May 22, 1917

LIB

John Howard Sinclair

Liberal

Mr. SINCLAIR:

I can mention scores of things that are manufactured in Canada and that enter into the construction of ships and that are heavily taxed, and there is no drawback.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS.
Subtopic:   MA"2 22, 1917
Permalink
CON

John Douglas Hazen (Minister of Marine and Fisheries; Minister of the Naval Service)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HAZEN:

There is no taxation on the plates. *

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS.
Subtopic:   MA"2 22, 1917
Permalink
LIB

John Howard Sinclair

Liberal

Mr. SINCLAIR:

My hon. friend can

easily turn up the tariff and read a list of things that enter into the construction of ships and which, are taxed.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS.
Subtopic:   MA"2 22, 1917
Permalink
CON

John Douglas Hazen (Minister of Marine and Fisheries; Minister of the Naval Service)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HAZEN:

I have never yet met a

shipbuilder who thinks that the admittance of such articles free would encourage shipbuilding to any extent. It is a mere drop in the bucket.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS.
Subtopic:   MA"2 22, 1917
Permalink
LIB

John Howard Sinclair

Liberal

Mr. SINCLAIR:

I have never met a shipbuilder who did not hold a view contrary to that expressed by the minister.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS.
Subtopic:   MA"2 22, 1917
Permalink
CON

John Douglas Hazen (Minister of Marine and Fisheries; Minister of the Naval Service)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HAZEN:

You must have met different ones from those I have met.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS.
Subtopic:   MA"2 22, 1917
Permalink
LIB

John Howard Sinclair

Liberal

Mr. SINCLAIR:

You can allow these

articles that enter into the construction of a ship to enter this country free of duty so that the shipbuilder will have an opportunity of securing cheap material, because at present he cannot successfully compete with the shipbuilder on the other side of the water where the articles do enter free of duty.' A large quantity of paint, for example, is used in the shipbuilding trade. In England, if a shipbuilder wants to buy paint he buys the paint in the cheapest market in the world. A shipbuilder cannot get paint in Canada at the same rate as he could in the old country; he has Ito pay a high duty. If paint is manufactured here, the manufacturer sees that the consumer pays the duty; if it is impbrted, the duty is paid at the customs house. That is only one example. '

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS.
Subtopic:   MA"2 22, 1917
Permalink
LIB

William Cameron Edwards

Liberal

Mr. EDWARDS:

Following out your suggestion, why not build the ships somewhere else entirely? You would argue that the

ships should be built in England or in the United States or anywhere else where they could be built at the cheapest rate.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS.
Subtopic:   MA"2 22, 1917
Permalink
LIB

John Howard Sinclair

Liberal

Mr. SINCLAIR:

We shall never be able to build ships in Canada unless we build them as cheaply as they can be built elsewhere or unless the Government will make up the difference in .the cost. When a ship is built, it has to compete with all the world for business.

If there is a cargo to be carried, that cargo is set up at auction by the brokers in London and the man who gives the lowest bid will get the cargo. If it is a cargo of grain to be carried from the River Plate, to Liverpool, the man who will carry it for one cent per hundred pounds less than the Canadian will get it, and if the Canadian ship costs $10, or $15 a ton more to build than the ship built on the Clyde, the Canadian in ordinary times can not earn the interest on his investment. That is the experience in the past and it will be the experience in the future. This is a vital question. If you give the Canadian builder an opportunity, he will be able to compete with the world. Free material is one of the things he must have if he is going to get along at all. It is a question for the Government to consider as to how that can best be done. The raw material which enters into the building of the ships costs jnore in Canada than in the Old Country.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS.
Subtopic:   MA"2 22, 1917
Permalink
LIB
LIB

John Howard Sinclair

Liberal

Mr. SINCLAIR:

That question has also to be considered. The Government must solve the problem of how the difference in cost is to be made up, if they are going to help out the shipbuilding industry. My hon. friend (Mr. Hazen) has said that he has met many people and that they have given him suggestions. What I would like to see is that he should put some of those suggestions into practice and give us his policy. The fact that freights are high at present and that everything is abnormal does not relieve him from the necessity of doing something. This is the time to prepare for the competition in shipbuilding that is bound to come as soon as the war is over, and the sooner that he sets about doing something, the better. I trust that something will grow out of this

discussion. We have already had many

discussions- on this subject, but they have all ended in the same way, that is, there has been no results from all that has been said. I am glad to know that my hon. friend has

adopted the suggestion that I have made to him several times in regard to the commandeering of Canadian ships. Shortly after the war broke out, I brought this matter up in the House, and I took the ground that if ships on the Canadian register were to be commandeered, the commandeering should be done by the Canadian Government. That was not done at the first; it was not done in the year 1915, although I had brought the matter to the attention of the Government on several occasions. I am very much pleased, however, to know that the Government has arrived at that decision, because it is the proper decision: that if Canadian ships are to be used in the war by the Imperial Government, if they are on the Canadian register, they ought to be commandeered by the Canadian Government. In this matter the Government have taken a step in the right direction, and I wish to express my approval. If they will examine into the question they will find it is impossible in normal times for a Canadian shipbuilder to compete with the builder on the other .side under present conditions. Let us hope that the minister will call together the shipbuilders from the different districts in Canada where they are engaged in this industry, and see what can be done in order to stimulate the industry and in order to start it in places where it has not been started so far. The minister knows very well the difficulty of getting material at the present time. It is almost out of the question to build any large number of steel ships at present, because you cannot secure the material with which to build them. I do not know what the minister's plan is in regard to wooden ships; if it is to build wooden ships with steel frames and wooden planks, I suppose we could do that successfully in eastern Canada. I do not know what the plan is, and I do not think that the offers that have been made by the Imperial Munitions Board are going to help the shipbuilders very much, because, so far as I can learn, they are not as good as the terms that can be obtained from ordinary merchants who want ships for ordinary trade. I am told that the proposal of the Imperial Munitions Board is to give a small percentage of profit to the builder; that the builder who invests his capital in the enterprise and produces the ships will have them purchased from him by the Imperial Munitions Board and a small amount such as eight or ten per cent will be given him as a profit

for building. The ordinary shipbuilder who

. has the ordinary common business ability that these people 'have can make a much better profit by dealing with some merchant who requires a ship.

There is nothing in the proposals of the Munitions Board, so far as I can learn, to stimulate shipbuilding very much in Canada. The fact that freights are high has done something, of course, to stimulate the industry. It is up to the Government to deal with this question themselves, and not leave it to the Munitions Board. Some policy should be framed by the Government without delay, which will establish the shipping industry in places where it does not already exist, and develop it in places where it has already been started.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS.
Subtopic:   MA"2 22, 1917
Permalink
LIB

Edward Mortimer Macdonald

Liberal

Mr. MACDONALD:

Does the Minister of Marine and Fisheries know where the plates are being obtained for these steel ships?

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS.
Subtopic:   MA"2 22, 1917
Permalink
CON

John Douglas Hazen (Minister of Marine and Fisheries; Minister of the Naval Service)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HAZEN:

I do not know.

Resolutions reported and read the first time.

On motion of Hon. Mr. Hazen, the House adjourned at 10.40 p.m.

Wednesday, May 23, 1917.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS.
Subtopic:   MA"2 22, 1917
Permalink

May 22, 1917