April 15, 1914

CON

Francis Ramsey Lalor

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LALOR:

Does the hon. gentleman

think that the reduction of duties on food products has reduced the cost of living?

Topic:   THE BUDGET.
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LIB

Rodolphe Lemieux

Liberal

Mr. LEMIEUX:

This is not limited to

food products, as the writer speaks of the effect on manufacture. I shall read a few lines further to enlighten my hon. friend:

I found that there is no indication of even a temporary depression in business. No mills have been forced to close on account of it; on the other hand, some mills that have been operating on half time have advanced to full time. There seems to be so little likelihood of a slump that the coming year, which 95 per cent of the members of the National Association of Manufacturers pessimistically looked forward to as 'the worst year in the history of American industry', is now expected to 'be normal. It will not surprise some manufacturers with whom I talked if it proves to be a 'banner' year.

Of course, it is always the same old song; when the Government threaten to reduce duties, the manufacturers come, fill the lobbies of this House, button-hole every member, even the hon. member from Haldi-mand (Mr. Lalor), and predict that the country will go to the dogs. We have evidence that in the United States not only food products but manufactured products have not suffered by reason of the reduction of the tariff. *

Topic:   THE BUDGET.
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CON
LIB
CON

Francis Ramsey Lalor

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LALOR:

I know of very great depression in the United States and everybody knows of it.

Topic:   THE BUDGET.
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LIB
CON

Francis Ramsey Lalor

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LALOR:

Does the hon. gentleman

know that the New York Central has laid off 25,000 men?

Topic:   THE BUDGET.
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LIB
CON
LIB
CON
LIB
CON
LIB

Rodolphe Lemieux

Liberal

Mr. LEMIEUX:

It is, I know, intended to benefit the farmers of the North of Ireland, who want to get volunteers from Canada at the present time, whilst they will prevent Canadian cattle being sold alive on the British market. I have said, Sir, that this policy of reciprocal preference has failed.. The policy of Canada on that question was set forth very clearly and in unmistakable terms at the Imperial Conference in 1902 by the Right Hon. Sir Wilfrid -Lauirier, or Mr. Facin-g-Both-Ways, as the Tory press called him during the election of 1911. But while the jingoes of Canada were shouting and shrieking about imperialism, the Liberal party in Canada, represented by their leader, were proposing to the British Government a mutual preference in the following language, which I quote from the official report:

The Canadian ministers stated that if they could be assured that the Imperial government would accept the principle of preferential trade generally, and particularly grant to the food products of Canada in the United Kingdom exemption from duties now levied, or hereafter imposed, they, the Canadian ministers, would he prepared to go further into the subject and endeavour to give to the British manufacturer some increased advantage over his foreign competitors in the markets of Canada.

That offer was there during ten years of our tenure of office, and the offer is still on the blue books of the Imperial Conference before the home authorities. And nothing has been done in England, except the answer given by Mr. Churchill: not a farthing of preference on a single peppercorn! Let me add that I suspect that the friends of my hon. friend from St. Antoine, the rich manufacturers of (Montreal, the multimillionaires of Montreal, while they are in words in favour of an Imperial preference are at heart the most strenuous opponents of that policy. And why? It is because the gist of the whole case, in the words of Mr. Chamberlain, is: we will tax our bread, we will (tax our food, but you will not manufacture in Canada, and- we will supply you with our manufactured goods. That is called the hidden list; my -hon. friend (Mt. Ames) knows (about it, tand -if he wants more information let him read one of the latest publications by Mr. Richard Jebb, who is a very ardent imperialist. I remember that during the first session of this Parliament my hon. friend the Min-

ist-er of Finance avoided speaking about the increased trade between Canada and the United States. He thought he should not mention that in his Budget after the reciprocity campaign. Increased trade with the United States was supposed to mean something very near annexation. Indeed, it was the battlecry in the last campaign, and it carried many constituencies. According to the Budget figures, Canadian exports to the United States increased from $112,000,000 in 1911 to $161,000,000 in 1913-14. In the same period imports from the United States increased from $274,000,000 to $361,000,000. The aggregate trade between the countries was $386,000,000 in 1911, and it reached $523,000,000 in 1913. Canada is the second greatest customer of the United States today, Great Britain being first. Canada is fifth in her sales to the United States. This is the crushing answer to the ignominious cry of annexation. The only annexation movement in Canada took place around 1849-50, and that movement, as my hon. friend who reads history, ought to know, was defeated by what? It was defeated by the granting of a reciprocity treaty to Canada and the United States. There is nothing eternal in a trade agreement. It cannot imperil our nationality, and the party which believes that high tariff makes for nationality does not know that high tariff is a sorry substitute indeed for loyalty My hon. friend said that the gage of battle was given; that he Was ready to accept it; that he was ready to fight free trade as against protection. I think the wish is father to the thought. This false cry of free trade, which does not exist in this country because, as we have to derive our revenue from indirect taxation, we must have a moderate protection, is meant to be used against the Liberal party. If we were to accept the traditions of good old England, we would accept the gage of battle; we would stand for free trade, because free trade has made England what it is to-day. But we live in America and we have to follow the traditions of the American continent. We cannot have free trade in Canada. We are wedded to a system of moderate protection as long as we raise our revenue by way of indirect taxation; but can we reduce taxation? Yes, we can reduce taxation, as I have shown a- moment ago; we can also curb some of the monopolies, and that is the aim of the Liberal party. I speak only for myself of course.

I am a moderate protectionist. I say that protection must exist in our country as

long as we have to raise a revenue by way of indirect taxation. We cannot have free trade as they have it in England. It is the ideal; it is the best thing; but we cannot have it. the words of President Woodrow Wilson in his book, The New Freedom, apply exactly to our conditions. Discussing this very question of free trade versus protection, he uses the following language:

But ' Ah! ' exclaim those who do not understand what is going on, 'you will ruin the country with your free trade! '

Exactly the language of my hon. friend the Minister of Finance.

Who said free trade? Who proposed free trade? You cannot have free trade in the United States, because the government of the United States is of necessity, with our present division of the field of taxation between the federal and state governments, supported in large part by the duties collected at the ports.

I should like to ask some gentlemen if very much is collected in the way of duties at the ports under the particular tariff schedules under which they operate. Some of the duties are practically prohibitive, and there is no tariff to be got from them.

He says a little further on:

Let me repeat: there cannot be free trade in the United States so long as the established fiscal policy of the federal government is maintained. The federal government has chosen throughout all the generations that have preceded us to maintain' itself chiefly on indirect instead of direct taxation. I dare say we shall never see a time when it can alter that policy in any substantial degree; and there is no Democrat of thoughtfulness that I have met who contemplates a programme of free trade.

But what we intend to do-

And here is where I find the application for Canadian conditions:

-what the House of Representatives has been attempting to do, and will attempt to do again, and succeed in doing, is to weed this garden that we have been cultivating. Because if we have been laying at the roots of our industrial enterprises this fertilization of protection, if we have been stimulating it by this policy, we have found that the stimulation was not equal in respect of ail the growths in the garden, and that there are some growths which every man can distinguish with the naked eye which have to overtopped the rest, which have so thrown the rest into destroying shadow, that it is impossible for the industries of the United States as a whole to prosper under their blighting shade.

Speaking f-u myself, I say that, applying the words oi Woodrow Wilson to Canadian conditions, I find perfect equanimity and satisfaction in them. The battle is not between free trade and protection; it is against the food monopolies, the high tariff interests. It is against the trusts and the combines.

Topic:   THE BUDGET.
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CON

Francis Ramsey Lalor

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LALOR:

Is the Fielding tariff the

platform upon which my hon. friend stands?

Topic:   THE BUDGET.
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LIB

Rodolphe Lemieux

Liberal

Mr. LEMIEUX:

The Fielding tariff gave the British preference of 33J per cent less duty upon articles imported from Great Britain. That was reduction; that was a cut, so much so that the manufacturers were deadly opposed to it.

Topic:   THE BUDGET.
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CON

Francis Ramsey Lalor

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LALOR:

That is not an answer to my question. Is the Fielding tariff the moderate protection my hon. friend proposes should be adopted?

Topic:   THE BUDGET.
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LIB

Rodolphe Lemieux

Liberal

Mr. LEMIEUX:

There is nothing eternal in a tariff; it changes according to circumstances. The Fielding tarifi was good for the time being and must be judged by its effects. Did it not give prosperity to the country? It made my hon. friend a millionaire.

Topic:   THE BUDGET.
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CON
LIB

Rodolphe Lemieux

Liberal

Mr. LEMIEUX:

I hope he will be a Senator before long and will meet his friend, Sir Lyman Melvin Jones, in the Senate. If you scratch a Russian, you find a Tartar; if you scratch a high protectionist, you find generally a jingo.

Topic:   THE BUDGET.
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April 15, 1914