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


Norman James Macdonald Lockhart

Conservative (1867-1942)


Why should they not? Of course. A large percentage have gone into the urban centres. That is the result when we break down the possibility of increasing our basic production and maintaining fair prices. My stand is going to be to protect our home markets as the late government did.
Then let us go further and foster these favoured relations through our empire trade agreements. I seem to recall that those agreements were strenuously opposed by about ninety-nine per cent of the then opposition, who are now the government. I wonder if they will now say that they were justified in that opposition. We must all think seriously on these matters.
There is another reference I desire to make before concluding. We have spent days in this house discussing the over-production of wheat and the multiplicity of ways by which we hope to dispose of that oversupply. I should like to refer to another basic industry, which will also develop into a secondary industry and which will be wiped out by the terms of this agreement. I should like hon. members from around Montreal, Chatham, Stratford and vicinity to pay particular attention to what I have to say. A few years ago an industry was started at Chatham on a very small scale; I refer to the processing of the soya bean. That factory met with certain

Canada-U.S. Trade Agreement
financial difficulties brought about by reasons which I need not mention, but we will say it suffered from mismanagement. Recently new factories sprang up at Montreal and Stratford. The Montreal plant is capable of processing 200.000 bushels per year. So far I have not been able to get definite information as to what the Stratford plant can process, but I imagine it will be at least half that amount. In addition we have the parent plant at Chatham, which is being rehabilitated and which I believe will be able to process a reasonable amount of soya beans. This industry was fostered by the late government. Up to the present time, that is up until last year, only about 100,000 bushels of soya beans were produced in Canada. I am informed that the minimum average yield is about twenty bushels to the acre, and I am also informed on very good authority that the price is about SI.10 per bushel at Montreal.
The soya bean is very high in protein content, and from it is made a very valuable feed cake. An oil is also obtained which is being used extensively in the manufacture of soap and high grade paints. These are all commodities that are used to a great extent in this country. While on the train returning from Toronto Sunday evening I happened to encounter quite by chance a man who is very closely connected with the soya bean industry in the United States. He informed me that there are tens of thousands of acres of these beans being grown in the United States, and their high oil content is becoming recognized as one of great value. He informed me that the Ford Motor Company wras using the soya bean oil almost exclusively in the manufacture of its high grade paints and that the soya bean industry had become so important that only last week the Chicago exchange had been asked to include daily market quotations on the soya bean and its by-products. I believe the soya bean has developed into an important competitor in the salted peanut market. It is a peculiar thing, but when I returned to Ottawa I encountered a government official in the Department of Agriculture, who told me that only the week before he had been given the opportunity of tasting a sample of soya beans passed through a gun, just as puffed wheat is manufactured. He had tasted a sample of beans that had gone through this new process, which I understand has been developed by a man living in the province of Ontario, and he gave it as his honest conviction that the product was far superior to any salted peanut he had ever tasted.
I mention these facts in order to show the possibilities of the soya bean industry. Here is an opportunity to build up a new basic
industry which undoubtedly will develop into an important secondary industry as well, but what do we find under the trade agreement? Soya beans are placed on the free list and our market is opened to the competition of the tens of thousands of bushels produced annually in the United States. In all fairness, Mr. Speaker, I ask, is this encouraging a young Canadian industry, both basic and secondary. Is this going to help employment at Montreal or Stratford or Chatham? Is this going to bring about another invasion of the Canadian labour market? Is it going to help increase the tonnage of our railways? I wonder if the hon. members from those areas have overlooked the fact that soya beans are on the free list. I hope the government will see that these conditions are remedied, but from what took place prior to 1929 I again have little hope.
This agreement, as it has been executed, contains many implications, Mr. Speaker. I have given a good deal of thought to these questions as they concern furniture, cut flowers, fruit and vegetables, lumbering, beef, hogs, and so on, together with the quotas that have been established, and I cannot see anything equitable or nearly equitable in the agreement. I am opposed to sacrificing the recovery of Canada as during the last two or three years and which we enjoyed under the late government. I will stake my all on the preservation of our home markets, the protection of our basic and secondary industries and the further increase of our trade by continued empire trade agreements. Canada has unlimited natural resources, which must not be exploited by any nation that will not trade with us on an equitable basis.

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