May 20, 1930

CON

Peter McGibbon

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. McGIBBON:

I want to know the loss, if any, to date in carrying the insurance.

Topic:   RETURNED SOLDIERS' INSURANCE ACT AMENDMENT
Permalink
?

John Warwick King

Mr. KING (Kootenay):

I do not think there is considered to be any loss.

Topic:   RETURNED SOLDIERS' INSURANCE ACT AMENDMENT
Permalink
CON

Peter McGibbon

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. McGIBBON:

That is, the insurance is carrying itself?

Topic:   RETURNED SOLDIERS' INSURANCE ACT AMENDMENT
Permalink
?

John Warwick King

Mr. KING (Kootenay):

Yes.

Motion agreed to and bill read the third time and passed.

Topic:   RETURNED SOLDIERS' INSURANCE ACT AMENDMENT
Permalink

WAYS AND MEANS

CUSTOMS TARIFF AMENDMENT


The house in committee of ways and means, Mr. Johnston in the chair.


LIB

John Frederick Johnston (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

The CHAIRMAN:

When the committee rose last night we were considering item No. 84:

Customs tariff-84. Onions, in their natural Btate, including onions grown with tops, shallots, and onion sets, the weight of the packages to be included in the weight for duty: British preferential tariff, free; intermediate tariff, 30 per cent; general tariff, 30 per cent.

Provided that when imported under the general tariff rate, the duty shall be not less than three-quarters of a cent per pound.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   CUSTOMS TARIFF AMENDMENT
Permalink
LIB

Thomas McMillan

Liberal

Mr. McMILLAN:

Just before the item carries, I have before me a few gems of expression which are said to have fallen from the lips of the leader of the opposition (Mr. Bennett) in London last Friday and which I should like to place upon Hansard. This is number one:

You have all heard Thomas McMillan talk about the iniquities of high protection, but I saw him in the House of Commons last night vote for higher duties on fruits and vegetables than had ever been proposed before.

2270 COMMONS

Ways and Means-Customs Tariff

Surely the hon. gentleman as the leader of a great political party ought to be big enough to be fair, and big enough not to strike anyone below the belt when his face is turned. When he told that audience that I had voted for higher duties than ever had been proposed before, why did he not tell them that at the same moment I had voted for duty free fruits and vegetables from all the rest of the British Empire? But even with such a qualification that expression was whopper number one. When I read that expression I was reminded of an incident during Sir Wilfrid Laurier's first visit across Canada to the Pacific coast with big D. C. Fraser, afterwards Lieutenant-Governor of Nova Scotia, in his party. After leaving Victoria they sailed up the Fraser river to Ladner's Landing, where a banquet was served. A Cornish man, William Ladner, was host, and a right royal host was old Bill Ladner. I knew him well. In his address of welcome to the distinguished party, he naturally extolled the grandeur and fertility of the Fraser river valley and its delta, and after numerous lavish expressions, " Why," he said, "talk of fertile valleys, all you need to do is just step outside and you will be able to walk on soil that will produce sixteen tons of hay per acre." Then Fraser called out " My God, I knew we had some awful liars in Nova Scotia who went west, but I never knew that one of them had settled here."

We have heard the statement, Mr. Chairman, that I supported higher duties on fruits and vegetables than were ever imposed before. Yet there sit on the opposite benches no less than ten members of t'he shadow cabinet gathered about their leader, and who were sworn to office on the 13th of July, 1926. They scarcely allowed the ink on their signatures to dry before passing order in council No. 1088, under which they were enabled to place high valuations on certain fruits and vegetables with this effect: They raised the duty on tomatoes all the way from 30 to 76 per cent, or an increase of 255 per cent. They raised the duties on peaches from 30 to 80 per cent, or an increase of 266 per cent. On one carload of onions, the item we are now discussing, they actually raised the duties by high valuations, all the way from 30 to 83 per cent, or an increase of 276 per cent.

Now what about the duties on these vegetables that are mentioned in the present Dunning tariff? I find that in this tariff the duty on onions is three-quarters of a cent a pound, whereas under the order in council of the shadow government the duty was one and

a half cents a pound. The duties on other vegetables compare as follows:

1930 budget cents per lb.

Asparagus 3

Cabbage 1

Carrots 1

Cauliflower. ... 2

Celery 2

Cucumbers 1

Lettuce 1J

Spinach 1

Tomatoes 2

Duty under the shadow cabinet cents per lb.

2

3

5

If you take those ten articles you will find that the duty has been raised by this budget 14f- cents, or an average of l-4f cents per pound. The duties on those ten articles were raised under the shadow cabinet 33 cents, or an average increase of 223-75 per cent. And yet, sir, the hon. leader of the opposition will stand before an audience in the city of London, an audience from western Ontario, and tell them that I have voted for higher duties than were ever proposed before. What do you think, Mr. Chairman? Do you think that any man will ever become Prime Minister of Canada if he goes around telling the people of Canada the like of that? Is it any wonder that our friend the Minister of Justice at Woodstock said that the Moses who was found-on the beach at Winnipeg would never reach the promised land?

Number two. " Sir John Macdonald and others believed that the principles which made the American republic a great nation would do the same for Canada, and so the national policy was born." That, sir, is another whopper not even a half truth. The principles which have made the United States a great nation were not the principles of high and higher duties upon import trade. No, sir. It is because the United States has, within the bounds of her own territory the greatest free trade area in the world, and contains the greatest diversity of climate and production to be found on the whole face of the globe. That, along with her inherent wealth of great natural resources, have made the United States a great nation.

Number three. " Laurier, the leader of the Liberal party, he said, adhered to that policy till 1911, but then by his manifesto rejecting that policy and sponsoring reciprocity he was swept from power." Mr. Chairman, I am always ready and willing to stand or fall by the doctrine enunciated by Sir Wilfrid Laurier.

What was that doctrine?

When Laurier was first chosen as the leader of the Libera! party in Canada, he refused to

Ways and Means-Customs Tariff

accept that leadership, on the ground that he neither belonged to the race, nor did he profess the creed of the majority of his countrymen; and it was only after he was appealed to again and again, by his Liberal friends, Protestants themselves, and told that Liberal principles knew neither race nor creed, and the only reason they wished him as their choice, was because they believed he was their ablest man, that he at length consented to accept that great responsibility.

And Mr. Chairman, can we ever forget a notable occasion on the floor of the House of Commons when Laurier arose in his place, and announced to the Canadian people, that he stood there as the acknowledged leader of a great political party, and as such, he represented neither the principles of Protestantism, nor the principles of Roman Catholicism, but that he hoped he would always be able to represent the true principles which should actuate a great Canadian people, and when he approached any great question of state he would seek to approach it, not from the standpoint of Protestantism or from the standpoint of Roman Catholicism, but from that point of view which would appeal to the hearts and consciences of men, irrespective either of their religious or political proclivities. That, sir, was the spirit in which Laurier announced the doctrine of Liberalism in Canada. Those words will continue to manifest the spirit and doctrine of true Liberalism until the end of time; and I, sir, as the representative of my people in this house, am willing to stand or fall by that doctrine.

Number 3:

Laurier adhered to that policy till 1911.

That, sir, is another of the hon. gentleman's whoppers. [DOT]

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   CUSTOMS TARIFF AMENDMENT
Permalink
?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Order.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   CUSTOMS TARIFF AMENDMENT
Permalink
LIB

Thomas McMillan

Liberal

Mr. McMILLAN:

If the hon. leader of the opposition (Mr. Bennett) will search Canadian history, he will find that not only Laurier but all the leaders of political thought in Canada had long maintained that the natural avenues of trade on this continent were north and south. They held to this common sense view, despite the opinion of high protectionist forces.

The experience of the old reciprocity treaty of 1842 to 1854 demonstrated the wisdom of that freer trade with the United States. Liberals went down to defeat on three successive occasions fighting for a renewal of those conditions: first, in 1886 under the leadership of Hon. Edward Blake; second, in 1891 under the leadership of Sir Wilfrid Laurier; and a

third time on the Fielding reciprocity agreement of 1911, when Sir Wilfrid Laurier was defeated after fifteen years of the most prosperous rule in the history of Canada. The brightest page in the history of that splendid Liberal record is the page which records the fact that Laurier was asked to step down and out, fighting for the finest freer trade agreement ever offered to the people of Canada and without the slightest breath of scandal attaching to his name.

That fact, sir, is the conscious pride of every Liberal as it was the crowning satisfaction of our noble leader. It was that record which made Sir Wilfrid Laurier the pride of the Canadian people in opposition, as he was the statesman in office,-

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   CUSTOMS TARIFF AMENDMENT
Permalink
LIB

James Houston Spence

Liberal

Mr. SPENCE:

Mr. Chairman, I rise to a

point of order.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   CUSTOMS TARIFF AMENDMENT
Permalink
LIB

Thomas McMillan

Liberal

Mr. McMILLAN:

-and when that agreement was offered to the Canadian people, there was really no difference as to its benefits on the part of any party.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   CUSTOMS TARIFF AMENDMENT
Permalink
?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Order.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   CUSTOMS TARIFF AMENDMENT
Permalink
LIB
LIB

John Frederick Johnston (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

The CHAIRMAN:

Order.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   CUSTOMS TARIFF AMENDMENT
Permalink
LIB

James Houston Spence

Liberal

Mr. SPENCE:

On the point of order, Mr. Chairman, I should like to ask if the hon member is discussing the duty on onions?

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   CUSTOMS TARIFF AMENDMENT
Permalink
LIB
?

An hon. MEMBER:

What are you reading from?

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   CUSTOMS TARIFF AMENDMENT
Permalink
LIB

Thomas McMillan

Liberal

Mr. McMILLAN:

I am reading from my speech, the way you did the other day, word for word.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   CUSTOMS TARIFF AMENDMENT
Permalink

May 20, 1930