October 21, 1932

LIB
CON

Pierre Édouard Blondin (Speaker of the Senate)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPEAKER:

The first two questions

are not in order. As regards the next, it rests with the government whether it be answered.

Hon. II. H. STEVENS (Minister of Trade and Commerce): Mr. Speaker, the rather

lengthy and rambling mixture of statement and question of my hon. friend cannot be answered in a moment. I may say that the whole question is under consideration, but I take this opportunity of saying that the government has not been a party to increasing rates, as implied in the hon. gentleman's statement.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   LAKE FREIGHT RATES
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IMPERIAL ECONOMIC CONFERENCE


The house resumed from Thursday, October 20, consideration of the motion of Right Hon. R. B. Bennett (Prime Minister) for approval of the trade agreement entered into at Ottawa the 20th day of August, 1932, between representatives of His Majesty's government in Canada and of His Majesty's government in the United Kingdom, subject to the legislation required in order to give effect to the fiscal changes consequent thereon.


CON

Grote Stirling

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GROTE STIRLING (Yale):

When

adjournment intervened last evening I was referring to the duty imposed by the United Kingdom of four shillings and sixpence on apples, and I was suggesting that I could not understand the mentality of any fruit grower or of any spokesman of fruit growers who would be unable or unwilling to support the provisions of the treaty. I read with some interest the remarks of the hon. member for Shelburne-Yarmouth (Mr. Ralston), the rather slighting remarks which he made yesterday, and I realized that he was but indulging once more in the hair-splitting which he so gloatingly enjoys. I wonder whether the apple grower in Nova Scotia would not be pleased and relieved if the hon. member in question would be man enough frankly to admit the benefit. Whoever suggested that Canada alone was going to benefit by these provisions? Are we not members of the empire, and was not the whole spirit of the conference, the intent which filled each delegate, that something would be accomplished which would be of benefit in its every part? All the time, ever since a suggested preference in the United Kingdom was mooted, we have known the attitude of the grower in the

United Kingdom

United Kingdom. He knows that he is not able to fulfil the needs of that market. He knows that South Africa, New Zealand and Australia ship their product at such times as will not conflict with his sale, and whilst he knows that the Canadian apple harvest synchronizes with his, and remembering that he is unable to supply the full quantity required, he would prefer to see the apples of Canada fill the need rather than those of the United States. I think it is generally known to hon. members that Canada exports her apples both in barrels and boxes. Canadian statistics are based on barrels, with a fraction of over three boxes being considered as one barrel. Nova Scotia exports in barrels while British Columbia exports in boxes, but these two methods of export do not conflict one with the other, on account of the fashions which rule the United Kingdom market.

During the negotiations prior to the adoption of this treaty the fruit representatives of the United Kingdom required to be shown to what extent the dominions could supply their needs. I should like to give the house a few figures based upon the average for the last five years and expressed in barrels. The United Kingdom approached the problem in this fashion: Our orchards vary in quality from those made up of old, gnarled trees which are not attended, pruned or sprayed to those grown under the most modern conditions; we produce 3,000,000 barrels and our imports amount to 4,333,000 barrels; if a duty is imposed on import apples, to what extent will the dominions be able to supply that required 4,333,000 barrels? It was found that Canada usually exported to England 1,500.000 barrels, Australia about 900,000 barrels, New Zealand about 200,000 barrels and a small quantity from South Africa. The plantings however, in the three latter countries in recent years, have been so extensive that an increased crop can be looked for which will find its most desirable market in the United Kingdom. The Unitedi Kingdom representatives became satisfied that, that increase, added to the increases which they expected in their own country and to that which Canada was able to persuade them would be forthcoming from this country, would largely supply their wants. That being the case, they were prepared to advise their government that they would not be opposed to the imposition of a duty of four shillings six pence per hundredweight, exemption being granted in favour of the empire.

Canada approached the problem in much the same fashion. Nova Scotia exports almost all her crop to the United Kingdom in barrels;

British Columbia exports a quantity varying from fifteen to thirty per cent of her crop in boxes; Ontario exports a lesser fraction while Quebec and New Brunswick largely sell in their own domestic markets. It was shown that the Canadian harvest synchronized with that in the United States and that there was great disability in marketing because of the fact that the quantity which they had to export to the United Kingdom came into competition upon the auction markets in that country with the large volume of apples coming from the United States. That country with its population of 120,000,000 has a very lucrative market of its own but it may astonish hon. members, as it did me, to know that thirty-seven states out of the forty-eight are commercial producers of apples. In an ordinary year that country has a surplus, in a year of abundant crops it has a great surplus and desiring to keep such surpluses off their own domestic markets producers have been accustomed to look to the English market as a place to dump their enormous surpluses. This dumping has been to the detriment of all other competitors in that market. In an effort to show that she would be able to increase her export quantity, Canada placed before the United Kingdom representatives the facts relating to her present production and what she saw in the immediate future. Without going into details as to marketing arrangement in British Columbia, I think it will be sufficient to say that so far as interior production is concerned, the shippers of ninety-five per cent of the crop have given an undertaking, backing their word with their bond, that each one will set aside a certain, definite proportion for the export market. In that wav it is anticipated that not only will the quantity be increased but that there will be considerable stability to the shipments.

There is another reason why British Columbia looks forward to the possibility of increasing her exports. In the past the demand in the United Kingdom has been for what we call a small apple, of which 163 are required to fill a box. It is true that that country has bought a certain number of carloads of 150's, the next size larger, but these purchases were usually made at a discount. However, early in the marketing season this year the dealers in the United Kingdom were offering to make firm purchases of both 163's and 150's at the same price, a thing which in my memory has never happened before. Before leaving home I was gratified to find that not only were they making firm purchases of 163's and 150's, but that they were also pur-

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chasing carloads of 138's, some 125's and even a few 113's. Up until this time the United Kingdom buyers would not look at an apple the size of a tennis ball but they are now not only accepting them but making further inquiries. These apples will not go on to the auction markets in the United Kingdom. How has that come about? They realized the effect of this treaty, they realized that if their ordinary chanels of trade were impeded they must immediately set up new channels. I venture to suggest that there has been no greater cause for the position which the British people have attained in the world than their readiness when convinced to make changes in their political, commercial and social life. They have not revolted, they have calmly faced facts and changed their processes.

The treaty now before the house has been conceived in a spirit of give and take. It might be likened to a foundation upon which a building is to be erected, but that foundation could not be laid so truly and properly if it were not for the spirit which fashioned the wish of every delegate. For the delegates assembled here in Ottawa met with one intent, but with a dual purpose: One purpose was that they would properly represent the country which sent them, and the other was that they should be representatives of the whole empire, so that if success is attained by the treaty, it may enable the British Empire to regain its commercial confidence and so influence the whole world.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   IMPERIAL ECONOMIC CONFERENCE
Sub-subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE MOTION FOR APPROVAL OF TRADE AGREEMENT BETWEEN CANADA AND THE UNITED KINGDOM
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LAB

James Shaver Woodsworth

Labour

Mr. J. S. WOODSWORTH (Winnipeg North Centre):

Mr. Speaker, I wish I had

the confidence in the agreements that was expressed by the last speaker (Mr. Stirling), but unfortunately my reading of the agreements does not permit me to believe the terms which we have had placed before us are sufficient to enable either Great Britain to regain the position which she held before the war or to enable us in this country to ma're any very substantial progress. There was one remark of the hon. member for Yale with which I heartily agree. He said that Great Britain was willing to make a change. It seems to me that it is that willingness which is essential at the present time in the very great crisis which the world faces, and yet I cannot see any indication that those in authority are willing to make changes sufficiently radical really to meet the needs.

In opening the conference the Prime Minister (Mr. Bennett) said:

We meet in days when the machinery of world commerce is out of gear. International finance has broken down; the old-fashioned industrial life to which we have grown accus-

IMr. Stirling.!

tomed has undergone a change. We move toward a n ew economic order of things. Our part in fashioning it depends in large measure upon the outcome of this conference.

Those words uttered by the Prime Minister as chairman of the conference contained profound truths; they expressed high hopes, but judged by the standards held out by the Prime Minister, the conference was a dismal failure. No one will doubt that world commerce is out of gear. In an article in the August number of the International Labour Review on world economic reconstruction, Mr. P. W. Martin writes:

The decline in the total volume of world trade during the last three years is without precedent in time of peace. Since 1929 the physical volume of international trade has fallen by a full third, the value by more than a half. There can be little question that the exchange and tariff barriers which have been imposed during recent months, while not wholly responsible, have certainly contributed to a large extent to bring about this situation. It is equally certain that, if these barriers continue to exist at anything like their present elevation, general economic recovery is practically impossible for many years to come. . . .

There is no indication in the agreements that the British Empire is lowering these barriers. What the agreement would tend to show is that the barriers are being maintained if not in many cases raised.

Sir Arthur Salter, who has been frequently quoted in this house, has placed the alternatives clearly before us. I think this passage was quoted by the leader of the opposition (Mr. Mackenzie King), but it cannot be too strongly emphasized. Sir Arthur Salter said:

The world as a whole will either move toward a system in wdiich each country can exchange the products which it is best qualified to produce for those in respect of which other countries have corresponding advantages, or it will move toward an organization, national, imperial or regional, in which each unit will pursue the ideal of self-sufficiency, with their standard of living poorer for the loss of world trade. . . . We shall move as a whole to a world order in which each national unit will be a unit in the general commonwealth, or to a system of closed and, it may be feared, increasingly hostile units which will add immensely and incalculably to the risk of further wars.

I submit that the conference is a move in the direction of an organization, national, imperial or regional; that we are still pursuing the ideal of self-sufficiency, and that, in the words of Sir Arthur Salter, this will inevitably involve lower standards of living and it will develop hostile groups with undoubtedly war at the end of the road. Who can read history and believe there can be a continued

United Kingdom

increase of tariff walls and of alliances such as we are making without these leading inevitably to war?

In 1929, the group in this corner moved an amendment to the budget, urging that there should be a substantial increase in the British preference as a step towards freer trade relations between Canada and other nations. This agreement is not a step in that direction. It is a step backwards, towards less free intercourse between Canada and other nations. No one will doubt this. The Prime Minister himself said in his Calgary speech:

Nations outside of the empire would be asked to pay some tribute for the privilege of trading within the empire.

Such then is the great imperial policy of this government. In the Prime Minister's opening speech he admitted that international finance had broken down. I ask: Did the conference do anything to rehabilitate international finance or imperial finance or even national finance? Nothing whatever. There was issued by the committee on monetary and financial questions a report which was a tightrope performance and meant little or nothing. It was about as enlightening as the communiques issued to the press during the conference by the Minister of Railways and Canals (Mr. Manion). It meant that we simply stalled on this question which is one of the most vital questions before the country at the present time, and the fact that the conference took no action and that an international conference has been called, is made a reason for our refusing to take any action now towards setting our own domestic monetary affairs in order.

We still face the enormous burden of debts, public and private, which are sinking us ever and ever deeper. I cannot think we can go on very much longer pyramiding these debts without coming to a very serious impasse. At this time our governments, whether federal or provincial, can think of no better way out of our difficulties than to cut down on wages and services and in this way reduce even further the consuming power of the people. Let me point out that such reductions, however disastrous from the economic standpoint, work a very great and unequal hardship upon the people of this country. We heard a good deal last session about equality of sacrifice. I remember seeing a cartoon in an English paper which depicted a ladder reaching up out of a deep morass, and people having different ranges of income were represented as standing on different rungs of the ladder. The man at the top was in perfect safety, but the poor man on the bottom rung had his chin

just above the water, and then the government in the name of equality said, "Equal sacrifice: everybody one step down!" One step down for the man at the top did not mean very much, but for the poor man on the bottom rung it meant that he was absolutely submerged. That is the kind of equality of sacrifice that at the present time we are being asked to make.

As has been said, again and again, we are experiencing poverty in the midst of plenty. It seems to me that this idea of saving has become almost a mania with us. We have brought it rlown from the early pioneer days when there was a lack of abundant production, but the idea of saving, which may have been a good policy in those days, is suicidal today. It is something like rationing out fresh water when the drinking supply is running low on the high seas, and the captain hands out in a parsimonious way a cup of water a day to each man on board. In the meantime his boat approaches a shore from which run out great rivers of fresh water, so that he is in reality sailing in fresh water. He might allow the sailors to let down buckets and draw up fresh water to any extent they like, but instead of drawing on the abundant supply around him he still maintains this well established policy of rationing out fresh water in small cupfuls. In this age, with an abundance of production, it seems to me absolute stupidity to condemn people to hardship by continuing this policy of cutting down instead of adopting the other policy of spending generously. Particularly is this absurd when by a policy of more generous spending we would solve the economic problem.

The Prime Minister in his opening remarks said, "We move towards a new economic order of things." I believe that thoroughly. We do move towards a new economic order in spite of the efforts, I would say, of the Prime Minister and the representatives of the old order at the imperial conference. It is just barely possible that an agreement such as this may hasten the process because it is so very bad. If that is true we might be justified in voting in favour of it in order to hasten the process! There is nothing to indicate that those who drew up the agreement are definitely and consciously moving in the direction of a new economic order of things.

The conference offers no solution of any one of our major problems. Take the question of unemployment. So far as we can learn, it was not even discussed at the conference. The people have been fed on promises for some years past. We all know the old trick of

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dangling a carrot before a donkey's nose. Several years ago the Prime Minister said that if he were elected the unemployment question would be solved. He was elected and unemployment was not solved. Then it was said that if we had higher tariffs, unemployment was to be solved. We had higher tariffs and nothing happened. Then it was promised that if we could only have an imperial conference everything would go right. But there has been no material change since the conference except perhaps in a few individual articles. I should be very happy if the hon. member for Yale (Mr. Stirling) were right and the apple growers in British Columbia are in a better position, but on the whole there has been no material change, and it is admitted that unemployment today is greater than it has ever been before.

This imperial conference which was played up so much and on which such large sums of money were spent has come and gone, and the promises which were held forth do not seem to be in the way of fulfilment. Indeed, so far as I can read the schedules, advantage has been taken of the conference to stabilize higher tariffs, and that at the expense, of course, of the consumers.

In the twenty-first report of the Imperial economic committee on imperial industrial cooperation it is stated:

We consider that the scrutiny by governments of agreements which involve tariff adjustments, would protect the unorganized body of consumers. Nor do we imagine that there is any fear of agreements being made of such a kind as to block natural and economic lines of development.

That was the hope expressed before the conference. As a matter of fact, so far as one can see, the consumers have no safeguards whatever, and there is nothing to prevent the blocking of natural and economic lines of development.

Article 11 of the agreement reads:

His Majesty's government in Canada undertake that during the currency of this agreement the tariff shall be based on the principle that protective duties shall not exceed such a level as will give United Kingdom producers full opportunity of reasonable competition on the basis of the relative cost of economical and efficient production, provided that in the application of such principle special consideration shall be given to the case of industries not fully established.

We in Canada have heard much about infant industries for a great many years, and we know how long these infant industries persist in remaining infants. With regard to the first clause of the article, I would suggest

that this principle of reasonable competition based on relative cost of economical and efficient production is wholly illusory. The principle was dealt with in a most devastating fashion by Sir Arthur Salter, and as the Prime Minister has quoted him as one who, in his own words, ranks "as one of the foremost authorities in the world at the moment" and as the Conservative party is evidently giving considerable attention to his statements, I should like to quote a few paragraphs from his book, Recovery. He says:

A so-called scientific tariff usually means one which is based on the principle of compensating for differences in costs of production. This either represents a mere fallacy, or it is a policy destructive of international trade in anything except the few things that cannot be produced at home at any cost however exorbitant-such as rubber in England or America. For why does any one ever buy anything from abroad if it is not because he gets a given article at a lower price-or a better article at a given price? Abolish this advantage and why should any one buy from abroad at all?

Indeed, if we believe in international trade, the only mitigating circumstance about what are usually called "scientific tariffs" is that they never are in fact scientifically framed and applied, for if they were trade would disappear. But if this is not their principle, what is? Let us face frankly the fact that the operative principle underlying the flexible, varied and changing system is usually just this, and nothing more; that those interests which are so organized as to exercise the strongest political pressure get protection, or the highest rates of protection, at the expense of the rest of the community.

I think that the tariff schedules will bear out what Sir Arthur Salter so well said. He goes on:

The evil consequences are illimitable. Time, energy, attention, money that should be devoted to improving processes, are devoted to persuading politicians. The system offers the highest rewards, the richest spoils, to those who can most successfully corrupt the government. The machine of government itself-in the widest sense, including the ministry, the civil service, the parliament, and the electorate -cannot under these conditions, and does not, remain honest and competent enough to perform its primary tasks. So long as our system is based at all upon competition, the first task of government is to determine and enforce the rules under which that competition takes place. It is a task of a policeman who maintains an equal law, or of an umpire in charge of the ring. But if the policeman is to spend half his time in dexterously transferring money from one citizen's pocket to another, if the umpire is expected on sufficient persuasion to jump the ropes and administer a stimulant to one of the contestants and a sudden blow or kick to the other, he will have neither the time-nor the character-nor the public respect, which he needs for his primary duties. And the complexity of the essential tasks of government under modern conditions strains to the utmost

United Kingdom

the limited resources of man's regulative wisdom, competence, and public honesty; there is no margin to spare. . . .

Of course this agreement must be ratified by parliament. But, I ask, has parliament any real power? As we go through these formalities I am reminded of an article which appeared last year in the Ottawa Journal under the heading "The Holy Show ef Parliament." We are becoming what might very well be termed a holy show; parliament is becoming a farcical affair. At the Imperial economic conference the governments stood revealed as the servants, the functionaries of big business. As I read the reports from day to day I could not but think the Imperial economic conference was little more than a glorified board of trade. There were no Canadian labour men represented; there were no farmers; the public generally was not represented at the conference. The corridors of the Chateau Laurier were crowded with business men, lobbyists. Possibly the general public could take a peep in at the windows-at least at the social functions, but they had very little part to play in the agreements arrived at. Essentially it was an arrangement between business men and those who represented primarily the interests of business men.

I fear that the economic conference was not altogether the beautiful idealistic love-feast portrayed by the hon. member for Yale (Mr. Stirling). I wish it could be truthfully said that everyone was there in the interests of all the people. I think, rather, that to a considerable extent it was an attempt to exploit national or imperial sentiment in the interests of certain favoured industries. Possibly some would think that such action was justified, since Canadian industries were concerned. Even on that basis however may I point out to the house that a very large number of American interests were represented at Ottawa at the time of the Imperial conference. We all know that some of the strongest advocates of the so-called British preference are managers of American branch firms anxious to get in under preferential rates so that they may make more money for their American principals.

On November 19, 1931, I happened to be in the British House of Commons, and was very much interested to read the following question appearing on the order paper for that day:

To ask the President of the Board of Trade whether he proposes to take powers, if necessary, to stop foreign firms coming to this country to manufacture goods so as to evade the imposition of duties by the Board of Trade

on imports, and thus render it impossible for such foreign firms to take moneys out of this country in the nature of profits made by them.

If we were to carry out a policy such as there suggested, where would Canada be today? If we prohibited foreign firms coming in here to exploit our Canadian national resources and to send the profits to the other side of the line, what would be the result? There is a great deal of hyprocrisy in this so-called patriotism and imperialism,-hypocrisy that ought to be exposed. Further, even the interests of certain Canadian firms do not by any means represent those of their employees or the public generally.

Coming to the present time, when the agreements are being considered by parliament, I ask whether there is any reality to our deliberations. The Prime Minister is perfectly sure of his followers; he has a sufficiently large majority to see to it that the agreements are put through, no matter what the vocal opposition of hon. members opposite may be. His followers may have their doubts; I am quite sure a great many at least from the west have doubts. They may grumble, but what else can they do? They are going to support the Prime Minister. And so we have the curious spectacle of an agreement made by a comparatively small number of individuals foisted upon the people of Canada without any real opportunity for the people generally to express themselves. The agreement is to stand for a period of five years during which time there may readily be a change in parliament, or very great disapprobation expressed by the people. Yet such changes or disapprobation would not affect the situation.

I take it at the present time we are witnessing the transformation of a great political institution. Under the American constitution, as originally drafted, the people were supposed to elect an electoral college of wise men, and these men were to select a president. As a matter of fact that indirect form of election did not work out, and today the electoral college does not amount to anything. It simply registers the result of the big fight between rival political machines. I think anyone will admit that. The electoral college, an integral part of the constitution of the United States as originally drafted, became simply a useless bit of machinery. We know that it is the fight throughout the country waged by the political parties that determines who is to be president.

In our British institutions I think we are witnessing much the same transformation;

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certainly that is so in so far as parliamentary procedure in Canada is concerned. With us, parliamentary elections are becoming simply a means of deciding who for the next five years will be the big boss. Is that not true? It is an almost humiliating position for us members to be in, as elected representatives of the people of Canada. Very soon some of us, if we are to maintain our self-respect, will have to tel! our constituents that it is practically useless to send us here. We have before us an agreement which no doubt the promoters sincerely believe to be of advantage to the country, but the members of parliament have not one chance in ten thousand of making any change in it. The Conservative followers are committed to support their leader.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   IMPERIAL ECONOMIC CONFERENCE
Sub-subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE MOTION FOR APPROVAL OF TRADE AGREEMENT BETWEEN CANADA AND THE UNITED KINGDOM
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UFA

Edward Joseph Garland

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. GARLAND (Bow River):

Whether

they like it or not.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   IMPERIAL ECONOMIC CONFERENCE
Sub-subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE MOTION FOR APPROVAL OF TRADE AGREEMENT BETWEEN CANADA AND THE UNITED KINGDOM
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LAB

James Shaver Woodsworth

Labour

Mr. WOODSWORTH:

Yes, whether they like it or not they are practically committed to support their leader. During the eleven years I have sat in the house I can recall of only three men who, on major questions, broke with their parties-only three. Not one of those men was allowed to remain in the house. That is a rather serious situation. No matter how we may talk about the freedom of members of parliament-and I am not particularly blaming the followers of the present administration-I must point out that the practice I have described, one which has fastened itself upon this country, is becoming almost part of our constitution and this is subversive of anything like democracy. Men are elected by machine methods. There are great campaign funds which, if not supplied by great corporations, are supplied by private individuals. So when members come into parliament they are almost honour bound to stick by those who secured their election. Everyone knows perfectly well that it is as much as any man's political life is worth for anyone from the government side of the house to oppose this measure or any part of it.

Let me say further that when the present administration was elected it was on other questions than those which are before the house at present. They were not elected to deal with this agreement; they were elected on questions such as unemployment, yet advantage has been taken of the fact that a Conservative, high tariff government is in power and that a high tariff party has come into power in the old country to put

over on the people of this country a high tariff program with which it is proposed to saddle the country for the next five years and, in some instances, possibly for ten years. What can the official opposition and the members of the independent groups do to alter matters ? We can talk; we can plead, but that is all. I think the leader of the opposition is right that the schedules should be discussed in committee in order that the public generally may be advised as to what really is inherent in them. But supposing we do discuss these schedules in committee; supposing we spend three weeks discussing them. At the end of that time the agreement will go through, because as we all know the government has staked its life on it. Hence there is an unreality about any discussion of the agreements from which no one can very well get away. I wonder how long the people of Canada will be content with shadow-boxing of this kind, with sending representatives here, as they imagine, for deliberative purposes when in reality we come here simply to go through an elaborate stage performance, and then go home again with nothing in reality accomplished. I submit that if parliamentary elections are held only as a very costly and elaborate method of selecting a dictator, the people should know it. There is a very much easier way of attaining that end. For example, we could cut down the number of members of this electoral college to about ten per cent of the present membership of parliament. We could accomplish the same end in a great many different ways.

Surely we can get no further with the solution of the problems that confront us until men come here who in reality are free to vote in accordance with their convictions not only with regard to general policies but with regard to the particular issues that com>

before this house from time to time. I come back to those words of the Prime Minister, who, said, "We move towards a new economic order of things." It does seem as though we have come to the birth and there is not power to bring forth; as if at the present time all over the country men in dire circumstances, greatly embarrassed by the conditions in which they find themselves, are turning for relief this way and that way and finding none; longing for a new order, yet unable to achieve it. They have a right to look to members of parliament for some help

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but parliament is impotent at this time of great crisis.

There are people all over the country who are saying that we will have to resort to other than parliamentary means. Can you very much blame them when year after year things drift along this way? I may say very frankly, Mr. Speaker, that I have had the opportunity of addressing a great many labour audiences across the country, and at the conclusion of almost every meeting, when there is opportunity given for questions, I am asked, "What are we to do about it?" If I suggest parliamentary action they simply laugh and say, "Can you expect us to starve for another four, five or six years until there is a change of government, when possibly something may be done for us?" That is their attitude.

I do urge that this economic conference was called in the hope that it would solve some of the great problems confronting the empire today, but I repeat that it has not solved any of them. It has made it more difficult for us to secure international trade; it has made it less likely that any sort of international arrangements may be worked out which will re-establish a better economic condition throughout the world. What is more immediately important to us, it has left domestic affairs even more complicated and less hopeful than they were before the conference met.

That is the situation as I see it, and I come particularly to those whom I primarily represent, the labour people. What is there for them in the result of the economic conference? It may be that one or two factories may employ a few more men; it may be that a few apple growers will sell a little more fruit, and to that extent I suppose this agreement is an advantage, but those are very small matters especially when we consider that those who benefit are doing so largely through other arrangements which are loading an even heavier burden upon the consumers of this country. I revert to the primary matter of which I spoke. It was hoped that the conference would help in the solution of one of our great economic problems, unemployment-but at present we are facing unemployment to a very serious extent, and apparently nothing is ahead of us in the nature of a solution. We cannot very well support an agreement of this kind when it makes no provision for bettering the lot of the common people of this country. We are not voting against every particular item in it; let no one make that statement. We 53719-28

are forced to say yes or no, and looking at the matter in a large way, from a'Canadian standpoint, we must say no; looking at the matter from the international standpoint, we must say no.

Let me conclude, Mr. Speaker, with the appeal that this house must not dissolve or adjourn until these great problems facing us at home, the problems of debt, of unemployment and of how our people are to get through this coming winter, receive adequate consideration.

Hon. RAYMOND D. MORAND (East Essex): Mr. Speaker, I wish to preface the

few remarks I propose to make today with a word of appreciation of the great work and study that were devoted to the task with which this government were faced when the conference met in Ottawa. One cannot but marvel at the quiet, efficient manner in which preparations were made to secure the necessary data and information with which to meet the trained experts and negotiators from the other parts of the empire. I also wish to congratulate the government upon that wholesome, friendly hospitality shown those who were visiting in this city. I am sure the unostentatious, quiet and dignified way in which that hospitality was extended reflected the culture and manners of this country.

We have just heard another of the speeches with which we have now become quite familiar, from my hon. friend from Winnipeg North Centre (Mr. Woodsworth). It seems that in his makeup he has a great deal of that well known quality of anti-ism. I have sat here for a few sessions and have searched my memory in vain to recall a single proposition brought into the house with which he could agree. Everyone is out of step but the hon. gentleman. In particular I find him labouring under a positive hatred for, an obsession against political parties; yet no man has devoted more time during the last summer than he has done parading from one end of the country to the other-doing what? Organizing a political party. He does not hesitate to look across the floor of the house and accuse us of being party-bound; he says that we dare not vote according to our conscience and conviction. I resent that and resent it most thoroughly. Speaking for myself, and I think that in this I speak for the run of Conservatives, yes, and Liberal member# as well, the convictions of members of parliament far transcend any party, and any government that would dare to fly in the face of the general policy laid down, by which its

434 COMMONS

Imperial Conference-Trade Agreements

members are elected, would find its supporters strong enough to express their views and vote as their conscience dictated.

One would fancy that every little question that came up in the house must be settled by referendum-parliament by referendum. We had a taste of that sort of thing in Ontario and we do not want any more of it. Surely when this party was returned to parliament with a majority there was no question in the minds of the people that it was a protectionist party, and as such it has undoubtedly fulfilled that which it said it would do, when it has maintained protection as protection and not as a sham.

Yesterday I listened with a great deal of interest to the excellent speech made by the hon. member for Ontario (Mr. Moore), a measured, serious, [DOT]well-thought-out speech, and I could not help thinking as I heard him that he could have made it much better from this side of the house, much more freely and under much less restraint.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   IMPERIAL ECONOMIC CONFERENCE
Sub-subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE MOTION FOR APPROVAL OF TRADE AGREEMENT BETWEEN CANADA AND THE UNITED KINGDOM
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LIB

Edward James Young

Liberal

Mr. YOUNG:

How did you like the conclusion?

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   IMPERIAL ECONOMIC CONFERENCE
Sub-subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE MOTION FOR APPROVAL OF TRADE AGREEMENT BETWEEN CANADA AND THE UNITED KINGDOM
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CON

Raymond Ducharme Morand

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MORAND:

But there are one or two little items in his speech to which I wish to refer. At. page 402 of yesterday's Hansard-*

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   IMPERIAL ECONOMIC CONFERENCE
Sub-subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE MOTION FOR APPROVAL OF TRADE AGREEMENT BETWEEN CANADA AND THE UNITED KINGDOM
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LIB

Cameron Ross McIntosh

Liberal

Mr. McINTOSH:

He did some pretty good batting there.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   IMPERIAL ECONOMIC CONFERENCE
Sub-subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE MOTION FOR APPROVAL OF TRADE AGREEMENT BETWEEN CANADA AND THE UNITED KINGDOM
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CON

Raymond Ducharme Morand

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MORAND:

-the hon. gentleman said:

An lion, member the other day said that this side of the house welcomed all the free items in the proposed agreements. I, for one do not welcome all of them, and I am quite sure that there are many members on both sides of this house who do not welcome them. Let me give a few illustrations. Here is the new item 438a, b, e, motor vehicles, free. . . . Then 438b, motor cycles, free. I am opposed to that also and 1 will tell you why. Turn back to old tariff item 420 and you will find that bicycles are 20 per cent. Now, that is unfair taxation. If you are a rich man and can afford a motor ear or a motor cycle, you can bring them in free of customs duty. If you are a poor lad and cannot afford even a motor cycle but must do your own pedalling, you have to pay 20 per cent.

The hon, gentleman, in making that statement, strove to fashion a two-edged sword. First he wished to create a doubt in the minds of his own constituents that quite .possibly importations of automobiles would hurt employment in his own city; secondly, in an appeal which we hear very often now from the other 3ide of the house, an appeal to class, he hoped to use the other edge of the sword, to have the poor man who would have to do his own pedalling understand that he would have to pay 20 per cent on his bicycle. In order to

fashion that two-edged sword, it was necessary for him to draw upon an item that was never mentioned in the agreement-420. And the strange part of it is that the pedaller will keep on pedalling his bicycle at exactly the same rate of duty that- he pedalled under the freedom of trade Liberal government on the other side. There is not a particle of difference. But the hon. gentleman might have gone a little further. He might have pointed out that the automobile manufacturers got a preference in England under the McKenna duties-20 per cent ad valorem-preference in Ceylon, Hongkong, Malta, Straits Settlements, and the lowest rate to any country in South Africa, also preference in the other dominions, all of which will have the effect of giving more work in his own city and more work in my city, as well as in every city that is dependent today upon the manufacture of automobiles. But, further, he might have pointed out that it will provide the possibility cf manufacturing more units and will reduce the price of automobiles to consumers within the empire.

This treaty deals with trade. Now, much is said today about trade, and catchwords are just as effective today as possibly they ever were. And our hon. friends opposite are very apt in coining catch phrases. They talk about the freedom of trade. I believe that much of the talk today about trade has become more or less a fetish with the peoples of the world. Trade for the sake of trade, trade in goods which we can manufacture or grow in our own country, is trade only for the purpose of motion, and the only ones who profit by such trade are the transportation companies, the brokers and the money changers. On the other hand, trade between countries in those products that cannot be prcperly manufactured or grown or developed at home is the only trade that has any value, and that, I believe, is the type of trade that has been furthered by this agreement.

The leader of the opposition, in his speech the other day, defined the policy of his own party, and incidentally of the Conservative party, when he said:

The Liberal party has always advocated greater freedom of trade. When it has advocated a tariff, it has been a tariff for revenue, protection being only incidental. The Liberal party has never advocated protection. Hon. gentiemen opposite have always advocated a policy of protection.

The right ben. gentleman, in giving his definition, undoubtedly gives it as he sees the position and as his party sees it; but in its application it is quite different. He can smile

United Kingdom

with the same smile of approval at the free trade tirades of our friend from Weyburn (Mr. Young) and also smile approvingly at the cautious and well-studied protectionist speech of our friend from Ontario. We have no quarrel with the leader of the apposition as regards his definition of the policies of the Conservative party. That policy has been definitely endorsed by the people of Canada. It is a policy of protection and even the least among its followers without difficulty can explain it, adhere to it and fight for it.

However, protection is a relative matter. Protection, like everything else must be sufficient only to perform that duty which it is intended to perform-protection must protect. Protection beyond the point where it protects becomes licence, but that is not the way the protective policy of this party has been applied. Time and time again we hear from the other side of the house the statement that the tariff policy of this party is the cause of the conditions under which we are now labouring.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   IMPERIAL ECONOMIC CONFERENCE
Sub-subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE MOTION FOR APPROVAL OF TRADE AGREEMENT BETWEEN CANADA AND THE UNITED KINGDOM
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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Hear, hear.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
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Sub-subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE MOTION FOR APPROVAL OF TRADE AGREEMENT BETWEEN CANADA AND THE UNITED KINGDOM
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?

Mr. MORAYD@

Hear, hear! From that same side and likely from the same hon. members I have heard it said that we got into power upon unemployment and the miseries of the people.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   IMPERIAL ECONOMIC CONFERENCE
Sub-subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE MOTION FOR APPROVAL OF TRADE AGREEMENT BETWEEN CANADA AND THE UNITED KINGDOM
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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Hear, hear.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   IMPERIAL ECONOMIC CONFERENCE
Sub-subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE MOTION FOR APPROVAL OF TRADE AGREEMENT BETWEEN CANADA AND THE UNITED KINGDOM
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CON

Raymond Ducharme Morand

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MORAND:

Hear, hear!

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   IMPERIAL ECONOMIC CONFERENCE
Sub-subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE MOTION FOR APPROVAL OF TRADE AGREEMENT BETWEEN CANADA AND THE UNITED KINGDOM
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LIB

Edward James Young

Liberal

Mr. AOUNG:

You traded on it.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   IMPERIAL ECONOMIC CONFERENCE
Sub-subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE MOTION FOR APPROVAL OF TRADE AGREEMENT BETWEEN CANADA AND THE UNITED KINGDOM
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CON

Raymond Ducharme Morand

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MORAND:

It has been said that that is the way we got into power, because of unemployment, because of misery and because of poverty, and yet in the next breath they say that we are responsible for present conditions.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   IMPERIAL ECONOMIC CONFERENCE
Sub-subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE MOTION FOR APPROVAL OF TRADE AGREEMENT BETWEEN CANADA AND THE UNITED KINGDOM
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LAB

Abraham Albert Heaps

Labour

Mr. HEAPS:

Have conditions improved

during the past two years as a result of your policy?

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   IMPERIAL ECONOMIC CONFERENCE
Sub-subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE MOTION FOR APPROVAL OF TRADE AGREEMENT BETWEEN CANADA AND THE UNITED KINGDOM
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CON

Raymond Ducharme Morand

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MORAND:

They would have been much worse under the jurisdiction either of my hon. friend or hon. members opposite. Everything possible to be done has been done.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   IMPERIAL ECONOMIC CONFERENCE
Sub-subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE MOTION FOR APPROVAL OF TRADE AGREEMENT BETWEEN CANADA AND THE UNITED KINGDOM
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October 21, 1932