June 21, 1923

PRO

Thomas Sales

Progressive

Mr. SALES:

I was simply taking my hon. friend's statement that the party who should prosecute would be the Attorney General of the province where the offence was committed, and I went on to say that this combine was formed in New York, and wanted to know whether the Criminal Code could be applied in that case, or would it be considered as being outside the jurisdiction of this country?

Topic:   LAKE GRAIN RATES
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LIB

Edward Mortimer Macdonald (Minister of National Defence; Minister Without Portfolio)

Liberal

Mr. MACDONALD (Pictou):

My hon. friend had better ask the hon. member for Calgary West, who I understand supplies the law for that side of the House on legal questions.

Topic:   LAKE GRAIN RATES
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PRO

Thomas Sales

Progressive

Mr. SALES:

Why should I be given an answer like that when the Minister of Justice is sitting in his seat? If the disposition of the government is to pass us by with answers such as was given by the Minister of Trade and Commerce and the one that is now given by the Acting Minister of National Defence, what is the use of our trying to get information? If the Minister of Justice would care to give the information I should be very pleased to receive it.

Topic:   LAKE GRAIN RATES
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LIB

Lomer Gouin (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Sir LOMER GOUIN:

If the hon. member will be good enough to put his question I will try and answer it. What is the question please?

Topic:   LAKE GRAIN RATES
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PRO

Thomas Sales

Progressive

Mr. SALES:

The question is this: Three of these shipping men who practically control the whole shipping on the Great Lakes so far as Canada is concerned meet in New York with representatives of our government-owned lines and make a combine to fix rates. Now would action against that combine be considered to be outside the jurisdiction of this country?

Topic:   LAKE GRAIN RATES
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LIB

Lomer Gouin (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Sir LOMER GOUIN:

I would prefer to have a little time to consider the question, but answering offhand I would be inclined

to say that this would not constitute a combine on which prosecution could be instituted in this country.

Topic:   LAKE GRAIN RATES
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PRO

Thomas Sales

Progressive

Mr. SALES:

I do not intend to take up any more time at this stage. Anything I have to say on the insurance and brokerage clauses I will say when they come up.

Topic:   LAKE GRAIN RATES
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LIB

William F. Carroll

Liberal

Mr. CARROLL:

This question of shipping on the Great Lakes is rather an old one. For twenty years or more the shipping interests of the United States have been endeavouring to gain a foothold in what we might call local Canadian shipping. I have been told that some ten or twelve years ago the government, which at that time owned the elevators at Montreal, offered to certain men who were prepared to put up a certain amount of capital for shipping on the Great Lakes the use of the elevators at Montreal without cost providing that they would ship through these elevators five million bushels of wheat. While we may talk about combines, the fact is that certain men in this country made a proposition that they would put their money into a shipping enterprise which would carry wheat and other commodities from the head of the lakes to Montreal. In those days it was a marvellous thing to think that at any time in the future 5,000,000 bushels of wheat might be shipped to the grain elevators of Montreal. So huge an enterprise did it appear that the gentlemen who had the proposition in hand refused to give any undertaking in the matter. But what do we find to-day? Instead of 5,000,000 bushels of wheat, over 150,000,000 bushels last year went through the elevators of Montreal I believe, that a development of such a character is in the interest of Canadian shipping and of Canadian business. My hon. friend from Saltcoats (Mr. Sales), I think it was, said that we had little sympathy with certain propositions which he had to make. Well, personally, as a general rule I am more or less in sympathy with propositions intended to benefit Canadian industry and the Canadian people; but I do not believe we should consider a proposition which will place Canadian shipping on the Great Lakes in the Lands of American companies, as will be the case if this bill becomes law. May I say that I have been reading American papers for some days past, ever since the announcement of this proposed legislation was made, and it i3 a marvellous thing to consider that within twenty-four hours from the time it became known an American company was formed at Duluth for the purpose of interfering-shall I say?-with Canadian and American trade-

Lake G\ 11 Rates

Topic:   LAKE GRAIN RATES
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LIB
?

Mr CARROLL:

No I say interfering; it is not a case of competing. I will answer my hon. friend by saying this: If our government had made certain propositions whereby our Canadian coasting vessels on the Great Lakes would be given the same rights in the United States as this bill proposes to give American shipping in Canada, I would say it was a fair proposition.

Topic:   LAKE GRAIN RATES
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LIB

Ernest Lapointe (Minister of Marine and Fisheries)

Liberal

Mr. LAPOINTE:

We have got that provision in our law.

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LIB
LIB

Ernest Lapointe (Minister of Marine and Fisheries)

Liberal

Mr. LAPOINTE:

It is to be found in section 958 of the Shipping Act which provides that:

The Governor in Council may, from time to time, declare that the foregoing provisions of this part shall not apply to the ships or vessels of any foreign country in which British ships are admitted to the coasting trade of such country, and to carry goods and passengers from one port or place to another in such country.

So we already have this provision in our law.

Topic:   LAKE GRAIN RATES
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LIB

William F. Carroll

Liberal

Mr. CARROLL:

Has the minister had any undertaking on behalf of the American government that the thing will be made effective? Certainly not, but we are giving away certain rights that we have on the Great Lakes which I think we should hold dear and sacred. While I do not wish to oppose a government measure I consider the time has come when we as Canadians should uphold our rights and privileges, and treat as they deserve any company or any combine who may propose to take away from us those trading rights which American companies will enjoy if this bill goes into effect.

My hon. friend from Halifax (Mr. Maclean) made some observations as to the constitutionality of this question. Well, I think he is right. However, I am not going into that question at all. I say we have developed a trade on the Great Lakes which we are foolish to abandon to competitors in the United States.

Topic:   LAKE GRAIN RATES
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PRO
LIB

William F. Carroll

Liberal

Mr. CARROLL:

I mean we Canadians.

Perhaps my hon. friend does not belong to that class; I am afraid he does not. I mean that we Canadians have developed a trade on the Great Lakes which we should preserve [DOT]to the utmost of our ability. My hon. friend asks "Who are we?" Propositions were made years ago, as I have already said, to various 270

shipping interests to gt into this business and attempt to draw the \ rain trade from Fort William and the various lake ports to Montreal. They have done that successfully but I do say this: If they have combined to charge unjustifiable freight rates on the upper lakes they should be brought to task; but it is unfair, and the argument cannot be justified, to maintain that we should throw open our ports to American interests, and permit them to divert our grain trade from Montreal or Quebec to United States ports. I am that kind of an American-

Topic:   LAKE GRAIN RATES
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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Oh, oh.

Topic:   LAKE GRAIN RATES
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LIB
PRO

John Millar

Progressive

Mr. MILLAR:

Is my hon. friend aware

that the amount of grain going through American ports has increased steadily during the last three or four years, and that at the present time the Canadian boats are giving the preference to Buffalo-that is carrying grain much cheaper to Buffalo than to Canadian ports?

Topic:   LAKE GRAIN RATES
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LIB

June 21, 1923