The minister's figures of recent prices compared, I understand, with those of last December seem to indicate a rather satisfactory situation, that is to say, that from the point of view of the customs administration the prices for duty purposes are now somewhat higher. But I should like to get at this point. Could we get figures showing comparative prices some months earlier? Furthermore, and this is particularly what I want to get, how many reports have
been received in response to the two directives which were sent out? It seems to me that would give us an indication as to how large a situation there was requiring treatment.
I am unable to give the exact number of reports that have been received but it must have been very considerable because I have given the answer with respect to where action has been taken and I have given information as to the great number of cases that are under investigation at the present time. This does not mean that delivery of these goods is not made to the importer or buyer. We reserve the right to reconsider and reassess the amount of duty that shall be paid. That means that with respect to these items and commodities under investigation the final determination has not been made of the amount that shall be paid on the invoices because the invoices may be reappraised and corrected.
Last December, when the matter was under debate in the house, the minister gave us a good deal of information as to how typical prices in the United States were arrived at. Was I correct in understanding then that the organization for finding those prices was going to be set up?
Would the minister say a bit more about that? While I am on my feet, I have one other question. I think he spoke about four countries being involved. Am I correct? I thought I heard that somewhere in the minister's statement. Well, I abandon that and I would ask the minister to give me further information as to the method of organization to make the situation more shipshape and watertight.
I might indicate to the hon. member for Greenwood that since December we have taken on 26 additional appraisers. These people are delegated from here to examine into exporters' prices, and are operating from here in the United States.
United Kingdom. We are communicating with some other people with a view to having appraisers accepted in their countries. You just cannot walk in, you know, and send an appraiser into a country that is exporting something into Canada, then have him investigate prices in the country of origin. There has to be negotiation with these countries, and as the need arises we do that. Presently, our people are in the United States and Great Britain principally because they are the biggest exporters to this *country.
The minister indicated that investigations were being made-under the provisions of the statute that has been under discussion-into a number of lines. As I listened to the list, it seemed to consist mainly of textiles and clothing items, but he referred also to refrigerators. Could he say what kind of refrigerators he had in mind? Could he say whether any other items of household equipment, such as stoves, furnaces and so on are under investigation?
When he answers those questions, could he say something as to the effect on Canadian importers which might arise from the knowledge that duties on these imports could be increased several months after the goods have been brought into the country? There are those who suggest that this is having a deterring effect on the importation of such goods as household equipment.