February 2, 1955 (22nd Parliament, 2nd Session)


William Earl Rowe

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Rowe:

It was 19 cents yesterday morning and there is still more coming. We cannot find out how much is coming but the report is that there is a large shipment coming.
I think the uncertainty as to a fiscal policy has done little to encourage agricultural production or to encourage employment. The proposals which have recently been made do little to help the gold industry of this country, which is another basic industry. Employment generally throughout this country has not

been improved by the importation either of cheaply produced agricultural or industrial products.
If I have done nothing else, I hope that I have intimated that our party stands for the development of our own resources here in our own country. I know that we shall hear out on the hustings the rumblings from those who still cling to the old free trade doctrine that that policy means high tariffs. I know we shall hear these people, for the purpose of convenience, saying that we are against the export of raw products. Let me say this, Mr. Speaker. Any child in school who knows anything at all about the history of this dominion knows that we have large quantities of raw products such as iron ore, forest products, minerals and other resources that we must sell to the world. We all know very well that there are many articles we should buy.
I am not going to repeat what I said last evening about the uncertainty of tariffs that are kept in effect by the fiscal policy of this government. The record shows exactly where they stand. We have unnecessary tariffs against products that we do not produce in Canada at all. I would therefore hope that some of my free-trade friends some day, in the quiet of one of their caucuses, would urge upon their government

if they are so greatly concerned about the consumer-to take some of the tariffs off the articles that the consumers want to buy but that we do not produce in Canada at all rather than urge them to take off tariffs or lower duties in order to encourage the importation into Canada of products that we are trying to sell and whose production is giving employment. It is just as plain and as simple as if one said that you have a tariff against what you want and you have freedom to import foreign employment and leave unemployment in this country. I think it is just about as simple as that.
No matter how this government argues, they have not changed this situation. No matter how much they argue that their trade policy is so broad and free that nobody should even state it or no matter how they argue that they are the farmers' friends, we know that, so far as the dairy industry is concerned, never before in the history of this country have we had such a large importation of substitutes for dairy products. Never before have we had as large a surplus of dairy products as we had at the beginning of this year. These facts stand clearly before the dairymen of this country.
I know what the government believes. They have said they do not believe we are
The Address-Mr. Rowe going to have any more importations; they hope not. Perhaps there will not be any for a while, but we do not know whether or not there is a boatload or a carload of lamb coming in now. I have asked the government if they would not give consideration to holding those lamb shipments off the market until the months when it would affect our market the least. I hope they will take that into consideration.
I realize that today the government is trying to broaden the markets for our products. But when we find our unfavourable trade balance increasing, when we find that our favourable trade balance of a couple of years ago has disappeared, when we see what is happening to these basic industries, then I believe we might be pardoned for drawing the attention of the government to these factors. We should not be labelled as apostles of gloom if we do not pat this government on the back every time we speak.
I am not an alarmist, Mr. Speaker, but I am quite concerned when I think about what is happening under these policies. If our economy were not supported by the defence program which demands so much production for destruction rather than production for distribution, I wonder what would happen. This government has been fortunate in that regard in so far as trade is concerned. It is true they have been faced with many problems, and I am in full agreement with the government's attitude today, as has been so well expressed by the hon. member for Prince Albert (Mr. Diefenbaker) when he said that we do not contribute anything by discussing certain matters at this critical moment.
It does often bother me, however, when after appeals have been made to the government to cut down some expenditures to ease the burden on industries and taxpayers generally, I see increases in civil expenditures. Then the government almost frightens us with talk about the terrible destruction with which we may be faced. We all share a common concern about that. Never have we in this house faced more critical days than we are facing now. In spite of that, we see that the largest reduction in expenditures lies in the area of defence expenditures. We have never at any time criticized defence expenditures as a general principle; in fact we have encouraged them. We have been in full agreement with the government about the necessity of being ready. It does seem strange that economy should be practised in our defence expenditures at a time when the situation is growing more tense and more

The Address-Mr. Rowe critical, while extravagance continues in civil expenditure which we have all been pleading with the government to reduce.
This great big government is today the silent partner of every enterprise in Canada. They take the first bite out of every bit of our people's profit; they take about 50 per cent of practically everything a corporation makes. They take a large percentage of every hour's endeavour in Canada. I believe it is highly desirable that they try to prepare for peace as well as build for war. In the meantime, if conditions continue as serious as they are, we must economize in our civil expenditures; economize everywhere we can, in order that we may have money to spend for our very survival. If we do not have to face that awful day, and we all pray that we will not have to do that, if we can avoid the heavy expenditure involved in a period of war, then we are going to have to have sound fiscal policies, sound taxation' policies as well as free enterprise, so that the people will be prepared to take the risk and build for peace and a higher standard of living. At that time we hope we can get back to normal, producing things for a good standard of living rather than implements of destruction.
I thank you, Mr. Speaker, and I hope that I have not been unfair to the government because I realize they have heavy responsibilities and I notice they are growing more weary as the time passes.

Full View