June 10, 1924 (14th Parliament, 3rd Session)


Robert James Manion

Conservative (1867-1942)


That is true, but how
can you help the manufacturing industries in this country without, helping at the same time the rest of Canada? I think that question is just as proper as my hon. friend's. There are farmers in this country beside those in the prairie provinces. There are farmers in Ontario and Quebec, and about 90 per cent of their total products is sold to people dependent upon the manufacturing industries in the two provinces. If you wipe out the tariff altogether, you may temporarily help the prairie provinces, but probably you will ruin permanently the Ontario and the Quebec farmer, and there are as many farmers in those two provinces as there are in the prairie provinces.
Coming back to the question of bounties, I was going on to say when I was interrupted, that generally speaking free-traders look upon bounties as the fairest method of assisting industry. To my mind it is one of the very fairest methods. If you wish to build up an industry, if you give it a bounty you know exactly what it is getting. Questions have been put on the order paper this session with respect to the oil bounties, how much was received in bounties, and what the production was. You can get that information under the bounty system, so if we are going to have any type of production, and my hon. friends apparently agree with me that they are not moving very far this year towards free trade except in the matter of agricultural implements, we might as well have the bounty system.
There are other industries in this country that could be helped to a great extent by bounties, and which have not been helped so far. This year the Ontario government, the good Conservative government which wiped out the Drury crowd, to the great blessing and prosperity of this country, to my mind, have brought in a measure for paying a bounty on iron ore We are importing into Canada to-day iron and its products to the extent of $175,000,000 a year. I for many years advocated in this House, until it became a bit of a joke, that something be done to assist the production of iron ore in Canada. I quit in 1921; that was the last time I spoke on the question. To-day the Conservative
Customs Tariff

party in power in Ontario have passed an act providing a bounty for iron ore production in Canada. We are importing practically 100 per cent of the iron ore being used in Canada. The Ontario government sent a message to this government, asking whether they would go halves in giving this bounty to assist in the production of iron ore in Canada and the use of Canadian iron ore in blast furnaces, but so far as I know they have received no encouragement from this government, and consequently they are to-day going to give an iron ore bounty themselves, I understand, the province bearing the whole cost of the bounty to develop the production of our iron ore.
It is a most important question, Mr. Speaker. Here we have a country with hundreds of millions of tons of iron ore scattered over it from the Atlantic to the Pacific. There are hundreds of millions of tons of iron ore in northern Ontario, British Columbia, some in the Maritime provinces, and some right outside of Ottawa. Within fifty miles of where we are sitting to-day there are large deposits of iron ore, claimed to be of very high quality. This iron ore cannot compete with the iron ore in the United States. No one will dispute that if, by giving a bounty or some other form of assistance, we could develop the production of iron ore in Canada, anld use our own product instead of importing this iron ore from the American shores of lake Superior, it would be a good thing for this country. We have running across northern Ontario three lines of railway, and that is one section of this country that is not getting the traffic it might get; it has not the population. The great proportion of the hundreds of millions of tons of iron ore in Canada, exist in northern Ontario, and the great proportion of the railway lines that need traffic are in northern Ontario. Nearly fifty per cent of the whole traffic in the United States comes from the mines, and in Canada we are importing hundreds of millions of dollars worth of iron ore and iron goods of various kinds.
I have here the monthly bulletin) of the Canadian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, and in an article the Deputy Minister of Mines, Dr. Camsell, gives import and export figures showing that in iron and iron products we imported in 1923, in round figures, $170,000,000; in non-ferrous metals, $40,000,000, and non-metallic minerals, $171,000,000, making a total of $381,000,000. Surely, the building up of an iron industry would be of the utmost importance to Canada, because the iron and steel industry is one of the basic
elements of commercial prosperity in any country. Before the war, Germany and the United States were rapidly coming to lead the world in the production of iron and steel. England, up to a few years ago, led the world, but Germany caught up, and the United States has now far surpassed her. It would be of vast benefit to Canada to develop this industry, and I think this government has been derelict in its duty in not meeting half way the Ontario government. The reason is, of course, this government was afraid of opposition from my friends to my left, who, at any rate, are consistent and insist on stopping anything in the shape of protection of any kind.

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