Mr. THOMSON (Qu'Appelle) :
I do not think for a moment that we succeeded in having any effect on the minister; but apparently the arguments of the hon. member for North Perth (Mr. Morphy) and others had an effect, because it gave him an opportunity of slipping in a little extra protection under cover. I still believe that we should have trade agents. I quite agree with my hon. friend on that, but I think we' are safer in following the example of Great Britain and the United States in this matter. It is quite true that there is something a little bit unreasonable about appointing trade agents to increase our trade when we are putting up barriers to prevent trade. We must, however, remember that those barriers have been put up. I should like to speak in answer to the argument of the hon. member for Red Deer (Mr. Clark). These barriers are up and we have to deal with existing conditions. The existing conditions are that governments on both sides have put up barriers, but the people still want to trade. It is quite proper that we should adopt some means to overcome those barriers to the greatest possible extent. Therefore, I am in favour of trade agents to overcome to a certain extent the barriers that are placed on the border by the Government on both sides. I believe those agents would not be so much needed if we had free trade. There again I disagree with my hon. friend from Red Deer with whom I do not often disagree in trade matters. I think that the proper and sensible way is to do away with the trade barriers, but as we cannot have that, I believe that this is the next most sensible way. While it is quite true that the increase in protection does not amount to anything like 2i per cent on the average it will amount to that in some particular cases. I do not know what the average trade invoice amounts to, but assuming it to be $500 this tax will amount to half of 1 per cent, which my hon. friend is adding to the customs tariff. While I approve of the idea of having trade commissioners appointed, I cannot approve of this mode of paying them. I am therefore disposed to vote against the proposal. I believe that this scheme has been adopted for the purpose of increasing our customs tariff and for no other purpose.
Topic: REVISED EDITION. COMMONS