March 4, 1936 (18th Parliament, 1st Session)


John Ritchie MacNicol

Conservative (1867-1942)


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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