March 10, 1936

LIB

Vincent Dupuis

Liberal

Mr. DUPUIS:

No truck or trade with the Yankees.

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CON

James Earl Lawson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LAWSON:

This is a very different agreement from the one that was proposed in 1911.

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LIB

Vincent Dupuis

Liberal

Mr. DUPUIS:

Where were you in 1911?

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CON

James Earl Lawson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LAWSON:

I was right here in Canada, where I have always been. The statement which I made, I made in all seriousness. As individuals I like the people of the United States, but I do not want to come under their laws and under the administration of their laws.

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LIB

Charles Benjamin Howard

Liberal

Mr. HOWARD:

Get the flag out.

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CON

James Earl Lawson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LAWSON:

I do not need to get the flag out, as the hon. member suggests. I am taking up the point of an argument of the hon. member for Selkirk, who wants to end

Canada-U.S. Trade Agreement

economic imperialism. As I say, I do not want to come under the administration of the laws of the United States. So long as I am able I want to remain in, and promote trade within the British empire, and if so doing is economic imperialism I hope that the Conservative party will always continue in the path of economic imperialism.

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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):

Mr. Speaker, the house has been discussing the motion before it for nearly a fortnight, almost to the exclusion of everything else. In that course of time the subject matter of the resolution has been very thoroughly debated. It would be but occupying unnecessarily the time of hon. members to go over the ground that already has been traversed so well by other speakers. About all I wish to say at the moment is that, having regard to the importance of this agreement, it can truthfully be said that there has never been introduced before in the Commons of Canada an agreement of such great importance which has been so generally approved and so ineffectively criticized as the present one. The force of this observation is all the greater in view of the fact that this is the first session of a new parliament comprising in its membership groups not hitherto represented in this house.

The approval has been all but unanimous, if we except what is left of the old Conservative party in the house at the present time. I believe, with this exception, it might be said to be unanimous. I would draw your attention, Mr. Speaker, to the fact that the house is overwhelmingly Liberal, and that with respect to this agreement there has not been a dissenting voice so far as the Liberal party is concerned. That is the more remarkable when it is recalled that the Liberal following is drawn from constituencies of all kinds, rural and urban, and from all parts of Canada. There are members here of the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation party who were in the house during previous parliaments; they have in their ranks some new members. They, too, old and new alike, so far as they have spoken, have spoken favourably and approvingly of the agreement. There is another party which has come in with a considerable membership, the Social Credit party. In so far as its members have spoken their words also have been not of criticism but of approval of the agreement. There remains yet one other party, the Social Reconstruction party. It, too, has been unanimous in its commendation of the agreement. All that is left in opposition to the agreement is the remnant of the Tory party

in the house at the present time. After listening to the speeches of hon. gentlemen opposite who belong to that party, one thing, I think, is clear, namely, that no agreement with the United States would ever have been concluded by that party, under any circumstances whatever. Their argument, from that of the leader himself (Mr. Bennett) and throughout its ranks, has been that an agreement with the United States meant trade north and south, meant the end of the building up of Canada, meant the breaking up of the British empire, meant annexation, meant getting away from the British flag, and all that sort of thing to which the country has listened from Tory speakers for half a century past. That has been the sole contribution of hon. gentlemen opposite to the discussion of this great measure. I do not purpose, therefore, to spend any time in commenting on the line of attack they have made.

One misconception, however, which I should like to point out is that stressed by the last speaker who addressed the house (Mr. Lawson) as he kept making comparisons between what was set forth as the basis of negotiation of an agreement and the present agreement, as if the basis of negotiation of the agreement had been the agreement that hon. gentlemen opposite would have secured or ever thought they were going to get. His own leader made it quite clear that there is a distinction to be drawn between the basis of negotiation of an agreement and an agreement itself. As has been so well pointed out by other speakers, it is not usual for parties negotiating an agreement to make the basis of an agreement less than or equal to what they expect ultimately to receive. In fact, they usually seek to have the basis of agreement cover demands far beyond anything they ever expect actually to receive. The comparisons of the hon. member for South York are all beside the question.

I do take exception, very strong exception, Mr. Speaker, to the right hon. the leader of the opposition saying that he could or might have secured an agreement, to all intents and purposes, very similar to or substantially the same as the one which has been obtained by the present government. I think my right hon. friend knows that that is not correct. He knows of course, as an old parliamentarian and as one who has had much to do with the conduct of international affairs, that we are both precluded from telling the house the actual state of negotiations under his administration and what followed when the new administration came into office. To that extent certainly I am very much handicapped in trying to review what my hon. friend has-

Canada-U.S. Trade Agreement

said. At different times, however, he has been able to give to the press, certainly to one or two particular journals, information which when published has come pretty near to hitting the mark. There have appeared now and then, as the occasion seemed to render opportune, articles in the press which were more or less inspired and which I think we may be justified in taking as representing fairly accurately the position as my right hon. friend has wished to have it known by the people at the time.

I have in my hand a copy of an article which appeared in the Mail and Empire of November 5. It is headed: Acid test for King. Ability to secure mutually satisfactory agreement challenged. It begins:

_ Leaving on Wednesday afternoon for Washington to hold reciprocity conversations with President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Right Hon. W. L. Mackenzie King, federal Prime Minister, is credited in political Ottawa with the courage to face at the outset of his regime the problem destined to rank as one of the acid tests of his administration, namely, the ability of his government to conclude a mutually satisfactory trade agreement with the United States.

Then it goes on to say:

The question which official Ottawa is now asking-and which cannot be answered until a draft treaty is submitted-is whether Mr. King can secure better terms than Mr. Bennett was able to elicit.

I ask hon. members, and my right hon. friend in particular, to listen to this:

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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

I am not responsible for that.

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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:

No; but I

will ask my right hon. friend whether what follows-he evidently knows what it is-

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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

No, I do not.

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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:

-is not a

substantially correct statement of the situation as he knew it:

Under the late government the reciprocity negotiations with the United States blew up when President Roosevelt definitely and categorically declared his inability to extend any concessions on any terms to:

The codfishing and halibut fishing industry of the maritime provinces.

The potato growing industry of the maritime provinces.

The dairying industry of Ontario and Quebec.

The wheat growers of the prairie provinces.

And anything effective for the cattle raisers of the west.

Mr. Roosevelt was prepared to extend concessions to:

Canadian lumber.

Canadian alcoholic liquors.

12739-61i

The haddock fishing industry of the mari-times to the extent of a limited quota arrangement which would extend but limited benefit to the fishermen.

The live stock breeders of the west upon a combined quota and price arrangement which would mean but little to the industry.

It is in comparison with these limited benefits, proffered to Mr. Bennett, that any arrangement negotiated with Mr. King will be judged.

I ask my right hon. friend if that is not pretty substantially the reason why negotiations were not concluded before he went out of office. I am inclined to think that it is. I would ask hon. members of the house, comparing what is reported here with what appears in the agreement that is now before the house for approval, whether there are not the following apparent additional concessions. Let me set them forth. Where I speak of imports, I mean United States imports from Canada by calendar years, based on figures of the United States Department of Commerce. First of all:

Halibut (fresh or frozen)

A 50 per cent reduction.

United States imports: 1929, $676,000; 1934, $261,000.

Potatoes

Seed potatoes, reduction on 750,000 bushels annually, from 75 cents per hundredweight to (December to February, inclusive), 60 cents per hundredweight; (March to November, inclusive), 45 cents per hundredweight.

United States imports: 1929, $600,000; 1934, $223,000.

Dairy Products

Cream, reduction on 1,500,000 gallons annually, from 56-6 cents per gallon to 35 cents per gallon.

United States imports: 1929, $5,182,000; 1934, small.

Cheddar cheese, reduction from 7 cents per pound (minimum 35 per cent ad valorem) to 5 cents per pound (minimum 25 per cent ad valorem).

United States imports: 1929, $1,818,0001934, $140,000.

Wheat

Wheat unfit for human consumption, byproduct feeds and mixed feeds, and screenings, 10 per cent ad valorem rate bound against increases.

United States imports: 1929, over $8,372,000; 1934, $6,564,000.

Hulled oats, unfit for human consumption, 50 per cent reduction.

Canada-U.S. Trade Agreement

Cattle

Heavy cattle (over 700 pounds per head), reduction on 155,799 head annually, from 3 cents to 2 cents per pound.

United States imports: 1929, $9,900,000; 1934, $4,000.

Calves, (under 175 pounds), reduction on 51,933 head annually, from 2i cents to H cents per pound.

United States imports: 1929, $1,000,000; 1934, $3,000.

Dairy cows (over 700 pounds), reduction on

20,000 head annually, from 3 cents to li cents per pound.

United States imports: 1929, (estimated), $500,000; 1934, (estimated), $2,000.

With regard to the concessions on cattle, there is no mention in the agreement before us of the price arrangement referred to by the Mail and Empire, which was a matter of maintaining a certain parity of price as between agricultural and manufactured products. Had anything of that kind existed in this agreement, it would have materially affected the whole agreement from the point of view of the benefit to be derived from its provisions by the cattle industry. There is nothing concerning parity price in the present agreement. So I say, Mr. Speaker, that just taking what appears to be a more or less accurate statement of the situation, which I should say was probably inspired, there is ample evidence that the agreement as it is before the house for approval goes very much further in the interests of Canada than anything my right hon. friend found it possible to obtain prior to the time he went out of office.

I might mention other features. My hon. friend from Leeds (Mr. Stewart) took a characteristic line, when indicating what he termed the many concessions the United States got compared with what Canada secured. He started off with oranges. I think this is as good an illustration as could be used; he said:

Let us see what Canada gives, as compared with what she gets. She gives concessions on oranges to the value of $21,000,000-

First, as to the meaning and accuracy of the figures used, what does my hon. friend mean when he says that the United States got concessions to the extent of $21,000,000 on oranges? I do not know where he obtained his figures; I am told that according to our own statistical department the duty collected on oranges since they were placed on the dutiable list by the late administration, that is for the four years combined, was less than $5,000,000, and that the value of imports of oranges from all countries in the peak year, 1929, was only $9,500,000, while the com-

bined imports of the last four years totalled less than $21,000,000. Yet my hon. friend from

Leeds says, "Look at the concession the United States got, $21,000,000 on oranges."

What I want to point out, Mr. Speaker, is this: In discussing this agreement hon. gentlemen opposite seem to have considered only the alleged interests of producers, even where, as in the case of oranges, there are no producers in Canada. They have not had one word to say for the poor consumer, all the way through. Yet so far as Canada is concerned every one is a consumer, and there is not a producer who does not also receive something from any benefit obtained by consumers. My hon. friend who has just taken his seat says, "Where is the help for the manufacturers in this agreement?" Well, if the consumers are going to derive the great benefit hon. gentlemen opposite would seem to imagine through the intermediate tariff being granted to the United States, that is going to be of assistance to every manufacturer in the country because it will increase the real wages of the workingmen of Canada, and whatever will help the manufacturers or producers lessen the cost of production and the cost of living is going to be of material help to the manufacturers and producers themselves. There is in addition the demand for manufactured goods which will come from the purchasing power derived from the sale of Canada's primary and other products in the United States. But for each single producer in the country it is difficult to say just how many consumers there are; we are all consumers, and the difference between hon. gentlemen opposite and ourselves is that we have been looking to the well-being of the consumers as well as to that of the producers. They have been confining their attention almost exclusively to what is going to benefit certain special or vested interests in the country.

I need not enlarge upon the benefits afforded by the agreement to consumers; the benefits run all through the agreement, but may I say that what might have been a substantial benefit to consumers five years ago through giving to the United States or other countries the intermediate tariff is very much less of a benefit to-day. In many particulars the intermediate tariff to-day is almost the same as the general tariff. During the time my right hon. friend was in office he hardly let a session go by, in fact, I do not think he did let a session go by, without jacking up the tariff somewhat higher, and in particular bringing the intermediate tariff nearer to the level of the general tariff. As a result, when to-day we speak of giving another country the bene-

Canada~U.S. Trade Agreement

fits of the intermediate tariff actually we are giving it a tariff which to all intents and purposes is considerably higher than the general tariff was when the Liberal party was in office. In regard to this agreement let me repeat that as far as we are concerned one of its chief benefits is what we hope and believe it will do for the consumers of Canada. In helping the consumers we believe it is going to help all classes, and every family and household.

My hon. friend from Leeds also touched on a point that I do not think was mentioned by anyone else; just how he came to see it I do not know. My hon. friend spoke about the three escape clauses; he pointed out that there were in this agreement three clauses whereby its term could be shortened so that it might not run for the full three years. If someone from this side of the house had presented that argument with a view to having the condition remedied, there might have been something to it, but my hon. friend was arguing all the time that the agreement was a bad one, and I think in the circumstances he should have been happy that there were some clauses in it which would enable its term to be shortened if necessary.

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CON

Hugh Alexander Stewart

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEWART:

I was emphasizing the

instability of it.

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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:

May I point

out to my hon. friend that as far as these escape clauses are concerned, they are there simply for the purpose of seeing that the agreement is carried out in the spirit in which it was entered into; that its main provisions are not defeated by some action, on the part of either the United States government or the Canadian government, which might follow upon failure to make the agreement itself, giving to either party the right, in the event of an injustice being done in that way, of remedying that injustice or, at all events, not suffering because of it. I think on that score my hon. friend should have said that whatever was done for the benefit of the United States on the one hand was done equally for the benefit of Canada on the other. That provision is on all fours with the rest of the terms of the agreement; it is an agreement for the mutual advantage of the two countries, not an agreement whereby one country seeks to get all the advantages on its side and to leave none of the benefits to the other country.

I need not again go over the point alluded to by the last speaker, as to what might follow were no agreement to be effected with the United States at this time. But I would repeat that there are grave results

which might follow upon a failure to make an agreement with the United States at this time. Particularly is this the case when that country is making agreements with other nations in all parts of the world, which agreements, if continued and expanded, as they will be, will give to other countries the place in the markets of the United States which Canada as an immediate neighbour should have above all other countries.

I see, Mr. Speaker, that the hour is getting late. What the country is waiting for is to see to what extent this agreement is approved by the parliament of Canada. I doubt if the remaining twenty minutes can be spent to greater advantage than in securing that result.

The house divided on the motion (Mr. Mackenzie King) which was agreed to on the following division:

YEAS Messrs:

Ahearn Emmerson

Barry Evans

Beaubien Factor

Bertrand (Prescott) Fafard

Bertrand (Laurier) Fair

Black (Chateauguay- Farquhar

Huntingdon) Ferguson

Blackmore Ferland

Blair Ferron

Blais Finn

Blanchette Fiset, Sir Eugene

Bothwell Fleming

Bouchard Fontaine

Boulanger Fournier (Hull)

Bradette Fournier

Brunelle (Maisonneuve-

Cameron Rosemount)

(Hastings South) Fraser

Cameron (Cape Breton Furniss

North-Victoria) Gardiner

Campbell Gariepy

Cardin Gauthier

Chevrier Gladstone

(Ottawa East) Glen

Chevrier (Stormont) Golding

Clark Goulet

(Essex South) Gray

Clark (York-Sunbury) Hamilton

Cleaver Hanson

Cochrane Hartigan

Col dwell Hayhurst

Crerar Heaps

Crfete Hill

Damude Howard

Davidson Howe

Deachman Hurtubisq

Denis Hushion

Deslauriers Ilsley

Donnelly Isnor

Douglas Jacobs

Dubois Jean

Duffus Johnston

Dunning (Bow River)

Dupuis J ohnston

Dussault (Lake Centre)

Elliott King. Mackenzie

(Middlesex West) Kinley

Elljptt (Kindersley) Kuhl

Canada-US. Trade Agreement

Lacombe Lacroix (Quebec-Montmorency) Lalonde Landeryou Lapointe

(Matapedia-

Matane)

Leader

Leclerc

Macdonald

(Brantford City) MacKenzie (Neepawa) Mackenzie

(Vancouver Centre) MacKinnon

(Edmonton West) MacLean (Prince) MacLennan MacMillan MacNeil Maophail, Miss MacRae McCann McCuaig McCulloch _

McDonald (Souris) McDonald (Pontiac) McIntosh Mclvor McKay McKenzie

(Lambton-Kent) McKinnon (Kenora-Rainy River) McLarty McLean

Motherwell

Mullins

Mulock

Mutch

Needham

Neill

Parent (Quebec West and South)

Parent (Terrebonne)

Pelletier

Plaxton

Pottier

Power

Purdy

Quelch

Reid

Rennie

Rheaume

Rickard

Rinfret

Roberge

Rogers

Ross

(Middlesex East) Russ (Moose Jaw) Rowe (Athabaska) Ryan St-Pere Sanderson Sinclair Stevens Sylvestre Taylor (Nanaimo) Taylor (Norfolk) Telford Thauvette Thorson

(Simcoe East) Tomlinson

McLean (Melfort) Tremblay

MeNevin Tucker

(Victoria, Ont.) Turgeon

McNiven Turner

(Regina City) Veniot

McPhee Verville

Mallette Vien

Martin Ward

Maybank Weir

Mercier Winkler

Michaud Wood

Mills Woodsworth

Mitchell Young-175.

NAYS Messrs:

Anderson Lennard

Baker Lockhart

Barber MacNicol

Beaubier McGregor

Bennett Massey

Betts Perley (Qu'Appelle)

Black (Mrs.) Perley, Sir George

Brooks Plunkett

Brown Ross (St. Paul's)

Cahan Rowe

Casselman (Dufferin-Simcoe)

Church Senn

Clarke (Rosedale) Stewart

Edwards Stirling

Esling Thompson

Graydon Tustin

Green Walsh

Harris Wermenlinger

Hyndman White

Lawson Wilton-39.

At 11.06 p.m. the house adjourned, without question put, pursuant to standing order.

Wednesday, March 11, 1936

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March 10, 1936