March 16, 1928 (16th Parliament, 2nd Session)


Hugh Guthrie

Conservative (1867-1942)


Following on the suggestion of my hon. friend from Leeds, I confess my inability to appreciate the full significance of the changes in regard to the cotton schedules which the minister proposes in his present budget. I tried diligently last night for over three hours to gather from the discussion in this chamber just what the changes really were and just what they involved. I think I have a fair understanding of the matter now, but I may misapprehend the full significance of some of the changes. It is evident that in his effort to revise these cotton schedules the minister has not followed any principle; he has followed neither the principle of free trade, nor that of tariff for revenue, nor that of protection. He has operated on a happy-go-lucky, hit-or-miss, absolutely haphazard system, and when he stated in this chamber that criticism proceeding from the opposition and from the Progressive sections of the house was not uniform, the answer is that it would be hard to offer any uniform criticism or make any uniform suggestions in regard to proposals which have no uniformity about them, and which are not based on any principle. If I am wrong in the conclusions which I have reached in regard to this matter, the minister will correct me.

Ways and Means-Customs Tariff
The new items 522, 522a and 522b all relate to the importation of cotton yams into this country, and my conclusion is that on these three items the tariff is increased. There is no doubt whatever that there is an increase in item 522, because the minister so stated in so many words last night. Item 522 covers "cotton yarns not exceeding 20's, single," and the new rates proposed are 10, 15 and 20 per cent.

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