Hon. R. B. HANSON (Minister of Trade and Commerce):
Mr. Speaker, at yesterday's sitting of the house, I promised the hon. member for Antigonish-Guysborough (Mr. Duff) that I would inquire into the position respecting the increased duties on Canadian and other products imported into Santo Domingo, and that I should give the house the exact position of this matter.
I would first of all like to make an explanation in regard to one statement which I made yesterday. I mentioned that long previous to the time he had brought this matter to the attention of the government in this house representations had been received in regard to it from exporters in Nova Scotia. I find on looking into the position that the matter was first brought to my attention in a telegram which I received from a firm in Halifax on March 12. The hon. member for Antigonish-Guysborough first brought this matter to the attention of the house in a question which he asked on March 13.
The position with respect to Santo Domingo is that in consequence of a revision of internal taxes in that republic made on March 13, 1935, by-law No. 854, known officially as "Taxes on goods for sale, use and consumption," additional duties are now being imposed which are particularly severe on certain Canadian products which have comprised our chief exports to Santo Domingo.
Dried and salted fish, formerly subject to the ordinary customs tariff of 2i cents per kilogram-about one cent per pound-