March 24, 1939

SUPERVISION AND REGULATION OF TRADING IN FUTURES ON WINNIPEG GRAIN EXCHANGE


Hon. W. D. EULER (Minister of Trade and Commerce) moved that -the house go into committee at the next sitting to consider the following proposed resolution: That it is expedient to introduce a measure to provide for the supervision and regulation by the Board of Grain Commissioners of trading in grain futures on the Winnipeg grain exchange in accordance with the recommendation of the royal grain inquiry commission, 1938, and the appointment of a supervisor as an officer of the board, to observe trading on the exchange and report to the board, and for the payment of his salary and expenses of the board from moneys appropriated by parliament. He said: His Excellency the Governor General, having been made acquainted with the subject matter of this resolution, recommends it to the favourable consideration of the house. Motion agreed to.


PRAIRIE FARM ASSISTANCE

PERCENTAGE DEDUCTION FROM GRAINS MARKETED IN SPRING WHEAT AREA PROVISION FOR ACREAGE PAYMENT


Hon. J. G. GARDINER (Minister of Agriculture) moved that the house go into committee at the next sitting to consider the following proposed resolution: That it is expedient to introduce a measure making provision for a percentage deduction from all grain marketed in the spring wheat area, and making available other sums required for the purposes of the proposed act; to provide assistance to farmers in emergent conditions by making provision for an acreage payment, with provision also for the appointment and assignment of officials, auditors or employees. He said: His Excellency the Governor General, having been made acquainted with the subject matter of this resolution, recommends it to the favourable consideration of the house. Motion agreed to. Seed and Feed


COOPERATIVE WHEAT MARKETING

GUARANTEE OP INITIAL PAYMENT BY COOPERATIVE ASSOCIATIONS OR ELEVATOR COMPANIES


Hon. J. G. GARDINER (Minister of Agriculture) moved that the house go into committee at the next sitting to consider the following proposed resolution: That it is expedient to introduce a measure to encourage the cooperative marketing of wheat by guaranteeing the initial payment by cooperative associations, or elevator companies defined in the bill; to authorize the expenditure of sums appropriated by parliament for the purposes of this act; with provision also for the appointment and assignment of officials, auditors or employees. He said: His Excellency the Governor General, having been made acquainted with the subject matter of this resolution, recommends it to the favourable consideration of the house. Motion agreed to.


SEED AND FEED

REFUSAL OF CREDIT AND LOANS BY BANKS TO SASKATCHEWAN MUNICIPALITIES


On the orders of the day :


CON

Ernest Edward Perley

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. E. E. PERLEY (Qu'Appelle):

I wish to direct to the Minister of Finance a question based on a number of reports I have received from municipalities in Saskatchewan, and particularly a letter I have received today from the reeve and secretary of one municipality. The letter is to the effect that the municipality has been refused lines of credit and further loans from the banks on the excuse that the dominion government's guarantee for the purchase of seed and feed last spring has not been carried out. The question is: Will the minister say whether the banks are right in stating as a proper excuse for not extending loans, that the guarantee has not been carried out?

Hon. CHARLES A. DUNNING (Minister of Finance): I would have preferred notice of the question because it might involve something which is not within my immediate present knowledge, but I am quite sure that the dominion has in every respect followed through with the obligation of the guarantee authorized by this house one year ago. I am quite sure there must be some misunderstanding on the part of some branch bank involving a statement of that sort. As to whether the guarantee for specific amounts has yet been executed, that is another matter, because, of course, specific amounts could not be guaranteed until they were definitely ascertained from all municipalities for every bank. But there is no doubt in the mind of any of the banks, I am quite sure, as to the obligation of the dominion with respect to its guarantee given one year ago.

Topic:   SEED AND FEED
Subtopic:   REFUSAL OF CREDIT AND LOANS BY BANKS TO SASKATCHEWAN MUNICIPALITIES
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WAYS AND MEANS

CANADA-UNITED STATES TRADE AGREEMENT


The house in committee of ways and means, Mr. Sanderson, in the chair. On schedule I: Customs tariff-438a. Automobiles and motor vehicles of all kinds, n.o.p.; electric trackless trolley buses; chassis for all the foregoing, 17i per cent. Provided, that machines or other articles mounted on the foregoing, or attached thereto for purposes other than loading or unloading the vehicle, shall be valued separately and duty assessed under the tariff items regularly applicable thereto.


CCF

Abraham Albert Heaps

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. HEAPS:

We had an important discussion on this item just before six o'clock yesterday. The question merits more consideration than it has so far received. We are all interested to know whether statements made in the chamber yesterday with respect to certain industries threatening to leave the country are correct or otherwise. Some hon. members have stated that one of the industries has decided to leave Canada. On the other hand the Minister of Finance said he was not aware of anything of that kind having occurred.

Hon. CHARLES A. DUNNING (Minister of Finance): My hon. friend is not reading my statement when he says that. The allegation in the newspaper article, which the leader of the opposition (Mr. Manion) read yesterday, was that two of the large automobile manufacturers were contemplating leaving Canada, and my reply had reference to that statement. To-day I can confirm my reply, that I have no knowledge, and the government has no knowledge whatsoever, that any of the large automobile manufacturers are contemplating closing their Canadian plants.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   CANADA-UNITED STATES TRADE AGREEMENT
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CCF

Abraham Albert Heaps

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. HEAPS:

Is it true, then, that any of the smaller ones are closing their factories on account of the removal of this three per cent excise duty?

Mr, DUNNING: We have no notification that any are definitely closing.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   CANADA-UNITED STATES TRADE AGREEMENT
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CCF

Abraham Albert Heaps

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. HEAPS:

Well, we had better have that statement from the minister. The question is an important one. My mind goes back to 1926, when certain reductions were made in the automobile duties under the late Mr. Robb's budget. When these reductions were announced the automobile factories closed down almost entirely, and a few days later they organized a tremendous demonstration right here in Ottawa. Many thousands of employees came here and protested against the reduction. But when no action was taken by the government the factories reopened, and I believe that the following year they did

Canada-United, States Trade Agreement

more business than ever before in the history of the industry in Canada. In Oshawa, particularly was that true. Whether that was due to the reduction of the duty I cannot say, but the fact is although this tremendous protest was made, when the government took no action the matter blew over and the industry went on as actively as before.

I do not know what the position is now, whether they are just carrying on an agitation as they did in 1926, trying to induce the government to restore the three per cent excise tax. If I am not mistaken, all the protection that is being removed at the present time from the automobile industry is the three per cent excise tax. If I am wrong in that, I hope I shall be corrected immediately. Under the 17J per cent duty the industry has been doing fairly well. Whether the three per cent excise now is of such vital importance to the industry I do not know. But it seems that whenever there is a reduction in duty affecting any particular industry we are bombarded with threats that if the duty is not restored the industry will be ruined. I do not take a great deal of stock in such arguments. There may be certain industries in respect of which even a three per cent difference in protection might have considerable effect, but I do not know whether the automobile industry is in that position. According to my knowledge, which is meagre, the disparity between prices of automobiles in Canada and the same machines in the United States is so great that I cannot see that a reduction of three per cent could make such a great difference to the manufacturers in Canada.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   CANADA-UNITED STATES TRADE AGREEMENT
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LIB

Paul Joseph James Martin

Liberal

Mr. MARTIN:

Do I understand the hon. gentleman to say he is opposed to the withdrawal of the three per cent excise tax?

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   CANADA-UNITED STATES TRADE AGREEMENT
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CCF

Abraham Albert Heaps

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. HEAPS:

I have offered no objection, because, so far as I can see, no case has been made out by the manufacturers to show that the industry would be seriously jeopardized. If I could be shown that the three per cent excise tax makes the difference between their remaining in business or closing down, I should certainly be opposed to removal of the tax. But all we have had is a number of statements and letters in general terms, nothing specific and definite. I object to these general statements which give us no clear knowledge of the situation.

Probably no hon. member of this house has taken a greater interest in the condition of the men and women employed in the industry than 'I have over a period of years. In 1926, when the duties were reduced, the

automobile industry was doing fairly well. It was doing fairly well in 1928, and employees who had come here to protest against the reduction in the tariff were the very ones who came about that time and protested against a reduction in wages. We all remember the strike in the automobile plants at Oshawa about 1928. At that time not half as many hon. members were prepared to take the part of the employees as supported the protest the year before.

I should like the minister to state if he can what the reduction of three per cent really means to the automobile industry. We have not had a clear statement from the manufacturers or from anyone else. This three per cent excise tax has been in effect, I believe, for six or seven years?

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   CANADA-UNITED STATES TRADE AGREEMENT
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March 24, 1939