May 20, 1930

LIB

James Houston Spence

Liberal

Mr. SPENCE:

Mr. Chairman, I should like your ruling on the point of order.

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LIB

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

Liberal

The CHAIRMAN:

I understand the hon. gentleman is developing his argument with respect to the item under discussion.

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LIB

Thomas McMillan

Liberal

Mr. McMILLAN:

The only mistake was that Laurier did not put the'measure through at once, but rather gave the Tory party the time and opportunity to trump up the false cry of "Let well enough alone" and the more effective although hollow slogan of "No truck or trade with the Yankees." Notwithstanding the nature of that cry during the campaign, one of the first international acts of the Borden government was to send their representatives to Washington, hat in hand, to beg of the American government to relieve the grain situation of western Canada by

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Ways and Means-Customs Tariff

allowing western Canada grain to be shipped to and stored in American elevators, which of course was agreed to at once.

While the Canadian farmers failed to secure free access to the United States markets for their beef, cattle, wheat, potatoes, and other agricultural products in 1911, yet, sir, by gracious enactment of the American government under President Wilson in 1915, we did secure that boon for four successive years; and if the Tory Canadian government of that day had had the common sense to reciprocate we might have had those arrangements permanently confirmed.

However, in Mr. Fielding's first budget as finance minister in the Mackenzie King government, he invited the United States to consider such a reciprocal trade agreement. Mr. Robb placed a standing offer on the statute books for the same purpose, and it remains till this day. Liberals still feel that with such a reciprocal trade agreement with the United States, we could successfully meet any high protectionist opposition anywhere in Canada, and obtain a decided boon to Canadian agriculture. The natural course of trade proves that we would be proceeding along reasonable lines.

Consider the present trade situation between Canada and the United States. The entire foreign trade of Canada with all the world during the fiscal year just closed (1929-30) was $2,391,361,045, while with the United States it amounted to $1,411,538,383. The trade of Canada with all the rest of the world was $982,822,662; or Canada does with the United States $428,715,721 worth more trade annually than she does with all the rest of the world; and that, in spite of all the obstruction caused by two adverse tariff walls which the respective governments have built up between these two countries.

Is that not at once a tribute to the power of natural trade laws and an indication of the only rational trade policy? It points at once to the wisdom of a full degree of freer trade in natural products between these two countries, which would injure no one and would be just as certain to benefit both countries as has been the internal development of each country, unhampered by any tariff restriction between individual states or individual provinces. If this tariff restriction now carried to such a degree between the several countries of the world is beneficial, why not carry it to its logical conclusion? Why not build up high tariff walls between every state, every province or every county in each province, and then we would dearly realize how ridiculous such impositions are. Canada is now the best customer of the United States. For every

dollar's worth of goods we sell to the United States we buy practically $1.60 in return. The United States sold to Canada last year nearly twice as much as she sold to all of South America, twice as much as she sold to Germany, and over three times as much as she sold to France. Surely such a good customer as Canada is worth keeping. More than that, Canada's good will towards the United States has been amply demonstrated on many occasions, and on no occasion has it been demonstrated to a greater extent than in passing during the present session the act to prohibit liquor clearances. While it is true that this parliament passed the measure abolishing liquor clearances, as a measure of self respect, and to make our Canadian government and its customs officials entirely free from the possibility of being accused of trafficking with a gang of rumrunners, lawbreakers and crooks of the lowest kind, it nevertheless had the effect of expressing good will towards the United States. However, the high protection forces in that country seem to have obtained possession of power to such a degree that they have no intention of allowing trade to develop normally, and flow freely back and forth between these two countries as it should, and as it would if it were freely permitted.

In lieu of the limited revisions of farm duties for which President Hoover asked, congress has increased its present tariff bill in some two thousand particulars. For the American farmers, it is now only a poorly disguised swindle; and to American consumers generally it is a bill of abomination. That tariff bill, if passed, will do Canada a serious economic injury, and I want to say to my fellow citizens whose servant I am that before [DOT] leaving Ottawa a year ago at the close of the session I left a communication addressed to *the Prime Minister, to the effect that if the United States congress continued to manifest the spirit towards Canada indicated by the Hawley-Smoot tariff bill, it was the duty of the Canadian government to show in some tangible way that it was a treatment resented by the people of Canada. The tariff bill is being bitterly assailed even by many of the brightest minds in the American republic. Nicholas Murray Butler, president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and of Columbia university, has assailed the tariff bill and has said that it is certain to do more harm to America's prosperity, trade and international relations than any previous tariff enactment of the American nation. Not since the most prominent economists of Europe issued their famous anti-tariff manifesto in 1926 has such an impressive document come

Ways and Means-Customs Tariff

*to notice as the manifesto addressed to President Hoover on Monday, May 5, 1930, endorsed by 1,028 economic experts from 46 states and 179 colleges, urging him to veto the Hawley-Smoot tariff bill.

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LAB

Abraham Albert Heaps

Labour

Mr. HEAPS:

Mr. Chairman, I rise to a

point of order. The hon. gentleman has been speaking for half an hour, and he has read every word of his speech. I ask for a ruling.

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LIB

Thomas McMillan

Liberal

Mr. McMILLAN:

It may be that I am

reading my speech, but I have the subject matter in my mind and it is of importance to hon. members in this house and to the citizens of Canada as a whole. I want to have it on Hansard in the best possible form.

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?

An hon. MEMBER:

Hand it in.

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LIB

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

Liberal

The CHAIRMAN:

I have been following the remarks of the hon. gentleman as carefully as possible and it is my opinion that he has drifted far afield from the item now before the committee. I would ask him to direct his remarks towards item 44, which has to do with onions.

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PRO

Milton Neil Campbell

Progressive

Mr. CAMPBELL:

May I draw your attention to the fact, Mr. Chairman, that you have not ruled on the point of order raised by the hon. gentleman. Is the hon. member opposite going to be allowed to read his speech; what is your decision?

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UFA

William Irvine

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. IRVINE:

I move that the hon. gentleman be allowed to put his speech on Hansard.

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LIB

Thomas McMillan

Liberal

Mr. McMILLAN:

If that motion were

passed I would be pleased to put it on Hansard. I will not be much longer, however.

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LIB

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

Liberal

The CHAIRMAN:

Is it the pleasure of the house that the hon. gentleman have leave to place his speech on Hansard?

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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

No, no.

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LIB

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

Liberal

The CHAIRMAN:

The rule as to the

reading of speeches has been disregarded in this house for many years. For this reason I cannot rule the hon. gentleman out of order at this time.

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LIB

Thomas McMillan

Liberal

Mr. McMILLAN:

The manifesto says:

We cannot increase employment or raise wages by raising tariff walls and restricting trade. All nations must recognize this fact sooner or later. It will not only inspire fear, but it will injure investors in industry in other lands; it will beggar farmers, labouring men. miners, and construction, transportation and public utility employees. Countries cannot permanently buy from us unless they are permitted to sell to us. There are few more ironical spectacles in history than that of the American government as it seeks on the one 2419-144

hand to promote exports and on the other to increase tariffs. In this way it makes exporting even more difficult. Finally we urge our government to consider the bitterness which a policy of higher tariffs will inevitably inject into our international relations.

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LAB

Abraham Albert Heaps

Labour

Mr. HEAPS:

I rise to a point of order. It is my opinion that this farce has continued long enough, and I think it is time that it was stopped.

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LIB

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

Liberal

The CHAIRMAN:

I think the point is

well taken by the hon. gentleman. I must ask the hon. gentleman who is delivering his address to bring his remarks to bear on the matter before the committee.

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LIB

Thomas McMillan

Liberal

Mr. McMILLAN:

Yes, Mr. Chairman, I shall do so. Since Canada is the best customer of the United States-

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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Order.

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LIB

Thomas McMillan

Liberal

Mr. McMILLAN:

-and the foremost export nation of the world, per capita-

Some 'hon. MEMBERS: Order.

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LIB

Thomas McMillan

Liberal

Mr. McMILLAN:

-the American manufacturers are now taking notice. Canada's action is the climax of protests from thirty-three countries-

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May 20, 1930