June 14, 1934

CON

Walter Davy Cowan

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. COWAN (Long Lake):

All right. The rates in Vancouver will fix the rates on the great lakes.

Topic:   CANADA SHIPPING ACT
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UFA
CON

Walter Davy Cowan

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. COWAN (Long Lake):

All right. As

soon as those rates are increased Vancouver will have more grain to ship. Last year I believe 120,000,000 bushels went through that port. Let them take another 120,000,000 bushels away from Fort William, and where would shipping on the lakes be?

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LIB
CON

Walter Davy Cowan

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. COWAN (Long Lake):

No, not a

cent. The farmers out there are shipping through Vancouver because it has the cheapest rate, and that competition will keep the lake rates down. As soon as the rates are raised, down will go the shipping.

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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Question.

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LIB

John Vallance

Liberal

Mr. VALLANCE:

I have one personal

observation to make, and I shall have finished. I come from a portion of Saskatchewan which I may describe as being on the shed. In other words, the rate to Vancouver is to us always the same as it is to the east, and my people are most interested because of the very point raised by the hon. member for Red Deer (Mr. Speakman). If you are going to make it possible to apply the maximum rate on the lakes you are going either to increase the shipments to Vancouver or increase the rates of shipment to Vancouver. There is no part of

western Canada, taking the meridian of Alberta and Saskatchewan, that is more vitally interested than that portion. I represent a part of that country, and I feel keenly on this matter.

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LIB

William Richard Motherwell

Liberal

Mr. MOTHERWELL:

When this matter was under discussion last year and the year before I stated that I had no harsh feelings towards the maritimes. As a matter of fact, I should like all Canadian produce that now goes via American Atlantic ports to go via our maritime ports. Even if the cost might be a trifle greater, in normal times I would not mind that extra cost if it were only say half or quarter of a cent. But when we are losing money on every blessed bushel we raise, every quarter of a cent means that much more loss to us. Last year we had magnificent crops in the district from which I come, yet we lost money. Wrell now, to ask us simply for sentimental reasons to lose a little more is something which is hard to swallow. I think too much of our maritime friends to quarrel with them, because I love that country,-its history, its peoiple, its tradition and the story of the early Acadians and British settling there. I am not going to quarrel with them now; do not make any mistake about it, because I do not feel that way. But I do feel that the government has been derelict in its duty in not settling this question about Canadian wheat going to the United Kingdom via Buffalo. What in the world was the sense of making an agreement here in this building without knowing what were to be the conditions under which grain was to enter the United Kingdom via Buffalo, whether it would be subject to the six cent duty or not? As a matter of fact, this government forgot all about it. I doubt if the question ever was raised in this building at the time the agreement was being made, and it was not until the hullabaloo was set up when the grain started to go via Buffalo that the government grew alarmed, and when the question was put up to them they were afraid to decide it-let the Minister of Trade and Commerce (Mr. Stevens) correct me if I am wrong. Had the question been settled at the outset whether our wheat could go via Buffalo and thereby escape the tax of six cents duty when it entered the United Kingdom, because it is a tax- there is no preference about it; it is a question of taxing or not taxing the grain when it enters British ports-there never would have been any trouble about it. But the government neglected to settle that question at the time of the bargain, and naturally it then became

Canada Shipping Act

a question whether the grain should go by our maritime ports and please the people of the maritimes or go via Buffalo and please the people of the west. The answer of the government and of the Minister of Trade and Commerce always was: This is a question for the British people to decide; it is their problem; we have nothing to do with it; it is they who gave the preference and so on, and so forth. But is that the case? It is not the case. It is just as much our problem as it is the problem of the British people. If the doctrine that it is the British people who have the say on this matter is correct, it is the British people who have the say on the bacon question, on the cattle question, on the tobacco question and on all the other questions that were dealt with at the Ottawa conference. There was every reason why there should have been a specific understanding at the time of the bargain. The question should never have been left open to cause differences amongst ourselves, because the maritime people naturally want our grain to go that way; we just as naturally do not want to pay any more by having it go that way, and to go that way would mean losing a little more money on every bushel we ship. I would like the Minister of Trade and Commerce to show cause why the government cannot settle this question with the British government. We have had the cattle quota question up recently, and that question should never have arisen, but it did arise and an agreement was come to about it and a quota decided upon. Why cannot this government sit in with the British people and decide whether or not our wheat can go via Buffalo direct to the United Kingdom without any handicap? It is their duty to do it.

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CON

Henry Herbert Stevens (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEVENS:

That was settled long ago.

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LIB
CON

Henry Herbert Stevens (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEVENS:

It certainly is.

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LIB
CON

Henry Herbert Stevens (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEVENS:

It has been settled, and

it has been explained a dozen times. Any cargo that has a through bill of lading, which is a perfectly proper and ordinary thing, is declared by the British authorities to be duty free.

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LIB

William Richard Motherwell

Liberal

Mr. MOTHERWELL:

That may be so,

but my understanding from the press, and my hon. friend should know better than I because all I had to go on was the press reports, is that every cargo is settled on its

(Mr. Motherwell.]

merits or demerits. Some go straight to the United. Kingdom and get the exemption from paying duty, and some do not. If the question is really settled I would like to know it because there would be no use in talking about it any more. If the minister would say that we cannot ship to the United Kingdom via Buffalo, that would end the matter. But we would then know where the responsibility lies. It would not be with the British government alone but with ours also; do not make any mistake about that.

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CON

Alfred Duranleau (Minister of Fisheries; Minister of Marine)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DURANLEAU:

After having listened

to all this discussion, Mr. Chairman, I am sorry to say that the government cannot accept the amendment of my hon. friend from Lisgar (Mr. Brown). We are compiling in this statute all our existing laws concerning shipping, and we are simply asking the house to reaffirm in these sections what was adopted by the house at the last session, after careful study; this legislation was submitted by the government after strong representations had been made from all sides. We heard the Canadian mariners and the Canadian ship owners, who represented to us that when foreign ships were carrying grain or other goods on the great lakes from one Canadian port to another Canadian port our Canadian bottoms were tied up by hundreds along the shores of the great lakes and our Canadian mariners were standing idle on those . shores looking at foreign ships and foreign mariners carrying and handling our Canadian grain in foreign bottoms. All these questions were studied very carefully, and the house came to the conclusion at the last session that this coasting law should be adopted in order to put our Canadian mariners and our Canadian bottom owners on the same footing as the Americans.

This very question whether this law would bring an increase in transportation rates on the great lakes and thereby injure our western farmers was very carefully studied, and it was only after we had ascertained that we had a great surplus of Canadian bottoms on the great lakes, and that we were sure that there would be enough competition to protect the farmers of the west, that we came to the conclusion that we should introduce the legislation of last session. I do not see why Canadian bottoms could not carry Canadian grain at the same rate as foreign bottoms, if not at a lower rate. If we had thought for a moment that this legislation would have for its effect an injury to our farmers we would never have brought it down. There

Unemployment Relief

is no question, about that. But after very carefully studying the question we have come to the conclusion that we should embody in this bill the legislation which was very properly enacted at the last session.

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LIB
CON

Alfred Duranleau (Minister of Fisheries; Minister of Marine)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DURANLEAU:

Of course not.

Amendment negatived.

Section agreed to on division.

Sections 664 to 704 inclusive agreed to.

On section 705-Power to exempt foreign ships from certain provisions.

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LIB

Thomas Reid

Liberal

Mr. REID:

Would it be possible for ships, say from Japan, operating on the Pacific coast, to receive exemptions under this section?

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CON

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

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

Exemptions from what?

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LIB

Thomas Reid

Liberal

Mr. REID:

The section reads:

Where the governor in council is satisfied that ships of a foreign country-

And so on, and:

-the governor in council may direct that any such provisions of this act, as aforesaid, shall not apply-

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June 14, 1934