Many of its supporters were elected on a free trade platform. I would simply remind the hon. gentlemen of the free trade propaganda that was sent out throughout Saskatchewan at the last election. Why does not the minister take us into his confidence and tell us the reason for these changes? I am going to give a reason of my own, and I shall not be blamed whether my inference is right or not. It is certainly bad enough when privilege is given to one class at the expense of others, but under item 522b it divides even the Canadian manufacturers one against the other. Why? A certain company make their own yafns, and the minister said plainly yesterday that this change is made in the interest of that company, because certain other companies were hogging all the protection already given. Now let us see what is the effect on this certain company which will benefit, and which make their own yams presumably. Those that
Ways and Means-Customs Tariff
cannot make their own yams are penalized up to 15 per cent on their raw material. They will have to pass that on to the consumer; there is nothing else for it. What, then, is the effect on the company that can manufacture their own yarns? It simply means that they are placed in the position where they can add to their profits the whole of the trade penalty which the other companies have got to pay. The Minister of Finance was very much amused yesterday at having, as he thought, set this free trade party against the protectionist party in this house. To-day it has been amusing to me to see the row among the protectionists themselves, and to my mind it has established the fact for once before the people of this country that parliament is one great system of group government. Both the government and the opposition are to-day serving one group. There is no other conclusion to be drawn from the facts we heard yesterday and to-day. I repeat, they simply serve one group, and although they have described it as such an evil, we are in the midst of it. All this free trade party is trying to do is to counterbalance the power and influence of that one group which stands behind the whole protectionist element in this house to-day. I cannot help thinking that this change in the cotton tariff is one of the most barefaced bargains that any one government favorite has ever been able to make.
Subtopic: CUSTOMS TARIFF, 1927, AMENDMENT