March 13, 1929

LIB

Peter John Veniot (Postmaster General)

Liberal

Mr. VENIOT:

Exactly, they have it, but the very moment the government would attempt to impose a duty on coal, Ontario would go into revolt. It does not surprise me at all to find hon. gentlemen getting up from their seats when their political duplicity is exposed.

I want to refer to a few other statements of the financial critic of the opposition. The other day when he was delivering what I am satisfied to call a very good speech from the standpoint of the opposition, but one of the most inconsistent speeches that I have ever heard fall from the lips of any public man; when he was making his argument on the financial condition of Canada as reported in the budget speech, I happened to smile. I did not think it was any offence to smile while I occupied my seat in the house, but immediately the financial critic of the opposition threw across the floor of the house the question: "Why is the Postmaster General smiling? He has shown complete ignorance of the financial conditions of Canada." That was because I smiled. After this I suppose members on the government side of the house will have to go on their bended knees to ask hon. gentlemen opposite, especially those in the front seats, whether we may smile or laugh. I want to say to the hon. member for South Wellington that there was a reason for my smiling; it was because of the way he was handling the finances of the Dominion of Canada in direct opposition to the way in which he handled them and to the principles he applied in years gone by. Conditions have not changed from what they were in 1916 and 1917 when I, as a Liberal, was wont and proud to follow the arguments and to accept the principles of my hon. friend. If he was right then, he is wrong now, and if he is right now he was wrong then; and he led many Liberals in Ontario and other parts of the Dominion astray by the principles he laid down at that time. He is on the horns of a dilemma, and he cannot very well extract himself from either.

But there was another reason why I smiled at the expense of my hon. friend, and I am going to refer to it. For instance, dealing with the tariff, he laid down the principle that for the benefit of Canada we should have a high tariff, or a tariff higher than we have to-day; that that was the only salvation for Canada, the only solution of our present financial or economic ills. And my mind ran back to those days when I, with other Liberals, travelled many long miles to hear the eloquent voice of the member for South Wellington laying

The Budget-Mr. Veniot

down the principle that you must have free trade in Canada, especially in certain commodities.

Permit me, Mr. Speaker, to quote the hon. gentleman, and to ask if his stand then is consistent with his stand at the present time. In 1914 a debate took place in the house on the question of tariff. The Prime Minister of the Dominion at that time was pleading that if we admitted farm implements duty free into Canada, the great combines in the United States that were controlling the farm implements in that country would swamp Canada and put our manufacturers of farm implements out of business. On page 1567 of the Hansard of 1914, the hon. member for South Wellington said:

There is a free market in Great Britain, and the trusts and the combines, the tremendous organizations which manufacture agricultural implements in the United States, meet in the free market of Great Britain the manufacturers of Canada, and Canada holds her own.

Of course, Canada can hold its own. Canada has always held it own, especially under the tariff laid down by the present government. And then he goes on:

I desire in a few words to show that the removal, the entire abolition of the Canadian duties on agricultural implements, would not do an injustice to a single manufacturing establishment in Canada.

I should like, Mr. Speaker, to have an explanation from the hon. gentleman. Perhaps he has had a change of heart. I should like to know why that change of heart came about in respect to those questions, his views on which I-older, I think, than he is in age, but perhaps not in politics-was so proud to follow when he laid down that principle in the statement I have just read.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF OF.RATF. ON THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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CON

Hugh Guthrie

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GUTHRIE:

Does the hon. member

desire the answer now?

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF OF.RATF. ON THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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LIB

Peter John Veniot (Postmaster General)

Liberal

Mir. VENIOT:

No, not just now. The

hon. gentleman, Mr. Speaker, had his opportunity, and he should have explained to this house his change of heart. But he thought the task was too heavy and he did not undertake it at that time, and I am not going to give him an opportunity now, in my time, to try to retrieve himself.

The acting leader of the opposition, Mr. Speaker, severely condemns this government because imports, he says, are too heavy, and of course he attributes this to want of a higher tariff in Canada. I wish to lay before the house a few figures to show that the principle laid down by the hon. gentleman was not a

correct one. Let us take, for instance, the United States, the highest protected country in the world'. I do not think I am making any mistake when I say that. We have it that under their high tariff the United States imported, in 1913, $1,756,900,000 worth of goods. In 1926-thirteen years afterwards- this had increased to $4,333,900,000. There is a country under the highest tariff in the world increasing its imports in thirteen years by three hundred per cent.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF OF.RATF. ON THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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?

An hon. MEMBER:

How about her exports?

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF OF.RATF. ON THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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LIB

Peter John Veniot (Postmaster General)

Liberal

Mr. VENIOT:

If the hon. gentleman will

just have patience I will come to that in a minute. Let us look at Canada, a moderately protected country, but a highly protected country in the first year that I will quote. In 1913 we imported $659,100,000 worth of goods, and, in 1926, $993,000,000, an increase of only thirty-one per cent, whereas in the United States, a highly protected country, they imported at a rate of increase of 300 per cent in thirteen years.

My hon, friend interjects a comment about exports. The United States exported in 1913 of domestic products-because that is the best way to deal with the exports of a country to show the effect of its tariff-goods to the value of $2,448,300,000. But in 1926 that had risen to $4,711,500,000, an increase of albout 100 per cent. What did Canada do, a moderately protected country? Canada in 1913 exported $436,000,000, and in 1926, $1,268,000,000, or an increase of 300 per cent as against an increase of 100 per cent in the highest protected country in the world. Those are figures that cannot be gainsaid, and they are, to my mind, sufficient proof to any person who wishes to be convinced that the argument now advanced by the hon. the financial critic of the opposition cannot hold water in comparison with his former views as I have quoted them.

Now, Mr. Speaker, I wish to deal for a moment or two with the speeches of the hon. leader of the opposition (Mr. Bennett) during his tour in the maritime provinces. First I will take up his argument on the question of raw material. I find that the leader of the opposition very severely condemned this government because of the too large export of our raw material. If I mistake not, I think he laid down the principle that all raw material should be manufactured at home.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF OF.RATF. ON THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

He did not, Mr. Speaker.

The Budget-Mr. Veniot

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF OF.RATF. ON THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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LIB

Peter John Veniot (Postmaster General)

Liberal

Mr. VENIOT:

He laid down the principle then, Mr. Speaker, that we are exporting too much raw material and that we should retain our raw material at home in order to give employment to our people.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF OF.RATF. ON THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Hear, hear.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF OF.RATF. ON THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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LIB

Peter John Veniot (Postmaster General)

Liberal

Mr. VENIOT:

I am accepting the hon. gentleman's word for what he did say, but the inference to be drawn from the newspaper reports is about what I say.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF OF.RATF. ON THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

That, I think, is out of order, Mr. Speaker.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF OF.RATF. ON THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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LIB

Peter John Veniot (Postmaster General)

Liberal

Mr. VENIOT:

Oh, no.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF OF.RATF. ON THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

The hon. gentleman cannot accept the statement of an hon. member and then qualify it. He must accept it.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF OF.RATF. ON THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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LIB

Peter John Veniot (Postmaster General)

Liberal

Mr. VENIOT:

I did not qualify it. I referred to the reports of the press. They may be all wrong.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF OF.RATF. ON THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

I am not going to argue the question, Mr. Speaker, but that is not what the hon. gentleman said.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF OF.RATF. ON THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink
LIB

Peter John Veniot (Postmaster General)

Liberal

Mr. VENIOT:

The hon. gentleman stated-

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF OF.RATF. ON THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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LIB

Hewitt Bostock (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

Order.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF OF.RATF. ON THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

The point is this, Mr. Speaker: The minister accepted the statement and then qualified it by saying that he thought he was right, judging from the inference to ,be drawn from the newspaper reports. The hon. gentleman is bound by the statement.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF OF.RATF. ON THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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LIB

Hewitt Bostock (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

That is the rule.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF OF.RATF. ON THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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LIB

Peter John Veniot (Postmaster General)

Liberal

Mr. VENIOT:

Yes, if he accepted the statement unqualifiedly of the hon. gentleman. But that does not prevent my making this statement, that according to the newspaper reports the inference can be drawn as I stated. I am talking newspaper reports now.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF OF.RATF. ON THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

But, Mr. Speaker, that is what he cannot do.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF OF.RATF. ON THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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March 13, 1929