Coke made from American coal was sold last May around ten dollars a ton wholesale in Toronto, and anthracite was sold about the same price. There is one thing which it is always rather difficult to understand. We are constantly talking about the resale or retail price of anthracite and the wholesale price of Alberta ecal. Anthracite coal, Alberta coal and every other coal as the Minister of the Interior said, are sold at a great advance over the wholesale price. The cost of distribution of coal to-dlay is one of the most serious factor's the coal user has to face and the committee could well investigate that feature. With the information we have in our possession, compiled by the Dominion Fuel Board, I would like very much to see a committee formed to deal with this important problem, and endeavour to ascertain how we can best secure Nova Scotia and Alberta coal for domestic use in Ontario.
With regard to the use of coal in Ontario, we in Canada produce about 13,600,000 tons of coal, and we import about 16,000,000 tons. Hon. members speak as though we bring all our coal from the United States. We are now using almost 50 per cent of Canadian coal. The question of bituminous coal or
Select Standing Committees
steam coal for the province of Ontario is a very serious one and manufacturing businesses are involved to such an extent that it is doubtful whether they can pay the price for coal brought from Alberta. American coal is landed at some points in Canada at five dollars a ton, and is landed in Toronto at five and a half dollars a ton, which is about the cost of transporting Alberta coal to Ontario, and before we exclude American steam coal from the market we would have to consider other matters in connection with power and with our industries where cheap coal is an important factor. The investigation of that question would take a great deal of time before the committee, and probably occupy a good many sessions of parliament.
The hon. member who spoke a short time ago mentioned the question of salt. That is a commodity that is used in the everyday life of Canada. It is brought into Canada from all parts of the world. We are not like China in that we do not put a tax on salt. It is allowed to come into Canada free and is also refined in Canada. The cost is purely the evaporation cost, and it takes about two-thirds of a ton of coal to make a ton of salt. If you exclude the American bituminous coal you are going to double the price of Canadian made salt. That is a question that would have to be considered. Therefore, I think we can well afford to leave out the question of industrial bituminous coal in the meantime. If we can succeed in dealing with the domestic fuel problem and can educate our householders to use domestic coal or coke made therefrom in the Dominion, we have gone a long way towards solving our fuel problem.
Subtopic: IS, 1926