March 24, 1930

CON

Charles Hazlitt Cahan

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CAHAN:

Mr. Speaker, before this section is adopted I should like to make a few suggestions with regard to certain amendments and I think improvements which might be made in the bill now before the house.

I have participated in public and political discussions in Canada for nearly fifty years, and upon every occasion I have endeavoured to urge that in our relations with our great neighbours to the south we on our part should

Export Act-Mr. Cahan

endeavour to be neighbourly. I do not agree with the suggestion sometimes made in this house that the United States has been a good neighbour to us, because I think many times officials of the United States have been very aggressive and irritating in dealing with Canada in those international matters which affect both countries. In spite of that fact, as a weaker nation and I think on the whole a nation with a better disposition and better manners, we should endeavour to cooperate, in so far as we can with due regard to our self respect and national dignity, in preventing friction along the border.

The Prime Minister referred to the principle of this bill as being expressed in the terms of the explanatory note, where it states that the purpose of the bill is to authorize officials of the Dominion of Canada to do so and so. The impression left upon the country-I think perhaps unfortunately-was that the bill was not an absolute prohibition, but was a prohibition within the discretion of the officials of the government. Further, in the Prime Minister's address he referred to the bill as proposing to refuse releases of liquor known to be destined to the United States, and to refrain from granting clearances to ships carrying intoxicating liquors when those liquors are known to be destined to the United States. I think those who read the Prime Minister's speech must be under an entire misapprehension as to the real purport and effect of this legislation.

When the Minister of Justice, on behalf of Canada, executed the agreement, or convention, or treaty of 1924 between the United States and Canada for the punpose of suppressing smuggling operations along the international boundary between the Dominion of Canada and the United States, no doubt he was either serious in his desire to carry out that alleged intention of the treaty, or else he had a quiet, sardonic grin when he was signing that treaty, because its clear implication is that it is perfectly lawful, as between Canada and the United States, to transport and export liquors destined for the United States, providing that we do so openly in ships clearing for American ports and not by ships which clear for distant foreign ports when the size and quality of the ships would create the suspicion that they could not reach the distant port in some other country. This treaty recognized as perfectly legal the distillation of liquors in Canladla, the brewing of beers and the fermenting of wines, and recognized also as perfectly legal on * the part of Canada the transhipment and exportation of these liquors to the United States so long as

we did it openly and gave the United States notice of the clearing of the ship and the nature of the cargo.

Now matters have changed. The Prime Minister is persuaded that the United States is sincerely and honestly endeavouring bo prevent smuggling. I noticed that one of the journals of the day suggested that this measure should be entitled "a bill to ease the conscience of the Prime Minister and to allay his undue emotions with respect to the crimes being committed on the border," but I do not take that view. Personally, from what I have seen and heard, I believe that the Prime Minister has been put under great strain and stress by the officials of the United States in order to induce him to introduce this measure to the house.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   EXPORT ACT AMENDMENT
Sub-subtopic:   REFUSAL OF RELEASES AND CLEARANCES TO COUNTRIES WHERE IMPORTATION OF LIQUOR FORBIDDEN
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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:

None whatever.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   EXPORT ACT AMENDMENT
Sub-subtopic:   REFUSAL OF RELEASES AND CLEARANCES TO COUNTRIES WHERE IMPORTATION OF LIQUOR FORBIDDEN
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CON

Charles Hazlitt Cahan

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CAHAN:

Pardon me?

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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:

There has been none whatever.

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Sub-subtopic:   REFUSAL OF RELEASES AND CLEARANCES TO COUNTRIES WHERE IMPORTATION OF LIQUOR FORBIDDEN
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CON

Charles Hazlitt Cahan

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CAHAN:

Well, all I can say is that within a short time before I came to the opening of this session, a very high official of the United States toLd me personally, knowing that I was a member of this House of Commons, that unless this parliament of Canada enacted a prohibition of liquor export, it was the clear determination of the United States to place from 5,000 to 10,000 armed men along the border in order to prevent it.

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LIB

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. POULIOT:

Who said that?

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CON

Charles Hazlitt Cahan

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CAHAN:

I was given that information by an official of the United States, and I inferred that similar protestations must have. been made to the Prime Minister of this country, either directly or indirectly, in order to induce him to take the attitude which he is now taking.

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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 might assure my hon. friend that no such representations or protestations have been made either directly or indirectly.

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CON

Charles Hazlitt Cahan

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CAHAN:

Of course I accept the statement of the Prime Minister, but I could give no other colour to the address which he made, having in my own mind a knowledge that such statements have been made by officials at Washington with respect to their intentions on the border unless we prohibit the exportation of liquors to that country. Accepting the word of the Prime Minister, why should we proceed in this hurried manner to enact a bill such as this? Would it not have been far preferable to have negotiated with the United States an amendment to the treaty of

1924 whereby each country would by a reciprocal agreement or by reciprocal legislation outside of the agreement, prohibit the exportation from the United States into Canada of goods the importation of which is prohibited by Canada, or the exportation by Canada into the United States of goods the importation of which is prohibited by the United States?

A reciprocal amendment could have been made to article 2 of the smuggling treaty of 1924. That article reads:

The high contracting parties agree that clearance from Canada or from the United States shall be denied to any vessel carrying cargo consisting of articles the importation of which into the territory of Canada or of the United States, as the case may be, is prohibited,

That is a clear prohibition, but the clause does not end there. The proviso reads: when it is evident from the tonnage, size and general character of the vessel, or the length of the voyage and the perils or conditions of navigation attendant upon it, that the vessel will be unable to carry its cargo to the destination proposed in the application for clearance.

A very simple amendment could have been made to that clause, prohibiting, as the first part of the clause does, the clearance of vessels from Canada to the United States containing goods the importation of which into the United States is prohibited, by adding simply the word "or." It would then read: or prohibition of 'the exportation of similar goods from Canada to ports in other countries when it is evident from the tonnage, size and general character of the vessel, or the length of the voyage and the perils or conditions of navigation attendant upon it, that the vessel will be unable to carry its cargo to the destination proposed in the application for clearance.

It seems to me that if the mind of the Prime Minister radically changed in August last, as I understand it did, then there was ample time for him to negotiate an amendment to that treaty under which reciprocal duties and obligations would be imposed upon the governments of the two countries. It seems to me that such a treaty would have been far more consistent with the self respect and dignity of this country than to place ourselves in the position, as seems to be the view of many of the leading newspapers of the United States, where we have been compelled to pass legislation because of the insistent demands of the United States that we should do so.

In his address the Prime Minister referred to the fact that a combination of the distillers of this country and the rum runners and smugglers of the United States was-I have forgotten the word-a sort of detestable business and one to be condemned by the

Export Act-Mr. Cahan

people of Canada. The views of the Prime Minister as to the moral obliquity of the distillers of Canada have greatly changed during the last few years. I remember in 1925 when he desired to select an eminent man from the province of Quebec to take the title of honourable for all time and become a member of this government, he chose a very active director of one of the great distillery companies. That man was my opponent in the constituency of St. Lawrence-St. George and after his defeat he continued to be a very active director of that great distillery company until the services of an eminent and qualified man were required for a foreign post, when he was selected again. Up to that time there was in the view of the Prime Minister no moral obliquity attached to the office of director of a distillery company, or to one who actively directed its business.

This bill should apply to all articles which are prohibited and not to distilled liquors alone, because distillers are certainly regarded as an honourable class of men and their product is a legal product in this country. If we are to enter into a treaty with the United States, let it be one by which reciprocal duties are imposed, and let it be one which applies in both cases to all prohibited goods, whether prohibited in the United States or prohibited in Canada. That is my first suggestion.

My second suggestion is that if we cannot effect this by treaty, we should do it by concurrent legislation. It would be wise to place upon the statute books of this country, as we propose now to do, an act which would refer not only to intoxicating liquors but to the prohibition of export from Canada of any goods into any country by the law of which their importation is prohibited. For instance, the importation of matches is prohibited in France, and it would seem to me to partake of the same moral obliquity to allow the clearance from Canada to a French port of a cargo containing matches, as to allow the clearance from Canada of intoxicants destined for Finland, the importation of which into that country is prohibited, or to the United States, where there is also a prohibition. Let us apply it equally all round. There are a number of articles the importation of which into Canada is prohibited, and it seems to me that we should prohibit export only in respect of importations into those countries which enact reciprocal legislation.

The bill deals with two matters which have no real relation to each other. The first clause of the bill is an amendment to the Export Act, and the second clause refers to the granting of clearances which certainly should come under

Export Act-Mr. Cahan

the Customs Act. In the Customs Act we have the definition of clearances, the definition of entries outward, the definition of manifests, a declaration with regard to the proper officers to issue clearances and the conditions under which they should be granted. If these matters are to be dealt with in such a bill as the present one, I suggest that the bill is wider in its application than is useful and proper under the circumstances.

I cannot rid my mind of the fact, and I think it is entirely consistent with the statement of the Prime Minister, that this bill is introduced not because of any moral reform on the part of the government, not because there is a desire to assume the appearance of virtue at about the political demise of the present government of the day, but because this government feels that if we refuse to pass this legislation we will create continued irritation and opposition and unfriendliness toward Canada in the minds of the officials of the United States government, and possibly in the minds of the people of the United States. I think that was made clear in the Prime Minister's speech. Therefore we do not wish by way of pledge or promise to the United States to pass legislation which it is impossible for us to carry out, and which, if we fail to carry it out, must invoke new criticisms, additional irritation and opposition on the part of the officials of that country. In this bill we undertake that the officials of this government shall not release, from bonding warehouse or other place, liquor destined for delivery in any country into which the importation of liquor is prohibited by law. That imposes upon our officials the duty of completely guaranteeing that the liquor so released is not by some indirect method or indisclosed purpose destined for delivery in the United States, and that is a contention which the United States authorities may fairly set up in the future, after this legislation is enacted. That intention is bound to be a continued source of irritation unless we can absolutely guarantee that the liquor so released will not eventually find its destination in the United States.

The same criticism applies to clearances. Paragraph (b) reads:

It shall be unlawful to grant a clearance to any vessel ^ having on board any intoxicating liquor destined for delivery in any country into which the importation of such liquor is prohibited by law.

If that paragraph is enacted in its present form, it constitutes a pledge on the part of the government that in so far as the United States is concerned no intoxicating liquor shall be concealed on board any ship which secures a clearance from a Canadian port. It will be

necessary to have at the port inspectors who will inspect the ship from stem to stern and from keel to upper deck in order to be assured that it has on board no intoxicating liquors which are destined for delivery in the United States. Under the present practice a vessel clears for some port. She is not bound to go to that port. Her destination may be changed at sea at any time by the owners who have complete control of the ship, and we shall find vessels -which have cleared from Canadian ports will be overhauled at sea by the United States coastguards, as they now accost and overhaul ships out at sea. When these ships are found to have liquor, which has been surreptitiously placed on board-, no doubt without the knowledge of the customs officer who granted the clearances, these United States coastguards will say: This ship is to foe treated as a pirate on the high seas; she has on board liquor unlawfully shipped from the country from which she cleared and in which she is registered; according to our belief this liquor is destined for a United States port. Under those circumstances they will treat those ships with a ruthlessness which has not yet been attained in the dealings of United States coastguards with foreign ships found within or outside the territorial limit with intoxicating liquors on board.

Furthermore, this bill is not sufficiently comprehensive to carry out the clear intention that the prime minister has expressed. One reason why I would desire that reciprocal obligations should be undertaken by the two countries is this: in Quebec we used to find secret stills illicitly manufacturing whisky blanc in country villages and in the hills, but since the new regime with cheap wines and beers available, it is no longer profitable to distil whisky blanc in Quebec. But there has been growing up in the last few years a considerable illicit exportation of whisky blanc from the hills of Vermont and New York into Quebec. In the northern border states on almost every countryside illicit stills have been distilling spirits at very low cost, much more cheaply than they can be bought in our country, and these spirits are being secretly smuggled across the 'border into Canada. No effort is being made on the part of the United States to restrain such exportation. Indeed, one might hardly expect it when one examines into the nature of -the prohibition laws which prevail in the United States.

I should like to refer for a moment to the eighteenth amendment. It is simply an amendment which empowers congress on the one hand and the state legislatures on the other to enact provisions to enforce prohibition, but if we look through it we shall find

Export Act-Mr. Manion

there is in the United States no prohibition against the purchase of liquor; there is in that country no prohibition against the consumption of liquor; and, under the interpretation given by their courts to their own laws, there is in that country no prohibition against household distillation, household brewing, or household fermentation of grape juice into wine.

Let us look at the facts. The state of California is officially one of the most intensely prohibitory states in the union, but before the Volstead Act the state of California was drying its grapes into raisins and selling them at a very modest profit. Now that the Volstead Act has come into force the grapes of that- state are being sold at six, seven and in many cases ten times the original 'profit. The graipes are being sent, as is also the grape juice, in cold storage cars throughout the length and breadth of the land, so that every householder may ferment and drink his own wines. Prohibition so far as California is concerned is simply a matter of protection for the vineyard industry in that state. Across the border in New York, under the law which prevails, a man may distil 200 gallons of liquor, 200 gallons of beer, 200 gallons of wine in his own household or upon his own premises, for consumption in his own household, so long as he does not sell it. The result is that if you cross the border from Quebec and go into Vermont, New Hampshire or New York state, you will find many country hotels that have a select class of summer visitors. Some of them have brought in brewers from Milwaukee; others have brought in expert wine makers from France, and on the premises they make 200 gallons of this liquor for eveTy man, woman and child in the family and even for everyone employed upon the estate. There is no penalty against giving the liquor away on the premises and those who attend those country places have all the wine and beer they desire given to them with their meals. According to the decisions of their courts it is not sold or paid for. There are more intoxicating drinks being made and disposed of and consumed in the United States of America to-day than ever before in its history. I d'o not think there is any doubt of that. Therefore, I say that we should have either a reciprocal agreement in the form of a treaty or some form of reciprocal legislation, which would give to Canada the same protection from smugglers from the United States as the United States now ask us to give with respect to smugglers of Canadian products into the United States. My years may not be long, but if I live five years more after this bill pases, I am convinced that I will find

that it will cause more irritation and difficulty and disputes between the United States and this country in that time than a continuation of the existing conditions could possibly cause. Furthermore, if we assume the full onus and obligation contained in the implications of this bill, it means that we will have to put from five thousand to ten thousand men on the frontier and along our sea coast, in order to prevent liquors from Canada illegally entering the United States, and to prevent liquors illicitly made in the United States and illegally exported to Canada being reexported back again across the border. It will place upon us a burden and a responsibility and an expense which this country has no right to assume and is under no moral obligation to assume. I am prepared to believe until I hear to the contrary, that the Prime Minister assumes that this bill is simply a prohibition of export and a prohibition of clearance, and that it imposes no unusual burdens upon this country, as indeed he stated in moving the second reading of the bill, but I appeal to him, as an astute lawyer, to look carefully at this bill and consider its implications. I believe it will entail an enormous expenditure upon this country, the adding of at least one or two thousand men to be placed on the border to prevent liquor going across. It also will mean continual differences and disputes between us and the United- States which to a certain extent would 'be eliminated if you would proceed by way of a new convention amending the old treaty of 1924, or if you should proceed by legislation which would be reciprocal as between the two countries, coming into force in this country when the United States has enacted similar prohibitory legislation in respect of exports from that country of which the importation into Canada is prohibited.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   EXPORT ACT AMENDMENT
Sub-subtopic:   REFUSAL OF RELEASES AND CLEARANCES TO COUNTRIES WHERE IMPORTATION OF LIQUOR FORBIDDEN
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CON

Robert James Manion

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MANION:

I wish to make a few remarks on some of the details of this bill, because its principle has been accepted by the house. When this bill was brought in by the Prime Minister the only opposition of any kind to the principle of the bill, the principle being the stopping of any association between the government of Canada and illegal exporters of liquor in this country to the United States, came from one member behind the Prime Minister, the hon. member for Quebec South. But the details of the bill are yet to be considered, just as the hon. member for St. Lawrenee-St. George has considered them. I entirely agree with him and with my hon-. leader, who took exactly the same attitude, that in justice to Canada we

Export Act-Mr. Manion

might well have proceeded by way of reciprocal legislation, either a treaty or a convention, or concurrent legislation as suggested by the hon. member for St. Lawrence-St. George, because in that way we could have obtained for Canada some rights in return for what we are now giving up at the request of the United States.

There is no doubt that the United States has requested this bill. They sent over to Canada a deputation under Admiral Billard to confer with the government, and they certainly asked for legislation such as this. Therefore, sir, I am not criticising particularly what is in the bill so much as what is left out of it, the part that is left out being Canada's vital interests in this matter.

I have no quarrel with the Prime Minister's attitude of high morality and justice, but I submit that we can make a business deal either with another person or another country on the high ground of morality and justice and yet do justice to ourselves at the same time. The Prime Minister, after all, is in this matter a trustee for the people of this country, and I feel that instead of bringing down this legislation by itself, without any concurrent legislation in the United States, he should have done as was suggested by my leader, and later by the hon. member for St. Lawrence-St. George, namely, have negotiated a treaty or convention with the United States.

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Subtopic:   EXPORT ACT AMENDMENT
Sub-subtopic:   REFUSAL OF RELEASES AND CLEARANCES TO COUNTRIES WHERE IMPORTATION OF LIQUOR FORBIDDEN
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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

They offered it to us.

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CON

Robert James Manion

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MANION:

My leader points out that they offered to us a convention or treaty in which Canada would have been given some return for the fifteen to twenty million dollars of revenue which she will lose under this legislation in excise taxation on the export of liquor to the United States. Furthermore, this legislation is going to involve expenditure for Canada. In return for the loss of this fifteen to twenty million dollars of revenue, and for the additional expenditure which this legislation will involve to Canada, what does the United States give us? Though they have asked us for this legislation, they give us nothing. In this connection I quote the last paragraph of an editorial in the Washington Post of March 10, 1930, a few days before this legislation was brought down:

The Canadian government, of course, realizes full well the burdens and the responsibities it will be forced to assume with the enactment of such legislation. Without enforcement there can be no prohibition. If Canada undertakes to prevent the exportation of liquor an extensive enforcement machine will be required. The enforcement machine will deal with the same essential problems that beset the American Prohibition Bureau. There will be a similar effort to evade the law. There will be the

same tendency toward bribery and corruption. Whether or not Canada will be able to prevent the exportation of liquor remains to be seen. This much is certain: Enforcement of the law will require eternal vigilance, unceasing effort, large appropriations and the sacrifice of revenues that heretofore have accrued from the tax on the manufacture of liquor destined for export, for which there will be no counterbalancing benefits.

Inasmuch as Canada stands to lose so much through enactment of this legislation, the fact that there was a sentiment, the strength of which may be discounted, for its enactment does not fully explain why the bill was introduced. Has Premier King been promised or does he expect to obtain a quid pro quo? If so, who promised it and what could it be?

In other words, the Post asks what does Canada get for giving up this revenue and for the loss to private interest in this business, and for the extra expenditure which will be put upon this country by this legislation? What is the quid pro quo? Do we get anything in return, or are we to draw the conclusion that this legislation, like the Prime Minister's tariff legislation, is a made-in-Washington policy, or a don't-provoke-Wash-ington policy-not a Canadian measure, but a United States measure? There is a biblical injunction that it is more blessed to give than to receive, but sometimes I like the other fellow to get a chance to bless himself. We have been getting all the blessings in our dealings with the United States, and I think it is time that we permitted the people on the other side of the line a share in these blessings by giving us something. We should have, I repeat, either a treaty or convention whereby Canada would reap reciprocal benefits, because, as the hon. member for St. Lawrence-St. George has pointed out, smuggling across the border is not all in one direction. That is one way in which the United States could have dealt with us.

I hold in my hand a picture taken from this month's issue of the National Revenue Review, published by the Minister of National Revenue, and this is quite appropriate, I think, in view of his speech on this subject last year. It shows the seizure of a large quantity of American alcohol that came into Quebec from the United States. It might have been agreed in a treaty, for instance, that the United States would prohibit the export of alcohol into Canada in return for what we are doing under this legislation. It might have been agreed, for example, that they would try to stop some of the 50 ito 100 million cigarettes that it is estimated are smuggled into Canada every year. That is the quantity estimated foy our officials who have looked into the matter.

Export Act-Mr. Manion

Before I proceed further I wish to say that I am just as friendly to the United States as any other member of this house can be, but I believe that Canada's interests must come first. In this regard I think the statement by the Prime Minister of what be called the "perilous" condition that might arise between the two countries if wie continue to grant clearance of liquor cargoes to the United States was uncalled for. Everybody who read that speech, whether he lived on this side of the line or to the south, inferred that there was a possibility even of war between the two countries-certainly something one would not expect to arise in a great moral cause. To show the house that Americans took the same inference from the Prime Minister's remark as we did, allow me to read a despatch to the Toronto Globe from Detroit, quoting an editorial in the Detroit Free Press:

"At the risk of seeming to look a gift horse in the mouth, we would have wished that, in moving the second reading of the bill, Mr. Mackenzie King had not urged its enactment on the ground that war might ensue between the United States and Canada over the border smuggling . ,,

"With all due respect to the opinions ot the late Lord Curzon, we have no hesitancy in saying that a war with Canada over the liquor question is both unthinkable and impossible."

May I say, Mr. Chairman, that while I often criticize the United States for what I think has been their rather selfish attitude in trade matters concerning Canada, I agree with the Detroit Free Press that war between Canada and the United States is "both unthinkable and impossible". I do not think the day willl ever come when any difficulty which may arise between these two countries will not be settled by arbitration and conciliation, because war between ourselves and our neighbours would be too much like a civil wiar, and almost as impossible to conceive as a war between Great Britain and Canada.

Now, sir, I think there was a great opportunity for the government to have bargained with the United States in this matter, and I do not think that opportunity has gone by yet; hence mainly the reason why I am making these remarks. What was the particular hurry to bring in this legislation? Is there not time even yet to bargain with the United States? For a number of years the government has willingly collected excise duties from the export of liquor to the United States; they have not only willingly taken those duties, but havq put them into their surplus and boasted of the result. So there should be no such hurry anyhow to ignore Canada's interests as to my mind they have been ignored in this legislation; for in addition to the loss of revenue and extra expense entailed by this measure, its enactment if effective will have the result of intensifying the already serious unemployment situation.

I notice that the labour unions of Quebec and some of the labour organisations of Ontario have been very strongly apposing the action of the government in this regard. Then there is the injury to the shareholders of the distilleries and breweries to be considered. Perhaps some people may think it immoral even to mention the interests of the shareholders in this business, but surely they have a right to be considered. They are in a business which has been encouraged by this government, for in the last three or four years, by granting new distillery and brewery licences, our people have been encouraged to embark in this business. Not only have they been encouraged in that way, but the people of eight out of our nine provinces have voted for liquor control. Am I to draw the conclusion that in this as in other matters only Americans need apply to this government for help? I protest, Mr. Chairman, against the neglect of Canadians in this particular matter, I protest against the one-sided bargain., I protest that this government continually looks at matters apparently through American spectacles instead of Canadian.

Throughout the whole course of prohibition in the United States the Americans have not had much respect for their own law. The Literary Digest at the present time is conducting a straw ballot, and the votes they have received from the various states so far show a majority of two to one in favour either of repeal or some change in the present prohibition law. I could quote many Americans, several of them congressmen, but I will not take up the time of the committee, showing that their countrymen do not pay much attention to their prohibition law. I might also quote the right, hon. Winston Churchill, who passed through the United States very recently, and who said that the whole prohibition law there was a farce. I might quote much more appropriately a speech delivered in this house last session by the Minister of National Revenue (Mr. Euler), in which he proved conclusively, I think, to this house, and largely to the satisfaction of the country, that not only would such a measure as this be of no use to the United States, but that it would corrupt the Canadian people. Those were his own words; he said it would corrupt the Canadian people, it would lead to underground methods.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   EXPORT ACT AMENDMENT
Sub-subtopic:   REFUSAL OF RELEASES AND CLEARANCES TO COUNTRIES WHERE IMPORTATION OF LIQUOR FORBIDDEN
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CON

James Dew Chaplin

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CHAPLIN:

He was talking for the

government then.

37$

Export Act-Mr. Manion

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   EXPORT ACT AMENDMENT
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CON

Robert James Manion

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MANION:

Yes, he was speaking for

the government. May I mention a couple of incidents which tend to make one realize how lightly the Americans treat prohibition? While a member of the Ontario Liquor Control Commission I had occasion to listen to a brewer making a statement before the board. He said that last year he had shipped to the United States 1,400,000 cases of beer, and, he added, "I intend to ship more this year." Let me remind hon. members that he was speaking of cases, not bottles-cases each containing two dozen bottles. Does any one think that 1,400,000 cases of beer could be smuggled into the Lmited States without some connivance on the part of the American preventive officials? Another of the outstanding brewers of Canada came into the boards office to see us, and he said incidentally that when in an American city the previous day he had seen one of his trucks on the street-I do not wish to mention the city, for it might get certain United States' officials into trouble-I said, "One of your trucks! What was it doing there?" He said, "It was delivering beer." "But," I said, "how did it get there?" "How do you think it got there? Do you think it flew over there? It went there across the bridge." I said "What about the customs officials?" He just laughed and remarked, "Oh, the customs officials don't pay any attention to our trucks." Last autumn while in New York city I was taking lunch with my wife in a first class restaurant when a group of people at the next table ordered all the makings of a cocktail except the gin, and this quite openly one of them produced from his hip flask. I mention these incidents to show how little regard the Americans pay to their prohibition law. As the Prime Minister has put this measure on such high moral grounds, I think the United States might have been asked to take a somewhat more exalted view themselves.

Bearing in mind the speech delivered last session by the Minister of National Revenue, it is very doubtful if this proposed legislation is going to benefit the United States at all. He pointed out that to refuse clearances would mean underground smuggling, and they will get worse liquor. My hon. friend from Lisgar (Mr. Brown) probably would not admit that there is any good liquor; but smuggling will result in their getting a lot of bad liquor and it will cause greater morbidity and mortality among those who drink it. \vithin the last month I have seen a statement by the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company showing that the deaths from alcohol in the United States under prohibition were six times as many per thousand as the deaths from alcohol in Canada.

It was pointed out by the Minister of Na-

tional Revenue, and the Prime Minister repeated his statement last week, that probably only two per cent of the liquor going to the United States came through these clearances which the government had been arranging for shipment to the United States; in other words, with the West Indies route, the air route, the automobile route and the railroad route, none of which will be interfered with by this legislation at all, the people of the United States will probably get all the liquor they wish, and we shall be giving up a revenue of $15,000,000 or $20,000,000. Of course, one must acknowledge that the United States government know their own business, and it is they who are asking for this legislation. But if they want it so badly, must we be the only ones to make sacrifices to put it into effect? Surely this arrangement should not be all one-sided. Mr. Sparks the other day gave a statement to one of the papers in which he pointed out that the United States might well stop smuggling into Canada. But apparently we are on too high a moral plane to ask the government at Washington to do anything for us in return for what they are asking us to do for them. The records of the past show that the United States probably would not under similar circumstances be likely to do as much for us. Take for example the Fenian raid; when we asked for some remuneration for the damages done we did not receive very much consideration. Then when we were in like circumstances, in the early months of the war, when we had prohibition on our sdde of the line and they had not, I do not remember that they helped us very much in keeping the alcohol out of our country. There is this factor that I have shown here, that the alcohol smuggling is still going on; and there is the present United States tariff legislation which will have the effect of preventing Canadian produce to the value of seventy or seventy-five millions of dollars from going to the United States.

The very day the Prime Minister introduced this legislation I picked up a copy of the Ottawa Citizen of March 14, which I hold in my hand, and I read this article: It is headed "Curious Reason for Raising of Duty Advanced." The article is written by Mr. C. O. Smith, the representative of the Southam papers in Washington, a very well known publicist, a man whom I know quite well. This is on the very day this legislation was brought forward by the Prime Minister, all for the benefit of the United States, from a business standpoint. It goes on to say:

United States Senate boosts maple syrup tariff because Quebec government loaned .$1.5,000 to Maple Sugar Cooperative.

Export Act-Mr. Manion

Duties on maple syrup were boosted to-day. The boost was advocated by Senator Smoot and others on the curious grounds that the province of Quebec had advanced to the maple sugar cooperatives of Quebec $10,000 for a sugar plant and had given them a loan of $5,000, this constituting, they claimed, a bounty on sugar and syrup.

This perfectly ridiculous claim was put forward in the face of letters from Quebec and Ottawa which stated specifically that no bounties on maple sugar and maple syrup were paid either by the Ottawa or provincial governments.

Then further down he says:

But Canadian maple syrup and maple sugar must be kept out of the United States if high tariff rates will do the job, so the high rates were passed.

The duty on clothespins has been doubled over the rate first recommended for the reason, as the senator from Vermont absurdly said, that a clothespin factory up in Canada was ready "to flood the United States with clothespins."

And then a little lower down, he shows his disgust with the United States in this whole matter:

If duties are to be raised because of a $15,000 loan, what sort of tariff would be justified by the same logic against the fruits, meats, and other farm products of the United States that are being aided by the $250,000,000 advances of the United States farm board?

That is the attitude of the writer of this article. So I say there was a very great opportunity for negotiations of some benefit to Canada in this regard.

I asked the Prime Minister the other day if Great Britain had stopped its exportations, and he said they had not, and I understand that there is no other country that has stopped its exportations or clearances of liquor to the United States. It is true that the Prime Minister in his speech, in reply to my question, said: That is correct, but he added: Let us give an example to the rest of the world. Well, Mr. Chairman, I have been in most of the countries of Europe on a number of different trips, and I have never come back with the impression that on grounds of personal morality, business morality, or political morality, they were in any way inferior to the people of the Dominion of Canada. Frankly I do not like the Pharisaical attitude that we should be giving examples to the rest of the world; when we get our heads away up in the clouds it might be well to keeip our feet on the ground.

This measure really does not enforce a law of Canada; it enforces an American law. One hundred and ten million people ask ten million people to enforce a law which one hundred and ten million people cannot carry out. Have

we become merely an outpost of the United States? What about that great status that the Prime Minister and the Minister of Justice refer to so often?

Let me sum up in a few words the various attitudes of this government on this question. In 1926 the Liberal party, supporting the Prime Minister, opposed the report of the customs inquiry committee which suggested that this legislation be put into force, that is, the stopping of liquor export to the United States. The same year they won an election on that attitude, and then from 1926 till 1930 they accepted the profits of this unholy alliance of the government with what the Prime Minister called the bootleggers, the rum runners and criminal gangsters, and they put the profits in their pocket, at the same time boasting of their surpluses. Then in 1929, in the House of Commons, the Minister of National Revenue stood behind the Prime Minister and said he was speaking for the government. He proved conclusively that it would be poor policy for us to introduce this kind of legislation, because it would corrupt the people of Canada and would not do the United States any good, and he gave adequate reasons for that attitude, and now the Prime Minister apparently carried away by high moral forces brings in this legislation.

Has there ever been in the history of this country a government that has wobbled quite so much on any piece of legislation as this government has wabbled an this matter? It is a splendid piece of political acrobatics. In view of all I have said-and I am closing my remarks-I feel, Mr. Chairman, that this is merely another grand salaam to Washington, another obeisance to the blindfolded Goddess of Liberty, another don't-provoke-Washing,ton attitude on the part of the Prime Minister and his supporters. Has this government any Canadian policy at all on any matter? Does this government ever take the attitude where Canadian interests alone are concerned and not the interests of the United States or some other foreign country? I do not know where they do. I do not wish to dwell on other matters at the moment, but there are many others on which I could speak, where the government does not take any Canadian attitude. As a matter of fact,, they do not take a Canadian attitude on anything at all. To my mind, Mr. Chairman, this is just a preelection dodge on the part of the Prime Minister, a sort of deathbed repentance, because he feels that his government is drowning and he is grasping at any straw that floats, with the hope that it will float them into power. It is simply another piece of political expediency,

Export Act-Mr. Manion

the idea being that there will fee an election soon, and they propose by this method to hoodwink the electors as ito the real issues to be decided in this -country. Suppose the Senate should happen to throw out this legislation, then the Prime Minister will journey from end to end of Canada, and tell the people of this country that it is time for another Senate reform.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   EXPORT ACT AMENDMENT
Sub-subtopic:   REFUSAL OF RELEASES AND CLEARANCES TO COUNTRIES WHERE IMPORTATION OF LIQUOR FORBIDDEN
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?

An hon. MEMBER:

What was the last?

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   EXPORT ACT AMENDMENT
Sub-subtopic:   REFUSAL OF RELEASES AND CLEARANCES TO COUNTRIES WHERE IMPORTATION OF LIQUOR FORBIDDEN
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CON

Robert James Manion

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MANION:

Well, he said the other day amidst laughter of the whole house he had already started the Senate reform by putting a lady in the Senate. I would therefore suggest to the Prime Minister that the next time he goes to the country he go on sex reform, not Senate reform. If we should happen to refuse this, it would be the great moral issue the Prime Minister would go to the country on. He would fairly blow up with righteous indignation and address meetings all over the country with frenzied eloquence. As a matter of fact, the whole principle has passed the house. But I submit that this legislation should have been brought forward in another way. The principle may well be carried out so far as the government is concerned, but I submit that the government should have obtained some compensation for the people of Canada by securing a treaty or a convention. I charge that this government has been recreant in its duty. There is too much Americanism and too little Canadianism in this government at all times.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   EXPORT ACT AMENDMENT
Sub-subtopic:   REFUSAL OF RELEASES AND CLEARANCES TO COUNTRIES WHERE IMPORTATION OF LIQUOR FORBIDDEN
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LIB

Ernest Lapointe (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. LAPOINTE:

What would the hon.

gentleman say if he were 'opposed to the bill?

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   EXPORT ACT AMENDMENT
Sub-subtopic:   REFUSAL OF RELEASES AND CLEARANCES TO COUNTRIES WHERE IMPORTATION OF LIQUOR FORBIDDEN
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CON

Robert James Manion

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MANION:

If I were opposed to the bill I would say what I had to say.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   EXPORT ACT AMENDMENT
Sub-subtopic:   REFUSAL OF RELEASES AND CLEARANCES TO COUNTRIES WHERE IMPORTATION OF LIQUOR FORBIDDEN
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LIB

Alexander MacGillivray Young

Liberal

Mr. YOUNG (Saskatoon):

Did the hon. member (Mr. Manion) not say at the beginning of his remarks that by his vote the other day-

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   EXPORT ACT AMENDMENT
Sub-subtopic:   REFUSAL OF RELEASES AND CLEARANCES TO COUNTRIES WHERE IMPORTATION OF LIQUOR FORBIDDEN
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CON

Robert James Manion

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MANION:

I did not vote.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   EXPORT ACT AMENDMENT
Sub-subtopic:   REFUSAL OF RELEASES AND CLEARANCES TO COUNTRIES WHERE IMPORTATION OF LIQUOR FORBIDDEN
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March 24, 1930