During the course of the discussion on the lumber items last evening the hon. member for Temiscouata (Mr. Pouliot), for whom I have a very sincere regard, made the following statement:
The Tory party is responsible for the decrease in the lumber trade. Whatever they
say they cannot change the facts; they are guilty of that great offence of destroying the lumber trade of this country. That is the fact, and every lumber man is a witness to it.
Those remarks were very largely concurred in by the hon. member for Dauphin (Mr. Ward). I would not presume to explain the situation in eastern Canada, but so far as the lumber trade in the province of British Columbia is concerned, those statements are just the reverse of the facts. From my observations I believe that hon. members are only too anxious to hear the actual facts in regard to any of these questions. I propose to give a brief summary of the position of the lumber trade in British Columbia, and I shall try to give it from a non-partisan viewpoint entirely.
The most important fact, and one that I cannot emphasize too strongly, is that our lumber trade in British Columbia is to-day standing on the foundation of the empire trade agreements, and the one thing we do not want, and the one thing we will not stand for, is to have the empire trade agreements endangered in any way. That statement about the empire trade agreements may sound a little strong to some hon. members, but I think I can best explain it by giving the committee a picture of the lumber trade during a few of the recent years.
The figures I am going to give the committee are taken from the 1935 report of the trade extension committee of British Columbia Lumber and Shingle Manufacturers Limited, an organization composed of all the leading lumber exporters of British Columbia. It is a non-partisan organization concerned only with promoting the lumber trade. May I say that behind all foreign trade, of which we hear so much, there has been the splendid work of some group of Canadian citizens, and I do not think there is any group of citizens in Canada to-day deserving of more credit for promoting our foreign trade than is this group of lumber men in my own province. They have gone to great expense to send trade representatives to the different dominions; they have gone to Washington to try to reason with the government there; they have really
Subtopic: CANADA-UNITED STATES TRADE AGREEMENT