February 11, 1959

ST. LAWRENCE SEAWAY STATEMENT RESPECTING ARRANGEMENTS FOR OPENING CEREMONIES

PC

John George Diefenbaker (Prime Minister)

Progressive Conservative

Right Hon. J. G. Diefenbaker (Prime Minister):

Mr. Speaker, with the leave of the house I should like to make a statement concerning the ceremonies arranged for the opening of the St. Lawrence seaway. You will recall that some days ago a question was asked concerning these ceremonies. At that time I stated that as soon as arrangements had been made between the Canadian and United States governments an announcement would be made. Today an announcement similar to the one I am about to make will emanate from the White House in Washington.

President Eisenhower has accepted an invitation to come to Canada to join Her Majesty the Queen in these ceremonies. He will arrive on June 26. The ceremonies will take place at the St. Lambert lock near Montreal. The President of the United States and Mrs. Eisenhower will fly from Washington to Montreal on the morning of June 26 and will join Her Majesty and Prince Philip on the royal yacht Britannia for the purpose of jointly contributing to the opening ceremonies. The details of the program are being worked out by officials of the Canadian and United States governments. After the opening ceiemonies at Montreal the royal yacht will proceed through the lock and thence to the great lakes.

Topic:   ST. LAWRENCE SEAWAY STATEMENT RESPECTING ARRANGEMENTS FOR OPENING CEREMONIES
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LIB

Lionel Chevrier (Official Opposition House Leader; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Hon. Lionel Chevrier (Laurier):

May I tell the Prime Minister that this is very welcome news indeed. I hasten to extend to him and to the government our congratulations upon the success which has been experienced in getting the President of the United States to join Her Majesty the Queen in recognizing the national as well as the international aspect of the St. Lawrence seaway, namely in its opening in the city of Montreal, where it enters into the province of Quebec, and then its continuation in the international section both in the state of New York and in the province of Ontario.

I think all of us will welcome the announcement. I am delighted at it personally, as I am sure will be the citizens of Montreal as well as those who live in the international

section. I cannot tell the Prime Minister how happy I am at this decision.

Topic:   ST. LAWRENCE SEAWAY STATEMENT RESPECTING ARRANGEMENTS FOR OPENING CEREMONIES
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CCF

Hazen Robert Argue

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

Mr. Hazen Argue (Assiniboia):

The announcement made today demonstrates that it is possible for Canada and the United States to work together for the good of both countries on a major economic project. It is indeed a happy occasion for Canada that Her Majesty, along with President Eisenhower of the United States, should be coming to officiate at the opening of this very important undertaking.

I think this must also be a particularly happy occasion for the hon. member for Laurier who himself played such an important role in initiating this major undertaking and supervising the work for a number of years. I express the hope that the plans for a joint parliamentary delegation to meet about that time will have the same successful results as the announcement indicates today in another way.

Topic:   ST. LAWRENCE SEAWAY STATEMENT RESPECTING ARRANGEMENTS FOR OPENING CEREMONIES
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PC

John George Diefenbaker (Prime Minister)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Diefenbaker:

I thank the hon. member for Laurier and the hon. member for Assiniboia for their words. On this occasion, when the House of Commons is so much in agreement, I should like, if I may, to bring one further matter to the attention of hon. members and the country. That is that Her Majesty, having regard to the tremendous nature of this project and the desirability of honouring those who made a contribution thereto, those often remaining anonymous, has graciously suggested that as a mark of recognition a book be compiled containing the names of all workmen and others who were employed on the construction of this project or who contributed to the building of the seaway, extending honour to them individually and at the same time recognizing the dignity and the responsibility of those who in their daily toil make such a contribution to our country and the preservation of our way of life.

Topic:   ST. LAWRENCE SEAWAY STATEMENT RESPECTING ARRANGEMENTS FOR OPENING CEREMONIES
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FINANCE

TEXTILES-TABLING OF TARIFF BOARD REPORT ON COTTONS

PC

Donald Methuen Fleming (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Donald M. Fleming (Minister of Finance):

Mr. Speaker, I should like to table copies in English and in French of a report I have received from the chairman of the tariff board relating to reference No. 125 on textiles. I am also tabling a transcript of

Tabling of Report

the evidence presented to the board at its public hearings. I think I should interject here that I commend the reading of this transcript to my hon. friends opposite.

This report deals with cotton and cotton products. It is the tariff board's third report pursuant to reference No. 125. Earlier reports dealt with wool fabrics and with certain wool yarns and textile wastes. Subsequent reports will cover synthetic textile fabrics and manufactures, woollen apparel, knitted goods and other textile products.

The board's hearings on cotton and cotton products were lengthy, 48 days in all, and the evidence was voluminous. However, the report is quite compact. It comprises two small volumes, of which the second is a statistical appendix. The conclusions and recommendations are summarized in volume 1 of the report on pages 111 to 121.

The tariff board found that the two great divisions of the Canadian textile industry which process natural fibres-wool and cotton-have much in common. Both use imported raw material; both rely to a considerable extent upon female labour; both are long established in Canada; both are keenly affected by import competition and by competition from man-made fibres, and both are vulnerable to the whims of fashion.

It was also found, however, that there are important differences between these two important branches of the textile industry. By and large, woollens constitute a town or village industry; cottons, for the most part, are produced in metropolitan areas. Taken as a whole, the Canadian cotton industry was found to be in a much healthier state financially than its counterpart producing woollens and worsteds.

The Canadian primary cotton industry's most serious problems stem in large part, it was found, from the ever-changing variety in pattern, colour and finish of fabrics demanded by its customers; and from the presence on its very threshold of the most modern, the most diversified and the most aggressive cotton cloth industry in the world, that of the United States. The board concludes, however, that by and large our industry is standing up to the competition. That the Canadian cotton industry has been able to hold the domestic market to the extent it has done is, in the board's words, "a tribute to its initiative, its efficiency and its adaptability in the face of circumstances which it dare not ignore and which, for the most part, it is powerless to alter".

The board states that in undertaking the formulation of a draft tariff schedule, as it was directed to do by my letter of reference,

it kept in mind the desirability of revising a schedule which has been little changed in 30 years; of deleting from the tariff such items as have lost their significance; of simplifying and modernizing the terminology; of reducing as far as possible the number of classifications; and of giving due consideration to the effect that changes in rates might have upon consumers and upon secondary industries using cotton yarns or fabrics.

Under the proposed new cotton schedule recommended by the board some 50 existing tariff classifications would be reduced to 20. This consolidation would involve increases in some rates and reductions in others. The remaining items would be regrouped and the terminology simplified. All of the duties would be on an ad valorem basis.

The board states that the proposed schedule provides for a small increase in protection for Canadian cotton yarn spinners; very little change as regards the thread industry, and moderate increases in most favoured nation rates in respect of bleached fabrics and coloured fabrics. With regard to item 523b, the important item which covers most coloured fabrics, a simple ad valorem most favoured nation rate of 224 per cent would be introduced according to the board's recommendations. The present most favoured nation rates range from 17J Per cent plus 3 cents per pound to 25 per cent plus 34 cents per pound, depending on the value of the fabric. The British preferential rate would remain unchanged at 174 per cent. I should like to add that the British preferential rates show little change throughout the revised schedule as proposed by the board, and that such changes as do occur are incidental to the revision of classifications and descriptions of goods.

From what I have said it will be clear that to implement the recommendations would involve numerous changes, some upward and some downward. Many of the rates of duty which would be affected are now bound under the general agreement on tariffs and trade. Hon. members will appreciate, accordingly, that GATT negotiations would be involved if the board's recommendations were to be implemented, and such negotiations normally occupy a matter of months. I should also point out that if such negotiations were undertaken they might involve the further reports on textiles which I hope to receive later this year from the tariff board.

Topic:   FINANCE
Subtopic:   TEXTILES-TABLING OF TARIFF BOARD REPORT ON COTTONS
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LIB

George James McIlraith

Liberal

Mr. G. J. Mcllraiih (Ottawa West):

Mr. Speaker, I am sure all hon. members will welcome the tabling of this report because of the thorough work which has been done by the tariff board. It is quite impossible to

make any comment about the statement in a substantive way at this stage because we have not yet had an opportunity to study the report. But I wonder whether the minister could indicate at this time if he proposes any legislative action at this session arising out of the report in relation to those items which are not bound by GATT?

Topic:   FINANCE
Subtopic:   TEXTILES-TABLING OF TARIFF BOARD REPORT ON COTTONS
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PC

Donald Methuen Fleming (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fleming (Eglinlon):

Mr. Speaker, my hon. friend is asking me a question with regard to changes in the tariff. I think on reflection my hon. friend will realize that that is not a proper question for him to ask, nor would it be a proper question for me to answer.

Topic:   FINANCE
Subtopic:   TEXTILES-TABLING OF TARIFF BOARD REPORT ON COTTONS
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LIB

George James McIlraith

Liberal

Mr. Mcllrailh:

It is proper to ask it, though.

Topic:   FINANCE
Subtopic:   TEXTILES-TABLING OF TARIFF BOARD REPORT ON COTTONS
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STARRED QUESTIONS

"CANADIAN ECONOMIC OUTLOOK, 1957"

LIB

Mr. Pickersgill

Liberal

1. How many copies of The Canadian Economic Outlook, 1957, were produced by the Department of Trade and Commerce or any other agency of government?

2. How many were circulated and to whom?

Topic:   STARRED QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   "CANADIAN ECONOMIC OUTLOOK, 1957"
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PC

Gordon Minto Churchill (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Gordon Churchill (Minister of Trade and Commerce):

Mr. Speaker, the answer to the first part of the question is as follows: 175 copies of The Canadian Economic Outlook for 1957 were mimeographed.

The answer to the second part of the question is that 15 copies were sent to the office of the privy council and 149 were made available to senior civil servants and to various govermental agencies such as the Bank of Canada and Central Mortgage and Housing Corporation. Two copies were tabled, and four more were later supplied to the Clerk of the house on request.

After the tabling of the report on January 20 a further 100 copies were mimeographed and 75 copies were handed to the press gallery.

Topic:   STARRED QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   "CANADIAN ECONOMIC OUTLOOK, 1957"
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LIB

George James McIlraith

Liberal

Mr. Mcllrailh:

None for members of parliament.

Topic:   STARRED QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   "CANADIAN ECONOMIC OUTLOOK, 1957"
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"CANADIAN ECONOMIC OUTLOOK, 1958"

LIB

Mr. Pickersgill

Liberal

1. How many copies of The Canadian Economic Outlook, 1958, were produced by the Department of Trade and Commerce or any other agency of government?

2. How many were circulated and to whom?

3. Where are the remaining copies, if any?

Topic:   STARRED QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   "CANADIAN ECONOMIC OUTLOOK, 1958"
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PC

Gordon Minto Churchill (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Gordon Churchill (Minister of Trade and Commerce):

As to the first part of the question, the answer is that 175 copies of The Canadian Economic Outlook for 1958 were mimeographed.

The answer to the second part of the question is that 31 copies were sent to the

Starred Questions

office of the privy council, 136 copies were made available to senior civil servants and to various governmental agencies such as the Bank of Canada and Central Mortgage and Housing Corporation. Two copies were tabled in the House of Commons and one copy in the Senate.

The answer to No. 3 is as follows. Five copies of The Canadian Economic Outlook for 1958 are being held in the Department of Trade and Commerce.

Topic:   STARRED QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   "CANADIAN ECONOMIC OUTLOOK, 1958"
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LIB

John Whitney Pickersgill

Liberal

Mr. Pickersgill:

I wonder if the minister would permit a supplementary question.

Topic:   STARRED QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   "CANADIAN ECONOMIC OUTLOOK, 1958"
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February 11, 1959