February 16, 1910

LIB

William Stevens Fielding (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. FIELDING.

There is no information to be brought down in addition to what has been placed before the House. Negotiations have taken place, almost entirely in the form of personal interviews between the representatives of the German government and the Minister of Finance. What little correspondence there is, is unimportant, but is necessarily of a confidential nature. There is, therefore, nothing more to be brought down. My hon. friend asks whether the articles mentioned are all the articles we might be * able to send into Germany. That is a matter of opinion on which every hon. gentleman must form his own judgment. We think the list covers the things of most importance and which would be most valued by Canadian shippers. Whether or not every article on that list is of greater or less value than some other article would, I fancy, be a matter of some difference of opinion. At all events, we think the list . comprises the things that are of most importance. The last question of my hon. friend whether we permit all German goods to come in under our general tariff while they only permit a limited list to enter Germany. That is correct, but it is worth remembering that we do not give to Germany favoured-nation treatment. We are not giying to Germany, under this arrangement, all that we were willing to give Germany at a previous stage of the discussion, we are refusing Germany the advantages of the French treaty. That is a matter that is left for further negotiations if it is found in the interests of Canada to have further negotiations. The arrangement is that we give up the surtax only; Germany in return for that gives us the benefit of her lowest tariff upon a specified list of articles which, in the judgment of the government, are the most important articles to the Canadian shipper.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   THE GERMAN SURTAX.
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LIB

Frank Oliver (Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. OLIVER.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   THE GERMAN SURTAX.
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CON

Joseph Elijah Armstrong

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. ARMSTRONG.

Has the minister taken into consideration the fact that there are manufacturing interests in this country that have been built up under the surtax and" that require perhaps some different treatment than this?

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   THE GERMAN SURTAX.
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LIB

William Stevens Fielding (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. FIELDING.

I do not think my hon friend is quite correct in saying that any manufacturing interests have been built up in Canada relying on the surtax. The surtax was a war measure. Germany demanded that she should receive the same consideration in the markets of Canada as we gave to the products of Great Britain. That was the bone of contention. So long as Germany adhered to that view, we could make no arrangement with her. When Germany abandoned that contention, we felt we were free to negotiate with Germany. I am quite sure that any manufacturer in Canada who has given any attention to the question must have been aware that this surtax was, if I may so describe it, a commercial war measure, and that just so soon as Germany receded from what we regarded as her unjustifiable position of a few years ago, we should be free to remove the surtax, retaining as we now do the general tariff which was the basis on which, I think, all manufacturing establishments have been created in recent years.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   THE GERMAN SURTAX.
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CON

Francis Ramsey Lalor

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LALOR.

Has the minister considered, or will he consider, the question of the removal of the duties upon raw material that is used by manufacturers, who will be affected very materially by the removal of the German surtax? i speak from knowledge and experience, especially in connection with the knitting business, one of the industries that will be affected to a very great extent by the removal of this duty. It does not seem fair to these manufacturers that their raw materials should be taxed so heavily when they are brought in direct competition now under the regular tariff, with German goods.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   THE GERMAN SURTAX.
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LIB

William Stevens Fielding (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. FIELDING.

What does my hon. friend mean by raw material, as applied to this industry? It is rather difficult to give a general answer.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   THE GERMAN SURTAX.
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CON
LIB

William Stevens Fielding (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. FIELDING.

That would be a question with regard to the general tariff policy of the country, and I would hardly be able to answer that off-hand. I do not quite see that it has any particular relation to the surtax, because the surtax was not adopted as a revenue measure, nor in a sense was it even a protective measure; it was something over and above the revenue and protective elements in the Canadian tariff. It was imposed to meet a hostile position of affairs on the part of Germany, and when Germany abandoned its hostile attitude we felt free to remove the surtax. My hon friend's question would have relation to the general question of the duty on raw materials, and I would not be free to answer that off-hand.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   THE GERMAN SURTAX.
Permalink
CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

Would the Minister of Finance tell us the precise difference, if there be any difference, between the treatment accorded by Germany to Canada under this new arrangement, and the treatment accorded by Germany to the rest of the empire in respect to tariff matters?

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   THE GERMAN SURTAX.
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LIB

William Stevens Fielding (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. FIELDING.

I understand that Great Britain receives the full conventional tariff, and in return for that Great Britain necessarily guarantees to Germany the most favoured terms that are granted to any foreign country. We have declined to grant to Germany, for good reasons we think, the most favoured terms that are granted to any foreign country, and so we have made only a partial arrangement. We receive the German conventional tariff on a specified list of articles in return for the abolition of the surtax. Great Britain would receive the full conventional tariff without any limitation.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   THE GERMAN SURTAX.
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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

I am speaking of the empire as a whole. Does the hon. gentleman mean by the term ' Great Britain ' to include all the rest of the empire, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, &c.? It is most particularly in regard to them that I was asking.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   THE GERMAN SURTAX.
Permalink
LIB

William Stevens Fielding (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. FIELDING.

All the self-governing colonies, of course, in all recent negotiations, are treated independently of the United Kingdom. I will look into the matter from the point of view of Australia and New Zealand.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   THE GERMAN SURTAX.
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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

While it is only a matter of recollection, I understood that after the German treaty was denounced, another treaty was entered into between Germany and Great Britain, the terms of which included all the dominions of the empire except Canada. I would like to know whether or not the German conventional treaty, so called, applies in full force not only to

Great Britain alone, but to the rest of the empire under any such arrangement.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   THE GERMAN SURTAX.
Permalink
LIB

William Stevens Fielding (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. FIELDING.

I will look more closely into that, but the essence of the arrangement in any case would be that if any portion of the empire receives the full conventional German tariff it must guarantee to Germany most favoured nation treatment, and as we are not prenared to guarantee that to Germany to-day we would not be in the same position to demand the full conventional tariff. However, it is a matter of reasoning. I will endeavour to ascertain the facts.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   THE GERMAN SURTAX.
Permalink
CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

It is not altogether a matter of reasoning, but it would rather depend on the terms of the treaty.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   THE GERMAN SURTAX.
Permalink
LIB

William Stevens Fielding (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. FIELDING.

I have no difficulty in knowing that the German conventional tariff will be given in its fullness only to portions of the empire which are willing to give most favoured nation treatment to Germany. That is one of the first principles of international negotiation, and I think my judgment of it is right, but I will look into the facts as suggested by the hon. gentleman.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   THE GERMAN SURTAX.
Permalink

INQUIRIES FOR RETURNS.

CON

Haughton Lennox

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LENNOX.

I wish to call the attention of the Minister of Railways (Mr. Graham) to a return ordered by the House with reference to Transcontinental railway matters on the 24th January, last. I have reason to believe, from certain things that have transpired since, that the return has been ready for some time although it has not been laid on the table.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   INQUIRIES FOR RETURNS.
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CON

William D. Staples

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STAPLES.

I wish to call the attention of the Postmaster General (Mr. Le-mieux) to an order that passed this House regarding papers dealing with the establishment of a post office at St. Charles in the constituency of Macdonald, and I would like to ask when we may expect these papers to be brought down.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   INQUIRIES FOR RETURNS.
Permalink
LIB

Rodolphe Lemieux (Postmaster General)

Liberal

Mr. LEMIEUX.

I will see that they are brought down as soon as possible.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   INQUIRIES FOR RETURNS.
Permalink

February 16, 1910