The hon. member sees no virtue in anything but potatoes. We did not do anything about potatoes but we did get concessions for other maritime products.
We are told that Canadian -trade is in a very serious situation, but that the whole
situation can be saved by calling an empire conference. If hon. members were reading the newspapers they would know that an important trade conference is taking place in the city of Ottawa today with a high level team of British and Canadian experts. On the British team are the heads of three departments of government, the treasury, the board of trade and the ministry of food. This trade conference will continue throughout the week. I can say that conference is to be followed by a trade conference with the republic of France; that is to be followed by a trade conference with the British West Indies; that is to be followed by a trade conference with New Zealand. I believe this government is not wholly oblivious of the fact that conferences may be helpful.
The minister of external affairs (Mr. Pearson) has called my attention to the fact that last year Canada attended 169 conferences, so that if conferences, the cure-all of the opposition parties, can be helpful, I think we have done well by international conferences.
We are told that our Canadian trade is in a dreadful position. I will admit that the Conservatives have come quite a distance since 1911 when they said: No truck or trade with the Yaqkees. They now admit that some trade with the Yankees is not too bad, but they say that we have far too much of it at the present time.
Then trade figures are quoted to show that our trade with the United Kingdom has fallen off tremendously. I was interested in the base figure that was used by the leader of the opposition (Mr. Drew). He used the trade figures for the year 1943. In 1943 Canada was at the top of its production of munitions of war and we were sending those to England in tremendous quantity, with no price tag on the munitions. We built up a tremendous trade in that way, but it was wholly abnormal, of course. Using that base, he showed-
Subtopic: TORQUAY NEGOTIATIONS
Sub-subtopic: MATTER TO BANKING AND COMMERCE COMMITTEE