March 9, 1939

CON

Denton Massey

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MASSEY:

Well, look at them and

read them.

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LIB

William John Ward

Liberal

Mr. WARD:

I will give them in a few

minutes. The hon. member for Waterloo South, addressing the house the other day, spoke of the continuous changing of tariffs on the part of this government He said:

This continual tariff changing by the government, as I have said before m the house, is doing nothing but giving industry the jitters, and it is slowly but surely lowering the standard of living of the industrial workers of Canada. Member after member, particularly those from the western provinces, have stood in the house and demanded protection for the western wheat farmer.

I can excuse the hon. member for Waterloo South because he is a new member, but I assure the house that neither he nor any other member has at any time heard a western member ask for protection for the wheat growers. From time to time, as the hon. member for Qu'Appelle (Mr. Perley), if he were here, would agree, we have asked for something in the way of a quid pro quo for the enormous cost to western Canada of bonusing the secondary industries of the country for the last fifty or sixty years. We 71492-108

have asked for that, we are still asking for it, and we must have it. Give the wheat grower and cattle raiser of western Canada the same freedom of market to buy in as he is compelled to sell in, and we will ask for no bonus or protection of any sort.

The hon. member for St. Paul's the other day spoke of the impossibility of Canadian industrial workers competing with those of some other countries. He mentioned no names, but I presume he was referring to Japan. Since he spoke I have looked up the figures, and I find that the average wages paid in the factories in Japan are from 22 to 26 cents a day. I also looked up the wages paid to the peon or native labourer of the Argentine, and I find that those labourers are paid eleven cents a day. Now, the farmers of western Canada must compete with the eleven cent labour of the Argentine farm worker. It is true it would be a terrible thing for Canadian workers to have to compete with those of Japan and I hope they never will compete with them directly, but I would point out that the Canadian industrialists are competing in a market that is two and a half times better than the market that the western wheat grower competes in. These are facts that we must sit down and consider calmly.

I say to the representatives of eastern Canada: The problem is not all yours, for we too are facing a tremendous problem. I have farmed in western Canada for forty years; nature has made my farm one of the finest in Manitoba. I balance my books every year, I keep accounts, and I can tell you I have never produced wheat at eighty cents a bushel. If I did not engage in other things as well, in sidelines, I never could carry on, pay my taxes, and retain solvency.

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CON

Karl Kenneth Homuth

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HOMUTH:

Has the hon. member ever heard the head of any industry, who sat in this house, complain about anything that was done for the western producer?

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LIB

William John Ward

Liberal

Mr. WARD:

That is a perfectly proper question, and in answer I say, no. I have not heard anything of the sort, and that is to the credit of the industrialists of eastern Canada. But it would be quite inconsistent for protectionists to make any such complaint. Of course they would not, and we give them credit for being magnanimous enough not to complain. Moreover, I must say the west was very grateful during those terrible years of drought, especially in Saskatchewan, for the very generous donations from Ontario and Quebec in the form of clothing, fruit, vegetables, cheese, and so on. It was a wonderful thing for the drought area of western Canada, and it saved many from near starvation.

1704 COMMONS

Canada-United States Trade Agreement

I do say, however, that the industrialists of eastern Canada overlook an important fact. They complain about the lowering of tariffs and the consequent embarrassment of their workers, but they must not forget that when you lower a tariff you do make it easier for the agriculturist to carry on.

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CON

Karl Kenneth Homuth

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HOMUTH:

Not in farm implements.

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LIB

William John Ward

Liberal

Mr. WARD:

That is one manufacture which I made it my business to look into when I visited the United States. I wanted to ascertain whether there actually was a combine in the manufacturing of farm implements, and I found to my satisfaction-or otherwise-that in my judgment there was. There is I believe a watertight combine on this continent between the United States and the Canadian manufacturers whereby implement prices remain constant on both sides of the line. That is the one item of production in Canada in which it is possible to comer or to have a combine.

May I repeat, the treaty which is now before the house is the most important item of legislation that has come before parliament in my time, and I think we should see to it that ample opportunity is given for it to prove itself. I regret, therefore, that the leader of the opposition and others should make the statements throughout the country that they do regarding the treaty. One of his friends, speaking in Toronto the other day at a Conservative convention, made a statement to which I wish to refer. The speaker was Mr. Kelso Roberts, K.C., and I presume he comes from the constituency of the hon. member for St. Paul's. I quote:

Kelso Roberts, K.C., president of St. Paul's Riding Conservative Association, spoke briefly, emphasizing that the King government had done nothing to solve the unemployment problem and declaring that if the efforts of a Conservative government, once elected, proved as futile, he would never again appear on the platform at a Conservative meeting.

I am sure that if he knew the facts he would never again appear on a Conservative platform, because I am going to prove before I sit down that, apart from the loss of life during the great war, the most disastrous occurrence in the experience of this generation was the advent of the Conservative government in 1930. Also a good deal has been said about the six-cent bonus on dominion wheat entering Great Britain, and I intend to prove not only that it brought no grist to the mill of the western wheat growers, but on the contrary, that it cost them many millions of dollars.

I spoke a moment ago of certain statements made by the leader of the opposition. In

and out of this house we have heard some rather cheap and flippant remarks from the hon. gentleman. I did not look up Hansard in this connection, but I did take down some of his slang words.

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?

An hon. MEMBER:

What has that to do with this trade treaty?

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LIB

William John Ward

Liberal

Mr. WARD:

It has a great deal to do with it, because these words were all used in the course of his address on the treaty. Some of the epithets in which the hon. gentleman indulged were: Claptrap, twaddle, hooey, humbug, ballyhoo, pipedreams, tongue-lashings. There were a great many more, but these are just a few of the terms he made use of in discussing the treaty and other matters. I suggest that the country is looking to the leader of the opposition, the leader of one of the great parties in Canada, for leadership in ethics in this house, and not for the sort of cheap, degrading stuff we have witnessed in this debate.

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An hon. MEMBER:

That philosophy might fit the other side of the house too.

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LIB

William John Ward

Liberal

Mr. WARD:

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CON

John Ritchie MacNicol

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MacNICOL:

What about the exports?

Canada-United States Trade Agreement

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LIB

William John Ward

Liberal

Mr. WARD:

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CON

Richard Langton Baker

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BAKER:

Good business.

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LIB

William John Ward

Liberal

Mr. WARD:

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CON

Joseph Henry Harris

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HARRIS:

Did not the United States pass the 1930 tariff act during that period, which cut off our exports to that country?

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LIB

William John Ward

Liberal

Mr. WARD:

Is the hon. member referring to the Hawley-Smoot tariff?

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CON

Joseph Henry Harris

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HARRIS:

No, the 1930 tariff.

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LIB

William John Ward

Liberal

Mr. WARD:

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CON

Henry Herbert Stevens

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEVENS:

Including gold which was not included in previous years.

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LIB

William John Ward

Liberal

Mr. WARD:

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March 9, 1939