(Rolled iron or steel and cast steel, in tars, bands, hoop, scroll, strip, sheet or plate, of any size, thickness or width, galvanized or coated with any material or not, and steel blanks for the manufacture of milling cutters, when of greater value than three and one-half cents per pound Free. 5 p.c. 5 p.c.
To which was added the 74 per cent war tax. It is necessary under this partial revision, which we are making to take out of the item the words " galvanized or coated with any material or not," which now appear in item 384. That necessitates the reenactment of item 386.
Would the minister explain to the committee, if he can. why ploughs carry a higher duty than the articles mentioned in item 446? It seems to me if he is looking to the interest of the. new settler, and if we are to have any difference whatever, these figures should be reversed. The plough is the one essential that every man must have. With regard to these other articles three or four settlers can club together and get them hut the plough is something that each musit have. He cannot join in with his neighbours in the purchase of a plough as he can with regard to some of the articles mentioned in item 446. I would like the minister to explain why the difference is made as between these articles.
Before the minister answers, I would like to enforce what has been said by my hon. friend from Maple Creek (Mr. Maharg). What I propose to say may help the minister in giving a little study to this matter before he appoints his commission and it may lessen the work of the commission in the revision which is to precede the next Budget. I need scarcely explain to the minister that the plough, in agricultural operations, precedes the harrow, the manure spreader, the seed drill or the rake. In the figures of these two items we have a striking example of how easy it is for a tariff to be an unscientific thing. It would surely be the scientific procedure to make it easier to get the plough. I am thinking especially of the breaking plough. I remember very well
in my earlier years, my poor boy who is now sleeping peacefully in France, tackled the willows in a piece of breaking as manfully as he tackled the Huns, and he said " Father, some of these roots must have been there since the time of Abraham." They looked like it. Would it not be a scientific tariff which may help the early settler especially in the matter of the breaking plough to get that implement which, I can assure the minister, requires nerve and strength to use?
The minister yesterday in a very able and interesting speech-his speeches are always able and interesting to me and I am sorry that one cannot avow the same sponsorship for that which they contain as for the way in which he delivers them-expressed the opinion that if he had some of us in the Finance Department for one week he would make us tariff men. Just to go to the other end of the proposition on this tariff question, may I say to the minister, that if I had him out on the farm and with a breaking plough up against some of those roots, which have been there since the time of Abraham, I would make him a no tariff man in no time at all. He should take it up in the department and say: " Breadner, for goodness sake, let us look into this thing and see if we cannot get the duty off breaking ploughs altogether." I hope my hon. friend will not think I am hostile to him when I am helping him in connection with the coming tariff revision, to arrive at a scientific tariff on breaking ploughs. He says: " Produce"; then he makes dear the very first implement you must have to get out those awful willow roots, and they are fearful things to tackle. I am not sure but that the German business was about as easy as those willow roots. I hope my hon, friend will give attention to this matter. Would he not look into it on his own initiative without any more prodding from the western members and see why this duty on ploughs should be larger than on the other implements which follow the plough? I cannot understand how he has arrived at these figures unless it he strictly on the line of Scripture. On tariff matters Scripture ought to be left out sometimes: " Unto him that hath shall be given and from him that hath not even that which he hath shall be taken away." That must be the guidance of my hon. friend in making the difficulties greatest at the very beginning of the settler's operations. I hope my hon. friend will take these matters into his consideration and I would like him to do it now unless there is something special about the
plough industry which requires this protection.
I am told they are selling these ploughs in the United States quite freely. In that case, why should we not have free ploughs?
A plough is one of the most competitive articles, as far as business is concerned, of agricultural implements, and that competition is exceedingly keen from outside of Canada. There was a duty of twenty-seven and-a-half per cent, including the customs war tax upon ploughs, but we made a reduction to seventeen and-a-half per cent. I might say to my hon. friend that our mode of approach to the partial revision of the agricultural implement schedule, has been to reduce the duties as far as we could without doing material damage to established industries in this country. I have no hesitation in saying to my hon. friend that, whether 1 am correct or not, my belief is that if we had reduced the duties further than we have at this revision, we should have closed out many industries of this country employing thousands of men at the present time, and personally I would not take the responsibility of considering that. The partial revision which we have made this year represents a sincere effort on the part of the Government, at a time of great instability and fiscal difficulty to meet so far as we could, the request made by members of the House, and by the Western community, foi a reduction in the duty on agricultural implements. Now to show my two hon. friends how close a calculation is made in connection with a matter of this kind, I would say to them, that when in 1914 we reduced the duties upon binders we made a most careful examination into the question, and we found that if we had gone down to ten per cent we would have, without any question and beyond peradventure, closed up the International Harvester Company at Hamilton, thrown out of employment its operatives and transferred the business to the plant in Chicago. I do not think I can answer my hon. friends any more clearly than that, in order to convey to them at least my point of view.
The hon. member for Red Deer has spoken of a " scientific tariff." I do not recall that I have used that expression, although it is used by others, but I think I know what is meant. It is not a happy term, because I doubt if there is such a thing as a scientific tariff. But those who use the term have this in mind: That in considering what tariff duties should be imposed in respect of a particular commodity manufactured in Canada, regard should be had to the duties upon the raw material that is entering into the production of the article or articles in question-the duty upon coal, which is a factor of cost in production, the duty upon machinery, the labour conditions in Canada, and other items of cost upon which it is unnecessary for me to dwell.
There are many makers of articles in Canada that appear to have a very substantial so-called protection, and if regard is had to the duties upon their raw material and upon the other articles which I have mentioned and to their costs, it is rather exceptional to find abnormal profits. My hon. friend knows that, and I am inclined to think that coming as he does from the province of Quebec which, if not the greatest, is a very great manufacturing province, he would not, I think, if he were standing in my place, assume the responsibility, as I said yesterday, of taking off all the duties at this time, or at any other time for that matter, upon the products manufactured by those engaged in production in this province who have to pay, the duties in respect of their raw material, and are confronted with the other items of cost to which I have alluded
Mr. OOOKSiHUTT: I do not know why
the hon. member for Red Deer should single out the Breaker plough in order to " break " an industry. However, I did not rise for the purpose of rebutting the hon. gentleman's argument; I simply want to know why the term " complete parts " is used, and is it intended when the part is incomplete to charge a different duty from that which is levied in the case of a complete part? The term is rather ambiguous and somewhat contradictory, it appears to me, and I want to know why the word " complete " is used in several places?
to which my hon. friend has called attention, " complete parts," is that which has been used for years past in the tariff and it covers repairs. The idea of course was- I need not say this to my hon. friend- that if, let us say, an agricultural implement is imported free, but a duty is levied in respect of parts, the purchaser of an agricultural implement would consider that fact. He would not like to buy an agricultural implement without being able to obtain the parts, and the question of the
duty upon the parts is a very important one in the schedule dealing with these products. I understand that incomplete parts are manufactured but not sold to the consumer.
There is something further to be explained in regard to incomplete parts. Take ploughshares for instance. We used to bring ploughshares into Canada and I understand without being bored; that is the bolt holes were not made in the shares; the factory making them left it for the purchaser over here to bore or punch those holes. It was to get over that, I understand, that the word " complete " was used in order that these things could not enter the country unless they were absolutely in shape to go on to the article they were required for. Why they want to draw the line I cannot understand, unless it was for the benefit of some particular concern in Canada.
well that in connection with the fixing of the duty on ploughs, consideration should be given to the suggestions made by the hon. member for Red Deer (Mr. M. Clark) and the hon. member for Maple Creek (Mr. Maharg). As I understand it we have two very large concerns that are manufacturing the major portion of the ploughs of Canadian make that are used in Canada at the present time, and these firms have been in business since the very inception of the national policy. They have had all the fostering of the National Policy up to now, and at the proper time I think it would be wise to consider whether they have not had all the fostering that they deserve.
Answering a little further the hon. member for Maple Creek (Mr. Maharg), I would refer him to Article 444 of the tariff, which provides for the free admission of mould boards, shares or plough plates and other plates for agricultural implements, when cut to shape from rolled plates of steel, tout not moulded, punched, polished or otherwise manufactured. So what he has in mind has been provided for; those incomplete parts are free.