June 2, 1921

L LIB
L LIB
CON
L LIB
L LIB

Frank S. Cahill

Laurier Liberal

Mr. CAHILL:

There is no doubt he

is one of the worst so far as patronage is concerned. Why this restriction should be imposed is something beyond the comprehension of the average Canadian business man. It is beyond all reason and common sense. Perhaps the Minister of Customs will explain to me what he means by 'reasonable profit" under the circumstances?

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CON

Rupert Wilson Wigmore (Minister of Customs and Inland Revenue)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. WIGMORE:

I think we would have to know something about the circumstances.

I do not think it is a very difficult matter for anybody to establish what would be considered a reasonable profit.

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L LIB

Frank S. Cahill

Laurier Liberal

Mr. CAHILL:

That is probably the

attitude the shipper would take; he would have to know something about the circumstances. Therefore business men would not take a chance of doing trade because they would not like to trust to the minister in the matter. They would not trust to him to say what would be a reasonable profit in the case of goods arriving at their destination hundreds of miles away from the factory. The proposition is a most un-tMr. Cahill.]

reasonable one and should not appear in this legislation at all.

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L LIB

Georges Henri Boivin (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Laurier Liberal

The CHAIRMAN:

Shall the clause

carry? Carried.

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L LIB

Isaac Ellis Pedlow

Laurier Liberal

Mr. PEDLOW:

You are altogether too

previous, Mr. Chairman. I was on my feet before you started to read the next clause. I want to address the committee on the subject.

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UNI L
L LIB

Isaac Ellis Pedlow

Laurier Liberal

Mr. PEDLOW:

Yes, on section 7. I

do not know what the purpose of this section can be, but it is in line with the general attitude of the Government to build up a protective system that will absolutely prohibit importations into Canada from other countries. They might as well enact a clause providing that all importations for the time being be stopped. That would be a more effective way of proceeding than to proceed piecemeal. What business man of sound mind would attempt to import merchandise from abroad with such legislation as this staring him in the face? No man of sound mentality would attempt it-it would be utterly impossible. On what basis is he going to place the value of goods imported, or how is he going to arrive at it? When a merchant goes to Europe to make purchases to be sold in this country he naturally wants to be able, at the time of purchasing the goods, to determine what they are going to cost him when they are landed in his warehouse in Montreal or Toronto. Now I submit that fixing the valuation for duty at not less than the wholesale price plus a reasonable profit is an utterly impossible provision to enforce-you cannot do it. I think whoever framed this clause must be a fit subject for a lunatic asylum-I do not care who is the author of it. It is so absurd that any man who knows business methods will not stop to discuss it at all- he cannot get himself into a fit and proper state of mind. I ask you, Mr. Chairman, not to make the House of Commons an absurdity by placing a clause of this kind on the statute book. I will leave the House rather than be responsible for passing such legislation.

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UNION
L LIB

Isaac Ellis Pedlow

Laurier Liberal

Mr. PEDLOW:

I suggest that the Government might just as well frame a blanket clause prohibiting all importations into Canada for the time being. The situation is very much like the_ illustration given us by the hon. member for Red Deer about

the man who started to raise cats and carp and fed one to the other. If we cannot do business with the outside world what are we going to do with our surplus products? We shall have millions of bushels of wheat to sell next year and where are we going to sell them if our importations are to be stopped? If we cease buying goods abroad we simply cannot dispose of our surplus products. You are simply tying up the trade of the country. We shall all starve next winter, or else be compelled to maintain ourselves by subsisting on our surplus wheat supplies.

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L LIB

Samuel William Jacobs

Laurier Liberal

Mr. JACOBS:

In view of the fact that

the hon. member for Renfrew threatens to leave the House I think this clause should be dropped.

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L LIB

Isaac Ellis Pedlow

Laurier Liberal

Mr. PEDLOW:

What I meant, even if I did not actually say so, was that I would leave the House while this section was being considered. I certainly would refuse to be responsible or even to be within the precincts of the House, while such a section as that was being passed.

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UNION

Francis Ramsey Lalor

Unionist

Mr. LALOR:

I am sure we shall all be very sorry indeed if the hon. member is driven out of this country. I strongly advise him if he decides to go, and takes the member for Pontiac with him, that he should not go to the United States. If he does cross over into the adjoining republic and studies the customs regulations there he certainly will not remain in that country, because those regulations are entirely different from the Canadian regulations. Does the hon. member for Renfrew know that you cannot take goods into the United States unless they show a profit of 10 per cent-that is not dumping price or even sacrifice price.

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UNI L
UNION

Francis Ramsey Lalor

Unionist

Mr. LALOR:

It concerns us in this way: if they are going to treat this country in such a manner surely we have enough of pride of our own to take a little of that medicine ourselves.

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PRO

Michael Clark

Progressive

Mr. CLARK (Red Deer) :

But my hon. friend does not take the medicine, he takes the profit.

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UNION

Francis Ramsey Lalor

Unionist

Mr. LALOR:

I would advise my hon. friend from Renfrew to get a copy of the American customs tariff and study it a little. He will then see what they do over there as regards our trade. [DOT]

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June 2, 1921