March 23, 1928

LAB

Herbert Bealey Adshead

Labour

Mr. ADSHEAD:

I could not say; it is

for woollen goods. My hon. friend gave the cost as 55 per cent, and even if there were a difference between the two classes of goods surely it would not be so great as that.

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CON

Alexander McKay Edwards

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. EDWARDS (Waterloo):

There is that difference.

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LAB

Herbert Bealey Adshead

Labour

Mr. ADSHEAD:

This gentleman represented the woollen industry before the tariff advisory board, and in his testimony stated that the figure of 25 per cent represented the wages plus the salaries of his company.

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CON

James Dew Chaplin

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CHAPLIN:

My hon. friend has just

stated that that 25 per cent refers to the selling cost, which is very different from 25 per cent of the production cost.

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LAB

Herbert Bealey Adshead

Labour

Mr. ADSHEAD:

But then my hon. friends ask for a tariff which would provide for the difference between the wage cost of England and the wage cost of Canada, and surely a tariff of 35 per cent represents more than that difference.

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CON

Alexander McKay Edwards

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. EDWARDS (Waterloo):

That is the

production cost in the mill, but by no means the selling cost.

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LAB

Herbert Bealey Adshead

Labour

Mr. ADSHEAD:

In England the cost of

labour represents only 15 per cent, so this tariff means that the protection afforded the industry in Canada is double the wage cost of production in England. Then, with regard to the imports of woollens, my hon. friend has stated that these amounted to $40,000,000 in 1927.

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CON

Henry Herbert Stevens

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEVENS:

No, in 1926.

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LAB

Herbert Bealey Adshead

Labour

Mr. ADSHEAD:

That is quite correct,

but you must take that in proportion to the total volume of trade. In 1878 we find that

the imports of wollens amounted to 10 per cent of the general trade of Canada. That figure dropped in 1897 to 8 per cent and in 1927 to 5 per cent, so in 1927 our imports of woollens in relation to the total trade of Canada were less by a half than in 1878, when we introduced the national policy of protection.

Then reference was made to the difficulties in which the manufacturers find themselves. They were asked by the tariff advisory board to produce their books to show how much they were losing, but with one exception they absolutely refused to do so.

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CON

Alexander McKay Edwards

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. EDWARDS (Waterloo):

No, my hon friend is wrong there.

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LAB

Herbert Bealey Adshead

Labour

Mr. ADSHEAD:

I have the statement

here.

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CON

Alexander McKay Edwards

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. EDWARDS (Waterloo):

Although 1

will not do so, I could name at least two mills in which they put in their own men to investigate the books.

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LAB

Herbert Bealey Adshead

Labour

Mr. ADSHEAD:

The statement was also

made before the tariff advisory board that the trouble with the woollen industry is that in many cases plants were built during the war when costs were high and production was heavy; in many cases these mills were equipped for the operation of two shifts. Now they have found themselves unable to operate and make the profits they made during the war, and they ask that the rest of Canada be especially taxed to assist them.

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CON

Henry Herbert Stevens

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEVENS:

I am delighted that the

new rules permit one to take a little rest in the middle of a speech. My hon. friend, as to whose honesty of purpose there can be no question, has been a little misled by the terminology of the report which he has been reading. It is obvious that when you are considering the relation of the wages paid to the cost of production you cannot do so by taking the retail selling price or the wholesale selling price of the goods. I quoted official figures which were supplied by the Department of Labour, and these I offered not on my own authority but on the authority of the statisticians of the government. I think my hon. friend was quoting from a special pleading-

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LAB

Herbert Bealey Adshead

Labour

Mr. ADSHEAD:

I was quoting the evidence of Mr. Barrett, who represented the woollen manufacturers before the tariff advisory board.

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CON

Henry Herbert Stevens

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEVENS:

The point my hon. friend made was based upon the selling price of the goods. I think he will agree after reflection that such a comparison is neither fair nor

Ways and Means-Customs Tariff

proper, so there is no use pursuing that argument further. Then, with regard to the last statement of my hon. friend that the companies would not allow investigation of their books, there is a statement contained in this report which I have not immediately under my hand, in which they declared that they were given every possible assistance by those who appeared before them, and were allowed to examine books and so on. They not only made no complaint but they refer especially to it, in the following words:

In conclusion, may we express appreciation of the effective co-operation received from those who have appeared before the board.

I think my hon. friend, in justice to those who appeared, will not be inclined to press the suggestion that they withheld information, which I think would be unfair.

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LAB

Herbert Bealey Adshead

Labour

Mr. ADSHEAD:

The report said they

would not make their books available.

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CON

Henry Herbert Stevens

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEVENS:

The report does not say

that, and I am sure we desire to be fair in this matter.

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LIB

James Alexander Robb (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. ROBB:

If my hon. friend will permit

me, I think it is fair to the mills to say that I have had no report from the tariff board that the mills were unwilling to give any information asked for. Indeed, I think the fact is quite to the contrary.

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CON

Henry Herbert Stevens

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEVENS:

I believe it is so stated

somewhere in this report. I cannot place my finger on it for the moment but I believe I quoted it the other day.

I should like to return to what I was discussing a moment ago and that is the observations of the minister last night, or the purpose that he may have had in quoting certain statements from the press. Now I shall proceed first to refer to his quotations from the statements of gentlemen who appeared before the board. The minister said:

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

[DOT]'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."

Next the minister quoted a statement by Mr. Shaw who had this to say:

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

Then the minister quoted Mr. Hodgson as follows:

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?

These are simply expressions of courtesy. Surely the minister does not wish us to conclude that because these gentlemen courteously thanked the board for a fair hearing, therefore this schedule-based upon the minister's own common sense without one shred of evidence, without one shred of a finding or a fact from the advisory board- is wholly approved by them? The minister read this into Hansard for the purpose of giving out to the public the impression that the woollen industry, and these gentlemen in particular, were entirely satisfied with the schedule of duties before us.

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March 23, 1928