March 6, 1928

LAB

Herbert Bealey Adshead

Labour

Mr. ADSHEAD:

May I ask a question?

Can my hon. friend tell me who is the greatest importer of New Zealand butter and also the difference in the tariff on butter as between Australia and New Zealand?

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CON

Harry James Barber

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BARBER:

In my forty minutes I

have not time to go into that, but my hon. friend is one who would refuse to raise that butter tariff. At the same time, this government raised the tariff on currants and raisins from a half cent to three cents, in order to protect the growers of Australia.

Now let us look at this industry from another angle. To-day we are assisting other industries throughout this country, so would it not be only fair to assist this industry which is working under altogether different conditions? We should give them at least sufficient protection to meet the difference in the cost of production which is due to

climatic conditions in other countries. Just think what it would mean; under the one cent tariff we imported last year 11,208,819 pounds of butter, or 1,348,167 pounds more than we imported during the previous year. If this butter were produced in Canada it would mean 125,000 more dairy cows with an increased production totalling about 83,500,000; it would mean stabilizing the market and would result in the employment of about 15,000 more people. The home market would be increased and our own good Canadian money would be kept in circulation in this country.

Then there is another important industry to which I wish to refer, and that is the poultry industry. That is a very important branch of agriculture and one which should receive every consideration and assistance at the hands of the government. During the last few years Canadian poultrymen have established world records of performance, and they made an excellent showing at the great poultry congress which was held in this city last year. To-day they are greatly handicapped not only through the lack of protection but also because of the uncertainty which exists under the policy of this government. I have here a wire which was sent to an hon. member of this house under date of February 29, which will illustrate how this uncertainty handicaps our poultry-men. This wire was sent from Duncan, British Columbia, addressed to Mr. C. H. Dickie, M.P.:

We are advised effort being made to reduce tariff on American eggs but have received no definite information. Please investigate and advise us promptly. We are opposed to a reduction.

That is signed by the Cowichan Creamery. The poultrymen to the south of the line have the advantage of climatic conditions, lower feed and labour costs and a tariff which protects them from unfair competition, while a low Canadian tariff permits them to invade our market with their surplus stocks. We imported from the United States last year under the three cent tariff over 3,000,000 dozen eggs in shell. In addition to that we imported 1,691,359 pounds of eggs from the orient and other countries, mostly canned, which would equal about 1,130,000 dozen eggs in shell. This makes a total of 4,248,513 dozen eggs which were pushed on the Canadian market last year to compete with our own good Canadian product. According to the Bureau of Statistics we have a poultry population of over 46,000,000, with a commercial production of about 237,000,000 dozen eggs. Let us consider this industry as we consider the dairying industry; if we produced in Canada, the number of

The Budget-Mr. Barber

eggs imported last year it would mean 850,000 more poultry, and if we allow 1,000 to a farm this would mean 850 additional farms and employment for perhaps 2,000 more people.

Another branch to which I widi to refer is the production of young fruit trees, rose bushes, shrubs, fruits and vegetables which will grow in Canada. I think we will all agree that this is a business which can readily be carried on in this country and which should be encouraged. This is an industry which would add to the future prosperity of this country; we have the climate, the soil, the knowledge and the desire and the government have it within their power to make this business a success. Those engaged in this business have to meet very unfair competition due to large importations from foreign countries. If we consider nursery stock we find that about 75 per cent of the cost of production is labour, and our labour cost is about two and a half times that of our competitors in foreign countries. Here is an industry which might profitably employ hundreds of people if we had sufficient protection to compensate for the difference in labour cost. For instance, 75 per cent of the cost Of growing a rose bush is in the labour; skilled labourers in Holland get from twelve to fifteen cents per hour, while in Canada the same labour is paid from thirty cent to fifty cents per hour, so it is easy to figure out the difference in cost. As a result of this wide difference we imported 1,129,918 rose bushes from Holland in 1926, in addition, shrubs valued at $159,530 and 272,390 fruit trees. These fruit trees came from the United States almost exclusively, and there again we have unfair labour competition. The price of these trees is largely fixed by the cost of negro labour in the south, where living conditions are the very cheapest and where the standards of living are not to be compared with those in Canada.

Last year we imported into this country fresh fruits to the value of $24,685,221, of which about one-fifth could have been produced in Canada. During the same year we imported fresh vegetables to the value of $5,685,221, of which $4,682,259 worth, could have produced in this country. That gives us a total importation of fresh fruits and vegetables valued at about $9,550,000 which can be and are being produced in this country. It is estimated that we have over 90,000 fruit and vegetable farms which produced in Canada last year in a commercial way about $47,718,000 worth of fruit and vegetables. Think of what it would mean to Canada if our imports of these products, corresponding to 20 per cent of our total production, were produced in this country. Suppose the average production per farm is $1,000, which I believe is a high figure, it would mean

9,550 more farms and a considerable increase in employment in Canada.

Last year we imported $857,583 worth of apples. Why should this be necessary? No finer apple is produced than the Canadian apple. Over $500,000 worth of peaches were imported into Canada. Why is this necessary? Where do you get a finer flavoured peach than that of the Niagara peninsula? The only place I know is British Columbia. The same thing applies to pears, of which the imports amounted to $855,274; strawberries, with imports of $668,417; cherries, with imports to the amount of $120,912; and plums of which $475,226 worth were imported.

In vegetables we find the same thing occurring. Large quantities of new potatoes are usually imported early in the spring at a very high price, with the result that the Canadian crop, which is of even higher food value than the imported product cannot be sold or only at a very low figure. This government does not recognize this industry even to the extent of a seasonal tariff. The vegetable and fruit growers express themselves as deeply disappointed that no steps have beeen taken to protect them against the inrush of earlier products from the United States. Many representations were made to the tariff board and the government on behalf of the growers in the maritime provinces, Quebec, Ontario and British Columbia.

In dealing with the dairy, poultry, fruit and nursery industries I have tried to make it plain that under the present policy these industries are hampered-that in order to ensure their growth and development they must be protected to the extent at least of the difference between Canadian and foreign conditions and especially foreign labour costs. I do not say that protection is a panacea for all our ills, but I am convinced that under reasonable protection it is quite feasible to produce in this country, for domestic consumption, a large amount of the commodities which we now import from foreign lands. I say " reasonable " protection because that is exactly what the Conservative party stands for. This party has been misrepresented throughout this country as a party of high protection, of sky-high protection. We remember the campaign which the Minister of Railways (Mr. Dunning) and his lieutenants carried on through the prairie provinces in the last two elections. "Vote for the Conservative candidate ", he said, " if you want still higher protection and everything that goes with it." The result was that in that campaign he was very successful, but he was not as successful when he crossed the Rocky mountains.

The Budget-Mr. Barber

In connection with the matter of protection I wish to refer to some remarks made by the hon. member for Mackenzie (Mr. Campbell). I do not think that hon. gentleman can be accused of being a protectionist, or of belonging to our party. However, on page 810 of Hansard the 'hon. gentleman is reported as having spoken as follows:

For the five years from 1917 to 1921 inclusive the average rate of duty on dutiable imports was 21.9, while for the five years from 1922 to 1926 inclusive, under this administration, the average rate of duty collected on dutiable imports was 24.06, or a difference under the late Conservative administration of 2.16 lower.

So, according to the hon. member for Mackenzie, our record does not show that we are a high tariff party. Stability is what we need in this country, and under the system we are pursuing to-day we are giving employment to thousands of workers in foreign countries instead of providing work for our own people at a fair wage. Under the present system we are denuding this country of its raw material, and we are driving our own people to other countries. We all admit that immigration is our great problem. Is there any better solution of that problem than to make Canada a better country to live in, create conditions such as will encourage the investment of capital and the development of our natural resources, thus providing more work for our own people and building up a home market for Canadian producers. I say that people do not as a rule leave their homeland simply for a change of air and scenery; they leave in order to better their condition. Make Canada more attractive, make Canada a country that will appeal to these people, and instead of haying to spend millions every year to bring immigrants to this country, we shall have them knocking at our doors clamouring for admittance.

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LIB

Ernest Lapointe (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Hon. ERNEST LAPOINTE (Minister of Justice):

Mr. Speaker, it has been my privilege to attend all the sittings of the house since this debate began. In a way it was a sort of professional duty but it was very interesting in many respects. I am more than ever convinced of the truth of the saying of a great English parliamentarian, that the House of Commons is the most tolerant institution in the world. I only wish the people of Canada could have been present during the course of the debate and have listened, as I have listened, to the extremely opposite and contradictory arguments which have been presented by both parties opposite with respect to the budget brought down by the Minister of Finance (Mr. Robb). All hon. gentlemen criticizing the budget agree on one point. It is that [Mr Barber.]

there is no constructive policy displayed by the government. The difficulty is that what is constructive in one part of the house is regarded as destructive in another quarter of the chamber. If the people of the country could have, as I have said, listened to everything that has been uttered here it would be easy for them to draw their own conclusions.

Mr. Speaker, the amendment and the subamendment are innocent looking creatures deserving of very little attention. The amendment, like its big brother the tariff resolution of the Winnipeg conference, is an emasculated political instrument disowning the very word of protection, deprived of all strength, virility, and even significant meaning. It is such a mild and soft expression of policy that one is amazed at the bitterness and violence of the speeches which have been made in support of it. Of course violent arguments and violent speeches from each end of that side of the chamber defeated the purposes of the respective parties. While sitting here quietly, with not much to do, I took the trouble to gather up some of the shrapnel which was launched against the administration, and I want to exhibit this shrapnel to the people of the country in order to illustrate the conditions as they exist in the house. As we say in French, "A tout seigneur tout honneur." I will begin with my hon. friend from Fort William (Mr. Manion). The hon. gentleman is a fine speaker, I am always fond of listening to him. Perhaps he is a little bitter. For some time it was my impression that he was trying to make his new associates forget that he was ever a Liberal. That was long ago.

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CON

Robert James Manion

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MANION:

They have forgotten it

long ago.

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LIB

Ernest Lapointe (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. LAPOINTE:

Here are the words of

my hon. friend, taken from page 656 of Hansard:

While the tariff changes may seem minor when one looks at them first, already from reports coming in to members of this house who have in their constituencies mills which are affected by these tariff changes, it looks as if serious injury was once again going to be done by this government to the industrial life of this country.

Further on he says:

As time goes on, the government and the people of this country will find that the reductions in the present tariff, though minor in appearance will do more injury to the industrial life of our country and drive still greater numbers of our people to the country to the south of us to earn their living which they are denied here at home.

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CON

Eccles James Gott

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GOTT:

Hear, hear.

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LIB

Ernest Lapointe (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. LAPOINTE:

I am glad my hon

friend over there cheers. Immediately after-

The Budget-Mr. Lapointe

wards the hon. member for Last Mountain (Mr. Fanslher) said, as reported on. page 673 of Hansard:

So far as I have been able to ascertain from the closest scrutiny of the budget, particularly as it affects the customs tariff, there is practically no reduction that will benefit the great mass of consumers and the producers of this country.

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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Hear, hear.

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LIB

Ernest Lapointe (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. LAPOINTE:

Now my hon. friends

are cheering on the other side. The hon. member says later on:

Hon. gentlemen from Manitoba are the doorkeepers, as it were, of western Canada. Are they going to assist us, or are they going to be instrumental in opening the doors to further burdens and to the laying of greater stress and strain on the agricultural industry? I hope not.

Then came a violent offensive on the part of the hon. member for Toronto Northwest (Mr. Church). He had many chapters and I am going to select only a few of them. He said:

Woe be it to the maritime provinces when they deal with some of their industries! Woe be it to the industries of the province of Quebec! ....

The main tariff changes in this magnificent budget with its twelve pages of schedules affect the cotton and woollen industry. I have no doubt that one reason for these twelve pages of tinkering is due to the fact that the government. in anticipation of a general election two or three years hence are making a nice little gesture to the gentlemen on our left in anticipation of a larger vote west of the great lakes. ...

It is just digging up material for the free traders. The tariff board to-day, in my opinion, is composed of nothing but a lot of spade and shovel men who are digging up a lot of facts about free trade for the government to destroy protection and trying to foist free trade on the people. The farmers of this country do not believe in the policy of free trade, and yet the government are going to destroy every industry in Ontario and Quebec before they get through with this Yankee fad, the tariff board. . . .

To-day this government with its free trade gesture * is in effect telling our youth: "Go

south, young men." ....

The expulsion of the Acadians was nothing to the expulsion of 600,000 Canadians by this tariff policy.

There are many others of the same kind but I am afraid time will not permit me to quote my friend from Toronto at greater length. To that the hon. gentleman for East Lambton (Mr. Pansher) says:

As I say, the government appealed to the country saying: Why divide the low tariff

element? But in this budget they have simply tinkered up the old tariff wall, taking off a stone here and replacing it somewhere else, and taking one from there and putting it in the place of the one they took away. They have

given the old tariff wall a coat of whitewash and they have still kept the old barbed wire entanglement known as the dumping clause on top of the tariff wall.

Then the hon. member for Muskoka-Ontario (Mr. McGibbon)-and I am pleased to call him my friend-comes along and says this as reported on page 698 of Hansard:

There we see again the baneful influence of this government, and how its policy is going to strangle the woollen industry and possibly drive more mills out of business. I ask you, Mr. Speaker, I ask any man of intelligence and common sense, why do we crucify our Canadian industries that are giving work to our own people? For the life of me I cannot understand it.

Very fortunately the hon. member for Rosetown (Mr. Evans) came to the rescue and he says, 'as reported on page 737:

Taking it altogether, this budget is a rich man's feast. The money cost to the public through trade penalties has not been at all lessened, and the moral hazard has not been abated in any way. ... _ _

The parliament of Canada is the highest court in the land, the place from which one would suppose justice would emanate for all alike, but the present government^ after having taken every possible means to inform themselves on the evil system of trade penalties, now come forth with a budget in defiance of that knowledge. This has given a direct challenge to the primary producers and workers of this nation; it has challenged the farmers to organize for political action, and it is even an invitation to the workers to strike for justice. ...

Again, the farming class of Canada has been farmed by the capitalistic class of this Dominion for the last forty years, and all governments of Canada for the last forty years, irrespective of party, have done the same thing. In this respect the present budget is no different from the budgets winch have been presented in former years, but it does stamp this government as being composed of men who are willing to continue the sweated labour on the farms of Canada of our women and children, to say nothing of our men, to swell the profits of those who, through their henchmen in this house, proclaim their indolence-

Pardon me for not finishing the sentence. Immediately after that speech the hon. member for South Cape Breton (Mr. MacDonald) rose and, before starting to discuss the budget, he could not help saying this out of the kindness of his heart:

Having listened to the last two speakers, I rather sympathize with the Minister of Finance. They attacked him from entirely different angles, but I do not think he should have very much trouble in deciding which of the two criticisms is deserving of consideration.

His sympathy was not very practical because he started to do the same thing and abused the Minister of Finance. Then the hon. member for Dufferin-Simcoe (Mr. Rowe)

said, as reported on page 830:

The Budget-Mr. Lapointe

The people of this Dominion have been viewing with alarm the attitude of the government towards the manufacturing industries of this country. . . .

The budget may be pleasing to those who are interested in a low tariff: the Minister of Finance calls it a reclassification, but whether you describe it thus, or whether you call it a ratification or a modification or a lowering of the tariff or tariff tinkering, the effect will be the same; it will be felt just as injuriously by industries throughout the Dominion.

The hon. member for Mackenzie (Mr. Campbell) then came forward and said:

The more I examine the budget the more I realize that the tariff is not reduced at all; it is actually raised.

He continued:

To-day I no longer wonder; I am quite convinced from these figures that as between the two old parties the low tariff party sits to our right while the high tariff party occupies the benches opposite, including in their ranks the hon. members from Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

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PRO

Milton Neil Campbell

Progressive

Mr. CAMPBELL:

Hear, hear.

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LIB

Ernest Lapointe (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. LAPOINTE:

He said:

To-day I no longer wonder.

So far as I am concerned I do not wonder any longer why he was not opposed by the Conservative party at election time. The hon. member for Brant (Mr. Smoke), as reported

on page 834 of Hansard, said:

If it differs at all, the system of the present government is worse than the Soviet system. As I understand the Soviet system, they con-nscate, but do not destroy; they leave facilities for production practically unimpaired, and production still goes on, while by the system adopted by this government capital is entirely destroyed. This government will be known to posterity as bolshevists or worse. No name can more accurately describe it.

Then my good, kind friend, the hon. member for Southeast Grey (Miss Macphail) comes to our help and says:

There is no real reduction in the tariff. No one knows that better than the Minister of Finance.

Shall I quote the hon. member for Brantford (Mr. Ryerson), who said that all the industries were going to be ruined? I am afraid my time is slipping by and I want to say something else. The hon. member for Battle River (Mr. Spencer) said immediately afterwards :

Taking it all in all, a study of the tariff discloses that whatever benefit is to flow from this tinkering will be to the advantage of the manufacturers rather than the consumers of this country.

The hon. member for Halton (Mr. Anderson) said this:

Every time this government change the tariff they stimulate the importation of foreign goods into Canada and thus injure our own industry,

while every reduction in taxation is followed by a flow of emigrants from Canada to some other country, in search of work.

This government appear to be implementing their tariff policy of 1919

Listen to that, my friends over there I

-in which they said they believed in a reduction of the British preference to 50 per cent of the general tariff; I believe the Minister of Finance is at that point now, and in some instances is below the 50 per cent level. I believe he is going still further in the direction of the Progressive policy of free trade with England; at any rate, he is nearing the point where we shall have a tariff for revenue only, which appears to be the Liberal policy to-day. Not only is the minister making reductions in the general tariff; he is also going around to the back door and giving preferential treatment to certain favoured nations something of which the people are scarcely aware.

Then my hon. friend from Peace River (Mr. Kennedy), speaking in this debate a day or so ago, said:

The tariff schedules as proposed by the minister are planned, in my judgment, to help a few large manufacturers at the expense of the general public, and the smaller manufacturers, especially those manufacturing hats and caps.

He said something else, but I have to proceed. I could not catch all that was said yesterday by my hon. friend from Wetaskiwin (Mr. Irvine), and I must ask his pardon for that. I know that some of my friends here were alarmed at the reductions in the tariff, but my hon. friend from Wetaskiwin last night said that such a refusal on the part of the government to do what they should do in the matter of reductions in the tariff was conducive to a bloody revolution of some kind or other. My hon. friend said at the time, I remember, that the charges made by the Conservative party during the last election campaign against the Liberals, and the charges made by the Liberals against the Conservatives, were both true. I may say to my hon. friend that obviously the two contradictory expressions of opinion that I have just read, coming from different parts of the house, cannot both be true. As a matter of fact, I think they are both untrue. We have reduced the tariff, and we have not ruined any industry.

May I say, Mr. Speaker, that an offensive carried on by such opposing forces can only be of a negative and destructive character, and if they could succeed, what would be the result? If they could paralyze the government of the country at the present time, what could take its place? Such methods of warfare, if victorious, would transform parliament into what I might call a crystallized deadlock. We are attacked from both sides in that contradictory manner because we are

The Budget-Mr. Lapointe

here representing the whole of the people of Canada. We are entrusted with the duty of considering and dealing with the interests of the whole people at large, and not of any one class or of any one section of the community.

I would not like to say anything unpleasant to my friends in the extreme comer of the house. Reference has been made to the session of 1926. Let me tell you, Mr. Speaker, that I shall always cherish the memory of that session of 1926. It began well; it proceeded well; and it ended well; and the election that followed also ended well. We had co-operation with hon. gentlemen over there which was above-board, and I can only say that, so far as I was concerned, I was always pleased with the relations that we had with those hon. gentlemen. I have more in common with them, so far as big policies are concerned, than I have with my hon. friends immediately opposite, and if we had to run this country on the basis of groups, I think I would try to qualify in the farming community in order to be with them rather than with other hon. gentlemen in this house. But 1 do not believe in that form of government.

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?

An hon. MEMBER:

You have it over

there now.

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LIB

Ernest Lapointe (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. LAPOINTE:

My hon. friend the

alarm clock over there might perhaps listen to me. I do not believe in class or group government. You cannot represent the mind of the nation as a great world entity on the basis of functions or occupations. A member of parliament must impress upon himself or herself first the duty of thinking in the interests of the community as a whole, and then of his or her trade or class interest as it is not inconsistent with the interests of the whole nation. Mere class or occupational representation, as advocated by my hon. friend from Southeast Grey (Miss Macphail), is the reverse of such principle, and impresses upon a member that his or her trade is his or her politics. It is organized selfishness.

May I add that when members of a party or of a group are not in power, and in fact are not likely ever to be in power-I do not mean this offensively at all because they themselves have said that they would not like to be in power-it is easy to propound all sorts of cures for every evil, real or imaginary, without any risk of having to apply the prescription. They preach knowing that they will never be called upon to practise. They may score occasionally, but they will forgive me for saying that there is no great glory in the success achieved by that method. As those of us who speak the French language

say, "La critique est aisee, Fart est difficile." We have a huge country. We have sectional interests which are not identical, which, in fact, in many cases are widely different. Those who are entrusted with public functions are trustees, not for one class, not for one section of the country, but for the whole people and the country at large, and it is their duty to try to find what are the causes of divergence of opinions and even of interests, and try to find, if possible, the concessions which it may be desirable to give or to obtain.

Some members have said that they are sick of the word compromise. Mr. Speaker, compromise has been the policy upon which this country was built. The confederation of Canada is based upon compromise; it could not continue without compromise. The British Empire is founded upon a compromise. The peace of the world is based upon compromise. It is impossible for any group or for any association, nay, even for any country, to get its own way in all matters. There must be compromise with others. That is the only way to achieve success.

Now I come to my hon. friends directly opposite. I have made allusion to the Winnipeg convention. With many of the resolutions adopted there I would not agree, but one act of the convention I commend-the choice of the party leader. They selected a fine leader, a man of courage and strong convictions, and well able to express those convictions. He is an excellent type of Canadian manhood. Having said that, he will forgive me if I express my disappointment that he did not as a first assertion of strong Canadian leadership put an end to the campaign carried on by his party during the last few years against Canada, Canadians and conditions generally in this country. I was hoping that he would discountenance hijs followers in their campaign of belittling and misrepresenting Canada in the eyes of the world. Why glorify the United States at the expense of Canada? Why should hon. gentlemen describe the United States as a land where young Canadians can find gold and honey while here they meet taxes, unemployment and starvation? Sir, we do not ask from them fair play for the government, we do not ask for even elementary justice; let them ascribe the progress and prosperity of the Dominion to Providence if they prefer to do so; but we do ask them not to say anything that may hurt the name and the credit of Canada. It might not be out of place for the committee which is going to study immigration to make a recommendation in that respect.

The Budget-Mr. Lapointe

But, Mr. Speaker, it is not true that Canada has any cause to envy other countries, and certainly it is not true that Canada has any reason to envy the United States. I need only remind you, sir, that it was not until the United States had a population of seventy-five million that their total trade was equal to that of Canada's to-day. Recently I came across an article in the organ of the Canadian Manufacturers Association, Industrial Canada, written by Mr. Alex. Marshall, who is manager of the Commercial Intelligence Department of the association, in which he deplores this tendency. I should like to quote the whole article, but my time is vanishing rapidly and I must content myself with these few words:

Just take a look at the other side of the picture for a minute. In leather, United States exports forty-one cents per capita, Canada ninety-seven cents. In meats, United States exports eighty-two cents, Canada $2.77. In wheat and flour, United States exports $2.36, Canada $39.97. The Canadian gross total is fifty per cent greater than the United States gross total. In copper and its manufactures United States exports $1.17, and Canada $1.46.

Here is another extract:

The total per capita exports of all lines from the United States is $39.62, from Canada, $122.57.

If you want the gross totals for all industries I have them in this article:

$4,771,000,000 for United States, $1,225,000,000 for Canada. Canada is one-twelfth in population as compared with the United States, and one-fourth in exports.

I have an editorial before me which appeared in The Chronicle, a publication by banking, insurance and finance of Montreal deploring this campaign, but I have no time to read it. I also have under my hand Bradstreet's of last week as to the conditions of unemployment in the United States, confirming the reports of widespread unemployment made by state labour bureaus, unemployment agencies and relief organizations at various places. The employment index compiled by the Bureau of Labour Statistics of the Department of Labour for January fell to the lowest point for any month since April, 1922. The index number was given as 84.2, a drop of 1.1 per cent from December and of 5.5 per cent from January a year ago. The Bureau of Labour Statistics' index of payroll totals for January was 85.8, a decrease of 3.9 per cent from the preceding month and of 5.5 per cent from the like month a year ago. This was the lowest point reached by the payroll index since August, 1924.

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LIB

Charles Avery Dunning (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. DUNNING:

In the United States.

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LIB

Ernest Lapointe (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. LAPOINTE:

In the United States.

But my friends over there say: We are carrying on this campaign for the purpose of attacking the fiscal policy of this government. One of their arguments to which I wish to address myself is that Canada is the only country in the world that has reduced its tariff since the war. They are right. And we are proud of it. They claim that eighty countries have raised their tariff-they may be right-and that Canada has adopted what they call "the foolish policy of tariff reduction." I repeat, we are proud of it. But is that a foolish policy? Mr. Speaker, the League of Nations at its assembly of 1926 decided to summon an economic conference of all the nations of the world. The reason given, as I read it, was:

The assembly of the League of Nations declared itself "firmly resolved to seek all possible means of establishing peace throughout the world" and affirmed its conviction that "economic peace will largely contribute to security among the nations."

In the economic conference at Geneva in the spring of 1927 fifty nations were represented. They discussed economic world conditions, and here is what I find in the report of the conference. I will read only a couple of sentences.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   DEBATE ON ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF MINISTER OF FINANCE
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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

You might read that on the stability of tariffs.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   DEBATE ON ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF MINISTER OF FINANCE
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LIB

Ernest Lapointe (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. LAPOINTE:

My friend will read it

all.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   DEBATE ON ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF MINISTER OF FINANCE
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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

I have.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   DEBATE ON ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF MINISTER OF FINANCE
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LIB

Ernest Lapointe (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. LAPOINTE:

My friend complained

the other day that the documents concerning the League of Nations are not sufficiently published in Canada. I wish this report might reach every Canadian home.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   DEBATE ON ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink
CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

Hear, hear.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   DEBATE ON ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF MINISTER OF FINANCE
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March 6, 1928