Mr. R. K. ANDERSON (Halton):
have just listened to the one consistent and whole-time free trader in the house, the hon. member for Rosetown (Mr. Evans). The hon. gentleman is always advocating free trade. If he were anything else but a wheat grower and a producer of free trade arguments he would probably want protection, but as those products do not need anything of that kind, he is consistently a free trader. If he had listened to the arguments presented by the very large and representative delegation which waited upon the government about a week ago, he would-have heard some fairly good reasons why the use of the dumping &6103-1794
clause was in the interests of the consumer. The hon. gentleman says that it is not in the interest of the consumer, but the delegation contended, and they gave their reasons why, that the dumping clause was in the interest of the consumers in the Dominion of Canada. They instanced the fact that if we did not conserve the fruit and vegetable industry and the poultry industry in this country, we would have to look outside of Canada for our fruits and vegetables and poultry products, in which case these gentlemen claim that it will cost the Canadian consumer very much more than he is paying to-day. They instanced the fact that only last year when the production of fruits in the United States was rather small and scarcely sufficient to supply their own needs, the Canadian market was supplied by our home production in Canada, and the prices of fruits here were very much less than they were in other years. The fact that there was no importation from the United States did not increase the price of the product in Canada.
I was very much impressed with that delegation. They were representative men, coming from all parts of Canada, and representing a large and important industry in this country. If you look up the figures you will find that the production of fruits and vegetables in this country is very large indeed. I have here some figures with regard to that industry which I received from the Bureau of Statistics. They show that from 1922 up to the present the industry has been shrinking. The production of fruits and vegetables in 1922 amounted to $55,855,000; 1923,
$58,000,000; 1925, $48,000,000; 1927, $46,000,000, showing a slight reduction each year, because, so the delegation claimed, of the inadequate protection which the industry receives on its products.
The delegation are not asking for very much. They ask that the Canadian market be conserved for their products; that is, that the Americans shall not have the privilege of sending their products in here at any and all times, flooding our market with their surplus products, which are sold at lower prices than prevail here.
The hon. member for Frontenac-Addington (Mr. Edwards) in his remarks this evening gave the reason why the Canadian producer of fruits and vegetables cannot compete with the American producer. It is largely due to climatic conditions. In the United States the weather is very much milder and they can produce their products cheaper. They have a larger market at home, and they can supply lint market in the average year and have a
Banking and Commerce-Mr. Woodsworth
surplus. Some of their products starting from the southern states are sent up to the large cities in the United States, and sometimes they reach the Canadian border without finding a purchaser. They are consequently dumped upon the Canadian market simply for the cost of the freight.
On motion of Mr. Anderson (Halton) the lebate was adjourned.