February 10, 1948

IND

Jean-François Pouliot

Independent Liberal

Mr. POULIOT:

I am sorry, sir, but I think I have. We are dealing with the short title, which reads as follows:

This act may be cited as the Emergency Exchange Conservation Act.

Topic:   FLAXSEED-CATTLE REQUEST FOR ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS ASKED ON FEBRUARY 9
Subtopic:   SCHEDULE III
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PC

Douglas Gooderham Ross

Progressive Conservative

Mr. ROSS (St. Paul's):

That is what I said.

Topic:   FLAXSEED-CATTLE REQUEST FOR ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS ASKED ON FEBRUARY 9
Subtopic:   SCHEDULE III
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IND

Jean-François Pouliot

Independent Liberal

Mr. POULIOT:

This is the first time that I can repeat what has been said by St. Paul's without making a mistake. I would suggest to the minister that he change the short title so that it reads in this way: "This act may

be cited as the barter act." Barter should be

a detour around United States dollars. The trouble now is that everybody is inclined to adopt new fashions. Why should we always stand by the United States dollar, speak only of the United States dollar from dawn to dusk and from dusk to dawn, and think only of the United States dollar as a means of exchange?

In the first place, the purpose of exchange is to correct the difference in a transaction which is made between two parties. Usually goods are exchanged and the difference is paid in dollars. But when we hear of the dollar as being the principal in a transaction instead of the accessory, one falls into the error of the Social Credit group. My suggestion to the minister is to trade by means of barter, to barter with all the countries that have not enough United States dollars with which to pay for Canadian goods. Only last year I made a practical suggestion to the minister regarding the income tax, namely, to replace the income tax by another kind of taxation that would not be so hard on the Canadian taxpayer. This time I suggest to him that he put aside the United States dollar and practice barter, and that he assist Canadian exporters and importers to barter with all countries of the world which have not enough United States dollars with which to make full payment for Canadian exports. That would be a way to recovery, and it would show the people of the United States that we may become independent of them.

Why should we always be subservient with regard to the people of the United States? There is no reason for it. South of the United States is a republic which is entirely independent of the United States. There are some United States investments there as there are some here; but they do their business with the United States andi they can do so well that one official of the government-not a responsible gentleman, but one of the deputies -said not long ago that our trade with Mexico could amount to $100 million a year. Is it possible for Mexico to pay us in United States dollars? I doubt it. But we could practise the exchange of goods. Therefore there should be an entirely different trade policy. We should have a trade policy that would mean something to the Canadian people. In this country we have primary products and manufactured goods that we could exchange for primary products and manufactured goods of any other country in the world. At the present time what is the plague of the United Kingdom? It is that they have not enough United States dollars. But those people from Cripps down to the last cabinet minister are devoid of imagination. When they start with the wron?

Foreign Exchange Conservation

fashion, they think they are bound to continue to follow that fashion. They are entirely devoid of imagination, which should be the first quality of those who frame trade policy or any other policy of importance to the country. This is just an idea that is put forward, and1 I may tell the minister that I am not the first one to suggest it.

A long time ago, when Mr. Stevens was Minister of Trade and1 Commerce and when Brazil was throwing coffee into the ocean, I said it was a crime to throw away a commodity like that which had value. They had over-production. They were n-ot using the coffee at all; they were throwing it into the Atlantic ocean. We could have exchanged wheat for coffee. I made that suggestion to Mr. Stevens, who was minister of trade and commerce, and he said1 it was worthy of consideration. That is just what I saidi a moment ago, of course entirely without authority, to the hon. member for Vancouver-Burrard. Many others have suggested it. Only this winter, around Christmas, on the first page of the Montreal Gazette I read that no less a man than Colonel Horace Boivin, mayor of Granby, who has visited every country in Europe in the interests of Canadian manufacturers, advanced exactly the same suggestion. Therefore it is not only the suggestion of the member for Temiscouata; it is the suggestion of many people.

Trade is not only a question of banking. Banking is secondary in trade. What is essential is the exchange of products. Here I pay special tribute to the producers of this country in every field; the farmers, all the producers of primary products, the fishermen, and the producers of manufactured goods. But they need the assistance of the government. They need the help of our trade agencies, call it commercial intelligence or what you like. They need the help of our consuls and our so-called ambassadors to promote Canadian trade. These gentlemen do very little for better political understanding among the nations. They should prove their usefulness in promoting Canadian trade, in helping out those who have something to sell and those who wish to buy. For a time it was impossible to learn anything, about imports; the figures were not given by the predecessor of the hon. gentleman who is piloting this bill. It was impossible to get any information about imports. Now we hear only about imports, and the figures in regard to exports are false. Our trade is fictitious. Let us come back to real trade. Let us barter our goods with the other nations of the world, and let us be free of the United States dollar.

[ilr. Pouliot.]

Topic:   FLAXSEED-CATTLE REQUEST FOR ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS ASKED ON FEBRUARY 9
Subtopic:   SCHEDULE III
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CCF

Angus MacInnis

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

Mr. MacINNIS:

I rise to a point of order. During the short time we were discussing this matter this afternoon various hon. members were ruled out of order for making speeches which were not nearly as far from the subject, from my point of view, as the one just made. I think hon. members should be uniformly kept within the same limits.

Topic:   FLAXSEED-CATTLE REQUEST FOR ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS ASKED ON FEBRUARY 9
Subtopic:   SCHEDULE III
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IND

Jean-François Pouliot

Independent Liberal

Mr. POULIOT:

My speech was absolutely relevant, because it was in reference to a suggestion I made to the minister about changing the short title. It was relevant from A to Z, and my hon. friend knows it.

Topic:   FLAXSEED-CATTLE REQUEST FOR ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS ASKED ON FEBRUARY 9
Subtopic:   SCHEDULE III
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CCF

Angus MacInnis

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

Mr. MacINNIS:

My hon. friend might have made the suggestion, but there was nothing in his speech that had anything to do with changing the title.

Topic:   FLAXSEED-CATTLE REQUEST FOR ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS ASKED ON FEBRUARY 9
Subtopic:   SCHEDULE III
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IND

Jean-François Pouliot

Independent Liberal

Mr. POULIOT:

It all referred to the suggestion I made about changing the title.

Topic:   FLAXSEED-CATTLE REQUEST FOR ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS ASKED ON FEBRUARY 9
Subtopic:   SCHEDULE III
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LIB

William Henry Golding (Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole)

Liberal

The DEPUTY CHAIRMAN:

The point raised by the hon. member for Vancouver East is perfectly correct. I agree that the speech just made was not in order, just as many others this evening have not been in order. That is what I am appealing to hon. members to avoid, and again I would ask their co-operation.

Topic:   FLAXSEED-CATTLE REQUEST FOR ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS ASKED ON FEBRUARY 9
Subtopic:   SCHEDULE III
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PC

Douglas Gooderham Ross

Progressive Conservative

Mr. ROSS (St. Paul's):

I shall try to do as you say, Mr. Chairman, and stay in order; I like you so well I would not want to go against your wishes. However, the only place I can find to say what I have to say, which will be brief, is in connection with emergency exchange. The idea of the bill is to save United States exchange, and my suggestion is this; I do not know whether the minister has already adopted it. I think he should make an appeal to the Canadian people telling them to buy Canadian, to buy British, to buy French. If he made it a real appeal I am sure he would save a good many United States dollars. I believe a great many things which are now being bought American would be bought Canadian if the right appeal -were made by this government.

Topic:   FLAXSEED-CATTLE REQUEST FOR ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS ASKED ON FEBRUARY 9
Subtopic:   SCHEDULE III
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LIB

Douglas Charles Abbott (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. ABBOTT:

Just in reply to that suggestion, may I tell my hon. friend that we published a couple of advertisements in the daily press throughout Canada, in order to reach as many people as possible, pointing out some ways in which we felt this emergency could be met. We said:

Do not order goods by mail from other countries ... do not buy goods to bring home when you travel outside Canada.

If you feel some purchase is absolutely essential, see your collector of customs and excise beforehand to learn whether the item is prohibited.

Look for alternatives or substitutes for the items which are temporarily prohibited.

Foreign Exchange Conservation

In the opening paragraph of the advertisement, which emphasized why this was necessary, we said:

Canada is heavily "in the red" in present trading with the U.S. dollar area. In our total trade with the world we are in a good position but not in that part which is done with the U.S. dollar countries. Other countries with whom we do business cannot pay us in full, either in cash or in goods, for the things they buy from us. . . .

There are two things we can do at the moment . . . cut down unnecessary purchases from the U.S. dollar area and increase our production of goods that can be sold to those countries to balance accounts.

Topic:   FLAXSEED-CATTLE REQUEST FOR ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS ASKED ON FEBRUARY 9
Subtopic:   SCHEDULE III
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PC

Douglas Gooderham Ross

Progressive Conservative

Mr. ROSS (St. Paul's):

But you do not say why.

Topic:   FLAXSEED-CATTLE REQUEST FOR ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS ASKED ON FEBRUARY 9
Subtopic:   SCHEDULE III
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PC

Donald Methuen Fleming

Progressive Conservative

Mr. FLEMING:

Why not say "Buy

Canadian"?

Topic:   FLAXSEED-CATTLE REQUEST FOR ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS ASKED ON FEBRUARY 9
Subtopic:   SCHEDULE III
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LIB

Douglas Charles Abbott (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. ABBOTT:

That is a slogan. It is a necessary inference from what I have read: "cut down your unnecessary purchases from the U.S. dollar area." What else can it mean?

Topic:   FLAXSEED-CATTLE REQUEST FOR ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS ASKED ON FEBRUARY 9
Subtopic:   SCHEDULE III
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PC

Douglas Gooderham Ross

Progressive Conservative

Mr. ROSS (St. Paul's):

You could say "Buy Canadian" and "Buy British."

Topic:   FLAXSEED-CATTLE REQUEST FOR ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS ASKED ON FEBRUARY 9
Subtopic:   SCHEDULE III
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LIB

Douglas Charles Abbott (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. ABBOTT:

Well, I really give the Canadian people credit for enough sense to believe they will take that for granted.

Topic:   FLAXSEED-CATTLE REQUEST FOR ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS ASKED ON FEBRUARY 9
Subtopic:   SCHEDULE III
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PC

Donald Methuen Fleming

Progressive Conservative

Mr. FLEMING:

Just before six o'clock the minister, in referring to the schedules and also, I think, to the provisions of P.C. 4678, said they represented months of work, by which I took it he meant that months of work had been applied to the formulation of those provisions before they were promulgated on November 17. Would he expand1 his remarks somewhat and indicate to the committee when this work was begun?

Topic:   FLAXSEED-CATTLE REQUEST FOR ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS ASKED ON FEBRUARY 9
Subtopic:   SCHEDULE III
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LIB

Douglas Charles Abbott (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. ABBOTT:

I do not know that I can give my hon. friend an absolutely accurate answer, but broadly speaking I should think it was about midsummer. About that time it was realized that it was quite possible import restrictions might have to be resorted to as a method of conserving our United States dollar reserves. It was realized by those who know something about these matters that it would not be possible to create overnight a workable and appropriate schedule for putting into force such import restrictions; and about the middle of the summer we set up an interdepartmental committee, of which the present assistant deputy minister of finance was chairman, to study the question of what import restrictions could or might properly be imposed should it be decided to take that step.

Topic:   FLAXSEED-CATTLE REQUEST FOR ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS ASKED ON FEBRUARY 9
Subtopic:   SCHEDULE III
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PC

Donald Methuen Fleming

Progressive Conservative

Mr. FLEMING:

Then may I follow that up with two other questions? The first is,

were the tariff experts of the Department of National Revenue, on the customs side, consulted in that work?

Topic:   FLAXSEED-CATTLE REQUEST FOR ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS ASKED ON FEBRUARY 9
Subtopic:   SCHEDULE III
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LIB

Douglas Charles Abbott (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. ABBOTT:

They were on the committee.

Topic:   FLAXSEED-CATTLE REQUEST FOR ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS ASKED ON FEBRUARY 9
Subtopic:   SCHEDULE III
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PC

Donald Methuen Fleming

Progressive Conservative

Mr. FLEMING:

Second, what was the total of gold and United States dollar holdings in Canada at the time that work was begun, which the minister says was midsummer?

Topic:   FLAXSEED-CATTLE REQUEST FOR ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS ASKED ON FEBRUARY 9
Subtopic:   SCHEDULE III
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February 10, 1948