June 27, 1934

LIB

Charles Gavan Power

Liberal

Mr. POWER:

May I suggest that we sit from eleven in the evening until at least twelve o'clock on Thursday and Friday.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   STATEMENT CONCERNING FURTHER BUSINESS, MORNING SITTINGS, AND PROBABLE TIME OF PROROGATION
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CON

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

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

I mentioned to my colleagues the desirability of sitting at least until half-past eleven. However, some hon. members have expressed great disapproval of sitting beyond eleven o'clock. I should be glad to make a motion to sit until half-past eleven.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   STATEMENT CONCERNING FURTHER BUSINESS, MORNING SITTINGS, AND PROBABLE TIME OF PROROGATION
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LIB

Ernest Lapointe

Liberal

Mr. LAPOINTE:

Make it twelve o'clock.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   STATEMENT CONCERNING FURTHER BUSINESS, MORNING SITTINGS, AND PROBABLE TIME OF PROROGATION
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LIB

Charles Gavan Power

Liberal

Mr. POWER:

Yes, make it twelve o'clock.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   STATEMENT CONCERNING FURTHER BUSINESS, MORNING SITTINGS, AND PROBABLE TIME OF PROROGATION
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CON

Henry Herbert Stevens (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEVENS:

Twelve o'clock.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   STATEMENT CONCERNING FURTHER BUSINESS, MORNING SITTINGS, AND PROBABLE TIME OF PROROGATION
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LAB

James Shaver Woodsworth

Labour

Mr. WOODSWORTH:

If we sit in the morning and remain until eleven o'clock at night I say that is all that any reasonable man can be expected to do.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   STATEMENT CONCERNING FURTHER BUSINESS, MORNING SITTINGS, AND PROBABLE TIME OF PROROGATION
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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Oh, oh.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   STATEMENT CONCERNING FURTHER BUSINESS, MORNING SITTINGS, AND PROBABLE TIME OF PROROGATION
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CON

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

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

Mr. Speaker, I think we want to be fair. The hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre (Mr. Woodsworth) has taken the same stand every session, and when he does the same thing to-day it is nothing new. He has always contended that we should not sit after eleven o'clock, if we met at eleven in the morning. I thought however that possibly he might be willing to wait until half-past eleven before calling it eleven o'clock, if we were getting along with our business. I shall therefore submit a resolution later in the day providing that the house shall meet to-morrow morning at eleven o'clock, that we shall meet Friday morning at eleven o'clock, that we shall meet on Saturday morning at eleven o'clock and at three o'clock. Possibly we had better provide for a sitting in the evening, having dissolution-

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   STATEMENT CONCERNING FURTHER BUSINESS, MORNING SITTINGS, AND PROBABLE TIME OF PROROGATION
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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Hear, hear.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   STATEMENT CONCERNING FURTHER BUSINESS, MORNING SITTINGS, AND PROBABLE TIME OF PROROGATION
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CON

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

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

-having prorogation in mind.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   STATEMENT CONCERNING FURTHER BUSINESS, MORNING SITTINGS, AND PROBABLE TIME OF PROROGATION
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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

If dissolution is in the Prime Minister's mind I might dispense with my speech.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   STATEMENT CONCERNING FURTHER BUSINESS, MORNING SITTINGS, AND PROBABLE TIME OF PROROGATION
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LIB

Cameron Ross McIntosh

Liberal

Mr. McINTOSH:

The truth must come out.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   STATEMENT CONCERNING FURTHER BUSINESS, MORNING SITTINGS, AND PROBABLE TIME OF PROROGATION
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CON

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

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

Oh well, you never can tell. I have seen willing dissolutions met by an unwilling electorate, and I have seen unwilling dissolutions met by a willing electorate. Then, we will provide in the resolution for meeting on Saturday evening at eight o'clock, in the event of our being unable to prorogue until later in the evening. If that meets with the approval of the house I shall submit a resolution a little later in the day.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   STATEMENT CONCERNING FURTHER BUSINESS, MORNING SITTINGS, AND PROBABLE TIME OF PROROGATION
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UNITED STATES TRADE ZONES


On the orders of the day:


CON

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

Conservative (1867-1942)

Right Hon. R. B. BENNETT (Prime Minister) :

Mr. Speaker, on Monday, June 25, the hon. member for Vancouver Centre (Mr. Mackenzie) asked a question of the government with respect to recent legislation enacted by the United States congress. I can only say to him that of course the government has been advised by the Canadian legation in Washington of the enactment by the congress of the United States of a measure providing for the establishment of foreign trade zones in ports of entry. I have made a short resume of the bill, which I brought with me and which I shall read.

The legislation is permissive in character, and authorizes the establishment of such zones by local bodies at their own expense under approved federal regulation. The administration of the act is vested in a board, of which the Secretary of Commerce is chairman. The board is authorized to grant permission for the establishment of foreign trade zones located in or adjacent to any port of entry of the United States. Such permission may be granted to either public corporations, including states or their legal subdivisions or agencies, or to private corporations chartered under state law for this purpose. Foreign and domestic merchandise, except such as is prohibited by law, may without being subject to the customs laws of the United States, except as specially provided, be brought into a zone and there stored, repacked, distributed, or mixed with foreign or domestic merchandise. Such merchandise may be exported or carried into Customs territory of the United States, where the foreign merchandise will be subject to any customs duties. The measure prohibits manufacturing or exhibition in the zone.

In that regard I might point out that there was a conference between the Senate and the House of Representatives, and the first view was that there should be exhibitions within the zone, but the final enactment provided that there should be no exhibitions within the zone.

United Slates Trade Zones

The grantee is to provide and maintain adequate docks, slips, wharves, warehouses, fueling facilities, transportation connections, enclosures to segregate the zone from customs territory, and such other facilities as may be required. These zones would be operated as public utilities, their charges for services to be fair and reasonable, and subject to the general administrative control of the Secretary of Commerce.

The bill as finally passed is under my hand.

I think it only fair in this regard, since I am making this statement, to indicate' to the house that the matter is nothing new so far as Canada is concerned. In 1908 the movement received its impetus in recent years in Canada from L. D. Taylor, now mayor of the city of Vancouver. He advocated that the city of Vancouver be made a free port. In 1920, twelve years later, the Vancouver board of trade appointed a committee to investigate the problem, and that committee unanimously recommended that a free trade area or free port be established in Vancouver. Mr. H. H. Stevens, who was then member for Vancouver, took up the matter with the then Prime Minister, Mr. Arthur Meighen, but no action was taken. Some consideration was given, however, to sending a commission to visit Hamburg and other European ports, but it ended there.

Then the Montreal harbour board, backed by the Montreal board of trade, recommended a free port system for Montreal around 1919 and 1920. In 1930, only four years ago, the Montreal harbour commission in its annual report revived the discussion, and urged the establishment of a free port in the Montreal harbour area. Similar suggestions were made from Halifax, and in this house on the nineteenth of March, 1929, Mr., now the Hon. Murray MacLaren, referred to the desirability of establishing free ports on the Atlantic seaboard.

A list of free ports throughout the world, so far as I have been able to ascertain from the inquiries I have made, includes Barcelona, Bremen, Copenhagen, Danzig, Gdynia, the new port established by Poland; Genoa, Hamburg, Saloniki and Stockholm. Hamburg, of course, is the most outstanding of those I have named.

There is a rather curious circumstance connected with this. Perhaps those who recall the biography of Sir Alexander Galt will remember that in 1860 he provided for the establishment of free ports at the two extremities of the province. One was to be at Gaspe, to care for the fishing business in the lower St. Lawrence, and the area was to include the town of Gaspe and the district

around it and also the Labrador coast as far into the ocean as the straits of Belle Isle. The other area was to be established at Sault Ste. Marie, comprising the town of Sault Ste. Marie and the district west of it. Permission was to be given to import free goods, just as was provided in the legislation recently passed by the congress of the United States. It also provided for the calling of vessels at Gaspe and matters of that kind. Owing, however, to the difficulties in connection with smuggling and the complaints that were made that it had facilitated smuggling, in the end the matter was abandoned, and nothing further has been done except as I have suggested. I dare say there are members of the house, in view of the interest that has been indicated, who have read Foreign Trade Principles and Practices, published in 1930 by Huebner and Kramer, and there is a short extract from their work which might be of value. Without taking up time to read it at length, I will place it on Hansard, if that is the wish of the house, in order that hon. members may have the benefit of it:

Extract from Huebner and Kramer-"Foreign Trade Principles and Practices,"

New York, 1930

The establishment of free zones at American ports would undoubtedly stimulate the reexport trade, and they would probably also benefit foreign trade as a whole to some extent, but their importance should not be overestimated. Domestic exports and imports for consumption have grown and can continue to advance even though free zones are not established, for they are influenced primarily by the many factors, other than customs regulations, that have been discussed throughout this volume and they would at most be affected but secondarily by a free zone policy. The full effect upon reexports of foreign merchandise from the United States, which is the primary pm-pose of free zones, cannot be forecast with precision. The experience of foreign countries is not conclusive, for the reexports of some foreign free ports are very large, while those of others are small. The reexport trade of any port depends in part upon important factors quite aside from relief from customs formalities and a rigid- system of drawbacks. Both reexports and direct vessel to vessel transshipment depend partly upon the geographic location of American ports with respect to foreign sources of supply and foreign markets.

Attainment of full effect of the free zone policy upon ocean shipping, likewise, depends upon unknown contingencies. Vessels discharging or transshipping cargo within a free zone would undoubtedly be relieved very largely from customs formalities, but many of them will probably be loaded with much cargo intended for domestic consumption. If they discharge this cargo at piers not located within the free zone, the usual customs regulations will apply. Will they discharge cargo both within the free zone and elsewhere? Will they discharge all of their cargo within the

Montreal Bridge Tolls

free zone? Or will they discharge all of it at the regular piers of the port, the merchandise intended for the free zone then to be transferred to the free zone?

Certain practical difficulties are encountered in the establishment of free zones at American ports. It is not feasible merely to set apart a section of a port that is already occupied by shipping, foreign trading, manufacturing, and other concerns variously engaged in foreign and domestic commerce. In any case, free zones will occasion much new construction. Suitable areas must be located and capital must be provided for the construction of warehouses, terminal facilities, railroad connections, factories, bunker fuel facilities, etc., and it may be necessary in some instances to dredge suitable channels and harbours. The keen rivalry between American ports, moreover, complicates the application of a free zone policy at some ports to the exclusion of others. The selection of a few is met by charges of discrimination, while the establishment of free zones at many ports would multiply construction and maintenance costs and w'eaken the probability of attaining certain of the benefits expected from a free port policy. In the latter case efforts and cargoes would be needlessly scattered.

Topic:   UNITED STATES TRADE ZONES
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LIB

Ian Alistair Mackenzie

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE (Vancouver):

I thank the Prime Minister for his very full explanation.

Topic:   UNITED STATES TRADE ZONES
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CON

Thomas Cantley

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. THOMAS CANTLEY (Pictou):

Mr. Speaker, I have listened with very great interest to the remarks of the right hon. leader of the government, and I can conceive of no method which would do so much to stimulate the foreign trade of this country as that to which he refers. The free port of Hamburg, of course, is well known. There you find an enclosed area in one section of the port which is called the free port. It is walled and closed by gates, which when opened permit vessels to go in and pass out, and goods may be stored in the large two storied sheds provided for the purpose, opened, repacked and exported to other countries. If we had a similar arrangement in this country, a free port say on the Pacific coast, one in Montreal, and one in Halifax, I am assured it would largely aid in the extension of our foreign commerce, and I would recommend to the Prime Minister that the matter should receive very careful consideration. I believe there are large possibilities in it which should not be neglected.

Topic:   UNITED STATES TRADE ZONES
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LIB

Peter John Veniot

Liberal

Hon. PETER VENIOT (Gloucester):

Mr. Speaker, the suggestion has been made that a free port be established on the Pacific coast at Vancouver, one at Montreal, and one at Halifax. Halifax and Saint John are our two winter ports on the Atlantic coast, and I would add to the suggestion that has been made that both these ports should be made 74726-275 J

free ports and that no discrimination be made as between the two Atlantic ports.

Topic:   UNITED STATES TRADE ZONES
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LIB

June 27, 1934