William Allen Walsh
No. I want to be perfectly fair with the minister. At the present time I have no cause to complain of either last year's or this year's budget, except that in certain instances, particularly in connection with woollens, there is a slight danger that the industry will be somewhat disturbed. But I am afraid of this, that when the Turgeon commission reports the government may by order in council adopt certain measures that will seriously affect the trade in textiles. I am much concerned about that aspect of the situation, not, on the whole, about the aspect that has developed up to the present time. I am a little nervous about the woollen industry, having particular regard to the less extensive plants in our smaller towns. Their position should receive careful consideration by the government before any action is taken that, although not putting them out of business, may compel them to curtail their present production.
I should like to say this, since the Minister of Finance has brought it up. There are in the budget, in connection with hosiery for instance, certain features that undoubtedly place an undue weapon in the hands of certain large merchandising concerns in Canada to the detriment of the smaller merchants. I refer to cheap cashmere hosiery and other hosiery of cheaper quality that can be bought by these larger concerns, through their purchasing agents in Europe, at a much reduced cost and brought into Canada to undersell the cheaper hosiery manufactured here, to the detriment of these manufacturers and of the smaller retail merchants in Canada who have not the same facilities to make such purchases, particularly the. purchasing facilities which our departmental stores have at their disposal. I am concerned a little about that particular item of the budget.
The Budget-Mr. Walsh
Subtopic: CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE