March 16, 1931 (17th Parliament, 2nd Session)

LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

What I am
interested in is that the people of Britain should feel it to be not only to their interest but a privilege to buy Canadian wheat in preference to any other, provided that the price is the same as can be obtained elsewhere. I believe that if the policies laid down in the Dunning budget had been accepted by the people of this country, the people of Great Britain would have so viewed their obligations, and that as a result of the last Imperial conference we would have had, either through a quota or in some other way, a means whereby Canadian wheat would to-day have a favoured position in Great Britain.
Let me give the Conservative position as I referred to it on the last night of the campaign:
Now in the closing days of the campaign, Mr. Bennett has announced his intention to summon a special session of parliament to bring about an all-round increase in the tariff, which means, so far as the Conservative party is concerned, they propose to reject this great movement towards empire trade, and deal with the mother country only as they deal with foreign countries, upon a basis of hard bargaining, and upon the condition that the people of Great Britain must change a fiscal policy which they have maintained for almost a century.
That was a pretty good forecast of what has since taken place. That was a statement made in July, 1930, to the electorate of Canada at large. I will say this in regard to my right hon. friend, that before the end of the campaign he made it plain that he intended to introduce higher tariff policies, and to ask Great Britain to change her fiscal policy. I would not for a moment say that my right hon. friend has been inconsistent. He has been consistent, but his very consistency is leading him nearer and nearer to destruction.

Topic:   SPEECH FROM THE THRONE
Subtopic:   ADDRESS IN REPLY MOVED BY MR. MAX. D. CORMIER AND SECONDED BY MR. VICTOR C. PORTEOUS
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