Canada apparently has- hundreds of millions of tons of iron ore scattered from the Atlantic to the Pacific, and on the extreme East and West we have abundant sources of fuel and flux. We have some eighteen blast furnaces, and several extensive steel plant®, costing approximately $100,000,000, and producing about 1,500,000 tons of finished product per annum, worth about $75,000,000. Notwithstanding the immense deposits of iron ore we have in this country, we find that over 90 per cent of the iron ore used in these furnaces is imported largely from the United States.
Why is this being done? Because most of our iron ore is of a lower quality, containing a smaller percentage of iron content and a greater percentage of sulphur than the American ore from the lake Superior mines, and in order to bring it up to a value equal to the American ore and to make it suitable for use in the manufacture of steel, it is necssary to have the ore roasted to eliminate the sulphur and other injurious contents. This necessitates the erection of expensive roasting or concentrating plants to treat the raw ore. This treatment, we are told, costs from 35 cents to $1.25 per ton, with the result that American ore can be laid down at the blast, furnaces in our own, country for less money than ore from our own mines. In addition there is the problem of raising the large sums of money necessary to provide the concentrating and roasting plants. I submit that at a time like the present, when the Government is endeavouring in every legitimate way to reduce the trade balance standing against us with the United States, they would toe well advised to consider favourably the suggestion of any hon. friend from Fort William (Mr. IManion) and to allow a bounty, of say fifty cents a ton, on the iron ore mined and smelted in Canadian smelters. I feel sure that this would result in increased activity in the mining industry, and would also remove to a very large extent 'the reason the steel manufacturers have to-day for importing from the United States and other countries.
I would like to read a few lines from the first annual report of the Commission of Conservation in Canada/ It says:
Only a few years a,go the ironmasters of this continent would- hardly look at an iron ore if it contained less than sixty-two per cent of metallic content. Now ore of fifty per cent is gladly received. We are, and will continue to be, industrially handicajpped until our iron industry is developed' sufficiently to meet the demands of our country and- render us Independent of outside sources for the all-im-
portant metal. What we need is not conservation of iron ore resources, but vigorous development of our iron industry.
I have no doubt the Commission had in mind the very large amount of steel products imported from the United States every year when they made this report. We find that, in 1913, over $146,000,000 worth of steel products were imported into Canada from the United States, and about $156,000,000 in 1917. Could we not reasonably assume that, with the necessary assistance given to our iron ore mining industry in due time all of these steel products could be made in Canadian rolling mills from Canadian ore and the money circulated among Canadian workmen? Our steel plants are all working at the present time to their full capacity; they are turning out shell steel of the finest quality for our own use and that of our Allies. I am convinced that
after the war is over the demand
II p.m. for steel products for the railroads and building trades of this and other countries will be great, and if we get our iron and steel industry on a sound basis now, utilizing our Canadian ore, it will prove to be one of the bulwarks on which we can depend while passing through the period of reconstruction.
Now a word with reference to the newsprint industry, which was introduced into the discussion here the other evening. It is a well known fact that the press, and particularly the large dailies, have been carrying on a persistent campaign against the manufacturers of newsprint paper in an attempt to show that the manufacturers were charging exorbitant prices and making abnormal profits on their output. The hon. member for Springfield (Mr. Richardson) took occasion to dwell at some length on the iniquities of the manufacturers, and quoted from a very cleverly prepared brief to show the excessive dividends they were receiving on their common stock. And some of these manufacturing companies, he said, had common stock which represented no actual cash investment. He also told the House that some seven officials representing the manufacturers in Canada and the United States, were convicted and fined in New York for conspiring to increase prices, and that the publishers had requested the Government to investigate conditions existing in Canada. Right here I want to say that I compliment the Government on the immediate action taken to investigate this matter when it was brought to their attention. I want to say further that the members in this House will stand
solidly behind the Government in checking every attempt that may be made in this country to form combines. A commissioner was appointed to investigate thoroughly the cost of the manufacture of newsprint in Canada, and while his final report has not yet been made known, an interim report was submitted, in which we are told that the commissioner suggested that the fixed price of $50 per ton previously paid to the manufacturers of newsprint be increased to $57 per ton. I presume, in fact I have no doubt, that the commissioner had authority to summon the manufacturers and their agents before him to be examined under oath, and that they had to present their books of account showing the cost of manufacture. And after these had been presented and had been examined by the commissioner, to a certain extent at any rate, he was apparently convinced that the price paid the newsprint manufacturers was not sufficient, and suggested that it be increased from $50 to $57 per ton. In the face of that fact, I think the arguments advanced by the horn, member for Springfield against the newsprint manufacturers falls to the ground. I hold no brief for ithe newsprint manufacturers. The reason for the attack on the newsprint manufacturers is quite obvious. It is a well known fact that the publishers of the large daily newspapers in this country for some time have cut the subscription price of their paper to the ground for the purpose of increasing circulation and thereby commanding a larger advertising patronage at remunerative rates, and now they expect the newsprint manufacturer to pay the shot. Manufacturers are asking that the price of newsprint be fixed at $60 a ton, which is an advance of less than fifty per cent over the price that they were charging prior to the outbreak of war. When we consider that the price of pulp-wood, which was $6 a cord before the war, has increased to $10, and in some instances $12, and when we consider that wages have increased at least seventy-five per cent, we must come to the conclusion that the price asked by the newsprint manufacturers is not exorbitant.
While our national debt has increased very largely since the outbreak of war, it is encouraging to note that the greater portion of it is held by the Canadian people themselves. This shows conclusively that people who cannot take part in the conflict on the field of battle are loyally carrying out the pledge given to the first contingent when they went away and repeated many
times since, that we are prepared to stand behind them to the last dollar. The methods proposed for the increasing of our revenue will, I believe, meet with the approval of the people. The increased business and income taxes will place the burden on, .the shoulders of those best able to bear it, and the taxing of automobiles, player pianos, phonographs, talking machines, and even tobacco and tea, will meet with the hearty popular approval.
Just a word with regard to taxing the alien enemy. I hesitate to introduce this subject, because it has to be treated with the greatest care. Anything we may do in the way of taxing or conscripting the alien enemy in Canada may be communicated to the enemy country and meet with reprisals there on our own prisoners; consequently, we have to be careful in whatever method we may adopt. Nevertheless, we have alien enemies in our midst. They came here before war was declared, and they came largely at our invitation. They were satisfied to accept whatever wages were prevailing at that time, and, to my mind, they should be satisfied to take to-day the wages that were prevailing at that time for the class of work they are doing, and the difference between the wages prevailing at that time fox the class of work they were prepared to do and those prevailing to-day for the work they are doing should be turned over to the public treasury to help carry on the war. This increase in wage is due entirely to war conditions. I believe that the plan can be worked out by insisting that every manufacturer and employer of alien labour report to the Government once a month, showing the number of alien enemies on his pay roll, and stating the standard wage paid for that class of work prior to the war and the standard wage paid for it to-day. Let the employer of labour pay the alien enemy according to the standard before the war, and remit the difference to the Minister of Finance for war purposes.