June 2, 1925

PRO

Robert Forke

Progressive

Mr. FORKE:

Have you got what they

were in 1901?

Topic:   SUPPLY-TARIFF REVISION MOTION IN AMENDMENT PRESENTED BY RIGHT HON. MR. MEIGHEN
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CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

They are not in this

table, but the figures would be somewhere between those given.

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PRO

Robert Forke

Progressive

Mr. FORKE:

I would like to know the

increase in the ten years following 1901.

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CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

The hon. gentleman can

get it. The lesson would be just the same precisely as the lesson from these figures.

Our trade went from $141,844,412 in 1871 to $1,733,916,486 in 1923; our capital invested in steam railways went from $257,036,188 in 1871 to $2,159,277,131 in 1922.

There are those from the west in particular, -because from that quarter of Canada the fiercest propaganda fcr the opposite trade policy has been under way for many years- who contend that a protective tariff has weighed particularly on them. I went to western Canada myself in the year 1898. At that time there was an area there under crop of about 3,000,000 acres; that acreage rose to

38.000,000 in 1923, not indicating a very great retardation through, false economic policy. Wheat and grain .production, of course, has increased in like degree. At that time western Canada was producing about 12.000,000 pounds of dairy butter; in 1923 western Canada produced 78,000,000 pounds. At that time there was in the whole west, in the prairie provinces, about 400,000 people. According to the census of 1921, there were at that date 1,956.082 people.

These figures are by no means novel to residents of that country, but it is rather difficult to contend in the face of them that this development so rapid, unpreceden: ly rapid I think the world over, cculd have taken place if those provinces were struggling against an adverse economic policy, against false and fallacious rules of trade.

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PRO

Robert Alexander Hoey

Progressive

Mr. HOEY:

Would the leader of the opposition give us the figures of hew many acres of free land were given away during that period?

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CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

Our free land would have been of no value if false policy had made cultivation unprofitable. If we had not had the policy _we had, the Dominion of Canada would never have had the economic strength to get under western -Canada, spread lines of transport there and enable it to develop at the speed at which it has developed. What is more, if we pursue the tendency which late years have led us to pursue, if we keep on the way we are going now, there will not be the industrial life-blood in the whole of this Dominion to do for the west what its representatives demand of this parliament at this time.

I trace very hurriedly the general trend of our recent tariff policy. This has been invaded, not iby any means as seriously as hon. gentlemen threatened, only fractionally so, but it has been invaded in actual fact. It has been threatened by two great parties in Canada. So loud, so constant, so persistent have been the threats that the confidence of investors and business generally in conditions in this country has been impaired and shaken. It is argued-I have heard it advanced-that the tariff to-day does not differ very substantially from the tariff which was found by the present government when they came into office. The Acting Minister of Finance (Mr. Robb) when before him are placed t'he actual results of to-day as compared with corresponding results three and four years ago, always flings across the House the question "Well, how far after all have we interfered with the protective tariff . which you maintained?" That question does not come very well from the Finance Minister of a party which threatened to subvert the whole principle of that tariff, who got into office on a pledge to subvert it and which, if it has only moved fractionally in that direction, has to that degree been guilty of infidelity to its pledges to this Dominion. But if hon. gentlemen are chargeable with infidelity to party principle and pledge, the country at least is fortunate that they went no further in the way of performance. It is true the difference as a jmere matter of (percentage is not very great but infinitely more harm has been done by the tendency, by the promises, and the threats, than has been done by the actual invasion of the tariff structure.

But there are other considerations which must be kept in mind. Tariffs, like everything else in this world, are relative; a tariff is high or is low arising out of facts in which the policy of other countries bears a very considerable proportion. Four years

ago the United States of America had in force a protective tariff, substantially protective; but four years ago the Underwood tariff of the United States was relatively very small compared with the Fordney-Mc-*Comber tariff of to-day. Four and five years ago the tariffs of -the world were on a lower scale generally than those which surround us now. Since the armistice some sixty-five countries have raised itheir barriers. None has done so more pronouncedly than has France, which commenced the lowest,, which had suffered from war the most, which set herself the most determinedly to recover her loss. And on our own continent none has acted so determinedly as that one great competitor whose course not only influences us but necessarily and inevitably influences us more than the course of all other countries-that is the United States. What might have been a sufficient tariff five years ago is, even though uninterfered with, an insufficient tariff today. I am not going to contend that the late administration-I refer to [the Union ladministration-did not, in some of the steps it -took-in one or two of the steps it took

make mistakes -in tariff changes. I am going freely to admit that in one act of ours, namely, the wiping out of the duty on farm tractors, we made what has -turned out to be a definite and clear error. We extinguished the farm tractor industry in this country, and the farmer of Canada has not been the beneficiary as a consequence of a policy .which to industrial Canada involved us in such a loss. If error was made I want to stand and say with every frankness that error was in -the direction of driving too low, in the face of consistent propaganda, the tariff level of our time. This government came into power. It has attacked one schedule after the other- nervously it is true, with vacillation it is true; only :in one single case going the length to which the keeping of their pledges would have carried them-but in every instance with disastrous effect to this Dominion, and with profit in no instance to any class of our people.

I am going to discuss just a few of the steps taken and the consequences thereof. It has been said that the steel industry is fundamental; that the progress of iron and steel manufacture is the barometer by which a general industrial advance is shown. I have before me a table which I shall ask to be included in this speech in Hansard.

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The table referred to is as follows:

Pig iron Steel Ingot production production relative to relative to 1913 1913

Period United States Canada United States Canada1913 monthly 1914 " average.. . 100 75 100 69 100 75 100 711915 " " . 97 81 103 871916 " 127 104 137 1221917 " 124 104 144 1491918 " " . 126 106 142 1611919 " " . 100 81 111 891920 " " .. .. 120 96 135 1061921 " 54 60 64 641922 " " . 87 38 114 471923 " " ... 130 87 144 851924- 118 76 144 47February.. March.. .. 120 135 71 93 151 166 82 108April.. .. May.. .. June.. .. Jiily.. .. 126 102 79 70 74 100 101 68 55 27 132 104 81 74 101 120 124 79 60 26September. October.. 80 97 27 35 112 123 21 2398 27 123 26December.. 116 27 141 301,215 707 1,482 746Average 1924 101.2 58.9 123.5 62.11925- January.. February.. March.. .. 101.2 132 126 140 58.9 33 34 76 123.5 166 148 166 62.1 31 42 124398 143 480 197Average 1925, 3 mos.. . 132.6 47.6 160 65.6

In this table showing the production of pig iron and steel ingots the production of the year 1913 is taken as par-10O in Canada, 100 in the United States. Let me ipoint out briefly what these figures demonstrate. When we reach the year 1921-the year of very general depression, the year of collapse from the war infla'ion, collapse which was universal- the United States dropped in pig iron from 120 the year before to 54; Canada from 96 to 60. Even in 1921 Canada, relative to 1913, was somewhat better than the United States. In 1922 the figure for the United States is 87; for Canada, 38; in 1923 the United States, 130; Canada, 87. I ask hon. gentlemen to note that the United States enjoyed a period of great prosperity, a boom, in the year 1923, and to note correspondingly that Canada enjoyed nothing of the kind. As showed by this barometer Canada was still 13 per cent below her pre-war production; the United States was 30 per cent above.

For 1924, the pig iron production is giveD month by month. I ask special attention to

those figures. The average for the year, it will be discovered is, for the United States, 101.2; for Canada, 58.9. It will not be difficult to observe that 101.2 is a considerable percentage below the boom figures of the United States for 1923, but they enjoyed that wave and we did not; we were still below the normal still far below the pre-war average. But we dropped from 87 in 1923 to 58.9 in 1924, and you, Mr. Speaker, will recall that in the spring of that year, 1924, this government, under the guise of lowering taxation as they called it on "instruments of production," fixed a certain level of duty for those instruments of production and they virtually wiped the whole duty off the steel and other materials which went into those implements.

The figures for steel ingot production show for the United States, in the whole year 1923, an average of 144, being 44 per cent above pre-war; and Canada 85. This is a further evidence that the wave of prosperity which followed the introduction of the Fordney-McComber tariff of 1921 did not reach this country at all; we managed to escape it by this policy of lowering the tariff on the "implements of production," but from those averages of 1923 the United States gained for the first three or four months, then went somewhat lower, and gained again during the entire balance of the year. The average for 1924 in the United States was 123.5, almost a quarter more than pre-war. The average for Canada was 62.1, or just about half the average in the United States, and 32 per cent less than pre-war production.

Now, perhaps someone is thinking that it may be better in 1925. I have succeeded in getting the figures for the first three months, and the figures for March are much higher in Canada. I made inquiries to find out why, and the answer was this; that it was due wholly to orders placed by this government for cars, rail's and the like. I do not say that that is an improper action, but I do say that the inflation of production which results is necessarily temporary and to an extent, artificial. But take it all into account: I give the figures by months for 1925. The average for the United States was 132.6, and the average for Canada 47.6. This does not seem very "substantial progress," to use the words of the Minister of Trade and Commerce. In ingot production the figures correspond;- average for the United States, 160, and for Canada, 65.6.

There is another circumstance associated with this industry to which I call attention. It illustrates the considered, consistent, deliberate and determined American policy. The

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United States are shipping to this country close to 30,000 tons of pig iron per year; we are selling there about 3,000 tons. And because of that 3,000 tons, because of the possibility or the likelihood of Canadian producers selling below a fair level in the American republic, and the industry there suffering unfair competition, the United States government on the 25th March, issued an order which amounts to a virtual embargo against the shipment, even over the American duty, of any more pig iron from this country. What they did then is simply symptomatic of what is done over a long range, indeed the entire range, of manufactured goods-if the tariff is not enough, one obstacle after another is added. They provide as to pig iron that every car shall carry with it a bond of the manufacturer protecting the American government against any infraction of their regulations, that the American officials can go to the books and stay at the books of our manufacturing firm, superintend every shipment, and further shall examine business done in Canada with a view to the ascertainment of the sales prices and other conditions here. It does not require any stretch of the imagination to see that these conditions are intolerable, and I add this: at a time when that regulation went on, our production was 47 per cent of our pre-war production, the Americans!' production 132 per cent of pre-war production; and not only so, but we are producing-for I have the figures here-less than one-fiftieth of the pig iron production of the United States. Their population is about thirteen times our own population, and their pig iron production is fifty times as much. Their exportation to us a small country is ten times what ours is to them a very large country; and not content with a protective tariff against our goods they put upon us virtually an embargo. I ask hon. gentlemen to contemplate the situation where in the face of such a thing two parties in Canada state that such a condition of affairs is all right for this Dominion and that it is giving the Canadian producer a chance for his life in world competition-two parties who still boast that their policy is fixed in the direction of a lower tariff on goods produced in this country.

I pass from this to a discussion of the position as respects woollens-the same argument will apply in a varied' degree to all production. This government in the spring of 1922 made reductions in the woollen schedules in what is known as the British preference tariff. This was followed again by further reductions in 1923, and in the fall of 1923 the French

[Mr. Meighen.3

treaty gave similar concessions to French importations and as well that of all countries enjoying the favoured nation privilege. These three invasions of a schedule already low have had some results in Canada. May I digress just to give from the table which I shall furnish a few illustrations of what other countries were doing while we were taking this course?

I give the countries which very closely affect us: Australia, United States, France and

Japan. I will give some individual instances and I will place the whole schedule on Hansard. We had a tariff on binders and mowers of 124 per cent. This parliament, in its wisdom, thought this tariff was too high and reduced it to 6 per cent. While we were doing that, Australia raised her tariff on the same goods from 5 per cent to 45 per cent. Japan did not change hers; it was already 20 per cent. France increased hers more than six times over. On cultivators we reduced our tariff from 15 per cent to 74 per cent, while at the same time Australia raised hers from 25 to 30 per cent and France multiplied her tariff twelve times over. No country whatever reduced its tariff on cultivators. While we were reducing our tariff on ploughs from 174 per cent to 10 per cent, Australia raised her 25 per cent tariff to 30 per cent and France multiplied her tariff twelve times. While we were reducing the tariff on various other implements from 20 to 10 per cenb- we thought 20 per cent was too high-Australia decided that a tariff of 25 per cent was too low and she raised it to 30 per cent. The United States made no change; France increased hers from 23 francs to 228 francs per 100 kilogramms. As regards logging and sawmill machinery, this great "implement of production," where we " suffered " under a tariff of 274 per cent which this government reduced to 20 per cent, Australia decided to raise a 30 per cent tariff to 40 per cent, the United States raised a 20 per cent tariff to 30 per cent and France raised a 15 franc tariff to 128 francs. On boots and shoes where we reduced our preferential tariff-which is the effective tariff because from that direction the competition comes-from 20 per cent to 15j per cent, Australia had against Great Britain a 35 per cent tariff which she did not consider too high and left as it was, but she had a 40 per cent tariff against the rest of the world and she raised that to 45 per cent. France increased her tariff on boots and shoes ten times over. On cotton piece goods when this country reduced its tariff

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to 20 per cent, Australia put no preferential tariff on those articles. She has not gone into fostering that manufacture, but I venture the suggestion that it will not be long until she will. She raised her tariff against the rest of the world from 5 per cent to 15 per cent. The United States raised her tariff, which formerly-ranged from 7i per cent to 30 per cent, to a range from 10 per cent to 44 per cent. France multiplied hers from 7J to 15 times according to the article. While we were reducing our tariff on woollen piece goods from 30 per cent, the highest it was, to 24.8 per cent, Australia left her British preferential tariff at 30 per cent and she raised her general tariff from 35 per cent to 45 per cent. The United States increased theirs from 30 cents a pound and 40 per cent to 40 cents a pound and 50 per cent. Japan multiplied her tariff twice over and France multiplied hers twelve times over. On knitted goods our tariff of 22^ per cent was reduced to 18 per cent. Australia had a 40 per cent British preferential tariff and she kept it where it was, but she raised her general tariff from 45 per cent to 55 per cent. The United States raised theirs from 36 cents per pound and 30 per cent to 45 cents per pound and 50 per cent. Japan raised her tariff 100 per cent and France multiplied hers from 6i to 12i times.

As regards woollen wearing apparel, we had a tariff of 30 per cent which was reduced to 241 per cent. I refer to the British preferential tariff. Australia had a 40 per cent British preferential tariff which she left where it was, but she raised her general tariff from 45 per cent to 55 per cent. The United States raised her tariff from 24 cents a pound and 40 per cent to 45 cents a pound and 50 per cent, virtually a 100 per cent tariff. Japan raised her tariff 100 per cent and France increased hers twelve times over. As regards cotton wearing apparel, while we reduced our tariff from 25 per cent to 201 per cent, Australia kept her British preferential tariff of 40 per cent where it was and increased her general tariff from 45 to 55 per cent. The United States raised their tariff from 30 to 35 per cent and France multiplied hers thirteen times. As regards silk wearing apparel, while we reduced our tariff from 30 per cent to 27 per cent, Australia left her 40 per cent British preferential tariff where it was and increased her general tariff from 45 to 55 per cent. Japan increased hers 100 per cent; the United States increased theirs from 50 per cent to 60 per cent, and France multiplied hers twelve times over. [DOT]

The table referred to is as follows:

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SOME REDUCTIONS IN CANADIAN TARIFF RATES SINCE THE WAR COMPARED WITH INCREASES WHICH OTHER COUNTRIES HAVE MADE ON THE SAME ARTICLES


Article Mowers, reapers and binders__ Cultivators, harrows, etc Ploughs Threshing machines Various agricultural implements Other agricultural implements.. Sawmill machinery 1 Logging machinery / Boots and shoes Cotton piece goods, various. Woollen piece goods. Canada Australia Article United States Japan France- Br. Pref. General - Br. Pref. General Reduced- Increased- Mowers, reapers, and Free 20% Increased-From 124% 124% From.... Free 5% binders. (no change) (no change) From 15 fr. per 100To 6% To 30% «% Reduced- Increased- From.... 10% 15% From.... 20% 25% Other agricultural im- Free 20% Weighing 400 kil. orTo 74% To... 20% 30% (no change) (no change) Reduced- Increased- inery (including cul- Increased-From. .. . 124% 174% From.... 20% 25% tivators, harrows, From 15 fr. per 100To 5% 10% To.. 20% 30% kilReduced- Free 10% etc.) From.... 124% 174% (no change) kil.To 5% 10% Weighing less than 400Reduced- Increased- kilos:-From.... 124% 20% From.... 20% 25% Increased-To 5% 10% To 20% 30% Reduced- Increased- kil.From.... 124% 20% From.... 25% 30% To 228 fr. per 100 kil.To Wo 10% To.. 224% 35% Reduced- Increased- Sawmill machinerv... Increased- 20% Increased-From.... 15% 274% From.... 25% 30% From 20% (no change) From 15 fr. per 100To 10% 20% To. .. 274% 40% To 30% kil.Reduced- Increased- To 128 fr. per 100 kil.From.... 20% 30% From. . . . 35% 40% Boots and shoes Free Increased- Duties have been in-To 174% 30% To.... 35% 45% (no change) creased ten-fold.and further and 135 yen per 100 10% dis- kin count To 100% ad val. from 17£% rate 15f, Reduced- Increased- Cotton piece goods.... Varying rates, former- Varying rates Duties 7$ to 15 greaterFrom.... 15% 25% From.... Free 5% ly ranged from tno change) than formerly.To 124% 25% To. ... 15% Reduced- from 10% to 44%. " From.... 174% 25% To 15% 25% Reduced- From.... 25% 324% To 224% 324% and further 10% dis- count from 22\% rate 20%. Reduced- Increased- Woollen piece goods... Increased- Increased- Duties 9 to 12 timesFrom.... 30% 35% From.... 30% 35% From 35% to From 50 and 70 yen greater than form-To 274% 35% To 30% 45% erly.and further 40% To 100% ad val. in 10% dis- To 45c. lb. and 50%. the case of velvets, count plushes and pile from 27£% fabrics. rate 24-8. oo -r s o o g g o te! to Supply-Tariff Revision


SOME REDUCTIONS IN CANADIAN TARIFF RATES SINCE THE WAR COMPARED WITH INCREASES WHICH OTHER COUNTRIES HAVE MADE ON THE


SAME ARTICLES-Concluded. Article Knitted goods. Wearing apparel, wool Wearing apparel, cotton Wearing apparel, silk. Canada Australia Article United States Japan France- Br. Pref. Genera] - Br. Pref. Genera! Reduced- From 225% 35% From.... 40% 45% From 35% to some dutiable al er than formerly.20% 35% To... 40% 55% and further To 45c. lb. and 50%. many cases these 10% dift- rates have been in- count creased to 100% ad from 20% val. Others un- rate 18. changed. Reduced- Increased- Wearing apparel, wool Increased- Some specific rates, Duties 12 times asFrom.... 30% 35% From.... 40% From 35% to some dutiable at great as formerly.To 274% 35% To.. 40% 55% 40% and 50% Tn and further 40% some cases these 10% dis- To 45c. lb. and 50%. rates have been in- count creased to 100% ad from 274% val. Others un- rate 24f. changed. Reduced- Increased- Wearing apparel, cot- Increased- Same as above. Duties 13 times asFrom.... 25% 35% From.... 40% 45% ton. From 30% great as formerly.To 224% 35% To. .. 40% 55% To 35% and further 10% dis- count from 224% rate 204. Basic rates 30% 374% Increased- Wearing apparel, silk.. Increased- Same as above except Duties 12 times asunchanged From.... 40% 45% From 50% that in the case of great as formerly.but there To «*% 55% To 60% silk clothing more is a 10% articles have been discount made dutiable at from 30% 100% ad val. than rate 27. in the case of woollen 1 or cotton clothing. Cj



to



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This serves to illustrate the position which we occupy to-day in our tariff structure relative to those great competing countries. What has been the consequence on the woollen industry? The United States to-day import in woollen goods just about one-half of what Canada imports, and Canada has about onje-thirteenth of their population. The United States use about a square foot and a quarter of imported wollens per capita, while Canada Imports 4 p.m. about thirty-two square feet per capita. Woollen and worsted imports have been increased from $29,000,000 in 1921 to $38,000,000 in 1922 and $40,700,000 in 1923. The figures for 1924 are over $39,000,000 and close to $40,000,00. There is another feature which must not be lost sight of. While these increased woollen importations have been coming, the actual manufacture from woollen raw material in Canada has very seriously diminished. If we add our imports of raw wool noils, tops and the like, to our home raw wool production and deduct our exports of the same goods, we find that, in the last year alone, the use for manufacture of this raw wool in Canada declined from 45,354,034 pounds to 35,167,122 pounds, a reduction of more than 20 per cent- this all going on at a time when woollen importations are increasing and at a time when, as every hon. member knows, woollen operatives have either gone or are walking our streets in thousands, and those who are occupied are, for the most part, on part time and consequently small pay. While this^ is going on, the wages in those countries which sell us those woollens run from $3 to $3.50 per week while we are compellable to pay in Ontario, for example, under the wage laws of that province, to female operatives, who constitute more than fifty per cent of the whole number, a minimum of $10 per week for those who have had one year's experience, ami $S and $9 per week, for the first and second six months, respectively. These are the compellable wages in Canada, and if memory serves me right, they are compellable by virtue of legislation passed by the late Progressive government of Ontario. While our industries are forced to pay this scale of wages, and rightly so, other countries on one-third, sometimes one-quarter the rate, are permitted to send goods in here over a tariff of 15f per cent. It passes my comprehension how there could have been any possible result save precisely that which we have encountered. We are importing $125,000,000 worth of textile goods, all told. If we made as much IMr. Meighen.] of these goods as we have machinery installed in Canada to make, we would employ men and women drawing wages of over $100,000,000. In the manufacture of woollens and worsteds alone, if we employed the machinery we have installed and the capital we have invested, our 21,000 people now employed in that branch would be multiplied by two.


PRO

Thomas Alexander Crerar

Progressive

Mr. CRERAR:

How much would their

earnings be?

Topic:   SUPPLY-TARIFF REVISION MOTION IN AMENDMENT PRESENTED BY RIGHT HON. MR. MEIGHEN
Subtopic:   SOME REDUCTIONS IN CANADIAN TARIFF RATES SINCE THE WAR COMPARED WITH INCREASES WHICH OTHER COUNTRIES HAVE MADE ON THE
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CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

I did give their earnings. I stated we would be paying out $100,000,000 more in wages over the whole textile area if we utilized the textile machinery and plant that we have in Canada to-day.

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PRO

Thomas Alexander Crerar

Progressive

Mr. CRERAR:

Where would1 they sell the product?

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CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

To Canada. W'e are

buying it now. We would sell it to the same people that our competitors are selling it to to-day, right within the borders of this country for the importation, as I gave it, is $125,000,000.

I pass to other industries. Last year in the wisdom of this government we took off entirely the duty on fertilizers. This is the only article where their courage enabled them to go the whole length of their pledges. The Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) said he did not think injury had been done to any industry whatever by the tariff alterations of last year. The member for East York (Mr. Harris) placed upon record in his budget speech accounts of one industry after the other which had been compelled to close up. I wrote to the various industries in Canada, and only in one case, did I get a reply save such as definitely established most substantial reduction of operation, and in no case any reduction of price whatever. The member for East York put on record figures taken from the Department of Agriculture-they appear in his speech; I will not put them in mine- to show that since that duty went off the actual price of fertilizers in Canada has increased in all or nearly all the various branches of its production, and the increase has taken place at a time when the general level of fertilizer costs has been reduced in the world's market. At a time when the level at Baltimore, the central market for fertilizer on this continent, went down from $3.50 to $3.25, we in Canada having wiped away one industry after the other found our farmers paying higher than they had paid when the industry in this Dominon was active and employing many men.

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Topic:   SUPPLY-TARIFF REVISION MOTION IN AMENDMENT PRESENTED BY RIGHT HON. MR. MEIGHEN
Subtopic:   SOME REDUCTIONS IN CANADIAN TARIFF RATES SINCE THE WAR COMPARED WITH INCREASES WHICH OTHER COUNTRIES HAVE MADE ON THE
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LIB

James Alexander Robb (Minister of Immigration and Colonization)

Liberal

Mr. ROBB:

Perhaps the right hon. gentleman can clear this up: that being so, why did those industries in Canada go out of business? They were getting more for their product then than they were before.

Topic:   SUPPLY-TARIFF REVISION MOTION IN AMENDMENT PRESENTED BY RIGHT HON. MR. MEIGHEN
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CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

They were getting less

for a Short time until they went out of business or had to contract their output. The Acting Minister of Finance (Mr. Robb) knows just as well as I do that once you shut off a market from your competitor and give it to the home producer, the home producer, if he never raises his price at all, has an advantage which he had not before, and can extend that advantage to his customer. That advantage was denied him by the minister's conduct, and the diminution of production increased the unit cost of the home manufacturer. I have dozens of letters, but I do not want to delay the House by reading them. I will select one letter to put on Hansard, and I will put any others on, or extracts from them, just as the House desires. This letter is from the Triangle Chemical Compapv of New Westminster, B.C.:

We have your letter of the 12th, and would say that such legislation as the tariff reductions of last session as applied to the fertilizer was unnecessary, foolish and harmful. You are aware that formerly all raw materials for fertilizers such as muriate and sulphate of potash, raw phosphate rock either crude or ground, nitrate of soda, basic slag, sulphate of ammonia, bone meal, etc., all came in duty free. The only impost was the small matter of 10 per cent on superphosphate and manufactured fertilizers. The exemptions were quite all right, and in the interests of agriculture, but the 10 per cent on the two items was really too low to provide adequate protection, and to remove this little protection was in the writer's opinion absolute folly, and hurtful both to the manufacturer and the farmer. On our very limited market here we know of at least 100 tons superphosphate, and 200 tons of mixed fertilizers which have been imported. This has not made a saving of a single dollar to the grower, but has simply shortened up production to the manufacturers to that extent, and made it more difficult for us to exist.

You will understand that firms on the Atlantic seaboard of the United States can produce superphosphate at a very low cost. They are close to the phosphate mines of Tennessee and Florida, they can buy sulphur from the mines of Texas and Louisiana at a very low laid-down price, and can therefore make cheap sulphuric acid, and they have a very great market close at hand to help keep down production costs. When such firms have a surplus they are always ready to "dump", and with the present low ocean freights it is easy for them to get below a price we can profitably make. This gives a flock of middle-men who have no equipment other than a book and pencil a chance to offer competition to the factory, and as said before it does not save the farmer here one dollar, but simply cuts into our production. Imagine what would happen if this fool legislation should succeed in putting us out of business. The farmer would have no regular source of supply, and brokers and foreign makers would not be slow to seize the chance of making the Canadian farmers pay excessive prices.

The writer will frankly admit that he has always been a Liberal, but this nonsense makes one begin to

have other views, especially where our government seems anxious to make a grand-stand play by passing, such ill-considered, and ill-advised legislation.

Every letter received, save one, was to the same effect, and the exception was a special case.

Topic:   SUPPLY-TARIFF REVISION MOTION IN AMENDMENT PRESENTED BY RIGHT HON. MR. MEIGHEN
Subtopic:   SOME REDUCTIONS IN CANADIAN TARIFF RATES SINCE THE WAR COMPARED WITH INCREASES WHICH OTHER COUNTRIES HAVE MADE ON THE
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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

Has my right hon. friend the letter he sent to which that was the reply?

Topic:   SUPPLY-TARIFF REVISION MOTION IN AMENDMENT PRESENTED BY RIGHT HON. MR. MEIGHEN
Subtopic:   SOME REDUCTIONS IN CANADIAN TARIFF RATES SINCE THE WAR COMPARED WITH INCREASES WHICH OTHER COUNTRIES HAVE MADE ON THE
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June 2, 1925