May 21, 1951

LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Defence Production; Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Mr. Howe:

Yes, that is right.

Topic:   TRADE AGREEMENTS
Subtopic:   TORQUAY NEGOTIATIONS
Sub-subtopic:   MATTER TO BANKING AND COMMERCE COMMITTEE
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PC

Howard Charles Green

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Green:

I suggest that Canada should not be critical of the stand taken by these other British countries at Torquay. They only took that stand as a matter of selfpreservation. I am sure that they were not trying to make any trouble, but were doing it as a matter of self-protection.

Then, finally, a word about the future. I believe that the long-term trade policy of Canada should be to diversify our trade far more than is the case at the present time. There have been tremendous developments in this country. We are producing a great many products that we did not produce before the recent war. They will be coming into competition with United States products in just the same way as many of our primary products are in competition with similar products in the United States. I believe that our wisest course is to diversify to the greatest extent possible.

For that reason, not only should we seek to promote trade with all nations, for example in South America and Asia, but also I believe the preference system should be retained. Little has been said today about trade with Australia and New Zealand, but for us on the Pacific coast it has always been of great importance. We believe that trade with these sister nations, and with other nations across the Pacific, could develop to a greater degree than trade with nations in any other part of the world. I would hope that Canada will always retain the preferential system for her dealings with other nations of the commonwealth. It may be necessary to alter that system from time to time, but I do believe that the plan is a sound one. I believe also that it may turn out that Canada will have good reason to be grateful to the other British countries for their refusal to abandon the preference system at Torquay. After all, the essence of that preferential system is to increase trade amongst the British countries. Here we had the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and India refusing to give up that preferential system-

Topic:   TRADE AGREEMENTS
Subtopic:   TORQUAY NEGOTIATIONS
Sub-subtopic:   MATTER TO BANKING AND COMMERCE COMMITTEE
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LIB

Joseph-Alfred Dion (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. Deputy Speaker:

Order. I must inform the hon. member that he has now exhausted his time.

Topic:   TRADE AGREEMENTS
Subtopic:   TORQUAY NEGOTIATIONS
Sub-subtopic:   MATTER TO BANKING AND COMMERCE COMMITTEE
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PC

Howard Charles Green

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Green:

In conclusion, Mr. Speaker, may I suggest that probably the best thing we could do would be to endeavour to persuade the United States to change from a high tariff

Trade Agreements

policy. If she altered that policy and became a low tariff nation, I believe that would be the greatest contribution that could be made to freeing the trade between all the countries of the world today, because the United States is undoubtedly the leader. I suggest that Canada's main effort should be to endeavour to encourage the United States to take a step of that kind.

Topic:   TRADE AGREEMENTS
Subtopic:   TORQUAY NEGOTIATIONS
Sub-subtopic:   MATTER TO BANKING AND COMMERCE COMMITTEE
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PC

Heber Harold Hatfield

Progressive Conservative

Mr. H. H. Hatfield (Victoria-Carlelon):

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Trade and Commerce (Mr. Howe) has been talking about the importance of the Torquay agreements to the maritime provinces. Before these agreements were tabled, there was a press dispatch in the Citizen of May 5 stating that Canada was receiving the same concessions from Cuba as the United States was receiving. After the agreements were tabled we found out that this was not the case. On May 8 the Minister of Trade and Commerce said at page 2829 of Hansard:

In the case of Cuba, I wish to make an announcement of considerable importance.

He then said that Canada was going to buy 75,000 tons of raw sugar from Cuba which would be distributed to the Canadian sugar refineries. He goes on and says:

The Cuban government has now undertaken to revalidate until January 1, 1954, important tariff concessions which were originally granted to Canada at Geneva, including amongst others, codfish, wheat flour and potatoes. This will be of definite interest to our maritime provinces.

Now, we received no advantage from the Geneva agreement in respect of either potatoes or fish. The only advantage received at Torquay was a fractional reduction on codfish in the Cuban market. The Cuban market was the greatest market the maritime provinces ever had for potatoes, fish, lumber, apples and other commodities. Since the freight rates to the central provinces have advanced, we cannot ship to the central provinces. The only markets the maritime provinces have are in Cuba, South America and the United States, and those are the only markets that are any good to us. I do not say that reciprocity is any good to us. I do say that while there is a favourable government at Washington, this government should negotiate a long-term treaty arrangement with the United States so that the maritime provinces can exist.

I should like to know what the minister meant by that statement on May 8. The Torquay agreements even took four of the concessions away that Canada did have. The only concession given to Canada was a fractional reduction per hundred kilos on codfish. There is very little advantage to the maritime provinces from this Torquay agreement. So

Trade Agreements

far as I can see the only concession that was any good to my constituency was a reduction on ground oats to the United States from 25 cents a hundred to 12J cents a hundred. That was the only concession that my constituency received, and that was the only concession the province of New Brunswick received. The member for Vancouver South (Mr. Laing) spoke about a reduction of 50 per cent in plywood. This treaty only covers Douglas fir plywood, and that plywood is only manufactured in the province of British Columbia. No Douglas fir plywood is manufactured in any other province.

Topic:   TRADE AGREEMENTS
Subtopic:   TORQUAY NEGOTIATIONS
Sub-subtopic:   MATTER TO BANKING AND COMMERCE COMMITTEE
Permalink
LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Defence Production; Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Mr. Howe:

There is birch plywood.

Topic:   TRADE AGREEMENTS
Subtopic:   TORQUAY NEGOTIATIONS
Sub-subtopic:   MATTER TO BANKING AND COMMERCE COMMITTEE
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PC

Heber Harold Hatfield

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Hatfield:

There is birch plywood, and the reduction there is only 5 per cent.

Topic:   TRADE AGREEMENTS
Subtopic:   TORQUAY NEGOTIATIONS
Sub-subtopic:   MATTER TO BANKING AND COMMERCE COMMITTEE
Permalink
LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Defence Production; Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Mr. Howe:

25 per cent.

Topic:   TRADE AGREEMENTS
Subtopic:   TORQUAY NEGOTIATIONS
Sub-subtopic:   MATTER TO BANKING AND COMMERCE COMMITTEE
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PC

Heber Harold Hatfield

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Hatfield:

There is little or practically no advantage to the maritime provinces. He says: In the case of Cuba I wish to make an announcement of considerable importance. Is there going to be a reduction? Are we going to receive anything further? Is (there going to be any other agreement with Cuba so that, by taking this raw sugar, we might have the same concessions that the United States have with Cuba? Before the West Indies treaty we shipped there immense quantities of potatoes and fish, and that was a great market for the maritime provinces. Since the West Indies treaty went into effect we lost the Cuban market. Cuba immediately retaliated with an exceedingly high duty against fish, flour, potatoes and lumber from Canada; and we have lost one of our best markets.

We in the maritime provinces must have trade agreements with Cuba, South America and the United States in order to exist. When this article came out in the Ottawa Citizen of May 5-I do not know where they obtained this statement-it built up high hopes in the maritime provinces that we were going to receive in Cuba the same concessions as those received' by the United States. Since the West Indies treaty, the United States has had all the table potato market in Cuba. We have never been able to ship any commercial potatoes from the maritime provinces. What we did receive was a reduction in duty or freedom from duty on seed potatoes. What Cuba cannot grow from our seed, she buys from the United States. Cuba has been a great market for the United States, since the West Indies treaty came into effect. The West Indies treaty is now blocked. We have our ships going down there empty. It is costing us an enormous amount of money to keep those five ships which, by that agreement, we agreed to put on that West Indies trade.

We get no advantage. Those ships are losing money. They are going down empty. We have blocked sterling. We get a permit to ship a few tons of potatoes once in a while, but they hardly ever make up carload lots. With the quotas we get from the West Indies, the market is practically finished down there for our fish and potatoes. I hope this government will make with Cuba, the West Indies, the United States and South America a treaty that will help the maritime provinces.

Topic:   TRADE AGREEMENTS
Subtopic:   TORQUAY NEGOTIATIONS
Sub-subtopic:   MATTER TO BANKING AND COMMERCE COMMITTEE
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CCF

Percy Ellis Wright

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

Mr. Wright:

Mr. Speaker, I just wanted

to ask the Minister of Trade and Commerce (Mr. Howe) a question based on the statement he made a few minutes ago with regard to Canada's shipping wheat to India. According to this trade report, we have shipped to India 11,200,000 bushels under the international wheat agreement. We have not shipped any to India outside of the international wheat agreement, have we?

Topic:   TRADE AGREEMENTS
Subtopic:   TORQUAY NEGOTIATIONS
Sub-subtopic:   MATTER TO BANKING AND COMMERCE COMMITTEE
Permalink
LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Defence Production; Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Mr. Howe:

No. We have made all our

shipments under the international wheat agreement. The United States will make their shipment of two million tons under the international wheat agreement, I hope. Russia has sold wheat not under the international wheat agreement, because it is not a party to that agreement. China has sold wheat to India.

Topic:   TRADE AGREEMENTS
Subtopic:   TORQUAY NEGOTIATIONS
Sub-subtopic:   MATTER TO BANKING AND COMMERCE COMMITTEE
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CCF

Percy Ellis Wright

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

Mr. Wright:

According to these trade

figures, the United States has shipped

27.773.000 bushels under the world wheat agreement and Australia has shipped

15.589.000 bushels, as compared with Canada's 11,200,000 bushels. The United States, I believe, have now passed a bill authorizing the shipping of another two million tons which, If they make delivery, will be about a further 70 million bushels on top of the 27,773,000 bushels they have already shipped. As mentioned by the minister, I do not think we have as yet fulfilled all our obligations to India.

Topic:   TRADE AGREEMENTS
Subtopic:   TORQUAY NEGOTIATIONS
Sub-subtopic:   MATTER TO BANKING AND COMMERCE COMMITTEE
Permalink
LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Defence Production; Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Mr. Howe:

We would have shipped much more had we had the wheat available when India made the inquiry for further wheat. Unfortunately we had only enough milling wheat to take care of part of the commitment. We offered No. 5 wheat but India did not wish to take No. 5 wheat. All we can ship is what we have.

Topic:   TRADE AGREEMENTS
Subtopic:   TORQUAY NEGOTIATIONS
Sub-subtopic:   MATTER TO BANKING AND COMMERCE COMMITTEE
Permalink
PC

James MacKerras Macdonnell

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Macdonnell (Greenwood):

I wish to

ask a question of the minister. A few minutes ago he said that our exports to the United Kingdom were greater than those in any pre-war year. Was he measuring in terms of dollars or goods?

Topic:   TRADE AGREEMENTS
Subtopic:   TORQUAY NEGOTIATIONS
Sub-subtopic:   MATTER TO BANKING AND COMMERCE COMMITTEE
Permalink
LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Defence Production; Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Mr. Howe:

Dollars.

MAY 2iri9Sl

Topic:   TRADE AGREEMENTS
Subtopic:   TORQUAY NEGOTIATIONS
Sub-subtopic:   MATTER TO BANKING AND COMMERCE COMMITTEE
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PC

James MacKerras Macdonnell

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Macdonnell (Greenwood):

I wonder

Why the minister would give us a figure of that kind? Does he not think that is very misleading? You cannot eat dollars.

Topic:   TRADE AGREEMENTS
Subtopic:   TORQUAY NEGOTIATIONS
Sub-subtopic:   MATTER TO BANKING AND COMMERCE COMMITTEE
Permalink
PC

Heber Harold Hatfield

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Hatfield:

The minister has not

answered my question as to what concession the maritime provinces received from Torquay, outside of that with regard to codfish.

Topic:   TRADE AGREEMENTS
Subtopic:   TORQUAY NEGOTIATIONS
Sub-subtopic:   MATTER TO BANKING AND COMMERCE COMMITTEE
Permalink
LIB

Joseph-Alfred Dion (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. Deputy Speaker:

Order.

Topic:   TRADE AGREEMENTS
Subtopic:   TORQUAY NEGOTIATIONS
Sub-subtopic:   MATTER TO BANKING AND COMMERCE COMMITTEE
Permalink
LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Defence Production; Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Mr. Howe:

We are not in committee, but

to answer the question as to what concessions they received at Torquay, the principal concession was an extension for three years of the agreements they made at Geneva. I may tell my hon. friend that it took long and difficult negotiations to get that extension; and without the sugar purchase the concessions made at Geneva would have been cancelled as far as Canada is concerned. If that is not a concession, we got nothing-if my hon. friend says that is of no value.

Topic:   TRADE AGREEMENTS
Subtopic:   TORQUAY NEGOTIATIONS
Sub-subtopic:   MATTER TO BANKING AND COMMERCE COMMITTEE
Permalink
PC

Heber Harold Hatfield

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Hatfield:

What did the maritime

provinces get with regard to fish and potatoes in the Cuban market at Geneva?

Topic:   TRADE AGREEMENTS
Subtopic:   TORQUAY NEGOTIATIONS
Sub-subtopic:   MATTER TO BANKING AND COMMERCE COMMITTEE
Permalink

May 21, 1951