I do not think the hon. member for Haldimand will read from a previous debate. The Chair has often ruled that no reference can be made to a previous debate of the same session. It is true that an exception was made in the case of two Bills of the same nature, where an hon. member quoted from a debate on a previous Bill which might be considered as a former stage of the Bill which he was discussing, but any quotation from the Budget debate or the debate on the Address would be quite out of order.
bow to your ruling. I was merely going to make the statement that I heard an address delivered by an hon. member in this House in which views were expressed entirely opposite to, those expressed by the member for Red Deer to-night. Without mentioning any names, I may say that in the address to which I refer great fault was found with the Minister of Trade and Commerce for not making an attempt to expand the trade of the country and for not employing trade commissioners in the United States. He went on to tell how many trade commissioners were employed in Canada and to argue that this same system should be employed by Canada in the United States with a view to expanding our trade. A few nights ago the hon. member for Red Deer was making a statement in the House, and realizing that I might not quote the address of the member for Marquette I took it over to the whip of the
Agrarian party and asked him to read his leader's views upon the question which the member for Red Deer was discussing-and I may tell you that they were quite different from the views which were being expressed by the member for Red Deer and from the views which that hon. gentleman evidently holds in connection with the matter now under discussion.
It is extremely flattering, I am sure, to my hon. friend from Marquette to find out that he has become so influential a person in this country that he actually dictates the policy of the Minister of Trade and Commerce in this Government. Coming events cast their shadows before, and the time evidently is approaching when the member for Marquette will be elevated to a position in this country of less freedom and more responsibility. But at present he enjoys his freedom-the freedom of being in Opposition- and so do I. As to his opinions, I have no doubt he is able to support them in his own way. If they do not commend themselves to my reason, I shall take exactly the liberty that the Minister of Finance takes in a much more responsible position of differing from a colleague. But I want to point out to the hon. member for Haldimand that cabinet responsibility requires that the members of a cabinet on important questions of policy should think alike. I never heard that principle laid down in regard to the members of an opposition.
There is an old saying that a prophet is without honour in his own country. Perhaps I may express the hope that the prophecy of my hon. friend from Red Deer as to new Cabinet ministers may not be wholly fulfilled. I am glad that he has complimented the Government for accepting the advice which was given them by his leader with regard to the advantage to be gained from the appointment of trade commissioners.
In order that the county of Brant may not be wrong on this question I think that it is necessary that I should say a few words in support of the minister's resolution. I am surprised to find the member for Halifax showing so much heat on a subject in connection with which it may be presumed that he has not had very much experience. He makes the statement that this proposal cannot promote trade, and he attacks violently the principle upon which the (minister is proceeding. I want to tell him that one of
the largest associations of business men in Canada have requested that this mode of procedure be adopted. I presume that the member for Halifax would take the view of the Halifax Bar Association in preference to that of 2,500 or 3,000 of the brightest men in manufacturing and commercial circles in the city of Toronto. Doe's he think that the view of these men should carry no weight?
Well, there may be a difference of opinion on that point. I prefer to take the opinions of the business men rather than those of the legal men, who seem to think that they understand not only law but every other subject in creation, although they may have had no experience whatever in trade matters.
I was not speaking for the nation. I said that an organization of business men had expressed a view as against that held, perhaps, by a few lawyers down east. The hon. member denied that he had decried the power of trade commissioners to increase trade, but if he refers to Hansard to-morrow he will find that that is what he said. He may not have meant it, but he did say it and many men on this side heard him say it. If it is not corrected in Hansard I think he will find that he said that trade commissioners could not and would not increase trade.
I went out of my way to admit that in special cir-
cumstances and in some countries they might do a great deal. But the question whether we should or should not have trade commissioners is not involved in this section, and I want to point out to you, Mr. Chairman, that most of the speakers have been out of order.
The hon. gentleman has had a pretty full say, and as I have the floor at present I think I should be allowed to finish my remarks with regard to a subject that I know something about. I have had experience as an importer and as an exporter. I have paid this fee of $2.50 for many years on all exports to the United States, and I have gone through all the formalities necessary before those goods could be passed through. The hon. member for South Renfrew (Mr. Pedlow) tells us that in the long run the consumer pays the duty, and that the consumer will pay this charge. But he does not tell us which consumer. He took very good care not to say that. Is it the American consumer or the Canadian consumer? That is the important point. He cannot show that they are going to pay both ways.
The hon. member for Brantford has the floor. The hon. member for South Renfrew (Mr. Pedlow) will certainly have a right to take the floor and answer the question when the hon. member for Brantford has concluded his remarks.