February 26, 1926 (15th Parliament, 1st Session)


Joseph Henry Harris

Conservative (1867-1942)


If the hon. gentleman
would put that into two questions, I wouid answer them. I do not know why. the string of the drawback should be attached to the other question, but I know if an export duty on raw material would provide work for more people in this country, I would be the first one to be in favour of it.
I should like to discuss the export side of this picture. I have shown that while imports of raw materials have decreased, imports of finished goods have increased, although the grand total is about the same. Imports of that material which means work for our people have decreased and imports of that material which drives our people out of employment have increased. On the other side of the picture we find that in 1925 exports of goods manufactured of iron are about the same as in 1923, but exports of some manufactured goods have decreased considerably. When I look at this government, although there is not much to look at just now, it always seems to be a sort of treatymaking government. The treaty-making portion of it is not in the House at the present time.
I was interested to hear the Minister of Public Works say something about New Zea-
The Address-Mr. Harris

land extending a very substantial preference on many important Canadian products. Among them he mentioned wrought iron tubing with a preference of 20 per cent, wire with a preference of 10 per cent and so on. Jn conjunction with that, it is interesting to note that the policy which is being pursued by the Liberal party has had this effect on the industry which makes tubing pipe and wire. Whereas an amount of $2,000,000 worth of tubing and pipe was exported in 1923, that has dropped to $1,400,000 in two short years. In the case of wire, the exports in 1923 amounted to $2,117,000, and in spite of this great New Zealand preference that we are getting the exports have dropped to $1,041,000. So much for exports of iron in the manufactured state. We have had a great increase in exports in some other lines, and in almost every instance a study of the situation will reveal that the increase in exports is the product of those workers who go down into the bowels of the earth and bring to the surface our wealth in nickel, gold, silver, copper and the other non-ferrous metals. It >s nice to have these people in Canada to make more consumers for our foodstuffs, but hon.
gentlemen from the northern part of this country will proably bear me out when I say that if you go down into the mines you will find the majority of those people not speaking our native language and not Anglo-Saxons. I suppose if we consider them as so much milk put into the churn, seme day they will come out as cheese, but it is not good Canadian cheese. They are not just the people we want to have in this country. We need to have*them to consume what we produce, but we want others besides. We want to provide work in this country for the artisans who are waiting to take hold of the raw material that is produced from the earth and to convert that raw material into the finished product. Now the exports have increased and we are glad to note this fact, /but the increase has been largely in raw material. I have some figures here which I shall ask the permission of the House to put on Hansard without my going to the trouble to read them, so that they will be available to any hon. member who is interested in these statistics. I know they are interesting to my constituents, and it is just as well for us t->
have these figures on record.
Exports of raw materials (Non-ferrous metals)
1920 192! 1922 1923 1921 1925Aluminum
$ 5,680,871 $ 4,417,999 $ 1,188,808 $ 2,506,182 $ 3,225,479 5 5,135,368Copper
12.973.464 12,748.082 5,853,819 7,328.574 11.204,615 12.095,478Lead 1,19!,Ill 525 65* 1.718.967 2 366,467 3,961.202 10.468.138Nickel
9,039,221 5,405,29', 2,889,70: 8,880,641 9,388,511 10,174,245Gold silver
20,539,005 14,548,566 11.526.593 17,111,982 29,304,937 41,536,736Zinc
940,082 963.962 2,448.741 2,136,885 2,553,733 5,344.060Total $50,375,787 $42,609,556 $25,426,631 $40,330,738 $59,638,484 $84,654,015
For the business year ending March 31, 1920, our exports in lead amounted to $1,193,000 and by 1925 they had jumped to $10,368,130. That is excellent; but the workmanship that brought that raw material to the surface was not supplied by the artisans of the constituency from which I come. The work was not done by that class of our citizens who, when this country finds itself in international difficulties, are ready to come to its help. As the hon. member for Toronto Northwest (Mr. Church) pointed out last night, on one short street in Toronto there are to be found twenty odd war widows who, had their husbands been saved to them, would now be taken care of through the work which these men could be engaged in in our factories where this raw material, if this government would only do the right thing, would be manufactured. That is the class of people on whose behalf I am making this appeal this afternoon. They are the people who when the empire is in danger are ready to march shoulder to shoulder with good Canadians from the west and east to the defence of our liberties. Now that we are
Mr. Harris.1
enjoying peace why can we not give work to these men to enable them to maintain their families? This country owes them that much, and the only way this duty can be discharged is for the Dominion to adopt the policy which has been enunciated by the leader of this party from time to time.
Cf nickel in 1922 we exported $2,689,000 worth, and that had increased to $10,000,009 odd in 1925. Gold and silver jumped from $14,000,000 in 1921 to $41,000,000 in 1925. Zinc, which was $950,000 in 1920 and $963,000 in 1921, had increased to $5,344,000 odd by 1925. In short, the grand total of our exports of the raw material which a kind Providence has placed at our disposal had increased under this administration from $42,000,000 in 1921 to $84,000,000 in 1925, just double. I have no fault to find with this except the one that I emphasized a few moments ago. I can picture one engineer directing the efforts of thirty or forty gang bosses, and thirty or forty gang bosses individually directing the efforts of one hundred or more men each, men of the type who live on sauerkraut, macaroni, onions, gar-

The Address-Mr. Harris
lie and rye bread. But what about the engineering type? Are we to have only one engineer to a thousand of the other sort? Not necessarily, if you go one step further and take that raw material as it comes from the bowels of the earth and put it through all the various stages of manufacture at the hands of our artisans who are waiting for work in this country.
We have also in. Canada a wonderful wealth in wood of all kinds, but in this direction too we are rapidly slipping behind. Our exports of raw wood and wood products for the business year 1921 amounted to 61 per cent of the total of $116,000,000 and in 1925 they had jumped to 71 per cent of the total of $109,000,000. I want to put on Hansard now a table of the exports of wood and *wood pro-1 ducts:
Exports of Wood, Wood Products
1921 1924 1925
Raw 1116,200,591 5126,946,062 $109,093,950
Manufactured.. .. 75,256,371 48,551,833 43,543,234$191,516,962 $175,497,895 $152,637,184 Pulp
71,552,037 46,173,796 41,565,241
I wish it were possible for my voice to carry to the man who looks after the lead pencil factories, as he sits in his easy chair-I refer to the Prime Minister of this country. If my voice could reach him now I would tell him that in Newmarket to-day these very people are anxious of this fact, that whereas in 1921, 39 per cent of the grand total of our exports of wood and wood products manufactured1, totalled $75,000,000, to-day the exports in wood and wood products manufactured have dropped to 29 per cent. The employment figures in relation to these exports have declined from $75,000,000 in 1921 to $43,000,000 at the present time. Now that is a condition which will not be remedied so long as we have in power a party that cannot enunciate a definite policy. The leader of that party declared before the election that with a majority of one in the House his government was just able to drift, and now with a minority of fifteen one wonders what they expect to do. Nevertheless they are remaining in office. I ask in the name of the people of Canada that this administration have the common decency to resign and get out and allow another party to take over the reins of government. I say this not merely because we are Conservatives and want to get the sweets of office; not at all. I can tell hon. gentlemen that it is a softer job being in
opposition, if they only knew it, so far as the individual members are concerned. That is not the. reason why there should be a change of government. The young people of Canada are emigrating because they cannot find work in this country and I can think of some of my friends in Pittsburgh at this very moment. There are thousands of these young people in the United States to-day who are saying to us, " When in heaven's name will you give us a change of government?" I know that if this government got out it would be the greatest boost this country ever had. The younger generation in Canada are full of enterprise and enthusiasm, but this enterprise and enthusiasm are being repressed, and the people are being prevented from taking hold of this young country to bring about that period of prosperity which we should have in Canada.
I have spoken of the ferrous and nonferrous metal group, and while I do not want to weary the House with figures I desire to refer briefly to a group which was mentioned the other day, the non-metalldc materials. Let me consider for a moment one in particular which has been discussed a good many times in this House; I refer to asbestos. Asbestos exportations in the raw state have been going on to an alarming degree, between $7,000,000 and $9,000,000 worth of this product a year having left the country; and these exportations keep up that pace. Now if a real progressive policy were put into force-I am using the word progressive in, the true sense-a policy which would tend to encourage the manufacture of that material at home, instead of the figures being what I am about to quote-and hon.. gentlemen may obtain them from the journals of the House if they care to look into the matter-they would be altogether the other way. Away back in 1920-not very long ago- $232,000 worth of manufactured asbestos was exported. The period I am dealing with, as hon. gentlemen who have had any business experience well know, was a period of business depression and readjustment in Canada, and many people lost a lot of money. In 1921 it climbed to $321,694, but in 1922 it dropped to $153,000; in 1923 to $81,000; in 1924 to $64,000; in 1925 to $47,000. Down, down, down, and out, is what is happening to this particular line of Canadian industry. In order that hon. members may have the convenience of consulting these figures in tabular form, I ask leave of the House, Mr. Speaker, to put this short statement on Hansard:
Exports (Non-metallic Minerals)
1820 1921 1922 1923 1924 1925Asbestos
9,000,172 12,955,083 4,787,030 7,188,933 8,742,626 7,790,088Manufactured
232,316 321,694 153,830 81,507 64,462 47,349
The Address-Mr. Harris

I ask hon. members to consider seriously where we are heading. I ask it in all sincerity because I am going to give them now a grand summary of the whole situation in percentages which can be readily grasped. I ask hon. members to consider where we are heading under an administration which glories in the fact that our exports are a good deal above our imports, that even with the United States for the first time for a long while there is a change in our business dealings. I hesitate to again say anything about the United States, but I am using that country in this analysis for the reason that its people are mostly Anglo-Saxon like ourselves and have the same traditions behind them. They are not very far away from us-as I said before many of our boys and girls are over there. In a word, we are very much alike. And we are neighbours. There is only an invisible line separating us-very much invisible at the present time under the customs administration. That does not seem to reach my hon. friends opposite. I repeat, the line between Canada and the United States at the present time is
very much invisible under this administration. The Minister of Public Works (Mr. King) in the course of his speech the other day attempted to put us in the position of saying that it was an unhealthy state to have the trade balance with the United States in our favour. Let me say, Sir, that I am not criticizing the fact that the balance of trade is in our favour. I admit it is a healthy state; but it is only so when our exports show within themselves the handicraft of the Canadian people. We resemble the United States in many respects, but we have not exhausted our raw materials as they have. We have not as yet expended ourselves in the exportation of raw materials to a degree which might be termed as the riotous exportation of the substance of this great country which divine Providence has put in our charge. But if our friends opposite continue in office, I am afraid it will not be very long before they will have such a charge laid at their door.
Now, Sir, I will ask the permission of the House to put this table on Hansard:
Raw Materials Partly Manufactured Fully ManufacturedImports Exports Imports Exports Imports Exports Can. U.S. Can. U.S. Can. U.S. Can. U.S. Can. U.S. Can. U.S.1922.. .. 28.9 46.4 44.5 39.1 9.6 15.6 14.5 11.1 61.5 38.0 41.0 49.81923.. .. 28.4 48.3 44.7 36.3 9.7 18.8 16.2 12.5 61.9 32.9 39.1 51.21924.. .. 28.4 44.6 43.4 35.7 11.2 18.5 16.8 14.1 60:4 36.9 39.8 50.21925.. .. 27.7 49.2 44.7 39.3 10.8 18.3 15.1 13.5 61.5 32.5 40.2 47.2
It will be seen that in proportion to the grand total our imports of raw materials in 1922 were 28.9 per cent, while those of the United States-and I ask hon. members to note this .particularly-were 46.4, or nearly one-half their total importations, whereas ours were but one-quarter of our total. At once the comment naturally arises, it is our duty as soon as w.e possibly can to get to the position where our importations of raw materials will steadily arise and our importations of manufactured goods as steadily decline. But what has happened in the four years of this administration? This brings us right to January 1, 1926. We have slipped, it will be observed, 12 points, from 28.9 in 1922 to 27.7 in 1925. Has our sister country to the south of us slipped to the same extent? No. She has a protective policy which invigorates and gives new life to industry and encourages it to manufacture raw materials of all kinds into finished products. She has risen from the position of 46.4 in 1922 to the enviable position of 49.2 in 1925. She has imported more raw materials and less manufactured goods, with the result that not only are more and more of her people finding work, but many of our own people have been
forced during the last four years to go to the United States for a livelihood.
Hon. members will note with interest the comparative figures in regard to partly manufactured imports and exports for the four years as between this country and the United States. They will notice with regret that while our position is virtually stagnant the United States has jumped from 15.6 to 18.3.
Doming to the figures for fully manufactured goods, do we find that the United States is importing more and more of the workmanship of southern Europe, of Switzerland, of Belgium, of France, of Great Britain? No. We find that its imports of 38 per cent in 1922 have dropped to 32.5 in the course of four short years, while we find1 ourselves importing to the tune of 61.5 per cent.
What is the significance of these figures, Mr. Speaker? In my opinion, it is that our artisans, if this condition continues, will have to go elsewhere for a livelihood, I say it is time to call a halt, it is time for us to take hold of ourselves and apply a definite, fixed, determined policy that will stop the efflux not only of our raw materials but of that other still more valuable material-our trained young men from such great institutions as

The Address-Mr. Harris
the Toronto technical school which is a stone's throw from where I live. The men trained in these schools are in effect being exported every time we allow this condition to get out of balance, and it is getting more and more out of balance as one year succeeds another. I should like to say this to the hon. member for North Winnipeg (Mr. Heaps): If he is sincere in his desire that the artisans of this country, shall have the fullest opportunity to make a living in this country I do not see how he can sit on that side and support such an outfit as we on this side see in front of us, an outfit whose only virtue- no, it is not a virtue; far from it-is to cling
to office and let the public be

gentlemen know what I mean. Mr. Speaker, commercial travellers are continually crossing the international boundary line between Canada and the United States. They bring theii goods to us, they come to our offices; we do not know the difference between them and some of the travellers for our own concerns. But the time is coming when, if our own industrial concerns are to stay in buisness, the protective feature of the customs tariff must be strengthened in order that they may be able to withstand the competition from which they are now suffering.
I notice that the Minister of Public Works is now in his seat. I have already paid some attention to the remarks he made on a former occasion during this debate, but I should like him to take notice of the points I am about to stress. The people on the western prairies are not all Doukhobors going around in their bare feet, as we were once led to believe by newspaper stories and caricatures. Such Doukhobors as are left in the west, as well as the people of other nationalities there, are becoming more and more Canadianized and are anxious to act as true Canadians should. That being the case I for one expect them to support a policy which will provide employment for every class of wage earner in this country. I would also inform the Minister of Public Works, who the other night had so much to say about the exodus from this country, that I have here a publication issued by the Department of Trade and Commerce in which there is a very significant statement. But before bringing that statement to the attention of the House I should like to say to the people of Saskatchewan, through their representatives in parliament: You want to
be a little careful about putting all your eggs in one basket. Do not think too much in terms of wheat. You may find in some of your families those who will want to engage in some other occupation.

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