March 8, 1929

CON

Robert James Manion

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MANION:

1921, under which they charge a duty of 42 cents a bushel on our wheat, 2 cents a pound

bn our cattle, 8 cents a dozen on our eggs. $4 a ton on our hay, and 12 cents a pound on our butter. From 1921, due to these duties, there has been a steady decline in agricultural exports to the United States, the difference between that year and the present amounting to $22,000,000. I admit that a large proportion of that was wheat, but these tariffs have had a depressing effect on our whole agricultural production in Canada. The United States have been virtually waging against us a tariff war-if the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) will permit me to use the word war in relation to that country. Over there they have a policy whereby they can, by proclamation, raise their tariff against us over night. And in fact they do. I have not time to cite many instances in support of this statement, but it is a fact that cannot be denied that on a number of occasions, by proclamation, upon the recommendation of their tariff commission, they have suddenly advanced their tariff against this country.

Last year in my speech on the budget I gave an example of a ladies' wear manufacturer in Toronto who was selling some of his products in the Detroit market, and merely because he was competing-and competing only on a very small scale-with the Detroit producers they over night doubled their tariff against his exports to that country, with the result that his goods were excluded and he had to have them returned to his place of business in Toronto. .

Now I have no quarrel with the United States on this account; they are attending to their business, as they have a right to do. But, I contend, it is time that we did the same; it is time that we also attended to our business. Let us discontinue our subservient attitude to the United States. Let us speak to them courteously but firmly. Let us speak plainly, pointing out what we believe to be good, hardheaded, business principles, because these are the only principles they understand. In reply to that, I am sure that we shall get their respect and a good deal more custom from them than we are receiving at the present time. Let us stand by our own interests and let them do likewise; let us have a policy for our own advantage. I am speaking in no unfriendly tone to the United States; I am taking no antagonistic attitude to them; but it is time for this government to be firm and frank with the United States in an endeavour to show them the error of their ways in their business relations with their best customer; for Canada is not only their best customer but she is

the country in the British Empire which understands them better and is understood better by them than any other part of the British commonwealth of nations.

I am particularly emphatic at the moment because last evening we saw in the public press a despatch which I shall read. It is dated Washington, D.C., March 7, and is as follows:

An extra session of the seventy-first congress for April 15 was called to-day by President Hoover.

Specifically, the call proposes legislation for agricultural relief and for "limited changes in the tariff".

The proclamation says that these matters cannot in justice to farmers, labourers, and manufacturers be postponed.

Very well. But, Mr. Speaker, I submit that we owe some justice to our own farmers, labourers and manufacturers. Regarding that announcement which I have just quoted, I wish to make a proposition which I believe would be supported by public opinion from one end of Canada to the other-and I submit this to the Prime Minister in all seriousness. My proposition is this: If at that special session called by President Hoover any more restrictions are placed upon our sales to the United States, this house, if it has not prorogued, should have tariff proposals laid before it by the government to lessen our purchases of all kinds from the United States; or, iif we 'have prorogued, then we in turn should call a special short session to deal in a red-blooded Canadian manner with their tariff attitude towards us. The Prime Minister laughs.

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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

I am not

laughing. I was struck with the words red-blooded.

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CON

Robert James Manion

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MANION:

I do not know why the

Prime Minister should smile; is it not a good

expression?

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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

It is a good

expression, yes, but it is not one that I should have used in the circumstances.

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CON

Robert James Manion

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MANION:

I think we have been taking too white-blooded an attitude towards the United States all the time, and I submit that it is time for us to stand up and take a good red-blooded Canadian attitude. I say further that a speech along the lines I have just suggested ought to have come ere this from the government benches. I am reading this because I do not wish to be misquoted.

I respectfully suggest, therefore, that the Prime Minister during this debate should stand in his place in this house and speak

The Budget-Mr. Motherwell

as plainly on behalf of the people of Canada to the American people as Mr. Hoover speaks on behalf of the United States to us.

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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

Does my hon. friend think that a speech on my part along the lines he suggests would help relations at the present time?

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CON

Robert James Manion

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MANION:

I think it would materially help them. Did President Hoover hesitate to make a speech along these lines the other day, especially when he proposes to call a special tariff session? I am sincere when I say that in my opinion such a speech as I suggest would have an absolutely good effect on the Whole of our business relations with the United States.

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CON

John Arthur Clark

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CLARK:

Why should we pussyfoot?

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CON

Robert James Manion

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MANION:

The question is in the language of the street, but at the same time it is absolutely pertinent and for my part I repeat it: Why should we pussyfoot? What we need in this country is a stronger Canadian policy than this government shows. To my mind the government's weakness is this, that it is dealing too much with international affairs and too little with internal affairs. It is time for the government to take less interest in Canadian status and more interest in the state of Canada. Let us have, Mr. Speaker, a Canada first policy; for upon the success of our whole economic life depends the retention within our country of our own boys and girls.

I do not think there need be any apologies for speaking as I am speaking towards the United States. If they do not accept this attitude as just, if they show resentment and a tendency towards further antagonism to this country, then in my opinion we must look elsewhere for the trade which we should get from the United States; we must look, within the empire, to those countries which have shown themselves friendly to us; we must look to other foreign countries which purchase two and a half times as much from us as the United States does. We must look to the countries across the Pacific which purchased from us last year, for example, sixty million dollars worth of produce. And even if we should lose some trade by adopting an attitude such as I here advocate, I submit that it would make for gain to this country in that we should acquire not only a greater Canadian self-reliance but a greater empire self-reliance than we display at the present time and would result in our using our own coal and iron rather than American, and manufacturing to completion our own products-in nickel and asbestos for

instance-producing these things finished in our own factories instead of importing them from the United States.

But, Mr. Speaker, under any circumstances, in the interest of the national welfare of Canada, this government should awaken to its opportunities to develop Canadian economic life by means of a virile, courageous Canada first policy-a policy which would retain our urban markets for Canadian farmers; which would develop our own resources instead of having them shipped to the United States to be manufactured into finished products; which would keep our own' factories engaged rather than the factories of the United States; which would utilize our own Canadian iron ore and coal, instead of importing these commodities; which would encourage [DOT]the fruit and dairy industries of Canada instead of destroying them; which would foster Canadian shipbuilding and shipping in preference to foreign enterprise in this direction; and, finally, which would build up a truly great nation north of the international boundary instead of south of it, giving an opportunity to us to leave to our children a prosperous, progressive country in all lines of endeavour, where they and their children might remain to enjoy a free and law-abiding democracy.

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LIB

William Richard Motherwell (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Hon. W. R. MOTHERWELL (Minister of Agriculture):

I have a very pleasant task to

perform this afternoon, in extending congratulations to my colleague the Minister of Finance (Mr. Robb) as well as to the acting leader of the opposition (Mr. Guthrie); because it is not very often that I have an opportunity to extend congratulations over the way, and I am going to take advantage of that opportunity now that I have it.

Any Minister of Finance who can keep on year after year reducing taxes and increasing surpluses, throwing away, as hon. gentlemen suggest, large amounts of revenue-estimated in the present budget, we are told, at

825,000,000-and at the same time reducing the national debt of the country-any Minister of Finance who can do this is, I say, one that, should be retained in the service of the country just so long as he is prepared to stay.

My hon. friend the acting leader of the opposition opened his remarks by expressing gratitude for the unbounded prosperity we are enjoying at the present time. I am glad he has improved on the terms used by his own leader when present,, who always qualifies such a statement by observing that we have been enjoying in the last few years a temporary prosperity due to good crops and mining activities, burrowing into the earth

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and turning out riches, and due to the depletion of our forests, and so forth. That is the story, always with some mournful dirge associated with it. My hon. friend began in a different tone, but before he got very far in his speech he also commenced to sing the same doleful dirge. He qualified his remarks about the unbounded prosperity which prevails, but what is the meaning of that word "unbounded"? It means without bounds, without reservations, without measurements, if you like, but he began to make a series of measurements, describing the country as being in a vortex of extravagance, with the farmers in need of relief as they are in the United States, and wound up bis remarks by proposing that we give them this relief. If I understand the situation, all the yard-sticks by which the prosperity of a country is measured go to show that we have this prosperity in Canada, not only in the cities but throughout the country generally. It is true that prosperity never touches the pockets of every man; always there will be some people who have had misfortune, as there will be some parts of the country which will not have good crops, and with the exception of those who follow the sea there is no other occupation which I know of which has to contend with the vicissitudes of the climate like agriculture. So long as that is the case some portions of Canada always will be less prosperous than other portions, but speaking generally and judging from the bank clearings, the carloadings, the building permits and the railway returns, always a big factor, or by anything you like, we can reasonably come to the conclusion that we are enjoying an amazing period of prosperity considering the situation which existed when this government came into power. In 1922 everything was depressed; our railways were in a crippled condition where now they are strong and healthy, and we have the same story in connection with other matters.

Now I would like to deal with some of the remarks of my hon. friend the acting leader of the opposition. He stated that prosperity is to be found only in the cities, but was he not putting the cart before the horse? Does not the prosperity of the cities depend upon the buying power of the surrounding communities? While I feel like complimenting him upon the style of his address I am afraid I cannot compliment him upon much of the contents. It was a strong, vigorous presentation of a bad cause; I might also compliment those who surround him upon the way in which they upheld their leader, but when my hon. friend admitted the prosperity in the

urban communities he inferentially admitted that the buying power of the country communities surrounding the cities must have been increased.

Then he described in very strong words the extravagances of this government. Surely if that were the case someone would have heard of it before. I have heard governments called tightwads because they did nothing in the way of developing the country, constructing new buildings and so on, but I have never heard them called extravagant either throughout the country or in the press except by hide-bound Tory papers which I do not believe would be pleased by any budget brought down by this party. However, the rank and file of the people are well satisfied with the budget; they do not object to any expenditure on railways and so on, nor do they object to the beautification of our capital city. My hon. friend referred to some of the extravagances in this city; how many people outside of politics really begrudge the money spent to beautify our one and only capital city? Furthermore, whbre could we start to beautify it except where we have already started? Some day these other buildings will be quite old, and then that park can be extended right along Wellington street. Canada is only starting its second sixty-year period; a hundred years ago this city hardly existed and consequently we are still in swaddling clothes to-day. We must look to the Ottawa of the to-morrow in connection with these matters.

Then my hon. friend referred to the Canadian building in London. Where would he have our staff housed? Should they be put on the street or should they be cared for in a proper building? If we are to take our part in the affairs of the world we must be prepared to provide proper accommodation for those who represent us and we must be as good as the other fellow. We have passed through our shack days, our colonial days, but our friends opposite want to linger a while; they do not want us to take a position commensurate with our progress up to the present. Then my hon. friend referred to our embassy at Washington. If there is anything for which the Prime Minister of this country is to be commended I think it is his policy in connection with these embassies. I heard that policy enunciated at a meeting in Toronto, that hod-bed of Toryism, and it met with the complete approbation of a large audience at Hart house in addition to being radioed all over the country. Yet my hon. friend, with all his ability, his enterprise and his high faculty of presentation, is still antediluvian in this respect; he wants us to

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go out and play hobo among the nations of the world, just to make a little party advantage, in order to play to the galleries and leave the impression that we are doing something extravagant when he knows very well we are doing the proper thing at the proper time. The same thing applies to Tokyo, and beyond that I will not follow my hon. friend.

Now I come to the Australian treaty, which is an old favourite, and before I forget it I remember that my hon. friend who has just taken his seat spoke of the possibility of extending our trade with other nations and other parts of the empire, yet one of the strongest arguments advanced yesterday was against the extension of our trade with Australia and New Zealand. So they sing different songs, but they are all directed against the government. My hon. friend the acting leader of the opposition dealt with the Australian treaty, but forgot to take up one particular section of it ; I do not believe he meant to misrepresent the treaty, but simply forgot about this section. I refer to section 4, which is as follows:

That subject to the provisions of the customs tariff, 1907, the governor in council may, by order in council, extend the said advantages to goods the produce or manufacture of any British country.

That is as sweeping as the hon. member for Fort William seems to wish. That is contained in the act itself, and I am afraid my hon. friend overlooked it when he was making his point.

Now may I refer to our importations. The reason we have importation of anything is because we want it and are prepared to pay for it. During the administration of all governments since 1896 we have had a certain amount of antipodean butter come to Canada when we were short. In 1896 the amount was very small, only about 7,000 pounds; ten years later it had increased to about 16,000 pounds and by 1907 the importation had grown to about 205,000 pounds. Then, when the Liberals went out of office in 1911, the importation of this butter had increased to a little less than 1,000,000 pounds, from the two antipodean countries. In 1912, the first year after the advent of the Tory administration, this importation had increased from less than a million pounds to about 2,241,000 pounds, but no one on this side of the house took a cat-fit over that increase, because we were getting good New Zealand butter when we required it. Now let us see how it grew under the administration of our good friends opposite, who abhor this importation so much. I have given the importation which occurred during their first year in office; that

had nothing to do with their coming into power, but there was no great hullabaloo about this importation such as we hear now. In 1913 it grew to about 6,000,000 pounds and yet nothing was said except by a gratified country over the fact that they were getting good butter for their tables instead of the vile stuff which was introduced later on in the form of intestinal fats called oleomargarine. Then in 1914 the importation reached almost 7,000,000 pounds; horror of horrors, what was to happen next? Yet there was not a squeal from the Tories. From that time on it began to grow less; in 1915 it was about

5,000,000 pounds; it grew smaller and smaller until 1924, when it was about 1,296,000 pounds and then, co-incident with the introduction of the Australian treaty, if you like, but also co-incident with many other things, the importations from New Zealand grew larger.

The claim has been made that every time you have a large crop in the west the butter production goes down. That is not the case; butter production goes down, in the periods of big crops if it is not a profitable undertaking. The largest inflation in butter production in the west occurred in 1923 and again this year. So far this year's production will be double what it was at the same time last year, showing that the production of butter is due to the change in conditions out there, such as better winter weather, better fodder, improved cattle and more efficient administration of creameries. The point has been raised that we are getting New Zealand butter. When our Conservative friends were in power, and coincident with the time, my hon. friend went into the government of that day, during the last year of that adminisration, in 1920, we imported very little New Zealand butter, but 8,450,000 pounds of oleomargarine were manufactured in this country and

6,497,000 pounds were imported. Our friends are hollering about importing New Zealand butter, but they evidently preferred to feed the people of Canada oleomargarine rather than good New Zealand butter. Personally, I prefer butter rather than the mixture of intestinal fats and southern oils which were brought in from the southern states of the United States. The oleomargarine consumed in Canada during 1920, the last year of my hon. friends' administration, amounted to almost as much as the total importations of butter from New Zealand last year. That product did not possess the nutrition and vitamines, or the calories if you like, of the good butter which is given to our people today. My hon. friends' administration did not feed the people of Canada on good New Zea-

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land butter during that time of shortage. You have to consider the whole policy contained in a treaty rather than take one isolated item. When you make a treaty with a country you cannot expect to get it for nothing. You give them what they want, as nearly as possible, and in exchange they give you certain things. You have to give and take; you have to barter in negotiating treaties of this kind. Great umbrage was raised over giving them preference on their raisins, but if my horn, friends think they are going to extend the trade of Canada by a one-sided basis of dealing, they are not going to get anywhere.

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CON

Peter McGibbon

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. McGIBBON:

What did we get from

New Zealand?

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LIB

William Richard Motherwell (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. MOTHERWELL:

We gave them the preferred nations clause. It was contained in the treaty and if my hon. friends did not criticize it at the time the treaty was approved then they were negligent.

I think my bon. friend (Mr. Guthrie) made something of a faux pas with regard to his reference to the grain trade. He stated two gentlemen came down from the west and poured out their lamentations about what was happening with regard to the grain trade due to mixing and all the problems incidental thereto. The whole thing began in 1912, the first session of the government of the party my hon. friend now belongs to-he was sitting on the Liberal side of the house in 1912- when an amendment to the Canada Grain Act was brought down, and under the guise of granting sample markets, this system of mixing has been going on for years. When this government attempted' to correct it in 1925, or surround that vicious practice with safeguards which would eventually eliminate it, the act was changed by friends of my hon. friends opposite in the upper chamber of this parliament, to the detriment of Canadian grain. That is the story with regard to that. It was the same during the last decade of the last century, from 1890 to 1900, when the Conservative party were in power. No measures of protection were attempted until after the Liberal government came into power, and then the Manitoba Grain Act was put into effect in 1900. The only remedial legislation along these lines has been enacted at the instance of the Liberal party.

I rather compliment my hon. friend on the illustration he drew in comparing the alacrity of Saul of Tarsus on his way to Damascus' to that with which he imagined we would be acting in the course of a year or two with regard to tariff matters. He put it rather

well and rather pleasantly and complacently, and took all the fun he could out of it, which fun I would not deny to him at all. But the alacrity of Saul of Tarsus was nothing compared to that of Guthrie of Wellington when he was on his way to the treasury benches in 1917. Talk about conversions, there has been nothing like it in the history of this country.

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CON

Hugh Guthrie

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GUTHRIE:

I came in pretty good company and on a pretty good cause.

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LIB

William Richard Motherwell (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. MOTHERWELL:

Saul's cause was

good, there is no question about that.

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CON

Hugh Guthrie

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GUTHRIE:

And so was mine.

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LIB

William Richard Motherwell (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. MOTHERWELL:

Saul's conversion

has profoundly affected the world ever since, but I do not think it was a Damascus call that my hon. friend responded to.

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CON

Hugh Guthrie

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GUTHRIE:

Or Mr. Fielding or Mr. Graham?

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LIB

William Richard Motherwell (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. MOTHERWELL:

I am talking about my hon. friend.

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CON

Hugh Guthrie

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GUTHRIE:

They came too.

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LIB

William Richard Motherwell (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. MOTHERWELL:

If my hon. friend wants to be classified with Mr. Fielding, why did he not do as Mr. Fielding did? I want to remove any concern my hon. friend may have about our possible conversion. We do not need any conversion on this question. We have a leader who faced a crisis in 1926, and the country singled him out as a man who was capable of leading this country and this party through any crisis.

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March 8, 1929