March 4, 1936

LIB

Robert John Deachman

Liberal

Mr. DEACHMAN:

Where does the hon.

member get his 800,000 families?

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CON

John Ritchie MacNicol

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MacNICOL:

That is the number in

industry.

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LIB

Robert John Deachman

Liberal

Mr. DEACHMAN:

Figures show that in

1933 there were only 493,903 employees in Canadian industry.

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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Order.

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CON

John Ritchie MacNicol

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MacNICOL:

The hon. member can

speak when I have finished. I heard him the other night. I refer to his own county-or rather the county he represents-to show what industry means, as compared with the county of Waterloo. The county of Huron has an acreage of 830,000; the county of Waterloo

330,000. The assessed value of Huron county is $41,000,000, of Waterloo county $31,000,000. In Huron county there are approximately 180 small and large factories; in Waterloo, 400. That is reflected in the sums invested, being only $6,000,000 in Huron in contrast with $90,000,000 in Waterloo. There is a corresponding difference in the number of workers, 1,500 in Huron as compared with

20,000 in Waterloo. Of course these figures are for some years back. Wages in Huron totalled $1,200,000 as against $22,000,000 in Waterloo. That is what industry does for a county; if there were twice as many industrial plants in Huron the farm values of the county would be much higher than they are. No one would claim that the higher assessed value of land in Waterloo is owing to any higher quality in the land itself. It is clear evidence of what industry does for the farmers.

I checked the prices of farm produce in the two main towns of Huron, Goderich and Clinton, as compared with prices in the two main towns of Waterloo county, Kitchener and Galt, on the same day, and I found that Kitchener and Galt prices averaged 25 to 50 per cent, and in some cases 100 per cent higher than in Huron. Why is that? It is because of the larger percentage of men working in industry in Waterloo.

I wish now to give some idea of what the United States does for its industries. In this house there are many who denounce industry at every opportunity; they cannot denounce industry without denouncing the men working in industry, nor can they denounce the employer without also denouncing the employed. We do not find it so in the United States. In considering this agreement I recall what took place in England in 1843-44 when

Wheat.. 12739-49

Canada-U. S. Trade Agreement

the then Mr. Disraeli opposed his own leader, Sir Robert Peel, in the introduction of free trade. He said: ' .

We will admit into the home market, at reduced rates, the corn, hemp, and tallow of the northern powers,-

Meaning Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, and so forth.

-provided they will reduce, in equal proportion, the duties which they now levy on our cutlery and hardware.

That is the situation here. By this agreement the United States, according to the speeches of hon. gentlemen opposite, allow a certain amount of our raw products to enter their country, but in exchange for that they receive the right to ship into this country millions of dollars worth of manufactured goods. This will result in displacing from employment thousands of men engaged in industry in this country.

On April 29, 1934, United States Senator Glass introduced a bill to amend the Federal Reserve Act, section 13, with the object of encouraging industry by providing for loans to industry. We have had no such proposition in this country. The bill provided that:

In exceptional circumstances, when it appears to the satisfaction of a federal reserve bank that an established industrial or commercial business located in its district is unable to obtain requisite financial assistance on a reasonable basis from the usual sources, the Federal Reserve Bank, pursuant to authority granted by the Federal Reserve Board, may make loans to, or purchase obligations of, such business, ...

This is encouragement to business. In this proposed agreement also the United States are encouraging their own business. The whole American plan has been to encourage industry. Their industrial market, as the result of the encouragement of industry, is the greatest market they have, just as in this country the greatest market for the farmer is the home industrial market. In considering any agreement with other countries, such as Japan and the other twenty-nine countries that come under this same agreement, consideration should be given to the wages paid to the Canadian worker in comparison with the wages paid to the foreign worker. I find that in Japan the silk throwers receive 2-2 cents per hour, cotton spinners 2-2 cents, cotton weavers, 1-9 cents, hosiery knitters, 4-2 cents, glass makers, 4-9 cents, potters, 5 cents, shoe makers 5-1 cents and founders 6'3 cents. Compare those rates with the wages paid in Canada. How can the industrial worker in the textile, shoemaking or hosiery plants in Canada compete with labour wages of that kind?

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LIB

Frederick George Sanderson (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. DEPUTY SPEAKER:

The hon. member has spoken forty minutes.

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LIB

James Gray Turgeon

Liberal

Mr. J. G. TURGEON (Cariboo):

I could not rise for the first time to address the house without first saying a word to His Honour the Speaker who has been given authority to preside over the destinies of the House of Commons. I would speak in this connection particularly since it has been my privilege to have had his honour's friendship for some years. Naturally my remarks to-day will be in English, not only because ' English is the language of my every-day life and, therefore, of my thoughts, but because essentially it is the language of my constituency and of the province from which I come. At the same time, not merely for the sake of saying a few words in the two official languages but in order that I may pay a tribute to His Honour the Speaker, I crave the indulgence of the house to speak briefly in the language which is particularly his own and that of the province from which he comes, the language which his ancestors and certain of my ancestors brought to this country hundreds of years ago, the language which has given so much to the literature and to the social and political life of Canada and, if I may add a purely personal tone, the language which my own elderly father took with him from the old province of Quebec when as a young man he went to my native province of New Brunswick. It is the language which during the last thirty-five or thirty-six years he has used in this chamber on many occasions.

(Translation): I wish to extend to the hanr-ourable Speaker my sincerest congratulations on the occasion of his election to the exalted and responsible office which he now occupies. I also wish to congratulate the house for having chosen to preside over its deliberations a man whose tact, learning and parliamentary experience assure him of a splendid career in the speaker's chair.

(Text): May I preface my remarks cm. the subject of reciprocity by saying a word or two with reference to the first minister of Canada (Mr. Mackenzie King). Speaking last week on this subject the leader of the opposition (Mr. Bennett), in his condemnation of the agreement made on behalf of Canada by the Prime Minister, brought before us an image of the late Sir Wilfrid Laurier refusing to accept an offer of reciprocity from the United States because he thought it militated against the interests of Canadian producers and industry. It is true that the name of Laurier is one which may be conjured with in this house and country, but I must say that it is not one the image of which may effectively be brought before us by the very people who

Canada-U. S. Trade Agreement

hounded him throughout his life and eventually sacrificed him because of their pretended patriotism and their grasping greed for political power. It was in connection with this very question of freer trade with the United States that Sir Wilfrid Laurier in 1911 met his defeat.

In appreciation of the Prime Minister of to-day may I say that in bringing before Canada an opportunity once more to accept the privileges of a reciprocal agreement with the United States he is treading on hallowed ground, ground hallowed by the sufferings and struggles, and eventually, by the sacrifice of the great past chieftain of the Liberal party, Sir Wilfrid Laurier. On behalf not only of myself but of the people in the great constituency I have the honour and privilege of representing in this chamber I wish to pay the Prime Minister our hearty and cordial respects for what he has done. He has given us an opportunity for a greater degree of material prosperity than we have had in the last five or six years. But by the manner in which he brought about this reciprocal agreement he has done something more than that for the Canadian people. He has restored to people of Canada that confidence, that faith in their fellowmen and that belief in the institutions of government which during the last four or five years they had been losing, but which has now returned.

As I listened to the hon. member for Davenport (Mr. MacNicol) who has just taken his seat, two points were developed with which I think I ought to deal. He said that hon. members ought to accept the statement by the leader of the opposition that he had had an opportunity of making an agreement similar to the one before us, but that in the interests of Canada he refused to make it. I would be more ready to accept that statement if during the election campaign the right hon. gentleman opposite, the then Prime Minister, had made that statement publicly. I come from a district the very development of which demands an agreement of this kind and demands a market for its natural' products. Throughout the riding we were told, from meeting to meeting, that ail we had to do was to wait until election day had passed and Canada would have a reciprocal agreement with the United States.

The other statement made by the hon. member for Davenport to which I shall pay a little attention was that when we talked about the benefits to be received by Canadian producers through the operation of the agreement, we were not taking into consideration the trade they would lose by reason of lack 12739-49J

of ability to deal with the woodsmen of this country. I have before me a communication dealing with this matter which, with permission of the house, I shall read. Before reading it, however, on behalf of myself and the people in that part of northern British Columbia which I represent may I say a word to the Minister of National Defence (Mr. Mackenzie) in appreciation of the efforts he has exercised on our behalf not only in connection with negotiating this agreement but in connection with everything else that has come before the government since he entered the cabinet formed by the first minister.

The telegram is adressed to me by the Prince George Spruce Manufacturers Association, a group which the hon. member for Davenport will no doubt admit has something to do with lumber and woodsmen. It is in these words: .

J. G. Turgeon, M.P.,

Ottawa, Ont.

Reciprocity treaty with United States best thing that has happened to northern British Columbia lumber industry in many years. Prior to imposition of American tariff this district shipping eighty per cent to United states operated fifteen sawmills employing at least 2,500 men cutting 120,000,000 feet payroll about $2,000,000. Following imposition tariff this shrunk year by year until only five mills operated employing about 500 men. Fall has seen marked improvement price and shipment volume and definite plans for this year call for operation ten mills with prospects of more and' with greater scale operations for mills which operated last year.

Log scale and employment should be at least double last year's with considerable additional employment in railway and other auxiliary services. Additional employment should take care of most employable relief cases in sawmill area. Possibly best feature of treaty is that it permits shipment to States of low grade lumber for crating, et cetera, which could not be shipped under four dollar tariff, and which was formerly dumped on prairie at ruinously low prices depressing that market. This association has no political bias and is glad to commend any government action which helps our industry. The reciprocity agreement has been definitely helpful.

Prince George Spruce Manufacturers Association.

In addition to the lumber industry in that great portion of northern British Columbia we have that very important cattle industry which permeates every -part of northern British Columbia and finds its way into the great Peace River district, which is partly in Cariboo and partly in Alberta. During the last few years the voice of the Peace River district has made itself heard in this house, on many occasions, always I think complaining of injustices because of action or lack of action by governments in the past. The voice of the Peace River district has been heard all

Canada-V. S. Trade Agreement

over the north American continent, and even across the ocean in Great Britain and part of Europe, crying to the world for settlement of its fertile and productive soil, and I am glad to-day, Mr. Speaker, speaking on behalf of the great cattle raising and agri-* cultural industry of Cariboo, to read in connection with this trade agreement a few telegrams of approval that I have received with respect to the reciprocity treaty now before the house. The first is from Dawson Creek, B.C., signed by W. S. Bullen, president of the Peace River Block Live Stock Breeding and Feeding Association. It says:

Peace River Live Stock Breeding and Feeding Association unanimously approve reciprocity agreement. Same vital to live stock industry of this northern district which is most important source of profit. Will supply outlet for live stock and secure means assisting this country return to prosperity. Dawson Creek centre very heavy shipments hogs and cattle but heavily grained cattle being sold at loss to feeders.

W. S. Bullen, President.

I have another one signed by the board of trade of Fort St. John, which is the centre of all that part of northern British Columbia lying north of the Peace river, and which only awaits action such as this agreement and other action that parliament can take, to bring it to the prosperity that will ultimately come to it. The telegram reads:

At special meeting Fort St. John board of trade the following resolution was unanimously passed, that this board of trade wire J. G. Turgeon, M.P., expressing its support of reciprocity trade treaty in general.

D. P. McKay, Secretary, Fort St. John Board' of Trade.

I have another telegram from Fort St. John, reading as follows:

Peace River Block Farmers endorse reciprocal trade agreement between the United States and Canada.

J. W. Abbott, President,

Peace River Block Farmers Institute.

I do not intend to spend much more time upon this question, because I think these messages, not from individuals, but from reliable associations of producers express better than I can their appreciation and commendation of the action of the right hon. Prime Minister of Canada and his colleagues in negotiating this treaty with the United States. There are, however, one or two observations that I should like to make.

I have heard it said in the house, as have other hon. members-and it is but a repetition of the argument that was so destructive of the reciprocity pact in 1911-that we must be careful forever to maintain our east and west trade channel which has built up this

Canada of ours, and that we must be perpetually upon our guard against even commencing on a north and south trade channel. That is the argument which has been underlying the whole economic policy of Canada practically ever since confederation, or at least since 1878 when the national policy of Sir John A. Macdonald was introduced. All Canada has heard the complaints from British Columbia and Alberta with reference to injustices in the freight rate structure of Canada. Let me ask you this, Mr. Speaker: If there are injustices in our freight rate structure, are not those injustices based upon that very element of our economic policy which says that we must forever maintain our traffic in an east and west channel? But this Canada of ours is a country which extends not only from the Atlantic to the Pacific, but north and south. Many portions of this dominion are but thinly populated, and there has been built up, by a combination of unconscionably high tariffs linked together with that very element of our economic policy which says that we must maintain our trade in a channel running east and west, a concentration of industry at a few points in Ontario and Quebec, with the result that we have that unjust and unholy accumulation of wealth against which the whole country is crying to-day.

We can look for many causes; we can trace many of the steps that have been taken by these few men in Canada who control the accumulated productive wealth of the country, but the most potent cause of all is the undue protection that has been given by high tariffs to our secondary industries, coupled with our freight rate structure and that element of our economic policy which says that forever we must maintain our channel of trade east and west, and that everything that is produced and required in the maritime provinces down by the Atlantic, and everything that is produced and required in the far western provinces, on the prairies and in British Columbia, must find its way to and from those central points where the secondary industries are established' in those central portions of Canada. I am not saying anything against secondary industries, but I believe this Canada of ours was meant by providence for primary production, and that our secondary industries should be built upon the success of our primary industries. But because of that, combination of circumstances to which I have referred, unconscionably high tariffs and the freight rate structure, we have seen our secondary industries prosper out of all proportion to our primary industries. No one objects to our secondary industries

Canada-U. S. Trade Agreement

prospering, but we do object to their prospering through the strangling of our primary producers.

I well remember that immediately following the election of 1911-and in that election campaign we were told that we must maintain our east and west trade channel and must beware of starting traffic north and1 south-at the very first session of parliament the government, supported by the present leader of the opposition, did two things almost by the same instrument. First, they caused the death of a motion that was presented to the House of Commons asking that the congestion of traffic in hauling grain from the prairie provinces to Fort William-it will be remembered there was a serious congestion in the year 1911-12- be relieved by lowering t'he freight rate from the prairies to the Pacific coast. The killing of that motion was followed almost immediately by an announcement by the then Minister of Trade and Commerce, the late Sir George Foster, that he had arranged with the United States Interstate Commerce Commission for a reduction of freight rates on Canadian grain passing over American railroads to American ports for shipment to Great Britain and Europe. That was within three months of the time when the reciprocity agreement negotiated by Sir Wilfrid Laurier and Mr. Fielding in 1911 had been defeated by the same cry that has been raised in the house during this debate, that we must beware of north and south channels of trade.

Let me ask a question with relation to this very cry. Before long the house will be giving consideration to possible means of increasing the tourist traffic; we shall be doing everything within our power to bring tourists from the United States to Canada. The former Minister of Railways, Mr. Manion, has stated that a properly organized tourist traffic would bring into Canada from one to two billions of new money. If every time we think of trading with the United States we are told that we must not have any traffic north and south, how can we encourage tourist traffic? I represent a constituency in the great undeveloped and fertile section of northern British Columbia. If we cannot have a traffic north and south, how can we bring in tourists to that great area? How can we do anything to advance the development of that part of British Columbia if we must always be on our guard against opening up, even to the least degree, channels of traffic running north and south instead of east and west? On behalf of the people of northern British Columbia, and especially those who live in the far reaches of the Peace river, I want to see something done to break the grip of certain interests

in this country. I want to see channels of trade opened up to the north and south. Wealth has been concentrated in the hands of a very few and I want to see something done to break the grip which that concentration of wealth has upon the whole of Canada. I believe the greatest step that could be taken has been taken by this government by the introduction of this reciprocity agreement. I desire to commend the right hon. the Prime Minister and his colleagues upon the action they have taken. I thank you, Mr. Speaker, and through you, the house, for the patience and courtesy it has shown me in listening to my first attempt to address it.

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CON

Thomas Alfred Thompson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. T. A. THOMPSON (Lanark):

The hon. member who has just taken his seat (Mr. Turgeon) has said a great deal about traffic north and south, but I want to say to him and to the house that I do not think there was ever in Canada a government that was not quite willing to have trade move north and south so long as the benefits of that trade were mutual and so long as it w'as evenly balanced. I do not believe there is any question about the principle of the agreement before us at the present time. It meets with geineral approval and it is only a waste of time to talk about trade north and south. We as Canadians are willing to trade wherever trade is beneficial. I do not think objections will be taken to trading with any country so long as the benefits accruing from that trade are evenly balanced. We must bear in mind that the channels of trade between Canada and the United States were not closed by Canada; they were blocked almost completely by the tariffs and restrictions placed upon Canadian exports by the government at Washington.

The question before the house is whether Canada is being justly compensated for what she is giving. Are we receiving fair treatment in this agreement? After examining the agreement I have arrived at the conclusion that the concessions received by Canada are altogether inadequate to reimburse her for the concessions she is making to the United States. A comparison of the terms of this agreement with those of our trade with the United States between 1913 and 1921, when our agricultural products entered that country free, will show how paltry are the advantages we are receiving. It is quite true that the President of the United States was authorized to reduce tariffs by only fifty per cent, but in the ease of many items vital to the trade of Canada we do not get a fifty per cent reduction. In many cases the same commodities entered the United States between 1913 and 1921 free of duty. We have received on cattle, on lumber and on grass seed some concessions

Canada-U. S. Trade Agreement

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LIB

John James Kinley

Liberal

Mr. J. J. KINLEY (Queens-Lunenburg):

The resolution before the house asks our approval of the Canada-United States agreement. A perusal of that agreement reveals at once how complex and intricate a modern trade agreement is, both in its general terms and in the schedules of the tariff items. In its .preparation considerable skill, experience and technical knowledge is required. It always has .been the pride of leaders in our country to try their hands at trade agreements with foreign countries. I think we can agree that this time the Prime Minister of Canada (Mr. Mackenzie King) rose to the occasion and that he and his associates have brought to parliament an agreement which will be in the interests of the people of this country. He grasped the opportunity as it presented itself; he made an agreement quickly and effectively, and that is perhaps one of the

things that appeals most to the people of this country This agreement must face the ordinary hazards of business when it becomes part of the law of the country. Some people will say it is a good agreement for the United States and others will say it is eminently in the interests of Canada. Let us hope it will be in the interests of both countries; that must be so if we are to have any permanent benefit from it.

The other day the hon. member for Dufferia-Simcoe (Mr. Rowe) said there was no sentiment in business. As a business man of some experience let me say that in my opinion there is a good deal of sentiment in business, and I believe it is well for every business main to recognize that fact. We all like to think that we are logical, but no one knows better than public men that when sentiment is appealed to logic takes second place. I heard the hon. gentleman say there was no sentiment in business; I could tell, however, from the tenor of his remarks that he was a past master in sentiment, and that he used it yell for his own benefit on the hustings when appealing for election. I believe this idea that there is no sentiment in business had its origin in. the philosophy of law, with people who only have to do with business when it becomes unhealthy, when friendship ceases, and there can be no dealings of any kind. The sentiment that we require at this time, however, is the good will that has been so ably portrayed by the Prime Minister in his speeches aud actions.

This modern agreement makes provision for almost eveiy eventuality; it contains conditions that never before were considered necessary in a trade agreement. For example there is a provision for exchange; it deals with the value of our money, so there will be no inequalities in this regard. There is provision also that we may carry on properly the marketing of our products with no outside interference. The agreement provides against low wages to labour; it considers our morals and our health in their relation to trade, and finally the escape clauses provide a method of retreat, if it should prove disadvantageous to Canada.

Our trade agreements come close to our people. We hear very little from those who benefit, but those who are hurt talk loudly. I was anxious, as I know we were all anxious, to hear what the right hon. leader of the apposition (Mr. Bennett) would have to say. From his experience and his position in the house we expected him to say the worst, and we knew that when he was through we would have heard the most that could be said

Canada-U. S. Trade Agreement

against this agreement. After listening to his two hour speech may I say that in my opinion the members of this house and the country generally were more firmly convinced than ever that the Prime Minister and his associates did a splendid job when they went to Washington. The right hon. gentleman dipped into the past in an endeavour to defend the actions of his party in former years. I hardly think that was necessary. I am not one of those who believe that one party is always right and the other party is always wrong. I have been taught that whenever serious minded men get together for a serious purpose there is always an element of truth and an element of error, and in this case we must decide which predominates.

The policy of the Liberal party is one of wider markets and foreign trade. That policy was supported by the Liberals in the last election; it was endorsed by the people, and I think that endorsement is sufficient for parliament to carry out the terms of this agreement as quickly as possible. An eminent public man in Canada has made some splendid speeches recently; in one of them he said in effect it was wonderful, the instinct of the average man to be right as against the superior knowledge of the intellectuals. We know that by his vote the average man has endorsed the policy of the Liberal party. In addition to that only yesterday we heard the hon. member for East Kootenay (Mr. Stevens), the leader of the one time Reconstruction party, who represents the opinions of a great many people in this country, say on the floor of the house that he would support this agreement because he thought it was a step in the right direction. During the last campaign we said, "Vote King and get action." The people voted King and they got action. I believe we in this parliament, fresh from the people, representing as we do the view they expressed by their votes, should give this agreement a good send-off, with the good wishes of every member of the house.

It is not only the Liberals who are in favour of this agreement; the financiers of the country are in favour of it also. Only the other day the governor of the Bank of Canada said in no uncertain terms that the shackles of trade must be loosed in order that Canada might do business with the world, and at the annual meeting of the bank of Nova Scotia the president of that institution made it plain that he believed that the first element to be considered in order to bring this country some measure of prosperity was the advancement of export

trade for Canada. In 1911 the Liberal party, under Sir Wilfrid Laurier, was defeated on the issue of reciprocity, and we have heard quite a good deal about that, At that time Sir Wilfrid Laurier was attacked not only by the Conservative party in Canada; he also had to do battle with the reactionary interests in the United States. In addition he was attacked at a time when he was most vulnerable, because of an unholy alliance in this country. All these things combined to bring about the defeat of the great Canadian chieftain of that time. Privilege was in the saddle, within and without. The Liberal party was beaten and reciprocity went down. Why? Because Sir Wilfrid Laurier, instead of putting it through parliament and letting the people judge by experience, went to the country and met defeat. To my hon. friend who says: King should have submitted this to parliament and asked them to decide, I say: To-day the country needs leadership.

And the Prime Minister gave us leadership; he has behind him a party of stability, put there by the Canadian people for the very purpose of doing this thing, and he did it well.

We cannot talk about reciprocity or trade agreements without thinking of a great Nova Scotian. I refer to the late Right Hen. W. S. Fielding, the little gray man from Nova Scotia, who for years was the finance minister of this country; who knew the problems of the maritime provinces, and could in a way that was almost marvellous harmonize the desires of his people down there with those of the people of central Canada so that we worked together effectively and successfully. We had prosperity in this country in the days of Laurier and Fielding. In those days we had no depression. I do not say that the conditions were the same. But they said: Leave well enough alone. That was the cry when Laurier was defeated on reciprocity. There are some who say that the present Prime Minister did not act quickly enough or was not persistent enough during his former years in office. I suppose he had the lesson of 1911 before him. Between 1921 and 1930 this country was prosperous, and perhaps he would have been unwise to disturb that prosperity; he knew what the Tories would say if they got a chance at him. Furthermore, he had practically no majority from 1921 to 1930; he governed this country almost by compromise, and he did it well. When anyone says that my right hon. leader should have made a treaty under such conditions he is saying something which will not bear examination. With regard to the

Canoda-U. S. Trade Agreement

Underwood tariff, that was a fine gesture on the part of the United States, an expression of good will, if you like. We gave them nothing; they lowered their tariff on many articles, and the fishing industry of my province was never more prosperous than in the years of the Underwood tariff.

I want to deal briefly with some of the objections raised the other day by the leader of the opposition (Mr. Bennett). He said the fishermen of this country who have to compete with the American trawlers will get very little out of this agreement-the American trawler, forsooth! In this country, competing against the Canadian fishermen, are beam trawlers bought on the bargain counter in England and now used as a club to keep down prices to the fishermen. A corporation which in the last analysis has its home in the United States becomes a primary producer in a position to dictate prices to the fishermen of Nova Scotia. If the leader of the opposition was so particular about our fishermen he should have looked after them when he was in power. He was there for five years; during that time the fishermen suffered as much as any other people in Canada, yet they received nothing at his hands. But now that he is in opposition he tells them they will have the competition of the American trawler.

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?

An hon. MEMBER:

They lost their

market.

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LIB

John James Kinley

Liberal

Mr. KINLEY:

Ten years ago Lunenburg

had 2,500 men on the sea; to-day we have less than a thousand, and unless something is done to help them the salt fishing industry faces extinction. It is my privilege as a member of this parliament to ask that something be done to stimulate that primary industry. We hear a lot about free trade and protection; I think one minister of the crown some days ago said that if we are to continue a high or an excessive tariff policy in this country we must stimulate the primary industries. The condition of the primary industry of fishing is such that it needs stimulation, and we ask that that industry be given consideration.

Then the leader of the opposition pointed out that the duty on flour was reduced to fifty cents a barrel, and, he said: You remember the old days when it came in schooners from Boston. Bread is the staff of life to the fishermen, and they complain that now they can buy flour cheaper in Newfoundland than in Nova Scotia. It looks as if the primary producer of flour does not get the benefit of the duty in any event. If there is any country that should be able to produce flour cheaply

for its people Canada is that country. Hon. members would think a long time before voting for a high duty on flour, I believe.

Then the leader of the opposition says: Look at the revenue the country is going to lose by this agreement. From my experience in business I find that low prices increase turnover. If I want more business I put on a sale and reduce prices. Canada will do more business as a result of this agreement, and in spite of the fact that we shall not have to pay as much tribute in duties, the exchequer of the country will gain.

The right hon. gentleman said further that the British empire agreements made this agreement possible. Well, if so, he has done a good job in that regard, because I think this agreement is beneficial. But may I remind him of this: if the manufacturers of this country are going to be hurt by this agreement, how much more are they hurt by the British empire agreements? This agreement does not give the lowest level of Canadian duties; the lowest general level of Canadian duties is that provided under the British empire agreements. If there is the hazard that we are to be flooded by goods from other countries, they would come in the first place from the countries enjoying the lowest level of duties.

Then the right hon. gentleman, referring to our seaports, said that this agreement will ruin Halifax, Saint John, Quebec and Montreal. We know well that under the most favoured nation treatment they can bring goods in from such countries through the United States. But our trade with the British empire is not permitted to come through the United States. Then he says that we buy a lot from the United States and they buy little from us, per capita. I have never heard that you count people in business; it seems to me that the size of the invoice is what counts. The amount of goods we sell them would be a fairer way to consider the matter; the balance of trade is what counts. They have

127,000,000 people as potential customers for this country. They are adjacent to Canada and their standard of living is high. With such a great potential market I say that if we are aggressive and efficient and adopt the slogan "wake up, Canada," we can so increase the trade of this country that there will be practically no unemployment.

Queens-Lunenburg in Nova Scotia, the riding I represent, is an important fishing centre; it is probably the greatest fishing county in Canada. It. is a great maritime county, and has also its share of manufacturing. My criticism of the agreement would be that it does not go far enough; I should like to see

Canada-U. S. Trade Agreement

it go much further. I frankly admit that I am disappointed in the provisions affecting the fish of the cod family; I am sorry they are not included in the agreement. I can quite understand why trade in fresh fish might be objectionable to the Gloucester fishermen, but when it comes to salt fish they are not to any extent producers. It seems to me some effort should be made whereby our salt fish would find a better market in the United States, including Porto Rico.

Then, there was a reduction in the duty on halibut, and we hope that the reduction will bring about a greater trade in that commodity. There is a reference to swordfish. May I say that swordfish are caught chiefly off the east coast of Nova Scotia, and many of our Lunenburg fishermen with the larger boats spend the summer swordfishing. I believe most of the swordfish shipped to the United States are caught by fishermen from my county. I trust that the lowering of duty may help them in their business, and that this change may be only a start towards what might be done in the future.

We find that lobsters remain on the free list. Lobster fishing is still the greatest item of the fishing industry in the province of Nova Scotia, and while there may have been no immediate danger of a duty on lobsters, in these days of tariff wars it is hard to tell what may happen. Let me inform the house that only a few months ago, after the agreement was made, the duty on frozen swordfish, which are not included in the terms of the agreement, was raised to three cents, and I am told that change was made because there was a desire to prevent frozen swordfish from Japan from entering the United States. This example will serve to show the hazard which exists even to our free goods, if the policy of high protection is followed. I say it was a splendid achievement to remove that hazard.

The same could be said about paper. In Queens county, part of the constituency I have the honour to represent, is situated the Mersey Pulp and Paper Company. I believe this is the only paper company in Nova Scotia, and I am informed that it employs over six hundred men. To a great extent they conduct an export trade, and they have two steamers running to New York. Their business has been stabilized so that they may make commitments and know that they will be able to carry them out. They may approach the financiers of the country and say, "Our business is stable and a market is guaranteed by the government for the next few years." They are placed in an enviable position.

With regard to lumber may I say that the provisions of the agreement will improve the lumber business in Nova Scotia. We know that in the winter the farmers' sons desire to go 'to the woods and earn some cash money, as they call it. The agreement offers the opportunity they have been seeking, and a greater trade in lumber will immediately be reflected in the prosperity of the farmers in my county.

The same observations apply to cattle. Only a few days ago, while on my way to Ottawa, I stopped at the station and saw herds of cattle being put into box cars. I said, "This has not happened for years; what is going on"? The reply was "They are buying Lunenburg oxen and sending them to the United States. We believe they are going to use them in the lumber woods this winter." That is a splendid improvement, and it is a help to the cattle raising industry

We find that the duties on vegetables have been lowered. My constituents sell turnips in the United States, and I believe that in that regard the farmers will derive benefit. Undoubtedly the export market controls the home market of the country, because that export market absorbs the surplus production. If we have an overabundance on the home market, prices become depressed, but if the surplus can be disposed of, if it can be sent to a foreign market, conditions at home are stabilized. Under those circumstances prices are better at home, and everybody feels better about it. After all the export market is the controlling factor of all business enterprises, and especially is that true of our primary industries.

Foreign trade is the emblem of the efficiency of our people. We can sell to one another at home, and may continue for a long time selling to each other in an inefficient manner or in a manner that is not quite up to the mark, but when we enter the foreign market, if we are to compete successfully with other countries, we must be efficient. There is no finer evidence of the efficiency of a people than the fact that they can enter a foreign market and place their goods therein in competition with the rest of the world. An ambition to do a great foreign trade is a worthy one. We know that in the past all great countries have had extensive foreign trade, and we find our greatest example in the mother country.

The leader of the opposition said, "Oh, but Canadians can bring back $100 worth of goods when returning from Boston or other points in the United States, and that is bad." Well, I would remind the right

Canada-U. S. Trade Agreement

hon. gentleman that there are 127,000.000 people in the United States who can take our goods back to their country, whereas only 11,000,000 can bring them back into Canada. 1 will tell the right hon. gentleman that it will give decent citizens a chance to be honest. Goods are coming in now anyway, and I must say that in the province of Nova Scotia we appreciate this provision. After all, not one dollar's worth will come in from the United States by reason of the agreement unless some citizen feels that he would derive advantage or that his family would be benefited by bringing in goods bought in the United States. That is the idea behind this feature of the trade agreement. The principle behind trade agreements is to give the special privilege of dealing with other countries, and to give our citizens the opportunity to buy where it can be done most effectively and advantageously.

Some have said that people in the United States were anxious to have coal on the free list in Canada. We know that under the British empire agreements anthracite coal is free. In Canada we have long winters during which we must keep warm, and coal is expensive. It seems to me that, if we could have traded fish for anthracite coal nobody would have been hurt. I am told however that because coal is on the free list in the British empire agreement, in order to maintain a proper ratio between the two agreements it was impossible to change the arrangements in connection with coal from the United States. For many years coal entered Canada free. I do not think the entrance of American anthracite coal would present any great competition with coal produced in Canada.

As I said before, if I have any criticism of the agreement it would be that I should like to have seen something more done in connection with the marketing of fish. However we must not criticize an agreement for what is not in it; we must be satisfied with what is in it. I hope that good will developed in the future will bring about further reductions in duties and advantages in trade which our people in the maritimes may enjoy. We wish to trade with the 127,000,000 people in the United States; if we could do that in fish we wrould not be coming to the government asking for help, and there would be no depression in the constituency I represent.

The other day the right hon. leader of the opposition said: I stand for Canada, and I reject this agreement because it interferes with the rights of Canada. But he was not

thinking of the rights of Canada when he made the empire shipping agreement, whereby the sailors of this country were put in a class along with sailors from all other parts of the world. I regard that merchant shipping agreement, Mr. Speaker, as against the interests of the maritime people of this country, and I would like to know if it was a factor in making it easier to bring about the empire trade agreements. There is sometimes more money in carrying goods than in selling them, when you take into account the insurance and the other costs of transportation. With the Canadian manufacturer making all kinds of protests against a lowering of the tariff on his products, you can well see, sir, how it came about that the rights of the sailors down by the sea were sacrificed in the interests of the people of upper Canada who wanted higher tariffs.

I regard this trade agreement as a step in the right direction, and I hope that we shall go still further in the same direction. The leader of the opposition himself indicated how inequalities in the working out of the agreement could be corrected, by the raising of the intermediate tariff if and when that should become necessary, and I am sure that the prime minister will take him at his word if the agreement is found to work any injustice. I am confident that the government will use the power they have in their hands for the benefit of this country.

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS
Subtopic:   CANADA-UNITED STATES TRADE AGREEMENT PROPOSED APPROVAL SUBJECT TO LEGISLATION MAKING PROVISIONS EFFECTIVE
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LIB

Joseph-Arthur Bradette

Liberal

Mr. J. A. BRADETTE (Cochrane):

Mr. Speaker, there are times in the fife of a person and in the life of a nation when there are unmistakable signs of rejoicing, and one of such times came last fall when it was announced throughout the country that the government intended to bring about a trade agreement between Canada and the United States. I believe I am voicing the sentiments of the people of my constituency, if not of the whole of Canada, when I say that every citizen who has studied the question must realize the wonderful benefits that will come, not so much from reciprocity, but from freer trade between the great neighbouring nation to the south and this dominion. There is nothing clearer than that, and I believe the leader of the opposition (Mr. Bennett) might well take some of the credit of the agreement to himself, but sopietimes man and nature are incomprehensible to the ordinary man. For me it is hard to comprehend the attitude of the leader of the opposition to-day when during the last election everybody was under the impression that not only the Liberal party but the Conservative party was in favour of freer trade between Canada aud the United States.

Canada-U. S. Trade Agreement

Before I proceed further I want to compliment most sincerely the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) upon the wonderful work he has done in bringing about this agreement and upon the splendid presentation of the case which he made to the house only a few days ago. We now hear coming back to this house the echoes of the voice [DOT] of the Canadian people. A voice heard throughout the length and breadth of this land in favour of the freer trade policies inaugurated in this agreement between Canada and the United States.

Freer trade between Canada and the United States is not a new question; it is an old one. It has been advocated in our national life for the last seventy-five years. I am sure that everyone who has read Canadian history must be fully seized of this fact, that every time we had freer trade with the United States we had prosperity in this country. Every student of our history knows that prior to 1846, before the repeal of the corn laws in Great Britain, we had great prosperity in Canada because we were allowed to buy American wheat, grind it into flour in this country and ship it to Great Britain, paying practically no duty at all. Then in 1846 Great Britain repealed her corn laws, and that was the beginning of a period of misery and depression for Canada. There followed in this country an agitation deeper than that of 1837. We all remember reading in our history books of the burning of the parliament building in Montreal, and, unlike the previous insurrection of 1837, it was not burned by French Canadians but by people of British descent. One of the leaders in that movement was J. J. Abbott, who afterwards became Prime Minister of Canada. There was talk at that time of annexation to the United States, and a good many of our Canadians had to go to the United States to seek work. Anyone who reads our history cannot escape the conclusion that freer trade between the two countries has always brought a period of greater prosperity for the United States and Canada.

We also remember the depression which this country suffered when Great Britain imposed upon us certain laws that struck at shipping on the St. Lawrence river. Again an agitation followed for a number of years, and then in 1856 our trade recovered when the United States allowed us freer access to their market. I repeat, Mr. Speaker, that anyone, be he Liberal or Conservative, who reads our history with an open mind, cannot escape the conclusion that in those periods when we had freer trade between Canada and the United States we had a period of greater prosperity.

[Mr. Bradette.l

In 1866 the freer trade agreement that we had with the United States was abrogated because, I believe, the American people thought that we were in sympathy with the south, and again we had hard times in Canada. Again the question of freer trade was revived, and an agitation was carried on for a number of years, eventually coming to a head in 1911, when Mr. Fielding brought down his reciprocity agreement in the House of Commons.

I was living in the suburbs of Montreal at that time, and I vividly remember reading in the press of Montreal a report of what happened in the House of Commons when Mr. Fielding brought down his trade agreement and on the floor of the house enumerated the different items shortly before the general election of that year. I remember reading of the cheers that came not only from the Liberal but from the Conservative benches. The two major parties then-and I believe there were only two parties at that time-were absolutely in agreement in thinking that freer trade would be advantageous to both countries. In the discussion that followed I remember that when one Conservative asked Mr. Fielding what he would do about American wheat, he replied that it would be put on the free list, and there was applause from all sections of the House of Commons. But unfortunately for Canada and the United States -that agreeement did not go through-and it must be remembered, Mr. Speaker, that no trade agreement can operate to the exclusive benefit of one country alone. Some indiscretion was committed either by Mr. Champ Clark or by Mr. Taft, and in the election campaign the Conservatives fought against the trade agreement. They must have long since deplored their action, realizing that they had not been fair to their own country and to the great leader of the Liberal party, Sir Wilfrid Laurier.

It is all very well for the leader of the opposition to say to-day that the reciprocity pact of 1911 was defeated by the electorate, but I say no, Mr. Speaker, the electors in 1911 did not have a chance to get a clear vision of what the reciprocity pact meant. Those who come from Quebec will remember what happened in that province in 1911. There was no discussion of the reciprocity pact. Instead, the Conservative party was accusing the then Prime Minister, Sir Wilfrid Laurier, of being untrue to the British connection in regard to the naval bill. We all remember that vividly. The Conservative party knew that the reciprocity pact would be a good thing for Canada, but the accusation was made that

G'anada-U. S. Trade Agreement

we were being sold to the United States. We should remember matters like this when we are discussing this resolution.

I think it was a good thing for Canada when on October 14 last the people spoke so distinctly. The decision was in favour of this pact and politics should not be instilled into the matter. When the people of Canada went to the polls they were satisfied that all parties were in full agreement that we needed freer trade with the United States. There is no avoiding the fact that the verdict of the people was clear. I do not believe the Conservative party is being true to its principles. When we go back into history we find that whenever they were on the government side they were in favour of a reciprocity agreement and freer trade with the United States. Along with the great majority o.f the Canadian people I find it hard to .make that fine distinction made by the leader of the opposition and some of his supporters, that the Liberal party is not playing fair with the country. As the Minister of Finance (Mr. Dunning) said so well yesterday, no Liberal or anybody else in this country has to take a back seat to any Conservative. Our loyalty to Canada and to the British empire is much greater than mere treaties. That loyalty is what we carry in our souls and in our hearts. I am gl'ad that for four years our Conservative friends will not have an opportunity of again raising the old tbogey, of again poisoning the minds of the Canadian people by trying to make them believe that the Liberal party is ready to sell this country body and soul to the United States.

We are fortunate in being a neighbour of the United States. I do not doubt for a single moment that Australia would pay much for similar access to the American market to that which we have. I do not think the leader of the opposition is really sincere when he pictures the United States as being a monster ready to devour every little Canadian. Surely he must realize that the matter was one of bargaining and of playing fair. I could go into the elections of 1911 in greater detail, but I shall not take up the time of the house. In making the references I do I am speaking *not as a Liberal only, but as a Canadian. Only a few months before the elections the Conservatives in the house were pounding their desks with both hands when Mr. Fielding announced a reciprocity pact between the two nations. It must be admitted that the Americans were partly to blame for what happened afterwards.

Every hon. member remembers the Wilson-Underwood tariff which gave access to the primary products of Canada to the American market. Prosperity reigned in this country. Then that tariff was withdrawn to be replaced with the Fordney-McCumber tariff. I could never understand why this tariff was put into effect in view of the great benefits which had been derived by both countries from the Wilson-Underwood tariff. Then I was dumbfounded and astonished later on when the Hawley-Smoot tariff was put into effect. This tariff was put into effect at a time when Canada was buying millions and millions of dollars' worth of goods from the United States. Even the American people found fault with the Hawley-Smoot tariff and I do not believe they were wholly behind it. Many of them realized that it was unfair, not only to Canada but also to the United States. Nearly 500 newspapers in the United States have spoken against this tariff, and I should like to give one or two quotations to show the feeling in that country. The first article is headed, "A Dangerous Tariff" and is from the Phoenix, Arizona, Republican, an independent progressive paper. It reads:

If the advocates of general upward revision could have their way we should shortly be commercially isolated. The exports of the United States have come vastly to exceed our imports. Our markets have been extended and enlarged throughout the world, and to hold them we must maintain a friendly commercial attitude towards those whose business we enjoy. Otherwise not only we may, but we almost certainly would, provoke the retaliatory tariff legislation which would drive us out of many of our markets.

The next quotation is from the Columbus Despatch. It is headed, "An Example of Greed," and reads:

The Hawley bill more than neutralizes its farm increases by heavy increases on many articles of which the farmers are almost universally buyers, not producers and sellers. Building materials, shoes, leather and harness are examples.

The bill is one of the most striking examples of tariff boosting greed in all our tariff history and threatens a harmful interruption of world commerce, and business in general, unless saner counsels prevail before it is finally passed. President Hoover wTas right in advising only limited revision.

Perhaps this is why the nations of the world are beginning to realize that intensive nationalism does not pay. This principle which applies to Canada, applies just as forcibly to the United States. I can remember reading statements by great American writers to the effect that the United States could live within itself; that it was such a wonderful unit with such climatic conditions and1 everything else that it did not need any export

Canada-V. S. Trade Agreement

trade. I believe that country has paid dearly for that philosophy. This applies equally to Canada.

I come from a section of Canada which is always penalized by tariffs. Northern Ontario is a producer of primary products which must find an outside market. At Iroquois Falls is one of the largest newsprint mills in Canada, large enough to supply the newsprint requirements of this country. A few moments ago the hon. member for Lanark (Mr Thompson) was saying that we should deal only within the British empire, but for his information I would tell1 him that the only market for newsprint is in the United States. It is all very well for hon. members opposite to refer to industries in their constituencies employing 100 or 500 men; this mill at Iroquois Falls employs 3,000 men in the mill alone, while thousands of men are employed in the fruitful occupations of lumbering, driving and so on. Yet our Conservative friends want to check any trade we have with the United States.

It was a wonderful sight five years ago to see going from the town of Iroquois Falls trainloads of newsprint manufactured on this side of the border. And where did that newsprint go? It was not manufactured for the Canadian market, which was saturated; nor was it manufactured for Great Britain. By the way I shall always be in favour of trade with the mother country; indeed, I am in favour of the British preference, because I believe it was the most wonderful thing we ever had between the two countries, Canada and Great Britain. But I can tell hon. members that every pound of that newsprint coming from one mill-and there are three in my riding-found its way thirty-six hours later to New York. We were satisfied to get American money in return for that Canadian product, the product of Canadian labour. These are facts which we must always bear in mind.

In our section of the country we are writing Canadian history in large letters. We are developing normally, and I maintain that within twenty years there will be found in northern Quebec and northern Ontario hundreds of thousands of people whom twenty-five years ago we should not have dreamed of having. In our part of Canada we are neither easterners nor westerners. We sympathize with the wheat growers of the prairies and we sympathize equally with the industrialists in the east; but at the same time we do not want to pay through the nose for the sake of supporting some mushroom industry. We are logical enough to realize

that sometimes, during the infancy of an industry, a certain amount of protection is needed, but if you have too much protection it defeats its own purpose. I am absolutely in sympathy with the industries I mentioned a few minutes ago, but when we find that we have to pay forty cents a gallon for high test gasoline, then we know there is something wrong somewhere. And let me say that in this matter my sympathy does not extend to people driving motor cars for pleasure; I am thinking more of the farmers and those poorer people who use trucks in order to earn their living. The same applies to many matters I might mention.

We have been lobbied during the present session by some of the fruit and vegetable growers, and my sympathy goes out to them, but it has been too often an excuse for making us pay exorbitant prices in northern Ontario. As I listen to some of the members representing Toronto constituencies I wonder whether their vision ever rises above the horizon of Toronto. Do they ever come to our section and study our problem? We do not want to see them suffer hard times in their industries, but surely in a discussion of this kind it ought to be possible for us all to take the broad national point of view, so that everyone may be prepared to make some sacrifice in order to promote the general well-being. Coming to the question of a seasonal tariff on fruit and vegetables, I am in favour of this to some extent; but so far as our section is concerned, I can say that we have never been able to buy our requirements at reasonable prices during the winter or even in the summer. The only time we have some relief is when they begin to dump commodities from the Niagara peninsula.

I suggest that we should envisage Canada as a whole, concentrating neither on eastern nor on western Canada. There are some other matters I should like to discuss, but I do not think I have the time before six o'clock. I wish, however, to refer to some prophecies made by the hon. member for Dufferin-Simcoe (Mr. Rowe). No doubt he was sincere, and I do not for a moment question his sincerity. But he prophesied that within a few years the people would realize that this trade agreement had not been fair to Canada. I believe it was in 1930 that the hon. gentleman, discussing the New Zealand trade agreement- this was at the time of an election-tried to pit one section of the empire against another. He tried to make out that if we had not bought from New Zealand as much butter as we had, there would have been millions of cows and bulls in Canada. Well, his party

Elections and Franchise

abrogated the New Zealand agreement after the election of 1930 and I have yet to see that wonderful parade of live stock. If the hon. gentleman is as true in his prediction of yesterday as he was in that prophecy, then I am not worrying much about the effect of the present agreement.

The leader of the opposition (Mr. Bennett) also made a statement which seemed to me to be rather far-fetched. At page 622 of Hansard, speaking of the population of Canada and the United States respectively, he put our population at 11,000,000 and that of the United States at 127,000,000, and he observed:

Ah. more; for we were buying from them $28.86 worth per head during the year before while they were buying from us $2.23 per head.

Surely the leader of the opposition could not have intended to create the impression that for every dollar's worth of goods we buy from the United States they should buy from us the equivalent in ratio. Let us look at the figures for a moment, taking the two respective estimates of population. The ratio of 11,000,000 to 127,000,000 is as 1 to ll%i, and the ratio of buying, S2.23 to $28.86, is as 1 to 13, so that according to the hon. gentleman's argument, if the United States bought from us in the same ratio as we bought from them, they would have to buy $3,665,-

220,000, or more than we produce. Surely the right hon. gentleman never intended to make that statement unless it was for effect.

I will give the total exports in the year to which the leader of the opposition alluded. In 1932 the total exports were $501,000,000, in round figures, and in 1933 $537,000,000. But under the trade agreement with the United States, the leader of the opposition wants to create the impression that, in order to be fair to Canada, the United States must buy from us at the very least approximately $3,665,000,000 worth of goods.

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS
Subtopic:   CANADA-UNITED STATES TRADE AGREEMENT PROPOSED APPROVAL SUBJECT TO LEGISLATION MAKING PROVISIONS EFFECTIVE
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At six o'clock the house adjourned, without question put, pursuant to standing order. Thursday, March 5, 1936


March 4, 1936