The minister was kind enough to direct his observations very largely to myself. He has not in any way cleared his Government from the responsibility of starting this new venture of opening credits in a foreign country with .which we never did any business before. We have done our share in connection with the war nobly and well, particularly as an ally of our Mother Country, and nobody is finding very much fault with any moneys that have been expended in that direction. But I say to the Acting Prime Minister that we are under no obligation to build up Rumania or any other country that might have of its own free will gone into the war and received some damage by reason of that fact. It is going too far to ask the Canadian people, who have not the money ,to spend, who have to borrow money for their own purposes, who cannot, by reason of the high cost of living and other matters, get all the money they require for their own purposes, to furnish this money; and the Acting Prime Minister is going too far in looking for sympathy and applause from his supporters to-night by saying that we are doing this in the generosity of our hearts and extreme loyalty in order to build up the finances df Rumania, because that country got into trouble with its neighbours and not because- of any loyalty to us.
I have no fault to find with advancing credits to Great Britain, France, Italy or Belgium because, if the Acting Prime Minister had the securities of those
12 p.m countries in his vault, he could easily raise money on them from any hank in this countryor in the United States. But the trade that we went after, by and
through our Trade Mission, was the trade of a country whose securities are evidently not very good in this country, upon which securities the Acting Prime Minister cannot raise any money and which, as the hon. member for Maisonneuve (Mr. Lemieux) stated, are being peddled about from bucket shop to bucket shop in London at much below par- What we should have done is to deal with Great Britain and France, and if Great Britain and France want to advance goods to those smaller powers who are under their control and who must pay for them or get into trouble, that would be good business. We could very well say to the British Government: We will give you all the credit you want; we will arrange that we send the goods to you, and you can deal with the smaller countries. We never had any dealings with those countries in the most prosperous days of Canada, and why should we now pass over the heads of France, Italy and Great Britain and seek trade with countries with which we have never dealt with before? That is the particular fault I have to find. It is stated that our Trade Mission and our Trade Ministers were so clumsy and slow and incompetent in securing trade that everything that was worth having was gone and they were glad enough at last to fall back on such trade as they could make with Rumania by offering Rumania the money. That is where the difficulty is. If our manufacturers were properly represented on the other side by live business men, they would have secured the orders that the United States manufacturers got, but we did not get them, and our representatives, in order to do something to justify their existence on the other side, had to make this masterful stroke of saying to Rumania: We will give you money if you will be kind enough to buy our goods. That is all they did for which they claim so much credit, and I do not think they have shown any great foresight or capacity because they have done that.
I want to be absolutely fair to the manufacturers. We have manufacturers in the part of the country from which I come, manufacturing rails and all kinds of structural steel. They got no help from the Government.