February 28, 1939

LIB

Thomas Reid

Liberal

Mr. REID:

Every one of them.

Topic:   TRADE AGREEMENTS
Subtopic:   CANADA-UNITED STATES'-CONTINUATION OP DEBATE ON MOTION FOR APPROVAL SUBJECT TO REQUIRED LEGISLATION
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CON

Howard Charles Green

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GREEN:

Mr. Speaker, in the first

place the lumber industry of British Columbia

is looking at the agreement from the point of view that the second stage will be brought into effect. In my speech I have tried to urge upon the government that it leave no stone unturned to see that the second stage is made effective. Without it I am quite certain no person in British Columbia will have any use for the agreement. One good example of what is happening in the first stage is the fact that wages have already been cut ten per cent in portions of the industry.

Topic:   TRADE AGREEMENTS
Subtopic:   CANADA-UNITED STATES'-CONTINUATION OP DEBATE ON MOTION FOR APPROVAL SUBJECT TO REQUIRED LEGISLATION
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LIB

Olof Hanson

Liberal

Mr. HANSON:

Wages have not been cut.

Topic:   TRADE AGREEMENTS
Subtopic:   CANADA-UNITED STATES'-CONTINUATION OP DEBATE ON MOTION FOR APPROVAL SUBJECT TO REQUIRED LEGISLATION
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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Sit down.

Topic:   TRADE AGREEMENTS
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LIB

Olof Hanson

Liberal

Mr. HANSON:

We must pay the minimum wage.

Mr, GREEN: The other reasons why some of the representatives of the lumber industry have given approval to the agreement are these: They thought it was going to be a good deal worse than it is; in other words, they expected sudden death, and instead of that they are getting slow poison. Then, they realized that they might as well take it and like it. In the third place they are in the hands of this government; there are other treaties being negotiated all the time; other treaties will be coming up; why should the lumber industry antagonize the government, when the deal is closed, by saying, "we do not like it; we have no use for the government?"

Finally, let me say that the gentleman who wrote the letter quoted the other day by the Minister of Trade and Commerce (Mr. Euler) is one of the strongest supporters of the hon. member for New Westminster (Mr. Reid).

Topic:   TRADE AGREEMENTS
Subtopic:   CANADA-UNITED STATES'-CONTINUATION OP DEBATE ON MOTION FOR APPROVAL SUBJECT TO REQUIRED LEGISLATION
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?

Robert McKenzie

Mr. H. A. McKENZIE (Lambton-Kent):

Mr. Speaker, I had intended speaking at length in this debate in connection with the trade treaty; but after listening to the speeches delivered during the past ten days in this house, I have decided to change my tactics and I shall content myself with making only a few remarks. I believe almost every angle of this trade treaty has been covered, and any further speeches could hardly help but be repetitious.

The question of trade vitally affects Canada, and rightly so. Listening to the speeches in the house, I am firmly convinced that we all believe in trade and trade treaties. Treaties must always be made on the principle of give and take; some concessions must be granted as well as benefits received. But it must be admitted that Canada has achieved an enviable position, because we are now in fourth position among the exporting nations of the world. No one can deny that prosperity is built on trade, both internal and external, and the more business each country

1420 COMMONS

Canada-United. States Trade Agreement

does, the better it will be for everyone. Many extravagant statements have been made both for and against the treaty, but I cannot see any benefit in discussing this matter any further. Time alone will tell of its merits and demerits. There has been the usual taking of sides in this debate, with parties lining up solidly either for or against the treaty. It seems strange to me that the members of one party should all oppose the treaty, while the members of another party should all be in favour. In order to prove their points they have quoted from certain newspapers. Many United States newspapers have been quoted during the debate. Those papers which were anti-government have contended that the farmers of the United States have been sold down the river, but other newspapers take the opposite view and say that the United States is going to get into the Canadian market. I contend that these references do not mean anything.

The average citizen is not particularly interested in political speeches, but he will be elated if these trade treaties bring more prosperity. I am satisfied that the government have made a comprehensive study of the probable results of this trade treaty. The three men who represented Canada in connection with negotiating this trade treaty were the best qualified men we have. I do not subscribe to the contention of the opposition that Americans are such good traders that Canada was bound to get the worst of the deal. Surely a bargain to the mutual advantage of both countries was possible.

I should like to give a brief history of the three men who carried out the negotiations for this trade treaty. Mr. H. B. McKinnon, commissioner of tariffs, was appointed to the tariff board in 1926. He was one of the officials who took part in the economic conference held at Ottawa in 1932, when the first Canadian-United Kingdom treaty was negotiated. Mr. L. D. Wilgress has been with the Department of Trade and Commerce since 1914. He has represented Canada as a trade commissioner at various points in Europe, including some years in Russia and Germany. Mr. Norman Robertson, first secretary in the Department of External Affairs, was appointed to that department in 1929. These gentlemen took part in the economic conference at Ottawa in 1932, at which time the first United Kingdom-Canada treaty was negotiated.

When the first Canada-United States trade treaty was negotiated in 1935, these three gentlemen represented Canada at Washington They were sent to England in 1936 when the United Kingdom trade agreement was revised, and they were again Canada's representatives at the negotiation of the trade treaty we are now discussing in the house. These gentlemen were ten months in Washington negotiating this trade treaty. They were in daily communication with the ministers at Ottawa and had at their disposal all the information available in the departments. They were quite able to judge the benefits or disadvantages of the treaty. It is quite true, as was stated this afternoon by the hon. member for Waterloo South (Mr. Homuth), that these men were sent by this government to negotiate the agreement. However, from what the Minister of Trade and Commerce (Mr. Euler) says, I am satisfied that no legitimate business in Canada will be injured by this treaty. Markets for our primary products are of great consideration to a country like Canada, with only about 11,000,000 people and yet possessing vast natural resources. If these treaties give us a wider market for our lumber, fish, pulp, potatoes, minerals, live stock and dairy products, and they will, then our secondary industries also will profit, as will Canada as a whole.

If I recall correctly the remarks of the hon. member for Waterloo South, he stated that no one had spoken for the industrial worker of this country. I do not think that is a fair statement to make. I think every Canadian is interested in the industrial workers of this country, but we cannot get away from the fact that the primary producer produces and the rest of the people derive their livelihood by exchanging their goods and services for the products of the primary producer. Until the primary producer is in a prosperous state, we cannot expect to have economic prosperity in Canada.

These treaties are already in operation, and there can be no further point in discussing them in this house. I cannot see the value of some of the speeches that have been delivered during this debate. This afternoon the hon. member for Waterloo South said that this government was living in the past. I am not so sure of that. I can recall a speech delivered this week by the hon. member for St. Lawrence-St. George (Mr. Cahan), and if he did not go back into the hoary past, then I do not know who did. I cannot remember back to the point at which he first started; for I do not believe I was born then, but when his forty minutes were up he was at least eight years away from the date of the trade treaty under discussion. I well recall the cry against the reciprocity pact in 1911. At that time the slogan was: "No truck or trade with the Yankees." Again in 1936 many people saw ruin and desolation because of the trade agreement which had

Canada-United, States Trade Agreement

been negotiated. I can well recall, when the $100 exemption was under discussion in this house, how the members of the opposition painted a picture of Canadians going into the United States and bringing back so many goods that all the border industries would be ruined. I looked into this matter along the St. Clair river in December, 1937, and I found that- very few people brought back the full $100 worth of exemptions.

It is the same old cry of ruin and desolation that is being raised. We all remember the story of the boy who cried "wolf" when there was no wolf. Such a cry may appeal for a while, but I feel sure the Canadian people will not be unduly alarmed about the story of the terrible ruination that is going to come upon the country. It is true we criticize each other, and probably we always shall, but at heart we want the same things. We want to preserve our freedom and liberty, not only for ourselves and for our children, but for our children's children. These trade pacts have the tendency to bring democratic countries closer together as trading units. I was greatly interested in the remarks of the hon. member for York South (Mr. Lawson) when he spoke in Essex the other day. He said that this parliament had been in session for six weeks, and he wanted to know what the government had done.

Topic:   TRADE AGREEMENTS
Subtopic:   CANADA-UNITED STATES'-CONTINUATION OP DEBATE ON MOTION FOR APPROVAL SUBJECT TO REQUIRED LEGISLATION
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?

An hon. MEMBER:

Nothing.

Topic:   TRADE AGREEMENTS
Subtopic:   CANADA-UNITED STATES'-CONTINUATION OP DEBATE ON MOTION FOR APPROVAL SUBJECT TO REQUIRED LEGISLATION
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?

Daniel Duncan McKenzie

Mr. McICENZIE (Lambton-Kent):

Nothing was said as to who is responsible for that. I think the hon. member himself must take some responsibility for it. He knows that the government summons parliament, but the opposition says when it shall be prorogued. I am not going to debate this matter very long because I think we have talked it out. The treaty is in operation and we cannot change it. Why prolong this debate any further? If freedom of speech is one of the bulwarks of democracy, let us not play it to death in this House of Commons. I think we shall have to change our tactics if this House of Commons is to continue under our present constitution. I am quite convinced, and I am sure that other hon. members are likewise convinced, that at least half the business of the country could have been done by this time if we had not wanted to make political speeches in this House of Commons.

I am not going to be a sinner in that respect myself. We cannot change the trade pacts, so why debate the subject any longer? That is the attitude I take.

Topic:   TRADE AGREEMENTS
Subtopic:   CANADA-UNITED STATES'-CONTINUATION OP DEBATE ON MOTION FOR APPROVAL SUBJECT TO REQUIRED LEGISLATION
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CON

John Ritchie MacNicol

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. J. R. MacNICOL (Davenport):

Mr. Speaker, ever since this resolution was introduced into the house I have felt the utter

futility of trying to offer any suggestion that might be adopted by the government with a view to improving the trade treaty to be founded on the resolution now before the house, and I can say that, too, for every one of the 245 members of this House of Commons. Not one of us can raise his voice in this house to change by one iota the trade treaty that will be introduced as soon as this resolution is passed. I have often heard the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) speak about this high court of parliament. But in my judgment it is nothing but a travesty on democracy that 245 members of this House of Commons cannot say a single, solitary word to alter one line of this treaty in any shape or form.

Topic:   TRADE AGREEMENTS
Subtopic:   CANADA-UNITED STATES'-CONTINUATION OP DEBATE ON MOTION FOR APPROVAL SUBJECT TO REQUIRED LEGISLATION
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LIB

William Daum Euler (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Mr. EULER:

That was the case in 1932.

Topic:   TRADE AGREEMENTS
Subtopic:   CANADA-UNITED STATES'-CONTINUATION OP DEBATE ON MOTION FOR APPROVAL SUBJECT TO REQUIRED LEGISLATION
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CON

John Ritchie MacNicol

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MacNICOL:

No, it was not the case

in 1932, but it was the case in 1936 under this government.

Topic:   TRADE AGREEMENTS
Subtopic:   CANADA-UNITED STATES'-CONTINUATION OP DEBATE ON MOTION FOR APPROVAL SUBJECT TO REQUIRED LEGISLATION
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LIB

William Daum Euler (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Mr. EULER:

We did not change one

word of the Ottawa agreements.

Topic:   TRADE AGREEMENTS
Subtopic:   CANADA-UNITED STATES'-CONTINUATION OP DEBATE ON MOTION FOR APPROVAL SUBJECT TO REQUIRED LEGISLATION
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CON

John Ritchie MacNicol

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MacNICOL:

My hon. friends opposite may not have changed it because there was not sufficient argument put up to change it, but this treaty cannot be changed no matter what argument is put up. I call it nothing but a farce of governing that we are enduring under the present circumstances.

Topic:   TRADE AGREEMENTS
Subtopic:   CANADA-UNITED STATES'-CONTINUATION OP DEBATE ON MOTION FOR APPROVAL SUBJECT TO REQUIRED LEGISLATION
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?

An hon. MEMBER:

It is a good thing

the hon. member cannot change it.

Topic:   TRADE AGREEMENTS
Subtopic:   CANADA-UNITED STATES'-CONTINUATION OP DEBATE ON MOTION FOR APPROVAL SUBJECT TO REQUIRED LEGISLATION
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CON

John Ritchie MacNicol

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MacNICOL:

Topic:   TRADE AGREEMENTS
Subtopic:   CANADA-UNITED STATES'-CONTINUATION OP DEBATE ON MOTION FOR APPROVAL SUBJECT TO REQUIRED LEGISLATION
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LIB

William Daum Euler (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Mr. EULER:

I do not care to interrupt my hon. friend, but will he permit a question?

Topic:   TRADE AGREEMENTS
Subtopic:   CANADA-UNITED STATES'-CONTINUATION OP DEBATE ON MOTION FOR APPROVAL SUBJECT TO REQUIRED LEGISLATION
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CON

John Ritchie MacNicol

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MacNICOL:

I do not want to waste too much time.

Topic:   TRADE AGREEMENTS
Subtopic:   CANADA-UNITED STATES'-CONTINUATION OP DEBATE ON MOTION FOR APPROVAL SUBJECT TO REQUIRED LEGISLATION
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LIB

William Daum Euler (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Mr. EULER:

It is just this. Does my hon. friend argue that we should make an entirely prohibitive tariff, whether it be on potatoes, shoes, or anything else?

Topic:   TRADE AGREEMENTS
Subtopic:   CANADA-UNITED STATES'-CONTINUATION OP DEBATE ON MOTION FOR APPROVAL SUBJECT TO REQUIRED LEGISLATION
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CON

John Ritchie MacNicol

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MacNICOL:

I am not in favour of a prohibitory tariff, but I am in favour of the Canadian shoe manufacturer having a square deal, and that is what he is not getting under the present tariff, negotiated by the present government.

The minister said something about the importation of shoes under the $100 exemption. In the last ten months of 1938 $740,000 worth of shoes were imported under that exemption. That is a large number of shoes. It is equivalent to the employment of some seventy-five men in the shoe factories of Canada; and that is something not to be laughed at.

Topic:   TRADE AGREEMENTS
Subtopic:   CANADA-UNITED STATES'-CONTINUATION OP DEBATE ON MOTION FOR APPROVAL SUBJECT TO REQUIRED LEGISLATION
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LIB

William Daum Euler (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Mr. EULER:

I am not laughing at it.

Topic:   TRADE AGREEMENTS
Subtopic:   CANADA-UNITED STATES'-CONTINUATION OP DEBATE ON MOTION FOR APPROVAL SUBJECT TO REQUIRED LEGISLATION
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February 28, 1939