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

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

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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