February 28, 1936

PARLIAMENTARY RESTAURANT

LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Right Hon. W. L. MACKENZIE KING (Prime Minister) moved:

That a message be sent to the Senate to acquaint their honours that this house has substituted the name of Mr. Barber for that of Mr. Baker to act on the part of the House of Commons as a member of the joint committee of both houses on the restaurant.

And that the clerk of the house do carry the said message to the Senate.

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Motion agreed to.


PENITENTIARIES COMMISSION

LIB

Ernest Lapointe (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Hon. ERNEST LAPOINTE (Minister of Justice):

Mr. Speaker, I beg to lay on the table a copy of the order in council appointing a royal commission to inquire into and report on the penal system of Canada.

Civil Service Act

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POST OFFICE ACT


Mr. OSCAR L. BOULANGER (Belle-chasse) moved for leave to introduce Bill No. 8, to amend the Post Office Act.


?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Explain.

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LIB

Joseph Oscar Lefebre Boulanger

Liberal

Mr. BOULANGER:

Mr. Speaker, I think the best way to explain the object of the bill will be for me to read the explanatory note. It is as follows:

The object of this bill is to abolish the obsolete and unsatisfactory system of awarding by tender contracts for the transportation of mail. Moreover, everyone knows that the principle of awarding mail contracts by tender and to the lowest tenderer has been more often disregarded than observed'. It is sought by this bill to establish a more open and honest practice and at the same time allow the Postmaster General properly to remunerate the mail carriers who perform the important function of transporting the mail of Canada.

As the house will have observed, the object of the bill is to do away with the present system of awarding mail contracts by tender. The bill proposes, instead of the old system, to establish a system of awarding contracts at the discretion of the Postmaster General when the contract does not exceed $1,000, and at the discretion of the governor general in council when the contract is over $1,000, without tender and at a flat rate.

Motion agreed to and bill read the first time.

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CIVIL SERVICE ACT


Mr. OSCAR L. BOULANGER (Belie-chasse) moved for leave to introduce Bill No. 9, to amend the Civil Service Act (vacancies, outside service, priority to returned soldiers).


?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Explain.

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LIB

Joseph Oscar Lefebre Boulanger

Liberal

Mr. BOULANGER:

Mr. Speaker, this bill has four objects in view. The first is to place the outside civil service outside the control of the civil service commission. Secondly, the bill proposes that it shall be obligatory for the civil service commission to consult the heads of departments before making appointments or promotions in order that the last word in making appointments and promotions may be with heads of departments, and not with the commission. Thirdly, the bill proposes to restrict to Canadian veterans the preference granted to veterans by the Civil Service Act. Lastly, the bill proposes that it shall be obligatory for the civil service commission, whenever they desire to appoint to a position in the civil service a candidate who has not resided five years in Canada, to bring the appointment before the cabinet. At the present time there is a blanket order in council and a regulation of the civil service com-

JMr. Lapointe.]

mission which authorize the commission in certain cases to appoint to the civil service a person who has not had the necessary five years' residence in Canada. The bill proposes that in future it will be necessary for the civil service commission, whenever they feel the necessity of overriding the Civil Service Act in that respect, to come before the government and state the special reasons which necessitate such an appointment.

Motion agreed to and bill read the first time.

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PERFORMING RIGHT SOCIETY

LIB

Edgar-Rodolphe-Eugène Chevrier

Liberal

Mr. E. R. E. CHEVRIER (Ottawa East):

Mr. Speaker, I desire to ask the Secretary of State (Mr. Rinfret) a question, and while I am on my feet I desire to extend to him our heartiest congratulations upon the occasion of his birthday and to wish him many happy returns of the day. The question I wanted to ask was whether the government intends during the present session to take any action on the report of Mr. Justice Parker with respect of the Canadian Performing Right Society.

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LIB

Louis Édouard Fernand Rinfret (Secretary of State of Canada)

Liberal

Hon. FERNAND RINFRET (Secretary of State):

I wish to thank my hon. friends for

the very kind tribute they are paying me to-day; it will make it less difficult for me to bear the burdens of the coming years.

I am also pleased to be able to gratify the hon. member for Ottawa East (Mr. Chevrier) with a favourable reply to his question. It is the intention of the government, through the Secretary of State, to introduce a bill based upon the report of His Honour Judge Parker, and I may have more to say in that regard when we reach the bill which has been proposed by the hon. member for Kootenay West (Mr. Esling), and which is already on the order paper. In reply to another hon. gentleman who has made a private request, I may say that I have extended the order prolonging the period during which no litigation shall take place in recovering performing rights. I refer to the order passed in connection with the inquiry made by His Honour Judge Parker. That order has been extended until April 30 of this year, and notice will be duly published in the Canada Gazette.

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CANADA-UNITED STATES TRADE AGREEMENT


PROrOSED APPROVAL SUBJECT TO LEGISLATION MAKING PROVISIONS EFFECTIVE The house resumed, from Tuesday, February 25, consideration of the motion of Mr. Mackenzie King: Canada-TJ3. Trade Agreement That it is expedient that parliament do approve of the trade agreement entered into at Washington on the 15th day of November, 1935, between His Majesty's government in the Dominion of Canada and the government of the United States of America, and that this house do approve of the same, subject to the legislation required in order to give effect to the provisions thereof.


CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Right Hon. R. B. BENNETT (Leader of the Opposition):

I think it perhaps desirable

to correct some misapprehensions of the right hon. Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) as indicated in his address the other day, before I deal more specifically with the provisions of the agreement which is now before the house for consideration. I do not desire to do this at any great length, nor would I bother the house were it not for the fact that, by not dealing with them, it might seem that I had accepted them as being a correct statement of the situation.

It is not correct to say that the Liberal party during all its existence has supported reciprocity, nor is it correct to say that the Conservative party has in any sense opposed it. I find, by reference to the statutes of 1868, that in the first statute dealing with such matters and enacted by this parliament provision was made whereby a standing offer to the United States was embodied in the statute, dealing with natural products; and later on, in 1879, when the national policy was introduced, provision was definitely made by which a statutory offer was extended to the United States. In order that there may be no misunderstanding with respect to that, it might perhaps be desirable to read the resolution upon which the statute was founded. It was resolution No. 5 and was submitted to the house by Sir Leonard Tilley on March 14, 1879:

That it is expedient to provide that any or all of the following articles, that is to say:- Animals of all kinds, green fruit, hay, straw, bran, seeds of all kinds, vegetables (including potatoes and other roots), plants, trees and shrubs, coal and coke, salt, hops, wheat, peas and beans, barley, rye, oats, Indian corn, buckwheat, and all other grain, flour of wheat and flour of rye, Indian meal and oatmeal and flour or meal of any other grain, butter, cheese, fish (salted or smoked), lard, tallow, meat (fresh, salted or smoked), may be imported into Canada free of duty, or at a less rate of duty than is provided by this act, upon proclamation of the governor in council, which may be issued whenever it appears to his satisfaction that similar articles from Canada may be imported into the United States free of duty, or at a rate of duty not exceeding that payable on the same under such proclamation, when imported into Canada.

Upon that resolution a statute was founded, and in 1911, when the late Right Hon. W. S. Fielding was introducing his reciprocity resolutions and moving the house into committee of ways and means, he quoted that resolution as indicating the attitude of the Conservative party with respect to the matter of reciprocity.

I also take sharp issue with the Prime Minister when he contends that the so-called national policy was introduced as a retaliatory measure against the United States. I have only to refer to what was said by the Minister of Finance in introducing the budget on March 14, 1879, at pages 411 and 415 of Hansard of that day, to correct any possible misunderstanding. Discussing the question of giving more favourable treatment to goods from Great Britain than to goods from foreign countries, he said:

I think this house will not object if, in the propositions before me, they touch more heavily the imports from foreign countries than from our fatherland.... But the government couple with the proposal, in order to Show that we approach this question with no unfriendly spirit, a resolution that will be laid on the table containing a proposition to this effect: That, as to articles named, which are the natural products of the country, including lumber, if the United States take off the duties in part or in whole, we are prepared to meet them with equal concessions. The government believe in a reciprocity tariff, yet may discuss free trade or protection, but the question of to-day is-Shall we have a reciprocity tariff, or a one-sided' tariff? The government propose to do more.

And then Sir Charles Tupper said:

I believe within two years from the adoption of the national policy-not a policy of hostility to the United States, but one of following the system they had adopted to foster their industries-they will give us a free market for coal in the United States.

Further, Sir Leonard Tilley made clear the object to be attained by the tariff then introduced:

But if we undertake, as the present government have undertaken, to readjust and reorganize, and I may say, make an entirely new tariff, having for its object not only the realization of $2,000,000 more revenue than will he collected this year, but, in addition to providing for that deficiency, to adjust that policy, or that tariff with a view of making what has been, and is to-day, declared the policy of the majority of this house-I mean the protection of the industries of the country [DOT]-the magnitude of the undertaking will be the better appreciated.

These were the declarations made by the Minister of Finance and the Minister of Railways of that day, Sir Leonard Tilley and Sir Charles Tupper, at the time the national policy became a part of the policy of this country, or at least the policy of the Conservative party, as it has been ever since.

I need hardly go further than to point out that every proposed reciprocity agreement that reached the point, shall I say, not

Canada-UJS. Trade Agreement

of being signed but of a consensus between the parties was brought forward while the Republican party was in office in the United States. In 1874, when George Brown negotiated with the United States, the Republican party was in office; in 1911 when the agreement was negotiated Mr. Taft was president -a Republican president. The recent agreement was of course negotiated with a Democratic president. I mention this because it is desirable that there Should be no misunderstanding with respect to the matter; for in the following years the United States expressed unwillingness to enter into agreements, as indicated a day or two ago; for in 1892 they declined to grant the concessions asked for by the government of that day, and in 1898, when Sir Wilfrid Laurier set up his joint high commission under the presidency of Lord Hersehell, they sat for nearly a solid year without results, and it was at that time that Sir Wilfrid Laurier made it perfectly clear that he did not propose longer to concern himself with an effort to negotiate a treaty with the United States. He said:

There will he no more pilgrimages to Washington. We are turning our hopes to the old motherland.

And what is more, not only did Sir Wilfrid say that but that is what he practised, and though in 1887 and 1891 the elections were contested on commercial union and unrestricted reciprocity, that was subsequently abandoned by the Liberal party. In consequence of the attitude taken by Mr. Blake and many others at that time, not only did he not go to the United States asking for further concessions after the joint high commission's failure, but he said he would not do it; and in 1911 it was not the action of Sir Wilfrid Laurier and his government that brought about the negotiations terminating in the proposals of 1911. I think it might be well to clear that up, because Mr. Fielding, in his letter to Mr. Knox, dwelt upon that point as one of some importance. He made it perfectly clear at that time that the initiative had come from the president of the day and not from himself or his government. The letter addressed to Mr. Knox-I will not read the whole of it, but it is important to keep it in mind-was dated at Washington on January 21, 1911:

Dear Mr. Secretary,-

The negotiations initiated by the president several months ago through your communication to his excellency the British ambassador respecting a reciprocal tariff arrangement between the United States and Canada, and since carried on directly between representatives of these two countries have now, we are

happy to say, reached a stage which gives reasonable assurance of a conclusion satisfactory to both countries.

Then follows this, after two intervening paragraphs:

The governments of the two countries having made this agreement from the conviction that, if confirmed by the necessary legislative authorities, it will benefit the people on, both sides of the border line, we may reasonably hope and expect that the arrangement, if so confirmed, will remain in operation for a considerable period. Only this expectation on the part of both governments would justify the time and labour that have been employed in the maturing of the proposed measures. Nevertheless, it is distinctly understood that we do not attempt to bind for the future the action of the United States Congress, or the Parliament of Canada, but that each of these authorities shall be absolutely free to make any change of tariff policy or of any other matter covered by the present arrangement that may be deemed expedient. We look for the continuance of the arrangement, not because either party is bound to it, but because of our conviction that the more liberal trade policy thus to be established will be viewed by the people of the United States and Canada as one which will strengthen the friendly relations now happily prevailing and promote the commercial interests of both countries.

That was a declaration by Mr. Fielding of the circumstances under which these negotiations were carried on. They failed because the Canadian people were not prepared to adopt them. The United States congress did approve them; but it must be within the memory of every member of this house that upon the very first opportunity afforded to the people of the United States to pass upon them they defeated them; the Republican administration was defeated at the polls and succeeded by the administration of Mr. Wilson. So that on the one hand you have the Canadian people rejecting the proposals, and on the other hand you have the United States people rejecting them at the first opportunity that was offered them so to do. That, I think, makes the record clear so far as that point is concerned, and there can be no misunderstanding, it seems to me, with respect to that part of the matter.

Let us now correct another misapprehension on the part of the right hon. gentleman, that is with respect to what took place after this government came into office. I wonder if for the moment the right hon. gentleman forgot that in June of 1930 the Hawley-Smoot tariff was enacted,-enacted despite the fact that in his place as prime minister he had asked this house and the country not to provoke them lest they do something more severe than that which they had done.

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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

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February 28, 1936