May 19, 1913

CON

John Hampden Burnham

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BURNHAM:

You will vote with

me; you funked the whole job because it emanated from your party when they were in power. That's what's the matter with you. So far as I am concerned, this is exactly like the steel bounty; I regard this thing as immoral and nothing else.

I do not see how we can possibly bring the principles of honesty and fair dealing to apply to a thing like this.

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Subtopic:   BOUNTIES ON LEAD.
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CON

Robert Francis Green

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GREEN:

Some gentlemen have become quite excited over this harmless proposition of ours. I would like to say to the hon. member for Red Deer, whether he likes it or not, or whether his arguments against protection are right or mine in favour of protection are wrong, the fact remains that we have protection in this country of ours. Therefore, if you are protecting a certain portion of the people of Canada who are producing the wealth of Canada, why should you limit your protection to those particular people and shut out others? I quite grant the hon. member for Red Deer that this is protection; protection of the lead industry. I cannot agree with the argument, the hon. member for Carleton (Mr. Car-veil) attempted to put forward in making comparisons of this industry with the fishing or any other industry of that nature. When you talk of these industries and these other things which are produced either from the earth or from the sea, you have to recollect that these things are in their finished state and ready for the markets of the world when produced. But, the silver lead industry is different, for when you have mined the lead you have to put it through a very expensive process'-a process that no ordinary individual or ordinary company can carry on-to manufacture it into a state which will enable you to put it upon the market. When the lead is mined you have to have recourse to another class of industry to reduce the product of your mine into its component parts so that it can be marketed. Before silver-lead was produced in the province of British Columbia, we had nothing in the way of a smelting industry in Canada. We were shut out of the smelters in the United States and so we had to build smelters of our own to reduce our products. We were debarred from the markets of the United States for our silver-lead products, because the duties were so high that we could not mine and pay the smelting charges and then sell our products Mr. BURNHAM.

at a profit. We therefore had to build up a smelting industry. There were at one time five or six lead smelters in operation in British Columbia and to-day, if my memory is correct, we have but two in active operation. One of them is an institution that the Dominion of Canada may be well proud of; it not only is making money for _ its shareholders, but it is enabling the mine-owners to get the products of their mines to market at a reasonable cost.

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Subtopic:   BOUNTIES ON LEAD.
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LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER:

Where is the market to-day?

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Subtopic:   BOUNTIES ON LEAD.
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CON

Robert Francis Green

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GREEN:

The market to day is our

own Canadian market and the market in the Orient. In the Orient we must compete with Mexico and Spain and other mining countries where they mine much cheaper than we do. The smelter at Trail *employs a very large number of men and it is to-day doing good work for the province of British Columbia and the Dominion of Canada. The mine-owners should be assisted by these bounties to a very large extent, and until we have a wider market, or until we are in a position to enter the markets of the United States, and are able to meet the competition of their protected lead on an equal basis, this lead bounty should be carried on.

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Subtopic:   BOUNTIES ON LEAD.
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LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER:

The late Government was responsible for the introduction of this legislation, which I assume is not on all fours with the doctrine of free trade. I am a free trader myself, like my hon. friends from Red Deer and Carleton, but I have always acknowledged that doctrines have to be applied according to the conditions under which they are to be worked out. In this matter we found in 1903 that -the smelting industry had been started in British Columbia in connection with lead mining; we found also that on account of the geographical position these lead operations, if they were left unassisted, could have no other market than the United States. At that time the tariff of the United States was distinctly inimical to Canadian trade; and we were faced with the condition that this lead industry must die, notwithstanding all the money that had been invested in it, unless some assistance were given it. We gave it this assistance in order to enable it to get a market, the market of the Orient. We had to meet a hostile tariff which prevented the export of ores to the United States, although that market was at our doors, and we decided to give it this assistance. I noticed an expression which was used by the hon. member for Kootenay (Mr. Green) two or three times -that the industry was penalized by the American tariff. That is very true, but that may be a lesson to the Minister of

Finance. He was against reciprocity. I feel some pride, some justification, for our policy. Let us have reciprocity, and there would be no necessity for this bounty at all.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   BOUNTIES ON LEAD.
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CON

Robert Francis Green

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GREEN:

Was lead in the schedule of the reciprocity compact?

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Subtopic:   BOUNTIES ON LEAD.
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LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER:

I do not know, as a matter of fact, whether it was or not. Perhaps it was not; perhaps in that respect the reciprocity compact was deficient, and that is the reason hon. gentlemen on the other side opposed it. Perhaps it was not large enough. There is a lesson for my hon. friend-he can make it larger. I think this only justifies our policy. Let us have a natural condition of things between this country and the United States, and there is no necessity for this bounty; and if my hon. friend is wise-I would not venture to give him any advice, but he has received a good suggestion from the hon. member for Kootenay, who wants a commission to look into the matter. Let us have the commission, and the first thing we shall do will be to try to have reciprocity with the United States.

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Subtopic:   BOUNTIES ON LEAD.
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CON

William Thomas White (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. WHITE:

We must not lose our sense of proportion or perspective on the matter now before the committee. The Government of my right hon. friend, for reasons that have been fully explained, decided to grant a bounty not exceeding $2,500,000 to be availed of during five years. They afterwards extended that for an additional five years because the amount had not been fully availed of, in fact only $600,000 had been expended. There now remains only $600,000 of the amount voted and, having regard to the conditions explained by the hon. member for Kootenay, it was thought by the Government advisable that the benefit should be extended, that is to say the $600,000 which has not been expended should be expended if required over a period of five years. I think there is no doubt that beneficial results have flowed from the granting of the bounty in the first instance. My right hon. friend has stated that he is a free trader. I shall not say that age cannot wither because my right hon. friend is not old, he is as young as most of us.

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Subtopic:   BOUNTIES ON LEAD.
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LIB
CON

William Thomas White (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. WHITE:

But I will say that custom cannot stale his infinite variety. He was a free trader in his utterances but in his tariff he was not a free trader, and I do not know whether my predecessor, Mr. Fielding, pointed out to him that the tariff was not a free trade tariff. Possibly my hon. friend might not have studied the tariff and so was under (he delusion that it was a free trade tariff.

321 i

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   BOUNTIES ON LEAD.
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LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER:

I knew very well what it was.

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CON

William Thomas White (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. WHITE:

If so possibly my predecessor thought that where ignorance was bliss 'twas folly to be wise and did not disillusionize my right hon. friend. My right hon. friend is sometimes a free trader and sometimes not, in some of his utterances he is very much a protectionist. However, it is not necessary to go into that now. The hon. member for Carleton (Mr. Carvell) has some doubt whether praise or Dlame should be .accorded to my right hon. friend for this legislation. Personally I submit that he should be praised and if there is any blame we had better share it up because we are extending it for five years. As we say, it is not a matter of extreme consequence except as to the principle involved; but I would paint out to the hon. member for Red Deer (Mr. Clark), who is a free trader and discusses these matters in the House from the standpoint of economic principle as he understands it, an influence which is to a certain extent the key of the economic policy which has been in vogue in this countrv for the last thirty years, that is the hostile tariff to the south. There is no doubt about it that in British Columbia, in Nova Scotia, in Ontario, we have been shut out, our manufacturers are shut out from the American markets. The political confederation of this country would not be possible without the commercial federation.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   BOUNTIES ON LEAD.
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LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER:

Do you approve of that hostile tariff of the United States?

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Subtopic:   BOUNTIES ON LEAD.
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CON

William Thomas White (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. WHITE:

The tariff policy of the

United States is for the United States to decide upon. I do not wish to express any opinion as to that but I do say that our manufacturers, our producers, all have been prejudiced by a prohibitive tariff.

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Subtopic:   BOUNTIES ON LEAD.
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LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER:

Hear, hear,

there is no doubt about that.

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Subtopic:   BOUNTIES ON LEAD.
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CON

William Thomas White (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. WHITE:

The tariff of the United

States on dutiable articles is over 40 per cent. Ours is a little over 25 per cent and the result is that we have had to build up an interprovincial trade in Canada. Political confederation would be absolutely impossible without commercial intercourse , of the freest character between the different provinces. I would submit to the hon. member for Red Deer that you cannot establish national industries without the expenditure of large capital. That capital has to be sought, for the most part, abroad, and there is this difference between the case of. a farmer, of a small producer and the case of a large industry, that your small producer is in a position to proceed with

such capital as is available to him in the production of the commodities that he intends to sell. The large amount of capital being required, as I have said, for the establishment of any industry and especially of such an industry as mining where in the first place, a great deal of money is required for the opening of the mine which is not productive at all in the meantime, and in the second place as the hon. member for Kootenay (Mr. Green) has pointed out, the establishment of smelters at great expense, you will not be able to get capitalists to establish those great industries unless they receive some assurance from the Government, either by way of protection or bounties, that .there will be at least a reasonable certainty of their making a profit. My right hon. friend gave extensive bounties at Sydney and 1 do not believe, and in this I am speaking with knowledge, that that industry could have been established without the granting of these bounties. I do not believe capital would have been attracted to the amount required in that industry if those bounties had not been given. They were of very material assistance. Large industries, are of benefit not only to the proprietors but to the community as a whole, the industrial population and the farmer. I do not believe that, having regard to the tariff that exists to the south of us which is under the control of United States, we can hope to establish and maintain in Canada large industries unless there is, some 'degree of protection, I say also to the hon. member for Red Deer that there is a phase of modern business which I believe was not- known to political economists some years ago. That is that . large and highly specialized organizations in industry will deliberately slaughter, to use the common expression, a foreign market; they will hold their own market at a price that will be remunerative to them and slaughter a foreign market. They will actually endeavour to drive new enterprises and business out of existence, they will seek to compel them to close down, will undersell them to such an extent that they cannot in that country conduct a business with a profit, with the ultimate intention of taking possession of that market themselves and raising prices. Now, we are confronted, to a certain extent, with that condition of affairs in Canada, and that it is a feature of modern economy that was not known some years ago but it is now a great factor, I believe that we must have in this country a reasonable degree of protection to our industries to save them from that hostile process on the part of highly specialized and powerful organizations existing to the south of Mr. WHITE (Leeds).

us or elsewhere. I will not enlarge now upon the question of different standards of living of industrial populations, that is a matter it is not necessary to go into now. All I have to say is that I think the bounty in the case of the steel industry in -Nova Scotia made profitable the establishment of that industry, and materially helped them after they were established. It inured not only to the benefit of the share-'holders but to the benefit of the whole province of Nova Scotia and the Maritime provinces, and, to a certain degree, to the benefit of all Canada. That bounty was introduced by my right hon. friend. The extension of this bounty to the lead industry of British Columbia, in the same way, has made for the ouilding up of a great industry there, and that building up, while it has inured to the advantage of the proprietors of the mines, while it has brought about the opening of the mines and the building of the smelters referred to by my hon. friend from Kootenay (Mr. Green), has also had a beneficial effect upon the whole province of British Columbia. And I think that if that lead industry continues to develop and keep up the rate of progress it has maintained during the last six or eight years, the province of which my hon. friend from Red Deer is a distinguished resident and representative, will also benefit, because anything that will establish a great industry in British Columbia, that will mean the employment of hundreds and possibly of thousands of men, will naturally be of advantage to the province of Alberta and to the province of Saskatchewan as well. Now, this discussion is more or less academic because what we are proposing here is not to establish a new bounty but to continue the amount of bounty available under existing legislation. I think it has been clearly shown that the result of granting this bounty was beneficial ; so far as that is concerned, I am willing to agree with my right hon. friend and to give him any meed of praise that he may deserve in connection with this matter. As to the extension, I am inclined to think that he would agree that, under the present circumstances, it is advisable, especially as we are only devoting to this object the residue of the fund which was specially allocated to the purpose of building up that industry.

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Subtopic:   BOUNTIES ON LEAD.
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LIB

William Erskine Knowles

Liberal

Mr. KNOWLES:

I desire to ask a question of the minister, and to ask it in no controversial spirit. Would he say in what way the establishment of an industry of such a kind in British Columbia would benefit the province of Saskatchewan, beyond the natural pride that we would have in seeing our fellow Canadians prosper? What monetary advantage would it be to the province of Saskatchewan?

10]-;

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CON

William Thomas White (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. WHITE:

If the province of British Columbia became the seat of mining or other great industries employing thousands of men, of course the demand for agricultural products would be that much greater, in other words, there would be a greater consuming population.

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Subtopic:   BOUNTIES ON LEAD.
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LIB
CON

William Thomas White (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. WHITE:

If there were a greater

consuming population, why should not they purchase from Alberta and Saskatchewan?

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Subtopic:   BOUNTIES ON LEAD.
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May 19, 1913