October 24, 1932

CON

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

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

I am talking about copper.

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

Harry Butcher

Liberal

Mr. BUTCHER:

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

Edward James Young

Liberal

Mr. YOUNG:

Before the agreements went into effect?

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

Harry Butcher

Liberal

Mr. BUTCHER:

Yes. I think it is very probable that this will be the result; there may be, at any rate for the time being, some increase in the amount of business done by Canada with Great Britain. On page 119 of the record the Prime Minister spoke of the increase in the value of Canadian exports to the United Kingdom in the first five months of the fiscal year. He said they had increased to $2,481,968 as compared with $1,570,244 in the same period in 1931. The Prime Minister then enumerated some of the articles in which there has been increase of business; for instance: typewriters, paper boards, medicinal preparations, electrical appliances, socks and stockings, and so on. But during the same period to which the Prime Minister referred, or rather one month longer, I find certain figures relating to our total export business, our grand total of Canadian trade. I have in my hand a summary of Canadian trade by the Department of National Revenue for the month of September, and for the six months ending September. In the month of September, 1931, we exported domestic merchandise to the sum of $48,991,385. In the same month of this year we exported $42,186,815 worth. So that there is a decrease in total trade for the one month of $6,804,570. But taking the six months ending September, we find that our domestic exports in the year 1931 amounted to $295,516,898, and in 1932 to $234,182,869. So that while we did do almost a million dollar's worth more export business with Great Britain in the period since the British import duties were put on, in the six months we have done altogether $157,000,000 odd less world export business. Our grand total of Canadian trade for the six months ended September 1931, was $619,504,397; for the six months ended September 1932, $459,596,058, a decrease of $159,908,339. So that while within the empire we have done an increased business, we have done a very much smaller business throughout the world.

With regard to the agreement itself, so much has been said by various members on this side of the house that it is unnecessary for me to deal with the articles at length, but I wish to draw attention to one or two points. Article 4 reads:

It is agreed that the duty on either wheat in grain, copper, zinc or lead as provided in this agreement may be removed if at any time empire producers of wheat in grain, copper, zinc and lead respectively are unable or un-

World Economic Conference

willing to offer these commodities on first sale in the United Kingdom at prices not exceeding the world prices and in quantities sufficient to supply the requirements of the United Kingdom consumers. .

It has been pointed out by more than one hon. member on this side of the house that this does not confer upon the exporters of wheat from this country any preference in the matter of price, but it does give some preference in point of quantity. It may be we shall sell more wheat to Great Britain, though I think even that is problematical.

With regard to article 3, some hon. members have spoken as though we would get the whole benefit that may be derived from the fact that foreign wheat will not have free access to the British Empire. But we must remember that other nations in the British commonwealth will have an equal right with, ourselves to sell wheat in that market. Then there is another danger that may arise. It is more than possible that within the next five years the British farmer may desire to have some protection and will ask that duties be imposed upon imported wheat. If so, the effect upon our exports to Great Britain may be disastrous.

Topic:   IMPERIAL ECONOMIC CONFERENCE
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE MOTION FOR APPROVAL OF TRADE AGREEMENT BETWEEN CANADA AND THE UNITED KINGDOM
Permalink

At eleven o'clock the house adjourned without question put, pursuant to standing order. Tuesday, October 25, 1932


October 24, 1932