October 28, 1932


On the orders of the day: Mr. CAMERON R. McINTOSH (North Battleford): Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Marine (Mr. Duranleau) but as he is not in his seat I would like to direct it to the Prime Minister. The question deals with the sinking of the steamship Bright Fan in Hudson strait. In view of 646 COMMONS Imperial Conference-Trade Agreements the fact that a British freighter while proceeding from Churchill with a cargo of wheat to the British Isles was sunk in Hudson strait, and in view of the further fact that the government instituted an investigation into the causes of the disaster, adducing, I think, important evidence for Canada, and especially for western Canada, may I ask the Prime Minister if he intends to have the information and conclusions arrived at in that investigation printed in blue book form and distributed to the members? .'Right Hon. R. B. BENNETT (Prime Minister): It has not been considered, Mr. Speaker.


LIB

Cameron Ross McIntosh

Liberal

Mr. McINTOSH:

Well, I think it ought to be considered, because it is important information.

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IMPERIAL ECONOMIC CONFERENCE

CONTINUATION OP DEBATE ON THE MOTION FOR APPROVAL OF TRADE AGREEMENT BETWEEN CANADA AND THE UNITED KINGDOM


The house resumed from Thursday, October 27, 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 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

Onésime Gagnon

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. ONESIME GAGNON (Dorchester):

"Why don't you make a bargain with Great Britain, with the mother country? Why do not you ask them to give us a preference?" Well, they did ask us to give a preference, and at the last conference the Canadian minister said: "You have got a corn tax of only Is. a quarter, which cannot be appreciated in coin of the realm." Not a farthing, but less^than one-eighth of a penny per quartern loaf-sup-

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posing it were all paid by the consumer. They said: "It is of no real consequence, but as a matter of sentiment it will show your feeling towards us as we have shown our feeling towards you. Give us a drawback. That will not hurt your people."

The same distinguished gentleman speaking in Gainsborough on February 1, 1905, said:

You see what it is I am urging upon you. It falls upon you, the living generation, to maintain the empire. Let us go a step further. The minds, not only of British statesmen, but of colonial statesmen, were directed by the late war to consider the circumstances of our mutual relations. They considered these circumstances, and they did not find them satisfactory. You have to take that into your serious consideration. All these statesmen, speaking from different parts of the globe, under different conditions, governing great communities, very varied in their character, they all turned their minds in the same direction.

And again:

When Sir Wilfrid Laurier says to you, as he has said, that "we offer to meet you, and to make a treaty with you by which you shall treat us and we will treat you a little better that we both treat the foreigner," I do not know any name in the English language that I can give to that statement except to call it an offer. And the offer which Sir Wilfrid Laurier made has been repeated again and again in different words, in different forms, always to the same effect, not only by the statesmen of Canada, whichever side of politics they are on, but also by the statesmen of the other self-governing colonies.

And later at the same meeting he said:

That is what they ask. And in order to give it to them, we should have to put a small tax upon these articles. They do not want a big tax. All they ask is for the turn of the scale. In trade, as no one knows better than the great industrial and manufacturing concerns, the majority of which are entirely in favour of this policy, "the turn of the scale" is a consideration. In our modern trade, transactions are so large that a farthing will make the difference where in the time of our ancestors they would have required larger consideration.

If I may use the words of Mr. Chamberlain, a small preference of six, seven or eight cents may seem small when considered only as figures, but when the total trade is considered it means a lot for Canadian commerce.

During the war both parties were concerned chiefly with the efforts of our armies on the battlefield and I contend that after the wrar it was incumbent upon the Liberal administration not to forget the gospel preached in England by Mr. Chamberlain and brought to Canada in 1902 by Sir Wilfrid Laurier. Instead of following the policy of Laurier and demanding a preference on empire markets for Canadian goods, the Liberal administration between 1921 and 1930 in-

creased British preferences in some cases to fifty per cent without asking anything in return. Our Prime Minister has proved to be the first leader in twenty years who has had the clear vision and necessary strength to put forward, starting in 1930 and ending in 1932 at the imperial conference, a proper Canadian policy for the promoting of trade relations between Canada and the other dominions.

The Prime Minister has symbolized in the words Canada first not only the traditions and doctrines of the Conservative party but the aspirations of all Canadians who are jealous not only of safe-guarding the autonomy of Canada but of promoting the success of Canadian commerce throughout the world. Canada first means that in matters of foreign relations Canada will be guided solely by its own interests; in matters of economic and commercial relations, the Canada first policy means that Canada's attitude will be guided solely by a desire to protect Canadian farmers, Canadian manufacturers and Canadian consumers on the markets of the world. The policy of Canada first does not imply in any sense the idea of disloyalty to the British crown. It is the expression of the soundest nationalism, the consciousness of a legitimate national pride, of a spirit of loyal and sincere cooperation with the sister dominions to achieve the greatness and security of the whole British commonwealth with the understanding that each dominion remains free and untrammelled in the pursuit of its own destiny. For all these reasons, the policy of Canada first has found a very cheerful response in the hearts of all true Canadians. We Conservatives are proud of that policy, which was the policy of Macdonald and Cartier. We shall heartily and cheerfully defend it and we shall promote it to the fullest extent possible.

Mr. Speaker, would you like to know what the Liberal party of Quebec, through the hon. member for Quebec East, thinks of that policy of Canada first? Speaking in Ottawa on April 21, 1932, at the Chateau Laurier at a meeting organized by the Ottawa Liberal Women's Club-

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

Edgar-Rodolphe-Eugène Chevrier

Liberal

Mr. CHEVRIER:

Hear, hear. .

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CON

Onésime Gagnon

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GAGNON:

-in the presence of the former Minister of Public Works (Mr. Elliott), the former Minister of Labour (Mr. Heenan), the former Minister of Immigration (Mr. Stewart), the former Postmaster General (Mr. Veniot) and all the big stalwarts of the Liberal party, the ex-Minister of Justice uttered these *words which he has repeated in Maisonneuve and South Huron: "The policy of Canada first is real madness." What a suavity of ex-

United Kingdom

pression! What a sentiment of national pride coming from a distinguished gentleman who pretends to personify the aspirations of his fellow-countrymen! In the course of the debate last week the hon. member for Quebec East said that he belonged to another school of thought. No doubt, when we recall what he said about Canada first, which he qualified as being a policy of real madness, you will realize, sir, that he belongs to a different school of thought from that to which those who sit on your right belong. It is no surprise that since the opening of the session Liberal members seem to attach such great importance to the declarations made in the house by the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre (Mr. Woodsworth). It is no surprise that the latter so highly praises the leader of the opposition (Mr. Mackenzie King) for his conversion to the radical ideas of those of the extreme left who contend that Canada ought to adopt the policy of control of national credit. If that is the school to which the hon. member for Quebec East claims to belong, let him have the courage to say so immediately or else let him restrain his leaders from switching so rapidly to the extreme left. When the party which in Quebec has for such a long time succeeded through false pretences in making the people believe it is the only party which has propounded the doctrine of a sound nationalism, and when such a party permits one of its leaders to utter such a narrow appreciation of the doctrine of Canada first, it is not a. surprise *that the same leaders of that party have no hesitation in forgetting Laurier's attitude in matters of preferential trade and in denouncing the Prime Minister who has been promoting a policy of mutual preferences between Canada and the United Kingdom in order to assure an advantageous preference to Canadian farmers and manufacturers. The Canadian people will judge and decide which party better represents the aspirations of Canada of today and of tomorrow. The Conservative party is proud of the Anglo-Canadian agreements. In securing them the Conservative party has written one of the most glorious passages of modern Canadian history. Canadian men and women will long keep in their hearts the name of the distinguished statesman who has been the first to proclaim, to defend and to make glorious the policy of Canada first.

I regret that historians will have to pity our opponents. They have indeed reason to be sullen and to manifest their bad humour. We cannot see any smile on the charming features of the hon. member for Bellechasse (Mr. Boulanger) or others of that party.

They are bitterly disappointed. They have lost the opportunity of doing a great service to Canada. Indeed, they have not been lucky during the last fifty years. Their main policy has always been to oppose all great actions of our party. The Liberal party in Quebec opposed confederation; it opposed the building of the Canadian Pacific; it opposed the construction of the Welland canal and all the other beautiful canals. It will oppose the St. Lawrence waterway; it is going to oppose the first wonderful treaty which has been signed between Canada and the United Kingdom and all the sister dominions, a treaty which recognizes and serves well the cause of autonomy of our country in matters of economic relations with all the world. Because the Anglo-Canadian agreements constitute one of the best and most effective ways of helping Canada in this hour of need, and because they satisfy my legitimate pride as a true Canadian believing in the policy of Canada first, I shall vote for the agreement.

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LIB

William Daum Euler

Liberal

Hon. W. D. EULER (North Waterloo):

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member for Dorchester (Mr. Gagnon) who has just taken his seat, will, I am sure, not take it amiss if I do not follow him directly with regard to the arguments which he has advanced in regard to the treaty between Great Britain and Canada. For my hon. friend I have a high regard which has not been lessened by the speech which he has made today. His speech was eloquent; it was about as moderate as I expected it to be; there were a few lapses especially towards the end, but I congratulate him upon the moderation of his address and say also that I think it is the spirit in which all public questions should be discussed. I trust that in that respect what I shall have to say will not be an exception to it.

It may be that I shall not have the indulgence of the house in speaking on this question at this late stage of the debate, and yet if the agreement is as important as it is held to be by some-and I do not differ from that opinion-surely one need make no apology for desiring to bring out as far as possible the implications of the agreement and to express an opinion regarding the principles upon which it is based. I admit at once that it is quite impossible to appraise accurately, so far as the items are concerned, the benefits or otherwise that may flow from the treaty. The only great test, the test of experience alone can put us right with regard to the merits or demerits of the treaty.

Topic:   IMPERIAL ECONOMIC CONFERENCE
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?

An hon. MEMBER:

Why not try it?

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Imperial Conference-Trade Agreements

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

William Daum Euler

Liberal

Mr. EULER:

I think it is going to be tried. The Prime Minister (Mr. Bennett) has spoken-and I shall give him credit for sincerity-of the marvelous results which all parts of the empire, and especially Canada, will secure from the various treaties which were consummated last summer. Indeed- and I do not blame him for this, because perhaps it is perfectly natural-he was somewhat complimentary to himself and his colleagues when he said modestly that they had done very well. Members on this side of the house, on the other hand, do not quite see eye to eye with him and hon. gentlemen opposite with regard to the merits of the treaty. Despite what my hon. friend said a moment ago, members on this side of the house are also quite sincere in what they ha\e said. Further, it has seemed to me, listening to the various speeches that have been made, that they were on a high level of public responsibility.

Members on this side of the house do not see the great and beneficial results from this treaty that hon. gentlemen opposite see. Perhaps if I might be so bold as to say so, at the risk of offending some of my friends on this side, the truth lies somewhere in between. It is probably true that we shall not see benefits nearly as great as the Prime Minister and his supporters expect, but on the other hand the results may be just a little better than some of us on this side of the house anticipate.

It was unfortunate, Mr. Speaker, that before the conference and during and after it such extravagant statements of expectations from it were made. Many people were led to believe, whether deliberately or not I do not say, that the results from the conference would be a panacea for the depression from which we are now suffering.

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CON

Richard Burpee Hanson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HANSON (York-Sunbury):

No.

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LIB

William Daum Euler

Liberal

Mr. EULER:

I am not saying that my

hon. friend who is so anxious to intervene in debate, and for which I do not always commend him, did any such thing, and I am not blaming the government, but rightly or wrongly the impression was given, perhaps by the press and others, to people throughout this country who were very anxious to see Canada come out of this slough of depression that the conference would be a remedy for present conditions. I say that that was unfortunate because, after all, the causes of the present depression go much deeper than can be reached by anything which can be accomplished by a treaty such as this, important as it may be. The people

of Canada were intensely interested in the conference and what might be secured from it. My hon. friend (Mr. Gagnon) has made reference to the fact that prayers for the success of the conference were offered in the churches and were participated in by my hon. friend the ex-Minister of Justice (Mr. Lapointe). My hon. friend the Solicitor General (Mr. Dupre) also made some reference -to that the other day, and I might perhaps say just a word for my friend the ex-Minister of Justice, if he requires any defence at all, which he does not, and that is that from his point of view he was perhaps justified in not having quite that perfect faith which is so essential in prayer; and so while the ex-Minister of Justice made the prayer, perhaps the Solicitor General supplied the faith, and it may be that both will be rewarded according to their expectations.

The country will welcome any good which may flow from this treaty, but I believe that they will not welcome anything which will cause retaliation by other countries; nor will they welcome anything, particularly in this time of change, with regard to tariffs and other matters, that will handicap Canada in its dealings with other countries in the future. That to my mind may possibly constitute the most serious criticism which can be brought against the treaty.

And now, although I may be misunderstood, I wish to refer to a subject which was mentioned by the last speaker, and that is the question of an extreme and narrow nationalism. I want to condemn in words as strong as I can possibly use the spirit of extreme nationalism that has taken possession of the world. I yield place to none so far as my own country is concerned, and I say, even though some on this side may not approve of this, that despite anything I have said I still place Canada first. But I do not think it is in the interests of our own country or in the interests of the other nations of the world that we should have that narrow nationalism that leads to war. Surely we have learned this lesson from the last great war, supposedly a war to end war, that the nations should draw together, as they did apparently in the formation of the league of nations, which unfortunately has not been quite so successful as it might have been. We have now the spectacle, as all will admit, of practically every country in the world erecting about its borders a high tariff wall which virtually excludes the products of the other nations of the world.

It may perhaps be a fanciful picture but I can see in prospect the formation of three

United Kingdom

or four great economic combinations. One might conceivably be, although I hope not, the British Empire, with a high tariff wall all around it. We have already the great United States, an empire in itself, with forty-eight states, countries in themselves, trading with each other on a free trade basis, and with a high tariff wall about the whole country. Then we may have-this may seem farfetched but it is not so because it was contemplated at the League of Nations three years ago-an economic United States of Europe, with low tariffs between themselves and a high tariff wall against the rest of the world. Then there is that great potential danger, of Russia and the great nations of the east. It would be most unfortunate if we should have a development such as that, as it would probably lead finally to plunging the world again into the insanity of war, a policy which could only result in world suicide.

It is known to-day to almost all leaders in every country in the world that the great obstacles to trade are high tariffs. Some of my hon. friends here may think it is strange that I should say that because, and I shall refer to this a little later on, I am and have been, and perhaps will continue to be, a moderate protectionist, or one in favour of moderate tariffs. High tariffs are obstacles to trade and are at least a factor, though not by any means the greatest factor, in the present depression. I believe that a reasonable internationalism, some sort of a realization of the brotherhood of man, is better than a narrow nationalism. I would also say that a principle that will be admitted just as readily as that is that cooperation is better than competition.

Coming to the agreement itself, I should like to say first to my hon. friends opposite that if the observations I am about to make are more or less critical in their nature, they are not made merely for the purpose of criticizing. They are for the purpose of trying to draw out as far as possible for the Canadian people the implications of the treaty, and the weaknesses and the fruits which may be expected to flow from it. This brings us down to the traditional issue between the two parties-the question of tariffs. We have had statements from friends on the other side of the house that the Liberal party in the olden days talked low tariffs- perhaps some of them talked free trade and practised moderate protection. There is a certain amount of truth in that, but if I cared to indulge in recriminations, it is

equally true that the Conservative party talked high protection and practised a moderate tariff. I will say this for the present leader of the government, that he has certainly lived up to the old professions of high tariff. Since he came into office we have in effect what I might designate a tariff high as Haman's gallows.

Now I said a moment ago, in describing my own position,-if it is of interest to the house, that I have always been in favour of a moderate tariff. If things in the world were as they ought to be from the point of view of the human race, and we had not all these political boundary lines between countries and between races, free trade would undoubtedly be the ideal thing, let business and manufacturing go where they are most fitted by reason of location of raw material, power, centres of population, conditions of transportation and labour and so on. But that is not the condition of the world today, and we have to take it as we find it. I have always felt, and still feel, perhaps in a sense more than ever when all the other nations of the world, or practically all, have erected impenetrable barriers against our products, that it is only fair that we should have such a tariff as will enable our own producers to have a fair chance in their own market.

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

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Hear, hear.

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LIB

William Daum Euler

Liberal

Mr. EULER:

That statement apparently

gives some comfort to my friends opposite. And I have no apologies to make for it. In fact I was going to say in regard to that that the leader of the government and myself in my modest way were in substantial agreement. But I think he has departed from that principle, and I have not. I will read from a statement that the Prime Minister made in the election of 1930, and which he has made repeatedly in this house and which he made again in delivering his speech proposing the resolution which is now under discussion. He said:

I believe that this principle of fair competition will always find favour with the Canadian people. It has never been the intention of this government so to adjust permanently its tariff as to give the Canadian manufacturer an improper advantage in competition with the importer. To do so would have worked an unforgivable hardship upon the consumer, whose welfare is, after all, the surest criterion of our prosperity.

I agree with the Prime Minister in that. But I differ from him in this; he has propounded the theory but has not carried it out in practice. He ennneiates the principle and the propriety of competition. The word competition must connote and indicate that there

654 COMMONS

Imperial Conference-Trade Agreements

is at least the possibility of some foreign goods entering the Canadian market. Prohibition of imports-and some of the tariffs we have now constitute prohibition-will not provide for competition. Taking the tariff of the special session of 1930, the tariff again of 1931, the general session, and the tariff which we are going to enact under this agreement, all of them raise the tariff to heights such as we never had before. I am perfectly frank in saying, and I think a good many producers of this country, including manufacturers, will agree with me when I say that the tariff as we have it now on many commodities is higher than it ought to be in the interests of the consumer and higher than is necessary for the fair and proper protection of industry. We increased the ad valorem tariff, we added what we had not before, a specific tariff which in some instances worked out higher than the ad valorem, and then we added another thing, with which I have always disagreed, that is the special dumping act put through in opposition to the wishes of those on this side of the house. I was in favour of a dumping duty, a reasonable duty, for we always had that ourselves, but when we place in the hands of the government and in the hands of one minister of the crown through the government the power to say exactly how high the tariff shall be, without any limit, I say that is giving too great power to him. And that is what we have. Today for tariff purposes, the Minister of National Revenue can say that the value of a certain commodity cr shipment can be five or ten times the actual price at which the goods were bought for importation into this country. He may not abuse that; I think in some instances it has been abused, to the great distress of the importing public of this country and of the consumer. I would say also to those manufacturers who are in favour of an impenetrable tariff wall that they are standing in their own light. We have had examples of that. Once the tariff becomes so high that they have a monopoly of the business in their particular line it is apt to attract strong competitors from the United States, and in the end they will be worse off than they were before. I think I could cite some instances of that.

'My difference with the Prime Minister is this; I am ready to go with him to the extent of giving reasonable competition to people in our own market, but I am not in favour of such a tariff as is prohibitive, because we have by this time all learned that we cannot hope to sell to the rest of the world if we are not going to buy anything from them. In this connection my right hon. friend the Prime Minister has somewhat

changed his creed. In the sessions of 1930 and 1931 he gave as a reason for the increase of the tariff that he desired to protect Canadian industry and ensure that goods that could be produced in Canada were made in this country. That, again, violates the principle of competition. But last session he changed his ground somewhat-I think I am doing him no injustice in saying that-when he said that the reason for the imposition of the extremely high tariffs was frankly to exclude goods from other countries in order to restore to Canada a favourable balance of trade. I think we talk a great deal of nonsense in regard to the balance of trade. I have never been able to understand, and I do not believe anyone else has-of course I do not pose as an expert in these matters- why a country must necessarily become bankrupt because it buys a little more from other countries than it sells to them. I do not believe that is the fact. I would advance this theory, although I think it is an exact matter; if it be true that some countries have, as they will have, favourable balances of trade, and therefore are solvent, it must necessarily follow, as the Prime Minister said, that those countries which have unfavourable balances of trade are insolvent, and it must be the constant condition, because all sales must be equal to all purchases. That is self-evident, where one sells another buys, the aggregate of sales must always be equal to the aggregate of purchases. So if favourable balances of trade mean solvent nations, then we must, under our present dispensation, if this theory is correct, have perhaps half the nations of the world in an insolvent condition. I do not believe that is a fact.

It was not my intention to go into the details of the agreement, because as I said it is impossible to make a correct appraisal of the value of the various clauses. But perhaps one might consider the basic principles, of some of the clauses; with regard to what we get and what we give. If bargaining is the basis now of our negotiations with other parts of the empire-and here perhaps I am going to commit a heresy when I say I have no particular objection to the principle of bargaining provided that it is carried on in a reasonable manner-then it is fair for us to face the situation with regard to what we get and what we give under the treaty. We get, of course, free entry to the British market. And if we do not accept the treaty with regard to certain commodities the ten per cent duty which is now in the British tariff will become

United Kingdom

operative against us on November 15 of this year. Well, I would say as to that, we always had free entry.

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CON

Hugh Alexander Stewart (Minister of Public Works)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEWART (Leeds):

So had others.

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LIB

William Daum Euler

Liberal

Mr. EULER:

So had others, says my friend, but as far as manufactured products are concerned, at least if we had free entry to the British market probably we have already made, as far as manufactured products are concerned, about as much progress in that market as are apt to make for some time to come. The British manufacturer is pretty efficient, and it is not likely that we will gain very much on him when we are competing under exactly the same conditions that prevailed before.

My hon. friends in the corner gave as a reason for supporting the agreement their fear that this ten per cent tariff would operate against us if the treaty were not adopted. Of course their fears are groundless, because the treaty will be adopted, but I would say to them and to the government which they are supporting that there is a remedy in the hands of this government, which believes in bargaining. If the British government placed the ten per cent tariff against Canadian goods, the Canadian government could very readily say-since they believe in preference for preference-that the preference now extended to the British exporter would be wiped out.

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CON

Hugh Alexander Stewart (Minister of Public Works)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEWART (Leeds):

Retaliation.

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CON

Isaac Duncan MacDougall

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MACDOUGALL:

Would you agree to that?

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LIB

William Daum Euler

Liberal

Mr. EULER:

I would say this to my hon. friend: I never have been of the opinion

that it was not fair for us to expect a preference where we give a preference, but I would say this also to my hon. friends, and I think they will agree that it is a fair argument: When nations are going to make a treaty they usually provide themselves with certain arguments and weapons which they can use in the course of the negotiations. The Prime Minister of this country, in the special session of 1930, raised the tariff on a great many commodities imported from Great Britain prior to going to the conference; he followed that up in 1931 with a further increase in the tariff. The British representatives who, after all, are pretty shrewd business men, realized that when they came to Ottawa in 1932 they would have to do with men who had already raised the tariff against them. Surely it was only natural for them to provide themselves with a weapon, so they clapped on the 10 per cent clause which would come into effect

if they were not able to make a suitable agreement when they came here.

I should like to refer to article 1, and to an important question which was brought up by the hon. member for Shelburne-Yarmouth (Mr. Ralston). The hon. member stated that while certain articles were placed on the free list with regard to entry into the British market, there was no undertaking on the part of Great Britain that other nations could not be given that same advantage with regard to the same commodities, which would destroy the preference. That question has been raised repeatedly from this side of the house, but I have not heard a single member opposite give any answer to it. I say the matter is of great importance. I have here a clipping dated October 7 which refers to an article which appeared in the London Spectator. It reads as follows:

The Spectator, independent weekly review, today urged further exploration of the question how far agreements concluded at the Ottawa Imperial economic conference preclude the United Kingdom's lowering tariffs without consent of the dominions.

The paper held the fact irrelevant that the agreements will extend beyond the life of the present parliament as many treaties frequently run longer. It suggests, however, that for the United Kingdom to pledge itself not to lower tariffs on goods of any of 50-odd countries appears something new and highly undesirable.

"As for the astonishing Canadian contention that we are bound to maintain tariffs against foreign countries, not merely on specific articles in which Canada is promised preference, but on the whole range of commodities on which we have imposed any duties at all," it continued, "it is too untenable to call for serious comment."

I wonder whether there is a difference of opinion between the government of Canada and the government of Great Britain. If it be true that the government of Canada understood that Great Britain was to maintain the preference under that schedule by not reducing the tariff against foreign countries, I think we ought to know it. If there is any doubt about it at all; if that is merely in the spirit of the agreement-which was commented upon yesterday by Lord Reading- then I think the sooner it is established as to just what the understanding is on the part of both governments, the better for all concerned.

We get tariff preferences in two classes, on natural products and on manufactured commodities, with which I have already dealt. I do not want to appe:ar too critical, but just in passing I might say that I come in contact with a good many manufacturers, and I have not heard any of them say they anticipate any greatly increased business so far as exports

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to the British market are concerned. Natural products are perhaps on a different basis, and in all sincerity I say that I hope some good may come from the preferences which have been granted. I do not anticipate for a moment, however, that the Canadian manufacturer of clocks, of boots and shoes, of rubber goods, of leather clothing, of twine, of chemicals or of alcoholic spirits is going to sell very much of his product in that market.

Just here I might make a reference to other natural products, such as bacon, ham, paper products, lumber, wheat, copper and zinc. The only qualification there, as everyone knows-and I think it is a modifying clause of some disadvantage to us-is that we must sell most of these commodities, especially wheat, copper, apples and so on, at world prices. It may give us a sheltered market, as the Minister of Trade and Commerce (Mr. Stevens) said. I do not know exactly what that may mean, but to my mind the disquieting thing with regard to these commodities is that those who are supposed to benefit most from them, the farmers and those who represent labour, do not seem to see any value in it. Perhaps the best I can say for it is that if it does not do any good at least it will not do any harm.

Now, what do we give? We are arranging our tariff in such a manner that some of our imports from the United States will be transferred to Great Britain. With that I have no fault to find. We do not owe the American manufacturers, or the United States as a nation, a very great deal as far as tariffs are concerned, though I was rather surprised at the attitude taken by my clerical friend from Kindersley (Mr. Carmichael) who, though he was prepared to turn both cheeks, also was then ready to turn in and give the American a good thrashing. We have placed many items on the free list. Some of these may be of value; it is impossible to say, and I am quite willing that a fair trial be given. Many other preferences, I think, are quite valueless, in the first place because the commodities affected will be imported in such small quantities as to be practically negligible, while in other cases they will not be imported at all. We have the matter of automobiles. I am not much concerned with that item, and I fancy the manufacturers of automobiles in Canada are not much concerned about importations from Great Britain. I see the hon. member for East Essex (Mr. Morand) is in agreement with me, although he shakes his head. Then there is the item of motor trucks, which are manufactured in

my own city of Kitchener, though not in very large quantities. The makers of motor trucks, however, now are discriminated against under this agreement. Previously they had a tariff of 12i per cent against British trucks, which are now placed on the free list. They are discriminated against by reason of the fact that of necessity they must import some of their parts from the United States, upon which they must pay duty, whereas British trucks will enter Canada entirely free of duty. That is a discrimination, and for the information of the government I may say that for the moment it is blocking the investment of more capital in that concern.

We have placed rubber footwear on the free list, and that affects my constituency also. I do not desire to speak from a purely local point of view, but I am informed by people in my own city that rubber footwear from Great Britain will give us strong competition. Probably that will please some of my hon. friends on this side of the house, but I might say this: If it is fair to protect boots and shoes-and I believe in a reasonable protection-it ought to be just as fair to protect the rubber footwear that covers those boots and shoes.

I am glad the government have seen the error of their way and taken off the duty on the hides which were supposed to come from New Zealand. I might refer to the matter of kid leather, which is manufactured in this country in practically only two tanneries. Kid leather is used by the shoe manufacturers of this country, who employ a great many people in the city of Quebec, from which the Solicitor General (Mr. Dupre) comes, in the city from which I come and in many other cities throughout the country. The changes that have been made are as follows: Where there formerly was a tariff of 15 per cent against United States kid leather, which country makes the best kid leather in the world, it was raised to 25 per cent under the provisions of a former budget.

Topic:   IMPERIAL ECONOMIC CONFERENCE
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OP DEBATE ON THE MOTION FOR APPROVAL OF TRADE AGREEMENT BETWEEN CANADA AND THE UNITED KINGDOM
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October 28, 1932