June 2, 1925

CON
PRO

Robert Forke

Progressive

Mr. FORKE:

, Well, a great many unexpected things happen. It is always a dangerous thing to prophesy. I know if I had been told five or six years ago that I would be standing to-day in a front bench of the parliament of Canada making a speech, I would have replied that they were foolish and did not know what they were talking about. But it has come to pass.

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An hon. MEMBER:

So they were.

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PRO

Robert Forke

Progressive

Mr. FORKE:

Well, that is quite possible.

I will leave it to the people of Brandon within a short time to indicate what they feel about it. I am glad my hon. friends to my right have not the opportunity of trying me and hanging me; if they did I am afraid I would be in a very poor position.

In commencing this afternoon the right hon. leader of the opposition dwelt on the fact that Canada had made great advancement under the National Policy. I am not going to decry the advancement that Canada has made since the National Policy came into effect. Even with all the disadvantages we have had, when we think of the advancement the prairie provinces have made in one generation I do not think we have any reason to feel at all disappointed, although no doubt under different conditions things might have been a great deal better. But I would like to point out that the greatest advancement that was made in Canada was between the years 1901 and 1911. Those were the years of rapid advancement both in population and in industry in this Dominion. What were the conditions that existed during those ten years? There was a vast amount of railway building. Large sums of money were being paid out in wages and for railway equipment.

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CON
PRO

Robert Forke

Progressive

Mr. FORKE:

I do not think so-not to

the extent that it was done during those years. At the same time a large number of immigrants were pouring into the west and into other parts of Canada, bringing a certain amount of money with them. Everything was advancing rapidly. Land was being taken up in the west. A vast amount of machinery was in demand, and industry was called upon to meet the needs in that respect of the farmers who were breaking up the prairie. I think the statistics will show that perhaps two thirds of the industries at present operating in Ontario came into existence during those ten years. Anyone who considers the facts in this connection may learn a lesson from them-that industry expanded and prospered just in proportion to the demand there was in the country for the products of the factories.

In the speech to which we listened this afternoon a great deal of attention was given to the production side and the industrial side. Now, if that was all that had to be considered, perhaps the whole question could be solved. What is the present situation in Canada? Our factories are full of goods; our wholesale houses and retail stores are full of goods. There is no lack of goods, no lack of production; what is the matter? Why all this talk about getting more industries to produce more goods when you cannot find a market for the goods you are now producing? I really think if the leader of the opposition would devote his high attainments and great ability to thinking this matter out, he could offer us some better solution than he has up to the present laid before the House.

This afternoon the leader of the opposition spoke about a tariff commission and what it would do for us. Well, if we are going to get a tariff commission that will settle the question of tariffs in this Dominion, it is going to foe some task. I have no faith in any such proposition. I do not believe for one moment that we can get any commission that will bring us to a settlement of this question once and for all.

I would not have much faith in most cf the tariff commissions that would be appointed and travel over this country. What are the facts as they exist right here in this House and in this parliament? Who are the people who have the ear of the government, who are able to put up their story and bring their troubles before the government? Is it the consumers of this country? I am not blaming anyone for coming to the government with their grievances and asking for some amelioration of the conditions in which they find themselves, but I think most members know that it is very much easier for the producers, for the manufacturers and others engaged in industry, to present their side of the case than for the hundreds of thousands, yes millions of consumers to present their side of the case.

Another matter with which the right hon. leader of the opposition dealt in his speech this afternoon was railway freight rates as relating to the prairie provinces an'd the Maritime provinces. I thought it was rather a disingenuous argument that he brought forward, that he was going to help some sections of our Dominion by reducing railway freight rates at the expense of some other parts of the country. That could not. foe done entirely, because if rates were reduced lower than they ought to be, the difference would have to be made up by taxation, and the people who were getting the benefit of these lower rates would at least have to pay their share of that taxation, thus taxing themselves, in a sense to reduce their own railway rates.

It was brought to my attention just this afternoon that two years ago there was a large production of turkeys in western Canada, many more turkeys being produced than could be sold in the local markets. Several carloads

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of them were sent down to Ontario, and what happened? The bottom went out of the turkey market in Ontario. Now would it not be a nice thing for the farmers of Ontario to have to pay to reduce freight rates on a carload of turkeys coming down here to compete with them in their own market? It does seem to me that that scrt of solution will not solve our troubles. Ontario, the province that was most in the mind of the leader of the opposition this afternoon, or at least it is the largest industrial province, can produce everything it wants from an agricultural point of view, and I wonder how the agriculturists of Ontario would feel if they were taxed to reduce freight rates to help other agriculturists ship their products in here to compete with 'them in their own market. I do not think there is anything in that argument whatever, and I think we shall have to find some other solution of this question.

There is no other remedy proposed for our ills at the present time than high protection. It seems so easy to tell the people: If you will increase taxation, if you will only increase the protection to industries, all will go well; it may increase the cost of goods, it may bring more factories into existence than there is really business for, but, nevertheless, with this added protection all will go well. It does seem to me, Mr. Speaker, that there is no way of solving this problem until we have solved the problem of consumption as well as that of production. The high cost of living and the high cost of production are two of the problems we have to meet at the present time, and we have to find some solution for them. It has always seemed to me that if Canada could be made a cheaper country to live in than the United States there would be more chance for Canadian manufacturers, but just so long as you find Canada a dearer country to live in than the United States, and with taxation higher, then I am afraid I can see nothing ahead but rather difficult times for our .manufacturers and our people.

A good deal is said about wages. Our friends to my right are always fond of talking of the high standard of living of our Canadian workmen, but that argument is Of no effect in dealing with United States competition because, as everyone knows, the workmen of the United States live on just as high a plane as do our own people in this Dominion. What is there anyway in this talk of low wages and of competing against the products of a country with a low standard of living? I have never believed in that argument, because I have never believed that cheap labour was efficient labour. I might almost take it up from a

personal point of view and say that in my own small experience I have never found that the underpaid man was in any sense a good investment. Efficient labour generally goes with good wages. I picked up an article recently, written from the United States point of view, dealing with this question, and with your permission, Mr. Speaker, I should like to quote a paragraph or two. It says:

We used to import rice from the Orient, where it was grown with 10-cent labour, using a hoe and clad in a breech-clout. Now we export freely. Recently we had 180,000 tons more than we knew what to do with. Mr. Hoover asked the foreign representatives of his department to find a' market, and where was it sold?

Where do you think it was sold, Mr. Speaker:

In Riceland-in China and Japan-at the American price plus transportation, because that 10-cent worker with the breech-clout is more expensive than our labour-capitalist, at $3 per day.

Production at S3 per day was able to compete with production at 10 cents per day. I think that bears out my argument that cheap labour is not efficient labour. It goes on:

Our farmers have always competed successfully with the lowest paid labour in the world. That is largely why farmers formerly prospered, with 80 per cent of all their products sold on a free trade or export basis, in world-wide competition, their export price determining their domestic price. The farmer began to go bankrupt when the present high tariff made it impossible for his foreign customers to exchange their goods for his products and compelled him to pay profiteering prices for most of his requirements.

That relates to the United States. It goes on:

Farmers and others should think of this when told that American factory labour cannot compete, and our manufacturers, by cajolery and threats alike, secure tariff rates from two to five times the rate they pay their labour. If such statements were true, the manufacturers would not have exported in 1923 $1,500,000,000 of manufactures ready for consumption, and also $550,000,000 of partly manufactured goods, including $30&-000,000 of machinery.

There is much ignorance and no little dishonesty in the statements made about American high wages. The census of 1920 discloses that out of each dollar of the factory selling prices in the following industries, labour got. in cotton goods, 17 cents; in silks and woollens, 16 cents; in hosiery, 18 cents.

And so all along the line, showing that labour was only a very small part of the cost of production:

To-day wages average only about one-fourth of the consumer's price, thanks to modern machinery and processes. The days when "everything is all labour," the days of hand production, are gone forever. Thus wage-cost, important as it is, is relatively insignificant. The wage-earner must be as fit as a race horse entering a race. He must respond as freeQy, not for the wage, but for the love of accomplishing. High wages are the only wages anyone can afford to pay who would produce economically.

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I think that bears out my argument that cheap labour is not efficient labour, and if Canada is to pay more for its labour than some of the countries who are exporting goods here, Canada can at least have more efficient labour and I believe that of our Canadian workmen.

I would like to repeat here what I have often said before, that I am sure none of us have any antipathy towards our Canadian manufacturers and Canadian industries. We would all like to see prosperous industries and all our workmen employed continuously, but is it not possible that under artificial conditions, with the artificial fostering of industries, we have more industries and more goods produced than can be sold, and consequently we find unemployment? If, as the right hon. leader of the opposition proposes, we have a high protective tariff, and we find the industries we have here to-day beginning to prosper, what would happen in Ontario? We would find a great many other people immediately building factories taking their share of the good times that were accruing if it be possible that we could have good times accruing from this high protection. We would have the same thing repeated over and over again. We would have an overplus of goods, the mills would be shut down, and there would be a lack of employment. It is a vicious circle, and you will never solve the problem by adopting any such policy as high protection, by protecting industries that are unable to pay in a legitimate way. I do not want to take up much time in this debate because I had the opportunity of speaking before. I agree to a certain extent with what the Prime Minister said this afternoon; I do not think it is fair that this debate should have been brought on at this time. The subject matter of the resolution was set forth by the right hon. leader of the opposition in the manifesto which he issued exactly in the form in which it is now before the House. The whole question was adequately discussed on the budget, and I do not believe there will be a single idea brought before the House at the present time that was not repeated on the former occasion.

The right hon. leader of the opposition in his speech this afternoon referred to the British preference. Of course he is willing to give Britain a preference but in a rather shabby sort of way. It is to be done in this manner: The general tariff will be raised to such a high pitch that we can easily afford to give Britain a little concession in the matter of duties so that she may have a preference over foreign countries, while at the same

time the tariff may be so high that the British manufacturer will not be able to compete with the Canadian manufacturer. That, I think, is the kind of preference the right hon. gentleman is willing to give to great Britain. Now, Great Britain buys our wheat," she buys our cattle, and she buys our dairy produce. We sell our goods to Great Britain and how is she going to pay for them? Is she going to transport gold over to Canada, or how is she going to meet the obligations that she will incur in buying our goods? I think it would be only decency on our part that we should be prepared to buy some goods from Great Britain in return for the market we have over there. If that market were closed the European market -would soon be closed to us also. Then what would happen? Our agricultural communities would be ruined, and a similar condition would overtake our manufacturing centres very shortly. I should like to see some encouragement given to the British preference policy, I should' like to see something done from a practical point of view, but not in the way proposed by the right hon. leader of the opposition. It is a terrible thing, Mr. Speaker, to buy anything abroad that can be produced more cheaply there than it can be at home. The idea seems to be, apparently, that if you have not a man working at some industry he cannot do anything else. Would it not be better to have our population engaged in profitable work that we can do, perhaps, more cheaply than any other country, and then buy from other countries the things that they can produce more cheaply than we can? That would be international trade of a kind that would benefit everyone concerned. I am not one of those who believe that Canadian manufacturers cannot compete with the manufacturers of other countries considering the excellent help and the other advantages they have. They have always the advantage of transportation, and they are near the home market. They say quite freely that they cannot compete abroad with other countries because those other countries have lower wages, so that they must depend on the home market. Well, in the home market they have always the advantage of less transportation than in the case of goods coming from outside countries. I do not see why properly conducted manufacturing establishments, with the right equipment, with good management, with sufficient capital, aided by the intelligence and enterprise of Canadian people, cannot make a success of Canadian industry when

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that industry is a legitimate one and has cheap power to boot.

I noticed some time ago, when we were discussing a trade convention with Finland, that a most ridiculous situation was disclosed. Why we only bought about $5,000 worth of kraft paper from Finland, and at the same time we sold them $1,200,000 worth of goods. It seems to me that is a pretty good arrangement for us when we sell to a country $1,200,000 worth and only buy $5,000 worth in return. I am not at all afraid of trade of that kind.

We had some discussion the other evening in regard to smuggling. We want to make smuggling very difficult. Perhaps it is right that we should do so-I am not going to find fault with that-but if I were a high protectionist and believed so thoroughly in protection as some hon. members do I would make it a crime for anyone to be seen wearing any goods that had not been manufactured in this country. I think that would put an end to the whole business, and we would have all the goods that we consume manufactured at home. In a very short time that would be the outcome of the proposition.

In conclusion I should like to say that protection or high protection is nothing more or less than economic warfare. We all know that to be a fact. There is no mistake about it but the condition of the world at the present time has been brought about generally by trade jealousies. What is the condition of Europe to-day? We find tariff walls being erected about every little country, engendering hate, and strife and envy. Everyone is wondering what is going to happen. It is not difficult to predict that the outcome of trade competition of this kind between nations will be nothing but strife. The policy of high protection can largely be blamed for the difficulties that arise between nations. I have no hesitation in making the statement that I think the United States has passed the period where it is going to have any more preaching of high protection. Any future movement in the United States, I think, will be in the other direction. I am hoping that the day will come when this North American continent will be able to teach a lesson to Europe not only in matters of peace but in matters of trade with a resultant great prosperity to all concerned.

As a last word I should like to lend myself to one sentiment expressed by the right hon. leader of the opposition this afternoon. While I am prepared to lead the fight to what I believe to be the rights of any particular sec-

tion . of our Dominion, I also want the east, and the west, and the centre of Canada to get justice. Mr. Speaker, we will never arrive at any true settlement of our problems until that settlement is broad-based upon the principles of equity and justice to all concerned. It will not be by giving favours to one particular locality or another, but by handing out even handed justice to all the people of the Dominion.

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CON

Edmund James Bristol

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. EDMUND BRISTOL (Centre Toronto) :

Mr. Speaker, at a time when the rules of the House are being changed in order to prevent long speeches let me say that such a change has not been rendered necessary particularly on my account.

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Some hon. MEMBERS:

Louder.

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CON

Edmund James Bristol

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BRISTOL:

I hope before I get through to say a few words that perhaps may be of interest to my distinguished friends on the left, but I want to Start gently and calmly.

In the first place I want to say to the Prime Minister that it is time for distinguished men like himself to get rid of the idea that a certain political party in this country-or for that matter any other party-wishes to set the people of Canada one against the other or to derive any particular advantage therefrom. No such sentiment as that prevails in this country, nor should it be allowed to obtain a footing here. Personally speaking I shall never say anything that is detrimental to the interest of any particular group or any particular member in this house.

I want to make a few remarks on what I regard as the most important matter that has been before the House-that is to say the motion under consideration. It is perfectly obvious that we are not bringing a sufficient number of people into Canada at the present time to replace the number we have been losing during the last three or four years. It is unfortunate, whether the number be 300,000, or 600,000, or 700,000, that we have lost and are losing, from Ontario and Quebec particularly, numbers of the Canadian population that can ill be spared-native-born Canadians many of them, the most desirable class that we could have, and we have been endeavouring under our immigration policy to bring other people here. For some very obvious reason it is quite apparent that the United States has had to place an obstacle in the way of immigrants coming into that country, but while we have no obstacle of the same kind we have not enjoyed so great a measure of prosperity, as the United States.

The unfortunate part of the situation as far as Canada is concerned is this: We have a

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very large national debt. It does not do any good to say who is responsible for the railway situation but we have a railway system which apparently is going to the bad at the rate of $100,000,000 a year. It is a further misfortune that our provinces are fairly agreed on rates of taxation which are very high, and that our cities have followed suit, with the result that the country, so far as taxation is concerned, probably ranks at the head of the world to-day. It is perfectly obvious to anybody that unless the boys and girls grow up in the country, make as good a living in Canada and get as good wages as they receive in the United States, they are apt to go to the United States to get a living and get those wages. Therefore, it is just as clear that, so far as this country is concerned, if we want to keep the population of working people here, of the class we want to have, we have to pay as good wages as in the United States next door to us. The argument is a very simple one, but if you want to do that you require to have work for them. You must not let the workman in the United States do the work there and have the goods imported into Canada when the work could have been done by Canadian labour which has gone to the United States. We have sent thousands of people to the States in the last two years, particularly from the province of Quebec, and it certainly is obvious to everybody that in order to pay our debts and taxes we need increased population. I do not think anyone would argue that he would not rather receive back in Canada a large portion of the 700,000 people who have gone over there, than to bring in foreign immigrants who have to be educated to the affairs of the country, who are not so suitable for working purposes in Canada.

A curious sight confronts me, when I look at hon. members to my left. They are able, intelligent prosperous men. Some of them came from a free trade country, about five of them I think came here fifteen years ago. They are well to do and they are members of parliament. Instead of wanting to go back to the free trade country from which they came, they want to educate us to free trade which does not exist in this country, and which I hope will never exist. They want to go back to old customs, but do not want to go to the country where those old customs exist.

I now come to the free trade part of the question, and I think it is of some importance, but it is no use talking to my hon. friends on the opposite side. Some of them are as good protectionists as the mover of the resolution; I think most of them are. For the last four

years the government have been marking time because they did not go very far in the direction they were supposed to move. The first year they did not do anything. The second year they told us that we were going to get cheaper agricultural implements. Hon. gentlemen to my left know what they got, and this year they have done nothing. Sitting there as protectionists, they are holding down the job, but the time will soon come when they will have to get up and express their views, and I think we will find they will be good protectionists in the province of Quebec, and free traders in the western part of the country. Whether that is so or not, the situation we want to discuss at present is, what is best for us all to do from a national point of view. I want to say one thing to my hon. friends to my left. They grow No. 1 hard wheat, which is the best in the world, and I am sure they are proud they are able to do it, and we as Canadians are glad that they are able to grow this wheat, and wish that they may make all the money possible out of it, but I never could understand why they want to turn Canada into a free trade country or what you might term an agricultural country. History is not long in this country, and if you go back to the days of Mackenzie-not Mackenzie King, but the Mackenzie of 1874 to 1878- and Sir Richard Cartwright* and if you want to read speeches on free trade, you will find all the speeches on that subject that could be made by anybody. If you look at the speeches of Sir Richard Cartwright you will find more vituperations in his utterances than you have ever heard since you were in parliament. But that did not last long, because free trade was not a suitable policy in a country situated alongside the United States. It might be possible if we were located next door to England, but I doubt it. So far as the United States are concerned, it is a high protectionist country.

Another question I should like to ask my hon. friends to my left is this: How do they really think that their wisdom is so much greater than the wisdom of sixty other countries in the world, including the United States and including England, where the question of competition is brought in? I do not think we should adjust our tariff on anything England does in the way of tariff legislation, because the conditions in England are different. The policy of England was to bring in raw products to that country, manufacture them, and send them out in their own ships, they owning about 80 or 90 per cent of the ships on the high seas. Therefore, they could do

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business from every angle, and they made money. We have no ships that are earning money for us. Perhaps after this government gets along a little further we will have some ships. But coming back to the proposition that England is the only country which has a policy of free trade, they owning such a large percentage of the ships of the world, if it can be shown to them that they cannot compete with foreign labour they will grant a certain amount of protection, and when they introduce protection it is almost prohibitive, because they do not allow the other country to get in there at all.

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PRO

John Evans

Progressive

Mr. EVANS:

I think my hon. friend is

wrong in that statement. The British manufacturer-

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CON

Edmund James Bristol

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BRISTOL:

I am not here to listen

to a speech, but I will answer a question.

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PRO

John Evans

Progressive

Mr. EVANS:

Is it not a fact that the

British manufacturer has to prove unfair competition before he can get any protection?

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CON

Edmund James Bristol

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BRISTOL:

If my hon. friend is interested in that question he can look it up, but the fact is that under certain conditions he can get protection.

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PRO
CON

Edmund James Bristol

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BRISTOL:

* There are sixty-two other countries including the United States, whose wisdom is apparently less than the wisdom of my hon. friends to my left.

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CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

I have in my possession

here Mr. Baldwin's speech. Protection is procurable on its being shown that there is unfair competition arising from lower wages, or arising from subsidies, or other special assistance, or arising from differences in the degree of taxation.

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Some hon. MEMBERS:

Order, order.

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CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

It is wonderful how

impatient hon. gentlemen opposite become.

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CON

Edmund James Bristol

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BRISTOL:

I do not think that what

they do in England is an example for us in Canada at the present time, with the United States alongside. I think our hands are tied here, and if we do not pay as good wages in Canada and get our taxes reduced, our people will begin to realize that they cannot do as well here as in the United States, and we will have a continuance of the exodus which has been going on for the last three years, or since the United States raised their tariff in 1922 to the prohibitive point. They are not satisfied with raising the tariff against

Canadian manufactured goods, but they have raised the taxes against the farmer. They used to import our cattle free of duty but now they have a high tariff, and we are subject to a duty of 42 cents a bushel on wheat and that sort of thing. I do not think it has done the American farmer any good. We have

5,000,000 American farmers who are protectionists. We have had a few farmers from across the line coming over here to teach us free trade, and they are all in the Canadian west. I do not know any country so well suited to their needs as the Canadian west.

Suppose you turn this into a free trade country; you are getting goods from the United States, and labour from England which is cheaper labour than that of Canada; and supposing you are shut out of the United States, practically your position is this, that overnight you introduced into this country the manufactured goods of the United States, they will have no opposition here, and you will have to pay higher prices for these goods.

Furthermore if you cannot wipe out the national debt as a result of the railway situation, the result will be that there will be a horrible bill of taxes to be paid. It is suggested that the government is extravagant in its conduct of public business, and especially in making a lot of advances for harbours, and so on, preparatory to the next election. From year to year there is an enormous expenditure amounting to millions of dollars throughout the country, and we certainly have to pay interest on the indebtedness we have incurred. The debt has got to be paid, and if you can find any cheaper method of doing it than the present one, I am sure everyone will be glad to hear what it is. Trouble is bound to occur if you drive out from Ontario and Quebec the people who are paying four-fifths of the taxes.

I have the heartiest personal regard for the people of the great province of Quebec. I think, with all respect to Mr. Ferguson, Quebec is the best governed province that I know of in this country or anywhere else. The only thing I regret is that so many of my hon. friends, who sit on the other side of the House and who are really good Canadians and good protectionists, do not find it convenient to meet us in regard to this resolution, bring back our French-Canadian people from the United States, keep our French-Canadian people here from going to the United States and give them work to do in Canada. There would be a great development and increase in population if in this way work was given to the factories now established in this country, be-

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cause American factories were established here from 1901 to 1921, but at present they are not working anything even like half time. If we produced in this country the stuff which we are now bringing in from the United States and from other countries, Germany included, there is no question that we would get back many of our population who have gone to the United States and we would keep our present population here. It is obvious that something must be wrong in our affairs when we are losing so much of our population.

I am sure our Progressive friends do not want everybody to go west and farm. They are a long way ahead of what Russia may do for some time to come, and they certainly want to keep 9ome people in Ontario and Quebec who will consume their No. 1 hard wheat and flour. With all due respect for the western policy of free trade, so-called, it seems to me it is the most injurious policy that icould be conceived as regards Ontario, Quebec and every other province in Canada. The leader of the opposition (Mr. Meighen) has suggested that as regards differences in tariffs, if we find any manufacturer by virtue of a protective policy getting the best of it in Ontario and Quebec, there are two things than can be done. I think the taxes of this country are sufficiently flexible to take care of any manufacturer who is making too much profit, and as long as we have the National railways, we shall have plenty of opportunity to require those taxes. The west are bound to have a certain amount of prosperity, but the farmers of Ontario and Quebec are in a bad way because we have ' lost six or seven hundred thousand who have gone away in the last few years. Our Progressive friends should consider the matter further and find out whether they are wiser than sixty-two of the greatest nations of the world including the United States and whether they have not made a mistake. I believe if they got all they wanted, they would not be very happy in the final result.

The policy as regards the United States is a very dangerous one for this country at the present time, for a very obvious reason. They put up their fist and say: You cannot sell anything in this country, and they include the farmers, and on the other hand, they say: AM Canadians are welcome to this country and nobody else can get in without trouble. If that is not an underground method of skilful annexation of the people of Canada to the United States, I cannot conceive of anything better. There never was a time in the history of our country when it was so important that we should consider our interests

from a national point of view; that we should give such protection to the business of this country as to require the products of Canada to be manufactured here, and I believe the motion which has been moved by imy leader is one which will bring prosperity and success to the people of this Dominion.

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PRO

Thomas Alexander Crerar

Progressive

Hon. T. A. CRERAR (Marquette):

Mr. Speaker, the amendment which the leader of the opposition (Mr. Meighen) has moved this afternoon is one of much more than ordinary importance, for several reasons. The first and chief reason is that it is a declaration of political faith on the part of the 9 p.m. right hon. gentleman who leads the Conservative party, and, I take it, also of his party, on a great public question that has agitated the people of this country for many years. The declaration contained in the resolution is in itself very specific, and if emphasis were needed to add to the clarity of that declaration, it is certainly found in the speech of the leader of the opposition this afternoon. It contains more than a declaration of faith in protection, more than a declaration that if the right hon. gentleman is again entrusted with the responsibility of administering this country's affairs, he shall proceed to raise the customs tariff still higher than it is at the present time. It contains more than that, because it contains an express statement added to by the right hon. gentleman himself, that if his party is returned to power, he will sweep away the present existing British preference, a preference that has existed for well on to thirty years. In every respect this resolution and the speech of my right hon. friend constitute a declaration for the Simon-pure principle of protection as applied to fiscal policy in Canada. Upon that ground I should like to examine it for a few moments and, if possible, to pay some attention to the arguments advanced by the right hon. gentleman this afternoon in support of his resolution. The argument for protection always carries with it a certain plausibility. It is something like the experience that desert travellers have when their water supplies have become exhausted. They are out on the desert and they are lured forward always by the mirage ahead that holds out the prospect of water to their bewildered minds. In like manner this principle of protection as applied to fiscal policy in a country has the same plausibility. My right hon. friend argued this afternoon with a great deal of vigour and at considerable length. I think his arguments were as fallacious as the statements in his reso-

Supply-Tariff Revision

lution, and I doubt if they will stand the stern, keen examination of fact in respect of this whole matter. This resolution, of course, when you read it, has the merit of containing something for almost every part of Canada. Not only is it a declaration of faith in protection, but the speech of my right hon. friend this afternoon was a summary, a compendium of arguments that, I presume, will be sipread in the next few weeks to the remote corners of Canada by his loyal followers. In the first place this resolution states:

That this Dominion requires an immediate revision of the Canadian tariff on a definitely and consistently

protective basis.

And for the following purposes: The first reason that is adduced is that other countries .have raised their tariffs and that, consequently, we must follow suit. What weight is there in that argument? If any other country chooses to follow a mistaken policy, is that any reason why this country should follow a mistaken policy? If another country raises its tariff against Canada, is that any reason why we should penalize our own people by increasing the cost of a large portion of the goods that they require in order that we may "get even," if I may use a common expression, with that country?

The next reason given in the resolution is:

To give new life to industry and productive enterprise.

Everyone wants to see industry and productive enterprise prosperous in this country; but the assertion that the adoption of this policy will bring about that desirable state of affairs has, I submit in all sincerity, nothing to support it in the arguments advanced by my right hon. friend this afternoon. After all, what is the greatest industry in Canada? I have stated before in this House, and I repeat it now, that our greatest industries are those associated with the development of the natural wealth of this country. The business of farming is just as much an industry as is the making of ploughs or of textiles, and as far as the number of people engaged in it and the capital invested in it are concerned, agriculture ranks far beyond all the other industries of Canada put together.

At the time of the census in 1921 there was invested the vast total of $6,586,000,000 in this the greatest industry in the whole Dominion; the total number of occupied farms at that time was 711,000; and on any fair computation probably more than half of our population was then engaged in agriculture. On the other hand, all our manufacturing industries

put together had a total capital investment in 1921 of only $3,210,000,000. In other words, the total amount of capital invested in manufacturing industries of all classes at the time of our last census was considerably less than half of what was invested in our agricultural industry. In like manner, the total number of people engaged in those industries, that is, making their living 'by employment therein, was vastly less than the number engaged in the agricultural industry.

Now, the whole argument of my right hon. friend this afternoon was predicated upon this -that it was necessary in order to bring about a golden era of prosperity in this country to develop, support and maintain manufacturing industries in Canada. One part of his resolution states:

That such revision-of the tariff-should apply to natural products, such as farm products, fish and coal, with no less thoroughness than to manufactured goods.

Then how are my protectionist friends going to evolve a fiscal policy for this country through protection that will be of benefit to the agricultural industry? That is a fair question and calls for a fair answer. What are the exports from our agricultural industry to-day? First and foremost is grain, produced mainly in the vast prairie regions of western Canada. I have not the figures at hand, but I venture to assert that the value received1 last year alone in western Canada for grain and grain products exported amounted to at least $350,000,000. We have, I am glad to say, up to the present time excellent crop prospects for the present year, and if that crop matures on the same basis as it did in 1923 we should have 350,000,000 bushels of wheat and a large amount of other grains for export. I venture the prediction. Sir, that if my hopes in this respect are realized, Canada will have for export next year in grain and grain products alone an amount exceeding in value $450,000,000. Then we have our live stock exports and those of all the industries associated with the live stock industry. My statements are borne out by the trade figures for the fiscal year ending March, 1925, from an examination of which I find that of our total exports of $1,069,000,000, over $608,000,000 represented products that had their origin in the farms of Canada.

Now let me deal with that first. In all sincerity I ask: Of what value is the application of a protective policy to this the greatest industry in the Dominion? We export our wheat, we export our live stock, we export our dairy products; these form the chief items of export from our farms. Will any person in his senses, will my right hon. friend himself,

Supply-Tariff Revision

argue for a moment that a protective tariff is going to bring one dollar more to the farmers who have wheat, live stock and dairy products for sale? On the face of it the thing is impossible. It is true the protectionist endeavours to meet that argument by saying, "You may have to put up with these hardships for a while, but through the assistance of protection we shall develop the home market for you, and then instead of sending your grain abroad to Europe, your cattle to the United States or Japan, and your dairy products to the ends of the earth, they will all be consumed here at home, and you will be happy in the possession of this splendid home market."

Topic:   SUPPLY-TARIFF REVISION
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June 2, 1925