March 24, 1915

CON

William Thomas White (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. W. T. WHITE:

I am unable just at the moment to quote the precise words of the Act, but duty will be collected upon the fair market value of the goods in the country of origin or at the place of exoort. If the goods were bought in New York, the duty would be imposed upon the fair market selling price of the goods in New York.

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Subtopic:   COMM OKS
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LIB

James Alexander Robb

Liberal

Mr. ROBB:

The other evening in discussing the Budget, the hon. member for Calgary said that cement can be purchased in England at GO cents a barrel and in the United States at 80 cents a barrel. Would duty be collected on cement coming into Canada on the basis of 60 cents a barrel, or would the cost of freight be added to that to establish the value for duty purposes ? During the few days that the Government were collecting duty on cotton seed meal, I had complaints from a Canadian purchaser of that commodity who had purchased cotton seed meal at $29 delivered in Montreal. Cotton seed meal had been worth $24 f.o.b. at point of shipment in the South, but owing to an advance in price, when it reached Montreal _the price was $29 delivered. The Customs Department collected duty on the basis of a ' valuation of $34. Will this method be followed when the new tariff goes into operation ?

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CON

William Thomas White (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. W. T. WHITE:

The Government has not changed the basis upon which the new

tariff will operate; it will be subject to the provisions of the Customs Tariff of 1907, of which it is an amendment. I am unable to express an opinion upon' the particular question to which my hon. friend draws attention, for the reason that I have not all the facts before me; it is a matter of administration by the Customs Department. Referring to the question of the purchase of cement in the United States or Great Britain, the duty would be levied upon the selling price at the place where the goods were bought. If the cement were bought in England or in the United States, a customs entry would be made showing the cost price at which the cement had been bought, and subject to the dumping provisions of our legislation, duty would be imposed upon that cost. Of course the consumer would have to pay freight, but customs duty is not imposed upon freight charges.

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LIB

James Alexander Robb

Liberal

Mr. ROBB:

The minister can see from

his own statement that during the few days the Customs Department were collecting duty on cotton seed meal they did not collect the duty on the basis now laid down by the minister, because this cotton seed was originally purchased at equal to $24 f.o.b. in Tennessee. In the meantime cotton seed meal advanced, it is true, and the department ruled that the fair market price of cotton seed meal in the states of Vermont and New York where it crossed the border was $34. They collected the duty on a valuation of $34, but even after that ruling the freight was $5 a ton, so that the value of that cotton seed meal should not have been placed at $34, but at not more than $299 a ton.

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CON

William Thomas White (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. W. T. WHITE:

I should not like to be taken as expressing any opinion upon a particular transaction. The Commissioner of Customs is an exceedingly well-posted man, and I am quite satisfied there would be some explanation of the action taken by the Customs Department in the case referred to by my hon. friend. If he is interested in pursuing the subject, I would refer him to the Customs Act.

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LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER:

I have always understood, and I know that it is so, that the duty is collected upon the selling price in the country of origin. In the case which has just been called to my hon. friend's attention, the country of origin of cotton seed meal is the United States, the place of origin being the state of Tennessee, and there the price was $24 a ton. But the

United States is a very large country, and it may be that the Vermont price would be very different from the Tennessee price. I would imagine that under such circumstances the ruling price of the customs appraisers would be the price paid in Tennessee, not that paid in Vermont. There may be some cases that would have to be investigated, but I would imagine that it ought to be the ruling price in the place of origin that would govern for purposes of valuation.

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CON

George Eulas Foster (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir GEORGE FOSTER:

I think that

would lead to a great deal of difficulty and a good deal of imposition. The country of origin is what rules, not the single locality in which the article is sold to the purchaser who brings it into Canada. My hon. friend will easily see that otherwise mistakes would be apt to happen. In the first place, it would be almost impossible to have any uniformity in the tariff, so far as the imposition of duty is concerned, if you had recourse and reference to each separate locality. That would be a great deal of trouble and make the tariff almost unworkable. You might have in a single locality a set of circumstances in reference to which the ruling average selling price would be cut down on account of special circumstances, and that would scarcely be fair. My right hon. friend is exactly right, it is the country of origin that rules; and where you have different localities in a country there is some machinery by which the Customs Department gets at what is the fair average value.

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LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER:

Such a ruling would be very unfair in a country as large as the United States. It is impossible that an article of this character which is produced in only one locality can have the same ruling price in the north as in the south; there must be a difference, and under some circumstances it seems to me that the country of origin ought to be limited to the place where the article is grown or manufactured.

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CON

George Eulas Foster (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir GEORGE FOSTER:

They have no doubt some general ruling in the Customs Department which they follow.

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CON

William Thomas White (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. WHITE:

I think they have.

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LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER:

Here is a case in point. The hon. member for Huntingdon represents that an article which was purchased for $24 a ton in Tennessee, when it came to be appraised was appraised at $34.

That is an advance of $10. There is something there which cannot be explained here, and I would advise my bon. friend to go to the Commissioner of Customs and see what is the reason.

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LIB

James Alexander Robb

Liberal

Mr. ROBB:

The matter will be made right because now the Government have notified importers that they are going to refund the duty and there will be no loss. But the United States imports large quantities of Canadian bran, and the Ontario millers practically are cut out of that business so long as the man west of the Great Lakes has bran to sell because the duty, I think, .is now 10 per cent-it used to be 20 per cent-and the bran is sold on a basis of f.o.b. Fort William and on that basis Washington rules they should collect the duty; whereas when bran would be $16 Foil William, the Montreal miller would have to sell it at $19 Montreal, so that it practically shuts out the eastern man.

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CON

William Thomas White (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. WHITE:

Section 40 of the Customs Act says:

Whenever any duty ad valorem is imposed on any goods imported into Canada, the value for duty shall be the fair market value thereof, when sold for home consumption, in the principal markets of the country whence and at the time when the same were exported directly to Canada.

What I said therefore must be taken as subject to this section of the statute, which govern the Customs Tariff, 1907, and will govern in the case of this special war taxation. We are not changing the basis upon which the taxation is levied.

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CON

Frederick Laurence Schaffner

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SCHAFFNER:

That means the retail market price, I suppose.

Bill reported, read the third time, and passed. .

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SPECIAL WAR REVENUE BILL.


On motion of Hon. W. T. W'hite (Minister of Finance), Bill No. 76, to supplement the revenue required to meet war expenditures, was ' read the second time, and the House went into committee thereon, Mr. Sevigny in the Chair. On section 1-Short title:


LIB

Alexander Kenneth Maclean

Liberal

Mr. A. K. MACLEAN:

Is it the practice to use the word "war" in such a Bill, or merely to designate it as a revenue Bill? I am not objecting.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   SPECIAL WAR REVENUE BILL.
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CON

William Thomas White (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. WHITE:

The Government's view is that this is a war revenue measure; that view has been advanced in the debate on the resolutions, and we think that this

might properly be called "The Special War Revenue Act, 1915."

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   SPECIAL WAR REVENUE BILL.
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LIB

Charles Marcil

Liberal

Mr. MARCIL:

Although no part of the revenue will be used for war purposes?

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   SPECIAL WAR REVENUE BILL.
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CON

William Thomas White (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. WHITE:

My hon. friend, I am sure, does not desire that we should traverse the ground we went over in the debate.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   SPECIAL WAR REVENUE BILL.
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March 24, 1915