May 30, 1941

LIB

James Lorimer Ilsley (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. ILSLEY:

Just look at the reason of the thing. There never was a clause in any agreement by which one country said: We will consult with you before we lower the duties on your goods coming into our country. There would be no point in a clause of that kind.

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NAT

Richard Burpee Hanson (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. HANSON (York-Sunbury):

The intention was that the status quo under the agreement should be preserved and that no change should be made without consultation. It was not limited to an upward revision; it contemplates any revision, if I understand the section.

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CON

Joseph Henry Harris

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HARRIS (Danforth):

Perhaps the minister can answer in one word: Did he consult the United Kingdom?

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LIB

James Lorimer Ilsley (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. ILSLEY:

No. There were representations made some months before by their trade representative here in Canada to the Department of Finance that certain concessions on certain commodities would be appreciated. That is a common thing.

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CON

Joseph Henry Harris

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HARRIS (Danforth):

There really were some representations made some two months before the bringing down of the budget?

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LIB

James Lorimer Ilsley (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. ILSLEY:

Some months before; I would not say two.

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CON

Joseph Henry Harris

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HARRIS (Danforth):

No doubt the President of the Board of Trade in Great Britain, who enjoys cabinet rank, knew of these changes two months in advance, or knew that the trade representative here whom the minister mentioned had some suggestions that would be very welcome.

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LIB

James Lorimer Ilsley (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. ILSLEY:

Probably he knew that representations had been made.

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NAT

Richard Burpee Hanson (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. HANSON (York-Sunbury):

Has the minister anything to say with respect to the suggestion of the hon. member for Danforth that we should do what we can to bring out branch factories? It seems to me that that would be wholly desirable if we could do it. I should like to have a reaffirmation that these proposed changes, like those made a year ago or in the last budget, are for the duration, and not beyond.

War Exchange Conservation Act

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LIB

James Lorimer Ilsley (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. ILSLEY:

That is covered by statute. Section 10 of the War Exchange Conservation Act provides that the act shall expire on the date of the issue of a proclamation under the War Measures Act declaring that a state of war no longer exists, or on such earlier date as may be fixed in a proclamation of the governor in council.

With regard to the moving of factories to Canada, I understand that the export of capital is not permitted by the foreign exchange control board; and I doubt whether we should attempt to take advantage of the situation in England by seeking the transfer of these industries permanently from Britain to Canada.

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LIB
NAT

Richard Burpee Hanson (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. HANSON (York-Sunbury):

I am not suggesting that.

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CCF

Angus MacInnis

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. MacINNIS:

I have not very much to say on this section. Indeed, I have not very much to say with regard to any part of the bill. I wish, however, to state that this group is very much in favour of the principle of giving favoured treatment to exports from the United Kingdom at this time. For the life of me I cannot understand our friends to the right. At one moment one would think they had a monopoly of all loyalty and all patriotism, and the next moment they are haggling as to whether small concessions of this kind are going to continue after the war is over.

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NAT

Richard Burpee Hanson (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. HANSON (York-Sunbury):

The hon. member had better take that view of the government. They advanced it first.

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CCF

Angus MacInnis

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. MacINNIS:

Yes. But I wonder

whether they realize how much restriction on trade has had to do with the bringing on of the present war. If we are to have lasting peace in the future we shall have to concern ourselves with freedom of trade as well as with military matters. But this seems to be the philosophy of my hon. friends: we are to assist the British empire-in this instance, Great Britain-with all our might to win a military victory over Germany, and as soon as that victory is achieved we are to go back to the old system of trade wars, even as between the various parts of the British empire. Now, if, as is on everybody's tongue, We are to play a constructive part in the building of a "new world", we shall have to give up these old-fashioned ideas and be prepared to look much farther ahead than was evidenced, say, in the trade agreements of 1932.

I have before me a quotation from the London Times. No one can accuse that journal of radicalism, but I fear that in its progressiveness it is considerably ahead of my hon. friends on the right. In a recent editorial it says:

It has become a truism to say that we cannot put the European house in order unless we put our own house in order, too. . . . Not all the demands of war economy, which have already revolutionized many of our ways of life and thought, will come to an end at the moment when the cease-fire is sounded.

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LIB
CCF

Angus MacInnis

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. MacINNIS:

I have not the date, but it is quite recent. The book is entitled, "Dynamics of Democracy", by Philip Child and John W. Holmes, with a foreword by Sir Robert Falconer.

The hon. member for Danforth (Mr. Harris) suggested to the Minister of Finance that he should, not take much notice of representations made to him by members of this group. I do not know whether or not the minister has done so; that, however, is not important. We have approved as much of his policy as we found ourselves in accord with, and we have made certain suggestions and have hopes for the continuance of some of this legislation. The Minister of Finance may not have taken any notice of suggestions made by members of this group, but the minister will take notice of economic developments, and this house will take notice of economic developments; and if my hon. friends are not prepared to do the same, some other party will sit in the seats of the mighty in this country for many, many years to come.

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NAT

Richard Burpee Hanson (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. HANSON (York-Sunbury):

That is

wishful thinking all right.

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CCF

Angus MacInnis

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. MacINNIS:

Changes will come about, whether we like them or not, and if we allow our little vested interests to interfere with world progress, it is we who will suffer.

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CON

Joseph Henry Harris

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HARRIS (Danforth):

It is quite true that I made the observation referred to by my hon. friend, with reference to the following statement of the minister as reported in Hansard, page 2980.

Mr. Ilsley: I readily give the undertaking

that the matter is only for the lifetime of the War Exchange Conservation Act. It is an amendment to that act; it is not a change in the tariff itself. That act expires automatically upon the issue of a proclamation that a state of war has ceased to exist.

In discussing another observation of a like nature, the leader of the party supported by the hon. member for Vancouver East expressed the hope and belief that, once these changes were made, they would remain on the statute

War Exchange Conservation Act

book. I refute that. I have confidence in the assurance given by the Minister of Finance that these measures, which are put into effect now to help Britain for the duration of the war, will be subject to change when the war is over.

May I also take this opportunity to correct a misapprehension of the hon. member for Parry Sound (Mr. Slaght) as evidenced in his remarks a few moments ago. I have no intention of suggesting that any men, any equipment or any machinery should be moved from Great Britain during this war, or that anything else should necessarily be transferred here from the United Kingdom while the war continues. But when the war is over, if this legislation is not removed from the statute book, the hardheaded business man in England will think twice before he moves his plant to, or establishes a branch in, any country with which there is practically free trade with the United Kingdom-whether it be Canada, Australia, or anywhere else. Having that in mind, my view was that the removal of this legislation from the statute book at the close of the war would be a great encouragement to our friends from the United Kingdom to establish branch plants in this country-much as, during the last two or three decades, many branches of United States industries have been established in Canada, due to no other fact than that we do not permit free trade between the United States and Canada in the commodities which those industries supply.

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May 30, 1941