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

LIB

Charles Avery Dunning (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. DUNNING:

However that may be,
even assuming that to be the meaning of the amendment now before the house, may I submit, Mr. Speaker, that it is scarcely a fortunate way of addressing a sister dominion in a matter of this kind. The people of New Zealand who are reading in the press of their country the amendment moved by my hon. friend opposite will not have before them the hair-splitting legal explanation of the leader of the opposition that a complete cutoff is n>ot intended but that six months from now something will happen. That is one point. The other is that this government would rather proceed all along the line in negotiations with our sister dominions in an atmosphere of good' will. We would rather proceed along the line that we have taken in this matter, of making the government of New Zealand aware that we do desire to negotiate a trade treaty with them, as we did some time ago before he heard anything about this amendment of my hon. friends. Negotiations between governments on matters of this kind, necessarily must be confidential, up to the point at least when it can be mutually agreed upon to make them public. We much prefer to say that we want to negotiate a treaty without disturbing the trade between the two countries by giving definite notice now that six months hence trade between the two countries will cease under the existing arrangement. Many industries in Canada-the dairy industry, the lumbering industry, the rubber industry, the fishing industry, and many others-are vitally interested in this trade with New Zealand, and the government of Canada
376 COMMONS
Australian Treaty-Point of Order
at the present time is endeavouring to avoid giving any idea that six months from now trade with New Zealand will cease. And I may say, in that regard, that we have the hearty good will of the government of New Zealand. The government of New Zealand is willing to sit down with us in an endeavour to negotiate a mutually satisfactory treaty which will, of course, immediately replace the existing arrangement, once it is consented to by both parties.
I would like to point out, Mr. Speaker, that an Imperial economic conference is to be held some time during the month of September. We would like to approach this conference with our sister dominions without having hit them over the head in the meantime. We do not think that it is a good way to go into a conference, having endeavoured to damage the other party to the conference before commencing to confer with him. It is not a good preliminary to knock a man down and then say, We will confer with you. It is much better to do the conferring first and the fighting afterwards. That is what the government of Canada proposes to do with respect to negotiations with our sister dominions along these lines. In addition, with respect to butter, dairy products and some other matters we will have at the coming imperial economic conference the advantage of the evidence taken by the Tariff Advisory Board and the advice of that body in connection with the negotiation of any treaty with any of our sister dominions with respect to any matter of trade.
For these reasons, Mr. Speaker, I propose to move, or rather since I cannot personally move I propose to ask one of my colleagues to move as a subamendment-

Topic:   SUPPLY-AUSTRALIAN TREATY
Full View