February 8, 1926 (15th Parliament, 1st Session)


Donald Sutherland

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SUTHERLAND (South Oxford) :

The Address-Mr. Sutherland (S. Oxford)
were received at the port of Montreal, of which 42,071 boxes were New Zealand cheese. The Trade of Canada report issued by the Department of Trade and Commerce, from which I have been quoting, shows the importation of cheese during the past year. It was practically all New Zealand cheese, the quantity being 10,234,338 pounds. This goes to confirm the arguments you hear advanced that it was the manufacturers of kraft cheese who imported it into Canada. Yes, and the people who imported the cheese are selling it to-day all over Canada, in the county of Oxford, part of which I represent-the greatest cheese manufacturing county in Canada-and elsewhere; box after box of it is being retailed to-day.
The Address refers to the value of the home market. Why should the people of this country have to go to the expense of finding a market in about seventeen foreign countries for their surplus cheese and butter and overlook the home market. The value of the dairy production of Canada last year was upwards of three hundred million dollars, of which only twenty per cent was exported. The fact that eighty per cent of the total dairy production is consumed at home proves the value of the home market and illustrates the value of retaining that market before seeking one abroad; because the home market that is found at the doors of the farmers all over this Dominiion is of the greatest value to them. They find that market without the great expense which they have to incur when their product is sold to dealers and shipped to foreign countries.
The government have absolutely failed in their duty to the farmers of Canada, and it is nothing short of an outrage that conditions such as prevail here should be encouraged at this time. No one realizes that better than the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Motherwell) himself. I thought the other day, when he was speaking in the House, that he was of that ' opinion; that he had an idea he would be able to prevail upon the Minister of Finance (Mr. Robb), the Minister of Customs and Excise (Mr. Boivin), to whom he was referring, and, also the Minister of Justice (Mr. Lapointe), to see the wisdom of changing this treaty if it was doing the people of this country an injury as alleged. When the Prime Minister and the Minister of Railways spoke in the county of Oxford during the last election campaign, they were very careful to refer to the effect of the Australian treaty. Mr. Mackenzie King made the statement that it it were found that this treaty was doing any injury to those engaged in dairying in
[Mr. D. Sutherland 1
Canada, they would see to it that the necessary six months' notice was given to have the treaty abrogated. But he said that the dairy industry in Oxford must be in a bad way if dairy products could be imported ten thousand miles from New Zealand and Australia and sold here. The minister is aware that shiploads of dairy products are coming into this Dominion; consequently dairying must be in a bad condition, and it is up to the government to act quickly and to see that the necessary notice is given to have this treaty abrogated or amended.
I hope before this parliament proceeds further with regard to any of the other treaties which have been announced in the Speech from the Throne, care will be taken to examine them carefully because nearly all the important treaties which this government have entered into have proved disastrous to us. The government have been anxious to make treaties with countries where the balance of trade has been largely in our favour and two years' operation shows that those balances have beeu converted into balances in favour of the other countries. I might along that line point out that agriculture, even when we have had a reasonable tariff-no, not a reasonable tariff because we have never had that on agricultural products-has never had a fair chance in this Dominion. Our big neighbour to the south of us is in a position now, especially as it has a high tariff, to make it difficult or impossible for us to export agricultural products to that country and there are times when it suits its purpose to export to this country its surplus of agricultural products. During the last five years, 1920, 1921, 1922, 1923 and 1924, our imports of pork products from that country amounted to 293,292,716 pounds and our exports to all countries amounted to 666,769,800 pounds, so that we imported nearly one-half as much as we exported. Hon. members should ask themselves why such a situation should arise. Our imports and exports of butter and eggs were as follows during that period of 5 years:
Exports Imports
71,426.000 pounds 15,544,000 poundsEggs
23,483,955 dozen 35,788,903 dozen
And so on. I could quote figures similar to those in connection with many other of our agricultural products. It is true that the trade of Canada has increased very considerably during the last year and our imports have increased as well, but the significant fact is that in our trading with the United States, in 1925 there is a balance of trade in their favour of $107,000,000. There was a sub-

The Address-Mr. Sutherland (S. Oxford)
stantial balance of trade in our favour as regards the United Kingdom, but this was lost to us immediately we began dealing with our neighbours to the south. In fact, the disparity is so great that I might well place it on Hansard. Our imports of vegetable and animal products from the United States during that period amounted to $123,147,973, and yet my hon. friends to my left in the Progressive party say: "Oh, we who are engaged in agriculture do not require any protection in this country." The other day the hon. member for Rosetown (Mr. Evans), who was referring to the Australian treaty, was quoting from an address made by the hon. member for Vancouver South (Mr. Ladner) and he reached as far as this point:
I believe most of the members of the House, particularly in this quarter, were equally in favour of the Australian treaty.
And he stopped there. I asked the hon. member to read on when he stated:
There is nothing further.
The next words as contained in Hansard are:
Mr. Sutherland: Speak for yourself.
Referring to the hon. member for Vancouver South, who continued to speak. Yet the impression left on the House the other night by the hon. member for Rosetown was the end of the matter. I pointed out at that time that that was not the attitude of most members on this side of the House. At least, I asked the hon. member for Vancouver South to speak for himself and not for those around him. I have under my hand a letter written by the Minister of Agriculture for the province of Quebec on the 27th March, 1925, in answer to a letter from the secretary of the agricultural society at Saint Cesaire, Quebec. This letter reads:
Dear Sir :
I have your letter and also the accompanying resolution.
I made further application to the federal authorities this year to obtain in favour of farmers a raising of the duties on agricultural products entering Canada from the United States so as to protect the Canadian farmer in the same degree as the American fanner is by the Fordney tariff.
I regret not to have succeeded in my application as the budget speech makes no mention of any change in this part of the tariff.
I always hope, however, that the federal authorities will accede to the numerous requests which have been made to them, and to my own repeated solicitations.
Yours very truly,
J. E. Caron.
My hon. friends from Quebec say that the tariff, or rather protection, was not an issue in the last election in that province. The Minister of Agriculture of Quebec realized the
situation which prevails there, a situation which is practically the same as that existing in Ontario and the western provinces.

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