June 4, 1954

LIB

Walter Edward Harris (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Mr. Harris:

Mr. Chairman, I rise on a point of order. I just finished outlining the understanding between our own members and hon. members of the party of the Leader of the Opposition. The remarks which the Leader of the Opposition is now making are completely out of order with respect to that understanding and I wish to give notice that the understanding is ended.

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PC

George Alexander Drew (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Drew:

Mr. Chairman, the understanding is ended in a complete misapprehension and in a most unfair manner. What I am dealing with is entirely on all fours with the understanding. I am coming to the suggestion that has been made outside of this chamber-and even by members in it on the other side-that these discussions on antidumping legislation had to do with principles relating to tariffs. I am dealing with the

question of anti-dumping legislation and I understood that was the subject before us. Unless I have misunderstood the situation, it is my purpose to proceed to discuss the effect of the anti-dumping legislation. I resent any suggestion that there has been the slightest breach of any understanding that existed with regard to the transaction of business in this chamber.

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LIB

Walter Edward Harris (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Mr. Harris:

Mr. Chairman, I am sure the Leader of the Opposition heard me say twice that the understanding was that we would have the question-and-answer period and not have the general discussion. Both from what the Leader of the Opposition was saying before I interrupted and from what he has said since then, I gather that he proposes to make general remarks with respect to anti-dumping legislation.

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PC

George Alexander Drew (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Drew:

No; that is not correct.

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LIB

Walter Edward Harris (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Mr. Harris:

If that is not correct, I myself am under a misapprehension. However, I am sure that had he proceeded much further I would have had to say, on behalf of hon. members, that they should be at liberty to make the type of statement that he is making; and that would abrogate the understanding.

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CCF

Stanley Howard Knowles (Whip of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation)

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

Mr. Knowles:

Where is the understanding now?

An hen. Member: Let us have questions.

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PC

George Alexander Drew (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Drew:

Mr. Chairman, there can at no time be too great a rigidity in the procedure by which questions or other matters are put before this chamber; otherwise the whole procedure in parliament becomes a farce. I was anticipating what may be said. I now direct a question to the minister as to whether, in view of what I have said, it is not correct that the announcement today by Rhys M. Sale, president of the Ford Motor Company of Canada, with regard to the lay-off of 6,650 men in the Ford plant in Windsor alone is not a question directly related to the application of these anti-dumping provisions and whether also the further lay-off of 2,700 employees at the Ford plant in Oakville-oh, no; I am just reading the dispatch that has been handed to me-the 6,650 employees are at the Windsor and Oakville plants.

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LIB

James Joseph McCann (Minister of National Revenue)

Liberal

Mr. McCann:

Is the Leader of the Opposition suggesting that automobiles are being dumped into this country?

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PC

George Alexander Drew (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Drew:

I am asking the question whether any inquiry has been made as to the situation resulting from the possible importation into this country of automobiles of different types, not only from the United States but from other countries, and its possible application to this situation. I do so in view of the fact

Supply-National Revenue that we were led to believe that automobile production was at its highest level and we are now told that there is going to be a cut-back of at least 15 per cent this year, with extremely serious consequences to employment in the automobile industry.

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?

An hon. Member:

Building up British trade.

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LIB

James Joseph McCann (Minister of National Revenue)

Liberal

Mr. McCann:

Mr. Chairman, there is no evidence at all that we know of that automobiles are being dumped into this country.

I suggest again that this is neither the place nor the time for the consideration of the policy. Our department is entirely administrative. I must insist that if there are questions with reference to the administration we shall be glad to attempt to answer them. If hon. members want to deal with policy with reference to trade and imports coming into this country, all well and good; that matter can be discussed on the estimates of the Minister of Finance. I am not here to answer his questions.

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CCF

Stanley Howard Knowles (Whip of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation)

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

Mr. Knowles:

Not yet.

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LIB

James Joseph McCann (Minister of National Revenue)

Liberal

Mr. McCann:

Not yet; and I hope I may continue to say "not yet". Our department is the administrative arm of the government with respect to customs, excise and taxation.

I am not supposed to be here to answer questions upon the subject of what the policy of the government is. The proper person to address those questions to is the Minister of Finance.

I will attempt to go back to the hon. member for Greenwood and give him the results of the application of the policy and how those compare with a year ago. That is the point at which this other discussion was interjected. I want to say that importations for the first four months, were as follows, with reference to what I said before, of clothing, wearing apparel made from woven fabrics, cotton dresses, women's and children's. Those are the big items. For each month I could give the number of pieces, the value for duty in our country, and the comparative value as between the month of January, 1954, and the month of January, 1953.

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PC
LIB

James Joseph McCann (Minister of National Revenue)

Liberal

Mr. McCann:

Excuse me a minute. Of that particular type of material 23,514 pieces were imported in 1954 as against 45,380 pieces valued at $107,000. The price in January, 1954 was $2.35 per piece compared with a price of $2.38 when the valuation for duty purposes section went into effect. In February the value per piece is $2.54-this is the invoice for duty purposes-compared with $2.14, for March $2.96 compared with $2.38, for April $3.35 per piece compared with $2.97.

5502 HOUSE OF

Supply-National Revenue You understand the significance of that. It means that in the last instance the value for duty purposes per piece was $3.35 compared with $2.97. These figures indicate to me at least that the value of these invoices per piece went up to $3.35 from $2.97, a difference of 38 cents per piece. When an invoice comes in and, by reason of our investigations, it is changed from X dollars and a different value is put on it up to $3.35 and duty is paid on that, that certainly must be a deterrent to importers to bring end of the season and end of the line goods into this country, and our manufacturers would have the advantage of that increase in price.

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PC

George Alexander Drew (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Drew:

I assure the hon. member and the minister that I have no desire whatever to introduce any heat or acrimony into this discussion of the estimates. I was under the impression that the questions that have been asked by the hon. member for Greenwood, and the points that have been put forward were entirely within the understanding that had been discussed, and the hon. member for Greenwood had referred to this question of tariff as a necessary protection to the interpretation that is sometimes placed on the discussion of this matter. I am raising something that has only been brought to my attention within the last few minutes which has to do with what appears to be a very serious situation developing in the automobile industry. I would point out that if there is some other place within these estimates where this should be discussed I am prepared to discuss it then.

I was under the impression, however, that the administration of this act is under the minister, and that if, for instance, there were to be an inquiry into the situation in the automobile industry similar to that which is to be conducted with respect to the textile industry, it would be appropriate to place that suggestion before the minister whose estimates are now before us. If I am incorrect in that, I am prepared to put it forward otherwise, but if the hon. member has had an opportunity to read the announcement that just came over the wire a short time ago he will know that the president of the Ford company has announced that, contrary to earlier expectations, a drop in production-

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CCF

Alexander Malcolm Nicholson

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

Mr. Nicholson:

On a point of order, I wonder whether all hon. members will be permitted to take part in a discussion of the very serious unemployment situation that is developing. I am sure a number of members in this group would like to take part in such a discussion if it is in order.

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PC

George Alexander Drew (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Drew:

Mr. Chairman, this is the house of parliament and it is the duty of parliament at the earliest appropriate moment to deal

with matters of importance. This is something that will very seriously affect not only Windsor and Oakville but all other communities supplying the various parts of these automobiles. It is an entirely unexpected development, and I submit it is the duty of parliament to place the facts before those who have a substantial measure of responsibility in this matter at the first opportunity. I will simply ask the minister if it is not so that it would be within his power to order an inquiry in relation to the application of the anti-dumping measures administered by his department similar to that which is to be conducted with respect to the textile industry.

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LIB

James Joseph McCann (Minister of National Revenue)

Liberal

Mr. McCann:

Of course I think the Leader of the Opposition knows that it is not within my power to instigate any such investigation. To date there is no evidence that this condition of unemployment in Windsor and the releasing of a number of employees there has anything whatever to do with the importation of automobiles into Canada either whole or in parts. I heard the announcement over the radio, and apart from that I know nothing about it. My understanding is that the layoff is for a short period of time and it may be due to changes in design or patterns or some part of the establishment being held up. I think that it is probably due to lack of consumer buying. I have heard that there is a war on between the Ford people and General Motors and that they have large inventories of stocks. Therefore I would not be a bit surprised that probably as the result of increased inventories it has been necessary for them to take this step. But at this time I can assure the hon. member that it has nothing to do with dumping into this country.

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CCF

Stanley Howard Knowles (Whip of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation)

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

Mr. Knowles:

Would the minister permit one question? Did he not hear the whole of the radio news item-

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June 4, 1954