May 16, 1938

LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. GARDINER:

The importation and

use of vegetable oils has a relationship not only to the dairy industry but also to the live stock industry. If vegetable oils replace anything, it is animal fats rather than the products of the dairy industry. The whole matter of the relationship of these different products has been referred to the tariff board. I do not think it would be proper for the economics branch of the Department of Agriculture to start a second inquiry when the matter is before the tariff board. However, everything that has been mentioned here will naturally be given consideration during this investigation.

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LIB

Robert John Deachman

Liberal

Mr. DEACHMAN:

The army of privilege fights hard and never dies. The men who have been making an argument to-day in favour of restriction are the men who opposed a reciprocity agreement with the United States which gave us access to the American market. We cannot continue to export unless we continue to import. In 1930 our exports to the United Kingdom were $283,000,000; in 1937 they were $409,000,000.

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CON
LIB

Robert John Deachman

Liberal

Mr. DEACHMAN:

I will let my hon. friend choose any year he washes, but if I were to give those it would only show the extent to which our trade fell off after the government of my hon. friend came into office. I do not want to make this a political issue. The imports from the United Kingdom dropped from $1S9,000,000 to $129,000,000. There is a strong feeling in the United Kingdom that we drove a very hard bargain when we negotiated the empire agreements with that country. A bargain is never a real bargain unless both parties to the transaction make a profit. When you drive a bargain in which the loss is entirely upon the other side, then you have lost the deal. That is especially so when it is a national transaction. You may have sharp practices with an individual and get away with it, but a nation must be honest, it must be square in its dealings.

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CON

Charles Hazlitt Cahan

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CAHAN:

Is the hon. member insinuating that sharp practices were applied to the British delegates at the conference?

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LIB

Robert John Deachman

Liberal

Mr. DEACHMAN:

The leader of the government of that day was emphatic in the statement that he w'as going to bargain in a tight, hard way, there is no question about

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that. Were it not for that fact, where did the phrase, "blast our way into the markets of the world" originate?

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CON

Charles Hazlitt Cahan

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CAHAN:

I ask my hon. friend either to make his reflections clear or to retract them.

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LIB

Robert John Deachman

Liberal

Mr. DEACHMAN:

I am making my reflections quite clear. We drove a hard, tight bargain.

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CON

Charles Hazlitt Cahan

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CAHAN:

If the hon. gentleman will allow me to interrupt, I should like to say that there was no hard, tight bargain driven. I was at every conference between the British and Canadian delegates. If we had given all that the British delegates demanded, it would have been such a hard bargain for this country that industry could hardly have survived.

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CON

Richard Langton Baker

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BAKER:

I think the hon. member should be asked to withdraw the words "sharp practices."

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LIB

Robert John Deachman

Liberal

Mr. DEACHMAN:

Here is the record of the bargain. Exports to the United Kingdom in 1930 stood at $283,000,000.

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LIB

Frederick George Sanderson (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

The CHAIRMAN:

I think this discussion is taking in a rather wide field. I would request hon. members to confine their remarks to the item before the committee. We are now on item No. 7.

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LIB

Robert John Deachman

Liberal

Mr. DEACHMAN:

I am dealing with a question involving the importation of vegetable oils into Canada, and I propose to submit this argument. We are now engaged in negotiation not only with the empire but with the United States for the extension of our markets. I submit that it is perfectly appropriate for me to point out that restrictions upon imports into this country must necessarily restrict exports. I was illustrating this fact by stating that in 1930 our exports to the United Kingdom were $283,000,000 and in 1937 they had increased to $409,000,000. Our imports from the United Kingdom were $189,000,000 and they dropped to $129,000,000. What happened in connection with vegetable oils? In 1933 our imports of vegetable oils from the United Kingdom amounted to $1,005,000 and in 1937 they had increased to $6,288,000. I submit that here was one little ewe lamb that we managed to offer to Great Britain. We offered her a market in this country for certain types of vegetable oil, and she took advantage of that offer. When there is one item of a few million dollars that seems to stand out, hon. gentlemen on the Conservative side rise up with one voice and say, "Let us restrict the imports of this commodity." I ask, where are we going? Do we want markets or do we not want them?

We are endeavouring as best we can to expand our markets for agricultural products not only in the United States but in the United Kingdom. It is, I submit, the most vital issue in this country to-day.

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CON
LIB
CON

Charles Hazlitt Cahan

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CAHAN:

Can he tell me the amount in value of vegetable oils produced in the United Kingdom in any recent year?

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LIB
CON

Charles Hazlitt Cahan

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CAHAN:

I should like to know what is the amount in value produced. The quantity produced is infinitesimal.

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LIB

Robert John Deachman

Liberal

Mr. DEACHMAN:

We are purchasing these oils refined or partly refined from the United Kingdom, and this is the market so far as the United Kingdom is concerned. I might counter iby asking what products we ship abroad and what proportion is produced in Canada; but we cannot go into those details to-day. The broad fact is that we must receive payment for the products which we export or we cannot continue to export them, and in face of the fact that we are now engaged in trade negotiations we have the suggestion made in this House of Commons, by men who, I presume, are definitely interested in the welfare of agriculture, that we should announce increased restrictions on the import of vegetable oils from the United Kingdom and also duties upon agricultural products coming in from the United States-that is what it ultimately involves.

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LIB

Charles Avery Dunning (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. DUNNING:

Mr. Chairman, on a point of order arising out of your ruling, now that my hon. friend has stated what might be called the other side, could we not get back to the real point before the committee?-which, as I understand it, is whether this parliament is prepared to have $120,000 expended on the study of agricultural economies. I think, sir, your ruling was quite correct, that the discussion should be confined to the purpose for which the money is to be voted. The question is not the importation of vegetable oils or the usual budget debate on tariffs, either high or low, free trade or protection, but whether it is a good thing and a sound thing that there should be an organization in the Department of Agriculture to make an intensive study of agricultural economics, and of course to produce reports and make them available to parliament. The ruling, I submit, should be adhered to, but I hesitate to interrupt my hon. friend because he was stating the other side.

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May 16, 1938