March 27, 1918 (13th Parliament, 1st Session)


William Foster Cockshutt



I claim as much
sincerity as the hon. member for Red Deer possesses, and he possesses a lot. He says that three sons of his are serving overseas. I am on a par with him in that respect, because I also have had three.sons serving overseas. In that respect, therefore, we stand together. I think I was the first member in this House to ask for the appointment of a Food Controller, which is the question under discussion to-day. I did not at that time ask for free food, that is, food to come in free of duty, and I do not ask it now. I believe the farmers of Ontario do not ask it, even if the farmers of the West do. The hon. member for Red Deer says that the farmers of the West want free food, and that free implements should follow in the wake of free food. As I understand the formation of this Government, it was the purpose to allow all such questions as the hon. member for Red Deer has raised to stand in abeyance during the war. The hon. member for Red Deer and myself are a unit so far as winning the war is concerned. We both believe in placing all the members of our family in khaki, and every member of the Cockshutt family that could go, that was fit, has gone, so that in that respect I do not take a second place to my hon. friend. The hon. member says that I could not defend my patriotism if I opposed the removal of the duties on implements. My hon. friend even went so far as Mars, and said that I should try to convert its inhabitants if I went there. I have not the acquaintance

of the inhabitants of Mars, and if they 'are as hard to convert as is the hon. member for Red Deer, I should, be wasting imy time. If the Government purpose meddling seriously with the tarifl, they are breaking what we understood in our section of the country was an agreement, that is, that those matters were to stand in abeyance during the war.
That is what we understood, and that is what we stated from the platform and that is what we now believe. The duties on implements cannot be removed' unices you are prepared to remove all the duties on all the raw materials that go into all those implements, and that would mean a tearing to pieces of the tariff from top to bottom. Let no one run away with the idea that it can be done with the stroke of a pen. A thousand and one things go into the manufacture of implements and, speaking as I do with some knowledge of that business, I want to say that if the hon. member for Red Deer is as efficient in his farming operations as the implement manufacturers are in their operations, he is making more money on the farm and doing it more efficiently than I give him credit for. It may be true that everything is being done on the farm that can be done, but if the farmers are just as efficient as the implement manufacturers, they have gone a long distance in the way of producing up-to-date articles at the proper prices. The implement manufacturers of Canada have been able to compete in the markets of the world where they have a fair opportunity, and they are prepared to do that now, but they cannot do it if you charge duties on .all raw materials that go into the construction of those implements, and_re-move the duty on the finished article. Many of those raw materials pay as much duty as the finished article, and up to 35 or 40 per cent. Every one of those articles which enters into the construction of those implements has diuty on it, and. thousands of workinigimen just as patriotic and honourable as any other body of citizens in Canada are making their livelihood out of the implement business. It is not a question of a few manufacturers; it is a question of tens of thousands of workingmen who rely upon this industry for their daily bread; and their wages, which are high, are bound up with the success of this great enterprise. I ask, therefore, that the Union Government take no such foolish step as the hon. member for Red Deer has mentioned.
Some hen. MEMBER: Oh, oh.

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