April 23, 1926 (15th Parliament, 1st Session)

PRO

John Millar

Progressive

Mr. MILLAR:

Without further information I would not undertake to deal with that statement at the moment. Considerable effort was made by an hon. member last night to show that if our farm products were protected we would be better off-at least that was the implication. He stated that farm products in the United States were protected, and in every instance they rose in price. There is just one serious oversight there. If you have two lakes separated by a ridge of land, and you cut away that ridge, the direction of the flow of water will depend on which lake is higher. Now, it is quite understandable that in the United States, where the prices of those commodities are higher because of the larger population, protection is sure to raise those prices; but to jump at the conclusion that the effect would be the same in a sparsely settled
The Budget-Mr. Millar

country like Canada, where we are exporting ail those commodities in large quantities, and where the prices are lower than on the other side of the international boundary, is to say the least rash; such an argument is fallacious. Can you imagine that a tariff against American wheat is going to raise the price of our commodity? Why, never! Suppose there were no tariff, would the Americans ship their wheat over here when they can get several cents a bushel more in their own country? It would only be practicable for them to ship to some corner of Canada inaccessible to our wheat supply and close to an American wheat field. There a certain quantity will pass backwards and forwards it is true, but you cannot protect by a customs tariff a commodity where the price is low against the similar commodity of a country where the price is high. It is useless to attempt it.
In conclusion let me say that we from the west will always strive for greater unity of thought and action throughout the Dominion. There are difficulties in the Maritime provinces, and I hope that something will be done to overcome them, to assist the people there to get back to a sound economic basis. Notwithstanding the great wilderness of a thousand miles between central Canada and western Canada, I hope there will be nothing but justice and fairness on the part of all. We ask no more. In the past I am afraid those outlying parts of the Dominion have not received that fair consideration to which they were entitled. One reason why it is difficult now to get back to a basis of fairness and justice is that errors were made in the past; too much protection in some cases and too much government assistance in others were given to certain favoured sections. We are striving only for the square deal. There is no thought on our part to injure the manufacturing or any other industry. There is no wish on the part of anyone in this quarter of the House, so far as I am aware, to get back at those Who have accumulated large sums of money. They may have gained their wealth fairly, they may not, but if they are using it properly, if they are investing it to give work to other Canadians, we have no desire to injure them in any way. We would, I believe, readily take action to extinguish that class which has gained its money by means that are questionable, by exacting too high prices for the commodities it has sold, by securing from governments grants of natural resources in the way of timber limits and mines. We desire to prevent a recurrence of that state of affairs. But as a representative

from the west, I can say that we want to pay our share of freight rates and everything else, we want to do justice by all the other parts of Canada. With the limited knowledge I possess, Sir, I am striving to understand our national problems so that I may vote intelligently with respect to their solution. In short, I desire to do justice by all and give favours to none.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL
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