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


Alexander McKay Edwards

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. EDWARDS (Waterloo):

The Budget-Mr. Edwards (Waterloo)
These statistics given above re French and British imports are taken from Canadian Trade and Commerce reports, and Bradford Board of Trade reports.
The building up and safeguarding of the woollen and knitting industry would therefore not only affect the actual workers engaged in the mills, and the workers engaged in the subsidiary industries, and the retailers and professional men and women supported by the workers, but also would affect our railway problem and the prosperity of -the nation as a whole.
I would like to make a comparison of the weekly wages paid in Yorkshire with the weekly wages paid in Canada, in order to give some idea of the difficulties with which the woollen industry in this country has to contend. I had the privilege a few weeks ago of going into a mill employing some 800 odd hands and of checking these figures thoroughly, of going through the industry and checking their pay sheets. I wili give the weekly wages in Yorkshire, including costs of living bonus, as shown by the Minister of Labour as at the end of 1924, exchange value computed at the same date. I will give the weekly wages in Canada as averaged from figures supplied by Canadian mills and compared as to hours of labour and sex of worker. The figures are as
follows: Yorkshire Canada
Winders *5 92 I13-J15Twisters. 0 34 13- 15Spinners 5 77 13- 15Reelers 8 52 17- 20Doffers 5 22 13- 15Overlookers 17 03 35- 60Warehousemen 12 06 19- 22Blenders, carbonizers, labourers 12 06 18- 20Mail help in grey rooms; stock room, packing department 12 30 19- 22Firemen 13 89 30.00It is only fair to say that these wages werecompared as at the end of 1924. Since that
time there has been a reduction of ten per cent in wages paid to Canadian workers. Wages in Canada are not top high; it is the wages abroad that are too low. There is frequently a confusion of mind over the effect of money wages paid in different countries on competitive prices for selling goods and the purchasing power of the wages. The money wages paid for labour at the exchange value give the true basis of comparison in order to show the advantage gained by United Kingdom manufacturers over Canadian manufacturers when selling goods in Canada. What the wages paid to the operatives will buy in the respective countries has nothing to do with the selling price of the goods; it relates only to the standard of living of the operatives. The average wages in gold paid to skilled textile workers in Germany is 11 cents per hour, or $5.72 for a 52 hour week.
Let me now give the House in detail the effect of this competition on the home market as regards imports into this country. These figures allow complete comparisons for the calendar years 1921 to 1925 both inclusive. If the House will permit me, I will hand the figures to Hansard. They are as follows:
Imports into Canada (From Monthly Trade of Canada)
These figures show that the too heavy imports in the calendar year 1921, have been tremendously exceeded in all succeeding years.
The total imports of manufactured woollen and knit goods for these five years reached the tremendous total of $187,535,772.
It will be noted that there are slight reductions in the yardages of cloth imported in 1925 as compared with 1924, but this did not mean that Canadian mills got more business in 1925 than in 1924; in fact, they got even less. Owing to the decrease in the total purchases in Canada, due to general industrial depression and loss of population, the total market was greatly reduced, and consequently the import figures show that mills abroad actually obtained a greater share of the Canadian market than ever before.
Calendar Years 1921 1922 1923 1924 1925Cloth $ 18,154,459 1,453,956 4,194,100 2,205,280 2,793,269 392,948 $ 22,287,466 1,677,953 6,957,370 4,112,356 2,684,406 388,671 $ 23,688,991 1,732,055 8,039,228 4,048,965 2,903,087 288,582 $ 25,030,674 1,732,150 6,858,974 3,616,323 2,406,603 269,753 [DOT]$ 23,830,884 1,924,681 7,273,139 3,788,010 2,509,613 291,826Carpets and rugs
Knitted goods
Yams Made-up
Pressed felts
Totals $ 29,194,012 $ 38,108,222 S 40,700,908 $ 39,914,477 $ 39,618,153
The Budget-Mr. Edwards (Waterloo)
Imports in yards, pounds or pairs
Woven Goods 1921 1922 1923 1924 1925Tweeds, in yds 1,579,315 $ 2,777,406 $ 4,630,529 $ 3,626,529 % 3,201,819Overcoatings, in yds 48,457 135,726 302,660 328,947 252,788Flannels, plain, in yds 479,337 976,784 1,499,246 1,018,095 770,779Worsteds & serges, in yds 5,002,582 7,597,800 6,942,844 10,290,990 9,201,298Lustres, mohairs, alpaca, yds 1,558,623 2,603,707 2,145,261 2,083,038 1,837,324W. & C's dress goods, sq. yds 3,239,397 5,512,419 4,938,361 8,075,539 5,531,513Blankets, in pairs
and in addition and not shown in yard- 43,187 60,471 140,203 159,655 127,174age, the following woven goods. $ 5,047,774 $ 5,215,651* 4,189,708 S 5,009,740 S 5,330,025 Knitted goods Socks and stockings, of wool, prs 2,920,464 7,460,556 8,240,592 6,077,340 6,585,600Socks and stockings, of silk, pairs 275,220 469,968 481,992 587,052 778,322Socks and stockings, cotton, pairs
And in addition the following knitted goods which are not shown in garm- 3,990,880 6,464,496 6,540,624 5,204,938 5,913,936ents:- $ 3,218,350$ 2,039,317 $ 2,989,313 $ 3,573,915 $ 3,093,319 Yams Woollen and worsted, nop... lbs 213,493 389,880 310,584 231,409 192,13330c. per lb. or over, lbs
and in addition the following yarns 1,584,604 2,862,259 2,895,480 2,649,992 2,452,113which are not shown in lbs.:- $ 191,693$ 60,998 $ 85,417 $ 169,700 1 137,290 Felt pressed All kinds, lbs 628,150 707,719 419,477 437,609 425,888
Piece goods manufactured from wool exported from Great Britain to Canada and from Great Britain to United States
January January February1925 1926 1926To Canada: sq. yds. sq. yds. sq. yds.Worsted cloths.. .. 1,143,000 1,413,000 1,278,000Woollen cloths.. .. 960,000 1,167,000 1,139,000To United States: Worsted cloths.. .. 563.000 713,000 440,000Woollen cloths.. .. 872,000 1,095,000 773,000Lion, members can see quite readily the great
disparity notwithstanding the huge population of the United States as compared with ours.
I have just a little I should like to say about the shoe business, which has been mentioned so often. Upwards of 2.000 people are engaged in the shoe business in my riding. These statistics are gathered by the Shoe and Leather Journal of Toronto and other sources.
As a result of the reduction in the tariff on boots and shoes under the British preferential schedule, the duty on leather and felt footwear from the United Kingdom is now
only 15J per cent-17i per cent, less a rebate
of one-tenth of the duty on direct shipments. This is the lowest rate since 1874. The above refers to tariff item 611a, which applies to most importations, small quantities of work boots enter under a British preferential tariff rate of 15 per cent tariff item 611.
The Canadian customs regulations permit British manufacturers to sell to customers in Canada at prices lower than their prices in their own home market to the extent of 5 per cent, before the Canadian anti-dumping clause is applied. In some cases at least, British firms have taken advantage of this provision, with the result that the protection to the Canadian factories is reduced to only 10J per cent.
British trade commissioners in Canada are actively engaged in helping the representatives of British shoe manufacturers, even to the extent of making appointments with leading retailers.
In the calendar year 1925, boots and shoes from the United Kingdom, exclusive of rubber footwear, were imported into Canada to the value of $1,132,850. The value of English footwear imported into Canada in 1922 was only $456,073. The number of pairs imported
The Budget-Mr. Edwards (Waterloo)
in 1925 was 805,201, as compared with 652,925 in 1924 and 341,814 in 1923.
While there has been some falling off during recent months in importations of certain classes of British footwear, the Canadian factories making 'high-grade shoes for men and the felt footwear factories in Canada still are suffering severely from the competition of British footwear, imported under the low rates of the British preferential schedule. The Canadian business, which is lost to the Canadian shoe factories as a result of the British preference in turn means a loss of business to many other industries supplying materials to the shoe manufacturers and a reduction in the earnings and purchasing power of the shoe workers in Canada.
The total value of Canadian shoe business is limited and there is no way in which the Canadian factories can make up for the business which is now going abroad unnecessarily. South Africa has withdrawn its preference to Canadian footwear and, as practically every country in the world has a well developed footwear industry of its own, it has been'found impossible for the Canadian shoe factories to develop any considerable export trade.
Export of Canadian footwear have fallen from $5,679,720 in the fiscal year 1919-20 to $28o,634 for the twelve months ended February. 1926.
Canada's total production of machine-made boots and shoes

leather and felt-last year was approximately 15,500,000 pairs or about 1,500.000 pairs less than in 1912 and 4,500,000 less than in 1916.
If the shoe business now going abroad unnecessarily were retained in Canada the Canadian factories could handle it without any increase in plant or equipment and would be able to operate more efficiently and more *economically by reason of the larger volume.
The keen competition amongst the shoe factories in Canada ensures that the manufacturers' selling prices at all times will be exceedingly close to production costs in the most efficient factory and that any economy resulting from increased production will be passed on to the public in the form of lower prices. The Canadian shoe manufacturers require additional protection against importations of English footwear, not in order that they may charge higher prices, but that they may enlarge their volume of production.
More than 100 shoe manufacturing firms in Canada have failed or obtained compromises or extensions since 1920. While many causes have contributed to this heavy mortality,
rMr. A. M. Edwards.]
the principal cause has been that there has not been enough business available for all. This situation has been made worse by the British preference, which has permitted British shoe manufacturing firms to cut into the Canadian business and take out of the country orders which have been much needed by the factories here.
The wages paid by the shoe manufacturers in England are much lower than those paid in Canada, machinery costs in England also are lower, and the British manufacturers have important advantages in respect of cheap water freights to the Pacific coast via the Panama canal. The British manufacturers get all their equipment, materials, supplies, etc., duty free, while some of the equipment, materials, supplies, etc., required by the Canadian shoe manufacturers have to be imported, mostly from the United States, and are dutiable at rates ranging up to 30 per cent. These items still further offset the very meagre duty on boots and shoes imported into Canada under the British preferential schedule.
I come now to a consideration of the rates of customs duty on boots and shoes from the United Kingdom imported into the British dominions. New Zealand charges an import duty on British boots and shoes of 25 per cent of the value for duty, which comprises the invoice value plus ten per cent for freight and insurance, and a primage duty of one per cent. This represents a total ad valorem import duty of 28} per cent. New Zealand also requires that for British shoes to enter under this rate, which is lower than the general tariff, the proportion of British materials and British labour must not be less than 50 per cent. Australia charges an import duty on British boots and shoes of 35 per cent of the value for duty, which comprises the invoice value plus 10 per cent for freight and insurance. This represents a total import duty of 381 per cent. English shoes will not be admitted to Australia, under the above preferential tariff rate, unless the proportion of British materials and British labour is not less than 75 per cent. Newfoundland gives no tariff preference to British boots and shoes, but charges a duty of 40 per cent, plus a surtax of 5 per cent on invoice cost, freight and duty. This represents a total import duty of more than 45 per cent. South Africa gives no tariff preference now to British boots and shoes, but charges on most classes of British footwear an import duty of 30 per cent. Canada admits British boots and shoes under a British preferential tariff rate of 171 per cent, less a rebate of one-tenth of the duty on all direct importations, which rebate reduces the import duty to only 15} per cent.

The Budget-Mr. Edwards (Waterloo)
Under the present British preference, goods manufactured in countries with depreciated currencies are imported into Canada as British goods at the expense of British and Canadian labour. This is altogether absurd, unsound, anti-national and un-British, and it is a condition which ought to be removed without further delay. So much for the boot and shoe business.
Now I come to the Canadian National Railways. The country during the year which has just passed was abundantly blessed by Providence with a splendid crop, not alone in the western country, but also in eastern Canada, and as a national result our financial position is considerably improved. This in turn is reflected in the statement of the Canadian National Railways, a report which I am certain will be received with a great deal of enthusiasm throughout the country. In our National railway system we are experimenting with the greatest public ownership scheme ever attempted; and upon the handling of this vast enterprise, upon the fairness shown the management, upon the total absence of governmental and other interference, coupled, of course, with capable management, the success or failure of the enterprise depends.
We in Ontario know something of that great municipally owned enterprise, the hydroelectric, but we are also well aware of the fact that the success of that great undertaking was accomplished by the indomitable perseverance of the founders, coupled with the outstanding ability of its management and the determination at all times to keep it clear of politics and all outside interference. It may interest the House to know that the birthplace of the great hydro-electric enterprise was in the good county of Waterloo, which I have the honour to represent in this House jointly with my good friend the hon. member for North Waterloo (Mr. Euler). The birthplace of that great Canadian through whose efforts much of the success of the enterprise was accomplished is also in my riding, the village of Baden in South Waterloo. I refer, of course, to the late Sir Adam Beck.
The people in all parts of the country from coast to coast are watching with a great deal of anxiety, and I may say with no little uncertainty, the efforts of the management to make the National railways a real asset to the Dominion of Canada, and if there is one point in this connection which I wish to emphasize more than another it is that no handicaps be placed on this great undertaking, that it should be given a square deal, and that no outside interference should be tolerated.
We listened recently in the House to a presentation of what appeared to be a very serious condition of affairs in the province of Nova Scotia, particularly in the Cape Breton section of that province. The Minister of the Interior (Mr. Stewart) and his government should be congratulated on assisting to relieve the situation in at least a temporary way.
This brings me to the coal situation in general, upon which I wish to say a few words in the hope that whoever has the framing of a policy with regard to this great question will approach it in a broad way, having in mind a policy that will be of real service to the entire Dominion. Too long we have confessed a dependency upon the United States for our fuel supply. Owing to constantly recurring strikes there, the prospect is that in the no great distant future-as time is counted in the life of a nation-we shall be faced, as in fact we are faced at the present time, with the necessity of framing legislation that will adjust this great question. In this connection may I assure the hon. Minister of Marine (Mr. Cardin) that I am in accord with the sentiments expressed by him in the House recently, when he stated that owing to geographical difficulties some concession would have to be made by the provinces of Ontario and Quebec in order that difficulties that now appear great indeed may be surmounted.
Between the western province of Alberta and the eastern province of Nova Scotia, coal sufficient to supply the necessities of all Canada for hundreds of years can be obtained, and we shall be recreant to our duty if we allow minor difficulties to stand in the way of the development of our great coal areas. The opportunity in this regard cannot be overestimated, and when we consider the fact that we are at present purchasing from the United States yearly over one hundred million dollars' worth of coal, sending the money to a foreign country, assisting to keep a foreign population employed, to the detriment of our Canadian citizens, it seems to me that this is one of the most pressing problems before the House to-day. In fact I am at a loss to understand-perhaps some hon. member can enlighten me-the reason or reasons why this question was not settled long ago. If we in the central provinces stop for a minute to consider what the immense purchasing power of the hundred millions spent east and west would mean to the industrial sections, surely our united interests lie in this direction. Great purchasing power, coal moving from the west
The Budget-Mr. Edwards (Waterloo)
and from the east, giving greater business to our railways, and carrying the manufactured goods from central Canada to these coal producing provinces, would very materially assist in relieving our transportation difficulties. If it is necessary to increase the duty slightly on this commodity, I trust the Minister of the Interior will not stick literally to his "death knell of protection" utterances.
In the constituency of South Waterloo, which I have the honour to represent in this House, we have the happy combination of the agriculture and industrial, a most striking example of what a home market really means. When I tell you that about 95 per cent of the products of the farms of Waterloo county are consumed in that county, some idea can be had of what it means to have the industrial section of the community fully employed. During the past four years this unfortunately has not been the case, and many hundreds of our finest mechanics and young men graduating from our schools and workshops have been forced to go to the United States to secure employment. They do not want to go, neither do they want to become United States citizens. They are all loyal Canadians desirous of living their lives under the Union Jack, but they are forced to migrate in order that they may obtain employment. But just so long as we pursue a policy of exporting our raw materials either wholly or partly unmanufactured, and giving insufficient protection to our productive enterprises to enable them to produce their goods in competition with mass production in the United States, low wages in mid-European countries, and depreciated foreign currencies, just so long will this condition of affairs exist.
Earlier in the session the senior member for Ottawa (Mr. McClenaghan) referred at some length to the great business done by the mail order houses of the Dominion. I was greatly interested in the case which he so ably put forward as it applied to our retail merchants, and he convinced me that the mail order house competition is most unfair. The countries of the world are scoured by the purchasing agents of these concerns. To have the products of foreign sweatshops and child labour distributed in this country, largely through these mail order houses, is bad enough; but when we consider that the ordinary retailer throughout the Dominion is forced to pay a stiff tax in his community, while these great octopuses are practically free of this tax, it will be seen that he suffers from a handicap that is very serious indeed. As a result, the small rural village is rapidly disappearing, which is to be regretted, as
these centres have assisted in no small degree to make rural life more desirable. In fact, Sir, I think I would be justified in saying that one of the chief causes of the trek from the farms to the bright lights of the cities and towns is largely due to the gradual wiping out of these small centres. This condition of affairs, I submit, is largely due to the inroads of the mail order competition under the unfair circumstances I have related. I hope the senior member for Ottawa will introduce legislation that will give us an opportunity of investigating the matter further this session.
With reference to the immigration problem, I quite realize that in order to do more business we have to have more people. I am in hearty accord with an immigration policy that will bring in selected immigrants to increase production by the cultivation of the vast untilled lands not only of our western prairies, but also of hundreds of thousands of idle acres in the other provinces. But care should be taken not to bring in industrial workers until such time as our industries are fully employed and our citizens-who through the paralyzing policy of the government during the past four years have been compelled to leave their native country to secure employment in the great republic to the south- have been permitted to return to their homes.
I wish to thank you, Mr. Speaker, and the members of the House for the very patient hearing which has been accorded me.

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