which is invested in the dairy industry, and the large sum of capital invested in buildings, stock, etc., as well as the number of people directly interested in the success of the industry in Canada, I think that this Government, or any other, should give very careful consideration to the business and do everything possible to help it along. If this House agrees with me that at the present prices, and the prices that have obtained for some months past, the dairyman is not making ends meet, then I appeal to the Government that this is not a proper time at which to pass a permanent measure granting for all time, in this country, the right to import oleomargarine and to manufacture that product here. Whatever arguments may have been advanced in favour of its importation and manufacture in times past, when butter sold at a high price, I certainly contend that to-day the dairy industry should receive consideration at the hands of the Government, and that this Bill should not be pressed. With the action of the Government last session in giving a year's extension to the Order in Council, as was also done the year before, I know that the great majority of members on both sides of the House agreed. Very well, I did not agree, but I was in a hopeless minority. However, if the Government feel that there should be an extension of time for another year, and can assure us that the present price of butter is only temporary, while I would object to the passage of this Bill, as I have done before, I would frankly say that it would not be as bad as passing the Bill and making the importation and manufacture of oleomargarine a permanent thing.
I know it may be argued by some that Canada is the only country which up to the present time has not definitely allowed the importation and manufacture of this article. The United States and other countries have allowed its importation and manufacture. Well, that is their affair; but I do not think that conditions in this country are on all-fours with conditions in the United States, in Denmark, or in any of the other countries which permit the manufacture and importation of oleomargarine. Of course, opinions may reasonably differ in that regard, and I am only giving my personal view of the matter.
I want to say again, what I said in speaking on the Budget, that I fail to understand how one can defend the free importation of oleomargarine into Canada.
If the question were asked why we have a duty of 4 cents a pound on butter, the answer, I presume, would be that it is for the protection of our dairymen in Canada. Well, if that is true, how can we justify the importation free of duty of oleomargarine which certainly comes into the country in direct competition with butter -for every pound of oleomargarine takes the place of a pound of butter. To be consistent, we should take the duty off butter, which is something I suppose my hon. friend from Red Deer (Mr. Clark) would agree with.