June 20, 1936

CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

I quite appreciate that point. The point is this, that the board thought the government should be in a position where if conditions varied it could increase the tariff so as to maintain the basis upon which the recommendations were made. That is a matter of governmental policy which the government, with its expressed view of policy, of course would not adopt. But that has not to do with the point I was making. As far as tariff changes in ad valorem and specific rates are concerned I know of no case in which the rate recommended has not been adopted, substantially at any rate. That is the reason I suggest that this report, contemplating a further review by the committee, is not in the public interest.

Topic:   AGRICULTURE AND COLONIZATION
Subtopic:   AGRICULTURAL IMPLEMENT PRICES-RECOMMENDATION THAT INQUIRY BE CONTINUED NEXT SESSION BY SPECIAL COMMITTEE
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LIB-PRO

Joseph Thorarinn Thorson

Liberal Progressive

Mr. THORSON:

May I say a word?

Topic:   AGRICULTURE AND COLONIZATION
Subtopic:   AGRICULTURAL IMPLEMENT PRICES-RECOMMENDATION THAT INQUIRY BE CONTINUED NEXT SESSION BY SPECIAL COMMITTEE
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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

Certainly.

Topic:   AGRICULTURE AND COLONIZATION
Subtopic:   AGRICULTURAL IMPLEMENT PRICES-RECOMMENDATION THAT INQUIRY BE CONTINUED NEXT SESSION BY SPECIAL COMMITTEE
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LIB-PRO

Joseph Thorarinn Thorson

Liberal Progressive

Mr. THORSON:

Might I remind the right hon. leader of the opposition that there are other than tariff matters which must be inquired into in order to carry out the investigation entrusted to the committee by the house.

Topic:   AGRICULTURE AND COLONIZATION
Subtopic:   AGRICULTURAL IMPLEMENT PRICES-RECOMMENDATION THAT INQUIRY BE CONTINUED NEXT SESSION BY SPECIAL COMMITTEE
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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

The hon. member for Selkirk (Mr. Thorson) indicates that other matters are to be inquired into. My impression of the reference was -that it was for the purpose of ascertaining whether the tariff was adequate or inadequate.

Topic:   AGRICULTURE AND COLONIZATION
Subtopic:   AGRICULTURAL IMPLEMENT PRICES-RECOMMENDATION THAT INQUIRY BE CONTINUED NEXT SESSION BY SPECIAL COMMITTEE
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LIB

Charles Avery Dunning (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. DUNNING:

It did not mention tariff.

Topic:   AGRICULTURE AND COLONIZATION
Subtopic:   AGRICULTURAL IMPLEMENT PRICES-RECOMMENDATION THAT INQUIRY BE CONTINUED NEXT SESSION BY SPECIAL COMMITTEE
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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

The discussion in this house was about prices. It was said that there had been an increase in the price structure by the implement producers which was unfair, when there had been a reduction of duty; therefore there should be an inquiry into the matter. That is how it came about.

Topic:   AGRICULTURE AND COLONIZATION
Subtopic:   AGRICULTURAL IMPLEMENT PRICES-RECOMMENDATION THAT INQUIRY BE CONTINUED NEXT SESSION BY SPECIAL COMMITTEE
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LIB-PRO

Joseph Thorarinn Thorson

Liberal Progressive

Mr. THORSON:

No, the reference is to inquire into the causes underlying the high prices of agricultural implements, with particular reference to the advance in prices in 1936.

Topic:   AGRICULTURE AND COLONIZATION
Subtopic:   AGRICULTURAL IMPLEMENT PRICES-RECOMMENDATION THAT INQUIRY BE CONTINUED NEXT SESSION BY SPECIAL COMMITTEE
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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

But undoubtedly in operation it has meant an inquiry into tariff matters.

Agriculture-Implement Prices

Topic:   AGRICULTURE AND COLONIZATION
Subtopic:   AGRICULTURAL IMPLEMENT PRICES-RECOMMENDATION THAT INQUIRY BE CONTINUED NEXT SESSION BY SPECIAL COMMITTEE
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LIB-PRO

Joseph Thorarinn Thorson

Liberal Progressive

Mr. THORSON:

That is only one of the subjects of the inquiry.

Topic:   AGRICULTURE AND COLONIZATION
Subtopic:   AGRICULTURAL IMPLEMENT PRICES-RECOMMENDATION THAT INQUIRY BE CONTINUED NEXT SESSION BY SPECIAL COMMITTEE
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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

One point more and I shall have concluded. We had before the price spreads committee and commission under oath a most complete inquiry, which may be found embodied in the minutes of that body. The matter was gone into in great length and detail. I have no desire to limit inquiries by any body that has to do with the conduct of the business of Canada, but why multiply them, when it accomplishes no useful purpose? There is the evidence before the price spreads commission; there is the report of the commission; here is the tariff board, and if it is desired certainly the minister has power under the tariff board act to direct that the board shall extend its inquiries, make them sufficiently wide to reach the very points that the committee has in mind. I can only say from observation during my experience in the House of Commons that I have never seen a House of Commons committee deal adequately with a matter of that kind, nor do I believe in the very nature of things it is equipped to do so. That is the reason the government, in dealing with wheat, said: We will have a royal commission. The very government that now is asking this house to vote concurrence in a report which contemplates the continuance of a committee to deal with the problem of implements of production, a matter closely allied to the wheat problem, asked the house to accept the view that there should be a royal commission to deal with the wheat problem, and not a committee of the House of Commons. I certainly agreed with them in that regard, and I do yet. I have no doubt that a royal commission is better able to deal with such a matter than a committee of the House of Commons. Why have two policies, one with respect to wheat, the other with respect to implements, which have already been investigated, and which the tariff board can deal with? As a matter of fact, dealing with the question of textiles, to which reference has been made-I can only pass it by because the report has not been made-no House of Commons committee but a royal commission was appointed to deal with that. If it is desired to appoint a royal commission to deal with this matter, well and good; I can understand that. But from what one sees and from the preconceived attitude of mind of those who have to deal with these matters in a committee of the House of Commons, is there any chance of being able to arrive at fair conclusions?

I have ventured, Mr. Speaker, to make these observations, because when in 1930 we

dealt with an exceptionally difficult situation and had to do something to redress the adverse trade balance and deal with other acute problems connected with currency and finance, the duty upon agricultural implements was increased to a very high point. It was increased to a high point on one understanding, that it would not involve the payment of higher prices by those who used implements. And because the implement producers kept their word and maintained their honour in that regard, I do not think it is fair, in view of our present conditions, of the contributions we have made to the wheat growers in the west and to western Canada as a whole, and of the present economic conditions in the western provinces, that we should not afford some opportunity to the implement industry to present its case to an independent, fair-minded tribunal rather than to a politically constituted committee of the House of Commons.

Topic:   AGRICULTURE AND COLONIZATION
Subtopic:   AGRICULTURAL IMPLEMENT PRICES-RECOMMENDATION THAT INQUIRY BE CONTINUED NEXT SESSION BY SPECIAL COMMITTEE
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LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Hon. J. G. GARDINER (Minister of Agriculture) :

Mr. Speaker, it has already been pointed out by the hon. member for Selkirk (Mr. Thorson) that the reference to the committee made on March 2 reads as follows:

That an immediate inquiry be made by the standing committee on agriculture and colonization into the causes underlying the high prices of agricultural implements, with particular reference to the advance in prices in the year 1936.

There is no direct reference in that statement to the tariff question. Tariffs of course have an effect upon the prices of products, and, as has been often said, if tariffs did not have the effect of making an increase in price possible there would be no necessity for putting them on.

Topic:   AGRICULTURE AND COLONIZATION
Subtopic:   AGRICULTURAL IMPLEMENT PRICES-RECOMMENDATION THAT INQUIRY BE CONTINUED NEXT SESSION BY SPECIAL COMMITTEE
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CON

Charles Hazlitt Cahan

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CAHAN:

Oh, no; nonsense.

Topic:   AGRICULTURE AND COLONIZATION
Subtopic:   AGRICULTURAL IMPLEMENT PRICES-RECOMMENDATION THAT INQUIRY BE CONTINUED NEXT SESSION BY SPECIAL COMMITTEE
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LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. GARDINER:

It is evident to almost any one that the intention of those who advocate tariffs is that there should be an increase in. prices.

Topic:   AGRICULTURE AND COLONIZATION
Subtopic:   AGRICULTURAL IMPLEMENT PRICES-RECOMMENDATION THAT INQUIRY BE CONTINUED NEXT SESSION BY SPECIAL COMMITTEE
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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

Quite the opposite.

Topic:   AGRICULTURE AND COLONIZATION
Subtopic:   AGRICULTURAL IMPLEMENT PRICES-RECOMMENDATION THAT INQUIRY BE CONTINUED NEXT SESSION BY SPECIAL COMMITTEE
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LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. GARDINER:

It is not my intention at this time to go into a discussion on the question of tariffs. J wish only to point out to the house in the first place, the subcommittee of the agriculture committee was unanimous and in the second place the full committee was unanimous in its findings. There was only one point of difference in the committee and that was as to whether this investigation should be committed next year to the whole committee on agriculture or whether there should be a smaller select committee. The final finding was that it should be a small select committee.

Agriculture-Implement Prices

I am surprised that the leader of the opposition (Mr. Bennett) should take exception at this stage to the adoption by the house of the finding of the committee, andi I am astonished at the reasons he gives for taking that position. This is the first committee of this chamber upon which I have had the privilege of serving, but I believe I can say-and in this I think all hon. members of the committee from both sides of the house will agree-that we had the full cooperation of the implement companies in the investigation so far as it has gone. Representatives of the International Harvester Company came here in numbers from their head office in Chicago; others were here from Hamilton, and there were representatives from the Massey-Harris Company. They answered in every particular, so far as it was possible for them to do so in the time at their disposal, the questionnaire which was sent out by the committee, and they made no objection whatsoever to giving their evidence to the committee. The only reason a finding of a definite nature was not made by the committee was recognized by every member of the committee, and' by those who represented the companies, namely that the evidence was not by any means complete. But I have no record, and I am sure the committee has no record, indicating that the representative of any of the companies objected to giving evidence to the committee, either during this session or at the next session.

Topic:   AGRICULTURE AND COLONIZATION
Subtopic:   AGRICULTURAL IMPLEMENT PRICES-RECOMMENDATION THAT INQUIRY BE CONTINUED NEXT SESSION BY SPECIAL COMMITTEE
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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

It has never been suggested they had.

Topic:   AGRICULTURE AND COLONIZATION
Subtopic:   AGRICULTURAL IMPLEMENT PRICES-RECOMMENDATION THAT INQUIRY BE CONTINUED NEXT SESSION BY SPECIAL COMMITTEE
Permalink
CON

Hugh Alexander Stewart

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEWART:

How could they object?

Topic:   AGRICULTURE AND COLONIZATION
Subtopic:   AGRICULTURAL IMPLEMENT PRICES-RECOMMENDATION THAT INQUIRY BE CONTINUED NEXT SESSION BY SPECIAL COMMITTEE
Permalink
LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. GARDINER:

It was suggested a few minutes ago that while walking down the street someone had said it should be before the tariff board.

Topic:   AGRICULTURE AND COLONIZATION
Subtopic:   AGRICULTURAL IMPLEMENT PRICES-RECOMMENDATION THAT INQUIRY BE CONTINUED NEXT SESSION BY SPECIAL COMMITTEE
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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

That is different altogether.

Topic:   AGRICULTURE AND COLONIZATION
Subtopic:   AGRICULTURAL IMPLEMENT PRICES-RECOMMENDATION THAT INQUIRY BE CONTINUED NEXT SESSION BY SPECIAL COMMITTEE
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June 20, 1936