April 8, 1914

CON

William Foster Cockshutt

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. COCKSHUTT:

If my hon. lriend'3 contention is true, supposing he knocked off 20 per cent from his 50 to 60 per cent, he would still be getting 30 to 40 per cent more in Canada than in the United States. In other words, if you remove the amount of duty, you have a vast difference of 30 to 40 per cent, according to my hon. friend. Anybody can see at a glance that those figures cannot be correct, and that wholesale prices must have been taken as against, retail.

My hon. friend has made an accusation against the firm carrying my own name. Although I dislike to refer to a matter that is so personal, I feel that I cannot allow his statement to go unchallenged. According to ' Hansard ' of last night, he makes the following statement, referring to myself:

The hon. gentleman could sell a Cockshutt plough in the United States, years ago, and pay a 15 per cent duty-

You notice that he says we pay the duty.

-and 45 per cent duty on the repairs, and undersell, or compete to the extent of selling trainloads in the United States.

That sounds very fine. I wonder if my hon. friend thinks that is correct. The United States duties on agricultural implements during the last few months have been entirely removed. I have yet to learn of one plough having gone across the line, either our own or any other make. Just the other day I asked a leading implement

dealer, who knows more about such matters than I do, and he stated that, even with the removal of the duty, he does not think that an agricultural implement has gone from Canada into the United States. My hon. friend has rather tantalized me to give him a little bit of history with regard to a shipment of ploughs once to the United States. Let me tell him how his friends the Americans will treat him if he ever gets into their hands, because we know with regret that when we deal with Uncle Sam we have to go in with a coat of mail and with shining armour if we are to come out again with a whole skin. What happened to the train-load of Cockshutt ploughs to which my hon. friend referred? They were seized at the border, condemned for under-valuation, dragged through the courts and fined thousands of dollars, although those ploughs were entered at a higher price in the United States than American concerns were entering their ploughs at in the city of Winnipeg. My hon. friends want to place the farmers in the same position. What has happened with regard to potatoes? We send the potatoes across the border. As soon as we begin to get a market the Americans say that our potatoes are diseased, not fit to mix with American potatoes of high standard. They are condemned because they are diseased. Ship your cattle over the border and, as soon as you begin to get a market established, quarantine and the tuberculosis test will do the trick. My hon. friend would not be sending his wheat into the United States for more than a month or two before the Americans would find smut in it, or that it was not properly classified, and I will defy my hon. friend to go into the United States and get a clean deal on his wheat. The whole history of trade with the United States from start to finish is that, when it comes to carrying out their side of a commercial bargain, they do not do it aright. They have not learned the principle of British fair play and honesty. I am sorry to have to say that, but I can speak feelingly. If my hon. friend tries it with his wheat, he will fare the same as others have done with potatoes and agricultural implements and fish in cans. The fish go in free, but they catch you on the cans.

When my hon. friend the Minister of Finance said that he did not believe in interlocking legislation, he struck a true chord that will find a responsive ring

throughout the Dominion of Canada from every business man. These hon. gentlemen would hand us over, body and soul, to the United States; they would interlock our tariff with that of the United States; they would let Washington dictate the interpretation of the tariff, and we would be hunted in the United States and dragged from court to court for interpretations on this, that and the other thing. My hon. friend knows that that has been the history of trading with the American people from away back. Even when it comes to carrying out financial obligations, we find that they are very slow to do so. We hope to have a fair settlement in regard to the Panama canal tolls, but it is taking a great deal of backbone on the part of Mr. Woodrow Wilson, the President of the United States; and if he succeeds in that, he will put a plume into the American flag that has not been there for some years.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   THE BUDGET.
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LIB

John Gillanders Turriff

Liberal

Mr. TUBRIFF:

How does it happen, if the Americans treat the Canadians so badly in all commercial deals, that Canada does about sixty per cent of her whole trade with those same Americans?

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   THE BUDGET.
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CON

William Foster Cockshutt

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. COCKSHUTT:

I can tell my hon. friend that very easily. They are always very ready to sell to you, but they are never ready to buy from you. If my hon. friend knows anything about the returns, he knows that for every dollar we sell to the United States they sell from three to four dollars to us. It is an easy thing to buy; and my hon. friend and some of his friends opposite have the idea that the more you buy the better off you are; the more you buy abroad, the better the country is. I have heard several hon. gentlemen opposite preach that doctrine; they do not take any stock in the balance of trade. A man that buys more than he sells will soon go into bankruptcy; but my hon. friend would let us go on buying four or five times as much from the United States as we sell to them, and say: What a trade we have with the United States! My hon. friend knows that his best market is in Great Britain. The people of Great Britain can yet take his wheat; they are the only people in the world who are taking more from us than they are sending to us.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   THE BUDGET.
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LIB
CON

William Foster Cockshutt

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. COCKSHUTT:

I do not think we

have many cattle to send over there at this time. Out meat would probably bring a

very good price in Great Britain, but judging from the prices now prevailing in the home market, I think every one will agree that we should keep most of our cattle at home to feed our own people. The home market which our hon. friends opposite so often pooh-pooh is really the only good market in which to make money. If my hon. friends would remember that about 80 per cent, of the fann products of Canada are bought at high prices by the citizens of Canada and consumed in the home market, they would realize that the home market is well worth preserving. To those who think that the United States is such a fine market for implements, I may say that they can have that 90,000,000 market for ten cents, so far as I am concerned.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   THE BUDGET.
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?

An hon. MEMBER:

What about cheese?

Mr. OOCKSHUTT r If I remember correctly, from 80 to 90 per cent of our cheese product goes to Great Britain'-and they know good cheese when they see it. Canada is producing good cheese, and the result is that it goes over the water. If my hon. friend will think over this matter before he comes down next year I think he will come to the conclusion that the policy which he enunciated to-day is not the right one. The right hon. the leader of the Opposition has said: ' the policy that I give you at this moment is free implements and free food '-and you can change it the next moment if you do not like it. I would advise my hon, friend to change it the next moment, because he can get a better policy. A policy for the moment is no good, no matter what it embraces. We .want a policy that will remain for years; we want a policy in which capital will have faith-a policy in which capital will embark itself. If hon. gentlemenopposite are going to put down

an industry as soon as it commences to grow, - then they are going to ruin all confidence in Canada and in Canadian enterprise. The attitude taken by the hon. member for Assiniboia, the hon. member for Humboldt, and the hon. member for Moosejaw, is like the Irishman who was asked to help a policeman disperse a gang of lawbreakers. The Irishman said: What shall I do ? The policeman gave him a shillalah and these instructions: Wherever you see a head, whack it. That is what my hon. friend proposes to do; whenever he sees an industry thrusting its head above water, he says: Whack it; down with it. The hon. member for Moosejaw said

that if an industry were hanging on by the skin of its teeth-whatever that meant -lie would not mind letting it stay. Is that not a fine policy? My hon. friends let a few industries hang on by the skin of their teeth, but whenever they changed the National Policy, they did the wrong thing. Let me refer them to binder twine. They put it on the free list and killed almost every factory in Canada. I have a small extract here from a western paper, which the hon. member for Assiniboia would probably like to hear. It is entitled: ' Fighting the Trust in Binder Twine.' This refers not to the dark ages, when there was protection on binder twine, but to the present time, when binder twine is on the free list. This paper, which, as luck would have it, is from the constituency of the hon. member for Red Deer, says that the article is copied from the Grain Growers' Guide. I think the hon. member for Assiniboia will recognize the authority of that publication. The article says:

Dissatisfied with the high price of twine the Gra n Growers' Association for a year past has been investigating the cause, and as a result has come to the conclusion that the American binder twine manufacturers have created a corner in the raw materials, and established a monopoly.

Under free trade, established a monopoly-and the Grain Growers' Guide is the authority. That is certainly refreshing. The article goes onf

This, says The Guide, is a serious situation for the western farmer, who has to have the twine at any cost, as there is nothing to take its place.

'The secretary of the Grain Growers' Association,' so we are told, 'has had the problem under consideration for a long time, and last fall he took the matter up with some British* capitalists and manufacturers with the object in view of starting a British hinder twine industry in competition with the American trust. It was then that the investigation of the real conditions started, but the project had to be dropped, because it was demonstrated to the satisfaction of the investigators that the United States binder twine trust had such an absolute monopoly on the necessary raw material that effective competition was out of the question.'

The Guide adds: 'There is reason to hope, however, that the western farmer soon will be independent of the American binder twine trust. The investigation by the Grain Growers' Association and the British manufacturers resulted in an attempt now being made to introduce machinery using flax straw instead of the present material. If this experiment is successful it will mean the establishment of a new industry in the western Canadian provinces, a big saving for the farmer, and, besides, let him out of the twine trust's clutches.' So far so good! But while struggling to free the' farmer from one American combine, the Guide -advocates a fiscal policy which would enable

two or three score United States trusts to drive competing Canadian industries out of business and then advance the prices of many necessaries of life at their own will all over the Dominion.

Hon. gentlemen opposite put binder twine on the free list, and killed fifteen factories which mostly employed farmers' capital. There is about one factory left; the price of twine has been higher since those factories were killed than ever before, and, according to the Grain Growers' Guide, a monopoly exists. My panaoea would be to put on the duty again, and let the Ontario and other factories as far west as Brandon get back into business. Hon. gentlemen opposite killed binder twine; in the same way they killed barbed wire, and in the same way they propose now to take the industries piecemeal and kill them one by one. Wherever a head shows up, hit it; if a head is thrust above water, down with it. That is the policy of my hon. friends opposite. If a thing is doing any good, kill it; if it is going to die, let it. In 1878 there were thirty different makes of mowers and reapers made in the province of Ontario; to-day there are three. They have been brought down from thirty to three by the fierce competition at home, which has more than cut the price in two in that time. Yet my hon. friend is not satisfied. I understand that the hon. member for Humboldt (Mr. Neely) is a medical man; if his pills are as valuable and efficient as the implements of Canada, he is a good deal better physician than I took him for. It is easy to denounce a business that has had a success; it is easy to attack, but it is hard to build up. I would advise my hon. friend to bring down a policy of construction rather than of reduction or degradation, as he said, referring to a railway. Let him begin to build up and to mould a policy that is for the whole of Canada. Has he ever heard any of us in the East taking any exception whatever to the building of railways, to the construction of canals, elevators or similar works? No matter whether we thought the country was going too fast or not, the East has stood nobly by the West all the way through, and we intend to do so in the future; but we ask the West to remember us, that we are mortals, too, that we have our ups and downs. This is no time to begin to pull down; it is a time to plant and to build, not to pull down and destroy that which, by great thrift, the investment of capital and the employment of great 161

brains and skill has brought Canada to the proud position of being able in some items to cope with the world. But we cannot do that unless we stand together. We want a united policy for a united people; we want to hold together, the East and the West, the West and the East; one policy for all and the greatest good for the whole Dominion of Canada. If we will stand for that we may yet weather what I consider a condition of financial stress at the present time. I have not gone into the financial aspect of the Budget as I had hoped to, but I see that my time has almost passed. It is a time for caution. It is largely the legacy that hon. gentlemen opposite left that is responsible for the need of caution. It is like receiving a bequest on which the death duty is larger than the amount of the bequest. I refer to the railway legacy which our hon. friends opposite left. It was a tremendous legacy, enough to crush any smaller man than the present Minister of Finance. The Finance Minister seems to be able to bear a'most any kind of burden on his shoulders, but a smaller man would have gone down under the crushing weight our friends have left. For what? In order that we may bring down the products of the West to the East and the seaboard over our own railways.

Only the other day the right hon. leader cf the Opposition became eloquent in rehearsing a speech which he made in 1903 in which he said: May Heaven grant that we are not too late in building this great transcontinental railway up by Hudson bay so that our American cousins cannot get at it, far remote from the boundary, to carry our products over our own territory, every inch, to the eastern seaboard. And yet it was but a short time ago that hon. gentlemen opposite proposed a policy that would have been death to the railway interests of the Dominion of Canada, absolute death. Policy for the

moment, you say? Policy for the moment is not good enough; we want a policy that is going to live, a policy that is going to stay and a policy that is going to get the confidence of people so that they will invest their money in our

enterprises. You cannot build railways for to day and, before they are quite finished, say: It is good policy to divert all this

traffic to the south. What are these railways for? For what have these hundreds of millions of dollars we have squandered on these railways been spent if not to carry

the products of the western farmer down over our own routes to our own ports, St. John, Halifax, Quebec and Montreal? That is the policy we presumed hon. gentlemen were going to support; but in a moment of weakness they have gone away to other things and would divert this traffic and send it south of the line and leave these railways to trundle along with empty cars. How in the name of all that is practical could you hope that freight rates would be reduced on roads that cost an enormous amount and from which most of the traffic was afterwards to be diverted to foreign countries? The whole thing is too silly, it is not worthy of the serious attention of commercial men or men who want to build up the Dominion of Canada. I ask my hon. friends to think over a policy, now that Easter is coming. Easter is at hand, they will have time to spar for wind. Let me advise them to devise a policy. Do not get one that is just for the moment, but get one that you are going to stay by, not for this session only but for next session. Go to the people and if you can devise a policy that is better than ours we may adopt it; but let it be a policy for more than a moment, because a moment is not long enough to test a policy. My hon. friends opposite have had a good many trade policies in their time that have not lasted very long, and I suppose that, unless Heaven gives them more wisdom than they have had in the past, we are going to have a repetition of that course. But I do beseech of them as patriotic citizens-and we know they are that-to devise a policy in the Easter holidays and then to come down and tell the Finance Minister what they are going to do. If they will tell him that they have got something better than he has he, as a man of shrewdness and brains, will probably adopt it next time; but I doubt if they will be able to find any flaw in the programme laid down or show how it can be improved upon. I think the junior member for Halifax was well advised in not moving or putting on ' Hansard ' those two or three resolutions which he was supposed to have up his sleeve yesterday, but which never came down. I do not think they had been sufficiently thought over, and I hope that the Easter holidays, with the attendant religious services which it is to be hoped my hon. friends will attend, will put them in a better frame of mind to bring down a policy that will command the respect of the people of Canada.

There are several other questions which

I wished to discuss, but the time of adjournment has almost arrived. There is, however, one subject to which I must briefly refer. I regret the attitude of our own side in regard to a great question that it now seems probable will not be dealt with this session, that is the matter that engaged so much of our attention last year, a contribution for the British navy and the upkeep of the empire's defence. I regret that the Finance Minister and his colleagues have not been able to bring down in the Estimates at least one-third of the amount we had proposed last year to contribute. Hon. gentlemen opposite, I think, will admit that we should have acted last year, that it was an unfortunate thing that their Senate majority should have turned down a policy which commended itself, I believe, to the large majority of the people of Canada, a policy that the people of Canada favoured and would have been only too glad to have seen immediately put in force by both parties. 1 would like to see my right hon. friend the leader of the Opposition join us for once in a great empire contribution. That would be very much valued by Great Britain and all the other overseas dominions and it is something which is long past due. We could have afforded to send the money over last session when the Bill came up and that would have let Great Britain know that we were willing to take up at least a little of the white man's burden in that part of the empire. Unfortunately the Bill was killed in the Senate. Our good friend the Hon. G. W. Ross, lately passed away-a great man from the province of Ontario who, during his time did many very valuable deeds and great acts, and was considered to be an imperialist of the imperialists in many respects-unfortunately in this particular case got side-tracked by some influence that has not yet been fully explained. Whether it was the influence of the leader of the Opposition or others of his party I do not know, hut I consider that the Senate of the Dominion of Canada in their own interests and in the interests of this country never made a greater mistake than they did under the leadership of the Hon. G. W. Ross when they turned down last session the proposal to give $35,000,000 towards the British navy. We all know what we owe the mother country and whether we are going to be independent-as my right hon. friend opposite hopes-or a self-respecting part of the overseas dominions, I believe the people of Canada from one end of the country to the other, feel that we should do at least a

little towards bearing the .great burden of our overseas mother. I regret that we have not been able to grapple with that question this session. With the overflowing treasuries of the past few years, we could easily have sent that amount where it will be sent in the near future. As a humble Canadian who occasionally goes to the mother country, I feel almost ashamed to step on the wharf at Liverpool while we are doing all the talking and none of the acting- while we are making promises of loyalty, promises of support, and giving everything in the way of encouragement by word, but in deeds not a cent. I say I regret that, but I cannot see that the Government are responsible for this condition. They probably felt that the Senate would again throw out the measure, and therefore it was not proposed. I hope that in the near future- I say this in all sincerity-the people of Canada will unite in contributing either men, money, or ships, or in some other way help the mother country who has for years been staggering, and is still staggering, under an almost more than human load of taxation. We as men are well off. We have a good many of this world's goods and could well afford to pay our share in relieving Britain of this weary load and I hope that we shall not long continue to occupy our present position. For my part I could wish that $15,000,000 or $20,000,000 of our surplus this year had been put in the Estimates in order that we might catch up a little on the payments long overdue. I know, Mr. Speaker, you wish to call it six o'clock and as I have about concluded my remarks I will not weary the House any further.

On motion of Mr. Carroll, the debate was adjourned.

On motion of Mr. Rogers, the House adjourned to Wednesday the 15th of April, at three o'clock.

Wednesday, April 15, 1914.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   THE BUDGET.
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April 8, 1914