Charles Bernhard Heyd
Mr. C. B. HEYD (South Brant).
Mr. Speaker, yesterday we had the pleasure of listening to the reply of the leader of the opposition (Mr. Borden, Halifax) to the speech of the Minister of Finance (Hon. Mr. Fielding) also to the reply of the Minister of Trade and Commerce (Hon. Sir Richard Cartwright) to the leader of the opposition. And the friends of the Minister of Trade and Commerce desire to congratulate him upon his manifestation of his old time vigour which has so often electrified the House. We are pleased to see him still so vigorous, and congratulate him on making one of the best speeches, that we, his friends, have ever heard delivered in this House. We also had the pleasure of listening to a reply, or supposed reply, by the hon. member for West Toronto (Mr. Osier) to the speech of the Minister of Trade and Commerce. The hon. member for West Toronto opened with an expression of regret that the Minister of Trade and Commerce had revelled in old slanders. From the manner in which the Minister of Trade and Commerce presented his case I am not surprised that the hon. member for West Toronto was sorry, and I can well imagine that that sorrow was shared by every hon. member on your left,
Mr. HUGHES fVictoria).
Mr. Speaker. I can realize that, were I a follower of the men who were responsible for the condition of things that the Minister of Trade and Commerce so eloquently depicted, I also would have experienced feelings of regret; but, combined with those feelings would have been a feeling of shame. It is not well for our friends opposite to forget what took place in this country in days gone by. It may be an old story, but it is an old story that will bear repeating, and the people of the country should not be allowed to forget it. For, on the other side of the House there is still a remnant of the old guard. It must not be forgotten that like begets like, and that, if the country were left unwarned, the old conditions of affairs might again result. The hon. member for West Toronto should have regretted these statements of the hon. minister because they were ancient literature. I am sure the hon. minister had an excuse for going back ten years, after having listened to the leader of the opposition, who, when finding fault with the expenditure of the present government, had to go back sixty years in the history of the United States to tell us that, at that time the expenditure of the United States was only one-third as great as the expenditure of the present government of Canada. Sixty years is a long time to go back in order to gain arguments, particularly when those arguments had no bearing on the case, the conditions being entirely dissimilar. At that time the exportations of the United States amounted to the huge sum of about $9,000,000. But it is not to that part of the speech of the hon. member for West Toronto that 1 object to so much. What I object to is the inaccuracies that he injected into his speech, the positive misstatements that he made-or my reading of Canadian history has been incorrect. As will be remembered, when the hon. Minister of Trade and Commerce drew attention to the late Hon. Alexander Mackenzie and his scheme of development of the North-west, he passed a glowing eulogy upon the character of our departed friend, and still insisted, as he had insisted twenty years ago, that, if the schemes of Hon. Alexander Mackenzie had been carried out, the interests of Canada would have been better promoted than by the schemes that were afterwards adopted. Here is what the hon. member for West Toronto said :
I tell you, Sir, that had that policy been continued, the whole of the trade and the products of that western country would now be tributary to the United States. It may be possible that a larger population would be there now, but our North-west would not belong to Canada, and there are few members who will agree that It were better that Manitoba were more prosperous even at the cost of not belonging to Canada and Great Britain.
Where does our hon. friend from West Toronto get the idea that, even had the I desires of Alexander Mackenzie been grati-
fled, we would have lost that great territory to the north and west of us ? How could we possibly have lost the North-west and Manitoba ? [DOT] The discussion which took place here on that very question last night convinced me still more clearly that Hon. Alexander Mackenzie was right in his contention. I have often attended banquets and have heard the glowing eulogies by our Conservative friends taking credit to themselves for the work of making the Canadian Pacific Railway. I rejoice with them that it is a magnificent piece of work. I am willing to confess that the expectations which I had with respect to it have not been realized. I had the pleasure of going over it, and I found that it was, from end to end, a thoroughly modern and well equipped road and a credit to the people of Canada. But, in saying that, I do not mean to say that the scheme of Hon. Alexander Mackenzie would not have answered the purpose of the people of Canada equally well. And our friends who are so willing to discredit Alexander Mackenzie's memory, and to speak of the ' water stretches ' which were part of his scheme, had evidence the other night in the speeches of our friends that represent that western country that these same 1 water stretches ' that have been so decried still offer the solution of the problem that is before us. It is now the purpose of the government, and has been for years, to utilize these same ' water stretches ' which were to have been a part of Alexander Mackenzie's scheme. And it was because there was no means of using this water communication that the recent glut took place in the North-west.
As I understand it, and I do not think 1 have forgotten, it was the intention of the Liberal party at that time to construct a railway from Port Arthur to Winnipeg and use the water stretches to get to it. These same water stretches have still got to be utilized in order to make of the Canadian Pacific Railway that benefit to the people of Canada that they have a right to expect. So far as being an available means of moving the products of the western farms to the places of export in the east, that narrow line that passes through New Ontario down to Montreal is absolutely useless.
But we might excuse our hon. friend for going back himself into ancient history if he was absolutely correct in telling us what he found. But I take it that the hon. member for West Toronto (Mr. Osier) made a great mistake when he began to touch the trade questions of the country. If I wanted advice as to the quality or judiciousness of an investment, I would be willing to take the advice of the hon. gentleman. On matters of business of that kind I acknowledge his superior skill; but when we read statements emanating from him such as the one I am about to quote, we have to revise our opinion, I have looked into his speech, and I find he says this :
The hon. Minister of Trade and Commerco has drawn for us a very doleful picture of what will take place if we do not return to good old simple free trade. What would free trade mean for Canada ? It would mean the closing up of every factory wo have 'rom the Atlantic to the Pacific What has been the effect of free trade to some extent, already ? It has driven away our bright young men who are educated in our schools of practical science and ether institutions of learning.
I was not aware, Mr. Speaker, that the free trade of Canada had driven our bright young men out of the country to seek homes in a foreign land. If that has taken place, the Minister of Trade and Commerce proved last night that it took place at a time when we had anything but a free trade tariff; and if it took place during the past five years, it certainly has not taken place during a period of a free trade tariff. The hon. gentleman was entirely wrong in introducing the question of free trade. We have not got free trade now. We did not have it during the period of the national policy, neither did we have it at any time during the history of this country with which I am familiar. In 1896 and for the fifteen years previous to which the Minister of Trade and Commerce alluded, the average rate of duty on dutiable products was thirty per cent. Surely he does not call that a free trade tariff. The average rate of duty to-day after the preference has been" granted to Great Britain, based upon the valuation of goods entered for consumption in this Country, amounts to twenty-seven per cent. Surely no hon. gentleman, much less a financier of the standing of the member for West Toronto, will say that a tariff which gives a protection of twenty-seven per cent is a free trade tariff, and that because of a free trade tariff our bright young men are leaving this country to make homes in the United States. I am surprised that our hon. friend made such a mistake. After two or three specimens such as I have given you of the errors into which he fell, I will be excused if I do not devote any more of my time to his speech.
Now, I desire for a few moments to confine myself to the amendment that has been presented by the leader of the opposition. We have had in former years amendments to the Budget resolutions in various forms. They all vary slightly, but the resonant note in them all is that we must have increased protection. That amendment starts out by saying :
This House regarding the operation of the present tariff os unsatisfactory.
Now, I am quite willing to admit that in certain details, or in its practical operation as regards certain industries, it is unsatisfactory to the proprietors of those industries. But to ask this parliament to affirm that the present tariff is unsatisfactory is to ask us to deprive ourselves of our reasoning faculties and to say that white is black or black
Is white. Now what are the actual facts of the case ? What evidence did our friends give us to prove that this tariff under which the country has made such wonderful progress, is an unsatisfactory tariff ? Is there any evidence of it any where in this country from the Pacific to the Atlantic ocean ? What are the facts of the case during the past five years ? Our friends on the other side say they want to get back to that old national policy under which this country made that marvellous progress of which the Minister of Trade and Commerce spoke last night. But we do not need to take opinions on matters of that kind. There are facts accessible to prove whether the tariff as a whole is unsatisfactory and has been injurious to the people of this country, or whether on the other hand it has been advantageous. I do not want to weary you, nor will I do so, by giving you a long procession of figures ; but there are a few facts that X desire to present to the House to-night that will be probably welcomed by some who have not given that phase of the question the consideration that it deserves. We had the national policy for some fifteen or sixteen years before the present government attained power.