March 26, 1930

CON

Henry Herbert Stevens

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEVENS:

The synthetic raisins.

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PRO

Thomas William Bird

Progressive

Mr. BIRD:

My hon. friends across the

house should be well acquainted with their own style of argument; they should be acquainted with the Young plan. The tariff tax may be paid to the government but who pays the great unseen tax, the tax which raises the price of the home made article far above the competitive price-the consumer pays that.

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LIB

Edward James Young

Liberal

Mr. YOUNG (Weyburn):

Where are the home made raisins?

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PRO

Thomas William Bird

Progressive

Mr. BIRD:

My hon. friend may eat that kind of raisin, but I prefer the imported variety. I will come to what I consider the difficult part of my argument, that which concerns the butter. In dealing with this matter we are on very delicate ground-

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?

An hon. MEMBER:

More slippery ground.

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CON

Henry Herbert Stevens

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEVENS:

Raisins are on the free list under the British preference.

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PRO

Thomas William Bird

Progressive

Mr. BIRD:

The main source of supply is taxed.

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CON

Henry Herbert Stevens

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEVENS:

They are on the free list just the same.

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PRO

Thomas William Bird

Progressive

Mr. BIRD:

I will take up this matter of butter-

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IND

Alan Webster Neill

Independent

Mr. NEILL:

Before the hon. member leaves the question of raisins, I would like to ask him a question; have I his consent?

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PRO

Thomas William Bird

Progressive

Mr. BIRD:

Yes.

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IND

Alan Webster Neill

Independent

Mr. NEILL:

Before this system of erosion of which he spoke, commenced and before this duty was put on raisins, did he not support a bounty on copper rods which amounted to practical protection?

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PRO

Thomas William Bird

Progressive

Mr. BIRD:

Yes, but I would not do it again. I have not been in this house for nine years without learning something. Perhaps my hon. friend will wait until I finish

Australian Treaty-Mr. Bird

this part of my argument, as I believe he is interested in butter. We in this corner of the house are in a difficult position, we are between the devil and the deep sea.

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IND

Alan Webster Neill

Independent

Mr. NEILL:

Name them.

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PRO

Thomas William Bird

Progressive

Mr. BIRD:

It is immaterial to my argument on which side of the house I place the responsibility, but for argument's sake we will call the protectionists the devil and the Consumers' League the deep sea, because it is far too deep for me. We have the Consumers' League whispering in the one ear and the protectionists whispering in the other, so we are in a difficult position. What does the Consumers' League say; what are the wild sea waves saying? The answer comes swift and sure. Our hon. friends opposite argue that the dairy council does not represent the farmers, that it is only composed of disguised Tories.

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CON

James Dew Chaplin

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CHAPLIN:

That is propaganda.

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PRO

Thomas William Bird

Progressive

Mr. BIRD:

Whatever the Consumers'

League may be, I do not believe it is wise for them to hide their heads ostrich-like underneath the sand, because anyone who has watched the movement for the last few years among the farmers will know that protection has lifted its head. It is no use running away from a fact because it is ugly, and it is no use closing your eyes to it. That is one point upon which I differ with my hon. friend from Lisgar (Mr. Brown). He claims that that evil does not exist, that it is only manufactured, but I say it does exist and has existed for years. In 1922 the hon. member for Comox-Alberni (Mr. Neill) moved for the restoration of the prohibition on oleo-margerine, and nearly all the farmers from Ontario voted against that measure. However, they went home during the recess and consulted with their constituents, many of whom were dairy people, and when they came back the following year they nearly all voted for a similar motion moved by another hon. member. During the recess the Ontario farmer members had heard the wind whispering in the top of the mulberry trees; they realized that the public opinion of Ontario was in favour of the prohibition of oleomargerine. I know that they claimed they were just protecting the women and children, but we were not misled by that. I barely escaped a beating in the corridors here for daring to say that the farmers were getting their feet into the protectionist trough. That was some time ago. but we have the same thing manifesting itself again.

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LIB-PRO

John Livingstone Brown

Liberal Progressive

Mr. BROWN:

That is what I was saying about the United Farmers of Alberta.

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PRO

Thomas William Bird

Progressive

Mr. BIRD:

The hon. member might well have said it about the farmers of Manitoba because that province is as much a dairying province as is Alberta.

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LIB-PRO

John Livingstone Brown

Liberal Progressive

Mr. BROWN:

Not through their organization.

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March 26, 1930