Grote STIRLING

STIRLING, The Hon. Grote, P.C., C.E., M.E.I.C.

Personal Data

Party
Progressive Conservative
Constituency
Yale (British Columbia)
Birth Date
July 31, 1875
Deceased Date
January 18, 1953
Website
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grote_Stirling
PARLINFO
http://www.parl.gc.ca/parlinfo/Files/Parliamentarian.aspx?Item=4aa810f9-1c2b-42a6-95c4-d4e382d264a1&Language=E&Section=ALL
Profession
civil engineer, fruit grower

Parliamentary Career

November 6, 1924 - September 5, 1925
CON
  Yale (British Columbia)
October 29, 1925 - July 2, 1926
CON
  Yale (British Columbia)
September 14, 1926 - May 30, 1930
CON
  Yale (British Columbia)
July 28, 1930 - August 14, 1935
CON
  Yale (British Columbia)
  • Minister of Fisheries (November 17, 1934 - August 13, 1935)
  • Minister of National Defence (November 17, 1934 - October 22, 1935)
October 14, 1935 - January 25, 1940
CON
  Yale (British Columbia)
  • Minister of National Defence (November 17, 1934 - October 22, 1935)
March 26, 1940 - April 16, 1945
NAT
  Yale (British Columbia)
June 11, 1945 - October 4, 1947
PC
  Yale (British Columbia)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 725 of 726)


May 11, 1925

Mr. STIRLING:

The combination grade. I think, was init.rodu.cedi some years ago at the request of the fruit growers, they 'believing that it would aid the sale of fruit in the market. It was very soon discovered) that it did not have that effect. There was very little demand in the markets for combination grades and the Canadian Horticultural Council therefore asked the minister if he would be good enough to amend the aict so as to remove the combination grade.

Resolution reported, read the second time and concurred in. Mr. Motherwell thereupon moved for leave to introduce Bill No. 117 to amend the Fruit Act.

Motion agreed to and bill read the first and second time.

Topic:   FRUIT ACT AMENDMENT
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April 16, 1925

Mr. STIRLING:

Mr. Speaker, when the

House rose at six o'clock I had very nearly completed the remarks which I wish to make respecting the fruit industry. There are, however, two things to which I wish to refer. I spoke of the small protection under which the fruit industry had been organized and had carried on to the considerable success which it has attained in British Columbia. I said "small" advisedly, for if you will examine the return which the Minister of Customs and Excise (Mr. Bureau) recently brought down, you will find that the average percentage of duty on all exports, both dutiable and free, which came into Canada, in the

last five years amounted to 16.03 per cent. The similar figure for the last five years on apples, which constitute the largest bulk of the fruit produced in British Columbia, is but 12.4 per cent, 20 per cent less than the average duty protecting the industries of Canada when compared with the quantity which is brought in both dutiable and free. That, I consider, at the present time is adequate protection, and I do not think anybody could call it a high protection. I wish also to reiterate what I referred to before, and that is the satisfaction which I feel in recognizing a less harsh view adopted by hon. members on my left towards the fruit industry of British Columbia. They have been proceeding along co-operative lines. So have we. What we desire now is to see a greater measure of co-operation between British Columbia and the three neighbouring provinces. Why do I not hear hon. members on my left requesting the government to take action to clean up these filthy trade habits in the handling of fruit in our domestic market? The interests of the producer and the consumer in this matter are one. Why should I want to receive forty cents a box for my apples and the consumer in the prairie provinces pay three or four dollars a box? That is not to my interest, and I appeal to hon. members to my left to assist in this matter, to help us to clean up this disgraceful state of affairs in the three prairie provinces. I take it that they desire, as all true Canadians do, a movement towards the development of Canada for Canada's sake. That applies to the Canadian-born as it also applies to people like myself who are endeavouring, in however small a way, to do something for the country of their adoption. What we wish is that Canadian industries which are planted in this country should develop and continue and supply the needs of Canada.

I am glad to notice the removal of an anomaly under the sales tax. F'or several years past nursery stock has been on the exempted list under the sales tax; but by a curious decision by some official of the Department of Customs and Excise, tomato plants were considered to be something on which sales tax should be charged. A tomato plant has no value of itself, it has only a potential value. It is not until it is planted out in the same way that a rose-cutting is planted out that it has any value whatever. I see- by the proposals of the Acting Minister of Finance (Mr. Robb) that this anomaly has been removed. But there is another piece of discrimination under the sales tax to which my predecessor drew attention in this House in

The Budget-Mr. Stirling

his speech on the Address, and that is the discrimination which exists in the printing trade. A printing office which does a business amounting to $10,000 and over has to pay sales tax; those doing a business under $10,000 are exempted. Possibly following upon those remarks, the Acting Minister of Finance last year spoke thus in his speech upon the budget:

For the better protection of the revenue the sections referring to manufacturers doing business under $10,000 per year will be repealed. Removal of the $10,000 limit in connection with small manufacturing concerns will do away with difficulties in administering the act.

That sounded very good to the printer; but I was asked to look into the matter as there seemed to be some hitch, and on making inquiries in the Department of Customs and Excise, I found that although that regulation came into force on the first July, it appeared to apply to perhaps every industry except printing, for under the authority of section 19 BBB, subsection 6 of the Special War Revenue Act, publishers or job printers, who manufacture or produce job printed matter to the value of less than $10,009 per annum, and who sell the job printing exclusively to users, are exempt from the consumption or sales tax on their sales as from the 1st July, 1924. I do not know why the Acting Minister of Finance spoke as he did and then acted as he did. I do not know what difficulty arose which made it necessary to reinstate this discrimination. But I would suggest to him that he consider the possibility of exempting the larger printing offices up to an amount of business of $10,000. That would remove the discrimination, and in any town where there was a large business and a small business, it would not be possible for the small man to advertise: Come to So-and-So and save sales tax, for both would be on equal footing.

I suppose, if you were to ask pretty nearly every person in Canada what this country needs most to-day, the answer would be: A reduction in taxation.

Such reduction can only be brought about by public economy. What does the ordinary sane private man do when he strikes a bad patch? He jots down the necessary expenditures he must meet and then graduates up the scale towards the luxuries, cutting them harshly. Perhaps he allows himself a certain amount of recreation, perhaps he allows himself a car; but he carries out as drastic a cut as he is able to do and yet maintain himself and his family. Why should not a similar state of things exist in national life? I do not think that anybody can suggest that real economies have been effected by this

[Mr Stirling.!

government. For instance, a year ago it was brought to their attention that the Department of Soldiers' Civil Re-establishment bad finished its day of usefulness; and how much more is that the case to-day? I want to draw the attention of the House- to a few figures I have taken from the Auditor General's report. The expenditures in the Soldiers' Civil Re-establishment department during the following years were:

Year Amount

1920 $47,198,718

1921 36,272,216

1922 17,818,646

1923 13,375,134

1924 10,230,149

To show my point I shall divide these amounts into -the payments to and on behalf of the soldiers in one category and all the other expenditures, including salaries and administrative charges, in the other. I shall leave out the decimals.

To the Cost o>f

returned soldiers administration

Year percent percent1920

56 441921

45 551922

39 611923

32 681924

29 71

I do not suggest for one moment that any single expenditure for the benefit of the returned soldiers or on their behalf should be stopped, but I do suggest that there is no warrant in -that for maintaining a department for the benefit of -a minister, however debonair he may be, and for the officials under his charge. Nor do I consider that it should be necessary for anyone outside the government to draw attention to so obvious a saving which could be effected by the closing-up of that department and the carrying-on of the work that is left by another department of government.

Before I resume my seat I want to place on record an incident which happened in the by-election campaign in Yale. The incident to which I refer took place in Penticton. We had welcomed in our midst the genial Minister of Public Works (Mr. King, Kootenay); he is always welcome. I presume he was enjoying a well-earned vacation, for I cannot imagine that the duties of his department could have kept him in one portion of one district of -one province for so long a time. The Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) and his retinue had passed down through the constituency of Yale, and one of the ministers with him had spoken on every occasion -of the beautiful eyes of the ladies, while the Prime Minister himself delighted several enthusiastic audiences

The Budget-Mr. Kyte

by this eloquence. He had appealed to the electors in the name of chivalry and decency and fair play to return a government supporter, explaining to them how much easier it would be for such an one to obtain the ear of his ministers. I may say in passing that with one exception I have had no difficulty whatever in obtaining the ear of the right hon. gentleman's ministers, and in that one case it was probably that the particular minister was so extremely busy that I was unable at the times I tried to get in- contact with him. My opponent's agent had made his headquarters in the hotel in Penticton and had displayed a very considerable amount of hospitality, which I think had been appreciated. Three or four days before polling, the Liberal organizer in the west-that I think is his title-Mr. Turgeon, called on the president of the Penticton Board of Trade and said something like this: "Mr. Boyle, I want to obtain the support of the Board of Trade of Penticton and I assure you that if Penticton will give a majority for the government candidate I will pledge myself, on behalf of the Liberal party, to the building of a post office in Penticton," Mr. Boyle, who is a Conservative, asked what he could do and Mr. Turgeon replied, "I am not appealing to you as an individual but as President of the Board of Trade. Call your executive together and put my proposition before them." Mr. Boyle called together his executive, who also were all Conservatives, and he solemnly placed this suggestion before them. Penticton was good enough to give me a majority; Penticton did not get a post office. I place this incident on record in duty to the electors of Yale, because messy dirtinesses of this description are repugnant to a very great majority of those electors. Their desire is that the decencies of private life should enter into and dominate the public life of this country.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE ACTING MINISTER OF FINANCE.
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April 16, 1925

Mr. GROTE STIRLING (Yale):

Mr

Speaker, I have listened with close attention to expressions of opinion from hon. gentlemen in different quarters of this House, some of which have been extremely long and some remarkably fluent. The ablest of them, perhaps, have been the utterances of hon. members who have the happy knack of saying just exactly what they mean without any redundant words.

I listened specially to the speeches from the government side in the hope that I might at least be able to get a clear understanding of what the fiscal policy of the administration really is. Hitherto I have been unable to grasp it. We hear it frequently described as a tariff for revenue. That appears to me to be exactly the same thing as the fiscal arrangement known as free trade in Great Britain; and yet supporters of the government not infrequently state their objections to being called free traders. When the hon. member for Vancouver Centre (Mr. Stevens) some days ago extracted a promise from the Minister of the Interior (Mr. Stewart) to explain a certain famous phrase which he had used I pricked up my ears for I thought that at last I should have the opportunity of listening to a solemn pronouncement of the fiscal policy of at any rate one member of the government, possibly even the policy of the government itself. Again I was doomed to disappointment for when that hon. minister spoke the 5 p.m. following day he announced that free trade would not do for Canada, that if he had ever been a free trader the war had altered that. I am not quite sure that I follow him in that sentence. He went on to say that he did not believe "that adequate protection or high protection that our hon. friends are so fond of demanding."- I must say that I have not yet heard high protection demanded in this House-"is either necessary or in the best interests of the country." He was then asked if he believed in protection at all, and he replied:

Not if you define protection as "adequate protection.'' I believe in a tariff for revenue because I conceive that we cannot change conditions in this country. .

I must presume that the hon. gentleman knew what he meant when he spoke those words, 'but his statement conveys absolutely nothing to me and I do not think it conveys anything to anybody else in this House. The minister was then asked if he believed in "inadequate protection," and his reply then was that there was not such an animal.

The Budget-Mr. Stirling

for Canada, the government has not seen fit as yet to do it. We know that the Canadian Fruit Trade Commissioner has not been in this country for two or three years and he is not right up to date in the latest progress which the fruit industry has made, especially the boxed fruit industry of western Canada;

I know that he feels himself that he would very much like the assistance of an unofficial adviser or two, men who are right up to date in recent fruit history, with whom he could consult in order to form his opinions and place them before the committee.

The most prominent difficulty the fruit grower faces is that of marketing his products, and it is very interesting in this connection to take up the interim report of the commissioner appointed by the government to investigate the alleged combine in the distribution of fruit and vegetables. There are one or two other short extracts .that I should like to read in this regard. The question for investigation was-

Whether by reason of the operations of any combine '-of middlemen the interests of the public, whether producer, consumer or others, are prejudicially affected.

That was the object of the investigation. Let me read further:

Of all classes of the population the producer, whether growing wheat, or eking out an existence in raising fruit and vegetables, or otherwise striving to wrest a living from the soil has had a bitter struggle. But among all producers it is doubtful whether any class has had a more grim and discouraging battle for existence than those engaged in fruit farming. Dependent on weather and season, toiling himself with wife and family early and late, compelled at times to employ additional help, obliged to purchase containers for a perishable product, dependent on agents to dispose of his product usually for an unnamed consideration on distant markets, and faced in a northern climate with American competition before his season arrives, the Canadian fruit grower has had to struggle desperately for a bare living. The wonder is that he survived.

I am not aware that the Commissioner who was appointed by the government for this investigation was a fruit man. It is therefore the more interesting to note the view which he took after his investigation of the difficulty facing the fruit growers. A page or two further on there is another short extract:

The producers of British Columbia may be classified as organized and unorganized; and are known as co-operatives and independents. The co-operative associations, which represent an achievement in organization, have made possible what slight amelioration there has been in the condition of the growers. The independents are enabled in some cases to avoid certain of the overhead to which the co-operatives are subject, but in so doing, they take the benefits created by their fellow growers without contributing to the cost; and in many cases by their unregulated marketing seriously disorganize the market for both parties. Like some

fungus they sap the strength of the tree which shelters them.

Another most interesting comment by this independent commissioner is the following:

The British Columbia producers' goods come into the market after the various crops of the different southern producers have successively appeared. By that time the "cream" has been taken off the market, and consequently the British Columbia producer needs all the assistance he can get. His market moreover is what has been called a "pocket" market. It is limited to the three western provinces, for he is not in the position of being able to dispose of his goods north and south as can the producer on the American Pacific slope.

That view rather comes into conflict with the view I have heard more than once expressed 'by hon. members to my left, and something of the sort was mentioned not many days ago by the leader of the larger portion of that party (Mr. Forke). He rather gave it as his opinion, though not in so many words, that if British Columbia could not produce fruit and vegetables and market them in competition with the American producer Britisn Columbia had better quit. I am glad to notice that that expression of opinion, and other expressions of opinion that I have heard as I have moved about amongst hon. members to myj left, are not quite so destructive and caustic as they used to be, and I welcome the drawing together between British Columbia and the interests of the two provinces to the east.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE ACTING MINISTER OF FINANCE.
Full View Permalink

April 16, 1925

Mr. STIRLING:

Three provinces. There

are many matters in which the interests of British Columbia and the interests of these three prairie provinces are close.y intermingled, and certainly there is nothing that the fruit grower in British Columbia desires more than prosperity in these three provinces, as well as an increase in population. Supposing, through unfair action on the part of some government, protection were removed or so reduced as to cause- the fruit growing industry in British Columbia to die out-what would be the effect on Canada? Certainly there would be a depletion in that district; the taxes already borne on a certain number of shoulders in Canada would after that have to be borne by fewer shoulders; the wholesalers' trade in the interior of British Columbia would diminish considerably. And I can assure you that in the poor trade years we have recently passed through the wholesalers of Calgary and the coast cities have looked upon that trade of the interior as their most valuable asset. What would be the result? Consumers in western Canada would pay more for their apples. There would be no more dumping of American

The Budget-Mr. Stirling

fruit in the prairie provinces; there would be no competition to hold down the price that the Americans chose to ask for their fruit, they would ask just exactly what they liked, and the prairie consumer could just take it or leave it.

The report proceeds to explain these wonderful Nash interests which the commissioner was instructed to investigate, how they consist of 45 incorporated companies in Canada, in close affiliation with 84 incorporated companies south of the line. They were by way of being jobbers, and such a combination of jobbers would be a pretty substantial economic unit for any other trade interests to compete against; but it becomes a far more venomous creature to deal with when within that combine of jobbers there is set up a combine of brokers, because those brokers are then able to receive produce, peddle it out to their own friends, their own houses, charge their commissions and, as is shown, in many instances in the report, make unfair merchandising profits en ron \ There was one instance Where one manager told another manager that December had been a good month-they had cleared 830,000 in one district office. Imagine that,-$30,000! Supposing that were made up fa' broker's commissions, what an enormous quantity of fruit that would mean if it was handled in the one month of December!

I do not want to go further into the report at this stage. I commend its persual to every hon. member. In it he will find light and entertaining reading, he will find once more that fact is a good deal stranger than fiction; and if he takes any interest in the sports page of American newspapers he will be interested in the slang which these brigands use among themselves. But before leaving the report I want to draw attention to the final remark of the commissioner in part one, where he says:

There is evidence to the effect that the remedy for many of the undoubted evils of the present situation is the formation of a growers' selling agency for sale direct to the various jobbers.

I refer to that because I have heard it stated on more than one occasion that the formation of a Canadian fruit distributors' agency only means doing away with one combine and the substitution of another. That view, I think, is based on misinformation. What the fruit growers propose is that the co-operative associations all over Canada should come together and place their own brokers in the field. I need hardly explain that that does not constitute a combine injurious to the consumer, because between those brokers and the consumer stands the jobber. The desire of the fruit grower is rot to make commissions, it is 135

to effect the largest possible distribution of his fruit at such a price as the trade will stand. It is no good his boosting the price, because it will reduce the amount of fruit distributed to the consumer. And I would remind hon. members that the domestic market is of far more value to the British Columbia fruit grower than any of the export markets of the world.

The situation now is, I think that some time ago the hon. Minister of Labour (Mr. Murdock) went fishing; he has just landed his first fish; it is called a combine; now that it is wriggling on the bank; it is seen to be an injurious combine; it is of no use to the producer, it is harmful to the retailer, it is unfit for human consumption. But he has seated himself on the ground beside it and he believes that according to the terms of his license it is necessary for him to wait three months to see whether someone will come along and scotch his fish. In the meantime the fruit grower is desperately anxious lest this fish should flop back mto the water, and recommence -its depredations up and down the creek.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE ACTING MINISTER OF FINANCE.
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April 16, 1925

Mr. STIRLING:

In this connection I want to read just one of the many resolutions which reach me in the mail daily, because opinion in the west is very much stirred up on the subject of this combine. I am quoting from the Penticton Herald of April 2:

The Penticton Co-operative Growers at their annual meeting passed the following resolution:

Whereas the fruit industry in the province is at the present time in a precarious condition to the extent that it is almost impossible for the grower to recover a living over the cost of production, and

Whereas the cause of this condition has been shown by the Duncan commission to be the result of vicious and unprincipled methods used by the Nash-Mutual interests in selling British Columbia products, and

Whereas Commissioner Duncan in his findings recommended among other things that in future jobber-owned brokerage houses be made illegal,

Therefore be it resolved that the Penticton Cooperative Growers, in annual meeting assembled, request the Dominion government to prosecute the Nash-Mutual interests with the purpose of securing restitution of moneys unlawfully deducted, and that the necessary steps be taken by the government to have the Dominion parliament at its present session enact legislation declaring jobber-brokerage houses to be illegal, and bringing into effect other recommendations made by Commissioner Duncan in the interests of producers.

I want to pass from that to a consideration of the dumping situation. The principle of protecting a country's products from the dumping into it of similar products from another country has been adopted in many parts of the world. Australia has it; New Zealand has it; South Africa has it; the United States has it, in a very violent form. Under the 1922 tariff act of the United States, if it can be shown to the president that importations are being made which may injure an American industry, the president may declare a duty; he may even forbid entry until an investigation has been made. The United States use that dumping clause. We read in the Ottawa Journal of March 28, the following despatch from Washington:

Anti-dumping provisions of the Tariff act were applied to-day by the treasury against the importation of pig iron from the province of Ontario.

They have no compunction about using it. Eighteen years ago-under the 1907 act- Canada adopted the well known anti-dumping clause. That clause has never been repealed nor amended. I want to touch

[Mr. Stirling. 1

on this matter shortly, because I am quite sure that there is a great deal of misunderstanding throughout the country, and even possibly in the minds of some hon. members of this House, with regard to the anti-dumiping situation. The one and only dumping clause in the act respecting the Customs Tariff provided that a duty could be charged amounting to the difference between the actual selling price and the fair market value with this proviso:

Provided that the said special duty shall not exceed fifteen per cent ad valorem in any case.

As the years went on and the western Canada boxed fruit crop increased in size it became quite evident that that clause was being evaded. Furthermore, there were several years when on account of a glut in the American market, their fruit was being sold at slashed prices and when it entered Canada at those same prices, with the fifteen per cent restriction still on the statute book, the antidumping provision was perfectly useless. So as a result of representations made 'by the fruit growers in 1921 the previous administration amended the valuation clause in the Customs act-they did not touch the anti-dumping clause in the Customs Tariff 1907-so as to enable the Minister of Customs to pay attention to the cost of production as well as to the fair market value. That clause was a good one and was made use of in that fruit and vegetable season. A change of administration took place, and the present Minister of Finance (Mr. Fielding) in his budget speech of 1922 declared the government's intention to repeal the amendment to that clause in the Customs act. It was repealed, but owing to the consternation which that action caused among the fruit growers and the representations they made to the government, a couple of months later, the hon. Minister of Customs (Mr. Bureau) proposed an amendment to the Customs act which introduced clause 47A. The gist of 47A is that if dumping is taking place the Minister of Customs may, if he chooses, report the matter to the Governor in Council and the Governor in Council may, if he chooses, authorize the Minister of Customs to value such goods for duty notwithstanding any other provision of the act. That did not entirely satisfy the fruit growers, but it was certainly looked upon as better than nothing. Two years ago the Minister of Customs took a trip through western Canada and I had the pleasure of accompanying him part of the time through the valleys'of the interior of British Columbia. He saw the conditions for himself; he appeared to appreciate the situation, and the fruit growers felt

The Budget-Mr. Stirling

satisfied when he left that he would do what he could to apply a remedy. However, toward the end of last year it began to be whispered about that all was not well with the dumping provision. When I reached Ottawa I placed six questions on the order paper. The first three referred to the amount of money which had been collected in duty, and the second three asked what claims, if any, had been made for rebate, the reasons for those claims, and the amounts. The only answer vouchsafed to me was a partial answer to questions one, two and three; I received no information with respect to the latter part of the question regarding rebate. I do not think that is to be wondered at, now that the Duncan report has come out because there are several paragraphs in that report which show that a rebate of the duty was granted if it was claimed. I want to read a few extracts from it, if I may. To begin with, I give the commissioner's opinion of the situation with regard to the dumping duty. He says:

It is a common trade practice for those whose home market is well organized to "dump" supplies abroad at prices below those obtaining on the home market. The Canadian fruit and vegetable growers, whose crop is later in maturing than that of southern growers, have long suffered from American fruit and vegetables being thrown on the Canadian market in this way. To the American exporter who has already taken a profit before the Canadian supply comes in, every additional dollar received means an addition to profits. The Canadian grower on the other hand, without government protection in the nature of a dumping duty, would be unable to exist in the face of organized American competition.

That is the view of the fruit commissioner after investigating the market conditions. Then he quotes the famous anti-dumping clause from the Customs Tariff 1902 and regulations relating thereto. I notice, however, that he makes no reference whatever to this government's valuation clause in the Customs act, clause 47A. He then proceeds to give instances of evasion of the dumping provisions, and we find that in some cases dumping was actually followed by rebate. Here is a telegram from the Mutual manager at Vancouver to the Nash supervisor:

Customs dumped us on car Walla Walla barb-

That means rhubafb grown in the state of Washington.

-which cost seventy-five cents. Are you paying dump duty? We protested wildly but had to pay.

The reply to that telegram, sent by the Nash supervisor, was as follows:

Bought barb seventy-five here but not hooked to date. Suggest send particulars your claim to A. E. Burns, secretary, Western Canada Fruit Jobbers, Winnipeg, for him to fight.

135i

Then follows a letter from the same gentleman to the Canadian manager of the Nash interests:

Dear Sirs:

__Regarding the dumping duty on barb, I am

suggesting to Snow that he forward all particulars of his claim to A. E. Burns, our secretary, Winnipeg, and I am satisfied if there is any chance Burns will be able to get Snow a refund. I wish you would just call Burns up on the phone and mention the fact that Vancouver got hooked on a car and that Snow is forwarding the papers,-

And so on.

Then the commissioner points out that on that date rhubarb was being dumped into Canada at 75 cents, while the Walla Walla market price was SI. The cost of production of the British Columbia rhubarb was 90 cents. He goes on:

It appears from the above that the price of the imported rhubarb was both below the Canadian cost of production and the fair market value as sold for American consumption. In such a case it is considered that it was the duty of the local customs officer at the port of entry to apply the dumping provisions of the Customs Act both at Vancouver and Calgary. It is not known whether the duty was imposed on Carruthers' car at Calgary or remitted on Snow's at Vancouver.

Then follows some correspondence between the Nash supervisor and the Mutual manager in Vancouver, as follows:

Dear Sir,-Mr. Simington advised that Mr. A. E. Burns, our secretary at Winnipeg, will be very pleased to handle your claim for dumping duties imposed on that car of barb, and when you forward him particulars, George, I suggest that you outline that you are exclusive selling agents for the Rhubarb Association, and at the time American barb was purchased there was none available in B.C.

Mr. Burns is a very competent secretary, and I hope that you will write him giving full particulars and asking him to handle your case.

So much for rhubarb. Now let us take a look at apples.

The Nash supervisor for Alberta and British Columbia sent a circular to all the Alberta houses, as follows:

I am advised that in nearly every instance where wholesalers have been compelled to pay dumping duty on apiples that Mr. A. E. Burns has applied for refund and obtained it. I do not know of a case in Alberta where it has been applied, but seems to me some houses during last season had it applied on peaches or some other commodities, and I am satisfied if you have not obtained a refund, if you will be good enough to use our secretary, Mr. Bums, sending all particulars to him, requesting him to fight the claim for you, I am sure that he will be successful.

We contribute yearly to our Association, and I believe we have a very competent secretary, and I hope that any house having a claim will give it immediate attention by following instructions suggested above.

Then we have an instance of the dumping having been withdrawn. This is from the

The Budget-Mr. Stirling

Nash Canadian manager to the Nash supervisor:

Dear Sir,-I think some of our houses are importing American apples, and we are compelled to pay a dumping duty.

I learn from Bums to-day that he has secured a refund of the dumping duty paid by P. Bums & Company and the Macdonald-Crawford.

If there are any sales in your district with our interests, you had better have them submit claims for refund to Bums to handle.

The reply to that was:

Dear Sir,-Any of the Saskatchewan houses who paid dumping duty on American apples placed claim for refund. They have been notified by the local customs appraiser that their claims will be paid.

The commissioner proceeds:

On April 30, 1924, Mr. A. E. Burns of the Western Canada Fruit Jobbers Association, wrote the Customs and Excise Department at Ottawa, demanding remission of Dumping Duty on certain apples bought from the Yakima Fruit Growers' Association, Washington, at 80 cents f.o.b. It will be noted that Mr. Burns states in his letter that "at the time the dumping duty was applied there were no apples in stock." It is not known what is meant by this statement, for the official published figures of the Fruit Branch, Ottawa, show the following quantities of apples in storage at the points and on the dates mentioned:

Then follow the amounts: Added together, 240,000 boxes in Regina and1 British Columbia at the end of January, 1924; 141,000 boxes at the middle of February, 1924; and 99,000 boxes at the end of February. The commissioner proceeds:

The letter from Mr. Burns is as follows:

The Customs and Excise Department,

Ottawa, Ont.

Attention Mr. Watson

Dear Sirs,-I was in Regina and Moosejaw last week and found that dumping duty had been applied on cars of apples coming into that district on February 13 and 14, some to P. Burns' Co., Ltd., others to Macdonald-Consolidated.

At the time the dumping duty was applied there were no apples in stock. Macdonald-Consolidated stated they were out of this commodity for 12 days. P. Burns & Co. had only one variety and they were splitting them up with the other four jobbers.

The application of dumping duty on shipments in such times is only unadulterated gall on the part of some official who evidently must have known theexisting conditions m these two points, and if he

had made any inquiries, he would have known that the dump was unjustified.

The above jobbers are asking for a rebate and I would be glad to hear from you at once if you are going to grant same. Otherwise we will have to circularize every member of parliament and bring this unjust application of the dumping duty to a show-down.

I attach a memo from P. Burns & Co. which youmight read and let me know if, in your opinion, this

assessment was justified.

The commissioner proceeds:

This somewhat hectoring letter of Mr. Burns was replied to by Mr. J. A. Watson, of the Customs department, on May 7, to the effect that the col-

lector of customs at Moosejaw was instructed that he might certify to refund claims of dumping duty paid on importations of apples if entered since the first of February last, and that the collector of customs at Regina would receive like instructions. It is evident that if the customs authorities acted on the assumption that there had been no British Columbia apples available since February 1, 1924, they did so without consultation with the Department of Agriculture, which had accurate information on the situation.

It appears further that early in 1924, Mr. Burns reached an understanding with Mr. T. W. Mouat, special officer, Customs department, Nelson, B.C., that the dumping duty would not be applied after March 1, 1924. What wras the information in the

possession of Mr. Mouat as to the apple situation at the time does not appear. It is evident that Mr. Mouat's information was not of the best, for on February 29, 1924, Mr. A. E. Burns circularized all members of the Western Canada Fruit Jobbers' Association as follows:

Winnipeg, February 29, 1924.

Re Dumping Duty:

The understanding with Mr. Mouat was that after March 1, the Dumping Act would not be applied The dump has not been applied to Winnipeg cars but from Regina west. Mr. Mouat intimated he was convinced B.C. apples would not stand the haul to Winnipeg, but this is wrong as a few more days transit would not count.

I am not surprised that the questions I have put on the order paper were not answered, because I can see in every case investigated where the dumping duty was applied a rebate was granted. I cannot help wondering why the duty was rebated. There must have been some reason. After the visit of the Minister of Customs to the fruit growers in British Columbia, it was understood that the government would make use of that clause, a clause they considered better than the clause of the previous administration, and yet something must have been wrong with the clause. I began to wonder whether it was possible that no action under that clause had ever been taken at all, and I made some inquiries, and I found that no order in council relating to Clause 47A had ever been issued. So the situation may perhaps have been this: Certain officials of the Customs department perfectly rightly, collected the dumping duty, but when it became evident that shippers had claimed a rebate of this dumping duty, the government must surely have considered they were not on very safe ground, for if the matter was taken into court, not having the clause in the act behind them, they would be caught napping and would get into very considerable trouble. I cannot help thinking that may have been the reason for the wholesale rebates granted of the dumping duty. It is quite incredible to me that the blame can be laid on the permanent officials of the department; they could not have taken such action as that which I have read from the

The Budget-Mr. Stirling

report without the instructions of somebody superior to them. When the budget proposals were brought down this session it was proposed by the Acting Minister of Finance to amend the old anti-dumping clause in the Customs Tariff 1907 which has never been touched yet. We do not know the reasons of the Acting Minister of Finance for that suggestion, and I myself was unable to find out what the new wording meant. It came as rather a shock to the House, and a shock to the fruit growers in the west, when six days later the minister announced the withdrawal of the proposed amendment. His explanation for taking that step was rather a curious one. He said:

In the presentation of the budget I gave notice of a certain resolution to amend the dumping clauses. Since that time I have had further consultation with the officers of the department and have reached the conclusion that the dumping clauses as now incorporated in our act are considered sufficient to properly determine the value for duty purposes. Consequently I take this opportunity of advising hon. members that when we reach the committee stage I shall withdraw that resolution.

Does that really mean that the reason for withdrawing the proposed amendment was that the officials of the Customs department had not previously given their opinion on it, and consequently it was withdrawn? I can hardly believe that was the only reason. I am inclined to think th'at certain pressure must have been brought to bear upon the government just about that time and. having rather flouted certain interests in the west with regard to the budget proposals, it now thought it advisable to just concede something, and the proposed amendment was therefore dropped.

At six o'clock the House took recess.

After Recess

The House resumed at eight o'clock.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE ACTING MINISTER OF FINANCE.
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