Kingdom munition manufacturers must contribute to the state 50 per cent of the profits they make in excess of an amount of £100 above their average annual profits for the last three years. While prices are still up, as Mr. Bonar Law says, so much of the excess over a reasonable margin above cost comes back to the state. In Canada, manufacturing industry is far from being in the closely-organized state of British industry. Strong pressure has been needed to work down prices of munitions to a fair-profit level, and in some cases they are yet far from meeting the requirements of economy set forth by the British colonial secretary. As we begin to bear our own financial war burdens we must necessarily see that far from being in the position of mere vendors of war wares to an outside government-with a vendor's privileges-our manufacturers are a part of the Canadian war economy, as well as of the 'imperial, and that patriotism requires munition contracts to be figured, not to make the greatest stroke for profits, but to give most benefit to the state.
Then the Vancouver Sun comments:
When the Mail realizes that it can not defend, much less acclaim the proceedings ot the shell committee and the manufacturers, the News-Advertiser should understand that thick and thin support of its party under such circumstances is clear indecency.
Now, Sir, I am not sure that I am correctly informed as to the manufacturer in Hamilton who offered to Mr. Thomas to place his factory at the disposal of the Government so as to make shells free of charge; but I am told-probably it is the same gentleman-that there is a manufacturer in Ontario who, under the prices which had been fixed by the Shell Committee, and to which, as I have said, the manufacturers were not a party,, made a profit of half a million dollars, and who, thinking he had got enough, then offered h.is factory to the Government to turn out munitions of war free of charge. He had been surfeited with the enormous profits which the Shell Committee had enabled him to make.