May 15, 1923 (14th Parliament, 2nd Session)


Robert James Manion

Conservative (1867-1942)


The Budget-Mr. Manion
ance in my section of New Ontario, and I
advocated this step to the minister.
Then, Sir, in regard to boots for cripples. It is a small duty it is true, but it is something that will be greatly appreciated by those who are affected. In this connection I have never been able to see why we
should not take off the duties on all appliances for cripples in this country. I do not know why those cripples, who are handicapped before the world to begin with, should not have, at least, the benefit of any remission of taxation which may possibly be given to them. I say this very feelingly, because in the past summer a carpenter in my city, who has a little boy paralyzed from the waist down, found it necessary to buy a wheel chair to send that little lad to school. He told me that he had to pay a duty of $30 on the chair. I took the matter up with the Deputy Minister of Customs and asked if there was not some way by which this could be remedied, but he told me that according to the law, it could not be remedied. It is time, at least as regards cripples, that we should do everything we can to lessen their difficulties in life. That is one of the ways in which it can be done, and the Minister of Finance shoidd extend this legislation as regards cripples' appliances and should carry it out completely.
There is another matter which I wish to lay before the Minister of Finance; unfortunately he is not in the House at present, but I hope the matter will be drawn to his attention. According to my understanding of the budget -and I hope I am wrong-after August 1, the sales tax will not be permitted to be passed on by large dealers. I say 1 hope I am wrong, in certain connections at least, and the following is one of them. The other day I had a letter from a large lumber dealer in Ontario, in which letter he pointed out that he had made large contracts amounting to millions of dollars, under the law as it was before the present budget was brought in. He claims that under this new legislation, if he is not permitted to pass on the six per cent sales tax, he will not be able to continue, that this will put him out of business. It would be at least fair to have the Minister of Finance bring in a resolution to protect men of that kind who have made contracts in good faith under the law as it was.
The fifth point to which I wish to refer and which is, I believe, necessary to build up this country, is that we should have a little less pessimism in Canada than we have had in the past. It is true that conditions in Canada have not been good. It is true that

all of us, not only the farmers on the land, but citizens in the cities, have been up against a very difficult proposition. But I do not think it is necessary for a man in trouble to stand on the housetops and tell his troubles to the whole world. It is true that a foolish optimism is sometimes worse than pessimism, but we have reason for being fairly optimistic in this Canada of ours, and I am going to take the liberty of dealing for five minutes, not with the dreams but with the actual accomplishments of this country.
1. As a wheat growing country, Canada stands third amongst the nations of the world. In wheat export, she stands first. Our total field crops amount to $1,000,000,000.
2. As regards our gold output, Canada stood second amongst the nations last year, with one-fifth of the world's production, Ontario surpassing even California.
3. Canada has the second-largest coal deposits in the world, and it is only a matter of time until our transporta.'ion difficulties are removed so that, at least, we may supply all our own fuel.
4. Canada stands third in production of silver in the world. Last year we produced 21,000,000 ounces, being surpassed by only the United States and Mexico.
5. Canada produces over 90 per cent of the cobalt produced in the world, 80 per cent of the nickel, and 80 per cent of the asbestos.
6. Canada possesses 18,000,000 horse-power of potential riches in waterfalls, and only one-sixth of that has been developed.
7. In pulp, paper and forest products, our exports last year amounted to $200,000,000 worth, or nearly as much as our exports of wheat.
8. Finally, we have millions cf acres of fertile land, fisheries on all sides, iron ore to the extent of hundreds of millions of tons, because of which there is no doubt the day will come, in the not very distant future, when Canada will be one of the largest iron-producing countries of the world; and we have a vigorous, virile people.
These are only a few brief facts showing why this country may feel optimistic, and it might be well for us to forget, to a certain extent, some of the pessimism that we have been displaying too freely in Canada.
In addition to that, the other day I read a .statement bv Doctor O. 1(7 Baker, an agricultural economist of the United States Department of Agriculture, in which he said that there is practically no more potentially agricultural land left unutilized in the United States, that does not involve unprofitable

The Budget-Mr. Manion
expense for reclamation and clearing. He pointed out that in the United States there is a movement to limit production. According to a foreign agricultural economist, in the great grain belt of southeastern Europe, the peasant [DOT] proprietor is lessening production. Therefore grain growers of Canada and Canadians generally may look to the future with a little more optimism. It is true that conditions in the West are not good, but the rest of the country has also been hard hit. There has been a great deal of hardship, not only on the prairie farms of the West, but in the cities and towns. A short time ago we had a discussion in this House as regards mortgages on the farms of Canada. To have a mortgage, one must at least possess something to mortgage, and a large proportion of the people in the cities and towns have nothing that they can mortgage. Even as regards those of them who have homes, seventy-five per cent have mortgages on them. It is true that we must do all we can to aid the West, and it is the desire of every one in this country to do so. Some arrangements must be made for longer credit. Apparently, from the evidence given before the Banking and Commerce committee, longer credits than the banks can give and at interest rates better than the farmers can get at the present time, are necessary on the western prairies. Transportation must be looked into, and as far as we can we must lessen transportation costs. Any unfairness in the grain trade must be removed.
But there are some lessons of history which the people of Canada cannot forget in dealing with questions of this kind, and one of those lessons is this, that the United States, under a protective tariff, has become an immense, powerful, highly developed nation, probably the most highly developed industrial nation in the world to-day. Canada and the United States resemble each other more closely than any other two countries in the world. We are like the United States in people, in area, in resources, in thought, in nearly every way in which it is possible to resemble the United States. Therefore, it would be worth while remembering that Canada can profit by the lessons which she can learn from the United States.
The absurd claim has been made that the United States has been built up under a free trade policy. I use the word "absurd" advisedly, because if the United States is a free trade country, so is Germany, with her sixty-five or seventy million people and her different kingdoms with no tariffs in between. So is France; so is Austria; so is Canada; so are
all those other countries. Russia with a larger area, would be a free trade country also. Free trade and protection refer to international trade, not to internal or home trade. A country which collects twenty to thirty per cent, or even more, upon the vast proportion of her imports, is certainly anything but a free trade country, and that is what the United States does. The following are some of the duties collected by the United States on some of its imports. I will name only ten lines of goods:
Cotton clothing, 30 per cent ad valorem.
Wollen goods, 25 to 40 per cent ad valorem.
Carpets. 20 to 50 per cent ad valorem.
Automobiles below, $2,000, 30 per cent ad valorem.
And those are the automobiles that the farmer and small dealers require.
Cutlery, 25 to 55 per cent ad valorem.
Oil cloth, 20 to 30 per cent ad valorem.
Kitchen utensils, 25 per cent ad valorem.
Wool blankets, 25 per cent ad valorem.
Agricultural products-the Fordney tariff.
In 1920, practically fifty per cent of all imports into the United States were dutiable. Under such conditions, the United States is certainly a protectionist country.
How has protection affected the United States? If hon. members will investigate any of the industries of that country, they will find that they have gone ahead by leaps and bounds. I am going to place on Hansard five of the United States industries.
In 1890, the tinplate industry in the United States was practically non existent; yet by 1920, thirty years later, they produced 3,000,000,000 pounds, and the imports which they had previously obtained from Wales were practically wiped out.
In 1890, the United States produced 4,000,000 long tons of steel. In 1920 they produced
42,000,000 long tons.
In 1890, the United States produced $480,000,000 worth in the manufacture of iron and steel. In 1920, they produced $3,600,000,000 worth, or nearly eight times as much.
The total manufactured products of the United States in 1890 amounted to $10,000000,000 worth, and in 1920 to $60,000,000,000 worth.
The value of the products of their farms in 1890 amounted to $3,000,000,000 worth, and in 1920 to $22,000,000,000 worth. This is probably of more interest to the farmers. These figures which I have given cover a short period of thirty years. Probably there is not a man sitting in this House who was not in existence when the first facts which I have given were occurring, and to-day the figures that I have quoted reveal that all these lines have gone up six, seven or eight times. In the case of

The Budget-Mr. Manion

dozens of other industries, anyone who cares to look up the Statistical Abstract of the United States will find that the same thing is true in regard to every one of them. It is true that the United States is practically selfsupporting because of the high production of all lines of goods in that country. But that is to my mind just another argument favourable to a moderate protective tariff. It is also true that free trade might temporarily assist the farmers of the West; but in my opinion, and as was pointed out by the hon. member who took his seat a few minutes ago, it would ruin to a great extent the industrial cities of the East. And those cities would not suffer alone; the farmers who live in the vicinity of every such industrial centre would be affected as well. Would it be wise for the West to be benefited through the ruin of the East? I would ask another question also, and I would have it clearly understood that I do so out of no disrespect whatever; I ask the question with the greatest deference to hon. gentlemen from the West. All the countries of the world with the exception of Great Britain have been and are protectionist, and England has adopted the protective principle in certain directions recently. But even though England did adopt free trade in 1840, the fact that no other country has adopted it, the fact that all the nations of the world have considered it a poor policy, compels this question: Are we to draw the inference that those people in the West of Canada who advocate free trade have inherited all tne wisdom of the ages, notwithstanding that they are alone in this matter?

Full View