February 25, 1927

CON

Henry Herbert Stevens

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEVENS:

This is more germane to

the question, if my hon. friend will be good enough to follow the analysis. In 1913, I say, we produced l,0OS,000 tons of pig iron

The Budget-Mr. Stevens

while the average for the last five years has been 632,600 tons, or a decrease in production of 37 per cent. Just contrast the figures I have given. Our increase in imports has been 80 per cent, while our production has been 37 per cent lower. Will anyone tell me as a Canadian that this is sound business?

My hon. friends opposite shouted from the housetops their wonderful policy of lowering the cost of the implements of production. Those were attractive words. But I ask hon. gentlemen now, has it paid? No, Mr. Speaker; far from that it has been a tragedy, for this country. Our imports of manufactures in iron include all rolled mill products, something which Canada can and does produce in every province, comprising bars, rods and so forth, and in 1922 the total was $20,000,000. There was a lowering of the tariff with the result that in 1926 this amount had increased to $47,000,000, or 135 per cent. Take machinery, not agricultural but implements generally. In 1922 our imports amounted to $24,000,000 and in 1926, $38,000,000, or an increase of 60 per cent. Imports of agricultural machinery, amounted in 1922, to $7,700,000 and in 1926 to $17,500,000, or an increase of 129 per cent

engines and boilers, in 1922 $4,800,000 and in 1926 $13,900,000, or an increase of 190 per cent. Follow me again; rolling mill products show an increase of 135 per cent; machinery not agricultural shows an increase of 60 per cent: agricultural machinery an increase of 129 per cent and engines and boilers an increase of 190 per cent, and mark you the average increase of imports over the same period was 24 per cent. Do not tell me that this is healthy; we have a normal increase of 24 per cent in all our imports, but in these things which mean bread and butter to tens, yes, hundreds of thousands of Canadians there are increases of 135 per cent, 60 per cent, 129 per cent and 190 per cent respectively. There is something wrong. Sir, these things alone should command the attention of parliament; we could well afford to cast to -the winds practically all the business of this session and turn our attention to these matters. Parliament should face these facts.

Now let us turn to the exports, and we will see an equally startling situation. Our exports under the same -headings, which are fixed by the government officials and very wisely so, show the following:

Agricultural

Animal

Fibres and textiles.. Wood and paper.. .

Iron products

Non-ferrous

Non-metallic

Chemicals

Miscellaneous

59.000. 000

28.000. 000 32,000,000

1923-1927 Per cent

$404,000,000 *11.

156,000,000 +28.

8,700,000 +67.

265.000,000 *39.

65.000,000 + 1.5

76,000,000 *30.

25,000,000 +11.

16,000,000 +50.

Total

* Increase. f Decrease.

$1,185,000,000 $1,125,000,000

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE OF THE ANNUAL
Sub-subtopic:   FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink
LIB

Charles A. Stewart (Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs; Minister of Mines; Minister of the Interior)

Liberal

Mr. STEWART (Edmonton):

My hon.

friend is using war years now, is he not?

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE OF THE ANNUAL
Sub-subtopic:   FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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CON

Henry Herbert Stevens

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEVENS :

The minister very properly ealls attention to the fact that about six months of the year 1918 was during the war.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE OF THE ANNUAL
Sub-subtopic:   FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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LIB

Charles A. Stewart (Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs; Minister of Mines; Minister of the Interior)

Liberal

Mr. STEWART (Edmonton):

The years

preceding the war were quite as important.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE OF THE ANNUAL
Sub-subtopic:   FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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CON

Henry Herbert Stevens

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEVENS:

What is the point?

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE OF THE ANNUAL
Sub-subtopic:   FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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LIB

Charles A. Stewart (Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs; Minister of Mines; Minister of the Interior)

Liberal

Mr. STEWART (Edmonton):

I am not

making any point; I merely asked the question.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE OF THE ANNUAL
Sub-subtopic:   FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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CON

Henry Herbert Stevens

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEVENS:

My point is this, Mr. Speaker; those who now -argue* that the way to get prosperity is to trade with the world willy-nilly should look at the fact that our imports of textiles have increased by 32 per cent while our exports decreased 67 per cent; there must be something wrong which should

be corrected, and that wrong was done in 1923 when the woollen schedules were tampered with. And, Sir, the thing that is wrong is writ in the blood and in the tears of thousands of workers who were driven out of their homes in this country. The Minister of Immigration (Mr. Forke) smiles, but it is no smiling matter any more than the tragedy of the iron and steel industry in Nova Scotia is a smiling matter. Let us look at the exports of wood fibre and paper; these show an increase of 39 per cent, with which I shall deal a little later. It will be noticed that there is an increase in our exports of agricultural products of 11 per cent, which is a very small item in view of the crops we have had in the last three years, but it is all to the good. The other two increases are, in wood fibre and non-ferrous metals, and in connection with non-ferrous metals our ex-

The Budget*-Mr. Stevens

ports are raw materials, chiefly ore. Take asbestos; we are selling $7,000,000 worth of asbestos to the United States to be turned into $70,000,000 worth of products. We are told that in Canada we have the asbestos of the world, but all we are doing with it is digging it out of the ground and sending it out of the country, most of it in rock form, with some worked up into the first process only. I think it is sold at something like $7 per ton, or some such ridiculous figure, instead of being turned into material worth from $100 to $200 a ton, which work oan be done here just as well as it is done south of the line.

Then, Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Finance referred to abounding business, and I am going to tell the House very briefly where the abounding business comes in. It emanates from three sources almost entirely; pulp and paper, in which there has been a tremendous increase; the development of electrical energy and in northern Ontario and Quebec the mining boom. Outside of these three, Mr. Speaker, I will show the House that in practically every line not directly dependent upon these you have a retardation of business instead of expansion. Of course, in the export of grain there has also been a huge increase in the last few years, but let us get a broad view of the situation. The Minister of Trade and Commerce referred to the way business was growing, so let us take the last four years of the Conservative regime, the calendar years 1918 to 1921 inclusive. The bank clearings for that period averaged $16,600,000,000 per year, with which we may contrast the last four years of the Liberal rule, with an average of $16,800,000,000. The difference is very small, in fact hardly worth mentioning. The point I am making is that business generally in Canada, other than in these three branches to which I have referred, is not progressing as it should. I believe, Mr. Speaker, that Canada has the greatest opportunity of any country in the world to advance; I believe that to-day Canada should be in a better condition than any other country in the world, but the facts do not bear this out, with the exception of these three branches to which I have referred, and which I will analyse briefly. Let us consider the development of electrical energy. Has it not been for the merely accidental discovery of a contract which this government was entering into with certain United States interests, the Carillon power would have been in the hands of those interests and delivered to the United States.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE OF THE ANNUAL
Sub-subtopic:   FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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LIB

James Alexander Robb (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. ROBB:

Mr. Speaker, last year the

Prime Minister denied that statement, and on behalf of the government I again deny it to-day.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE OF THE ANNUAL
Sub-subtopic:   FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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CON

Henry Herbert Stevens

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEVENS:

I myself brought the

question to the attention of the House about two years ago, and the whole question was discussed on the floor of the House. It was found then that the government, through certain powers it had under the act which did not make it obligatory for them to report to parliament, had a contract with American interests, and that contract was not completed simply because-

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE OF THE ANNUAL
Sub-subtopic:   FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink
LIB

Charles A. Stewart (Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs; Minister of Mines; Minister of the Interior)

Liberal

Mr. STEWART (Edmonton):

Do not let

him get away with that.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE OF THE ANNUAL
Sub-subtopic:   FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink
CON

Henry Herbert Stevens

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEVENS:

I can get away with it,

simply because it is true. That contract was not completed simply because it was exposed in the House.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE OF THE ANNUAL
Sub-subtopic:   FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink
LIB

Charles A. Stewart (Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs; Minister of Mines; Minister of the Interior)

Liberal

Mr. STEWART (Edmonton):

That is not true.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE OF THE ANNUAL
Sub-subtopic:   FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink
CON

Henry Herbert Stevens

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEVENS:

I say it is true, and I say further that after I drew it to the attention of the House I went to Toronto and informed Mr. Howard Ferguson, Premier of Ontario. Mr. Ferguson took the matter up with Mr. TascheTeau, Premier of Quebec, and between them these two gentlemen stopped the completion of that contract.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE OF THE ANNUAL
Sub-subtopic:   FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink
?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Hear, hear.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE OF THE ANNUAL
Sub-subtopic:   FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink
LIB

Charles A. Stewart (Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs; Minister of Mines; Minister of the Interior)

Liberal

Mr. STEWART (Edmonton):

If my hon. friend will permit, and if hon. gentlemen opposite will get through clapping, I may say that I do not make a practice of denying statements made by the hon. gentleman, but this is an occasion on which the statement is absolutely untrue. There never was any such agreement entered into. I do not say that there were not plenty of offers, but this government never entered into any such agreement.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE OF THE ANNUAL
Sub-subtopic:   FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink
CON

Henry Herbert Stevens

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEVENS:

The agreement was laid on the table of the House. I admit that the deal was not completed.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE OF THE ANNUAL
Sub-subtopic:   FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink
LIB

Charles A. Stewart (Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs; Minister of Mines; Minister of the Interior)

Liberal

Mr. STEWART (Edmonton):

Ah! That is very nice of my hon. friend but he should apologize.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE OF THE ANNUAL
Sub-subtopic:   FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink
CON

Henry Herbert Stevens

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEVENS:

I will apologize to no one. What? Apologize for having stopped a deal of that kind? Never!

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE OF THE ANNUAL
Sub-subtopic:   FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink
LIB

Charles A. Stewart (Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs; Minister of Mines; Minister of the Interior)

Liberal

Mr. STEWART (Edmonton):

My hon.

friend cannot get away with a statement of that kind-

The Budget-Mr Stevens

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE OF THE ANNUAL
Sub-subtopic:   FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink
?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Order.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE OF THE ANNUAL
Sub-subtopic:   FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink

February 25, 1927