Mr. Stuart (Charlotte):
International good will has prevailed in the particular section in which I live, since confederation. Any favour that will be helpful to our southern neighbours will receive my support in every way.
There is another argument in favour of manufacturing in the maritime provinces. We have always been given to understand that it was cheaper to transport a finished article or a manufactured article than to transport raw materials. If this steel is needed in central Canada after it is manufactured, there is no question that it can be brought here. It can be delivered in central Canada much cheaper than the raw materials could be delivered.
For many years we have subsidized the manufacturers of Ontario and Quebec. It may become camouflaged by some other name, such as tariff protection. Nevertheless it is definitely a direct subsidy when it is imposed upon the people in that section of Canada. If it were a two-way arrangement I am sure there would be little difficulty in dealing with the people in the maritimes; but from the time of confederation there has been a most unsatisfactory balance favouring only one section of the country.
Speaking in this chamber a few days ago the hon. member for Dufferin-Simcoe (Mr. Rowe) had this to say about cabinet ministers, as it is reported at page 264 of Hansard:
They are nice fellows, grand fellows. Whatever the United States says, they do.
I think perhaps the hon. member who made that statement had in mind the thought that the province in which he resides has not been accorded the generosity of the people to the south which has been accorded us in the maritime provinces. I doubt whether the hon. member would have spoken that way, had he enjoyed that generosity.
The Address-Mr. A. W. Stuart
In connection with being told by the United States what we should do, may I quote briefly from a British publication dated at London, January 8. It states:
The Financial Times says today that Canada would "do well to give the matter much thought" before relaxing restrictions on imports from the United States on consumer goods.
These are instructions from the other side of the ocean.
In a review of a statement Thursday by Hon. D. C. Abbott, Finance Minister, on Canadian currency reserves, the paper says that marked deterioration in the dominion's internal economic situation during the past years makes Ottawa naturally anxious to find ways of stepping up supply of goods for consumption and capital development in Canada.
It would appear at the present tirhe that there are people in other countries who are endeavouring to instruct us in Canada as to how we should carry on the business of our own country. Might I add that in our dealings in New Brunswick with the United States-and I can speak for that province at least-I am convinced the balance has always been in our favour. We have always been able to sell more to the United States than we have been allowed to buy from them. We would have purchased much more, but tariff protection in this country prohibits us from doing so. Rigid and stringent regulations compel us to make those purchases from subsidized monopolies in other parts of Canada.
The term "subsidized monopolies" may seem to some hon. members rather severe. I believe it was the Minister of Finance (Mr. Abbott) however who, in describing refrigerator manufacturers in this country recently, used that very expression. He said it was a monopoly. That is the thing we have been dealing with for many years.
On Tuesday last the hon. member for Dufferin-Simcoe made another statement I was sorry to hear him make. At that time he was discussing the serious difficulty we were encountering in Canada in connection with the disposition of surplus farm products. Dealing with the question of surplus potatoes he said this, as reported at page 317 of Hansard:
I am not going to be disturbed about whether eve sell potatoes or not.
That, to my mind, is a typical Ontario statement. Potatoes were of no concern to the hon. member for Dufferin-Simcoe. This matter had reference particularly to the maritime provinces so it caused the hon. member very little concern. But statements such as this and statements such as we read in the press of the central provinces have pretty well convinced us down there that about all we are required to do is to support
(Mr. Stuart (Charlotte) .1
additional canal systems for the central provinces, and pay our proportional share, even though it may take something from us which we feel is properly ours. We must pay those two central provinces our proportional part for everything they would like to have, and yet at the same time we are denied the privilege of selling a single thing in return. It is the most unfavourable trade balance you could find anywhere in the world, nationally or internationally.
This has been going on for many years. We have heard much discussion of maritime rights. I do not believe in preaching maritime rights; I believe this is a national right. It is my belief that in order for one part of this country to be prosperous, it must all be prosperous. We have to live and let live. We must try to work together. Where there are indications of discrimination, some way must be found to rectify that condition. This same story has been placed before the house for years and years, but apparently, to date, very little has been done to rectify it.
As I stated a few moments ago, I shall await anxiously the arguments that will be used in this house before it closes with regard to the deepening of the St. Lawrence and with regard to the Labrador ore development. I have no idea what arguments will be advanced, but I can assure hon. members that they will have to come up with something good before the maritimes will take the bait.
During the short time we have been here many suggestions have been put forth by hon. members of the opposition with regard to trade relations between Canada and Great Brit.ain and between Canada and other countries. As I sat here and listened to those arguments I wondered why one thing was said one day and something else the next. During the past two weeks I have heard members of the opposition say that everything should be done to increase trade with Britain, and then I have heard an hon. member from the same group get up and complain that an industry in his constituency is in jeopardy because of British goods coming into the country. Just a few days ago I noticed an editorial in the Christian Science Monitor which would indicate that these stories have crossed the border to the United States. I should like to quote a short passage from this, as follows:
The facts of this Incident can be explained, but they show instantly the pressure which Canadian manufacturers can be expected to throw against imports which disturb their present position.
This government may expect larger pressure than any predecessor, for the obvious reason that in the last ten years Canada has emerged from the status of a raw-material producer into the status of a great industrial nation, with an inevitable shift in political gravity.
There has been skirmishing only on the side lines-strong protests from a few Conservative members against new British competition.
My idea of trade with Great Britain or any other peace-loving country is that it should be on the basis of their trading with us as well. I am bitterly opposed to the way trade has been carried on with Great Britain during the last four or five years. It has been trading on a one-way street. I realize that there has been great privation and suffering in Great Britain but I am convinced also that people in this country have not been given the fair deal they justly deserve.
Many questions have been asked in this house with regard to the pit prop business in the maritime provinces. At the start of the war delegations came from Great Britain to our province and asked pulpwood producers to discontinue their contracts, contracts which would have continued until the present time, in order to produce pit props for Great Britain. They agreed to do that, but when Great Britain found that they could buy pit props for a few cents less in other countries, their purchases here were discontinued immediately. This meant considerable hardship to people in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.
I contend that those people were not treated fairly. They did not receive the consideration they deserved. They were unable to renew their contracts with the pulp and paper people and were left with nothing. Pit props piled up on the breakwaters because markets could not be found. I am opposed to that sort of dealing. I believe some other way could have been found and the break might have been a little less sudden in order to give these people some warning and permit them to find other markets for their wood products.
In closing I want to say that the remarks I have made in connection with the St. Lawrence waterway and the development of Labrador ore represent my own personal opinions, but I want to repeat that if hon. members of this house feel that we in the maritimes are not as fortunate as the people in other parts of the country, if they are really serious in their desire to help out the situation down there, we shall anxiously await their approval or disapproval of the policy of steel manufacturing in the maritimes.
Subtopic: CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON ADDRESS IN REPLY