March 7, 1930 (16th Parliament, 4th Session)


Charles Avery Dunning (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)



Perhaps if I proceed my hon, friend may get his answer. The answer made to my predecessor on that occasion was that the dairy council did not then want an investigation, for the reason that they were not satisfied that they had their facts in sufficiently good shape to be able to proceed effectively with their case. Just a few months ago, since I became Minister of Finance, the dairy council came to me and said they were now ready to proceed before the tariff board, and I immediately gave the reference required and asked the chairman to proceed with the hearing as quickly as possible in order that the people concerned might have an opportunity of placing the facts in their possession and any argument in favour of their contention before the board. The hearing was held on January 14 and 15. I hold in my hand a transcript of the evidence then taken. A great many of the figures quoted, particularly by the mover of the amendments now before the house, are taken from this evidence presented before the Tariff Advisory Board.
Naturally, my view is that this motion, coming as -it does before the government has had an opportunity of communicating to the house in the budget its fiscal proposals for the year, is just simply an attempt to make political capital out of a tariff board hearing of a case which certainly is not yet completed, and about which no one can yet be sure of having all the facts. That, however, is perfectly within the rights of our hon. friends opposite, and I do not intend at this stage to attempt to wade with them through the evidence of this case. There is a proper time, from my point of view, for me to discuss that kind of thing; other members have greater freedom in that regard than I possibly can have.
The amendment proposed reads:
That in the opinion of this house, order in council No. 1757, passed on the 26th day of September, 1925. respecting certain trade arrangements with the Dominion of New Zealand, should be rescinded forthwith, and immediate steps taken to negotiate a treaty with that Dominion on fair and equitable terms.
I submit, Mr. Speaker, that this procedure in dealing with a sister dominion is scarcely calculated to promote good will and good trading relations between the sister dominions of the British Empire. It is arbitrary in its terms-"rescinded forthwith"; without regard to anything else let us get rid of it as soon as we can.

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