May 30, 1941 (19th Parliament, 2nd Session)


Harry Leader



I heard over the radio the speech delivered by Mr. Anthony Eden yesterday afternoon, and if the leader of the opposition did not hear it I suggest that he read it. Mr. Eden agreed with the view that has been expressed by Mr. Bevin, Mr. Churchill, Mr. Hull and Mr. Roosevelt, that the time has arrived when we must remove the restrictions on foreign trade. I can always understand the viewpoint of the Conservative party. I remember that in this house, in 1924, I said we could easily appreciate the Conservative policy because in season and out of season, in office and out of office, they have advocated high protection. At that time I went on to chide the Liberals because when they were out of office they talked of lower customs duties, but invariably when they

War Exchange Conservation Act
assumed office they ke-pt the tariff at about the same level as the Conservatives had it when they were in power. Now that the party with whidh I am affiliated is willing to step out and reduce these duties, I want to encourage it in its action, and I think that should be done by every Liberal member of this bouse. Back up this administration. We want the trade barriers removed; we want justice in this country. This very war we are fighting to-day was caused by restrictions on international trade. Perhaps now we are learning what we should have learned twenty years ago, that these trade restrictions have caused unrest, distrust and misery among the people of the world. I have heard it stated that this war was caused by the interests of capital and the interests of the people coming into conflict. We must remove the causes of war, and one of the very best things we can do is to accept the advice of the great statesmen of England and the United States; and I believe we have some in Canada as well.
Now, Mr. Chairman, if you will not call me to order I should like to say something that I may not have an opportunity to say again, and it will not take me more than two minutes. I want to compare the Canadian manufacturer with the British manufacturer. Why can the Canadian manufacturer not compete with the British manufacturer, even without a customs duty?

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