March 22, 1929 (16th Parliament, 3rd Session)


Duncan Sinclair

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DUNCAN SINCLAIR (North Wellington) :

Mr. Speaker, in rising to make a few observations on the budget I wish first to congratulate the hon. member for South Wellington (Mr. Guthrie) on his wonderful address. He has placed the condition of affairs

The Budget-Mr. Sinclair (Wellington)
in this country before the people of Canada so that a child could readily understand it, and has shown that this is due to the action or the inaction of this government.
I agree with the hon. Minister of Finance (Mr. Robb) that there is a certain amount of prosperity in Canada at present, but I regret to say that this prosperity has not to any great extent touched the farmer or the labouring man. This talk of prosperity reminds me of an incident which happened while I was a salesman for one of the largest implement concerns in Canada. I was sent out to see an Irishman in order to collect a past due account; I passed a pleasant hour with him and he kept me away from the subject as long as possible. Finally, I said, "Well, Pat. we have had a very pleasant visit, but money talks and if you do not pay up the firm will sue you." He said, "Mr. Sinclair, dc you mean to tell me that money talks?" I said, "It sure does, Pat." Then he said. "That's funny it never has been on speaking terms with me." This wonderful prosperity about which the minister sipeaks is not on very good speaking terms with the farmer and the labouring man throughout Canada to-day.
Before dealing with the importation of butter into this country under the Australian treaty I wish to make a few remarks with regard to an incident which occurred in the agriculture committee a few days ago. Present at that meeting was a representative of the hon. Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Motherwell), and he gave us some figures which only strengthened my opposition to this treaty. He assured us that New Zealand butter did not hurt the dairy industry of Canada, and then he went on to say that the farmers in New Zealand did not need barns to protect their cattle, and that the cattle were put on grass for practically twelve months of the year, while the farmers of Canada have to stable their cattle for six months and give them high priced feed in order to meet the unfair competition from New Zealand. He also told us that the average farmer could keep from fifty to eighty cows on one hundred acres, that the land was worth from $300 to $700 per acre and that there were plenty of buyers who would pick up this land whenever the farmer wish to sell.
Knowing something of the dairy industry I have just figured this out roughly, and I find that eighty cows on one hundred acres, giving twelve and a half pounds of milk each milking, would average twenty-five pounds of milk per cow per day, or two thousand pounds of milk in all. With three hundred milking days, giving the cows sixty-five days'
holiday, which is a long enough holidaj' for any cow, that would mean six hundred thousand pounds of milk per year. I see the minister is in his seat, and I hope he will take notice of this. We were also told that the price of cheese regulated the price of butter.
If we consider twelve pounds of milk to equal one pound of cheese we find that the dairy farmer in New Zealand would produce fifty thousand pounds of cheese per year; at twenty cents per pound, which is one cent less than the figure he gave us, this would mean an income of $10,000 per year for the New Zealand farmer. If we allow the farmer $3,000 a year for expenses we find that he has a net profit of $7,000 per year, and I would like to ask the Minister of Agriculture if he can find any dairy farmer in the province of Ontario making that much money on one hundred acres of land.
Properly speaking this Australian treaty should not be so designated because Australian butter is not interfering with us at all. I cannot understand the attitude of hon. members on the government side of the house who irgue that shipments of New Zealand butter do not interfere with. the dairy industry of Canada. Hon. gentlemen opposite must have received petitions from all over Canada protesting against this treaty and stating the injury it is doing to the dairy industry of Canada. Even the Minister of Agriculture, in his address, said:
There is nothing wrong with the dairy industry. See all the milk and cream we are shipping to the United States; see all the milk and cream we are using in ice cream. We may be short on butter but we are producing as much or more milk than ever.
This statement was made in face of the fact that in 1928 we had 100,000 cows less than in 1927. I fancy I see the disgusted look on the faces of those 100,000 of our best milch cows upon discovering they had to leave their good Canadian homes and go across to the United States, a disgust accentuated by the nonsense talked by the Minister of Agriculture. That is nothing, however, to the look of contentment mingled with gratitude on the faces of the 60,000 additional cows in New Zealand during the past year-which increase was brought about by the prosperous condition of the dairy industry of that country as a result of the kindness and the generosity of the Canadian government-as they wallow in New Zealand s luxurious grass, saying "We will come to your assistance, Canadian Minister of Agriculture." They came to our assistance in January, 1929, when we imported 7,660,6S1 pounds of butter, valued at $2,710,988; this
The Budget-Mr. Sinclair (Wellington)
was in January, when our cows were all housed in expensive buildings, each of which cost the farmer from $5,000 to $6,000. They do not need buildings in New Zealand in order to shelter their oows except in rainy weather, and when it is raining the farmers cannot construct buildings anyway.
How can the minister argue that the .importation of such a large amount of butter into this country since the passing of this act has not hurt the dairy industry? Since this act went into force we have received under it, mostly from New Zealand, more than 30,000,000 pounds of butter valued at almost $11,000,000. This enters Canada under a duty of one cent per pound, while New Zealand charges us six cents per pound. Will the minister say this is fair competition?
What have the dairymen done about it? On November 29 last a deputation from the National Dairy Council of Canada waited on the government asking for some protection for the dairy industry, but they received no encouragement; at their annual meetings in 1927 and 1928 they condemned the treaty and pleaded with the government for some adequate protection for the industry. The farmers' association of Nova Scotia, at their annual meeting this year, condemned this treaty and Dr. Gumming, head of the marketing division of that province, declared that New Zealand butter was setting the price for Nova Scotia butter. Is this fair competition? Mr. Calder, president and general manager of the Saskatchewan Co-operative Creameries, declares that in three years Canada has ceased to export 25,000,000 pounds of butter annually and has imported an equal amount, and the figures given out by the Bureau of Statistics prove this to be so. I regret, therefore, that in this budget the government has made no provision for the protection and safeguarding of this great industry.
I should like to comment on the immigration policy of this government. I find the following figures prepared by the statistical branch of the government with reference to immigration during the year 1928:
Canadians entering United States. 73,154 Canadians returning from United
States 39,887
boss of Canadians to United States 33,267 Immigrants from United States,
other than Canadians 25,007
Net loss to Canada 8.260
Immigrants from United Kingdom 50.872 Immigrants from continental Europe 75,718
Deducting the figure 33,267, which represents the loss of Canadians to the United States, from the figure 50,872, the immigra-

tion from the United Kingdom, leaves a net addition of 17,605 of British stock. During the same year, 75,718 aliens were received from continental Europe, which added to the 25,007 from the United States gives a total of 100,725 aliens added to the population of Canada, as compared with 17,605 of British stock. That is, during last year we added about six aliens to our population for every one of British stock, and we paid out $2,704,698 to do that. Surely our continental immigrants are costing us too much good Canadian money. This government was so pleased with the year's business that they raised the salary of the deputy minister from $8,000 to $9,000. I would ask any manufacturer in the house if he would increase his manager's salary, or even retain his services, upon such a showing.
I wish to say a few words with regard to agricultural implements. I find that the farmers of this country paid the United States the huge sum of $40,000,000 for agricultural implements purchased during 1928. Every bolt and nut on these machines could have and should have been made in Canada. The purchase of farm tractors alone amounted to $21,000,000. If the government were working in the interests of the Canadian farmer it would see that tractors were sold to our farmers as cheaply as they are sold to the farmers to the south of us.. If the government would adopt the policy of Canada for the Canadians and have the goods consumed by our people manufactured in this country from our own raw materials, thus giving employment to our own boys and girls, many of the problems of the Minister of Immigration (Mr. Forke) would be solved. Our boys and girls would be glad to come back from the United States to the country they all love so dearly. Ramsay MacDonald, a former Prime Minister of Great Britain, addressing a meeting in that country shortly after his return from Canada last year, said:
After more than twenty years' absence from Canada, I hardly recognized places I had visited before. It was an absolute revelation and a good revelation to me. If you go to the United States and try to find the soul of tlie country, you will find it to be largely materialistic. I have been trying to get in touch with whatever is the soul of Canada, and it is certainly not materialistic.
There is a vitality of expansion, a youthfulness, and a hopefulness in Canada. Her weakness is that she has not got sufficient magnetic power to keep her people, both Canadian-born and British immigrants within her own borders. The great magnet that is always pulling them is the United States, and it is of the most vital interest to Canada to devise some means whereby she can accumulate sufficient magnetic power to hold her population within her domains.

The Budget-Mr. Sinclair (Wellington)
The magnet which is drawing our boys and girls to the United States is that of employment. The burning question is: How can
we keep them? The only solution I see is for the government to have our raw materials manufactured at home in Canadian factories by Canadian workmen, rather than in the United States. What an army of men would be employed if the $40,000,000 worth of farm implements purchased by Canada in the United States were manufactured here. The American manufacturers realize this and are becoming alarmed. An Associated Press despatch from Washington, dated March 6, says:
If the Canadian farmer stopped buying farm implements in this country a steady market would be gone which nets American manufacturers forty million dollars a year by taking up the slack of the over-production of American factories.
President Hoover therefore will bring his influence to bear on leaders in both houses to have the farmers tear down their tariff increases and at the same time placate the business men and persuade them to withdraw their lobby against agricultural increases generally.
I also quote the following from an editorial appearing in a Canadian newspaper:
Canada, United States Best Customer
During 1928, a Washington despatch informed us yesterday, Canada was Uncle Sam's best customer. We bought goods from him to the value of $916,155,506.
We bought more goods from the United States than England, which has four times our population.
We bought twice as much as Germany, which has six times our population.
Every day, indeed, during the whole of 1928, Canada sent $2,500,000 across the line for United States goods. Two and one-half millions a day.
What did the United States buy from us? The answer is that while ten million Canadians were buying nearly a billion dollars' worth of goods from the United States, one hundred and twenty million people in the United States bought only $488,000,000 worth of goods from Canada.
And that isn't all. Because While a tremendous part of the two and a half million dollars that went out of Canada each day to the United States was for manufactured goods -goods which had provided work and wages for Americans, and which were sold to us at a rich profit-the great proportion of what the United States bought from us was raw material. Goods the Uniaited States had to have.
The moral has been pointed a thousand times. But how long will be it be before the government of this country has the sense and the courage to act upon it?
When the hon. Minister of National Defence (Mr. Ralston) was speaking the other day he mentioned the stock of the Massey-Harris Company. He said:
In other words, the old stock that was worth $50 is now worth $336.
I do not know whether he mentioned that as being an indication of the general prosperity of this country, but I should like to ask him-

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