America, Europe, South Africa and various other countries excepting Japan which at present is standing aloof. The article says:
To prophesy better things for copper companies in general during the past two years has required an extraordinary degree of optimism. Copper shares have steadily fallen in public favour and only a few companies have made any dividend money. The rank and file have either lost money or did not make enough to compensate for the exhaustion of the ore assets. But really the outlook is far from hopeless. A new Copper Export Association, stronger and bigger than its predecessors, has been formed, and 90 per cent of the world's production is represented therein. This is the first time the so-called big producers have been able to sit around a table and agree to stop cutting each other's throats.
In only one year since 1920 have our refineries produced more copper than was shipped to foreign shores
and to American manufacturers. That was in 1923, when refined output amounted 2,327,770,000 pounds against shipments of 2,314,786,000 pounds. In 1925, American refineries produced 2,704,618,000 pounds of copper a record for any war or peace period. And shipments exceeded this outpouring by about 127,000,000 pounds, bringing stocks down to 146,161,000 pounds of refined metal, the smallest since the war, and comparing with 641,474,000 pounds at the end of 1920. In 1920, in face of a huge surplus, the average price of electrolytic copper was 17.50 cents a pound. Last year it was 14£ cents, with surplus down almost to vanishing point.
With the permission of the House I should like to put on Hansard the following table showing this statistical improvement with price trend in pounds:
- Refined product Shipments End period Average price1st quarter 1926 692,620,000 2.704.618.000 2.600.664.000 2.327.770.000 1.577.658.000 1.074.394.000 1.670.759.000 688,372,000 2.831.448.000 2.639.568.000 2.314.786.000 1.814.810.000 1.179.932.000 1.731.406.000 150.412.000 146.161.000 272.868.000 311.770.000 298.786.000 535.936.000 641.474.000 14-00 cts.1925 14-12 "1924 13 02 "3923 14-42 "*1922 13-56 "1921 12-65 "1920 17-50 "
This is more or less repetition, but I trust there will be no objection. The conclusion is that the consumption is still running ahead of the tremendous production, but because of cut-throat competition among copper producers their thousands of shareholders have been left profitless. On top of this I should like to quote from the editorial page of the New York Times of May 8, 1928, as follows:
Almost simultaneously the British Colonial Office announced a policy intended to raise the pnice of rubber, and the Copper Export Association was formed to raise the price of copper. While the objectives are similar the methods are different. Addressing the "National Foreign Trade Council, Dr. Klein of the Department of Commerce said that "international commercial relations are endangered by price-fixing and other political intrusions in raw material exports, the costs of which are to be borne primarily by foreign consumers." Our copper export association is not at all political. It is a combination which our laws allow in foreign trade but forbid at home. Authorized under the Webb-Pomerene law, it aims to represent 90 per cent of the world production. To the extent that it takes the surplus off the domestic markets it is better able to raise home prices. Others may complain as well as Americans, but it is a common grievance. The copper combine does not ask foreign consumers to bear any part of our tax levies, and professes merely a desire to stabilize the price and keep it from falling below cost of production. Our constitution forbids an export tax. The British rubber export restriction raises prices of exports. This is a restriction of trade of which there is no example in our large exports of raw materials. Some of our laws lay us open to reproach for political intrusion in international commerce, but in the matter of raw materials we are more sinned against than sinning.
This Copper Export Trading Company will be very comprehensive, including not only all the important producers and smelters of North and South America but those of Europe Africa and Australia as well. This brings us back to a consideration of our copper wealth. We do not seem to realize what has taken place in the northern part of Quebec. When you consider the holdings of South America, Spain, various parts of the United States and Australia, and realize that when they produce to their utmost, no matter how low copper goes, due to the wealth of our mines in northern Quebec we can continue to produce after they have been shut down. I would like to quote just one official statement regarding the Home mine in the Noranda district:
A horizontal drill hole, No. 329, driven from the third level north of No. 1 shaft has euit eighteen feet of ore averaging $8 in gold and 27 per cent copper. The average gross value of this ore at 13-cent copper is $78.20 per ton.
If we are about to face a copper monopoly through the formation of an American export association I would suggest, Mr. Speaker, that it is advisable for our Department of Trade and Commerce to realize the holdings we have in the northern part of Quebec, and get in touch with the men who have that monopoly. We should be protected within the empire and the department should see that a condition similar to that experienced
The Budget-Mr. O'Neill
in connection with rubber in the United States may not obtain in Canada with regard to copper.
I notice no mention in the budget of good roads. The section of the country from which I come would welcome very heartily any subvention or help in the form of good roads. I submit that the time has arrived when the great division between east and west should be bridged by an international highway, which should be constructed with federal assistance.
There are other considerations to which I should like to refer, and one in particular on which I touch with a certain amount of reluctance. But I take my cue from the principle enunciated in this House by the Prime Minister in the course of a recent address, when he stated that the formation of public opinion is often more important than definite legislation. In this connection I wish to make a few observations on one of the greatest problems of the day, the question of prohibition. 1 quote again from the New York Times of May 8, 1926. This article is written in the lighter vein, and while I am not inclined to touch on that angle, at the same time I appreciate the argument. The article is as follows:
Rustic John Barleycorn
According to the Year Book of the Department of Agriculture, bad times on the farm are to be ascribed partly to prohibition. Representative Black of New York, speaking by that book, proceeded on his own authority to place the annual loss in a single crop, the barley that no longer goes into beer, at $100,000,000. The loss in the matter of hops is "incalculable." Confronted by three farm relief bills which a floundering committee on agriculture has dumped together on a still more distracted House-bills which nobody wants, but which all Representatives confronted by farming constituencies feel obliged to take seriously- Representative Black says blandly, "Let good old beer do it"! The farmer would have prohibition. Sustained through the winter by frosty 'hard cider from the cellarage, soothed by elderberry wine and cherry bounce-
Not to mention our 27 per cent Niagara wine-
-he exercises his moral nature with indignation against the city man's crock of suds. And now, tardily, the effect of his crusading spirit is brought home to him. The barley crop alone once yielded him ten times as much in farm relief as the Aswell bill offers. And so, as Mr. Black urges, in the eyes of constructive statesmanship farm relief goes hand in hand with relief of urban gullets.
Here, surely, is new light on John Barleycorn. Through the ages he has been pictured as a rakish city chap, the affable familiar spirit that wets the workman's whistle and whets the politician's eloquence; that gives the last indispensable flavour to the clubman's midnight rarebit, and even flourishes in the midst of fine ladies where picnic luncheons are served. Now at last John Barleycorn emerges in his true character. He is a bearded grain. Last as first he belongs among the worthies of the farm. Spendthrift and rake? He
is sown in sobriety and reaped in thrift. If for a time he is an erring and a prodigal son, he says with another repentant and home-coming rustic:
"Like him that wanders I return again;
Just to the time, not with the time exchanged,
So that myself bring water to my stain."
Banish John Barleycorn? Banish Whiskered Jack and banish all the world!
Such ,.is the article. I wish to refer now, Sir, to prohibition particularly as it is in vogue in Ontario and in the great republic to our south. It may be looked upon as a malignant cancer destroying the very vitals of our civilization. Prohibition has defeated the very object it was designed to effect; it was supposed to elevate the moral tone of the nation, but in reality the opposite result has been accomplished. Beyond all doubt there is more liquor, of an injurious and damaging brand, consumed clandestinely to-day than was ever thought of in the days before the introduction of the present system, and unfortunately the evil effect is in evidence among a class in the community who formerly regarded an imbiber as a social pariah. In the psychological working out of prohibition it is considered a clever achievement to spier a drink under present conditions. Between the millstones of natural or inherited tendency on the one hand and the added thrilling: inducements incident to prohibition, the-younger generation is exposed to a moral' degeneration, and is forming habits which will play havoc with society at a time when they must shoulder the responsibilities and duties of to-morrow.
Why delude ourselves on this great moral issue? Illustration is unnecessary, but to confirm our own personal observations let me refer to a conversation I overheard the other day between two travelling men, men of experience. When reference was made to the revolting effects of prohibition, one man remarked, "I have just placed an order for
275,000 pocket flasks at - " naming the town, "and in the immediate vicinity." On inquiry he was prepared to admit that the sale of these flasks was mostly to the younger set, which is an astounding fact. But the statement of the other man was even more so. He said, "I am a boiler inspector, and in making my rounds, I inspect the boilers in high schools and collegiates. On all sides the story is the same. The janitors complain of the youth of to-day in most shocking terms. They say their first duty in the morning is to go about the buildings to collect the six and eight ounce empties and the unmentionables strewn about on all sides."
The Budget-Mr. O'Neill