March 10, 1936 (18th Parliament, 1st Session)


Ernest Edward Perley

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. PERLEY (Qu'Appelle):

The amount
of lumber produced in the northern part of Saskatchewan is very limited. It might help the workers a little, and as I have said, it is an advantage to the lumber industry of British Columbia. But to a hundred thousand farmers in Saskatchewan who have to buy lumber it is certainly a disadvantage, and we are looking at this thing from the broader standpoint.
This treaty is dangerous because it imperils the whole structure underlying the United Kingdom trade agreement. Great Britain is now buying our primary products, the flow that was turned back into Canada following the Hawley-Smoot tariff. In the United Kingdom we have a market of one-quarter of the world's population. There is also the danger of an adverse trade balance being created. I am not going to take time to discuss that, but we know it is a dangerous situation. Just here I might state that according to the trade returns for the month of January, the first month during which this treaty was in operation, there was a reduction of $400,000 in the sale of our farm products to the United States. That is something to keep in mind.
I understand that the hon. member for Moose Jaw (Mr. Ross) is going to follow me; he said so last night, as some hon. members may remember. I should like to ask the hon. gentleman to point out to this house one particular in which this treaty helps the farmers of his constituency or of the province of Saskatchewan to sell one bushel of wheat or other grains, one pound of dairy products, one hog or one pound of pork products; and the hon. gentleman might also explain the increase in the price of agricultural implements. There is also the danger that we may lose our home market, which consumes ninety-five per cent of our primary products other than wheat. I happen to be a member of the

Canada-U.S. Trade Agreement
committee considering the election and franchise act. A proposal was made before that committee the other day that each elector in Canada should have two votes, one for the party and one for the member. If I had three votes on this occasion I might cast one in favour of the treaty because of its advantages, but I would cast two against it because of its disadvantages.
In conclusion, Mr. Speaker, I should like to say that I am not concerned with what Macdonald or Laurier did, nor am I concerned with what Bennett or King did. I am not concerned with the past; I am concerned with the present, and in connection with this agreement I am concerned as to what it will mean in the future to Canadian industry, Canadian agriculture and Canadian labour. I do not think we have had sufficient information from the government benches to vote intelligently on this treaty, and certainly no good reasons have been advanced as to why we should vote for it. Therefore I consider it my duty, representing an agricultural constituency in the great agricultural province of Saskatchewan, to vote against the agreement as it stands at the present time.

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