June 2, 1921 (13th Parliament, 5th Session)


Andrew Ross McMaster

Laurier Liberal


By this legislation we are making it difficult for the Central Empires to recover. The Central Empires, or rather Republics, are a market for the goods of this country, agricultural, mining, and other. They can become a purchasing market again only by being able to sell their goods, and unless they can regain their purchasing power, we shall be seriously affected. Recently, legislation has been passed in the United States which will affect the entrance of our natural products into that market, so that we shall have to depend on the European and British markets to a greater extent than before. Any policy, therefore, which retards or prejudicially affects the purchasing power of Europe and Great Britain is bound to reflect adversely in the sales of our natural products, and this section of the Bill hurts farmers, lumbermen, miners and fishermen of this country. It goes still further. By reducing the selling power of the great natural producers, you affect their buying capacity, and therefore affect the market for our manufactures; so that in the long run, you will prejudicially affect precisely those classes of the community which this law is attempting to benefit. This is a mistake founded on a misconception of the fundamental economic laws underlying all trade and commerce. Many members on the other side seem to regard trade as a bad thing; at least, they regard buying as bad, although they think that selling is a good thing. They are making a mistake. This section of the Bill will hurt this country, and all classes in it, in the long run. I wish to register the most emphatic protest against it, and warn the Government against the error it is perpetrating in this regard.

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