March 22, 1928

CON

Arthur Edward Ross

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. ROSS (Kingston):

Before the minister leaves that subject, was there at that time presented to the tariff board a comparison of the increase or decrease of the cotton business during the time that the wool business was decreasing?

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   CUSTOMS TARIFF, 1927, AMENDMENT
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LIB

James Alexander Robb (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. ROBB:

I will look up that information and supply it to my hon. friend to-morrow. We have had some criticism of the tariff board, and also of the representatives of the English manufacturers coming before the board. I inquired carefully as to whether the trade agents of the British government had taken any active part before the tariff board, and I am told they had not. I made this inquiry because the instructions to our trade agents in different parts of the world, from this government and from the preceding government, is that they must be very careful not in any way to interfere with the making of tariffs in the countries where they are located. But that does not prevent individual Canadians, interested in manufacturing or selling, from time to time making representations to other governments.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   CUSTOMS TARIFF, 1927, AMENDMENT
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CON

James Dew Chaplin

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CHAPLIN:

Do they ever do it?

Ways and Means-Customs Tariff

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   CUSTOMS TARIFF, 1927, AMENDMENT
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LIB

James Alexander Robb (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. ROBB:

Yes. I have a case in mind where representatives of certain Canadian manufacturing industries made representations to the British government through the Canadian board of trade in London, England. I recall certain Canadian manufacturers making representations to the government of South Africa, the government of Australia and the government of New Zealand, in an effort to secure certain privileges for Canadian goods which they thought they should enjoy in that market. At this very moment there are representatives of the agricultural industry in Washington. They recently appeared before the tariff board there. I do not find any fault with them. So we in Canada are not in a very good position to criticize the representatives of other countries for coming before our tariff board.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   CUSTOMS TARIFF, 1927, AMENDMENT
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UFA

Donald MacBeth Kennedy

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. KENNEDY:

Are representatives of Canadian agriculture before the tariff board at Washington examining witnesses and in other ways taking an active part, or are they just watching the proceedings?

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   CUSTOMS TARIFF, 1927, AMENDMENT
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LIB

James Alexander Robb (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. ROBB:

I could not say as to that. I know they are there looking after their interests in the hope that Canadian milk and cream will not be discriminated against in the United States market.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   CUSTOMS TARIFF, 1927, AMENDMENT
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UFA

Donald MacBeth Kennedy

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. KENNEDY:

I do not think they are taking an active part.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   CUSTOMS TARIFF, 1927, AMENDMENT
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LIB

James Alexander Robb (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. ROBB:

Now, may I place on record these comments by the press of the country after the textile application had been heard by the tariff board? First, I quote from the Montreal Daily Star of January 6, 1928:

The respect for the tariff advisory board shown by the manufacturers and producers during the active life of that body within the past two years is an attitude which parliament and the government should emulate. The deliberate consideration of the merits of oases brought before the board has been in commendable contrast with the former hearings under pressure before the Minister of Finance or parliamentary committees. It is true the board is advisory and that adoption of policy still remains with the government of the day.

Now I quote from the Grain Growers' Guide of November 1, 1927:

The Canadian Maufacturers' Association maintains experts generally in support of tariff increases, and the Canadian Council of Agriculture and the Consumers' League generally represent the low tariff sentiment of the country. By thorough study of the problems before the board the representatives of these bodies are able to bring out all phases of the situation. The meetings are all public and open to the press and stenographic reports are taken of all evidence and cross-examination.

IMr. Chaplin.]

Next I read from the Toronto Financial Post of January 20, 1928:

It is undoubtedly a considerable improvement upon the former system, under which the Finance minister wasted most of his time listening to isolated and prejudiced pleas for tariff changes, and succeeded only in getting a superficial view of the problems before him.

Then the Winnipeg Free Press of January 10, 1928:

The value of this work canot easily be overestimated. In each case the position of the industry is examined in minute detail. Facts in regard to past financing, costs of production, efficiency of equipment, domestic and export prices, are revealed. Invariably the applications have been opposed, and opposition lias aided in laying bare prevailing conditions in each industry.

The Toronto Globe of January 14, 1928, has this comment, on the tariff advisory board:

It has held nearly one hundred hearings, has heard 41 pleas for upward revision of the tariff, others for lower tariff and sales tax adjustment; and those who have appeared before it testify to the thoroughness of its inquiries. It is not satisfied with less than a full presentation of both sides of every question, reinforced in many cases by independent investigations. Its disposition to be fair to all interested parties is conspicuous.

Then I have some comments upon the conduct of the woollen inquiry by some of those who appeared before the board. Mr. J. A. Bums, former president of the Canadian Woollen and Knit Goods Association, Toronto, said:

On behalf of the woollen manufacturers I would like to express our deep appreciation of the fair manner in which this investigation has been conducted.

From Mr. J. H. Shaw, manufacturers' agent in Montreal-and Mr. Shaw, by the way, not only represents the Canadian industry but is an importer-there comes the following:

Might I associate myself and my confreres with the expression of appreciation just given by Mr. Burns?

Then we have Mr. Hodgson of the Bradford Chamber of Commerce, Bradford, England :

May I be permitted to thank you and the board on behalf of Mr. Wood and myself for the very kind way in which you have received us and for your courteous consideration to us throughout a most intricate hearing.

I put this on record in justice to the board to show that there has been a full and fair enquiry. I am not sure that we can make much progress to-night but we have had a pretty full debate. I should like to meet my hon. friend from South Wellington, whose position I can appreciate. I fancy that if I had a woollen industry in my county

Ways arid Means-Customs Tariff

which was the only one in Canada I should feel pretty much as he does. Unfortunately, however, parliament must look to the country as a whole and consider every phase of industry, and while the Guelph Worsted Spinning Mill may not be helped it is believed, after a full inquiry, that the industry generally will benefit. It is true, as my hon. friend has said, that the company is selling most of its products to Oriental Textiles-

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   CUSTOMS TARIFF, 1927, AMENDMENT
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CON

Hugh Guthrie

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GUTHRIE:

Not most; about a

third.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   CUSTOMS TARIFF, 1927, AMENDMENT
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LIB

James Alexander Robb (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. ROBB:

Well, they sell a good deal

to Oriental Textiles, and if there is a mill in Canada that might complain of Britishers coming before our tariff board it is not the Guelph mill, because I am advised that the owner of that mill is a gentleman who resides in England, coming here occasionally to look after the concern.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   CUSTOMS TARIFF, 1927, AMENDMENT
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CON

Hugh Guthrie

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GUTHRIE:

He is part owner.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   CUSTOMS TARIFF, 1927, AMENDMENT
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LIB

James Alexander Robb (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. ROBB:

Yes. I have great sympathy

with my hon. friend's argument, but this gentleman lives in England all the time and he is not in a position to attack others who appear before the board.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   CUSTOMS TARIFF, 1927, AMENDMENT
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CON

Alexander McKay Edwards

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. EDWARDS (Waterloo):

That is not

the only mill.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   CUSTOMS TARIFF, 1927, AMENDMENT
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LIB

James Alexander Robb (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. ROBB:

There may be other mills.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   CUSTOMS TARIFF, 1927, AMENDMENT
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CON

Alexander McKay Edwards

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. EDWARDS (Waterloo):

The mills

altogether are affected to the extent of 40 per cent.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   CUSTOMS TARIFF, 1927, AMENDMENT
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LIB

James Alexander Robb (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. ROBB:

Many of the other mills are

equipped with spinning machinery for their own mills; they will not be in a worse position.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   CUSTOMS TARIFF, 1927, AMENDMENT
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CON

Alexander McKay Edwards

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. EDWARDS (Waterloo):

They not

only spin for their own mills but they sell to other concerns such as the York mills.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   CUSTOMS TARIFF, 1927, AMENDMENT
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LIB

James Alexander Robb (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. ROBB:

The importations have been

considerable-

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   CUSTOMS TARIFF, 1927, AMENDMENT
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CON

Thomas Cantley

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CANTLEY:

Does not the minister

think that it would be better to have one hundred English gentlemen rather than one invest here?

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   CUSTOMS TARIFF, 1927, AMENDMENT
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LIB

James Alexander Robb (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. ROBB:

Yes, and that is what we are trying to do. The press this morning states that a mill will be established in Victoria, British Columbia, not only because of the change in the tariff but because of reduction of taxation in Canada.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   CUSTOMS TARIFF, 1927, AMENDMENT
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March 22, 1928