July 7, 1931

CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Prime Minister; Minister of Finance and Receiver General; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

They cannot be recommended.

Topic:   TARIFF BOARD
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR APPOINTMENT, POWERS, DUTIES AND SALARIES
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LAB

James Shaver Woodsworth

Labour

Mr. WOODSWORTH:

Then the board may ascertain whether increases or decreases in rates of duty are required to equalize differences in the cost of production. I should like to ask whether it will also be required that certain recognized standards of living, wages, hours and general conditions of labour will be considered as essential before any tariff increases are granted. If the Prime Minister does not like my use of the word "favours'', I withdraw that expression for the moment. I will put it this way: Is it understood that unless certain standards of living are maintained, increases should not be granted?

Topic:   TARIFF BOARD
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR APPOINTMENT, POWERS, DUTIES AND SALARIES
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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Prime Minister; Minister of Finance and Receiver General; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

There is no emphasis attached to any subsection of this section. They all have equal emphasis, and they mean, so far as I know, exactly what they say. The government must accept responsibility for sub-

Tariff Board

mitting to parliament any measure that involves an increase or decrease of duty, and the facts as ascertained by the board and reported, depending upon the testimony adduced and the information gained, will of course be one of the determining factors, but not necessarily the sole determining factor, in the action taken by the government. The very instructions to which the hon. gentleman refers are instructions with respect to which the government must assume responsibility, but the finding of the facts in question will be by this tribunal. I need hardly say, what the hon. gentleman must already know, that most of the recent tariff changes in this country have been made because the costs of production in competing countries were so much lower than they are in Canada on account of the standards of living that obtain in this country as compared with other countries of production.

Topic:   TARIFF BOARD
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR APPOINTMENT, POWERS, DUTIES AND SALARIES
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LIB

Peter John Veniot

Liberal

Mr. VENIOT:

Will this board have power, if the minister so requests, to look into the equalizing of freight rates? For instance, take a factory situated anywhere in Ontario. The freight rate from Ontario to the maritime provinces being so high, our people are compelled to import rather than buy the same article in Ontario-because of the difference in the freight rate as between Ontario and elsewhere to the maritimes, not because of the duty.

Topic:   TARIFF BOARD
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR APPOINTMENT, POWERS, DUTIES AND SALARIES
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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Prime Minister; Minister of Finance and Receiver General; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

Undoubtedly, as the hon. gentleman has suggested, freight rates are a factor in determining costs, and as such the tribunal would have power to ascertain the facts and report.

Topic:   TARIFF BOARD
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR APPOINTMENT, POWERS, DUTIES AND SALARIES
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LIB

Peter John Veniot

Liberal

Mr. VENIOT:

I have a case in point, to which I might refer. In Ontario there is a tin plate factory at Ojibway. The freight on that article to the maritime iprovinces is 20 per cent higher than the freight by water from a place in the United States where tin plate is manufactured. The railway freight from Ojibway to Moncton is some 10 or 12 per cent higher than the freight by water from Wales, from which large importations of tin plate are made. The tariff has been raised to protect the Ojibway industry, and our people have to pay this extra tariff and are getting their tin plate from either Wales or Pittsburgh in the United States.

Topic:   TARIFF BOARD
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR APPOINTMENT, POWERS, DUTIES AND SALARIES
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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Prime Minister; Minister of Finance and Receiver General; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

Perhaps the hon. gentleman is aware of the fact that the formula adopted by business men generally is that one land mile is equivalent to forty water miles so far as the tariff is concerned. It being 2,800 water miles from Wales to St. John, that is the equivalent of about 70 land

(Mr. Bennett.]

miles. The distance from Ojibway to Moncton being a little over 1,000 miles, necessarily the rail rate would be much higher than the water rate from Wales to St. John. That factor would, of course, be inquired into.

Topic:   TARIFF BOARD
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR APPOINTMENT, POWERS, DUTIES AND SALARIES
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LIB

Peter John Veniot

Liberal

Mr. VENIOT:

Another question. Did I understand the Finance minister aright this afternoon to say that under this act would be found means of preventing mergers?

Topic:   TARIFF BOARD
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR APPOINTMENT, POWERS, DUTIES AND SALARIES
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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Prime Minister; Minister of Finance and Receiver General; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

I did not say that.

Topic:   TARIFF BOARD
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR APPOINTMENT, POWERS, DUTIES AND SALARIES
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LIB

Peter John Veniot

Liberal

Mr. VENIOT:

I must have misunderstood my right hon. friend. Then I have no argument to make.

Topic:   TARIFF BOARD
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR APPOINTMENT, POWERS, DUTIES AND SALARIES
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LAB

James Shaver Woodsworth

Labour

Mr. WOODSWORTH:

In case there were no tariff matters under consideration by the board, could the minister direct that an investigation be made into the wages or other conditions of labour?

Topic:   TARIFF BOARD
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR APPOINTMENT, POWERS, DUTIES AND SALARIES
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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Prime Minister; Minister of Finance and Receiver General; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

Yes. It will be observed by a subsequent section, when we come to it, shortly I hope, that the governor in council may direct the board to inquire into any matter affecting the trade and commerce of the country.

Paragraph (c) agreed to.

Paragraph (d) agreed to.

On section 4, subsection 1, paragraph (e). -Conditions affecting cost and price.

Topic:   TARIFF BOARD
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR APPOINTMENT, POWERS, DUTIES AND SALARIES
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LIB

Alfred Edgar MacLean

Liberal

Mr. MacLEAN:

In the very vigorous speech which the Prime Minister made before six o'clock, and in a great many other debates in this house, we have been given the assurance that the consumers of this country would be protected by this government. We have been led to believe that under the provisions of this bill authority would be given to the board to set up inquiries and to deal with the prices which the consumers of this country have to pay. That is dealt with in subsection 2 of section 4. What is not clear to my mind is how this government or any government can protect the consumer when it is setting up a high tariff and is thereby putting into the hands of the manufacturers of the country the one weapon through which alone they can best exploit the consumer. This government says: We are going to protect the consumer. Then immediately they raise the tariff right along the line and put into the hands of the manufacturers of this country the one weapon by which they can exploit to the full extent of the increase in the tariff the consuming public of this country. I would like the

Tariff Board

Prime Minister to answer this question. How is it possible in view of the tariff increases which ths government has made all along the line for this board to control the prices to the consumer? H the manufacturers are asking for an increase in duty, what are they asking it for? It is for the sole purpose of charging the consumer more.

Topic:   TARIFF BOARD
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR APPOINTMENT, POWERS, DUTIES AND SALARIES
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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

No, no.

Topic:   TARIFF BOARD
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR APPOINTMENT, POWERS, DUTIES AND SALARIES
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LIB

Alfred Edgar MacLean

Liberal

Mr. MacLEAN:

If it is not that, what benefit is the tariff? It is of absolutely no benefit in that case. That is why the manufacturers are asking for an increase in duty.

Let me give a concrete example. I have one before me on my desk now. Fertilize!; was on the free list under the Liberal government, but when our good friends opposite came into power they put a duty of 10 per cent on fertilizer.

Topic:   TARIFF BOARD
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR APPOINTMENT, POWERS, DUTIES AND SALARIES
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CON

George Burpee Jones

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. JONES:

And it is $3 a ton cheaper this year.

Topic:   TARIFF BOARD
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR APPOINTMENT, POWERS, DUTIES AND SALARIES
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LIB

Alfred Edgar MacLean

Liberal

Mr. MacLEAN:

I am glad my hon. friend has said that. The spread betwen the price of the raw product and the price to the consumer is far greater this year than last, when the difference in the price of the raw product is taken into account mixed fertilizer should be $5 a ton cheaper this year. I have resolutions before me which have been passed by all the farmers organizations throughout the maritime provinces.

Topic:   TARIFF BOARD
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR APPOINTMENT, POWERS, DUTIES AND SALARIES
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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

No, no.

Topic:   TARIFF BOARD
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR APPOINTMENT, POWERS, DUTIES AND SALARIES
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LIB

Alfred Edgar MacLean

Liberal

Mr. MacLEAN:

I have one from the Potato Growers' Association of Prince Edward Island, the largest organization of its kind in the Dominion of Canada, in which the statement is made-

Topic:   TARIFF BOARD
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR APPOINTMENT, POWERS, DUTIES AND SALARIES
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CON

Benjamin Franklin Smith

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SMITH (Victoria-Carleton):

May I

ask a question?

Topic:   TARIFF BOARD
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR APPOINTMENT, POWERS, DUTIES AND SALARIES
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July 7, 1931