- The Empire Club of Canada Addresses (Toronto, Canada), 25 Oct 1933, p. 292-305
- Anthes, Major L.L., Speaker
- Media Type
- Item Type
- The relationship of closer trade with the Empire and what it means to Canada. How the various British units are helping one another. Benefits derived from the relationship. A general review of present industrial conditions in Canada, with statistics. The upturn that has come and the momentum it is gaining. Improvement in employment as the most significant indicator of better times. What Canadian manufacturers have been doing during the period of depression to find work for as many employees as possible. Some figures with regard to factory employment. Increased railway earnings, bank clearings, iron and steel production as evidence of rising standard index figures. Other indications of industrial revival. The lagging behind of the building and construction industries. Agriculture. Successive crop failures. The difficulties of the prairie farmer. Encouraging trade figures. The lumber export as an outstanding example of the benefits of the Imperial-Economic Conference. Figures quoted from a statement showing the indices of production of five of the most important industrial countries (United Kingdom, France, Germany, U.S.A., Canada), issued last month by the Federation of British Industries. Results of the eleven agreements signed last year in Ottawa by the free nations of the British Empire. Import and export figures for Canada and other countries of the Empire. Industrial countries and raw material countries. The change from a raw material nation to an industrial nation for the United States. Canada's development. Changes that came with plumbing, electricity, and modern refrigeration. Progress in the fields of transportation, education, and manufacturing. Rationalizing the peaks in manufacturing. A discussion of a more recent development of industry over the last 30 years: the development of industry on our prairies. The west now inviting industry from the east. Some figures of employment, salaries and wages, and value of products in the Western Provinces. The opening up of the northern areas of the Prairie Provinces that came with the airplane. Some examples of the extraordinary rapidity of the growth of industries in Canada, with figures. Relatively new industries for Canada. A look at other forms of production in which Canada is engaged: modern mining and lumbering. The need for the people of Canada to come to a better understanding of the problems of various groups; for group selfishness and individual selfishness to fade away when the progress of Canada is considered.
- Date of Original
- 25 Oct 1933
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- Full Text
- AN ADDRESS BY MAJOR L. L. ANTHES,
PRESIDENT CANADIAN MANUFACTURERS' ASSOCIATION'
MAJOR BAXTER, the President, introduced the speaker;
MAJOR ANTHES: Mr. President, Members of the Empire Club and fellow guests: It is with a sense of appreciation and pleasure that it is my privilege to address your membership, pat a time when the bonds of Empire seem to be drawing more closely together. I hope to show you today, as briefly as possible, what this relationship of closer trade with the Empire means to Canada and how the various British units are helping one another.
A recital of the benefits derived and a general review of present industrial conditions in Canada naturally involves a certain amount of statistics. I shall try to emulate the bride in cutting the wedding cake--just enough to leave a pleasant taste in the mouth, but not sufficient to confound the digestion. It is not necessary to reiterate at any length the various indices that have been published by the daily press and weekly financial papers, and by the various financial houses and banks--with these you are more or less familiar.
However, I do wish to emphasize that the upturn has come and that it is gaining momentum. True, the forward movement is not yet very apparent in some of our industries and trades, but once the tide has started in the right direction the slower moving heavier lines will gradually make progress.
The improvement in employment is probably the most significant indicator of better times. Between April 1st and September 1st of this year, industries reporting to the Dominion Government show increased employment of 135,000. If small industries that do not report had the same ratio of increase it would bring the number of employees returning to work up to 275,000. Furthermore there are a great many people who have returned to whole or part time work in commercial, agricultural and other fields. Of these no estimate can be made.
I should like to emphasize at this point that during the period of depression Canadian manufacturers have been doing all in their power to find work for as many employees as possible--trying to keep them employed at least part of the time. There has been considerable overhauling and revamping of plants, designing of new articles of commerce searching out of export markets, building up inventories (much of which in the heavier lines has moved only too slowly) and in many cases paying wages with borrowed money.
To give you an idea what factory employment has meant during the past three years, these figures are significant: In 1930 the number was 90 percent of those employed in 1929; in 1931, 80 percent of those employed in 1929; and in 1932-70 percent of those employed in 1929. True, many men were employed only part-time and there was a tremendous accelerating drop in the output of those plants contributing to the building and construction trade.
Unemployment is by no means due chiefly to manufacturing restriction, as in a country such as Canada, which is still in the development stage and so bountifully blessed with widely scattered raw material, we have construction and building, transportation, lumbering, mining, fishing merchandising and casual labour. These all contribute to unemployment. Happily (with some exceptions, of which building and construction is outstanding as it has continued to decline during the current year) unemployment has been diminishing.
Furthermore, most of the standard index figures have risen, as is evidenced by increased railway earnings, bank clearings, iron and steel production. The index of wholesale prices has risen from 66 to 69. The output of central electric stations has increased 22 percent from August 1932 to August of this year. This is a clear indication of industrial revival.
But in spite of this general improvement the building and construction industry lags far behind. It is almost inconceivable that this industry, so important to the life of Canada, has dropped this year to 10 percent of the volume of 1929. Its ramifications are so great and far reaching that with its shrinkage unemployment sets in in almost every field of endeavour. This is only natural in a country which is passing through the stages of progressive development. That is why it is so important that building and construction, which can be economically justified and financed, should be gone on with. It gives such a wide diversity of employment.
Now, regarding agriculture, you know Western Canada has gone through four successive crop failures. The difficulties of the prairie farmer are very, very great indeed. While there has been a rise in the price of Agriculture during the past few months, the advance has been below anticipation.
More encouraging, however, are Canada's trade figures.
During the twelve months ending September 1933, total exports of Canadian produce amounted to $505,133,415, arid total importations to $384,929,724, this leaving a favourable balance of $120,203,691.
An outstanding example of the benefits of the ImperialEconomic Conference is our lumber export. In spite of the lack of domestic demand, during the month of September just past, 36,,582,940 feet board measure were shipped out of the port of Vancouver. This was nearly 16,000,000 more feet than were shipped in 1931, and aver twice as much as shipped in September of 1932.
To demonstrate that this upturn in employment and trade is not confined to Canada alone, I will quote figures from a statement showing the indices of production of five of the most important industrial countries, issued last month by the Federation of British Industries
U.K. France Germany U.S.A. Canada 1928 100 100 100 100 1100 1929 106.0 109.4 100.4 107.2 100.8 1930 1st Quarter 105.1 113.1 93.1 94.6 100.8 2nd 97.7 113.1 87.6 93.1 93.1 3rd 94.2 109.4 79.7 83.2 90.0 4th 93.8 106.3 75.2 76.3 84.6 1931 1st 89.7 104.4 71.9 76.8 84.6 2nd 87.3 101.3 72.3 77.6 77.0 3rd 84.6 95.3 68.0 70.9 75.9 4th 92.3 90.0 63.8 66.1 70.8 1932 1st 90.1 79.5 62.0 62.5 67.4 2nd 89.2 70.4 61.3 54.7 62.2 3rd 82.7 73.2 59.6 55.3 62.2 4th 90.0 76.1 61.8 59.5 59.4 1933 1st 89.1 80.8 63.7 56.8 52.5 2nd 89.2 85.0 68.5 68.5 61.7 (Est.) (May) (May) (May) (May)
It is a singular fact that after the free nations of the British Empire met at Ottawa last year and signed eleven agreements, regulating their trade with one another, general world improvement soon became evident. This is what those agreements meant to Canada as disclosed by official figures covering the first twelve months period ending September 1933. The value of Canadian exports to Empire countries amounted to 48 percent of our total exports as compared with 41 percent for the previous twelve months.
Our total imports from British Countries, for the twelve months ending September 1933 amounted to 33 percent of our total imports, as against 27 percent for the preceding twelve months.
For the month of September 1933 alone, the value of our exports to British Countries increased 17 percent over September 1932, while the value of our imports from other British Countries increased 20 percent over the value of such imports during September 1932. As regards individual countries of the Empire, Canada's exports in September, 1933, to United Kingdom, Irish Free State, Newfoundland, Australia, South Africa, British West Indies, Straits Settlements, Hong Kong and Fiji, registered large increases over those of September, 1932. During the same month Canada made considerable increases in her purchases from the United Kingdom, British South Africa, New Zealand, British East Africa, British West Africa, India, Ceylon, Straits Settlements, British Guiana and Fiji.
There is considerable romance in the history of industry which it would take volumes to recount. Not so many years ago there was a strict demarcation between what were known as industrial countries and raw material countries. Great Britain was the early outstanding example of industrialization. Her merchant marine brought to the work-shops of England and Scotland the raw products from every quarter of the globe, where they were fabricated into household and other articles, and then the same ships distributed them to world markets. Shipbuilding in itself became a colossal industry and the great ship-building plants were never idle. Great Britain became known as the work-shop of the world. Then other European nations became highly industrialized and competition became worldwide. But the tight little Isles seemed to hold their own. Many were the pessimists who declared during the last few decades that Great Britain was done. Possibly the wish to some was father to the thought. Gentlemen, when Great Britain is done, our civilization will be done.
During the greater part of the last century and up to the present a change has taken place. One of the greatest raw materials nations of the world, the United States, has become one of the most highly industrialized. Furthermore, this happy combination of raw materials and industry has attracted and developed some of the brightest and most inventive brains in the world. A new era developed and what may be called "modern" industry was born. We may well say that the United States launched us into the mass production age. Canada divided from this great hive of industry by an imaginary line could not help being influenced and spurred on by this sturdy neighbour. Electricity, oil, gas, hydro-electric power as well as steam, became great industrial forces. Transportation developed by leaps and bounds and soon the more primitive means of conveyance gave way to fast, long distance trains, swift steamships, motor cars, trucks and, finally, aircraft. With aircraft, exploration became no longer a matter of tedious and restricted travel by canoe, packhorse and Shank's mare.
Canada followed her neighbour perhaps a little too rapidly--her population grew too slowly to take up the slack. It could not be otherwise. Progress, initiative, inventiveness were natural inheritances of British people and the high standard of living, which meant the possession of every conceivable modern convenience, was quite as much the aim of the Canadian citizen as it was of his neighbour in the Great Republic. Soon we had our transcontinental railways with their arterial branches; our hydroelectrical development, the finest in the world. To try and enumerate what electricity alone has brought us would make one dizzy. Our mines, our forests, our peerless agricultural lands, our fisheries and other great natural resources have all become highly industrialized in their operation. Industry had rapidly developed into a science. Professors, and students of our universities and agricultural colleges gave their best in promoting science and industrial research, and the great effort still goes on. Yet so rapidly does the human mind adapt itself to new conditions that the most startling invention seems to be but a nine days wonder and is soon taken as a matter of course. We are ever on the outlook for something new.
Contrast all this with the primitive industries which were started in this country early in the seventeenth century--when communication between continents was often a matter of months--now an electric flash unites the whole world.
Then, and for many years after, ingenious makeshift was the order of the day, but it nevertheless built the foundation of our modern industrial civilization. To trace the history of development through its many stages would be a superhuman task.
The transformation of the externals of life is brought home to us by consideration of a few which touch us closely every day. Houses for example, were constructed first of mud or branches, later of wood, and now of brick and stone, perhaps, tomorrow, of steel. Systems of heating developed from outdoor fires, open fire places, wood stoves, coal stoves, to hot water heating. Water, once dipped from lake or stream, is now supplied by taps from intricate mechanical systems. Lighting has progressed from the candle and oil lamp, to gas and to electricity.
Without modern refrigeration a great deal of what we regard as the comforts of civilization would disappear. It is a far cry from the original methods of cooling and preservation by earth and water, to modern gas and electric refrigerators. Imagine what would happen if we did not have great refrigerator cars going from coast to coast. Visualize for a moment what would happen to stores of food if suddenly refrigeration ceased to exist. A modern city could scarcely function.
In the realm of cooking, a most important part of modern life, try to imagine the ways and means of preparing foods and the mechanical stages through which they pass before they appear on the table. Clothing, originally all made by hand" is now largely a mechanical operation carried on in huge factories.
Think for a moment what comfort, convenience and efficiency have resulted from household articles such as carpet sweepers, vacuum cleaners, churns, washing machines, power machines and electric appliances. Imagine what machinery has done for agriculture by producing spades, hoes, shovels, scythes, cradles, mowers, reapers, combines, threshers, and other types of machines.
In the field of transportation consider the various methods of travel, walking, horseback, carriages, bicycles, railways, canoes and row boats, sailing ships, steamships, motor cars, airplanes, corduroy roads, dirt and gravel roads, macadam and asphalt pavements, steel rails, docks and canals. How much improvement would there have been without the aid of manufacturing?
In the field of education what should we do without printing, binding, ink, paper, pens, typewriters? What would life be if suddenly we were deprived of such things as I have mentioned, and could not replace them? What would happen to civilization? What would be the lot of mankind on earth.
While modern manufacturing, or the factory system, is only about 60 years old, the following figures indicate the growth in Canada:
1871 1931 Employees Number 187,942 557,426 Capital Invested. $77,964,020 $4,961,312,408 Salaries and Wages $40,851,009 $624,545,561 Value of Products gross $221,617,773 $2,698,461,862
You, of course, realize that considerable time and effort is required to collect the mass of statistics on which these summaries are based. We have nothing official since the 1931 figures were published this year. The drop from our 1929 peak to the end of 1931 was as follows:
Employees19 percent. Salaries & Wages 23 percent. Gross value of products 33 percent.
The decline for 1932 and 1933 we can only estimate until the official figures are available.
However, we have always had peaks and unless some method is discovered to rationalize them, there will be more in future, and remember that we have always exceeded previous peaks. Today we are looking up at the figures of 1929-sometime in the future we shall look down on them.
I wish to take you to a more recent development of industry covering a period of possibly thirty years. That is the development of industry on our prairies. I would like to recite a little story, a reminiscence, to show the attitude held one time in many quarters regarding industry on the prairies. Some ten or twelve years ago, our President and the Executives of the Canadian Manufacturers' Association was entertaining a well known newspaper man of the West at a luncheon. The man was well known, throughout the west and well known throughout Canada. He wished to convey to the Canadian Manufacturers of the east a message from the west. The statement he made was that there will never be a clear understanding between the east and the west until the east realizes that the west is purely agricultural and will never become industrialized.
Gentlemen, I had already established a plant in the west and I still felt confident that my judgment wasn't wrong.
The other side of the picture came a few weeks later. I took a group out west and came back on the train with a well known editor, also a newspaper man. He had his comments to make and he said: "The trouble with you people in the east is that you do not appreciate the industrial possibilities of the west."
Well, it is very hard to reconcile the view of the two men who lived a couple of hundred miles from one another!
As you say, it is difficult for the east to understand the west. Sometimes groups in different centres do not understand one another. Furthermore, when we started in the west twenty years ago, one of the great problems was the securing of raw material. I went to see a prominent railway man in regard to the shipping of raw material to a particular centre, and the gentleman immediately lost his temper and said to me: "If you eastern manufacturers knew your business you would stay in the east where you belong. We don't want you out here."
Look what a wonderful change has taken place in the last twenty years. The west is now inviting industry from the east.
At this point I would like particularly to draw attention to the remarkable development of manufacturing in the three Western Provinces. We have to start at a later date because the Prairies were growing buffalo grass in 1871-the year taken as the beginning of the general statistics quoted before.
The first official figures available are those of 1880, and are as follows:
Salaries Value of
Employees & Wages Products Manitoba 1,921 $755.507 $3,413,026 North West 83 35,425 195,938 Territories
Contrast these figures with those for 1931 :
Salaries Value of
Employees & Wages Products Manitoba 24,193 $30,706,209 $118,540,865 Sask. 6,061 7,546,703 44,265,151 Alberta 11,798 14,213,753 68,367,411
Prior to 1915, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta did not produce sufficient butter, eggs or poultry to meet their own local requirements. They are now very large exporters of these commodities. Last year 439 carloads of butter with a value of nearly $2,000,000 were shipped out of Manitoba alone.
Saskatchewan has large deposits of valuable clay. These have been developed to the point where pottery and stoneware manufactured therefrom are disributed all over Canada. A splendid grade of fire brick is also made from Saskatchewan Clay. This natural product of the Province replaces importations and furnishes employment for Saskatchewan workmen.
Sodium sulphate is another natural resource of the Province of Saskatchewan that is being rapidly developed. Several plants with a total capacity of 10,000 tons per annum are engaged in producing salt cake from these deposits for many chemical and other purposes.
The belief of many people that the Province of Alberta contained valuable petroleum resources has been justified. Many oil wells are on a producing basis in that Province. They furnish raw materials for several refineries. These in turn provide work for many Canadians. Alberta produced the large amount of 1 199,415 barrels of oil in 1931.
Mention of Alberta would not be complete without reference to its large coal deposits and natural gas fields. These furnish a plentiful and cheap supply of power and heat for its citizens. Alberta has widened its coal market until it serves the territory from the Pacific Ocean to Ontario in the East.
Manufacturing has developed in Winnipeg, Brandon, Regina, Moosejaw, Calgary, Edmonton, Saskatoon and smaller cities and towns to a remarkable extent. Factories are turning out products of all kinds, from steel bridges to cookie cutters; from spinning wheels to woollen blankets; from flour to fancy biscuits; from hides to shoes; from flax to wallboard; from malt to beer; from overalls to fur coats, not only for the Prairie market but also for the demand on the Pacific Coast, in Eastern Canada, and also for export.
The airplane is responsible for the opening up of the northern areas of the Prairie Provinces. In this territory there has been a great development in mining during the past few years. This has passed the speculative period, producing mines now being busily engaged in turning the natural deposits into marketable commodities, reaching a value of $9,142,787 in 1932. In addition to furnishing employment for a large number of men in the operation of the mines a market for a large quantity of farm products and manufactured goods has been provided by the miners and mining companies. Last year $11,650,000. was expended by the miners.
As an indication of the extraordinary rapidity of the growth of industries in Canada, I would like to mention a few examples. Our leading industry, according to value of products, is the manufacture of pulp and paper which employs 33,207 people and produces $215,000,000 worth of products annually. The industry, as a whole, was only in its primary stages at the beginning of this century.
Central electric stations stand fourth among Canadian industries in production and first in the amount of capital invested. Eighth in value of production is electrical apparatus and supplies, with an annual output of $104,000,000. How much electric energy was being developed in Canada at the beginning of the century?
Automobiles stand ninth, with an output of $101,1000,000. How many automobiles were there in this country twenty-five years ago?
One of our newest industries in Canada is the manufacture of real and artificial silk. During the past sixteen years its output has multiplied over eight times.
Remember these all might be called new industries which began in a small way a few years ago in this country. Perhaps when they were struggling for a start, many said there was no place for them here, that they could find no markets, that the country was not suited for them, and similar things.
So far, Gentlemen, I have spoken chiefly of manufacturing, but many other forms of production are so closely related that it is difficult to draw the line. For example, modern mining is largely a vast industrial operation. Some of the mines in Canada compare favorably in size and use of machinery with the largest manufacturing establishments. The value of mineral production increased from $10,221,255 in 1881 to $310,850,246 ire 1929 and was $182,320,150 in 1932.
Lumbering, which occupies a department of production by itself in statistics, is also to a great extent a manufacturing operation.
Your experience tells you that I am endeavouring to summarize in half an hour information and statistics on which days might be spent profitably in intensive study. At best, I can only give you some impressions, based on sources of information available, supported by statistics, and confirmed to some extent by my recent trips to the Pacific Coast and through Quebec and Ontario.
I have synopsized the principal facts concerning employment, trade and other features of recovery. Then it was pointed out that this recovery is world wide. You were reminded that world recovery appeared to coincide with the co-operative efforts of British Countries. 1-'he romantic story of industry was suggested as a background for its far-reaching utilitarian, modern basis. The amazing growth of manufacturing in; Canada during the span of once man's life was told in a few rows of figures. It was emphasized that proportionate development is evident in the other great departments of national activity.
What is the conclusion?
Are we going backward or forward?
I do not ask this question with a short view in mind. If I did, the answer would be that we slipped backward at an uncomfortable rate for several years, prior to last Spring.
But I ask the question with the long view in perspective. Our material history, like that of other new countries, has been a series of forward movements with following periods of reduced prosperity. Nevertheless, the long line of progress has been steadily upward, cutting across the peaks and valleys. I believe that history will repeat itself with some variations. All that this country possesses is the accumulation of results of efforts of millions of Canadians during three hundred years. It is our heritage in trust for the present and future generations.
At this time, Gentlemen, I feel that what is incumbent upon the people of Canada is a better understanding of the problems of various groups. Group selfishness and individual selfishness must fade away when we consider the progress of this country of ours. It is an inspiration to go from coast to coast and to see the spirit of the Canadian people, no matter what department of industry or agriculture or whatever their calling may be. It is only by knowing, considering and helping one another in our various problems that this country will make the progress we hope to make.
As I pointed out before, the getting together of the British nations is a wonderful step forward in the life of our people and as this relationship expands and it will expand from year to year, T think we all see indications of it, the greatest British Empire the world has ever known.
Gentlemen, it has been a particular pleasure to address the members of the Empire Club anal I would thank you very much for the gracious hearing you have given me. (Applause.)