William Thomas White (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)
Hon. W. T. WHITE (Minister of Finance) :
My attention has been called to a report in to-day's issue of the Montreal Gazette and in certain other newspapers By inadvertence an erroneous impression has been created as to what I said yesterday during the discussion of certain steel items in the tariff. The report is as follows :
That there may he some further revision of steel duties required to meet the existing conditions in Canada, particularly as regards structural steel, was intimated by Hon. W. T. White to-night, during the discussion of the steel items in the tariff schedules. Mr. White said that the bridge manufacturers and allied interests in particular were naturally deeply interested in this question, and would have representations to make which might result in some further changes. The nature of these he did not indicate.
I shall read from ' Hansard ' what I said. I was speaking of the resolution under which the Governor in Council is authorized, when satisfied that rolled iron or steel angles, beams, channels, and other rolled shapes or sections of iron or steel weighing 120 pounds and less per lineal yard are manufactured in substantial quantities in Canada from steel made in Canada, to direct that there be substituted for tariff item 379 in schedule A to the customs tariff, 1907, the following:
379. Rolled iron or steel angles, beams, channels, and other rolled shapes or sections, of Iron or steel, not punched, drilled or further manufactured than rolled, weighing over one hundred and twenty pounds per lineal yard, n.o.p. not being square, flat, oval or round shapes, and not being railway bars or rails per ton-British preferential, $2; intermediate, $3 ; general, $3.
I explained to the House that the effect would be that on structural steel, from 35 pounds per lineal yard up to 120 pounds per lineal yard, the general rate of $7 per ton would be imposed. That is now the Tate on structural steel up to 35 pounds per lineal yard. The item which I have read will not become effective until the Governor in Council so directs, after being satisfied that rolled iron or steel angles and the other products mentioned are manufactured in substantial quantities in Canada. What 1 said, in answer to my hon. friend from Pictou (Mr. Macdonald), was:
X am in hopes that within the next year and a half or two years plants will be established at the Sault, and possibly at New Glasgow, Sydney and Hamilton, capable of manufacturing structural steel up to 120 pounds per lineal yard. As soon as the Government is satisfied that structural steel up to that weight can be manufactured in Canada, the increased duty will come into effect. It is possible that some other adjustments of the tariff may have to be made by reason of that change when it comes into effect. For instance, the manufacturers of bridges are interested in this duty upon structural steel.
Of course, it was not in my mind that a change would be made in the $7 per ton duty which this item imposes. I said that when the change comes into effect it is possible that some other adjustments of the tariff will have to be made in consequence of that change. Not, of course, upon these products, but upon other products; or, in other words, what are known as consequential changes. I desire, therefore, to make it plain that the adjustment which I had in mind did not relate to these products. I may say, in order that there may be no doubt whatever about the matter, that it is not the intention of the Government to introduce any further tariff changes at this session of Parliament.