Mr. KENNEDY (Winnipeg):
If my hon. friend will permit me to continue with my argument I will refer to the situation of the farmers in the vicinity of Brandon a little later on. In the illustration I have mentioned, what you have to consider is whether it is better for that community to protect that particular 'business and ensure its workmen continuous employment, or whether you shall say, "No you cannot have protection." If you make the latter decision that concern will go to the wall and its workmen will join the ranks of the unemployed. Then what do they do? Having being deprived of work in that factory and needing employment, they start looking for it. They will probably go to another factory in the same line of business in that city if there is one available. But if the same policy obtains so far as that factory is concerned what 'will they find? Jobs there? No. On their way into the office of that other factory to ask for a job they will meet more men like themselves coming away and swelling the ranks of the unemployed. So industry languishes. You have the problem of unemployment, and in the final analysis you have the problem of emigration from this country.
Why the need of protection? For this purpose,, and it has no other justification: For the purpose of allowing a business, if it 'is a good thing for the country, to carry on, to pay the standard of wages necessary to be paid in Canada, to expand if possible and develop the resources of this country, and increase its pay rolls!. By so doing it will benefit not that manufacturer alone. Far and away above the benefit that will accrue to that manufacturer, benefit will result to the employees and to the people of this country as a whole. Firstly there are the employees and their families. They buy from the local shops. The shops will buy from the manufacturers and the agricultural producers throughout this country, and the money which is paid out through the payroll of that institution will
find its way through all the avenues of business, even into the pockets of the local agricultural producers. What is the 'history of this question since the war? Since 1921 sixty-three countries of the world have raised their tariffs. That should indicate something. What is the aim of a tariff? The aim of a tariff is to develop and work up our own resources by our own workmen; out of the proceeds of the wealth so created! to pay these workmen, who as consumers buy from Canadian shops, who in turn sell the goods, the products of these very men who are their customers, in order that they may build up the greatest of all markets, the home market.
What is the result of 'such a policy? We build up our industries. We create employment. We fill up the vacant houses and create a demand for new houses. We increase our population. We stop the emigration from this country of the unemployed and the sending out of money to buy the manufactured goods of foreign countries. We attract people to our shores. Having done that we enlarge the home market.
Now how does this home market affect the farmer? I come now to the question asked by the hon. member for Brandon (Mr. Forke). I refer to a statement made by that hon. gentleman relating to that very subject which appears in Hansard of February 10, 1925, When the hon. member said:
No amount of reasoning, no amount of argument can ever convince the people dwelling upon the prairies that a protective policy can be of any benefit to them.
I ask this House, is it reasonable for the leader of a party to take the attitude that no 'amount of reasoning can convince him? I submit that the hon, member for Brandon does not do entire justice to all those in the ranks of that party. I will concede this, that the results of a protective tariff do not flow directly to the grain growers of the west. I think 'there is scarcely any other class of people in this country who will not admit that the effect of a protective tariff which builds up industries is directly beneficial to them. The hon. member for Nelson (Mr. Bird) speaking the other night, referring to the matter of the tariff intimated that protection was good for the towns and cities and good for that rural class who were truck farmers in the vicinity of towns and cities, but he intimated it was of no value to the man who was strictly a grain-grower. I think perhaps that is what is in the mind of the hon. member for Brandon.
Admitting that the benefits do not flow to the grain growers directly, I ask the hon.
The Address-Mr. Kennedy (Winnipeg)
member to consider two things. My hon.
friend is a prosperous farmer in
4 p.m. 'Manitoba. His product is grain.
In order to realize the value of that grain he must get it to market. The actual value of that grain on his farm is reduced by the amount of freight he has to pay on it to get it. to market. Then I say that any policy that has the effect of either raising or lowering the rate on his grain is of direct interest to him. Suppose we wipe out protection in this country and introduce a straight policy of free trade; I do not think anyone will deny that many, many industries would quickly go out of business, and what does that mean to the railways, the carriers of goods? They will carry less goods. I ask this House, from what source are railway rates paid? There are only two sources, passenger traffic and freight traffic. The more important of these two kinds of traffic is the freight, which is more than twice as remunerative to our railway systems as the passenger traffic. In the case of every plant that goes out of business those railways cease to carry the goods of that plant. Multiply one by a thousand or two thousand, and you are eating into the very heart of the life of the railways of this country. You are taking away from them their most remunerative source of revenue -far more remunerative, so far as the rate per ton mile is concerned, than the grain rate. The railways still have to run, still have to pay their wage bills and pay for their upkeep and endeavour to get a fair return at least on the moneys invested. Who will pay it? The people who are left to use the railways. Where is the burden going to come? It is going to fall on the freight that is left to produce the necessary money to keep the railways going. What is left? With the falling off of industry, with the cutting out of that tremendous freight traffic which depends upon industry for its revenue, you have left the grain traffic of the west as one of the most important sources of freight. Under those circumstances, I ask the hon. member for Brandon, will the rates that he pays for every bushel of wheat taken from his farm to world markets be higher or lower? If higher then he is paying that much more because of the fact that free trade has driven the industries out of the country.
I say to the hon. member for Brandon that if, by a reasonable measure of protection, you preserve and develop the industries of this country and create freight traffic for the railways, to that extent you directly assist the hon. member for Brandon and those in his class.
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