April 14, 1924


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We have gradually been increasing our exports to the British Empire, but in 1924 those exports fell off as was the case also with our exports to the United States; but there was quite a large increase in our exports to the other countries of the world, 25.1 per cent of our total exports going to foreign countries. If you take dutiable and free goods for the twelve months ending February, 1922, 1923 and 1924, we find that dutiable goods entered for consumption into Canada amounted to $512,533,000; free goods, $248,- 492,000. The amount of duty on all dutiable goods collected in 1921-1922 was 23-6 per cent, while on all imports the percentage of duty amounted to 15-9; 1923, the duty collected on dutiable goods amounted to 25-7 per cent, or a little over 2 per cent higher than for the previous year, while the percentage of duty collected on all imports was 16-3 per cent, a slight rise in the duty; 1924, the duty collected on all dutiable goods was 23 per cent, and on all imports 15.3 per cent. You will see from these figures that the duty tax collected by both governments, Conservative and Liberal, has been very similar; in fact, it has been almost unchanged up to the present day. The year 1923 shows an increase over 1922, of 2-1 per cent, and 1924 shows a decrease over 1922 of .6 per cent on dutiable goods, while on all imports 1923 shows an increase over 1922 of .4 per cent, and 1924 shows a decrease of -7 per cent over 1922. Of our exports of agricultural and animal products for 1923-1924, 74 per cent went to the United Kingdom and the United States, and 26 per cent to the rest of the world; 54.6 per cent of these goods going to the United Kingdom and 19.4 per cent to the United States, showing that England is the country which takes the greater proportion of our agricultural products, a great deal more than the United States. I cannot quite understand why hon. gentlemen to my left want to trade so much with the United States, which does not take anything like the same amount of farm products from us that the United Kingdom does. It is our duty and in the best interests of the farmer to cultivate our trade with the United Kingdom. We imported from the United Kingdom in 1923-1924 goods amounting to $155,000,000 and exported to the United Kingdom $355,000,000, leaving a favourable trade balance of something like $200,000,000 An examination of these returns for the above years shows that 54.6 per cent of our agricultural exports were sold in the English market, while only 19.4 per cent went to the United States, and 26 per cent to other countries. The United States is our poorest customer and our greatest competitor in farm products. In 1923 we exported 166! million bushels of wheat to the United Kingdom and only 16 million bushels to the United States, or ten times as much to the former; of flour in 1923 we exjwrted 4| million barrels to the United Kingdom and 612,000 to the United States, or eight times as much to the United Kingdom as we sent to the United States; oats, 20! million bushels went to the United Kingdom and 842,000 bushels to the United States; or twenty-five times as much to the United Kingdom as to the United States; of barley we sent 13! million bushels to the The Budget -Mr. Anderson United Kingdom. For the same year, 1923, we exported 20 million pounds of cheese to the United Kingdom and about the same quantity to the United States, 22 million pounds; butter 17,500 pounds; eggs 3,158,000 dozen. On the other hand we imported from the United States something like 140,000 dozen eggs and 5,500,000 pounds of butter. If the tariff wall between this country and the United States were taken down the Americans would flood this country with the produce of farm and factory to the detriment, if not to the extinction of similar industries in Canada. We have a standing offer of reciprocity in natural products at the present time from this government, but so far the offer has been treated with disdain. The only reply given by the United States is to raise their duties on many articles we raise, particularly the one commodity produced by the prairies, wheat, to a prohibitive height. That does not look very much like a reciprocal spirit on their part. I think their duty at the present time on wheat is 42 cents a bushel, on mill feed 22^ per cent ad valorem, and $1.12 per hundred weight on flour. That does not look very much as if the United States were ready to trade with Canada on a reciprocal basis. It is a direct slap in the face, you may say, to this government for the reciprocity resolution of last year. I cannot see any reason for going on with such a policy, or holding out a proposition of that kind to the United States. The United States does not want Canadian wheat. If they did they would not put on such an import duty against it. That duty of 42 cents on wheat says so emphatically, but just the same they would like our market for their surplus foods in Canada. An examination of the trade returns for 1924 discloses that we imported from the United States $603,709,000 worth of goods and exported to that country $420,148,000 worth, leaving an adverse balance of $177,580,000 against Canada, resulting in the Canadian dollar being at a discount of 2 per cent on exchange-9 millions of people purchasing $177,000,000 of goods more from 110 millions of people than they are willing to purchase. Putting it on a per capita basis we spend in the United States $67 per capita while they reciprocate to the extent of $3.82 per capita. Talk about reciprocity with a people so selfcentred as that. Examine our trade with the United States on farm and garden produce. Of fresh vegetables in 1923-24, largely potatoes and tomatoes, our imports were $3,051,000 from the United States while they bought from us $1,025,000. Fresh fruit imports, largely apples, pears, plums, grapes, berries, from the same source amounted to 53,388,000 pounds, valued at $4,500,000, while thjy bought from us fruit to the amount of $691,000. These two classes of products left us an adverse trade balance of $5,796,000. This amount if spent in Canada would make up the difference between success and failure of our fruit farming industry. We import annually over $100,000,000 worth of American agricultural, vegetable and animal products, and in 1923-24 it amounted to $113,000,000. This is a demand which can be supplied by our own farmers. Give our farmers greater protection from United States competition, particularly since their tariff wall is so high on these classes of product, and this money will stay in Canada to improve the home market to the benefit of all. Our coal bill to the United States in 1923-24 amounted to $89,250,000, and these two items alone would balance our trade returns with that country. It is our duty to make an effort to rectify this unfavourable trade balance by reducing our imports from the United States. This can easily be done by stimulating our coal production and putting a higher import duty on the products of the farm. The sales tax, Mr. Speaker, has received a good deal of attention since the government increased the amount to 6 per cent. The present unsatisfactory conditions in regard to the sales tax have been largely due to the inefficiency and vacillating methods of the present government. The sales tax provided for in the last budget was to come into effect in January this year. But the government, or the Department of Customs and Excise, could not arrange regulations as to how the sales tax should be applied. They made two or three attempts without meeting any degree of success. As first introduced, I think, it was not to be shown on the invoice; it was to be absorbed or hidden in the price of the article. That announcement came so late that it caused a good deal of distress and dissatisfaction throughout the manufacturing industry. Some of these industries had finished their price list for the coming year, had sent out their travellers on the road, and did no't want to change that price list. On the other hand there was quite a demand for the government, to make a change so that the sales tax should be shown on the invoice. The government adopted the change and required it to be shown on the invoice. Immediately those firms that had got out their price lists in which the tax was hidden in the price of the article set up an outcry and the government came back and agreed to another change. They said it might be optional, and that is the course which has been followed up to the present The Budget-Mr. Anderson

time. The government, seeing their mistake, came forward this session and reduced the tax to 5 per cent. They also provided for taking it off many articles altogether, and on other articles making it 2J per cent. It was amusing to hear the Finance Minister last session talk about his desire to reduce the cost of living, and then impose a sales tax greater than had ever been seen before. The sales tax is a home tax. It must be paid by the Canadian people, there is nobody else to pay it. It was almost immediately shown in the increased price of the article 11 p.m. -it could have no other effect. There may be some question as to who pays an import duty. But there is no question as to who pays the sales tax; it is always added to the price unless it is absorbed by the manufacturer himself. The sales tax -and I am not objecting to it; if amounts of money are to be raised it is certainly a good way of raising revenue-has provided the government with large revenue. The revenue from sales tax in 1921-22 amounted to $56,- 325,000. In 1922-23 it yielded $81,428,000; and in 1923-24, $94,911,000. That is a peculiar way to reduce the cost of living, to increase a direct tax so that it shall yield $94,000,000 of revenue. The government increased this tax twice. In 1922-23 it was increased by 50 per cent over 1921-22. In 1923 the government raised the tax to 6 per cent. If the government reduces that tax now, it is simply a case of lowering a tax they put on themselves. The tariff reductions will not afford any particular relief to the average farmer. As mentioned by my hon. friend from East Elgin (Mr. Stansell) the reductions are so small that they would not be recognized by the average farmer in his annual statement of receipts and expenditure-they would hardly be known. There is one feature of the budget to which I want to draw the particular attention of the government. The Acting Minister of Finance said with respect to materials for agricultural implements: Materials which enter into the cost of the aforementioned items and other implements on which the duty is to be reduced will be entitled to entry at per cent under all tariffs. That, if one read it over carelessly might not be considered as much; but when you come to take into account the number of industries affected, that would make quite a reduction in the tariff protection which they enjoy. Those industries manufacture the materials that go into the manufacture of all things in connection with agricultural implements, mining implements and so forth. That reduction will cause a reduction of duties on quite a large number of articles such as screw nails, nails, bolts, nuts, malleable iron, steel and so on, and there are in the country quite a number of those industries which will be very injuriously affected by that reduction to 7? per cent in the tariff. I do not think the government has any idea yet how many industries will be affected by that one reduction. There will certainly be quite a large number, and as time goes on, the government will be hearing more about the matter. The sales tax has been removed from milk products and milk foods. If I am not mistaken, milk foods are already exempted from the sales tax. The woollen industry will get very little benefit from the reduction in the sales tax because at the present time it is not subject to' the sales tax. The reduction in the sales tax will, therefore, be of little benefit in connection with these industries. I want to call the attention of the House to a few more points in regard to the present government. During the time that they have been in office, they have introduced a good deal of legislation, legislation that has not been very beneficial to the country, legislation that they have made practically to suit themselves. I might call them conspicuous failures in legislation. There was the wheat board legislation of 1922. I think my hon. friends to my left will say that that was a complete fiasco. It did not give any relief whatever as regards the marketing of wheat and it is a dead letter at the present time. Legislation passed a year ago in regard to the control of freight rates on the Great Lakes was a costly failure, and it gave no relief whatever to the wheat farmers of the West. It had to be declared inoperative by the Governor-in-Council in order to save the situation. . The Halibut treaty with the United States was another matter that failed to go through. The Minister of Marine and Fisheries (Mr. Lapointe) signed that treaty without the signature of the British Ambassador, and the United States refused to ratify the treaty. The attempt made by the present Acting Minister of Finance (Mr. Robb) to bring about reciprocity with Australia was also a failure. The correspondence and the visit of the minister to Australia resulted in nothing. The attempt to bring about a reciprocity pact with the United States has been a failure. The treaty with France was largely a padded document. There were in it a number of things that were not exported by Can- The Budget ada; it gave no benefit to this country, and it will be of no use to the people of Canada. These things and many others might be taken as the record of failures of this government during their three years in office, the sales tax being another failure. These are things which the people of this country should very well consider and will consider when the government goes to the country at the next election. On motion of |Mr. Sinclair the debate was adjourned. On motion of Mr. Graham the House adjourned at 11.05 p.m. Tuesday, April 15, 1924

April 14, 1924