I admit that the tariff is
sometimes a tax, but the Prime Minister makes it a general statement, threatening the people that if you raise the tariff in this country, you increase the taxes. I submit that you do not necessarily do anything of the kind. I am going to try to prove that further and I am sure my hon. friend will agree with me when I have done.
The tin-plate industry in the United States was something which I looked into some years ago. I referred to it in this House about five years ago and I looked up Hansard to refresh my memory as to the facts which
The Address-Mr. Manion
are these: In 1890 there was in the United States no tin-plate industry to amount to anything and they imported 680,000,000 pounds of tin-plate, mostly from Wales. They put a duty on tin-plate being imported into the United States from Wales, and in 1913, 23 years later, they were importing, instead of
680,000,000 pounds, just 28,000,000 pounds, or a very small proportion of what they had been importing 23 years previously. In manufactured plate they were in 1890 producing only 2.000,000 pounds in the United States. In 1913, 23 years later, after they imposed their tariff, they were producing 2,000,000,000 pounds, one thousand times the amount, and prices had gone down. In addition to prices going down, they had supplied thousands of workers in the United States with work in that industry and they had actually driven the tin-plate industry of Wales nearly altogether out of business and forced many of the tin-plate workers of Wales to come to the United States to reside.
I am not satisfied to stop at that; I am going to give my hon. friends some more proofs. In 1867, steel rails in the United States cost $150 a ton. There was a duty on them, but they were importing too many, they felt, and they raised the duty in 1867, because, if members will remember, the United States became highly protectionist, as it has remained ever since, about 1861. In 1872, five years after they raised the duty, steel rails, instead of costing them $150 a ton, cost $112. Where in that case was the tax that the Prime Minister states the tariff is? In 1876, four years after that, steel rails cost only $39 a ton, or about one-quarter of what they cost in 1867. In 1885, still under the same tariff, they were costing $27 a ton, at which price they practically remained until prior to the war. Of course, the price of steel rails has gone up since then because the war has disarranged prices, but prior to the war the cost of steel rails remained at about $27 a ton. From 1867, with a low tariff, to 1885, with a high tariff, the price of steel rails decreased from $150 to $27 a ton.
Subtopic: ADDRESS IN REPLY