March 7, 1930

LIB

Charles Avery Dunning (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. DUNNING:

My hon. friends apposite say "hear, hear".

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CON
?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Order.

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LIB

Charles Avery Dunning (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. DUNNING:

My hon. friend can make his speech later on. And yet my hon. friends opposite on the public platform will talk loudly about empire loyalty and their desire of building up empire trade, but to a sister dominion, with respect to which we enjoy at the present time very valuable trade relations indeed, unsatisfactory though they may be in certain particulars to some of us, and to some of the people of New Zealand also from their point of view, the proposal of my hon. friends opposite is that the arrangement be "rescinded forthwith". That, I may say, Mr. Speaker, is not the policy of the government. During the past year, numerous interests in Canada have represented to the government the desirability, from their point of view, of their products being included within a treaty with New Zealand, and have urged upon the government the desirability of such a treaty. It must be borne in mind that at the present time there is no treaty directly between Neiw Zealand and Canada. New Zealand extends to Canada her full British preference on everything. She does that her own volition, in exactly the same way as Canada extended her British preference to Great Britain, and there was no question of negotiating a treaty when New Zealand extended her British preference to Canada.

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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

That is original.

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LIB

Charles Avery Dunning (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. DUNNING:

When the Australian

treaty was entered into-and it must be remembered that Australia does not, and never has extended her full British preference to Canada-New Zealand requested that its provisions, in so far as they were more beneficial to her, should be extended by Canada. That was done under the order in council which is being discussed. As I said a few moments ago, during the past year numerous industries in Canada have urged upon the government the desirability of a definite trade treaty with New Zealand in order that more Canadian products might be exported to that country under more favourable terms. The government of New Zealand has been made aware of the desire of the Canadian government to negotiate a treaty with them at as early a date as possible. Communications to that end are not complete.

It is not an easy thing, Mr. Speaker, to discuss matters of this kind between sister

Australian Treaty-Mr. Dunning

dominions of the British Empire over the many thousands of miles of land and sea that intervene, with neither dominion having diplomatic representation in the capital of the other. AVe find very much more difficulty in negotiating matters of this kind as to our sister dominions in which we have no diplomatic representation than we do, for instance, with Great Britain, France, the United States and Japan where each country is definitely represented in a diplomatic manner in the capital of the other.

I do not intend to go further by way of informing the house at the present time as to negotiations, except to convey to the house, on behalf of the government, that the government of New Zealand is aware of the desire of the Canadian government to negotiate a definite trade treaty with that country.

I ask, Mr. Speaker: Is it a good preliminary to negotiations with another country for this house to adopt a resolution such as that moved by my hon. friend from Haldimand (Mr. Senn), to say definitely we will rescind forthwith the arrangement that we have now, regardless of its usefulness to them or its usefulness to us, and that we will start from that basis to negotiate a new treaty? This government does not believe that course would be desirable. I know the argument that my hon. friend, the leader of the opposition is going to put forward. Lawyerlike, he proposes to point out to me that the benefits of the Australian treaty were extended to New Zealand, and that among those benefits is clause 5 of the treaty, which states that six months' notice must be given by either party for abrogation of the treaty; and instead of meaning literally what his resolution says, that the order in council should be rescinded forthwith; he will argue that it will only mean that something will happen six months from now, but I would point out to the house-

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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

The order in council would have to be rescinded forthwith, but the notice could follow. That is not a treaty, only an order in council.

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LIB

Charles Avery Dunning (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. DUNNING:

That is exactly as I was pointing out, what my hon. friend would say. While all of those speeches delivered by hon. gentlemen opposite are designed to convince the dairy farmers of this country-whom they have succeeded, in some measure, in exciting about this matter-

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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Hear, hear.

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LIB

Charles Avery Dunning (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. DUNNING:

I am glad my hon. friends admit that it is purely political propaganda-

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CON
LIB

Charles Avery Dunning (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. DUNNING:

My hon. friend regards

speeches such as his as good politics.

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CON
LIB

Charles Avery Dunning (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. DUNNING:

Yes. While my hon.

friends are trying to convince the dairy farmers of this country that they would forthwith stop this importation of New Zealand butter, my hon. friend the leader of the opposition is making it quite clear in the house, after being questioned about it, that he does not intend to stop it right away, but merely intends that the order in council should be rescinded, and that then we should say that six months hence-

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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

Surely, I said that in the country all summer.

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LIB

Charles Avery Dunning (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. DUNNING:

That, Mr. Speaker, was not the sense of the remarks of the two hon. gentlemen who moved and seconded the resolution.

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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

It certainly was.

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LIB

Charles Avery Dunning (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. DUNNING:

However that may be,

even assuming that to be the meaning of the amendment now before the house, may I submit, Mr. Speaker, that it is scarcely a fortunate way of addressing a sister dominion in a matter of this kind. The people of New Zealand who are reading in the press of their country the amendment moved by my hon. friend opposite will not have before them the hair-splitting legal explanation of the leader of the opposition that a complete cutoff is n>ot intended but that six months from now something will happen. That is one point. The other is that this government would rather proceed all along the line in negotiations with our sister dominions in an atmosphere of good' will. We would rather proceed along the line that we have taken in this matter, of making the government of New Zealand aware that we do desire to negotiate a trade treaty with them, as we did some time ago before he heard anything about this amendment of my hon. friends. Negotiations between governments on matters of this kind, necessarily must be confidential, up to the point at least when it can be mutually agreed upon to make them public. We much prefer to say that we want to negotiate a treaty without disturbing the trade between the two countries by giving definite notice now that six months hence trade between the two countries will cease under the existing arrangement. Many industries in Canada-the dairy industry, the lumbering industry, the rubber industry, the fishing industry, and many others-are vitally interested in this trade with New Zealand, and the government of Canada

376 COMMONS

Australian Treaty-Point of Order

at the present time is endeavouring to avoid giving any idea that six months from now trade with New Zealand will cease. And I may say, in that regard, that we have the hearty good will of the government of New Zealand. The government of New Zealand is willing to sit down with us in an endeavour to negotiate a mutually satisfactory treaty which will, of course, immediately replace the existing arrangement, once it is consented to by both parties.

I would like to point out, Mr. Speaker, that an Imperial economic conference is to be held some time during the month of September. We would like to approach this conference with our sister dominions without having hit them over the head in the meantime. We do not think that it is a good way to go into a conference, having endeavoured to damage the other party to the conference before commencing to confer with him. It is not a good preliminary to knock a man down and then say, We will confer with you. It is much better to do the conferring first and the fighting afterwards. That is what the government of Canada proposes to do with respect to negotiations with our sister dominions along these lines. In addition, with respect to butter, dairy products and some other matters we will have at the coming imperial economic conference the advantage of the evidence taken by the Tariff Advisory Board and the advice of that body in connection with the negotiation of any treaty with any of our sister dominions with respect to any matter of trade.

For these reasons, Mr. Speaker, I propose to move, or rather since I cannot personally move I propose to ask one of my colleagues to move as a subamendment-

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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

The colleagues of the

minister cannot move it either; the government as a whole is speaking now.

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LIB

Charles Avery Dunning (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. DUNNING:

I will ask a private

member to do it, then, but even private members on this side of the house are my colleagues, you know. The subamendment is designed to bring the matter more in harmony with what I am sure the people of Canada would desire to be the atmosphere which should exist as between sister dominions of the British Empire, tending to foster interempire trade rather than to destroy it. The subamendment is that all the words after "be" in the fourth line of the amendment be struck out and the following substituted therefor: "Superseded as soon as possible by a treaty with that dominion, and that immediate steps should be taken to negotiate such treaty." The motion would then read:

That in the opinion of this house, order in council No. 1757, passed on the 26th day of September, 1925, respecting certain trade arrangements with the Dominion of New Zealand, should be superseded as soon as possible by a treaty with that dominion, and that imediate steps should be taken to negotiate such treaty.

Mr. PIERRE F. CASGRAIN (Charlevoix-Saguenay): Mr. Speaker, I desire to move,

seconded by the hon. member for St. Denis (Mr. Denis):

That all the words after "be" in the fourth line of the amendment be struck out and the following substituted therefor:

"Superseded as soon as possible by a treaty with that dominion and that immediate steps should be taken to negotiate such treaty."

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March 7, 1930