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


James Alexander Robb (Minister of Trade and Commerce; Minister of Finance and Receiver General)



I will not dwell on that point more than to say that if the amendment proposed by the hon. member for South Oxford carries, all this goes by the board; and all that is outlined in the Speech from the Throne will go by the board if the hon. member's amendment is adopted.
The hon. member made considerable reference to our trade with the United States. As a matter of fact the United States is the best customer Canada has, and buys from Canada more farm products than Canada buys from the States in that line of goods. We sold to the United States not a very great quantity of butter, because it is true that the United States has a very high tariff on butter, and later on I will ask hon. members if the experience of the high tariff on butter has encouraged the greater production of dairy products in the United States. During the year 1923 we exported cream and milk to the United States to the value of 12,983,238. For the fiscal year ended March 31, 1925, we exported $6,079,168 worth, or considerably over double the value of that exported in the fiscal year ended March 31, 1923. I am told that the exports for the nine months ended 31st December last will be considerably in excess of those for the previous year. Hon. gentlemen may say: "Why should we ship cream and milk to the United States? Why not ship butter?" Had the reciprocity pact of 1911 carried-it was strenuously opposed by my right hon. friend-we would have been shipping butter instead of milk and cream. But when Canada rejected a proposal which would have allowed her to send butter into the markets of the United States without one cent of duty, the United States revised their tariff, put up the duty on butter and put milk and cream on a basis where they could buy it. And they are buying it; they bought last year an amount far in excess of Canada's imports of butter from any country.

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