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.
Subtopic: CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE