I have in my hand a copy of the form of application for relief which the farmers in the west are required to make to the Saskatchewan Relief Commission before any relief is granted. Upon that form appears a blank note which every farmer is required to sign promising to pay for all relief which he may receive either immediately or at any future time, such payment to be made on November 1, 1933. Will the Prime Minister (Mr. Bennett) advise if it is the intention of the government to collect interest on these notes either before or after they are due?
Mr. Speaker, I have not seen the form to which the hon. gentleman refers. This was prepared by a relief commission appointed by the government of Saskatchewan and I was not aware that the note thereon was made payable to the federal government. I do not think it is but if I am mistaken this is the first intimation I have received to that effect. If the hon. gentleman will allow his question to remain on Hansard I shall endeavour to ascertain these facts and answer him as soon as possible.
Hon. H. H. STEVENS (Minister of Trade and Commerce):
Mr. Speaker, yesterday the
hon. member for Gloucester (Mr. Veniot) asked me a question regarding the differential rates to apply on canned salmon and crustaceans being imported into Australia. The general tariff on both is four pence per pound. The British preferential tariff on canned salmon is one penny per pound, and there is
Imperial Economic Conference
a preference on this commodity of three pence. The British preferential rate on crustaceans is two and one-half pence per pound, and the preference thereon is one and one-half pence per pound.
I might say that subsequent to the ratification of the treaty there was a general election held in Australia and this made difficult any discussion on this matter. There are a number of points still under consideration of which this is one. I want to make it clear that all the discussions with the government of Australia have been carried on most amicably. At the present moment I cannot give my hon. friend any information as to what the final result will be.
Right Hon. W. L. MACKENZIE KING (Leader of the Opposition):
would the Prime Minister (Mr. Bennett) advise the house, if he is in position so to do, as to the agenda of the Imperial economic conference. We would like to know when we may expect to have the agenda, either in part or in whole.
to my right hon. friend that we are most anxious to do all we can to expedite the work of the session and to cooperate with him in so far as it is possible in the work of the Imperial conference. If we could have the agenda at as early a date as possible it would I believe further both ends.
I do not know that the agenda will be available at all before the conference meets. Such an agenda has never been brought down by any government in Great Britain except in a most general way. It is obvious that should this session conclude within a reasonable time, having regard to the business to be submitted, the agenda will not be completed before the close. We are constantly in communication with the governments in all parts of the empire and it is practically impossible to make more than the general statement that matters will be considered.
I should like to avail myself of this opportunity to express my appreciation of the sentiments which have been uttered by the right hon. gentleman. I can only hope that the
attitude of mind which he has expressed will continue to the conclusion of the conference. Thus far any cooperation has consisted of speeches attacking the government in connection with the conference.
That has been the cooperation up to the present time, and that being so I am glad to have my right hon. friend's assurance that he will do what is possible to promote the success of the conference which we believe will be very important to this country as well as to other parts of the empire.
I understand the Dominion president and officers of each of the following ex-service men's associations quite recently made representations to the government in connection with certain grievances:
The Army and Navy Veterans in Canada.
The Canadian Legion of the British Empire Service League.
The Amputations' Association of the Great War.
Canadian Pensioners' Association of the Great War, and
The Sir Arthur Pearson's Club of Blind Sailors and Soldiers.
May I ask the Prime Minister or the Minister of National Health and Pensions whether it is the intention of the government during the present session to appoint a special committee of this house to investigate the grievances contained in this memorandum and to bring down ameliorative legislation in connection therewith?