Personal Data

Conservative (1867-1942)
Wellington North (Ontario)
Birth Date
January 29, 1869
Deceased Date
June 21, 1951
gentleman, salesman

Parliamentary Career

October 29, 1925 - July 2, 1926
  Wellington North (Ontario)
September 14, 1926 - May 30, 1930
  Wellington North (Ontario)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 1 of 2)

March 11, 1930

Mr. DUNCAN SINCLAIR (North Wellington) :

Mr. Speaker, I desire to say a few

words as to the amendment proposed by the hon. member for Haldimand (Mr. Senn), especially as it refers to the dairy industry. The hon. member for Lisgar (Mr. Brown) tells us that the farmers of Canada are obtaining good prices for their cows, and because of that it is good business for the farmers. I claim that it is not good business for the dairy farmers of Canada because those cows could not be replaced at the prices for which they were sold. They are not raising heifers in my own district, they are selling them because the dairy business has got into such a state that there is no money in it for the farmer. An answer which can be made to his remarks is that contained in a questionnaire sent out by the Deputy Minister of Agriculture of the government of which he is a member. This letter, 'which was sent out to the farmers of this country, Teads as follows:

You are, I understand, interested in live stock of some kind, and are therefore, I have no doubt, interested in Canada's holding her place and even doing a little better than that on the world's markets for various live stock products. Now as a matter of fact Canada seems unfortunately to be losing ground in this connection. For instance, we no longer export any eggs

or butter. We send abroad very little dressed poultry or lambs; our exports of beef cattle are dwindling, our shipments of beef are decreasing, our exports of bacon which a few years ago were very large have almost disappeared and our shipments of cheese are rapidly falling off.

That is the reply to the hon. member for Lisgar (Mr. Brown) by the Deputy Minister of Agriculture of the present government. Hon. members on this side of the house have consistently brought to the attention of the country and of the government, the condition of affairs and what would happen if importations of butter from New Zealand continued as has been the case for the last few years. The government paid no attention to our pleadings. In 1927, the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Motherwell), in addressing the National Dairy Council, said in reply to the chairman:

Now we got a preference for certain exports such as paper, pulp and motor cars, what would you suggest, Mr. Chairman, to take the place of butter?

What would we give New Zealand if we did not give thean a preference for butter? Just imagine the Minister of Agriculture, the watch-dog of the farmers of this country, sacrificing the interests of our farmers for those of any other industry, whatever it might be!

What has been the result? According to the Bureau of Statistics report, we have a shortage of 100,000 milch cows. We have a shortage of hogs. We have lost our export trade to Britain in. those commodities and, sad to say, we are losing our home market. Our Canadian-made butter is just as good as any butter made in the world; there is none better. Mr. A. J. Mills, a dealer from London, England, bad this to say of Canadian butter and cheese before the National Dairy Council in 1927-and by the way, the Minister of Agriculture was present at the meeting-that there was no better butter or cheese shipped to the old country market than the Canadian product and there was ^something radically wrong with Canada when her exports had fallen off nearly to nothing.

The dairy farmers of Canada are not asking for any favours. All they want is a square deal. They expect the government at least to save the home market for them. They do not think it fair to have to compete with a country like New Zealand. Doctor Ruddick, dairy and cold storage commissioner, in addressing the agriculture committee last session, informed us that the cows of the New Zealand farmers ran at large practically twelve months of the year; that ithe farms


Australian Treaty-Mr. Sinclair (Wellington)

in New Zealand were worth from S300 to $700 an acre, and that they could feed from 50 to 80 cows on 100 acres. On the other hand, in Ontario and Quebec, the farmers can keeip only from 15 to 20 cows on 100 acres; their cows are housed for six or seven months of the year, and they are fed on expensive food. It takes a lot of money and hard work to feed these cows during the winter months and the dairy farmers of Canada object to this unfair competition. New Zealand butter is allowed into this country under a duty of one cent per pound while they charge us six cents a pound to export our butter into New Zealand. I would ask the hon. member for Lisgar whether he thinks that is fair treatment.

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March 22, 1929

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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March 6, 1928

Mr. SINCLAIR (North Wellington):

I now wish to give some figures showing the importations of butter from Australia and New Zealand. They are as follows:

Importation of Butter Before the treaty

Australia, 12 months ending December, 1925, 278 pounds; value $110.

New Zealand, 12 months ending December,

1925, 53,424 pounds; value $21,583.

After the treaty

Australia, 12 months ending December 1926, 2,995,740 pounds; value $1,095,988.

New Zealand, 12 months ending December

1926, 3,193,382 pounds; value $1,260,788.

Australia, January, 1926, 473,200 pounds;

value $181,645.

New Zealand, January, 1926, 570,185 pounds; value $203,870.

Australia, January, 1927, pounds nil; value nil.

New Zealand, January, 1927, 729,288 pounds; value $244,898.

Australia, 12 months, 1927, 376,096 pounds; value $135,160.

New Zealand, 12 months, 1927, 8,714,985 pounds; value $3,023,801.

Australia. January, 1928, 248,584 pounds; value $92,628.

New Zealand, January, 1928, 3,183,289

pounds; value $1,126,291.

With respect to the 278 pounds of Australian butter shipped during the twelve months ending December, 1925, the Minister of Agriculture, it seems to me, must have asked the Australians to send over a sample shipment, with the promise that if the butter was of good quality he would try to get them a good market in Canada. But to my mind the saddest thing of all is that in the month of January, 1928, New Zealand shipped into Canada 3,183,289 pounds of butter valued at $1,126,291. I should like to ask the Minister of Agriculture whether he is representing the farmers of Canada or the farmers of Australia.

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March 6, 1928

Mr. DUNCAN SINCLAIR (North Wellington) :

Mr. Speaker, in opening my few remarks on the budget and the amendments thereto I wish to congratulate you on your re-election as Speaker of this house, and I hope (hat on this, my first attempt to speak, I shall have your kindly sympathy. I promise faithfully that I will be under the wire before the flag falls. I also wish to thank hon. members on both sides of the house for their kindness to myself since coming here. Like the old Scottish preacher who once said in opening

The Bridget-Mr. Sinclair (Wellington)

his sermon, "My dear friends, I want to say something before I begin," I should like to thank the Minister of Railways (Mr. Dunning) and the Minister of Finance (Mr. Robb) for the splendid assistance they gave me in the last election. I was very sorry to be so busy in the election that I was not at home when they visited my vicinity, but if they will only send me word next time they come I will be there to meet them and receive them in a hospitable manner.

I had no intention of making a speech this session, but in looking over the speech from the throne and the budget as brought down by the Minister of Finance I decided this was my time to get in, because I could scarcely say less than is contained in either the speech from the throne or the budget. With regard to the budget and the amendment thereto, I must say that I am heartily in favour of the amendment as proposed by the hon. member for St. Lawrence-St. George (Mr. Cahan). I regret that the budget does not contain a remedy for the unemployment existing in Canada, that no attempt is made to induce our boys and girls to return to their native land, and that there is nothing which will prevent the continuance of the alarming exodus to the United States. The budget contains no provision for the preservation of our own market for farm and dairy products, does not provide for the development of the natural resources of this country and does not abolish the sales tax. I suggest to the Minister of Finance and the government that the time has come when there should be no more tinkering with the tariff, a process which inevitably causes injury both to the manufacturers and to the farmers of this country. What I mean by that is that I think the tariff should be left as it is for at least the life of one parliament. Before I ever went into politics I remember how the managers of factories and the people who had their money invested in these industries were kept in a continual state of apprehension because they did not know what this government was going to do, or what industry would next be attacked.

I would suggest to the Minister of Finance that if he had outlined in the budget a national fuel policy for Canada, a national iion and steel policy for Canada, a national pulp and paper policy for Canada; if he had outlined policies whereby our natural resources could be turned into finished products in Canadian factories by Canadian workmen, he would have solved many of the problems which confront us to-day, and the Minister of Immigration and Colonization (Mr. Forke)

would not be condemned, as he is being condemned now, for conditions which have been brought about by the foolishness of this government. There is no doubt at all that our young people are leaving Canada in large numbers. There must be some reason for it, and there must be some remedy for it. Why not apply the remedy and stop the exodus from Canada of some of our best and brightest minds? Recently when crossing the border I got into conversation with a gentleman on the train. He asked me where I came from, and I replied, from Canada. During the journey I noticed some big factory buildings and asked him what industries they housed. He said they were pulp and paper mills. I asked, "Where do you get your pulpwood?" He replied, "From you foolish Canadians." "What do you mean?" I said. He replied, "Exactly what I said. If we could not get this pulpwood from Canada we could not manufacture it here." "What would that mean?" I inquired. He replied, "We would have to go to Canada." Now the question I ask is: Why not bring them to Canada? I would simply give notice to every pulp and paper manufacturer in the United States who gets his supply of pulpwood from Canada that one year from to-day the exportation of this pulpwood will not be permitted, and that they must be prepared to manufacture it in this country. These industries would thus be compelled to establish themselves in Canada and our boys and girls employed in those mills would return with them.

I wish now to make a few remarks on the Australian treaty as it affects our farmers. I cannot understand the attitude of the Minister if Agriculture and the government in this matter. I recall how the former member for South Oxford, Mr. Sutherland, pleaded with the government not to ratify this treaty. He warned them what would happen if they did so. What he predicted would come to pass iX that treaty were ratified has happened. I am absolutely opposed to the enactment of any law which injures the dairymen or the woollen industry of this country, whether introduced by a Liberal or by a Conservative government. I well recollect when every farmer in my own constituency kept from ten to twenty-five sheep. But they are not keeping them now. What is the cause of that? The government must be aware of this falling off. There must be a. remedy for it, and it is up to the government to provide that remedy. The facts given to the house the other day by the hon. member for Victoria B.C. (Mr. Tolmie) should convince the government that something should be done, and done at once


The Budget-Mr. Sinclair (Wellington)

to save the sheep industry and the woollen industry. After reading the speech of the hon. member for Victoria, I was rather surprised to get in nay mail a circular from the Civil Service Association which contained the following notice:

Civil Service of Canada Position Vacant

Applications are invited from residents of the province of Ontario qualified for the position of

District Sheep Promoter-$2,040 per Annum.

The circular does not say whether the district sheep promoter is to have a Mc-Laughlin-Buick or a Ford car. I expect that he will have one. The minister will surely give him a Ford car, although he himself drives a McLaughlin-Buick. Just think of the government employing a man at this salary when the responsibility for the condition of that industry lies in the government itself! They spoil the woollen business and then they try to get some person to jack it up. It is a sad thing that only one-third of the woollen and worsted goods used in Canada is supplied by Canadian mills, and that the remaining two-thirds are imported. We could and we should grow enough wool in this country to supply all our needs.

I wish now to say something about the dairy industry. In order to show the condition of that industry in my own riding I am going to read to the house extracts from communications from the creamery men of North Wellington, showing what effects the Australian treaty has had on the dairy industry there. I will also place on record the importations from Australia and New Zealand under the treaty. I think we all agree that up to the time the Australian treaty came into effect the dairy industry was one of the finest industries in this Dominion, and thanks are due to the Dominion and the provincial governments in the past for the assistance they have always given this industry. Unfortunately the present government entered into this treaty with Australia. I am sorry the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Motherwell) is so little interested in the dairy industry that he is busily engaged in talking with hon. members around him. I suppose he was very busy talking when this treaty was made, and that is why he allowed it to go through.

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April 26, 1926


May I ask my hon. friend a question? What established the tin plate industry in the United States, a country with none of the natural product?

Topic:   EDITION
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