In answer to the hon. member's question, I am informed that the type of refrigerators that have been imported are mostly household refrigerators. There have not been many other articles of household effects.
It is hard to answer what particular type, whether they have been electric, ice or gas. They would all be subject to the dumping duty if they were end of the line or seasonal stuff that were being shipped into Canada. So far as the type goes, the
Supply-National Revenue list only indicates the different models. There are a lot of different models, and I presume the model means the size.
So far as the application of the dumping duty is concerned, the department administers it with due care and reason. So far we have had no complaints from the importers because of delay or because of the unfair application of this valuation for duty purposes.
I realize that it is a point on which statistics would not be available. There are some of us who fear that that is what is happening. There is another subject, Mr. Chairman, I want to ask questions about, but if the hon. member for Victoria-Carleton has a question in the same field, I shall yield and come back to this later.
I am not quite clear, and perhaps the minister could make it more plain, who instigates this action to increase this duty. Is it the department on its own initiative that gives instructions to the customs collectors at points of entry or does the department just act when a request is received from an industry? For instance, you raised the duty on these textile goods, and it went up from month to month. Who instigated that? Was it your customs men at the border who took action as the goods came through or was this done at the request of an industry? I should like that cleared up.
I am sure that if the hon. member is conversant with what has happened within the last few months he will know that public demand and governmental action brought about the amendment. This parliament passed it, and that was the start of it. We, as administrators, through our appraisers put into effect the application of the amendment. We did not instigate it, we applied it. Does that answer your question?
I am afraid I am not making myself clear. I readily understand that the act was amended as the result of the demands of industry generally. The point I have in mind is this. Suppose I go
to the United States and buy some article, such as a refrigerator, a radio or piece of household furniture. I bring it to the border. Is it the duty of the customs inspector, regardless of whether the article is listed on that list, to check the price and raise the invoice? Who is going to decide whether the invoice should be raised at the border?
It is the very best; none of this new stuff. Perhaps the hon. member was not here at the time I read the instructions giving effect to this amendment. Collectors, appraisers and any officers acting as appraisers are instructed to closely scrutinize the invoice value of all manufactured goods and compare such values with the home market values shown and certified by previous importations. They have a pattern there to follow. What would a refrigerator like this be invoiced at a month ago? They can look that up. Why would this one be invoiced at $25 less, even if you brought it to the border yourself. We compare it and put up the valuation, and you pay the duty on that increased value.
I want to go a step farther now; that is not the end of it. Then these appraisers that you have are sent to the country of export to investigate and ascertain if this price that has been arbitrarily set at the border is fair and reasonable?
No. The point is this: Is the value at which they are exported the fair and reasonable value, comparable to the price at which they have been selling in their own country, under comparable conditions? But if at the end of a season they want to dump 10,000 manufactured articles into this country, or so many thousand yards of end of the season or end of the line, we say, "No, you cannot do that unless you invoice them at a value based on the weighted index of what you have been selling them for in your own country for the last six months, prior to this export".
He does not know. But here is the further instruction:
The invoice is to be forwarded to the department with as full information as possible of the reasons for believing that the value shown is below the normal value in order that the matter may be inquired into and the value for duty established, as provided by the new sub-section (6) of section 35.