June 14, 1917 (12th Parliament, 7th Session)

LIB

Edward Mortimer Macdonald

Liberal

Mr. MACDONALD:

Has the minister considered the desirability and importance of doing anything in the way of extending trade with South America? When the manufacturing nations which are now embroiled in the war shall have set their bouses in order, they will proceed to deal with their own trade arrangements on the same basis as before the war. On this continent no effort has been made-not even by United States until very recently-for
reaching the tremendous trade of South America. We have not attempted to extend our steam communication on the Atlantic coast south of British Guiana. The great industrial countries of Brazil and the Argentine Republic have maintained their trade conditions, largely on account of their exports to Great Britain and other nations across the Atlantic. After their entry into the war, United States put forth special efforts to capture South American trade. As we are capable of sending our products south from Vancouver on one side of the Dominion, and from the Maritime Provinces on the other, special efforts ought now to be exerted with a view to extending our trade with South America, and, if possible, creating conditions under which after the war we shall have the advantage of the people on the other side of the ocean. However we may be associated in sympathy and sentiment with them, I am quite sure that the Allied nations will, after the war, strain every nerve, without the slightest regard to Canada, with a view to extending their trade. There is no reason why we should not anticipate that. The peaceful war of trade will go on, and if the fates decree that the older continent shall suffer the penalty of being the actual theatre of war, those nations which are more fortunate in that respect should take advantage of existing conditions. I do not criticise the minister for maintaining trade agencies on the other side of the ocean, although they must of necessity mark time until the war is over. But I think the people would support any effort made by the minister-and would consider any money devoted to that end as being well invested- to extend our trade with South America and the West Indies.

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