February 8, 1926

CON

Donald Sutherland

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SUTHERLAND (South Oxford):

With your permission, Mr. Speaker, I beg to withdraw the references in question. I presume however that the statements made by the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre (Mr. Woodsworth) a few days ago, as reported in Hansard, will stand. Now I wish to refer to something said in this House on July 16, 1924, when the question of building the Hudson Bay railway was before parliament, on a motion of the then member for Prince Albert, Mr. Knox. The Minister of Railways at that time said:

I (think every member will agree with me that parliament, as now constituted, is not prepared to vote money for the completion of the Hudson Bay railway.

"As now constituted": in my opening remarks I pointed out the political complexion of the last parliament in contrast with the constitution of the present House. Now I wonder why this change has come over the government since they have been reduced to a minority in parliament. Evidently they are

prepared, so long as they can get a majority in this House, to vote money to-day for purposes for which they would not have voted it when they had a clear majority themselves in parliament. Hon. members will have to draw their own inference from the facts.

A few days ago I made reference to a newspaper-a Canadian Press despatch-according to which certain members of this House had stated that they would give their support to the government provided the government would pass legislation in the interests of the west. I have always understood that representatives of the people in parliament were supposed to represent not only their individual constituencies but the whole Dominion; I have never been of the opinion that a few members had the right to come to parliament exclusively for the purpose of having some particular measure passed for the advantage of their own part of the country.

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PRO

Henry Elvins Spencer

Progressive

Mr. SPENCER:

Will the hon, member

name the members who made that statement?

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CON

Donald Sutherland

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SUTHERLAND (South Oxford):

If

my hon. friend is one of those who did not make the statement I presume he has a perfect right to say so, but I do not think that I am called upon to name specifically the hon. members who took that stand. It would take considerable time to name them. 1 would also refer to a statement reported in the press as having been made by the Minister of Customs (Mr. Boivin) in Montreal a few days ago to the effect that the Progressives were Liberals in a hurry. The minister was reported as stating what would happen if those gentlemen got into too great a hurry, and he intimated another appeal to the country by the government.

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PRO

Edward Joseph Garland

Progressive

Mr. GARLAND (Bow River):

That is

probably the greatest of all libels.

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CON

Donald Sutherland

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SUTHERLAND (South Oxford) :

818 COMMONS

The Address-Mr. Sutherland (S. Oxford)

were received at the port of Montreal, of which 42,071 boxes were New Zealand cheese. The Trade of Canada report issued by the Department of Trade and Commerce, from which I have been quoting, shows the importation of cheese during the past year. It was practically all New Zealand cheese, the quantity being 10,234,338 pounds. This goes to confirm the arguments you hear advanced that it was the manufacturers of kraft cheese who imported it into Canada. Yes, and the people who imported the cheese are selling it to-day all over Canada, in the county of Oxford, part of which I represent-the greatest cheese manufacturing county in Canada-and elsewhere; box after box of it is being retailed to-day.

The Address refers to the value of the home market. Why should the people of this country have to go to the expense of finding a market in about seventeen foreign countries for their surplus cheese and butter and overlook the home market. The value of the dairy production of Canada last year was upwards of three hundred million dollars, of which only twenty per cent was exported. The fact that eighty per cent of the total dairy production is consumed at home proves the value of the home market and illustrates the value of retaining that market before seeking one abroad; because the home market that is found at the doors of the farmers all over this Dominiion is of the greatest value to them. They find that market without the great expense which they have to incur when their product is sold to dealers and shipped to foreign countries.

The government have absolutely failed in their duty to the farmers of Canada, and it is nothing short of an outrage that conditions such as prevail here should be encouraged at this time. No one realizes that better than the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Motherwell) himself. I thought the other day, when he was speaking in the House, that he was of that ' opinion; that he had an idea he would be able to prevail upon the Minister of Finance (Mr. Robb), the Minister of Customs and Excise (Mr. Boivin), to whom he was referring, and, also the Minister of Justice (Mr. Lapointe), to see the wisdom of changing this treaty if it was doing the people of this country an injury as alleged. When the Prime Minister and the Minister of Railways spoke in the county of Oxford during the last election campaign, they were very careful to refer to the effect of the Australian treaty. Mr. Mackenzie King made the statement that it it were found that this treaty was doing any injury to those engaged in dairying in

[Mr. D. Sutherland 1

Canada, they would see to it that the necessary six months' notice was given to have the treaty abrogated. But he said that the dairy industry in Oxford must be in a bad way if dairy products could be imported ten thousand miles from New Zealand and Australia and sold here. The minister is aware that shiploads of dairy products are coming into this Dominion; consequently dairying must be in a bad condition, and it is up to the government to act quickly and to see that the necessary notice is given to have this treaty abrogated or amended.

I hope before this parliament proceeds further with regard to any of the other treaties which have been announced in the Speech from the Throne, care will be taken to examine them carefully because nearly all the important treaties which this government have entered into have proved disastrous to us. The government have been anxious to make treaties with countries where the balance of trade has been largely in our favour and two years' operation shows that those balances have beeu converted into balances in favour of the other countries. I might along that line point out that agriculture, even when we have had a reasonable tariff-no, not a reasonable tariff because we have never had that on agricultural products-has never had a fair chance in this Dominion. Our big neighbour to the south of us is in a position now, especially as it has a high tariff, to make it difficult or impossible for us to export agricultural products to that country and there are times when it suits its purpose to export to this country its surplus of agricultural products. During the last five years, 1920, 1921, 1922, 1923 and 1924, our imports of pork products from that country amounted to 293,292,716 pounds and our exports to all countries amounted to 666,769,800 pounds, so that we imported nearly one-half as much as we exported. Hon. members should ask themselves why such a situation should arise. Our imports and exports of butter and eggs were as follows during that period of 5 years:

Exports Imports

Butter

71,426.000 pounds 15,544,000 poundsEggs

23,483,955 dozen 35,788,903 dozen

And so on. I could quote figures similar to those in connection with many other of our agricultural products. It is true that the trade of Canada has increased very considerably during the last year and our imports have increased as well, but the significant fact is that in our trading with the United States, in 1925 there is a balance of trade in their favour of $107,000,000. There was a sub-

The Address-Mr. Sutherland (S. Oxford)

stantial balance of trade in our favour as regards the United Kingdom, but this was lost to us immediately we began dealing with our neighbours to the south. In fact, the disparity is so great that I might well place it on Hansard. Our imports of vegetable and animal products from the United States during that period amounted to $123,147,973, and yet my hon. friends to my left in the Progressive party say: "Oh, we who are engaged in agriculture do not require any protection in this country." The other day the hon. member for Rosetown (Mr. Evans), who was referring to the Australian treaty, was quoting from an address made by the hon. member for Vancouver South (Mr. Ladner) and he reached as far as this point:

I believe most of the members of the House, particularly in this quarter, were equally in favour of the Australian treaty.

And he stopped there. I asked the hon. member to read on when he stated:

There is nothing further.

The next words as contained in Hansard are:

Mr. Sutherland: Speak for yourself.

Referring to the hon. member for Vancouver South, who continued to speak. Yet the impression left on the House the other night by the hon. member for Rosetown was the end of the matter. I pointed out at that time that that was not the attitude of most members on this side of the House. At least, I asked the hon. member for Vancouver South to speak for himself and not for those around him. I have under my hand a letter written by the Minister of Agriculture for the province of Quebec on the 27th March, 1925, in answer to a letter from the secretary of the agricultural society at Saint Cesaire, Quebec. This letter reads:

Dear Sir :

I have your letter and also the accompanying resolution.

I made further application to the federal authorities this year to obtain in favour of farmers a raising of the duties on agricultural products entering Canada from the United States so as to protect the Canadian farmer in the same degree as the American fanner is by the Fordney tariff.

I regret not to have succeeded in my application as the budget speech makes no mention of any change in this part of the tariff.

I always hope, however, that the federal authorities will accede to the numerous requests which have been made to them, and to my own repeated solicitations.

Yours very truly,

J. E. Caron.

My hon. friends from Quebec say that the tariff, or rather protection, was not an issue in the last election in that province. The Minister of Agriculture of Quebec realized the

situation which prevails there, a situation which is practically the same as that existing in Ontario and the western provinces.

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LIB

James Alexander Robb (Minister of Trade and Commerce; Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. ROBB:

No person said that the tariff was not an issue in the province of Quebec. The tariff was the one issue in that province.

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CON

Donald Sutherland

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SUTHERLAND (South Oxford):

Protection. I have heard the statement made repeatedly in this House that the people of Quebec were not asking for an increase in the tariff. I have heard that statement made repeatedly during this parliament. The Minister of Agriculture was pointing out the unfair condition which prevailed and had been urging this government to increase the tariff on agricultural products in order to protect the farmers against the disastrous competition from the United States and elsewhere.

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LIB

William Richard Motherwell (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. MOTHERWELC:

You mean the Minister of Agriculture for Quebec?

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CON

Donald Sutherland

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SUTHERLAND (South Oxford):

Yes, a real Minister of Agriculture who was alive to the interests of the farmers.

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LIB

William Richard Motherwell (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. MOTHERWELL:

A Liberal.

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CON

Donald Sutherland

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SUTHERLAND (South Oxford):

And I presume that certain hon. gentlemen who have spoken in this House appreciate, in their own opinion at least, the needs of agriculture in the province of Quebec better than does the Minister of Agriculture for that province. At any rate, that is what one would gather from the statements they have made here. I have here a copy of an article written by the secretary of the Canadian Creamerymen's Association of Ontario dated London, Ontario, January 28, 1926. This article says:

The Canadian Creamerymen'a Association in annua! convention, Toronto, on November 21 and 22, 19?5 despatched to the Minister of Agriculture and the Minister of Trade and Commerce at Ottawa copies of a resolution urgently appealing to the government to take immediate steps to grant relief to the Canadian dairy industry which is now grievously imperilled by reason of the new Australian Trade Treaty. No acknowledgement of the receipt of our communication has as yet been received, and as far as we have been able to ascertain no consideration has been given to this urgent appeal.

I am sure that the Minister of Agriculture of Quebec would have acknowledged a petition of this kind had he received it.

In urging you and your associates on to further effort in defence of the dairy industry of this country, may we be permitted to call your attention to certain further facts with respect to more or less recent develofpments in this regard. For many years the government of Canada and the governments of the different provinces have been engaged in campaigns in which vast sums of public money have been expended to educate the farmer and to persuade him to develop winter dairying. The province of Alberta, as you know, has made a notable response and has gained a deserved

$20 COMMONS

The Address-Mr. Sutherland (S. Oxford)

reputation for the quality of its dairy products, one of the most important markets for which was found in Vancouver, Victoria and the province of British Columbia. On January 8, 7,000 boxes of Australian butter were landed at Vancouver and being sold at lower cost, forced the Alberta producers out of tho market. The farmers of Alberta under the necessity of winter feeding, with costly hay and grain, are unable to meet the competition from Australia and New Zealand, in the season which is our winter and their summer and dn which their cattle are grass fed at practically no cost. Alberta has been forced therefore to ship to Montreal, and there again has been met by cheap butter from Australia and New Zealand. The cut in duty from 4 cents to 1 cent per pound has wiped out in one blow the fruit of the whole campaign for winter dairying in Alberta.

Yes, and in other provinces of the Dominion as well.

In respect to Ontario, this same situation is duplicated. The low stocks of butter to-day would warrant payment of 50 cents a pound for butter fats by the creameries to the Ontario farmers, but in view of the dumping of tons of Australian and New Zealand butter into the Ontario market, we are unable to pay more than 42 cents per pound. We are advised that from 17,000 to 20,000 boxes of this product of their summer season is now en route to drive our own producers, in winter, from their home market. The reason for this diversion of their shipments to Canada Lies in the fact that the British market is now down, and as a result the Australian-New Zealand butter is being offered to the Canadian market at 37 cents per pound.

The act of placing, on the free list, cheese which formerly paid 3 cents a .pound is also a serious matter though not so great a hardship in view of the fact that the 'home consumption in Canada has been negligible as compared with the British market in which Canada has met the Australian and New Zealand opposition.

We need not reiterate that wheat and the dairying industry 'have ibeen the backbone of this country, nor should it be necessary to stress the fact that national prosperity is imperilled by the unwise infliction of -these hardships upon dairymen.

The treaty was framed in politics, regardless of the needs or opinions of the dairying industry. Its damaging consequences are already imposing hardship upon our people, and undoing all that has been done in the past several decades to build up this foundation block of Canadian prosperity.

This is signed by the secretary of The Canadian Creamerymen's Association of Ontario. ,

I desire also to refer to an article which appeared in the Regina Leader or February 4, 1926, reporting a convention of dairymen:

The Australian Trade Treaty and -the stamp tax on cream cheques were among important subjects on which action was taken yesterday by the Saskatchewan Dairy Association convention. In connection with the first-mentioned, the convention endorsed the action of the directors in protesting to the federal government against provisions of the treaty as they applied to the supply of butter and cheese.

Further reference is made to the matter in the Montreal iGazette, implying that a resolution had been passed pointing out the injustice of competition from Australia and New Zealand. Yet I have heard hon. members in this House behind the government get up one after another and declare that the Australian

treaty and the treaty with New Zealand would have no disastrous effect on agriculture and dairying in Canada.

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?

An hon. MEMBER:

What is the date of the article in question?

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CON

Donald Sutherland

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SUTHERLAND (South Oxford):

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LIB

James Alexander Robb (Minister of Trade and Commerce; Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Hon. J. A. ROBB (Minister of Finance):

In this House there is no better champion of the dairy industry than the hon. member for South Oxford (Mr. Sutherland), particularly when it is a question of protection. I am not prepared to give my hon. friend the same credit when perchance we br^ng in legislation to reduce the tariff on certain dairy utensils that are used in this industry. My hon. friend apparently forgets that he is the champion of the dairy industry, and seeks to lead us on this side of the House to believe that he thinks the dairy industry can be encouraged by taxing the utensils required in that industry. I give my hon. friend credit for this: that he .has opposed every treaty, this government has brought in. He has

done that following the leadership of my right hon. friend the leader of the opposition.

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CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

And made no mistake.

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LIB

James Alexander Robb (Minister of Trade and Commerce; Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. ROBB:

He has consistently opposed all treaties that this government has brought before parliament, notwithstanding the fact that most of the treaties we have brought in have given greater preferences to the dairy industry and the agricultural industry than they have to any of the other industries of Canada.

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CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

Which one?

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LIB

James Alexander Robb (Minister of Trade and Commerce; Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. ROBB:

I will quote some figures in a moment. It so happened that the concessions obtained in the other treaties were, I will admit, more favourable to the agricultural industry than they were to the manufacturing industries of Canada. My hon. friend this afternoon stressed the fact that the Belgian treaty had been of little use to Canada. For the advantage of hon. members who have not followed that subject, let me quote figures to show the steady growth of our butter trade with Belgium in recent years. The exports of butter into Belgium in 1921 amounted to 72,623 pounds. In 1922 the amount increased to 110,362 pounds and in 1924 to 267,183. Then in the fiscal year ended March 31, 1925 the export of butter to Belgium, which in 1921, during the period my right hon. friend was prime minister, amounted to 72,623 pounds, increased to 763,212 pounds.

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CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

Will the minister explain what change that treaty made in the duty on Belgian butter?

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LIB

James Alexander Robb (Minister of Trade and Commerce; Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. ROBB:

I have not the figures before me.

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February 8, 1926