ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED | OCTOBER 1935 | THE FARMER
HOW BENNETT and STEVENS LOST OUR MARKETS
Ruthless shutting out of foreign goods was the burden of Mr. Bennet’s trade plan of 1930. That part of his promise was actually kept. As Hon. H. H. Stevens, Minister of Trade and Commerce, said when the new 1930 tariff was introduced: “Our idea is that nothing hereafter will be imported except what cannot be grown or manufactured or otherwise produced at home.”
The part of Mr. Bennet’s promise that was not kept was that he would make Canada’s tariff fight for the farmers.
It is plain now to everybody that the promise was impossible of fulfilment in view of the fact that Mr. Bennett and Mr. Stevens were not satisfied with protection as Sir John A. MAcdonald conceived it. The old Conservative ideas of customs duties were altogether too mild for this new school of thought with its strange theory that a country could erect barriers against all the world and still do business. So up went the tariff to a degree that would have made Sir John A. gasp.
It has been the farming community that has suffered the most. On the one hand the farmer has had to pay more for everything he has to buy and bear his share of the increased taxation; and on the other, he has found it almost impossible to market what he has to sell.
By slamming the door of international trade in the faces of all who had hitherto been buying Canadian farm products, the Bennett-Stevens regime cut our exports to a tragic extent.
HOW LIBERAL POLICY WILL RESTORE THEM
The farm press of Canada truly reflects the farm attitude in its constant appeals to the Government to lower the tariff.
The farming community realizes that Canada can find export markets only insofar as Canada is ready to reciprocate by allowing the world to pay for our products with their products.
City dwellers in the past may not have realized this truth to the same extent that primary producers do. But it is safe to say that today the fact is generally accepted in city and country alike, for all Canada has found that the cessation of international trade has not only penalized the farmer but has also stifled city business, bringing in its train a serious railway problem and the greatest of all our emergency problems- unemployment.
By resorting markets to the primary producers, the Liberals will help solve the unemployment problem, eradicate railway difficulties and reduce burdensome taxes.
Canada’s only hope of recapturing our lost markets is in adoption of the Liberal view of lower tariffs and reciprocal trade agreements.
Get export outlets for what Canada producers and the domestic market may be depended upon to take care of itself.
That is the plan which the Liberals will re-introduce into Canada. It worked before- giving Canada years of prosperity under Laurier and King- it will work again.
CUT THE CORDS THAT STRANGLE CANADA