May 25, 1939

CON

Harry James Barber

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BARBER:

They do not appear in the permanents because the reduction for permanents is only from $70,000 to $69,000 odd.

Topic:   TRADE AND COMMERCE
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LIB

Item agreed to. Exhibitions and publicity- 392. Exhibitions, $393,300.


CCF

Abraham Albert Heaps

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

Mr. HEAPS:

I suppose a substantial part of this appropriation will be for the exhibit at the world's fair in New York. I am wondering what the value of these exhibits at international fairs really is. I have attended some of them in different places and that question has often occurred to me. In the exhibit that Canada is showing in New York we shall have to compete with all the larger countries which are spending ever so much more money than we are, far more than we could afford to spend, and far more than we ought to spend in this way. Apart from the ordinary competition which our exhibit will find in the larger nations, there is also the great attraction of the side-shows, which, it seems, are more important to the vast majority of the people who visit exhibitions than are the exhibits of the various countries. On the opening day of the world's fair in New York there was almost a riot because the side-shows were not open, and one can hardly dare suppose that because the Canadian exhibit had not opened on the first day there would be any riot.

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LIB

William Daum Euler (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Mr. EULER:

Hardly any of the others were opened either.

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CCF

Abraham Albert Heaps

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

Mr. HEAPS:

That emphasizes my point.

I have visited these exhibitions in the past and gone to the buildings representing various nations, and I have come away wondering whether the vast majority of the people who attend these fairs really go for the purpose of getting some information regarding the countries exhibiting or for an altogether different reason. It is true that a goodly number of visitors may inspect the exhibits of Canada and other countries, but in view of the enormous amount of money we are spending and the comparatively small showing we are making in relation to other countries that are exhibiting, would the minister be good

enough to give us a frank opinion on this question? We are spending a large sum of money, and it is a question whether we should be more conspicuous by our absence than by the exhibit we have there.

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LIB

William Daum Euler (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Mr. EULER:

I am sure my hon. friend

will hardly expect me, when we are authorizing an expenditure of some $400,000 for an exhibit at that fair, to say that the money is not well spent. I can understand the mental attitude of my hon. friend because I have sometimes been in the same frame of mind myself. But the doubt he suggests in regard to the value of this exhibit applies to all advertising. No one can detect and identify any particular benefit accruing from newspaper advertising, for instance, especially if it is general. We advertise the natural resources of the country; we advertise our railways; the Departments of Mines and Resources, Agriculture, Fisheries and others all advertise to the world at large what we are producing, and it would be difficult to estimate-certainly it could not be done in dollars and cents- the resultant value to Canada. In my opinion this advertising has a considerable value. Take the tourist bureau advertising the beauties and attractions of Canada. Many people are ignorant of those attractions, and this advertising will bring a definite return in the form of tourist business. I must not forget to mention that the provinces are also exhibiting their own resources.

I am afraid, not speaking strictly from the practical or utilitarian point of view, it would be embarrassing to us if our good neighbour to the south did not find us sharing at least to some extent in their great world exhibition. It is true also that compared with some of the larger countries Canada cannot make quite the showing that they are making; and I must say that while kind words have been spoken of our exhibit, there has also been some criticism that it is not as impressive as that of Great Britain or even of Russia or of Italy, and some other countries who are spending anywhere from three to five million dollars. We are spending around $400,000.

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CCF

Abraham Albert Heaps

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

Mr. HEAPS:

What are the other countries spending?

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LIB

William Daum Euler (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Mr. EULER:

Great Britain, I believe, is

spending over four million dollars, and Russia about the same. I do not think anyone would suggest that Canada should spend four or five millions. Personally I did not feel that we should. In fact, I had not the hardihood to suggest such a thing to my colleagues because it would have been turned down.

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Supply-Trade-Exhibitions

We are, however, making a good exhibit for the money we are spending. The location has been criticized, but in my opinion it has its advantages. I saw it some months ago, but at that time, during the period of construction, it was not possible to form a definite idea of it. It is, however, close to the second most important entrance at the fair, and so far we have had an average of

25,000 visitors a day. We are not adopting the practice, which apparently some people expect, of showing manufactured articles and allowing private exhibitors to display goods with the idea of making sales. That is not the purpose. When we showed at the Glasgow exhibition last year we did something of that sort, but we did not think we should do it at this exhibition, and other countries are not following that practice. We are trying to exhibit the natural resources of Canada, and some of the provinces, Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, are showing their resources. We are showing what we can do industrially, and our railways are making a fine exhibit. The Department of Fisheries, the Department or Agriculture, the Department of Mines and Resources and the tourist branch of the Department of Transport have their exhibits at the fair. I have not seen the fair since the opening, but I hope to see it next week and to form some opinion of my own. Some people may be disappointed that our exhibition is not as large or impressive as those of some of the larger countries who have spent three or four or five million dollars, but such critics should bear in mind the comparatively limited amount we are expending and should be satisfied if for the money we spend we get a commensurate value.

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SC

William Hayhurst

Social Credit

Mr. HAYHURST:

Has the government a sufficient number of people to show the products that are exhibited? I ask that question because last year I went to Glasgow to the empire exhibition, and I congratulate the government upon its splendid pavilion there and the number of people who visited that exhibition. Most of the people to whom I spoke were pleased with the exhibits

displayed by the Canadian government, but my criticism is that I found that many people could not understand the various minerals and so forth exhibited by the Department of Mines and Resources. There were nickel products, asbestos and other things, and ores, but no one seemed to be there to explain the exhibits. So I took it upon myself to talk to the people about the various commodities produced in Canada. Very soon I had

an audience of about one hundred round me, whether because I was a good lecturer, or my good looks-

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LIB

William Daum Euler (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Mr. EULER:

We will send the hon. member to New York.

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SC

William Hayhurst

Social Credit

Mr. HAYHURST:

At any rate it was evident that the government was not doing all it could to advertise our products. I wondered if the officials the government had there were doing all they could to explain to the people Canada's products. It pays to advertise; I believe in advertising. With regard to fish, we need a balanced diet, and if a pamphlet were circulated showing what we should eat, more people would consume these different products. The benefit of the Glasgow exhibition advertising would have been greatly multiplied if there had been more men and women there who would have spoken about our exhibits and interested the public. Thousands of people were passing through these places, but no one seemed to know what it was all about. They were attracted by the beauty of the exhibit, but its utilitarian and commercial aspect was not presented to the best advantage to the people from all parts of the British empire who were there.

How many people are employed in the New York exhibit?

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LIB

William Daum Euler (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Mr. EULER:

There are some fourteen there or will soon be there on behalf of the Department of Trade and Commerce. The provinces also will have their own employees.

With regard to the Glasgow exhibition I am somewhat surprised at the criticism of my hon. friend. Perhaps he is better able to judge than I was; I visited there for a few hours, but possibly I did not see it under quite the same conditions as my hon. friend.

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SC
LIB

William Daum Euler (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Mr. EULER:

I am glad to hear my hon. friend's observations, because I shall take care that the same thing, if it occurred at Glasgow, does not occur at New York.

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SC

William Hayhurst

Social Credit

Mr. HAYHURST:

Would the International Nickel Company or any other industrial group in Canada have their own salesmen there also?

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LIB

William Daum Euler (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Mr. EULER:

There will be none of that sort of showing in New York; no private concerns are showing, unless one calls the Canadian National and Canadian Pacific Railways private concerns. There are no manufacturers or industrialists as such exhibiting their products. We had some applications, but we did not think we had room, and that was not

Supply-Trade-Exhibitions

our purpose particularly. We were going to show the natural resources of Canada, and we felt that if they wanted to show their own products they should go to the industrial buildings. I think some Canadian concerns are showing, but not in the Canadian pavilion.

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CON

Thomas Alfred Thompson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. THOMPSON:

Does that $400,000 represent the expenditure in connection with the Department of Trade and Commerce, or does it include the expenditure of the various departments exhibiting?

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LIB

William Daum Euler (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Mr. EULER:

The amounts required by the various departments are included in the estimates of the Department of Trade and Commerce.

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CON

Harry James Barber

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BARBER:

But that would not include the railways and the different provinces?

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May 25, 1939