No; my hon. friend will have to look that up. Pie will find that he is wrong. It was raised to 25 per cent by this government, and, strange to say, was raised another 2i per cent by this agreement. The only result that flows from that is that it prejudices and injures the manufacturer of shoes in Canada, who is obliged to buy some of his kid leather from the United States. In any case he has to pay a higher tariff and that just
makes the cost of his shoes higher to the Canadian consumer, without doing anybody any good, in order to protect two industries who agreed that if they were given 25 per cent- and there were a good many objections from the shoe manufacturers-they would supply the Canadian shoe manufacturer at the right price and in the right quantity and quality. They wished to try it out, making that promise to supply the shoe manufacturer on those terms. At the end of the year they were not doing so. They got another six months and still they are not doing it. And that, for the benefit of two concerns, one in Montreal and one in West Toronto. For their benefit we have that handicap placed on the shoe manufacturers. I commend that to the consideration of the government.
With regard to coal, we are placing another ten cents on this commodity. Last year I objected to the placing of a tariff of forty cents a ton on anthracite coal, on this score, that it was simply adding to the burden, which is now heavy enough, of the man who has to heat his house with anthracite coal. I speak particularly of Ontario. Instead of doing this it would be much wiser for the government to investigate what is called the toll gate in the city of Montreal, whereby one or two or three gentlemen exact tribute on every ton of Welsh coal imported into this country.
With regard to the reductions on textiles, they are negligible. An hon. gentleman on the other side asked me the other day whether I would support a reduction in the duty on textiles. I think I woul(j. When duties go as high as 50, 60 , 70, 80, yes, and 100 per cent, they are entirely too high, higher than necessary. I might speak of the British preference -and it is astonishing how sometimes a manufacturer will be quite in favour of the lowering of a tariff when it affects his raw material, and rightly so. I am speaking now with regard to textiles. I was debating with a manufacturer one day the propriety of the British preference, especially with respect to textiles. "Yes," he said, "I want that preference; it is the only protection I have against the rapacity of the Canadian textile manufacturer." So he was in favour of the preference. I was going to make a reference to the tariff board, that it might be used as a means of the reduction of tariffs, upon representations from the British manufacturers, but I have no time for that.
I want to say a word with reference to the dumping clause and exchange, because it has become nothing less than a nightmare to importers in Canada. See what they have to go through. First they pay ad valorem duty on the basis of the pound as it was 53719-42
formerly-I am speaking of British importations. They pay the ad valorem duty on the old basis of $4.86j, even if they actually pay a dollar less than that for the goods. Then they pay a specific duty, then an excise duty of 3 per cent, which is not an excise duty at all but an addition to the tariff. And then they are up against a further valuation of the pound on its present basis of $4.40, which is placed there merely for the purpose of exacting the dump, another form of tariff. Then they take the value of the importations during two weeks-that is, the value of the pound-and average that. If it is fixed at $3.80, they take the basis of $4.40 and the dump is the difference between the two, a matter of another 60 cents. After all, the importer is not a criminal; he has a right to live and do business. If he has not that right, put him out of business entirely by an embargo; but if he has that right, and if he is to be allowed to carry on his business at all, then I say he should be allowed to do his business in a reasonable way. But today he does not know, when he orders his goods, what they will cost him. There have been many examples, I know, where men have imported goods and have paid the tariff as exacted at the time and later on-I am not blaming the officials of the Customs department in this matter because this is the policy of the government-they have been asked to pay a further imposition, three months afterwards, when the goods have gone into consumption. Thus they sustain a loss. I am surprised that the British delegates did not make more of that point and did not insist that some sort of justice and fairness should be observed with respect to their imports into this country. I say this not particularly on their behalf but in the interests of the Canadian importer.
Certain objections have been made from this side. I have spoken of bargaining; I have spoken of dumping, and I have spoken of the exchange. I have said that in many instances tariffs are too high, and I believe that. I might also speak of the five year tie-up which we are encountering in connection with this treaty. It may be all very well to say that you must have some sort of continuity and stability about an agreement of this kind, but I will put this to the members of this house-perhaps they may feel antagonistic to this proposal. I have no particular love for our American friends so far as business is concerned, but I would not cut off my nose to spite my face. It may be that after the next election-and it looks that way-the United States government may change its attitude, and you may find Presi-
Imperial Conference-Trade Agreements
dent Roosevelt, if he is elected, making certain proposals, possibly as to allowing our lumber to go into that country, or our fish or something else.
Subtopic: CONTINUATION OP DEBATE ON THE MOTION FOR APPROVAL OF TRADE AGREEMENT BETWEEN CANADA AND THE UNITED KINGDOM