October 18, 1932

LIB

Edward James Young

Liberal

Mr. YOUNG:

Yes, on both sides. We are told in the Prime Minister's speech that in the agreements there are some eighty-four reductions in the tariff and one hundred and thirty-nine increases. On the surface that does not look much like a removal of trade barriers. We intend to examine these eighty-four reductions to find out exactly what they amount to. From the study that we have given them so far, we are of the opinion that many of them are merely nominal reductions, and others that appear to be drastic reductions are on articles that will not come in. We intend to examine the increases and to find out what the effect will be on trade.

The government talks about diverting trade that now flows to other parts of the world into empire channels. Well, how can you divert trade? What do you do when you undertake to divert trade? Let us see. A certain country outside the empire is shipping a certain line of goods to Canada. We are not getting these goods within the empire-Why are we not getting them in the empire? For one reason and one reason only, namely, that we can get them cheaper or more satisfactorily from some other source. Now the government undertakes to divert that trade and it says to the people of Canada, "You must not buy these goods where you are now buying them even if you get them cheaper or to better advantage. We will force you to buy them within the empire." How can they do that? Either by making us pay a higher price for the things that are coming from the outside, or by enabling the producers within the empire to reduce their costs of production. Now, nothing in these agreements will assist in the smallest degree in reducing costs of production within the empire. Many things in these agreements will make us pay, and are deliberately designed to make us pay more for goods outside the empire than we could get the same goods for at the present time. What is the result? It simply means placing more barriers in the way of trade. Will this encourage world trade? The Prime Minister, in his speech, said that as a result of these agreements countries outside the empire will

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not be allowed to trade with countries within the empire unless they pay a tribute for so doing. Is that not an added obstacle in the way of trade?

The trouble is that the government went into the conference with an entirely wrong mental attitude. They went in on the assumption that when you buy anything from anyone you are doing yourself an injury, and that when you sell anything to anyone you are doing yourself a benefit and the other party an injury. Surely that benighted attitude is out of date. Surely the government in this enlightened or so-called enlightened twentieth century knows better than to believe that to every transaction in trade there are two parties, winner and loser. Trade is mutual exchange for mutual benefit. As my right hon. leader said the other day, if both parties did not benefit there would be no trade. But the government went into the conference on the assumption that if we allow Britain or any other country to sell anything in this market we are making a sacrifice on the other party's behalf. That attitude was responsible for the wrecking of many trade treaties years ago. Away back in the days of Gladstone, treaties were attempted on that basis and they always failed until Gladstone adopted a new policy. Let us see what he said:

The only reason why we have not made bargains similar to the present in former years was simply because we could not make them. It was not for want of trying. For four or five years this was almost the chief business of one or more departments of the state, and yet no progress could be made. Why? Because we then set out upon a false principle-we argued the matter as if the concession which each party made to the other were not a benefit, but an injury to itself. We have not now proceeded upon that principle. We have never pretended to France that we were going to inflict injury upon ourselves. We have simply offered France our best aid in breaking down ber own vicious prohibitory system. In doing so, we may have given a greater benefit to France than to ourselves. I shall not attempt to measure the comparative good to be reaped as between one side and the other. What we have done is good-nay, doubly good; good for ourselves if France had done nothing at all, doubly good because France had done a great deal.

That was the attitude of Mr. Gladstone towards trade treaties, and that is the proper attitude to be taken today. When the British delegates come here and say they want to supply our people with the things they need and are willing to supply at prices at which we cannot produce them ourselves, they are offering a service, and it is benighted folly on our part to refuse such service. After all, what is production for? It is to supply

the people with the necessities of life, and when the government steps in and says that our people must do without things because someone else wants to supply them, can you imagine a more antiquated policy? Can you imagine the government saying, "we are doing this for the benefit of Canada; we are going to make the people of Canada pay more for their clothing, their boots and shoes, more for their machinery and for everything else they require, in order to enrich them and to bring prosperity to the country." Every time you increase the price of a commodity that comes into this country you decrease by that amount the price of wheat that goes out of the country, as well as the prices of copper, nickel, newsprint, pulpwood and all the things that we export. For exports must be paid for by imports, and when you shut out imports you merely make us take a lower price for our exports.

I have been at a little pains to state in a few plain, simple sentences exactly what the various clauses of the agreement mean as I understand them. Being a plain ordinary man myself, I have tried to put the meaning of these clauses into simple language which the man on the street can understand. In the first place, England agrees not to impose any duty on Canadian poultry and dairy products for three years. Well, she has not been doing so in the past. She says that for the next three years she will not impose any duty on Canadian poultry, butter or dairy products, and in return therefor Canada agrees that if at the end of three years Britain sees fit to impose duties on Canadian dairy products, she, Canada, will not protest. Not a very momentous decision that, is it? If Britain decided that she wanted to protect her farmers, and she thought such a thing could be done by putting a duty on poultry and dairy products, then, had the agreements not been drawn up, we might be able without losing our face to go there and make representations. But according to this agreement nothing of the sort will happen. They will say: "Why, you agreed to this, here it is in black and white; here is your name to it."

Great Britain agrees to impose duties on the following goods from the outside world:

Wheat, in grain Butter Cheese Apples, raw Pears, raw Apples, canned Dried fruits Eggs in shell

Condensed milk, whole, sweet milk Copper.

United Kingdom

This section contains the following clause:

-of entry free of duty into the United Kingdom of goods consigned from any part of the British Empire and grown, produced or manufactured in Canada-

In order to obtain free access to the British market goods will have to be grown or produced in Canada and shipped from some port within the empire. I should like to ask the government a question which I hope will be answered before the conclusion of this debate. What will happen to wheat grown in Canada and shipped through American ports? Will [DOT]such wheat be admitted to the British market without payment of the six-cent duty, or will it have to pay? If it has to pay, then it will be a serious matter to the Canadian farmer. I hope the government will give us a definite pronouncement upon this matter before these agreements go through.

Great Britain agrees not to lower the duties on timber, fish, both fresh and canned, asbestos, zinc and lead, but Canada agrees to supply all the United Kingdom's requirements of wheat, copper, zinc and lead at world prices. All through our history our wheat has commanded a premium over world prices upon the British market, but under this agreement what is to happen to that premium? The agreement states that our wheat must be sold on the British market at the same price as the wheat from Europe, South America, Australia or any other country. We are throwing away the opportunity of receiving a premium on our wheat which has always been paid in the past.

At six o'clock the house took recess.

After Recess

The house resumed at eight o'clock.

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LIB
LIB

Edward James Young

Liberal

Mr. YOUNG:

But it does not with the outside world. From whatever viewpoint we contemplate this agreement it seems to me it is bound to result in further restriction of trade. I appeal to the Prime Minister, as he appealed to us, not to force these agreements through the house, because we are opposing them in the interests of Canada, in the interests of the empire, in the interests of the world.

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CON

Robert James Manion (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. R. J. MANION (Minister of Railways and Canals):

Mr. Speaker, I am sure my

hon. friend who, has just taken his seat (Mr. Young) will forgive me if I do not spend too much time arguing with him as to the merits of free trade. The hon. gentleman is a direct descendant, politically, of Michael Clark who was here some fifteen years ago when I first came into this house, and who spent his time, as my hon. friend does, advocating free trade as a quack remedy-

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LIB
CON

Robert James Manion (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MANION:

for every disease of the human family. My hon. friend will listen perhaps to a story that they are telling on him out through the west, and that I heard when I was out there. It is about a funeral that he attended; the clergyman had failed to. arrive, and my hon. friend being a public speaker, someone asked if he would say a few words. Well, he said he did not know anything about the dead man, but he would like to give them a little address on the pernicious influence of protective tariffs!

The only objection I have to the free trade doctrine is that its supporters always take the attitude that they want to buy in the cheapest market no matter whence the goods come. On this side of the house we believe, and I think a great many hon. members on the other side of the house who are as good protectionists in a general way as we are, believe that as far

as possible we should buy Canadian goods, not foreign goods, when we can get as good a line in Canada at as cheap a price.

One other matter that strikes me when I hear the free trade fraternity speaking is their smug self-assurance-I do not say it offensively-and positiveness in all their statements.

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LIB
CON

Robert James Manion (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MANION:

Of course. My hon. friend decides what is right and then fights for it.

But, Mr. Speaker, I had not intended saying anything this evening at all, except for the speech of the hon. member for Quebec East (Mr. Lapointe). My hon. friend from Marquette (Mr. Mullins) made an excellent speech dealing with cattle, but outside of that I did not think any of the ministers needed to speak; because after the brilliant presentation by the Prime Minister (Mr. Bennett) and after the very able, clear, and graphic reply of my hon. friend the Minister of Trade and Commerce (Mr. Stevens) last night, who in forty minutes said more than-I am sorry to say-the right hon. leader of the opposition (Mr. Mackenzie King) did in three and a half hours-I say that after both of those speeches I did not feel it was the duty of any minister to get up in his place. But my hon. friend from Quebec East was really hurt because none of us was getting up. He insisted that some of us must do so. He said he was anxious to hear us, and I suppose the reason was that his leader had so confused him in three and a half hours yesterday that he wanted to get some light on the subject. If he confused him as much as he confused the rest of the house, then I do not blame the hon. member for Quebec East.

One attitude the hon. gentleman took that I do not think was quite just, was that in Which he manifested such great fervour and passion as to quotations from Sir Wilfrid Laurier. We all have a deep love and affection for the memory of that great man, and I think it is rather unfair to say that because he is quoted it is some reflection upon him. In fact I think that most of the statesmen who are no longer of this world, whether they have been on that side of the house or on this, would turn in their graves if they were not sometimes quoted. So I think my hon. friend should not feel hurt when Sir Wilfrid Laurier is quoted.

My hon. friend said that it is for Great Britain to decide these matters of trade. Certainly it is, and they did decide. My right hon. friend, the leader of the opposition, took the same position; he said we werr

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coercing Great Britain. I would like to know when the British ever permitted themselves to be coerced.

I have here a speech-I think the hon. member for Quebec East quoted it also- delivered by Mr. Chamberlain. This is what he said in the British House of Commons, according to today's press:

The first test that must be applied to the Ottawa agreements was: What was going to be their effect upon the future course of Imperial relations? "The conference," replied Mr. Chamberlain to his own question, "resulted in a better understanding all around and in the determination to continue the task begun at Ottawa. The delegates returned with a sense of new strength and greater security. A new note of hope and confidence was struck. The helm of the ship was put over and the vessels of the Empire were directed to a common course."

That is not bad, coming from one of the group who were coerced. Then a little further on the report continues:

The chancellor stressed that in pursuance of the terms of the Anglo-Canadian agreements the government of the United Kingdom had taken steps to renounce the British trade agreement with Russia.

That is not a bad move as an early result of the conference, because Russia is one of our greatest competitors in the British market in regard to lumber, salmon, wheat and various other commodities. The hon. gentleman also said that his leader had helped the conference, and he went on to say that he had personally prayed for the success of the conference. Well, as I listened to my hon. friend speak of having prayed for the success of the conference; as I realized the success it has attained, knowing that he and I both pray in the same way, I decided that in the future I will pray more for material things than I have done in the past.

The hon. gentleman said his leader had helped the conference, but he did it, if at all, in a left-handed sort of way. For instance, he went to South Huron during the by-election there and was horrified at the fact that some of the members of this government had mentioned the conference during the course of that by-election. That was some time after the conference, yet a month or so before the conference opened the right hon. gentleman went down to the constituency of Royal, where a by-election was in progress. I have before me the speech he made there, but like most of his speeches, unfortunately, it is too long to read. During the course of his remarks, however, he spent at least half an hour telling the people of Royal that if they voted

for the Prime Minister without a doubt he would wreck this conference as he had wrecked the conference of 1930. So I do not know that he gave any particular assistance to the conference, but I mention that reference just in passing.

The hon. member for North Bruce, the exMinister of Trade and Commerce (Mr. Malcolm) took the attitude that the results of the conference were too protectionist. I should say the hon. member is rather a good judge of what is protectionist, because he was a . pretty fair protectionist himself, as he admitted this afternoon, during the latter years he was in office. The commodity which he produced enjoys a duty of about 42 per cent. I do not make that remark in any critical sense at all, because I have the utmost respect for the hon. member, but I mention it in passing because it shows that he is a good judge of what is protectionist. The hon. member also pointed out that after these agreements were adopted we would be unable to make trade agreements with foreign countries, and my understanding of his reason, as given in the course of what I thought was a very good speech, was that we could not make these other agreements because we had raised the duties under the intermediate tariff to the levels of those under the general tariff. Later on I counted the items concerned, and I found that in the schedules as brought down there are 132 items out of 240, where the intermediate duties are lower than the general duties. That is an average of about 60 per cent which is a very good proportion. It is true that some intermediate duties were raised to the general level, but in 132 cases the intermediate duty was made lower than the general duty. It is also worth pointing out that in my rather hurried count I found that 136 preferred duties had 'been lowered, made free in most cases, to Great Britain whereas 139 duties have been raised as against foreign countries. That would seem to make it about fifty-fifty, and I really believe-and I say this with all sincerity-that the tariff as a whole as dealt with in these agreements is lowered rather than raised. Especially is that true in view of the undertaking we have given Great Britain that they may appeal to the tariff board we are about to appoint if they are dissatisfied with any particular line of protection.

Take the French treaty which was put through by hon. gentlemen opposite. Canada obtained the lowest French duties, but France could increase those duties and did so on

United Kingdom

many occasions. As I say, we were given their lowest duties, but those low duties could be raised so as practically to prohibit imports from Canada, and in the end we had to cancel that agreement. On the other hand the former Minister of Justice, who signed that agreement together with the late Mr. Fielding, helped give France fixed duties in the Canadian market, a most obnoxious form of agreement. So I think hon. gentlemen opposite should hesitate before criticizing the agreements we have made with Great Britain and the other portions of the British Empire.

After all, Mr. Speaker, there are two sides to each agreement. My hon. friend from North Bruce, as well as my hon. friend who has just taken his seat, dealt almost entirely with the case of importations into Canada, as though that was the only side to the agreement, but that is only half the agreement and from our standpoint I think the less important half. I think the object we had in view, and the object before all the dominions, was to sell more of our own goods in the empire markets, and it may be that we got a little the better of the bargain. I do not say we did; I think it was a victory for the whole empire, and I do not think any part should claim a particular victory over another because I do not think agreements of that kind are the best agreements to have. But if perchance we got a little the better of the bargain I do not know that we should particularly quarrel with ourselves. The hon. member for North Bruce said that the only result of these agreements would be to divert some of the trade, that our total trade would not be increased. I do not quarrel with that statement, but if we can divert some of our trade to Canada from the United States or Russia or Denmark surely that is good for Canada, and that is what we were aiming at. I think fair minded Canadians throughout this country-and I believe my hon. friends opposite will learn this before they oppose these agreements to anything like the extent that is spoken of in the corridors-admit the success of this conference, and they want the government and parliament of this country to give the agreements a fair trial.

The right hon. leader of the opposition made what seemed to me a number of rather queer statements during his long address. For example, he said that no one knows what these agreements are all about. Certainly I do not think they would know much more after he spoke for three and a half hours on them. Then my right hon. friend said, 53719-22

"We are not in a position to vote on these questions," and I suppose the reason in that case was the same. Finally the right hon. gentleman moved a hypothetic amendment, and I suppose he will give a hypothetic vote in favour of it when the time comes. After all, the object of the conference was to promote trade between the different portions of the British commonwealth of nations and what we accomplished at the conference was this: We brought about some twelve bipartite treaties and laid the foundation for an edifice of trade and commerce which will become great if we continue in the spirit in which these agreements were signed. We brought about a victory for the whole empire, not for any one part of the empire, and when I say "we" I mean those who were there representing the different parts of the British Empire. After all, the United Kingdom is the greatest importer in the world and the dominions are among the greatest exporters. The result from the standpoint of Canada has been magnificent, and probably the same is true from the standpoint of the other dominions as well, though I speak for Canada only. Yet the leader of the opposition opposes all the agreements, together with those of his followers who have spoken so far.

The right hon. gentleman spoke for three and a half hours; time and again with negative statements he cancelled positive statements made earlier in his remarks. He contradicted himself so much that although I do not like the idea of reading another man's speech I had the thought of going over his address and placing the contradictions side by side. I am sure if that were done practically the whole speech would be cancelled.

The right hon. gentleman did as he has done so often in opposition. He fought for the freedom and liberty of the people and for the constitution not only of Canada but of the empire as well. If I may say so without disrespect-and I certainly mean none- my right hon. friend has a sort of constitutional obsession while in opposition, a sort of opposition madness as far as constitutional matters are concerned; but this time he has gone beyond the constitution of Canada and has undertaken to look after the constitution of Great Britain. In effect he has said that we must protect the constitution of Great Britain as well, forgetting for the moment that Mr. Baldwin, Mr. Chamberlain and a few others were here to see that we wicked Tories did not impose upon their constitutional rights.

Imperial Conference-Trade Agreements

Then my right hon. friend asked where was the freedom of parliament in connection with these agreements. The house can throw them out if it is not satisfied with them, and I am sure that the many hon. members on thi3 side who represent agricultural constituencies are as anxious to protect their rights as are any hon. members opposite.

And then he makes another statement- I am dealing briefly with a few of them-to the effect that the colonies must do so and so. He played upon words again and again in that regard. The fact of the matter is, Mr. Speaker, that there is no "must," no compulsion, so far as what the colonies are going to do. Let me read the clause. Article 8 provides that:

His Majesty's government in the United Kingdom will invite the governments of the non-self-governing colonies and protectorates to accord to Canada any preference which may for the time being be accorded to any other part of the British Empire. . . .

I submit that an invitation does not constitute coercion, nor does it justify the word "must." In other words, the right hon. gentleman was juggling with words during a good portion of the speech he made. He apparently believes in the old French maxim that language was given us in order that we might conceal our thoughts. The other day he made a statement with reference to myself in another address which he delivered. He said that I was sometimes inaccurate. Well, I admit the charge; but I presume that most speakers are also occasionally inaccurate, some more than others. May I point out, however, that the right hon. gentleman was not only inaccurate in his statement with respect to the matter now under discussion, but that he misrepresented the clauses right after reading them.

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Some hon. MEMBERS:

Order.

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CON

Robert James Manion (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MANION:

I do not say that he did

so intentionally; I do not make that statement for the purpose of being offensive. Certainly, however, he surpassed himself in self-contradiction, in putting up straw men for the pleasure of knocking them down, and in constitutional shadow boxing. As someone observed this afternoon, he talks free trade when out of power and practises protection when in power. But how can he help it when sitting to his left is the hon. member for North Waterloo (Mr. Euler), beside him the hon. member for North Bruce (Mr. Malcolm), both staunch protectionists, and to the right of him the hon. member for West Edmonton, who rang the death knell of protection and

yet voted against free trade every time the opportunity presented itself. And accompanying him is the hon. member for Melville (Mr. Motherwell) who takes the same attitude, and the leader of the opposition took whatever was the attitude of the section of the country in which he was speaking during election campaigns, before the radio came into existence.

The right hon. gentleman said that we need world markets. Well, did he get world markets when he was in power?

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An hon. MEMBER:

Sure.

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CON

Robert James Manion (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MANION:

No; he lost world markets for us when he was in power; he was losing them throughout the whole period he was in office.

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An hon. MEMBER:

Take the trade

figures.

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CON

Robert James Manion (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MANION:

Yes I will take the trade figures. Let us take the United States, for example. In July, 1920, that country bought agricultural products from us to the amount of over $6,000,000, and in July, 1931, their purchases in that direction had diminished to less than 81,000,000. Barriers were being put up in that country against Canadian exports throughout the right hon. gentleman's regime. Throughout the time he was Prime Minister of this country the United States were putting up barriers against us, and what was his attitude? His attitude was that we must not provoke the United States by retaliation. In trade matters they kicked us around like a rag doll and he simply sat by and allowed them to take our trade away from us.

Yesterday the right hon. gentleman took the attitude that we were being most unjust to the British people because, as he said, we were riveting food taxes upon them; he said that we were going to make them pay more for their foodstuffs. But later on he pointed out that by these agreements we were going to lower the prices of agricultural products to our Canadian farmers. I do not know how the right hon. gentleman can expect to have it both ways.

One question he asked was this: How can Liberals support these agreements? May I suggest that it is not hard for them to support these agreements; all they have to do is to preach in opposition what they have practised while in power. Let them be consistent to that extent and they will have no difficulty in supporting the agreements.

The leader of the opposition quoted Salter approvingly with reference to the conference.

United. Kingdom

Incidentally, Salter has said in the same quotation that it was better for the empire that the conference has been a success; yet the right hon. gentleman turned round, after quoting that opinion, and flatly condemned the conference. He condemned it in toto. No wonder he said that no one could vote intelligently on the question.

Let me repeat that there are two sides to all these agreements; there is the side of importations into Canada and there is the side of exportations from Canada, and I respectfully submit that importations into Canada are not as important from our point of view as the question of selling our goods outside. I know, of course, that someone will immediately remind me that you must buy if you expect to sell, but you may sell to other countries. The fact is, however, that we have, through these agreements, obtained an entry into the markets of other parts of the empire, important markets, and that is one of the greatest preferences that any section of the empire has ever obtained.

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CON

Robert James Manion (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MANION:

My hon. friend laughs,

the same vacant laugh-

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LIB
CON

Robert James Manion (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MANION:

If that is the case, in

anticipation of such attention from the hon. gentleman, perhaps I had better attend to him at once.

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LIB

October 18, 1932