ity even to summons witnesses or to ask anyone to attend before it, and as its assumed power was .without sanction, we are proceeding in the only constitutional method, and that is by the enactment of a statute, which will at once define alike the constitution and the powers of the board.
This bill proposes to create a tariff board. The method of the appointment of the board is described in the bill. The board will consist of three members, a chairman and two others. The chairman will receive $12,000 per annum, and the other two members $10,000 per annum. They will hold office for a period of ten years certain, and will be eligible for reappointment.
As to the period of ten years, I gathered from what the right hon. leader of the opposition said a few days ago that he felt some objection might be taken to that provision. In my judgment it is essential that the board should hold office beyond the term of office of a government. If the principle is sound, then the members of the board should be in a position where they will not be deterred from the discharge of their duties by any thought of the personnel or of the policies of an administration. Their powers will not be political. Their powers are fact-finding powers, and just as the railway commissioners hold office for a period of years, so this body, which like the Board of Railway Commissioners is a federal court, should also hold office during a period of time that will ensure some form of continuity to the jurisprudence which they create. This board will be in every sense a judicial tribunal, charged with but one responsibility, not the making of decisions upon the facts, but the determination and report as to what the facts are, I believe it will be within the judgment of the house that the powers of the board are powers that will enable it accurately to ascertain the facts and report those facts to the government of the day.
In addition to the powers thus given, the tribunal may be used for the purpose of making investigations under the Combines Investigation Act and under the provisions of the Customs Act, which heretofore have been dealt with by another method.
Let us for a moment examine the principles that govern this tribunal in the exercise of its powers. They are dealt with largely in section 4 of the bill, and in that regard I desire to point out to the house the value that attaches to just such a body exercising the powers conferred by this section. I said the other day that the experience of the United
States in connection with their tariff commission had been both fortunate and unfortunate. One body had been found exceedingly valuable, and at another time its value was not so apparent, but recently they have reorganized the commission and I submit that in my reading of the proceedings before judicial commissions investigating facts I have seen nothing that was more complete than that which took place before that tribunal with respect, for instance, to the tariff on maple sugar and maple syrup. The report of the tariff commission on those commodities was made this year, on February 2, 11381, and how these very principles mentioned in section 4 of the bill before us are applied in practice is abundantly apparent from a perusal of that report. For instance, at page
5 of the report it is indicated that Canada is the only competing country of importance with the United States in the production of maple sugar and maple syrup. The data obtained on a former investigation was used as a basis of a report to the president transmitted on the 23rd of April, 1928, under section 315 of the Tariff Act of 1922. That report, particularly the cost data contained therein, together with information obtained by field work in the producing sections of the United States and Canada, in October, 1980, and by means of the public hearing, forms the basis of the present conclusions. The field investigation recently made was concerned primarily with determining what changes, if any, had occurred in the maple products industry since 1905. The information obtained indicated that no important changes affecting costs of production have occurred since 1925, but disclosed the necessity of making certain adjustments in the data for 1925 with respect to interest on the value of the sugar grove and the "weighing" of costs for certain areas.
Then follows a discussion of the production in the United States and Canada, and on page
6 my idea of a proper hearing before a tariff commission is indicated by the inquiries there instituted. There is an indication of the number of pounds of maple sugar produced in the United States and Canada, and the number of gallons of maple syrup. These figures are taken from official sources. Then follows a statement as to where the industry is located in the United States and Canada. The maple products industry in the United States is scattered over many states, but its commercial importance is mainly in Vermont, New York and Ohio, in which states over 70 per cent of the domestic production is made. In
Tariff Board-Mr. Bennett
Canada over 70 per cent of production is in the province of Quebec.
Then follows a statement with respect to exports and a statement with respect to imports, then a statement as to the grade and competitive character of imports; the organization of the industry; gifts and loans to the maple products industry by the government of the province of Quebec, and a determination that that was not an appreciable factor in determining the question at issue. Then there is a statement with respect to cost investigation, and the changes since 1925 in the factors affecting costs; then a statement as to adjustment in the cost data for 1925, together with the areas covered in the cost inquiry. Then follows a statement as to the farm cost of the production of maple syrup, exclusive of containers and in a table is set forth an itemized statement of the cost of producing maple syrup in the United States and Canada. The amazing fact is the detail with which the matter is considered. For example, the details provide for details of costs of producing maple sugar, as follows:
Repairs and depreciation.
Total operating cost without interest. Marketing costs:
Other except containers.
Total marketing cost.
Combined operating and marketing cost without interest or containers:
Computed interest on syrup equipment at 6 per cent.
_ Combined operating and marketing costs with interest but without containers.
Sales value (syrup used and sold as syrup).
A similar itemized statement is given with respect to the maple syrup industry. Then follows the conclusion, and the conclusion was that the rate of duty charged in the United States a.t that time was a higher rate than was necessary for the purpose of equalizing the costs of production, and accordingly the president made a proclamation reducing the tariff in accordance with that finding. The conclusion of the commission will be found on page 6. It is found by the investigation:
(a) That the duties of 5£ cents per pound on maple syrup and 8 cents per pound on maple sugar do not equalize the differences in the costs of production in the United States of the said domestic articles and of the like or similar foreign articles produced in the principal competing country:
(b) That a decrease in the rate of one and one-half cents per pound on maple syrup and
a decrease in the rate of two cents per pound on maple sugar are necessary to equalize these differences; and
(c) That the rates of duty necessary to equalize said differences are four cents per pound on maple syrup and six cents per pound on maple sugar.
Appended to this statement of findings is a summary of information obtained in the investigation.
This statement is signed by the members of the commission. I concede that to be a report upon a case similar to cases which may arise in this country, and properly or improperly I regard these conclusions as a fair indication of the evidence which should be submitted in order to enable a tariff board to ascertain what tariffs are necessary to equalize the differences in the cost of production in Canada and elsewhere, whatever the domestic article may be. That is what the commission in the United States has been doing, and that is what we propose the tariff board in Canada shall do. It has to determine what duty is necessary to enable an adjustment to be made of the differences between the cost of the goods which compete with Canadian goods, and the Canadian goods themselves. I refer particularly to costs in the market of our principal competitors. In some particular cases before the United States tariff commission the principal competitor has not been Canada; on occasions it has been some other country. Sometimes for instance it has been Jugoslavia, and in some instances I may say that the findings have been just exactly the opposite of those to which I have directed the attention of hon. members, namely, instead of finding that the duty should be reduced to equalize the difference in the cost of production at home and abroad there has been a finding that there Should be an increase in order that such equalization might be made. In the United States the facts when found are the basis of the executive action of the president who makes his proclamation accordingly. We have not provided that any such power shall be vested in the executive in Canada. It is felt that with the present machinery of the Customs Act-