The Budget-Mr. Lawson
imports from the United States increasing month after month. No wonder this government is struggling to make a new trade agreement with the United States to avoid the complete destruction of the Canadian market as a result of the last agreement they made with that country.
Now for a few moments let us turn to the empire trade agreements. I was unable to obtain from the bureau of statistics a compilation of figures for exactly the same period of time as those relating to the United States, but I got them to within a month of it. So the figures I am about to give end with the month of April in each year instead of the month of March. Our imports from the British Empire during the twelve months ended April, 1937, amounted to $201,539,570. and our imports for the next succeeding twelve months, ended April, 1938, amounted to $231,208,159. In other words during that year our imports increased by $29,668,589. Now let us look at our domestic exports to the British Empire. For the twelve months ended April, 1937, our domestic exports amounted to $502,290,701. For the twelve months ended April, 1938, they were $519,659,942, showing an increase in our domestic exports to the British Empire of $13,369,241. In other words, while our exports to the United States under the Canada-United States trade agreement decreased by $21,000,000 odd, our exports to the British empire increased by $13,000,000 odd. When one contrasts the benefit of the empire trade agreements to Canada with the detriment of the United States trade agreement, is it any wonder the Minister of Finance on behalf of the government refers to the empire trade agreement as "our agreement with the United Kingdom in 1937"?
The empire trade agreements were made originally by a Conservative government under the leadership of the present leader of the official opposition (Mr. Bennett), in 1932, for a period of five years. They were renewed by this Liberal government in 1937, without any substantial or material change in a single principle.