May 8, 1928 (16th Parliament, 2nd Session)


Roch Lanctôt


Mr. ROCH LANCTOT (Laprairie-Napier-ville) (Translation):

Mr. Speaker, I entered the house just as the hon. member for Victoria, B.C. (Mr. Tolmie), the ex-minister of Agriculture, was discussing Canadian vegetables. I strongly favour the policy of giving protection to our farmers, for they are greatly in need of it. However, after discussing the matter over with my hon. colleagues on this side, when the question was brought to their attention by the delegation from Quebec and other parts of the country which came to Ottawa, the right hon. Prime Minister pointed out to us the tariff that was agreed upon in 1926, for a period of twelve months. People living in towns openly advocated that we should not enact too high a tariff, because certain kinds of vegetables are not grown in the province of Quebec or in any other province. I agreed with their views that we should have a seasonal tariff. I agree with all those who advocate a protective tariff for our vegetables seeing that we have the Americans competing against us. We must bear in mind that the United States grow vegetables at all seasons, while we have but one season to produce them. There are in my riding a few thousand farmers who grow vegetables, and I wish to state that our crop of potatoes, tomatoes and a great quantity of garden products were very remunerative last year. I am still in favour of giving this protection to my people who have treated me so kindly ever since I have had the, honour to represent them in this house. Later on when Que-

Dumping Duty-Mr. Lanctot
bee will have its own supply of potatoes and other garden vegetables, I shall be among those who will come to Ottawa to interview the Minister of Customs, the right hon. Prime Minister and his colleagues, and request them to apply the seasonal tariff of which we shall then be in need for a period of three or four months, as the case may be. This will also apply to all the vegetables grown in my county.
I have on many occasions stated in my riding, and I 'have also told a number of my colleagues in this house, that last year we enjoyed a protective tariff and that we made money. We are indeed very grateful. There must not be only one class of society to enjoy protection. We give protection to the manufacturers of this country; therefore, I state that it is high time to also protect the farmers. Since there is a contention put forth at -present, that the salaries of a certain class of people are not sufficiently high, it is also time that we look after the interests of the farmers. The country may 'be prosperous for certain classes of people but it is not so for the farming element. If there is one person who has a knowledge of farming conditions,
I should be the one, for I am a hay and grain dealer in the county of Laprairie-Napier-ville. I endeavour to give the farmers, who work day and night to supply the Montreal market with garden products, all the protection possible.
I did not expect to deal with this question, but since my hon. friend from Victoria (Mr. Tolmie) brought on this debate, I deem it my duty to plead for a few moments the cause of my constituents. I wish to state, sir, that I shall bear in mind the statements which were again made to-night by the right hon. Prime Minister: that we should have a higher protective tariff than we have at present, in order that our country may benefit from the sale of early potatoes. Last year, in my own county, we sold on the Montreal market thousands of bags of potatoes; we were able to compete with the Americans on our own markets. The people of Laprairie-Napierville did not sell their potatoes at the price the hon. Minister of Railways (Mr. Dunning) paid for them last year, that is $12.50 per barrel, they were sold at $5.50 and $6 per barrel, or $3 per bag for the first week, gradually coming down in price to $1.50 per bag, and we were quite satisfied. I state that by an intensive production and a protective tariff we would do away with American competition on our own markets.
There are in my riding four factories, canning tomatoes, peas, beans and com. That goes to show that our tomato production is 56103-179
considerable. Why not encourage our farmers and force the Americans to stay in their own country? Why should the Americans have a market in this country to sell their vegetables, when they have a population of 115,000,000 people? That is why in closing my remarks I state: it is more than time to protect our truck farmers and the farmers as a whole. Had I my notes with me I could discuss this question more at length, but I did not think this subject would come up this evening.

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