Mr. E. E. PERLEY (Qu'Appelle):
Mr. Speaker, when the house adjourned Friday night I had just finished citing two opinions on this treaty, the one, as to how it might affect the United Kingdom agreement; the other, that of President Roosevelt as to how it would benefit the primary producers of the United States of America to get an entry into our Canadian market. Many opinions could be cited with respect to how it will affect our industry in Canada. However,
I have not time in the few minutes at my disposal to do this; I prefer to take the considered opinion and the first hand knowledge of hon. members who have already spoken, particularly from this corner of the house, as to how the agreement may affect industry in their particular constituencies. If it operates as they believe it will, I am fearful that if industry is ruined in the east it will affect us very considerably in the west. From the experience of the past five years we know how closely the east and the west are bound together and we appreciate how interdependent they are.
When the agreement goes to committee we shall likely get some detailed information. I -regret that so far the speeches from the government side have not given us much detailed information with respect to how it will affect us in many particulars. In that connection I might just mention the speech made by the hon. member for Melville (Mr. Motherwell). This venerable gentleman usually takes his full quota of time, speaking especially to questions affecting agriculture; he is considered an authority on agriculture because of the experience he has had, and we expected something from him. But he took only twelve minutes in speaking on this important treaty, giving us a jocular tirade against protective tariffs. Then we had the hon. member for Saskatoon (Mr. Young); he took his time in giving us a dissertation on the tariff, but he did not refer
Canada-U J5. Trade Agreement
to one single item of this agreement by which the producers in his constituency would be benefited. Then we had the Minister of Finance (Mr. Dunning). We were watching and waiting for him to say something, because his department has to do with trade, and in some particulars this agreement is really a budget, as it deals with so many changes in the tariff. We expected from him some details as to how it would benefit the trade of Canada, but what did we have? We had thirty minutes of an attack on the leader of the opposition (Mr. Bennett) which wound up in a dramatic conclusion, so to speak, that fell as flat on the ears of his followers as it did on the ears of those on this side. Certainly we had nothing from him.
I am going to make one comment by way of reply with reference to the speech of the "Minister of Finance. It will be very brief. It is to this effect: It is true that many of the things in the treaty were based on the memorandum submitted in November, 1934, but to say that the agreement signed was in its terms the same as the leader of the opposition tried to get, just because both were based on the same memorandum, is not according to fact, is certainly incorrect, and grossly unfair. I think that is a fair statement.
In the minute or two that is left I desire to make a few observations with respect to the advantages and disadvantages of the agreement as I have tried to set them out. First let me refer to the advantages. I admit that the outlet for a limited number of cattle is a distinct advantage, but here, Mr. Speaker, may I remind you that we should take into account the fact that a considerable part of the quota was crossing the boundary before this trade treaty came into effect, and also the fact that the prices in the United States for cattle have decreased considerably. Second, there is a slight reduction in the price of automobiles. On the class and kind that the farmer has to purchase, the Chevrolet and the Ford, it amounts to fifteen and in some cases to twenty dollars. But it is probable that we should have got those decreases in any case. Then there is some assistance to the lumber interests in British Columbia. We will admit that there is certainly some benefit to lumber. Those are the three advantages.
Now, as to the disadvantages, there has been a sharp increase in the price of farm implements. It may or may not be the result of this treaty, but the fact is there, and I would just remind the house that every time there has been a reduction in rMr. E. E. Perley.]
the duty on agricultural implements there has been an increase in price. Certainly the reduction in the duty on United States pork coming into Canada from five cents to If cents is a distinct threat to the hog industry in Canada. The increased price of lumber as a result of this treaty is already in force in Saskatchewan-an increase of $2 per thousand feet. It is a distinct hardship on the farmers of that province, as lumber is their chief available material for building.