The writer is referring
to this particular item and to the other item of branding merchandise, and so on.
The letter is fairly lengthy, and therefore I shall read only the paragraph that bears more particularly on the subject under discussion. The letter is here for the perusal of any hon. member who may wish to read the whole of it; I shall quote only the following extract from it:
All these minor hindrances to importing, such as labelling, increased sales tax on importations, the question of charging duty on adverse exchange, etc., etc., is really giving as much extra protection to Canadian manufacturers as if the tariff had been increased, satisfying the Canadian manufacturer, and not raising the ire of the class of consumers who are outspoken for a tariff even lower than the existing one.
This firm was kind enough to say:
We entirely agree with your attitude in relation to ''branding and labelling imports". It looks on the surface as if the Government did not want to go on record as increasing the tariff, at the same time wanted to satisfy the Canadian manufacturers in protecting them from the competition of imports, by making the importation of merchandise as difficult as possible.
Now, there is the key to the whole situation. I have another letter from a Toronto firm, and the reading of a short extract from it will emphasize the claim which I have made and which is supported by the hon. member for Halifax and the hon. member for Red Deer. It says:
A certificate might be necessary where suspicions are aroused about importations, but speaking in a general way, are the customs authorities not going a little too far in the number of certificates that they require of a man importing a small bill of goods?
Now, these letters are, I think, from friends of the Government.