February 24, 1902

LIB

William Cameron Edwards

Liberal

Mr. EDWARDS.

I am quite aware, Mr. Speaker, that when I speak to hon. gentlemen on the other side of the House, I address a very capable audienee. But I quite admit also that this is a question that they have never studied. The hon. member for North Norfolk went on to show, about the close of his speech, the glorious advantages of free trade among the many states of the union. If he had been discussing this whole question on the basis of policy and had said that he was going to strike back at the Americans because of something naughty that they had done, I might extend forgiveness to him. But when he says that he is advocating this as a matter of principle,

1 then I desire to ask : If free trade amongst the states of the union has been a great ! blessing to them on what ground of principle can we possibly say that increasing the tariff as between Canada and the rest of the world will prove a blessing to Canada ? By lowering the tariff 33i per cent on goods

coming from Great Britain-the consequence of which is to reduce the protection afforded to the manufacturers of our country-we have been blessed, as shown by the progress we are making. Let the present government go further in that direction and Canada instead of developing as she is now developing, will develop in far greater ratio.

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?

Some hon. MEMBERS

Oh, oh.

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LIB

William Cameron Edwards

Liberal

Mr. EDWARDS.

Mr. Speaker, hon. gentlemen on tlie other side of the House, who choose to speak, will have an opportunity to speak; but nothing will be made out of any attempt to interrupt me. I am perfectly aware that my views on this question are very divergent from those of lion, gentlemen on the other side.

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IND

William Findlay Maclean

Independent Conservative

Mr. MACLEAN.

And from those of your neighbour.

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LIB

William Cameron Edwards

Liberal

Mr. EDWARDS.

I am sorry for my neighbour. But I cannot help it. In the discussion of a question of this kind there is a class of people who should not be lost sight of, and they are the men who produce the great wealth of Canada. And who are they ? First and foremost amongst them are the agriculturists of our country. They are the men who should receive first consideration in every question of this kind. It is useless for any gentleman in this House or out of it to pretend that a tariff between Canada and the United States on agricultural products would have any general effect. The fact is that the people of the United States are large exporters of manufactured products, and so are we. The general prices, then, must be governed by the markets of the world, and a tariff would only have a local effect. That is to say, in some certain localities, agricultural products might cost the buyer more, but the seller, the producer, would not get a cent more because of the tariff. The tariff on agricultural products does not benefit the Canadian farmer by a fraction of a cent. Next to the Canadian farmer in importance is the Canadian lumberman. My hon. friend (Mr. Charlton) a few years ago was very anxious that sawlogs should be exported to the United States. I think that now he is glad that they are not so exported. But there is one thing he does desire, and that is that Canadian lumber shall go into the United States free of duty. Though I am a farmer I also do something in sawing wood, and, perhaps, export as much lumber as my hon. friend. But, I will say this-that beneficial as it would be to the Canadian lumberman to have our lumber go into the United States free of duty, I would not cross the line to ask for that concession. And I make this further statement-that if any proposition comes from any hon. member of this House to place a tax on lumber coming into Canada, I will oppose it in any way I can. The taxing of goods imported into the United States is a great detriment and curse Mr. EDWARDS.

to the American people, and because the people of the United States are cursed in that respect, my hon. friend wants the people of Canada to be similarly cursed by a tariff on goods imported into this country. Now, if it is true that the goods coming from the United States are purchased there more cheaply than they can be got anywhere else, who in Canada is hurt by their importation ? Is the Canadian farmer hurt by low duties upon articles that are imported for him ? Not at all. Is the Canadian lumberman hurt by the low duties ? Not at all. Is the Canadian fisherman hurt by low duties, or the Canadian miner ? Not at all. A protective tariff is simply class legislation, legislation for the benefit of the few to the detriment of the many. My hon. friend speaks of our not having made great development in this country so far as population is concerned. Sly firm belief is that if we had never had the curse of protection our population would be twice what it is to-day. And not only that, but we would manufacture twice what we do today. Why, if you want to enable us to manufacture, you must place the people in a position to purchase. Do you place the people in a position to purchase by making it difficult to bring in goods, when the natural products of Canada must be sold in the open markets of the world or in competition with all the rest of the world ? The only effect of such a course is to compel those who are engaged in producing wealth in Canada to pay tribute, not to the public treasury, but to the treasuries of the protected few. There are those who say that, if certain industries in Canada were not carried on to their present extent Canadians could not find employment. What could be more absurd ? In a country such as we have, a country with resources unbounded, is it to be supposed for a moment, that, if a few of our men are diverted from the industries in which they are engaged, they will not be able to find employment within the bounds of the whole Dominion ? There is employment in Canada for ten times the population we have to-day. I have always contended, and I always will contend, that if you would have Canada achieve its greatest prosperity, you must let those who are producing the natural wealth of our country buy in the same way as they sell-in the open market of the world. Until that is done. Canada cannot attain its greatest development.

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CON

Adam Carr Bell

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. A. C. BELL (Pictou).

I have great pleasure in seconding the motion made by the hon. member for North Norfolk (Mr. Charlton). I am sure that no more important question has been discussed in the parliament of Canada since those days when discussions of trade and tariff took place during the sessions preceding 1879. I am sure nothing could be of more importance to the people of our country to-day than that this matter which, to a certain

extent, perhaps, has been overlooked by the people of Canada, should receive such full and thorough discussion as would make it impossible for speeches so divergent in tone and in intention as we have just listened to, to be delivered on the floor of this House in so short a period of time. I have not a great deal of sympathy with the hon. member for Russell (Mr. Edwards); but believing as I do that he is convinced of the correctness of the views which he holds in reference to free trade, I listened with a good deal of interest, in the course of his speech, for any remarks which would seem to have the effect of weakening the very strong impression made upon my mind by the speech of the hon. member for North Norfolk. Well, I did not recognize anything that to my mind inpaired the force of the argument of the hon. member for Norfolk, to which we listened for a considerable time, without at all, so far as I was concerned, exhausting the great interest that I felt in every word that he uttered. We did hear from our friend from Russell, if not stated with the same clearness and fullness, at least the echoes of the old arguments which were adduced during the debates of almost a generation ago. We did hear in the latter part of his speech what lie thinks is the gist of the argument that can be adduced against the speech made by the member for North Norfolk, and that is the contention that a protective system involves a certain amount of loss to the consumers of the country, a certain amount of sacrifice upon their part, and that therefore it is a policy which is not in the general interest.

Those of us who have a clear recollection of the old discussions that took place during the eighteen years of Conservative regime since 1879. have often heard the charge advanced with great force that the imposition of protective duties in any country has the effect of injuring the consumers for the benefit of a protected class, and it is strange to my mind to hear that same argument reproduced in parliament at the present time when we remember that the hon. gentleman from Russell is to-day sitting and voting in support of an administration which has adopted and is maintaining and upholding a protective system in every detail. The hon. gentleman cannot consistently occupy his position as long as he holds the views which he has expressed to-day: he cannot consistently support a government of which he is, I believe, a most loyal supporter holding such opinions as he has expressed to-day. All that he has said, while it leaves his own course in great doubt, and I think it devolves upon him the task of making some further utterance that will explain his course and the support which he sees fit to give to this present administration, does not at all affect that great and important question which has been raised by the hon. member from North Norfolk.

Now, I should not follow the hon. member

for Russell in all his remarks, although to my mind one could do so with great profit.

1 think it would be impossible for him to fail to draw from the speecli of the member for Norfolk ample proof of the inaccuracy and mistaken opinions which he sterns to hold in reference to this subject. In referring to the abandonment of a protective system as likely to increase the population of this country, he maintained that in this country we have labour sufficient for all the people of this country.

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LIB
CON

Adam Carr Bell

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BELL.

And still that state of affairs, as was shown by the hon. member for Norfolk exists in the neighbouring country where there is no free trade, a country which draws directly from Canada many of our labouring people. In that country they have a system which the hon. member for Norfolk rightly praises as being adapted to the maintenance of their prosperity, but which I think is a policy that is antagonistic and injurious to us as a people. Now, it must be borne in mind, and that was very apparent in the speech of my hon. friend from Norfolk, that he does not at all attack the policy of the United States administration in reference to that country; but he does maintain, and. I think has proved absolutely, that the two peoples living 'side by side show such remarkable contrast in the matter of development of population, wealth and resources, as to make any reasonable man consider the relative policies of these two countries in order to discover if possible the reason why the one country is so amazingly prosperous and is increasing at such an amazing rate in population and wealth, while this country is lagging behind in the race.

There are I am sure no gentlemen in this House who have paid the slightest attention to the study of these questions, who are not prepared to admit that a tremendous argument can be made in favour of free trade. The hon. member for North Norfolk told us, at least I gathered as much from one passage in his speech when he pointed to the remarkable career of the United States and attributed it in great measure to that enormous system of free trade which prevails between all the states and territories of the great union. We in Canada have every reason to know and to feel that in that measure of free trade that tve enjoy as a people and which, after 1867, threw down all the barriers between the provinces making up the Confederation, Canada has derived an immense advantage.

But this, Mr. Speaker, is not an abstract question as to whether free trade is the right system. That is not the state of affairs that exists in the world to-day. In trade matters we find to-day all countries engaged in rivalry or active hostility, having in view on the part of the governments of

all these several countries, the progress and the advancement of their people, and the success of those people in grasping the prize of power and of wealth which is held up for them all to struggle for. The situation is just this : We are living in a world in which the several governments are endeavouring to overcome the disadvantages, if such there be, of their position, and are for the most part, indeed I may say unanimously, relying upon a system of protection to enable them to surpass their competitors in the race.

The really critical point to which the hon. member for North Norfolk directs the attention of the House is this: Can we as a people afford to allow that great people with whom we are so immediately in contact and who are our natural competitors to maintain a system by which they refuse to give us any part of the trade of the country so far as they can prevent it, while they are absorbing the whole trade of our country V I need not go over the figures quoted by the hon. gentleman. They are accurate so far as I can judge, listening to them in gross, and they are startling. The very fact that it appears that in every department of commercial activity the United States are not only shutting us out of their markets and benumbing our trade and cutting off to a minimum our exports to them, but are grasping the larger part of our trade, is one of the most startling statements to which I have ever listened. It cannot be denied that it would appear that our policy is not a well chosen one-I am not speaking in this connection of the government of the day or of the opposition- but there are some defects in the manner in which we are carrying out our system when it appears that the people of Canada, who have been taking great credit to themselves for giving an advantage in their markets to the mother country find themselves in this position, that upon dutiable imports coming into the country they are levying a less rate upon articles from the United States than upon articles from that great country which receives nearly the whole of their exports. There cannot be any doubt that there is something wrong and there cannot be very much doubt either, because there is not very much reason to doubt, that this state of affairs is one that has been brought about by design. When we decreased the tariff in 1897, the government of the day claimed a great deal of credit and claimed that they were exhibiting a great deal of friendliness to the mother country by giving a 25 per cent rebate-at first 12i per cent and afterwards 25 per cent. At that time it was pointed out that the expected benefit to the mother country would prove to be much less than it proraised and that upon the lines of goods we largely imported from the mother country the cutting down of the tariff was pre-

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CON

Adam Carr Bell

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BELL.

ceded by a raising of the tariff. Duties upon the goods which we import from the mother country had been marked up in the first place so that the taking off of one-eighth and then one-quarter and afterwards one-third did not produce so great an effect as it apparently did.

There is no doubt at all that the figures that have been advanced by the hon. member for North Norfolk are correct. They show that at the present time that country which has shown to us the utmost unfriendliness has come to our markets in such a position of advantage that no other country can compete with it in securing the trade of this country. The result is that the trade of this country is passing not only in the matter of raw products, but in the matter of manufactured goods, very rapidly into the hands of the people of tiie United States who practically have control to-day of the trade of Canada. Now, under these circumstances, it seems to me that it is amazing that more attention has not been given to this subject. I have watched during the last twelve months with the utmost interest the fact that the hon. member for North Norfolk has been bringing this matter to the attention of the people of the United States by speaking on the subject before a great many of the most important bodies in that country. I have sometimes wondered what his purpose was, because, judging from the efforts that have been made by the people of Canada to derive any advantage in the markets of the United States, efforts in which be himself participated in very great degree during the course of a few years past, I could scarcely hope that he had any anticipation that any effort made in that direction would have any effect whatever. We can, in our province, very well remember the enormous change that took place in our circumstances when the old reciprocity treaty was done away with, and while we are forced to admit, that, to a large extent it has interfered with our trade and with our exports, still, I would feel disposed to go so far as to say that the repeal of the reciprocity treaty was not an unmixed evil for our country. I can recollect very well the position of affairs before the repeal of the reciprocity treaty and what was that condition ? Actually, in that country, in Nova Scotia, where, today, there are very many important industries, some of national importance, some of them of such great magnitude that they are practically national concerns, such as our great iron and steel industries, the fact of the matter was that at that time, under the operation of that treaty, we were supplying natural products to a large extent to the United States and we were absolutely without any manufacturing industries. The commonest articles, the hay rake of the farmer and the cheap chair that is in the workingman's dwelling, everything in the

line of those articles which it might be supposed a comparatively young people would be beginning to make were imported, we were making no progress in the direction of establishing manufacturing industries and our principal business was to find raw materials to be sent to our more progressive, more businesslike and more active neighbours from whom we received them back in manufactured forms. ThCn again the effect of the repeal of the reciprocity treaty, while it was largely to promote manufacturing in this country, was also to develop that condition of affairs in which you see the mother country our great purchaser and in which we have created a state of affairs that makes it clear to the world and to every man who has Imperial interests in view and considers of the safety of the empire that we are now, or very shortly will be, in the position in which we can feed the mother country and make her independent of outside sources of supply. In these directions, both in the stimulus given to our home manufacturers in Canada and the stimulus given in the direction of swelling our exports to the mother country so as to make us more important to that country, to bind us closer together and to give us an enormous part in the welding together of the empire which has built up the Imperial sentiment existing to-day, the repeal of the reciprocity treaty was not an unmixed evil but rather an advantage to Canada. Now, however, we have advanced many steps in the course of our life as a people, and these steps are perhaps best marked in the minds of most of us by the decennial periods in which our census is taken. In 1879 the government of this country adopted a system of protection and they promised and hoped for very great things in the direction of industrial advancement from that policy. The census of 1891 was unquestionably a surprise to the people of Canada. It was a painful surprise; it was startling to find that we had made a progress so small as we had made under the stimulus of the effort to swell our industries and to keep our people at home and increase our population. Living as we have done since 1896 under a government, which has certainly, no matter what else may be said of it, enjoyed a period of enormous prosperity, which has lived under a most auspicious star and enjoyed luck beyond what it is ordinarily to be expected will fall to the lot of any government, We could not help supposing that the census of 1901 would show an enormous increase, or at least, an increase that would prove a fair rate of progression in our population. But what is the result. I am sure there is not a gentleman on the other side of the House who is not prepared to admit as 1 was prepared to admit in 1891, that the result of the last census is a disappointment. If we are a wise people we must not lose

much time in considering the disappointment, and we should lose not one moment in sinking under the disappointment, but we must, following the lines laid down for us by the hon. member (Mr. Charlton) consider whether or not that system under which we are working out our course is so well devised that it does not admit of change. I believe that the resolution introduced by the hon. gentleman (Mr. Charlton) should be followed up by a sufficiently exhaustive discussion, from which I would like to see all feeling of party spirit removed, and all party recrimination eliminated. I believe that if we exhaust the subject as this parliament of Canada is capable of exhausting it, we cannot fail to come to some definite conclusion as to whether that course of conduct indicated by the hon. gentleman (Mr. Charlton) be or be not a wise one. I must admit that we should all approach such a question with an open mind, and that it is not well that we should have our opinions fully formed upon it. Although I am proud indeed to have the honour of seconding a resolution moved by a public man of such a reputation as the hon. gentleman (Mr. Charlton), 1 feel that I cannot at this moment absolutely make up my mind as to the correctness of the course he indicates, though I am prepared to say, from the observations of years past and from that spirit of national pride and self-respect that all Canadians have; I feel very much inclined as a man to follow the eourse that is marked out forme in that resolution, and when I find Canada treated with unfriendliness and unkindliness, and apparently overreached in the great bargain conducted between two neighbouring nations; I feel inclined to strike back and to meet unfriendly blow with unfriendly blow. I feel inclined to go back to the old ways in which we discussed this matter a long time ago, and to decide that we do not want a jug handled trade system on this continent, but that we want a system that will give equal and fair treatment to both contracting parties.

I am satisfied that the government of Canada feels that having made the fullest efforts possible-and having done so in that spirit that the hon. member (Mr. Charlton) said he could have wished the preceding government had shown-I am persuaded that having made every effort consistent with national self-respect, they are satisfied that they need not hope for any measure of relief from the administration of the United States in the direction of bettering our trade relations. It is not for us to criticize the policy of the government of a nation friendly in a sense, and with which we wish to cultivate the most cordial relations. We In this country cannot lose sight of the fact that we must occasionally suppress our wishes, and modify our demands in view of that larger Imperial policy In which we are all involved and to which we must contribute a share of our support. But I do say

that we should not hesitate for one instant to put into force as against that neighbouring country, without apology and without explanation, a system that will enable us to retain for ourselves those industries for which Canada is well adapted, and without which this country cannot achieve that national greatness for which she is unquestionably destined. My hon. friend (Mr. Charlton) waxed almost poetical and undoubtedly eloquent in speaking of the resources of this country. It was a passage in his speech to which he will look back, I believe, with great satisfaction. It was the portion of his speech to which I listened wi th the greatest of pleasure, and it touched the hearts and to a certain extent the imaginations of his listeners as he painted the advantages, and the possible wealth, and the future greatness of this our country. But after all, could we realize all these advantages, could we realize within that measurable distance of time in which we may expect to do our part as the builders of Canada, could we expect to achieve these results, without some change in the policy under which we have been acting in the past ? I do not think we could. And, while I am prepared to go a long way in the direction of meeting my hon. friend from Russell (Mr. Edwards) in his appreciation of the farmer, and of the fisherman, and of the miner, and of the lumberman, still I do not think that it is wise for us to shut our eyes to the facts. It is very true that the farmer is the foundation of all our prosperity. He, and the fisherman, and the miner, directly receive from the hands of the Great Disposer and Provider of all our wants, these natural gifts that are the basis of all national prosperity. But there is another class which have grown up, since the days the old Latin writer spoke of agriculture as being the fruitful mother of all industries. There is in our country and in our time, an enormous development in the direction of manufacturing industries. It is the outcom-ing, the extension of that great farming class, and it receives at the hands of the miner, and the fisherman, and the farmer, the food and the materials out of which to create national wealth. And by the enormous development of industry, in which not only the body and the brawn, but the mind of man as well, is an active worker, the artisan creates that state of advancement and elevation whicli sets some countries in the world far in advance of others. Why. the lesson of our times; the lesson taught by our census, is conclusive on that point. To what do our people tend. Do they tend to go to the farm, or when they migrate from our country do they go to some other country where they can secure farms ? Do they go to work at the fisherman's nets ? No, Mr. Speaker, we find that the people of our country, in common with the people of the most enlightened and model countries in the world, go to the Mr. BELL.

towns, to create great centres and great hives of industries, and in that way to do their part in elevating and building up and strengthening our country.

Now, Mr. Speaker, having as I have, that sentimental feeling and kindly consideration for the farmer, the fisherman and the miner-and thereby taking the line that seems to be marked out for himself by the hon. member for Russell (Mr. Edwards) that nothing whatever must be done to interfere witii the freedom of trade-even if I were disposed to accept that course with these ample reservations which the hon. member (Mr. Edwards) has adopted in his own case, and which would allow me to support a government which imposes a tariff which in some cases exceeds 75 per cent, and in other cases maintains a tariff very well up to the protective standpoint, I would still not feel disposed to fall in with that view. I would believe it to be more in the interest of the country that we as public men should not allow ourselves to be influenced by such views unless a careful consideration of all the circumstances, and all the facts and figures that could be brought to bear, would confirm our judgments, and support that sentiment by arguments of such a solid character that we could not get away from them.

Now, I cannot help thinking that the hon. member for North Norfolk has made an enormously strong case. He has shown conclusively that the United States, while not solicitous for the welfare of its neighbours, but exceedingly able in conducting its own affairs, has prospered beyond our prosperity in a manner almost surprising. He has made out a case so strong that at the first blush I would be inclined to think we should all give the most favourable consideration to his arguments, and inquire whether we could not at once adopt a system of reciprocity of tariffs which we could apply to any country which would not give us reciprocity of free trade.

At six o'clock the House took recess.

After Recess.

House resumed at eight o'clock.

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CON

Adam Carr Bell

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BELL.

Mr. Speaker, the resolution of the hon. member for North Norfolk, which we were discussing at C o'clock, calls practically for a measure of reciprocity-reciprocity in the direction of a very liberal measure of free trade between Canada and the United States. From my understanding of the speech made by the hon. member, liis first alternative seemed to be, if it were available, that the United States should lower its tariff and show the same liberality in dealing with the products of this country that we have shown in dealing with theirs. At the same time, it was impossible to avoid the impression that from his knowledge of our relations with the United States, and

his experience and the experience of the government in dealing with that country, he had not very much hope of seeing any great lowering of its duties. Practically, then, such a resolution, if it were to take the form of a measure to be adopted by a government and put into operation, would carry us entirely and irrevocably, if logically followed out, in the direction of a reciprocity of tariffs. Of course, it could not for a moment be supposed that this parliament or any member of it would adopt a policy aimed particularly at any country without some good reason ; and yet one noticeable fact in the speech of the hon. member was that it dealt almost exclusively with our relations with one particular country, that is, the United States. The fact first cited by the hon. member, the foundation fact as it were, was a contrast which he drew between this country and the United States exhibited by the census in regard to the growth of population. Not taking into account for the moment any other facts revealed by the census, he showed that Canada has made very trifling gains-only 104 per cent in the last twelve years, 12* per cent in the preceding, and only 47 per cent in the whole period since confederation-whereas the United States in a similar period, and at a time when there was not the same great activity in business that there is to-day, had made an increase in population three times as great.

There is one noticeable distinction between the policies of the two countries. The United States, with one or two reversions to a comparatively free trade system, has been a protectionist country we may say throughout, whereas Canada has not, in my opinion, been a protectionist country in the full sense of the word. It is certainly not a highly protectionist country. In the old days of the provincial governments, we had duties that were revenue duties solely, and these were placed at such a low point that they afforded no protection whatever. The province of Nova Scotia not long ago had a tariff of ony 10 per cent. While the upper provinces went a good deal beyond that, still we have not had in Canada, either before or since confederation, a really high and effective protective tariff at any time. Now, contrasting the two countries, we have equal natural resources, quite as healthful a climate, and people not at all inferior, and it does not seem unnatural to argue that the marked difference of growth in them is due to the wide difference in their tariff policies. We have had, it is true, since 1879, a certain amount of protection. We have been supposed to have a protective system, but it has not been a high protective system. It has not gone the length of the United States system, either in setting up the duties in the first place or in maintaining them at a high and efficient point afterwards. There are only two exceptions to this remark in our tariff system. We have had adequate protection given to the coal oil industry, and a fair measure of protection to our iron and steel industries in the form of government bounties. What is the result ? While in some other lines Canada may not be holding her own in the struggle for mastery, in these particular industries we find Canada achieving a great and splendid success ; and if that system is maintained without weakening, these industries will be not only established, but will go on and develop their strength to a point at which they will be able to enter into competition and hold their own in the markets of the world with the people of the United States or any other people.

Taking into consideration the fact that we have, on the whole not, afforded protection to our manufactured industries as compared with the United States, and have therefore not made a proportionate advance, and considering on the other hand the instance cited of the iron and steel industry, which has been afforded more generous protection and achieved more gratifying success, it strikes me that a good prima facie case has been made out to justify our revising our policy and entering upon a genuine, earnest system of protection. To any one who has followed the tariff discussions and changes in Canada, it must be evident that even when the principle of pro-teetion was adopted by the Canadian government, a very strong influence was exercised by public men, who were sympathetic with free trade and who impressed with great force the interests of the consumer on the attention of parliament. The result followed that even while adopting the principle, only a so-called system of protection was adopted, which did not prove itself efficient and which therefore prevented the development that would have followed the adoption of an effective system. The force of circumstances is compelling us to reconsider our position. A certain condition of affairs is revealed to us. We know that we enjoy natural advantages unsurpassed elsewhere, and yet we have made a noticeable failure to make such increase in our population, wealth and development as might have been expected from our circumstances and the character of our people. We are therefore confronted with a condition of things which compels us to seek its causes, and if we should fail, as we are almost certain to do, in inducing the United States government to reduce its tariff and make it as favourable to our natural products as ours is to them, we will be compelled, by the sheer force of reason and necessity, to adopt the other alternative suggested by the hon. member for North Norfolk (Mr. Charlton). We will be compelled, If we cannot obtain reciprocity or a reduction of tariff, to adopt, not only against the United States, but against the whole

world-witli the sole exception of the mother country which has treated us with every liberality-a policy of protection similar to that under which our American neighbours have achieved such great success.

No doubt the arguments advanced by the hon. member for Russell (Mr. Edwards) will be pressed with great force, not only in this House but outside, especially in the agricultural sections of the country. No doubt people will be told that the consumer pays too much for protection. Well, if we are driven into that discussion again, we will be merely going back to the old controversy, and we will have to prevail upon the consumer to submit to some sacrifice-temporary and not at all serious-as may be necessary in order to give him those advantages that unquestionably flow from great manufacturing industries, such as a large increase in population and consequently magnificent home markets for the farmer, the fisherman, the miner, and every man who is (frawing on natures bounty and passing it into consumption. But that question has been threshed out already. It is not possible that the Canadian people could ever have consented to the measure of protection they did adopt unless they were convinced that it would give them some compensation, and the time I believe is within measurable distance when this whole question of developing home industries, and thus increasing our population and creating a home market for our natural products, will force itself upon the attention of the government. It is possible that a government may continue in power whicli will be half-hearted in this matter-which will give a certain measure of protection-which will pose both as a friend of the manufacturer and of the farmer, but it is not likely that such a state of affairs can long continue, and I have no doubt the time is near at hand when the administration will have to come to a decision and shape its course definitely, either as one of decided protection or free trade. Free traders we cannot expect or hope to be, and therefore it strikes me that the only alternative before us is one leading to a system of protection, which shall be really effective and not merely nominal-one which will give to our manufacturers and capitalists the assurance that their investments of energies and labour and money will rest on a solid and durable foundation. It is therefore of the highest importance that every view on this matter should be expressed-the view both of the man who is in favour of protection and of the man who is opposed to it. There are innumerable instances which may be cited, and special circumstances that may be urged, which we cannot expect to meet in speeches made in general terms. There are special circumstances that modify and affect almost every industry. There are some things we can do

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Adam Carr Bell

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BELL.

better in Canada than elsewhere, and others which it would not be advisable for us to undertake. But a full and thorough discussion of the subject, embracing almost all the various industries of the country and the circumstances which affect each, will bring us no doubt a remedy to our present condition, which is that of stagnation. It will then be incumbent on those gentlemen who do not agree with the hon. member for North Norfolk (Mr. Chariton), who do not believe in the remedy which he suggests and the reasons in favour of which he gives with great force and power-it will then be the duty of these gentlemen to suggest some alternative measure by which some relief can bp brought to this country. We have not done what we should have, and we are doing now still less than we did in the immediate past. Our population, instead of increasing more rapidly, is increasing less rapidly. The exodus is not a thing of the past, but is going on now as it went on before. Our people are leaving the country and going to the neighbouring republic where, owing to protection-owing to their efficient protective system-their young men and women find an ample field for the exercise of their energy and their ability which is lacking in this country. We can unquestionably in Canada, in a comparatively short time, establish some industries on such a footing as to make them perfectly safe. We have already established the iron and steel industry upon a perfectly safe foundation, and there is at least one other great industry which can be established and built up in Canada.

For some things, we have peculiar advantages. I cannot hesitate for a moment to believe that a similar system of protection, not as great in amount perhaps, but given with the same freedom with the same liberality and heartiness, that established our iron and steel industry, would, in a short time, establish an enormous pulp industry that would make Canada not only the great producer of pulp, but the manufacturer for the whole world of those classes of paper which are to-day so extensively consumed. We cannot do these things without making sacrifices, without drawing on our resources, without taxing ourselves. There is another direction in which the government will be bound to give protection in some form, either by bounties or by subvention; and that is in the direction of restoring Canada to the position which she at one time held of being pre-eminently a maritime country, a country with an enormous marine in proportion to her population. In that respect we have fallen behind. We cannot hope, in the face of the competition of countries where the governments are liberal, where they realize the importance of having control of the high seas and of the commerce of the world, to recover our place in the handling of that great world-wide business which has poured

its wealth into one country after another and has given every country that has for a time held supremacy in it a leading place among the nations of the world-we cannot hope to have maritime supremacy restored to our country, unless the government rises above too small, too close, consideration of petty matters, and demands from its party, support in establishing a broad system by which the country will pledge its wealth and resources to the great national duty of pressing Canada forward into its true position as a manufacturing, commercial and maritime country. I do not propose to speak at greater length at this time, because I feel sure that many special cases will arise to which careful attention should be given, and further opportunity for discussion will be afforded as these subjects are considered. It is true that there are some things that cannot be effected by government aid and action; it is equally true that there are some things that cannot be effected without government aid and action. And I believe that careful examination of the questions that rise under the resolution placed in your hands by the hon. member for North Norfolk will lead to a comprehensive view of our situation and will indicate the line that the government should take and that it will be warranted in calling upon its followers to support it in taking.

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CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. T. S. SPROULE (East Grey).

It has been a matter of curiosity for me during the last few hours to see what course the government would take upon this question. I made up my mind, from the start, that they had sent up this balloon to see which way the wind blew ; they wished to keep silent on the question itself so that they may not be committed before the country. The hon. Minister of Finance (Mr. Fielding) is listening to me, and I have no doubt that I have been sufficient of a mind-reader to express what is passing in his mind. I have been much interested in the figures given by the hon. member for North Norfolk (Mr. Charlton). Looking over those figures we can come to but one conclusion, and that is that our country is not in a healthy condition with regard to its trade. We have heard it said many times, and the representatives of the Crown was caused to say it in the Speech from, the Throne, that our country is in a thriving condition, that the people are prosperous and happy. But, if the conditions exist which the hon. member for North Norfolk has shown by the figures he has given, it is not possible for the country to be in as favourable position as we would desire. The hon. member for North Norfolk, last summer, was sent to the United States, if not oil the advice of the government or the premier, at least with the premier's approval, to make a missionary tour of that country, either to convince the Americans of the truth of the views he laid before them or 10

to ascertain what their feelings were with regard to this question of trade or reciprocity. When I saw the announcement of the hon. gentleman's meetings, I said that it seemed to me that it was belittling the country from which he went. 1 thought that if the government did its duty, it would call him home and say to him that our highest duty would be to assemble the representatives of the people in parliament and have them pass such legislation as the interests of the country required, quite regardless of what other countries did against us-saying nothing about retaliation, not going upon a begging expedition to a foreign country, not going upon our bended knees to any other country to implore them to change their tariff because if they did not it would bring us to ruin. Such a course seems to me unworthy of a great nation like Canada, and it seems to me belittling to Canada that any prominent supporter of the government should be found going through the United States with such a wail. The hon. gentleman went to Detroit, Chicago, New York, Boston, Washington, and some other places I do not recall at the moment. But he came home without having brought about any beneficial results so far as we know, and, I think so far as he himself knows. I can only tell the hon. gentleman that, so far as I can judge the sentiment of the Canadian people, that sentiment entirely disapproves of his course. We should legislate for the benefit of Canada, and let the United States legislate according to their own sweet will. We need not talk about retaliation or about what we can do to drive eighty millions of people to take the course we want them to take. We should take the means which seems to us most liable to promote the best interests of our country and say no more about it. The hon. gentleman's speech will be an interesting disclosure to the Canadian people, one that they did not expect, especially in view of the speeches that have been made, not only by the ministers of the Crown, but by prominent members of the Reform party throughout the country during the past few years. The country has been told that the policy of the present government was a wise one-that it raised revenue, that it kept Canada for the Canadians, that it did something for the mother country, and developed our trade with that country, and, in every respect was an advantageous one. And the result of this policy was, we are told, that there was nothing but prosperity and happiness in this country. But to-day the hon. gentleman tells us that the condition of affairs in Canada is a very unfavourable one. He said that, last year, we sold about $42,000,000 worth of goods to the United States, leaving out gold and the goods of other countries that only passed through Canada. But we took back $119,000,000 worth from that country, dhat is, the balance of trade against us with the United States that we must pay

for in gold or something else, is $71,890,000 for one year. That is going on with increasing ratio every year. The balance of trade against us with Germany, after this government had succeeded in getting England to denounce the German treaty, was $1,829,000; the balance of trade against us with France was $3,810,000; the balance of trade against us with Holland was $010,000; the balance of trade against us with Spain was $557,000.

We have been told over and over again that the reduction in the duty on British goods was in favour of the mother country, that we did it ini our generosity to favour the mother country, and that we were giving her this advantage which other countries did not enjoy in our market. But the hon. member for North Norfolk tells us that the rate upon dutiable and free goods coming from the United States was only 12 05 percent, on the total importations from that country, while the goods coming from England, dutiable and free, paid an average rate of 18-2 per cent. Yet we are told that we have been giving England a great reduction in the duty so as to favour her.

Now, the hon. member disclosed what many on this side of the House have always contended, that instead of the tariff change favouring England it was in reality a discrimination against England. We said years ago when that duty was put on thfit such would be the result, and facts have verified our contention. What we contended years ago is amply justified by the speech which has been made to this House this afternoon. Take the dutiable and free goods from England and what do we find ? That the duty on them is 18-2 per cent, while on the dutiable and free goods from the United States it is 12-02 per cent. We have often heard it said that the bulk of our free goods come from the United States, and if we take the rate of duty on the dutiable and free goods from the United States, it is unfair to take the rate on dutiable goods from England, and we are told that 33J per cent of the duty as against other countries is thrown off in favour of England. But the average on dutiable goods from England last year was 24-83 per cent, while on the dutiable goods from the United States it was 24-87 per cent. Is it not as plain as anything can be that instead of the duty being in favour of England it discriminates against England ? Or in other words, notwithstanding the fact that the Minister of Finance told the British people that in our generosity towards the mother country we had thrown oil 331 per cent, we still are charging a higher duty upon the goods coming from England than upon the goods from the United States. I think he will be loath to admit that. But if he is not inclined to do so, let him establish beyond any question that the figures given by the hon. member for North Norfolk are incorrect.

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CON
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The MINISTER OF FINANCE (Hon. W. S. Fielding).

My hon. friend is proving there is no reduction. Then how can this preference do all the harm we hear about if it does not exist ?

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CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

I am proving that the contention of the Conservative party all along was that there was no substantial preference given to England, and the trade figures now prove it beyond question. If these figures be correct, and I assume that they are, Canada has paid a higher rate of duty upon free and dutiable British goods, than upon free and dutiable goods from the United States. We were told that this was going to do a great deal of good to the people of Canada, but we find now that it has not done a great deal of good. We were told that it was going to improve outtrade with other countries, and the balance of trade would turn in our favour; but we find now that the reverse is the case and the balance of trade is against us, and yet we have a government sitting still. We ask them, what are you going to do about it ? Will you give us any information, as to what you propose to do to remedy this terrible state of affairs ? But not a word from the government benches, they are as silent as the grave upon these questions. They have sent up a balloon to see what is the sentiment of this House, and then they will try to square themselves with the favouring gale. We ask the government, what remedy do you propose for this unfavourable state of affairs to Canada ? When told they were making no reforms, the Prime Minister said to the people of Canada a short time ago, in Montreal, the older I grow I am becoming more and more conservative ; and I find myself and my colleagues in the happy position that we are reformers without anything to reform. What an acknowledgment to make to the country ! Is it possible that the evolutions of time bring us to no new conditions that require reform year after year ? If so, this is the only country in the world in that happy condition. But that is the acknowledgment of the present government-they are reformers without anything to reform. They have nothing to reform, though the trade is going against us in our dealings with every country in the world. We are being out-done in every market, and there is no effort being made to remedy that condition of affairs. There is a balance against us everywhere, and the government are allowing it to go on, still drifting-yet they are reformers without anything to reform. Now, we are told that they have done a good deal. If the Minister of Agriculture (Hon. Mr. Fisher) were talking he would tell us how much we had developed our trade with England, and how many agricultural products we have sent there, and what a wonderful thing his cold storage system was

in increasing that trade. I w*.s struck -with the figures in a speech made a short time ago by the Hon. Dr. Montague, who spent eight months in Australia, and I wish to quote those figures to put them alongside the figures we have heard in regard to what has been done with the admirable cold storage system given to Canada, so that our people may understand how much they are entitled to appreciate the efforts of the Minister of Agriculture. Dr. Montague said :

The recent figures published by Waddell & Co,. London, go to show that England imports about 425,000,000 pounds of frozen meat. Of this Australia and New Zealand sent 72,000,000 pounds, while Canada contributes a little over .10,000,000.

And yet Australia and New Zealand, that are over three times the distance from England that Canada is, and with her advantage of cold storage, have been enabled to send to England 72,000,000 pounds of frozen meat last year, while Canada only sent 10,000,000 pounds. Does not that tell a great deal on behalf of Australia, and is it not a wonderfully strong argument against the contention of the Minister of Agriculture that he has done so much for the Canadian farmer in giving him the cold storage which he speaks about so much ? But we find that the United States have sent over 408,000,000 pounds as against Canada's 10,000,000 pounds. So I do not think we have so much to boast of in the success of the present Minister of Agriculture. But in face of these figures and the disclosures that have been made to-day, we are entitled to ask the government what they are going to do about it. Have they got up and told the Canadian people what they are going to do about it ? Not at all. Have they given us any information in the Speech from the Throne ? Not at all. They are silent on that as on many other things. When they came to power a few years ago they were going to do wonderful things. They have been in power sis years and have allowed things to drift along. They have accomplished little or nothing. What have they accomplished ? We have no new or better markets for the people. But what advantage have they been to us when the figures show that the balance of trade is against us in every country in the world with whom we are dealing ? Not a single market has been secured for the people of Canada since the present government came to power six years ago that we did not possess before. But they are drifting along-reformers with nothing to reform.

They were going to get a reciprocity treaty which would help to improve trade between Canada and the United States. With their sunny ways and their liberality, and their good fellowship towards the Americans, they were going to accomplish much. But the figures that have been given to-day by 10i

the hon. member for North Norfolk show that although our trade with the United States is increasing rapidly every year, the balance of trade is against us, and they have failed to secure either a reciprocity treaty or any other treaty that would be in the least degree favourable to the people of Canada.

They told us that they would settle our disputes with the United States and that we would be able to trade with them on more favourable terms. But, these disclosures prove that they have not done so. What disputes have they settled ? Is it the Alaskan boundary or the Atlantic fisheries or the seal fisheries dispute ? Not a single dispute has been adjusted between us and the United States since they came into power and yet they are sitting there helpless and telling us that they are reformers when they have nothing to reform. They are practically doing nothing. They told the farmer of the great wonders they would do for him. They said that they would help the farmer to get the market of 65,000,000 to the south of us which the Minister of Trade and Commerce (Hon. Sir Richard Cartwright) said was the most valuable market in the world. They would get that market if the Canadian people would return them to power. Well, the Canadian people took them at their word and have they got any market in the United States ? The government have done nothing for the farmer. The hon. member for North Norfolk has told us that the American manufacturers are rapidly taking control of our markets-not taking control of our markets because they have control of them to-day. They practically control oui' markets to-day in the manufactured goods of our country. They are driving our own manufacturers out of the market, they are hampering their operations and compelling many Canadians to seek homes in the United States. Are the government making any effort to remedy this unfortunate condition of things ? They have not given us any evidence of a single effort that they have made to remedy this condition. They have not given us' efficient cold storage, they have not saved our markets, they have not reduced our taxation. What have they done and what do they propose to do in the future ? They have remained in office and drawn their salaries and they have taken pleasure jaunts all over the country. Half of them are in England almost every summer. They have had a Joint High Commission sitting in Washington. It has been going on for the last three, four, or five years and we cannot even get the papers that should be laid before the House and the country to inform us what offers and proposals they made. They are always held back on the plea that these negotiations are not completed. The right hon. leader of the government said, in Montreal, a few months ago, that he did not expect that there would

be anything more done by this commission. Then, I say, lay the papers on the Table of the House so that parliament will see what efforts are made on behalf of the country by our representatives who are sent to negotiate upon the questions considered by the commission. We have no information at all regarding what has been done and we are practically drifting. The government of to-day are doing very little beyond taking their jaunts through the country, drawing their salaries, having a good time and trying to hold themselves together.

I was very much amused at the hon. member for Russell (Mr. Edwards) who endeavoured to answer the hon. member for North Norfolk, especially so when I remember that they are both ardent supporters of the present government, the one an extreme protectionist, the other an extreme free trader, the one as directly opposed to the other as day is to night or light is to darkness, and yet they are both together in supporting the same government. The free trader thinks the principles and policy that he stands by are the best for Canada, and the protectionist thinks the principles and policy which he supports are the best for Canada. Well, I am pleased to agree with the principles promulgated by the hon. member for North Norfolk and I would like to say right here that I was especially pleased with the compliment to the policy carried out by the Conservative party during the eighteen years that they were in office, and if anything more were needed to justify the wise policy they carried out in the interest of Canada beyond what we have heretofore heard and seen we had it this afternoon in the free and frank acknowledgment of the intelligent member for North Norfolk who opposed that policy as strongly as he could for eighteen years and more and who came around to-day and frankly admitted that this is the only policy that is suited to the wants of Canada. It is a justification of the policy so wisely carried out by the Conservative party from 1879 to the time they left office, it is a verification of all the arguments they addressed to the Canadian people and it is an acknowledgment from a source that was scarcely expected. I have often seen these two hon. members sitting beside each other, the hon. member for Russell and the hon. member for North Norfolk, and I have asked myself, how could it be possible that they were held together. I could only explain it upon the theory that there is some electro-magnetic influence at work between them. You know that in electricity there is the peculiarity that likes repel each other and unlikes attract each other. If you put a positive pole to a negative pole they will attract each other and stick themselves together, but if you put two positive poles together they will fly asunder. That is the only explanation I can offer as to why these two hou. gentlemen stand together support-Mr. SPROULE.

ing the government. Likes and unlikes attract each other. I am of the opinion that if other hon. members supporting the government were as frank as these two hon. gentlemen it would be found that they hold quite as divergent views as those expressed by the hon. member for Russell and the hon. member for North Norfolk. I am not so much concerned with the divergence between the opinions held by the hon. gentlemen as I am to know what the government are going to do with this proposal. I know if they would speak as freely as the hon. member for North Norfolk what some of them would say. I am sure that if the Minister of Public Works (Hon. Mr. Tarte) would get up, if he wished to save time, he would say, like the old Quaker ' Them are my sentiments '. I believe he is right and I commend him for it. Notwithstanding that he has gone over there, a protectionist of the protectionists and stands by the free traders, he imbibed his old doctrine too early in life to ever be relieved of it despite the fact that he occupies a place amongst those who hold a doctrine the very reverse of his. I commend him for his courage and intelligence and the Canadian people regard him as being a better statesman in that line especially than many of his colleagues. I believe though that he is bringing them over to his way of thinking. It is sometimes said that he is master of the cabinet. I think he will prove himself so, because, if I judge by the signs of the times in political life, it seems to me thev are drifting over there very rapidly and I would not be surprised to see the hon. Minister of Finance (Mr. Fielding), notwithstanding all that he has said against protection, or the hon. Minister of Trade and Commerce (Sir Richard Cartwright), who sits beside him and who is one of the strongest free traders in Canada, getting up and propounding a radical protective policy in the interests of Canada, saying that the interests of Canada required it to-day and that they were prepared to give it and stand by it. I know that the country would give these hon. gentlemen credit for doing what is right though it might not be in accord with their previous history. I think it is a humiliating position for us and for this government that we have not a single word from any member of the government disclosing to the House whether they approve or disapprove of the principle involved in the resolution which the hon. member for North Norfolk submitted to the House this afternoon. I hope that before this debate closes, the Minister of Finance or some prominent member of the government will give his views upon this question. In justice to the country, and to the House, and to the government itself, it is incumbent that this should be done. The government seem inclined to let this question pass without comment. They have got beyond the line of Torres Vedras on

this question, as the prime minister has on other questions, and unless the over sanguine Minister of Public Works gets on his feet to speak out his mind plainly, we may not have the pleasure of knowing what the government think on this question. If the government fail to give its views on this matter they will fail in their duty to the people.

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Mr. C. B.@

I-IEYD (South Brant). Mr. Speaker, under the circumstances in which I am placed, I do not think it is wise for me to permit this debate to close without saying a few words in connection with the resolution presented by my hon. friend (Mr. Charlton). I do not intend to follow the hon. gentleman from Grey (Mr. Sproule) in an address that would be suitable on the hustings, but which is hardly quite germane to the question we are now discussing. It is only necessary to allude to one or two statements he has made to show how inaccurate are his conclusions. When the hon. gentleman (Mr. Sproule) tells us at this date that our trade is in an unhealthy and unhappy condition he manifests an ignorance on the trade question that is surprising to me. He could easily have seen from the returns of the deposits of the people in the banks, that the wealth of the people has doubled within the past five years, while the foreign trade of the country has likewise doubled during the same period, with our revenue buoyant, with our coffers overflowing, to tell us that the trade of the country is unhealthy and that the people are unhappy is something that one would not expect to find believed by even the most credulous member of this House.

1 agree with the hon. gentleman (Mr. Sproule) when he says that it is the duty of Canadians to make their tariff in their own interests. I go with him hand and hand in that statement. While the United States in the exercise of their rights have raised a prohibitory tariff not only against Canada but against the people of the world, they have simply done what they had the right to do. They did what they believed to be in the interest of their own people, and having done that the only right we have left is to follow in their footsteps if it is in the interest of the Canadian people to do so. I take exception to the statement made by the hon. gentleman (Mr. Sproule) when he said that the preference given to Great Britain is an injury to the people of the British empire and to Great Britain herself. It hardly needs the intelligence of a school boy ten years old to appreciate the fact that 33 J per cent preference in favour of Brxush goods cannot be injurious to the British manufacturer. It is against all reason, it is against the dictates of common sense that it could be so. Indeed, such a statement does not require an answer. Neither is it fair for the hon. gentleman to say that our tariff is hostile to Great Britain, because the rate of duty on British products is higher than upon

American products. That argument can be easily answered by saying that we do not import from Great Britain free goods to the extent we do from the United States. We import from the United States nearly $60,000,000 worth of free goods, and it necessarily follows that the tariff based upon the entire imports from the United States must be lower on the average than ,the tariff on goods coming from Great Britain, which practically sends us nothing but manufactured articles.

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Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

But it is higher on the manufactured articles.

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LIB

Charles Bernhard Heyd

Liberal

Mr. HEYD.

No. In order to get the facts as to the tariff on the manufactured articles you have to compare the articles on which the duties are levied. The hon. gentleman (Mr. Sproule) will see at once tnat the very high average duty on British goods is influenced by the fact that all manufactured goods are not subject to the preferential tariff, and that on $5,000,000 worth of spirits, tobaccos, and other goods which are exempt from the preferential tariff, a duty of nearly 50 per cent is collected. Therefore, in striking a grand average rate that factor must not be eliminated. But, take it article for article on every article with reference to which the preferential tariff operates, and you will find that the preference is in favour of Great Britain. And, Mr. Speaker, it is not the American competition now that has given rise to the trouble in this country. It is this very preference that is precipitating this discussion, and bringing once more this tariff question before the attention of the House and before the country. It is not the competition from the United States that induces the manufacturers' associations to meet together. It is the trouble the woollen manufactures are experiencing in this country because of the preferential condition that exists, that is accentuating their troubles and precipitating the tariff question upon the people once more. It is hardly worth while to waste any more time over the statements made by the hon. gentleman (Mr. Sproule). However, as I partially agree with my hon. friend from Norfolk (Mr. Charlton)-though I do not go to the extent he goes-I want to say a few words in connection with this resolution. The hon. gentleman (Mr. Charlton) has been for so many years engaged in bringing about more amicable relations between the people of Canada and the United States, and has put forth more effort in that direction than almost any other man in Canada, certainly more than any man in this House; that he, not having been successful in the work he had at heart, like a bow relaxed has gone to the other extreme and from being what, we might almost call a free trader in days gone by, he has now become one of the most ardent protectionists there is in this House. But the hon. member (Mr. Charlton) is not a protectionist for the same

motive that makes other men protectionists. He is a protectionist to-night because through the medium of protection he wants to bring about reciprocal trade relations. He does not believe that extending the hand of friendship across the border will bring about the conditions he has at heart, but he believes that by protection he may bring about conditions that we cannot obtain by any other method. His position is entirely different from that occupied by protectionists on the other side of the House who are protectionists purely and simply because of the benefits of protection to the manufacturers.

I am sorry that the hon. gentleman (Mr. Cliarltou) introduces his resolution just at this juncture. When a country is particularly prosperous it is not the time to bring about violent changes. I myself am in favour of changes in the direction of assisting the manufacturing industries that are established in this country. Although I am not a high protectionist, I am not one of those who believe that Canada should not remain for ever only a farming country. It is all right to have agriculturists iu our midst, but there is a time in the history of a . country when it should strive to develop all the resources that are placed within its control. That we should go on for ever raising wheat and corn, and cattle, is not the height of my ambition and I am a loyal Canadian

But, Sir, while that is the fact, I am prepared to go only so far as will be in the interest of the people of this country. I am not willing, through the resolution which the hon. gentleman has placed before us to-night, to make changes so vast and so violent that the National Policy, which we had in this country for so many years, will bear no comparison with them. He did not explain to us what the full effect of his resolution was. He did not tell us how high, in his opinion, it was necessary to raise the tariff in order to enable us to take 40 per cent off, and still do no injury to the manufacturing establishments of this country. He did not tell us how we who have been prating about what we have done for Great Britain, would be able to reconcile the statement that we have given her a preference in our markets of 33i per cent with a proposal to take it away again as soon as it pinches. I am in favour of increasing the protection of the woollen industry of this country. I believe in a system that will protect industries that are not alien, but are indigenous to the soil. I am one of those protectionists who say you cannot protect the natural industries of tills country too highly. Prom the iron ore which comes from the mine to the steel spring in a watch, through all the various stages of the iron industry I am a high protectionist. I am not a protectionist with regard to any industry which requires for its success the importation of its raw materials, especially when those materials bear a large proportion to the cost of manufacture. Such an industry, what-Mr. HEYD.

ever it may be, will always remain a spoonfed industry, maintained at the expense of the great mass of the consumers. But an industry that is indigenous to the country, and requires for its development only the intelligence, the industry, and the skill of Canadian workmen, I am willing to protect even to the extent of extreme protection. Therefore, holding the views I do, there are some objections to my hon. friend's discourse that appeal to me. The high protectionist notions which he has expressed tonight as applicable to industries that are alien and not indigenous to this country, industries which would never thrive here, do not appeal to my reason, although my antagonism to the United States makes it less hard to swallow them than would have been the case four or five years ago. The mode of operation which my hon. friend proposes is retaliation, which is a very poor mode for securing the object we have at heart. If he supposes for one moment that the people of the United States can be driven to give the people of Canada access to their markets in natural products without expecting anything in return, he mistakes the intelligence of the American people. They have never manifested a disposition to give something for nothing, and they are not going to do it to-day. One of the things I most decidedly object to at the present stage of the proceedings is any kind of reciprocity with the people of the United States. 1 believe the time has come when Canada may well realize that it has such a future before it that we need not enter into any entangling alliances either with the empire as a whole or with the United States. I as a Canadian want to leave my hands untied, and to be free to take advantage of the bounties which a kind Providence has placed within our reach, to develop our resources to the very best of our ability, and do the best we can for the people of Canada; and I do not think it is necessary to conciliate either the people of the United States or those of any other nation under the sun.

Holding these views, I am not in sympathy with the conditions as they exist to-day. But the resolution which was brought before us gives us the opportunity to express our opinions upon those conditions. It may be said that men such as I have changed our views. True, I do not claim to be so wise or to be so much of a prophet as to see changes in the distant future; and even in 1893, when I endorsed the platform of the Liberal party adopted at the convention in Ottawa, who could have anticipated the changes which have taken place ? Great Britain, which was once the most conspicuous figure in the manufacturing world, has assumed an entirely different relative position in comparison with the rest of the world. She no longer reigns supreme in the manufacturing heaven, but, according to the statements of even some gentle-

men in tliis House, slie has been compelled to take a second place to the United States. Germany also looms up on the horizon; and who ten years ago could have foreseen the position that Canada itself would occupy ? Who dreamed of the resources that have been lying undiscovered and unused in the bowels of the earth? Who could realize that an industrial development would take place in Canada within ten years such as we see down by the Atlantic coast, at the Soo, and away out on the Pacific coast ? All these things were in the future, and I am not so ignorant nor so persistent in my beliefs that I am not prepared to change them when a change in the conditions makes a change in my beliefs necessary. X believed then that it was in the interest of the country to adopt that clause in the policy of the Liberal party.

I believe still that it is in the interest of the country to adhere to it as closely as possible, and not to depart from it simply from protection's sake. But when cases present themselves that require special treatment,

I do not think we should adopt a cast-iron rule and refuse consideration to industries that are suffering unfair competition for the want of that relief which in other circumstances they might not require. The views I entertain are entertained by the Board of Trade of the city of Brantford. Hon. gentlemen know that Brantford is a manufacturing city, an industrial city. It is the third largest exporter of manufactured products among the cities of Canada; and yet what is the opinion of the Brantford Board of Trade, seven-tenths of whom I presume are Liberals, loyal adherents of the present government ? That body passed a resolution not so extreme as that proposed by my hon. friend, who has not a five-cent piece of interest in any manufacturing concern in this country, unless it be in a lumber mill; but these men of Brantford, who own the great industrial establishments of this country, whose names are known from one end of the country to the other, simply say :

That, in view of the present conditions of trade and the expansion of Canadian industries, it is highly desirable that the government revise the present tariff with a view to the preservation of our markets against unfair competition, thus assisting to maintain and increase our present industries and to establish new ones.

Now, what is meant by unfair competition ? That is one of the phrases that must be explained. It appears to each man according to his humour. Some men may consider a legitimate competition unfair. I do not; but I do say that where prices are maintained by a combination in the United States, which sells goods in Canada at lower prices than they receive for the same goods in the United States, that is an unfair competition, and should be put down by an increase in the tariff in the particular line affected. In order to show what I mean, I will give you a specimen case which

took place in my own city. In 1898 the first cutlery establishment that has been established in Canada, began its career in the city of Brantford.

They began, knowing full well the conditions under which they were starting their industry. They knew that the duty upon cutlery was 30 per cent. They figured out the cost of raw material and labour, and decided that they could make money upon the prices which the American, English and German manufacturers were receiving, and they put $75,000 capital into the industry, and are to-day making the various branches of cutlery and selling them in the Canadian market. They have secured some of the largest wholesale dealers to handle their goods. But what is the result ? Let me just take the article of shears, as an example of the way in which business is done. In 1898 a certain brand of shears was selling at $4.80 per dozen in the American market. The same quality of shears was sold in England at $4.80, and adding the Canadian duty of 30 per cent, made the price to the wholesale dealer in Canada $6.24 per dozen. That was the competition which the home industry anticipated it would have to meet. But what are the conditions to-day ? After it was established, although the price in the United States has not varied up to the present time, and although the same shears are selling in England at the same old price of $4.80, when the American travellers came into Canada and found that the Canadian wholesalers were tied down to this Canadian concern-first because its goods are equally good, second because it is a Canadian institution, and third because it sold cheaper-what did they do ? They reduced the price of shears in the Canadian market to $2.88, so that the shears which, four years ago, were selling in Canada at $6.24, are now selling at $3.i4.

I call that unfair. The Americans have a protective tariff which prevents us, under any circumstances, from selling a single razor or knife or pair of shears in the United States, but they can take their goods, which they sell at $4.84 in their own market, and sell them in Canada at $2.S8. Of course that would not continue once the Canadian industry was out of the way. The Canadian consumer will no doubt ask why should I be deprived of the benefit of cheap American cutlery ? But this benefit is only temporary, and these low prices will only last until the Canadian industry is destroyed, when the price will be raised again. That case is not an unusual one.

We have a similar condition of things in the pottery at Brantford. A few years ago, for the lack of baking capacity, this company was compelled to make arrangements with an American pottery, and it was given a remarkably low price on American goods. The Canadian company consequently did not build an oven, but at the

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   RECIPROCITY IN TRADE.
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LIB
IND

William Findlay Maclean

Independent Conservative

Mr. W. F. MACLEAN (East York).

Let there be an end to this supplication of Washington, and, in a way, let there be an end of all threatening of retaliation. On the other hand, let there be a determination on our part to do for our country what the people of the United States have done for theirs. Let that be our ground of action. The people of the United States will pay no attention to either threats or supplications from us. They are too big a people-too great a people We cannot bring them to time, but we can do something for ourselves. Don't let us go any more to Washington. Let us do something for ourselves, let us show we are equal to the occasion; let us do something on the lines laid down by the hon. member for North Norfolk this afternoon, on the lines laid down by the member for Brant (Mr. Heyd). He was only telling half of what he was told by his own people. The people of Brantford are out and out protectionists, and the people of Ontario, and the manufacturers from one end to the other of the province, and the farmers of Canada are for protection. The farmers of Canada know one thing very well, and that is that wherever there is a great home market, wherever there are prosperous manufacturers, wherever there is a great manufacturing centre, wherever there is a great number of workingmen, there is a splendid home market. You can always get the farmers to support a national policy if it is on good lines. I trust that after the confession that has been made here this afternoon by these two hon. gentlemen, and the statements that have been made throughout the country, and the new principles advocated by the Liberal press throughout the country, that we will have some kind of effort made by the government to move on the lines indicated by the member for North Norfolk.

Now, the Prime Minister dealing with this very question not long ago said : We are a people who wish to buy and who wish to sell; the Americans are a people who do not wish to buy but who wish to sell. Now accepting that definition, I would ask him what is he going to do about it ? If they insist on their policy of selling to us and not buying from us, what does he propose to do about it ? Are they to continue to raid our markets ? I say no. Let us treat them as they treat us. No, 1 won't use that term, I will say, let us follow their example, and perhaps if we follow their example they will be ready to buy from us as well as sell to us.

Now, what should be the policy of Canada V-we won't call it protection. What should be the policy of the empire ?-we won't call it protection. But what is the lesson of this debate ? What is it that is coming home to Canadians ? What is the thing coming home to Englishmen all over 1 It is this : If not free trade, then fair

play. Fair trade is the word, fair trade is Mr. MACLEAN.

the sign, and in that sign the empire can conquer, and will revive. I will put it in another way, reciprocal trade, or preferential trade between the various members of the empire, and fair trade to all outside the empire. I think that policy was very nearly suggested this afternoon by the hon. member for North Norfolk. I prefer to call it fair trade to retaliation. I have spoken a good deal in favour of what I called a retaliatory tariff. Perhaps another better term is reciprocity of treatment. But the thing for this country, the thing for the empire, is preferential trade within the empire and reciprocity of treatment to all outside of it.

The hon. gentleman who just sat down said that he did not want to interfere with the great conference that was to take place this summer in London. Now, that conference is to take place, and it is well there should be frequent discussions in this House on the subjects likely to come up there. Now the lesson that is coming home to us, and the lesson I am trying to convey to the government is this, that we have two problems to settle, and we must settle them now before that conference takes place. I wish to impress it upon the leader of the government, and upon the keeper of his political conscience so far as the tariff is concerned, the Minister of Finance, that there are two things to do. We have to do something in regard to our attitude towards the United States, and we have to do something in regard to our attitude to the mother country. And we must do it this summer, and we must state clearly and explicity what we intend to do. We must take up the gauntlet that has been thrown down to us this afternoon by the member for North Norfolk. We must say what we intend hereafter to do toward the people of the United States, and we must say what we intend to do toward the people of England in regard to trade between the mother land and Canada. We ought to lead in this matter as I believe we are competent to lead. As I said in Toronto the other night at a public meeting, and it seemed to meet with a good deal of approval, we Canadians as a portion of the empire, have the clearer vision in regard to the trade future of the empire. We vindicated that, and Englishmen to-day are calling on us to make suggestions as to the trade policy of the empire. Then what ought these suggestions to be ?

What ought the Prime Minister to say this summer when he goes to England ? He ought to go there prepared to say to the empire and in the face of all the world, that we Canadians are determined at last to build up our own country and to follow, if necessary, the example of the United States, and to force them if we can to trade fair with us; and also to say to the empire that we are prepared to join with them in fore-

ing tlie whole outside world if necessary to trade fair with the empire. Now those are the two great things. I do not know whether the Prime Minister will rise to the occasion, whether he will make a declaration or not. But this discussion this afternoon, and other discussions in this House at other times, and discussions yet to take place will make clear the fact that the manufacturers, the workingmen and the farmers are waiting to know what the new policy of the government is to be under these new conditions. The conditions are new. The future of Canada is in the scales. If something is not done we will be a portion of the United States In a short time. We cannot help ourselves, if they control our trade, if they control our great corporations. But if we have confidence in ourselves, if we adopt those principles which have been vindicated in regard to trade, the principles of protection, then we are bound to stand for our own interests and to keep our own markets to ourselves. We are bound to become much stronger protectionists than we are to-day, and we are bound to tell the empire that we are willing to join with the empire, not only for preferential trade between the different portions of the empire, but for fair trade between the empire and all outside portions as well.

t say the Prime Minister should not let this resolution pass without telling us where the government stands in regard to it. He cannot gain the support of the hon. member for North Norfolk unless he accepts the doctrine laid down here tonight. There is no time like the present to make a new departure. It has got to be made, and it has got to be made in a manly way. There has got to be a confession of mistake in the past. Hon. gentlemen opposite- were free traders and nothing else in the past, they were for free trade in Canada as they have it in England. But that won't do. Free trade is a failure in England to-day. What Canada wants is protection as they have it in the United States. Wliat the empire wants is that kind of attitude and that kind of treatment from other nations which she accords to them and if she does not get it she will give to other nations that treatment which they accord to her.

Now in face of all that, in face of the new conditions, in face of the way that the empire is trying to hold its own when it is raided from all quarters from protectionist nations, what advice is the Prime Minister going to give this House to-night on this motion presented by the hon. member for North Norfolk ? What advice is he going to give the empire when he goes to the celebration in the coming summer ? The question must be faced. There is no way of escaping it. If it must be faced let it be faced courageously here and now. Let us not be afraid, as at last the member

for North Norfolk has shown that he is not afraid and as the Minister of Public Works (Hon. Mr. Tarte) is not afraid to avow that the only salvation of this country is in the adoption of a protectionist policy.

I congratulate the hon. member for North Norfolk on freeing himself from his bonds.

I take it that he is honest in his purpose. They say, and it is said freely, that he is flying a "kite in the interests of the government. I believe the conversion is deep and pronounced and that there are scores of hon. members on the other side of the House ready to speak as the hon. member for Brant (Mr. Heyd) spoke here to-night. If there is one vindication of that old man now dead and buried in Cataraqui Cemetery who introduced the national policy into this country, it is afforded in the conversion of John of Norfolk that we have heard this afternoon. If there ever was a man who went about persecuting the people who believed in protection, it was the hon. member for North Norfolk. Now, he has made his peace. He will feel all the better for it. He has got the trouble off his mind, he lias made his confession and he will be a much happier man. The hon. member for North Brant should do the same and the hon. Minister of Public Works should do the same. I believe the hon. Minister of Trade and Commerce will yet do the same and that we will have him coming down and approving of the policy of protection. The right hon. Prime Minister has no political principles in regard to the tariff or the future of the country. He has said time and again that he is an opportunist and it will be no trouble for him to do what the hon. member for North Norfolk did here to-day. It will only be making a slight change to adapt himself to circumstances so that he will not be wrestling with his conscience as the hon. member for North Norfolk did. He will do it easily and I believe the hon. Minister of Finance (Mr. Fielding) will be able to do the same thing. Why not take the manly course and take the step to-night ? I am following out the line of the exliorter in the revival meeting. Do it now, and do it completely. Don't wait ; to-night is the accepted hour, now is the appointed time. If the hon. Minister of Public Works would only walk up and down among the brethren as the revivalist does, he would be able to bring them in. The wandering boys would all be home to-night, if the head of the government should make a straight and sudden departure just as the hon. member for North Norfolk has done here to-night. This is the easiest way out of it, it is the way that will benefit Canada and benefit the empire and the easiest for his reputation. These hon. gentlemen are like the woman in the problem play ; they have a past and they are ashamed of it. We will give them an opportunity here and now to come out straight and completely for protection as the hon. member for North Norfolk has come

out to-night. I hope this is the last time that we will have to appeal to them. Having gone so far as they have on the road to protection they should take the final leap and admit before the whole country that the only salvation of this country is the national policy lived up to by the government and not the one-sided jug handled protection they seem to favour at the present time.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   RECIPROCITY IN TRADE.
Permalink

February 24, 1902