to two dollars per ton. Of course that reduction may be divided between the consumer and the producer, but nevertheless it will help. Then, if I am right in my contention, it will increase the price of these articles to the Canadian consumer. If it increases the price to the Canadian consumer on live stock, hay, potatoes, fish and lumber, it will necessarily increase the cost of living in Canada. To the Finance Minister I say: What are you going to do about it? Will you stand still and do nothing? Will you
reduce taxation. I believe I have convinced the Minister of Finance, although possibly I have not convinced some of his supporters behind him, that the importation of these articles free of duty would hurt nobody and would relieve the consumers in the large cities to the extent of $2,000,000 a year. Is the minister ready to do that? That is the question which the labouring men of Canada will ask him; it is the question I will ask him every time I get the opportunity; it is the question I hope the Liberal party will ask him. If he will not reduce the duty on foodstuffs, will he reduce the duty on anything else? My hon. friend from St. Antoine will tell him: leave well enough alone; we will keep you where you are, but you must keep your unholy hands off the tariff; it was a bad tariff as long as the Liberals were in power, but now it is a sacred thing. Will the Minister of Finance bow to the dictation of the member for St. Antoine or will he ameliorate the condition of the masses by reducing the duty.
I am now going to deal with a question which is of considerable importance to my hon. friend from North Lanark (Mr. Tlioburn), who seems to take a lively interest in the reciprocity question. I have here some figures regarding woolens which will be of interest to that hon. gentleman, If I have any condemnation to make ol my political friends, it is for the manner in which they treated the woolen tariff in 1907 when they practically wiped out a good proportion of the British preference. I say the Liberals were not treating the consumers of this country fairly in doing that, and I blame them for it. When a man tells me it is a good economic principle to tax the poor man from twenty-two per cent to thirty-five per cent for the clothing which he and his family must wear in this rigorous Canadian climate to keep them from freezing to death, I say that it is nothing but legalized robbery and I have no milder term for it. Why should a man have to pay thirty-five per cent duty on a suit of clothes which is required to keep his child from freezing to death. I do not want woolen industries in this country at that price; the labouring people of Canada do not want woolen industries at that price. I will give some facts concerning this iniquitous woolen tariff which is imposed on the people of Canada.
I give the following table which will show the total imports of woolens into Canada during the last eleven months; the imports from Great Britain; the imports from all other countries, the value of the goods which came from Great Britain; the duty paid on them; the value of the goods which came from all other countries, and the duty paid on them:
Miscellaneous.. .. 1,223,275 106,820577,840 394,407Total value .. .. $19,775,443 $4,784,955Total duty .. .. $ 4,449,474 $1,654,535I have estimated the duty on the British goods at twenty-two and a half per cent, which I think is below the actual duty, but not having the complete returns, I could only make an estimate. Therefore, estimating the duty at twenty-two and a half per cent the people of Canada paid in duty on British woollens, $4,449,474, and on the woollens imported from other countries, estimating the duty at thirty-five per cent, the people of Canada paid $1,654,535. The total value of woollens imported in this period was $24,560,396 and the people of Canada were forced to pay on that a duty of $6,124,009. I want to know if even a dyed-in-the-wool protectionist could justify taking out of the people of Canada over six million dollars in duty on this absolute necessity of life. But there is worse than that. I am satisfied that the home production of woollens would probably be nearly as much as the importations, and on every dollar's worth of home production the people of Canada paid a duty just the same as they did on the goods which were imported. That is why the woollen manufacturers vote for protection. They admit they are charging the people the cost in a foreign country plus the duty. My friend from Lanark does not deny that. He may on some lines cut his price one per cent or just enough to get the business, but what he and the other manufacturers do is to charge the people the cost in the foreign country plus the duty, and so the people have virtually to pay the duty on the home product as well as on the imported goods. Therefore, instead of paying $6,000,000 in duty on woollens we pay probably $12,000,-000;-twelve millions of dollars on goods which are just as much a necessary of life as fruit or vegetables. And yet our friends opposite say: Keep your unholy hands off
this tariff; give those interested a chance to wax fat and grow rich on it. They tell us that these industries cannot remain in business if you take these duties off, that
manufacturing business in Canada cannot be carried on with less than twenty-five per cent to thirty-five per cent protection. I simply do not believe it.
If any man in this House contends that this protection is necessary, I want him to give some proof of it. I am open to reason on this subject; I do not want to put my dogmas and ideas against facts and arguments. I have been in this House for a good many years, and have heard the statement made a 'good many times that if you reduce the duties on woollen goods you will close up the factories. But when a man comes into court and tells me that such and such a thing is true, I do not accept that; I want his reasons, and if those reasons appeal to my judgment, I accept his statement. So, I want the manufacturer of woollen goods to give reasons why he cannot carry on business if these duties are reduced. We know that there are woollen industries in this country that are rich. We know that they grow so large that they have to organize themselves into companies, and then they have to water the stock, and they do water the stock. And hon. gentlemen opposite know it. I do not wish to be personal, but I think I could put my finger on a few people, and that without going more than a couple of rods from where I stand, who have engaged in the woollen industry and who have taken part in companies with watered stock, the stock being watered because they did not wish the people to know what they were making. Why, you see these stocks quoted in the financial papers every day. You find that there are bonds, preferred stock and common stock. The common stock is all water, yet it has a value in the market. And if we were to try to reduce the woollen duties, hundreds of people would come forward and say: I
have common stock in the woollen industry and if you reduce the tariff I cannot get dividends on my stock. It is unfortunate for the bona fide holder of stock, but if that stock is all water, if the original holder gave no value for it, is the existence of that stock a Teason why every poor man and woman in Canada should be bled white to pay dividends? These are the conditions that stare the people of Canada in the face.
Not only is this true of woollen goods, but it is true of practically every line of manufacture in Canada. The same is true of cotton. I do not know how much the stock of the cotton industry in Canada is watered, but it must be two or three or four times over. And the cry is raised that if the duties are reduced, dividends cannot be paid on the watered stock. Well, why should they? The cotton industry is practically in the hands of one great combine. There was one establishment in New Brunswick which would not join the combine; they simply came down there, closed
them up and they had to join. I venture to make the statement here that three quarters of their common stock is water. One of the best evidences that these things are not as they ought to be is seen right in this House.
Last year my hon. friend from St. Antoine (Mr. Ames) got the Government to bring in his pet scheme of a Tariff Commission. He told us at the time what kind of men were to be appointed to this commission-they must be protectionists. They put this Bill through this House and then it went to the Senate. The Senate made an amendment which simply provided that if the commission undertook to investigate any particular line of business with a view to increasing or reducing the tariff, they should have the right to investigate the capital account, that it might be known how much of that capital was real money and how much was water. And what did the manufacturers compel their friends here to do? Why, my hon. friend from St. Antoine dropped the thing as if it had been a serpent, and the Government turned from it as they would from a reptile. And from that day until this they have not referred to it. Why_ do not they introduce it and pass it again? They say their Highways Bill was a good measure and would be of benefit to the people. When the Senate amended it last year, they refused to accept the amendment; but they hate this year introduced the Bill again in the same words, and have sent it to the Senate. And they go to the people of the country and say that because the Senate did not pass their Highways Bill the people are without money for their roads and bridges. That is the cry that is raised all over Canada. There is not a general election or a bye-election in which that plea is not put forward. But, how different is their treatment of the Tariff Commission Bill: they are as dumb as oysters about that measure. Why do not they introduce it again, and when they go before the country, tell the people that the wicked Senate has killed the Tariff Commission Bill? Rather than allow the people to have one peep into the inside conditions of these manufacturing concerns, that it may be known how much water is in the stock, they will drop the whole thing, and we shall never hear of it again so long as these people remain in power.
To show what ground the consumers of Canada have to complain against this Government, let me give_ some facts with regard to cotton. I believe that cottons are quite as much a necessity as are woollens, and I believe there is more water in the stock of the cotton industry than in the stock of the woollen industry-and that is saying a good deal. Hon. gentlemen opposite say: If you reduce the duties on
cottons, the industry cannot pay dividends.
But water on which dividends are paid, as I have told you, is just so much found money for the manufacturers. Last year we imported cottons to something like the extent to which we imported woollens, which shows that the cotton trade is very largely in the hands of one huge interest. I have here a statement showing the imports from Great Britain and the imports from other countries. And when I speak of 'other countries' in this connection, I think I am safe in saying that ninety-nine per cent of that business means the United States of America. It is something marvellous, when you look over the trade returns, to find that almost 'our whole outside trade, besides what we do with Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand and South America, is done with the United States, these people with whom hon. gentlemen opposite told us they wanted no truck or trade.
These figures represent the foreign trade. And here again the same conditions exist as in the case of the woollens, except that the duty is not more than two-thirds as great on cottons as on woollens, and that is a benefit so far as it goes. I have not the figures of our home production of cotton goods, but I dare say this might be obtained from the census returns if one looked it up. But I find that our raw cotton imports for eleven months were over $7,000,000. I do not know what proportion the value of the raw cotton bears to that of the finished article, but I assume that it cannot be more than half. Therefore, I think I am safe in assuming that we ifianu-facture in Canada about half the cottons we consume. If I am right in that assumption, then the people of this country pay $10,000,000 a year by reason of the cotton duties either to the Government or to the manufacturer. Now, the cotton industry is in the hands of a great combine, one that is rolling in wealth, a combine that Jias been compelled to water, and water, and water its stock to keep the people from knowing what its profits are. Take a business like this, then, that is in the hands of a combine that practically controls this line of trade for the country, is it fair, in the face of a surplus of $55,000,000 that the poor people of this country should pay
$10,000,000, half to the Government and half to the cotton manufacturer? That is something which must make my friends opposite consider. I do not wish to drive the cotton industry out of the country; I desire the cottons to be made here; but I say that a condition of affairs has grown up in this country-and I frankly acknowledge that my own friends may be blamed to some extent; but I do not care who is to blame- I say a condition exists to-day which it is our duty to face, for it is sapping the lifeblood out of the labouring people. And these high duties are exacted, not because we need the revenue, but only to make the rich richer and the poor poorer.
At one o'clock, House took recess.
House resumed at three o'clock.
Topic: WAYS AND MEANS-THE BUDGET.
at one o'clock, I was pointing out some of the iniquities of the present tariff system under which the people of Canada were compelled to pay more than they should in order to produce a revenue to carry on the business of the country. I referred to the foodstuffs which came into this country, upon which a duty of $2,000,000 was paid, and which would have come in free under the reciprocity agreement. I also referred to the fact that something like $24,000,000 worth of woollen goods, and practically the same amount of cottons, were brought into the country and subjected to an enormous duty. I now wish to discuss very briefly another product which is of as great importance to the people of Canada as foodstuffs, woollens and cottons, and that is farm machinery. Of all the industries in Canada, farm machinery is taxed the least; yet the trade returns for the past year show that the people of Canada are paying more for farm machinery than they should be compelled to pay. I was much impressed last evening with the straightforward manner in which this matter was dealt with by the hon. member for Brantford (Mr. Cock-shutt). He said that we could produce farm machinery in this country of as good a quality and at as low a price as the machinery produced in any country of the world except the United States, although he did not say to what extent the United States can produce farm machinery cheaper than we can in Canada. My hon. friend admitted also that if the duty were entirely removed from the materials entering into the manufacture of farm machinery, the agricultural implement industry could get along with a reduction of duty. He did not say to what extent the duty should be removed, nor did he tell us any of the subsidiary articles the duty upon which would have to be reduced; he mentioned screws, but nothing else. He
said that if you reduced the duty on farm machinery, you would probably have to reduce the duty on from fifty to one hundred different articles entering into its manufacture. I have had some personal experience in the manufacture of farm machinery, and I may say that I failed because of the competition which I had to meet on the part of the Massey-Harris Company and the other great concerns to which my hon. friend has referred. The hon. gentleman was honest enough to admit that the small manufacturers had been driven, out of business in Canada by the larger concerns, and that the manufacture of agricultural implements was now confined to three great concerns, forming a large combine. This combine is protected by a duty of from 17J per cent to 25 per cent, and the large manufacturers can and do charge the people of Canada for their machinery an amount equivalent to from 17i to 25 per cent over and above what the goods would be sold for if the duty were removed. This duty is not and never has been justified by any contention put forward by hon. gentlemen of this House, but it has been proved to be unnecessary and unfair by a number of hon. gentlemen, notably the hon member for Portage la Prairie (Mr. Meighen) who, I am sorry to say, is not so anxious to ventilate the grievance of his constituents at the present time as he was prior to September 21, 1911. We all have a certain degree of knowledge as to the manufacturing industry of this country. As I have said, I myself lost some money in trying to manufacture farm machinery in competition with an upper Canadian firm. The underselling carried on by that firm was not so serious a matter, as far as we were concerned, as the selling of goods on one, two and three years' time, with interest, and as we did not have sufficient funds to do that, we had to close up our business. My hon. friend has said that you would have to reduce the duty on the materials entering into the manufacture of agricultural implements before you could reduce the duty on the finished article, and as he has also said that if you did reduce or eliminate the duty on these materials, you could reduce the duty on the manufactured article. He even went so far as to intimate, although he did not say so, that the duty could be entirely eliminated. I know something about what enters into the manufacture of farm machinery in Canada, and I submit that ninety-five per cent of the whole cost of farm machinery, so far as material is concerned, is the cost of iron and steel. There is a little wood-a mere bagatelle; there is a little paint, but the expense of the paint is so small compared with the total cost of the article that it is not worth mentioning. The labour of
putting on the paint would amount to something, but the cost of the paint itself would not amount to one-quarter of one per cent of the cost of the machinery. I have not time, and this is not the occasion, to enter into an elaborate discussion of the duties on and cost of iron and steel in Canada as compared with the duties on and cost of iron and steel in other parts of the world, but if hon. gentlemen refer to the customs tariff of 1907, and look at the items relating to the very articles which enter into the construction of farm machinery, they will see that the duties are very small. The following item appears under the heading ' Iron ':
Rolled iron or steel, in bars, bands, hoop, scroll, strip, sheet or plate, of any size, thickness or width, galvanized or coated with any material or not, and steel blanks for the manufacture of milling cutters, when of greater value than three and one-half cents per pound.
This material is free if it comes from Great Britain, and only five per cent duty is imposed if it is imported from any other country in the world. Some of that material would be used in the manufacture of farm machinery. Steel bars or sheets, to be used exclusively in the manufacture of shovels, when imported by manufacturers of shovels, are subject to a duty of two dollars a ton. A large amount of this material would be used in the manufacture of ordinary farm machinery. Then take these items:
Rolled bar iron or steel, whether in coils, bars, rods or bundles, comprising rounds, ovals, and squares and flats; steel billets, per ton, $4.25.
Rolled iron or steel beams, channels, angles and other rolled shapes of iron or steel, not punched, drilled, or further manufactured than rolled weighing not less than thirty-five pounds per lineal yard, not being flat, oval or round shapes, and not being railway bars or rails, per ton, $2.00.
A large quantity of this material is used in the manufacture of the heavier agricultural implements produced in this country.
Boiler plate of iron or steel, not less than twenty inches in width, &c.
That is used for the manufacture of boilers and goes into farm machinery. So you cannot find in any case that the material of which farm machinery is manufactured pays more than $2 to $4 a ton. How many tons of material go into an ordinary farm implement? Take a plow or a threshing machine or a mowing machine or a rake or a harrow or anything else, unless you go into the high-priced traction engines which I am not discussing, but take the ordinary run of farm machinery and you do not have anything weighing a ton, no, not half a ton. I tell you that the duty would be only from $2 to $4 on all the material entering into the manufacture of Mr. GARY ELL.
a farm machine, and yet my hon. friend says you must have some seventeen per cent to twenty-five per cent duty in order to compensate the manufacturer because he has to pay a duty on raw material, and a little duty on a few cents worth of paint that goes on the outside of an article to cover up the defects. To show the unfairness with which my hon. friend from Brantford treated the House last evening, I will point out that he said you have got to have a duty on plows of twenty per cent in order to manufacture them in Canada. He started in to discuss plows because, as he said, that was a thing about which he knew something. My hon. friend will not be surprised, nor will the Minister of Customs, but there are many members of this House and many people in Canada who will be, when I say that practically all the raw material that goes into a plough comes into this country free of duty. If he will refer to section 444 of the present tariff he will find:
Mould boards or shares, or plough plates, landsides, and other plates for agricultural implements, when cut a.nd shaped from rolled plates of steel, but not moulded, punched, polished or otherwise manufactured.
These are free not only from the British Empire but from the whole world.
Topic: WAYS AND MEANS-THE BUDGET.