July 22, 1931

CON

Hugh Guthrie (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. HUGH GUTHRIE (Minister of Justice) :

The hon. gentleman was good enough

the day before yesterday to mention this matter to me, and he gave me a synopsis of some of the complaints which had reached him in regard to the administration of the New Westminster penitentiary. The matters which he brought to my attention I have referred to the officers of the department in order that they may obtain reports thereon. The whole question of the administration of this penitentiaiy is receiving the consideration of the department, but I am not prepared at the moment to announce any conclusion with respect to the matter.

INQUIRY FOR RETURN On the orders of the day:

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Subtopic:   NEW WESTMINSTER PENITENTIARY
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LIB

Edward James Young

Liberal

Mr. E. J. YOUNG (Weyburn):

Mr. Speaker, On April 27 an order of the house did issue as follows:

For a copy of all correspondence exchanged between any or all of the Canadian oil refining companies and any department of the government since May 1, 1930, in regard to the importation of oil or oil products.

When can we expect this return?

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   NEW WESTMINSTER PENITENTIARY
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CON

Charles Hazlitt Cahan (Secretary of State of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. C. H. CAHAN (Secretary of State):

I will make inquiry and inform my hon. friend at the earliest possible date.

RESTIGOUCHE RIVER BRIDGE On the orders of the day:

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Subtopic:   NEW WESTMINSTER PENITENTIARY
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LIB

Charles Marcil

Liberal

Hon. CHARLES MARCIL (Bonaventure):

Mr. Speaker, I desire to call the attention of the Minister of Public Works (Mr. Stewart) to a matter of urgency to our district. The provinces of New Brunswick and Quebec have undertaken by orders in council to provide for an interprovincial bridge over the Restigouche river. Is the hon. minister in a position to

Australian Trade Agreement

say whether effect will be given to this agreement? The commencement of this work would supply much needed employment to the district. The bridge has been needed for many .years and each of the two provinces has agreed to pay one-third of the cost.

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Subtopic:   NEW WESTMINSTER PENITENTIARY
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CON

Hugh Alexander Stewart (Minister of Public Works)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. H. A. STEWART (Minister of Public Works):

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member was

good enough to inform me that he proposed to ask this question. A copy of an order in council was received recently from the Minister of Public Works of the province, of Quebec intimating that that province was prepared to pay a portion of the cost of this bridge. Some time ago an order in council of similar purport had been received from the province of New Brunswick. Under these circumstances the Department of Public Works of Canada is prepared to enter into a discussion of the whole matter with these two provinces.

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Subtopic:   NEW WESTMINSTER PENITENTIARY
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MARKETING OF WHEAT


On the orders of the day:


LIB

John Vallance

Liberal

Mr. JOHN VALLANCE (South Battle-ford) :

Mr. Speaker, on Monday last I

directed a question to the Prime Minister (Mr. Bennett) and asked if it would be possible for him to produce a copy of the correspondence containing the proposals he made to the tthree western premiers regarding the marketing of this year's crop. The Prime Minister promised to bring down this correspondence at six o'clock of that day, but as yet I have not received it.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   MARKETING OF WHEAT
Sub-subtopic:   POOL ELEVATORS-CORRESPONDENCE CONTAINING PROPOSALS TO THREE WESTERN PREMIERS
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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Prime Minister; Minister of Finance and Receiver General; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Right Hon. R. B. BENNETT (Prime Minister) :

Mr. Speaker, I told the hon. gentleman the purport of the letter which had been written to the three premiers. I have a copy of that letter but I neglected to bring it to the chamber because of having told my hon. friend what was contained in the letter. I did not go to the east block that night and the matter did not again cross my mind.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   MARKETING OF WHEAT
Sub-subtopic:   POOL ELEVATORS-CORRESPONDENCE CONTAINING PROPOSALS TO THREE WESTERN PREMIERS
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CIVIL SERVICE


On the orders of.the day:


LIB

Joseph-Arthur Denis

Liberal

Mr. ARTHUR DENIS (St, Denis) (Translation) :

I should like to ask the government

a question. I regret I am unable to do so in English and receive a direct answer from the Prime Minister, however, I hope that the French Canadian ministers will give me the information either in French or English, as they may think proper.

I wish to know whether the government holds the views that it is preferable to place an employee on the retired list when it is found that his services are not satisfactory.

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CON

Arthur Sauvé (Postmaster General)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. ARTHUR SAUVE (Postmaster General) (Translation):

We shall consider the

matter.

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Subtopic:   CIVIL SERVICE
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AUSTRALIAN TRADE AGREEMENT


Right Hon. R. B. BENNETT (Minister of Finance) moved the second reading of Bill No. 123, respecting a certain trade agreement between Canada and Australia. He said: Mr. Speaker, when I moved for leave to introduce this bill to ratify the trade agreement made between Australia and Canada and Canada and Australia I indicated in a general way what were the provisions of the agreement. The bill now before the house, the second reading of which I have just moved, provides for the ratification of that agreement. I assume that every hon. member has in the meantime probably read the agreement and is familiar with its provisions, but I will state briefly the general principles that governed in connection with its negotiation and execution. It was realized that Australia produces a large number of commodities which are not produced in Canada and which Canada must import from some other part of the world. It was realized that Canada produces commodities which Australia imports and buys from other parts of the world. The agreement endeavours to provide and does in fact provide that such commodities as Canada produces and Australia requires shall find a favoured market in Australia and that such commodities as Australia produces and Canada requires shall find a favoured place in Canadian markets. That is the first great principle which governed in the negotiation of this agreement. In the second place it has been provided that where goods or commodities are produced in Australia which would compete with Canadian goods or commodities, then there must be such tariff provisions as will ensure fair competition in Canada to the goods from Australia, and equally, goods produced in Canada which come into competition with Australian goods in Australia shall, by virtue of the tariff provisions, enter into fair competition in Australia with Australian goods. I need hardly say that the effort made to negotiate this measure of reciprocity in trade between the two countries is further predicated upon the thought that the agreement must be of mutual advantage to both coun- [DOT]1036



Australian Trade Agreement tries. If the principles to which I have alluded are applied, obviously they will be of mutual advantage to the communities affected. Unless a trade agreement benefits both countries it is not usually of very much use, but we believe and the Australians believe that the application of these principles will be mutually advantageous to Australia and to Canada. In 1925 a trade agreement was negotiated with Australia. Under the terms of that agreement Canada received British preferential treatment with respect to four items out of a total tariff of 430 items; under the new agreement Canada will receive British preferential treatment on 415 items out of a total of 433. Under the agreement of 1925, Canada received intermediate tariff treatment on four items; under the agreement now before the house, Canada will receive intermediate tariff treatment on six items. Under the agreement of 1925, the general tariff applied on exportations to Australia in the case of 422 items; under the new agreement, the general tariff applies only to twelve items. In other words, while there were 430 items in the tariff of 1925 and 433 items in the tariff of 1931, we receive preferential treatment with respect to 421 items while the general tariff applies only to twelve items. Under the agreement of 1925, the general tariff applied to 422 items while preferential treatment was given only to eight items. The new agreement indicates a distinct advance and I believe it will commend itself to the judgment of this house and of the country. We are sure that this agreement will expand the trade of Canada in the east as well as in the west and it will afford an opportunity for raw materials as well as for finished products. If on first perusal there are those who believe that too favourable treatment has been extended to Australia, in the main it will be because they have not perused the agreement with care. No agreement can be of service which does not afford a fair opportunity to Australia, such as we ourselves seek in her markets. I need hardly point out that I received a communication from a friend of mine saying that he was very much alarmed with regard to meats. He said that it was a serious situation, because Australia could produce meat readily. I replied that under the present agreement the rate was one-half cent a pound, but in order to maintain the principle to which I alluded in my earlier remarks, we have provided a duty of three cents a pound, which is four times what it was before with respect to some items, and six times what it was with respect to others. i'Mr. Bennett.] With regard to eggs which were on the free list under the old agreement, we have not imported a dollar's worth of eggs since the agreement was made. Now we have provided that there shall be a duty of two cents a dozen against importations except during certain months of the year. We have also made provision with respect to fruits and other products of the tropical sections of Australia. We have provided a market for the lumber of this country. I say frankly, as I have so often said, I have always found it difficult to understand how any bargain could be made with Australia that did not make some provision for a preference being given to Canadian lumber in that commonwealth; but such was not the case. In this agreement, however, that provision is made. I shall not go through the various items in the schedule to the agreement, because they will be dealt with in committee. The bill follows the course that has usually been adopted in such cases and ratifies and confirms the agreement as it stands. It provides that if there is any inconsistency between the agreement and the act which ratifies it, and any other laws, the provisions of the act and the agreement shall prevail. Lastly, it provides that the agreement shall come into force on a day agreed upon by the government of Australia and the government of Canada as a result of a proclamation to be made by the governor in council in that commonwealth and in Canada as well. I do not think there is anything I can usefully add to what I have said as to the principles that have governed in the negotiation of the agreement. How they have been applied will be Observed as the house proceeds to consider the agreement in committee. I believe it is such an agreement as will commend itself to the thoughtful and considered judgment of the house. I am already advised that it -commends itself to the business community of Canada in every part of it, and although at first sight there were some items that invited criticism, on further investigation it was found that there was no warrant for such criticism, nothing but a frank recognition of two great principles which have governed the negotiation of an agreement between two British commonwealths. We believe also this is a step towards the development of empire trade on sound lines, not of endeavouring to get without giving nor of giving without getting, but of giving and getting. That principle has governed and it will be the ultimate principle that will govern and prevail with respect to the development of trade throughout the British Empire.


LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Right Hon. W. L. MACKENZIE KING ('Leader of the Opposition):

The bill, the

Australian Trade Agreement

second reading of which has just been moved by my right hon. friend, is one which creates -a new trade agreement with Australia. Inasmuch as the previous Liberal administration was the first to initiate a trade agreement with that particular sister dominion, we naturally take no exception to the underlying principle of the bill. The fact that this bill also recognizes the importance of reciprocal treatment in trade between different parts of the British Empire makes it only the more commendable in principle to those of us on this side of the house, for it will be remembered that it was a Liberal administration which was the first to introduce the principle of the British preference, and the first to make it an empire preference.

My right hon. friend spoke of some things being produced in Australia which could not be produced in Canada, and some things being produced in Canada which could not be produced in Australia. He said that the trade treaty would make possible the exchange of those particular commodities. In speaking on the budget I pointed out that I believed it would be possible for the Prime Minister (Mr. Bennett) in negotiating a treaty in accordance with the principles which he had laid down as those which should govern in trade agreements, to go further in negotiating a treaty with Australia, than would be the case with any other of the sister dominions, and very much further than would be possible in a trade agreement with the mother country, and this for the particular reason that Australia being a tropical or quasi-tropical country and Canada being in the temperate zone, there would, in the nature of things, be more in the way of what might be described as an absolute advantage in production on the part of each one of these countries in its relation to the other with respect to certain commodities than would be the case as regards Canada in relation to any other country. Therefore I am not surprised that my right hon. friend has started with Australia in his effort to make the further trade treaties which he has in mind.

But may I say that when he provides in this treaty for trading to any extent beyond the point of absolute advantage, he runs counter to the principle which he laid down as being fundamental in trade treaties, namely, that nothing should be imported into Canada which can be produced or manufactured in Canada. I think those are the words which the Prime Minister himself on different occasions has given to the house as setting forth his policy in trade matters. He has said repeatedly, that it is our business to see that what can be produced or manufactured in Canada should

not be permitted to be imported from other countries. There is in this treaty a considerable departure from that principle, and, indeed, if there had not been, I question very much whether any treaty could have been made.

My right hon. friend spoke of mutual advantage. I should like to ask him if he can tell me of any exchange that is ever made between individuals that is not believed to be in the nature of mutual advantage. Mutual advantage is of the very essence of exchange. One person parts with what he possesses either in the form of goods or money for something which he .wishes to get in exchange and which will mean more to him as a consequence of his exchange than to retain the commodity or the money which he exchanges for it. What is true on one side of a bargain is equally true on the other. International trade is nothing more than trade between individuals at large so far as one nation is concerned with individuals at large so far as another nation is concerned. All trade is, as I have already said, in the nature of an exchange for purposes of mutual advantage. It is there that there is a real difference between my right hon. friend and those who follow the doctrines which he lays down, and those of us on this side who believe that with greater freedom of trade there will be in the end a greater national development.

My right hon. friend has said that he assumes we have all had an opportunity to study this treaty and that we can discuss its items in committee. The criticism which I have to direct most strongly against the government with respect to this measure is that they have waited until the close of the session, at a time when there are so many important measures before the house, to bring in this particular treaty. There has really been no opportunity at all in the time that we have had since the agreement was laid upon the table, to consider its features in any proper manner. My right hon. friend speaks of four hundred and some odd items in one relationship and some four hundred odd or more in another. The value of the agreement can be estimated only when we discover the true significance of the different items. It may well be that some of them will indicate so far as Canada is concerned a possibility of more advantageous trade with Australia than that which existed before. Unless however we know in all items what the Australian tariff is in comparison with our own tariff we cannot make the comparisons necessary to draw proper deductions. That opportunity hon. members of this house have not had. In speaking the other day my right hon. friend said that he himself could not

Australian Trade Agreement

give the house a statement as to what the Australian tariff actually was, that it was being constantly changed, and that it was being changed at this very time. I have no doubt that some of those alterations will very materially affect the value of the agreement. My right hon. friend has said under the old treaty a very small number of commodities, relatively, were given a preference, while under the proposed treaty a very large number would be given a preference. Whether that preference means anything or not will depend upon the preferential tariff which exists in Australia, and whether it will mean more or less to Australia than to Canada will depend upon whether the preference given under the tariff in Canada is greater or less than that given by Australia to Canada. The Minister of Finance will not deny that the preference which under her customs tariff Canada gives Australia is very much greater than that which Australia gives to Canada under her customs tariff. So far as there is an advantage of one country over another in the exchange of goods or commodities, in this instance the advantage lies with Australia rather than with Canada, May I state further that the height of the preferential tariff in Australia is I believe in many cases quite as great if not greater than that of our general tariff,-certainly as great as that of our general tariff as it existed before it was amended in the special and present sessions.

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Subtopic:   AUSTRALIAN TRADE AGREEMENT
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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Prime Minister; Minister of Finance and Receiver General; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

Perhaps the right hon.

gentleman does not understand; on 400 odd items they extend to us the British preference.

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Subtopic:   AUSTRALIAN TRADE AGREEMENT
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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

Exactly. On 400 items there is the British preference, but the British preference in Australia differs from the British preference in Canada. That is the point I am trying to make. Whereas in Canada the tariff rates governing our British preference might be rated-and I speak without reference to any particular item -at something like 20 per cent, that is to say the duty might average 20 per cent, in Australia in all probability it will be 40 per cent.

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LIB

July 22, 1931