That is the sort of argument, and one or two laughs-that is all. During the last session, although my hon. friends were insistent in their argument that we had no mandate, no right to do anything, the demand was nevertheless repeatedly made that a redistribution bill be brought down. But last session, a year afterward, hon. gentlemen opposite said that it was impossible to bring down a redistribution measure-although one of the claims previously made -was that there should be a special session of parliament to deal with that question. Well, two years afterwards we still have not a redistribution measure, although I understand there is a committee somewhere, waiting and hoping and struggling to get something like a settled declaration of government policy. That is how we stand on the question of what we have done. But what difference does it make whether we did the right thing or the wrong thing? The question now is what ought to be done today for Canada, regardless of old history, regardless of efforts to draw herrings across the trail. Is my hon. friend content with the exodus from Canada? Is he content with the conditions in his own province to-day-idle factories; 15,000 people moved out of Halifax since he came into office? Does he like that? And if he does not like it, should we not discuss it instead of simply saying nothing is to be done for Canada because I happened to be in office, I think it was two and a
half years, and did not do then what is now the right thing to do, not being met with the same necessities for action that this government is met with? The exodus came with this government, the exodus was not with us.
My hon. friend says that if I have made an investigation of the silk price business he is quite ready to take my word. I will tell him frankly that I have not, but I am going to ask my hon. friend to ask the ladies of his own family whether they cannot buy their silks in the United States cheaper than they can in Canada. I need not go any further. Ask them if they cannot get their silk stockings when they are across the line cheaper than they can buy them here. I know that is what my women folk tell me, and they wonder why it is. The answer is not to be found in the tariff, as my hon. friend understands it, it is to be found in connection with the silk industry just exactly as it was shown in the tin plate industry in the United States' and practically every other industry in that country. Why, the time was when there was not a single tin plate mill in the United States. The United States imposed a very high duty on tin plate, 75 per cent if my recollection is correct. The price of tin plate went up, and although previously Welsh tin plate had been sold altogether in the United States and not a bit of tin plate had been produced in that country, within a comparatively short space of time the United States was not only producing all her own tin plate but exporting as well to the Mother Country. I do not know how it is to-day, but I know that at the time I made the investigation my hon. friend speaks about, tin plate was selling lower in the United States than it was in the Mother Country. That is what they did with the tariff, and what they did there for tin plate they have done for silks here. Would it not be a good thing if we had that $108,000,000 of wages spent in Canada to-day? Would it not be a good thing if there was just a little movement from the south to the north instead of an uninterrupted stream from the north to the south? I ask my friend seriously to consider the position in which he finds this country getting to-day, and seriously considering it I think he will come to the conclusion, if he does not find himself so tied down by pledges here and pledges there -and I have to congratulate him on the ease with which he can get rid of these things- that we need a little more industry at home and a change in the direction of that stream, turning it from the south to the north.
My hon. friend is probably right in what, he says about the favoured nation treaty. It
is an old treaty, and we did not do anything to hurt it. He did a very good thing-I have given him credit for it before and I have to give him credit for it again-when he got rid of the favoured nation treatment 4 p.m. of Germany. He did a good thing for Canada then, but that is a long time ago, and the necessity for action to-day is more insistent that it was in the past. Our condition is more serious; our need for employment at home is greater now. If it was right for the hon. gentleman to do that with respect to Germany, will he not be good enough to look into the question to-day and see if something cannot be done in tint connection? As I say, I have all the figures. They are all worked out, but I do not want to take up the time of the committee in reading them. I shall be pleased to send a copy of them to my hon. friend or to hand them to Hansard for the information of the members. My hon. friend will find that these figures substantiate just what I have been saying.
What my hon. friend says is perfectly true about the first start of that most favoured nation clause. It can be got rid of so easily. If my hon. friend will refer again to the speech of Senator Beaubien in the Senate he will find that he can get rid of that clause just as easily to-day as he got rid of it when he was dealing with Germany.
Would the minister consider giving the committee a list similar to the French list of the principal exports, so that we can get a general view? I think it would be a good thing for the trade of the country. I would like to see what the duties are on the different things we have for export.
In the case of the French treaty there was a long list of items many of which my hon. friend thought were not im portant, but in order that the committee may know the extent of our exports in the principal articles I am quite willing, before the third reading of the bill, to bring down a list.
I would like to see a list of our exports in the principal articles. Our exports to Italy are very limited, leaving out some of the articles in the French treaty that the minister refers to in the French treaty. I
am not interested in those, and I think very few others are, but I would like to see what the Italian list is in the articles of importance to this country.
Not expressly so. It is a favoured nation treaty. Whatever the best terms we give to any other foreign nation Italy can claim, and the best terms that were given to France contain the condition the hon. gentleman mentions. They can get the benefits only by accepting the responsibilities.
Is it not a fact that it is only to France that the Canadian port clause applies? These duties we are giving to other countries too, and as a consequence any goods that another country sends to us at a certain rate Italy can get at the same rate, and does not have to send them through Canadian ports.
I do not see the reasoning at all. It is only France that has the Canadian port clause. Any other nation to which we are giving these rates has no Canadian port clause. Italy is entitled not only to as good treatment as France but as good treatment as any other country. Consequently the goods that another country can send in by American ports, Italy can send in too.