me make this clear; in all the discussions that took place in the general elections, and in the declaration in the Speech from the Throne, the government was setting out a broad policy, was discussing general policies. If my hon. friends will look at the speeches that were made at the time this declaration of policy was announced they will also find that on each occasion that reference has been made to the tariff advisory board care has been taken to state that the government did not intend, on the subject of tariff matters, to tie the hands of parliament in any particular. I desire to make that perfectly clear. A direct statement was made that in the last analysis the tariff had to be settled on the floor of parliament, and that the government did not intend, by appointing a tariff advisory board to advise the minister to tie the hands of parliament in any way.
Having said that much, may I come to the point which I know is in the minds of hon. members opposite. They have overlooked altogether the significance of the broad statement of policy, and they have concentrated their minds on two words in the amendment:
That before further tariff changes were made an opportunity would be given industries affected to be heard before an advisory board.
They are concentrating their minds on the two words "before further". I challenge hon. gentlemen opposite to find any place where those two words appear in any declaration made by myself on behalf of the government. There was no statement that before this tariff board was appointed no tariff changes would be made in this parliament. When hon. gentlemen opposite are prepared to raise a debate on those two words "before further", while allowing the whole question of the actual tariff changes, which after all is the vital thing, to go by the board, I confess I cannot but feel that they are prepared to strain at a gnat and swallow a camel. May I say in perfect frankness to the House that I would have very much preferred, before the changes proposed by the Minister of Finance were made, that the matter should have been referred to the tariff board. That is what I wished and that is what every hon. member of the administration wished might have been done.