June 6, 1922

IMMIGRATION ACT AMENDMENT

LIB

Joseph Archambault

Liberal

Mr. JOSEPH ARCHAMBAULT (Cham-bly & Vercheres) :

Mr. Speaker, with the consent of the House, I beg to move:

That the Special Committee to which were referred for consideration Bill No. 16, to amend the Immigration Act, and Bill No. 17, to amend the Criminal Code, be given leave to malte a special report in reference to the first mentioned Bill, No. 16.

Topic:   IMMIGRATION ACT AMENDMENT
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Motion agreed to.


THE BUDGET

CONTINUATION OF THE DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE


The House resumed from Monday, June 5, the debate on the motion of Hon. W. S. Fielding (Minister of Finance) that Mr. Speaker do now leave the Chair for the House to go into Committee of Ways and Means, and the proposed amendment thereto of Hon. Sir Henry Drayton.


LIB

Hewitt Bostock (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

Before the right hon. gentleman (Mr. Meighen) addresses the House, he will kindly allow me to give my ruling on the proposed amendment of yesterday.

The Order of the Day being read for the Committee of Ways and Means and Mr. Fielding having moved, seconded by Mr. Mackenzie King, and the question being proposed: "That Mr. Speaker do now leave the Chair." an amendment was moved by

2520 COMMONS

The Budget-Speaker's Ruling

Sir Henry Drayton, seconded by Mr. Meighen:

That all the words after the word "that" be struck out and the following be substituted therefor:

"The Liberal party assembled In convention in August, 1919, adopted a resolution which, after reeitiing its professed purposes, contained the following specific and unqualified pledges:

" 'That to these ends, wheat, wheat flour and all products of wheat; the principle articles of food; farm implements and machinery; farm tractors; mining, flour and saw mill machinery and repair parts thereof; rough and partly dressed lumber; gasoline, illuminating, lubricating and fuel oils; nets twines, and fishermen's equipments ; cements; fertilizers, should be free from custom duties, as well as the raw material entering into same.

" 'That the British proference be increased to 50 per cent of the general tariff.

" 'And the Liberal party hereby pledges itself to implement by legislation the provisions of this resolution when returned to power.'

"That such pledges were restated as the policy of the Liberal party in an official handbook issued just 'before the general election, namely, in October, 1921, under the authority of its leader, Hon. W. L. Mackenzie King.

"That candidates Contesting on behalf of the Liberal party in the said election, used widely the promises therein set out as a means of securing support.

"That the Liberal party having been returned to power the budget proposals of the Finance Minister now brought down, constitute, on the part of the Government, an utter failure to implement such pledges by legislation.

"That the making of such solemn pledges, the utilization of them to secure support, and their flagrant violation after the attainment of office reveal a disregard of political honour and tend to lower the standard of public life."

Mr. Crerar moved, seconded by Mr. Hoey:

That the said proposed amendment be amended by striking out all the words after the word "support" at the end of the third last paragraph and substituting the following therefor :

"That the Liberal party having been returned to power, the budget proposals of the Finance Minister now brought down, based as they are mainly on the principle of protection in respect of the tariff, are wholly -inadequate to Implement such pledges by legislation.

"That while recognizing that changes in fiscal policy should be made in such a way as to give industries affected a reasonable opportunity of readjustment, this House is of the opinion that the principle of protection as a basis for fiscal policy in Canada is unsound and not in the best interests of the Dominion."

A point of order was raised by Mr. Fielding on the ground that there cannot be two amendments on a motion to go into Committee of Ways and Means.

The hon. member for Marquette (Mr. Crerar) has submitted that we should conform to British practice in this case and he has contended that we could do so under our Rule I., which reads as follows:

In all cases not provided for hereinafter or by Sessional or other Orders, the rules, usages and

[Mr. Speaker. 1

forms of proceeding of the House of Commons of the United Kingdom of Great Br-itain and Ireland in force on the first day of July, 1867, shall be followed.

The very first words of this rule; "In all cases not provided for," must be taken into consideration.

The House has provided for the case at issue by adopting precedents against moving more than one amendment on the motion that the Speaker leave the Chair for the House to go into Committee of Supply or Ways and Means.

Mr. Speaker Smith, cited by the hon. gentleman, has given two divergent decisions on this point. On June 22, 1858, he ruled that "An amendment to an amendment to a motion for the House in Committee of Supply is out of order." That was his first ruling.

And on April 27, 1860, he ruled that "But one amendment to a motion for going into Committee of Supply can be made, although the amendment itself may be amended."

This is the only decision allowing a second amendment which has ever been given in the Canadian Parliament, and it is anterior to Confederation and apparently self-contradictory.

On June 14,1864, Mr. Speaker Wall'bridge ruled that "But one amendment can be moved to a motion for the House going in Committee of Supply." (Vide Journal, pp. 388-389).

Since Confederation our practice has been consistently against such an amendment.

On May 1, 1867, Mr. Speaker Cockburn, upon ruling out of order a very complex amendment to a motion for the Committee of Supply, said:

The House could in general, according to precedent, order a complicated motion to be divided. But that could only be done by amending the motion, which cannot be done now, for but one amendment can be moved in going into Committee of Supply. (Vide Journal, pp. 268-270).

On May 2, 1873, whilst the House was debating an amendment to the motion that Mr. Speaker do now leave the Chair, Mr. Tupper (later Sir Charles) moved to leave certain words out of the said amendment and insert certain other words instead thereof.

Mr. Holton (then the recognized authority on such questions in the Canadian Parliament) objected to this proceeding, and Mr. Speaker Cockburn again decided that "No amendment can be made to the amendment to the motion for the House to go into Committee of Supply." (Vide Journal, p. 262).

The Budget-Speaker's Ruling

On February 29, 1876, Mr. Speaker Anglin over-ruled Mr. Workman's motion in favour of Protection, being an amendment of an amendment of Mr. Irving to the motion that Mr. Speaker leave the Chair for the House to go into Committee of Supply. (Vide Journal, p. 89).

Since the last mentioned date, the point has been considered as definitely settled and no second amendment to such a motion has ever been allowed in this House.

On April 9, 1878, Sir John A. Macdonald, then Leader of the Opposition, stated from his seat, that he intended moving an amendment on going into Supply with regard to "the Quebec crisis."

Mr. Mackenzie, then Prime Minister although admitting Sir John A. Macdonald's right to make such an amendment, took the ground that if it were made on the motion to go into Supply it would prevent sub-amendments. He said that Sir John A. Macdonald's amendment should not be confined to an occasion when there can be no sub-amendment because it simply meant asking the House to conform to the mover's own view of a particular transaction or else vote it down.

"Whilst the House might concur with a certain portion of the motion but not with the rest" said Mr. Mackenzie, "we are obliged, on a motion in amendment on going into Supply, to accept whatever the 'Hon. Member chooses to offer us, or to reject It."

In Hansard it reads " or to neglect it". The reporter evidently meant the word " reject".

"The Hon. member will place his motion in such a way that it will be impossible for the House to give any opinion at all on it except to accept at or to vote it down."

Sir John A. Macdonald here interjected " Exactly." Mr. Holton, speaking on the question, then said:

The Right Hon. Gentleman intended to adopt a form of words or submit it to the House in a connection in which it was not susceptible of amendment and whatever shades of opinion there might be and whatever choice there might be as to the form of expression, the Hon. Gentleman practically said to the House: "take this or nothing."

Mr. Blake also concurred in this opinion.

I think the above precedents are binding on me, especially when supported by the opinions of such experienced parliamentarians as Macdonald, Mackenzie, Blake and Holton.

The honourable member for Marquette has quoted Bourinot to show that these precedents are based on a misunderstanding of a Canadian speaker as to the English practice. Bourinot made that statement in a foot note of his third edition, but he did not include this note in his fourth edition. It is, as a matter of fact, an obiter dictum which has no bearing on the principle accepted by the Canadian House of Commons. Bourinot recognized this fact in his fourth edition in which he lays down the practice unequivocally as follows:

Only one amendment can be moved to the question that Mr. Speaker do now leave the Chair. If that amendment is negatived .... no other motion can be proposed.

And he adds as a note on the same page:

This limitation is peculiar to the Canadian Commons (p. 420).

The same question arose in 1917, and was decided upon the same principle. In this case an amendment moved by Mr. Turriff on the proposed motion of Sir Thomas White for the Committee of Ways and Means (the budget) was negatived on a division. Thereupon, Mr. Robb (Huntingdon) moved a second amendment, and it being late at night the debate was adjourned.

But next day, 11th May, 1917, the Deputy Speaker stated to the House that the second amendment was irregular and should have been declared to be out of order. He ruled that the main motion was the only question before the House and might be debated, but no further amendments could be moved. (Hansard, 1917, Vol. II, pp. 1317, 1319: Journals, 1917, pp. 188, 193).

In 1917, on a similar occasion, a second amendment was intended to be moved, but on being informed by one of my predecessors, the hon. Mr. Speaker Rhodes, that he would be ruled out of order, Dr. Clark, then member for Red Deer, desisted from his intention, thus accepting our well established practice.

I am not unmindful of the views expressed by the Minister of Finance (Mr. Fielding) and also by my predecessor the hon. member for Bonaventure (Mr. Marcil) whose long experience in this House gives weight to their opinions on questions of Parliamentary procedure.

In Great Britain, more than one amendment may be moved on the motion that the Speaker leave the Chair for the House to go into Committee of Supply or Ways and Means, but it is done on conditions quite different from the practice in this House. In England, whenever an amendment is

2522 COMMONS

The Budget-Speaker's Ruling moved striking out all the words after ''that" from the main motion, the Speaker puts the question "That all the words proposed to be left out stand part of the question". If this is voted in the negative, amendments and sub-amendments are allowed; but if it is voted in the affirmative, they are not.

The practical meaning of this peculiarly British procedure is that the House grants leave to move the amendment. In another sense, it is nothing more nor less than the previous question. I cannot see my way to following the British practice.

As to the suggestion to give the hon. member for Marquette and his supporters the opportunity of expressing their views upon the budget proposals, I must say that the Speaker, in his interpretation of the rules, is not at liberty to recognize the existence of parties or groups in the House. Although he has to observe certain amenities in giving precedence to leaders in debate, he presides over an assembly of the people's representatives where every member has an equal right of using the rules and usages to express his views on public matters.

In England, although the Home Rule party under Mr. Parnell and his successors consisted of a large group, it never was given an official status in parliamentary procedure. Even to-day, there are at Westminster several groups or parties, but they are all subject to the same rules of procedure. All the members are on an equal footing. I think our rules and practice based on precedents, traditions, and usages give every hon. member ample opportunity to put himself on record upon any question. I therefore rule that no amendment can be moved to the amendment proposed to the motion that I do now leave the chair for the House to resolve itself into Committee of Ways and Means. The sub-amendment moved by the hon. member for Marquette accordingly is out of order.

I may add that the same rule applies whether the motion is for the House to go into Committee of Supply or Ways and Means.

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Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF THE DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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PRO

Thomas Alexander Crerar

Progressive

Hon. T. A. CRERAR (Marquette):

Mr. Speaker, I recognize at once the weight of the authorities which you have quoted in support of your ruling, notwithstanding that our practice has developed from a misunderstanding by Mr. Speaker Smith in 1858, and under ordinary conditions I would be the last member to question your decision. I submit, however, that the con-

ditions which obtain to-day in this House justify a departure from our customary practice. We are the second largest party here, and I think we should have the opportunity of formally expressing our views in the manner I suggested yesterday. Therefore, Mr. Speaker, with the greatest possible respect for your person and for the high office which you so ably fill, I wish to appeal against your ruling to the judgment of the House.

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Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF THE DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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LIB

William Stevens Fielding (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Hon. W. S. FIELDING (Minister of Finance) :

Mr. Speaker, if I may be permitted to make a comment on what my hon. friend from Marquette (Mr. Crerar) says, I would remind him that, being the second largest group in the House it was his undoubted right to take the place of the official Opposition, if he had so desired. Of his own motion and for good reasons, satisfactory to himself and his friends, he elected not to take that position. There is an advantage under the British practice in occupying the position of the official Opposition. My hon. friend waived his right to that advantage, and I do not think he ought now to complain of the consequences of his action.

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Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF THE DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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PRO

Thomas Alexander Crerar

Progressive

Mr. CRERAR:

May I say, Mr. Speaker, to my hon. friend the Minister of Finance, for whom also I have a very great respect, that his argument is not sound. The same condition would apply whether or not this group which I represent and speak for to-day were the third instead of the second largest party in the House. I submit that it should have the opportunity of expressing its opinions in this formal way.

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Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF THE DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Right Hon. ARTHUR MEIGHEN (Leader of the Opposition) :

Although I think I am out of order, Mr. Speaker, I rise merely to state my position on the point of order. In so far as the sub-amendment is concerned, I need not say that it has no embarrassment for me. At the same time your ruling, Sir, appeals to me as being undoubtedly in conformity with the rules and practice of this House; indeed, so clearly is this the case that there does not appear any room for dispute at all.

The leader of the Progressive party (Mr. Crerar) urges that new conditions have arisen. If so, those new conditions must be met, and the way to meet them is to take the regular course to amend the rules of the House; not to appeal against what is manifestly a sound judgment that you, Mr. Speaker, could not possibly avoid giving. Consequently, if it comes to a vote I shall support the Chair.

Besides, may I point out that in the British House the closure rules are very different and much more drastic than ours, applying to motions in amendment to supply? Therefore they can afford a latitude there that we could not very well allow here, for without the intervention of a closure rule we have unlimited opportunities of moving amendments to supply. Consequently the leader of the Progressive party is not debarred at all by your ruling from moving his amendment to Supply or Ways and Means, and he will have many opportunities to do so.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF THE DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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LIB

Hewitt Bostock (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

The Speaker's decision having been sustained, the debate will now proceed on the main motion and the amendment thereto of the hon. member for West York (Sir Henry Drayton).

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CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Right Hon. ARTHUR MEIGHEN(Leader of the Opposition) :

Mr. Speaker, it has become the custom in this debate to make reference to a circumstances rare in our history, that of the same minister presenting to Parliament a sixteenth budget. I have not the least hesitation, indeed I join gladly in the tributes paid to the personal worth of the Finance Minister (Mr. Fielding). His standing as a citizen and as a public man is well recognized throughout our country. He has earned that place by an unusually long public service-by nearly fifty years of unwearied and assiduous toil.

I differ from him in the articles of his financial policy; the differences I have found in the past exist to-day. I cannot

The Budget

Mr. Meighen

congratulate him on his budget; I do not think that situated as he was he made the best of his circumstances. His budget speech was an eloquent contribution to debate, it was an interesting and mostly appropriate though superficial commentary on our trade and fiscal position; but it will be searched in vain for any full or useful analysis of our finances as a nation, for any examination of value into our trade history and our trade prospects. It is mostly in the nature of a newspaper commentary on the politics of the day.

There are features of our financial position that are not wholly encouraging. In the main, though, having regard to the accomplishments of this country in recent years, there is little of which to complain. It is true, as the Finance Minister stated, we have a debt of about $2,427,000,000. Our debt increased last year by, I think, $86,000,000, and the year before by $92,000,000. But not one other country has been cited that has succeeded after the ordeal of war in really reducing its obligations. If it is true that Great Britain has in a sense reduced, Great Britain's reduction is due merely to another method of

4 p.m. bookkeeping than that adopted here. Great Britain made her investments in war munitions and war materials; all were added to the debt, and what afterwards came to her credit by sale or otherwise appears as a reduction. In Canada, for the most part what would have appeared as a reduction never in the first place was incurred as a debt; consequently what appears there to be a reduction of debt has no such appearance here.

Last year the debt of Canada was increased by $86,000,000, but last year we paid out of our $381,000,000 of revenue all our ordinary expenditure, composed precisely as it has always been, and paid as well all the regular capital expenditure of this country, and paid as well some $9,000,000 under demobilization. We did this, and had a small surplus besides. The $86,000,000 is made up mainly of advances to the railway systems of this country and constitutes an obligation by them to the country-advances that took care of anterior obligations of those systems, mainly the Grand Trunk-and that found their way into capital investment in those systems, bringing them to that standard of efficiency where they are to-day. By virtue of such efficiency they render service to this country comparable with that rendered by any other system in the world. The re-

suits of those investments we are reaping in dividends of service every hour, and none are reaping them more rapidly or more clearly than those portions of our country in the far west into which those improvements and extensions have to a great extent gone. Those investments were essential; they comprised some $115,000,000 inclusive of equipment. Even some of those have been taken care of out of the year's expenditure, with the result that only $86,000,000 of an addition to the debt has been entailed. These facts are not wholly discouraging-by no means are they discouraging. We are past the stage where large investment for that purpose is necessary. We shall have some deficits to take care of, but as the years advance and as the abnormal expenditures that attach to the war and its aftermath cease, we shall be able to address ourselves to achieve reductions provided right policies are pursued.

The main feature of the budget presentation was that which had to do with fiscal policy. This debate falls into two divisions. There is, first, the question as to what is the sound fiscal policy for Canada; and, second, the question, in what character does the Government appear in presenting to the House such policy. These are distinct and separate subjects.

As to what is the true taxation and fiscal policy for this country, I do not think I need inform Parliament what my own opinions are. On at least two former occasions in budget debates I took occasion to make them as clear as I could in English words-in the session of 1921 and in the session of 1920. It became my duty as I saw it then to declare fidelity, continued fidelity, to a system of protection in this country, protection applied in moderate degree, within limits clearly defined in those addresses. I do not need on this occasion to go elaborately into that argument. I can rely pretty confidently, I think, throughout this Parliament oi my hon. friends opposite me supplying the arguments that it was necessary for me to supply in previous years. I can well recall how cold a reception my words received at their hands in the debate of a year ago and of two years ago, and I can remember how vociferously and how vigorously they applauded the speeches and the theories of the then small party of fourteen that sat in the seats now to my left. I could not help but contrast how feeble was the applause that similar language drew forth this year from hon. gentlemen opposite.

The Budget-Mr. Meighen

Indeed, I felt rather sorry for some members of the Progressive party and particularly, may I say, for the hon. lady member for Southeast Grey (Miss Mac-phail), when I recall utterances, similar to those they made this year, sounded in those two previous contests, and thought how if they had only been so fortunate as to have made on those occasions, the speeches that they made in this debate, they would have received as a meed of praise from the Liberal party those thunders of applause with which we were so familiar then.

Yes, I can leave for the present the defence of the cause of protection to hon. gentlemen opposite. Their policy is quite clear. It is embodied in the tariff they have presented to this House. It is the policy described in an election address by the hon. member for St. Antoine (Mr. Mitchell) as the very " same that we have pursued for forty-three years in Canada." It is the policy described by the present Minister of Justice (Sir Lomer Gouin) in many of his speeches as the policy pursued by the Laurier government and by all governments since 1878. That is the policy that they have advanced, and that is the policy for them to defend. There has not, indeed, in my judgment-and I say it with all deference to hon. gentlemen to my left-been any serious attack upon its soundness in this debate. There have been the usual charges advanced, there have been the usual appeals against monopoly, the usual sectional appeals, the usual assumption that this system is designed to oppress the many and to enrich the few; but there has not been much delving to the heart of the question in an endeavour to show that any other policy would give this Dominion a better or any chance in the commercial race of this world.

The hon. member for Brome (Mr. Mc-Master) endeavoured to argue by comparison. So far as I know, he was the lone sparrow across the floor who dared to say a word for the free trade principles of yore. He endeavoured to argue by comparison, and he described the results of the tariff impositions of certain countries of Europe. I do not think he got to anything larger than the Netherlands. He confined himself to very small countries, countries that by virtue of their geographical position, by virtue of their compactness, by virtue of their comparative absence of basic natural resources, are wholly different

from ours. But he did not give the whole facts regarding them. I mention only one, and the corresponding argument would apply to all. He gave us the revenue from customs of the Kingdom of Belgium, and its total importations, and he said: There is virtually a free trade country.

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Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF THE DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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LIB

Andrew Ross McMaster

Liberal

Mr. McMASTER:

A very low tarilf country.

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CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

A very low tariff country;-because its importations are so large and its customs revenue is so small- only one and a fraction per cent of the total importations. Well, a country might have a tariff that only brought in half of one per cent, and still be a protected country, still be a country that followed the principle of protection and'abandoned the principles of free trade or revenue tariff. A country, on the other hand, might be one whose proportions of customs revenue to imports would run from twenty to thirty per cent, and still be a country without any protection to home industries at all. It all depends on the nature of the articles upon which the duty is imposed. Belgium, for example, not having natural resources in degree like Canada, resources of the mine, resources of the soil-

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LIB

Andrew Ross McMaster

Liberal

Mr. McMASTER:

If the right hon.

gentleman will permit me, does he suggest that Belgium has not great resources of the mine?

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CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

Nothing comparable

with Canada. She has not the variety of natural resources that this country has. Therefore, she does not need to apply her tariff to ensure the development of her natural resources. She only needs to apply it to the protection of those industries of her own that compete with other countries. It is obviously to her advantage to admit to her shores free those raw resources she has not at home. She needs to apply only to a few-but she does not neglect those few-the principle of protection. Take, for example, the clothing that she cheaply produces, ladies' clothing, men's clothing, hats and so forth. On these she applies a duty of 20 per cent. On sugar, one of the greatest of her industries, in which for her population she is one of the foremost producers of the world, she imposes a duty of 20 francs per hundred kilo grams, or 220 pounds, which is a duty very close to 2 cents per pound, higher than the duty we have in Canada.

The range of goods upon which it is to the advantage of Belgium to apply protec-

The Budget-Mr. Meighen

tion is narrow compared with that of this country. The range of goods upon which it is to her advantage to let them in free, because they do not compete seriously with her industries at home, is large, and that accounts for the reduced percentage that the total amount collected bears to the total value of her imports.

In Great Britain, on the other hand-* even before the Safeguarding of Industries law-her average of duties to the whole value of importations was about 8 per cent; so at a time when Great Britain undoubtedly was a free trade country, imposing duties only on goods that did not compete with home production, her average would be four or five or six times the average in Belgium. But Belgium was a protected country because Belgium laid her duties on goods that did compete with home production. There comes the difference between the principle of protection and the principle of no protection.

For this Dominion of ours to abandon that system, applied in careful measure as we have it to-day, would be to invite, in competition with other industrial nations, undoubted disaster. Hon. gentlemen say, "Oh, there is this industry, there is that, where we have conditions in Canada enabling them to compete with the conditions of our chief competitors across the line." Well, it is sometimes easier to make such proposition before one gets all the facts than it is afterward; but assuming it to be true where are we then? You find a competitor over there that has a market closed, or partially closed, by a protective tariff; you find him with an advantage of 110 millions of a market. You find the competitor here with what? You find him with eight and a half or nine millions of a market; and you find him building to a scale to meet the restricted market of his country. Assume even that the other country opens its market; no industry in this country could be sure that such market would remain open for longer than four years. Therefore the manufacturer cannot lay down his plant on a scale to meet the large scale production of his competitor. Therein lies the basis of the protective theory. It is bound up in the very system of nations that we have in this world. When the existing system of nations is abolished, and when markets external to our country are under a common control, then there will be some reason in the theory of free traders.

So, I adhere still to the principle of a moderate protective tariff for our country.

Further: I believe generally in a system of reciprocal trade with countries of the world in which we can expect to find a market-a real market-not a mere intermediate market for our surplus. That applies to almost every country in the world. But Canada is peculiarly situated. Canada is in a position as to which no just comparison with any other country in the world appears. We lie on the North American continent, alongside a nation with a population of 110 millions, undoubtedly the most highly developed industrially of any country in the world. We are virtually their only neighbours in an industrial sense. The weight of their commercial influence is almost overwhelming. They are a nation that produces everything that we produce and, except for one or two things, produces a surplus, and a large surplus, of everything that we produce. Consequently though we may find a market-we do now find a market-there for much that we bring to maturity in this country, such market is of this character: It is intermediate, it only adds to the surplus that that country has of the same products for sale to the outside world. Therefore, the United States becomes a mere intermediary between us and the outside world. My hon. friend opposite shakes his head, but such undoubtedly is the fact. Here in our country, if we permit no considerations of nationhood to exist, or to have weight at all we would have certain portions of Canada trading almost exclusively by the geographically natural route through the United States. There is such trading now, I do not dispute it and there will always be, but I do not think it wise, farsighted policy that the all but universal practice should be for distinct sections of Canada to trade by themselves with those states immediately to the south; such states in turn pressing on their surplus farther towards the seacoast; and those in turn pressing their surplus, so augmented, of the same goods on to the ultimate consumers of Europe and Asia. Would such a condition be for the good of this country? Would it be possible by following that path to build up a nation here? This is the problem that faced the Fathers of Confederation. This is the problem that has faced the statesmen of this country every year since Confederation. This is one of the tendencies that our country must have the virility and the tenacity to overcome if we are to remain a united nation on this North American continent.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF THE DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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C, 1922


The Budget-Mr. Meighen


LIB

Andrew Ross McMaster

Liberal

Mr. McMASTER:

Is it not true that in spite of all tariff barriers our trade with the United States has been growing almost from year to year, without affecting our national spirit?

Topic:   C, 1922
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June 6, 1922