June 10, 1924

CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

I have just stated they

could not, for this reason: the whole production is so small that it is no more than sufficient to warrant the overhead. Perhaps, "overhead" is not the correct word. I mean the pumping, tanking and conduit system necessary to carry the oil so many miles down to Sarnu. You cannot support that system from the production of what my hon. friend calls the gushing wells, those that make a profit without any bounty. They represent onty fifty per cent of the total production; consequently they could not sustain the overhead. Unless you maintain the conduit system you cannot have any wells at all.

Topic:   CUSTOMS TARIFF, 1907, AMENDMENT
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LIB
CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

I do not think my hon.

friend will venture to put his suggestion so that I can hear him.

Topic:   CUSTOMS TARIFF, 1907, AMENDMENT
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LIB

Andrew Ross McMaster

Liberal

Mr. McMASTER:

Yes. I say the hon.

member is looking at the situation as if it was one business with a number of wells of an equal capacity and productiveness. I think he is mistaken. I would say that in this district, as in all districts, there are certain wells which gush a great deal freer than others. The bounty may keep in a state of life certain wells which otherwise would close, but there must be a number of wells which would go on making wealth for their owners and lessees without any bounty at all.

Customs Tariff

Topic:   CUSTOMS TARIFF, 1907, AMENDMENT
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CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

I have to forgive the hon. member for East Lambton (Mr. Fansher), because I have not succeeded any better with the hon. member for Brome. He has not got my point at all. What he said is apparent and I stated the same myself. There are wells that produce at a lower cost than others, some as low as $2.40. These we will call the gushing wells, to suit my hon. friend.

Mr. MiMASTER: Use a better word if you have one.

Topic:   CUSTOMS TARIFF, 1907, AMENDMENT
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CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

There are others producing at $2.50 up to $2.62i, which is the average; then there are others which are not so good and which produce at a cost of $2.70 up to $2.94, as per the figures which I have before me. Now the hon. member says that if you stop the bounty he will agree that all wells which are producing above the average of $2.62^, which is the sale price, will have to stop; but he says those below will keep going. Well, let him follow this. The production per day I think is some 250 barrels -the figure is not important for the moment. This oil runs through conduit pipes, pumps, and tanks, there are in all three systems, until finally it reaches the refinery many miles away. To maintain the interest on the investment in that system the whole amount of oil that goes through now is essential.

Topic:   CUSTOMS TARIFF, 1907, AMENDMENT
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PRO
CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

I understand so.

Topic:   CUSTOMS TARIFF, 1907, AMENDMENT
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PRO

Burt Wendell Fansher

Progressive

Mr. FANSHER:

Is the hon. member aware that there is a refinery in Petrolia not a mile distant?

Topic:   CUSTOMS TARIFF, 1907, AMENDMENT
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CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

The cost of taking the oil down to Sarnia would, I suppose, be on about the same scale as the smaller operation in Petrolia.

Topic:   CUSTOMS TARIFF, 1907, AMENDMENT
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PRO

Burt Wendell Fansher

Progressive

Mr. FANSHER:

Will the hon. member admit that the overhead might be reduced by not sending the oil so far away?

Topic:   CUSTOMS TARIFF, 1907, AMENDMENT
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CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

They would not send it to Sarnia unless it was the cheapest thing to do. They do not send it there for fun.

Topic:   CUSTOMS TARIFF, 1907, AMENDMENT
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LIB

Andrew Ross McMaster

Liberal

Mr. McMASTER:

If the volume was reduced it might be cheaper to send the oil to the nearer place.

Topic:   CUSTOMS TARIFF, 1907, AMENDMENT
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CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

It might be, but when

you get down to that detail it is admitted that half the production is gone.

Topic:   CUSTOMS TARIFF, 1907, AMENDMENT
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LIB
CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

Yes, because all above the average will have to go. But I venture

CMr McMaster.]

to say that this solution cannot be found, because I am referring to the facts presented last session by the hon. member for West Lambton (Mr. LeSueur), who has had more to do with this industry than any ten other men in this House, and he knows what he is talking about. The overhead cannot be maintained on half the production; consequently the industry depends upon the bounty. There may be a lagging amount left, but I would gather from the very clear statement presented by the hon. member a year ago that what would be left would be straggling and poor. Virtually the whole industry depends on the bounty. If the farmer in many cases rents and gets an eighth, then his eighth is gone; but all the rest who rent for cash or anything else find their share gone, and the money is diverted into the mid-continental field. This is what we are deciding, and this is what the government has decided in the negative. The government cannot be doing it because it is afraid of big interest control. If ever there was a case where the profits do not go to the big interests it is here, where it goes into very many pockets. It may first of all only reach the number the hon. member refers to. but ultimately it gets to thousands and it sustains a fine district of Canada. If we are going to follow the principle which the hon. member wants adopted in this case, follow it right through to the disastrous conclusion. The government is marching there all right; its feet are on the path-the path which leads to a much more dismal territory than any dream of now.

Topic:   CUSTOMS TARIFF, 1907, AMENDMENT
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CON
LIB

Thomas Vien

Liberal

Mr. VIEN:

If my hon. friend will permit me a question, what does he mean by a bounty to agriculture?

Topic:   CUSTOMS TARIFF, 1907, AMENDMENT
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CON

Robert James Manion

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MANION:

Well, I have my estimates here somewhere; I could give the items to my hon. friend. I do not mean a bounty directly in money to the farmer, but I can give the instances. I have referred to estimates amounting to $6,000,000-

Topic:   CUSTOMS TARIFF, 1907, AMENDMENT
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LIB

Thomas Vien

Liberal

Mr. VIEN:

Will my hon. friend distinguish between what he calls a bounty to agriculture and any public service like the building of a wharf or the building of a railway, which serves industry just as much as agriculture?

Topic:   CUSTOMS TARIFF, 1907, AMENDMENT
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June 10, 1924