Frank Broadstreet Carvell
You could not.
You could not.
We could not? I admit that we could not take those aeroplane flights in expenditure that hon. gentlemen opposite were capable of. I do not believe that we could inaugurate an enterprise estimating it would cost $60,000,000 and find it would run into $200,000,000, but in our humble way we do fairly well sorhetimes. And in the fiscal year 1913 we reduced the national debt of this country, the net debt, by $25,000,000. In doing that we followed a good example. My hon. friend from Carleton is a Biblical student, and he lemembers the story of Joseph. Joseph was Pharoah s Chancellor of the Exchequer, and in the good years he saved up corn, and in the lean years there was corn in Egypt. Last year we saved $25,000,000, and this year we had it available in the year of stringency. We were following Biblical precedent. I do not know of anything quite like it since the days of Joseph.
I supposed there has been some improvement in the last four thousand years.
To come down to the question at issue, after all this digression, there are two ways that have been usually availed of to give encouragement to industries. Both have been touched upon to-night. One is by way of bounty and one by way of tariff duty. It has been suggested by at least one hon. gentleman that the rate of duty upon pig iron should be raised so as to keep out foreign pig iron altogether. I know that that view obtains in many quarters, but I would suggest to the hon. gentleman that, on the whole, it is better that products which are raw materials to such a variety of industries as is pig iron, should bear only a reasonable rate of duty. The duty upon pig iron to day is $2.50. I am not saying whether that rate is reasonable or not, whether it is too high or too low, I am simply stating the fact that the duty on pig iron to-day is $2.50 a ton
I desire to give the House a few figures showing the bearing that this question of an increase of duty upon pig iron has upon a large list of manufactures, because pig 97 i
iron is basic to so many industries. An increase of the duty upon pig iron would in the first place involve a consideration of the question of an increase in the duty on agricultural implements; about $20,000,000 worth of agricultural implements are produced in Canada every year. It would also affect automobile production, $7,000,000; cars and car shops, $16,000,000; electrical apparatus, $15,000,000; and foundries and machine shops, $45,000,000 production. 1 have had an opportunity during the last two years of discussing this question with men engaged in many different industries, and while it has repeatedly been brought to my attention that the duty on pig iron is low, on the other hand, many men have regarded the duty on pig iron as high. However, I am not dealing with the question of the duty upon pig iron now. That is a matter for the Budget. I simply bring this forward to show the wide lange of products that would be affected by an increase in the duty on pig iron. The addition of a dollar a ton in the duty on pig iron would increase the cost to the manufacturers about 7 per cent. About a million tons of pig iron are used in Canada every year. The amount used in steel furnaces-I am speaking of the year 1912-is about 700,000 tons. Importations into Canada amount to 272,000 tons, and imported iron ore, which is the subject under discussion, about 2,000,000 tons. So much for duties.
I am aware that a great difference of opinion exist3 on the question of bounties. I should not be surprised if that difference existed on both sides of the House. Bounties are not by any means unknown in Canada. They have been granted by both political parties. I think the hon. member for Thunder Bay stated that Sir Leonard Tilley brought forward a measure in 1883 granting a bounty on pig iron manufactured from Canadian ore. The bounty was $1.50 a ton, falling to a dollar a ton after three years. The bounty was continued practically until the nineties, when it was raised, I think, to $2 a ton. Upon the accession to power of the late Liberal Government a bounty of $3 a ton was granted on pig iron manufactured from Canadian ore, and I think $2 a ton was granted on pig iron manufactured from foreign ore, which would of course include the ore from Wabana, Newfoundland. My hon. friend from Red Deer, who is capable of taking a very broad view of anything that he gives his attention to, was down in Cape Breton in
company, strangely enough, with my hon. friend from Pictou (Mr. Macdonald). Here was my good friend the free trader whose hero is Cobden, the apostle of Adam Smith, in company with my hon. friend from Pictou, who sometimes at least is a protectionist. I could not help thinking what an ill-assorted union it was, but they seemed to get along peacably down there. What view the people of Nova Scotia held with respect to their joint views on the tariff I leave to the imagination of the House. My hon. friend says that he was courteously received at the plant at Sydney, and these were the reflections which the works compelled in his mind. He said that the bounty having been cut off, the managers turned their attention to the manufacture of wire nails. My hon. friend was arguing against the principle of bounties as I understood him, and the inference seemed to he that that plant would not be manufacturing wire nails if a bounty were given to-day. He asked how a bounty could help them get orders. I think my hon. friend's imagination failed him at Sydney, because if it had not been for the bounties, not only would they not be manufacturing wire nail^ to-day but I doubt very much if the plant would have been in existence. That is the point I wish to draw to the attention of my hon. friend from Red Deer. Does he think that this enterprise on which there has been expended something like $20,000,000 would ever have been established and got under way unless bounties had been given? I am not arguing in favour of bounties in connection with established industries. I am simply putting forward this view for the consideration of the House. In large enterprises where the result is not certain, inducements of an exceptional character have usually to be offered. Capitalists are timid before entering on an enterprise requiring the investment of many millions of dollars, and involving the problem, say, of refractory ores, the difficulties of financing, and the vicissitudes of money markets, and exceptional inducements have to be offered. So far as I am concerned I would not lay it down that bounties are always wrong by any means, nor would I lay it down that bounties are always right. It is a question of the problem before you, and your action should be determined by whatever may be judged to be proper and right under the circumstances. My right hon. friend (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) although a free trader and a follower of Adam Smith-I am not sure that he does not stand as high in the ranks of free .
traders as my hon. friend from Ded Deer- did not hesitate to give bounties at Sydney. That is no blot on his free trade escutcheon, but I may say 1 have difficulty in reconciling my right hon. friend's free trade professions with his protectionist practices. It is not given to many men to undergo so many changes in their fiscal views as my right hon. friend has experienced, and still retains his poise when the matter of tariffs is under discussion. However, my right hon. friend has been able to do it. Let me say also to my hon. friend from Red Deer that when he was down in Cape Breton he saw the thousands of workmen there in connection with that enterprise. If he had looked further he would have seen that the farming industry had prospered very much as the result of the establishment of the steel industry there, \yhen I was down there some years ago I noticed that the farmers in Cape Breton and all through Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island were a very prosperous community indeed. They, have all been benefited by the establishment of the steel plant at Sydney. Therefore, I think we cannot absolutely condemn bounties on principle when considering all the facts of the situation.
Speaking to the question brought forward by my hon. friend from Thunder Bay and Rainy River (Mr. Carrick), there is no doubt that the strength of Canada is in her natural resources and among those natural resources one of the most important is her mineral wealth. I have been very much pleased to see the progress which Canada has made in mineral production during the last ten years. I think that the mineral production now is about $140,000,000 and that it is more than twice what it was in 1900 and 50 per cent more than it was in 1909. Of course that mineral production is very largely in silver, nickel, gold. But up to date there has not been very much development, in fact, there has been very little development, of the iron ores of Canada. I have often wmndered why this is because one would have judged, having regard to the area of Canada and the variety of its geological formation, that iron would be found in varying qualities and in large ore bodies. I still believe that it will be found because I think that all Governments have been slack in the matter of prosecuting our geological investigations. The fact is that as far as Canadian iron ore is concerned the results have been disappointing.
I have spoken of the bounties that have
been given for the last thirty years, from 1883 up to 1911, for the encouragement of the development of Canadian iron and ore. Yet, the result is that this last year the total production of Canadian iron ore is only 300,000 tons valued at about $600,000. A little while before my hon. friend from Thunder Bay and Bainy Biver brought this to my attention I had looked into the matter and I was told by a steel manufacturer with whom I discussed it that the trouble was precisely what has been touched on by my hon. friends from Thunder Bay and Parry Sound, that the Canadian iron ores are refractory and that it costs more to smelt and manufacture them than it does ores which are brought in from abroad. The iron producers and steel manufacturers of Canada would rather buy Canadian ores provided they served their purpose equally well but by reason of their being refractory, by reason of the additional cost of their treatment, which has been stated by one hon. member at from 65 cents to $1.50 and by another hon. gentleman at from 65 cents to 80 cents, these ores have not been used to any great extent. I am sorry that I was called out of the House during a part of the speech of my hon. friend from Thunder Bay and Bainy Biver. I do not know whether he gave the House any information as to whether or not better processes have been invented for the treatment of these ores because it would seem to me that before this question could be properly considered and I intend to take up this matter and give it my most careful consideration, this point should be thoroughly inquired into.
There are two new processes, the one with a Wedge roasting furnace and the other the Greenwold furnace, which have demonstrated conclusively that low grade magnetite ore can be used.
That is very important to me, for this reason, that if there was no promise that by improved processes Canadian ore could in time be produced as cheaply as the ores which are now imported, the giving of a bounty would not be a temporary matter if the industry was to continue to thrive, because unless the ore could be treated as cheaply, or almost as cheaply, as foreign ore, the same necessity would exist for the bounty at the end of the neriod for which it was granted in the first instance as exists at the present time. But my hon. friend states that new processes have been invented, and that we have the promise that, in so far as Canadian ores are concerned, they will make them available for the purpose of our manufactures. My hon. friend from Thunder Bay and Bainy Biver truly said that in 1896 or thereabouts we had been dependent upon the importation of iron ore. The iron and steel production of Canada has increased many fold; it is ten times what it was at the beginning of the century, and yet at the same time our Canadian ore production has remained almost stationary. At Sydney they use ore from Wabano. 1 remember that at the time the .steel company was established at Sydney, among the considerations that recommended the enterprise to capital was the fact that iron ore could be obtained at Wabano and delivered at Sydney at $1.25 or $1.50 a ton. They had there the limestone, the flux, and coal for coking purposes. There they had all the elements for the oper, ation of a successful steel plant. They have established a very large industry there. Any slackening of trade in connection with it, I hope, will be temporary.
My hon. friend from Carleton, N.B., has .said that they have been engaged in the production of steel rails. It is true, and it was until the end of last year, that the steel companies of Canada threw their energies almost entirely into the production of steel rails. That was their chief product, because it was the most profitable. The plant at the Soo had a merchant mill, capable of turning out comparatively small *steel products up to the 35 lb. per lineal yard mentioned in one of the items of the tariff, but they did not operate that mill *all the time. They devoted their .energies to the more productive part of the works and manufactured steel rails. But conditions in the steel industry are changing. It has been brought to our .attention, as indicated by the hon. member for Carleton, N.B., that the steel companies have to consider varying their production, and that they will not be able to depend entirely upon the output of steel rails. I have no doubt they will meet that situation, and we have under consideration all that h involved in connection with the tariff. I may say here that the steel industry has not by any means escaped attention; on the contrary, it has been given a great deal of attention. This is not a budget occasion, and I do not propose to discuss or consider the matter of the tariff with regard to it.
Now, I have said more than I had really intended to say. I will take under very
careful consideration, and the Government will be glad to give the best attention, to the facts brought before the House by the bon. member for Thunder Bay and Rainy River. It goes without saying that it is desirable, so far as may be feasible, to develop the native industries of Canada. Whether the situation brought to our attention may be met by tariff or other changes, I do not at this moment say, because the facts which my hon. friend lias brought before the , House he had not previously brought to my attention, but they will have our best consideration.
My hon. friend from East Simcoe (Mr. W. H. Bennett) and my hon. friend from Welland (Mr. German) have also brought to my attention certain matters which I may say have been before me for a considerable time, and have had and are still receiving consideration. Further than that I- think it is unnecessary for me to say.
Mr. E. M. MACDONALD (Pictou):
The discussion brought on by the address of my hon. friend from Thunder Bay and Rainy River (Mr. Carrick) naturally led to the whole discussion of the status of the iron and steel industry in Canada at the present time. I have listened with a good deal of attention to the remarks of my hon. friend the Minister of Finance, who has discussed everything under the sun except the question as to what the action of the Government was to be in reference to the steel industry. He has told us that for the past two and a half years the iron and steel industry has been absorbing his attention. With all deference to my hon. friend, he has given very little evidence to the country in the two and a half years that he has occupied the position of Minister of Finance that he has ever given the slightest attention to the iron and steel industry of this country, so far as performance on his part is concerned. In regard to the request of my hon. friend from Thunder Bay and Rainy River, I am bound to say that I do not think that he can congratulate himself that he has got any results from the assurances of my hon. friend the Minister of Finance. The steel industry in this country is to-day in the worst position that it has been in for thirty years. My hon. friend speaks about depression in other countries and depression in Canada and congratulates himself that Canada is passing, through this period of depression wonderfully well ' and better than other places. He cannot lay that flattering unction to his soul with any degree of satisfaction if he fancies that
by making that statement to the House he is carrying any message of hope or satisfaction to the artisans and wage-earners connected with the steel industry who are out of employment from one end of this country to the other.
My hon. friend the Minister of Finance during tire debate on the Address undertook to say that the statement of my leader in regard to the labouring men in this country being out of employment was inaccurate. Every one knows that the business people of this country during the past year have been saying: Oh, when the autumn comes, business will revive. When the autumn was approaching and there was no sign of business reviving, they said: After ttie end of the year, you will find things will be all right. The men, who were out of work and unable to secure adequate means of support for themselves and their families, hung on to the hope that after the end of the year they would get employment. When the festive season approached, it was said : Wait until the springtime comes. Now they are telling us that perhaps in the autumn there may be .some change in the situation, and Canada can look forward to prosperity returning. For two and a half years my hon. friend has been like a veritable fly on the wheel, absolutely incompetent to deal with the situation in this country, and absolutely refusing to do so. Of what use is it for him to say to the Canadian people that he has been considering this question for two and a half years? How long does it take this Government to propose or to accomplish anything?
My hon. friend indulged in some gibes at the expense of my right hon. leader about his position in regard to .the tariff. My hon. friend the Minister of Finance and myself walked side by side, behind the gentleman who now Jeads the Opposition in this country, every day and every month until he went out of power in September, 1911. Oh, these wonderful changes that are harrowing the soul of my hon. friend! He was strangely dumb in regard to the subject. Nobody ever heard any protest from the present Minister of Finance when during the fifteen years of prosperity in Canada under the right hon. gentleman who was then Premier, my hon. friend supported him every day. What has he been doing since? The same tariff which was in force in 1911 is in force to-day, absolutely untouched in the slightest particular, having the ratification in two Budget
speeches by the hon. gentleman who is now Minister of Finance. The tariff that the right hon. gentleman who now leads the Opposition brought forward in 1907, is still in force to-day, in spite of all these little pleasantries about the change of position, these gibes about Cobden metals and such remarks on the part of my hon. friend the Minister of Finance. When his followers complain to him about the iron industry in the Soo or at Port Arthur, my hon. friend assures them that the best consideration that he can give them to-night is that he has been thinking about them for two and a half years. The Prime Minister and the Minister of Finance came into office under the assurance private and public given to the different industries in this country that anomalies would be removed, and that the difficulties which it was alleged the Liberal party had failed to correct during the time that they were in power would all be fixed up. There was not to be any more trouble about the various industries. When they came into power, everything would be all right; but they have not stirred a hand or written a line of tariff from that time up to the present. Although to-day the soup kitchens are open in the cities of this country, although not only in the iron and steel industries but in all the other industries of this country from one end of the land to the other men are out of employment and looking for work, these gentlemen stand there with the tariff that the Liberal party put into force in 1911 and say: We are thinking about you. Previous to 1911, they talked great things. And, the Minister of Finance is in a curious position. He gave no assurance to anybody. He was not the man, previous to my hon. friend's coming into power, who said: Oh,
we will fix up the tariff. He gave no assurance. He is absolutely untrammelled in the slightest degree. It is perfectly legitimate for him to stand behind the tariff of Mr. Fielding, because that is what b.' always stood for. He never promised anybody anything, and of course he can say to Che different gentlemen interested in the iron industry: I am free on
tins question; 1 am thinking about you ana thinking very hard; whether I will do anything I cannot tell you; but in the meantime, do not say to me that I ever promised you anything because I never did. That is the exact situation. When I hear my hon. friend, as he has done twice during this session, allude to my leader's views in regard to a tariff policy, I think
that it is about time he stopped that kind of talk in this House. For a gentleman whose line of political faith has been so late in changing, I do not think it lies in his mouth to say anything to hon. gentlemen on this side as to what their policy may be. It does not help him at all with the men whom he has disappointed up to date when he takes that attitude. He is not a free trader, he says, and he is not a strong protectionist; he is an opportunist; he wants to do what is best for the country. That is a laudible ambition, a safe ground for him to take, considering his past record. The trouble with him is that he never does anything. He is standing pat. When he talks about my hon. friend from Red Deer being a free trader and coming down to Nova Scotia with me and discussing public questions there, I think he has been long enough with the Liberal party to know that there is no party leash that binds any man's conscience to any theory, -whether it is free trade or any other theory.
Everybody knows that my hon. friend from Red Deer has strong personal views in regard to this question, but everyoody knows also that both parties recognize that the way to raise revenue for this country is by means of a tariff. My hon. friend from Red Deer knows that.
There aie a good many things upon which my hon. friend and I agree, and one of them is that this Government during two years and a half of its existence has shown the greatest incompetence and inability to deal with the affairs of this country of any Government since Confederation. As to whether my hon. friend from Rainy River is going to get anything in the way of assistance for this iron industry, the Sphinx has spoken. And what has he said? Is there to be any bounty?-he told us he is not opposed to bounties in principle. But in the Rainy River district he tells us the ores are very refractory, very high in sulphur, and very low in iron and difficult to deal with, and this has to be thought of.
And if he grants it he will have to continue it.
But still, the hon. gentleman is liable to change. I do not pretend that his laws are like to those of the Medes and Persians in that respect. What I complain of about with my hon. friend is that he and his party came into power appearing to a large portion of the population as ready to remedy all the grievances they had. And no attempt is
made to remedy these grievances. This country is in the worst position, so far as trade is concerned, that it has been in for the last twenty-five or thirty years.
Some hon. MEMBRS: Oh, oh.
And saying it is not so does not prove that it is not so. Let the hon. minister go to any industrial city and he will find men out of work who have never been out of work before. The situation is one which it is up to him to deal with. These pleasantries of his across the floor may be very interesting in debate, but the people want to see whether this Government and its. Finance Minister stand by the tariff of the Hon. W. S. Fielding, or whether they have pluck enough to make a tariff of their own.
Mr. ONESIPHORE TURGEON (Gloucester) :
This debate has taken a turn which I had not expected, and the Minister of Finance made a statement which I cannot allow to pass unnoticed. Speaking of the quality of the Canadian ore he gave very little encouragement to our friends on the other side who are trying to gain the interest of the Government in the development of the Canadian iron mining. I am more interested, perhaps, than any other hon. member, especially from the province of New Brunswick, in this important question. I feel that the Minister of Finance is not giving correct information, at any rate so far as some parts of Canada are concerned, when be states that the Canadian ores are of inferior .quality to those of the United States, that manufacturers cannot expect to get the same result with our ores as with others, and that the steel industry will have to look to foreign ores. There is an iron mine in my country the value of which i3 not contested and whose ore is recognized by the steel manufacturers of Philadelphia as being of the finest quality for the manufacture of steel. The output of this mine was increasing year by year, but owing, perhaps, to lack of capital for the establishing of necessary furnaces, the owners of the mine, known as the Canada Iron Company, which has been mentioned here to-night, are not at the moment as successful as formerly. They tried to get the American market for their ore and, having the ore tested on the Philadelphia market, in the year 1910-11 they shipped 31,120 short tons. After that experience, they shipped to the same parties 71,520 tons, and in 1913, 86,416 tons. But although the Canadian Iron
Company is to-day perhaps, in financial trouble, that is not due to their industry in New Brunswick or to the quality of the Bathurst mines, but owing to the fact that they had under their control a large number of industries and have not been able to collect the assets which they should have in order to face the present stringency which, whether owing to the will of Providence or to the change of Government, has come upon us. I had expected that the Minister of Finance would give more encouragement to the mover of this resolution. I agree with my hon. friend from Red Deer (Mr. Clark) that the iron industry comes next to the farming industry in importance. I admit that a great mistake was made two and a half years ago by the people of Canada when they refused to accept the Reciprocity Treaty. And if there is one class of the citizens of Canada who more than any other went against their own best interests in that case, it was these very capitalists who are interested in iron-producing in this country. I had occasion to discuss this very question with the members of the Canada Iron Company. They were the sinners, notwithstanding all that I had done to show the people of the county of Gloucester that they ought to give every possible advantage to these people for the development of the mines which they had acquired, they opposed and opposed reciprocity, in 1911. The ex-Minister of the Interior was generous enough to send engineers down to that district to ascertain what could be done. Examinations were made, and the deposit was considered to be of commercial value. Owing to the activities of an engineer of the department, Mr. Lindeman, further deposits were found, and these mountains of iron ore stand there to-day awaiting development. This ore is being transported to the United States because of the position taken by those who opposed the proposition of the present leader of the Opposition and the Minister of Finance two years and a half ago. I am not actuated by any motives of revenge;. I believe in looking after to-day when yesterday is gone, but I would have expected that the Minister of Finance would express some definite encouragement in this matter. I do not say that we should give the iron producers the benefit of an increase in the tariff; they have had enough of that. I do not say that they should be given bounties, but some suggestion might have been made other than a vague promise of future consideration.
If suggestions are in order, I might offer one myself with regard to the development of the ore which, lies dormant in our country. It should not he exported to the United States at $3 or $4 a ton when, if reduced in Canada, the Canadian people would get $15 or $16 a ton for it. Although the province of Ontario dealt a severe blow to the people two years and a half ago, 1 would not object to the steel industries in this province receiving some assistance. A few years ago the province of Saskatchewan in its desire to assist the farmers of the country-, who wanted to form themselves into a company to build elevators, gave a loan ox advance of money to them. The loan was known as the Saskatchewan Co-op-eTative Elevator Company. We advanced money to builders of railroads, besides giving subsidies; in order to encourage smaller capitalists and to avoid the watering of stock, the Government might very properly offer some assistance in this direction. Possibly an advance of so large -an amount as that made by the government of Saskatchewan would not be necessary or wise, -but an amount proportionate t-o the value of the property might be advanced at a low Tate of interest for a long term of years. There would be less watering of stock, and the people of Canada would not lose a dollar. The industry would revive, and the ore would be converted into steel and iron. Although the people made a mistake two years ago, they will have occasion later to rectify that mistake. The steel industry is second only to the farming industry. Under present conditions of civilization the farming industry cannot prosper if it has not the advantage of railroad communication in every direction. It cannot prosper if it has not the advantage of adequate ocean transportation. The products of Canada are carried across the seas only in iron and steel vessels. As the farming industry develops, iron production should increase also. Possibly my suggestion may not appeal to the judgment of the Minister of Finance, but
11 p.m. I make it because I think we should not rely altogether upon the taxation of the people for the further development of the ore of this country.
Motion agreed to.
The House in Committee of Supply. Mr. Blondin in the Chair. Public Works Ottawa astronomical observatory, additional buildings, etc., $80,000.
Does this provide for a
new building? [DOT]
Yes, for the new geodetic building.
Is it under contract?
Who is the contractor?
The contractor is Mr. McGillivray of Ottawa, and construction has just commenced?